|Monday, 25 May 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-03-14
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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
 SEZER APPROVES CONSUMER LAWPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved Consumer Law and send it to Prime Ministry to be published. According to this law, moratory interest rates of consumer credit cards were limited by 30% of interest rates of the agreement. The rate would be 50% for the past debts. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TO PRESENT CABINET LIST TO PRESIDENT TODAYRuling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was designated to set up a new government by the president at the beginning of this week reportedly prepared his final list of cabinet. Erdogan is expected to present the list today to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for his approval. /Turkiye/
 GERMAN FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER RUEHE: “TURKEY SHOULD BE AN EU MEMBER”An international symposium, entitled “New security measures in the world and Turkey” was held at the War Academy in Istanbul yesterday. Present at the meeting were many distinguished guests and high-level military officials. Speaking at the meeting, German Former Defense Minister Volker Ruehe said that in order to fight with terrorism, Christian and Muslim dialogue should be developed. “If Turkey, a liberal, secular and democratic country, becomes a European Union member, it will greatly contribute to this development.” /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: “OCALAN’S TRIAL WAS FAIR“Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that head of the terrorist organization PKK Abdullah Ocalan’s trial was fair. “There is no doubt about his trial according to Turkey’s law and public conscience. Deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir said that it was impossible to judge Ocalan again. “Ocalan applied to European Human Rights Court before so we can’t judge him again,” he said. /Milliyet/
 WASHINGTON OFFICIALLY ASKS ANKARA FOR OVER FLIGHT PERMISSION, USE OF SEVERAL TURKISH MILITARY AIRBASESAhead of a possible US-led military campaign against Iraq, the Bush administration officially asked Ankara yesterday to open Turkish airspace to US planes for airlifting troops and war materiel into northern Iraq. Washington’s over flight request was conveyed by Robert Pearson, US ambassador to Ankara, during his meeting with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is set to formally take PM post soon. Pearson also presented Erdogan a letter from US President George W. Bush which reportedly requested US use of military airbases in the southeastern Turkish provinces of Mus, Batman and Diyarbakir to launch air strikes on Iraq. Following the meeting, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok and Erdogan gathered to discuss Washington’s requests. In related news, US Vice President Dick Cheney phoned Erdogan reportedly urging him to introduce a motion to Parliament which would allow deployment of US troops in Turkey for a possible northern offensive into Iraq, and told Erdogan that Turkey should not intervene in northern Iraq single-handedly. /All Papers/
 CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CLOSES DOWN PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY PARTY (HADEP)The Constitutional Court yesterday ruled to close down People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) and banned 46 members of the party from politics for five years, ordering the confiscation of HADEP’s assets. Justice Mustafa Bumin said the party had aided PKK, a terrorist organization which claimed more than 30,000 lives in the 15-year terrorist campaign in southeast Turkey, and had engaged in activities that threatened the unity of the country. “All evidence proves that they committed this crime with their activities,” Bumin told reporters as he announced the unanimous ruling. Meanwhile, High Court of Appeals Republican Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu petitioned the Constitutional Court to ban Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP), a party publicly known as a successor to HADEP, as well. /All Papers/
 ANAKARA WARNS BARZANI TO ABANDON HIS ANTI-TURKEY ATTITUDE OVER NORTHERN IRAQTurkish Foreign Ministry warned Massoud Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP), to abandon his anti-Turkey attitude over the northern Iraq issue. Meeting with IKDP’s Representative in Ankara, Sefin Dizayi yesterday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc said that the IKDP should give up promoting anti-Turkish ambitions in northern Iraq and coopearte with Ankara for the well-being of all the Iraqi people. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALABANI: “WE ARE OPPOSED TO TURKEY’S INTERVENTION IN IRAQ SINCE WE DON’T WANT TO FIGHT AGAINST TURKISH TROOPS”Iraqi Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani said yesterday that they didn’t want to invade Mosul and Kirkuk or fight against Iraqi troops. Talabani stated that his policy was only to protect security of the region controlled by Kurds. “We consider ourselves as partners of the US,” he said. “We are opposed to Turkey’s intervention in northern Iraq since we don’t want to fight against Turkish troops.” /Aksam/
 TURKISH-EU PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE CONVENESThe Turkish-European Union Partnership Committee meeting in Brussels ended yesterday. Turkey’s EU harmonization process and Partnership Council April 14 meeting’s agenda were discussed at the meeting. /Turkiye/
 FINANCE MINISTER UNAKITAN CRITICIZES MOODY’S STATEMENTS ON TURKISH BANKSFinace Minister Kemal Unakitan yesterday met with Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) Chairman Zafer Caglayan. During their talks, Unakitan criticized International rating agency Moody’s, which said that Turkish banking system was fragile. “Don’t take such words into consideration, but realities,” he said. Caglayan said that Turkish businessmen had difficulties because of Job Security Bill. After their meeting, Unakitan issued a written statement on budget. The statement noted that Turkey’s primary surplus reached TL 2 quadrillion in February. “Non-interest budget expenditure was at TL 4,261 trillion, in compliance with program goals,” remarked the statement. “Total budget expenditures are at TL 14,208 trillion, tax revenues at TL 11,573 trillion in the first two months.” The expenditures were reported at TL 20,922 trillion, non-interest expenditures at TL 9,947 trillion and budget deficit at TL 6,714 trillion and primary fiscal surplus at TL 4,261 trillion. The statement remarked that primary fiscal surplus continued its positive trend in February as well as in January. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WRITTEN REPORTS OF THE 1991 GULF WAR BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak comments on Turkey’s stance on the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc did the right thing by recently disclosing written reports of the 1991 Gulf War. When we look at these reports we see that similar parliamentary discussions were held in 1990 when Iraq occupied Kuwait. At that time, Turgut Ozal was the president and opposition leaders were Erdal Inonu and Suleyman Demirel. The opposition tried hard to curb Ozal’s ambition to join the Gulf War.
‘Let’s recall the devastating results of the World War I for our country!,” said Inonu. “We joined that war with our good intentions. However the results were not good. Today, I see similar developments. People assume that when we attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein regime, new regime will be an ally to Turkey. However, these assumptions are very likely to fail. We can’t risk our soldiers, our sons for such an unclear scenario. Meanwhile, Suleyman Demirel also stressed that Turkey should not allow its soldiers to die in northern Iraq.
It seems that Saddam Hussein will not give up easily. What happens if this war turns out to be another Vietnam War? Let me put it this way, Turkey should never send its soldiers abroad!
As a matter of fact, we don’t know what the United Nations Security Council will decide on the issue. We can’t make any final decision without waiting another UN Resolution! Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members should recall the past developments and take these facts into consideration!”
 ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENT WITH EU BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the Accession Partnership Document to be announced by the European Union Commission. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Ankara’s uneasiness concerning the Iraq crisis doubled with the European Union Commission’s statement on Cyprus. Now the government, which has been dealing with the proposal on Iraq, has to struggle with an urgent EU problem. What’s more, this statement is much more beyond the Commission’s statement, reporting, ‘Greek Cypriots will be an EU member in April on behalf of the entire island and then Turkey would be in the situation of an occupier.’ The EU, which will accept ten new members including the Greek Cypriots in April, is working on the Turkey issue as well. April 14 is an important date in terms of the Turkish-EU relations. The new Accession Partnership Document, consisting of the conditions of giving Turkey the date of membership negotiations, will be announced at the Partnership Council. Ankara has already been briefed on the content of the new Accession Partnership Document, which is also a road map towards the negotiations. The issues that the EU isn’t pleased concerning the situation in Turkey are in the following categories:
The army’s place in the politics: It seems that new Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have problems with this issue the most because the EU document will emphasize that the changes to be made within the National Security Council’s (NSC) structure will be on the surface. It will put forward that the effect of the military on the NSC is exorbitant and that the number of civilian members within the Council won’t change it. It will state that Turkey has to change NSC’s function, following its structure.
Freedom of expression: The EU Accession Partnership Document will emphasize that Turkey didn’t implement the reforms, but only prepared them theoretically.
Torture and bad treatment: In spite of the government’s declarations in the opposite direction, the document will state that the torture and bad treatment continues in Turkey, which is incapable of reaching the western standards.
Religious freedoms: The EU document will put forward the necessity of reforming the situation of non-Moslems, who were given the status of minority with the Lausanne Treatment. The EU diplomats also emphasize that Turkey should make changes in the structure and functioning of Religious Affairs Chairmanship.
It will be Turkey’s turn after the Accession Partnership Document is declared. Then Turkey will have to prepare a National Programme to reply the conditions of the EU. It seems Turkey will face rather interesting discussions. We will see if the National Programme to be prepared by the government chaired by Mr. Erdogan will satisfy the EU, or other circles?”
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