|Thursday, 12 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 05-02-07
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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
07.02.2005FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN TOURS TSUNAMI-RAVAGED PROVINCE, STRESSES DUTY TO HELPOn the first stop of his five-nation tour of the disaster region, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday visited Indonesia’s tsunami-ravaged Aceh province. Erdogan was greeted at the airport by Indonesian Social Affairs Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah and 30 Turkish aid workers, part of a contingent of 200 sent by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) Society. During a visit to the devastated village of Lhoknga, Erdogan said Turkey had “a humanitarian and Islamic duty to serve here,” having lived through its own tragedy when massive earthquakes killed some 18,000 in August 1999. Erdogan also visited the Kueh Camo Mosque, constructed by Turkish Red Crescent in the provincial capital Bande Aceh. Erdogan toured the village clinic, school and nursery there and spoke with victims of the disaster. “I see there is a need for a school, hospital and orphanage,” added Erdogan. “Turkey wants to do its best to help.” /Hurriyet/
 RICE VISITS ANKARA IN INAUGURAL TOUR AS US’ TOP DIPLOMATUS Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a high-profile visit to Turkey over the weekend as part of her first trip to Europe and the Middle East since being confirmed as at her new post late last month. During her talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Rice tried to ease Turkey’s concerns over Iraq’s unity, Kirkuk and the terrorist PKK. “I reiterated . . . the commitment of the US to a unified Iraq, to an Iraq at peace with its neighbors and an Iraq in which all Iraqis, regardless of ethnic or religious background . . . feel welcome and respected,” Rice said. Speaking about the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, she remarked that it was for all Iraqis to agree on its future status. “What terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and the PKK have been doing cannot be accepted in the modern world,” said the top US diplomat about another source of friction between Ankara and Washington, the presence of a few thousand PKK terrorists in the mountains of northern Iraq, adding that the US had cut the financial resources of the terrorist group. She acknowledged that Ankara and Washington had differences, but said both should work together to dispel them. “There could be differences between friends. But what is important is that to remember we are still friends,” she said. Speaking at a press conference after their meeting, Gul stated that during their talks, Ankara’s main concerns had been conveyed to Rice. Stressing that Turkey and US were longtime allies on the basis of not only military cooperation, but also political, cultural and commercial ties, Gul said they would continue to work together in the future to resolve certain issues. After completing her contacts in Ankara last night, Rice traveled to the West Bank for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. /Turkiye/
 SERDAR DENKTAS: “WE’RE READY FOR A RESOLUTION ON THE ISLAND”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriots were ready for a resolution on the island, stressing, however, that in order to resume Cyprus talks, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos needed to persuade UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he would work hard for a resolution. “That’s what Annan also expects,” he said, adding that no Turkish troops would be withdrawn from the island before a resolution is reached. Denktas further urged that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots be brought to an end. In related news, European Parliament Socialist Group deputies yesterday visited the TRNC and met with TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat to discuss the Cyprus issue. Speaking afterwards, the group’s vice president, Jan Marinus Wiersma, said that he supported a Cyprus resolution being reached within the framework of the United Nations. Wiersma added that he welcomed Turkey getting a date from the EU to begin its accession talks. /Aksam/
 SOROS: “TURKEY’S EU REFORMS WILL MAKE IT MORE ATTRACTIVE TO INVESTORS”International financier George Soros said yesterday that he planned to make new investments in Turkey. Touching on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Soros said that Ankara winning a date from the EU late last year to begin its accession talks was very important, but that a long path remained before its full membership. Soros stressed that reforms accompanying Turkey’s EU negotiation process would make it more attractive to investors. “The Turkish government has worked very hard for the nation’s EU membership bid,” he said. He also stressed Turkey’s geostrategic importance, adding that it was an efficient state in its region. /Cumhuriyet/
 FORMER MINISTERS OZKAN, ONAL TO BE TRIED AT SUPREME STATE COURT TOMORROWHearings for former state ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Recep Onal will begin at the Supreme State Court tomorrow morning. The two are charged with irregularities in Halk Bank during their terms in office, with prison sentences of one to three years being sought. /Turkiye/
 AGAR CRITICIZES GOVT DOMESTIC, FOREIGN POLICIESOpposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday criticized the government’s domestic and foreign policies, branding them both “clumsy.” He predicted that the nation would come to regret bringing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power. /Cumhuriyet/  FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A VERY IMPORTANT VISIT BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s weekend visit to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in the world media spotlight over the next four years as both the architect and advocate of Pax Americana. Her visit to Ankara aimed to determine the extent of US cooperation with Turkey over the coming months. Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with Rice at Esenboga Airport, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Washington a strategic ally. This definition means that Turkey will support the US’ Iran and Syria policies, because our bilateral ties are at a turning point.
Rice’s visit was meant to put pressure on Syria and Iran to cease their support of terrorist groups and quest to produce nuclear weapons. If these efforts don’t bear fruit, the US will start concrete action. Will Turkey hold up its end of the strategic alliance? The US will arrange its policy accordingly. If Ankara doesn’t support it, Washington will move closer to northern Iraq’s Kurds as well as Armenia. The US is expecting understanding from such key Arab countries as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Otherwise it will try to bring democracy to them, as they seem unable to do so on their own.”
 WHAT DID RICE SAY? BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever writes on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s weekend visit to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Ankara over the weekend. I’ve no idea what Rice and our side talked about behind closed doors, but I can comment on what she said publicly, including what she was reluctant to talk about. Let’s look at some of Rice’s key points:
1) The US need not directly react to Turkey’s demands concerning the terrorist PKK and Kirkuk in northern Iraq.
2) Washington, Ankara and the new Iraqi administration must assume a united stance against terrorism. (This means that Ankara should establish good relations with the new Iraqi government.)
3) When Washington talks about ‘fighting terrorism,’ Ankara should understand that this mainly refers to Iran and Syria’s support for terrorism, as well as Al Qaeda and Palestinian terrorist groups. (This means that although the US recognizes the PKK as a terrorist group, it won’t consider it a separate issue to deal with.)
4) Protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity is in the US’ interest.
5) The Iraqi administration will be shaped by the Iraqi Constitution.
6) The Iraqi nation will decide what will happen to Kirkuk.
7) The US has no immediate plans to attack Iran. However, the possibility of such an attack is on Bush’s agenda.
8) There is no concrete economic plan for the Turkish Cypriots.
9) Washington felt let down with by Ankara’s refusal to permit the deployment of American troops at Incirlik Airbase. (Rice implied that it was Turkey which had pushed the US to a closer embrace of Kurdish groups)
10) Despite this disappointment, Washington still supports Turkey’s EU membership bid and its relations with the IMF. (This means the US is a forgiving country. ‘However, you must always bear in your mind that without our support, your relations with the EU and IMF wouldn’t go well.’)
‘Turkey must back our radical Middle East policy,’ Rice stressed succinctly. ‘Otherwise, there is no way for Ankara to ensure US support on the issues of northern Iraq, Kirkuk, Cyprus, EU and even the IMF.’
May God help our government in the years to come!”
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