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Turkish Press Review, 05-02-25
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
25.02.2005FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF HANDS-ON EDUCATIONPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday gave a lecture on “Entrepreneurship in Turkey” at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges’ (TOBB) new Economy and Technology University. In his lecture, Erdogan underlined the importance of practical education, remarking that theories must be complemented by hands-on training and exercises. “Academic institutions themselves should first demand a more qualified, liberal and modern education and training system,” he added. “Our country urgently needs to restructure our education system. Our goal must be to nurture modern citizens capable of questioning and reasoning.” The premier yesterday also met Ankara’s Kecioren district Mayor Turgut Altinok for breakfast at the historic Estergon Castle. Erdogan complained about illegal and improper settlements, particularly in big cities. “Ensuring the aesthetic of cities is one of the most important tasks of our municipalities,” he added. “City governments have broad powers on this issue, so they must exercise them to stop illegal settlements. Every city and building should have its own spirit and style.” For his part, Altinok said that the restored Estergon Castle was one of the capital’s most attractive sites, and had drawn considerable attention from foreign tourists and diplomats. /Hurriyet/
 GUL: “THE DELEGATION FOR OUR EU TALKS WILL BE NAMED SOON”Following talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, visiting Latvian Foreign Minister Artis Pabrikis yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to exchange views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues. After their one-hour meeting, Gul told reporters that the government was continuing its hard work on Turkey’s quest for European Union membership, adding that over three separate Cabinet meetings, all the ministers had been thoroughly briefed on their duties. Stressing that the chief negotiator and delegation for this fall’s EU talks would be named soon, the foreign minister said the group would attend the EU Troika meeting on March 7. He also denied Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos’ recent allegations that Turkey had sent weapons to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). In addition, Gul reiterated that Ankara would not recognize Greek Cyprus before a permanent settlement is reached on the island. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY SEEKS NEW IRAQI CENSUS BEFORE YEAR-END ELECTIONSAfter Turkey expressed concern that Iraq’s Jan. 30 elections were fraught with irregularities, lamenting that not all groups participated in the polls at the desired level, Ankara has reportedly demanded that a national census be held prior to the general elections set for the end of this year. Turkish diplomats argue that only 8 million out of 14 million potential voters are registered in Iraq, with only 6 million casting ballots in January’s polls. Ankara has conveyed this request to the US and all other relevant parties. After the Jan. 30 polls, Kurdish groups argued that the power of native ethnic Turkmen groups in Iraq was limited as they only received 73,000 votes. /Hurriyet/
 CHP, AKP EACH SHED DEPUTYOpposition People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Zulfu Livanelli resigned from his party yesterday. Criticizing the CHP administration, Livanelli charged that it had become an anti-democratic organization which blocked people from having a say in party policies. In addition, yesterday ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy from Hatay Mehmet Eraslan quit his party, saying that he no longer had any opportunity to help steer its direction. With these resignations, the CHP’s seats in Parliament fell to 170, while the AKP now holds 364 seats. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH DELEGATION TO MEET WITH TALABANIFollowing last month’s Iraqi elections, a Turkish delegation yesterday traveled to northern Iraq to meet with Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani. The delegation headed by Ambassador Osman Koruturk is expected to express the Turkish government’s views on the future of Iraq. The situation of the oil- rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk will dominate the talks. Ankara will underline the importance of Iraq’s territorial integrity and urge Talabani to embrace all ethnic groups in the country and fight against the terrorist PKK, if he becomes the head of state. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA, WASHINGTON TO SET UP CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON EURASIAN ISSUES- Turkey and the United States yesterday signed a historic agreement to establish a consultative forum on Eurasian issues. Halil Akinci, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for Russia-Caucasus and Central Asia, yesterday met in Washington with Laura Kennedy, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for European & Eurasian affairs, to discuss the latest developments in Georgia, Russia and the Caucasus as well as Armenia. ”As part of the strategic dialogue between the United States and Turkey, the Department of State and an interagency team led by … Ambasador Laura Kennedy hosted … Ambassador Halil Akinci to discuss Eurasian issues,” said a State Department press release. “The bilateral meetings provided a forum for us to discuss common interests and explore ideas for greater collaboration on issues including, inter alia, the resolution of frozen conflicts in the region, energy, and political and economic reform. The Turkish delegation invited the United States side to come to Turkey for the next session of what our two countries agree should become a permanent consultative forum.” /Turkiye/
 AGAR: “THE HANDOVER OF SSK HOSPITALS IS A FIASCO”Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday criticized the recent handover of Social Security Authority (SSK) hospitals to the Health Ministry, calling it a “fiasco” and hardship to hospital patients. He stressed that red tape had led to unreasonably long queues, adding, “People can’t even buy medicine.” But Agar praised the recently passed student amnesty, saying that it represented a new opportunity for many expelled students. /Turkiye/
 FRENCH PARLIAMENTARIAN PUSHES “GENOCIDE” ISSUE AS CONDITION FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIPTurkey’s relations with neighboring and regional countries, especially Armenia, Greece and Greek Cyprus, were discussed at the Turkish-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission’s 53rd meeting yesterday. Addressing the gathering, French parliamentarian Jacques Toubon said that Turkey should recognize the so-called Armenian genocide and the Treaty of Sevres in order to join the EU. “The EU Parliament made a decision concerning the ‘genocide,’ and so Ankara needs to recognize it,” he said. For his part, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Sukru Elekdag called the “genocide” claims unfounded, adding that they should be the province of historians. Also addressing the gathering, Oguz Demiralp, Turkey’s permanent representative to the EU, said that accepting the Treaty of Sevres was out of the question. The 1920 pact, an attempt to abolish Turkish sovereignty and divide its territory, was superceded by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, to which the Republic of Turkey is a signatory. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUPREME COURT REJECTS AYDIN’S OBJECTIONSSupreme Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin yesterday rejected procedural objections from former Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydin and scheduled Aydin’s next hearing for March 30. Aydin is facing charges of irregularities in state tenders and other matters during his tenure at the ministry. Aydin served under the three-party coalition of then Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. /Milliyet/
 COSKUN KIRCA DIESFormer Foreign Minister, ambassador and journalist Coskun Kirca died yesterday in Istanbul of heart attack at the age of 78. Kirca had served in many high-level state posts and represented Turkey abroad. He will be laid to rest tomorrow. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 SEPT. 11 AND THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA BY FATIH BOHURLER (STAR)Columnist Fatih Bohurler comments on the US and the EU. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The US is considered the world’s most developed country socially, economically, legally, militarily, politically and scientifically. However, Americans are complaining about the economy. What’s more, it’s the most heavily indebted country in the world. Its legal protections eroded following the Sept. 11 attacks. Its political system is controlled by special interest lobbies, not the people. Cutting-edge science is also falling out of US control and becoming global. However, no one can deny its military might. It has the world’s most powerful army. Professor Stefanos Yerasimos defined the Ottoman state structure as follows: a central feudal system based on military might. Don’t you think that the US is similar? The more the Ottoman Empire expanded, the more it raised taxes. As the US is expanding, its income from oil and natural resources is increasing. Technological investment and know-how aren’t transferred to its peripheral and occupied territories.
Everybody says that that money is an important power. However, it’s only pieces of paper. For example, say the state is indebted to you. What can you do when it says that it won’t pay up? You can’t threaten it because it’s not a person, but the state. If the mob owes you money, likewise, you can do nothing. So, the more weapons you have, the stronger you are. The situation is the same for states. The important thing is military power, becoming the world’s policeman.
One could say, ‘If you have money, you can buy weapons.’ However, it’s not as simple as that. You can neither buy the weapons you want nor produce them. You have to get permission from one of world’s policeman. Iran’s situation is clear. It says that it doesn’t produce nuclear weapons, and inspectors, the West and Russia have all confirmed this. However, the US says it’s concerned and doesn’t want them to do nuclear research. So, their economic power means nothing. Then what’s the key criterion? An indispensable plank of the Copenhagen criteria is the absence of the death penalty. Now, the US has the penalty and carries it out regularly. EU candidate countries must comply with the following political criteria:
- The existence of a stable and institutionalized democracy
- Respect for human rights
- A state of law and the rule of law
- Respect for human rights
Protection of minorities
Do you think the US could ever join the EU? Will the Sept. 11 criteria or the Copenhagen criteria take precedence? The US has no friends except for a handful of countries which it protects. It has no intention of becoming real friends with any country.”
 AFTER THE NATO SUMMIT BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on this week’s NATO summit. A summary of her column is as follows:
“This week’s NATO summit in Brussels is being seen as an extension of last summer’s Istanbul summit. The future of NATO is still not certain, but developments in Iraq are hopeful. The Brussels summit showed NATO’s support for Washington, which had to fight alone in Iraq. All members were positive towards NATO’s four requests about Iraq. The important decisions are as follows:
Firstly, the number of NATO officials for the training mission in Iraq will rise from 111 to 360, and the number of countries contributing to the training mission will go up to 15. Secondly, countries who were against the US operation in Iraq, including Germany and France, are now contributing to NATO’s training of Iraqi security forces, either in Iraq or outside the country. Thirdly, members also gave financial aid to NATO’s fund for Iraq. And fourthly, the number of countries contributing to the coordination of military equipment has increased.
These developments make clear the US strategy for withdrawing from Iraq. Last year the US proposed a more active NATO role in Iraq, but no country was willing. NATO officials commented that the recent Iraqi elections had changed their outlook. Turkey is also among the countries boosting its contributions for Iraq’s reconstruction. Ankara has proposed that it train Iraqi security forces. About 150 Iraqis will be trained here. The number of Turkish officials at NATO headquarters in Baghdad will be increased, and Ankara will contribute 100,000 euros to NATO’s Iraq fund.
All of these developments are good, but not enough for me. I think Turkey can play a more active role, because this is a NATO mission now. There could be a larger training camp on our border with Iraq. There were many problems, including the Kurdish issue and Kirkuk, between Turkey and Iraq during the war. A more active role with the international community for the reconstruction of Iraq could help our countries overcome these problems.”
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