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Turkish Press Review, 02-07-25
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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> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
25.07.2002DEATH PENALTY TO BE LEFT OUT OF EU LAW PROPOSALS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
 NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO MEETThe National Security Council (MGK) presided over by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will meet today in Istanbul. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will also attend the meeting at the War Academy Commandership. Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will not participate in the meeting, as he is scheduled to inspect damage in the flood-stricken province of Rize due to recent heavy rains and flooding. Before chairing the MGK meeting, Sezer will attend ship, plane and helicopter handover ceremonies in Golcuk to be held by the Naval Forces Commandership. /Turkiye/
 YILMAZ CALLS ON PARTY LEADERS TO SUPPORT EU ACCESSION LAWSDeputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday held a series of meeting with the leaders of parties represented in Parliament, asking them to support the European Union harmonization laws. Speaking to reporters after these meetings, Yilmaz said that an EU law package prepared by his party would not hinder early elections expected this fall. Yilmaz told the reporters that Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli had said he would support these laws, excepting education and broadcasting in mother tongues and eliminating the death penalty. /Star/
 FOREIGN MINISTER GUREL TO MEET WITH PAPANDREOUTurkey is preparing to put diplomatic pressure on the Greek government to crack down on the activities of terrorist group the DHKP-C in Greece. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel yesterday stated that he would soon meet with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou to discuss the issue of the DHKP-C. The Turkish government is disappointed with the lack of attention the Greek government has shown on the issue to date. "We have been aware for some time that members of certain terrorist groups threatening Turkey's democratic regime have taken shelter with some of our neighbors," said Gurel. "Unfortunately, Greece is one of those countries which has failed to crack down on those terrorists." /Cumhuriyet/
 FLOOD WREAKS HAVOC IN FIVE PROVINCESA total of 22 people have died due to two straight days of heavy rain and flooding which cut a swathe through five different provinces in the Black Sea region and eastern-central Anatolia, Rize, Yozgat, Corum, Kayseri and Tokat. Some 19 people are still missing due to Tuesday and Wednesday's flooding which also damaged hundreds of houses, destroyed farmers' fields and killed livestock. The State Meteorology Institute is forecasting the heavy rainfall in the region to continue through tomorrow. The Cabinet yesterday resolved to provide financial aid to the affected regions. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: "COPENHAGEN CRITERIA SHOULD BE FULFILLED IN ORDER TO START MEMBERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS"Speaking at the European Parliament yesterday, European Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen spoke on Turkey's European Union accession process. "If the Copenhagen criteria are fulfilled, we could immediately start the negotiations process," the commissioner said. "The commission could make this happen." Meanwhile, Verheugen stated yesterday in an interview with German daily Die Zeit that the two parties on Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, might reach a settlement before the EU's Copenhagen summit this December. "Turkey might suggest a new model for a solution in order to obtain a political award from the Union," said Verheugen. "It might even begin its accession negotiation process earlier then expected. However, the Turkish government should place a high premium of the implementation of political reforms for its EU accession." /Cumhuriyet, Hurriyet/
 CABINET MINISTERS SUPPORT FORMULA ONE HOSTING BIDThe Cabinet ministers chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit met yesterday. During its meeting, the Cabinet decided to support the Turkish Federation of Automotive and Motor Sports' (TOMSFED) bid to host the Formula One racing competition in 2005. Health Minister Osman Durmus initially opposed the move, as previous Formula One races have carried cigarette advertising. "While we are trying people to stop smoking, those races encourage it," he argued. However, he was eventually persuaded when TOMSFED pledged that this race would not carry tobacco ads. State Minister Fikret Unlu was appointed to the work on the topic. /All Papers/
 CILLER VISITS BAHCELI, DISCUSSES EU AND ELECTIONS LAWSTrue Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller yesterday visited Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader in order to seek support for the European Union harmonization laws, as well as amendments to the Elections Law. After the meeting, Ciller told reporters that the Parliament should reconvene in order to make a decision on early elections. Ciller also said that her party had submitted a proposal to Parliament that the elections be held on Nov. 3. /Star/
 MUMTAZ SOYSAL ESTABLISHES INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC PARTYA new political party called the Independent Republic Party (BCP) was officially established yesterday. Mumtaz Soysal, Ismail Sina Aksin and Cevat Ismail Geray are among the founding members of the party. The application for formation of this new party has been submitted to the Interior Ministry. According to a statement released by the BCP, the party currently has 67 members. /Star/
 BAYKAL: "ELECTIONS ARE THE ONLY WAY OUT"Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday received a delegation from the Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD) at his party's headquarters in Ankara. Baykal said that a consensus had finally been reached that elections were the only way out. Stressing that Turkey's economy had paid a great price before reaching this point, Baykal said that Nov. 4 was an important date for Turkey to establish a strong, effective Parliament. Regarding a possible US operation in Iraq, Baykal stated, "We don't want war. Such an operation would harm Turkey's economy and political life." /Turkiye/
 DTP LEADER: "A FAIR SYSTEM OF ELECTIONS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED"Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Mehmet Ali Bayar yesterday said that changes were needed to Turkey's election system. Speaking to the Turkish Journalists Association, Bayar stated, "You have listened to the discussions over the European Union. But the vision of the EU, which points to our nation's future, has been lost in the shuffle of day-to-day political concerns. If this situation persists, either a single-party government or a ruling coalition will emerge. Whatever the result, Turkey needs new hope. Elections will give the Turkish people a chance to make their voices heard. However, we need to ensure a level playing field for elections. Parliament should prepare measures to establish fairer elections." /Sabah/
 HISARCIKLIOGLU: "PARTIES SHOULD CLARIFY THEIR STANCE ON EU ISSUE"Speaking to the Istanbul Union of Commerce yesterday, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that Turkey was witnessing a great divide over the issue of its European Union membership bid. "The EU issue shouldn't be used as a political tool," he stated. "Turkey is now heading for early elections. Those parties seeking to lead the country should either state clearly that they favor our EU reforms, or else lay out what they plan to do instead." /Milliyet/
 TUSIAD URGES QUICK ACTION ON EU ACCESSION LAWSThe Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) yesterday urged Parliament to pass the laws needed for Turkey's European Union membership bid at its extraordinary session next Monday. A statement issued by the group said that all EU candidate countries were required to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria, and that Turkey wasn't being singled out. The statement added that fixing a date for early elections would boost the nation's economy. /Milliyet/
 FITCH ANALYST: "TURKEY CAN OVERCOME ITS POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY"A senior analyst at international ratings agency Fitch yesterday told Reuters there were currently no plans to alter Turkey's credit rating. "It is still possible for Turkey to overcome its political uncertainty," said Nick Eisinger, director of sovereign ratings. "We will see how this turns out in the months to come." Three weeks ago Fitch affirmed Turkey's rating as B and stable. /Aksam/
 TIM CHAIRMAN: "TURKEY IS LOSING TIME"Turkish Exporters' Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici said yesterday that the current climate was making Turkey lose valuable time, time that it needed to spend on its European Union membership bid and other important matters. "We hope all the political parties and politicians can feel the problems of both exporters and the nation at large," he stated. "If they ignore these problems, then sooner or later elections will be held, and only this will dispel the uncertainty hanging over us." /Sabah/
 94TH ANNIVERSARY OF ABOLITION OF CENSORSHIP CELEBRATEDYesterday, the 94th anniversary of the abolition of press censorship in Turkey was celebrated. In a message to mark the occasion, Turkish Journalists' Association Chairman Nazmi Bilgin remarked that freedom of expression was a fundamental human right and freedom. "Left unexpressed, thoughts lack sense and definition," he said. "Thoughts are abstract; they gain meaning and reality only when aired." There is no censorship in Turkey, he stressed, but added that increasing media monopolization could carry an equal danger. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 LET'S BE FRANK BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)Columnist Gungor Mengi writes on the possibility of Parliament's adjourning after deciding on a date for new elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The current political picture rouses the fear that the Parliament will adjourn for a recess after setting a date for new elections. However, I haven't lost my hopes yet because I don't want to believe that the majority of the Parliament has lost its sense of shame. Blocking the road going to the EU has triggered the recent developments bringing new elections to the agenda and the division in the Democratic Left Party (DSP). All the groups of political parties in the Parliament, excluding the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), said they supported Turkey's EU membership bid. If they sacrifice this project which concerns Turkey's future and declare the session over after setting a date for elections, how will they face the nation during election campaigns? Parliament's agenda is not clear due to sly calculations and childish caprices. The proposal prepared by Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Yilmaz's team gathers the EU harmonization steps under a framework. At the moment, ANAP and the Felicity Party (SP) fully support it. There has been news to the effect that even New Turkey (YT) hesitated to support it. The YT denied these reports and stated that it would support the proposal. What happened to make ANAP suspect its motives? During the meeting, YT chairman Ismail Cem had stated that they would like to see if ANAP's coalition partner the DSP - Cem's former party - would sign the proposal. He later said that this was not a condition. Political parties are afraid of any success regarding the issue becoming political capital for ANAP and that the MHP may use the issue as a point against rival political parties. ANAP leader Yilmaz said that the package regarding the EU adaptation laws was not his own property. His explanations sounded realistic, convincing, effective and sincere. He added that if the parties promising to pass the EU harmonization laws unconditionally actually signed the bill he would not use this as a propaganda issue in the coming elections. However, if these political parties promising to support it before the public did not keep their words, he would harp on the issue all through the election campaign. He has the right to do so. It is true that the EU means more freedoms, more security and more wealth for the Turkish people. How will the other parties ask for votes if they play with the future of our children?"
 DEATH PENALTY TO BE LEFT OUT OF EU LAW PROPOSALS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes about the likelihood of Parliament passing the European Union adaptation laws and the possible approaches of political parties to the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Parliament is set to convene next Monday, and the political parties seem to have reached an agreement to hold elections on Nov 3. The debate over whether a decision on elections or the EU adaptation laws should take first place on Parliament's list of priorities seems to have been resolved. Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz looks as if he has accepted the 'elections first' argument put forward by True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller. Right now the debate is centred on whether it will be possible to pass the necessary EU laws after a decision on elections has been taken in Parliament. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit believes that it would be difficult for anything other than elections to be discussed once a decision to hold elections is made. However, he has said that his Democratic Left Party (DSP) would support efforts to pass the EU laws. The DYP, as well as the newly established party New Turkey (YT), has promised to vote in favor of the laws once a decision to hold elections is reached. Both the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Felicity Party (SP) are in favor of passing these laws. However, all the parties are stipulating different conditions. The AKP and DYP, for instance, would like to amend the Constitution on the subject of the death penalty to make sure that terrorists do not benefit from amnesties. The parties don't seem to have reached a full agreement on the law enabling broadcasting and teaching in the mother tongue languages. So the plan right now is to try and pass the EU laws, with the exception of the laws concerning the death penalty and broadcasting_teaching in mother tongues. The YT is also in favor of leaving these issues out because it believes that only laws all parties agree on will be accepted after Parliament decides on elections. If the parties can keep their parliamentary groups together, then there is a chance that the EU laws will be passed with the exception of the ones concerning controversial issues. The parties seem to have agreed to leave the issue of the death penalty aside until after the elections."
 WHICH IS TRUE? BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (HURRIYET)Columnist Muharrem Sarikaya writes on New Turkey (YT) Chairman Ismail Cem's and his party's ambiguous attitude towards the EU adjustment laws package prepared by Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Is it true that New Turkey (YT) Chairman Ismail Cem rejected supporting the EU adjustment laws package prepared by the Motherland Party (ANAP)? Yesterday Cem denied all such accusations, saying that they would definitely stand behind the EU adjustment laws. However what some YT members told me the day before doesn't match Cem's statement. What lies behind this contradiction? Yesterday I had the chance to interview Cem. He answered my questions on the issue and reiterated the YT's full support for Turkey's EU membership bid, but added that he had a different proposal than the one ANAP leader Yilmaz came up with. Cem said that he had suggested to Yilmaz that the three laws on capital punishment and the right to education and broadcasting in mother tongues be excluded from the package and placed in a separate one, then that the latter be brought onto the agenda of the Parliament. Cem added that they had serious concerns about these three laws and the high probability of abuse of these rights. All in all, in my long interview with Cem, I got the impression that the YT doesn't want these three laws to be included in the package, believing that leaving them out of the package will ensure the easy passage of the other EU adjustment laws by Parliament. It seems to me that the YT will not add its signature to the package in its present version circulated by ANAP. On the other hand, Yilmaz told me that he had never received a pledge of unconditional support from the YT and that he also suggested that Cem bring the three most contentious laws together in a separate package, and then asked for the YT's support in that case, but that Cem gave him a clear 'No'. Now, which of these accounts is true?"
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