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Turkish Press Review, 06-03-21

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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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

21.03.2006

GUL’S US VISIT POSTPONED DUE TO INNER EAR PROBLEMS GOVT DOWNPLAYS SEMDINLI INDICTMENT CONTROVERSY GENERAL STAFF: “THERE IS NO NEED FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF BUYUKANIT OR OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN SEMDINLI INDICTMENT” KRETSCHMER: “STEPS ARE NEEDED TO INCREASE CONTROL OVER THE MILITARY” MALAYSIAN TRADE MINISTER ATTENDS SEMINAR IN ISTANBUL BBC: “CYPRUS HOLDS THE KEY TO TURKEY’S EU TALKS” 139 MLN EURO EU AID DIVIDES TRNC FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… WHAT HAS CHANGED ON CYPRUS? BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL’S US VISIT POSTPONED DUE TO INNER EAR PROBLEMS
  • [02] GOVT DOWNPLAYS SEMDINLI INDICTMENT CONTROVERSY
  • [03] GENERAL STAFF: “THERE IS NO NEED FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF BUYUKANIT OR OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN SEMDINLI INDICTMENT”
  • [04] KRETSCHMER: “STEPS ARE NEEDED TO INCREASE CONTROL OVER THE MILITARY”
  • [05] MALAYSIAN TRADE MINISTER ATTENDS SEMINAR IN ISTANBUL
  • [06] BBC: “CYPRUS HOLDS THE KEY TO TURKEY’S EU TALKS”
  • [07] 139 MLN EURO EU AID DIVIDES TRNC
  • [08] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [09] WHAT HAS CHANGED ON CYPRUS?

  • [01] GUL’S US VISIT POSTPONED DUE TO INNER EAR PROBLEMS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday underwent surgery at Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) for trauma in his inner ear stemming from an upper respiratory tract infection and cabin pressure while returning from Tunisia, where he paid an official visit last week. Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said that Gul’s situation was good, but that it was not clear when he would be discharged. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Gul at the hospital. Gul’s US visit scheduled to begin this Saturday has been postponed indefinitely since doctors have advised him against air travel for some time. Gul was going to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and brief them on Ankara’s recent Cyprus action plan. /Star/

    [02] GOVT DOWNPLAYS SEMDINLI INDICTMENT CONTROVERSY

    The government is seeking to avoid feeding the media frenzy over the General Staff’s sharply worded statement on the Semdinli indictment. The statement was debated during yesterday’s seven-and-a-half-hour marathon Cabinet meeting and afterwards, government spokesman Cemil Cicek declined to answer questions, saying he had no information on the issue. Cicek also said that he hadn’t seen the text of the statement and that the issue wasn’t debated during the meeting. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly warned Cabinet ministers not to fuel the controversy and not to make any comments on the issue due to its sensitive nature. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] GENERAL STAFF: “THERE IS NO NEED FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF BUYUKANIT OR OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN SEMDINLI INDICTMENT”

    The General Staff yesterday declared that there was no need to open investigations into Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit or other military officers named in the Semdinli indictment. A statement posted on the General Staff website says that the Semdinli indictment prepared by the Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was being examined. The General Staff statement claimed that Ferhat Sarikaya, the Van chief public prosecutor who prepared the indictment, had made a grave “mistake” and overstepped his authority, adding that Sarikaya might have been under the influence of “certain circles.” /Hurriyet/

    [04] KRETSCHMER: “STEPS ARE NEEDED TO INCREASE CONTROL OVER THE MILITARY”

    European Union Commission Turkey Representative Hansjoerg Kretschmer said yesterday that Ankara hadn’t taken necessary steps on judicial reform during its EU membership bid “There are steps which should be taken to strengthen the government and Parliament’s control over the military,” he said. “Making the budget of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) transparent is among our expectations. Turkey should not rest on its laurels.” Stressing that the commission’s 2005 report stated that Turkey had met the EU’s critical criteria, Kretschmer added, however, that the report also pointed to a slowdown in reforms. He said that the recent reforms were very important and that they needed to be implemented. Kretschmer further said it concerned him that only 55% of the Turkish nation supports Turkey’s EU bid. /Milliyet/

    [05] MALAYSIAN TRADE MINISTER ATTENDS SEMINAR IN ISTANBUL

    Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz, currently in Istanbul, yesterday attended a seminar organized by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). Addressing the gathering, Aziz said that he was visiting countries in order to create job opportunities, adding that his next stop would be Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Stressing that goal of his visits was to strengthen Malaysia’s economic and trade ties with members of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), Aziz said that Turkey was Malaysia’s sixth-largest trade partner and that Malaysian businesses were interested in Turkey. He further called for the Turkish businessmen to invest in Malaysia since there are many advantages to investing there. /Turkiye/

    [06] BBC: “CYPRUS HOLDS THE KEY TO TURKEY’S EU TALKS”

    Britain’s BBC this week posted a controversial analysis of Turkey’s negotiations with the European Union on its website. “The EU's membership negotiations with Turkey have barely started but already worries are surfacing in Brussels and London that they could collapse within months,” said the piece. “No-one thought the talks would be easy but what is driving such fears of an early breakdown? The answer is Cyprus ... Most EU diplomats and politicians do not want talks with Turkey to collapse in acrimony. They do want to see Turkey open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels, but they also want moves to resolve the Cyprus problem. But the [Greek] Cypriots have much more bargaining power vis-a-vis Turkey now they are inside the EU, and the other EU member states much less leverage over them. Some diplomats worry that the Cypriot strategy is to ‘Europeanise’ the Cyprus dispute, moving the dispute away from a UN framework where compromise is inevitable.” /Sabah/

    [07] 139 MLN EURO EU AID DIVIDES TRNC

    The coalition government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is apparently facing a breakup due to the lack of an agreement over financial aid allocated by the European Union to ease the TRNC’s international isolation. Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas has repeatedly said his Democrat Party (DP) favors rejecting the EU aid. The EU’s 139 million euros of aid to the TRNC was approved by the EU Council. But this aid is bound to three conditions: the center which will organize the aid will be established by Greek Cypriots, Greek Cyprus’ approval will be received before extending any aid, and the Greek Cypriot administration will be consulted before permission is given for any projects on territories which supposedly belonged to Greek Cypriots prior to 1974. /Aksam/

    [08] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [09] WHAT HAS CHANGED ON CYPRUS?

    BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ilter Turkmen comments on the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s stance. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “There are both positive developments and otherwise which are a matter of concern on the Cyprus issue for Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Among the positive developments is a government in the TRNC which approaches current problems more realistically, doesn’t close itself off from the world and is addressed by the international community. The benefits of this government’s policies were important, particularly economically. The gross national product (GNP) per capita reached $10,000, and this is the best proof of this. Although the construction boom has slowed down, great projects are still on the way. This economic growth raised the Turkish Cypriots’ self-reliance as well. Of course, there are still political ambiguities. There’s no hope for a solution on the horizon, but there are certain hints. A consensus was reached to discuss a series of problems which concern both nations on the technical level. It’s hoped that these meetings will raise the mutual confidence and get the talks restarted. However, as seen during last week’s Turkish-Greek Forum meeting in Istanbul, with Greek and Turkish Cypriot participation, it won’t be easy to reactivate UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s goodwill mission. Greek Cypriot participants said that their leader Tassos Papadopoulos wasn’t uncompromising as some claim and that he believes a solution is needed. But no change of stance has been seen in the Greek Cypriot leader to make one think that he will approach a compromise to maintain the general balance of Annan’s plan.

    There are two problems for the TRNC. There is, firstly, ending their isolation. Turkish Cypriots want to carry out trade from their harbors freely, their airports opened to international transportation and Northern Cyprus integrated into the Customs Union. The issue of airports is more important than direct trade, because not exports, but tourism will be the engine of sustainable economic growth. As Greek Cypriots are concerned that southern Cyprus’ tourism will migrate to the north, they don’t want the airports to be opened to international transportation. As for direct trade, they want to open Maras to Greek Cypriot housing under the UN administration and Magosa harbor to be used by both parties under the European Union administration. The first problem for the TRNC is the issue of real estate. The members of TRNC Indemnity Commission will be announced tomorrow and the commission will start its work. If the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) determines that they comply with the criteria set by the commission, the return of property and the case records will be transferred to the commission. Greek Cypriots don’t want to believe in such a possibility and they are seeking various solutions to put pressure on Turkey and the TRNC. The biggest problem for Turkey is the approval and implementation of the Customs Union Protocol by the Turkish Parliament. Actually, the Customs Union has come into force and it applies to the trade of goods between the two parties. However, the EU wants Turkey to open its harbors to Greek Cypriot ships as part of the protocol. Turkey isn’t willing to agree to this as long as the restrictions on Northern Cypriot sea and air harbors aren’t removed and won’t approve the protocol for this reason. The extent of its impact on the process of membership talks with EU will be seen this fall.”

    ARCHIVE

    The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.

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