|Friday, 15 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 04-06-02
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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
02.06.2004SEZER MEETS WITH HIS POLISH COUNTERPART KWASNIEWSKI GUL: “PLAYING GAMES WITH KIRKUK IS DANGEROUS” GOVT SUSPENDS PUSH FOR YOK BILL CHP’S BAYKAL WELCOMES GOVT DEFERMENT OF YOK BILL SECOND OECD MINISTERIAL-LEVEL CONFERENCE STARTS TODAY IPUK’S SALEH: “WE FAVOR GOOD RELATIONS WITH ANKARA” TRNC AWAITS ANNAN REPORT TO REACH SECURITY COUNCIL ISRAEL CALLS ERDOGAN’S CRITICISMS “REGRETTABLE” BABACAN MEETS WITH TOBB HEAD TO DISCUSS ECONOMY FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM “MODEL” TO “EXAMPLE” COUNTRY BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR) THE GOVERNMENT’S ENERGY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
 SEZER MEETS WITH HIS POLISH COUNTERPART KWASNIEWSKIPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who is currently in Warsaw for an official visit, yesterday met with his Polish counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski as well as Prime Minister Marek Belka. Speaking at a joint press conference, Sezer said that they had discussed a number of issues, including Turkey’s EU bid, with both leaders expressing their support for it. He further congratulated Poland for its recent EU accession, adding that he welcomed the country’s membership. “The EU’s expansion is a process,” said Sezer. “Turkey gaining membership will be an important stage in this.” For his part, Kwasniewski said that his country supported Ankara beginning its accession talks with the Union, adding that he had told Sezer that Turkey should be an EU member. /Aksam/
 GUL: “PLAYING GAMES WITH KIRKUK IS DANGEROUS”Speaking after returning to Ankara from Saudi Arabia yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that he expected Saudi officials would support Turkey’s push to end the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s (TRNC). He added that his visit was beneficial and satisfactory, and that the TRNC, the upcoming Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Istanbul summit, Iraq and Palestine had all been discussed. Asked about reports of efforts to change the ethnic makeup of the northern Iraqi towns of Mosul and Kirkuk, Gul said, “We’re closely monitoring developments there. Turkey’s reaction to deliberate attempts to create a de facto situation there will be clear. Playing games with Kirkuk is dangerous.” /Cumhuriyet/
 GOVT SUSPENDS PUSH FOR YOK BILLPrime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his government would suspend for now its push for passage of the controversial Board of Higher Education (YOK) bill following its veto last week by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Addressing his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said, “Our priority is enacting the European Union harmonization laws.” After Turkey gets a date to begin accession talks at the December EU summit, added Erdogan, the government will again take up the YOK issue more comprehensively. Calling Turkey a “gold key” for the EU, Erdogan said that excluding it would weaken the Union. He further urged Brussels to give a date to Ankara, arguing that there was no good obstacle or excuse for not doing so. /Milliyet/
 CHP’S BAYKAL WELCOMES GOVT DEFERMENT OF YOK BILLCommenting yesterday on the government’s controversial Board of Higher Education (YOK) bill, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that he welcomed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) decision to suspend efforts for the bill for the time being. Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said that it would be better not to stir up public anxiety, either now or in the future. Commenting on the inter-CHP dissident movement, Baykal warned that the rebels could harm the party. /Turkiye/
 SECOND OECD MINISTERIAL-LEVEL CONFERENCE STARTS TODAYThe Second Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial-level International Conference on small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) is set to begin today in Istanbul’s Lutfi Kirdar Congress and Exhibition Hall. The first conference took place in Italy in 2000. The conference, beginning with meetings of SME working groups, is being hosted jointly by Turkey’s Directorate General of Small- and Medium-Size Industry Development (KOSGEB) and the Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). Nearly 70 ministers from member countries and non-OECD countries and about a 1,000 technocrats and businessmen will attend the conference, along with representatives of international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Following a business symposium tomorrow, a reception will be held at the Topkapi Palace. The conference will end on Saturday after the release of a press statement. /Anatolian News Agency/
 IPUK’S SALEH: “WE FAVOR GOOD RELATIONS WITH ANKARA”Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) official Barham Saleh, who is currently in Ankara, yesterday met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and reportedly asked for Ankara’s support on energy and infrastructure issues. Speaking after their meeting, Saleh said that he favored good relations with Turkey. He further stated that he had been offered the post of deputy prime minister of Iraq’s new interim government, but that he hadn’t yet decided whether to accept. Asked about the situation of Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen, he said that they should be represented in domestic Iraqi institutions. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRNC AWAITS ANNAN REPORT TO REACH SECURITY COUNCILUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is set today to present a report on Cyprus prepared by former Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto to the Security Council. Commenting on the matter, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said that he expected the report would include a call to end the international isolation of the TRNC. He added that it would be milestone in the island’s new era. /Turkiye/
 ISRAEL CALLS ERDOGAN’S CRITICISMS “REGRETTABLE”Speaking to reporters yesterday, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman called “extremely regrettable” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statement criticizing Israeli actions in Palestine. "The comments of the Turkish prime minister yesterday in Istanbul as well as his previous statements are extremely regrettable," said the spokesman. "The main obstacle to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is the terrorist killings carried out by Palestinian terrorist organizations which have taken the lives of hundreds of innocent Israelis over the course of the last three years." Speaking at this week’s 11th World Editors Forum (WEF), Erdogan stated that during Ankara’s efforts to contribute to the Mideast peace process, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had failed to cooperate, adding that recent developments served to demonstrate this. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN MEETS WITH TOBB HEAD TO DISCUSS ECONOMYState Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday met with Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu to discuss recent economic developments. Speaking afterwards, Babacan said that the government would soon announce a new economic program, since Ankara’s current standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund is set to end next year. “We want to announce the new program before the end of summer,” added Babacan. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM “MODEL” TO “EXAMPLE” COUNTRY BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on Turkey’s role in the Greater Middle East Initiative. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will carry a heavy briefcase with him to next week’s G-8 summit in the US. The main subject of the summit is the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME). Actually Turkey, which is not a G-8 member, was invited to the summit for its ‘possible contributions’ to the GME. Erdogan will bring with him notes, caveats and suggestions about the GME as follows:
NATO shouldn’t have a role in the GME. – This will be Erdogan’s main message. He will recall that when the US was shaping the GME, it said the project’s aim was bringing democracy to the region. Erdogan will say that democracy cannot be established at the barrel of a gun and warn of possible disturbances in countries in the region should NATO be included. * A standard, single plan cannot be applied to all countries in the region. – Erdogan will emphasize that the regimes, social and economic conditions and geographies of the ‘target’ countries in the Middle East are different from each other and that applying a standard, single democratization to the entire region is unthinkable. * The opinion and approval of each host country should be gotten. – Erdogan will say this should be done so democratization and economic welfare can be developed separately for each country. * The EU should have a hand in the process. – Erdogan will argue that the EU’s support should be obtained in the formation and implementation stage of the GME, adding that it would be very difficult to implement a project without EU support.
During the summit, Erdogan will make suggestions about Turkey’s role in the GME. Ankara started diplomatic negotiations with the US long ago. When the GME was first put forth, Washington considered Turkey a ‘target’ country. But later it concluded that Turkey would better be a ‘model’ country. However, Ankara wasn’t pleased by this concept because it thought it would create serious problems within the Middle East, and so Turkey was invited to the summit as a democratic ally. Erdogan will underline this role in the summit and tell the G-8 leaders that Turkey can be accepted only as an ‘example’ country. He will also tell them what Turkey can do as an example country and democratic ally. Erdogan will push for the following:
Developing the macro finance and banking systems of Middle Eastern countries, * Strengthening nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Improving the Middle East’s educational system and harmonizing it with democratic norms.
In sum, Turkey plans to participate in the GME not as a model, but as an example country.”
 THE GOVERNMENT’S ENERGY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on how Ankara should best use its time and energy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The recent 57th World Association of Newspapers (WAN) Congress and other activities in Istanbul are good opportunities to promote our nation. Istanbul hosted representatives of leading world newspapers and shortly it’s preparing to welcome top world leaders. Obviously this month’s NATO summit in Istanbul will be a good opportunity for Turkey as well, and we should take advantage of it. Ankara has six months before possibly receiving a date to start membership negotiations with the European Union. Ankara met the political and legal Copenhagen criteria and now it should spend this time dispelling opposition and hesitation about Turkey within European countries. It should expend all its energy on intensive diplomacy and lobbying in European countries.
Towards this end, Turkey should halt domestic political quarrels and focus on the EU issue with all its institutions. Keeping the issues of the Board of Higher Education (YOK) and imam hatips in the spotlight and rattling the public would mean wasting Turkey’s time and energy. Universities and the general education system both have serious problems. For this reason, radical short-term reform is needed. The government is focused only on the imam hatip religious schools, which is inappropriate both in terms of timing and the need for a radical solution.
Commenting on President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s veto of the YOK bill, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that nobody should consider himself above the will of nation, but this statement is incompatible with the workings of democracy and rules of the Constitution. Sezer’s authority doesn’t mean that he’s above the will of the nation. If democracy means that whoever gets the most votes can pass whatever law they want, there would be no need for the president, vetoes, opposition parties or the Constitutional Court. If they didn’t exist, our regime wouldn’t be a democracy, but a dictatorship. The government can re-pass a law in Parliament if it was vetoed by the president. Then the president must sign the law but if he deems it necessary, he can also apply to the Constitutional Court to strike it down. So the mechanism is very clear and raising tensions between institutions won’t be beneficial, particularly during this time.”
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