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Turkish Press Review, 02-05-31

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> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

31.05.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] MGK DISCUSSES THE EU, STATE OF EMERGENCY RULE AND CYPRUS
  • [02] SEZER MAY ATTEND SEVILLE SUMMIT
  • [03] YILMAZ: “IMPORTANT STEPS FOR THE EU WERE TAKEN AT THE MGK MEETING”
  • [04] CEM: “OUR STEPS FORWARD ARE FOR THE SAKE OF TURKEY, NOT THE EU”
  • [05] CEM AND CAKMAKOGLU COMMEMORATE FOREIGN MINISTRY MARTYRS
  • [06] CAKAN: ”17 CITIES TO HAVE NATURAL GAS NEXT YEAR”
  • [07] DENKTAS RECEIVES BELGIAN MINISTER VISITING TRNC
  • [08] SPAIN PROPOSES NEW ESDP PLAN IN BID TO PERSUADE GREECE
  • [09] DESPITE “POLITICIZATION,” PKK CONTINUING TO ARM
  • [10] TOPKAPI MUSEUM RECEIVES KOC FOUNDATION AWARD
  • [11] FORM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [12] THE EU STANCE TOWARDS TURKEY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [13] CYPRUS, ON A ROAD OF NO RETURN BY NECATI OZFATURA (TURKIYE)

  • [01] MGK DISCUSSES THE EU, STATE OF EMERGENCY RULE AND CYPRUS

    The National Security Council (MGK) presided over by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer convened yesterday at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit could not attend the meeting due to his health problems, and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Internal Affairs Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen were also absent, since they are currently paying official visits to China and Italy, respectively. Following the nearly six-hour meeting, the MGK Secretariat General issued a statement saying that domestic and foreign developments and issues had been discussed up at the gathering. “The council has decided to recommend that the government lift the current State of Emergency Rule [OHAL] in the Hakkari and Tunceli provinces by the end of this July, while making a final four-month extension of OHAL in both Diyarbakir and Sirnak,” said the secretariat. The statement also said that recent developments in Turkish-European Union relations had been reviewed, highlighting the importance of a calendar set by the EU by the end of this year regarding the start of Turkey’s membership negotiations. It added that Turkey should speed up steps to implement its commitments specified in the National Programme. “The board also remarked that Turkey fully supports Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] President Rauf Denktas’s constructive efforts to find a just settlement to the Cyprus issue and that Turkey will continue to maintain strong, deep ties with the TRNC,” the statement said. /All Papers/

    [02] SEZER MAY ATTEND SEVILLE SUMMIT

    Diplomatic sources close to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said yesterday that Sezer may attend the European Union’s Seville summit, scheduled for June 21-22, in lieu of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit if he is unable to. “If Ecevit is unable to make the meeting, Sezer will represent Turkey at Seville,” one source said. The summit is one of EU member and candidate countries’ heads of state and government. /Hurriyet/

    [03] YILMAZ: “IMPORTANT STEPS FOR THE EU WERE TAKEN AT THE MGK MEETING”

    Following yesterday afternoon’s National Security Council (MGK) meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz said that the gathering had taken important steps forward in Turkey’s European Union harmonization process. Yilmaz is a member of the MGK and was present at the meeting. Most important, said Yilmaz, were the decisions to lift State Of Emergency Rule (OHAL) in two southeastern provinces and to effect one final four-month OHAL extension in two others. “The meeting also discussed Cyprus, independently of Turkey’s EU membership bid,” Yilmaz added. /Hurriyet/

    [04] CEM: “OUR STEPS FORWARD ARE FOR THE SAKE OF TURKEY, NOT THE EU”

    In an interview in the current issue of Turkish magazine Aktuel, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem offers his views on Turkey’s relations with the European Union. Criticizing certain domestic political circles who are well known for their anti-EU ideas, Cem states that democratization, enhancing human rights and abolition of the death penalty should be considered positive steps for the development and welfare of Turkey itself rather than concessions to be made for the sake of EU membership. Cem remarks that since the Turkish government has already made significant progress on its path towards the EU, Turkey would never miss the EU train. “The accession period might drag out longer than expected, which would result in a delay and loss of current opportunities,” says Cem. “However, such a delay would never adversely affect Turkey. In other words, contrary to what some domestic circles insistently claim, our country would neither be in need of some other countries’ interference to develop nor would it shrink from democratization. I believe that fulfilling the EU’s Copenhagen criteria would greatly contribute to Turkey’s economic and social development.” /Sabah/

    [05] CEM AND CAKMAKOGLU COMMEMORATE FOREIGN MINISTRY MARTYRS

    A commemoration ceremony was held yesterday at the Foreign Ministry Memorial in Ankara to honor 34 diplomats and other Foreign Ministry officials who were slain abroad during their tours of duty. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu participated in the ceremony, which was accompanied by Turkish prayers led by an imam. Cem said that unfortunapely the danger that Foreign Ministry officials faced during the 1970s and ‘80s was continuing up to this day. /Milliyet/

    [06] CAKAN: ”17 CITIES TO HAVE NATURAL GAS NEXT YEAR”

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan laid the groundwork for natural gas distribution yesterday at a ceremony in Ankara, saying that the new lines would transmit natural gas throughout Turkey and to 17 cities by the beginning of next year. Speaking at the ceremony, Cakan said that when the distribution lines were completed the cities and their surrounding areas would be able to enjoy environmentally friendly, economical natural gas. Cakan also stated that Turkey could begin to distribute gas to Bulgaria at the end of 2004 and had signed agreements with Bosnia- Herzegovina and Austria to sell them gas as well. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] DENKTAS RECEIVES BELGIAN MINISTER VISITING TRNC

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday received at his official residence Belgian Minister Responsible for European Affairs Annemie Neyts Uyttebroeck. After a one-hour meeting, the leaders told reporters that they had a fruitful meeting, discussing recent developments on the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/

    [08] SPAIN PROPOSES NEW ESDP PLAN IN BID TO PERSUADE GREECE

    European Ujion Term President Spain has reportedly prepared a new plan concerning the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDP), an issue on which Greece has been at loggerheads with its fellow EU members. The plan proposes certain changes in the second article if an ESDP accord recently reached by the United States, Great Britain and Turkey. Under the new plan which was prepared in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, the EU would promise not to make any counter-moves against any of NATO member countries, while the NATO countries would also pledge to respect the EU’s values, principles and aims. Greece, which opposes the inclusion of NATO member Turkey into the decision-making mechanism of the ESDP, is currently waiting for the responses of the US, Britain and Turkey to the new plan. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] DESPITE “POLITICIZATION,” PKK CONTINUING TO ARM

    Terrorist group the PKK, currently acting under a new label KADEK, has proclaimed loudly in recent forums that it had “politicized” itself and abandoned its terror campaign and armed attacks. However, Turkish intelligence sources yesterday put the lie to these claims by revealing that the PKK has in recent months purchased weapons such as heavy machine guns, bombs and bullets -- all told, deadly arms worth some $200,000 -- from such countries as Armenia, Iran and Iraq. /Star/

    [10] TOPKAPI MUSEUM RECEIVES KOC FOUNDATION AWARD

    Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace Museum yesterday received the prestigious Vehbi Koc Foundation Award, an annual honor given to recognize achievement in the fields of education, health, and culture. It was given in recognition of the museum’s successful efforts to promote Turkish history and culture, as well as its renovations and anti-earthquake measures. The award, which carries a 100 billion TL cash prize, was handed out by Vehbi Koc Foundation Chairman Semahat Arsel to Topkapi Museum Director Filiz Cagman at a ceremony at Istanbul’s Koc University. A plaque was also presented jointly by Culture Minister Istemihan Talay and Koc Holding Chairman Rahmi Koc. “Vehbi Koc, who established this award, thought that after his death he might be forgotten,” said Rahmi Koc. “So in order to preserve his legacy he established this annual honor in his own name.” /Milliyet/

    [11] FORM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] THE EU STANCE TOWARDS TURKEY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the EU stance towards Turkey’s admittance to the Union. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Does Turkey’s admittance to the EU depend on its abolition of the death penalty? That’s not the only obstacle before Turkey’s entering the EU. It is only one of the conditions. Furthermore, Turkey has not carried out death penalty for 18 years now. Lifting capital punishment is not a decision which can be indexed to the EU. Turkey’s admittance to the EU is being evaluated only through Turkey’s perspective. Everyone is being asked if they are in favor of or against the EU, but the problem is not as simple as that. As being in favor of the EU does not help to solve the problem, we must consider the other side of the coin. How does the European Union view Turkey? The conditions it is requiring of Turkey not to take it in as a member but only to begin negotiations are striking examples of double standards. Europe is asking that we meet conditions it doesn’t require of other countries for full membership just so we can begin our accession negotiations. It is enough to take a glance at the Cyprus and terrorism issues over which Turkey is sensitive. The European Union has already announced that it will take the Greek Cypriot administration into the organization even if a joint solution is not reached on the island. Following such an announcement, the Greek Cypriot side did not have to reach an agreement with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). In fact, the Greek Cypriots are pursing a policy of not reaching an agreement. On terrorism, the sincerity of the EU in responding to Turkey’s expectations is another point for discussion. Can the EU be regarded as meeting Turkey’s expectations by at long last taking the PKK into the terrorist organizations list only after it changed its name? The EU, which is continually pressuring Turkey, has to quit applying double standards, stop asking for conditions it is not requiring of other countries, and accept that Ankara is exerting great efforts to fulfill her obligations. The EU’s views regarding Turkey should be discussed as much as Turkey’s opinions about the EU.”

    [13] CYPRUS, ON A ROAD OF NO RETURN BY NECATI OZFATURA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Necati Ozfatura writes about the Cyprus problem. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey lacks a consensus regarding the Cyprus issue among the government coalition partners. The problem concerning the island is step by step taking the same course as the events long ago regarding Crete. If it had not been for Rauf Denktas’s fight, the island would have been annexed to Greece long ago. If everyone knows how Crete was lost, Cyprus can be defended better. In 1821 an uprising began on the Greek Peleponnesus peninsula, then under Ottoman rule, upon the provocation of Russia, France and Britain. Russia spread this riot to the island of Crete. At the 1830 London Conference, the independence of Greece was recognized. Greece asked for Crete during this conference. Crete was not given to it, but it did not quit pursuing this dream. In 1866, Napoleon III said that everything would be done for the Christians in Crete and Syria. Upon this show of support, another uprising began in Crete. In 1878, when the war developed in favor of the Russians and against the Ottomans, Greek officers went to Crete to train the rebels. In 1879 a Parliament consisting of 49 Christian and 31 Muslim deputies was established in Crete in accordance with the St. Stephanos Treaty. A Turco-Greek war erupted when Greece sent 14 warships to Crete in 1897. Ottoman armies got as far as Athens. Although the armies won on the battlefield, the issue was lost at the negotiation table. In 1908 Greece annexed Crete. These days, we can see same scenario being repeated on Cyprus. Rauf Denktas, who is striving not to let Cyprus issue turn into another Crete, is being accused by the EU, the US, Greece, Greek Cypriots of being the intransigent party. Certain Turkish politicians, intellectuals and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan act as if they are lobbying for the Greek Cypriot side. No progress is reported in the negotiations between the two sides. The Greek government has recommended that the Greek Cypriots bide their time, while seeming to be in favor of negotiations, as the EU doors would be opened for the Greek Cypriot administration in December. It would seem that the situation will continue as it is.”

    ARCHIVE

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