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Turkish Press Review, 07-03-14

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

14.03.2007

WHAT IS TURKEY'S IRAQ POLICY? BY CUNEYT ULSEVER ( HURRIYET) SURPRISE EU PLAN FOR APRIL BY MEHMET OCAKTAN (YENI SAFAK)

CONTENTS

  • [01] GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS ANKARA
  • [02] PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITS WASHINGTON IN PUSH AGAINST RESOLUTION
  • [03] TURKEY, EU GATHER FOR TROIKA MEETING
  • [04] BAYKAL CRITICIZES ERDOGAN OVER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
  • [05] MUMCU: "WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR AN ALLIANCE"
  • [06] AGAR: "I'M TRYING TO TAKE MOSUL RATHER THAN ALLOWING DIYARBAKIR TO SEPARATE"
  • [07] RICE, GATES WARN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGAINST PASSING ARMENIAN RESOLUTION
  • [08] MARCH 14 MEDICAL DAY TO BE MARKED
  • [09] KANDILLI OBSERVATORY SETS UP EARLY QUAKE WARNING, PLANS MORE SENSORS
  • [10] WHAT IS TURKEY'S IRAQ POLICY? (HURRIYET)
  • [00] BY MEHMET OCAKTAN (YENI SAFAK)

  • [01] GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS ANKARA

    German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, paying a visit to Turkey, yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul in Ankara. Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Gonul said that Turkey would not participate in the US' proposed missile defense project. "Turkey will produce its own missile defense shield using its own resources," said Gonul. For his part, Jung criticized France's recent defense cooperation agreement with the Greek Cypriots and said that Germany shares Turkey's concerns over the matter. He added that Germany is acting with consciousness of its responsibility during its current European Union term presidency. Moreover, the German official had separate talks with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. One of the main topics of the talks was reportedly Greek opposition to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) assuming command of the UN peacekeeping fleet off Lebanon. After completing his contacts, Jung left the Turkish capital. /Turkiye/

    [02] PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITS WASHINGTON IN PUSH AGAINST RESOLUTION

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Egemen Bagis said yesterday should the US House of Representatives pass the Armenian resolution, Turkish-US ties will be damaged and Armenia's hopes of opening to the West may fade. A delegation of Turkish lawmakers, including Bagis, is continuing contacts with their American counterparts to convince them to oppose the resolution. Speaking to reporters, Bagis said that the group would have a series of meetings under the authority given it by the Turkish Parliament and people to prevent the US Congress from making a historic mistake. In related news, the delegation yesterday met with press representatives, attended a Turkish-American Council meeting and spoke with Jewish groups. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TURKEY, EU GATHER FOR TROIKA MEETING

    A Turkey-European Union Troika Political Directors' meeting at the assistant undersecretary level will take place in Ankara today. The last two Troika meetings were held at the ministerial level with the participation of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. The government is opting to keep a low profile on EU-related issues this year due to an EU decision late last year blocking the opening of eight chapters for negotiations. Convening every six months, the Troika discusses Turkey's negotiation process and other important international issues. The Troika consists of the current Term President Germany, the next President Portugal, as well as officials from the European Commission and the Council of Europe. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] BAYKAL CRITICIZES ERDOGAN OVER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

    Speaking at his party's group meeting, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday spoke about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's possible presidential candidacy, saying, "May's presidential election isn't some recipe that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can just whip up. Don't turn the presidency into a fixed menu which you'll put before us." Baykal also lashed out at the government over rising crime rates in Istanbul, saying that the situation in the city shows the decadence and corruption plaguing Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [05] MUMCU: "WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR AN ALLIANCE"

    Opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu yesterday ruled out his taking part in any efforts for an alliance on the right. Speaking at his party's group meeting, Mumcu said, "We're not looking for either a union or an alliance," adding, "What Turkey needs is a democratic national center, a move of the social center to politics." /Star/

    [06] AGAR: "I'M TRYING TO TAKE MOSUL RATHER THAN ALLOWING DIYARBAKIR TO SEPARATE"

    Speaking at a meeting of the Turkish Contractors' Union yesterday, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that his aim is to try to take Mosul in northern Iraq rather than allow Turkey's southeastern city of Diyarbakir to separate. Responding to claims that he has been in touch with former President Suleyman Demirel for a pre-election alliance, Agar said that there's no possibility of such a gathering under any party other than the DYP. /Aksam/

    [07] RICE, GATES WARN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AGAINST PASSING ARMENIAN RESOLUTION

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote a letter this week to the leaders of the House of Representatives warning of the consequences should the Armenian resolution win approval. The letter, sent to the House speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, as well as Republican Minority Group leader John Boehner and Foreign Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, stated that the resolution may cause serious problems in relations between Turkey and the US. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] MARCH 14 MEDICAL DAY TO BE MARKED

    March 14 Medical Day will be observed today with activities to be held in Ankara. Problems of the healthcare system and healthcare workers are expected to be discussed at the gatherings. Meanwhile, the Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) called on health workers to protest government healthcare policy through demonstrations. /Milliyet/

    [09] KANDILLI OBSERVATORY SETS UP EARLY QUAKE WARNING, PLANS MORE SENSORS

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, Gulay Altay, the head of Kandilli Observatory's Earthquake Research Institute, said the observatory had set up an early warning system giving alerts of quakes six seconds in advance, adding, however, that which institutions would respond to the warning is not yet clear. She stated that activity in the eastern Anatolia fault, especially around Bingol, has been detected. Altay added that under a new project, sensors would be placed under the Marmara and Black Seas to detect possible tremors. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [10] WHAT IS TURKEY'S IRAQ POLICY? (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on Turkey's Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "When we look at the whole picture, it's difficult to answer this question. On the one hand, Ankara stresses its support for Iraq's territorial integrity and respect for the Iraqi constitution, but on the other it declares that under international law Turkish forces could enter northern Iraq.

    While the government and the state are caught a conundrum, is the opposition acting coherently?

    The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) opposed the March 2003 motion on the eve of the Iraq war, which would have allowed Turkish soldiers to enter Iraq, and back then was proud of it. Now the same CHP is talking about sending soldiers into northern Iraq!

    Explaining why they opposed the motion, they say that it could have enabled US soldiers to stay in Turkey (for the imminent Iraq invasion) and that they prevented this. But as I pointed out in an earlier column, Baykal made no such claim in his speech of Feb. 4, 2003.

    The True Path Party (DYP) said the PKK terrorists should come down from the mountains and take part in politics, also implying they would get an amnesty.

    The same DYP now says that it's not trying to give away Diyarbakir, but trying to get Mosul.

    Under the opposition's point of view within ‘rising nationalism,' the Iraqi_Kurdish problem is ignored. But in recent polls, when people were asked which party and leader best meet nationalist needs, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out on top.

    The sides on Iraq know of the disagreement between the government and military, and when asked what they thought of Ankara's remarks, they say that they believe in Iraq's territorial integrity, implying Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's statements that Turkey could enter northern Iraq under international law.

    Under US logic, wanting to enter northern Iraq and support Iraq's territorial integrity at the same time are contradictory stances, but not according to us!

    The Baghdad meeting over the weekend brought together Iraq's neighboring countries, permanent UN Security Council members, and members of both the Arab League and the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC). This meeting stressed the international importance attached to Iraq's territorial integrity.

    The next step is to bring together the same countries' foreign ministers. Our Foreign Ministry is trying to arrange such a meeting in Istanbul. If it could be held, Turkey would play a leading role in finding a solution to the Iraq problem and also the Mideast issue. I welcome the government's efforts with enthusiasm.

    However, if Iraq's president (Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani) asks how the Iraq problem can be discussed in a country which has yet to recognize him, adding that Turkey can play a leading role in the Mideast only after it solves its own problems with Kurds, how will we respond?"

    SURPRISE EU PLAN FOR APRIL

    [00] BY MEHMET OCAKTAN (YENI SAFAK)

    Columnist Mehmet Ocaktan comments on a meeting held jointly by the French Assembly of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Turkey on one hand is in an election year and on the other is seeking an active process in its relations with the European Union. State Minister for the Economy and chief negotiator Ali Babacan yesterday started a tour of Europe.

    In a joint meeting of the French Assembly of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACFCI) and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), Turkey's ties with both France and the EU were taken up. TOBB head Rifat Hisarciklioglu, ACFCI head Jean-Francois Bernardin and Babacan all delivered speeches to the gathering.

    The government hopes to accelerate its reforms for Turkey's EU bid without being overcome by sluggishness due to the fall elections. Babacan said that they see EU membership as a strategic goal and that they will declare a new EU plan next month. "We can't wait for all 27 EU member states to approve every chapter." he said. "We're going to introduce a seven-year plan in April which will set our goals for every year." He added that the government had made important reforms -- including eight harmonization packages, with the ninth one now before Parliament -- and that Turkey has become a stronger country with a stronger economy. Lamenting how the EU's recent attitudes made the Turkish public lose hope and support the EU process less, he said despite this they would continue the reform process. Babacan also underlined that Turkey's accession would not only be in the EU's interest in terms of its security and strategic importance but would also have a global impact.

    Hisarciklioglu touched upon relations between France and Turkey. Citing France's declaration that 2009 is the Year of Turkey, he said that they should ensure that Turkey is presented in a realistic way. He also urged French investments in Turkey, especially in the energy sector.

    The head of the ACFCI expressed self-criticism in a range of fields from relations between the two countries to the last fall's law on the so-called Armenian genocide, but was hopeful about the future of relations. He said that these problems can be solved through dialogue and that he believes good economic relations would certainly affect the course of political relations."


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