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Turkish Press Review, 05-04-05
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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
05.04.2005FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN PLANS MID-MONTH VISIT TO AFGHANISTANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to travel to Afghanistan on April 20 to pay a visit. Erdogan is expected to meet with President Hamid Karzai and Hikmet Cetin, the senior representative of NATO. In addition, the premier will pay a morale-boosting visit to 1,600 Turkish troops led by Lt. Gen. Ethem Erdagi, where he will also discuss the recent situation in the country. Turkey is commanding the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan through mid-August. /Turkiye/
 GUL VISITS OIC IN SAUDI ARABIAForeign Minister Abdullah Gul, visiting Saudi Arabia, yesterday met with Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish scholar currently serving as secretary-general of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC). During his visit, Gul donated $1 million to the bloc. Stressing that all organization needed reforms from time to time, Gul said that the OIC was now in such a period. He stated that the OIC should implement certain reforms in order to tackle the problems of the Islamic world. After completing his contacts in Saudi Arabia, Gul proceeded to the United Arab Emirates. He is expected to meet with top UAE officials today. /Turkiye/
 CICEK: “WE EXPECT PEOPLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NEW TCK”Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday that in the period before the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) is implemented, after a two-month delay for revision, the government expected people and institutions to help contribute to making a better code. Speaking to reporters following a six- hour Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cicek said that all views should be expressed this month, and the draft should be revised next month and then pass Parliament to be put into effect at the beginning of June. He added that during the meeting, the ministers focused on certain bills as well as the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) gathering in Kizilcihamam last weekend. /Turkiye/
 AIR FORCES COMMANDER VISITS PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINAAir Forces Commander Gen. Ibrahim Firtina, currently in the People’s Republic of China for an official visit, yesterday met with Chinese Air Force Commander Qiao Qingchen in Beijing to discuss military ties between the two countries. During their meeting, Firtina said that Turkey was interested in China’s medium-range air defense missiles, adding that it was ready to cooperate with the country in the areas of military and space technology. “We should cooperate on several issues, including launching satellites,” added Firtina. For his part, Qingchen said that his country was willing to benefit from Turkey’s military experience. /Aksam/
 SERDAR DENKTAS: “IN THE ABSENCE OF A RESOLUTION, A TAIWAN MODEL CAN BE IMPLEMENTED”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said yesterday that if a resolution couldn’t be reached on the island, then a Taiwan-style economic and political model could be implemented. Speaking to reporters, Denktas said that the his first goal was to establish a partnership with the Greek Cypriots, adding however that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos didn’t accept the Turkish Cypriots as political counterparts. “As long as Papadopoulos resists change and the international community doesn’t push him towards a resolution, there’s no way forward,” he said. “UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that it would be difficult to resume Cyprus talks without the willingness of both sides, so we can’t lose time waiting for Papadopoulos.” Denktas stated that doing so would mean punishing Turkish Cypriots, adding, “The Turkish Cypriots can’t be forced to live in limbo.” /Turkiye/
 TALAT: “THE TAIWAN MODEL WON’T WORK FOR THE TRNC”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday criticized Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas’ proposal of the “Taiwan model” for the TRNC, adding that this would be both inappropriate and problematic for the nation. “The circumstances of Taiwan and the TRNC are different,” he said. Talat stated that in Taiwan the model worked due to the positive approach of the Chinese administration, but that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos had no such approach. “Such a model is another way of not reaching resolution on the island, and it can’t be implemented on Cyprus,” he said. “Our main goal is to reach a resolution.” Under the Taiwan model, the People’s Republic of China mediates with countries which want to develop trade ties with Taiwan. /Turkiye/
 EU REPORT PREDICTS GROWTH IN TURKISH ECONOMYA European Union Commission spring report released yesterday containing economic predictions and proposals for 2005-2006 remarked that Turkey’s political stability had led to economic growth and increased strength. Stressing that last year Turkey’s economy had been very active and strong, and private investments had soared, the report said that that further progress depended upon political stability and reliable business practices. It added that decisive economic policies had strengthened the Turkish lira and helped bring down inflation. Furthermore, the report predicted 8% growth for Turkey this year, and less than 7% inflation next year. /Cumhuriyet/
 EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BIDMany prominent members of the European Parliament and European Commission will attend a summit starting tomorrow in Istanbul to discuss Turkey’s European Union membership bid. The two-day summit entitled “New Rules of Politics, Trade and Communications for Turkey on its Path Towards the European Union” will be held by the Platform of Communications Professionals. Attendees will include Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the Turkish Parliament-European Parliament Joint Parliamentary Commission, Alain Serventie, EU commissioner for enlargement, and Susan Danger, managing director of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, as well as many other directors and partners of significant lobbying companies in Europe. /Hurriyet/
 TERRORIST GROUP CHANGES NAME BACK TO PKKThe terrorist PKK, which over the last few years changed its name to KADEK and then to KONGRA-GEL, has been reestablished, reportedly on the demand of imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan. According to the Mesopotamia News Agency, top members of the terrorist organization late last month met and announced the establishment of the “New PKK.” The agency also reported that the newly dubbed terrorist group will follow the doctrine of Ocalan and other terrorists. /Aksam/
 IMF BEGINS WORK ON LETTER OF INTENT FOR NEW STANDBYA delegation from the International Monetary Fund chaired by IMF Turkey Desk Chief Riza Moghadam, which arrived in Ankara over the weekend, yesterday began to work with Turkish officials to update the nation’s letter of intent (LOI) for a new standby agreement for 2005-2007. Under the standby, the IMF would provide Turkey with $10 billion in economic assistance. Moghadam yesterday met with State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan and Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci to discuss the issue. /Milliyet/
 TOBB: “EXTERNAL ECONOMIC FACTORS HOLD THE GREATEST RISK”Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu yesterday warned that although Turkey’s economy is on the right track, external factors affecting the economy hold a great risk. Hisarciklioglu named oil prices as the leading external factor in the economy, and noted that a $1 rise in oil prices costs Turkey an additional $200 million to its current account deficit. Hisarciklioglu mentioned high interest rates and emerging Chinese industry as other threats to the economy. /Star/
 MARCH INFLATION FIGURES RELEASEDThe State Institute of Statistics (DIE) yesterday released inflation figures for last month. Consumer and wholesale prices rose 0.26 and 1.26 percent respectively in March when compared to the previous month. Analysts say producer prices increased more than expected. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ANKARA EXPECTED TO GREENLIGHT WASHINGTON’S REQUEST ON INCIRLIK AIRBASE BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Washington’s request to use Incirlik Airbase as a logistics hub. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Our government is signaling its readiness to allow the US to use Incirlik airbase as a military center for American military operations. Ankara will probably accept Washington’s request to use the base as a main logistics hub.
What does the United States want from Turkey? ‘To be permitted to use Incirlik as a main hub for dispatching and collecting American troops in periods of rotation.’ The US needs a logistics center to fulfill its requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan, in other words, it seeks to use Incirlik as a hub where giant transportation planes will land and also its military equipment and personnel will be deployed. The most appropriate location for these purposes is Incirlik. Giant US planes will land in Incirlik and then smaller planes will transport equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the periods of rotation, American soldiers will be collected in Incirlik and then be dispatched to their mission locations.
Washington’s request on this issue is about transportation planes only. It previously withdrew its demands on warplanes. Ankara and Washington are now trying to determine the details of the terms and conditions of a possible agreement on the issue, covering such important issues as the definition of logistical equipment. Ankara is placing high importance on the definitions because it wants to avoid further disputes.
The current discussions are being held in line with the bilateral Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement. After a memorandum of understanding is prepared on the planes and logistical equipment, Ankara will then give official permission to Washington. Our government is being very careful about the memorandum.”
 UNSEAL OUR BORDERS? BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkish-Armenian relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Armenians in Armenia are in big trouble. Nowadays, each and every one of them comments on how beneficial it would be for Turkey to unseal its border gate to Armenia. Leyla Tavsanoglu’s interview with Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) moderator David Philips was published in Sunday’s Cumhuriyet’s. Philips is obviously one of those who seems sure that we’re too stupid to recognize our own national interests. He mentions 10 times during the interview how we could benefit from opening our border gate to Armenia. He’s actually trying to say, ‘Just open your gates, the rest is easy.’
Not only Armenians, but also proponents of the Armenian ‘genocide’ thesis among us and especially the US have recently been dropping the border gate issue whenever possible. Whatever they are going to say, they begin with, ‘You should open your borders to Armenia…’
All these efforts surely serve a good purpose. Armenia had a population of 3.44 million in 1998. However, by 2004 its population had fallen to just 2.99 million. The reason why almost 500,000 people left Armenia during this six-year period is purely poverty. The Armenian economy is a shambles, and half of its population lives in poverty.
Once they persuade us to open the border gates, their next move will be to try to open out to international markets and improve their economy. Soon enough, they will be trying to corner us and get us to admit their ‘genocide’ claims. Their constitution and declaration of independence are full of hatred against us, and they will be trying to realize their schemes at the earliest opportunity.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul recently noted that over 40,000 Armenians work just in Istanbul, which is a sign of Turkey’s good will. But what do we get in return? Armenia pushes to make us recognize their ‘genocide’ claims. And next they’ll demand compensation and land from us. They don’t even bother to conceal their aims. What kind of a person would agree to this?”
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