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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-08

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

08.10.2004

FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT CONCERNING EU PROGRESS REPORT
  • [02] ARINC REELECTED PARLIAMENT SPEAKER
  • [03] GUL’S SWEDISH COUNTERPART TELLS HIM TURKEY’S TALKS SHOULD BEGIN SOON
  • [04] STRAW CONGRATULATES TURKEY’S “EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT” IN EU MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
  • [05] BABACAN: “THE EU COMMISSION’S PROGRESS REPORT IS POSITIVE AND BALANCED”
  • [06] OPPOSITION PARTIES LEND SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT ON EU MEMBERSHIP BID
  • [07] BAYKAL CRITICIZES “UNACCEPTABLE CONDITIONS” IN PROGRESS REPORT
  • [08] REACTING TO EC REPORT, CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS AGAIN PUSH FOR “PRIVILEGED PARTNERSHIP”
  • [09] EUROPEAN PRESS COVERS HISTORIC REPORT ON TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID
  • [10] BARZANI TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [11] HEAVY RAINS FLOOD ISTANBUL
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [13] WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW? BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT CONCERNING EU PROGRESS REPORT

    Addressing Parliament yesterday after an official visit to France, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he appreciated this week’s historic European Union Commission progress report recommending that Turkey’s accession talks begin, adding that this marked a new beginning for the nation’s EU bid and that much remained to do. “This success lies not with the government alone,” he said. “This victory belongs to the entire nation, since it has contributed to the process.” Erdogan stressed that implementation of EU reforms was very important and that as Ankara had fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria, its talks should begin as soon as possible. /Milliyet/

    [02] ARINC REELECTED PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

    In the third round of balloting, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Bulent Arinc yesterday was reelected Parliament speaker for a second term. The only other candidate for the post, the AKP’s Serpil Yilmaz, withdrew as a candidate before the third round, paving the way for Arinc’s victory. He received the votes of 381 of Parliament’s 478 deputies. Addressing the General Assembly, Arinc thanked the deputies for their support, adding that he would carry out his duties fairly and impartially. /Turkiye/

    [03] GUL’S SWEDISH COUNTERPART TELLS HIM TURKEY’S TALKS SHOULD BEGIN SOON

    Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds, who is on a two-day official visit to Turkey, yesterday met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Freivalds said that her country was pleased with this week’s European Union Commission’s historic report recommending the start of Turkey’s membership talks. “It is Sweden’s intention to make it possible to start [the talks] as soon as possible, because Sweden is convinced that Turkey belongs to the EU,” she said. Freivalds added that Stockholm was ready to help Ankara in the work ahead of it to join the 25-member bloc. /Huriyet/

    [04] STRAW CONGRATULATES TURKEY’S “EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT” IN EU MEMBERSHIP PROCESS

    Lauding Turkey’s “extraordinary achievement” in the EU membership process which “none should take away,” British Foreign Minister Jack Straw yesterday urged that Ankara’s accession talks begin “without delay.” As part of a tour of regional countries including Iraq, Straw arrived in Ankara on Wednesday and met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul for breakfast yesterday morning. During their meeting, the ministers focused on the Cyprus and Iraq issues as well Turkey’s EU membership bid. At a joint press conference, Straw said, “The crucial point is to build up momentum. My understanding is that the Luxembourg [EU] presidency, which begins on Jan. 1, will begin [Turkey's] negotiations without delay.'' He compared Turkey’s situation with that of the former Soviet bloc countries that became EU members in May. He said Europeans had been surprised by the evolution of those countries, although they were skeptical of their ability to become successful EU members. “After a while everybody will say, ‘What’s the argument? Of course Turkey should be here. Turkey is a great European country’,” he added. Commenting on his recent meetings with Iraqi Kurdish leaders, Straw stated that they had discussed how they should live under a single umbrella in Iraq. On the Kirkuk issue, the British foreign minister said that the northern Iraqi city’s status reflected the toughest problem ahead of a population census due in mid-October before Iraq’s elections scheduled for January. "The Kirkuk issue is very difficult – we understand that – but it will have to be resolved by negotiations," he added. "These problems cannot be resolved overnight and not without a proper process and compensation." For his part, Gul reiterated Ankara’s concerns over Kirkuk, saying, “Kirkuk is a city which belongs to all Iraqis.” He also urged Iraqi Kurdish groups to avoid any provocative activities, including efforts to alter Kirkuk’s demographic makeup. /Turkiye/

    [05] BABACAN: “THE EU COMMISSION’S PROGRESS REPORT IS POSITIVE AND BALANCED”

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that this week’s historic European Union Commission progress report on Turkey was positive and balanced, adding that the markets had also welcomed the report. In related news, international rating agency Fitch echoed this sentiment, saying that the positive progress report pointed to Ankara getting a date from the EU at its December summit to begin accession talks. /Milliyet/

    [06] OPPOSITION PARTIES LEND SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT ON EU MEMBERSHIP BID

    Yesterday opposition party leaders, including True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAP) chairmen Mehmet Agar and Nesrin Nas respectively, released statements expressing general approval for this week’s historic European Union report on Turkey proposing that its accession talks begin. The leaders called on the entire nation to focus on the goal of EU membership and work together to make it a reality. /Turkiye/

    [07] BAYKAL CRITICIZES “UNACCEPTABLE CONDITIONS” IN PROGRESS REPORT

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized this week’s historic European Union Commission progress report on Turkey, charging that conditions in the report such as a stipulation that the negotiations would be open-ended were unacceptable. He added that the government and the opposition should work together in the runup to the EU December summit to get these conditions changed. /Aksam/

    [08] REACTING TO EC REPORT, CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS AGAIN PUSH FOR “PRIVILEGED PARTNERSHIP”

    Reacting to this week’s historic European Commission report on Turkey, German conservative leader Angela Merkel of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) reiterated that her party would prefer a “privileged partnership,” not full membership, for Turkey, something Ankara has consistently opposed. While calling it a failure that her proposal was not included in the report, Merkel said that a CDU government would push for such a “privileged partnership” status. /Hurriyet/

    [09] EUROPEAN PRESS COVERS HISTORIC REPORT ON TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID

    Headlines across the continent yesterday trumpeted the historic European Union Commission report recommending the start of Turkey’s EU accession talks. Spanish daily El Pais said that if the EU wants to incorporate Turkey it must do so without restrictions, while remaining aware of the size of the challenge that will ultimately transform both Turkey and the EU. British daily The Independent called the report an overdue recognition of the impressive changes Turkey has undergone to turn itself into a modern participatory democracy. Ankara’s EU accession will have a defining effect on the future shape of a united Europe and the radical transformation of the Turkish state itself, said Greek daily Kathimerini. Juergen Gottschlich, columnist for German daily Tageszeitung, commented that the difficult process of Turkish integration could only be managed if it is truly wanted, adding that the forthcoming EU summit in December must deliver a clear signal. /Star/

    [10] BARZANI TO VISIT ANKARA

    Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP), is due to arrive next week in Ankara for a visit. Barzani’s visit carries importance due to preparations for Iraq’s election and recent developments in Kirkuk, a key northern Iraqi city. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] HEAVY RAINS FLOOD ISTANBUL

    Heavy rains yesterday flooded Istanbul and paralyzed traffic, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries. Five schools were closed in the worst-hit area of Alibeykoy, a low-lying neighborhood. /All papers/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

    [13] WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW? BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-European Union relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Let’s be realistic. Turkish-European Union relations are a complete dilemma, one which can be described as a ‘with or without you’ impasse.

    Although we sometimes get annoyed with the statement of EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, he’s right in his analyses. Verheugen always stresses that while the EU can control the risks entailed by Turkey’s entry, it can’t do the same with developments in case of Turkey’s rejection. Therefore, the EU leaders can sharply scold us for our problems and shortcomings concerning democracy and human rights, or they can treat us prejudicially while stepping on our feelings or attacking our national honor, but this is why they cannot say ‘no’ to us. A Europe without Turkey will be a less secure continent. If Turkey is shut out from Europe, fear and concern for the future won’t stop haunting the old continent. In such circumstances, Europe will have to accept being a party in the so-called ‘clash of civilizations.’

    European leftists know and understand this very well; therefore there is no contradiction in Claudia Roth and Daniel Cohn-Bendit’s support for our membership bid, notwithstanding how our politicians once poured scorn on them because they decried our human rights violations. These two know very well that a developed Turkey, one respectful of human rights and the rule of law, would be a great asset for Europe.

    Though the European Commission’s report gives us a ‘yes … but,’ it’s still a ‘yes.’ Turkey shouldn’t let itself be upset by the EU leaders’ warnings and conditions saying that the negotiations could be suspended and that the process is open-ended, as such statements were included in the report to partially allay the European conservatives’ concerns. Ankara should not fall in this trap, and the first sign that it won’t came in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to the Parliament yesterday saying that his government needed strong cooperation with the opposition parties. Moreover, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Sukru Elekdag said, ‘We see it not as a conditional yes, but a yes.’

    The government now should work to tackle certain thorny issues which might be raised as hurdles at the EU’s December summit. The Erdogan administration needs backing from both the opposition and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Therefore, it must prioritize not its own political leanings but rather the country’s national interests. It should also show EU leaders that Ankara has dived straight into its work to make things better.”

    ARCHIVE

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