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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-01
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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
01.10.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 PARLIAMENT TO RECONVENE TODAYAfter two months of summer recess, Parliament is set to begin the second half of its legislative year today. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will deliver an opening speech and in the evening, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc is to host a reception to mark the occasion. A busy schedule is waiting for parliamentarians in this period, including a likely vote on possible troop deployment in Iraq. /All Papers/
 AKP SET FOR EARLY POLLS IF NOV. 3 RESULTS ANNULLED; CELIK PREDICTS PARTY COULD GAIN 80+ SEATSFollowing Monday’s Supreme Court decision finding the minor Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) guilty of election fraud, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday signalled it would call for new polls if last fall’s results are annulled. The party’s Central Executive Board (MKYK) said that if the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) ruled the Nov. 3, 2002 election results invalid, the AKP would exercise its right to call for early elections. Education Minister Huseyin Celik also confidently predicted that if new polls were held, the AKP would gain over 80 seats in Parliament, raising its majority from 367 to 450 in the 550-seat body. In related news, parliamentarian and True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that no one should try to influence the YSK’s decision on the validity of last fall’s polls. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN: “WE EXPECT THE US TO TAKE CONCRETE STEPS ON TERRORISM IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that if the US failed to take concrete steps against terrorism in northern Iraq -- alluding to the terrorist PKK_KADEK presence there -- this would make it difficult to convince the Turkish public on the need to send troops to Iraq. Speaking to the Turkish-American Business Council Erdogan stressed that the Turkish people placed great importance on the fight against terrorism, as for many years they suffered greatly from this threat. “Without concrete steps from the US, we cannot fully convince the Turkish public,” he reportedly added. /Turkiye/
 GUL: “DEHAP FRAUD RULING SHOULDN’T AFFECT ELECTION RESULTS”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently visiting Rome, said yesterday that he didn’t believe Monday’s Supreme Court decision finding the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) guilty of fraud in last fall’s parliamentary elections would affect the polls’ results, but even if it did, the AKP wouldn’t hesitate to hold early elections. Gul added that such elections would win the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) even more seats in Parliament. In related news, Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) Chairman Tufan Algan said that the board would decide this weekend how best to rectify the fraud. /Milliyet/
 DEFENSE FAIR BEGINS IN ANKARAThe Sixth International Defense Industry, Aviation and Maritime Fair opened of its doors yesterday in Ankara. In addition to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, State Minister Kursad Tuzmen and other high-level officials both Turkish and foreign attended the fair’s opening ceremony. Some 300 companies from over 30 countries are participating into the fair. /All Papers/
 SECOND ROUND OF TURKISH-US MEETINGS ON PKK_KADEK THREAT SLATED FOR TOMORROWThe second round of meetings between Turkish and US delegations on eliminating the terrorist group PKK_KADEK from northern Iraq is set to begin tomorrow. J. Cofer Black, the anti-terrorism chief at the US State Department, will lead the US delegation, and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Nabi Sensoy will head the Turkish delegation. Ankara is expecting Washington to propose a concrete plan to eliminate the terrorist organization rather than make more pledges on the issue. In addition, Turkish officials will reportedly ask the US to deal with the issue regardless of Ankara’s decision on whether to send troops to Iraq. /Turkiye/
 CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF GEN. OZKOK MEETS WITH BRITISH COUNTERPART WALKER; IRAQ DISCUSSEDBritain’s Chief of Defence Gen. Sir Michael Walker yesterday arrived in Turkey to meet with his Turkish counterpart Hilmi Ozkok. During their talks, Ozkok and Walker discussed a number of issues including bilateral military relations and recent developments in Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/
 SERDENGECTI: “THERE’S NO NEED TO CHANGE THE FLOATING EXCHANGE RATE”Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti said yesterday that there was no need to make any changes to Turkey’s floating exchange rate system. Serdengecti also projected that Turkey’s trade deficit would rise to $7.4 billion by the end of this year, adding however he foresaw no resulting crisis in the nation’s balance of payments. “There won’t be any problem in the balance of payments because when expectations turn negative, the exchange rate will go up,” said Serdengecti. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 DON’T TOUCH LAST YEAR’S ELECTION RESULTS BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on the recent DEHAP election fraud crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Supreme Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) was guilty of committing forgery in last November’s parliamentary elections. Those who were convicted must be immediately punished. However, the results of last fall’s elections have nothing to do with this verdict.
DEHAP didn’t commit fraud on the results of the last elections, or at least there’s no evidence that the results were illegally altered. The proper official institutions prepared the country for the elections and decided which parties were eligible. Moreover, citing insufficient evidence, these institutions had previously rejected a claim that DEHAP was ineligible to take part in the elections. The nation’s will was revealed under these circumstances!
Those calling for the annulment of last fall’s elections are effectively mocking the nation’s will. Nobody can render these results invalid. Why was the claim of fraud rejected before the elections but re-introduced now? Why did the Supreme Court make its decision so quickly, in fact breaking a record in the process?
If the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) ends up invalidating elections held under its watch and approval, it will lose both esteem and credibility. The board shouldn’t become an tool of circles unable to stomach the AKP’s [ruling Justice and Development Party] victory. However, if the YSK is determined to do so, it should call new elections. Nobody has the authority to redistribute Parliament seats among people who were never elected.
If the True Path Party becomes eligible for new Parliament seats thanks to the DEHAP votes, this would be the gravest insult to our national will. Besides, let’s not forget that our Kurdish citizens couldn’t manage to get DEHAP any seats in Parliament due to the 10% threshold, even though in certain provinces the party won about 50% of the votes.
Nobody has the right to change the results of the parliamentary elections! Nobody has the right to mock the national will!”
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