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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-14
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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
14.10.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TSK: “IF NORTHERN IRAQI KURDS ATTACK OUR CONVOYS, WE WILL GIVE THE NECESSARY RESPONSE”In an Ankara briefing yesterday by senior military officials, Gen. Metin Yavuz Yalcin stated that there were three areas being considered for the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq: the Selahuddin province to the north of Baghdad, the al-Anbar province to west of the capital and a different part of al-Anbar further north. Yalcin called the last region the least likely. After Gen. Yalcin’s statement, Gen. Ilker Basbug, the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) deputy chief of staff, stated that Turkish troops sent to Iraq would have to pass through northern Iraq and that this raised the possibility of a conflict with Kurdish groups there. “If there is a situation in which Kurdish groups in the region attack our convoys while crossing through northern Iraq, then the necessary response will be given,” he warned. “It’s something that they need to think about. The TSK is fully capable of protecting its convoys.” Basbug said that the date for deployment had yet to be determined. “The number of troops will be set after the mission’s region is settled,” he added. Gen. Basbug emphasized that the terrorist group PKK-KADEK still posed a threat to Turkey. “We expect the United States to take the necessary measures against PKK-KADEK and also coordinate with ongoing Foreign Ministry work on certain common measures,” he stated. Basbug reiterated that the Iraq deployment had no link to Ankara’s view on how the US deals with PKK-KADEK. “Whether we join the stabilization force or not, Turkey will cooperate with the US to fight the terrorist group PKK-KADEK.” /All papers/
 IKPD’S BARZANI: “TURKISH TROOPS IN IRAQ WILL SOW INSTABILITY”Nechirvan Barzani, a top official of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IKPD), claimed yesterday that Turkish troops in Iraq would sow instability there, adding that his party opposed the troops passing through majority- Kurdish areas. In related news, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said yesterday that the mission of Turkish troops in Iraq should be confined only to establishing peace in the country, adding that they shouldn’t intervene in domestic affairs. He further predicted that Turkish troops would be deployed in Fallujah, a city northwest of Baghdad. /Cumhuriyet/
 KURDISH ASSEMBLY COMES OUT AGAINST TURKISH DEPLOYMENTDuring a meeting over the weekend, the regional Kurdish parliament in northern Iraq expressed its opposition to Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. During debates on the issue, Kurdish parliamentarians alleged that Ankara wanted to send troops to Iraq neither to ensure stability nor peace but rather because it had designs on the region. In addition, the assembly decided to establish a commission aiming to merge the regional northern Iraqi government with Iraq’s Governing Council in Baghdad. The assembly’s decision was conveyed to Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq. /Turkiye/
 GUL PROPOSES ISLAMIC PEACEKEEPING FORCE FOR IRAQSpeaking to yesterday’s Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Malaysia, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul proposed the establishment of an Islamic peacekeeping force under which Turkey’s fellow OIC member countries would send troops to Iraq. Gul said that a policy which stood on the sidelines of unfolding events would yield nothing. “If you prefer to just watch developments, then you should accept the inevitable results,” he warned. “As Iraq is an OIC member, then the organization must take a stand.” Regarding Ankra’s own decision to send troops to Iraq, Gul stated that Turkey had the good will to preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity. In related news, both the Greek Cypriot administration and Athens officials have been waging an intense lobbying effort to prevent any OIC members from recognizing the sovereign Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) during the meeting. According to the Greek press, although Greek Cyprus is not an OIC member, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos met with 12 of the OIC member countries’ leaders, while Foreign Minister George Yakovu has also recently met with 10 such leaders to convince them on the matter. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO BELGIUM, SPAINPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Brussels tomorrow to attend a European Union meeting. On Friday, he will proceed to Palma de Mallorca, Spain to attend the Formentor Forum, a meeting in which regional countries discuss international problems and cooperation. After attending a bouquet hosted by Spanish Premier Jose Maria Aznar, Erdogan will return to Turkey on Saturday. /Star/
 DYP LEADER AGAR: “A PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION ON IRAQ SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED”Speaking to reporters in Amasya, parliamentarian and True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that a parliamentary commission on Iraq should be established soon. Stressing that Parliament should have supervision of the matter, Agar stated that Turkey’s rights and interests should be under complete assurance by laying out all the conditions in a written text. “If not, all responsibility will fall on the government,” said Agar. /Star/
 SENER: “THE COST OF IRAQ DEPLOYMENT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET”Speaking after yesterday’s Supreme Board of Planning (YPK) meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said that next year’s budget would be 160.9 quadrillion Turkish liras. “We project next year’s budget revenues at 114.5 quadrillion liras and the deficit at 46.3 quadrillion,” said Sener. “The primary surplus target will be 6.5%, which is also this year’s goal.” Sener added that 2004 tax revenues are expected to be 99.1 quadrillion liras. Touching on the Iraq troop deployment issue, Sener said that cost of sending troops there should be considered in next year’s budget. Also speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener stated that the government would determinedly continue its reforms and maintain fiscal discipline. /All papers/
 CABINET SETS 2004 CIVIL SERVANTS’ RAISE AT 13.8%Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that the government had set next year’s civil service pay raise at 13.8%. “We project inflation will be 12%, so the raises will exceed that,” said Cicek. Asked if Iraq troop deployment had been discussed at the meeting, Cicek said that negotiations on the issue with the US were still continuing, adding that certain budgetary adjustments would be necessary. “That’s why we can only afford a 13.8% hike,” he said. /All papers/  FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE GENERAL STAFF’S STANCE BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on yesterday’s press briefing by the General Staff. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday’s press briefing by the General Staff laid out for the public the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) stance on the Iraq issue.
1. It emphasized that the resolution to send Turkish soldiers to Iraq wasn’t a military decision, but a political one. This was stressed both in the written text and in Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug’s question-and-answer session. Gen. Basbug read the last paragraph of the motion regarding the deployment. Here, the message to the government was that the responsibility belonged to it.
2. The TSK calls the act of sending of soldiers to Iraq ‘participation in the stability force.’ In other words, Turkey won’t participate in an occupation led by the US and Britain. Instead, it will be a country contributing to efforts to establish stability.
3. During the briefing, certain dates were made clear. The meetings with the US military began on Aug. 5. Then on Sept. 4 the General Staff discussed progress on the issue, and the studies on Iraqi domestic sentiment were conducted on Aug. 22-Sept. 4.
4. The TSK doesn’t consider the US’ stance on the PKK_KADEK to be satisfactory.
5. The repentance law didn’t yield what many had hoped. On this issue, Gen. Basbug said, ‘Yes, this law didn’t give the desired results, but the stance the US takes may tip the balance.’
6. Following the passage of the troop deployment motion last week, everybody was wondering what routes Turkish soldiers would use to enter Iraq. ‘Convenient roads and railways’ was the answer. What will happen if Kurdish groups attack? Gen. Basbug replied, ‘We can defend ourselves on that route.’
7. Issues of international law, term of duty and material aspects are beyond the TSK’s scope. Its stance is as follows: ‘We receive orders and then carry them out. Such questions aren’t ours to ask.’
8. At the end of the briefing, there was another question about plans to increase the number of students attending religious high schools by changing the Law on the Higher Education. Gen. Basbug said that such a change would be both unconstitutional and inappropriate. He added that he couldn’t understand why the number of such students should be increased. We hope the reasonable parties will win this one.”
 THE GENERAL STAFF BRIEFING ON IRAQ BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on yesterday’s press briefing on Iraq by the General Staff Office. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday the General Staff Office held a press briefing on Iraq. After the briefing, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug answered reporters’ questions.
First of all, I’d like to underline that the General Staff Office should hold more such briefings to keep the press informal on critical issues like this one. This can serve to stem the tide of idle rumors and misinformation. Yesterday’s briefing was very important since it laid out Ankara’s political aims and current military situation on the Iraq issue.
‘As the present crisis in Iraq is deepening, there is a possibility that the country could disintegrate,’ warned Gen. Metin Yavuz Yalcin in his initial briefing. ‘Therefore, Turkey must take into account the possibility of the proliferation of terrorist activities in the war-devastated country.’ These words clearly expressed Ankara’s political aims: protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity, eliminating the terrorist groups there and preventing the country from plunging into deeper chaos or even worse domestic strife.
There’s no doubt that these goals are directly related to our country’s own security, so by serving peace and stability in Iraq Ankara is indirectly ensuring its own safety.
According to the General Staff, at this late date there’s no point in debating the legitimacy of the US-led war. The key task now is to determine future steps to both help the Iraqi people establish peace and stability and protect our own territories from a possible deeper crisis in the region.
Under these circumstances, one of Turkey’s priorities is the PKK_KADEK issue. ‘No matter what Ankara will do in Iraq, Turkey is determined to cooperate with the US on this issue,’ said Gen. Yalcin. These words stressed that the PKK_KADEK issue should be considered a separate matter from other developments in Iraq.
I believe the General Staff’s press briefing should be seen as an expression of Turkey’s political and military goals on the Iraq issue.”
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