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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-31
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> e-mail : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
31.07.2003A NEW ERA WITH SYRIA BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) IRAQ, POLITICS AND WAR BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)
 PARLIAMENT PASSES SEVENTH EU REFORM PACKAGEThe 37-article seventh European Union harmonization package was passed by Parliament yesterday. The package mainly proposes changes to the structure of the country’s National Security Council (NSC). Under the law, appointment of the secretary-general of the NSC will henceforth be done through the president approving a candidate proposed by the prime minister. In addition, the council will gather every two months, instead of monthly. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer must approve the package before it becomes law. In related news, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana yesterday hailed the new package as “very positive,” adding, “This goes exactly in the direction of fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership.'' /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT BEGINS SUMMER RECESSParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday hosted a reception to mark the close of Parliament’s legislative term for its summer recess. He also held a press conference evaluating Parliament’s work this legislative year. Regarding possible deployment of Turkish troops to an Iraq stabilization force, Arinc stated that if a motion to this effect were sent to Parliament, the matter would be evaluated in line with the nation’s interests. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN CRITICIZES EU’S TURKEY POLICY AT IKV MEETINGPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended the Economic Development Foundation’s (IKV) General Assembly meeting in Istanbul. Speaking to the group, Erdogan charged that the European Union’s policy towards Turkey showed a double standard, as in his view, most candidate countries slated to join the Union’s ranks in 2004 have yet to fulfill the necessary EU criteria. He also stressed that the Cyprus issue should be regarded separately from Turkish-EU relations. “It is incorrect to link Turkey’s EU membership bid with the Cyprus issue,” said Erdogan. “These are two distinct issues. Despite the arguments of certain EU circles, Turkey never completely rejected UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for the island. We’ve always worked for a permanent solution.” Meanwhile, businessmen at the meeting expressed support for the government’s recent reform packages. Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) Chairman Tanil Kucuk stated that all the harmonization packages approved by the government made great strides towards democratization. For his part, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu warned that if the EU delayed the beginning of Turkey’s membership negotiations, Ankara would have to revise its relations with the Union. In addition, Erdogan also attended the opening ceremony of Bayrampasa Park yesterday in Istanbul, during which he had a horse-riding accident. Doctors announced that the accident left the premier uninjured. /Cumhuriyet-Sabah/
 GUL DENIES CLAIMS OF TALKS OVER PKK_KADEK
 MILITANTS’ EXILE TO NORWAYAnkara reacted harshly yesterday to recent claims that the United States is in negotiations with Norway to send approximately 100 terrorist PKK_KADEK militants into exile there. After Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul denied the reports, a top-level diplomatic official added that such false claims were a matter of concern for the government. In addition, Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz seconded Gul’s denial at yesterday’s regular press briefing, calling the claims “unacceptable,” and adding “All [such] terrorists will be treated equally.” /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY, SYRIA TO DISCUSS CROSS-BORDER WATER ISSUESIn the wake of Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa Miro’s historic visit to Turkey this week, Ankara and Damascus are planning to hold negotiations to resolve cross-border water issues. Diplomatic sources stated that the talks between Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) and the relevant Syrian institution would aim at developing a common policy to resolve certain disagreements between the two countries concerning water. /Cumhuriyet/
 WASHINGTON HAILS PASSAGE OF REPENTANCE LAWA US State Department official said yesterday that Washington was pleased with the passage Tuesday by Turkey’s Parliament of the repentance law for militants of terrorist groups, including PKK_KADEK. Stressing that the law would encourage militants to lay down their weapons and surrender to Turkish authorities, he underlined that Turkey and the US would continue to cooperate against the terrorist group. The official added that US forces would not allow any terrorist organization, including PKK_KADEK, to take refuge in Iraq. Meanwhile, following the historic law’s passage, 337 militants of PKK_KADEK and Hizbullah currently wanted by authorities applied through their families and lawyers to benefit from the law, and in addition 104 already incarcerated prisoners filed petitions. In related news, officials printed brochures and posters calling on militants to surrender under the terms of the new law. /All Papers/
 IRAQI TURKMEN EXCLUDED FROM ROTATING
 HELM OF GOVERNING COUNCILIraq’s 25-member Governing Council yesterday settled on a rotating presidency system for the body, but Iraq’s native Turkmen were excluded from the members slated to successively take the helm. The nine select members, who are set to assume the presidency for one month apiece, consist of five Shiites, two Sunnis and two Kurds. Iraqi Patriotic Union Party (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) leaders Massoud Barzani are the Kurdish representatives within the group of nine. /Turkiye/
 BRITISH ENVOY TO IRAQ VISITS ANKARAJohn Sawers, Britain’s special envoy to Iraq, yesterday arrived in Turkey to discuss the latest developments in the country with Turkish officials. Sawers is expected to be received by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul today. He is also to meet with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. Sawers is one of the key figures tasked with reshaping Iraq’s political structure. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI KURDISH OFFICIALS SAY KIRKUK COULD BE FUTURE CAPITAL OF “KURDISTAN”Two officials from the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) and the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) stated yesterday that they hoped to see Kirkuk as the future capital of “Kurdistan.” It was unclear what they meant by “Kurdistan,” whether a federal Iraqi province or an independent state, something long opposed by Ankara. Stating that Kirkuk was a Kurdish city, IKDP representative in Sulaimaniyah Gadir Aziz Cabbari yesterday stated that he hoped to see the northern Iraqi city as the future capital. Meanwhile, Sulaimaniyah Mayor and IPUK representative Aiso Shak Norey echoed this sentiment, adding that Arbil (Erbil) might be an alternate choice. Both officials alleged that Turkey regarded the chaotic atmosphere in the region as an advantage to “get back” Kirkuk. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY-IRAQ RAIL SERVICE TO RESUMEOfficials from Turkey and Iraq yesterday signed an agreement in Baghdad to resume railway service between the two countries. Under this agreement, food and reconstruction supplies can be transported to Iraq via the existing railway running between Istanbul, Baghdad and the southern city of Basra. Turkey is expected to send four trains a week to its southern neighbor. /Turkiye/
 DEPUTY CEMAL KAYA RESIGNS FROM CHPRepublican People’s Party (CHP) Agri Deputy Cemal Kaya yesterday resigned from his party. With Kaya’s action, the number of main opposition CHP deputies in Parliament fell to 176, while that of independents rose to four. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A NEW ERA WITH SYRIA
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the past and present state of Turkish- Syrian relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Syrian Prime Minister Muhammed Mustafa Miro’s visit to Turkey this week represents a turning point in the process of rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus. Speaking at an Istanbul banquet organized by the Turkish- Syrian Business Council, Miro stated that the two countries were starting to enter a period of ‘strategic relations’ and expressed his hope that rapid bilateral developments in economic ties would spread to other areas. Actually, considering where Turkish-Syrian relations were just a few years ago, we can better understand the importance of this new state of affairs.
During the Cold War, chill and even tense winds were blowing between NATO member Turkey and Soviet-leaning Syria. In that era and just after, Syria supported terrorist groups opposed to Turkey. The tense atmosphere this created grew worse with Damascus’ provocative stance on the issues of water and Hatay [a longtime Turkish province on the border with Syria and claimed by it]. This situation continued until Ankara forced Damascus to make a decision about terrorist PKK head Abdullah Ocalan. After then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad moved to expel Ocalan and the PKK from Syria, relations started to slowly normalize. Current Syrian President Bashar al- Assad’s policy of opening to Turkey, his domestic reforms and new developments in the region have caused both countries to leave the past behind, look towards the future and establish a new state of relations.
Three problems have dogged Turkish-Syrian relations for years: terrorism, water and the Hatay issue. Now the problem of terrorism between the two countries has been resolved. The Hatay matter also seems to have been dropped, and both Ankara and Damascus are trying to solve their disagreements over water through negotiations. Thus, there’s no longer any serious hindrance to our developing bilateral relations. Maybe the only ‘brake’ politically speaking might come from foreign shores – that is, Washington doesn’t want Ankara to warm up to Damascus. However, the US can play a role in terms of ending certain disagreements between our countries. However, Turkey is determined to continue the process of rapprochement with Syria, as it is considered a key element of our regional strategy.
During Miro’s visit to Syria, four economic cooperation agreements were signed, and he also proposed new opportunities to Turkish businessmen. This year cross-border trade is expected to reach $1 billion. The emerging new state of relations between our two countries can open the door to other Arab markets for Turkey, and, for Syria, the door to European Union markets. All these things can start, in Miro’s words, our era of ‘strategic relations’.”
 IRAQ, POLITICS AND WAR
 BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Hadi Uluengin comments on possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Let’s recall the famous saying of von Clausewitz, the greatest military strategist of all time: ‘It is of course well known that the only source of war is politics – the intercourse of governments and peoples. Thus, war is simply a continuation of politics through other means.’ Von Clausewitz’s definition of war should be understood in a wider sense. All kinds of military action, such as deploying navies in order to exert pressure on a rival state or sending police forces to a third country, should be included in this general understanding of war, since they share an unavoidably coercive nature. This also applies to any possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq.
The history of the Ottoman Empire witnessed numerous instances of such a relationship between war and politics, and republican Turkey itself has seen at least two very remarkable incidents of the same nature. The first was on the eve of World War II, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk deployed troops near the southern Anatolian city of Hatay – then called Sancak, an overwhelmingly Turkish province under French mandate – and annexed it into Turkey without firing a single shot. The second occurred during the Korean War. Sending combat forces to Korea opened NATO’s gates to Turkey, integrating our country into the Western world. Von Clausewitz’s definition of war applies to these two incidents, which broadened Turkey’s horizons. And now we stand face to face with a similar situation.
The prospect of Turkish troop deployments in Iraq has this very same political nature. It has nothing to with invasion or conquest, nor with a secret design to gain a permanent foothold in the region. The Turkish military presence in Iraq would be an extension of our country’s political presence there. Troop deployment would not only contribute to the stability of Iraq and the Mideast, but also would constitute an opportunity to mend already weakened Turkish-US relations. Either ethical or not, we have a situation of realpolitik before us, and playing the three ‘see-hear-speak- no-evil’ monkeys would certainly hurt our country, and gravely. Our ‘ultra- legalist’ president’s obsession with a UN resolution is a wholly unreasonable attitude. International politics is no law course one teaches at school.
Of course, no one wants to see Turkish soldiers getting hurt in Iraq. But well, armies don’t exist just to pick daisies in the field, do they. Thus, there is no point in discussing the issue, if a temporary and provisional combat presence in Iraq would serve our country’s politics.
Moreover, looking through the general geostrategic perspective, leaving the US on its own and pushing it off to Europe would no doubt be detrimental for all humanity.
True, war is simply a continuation of politics through other means. And deploying troops in Iraq would be the continuation of Turkish foreign policy through those very same means.”
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