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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-26
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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
26.11.2002YAKIS: “EXTENDING A DATE TO TURKEY COULD HELP MOVE THE CYPRUS ISSUE FORWARD” HANNAY URGES TURKEY TO SOLVE CYPRUS ISSUE BEFORE COPENHAGEN DENKTAS: “WE WILL EVALUATE THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN” PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAM ERDOGAN MEETS WITH PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER, PRESIDENT WOLFOWITZ, GROSSMAN TO VISIT TURKEY TURKEY PLATFORM TO CONVENE IN BRUSSELS BABACAN: “THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE AS IS” IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY NEXT WEEK FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM BAYKAL TO ERDOGAN BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THE CYPRUS SOLUTION PLAN? BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)
 SEZER EN ROUTE TO GERMANYPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer will travel to Germany today to pay a working visit. Sezer is scheduled to meet with German President Johannes Rau, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and other high-level officials tomorrow in Berlin. During their meetings, Turco-German and Turco-European Union relations, and regional as well as international issues are to be discussed. Sezer is expected to return to Ankara tomorrow evening after holding a press conference at Turkey’s Embassy in Berlin. /Turkiye/
 GUL MEETS WITH EP DELEGATIONPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with a European Parliament delegation led by Turkish-EP Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman Joost Lajendik. Briefing the EP delegation on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) European Union policy, Gul stated that the new government was planning to implement a constitutional reform package prepared by the former government “as soon as possible.” Stating that the AKP-led government was also preparing another EU reform package to be unveiled on Wednesday, Gul underlined that this new package would deal with a host of sensitive issues on which the EU had serious concerns, such as human rights and democratization. Gul also discussed the Cyprus issue with the EP officials, reiterating that the EU should set a date for Turkey’s accession negotiations in order to promote both the Cyprus peace process and the country’s democratization efforts. For his part, Lajendik remarked that the UN Cyprus plan recently presented to the two leaders of the island was a historic opportunity that should not be missed, stressing that if Turkey or Greece failed to reach an agreement on the UN proposal, the problem might worsen. /Cumhuriyet/
 YAKIS: “EXTENDING A DATE TO TURKEY COULD HELP MOVE THE CYPRUS ISSUE FORWARD”Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis left New York yesterday after paying a get-well visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas. Speaking to reporters before his departure, Yakis complained that the Cyprus plan prepared by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan proposed allocating all the island’s water resources to the Greek Cypriots. He said that the European Union member countries had implied that helping to solve the Cyprus issue would aid Turkey’s bid to get a date for its membership talks. “From the beginning, we’ve asserted that our bid was not related to Cyprus,” he added. “However, as they insisted on putting the issue before Turkey at every opportunity, we said, ‘First you give us a date to Turkey, then we will work with you more on the Cyprus and European Security and Cooperation Policy [ESDP] issues’.” In related news, US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday telephoned Yakis to reiterate the US’ support for Annan’s plan and to ask Yakis to take a positive stance on it. /Turkiye/
 HANNAY URGES TURKEY TO SOLVE CYPRUS ISSUE BEFORE COPENHAGENSir David Hannay, Britain’s special envoy for Cyprus, yesterday met with Presidential Foreign Affairs Chief Advisor Tacan Ildem. During their talks, Hannay said that the Cyprus issue should be solved before the European Union’s Copenhagen summit scheduled for Dec. 12. At the meeting, Ildem briefed Hannay on the views of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer regarding the UN’s Cyprus plan and also Turkey’s EU membership bid on the eve of the Copenhagen summit. After his meeting with Ildem, Hannay met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. Speaking at a press conference after his meetings with Ildem and Ziyal, Hannay said that his aim was to obtain a favorable result on the Cyprus issue before Copenhagen. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, EU Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Per Stig Moeller and UN Special Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto are also expected to visit Turkey soon. /Milliyet/
 DENKTAS: “WE WILL EVALUATE THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN”Appearing on television after his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said that officials of the TRNC would evaluate the United Nations’ Cyprus plan. Denktas also said that his meeting with Yakis had been very positive and constructive. Denktas added that though he had briefed Yakis about his reaction to the plan, this didn’t mean that he had accepted it. “However, the UN plan could be evaluated once more,” he stated. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAMThe Parliament will begin to debate the new Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) government program at its plenary session today. During the session, Deniz Baykal, leader of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), will make a speech in his capacity of sole opposition leader. Later, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener will answer questions about the program. AKP Deputies Ihsan Arslan and Nihat Eri will also make separate speeches to give their own views on the program. A vote of confidence is to be held in Parliament on Thursday. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER, PRESIDENTAs part of his tour of seven European countries to seek support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by a high-level delegation yesterday arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. Erdogan first met with Portuguese Prime Minister Durao Barroso. Following their approximately one-hour meeting, Barroso told reporters that Portugal favored Turkey’s EU membership as soon as it has fully complied with the Copenhagen criteria and the EU’s enlargement policy. “We don’t want a Europe divided by religious lines,” said Barroso. For his part, stressing that Turkey had been waiting for EU membership for 40 years, Erdogan said, “We don’t want this process to be extended indefinitely. Turkey expects a date at next month’s EU Copenhagen summit to begin its membership talks.” Later, Erdogan was received by President Jorge Sampaio. After the meeting, Erdogan and his accompanying delegation flew to Helsinki, Finland. /All Papers/
 WOLFOWITZ, GROSSMAN TO VISIT TURKEYUS Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman and US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz are expected to pay a visit to Turkey in the coming days. The two high-level US officials are expected to discuss a number of sensitive issues with Turkish officials such as the Iraq issue and Turkey’s EU membership bid. Both are known as firm friends of Turkey within the US administration, and Wolfowitz is reputed to be a “hawk” on the Iraq issue. /Aksam/
 TURKEY PLATFORM TO CONVENE IN BRUSSELSThe Turkey Platform, an umbrella group made up of 200 domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is to hold a meeting tomorrow in Brussels with the support and attendance of various European NGOs to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid. The Turkey Platform together with its European supporters is expected to issue a statement at the end of the meeting underlining that the EU should set a date at next month’s Copenhagen summit for the beginning of Turkey’s accession negotiations. In addition, EU Economic and Social Council Chairman Roger Briesch and EU Commission official for Social Affairs Anna Diamantopoulou will also attend the meeting to support the NGOs. /Cumhuriyet/
 ILHAN KESICI TO JOIN THE DYP TODAYFormer Motherland Party (ANAP) Bursa Deputy Ilhan Kesici is set to join the True Path Party (DYP) today. Kesici is also expected to be a candidate for the DYP leadership at the party’s congress to be held on Dec. 14. Kesici is a former State Planning Organization (DPT) undersecretary. /Turkiye/
 BABACAN: “THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE AS IS”State Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that the new government would make no major changes in the economic program as carried out by the previous government. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, India, where Babacan is currently attending the G-20 meetings, he said, “Our goal is clear and definite: We are resolved to bring down inflation.” He added that growth and employment would also increase if doing so didn’t conflict with their anti-inflation drive. Babacan also met with Anne Krueger, deputy chairman of the International Monetary Fund. /Turkiye/
 IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY NEXT WEEKAn International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation jointly led by the Fund’s European Director Michael Deppler and Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen is scheduled to visit Turkey on next Monday and Tuesday to meet with economy bureaucrats of the new Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government. According to a Treasury statement, another IMF delegation is also to pay a visit to Ankara the following week for the fourth review of Turkey’s economic program. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM BAYKAL TO ERDOGAN
 BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on his meeting with Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal will today criticize Gul’s government program before Parliament. Baykal worked on his speech yesterday. When Baykal criticizes Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he will speak on parliamentary immunity, changes to the Constitution and the headscarf issue. We spoke with Baykal yesterday. First we asked him his opinion on parliamentary immunity. He said, - Previously, Mr. Erdogan had promised to limit parliamentary immunity. Now he’s avoiding the issue and talking about postponing it for a year. This is unacceptable. When he appeared on the television screen, he promised the nation that this issue would be his priority. Now he clearly says that he won’t keep his promise. Then what happened to all his words about the struggle against corruption, the drive for transparency and the rule of law and the promise to clean up politics? I warned Mr. Erdogan concerning this issue during our first meeting. - What might be Mr. Erdogan’s aim in postponing the issue for a year? - I think he’s trying to protect people facing investigations and legal action. Among these people are colleagues he worked with in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, ones who he later brought into Parliament and made into ministers. - However, Mr. Erdogan isn’t a deputy and so he doesn’t have immunity. - This is the situation for now but as he estimated, probably in one year’s time he will become a deputy. I think he wants to be protected by the shield of immunity for himself and for his friends. The cleanup and struggle against corruption should start with politics. He promised to do this, and he can’t run away from this promise. - The government is preparing a legislative package, and a new constitution is on the agenda as well. What do you think about this? - First of all, they should explain their aim concerning the new constitution. They will change what? So they want to get rid of some sections of the Constitution. One wonders if they are looking to challenge the basic characteristics of the Republic or the basic principles of our Constitution. The Constitution isn’t an arrangement which should be altered at the whim of a party’s majority of seats. In addition, neither Mr. Erdogan nor Prime Minister Gul said to voters that they would change the Constitution. They promised that they would carry out such things with the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the opposition parties. This shows that the AKP will try to govern the country by not depending on their majority in Parliament. - The headscarf issue is on the Parliament’s agenda again. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer spoke some harsh words about this. What do you think about the issue? - I have warned Mr. Erdogan before that Turkey has much more important problems and that he shouldn’t clutter up the agenda with such symbols as the headscarf issue. I also gave him the example of Erbakan because when Erbakan was incapable of solving the country’s problems [when he was prime minister], he directed himself to such issues. Mr. Sezer made the necessary speech and warning. The AKP is unfortunately creating a negative political atmosphere. However, the nation won’t tolerate this and Turkey doesn’t have time to lose to such a noxious atmosphere. Baykal will give his opinion and criticisms in Parliament today. He will emphasize that not a negative, but a positive atmosphere of politics should be created and then ask the AKP to contribute to establishing such an atmosphere.”
 WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THE CYPRUS SOLUTION PLAN? BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on the United Nation’s solution proposal on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Perhaps no UN solution proposal on the Cyprus question has ever created such excitement as the recent plan presented by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Behind the current tense discussion lies that fact that the Turkish side’s stance on the proposal is closely linked to Turkey’s EU membership bid, a bid on which the future of the nation’s 67 million people is hanging. Is this proposal a completely unacceptable one to which the Turkish side should be dead opposed? Or, is it rather a perfect plan to be adopted urgently without any further assessment? Unfortunately, the heated debate on the question is being dominated by circles espousing these two diametrically opposed views.
Of course, the proposal has both certain pluses and minuses. Yet, a workable settlement may also be reached if the following points are taken into account:
The plan, although it has certain shortcomings, does recognize the political equality of the Turkish side. Yet, the proposal’s sections on the issues of sovereignty and political equality should be further elaborated. In the last instance, the Greek Cypriots, too, will come to agree on living under a rotating presidential system, and thus occasionally under a Turkish president.
The plan needs substantial revision concerning the re-mapping of the island. The border between the Greek and Turkish lands has to be redrawn as a straight line. Nevertheless, everyone has to get psychologically prepared for the fact that in the interests of a permanent solution, the Turkish side will have to hand over excessive amounts of land.
One unacceptable point of the proposal concerns the Greek population’s ownership rights to immovable property which they left behind in the Turkish territory after Turkey’s 1974 Peace Operation. The problem of such immovable property should be solved through the principles of clearing and compensation.
Also needing revision are the quotas on the numbers of Greek Cypriots to be allowed to live on the Turkish side. The UN proposal opens the door for the settlement on Turkish territory of Greek Cypriots adding up to, by 2020, fully one-third of the Turkish population of the island. The proposed quotas must be lowered.
The UN’s solution proposal was prepared and presented in such a fashion that it was meant to push certain limits on both the Greek and Turkish side. Of course, when the Turkish side sits down to the negotiating table, it will try to reduce the number of minuses of the proposal. But it would be completely unacceptable to put our signature on the plan in its current state. To the extent that it can wisely play its cards against Europe and take advantage of the US diplomacy on the EU, Turkey will be able to establish a delicate balance between settling the Cyprus issue and its EU membership bid.”
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