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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-17
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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
17.10.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER: “ISLAMIC COUNTRIES CANNOT STAY SILENT ON IRAQ”Speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) heads of state summit in Malaysia yesterday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer urged Islamic countries not to remain silent on the Iraq issue. Remarking that the priorities in Iraq should be establishing public order, peace and security and supplying basic needs, Sezer added that the Iraqi people should have their sovereignty restored soon. “The Islamic world is now faced with two options,” said the president. “Either we’ll shirk our duties and stay as we are now, or we’ll boldly decide to raise the bar for the entire Islamic world.” /All Papers/
 ERDOGAN MEETS GREEK, ITALIAN, BRITISH LEADERS IN BRUSSELSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently in Brussels to attend a European Union gathering, yesterday met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, British Foreign Minister Tony Blair, and Greek Premier Costas Simitis. Italy currently holds the EU’s six-month term presidency. During his meeting with Simitis, the Greek premier told Erdogan that next week he would discuss the Cyprus issue with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Athens. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan said that he had expressed his support for institutional reforms designed to make the EU work more efficiently, adding that responsibilities should be laid out clearly during this process. /All papers/
 US REPORTEDLY WAVERS ON TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN IRAQFollowing Parliament’s greenlight earlier this month for Turkish troop deployment in Iraq, there has reportedly been hesitation and ambivalence on the US side. Diplomatic sources state that while the Turkish side is ready for talks to iron out details, the US is still exploring whether Turkish troops would help or hinder Iraq’s security situation. US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated yesterday that while Ankara was willing to send troops to Iraq, officials from Turkey and the US were working on “certain challenges associated with that.” Furthermore, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday that the US welcomed Ankara’s decision to send troops to Iraq and talks with Turkish officials were continuing, adding that Iraqi’s Governing Council should also accept the final decision. “No one should expect a quick decision on such a complex matter,” said the secretary. /Turkiye/
 BARZANI VOWS TO QUIT COUNCIL IF TURKISH TROOPS COMEIraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani said yesterday that if Iraqi’s Governing Council gives a go-ahead for Turkish troop deployment, then he would resign from the body. Speaking to a London- based Arabic newspaper, Barzani claimed that Turkish troop deployment would carry serious consequences. “We Kurds aren’t the only ones opposed to Turkish troops,” said Barzani. “This is our country, and we have certain rights.” Barzani added that his stance was very clear, and that if troops come to Iraq Turkey would bear the consequences and responsibility for this. /Turkiye/
 GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER: “ONCE WE’RE IN THE EU, WE WON’T STAND IN TURKEY’S WAY”Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday that after it joins the European Union next May, Greek Cyprus would not veto Turkey’s own EU membership bid. “We will welcome Turkey joining the EU,” Papadopoulos told a Brussels press conference. “We will evaluate the issue when the time comes, but I think a veto would be unwise.” Greek citizens will benefit from Turkey’s membership, added Papadopoulos. Addressing prospects for a settlement on the island, the Greek Cypriot leader said he hoped Turkey would play an active role in efforts for this, adding that he held Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas responsible for a recent lack of progress. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey had not completely rejected the United Nations’ Cyprus plan. “We can still negotiate on the plan and come to an agreement,” he added. /All papers/
 EU’S KRETSCHMER URGES DECREASED MILITARY ROLE, RESOLUTION ON CYPRUSHansjoerg Kretschmer, the European Union Commission’s Representative in Ankara, yesterday urged the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to withdraw from involvement in the nation’s politics, saying that recently passed reforms in Turkey required this. “The government has a vote of confidence and no institution, including the TSK, should try to bypass this,” said Kretschmer. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Kretschmer said that reaching a resolution on the island carried great importance for Turkey’s EU membership bid. /Milliyet/
 ILHAM ALIYEV VICTORIOUS IN AZERI PRESIDENTIAL POLLSIlham Aliyev, the son of ailing Azeri President Haydar Aliyev, emerged victorious in yesterday’s presidential election in Azerbaijan. The Azeri Election Commission declared Aliyev the clear winner with 79.5% of votes cast. Prominent Turkish leaders, including President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, called the younger Aliyev to congratulate him. /Cumhuriyet/
 2004 BUDGET DUE IN PARLIAMENTThe government is scheduled to submit the 2004 fiscal budget to Parliament today. Some key figures expected in the document are a total consolidated budget of about 160 quadrillion Turkish liras, total revenues of 114 quadrillion TL and tax revenues of about 99 quadrillion TL. The deficit is projected to remain the same as last year’s, at 46 quadrillion TL. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE US’ PROBLEM BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the Turkish troop deployment issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Our Parliament has authorized the deployment of troops to Iraq for a maximum of one year, leaving up to the government such critical decisions as the mission’s size, location and timing. Whether it will actually use this authority depends on the outcome of Ankara’s upcoming negotiations with Washington.
Delegations from both countries are set to soon begin talks to sign minutes of accord. The delegations were expected to sit down to negotiating table as soon as Parliament approved the motion on the issue. However, this didn’t happen. The Turkish side has been ready. Now we’re waiting for the American side to do the same.
The ball is in the US’ court. Since US forces have failed to establish peace and stability in the region, Washington needs our help.
Although Parliament’s decision has eased the US’s position internationally, our government has yet to make its final decision on the deployment. Post- approval debates, a backlash to the approval, the attack on our Baghdad Embassy … all seek to deter our government from actually sending the troops. The Iraqi Governing council, and particularly its Kurdish members, oppose our troop deployment in Iraq.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice recently stated that the Bush administration is trying to overcome certain problems on the deployment issue. As if Turkey is aching to send its troops to Iraq and the US is having to bend over backwards to satisfy Ankara! However, the truth is just the opposite. Let’s not miss the point: The US would never allow Turkish troop deployments if it didn’t really need it. Under these circumstances, seeing it as incumbent upon Turkey to immediately solve its problems with Iraq’s Kurds would be a mistake. Washington is acting as if Turkey were the problem. However, it is the Bush administration which must deal with such problems. Both the Governing Council and Iraq’s Kurds should bring their questions and problems to Washington. Let’s not forget that it’s the US, not Turkey, which is in need of urgent help …”
 THE US FACTOR AND IRAQ DEPLOYMENT BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the US factor in deliberations about an Iraq deployment. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The last two weeks saw the government and General Staff’s approval of the deployment motion, serious preparations for implementing this decision, and negotiations with the US. Such key decisions must be carried through fully and willfully. Otherwise certain problems could cost the Turkish people dearly. As our strategic ally, the US, complicates the issue with shifting policies, all our efforts might be in vain.
The authorization given by Parliament to the government ensured the necessary legitimacy. Now we will try to compensate for our missteps back in March. Certain foreign circles alarmed by news of the deployment show the heavy price we will have to pay if we don’t send the troops. We will go to Iraq to establish peace, save lives, provide unity and order, and ensure that people treat each other humanely. We will put those who seek blood and conflict in their place.
Next week the situation will become clear. Our troops will pass through the Habur border gate on the way to central Iraq, and this will continue for some weeks. The only domestic or foreign factor capable of changing our mind might be Washington’s hesitation. No other development could sway us. The US is dragging out the negotiations and doesn’t want to put them on paper, which might be a response to what happened back in March. However, I believe there will soon be Syrian and Iranian operations. Washington will evaluate its cooperation with Turkey from this standpoint.”
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