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Turkish Press Review, 04-06-16

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

16.06.2004

FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “NOBODY SHOULD EQUATE THE GOVERNMENT WITH AN OUTLAW GROUP”
  • [02] ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO THE NETHERLANDS
  • [03] IZMIR’S MAYOR PIRISTINA DIES
  • [04] GUL’S LETTER TO VERHEUGEN SAYS CUSTOMS UNION TO BE EXTENDED TO GREEK CYPRUS
  • [05] TURKISH CANDIDATE IHSANOGLU ELECTED NEW OIC HEAD
  • [06] COUNCIL OF EUROPE’S SCHWIMMER: “WE SHOULD END THE TRNC’S ISOLATION”
  • [07] SPANISH PM THROWS SUPPORT BEHIND TURKEY BEGINNING ITS EU ACCESSION TALKS
  • [08] IMF’S MOGHADAM MEETS WITH TURK-IS HEAD, DISCUSSES ECONOMIC PROGRAM
  • [09] FORMER MINISTERS OZKAN, ONAL TO BE TRIED AT SUPREME COURT
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [11] EUROPEANIZING STRATEGY BY YAVUZ GOKALP YILDIZ (AKSAM)
  • [12] THE OIC AND ISLAMIC WORLD’S PROBLEM BY MUSTAFA KARAALIOGLU (YENI SAFAK)
  • [13] “CENTRAL COUNTRY,” “KEY POSITION,” “KEY COUNTRY,” THE OIC AND THE EU BY NUH GONULTAS (TERCUMAN)

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “NOBODY SHOULD EQUATE THE GOVERNMENT WITH AN OUTLAW GROUP”

    Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) head Tuncay Bakirhan’s recent statement saying that DEHAP is at an “equal remove” from both the government and the terrorist PKK. “Noone should equate the government with an illegal organization,” said Erdogan. The premier also stated said that the government had taken steps to restore social peace and harmony despite many differences, adding, “Nobody has the right to cast shadow over peace.” Erdogan further stated that the government had taken many steps within the scope of the Copenhagen criteria. /Hurriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO THE NETHERLANDS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday flew to the Netherlands to pay an official visit. Speaking to reporters before his departure, Erdogan underlined how the Netherlands will be the European Union’s term president this December when it decides whether or not to begin Turkey’s accession talks. He stated that he would meet with his Dutch counterpart Jan Peter Balkenende and be received by Queen Beatrix. During his contacts, Erdogan is expected to discuss Turkish-EU relations with Dutch officials. In addition, the premier is scheduled to meet with both Dutch and Turkish businessmen and representatives of financial organizations as well as Turkish citizens living in this country. After completing his contacts in the Netherlands, Erdogan is to proceed to Brussels to attend an inter- governmental EU summit. During his contacts there, he is expected to tout Ankara’s efforts on its road to EU membership. /Turkiye/

    [03] IZMIR’S MAYOR PIRISTINA DIES

    Izmir Greater Municipality Mayor Ahmet Piristina died of a heart attack yesterday at the age of 52. Piristina made history this March by winning a second successive term as mayor, the first person ever to do so. Piristina’s untimely death caused great sorrow among Izmirians, members of his Republican People’s Party (CHP), and citizens nationwide. Yesterday, following CHP leader Deniz Baykal’s expression of condolences, the CHP parliamentary group meeting was cancelled in a show of respect. The law stipulates that an assembly chaired by the Izmir provincial governor will convene in 10 days to choose Piristina’s successor. /Turkiye/

    [04] GUL’S LETTER TO VERHEUGEN SAYS CUSTOMS UNION TO BE EXTENDED TO GREEK CYPRUS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sent a letter late last week to European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenther Verheugen outlining a series of steps to be taken by Ankara to extend its Customs Union agreement with the EU so as to include new member Greek Cyprus. To date Turkey has extended the trade pact deal to nine of the May-inducted new EU members, excluding only Greek Cyprus, which it does not recognize. Greek Cypriot representatives in the EU have criticized Ankara for this omission and called on the Union to take measures against it. Last week, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that work was under way to take extend the agreement to Greek Cyprus but emphasized that such a step would be purely commercial and would not reflect any political position. In related news, Gul is to travel to Brussels to attend the EU summit there beginning tomorrow. /Star/

    [05] TURKISH CANDIDATE IHSANOGLU ELECTED NEW OIC HEAD

    Turkey’s candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu was elected yesterday the new secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in the first round of voting. This was the first election for the post in the history of the OIC, as previous secretaries-general were selected by consensus. Ihsanoglu received 32 votes, while the candidates from Bangladesh and Malaysia received 12 votes each. In related news, a bill on Cyprus characterizing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as the “Turkish Cypriot State” is expected to be voted on today. The bill calls on the OIC member states to establish direct communication, trade, tourism, investment, and sports ties with the TRNC. /Aksam/

    [06] COUNCIL OF EUROPE’S SCHWIMMER: “WE SHOULD END THE TRNC’S ISOLATION”

    Walter Schwimmer, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said yesterday that the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should be brought to an end. Addressing the 31st foreign ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul, Schwimmer said, “We are currently working to end the Turkish Cypriots’ isolation.” He stressed that Ankara had made considerable strides in fulfilling the European Union’s political reforms, adding that Islam was part of the EU. /Aksam/

    [07] SPANISH PM THROWS SUPPORT BEHIND TURKEY BEGINNING ITS EU ACCESSION TALKS

    Spanish Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero said yesterday that Madrid supported Ankara beginning accession talks with the European Union. Addressing the Spanish Parliament yesterday, Zapatero stated that in order for these talks to begin, the European Commission must first release its fall progress report on Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [08] IMF’S MOGHADAM MEETS WITH TURK-IS HEAD, DISCUSSES ECONOMIC PROGRAM

    Riza Moghadam, the International Monetary Fund Turkey desk chief, yesterday visited Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TURK-IS) head Salih Kilic to discuss recent economic developments, including the completion of the eight review of Turkey’s economic program. During their talks, Moghadam said that the program had certain shortcomings in the social realm, adding that there was still much to do to address these. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] FORMER MINISTERS OZKAN, ONAL TO BE TRIED AT SUPREME COURT

    Parliament yesterday approved a report prepared by Parliament’s Investigation Commission recommending that two former government ministers face charges at the Supreme Court. In a secret ballot, the deputies voted for former State Ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Recep Onal to be tried by the Supreme Court on charges of misconduct in office concerning state-owned Halkbank. The trial process is to begin when the Office of the Parliament Speaker sends the ministers’ files to the Constitutional Court in seven days. /Turkiye/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [11] EUROPEANIZING STRATEGY BY YAVUZ GOKALP YILDIZ (AKSAM)

    Columnist Yavuz Gokalp Yildiz comments on the EU’s strategy of Europeanizing Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey is now the model, means and catalyst country of the strategies of both the US and the EU. Now there is a concept similar to the US’ Greater Middle Eastern Initiative (GME) called ‘Enlarged Europe.’ Behind this definition, there is the aim of cushioning the negative impact of the EU’s enlargement in new border areas, controlling those outside the EU through cheap diplomacy, and directing the new neighboring countries as part of European values. The Enlarged Europe project is based on a ‘Europeanizing Strategy,’ that means to, a) Spread legal and institutional responsibilities in accordance with the rules of the Council of Europe and the EU, b) Steer the formation of economic structures towards the EU’s interests, c) Harmonize identity, expectations and beliefs with EU policy. As the Union emphasized in its new security strategy document, its aim is to nip in the bud problems beyond its borders before they can lead to damage in the EU itself. The priorities of this strategy are the problems of refugees and illegal immigration. Certain circles believe that these problems can be solved through establishing close economic ties. The plan is to establish a Pan-European Free Trade Area (PEFTA) to be open to countries of Enlarged Europe and the Greater Middle East towards this end, thus expanding the territory of the euro.

    The EU places great importance on the Mediterranean region as part of Enlarged Europe. The Europe-Mediterranean partnership began in 1995 with 15 European countries, and this way the EU attached the region to it economically and established lines of cooperation against such threats as terrorism, drugs and human smuggling. For the same purpose, NATO is dictating the Mediterranean Dialogue project on the region.

    The EU’s security strategy shows Turkey as a part of Enlarged Europe. Discussions on Europeanizing are focusing on bringing Turkey closer to European values, the differences between the Turkish and European identities and the possibility of Turkey’s succeeding in its efforts to become an EU member. Considering the relations between the US & EU geopolitical initiatives, the EU is the actual actor in the Enlarged Europe and Washington is the dominating power in the GME. In this equation, Turkey is located on the border between the EU and US spheres of influence, that is, at the center of the GME and Enlarged Europe. Istanbul being chosen for the NATO summit is an indication of this. This situation is the requirement of Turkey’s role in terms of the Middle East issue. This role is the Eurasianizing strategy of the US versus the EU’s Europeanizing strategy.”

    [12] THE OIC AND ISLAMIC WORLD’S PROBLEM BY MUSTAFA KARAALIOGLU (YENI SAFAK)

    Columnist Mustafa Karaalioglu writes on the Organization of the Islamic Conference. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “‘Let’s look at things honestly and pragmatically,’ President Ahmet Necdet Sezer told the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). ‘How will the OIC transform itself into an important and influential force?’ Sezer called on the OIC members to critique themselves as the organization has been roundly criticized as ineffectual. For years, the OIC has failed to find workable solutions to the problems of the Islamic world, which is why in the eyes of most Muslims it remains an unimportant organization.

    ‘We must bring our forces together,’ urged Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in his address to the OIC meeting in Istanbul. ‘If we fail to solve our own problems, foreign pressure will mount.’ The Islamic countries must pool their resources. The OIC has betrayed Muslim nations by acting as a lackey for US designs. It failed to take effective moves even after the tragic developments in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. And now the organization is being discussed as the center of a humiliating project, namely, the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME).

    The Islamic world needs new policies that will command widespread respect. Common political objectives must be identified, and economic ties strengthened. Unfortunately, not even Islam holds the Islamic world together any more. Both Sezer’s and Gul’s words underscored the same fact: the Islamic world needs to make radical course changes for the sake of democracy and human rights. Towards this end, solidarity is very important. Without uniting its forces and improving cooperation, even the most comprehensive transformation will remain but a hollow facade.”

    [13] “CENTRAL COUNTRY,” “KEY POSITION,” “KEY COUNTRY,” THE OIC AND THE EU BY NUH GONULTAS (TERCUMAN)

    Columnist Nuh Gonultas comments on Turkey’s relations with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Expecting the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to take effective decisions would be pointless in this world, where even the United Nations has become impotent. The current state of the OIC shows that the ‘Islamic world’ is nothing but a fiction. However, Turkey is now trying to improve the OIC as a regional power. Although the organization has been consigned to ineffectuality, it still carries the potential to transform itself into a vital formation for Turkey’s future. Ankara’s current effort is to set up a new platform for its future should the EU slams its doors. Turkey is now a major power in the region as it was invited to the G-8 meeting as a democratic ally, a NATO member and an active party to the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME). If the EU refuses to accept Turkey, then Ankara will focus on its leadership in the Islamic world.

    In EU circles, some are concerned about Ankara’s close relations with the US as Turkey has the potential to rise to a regional power by taking advantage of its young population and proximity to the Middle East.

    In brief, Turkey is preparing to play various roles. International relations analysts use three phrases to describe Turkey’s position: Ahmet Davutoglu calls Turkey as a ‘central country,’ Koc University’s Fuat Keyman prefers to use ‘key position,’ and Fatih University’s Bulent Aras calls it a ‘key country.’”

    ARCHIVE

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