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Turkish Press Review, 08-09-03

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

03.09.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TELEPHONES US PRESIDENT
  • [02] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG VISITS TOPTAN
  • [03] ERDOGAN ATTENDS FAST-BREAKING DINNER
  • [04] LAVROV: "RUSSIA WELCOMES TURKEY'S EFFORTS TO RESTORE PEACE AND STABILITY TO THE CAUCASUS"
  • [05] TRNC'S TALAT TO MEET WITH GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER CHRISTOFIAS
  • [06] AKP DEPUTY LEADER STEPS DOWN TO FIGHT BRIBERY ACCUSATION
  • [07] TUSIAD: "PRESIDENT GUL VISITING YEREVAN WOULD HELP NORMALIZE TURKISH-ARMENIAN RELATIONS"
  • [08] TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND SELF-DETERMINATION

  • [01] GUL TELEPHONES US PRESIDENT

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday made a telephone call to US President George W. Bush. During their conversation, they exchanged views on regional and international issues, and Gul told Bush about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal for a Caucasus platform to restore peace and stability to the region. The Kirkuk issue and comprehensive Cyprus talks set to start today were also discussed. /Milliyet/

    [02] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG VISITS TOPTAN

    Newly appointed Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday visited Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. The meeting at Parliament lasted about one hour. The visit comes on the heels of Basbug's first visit to President Abdullah Gul as chief of General Staff, last Friday. /Star/

    [03] ERDOGAN ATTENDS FAST-BREAKING DINNER

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended an iftar fast- breaking dinner hosted by Ankara Greater Municipality Mayor Melih Gokcek. Also attending the dinner were Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, State Minister Mehmet Simsek, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, and many deputies, businessmen and guests. "Turkey is determinedly continuing its progress towards contemporary civilization," Erdogan told the gathering, "In addition to our remarkable economic progress in recent years, the mentality shift in local administrations is also hugely important towards this end." Turkey will continue to work to realize its goals in solidarity and cooperation, Erdogan said, adding that the Ankara Municipality has made great improvements to the city in recent years. /Turkiye/

    [04] LAVROV: "RUSSIA WELCOMES TURKEY'S EFFORTS TO RESTORE PEACE AND STABILITY TO THE CAUCASUS"

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday came to Istanbul to pay a one-day visit to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan on the recent crisis between Russia and Georgia and Turkey's proposed Caucasus cooperation and stability platform. Afterwards, Lavrov told a joint press conference that his country appreciates Turkey's efforts to solve the crisis in the region, and added that Russia supports Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal for a Caucasus platform. Characterizing relations between the two countries as friendly, Lavrov stressed the significant growth in bilateral trade in recent years, saying that Turkey is now Russia's top trading partner. He also said that they had agreed to work to maintain peace, security and tranquility in the region. Lavrov said that they had also agreed to further develop cooperation in the Black Sea. Russia wants to continue its economic, political, commercial and cultural ties with Turkey, he said. For his part, Babacan said that Turkey would continue its efforts to solve the issue in the region through dialogue and peaceful means. Babacan reiterated that Turkey places great importance on Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Stating that both Russia and Turkey see Erdogan's proposed platform as an initiative to build confidence among countries of the region and restore peace and stability, Babacan said that they had agreed to continue talks to develop and realize the initiative. "We also had a frank and constructive discussion of the problems caused by Turkish products being held up at Russian customs gates longer than usual," Babacan added, saying he believed these problems could soon be overcome with the help of a flexible, cooperative approach from Russia. /Turkiye/

    [05] TRNC'S TALAT TO MEET WITH GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER CHRISTOFIAS

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot administration leader Demetris Christofias are set to start a comprehensive negotiation process today to solve the Cyprus issue. The meeting will be held at the residence of Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the UN secretary-general's special representative to Cyprus and UN mission chief. Also set to be present are Alexander Downer, the special counselor on Cyprus and former Australian foreign minister, as well as Talat's representative for the UN and European Union Ozdil Nami and Greek Cypriot Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou. The meeting will focus on determining procedures for the negotiations and the Yesilirmak gate issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] AKP DEPUTY LEADER STEPS DOWN TO FIGHT BRIBERY ACCUSATION

    Saban Disli, deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Sakarya deputy, yesterday resigned from his top party positions after being accused of accepting $1 million in bribes. He said in a written statement, "I've resigned from my party positions both so I can wage a better legal fight against the accusations and to stop the opposition's efforts to discredit my party." But top main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) officials called Disli's move insufficient, saying the AKP deputy should face trial stripped of his parliamentary immunity. Disli stands accused of using his political power to change a zoning ruling in Silivri, Istanbul, in exchange for $1 million. /Hurriyet/

    [07] TUSIAD: "PRESIDENT GUL VISITING YEREVAN WOULD HELP NORMALIZE TURKISH- ARMENIAN RELATIONS"

    President Abdullah Gul's visiting Yerevan to watch a football match between Turkey and Armenia would help normalize Turkish-Armenian relations, establish dialogue, and solve the problems dividing the two countries through calm and rational understanding, said the Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) yesterday in a statement. Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has invited Gul to visit Yerevan on Saturday to watch a World Cup qualifying match between Turkey and Armenia. The TUSIAD statement added, "The foreign relations of Turkey, which neighbors Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Georgia by land, and Russia by sea, and has a strategic partnership with the US and NATO, and also is part of the Montreux Convention, should be made more multi-faceted, initially in Turkish- European Union relations." /Aksam/

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

    [08] TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND SELF-DETERMINATION

    BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on nations' territorial integrity and self- determination and Turkey's stance on this. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Asked if Georgia is paying the price for the West's recognition of Kosovo's independence, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told French daily L'Express that for the last two years Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been threatening to apply a 'Cyprus scenario' in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Indeed, the 'similar case of Cyprus' brought up by Putin in order to criticize NATO and European Union member state support for Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence this February is now getting hotter due to the crises over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Yet there's another example which is even older than the Cyprus issue, namely, Taiwan.

    Taiwan, after 50 years of Japanese occupation, was given to China in 1945, following World War II. But Chiang Kai-shek, former Chinese nationalist party leader, took refuge on the island with 2 million Chinese fleeing Mao's communist regime, and he established a state there. But China has always considered Taiwan an 'inseparable part' of itself. Even more interestingly, the Western world accepted Taiwan, not the People's Republic of China (PRC), as the legal Chinese Republic until the 1970s. What's more, Taiwan represented China in the UN as a permanent member of the Security Council. But in the '70s this picture was reversed. The PRC took its place in the UN as the only Chinese state, while Taiwan still maintains its presence as a country which isn't recognized. The entire world is now continuing cooperation with it in every area, except diplomatic relations.

    There are three criteria for recognizing a state: independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. But controversial principles and provisions in the law of nations sometimes cause violations of these criteria or the loss of the power of sanction. For example, the 1945 United Nations Charter states that all members shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of any state, but also accepts self- determination, in other words, nations' right to determine their own future. These two principles, which contradict each other, are also in the 1975 Helsinki Accord, which is the constitution of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Helsinki also emphasizes both the territorial integrity and nations' right to determine their own fate.

    This dilemma was resolved by accepting principles of territorial integrity and definite borders as the essence, and then stressing nations' right to determine their own fates in colonies. But this mentality changed completely after Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union fell apart. In other words, it argued that the right of the US and its allies to determine the nation's future in Kosovo was more important than Serbia's territorial integrity. On the other hand, Russia argued just the opposite. But then Russia embraced the principle of minorities' right to determine their own future in the South Ossetia crisis, and the US and its allies have argued for Georgia's territorial integrity.

    There is no objective case law on which principle might be more important and when. It seems no consensus on this will be reached in the future either. Certain circles argue that Turkey should follow the same policy on the Cyprus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and other stubborn controversies in order to be 'consistent.' But that doesn't make sense. Albanians never want to be back in Serbia. The peoples in South Ossetia and Abkhazia fought Georgia in order to separate and establish their own states. On the other hand, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Turkish people living on Cyprus have always kept the door open for reunification. They even considered it the only goal. Today a process is starting again " maybe for the final time " to reach this goal. May it have good luck."


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