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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-01
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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
01.11.2002FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ECEVIT: “ERDOGAN SHOULD STEP DOWN FROM THE AKP HELM”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit called Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s continuing at the AKP’s helm “inappropriate” and suggested that he step down. “Erdogan wants to stay at this post despite a number of legal challenges,” added Ecevit. “This means that he doesn’t want anybody else to lead the AKP.” Last week Turkey’s top state prosecutor filed for the closure of the AKP, citing Erdogan’s defiance of a court order to give up his leading party posts. Despite Erdogan’s ineligibility to become a deputy -- and, by implication, prime minister -- his party is the apparent frontrunner ahead of this Sunday’s elections. /Milliyet/
 CEM: “THIS TALK OF WAR IN IRAQ STINKS OF OIL”Speaking yesterday at a campaign rally in the western Anatolian city of Mugla, New Turkey Party (YTP) leader and former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem charged that talk of a possible US-led war in Iraq “has the stink of oil,” adding that getting Turkey into such a war was “inconceivable.” “We shouldn’t be involved in this war,” said Cem. “If we do, Turkey will suffer enormous and irreversible damage.” /Cumhuriyet/
 REVISED EU TERRORIST LIST AGAIN FAILS TO INCLUDE KADEKThe European Union’s official list of terrorist organizations, newly revised and released this week, has once again failed to include KADEK, the continuation of the terrorist PKK. The EU cited a supposed lack of terrorist acts perpetrated by KADEK as justification for its failure to add the group. This July, after years of efforts on Turkey’s part, the EU added the terrorist PKK to the list, whereupon the group promptly changed its name to KADEK. Turkey has been lobbying ever since for this situation to be rectified. Currently, the EU includes the PKK and the DHKP-C on its terrorist list. /Hurriyet/
 DE SOTO: “A CYPRUS SETTLEMENT COULD BE REACHED BY YEAR’S END”Alvaro de Soto, the United Nations special envoy for Cyprus, arrived yesterday in Ankara. Following a three-and-a-half-hour meeting with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, de Soto labeled as “mere speculation” rumors that the UN had prepared a statement on a solution for the Cyprus issue. Stressing that he was hopeful for a permanent solution for Cyprus before the end of this year, de Soto stated that such a solution would require courage from both sides on the island. He added that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’s recent health problems had affected the process of direct, face-to-face meetings. Also following yesterday’s meetings, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc stated that the ministry had reiterated to de Soto that the UN should not interfere with the direct negotiations process between the island’s two leaders. De Soto is to leave for New York today to submit a report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan about his contacts with Turkish officials. /Turkiye/
 BOUCHER: “THE US OPPOSES THE BANNING OF POLITICAL PARTIES”Asked yesterday by reporters about the Turkish state prosecutor’s bid to close down the Justice and Development Party (AKP), US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US opposed the banning of political parties. “The US supports democracy and broad political participation in Turkey and elsewhere. We oppose the banning of political parties that are expressing their views in a peaceful and democratic manner,” Boucher told a daily press briefing in Washington. “Democracy, we believe, is most successful when there's free and open debate, including in elections,” he added. /Sabah/
 TURKISH TROOPS RENOVATE HISTORICAL KABUL MOSQUEAfghanistan’s capital Kabul yesterday marked another step in its reconstruction with the reopening of a historical mosque as renovated through the efforts of Turkish troops stationed in the country. Speaking at the Shah With Two Swords Mosque’s reopening ceremony, Maj. Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu, commander of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said that Turkey had spent $75,000 to renovate the important mosque. A number of materials were brought from Turkey especially for the project, he added. /Turkiye/
 GREEK OFFICIALS VISIT PATRIARCHATE, REITERATE SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BIDGreek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Giorgos Lianis, who were in Turkey for last night’s Fenerbahce-Panathinaikos football match, yesterday visited the Fener Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul. At a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomeos, Papandreou said that Greece supported Turkey’s accession to the European Union. “During Greece’s EU term presidency next year, we will do what we can for Turkey’s membership,” added the Greek foreign minister. Bartholomeos also said that whenever he met with European statesmen, he did his best to lobby for Turkey’s EU bid. /Turkiye/
 OZTRAK: “THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED TO POSTPONE TURKEY’S DEBTS”Speaking at Ankara University yesterday, Treasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak said that if Turkey continued its positive economic growth through the end of the year, as expected, there should be no need for it to postpone its debt payments. Oztrak labeled Turkey’s current economic program a “success,” saying that there was no need to draw up a new economic program. “Our program has raised Turkey’s growth and created new jobs,” boasted Oztrak. “Moreover, the International Monetary Fund is set to release $1.6 billion in credits after Sunday’s elections.” Oztrak added that any small delay in the credits wouldn’t pose a problem. /Hurriyet/
 LEYLA GENCER TO RECEIVE PUCCINI HONOR AWARDWorld-renowned Turkish opera soprano Leyla Gencer is due to receive the prestigious Puccini Honor Award from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation at a ceremony tomorrow at Lincoln Center in New York City. Gencer’s long and distinguished singing career includes leading roles in such operas as “Madam Butterfly,” “Tosca” and “Turandot,” among other works. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH, GREEK OFFICIALS PLAN FOR 2008 EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPGreek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Sports Minister Giorgis Lianis yesterday met with Turkish Sports Minister Erdogan Toprak to discuss planning for the 2008 European Football Championship, an event which Turkey and Greece have vowed to organize jointly. During their talks, Venizelos reiterated that Greece supported Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Toprak said that good relations between the two countries had begun in 1998 and continued with Turkey’s tragic 1999 Marmara earthquake. “The European Football Championship will contribute to friendly relations between our two countries as well as world peace in general,” added Toprak. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 CONFUSING DAYS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the upcoming elections and Turkey’s European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Around us you can see that everybody’s mind is spinning, from both Sunday’s elections and Turkey’s EU membership bid. With just two days before the elections, it’s unclear which party will come out the winner, who will become prime minister or whom the president will appoint to set up a new government. On such matters, everybody is making conjectures, guesses, and predictions. Some 40 days before the Copenhagen summit, it’s uncertain if the EU will give Turkey a date for its membership negotiations and also unclear what Ankara would then do if it gets a date.
Despite all this confusion, our impression on the EU issue is that the Copenhagen summit will do its best to make sure that Turkey doesn’t come home empty-handed. It’s unlikely that the EU will offer a firm date, but a conditional date might be in the offing. Let’s first clear up what is meant by ‘conditional,’ namely fulfilling conditions set out by the Copenhagen criteria, in other words, certain legal regulations concerning human rights and freedoms. So these aren’t ‘additional’ hurdles being put forward before Turkey. If some government officials hadn’t insisted that the EU give Turkey a date immediately, expectations that carry the danger of becoming disappointment wouldn’t have taken so much hold among the Turkish public. Obviously before there are new EU member countries in 2004, it’s important for us to get a date. However, not getting a date in December or next year wouldn’t be the end of the world. We hope and believe that during Greece’s EU term presidency in the first half of 2003, a definite date will be given and our negotiations process will begin.
After a decision setting out how the EU will proceed on our negotiations is made at Copenhagen, it’s very important that Turkey applies itself to do what’s necessary. We hope that before that time, the new post-election government will make this issue one of its top priorities.”
 OBSTINACY LEADS TO DEAD ENDS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc writes on the recent Chechen terrorist attack in Moscow and its effects on Turkish-Russian relations. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The recent terrorist attack in Moscow has once again demonstrated that violence cannot be a solution to political problems. Neither states nor political movements can find solutions to their problems via advocating violence. In fact, violence always begets more violence and drags people into dead ends.
In the wake of last year’s Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the US, the fight against international terrorism became one of the top issues on the international agenda. However, in my opinion, this concept has the effect of not only covering up a number of underlying problems but also of legitimizing countries’ insensitivity and indifference to them. That’s why I find recent discussions on the Russian government’s operation against Chechen terrorists both distracting and beside the point. Who’s guilty? Yet why don’t we just ask another question before trying to answer to this one, namely: Aren’t both sides already at fault for failing to find a peaceful solution to the years-long Chechen problem?
Politics is the art of finding ways to compromise between differing or even contradictory interests. However, oppression always engenders violence and an escalation of problems. In the wake of the dissolution of the USSR, the Chechen problem grew gradually worse since the Russian government insistently clamped down on the Chechen nation’s desire to become an independent state. This oppressive policy triggered a cycle of ever- increasing violence. Although sociologist Max Weber remarked that the roots of the state could be found in its monopolization of violence, the roots of the ‘modern state’ can be found in compromise rather then struggle. Which is why obstinacy cannot be a solution in the modern political arena.
Turkish-Russian relations have improved significantly in recent years. I believe that both countries should strive harder to better their bilateral relations. However, the Russian government has claimed that Turkey failed to lend it its full support in the wake of this latest Chechen terrorist attack. Before giving its final word on the issue, the Russian government should take into consideration Turkey’s concerns considering the Chechen nation. However, Turkey should also review its Chechnya policy in order to weigh whether its response to past Chechen terrorism has been sufficiently stern.”
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