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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-19

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

19.10.2004

FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN PHONES BLAIR, BERLUSCONI TO PUSH TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP BID
  • [02] GUL MEETS WITH FISCHER SEEKING SUPPORT FOR START OF TURKEY’S TALKS
  • [03] SWEDISH PM: “IF TURKEY FULFILLS THE POLITICAL CRITERIA WE’LL SUPPORT ITS EU BID”
  • [04] EP PRESIDENT: “HOLDING A GENERAL REFERENDUM ON TURKEY’S EU BID IS IMPORTANT”
  • [05] UNAKITAN TOUTS LATEST ECONOMIC INDICATORS, SETS OUT NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET TARGETS
  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY WARNS TURKS AGAINST TRAVELING TO IRAQ
  • [07] BARZANI WARNS NEIGHBORING STATES OVER KIRKUK
  • [08] GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIANS VISIT ARINC
  • [09] ITALIAN LEADERS SEEK REFERENDUM ON TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP
  • [10] EP RAPPORTEUR EURLINGS: “THERE ARE SHORTCOMINGS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REFORMS”
  • [11] EUROPEAN WORKERS LEND FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY’S EU BID
  • [12] SERDENGECTI: “IF THE EU DECIDES TO START OUR ACCESSION TALKS, TURKEY WILL ATTRACT MORE FOREIGN CAPITAL”
  • [13] EC’S RUETE: “TURKEY WILL GET MORE FINANCIAL AID THAN OTHER CANDIDATE COUNTRIES”
  • [14] ISTANBUL TO HOST CONFERENCE ON TURKEY’S EU BID
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [16] IF EU DOESN’T MEET OUR REQUESTS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ERDOGAN PHONES BLAIR, BERLUSCONI TO PUSH TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP BID

    Prior to his visit to France, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday telephoned the British and Spanish premiers, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, in order to request their support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. In his talks with the two leaders, Erdogan underlined that Ankara will be very sensitive and careful in implementing its harmonization reforms. Both premiers reportedly reiterated their support for Ankara’s EU aspirations. /Star/

    [02] GUL MEETS WITH FISCHER SEEKING SUPPORT FOR START OF TURKEY’S TALKS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Germany for an official visit, yesterday met with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer to discuss Turkey’s European Union membership bid. During their meeting, Fischer said that he would do his best to make sure the EU decides at its December summit in favor of beginning Ankara’s accession talks. Speaking at a press conference, Fischer stressed that the timing of Gul’s visit was appropriate and that the recent EU Commission progress report on Turkey was a sound document. “The progress report recognized Turkey’s recent improvements and so proposed beginning its accession talks,” he said. “This proposal will constitute a basis for starting those talks.” For his part, Gul said that the government had passed important reforms in order to fulfill the Union’s political criteria. “We’ve done our best and now we want the EU to keep its promise concerning our EU bid,” added Gul. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] SWEDISH PM: “IF TURKEY FULFILLS THE POLITICAL CRITERIA WE’LL SUPPORT ITS EU BID”

    Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said yesterday that his country would support Turkey’s European Union membership bid if it fulfills the EU’s political criteria, especially those concerning human rights and minorities. Speaking after his meeting with Jacques Chirac, Persson said that Stockholm favored Turkey’s membership. /Aksam/

    [04] EP PRESIDENT: “HOLDING A GENERAL REFERENDUM ON TURKEY’S EU BID IS IMPORTANT”

    European Parliament President Josep Borrell said yesterday that holding a general referendum in Europe on Turkey’s European Union membership bid was important. Borrell said that the EP would discuss Turkey’s EU membership bid on Dec. 2 and declare its view on the issue before the Dec. 17 EU summit. Ankara has spoken out against referendum proposals. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] UNAKITAN TOUTS LATEST ECONOMIC INDICATORS, SETS OUT NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET TARGETS

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday to outline next year’s fiscal budget, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said that this year the economy had made great progress in sustainable growth. “The latest indicators show that this year’s targets will be surpassed,” he said. He said that the government’s main goal was to reduce real interest rates to 7% and added that its tight fiscal policy would continue. Unakitan stated that next year’s budget targets would include a gross national product (GNP) of 481 quadrillion TL, a growth target of 5%, inflation of 8%, revenues of 138 quadrillion TL and expenditures of 155 quadrillion TL. /Milliyet/

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY WARNS TURKS AGAINST TRAVELING TO IRAQ

    The Foreign Ministry yesterday urged Turkish citizens not to travel to Iraq or at least to take all security precautions if they truly need to go. The ministry issued a travel advisory yesterday emphasizing the worsening security situation. “The ongoing conflict and atmosphere of chaos in Iraq are still a serious threat to the safety of the lives of our citizens and other foreigners traveling there, besides that of Iraqi citizens,” said the advisory. It added that a series of precautions for the safety of Turkish citizens in Iraq were being taken by the government following consultations with the coalition forces and Iraqi administration. /Turkiye/

    [07] BARZANI WARNS NEIGHBORING STATES OVER KIRKUK

    Iraqi Kurdistan Democracy Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani warned yesterday neighboring states not to interfere in the affairs of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Speaking to reporters in Syria after a visit to Ankara, he said that neither Turkey nor any other country had a right to interfere in the Kirkuk issue. Claiming that Ottoman-era documents also characterized Kirkuk as a Kurdish city, Barzani said that the Kurdish population in the city was higher than that of ethnic Turkmen. “If need be, we will fight for the city,” added the Kurdish leader. /Turkiye/

    [08] GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIANS VISIT ARINC

    Visiting members of the German-Turkish Friendship Group from the North Rhine Westphalia Parliament yesterday met with Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. The group led by Wolfgang Roken expressed their support for Turkey’s European Union membership. /Turkiye/

    [09] ITALIAN LEADERS SEEK REFERENDUM ON TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP

    Roberto Castelli, Italy’s justice minister, and Umberto Bossi, the leader of the Northern League, one of the parties forming the current right-wing government coalition, yesterday announced that they believed a referendum should be held to decide on Turkey's European Union membership bid. “A referendum on Turkey’s status should be held,” said Bossi. “The government cannot decide on its own.” For his part, Castelli said, “It's an incredibly historic subject that could influence the future development of Europe for centuries. A definitive decision on Turkey's bid to join the EU cannot depend solely on a decision by the government, but should be based on a referendum in which the Italian people can decide for themselves.” /Star/

    [10] EP RAPPORTEUR EURLINGS: “THERE ARE SHORTCOMINGS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REFORMS”

    European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Camiel Eurlings, a Dutch Christian Democrat who is currently on a fact-finding tour of Ankara, Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Mardin, yesterday stated that there were serious shortcomings in the implementation of recent reforms approved by the Turkish Parliament. “You can see that the new laws are very influential and powerful, but they have yet to be reflected in people’s daily lives.” Eurlings underlined the importance of implementation for the European Union Commission. “The Turkish people deserve to live in a country free of torture, one which favors cultural and religious freedoms,” he said. “I’ll do my best to prepare a constructive report because I believe that Turkey has recently made good progress. However, I also must be fair in my criticism. Turkey has yet to fulfill the requisite political criteria.” /Star/

    [11] EUROPEAN WORKERS LEND FULL SUPPORT TO TURKEY’S EU BID

    Meeting in Brussels, the Executive Council of the European Confederation of Trade Unions yesterday decided to express its full support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. The confederation will convey its request to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkish workers’ union rights be brought to the level set by the International Labor Organization. Turk-Is Chairman Salih Kilic said that the confederation’s decision, made unanimously including the votes of both Athens and the Greek Cypriot administration, would have a salutary effect on European public opinion. /Star/

    [12] SERDENGECTI: “IF THE EU DECIDES TO START OUR ACCESSION TALKS, TURKEY WILL ATTRACT MORE FOREIGN CAPITAL”

    Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti yesterday predicted that Turkey would attract more foreign capital if the European Union, at its December summit, decides to begin Ankara’s accession talks. Speaking in London, Serdengecti said that the nation’s high current accounts deficit didn’t pose a threat to the economy and projected that despite high oil prices, Turkey would achieve this year’s inflation target of 12%. Also touching on the new Turkish lira due to begin circulating next year, Serdengecti said that the new currency would not have a negative effect on interest rates, exchange rates, or inflation. /Aksam/

    [13] EC’S RUETE: “TURKEY WILL GET MORE FINANCIAL AID THAN OTHER CANDIDATE COUNTRIES”

    Turkey will receive more financial aid than other European Union candidate countries in its pre-accession period, said Matthias Ruete, the European Commission’s director for co-ordination of negotiations and pre-accession for Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Appearing on CNN Turk yesterday, Ruete stated that the European Union is planning to grant Turkey more financial assistance than Portugal and Spain had before they joined the Union. “Turkey will receive 500 million euros in 2006,” he added. However, he also stated that the Turkish government would have its own expenses to bear during the negotiations period. /Milliyet/

    [14] ISTANBUL TO HOST CONFERENCE ON TURKEY’S EU BID

    Istanbul is set to host a conference beginning today on Turkey’s European Union membership bid. During the four-day gathering, members of the European Parliament’s Greens group and Turkish officials will discuss various aspects of Turkey’s possible membership. The conference is expected to lend support for Turkey’s EU membership bid in the runup to the key December EU summit, where a date for Ankara’s talks is expected. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is also scheduled to arrive in Istanbul tomorrow to attend the meeting. /Turkiye/

    [15] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [16] IF EU DOESN’T MEET OUR REQUESTS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey’s efforts to get a date for European Union membership negotiations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkish diplomacy has begun an intensive campaign to make sure the EU gives a positive decision at its December summit. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is still holding contacts in Germany, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also go to France towards this end. There will be similar visits and contacts as well in the coming weeks. They have two aims: firstly, getting a date for membership negotiations in December without delay and secondly, getting the EU Commission to strike ‘dangerous’ elements from its recent report. It’s very important to convince EU member states on these issues. However, we all know the views of politicians, media and the public opinion in these countries. In such an atmosphere, it will be very hard to reach our aim. First of all, the government is saying that a decision for an ‘early date’ – that is, in the first months of 2005 – should be made for starting our membership negotiations. What will happen if the talks are pushed back to 2006? In such a situation, most probably Ankara will consider this unacceptable and, thus, the process might be derailed. Turkish officials are trying to lay things out clearly for their European colleagues. There are two basic negative elements in the EC report, and Turkish diplomats don’t want the declaration issued following the summit to include these elements. One of them envisages making the negotiations an open-ended process and another sees permanent restrictions on the free movement of Turks in the EU.

    What will Ankara do if these expressions or even more negative words are included in the post-summit document? There are two alternatives: Turkey will sit at the table hoping that the negative elements will be resolved during the negotiations process or it could walk away, saying that talks can’t be held under such conditions. Circles close to the government think that such subjects as the method and process of negotiations, requested guarantees and binding statements could be turned to Turkey’s favor and thus it wouldn’t be reasonable to do something that would waste all our efforts. The opposition thinks differently. Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Onur Oymen thinks it would be very risky to start open-ended negotiations and that holding a referendum on Turkey’s membership would be unacceptable. He also thinks that all this should be said now. What should we do if despite of all these efforts we end up empty-handed? ‘Various formulas could be found for this issue,’ said Oymen. The CHP is making efforts towards this end. We’ll publicly announce them soon.’ Wouldn’t it be better for the government and opposition to work together and reach a consensus?”

    ARCHIVE

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