|Friday, 23 October 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 04-06-21
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 CICEK URGES RELEASED EX-DEPUTIES NOT TO “TEST PATIENCE AND POWER” OF THE TURKISH REPUBLICAppearing on television yesterday, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek urged recently released former Democracy Party (DEHAP) Deputies Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak, and Orhan Dogan not to test the nation’s democratic patience or the power of the Turkish Republic. Cicek stated that the court’s decision to release them wasn’t a political in nature, but legal. Cicek further criticized DEHAP head Tuncer Bakirhan’s recent statement, “Our party is at an equal remove from both the government and the PKK.” /Cumhuriyet/
 COUNCIL OF EUROPE TO DISCUSS AN END TO MONITORING TURKEYThe Council of Europe Parliamentarian Assembly is set to discuss tomorrow ending its close monitoring of Turkey. In April, discussion on the matter was postponed to June due to the ongoing imprisonment of four former Democracy Party (DEP) deputies, who have since been released. The report proposes ending the monitoring due to this release as well as numerous reforms implemented by Ankara. Turkey has been under monitoring since 1996 for alleged human rights violations. /Sabah/
 TRNC WORKS TO ESTABLISH NEW GOVERNMENTTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister and Republican Turkish Party–United Forces (CTP-BG) leader Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that meetings towards establishing a new government between three TRNC parties, including the Democratic Party (DP) and Peace and Democracy Movement Party (BDH) and his own, were continuing and near a deal. He stressed that when an agreement was reached, the government ministries would be distributed and other matters would be addressed. /Star/
 CUBUK TORNADO KILLS 3The central Anatolian town of Cubuk near Ankara was hit by a rare tornado over the weekend. The disaster killed three people and injured 14 in addition to leveling many houses. The Turkish Red Crescent has established a crisis center in the region and dispatched aid to survivors. /Sabah/
 KOCAOGLU NAMED CHP’S IZMIR MAYORAL CANDIDATEThe opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is set to nominate Izmir’s Bornova district Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu as candidate for Izmir city mayor, succeeding Ahmet Piristina, who died unexpectedly last week. The new greater municipality mayor is expected to be chosen this week. /Star/
 AUSTRIA’S FISCHER: “DUE TO ITS RECENT EXPANSION, THE EU ISN’T READY FOR TURKEY”Speaking to Turkish daily Aksam yesterday, new Austrian President Heinz Fischer said yesterday that Turkey had taken important steps for its European Union membership bid, adding, however, that here was still much to do. He stated that the EU wasn’t ready for Turkey’s membership since 10 new members joined the Union just in May. Asked about if Turkey was in the EU’s future expansion plans, Fischer said that Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia would probably join the EU in 2007. “But it’s difficult to predict whether or not the EU will give a date to Turkey to begin its accession talks,” he added. This December the EU is to decide whether or not to give such a date. /Aksam/
 IPUK’S TALABANI, TURKMEN FRONT’S ABDURRAHMAN TO VISIT ANKARAJalal Talabani, the leader of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK), is due to arrive today in Ankara to pay an official visit. During his visit, Turkish officials are expected to say that Ankara would not be indifferent to a possible status quo change in northern Iraq, especially in the city of Kirkuk. In related news, Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Faruk Abdullah Abdurrahman is also expected to visit Turkey soon. Ankara is concerned that tensions between Iraq’s ethnic groups could flare into heated conflict after June 30, when sovereignty is to be turned over to the Iraqis. /Cumhuriyet/
 ANKARA TO HOST EU SYMPOSIUM BEGINNING TODAYThrough an initiative of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a symposium on the harmonization of Turkey’s national and social politics with the European Union will begin in Ankara today. In addition to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Labor and Social Security Minister Murat Basesgioglu and representatives of foreign organizations as well as academics will attend the gathering. /Star/
 PREVIEW OF BUSH’S ADDRESS TO NATO SUMMITUS President George W. Bush is expected to convey a number of messages to Turkey during next week’s NATO summit in Istanbul. In his address to the alliance members, Bush is expected to praise Turkey and its recent reforms, sending veiled messages to the EU to promote Ankara’s membership bid. Bush will also condemn terrorism, including the attacks of the PKK. He will congratulate Turkey’s recently taking the helm of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Finally, he is also expected to imply that Turkey is a model country for the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME). /Sabah/
 TUZMEN: “EXCHANGE RATES ARE STILL TOO HIGH”Speaking to Turkish daily Milliyet yesterday, State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said that the Turkish lira had recently appreciated too much. Asked about if he was pleased with the current exchange rates, Tuzmen said that he believed the rates were still too high, adding that this situation was giving exporters difficulty. Tuzmen added that he would travel to Libya on Friday. “Libya played an important role in the development of Turkey’s building sector,” he said. During his visit, Tuzmen is to be accompanied by a delegation of businessmen and contractors. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 BUSH ON THE WAY
 BY YASEMIN CONGAR (MILLIYET)Columnist Yasemin Congar comments on US President George W. Bush’s visit to Istanbul next week. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Our public seriously doubts whether US President George W. Bush’s visit to Istanbul on June 27-29 will be successful. The reasons for this are both universal and peculiar to us. Let’s consider why he won’t get a warm welcome in Turkey. The opposition to the war in Iraq hasn’t lost any steam anywhere, Turkey included. There’s no reason to lower this opposition as the US continues to flounder. In addition, the pictures showing US soldiers’ torturing Iraqis are another black mark against Washington. Obviously this opposition to Bush can be seen not only in Turkey, but also for example in Britain. Actually since Bush divided the world in two, ‘evildoers’ and good, and showed that he was ready to move in spite of his allies’ opposition, he hasn’t had world support. Bush was unable to transform the feelings of solidarity coming from the Sept. 11 attacks into support for his policies afterwards.
In addition, there are certain issues on the agenda of Ankara and Washington frustrating our nation’s expectations. Both of these capitals will make efforts to make sure Bush’s visit isn’t derailed, but certain unkept promises might cause the Turkish nation to consider the visit useless. No operation to end the presence of the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq is expected any time soon, and the public resents this. Washington is determined to prevent the PKK from threatening Turkey. However, most Turks won’t be satisfied before the PKK is no longer in northern Iraq. The fact that Iraq’s Turkmen have little representation in the new Iraqi administration while Kurdish autonomy has strengthened and a possible operation by Turkish soldiers beyond the border could be blocked has created doubts in many Turkish minds against the US. Even Washington’s gesture of an $8.5 billion loan for Turkey had negative repercussions due to the provision that if Turkish soldiers launch unilateral operations against Iraq, the loan is void. Another issue is that ending the isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) hasn’t been supported with concrete steps.
In spite of these difficulties, we should be careful about the importance of this visit. We shouldn’t forget that in spite of a series of incidents which drew negative reactions from Turks, our relations with the US are generally good. The International Monetary Fund program which spurred our radical economic transformation was implemented thanks to Washington. The Bush administration understood that Turkey’s most important project was its integration with the European Union, and it has supported this aim and encouraged reforms. The US also contributed to emphasizing Turkey’s regional role. For example, Turkey was given a functional role at this month’s G-8 summit, and Istanbul was chosen to host the NATO summit.
However, certain people in Turkey are resisting change, opposing Turkey’s EU membership and getting angry about efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, the recent release of Democracy Party (DEP) deputies and steps for democratization. These people’s stances have grown clouded by extreme nationalism. However, we should follow Bush’s visit not with the empty talk and prejudice of others, but with our own eyes and ears.”
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