|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 04-07-21
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ERDOGAN SEEKS CHIRAC’S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BIDPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently in France for an official visit, yesterday met with French President Jacques Chirac to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral relations and Turkey’s European Union membership bid. During their meeting, Chirac expressed French support for Turkey’s EU bid, adding however that the European Commission’s fall progress report on Ankara would determine France’s stance. He further urged Ankara to accelerate its reform process. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan said that he had called for the continuation of French support for Turkey’s EU bid and added that their meeting had been positive. He reiterated that Ankara had fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria and that its determination on the issue would continue. Erdogan further stated that this December the Union wouldn’t be deciding on Ankara’s membership per se, but would instead decide whether or not to begin accession talks. In related news, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said, “Turkey won’t join the EU tomorrow, but it’s on the right path.” /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN: “A CONDITIONAL YES IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE”Speaking at a Paris press conference yesterday following his contacts with French leaders, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “We don’t consider the European Union a Christian club. On the contrary, we call it a unity of political values in which civilizations meet each other.” Asked whether or not the EU would begin accession talks with Ankara after December, Erdogan said, “If the EU doesn’t set a date for our accession talks, then we will change the name of the Copenhagen criteria to the Ankara criteria and continue to make progress on our own path. We will also maintain our friendly relations with regional countries in that case.” Erdogan also stressed that Ankara would not accept any “conditional yes” to begin accession talks with the EU, something recently proposed by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Asked about Turkey’s relations with Israel, Erdogan said that there was no crisis in bilateral relations, adding that his criticisms of Israel shouldn’t damage their economic, commercial, or military ties. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH FRENCH PARLIAMENTARI8ANS, DISCUSSES TURKEY’S EU BIDPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with members of the French Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission to seek their support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. During their meeting, Erdogan said that the Turkish and French peoples had had friendly relations since the days of the Ottoman Empire. Asked about the so-called Armenian genocide, Erdogan said that the issue was up to the historians. Later, meeting with French businessmen, the premier stressed that Turkey needed foreign capital and so urged French businessmen to make investments. /Turkiye/
 TRNC CELEBRATES CYPRUS PEACE OPERATION’S 30TH ANNIVERSARYThe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Peace Operation on Cyprus carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Speaking at the celebrations, TRNC President Rauf Denktas praised Ankara’s efforts to end international isolation of the TRNC, adding that Turkish Cypriots would never relinquish their sovereignty. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also said that the Turkish side had done its best to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue. Stressing that for decades Turkish Cypriots had faced unjust embargos and countless unfair hindrances, Gul called on the international community to see the truth and keep their word to end the TRNC’s isolation. “The European Union and the entire world should not forget. We are holding them to their word,'' said Gul as quoted by Reuters. “The Turks of Cyprus have done their duty. They have said ‘yes’ to the UN [Cyprus reunification] plan.” /Turkiye/
 LE FIGARO: “THE FALL EU REPORT ON TURKEY WILL BE POSITIVE”French daily Le Figaro stated yesterday that the European Union Commission’s report on Turkey to be released on Oct. 5 would have positive remarks on Turkey’s membership bid. Stressing that Ankara’s recent reforms on the road to EU membership had increased EC support for setting a date during the December summit to begin accession talks, the article said that 24 out of 30 commissioners favored giving Ankara a date. Remarking that although a consensus was needed to make such decisions, the daily said that if the matter was brought to a vote, the commission’s decision on Turkey would be positive. /Turkiye/
 US CYPRUS ENVOY KENNEDY VISITS ANKARALaura Kennedy, the new US State Department coordinator for Cyprus, yesterday met with Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ali Tuygan. Afterwards, speaking to reporters, Kennedy said that their meeting had focused on the Cyprus issue as well as Iraq and Central Asia. She is expected to meet with Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin this morning and then proceed to the other stops of her short regional tour, Greece and Cyprus. Kennedy reportedly tried to gauge Turkish officials’ stance on a possible new referendum on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan. This April the plan was rejected by Greek Cypriots but accepted by Turkish Cypriots in referendums. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQ TERRORIST THREATENS TURKEYAbu Musab Zarquawi, a Jordanian-born terrorist in Iraq linked by US intelligence to al-Qaeda, yesterday called on Islamic countries including Turkey not to support the US or Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. A statement posted on a website threatened that Islamic countries supporting the US-led coalition in Iraq would be targeted if they do not change their stance. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A HAIRPIN BEND TOWARDS THE EU: TURKISH-FRENCH RELATIONS BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Ali Bayramoglu writes about Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday was the most important day of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s current visit to France as our premier first met with his French counterpart Jean- Pierre Raffarin and then President Jacques Chirac.
Chirac is probably the only politician in his country willing to welcome Turkey’s EU membership, a fact which makes the issue a hot potato for French domestic politics. As a matter of fact, Paris’ discussions over Turkey’s EU membership should be considered in light of the French nation’s identity crisis. This crisis erupted as France failed to digest the ever- rising demands and cultural identity of its own Muslim-Arab citizens. France has symbolically lost this struggle as it has resorted to bans and even exclusion to deal with such problems. Turkey’s EU membership bid unfortunately coincides with these developments. Therefore, the French see this issue as part of larger problems regarding Europe’s identity.
Under these circumstances, the French president seems to be stuck between the demands of domestic politics and the strategic perspective on Turkey’s EU membership. In truth, Chirac’s domestic power is on the wane. His party suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the socialists in the last elections. Therefore, the longer Chirac maintains his insistent attitude on Turkey’s membership bid, the likelier he is to lose power and votes. We shouldn’t be surprised should these factors play a key role in France’s attitude at the December EU summit where Turkey’s future will be clarified. The situation isn’t so much hopeless as it is problematic… Both international balances and the methods Chirac will use to try to revive his power closely concern Turkey and its future.”
 OUR FATE DOESN’T DEPEND ON FRANCE BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to France this week and France’s stance towards Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Leaders’ face-to-face contacts are very important in modern diplomacy. These contacts create a good opportunity for high-level lobbying. For this reason, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s contacts in Paris shouldn’t be underestimated. However, it would also be a huge mistake to foster a mood as if our national fate depended on a decision made by France, which is a country widening the split between civilization with its anti-Turkish stance. At this point, Turkey can give a single message to Paris, i.e., ‘The decision you will make in December about Turkey won’t say anything about us. With this decision, you will only define yourself and Europe’s place in the developing new world order. It’s up to you to make this definition positive or negative.’ In sum, France should come to understand that it has certain responsibilities towards history. Of course the first stage of this responsibility is the respect and loyalty of certain self- appointed dignified countries towards promises that they made on the international stage and agreements that they have signed. After all, isn’t this exactly what France has been requesting from Turkey for years?
The second stage of this responsibility is to give up post-colonial behavior which bolsters claims of superiority. It’s also difficult to say that France is putting on a positive face. French daily Liberation had a front-page headline about Erdogan’s visit saying, ‘Europe: Turkey’s Headache.’ Actually Turkey has a headache and it’s France and those hiding behind it. For this reason, Erdogan’s clear rejection of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s proposal for a ‘conditional yes’ for Turkey’s membership negotiations was very appropriate. Turkey shouldn’t accept anything less than the promises which were made under the Ankara Agreement and many platforms at the highest level. Of course an exception would be Turkey’s request for a ‘special relationship’ with the EU. Everybody in France should know that Turkey is waiting for a clear decision in December. Our future and national fate has never been, isn’t and will never be in the hands of an EU country.”
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