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Turkish Press Review, 03-08-20
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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
20.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... WHAT’S CHANGED? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
 ERDOGAN, ISTANBUL GOV. GULER DISCUSS EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Muammer Guler, governor of the province of Istanbul. During their talks, Guler briefed Erdogan, a former Istanbul mayor, on the challenges facing Turkey’s largest metropolitan area, including traffic, security and health as well as the threat of an earthquake likely to occur in the years to come. Also present at the meeting was Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan said that they had discussed the earthquake threat in detail and that certain preparatory measures would be taken by the government, including the establishment of a Supreme Earthquake Board. In related news, Istanbul Municipality Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna is expected to brief the Cabinet on measures needed to help protect the city from damage and loss of life during earthquakes. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TO VISIT GERMANY, ITALY NEXT MONTHPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to visit both Germany and Italy next month. In Germany Erdogan is scheduled to meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as well as Angela Merkel, leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and attend the opening ceremony of the Berlin bureau of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). During his visit to Italy, Erdogan is set to meet with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi, whose country currently holds the rotating European Union term presidency. /Cumhuriyet/
 DEPUTIES GATHER IN YALOVA TO MARK 74TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATATURK’S ARRIVALA group of 30 deputies from both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) yesterday gathered in Yalova to commemorate the 74th anniversary of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s triumphant arrival into the northwestern city. The deputies were led by Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. In related news, Parliament will reportedly convene for an extraordinary session near the end of next month in order to discuss a number of issues, including certain constitutional amendments, the Council of Higher Education (YOK) Law and possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. /Turkiye/
 GEN. HURSIT TOLON: “ATATURK’S PRINCIPLES ARE THE ANTIDOTE TO REACTIONARYISM”The principles of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are under attack from forces both inside Turkey and abroad, warned Aegean Army Commander Gen. Hursit Tolon yesterday. “Reactionary circles are subjecting Ataturk and his principles to constant attack,” said Tolon. “The Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] are determined to protect our country from such attacks. If these circles think we don’t understand their real goals, then they are gravely mistaken.” Tolon further added that Ataturk’s principles were the antidote to such reactionaryism. /Aksam/
 LETTER FROM US GENERAL ANSWERS TURKEY’S QUESTIONS ON POSSIBLE IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENTThe United States yesterday replied to Turkey’s questions on possible Turkish troop deployments in Iraq through a letter sent by Gen. James Jones, the supreme commander of allied forces in Europe, to Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. The letter reportedly said that Turkish troops could be deployed to the north and west of Baghdad, and that they would be under Turkish command, independent from the British and Polish forces there. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that the general’s reply constituted a first step in troop deployment talks with the US and that the government’s evaluation of the issue would continue. /Sabah/
 PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES TO VISIT TO IRAQTurhan Comez and Cevdet Erdol, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies from Balikesir and Trabzon respectively, are scheduled to travel to Iraq tomorrow. During their one-week trip, the deputies accompanied by engineers, technical personnel and businessmen are set to visit Baghdad and Kirkuk and hold meetings with the Iraqi people and representatives of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and the Iraqi Red Crescent. /Turkiye/
 MILITARY LEADERS TO ATTEND VALEDICTORY NSC MEETINGThe National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to convene on Friday at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During the meeting, domestic and foreign developments will be discussed. In line with recent decisions of the High Military Council (YAS), the Turkish Naval and Air Force commanders Adm. Bulent Alpkaya and Gen. Cumhur Asparuk, respectively, as well as NSC Secretary-General Gen. Tuncer Kilinc will be attending the meeting for the last time before stepping down. /All Papers/
 CONGRESSMAN MEETS WITH DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL; IRAQ DISCUSSEDDefense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday received a delegation from the US House of Representatives led by Congressman John Murtha. During the meeting, the Iraq issue was taken up. Then the delegation visited Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. Meanwhile, another US delegation led by Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday arrived in Ankara. That delegation is also expected to meet with Gonul and Foreign Ministry and officials from the General Staff today. /Turkiye/
 IRAQI BUSINESSMEN SEEK AVENUES OF COOPERATION WITH TURKEYA group of Iraqi businessmen yesterday arrived in Ankara to hold a series of meetings with state officials to discuss Turkey’s role during Iraq’s reconstruction process. Meanwhile, Foreign Trade Undersecretary Tuncer Kayalar said yesterday that in the last three months, Turkey’s exports to Iraq had increased twofold compared with the same period last year, adding that by the end of this year, the value of exports is expected to rise to some 1 billion dollars. /Turkiye/
 ISTANBUL TO HOST TWO ENERGY CONGRESSESTurkey is set to host two international energy congresses next month. Turkey’s Ninth Energy Congress and the International Energy Fair will be held in Istanbul on Sept. 23-24 Sept. and Sept. 24-27. Top energy company representatives and state officials are both expected to attend the meetings, where Turkey’s recent energy policies will be discussed. /Turkiye/
 UZAN LICENSE FOR GSM NETWORK COULD BE REVOKED, WARNS MINISTERTransportation Minister Binali Yildirim warned yesterday that the license agreement of Telsim, Turkey’s second-largest cellphone network and a venture of the controversial Uzan family, could be cancelled if irregularities emerge. Stating that Turkey’s telecommunication authority had launched an investigation into a recent transfer of Telsim shares owned by Cem Uzan and his brother Hakan to another family company, Yildirim said, “If this latest transaction constitutes a violation, Telsim’s license agreement could be revoked.” /Radikal/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT’S CHANGED?
 BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the Turkey’s stances now and before the Iraq war. A summary of her column is as follows:
“What has changed since the end of the war in Iraq? Before the war, the government was splitting hairs on the issue of our sending soldiers to Iraq. Why is it so willing to send soldiers now? Foreign policy is established by taking a great many elements into consideration, and the decision-makers’ perspective is one of these. Back in March, the proposal for the deployment of US troops in Turkey might have been passed with the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) votes. However, there weren’t enough AKP votes then because most of the deputies viewed the prospect of US troop deployment in Turkey as ‘one Muslim country’s facilitating an attack against another.’
Current Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was prime minister at the time, and he signed onto the proposal. However, according to circles close to him, he actually didn’t favor it greatly out of fear it would lead to a state of war and a declaration of martial law. Another decision-making element, namely the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), also didn’t welcome this proposal warmly, due to Turkish soldiers’ past negative experiences with US forces. Most Turkish diplomats sincerely wanted passage of the proposal because they thought then Ankara would have a say in the reconstruction of the region due to its intensive cooperation with the US.
However, a great many things have changed since March. Now Gul is no longer concerned about martial law. What’s more, as the US has already invaded Iraq, the AKP’s stance about Muslim countries opposing the invasion of their peers has become moot. In addition, our military leaders are still feeling the effects of July’s Sulaimaniyah incident as a demonstration of the US’ military might. In brief, the decision-makers are warmly welcoming the idea of sending our soldiers to Iraq. It seems they have made their decision already and only a bureaucratic procedure remains. I wonder if Parliament will surprise both Turkey and the world once more. I hope it will.”
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