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Turkish Press Review, 04-07-06
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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
06.07.2004FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 PRESIDENT SEZER APPOINTS RECTORS TO 22 UNIVERSITIESPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday appointed rectors to 22 universities, choosing from the candidate list prepared by the Board of Higher Education (YOK). For 17 universities, Sezer appointed the first candidate named, but assigned the second candidates for the rest. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN VISITS JORDANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday flew to Jordan to pay a visit at the invitation of King Abdullah. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed a number of issues, including the terrorist group PKK and Iraq, as well as violence in the Middle East. At last month’s G-8 summit in the US, Erdogan and Abdullah decided to pay periodic visits to take up issues. The Jordanian king is expected to reciprocate Erdogan’s visit in the coming months. /Cumhuriyet/
 GEN. OZKOK VISITS SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIAChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday left for the southeastern Anatolian province of Diyarbakir to pay a visit to the Second Army deployed in the region. Ozkok is expected to inspect measures taken by the armed forces to ensure citizens’ peace and safety. The Second Army region includes the provinces of Hakkari, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van and Sanliurfa. /Aksam/
 GOVERNMENT PLANS TO APPOINT CIVILIAN SECRETARY GENERAL TO NSCIn line with recent reforms approved in Parliament, the government plans to appoint a civilian secretary general to the National Security Council. The figure reportedly named for the position is Turkey’s current permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Umit Pamir. The appointment is expected to be made following the Higher Military Council’s meeting at the beginning of August. Commenting on the matter, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that the government would keep its word to the European Union to appoint a civilian to the position. /Star/
 IN MIDST OF PARTY TURMOIL, DEPUTY QUITS CHPIn the midst of rumors that the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) administration is planning to expel a number of inter-party dissidents, one of those dissidents, Edirne Deputy Necdet Budak, has tendered his resignation from the party. In his resignation, Budak cited his loss of faith and confidence in the CHP’s capability to develop effective policies as reasons for stepping down. /Milliyet/
 TRNC FACES LIKELY ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBERThe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) Republican Turkish Party (CTP) yesterday presented a bill to Parliament proposing that early elections be held on Sept. 26. CTP Secretary General Ferdi Sabit Soyer told reporters that early elections were inevitable to overcome the country’s political crisis. He added that his party wanted the bill to be debated this week. /Turkiye/
 RUSSIAN COMMANDER MAKES HISTORIC VISIT TO TURKEYRussian Air Force Commander Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov yesterday arrived in Turkey as the guest of Gen. Ibrahim Firtina. Mikhailov is the first Russian Air Force commander to visit Turkey in 13 years. “I believe that this visit will be a first step in improving our military relations,” said Firtina. “This is a historic day for our countries.” For his part, Mikhailov said that Turkey and Russia must improve their relations as two neighboring countries. /Aksam/
 FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT: “TURKEY, IRAN AND SYRIA SHOULD WORK TOGETHER TO PROTECT IRAQ’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY”Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani yesterday stated that Turkey, Iran and Syria should work together in order to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity. “Iraq’s neighbors must assume a common stance to establish peace and stability in the region without harming the nation’s territorial integrity,” said Rafsanjani. /Aksam/
 BARZANI: “TURKEY SHOULD NOT INTERFERE IN OUR AFFAIRS”Iraqi Kurdistan Democracy Party (IKDP) leader Massud Barzani is continuing to make statements sure to draw criticism from Ankara. In an interview published yesterday in German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Barzani said that his group wanted to have friendly relations with all of Iraq’s neighbors, but that he opposed troops being deployed from any of them. “We share a common border with Turkey. For both sides, it is better to have good relations,” said Barzani. “Turkey should not interfere in our local affairs.” He claimed that Kirkuk was a Kurdish province, adding that he would make no concessions on the issue. /Turkiye/
 OLYMPIC FLAME TO ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL TODAYIn the final days of its worldwide odyssey, the Athens Olympic Torch Relay is set today to visit Istanbul. The torch will first be handed over to Turkish referee Lale Orta and then 125 other runners, including Miss Universe Azra Akin and Board of Higher Education (YOK) head Erdogan Tezic, to travel around the city. Sofia, Bulgaria and Nicosia, Greek Cyprus will be the flame’s last stops before it returns to Athens on July 9 in time for the August Olympics. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE GME BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the US’ Greater Middle Eastern Initiative and this project’s relation to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The geographical limits and the meaning of the US’ Greater Middle Eastern Initiative (GME) are now nearly clear. It’s evident that it covers most Muslim countries. Maybe there’s a trick as well, that is, no firm map has been drawn in order to ensure flexibility in future operations. There will be tests and distractions through the end of this year. No matter if US President George W. Bush or his rival is elected in the next US presidential elections, Washington’s plan won’t change. The change of style wouldn’t influence the basics. The US wants to halt the spread of terrorism by bringing democracy to countries where terrorists are trained. However, terrorists and terrorist groups are also found in developed countries. What’s more, terrorism not only puts forth certain ideologies, but it’s also a job.
The US naturally wants to end terrorism. However, it’s also determined to gain control over the world’s energy reserves through the same efforts. Actually I believe this is its priority goal. There are a great many countries in the GME. Turkey isn’t included in the operation, as it has a democracy and is the only secular country with a Muslim population. In other words, the US isn’t offering to help make us democratic because it can’t do such a thing for a country which could meet the Copenhagen criteria. So what does the US want from us? It wants our support and the help of Britain, Israel and fellow NATO member countries as well in order to bring democracy to that region. Britain, Israel, NATO and Turkey have very enjoyable militaries. We’re waiting for December in terms of our relations with the EU and the November US presidential elections. I wonder if Washington will present the first democratic reform package to Iran and Syria. Libya has already signalled that it will accept it. Egypt is still mulling it over. I wonder what will happen.”
 THE BEST RESPONSE TO TERRORISM BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on responses to last week’s terrorist attacks targeting the governor of Van. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The most important aspect of demonstrations condemning last week’s terrorist attacks against Van Governor Hikmet Tan was their slogans, signs and messages of peace and unity, some of which were in Kurdish. The most notable thing about the demonstrations organized by village guards, families of martyrs and non-governmental organizations (NGO) is how they showed that the people of southeastern Anatolia are against violence and want peace and unity. Though Kurdish-dominated organizations were not among the demonstrators, the condemnations of the attack by Leyla Zana and the three other former deputies of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Party (DEP) signaled a common stance against violence.
The recent developments remind me of the course of the Basque terrorist group ETA. Not only the Spanish people, but also the Basques themselves were tired of the ETA’s bloody terrorist attacks and weren’t afraid to say it. The ETA lost its political and ideological basis.
The Spanish government has granted extensive rights to the Basque region, but this didn’t help to halt the attacks. The state took the necessary measures against terrorists and used its legal authority against political groups supporting the ETA. As one Spanish observer said, the key factor in the fight against the ETA was the resolute reaction of the Basque people. Terrorists who receive condemnation rather than support have no chance of surviving, even if they linger for some time.”
 TURKISH DEPUTIES VISIT GERMANY BY SUAT KILIC (VATAN)Columnist Suat Kilic comments on the recent visit of a group of Turkish deputies in Germany. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Twenty-four members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) went to Berlin last week. They sought to ensure that Turkey gets a date to begin its accession talks for EU membership this December, most notably through softening the resistance of opposition parties the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU).
The parliamentary delegation, consisting of our contingent of the Turkish- German Friendship Group, has held over a dozen meetings in four days with the ruling Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the coalition member Greens. The situation in Germany, the most confused member on setting a date for Turkey’s negotiations, looks like so:
German political parties are aware of the most important detail: Setting the date for negotiations with Turkey isn’t the same thing as guaranteeing Turkey membership. Ankara may be a full member in 2014, or it may not. At that time, Turkey may even not want to join the EU, if it considers the EU ineffective, or the EU may get cold feet.
This picture is clear for the Social Democrats and the Greens, the large and small coalition partners. But the opposition Christian Democrats claim that if they set a date for talks, this will inevitably result in Ankara’s EU membership, so they continue to give us the cold shoulder. Yet, what they say is that the Social Democrats are now in power, and so it is that party which will decide on the negotiations.”
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