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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-20
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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
20.10.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ARINC, ERDOGAN MOURN LOSS OF FORMER BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINIAN LEADERAlija Izetbegovic, the former president of Bosnia-Herzegivina, passed away yesterday at the age of 78. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan both released messages extending condolences to the Bosnian people for the loss of their leader. Erdogan had visited Izetbegovic in Sarajevo only last week en route from Brussels to Ankara. /All Papers/
 BARZANI WELCOMES ERDOGAN’S SIGNAL THAT TURKEY MIGHT NOT DEPLOY TROOPSIraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKPD) leader Massoud Barzani yesterday welcomed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statements casting a possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq into doubt. Erdogan said over the weekend in Mallorca that if Turkish troops were wanted in Iraq then they would go, but if unwanted they wouldn’t, adding that no “definite decision” had been made yet. ''The demands of the Iraqi people are very important for us,'' said Erdogan. ''We aren't longing to send soldiers to Iraq. There was a request from the United States and we're evaluating it … The requests of the US are very important us.'' For his part, Barzani reiterated that he opposed any neighboring countries sending troops to Iraq, adding that in his opinion all Iraqis shared this view. “We don’t want any troops from other countries, including Turkey,” he said. “Any such deployment would only hurt the coalition soldiers.” Barzani further added that notwithstanding Turkey and Iraq’s close relationship, Ankara sending troops would be unacceptable. /Milliyet/
 TUZMEN: “LIMITING IRAQ CURRENCY OUTFLOW COULD CRIPPLE TRADE”A decision to limit currency outflow from Iraq to transactions of $10,000 or less could cripple cross-border trade, warned State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday. Speaking in Istanbul from the World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA) summit, Tuzmen charged that this measure was a “mistake … which must be revised and corrected.” He added that each month Turkey exported goods to Iraq worth $120 million, and that even now the United Nations and other bodies were re-examining the measure /Hurriyet/
 YTP LEADER CEM CRITICIZES 2004 BUDGETNew Turkey Party (YTP) leader Ismail Cem yesterday criticized the government’s new 2004 budget, saying that it failed to propose solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems. Cem further charged that the budget was “irrational” and would do nothing to create new jobs. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUPRAS, TEKEL PRIVATIZATIONS FACE KEY WEEKIn a key week for the government’s ambitious privatization slate, bids for both state oil concern Tupras and tobacco_alcohol monopoly Tekel are due this Wednesday. Tekel was first included in the program by the Supreme Board of Privatization (OYK) in February 2001. Remaining shares in Tupras were originally scheduled to be sold last month, but the sale was postponed due to higher-than-expected demand. All told, the government hopes to raise $2.1 billion through its privatization program. /Sabah/
 TURKEY MOVES UP A NOTCH IN WB SURVEY OF LARGEST WORLD ECONOMIESThe World Bank yesterday released its annual report ranking the size of the world’s economies, placing Turkey at number 19 for 2002 with its gross national product (GNP) of $426 billion and per capita income of $6,120. In 2001, Turkey was the world’s 20th largest economy. /Aksam/
 ISTANBUL HOSTS EURASIA MARATHONThe 25th Intercontinental Eurasia Marathon was held in Istanbul yesterday. Belay Valesha from Ethiopia came in first in the men’s division, while Ukraine’s Vali Dubomik won in the women’s. In addition, some 100,000 participated in the people’s run division. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES NEGLECT IRAQ BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc writes on last week’s Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit held in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. A summary of her column is as follows:
“In an address to last week’s OIC summit, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamat declared, ‘Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.’ His controversial statements, which were immediately denounced throughout the international community, were judged so offensive and inflammatory that they almost overshadowed the summit’s outcome.
When the US army’s man in charge of finding Osama bin Laden, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, recently portrayed the US-led war on terrorism as a religious struggle between a ‘Christian America’ and ‘Satan,’ Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remarked that the US was a country where everybody has freedom of speech, adding that these were the general’s personal views. Yet Mahathir was bombarded with harsh criticisms from all corners of the globe.
Though Mahathir’s statements dominated media coverage of the summit, there is a very important point that we shouldn’t overlook: The Muslim countries failed to address the situation in Iraq. The OIC summit neither developed any proposals for Iraq’s reconstruction nor issued a common declaration on the issue. The summit failed to even respond to Turkey and Pakistan’s joint diplomatic initiatives to forge a unified OIC position on Iraq. Ankara also wanted the summit to establish an eight-country special committee to deal with Iraq during the country’s transitional period. However, this proposal was also ignored. But why? According to prominent Iranian journalist Amir Taheri, the answer is as follows: ‘The Iranians did all they could to sabotage the Turkish move. The idea of Turkey gaining a position of leadership on Iraq, and on behalf of the entire Muslim world, was too much for them. Also, the Turkish effort was derailed because several Arab countries weren’t prepared to give a non- Arab state a leading role in Iraq, an Arab country.’ The United Nations and a group of Arab intellectuals are set this week to release an Arab region humanitarian progress report, the second in a series. Last year’s report clearly laid out the factors holding back the Arab world: Despite the fact that Arab countries make up 5% of the world’s population, they only produce 1% of the books. However, religious books published in these countries are approximately three times the world average.
As a matter of fact, the Islamic countries’ leaders, who for years have maintained the status quo so as to better cling to their ruling elite priveleges, have failed to navigate the most critical course change in their history. In the process, they have forsaken Iraq.”
 TURKEY’S IMPORTANCE BY ORHAN ERINC (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Orhan Erinc voices his doubts about Turkey’s importance for Iraq’s reconstruction. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Until earlier this month, there were two opposing views on sending Turkish soldiers to Iraq. The first, championed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), went as follows: ‘Sending soldiers to Iraq is a must to protect Turkey’s interests. A new wind will blow in the Turkish economy if we get a say in Iraq’s reconstruction and a share of bids for repairing damaged buildings and building new ones. We should send soldiers to Iraq in order to check the PKK_KADEK terrorist threat on our southern border. This is also vitally important for Turkey. We can ignore the opposition of tribes and groups in Iraq. We can bring them around, because we’ll go there to dress the Iraqi people’s wounds and address their social ills.’ The opposing view went like this: ‘The US is an occupying power in Iraq. Therefore the Iraqi people oppose it, and this opposition is taking the concrete form of armed attacks. US soldiers are getting more and more bogged down in Iraq with each passing day and now they want to use Turkish soldiers as a shield. Putting our troops into such a situation and supporting the occupier would cause new problems in Iraq and invite criticisms from European Union circles. Such a bad idea should be forgotten.’
On Oct. 7, the motion on deployment was accepted and later published in the Official Gazette. The five-page motion stressed the importance of sending soldiers to Iraq. Following its passage, the AKP government and its supporters were pleased because this time we didn’t let down our strategic ally (!), and we got a $8.5 billion loan in the process.
However, these hopes started to turn to pessimism when we realized that the US’ enthusiasm for its strategic ally (!) was waning under pressure from certain groups in Iraq – that is, Turkey was no longer a must for Iraq. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke to the press this weekend on the Iraq issue. ‘Iraq is our neighbor,’ he said. ‘We won’t take part in anything that could make things worse there. The demands of the Iraqi people are very important for us. We aren't longing to send soldiers to Iraq. There was a request from the United States, and we're evaluating it.' This statement sums up the situation. Now one can ask what happened to the judgment that sending soldiers to Iraq was vitally important.”
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