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Turkish Press Review, 03-03-19
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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
19.03.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SECOND AKP PERIOD BEGINS WITH READING OF PROGRAMYesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan read out the new 59th government’s program in Parliament. Addressing Parliament for one hour and 40 minutes, Erdogan praised the previous AKP government headed by now Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, adding that the new government would continue its predecessor’s work. Regarding the Iraq issue, Erdogan said that his administration would protect Turkey’s interests. On the Cyprus issue, Erdogan stressed that Turkey favored a settlement, but added, “We will not allow any initiative which disregards the Turkish existence on the island.” The prime minister furthermore pledged to prepare a new Constitution expanding the range of freedoms as well as to amend the Political Parties and Elections Law. He said that the government would work to attract international investors and reduce red tape. Pointing to the importance of Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Erdogan said his government sought to carry through the process to its successful conclusion. /All Papers/
 PROPOSAL ON IRAQ TO BE RESUBMITTED TO PARLIAMENTRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Central Board members yesterday made the rounds of party deputies to persuade them to vote for a proposal on Iraq when it comes up again in Parliament. The proposal is expected to be similar to one narrowly voted down earlier this month, which covered such issues as authorizing US troop deployment and jet overflights as well as Turkish soldiers’ role in northern Iraq. After a group parliamentary meeting, Salih Kapusuz, AKP group deputy chairman, said that there was no need for a “group decision” binding deputies regarding the proposal and predicted that there would be no problem approving it. Meanwhile, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced that it would once again stand against the proposal in any vote. CHP leader Deniz Baykal said that his party too would not make a group decision and that its stance would not change. In related news, following the reading out of the government’s program in Parliament, the new Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an extraordinary meeting. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters afterwards that the gathering had discussed the proposal on Iraq, adding that it would be sent to Parliament today or tomorrow. Reportedly, the government is waiting for the results of US presidential envoy Zalmay Halilzad’s contacts in Ankara regarding Turkey’s concerns on northern Iraq, as well as US confirmation of a $6 billion financial support package agreed on previously by both sides. /All Papers/
 DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL MEETS WITH MYERS AND RUMSFELD TO DISCUSS IRAQLess than a day into US President George W. Bush’s 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday flew to Washington to meet with US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to discuss recent developments concerning Iraq. During their talks, Rumsfeld said that the US would provide Turkey with an economic package if its Parliament authorizes the deployment of US troops on Turkish soil. Speaking after the meeting, Gonul said that the talks had been very fruitful. Gonul later reportedly telephoned Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to tell him that the US expected Parliament to pass a comprehensive proposal on preparations for war. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP GOVERNMENT’S IRAQ POLICYSpeaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Iraq policy, charging that it had proved a failure. “The government is being forced by the Bush administration to pass a proposal authorizing US troop deployment in Turkey,” said Baykal. “If the AKP government says that it is obliged to pass the proposals, then it means that its policy has failed.” Baykal stated that the CHP wouldn’t make a group decision on the proposals, adding that he wasn’t sure if the government had taken the measures needed to counter risks Turkey would face during a US-led war against Iraq. Baykal said that Turkey hadn’t gotten sufficient assurances from the US on an economic package offered in return for cooperation on Iraq war preparations. If it got such assurances, he continued, then it would be easier for the government to explain to the nation why Turkey was participating in such an operation. /Aksam/
 POWELL: “TIME FOR $6 BILLION IN CREDIT IS OVER, BUT THE US COULD PROVIDE A NEW PACKAGE”US Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday that a $6 billion economic package from the US to Turkey was no longer on offer, but signalled that a new deal could be reached contingent on Turkey’s cooperation with US war plans. “The $6 billion was linked to a specific [cooperation] package and when that package was not able to move forward, then the $6 billion was... put off to the side,” Powell told reporters. “Now we’ll wait to see what the Turkish government is able to do and what the Parliament is able to do, and then we can respond to what’s on the table or not.” /Milliyet/
 TURKEY’S ROLE IN N. IRAQ, TURKMEN INCLUSION TAKE SPOTLIGHT AT IRAQI KURDISH OPPOSITION MEETINGA two-day meeting of Iraqi Kurdish opposition groups ended yesterday in Ankara. The main issue discussed at the meetings was reportedly the groups’ opposition to Turkey’s plans to send troops into northern Iraq in order to establish a buffer zone and prevent a wave of refugees making their way to Turkey, as happened in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. A delegation chaired by Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ali Tuygan, US President Bush’s Envoy to the Iraqi opposition Zalmay Khalilzad, Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Sanan Ahmet Aga and Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leader Jalal Talabani as well as Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (IKDP) so-called regional government Nechirvan Barzani attended the meetings at the State Guesthouse in Ankara. Turkish officials underlined that Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen groups must have a place in the new political structure in the post-Saddam Hussein era. Both Khalilzad and Aga stressed that Turkmen groups should participate in the new Iraqi political decision- making mechanism. In addition, both the IKDP and the IPUK warned that Turkey’s intervention in the region could result in armed clashes between Turkish and Kurdish troops. Khalilzad also stated that the US was committed to hold back a possible Kurdish rush into the two important cities, namely Mosul and oil-rich Kirkuk. The opposition meetings are to continue today in Ankara with new participants, namely the Iraqi National Congress, Iraqi National Agreement Movement, Constitutional Monarchy Movement and Islamic Revolution Higher Council. /Hurriyet - Cumhuriyet/
 FLEISCHER: “TURKEY SHOULD NOT ENTER NORTHERN IRAQ”The US administration believes that even as war with Iraq appears imminent, the Turkish military should not move its forces into northern Iraq, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said yesterday. Asked by reporters whether the US would allow Turkish troops to push deeper into Iraq than they are positioned now along the buffer zone, Fleischer said, “Our position on this, and this has been made clear to the government of Turkey, is that no outside forces other than those under coalition command should enter Iraq.” /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 CONFLICT OF GOALS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the divergent aims of the US and Turkey in the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We can clearly see a conflict of goals between the US and Turkey. Every military operation has an aim. Considering the Iraq crisis from the standpoints of Turkey and the US, we see that the areas of disagreement are much larger than the areas of overlap in the aims of the two countries.
The US has problems with Iraq’s power, and Turkey has problems with the opposition in Iraq. The US is trying to overthrow the Iraqi regime by cozying up to the Iraqi opposition. However, Turkey is trying to block the opposition in Iraq from coming to power. The US’ target is Saddam Hussein, whereas Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IKDP) head Massoud Barzani is Turkey’s target. While Washington is trying to control Baghdad, Turkey is trying to control northern Iraq. The US is aligning itself with northern Iraq and the Kurdish groups there, but Turkey is against them. Turkey doesn’t support the Saddam administration either, but its main quarrel isn’t with him.
Under such circumstances, a conflict of goals has emerged between the US and Turkey, and this is sowing deep doubts for the future. The recent problems of cooperation between Ankara and Washington spring from this conflict. Can this conflict be overcome? Can an alignment of aims be ensured between the two countries through a memorandum of understanding? And even if it’s set down on paper, what about in practice?
It’s very difficult to answer these questions in the affirmative. The conflict and the dangers inherent in it were key in Ankara’s again presenting to Parliament the proposal on cooperating with the US. When Ankara didn’t make a move in the timeframe expected by the US, Washington put the Kurdish card on the table in order to pressure Turkey. The US declared to the world that Turkey wouldn’t be able to enter northern Iraq and that if it did, the US would move to oppose it. The US also warned that the 50-year-old US-Turkish alliance would be endangered and that there would be an economic and political price to pay.
It was under these conditions that Ankara had to act. The political aims of the US military operation and the Turkish military operation aren’t the same. But for the time being, both sides have to pretend that they are. What’s important is how this façade of harmony plays out in practice.”
 THE GANG BY ERGIN YILDIZOGLU (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Ergin Yildizoglu writes on forces lying behind the imminent war in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows: “The United States has failed to win the UN Security Council’s support for its war plans against Iraq. The US media have put the blame squarely on France. In an essay in the current issue of Time Magazine, Charles Krauthammer, one of the mavens of the ‘hawk’ crowd in Washington, said, ‘France’s issues are not about Iraq. They are about whether the US will run world affairs.’ This is exactly why thousands of Iraqis will lay dead in just a few days. Let’s look at how things got to this point and dig into the ‘candidates’ to rule the world. Many years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the decision to wage a war against Iraq was made at an institution called ‘The Project for the New American Century’, and the details of its decision were published as a report by a special select group. This group included many future members of the current administration, among them Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle, all figures deeply embedded and tied with the military-industrial complex and oil lobbies. According to the report, the preservation of the US’ global hegemony necessitated an overall military campaign in order to strengthen US dominance over the Middle East. However, back then, US citizens were not yet ready for such a project. Only a disaster like Pearl Harbor could have offered an opportunity to embark on that adventure -- and on Sept. 11, history gave the gang just what it had long awaited. And now this gang is preparing to rule the world. Before Rumsfeld joined the ranks of the Bush administration and declared war against ‘the axis of evil,’ he served in 1994 as chairman of a special US congressional committee on the ballistic missile threat. Yet the Swedish firm ABB, which had tried to sell $200 million of nuclear technology to North Korea, also paid him well for attending its board of directors meetings (Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Feb. 17, 2003). Nowadays, Rumsfeld is pressing the US administration to withdraw from the Chemical Weapons Convention as well. Newspapers have reported that the US could use chemical weapons in a war with Iraq and that use of such weapons would a breach of the international agreements (The Independent, March 9, 2003). Moreover, we have learned that one of Iraq’s biggest chemical factories was actually constructed by a British company in 1984. Appearing on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN public policy show ‘Late Edition’, Richard Perle seemed uncomfortable with the criticisms posed towards him, and especially one by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, who charged him with holding a secret meeting with Saudi weapons dealer Adnan Kasikci. Perle branded Hersh a ‘terrorist.’ The Halliburton Company, one of three bidders invited by the Bush administration to upgrade Iraq’s oil production facilities in a project worth fully $1.5 billion, paid Cheney $1 million last year even after he had officially quit the company’s board of directors (The Guardian, March 13, 2003).
What a gang, indeed!”
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