|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 04-07-02
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
02.07.2004FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 GUL TO VISIT LEBANON; FRANCE AWAITS ERDOGANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to pay an official visit to France on July 19-21 to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid. He is expected to meet with French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to Lebanon today at the invitation of his Lebanese counterpart Jean Obeid. The two leaders are expected to discuss regional and international issues as well as bilateral relations. /Aksam/
 GUL: “TURKEY’S ACCESSION TALKS MAY BEGIN NEXT MARCH”Appearing on television yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah said that if the European Union’s decision at its December summit is positive, Turkey’s accession talks might begin in March. Stressing that Ankara had done its best to implement the Copenhagen criteria, Gul said that he believed that the fall European Commission report on Turkey would be positive, objective and just. Welcoming Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, set to assume the helm of the EC on Nov. 1, Gul stated that he expected positive developments to end the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) by August. Commenting on the headscarf ban at Turkish universities, which the European Court of Human Rights this week ruled justifiable, Gul called it wrong and out of step with the nation’s realities. /Turkiye/
 NETHERLANDS TAKES OVER EU TERM PRESIDENCYThe Netherlands yesterday took over the European Union Term Presidency from Ireland for six months. Turkey’s EU membership bid will be one of the main items on the EU’s agenda during the Dutch turn at the helm. After meeting with European Commission members at The Hague, Dutch Premier Jan Peter Balkenende told reporters that the EU would treat Ankara justly and work very carefully when deciding whether Turkey will begin accession talks. He said that the EU would decide on the matter during its December summit, using the fall EC progress report on Turkey as a guide. In addition, EC head Romano Prodi pledged that the commission’s report on Turkey would be “objective.” /Turkiye/
 EU COMMISSION PREPARES REPORT ON TRNCDetails are emerging on the European Union Commission’s report on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) expected to be issued next week. The seven-page report reportedly proposes that the TRNC begin livestock trade with EU countries as a first step to ending the country’s isolation. Meanwhile, opposing this possible development, the Greek Cypriots are arguing that their EU member government represents the entire island and so the EU cannot conduct trade with the TRNC as a “separate country.” /Turkiye/
 BRITAIN PROMISES TO HELP END TRNC’S ISOLATIONBritain has responded affirmatively to a request to help end our nation’s isolation, said Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday. Talat spoke after meeting in London with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Britain's minister for Europe, Denis McShane. “They promised to help and support us,” Talat told a press conference after his meetings in the British Parliament. “We resolved to remain in contact.” /Milliyet/
 SERDAR DENKTAS URGES EU TO RECOGNIZE TRNCTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas yesterday called on the European Union to recognize his nation. Speaking to Austrian daily Kurier, Denktas stressed that the Turks and Greeks would jointly represent Cyprus in the EU if the Union recognized his country. “The only way to solve the Cyprus issue is to recognize both parties,” the foreign minister said. /Star/
 TALABANI: “IRAQ’S KURDS ARE NOT SEPARATIST”Iraq’s Kurds are not separatist, asserted Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani yesterday. His remarks, apparently intended to quash a possible controversy, came in the wake of comments Wednesday by Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Masoud Barzani saying that the “Kurdish nation” is “destined to be an independent state.” Speaking at a press conference in Rome, Talabani stressed that Iraqi Kurds favor neither separatism nor Kurdish autonomy. “We don’t favor separatism, and we believe that our future lies in a democratic and federal Iraq,” added Talabani. /Star/
 WB’S VORKINK PRAISES TURKEY’S ECONOMIC GROWTHWorld Bank Turkey Director Andrew Vorkink yesterday praised Turkey’s recent economic growth as healthy because it was achieved by the country’s own economic actors. “The Turkish economy has grown by 12.4% in the first quarter of this year thanks to the recent stability it has achieved,” said Vorkink. “Not only consumption but also production has risen. However, the banking sector should still be more active in the economy.” /Cumhuriyet/
 FINANCIAL TIMES: “TURKEY WILL BE THE EU’S NEXT BIG CONUNDRUM”It may be lucky for Turkey that the Netherlands is taking over the European Union's rotating presidency, argued a Financial Times editorial yesterday. “The Dutch are Atlanticists – so any of their foreign policy decisions will always have that special empathy with Washington,” wrote Judy Dempsey, the FT’s Brussels diplomatic correspondent. “Since Turkey is a vital NATO and US ally – it helps to have a like-minded country holding the EU presidency during such a crucial time.” But, Dempsey continued, a long-simmering debate on Turkey’s membership is due to come to the fore, focusing on issues such as the costs of accession, Turkey’s size and population, and its strategic location. In related news, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende on Wednesday emphasized that the EU must treat Turkey’s EU bid fairly without either imposing additional criteria on it or inventing new rules. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A WASTE OF TIMEBY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Fehmi Koru comments on our media’s raising pointless subjects. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Our media is eminently capable of finding a pointless subject even in the most important event. US President George W. Bush’s speech in Istanbul at Galatasaray University has already been forgotten, but two tangential points are still in the spotlight: State Minister Besir Atalay’s hands and the venue of Bush’s address.
Atalay has been saying that ‘nobody did a security check of my hands’ but nobody is listening. Utterly disregarding his placement on the stage at Galatasaray as chosen by Americans, listening to the president’s speech next to First Lady Laura Bush, everybody is talking about ‘security checks on the palms of the state minister’s hands.’ It’s obvious that, by drawing parallels with the American TV series ’24,’ the Turkish media are confusing real life with fiction.
Rather better is the buzz about the choice of Galatasaray University as the venue for the speech as inspired by Stephen Kinzer’s book ‘Crescent and Star.’ This is because Kinzer lived in Turkey for many years, reporting on it for the New York Times, and was able to get to know the Turkish people. His article in the current New York Review of Books about Turkey’s European Union prospects, ‘Will Turkey Make It?’ should be the focus instead.”
 THE WESTERN STANCE ON HEADSCARVESBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak comments this week’s European Court of Human Rights ruling on the headscarf issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“This week the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld Turkey’s prohibition of wearing headscarves in public places in the trial of Leyla Sahin, a young Turkish woman who violated Istanbul University’s dress code by wearing a headscarf on campus. This caused frustration in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The government expected such a ruling but hoped that it would come at the end of this year. When the court examined the headscarf issue, it emphasized the ‘symbolic’ aspects of the situation peculiar to Turkey. The essence of the ruling is as follows: ‘In Turkey, wearing a headscarf can be presented as an obligatory religious duty and so might put pressure on those who choose not to wear it. Limitations can be imposed for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others and to protect the public order.’ The ECHR ruling is a reflection of those Europeans who oppose ‘political Islam’ on the continent. Religious presence in secular areas is unwelcome, and so a line is drawn between religion and the state.
This is the AKP’s dilemma. After coming to power in the November 2002 elections, the AKP faithful tried to cool their ‘religious’ ardor in favor of strengthening their political legitimacy through foreign dynamics. Turkey’s EU bid was the most concrete means for this. The EU process was supposed to be a safeguard for democracy, reducing the army’s influence on the government. The EU might have been a ray of hope for poor people. The AKP thought that the EU’s pluralist structure, which supports freedoms, would facilitate certain openings for policies on faith and identity. The headscarf issue could have been solved in terms of the EU. Now the AKP must be feeling shock following the ECHR ruling. Now they understand that the place to express religious beliefs won’t be public places in Europe, which Turkey wants to be a part of. Even if our membership negotiations start at the end of this year, Turkey’s EU membership process will last for 10 years or more, and in that period of time neither the AKP, nor any other conservative political power can turn Turkey into an Islamic republic.”
 AFTERMATH OF THE SUMMITBY HASAN UNAL (ZAMAN)Columnist Hasan Unal comments on the aftermath of the NATO summit in Istanbul. A summary of his column is as follows:
“At this week’s NATO summit, there were no special points on the official agenda addressing ‘operations,’ ‘cooperation,’ or ‘military transformation.’
NATO’s military transformation has been in the works for more than a decade, responding to the alliance’s changing threat assessment. Operations under the NATO umbrella are currently limited to Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. It was known beforehand that the Bosnia operation would end (to be passed on to the EU) and there would be new military requests from Afghanistan. The various cooperation and dialogue programs have so far failed to achieve a concrete result.
It was thought that the Iraq issue would be on the summit’s informal agenda. But NATO becoming formally involved and sending troops there was not likely, as it had been already seen at the recent G-8 summit that this wasn’t in the cards. The only question left was training the Iraqi military to facilitate US forces’ withdrawal from Iraq. Germany and France couldn’t quibble with this, as the US’ absence would leave a power vacuum needing someone to step in and ensure stability.
And this is what NATO decided on the subject. When we look at the declaration on Iraq, it’s not clear whether NATO will handle the situation or settle with making a call to countries which are ready. But it appears that NATO will call on its member countries, and these countries will discuss how, when and where they train the Iraqi military with the country’s new government.
In line with this, some questions spring to mind: Where will the Iraqi military be trained? Will some of its troops be sent to Turkey? If some are sent, we should also consider just which are chosen and whether they will accurately reflect the balance of Iraq’s ethnic makeup.”
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