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Turkish Press Review, 05-04-29
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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
29.04.2005FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH CITIGROUP CHAIRMAN, ATTENDS 10TH ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY OF TURK TELEKOMPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Citigroup Chairman Sanford Weill and Citibank Global Banking CEO Michel Klein to discuss a number of issues, including recent economic developments. During the meeting, Weill said that the future of the Turkish economy was very bright and that they wanted to invest more in the country. Weill stressed that he was pleased that Citigroup had been in Turkey for three decades, adding that it had realized change in Turkey. Weill further stated that Turkey had an important role in the Middle East, adding that economic relation also had a positive impact on political relations. For his part, Erdogan said that he appreciated Citigroup’s activities to promote Turkey in the US. Erdogan further stressed the importance of education. Later, Erdogan met with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo Rato, who yesterday arrived in Turkey to attend a meeting of the Investment Advice Council. Later, Erdogan attended a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Turk Telekom. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan said that Turk Telekom had successfully fulfilled its duty in the world’s communications field. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO VISIT ISRAEL, PALESTINEPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to travel to Israel this Sunday to pay a official visit. During his stay, Erdogan will meet with Israeli President Moshe Katsav and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Erdogan is also expected to sign an agreement with Israel in the industrial research and development field. After completing his contacts in Israel, Erdogan is expected to proceed to Palestine to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia. /Star/
 ARINC MEETS BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA PARLIAMENT SPEAKERParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday met with his Bosnia-Herzegovina counterpart Sefik Caferovic accompanied by a delegation. Speaking to reporters, Arinc said the two nations had friendly relations rooted in history. Caferovic also said that his government aimed at boosting bilateral relations with Turkey, including trade ties. The visiting speaker was then received by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Their talks reportedly focused on bilateral political and economic relations and regional issues as well. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA BEGINS TO REVIEW KOCHARIAN LETTERAnkara is giving “positive and extensive” consideration to a letter sent by Armenian President Robert Kocharian proposing a bilateral committee, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. In his letter to Ankara earlier this week, Kocharian proposed that an intergovernmental committee be set up to discuss ways to normalize relations between the two countries. “Mr. Kocharian’s letter is being discussed extensively with a positive view,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said. In an earlier letter, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Kocharian to first establish a joint committee of scholars from both countries to settle the Armenian genocide allegations. /Milliyet/
 ISTANBUL TO HOST IRAQ MEETINGIstanbul is to host a meeting of Iraq’s neighboring countries beginning today. Besides Turkey, present at the two-day gathering are Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain. During the meeting, Turkey will be represented by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and he is expected to emphasize Ankara’s insistence on preserving Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUZMEN: “IF ARMENIA ENDS ITS AZERBAIJAN OCCUPATION AND GENOCIDE CLAIMS, THEN WE CAN TRADE WITH IT”State Minister Kursat Tuzmen and Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said yesterday that if Armenia wants to establish trade ties, then first it should end its occupation in Azerbaijan and its genocide claims. Speaking at a ceremony for the modernization of the Cilvegozu Border Gate into Syria, Tuzmen said that if Armenia pulls its troops out of Azerbaijan then the border gate between Turkey and Armenia could be opened. /Aksam/
 US DIPLOMAT’S TOUR TO PROMOTE CYPRUS RESOLUTIONUS State Department Undersecretary Laura Kennedy will make a tour of Ankara, Athens, Lefkosa, Brussels and London beginning on Sunday. Concerning the tour, US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said that Kennedy’s visits were a signal of the US administration’s interest in the Cyprus issue. On the fifth day of her tour, Kennedy is set to arrive in Cyprus and to hold separate talks both with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos. During her meetings, Kennedy is expected to urge Papadopulos to list his proposed revisions to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’ s Cyprus plan and as well as to lend support to the TRNC’s economic development efforts. /Turkiye/
 PKK WANTS TO ESTABLISH KURDISH STATE, SAYS US TERRORISM REPORTAn annual report on world terrorism issued Wednesday by the US State Department said that Turkey was a longstanding counter-terrorism ally it was continuing to lent support to in the global war on terrorism. The report, prepared by the State Department and then presented to the Congress, stated that some 500 terrorist PKK militants were in Turkey, adding that 3, 500-4,000 armed militants were taking shelter in northern Iraq. Stressing that the PKK was using Europe for fundraising and carrying out political propaganda, it said that the PKK sought to establish an “independent, democratic” Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq and parts of Iran and Syria. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH, US OFFICIALS BEGIN TO DISCUSS INCIRLIKFollowing the government’s decision to approve an annual extension of Turkish permission for the use of the Incirlik Airbase last week, Turkish and US officials have reportedly started discussions in Ankara over the technical details of a Washington request to use Incirlik for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The permission is still awaiting approval from President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Sabah/
 UNDERWATER COMMANDOS ENTERTAIN VISITORS AT MARMARIS MARITIME FESTIVALOn the second day of the Marmaris International Maritime Festival, the maneuvers of the underwater attack and underwater defense commandos attracted great interest from both visitors and the local community. Students from Istanbul performed a water ballet show in a swimming pool opened by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Deniz Baykal on the first day of the festival. Various sports activities, including a swimming competition, beach volleyball tournament, laser and optimist class centerboat races as well as the first lap of the Yacht Regatta will dominate the third day of the Marmaris International Festival. An international naval vessel crew rowing competition will also take place off the public beach. In the meantime, people will be able to visit the Boat Show and enjoy performances by the Russian Navy Band and Dance Group, the Australian Navy Band and Polish and Hungarian entertainment groups. For the first time in its history, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra will perform offshore on board the Turkish frigate TCG Giresun. There will be a reception and award ceremony for the Model Ship Competition and the day will end with a public concert by famed Turkish pop singer Candan Ercetin at the Marmaris Amphitheatre. /BYEGM, Sabah/
 TURKISH CYPRIOT CABINET ANNOUNCEDThe list of Turkish Cypriot Cabinet members, consisting of seven Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and three Democrat Party (DP) members, was submitted to the Turkish Cypriot Parliament yesterday. The CTP-DP administration will read out its governmental program on Tuesday. After the program is discussed and agreed on, it will be voted on by the Parliament. /Star/
 IMF’S DAWSON: “WE’RE HAPPY TO HAVE TURKEY’S NEW LOI”Speaking at a press conference in Washington yesterday, International Monetary Fund External Affairs Director Thomas Dawson said that the Fund was pleased with Turkey’s State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan sending it the new letter of intent (LOI). Asked about when an IMF Executive Board meeting was expected, Dawson indicated some time in mid- May. Dawson further stated, “We are quite happy about having gotten that [the new LOI] done. There have been questions here about when it would be accomplished. But the history of the Turkish program is that sometimes there are delays in getting the agreement actually done. But ... we've always reached agreement and then wound up having a very strong program, which we continue to have.” In related news, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato yesterday arrived in Istanbul to attend a meeting of the Investment Advice Council. /Aksam/
 ECONOMIST OFFICIAL PREDICTS TURKEY WILL JOIN EU IN 2014Speaking following an Istanbul conference organized by the Economist Network, an executive consulting group, the Economist Corporate Network First Vice President Daniel Thorniley predicted that Turkey would join the European Union in 2014, adding that it had established the most sustainable outlook since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, passed away in 1938, and was therefore appealing to investors worldwide. Thorniley said that Ankara would make certain changes during its accession talks with the EU and that the Union needed Turkey due to its geopolitical situation. “Turkey is also important for the stability in the Middle East,” he said. Touching on Cyprus, Thorniley said that the conflict on the island would soon be resolved. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 KOCHARIAN’S LETTER AND THE SO-CALLED GENOCIDE BY MUSTAFA KARAALIOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Mustafa Karaalioglu comments on Turkish-Armenian relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“No problem can be resolved by ignoring it. All foreign policy problems have a shelf life. Just as a resolution is now inevitable on Cyprus after 30 years of deadlock, Turkey will also have to face up to the Armenians sooner or later.
Facing up doesn’t necessarily mean accepting, approving or submitting to the other side’s demands. In this case, facing up refers to finding a solution to a problem which could block Turkey’s way to the European Union.
Let’s take a glance at the thorny issues between the two countries: Yerevan’s so-called genocide allegations, and Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Official contacts between Ankara and Yerevan are so few that the recent correspondence between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Armenian President Robert Kocharian might be seen as diplomatic sparring. Kocharian responded to Erdogan’s letter, which offered to establish a joint commission to debate Armenia’s so-called genocide allegations.
In brief, Kocharian proposed establishing relations between the two countries without any preconditions. However, his letter said nothing about the genocide allegations.
To Yerevan, establishing diplomatic relations with Ankara and opening its border gate are very important. Turkey is a profitable getaway for this isolated country. So, Armenia’s demand for trade with Turkey can be used as a trump card during possible negotiations on the so-called genocide claims. However, this can’t be as useful as we hope. As a matter of fact, the Armenian public relations campaign has superiority in the international community. In other words, they have managed to convince nearly all countries that there was a ‘genocide.’ Therefore, they can’t and won’t retreat from this position. Accordingly, for Yerevan, it wouldn’t be reasonable to discuss the issue with historians.
To Ankara, establishing relations with Armenia wouldn’t be as easy as it hopes because this issue is directly related to the cost of the Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project. We’ll be in trouble if we establish contact with Yerevan despite the fact that Azerbaijan’s territories are occupied by Armenia.
Nonetheless, if Turkey manages to improve its relations with Armenia, this would of course blunt the impact of the Armenian anti-Turkish propaganda, paving the way for a more advantageous EU platform. However, the first step that Yerevan must take is to withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh. In other words, Armenian should make the first move if it really wants to boost its relations with Turkey. And the only country that could force Yerevan to make this move is the United States, not the European Union or any other bloc.”
 THE DOUBLE STANDARD BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkish-EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Hurriyet’s headline yesterday read: ‘The Paris Criteria.’ Below the headline was a detailed account of how the French police attacked and beat a group of high school students two weeks ago. The French press almost succeeded in covering up the beatings, but thanks to Choc magazine, the scandal was made public. Strangely enough, neither France nor the European Union has made any explanation of the incident. However, when the Turkish police beat several demonstrators in Istanbul back on March 6, the EU wasted no time criticizing Turkey. The difference between how the EU reacted to the incident in Istanbul and how it reacted to Paris shows clearly the double standard applied to Turkey by the EU. It’s our right to criticize such a scandal, but we should also work hard to prevent such things from happening in our own country.
Turkey’s Secretary-General for EU Relations Murat Sungar yesterday made interesting remarks at a conference on Turkish-EU relations organized by Dogus University. Sungar said that Turkey’s membership talks aren’t always centered on the Armenian and Cyprus issues, that there are other things discussed in the negotiation process, such as educational, financial, and environmental reforms.
If we don’t want to stray from our path to EU membership, we must focus on how we can perform all these in addition to political reforms.”
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