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Turkish Press Review, 04-10-25
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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
25.10.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN VISITS ANTALYAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, Public Works and Housing Minister Zeki Ergezen, and Culture and Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu visited Antalya and Alanya over the weekend to attend a number of opening ceremonies. Speaking to citizens in Alanya, Erdogan said that he and his fellow Cabinet ministers were traveling throughout the continent to tell Europeans about Turkey. Touching to the government’s recent decision to transfer responsibility for Social Security Authority (SSK) hospitals to the Health Ministry, Erdogan called it a key reform which would help the people greatly, adding that certain circles opposed the decision for reasons having to do with their own private interests. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “ATHENS SHOULD ALSO MAKE EFFORTS FOR A CYPRUS SETTLEMENT”Athens and the Greek Cypriots should also make efforts towards a solution on the Cyprus issue, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday in an interview with Greek daily To Vima. Emphasizing the Aegean issue, Erdogan said that a “just resolution” within the context of international law is reachable. Issues concerning the Aegean however, added Erdogan, are closely intertwined and thus setting a deadline for a solution would be counterproductive. /Hurriyet/
 CHP MERGES WITH SMALLER LEFTIST RIVALDuring an extraordinary convention yesterday, delegates of the New Turkey Party (YTP) decided to merge with their larger rival, the Republican People’s Party (CHP). YTP leader Ismail Cem, who is currently undergoing medical treatment in the US, addressed the gathering via telephone. The YTP, established in 2002 by ex-Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputies as a new hope for the left, thus officially closed after two years in politics. The YTP never won any Parliament seats, unlike the CHP, the main opposition party. /Turkiye/
 PRINCE CHARLES VISITS TURKEYBritish Prince Charles early yesterday evening arrived in Istanbul to pay a two-day visit. Charles is expected to attend the official reopening of the city’s British Consulate, which was damaged during a terrorist attack last year. Then he is scheduled to proceed to Ankara to hold a series of contacts with Turkish officials. /Turkiye/
 EP REPORT TO PROPOSE MULTI-CONDITIONAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH ANKARAA European Parliament report on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, which is due to be voted at December’s EU summit, reportedly proposes a multi-conditional negotiations process with Ankara. The report prepared by EP Turkey Rapporteur Camiel Eurling is said to state that even if Ankara’s accession talks begin, Turkey would be kept under political scrutiny and could not join the EU before 2014. The report further stresses that Turkey has yet to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria and that the negotiation process should be open-ended. It endorses, however, the European Union Commission report on Turkey proposing beginning accession talks next year. The report reportedly further calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and to recognize Greek Cyprus. /Cumhuriyet/
 GREEK CYPRIOT FM: “ONE CAN’T PREDICT OUR STANCE ON TURKEY’S EU BID”Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Yakovu said yesterday that he could not say in advance how his government would stand on Turkey’s European Union membership bid at the EU December summit. Appearing on Greek Cypriot television, Yakovu said that the government could veto Turkey beginning its accession talks. He added that he would propose that Turkey begin its accession talks after it withdraws its troops from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). In related news, a new Greek opinion poll showed that 42.6% of mainland Greeks support Turkey’s EU bid, with 54.3% against. /Milliyet/
 EUROPEAN PEOPLES’ PARTIES UNION ADMITS AKP AS OBSERVERGerman magazine Der Spiegel reports in its current issue that the European Peoples’ Parties Union (EVP) has decided to admit the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as a member. Hans-Gert Poettering, group chief of the Christian Democrats, said that the AKP would be an observer without a vote, which he characterized as an advantage. /Hurriyet/
 NEW TURKISH LIRA TO BE UNVEILED TODAYThe new Turkish lira, set to begin officially circulating next year, will be publicly unveiled by Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti at a press conference today. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, and Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci are also expected to be present. The new Turkish lira, which drops six zeros, is due to circulate together next year alongside the old lira. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 RED LINES BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s red lines. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey has three red lines. The first is non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion, geography or other factors. For example, Edirne is governed the same as Hakkari. This method of administration is similar to that of France. The second is secular democracy. The third is respect for Ataturk, the national hero of our nation. These are the red lines of our regime. These lines can be crossed only in terms of freedom of thought. However, those who attempt to violate them in practice in the state and the regime will get burned. This warning is not meant for journalists, artists, etc., but for politicians and bureaucrats.
Turkey is a Turkish state. There is no concept or word meaning ‘person from Turkey.’ Turkish citizens are absolutely Turks. Turkey isn’t a mini-empire like Yugoslavia. It’s similar to France. There are certain Turks whose mother language isn’t Turkish. Their sub-culture might be Kurdish, German, Arab, etc. They are all our citizens with equal rights. We’re so intermixed with each other that we can’t be separated. Naturally, our citizens can exercise their personal cultural rights and activities. We would welcome this gladly. The area beyond this is the red line which nobody should cross.”
 THE US ELECTIONS AND TURKEY BY YASEMIN CONGAR (MILLIYET)Columnist Yasemin Congar comments on Turkey and next week’s United States presidential elections. A summary of her column is as follows:
“My personal views coincide with Turkey’s official preference, a high-level Turkish bureaucrat told me during a recent chat. His words implied that both he and Ankara want US President George W. Bush to win the elections. Ankara of course cannot adopt an ‘official’ stance on this issue. However, the observations of a high-level official familiar with both countries are noteworthy.
I don’t think his stance coincides with the Turkish public’s preferences. In fact, the majority of the world seems to favor Democrat Senator John Kerry winning, along with our people. I don’t believe it is mistaken to argue that there is a strong anti-Bush feeling behind this wish, rather than a pro-Kerry stance. But how can we explain why Ankara is close to the Bush administration while the Turkish nation wants him to get his walking papers? I believe that there are three main reasons: First of all, Ankara fears that a Kerry administration might support the idea of partitioning Iraq. In addition, Kerry is likely to back the Armenian lobbies, advocating that Turkey be punished over the so-called Armenian genocide. Finally, bureaucrats see ties between Ankara and Washington improving over Bush’s term, despite a number of problems of late.
Personally, I do believe that a Kerry administration would see through significant economic and social changes domestically and give Washington a chance to repair its image internationally. However, no matter who is elected, the next president will face a host of problems concerning Iraq and terrorism. Both candidates have underlined that the US mission in Iraq must be completed, clearly expressing that American troops leaving the country immediately is a non-starter. However, Kerry wants to transform the Iraqi issue into an international one by organizing an international summit to discuss it as the world’s common problem.
As a matter of fact, there are no major differences of opinion between Bush and Kerry on the issues of Iraq’s territorial integrity. We know that neither Bush nor Kerry favor the establishment of a Kurdish state in the region. However, I know that some people from both US Republican and Democratic circles believe that Iraq’s territorial integrity cannot be protected and so a Kurdish state will be formed sooner or later.
Kerry and Bush have agreed that any possible Iraqi scenario should be realized under conditions which would ease Turkey’s concerns on the issue. Both Republicans and Democrats believe that Turkey cannot be allowed to hold unilateral military operations in northern Iraq no matter what happens there.
In brief, I believe that Washington will adopt a similar stance in the future no matter who wins. Both candidates are expected to favor a Turkey establishing close relations with the Baghdad administration or any other possible federal formation in the north.
We’ll discuss other points later.”
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