|Monday, 25 May 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-03-11
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 PRIME MINISTER GUL TO RESIGN TODAYThe 58th Cabinet had its last meeting yesterday. Following the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener told reporters that the Cabinet’s performance during three-and-a-half month period was evaluated at the meeting. Sener stated that Prime Minister Abdullah Gul thanked ministers for their work. Stressing that the 58th government dealt with very important issues in foreign policy, including the developments in Turkey’s EU accession, the Cyprus issue and a possible US intervention to Iraq, Sener said that the government was successful. Meanwhile, Gul paid a congratulatory visit to ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his accomplishment at Siirt by-elections on Sunday. Gul said that he would present his resignation to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer after Erdogan takes oath in Parliament, and thus he would open ways for the establishment of a new government. /All Papers/
 BUSH PHONES ERDOGAN TO BOTH CONGRATULATE AND CAUTION HIMUS President George W. Bush yesterday phoned ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and congratulated him for being selected as a deputy at recent by-elections. Bush also cautioned Erdogan stressing the time was running out for Iraq. Emphasizing the strategic partnership between Turkey and the US, Bush remarked that he expected Turkey to make its decision as soon as possible. For his part, Erdogan reportedly requested Bush not to put pressure on Turkey about timing since the country is busy with forming a new government, which is a quite serious matter. “All legal procedures should be completed,” said Erdogan. “We also need to see what will UN Security Council decide on the Iraq crisis.” Erdogan yesterday made phone conversation also with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European Parliament Chairman Pat Cox. These prominent figures phoned Erdogan to congratulate him. Annan and Simitis reportedly told Erdogan that they expected him to contribute to the Cyprus Peace Process. /Hurriyet/
 US TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED AT NINE BASESUnder an agreement between Turkey and the US, US troops will be deployed at nine bases in southeastern Anatolia, including Mardin Kiziltepe, Dicle, Oyali, Nusaybin, Gaziantep, Oguzeli, Birecik, Sanliurfa and Viransehir. US teams have completed renting and buying processes of certain places and buildings to be used. Some 40,000 US soldiers are expected to be stationed on the bases. /Turkiye/
 US IS HOPEFUL ABOUT A SECOND PROPOSALAppearing on US NBC, US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated since a new government was about to be formed in Turkey after ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected as a deputy, he believed that Turkey was determined to present a new proposal to the Parliament, authorizing US troops to be stationed at Turkey’s military facilities. Powel remarked that US appreciated Turkey’s support although there were an important number of people opposing an Iraq war in the country. “I know that Turks are trying to form a new government now,” said Powell. “ I’m sure that new government is to prepare a new proposal to be presented to the Parliament which would authorize our troops to be stationed at Turkey’s bases and ports.” /Cumhuriyet/
 ANNAN: “THE TRNC AND GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION SHOULD CONTINUE TO NEGOTIATE UN CYPRUS PLAN UNTIL MARCH 28”United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday separately met with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos at the Cyprus summit held in Hague. During the meetings, both the TRNC president and Greek Cypriot leader stated that it was impossible to hold referendum until March 28 and they proposed some changes to the plan. During the Cyprus summit, Annan said that the leaders should continue to negotiate the revised Cyprus plan until March 28. He stated that guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and Britain should reach an agreement before March 31 adding that the TRNC and Greek Cypriot administration should hold separate referendums on the revised Cyprus plan until April 6. After meeting with Annan, Denktas and Papadopoulos said that they would also consider the view of Turkish and Greek Cypriot administrations on the proposed new date, March 28. /Milliyet/
 BABACAN: “TURKEY WILL BE COMMITTED TO ITS ECONOMIC PROGRAM WITH OR WITHOUT US ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE”State Minister for Treasury Ali Babacan yesterday stated that the government did not base its future economic plans on a US aid which is likely to be released in return for Turkey’s support to the US Army during a possible Iraq war. “Turkey will pursue its economic program with or without US financial assistance,” said Babacan. He stressed that if Turkey failed to continue its economic program with great determination, the US aid to be accepted, either grant or loan, would also be wasted. /Sabah/
 WB TURKEY DIRECTOR CRITICIZES THE AKP’S 2003 BUDGETWorld Bank’s Turkey Director Ajay Chibber yesterday criticized the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 2003 budget which was appreciated by the International Monetary Fund. Chibber said that if the AKP government didn’t make any changes to the current budget, then the WB would stop providing Turkey with $1.4 billion. “This budget protects rich people against poor,” he said. “The budget will negatively affect Turkish farmers and middle class. It is difficult for the WB to provide Turkey with $1.4 billion credit unless it makes some changes to the budget.” Chibber added that the budget would hinder Turkey’s growth since it supported the ones who didn’t pay taxes. In related news, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener yesterday said that the AKP government had presented the budget to Parliament and that it wouldn’t make any changes to it. /Aksam/
 IMF: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO IMPLEMENT AGREED POLICIES STRICTLY TO ACHIEVE ITS ECONOMIC GOALS”International Monetary Fund yesterday issued a statement just after World Bank’s Turkey Director Ajay Chibber’s criticisms to the budget and said that Turkey’s Parliament should accept the 2003 budget. “To achieve its economic goals, the government needs to implement the agreed policies strictly,” IMF noted in its statement. “The passage of 2003 budget, measures on direct tax reform, 6.5% primary surplus target, resolution of redundant positions in state enterprises, and privatization carry great importance for the IMF.”
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 IRAQ IS REAL BARGAINING BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the bargaining between Turkey and the US concerning the Iraq crisis. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The latest problem concerning Turkey and the US’ bargaining on proposal is about whether Turkey will enter the international civilian administration to be established by the US in Baghdad in the post-Saddam period or not. Ankara stated Washington that if the proposal is approved by Parliament, it certainly would request to be included in the international administration, which will be established in Baghdad and which will serve for two years. The US doesn’t welcome this idea warmly. It prefers Turkey’s role to be limited with northern Iraq. The US briefed Ankara on the ‘timetable of interim administration’ to be established in Iraq following the operation, which is as follows: * Initially, the martial law will be declared in the entire country. A US general will undertake the administration in Baghdad. * The US military administration in Iraq will leave its place to the international civilian administration. Only all the countries which support the US in the operation ‘actively’ will be included in this administration. * The daily work in the country will be carried out by the Kurdish local administrations in the north and Shih local administrations in the south. * First of all, the international administration will appoint an ‘Advisory Council,’ in which the current groups in Iraq will be included. Ankara requests that besides Shih, Sunni Arabian people and Kurds, Turkmens should be represented in the council as well. * The international civilian administration will enact the citizenship law. Thus, there will be a possibility of returning the country for all the Iraqi people, who escaped Saddam Hussein’s oppression. At this point, Ankara will encourage Turkmens abroad to return Iraq. * Advisory Council and the international civilian administration will establish a ‘judicial committee’ together. This committee will be mostly formed by Iraqi jurists. It will write down the new constitution. * A referendum will be held on Constitution to determine the country’s method of administration. * Firstly, local elections will be held and the municipalities will be determined. * Secondly, general elections will be held and deputies will be elected. The international civilian administration will start to turn over its authorities to the elected Iraqi people.”
 SIIRT BY-ELECTION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Sunday’s by-election in Siirt which opened the way for Erdogan to become prime minister. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Who would have thought that Siirt, a small province in southeastern Turkey, would one day become the focus of the world’s attention and play a crucial role on future course of the Iraq issue, thus on US President Bush’s decision making processes?
Repercussions Sunday’s by-election in Siirt has made in foreign media and certain diplomatic circles are two-fold. The first one is on Turkish democracy. Accordingly, it is emphasized that the by-election contributed to the consolidation of political system in Turkey and normalization of the relations between the Turkish military and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
For example, BBC’s Middle East expert Roger Harding makes the following important evaluation: ‘If there is a country in the world to prove that democracy and Islam could live together peacefully, that country can be only Turkey. In Turkey, an Islam-based party has shown that it could come to power through elections and govern a modern, democratic and secular country. If the AKP passes this test, it will confirm that democracy and Islam can get on well, and Turkey will become a model for Muslim world…’
The real reason why the world was focused on Siirt by-election is the wonder concerning AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s, who is expected to become prime minister soon, stance on the Iraq and Cyprus issues. In this sense, Americans, Europeans, Arabs and everyone else are curios about a number of points: Will the new government introduce a new proposal that would allow deployment of US troops? If it has such an intention, when will it do it, and will it put forward other conditions to do so? Moreover, how will Erdogan’s position on the Cyprus issue affect the new government’s policy on Cyprus? Could we expect a change? On the Iraq issue, foreign media and diplomatic circles believe that Erdogan government will submit a second US troop proposal. But before doing so it will wait for UN resolution to be taken on March 17, and see US’ reaction over Turkey’s recent demands over negotiations. Yesterday’s Washington Post said that Turkey will make its final decision on March 19, however that it’s uncertain that Bush administration could wait that long. Apparently, Washington’s war schedule doesn’t conform to Turkey’s concerns.
On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urges the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides for quick move on the Cyprus issue. Both the UN and the EU’s expectations are that Erdogan government will make further steps concerning the question. But, Erdogan recent statements have indicated that he won’t make any hasty decision on Cyprus.”
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