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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-02
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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
02.03.2005FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN: “TURKEY IS SPREADING ITS FOREIGN POLICY HORIZONS”Speaking at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that it was the conviction of his government that ruling the country only from offices in Ankara was not the best approach. “We’re expanding the horizons of our foreign policy. For this reason, we’re paying visits abroad at every opportunity to seek new dynamics and new markets,” said Erdogan. Pointing to recent positive news concerning Turkey, the premier stated that the nation was becoming a shining star. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO ETHIOPIAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday flew to Ethiopia, the first stop of his mini five-day African tour. Before his departure, speaking to reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Erdogan reiterated his government’s declaration of 2005 as the “Year of Africa.” He stressed that a rich potential for trade lies in certain African countries and that his visit aimed at developing bilateral economic relations with them. Asked about the recent controversial closing of Izmit’s SEKA paper factory and the resistance of its workers to the government’s decision, Erdogan said that the facility had run its economic course and that the closure would save the state some TL 30 trillion in losses. “A U-turn on this decision is out of the question,” added the premier. /Turkiye/
 GONUL: “THERE’S NO AGREEMENT ON INCIRLIK”Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said yesterday that no agreement had been signed between Ankara and Washington regarding the use of Incirlik Airbase or other facilities for the US’ Iraq operation. Speaking in Parliament, Gonul stated that in line with UN Security Council resolutions on promoting Iraq’s stability and security, last June the government had extended the allowance of its military bases for some uses for another year. He added, “However, Incirlik Airbase has not been used for military personnel or supplies.” /Turkiye/
 GEN. BASBUG VISITS US COMMAND IN GERMANYDeputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday paid a visit to the US European Commandership (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. During his two-day stay, Basbug is expected to meet with top-level US officials to discuss general and regional security issues. In addition, he will tour US training facilities. /Turkiye/
 ANOTHER AKP DEPUTY RESIGNSRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Goksal Kucukali yesterday resigned from the party. Kucukali had been sent to the AKP Disciplinary Board for involvement in alleged irregularities. With his resignation, the AKP now has 363 seats in Parliament, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) follows it with 170 seats. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE EU IS TRYING TO MAKE ‘GENOCIDE’ RECOGNITION A PRECONDITION FOR OUR ACCESSION TALKS”Addressing his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal evaluated recent domestic and foreign developments. Touching on the so-called Armenian genocide issue, Baykal said that the European Union was trying to make recognizing the “genocide” a precondition for Turkey’s EU membership, adding that such recognition had been passed by the Parliaments of several EU member states. “The EU is trying to make it a condition for Ankara to recognize the ‘genocide’ before we can begin our accession talks,” he said. Baykal criticized what he called the government’s inaction on the issue. “We’ll soon bring up the issue in Parliament,” he stressed. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Baykal said that a report prepared by the Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission had labeled Turkish Cypriots a “minority,” a term he called unacceptable. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUZMEN VISITS BELARUSState Minister Kursat Tuzmen, who is currently in Belarus for an official visit, yesterday met with the nation’s President Alexander Lukashenko in the capital Minsk. During their meeting, Tuzmen said that realizing even 1% of the trade potential between Turkey and Belarus would result in a trade volume of $1.9 billion. For his part, Lukashenko said that he would do his best to boost cooperation between the two countries. /Turkish Daily News/
 SERDAR DENKTAS: “OUR ELECTIONS PROVED THAT THE NATION WANTS THE CTP-DP COALITION TO CONTINUE”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said yesterday that the nation’s recent elections proved that the people want to see the continuation of the current Republican Turkish Party (CTP)- Democrat Party (DP) coalition government. “The DP respects the nation’s will as expressed in the elections,” he said. “Negotiations to establish a new government are due to begin on Friday.” Also touching on TRNC presidential elections scheduled for April, Denktas said that his party believed that all parties should agree on one candidate, preferably a figure without a partisan political identity. /Star/
 CELIK: “TURKEY’S YOUNG POPULATION, IF EDUCATED, CAN BE A TREMENDOUS ASSET”Education Minister Huseyin Celik said yesterday that Turkey’s young population served as a tremendous asset, warning, however, that this could change if their education is not adequate. Addressing a conference at Ankara University, Celik emphasized the importance of teachers in the education system, saying that libraries and laboratories were useless without them. “We place great importance on the training of educators, since we want to raise teaching standards,” he said. Celik stressed that the education system faced serious problems just like other areas, but that there is no need to pessimism. /Star/
 TIM CHAIRMAN: “LAST MONTH’S EXPORTS REACHED NEARLY $6 BILLION, AN INCREASE OF OVER 50%”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici touted improved export figures for February, saying that exports last month reached nearly $6 billion, an increase of over 50%. “This figure exceeded our expectations,” he added. But Satici warned the government about the high current accounts deficit. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE LONDON MEETING BY AYSE ONAL (STAR)Columnist Ayse Onal comments on yesterday’s one-day London meeting where the Palestinians sought global support for their statehood aspirations. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Foreign ministers and senior officials from 25 countries and several international organizations yesterday met in London to help the Palestinians realize their dream of having an independent, viable state. Turkey wasn’t among the invitees. I think this was Britain’s first chilly message to our country. Turkey had been preparing to assume an active role in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Although we’ve been preoccupied with the recent tension with Washington, I think the real crisis is about to erupt with the European Union. Only a couple of months ago, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the most ardent supporters of Turkey’s EU membership bid.
Blair has assembled an impressive list of participants, including Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as representatives of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Palestinian leaders expect global backing for their plans to reform their security forces and stamp out corruption, which is truly an urgent issue. Israel recently called on UN Security Council members and EU countries’ ambassadors to hold a closed-door session where it will disclose the evidence of corruption in the Palestinian administration.
In addition, Syria is another hot topic of discussion, because Damascus is unwilling to change its regional policy although the US and its allies are warning it to do so. The Lebanese people are currently trying to buck Syrian control over their country. However, even in Turkey, some fail to see just how much Syria’s regional policy damages the Middle East. These groups are trying to defend Damascus, the capital of a regime which makes no secret of its support for terrorists.
The Bush administration’s new policy is to stand by Europe and cooperate with its leaders against the supporters of terrorism. There will no longer be tension between the ‘new’ and ‘old’ continents. I’m not sure if Turkey is closely following these developments. But if it did, Ankara would be there in London as a participant. As the US and Europe are trying to overcome old problems and mend fences, Ankara must also adopt its regional policy to these changes.”
 GLOBAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION AND TURKEY BY HUSEYIN YILDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Huseyin Yýldýz comments on global economic integration and Turkey’s role in this process. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Over the last 25 years, the extraordinary progress we’ve seen in data processing, communication, transportation and distribution has enabled the speedy shuttling of capital, goods and labor across the world. In line with the globalization of the world economy, national markets are linking up with regional markets, and regional markets are uniting to form a global market. As commercial boundaries between nations fall and the volume of international trade rises, advanced technology transfer to developing countries has gained momentum. In this context, the most notable trend has been observed in the flow and integration of capital. On the other hand, the flow of labor has remained comparatively low, due to economic, political and cultural worries.
Turkey hopes to strengthen its position in this global economic integration process by joining the European Union. Towards this end, Ankara initiated negotiations with the European Economic Community in 1959. Later, in 1973, Turkey signed an Additional Protocol Agreement, which aimed at forming a customs union. Then last December, Turkey got a date for EU membership talks after successfully fulfilling certain conditions set out by the Copenhagen criteria. More important however, will be our meeting the Maastricht criteria, which demand economic and monetary reforms.
On the other hand, this supra-national economical integration has brought along with it supra-national political, legal, environmental, socio- cultural and military institutions, as well as common standards for living and working together. But can we say that national governments have now become part of this supra-national social organization model? In my opinion, this notion can be misleading. The basic principle is preserving individual nations’ existence while developing new modes of communication. A nation can guarantee its survival only through cultural means. If compromises don’t reduce identities and cultures to stereotypes, variety and citizens’ rights will continue to endure.”
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