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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-11

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

11.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “MILITARY OPS AGAINST THE PKK WILL CONTINUE”
  • [02] ERDOGAN UNVEILS GOVT ACTION PLAN
  • [03] BABACAN ORDERS PROBE INTO TRAIL OF PKK WEAPONS
  • [04] GLOBAL RISKS 2008 REPORT: “ TURKEY IS EYEING NUCLEAR POWER”
  • [05] A TURKISH-US DEAL OVER THE PKK?

  • [01] GUL: “MILITARY OPS AGAINST THE PKK WILL CONTINUE”

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with international investors at New York . The meeting focused mainly on economic developments, privatization, social security reform and Turkey 's EU membership process. “In recent years Turkey has launched significant economic initiatives,” Gul said. "This reform process will continue." Gul said that revenues from privatization would be used for the reforms, saying that when he came into office last year he brought the state and the government into harmony. "Now it’s time to strengthen this," he added. Speaking to CNN, Gul said that Turkey will continue fighting the terrorist PKK. “The PKK has killed innocent people and no one doubts that it is a terrorist group,” he said. “We are very pleased to hear that President Bush gives his full support to the fight against the PKK.” Addressing the situation in Iraq , Gul said that the Iraqi government was not in control of the northern region. “There is a power vacuum in the region. The PKK in the region should be stopped. So military intervention was inevitable to counter the PKK.” Gul also met with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. /Star-Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN UNVEILS GOVT ACTION PLAN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday unveiled the government’s new action plan. Erdogan said that the headquarters of state banks Ziraat, Halk and Vakif Bank as well as the Central Bank would be moved to Istanbul , Turkey ’s economic capital. Touching on relations between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund, Erdogan said that Turkey has reached a decisive point on this issue. Rebuffing criticism of President Abdullah Gul, Erdogan said that Gul and the government were working in harmony. Erdogan also spoke about work on changes to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and Constitution as well as Turkish-European Union relations. /Hurriyet- Milliyet/

    [03] BABACAN ORDERS PROBE INTO TRAIL OF PKK WEAPONS

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday stated that he had ordered an investigation of the impact of thousands of weapons unaccounted for after being brought into Iraq by coalition forces for use by Iraqi security forces. Responding to a question motion by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Izmir Deputy Canan Aritman about countries selling weapons or landmines to the terrorist PKK, he said the probe would cover the PKK’s efforts to obtain armaments which it uses for terrorist attacks. “If any activity is determined to provide weapons to the terrorist group, action must be swiftly taken by the countries in question, ” he said. “Within this context, we are reminding the officials of countries including the US and Italy of their international obligations in the fight against terrorism.” /Turkiye/

    [04] GLOBAL RISKS 2008 REPORT: “ TURKEY IS EYEING NUCLEAR POWER”

    The Global Risks 2008 report released this week by the World Economic Forum is expected to shape discussions at the forum meetings in Davos , Switzerland later this month, which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to attend. The report mentions Turkey in its energy, security and nuclear non-proliferation section, saying, “Many of the nuclear power plants planned or currently under construction " a total of over 300 " are in countries that already have a functioning nuclear industry: Europe, the US, China, India and Russia. But a growing number of non-nuclear technology states are exploring the nuclear power option: Turkey , Vietnam and Egypt , among others.” Government leaders have openly expressed their intention to explore the nuclear power option for Turkey. /Turkiye/

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

    [05] A TURKISH-US DEAL OVER THE PKK?

    BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on this week’s White House meeting between President Abdullah Gul and his US counterpart George W. Bush. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The discussion of terrorism at this week’s Gul-Bush meeting is attracting a lot of news stories and commentaries …

    According to both rumors and the White House website, this is what Bush offered Gul: You can’t overcome the PKK through military means alone. New openings, including political settlement, are needed!

    Of course, Gul’s reply to this, whether yes or no, is important. In fact, he said something like, ‘Could you ever consider a political settlement with al-Qaeda?’ But it’s more important and vexing for us that Bush urged us towards such a ‘solution’…

    Where does the PKK get its logistic support from? Northern Iraq …

    Who controls this region? The US …

    Here, the US stance is critical. If we translate Bush’s proposal for a settlement into plain English, it means: ‘My friend, I want a settlement like this. I want a political settlement. And terrorism will continue till you agree to my proposal. You have to recognize this!’

    * *

    What is the political offer proposed by the US ?

    Since the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq , we have periodically laid out subsequent developments. Let’s review:

    1. Following the invasion, the PKK was alarmed. As a terrorist group, they weren’t sure that how would the US would treat them. But since that May, they have felt comfortable. In their direct contacts, Americans signaled that they wouldn’t touch the group.

    2. The US urged the terrorist group to sit still and follow its advice. In return, it made three promises: You won’t be dissolved, you’ll return to Turkey , and get a number of rights, including the right to practice politics…

    3. In exchange for these promises the terrorist group obeyed the US .

    In my opinion, number 2 is what the US calls political settlement!

    At the same time, the US also made a deal with the two Kurdish leaders, Massoud Barzani and current Iraqi President Jalal Talabani:

    1. One of you will lead Baghdad , while the other leads Erbil (northern Iraq ).

    2. You’ll obey our orders in full.

    3. We’ll tell you what you need to say to Ankara . You’ll sometimes provoke, and sometimes challenge.

    4. You’ll keep members of the terrorist group under your control.

    5. If anything changes, we’ll tell you.

    * *

    This is a summary of what we know from reliable sources.

    Has anything changed in recent months?

    A new era is upon us.

    The Economist magazine once reported this: During Bush’s meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last November, in return for a green light for Turkey to carry out operations in northern Iraq, a bargain was struck under which Ankara would recognize the northern Iraqi administration and begin discussions for a political settlement with the PKK.

    Erdogan rejected this allegation, calling it dishonest. But let’s see what Gul told reporters before leaving for the US:

    “If they dissolve the terrorist group, we will help Iraq ten times more than we do today!’

    Doesn’t this smell like a bargain?

    In my opinion, the main reason for Bush’s ramping up his tactlessness is Gul taking office in the Cankaya Presidential Palace, getting the country’s top position…

    A period of close relations between Bush and Gul lies ahead of Turkey !”


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