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Turkish Press Review, 02-02-06
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> <_map> Press & Information Turkish Press Turkish Press Review >> Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 LEADERS TO IMF: "WE STAND BY OUR LETTER OF INTENT"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and deputy prime ministers Mesut Yilmaz and Devlet Bahceli yesterday sent to International Monetary Fund Managing Director Horst Koehler a supplement to their Letter of Intent, saying, "We are doing what is necessary for our country's economic and financial recovery and we stand by our Letter of Intent." With the IMF's support the economic program that our government is currently implementing is starting to show results, the leaders added. /Hürriyet/
 SEZER, ECEVIT LAUD TURKEY'S SECULAR CONSTITUTIONPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday issued a message to mark the 65th anniversary of the incorporation of the principle of secularism in the Turkish Constitution. Stressing that attaining democracy and freedom would be impossible without secularism, Sezer said in his message that secularism also ensured that generations would be brought up with the freedom of thought and conscience. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit also issued a message for the occasion saying that the principle's incorporation in the Constitution constituted a milestone in Turkish democracy. "Secularism is a guarantor of our freedom of religion and liberty of conscience," he added. /Turkiye/
 BAHCELI: "ECONOMY WILL IMPROVE THANKS TO NEW LETTER OF INTENT"Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli yesterday said that the Turkish economy would improve thanks to the resources and possibilities entailed by the International Monetary Fund's recent approval of Turkey's Letter of Intent. During his party's group meeting, Bahceli spoke about developments in the economy. Stating that the Turkish economy suffered from a defective structure which weakened the social fabric through high interest rates and inflation, Bahceli said the government was implementing reforms to repair this sick structure. /Cumhuriyet/
 DERVIS: "TURKEY HAS TURNED THE CORNER"Speaking in a meeting in London yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis said that Turkey had turned the corner on the economic crisis which began last year and would not need an additional International Monetary Fund package in the future. Dervis also said that after last September's attacks Turkey had chosen to stand with its allies, and that this courageous stand had helped to improve its economic situation. /Hürriyet/
 DENMARK'S FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ANKARADenmark's Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller yesterday arrived in Turkey to pay a two-day official visit on behalf of his government, which will assume the EU term presidency in the second half of this year. Moller will first meet with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem today and will then be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. Among the issues to be discussed during his visit are recent amendments in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), reforms towards Turkey's EU accession, the Cyprus situation and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). Moller is also expected to receive a number of representatives from human rights organizations and non- governmental organizations. /Cumhuriyet/
 CAKMAKOGLU TRAVELS TO PAKISTAN, PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR AFGHAN RECONSTRUCTIONTurkish Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu yesterday traveled to Pakistan upon the official invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Sattar. During his visit, Cakmakoglu is also due to meet with Pakistan's head of state Pervez Musherref. Speaking to the press at Etimesgut Military Airport prior to his departure yesterday, Cakmakoglu stated that he believed Turkey and Pakistan would cooperate to help the reconstruction of Afghanistan. "For many years, Turkey and Pakistan have been close allies which have supported each other," said Cakmakoglu. "I believe our two countries might cooperate to help the Afghan people rebuild their country. Turkish businessmen and contractors in Afghanistan will also contribute to this process and a Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) contingent of 261 soldiers is due to arrive soon. Turkey will help the country to keep peace and stability and also establish a permanent government which will represent all the Afghan people." /Cumhuriyet/
 PEARSON: "THERE WON'T BE ANY INDEPENDENT STATE IN NORTHERN IRAQ"US Ambassador in Ankara Robert Pearson yesterday delivered a speech on Turkish-US relations at a conference organized by the Center for Strategic Research (SAM). Reiterating US President George W. Bush's call for measures to prevent what he called an "axis of evil" -namely Iran, Iraq and North Korea - from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, Pearson remarked that since Washington administration advocates Iraq's territorial integrity it would not allow any independent state to be established in northern Iraq. Evaluating Turkish-US relations in the wake of last September's terrorist attacks, Pearson said that the US understood Turkey's wish to lead the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan as Turkey had from the very beginning given its full support to the war against terrorism. Pearson also remarked that European Union's recent list of terrorist organizations should be revised to include the PKK and DHKP-C, two terrorist groups which have targeted Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ, CILLER VISIT QUAKE-STRICKEN AREASMotherland Party (ANAP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday visited the towns in Afyon which were hit by Sunday's earthquake. He talked to the citizens and listened to their concerns. Yilmaz told reporters that the basic needs of the people in the region were accommodation, food, and keeping warm. Stressing that there were still some problems waiting to be solved, Yilmaz especially pointed to the need for more tents. He also announced that tax debts of taxpayers in the region would be postponed. True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller also toured the Afyon area yesterday. Visiting the earthquake survivors living in tents, Ciller listened to their problems and was briefed by the authorities. She stated that the DYP would work in Parliament to get the region officially declared a "disaster area." President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is also due to visit the quake area today. /All Papers/
 TURK TELLS PROSECUTORS: "WE MUST STEM WAVE OF THEFT"Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk yesterday sent a circular to all of Turkey's chief public prosecutors asking them to expend maximum effort to investigate the crimes of theft so that perpetrators of such crimes would be apprehended in the shortest time possible. In the circular, Turk stated that recently Turkey had seen a spike in snatching-type thefts, which were leaving the citizens shaken in their wake. Turk remarked further that any delays in investigating and solving such crimes could damage the nation's sense of confidence and also encourage would-be perpetrators. /Sabah/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMAN PREPARE FOR US ECONOMIC MEETINGTurkish businessman are preparing for the first meeting of the US-Turkish Economic Partnership Commission on Feb.26-27. Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said yesterday that Turkish business leaders would work to prepare for the meeting until it convened. The Turkish and US governments decided last month to establish the economic commission during Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Washington. /Star/
 SECURITY OFFICIALS' WIVES SEND AID TO EARTHQUAKE REGIONThe Security Officials' Wives Solidarity Association, which is attached to Ankara's Security Directorate, yesterday sent food aid and toiletries to Afyon, where 43 people died and hundreds of people were injured during an earthquake last weekend. Over 300 packages containing wheat, lentils, beans, pasta, drinking water and assorted toiletries were collected and sent to the region in police vehicles belonging to the Cankaya District's Security Directorate. The association said that even more aid was being organized for the quake-hit region. /Milliyet/
 FITCH UPGRADES TURKEY'S CREDIT RATINGInternational credit rating agency Fitch announced yesterday that Turkey's credit rating in Turkish liras had been raised from B- to B. Fitch also reaffirmed Turkey's long-term foreign currency credit rating at B, while they also raised Turkey's outlook from negative to stable. /Turkiye/
 DEUTSCHE BANK OFFICIAL: "2002 GROWTH IS VITAL FOR TURKEY"Deutsche Bank Developing Markets Chairman Leonardo Leiderman said yesterday that this year constituted an important test for Turkey's economy. Speaking at a conference on "The Impact of Inflation Targets on Finance Markets," Leiderman said, "There should be an improvement in the value of the US dollar in the coming months, and this will have a positive impact on Turkey. But if Turkey doesn't show growth this year of 2-3%, it will cause great disappointment abroad." /Milliyet/
NAZIM HIKMET PLAY TO BE STAGED IN AUSTRALIA
As part of this year's worldwide celebration of the "Year of Nazim Hikmet" as declared by UNESCO, an Australian theater group announced yesterday that it would be staging one of the renowned Turkish writer's plays. Hikmet's "Kuvayi Milliye Destani" (Legend of National Forces) will be performed by Australia's Production Group in association with Turkish groups in Sydney and Melbourne through the middle of this year. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 COALITION LEADERS AND THE CYPRUS-EUROPE LINEBY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)
Columnist Hasan Cemal recounts his impressions from the panel meetings at the World Economic Forum in New York. A summary of his column is as follows:
"One of the most-discussed topics at the panels at this year's World Economic Forum was Turkish-European relations. In previous years, this subject didn't attract much attention. During a brainstorm meeting regarding the future of Europe there were 10 people, including Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, a political science professor from the London School of Economics and another professor from California's Berkeley University, and they discussed relations between Turkey and Europe. When I pointed out to them the fact that the EU wouldn't accept the candidacy of a country it didn't really want in the Union or invite it to their Convention and that despite this fact, former French President Giscard d'Estaing, who is chairman of the upcoming Convention, in his first speech as chairman stated that Turkey didn't belong to Europe. Polish President Kwasniewski responded to this by saying that President d'Estaing had only one vote, and that Turkey must be admitted into the Union. A young Finnish philosopher said that if there was not going to be a clash of civilizations, if this theory was untrue, Turkey should take its place within Europe. At another table, Finnish Prime Minister Lipponen said that Turkey must take its place within Europe and added that Europe was not about geography but rather values. If Turkey adopts EU values such as democracy, human rights, the rule of law and the market economy, it must be admitted into the Union. Clearly Turkey still has homework to do regarding the values Prime Minister Lipponen enumerated. The road to the EU won't be opened until we complete that work. However, there is another problem which must be solved, namely the Cyprus issue. The problem must be solved before the end of the year. Certainly, the Turkish Cypriots are responsible for reaching an agreement. The Greek Cypriots also have significant responsibilities regarding the issue. There are still some suspicions on the Turkish side. Some say say that it serves no purpose to make compromises on Cyprus as the EU will never admit us anyhow. No one, including local and foreign journalists who have been following the issue for years, easily believes that the problem will be solved. The fragility of the situation in Cyprus is obvious. Therefore, the responsibility of all concerned and namely that of our coalition leaders Ecevit, Bahceli and Yilmaz has historical importance. Turkey is waiting for its coalition leaders to complete our reforms for democratization and to facilitate a solution for Cyprus."
 GLOBAL WORLD YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on what Turkey should do in today's rapidly globalizing world. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Countries which are unable to take advantage of the process of globalization and refuse to be a part of the rapidly interconnected world are doomed to be left behind. Turkey has been trying to join the ranks of the modern world since its establishment nearly 80 years ago. Although many of us want very much to jump on the unstoppable globalization bandwagon, our country still suffers from certain deficiencies, namely a lack of relevant experience and the easy inertia of sticking to the status quo. However, we should see that there is no way out. If we can't adapt the protean nature of the new world, we will soon find ourselves in history's dustbin. Turkey should see that it cannot help but be touched by the ever- changing circumstances of the globalized world. Today, everyday seems to bring another international meeting and anti-globalization groups are raising their voices in protest of the new world order. We shouldn't look down on these groups or consider them harmful. Systems which lack a healthy opposition are doomed to collapse. Criticism keeps systems alive and dynamic.
In such a world, countries which cannot comprehend the complex nature of globalization and thus try to stand apart from the newly emerging balances should not expect a better future for themselves. Turkey should remember this.
 TWO ENDS OF THE STICK BY HIKMET BILA (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Hikmet Bila writes on the letter Prime Minister Ecevit sent this week to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The letter Prime Minister Ecevit sent to Iraqi leader Hussein has shown that the fever on our borders is rising. Ecevit's message is clear. He says that the situation is serious, and even dangerous, and that therefore Saddam has to allow weapons inspections. During the Peace Operation for Cyprus in 1974, Prime Minister Ecevit instructed the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) not to shoot unless they were fired upon. The same good intentions are reflected in his letter to Saddam. The IMF has agreed to loan us $ 16billion over 2002-2004 in return for our Letter of Intent. The IMF will send $9 billion of this amount immediately, and the rest will folloq in the coming years. IMF European I Department Director Michael Deppler was asked recently how a possible intervention in Iraq might affect Turkey's program. Deppler answered that it could lead to instability in the region, and that new shocks could also be felt. 'However, as this has been taken into consideration in the program, we do not expect any great problems.' It seems that the US is bent on toppling Saddam. Europe, which is standing by Saddam, doesn't care what Russia or China is saying. Recently, US President Bush and his deputies have been stressing their determination to overthrow Saddam and that only the date and method of such an action is being debated. Allowing the inspection of weapons would only delay this intervention. Turkey's future somehow depends on Saddam's future. There are two views: According to the first, a war in Iraq would lead to the downfall of Saddam and the division of Iraq. A Kurdish state will be established in the north and a Shiite state in the south. This would upset all balances in the Middle East. Turkey would not favor the establishment of a Kurdish state. According to the second view, Saddam and his regime are a threat to the Middle East and his neighbours. He has weapons of mass destruction and he can use them in any part of world, at any time. Therefore he must be overthrown. A partition of Iraq is not inevitable. What is more, a de facto Kurdish state is being established today anyway. Clearly, Turkey's future depends on that of Saddam. The US has decided to enter a war with Iraq. It is impossible for Turkey to be left out when the US decides to implement its plan. If Turkey enters such a fight, can the present political and economic structure tolerate this war, or if it stands on the sidelines what will be the consequences? We are in a serious situation indeed."
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