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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-02

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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

02.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT WASHINGTON NEXT WEEK
  • [02] TRNC’S TALAT DUE IN ANKARA TOMORROW
  • [03] TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ MEETS WITH VP HASHIMI
  • [04] EP’S RUIJTEN: “TURKEY SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON REFORMS”
  • [05] YEAR OF DIFFICULTIES AND OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT WASHINGTON NEXT WEEK

    President Abdullah Gul will visit the US next Tuesday at the invitation of his US counterpart George W. Bush. In a meeting at the White House, the two leaders are expected to discuss recent Turkish cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Bush is expected to stress the importance of cooperation with the Iraqi government and also to discuss the Middle East problem with Gul, who last year brought together Israel’s Shimon Peres and Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas in Ankara in a historic first. /Aksam/

    [02] TRNC’S TALAT DUE IN ANKARA TOMORROW

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat will arrive in Ankara tomorrow for a two-day official visit. Talat is set to meet with President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Aksam/

    [03] TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ MEETS WITH VP HASHIMI

    Turkey’s Ambassador to Iraq Derya Kanbay yesterday met with Iraqi Vice President Tariq Hashimi. During the meeting, they discussed Turkey’s recent cross-border operations into northern Iraq, and Hashimi asked Ankara to cooperate with the Iraqi government before conducting further operations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] EP’S RUIJTEN: “TURKEY SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON REFORMS”

    Ria Oomen-Ruijten, Turkey rapporteur of the European Parliament, said yesterday that there have been no recent dramatic developments in Turkish- European Union relations. Ruijten said that Turkey is an important country for the EU strategically, adding that it should concentrate on reforms. “The negotiation process is continuing despite French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s opposition,” he stated. Saying that EU is expecting concrete steps from Turkey on Article 301, gender equality and the Foundations Law, Ruijten added that many EU countries support Turkey’s negotiation process. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [05] YEAR OF DIFFICULTIES AND OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on expectations for the new year. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “All signs point to the new year being active and intensive for Turkish foreign policy, much like last year.

    The main reason for this is the legacy of last year and even years further in the past. Many issues, from Cyprus and the Aegean to the presence of the PKK in northern Iraq and shifting balances in the Mideast, seem to be keeping Turkish diplomats busy. Let’s look at the issues:

    The PKK presence in northern Iraq: It’s clear that Turkey’s anti- terrorist military operations in the final weeks of the last year will continue this year until the terrorist PKK is eradicated. So far the international community has lent support to these operations either explicitly or implicitly. When the PKK is counteracted, military results will be obtained. If this happens quickly, problems with foreign countries and other difficulties will be prevented. In addition, this year Ankara will be urged to deal with basic issues in northern Iraq. Relations with Massoud Barzani’s administration and the situation of the Iraqi central government will occasionally make things tough for our diplomats, but sometimes will create opportunities for new openings…

    Relations with the US: Relations worsened in the first half of 2007 but began getting better in recent weeks, and strategic cooperation, especially in the fight against the terrorist PKK, will probably continue. Washington’s stance towards Turkey probably won’t change, even if a Democrat is elected president this November. But certain problems may arise in relations. If an Armenian resolution is brought to the floor of the House of Representatives this spring, tensions may rise, like last year. In order to prevent this, new strategies and initiatives are needed …

    Talks with the EU: This process is continuing. In other words, the accession talks aren’t being suspended, but continuing very slowly and haltingly. Things may get worse when France holds the bloc’s term presidency in the second half of the year. Is it possible that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will change his stance on Turkey, and the process will get back on track? A tenuous possibility, but intense efforts are needed to change France’s stance…

    The Cyprus issue: Movement can be foreseen in the Cyprus issue following the elections in Greek Cyprus next month. Especially if AKEL leader Dimitris Hristofyas comes to power by defeating Tassos Papadopoulos … At least new opportunities may emerge to be evaluated by the Turkish side.

    Problems with Athens: Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis’ expected visit to Turkey early this year may be a turning point in relations between the two countries. But recently certain problems arose such as Kardak and the Cipura crisis, and could cast a shadow over hopes for better relations … If the Greek premier’s visit gives an impetus to relations, these issues could easily be resolved.

    Cooperation with Iran: There is will on both sides to continue the cooperation which started between our countries last year, in areas from security to energy. But, Iran’s worsening relations with the West and a possible sweeping embargo due to its nuclear program may hamper Turkish- Iranian relations.

    *Rapprochement with Russia: In recent years, Russia has become Turkey’s closest political and economic friend and partner. This tendency will continue. However, especially in the energy area, serious competition and friction has begun. Turkey is confronting Russia in its ventures on the road to becoming an energy corridor. But in other ventures, there are common interests and new opportunities…

    In a nutshell, the main aim should be to overcome issues by evaluating current opportunities without getting stuck in our difficulties. Success this year depends on our efforts along these lines.”


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