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Turkish Press Review, 03-03-13
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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
13.03.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER RECEIVES IRANIAN OFFICIAL NABAVIPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday received Behzad Nabavi, Iranian President Muhammad Hatemi’s special representative as well as first deputy chairman of the Iranian Islamic Consultation Assembly. Nabavi reportedly told Sezer Iran’s concerns about the Iraq crisis. Conveying a message from Hatemi to Sezer, Nabavi stressed that Iran opposed a possible US-led military operation in Iraq and did not want to experience similar negative developments again as in the 1991 Gulf War. He also stressed that any military intervention which would destroy Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity would bring about extremely adverse results not only for the region but also for the whole world. Nabavi then met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and reiterated that especially Iran and Turkey would suffer great economic losses due to a war in the region. /Cumhuriyet/
 AK PARTY LEADER ERDOGAN TO PREPARE NEW CABINET LISTRuling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working on a new Cabinet list. Erdogan, designated to set up the new government by the president on Tuesday, is expected to present the Cabinet list to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer tomorrow or on Saturday at latest. He will reportedly have alternative names for Cabinet members if the president asks for any change. Erdogan is planning to reduce the number of ministers and replace certain ministers of the current 58th government with new ones. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY CONDEMNS ASSASSINATION OF SERBIAN PRIME MINISTERTurkish Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a statement and condemned assassination of reformist Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and offered condolences to people of Serbia-Montenegro. “We condemn this terrorist attack which killed Djindjic, who had positively contributed to peace and stability not only in his country, but also in the region,” the statement noted. The statement also remarked that Turkey hoped assassination of the prime minister would have no negative impact on peace and stability in the country and region. /Milliyet/
 DENKTAS: “VERHEUGEN’S STATEMENTS HINDER A RESOLUTION IN CYPRUS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday criticized European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen who had said that the Greek Cyprus would join the Union whether an agreement is reached on the island or not. “Verheugen’s words hinder a resolution on the island,” he said. “Verheugen is not the one to decide Turkey’s joining the EU. He’s only a bureaucrat of the Union.” /Milliyet/
 ECHR FINDS OCALAN’S TRIAL UNFAIRThe European Court of Human Rights yesterday announced that trial of head of the terrorist PKK Abdullah Ocalan was unfair. The court stated that Turkey had violated Articles 3,5 and 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights about right to a fair trial, detention period and maltreatment during trial of Ocalan. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said the court’s decision was not “well-grounded” as it did not take into consideration the reforms carried out in Turkey and the Turkish side’s arguments and announced it will appeal the ruling at the court’s Grand Chamber. Both sides have three months to lodge an appeal. Ocalan was snatched by Turkish commandos in Kenya in 1999 and flown to Turkey, which blames him for leading a 15-year separatist campaign against Turkey that left more than 30,000 people dead. Since his trial, Ocalan has been the only inmate on the prison island of Imrali. At his trial in 1999, Ocalan was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life in prison last year when Turkey abolished capital punishment, but an appeal by opponents of him is pending in a Turkish court against that ruling. Regarding the ECHR’s decision, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday, “The real reason of bringing the trial of Ocalan onto ECHR’s agenda is to carry the issue from judicial grounds to political.” Stressing that Turkey had exerted every kind of efforts for a fair trail, Cicek said that re-trail of Ocalan was legally impossible. In related news, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis said, “Even if Ocalan is tried again, he will be sentenced to same punishment.” Remarking that Ocalan had caused the killing of thousands of people, Yakis added, “This reality won’t change under any condition.” /All Papers/
 BELGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER TO PAY A VISIT TO ANKARA TODAYBelgian Defense Minister Andre Flahaut is expected to pay an official visit to Ankara today. Sources stated that Flahaut is to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul or Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is currently responsible for forming a new government, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI TURKMEN FRONT TURKEY REPRESENTATIVE ZIYA: “THE US AND TURKEY ENSURE THAT TURKMEN GROUPS WILL BE PROTECTED”Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representative Mustafa Ziya yesterday stated that the United States and Turkey guaranteed that Iraqi ethnic Turkmen groups would be protected during a possible war in the region. He said that the Turkmen Front recently sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, stressing that Turkmen are under great risk and need to be protected. /Cumhuriyet/
 WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FLEISCHER: “WE CONTINUE TO WAIT TO HEAR FROM TURKISH OFFICIALS”White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer yesterday said, “The situation in Turkey remains pending. We continue to wait to hear from Turkish officials about any actions they may be able to take.” Responding to a question whether he expected the Turkish Parliament to reconsider the issue, Fleischer stated that “it remained a matter for Turkish officials to settle on, decide, and to move forward with.” /Cumhuriyet/
 IPUK OFFICIALS BELIEVE TURKEY SHOULD NOT ENTER NORTHERN IRAQ ALONEIraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani spoke to the Italian daily La Repubblica stating that Turkish troops should immediately leave Iraq after Saddam Hussein is toppled. “Turkey cannot enter Iraq alone,” said Talabani. “Turkish troops to be stationed in northern Iraq will be limited in number and accompanied by the US troops. Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal recently guaranteed that Turkish troops would enter the region to provide Iraqi refugees with humanitarian aid.” /Sabah/
 US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN BOUCHER CRITICIZES DENKTAS FOR THE FAILURE OF UN-BACKED PEACE TALKSUS State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday stated that the US was deeply disappointed that the Secretary General's discussions with the two leaders in The Hague did not result in an agreement to put his plan to referenda in both communities. “The United States has long supported the efforts of the Secretary General, of his initiative to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. We applaud the commitment and the creativity, which the Secretary General and his Special Advisor, Mr. Alvaro De Soto, brought to this effort. Despite the setback, we remain committed to seeking a just and a durable settlement to the Cyprus problem. Annan has asked De Soto to prepare a detailed report to the Security Council. So the Security Council, we would expect, will address the outcome, consider the Secretary General's recommendations on the conduct of the mission at that time,” added Boucher. He criticized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and stated that the US found it very regrettable that Denktas denied Turkish Cypriots the opportunity to determine their own future and to vote on such a fundamental issue. /Cumhuriyet/
 SERDENGECTI: “CRITICISMS AGAINST THE IMF ARE UNFAIR”Speaking at a meeting of Gaziantep Young Businessmen Association (GAGIAD) yesterday, Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti said that critisms against the International Monetary Fund was unfair. “We should be realistic and admit that we are responsible for Turkey’s economic problems not the IMF. We invited the IMF to our country,” said Serdengecti. “It is vital for the markets to believe that the reforms would continue.” Serdengecti stated that the current economic program had no alternative, adding that Turkey had no other chance to bring down its high inflation and public sector debt stock. “Turkey is at the beginning of its struggle against inflation,” he said. “However, there is no sufficient conscious against inflation in Turkey. Struggle against inflation requires social consensus.” Serdengecti added that Turkey had to achieve single-figure inflation. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 LET’S DO SOMETHING NECESSARY BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkey’s stance concerning the Cyprus issue and the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Is this the end of the road in terms of the Cyprus issue? Considering the decision made by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, one can say that this is the end of the road. Just after Annan, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen delivered an ultimatum, stating, ‘If the problem cannot be solved until May 1, 2004, in which the Cypriot Republic [actually he means Southern Cyprus] will be an EU member, and there are still the Turkish soldiers, Turkey would be occupying the EU land and of course this would effect Turkey’s EU membership [negatively].’ He didn’t say these sentences word by word but this was his message. As you see, they don’t seem to have heard about each other.
There is also the Iraq crisis. The US has already made up his mind to attack Iraq. We should either support it or be opposed to it. However, we have been putting the US off for months. I would like Turkey say no to it. However, as Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok said, ‘if we are in a situation to chose lesser of two evils,’ why are we prolonging it? Even Saudi Arabia assumed an attitude clearly at the beginning. It just said to the US, ‘I wouldn’t permit the deployment of the US soldiers into my land but you can use the existing bases.’ Jordan did the same thing as well. It informed the US on the things it would permit and oppose. Then the US made its calculations according to it. Only Turkey pretends that it will help the US but when it comes to make a decision, it doesn’t act in an consistent way. If Turkey wants to burden the responsibility, it would say yes and wouldn’t put itself into the situation of an unreliable country.
If there hadn’t been an interaction between the EU and the United Nations, both Europe and Annan would have waited for years more for the Cyprus issue. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves. We are preparing a very bad future for ourselves with these notes of unreliability.”
 A BAD SCENARIO BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on recent developments concerning the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Ankara has suddenly realized that its worst nightmare may come true: ‘Being dragged into conflict with the European Union over Cyprus and with the United States over the Iraq crisis.” And just think of the political, economic and even social wounds such a possibility could inflict on our country. As Abdullah Gul has rightfully said, “economy is an Achilles’ heel for us.” Even in the long run, our economic development could be gravely affected. And of course, as the solution to ethnic problems hinges on economic prosperity such a bad scenario could hurt political stability and domestic peace.
Alongside the Iraq issue comes the Kurdish question. Do you really think that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was completely impartial in its recent ruling that Abdullah Ocalan, head of the terrorist organization PKK_KADEK, did not get a ‘fair’ trial in the Ankara State Security Court, as the court had not been an ‘independent and impartial tribunal’? No! Just the opposite! Politics and prejudices have played a key role in ECHR’s decision.
Turkey’s strategic key role in the international affairs is obvious. But unfortunately it doesn’t fit into every lock. Isn’t the US which desperately needs Turkey on its side for a war against Iraq? Yet, US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher has put the blame on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Denktas and the Turkish side for the Cyprus issue had entered to dead end.
France and Germany, which are dead set against the US in its war plans in Iraq, have appreciated Turkish Parliament’s rejection of a proposal that would have allowed deployment of US troops in Turkey, haven’t they? But EU Commission spokesman Jean-Christophe Filoi, on behalf of EU’s German Commissioner Verheugen, blamed Denktas and said that Turkey would not be an EU member. Moreover, he charged that units of Turkish military on Cyprus would be an ‘occupying force’. For long years the EU, UN and the US have acted concertedly on Cyprus issue and isolated the TRNC and Turkey in the international scene. Is it a completely unprecedented situation which we face now? On Dec. 15 Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis warned us that if no settlement was reached EU could consider Turkey occupying an EU member soil.
Surely, Denktas is a national hero. The island would have already been Helenized had the Turkish Cypriots lacked a leader like Denktas backed by Turkey’s political, military and economic support. Yet Denktas fails to show the necessary flexibility at times when it is crucial for a settlement on the issue. How will then the TRNC preserve its society when the Greek Cyprus administration will enter the EU and begin giving passports to Turkish Cypriots? What will Turkey do when Greek Cyprus administration will become EU’s term president?
State of the Turkish economy is obvious. Imagine moreover that Turkey gets at odds with the EU and the US! This is the bad scenario which I’m deeply concerned about.”
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