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Turkish Press Review, 04-09-30

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

30.09.2004

ERDOGAN: “BEGINNING ACCESSION TALKS WITH THE EU WILL BE A TURNING POINT FOR OUR NATION” ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO GERMANY, FRANCE GUL: “TURKEY CANNOT ABANDON IRAQ” IMF REPORT PRAISES TURKEY’S LOW INFLATION, BUT WARNS OF HIGH CURRENT ACCOUNTS DEFICIT TRNC REJECTS “TURKISH CYPRIOT STATE” LABEL FOR EU-OIC MEETING UNAKITAN: “WE’RE CONTINUING WORK ON CUTTING TAXES” TUZMEN, TURKISH BUSINESSMEN IN IRAN TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL FAIR DEIK CHAIRMAN: “I BELIEVE WE’LL GET A DATE FROM THE EU THIS DECEMBER TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS” TORTURE VICTIMS ADVOCATE PRAISES TURKEY’S HUMAN RIGHTS ADVANCES FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… WINDS OF CHANGE BLOWING BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL) A TURKISH WAVE IN EUROPE BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “BEGINNING ACCESSION TALKS WITH THE EU WILL BE A TURNING POINT FOR OUR NATION”
  • [02] ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO GERMANY, FRANCE
  • [03] GUL: “TURKEY CANNOT ABANDON IRAQ”
  • [04] IMF REPORT PRAISES TURKEY’S LOW INFLATION, BUT WARNS OF HIGH CURRENT ACCOUNTS DEFICIT
  • [05] TRNC REJECTS “TURKISH CYPRIOT STATE” LABEL FOR EU-OIC MEETING
  • [06] UNAKITAN: “WE’RE CONTINUING WORK ON CUTTING TAXES”
  • [07] TUZMEN, TURKISH BUSINESSMEN IN IRAN TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL FAIR
  • [08] DEIK CHAIRMAN: “I BELIEVE WE’LL GET A DATE FROM THE EU THIS DECEMBER TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS”
  • [09] TORTURE VICTIMS ADVOCATE PRAISES TURKEY’S HUMAN RIGHTS ADVANCES
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [11] WINDS OF CHANGE BLOWING BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
  • [12] A TURKISH WAVE IN EUROPE BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “BEGINNING ACCESSION TALKS WITH THE EU WILL BE A TURNING POINT FOR OUR NATION”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that beginning accession talks with the European Union next year would be a turning point for the nation. Touching on the economy, Erdogan stated that both production and investment needed to be boosted further, adding that the government would work very hard towards this end. “It will be our priority,” he added. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO GERMANY, FRANCE

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Germany this Saturday, Oct. 2, to pay a two-day official visit. He is expected to meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schoeder on Sunday and then to receive the “Quadriga” Award in a ceremony at Berlin Concert Hall. Erdogan’s award, which recognizes his contributions to democratic reforms, will be presented by Schroeder. In addition, the Turkish premier will travel to Paris on Oct. 20 to seek French support for Turkey’s EU bid. During his visit, Erdogan is scheduled to headline a conference at the France International Affairs Institute and on the same day, to meet with representatives of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In related news, a Turkish-French Joint Parliamentary Commission delegation headed by Aydin Dumanoglu will also travel to Paris early next month and on Oct. 19, Parliament Harmonization Commission members led by Yasar Yakis are set to arrive in Paris to meet their French counterparts. /Turkiye/

    [03] GUL: “TURKEY CANNOT ABANDON IRAQ”

    After completing his contacts in the US, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday returned to Turkey. Speaking to reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Gul said that as a neighbor to Iraq, there was no way Turkey would abandon the troubled nation, despite recent violence against Turkish drivers and workers there. Stressing that Turkey would continue its activities in Iraq, Gul said, “Our government is taking necessary measures to prevent attacks on Turks.” He also called on Turkish citizens in Iraq to comply strictly with the rules. Gul stated that preparations were continuing for a European Union-Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) joint meeting in Istanbul set for next Monday and Tuesday. Commenting on French officials’ recent call for a referendum on Turkey’s EU membership, Gul said Ankara had fulfilled the necessary criteria to join the Union. “Everybody can have their say, and that won’t bother us,” he added. / Turkiye/

    [04] IMF REPORT PRAISES TURKEY’S LOW INFLATION, BUT WARNS OF HIGH CURRENT ACCOUNTS DEFICIT

    The International Monetary Fund yesterday released an economic report on Turkey, in general praising economic developments this year and projecting positive trends for 2005. The report raised this year’s growth target from 5% to 7%. The report also praised the nation’s recent low inflation, pointing out that it was the lowest in the 30 years. The IMF report also warned, however, about the high current accounts deficit, adding that high growth and domestic demand were feeding this deficit. /Milliyet/

    [05] TRNC REJECTS “TURKISH CYPRIOT STATE” LABEL FOR EU-OIC MEETING

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Dentas yesterday rejected a request by the European Union that his country participate in an upcoming meeting under the label “The Turkish Cypriot State.” Denktas, who is currently in New York for a meeting of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign ministers, said that he would soon leave for Istanbul to attend an EU-OIC joint forum on Monday and Tuesday. “The EU demanded that the TRNC attend this meeting under the name ‘the Turkish Cypriot State,’ said Denktas. “Our prime minister has called [this demand] unacceptable.” Denktas stressed that acceding to the EU would mean a loss of prestige and authority for the OIC. /Star/

    [06] UNAKITAN: “WE’RE CONTINUING WORK ON CUTTING TAXES”

    Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said yesterday that a tax cut might be in the works, adding that the government was continuing to work on the issue. Touching on privatization, Unakitan stated that the government would pass legislation to privatize the National Lottery Administration. In related news, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan reiterated that the high current accounts deficit didn’t pose any threat to the economy. He added that work on a possible new standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund was continuing. “We’re preparing a program with the Fund in the interests of both the nation at large and our economy,” said Babacan. /Milliyet/

    [07] TUZMEN, TURKISH BUSINESSMEN IN IRAN TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL FAIR

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen accompanied by some 500 Turkish businessmen yesterday traveled to Iran. Tuzmen is set to attend the opening of the International Tehran Industry Fair, where 220 Turkish firms will display their wares. The state minister said that the fair would help to boost bilateral trade relations with Iran. /Turkiye/

    [08] DEIK CHAIRMAN: “I BELIEVE WE’LL GET A DATE FROM THE EU THIS DECEMBER TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS”

    Foreign Economic Affairs Council (DEIK) Chairman Rona Yircali said yesterday that he believed Ankara would get a date from the European Union this December to begin its accession talks. “We should be ready to begin these talks,” he said. Yircali also praised Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts for the nation’s EU bid, and further urged that a government ministry devoted to the EU be founded as soon as possible. /Aksam/

    [09] TORTURE VICTIMS ADVOCATE PRAISES TURKEY’S HUMAN RIGHTS ADVANCES

    Turkey has made great strides forward in respecting human rights, said Douglas Johnson, head of the Center for Victims of Torture, yesterday. In Ankara to participate in a five-day symposium on “New Strategies in Human Rights,” Johnson added, “Turkey has made critical advances in preventing human rights violations, but some problems still remain.” /Hurriyet/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [11] WINDS OF CHANGE BLOWING BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on recent changes in Turkey on its path toward European Union membership. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Some 500 human rights supporters from 90 countries yesterday convened in Ankara to attend a conference entitled ‘New Strategies in Human Rights.’ Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul delivered a speech at the meeting’s opening.

    Let alone hosting such human rights gatherings, just a few decades ago our foreign ministers were grappling with weapons embargos imposed on Turkey on the grounds of serious human rights violations. The reason why Ankara was chosen to host the current meeting was explained like so by Emel Kurma, the conference’s coordinator: ‘Human rights supporters have decided that Turkey has made good progress in human rights and can serve as a model for countries of the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus.’

    As a matter of fact, not only political decision-making mechanisms but also our own human rights supporters have greatly contributed to Turkey’s successful journey on this issue, despite the domestic pressure they’ve encountered in their efforts to improve democracy. We should thank all of them, but especially the Human Rights Association’s former and present chairmen, Akin Birdal and Husnu Ondul, respectively.

    Yesterday witnessed another important development with Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu’s appearance on NTV making significant statements on the issue of religion. The directorate is currently preparing a new interpretation of the Koran. Bardakoglu underlined that the Koran and modern science cannot contradict each other, as Koranic interpretation must adapt to the developments of the new age. ‘Religious knowledge must be interpreted in line with the age we live in,’ he added. ‘Religious knowledge isn’t static; therefore, we must improve and renew it.’

    Let’s go one step further. Isn’t there a similarity between Bardakoglu’s words and Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit’s recent statement stressing that ‘Kemalist thought must be improved and interpreted in line with the demands of the new era’? Both expressed their desire to see changes in two critical areas which are also traditional taboos for our country.

    Turkey is now signaling that it’s ready for a radical discussion of its future. The tone of such discussion will determine whether our country can deal with this massive transformation smoothly and peacefully. If Ankara gets what it wants at the December EU summit, I believe this process of change will accelerate significantly.”

    [12] A TURKISH WAVE IN EUROPE BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey’s steps into the European Union are making waves. We know that foreign policy is very selfish and unfaithful, but it should be based upon legal interests and realities. On the eastern wing of NATO, for years we defended Europe against the Soviets. We even entered the EU Customs Union. Not Rome, but Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire governing all of Europe during the fourth century. I wonder if Istanbul isn’t on the European continent. How could Turkey be excluded when ‘Cyprus,’ which lies near the coast of Asia, has become an EU member?

    Today certain countries with no history of democracy and whose rulers violated all human rights and presided over closed economies are EU members. When we were invited with Greece for EU membership [in the early 70s], we rejected it. So we are the victims of an incompetent and ineffective policy and we cannot be punished by breaking off the European system. Not for a long time has Turkey been so popular in both Europe and the US. Obviously it’s very important for Turkey to be an EU member. Europe is well aware that Turkey will go through a historic crossroads. If we do our best and play our cards well, we will take our place in the premier league.”

    ARCHIVE

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