|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-03-15
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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
15.03.2007SUCH COMMITMENTS SHOULDN'T STAY ON PAPER BY
 TURKISH DEPUTIES MEET WITH US UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE BURNSTurkish members of Parliament, currently in Washington to work against the resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide before the US House of Representatives, yesterday attended a meeting of the Turkish-American Council and met with representatives of Jewish groups. The delegation was also received by the US Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, and they urged Washington to beware of the Armenian lies. During the meeting, Burns told Turkish parliamentarians that the Bush administration would do everything it can to prevent passage of the resolution. The parliamentarians also met with former US Ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris, and will hold talks at the US Congress today. /Turkiye/
 AKP TO POLL PARTY MEMBERS ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATESThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration has prepared a list of possible presidential candidates to conduct an inter-party poll. The survey seeks to find out party members' views on the matter. In addition to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the list includes four other prominent figures in Parliament: State Ministers Besir Atalay and Mehmet Aydin, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, and Koksal Toptan, the head of Parliament's Justice Commission. /Aksam/
 AKP DEPUTY OZDEMIR URGES EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE TO STAND FIRM AGAINST PKKConcerned that the terrorist PKK could be removed from the official European Union list of terrorist groups, ruling Justice and development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Inci Ozdemir has sent letters to members of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), with documents and photographs attached showing innocents slaughtered by the group. "The slain babies and children in the photographs are imploring you for justice," said Ozdemir in her letter. Pointing to how 30,000 people have been killed by the terrorist group in Turkey, Ozdemir said that should the PKK be taken off the list, the group would continue to get logistical and financial support to carry out its terrorist attacks. She also called on the court to lend support to Turkey during its decades-long fight against the terrorist PKK. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP OVER UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONSAt his party's group meeting, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday spoke about May's presidential elections, saying, "We have entered an unnatural period of silence. Things are going on behind the scenes. They [the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP] are carrying on a policy of attrition against some institutions behind closed doors." Underlining the importance of a healthy environment for debate, Baykal explained, "Damaging Turkey's major institutions is a mistake. Those who want to run (for president) must clearly voice their intent. For a healthy democratic election, candidates must announce their candidacy as soon as possible so that people have a chance to raise their objections as well as support their own candidates." On whether the CHP would field a candidate, Baykal said their candidate wouldn't be elected because they have too few seats in Parliament, where the election will be held. /Milliyet/
 BELGIAN DECISION ON TERRORIST ERDAL TO BE ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 29Following a hearing yesterday, a Belgian court announced that a decision on whether or not to try fugitive terrorist Fehriye Erdal in Belgium for her crimes committed in Turkey will be announced on March 29. Prosecutor Johan Delmulle reiterated his arguments that Erdal could not be tried in Belgium for her crimes in Turkey. Erdal is one of the suspects in the 1996 murders in Istanbul of prominent Turkish businessmen Ozdemir Sabanci, Haluk Gorgun and Nilgun Hasefi. /Turkiye/
 IRAN OPERATION NETS PKK TERRORISTSSome 207 people have reportedly been arrested in Iran, most members of the terrorist PKK. Hasan Keremi, the chief of police of Iran's West Azerbaijan region, said that 63 of the detainees had participated in armed operations, and the rest had helped them, adding that half of the detainees were armed. He also said that 90% of the group were PKK members and that operations would continue until all the terrorists were killed or captured. /Star/
 ISRAEL TURNS BACK ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MOTIONIn Israel's Parliament Knesset yesterday, a resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide was turned back by a vote of 16-12. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Parliament Speaker Dalia Itzik and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly pressured on the deputies to reject the motion. In addition, Turkey's Ambassador to Tel Aviv Namik Tan also worked against the resolution, warning deputies that should it come to a vote, it would damage Turkish-Israeli relations. The resolution proposed that Israel recognize April 24 as the commemoration day of the so-called Armenian genocide. /Hurriyet/
 EC VICE PRESIDENT WALLSTROM: "WE SHOULD SUPPORT TURKEY'S EU BID"European Commission Vice President Margot Wallstrom recently wrote about her trip to Ankara and Istanbul earlier this month. "I have not changed my mind about Turkey," she wrote. "On the contrary: this country belongs to Europe and the best we can do is to engage with them on their road to membership." Touching on Turkey's women's rights problems, Wallstrom said, "Turkey has made enormous progress in reforming its society, including women's rights. But despite the new legislation that has been introduced to promote gender equality, Turkey is far from offering equal opportunities to women and men. Too many women are illiterate, unemployed, badly paid and made invisible. Too many women and girls are abused, beaten and killed. And even if we would like to think that the EU countries have solved these problems -- that is simply not the case… Did you know that in Europe the major cause of death and disability for women aged 16-44 is men's violence against women? No country can claim that they have solved the problem of violence against women." /Milliyet/
 BABACAN HOLDS CONTACTS IN STRASBOURGState Minister for the Economy and chief EU talks negotiator Ali Babacan yesterday traveled to Strasbourg to hold a series of talks at the European Parliament. Turkey's European Union membership process will top Babacan's meetings with EU leaders. During his two-day stay, Babacan is also set to meet with Greens Group Co-Chairman Daniel Cohn-Bendit. /Turkish Daily News/
FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 AFTER BAGHDAD BY SOLI OZEL (SABAH)Columnist Soli Ozel comments on the situation in the wake of last weekend's meeting in Baghdad. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The meeting in Baghdad last weekend resulted in a way to generally meet Turkey's expectations. All the countries in the region, countries from outside and the United Nations stressed the importance of Iraq's territorial integrity. So the international system gave the message to Kurds and some Shiites, who seemed to favor separatism, that this won't happen. When the Arab countries and the US supported holding the next summit in Istanbul, Iraq's efforts to prevent this failed. Ankara also favored such proposals as setting up commissions and making constitutional amendments through reconciliation. The international system and the main interests of countries in the region started to steer the course of incidents much more. In this respect, it can be said that the Kurds, who so far have enjoyed freedom of movement in a wider area, will from now on face tougher times. Similarly, if they take a rigid stance on the Kirkuk issue, this would lead to harsh criticisms from the region. When Kurds are mentioned in Turkey, calm, logical evaluations are hard to find. On the one hand, Turkey urges the Kurds in a threatening way to give up their separatist wishes and on the other, it's behaving illogically towards the Kurds working in the mechanisms of Iraq who thus have integrated their interests with Iraq. Turkey has yet to invite Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who represents Iraq in the world, to Ankara.
Actually, this is unnecessary, when Turkey's diplomatic efforts and success in its regional contacts are considered. As Ankara's importance rises, it will be expected to act with more self-confidence. But in our domestic politics, election year concerns are setting the relations between institutions, and this, plus disagreements between and among the institutions responsible for national security, aren't letting this happen. On the contrary, society continues to fear for its future. So we are inevitably worried that similar fears were experienced in 1945-46. Back then, territory was being sought from Turkey, and we were paying the price for not entering World War II in our isolation. When the dynamics of the Cold War became clearer, the US sent home the body of the late Turkish ambassador to Washington aboard the USS Missouri. After this gesture, which was directed to the Soviet Union, the Truman doctrine was declared on March 12, 1947, and Turkey came under strategic protection. In order to understand the situation of relations between these two countries, it's sufficient to see that the Truman doctrine -- whose 60th anniversary fell on Monday -- was hardly covered by the media at all. It seems that there will be rapprochement and more balanced relations between Ankara and Washington, whose arrogance of four years ago has ended. The important thing is whether such issues as the terrorist PKK, the so-called Armenian genocide resolution and Kirkuk's future will hinder this rapprochement or not."
SUCH COMMITMENTS SHOULDN'T STAY ON PAPER
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on last weekend's international meeting held in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
"In international meetings, disputes can sometimes be resolved. Diplomacy can ensure that a joint statement or declaration satisfactory to all parties is signed.
Can this mean that all related parties have really come to an agreement and, more importantly, that every party will fulfill the duties it obligated itself to?
Of course there are some success stories along these lines. But in the near past we've seen how some agreements lose their validity before the ink even has a chance to dry.
The expended conference held in Baghdad by countries neighboring Iraq, permanent members of the UN Security Council and the representatives of three international organizations reminded us of this general phenomenon.
This week we had the opportunity to discuss the questions above with Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, the prime minister's foreign policy advisor, and Ambassador Oguz Celikkol, Turkey's special representative to Iraq.
The most important article of the declaration signed at the end of Baghdad meeting was related to the support all the participants extend to Iraq's territorial integrity, national unity and sovereignty. As I pointed out in a recent column, this is a principle Turkey has defended since the beginning of the Iraq crisis. It is very important that now the five big states of the Security Council and representatives from the UN, Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) also agree with this principle.
At first sight the statements in the declaration may be seen as an announcement of things already known. In fact all countries -- small or big, near or far -- favor Iraq's territorial integrity and national unity in their official statements. None says the opposite, supporting its disintegration or the formation of new states on its territory.
Then what is the meaning of this declaration? Turkish officials say that this is a new official commitment binding the parties, and that statements or actions to the contrary would mean violation of the undertaking.
The announcement of an international consensus about the integrity of Iraq is at the same time a strong message warning those harboring separatist aspirations -- namely some Iraqi Kurdish administrators.
Another important article of the declaration is about the fight against terrorism. In that part of the declaration, all parties indicate that they support Iraq's efforts against terrorism. The classification of the attacks in Iraq as ‘terrorism' and the approval of all parties, including Iran, of that definition is meaningful. Iran is known to be accused of supporting some terrorist groups in Iraq, although it denies this. The article also touches upon the infiltration from Iraq's borders. Infiltration to Turkey should also be included in that framework.
We hope that all this aren't just commitments on paper."
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