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Turkish Press Review, 06-03-07
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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
07.03.2006CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF OZKOK, PM ERDOGAN MEET GUL TO ATTEND TURKEY-EU TROIKA SUMMIT IN VIENNA CICEK “THERE NO SUBSTITUTES FOR THE TSK OR THE JUDICIARY” CHP LEADER BAYKAL: “INDICTING BUYUKANIT WOULD BE LIKE A COUP” STATE MINISTER TUZMEN: “AGREEMENTS HINDER SUPPORTING ONE SECTOR” EP CONTACT GROUP VISITS TRNC BABACAN, VORKINK, AND KRETSCHMER SPEAK AT CONFERENCE ON TURKEY’S ECONOMY FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... SEMDINLI, THE SOUTHEAST, THE US AND THE TSK BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)
 CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF OZKOK, PM ERDOGAN MEETIn the indictment related to last November’s Semdinli incidents, possible charges against Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit have stirred up Ankara. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok first evaluated the issue yesterday with his commanding officers, then visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the meeting, Ozkok reportedly said that some ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies had made statements supporting legal action against Buyukanit, adding, “The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is being systematically worn down. Your parliamentary group is actively participating in this.” Meanwhile Prime Ministry spokesperson Akif Beki said that premier was following press coverage of the issue, and added, “This issue develops out of the government and the prime minister and is related to the judiciary.” /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL TO ATTEND TURKEY-EU TROIKA SUMMIT IN VIENNAForeign Minister Abdullah Gul is due to attend a summit tomorrow of the foreign ministers of Turkey and the European Union Troika. In an address to the summit, Gul is expected to say that financial assistance to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and direct trade regulations are inseparable and that if the EU insists on separating them, then it would be breaking its promise and harming its credibility. Gul is also expected to seek support for the Cyprus action plan recently proposed by Ankara. Turkey’s EU membership bid will also be discussed at the summit. In related news, Gul is expected to travel to Salzburg on Friday upon the invitation of Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik. Gul will attend an unofficial meeting of EU foreign ministers and deliver an opening speech. /Turkiye/
 CICEK “THERE NO SUBSTITUTES FOR THE TSK OR THE JUDICIARY”Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, brushed off questions about accusations that Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit had tried to interfere in judicial proceedings over last year’s Semdinli incidents, saying that it wasn’t proper to ask politicians about judicial issues. Stressing that there were no substitutes for either the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) or the judiciary, Cicek said that the Semdinli investigation was being carried out in secrecy, adding that there should be no press coverage of it. Cicek stated that Economy Minister and chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan had briefed the Cabinet on recent work on Turkey’s accession talks with the EU. He stressed that the problems of the textile sector were also evaluated at the meeting, adding that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would declare at his party’s group meeting the government’s decisions concerning the textile, ready-to-wear, and leather sectors. “We also discussed developments in Iraq and Iran’s nuclear program,” he added. /Turkiye/
 CHP LEADER BAYKAL: “INDICTING BUYUKANIT WOULD BE LIKE A COUP”Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said that putting Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit’s name on an indictment related to last November’s Semdinli incidents was like a “coup against the army.” Baykal added, “Coups usually come from armies. But it seems sometimes a coup can be planned and tried against the armed forces. But using the judiciary to do this is very regrettable.” In related news, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said, “The issue shouldn’t be a matter of polemics since the law, and even more so, the internal law of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will deal with the issue.” Meanwhile commenting on the Van Public Prosecutor Office’s indictment against Buyukanit, opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu praised the commander’s statement following the announcement of the indictment, implying that everyone must be equal before the law. /Turkiye/
 STATE MINISTER TUZMEN: “AGREEMENTS HINDER SUPPORTING ONE SECTOR”State Minister Kursat Tuzmen yesterday said that it was difficult to implement tax cuts for only one sector due to international agreements, but indirect support could be provided. During a meeting with officials of the Automotive Industrialists Association, Tuzmen said that work on cutting VAT rates wasn’t new but had started two years ago, and that the advantages of such cuts and the whether the economy would allow it or not were being explored. Tuzmen said that Turkey’s agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Customs Union don’t permit sector-based support. /Star/
 EP CONTACT GROUP VISITS TRNCTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) acting President Fatma Ekenoglu yesterday received a European Parliament high-level contact group led by French MEP Francoise Grossetete. No statements were made during the meeting at the Presidential Palace. The EP group will meet with government officials as well as representatives of some non-governmental organizations (NGOs). /Star/
 BABACAN, VORKINK, AND KRETSCHMER SPEAK AT CONFERENCE ON TURKEY’S ECONOMYAddressing a conference entitled “Turkey Economic Report: Sustainable Growth and Getting Closer to the European Union,” EU Commission Turkey Representative Hansjoerg Kretschmer praised Turkey’s “noteworthy” performance since the EU decided five months ago to begin Ankara’s accession talks. He stressed that Turkey’s performance getting in harmony with the EU deserved support and that this is also stated in EU reports. Kretschmer praised recent developments in the Turkish economy, saying that inflation had fallen considerably and high growth had been achieved. For his part, World Bank Turkey Director Andrew Vorkink said that he appreciated Turkey’s great progress on the economy, stability and its EU membership bid. He stressed that the economic reforms which are being carried out would also be beneficial socially. Also addressing the gathering, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that fighting inflation was one of the pillars of the government’s economic program, adding that it would determinedly continue its efforts. Babacan said that the Turkish economy grew over the last four years, helping to achieve sustainable growth and stability. “We achieved a 7% primary surplus,” added Babacan. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEMDINLI, THE SOUTHEAST, THE US AND THE TSK BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on the indictment against Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I’ve written three columns so far this month on the incidents in Semdinli last November. The common ground for these columns is that in all of them I wrote the following: The Middle East will turn into a place of fire with the assumption that the hell will be raised both in Iraq and Iran, and in this respect, southeastern Anatolia will gain a special importance, the US will put special importance on the southeast in its Iraq and Iran policies but when it needs the southeast, the US has two different views concerning Turkey. 1) One wing in the US believes that cooperation should be forged with a chosen political wing of Turkey when there is a special need. They haven’t forgotten the pain of Turkey’s rejection of US troop deployment for the Iraq war in March 2003, but they think that we learned our lesson However, another wing thinks the Turkish government unreliable, while the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is seen as more reliable, despite certain problems back in 2003.
The disharmony between the government and other government agencies has become the heart of the issue. The Anti-Terror Law became the litmus test of the issue of who will govern the situation. The TSK announced openly that European Union harmonization laws prevented it from acting effectively in the region. The question of who will govern the southeast is in the spotlight. The issue started to be discussed as the ‘Kurdish issue’ last summer in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s blunder. His words were interpreted as a political approach starting with the terrorist PKK. He couldn’t overcome this impression and it damaged him. However, the government failed to make changes to the Anti-Terror Law considered a must for fighting the PKK. When the incidents in Semdinli happened, Turkish flags and Ataturk’s portraits were burned and it was as if an official hand was making certain interventions, just like the Van’s public prosecutor said in his indictment. This indictment is being discussed only in terms of Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, not as a whole. However, the issue can’t be understood properly without discussing it as a whole.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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