|Thursday, 4 June 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 02-11-22
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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: “TURKEY’S CONSTRUCTIVE POLICY ON
 THE ESDP WILL CONTINUE”Addressing NATO’s summit in Prague, the Czech Republic, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said yesterday that Turkey had followed a constructive policy on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and that it would continue to do so. “The realization of strategic cooperation between NATO and the EU carries great importance for European security and stability,” said Sezer. He remarked that if every country involved took a positive stance, joint EU-NATO military exercises could be carried out as early as next year. In addition, during face-to-face meetings with his European counterparts yesterday, Sezer took the opportunity to express Turkey’s expectations for its EU membership bid. During his meeting with Sezer, French President Jacques Chirac stated that France was a longtime supporter of a Turkish-EU rapprochement. In addition to Chirac, Sezer also met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spain Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Anders Fog Rasmussen, the prime minister of EU Term President Denmark. Tonight, following a press conference wrapping up the two-day summit, Sezer will leave the Czech capitol to return to Turkey. /All Papers/
 GUL MEETS WITH US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 SPEAKER HASTERTPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received an official United States delegation led by Dennis Hastert, speaker of the US House of Representatives. Remarking that the US saw Turkey as a model country for the rest of the Islamic world by virtue of its successful synthesis of Islam, democracy and secularism, Hastert reiterated US President George W. Bush’s invitation for Gul to pay a visit to Washington. Expressing the US stance towards recent developments on the Iraq issue, Hastert remarked that he supported the UN Security Council’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problem, underlining that the weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein should be eliminated as soon as possible. He added that the US placed a high premium on its good bilateral relations with Turkey. For his part, Gul stressed that the new Turkish government was determined to improve the nation’s democracy and also to advance human rights. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL ATTENDS INDEPENDENT BUSINESS GROUP’S BANQUETPrime Minister and Justice and Development Party deputy leader (AKP) Abdullah Gul yesterday attended a banquet hosted by Ali Bayramoglu, chairman of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD). Speaking at the dinner, Gul said that now was time to work rather than searching for excuses. Stressing that his party was ready and determined to serve the nation, Gul stated, “We know what we must do.” The current structure of the Turkish state is clumsy and ill suited to compete with other countries in a globalized world, Gul remarked. Pledging that the first action of the government would be to cut interest rates, Gul added that the AKP government would pay great attention to democratic rights and freedoms as well as the economy. He reiterated that his government would stay in close contact with all of Turkey’s political parties and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) during its rule. /Turkiye/
 GUL MEETS WITH YTP LEADER CEMPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received New Turkey Party (YTP) leader Ismail Cem. Following their meeting, Cem told reporters that he had visited Gul in order to congratulate him on his new post in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. “The YTP will support all the government’s positive efforts,” said Cem. Stressing that he would tour the European Union member countries to seek support for Turkey’s EU membership bid, Cem stated that he had asked for Gul’s views on the matter. The premier replied that his government wanted to benefit from the extensive foreign policy experience of Cem, a former foreign minister in the previous government. Later, Gul paid a get-well visit to former President Kenan Evren, who is currently undergoing treatment at Ankara’s GATA hospital for heart problems. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH IRISH PRIME MINISTER AHERNRecep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), yesterday met with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to seek his support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking at a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg after meeting with Ahern, Erdogan said that the AKP wanted to bring about a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus issue. “The AKP government’s aim is to enable the people of Cyprus to live proud and happy lives,” said Erdogan. Asked how the AKP government would respond if the EU fails to give Turkey a date during next month’s Copenhagen summit for its membership talks, Erdogan said that they would try to improve Turkey’s economy and also re-evaluate Turkey’s relations with the EU. “Joining the EU isn’t the only way to modernize Turkey,” he stated. “We do have an alternative, namely ourselves.” Erdogan also stated that the stance of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) towards Turkey’s EU bid was a positive one. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN TO MEET BAYKAL TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUERecep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is scheduled to meet today with opposition Republican People’s Party leader Deniz Baykal to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue. Baykal is expected to convey his concerns on the issue to Erdogan, one of Turkey’s most influential political figures as chairman of the single-party ruling AKP. Baykal reportedly believes that the recent UN Cyprus plan cannot contribute to the Cyprus peace process in its current form and so needs to be changed. /Aksam/
 TUSIAD SEEKS FRENCH SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BIDA delegation from the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) yesterday met with Christian Poncelet and Jean-Louis Debre, the respective leaders of the upper and lower houses of France’s Parliament, to seek their support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid on the eve of the EU’s Copenhagen summit. During their talks, TUSIAD Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said that Turkey’s new Justice and Development (AKP) government supported both Turkey’s EU membership bid and its principle of secularism. Ozilhan said that the EU shouldn’t carry any prejudices against the AKP into next month’s Copenhagen summit, and Debre replied that, for French’s part, it would take an impartial stance. “We trust in the Turkish nation’s common sense and believe that Turkey will implement the Copenhagen criteria, ” said Debre. “We won’t judge the AKP government before seeing what it does.” The delegation later met with Pierre Steinmetzile, an advisor to France’s Prime Ministry. Steinmetzile said that French officials were watching Turkey carefully and waiting for the AKP government to carry out Turkey’s obligations on its EU membership bid. “The EU process for Turkey is continuing,” he added. /Hurriyet/
 DENKTAS: “WE CAN’T ACCEPT ANNAN’S PROPOSAL
 AS A BASIS FOR FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS”Turkish Cypriots should lay claim to their own territory without regard for the provisions of a recent UN Cyprus proposal, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas told his fellow countrymen in a radio interview yesterday. Speaking from New York, where he is continuing to undergo medical treatment, Denktas said that the UN Cyprus plan in its current form could not be accepted as a basis for further discussions, stressing that the Turkish Cypriots could only accept negotiating on the text with a view to changing it to make it an acceptable framework for future discussion. “For the sake of its own future, the TRNC has to lay out the changes it will demand and then stand its ground,” said Denktas. /Cumhuriyet/
 ECONOMY MINISTER BABACAN TO MEET IMF DELEGATION TODAYNew State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan is due to meet today with a visiting International Monetary Fund delegation headed by Anne Krueger. Yesterday, Treasury bureaucrats briefed Babacan on the Treasury’s currency balances, interest rates and borrowing policies. Later today, Babacan will travel to New Delhi, India to attend a summit of the G-20 countries’ economy ministers. /Turkiye/
 OECD: “CONTINUED ECONOMIC REFORM CAN BRING
 DOWN THE INFLATION AND INTEREST RATES”The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) yesterday issued a report on the state of Turkey’s economy. The report said that Turkey’s inflation and interest rates needed to be brought down to make the country’s credit situation less risky, adding that if Turkey’s new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government continues economic reforms, then this shouldn’t be difficult. Continued high interest rates run the risk of making it impossible to roll over Turkey’s debts, the report warned. /Hurriyet/
 AGAR REJOINS PARTY; DYP GAINS SEAT IN PARLIAMENTIndependent Elazig Deputy Mehmet Agar yesterday rejoined the True Path Party (DYP) after a three-year absence. With this action, the DYP has become the third party represented in Parliament, along with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Parliament’s new composition is as follows: The AKP has 363 deputies, the CHP 178, the DYP one, and the number of independent deputies has fallen to 8. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 CYPRUS AND THE EU BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes about Turkey’s EU membership bid and the Cyprus issue, and the link between the two. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I think that Turkey will have to abandon its insistence that the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s EU membership bid are two separate, independent issues. Why? The reason is quite clear: Neither the US nor the EU share this view. And, more importantly, Turkey’s stance doesn’t reflect the realities of the situation at hand.
We would do ourselves a favor by formulating policies based on the cold, hard facts. The great genius diplomats in the history of Turkish-European relations also share this view. Turkey has numerous self-inflicted wounds from its romantic foreign policies over the last century. The US and the EU are now telling us, in a stern and stentorian tone, that we must reach a settlement on the Cyprus issue and develop closer relations with the EU. Now, you could label such an insistent stance on the Cyprus issue unfair and unjust, and you could even get upset about it. But what you could not do is to, once again, dare to assert that the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s EU membership are completely unrelated issues. For if you did, Turkey would be forced to make tremendous sacrifices.
Of course, the UN’s solution plan will be assessed in terms of the advantages it offers to Turkey. The plan surely contains certain elements contrary to the Turkish side’s interests. But we have to reach a permanent solution by negotiating these, and the plan constitutes a firm basis for that.
Indeed, the last word will be had by the Greek and Turkish Cypriots living on both sides of the island when they hold referendums to decide on the plan. Either side’s rejecting the proposed solution would utterly shatter the dreams of peace. Ankara must work to reduce the inequities of the plan. And it is the task of our political will to make the final decision.
A new world is being created, and those who fail to integrate with it will suffer greatly. After Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, now Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria will join NATO in 2004. If someone claimed 10 years ago that these former Warsaw Pact countries would be NATO members a decade hence, he would no doubt have been consigned to the loony bin.”
 BABACAN AND HEADSCARVES BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the economy and the headscarf issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“In Turkey, the economy set our elections’ destiny. Two huge crises and the ensuing strict International Monetary Fund regime spelled the end of the tripartite coalition. In the wake of the onset of massive unemployment and poverty due to the crisis, Turkey started to implement the IMF program and the early elections caused the government’s downfall. This is the chief factor behind the burst of votes received by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The headscarf issue isn’t why the AKP won 35% of the nation’s votes. This result shows that the Turkish people are expecting economic relief, jobs, social security, health and a good education system from the AKP’s one-party rule. The AKP should see this clearly and without illusions. If it misunderstands the voters’ message and priorities not as the economy, but as the headscarf issue, this would immediately start things off on the wrong foot. The AKP, which says that it had prepared for power, brought in a 35-year-old minister, Ali Babacan, to head the economy. Babacan had a brilliant academic career and has experience in both the private sector and the US. Babacan, taking over Kemal Dervis’ former post, seems to understand the nation’s expectations correctly. When I visited him recently in his office, the first things that he said were that he would place importance on social policies and that the AKP would add a social dimension to the IMF’s program. This was most glaring shortcoming of the IMF program, and it largely determined the results of the election. Emphasizing that 15% of the population was living on the edge of malnutrition, Babacan said that his priority issue would be to raise people’s standard of living. Babacan knows that the new government is luckier than its predecessor on this issue. He thinks that the opportunities afforded by the boost in national macroeconomic indicators will make his task of helping the poor an easier one. It’s also understood that he will bring a package with social aims onto the agenda during his meetings with the IMF. He emphasizes that unemployment is the biggest problem plaguing Turkey today. He says that social welfare, promoting the real economy, and policies designed to lighten the tax burden will accelerate the nation’s economic growth. Babacan seems to have a realistic view of our economic problems and the priorities, resources and policies which are needed to address them. When speaking with him, I got the impression that Babacan’s views were in line with the citizens’ expectations. This stance should prevail among the AKP administration and the government. The priority of the AKP and the government should be the economy, not headscarves.”
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