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Turkish Press Review, 05-01-27

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

27.01.2005

ERDOGAN: “THE EU GAVE A DATE TO ANKARA TO BEGIN ITS ACCESSION TALKS THANKS TO THE GOVT’S INTENSE EFFORTS” GEN. BASBUG EXPRESSES ANKARA’S CONCERN OVER KIRKUK MINORITY RIGHTS REPORT TO BE EXAMINED BY THE OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER DYP LEADER AGAR: “GREEK SIDE SHOULD TAKE STEPS FOR A SETTLEMENT IN CYPRUS” TALAT MEETS WITH EU COMMISSIONER REHN TO DISCUSS THE TRNC’S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION CHP’S SARIGUL MEETS WITH LIVANELI PAPADOPOULOS, KARAMANLIS AGREE ON A THREE-PHASE CYPRUS PLAN SCHROEDER TO VISIT TURKEY IN MAY GERMAN STATE TAKES OUT THE TERM ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FROM ITS HISTORY BOOKS MODERATE QUAKES HIT SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, KILLING TWO WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM CHAIRMAN: “TURKEY IS A VERY IMPORTANT COUNTRY FOR EUROPE” BABACAN: “TURKEY NEEDS TO ACHIEVE LONG-TERM ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN ORDER TO ATTRACT FOREIGN CAPITAL” FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… BRIEFING IN GENERAL STAFF BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) LISTENING TO BASBUG BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “THE EU GAVE A DATE TO ANKARA TO BEGIN ITS ACCESSION TALKS THANKS TO THE GOVT’S INTENSE EFFORTS”
  • [02] GEN. BASBUG EXPRESSES ANKARA’S CONCERN OVER KIRKUK
  • [03] MINORITY RIGHTS REPORT TO BE EXAMINED BY THE OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER
  • [04] DYP LEADER AGAR: “GREEK SIDE SHOULD TAKE STEPS FOR A SETTLEMENT IN CYPRUS”
  • [05] TALAT MEETS WITH EU COMMISSIONER REHN TO DISCUSS THE TRNC’S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION
  • [06] CHP’S SARIGUL MEETS WITH LIVANELI
  • [08] SCHROEDER TO VISIT TURKEY IN MAY
  • [09] GERMAN STATE TAKES OUT THE TERM ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FROM ITS HISTORY BOOKS
  • [10] MODERATE QUAKES HIT SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, KILLING TWO
  • [11] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM CHAIRMAN: “TURKEY IS A VERY IMPORTANT COUNTRY FOR EUROPE”
  • [12] BABACAN: “TURKEY NEEDS TO ACHIEVE LONG-TERM ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN ORDER TO ATTRACT FOREIGN CAPITAL”
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [14] BRIEFING IN GENERAL STAFF BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [15] LISTENING TO BASBUG BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “THE EU GAVE A DATE TO ANKARA TO BEGIN ITS ACCESSION TALKS THANKS TO THE GOVT’S INTENSE EFFORTS”

    Addressing a meeting of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the European Union gave a date to Ankara to begin its accession talks thanks to the government’s intense efforts for the last two years. He predicted, however, that the negotiation process with the EU would be difficult. “But all non-governmental organizations [NGOs], press institutions, and academicians in Turkey will work very hard with the government during the negotiation process,” he said, adding that ethnic, regional and religious nationalism were three issues which Turkey wouldn’t forsake. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Erdogan stressed that he didn’t consider the issue from an ethnical prospective. “If we do that, then a resolution on the island will be impossible,” added Erdogan. He further touted the recent economic developments and called for the businessmen to make new investments. “As a result of our determined policies, we can easily roll over our debt,” said Erdogan, adding that the nominal interest rates fall to 17% from 70%. /Aksam/

    [02] GEN. BASBUG EXPRESSES ANKARA’S CONCERN OVER KIRKUK

    During a press conference yesterday in Ankara, deputy head of the General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug said that the efforts to change the demographic structure of the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk could ignite internal strife in Iraq, if the city falls under Kurdish control following this weekend’s general elections. “Such a development would pose an important security problem for Turkey,” said Basbug. Stressing that some 350, 000 Kurds migrated to Kirkuk and registered to vote, Basbug said that that could make the results of the elections questionable and make it almost impossible to find a just and lasting solution for Kirkuk, adding that these developments could threaten the territorial and political unity of Iraq and create a huge security problem. Regarding the terrorist group PKK’s presence in northern Iraq, Basbug stated that Ankara would continue its pressure on the US and Iraq’s Interim administration to carry out military operation against it. He added that Turkey would not hesitate to take all measures when its security was under threat. Reiterating that Turkey didn’t recognize the 10-mile national airspace claimed by Greece over the Aegean Sea that often led to accusations of its violation by Turkey, Basbug said, “If Greece returns to the vicious circle of creating problems in the Aegean, we believe it will be expending its power and energy in vain.” /Turkiye/

    [03] MINORITY RIGHTS REPORT TO BE EXAMINED BY THE OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER

    The Minority Rights Report prepared by the Human Right Consultation Council is to be examined by the relevant units of the Office of Prime Minister, rather than being submitted to the National Security Council (NSC). In his written statement on the issue, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul noted that examinations on the report are still continuing at the Office of Prime Minister. “The report will not be submitted to the NSC,” he wrote. The report caused tense discussions on the definition of minorities in Turkey. /Star/

    [04] DYP LEADER AGAR: “GREEK SIDE SHOULD TAKE STEPS FOR A SETTLEMENT IN CYPRUS”

    True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that the Greek side should take steps to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue. At a press conference in Parliament, the DYP leader stated that Turkish side’s efforts were not countered and the Greek side didn’t seem to have any intention to solve the issue. He added that the European Union had not kept its promises to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to its end international isolation. /Turkiye/

    [05] TALAT MEETS WITH EU COMMISSIONER REHN TO DISCUSS THE TRNC’S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, who is currently in Brussels for an official visit, yesterday met with European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn to discuss the Cyprus issue. During their meeting, Talat told Rehn that he was disappointed that the EU failed to keep its promise to bring the international isolation of the TRNC to an end. For his part, Rehn said that the EU did its best on the issue, adding that it was trying to overcome the Greeks’ blocking. /Milliyet/

    [06] CHP’S SARIGUL MEETS WITH LIVANELI

    Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Zulfu Livaneli and Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul who are possible candidates for the party’s leadership yesterday met in Parliament in an effort to unite their forces against CHP leader Deniz Baykal in the runup to extraordinary party congress over the weekend. However, both candidates couldn’t agree to withdraw in favor of the other. Speaking to reporters, Livaneli said that they exchanged views on the matter. Sarigul is expected to announce his candidacy for the leadership at CHP headquarters today in Ankara. In related news, 21 CHP deputies, including Istanbul deputy Kemal Dervis, yesterday issued a statement lending their support for Livaneli’s candidacy. /Turkiye/[07] PAPADOPOULOS, KARAMANLIS AGREE ON A THREE-PHASE CYPRUS PLAN Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who traveled to Athens two days ago to discuss the Cyprus issue with the Greek officials, and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday agreed on a three-phase Cyprus plan setting a number of pre-conditions to resume talks on reunifying the divided island. In the first phase, they requested Turkey to sign the Customs Union agreement with the Greek Cypriot administration in line with the European Union regulations, which would they believe inevitably mean that Turkey recognizes the presence of the Greek Cypriot Republic. They also stated that The Greek Cypriot government was ready for a renewal of UN-brokered peace aimed at resolving the Cyprus issue with a number of pre-conditions. Karamanlis said they had discussed a common strategy for finding an "operational and viable solution to the Cyprus problem that will be based on the Annan plan and on the positions recently adopted by Cyprus.” The talks, he added, focused on specific parts of the peace plan that both Athens and Nicosia want to see amended. According to their three-phase plan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should be unified with the Greek Cypriot administration under the roof of a federation, and no calendar should be imposed upon the talks. They also pledged to consider the talks as a separate subject from Turkey’s EU membership bid. /Hurriyet/

    [08] SCHROEDER TO VISIT TURKEY IN MAY

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is set to pay an official visit to Turkey in May 15 months after his last visit. Schroeder is expected to give messages of full support to Ankara for its EU membership bid. He will also bring a number of prominent German businessmen with him to discuss business opportunities in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [09] GERMAN STATE TAKES OUT THE TERM ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FROM ITS HISTORY BOOKS

    Brandenburg, which was the first German state that included the term ‘Armenian genocide’ into its history books used in the 9th and 10th classes since 2002, decided to take out the term from the curriculum of the schools. State’s Spokesman of the Education Ministry Thomas Hainz said that they found improper to give the so-called Armenian genocide as the only historic example in the massacres and genocides section in their history books, and therefore decided to take the term out. Turkey’s Chief Consul Aydin Durusoy had sent a letter to the state of Brandenburg, giving a harsh reaction to the use of the term. As a result of the diplomatic initiatives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Durusoy, state’s Premier Matthias Platzeck and Education Minister Holger Rupprecht two weeks ago had agreed to take out the term from the schools’ syllabus. /Hurriyet/

    [10] MODERATE QUAKES HIT SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, KILLING TWO

    At least two people were killed and 22 injured after an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale which had struck southeastern Turkey two days ago. The epicenter of the tremors that occurred was in the province of Hakkari, a few kilometers from Turkey’s borders with Iran and Iraq, the Istanbul-based Kandilli quake observatory said. The observatory added that the aftershocks ranged from 3.8 to 5.5 in magnitude on the Richter scale. Tremors were also felt in the cities of Adana and Van. The quakes caused panic in Hakkari as well as in neighboring provinces of Van, Sirnak, Batman and Siirt, causing residents to run into snow-covered streets. /Hurriyet/

    [11] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM CHAIRMAN: “TURKEY IS A VERY IMPORTANT COUNTRY FOR EUROPE”

    Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said yesterday that Turkey was very important for Europe, adding that Ankara had made successful reforms for its European Union membership. “Turkey constitutes an important agenda at the Davos meetings,” added Klaus. In related news, an analysis of the World Economic Forum on Turkey predicted that Turkey could constitute a bridge between the West and the Islamic world. /Aksam/

    [12] BABACAN: “TURKEY NEEDS TO ACHIEVE LONG-TERM ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN ORDER TO ATTRACT FOREIGN CAPITAL”

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, who is currently in Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, said yesterday that Turkey needed to achieve long-term political and economic stability in order to attract foreign capital and that the European Union membership bid would help Turkey attracting foreign capital. Babacan stressed that Turkey has received considerable portfolio investment following the EU’s historic Dec. 17 summit, when the Union decided to begin Ankara’s accession talks on Oct. 3. /Milliyet/

    [13] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [14] BRIEFING IN GENERAL STAFF BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug’s remarks. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday briefed the press mostly about the Iraq issue, especially Kirkuk. Kirkuk will prepare a basis for conflicts in Iraq, regardless of the Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq. Turkey will be an intervener this way or the other. However, it will also cause problems in Turkish-US relations. Yesterday Basbug spoke on these issues during the press briefing. Turkey left out the US’ requests for Incirlik headquarters due to the Kirkuk and PKK terrorist organization issues. Although Basbug didn’t speak on this issue yesterday, some people have been talking about it for a long time.

    Turkish soldiers are located in Afghanistan on behalf of the UN. The US benefits from this situation the most. Basbug said that the reaction and separatism were important issues and that the fight against corruption would continue. The aim of the briefing was to determine Turkey’s stance concerning all sorts of developments following the elections to be held in Iraq on Sunday. Turkish politicians, media and people are making recommendations. During yesterday’s briefing, our concerns were mentioned clearly and the broad dimension of our relations with the US and the possibility of a civil war in Iraq following the elections were emphasized. In any case, important developments will occur next month and they will influence not only our region, but also the world politics.”

    [15] LISTENING TO BASBUG BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the statement by Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Yesterday’s statements by Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug show that Turkey is concerned about two issues in Iraq. The first is the PKK’s presence in northern Iraq. Although Turkey has uttered its concerns, no development has been made. It is clear that there are problems between Turkey and the US about this issue. The second concern is to activate the demographic structure of Kirkuk. Basbug said that 100,000 people including Turkmen and Assyrians were forced to leave the city between the years 1991-2000. The number of Kurds settled in the city has reached 350,000. Iraq could be dragged into a civil war. There is a disagreement between the EU and Turkey in this issue too.

    Northern Iraq is not only a shelter for PKK militants, but also a place of ‘political activities.’ This is a serious threat for Turkey, but the US doesn’t act against this. Changing the demographic structure in Kirkuk shows the nationalistic ambitions of the Kurds. Words about targeting Diyarbakir slip out of Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani. Would they not use the PKK against Turkey? The US doesn’t take any action about Kirkuk. What are Turkey’s choices? Should it enter Iraq and take Mosul? Should it break up with the US and look for other allies? Basbug has clearly explained the choice of a military operation into the region by reminding of the period in 1923-26. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk refused to make military operations to Mosul, which was included in the national border of Turkey. We could enter Mosul, but we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation at that time. We agreed on today’s borders in 1926 and we are loyal to it. Today’s situation in the region is worse than it was in the 20’s.

    The second choice is to search for other allies than the US. Basbug reminded that the situation in Iraq is not caused by any bad intentions of the US, but by US not being able to dominate the events in Iraq. ‘Our relations with the US is so broad and comprehensive that we can’t relate them with a single issue unless it is a vital one,’ said Basbug. We have to strengthen our relations with the US. A valid option for Turkey would be to use its diplomacy with the support of our political, economic and military potential.

    We have to ask the questions of how our Kurdish citizens are influenced by Turkey’s stance in Iraq and how we can develop economic and social integration policies to strengthen our national unity? Turkey is entering a very difficult period.”

    ARCHIVE

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