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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-15
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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
15.10.2003SUICIDE ATTACK ON TURKEY’S BAGHDAD EMBASSY INJURES THREE; ERDOGAN SAYS NO LINK TO DEPLOYMENT PLANS ERDOGAN, GEN. OZKOK DISCUSS IRAQ ISSUE GUL: “KURDISH OPPOSITION TO TROOP DEPLOYMENT IS INAPPROPRIATE” SHIITE LEADER: “THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMERICAN TROOPS AND TURKISH ONES” EDELMAN: “WE WANT TURKISH TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED IN A SECURE AREA OF IRAQ” INDEPENDENT JOINS LDP, GIVING PARTY ONE PARLIAMENT SEAT TUSIAD CHAIRMAN: “RECENT REFORMS HAVE PAVED THE WAY FOR TURKEY’S ACCESSION TALKS” FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... WHAT’S IN IT FOR TURKEY? BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM) THE RELIGIOUS HIGH SCHOOLS SHOULD BE CLOSED BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
 SUICIDE ATTACK ON TURKEY’S BAGHDAD EMBASSY INJURES THREE; ERDOGAN SAYS NO LINK TO DEPLOYMENT PLANSA car bomb exploded near the entrance to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad yesterday, killing the suicide bomber and injuring three innocent people, including a Turkish official. Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied any relation between the attack and Parliament’s recent decision greenlighting troop deployment in Iraq. He charged that certain circles wanted to stifle positive developments in the country. “Terrorism doesn’t lead to peace and happiness,” added Erdogan. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said it would be premature to comment on the attack as investigation of it had only just begun. “Our government will look over all the details before sending troops to Iraq,” stated the president. “Parliament’s permission doesn’t mean sending troops under any circumstances.” In related news, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Group Chairman Haluk Koc said that the attack was aimed at the Republic of Turkey itself, warning that any Turkish soldiers sent to the country would face similar attacks. “Ankara shouldn’t send its troops under fire, but rather wait,” urged Koc. Furthermore, condemning the attack, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called it a “desperate” attempt by terrorists and forces loyal to Saddam Hussein to derail continuing progress in Iraq. Iraqi Governing Council President Iyad Allavi also branded the incident a terrorist attack, vowing that everything would be done to find those responsible. /All Papers/
 ERDOGAN, GEN. OZKOK DISCUSS IRAQ ISSUEPrime Minisetr Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. During their meeting, the topic of Turkey’s sending troops to Iraq was discussed. Ozkok reportedly briefed Erdogan on recent developments in bilateral meetings with US officials concerning the matter. /Turkiye/
 GUL: “KURDISH OPPOSITION TO TROOP DEPLOYMENT IS INAPPROPRIATE”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Malaysia to attend an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) gathering, yesterday held separate meetings with his Malaysian, Pakistani, Tunisian and Syrian counterparts to discuss the Iraq issue. During their talks, Gul briefed the top diplomats on Parliament’s recent greenlight for the government to send troops to Iraq. The Tunisian foreign minister said that Tunis itself was continuing to negotiate on a US request for it to send troops, while the Pakistani foreign minister said that they would reconsider doing so. The Syrian foreign minister said that Damascus appreciated Turkey’s stance on the issue. Speaking to reporters before the second day of the meetings, Gul called it “inappropriate” for Kurdish groups to oppose Turkey sending troops. Gul further urged the other OIC members to take an active role in Iraq. /All papers/
 SHIITE LEADER: “THERE’S NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMERICAN TROOPS AND TURKISH ONES”Iraqi Shiite leader Mukteda Essard said yesterday that he was opposed to Turkey’s plans to send troops to Iraq. “Though they are Muslims, Turkish troops will also be seen as occupiers,” warned the Shiite leader. “As we object to all foreign forces, we also oppose Turkish troops.” He also called on occupation forces in Iraq to draw up a timetable for leaving the country. /Turkiye/
 EDELMAN: “WE WANT TURKISH TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED IN A SECURE AREA OF IRAQ”US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman yesterday met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal to discuss plans to send Turkish troops to Iraq. During their talks, Edelman reportedly said that the US administration very much wanted Turkish troops to be deployed in a secure area of the country. “One day US forces will leave Iraq, but Turkish troops will stay there for a long time, and we want them to be safe,” said Edelman. /Sabah/
 INDEPENDENT JOINS LDP, GIVING PARTY ONE PARLIAMENT SEATIndependent Deputy from Istanbul Emin Sirin yesterday joined the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). With his action, the number of parties represented in Parliament rose to four, though two in negligible numbers. The current picture of the 550-seat Parliament is as follows: the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has 368 deputies, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) 175, the True Path Party (DYP) three, and the LDP one, with three independent deputies. /Turkiye/
 TUSIAD CHAIRMAN: “RECENT REFORMS HAVE PAVED THE WAY FOR TURKEY’S ACCESSION TALKS”Speaking at the 12th National Quality Congress yesterday, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said that Ankara’s recent passage of European Union reforms could ease it getting a date from the EU to begin accession talks. The Union is to decide at its December 2004 summit whether or not to begin accession negotiations with Turkey. “Now these reforms should begin to be implemented,” Ozilhan told the gathering. He added that resolution of the Cyprus issue was also important for Turkey’s EU bid. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT’S IN IT FOR TURKEY? BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Idiz writes on Turkey’s Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Right now I’m in Izmir with a group of German reporters and officials to discuss Turkish-EU relations. Although the Iraq issue isn’t on our agenda, we can’t help ourselves but talk about it. As Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug this week warned Iraqi Kurds that if Turkish convoys were attacked in Iraq the ‘necessary response’ would be given, a German reporter living in Istanbul asked whether this was a threat or a heartfelt wish. Then, answering his own question, he said he thought it was the latter. In truth, there is a widespread misconception that the reason for Turkey’s interest in Iraq is its obsession with the Kurdish issue. My European colleagues believe that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) secretly want to fight with Iraqi Kurds in order to take advantage of the chaotic situation in northern Iraq. No matter how hard I try to tell them these are only idle rumors, the prejudice is unfortunately a common one.
Gen. Basbug’s remarks rocked the financial markets. Moreover, certain key members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Malaysia oppose Turkey’s intervention in the region. They found Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s recent remarks outlining Turkey’s stance to be unsatisfying.
It seems to me that only the US will applaud Turkey’s intervention. Americans are well aware that Turkish soldiers won’t be enough to establish peace and stability in the war-torn country. They also know that the number of American casualties is unlikely to fall after the Turkish troops arrive. However, they still need us as psychological support to make them forget how alone they are in the international arena.
It’s still unclear how Turkey will benefit from this military alliance. If our problem is northern Iraq, it’s already clear that our troops won’t be allowed to enter this region. The TSK is of course capable of giving the necessary answer to its enemies and facing down such threats. However, I don’t think that our government is up to grappling with the serious political problems quite likely to emerge in the near future.”
 THE RELIGIOUS HIGH SCHOOLS SHOULD BE CLOSED BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the religious high school issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey should mobilize and direct all of its resources to modern education and immediately close the religious high schools (imam hatip). Due to the efforts of certain vote-seeking politicians, there are more religious high schools than are really needed. Although these schools use the Education Ministry’s curriculum, students there clearly receive an anti-republican education. We see examples of this every day. Since 1972, these schools have admitted female students, in so doing diverting their original aims. After we made eight years of education mandatory, the religious middle schools closed and there was a concomitant drop in interest in the high schools. Last year the number of students attending these schools plummeted from 300,000 to 70,000. If mandatory education rises to 12 years, the high schools will be shuttered as well. Although everything was ready for this development, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government delayed this project in order to block it.
To revive these high schools, the government has prepared a law under which graduates of religious high schools would be able to enter all university faculties. Towards this end, the ruling party wants to eliminate the Board of Higher Education (YOK). It wants students who received a largely religious education to be able to enter universities as students and lecturers. If the religious high schools are closed, no vacuum will ensue, because two hours per week of ‘religious culture and ethics instruction’ is included in the primary school curriculum. The same course is taught at high schools for one hour a week. This period is sufficient for imparting information. For this reason, the AKP’s assertion that ‘our children are unable to learn religion’ doesn’t square with the facts. In addition, families who consider this education insufficient can send their children to Koran courses attached to the Religious Affairs Directorate. In addition, students who wish to do so can enter religious faculties after high school. If the religious high schools are closed and turned into normal schools, Turkey would solve this problem and students who attend these schools wouldn’t face mistreatment.”
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