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Turkish Press Review, 07-11-06

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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

06.11.2007

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL TO VISIT AZERBAIJAN
  • [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH BUSH IN WASHINGTON
  • [03] AMBASSADOR WILSON: “TURKEY, THE US AND IRAQ CAN SHARE INTEL TO DEFEAT THE PKK”
  • [04] EU TO RELEASE TURKEY PROGRESS REPORT TODAY
  • [05] ONE YEAR LATER, STATESMAN ECEVIT COMMEMORATED
  • [06] THE KURDISH AND TERRORISM ISSUES

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL TO VISIT AZERBAIJAN

    President Abdullah Gul, accompanied by State Ministers Kursad Tuzmen and Nimet Cubukcu and a group of businessmen, will fly to Azerbaijan today. Gul is scheduled to meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, Parliament Speaker Oktay Asadov and Prime Minister Artur Rasizade and to address the Azerbaijani Parliament. During the visit, the two presidents will sign several agreements and discuss bilateral relations along with regional and international developments. Gul will later proceed to Gence, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city. /Cumhuriyet-Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH BUSH IN WASHINGTON

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with US President George W. Bush at the White House. Afterwards, Bush said that they had had a long discussion about the terrorist PKK, calling it an enemy of Turkey, a free Iraq and the United States. “I made it very clear to the prime minister that we want to work in a close way to deal with this problem,” Bush told reporters. “We talked about the need to have better intelligence sharing.” He added, “In order to chase down people who murder people, you need good intelligence. We talked about the need for our militaries to stay in constant contact.” After his meeting with Bush, Erdogan delivered a speech at the National Press Club. “On Oct. 17, almost all members of the Turkish Parliament gave a mandate to the government to launch an operation,” he said. “This is a mandate for a cross-border operation that solely targets the PKK, not civilians.” Turkey will exercise its right to protect itself and the nation against terrorism if necessary international support and cooperation are not provided, he added. “We have come to the point of using our rights under international law, against the separatist terrorist organization which threatens our territorial integrity, public order, security and peace, by deploying in northern Iraq, ” said Erdogan. “This is an authorization granted by international law and we will use it.” Erdogan stressed two vital issues in Turkish-US relations, namely a resolution regarding Armenian allegations on the incidents of 1915 and the presence of the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. /Star-Sabah/

    [03] AMBASSADOR WILSON: “TURKEY, THE US AND IRAQ CAN SHARE INTEL TO DEFEAT THE PKK”

    Turkey does not want northern Iraq to continue to be a safe haven for terrorist groups, said US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson yesterday. “As Iraq hasn’t reached the required stability, we don’t want any developments causing a new crisis,” he told Aksam daily. “The US administration wants to find a common solution to the problems of its strategic partner Turkey caused by the terrorist PKK. Adding new troubles to the problems of the Middle East would run counter to the interests of the US, Iraq and Turkey. We can share intelligence to defeat the terrorist PKK. Using the tripartite mechanism would benefit everyone.” /Aksam/

    [04] EU TO RELEASE TURKEY PROGRESS REPORT TODAY

    The EU Commission is set today to release its annual progress report on Turkey along with an accession strategy document and financial assistance framework for the next four years. Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn is expected to hold a press conference to mark the report’s release. In the report, the Commission assesses political and economic developments in Turkey over the last year. /Turkiye/

    [05] ONE YEAR LATER, STATESMAN ECEVIT COMMEMORATED

    On the first anniversary of his death, the late Bulent Ecevit, founder of the Democratic Left Party and a two-time prime minister, was commemorated yesterday in a ceremony at his gravesite in the Turkish State Cemetery. /Milliyet/

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

    [06] THE KURDISH AND TERRORISM ISSUES

    BY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Ismet Berkan comments on the Kurdish and terrorism issues. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I’ve been on a few TV programs over the last few weeks and on all of them I found myself at discussing the idea that there’s no Kurdish issue, but a terrorism issue. I’m writing this just as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to leave his hotel to meet with US President George W. Bush. Of course, I don’t have any inside information on the content of the meeting or its possible consequences, but maybe I don’t need any: I know that the Kurdish issue and the issue of separatist terrorism which has caused Turkey so much trouble are very complicated and so can’t be solved in a single meeting. But I also know that the terrorist PKK is indirectly under US control. This has been the case maybe for years. The PKK falls silent when the US asks it to and delivers captured soldiers when the US asks it to. But I’m not so naïve as to think that the Kurdish issue and the issue of separatist terrorism can be ended if the US wants it. In addition, I don’t support conspiracy theories that underestimate the power and potential of my country.

    Columnist Fikret Bila has recently been giving us the words of retired commanders who fought the terrorist PKK in the field and were instrumental in policy-making. From what they said we can conclude that even if the Kurdish issue and the terrorism issue are interwoven, they are actually separate issues. Both former Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytac Yalman and former Chief of General Staff Gen. Dogan Gures have expressed this. When you still say there’s no Kurdish issue, but one of terrorism, you suggest going back to the beginning. In my opinion, when a genuine effort to solve the Kurdish issue is made, we can erect an infrastructure to end separatist terrorism once and for all. Otherwise our prime ministers will visit the US and our soldiers will organize more operations for a long time to come. From what I can tell, a (cross-border) military operation (into Iraq) will be organized. Actually, if any, the only issue is the Turkish army not hitting the Iraqi administration, but the terrorist PKK.

    As long as we don’t cross this thin line, if Turkey carries out operations along our Iraqi border, particularly in the mountainous region, or keeps soldiers there permanently, this won’t lead to serious failures. I accept that this operation, and even a permanent military structure which might be established, will hold back the issue of terrorism for a certain period of time. Even if we ignore the threat of the terrorist PKK in cities, the issue of terrorism in the mountains won’t end completely. The only way to end or marginalize terrorism is to make our Kurds feel that they’re also first-class citizens. As long as we don’t do this, there will be pressure for a federation, separation, etc. So maybe we can buy some time to solve the Kurdish issue by defusing the issue of terrorism. In other words, an operation might not be completely unnecessary and disadvantageous, so long as we use the time that we have lost to our benefit.”


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