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Turkish Press Review, 02-02-11
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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
 EU-OIC FORUM TO BEGIN TOMORROW IN ISTANBULTomorrow Istanbul will begin hosting the very first Organization for the Islamic Conference-European Union (OIC-EU) Joint Forum. The forum, proposed first by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, is being convened in an effort to bring together the Islamic and Christian worlds in the wake of last September's terrorist attacks. Representatives from 71 EU and the OIC member states, including 51 foreign ministers, will attend the two-day summit. Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Cem are expected to address the meeting. Cem yesterday stated that the meeting would be a wholly unique one. Pointing to the importance of such a forum, Cem said, "The meeting will give the whole world a message of peace, cooperation and harmony." /All Papers/
 CEM TO MEET HIS IRAQI COUNTERPARTTurkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is expected to meet with his Iraqi counterpart Naci Sabri during the OIC-EU Joint Forum which is scheduled to begin tomorrow in Istanbul. Sabri is to arrive in Istanbul today to attend the meeting. Evaluating the letter which Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein recently sent to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Turkish diplomats remarked that Turkey would continue to encourage Iraq to act in line with United Nations resolutions no matter what the letter said. /Cumhuriyet/
 DEMIREL GIVES BANQUET FOR CROWN PRINCE OF JORDANFormer Turkish President Suleyman Demirel yesterday gave a banquet for Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan Bin Tallal, King Hussein's brother. Among the banquet's guests were Jordanian Ambassador to Turkey Musa Braizat, Higher Education Board (YOK) Chairman Kemal Guruz, Professor Ilber Ortayli and former Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin. Prince Bin Tallal has enjoyed recent acclaim for his book "Christianity in the Arab World." /Star/
 CHP TO PROMOTE "TURKISH MODEL"The Republican People's Party (CHP) is preparing to carry out a number of activities to promote "the Turkish model" which has been highly praised by the international community in the post-Sept. 11 period for its successful synthesis of Islamic values and democracy. The CHP is planning to hold a series of international conferences this fall. Many prominent US and European scientists and politicians such as Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis are expected to attend the conferences. CHP Chairman Deniz Baykal yesterday met with Professor Lewis to discuss preparations for the events. /Star/
 IZGI CONCLUDES VISIT TO AZERBAIJANParliament Speaker Omer Izgi returned from Azerbaijan yesterday after completing his official visit to that country at the invitation of his Azeri counterpart Murtuz Aleskerov. Talking to reporters, Izgi said, "During the meetings with Azeri authorities, we re-affirmed our perfect cooperation in both the political and strategic areas. We also resolved to further develop our economic and cultural relations." Izgi also said that he had told them Turkey's views on the Upper Karabagh issue, saying that it should be solved within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and international law. /Turkiye/
 MINISTER UNLU CLIMBS MOUNTAIN IN HONOR OF CELAL BAYARState Minister for Sports and Youth Fikret Unlu and 150 mountaineers yesterday completed a climb of Bursa's Mt. Fatin in commemoration of late Turkish President Celal Bayar. The United Nations declared year 2002 the "International Year of Mountains," and in Turkey this is being celebrated with mountain climbs organized to honor current and former Turkish presidents. The first such climb was of Mt. Palandoken in Erzurum on Jan. 19-20 to honor Cemal Gursel, followed by the climb in Bursa. The next scheduled climbs are slated for Mt. Davraz in Isparta on March 8-9 to honor Suleyman Demirel and for Mt. Suphan in Van on April 20-22 to honor Ismet Inonu. /Aksam/
 CUSTOMS MODERNIZATION BIDS TAKENThe Customs Undersecretariat took an important step yesterday towards the modernization of Turkey's customs administration with the opening of bids for the project towards that end, which will be financed with loans from the World Bank. The evaluation of bids submitted by US, German, Chinese and French firms will be completed soon, the Undersecretariat said. /Aksam/
 COAL POWER STATION CONSTRUCTION CONTINUESConstruction of Turkey's first import coal power station is continuing in Iskenderun under the build-operate-transfer (BDT) model. Once a German- Turkish consortium finishes building the Iskenderun Sugozu Import Coal Power Station, some 9 billion kilowatts of electricity should be produced every hour, which amounts to 8% of Turkey's energy needs. Aksam_
 TREASURY TO SELL THREE-MONTH BILLSTomorrow the Treasury will hold an auction of bills with a redemption period of three months. The bills are value dated Wednesday, Feb. 13 and their redemption is scheduled for May 15, 2002. /Turkiye/
 GERMANY FUELS TURKISH EXPORTSLast year Germany retained its leadership of Turkey's export sector. During the period of January-November 2001, Turkey made exports of $ 4.98 billion to Germany, an increase of 17.4% as compared to the year before. Imports from Germany in 2001 were $4.94 billion. Turkey's exports to the United States and Italy followed those to Germany at $2.9 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. /Turkiye/
 METU HOSTING SCIENCE CAMPToday Ankara's Middle East Technical University (METU) begins hosting a Science Camp to honor 51 winners of last year's "Creative Thought Competition." The competition was designed to encourage young people to investigate, examine and question with a critical mind, and the high-school age winners are scheduled to work on a variety of projects at the camp, including robotics, food engineering, architecture, and aviation design. The results of their projects will be exhibited at the METU Culture Center's Exhibition Hall on Feb. 15, the last day of the camp. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 DIALOGUE BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcan comments on the upcoming meeting between the EU and the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC). A summary of her column is as follows:
"This week is very important for Turkey. We will host a meeting which will bring top-level representatives of the Muslim and Christian world together for the first time since the last September's terrorist attacks. The foreign ministers of 29 countries from the EU and OIC will attend the meetings to discuss ways to improve dialogue between the two civilizations. Let's have a look at the summit's topics so that we can understand what it's all about.
The first topic on the agenda will be 'Preventing Political and Cultural Fissures." Then, three separate panels will be held on 'Overcoming Common Problems', 'Media and Politics' and 'Who is the Other?' During these panels, attendees will try to find solutions to humanity's common problems which have emerged due to the world's rapid globalization.
Another important aspect of the EU-OIC meeting is the attendance of prominent social theorists and intellectuals such as Bernard Lewis, Thierry de Montbrial and Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan Bin Tallal. The contribution of those prominent figures is of great importance since they will add a civilian voice to what is too-often a politicians-only chorus.
One of the most sensitive issues slated to be discussed at the meetings is the future of Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah will represent the new Afghan government in Istanbul. Although nobody expects the meeting to reach concrete accomplishments, there is nonetheless no doubt that it will be a great step forward for the world towards improving dialogue and discussions of common problems."
 IRAQ AND THE TURKOMANS BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (SABAH)Retired Ambassador Surkru Elekdag writes on US policy towards Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
"All the indications point to Iraq following Afghanistan as the next US target in its global war against terror. In fact the 'axis of evil' identified by President Bush in his State of the Union speech laid the groundwork for a strike against Iraq. In his speech to the US Congress and the nation, President Bush employed a harsh language in defining Iran, North Korea and Iraq as the 'axis of evil' and stated that these states could give the weapons in their hands to terrorists, or use them against the US and its allies as blackmail or in order to attack it. Commenting that the US could not stand idly by and wait for disaster to strike and would therefore take protective measures, President Bush said that they were determined to act with or without the help of their allies. Although it is determined to overthrow Saddam's regime, the US doesn't have a clear idea of how to accomplish this or with what methods. It seems that the Bush administration is considering three alternatives. The first is to topple Saddam with a covert operation. Such a plan has to foresee an alternative to Saddam, with a new leader who is ready to act in harmony with the US and does not pose a threat to the region. The second alternative is to carry out a strategy in Iraq similar to the recent one in Afghanistan. The third alternative is to use armored forces and the active participation of Turkey in this operation. If the US cannot find the opportunity to use the first alternative, it may resort to the other two, or a mixture of both. In that case, Washington will request from us the use of Incirlik Airbase. Considering the state of affairs at present, it seems hard for Ankara to reply in the negative. The point I would like to stress is that with Turkey opening its bases to the US, it cannot remain indifferent to a military operation against Iraq. Such a stance makes Barzani and Talabani the de facto allies of the US, and will give them a say in the political structuring post-Saddam. Therefore, Turkey has to have a say in the preparation of plans being laid against Iraq and what kind of a regime will be imposed after Saddam. In particular, Turkey must get concrete guarantees that Iraq's Turkomans will have politically equal rights with its Arabs and Kurds. In an operation against Iraq, other Muslim countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other Arab states must be expected to participate. If there is an operation in the region, Turkey will be harmed economically by it whether it participates or not. The important task is to formulate a strategy which could lead to the least harm and the most benefit."
 THE 'NEW' PKK BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the politicization of the PKK and its new moves regarding education in Kurdish. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Even as people debate whether demands for education in Kurdish are personal requests or political demands tied to a terrorist agenda, the PKK has announced a new policy. Its new policy on education seems to fall between the old and new stances. A recent speech by Abdullah Ocalan released to the public states that the PKK's ongoing preparations, which have been some time in coming, have reached their final stage, and a new policy will be adopted together with a change in name. This speech should be carefully analyzed. It seems that the PKK, which is didn't make the EU terrorist groups list, is exerting every effort to shed the 'terrorist organization' label by changing its name. It is obvious that these efforts are and will be supported by Europe. By changing its name, the PKK is trying to make everyone forget its past, and record and earn an identity as a political party. It is possible for the PKK to reach this aim in Europe. In Ocalan's announcement, he accuses the US and Greece of selling them off, thus making it known that he stands closer to Europe, and he also sends some messages to the Turkish public. The most striking of those are the ones regarding President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the General Staff. He extends warm signals to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which is not involved in any corruption or fraud, and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who he describes as the TSK's 'legal representative.' Just after that, he suggests that Turkey should be assessed within the conditions prevalent during the days of the foundation of the Republic, adding however that the 'common denominator' created by the War of Independence should be reinstated as democratic independence under today's circumstances. He also suggests that Turks and Kurds must sit at the negotiating table as two founding partners. This amounts to opposition against the Republic founded by Atatürk, and furthermore a rejection of it. It is clear that the PKK is trying to turn its military defeat into a political victory and has the support of Europe on the issue. This will be the main problem confronting us in the near future. As our EU accession process goes on, this problem will only become clearer and stronger. Turkish political circles must focus on this issue."
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