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Turkish Press Review, 05-01-18
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
18.01.2005FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMY SUMMIT IN DAVOS, TO DISCUSS CYPRUS WITH BLAIRPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to travel to Davos, Switzerland on 26 Jan to attend the two days of the four-day World Economy Summit. Erdogan is due to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue and Erdogan is expected to tell Blair that Cyprus negotiations should resume in order to reach a resolution on the island. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who Erdogan was expected to discuss Cyprus, could possibly be in South Asia which last month suffered devastating earthquake and tsunami. /Cumhuriyet/
 CABINET DISCUSSES EU TALKSThe Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened yesterday. The five-hour meeting focused on European Union accession talks scheduled to begin on Oct. 3, 2005. Afterwards, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters that certain laws and measures required to be taken for the EU were discussed at the cabinet meeting. He stated that a hard period was ahead of Turkey which needed an intense effort and work, adding that some 40,000 new personnel would be hired in the state institutions this year. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reportedly would be the head of the negotiation delegation, while State Minister Ali Babacan is expected to be the chief negotiator. Meanwhile, a EU delegation of Joint Monitoring Committee is set to visit Ankara at the end of this month to discuss recent economic developments in Turkey with Turkish officials. EU delegations are expected to pay periodical visits to Turkey in the future to see the legal regulations and their implementations on the road to EU talks. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: “THERE IS NO NEED FOR A EUROPEAN OBSERVER AT THE CHP CONGRESS”In the runup to a key party congress to be held on Jan. 30, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and his main rival Mayor of the Sisli district Mustafa Sarýgul continuing their efforts to seek the delegates’ support for CHP leadership. Baykal yesterday attended a party meeting held in Diyarbakir. Later, speaking to reporters, Baykal criticized Sarigul’s proposal for a European observer at the CHP’s congress, saying that there was no need for such an observer. “This is not the first congress of our party,” said Baykal, adding that the congress would be in accordance with the CHP’s regulations and laws. In related news, CHP’s Istanbul deputy Zulfu Livaneli said yesterday that he could announce his candidacy for CHP leadership next week. “I will determine the timing and method of the announcement with my friends,” he added. /Milliyet/
 AKSIT LEAVES FOR UNITED STATESState Minister Gurdal Aksit yesterday left for the US to attend the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which convenes every four years. Before her departure, Aksit told reporters that Turkey would present its fourth and fifth term reports. “The aim of this committee is eliminating all forms of discrimination against women, and assure equality between women and men,” added Aksit. “Turkey’s report includes legal arrangements regarding education and health of women, and gender equality.” /Anadolu Agency/
 AUSTRIAN FM: “WE’LL HOLD REFERENDUM ON TURKEY’S EU BID WHEN ACCESSION TALKS ARE COMPLETED”Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said yesterday that a referendum would be held in his country on Turkey’s European Union membership, when Ankara’s EU accession talks are completed. Speaking after his meeting with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer in Berlin, Plassnik said that such referendum would determine the concrete result of accession talks. “We’ll benefit from cooperating with a European Turkey,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 SCHROEDER: “TURKEY’S SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF REFORMS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR US”German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said yesterday that successful implementation of Turkey’s reforms were important for Germany. Speaking to reporters, Schroeder said that he was aware that the Turkish government was faced with a difficult task. “We are always monitoring constructively Turkey’s implementation of reforms,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 MESUT PARLAK BECOMES ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY’S NEW RECTORPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday appointed Prof. Mesut Parlak as the new rector of Istanbul University. Parlak had received the highest votes in the elections. New rector told reporters that he would make efforts to bring the university to best level in line with democracy and the principles of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH RED CRESCENT SENDS MEDICAL TEAM TO SOUTH ASIAA Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) medical team of 14 doctors and 15 nurses traveled to Indonesia over the weekend to contribute to the relief efforts in the region hit by last month’s earthquake and tsunami disaster. “Turkey will do its best to help the victims of the disaster,” said Talat Yilmaz, head of Turkish Red Crescent. In addition, a medical team consists of four doctors and six nurses from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also joined the Turkish team. TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat stated that his government would provide financial aid for relief efforts in the region. /Turkiye/
 OLLI REHN: “THE US SHOULD RESPECT EU’S DECISIONS ON TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP PROCESS”The US must respect the European Union and let it advance at its own pace in EU membership talks with Turkey, said EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn yesterday. “I presume that the Americans are smart enough to understand that this really is an issue that concerns Europe, not the US,” Olli Rehn said in an interview with the Finnish state broadcaster YLE. “I hope that the US understands that this is a matter of EU decision making, and although we work with the US on this and on many other issues, the US should respect the EU’s own pace.” /Sabah/
 TRNC PRESIDENT: “WE TRUST THE AKP GOVERNMENT”We trust the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, said Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Rauf Denktas yesterday speaking to a conference in Hatay. “We appreciate their efforts and we consider their words as promissory not,” Denktas added. /Star/
 FRENCH MINISTER MEETS WITH TALATFrench Minister Delegate for European Affairs Claudie Haignere yesterday met with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat. No statements were released regarding the meeting. After hiss meeting with Talat, Haignere met with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. /Hurriyet/
 KURDISH PARTIES SUPPORTED BY PKK TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONSTwo Iraqi Kurdish parties supported by the terrorist group PKK, the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party and the Iraqi Democratic Restructuring Party, decided to participate in the elections scheduled end of this month in the country. Turkey has previously urged the US officials to take necessary measures to prevent their participation in the elections. In related news, election centers have been established in Istanbul and Ankara to enable Iraqi citizens living Turkey to cast ballots. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NO LOOMING DAVOS MEETING OR NEW CYPRUS PLAN BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Are the recent media reports arguing that a new Cyprus plan is being prepared, and that it will be discussed by Prime Minister Erdogan and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan during the World Economy Summit in Davos? The question is important because such reports cause new expectations, increasing the tension in the international platform.
Erdogan will be in Davos on Jan. 27-28. Annan will probably be in Poland on Jan. 27 to attend the ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the closing down of the Auschwitz. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is to represent Turkey at this ceremony. Annan is then expected to travel to the southern Asia countries hit by quake and tsunamis.
Erdogan will hold a meeting on Cyprus in Davos with next EU term president Britain’s Premier Tony Blair. They are expected to discuss the protocol which will expand the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU to cover the Greek Cyprus Republic, and measures to be taken to end the economic isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
It might be asked whether a new Cyprus plan will be discussed with Britain but the answer is probably no. Because there is neither such a plan nor a draft plan. Although the EU and the US are appreciating Turkey’s initiatives on the issue, there is no specific plan looming. There are just ideas, that’s all.
Efforts for permanent resolution on the island are regarded as independent from Turkey’s EU membership bid and discussed on a long-term basis. As a matter of fact, there are a number of obstacles against the efforts of resolution in the short term. For example, general elections will be held in the TRNC on Jan. 20, and the Presidential elections on April 17, and Britain will also hold general elections in May. All of these developments will probably pressure on peace efforts.
The report prepared by Annan and submitted to the approval of the UN Security Council has yet to be voted as Russia obstructed the voting process. However, during Erdogan’s recent visit to Moscow, Russian President Putin said that he phoned Annan to tell that Russia will not impede any efforts on Cyprus. Is this phone call going to change everything? Not quite clear. Because Annan is concerned that no new initiative or plan could ever be successful without ensuring the approval and support of Greek Cypriot President Papadopulos. His cooperation is a must for each and every Cyprus plan to be successful. Therefore, Turkey should first take a number of international steps to put pressure on him, leaving him no other choice than cooperating. First steps might be the ones which will loosen the economic isolation over the TRNC.”
 IT’S NOT LATE... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the recent tsunami disaster in South Asia and Turkey’s contribution to disaster victims. A summary of his column is as follows:
“An activity started in our country finally to help the tsunami victims in South Asia. Following the great disaster which hit the region three weeks ago, Western countries helped the disaster victims immediately, but Turkey wasn’t interested in the issue sufficiently. It was really difficult to understand why the Turkish nation was just an onlooker to this drama. Fortunately, Turkey realized it and started an activity to draw the attention to victims and ensure help. The first great activity was a 12- hour concert which was organized in Istanbul last Sunday. A total of 100, 000 YTL was collected thanks to this concert, participated by 130 famous artists. I hope this solidarity will continue and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will keep this interest alive and provide the collection of larger amounts of aid. As I indicated last week, it’s never too late for Turkey to carry out such a campaign.
Our readers read our articles concerning the issue and sent a great many e- mail to us. They expressed their sadness due to Turkey’s insensitivity concerning the issue and put forth various reasons for this. In sum, the most important reasons are as follows: (1) the media and private institutions didn’t show interest in this issue sufficiently, (2) doubts concerning the arrival of the aid to necessary places. As one of our readers wrote, Europeans didn’t keep their promise of aid following previous earthquakes, for example, in Iraq’s Ben region and this shook everybody’s confidence. Another reader asked, ‘Who will put the collected money into his pocket?’ Actually these aren’t wrong doubts. However, this time there is more serious and transparent work and organization to keep these promises. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will deliver the collected aid during his visit to the earthquake region on February 3. This is an important gesture. Turkey can also contribute to disaster victims in other fields, for example, health, education, reconstruction, etc. For example, a school or health institution can be established in Indonesia. If we combine our helpfulness and imagination, we can do so many things. It’s not too late.”
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