|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 04-06-18
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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
18.06.2004FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EU PRAISES TURKEY’S EFFORTS FOR MEMBERSHIPThe European Union’s summer summit began yesterday in Brussels. During the gathering, work will be done on the text of an EU constitution and electing a new European Commission president to succeed Romano Prodi. Representing Turkey at the meeting, both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul held bilateral meetings with EU leaders. Meanwhile, a draft final declaration distributed to the media praised Turkey’s efforts on its road to EU membership, adding that the EU Council would continue to help Ankara to fully implement its reforms. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN: “THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S PROGRESS REPORT ON TURKEY WILL BE A FAIR ONE”Guenter Verheugen, the European Union commissioner for enlargement, yesterday warned that it would be a “tragic mistake” for the EU to hinder Turkey’s process of democratization and modernization. Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Verheugen said that the European Commission’s fall progress report on Turkey would be a fair one, adding that Ankara’s accession talks would begin when Turkey fulfills the Union’s political criteria. The EU is to decide at its December summit whether to begin these talks. “Even if we begin accession talks with Turkey, it will take long for it to be a member,” said Verheugen. “Those who say that Ankara is not ready to be an EU member are mistaken.” Verheugen stated that the EU would be neighbors with Iran, Iraq, and Syria with Turkey’s membership. “Then we’ll need to form a common foreign policy,” he said. The commissioner further praised Turkey’s steps for its EU bid and called Ankara’s reform process “stable.” He stressed, however, that there were still shortcomings in the implementation of these reforms. Verheugen added that Ankara’s strategic importance had risen in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the US. /Cumhuriyet/
 PIRISTINA LAID TO REST IN STATE FUNERALIzmir’s beloved Greater Municipality Mayor Ahmet Piristina, who died on Tuesday at the age of 52, was buried yesterday in a state funeral. Thousands of citizens, government representatives, political party leaders including Deniz Baykal of Piristina’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), military officers and other important figures attended the ceremony. /Sabah/
 TURKISH-GREEK TOURISM FORUM POSTPONED DUE TO IZMIR MAYOR PIRISTINA’S DEATHCulture and Tourism Ministry officials yesterday declared that the sixth Turkish-Greek Tourism Forum scheduled to begin yesterday on Samos, a Greek island just off Turkey’s Aegean coast, was being postponed due to Izmir Mayor Ahmet Piristina’s recent death. Calling Piristina a close friend, Greek Tourism Minister Demetris Avramopoulos agreed that it would be proper to postpone the forum. Officials said that the date of the rescheduled forum would be announced later. /Aksam/
 US’ BLOOMFIELD MEETS WITH ZIYAL TO DISCUSS GLOBAL DEFENSE STRATEGYLincoln Bloomfield, the assistant US secretary of state for political and military affairs, yesterday met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal to discuss a number of issues, including the US’ global defense strategy. Speaking afterwards, Bloomfield said that his visit was the continuation of a visit earlier this year by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman. He added that neither side had made any concrete proposals. /Cumhuriyet/
 IN HISTORIC FIRST, WESTON VISITS TRNC’S OFFICE IN WASHINGTONThomas Weston, the United States’ special Cyprus envoy, yesterday visited Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) representative to Washington Ambassador Osman Ertug in his office. The visit was the first ever paid by an US official to the TRNC official building in the two decades of the nation’s existence. Speaking to reporters, Weston said that the US administration was working on a financial aid package for the TRNC. He added that he welcomed the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s (OIC) recent adoption of the term “Turkish Cypriot State” to refer to the TRNC. /Milliyet/
 IN SIGN OF INTERNATIONAL OPENING, TRNC HOSTS SIERRA LEONE’S FOREIGN MINISTERSierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Mamodu Koroma yesterday arrived in Lefkosha to pay an official visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The visit is being seen as a “symbolic beginning” of the opening of the world’s doors to the TRNC. Koroma told reporters that in line with decisions made at this week’s Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Istanbul, relations with the TRNC would multiply and grow stronger. In related news, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail reportedly will also visit the TRNC in the near future. /Milliyet/
 TUZMEN: “AFTER 40 YEARS, WE NEED TO DEFINE TURKISH-EU RELATIONS”State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said that 40 years ago Turkey signed a partnership agreement with the European Union, adding that now there was a need to define relations between Turkey and the Union. In related news, Turkish Exporters Union (TOBB) Head Oguz Satici said yesterday that Ankara had exerted great efforts to join the European Union and that if the EU wants to be a global power in the 21st century, it could not achieve this goal without Turkey. Satici added that he believed Ankara will begin its accession talks with the EU next year. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH DRIVER RELEASED IN IRAQTurkish driver Bulent Yanik and his Egyptian colleague Victor Tevfik Gerges were released yesterday in Iraq. The two men had been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah at the beginning of this month. Yanik is expected to return to Turkey soon. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENT COMMISSION DECIDES TO SEND ERSUMER, CAKAN CASES TO SUPREME COURTParliament’s Investigation Commission yesterday decided to send charges of corruption involving former Energy and Natural Resources Ministers Cumhur Ersumer and Zeki Cakan to the Supreme Court. Final decisions on their trials will be made by the full Parliament after it votes on a report prepared by the commission. Earlier this week, Parliament approved the trial of former State Ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Recep Onal at the Supreme Court. /Star/
 TOBB HEAD: “ANY EFFORTS HINDERING TURKEY’S EU BID WILL DAMAGE OUR STABILITY”Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TOBB) Head Rifat Hisarciklioglu warned yesterday that any effort to block Turkey’s European Union membership bid would harm Ankara’s stability. “This could create dangerous results for the EU, Turkey and indeed the entire region,” he said. “Our first goal was to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria, and now we have achieved this.” Hisarciklioglu added that he believed that there was no longer any reason for the Union to postpone Ankara’s accession talks. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A HISTORIC MEETING BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the month-end NATO summit in Istanbul. A summary of her column is as follows:
“While preparations for the month-end NATO summit in Istanbul are continuing, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer yesterday sent messages from Brussels to the people of Istanbul. ‘I know that traffic in the city has been turned upside down due to the NATO summit, and people are facing hardships,’ he said. ‘I apologize to all Istanbulites. However, I want to tell those people that the summit will be useful for defending our common values.’ For him, the summit will be a turning point in NATO’s history. ‘I’m proud that the summit will be held in Istanbul,’ he added. ‘NATO defends the values like peace and democracy which terrorists try to destroy. Turkey shares these values both with its fight against terrorism and its recent reformist efforts towards European Union membership. The Turkish nation will support steps for values which it consider important. In addition, Istanbul is a bridge between the East and West. It has a symbolic importance expressing NATO’s future with its geographical and strategic location.’ US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns echoed the same points while emphasizing the symbolic importance of the summit and Turkey’s importance for NATO.
In addition, Scheffer said that Turkey had highlighted its responsibilities within NATO in its new mission as part of the fight against terrorism. Stating that NATO Senior Representative in Afghanistan Hikmet Cetin represented the alliance there very well and that he is beloved in the country, Scheffer added that a proposal to extend his term of duty had been accepted. Scheffer also mentioned being glad that Turkey will have the next command of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) there.
The upcoming NATO summit in Istanbul should be a very important meeting where alliance decides how to face the threats of the 21st century. The Afghanistan issue will be one of the most important ones discussed there. The US suggestion that NATO should undertake duties in Iraq failed to win support, so it won’t be on the agenda. As the power in Iraq will be handed over to the Iraqis on June 30, binding steps on the Iraq issue will be avoided at the summit. The Greater Middle Easter Project (GME) will be one of the issues discussed. Under the GME, strengthened dialogue with Mediterranean countries will be on the agenda. In addition, the most important and newest initiative is the ‘Istanbul Cooperation Initiative’ covering bilateral relations envisaged between the Arab countries and NATO. Meanwhile, NATO will release an eight-article package in Istanbul for the fight against terrorism.”
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