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Turkish Press Review, 05-06-02
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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
02.06.2005PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER VISITS TURKEY GUL RECEIVES US DELEGATION US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION PLEDGES EFFORTS TO END TRNC’S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION ANKARA TO HOST CYPRUS SUMMIT NEW TURKISH PENAL CODE TAKES EFFECT KRETSCHMER: “TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS WILL BEGIN ON OCT. 3” BELGIUM WITHDRAWS BILL ON SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE TALAT: “TURKEY WILL SIGN THE ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL” TUZMEN: “WE SHOULD BOOST TRADE BETWEEN TURKEY AND MOLDOVA” MEDIA WATCHDOG TO SEND DELEGATION TO TURKEY FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… EUROPE’S TURNING POINT BY CAN DUNDAR (MILLIYET) THE FRENCH NO BY NURAY MERT (RADIKAL)
 PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER VISITS TURKEYPakistani Prime Minister Sevket Aziz, visiting Ankara, yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the Cyprus issue, as well as other regional issues. At a joint press conference, Erdogan stated that they had agreed to develop joint investments in the defense industry and boost the number of flights between Istanbul and Islamabad. Aziz, for his part, said that his country was ready to lend support to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Then Aziz, accompanied by Erdogan, visited the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). He also met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. In the evening, Erdogan hosted a dinner in the honor of the Pakistani premier. /Star/
 GUL RECEIVES US DELEGATIONForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received at the Prime Ministry a US delegation visiting Turkey. The delegation was led by Republican Senator Richard Shelby, until recently a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee. /Star/
 US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION PLEDGES EFFORTS TO END TRNC’S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATIONAfter completing its recent contacts both in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Ankara, a delegation led by Congressman Ed Whitfield, head of the US Congress Turkish Friendship Group, yesterday held a joint press conference with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Egemen Bagýs in Parliament. Whitfield said that their landing at the TRNC’s Ercan Airport should send a message to Greek leader Tasssos Papadopoulos that the international community would not sit idly by as long as the embargo on the TRNC continues. Stressing that they would try to establish direct Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) flights from Ercan Airport to Washington, Whitfield said that a student exchange program would also be possible. Concerning relations between Turkey and the US, Whitfield said the ties between the two countries were very strong and would continue to be so. For his part, Bagis thanked the delegation for their visit to the TRNC. He also pointed to Papadopoulos’ aggressive stance towards the visit. Whitfield then visited Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA TO HOST CYPRUS SUMMITA delegation from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) led by President Mehmet Ali Talat is set to arrive in Ankara today for talks with top Turkish leaders to discuss Turkish-TRNC relations and possible developments on the Cyprus issue in the coming months. During their two-day stay, Premier Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas, in the company of Talat, plan to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. On Friday, Talat is scheduled to have talks with Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. In related news, UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast, who yesterday held contacts in the TRNC, will arrive in Ankara on Monday. /Star/
 NEW TURKISH PENAL CODE TAKES EFFECTThe new Turkish Penal Code (TCK), a key reform demanded by the European Union, went into effect yesterday after months of criticism that it severely restricts press freedom. Parliament passed amendments to the code last week, but as President Ahmet Necdet Sezer did not sign them by midnight Tuesday, the new code went into effect in its original form. The implementation of the TCK was postponed to June 1 after journalists charged that the code limits press freedom. Media groups are still critical, despite the two-month effort to amend the code in line with their concerns. The law has also been hailed as introducing a more liberal criminal justice system, particularly in increasing penalties against violations of human rights and in measures to improve the rights of women and children. /All Papers/ KRETSCHMER: “TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS WILL BEGIN ON OCT. 3”
Turkey should disregard the turmoil in Europe sparked by France's no to the EU constitution and focus single-mindedly on implementing reforms needed to join the bloc, said Hansjoerg Kretschmer, the head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey yesterday. "If Turkey does its homework properly, that is also the best way to avoid the criticism leveled against Turkey and its ability to fulfill the requirements,” said Kretschmer. “I am hopeful that Turkey would begin entry talks on time and may even open negotiations in one or two policy areas, or ‘chapters’, by year-end, despite the French ‘No’.” He added that Turkey had only two things to do to ensure that its talks start on time: implement a revised penal code “to bring Turkish criminal law more into line with EU norms” – done this week – and sign a protocol “extending its Customs Union to include 10 new members, including the Greek Cypriot government.” If Turkey fulfils its homework in all respects, he added, there should not be any major attempt to stop its accession process. "In many EU countries we see a skeptical public opinion (on Turkey), but the best way to tackle this is to show Turkey is becoming a mainstream European country which practices the rule of law, respect for minorities and so forth," explained Kretschmer. /Turkiye/
 BELGIUM WITHDRAWS BILL ON SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDEThe Belgium Senate Justice Commission yesterday withdrew a bill proposing fines and jail terms for people who deny the so-called Armenian genocide allegations. The Armenian lobby was shocked by the decision. ‘We finally decided to withdraw the proposal because we need to consider the issue more seriously,” Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is reported to have said. The bill is now expected to be retuned to the Federal Assembly, which previously approved it and sent it to the Senate. Justice Minister Laurette Onkelix remarked that since a political institution should not evaluate historical events, the Senate has decided to leave the issue to the historians of both the Turkish and Armenian sides. /Turkiye/
 TALAT: “TURKEY WILL SIGN THE ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL”The Cyprus issue needs an urgent solution, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday. Talat yesterday met with UN Undersecretary-Genera for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast in Lefkosa. “The current situation on the island is not sustainable,” he said after the meeting. “We seek new methods to resolve the problem.'' Talat also underlined that Turkey would sign the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement which will extend Turkey’s Customs Union to include Greek Cyprus. “There’s no need to discuss this issue because Ankara pledged to sign it last Dec. 17,” he added. For his part, Prendergast said that his visit was aimed at seeking new opportunities for the resumption of peace talks on Cyprus. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUZMEN: “WE SHOULD BOOST TRADE BETWEEN TURKEY AND MOLDOVA”Trade volume between Turkey and Moldova is currently about $95 million, said State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday, adding, “It should rise to over $100 million and reach $160-170 million in the coming years.'' On his first visit to Moldova, Tuzmen met Moldova's Economy & Commerce Minister Valeriu Lazar. Turkey and Moldova signed several agreements on economic and commercial cooperation, and eliminating double taxation to provide entrepreneurs with a secure atmosphere. Tuzmen noted that they had launched a series of initiatives to develop east-west transportation corridors under the aegis of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). He also called on both countries’ businessmen to establish a Turkish-Moldovan businessmen's association. /Hurriyet/
 MEDIA WATCHDOG TO SEND DELEGATION TO TURKEYThe International Press Institution (IPI), a major global media watchdog, has decided to send a delegation to Turkey to reiterate its concerns over the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK). The delegation to be led by IPI Director Johann P. Fritz is expected to visit at the end of this month. The IPI wrote a letter in March to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing its deep concern that 30 articles of the code threaten press freedom. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 EUROPE’S TURNING POINT BY CAN DUNDAR (MILLIYET)Columnist Can Dundar comments on Europe’s turning point. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey recently put a high school student into jail, saying that he had taken a political stance by reading a poem... Two days ago the Netherlands held a referendum in high schools and junior high schools. The aim was to make their youth get used to politics. These young people were asked their views on the European Union constitution even before their parents. The ‘no’ vote in the schools was 71%, which was even higher than the number that came out in yesterday’s referendum.
These young people – like their parents – don’t believe in Europe any longer, and this happens in a country which is hailed as the stronghold of multiculturalism, and the laboratory of Europe.
When I was in Amsterdam this winter for an academic meeting, I heard the Dutch say, ‘Multiculturalism is dead, and since the Netherlands regrets this situation it has turned to the beginning.’ The Netherlands had started saying, ‘It is necessary to reduce the pressure of sub-cultures. Otherwise new countries will be created within our country.’
Just as the European Union was putting pressure on Turkey about education in native tongues and minority rights, the Netherlands was putting an end to education in native languages, limiting the broadcasting hours of minorities on public radio, and ending their broadcasts on TV.
Moreover, those unable to pass an exam on Dutch language and culture would not be permitted to enter the country, even if they were relatives of immigrants.
Dutch historian Geert Mac summarizes the situation like this: ‘We opened the doors of our mind and expressed our fears.’
This fear is that a country with a huge population like Turkey will dominate the Netherlands through EU membership.
Europe is on the way to becoming a Christian club which will turn inwards.
Those who underestimate the ‘no’ vote which came from France and the Netherlands say that it’s not important.
However Europe is at a turning point. The West is moving towards giving up core values such as multiculturalism, integration, minority rights and the welfare state. One era is ending, and nobody can guess what the next one will bring.”
 THE FRENCH NO BY NURAY MERT (RADIKAL)Columnist Nuray Mert comments on the French rejection of the EU constitution and scenarios for the future of the EU and Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows: “People say that the French rejection of the European Union Constitution won’t affect us so much. Yes, and storks bring babies, don’t they? This result was largely interpreted as part of two frameworks. One of them is the ostrich approach displayed by EU supporters, who present their wishes and longings as political evaluation. They say that the result won’t have a great impact on Turkey. On the other hand, the common tendency is to interpret the referendum’s results in terms of its relation to Turkey’s EU membership. Obviously, everything happening in Europe concerns Turkey generally, including its EU membership bid. However, the things happening in Europe as in the referendum in France are historic developments. European democracies are issuing urgent signals in all elections. In addition, Europe is experiencing one of the greatest political crises of the modern age. The meaning of this signal can’t be read and this crisis can’t be without comprehending something. First of all, the aim of the EU should be understood. Is it going to compete with the US or strengthen it? The answer to this question is uncertain. Now it seems that certain views led by Britain favor producing certain policies to strengthen it. Will France and Germany be able to stand against this? Will France leave Germany alone? Or will the entire EU share the same opinions? If the EU aims to become a secondary power following the US, leaving competing with it or creating an alternative to it aside, would democracy, the tradition of the welfare state and political liberalism still exist there? Is it possible to survive in the competitive global market by insisting on a welfare state? Aren’t racism and separatism the price of giving up the tradition of a welfare state? How will you be able to express yourself to France or the Netherlands, who will have to give up their jobs or social security for the sake of cheap labor? Sooner or later, won’t somebody say, ‘Immigrants and foreigners take your share of the cake, let’s expel them’? People are already saying this. Each country in Europe is leaning towards the right. A person who doesn’t want to face this might find such pretexts as ‘cultural disharmony.’ Now some people are citing such pretexts, latent separatism is increasing and the axis of political discussions is centered on the cultural axis. How can we talk about political liberalism in such an atmosphere? Then people will start to ask if it’s possible to maintain democracy in a single country or continent. When there is a huge reserve of cheap labor, there will be neither workers’ right to organize, nor cross-cultural peace. In such an atmosphere crime will rise and liberal and democratic policies will be given up. Those who support welfare will either withdraw within or take a step back from democracy. If these things are evaluated all together, we face a meaningful picture, one which is discouraging. If we can’t evaluate these issues correctly, we will be powerless to do anything to keep the EU and Turkey, even all of humanity, alive following the approaching doomsday.”
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