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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-08

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

08.03.2005

SEZER, ERDOGAN HAIL WOMEN’S IMPORTANCE TO SOCIETY ERDOGAN TO ATTEND DEMOCRACY SUMMIT IN SPAIN TURKEY-EU TROIKA MEETING FOCUSES ON CYPRUS, REFORM PATH ANKARA WELCOMES SYRIAN DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM LEBANON CICEK SAYS EU BID IS THE GOVT’S PRIORITY CICEK CALLS ON SEKA WORKERS TO END PROTESTS SENER: “TURKEY IS ENTERING A NEW PHASE IN E-TRANSFORMATION” BAYKAL TO MEET WITH ERDOGAN TODAY TALAT NOMINATED FOR TRNC PRESIDENCY TALABANI CLAIMS ANKARA SUPPORTS FEDERAL STRUCTURE IN IRAQ FRENCH NGO: “TURKEY HAS MADE PROGRESS ON ITS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION” AKP DEPUTY CHAIR KAPUSUZ: “REGULATIONS ENABLING STUDENTS TO RETURN TO THEIR SCHOOLS AREN’T AN AMNESTY” FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… IS THIS ANGER OVER THE NEW TCK? BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH) ARMENIAN “GENOCIDE” IN THE WASHINGTON POST BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER, ERDOGAN HAIL WOMEN’S IMPORTANCE TO SOCIETY
  • [02] ERDOGAN TO ATTEND DEMOCRACY SUMMIT IN SPAIN
  • [03] TURKEY-EU TROIKA MEETING FOCUSES ON CYPRUS, REFORM PATH
  • [04] ERDOGAN RECEIVES REHN
  • [05] CHP’S BAYKAL MEETS WITH REHN
  • [06] ANKARA WELCOMES SYRIAN DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM LEBANON
  • [07] CICEK SAYS EU BID IS THE GOVT’S PRIORITY
  • [08] CICEK CALLS ON SEKA WORKERS TO END PROTESTS
  • [09] SENER: “TURKEY IS ENTERING A NEW PHASE IN E-TRANSFORMATION”
  • [10] BAYKAL TO MEET WITH ERDOGAN TODAY
  • [11] TALAT NOMINATED FOR TRNC PRESIDENCY
  • [12] TALABANI CLAIMS ANKARA SUPPORTS FEDERAL STRUCTURE IN IRAQ
  • [13] FRENCH NGO: “TURKEY HAS MADE PROGRESS ON ITS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION”
  • [14] AKP DEPUTY CHAIR KAPUSUZ: “REGULATIONS ENABLING STUDENTS TO RETURN TO THEIR SCHOOLS AREN’T AN AMNESTY”
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [16] IS THIS ANGER OVER THE NEW TCK? BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)
  • [17] ARMENIAN “GENOCIDE” IN THE WASHINGTON POST

  • [01] SEZER, ERDOGAN HAIL WOMEN’S IMPORTANCE TO SOCIETY

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday issued messages to mark today, March 8, International Women’s Day. Pointing to women’s key role in society, they both stated that ensuring political, social and economic rights for women would help the development of societies. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN TO ATTEND DEMOCRACY SUMMIT IN SPAIN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due on Thursday to travel to Madrid, Spain to attend an international security summit on “Democracy for a More Secure World.” During his stay in Spain, Erdogan is also expected to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and with other leaders to discuss the Cyprus issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TURKEY-EU TROIKA MEETING FOCUSES ON CYPRUS, REFORM PATH

    The Turkey-European Union Troika meeting yesterday reviewed developments in Turkey in the wake of Ankara getting a date for accession talks in December. At the meeting between Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, EU Term President Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and British European Affairs Minister Dennis McShane, Turkey’s EU membership path until Oct 3, the date when entry talks for Turkey will start, was discussed. During the meeting, Gul briefed the participants about the reforms which have been adopted so far. Gul stressed the determination of the Turkish government in pursuing reforms and said that several implementations of concern to the EU will be effective and comprehensive. Gul added that it would be beneficial not to make haste on certain issues because it is necessary to consider the longer term in these areas. Gul reiterated Turkey’s commitment to sign a supplementary protocol and said that they were expecting steps from other parties regarding the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Problems regarding NATO-EU strategic cooperation were also discussed in the meeting. The Turkish party conveyed uneasiness that the Greek Cypriot side was exploiting this issue for political purposes. Rehn said during the meeting that the delay in documents which the European Commission will prepare regarding Turkey was caused by a referendum which will be held in France. Following the meeting, Gul told reporters, “We exchanged views on many dimensions of our relations. We discussed NATO-EU relations, Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, and Cyprus issues as well as the security of Europe during the meeting. Reforms [in Turkey] will continue.” He added, “Many laws related to reforms have been adopted by our Parliament since Dec. 17.” Regarding Sunday’s incidents in Istanbul, Gul said, “We are sorry for the incidents that happened during an illegal demonstration in Istanbul yesterday. Everybody should obey the law, but the police should be sensitive in taking action against such incidents, and a necessary investigation has begun.” Gul added that negotiations on signing the adjustment protocol had continued positively and that the protocol will be signed when the time has come. Gul also said that the meeting has been very fruitful. Aselborn, for his part, said that Turkey had fulfilled very important reforms towards its membership. “It is very important to maintain the pace of reforms.” Asselborn said. Asselborn also said that reforms were on the top of the agenda of the meeting. “We also took up the non-Muslim minorities issue during the meeting and we support the ‘zero tolerance’ policy of the Turkish government against torture,” he explained. Noting that the EU attaches great importance to bridging regional differences, Asselborn said, “We welcome steps which were taken in broadcasts in various languages.” On the police actions against demonstrations on Sunday, Aseelborn said, “We welcome the Turkish government’s pledge to investigate this issue,” Asked whether the EU will keep its promises regarding Cyprus, Asselborn said, “The adjustment protocol may be signed within a few weeks and if it is signed, our hand will be stronger to adopt two regulations regarding Cyprus.” Rehn, for his part, said that there are many things which Turkey should complete for its EU bid. “The EU will prepare a framework document in June or July and will release the accession partnership accord within the scope of the regular progress report probably in November,” he added. “The decision on the start of entry talks with Turkey has brought a momentum, and this can be used for development of new initiatives in Cyprus.” /All papers/

    [04] ERDOGAN RECEIVES REHN

    The signing of the additional protocol on the Ankara Agreement will not mean recognition of the Greek Cypriot side, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday after his meeting with European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. Rehn for his part said that he shared the views of Erdogan, and noted that technical studies regarding Turkey’s EU membership process were progressing well. Rehn also said he had had very fruitful meetings with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Erdogan briefed Rehn about the referendum held in Cyprus last April and developments after the referendum. /Hurriyet/

    [05] CHP’S BAYKAL MEETS WITH REHN

    The Turkish government and public recently realized that the European Union’s decision last December to begin talks was not a decision guaranteeing full membership, said opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday. Baykal received European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and an accompanying delegation. At a press conference afterwards, Baykal stated that the negotiating process with the EU, reforms, and the democratization process had been discussed. Baykal said that France’s decision to hold a referendum on Turkey’s membership had imposed an additional hurdle. “We also felt uneasy over the decision to propose a ‘privileged partnership’,” said Baykal. “Turkey’s relationship with the EU should be towards full membership.” Stating that Rehn had told him about the talks and the timetable, Baykal said, “We’ve learned that a decision regarding the negotiation framework will be made in June, and the revised Accession Partnership Accord will be announced this fall.” /Sabah/

    [06] ANKARA WELCOMES SYRIAN DECISION TO WITHDRAW FROM LEBANON

    Syria’s recent decision to withdraw its troops and intelligence services from Lebanon was welcomed yesterday by the international community. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying that Ankara hoped the withdrawal would soon be completed. Stressing that Turkey had good relations with both Syria and Lebanon, the statement underlined that Turkey attached great importance to Lebanon’s territorial integrity. The pullback would be the single biggest such move since Syrian forces intervened in Lebanon’s civil war in 1976. It has 14,000 troops there. The Syrian and Lebanese presidents agreed on a two-phase withdrawal plan, but no timetable was set for a full withdrawal. /Turkiye/

    [07] CICEK SAYS EU BID IS THE GOVT’S PRIORITY

    Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday that Turkey’s European Union membership bid was a priority for the government. Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting in Ankara, said that the ministers’ talks had focused on the topic. Pointing to the current EU Troika meeting, Cicek said the government was continuing its determined efforts towards EU membership. “There is no slowdown in our work, we’ll do what should be done,” said the justice minister. Asked about police intervention in a demonstration in Istanbul yesterday, Cicek said citizens could exercise their rights in line with the law. Stressing that Turkish security forces have always taken a tolerant attitude, Cicek said, “However, no police in any country in the world allow people to commit illegal activities.” Adding that, for example, security forces in European countries don’t even welcome anti-globalization protests, Cicek asked, “Do they greet them with flowers?” /Turkiye/

    [08] CICEK CALLS ON SEKA WORKERS TO END PROTESTS

    Justice Minister Cemil Cicek reiterated yesterday that SEKA’s Izmit paper factory would be closed. Calling on workers for the state concern who are protesting the government’s closure decision to end their action, Cicek said, “This is our last call to them. If they apply before March 17, we’ll get them new jobs at in different facilities.” Stressing that the government would no longer tolerate illegal activities, the minister also criticized the support of some politicians for the workers. “They are exploiting the issue for political purposes,” he charged. /Turkiye/

    [09] SENER: “TURKEY IS ENTERING A NEW PHASE IN E-TRANSFORMATION”

    Speaking at an e-State Application Conference yesterday in Ankara, State Minister Abdullatif Sener said that the application of the short-term action plan under Turkey’s e-Transformation Project had been completed early this year. He added that the new action plan’s “Information Society Strategy” would be completed by year’s-end. Stressing that the Mernis project enabling enhanced linkage of citizenship ID numbers with tax numbers had been completed, Sener said, “Similarly, the issuance of a single identification number for companies will also be realized soon.” Turkiye_

    [10] BAYKAL TO MEET WITH ERDOGAN TODAY

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal is due today to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a number of issues, including the so-called Armenian genocide. During their meeting, Baykal is expected to present an expert report on the issue to Erdogan. Baykal is also expected to tell Erdogan that the government and opposition should work together on the issue. /Aksam/

    [11] TALAT NOMINATED FOR TRNC PRESIDENCY

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister and Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat was nominated yesterday by his party for the TRNC presidential elections scheduled for April 17. “Our aim is for Talat to win with 60% of the vote,” CTP Secretary-General Ferdi Sabit Soyer told a press conference, adding that Talat could then sit at the negotiating table for a Cyprus resolution. For his part, Talat said that if he is elected president, his mission would be to represent Turkish Cypriots’ stance on Cyprus on the international stage. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] TALABANI CLAIMS ANKARA SUPPORTS FEDERAL STRUCTURE IN IRAQ

    Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Tabani claimed yesterday that Ankara’s Iraqi policy had changed, adding that now it supported a federal structure in the country. Touching on his recent meeting with Ambassador Osman Koruturk, Turkey’s special envoy to Iraq, Talabani said, “Our Turkish friends said that Ankara supported federalism.” Talabani further claimed that Turkey’s point of view on the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk had also changed. /Aksam/

    [13] FRENCH NGO: “TURKEY HAS MADE PROGRESS ON ITS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION”

    Michel Tubiana, president of the Paris-based League for Human Rights, yesterday hailed Turkey’s progress in human rights over the last decade. Speaking at a French conference on human rights, Tubiana stated that Turkey’s human rights and democracy situation was not perfect, but that the country had achieved considerable progress over the last decade. He added that Turkey’s European Union membership bid was being used for domestic political fodder. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] AKP DEPUTY CHAIR KAPUSUZ: “REGULATIONS ENABLING STUDENTS TO RETURN TO THEIR SCHOOLS AREN’T AN AMNESTY”

    Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz said yesterday that a recently vetoed bill enabling students to return to university was not an amnesty, so the Parliament didn’t need to pass it with a supermajority of 330 deputies’ votes, as President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said in his veto. Speaking to journalists, Kapusuz said that the measure could be redebated by the full Parliament as early as Thursday. /Turkiye/

    [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [16] IS THIS ANGER OVER THE NEW TCK? BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Turkish-EU relations and Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I wonder what went through the minds of the people who criticized European Commission Representative to Turkey Hansjoerg Kretschmer when they saw the incidents in Istanbul over the weekend. Kretschmer faced rebukes last week when he argued that Turkey had failed to make progress since Dec. 17, when it got a date for its accession talks.

    European Union officials expressed concern over what they said was a ‘disproportionate’ use of force by police to break up a demonstration marking International Women's Day. ‘We were shocked by images of the police beating women and young people demonstrating in Istanbul,’ said a joint statement from Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, Britain's Europe Minister Denis MacShane and Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for enlargement. What would happen if the EU leaders had asked our leaders yesterday ‘Is this your idea of harmonization to the EU acquis?’ How could possibly we answer this question? Not only their joint statement denounced us, but also the European media leapt at the opportunity to bolster anti-Turkish views. ‘Will we really allow this country to join our ranks?’ asked the European media. Our Secretary-General for EU Affairs Murat Sungar had previously said that the police were in the process of being educated and trained on human rights issues. If this was the attitude of educated policemen, I really don’t want to see how the uneducated ones act! I guess this was the retaliation of our security forces for the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which will considerably reduce their rights. Please don’t forget that the EU is very serious on the implementation issue. EU leaders have stipulated that Turkey must immediately eliminate all of the shortcomings in the implementation of the reforms. The EU is now threatening to suspend Croatia’s negotiations, which are supposed to begin on March 14, because the country has refused to surrender a war criminal. If we fail to do what it demands of us, the EU won’t blink an eye before changing its mind on Turkey’s accession talks…”

    [17] ARMENIAN “GENOCIDE” IN THE WASHINGTON POST

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the historical background of the Armenian issue and the Armenian claims of “genocide.” A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The Washington Post is one of the world’s best-known newspapers. It became particularly famous back in 1974, when it forced President Richard Nixon to resign. Nixon’s crime was that he had secretly taped conversations and denied knowledge of a matter which he actually knew full well about. Actually such things are considered common functions of the government in most countries.

    Sunday’s Washington Post published a list of ‘mass murder of civilians in acts of genocide.’ Near the top of this list was the Holocaust. However, the article’s assertion that 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the Ottoman reign is a political lie. It’s an example of hostility against Turks, and it’s purposeful.

    In 1915, the total number of Armenians living under Ottoman rule was 1 million. During that time, Armenians living in Istanbul and western Anatolia were barely touched. Those living in the east, southeast and central parts of Anatolia were exiled to other regions of the empire such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. During their departure, Kurdish tribes, who had suffered great losses because of them, constantly attacked the Armenians. The number of Turkish soldiers assigned to guard the Armenians on their way was inadequate. Therefore, they could not prevent Kurdish assaults on the Armenians. Some 10,000-15,000 Armenians died during those attacks. No more than that. However, the death toll reached 200,000 with losses due to epidemics and poor conditions. The rest of the Armenians settled in Arab lands. After World War I, they emigrated to France, America and the rest of the world. If all of them had been killed, there wouldn’t be any Armenians in these countries now.

    Turkey has never had a governmental policy of ridding itself of any religion, sect, race or group. But our country treats people who challenge the state, assault its security forces and kill innocent citizens the same as any civilized country. True, 200,000 Armenians died during the exile. But the number of Turks, Circassians and especially Kurds that lost their lives was even greater. You don’t come across events in our history similar to what the US did to its Japanese citizens during World War II, how Eisenhower treated the surrendering German Army, or what France did in Algeria.

    Looking over the last 90 years, the West has a great deal more slaughter, brutality and destruction to be ashamed of. If only we could prevent such tragedies from happening again…”

    ARCHIVE

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