|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-03-27
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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
 ERDOGAN TO ATTEND ARAB LEAGUE SUMMITPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Saudi Arabia today to attend an Arab League summit. In an address at the opening of the gathering, Erdogan is expected to give important messages on the future of the region. The summit will focus on Middle East peace efforts and support for the new Palestinian government. The premier also plans to hold separate meetings with some leaders attending the meeting, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In related news, Erdogan yesterday received a visiting Russian delegation led by Mikhailovich Mironov. /Turkiye/
 TOP COMMANDERS VISIT PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ARINCChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug and Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner yesterday paid a courtesy visit to Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. Following their half- hour talk, Arinc said in a written statement that the visit of the commanders had taken place in a sincere atmosphere and was very fruitful. He also thanked the top commanders for their kindness. Buyukanit and his team of commanders were reciprocating Arinc's visit to them just after they rose to their current posts. /Hurriyet/
 SUPREME COURT OF JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS TO MEET TODAYThe Supreme Court of Judges and Prosecutors is expected to meet today. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek is expected to chair the gathering. The controversial issue of elections for 23 vacant positions in the Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State could dominate the talks. In related news, following a meeting yesterday, members of the Council of State issued a statement pointing to the importance of elections for the vacant positions in the high courts. "Election of members to the high courts is a matter of sensitivity and urgency," said the statement, adding that that process should not be extended through various reasons and excuses, but should be acted on in line with the schedule specified in the law. Cicek has reportedly insisted on not holding the elections until after Parliament deals with a bill on the matter. /Aksam/
 BUSH: "TURKISH-US TIES PROMOTE WORLD PEACE"In a message to the 26th Annual Conference on Turkish-US Relations, sponsored by the Turkish-US Business Council (TAIK) and the American- Turkish Council (ATC), US President George W. Bush declared that good relations between the two countries help to promote global welfare and the cause of peace. He also stated that he appreciates the contributions that Turkish-Americans make to the US. "Turkey and the US have a relationship which reflects common interests, and carries forward the cause of peace," said Bush. "The two countries can develop trade opportunities by increasing international cooperation." /Sabah/
 GEN. SAYGUN: "TURKEY HAS DONE ITS BEST TO PREVENT PASSAGE OF THE ARMENIAN RESOLUTION"In Washington yesterday, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun said that Turkey has done its utmost to prevent passage of the Armenian resolution in the US House of Representatives. Attending the 26th Annual Conference on Turkish-US Relations, Saygun told reporters that Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit had also exerted great efforts against the resolution during his recent talks with officials in Washington. Saygun also pointed to Ankara's concerns about how European Union member states deal with terrorist PKK militants in their borders. He said that PKK supporters were acting freely in European countries and were engaged drug and weapons trafficking. /Turkiye/
 IRAQI VICE PRESIDENT HASHEMI VISITS ANKARAIraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi reportedly will arrive in Ankara today to hold meetings. Hashemi will be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and is also expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Regional issues, issues related to both countries and meetings on Iraq to be held in Istanbul are expected to be discussed during his talks. /Cumhuriyet/
 BRITISH FM BECKETT VISITS ANKARABritish Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett yesterday arrived in Ankara for an official visit. Beckett told a press conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport that her government was continuing to do its utmost to secure the release of 15 British soldiers taken into custody by Iran and that she would speak about the issue with Turkish officials. Beckett said that she would be pleased if Turkey would help to facilitate their talks with Iran. /Cumhuriyet/
 FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ROYAL: "I SUPPORT TURKEY'S EU BID IN PRINCIPLE"French socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal says in her new book entitled "Maintenant" (Now) that she supports Turkey's European Union bid in principle. "I support Turkey's EU bid in principle but not now because Europe is stalled and, before expanding, we have to restart it," wrote Royal. Royal says" that incorporating Turkey in the EU would send a strong signal for "a world haunted by a clash of civilizations." But Royal continued to defend a French bill that would make denial of the so-called Armenian genocide a crime. In related news, French conservative presidential candidate Nicholas Sarkozy wrote a letter to Haydar Demirbilek, chair of the Turkish Muslims Coordination Committee, calling Turkey the inheritor of a rich civilization. He also characterized Turks as friends and allies, and a hospitable, generous and sincere people sharing the same values as France. But Sarkozy again suggested the idea of a "privileged partnership" -- which Turkey has firmly rejected -- and said that the Turkish-EU partnership will continue under a proposed "Mediterranean union" in which Turkey plays the leading role. /Milliyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 IS TURKEY'S SHOT AT THE EU SHRINKING?Columnist Sami Kohen comments on recent developments concerning Turkey's European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
"After looking at the EU's 50th anniversary ceremonies last weekend and the accompanying Berlin Declaration, we can answer this question in the affirmative.
EU Term President Germany could have invited Turkey as an observer or a guest if it had wanted. The German chancellor, who believes that Turkey can't get into the EU even 50 years from now, saw no reason to make such a gesture. We're sure that if Britain, Spain, or Italy had been at the EU helm, Turkey wouldn't have been excluded from these ceremonies…
When we look at the Berlin Declaration, there's nothing to encourage Turkey. The declaration doesn't even talk about expansion, it only vaguely talks about ‘being open to other countries'...
All this could be interpreted as showing that on its 50th anniversary the EU doesn't want to give a positive message to Turkey. In fact, the EU's priority isn't Turkey now. It has problems with its own structure and functions. EU leaders want to postpone expansion of the Union.
The ceremony and the declaration showed the EU's hesitation. The joyful ceremonies and their PR angle were stressed. Other pressing issues were diplomatically brushed aside.
What we can conclude from Berlin is this: The members don't have a common view or strategy about what kind of EU they want. There are various choices: Should the EU have a federal structure, or remain a union of nations? ... Should it grow horizontally or vertically? In other words, should it expand or deepen? Should it continue to be an economic-dominated community, or try to be a strategic and political power and undertake a global role? ...
All this will be discussed in the EU in the coming days. The declaration says work on the Union's basic structure will be completed by 2009. Let's see that if the members reach an agreement or not.
As I wrote last week, Turkey's EU chances are dependent on the EU's role and function emerging from these debates.
One possibility is that the EU will choose to strengthen its integration and freeze expansion for a while. This could further weaken Turkey's EU membership bid, or even kill it.
Another possibility is that EU could want to continue its expansion while working on its political structure. New cyclical factors could play a role in this. For example, the EU could feel the necessity to expand cooperation concerning issues such as terror, security, energy, migration, and global warming. The need for Turkey along these lines would make the EU look on it more favorably.
But right now we still face the decision made in Brussels last December. The Berlin Declaration didn't add to or change it. The celebrations in Brussels just calmed the weather a bit…"
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