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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-05
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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
05.10.2004FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN TO ADDRESS COUNCIL OF EUROPEPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Strasbourg, France today at the invitation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). During his three-day visit, he is expected to address PACE’s General Assembly and meet with representatives of the Turkish community in France. In related news, Erdogan met yesterday with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and bureaucrats dealing with the European Union to discuss the EU Commission progress report on Turkey set for release tomorrow. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “THE OSCE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO WORLD PEACE”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that cooperation between the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with NATO, the European Union and the United Nations could contribute to both regional and world peace. During his meeting with US Congressman Alcee Hastings, who also serves as president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Erdogan said that the situation in Iraq was deteriorating and urged the OSCE to work more closely with other international organizations in the region. Stressing that Turkey’s relations with the US were not limited to just the issues of Iraq and terrorism, the premier underlined that it would be wrong to associate terrorism with any one religion. For his part, Hastings stated that the US had lent support for Turkey’s EU membership for a decade, adding that the Bush administration’s support would continue. /Turkiye/
 TRNC TO BE REPRESENTED AT COUNCIL OF EUROPE ASSEMBLYThe Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution yesterday allowing Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians to participate in all of its sessions. The decision came a day before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s scheduled address to the PACE General Assembly in Starsbourg. Though political circles said that that decision didn’t amount to recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), they added that it was still politically important as it enables Turkish Cypriots for the first time to be represented independently via their own elected representatives in a European institution. TRNC Premier Mehmet Ali Talat hailed the decision, saying, “This is an important step towards the world understanding Turkish Cypriots.” /Turkiye/
 GUL: “THERE SHOULD BE NO SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR TURKEY’S EU BID”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reiterated yesterday that there should be no special condition for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking at a press conference, Gul said, “There are current conditions for all members. There should be no special conditions for Turkey.” He stressed that he believed the EU Commission progress report on Turkey set for release tomorrow would take into account Ankara’s recent reforms. “We cannot accept unfairness,” added Gul. /Aksam/
 CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF: “THE MILITARY MUST CHANGE IN LINE WITH THE DEMANDS OF THE MODERN ERA”Addressing yesterday’s new school year ceremony at the War Academies Command, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok stated that the military must develop new strategies and keep pace with developments of the modern era in order to be able to deal with newly emerging global threats. “We must educate our soldiers in line with the requirements of the information society,” said Gen. Ozkok. “Old methods and strategies are obsolote. We must adopt new ones to tackle new threats which are spreading around the globe like viruses.” /Star/
 SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER: “WE’LL WELCOME TURKEY INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION”Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds, who is set to pay an official visit to Turkey tomorrow, yesterday stated that Oslo was pushing for Turkey’s EU membership bid. “Turkey has recently made significant reforms on its path towards EU membership,” said Freivalds. “I’ll discuss with my counterpart Abdullah Gul such important issues as the Middle East, Cyprus and Iraq. Although Turkey still has certain shortcomings in human rights, and particularly women’s rights, the Turkish government has managed to make good progress towards its goals. Therefore, we welcome Turkey’s accession to the Union.” /Star/
 GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER: “TURKEY WILL FULLY ADOPT EUROPEAN VALUES”German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder yesterday said that Turkey would become an indispensable part of European security policy in the future by fully adopting European values. Reiterating that he supported Turkey’s membership bid, the chancellor added that the European Commission must keep the promises that it made to Ankara. /Star/
 INCOMING ENLARGEMENT COMMISSIONER: “THE EU SHOULD MONITOR TURKEY DURING MEMBERSHIP TALKS”Olli Rehn, the incoming European Union commissioner for enlargement, said yesterday during any membership talks the EU should closely monitor Turkey on a number of issues, including human and minority rights and the rule of law. Addressing the European Parliament, Rehn said that if Ankara fulfills the Copenhagen criteria, it should be admitted to the EU. “We should keep our promise about Turkey,” he said. In related news, new EU Commission President Manuel Barroso said yesterday that Turkey’s EU membership should be the subject of serious discussion. /Milliyet/
 FILORI: “THE EU COMMISSION WILL LAY DOWN A VERY CLEAR PROPOSAL FOR TURKEY”Christophe Filori, the spokesman for outgoing European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen, said yesterday that the European Commission’s progress report on Turkey due out tomorrow would include a very clear and detailed proposal for Turkey. Asked if another proposal in the draft report to limit an influx of Turkish immigrants to Europe was in line with EU law, Filori said, “I have no idea. I’m not an expert on this matter.” /Aksam/
 CAKICI TO BE EXTRADITED TO TURKEYAn Austrian district court ruled yesterday to extradite Alaattin Cakici, an indicted organized crime leader, to Turkey. Cakici said that he would not exercise his right to appeal the decision. Cakici, 51, was captured in his car near the southern Austrian city of Graz on July 14 in a joint operation by Turkish intelligence and the Austrian police. He has since been incarcerated in a cell for criminals slated for extradition. /All papers/
 AGAR: “THE EU SHOULD KEEP ITS PROMISE ON TURKEY’S EU BID”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that the European Union should keep its promise on Turkey’s EU membership bid. “The criteria for Ankara shouldn’t be different from those for other candidates,” he added. “Ankara has done its best for the nation’s EU bid.” /Turkiye/
 ARINC RENOMINATED FOR PARLIAMENT SPEAKER POSTOn the fourth day of applications for the post of Parliament speaker, current Speaker Bulent Arinc was renominated by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies. Under parliamentary regulations, applications for the post can be filed until tonight at midnight. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “THE EU WILL BRING HISTORIC OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPORTERS”Addressing the opening of Istanbul’s Seventh Foreign Trade Week via videoconferencing, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday expressed his belief that the December EU summit would be a milestone for the Turkish business world. “The EU will bring historic opportunities to everyone in the business world,” he said. “You should use these opportunities well. Our government is currently making an all-out effort to improve our foreign trade policy in line with our country’s strategic interests.” Stating that Turkey had fulfilled almost all the Copenhagen criteria, Erdogan added, “We now have only one goal and expectation, namely starting membership negotiations as soon as possible and becoming a full EU member.” The EU is set to decide on starting Ankara’s talks at its December summit. /Hurriyet/
 BABACAN MEETS WITH WB PRESIDENT WOLFHENSONState Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, who is currently visiting Washington to attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, yesterday met with WB President James Wolfenshon. Babacan later told a press conference that Turkey was planning to submit its three-year economic program to the European Union before Dec. 1. “We’re aiming to reach a standby deal with the IMF before the December EU summit where a decision on Turkey’s membership negotiations is to be announced,” he said. ”The ninth and 10th reviews [of Ankara’s program] by the IMF were cancelled. The loan will be transferred to a new standby deal to be concluded with the Fund.” /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EU PROCESS TO DETERMINE OUR DOMESTIC POLITICS BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on Turkey’s EU membership process. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Now Turkey will certainly get a date for European Union membership negotiations. The truly difficult process will follow. The negotiations will influence both our fate and the shape of our domestic policies. The future of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) depends on its performance in Turkey’s EU membership process. Obviously we’ll have tough discussions. When we try to comply with EU standards, we might come across certain difficult conditions. However, we should believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There were similar discussions during Britain’s membership process. Charles de Gaulle rejected Britain’s EU membership application many times, calling it not yet ready. Finally Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, and we too will become an EU member sooner or later. However, clearly this won’t happen before 2014. During the negotiations beginning next year, the AKP’s stance and skill will determine its longevity. This issue is important because the EU process will determine our country’s domestic politics as well. Of course when the EU makes a decision, it will consider its influence on our domestic politics. Could you imagine a situation in which the concept of sovereignty and such critical matters as the unitary state, the Kurdish language, the implementation of the Maastricht criteria and agricultural arrangements are discussed? Let’s not forget the issues of Cyprus and minorities. When I remember how the tensions rose over such a simple subject as adultery, it troubles me. However, we remain hopeful.
The AKP bears an enormous responsibility. When we turn this historic corner, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have to make very difficult decisions. Adultery won’t be on an artificial agenda, but it will be in discussions between the AKP’s base and the EU. Nobody talks or writes about it, but this issue of EU membership will shape the presidential elections to be held in 2007, the next general elections and even political power into the 2010s. We’ll all see what will happen.”
 WHAT A SHAME BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the cancelled OIC-EU joint forum. A summary of his column is as follows:
“If a last-minute Cyprus obstacle had not come up, Foreign Ministry and high ranking officials from 25 European Union member countries and more than 50 Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member states would now be discussing how to forge cooperation between different cultures and civilizations… Just like in the OIC-EU Joint Symposium organized over the weekend to lay the intellectual groundwork… As the symposium, which brought together 100 scholars and intellectuals from both the Islamic world and the West, was very effective, the cancellation of the Joint Forum was a shame. If the forum had taken place, then it would have had the opportunity to reinforce the ‘spirit of Istanbul’ which followed a similar conference, in other words it would have contributed to better understanding and cooperation between the West and the Islamic world. As the symposium’s announcement lamented, ‘an important opportunity for such a dialogue was unfortunately missed.’ Moreover, the forum was cancelled (as the announcement said) due to ‘reasons which didn’t fit the purpose of the OIC- EU Joint Forum.’
Now what the ministers and officials who declined to come to Istanbul despite being invited should do is examine the notes of the symposium organized by the Strategic Research Center in Ankara and to use this advice in formulating new strategies. By the way, European ministers should launch an internal investigation of their decision to boycott the joint forum, an event painstakingly prepared for weeks. Indeed, they could have made more genuine efforts and found a compromise formula to prevent the cancellation of such a significant meeting.
The EU’s attitude on this issue led to disappointment in Turkey. Ankara believed that the EU would accept the sign saying ‘Turkish Cypriot State’ in front of the Turkish Cypriot delegation. Furthermore, Turkey thought that the EU would show understanding towards the Turkish Cypriots after they accepted the UN reunification plan, and wouldn’t allow the Greek Cypriots to steer the Union… We had the following impression from most delegations attending the symposium: Yes the EU’s boycott of the forum wasn’t good. But Turkey also had to know that the EU wouldn’t accept the ‘Turkish Cypriot State’ sign. The EU doesn’t have to accept the attitude of the OIC or another organization. The UN and other organizations share the same stance.
This incident shows that Turkey didn’t see the truth about Cyprus and that Ankara thinks it can get the result it wants so much. The truth is that there was an error both in timing and reckoning. And in the end, this gave a diplomatic edge to the Greek Cypriots and another propaganda tool for those opposed to the EU. But the sad thing is that the world missed an opportunity to bolster the ‘spirit of Istanbul’ which would help cooperation between the West and the Islamic world, something much needed in today’s circumstances.”
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