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Turkish Press Review, 03-10-28

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

28.10.2003

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] AFTER ATTACKS IN BAGHDAD, CABINET SAYS DEPLOYMENT DECISION COULD BE REVISITED
  • [02] IRAQI FM: “TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT IS LOOKING LESS AND LESS LIKELY”
  • [03] BREMER: “ANKARA COULD MEET WITH IRAQ’S GOVERNING COUNCIL”
  • [04] BABACAN: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE IMF ON THE SIXTH REVIEW”
  • [05] VERHEUGEN: “THE EU MIGHT NOT GIVE TURKEY AN UNCONDITIONAL DECISION NEXT YEAR”
  • [06] UNAKITAN PLEDGES WAR AGAINST THE UNREGISTERED ECONOMY
  • [07] ETHNIC TURK WINS MAYORAL RACE IN BULGARIA
  • [08] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [09] WHAT’S ANKARA WAITING FOR? BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
  • [10] THE PENTAGON AND TURKISH TROOPS BY YALCIN DOGAN (HURRIYET)

  • [01] AFTER ATTACKS IN BAGHDAD, CABINET SAYS DEPLOYMENT DECISION COULD BE REVISITED

    The worldwide shock from yesterday’s devastating suicide bombings in Baghdad was also felt during Ankara’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Calling the incidents “disappointing,” Erdogan signalled that Ankara’s decision in favor of sending troops to Iraq could be revisited. “Our decision depends on security issues and our nation’s best interest,” he added, reiterating that Ankara felt no pressing desire to send troops to Iraq. /Hurriyet/

    [02] IRAQI FM: “TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT IS LOOKING LESS AND LESS LIKELY”

    Due to opposition from Iraq’s Governing Council, prospects are dimming for Turkish troop deployment in Iraq, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari over the weekend. “This subject is still under study, but all the indicators show it may not happen,” said Zebari, who also serves in the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP). “I think this is positive.” Claiming that the Governing Council had expressed unanimous opposition to any such deployment, Zebari said the body feared neighboring countries might have their own agendas. /Sabah/

    [03] BREMER: “ANKARA COULD MEET WITH IRAQ’S GOVERNING COUNCIL”

    US administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer said yesterday that the issue of Turkey’s sending troops to Iraq would be handled better if discussed directly between Ankara and Iraq’s Governing Council. Appearing on television, Bremer stated that the matter was a sensitive one for the Iraqis. Citing what he called the “imperialistic” history of Ottoman Turks ruling Iraq for four centuries, Bremer said, “The Iraqis’ sensitivity on this is understandable.” Stressing that the US administration believes Turkish troops should be deployed, Bremer said, “However, the views of the Iraqis must be given great weight. It would be better if the issue were discussed between these sides themselves.” Bremer added that the Governing Council had invited a Turkish delegation to discuss the issue in detail. Responding later to Bremer’s remarks, the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that Ankara had only addressed the US regarding the topic. /Turkiye/

    [04] BABACAN: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE IMF ON THE SIXTH REVIEW”

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, who is currently in Mexico to attend meetings of the G-20, said yesterday that Ankara and the International Monetary Fund had no problems on the sixth review of Turkey’s economic program. Babacan said that a draft of the new letter of intent (LOI) was ready, but needed more work before being sent to IMF, adding that the Fund’s Executive Board would convene next month. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] VERHEUGEN: “THE EU MIGHT NOT GIVE TURKEY AN UNCONDITIONAL DECISION NEXT YEAR”

    At its December 2004 summit, the European Union might not give Ankara an unconditional yes or no decision on whether or not its accession talks will begin, said EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday. "It is open what recommendation we will make next year," Verheugen told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine. "But I don’t accept that the only options are an unconditional yes or no. We will not shrink from an uncomfortable recommendation if necessary." Added Verheugen, "We have a government [in Turkey] that is grasping for reform as a goal in itself, independent of a rapprochement with Europe." Verheugen also praised Turkey’s recent reforms, but added that human rights violations still persisted. “We will underline some deficiencies in our progress report next month,” he said. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Verheugen added that beginning membership negotiations would be difficult before a esolution is reached on the Cyprus issue. /Milliyet/

    [06] UNAKITAN PLEDGES WAR AGAINST THE UNREGISTERED ECONOMY

    Next year Ankara will begin a war against the nation’s unregistered economy, vowed Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan yesterday. “It will be a difficult year for those who avoid paying their taxes,” Unakitan told a press conference. Also touching on this year’s economic goals, Unakitan said that the primary surplus target of 6.5% was achievable and that the government would continue to strive to reduce Turkey’s high debt burden. “We hope to shrink inflation to the single digits,” added Unakitan. He said that even the midst of this year’s global economic stagnation, Turkey’s economy had continued to grow. /Aksam/

    [07] ETHNIC TURK WINS MAYORAL RACE IN BULGARIA

    Hasan Aziz, an ethnic Turk, won the mayoral race yesterday in Kircali, a Bulgarian town which many other Turks call home. Aziz won 56% of the vote in the first round of voting. The mayor elect pledged to make the town a truly European one. /Turkiye/

    [08] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [09] WHAT’S ANKARA WAITING FOR? BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak writes on the latest developments in Iraq and Turkey’s Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The first day of Ramadan [the Muslim holy month] was greeted by bloody carnage in Baghdad yesterday. Suicide bombers struck the Iraqi capital four times, killing at least 39 and injuring well over 200. The attacks came just 24 hours after a rocket attack on the al-Rashid Hotel where senior US officials, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, were staying.

    Baghdad is becoming like another Beirut!

    Although US officials called the attacks ‘desperate’ and vowed to continue their mission in the war-devastated country, they made clear the failure of all America’s plans for Iraqi reconstruction. Domestic demonstrations against Bush’s Iraq policy will likely cast a long shadow over next year’s presidential elections.

    The Bush administration has lost its grip on Iraq’s Governing Council concerning the Turkish troop deployment issue. Thanks to recent developments, our soldiers are now less likely to go to that Iraqi hell. Otherwise, in the days to come the families of our soldiers would face many sleepless nights, waiting for news from Iraq. Unfortunately, now many Iraqi and American families are in grieving. The scale of casualties in the postwar period has reached the hundreds. The chaos the US created in the region has ruined many lives. Nobody knows when all this will end. The Iraqi opposition is nothing but the resistance of a nation which has lost everything.

    US officials dumbfounded by the latest developments in Iraq are making contradictory statements on Turkey. Paul Bremer, the US civilian administrator in Iraq, recently claimed that the country’s sensitivities on Turkish troops stemmed from 400 years of ‘colonialist’ Ottoman Empire rule. If the Iraqis still feel this way about the Ottoman Empire after almost a century later, I wonder how many years it will take them to forget the current occupation? History will never forget the colonialists of the 21st century who bombed and destroyed a country for weeks, using falsified horror stories about alleged weapons of mass destruction.

    Turkey refused to take part in this shameless war. But now, Ankara must take another correct step. Bremer recently stated that Turkey must solve its problems on the troop deployment issue by negotiating directly with Iraq’s Governing Council. The only proper response to this demeaning statement is sending the issue back to our Parliament. It seems that not only Iraqi Kurds and Arabs, but also Washington opposes Turkish troop deployment! So, what’s Ankara waiting for to declare that our soldiers won’t go there after all?”

    [10] THE PENTAGON AND TURKISH TROOPS BY YALCIN DOGAN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Yalcin Dogan comments on the status of a possible Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Last week US civilian administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer was called back to Washington, DC for a meeting at the Pentagon, and then he returned to Baghdad with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. However, rockets greeted Wolfowitz in Iraq. Meanwhile, a critical decision on Turkey was made during the Pentagon meeting. ‘Iraq doesn’t want Turkish soldiers,’ Bremer told the gathering. ‘Not only the Kurds, but also the Shiites, and even the Sunni Arabs are opposed to Turkish deployment. Even the Turkmen member of Iraq’s Governing Council voted against Turkish soldiers. The harsh reaction in Iraq is the result of imperialist pressure dating back from the Ottoman era.’ In addition, certain modern factors must be taken into account, because each religious sect and ethnic group has its own agenda.

    Following this analysis, the final evaluation which emerged is as follows: ‘If Turkish soldiers enter Iraq, an already fragile situation will teeter towards collapse.’ It would be better if Turkish soldiers don’t go to Iraq: this is the decision which was reached at the Pentagon meeting. However, instead of telling this to Ankara directly, Washington is using hints. For example, inviting a new team from Ankara to Baghdad and drawing up reports, making observations again, etc.

    The US is making difficulties for Turkey. However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) already passed a motion for troop deployment in Iraq. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even said, ‘The US wants it, that’s why we passed this motion.’ When the US wanted Turkish soldiers, we passed the motion making this possible, but when Iraq expressed opposition, Turkish soldiers can’t go there. What an independent national foreign policy! It’s demeaning for Turkey, but who cares? However, on the very day Parliament was about to pass the motion, the news came to Ankara that Iraq’s Governing Council didn’t want our troops, and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) requested that the authorization be cancelled. However, the AKP ignored this news and predicted blithely, ‘We talked with Washington, the situation will be better.’ Well, of course it’s getting better (!). The motion passed by Parliament is evidence of the failure of the AKP’s policies.”

    The Turkish Press Review will not appear on Wednesday in honor of Oct. 29 Republic Day, which this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. Please join us again on Thursday.

    ARCHIVE

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