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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-18
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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
18.03.2005SEZER APPROVES STUDENT AMNESTY BILL ERDOGAN VOICES SUPPORT FOR SEZER’S SYRIA VISIT GUL: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM BETWEEN ANKARA AND WASHINGTON” FOREIGN MINISTRY: “THE EU DECISION ON CROATIA WILL NOT AFFECT ANKARA” KRETSCHMER: “THE EU DECISION TO DELAY NEGOTIATIONS WITH CROATIA IS SEPARATE FROM TURKEY” 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN COMMEMORATED TODAY LANDSLIDE SWALLOWS SIVAS DISTRICT SARIGUL TO DEFEND HIMSELF AT CHP DISCIPLINARY BOARD US STATE DEPT: “SEZER’S VISIT TO DAMASCUS IS SOMETHING BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA” COURT: “REQUESTING EDUCATION IN KURDISH IS NOT A THREAT TO THE STATE” DEHAP TO HOLD NEVRUZ CELEBRATIONS IN DIYARBAKIR FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS DEPENDING ON THE INTENTIONS BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH) NEW FACTS ON TURKISH-US RELATIONS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
 SEZER APPROVES STUDENT AMNESTY BILLPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved a controversial bill concerning student amnesty which he had previously vetoed. The bill enabling some 700,000 students who were dismissed from university since June 29, 2000 to return was passed by Parliament this week and then sent for the president’s approval. The bill will go into effect after its publication in the Official Gazette. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN VOICES SUPPORT FOR SEZER’S SYRIA VISITSpeaking to reporters following his meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday expressed support for Sezer’s upcoming visit to Syria, saying that Sezer’s decision to go ahead with the trip was appropriate. Asked whether the visit would hurt Turkish-US relations, Erdogan dismissed the possibility. “There is no problem in our relations with the US,” he added. In related news, speaking at a press conference yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said that Ankara would decide by itself about its relations with its neighbors, adding, “We conduct our foreign policy and foreign relations of our own free will.” Tan added that Sezer would travel to Damascus for his official visit in the second week of April. /Aksam/
 GUL: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM BETWEEN ANKARA AND WASHINGTON”Speaking at his party’s Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) meeting yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdulah Gul briefed participants on relations between Ankara and Washington, which recently experienced tension due to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s visit to Syria scheduled for next month, saying that there was no problem between the two countries. “There are some circles which are trying to say that there is a problem between Turkey and the US, and that Turkey was approving Syria’s actions,” he said. “But we did our best for Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and took necessary steps on the matter. We told Syrian officials that not withdrawing their troops could create problems.” /Aksam/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: “THE EU DECISION ON CROATIA WILL NOT AFFECT ANKARA”Foreign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan yesterday predicted that this week’s European Union decision to delay its negotiations with Croatia would not affect Ankara beginning its own accession talks. He added that he hoped Croatia would meet the EU’s expectations as soon as possible and begin its accession talks. /Aksam/
 KRETSCHMER: “THE EU DECISION TO DELAY NEGOTIATIONS WITH CROATIA IS SEPARATE FROM TURKEY”Attending a meeting yesterday at the Customs Undersecretariat with State Minister Kursat Tuzmen, European Commission Representative in Ankara Hansjoerg Kretschemer said that the European Union decision to delay its negotiations with Croatia was separate from Turkey, adding that the accession talks with Ankara would begin on Oct. 3, as planned. German Ambassador to Ankara Wolf-Ruthart Born, who was also present at the meeting, also reiterated Germany’s full support for Ankara beginning its EU accession talks in October. In related news, EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk said that Ankara should learn from the EU decision on Croatia, adding that Turkey should first sign the Ankara protocol with the EU to begin its accession talks. He added that there was no other condition for the talks. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that there was no connection between Ankara and the EU decision on Croatia, adding that Zagreb only recently got involved in the EU process. “The EU decision on Croatia isn’t about the Copenhagen criteria, but war crimes,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN COMMEMORATED TODAYThe 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, a victory by Turkish troops defending the Dardanelles during World War I, is being commemorated today. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, State Minister Besir Atalay, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General Staff Gen Hilmi Ozkok and the Australian and New Zealand ambassadors to Turkey will all attend the ceremonies. /Hurriyet/
 LANDSLIDE SWALLOWS SIVAS DISTRICTA landslide yesterday in the central Anatolian city of Sivas’ Koyulhisar district swallowed 21 houses, leaving 17 people missing. Sivas Governor Hasan Canpolat said that search and rescue operations were continuing, adding that though housing was prohibited in the area, people had not heeded the safety warnings. /Star/
 SARIGUL TO DEFEND HIMSELF AT CHP DISCIPLINARY BOARDOpposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Istanbul Sisli district Mayor Mustafa Sarigul will testify today before the CHP Disciplinary Board. Sarigul was sent to the board by the party’s Central Executive Council (MYK) last November with a formal request to expel him from the party due to corruption allegations. /Turkiye/
 MUMCU JOINS ANAPIndependent Isparta Deputies Erkan Mumcu and Mehmet Sait Armagan, as well as Malatya independent Deputy Suleyman Saribas and Yozgat independent Deputy Mehmet Erdemir, yesterday joined the Motherland Party (ANAP). A ceremony to mark the event will be held tomorrow, said officials, adding that Mumcu, a former ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy and ex-culture and tourism minister, will announce his candidacy for ANAP leadership during the ceremony. ANAP, which failed to enter Parliament after the 2002 November elections, now has four seats in Parliament. The latest situation in Parliament is as follows: the Justice and Development Party (AKP): 361, Republican People’s Party (CHP): 168, True Path Party (DYP): 6, Motherland Party (ANAP): 4, People’s Ascent Party (HYP): 1, independent: 9 and vacant: 1. /Turkiye/
 US STATE DEPT: “SEZER’S VISIT TO DAMASCUS IS SOMETHING BETWEEN TURKEY AND SYRIA”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s upcoming official visit to Damascus is a decision between Turkey and Syria, said US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli yesterday. Reiterating the US position on Syria, Ereli said, “We would certainly hope that Turkey as well as others send Syria a clear message that the international community is of one mind in wanting and calling on Syria to get all its forces and intelligence operatives out of Lebanon.” /Hurriyet/
 COURT: “REQUESTING EDUCATION IN KURDISH IS NOT A THREAT TO THE STATE”In a case seeking the closure of education labor union Egitim-Sen because it advocates education in native languages, a judge yesterday ruled against the closure. In the text of his decision, Judge Kudret Kurt said that it is natural that language is a component of differences in a state rather than an element of separatism. “Education in native languages is not against the law,” said Kurt. “On the contrary, it is an indication that the state is looking after its citizens.” /Sabah/
 DEHAP TO HOLD NEVRUZ CELEBRATIONS IN DIYARBAKIRThe Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) on Monday will organize celebrations of Nevruz, a day marking the advent of spring. Stating that the Nevruz has been celebrated peacefully in recent years, DEHAP Diyarbakir head Mesut Bektas said that he had invited about 1,000 guests for the celebrations including President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani and Iraqi Kurdish Patriotic Union (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 DEPENDING ON THE INTENTIONS BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Turkey’s European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey is now concerned over its European Union membership talks since Brussels decided to postpone entry talks with Croatia due to its failure to arrest a top war crimes suspect. ‘Will this decision be a precedent for other candidate countries?’ our diplomats are now asking. According to our Foreign Ministry, the issue has nothing to do with Turkey’s membership talks.
However, the international community has interpreted the decision as a powerful signal to other would-be EU members that they must fully respect human rights. For example, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said that the EU’s decision is a precedent for Turkey, proving that Brussels would never give any ground on human rights. In addition, Joost Lagendijk, the co-president of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, stated that Turkey must take the decision to heart. ‘On Oct. 3, Brussels will examine the list of conditions that it stipulated had to be completed by that date,’ he added. ‘If Ankara fails to fulfill even one of them, Brussels can decide to postpone the country’s accession talks, as in the case of Croatia.’
The final statement of last December’s Brussels summit covered Croatia in three paragraphs. In the first, Brussels praised the country’s preparations for EU membership. In the second, Brussels urged Zagreb to surrender a Croatian former general to the UN war crimes tribunal for trial. The last paragraph underlines that this is the only precondition to start the nation’s accession talks.
What about the paragraphs on Turkey? There are seven articles on our country, from which there seem to be two preconditions: First, the amendment of the Ankara Agreement in line with the EU’s current members. In other words, Ankara must recognize the Greek Cypriot administration. Second, six laws must be approved by the Parliament by Oct. 3.
However, there are also certain sentences that could be interpreted as preconditions as well, depending on the intentions of the reader. For example, Brussels will closely monitor both Turkey’s reform process to ensure the protection of human rights and basic freedoms, and Ankara’s progress on political reforms in line with the Accession Partnership Document.
Moreover, the statement also stressed that Brussels noted the earlier European Parliament decision on Turkey, which lists a number of preconditions for Turkey’s membership talks such as Ankara’s official recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide, opening the Armenian border, reopening the Heybeliada Seminary and ending compulsory religion courses in schools. If the EU leaders said that they noted this EP decision, should we see these as further preconditions or not? As I said, everything hinges on the intentions. If Brussels has good intentions towards Ankara, the only problem we’ll have is the Customs Union. However, if the EU leaders decide to see the summit statement through another, wider-angle lens, then everything will grow much more complicated…”
 NEW FACTS ON TURKISH-US RELATIONS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkish-US relations and Ankara’s concerns about Washington’s foreign policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“For most of this week we’ve been trying to explain the atmosphere in Washington towards Turkish-American relations, because it’s important that we know what the US officials’ take on the issue is. Turkey’s response to the US must be based on the facts. Now let’s see what Ankara thinks about Washington’s concerns:
Turkey’s reliability: Turkish officials think it’s unfair for the US to question Turkey’s reliability as an ally. As one Turkish official put it: ‘Instead, we should question America’s reliability. Does the US care about our concerns on the PKK? Does the Bush administration take into account our opinion on Iraq? Turkey has always been loyal to the alliance. If the dialogue between our countries is in a sorry state, it’s America’s fault.
US reaction to anti-Americanism: American officials and analysts still relate the chill wind in bilateral relations to the rise of ‘anti-Americanism’ in Turkey. But they don’t want to admit that the true motive behind anti-Americanism in Turkey is Bush administration policy on Iraq. As one analyst said, ‘Unlike a large number of countries, neither the Turkish government nor the public feels hostile towards the US. Those in Washington must come to see that.’
The Syria issue: Another objective of America’s Middle East policy is to soften up and eventually knock down Syria. The recent events in Lebanon were just what the US needed to make another move against Syria. And this time Washington got active support from Europe and other nations.
Such a display of support was anticipated from Turkey as well. Instead, Ankara announced that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer would visit Syria. That clearly upset the US. Thus the Syria issue was also added to the list of disagreements between Turkey and the US.
It’s a new experience for the Bush administration to see Turkey act according to a foreign policy independent from that of Washington. But it’s time the US became tolerant of Turkey and got used to Turkey’s new policy.”
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