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Turkish Press Review, 03-08-26
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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
26.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN RECEIVES GERMAN AMBASSADORPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received German Ambassador to Ankara Wolf-Ruthart Born. Among the issues they discussed were Turkish- German bilateral relations and preparations for Erdogan’s three-day visit to Germany set for next week. /Star/
 ERDOGAN, BABACAN TO ATTEND IMF, WB MEETINGS IN DUBAIThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are set to hold their joint annual meetings in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Sept. 20-24. During the meetings, discussions are expected to focus on proper public administration as well as regional and global economic problems. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, State Minister Ali Babacan and other Turkish officials as well as bureaucrats and businessmen are expected to attend the meeting. During the gathering, Babacan will hold bilateral meetings with both IMF and World Bank officials. Kemal Dervis, the former economy minister and current opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy for Istanbul, is also to attend panels during the annual event, as is Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) Chairman Engin Akcakoca. /Turkiye/
 GEN. KILINC HANDS OVER NSC HELM TO SARIISIKGen. Tuncer Kilinc, the retiring secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), yesterday handed over the NSC helm to his successor, Gen. Sukru Sariisik. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and other military and civilian officials were present at the handover ceremony. Addressing the gathering, Kilinc said that recently passed European Union harmonization reforms limited the NSC’s executive powers and areas of responsibility. “With these reforms, the NSC keeps its legal place, but has been left functionless,” contended Kilinc. The EU reforms also limit the authority of future NSC secretaries-general. Also speaking at the ceremony, Sariisik said that the nation’s social and political divisions were the cause of religious conflicts, ethnic discrimination, and reactionaryism. “Such developments damage Turkey deeply,” he argued. “Now our national security is much more important.” /All papers/
 IRAQI TURKMEN REPRESENTATIVES MEET WITH GUL, URGE TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT AS “ONLY WAY” TO ENSURE PEACE AND ORDERForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met in Ankara with representatives of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) representatives. ITF Ankara representative Ahmet Muratli and London representative Asif Sertturkmen presented to Gul detailed information on weekend Turkmen-Kurdish ethnic clashes in Kirkuk, northern Iraq which left 11 Turkmen dead. Accusing the US of failing to protect his community, Muratli urged Ankara to send troops to help establish peace and stability in Iraq. “The US pledged to bring peace and democracy to Iraq ... [But] we see that the Turkmen have been ignored and that peace has not been established in Iraq,” Muratli argued. “We regard the dispatch of Turkish troops to Iraq as appropriate. This is the only way peace and order can be ensured in Iraq.” For his part, Gul said, “It is not possible for us to accept the recent treatment of the Turkmen. We are in constant contact with the US, which provides authority in Iraq... We have reminded them [US officials] that they need to do their best to establish peace there." He also called for vigilance to prevent a repeat of the ethnic violence. "According to the information we received the incidents have died down, but everyone needs to be careful," Gul added. /All Papers/
 NEW US AMBASSADOR EDELMAN PRESENTS LETTER OF CREDENTIALS TO SEZEREric Edelman, the new United States ambassador to Turkey, yesterday presented his letter of credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Sezer wished all success to the new ambassador during his tenure in Turkey. /All Papers/
 US COMMANDER IN KIRKUK: “WE’RE COOPERATING WITH TURKISH FORCES TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION”Col. William Mayville, commander of the US 101st Airborne Division in Kirkuk, yesterday spoke to Turkish reporters in the northern Iraqi city. Regarding violence over the weekend which left 11 Iraqi Turkmen dead, Mayville said, “We have good coordination with the Turkish Special Forces and are cooperating on ways to prevent any repeat of these incidents.” Stressing that his troops were confiscating weapons from all local political groups, Mayville stressed that they were trying to improve the situation, adding that they were also holding meetings with Turkmen groups. /Turkiye/
 CICEK: “THERE’S NO NEED FOR AN IMMEDIATE DECISION ON IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT”Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that there was no need for the government to make an immediate decision on sending troops to Iraq, adding that both international and domestic developments had been discussed during the meeting. “The instability in northern Iraq has spread to the entire country,” lamented Cicek. “Many groups are trying to benefit from this instability, and most regions are subject to provocative actions.” He further added that the next Cabinet meeting would be held in Sivas on next Friday, Sept. 4, to commemorate the 84th anniversary of the Sivas Congress, a key stepping stone on the road to the modern Turkish Republic. /All papers/
 TALABANI: “WE DON’T WANT TURKISH SOLDIERS IN IRAQ”Speaking yesterday to an Australian news agency in Sydney, visiting Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IKDP) leader and Iraqi Governing Council member Jalal Talabani stated that the IKDP did not want Turkey to deploy its troops in Iraq. “The council has clearly expressed to Washington its views on [possible] Turkish troop deployments,” said Talabani. “It opposes such deployment, since we believe that Turkey’s main aim is to dissolve the Kurdish parliament and to eliminate the regional government. The Iraqi people will find solutions to their problems by themselves. We don’t need intervention by Turkey or any other neighboring country. If the US withdraws from Iraq, nobody can prevent Turkish and Iranian soldiers from entering our country.” Meanwhile, protests over the deaths of 11 Iraqi Turkmen over the weekend continued yesterday in Istanbul. The protesters stated that they held both Talabani and Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani, the region’s two major Kurdish leaders, responsible for recent attacks on Iraqi Turkmen. “Kirkuk is Turkish, it will remain Turkish,” the protesters chanted, referring to the northern Iraqi city where the recent violence took place. /Hurriyet/
 US TREASURY’S TAYLOR HOPES FOR TURKEY LOAN DEAL NEXT MONTHIn an interview with Reuters, Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs John Taylor yesterday stated that he hoped the US and Turkey would sign an $8.5 billion loan deal at the end of September. "There was a [Turkish] technical team here [in Washington] last week and they made a lot of progress getting it narrowed down and what I would hope is -- it's not for sure at this point -- that in Dubai [US Treasury] Secretary [John] Snow and [Turkish Economy Minister] Ali Babacan make the agreement official," he said. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are due to hold their annual meetings in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates on Sept. 23-24. Washington pledged a $1 billion grant to Turkey earlier this year to compensate the country for the economic cost of the Iraq war. Talks between Turkish and US officials on the details of the loan have gone on for months but Taylor said there is now “nothing very problematic” standing in the way of a deal. He said there was agreement that Turkey should carry out economic policies consistent with the country's $16 billion agreement with the IMF. /Hurriyet/
 ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ANKARAEstonian Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland yesterday arrived in Ankara to hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral relations and international issues. Later, Ojuland signed a pact with Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan to eliminate double taxation between the two countries. Estonia is due to next May to join the European Union, which Turkey already has a Customs Union with and is hoping to join. /All papers/
 SWEDISH POLITICIANS CALL FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF “KURDISTAN”During a meeting in Stockholm, Sweden to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Treaty of Sevres, a number of Swedish politicians and intellectuals called for the establishment of a Kurdish state. The Swedish government also called on the European Union and the United Nations to support the idea and to put pressure on Turkey towards this end. Arguing that after Sevres Europeans “betrayed” the Kurds by signing the Treaty of Lausanne – which established modern Turkey – Kurdish journalist Kurdo Baksi urged that this alleged mistake be redressed. However, Turkey’s Ambassador in Stockholm Tomur Bayer blasted these assertions, calling them unfounded nonsense. “No one can resurrect the Sevres Treaty,” he said. “Any attempt to do so is pure folly. Turkey will forever stand firm and united.” /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A TALK WITH SENATOR MCCAIN BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on his conversation earlier this week with US Senator John McCain. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We’ve been seeing a great many delegations visiting Ankara and Istanbul lately, mostly US congressmen, senators and consultants exchanging views about the Iraq issue and Turkish-US relations. On a boat trip two days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with Senator John McCain, one of the US’ most respected and influential politicians.
The impression I got in our talk is that although he’s a Republican, McCain is opposed to the Bush administration’s Iraq policy and that he’s decided to make this clear once he gets back to Washington. During our talk, McCain repeatedly said, ‘Time isn’t on our side in Iraq,’ adding that the US administration really must re-evaluate its policy in light of recent developments. ‘It’s true that we ended the war earlier than expected,’ he added, ‘but we’ve been unable to establish peace due to a lack of preparedness. We’ve failed so far at both establishing security and at reconstruction.’
McCain also told me about things he had seen and heard in Iraq, for instance that their infrastructure systems such as water and electricity are old and in a bad state of repair. Because of this, the nation is angry, which fosters an atmosphere ripe for terrorism. ‘Soon I’ll bring up this issue back in Washington,’ said McCain. ‘I’ll tell the administration that it needs to set aside $13-15 billion to address these needs. I’ll also bring the issue to Congress.’ McCain also thinks that at least 18,000 additional soldiers are needed in Iraq so that the US can properly establish security and that the Bush administration should agree to give roles to the United Nations and NATO to ensure other countries’ contributions as well. In addition, McCain said that Turkish soldiers are needed there.
What will happen if Turkey refuses to send soldiers to Iraq? Saying that it would cause disappointment in the US, particularly in the Congress, McCain told me, ‘Turkish-US relations need stability. Our cooperation isn’t limited to just this. There’re so many other things we can do in other areas, for instance the economy and Iraq’s reconstruction. However, if we work together to establish peace and stability in Iraq, our relations will grow stronger.’
 FROM BOSNIA TO KIRKUK BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on recent developments in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Recent developments one after another in Iraq have shown how a scenario, the one which Ankara feared the most in buildup to war, is gradually becoming a reality. The underlying reason behind Turkey’s opposition to the Iraq war was that it would deal a crushing blow to the country’s already fragile ethnic structure, and drag the nation into a constant state of turmoil, thus threatening Iraq’s national integrity. Last weekend’s violent incidents that erupted after a group of peshmerga loyal to Jalal Talabani killed 11 Turkmen in a province near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk signalled that it was only a matter of time before a bloody clash between the Turkmen and Kurds might add fuel to the fire.
With the latest incident, the Bush administration should have realized by now that it made a grave mistake, just like Germany’s years ago in Bosnia, in its policy towards the ethnic Turkmen population. The US has pursued a misguided policy in ignoring the complex ethnic structure of Kirkuk – where four main groups (Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds and Assyrians) are vying for power – and in favoring Kurds at the expense of the other three. It is apparent that Washington has given Kurds a status of ‘most favored ethnic group’ as a gift in return for the support for the US given by Talabani and Massoud Barzani during the war.
The main problem is that the US is staying silent on various efforts towards the ‘Kurdification’ of Kirkuk. One can easily see numerous examples of this. Arabic signs in public buildings have been replaced by Kurdish ones. The Kurdish peshmerga have been deployed as the city’s police force. And of course, there were population shifts in order to boost the number of Kurdish people in the region.
The Bush administration must alter its Kirkuk policy if it does not want to create a second ‘Bosnia’ in Iraq. It should stand at an equal, impartial distance from each group. Otherwise, the US will be sowing the seeds of hatred between these groups, which would make an Iraqi ethnic war with tremendous implications for the entire region all but inevitable.”
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