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Turkish Press Review, 03-08-13
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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
13.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... NO PKK_KADEK PRECONDITION BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) PLOYS OVER AFGHANISTAN BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
 IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT URGED DURING SUMMIT; DEMOCRATIC DECISION IN PARLIAMENT EXPECTEDA government-military summit chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer was held yesterday at the Cankaya Palace. During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok gave the president a comprehensive briefing on their view that Turkey should deploy troops in Iraq. The leaders reportedly remarked that Turkey could not turn its back on developments across its border, and thus should take part in stabilization forces to ensure Iraq’s stability. The president reiterated his desire for international legitimacy, but the leaders replied that for the time being the United Nations passing a resolution would be problematic, adding that Turkish troops would go there not to wage war but to ensure peace. Pointing to UN Resolution 1483 calling on member states to take part in Iraq’s reconstruction process and contribute humanitarian aid, the leaders stated that Turkish troops could be deployed within this framework. Following the meeting, presidential spokesman Sermet Atacanli stated that the leaders had agreed that all relevant groups should work in coordination to determine the content, nature and framework of Turkey’s contribution in line with the nation’s interests and that a final decision would be made through the democratic decision-making process, meaning Parliament. After the summit, Erdogan held a meeting at the Prime Ministry with his party’s staff, including Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, to further evaluate the matter. /All Papers/
 TWO TURKMEN ELECTED TO IRAQ’S CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCILTwo Turkmen representatives have reportedly been elected to a Constitutional Council set to draft a new Iraqi constitution. The two, both lawyers, will represent Iraq’s Shiite and Sunni Turkmen. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is scheduled to attend a meeting in October to be held in Madrid, Spain regarding Iraq’s reconstruction process and humanitarian aid to this country. /Turkiye/
 ANAP LEADER OZDEMIR: “TURKISH TROOPS SHOULD BE DEPLOYED IN IRAQ”Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Ali Talip Ozdemir yesterday came out in favor of Turkey sending its troops to Iraq, saying that doing so was needed for the nation to play a role in Iraq’s reconstruction process. Stressing that Turkey’s priorities and interests in the region had coming to a head, Ozdemir urged Parliament to convene an extraordinary session to give its authorization for the deployment. /Hurriyet/
 CABINET TO CONVENE IN SAKARYA, DISCUSS TROOP DEPLOYMENT ISSUEThe Cabinet is set to convene next Monday, Aug. 18, for a special meeting in Sakarya, in northwestern Turkey. The meeting will honor the victims of the devastating Aug. 17, 1999 earthquake centered in that province. In addition, the meeting is expected to discuss the possible deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq in the wake of yesterday’s government-military summit on the issue. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW US AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY EDELMAN DUE IN ANKARA THIS FRIDAYEric S. Edelman, the new US ambassador to Turkey, is expected to arrive in Ankara this Friday to assume his duties. Edelman’s tenure will begin officially next week when he presents his letter of credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. He succeeds former Ambassador Robert Pearson, whose three-year mission in Ankara drew to a close last month. /Cumhuriyet/
 RULING AKP TO CELEBRATE SECOND ANNIVERSARYThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was established on Aug. 14, 2001 with 73 founding members, including Chairman and now Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will celebrate its second anniversary tomorrow. At a ceremony to mark the occasion at Ankara’s Bilkent Hotel, Ankara Greater Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gokcek and former State Minister Isilay Saygin are expected to join the party. In addition, the AKP reportedly is set to add Hakkari Deputy Mustafa Zeydan, a former member of the Motherland Party (ANAP), into its ranks. With this fresh blood, the number of AKP deputies in Parliament will rise to 367, bolstering its already two-thirds-plus majority. /All Papers/
 TUSIAD: “THE NEW TRNC CUSTOMS PACT COULD HURT TURKEY’S EU BID”The new Customs Union pact signed last week between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) could hinder Turkey’s European Union membership bid, warned a top Turkish business group yesterday. Echoing similar comments from Greek Cypriot leaders and some EU officials, a Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) statement said that the pact could endanger Turkey’s recent progress on EU accession in its sixth and seventh harmonization packages. Greek Cyprus is due to officially join the EU next May, and there has been little progress of late in peace talks with its northern neighbor, the TRNC. The Cyprus issue remains one of the last contentious thorns in Turkey’s EU accession. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TO ATTEND HACIBEKTAS FESTIVAL IN NEVSEHIRPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir on Saturday to attend the annual Hacibektas Veli Commemoration Festival of Culture and Art. The event will honor Hacibektas, the 13th century founder of Islam’s Alawite tradition and the famous whirling dervishes, in the town bearing his name. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, and opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal are also expected to be present at the celebration. Later, Erdogan will visit Bodrum in order to attend the opening ceremony of a marina there. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NO PKK_KADEK PRECONDITION
 BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the role of the PKK_KADEK issue in Ankara’s decision on sending soldiers to Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The US’ stance on the terrorist group PKK_KADEK will loom large in Turkey’s decision whether or not to send its soldiers to Iraq. Ankara expects that PKK_KADEK won’t be a threat to Turkey. It wants to see Washington’s stance. The recent repentance law was passed as a result of negotiations with the US. It’s expected that the PKK_KADEK’s presence particularly in northern Iraq will diminish and that Washington’s policy will be influential in this process.
Will Ankara base its decision to send soldiers to Iraq on the problem of PKK_KADEK? In other words, will it put this forth as a precondition? Concerning this issue, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said, ‘No. We don’t consider it a precondition. However, of course we have certain expectations. The reason for us to be there is PKK_KADEK terrorists. The US knows this too. If this problem is solved, there would be no need for us to send soldiers there.’
Ankara doesn’t want the PKK_KADEK to be a threat to Turkey. This is the most important reason for our interest in Iraq and northern Iraq. However, Ankara doesn’t consider the issue of PKK_KADEK a precondition for its sending troops to Iraq. Ankara is looking at contributing to Iraq’s reconstruction, including sending soldiers, from a broader point of view. Ankara isn’t trying to link its military presence in northern Iraq to its sending stabilization force troops elsewhere in the country. Thus, Ankara isn’t turning the PKK_KADEK issue completely over to the US, in other words, it will continue to implement its own policies. Ankara is also open to cooperate with the US concerning this issue.”
 PLOYS OVER AFGHANISTAN
 BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writes on the latest developments in Afghanistan and Turkey’s stance towards these. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Whenever I visit rural towns outside Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, all the Afghans ask me the same question: Won’t the ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] come here as well?
When Germany and the Netherlands turned over the ISAF command to NATO earlier this week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s speech for the occasion delivered a stinging reproach by posing the very same question. Karzai called for the ISAF, whose mission is restricted to Kabul alone, to expand to other regions of his country.
The number of countries believing in the rightness of Karzai’s request is growing every day. For example, ISAF’s former German commander called on the Western countries to help Afghanistan. ‘Don’t forget Afghanistan,’ he urged. ‘Don’t cut off your assistance. And please don’t restrict your assistance to only Kabul.’
However, most countries, Turkey included, don’t want ISAF’s mission expanded. The reason why is that serious security threats exist outside the capital. The problems which US forces faced during their Operation Enduring Freedom show that those opposing Karzai’s idea are in the right. American soldiers and the Afghan troops trained by them are attacked every single day. The number of US casualties is unknown. Diplomatic circles state that this information is highly classified in Washington.
Meanwhile, Americans have formed construction teams whose goal is to reconstruct rural areas with the cooperation of the military and civilians. Washington believes that these teams should be international in nature so that all relevant countries, including Turkey, might contribute to Afghanistan’s reconstruction. As a matter of fact, what Washington wants is to pass off some of its burden onto the shoulders of others.
However, Turkey is highly reluctant on the issue. Our officials state that the reason for Ankara’s hesitation lies in the Afghan people’s growing perception, as the number of foreign soldiers increases, that their country is being occupied by invaders. But the Netherlands and Germany are quite active on this issue, and Britain has also already begun planning to send its soldiers to certain key Afghan locations as part of these construction teams. British teams will be located in all provinces along commercial roads and in oil-rich northern Afghanistan. In brief, these countries are trying to establish security in the country on the one hand, and sharing the country’s resources on the other. Meanwhile, our country is staying on the sidelines. Since we turned over the ISAF command to Germany and the Netherlands earlier this year, no Ankara official has set foot in Kabul...”
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