|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-03-30
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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
 RETURNING FROM ARAB SUMMIT, ERDOGAN CALLS HIS MEETING WITH IRAQ'S TALABANI "POSITIVE"During the just-concluded two-day Arab summit in Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also held bilateral contacts in the country. Speaking to reporters while returning to Turkey, Erdogan said that his meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had been positive, adding that Talabani had told him that his country needs Turkey. "They're uncomfortable about press reporters about a dispute between our states," said Erdogan. Commenting on Talabani's proposal that Turkey send a delegation to Iraq to study its demographic makeup, Erdogan said that proposal would be evaluated and a response given to Talabani. In related news, during his contacts, Erdogan said that a summit could be held in Istanbul to resolve the dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf are expected to meet in May. A summit on Iraq is also due to be held in Istanbul next month. Erdogan places great importance on this to make Istanbul the "heart of a solution." US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iran's foreign minister are expected to meet during the summit. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/
 GUL TO BE ABSENT FROM EU LUNCHEONIn light of the European Union's failure to invite Turkey and other candidate countries to its ceremonies marking the bloc's 50th anniversary, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reportedly will not attend a luncheon as part of an unofficial meeting of EU foreign ministers to be held today in Bremen, Germany. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said yesterday that Ankara will be represented at the luncheon by ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: "US SENATE'S RESOLUTION ON DINK MURDER WON'T SERVE ANYONE'S INTEREST"A Foreign Ministry statement said yesterday that a resolution passed by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee condemning the murder of journalist Hrant Dink, who was convicted with "insulting Turkishness," a crime under controversial penal code Article 301, would not serve anybody's interests. The resolution reopened the question of whether Congress should weigh in on the debate over the Armenian genocide allegations. The Foreign Ministry also said that the resolution would only help those who want to illicitly link the murder with the events of 1915. /Star/
 HISTORIC AKDAMAR CHURCH REOPENED AS MUSEUMVan's Akdamar Armenian church, restored at a cost of $1.5 million, was reopened yesterday as a museum in a ceremony with the attendance of Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc and Armenia's Culture Minister Gagik Gyurjan. Addressing a crowd, including leading Armenian figures from the US, Koc said that Turkey has always respected different cultures and their artwork, pointing to the need for their protection for future generations. Also speaking, Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II thanked Turkish officials on behalf of the Armenian community. /Cumhuriyet/
 ANTI-TERROR BASER MEETS WITH US' RALSTON IN WASHINGTONTurkey's Special Envoy for countering terrorism Edip Baser yesterday met with his US counterpart Joseph Ralston in Washington. Speaking afterwards, Baser stated that there were issues which both sides are working on, adding that they had discussed details of these issues. "There have been a number of developments and we discussed these," said Baser. "We also spoke of handled our expectations for the future. Ralston briefed us on about what the US is planning to do." Baser further stated that if a military operation is needed against the terrorist PKK, Turkish officials and institutions would decide on this. "No one should worry about this," added Baser. /Sabah/
 DEFENSE INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CONVENES TODAYThe Defense Industry Executive Committee, consisting of Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, will convene today to decide on four important ventures, including the production of tanks and attack helicopter. /Turkiye/
 FEHRIYE ERDAL COULD FACE TRIALA Belgian court ruled yesterday that fugitive from Turkish justice Fehriye Erdal would be tried in Belgium for crimes she is accused of committing in Turkey. The decision made by the Gent Court has been sought by Turkey for years. After the decision becomes final, Erdal could be tried in absentia, as her whereabouts are currently unknown. /Milliyet/
 SPEAKING TO AMERICAN-TURKISH BUSINESS GROUP, HISARCIKLIOGLU TOUTS TURKISH ECONOMYAddressing the American-Turkish Commercial and Industry Chamber yesterday, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu touted the Turkish economy, saying that it was the European Union's seventh-largest and the world's number 19 economy with its gross national product (GNP) of $400 billion. Stressing that Turkey was an industrial giant in its region, Hisarciklioglu stated that it was time to invest in Turkey. Later Hisarciklioglu met with Daniel Sullivan, the US assistant secretary of state for economic, energy, and business affairs. During their meeting, Sullivan said that the US supported a proposal to revive a Palestinian industrial zone, which came up via the Ankara Forum. /Milliyet/
 ITALY AWARDS THREE TURKS ORDERS OF MERITItaly has awarded Orders of Merit to former NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Hikmet Cetin and parliamentarians Zeynep Karahan Uslu and Muharrem Kilic. The awards were presented to the trio by Italian Ambassador to Turkey Carlo Marsili in a ceremony at Ankara's Italian Embassy. /Sabah/
 ISTANBUL FILM FESTIVAL TO BEGIN TODAYThe 26th International Istanbul Film Festival will commence today with Turkish director Ferzan Ozupek's latest work "Saturno Contro." During the festival, which lasts until April 15, 41 long and 10 short films will compete in four different sections. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…Columnist Asaf Savas Akat comments on relations between Turkey and the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Today, I'm continuing to evaluate the 50th anniversary of the EU. In my last two columns I wrote about the history and future of the EU from the perspective of a European federalist and I said positive things. Today it's the turn of relations between the EU and Turkey.
The Common Market was established in 1957. Soon after, Greece and Turkey started to seek a special relationship. The first agreement on Turkey's entry in to the Common Market was signed in 1963, which meant that Turkey would become the seventh or eighth member. In this respect, it is regrettable that Turkey didn't take part in the 50th anniversary of the EU. Greece, who started this journey with us, became a member 30 years ago, and it's unclear whether Turkey will become a member in the next 30 years.
Why did things happen this way? Who's responsible? In order to answer these questions, we must divide the last 40 years since 1963 in two periods. I will give you my conclusion beforehand: In the first period Turkey is responsible, but in the second the EU is.
Was the Customs Union really the goal? No. The aim was not to lose to Greece. "We will consider the economic dimension when necessary," thought the politicians of the time.
In the 1970s Turkey carried out a kind of inward industrialization. No preparations were made for the Customs Union.
Following the 1980 coup, our relations with the EU were suspended and the normalization process took nearly a decade. By that time Turkey had changed. It had opened its markets to foreign competition. In 1989 Turkey applied for membership again. From then on, the EU started to use stalling tactics. They said that Turkey's rights enshrined in the agreement were limited to the Customs Union.
Now, we face two interrelated questions: Will Turkey enter the EU? and Will the EU take us? The first question isn't so interesting, because it depends on our will. But I'd like to address the second one.
Turkey's membership will be a milestone in the future of the EU. The philosophical, political, social, economic future of the Union will be shaped around this decision.
EU citizens opposing Turkey's membership have two main angles: The first group is made up of people seeking a Christian Europe, and the others are people who want swift federalization. However, for the others who long for a ‘Europe of value,' Turkey should join the Union.
How will this struggle end? I'm optimistic. Because those who are against Turkey are far from the necessities of our age and they don't have enough power to block us."
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