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Turkish Press Review, 03-08-28
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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
28.08.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... A MUTUAL WAITING GAME BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE NSC SECRETARIAT-GENERAL? BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)
 US AMBASSADOR EDELMAN MEETS WITH GUL, SEEKS SUPPORT ON IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT ISSUEForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with the new US ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, who presented his letter of credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer earlier this week. During their talks, Edelman said that Turkey and the US were strategic partners and that the US administration would be pleased if Ankara decides to send troops to Iraq. Gul briefed Edelman on Ankara’s decision-making process on the matter. Speaking afterwards, Edelman said that a number of issues, including recent developments in Iraq and the prospect of troop deployment, had been discussed. /Aksam/
 SENER: “TURKEY AND THE US HAVE REACHED CONSENSUS ON DETAILS OF $8.5 BILLION LOAN”Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said yesterday that Ankara and Washington had reached consensus on technical details of an $8.5 billion US loan to Turkey, adding that the matter was unrelated to developments in Iraq. Speaking at a meeting of the Ankara Chamber of Trade (ASO), Sener said that the Bush administration had decided to disburse the sum to Turkey of own accord. “However, the process on releasing the loan is still continuing, and it will continue until the US Congress reconvenes nest week, ” he added. /Aksam/
 US DELEGATION VISITS HEAD OF PARLIAMENT’S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONA US State Department delegation looking to devise new initiatives towards the Muslim and Arab world under the leadership of Edward P. Djerejian yesterday visited Mehmet Elkatmis, the chairman of the Parliament’s Human Rights Commission. During their meeting, which was also attended by officials from Ankara’s US Embassy, the participants discussed bilateral relations as well as recent developments. Stressing that that two countries were longtime allies and enjoyed warm ties, Elkatmis said, “From time to time, however, the US has cast a shadow on our relations.” Regarding allegations of a so-called Armenian genocide, Elkatmis said that the issue had a habit of resurfacing periodically and had even been used as attempted blackmail. “The US should cease all such efforts,” he urged. / Turkiye/
 AKP DEPUTIES VISIT SOUTHERN IRAQ’S AN NAJAFAs part of their current visit to Iraq, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputies Turhan Comez and Cevdet Erdol accompanied by Turkish Crescent officials yesterday met with Shiite representatives in An Najaf (Necef), a city some 150 kilometers south of Baghdad. Regarding their view of possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq, the leaders stated that their attitude would depend on the troops’ own comportment. In addition, the delegation visited offices of the Iraqi Red Crescent to discuss the details of hospitals Turkey has pledged to build in Baghdad and Kirkuk. /Turkiye/
 GEN. ASPARUK HANDS OVER AIR FORCES HELM TO IBRAHIM FIRTINAGen. Cumhur Asparuk, the retiring commander of the Turkish Air Forces, yesterday handed over his helm to his successor, Gen. Ibrahim Firtina. Among those attending the changing of the guard ceremony were President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, and other military and civilian leaders. Speaking to the gathering, Gen. Asparuk said that the world was in the midst of an information age. “Those who have information and can use it wisely will emerge victorious,” said Gen. Asparuk. He called on his colleagues to protect the founding principles of the secular and democratic Turkish Republic along with its indivisible integrity of nation, language and culture. Asparuk stated that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) could perform its duties anywhere in the world, adding that Turkey had distinguished itself in international assignments from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Afghanistan under both United Nations and NATO umbrellas. Asparuk stated that Turkey was situated in a geographically unstable crossroads, saying this underscored the vital need for a modern air force. For his part, Firtina said that Turkey was located in one of the world’s most critical regions, adding that it had the potential to take on very important roles in remaking international and regional balances. /All papers/
 KURDISH, TURKMEN REPRESENTATIVES DECRY RECENT VIOLENCE, WORK TO SOLVE PROBLEMSIn the aftermath of last week’s clashes in Kirkuk which took 11 Turkmen lives, representatives of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) and the Iraqi Turkmen Front yesterday met in the key northern Iraqi city. During their meeting, the sides discussed the clashes in detail and reached a consensus that the current problems must be addressed in order to prevent any repeat of such regrettable incidents. Decrying the recent violence, the Kurdish and Turkmen representatives called on all groups in Iraq to live in peace and friendship. In addition, they urged the establishment of a new committee to find urgent solutions before further problems can emerge. In related news, representatives of the IPUK and the Iraqi Higher Council for Islamic Revolution yesterday reached an agreement to establish a committee to investigate the recent events and find the responsible parties. /All Papers/
 IRAQIS ARRIVE IN ANKARA FOR MEDICAL TREATMENTSome 11 Iraqi patients were flown yesterday to Ankara by a fully-equipped Turkish Air Forces ambulance plane. The patients, who ranged in age from 2 to 25, were accompanied by members of the Freedom Organization of Iraqi Children (FOIC) and were transferred by bus to Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) to receive medical treatment there. The FOIC’s Dr. Laith Al- Kaaby said his group had previously applied to both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for medical assistance for the Iraqis, whose treatment is currently beyond the capabilities of Iraq’s hospitals, but that these countries had failed to respond. /Hurriyet/
 AL-OBEID TRIBAL DELEGATION IN ANKARA: “WE WILL DO ALL WE CAN TO SUPPORT TURKISH SOLDIERS IN IRAQ”A delegation of the Al-Obeid (Ubeyd) tribe, one of Iraq’s largest Arab tribes with 3 million members, yesterday visited Ankara to hold meetings with Turkish officials in order to exchange views on recent developments in the region. The delegation first visited the Iraqi Turkmen Front’s (ITF) Ankara representative and told him their complaints about alleged human rights violations by both US and Kurdish peshmerga forces. The tribal delegation was then received by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. “We would welcome Turkish soldiers in our country,” said one tribal representative. “Arabs will do their utmost to support Turkish soldiers. US forces have plunged the country into chaos, which is why if Turkey decides to deploy its troops in our country, it should first ensure international legitimacy.” Delegation head Dr. Haseb Arif Al-Obeid added that he believed Turkish troops should be deployed in northern Iraq to prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdish state there. /All Papers/
 IKDP ANKARA REPRESENTATIVE CONDEMNS RECENT KIRKUK SLAYINGSSefin Dizayi, the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (IKDP) representative in Ankara, yesterday condemned the Kurdish peshmerga who last week killed 11 Turkmen in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk. Dizayi branded the incidents “acts of terrorism,” underlining that the IKDP wants to protect the rights of Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen groups. He also added that in his view, there was no need to deploy further foreign troops in northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/
 UNDER TERRORIST THREAT, TURKISH RED CRESCENT REPORTEDLY TO LEAVE IRAQThe Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) is planning to withdraw its staff from Iraq due to recent terrorist threats, reports said yesterday. Citing a letter from ex-Taliban militants threatening attacks on humanitarian groups worldwide, the Red Crescent staffers are currently preparing to leave the country. On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross, which reportedly advised its Turkish colleagues of the letter, also announced that it was reducing its non-Iraqi staff working in Baghdad. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUREYYA AYHAN PLACES FIRST IN WOMEN'S 1,500-METER PRELIMINARIESFamed Turkish runner Sureyya Ayhan scored another win yesterday at the World Championships in Paris, where her 4:08.12 time in the 1,500-meter preliminaries put her at the front of the pack. On Friday, Ayhan is due to run in the semifinals. /All papers/
 GALATASARAY DEFEATS CSKA SOFIA 3-0Galatasaray defeated Bulgarian football side CSKA Sofia 3-0 yesterday in the second leg of European Champions League third qualifying round competition. Goal-scorers were Prates, Sabri, and Arif. Galatasaray had previously defeated CSKA Sofia in the first round as well. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A MUTUAL WAITING GAME BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Washington and Ankara’s process of waiting. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It seems that Ankara has put off to October its decision on sending soldiers to Iraq, which shows that the government is in the midst of a waiting process. Actually both Ankara and Washington are mutually waiting for each other. What are they waiting for? Let’s start with Washington. Washington’s reply to Ankara’s list of questions concerning our sending soldiers to Iraq showed its expectations. This reply’s most notable feature is its request that Ankara make a political decision. Before stating to Ankara its requests and conditions concerning the issue, Washington wants to see our Parliament’s decision. In other words, Washington is waiting for Ankara to ‘accept a proposal to send Turkish soldiers to Iraq.’ Of course Washington’s approach has been influenced by what happened this March during the debate over letting US troops deploy in Turkey for the Iraq war.
Meanwhile, Ankara is waiting for appropriate conditions to be set both at home and in Iraq for sending soldiers as well as a statement on the current and past situation and the US’ future plans in northern Iraq. For example, Ankara is expecting Washington to explain what happened in Kirkuk. We hope Washington and the US administration in Iraq will give a satisfactory explanation about the issue before the National Security Council (NSC) meeting set for the end of September.
Meanwhile, gauging the views of Iraq’s tribal leaders about Turkish soldiers is another factor behind Ankara’s hesitance. Ankara thinks it can send its soldiers to Iraq only if they are accepted by the Iraqi people as being in no way invaders. Towards this end, Ankara is currently busy making contacts and gathering information.
All these issues are important in terms of laying the groundwork. Ankara’s expectations should be met so Parliament and the public can both accept the proposal. For this reason, Washington should reply to Ankara’s expectations during this waiting period in order to facilitate our taking the next step. This is Ankara’s message.”
 WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE NSC SECRETARIAT-GENERAL? BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Fehmi Koru comments on a just-disclosed regulatory statute of the National Security Council (NSC) Secretariat-General. A summary of his column is as follows:
“With the seventh EU harmonization package passed by Parliament late last month, the National Security Council (NSC) has been presented with a new structure. This also applies to the NSC Secretariat-General. That’s why certain generals due to retire soon are one after another voicing their uneasiness about the latest developments. Among those generals there is NSC Secretary-General Gen. Tuncer Kilinc, who publicly complained earlier this week that under the new law, the functions of the NSC Secretariat-General had been drastically reduced.
What is the function of the NSC Secretariat-General? One could hardly hope to find an answer to this question until just yesterday, when Turkish daily Radikal published a longstanding regulatory statute of the Secretariat- General, a document written shortly after the 1980 military coup to define the institution’s functions and powers, and which has been kept hidden from public view ever since. What could be the logic behind secreting away such a legal document unless it grants the Secretariat-General the power to take arbitrary actions?
When one reads this regulatory statute, one cannot help but conclude how wise it was to cut the powers of the Secretariat-General. The statute effectively creates, alongside our democratically elected government, a second secret government, but this one military in nature and overwhelmingly powerful. However, in democracies there should be no person or institution exercising political will other than those who were popularly elected.
Now that this secret statute has been made public, we must realize that for at least 20 years we have been living in a country with a wholly anti- democratic system. This is mind boggling: There is an institution empowered with doing the work and making the decisions supposed to be the purview of the elected government and its ministries. What’s even more serious is that under the statute, the Secretariat-General is authorized and held responsible to manipulate public opinion. To this end, there is even a department within the secretariat called the Public Affairs Chairmanship. Moreover, it is the secretariat’s ‘task’ to launch a ‘psychological manipulation campaign’ whenever it deems necessary.
A new statute is in preparation now and is expected to be entered into force in November. This new statute must be prepared transparently in line with democratic principles. Moreover, if there are other secret, anti- democratic laws and regulations still in force, the government should immediately make them public, too.
We should not forget one thing: We can be democrats only as much as we can steer the state away from secrecy.”
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