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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-24

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> e-mail : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning






    After completing his contacts in Kyrgyzstan, Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan yesterday proceeded to Tajikistan to pay a two-day visit. Following a meeting with his Tajik counterpart Akil Akilov, the two leaders pledged to work to strengthen bilateral economic ties. Pointing to a current bilateral trade volume worth some $50 million, Erdogan predicted that by the end of next year that sum would rise to $250 million. The Afghanistan and Iraq issues were also be taken up during the meetings, said Erdogan. In the evening, Tajik President Imamali Rahmanov hosted a banquet in Erdogan’s honor. Rahmanov expressed his pleasure at improved relations with Turkey, calling it “our friend,” adding that on Erdogan’s invitation, he would soon pay an official visit to Ankara. /All Papers/[02] DEPUTY PM SAHIN: “EVEN WITHOUT TROOP DEPLOYMENT, WE WON’T IGNORE DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ”

    Even if Turkey ends up not sending troops to Iraq, Ankara will not be indifferent to developments there, said Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin yesterday. “We would never allow any developments in Iraq which could jeopardize Turkey’s security,” stated Sahin, adding that Iraq’s territorial integrity was very important for Ankara. /Cumhuriyet/[03] TURKEY REPORTEDLY PROTESTS ALLEGED ISRAELI OIL PURCHASES IN N.IRAQ

    Ankara has reportedly delivered a protest to Israel over alleged purchases of oil fields from Kurds in northern Iraq. The Foreign Ministry is said to have yesterday summoned Israeli Ambassador to Ankara Pini Avivi to convey its concern over the matter and to call on Israel to bring such purchases to an end. /Turkiye/[04] NATO’S ROBERTSON: “WE WILL SUPPORT ANKARA IF IT DECIDES TO SEND SOLDIERS TO IRAQ”

    NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, who is in Ankara for a farewell visit before leaving his post in December, yesterday met separately with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. Speaking afterwards, Robertson said that Turkey was an important member of NATO. “Turkey plays a key role, especially in the fight against terrorism and other challenges of the 21st century,” he said. Touching on a possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq, Robertson said that NATO would support Ankara if it sends troops there. /All papers/[05] SPURNING TURKISH TROOPS, TALABANI CALLS FOR EGYPTIAN SOLDIERS

    Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader and Governing Council member Jalal Talabani, who has repeatedly expressed his opposition to any neighboring countries – including Turkey – sending soldiers to Iraq, yesterday called on Egypt to send soldiers to his country. Talabani, who said only Wednesday that not foreigners but Iraqis themselves should protect Iraq’s security, yesterday reversed himself by saying that an Eygptian presence – political, economic and military – could contribute to the nation’s security and stability. /Aksam/[06] DOCUMENT DETAILS PKK/KADEK PLANS FOR NEW ATTACKS

    Turkish security units have reportedly obtained a three-stage plan of the terrorist group PKK_KADEK, a so-called “road map.” The document is said to detail plans for terrorist bomb attacks on security units and state institutions in particular. The Security Directorate General yesterday issued a circular warning security units to take precautions against such attacks. /Star/ [07] BABACAN: “THERE’S NO IMMEDIATE NEED TO MAKE USE OF THE $8.5 BILLION LOAN”

    Turkey can make use of an $8.5 billion US loan of its own initiative whenever it deems appropriate, said State Minister for Economy Ali Babacan yesterday. “There’s no immediate need for the loan’s funds,” said Babacan. “We will use it when we see fit.” The first tranche of the loan is reportedly due to be disbursed later this month. Stating that the loan’s timeframe was flexible, Babacan added, “Our Treasury finances are in good shape, so we don’t deem it appropriate to use the loan or incur interest changes now.” /Sabah/[08] BAYKAL REELECTED TO CHP HELM

    Deniz Baykal yesterday was reelected leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). At its 30th General Congress in Ankara, certain party regulations were also amended. Addressing the congress, Baykal rejected criticisms that the CHP’s opposition was a weak one, citing as evidence of this the party deputies’ March vote against US troop deployment in Turkey. /Hurriyet/



    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the Turkish troop deployment issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The United States now seems to be contradicting itself on the Turkish troop deployment issue. Washington doesn’t want to railroad the process since certain groups in Iraq, including the US-appointed Governing Council, are seemingly at odds with its goals. In addition, the Bush administration isn’t willing to agree to all the conditions set by Turkey, since it sees some of them as unacceptable and very likely to jeopardize the US’ Iraq policy.

    Here a question springs to mind: Couldn’t the US have foreseen such developments? In other words, does the Bush administration really see these events as unexpected? The fact is that right now the US is only trying to buy time. What can Turkey do? Let’s first say what Turkey shouldn’t do: Our government shouldn’t send its troops to Iraq now, since there is such clear, strong opposition from various Iraqi groups.

    But what are our options under these circumstances?

    Our first option is to drop our deployment decision entirely. ‘If Turkish troops aren’t needed or wanted in Iraq, then we won’t send them there,’ we should say. However, our government should be firm on this issue and after making such a statement, should never let its attitude waver. If the government decides to give up the deployment, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be relieved of a very heavy domestic burden as well as a highly controversial international issue. Kurdish groups and Muslim countries alike would probably hail such a move. If the US denounces our decision, we can easily say, ‘We did our best, but you failed.’

    But now, let’s take a look at the issue from a different perspective: Why does Turkey want to deploy its troops to Iraq? Aren’t our main objectives as follows: to crack down on the Kurdish movement in northern Iraq, which aims at establishing an independent state, and to protect the rights and freedoms of Iraq’s Turkmen population as well as to contribute to Iraqi reconstruction? If Turkey forsakes such an active stance, it will very likely end up being in a considerably weaker position in the region.

    The second option is to wait and see. We can continue negotiations with Washington to decide on the issue in line with the future developments. During this period, both the US and the Governing Council might place new conditions in front of us. However, our government can also lobby more actively to persuade Washington on a number of critical issues concerning our troops’ mission.

    The second option seems to me the more rational one.”



    Columnist Mumtaz Soysal proposes using diplomatic conventions to end interference in Northern Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “In the language of diplomacy, the Latin expression ‘persona grata’ means ‘a person welcomed and accepted.’ Diplomats are seen this way by the countries they’re posted in and they thereby benefit from certain important privileges and immunities. In return, there are certain conditions which they should take care to observe. For example, they aren’t to interfere in the domestic affairs of their host country. If they go against this, they face the danger of being declared ‘persona non grata,’ that is, ‘an unwelcome, undesirable person,’ and so being expelled from the country. All these matters were laid out in detailed international pacts in the 19th and 20th centuries, the latest being the 1975 Vienna Convention.

    In addition, there are also ‘temporary or special representatives’ appointed in order to address a specific problem, provided that they too comply with the rules binding all other diplomats. If they don’t, naturally they would be declared ‘persona non grata.’ It’s no surprise, but most representatives from Western states posted in the Greek Cypriot administration are talking with Turkish Cypriot opposition parties and certain institutions calling themselves ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs). Following these contacts, all in the runup to December’s Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) general elections, we’re hearing all sorts of rumors which might be considered ‘interfering in domestic affairs, materially and psychologically.’ It’s a complicated story: The TRNC isn’t recognized by these states, so it can’t protect from such damaging innuendo. So why doesn’t Turkey itself do something about it? We are considered an ‘invader’ on Cyprus and are even expected to pay compensation in European courts because of this. So why don’t we call up these countries’ ambassadors in Ankara and tell them to cease and desist? For example, whenever US Special Envoy for Cyprus Thomas Weston visits Ankara, he makes certain statements which can be considered interference in the upcoming elections. Would it be so difficult for us to tell him, ‘You’re dangerously close to being persona non grata here’?”


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