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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-21
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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
21.03.2005FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 SEZER, ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES MARKING NEVRUZPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday issued a written message to celebrate Nevruz, a day marking the advent of spring, saying that he hoped the holiday would bring peace and hope and be celebrated like a joyous festival throughout the country. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also issued a message marking Nevruz, saying that it had celebrated with great enthusiasm across a vast region for centuries. Erdogan further stressed that universal values such as love, tolerance, and forgiveness are reinforced during Nevruz. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN, GUL TO TRAVEL TO BRUSSELSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Brussels, Belgium, today to attend the “European People’s Parties’ Summit” as an observer member. During an evening banquet, Erdogan is scheduled to meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis to discuss Turkish-European Union relations as well as the Cyprus issue. Erdogan is expected to urge Greece to take steps on the issue. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who will accompany Erdogan, is also to meet with his EU counterparts and is expected to reiterate that Ankara will extend the Customs Union to 10 new EU members, including Greek Cyprus. He will also call on EU countries to keep their promise to end the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN URGES AKP DEPUTIES TO TAKE INTEREST IN CITIZENS’ PROBLEMSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a series of opening ceremonies in Kahramanmaras, including one for the Turkoglu-Nurdagi highway. Speaking to citizens, Erdogan said that power lay in the hands of the people, adding that governments were just trying to do their will. Stressing that the government had allocated TL 15 quadrillion for road building this year, Erdogan vowed that Turkey would continue to develop under the rule of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. He also called on all AKP deputies to work hard to serve their constituents, pointing out that citizens supported only deputies who serve their needs. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN TO PAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO ISRAELPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to pay an official visit to Israel on May 1-3. The expected visit is being interpreted by diplomatic circles as a sign of mending fences between the two countries after a chilly period marked by Erdogan’s harsh criticism of the Sharon government’s violent policy towards the Palestinians. Among the issues that the premier will discuss with Israeli officials are the Middle East peace process, and the latest developments in Syria, Iran and Iraq, as well as the Cyprus issue. /Sabah/
 GUL: “GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that there was no direct or indirect linkage between the Armenian so-called genocide allegations and Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking in Parliament, Gul said that Ankara had fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria as confirmed by both last October’s EU Commission report and December’s EU summit. Stressing that a History Research Group had been formed to investigate the allegations, Gul said that in the near future their findings on the issue would be released for the benefit of Turkey and the international community. /Turkiye/
 NEVRUZ CELEBRATIONS TAINTED BY PRO-TERRORIST PROVOCATIONSCelebrations of Nevruz in Turkey yesterday were tainted by the provocation and slogans of illegal and pro-PKK groups. Some 30,000 people participated in the celebrations in Istanbul, an event organized by the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) and a number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). DEHAP head Tuncay Bakirhan called on the government to pay heed to the views of terrorist Abdullah Ocalan to resolve the so-called Kurdish issue in Turkey. Tension between the demonstrators and security forces rose in some of the celebrations, including the one in Istanbul, as the demonstrators chanted pro-PKK slogans, carried posters of terrorist Ocalan, damaged public property on the streets and tried to burn Turkey’s national flag. In related news, True Path Party (DYP) head Mehmet Agar criticized the events for distorting the meaning of Nevruz, which he added refers to a celebration of peace, friendship and solidarity. “Nevruz is a very old tradition dating back to ancient times,” he added. “So, it isn’t peculiar to any single culture, but should be embraced by all civilizations in the Middle East.” In addition, National Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli charged that terrorist and pro-terrorist groups had corrupted Nevruz, making it a kind of a show of terrorist violence. He also echoed Agar’s wish that Nevruz should be celebrated as an event of peace and solidarity. /Sabah / Turkiye/
 RUMSFELD FAULTS TURKEY FOR IRAQI UNRESTAppearing on public affairs TV shows on Sunday, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he wished US troops had not been "blocked" from entering Iraq through Turkey, claiming that this had caused the postwar insurgency in Iraq to flourish. "Given the level of the insurgency today, two years later, clearly, if we had been able to get the Fourth Infantry Division in from the north through Turkey, more of the Iraqi Saddam Hussein Baathist regime would have been captured or killed," he told Fox News on the second anniversary of the US invasion. He added that “the insurgency today would be less” if the heavily armored units of the division had been permitted to use Turkish territory, as he said these troops were ready to “create a battlefield vise to squeeze adversaries entering Iraq from Kuwait.” In February and March 2003, Ankara opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) refused the US permission to open a northern front in Iraq through southeastern Turkey. /All Papers/
 TURKEY TO SEND LETTER TO BRUSSELS ON ANKARA AGREEMENT’S ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLDiplomatic sources stated that Ankara is soon to send a letter to Brussels stating that it would agree to sign the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement, extending the nation’s Customs Union to cover all 25 EU member countries, including the Greek Cypriot administration. The Parliament is reportedly then to issue a declaration saying that as the Greek Cypriot administration does not represent the entire island, Ankara’s signing of the additional protocol does not mean its official recognition. In related news, European Parliament President Josep Borrell over the weekend stated that Turkey must recognize the Greek Cypriot administration to start its accession talks in October. In addition, EP Social Democrat Group Chairman Martin Schulz echoed Borrell’s words on the Cyprus issue, also calling on Ankara to start fully implementing its reforms as soon as possible. /Star/
 EQUALITY NOW HAILS TURKEY’S PROGRESS IN WOMEN’S RIGHTSEquality Now, a US organization working for the protection and promotion of women’s rights around the world, has just released its 2005 report documenting violence and discrimination against women in 45 countries. The report cites Turkey among 14 countries which have recently made good progress on improving women’s rights by eliminating discrimination against women in their national legislation. The paper also hails Ankara’s recent reforms in strengthening human rights and democratization. /Hurriyet/
 GULER SEES NUCLEAR ENERGY IN TURKEY’S FUTURESpeaking to reporters prior to his departure for Paris where he will attend the 21st International Nuclear Power Conference, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler stated that nuclear energy would play a very important role in Turkey’s future. “In Paris, we’ll discuss the nuclear energy issue in full detail including environmental concerns,” he said. “We’re determined on the use of nuclear energy to build our future. Our nuclear energy policy is being developed in line with the European Union acquis.” /Star/
 BAYKAL: “THE SITUATION IN IRAQ HAS MADE TURKEY WEAK AND INEFFECTUAL IN ITS REGION”Appearing on television yesterday, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal expressed support for Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit’s recent warnings that the terrorist PKK_KADEK still constituted a threat to Turkey and that Ankara’s position in the region is weak. “The situation in Iraq made Turkey weak and ineffectual in its region, ” added Baykal. “The US Iraq policy has created difficulties for Turkey.” Baykal further stated that he didn’t want to create any tension between the government and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). /Milliyet/
 GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRAT SPOKESMEN: “ANKARA’S EU TALKS COULD BE POSTPONED”Guenter Gloser, the European spokesman for Germany’s ruling Social Democrats, said yesterday that Ankara’s European Union accession talks could be delayed, claiming that Ankara had recently made little progress in its EU membership bid. “If this situation continues, then the accession talks could be postponed,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 OECD TO HELP TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTIONTurkey is preparing for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development supervision in the fight against money laundering and financing for terrorism in light of criteria presented by the OECD. Measures are expected to be finalized by the end of September. The OECD Financial Task Force for Money Laundering (FATF) has launched its third round of country supervision, as reported by the Anatolia news agency. In this framework, Turkey began its preparations to be ready for the 2006 General Board meeting of the OECD. The FAFT first sent assessment criteria regarding the supervision of the Finance Ministry Research Institute of Financial Crime (MASAK) and requested that the ministry respond to questions concerning the criteria. MASAK then forwarded the criteria to several related ministries to get a comprehensive assessment of Turkey’s situation. /Sabah/
 ANOTHER TURKISH TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN IRAQNorth of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a Turkish truck driver was shot dead yesterday during an attack by insurgents on a convoy under the protection of US soldiers. Iraqi officials stated that identity of the driver was not known yet. /Turkiye/
 MARMARIS TO HOST INTL MARITIME FESTIVALAn International Maritime Festival will be held in Marmaris in the Aegean city of Mugla starting next Sunday April 27, the Turkish Naval Force Command said. According to the command, warships, training vessels and yachts from both Turkey and abroad will join the six-day festival which will be held under the auspices of the Turkish Naval Forces, Marmaris Deputy Governor's Office, Marmaris Municipality, South Aegean Tourist Hotels and Facilities Union, and the Maritime Chamber of Commerce. The USS Carney from the United States as well as Germany’s FGS U-17, Australia’s HMAS Anzac, France’s FS Commandant Bouan, Britain’s HMS Chatham, Israel’s INS Yaffo, Spain’s SPS Reina Sofia, Italy’s ITS Scirocco, Russia’s RS Pyitlivy, Ukraine’s UNS Kostyantin Olsansky and Greece’s HS Salamis will all be in Marmaris for the festival. Also, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will each join the festival with one ship. Bulgaria and Romania will be represented by training vessels. Competitions, concerts, exhibitions and panel discussions will be held and films will also be shown as a part of the festival. Famous Turkish diver Yasemin Dalkilic will try to break a 125-meter diving record during the festival. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and a number of foreign officials are expected to attend the festival, which aims to promote the Turkish maritime sector, support maritime culture, boost efforts to make Turkey a maritime country, and promote Marmaris. The Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO) will give a concert on board a warship for the first time as a part of the festivities. The 80-piece orchestra conducted by Rengim Gokmen will take the stage aboard a frigate set to anchor at the Port of Marmaris on April 30. The orchestra will also give a concert during the official opening ceremony of the festival, and premiere a symphony composed by Turgay Erdener for the Turkish Navy. Several other concerts will also be given by the Naval Forces Command Band and the Janissary Band. 50,000 foreign guests are expected to join this international festival. /AA/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 A NEW TURKMEN POLICY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Ankara’s new policy on the Turkmen in northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey’s Special Envoy to Iraq Osman Koruturk told me about the basic elements of Ankara’s new policy for the Turkmen. With the new policy, the following messages will be given to the Turkmen: 1. Take the Turks in Bulgaria as a model. 2. Stand on your own two feet. 3. Make your mark in Iraq.
How does Turkey see the Turkmen in the process after the Iraqi elections? What will Ankara’s new policy be? We can say that Turkey has formed a new line in its policy which could also be a state policy.
More activism: What does ‘stand on your own two feet’ mean? Koruturk answered the question as follows: ‘What we mean is this: During the former regimes in Iraq up to Saddam Hussein, the Turkmen were always under pressure. They couldn’t organize politically or develop democratic mechanisms. They were forced to deny their identity, but they never lost their national identity and culture. In this new period and the democratization process, the Turkmen should get organized, make their mark in Iraq with their democratic mechanisms, and boost their political acumen and activities.’
As in Bulgaria: ‘Iraqi’s Turkmen are well educated and they can form a wider and more comprehensive democratic organization than the Iraqi Turkmen Front,’ Koruturk continued. ‘The Turkmen are the third-largest ethnic group in Iraq. Thus like the Turks in Bulgaria, they could use this advantage in their policies. The Turks of Bulgaria have an important role in the nation’s administration.’
This shouldn’t be misunderstood: Emphasizing that this approach shouldn’t be misunderstood, Ambassador Koruturk said: ‘This shouldn’t be understood as Turkey withdrawing its support. Ankara’s support will remain. This approach is also the will of the Iraqi Turkmen. As a matter of fact various Turkmen groups have formed a “Democracy and Unity Platform” and decided on a broader organization. We believe that it is possible for them to have an impact in Iraqi politics. As the third-largest ethnic group, this is their right. Turkey’s experience, knowledge and technological support will of course continue in this process.’
All organizations are in agreement: Emphasizing that the Turkmen are the third-largest ethnic group in Iraq, Koruturk said that in former censuses the population was counted only as Arabs and Kurds and that the Turkmen were forced to misidentify themselves. Koruturk said that the Turkmen who didn’t forsake their identity despite these conditions should now make their mark. This is the framework of Ankara’s Turkmen policy. Koruturk also emphasized that other state organizations are also in full agreement about this policy.
What is the secret of Bulgarian Turks?: The Rights and Freedom Party (HOH) of Turks in Bulgaria has made itself part of Bulgaria’s national identity. The communist administration in the country identified the Turks as ‘Muslim Bulgarians,’ and in the ‘80s the Todor Jivkof administration forced Turks to change their names. The Bulgarian government set up concentration camps as the Turks resisted. After the collapse of the Jivkof administration in 1989, HOH leader Ahmet Dogan became a hero. The basic philosophy of HOH is to see itself as a Bulgarian political party. This movement identified itself in the Bulgarian national identity. The official language of the party is Bulgarian. The Bulgarian Turks have never tended towards an armed struggle even in the face of assimilationist policies.”
 WHO OFFENDED THE US? BY ALI ASLAN (ZAMAN)Columnist Ali Aslan comments on Turkish-US relations and Ambassador Eric Edelman’s recent resignation. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Since last March when our Parliament voted down a motion to allow US troops to deploy through Turkish territory, Americans have been trying to discover who is responsible for offending Turkey. This is a useful argument involving a great deal of self-criticism.
The gap in Turkish-US relations, which has been further widened with US Ambassador Eric Edelman’s recently announced resignation, must also be examined by Turkey. We need to ask the same question: ‘Who offended the US?’ But most of us are reluctant to engage in such self-inquiry. Some of us are even as happy as the fascist Nazi Hitler would be to brush off an alliance that has some Jewish roots.
I won’t go into whether Edelman has been a good ambassador, because Turkish hospitality wouldn’t allow that. Besides, his work performance should be an American concern. And as far as I know, his superiors are pleased with his actions. Edelman will most likely be promoted to a higher rank either in the administration or the private sector. He might even replace Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
I’m not going to speculate about Edelman’s future, either. What I’m trying to get at is how this decline in Turkish-US relations should be interpreted. Edelman’s resignation is one of the most dramatic instances of Turkey’s fall from America’s ‘friends’ list. Never before in Turkish history has a US ambassador resigned from his duty.
American officials have repeatedly emphasized that Edelman’s resignation is in no way related to President Sezer’s future visit to Syria. It’s said that his resignation is due to a pileup of misfortunate events. Somehow we were able to send a high-ranking US diplomat and friend of Vice President Dick Cheney back to the US broken-hearted instead of using his assistance to make our voice heard in Washington!
Although the question ‘who offended the US’ is seldom asked in Turkey, it’s frequently discussed in the US, and the finger is pointed at Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials and the Turkish media. It’s notable that the Turkish Army drew less criticism than expected. I wonder if the neocons are once more edging towards the Turkish military.
In this context, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) meeting scheduled for Wednesday is crucial, for the AEI is known for its closeness to the neocons. In my opinion, the neocons have largely abandoned all their faith in the AKP government. However, this meeting could be an opportunity to dispel some of their worries about Turkey getting closer to Iran, Syria and Russia.
For years, the neocons have secured Washington’s link to Turkey. In order to restore its friendship with the US, Turkey needs to be in good terms with the neocons, for they hold the key to access in Washington.”
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