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Turkish Press Review, 02-02-12

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 &amp; Information Turkish Press Turkish Press Review &gt;&gt; Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

12.02.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] OIC-EU JOINT FORUM BEGINS TODAY IN ISTANBUL
  • [02] ECEVIT: "INTERVENTION IN IRAQ IN SPITE OF TURKEY WOULD BE DIFFICULT"
  • [03] CABINET DISCUSSES FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ECONOMY
  • [04] CEM STANDS FIRM IN LETTER TO EU ON CYPRUS
  • [05] TRNC TO ATTEND OIC-EU MEETINGS AS "MUSLIM COMMUNITY"
  • [06] YILMAZ: "TURKEY MIGHT BECOME AN EU MEMBER IN 2007"
  • [07] CIA STATEMENT ON TERRORISTS DISAPPOINTS ANKARA
  • [08] PROTESTS AGAINST AUSTRIAN TV CHANNEL ORF CONTINUE
  • [09] SUDANESE FOREIGN MINISTER PRAISES TURKEY
  • [10] JORDANIAN PRINCE SUGGESTS "PARLIAMENT OF CULTURE" FOR ISTANBUL
  • [11] AKBULUT JOINS DYP
  • [12] DERVIS: "ECONOMY MOVING TOWARDS FIRM FOOTING"
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [14] OIC-EU JOINT FORUM BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [15] EU AND OIC MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME BY YALCIN DOGAN (CUMHURIYET)
  • [16] AN IMPORTANT INITIATIVE BY TURKEY BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)

  • [01] OIC-EU JOINT FORUM BEGINS TODAY IN ISTANBUL

    A Joint Forum of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union, intended to bring together the Western and Islamic worlds in the wake of last September's terrorist attacks on the US, begins in Istanbul today. Representatives of 71 countries, including 51 foreign ministers, arrived in Istanbul yesterday to attend the forum. Last night, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, hosted a "Welcome Reception" at the Ciragan Palace. The two-day forum will begin with a speech by Cem, who first proposed such a meeting, and later all the participants will pose for a group photograph. Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit are also scheduled to address the participants during a working lunch. Additionally, panels on "Overcoming Mutual Issues" and "Media and Politics" will be held today, and following a dinner, the participants will attend a performance of the famous "Sultans of.the Dance", at Mydonose Showland. /All Papers/

    [02] ECEVIT: "INTERVENTION IN IRAQ IN SPITE OF TURKEY WOULD BE DIFFICULT"

    Speaking to reporters yesterday about the Iraq situation, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "I believe that a solution to this problem can be found without resorting to war. Furthermore, any military intervention launched in spite of Turkey would be difficult." Ecevit added that the US would consult Turkey about any possible military strike against Iraq, but that Turkey wanted to resolve the situation without conflict. Ecevit also said that during the Organization of the Islamic Conference-European Union (OIC- EU) Joint Forum, which begins today, the Iraqi and Iranian foreign ministers had requested a meeting with him. /Hurriyet/

    [03] CABINET DISCUSSES FOREIGN POLICY AND THE ECONOMY

    During a Cabinet meeting yesterday, the ministers chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit discussed a wide range of topics from foreign policy to the economy. Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti also attended the meeting and reportedly expressed his views on how the Turkish economy would be affected in case an attack on Iraq. Recalling 1991's Gulf War, Serdengecti said that the economy could be kept in equilibrium during such an attack, just as was done during that war. /Turkiye/

    [04] CEM STANDS FIRM IN LETTER TO EU ON CYPRUS

    In a stern warning to the European Union concerning Cyprus, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem wrote in a letter yesterday that any proposed settlement for the island should meet the expectations of both sides, otherwise the chance for a real, lasting solution would fall out of reach. Cem also said that the island had a population of two different ethnic groups speaking different languages and with different religions, so a flawed solution could bring both sides to the brink of disaster. The Turkish side favors creating a partnership in which both sides have sovereignty, Cem added. /Hurriyet/

    [05] TRNC TO ATTEND OIC-EU MEETINGS AS "MUSLIM COMMUNITY"

    The Turkish government has decided to allow the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to attend the current joint Organization of the Islamic Conference-European Union meeting in Istanbul as an "observer," not a state, reports said yesterday. The TRNC would attend the meetings as a "Muslim community" so as not to ruffle the West's feathers over the sensitive Cyprus issue, the reports continued. /Hurriyet/

    [06] YILMAZ: "TURKEY MIGHT BECOME AN EU MEMBER IN 2007"

    In a speech to the Swiss Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stated that Turkey's goal in its bid for full EU membership was to join the Union in 2007 together with Romania and Bulgaria. "If we can manage to fulfill the EU's political criteria this year and begin our negotiation process next year, then we will be able to join the Union with Romania and Bulgaria," predicted Yilmaz. "But if we are unable to meet that criteria, we should expect a more prolonged accession period than we are hoping for." He stated that he was well aware of behind- the-scenes meetings held by some circles to oppose Turkey's admittance to the Union. "Such circles, in fact, say clearly in those closed meetings that they don't want Turkey because it has a different religious culture," said Yilmaz. "However, when speaking to press, they stress that the biggest obstacle to Turkey's membership is its economic hardships. This is nothing but hypocrisy." Remarking that Turkey wants to join the EU by catching up with the EU's standards without sacrificing its own values and identity, Yilmaz also added that Turkey was doing its utmost to reach a settlement on Cyprus. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] CIA STATEMENT ON TERRORISTS DISAPPOINTS ANKARA

    Ankara is reportedly dissatisfied with Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet's recent statement to the US Congress listing a number of terrorist organizations which the US might target, since he failed to mention the PKK. But US diplomatic sources responded that Tenet's listing of groups was not intended to be comprehensive. "Tenet indicated that there were many terrorist organizations besides Al Qaeda which the US must target since they plan to attack US military installations," said one US diplomat. He mentioned the DHKP-C since we know that it has plans to attack the US and its interests abroad. However, the PKK has never declared any intention to attack our interests. That doesn't necessarily mean, though, that we don't consider it a terrorist organization." /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] PROTESTS AGAINST AUSTRIAN TV CHANNEL ORF CONTINUE

    A movie entitled "Passing Through Wild Kurdistan" was recently aired by Austrian state TV channel ORF, despite a protest campaign launched by Turkish lobbies against a TV program on the same channel entitled "Kurdistan: Plateau of the Gods". An Austrian crew shot the latter program last May with the permission of the Turkish Tourism Minister and Directorate General of Press and Information. Since ORF selected a title, which does not respect Turkey's territorial integrity, Turkish Press Attaché Saziye Kuleli and Tourism Councilor Faruk Erol reacted harshly to ORF's disrespectful attitude. Turkish Ambassador in Vienna Omer Akbel has conveyed Turkey's protest to the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Additionally, Austrian Union of Turkish Associations sent a letter to ORF Director- General Monika Lindner, stating that the channel made a grave mistake by referring to Turkey's south Anatolia region as "Kurdistan." /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] SUDANESE FOREIGN MINISTER PRAISES TURKEY

    Speaking to Turkish daily Hurriyet yesterday, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said that Turkey was doing a wonderful job. Evaluating the current Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union Joint Forum, he stated, "I was very happy to be invited to the meeting, there was a need to start this dialogue between the West and Islam." Ismail also remarked that terrorism was peculiar to no religion, race or state. /Hurriyet/

    [10] JORDANIAN PRINCE SUGGESTS "PARLIAMENT OF CULTURE" FOR ISTANBUL

    Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talal suggested yesterday to Turkish Culture Minister Istemihan Talay that a parliament of culture" be established in Istanbul for the purpose of encouraging dialogue across borders. Hassan made the remark while attending the joint Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)-European Union meeting in that city. Talay replied that Yildiz Palace would be a fitting setting for this project and added, "The dialogue between the OIC and the EU in Istanbul is a positive step forward which shows Turkey's role in the world." Talay further stated that a recent book by Prince Hassan on Christianity in the Islamic world would be published in translation by the Turkish Culture Ministry." /Milliyet/

    [11] AKBULUT JOINS DYP

    Former Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Yildirim Akbulut joined True Path Party (DYP) yesterday. Including Akbulut, the number of DYP deputies in the Parliament has now increased to 86. /Turkiye/

    [12] DERVIS: "ECONOMY MOVING TOWARDS FIRM FOOTING"

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis said yesterday that important steps had been recently taken so the Turkish economy could be placed on a firm footing but added that the fluctuating value of the lira could continue for two or three years. Dervis made the comments at a banquet given at the Turkish-American Association. Stating that nearly 20 new structural regulations were being implemented to stabilize the economy, Dervis added, "This is one of the most important reforms of the history of the republic. Last year's 21% increase in exports was a hugely important gain. With its new economic and political reforms, Turkey is standing tall. The current meeting in Istanbul of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union also underlines our stature." /Aksam/

    [13] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [14] OIC-EU JOINT FORUM BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the OIC-EU Joint Forum being held in Istanbul. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The OIC-EU Joint Forum which begins today in Istanbul is a very important initiative. Representatives from 71 Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and European Union member and candidate countries are attending the forum. Turkey is unique as the only country with member or candidate ties to both organizations. More than 50 of the meeting's participants are representing their countries at the foreign minister level. Others include statesmen, cultural, political and religious thinkers. As an intellectual, I was also invited to the forum. However, I am unable to attend the meetings. I will watch the developments on television and comment on them. First of all, I want to congratulate Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and our Foreign Ministry, both of which have been criticized for not pursuing a more active policy, for their tremendous initiative in organizing such a comprehensive and significant meeting. The forum will prove vital to the whole world as it brings together two different civilizations and cultures. During the meetings, statesmen from both the Islamic and Christian worlds will have the chance to discuss various topics. There will be numerous joint interests and unifying elements. However, history is full of conflicts. Today, a theory speaking of a "clash of civilizations" has gained both attention and currency. Islam has been accused of fomenting terrorism. But this idea is incorrect as well as unfair. There are terrorists in all societies worldwide. All of these topics will be discussed at the meetings. The possibility of an attack on Iraq disturbs many nations, Turkey included. The two sides should work to understand each other. Iraq's foreign minister is also attending the forum. Turkey took a leadership role in organizing such a meeting. The meeting may see negotiations, conflicts, heated arguments and discussions. All these are normal. The important thing is that the participants get a healthy dose of reality."

    [15] EU AND OIC MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME BY YALCIN DOGAN (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Yalcin Dogan comments on the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and European Union Joint Forum. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Attendance at the forum is political, whereas its discussions are academic, and we must wonder whether there will be a significant joint declaration following the meeting. When these facts are taken into consideration, the stance of Turkey becomes clear. It is being extremely careful and trying to provide one more opportunity for the issue to be reviewed by the public without offending anyone. Therefore, to expect concrete results from this forum and their reflections to the world arena would be extremely optimistic. The EU and OIC are coming together for the first time to discuss an extremely sensitive issue for both of them. The two sides, the Islamic world accused of sheltering political terrorists and the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, are confronting each other. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem observed a tension between the sides, the clash between Islam and Christianity. In order to ease this tension, which could lead to great dangers, he launched his initiative for a meeting. Turkey has avoided labeling the Christian-Islamic tension as a 'conflict'. 'Therefore, the joint declaration worked on by the representatives of 88 nations at the forum is mainly based on the principle of living together peacefully without touching on sensitive issues. However, the US, Russia and China should also have been invited to this forum. These nations belong to neither the OIC nor the EU. However, the issue concerns all of them as well."

    [16] AN IMPORTANT INITIATIVE BY TURKEY BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)

    Columnist Semih Idiz writes on the meeting in Istanbul bringing together the representatives of different cultures. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "We have to congratulate Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his staff for launching an initiative to bring together the representatives of different cultures in Istanbul and for bringing it to fruition. The high attendance at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)- EU Joint Forum demonstrates the success of his initiative. The correctness of Turkey's analysis of the desire for a dialogue between civilizations can be seen in the number of the dignitaries attending this meeting. This is a plus in Turkey's favor but if a fault has to be found, as nothing is perfect, the absence of the UN secretary-general may be pointed out. However, this doesn't stem from Turkey, but belongs to rather UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who despite continually pointing out the need for such a compromise between civilizations is not eager to attend the meeting. The basic element in a dialogue between civilizations is tolerance for others. If this starting point cannot be well established, all these efforts full of goodwill will be to no avail, and the OIC-EU Joint Forum will be nothing more than a show. Tolerance between peoples does not come about automatically. In fact, it requires an intellectual effort to understand others without any prejudices or stereotyping. In other words, it rejects generalizations and instead embraces racial, cultural, religious and intellectual diversity. The need to accept this phenomenon not only at an international level but also at a national level is seen clearly in the increasing racial, religious, cultural and intellectual diversity of the European countries. The tolerance Europe will show the different societies, among whom Muslim Turks can be cited, seems inevitable in view of the long- term salvation of the continent. Europe is increasingly becoming a mosaic of cultures. The rising racism and xenophobia in Europe actually can firm rather than deny. The extreme rightists are provoked by the emerging 'mosaic phenomenon'. On the other hand, official reactions to the election of pro-Nazi Joerg Haider showed that the European system is closed to these extremists, in spite of their vociferousness. Nothing else will happen during the two-day OIC-EU Joint Forum apart from a search for tolerance, understanding the other, and passing to diversity from monotony. The only thing, which may cast a shadow on the forum, may be a speech in its shadow delivered by famous philosopher Noam Chomsky on the intolerance for freedom of thought in Turkey. This sideshow may attract greater attention on an international level than the forum itself. It would have been much better if Chomsky had also been invited to them forum, as he is a philosopher who has attached great importance to exactly the issues which the forum is addressing. An important opportunity has been lost. This minor glitch aside, I congratulate Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his staff and extend my wishes of success to all the attendees."

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