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Turkish Press Review, 05-06-01

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

01.06.2005

FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] NEW PENAL CODE GOES INTO EFFECT TODAY
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “THE FRENCH REFERENDUM RESULT WON’T DETER TURKEY”
  • [03] GUL: “ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE”
  • [04] ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO LEBANON
  • [05] CHINESE CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF VISITS TURKEY
  • [06] GEN. BUYUKANIT TO VISIT GREECE
  • [07] AFTER VISITING TRNC, US DELEGATION RECEIVED IN ANKARA
  • [08] BAYKAL: “THE FRENCH REFERENDUM SHOULD NOT AFFECT TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”
  • [09] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [10] ANKARA JOINS IN US ANTI-WMD INITIATIVE
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [12] RELATIONS WITH THE US PRIOR TO ERDOGAN’S WASHINGTON VISIT, AND THE CYPRUS ISSUE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
  • [13] BOTH GOOD AND BAD BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] NEW PENAL CODE GOES INTO EFFECT TODAY

    One of Turkey’s major European Union harmonization efforts, the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK), will be go into effect today, notwithstanding ongoing debates over it. A two-month delay in the implementation of the TCK and subsequent changes made to it have not quelled the controversy and criticism. Meanwhile, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved TCK- related laws – the Criminal Procedural Code, the Criminal Records Law and changes made to the Criminal Trial Law – one day before they were to go into effect. The approved laws and the TCK are legal changes that Ankara promised the EU it would implement before beginning Union accession talks on Oct. 3. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “THE FRENCH REFERENDUM RESULT WON’T DETER TURKEY”

    Speaking at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that certain groups had misinterpreted the French rejection of the EU Constitution. “The French referendum’s result wouldn’t deter Turkey from its full EU membership process,” he said. Erdogan also criticized German opposition Christian Democratic leader Angela Merkel, saying that trying to use Turkey as political fodder on this issue is wrong. “The claims of certain people that the result in France will influence our full membership process are nothing but efforts to cast a shadow over our EU membership negotiations set to start on Oct. 3. We all know the efforts of particularly certain marginal groups in our country. Nobody should get stuck in this issue. I hope we will start membership negotiations on Oct. 3. The EU will work through its political and legal problems coming from the referendum. However, this should be done within the European Council. These things shouldn’t be confused with each other. Some people are still trying to play politics over Turkey. This process will continue within the negotiating process and then the decision will be made. Europe’s efforts to integrate have faced problems before. I don’t doubt that the necessary lessons will be learned from this decision of the French people. The EU is a strong bloc.” Erdogan also spoke about developments concerning a pipeline to connect Asian natural gas to Greece, saying, “We will lay a foundation at the border point of the pipeline to pass from Karacabey to Western Thrace with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis next week.” /Milliyet/

    [03] GUL: “ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that Turkey would continue to fight against “Islamophobia.” Speaking to Bahraini daily the Tribune, Gul stated that Eastern and Western civilizations were getting closer and that relations between Islam and other religions were growing more important. Stressing that Islam was a religion of peace, Gul said that extremist actions were not compatible with the principles of Islam. In addition, on the last day of his trip to Bahrain, Turkey’s top diplomat held talks with Bahraini economic circles. Gul called on Turkish contractors to take part in the country’s infrastructure and building sectors. After completing his contacts in Bahrain, Gul returned to Turkey last evening. /Turkiye/

    [04] ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO LEBANON

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Lebanon on June 15- 16 in line with the government’s policy to develop dialogue with neighboring countries. Erdogan is expected to give a message to the country, which has long suffered from political instability, towards developing both political and economic cooperation. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will represent Turkey at a European Union summit on June 16-17 in Brussels, which has a special importance for Turkey, as it will be the last summit before Oct. 3, the date Turkey’s accession talks are to begin. /Star/

    [05] CHINESE CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF VISITS TURKEY

    People’s Republic of China’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Guanglie Liang arrived in Ankara yesterday as his counterpart Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s official guest for a four-day visit. A statement made by Air Forces Command Gen. Ibrahim Firtina during a recent visit to Beijing that Ankara is interest in the transfer of China’s intermediate-range rockets to Turkey was discussed during Liang’s visit. Liang was also received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Milliyet/

    [06] GEN. BUYUKANIT TO VISIT GREECE

    Land Forces Command Gen. Yasar Buyukanit will pay an official visit to Athens on June 22 in the wake of a crisis in April during Turkish students’ visit to Greece’s Land War Academy when a Greek student desecrated the Turkish flag. This crisis was largely defused after the Greek General Staff apologized to Turkey officially and thus, Buyukanit will visit Athens as part of confidence-building measures. In addition, Buyukanit will visit the Land War Academy and make a speech to Greek students. This program was suggested by the Greek Land Forces Command and Buyukanit accepted. In addition, the Greek Athens news agency stated that the Greek student responsible for the desecration had confessed his crime and that he would be tried on charges of destroying a symbol of a foreign country. /Sabah/

    [07] AFTER VISITING TRNC, US DELEGATION RECEIVED IN ANKARA

    A United States congressional delegation chaired by Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield yesterday arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and met with TRNC Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas. Soyer thanked the US delegation for their visit and support for the Turkish Cypriot people. “This visit is a kiss of life for us in our struggle for uniting Cyprus and solving the Cyprus issue,” Soyer said. “We are as legal as the Greek Cypriots. The illegal thing is the Papadopoulos administration, which continues the separation.” Meanwhile Whitfield called on Greek Cypriot administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos to take steps for Cyprus’ reunification and end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, arguing that people and goods should move freely on the island. After completing its contacts on the TRNC, the delegation went to Ankara, where it was received by Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Egemen Bagis. “This visit can be considered as breaking the embargo for the first time since 1974,” Bagis said. The delegation also visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his office yesterday. Erdogan thanked the delegation for its positive contribution to the process on Cyprus and said that the strategic partnership between Turkey and the US would continue. /Star/

    [08] BAYKAL: “THE FRENCH REFERENDUM SHOULD NOT AFFECT TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that the French public’s rejection of the European Union Constitution should not affect Turkey’s EU membership. Speaking to his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said that the referendum in France had shown that hostility against Turkey was rising in Europe. Stressing that France had not proved itself well with respect to human rights and democracy, Baykal said that the French did not favor enlargement of the Union. Pointing to recent discussions on Turkey’s membership over “privileged_special status” proposals, Baykal said that his party would not allow anything besides full membership. He also called on the government not to make concessions on the Cyprus issue, Aegean or the Treaty of Lausanne on Turkey’s road to EU membership. /Star/

    [09] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY

    An International Fund delegation is set to arrive in Turkey tomorrow for its first progress review under the country’s new $10 billion standby deal. The delegation led by Turkey Desk Chief Lorenzo Giorgianni will begin its contacts in Istanbul with meetings with representatives of the business world, and then will proceed to Ankara at the beginning of next week for talks with state officials responsible for the economy. /Turkiye/

    [10] ANKARA JOINS IN US ANTI-WMD INITIATIVE

    Turkey has decided to play an active role in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) against weapons of mass destruction, a project Washington places importance on to block Iran’s nuclear program. Ankara yesterday officially stated that it had accepted US Deputy Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith’s offer to Turkey to undertake the role of regional leadership in the PSI to which 11 countries are party. Ankara emphasized that it had decided to lead and host land, air and sea maneuvers in the southern Mediterranean next year as part of its contribution to the PSI. /Milliyet/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [12] RELATIONS WITH THE US PRIOR TO ERDOGAN’S WASHINGTON VISIT, AND THE CYPRUS ISSUE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-United States relations and recent developments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey is very important to us, and we can’t let it break away from the Western world, said former US Congressman Jack Buechner earlier this week. Buechner yesterday met with a US congressional delegation after it returned to Washington from its historic visit to Cyprus.

    ‘The international community believes that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots should be ended,’ he said, explaining to reporters why the group led by Congressmen Ed Whitfield had paid such a critical visit to Northern Cyprus despite Greek Cypriot opposition. ‘So we decided to take a concrete step to this end as part of our US-Turkish Working Group. Powerful Greek lobbies in the US strongly opposed our initiative. Thus, we sought the advice of the US State Department on the issue. Department officials encouraged us to visit the island by underlining that there’s nothing illegal about going into Northern Cyprus directly. As you see, the only opposition came from the Greeks.’

    Let’s think about how the situation looked a decade ago. The Turkish and Greek Cypriots seemed to moving closer to an agreement with the help of a UN initiative. When a US congressional delegation wanted to visit Northern Cyprus directly at that time, the US State Department didn’t let them do it. Therefore, this week’s visit by the US delegation is an indicator of a real shift in Washington’s policy on Cyprus.

    During his visit with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat, Whitfield emphasized how the Greek Cypriots had turned back Turkish efforts to reunify the island by saying ‘no’ to the Annan plan.

    The Greek Cypriots are now very busy responding to the US visit. They seem profoundly affected and shocked by both Whitfield and Turkish Friendship Caucus Co-Chairman Robert Wexler’s statement regretting that he couldn’t accompany the delegation.

    This visit was jointly sponsored by US and Turkish nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). On the Turkish side, TEPAV, the think tank of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), and on the US side, the German Marshall Fund (GMF), both provided funds. The GMF also opened its Ankara branch yesterday.

    Prior to Prime Minister Erdogan’s visit to US President Bush and UN Secretary-General Annan in Washington next week, Turkish-US relations have seemed to gain a fresh impetus. Washington supports Turkey’s EU membership bid, although anti-Turkish circles in the EU have recently started to raise their voice.

    UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast’s contacts on Cyprus and in Ankara will also boost Ankara’s peace efforts based on the Annan plan. A series of meetings will be held in Ankara tomorrow with the participation of Talat. Therefore, Turkey is preparing well for a possible resumption of Cyprus negotiations. But when will the US initiative have repercussions in Europe? It’s hard to tell…”

    [13] BOTH GOOD AND BAD BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on how the rejection of the European Constitution by France might affect Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Is it bad for Turkey that France rejected the European Union constitution? Will the new situation in the EU help or hinder Turkey’s membership hopes?

    If we look at the subject from all aspects, we can see that the post- referendum developments create both new opportunities and serious obstacles for Turkey.

    For this reason, we have to observe very closely what kind of an identity and mission the EU will choose for itself in this new crisis atmosphere.

    When we start our membership talks on Oct. 3, the ambiguity that exists now will have to be dispelled, so that we can understand what kind of a Europe we will negotiate with. But this requires time.

    At this stage, the new situation that has emerged as a result of the French ‘no’ vote to the EU constitution – which could become even stronger if a similar result is obtained in Netherlands today – may bring beneficial results for Turkey.

    The constitution which was rejected by the French actually contained some articles that don’t fit Turkey’s views. For this reason, the shelving of the constitution can be seen as a good development for Turkey at first glance.

    In this new critical stage, the EU may need Turkey more than before. The present crisis will reduce the power of the EU, especially in the political and strategic areas. In this respect, some European leaders may see Turkey’s membership to the EU as an advantage. Turkey, with its economic potential and geostrategic location, may add a new strength to the EU.

    However, it would be wrong to reconcile ourselves with the possibilities listed above and conclude that the French ‘no’ vote is for Turkey’s benefit. The rejection of the EU constitution also does not serve Turkey’s interests in some respects.

    Now the EU will turn inwards, and take care of its own problems, but when dealing with these problems it will slow down the enlargement process.

    The ‘no’ vote in France – and in the Netherlands to some extent – has shown that there is a phobia against Turkey.

    French President Jacques Chirac, who has defended Turkey’s EU bid, is now much weaker. But his rival Nicolas Sarkozy, who views Turkey less favorably than Chirac, is getting stronger every day. The same thing can be said for Angela Merkel in Germany.

    So it’s too early to hazard a guess whether the ‘no’ vote in France has been good or bad for Turkey. The best thing to do now is to make a good analysis of what kind of a Europe is being formed and at the same time, to make preparations for Oct. 3 and go ahead.”

    ARCHIVE

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