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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-13
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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
13.11.2002PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT PAYS FAREWELL VISITS ERDOGAN TO SEEK ITALY’S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP OZKOK TO MARK TRNC ANNIVERSARY IN CYPRUS ADMIRAL ALPKAYA TO RECEIVE ITALY’S ORDER OF MERIT GUREL: “ANNAN’S PLAN SHOULD BE ASSESSED CAUTIOUSLY” TUSIAD: “WE SHOULDN’T LABEL THE AKP ISLAMIC BEFORE SEEING HOW IT GOVERNS” DYP SCHEDULES PARTY CONGRESS FOR JANUARY 2003 VERHEUGEN: “THE EU FULLY SUPPORTS ANNAN’S SOLUTION PLAN FOR CYPRUS” TRNC PREMIER EROGLU: “ANNAN’S PLAN PROPOSES NORTHERN CYPRUS HANDING OVER EXCESSIVE LAND” HOPPE: “DEMARK SUPPORTS TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID” TALABANI: “WE WANT A DEMOCRATIC, FEDERAL IRAQ, NOT A KURDISH STATE” FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... EUROPE’S FIRST REQUEST: LET THE DEP DEPUTIES GO FREE BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR) POLITICS AND THE LAW BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
 PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT PAYS FAREWELL VISITSPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday paid farewell visits to High Courts of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu, High Courts of Appeals Chief Justice Eraslan Ozkaya, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin. During the premier’s valedictory visit, his last before leaving office, Ozkaya praised Ecevit’s long service and contributions to the Republic of Turkey, saying that he had greatly aided Turkey’s development and the preservation of its main principles. “We lawyers and judges are always very sensitive about the principle of secularism,” stated Ozkaya. “We will do whatever we can to preserve it.” /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO SEEK ITALY’S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIPRecep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming ruling party the Justice and Development Party (AKP), will fly to Italy today to meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the first stop on Erdogan’s European tour to seek support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. During his visit, Erdogan will also meet with Christian Democratic Center Party leader Pierferdinando Casini and Pierro Fassino, the leader of Italy’s main opposition group, the Leftist Democrats. The latter party supports Turkey’s EU membership bid. Erdogan will be accompanied by newly elected AKP Deputy Zeynep Karahan Uslu.
In related news, Erdogan has reportedly requested an appointment tomorrow with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Erdogan is expected to submit to Sezer a name to succeed Bulent Ecevit at the prime ministry post. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL TO ATTEND MEETING IN POLANDDeniz Baykal, leader of incoming opposition party the Republican People’s Party (CHP), will travel to Poland today to attend a European Socialists’ Party (PES) meeting in Warsaw. During the gathering, Baykal is scheduled to meet one-on-one with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. In these talks, Baykal is expected to tell the leaders about Turkey’s stance as well as its recent political situation. /Aksam/
 OZKOK TO MARK TRNC ANNIVERSARY IN CYPRUSChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok is set to travel to Cyprus today to participate in tomorrow’s 19th anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). During his visit, Ozkok is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Parliament Speaker Zeki Serter. After attending the TRNC’s anniversary celebrations, Ozkok will return to Turkey the same day. /Milliyet/
 ADMIRAL ALPKAYA TO RECEIVE ITALY’S ORDER OF MERITTurkish Naval Force Commander Admiral Bulent Alpkaya will be honored today the with the Republic of Italy’s “Order of Merit” to recognize his efforts at developing Turco-Italian relations. Alpkaya will be decorated with the merit by Italian Naval Force Commander Vice Admiral Marcello de Donna at a ceremony to be held at Italy’s Naval Force Commandership. /Turkiye/
 GUREL: “ANNAN’S PLAN SHOULD BE ASSESSED CAUTIOUSLY”Appearing on television yesterday, Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s solution plan for the Cyprus issue should be assessed cautiously and carefully to see how well the plan met Turkey’s conditions and sensitivities on the issue. Gurel, who will step aside soon to leave his post to a Justice and Development Party (AKP) successor, stated that the plan envisaged a model falling somewhere in between the Swiss and Belgian ones. In related news, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’s advisor Mumtaz Soysal stated that the plan seemed not to sufficiently reflect the Turkish side’s views, but added that it might contribute to the negotiations process. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD: “WE SHOULDN’T LABEL THE AKP ISLAMIC BEFORE SEEING HOW IT GOVERNS”A delegation from the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) arrived in Brussels yesterday as part of its tour to seek European Union member states’ support for Turkey’s EU membership bid. The delegation took part in a conference on “Turkish-EU Relations After the General Elections” organized by the European Policy Work Center, one of the EU’s most important institutions. Speaking at the conference, TUSIAD Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said that it wouldn’t be proper to apply the “Islamic” label to incoming ruling party the Justice and Development Party (AKP) before seeing how it governs the country. Also responding to European Convention Chairman Valery Giscard d’Estaing’s recent remarks claiming that Turkey wasn’t a European country, Ozilhan stated that Turkey was already part of the EU with its economic and political structure. The TUSIAD delegation also met with Guenter Verheugen, the EU commissioner for enlargement. /Milliyet/
 DYP SCHEDULES PARTY CONGRESS FOR JANUARY 2003The True Path Party’s (DYP) Chairmanship Council headed by party leader Tansu Ciller convened yesterday to evaluate the results of last week’s general elections, in which the DYP lost all its seats in Parliament after receiving less than 10% of the vote. At a post-meeting press conference, Ciller said that people’s anger at the government had been reflected onto Parliament and that the DYP had also taken its share. Ciller stated that her party would hold its Ordinary General Congress on Jan. 25-26, 2003, and she repeated her pledge not to run for another term as DYP leader. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN: “THE EU FULLY SUPPORTS ANNAN’S SOLUTION PLAN FOR CYPRUS”European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said yesterday that the EU welcomed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s solution plan for the Cyprus issue, adding that it was an encouraging and important step towards reaching a settlement on the island. “Annan’s plan represents a historic opportunity for a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem,” said Verheugen. “Both sides on the island should give it careful consideration.” He added that the plan was in line with the EU’s criteria and priorities. Also addressing recent controversial statements by European Convention Chairman Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who last week publicly claimed that Turkey’s accession to the EU would bring about “the end” of the Union, Verheugen underlined that Giscard’s statements reflected his personal views alone but nonetheless had exerted considerable political pressure on the EU. In related news, US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily press briefing yesterday that the US also welcomed Annan’s plan. “We have always supported the efforts to reach a settlement,” said Boucher. “This is an important effort by the secretary-general that we fully support.” /Hurriyet/
 TRNC PREMIER EROGLU: “ANNAN’S PLAN PROPOSES NORTHERN CYPRUS HANDING OVER EXCESSIVE LAND”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu told reporters that he had conferred with TRNC President Rauf Denktas on the new Cyprus solution package proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He stated that plan had both pluses and minuses, but added that it unfortunately failed to address certain points that the Turkish side considers very important. “For example, the question of sovereignty on the island is not clear,” said Eroglu. “Moreover, the new plan proposes the TRNC having to relinquish excessive amounts of land. However, we will take a constructive stance and search for ways to reach a settlement.” /Cumhuriyet/
 HOPPE: “DEMARK SUPPORTS TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”European Union Term President Denmark’s Ambassador to Ankara Christian Hoppe said yesterday that the EU was not a “Christian club,” but rather a club of democratic regimes. He stressed that the ascendance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as Turkey’s new government shouldn’t hurt its membership bid, adding that the EU expected to see the AKP government take concrete steps on such issues as democratization and secularism. The new government should also accelerate reforms regarding freedom of thought and expression, the prevention of torture, religious freedoms and minority rights, he stated. “Denmark supports Turkey’s membership bid and is working for the most reasonable and useful outcome for Turkey,” said Hoppe. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALABANI: “WE WANT A DEMOCRATIC, FEDERAL IRAQ, NOT A KURDISH STATE”Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani, who is currently in Ankara to hold a series of meetings with Turkish authorities, said yesterday that the IPUK was not in favor of the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq. “We want an Iraq which has a democratic, federal structure,” said Talabani. Remarking that last week he had paid visits to Syria and Iran, Talabani stated that neither of those countries favored an independent Kurdish state. Stressing that the IPUK had good relations with Turkey, Talabani said that he would evaluate recent developments in the Middle East and Iraq in his talks with Turkish officials. He added that he wanted to meet with both Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, the new government and opposition party leaders, if it was possible. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EUROPE’S FIRST REQUEST: LET THE DEP DEPUTIES GO FREE BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writes on the tour of European capitals beginning today of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming government party the Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of her column is as follows:
“The honeymoon for Turkish-EU relations in the wake of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) landslide victory in last week’s elections has ended already, and even before the new government had the chance to take office. The first sign that the good times were at an end is the planned European capital tour of AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently the most influential figure on Turkey’s political scene, a tour scheduled to begin today. Erdogan is expected to discuss a number of sensitive issues with EU officials.
The first message to be conveyed to Erdogan is expected to come from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. According to diplomatic sources, Berlusconi will use a soft diplomatic line when discussing these sensitive issues with Erdogan, since he believes in the necessity of strong cooperation between Mediterranean countries. However, we know that despite his soft tone, his expectations of Turkey will be quite heavy. Berlusconi and other European leaders will request that Turkey comply with decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. Although this doesn’t look like much of a problem for Turkey right now, the main problem looming is the situation of some Democracy Party (DEP) members who are currently serving prison terms. The European leaders expect Turkey to reopen the cases of the DEP deputies with a view to releasing them.
The second message to be conveyed to Erdogan is that the EU expects a new vision from the Turkish government to be led by the AKP. What they really mean is that the AKP-led government should take every possible measure to end torture and violations of human rights. The European leaders want the Turkish government to take decisive measures to end the impunity of human rights violators.
The third request of the EU leaders will be the full implementation of the Counter-terrorism Act, which requires a number of important measures to address sensitive issues such as preventing arbitrary prolongation of custody.
The last two issues on Erdogan’s agenda will be the Cyprus problem and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). The European leaders will try to persuade Erdogan to put pressure on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). However, TRNC President Rauf Denktas expects Erdogan to avoid making any concessions for the sake of better relations with the EU. The EU leaders also want the ESDP issue to be solved before December’s Copenhagen summit. In brief, all of these issues, and the decisions that Erdogan will make on them, are extremely important not only or our own future but also for the future of our children...”
 POLITICS AND THE LAW BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the relationship between politics and the law. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Justice and Development Party (AKP) Secretary-General Ertugrul Yalcinbayir this week said, ‘Amending Article 109 of the Constitution is not on our agenda.’ Saying that some are suggesting that a prime minister could be appointed from outside the Parliament through amending Article 109 and that this issue was still being discussed, Yalcinbayir added, ‘We saw that there was no consensus on this issue, so we didn’t dwell on it.’ Yalcinbayir also said, ‘We [the AKP] are the majority. However, we don’t think that we can do whatever we want. We will decide on important issues by consulting with the parties, non-governmental organizations [NGOs] and various governmental institutions. For example, some governmental institutions wouldn’t welcome amendments to Article 90.’ So the latter article won’t be part of the AKP’s package of constitutional amendments.
In the 37-article constitutional package prepared recently, three articles were left unchanged. The first was Article 90 concerning international agreements, the second was Article 83 concerning the parliamentarians’ immunity, and the third was Article 76, which blocks AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan from becoming a deputy and, by extension, prime minister. After saying, ‘We will certainly curb immunity,’ Yalcinbayir recalls that amendments to Article 76 were accepted in the first round of voting in Parliament -- the outgoing Parliament, that is – but rejected in the second round so as not to open ‘Erdogan’s path.’ He adds, ‘The Constitution cannot be changed for one person, but constitutional amendments cannot be blocked in order to block one person either.’ This is very important in terms of the relationship between politics and the law; the laws and judicial rulings should not be changed in order to rescue a person, but also not to hold him back.
Of course the judiciary can change its mind. When President Sezer was head of the Constitutional Court, the court annulled Article 103 of the Political Parties Law, implemented this decision without publishing it in the Official Gazette, and then closed down the Welfare Party (RP). However, according to Article 153 of the Constitution, the annulment decision wouldn’t be official without it first being published in the Official Gazette. When the Virtue Party (FP) was being closed, the court corrected this mistake and carried out the closure decision only after publishing it in the Official Gazette. Although the situation was the same for both Hasan Celal Guzel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, different decisions were handed down. The Supreme Court’s Eighth Division had decided that the related prohibitions couldn’t be lifted because in Erdogan’s case, the punishment had been carried out. However, the Constitutional Court ruled that the fact that punishment had been carried out could not be a hindrance to the lifting of the related prohibitions. Consequently, it’s clear that there are certain situations in which politics should be more careful than the law. Both politics and the judiciary should avoid creating the impression that the law is being politicized. The AKP’s giving up efforts to change Article 109 is a step in the right direction.”
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