|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 05-01-05
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
05.01.2005FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN: “LAST YEAR’S POSITIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS WILL SPUR THE SAME IN 2005”Addressing his party’s group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan touted the positive economic developments over the last year in Turkey, adding that these developments would spur the government to further successes this year. He also extolled the historic economic figures released on Monday showing Turkey’s first single-digit Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation in nearly a decade. “We’ll score further economic successes this year,” he predicted. Turning to the new Turkish lira (YTL), which this year will be used alongside the old lira, Erdogan urged the nation to be careful in spending the YTL and in dealing with prices marked in both currencies, a practice required by law. /Star/
 GUL: “FOR THE FIRST TIME, I’M OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PEACE IN THE MIDEAST”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently visiting Israel and Palestine, yesterday met with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. At a joint press conference, Gul said that for the first time he was optimistic about prospects for peace in the region. “It’s not only me, but Israel and Palestine, as well as Syria and Lebanon, who are also optimistic,” stated Gul. “We shouldn’t let this opportunity pass us by.” Stressing that Turkey was ready to do its best to promote peace, Gul stated that violence could be stopped by all sides working together. Shalom, in response to Gul’s call for renewed peace efforts, said that Palestinian groups must stop their terrorist attacks for a resumption of the peace process. He also welcomed Ankara’s pressure on Palestinians to cease violence. In addition, Gul and his wife paid a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. /Turkiye/
 US STATE DEPT: “TURKEY CAN HELP SETTLE THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DISPUTE”Turkey can positively contribute to settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, US State Department Deputy spokesman Adam Ereli told a press conference yesterday. Asked about Ankara’s role in finding Mideast peace, Ereli said, “Turkey can play, I think, a positive and constructive role in encouraging the abandonment of terror . . . by terrorist groups operating in territories under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey can play a positive role in supporting efforts by the Quartet and others to help promote engagement between Israelis and Palestinians in ways that enhance the security of Israel and meet the needs and the aspirations of the Palestinian people.” /Aksam/
 BABACAN: “AS OF 2007, THERE’LL BE NO NEED FOR IMF STANDBYS”Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan predicted that there would be no need to sign a another standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund as of 2007, when the current agreement is expected to end. “Our friendly relations with the Fund will continue, but there’ll be no agreements,” he said. “We won’t get any more credit from the IMF after 2007.” Babacan said that to date Ankara had received a total of $30 billion credit from the IMF and that by 2007 Ankara would pay back all but $9.5 billion of this. “The interest we pay to the Fund ranges from 3.5 percent to 5 percent,” he stated. Babacan added that priority should be placed on such areas as banking and finance, social security reform, and health care. /Sabah/
 DEMIREL AWARDED MOLDOVAN STATE MEDALIn Moldova’s capital Kishinev to attend a conference yesterday, former President Suleymen Demirel received a State Medal from Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin. Demirel said that Turkey and Moldova were friendly countries who were willing to develop bilateral relations. “I’m happy to hear that Turkish business investments in Moldova are rising, with the number of Turkish firms in the country now reaching 100,” said Demirel. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY TO TAKE OVER COMMAND OF ISAF IN AFGHANISTANTurkey is expected to take over the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan on Feb. 11. The Turkish 28th Mechanized Infantry Brigade will take over the command of the Kabul Multinational Brigade under the ISAF on Jan. 27, and responsibility for Kabul Airport on Feb. 1. The brigade, which is due to hold the ISAF command for six months, has completed its preparations. At a press conference yesterday, Gen. Umit Dundar told reporters about the preparations and plans of his brigade, which will leave for Kabul on Jan. 23-26. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will have 900 military staff in the brigade. Turkey previously led the ISAF in 2002 with nearly 1,500 of its soldiers in Afghanistan. /Turkiye/
 ANOTHER TURKISH TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN IRAQA Turkish truck driver was killed yesterday in northern Baghdad, announced Iraqi security officials yesterday. The truck driver, who was carrying goods for the US army, was slain by Iraqi armed insurgents. There was no immediate information available about the attackers or the identity of the truck driver. Some 80 Turkish citizens have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the Iraq war. /Milliyet/
 TRIPARTITE SECURITY SUMMIT TO DISCUSS ANTI-PKK MEASURESTurkey, the United States and Iraq are set to hold a security summit next week in Ankara to discuss measures needed to crack down on the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. The date of the meeting has yet to be set, but diplomatic sources stated that it is expected to be held on Jan. 11-14. Turkey’s Special Representative to Iraq Ambassador Osman Koruturk is to chair the Turkish delegation. While Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid Al Bayati together with an accompanying delegation will represent his country at the summit, it is not yet known what US officials will attend. /Star/
 RED CRESCENT SENDS $400,000 IN AID TO DISASTER REGIONA Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) team yesterday took $400,000 in aid to regions hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunamis last week in southern Asia. A coordination and logistical team will be deployed in Thailand, and other teams will be sent to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The target population of each team will be a minimum-500-person village or town. The teams include doctors and psychologists to help the recovery of the survivors. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A HISTORIC MISSION BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Fehmi Koru comments on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s meetings this week with Israeli and Palestinian officials. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Using the word ‘historic’ for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials is a bit of a cliché. However, it would be historic for the world if these meetings yield positive results. If the outcome is negative, they will join the region’s history of missed opportunities. Generally, Turkey isn’t interested in others’ problems, so it faces problems only when they affect us. Gul’s efforts to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict are a very important change for Turkey. In addition, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit the same region to promote Turkey’s mission. Turkish-Israeli relations date back to the foundation of the Israeli state, and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hasn’t soured these ties. However, since the AKP came to the power, Turkey has gradually become more interested in Palestine and its people. It’s not unusual for a country which has good relations with both sides of a conflict and the confidence of both to work to solve the problem.
Probably Israel is expecting Turkey to convince the Palestinians and Arabs to abandon the belief that a solution can be reached through violence. As the two sides’ expectations for a just and lasting solution are different, it’s difficult for Turkey, as an ‘honest mediator,’ to fulfill these expectations in a way that alters the course of history. The US has intervened in the conflict many times, countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia drew up plans, the UN and the EU had certain initiatives, etc. But none of these worked out, and the problem grew worse. This is yet another attempt, and if it doesn’t succeed this wouldn’t be odd. However, Turkey’s role of a honest mediator marks a real chance for this region. Israel can use its power on an unarmed nation and Palestine can prevent Israel from sleeping soundly, but a mediator is necessary for a process unmarred by violence. However, Israel shouldn’t misunderstand Turkey’s intentions. In addition, not only would misguided actions hinder Turkey’s historic mission, but also the disappointment of either party might bring negative consequences which cannot be redressed.”
 AN EU DREAM BY EGE CANSEN (HURRIYET)Columnist Ege Casen comments on Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“In the beginning, the European Union was a project for economic integration. In the early ‘50s, it was the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Theoretically, the larger the market, the more opportunities exist for the production and consumption of low-price, high- quality commodities. We can call this the ‘enrichment of states,’ because large industrial organizations can serve big markets. These organizations can bring down production costs and improve quality at the same time. The ECSC became the European Economic Community (EEC). Even today when someone mentions the EU, what comes to mind is the free movement of products, services and labor.
Over the years, the EU pact grew and deepened in scope. Politics and culture started to play an important role. This bloc started as an economic cooperative, but became cultural integration. The EU became involved and entangled with political science, law, history, sociology and even theology.
The EU isn’t the same organization which invited Turkey and Greece to join 30 years ago. Turkey, with its Islamist and pro-Western sectors, and villagers and city-dwellers, wants to join the EU in hope of increased prosperity. However, the EU is hesitant to accept Turkey. ‘Turkey would be European if it joins the EU, but a Europe with Turkey wouldn’t be Europe anymore,’ warned former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
I asked myself, how are socialists and Islamists in Turkey willing to make Turkey an EU member and work together for this purpose? Professor Ayse Oncu, a good friend of mine, said that this has a ‘missionary’ character. She explained that missionary-type characters find another mission if their previous missions don’t succeed. Those people can’t live without a mission. That is, socialists and Islamists in Turkey are now cooperating in the mission of Turkey’s EU membership bid. But this concerns me: What happens if they fail? How could Turkey get back Cyprus and other concessions which it’s already made as down payments for EU membership? The concessions wouldn’t come back. Ambition is a weakness.”
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