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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-25
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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
25.03.2005FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH NATION’S GOVERNORSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met in Ankara with the governors from all of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Speaking at the gathering, Erdogan called on the governors to cultivate their relations with the citizens. Asking the governors to be accessible, the premier stated that Turkey would grow stronger when communications between the state and the people improve. Adding that Turkey was in a time of great change, the premier pointed to the importance of governors during this period. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO INVITE KARAMANLIS TO VISIT TURKEY THIS FALLPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to invite his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis to visit Turkey in September to watch a Turkey-Greece soccer match together. During his two-day stay, the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral relations, Turkey’s European Union membership process and the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/
 GUL: “KIRKUK SHOULD BE A SYMBOL FOR A PERMANENT SOLUTION”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met yesterday in Ankara with Abdul- Aziz Al-Hakim, the deputy chairman of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIR), who recently said that Turkmen and Sunnis would also take part in the new government of Iraq. The SCIR is one of the leading Shiite parties in Iraq. During their meeting, Gul told al-Hakim that for a permanent solution in the country, the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk should serve as a symbol. Al-Hakim also met with Turkey’s Special Envoy to Iraq Osman Koruturk. /Milliyet/
 ANKARA URGES RESTRAINT IN KYRGYZSTANAnkara is closely monitoring the situation of Turks living in Kyrgyzstan following the toppling of its government after large public protests. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said, “We call on all parties to exercise restraint.” Urging nonviolence, Tan said that the Foreign Ministry and Turkish Embassy in Bishkek were working to establish security measures to evacuate some 200 Turks living in Kyrgyzstan. Meanwhile, a Turkish Airlines (THY) flight from Istanbul to Bishkek was cancelled yesterday due to the ongoing turmoil. /Turkiye/
 MERCAN: “ANTI-US VIEWS IN TURKEY ARE NOT IMMUTABLE”Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Murat Mercan, said yesterday that relations between Turkey and the United States are not bad as some in the public apparently believe, adding that both sides had the necessary will to improve bilateral relations. At a news conference after a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Mercan said that he had held a series of talks with US State Department and National Security Council officials. “Anti-Americanism in Turkey is not a rooted tendency, on the contrary, it is cyclical,” he said. Mercan also reiterated Turkey’s affirmative stance on US requests to extend the use of Incirlik Airbase in Turkey. /Star/
 DENKTAS: “IT’S MY DUTY TO WARN OF THREATS TO OUR CAUSE ON CYPRUS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that he would release a written statement to respond to Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah, who this week rebuffed his criticisms of Ankara’s Cyprus policy. Denktas added that it was his mission to warn of threats to the cause of the Turkish Cypriots. “I’m telling my fellow Turkish Cypriots to be more careful in any future referendum on the island’s future,” he added. Last year the Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of a UN reunification plan which Denktas opposes. /Aksam/
 PAMUKOGLU: “THERE ARE STILL 7,000 TERRORISTS HIDING IN THE MOUNTAINS”At a conference at Sakarya University, retired Gen. Osman Pamukoglu warned yesterday that there are still some 7,000 PKK terrorists hiding in the mountains of southeast Anatolia. Pamukoglu, who fought the terrorist group in 1993-95, said that these terrorists are politically and militarily trained in mountainous regions. /Hurriyet/
 JOURNALISTS PROTEST NEW PENAL CODEJournalists in Ankara yesterday protested the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) by marching to the capital’s courthouse chanting slogans and carrying signs saying Turkey shouldn’t be prevented from being informed. “Our hope is that we’ll never need to return to the courthouse,” said Turkish Journalists’ Union head Ercan Ipekci. /Sabah/
 MCCARTHY: “THERE WAS NO ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”Addressing the Parliament yesterday, visiting Professor Justin McCarthy from the University of Louisville said that there had been no genocide against the Armenians, adding that genocide claims were being used as a political weapon by certain circles. “Although these circles have political power, historical facts prove Turkey’s case,” he said, warning further that the European Union was trying to make recognition of the so-called genocide a precondition for Turkey’s EU membership. Later, McCarthy addressed a conference entitled “The Reality of the so-called Armenian Genocide.” Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc were all in attendance. /Cumhuriyet/
 WITNESSES TESTIFY AT YILMAZ, GUNES TRIALThe trial of former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and former Economy Minister Gunes Taner at the State Supreme Court continued yesterday. Four high-level bureaucrats testified during the hearing. Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin scheduled the next hearing for April 15 to hear testimony from eight other witnesses. Yilmaz and Taner are charged with wrongdoing in the allocation of state tenders during their terms in office. /Turkiye/
 IMF’S DAWSON: “A DELEGATION WILL VISIT TURKEY FOLLOWING AN OFFICIAL INVITATION FROM ANKARA”International Monetary Fund spokesman Tom Dawson said yesterday that an IMF delegation would visit Turkey when the schedule becomes clear and when it receives an official invitation from Ankara. “No mission is currently scheduled," Dawson told reporters. "But as always, we'd be happy to send a team to Ankara if the authorities find it useful and invite us. But the invitation has not happened at this point. If that is the case, I'm sure we will let you know promptly.” He characterized relations between the Fund and Ankara as both close and constructive, saying that there was a consensus concerning what Ankara needs to do before the standby agreement with the IMF and that Ankara needed to determine how it will fulfill these requirements. "I don't think there's no doubt in their mind as to what it is that we think is needed, and I think there's an agreement, in fact, as to what is needed," he added. "[W]e have on occasion had delays, and I think that has, in fact, led to a better agreement in the end than otherwise. ... [A]t this point I think we're working closely and not concerned. I think the authorities have a sense of what needs to be done." /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TURKEY, SYRIA AND IRAN BY M. ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)Columnist M. Ali Kislali comments on Turkey’s relations with neighboring Syria and Iran. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Washington is trying to prevent Turkey from moving closer to Syria and Iran, which are both our neighbors and natural allies on the terrorist PKK and northern Iraq issues. The US wants Ankara to cancel President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s visit to Syria next month. American diplomats are bringing up how Damascus embraced terrorist head Abdullah Ocalan for years, but conveniently forgetting that it also deported him when Ankara insisted.
We should accept that Turkey made one important mistake during its fight with the terrorist PKK. One of the key tasks in this fight was cutting foreign support for the terrorist group. However, Ankara failed to do this before 1999.
If the current Kurdish groups in Turkey, Iran and Syria as well as in northern Iraq came together under the roof a state which can be easily monitored, this would absolutely be to the benefit of all three countries. For years Turkey has been trying to develop a joint action plan with these countries. Thanks to Ankara’s efforts, today the terrorist PKK is unable to use Iranian territories against Turkey.
In brief, establishing good relations with these two countries is highly beneficial to our national interests. What I don’t get is why Washington believes otherwise. Is Turkey provoking Syria and Iran against Washington? Is Ankara saying to these countries, ‘Turn down Washington’s demands and we’ll support you?’ Or is Turkey recommending that they act with common sense, just as it did with Saddam Hussein prior to the US invasion?
Ankara diplomatic sources insist that there is no threat or prospect of threats from our neighbors. But why are we under pressure about these two countries? Isn’t Turkey making recommendations to Iran on the nuclear issue and Syria on withdrawing from Lebanon? Or maybe Washington is using these two countries as a pretext to pressure Ankara about more sensitive issues …”
 OCALAN’S RETRIAL WON’T CHANGE ANYTHING BY NURAY BASARAN (AKSAM)Columnist Nuray Basaran comments on the European Court of Human Right’s approaching decision on Abdullah Ocalan’s retrial. A summary of her column is as follows:
“There has been ongoing debate on the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) approaching decision on the issue a retrial for terrorist Abdullah Ocalan.
Since international agreements are considered superior to national laws, Turkey will likely have difficulty resisting an ECHR decision to retry Ocalan. What we should ask ourselves is, will the ECHR be fair in its decision, or will Turkey be subject to unjust and tendentious treatment?
Although Turkey has little room to maneuver on legal ground, it has clear objections on claims of ‘irregular and subjective exercise of jurisdiction.’ Ocalan’s trial was open and above-board. Thus Turkey’s objections are legitimate.
Europe’s policy on Ocalan and the PKK has always been questionable. The PKK has from time to time been used strategically against Turkey. But no political interest may legitimize terrorism.
The PKK is a terrorist organization that has occasionally been supported by our neighbors. Our archives are full of evidence that indicate logistical and tactical support the PKK has received.
The terrorist organization has also been operating freely in many European countries. Some of these countries even helped efforts to legalize the PKK.”
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