|Sunday, 8 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-08-01
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
01.08.2003WHO’S GOING TO IRAQ? BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) CROSS-BORDER WATER NEGOTIATIONS TO RESUME BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
 ERDOGAN ATTENDS TIM MEETING, ADDRESSES EXCHANGE
 RATE CONCERNSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended the 10th General Meeting of the Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM). Speaking at the gathering, Erdogan told exporters expressing concern about the low US dollar_Turkish lira exchange rate that the government would welcome any suggestion for solving the problem. “We have to be patient about the dollar,” said Erdogan. “The low exchange rate could last for a couple of more months.” Erdogan also credited increased confidence in Turkey’s economy for a recent fall in interest rates. /Hurriyet/
 PM GUL: “WE’RE LOOKING AT ALL FACTORS ON
 A POSSIBLE IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT”“Sending troops to Iraq isn’t a matter one should decide on hastily,” said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at a dinner with members of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission on Wednesday. Gul spoke about the prospect of Turkey sending troops to Iraq and exchanged views on it with the commission members. He said the General Staff was looking into issue, including all risk factors, and that following this, the government would take up the question. Stressing that Turkey’s intelligence services were investigating whether Iraqis would welcome Turkish soldiers or not, Gul said, “We should be sure that our troops are welcome, as they were in Bosnia.” Regarding the parliamentarians’ urging that the matter be legitimized through the framework of NATO and the United Nations, Gul said, “Absent a motion and Parliament’s authorization, there will be no troop deployment.” He added that his government would very much prefer to act in line with NATO and UN resolutions. /Turkiye/
 BRITISH IRAQ ENVOY MEETS GUL, ZIYAL IN ANKARAJohn Sawars, Britain’s special envoy to Iraq, yesterday met in Ankara with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Sawars said that Turkey and Great Britain shared a common vision that the Iraqi people should learn the principles of self-governance. Stressing that the Iraqi Governing Council would elect cabinet ministers and then draw up a new national constitution, the British official said that Iraq’s Turkmen were also represented on the current council. A new era has dawned in Iraq, he declared, one not dependent on ethnic origin. /Turkiye/
 INDIAN FM SINHA TO VISIT TURKEYIndian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha is due to arrive in Ankara on Monday for a two-day official visit. Sinha is scheduled to be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer as well as meet with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Sinha is the first Indian foreign minister to visit Turkey in 27 years. On the expected agenda of Sinha’s meetings are bilateral relations as well as possible avenues of economic, scientific, educational and tourism-sector cooperation, plus recent developments in the Middle East. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI OPPOSITION LEADER ALI BIN HUSSEIN: “TURKISH
 TROOPS ARE UNIQUELY SUITED TO SUCCEED IN MY COUNTRY”Following a two-hour meeting with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal yesterday, a leader of one of the opposition groups in Iraq, National Monarchy Action head Sherif Ali Bin Hussein, said that he had discussed his country’s future with Turkish officials. Stressing that a Turkish deployment to Iraq would be successful because Turkish forces are familiar with the country’s ethnic groups and religious traditions, Hussein added that these soldiers would not make the same mistakes committed by US soldiers there. /Turkiye/
 ANOTHER CHP DEPUTY QUITS PARTYFollowing the departure of Republican People’s Party (CHP) Agri Deputy Cemal Kaya from the party on Wednesday, another CHP deputy who this week voted in favor of the repentance law despite the party’s opposition has decided to become an independent. With this latest departure by Batman Deputy Nezir Nasiroglu yesterday, the number of main opposition CHP seats in Parliament fell to 175, while that of independents rose to five. /Star/
 SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL TO CONVENE TODAYIn the wake of this week’s passage of the seventh EU harmonization package proposing changes to the structure of the country’s National Security Council (NSC), the Supreme Military Council (YAS) is set to convene today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The council is expected to discuss promotions and dismissals in the military. Erdogan is to chair the council for the first time in his five months as premier, and his possible stance during the meeting has been a source of speculation. Late last year, some senior members of the previous Justice and Development Party (AKP) government suggested that military dismissals should be made open to judicial review after then Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul placed reservations on a number of YAS dismissals. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUNGAR BRIEFS EU COUNTRY AMBASSADORS ON
 SEVENTH HARMONIZATION PACKAGE, NATIONAL PROGRAMMurat Sungar, Turkey’s secretary-general for European Union Affairs, yesterday briefed the ambassadors from EU member countries to Ankara on the seventh EU harmonization package passed by Parliament this week and on Turkey’s National Program for the adoption of the acquis communautaire. Before the briefing, Sungar told reporters that Turkey expected to receive a firm date next year from the Union for the beginning of its EU accession talks, adding that the country’s steadfast determination to fully comply with the Copenhagen criteria was undiminished. The EU is set to review Turkey’s accession progress at its December 2004 summit. Sungar also pledged that next year would see Turkey’s implementation of the EU harmonization laws. The assembled diplomats told Sungar of their appreciation for the reforms passed, but also voiced their expectations that Ankara effectively put the Union’s political criteria into practice. /Cumhuriyet/
 ALIVEY’S HEALTH REPORTEDLY IN SERIOUS CONDITIONThe health condition of Haydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s aged president, is rapidly deteriorating, giving the leader only “days left to live,” claimed a foreign diplomatic source in the capital Baku yesterday. Similar reports have surfaced in the Turkish press suggesting that Aliyev, who is being cared for at an Ankara military hospital, was suffering from terminal illness, but Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Ankara has denied this, saying that the president was in normal condition and not in intensive care. Aliyev checked into Ankara’s Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) last month for what Azeri officials described as a medical checkup, and has not been seen in public since. /Cumhuriyet/
 US COURT ISSUES $4.26 BILLION FRAUD JUDGMENT
 AGAINST UZANSA US Federal Court for New York State yesterday issued a $4.26 billion judgment against Turkey’s controversial Uzan family for perpetrating massive fraud against US cellphone maker Motorola. Judge Jed S. Rakoff stated in his ruling that the evidence presented at trial proved that members of the Uzan family had perpetrated a huge fraud and that under the guise of obtaining financing for a Turkish telecommunications company, the Uzans had siphoned more than a billion dollars of the plaintiffs’ (Motorola’s) money into their own pockets and into the coffers of other Uzan-controlled entities. Rakoff furthermore found the defendants in contempt of court and ordered that unless and until the defendants purged their contempts, the individual defendants, if they set foot on US soil, would be immediately arrested and held until they complied with the court orders. The court also ordered the Uzan family to hand over 73.5% of its GSM operator Telsim’s stock shares to Nokia or pay at least $853 million in one week to this company. The Uzans, who vowed to appeal, have faced a number of financial setbacks in recent months over what the Turkish government has charged in mismanagement and fraud at power stations, banks, and media holdings. The New York ruling and its sanctions apply among others to Cem Uzan, the family media mogul and political hopeful whose Young Party (GP) has enjoyed increasing popularity even as his family’s fortune founders. /Cumhuriyet/
 Q2 UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS TO 10%Turkey’s unemployment rate dropped to 10% in the second quarter of 2003, down from 12.3% in the first quarter, the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced yesterday. However, the DIE added, the rate represented a 0.7% rise as compared to the same period last year. /Hurriyet/
 IMF BOARD TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S FIFTH REVIEWThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board is set to convene today to evaluate the fifth review of Turkey’s IMF-supported economic program. A statement issued yesterday by the Treasury reported that on July 20 work on the fifth review had been completed and that a new letter of intent (LOI) was also sent to the IMF five days later. Treasury officials underlined that following the board’s deliberations, the text of the LOI would be released to the public in line with the principal of transparency. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH FILM TO COMPETE IN VENICE FESTIVALTurkish director Dervis Zaim’s film “Camur” (Mud) is set to compete in this year’s Venice Film Festival. Zaim’s is the first Turkish film to participate in the festival in 12 years. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHO’S GOING TO IRAQ?
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on countries planning to send soldiers to Iraq and Turkey’s stance on the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The US State Department said this week that 30 countries had agreed to send troops to Iraq. Turkey’s name isn’t among them, which is only natural since we haven’t made a decision yet. We’ve put our trust in long-term political investments such as authorization from NATO or the United Nations. In other words, we made empty excuses.
If one considers 30 countries set to sending soldiers, we see a diverse picture, and the number of these countries will quickly multiply. First of all, there’s Japan which is the world’s second- greatest economic power, one which sustains its great industry with oil from the gulf region.
Sixteen European Union member and candidate countries, a surprising number, are seeking to send soldiers: Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Latonia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. There are others as yet unable to join the EU: Ukraine, Macedonia and Albania. In addition, there are such Asian countries as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Korea and the Philippines… Also four Central American countries: the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Among these countries, there are only three Muslim countries, namely Albania, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The US has made requests of Pakistan and Indonesia, but hasn’t yet gotten an answer.
This picture is due to drastically change soon. Those who know the political landscape and international politics won’t hesitate to ascribe a meaning to this atmosphere. Moreover, the roles of most of these countries’ soldiers in Iraq’s reconstruction will be very limited. The Turkish soldiers’ role will be more comprehensive. It’s also understood that our soldiers will work in central Iraq and that when the PKK terrorist organization is defeated, we’ll withdraw our soldiers from northern Iraq.”
 CROSS-BORDER WATER NEGOTIATIONS TO RESUME
 BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on Turkish-Syrian relations. A summary of her column is as follows:
“In the past, Turkish-Syrian relations have often been strained due to certain political hot potatoes. First of all, Turkey was seriously concerned about late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad’s support for the terrorist PKK and its leader Abdullah Ocalan. Another critical issue was our neighbor’s claim that the Turkish province of Hatay is in fact Syrian territory. In addition, Damascus often brought cross-border water issues onto Ankara’s agenda, complaining about the dams we constructed on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Syria argued that these waters should be shared equally. Sometimes tension increased so much that the world feared an outbreak of open hostilies between the two neighbors. Both countries found themselves engaged in occasional saber-rattling.
However, these crises ended after the elder Assad’s death and Syria’s expulsion of Ocalan. Then Assad’s son Bashar al-Assad came to power, reputedly a more moderate political figure. The most important sign of the end of bilateral tensions was this week’s historic visit by Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa Miro to Ankara. He was the first Syrian premier to visit our country in 17 years. During Miro’s visit, Ankara and Damascus decided to strengthen their cooperation, indicating their determination to overcome all crises. Furthermore, the two neighbors decided to resume negotiations on cross-border water issues which had been initiated a full decade ago. The decision to resume water talks was made at the political level, and the appropriate technicians and bureaucrats have been told to get prepared.
Turkey wants the Tigris and Euphrates to be regarded as a ‘single cross- border water system’ comprising the two rivers and a basin.
Ankara previously presented a three-phase plan to both Syria and Iraq on the issue. The plan urged the three countries to carry out studies to find new ways to use the waters more efficiently and develop new means towards this goal. However, Ankara’s proposal was never put into practice because Damascus and Baghdad wanted us to accept that the three countries have equal rights to the rivers. Now Turkey is expected to bring its proposal to the agenda once again.
The Hatay problem was never discussed during Miro’s contacts in Ankara. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials state that Bashar al-Assad needs time to reduce tension on this issue since his father trumpeted it as a ‘serious national issue with Turkey,’ thus inciting his people’s animosity against the Turks. As Syria has at least turned down the volume on its territorial demands, Ankara believes that it should grant time to al-Assad on the issue.
Ankara is now waiting for the Syrian president’s visit. Damascus is saying that al-Assad should pay a visit to Turkey this fall. This is good news from the south. Even while problems continue to escalate in Iraq, our relations with another neighbor are on the upswing…”
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