|Monday, 30 March 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-01
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 TERRORISM, IRAN DOMINATE NSC MEETINGSeparatist and reactionary activities were discussed during yesterday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting, chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Gen. Yasar Buyukanit attended the meeting at the Presidential Palace for the first time as chief of General Staff. Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug and Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner attended the meeting as members for the first time. "A comprehensive evaluation of domestic and foreign developments affecting Turkey was made during the meeting," said a statement released afterwards. "Contacts and negotiations over Iran's nuclear program since the July 31 UN Security Council Resolution 1696 were discussed, and the importance of solving this problem through negotiations was emphasized. Also, recent developments in the Southern Caucasus were discussed." /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: "SECULARISM FREES SOCIETIES"Speaking on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish nation is loyal to the constitutional regime, democratic and secular republic, adding that certain marginal extreme examples don't alter that fact. "The principle of secularism is a guarantee enabling freedom for various types of living," said Erdogan. Pointing to the great enthusiasm nationwide in celebrations last Sunday for Republic Day, the premier said that Republic of Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and all martyrs had been commemorated with respect and gratitude. Adding that the eligible age to be elected a deputy was recently lowered from 30 to 25, Erdogan called on young people to get involved in politics so as to make Turkish political life more dynamic. /Aksam/
 TURKEY EYES LOCAL WORK SHARE IN US' F-35 PROGRAMDefense Minister Vecdi Gonul, on a visit to the US, said yesterday that Turkey was looking for a local work share worth of up to $6 billion in the US-led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 program. Following talks with his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England in Washington, Gonul told reporters that his visit especially focused on determining the details on Turkey's rights in production, usage, maintenance and training during F-35 production. He stated that Turkey had planned to purchase about 100 F-35s, and the first delivery to Turkey was expected to be made in 2014, adding that $175 million has been already paid for the project. Gonul then traveled to the state of Texas, where F-35s are being produced. /Turkiye/
 EUROPEAN COUNCIL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER DUE IN TURKEYEuropean Council Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg will come to Turkey today. A statement by the European Council said that Hammarberg would stay in Turkey for four days and hold contacts with many top government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations as well as Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Labor and Social Security Minister Murat Basesgioglu and State Minister for women and children Nimet Cubukcu. /Star/
 TRNC'S TALAT: "WE WON'T GIVE UP MARAS"Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday said that Finland's making efforts as European Union term president was natural, but its asking concessions from the Turkish side so the embargo is lifted wasn't right. "If a step including only exports is taken, this doesn't mean lifting the embargo," he added. "For us, the most important thing is to open Ercan Airport. Our athletes and performers can't take part in international events. We want this inhuman treatment ended. Besides, Europe's promises involved lifting the embargo. We also require full representation in the European Parliament. A setup where the Turkish side isn't represented is illegal and undemocratic. Asking us to give up Maras was unfair. Maras is a part of a comprehensive solution, and its restitution will be in that context." /Cumhuiyet/
 FINLAND LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE FOR CYPRUSIn the runup to the release of the European Union Commission's Turkey report on next Wednesday, Nov. 8, EU Term President Finland invited Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration to Helsinki to break the deadlock over Cyprus. The TRNC is expected to be represented by Foreign Minister Turgay Avci during the talks. Furthermore, Finland also invited TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat to come to Brussels on Friday to meet with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. On the other hand, Greek Cypriots are reportedly keeping silent on these developments. /Turkiye/
 CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT TO VISIT GREECEChief of General Staff Gen.Yasar Buyukanit will travel to Greece today. During his four-day trip, Buyukanit is expected to have talks with his Greek counterpart Adm. Panayottis Hinofotis and Defense Minister Vangelis Meymarakis. The top Turkish commander visited Athens and Thessalonica last year when he was still land forces commander. Furthermore, Buyukanit is set to visit Washington in February at the invitation of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace. /Sabah/
 HISTORIC GESTURE BY GREEK FM BAKOYANNISResponding to Gen. Yasar Buyukanit's first visit to Greece as chief of General Staff with a historic gesture, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis attended the celebration of the 83rd anniversary of the Republic of Turkey at the Turkish Embassy in Athens. Bakoyannis is the first Greek foreign minister to attend the Republic Day ceremonies in nearly a quarter- century. /Milliyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 FROM ANKARA TO RABATBY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)
Columnist Erdal Safak comments on a two-day meeting in Morocco's capital of Rabat and Turkey's role in it. A summary of his column is as follows:
"While our National Security Council (NSC) was discussing the nuclear crisis in Iran, a secret document was opened for signatures at a meeting which was closed to the press in Rabat, Morocco. The two-day meeting was about global efforts to combat nuclear terror, with the participation of G- 8 countries (the US, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Russia and Japan), China, Australia, Kazakhstan and Turkey. There were also two observers: the International Atomic Energy Agency and host country Morocco. The participation of the G-8 countries is normal, because this initiative was agreed on during the group's St. Petersburg summit last July. It's normal for China to participate as well, because it's a nuclear power. Kazakhstan's participation isn't strange, either, because some nuclear materials remained there after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Australia's participation isn't surprising, because it has rich uranium resources and it also started to consider developing nuclear arms after North Korea's recent test.
Why was Turkey invited to this important meeting? I think there are four reasons:
1. Turkey is located along the smuggling route of nuclear materials.
2. The nuclear arsenal at Incirlik Airbase. However, we don't have control over that arsenal.
3. Just like North Korea started a nuclear arms race in the Far East and the Pacific, Iran will have the same impact in the Middle East. However, if Turkey was invited as a potential power which will inevitably participate in this race, shouldn't Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which have already started preparations for nuclear arms, also be invited?
4. Besides preventing nuclear material from being captured by terrorist groups and protecting nuclear plants against terrorist attacks, another issue was discussed during the meeting in Rabat, that is, implementing the United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. However, there's a little problem. China rejects Article 7 of this convention, which stipulates military intervention when the convention is violated.
Let's remember a detail to emphasize the meaning of this article. Four years ago, the US press released a secret Defense Department report. The report said that US President George W. Bush had ordered that plans be drawn up to use nuclear force against seven countries: China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran! What a coincidence that at the same time as the meeting in Rabat, exercises began as led by the US in the Gulf of Basra to stop vessels from carrying nuclear material or weapons. Turkey isn't participating in these exercises, including 25 countries, because the first of these exercises was done in the Anatolian Sun maneuvers in Antalya last year, with the participation of 31 countries. According to some observers, the exercises in the Gulf mean to intimidate Iran. Similar interpretations were made of the exercises in Antalya as well. Why do you think Turkey was invited to the meeting in Rabat?
 QUIET DIPLOMACY IN CYPRUS PICKS UPBY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul got a phone call from EU Term President Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. Cyprus was topic A. ‘It would be more beneficial if the Finnish prime minister visited the island for shuttle diplomacy than inviting the parties to Finland,' Gul told a press conference. There are some behind-the-scenes developments beneath these words. As part of Finland's quiet diplomacy, which started at September's UN General Assembly meeting, Tuomioja made a new proposal last week, which looks much like the solution plan released by Turkey this January. Finland wanted to invite the parties. But the Finnish foreign minister wanted to invite the following persons: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas and Gul. After an Ankara considered this, it was clear that this proposal wouldn't have the desired outcome. For example, if Lillikas is invited, than his counterpart would be TRNC Foreign Minister Turgay Avci, and if Talat is invited, then his counterpart would be Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos. Besides, what would Turkey do in a meeting where Greece isn't invited? If they want Turkey to be a party, then Greece should also be there. Despite all this, Turkey didn't reject the invitation, because Foreign Ministry officials advised that Turkey should avoid doing anything showing reluctance over talks.
It is said that Finland could go to the island to see who is willing to engage in talks. Gul also said that he asked whether Finland has asked for Talat's opinion, and they responded that Talat had said he would send Avci. On Monday, Finnish General Director of EU Affairs Kare Halonen visited Ankara and then went to the island yesterday. He met with TRNC Presidential Undersecretary Rasid Pertev. Halonen will return to Helsinki after meetings with Greek Cypriot officials. The timing is very important, because Talat and Tuomioja promised each other to meet this Friday.
It's not clear what the reaction of Greece and the Greek Cypriot government will be, because according to Papadopoulos, Talat can only be a part of Erdogan's delegation. Despite the good will of Finland, it's difficult to expect a good result due to the attitude of the Greek Cypriots. However, Turkey's worries of its EU membership talks being suspended due to Cyprus are somewhat eased as long as the Greek Cypriots are reluctant to talk."
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