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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-29
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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
29.11.2002NEW GOVERNMENT WINS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ERDOGAN: “IF NOT A FIRM DATE FOR TALKS, THEN TURKEY IS HOPING FOR A TIMETABLE AT COPENHAGEN” BAYKAL: “THE PROPOSED EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE WOULD SET TERRORIST OCALAN FREE” CEM: “TURKEY’S GETTING A DATE AT COPENHAGEN IS DIFFICULT BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE” MGK TO CONVENE FOR FIRST MEETING WITH AKP GOVERNMENT EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE TO BE DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT ON TUESDAY BUSH URGES DANISH PRIME MINISTER ON TURKEY’S EU BID EU WORKING ON NEW PROPOSAL FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BELGIAN DEPUTY PREMIER: “THE EU NEEDS TURKEY” EP TURKEY RAPPORTEUR: “WE WANT TO SEE TURKEY WITHIN THE EU” POWELL: “WE ARE PREPARING A SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR TURKEY” US REPORTEDLY SEEKS FULLER TURKISH SUPPORT FOR IRAQ OFFENSIVE; TROOPS AND USE OF BASES SOUGHT, AID PACKAGE OFFERED GREEK CYPRIOT OFFICIAL REJECTS ANY CHANGES TO UN PLAN IN FAVOR OF TURKISH CYPRIOTS TURKEY COULD COMMAND ISAF FOR TWO MORE MONTHS FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… THE NETHERLANDS FAVORS AN “APPOINTMENT” BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET) WHICH SIDE WILL THE GOVERNMENT TAKE? EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)
 SEZER RECEIVES NEW GOVERNMENTFollowing yesterday’s vote of confidence in Parliament, the Cabinet members of the new government headed by Abdullah Gul visited Ataturk’s mausoleum, Anitkabir. After laying a wreath and observing a minute of silence, Gul signed Anitkabir’s Commemorative Guestbook. In the book, he wrote that new government’s primary aim was to follow Ataturk’s principle in order to raise the Republic of Turkey to the level of modern civilization. Later, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer received the new Cabinet members at the Presidential Palace. Pointing to the public’s great expectations from the administration, Sezer reportedly asked the new government to make solving the nation’s economic problems its first priority. /All Papers/
 NEW GOVERNMENT WINS VOTE OF CONFIDENCETurkey’s 58th government formed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday won its first vote of confidence in Parliament. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s government won a 346-170 vote in the 550-member Parliament, with 34 deputies absent from the balloting. Addressing Parliament after the vote, Gul thanked the deputies for expressing their confidence in the government. Stressing that a new era had dawned for Turkey, Gul said everybody should strive to make the best use of this period. “Now is the time for deeds, not words. We are resolved and prepared,” said Gul. Reiterating that the government would take an impartial stance towards all sectors of society, Gul added, “During our rule, the Constitution and the law, as well as our Urgent Action Plan, Government Program and our party’s program, will be our guideposts.” Although Parliament’s sole opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voted against the confidence motion, CHP leader Deniz Baykal congratulated Gul after the vote was concluded. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “IF NOT A FIRM DATE FOR TALKS, THEN TURKEY IS HOPING FOR A TIMETABLE AT COPENHAGEN”Even if the European Union fails to give Turkey a date for membership talks next month, the nation won’t be deterred from its EU bid, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday. Speaking from Paris, the last stop on his tour of EU member states seeking support for Turkey’s bid, the ruling party leader said that Turkey hoped to get at least a timetable for when a date for talks would be set, if not a date itself, at next month’s Copenhagen summit. “Even if we don’t get a date, the AKP’s priority is to raise our people’s standard of living,” he added. Speaking of Turkey’s prospects at the upcoming summit, Erdogan said some EU states favored granting it a date while others were opposed. “However, Germany and Britain are still undecided,” he remarked. “Our aim is to get a date from the EU to start membership negotiations. But it would also be a positive development if the EU presents a timetable to Turkey for when a date will be given.” /Aksam/
 BAYKAL: “THE PROPOSED EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE WOULD SET TERRORIST OCALAN FREE”Criticizing the European Union harmonization package proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday charged that the package would require reopening the case of convicted terrorist Abdullah Ocalan. “The AKP is trying to reduce Ocalan’s life sentence to only 30 years, and then release him,” added Baykal. /Aksam/
 CEM: “TURKEY’S GETTING A DATE AT COPENHAGEN IS DIFFICULT BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE”After meeting in Brussels with Guenter Verheugen, the EU’s commissioner for enlargement, New Turkey Party (YTP) leader Ismail Cem said yesterday that Turkey’s getting a date at Copenhagen summit would be difficult but not impossible. “Turkey can get a date at December’s meeting,” said Cem. “What’s important for Turkey is the EU’s declaring a date at Copenhagen to start membership negotiations.” He added that doing so was both a legal and moral obligation of the EU. /Milliyet/
 MGK TO CONVENE FOR FIRST MEETING WITH AKP GOVERNMENTThe National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to convene today at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. The November ordinary meeting will be the first to include Cabinet members of the 58th government led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). During the meeting, domestic and foreign developments will be discussed. /All Papers/
 EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE TO BE DEBATED IN PARLIAMENT ON TUESDAYDeputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir said yesterday that a draft package of European Union harmonization bills was now ready. He said that the package is set to be debated in a special Cabinet meeting and that after necessary revisions were made, it would be presented to the Office of the Parliament Speaker on next Tuesday at the latest. In related news, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday told reporters that the AKP’s 36-article EU harmonization package had been evaluated by the CHP’s lawyer deputies. “The CHP supports all initiatives on the road of democracy,” he said. Regarding Turkey’s EU membership bid, Baykal stated that Turkey was in a better situation than other candidate countries and deserved to get a date for membership talks. /Turkiye/
 BUSH URGES DANISH PRIME MINISTER ON TURKEY’S EU BIDUS President George W. Bush yesterday made a telephone call to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of European Union Term President Denmark, urging his support for Turkey’s EU membership bid. It was the second such call in the last week-and-a-half. During their conversation, Bush said that Turkey and the EU would both benefit from Turkey joining the Union. Both Bush and US Secretary of State Colin Powell have reportedly urged the EU to give Turkey a date for membership talks at next month’s Copenhagen summit. /Milliyet/
 EU WORKING ON NEW PROPOSAL FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIPIn the leadup to next month’s Copenhagen summit, a number of European Union diplomats are working on a new formula which would facilitate the beginning of Turkey’s EU accession talks in 2004, EU sources said yesterday. Accordingly, this formula will set a conditional date for 2004 at next month’s Copenhagen summit and will demand that Turkey implement reforms in human rights and democratization, and take concrete steps in due course on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and Cyprus issues. EU Term President Denmark’s Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller will confer on the proposal during his visit to Ankara beginning on Monday, the sources added. /Sabah/
 BELGIAN DEPUTY PREMIER: “THE EU NEEDS TURKEY”Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Steve Stevaert said yesterday that Belgium fully supported Turkey’s European Union membership bid, underlining that the EU needed Turkey. “Speaking sincerely and straightforwardly, I want to see Turkey as an EU member,” said Stevaert. “The EU has so much to learn from Turkey.” Concerning next month’s Copenhagen summit, Stevaert stated that the EU should extend a date at Copenhagen, as Turkey had made significant progress towards meeting the EU’s political standards. /Sabah/
 EP TURKEY RAPPORTEUR: “WE WANT TO SEE TURKEY WITHIN THE EU”European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Arie Oostlander travelled yesterday to the city of Diyarbakir in Turkey’s southeastern Anatolia region to hold contacts there. Speaking at Diyarbakir’s Bar Association, Oostlander said, “We are closely watching the views of Turkey’s non-governmental organizations [NGOs] towards developments in the new Justice and Development Party [AKP]-led government, as their views are quite important.” Stating that he was very curious about the decision on Turkey’s European Union membership bid to be made at next month’s Copenhagen summit, Oostlander said, “We want to see Turkey within the EU.” /Star/
 POWELL: “WE ARE PREPARING A SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR TURKEY”US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday said that the US was planning to prepare a support package for Turkey, regardless whether of whether or not a military operation in Iraq is carried out. Pointing to the serious effects of 1991’s Gulf War on Turkey, Powell said that the US knew Turkey was greatly concerned about the negative effects of a possible Iraqi operation. “We’re aware that Turkey is sensitive on the topic, and we’re in constant contact with Turkish officials. We support Turkey,” added Powell. Even as Powell spoke, articles in Thursday’s New York Times and Washington Post quoted unnamed administration officials as saying the US was discussing further aid for Turkey in an effort to get pledges of fuller support, including a commitment of troops, for a possible Iraq intervention. /Turkiye/
 US REPORTEDLY SEEKS FULLER TURKISH SUPPORT FOR IRAQ OFFENSIVE; TROOPS AND USE OF BASES SOUGHT, AID PACKAGE OFFEREDThe United States is discussing further economic aid for Turkey in an effort to convince it to make a fuller commitment to a possible war in Iraq, including the use of Turkish troops, according to reports yesterday in both the New York Times and the Washington Post. The reports said that US administration would ask for active support and participation in a possible offensive into northern Iraq during US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s visit to Ankara scheduled to begin next Thursday. The use of Turkish bases by US troops would also be sought. Bush administration officials, the reports say, are using several arguments to try to persuade the Turks to support and participate in an offensive. First, they argue that if Turkey joins in the attack the war will be over more quickly and that also, as a result, there will be less economic disruption. Furthermore, they believe Turkey’s participation would help minimize the regional damage a war might cause. In return for Turkey’s fuller commitment, the US will reportedly offer it an aid package as well as a guarantee that the US government opposes any independent state in northern Iraq. /Hurriyet/
 GREEK CYPRIOT OFFICIAL REJECTS ANY CHANGES TO UN PLAN IN FAVOR OF TURKISH CYPRIOTSSpeaking to a Greek newspaper yesterday, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasulides said that his country would in no way accept changes to the UN Cyprus proposal which might favor the Turkish side’s interests. Kasulides’ statement dealt a blow to efforts for peace on the island, as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas has demanded substantial revisions to the UN plan before accepting it as a basis for negotiations. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY COULD COMMAND ISAF FOR TWO MORE MONTHSTurkey’s command handover of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to joint German-Dutch forces isn’t likely to take place on Dec. 20 as scheduled, diplomatic sources said yesterday. Turkey took over the command on June 20 for a planned six-month term, and is now expected to retain command for another two months to give Germany and the Netherlands more time to complete necessary preparations, the sources added. The joint German-Dutch forces will, at best, be ready to arrive at Afghanistan in January and take over the ISAF command in February 2003. /Cumhuriyet/
 POET ANDAY PASSES AWAYRenowned poet Melih Cevdet Anday, one of the leading lights of Turkish literature, died yesterday in Istanbul. He was 87. Anday was a member of the prominent literary movement known as “Garip,” and his works have been translated into many languages, including Russian, French, English, Bulgarian, Greek, Serbian and Polish. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE NETHERLANDS FAVORS AN “APPOINTMENT” BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on developments in the Netherlands concerning Turkey before next month’s Copenhagen summit. A summary of her column is as follows:
“‘The thing that separates Turkey from other Muslim countries is its hope for the future,’ a journalist said recently. ‘This is the greatest difference between other Islamic countries and Turkey. If you don’t open Europe’s door to Turkey, you should know that this will spell trouble. A European Turkey would prove that democracy doesn’t belong to Christians alone and make Europe take a look in the mirror. This would mean change for everybody. Why don’t we make concessions for Turkey concerning the Copenhagen criteria? If we continue on our current path, we might create problems in Turkey. Don’t forget that there are Turkish people living in our countries and they are our citizens, too. Turkey’s problems are our problems as well.’
The Netherlands exerted great efforts for Turkey’s European Union candidacy before 1999’s Helsinki Summit, but now in the leadup to next month’s Copenhagen summit, it is staying silent. Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go to The Hague this evening during the second round of his tour of Europe. Before the summit, which begins Dec. 12, the only voice in Turkey’s favor so far was made at a meeting of the Netherlands-Turkish Business Association (NETUBA). The above-quoted words were uttered by Bernard Bouwman, the Turkey correspondent for prestigious Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. During the meeting, which was attended by representatives of leading Dutch companies as well as bureaucrats and politicians, Erik Jan Zurcher, the chair of Leiden University’s Turkish Studies Department, explained the differences between the Justice and Development Party and the banned Welfare Virtue parties (RP and FP). I explained the conditions that had brought the AKP to power and the possibilities in Turkey’s political life. Martjin Elgersma, an undersecretary at the Dutch Embassy in Ankara, evaluated Turkey’s post-election economic situation, saying, ‘If a concrete target and positive results come out of the Copenhagen summit, this would provide a boost to the Turkish economy.” NETUBA’s Turkish Co-Chairman Zekeriya Yildirim was among those who said that in spite of the positive atmosphere of the meeting, the Dutch government and business world were keeping silent on the need to give Turkey a date. Hans Risch, NETUDA’s Dutch co-chair, said that domestic circles were making efforts so a realistic result would emerge from Copenhagen and that the Netherlands’ silence was a result of an unstable political situation.
Yes, the Netherlands is looking for answers to social problems that it has never faced before. The current Dutch government is a caretaker one until elections are held in January. One can’t say that the Netherlands is in favor of expansion of the EU. Today we shouldn’t be extremely optimistic about the answer to be received by AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Netherlands. The opinion of the Christian democrats and liberals, who are the most powerful candidates in the upcoming elections, is as follows: ‘Yes, Turkey has taken very important steps in terms of fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria. The things accomplished by Ecevit’s government and Ismail Cem concerning this issue were very important. However, it’s too early to give Turkey a date at the Copenhagen summit.’ So what’s the suggestion? The answer to this problem can be found in the words of Foreign Minister and Liberal Party foreign policy spokesman Jozias Van Aartsen: ‘Let’s give Turkey an appointment for 2003 and start a discussion on a date for full membership negotiations.’ It’s not even a date for a date, only an ‘appointment’.”
 WHICH SIDE WILL THE GOVERNMENT TAKE? EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Erol Manisali comments on Turkish-EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“What is the European Union planning to do about Turkey’s membership bid ahead of next month’s Copenhagen summit? What is the EU’s Turkey policy? Everybody in Turkey is trying to find an answer to these questions. Here are the facts:
The EU doesn’t want Turkey to become a full member. It’s actually still hesitating about setting a date for Turkey’s accession negotiations even if doing so wouldn’t impose any responsibility or burden on it. During his recent visit to Poland, Deniz Baykal, chairman of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), observed that the EU was trying to put Turkey off. When ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis that Cyprus and Turkey should join the EU simultaneously, you could feel the cold winds blowing from Greece. In addition, European Convention Chairman Valery Giscard d’Estaing recently shocked us by arguing that Turkey’s EU accession would bring about ‘the end’ of the Union and doom Turkish-EU relations. Furthermore, in his address to the Italian Parliament enthusiastically applauded by its deputies, Pope John Paul II remarked that Christianity was one of the fundamental elements of the European Union. However, none of these developments should come as any surprise. Former Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel always brought these facts to the public, risking all the while the wrath of certain circles who deliberately spread lies about Turkish-EU relations.
The EU seems to be preparing a calendar for Turkey with certain conditions. Here’s their thinking on the matter: Since there’s a new government which is trying to show the world that it isn’t anti-Western or Islamic, let’s take advantage of the new post-election political situation and put pressure on Turkey to make some concessions! The Europeans are indeed exerting political pressure on Turkey using the carrot-and-stick approach. The carrot is the prospect of Turkish admittance to the European Union. The EU wants, on the one hand, to maintain this single-sided relation and to keep the hopes of the Turkish nation alive, but one the other hand, it always finds new stick tactics to block Turkey’s actual admission. The Union also wants to use its own methods to solve the Cyprus issue even if this could mean the total loss of the island for our country.
The EU sees the UN Cyprus plan as a last opportunity. It is trying to drastically reduce the number of Turkish soldiers on the island. What about the troops of other countries? There are two British bases bristling with weapons, helicopters and ammunition. In addition, there is also a Greek army equipped with high-tech armaments. If Cyprus is admitted to the EU, then the German and French militaries as well as forces of Britain and the US are likely to deploy troops on Cyprus. Nobody is willing to oppose these groups. All they want to do is to cut the number of Turkish groups. But why? Isn’t this hypocrisy?
The EU is trying to take advantage of Turkey’s sensitive situation as a country which is trying to improve its democracy, build a better future for the nation and boost its people’s standard of living. Moreover, there are domestic circles supporting the EU by advocating making every possible concession to get a date for accession negotiations. I wonder which side the new government will take? Will it come around to the side of the nation? Or will it adopt new policies, departing from its ‘no-concession’ attitude, as the EU has demanded? For my part, I hope it will stand by the nation without falling into the traps laid by the EU.”
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