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Turkish Press Review, 03-03-07
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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> e-mail : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
07.03.2003US PRESS ON GEN. OZKOK’S RECENT IRAQ STATEMENT CANKAYA SUMMIT ON CYPRUS: “THE UN PLAN IS FAR FROM MEETING CONCERNS OF THE TRNC” ERDOGAN: “STANDOFF ON CYPRUS ISSUE IS HINDERING TURKEY’S EU BID” RUMSFELD: “THE US WILL ACHIEVE ITS GOALS WITH OR WITHOUT TURKEY’S SUPPORT” DENKTAS: “WE NEED TURKEY’S SUPPORT IN NEGOTIATING CYPRUS PLAN” BABACAN: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT WILL COMPLETE LOI BY THE END OF 2004” US MILITARY SUPPLIES BEGIN TO BE TRANSPORTED GERMAN FDP CHAIRMAN WESTERWELLE VISITS TURKEY IPUK REPRESENTATIVE SALEH VISITS TURKEY SABANCI: “MORE PATIENCE IS NEEDED” JAPAN OFFERS ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO TURKEY IN CASE OF WAR IN IRAQ TUSIAD REPORT: “TURKEY’S ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH THE US ARE INSUFFICIENT” FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... BAYKAL AND PROPOSAL BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) “THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY” OR “FOR A FEW LOUSY DOLLARS” BY EROL MANISALI
 US PRESS ON GEN. OZKOK’S RECENT IRAQ STATEMENTTurkey's military stepped into the political battle over the country's role in a conflict with Iraq today, signaling its support for a measure that would allow thousands of American troops to launch an attack from Turkish soil, reported the New York Times. The US daily stated that “only hours before Turkish Chief of General Staff Ozkok's remarks -– stressing that the war will be short if a second front is opened from the north -- , a senior member in the ruling Justice and Development Party said that Turkey's leaders were determined to take the measure back to the Parliament and push harder to guarantee its success.” The NY Times argued that recent events “appeared to set the stage for a political struggle in which Turkish political and military leadership would push the Parliament against public opinion.” /All Papers/
 CANKAYA SUMMIT ON CYPRUS: “THE UN PLAN IS FAR FROM MEETING CONCERNS OF THE TRNC”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakýs, and visiting Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas held a summit to discuss the United Nations revised Cyprus plan. Speaking at a press conference after the summit, Presidential Foreign Affairs Chief Adviser Tacan Ildem said that the UN plan was far from meeting the fundamental concerns and expectations of the TRNC. Ildem stated that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had accepted to make some changes to the plan until March 25 if the two sides agreed on this. “It is clear that reaching a just and lasting peace on the island depended on an agreement accepted by the two sides,” he said. “The Greek Cypriot administration presented their proposals to Annan and Turkish Cypriots will also present theirs.” /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “STANDOFF ON CYPRUS ISSUE IS HINDERING TURKEY’S EU BID”Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to discuss United Nations revised Cyprus plan. During their meeting, Erdogan said that not reaching an agreement on the Cyprus dispute was hindering Turkey’s European Union membership bid. “The Cyprus issue should be solved since it is preventing our EU membership bid,” said Erdogan. “However, both sides should make concessions for a resolution, not only the Turkish Cypriots.” Denktas said that the plan was unacceptable and that also the Greek Cypriot administration had not accepted it. “If the two sides are forced to accept the current plan it would lead to chaos due to migrations to both sides. “Two equal states should continue their presence on the island,” said Denktas. Erdogan added that happiness of the Turkish Cypriots carried great importance for Turkey. /Aksam/
 PM GUL RECEIVES US DELEGATIONPrime Minister Abdullah Gul received a US delegation headed by House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Robert Wexler yesterday. After the meeting, Wexler told reporters that they had a very fruitful meeting with the prime minister. Stating that Turkey and the US respected their democracies and national interests mutually; Wexler said that he hoped Turkey would cooperate with the US in economic and strategic realms. /Turkiye/
 RUMSFELD: “THE US WILL ACHIEVE ITS GOALS WITH OR WITHOUT TURKEY’S SUPPORT”US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated Wednesday that the Bush administration would achieve its goals concerning the Iraq issue, with or without Turkey’s support. Meanwhile, for his part, Marc Grossman, US undersecretary of state as well as former ambassador to Turkey, stated that the US was disappointed by Turkey’s rejection of a proposal authorizing the US to station troops at Turkey’s military facilities, but never panicked. He added that Turkey would be the first country to benefit from the establishment of a free, democratic and disarmed Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS: “WE NEED TURKEY’S SUPPORT IN NEGOTIATING CYPRUS PLAN”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) needed Turkey’s support in negotiating a revised Cyprus plan with the Greek Cypriots, TRNC President Rauf Denktas told a parliamentary session yesterday. He added that Turkish Cypriots were continuing their struggle on the island with Turkey’s support. Following Denktas’s speech, Parliament issued a statement declaring its support for the TRNC. /Milliyet/
 BABACAN: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT WILL COMPLETE LOI BY THE END OF 2004”Economy Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s comprehensive Letter of Intent (LOI) would be completed by the end of 2004. “We will also add certain issues regarding government’s privatization program to the letter,” stated Babacan. “The LOI will be very comprehensive and it will be in line with Turkey’s realities.” /Milliyet/
 US MILITARY SUPPLIES BEGIN TO BE TRANSPORTEDYesterday, some 50 trucks carrying US armored vehicles left the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, the first time US material left Turkish ports, and headed for a waiting station outside the Southeastern province of Mardin. Meanwhile, more than 100 Turkish military trucks from a mechanized infantry brigade headed towards the Iraqi border. Turkish General Staff said yesterday that Turkish military was only taking preliminary security measures, denying that it engaged in any cross border activity, and added that transportation of US military materials from ports to southeastern spots was carried out under a parliamentary authorization. /All Papers/
 GERMAN FDP CHAIRMAN WESTERWELLE VISITS TURKEYGerman Free Democratic Party (FDP) Chairman Guido Westerwelle yesterday arrived in Turkey to hold a series of meetings with Turkish officials concerning the Iraq crisis. Westerwelle met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and Parliamentary Human Rights Commission Chairman Mehmet Alkatmis. Speaking to journalists after his meetings, Westerwelle stated that Turkey and Germany agreed that the Iraq crisis should be peacefully overcome and Iraq should eliminate its weapons of mass destruction as soon as possible. /Cumhuriyet/
 IPUK REPRESENTATIVE SALEH VISITS TURKEYBarham Saleh, the chairman of the so-called Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) regional government, arrived in Ankara yesterday. Saleh told reporters that he was in Turkey as the representative of IPUK leader Jalal Talabani in order to exchange views with Turkish officials. Regarding recent developments in the region, Saleh said that to decrease the tension in the region, the IPUK would act together with Turkey. Stressing that the sides should respect common interests, Saleh said, “We are against to any unilateral intervention to the region. If it happens, that makes situation more difficult to be resolved.” /Turkiye/
 SABANCI: “MORE PATIENCE IS NEEDED”Sakip Sabanci, Sabanci Group CEO yesterday said that 100 days were not enough to pass a sound judgment on the government’s performance. After paying a visit to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sabanci told reporters that there was a powerful government in Turkey. Stressing that he discussed inflation, high interest rates and the Iraq issue with Erdogan at the meeting, Sabanci said, “As Turkey’s problems have accumulated, it will take some time to solve them. We should be more patient.” Regarding Turkey’s stance on the Iraq issue, Sabanci said that nobody wanted war. “However,” he added, “Turkey’s realities shouldn’t be ignored.” /Turkiye/
 JAPAN OFFERS ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO TURKEY IN CASE OF WAR IN IRAQJapanese Prime Minister’s Special Representative Taco Nakayama yesterday met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. Stating that Japan could provide economic assistance to Turkey in case of an Iraq war, Nakayama added that Japan was ready to cooperate with Turkey to promote peaceful efforts to find a solution to the Iraq crisis in line with the UN Resolutions. He also said that Japan was ready to help Turkey in case of a possible exodus of Iraqi immigrants into Turkey’s borders. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD REPORT: “TURKEY’S ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH THE US ARE INSUFFICIENT”A report prepared by Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’ Association (TUSIAD) stated that Turkey and the US should take important steps to improve their economic cooperation in order to reinforce their partnership. The report was prepared to identify current problems regarding economic and commercial issues and to develop new strategies to improve bilateral economic cooperation. The report stated that military issues were still dominating Turkish-US relations and stressed that economic relations were weak. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 BAYKAL AND PROPOSAL BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Republican People’s Party leader Deniz Baykal’s position on US troop proposal. A summary of his column is as follows:
“If Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s proposal is submitted to Parliament for the second time, will the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) stance change? During our meeting yesterday, CHP leader Deniz Baykal said, “No, it won’t change because nothing has changed concerning the issue. Constitution’s Article No. 92 is very clear and obviously the proposal is contrary to the article. Therefore CHP’s stance won’t change. If the proposal is submitted for the second time, we will vote against it again.’ Stating that there isn’t a change in the international conditions, Baykal said that United Nations hasn’t made a second resolution.
Baykal also emphasized US policy concerning northern Iraq. Stating that this policy doesn’t create trust, Baykal added, ‘The US’ stance favors the forces in northern Iraq. It’s unacceptable.’ Recalling that Parliament’s refusal of the proposal on Iraq increased Turkey’s honor, Baykal added, ‘Turkey’s honor was damaged due to wrong policies and methods it had followed. Turkey was put in certain situations, which it didn’t deserve. Parliament changed this image immediately with its decision and provided Turkey with the honor that it deserved again. Thus, it gave the necessary lesson to those who are trying to depreciate Turkey. Now it wouldn’t be suitable to try to put Parliament under pressure by submitting such a proposal for the second time.’
Baykal explained the CHP’s stance this way. At this point, the government’s and Office of General Staff’s hopes concerning a second proposal are left to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the AKP members who are to change their view following Gen. Ozkok’s statements. The military rescued the AKP, now it’s the AKP’s turn.”
 “THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY” OR “FOR A FEW LOUSY DOLLARS” BY EROL MANISALIColumnist Erol Manisali comments on a possible war against Iraq and Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Bush administration is about to wage a bloody war against Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein and establish a new regime which would be definitely dependent on the Washington. US preparations for a regime change in Iraq began in 1991, and the entire process would have already been completed had Turkey not reacted and resisted US designs on northern Iraq.
Now, Washington is talking to Ankara almost in a threatening fashion: ‘If you let me open a northern front into Iraq I will let you intervene in the region. Otherwise, you will bear the consequences. I will in any way hit Iraq and divide it. Now you are either with me or against me. And I warn you, there this whole Armenian issue and of course there are the Kurds, too.’
Apparently, the Bush administration is blackmailing Turkey. Moreover, the US is not to be trusted concerning its relations with the Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and the promises it had made to Turkey that no Kurdish state would be established in the region in post-Saddam period. The US, once it obtains Turkish support for a war against Baghdad and takes control of the entire northern Iraq, will no doubt begin its quest for a puppet Kurdish ‘statelet.’ So, either Turkey helps the US or not, US will not alter its secret agenda on northern Iraq. And Turkey’s support to the US will even speed up the process of the establishment of a Kurdish state. But if Turkey and other regional countries oppose US war plans, they will have a chance to challenge Bush administration’s overall designs for the Middle East.
US’ Turkey policy has always been plagued by grave mistakes. From the very beginning of the relations between the two countries, the US has treated Turkey as if it was not a strategic partner but rather as a country in its backyard.
The Bush administration is all alone vis-ŕ-vis the international community. Powers such as Germany, France, Russia, China and India are dead set against US’ aggressive and illegal policies. Under these circumstances, Turkish Parliament’s rejecting last weekend a proposal, which would have allowed stationing of US troops, strengthened the peace front. Turkey should not get involved in a war against Iraq along side the US if it doesn’t want to be isolated in the world in future.”
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