|Thursday, 4 June 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 02-11-15
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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
 SEZER TO RECEIVE ERDOGANPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer will receive today Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming government party the Justice and Development Party (AKP), at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Erdogan is expected to propose to Sezer a candidate for the prime ministry post. In the afternoon, the AKP leader is also scheduled to meet with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok at the General Staff Headquarters. /All Papers/
 NEW PARLIAMENT CONVENES FOR OPENING SESSIONTurkey’s new Parliament held its inaugural session yesterday, the first assembly in over a decade with a single party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), holding enough seats to exercise a clear majority and one- party rule. The oldest member of Parliament, Sukru Elekdag, a deputy from incoming opposition party the Republican People’s Party (CHP), chaired the session and delivered the opening speech. The new chamber includes 363 deputies from the AKP, 178 from the CHP, and eight independents. During the session, which stretched past midnight, the 546 deputies took their oath of office. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the AKP leader who is currently barred from serving as a deputy, and who is in the midst of a multi-stop visit to European capitals, was not present at the session. CHP leader Deniz Baykal was also absent due to his attendance at a European socialists’ meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Also absent from the meeting was Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, who was busy attending 19th anniversary celebrations in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN’S EUROPEAN TOUR HEADS FOR
 GREECE, SPAIN, BRITAINThe tour of European capitals by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming government party the Justice and Development Party (AKP), is scheduled to continue next week on the heels of his current visit to Italy. Seeking support for Turkey’s EU membership bid, Erdogan will go to Athens on Monday to meet with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, then fly to Madrid later that day to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. Erdogan is expected to meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on Wednesday. Erdogan will then move on to Belgium and meet separately with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstad, EU Commission Chairman Romano Prodi and EU Commissioner Guenter Verheugen. On Thursday, Erdogan will go to Dublin and meet with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. Lastly, Erdogan will go to Strasbourg, France, the seat of the European Parliament, to meet with EP officials. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “THE EU WON’T GIVE TURKEY
 A DATE AT COPENHAGEN”Speaking to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen stated yesterday that the EU would not extend a date at next month’s Copenhagen summit for Turkey’s accession talks. Though greatly influential in the candidacy process, Verheugen does not have the final word. Citing “increasing pressure” from the EU member countries not to grant a date, Verheugen claimed that Turkey had failed to meet the political criteria the Union had set. “For the time being, Turkey’s status as a EU candidate country will continue,” said Verheugen. “The time is not ripe enough for a date. Turkey has to fully comply with the political criteria first, then will come a date for accession talks.” Verheugen also characterized European Convention Chairman Valery Giscard d’Estaing’s recent controversial statements on Turkey’s membership bid as “unnecessary” and “politically risky,” for they threatened the EU’s integrity. “Turkey’s candidacy was approved at 1999’s Helsinki summit,” Verheugen stressed. “The EU’s policy on Turkey is based on strategic concerns. Its eventual membership is the best option.” /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS SPEAKS GUARDEDLY ON UN CYPRUS PLANTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that an “important stage” had now been reached on the Cyprus issue and the island’s future. Stating that four weeks had been given to both sides to evaluate UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan put on the table earlier this week, Denktas stated, “The plan contains considerable shortcomings, especially on the sovereignty and land possession issues. We will examine the plan comprehensively, calmly, and with a willingness to reach an agreement.” Denktas is currently in New York recuperating from an operation, and so was unable to attend yesterday’s ceremonies marking his country’s 19th anniversary. Addressing Turkish Cypriots via a television broadcast, he said that he would return to the island on Saturday and then discuss the plan with TRNC authorities in detail. Meanwhile, Annan is expected to receive on Monday the initial reactions of both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to the plan. Before the European Union’s Copenhagen summit next month, he is trying to establish whether the sides will agree to discuss the plan. /Turkiye/
 ANNAN URGES DENKTAS, CLERIDES TO COME TO
 TERMS ON MAJOR ISSUES BEFORE COPENHAGENUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan sent letters this week to Turkish Repulic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides urging them to come to terms on prominent issues of disagreement before the European Union’s Copenhagen summit next month. The letter stated that vital issues such as sovereignty and population transfers should be solved in the month remaining before Copenhagen, adding that issues of secondary importance could wait until next February. /Milliyet/
 SOLANA: “THE AKP IS READY FOR A SETTLEMENT ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE”Javier Solana, the EU’s secretary-general and high representative for common foreign and security policy, met with Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Following their meeting, Solana told reporters that his impression was that the incoming AKP government was ready to contribute to finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue. “My hope is that a settlement can be reached by the end of this year, if the AKP demonstrates a resolute attitude,” added Solana. He also stated that the issues of Turkey’s EU membership bid, Cyprus and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) were all interrelated. “Turkish- EU relations are at a critical point now,” said Solana. “The AKP’s majority government constitutes an opportunity to reach solutions on both the Cyprus issue and the ESDP, and for further political reforms in Turkey. The EU expects encouraging steps from Turkey.” /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE TIMING OF ANNAN’S CYPRUS PLAN WAS INAPPROPRIATE”Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Deniz Baykal, who is currently in Warsaw, Poland for a council meeting of the Party of European Socialists (PES), charged yesterday that the timing of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in presenting his Cyprus solution proposal was inappropriate. Buttressing his point, Baykal pointed out that Turkey’s new government had not yet officially taken power and that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas was still dealing with serious health problems. “Both of these situations are major hurdles to reaching a solution,” said the CHP leader. Baykal is expected to meet today with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. /Hurriyet/
 GUREL: “ANNAN’S PLAN SOLELY SERVES GREEK CYPRUS’ INTERESTS”Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel yesterday charged that UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan’s solution plan for the Cyprus issue solely served the interests of the island’s Greek Cypriots, adding that both mainland Greece and Greek Cyprus had advance knowledge and influence over the plan. “Annan’s timing in presenting his plan to the sides served only the Greek Cypriots’ interests,” said Gurel, whose term as foreign minister is due to end soon. “This plan is a part of a broader political design in its timing and presentation, which both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] have to be seriously concerned about.” /Sabah/
 OZKOK: “TURKEY’S ARMED FORCES WON’T TOLERATE THREATS TO THE TRNC”Turkey’s top military commander yesterday warned that the nation’s armed forces would not tolerate any threats to its close island neighbor, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s remarks came amid the TRNC’s 19th anniversary celebrations, which he was on the island to attend, and discussions of a new United Nations proposal for the island’s future. Ozkok told reporters that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) would counter any moves which could have an adverse effect on peace in the region. “Concerned states and institutions should accept that there are two states on Cyprus,” stated Ozkok. “Only this way can a lasting peace be found.” Turkey supports a fair and permanent solution for the region, he added. /Milliyet/
 TUSIAD: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PROPOSAL IS
 A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR A SOLUTION”The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) yesterday issued a written statement saying that the new United Nations’ Cyprus proposal presented a great opportunity for a solution to the issue. The statement also said that UN’s proposal should be examined very carefully by both sides, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cyprus. Turkey’s EU membership bid is one of Turkey’s most important policies and the UN proposal could help advance this cause, it added. /Milliyet/
 AKP’S GUL: “WE WILL CONTINUE THE REFORM PROCESS”Following a two-and-half-an-hour briefing by Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti and Treasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak to Justice and Development Party (AKP) staff, AKP Deputy Chairman Abdullah Gul said yesterday that during his party’s rule, its priorities would be to act decisively, continue reforms and carry out a “realistic” economic policy. Stressing that as soon as it became clear that the AKP would establish the new government, they had begun to hold meetings with bureaucrats, Gul said that as part of these meetings, they met with Central Bank and Treasury officials to discuss the current economic situation. “Turkey’s rule by one party alone is an opportunity for the country. AKP rule will be a milestone for Turkey’s development,” added Gul. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A GOOD BEGINNING
 BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:
“Our new Parliament consists of 550 deputies, with fully 458 of them entering the chamber for the first time. Of returning deputies, there are just 92. As foreign Former Minister Hikmet Cetin remarked, Parliament has renewed itself following ‘a revolution carried out by the nation.’ The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a new party. The Democratic Left Party (DSP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP), True Path Party and Motherland Party (ANAP), which collectively dominated Parliament over the last decade, are now nowhere to be found. Soldiers listened to yesterday’s oath-taking ceremony from the audience box seats, as usual. In other words, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok emphasized the armed forces’ ‘respect for the nation’s will’ from the first day of the election. Yes, rules and customs are still continuing in Parliament, in which the AKP is in the majority. It’s a good rejoinder to those who were expecting a crisis.
It’s impossible to understand how Ecevit tarred the AKP as a threat against secularism and even talked about a ‘problem of the state.’ Ecevit would do well to speak more wisely. Even as the AKP is issuing positive messages to the world and the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is contributing to this, Ecevit is sending the wrong message. He also criticized Erdogan’s visit to Italy this week, asking ‘what title’ he would carry with him there. Erdogan paid the visit at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, under the title ‘Erdogan,’ and he will next meet the Greek and Spanish prime ministers the same way. People said that Turkey’s relations with the EU would deteriorate if the AKP won the elections, but it’s just the opposite, good messages are being received. Nine measures which Erdogan announced for Turkey’s accession are becoming realities. Of course Erdogan should continue his visits abroad and the AKP should hasten to form its new government.
Parliament CHP member Sukru Elekdag, who chaired Parliament’s opening session, spoke about Turkey’s very valuable ‘treasure,’ that is, its status as ‘a country which can harmonize Islam and modern political values.’ Elekdag emphasized that the world needs such a model. The AKP’s role is especially important in this. If one reason for the positive winds in the economy and foreign politics is Turkey’s newfound stability with the prospect of one-party rule, the other reason is that the AKP is a party ‘which can harmonize Islam and modern political values.’ Turkey should use this ‘treasure’ in the best way possible so our path to the EU will be opened wide. The AKP bears a great responsibility. I hope the new Parliament and new government will work in Turkey’s favor.”
 ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE, STYLE IS IMPORTANT
 BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc writes on recent developments in the Cyprus peace process. A summary of her column is as follows:
“UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s new draft Cyprus proposal has effectively put both sides on the island against the wall, for it calls on them to reach an outline agreement within one month. The proposal is seen by diplomatic circles as ‘the basis for agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.’ The 135-page plan includes detailed, comprehensive proposals which are both open to discussion and need clarification. In addition, the UN for the first time expects both sides to reach an agreement within a very short period of time, a mere month, on the eve of December’s European Union Copenhagen summit.
Turkey has entered a critical period, one requiring tricky diplomatic acrobatics. We’ve got down to the delicate task of evaluating this significant document.
The EU had previously stated at its Helsinki summit that although it preferred a permanent solution to be reached on the island, it did not see this as a condition for the admittance of the Greek Cypriot administration. When discussing the Greek Cypriots’ EU membership, said the EU officials, we will evaluate the attitudes of both sides. That’s what they will take into consideration when dealing with the problem; in other words, the EU will evaluate the stances of both sides to see whether they are positive and constructive. However, this evaluation covers not only the Turkish and Greek Cypriots’ situations, but also Turkey’s attitude towards the issue. As we all know, the EU sees the Cyprus problem as an issue directly linked to Turkey’s EU membership bid. In Turkey’s Accession Partnership Document, the Cyprus issue is discussed under the title of ‘Political Dialogue and Political Criteria.’
We should bear in mind that Annan’s proposal is not a EU document. In other words, the agent behind the diplomatic pressure Turkey faces this time is the United Nations Security Council. If Turkey fails to show both the EU and the UN that it is striving mightily to promote the Cyprus peace process, then it will be held responsible for the unresolved problem and will also be faced with new EU decisions likely to belittle all our efforts at EU accession. Therefore, this is the most critical period which the Cyprus peace process has ever seen.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Turkey should make concessions and let the Greek Cypriots obtain whatever they want. However, the Turkish side should immediately announce that it is ready to discuss the text. Why discussions and consultations? Mehmet Ali Talat, a Turkish Cypriot opposition leader, said, ‘If the Greek Cypriot administration joins the EU in the absence of a permanent solution, then it will act like a wounded lion which is backed by the European countries. Then, we can never be sure when and where it will attack.’”
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