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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-31

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

31.03.2005

GUL: ”TURKEY’S PREPARATIONS FOR EU TALKS ARE IN THEIR FINAL PHASE” EU WELCOMES ANKARA’S LETTER ON SIGNING PROTOCOL TWO DEPUTIES QUIT AKP, ANOTHER JOINS ANAP 31 CHP DEPUTIES PROTEST ADMINISTRATION RUMSFELD DENIES BLAMING TURKEY FOR IRAQI INSURGENCY TURKEY, SYRIA TO WORK TO RESOLVE COMMON TERRITORY PROBLEM NSC SECRETARY-GENERAL: “THE TURKISH-US PARTNERSHIP MUST BE REVAMPED” FOREIGN MINISTRY: “GREEK CYPRIOTS CAN’T USE TURKISH AIRSPACE OR PORTS” BAHCELI CRITICIZES DEPUTY TRANSFERS TRNC’S TALAT: “DIRECT TRADE CANNOT BE PREVENTED” LAGENDIJK: “SIGNING THE PROTOCOL INDICATES ‘LIGHT’ RECOGNITION” TRIAL OF FORMER MINISTERS HINGES ON TCK CHANGES EGYPTIAN TRADE MINISTER VISITS ANKARA, MEETS TUZMEN AND HISARCIKLIOGLU VORKINK RECOMMENDS STEPS TO ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENT IMF DELEGATION SET TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY ON MONDAY FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… RELATIONS GAUGE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS MOROCCO
  • [02] GUL: ”TURKEY’S PREPARATIONS FOR EU TALKS ARE IN THEIR FINAL PHASE”
  • [03] EU WELCOMES ANKARA’S LETTER ON SIGNING PROTOCOL
  • [04] TWO DEPUTIES QUIT AKP, ANOTHER JOINS ANAP
  • [05] 31 CHP DEPUTIES PROTEST ADMINISTRATION
  • [06] RUMSFELD DENIES BLAMING TURKEY FOR IRAQI INSURGENCY
  • [07] TURKEY, SYRIA TO WORK TO RESOLVE COMMON TERRITORY PROBLEM
  • [08] NSC SECRETARY-GENERAL: “THE TURKISH-US PARTNERSHIP MUST BE REVAMPED”
  • [09] FOREIGN MINISTRY: “GREEK CYPRIOTS CAN’T USE TURKISH AIRSPACE OR PORTS”
  • [10] AGAR TOURS SOUTHERN ANATOLIA
  • [11] BAHCELI CRITICIZES DEPUTY TRANSFERS
  • [12] TRNC’S TALAT: “DIRECT TRADE CANNOT BE PREVENTED”
  • [13] LAGENDIJK: “SIGNING THE PROTOCOL INDICATES ‘LIGHT’ RECOGNITION”
  • [14] TRIAL OF FORMER MINISTERS HINGES ON TCK CHANGES
  • [15] EGYPTIAN TRADE MINISTER VISITS ANKARA, MEETS TUZMEN AND HISARCIKLIOGLU
  • [16] VORKINK RECOMMENDS STEPS TO ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENT
  • [17] IMF DELEGATION SET TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY ON MONDAY
  • [18] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [19] RELATIONS GAUGE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS MOROCCO

    On his four-day tour to North African countries, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by a delegation of ministers, deputies, and businessmen yesterday proceeded to Morocco, after completing his contacts in Tunisia. Erdogan was first received by King Mohammad VI and then met with his Moroccan counterpart Driss Jettou. Erdogan also signed an agreement to develop trade relations between the two countries. /Sabah/

    [02] GUL: ”TURKEY’S PREPARATIONS FOR EU TALKS ARE IN THEIR FINAL PHASE”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday attended a meeting entitled “Strategic Leadership in the European Union Accession Bid” organized jointly by State Economy Minister Ali Babacan, World Bank Turkey Director Andrew Vorkink and the Foreign Ministry. “Turkey’s preparations for its EU membership negotiations are about to wrap up,” Gul said. “We’ll undergo radical economic and social reforms in the future, apart from political ones. So, we’re expecting Brussels to boost its financial aid to Turkey to help our country in its democratization and development efforts.” He underlined the importance of the role of bureaucracy in the reform process, adding that the country’s civil servants must prioritize the nation’s interests. “If bureaucratic circles cooperate with each other in line with our national interests, it will get easier for Turkey to reach its ultimate goal of EU membership.” /Star/

    [03] EU WELCOMES ANKARA’S LETTER ON SIGNING PROTOCOL

    The European Union yesterday welcomed Ankara’s recent letter expressing a compromise on extending an additional protocol to EU new members. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn hailed the development as a signal that Turkey was meeting its commitments and a positive step towards the beginning of its accession talks on Dec. 3. Asked whether extending the protocol would mean the recognition of Greek Cyprus by Ankara, Rehn stressed that it would be an improvement in normalizing relations between the two countries. /Turkiye/

    [04] TWO DEPUTIES QUIT AKP, ANOTHER JOINS ANAP

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Erzurum Deputy Ibrahim Gundogan and Izmir Deputy Serpil Yildiz yesterday resigned from their party. The two are expected to join the Motherland Party (ANAP) before this weekend’s congress. Meanwhile, AKP Gaziantep Deputy Omer Abusoglu, who quit his party on Tuesday, joined the ranks of ANAP during a ceremony held in Ankara yesterday. _Sabah

    [05] 31 CHP DEPUTIES PROTEST ADMINISTRATION

    A group of 31 deputies from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) yesterday criticized the party administration and its recent actions. The deputies, including Kemal Dervis, issued a statement blasting the administration for the dismissal of 18 provincial representatives, adding that they had no intention of leaving the CHP. /Turkiye/

    [06] RUMSFELD DENIES BLAMING TURKEY FOR IRAQI INSURGENCY

    US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday denied that he had criticized Turkey for not allowing American troops to be deployed on its soil before the Iraq war, which could have opened a second front in the north of Iraq. Although Rumsfeld did not recant his recent statement that Ankara’s refusal had resulted in a greater level of insurgency in Iraq, he stressed that Turkey had made its own decision as independent country. "They had a brand new government [in early 2003], headed by a political party that had not governed in that country," he told reporters. But still "they actually went forward and made a good faith effort to do it [authorize the deployment]." Asked whether he was "blaming" Turkey in his earlier remarks, Rumsfeld answered, "I wasn't at all. They're a sovereign nation [and] they make their own decision." /Hurriyet/

    [07] TURKEY, SYRIA TO WORK TO RESOLVE COMMON TERRITORY PROBLEM

    In the runup to negotiations due between Turkey and Syria, the Foreign Ministry has agreed to establish a commission to find an acceptable formula for the “territory problem” between the neighboring countries. The so-called territory issue concerns 10,000 square meters of land in the southern province of Hatay, as Syria claims these Turkish territories. The commission’s head Ambassador Mehmet Yildiz has requested written comments and recommendations of the Office of the General Staff, Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Public Works on the issue. The commission will develop Turkey’s arguments on the Hatay issue to be discussed with Syrian officials and review the issues that a possible bilateral agreement could cover. /Star/

    [08] NSC SECRETARY-GENERAL: “THE TURKISH-US PARTNERSHIP MUST BE REVAMPED”

    National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Yigit Alpogan yesterday attended a Turkish-American Business Council meeting as part of the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK). Addressing the meeting, which was also attended by US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman and Istanbul Chief Consul David Arnett as well as businessmen, Alpogan said that as Ankara and Washington had common interests in the region, the two countries must cooperate closely without allowing bilateral relations or their strategic partnership to be derailed by problems. “Our countries must defend common interests without any hesitation,” he added. “Recent allegations of a crisis between our two countries are baseless. However, it’s clear that our partnership must be revamped. We need a healthier dialogue and frank conversation.” He also recalled Turkey’s commitment to peace efforts in Iraq and urged Washington to take effective measures to crack down on the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. “Our 50-year relationship cannot be shaken by isolated events,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] FOREIGN MINISTRY: “GREEK CYPRIOTS CAN’T USE TURKISH AIRSPACE OR PORTS”

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan yesterday stated that Greek Cypriots cannot be allowed to use Turkish airspace and ports under the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, which Turkey has pledged to sign, because the provisions of the former do not cover the service sector. Asked about Ankara’s response to recent comments by Krisztina Nagy, a spokeswoman for EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, arguing that Turkey must lift its ban on Cypriot-flagged ships using Turkish ports because the ban would violate the Customs Union, Tan said that the issue was a political one which has nothing to do with the Customs Union. “The EU must first end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots,” he added. “Turkey’s restrictions must be considered a response to the Greek Cypriot embargos on Turkish Cyprus. No one should expect a further step from Turkey before progress is made on these issues.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] AGAR TOURS SOUTHERN ANATOLIA

    True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar is continuing his tour of southern Anatolian provinces. After paying visits to Diyarbakir and Mardin, Agar yesterday traveled to Mus. Speaking at a party congress, he said that the DYP aimed at developing the country, including its eastern and southeastern regions. Stressing that his party was defending rights, the law and freedom, Agar criticized the government’s course, adding that the country’s biggest issue was unemployment. /Sabah/

    [11] BAHCELI CRITICIZES DEPUTY TRANSFERS

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday criticized the recent wave of deputy transfers in Parliament. Bahceli received a delegation from the Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) headed by Sinan Aygun. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bahceli remarked that Parliament should represent the national will. Stressing that similar things had been seen in the past, Bahceli said, “But these accomplished nothing.” He also called the deputy transfers unethical. /Turkiye/

    [12] TRNC’S TALAT: “DIRECT TRADE CANNOT BE PREVENTED”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that the TRNC’s right to trade directly could not for long be blocked either by the Greek Cypriots or other powers. Stressing that the European Union had no intention to drop the topic of direct trade, Talat said that his government would insist on the issue. The premier added that he expected important steps would be taken towards a settlement on the island before Turkey begins its EU accession talks on Oct. 3. /Turkiye/

    [13] LAGENDIJK: “SIGNING THE PROTOCOL INDICATES ‘LIGHT’ RECOGNITION”

    Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the Turkish Parliament-European Parliament Joint Parliamentary Commission, yesterday stated that Turkey had kept its promise by declaring that it will sign the Ankara Agreement’s additional protocol. Lagendijk underlined that Turkey isn’t obliged to recognize Greek Cyprus in order to begin membership talks and continued: “However, when Turkey extends the Customs Union protocol in order to include Greek Cyprus, this will indicate that a ‘light’ recognition of Greek Cyprus by Turkey has occurred.” /Aksam/

    [14] TRIAL OF FORMER MINISTERS HINGES ON TCK CHANGES

    Unless necessary changes are made to the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) by tomorrow, former State Ministers Koray Aydin and Yasar Topcu will be able to evade being tried at the Supreme Court. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz announced that there will be no more delays in the changes and that the two former ministers won’t be able to avoid the Supreme Court. Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Haluk Koc described the delay as a “scandal.” /Aksam/

    [15] EGYPTIAN TRADE MINISTER VISITS ANKARA, MEETS TUZMEN AND HISARCIKLIOGLU

    Egyptian Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry Rasheed Mohammed Rasheed and an accompanying delegation yesterday met with State Minister Kursad Tuzmen in Ankara in an effort to boost bilateral trade relations. “Turkey and Egypt must sign a free trade agreement as soon as possible,” said Tuzmen speaking to reporters after the meeting. “The trade volume between our two countries is rising. Our aim is to raise the current $730 million trade volume to $1 billion this year. If we reach a free trade agreement, this figure could go as high as $2 billion.” Officials of the two countries are expected to meet in May to discuss the free trade agreement issue. In addition, Rasheed yesterday also met with Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu. “Turkey and Egypt have agreed to transport Egyptian natural gas to European Union countries through Turkey,” he said. “Our countries will soon sign new agreements on oil, natural gas transportation, tourism and service sectors. We expect an Egyptian gas transportation project through Turkey to be completed in 2007.” /Milliyet / Aksam_

    [16] VORKINK RECOMMENDS STEPS TO ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENT

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting entitled “Strategic Leadership in the European Union Accession Bid,” World Bank Turkey Director Andrew Vorkink yesterday said that although the privatization process of some 21 Turkish state energy distribution companies had been delayed, the WB did not see it as a large problem. “The real problem is Turkey has failed to attract direct foreign investment because it hasn’t provided the necessary environment,” he said. “The delay in energy could even provide potential investors with an opportunity to make a better analysis of the situation. However, there are certain steps that Ankara should immediately take to attract more foreign investors. The first thing that investors consider when they first enter a country's market is the political and economic stability. We’ve already consulted the Turkish government about the best international practices on this issue.” In addition, State Economy Minister Ali Babacan said that a social security reform bill was due to be debated at the Parliament this week. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] IMF DELEGATION SET TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY ON MONDAY

    Last December, the International Monetary Fund concluded discussions with Turkish authorities on the elements of an economic program and draft letter of intent (LOI) that could be supported under a new three-year stand-by arrangement, said a statement yesterday by Hugh Bredenkamp, the IMF’s Senior Resident Representative in Turkey. “As noted at that time,” continued the statement, “a number of steps — relating mainly to key pieces of legislation regarding financial services, social security, and tax administration — were envisaged before the request for the new arrangement could be considered by the IMF's Executive Board. The authorities have informed IMF staff that progress has been made on these measures. They have invited a mission to Turkey to assess the alignment of policies with the understandings reached in December, and to update and finalize the LOI. The mission, which will begin work on April 4 and stay for about one week, will be headed by Reza Moghadam. Lorenzo Giorgianni, Moghadam's designated successor as IMF mission chief for Turkey, will accompany the mission." /Milliyet/

    [18] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [19] RELATIONS GAUGE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-US relations and Gen. James Jones’ visit to Istanbul last weekend.

    “Supreme Allied Commander in Europe US Gen. James Jones was in Istanbul last weekend. His visit wasn’t made known to the press. Every time Gen. Jones visits Turkey, he becomes the center of attention. But this time his visit was kept a secret.

    Jones made a speech to the Turkish staff college graduation ceremony in Istanbul and also met with top Turkish military officials. Then he left the country without paying a visit to Ankara. In his speech at the ceremony, Jones talked about NATO and Turkey’s future role in the alliance.

    When a senior staff official asked where Jones sees NATO in the year 2020, he gave a brief but remarkable answer: ‘I think in 2020 NATO will still take an active part in safeguarding energy resources.’

    Unlike the Turkish public, both he US and the European Union are focused on protecting energy resources and securing the paths of energy transmission. This is their priority. The EU supplies 50 percent of its energy from sources outside the Union. This ratio is expected to climb to 70-80 percent by 2020. Therefore, the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline holds crucial importance for the EU. The pipeline will be the first to transport Caspian oil to world markets without the direct intervention of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Russia.

    The US once argued that the pipeline would best be under the protection of the West (that is, NATO). The assurance of this protection would be the Incirlik Airbase, since it’s located close to both the port of Ceyhan and ports in Mersin and Iskenderun. As US Envoy to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad pointed out long ago, the base has an operational range of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers).

    Right after the parliamentary elections of 2002, the US shifted its policy towards Turkey. Washington at first had great hopes for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. However, when these hopes came to nothing, they once again began to look to the Turkish military. In any case, things look different when viewed from the perspective of the year 2020.”

    ARCHIVE

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