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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-14
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
14.10.2004ERDOGAN MEETS WITH CHILEAN PRESIDENT IN ISTANBUL ERDOGAN TO HAVE FINAL WORD ON CIVIL SERVICE WAGES ERDOGAN: “OUR GOVT IS WORKING TO RAISE TURKS’ STANDARD OF LIVING” LUXEMBOURG PM INVITES ERDOGAN TO DISCUSS STEPS FOR BEGINNING EU ACCESSION TALKS GUL TO TOUR EU MEMBER STATES TO PROMOTE START OF ACCESSION TALKS “TALKS WITHOUT DELAY” FAVORED BY BERLUSCONI, SCHROEDER FOREIGN MINISTRY: “KIRKUK ISN’T JUST AN INTERNAL IRAQI MATTER” KAPLAN INCARCERATED IN ISTANBUL HIGHER PLANNING COUNCIL VOWS CONTINUATION OF TIGHT FISCAL POLICY ZANA: “TURKEY HAS MADE REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES” TURKISH WOMEN ATTEND SEMINAR ON DIALOGUE WITH EU FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… A DATE FOR MEMBERSHIP TALKS: APRIL
26, 2005BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR) THE CHP, THE LAW AND THE EU BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH CHILEAN PRESIDENT IN ISTANBULPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Chilean President Ricardo Lagos in Istanbul. During their meeting, the leaders discussed a number of issues, including bilateral relations. State Minister Besir Atalay, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler, and Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas were also present at the meeting. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO HAVE FINAL WORD ON CIVIL SERVICE WAGESIn the runup to next week’s submission of the fiscal 2005 budget to Parliament, Finance Ministry officials have completed their work on civil servants’ salary hikes for next year. The ministry is proposing a 3.5-4.0% hike for workers receiving higher salaries and 6% for all others. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to make the final decision on the matter. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “OUR GOVT IS WORKING TO RAISE TURKS’ STANDARD OF LIVING”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that in the two years since it come to power, his government had raised Turkey’s per capita income from $2,600 to nearly $4,000. In his opening speech to the Fourth International Retail Conference in Istanbul, Erdogan said that Turkey’s economy was making progress. “Nobody can slow down our momentum,” said the premier. “We’ve working to boost people’s standard of living.” Stressing that one major obstacle to economic growth was excessive state involvement, Erdogan said that his government was trying to confine the state to its major duties and increase the private sector’s share of the economy. He added that through a new Incentive Law covering 36 provinces, investments had already swelled. /Turkiye/
 LUXEMBOURG PM INVITES ERDOGAN TO DISCUSS STEPS FOR BEGINNING EU ACCESSION TALKSLuxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday expressed his support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid and invited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit his country to discuss steps needed for Ankara to begin its accession talks during Luxembourg’s EU term presidency, which starts next January. Luxembourg recently proposed opening Ankara’s accession talks on April 26, 2005. /Milliyet/
 GUL TO TOUR EU MEMBER STATES TO PROMOTE START OF ACCESSION TALKSBefore month’s end, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is due to visit a number of European Union member states, including Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal, to seek their support for Turkey beginning its accession talks. First Gul is due to travel to Berlin next Monday and Tuesday upon the invitation of his German counterpart Joschka Fischer and later, on Oct. 24-25, he will visit France. /Cumhuriyet/
 “TALKS WITHOUT DELAY” FAVORED BY BERLUSCONI, SCHROEDEREuropean Union membership talks with Turkey should start without delay, said both German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday at a joint press conference. “Both of us are for opening negotiations on the basis of the recommendation [last week] of the European Commission,” added Schroeder. “From the German point of view we are [for] opening [talks] without delay,” said the chancellor. Berlusconi, for his part, said that his government shares the same as Germany on beginning Turkey’s talks. /Sabah/ FOREIGN MINISTRY: “KIRKUK ISN’T JUST AN INTERNAL IRAQI MATTER”
Speaking after Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani’s departure from Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials warned yesterday that Kirkuk was not merely an internal matter for Iraq and that neighboring countries also had sensitivities which should be respected. Appearing on television yesterday, Turkey’s special envoy to Iraq Osman Koruturk said, “Kirkuk is the place in Iraq carrying the highest risk of ethnic clashes. Ankara is determined not to let any development in Iraq damage us.” Claims that “Kirkuk is a Kurdish city,” charged Koruturk, violate the principle that its status would be determined according to the Iraqi people’s wishes. “Barzani’s remarks about Kirkuk concern us greatly,” he said, alluding to the IKDP leader’s claim that the city is Kurdish. Reiterating that Ankara attached great importance to the security of Turks in Iraq, Koruturk said that some 10,000 of his countrymen were currently doing business there. /Turkiye/
 KAPLAN INCARCERATED IN ISTANBULIslamic militant Metin Kaplan, a fugitive from justice extradited from Germany earlier this week, was charged yesterday by the Istanbul Court of Justice with plotting the violent overthrow of Turkey’s secular order and sent to prison to await his trial. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that Kaplan’s extradition from Germany was carried out in accordance with the European Convention on the Extradition of Criminals and pledged that his trial would be fair and carried under the rule of law. /Hurriyet/
 HIGHER PLANNING COUNCIL VOWS CONTINUATION OF TIGHT FISCAL POLICYThe Higher Planning Board (YPK) yesterday convened under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener. A written statement issued following the meeting said that next year the government would continue to pursue tight fiscal policy and reiterated its determination to achieve a 6.5% primary surplus target. It further stressed that next year’s budget, which is expected to be presented to Parliament next week, would total 155 quadrillion Turkish liras. The need to boost investments next year was also underlined. /Cumhuriyet/
 ZANA: “TURKEY HAS MADE REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES”Turkey has recently made revolutionary changes, said former Democracy Party (DEP) Deputy Leyla Zana yesterday, addressing the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels. Praising Ankara’s efforts to push reforms, Zana said that there is no systematic torture in Turkey. “Kurds are not a minority,” added Zana. “There are 5,000 armed young Kurds who should be disarmed and accepted by society.” Zana was in Brussels to receive the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for human rights, which she was awarded in 1995. /Sabah/
 TURKISH WOMEN ATTEND SEMINAR ON DIALOGUE WITH EUThe Turkish Women’s Initiative yesterday held a seminar on “Women’s Dialogue with the European Union.” Many Turkish businesswomen and European scholars attended the conference, which focused on comparative views of women in Turkey and Europe. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A DATE FOR MEMBERSHIP TALKS: APRIL 26, 2005 BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on Turkey’s European Union membership bid. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The wheels of the European Union are turning smoothly. Everybody was expecting the European Commission’s recommendation on Turkey to take its own stance on the issue. Once the report was issued, the EU has started to apply the proper procedures without any hitches.
The first step was taken by Luxembourg, the country due to take over the Union’s term presidency next January. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker recently sent a message to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stating that they were planning to set April 26, 2005 as the beginning date of Turkey’s membership talks. Moreover, an identical message came from Britain. ‘Luxembourg wants to officially start Turkey’s membership negotiations in the first half of 2005,’ said British Foreign Minister Jack Straw during his recent visit to Ankara. ‘However, if the process is delayed due to red tape, then Britain will have the honor to initiate the talks in the second half of 2005’ (when it is term president).
But, is there any chance that Turkey will face new conditions and demands from the EU? For example, the Greek Cypriots might demand that we officially recognize their presence. However, although they believe this step is an inevitable one for Turkey, EU diplomats are currently saying that taking it cannot be set as a condition for starting our talks.
Moreover, EU officials are underlining that the real aim of the criticisms and warnings included in the commission report is easing the fears of European conservatives. According to these officials, most European countries have serious concerns about Turkey’s membership, which is why the report stresses that Ankara’s negotiations will be a long and open-ended process that can be suspended if the EU finds Turkey backtracking on human rights or democratization.
Since Premier Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul have recently shown an understanding of these concerns, they are now regarded as ‘truly European leaders’ within EU circles. According to one EU official, focusing on the positive elements of the commission’s recommendation constitutes a truly European act.
But what should we do now? In the past, our leaders failed to build healthy links with EU leaders, but Erdogan has recently bridged the communications gap between the two parties. Now it’s time for the Turkish nation to present itself to its European counterparts, which means mobilizing all of our resources for a national promotion campaign.”
 THE CHP, THE LAW AND THE EU BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the opposition Republican People’s Party (AKP) and Turkey’s relations with the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:
“During a recent meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Derya Baykal said that he would be honored to go to the EU summit on Dec. 17 if Erdogan deemed it appropriate. With the celebratory atmosphere coming from last week’s historic EU progress report, Erdogan was asked, ‘Would you think of going to Brussels with Mr. Baykal?’ and he replied, ‘Why not?’ However, then Baykal hedged. He said, ‘Saying let’s go to Brussels on Dec. 17 without knowing what the ruling party will say is only an expression of good will.’ What changed in just three days? Former Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz criticized the progress report harshly, explaining the risks awaiting Turkey, and claimed that its recommendation was not for full membership but rather ‘special status.’ Actually the CHP should have said all this, but Baykal preferred to jump immediately to Erdogan’s invitation. He does this all the time.
The day after the AKP’s victory in the November 2002 elections, Baykal went to AKP headquarters and kowtowed to future Prime Minister Erdogan. The CHP had lost the elections, but Baykal was trying to give the message that the opposition party actually had control. However, this policy only strengthened Erdogan and marginalized the opposition party. I wish Baykal would deal with issues of democracy and law and push Parliament to reform the Political Parties and Elections Law. This would be better than going with Erdogan to Brussels.”
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