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Turkish Press Review, 03-08-25
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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
25.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 CABINET TO DISCUSS IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT ISSUE TODAYThe Cabinet is set to convene today to discuss a number of issues, including a proposal to send Turkish troops to Iraq. Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu is set to brief his fellow Cabinet ministers on recent developments in the country. In addition, Housing and Public Works Minister Zeki Ergezen is expected to brief participants on measures to prepare for a possible major earthquake in Istanbul. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN: “TURKEY IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENTS IN KIRKUK”After a meeting with fellow members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, Prime Minister and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday told reporters that Turkey was closely following developments in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. “We are continuing contacts with United States officials,” added Erdogan. Over the weekend, tension in Kirkuk rose in the wake of an attack near the Shrine of Imam Ali, a key Shiite holy site. During ensuing clashes between Kurdish peshmerga and ethnic Turkmen, 11 Turkmen were killed. /All Papers/
 11 TURKMEN KILLED IN TWO DAYS OF VIOLENCE IN NORTHERN IRAQI CITY OF KIRKUKEleven Iraqi Turkmen were killed in two days of fighting with Kurds in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk over the weekend. On Friday, Kurdish peshmerga opened fire on a group of Turkmen protesting an attack on a revered Shiite religious site, killing at least eight of them during a skirmish. In addition, two Turkmen were shot dead by US soldiers. Then on Saturday three more Turkmen were killed by local police during a demonstration. In related news, US forces raided an office of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) yesterday, seizing a cache of weapons, and arresting one ITF official. /All Papers/
 NATIONALIST GROUP PROTESTS IRAQI KURDISH LEADERTo protest recent developments in northern Iraq, a Turkish nationalist group yesterday held a demonstration in front of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (IPUK) Ankara office. Holding signs and chanting slogans, members of Ulku Ocaklari, a group affiliated with Turkey’s Nationalist Action Party (MHP), protested IPUK leader Jalal Talabani as well as the United States. /Turkiye/
 MHP LEADER BAHCELI: “TURKISH TROOPS SHOULD GO TO NORTHERN IRAQ”The Turkish nation has been troubled by recent attacks on its ethnic Turkmen kin in northern Iraq, and so Turkish troops should go to the region, said Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday. “The killing of 11 Turkmen in Kirkuk this weekend has shown us that the occupation troops are not in control of in the region,” Bahceli said after a meeting with provincial MHP leaders in Ankara. Bahceli warned that a northern Iraqi power vacuum was putting the region’s Turkmen at great risk. “For this reason, Turkish troops should enter the region in line with the third motion passed this March in Parliament [authorizing Turkish troop deployment in Iraq],” said the MHP leader. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH TROOPS NOT WELCOME IN IRAQ, CLAIMS SUNNI LEADERA possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq would face no less resistance than US forces there do now, claimed Mohammed al-Ubeyd, the head of a visiting group of Iraqi Sunni leaders, at an Istanbul press conference yesterday. “Nor do we want the US to use Turkish soldiers as human shields or for their blood to be spilled” said al-Ubeyd, adding that only under a United Nations resolution could additional foreign troops be deployed in Iraq. “But even that would be acceptable only if the security of the Iraqi people dictates it.” /Hurriyet/
 NEWSWEEK PRAISES TURKEY’S SUCCESS IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISMIn defeating terrorists and undermining the factors that foster and support them, Turkey has proven itself an exemplary nation, argues Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria in the magazine’s current issue. In fighting suicide bombers elsewhere, the world could learn much from Ankara’s approach, writes Zakaria. “In the mid-1990s, Turkey was racked by suicide bombings," he reports. "But in a few years they began to peter out ... largely disappear[ing] from Turkish life." To explain this success story, he cites how "the Turkish military hit the [PKK terrorists] hard, crushing the PKK, closing down international support for them and eventually arresting its leader." But beyond military victories, he adds, "The Turks worked very hard to win over the Kurds, creating stable governing structures for them, befriending them and putting forward social- welfare programs ... The Turkish government made a massive investment (totaling well over $32 billion) in the Kurdish southeast. On a per capita basis, it has invested more in the Kurdish region than in any other part of Turkey. It also had agreed to a number of Kurdish demands on language, cultural freedom and educational reforms." /Turkiye, newsweek.com/
 TURKISH NEWS AGENCY CAMERAMAN WOUNDED IN NORTHERN IRAQAbdulmuhi Casin (32), a local Iraqi cameraman working with Turkey’s Ihlas News Agency (IHA), was found wounded yesterday in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Casin was captured Friday by peshmerga loyal to the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) in the Turkmen province of Tuzkhurmatu, then shot in his hands and feet, and later left in a deserted area. Casin was taken to a hospital where his condition remained critical, said reports. /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: “WE WILL FIGHT ANY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO SELL OFF FORMER FORESTLAND”Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal vowed this weekend that his party would fight any constitutional amendment allowing the sale of state-owned former forestland. Speaking in the southwestern city of Mugla, Baykal said the recently vetoed constitutional amendment on the issue was likely to be passed once again by Parliament and then either signed by the president or put to a referendum. In the latter case, argued Baykal, the entire nation should unite against this measure, as those seeking unearned income from deforested lands would benefit from the amendment. /All papers/
 20 KILLED, 43 INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENTTwenty people were killed and 43 injured when the bus they were travelling in veered off a road near the northern Anatolian city of Amasya and turned over yesterday. Police said that the bus was carrying passengers from a nearby town to Amasya, where they were set to attend a wedding ceremony. Reports blame brake failure for the crash. /All Papers/
 STATE MINISTER TUZMEN POINTS TO EXPORT POTENTIAL IN AFRICAN MARKETSState Minister Kursad Tuzmen told reporters yesterday Turkey’s new growth market for exports lay in Africa. Stressing that the continent offered a huge market and that Turkish businessmen would visit countries there to promote their products, Tuzmen said, “We expect to double or even triple our trade volume with African countries.” /Turkiye/
 BOTAS, GAZPROM OFFICIALS TO SEEK SOLUTION TO PRICING DISPUTEOfficials from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom are to arrive in Turkey tomorrow to meet with representatives of BOTAS, Turkey’s state-owned Turkish gas pipeline company, in a bid to resolve a natural gas pricing dispute. The disagreement began when Russian gas company Gazexport claimed that the pricing formula in the Blue Stream pipeline agreement was wrong and demanded a higher price from BOTAS. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUREYYA AYHAN SET TO COMPETE IN PARIS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSAfter her recent impressive showings in Berlin and Switzerland, Turkey’s European 1,500-meter champion Sureyya Ayhan traveled to Paris over the weekend to compete in the World Championships there, set to last through next Sunday. /All papers/
 TURKEY TAKES NUMBER TWO SPOT IN EFES BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTWith a 76-64 loss to Italy in the final match, Turkey took the number two spot yesterday on the last day of Efes Pilsen World Cup II competition at Istanbul’s Abdi Ipekci Arena. Turkey toppled Serbia-Montenegro on Friday with a 90-88 win, thus giving the former Yugoslavian basketball giants third place in the tournament. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 TIMELY ACTION NEEDEDBY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna recommends changes in Turkey’s foreign policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Violence and brute force have once again reared their ugly heads in the Middle East. Moreover, the Balkans, the Caucasus and northern Africa have also emerged as regions where enemy forces shed blood and engage in barbarism. Britain, France, Russia and others once boasted that they would administer those regions better than the Ottomans did, but they only managed to hang on for a few decades.
Today the US has the same claim, and it seems it will have the same end. The Jewish-Palestinian conflict has again flared up in the worst way possible, and there’s a Turkmen-Kurdish war brewing in Iraq. Because of a half-dozen national issues, Turkey is very interested in developments in Iraq, on which these developments are centered. In Siirt, the PKK terrorist group has again shed Turkish soldiers’ blood. Ankara’s timid foreign policy has put us into this fix and caused us no end of problems. We’ve gotten so used to inaction that now the notion of an active foreign policy gives us nightmares and makes us shudder.
We should be in Iraq not just symbolically, but as a unified force, and act as quickly as possible. We shouldn’t wait for developments to occur, because events follow each other and this is how history happens. We need to find our proper role in these developments as soon as possible.
As this is an extraordinary situation, it’s natural that the National Security Council (NSC) will reconvene in two months. This was decided to help Iraq’s reconstruction. We should make a decision at once.”
 HOW ANKARA CAN HELP IRAQ’S TURKMEN BY ASLI AYDINTASBAS (SABAH)Columnist Asli Aydintasbas writes on recent incidents in Kirkuk and Turkey’s policy towards Iraq’s Turkmen groups. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The latest incidents in Kirkuk came as no surprise. We already knew that the city was seething with anger and hostility. Since it captured the city, the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IKDP) has been busy making anti- democratic moves. Signs posted in Arabic were taken down and replaced by ones in Kurdish. Human Rights Watch has criticized the Kurdish peshmerga for terrible acts such as forcing people out of their homes. The peshmerga have also confiscated many public buildings. But in the face of these injustices, Arab and Turkmen groups are determined to organize themselves. The situation will grow worse unless the Americans take effective measures against the peshmerga human rights violations.
Moreover, we should at this point also recall our country’s unsteady, unsuccessful policies towards the ethnic Turkmen groups. We should be honest with ourselves. Our Turkmen policy has changed considerably since the end of the ‘90s. The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), once a successful political bloc supported by Ankara, has faded in importance for us. Although the ITF is defending a just cause, it withdrew – under orders from Ankara – from all platforms which include Shiite and Arab opposition groups. And the ITF also expelled its Shiite Turkmen members. (Sources say, in fact, that four of every nine Turkmen districts in Kirkuk are of Shiite origin) These are some of our government’s blunders.
Ankara is now recommending that the ITF convey its demands directly to Baghdad. ‘Be active in this new political formation,’ our politicians are telling Turkmen groups. This is a good advice. However, the Turkmen groups need a powerful organization to achieve this, which is why we must help these people to put together a solid, well-established organization. First of all, autonomy is a must for the ITF. Not only our military officials but also Foreign Ministry diplomats and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) analysts must contribute to formulating a new Turkmen policy. The ITF’s general congress meeting due in a few weeks will be pivotal for the Iraqi Turkmen’s future. An independent and powerful Turkmen bloc in Iraq could be a guarantee of stability there. But is Ankara ready for that?”
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