|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 05-03-11
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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
11.03.2005SEZER APPROVES TOUGHER STRAITS PROTECTION LAW ERDOGAN: “THE MEDIA SERVED FOREIGN INTERESTS IN EXAGGERATING POLICE ACTIONS” ERDOGAN ATTENDS TUBITAK MEETING GUL MEETS WITH GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BUYUKANIT: “THERE ARE STILL MANY TERRORISTS IN OUR SOUTHEAST” TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS VISITS GEN. TOLON AGAR CRITICIZES GOVT’S “CLUMSINESS” IN POLICE CRACKDOWN CANDIDATES READY FOR TRNC PRESIDENTIAL RACES TURKISH JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATION REJECTS ERDOGAN’S CRITICISM SEKA’S IZMIT FACTORY TO BE TRANSFERRED TO IZMIT MUNICIPALITY FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… WILL ATHENS GIVE UP ON THE HAGUE? BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET) THE EU’S SO-CALLED ‘TO-DO’ LIST BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
 SEZER APPROVES TOUGHER STRAITS PROTECTION LAWPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved a new law on the Turkish Straits. The law is designed to reduce the risk of pollution in the Straits by not allowing the passage of uninsured ships in Turkish territorial waters. In addition, ships which fail to meet world environmental standards won’t be allowed to pass through the straits. Turkish vessels which don’t meet these standards will also be barred. All ships except warships and official government vessels (Turkish and otherwise) will have to submit information on their cargo to the Undersecretariat of Navigation. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “THE MEDIA SERVED FOREIGN INTERESTS IN EXAGGERATING POLICE ACTIONS”Speaking at a press conference yesterday before flying to Spain to attend a security summit, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged that the media had served foreign interests by exaggerating Sunday’s police crackdown on an unauthorized International Women’s Day demonstration in Istanbul, adding that the incident had been blown out of proportion. The media effectively denounced Turkey to the world, he said, adding, “The police may sometimes act in the heat of emotion, but this incident wasn’t serious.” Erdogan added that the Interior Ministry was investigating the incident and that such things also happen in Western countries. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN ATTENDS TUBITAK MEETINGSpeaking at a meeting of the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TUBITAK) yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the importance of achieving progress in science and technology. Erdogan stated that the defense industry and space work were Turkey’s priorities, adding that the government had prepared a strategic framework document to coordinate science and technology with research and development (R&D) efforts. “This document will lay out our objectives through 2010,” he said. The premier also lamented that the resources currently allocated to science and technology were insufficient for the country’s goals, but urged the need for patience. /Milliyet/
 GUL MEETS WITH GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTERForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his visiting Georgian counterpart Salome Zurabisvili in Ankara. At a joint press conference, Gul said that Turkey and Georgia were not only neighbors but also friendly countries, adding that Ankara backed peaceful solutions to conflicts in the country’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions in line with political and territorial integrity. Touching on a number of joint ventures with Caucasian countries, Gul said that the long-awaited opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was expected later this year. For his part, Zurabisvili stated that Tbilisi attached importance to Turkey’s political support in its relations with Russia. She also remarked that Turkey’s European Union membership was needed for the region. Meanwhile, the two ministers signed a joint protocol on cooperation against human trafficking. /Star/
 GUL TO TRAVEL TO BRITAINAt the invitation of his British counterpart Jack Straw, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is scheduled to travel to London for an official working visit over the weekend. The talks of the two top diplomats will focus on Turkish-European Union relations and the Cyprus issue. In addition, political, economic, cultural relations, as well as the Mideast issue, are expected to be taken up. During his stay, the Turkish foreign minister will also visit an exhibition entitled “Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600” at the Royal Academy of Arts. /Turkiye/
 GEN. OZKOK VISITS AFGHANISTANChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok accompanied by his wife yesterday flew to Kabul, Afghanistan to pay an official visit. On his first day, Ozkok met with Vice President Ahmed Ziya Massoud, and then officials from the country’s General Staff and Defense Ministry. He also met with Turkish soldiers serving in the country’s stabilization force, which Turkey currently commands. Pointing to a history of good relations between Ankara and Kabul, Ozkok pledged that Turkey would do its best to promote peace and stability in the country. /Turkiye/
 BUYUKANIT: “THERE ARE STILL MANY TERRORISTS IN OUR SOUTHEAST”There are still many PKK terrorists in southeastern Turkey, warned Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit at the International Defense Fair at Ankara’s Sheraton Hotel yesterday. “The number of terrorists in Turkey equals the number at the time of PKK head Abdullah Ocalan’s 1999 capture,” added Buyukanit. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and US Ambassador Eric Edelman also attended the fair. /Star/
 TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS VISITS GEN. TOLONTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday visited First Army Commander Gen. Hursit Tolon to discuss a number of issues. During their meeting, Denktas said that the additional Customs Union protocol, an agreement including Greek Cyprus which Turkey is obliged to sign before its European Union accession talks begin, would not amount to recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration. /Cumhuriyet/
 AGAR CRITICIZES GOVT’S “CLUMSINESS” IN POLICE CRACKDOWNSpeaking at a meeting of his party yesterday, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar criticized Sunday’s police crackdown on an unauthorized International Women’s Day demonstration in Istanbul, adding that the government’s actions in the incident had been “clumsy.” Agar stated that the government was responsible for the safety of women. Touching on women’s rights, Agar said that Political Parties Law needed to be changed in order to facilitate more political participation by women. /Cumhuriyet/
 AKP CONTINUES TO SHED DEPUTIESSait Armagan, an Isparta Deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), yesterday resigned from his party. In a written statement, Armagan claimed that the AKP’s policies fell short of serving the nation’s interests. With his resignation, the ruling party’s number of seats in Parliament fell to 361. /Milliyet/
 CANDIDATES READY FOR TRNC PRESIDENTIAL RACESToday is the last day for presidential candidates in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to apply to the Supreme Board of Elections to run during the April 17 elections. The Democrat Party (DP), the junior partner of the newly established coalition government, yesterday declared Mustafa Arabacioglu as its candidate. With his candidacy, the number of nominees reached seven, including Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the winner of last month’s general elections. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATION REJECTS ERDOGAN’S CRITICISMTurkish Journalists’ Association head Orhan Erinc yesterday criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent accusations that the media had aired “exaggerated stories” concerning police actions against Women’s Day protesters last weekend. “While trying to defend the police, the prime minister is being unfair to publishers who value their independence,” said Erinc. /Sabah/
 SEKA’S IZMIT FACTORY TO BE TRANSFERRED TO IZMIT MUNICIPALITYThe government yesterday successfully proposed that SEKA’s Izmit paper factory be transferred to the Greater Izmit Municipality. After Turkish Labor Union (Turk-Is) head Salih Kilic suggested that SEKA workers should have the last word, the workers voted in favor of the transfer, and a protocol to that end was signed. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WILL ATHENS GIVE UP ON THE HAGUE? BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on Greek-Turkish relations and disputes over the Aegean Sea. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The 29th ‘exploratory’ meeting between Turkey and Greece was held in Ankara last month.
The most comprehensive mechanism of negotiations between Turkey and Greece is now three years old.
The negations were previously conducted by then Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and then Greek Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Anastese Skopelitis.
While Skopelitis still represents the Greeks, Ambassador Ali Tuygan has succeeded Ugur Ziyal as Turkey’s representative.
So, how far have we come after 29 rounds of talks with Athens?
The series of negotiations aims at settling disputes over the Aegean Sea. Since the talks are not yet over, it can be said that the disagreements have endured.
In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in the policies of both countries. In the past, Athens would demand that all disputes be resolved at The Hague, because it believed that mechanisms of international law would work in its favor. Meanwhile, Turkey would act in an irresolute manner.
In 1996, when then Prime Minister Mesut Yýlmaz made a number of proposals including applying to The Hague Tribunal, a shift in our foreign policy became obvious.
Ankara has been following the same flexible policy since the beginning of the exploratory talks. This time, Athens is the one dragging its feet on the matter.
According to the European Union’s official document Agenda-2000, border disputes involving EU candidates are to be solved by The Hague Tribunal. At last December’s EU summit in Brussels, Greece demanded that unsolved disputes be carried to The Hague only ‘if necessary.’ Thus Greece revealed its reluctance to carry matters to the tribunal.
Results of the exploratory talks will also be made known to the EU. This way, the EU will have an idea of what was discussed in the meetings.
Contrary to all expectations, Turkey didn’t face any difficulties on the Aegean issue during last December’s EU summit. The ‘exploratory’ mechanism initiated by Ambassador Ziyal in 2002 has clearly neutralized all our troubles over the Aegean and smoothed Turkey’s way to the EU.”
 THE EU’S SO-CALLED ‘TO-DO’ LIST BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-European Union relations and Ankara’s shortcomings in the implementation of new reforms. A summary of his column is as follows:
“This week’s Turkish-EU Troika meeting focused on not only the ‘disproportionate’ violence by Turkish police towards women protesters on March 6, but also the EU leaders’ demands that Ankara act in line with the recent reforms passed by our Parliament. In short, the EU wants us to conform with its acquis.
What do the EU leaders mean by ‘implementation’ anyway? It’s nothing but a clear demand that Ankara act in line with its new legislation. Brussels is demanding that Ankara take action and make moves in step with its own reforms. It must be disheartening for a government to hear this but still be unable to do anything about it. The EU’s so-called ‘to-do’ list’ is full of issues which are directly under the jurisdiction of the Interior and Justice Ministries.
Earlier this week, the government discussed the new Penal Code and Criminal Procedural Code. Prosecutors and judges should get special training on these issues. There’s nothing much to say about police practices. We all know that our Interior Ministry has little in the way of real power and control over its own organization. If the current negative atmosphere changes, it will be Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul who will be the most relieved, because it’s always the Foreign Ministry which takes the blame the mistakes and missteps of the Interior Ministry on the international stage.
What does this so-called ‘to-do’ list cover?
Our government’s failure to find the perpetrators of a number of murders, particularly in provinces in southeastern Anatolia. * The charges against publisher Ragip Zarakolu, which were filed because he criticized Turkey’s policy towards the Kurds. * The case of Ibrahim Kaboglu and Baskin Oran, which springs from the report on minorities they prepared under the Human Rights Consultation Board. * The case of writer Orhan Pamuk and our government’s failure to investigate death threats against him. * Why Turkey’s Alawis aren’t allowed to establish their own houses of worship. * Why the government doesn’t let the Heybeliada Seminary re-open. Gul’s commitment to call the perpetrators of (what the EU termed) ‘brutality’ to account for their actions against women protesters in Istanbul over the weekend.
Turkey needs to shift its policy on just two of the above subjects, the issues of the seminary and the Alawis. However, the rest are matters of implementation. If the current laws are implemented smoothly, these problems will be easily resolved. Our government should require that prosecutors and judges understand the new legislation backwards and forwards and implement it without any hitches. This is the duty of our government.”
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