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Turkish Press Review, 05-04-08
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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
08.04.2005FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER: “WE’RE CONTINUING OUR REFORMS TO BEGIN EU ACCESSION TALKS”Addressing a conference at the War Academy in Istanbul yesterday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer commented on a number of issues, including Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Sezer said that Turkey was waiting for Oct. 3 to begin its accession talks, adding that it was continuing its reforms towards this end. “In our country there is social harmony on our EU membership aspirations,” he said. “We expect the EU not to use reasons not related to us to delay our talks.” Sezer complained that the EU had tried to put forth certain conditions for the nation’s EU bid which are unrelated to its membership. “This is not fair,” he said, stressing that Ankara would take every step for its EU bid and that it had proven this. Touching on the so-called Armenian genocide claims, Sezer stated that these accusations had disappointed the nation. The president stressed that Turkey’s goal of modernization and integration with the West includes both the EU and the US, adding that for Turkey, they weren’t alternatives but complementary. “Our relationship with the US is sound enough to overcome disputes,” he said. “I’m sure that our relations will continue to be based on mutual understanding and respect.” Finally, Sezer said that he was concerned about the terrorist PKK’s presence in Iraq, adding that he expected Ankara, Washington and Baghdad to cooperate on the issue. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO THE VATICAN TO ATTEND FUNERAL OF POPE JOHN PAUL IIPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by State Minister Mehmet Aydin and a group of deputies, yesterday flew to Rome to attend the funeral services of Pope John Paul II to be held today at the Vatican. /Star/
 ASO DELEGATION VISITS ERDOGANAnkara Chamber of Industry (ASO) Chairman Zafer Caglayan and newly elected ASO executive board members yesterday visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Caglayan said that they had expressed their satisfaction with Turkey’s recent historic economic figures. Pointing to the record growth rate of 9.9%, he said, “This is a tremendous development. Turkey needs to grow.” Remarking on the minimum wage, which is the same nationwide, Caglayan stated that the wage should be adjusted by region. “The living conditions are not same in Mus as in Istanbul,” said the ASO chairman, adding that his group would prepare a report on the matter to present to the premier in the coming days. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL MEETS TRNC’S DENKTASAs part of his visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday met with President Rauf Denktas. Afterwards, Baykal said that the April 17 presidential elections would a “historic milestone,” ushering in a new era for the TRNC. Commenting on Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat’s criticisms of the timing of his visit, less than two weeks before the elections, as inappropriate, Baykal said his visit was not aimed at influencing Turkish Cyprus domestic policy, adding that the Cyprus issue was a national cause for Turkey. In related news, Talat also criticized Denktas’s recent remarks to Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. “The world will not welcome disputes between the TRNC leadership and Turkey. This situation doesn’t serve our interests, but rather those of the Greek Cypriots,” added Talat. /Star/
 FM UNDERSECRETARY TUYGAN TO VISIT WASHINGTONForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan is due to travel to the US next week for an official visit. In Washington, Tuygan and a delegation will meet with members of the Turkey Friendship Group, US congressmen, and Nick Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 FM: “WE BELIEVE WE CAN WORK WITH TALABANI”In a press conference yesterday, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials told the press that Ankara believes it can cooperate with Iraq’s newly elected president Jalal Talabani. Ministry spokesman Namik Tan referred to Talabani as a statesman who knows Turkey well and added, “We believe we can work with him.” /Hurriyet/
 DYP DECIDES TO HOLD CONGRESS IN MAYThe opposition True Path Party’s (DYP) Genaral Administrative Committee (GIK) yesterday decided to hold its regular congress on May 14. The GIK meeting was chaired by DYP leader Mehmet Agar. /Turkiye/
 ARSLAN: “THE OLD TCK HAS RUN ITS COURSE”Speaking at a symposium yesterday in Ankara, High Court of Appeals head Osman Arslan said that the current Turkish Penal Code (TCK) fell short of meeting modern requirements. Stressing that laws, especially penal codes, need periodic revision, Arslan said, “Laws are like people. They are born, they live, and then they die.” Remarking that laws could never be perfect, he stated that the new code also had certain shortcomings. “With cooperation between lawyers and the academic community, I hope that revisions to it will be made within two months,” added Arslan. /Turkiye/
 FIRST INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC ARCHEOLOGY CONGRESS TO BEGIN TODAYThe first International Islamic Archeology Congress organized by the Islamic Culture Art and Research Center is due to begin in Istanbul today. Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is also expected to attend the congress. /Turkiye/
 EP’S GREENS CALL ON ERDOGAN TO PROTECT NOVELIST PAMUKThe Greens group of the European Parliament this week sent a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling for improved freedom of expression in Turkey and an immediate end to a so-called "hatred campaign" against Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the EP’s Greens group head, Joost Lagendijk, co-chair of the Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, and Cem Ozdemir, a German Green of Turkish origin, signed the letter criticizing the attitudes of some Turkish politicians and press organs against Pamuk. They called on Erdogan to protect freedom of expression in Turkey. /Sabah/
 TEXTILE SECTOR RELEASES MANIFESTO ON BOOSTING PRODUCTION AND EMPLOYMENTThe ready-to-wear clothing and textile sector yesterday released a manifesto entitled the “Production, Employment and Social Tranquility Are in Danger.” It urged the government to reduce tax and premium burdens and energy costs in order to boost production. Istanbul Ready-to-Wear and Clothing Exporters’ Union (IHKIB) Chairman Suleyman Orakcioglu said that the textile sector couldn’t compete due to high taxes, and he further complained that the government didn’t listen to their problems. /Aksam/
 COMPOSER MELIH KIBAR DIESProminent composer Melih Kibar died of cancer yesterday in Istanbul at the age of 54. Kibar has bestowed dozens of well-known songs to Turkish music. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EDELMAN’S MESSAGE BY ZEYNEL ABIDIN ERDEM (STAR)Columnist Zeynel Abidin Erdem comments on Turkish-United States and Turkish- European Union relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey is and will always be a strategic ally to the United States, said United States Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman last week. As a matter of fact, Ankara and Washington have successfully resolved recent problems without letting them escalate into serious crises. I hope Edelman will keep his friendly attitude towards our country in the future. He has always stood by us no matter how harshly he’s been criticized. I don’t think that he will allow anti-Turkish circles in the US to gain ground against us. Since Turkey has a strategically important location near significant energy resources, the US can never turn a blind eye to our ideas and requests. However, we must maintain this bilateral confidence and avoid any mistakes that might harm it. Turkey must protect its own position. Our government will of course provide its allies with some opportunities in line with its own national interests, as in the Incirlik case.
There’s an important point that the US should recall: Although Turkey has always supported the US in its fight against terrorism, Washington often leaves us hanging in the wind on this issue, which is why the Turkish people sometimes get angry with the Bush administration, since they feel disappointed by American policies. In other words, the US must end the continued presence of terrorist groups in northern Iraq.
The terrorist PKK and Kurdish issues must be treated separately. Nobody should confuse our Kurdish citizens who have coexisted peacefully with us for over 1,000 years, on the one hand, with the terrorist PKK, on the other. We’re all Turks and Kurds. Nobody should dare to try to divide our citizens. In this context, if the European Union tries to impose certain criteria that would lead to ethnic discrimination in our society, I believe we shouldn’t join the Union. Such social bifurcations as Turkish-Kurdish, Rightist-Leftist or Alawi-Sunni are not acceptable. They can only harm our solidarity and brotherhood. We shouldn’t forget this.”
 ENERGY… TURKEY’S TRUMP CARD IN EU MEMBERSHIP TALKS BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-EU relations and the role Turkey needs to play in the distribution and protection of energy reserves in the region. A summary of his column is as follows:
“According to Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, the issue of energy will be Turkey’s greatest advantage in our EU membership talks. In his statement on our energy policy, Guler noted that Turkey has already become an important corridor through which energy reserves are transferred, and explained why the issue of energy plays such a significant role in our relations with the EU:
‘Turkey has strategic importance both as a corridor and as a terminal for energy. Ceyhan is already a significant energy terminal. When the Baku- Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline is complete, we will further strengthen our position on both ends. By the end of June, we’ll have gotten oil flowing from Georgia to Turkey.
‘Turkey also acts both as a corridor and a terminal for natural gas reserves. With the Sahdeniz project, Caspian natural gas will be transferred to and distributed from the port of Ceyhan.
‘Acting as a corridor for energy, Turkey’s natural gas and electricity network will soon be connected with Europe’s. There are currently two intersecting routes for natural gas pipelines in Europe. One extends from Greece to Italy, and the other one (the Nabucco project) extends through Bulgaria-Romania to Austria.
‘For now, we aren’t selling natural gas to Europe. By the year 2020 however, 35 billion cubic meters of Europe’s yearly natural gas demand might be met by Turkey. This capacity may as well be increased to 100 billion.
‘We will also play an active role in the distribution of electricity. We’ve recently begun to buy electricity from Turkmenistan, which means our systems have been connected. We’re also about to join the EU’s Union for the Coordination of Transmission of Electricity (UCTE).
‘Finally, we will have reached a mutual dependence with the EU. Of course, we’ll have to keep prices at a level reasonable enough for us to compete with Russia, Algeria and Norway.’
Guler referred to Iraq’s electricity demand as an example of Turkey’s chance to be an energy corridor in the region and stated that according to Energy Ministry, in the last one-and-a-half years, Turkey has sold 1 billion kw_h of electricity to Iraq, most of which is being used in the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq.
All these statements point out the role Turkey can play in safely transferring energy reserves from the East to the West. Remember that role, in his visit to the military academy in Istanbul last month, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. James Jones emphasized that safeguarding energy resources will be NATO’s most important task as of the year 2020. One of these days, our government will decide whether we should let the US use our Incirlik Airbase for logistical purposes. We have to determine where our national interests lie.”
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