|Sunday, 21 July 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-08-07
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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
07.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER APPROVES SEVENTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGEFollowing its passage late last month by Parliament, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday signed into law the seventh European Union harmonization package. The package mainly introduces changes to the structure of the National Security Council (NSC) among other measures, including one on the activities of foundations, the fight against terrorism, the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), preventing torture, and education in mother tongues. Under the law, appointment of the NSC secretary-general will henceforth be done through the president approving a candidate proposed by the prime minister. /All Papers/
 ANKARA, TRNC TO SIGN CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENTTurkey is expected sign a customs union agreement with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) at a Partnership Council meeting tomorrow. Under the agreement, goods produced in the TRNC, which is currently under economic embargo, will be able to be exported to Europe via Turkey. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that the expected trade pact with the TRNC would not contradict the provisions of a similar agreement between Ankara and the European Union. “This agreement will, I hope, contribute to finding a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem,” added Gul. /Cumhuriyet/
 ALIYEV LEAVES TURKEY FOR TREATMENT IN UNITED STATESAfter nearly a month of medical treatment at Ankara’s Gulhane Military Hospital, Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev yesterday was flown to Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States to receive treatment there. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters that the decision to travel to the US for treatment belonged to Aliyev and his family alone. Stressing that Azerbaijan was a sovereign country, Gul said that no one should expect it to be the scene of chaos. /Turkiye/
 BAHRAIN’S FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS TURKEYBahrain’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa yesterday arrived in Ankara to pay an official visit. Al Khalifa was received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and then met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul as well as Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu. Following the meetings, Gul told a joint press conference that the two countries enjoyed friendly relations and would work to strengthen their ties. For his part, Al Khalifa stressed that agreements signed during his visit would further the development of bilateral relations. Regarding the Iraq issue, both leaders stated that the country was part of their mutual neighborhood, adding that they hoped for an end to the violence there and the beginnings of civil governance. In addition, Gul told reporters that no decision had yet been made on sending Turkish troops to Iraq and that officials were continuing to evaluate all sides of the question. /Cumhuriyet/
 TERRORISTS ATTACK IN MARDIN CLAIMS TWO POLICEMENA group of terrorists attacked a police checkpoint in the southeastern Anatolian province of Mardin last night, in the process killing two police officers, Ramazan Yazici and Mursel Hacioglu. The bombing attack came on the same day a repentance law designed to encourage terrorists to lay down their arms was signed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. In related news, more than 250 terrorists surrendered to Turkish security forces yesterday to appeal for lenience under the repentance law. /Cumhuriyet/
 PETKIM SALE CANCELLED AS UZAN GROUP FAILS TO FULFILL REQUIRED CONDITIONSThe High Board of Privatization (OYK) yesterday cancelled the sale of an 88.86% stake in state petrochemical concern Petkim to Standard Kimya (Chemical), a division of the controversial Uzan Group, due its failure to fulfill required conditions specified in the contractual agreement. In June, the company made the highest bid ($605 million), one which many observers charged was too low, in an auction for the sale of the state concern. The decision came as a fresh blow to the Uzan family, which in recent days has seen its appeal to have its assets unfrozen rejected by a Swiss court and has also been ordered by a US court to pay out $4.2 billion and a 3_4 share of its GSM operator stock over alleged illicit financial transactions. The Uzans have also faced a number of financial setbacks this year over what the Turkish government has charged is mismanagement and fraud at power stations, banks, and media holdings, and so have had considerable difficulty acquiring the necessary fiscal guarantees for the Petkim deal. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A NEW ERA IN AZERBAIJAN BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on a change in the leadership of Azerbaijan and Turkey’s stance towards this. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey already has its hands full with such foreign policy issues as Iraq, Cyprus and the US, and now it has to deal with the Azerbaijan issue. The Caucasus was calm until recently, and thanks in large part to the importance attached by Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev to Turkey, relations between Ankara and Baku have established an ‘axis of friendship,’ one including strategic cooperation. Unfortunately, Aliyev is currently very ill and so can never return to the helm of the state. In this respect, the appointment of his son Ilhan Aliyev as prime minister can be seen as a first stage in moving into the ‘second Aliyev era.’
It’s important for us that Azerbaijan get through this transition without any hitches and continue the stability and speedy political and economic development accomplished by Aliyev. Ankara doesn’t want a contrary situation, that is, a political power vacuum in Azerbaijan and the sowing of chaos through the manipulation of domestic and foreign players. Besides our common history, culture, religion and values with the Azerbaijani nation, we also share vitally important geostrategic and economic interests. Azerbaijan is the cornerstone of Turkey’s foreign policy in the Caucasus. Thus, it’s important for Ankara that the change of power in Azerbaijan should happen calmly and that the new administration continue its policies vis-a-vis Turkey with the same understanding.
The new situation in Azerbaijan requires that Turkey proceed very carefully. Naturally, Ankara wants the continuation of both stability and democracy in Azerbaijan. In other words, Turkey, an aspiring ‘model country’ and regional power, should help to promote democratic values and norms in such situations. Ankara should also signal that it wants to continue its ‘special relationship’ with the new administration in Azerbaijan along the same lines.”
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