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Turkish Press Review, 03-03-12
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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
12.03.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 GUL RESIGNS, OPENS WAY FOR ERDOGAN TO PM POSTAbdullah Gul, who had held the prime ministry post since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept to power last November, resigned yesterday to open the way for AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become prime minister. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer assigned Erdogan with forming a new government. Erdogan is expected today to submit a Cabinet list to the president. Gul will remain in office until Sezer approves Erdogan’s Cabinet. /All Papers/
 US STILL HOPEFUL FOR TURKEY’S SUPPORTAlthough preparations for a “B plan” are ongoing, the US officials still hope Turkey would allow opening a front in northern Iraq. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday, “We are still hopeful that Turkey will cooperate with us to enter northern Iraq.” “However, in any case, we are continuing our preparations for another plan,” said the spokesman. Stressing that US administration was in a close dialogue with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Boucher said the two sides had agreed on basic points of a package of compromise. /Turkiye/
 US MILITARY BUILDUP IN TURKEY CONTINUESAs part of a US military buildup in southeastern province of Mardin, dispatch of military vehicles and equipment from Iskenderun Harbor, and Incirlik Airbase as well as Mersin continued yesterday. Meanwhile, Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytac Yalman went to Mardin yesterday to inspect developments in Southeastern Anatolia ahead of the looming Iraq war. /All Papers/
 CHP LEADER BAYKAL CRITICIZES US MILITARY ACTIVITIESOpposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that the first parliamentary authorization couldn’t be a legal foundation for military cooperation and that it was only a permission given for the modernization of existing bases. Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said that although a second proposal had been rejected in Parliament, US buildup had increased. The CHP leader stated that he predicted that a secret deal had been signed with the US officials regarding passage of the second proposal to allow US troops to open a northern front in Iraq. “However, it didn’t work as they predicted,” said Baykal. He stated that saying no at this stage would cost less to Turkey, adding that the country might have to pay heavier costs later. /Turkiye/
 ANNAN: “NEGOTIATIONS ON CYPRUS FAILED SINCE BOTH SIDES DIDN’T ACCEPT TO HOLD REFERENDUMS UNTIL MARCH 31”Speaking after the Cyprus Summit in Hague, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday that negotiations on Cyprus failed since the two sides didn’t accept to hold referendums until March 31. He also said that to find a resolution to the Cyprus issue was impossible until April 16, date Greek Cypriot administration would sign the accession agreement with the European Union. Annan stated that the two sides didn’t accept to hold referendums until March 31 and that the negotiations had failed. “We came to the end of the road,” he said, adding that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas had objections to the main points of the revised plan. /Milliyet/
 DENKTAS: “PAPADOPOULOS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT REACHING AN AGREEMENT ON CYPRUS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos was responsible for not reaching an agreement on the Cyprus issue. “Papadopoulos wanted two months for a referendum,” he said. “However, United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan didn’t accept this.” Denktas also said that the Greek Cypriot administration didn’t want a resolution to the Cyprus issue since it would join the European Union no matter what. He stated that it was impossible for him to accept any agreement which would force Turkish Cypriots to migrate. “There is no need for a disaster scenario,” said Denktas. “All we have to do is to trust ourselves and prove that we are right.” In related news, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) yesterday issued a statement and said that Turkey would face some difficulties since Cyprus negotiations failed, adding that Turkey’s national interests should be considered while handling the issue. /Aksam/
 VERHEUGEN: “IN THE ABSENCE OF A SETTLEMENT ON CYPRUS BEFORE MAY 2004, TURKEY WOULD BE AN OCCUPYING FORCE ON EUROPEAN UNION MEMBER SOIL”EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said yesterday that units of Turkish military in Cyprus would be an “occupying force” on European Union member soil if a settlement on the issue couldn’t be reached before May 2004, the date when the Greek Cyprus administration is scheduled to become an EU member. In related news, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul took sharp exception to Verheugen’s statements, saying that they were unfortunate and unacceptable. “Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) presence on the island is legal under an agreement as Turkey is a guarantor state,” stated Gul. “TSK intervened to Cyprus in 1974 to protect Turkish Cypriots from ethnic cleansing by the Greek Cypriots.” /Cumhuriyet/
 US STATE DEPARTMENT UNDERSECRETARY DEWEY VISITS ANKARAArthur Dewey, US State Department assistant secretary for Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, arrived in Ankara yesterday. Dewey told reporters that he came to Turkey alongside a delegation of officials from various departments of the US State Department to hold contacts regarding humanitarian dimensions of a possible war in Iraq. Dewey said that they aimed at preventing migration and working in cooperation with the United Nations. He is scheduled to meet with officials from the Foreign Ministry, the General Staff and the Red Crescent today. /Turkiye/
 SERDENGECTI: “THERE MAY BE SOME DEVIATIONS IN INFLATION TARGET DUE TO A US-LED OPERATION AGAINST IRAQ”Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti said yesterday that it was an extraordinary period for Turkey due to a looming United States-led operation against Iraq. Serdengecti stated that a prospect of a US-led war in Iraq meant that temporary deviations from the falling trend of inflation would be expected. He added, however, that this wouldn’t hinder Turkey’s long-term goal of slashing high prices. Evaluating February inflation, he said that bringing the inflation down depended on continuing to implement the economic program determinedly. “A possible US-led operation against Iraq and an increase in oil prices will cause some deviations in the inflation target,” he stated. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 IS THIS REALLY THE END OF THE ROAD? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Ankara was shocked by EU Commission spokesman’s recent statements on Cyprus. The European Commission warned Turkey that its bid to join the Union could suffer after the failure of UN brokered talks to reunite Cyprus before it joins the EU. Commission spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori told reporters that the EU would go ahead and sign an accession treaty with a divided Cyprus, represented only by the Greek Cypriot government, on April 16 as planned. However such an attitude was not a big surprise for us since past remarks by a number of prominent EU officials including Commissioner for Enlargement Guenther Verheugen had already indicated such a development could occur if the peace talks collapsed.
"The northern Cypriot side is occupied (by Turkey) and the international community never recognized this occupation," said Filori, adding that when Cyprus joins in 2004, Turkey would be illegally "militarily occupying one of our member states." This was a very offensive and disappointing statement. Unfortunately, ff another attempt is not launched towards a permanent solution within two or three weeks, the current situation will worsen, which would impose a heavy burden on the Turkish side.
"Regrettably these (peace) efforts were not a success. We have reached the end of the road," said a statement from Annan. He also announced that the UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto’s office was now being closed.
Is this really the end of the road? As matter of fact, De Soto said that Annan’s plan was still on the table. If both sides decide to reconsider it, the UN is very likely to back another attempt. Can the leaders of the island manage to reach an agreement in such a short period? I think this worth trying. Otherwise, the Turkish side will be in big trouble.
We all know that if peace talks really end, the Turkish Cypriots will be disappointed and the northern part will be divided because of ever- increasing civil opposition. In addition, Turkey will have to face with a number of international institutions such as EU, European Council and European Court of Human Rights. Last but not the least, a great blow will be dealt on bilateral relations between Ankara and Athens. Turkey of course will never give up Cyprus for EU membership. However, this is not a matter only considering Turkey’s relations with the EU. This no-solution situation will lead many countries and international agencies to assume a negative attitude towards Turkey.
Although Annan plan failed to meet the expectations of the Turkish side, it could have really been a lat chance for a permanent solution. As far as the entire Cyprus peace process is concerned, we cannot deny that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has obtained an undeniable opportunity to express its views and wishes. We all wait and see what kind of a policy our new government to be led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pursue on this issue.”
 UNITED NATIONS IN CONFLICT BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the United Nations’ stance concerning the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“A consensus on the Cyprus issue wasn’t reached on the Hague. United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan didn’t go to New York with the plan called with his name and left it on the table. However, he didn’t speak in a hopeful way, either.
The US was incapable of ensuring nine country’s votes for the Security Council. What’s more, it faced France and Russia’s threat of veto. Neither France, nor Russia and People’s Republic of China can burn its bridges with the US. France reached an agreement of $40 billion with Saddam Hussein on the Iraqi oil. The US promises to comply with this agreement in the operation against Iraq. If France had received such a guarantee, it would have sent its battleships to Gulf already in order to support the US. The US will provide neither France nor Britain with broad range of rights in terms of the distribution of Iraqi oil.
This example is enough to show that the UN is being used as an instrument; it’s incapable of being above the countries’ interests and implementing its principles of rights and law. The UN should implement reforms. There are three African countries at the Security Council, consisting of a total of 15 countries. However, such countries as Japan and India aren’t members. Turkey has never been elected a member.
In any case, the US, which is the founder and the basic power of the UN and NATO, is aware of this fact. It’s trying to establish the new world order called Pax Americana. A few of our politicians are aware of this fact.”
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