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Turkish Press Review, 05-11-02

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved a key International Monetary Fund-sought banking law, but asked the Constitutional Court to annul three of its articles as he believes they violate the Constitution. Sezer was legally obligated to approve the legislation because Parliament passed it for a second time without any changes. /All papers/[02] ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SECURITY COUNCIL CONVENES

    The Economic and Social Council yesterday reached agreement on a new social security reform package. During the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the government, employers and representatives of employees expressed their views on the matter. Stressing that the council aimed at establishing cooperation and coordination between the government and society during the determination of social and economic policies, Erdogan said that the country’s current five different social security regimes lead to confusion. He added that a growing financial gap in the system would lead to even more problems in the coming years unless measures are taken now. The reform package is meant to gather the Social Security Institution (SSK), the Social Security Organization for Artisans and the Self-Employed (Bag-Kur) and the Retirement Fund under one umbrella. /Turkiye/[03] ERDOGAN: “I THINK IT WAS NSC STAFF WHICH LEAKED NATL SECURITY DOCUMENT”

    Addressing his party’s Central Executive Board meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he thought someone on the National Security Council (NSC) staff was responsible for leaking reports of the new National Security Policy Document to the media. Erdogan stated that there was no way anyone on the NSC itself could have done so, adding that the document could have been leaked to media during its preparation. In related news, Erdogan is due to travel to Germany on Sunday to attend the opening ceremony of the Cologne offices of the European Turkish Democrats Union (ATDB) alongside outgoing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. /Milliyet/[04] GUL: “BELGIUM IS MAKING ITSELF LOOK LIKE A COUNTRY THAT SHELTERS TERRORISTS”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday said that a new process had begun with the U.S. about the terrorist PKK. At a press conference, Gul warned Kurdish groups in northern Iraq on the PKK issue, and said, “The PKK is trying to harm Turkey, and tomorrow it could also harm Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq.” Asked why Turkey had not been more outspoken in condemning recent incendiary remarks on Israel by Iran’s president, Gul said, “We responded clearly and openly from the very beginning. We believe that it’s time for peace in the region; we have always been against any attempt to damage peace. Turkey opposes the sowing of new enmities in this region. We don’t want anyone to try to manipulate us.” Asked about Syria, Gul reiterated the Turkish position and called on the Syrian government to cooperate with the UN’s probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. On the Cyprus issue, Gul criticized the Greek Cypriot leadership for the failure of peace talks on the island. “Despite all efforts by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, if the Greek Cypriot leadership continues to block a solution, then the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will continue to go its own way,” he added. “Turkey will continue to stand by the TRNC.” Gul also criticized the Belgian court decision this week that Fehriye Erdal will not be tried there for crimes she committed in Turkey, and said, “Belgium is making itself look like a country that provides safe haven for terrorists. This is unfortunate.” Gul also said that he knew the Belgian government was exerting efforts to solve this problem, and added, “I hope they will find a way out on this matter, because it is Brussels’ problem, not Turkey’s.” /Cumhuriyet/

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Akif Gulle said yesterday that his party would stand by State Minister Nimet Cubukcu, who has faced a hailstorm of criticism since the Malatya Childcare Center and Orphanage scandal. Gulle said that when the full scope of the incident is taken into consideration, Cubukcu was the last person to be criticized. “We will stand by Cubukcu,” added Gulle. /Star/[05] TRNC PRESIDENT TALAT: “WE EXPECT ANNAN TO ASSUME A MORE ACTIVE ROLE”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday said that the European Union was not the place to seek a solution to the Cyprus problem. After talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Talat told a press conference, “The Greek Cypriots are in the EU but the Turks are out. The EU isn’t suitable structurally either. The EU doesn’t have the tools for impartial mediation.” Talat said that Annan would take the necessary initiatives after the meetings, adding that there wasn’t a timetable to start these initiatives that he knew of. Talat added that the UN secretary-general considered a “potential failure” as the chief difficulty, and said, “We want him to assume a more active role. He’s aware of this. But he wants to prepare the proper groundwork for success.” /Star/[06] TERRORISTS KILL THREE MEMBERS OF SECURITY FORCES

    During a clash between militants of the terrorist PKK group and security forces early this week in the southeastern province of Sirnak, three security members and a terrorist were killed, while four other soldiers were wounded. The fighting erupted when PKK terrorists launched an attack on a gendarmerie post near the town of Uludere. Security operations continue in the area. /Turkiye/[07] CABINET NOMINATES SAHIN TO HEAD TRT

    During a Cabinet meeting on Monday, the assembled ministers agreed to nominate Ibrahim Sahin, undersecretary of the Transportation Ministry, as new head of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). A degree on the appointment was sent to the Cankaya Palace yesterday for the approval of the president. The last TRT head, Senol Demiroz, resigned in August. /Turkiye/[08] TIM CHAIRMAN CRITICIZES CB HEAD OVER HIGH INTEREST RATES

    Speaking in Kahramanmaras to announce October export figures, Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici yesterday criticized Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti over interest rates. “For years we’ve been pushing for these high interest rates, which put enormous pressure on us, to be brought down,” said Satici. He claimed that Serdengecti was unaware of the real sector and the markets. “We don’t want a CB head who doesn’t know the markets,” he said. “A CB head should be proactive and make timely decisions.” Satici further criticized this week’s natural gas price hike, saying that those who proposed this increase were disconnected from producers and real markets. Also touching on recent import figures, Satici pointed to the rise in Turkey’s imports. /Aksam/

    NOTE: The Turkish Press Review will not appear tomorrow and Friday due to the Ramadan Seker Bayram holiday. Please rejoin us on Monday.


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