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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-01

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

01.10.2004

FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT TO BEGIN NEW LEGISLATIVE YEAR TODAY
  • [02] ERDOGAN ATTENDS 57TH WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN CONVENTION
  • [03] ERDOGAN PROPOSES 10% WAGE HIKE FOR 2005
  • [04] GUL: WE’LL ACCEPT NOTHING BESIDES FULL EU MEMBERSHIP”
  • [05] TUZMEN MEETS WITH IRANIAN HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION MINISTER
  • [06] CHIRAC, SCHROEDER TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S EU BID
  • [07] MORGAN STANLEY’S AL-MECIT: “WE’RE READY TO LEND OUR FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”
  • [08] EP PRESIDENT PREDICTS TURKEY WILL BE FULL EU MEMBER WITHIN A DECADE
  • [09] TRNC PREMIER TALAT: “TALKS ON A TRIPARTITE COALITION ARE CONTINUING”
  • [10] EU MEMBERS TO BOYCOTT EU-OIC FORUM DUE TO CYPRUS CRISIS; OIC PLEDGES FULL SUPPORT TO TRNC
  • [11] BABACAN: “THE STANDBY’S FRAMEWORK WILL BE RESHAPED”
  • [12] MOODY’S RAISES TURKEY LOCAL CURRENCY DEBT RATING
  • [13] WB’S WOLFENSHON: “WE HOPE THE EU WILL BEGIN TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP TALKS”
  • [14] IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR PRAISES TURKISH ECONOMY’S PERFORMANCE
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [16] CRISIS OF CIVILIZATIONS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
  • [17] THROUGH THE END OF THE BEGINNING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] PARLIAMENT TO BEGIN NEW LEGISLATIVE YEAR TODAY

    Parliament will begin its new legislative year today with an opening address by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Electing a new Parliament speaker will be the first item on the agenda of the General Assembly’s new legislative term. After yesterday’s meeting of Parliament’s Consultation Council, current Speaker Bulent Arinc said that today’s session would be chaired by the oldest deputy Parliament speaker, Ismail Alptekin, and Parliament will not work until next Wednesday, when the first two rounds of speaker elections will take place. The General Assembly will have to vote to fill a number of posts, including members of the presidential board and a number of commissions. Tonight, Arinc will hold a reception to usher in the new legislative year. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN ATTENDS 57TH WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN CONVENTION

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended the 57th World Turkish Businessmen Convention organized by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). Addressing the gathering, Erdogan praised Turkish businessmen’s success throughout the world and called on them to put more investments into Turkey itself. Touching on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Erdogan said that Ankara had fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria, adding that the government was continuing to work very hard to implement all the EU reforms. The premier stressed that Ankara wouldn’t accept any further conditions to begin its accession talks. For his part, TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that he appreciated Erdogan and the government for their support to business, adding that the government was doing its utmost to resolve Turkey’s problems. He further touted recent economic developments, adding that the nation’s inflation was falling while its growth is on the rise. /Turkiye/

    [03] ERDOGAN PROPOSES 10% WAGE HIKE FOR 2005

    As part of ongoing negotiations over wage hikes for next year between the government and representatives of unions representing some 2 million civil servants, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with the representatives of civil servants. State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin told reporters that Erdogan had proposed a 10% wage hike for civil servants for 2005, adding that the offer was two points above the estimated inflation figure. /Turkiye/

    [04] GUL: WE’LL ACCEPT NOTHING BESIDES FULL EU MEMBERSHIP”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received the ambassadors of European Union member states to Ankara. During the meeting, Gul reiterated that Ankara would accept nothing other than full EU membership and criticized proposals to offer it a “special partnership.” /Star/

    [05] TUZMEN MEETS WITH IRANIAN HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION MINISTER

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen, who is currently visiting Iran to attend the fourth International Tehran Industry Fair, yesterday met with Iranian Highways and Transportation Minister Ahmet Hurrem. Tuzmen and an accompanying delegation of 500 businessmen held meetings with Iranian officials to resolve the hurdles facing Turkish companies doing business in Iran. “Iranian officials are signaling that the problems of Turkcell and Tepe-Akfen-Venture [TAV] will be resolved in the near future,” said Tuzmen. “Hurrem pledged that the issue will be debated in their Parliament within three weeks at the latest.” /Star/

    [06] CHIRAC, SCHROEDER TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S EU BID

    After meeting with French President Jacques Chirac, German opposition party leader Angela Merkel told reporters that she had reiterated to him that Turkey should be offered a “privileged partnership” with the European Union, instead of full membership, but Chirac was apparently cool to her proposal. In related news, Chirac is set to talk with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Strasbourg concerning Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Their decision during this meeting is expected to be conveyed by Schroeder to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Germany this weekend. /Turkiye/

    [07] MORGAN STANLEY’S AL-MECIT: “WE’RE READY TO LEND OUR FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”

    In a visit to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Morgan Stanley Investment Banking Group President Tarik Abdul al-Mecit yesterday pledged that his division was ready to lend its full support to Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Al-Mecit and an accompanying Morgan Stanley delegation offered their congratulations to the Erdogan government for its “miraculous” economic successes. “If Turkey manages to retain its current economic performance, the rate of foreign investments will gradually increase,” he said. “We’d like to congratulate Erdogan for his successful leadership in the homeland and abroad.” /Hurriyet/

    [08] EP PRESIDENT PREDICTS TURKEY WILL BE FULL EU MEMBER WITHIN A DECADE

    Speaking at a seminar in Brussels yesterday, European Parliament President Pat Cox predicted that Ankara’s accession talks with the European Union would begin next year and that Ankara would join the Union within a decade. “Turkey has achieved great progress, especially in the last two years, and solved its 40-year problems,” he said, adding that the recent passage of the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) was appreciated. He further predicted that the EU progress report on Turkey due to be released next week would be positive. /Aksam/

    [09] TRNC PREMIER TALAT: “TALKS ON A TRIPARTITE COALITION ARE CONTINUING”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that tripartite talks towards forming a coalition government between the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Democratic Party (DP) and Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) were continuing. Stressing that the country needed a strong government, Talat said that work on the matter would continue in the coming days. Since April 26, the current CTP-DP coalition government has had a minority in the TRNC Parliament, with 23 out of 50 seats. /Turkiye/

    [10] EU MEMBERS TO BOYCOTT EU-OIC FORUM DUE TO CYPRUS CRISIS; OIC PLEDGES FULL SUPPORT TO TRNC

    EU Term President the Netherlands has announced that it will withdraw from a joint forum with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) set for Istanbul next week if Turkey holds firm on giving Turkish Cypriots the title of “state” during the meeting. Due to this so-called “Cyprus crisis,” the Netherlands has called on its 24 fellow European Union member states to also stay away. The diplomatic crisis stemmed from a recent decision by the OIC to refer to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as “the Cypriot Turkish State” as a gesture of support following Turkish Cypriots’ support earlier this year to a UN reunification plan for the island. According to one EU official, Turkey rejected an EU proposal to solve the crisis under which representatives of observer nations would sit at the table without name plates. In related news, the OIC announced that its member states would end the “unfair” isolation on the TRNC, calling for its members to start establishing contacts with Turkish Cyprus in such areas as trade, tourism, culture, information and sports. The OIC stated that it would make all-out efforts to support the “just case of Muslim Turkish Cypriots.” /Star-Hurriyet/

    [11] BABACAN: “THE STANDBY’S FRAMEWORK WILL BE RESHAPED”

    Speaking at a press conference at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport before leaving for joint International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings in Washington, State Minister Ali Babacan yesterday said that the framework of Ankara’s IMF-funded standby program would be reshaped in line with the latest economic developments. “We’ll better clarify next term’s targets and parameters after September by analyzing this month’s inflation rate and current balance,” he added. /Star/

    [12] MOODY’S RAISES TURKEY LOCAL CURRENCY DEBT RATING

    International rating agency Moody's Investors Service yesterday announced that it had raised Turkey's local currency debt rating to B2 from B3, citing continued improvement in the country's public sector debt dynamics. Moody's also upgraded Turkey's country ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits to B2 from B3, saying that the upgrade reflected better, but still weak, external liquidity. It added that the outlook on these ratings had been positive since last October and was now stable following the upgrades. /Sabah/

    [13] WB’S WOLFENSHON: “WE HOPE THE EU WILL BEGIN TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP TALKS”

    World Bank President James Wolfensohn yesterday told a press conference that the WB was extremely supportive of the Turkish government’s recent reforms on its path towards European Union membership. Speaking to reporters in Washington in the runup to the annual International Monetary Bank-World Bank meetings starting this weekend, Wolfensohn praised Ankara’s performance in fulfilling the EU’s Copenhagen criteria. “As you know, we have been in very close touch right through the process that the Turkish government has gone through to lead to the commencement of negotiations, and we will continue to be very supportive,” he said. “We support Ankara’s efforts completely to commence negotiations, and we hope very much that the European Union will decide that those negotiations can be commenced, and we have assured the Turkish government of our continuing support in what they are doing. Turkey is doing very well economically, as I'm sure you know, building its reserves, but we are ready to help them wherever they need help.” /Hurriyet/

    [14] IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR PRAISES TURKISH ECONOMY’S PERFORMANCE

    International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato yesterday praised the recent performance of Turkey’s economy. Speaking at a press conference, Rato said that the economic program had been successful. “The Turkish authorities have made an important effort to reduce vulnerabilities, ” he said. “We are envisioning a very strong performance of the Turkish economy this year and that it has been already official that the Turkish authorities asked us to start discussing a new program. We are doing that. We will, of course, follow the path of increasing the capacity of growth in the Turkish economy, and to do that certainly to reduce the vulnerabilities of the Turkish economy.” IMF Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger echoed Rato’s evaluation, calling the economy’s performance excellent. “Of course, we want to keep it that way,” she added. “There are, as you know, still vulnerabilities, particularly that while the debt to [gross domestic product] GDP [ratio] is going down and debt management is improving and the quality of the debt is better, it is still an issue and there are still things that need to be done to ensure that growth can be maintained over the longer term. So, we are very pleased and we want to move forward to shore up our progress.” /Milliyet/

    [15] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

    [16] CRISIS OF CIVILIZATIONS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on next week’s OIC-EU joint forum. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “A very important meeting set to be hosted by Turkey has been tripped up by the Greek Cypriot government. After the September 11 attacks, members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and members of the European Union held an unprecedented joined meeting. Ismail Cem, who was foreign minister at that time, placed great importance on that meeting.

    As a result of the efforts of Athens and the Greek Cypriots, however, the second joint forum faces a delay. The reason is that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is also invited. The Greek Cypriots wanted to prevent the TRNC’s attendance at the first meeting too, but in the end nothing changed and Turkish Cypriots went ahead and represented the TRNC. The same thing applies now.

    This case, however, is different from that at the first meeting, because the representation of the Turkish Cypriots in the OIC has changed. After the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN plan to unify the island while the Turkish Cypriots accepted it, the OIC recognized ‘The Turkish Cypriot State, ’ which they had previously called ‘The Turkish Muslim Cypriot Society.’ Athens and the Greek Cypriot government see this as a green light for recognition of the TRNC and so have applied diplomatic pressure on Brussels.

    Greek and Greek Cypriot efforts to use the Cyprus issue against Turkey have been effective before a critical turning for Turkey. The campaign almost flared up into a crisis. Bernard Bot, foreign minister of the Netherlands, which currently holds the EU term presidency, called Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to request that the TRNC not be invited to the forum, saying that its participation would be unacceptable. Greece is pressing for a delay of the meeting, and many EU countries are leaning towards not being represented at the joint forum. Ankara isn’t retreating. Gul has repeatedly said that as Greek Cyprus is attending as the ‘Republic of Cyprus,’ the TRNC’s participation doesn’t amount to its recognition. The EU has gotten caught in a huge contradiction. Didn’t TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat give a speech to the European Council?

    The first OIC-EU joint forum was an effective response to those who claimed a ‘clash of civilizations’ after the September 11 attacks. The crisis around the second forum is signaling that the Cyprus problem will heat up in the coming months. This approach will not only encourage distrust between Turkey and the EU, but also strengthen the credibility of claims of a ‘clash of civilizations’ among Muslim countries, which agree that the Turkish states should be represented.”

    [17] THROUGH THE END OF THE BEGINNING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

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

    “Only five days are left before the release of the European Commission’s progress report on Turkey. So we’re close to the day of reckoning, or as France calls it, the hour of reality. As one European diplomat said, the commission’s decision should be considered the ‘end of the beginning.’ The ensuing ‘complementary stage’ will be the decision of the European Council during its summit on Dec. 17. If both the commission progress report and the council’s final decision are positive, we will enter the stage of the ‘beginning of the end,’ which will last for years from the date given for membership negotiations. Now we all hope that it will be a ‘happy ending.’ There are a great many signals pointing to the situation being that way. Actually the report examining the possible impact of Turkey’s EU membership tells EU leaders and politicians why they should admit us. Its message is clear: Turkey will benefit from EU membership, but so will the EU. In other words, Turkey’s integration with the EU is a ‘win-win’ situation. Europeans who are inclined to understanding this should heed the commission’s advice.

    Contrary to the atmosphere favoring Turkey on the ‘official’ side of the EU, signals from the publics of certain countries aren’t so good. For example, the situation in France is more negative than in any other EU member. The results of a poll published in French daily Le Figaro showed 56% of the public against Turkey’s EU membership while 36% favor it. The rationales for rejecting us vary, namely religion (25%), history and culture (30%), the geographical situation (26), economic fears especially concerning a wave of immigrants, etc. Of course there are strong arguments to allay these fears. These issues are addressed in various EU reports. Fortunately the objections in France aren’t about starting our membership negotiations, but membership itself. We have a lot of time before that. Thus, there’s no serious reason for French President Jacques Chirac to object to giving us a date for membership negotiations. As one French diplomat recently told me, ‘If Chirac had been ready to object, he would have tried to sway other leaders on the issue.’ Later, the situation might change. Maybe a referendum might be requested on our membership. Likewise, France is discussing it now. We will hear such things from now on. But first, we should reach the end of the beginning.”

    ARCHIVE

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