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Turkish Press Review, 05-02-28

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

28.02.05

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [02] GUL: “THE EU IS NOT INDISPENSABLE FOR TURKEY”
  • [03] ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TALKS BETWEEN ANKARA, EU COMMISSION TO BEGIN THIS WEEK
  • [04] TOP TURKISH OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS IRAQ, CYPRUS ISSUES IN WASHINGTON
  • [05] ANKARA TO HOST US COMMANDER GEN. BELL THIS WEEK
  • [06] BUSY WEEK AHEAD FOR PARLIAMENT
  • [07] SWEDISH PM: “MUCH REMAINS FOR ANKARA TO DO TOWARDS EU MEMBERSHIP”
  • [08] UNITED IRAQI ALLIANCE’S AL-JAAFARI: “WE’LL NOT ALLOW ANY ORGANIZATION IN OUR BORDERS TO ATTACK OUR NEIGHBORS”
  • [09] AGAR: “THE GOVT IS FAILING TO REPRESENT TURKEY BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD”
  • [10] TURKISH UNIT TO HELP BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA STABILIZATION
  • [11] LITERACY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
  • [12] GREEK CYPRIOT PARTIES PROPOSE CHANGES TO UN PLAN
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [14] TURKISH-US RELATIONS BY YASIN DOGAN (YENI SAFAK)
  • [15] PROBLEM BETWEEN EUROPE AND NATO BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET) 1) [01] ERDOGAN TO VISIT ETHIOPIA, S.AFRICA Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set tomorrow to begin official visits to two African countries, Ethiopia and South Africa. During his five- day tour, on Wednesday the premier first will meet with Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Georgis and his counterpart Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa. Then he is head to South Africa to meet with that country’s top officials including Deputy President Jacob Zuma and President Thabo Mbeki. The trip follows the government’s declaration that 2005 is the “Year of Africa.” The premier’s talks in both countries are expected to focus on bilateral business opportunities. Meanwhile, Erdogan is planning visits to other African countries later this year, including Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan and Libya. /Turkiye/
  • [02] GUL: “THE EU IS NOT INDISPENSABLE FOR TURKEY” Turkey won’t wait 15-20 years to become a European Union member, said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in a weekend interview with Chinese state television CCTV during his visit to the country. In the interview, which was broadcast yesterday, Gul called Europe’s concerns about Turkey’s huge population “baseless,” adding that the EU’s indecision was hurting its image with the Turkish public. /Hurriyet/
  • [03] ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL TALKS BETWEEN ANKARA, EU COMMISSION TO BEGIN THIS WEEK Additional protocol negotiations between Turkey and the European Union Commission are due to begin in Brussels on Wednesday. Turkish Ambassadors Deniz Bolukbasi and Ertugrul Apakan are expected to take part in the negotiations. In related news, Turkish officials will today brief Luxembourg’s visiting EU Minister Nicholas Schmit on Ankara’s requested changes to the additional protocol. In related news, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, British EU Minister Denis MacShane and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn are expected to visit Turkey early next week to discuss developments in Turkey’s EU bid since it got a date for membership talks last December. /Aksam/
  • [04] TOP TURKISH OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS IRAQ, CYPRUS ISSUES IN WASHINGTON Two high-level officials, National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Yigit Alpagon and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan, are planning separate visits to Washington in the coming months to discuss the Iraq and Cyprus issues with officials from the US State and Defense Departments. /Turkiye/
  • [05] ANKARA TO HOST US COMMANDER GEN. BELL THIS WEEK Ankara will host a visiting US Army commander this week. US Commander of European Troops Gen. Burwell Bell is set to arrive in Ankara at the invitation of Land Forces Commander Yasar Buyukanit. The US’ hopes to expand its use of Incirlik Airbase are expected to dominate the talks of the military leaders. In addition, NATO, Afghanistan and Iraq’s reconstruction are also set to be discussed. /Turkiye/
  • [06] BUSY WEEK AHEAD FOR PARLIAMENT Parliament will have a busy agenda this week including debates on bills concerning implementation of the new Criminal Procedures Code (CMK), selecting 10,000 police recruits from among university graduates, and efforts to reduce violence surrounding sports matches. Parliament’s General Assembly will work from 2:00 p.m. until late on this Wednesday and Thursday to address these matters. /Turkiye/
  • [07] SWEDISH PM: “MUCH REMAINS FOR ANKARA TO DO TOWARDS EU MEMBERSHIP” Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said yesterday that Ankara still had a great deal to do for its European Union membership bid, adding that since last December, when it got a date for its EU accession talks, its progress had been disappointing. Persson stressed that Turkey should know that getting a date for talks to begin doesn’t mean automatic EU membership and that many steps remained ahead. “If Ankara wants to join the EU as soon as possible, then it needs to continue to work hard,” he said, adding that he wanted to see Turkey in the EU. In related news, European Commission Vice President Margot Wallstrom said that since December, dialogue between Turkey and the Union had been reduced rather than increased. In addition, Hansjoerg Kretschmer, the EU Commission representative in Turkey, said that there had been ”stagnation” in Turkey since the date was given and that it was necessary to accelerate the reform process. He claimed that there was disorganization in the country and a lack of progress except for changes to some laws. /Cumhuriyet/
  • [08] UNITED IRAQI ALLIANCE’S AL-JAAFARI: “WE’LL NOT ALLOW ANY ORGANIZATION IN OUR BORDERS TO ATTACK OUR NEIGHBORS” United Iraqi Alliance’s Prime Ministry candidate Ibrahim al-Jaafari said yesterday that he wouldn’t allow any organization, including the terrorist PKK_KADEK, to attack neighboring countries. The alliance won last month’s Iraqi elections. Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with four US senators, al-Jaafari said that his policy was to establish friendly relations with all neighboring countries. “We’ll not allow any organization within our borders to harm our neighbors,” he added. “The PKK should stop its terrorist attacks. Otherwise it will need to quit Iraq.” /Cumhuriyet/
  • [09] AGAR: “THE GOVT IS FAILING TO REPRESENT TURKEY BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD” Addressing his party’s provincial congress in Edirne yesterday, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that the DYP was the nation’s guide, adding that the government was failing in its duty to represent Turkey both at home and abroad. Agar predicted that elections could be held in the near future. “It’s the DYP’s mission to raise our nation to the level it deserves,” he stated, adding that the party would do its best to promote Ankara’s EU bid. /Cumhuriyet/
  • [10] TURKISH UNIT TO HELP BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA STABILIZATION A unit of the Turkish gendarmerie yesterday left for Bosnia-Herzegovina to join the European Union’s Althea Operation for the stabilization and integration of the country. The 23-member team will serve in such missions as providing security for bases, controlling roads, and traffic services. /Star/
  • [11] LITERACY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED Through the joint efforts of the Education Ministry and the Bagcilar district government, a new literacy campaign was launched in Istanbul yesterday. Prominent figures including Education Minister Huseyin Celik, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife Emine Erdogan attended a ceremony inaugurating the campaign. Speakers at the occasion called literacy one of Turkey’s top issues, adding that such campaigns would continue until illiteracy is a thing of the past. /Turkiye/
  • [12] GREEK CYPRIOT PARTIES PROPOSE CHANGES TO UN PLAN Greek Cypriot political parties over the weekend reportedly submitted a number of proposed changes to the UN’s Cyprus reunification plan to Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. The parties proposed the withdrawal of Turkish military forces from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), ending Turkey’s right to intervene as a guarantor state, the immediate return of lands claimed by Greek Cyprus, and reducing the number of TRNC citizens on the island through immigration to Turkey. /Star/
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [14] TURKISH-US RELATIONS BY YASIN DOGAN (YENI SAFAK) Columnist Yasin Dogan comments on Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows: “Last week Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President George W. Bush held a short meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels. As far as we know, Erdogan neither asked to see Bush nor sought an appointment with him. Rather, their meeting was an unplanned encounter. It’s interesting that during his conversation with Erdogan, Bush didn’t say anything to address the recent tension between the two countries. He either was ignorant of the recent reports sparking tension between Washington and Ankara or just wanted to avoid talking about them. It’s good to see that both leaders underscored that there is no problem between the two governments. But what is all this about anyway? Is there a big crisis between the two countries, or are things being blown out of proportion by the media? Erdogan harshly criticized the US’ operation in Fallujah, Israel’s Palestine policy and Washington’s inaction against the PKK. He even added that there’s nothing wrong with Iran using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Why did he say such things? There’s any number of reasons that come to mind: To prevent possible further US operations in the region. If Washington decides to launch a military operation against Iran or Syria, the region would be plunged into even greater turbulence and chaos. 2) To block further US demands from Turkey. To get something in return for his support to Washington. In fact, Turkey has no desire for a serious crisis with the US. However, if Ankara criticizes something loudly, it’s because our leaders are very concerned about it. Moreover, it’s not just us but the entire world which is extremely concerned about the US’ Mideast policy. Washington certainly should be very well aware that anti-Americanism is rising worldwide. So the problem isn’t peculiar to Turkey. Since Turkey is trying to become an important actor in the far corners of its region and establish good relations with both Russia and Syria, Washington also has its own concerns about Ankara. Therefore, Washington’s aim is probably to make Ankara feel more isolated and alone in the region to ensure that it doesn’t venture beyond the limits the Bush administration has in mind. Washington wants to see a more submissive Ankara. However, Ankara wants to see its future more clearly. Both countries must act calmly in order to keep relations on the right track because they are currently cooperating with and supporting each other in many important areas and regions.”
  • [15] PROBLEM BETWEEN EUROPE AND NATO BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET) Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on relations between Europe, NATO and Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows: “A problem in Brussels has blown up into a crisis. The Cyprus issue is the reason for this crisis. As Turkey put the brakes on the Cyprus issue, the European Union and NATO can’t make strategic decisions. I wrote yesterday that although it seemed to have softened with US President George W. Bush’s visit, the conflict between Europe and the US hasn’t been solved completely. The US wants to continue its strategic relations with Europe under the umbrella of NATO, whereas a group of European countries want to transform this into bilateral relations. Brussels favors holding discussions with Washington outside NATO. Some people think that the EU’s security and foreign policy will be strengthened this way. The US isn’t happy with NATO’s guardianship. During the war in Iraq, the EU attempted to establish a separate European command in Brussels, but this was received coldly by both the US and Britain. During Bush’s visit to Brussels, consensus was reached on many issues but this communications problem couldn’t be solved yet in terms of the future of transatlantic relations. Meanwhile, the Cyprus crisis within NATO caused Turkey to attract attention. As you remember, a few years ago Turkey was about to exercise its veto in NATO due to the Cyprus issue. When Europe decided to establish its own foreign policy and military power, it wanted to make use of NATO’s facilities, but it faced Turkey’s resistance. This problem was solved during a 2003 Washington summit. The Berlin Plus agreement was signed between the EU and NATO. One of its provisions stipulated that Malta and Cyprus would be excluded from meetings between NATO and Europe and thus, Turkey was placated. So, why are we facing another crisis just two years later? For me, the crisis actually comes from Europe’s resistance to NATO. Washington tried to discuss with Europe within NATO such issues as terrorism. Europe replied, ‘We can do it, but Cyprus and Malta will participate in these talks with us, because they’re our members. We will either come with them, or not at all.’ Then Turkey said it couldn’t sit at the same table with Cyprus, based on the agreement. It stopped NATO and the process was blocked. What about the agreement? It emerged that there was a difference between the EU’s documents and NATO’s text. NATO’s version said that Cyprus and Malta wouldn’t participate in military meetings and strategic cooperation meetings between NATO and the EU. However, Europe’s said that they only couldn’t participate in military meetings. Of course, you can control the results on a platform on which you exist. If you’re not there, you can’t control them. For this reason, now Europe thinks all its members can participate in strategic talks. However, Turkey opposes this. Meanwhile, the US and Britain are saying to Turkey, ‘It’s in line with your interests to talk about such issues as terrorism in our strategic cooperation with Europe. Don’t resist.’ What will happen if Turkey resists? They say if Turkey resists, relations would develop with Turkey ignored. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his British counterpart Tony Blair discussed the problem last week, but no solution was forthcoming.”
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