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Turkish Press Review, 03-11-11
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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
11.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TURKEY COMMEMORATES ATATURKThe 65th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern secular Turkish Republic, was commemorated throughout Turkey yesterday. The day’s ceremonies began in Ankara at Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum. A delegation led by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer laid a wreath at the mausoleum and observed a minute of silence. Also in attendance were Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. After the ceremony, Sezer signed Anitkabir’s commemorative guest book. Yesterday also marked the 50th anniversary of the transfer of Ataturk’s remains from the Ethnography Museum to Anitkabir, and a ceremony was held at the museum to honor this occasion. Ataturk was also commemorated at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace, in the room where he passed away. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN URGES RESTRAINT ON STATEMENTS THAT COULD RAISE TENSIONSPointing to recent tension in the public on various issues, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday urged the entire nation to steer clear of “useless debates” which risk damage to the country’s unity and solidarity. Speaking to a gathering at the Ataturk Culture, Language and History Higher Board marking the 65th anniversary of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s passing away, Erdogan called the principle of secularism one of Ataturk’s most important legacies. Stressing that while secularism could be defined as the separation of religious and state affairs, the premier added, “This definition is correct, but incomplete. Another dimension of secularism is the freedom of religion and conscience.” He also said that the state should maintain an equally impartial stance towards all beliefs and identities. Also present at the gathering were Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin, High Court of Appeals Chief Justice Eraslan Ozkaya, and various Cabinet ministers as well as other high-level officials. /All Papers/
 GUL: “BOTH THE TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOTS SHOULD DO THEIR UTMOST FOR A RESOLUTION ON THE ISLAND”Speaking before flying to Rome to attend a European Union troika meeting yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots should do their utmost to reach a resolution on the island. “It is important that both sides strive for a resolution,” he said. Gul stated that there was also a need to wait for the results of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) general elections scheduled for next month, adding that a settlement should be reached before next May, when Greek Cyprus is set to join the Union. /Aksam/
 EU’S KRETSCHMER: “LIKE ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES, TURKEY MUST IMPLEMENT THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”European Commission representative in Turkey Hansjoerg Kretschmer said yesterday that Turkey should implement the Copenhagen criteria like all the other European Union candidates, adding that it should make a commitment to do so. “Turkey must carry out radical reforms for its EU bid,” said Kretschmer. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, he said that Turkey should take Greek Cyprus’ EU accession scheduled for next May into consideration in its stance on the issue, adding that reaching a resolution on the island was critical. /Aksam/
 THE GUARDIAN: “GREEK CYPRUS COULD WORK AGAINST TURKEY’S EU ACCESSION”After Greek Cyprus joins the European Union next May, it could well work to block Turkey’s own EU accession, predicted British daily the Guardian yesterday. The support of Turkey’s military for EU membership is also key, it added. "Turkey remains the toughest nut to crack," said a commentary on EU enlargement by Ian Black. "Yet the prospect of membership has brought undeniable progress on human rights and democracy. The trick is to persuade the generals in Ankara that a peace settlement in Cyprus is in their interests. After next May the Greek Cypriots – armed with a veto, like everyone else – are hardly going to be rooting for the Turks. [EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter] Verheugen's final and most delicate task will be to decide whether they have met the criteria for starting negotiations. Governments, though, will have the last word." /Milliyet/
 HOLBROOKE DECRIES “FIASCO” OF BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S HANDLING OF TROOP DEPLOYMENT ISSUEIt is unthinkable that Washington asked Turkey to vote to make troops available for Iraq without knowing for certain in advance that they would be deployed, said a veteran US diplomat yesterday, lambasting the US handling of Turkey over a troop deployment that failed to materialize. "This whole [deployment] episode has angered and embarrassed Turkey ... our most important NATO ally,” former US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbroke told American network ABC. "Three years ago, 60 percent of Turks said America was its best friend. Now that number is down to the teens. This is a fiasco." /Star/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMEN CRITICIZE EU REPORT ON TURKEYA delegation from the Association of European Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists led by Chairman Esref Unsal met in Berlin yesterday with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The group presented a report to the chancellor on Turkish-European Union relations and the problems of Turkish citizens living in Germany. The group’s document harshly criticized how the new European Commission Progress Report on Turkey tried to link its membership bid with a solution to the Cyprus issue as well as the report’s request that certain letters be added to the Turkish alphabet, including w, x, q, to accommodate Kurdish names. “This was a stupid request,” said one of the businessmen. “If they are serious about this, then certainly some Turkish letters should also be added to the German and all other European alphabets.” /Turkiye/
 IMF EXPERTS ON UNREGISTERED ECONOMY ARRIVE IN ANKARAA delegation of three International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts on the unregistered economy arrived yesterday in Ankara to work to find solutions to the problem. The delegation first met with State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan and then Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci. It is also expected to meet with Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and other economic officials. /Turkiye/  FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NEW IRAQ POLICY BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey’s new Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“With the decision not to deploy soldiers, Turkey’s Iraq policy has entered a new phase. This phase requires new evaluations and strategies. Obviously the Turkish government feels relieved now that the issue of a militarily contribution in Iraq is off the table. However, concerning the chaos over the border, we can’t say, ‘Whatever happens there and whatever the US does isn’t our business.’ Countries far away from the region might have such a luxury, but it’s unthinkable for Turkey to remain a mere spectator to developments which will end up influencing our security and strategic interests. It’s been argued up to now that Turkey must play a ‘military role’ in order to have a say in Iraq’s future. Now people are saying that Turkey can play a ‘civilian role,’ and plans are being prepared accordingly for the new phase.
Without assuming military responsibilities, Turkey can make new openings in Iraq both in its relations with the US and concerning developments in Iraq:
* The US can’t criticize Turkey now, because it thinks that Ankara did its best to cooperate with Washington and acted like a real ally. This provides Turkish diplomacy with the opportunity to weigh in with its views, concerns and expectations in its dialogue with the US in a more influential way.
* Iraq’s Governing Council, a US creation, is the only political presence in Baghdad. However, the council is becoming more influential with each passing day and it will also play the main role in drawing up the constitution and arranging for elections.
Now Turkey has reached a point where it can direct its relations with the council and Kurdish leaders in the north. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have the initiative or a say. Thus, establishing a constructive dialogue with these political powers will facilitate direct solutions to certain problems. Now it’s time for Ankara to determine its stance on Iraq’s future and shape its relations with Baghdad. It’s the duty of our diplomats to show that this can be achieved successfully without deploying soldiers in Iraq.”
 GUL: CYPRUS RESOLUTION BY MAY? BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin writes on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s views on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is due to meet in Rome today with his Italian and Irish counterparts as well as EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen. He is expected to signal to these prominent figures that Turkey has new initiatives on the Cyprus issue almost ready to go.
This meeting is significant since it will be the first political dialogue between our country and the EU in the wake of last week’s release of the Union’s Progress Report on Turkey. The gathering is expected to draw up a road map for the first half of 2004, a period when Ireland will hold the rotating EU Presidency. We already know that the Greek Cypriot administration is due to join the ranks of the EU next May, which will present it with the opportunity to be actively involved with EU decisions on our membership bid. My conversation with Gul and a number of my colleagues yesterday during our flight to Rome showed that Ankara is getting ready to exert every possible effort to reach a permanent solution on the island.
Gul said that the Foreign Ministry is still working on the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Plan. ‘We’re preparing for a permanent, sustainable and pragmatic solution,’ he added. ‘One of the most important features of the European culture is reconciliation. However, reconciliation is never unilateral. Both sides must do their utmost. I believe that Turkey is currently doing this, but we also need to see the same effort on the Greek side.’ Gul is very likely to convey a message at today’s meeting that the EU should put pressure on the Greek Cypriots to reach a settlement, as Turkey is ready to do so on the Turkish Cypriots for the sake of a resolution. One of the most interesting remarks to come out of Gul’s mouth yesterday was that he was hopeful a permanent settlement might be reached before May. Gul believes that 2004 will present Turkey with historic opportunities to accelerate its EU membership bid. ‘If we fail to join the EU, who knows what will happen in our country,’ Gul commented. ‘The whole picture may change completely. Circles which today support the EU may give up their hopes. Though we want to catch up to the level of European countries, we might be forced to suddenly abandon our objectives.’ In other words, Gul believes that the currents might carry Turkey to unfamiliar waters, which is why Ankara should be very careful in 2004.
Gul also criticized the EU Commission for failing to include the headscarf issue in its progress report. Gul is dissatisfied with the report for not dealing with the ban on wearing headscarves in certain public places into its evaluations of Turkey’s problems in democracy and human rights. ‘The EU has presented a picture, but this picture is not complete,’ added Gul.”
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