|Wednesday, 23 October 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-28
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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
 FINNISH PLAN FOR CYPRUS FAILSEuropean Union Term President Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja yesterday said that their solution plan for the Cyprus issue had not borne fruit. Before his statement, Tuomioja met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Greek Cypriot administration Foreign Minister Georges Lillikas, who are in Tempere, Finland for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) foreign ministers' meeting. "We can't see a proper ground to proceed within the context of proposals, there's nothing we can do," said Tuomioja, and added that work on how to handle Turkey's accession talks will continue. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN: "THE FAILURE OF FINLAND'S CYPRUS PLAN DOESN'T MEAN ANKARA'S EU EFFORTS WILL SLOW DOWN"Speaking to reporters before his party's Central Decision Board (MKYK) meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the declaration by European Union Term President Finland's foreign minister that his country's Cyprus plan had failed, saying that this didn't mean that Ankara's efforts to join the EU would slow down. "Up to now we've done our best on the issue," said Erdogan. "We'll continue to do so." In related news, Erdogan is expected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI at Ankara's Esenboga airport before flying to Latvia to attend a NATO summit and hold a press conference after this meeting. /Turkiye/
 GUL: "I HOPE THE FINNISH PLAN'S FAILURE WON'T HURT OUR TALKS"Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Finland, where he is attending the Euromed meeting, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul commented on the failure of Finland's Cyprus plan, saying that hoped this failure wouldn't harm Turkey's negotiations with the European Union. "As far as I know, the Greek Cypriots put forward some preconditions," said Gul. Stressing that Greek Cypriot administration was following a strategy to confine the Cyprus issue to the EU, Gul said that he appreciated Finland's efforts. /Star/
 ERDOGAN TO VISIT IRAN, LEBANON AND PALESTINEPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine to boost efforts to attain peace and stability in the Middle East. Erdogan will go to Iran next Sunday to convey the message: "We all have responsibility as neighboring countries." Following his visit to Iran, Erdogan is planning to go to Syria to seek positive and constructive Syrian support for Lebanon. /Milliyet/
 POPE BENEDICT XVI DUE IN ANKARA TODAY; CICEK CALLS THE VISIT AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITYPope Benedict XVI is expected to arrive in Ankara today for an official visit. Speaking after yesterday's Cabinet meeting, government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that he hoped the pope's visit would be a turning point between the Muslim and Christian worlds. "Turkey favors cooperation and dialogue between civilizations and exerts considerable efforts towards this end," said Cicek. "The pope's visit could be an important opportunity. The messages he will give are important. We're uncomfortable about conflicts in the world." /Cumhuriyet/
 REHN: "THE TRAIN WILL SLOW DOWN, BUT IT CAN'T STOP"Speaking at Helsinki University, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn stated yesterday that the Finnish proposals for Cyprus were realistic and formulated to benefit both sides but added, "Unfortunately, they came to nothing." Rehn said that these efforts weren't wasted and added, "We have to keep our promise and continue Turkey's EU process. The negotiations can't be suspended, according to the Commission. The train can slow down but it won't stop." In related news, German Chancellor Foreign Minister Angela Merkel again claimed that it would be better to give a privileged partnership to Turkey in lieu of full EU membership. Speaking at her Christian Democratic Union CDU party's meeting in Dresden, Merkel said, "We are continuing open-ended negotiations with Turkey. But as party leader, I want to say this: Giving privileged partnership to Turkey is proper and will remain so." /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/
 GREEK CYPRIOTS ACCUSE TURKEYGreek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas claimed yesterday that despite his nation and Finland's good will, negotiations over Cyprus hadn't produced an agreement. A written statement released by Lillikas said that negotiations would continue to constitute a consensus among European Union membership countries. In related news, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadoupulos claimed, "The Turkish side didn't give any positive response." /Star/
 BABACAN TO TOUR EUROPEAN COUNTRIES BEFORE NEXT MONTH'S EU SUMMITChief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan yesterday started a mini-tour of the European Union in the runup to the Dec. 11 European Union summit. Babacan's four-day tour will include Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Speaking before his departure, Babacan said that if the developments on the Cyprus issue are negative, the markets could be affected by this. "We won't make concession on the issue," said Babacan. "The Cyprus issue and our EU negotiations are separate issues. We believe that the Cyprus issue could be solved as part of UN efforts." /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 STRATEGIES FOR 2007BY SERDAR TURGUT (AKSAM)
Columnist Serdar Turgut comments on next year's presidential elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The presidency is in the spotlight now due to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but the prime ministry is much more important in this country in terms of affecting the country's course. Former and senior politicians know this very well. If you ask them, they would tell you the importance of the duty of prime ministers. So we think that it would be inappropriate for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become president, as there are other things for him to do with his youthfulness and dynamism. However, the AKP's dynamics are pressing him to become president. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal started to plan his strategy for next year according to Erdogan's move. Baykal calculated that if Erdogan becomes president, leadership conflicts would emerge within the AKP and so the party would lose strength. He might also think that a prime minister from the CHP would inevitably emerge in order to strike a balance with a president from the AKP.
This would be a very legitimate move in this political game and might have a positive impact. These matters will be discussed more as we get closer to 2007, and they will be the main issues on the table. We should think hard about this from now on. We should think dynamically in order not to be unprepared for the next moves of the political game. It should be said clearly that both Erdogan and Baykal should think about their moves carefully from now on, because it would be hard to go back on them. The price of mistakes might be very high both for the leaders and in terms of protecting order."
 THE POPE'S VISITBY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)
Columnist Ali Sirmen comments on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI starting today. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The pope is the spiritual leader of the Catholic world and the head of the Vatican state. His visit to Turkey has two sides. The official reason for the visit is the invitation by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. However, the main aim of the visit is to alleviate the centuries-long conflict between the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate and the Vatican. The tension came after the split of the Roman Empire into two. The reason for this is that the Patriarchate doesn't accept the dominance of the Vatican.
The Fener Greek Patriarchate owes its existence to Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Istanbul. The Patriarchate survived until today with some interruptions. One year after the conquest of Istanbul, Mehmet appointed Georg Scolarios the Greek Orthodox patriarch. The Orthodox reaction against the Vatican had grown so much that they said: ‘We prefer the Ottoman turban to the papal crown.' The reason for this reaction was their experience during the Fourth Crusade, which inflicted the greatest destruction to their people in the history of the Byzantine Empire. Also, when the Byzantine Empire requested help from the Vatican before the conquest of Istanbul, the Vatican offered to help but only under the condition that the Patriarchate accepted the dominance of the Vatican.
This tension has continued for 500 years. The claim of the patriarch to be ‘ecumenical' isn't accepted by the Moscow Orthodox Church. During the Cold War, the US tried to use the Fener Patriarchate against the Moscow Patriarchate and sent Athenagoras to Istanbul to make him a Turkish citizen during tenure of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and appointed him Fener Greek patriarch. The visit of Pope Benedict XVI aims at putting an end to the centuries of tension between these two churches. Therefore the real purpose of the visit is not the Turkish Republic, but the Fener Greek Patriarchate. With this visit, the tension will be dispelled, the ecumenical status of the Fener Patriarchate will be strengthened and it will gain strength against the Moscow Orthodox Patriarchate, which the US and the Western world don't like.
The new pope, who doesn't have friendly feelings for Turkey and Islam and is known for his remarks against Islam, earlier announced his visit and Ankara made this visit official with an official invitation by the Turkish Republic, because it was disturbed by the prospect of an unofficial visit. As you see, all these elements lend the visit tension. But Pope Benedict XVI is the leader of the Catholic Church and head of one the oldest existing states in the world and so he will be welcomed in our country in a proper way in accordance with these titles. Protests against this visit benefit neither Turkey nor the Islamic world. I have no doubt that the pope will be welcomed in the best way.
I also have to mention that the attitude of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not in line with the crucial role of the state. Thank God these strange actions aren't only seen among our politicians. The pope refused Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's invitation for dinner, saying that eating is ‘among worldly pleasures.' Which part of a dinner with Gul is a worldly pleasure?"
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