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Turkish Press Review, 03-03-28

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

28.03.2003

FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [02] BAYKAL: “EACH DAY OF THE WAR THE US LOSES MORE SUPPORT AND BECOMES MORE ISOLATED”
  • [03] POWELL: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY SHOULD BE ABLE TO WEATHER A SHORT IRAQ WAR”
  • [04] SPAIN CONDITIONALLY PLEDGES $5 MLN IN AID TO TURKEY
  • [05] RUMSFELD: “US TROOPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ WILL ACT AS SAFEGUARD AGAINST A KURDISH STATE BEING FOUNDED IN THE REGION”
  • [06] IRANIAN FM HARRAZI: “TURKEY, IRAN AND SYRIA SHOULD WORK TOGETHER TO DEAL WITH THE KURDISH ISSUE”
  • [07] TOP TURKISH BUSINESSMEN MEET WITH US DIPLOMATS IN ISTANBUL
  • [08] TOBB: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN WOULD DO NOTHING TO MEET THE TRNC’S NEEDS”
  • [09] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [10] THE FUTURE OF TURKISH-US TIES MUST BE CONSIDERED BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [11] CRITICAL TURNING POINT FOR THE EU BY FERAI TINC (HÜRRÝYET)

  • [01] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY

    The National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to convene today at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the gathering for the first time. During the meeting, the Iraq war and related recent developments are expected to be discussed. /All Papers/

    [02] BAYKAL: “EACH DAY OF THE WAR THE US LOSES MORE SUPPORT AND BECOMES MORE ISOLATED”

    With each passing day of the week-old Iraqi war the US is growing more isolated and losing more of the world’s support, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal told Sky Turk television yesterday. “This war is illegal,” charged Baykal, adding that it was difficult to believe US pledges that it would protect Iraq’s territorial integrity. /Aksam/

    [03] POWELL: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY SHOULD BE ABLE TO WEATHER A SHORT IRAQ WAR”

    Turkey’s economy should be able to weather the Iraq war without suffering great damage if the conflict doesn’t stretch out and if a refugee crisis is successfully avoided, US Secretary of State Colin Powell predicted yesterday. Speaking before the US Congress, Powell pointed out that Turkey had lost tens of millions of dollars due to the 1991 Gulf War, adding that it was seeking economic support now due to the current conflict. “However, if the war doesn’t last very long, this time the impact on Turkey’s economy shouldn’t be large,” he said. “We can also prevent a refugee crisis this time. After Saddam’s regime is toppled, we should see stability, economic prosperity and more trade in the region.” Asked about $1 billion in loans proposed to Turkey in a new supplemental US budget, Powell said that the Bush administration was resolved to help Turkey’s economy whether it supported the Iraq war or not. The mere fact that Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government submitted a proposal to Parliament on US troop deployment despite overwhelming public opinion opposition -- a proposal that was ultimately voted down -- proves that Turkey is a “good friend” to the US, remarked Powell. He reiterated, however, that Parliament’s rejection of the proposal had taken the US’ previous offer of $6 billion in aid to Turkey off the table. “That figure is no longer an option,” stated Powell. “However, the US is still pleased with the Parliament’s authorizing overflights through Turkish airspace.” /Hurriyet/

    [04] SPAIN CONDITIONALLY PLEDGES $5 MLN IN AID TO TURKEY

    Spain’s Foreign Minister Anna Palacio paid an official visit to Turkey yesterday and met with her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. During their meeting, Palacio stressed that Spain would extend $5 million in loans to each of Iraq’s neighboring countries, including Turkey, for use in averting a refugee crisis. However, the Spanish foreign minister added that the loan was conditional on Turkey not sending its troops into northern Iraq. Reiterating that defense support sent to Turkey by its fellow NATO members would be subject to withdrawal if Turkey intervenes in northern Iraq, Palacio added that such a move might also harm Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Palacio then met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where the two discussed the Iraq war and Turkish-EU relations. /Turkiye/

    [05] RUMSFELD: “US TROOPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ WILL ACT AS SAFEGUARD AGAINST A KURDISH STATE BEING FOUNDED IN THE REGION”

    Recent US troop deployment in northern Iraq will serve as a safeguard against the establishment of a Kurdish state there, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday. “Our presence in the region will prevent Iraqi forces from setting [the Kirkuk and Mosul] oil fields on fire and will also enable us to work closer with Iraqi Kurds,” Rumsfeld told the US Senate Appropriations Committee. Some 1,000 US paratroopers parachuted into northern Iraq on Wednesday after flying over Turkish airspace from their base in Aviano, Italy. /Turkiye/

    [06] IRANIAN FM HARRAZI: “TURKEY, IRAN AND SYRIA SHOULD WORK TOGETHER TO DEAL WITH THE KURDISH ISSUE”

    Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Harrazi told his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul during a recent phone call that Turkey, Iran and Syria should act together to deal with the Kurdish issue, diplomatic sources said yesterday. According to the sources, Harrazi told of his concerns about a possible flood of Iraqi refugees towards Iran’s borders. All three countries are opposed to the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq out of fear such a development could lead to turmoil within their own territories. For his part, Gul reiterated that Turkey wanted to enter the region in order to provide the Iraqi refugees with humanitarian aid. Gul and Harrazi reportedly agreed that Turkey and Iran should deal cautiously with possible unexpected developments in northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] TOP TURKISH BUSINESSMEN MEET WITH US DIPLOMATS IN ISTANBUL

    Several prominent Turkish businessmen yesterday held a five-hour meeting with US diplomats in Istanbul. Among the meeting’s participants were Dogan Group Chairman Aydin Dogan, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan, Koc Group Chairman Rahmi Koc and the Sabanci Group’s Omer Sabanci along with a number of diplomats from Istanbul’s US Consulate. The businessmen and diplomats reportedly discussed such significant issues as US-Turkish cooperation in postwar Iraq as well as Turkey’s economic problems. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] TOBB: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN WOULD DO NOTHING TO MEET THE TRNC’S NEEDS”

    The United Nations’ latest Cyprus plan would do nothing to meet the needs of the island’s Turks or to bridge inequalities between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration, charged a new report issued yesterday by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). “The plan would render the Turkish Cypriots impoverished and rob them of their ability to complete,” added the report. /Aksam/

    [09] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [10] THE FUTURE OF TURKISH-US TIES MUST BE CONSIDERED BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the current state and possible future of Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Not only administrative circles in the US, but also institutions which draw up strategy are abuzz about the current crisis between Turkey and the US over Iraq. Since the latest developments damaged the two countries’ ‘strategic partnership’ and seriously shook their mutual confidence, circles which follow Turkey closely are asking what the US did wrong and what steps are needed to put smooth relations back on track. Certain think- tanks have started to look into such important questions and even prepare reports on the issue.

    Turkey too, needs to think along these lines. Obviously such public institutions as the Foreign Ministry and the Office of General Staff are already doing so. However, it would be very beneficial if foreign policy think-tanks and experts were also to look into this issue to produce opinions and strategies. The ongoing Iraq war is still drawing varied reactions in both countries. However, we should ask this question as well: When the war ends, which it will sooner or later, will Turkey write off the US? Don’t Turkey’s vital interests require it to solve its problems with the US? If these relations are important, Turkey should determine why the strategic partnership went sour, what mistakes were made and how ties can be repaired in the post-war period, just as the US is doing.

    Let’s look at an example of how the US is already doing this. Yesterday I had the chance to look at a report prepared by former US Ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris, who is currently overseeing a Turkish research program at the Washington Institute. The report has two chapters. The first gives a brief history of Turkish-US relations and the reasons behind the crisis surrounding Iraq. The second deals with possible postwar developments and new policies which may emerge in that period. According to Parris, the US can’t afford to ignore Turkey. However, the latest developments demonstrate that neither side can take these relations for granted, and so a new Turkish-US agenda is necessary. Iraq might be at the top of this agenda, because new situations following the war could create opportunities for revitalizing our ties. However, certain problems might come up as well. In Parris’ words, ‘The US-Turkish agenda will differ from the classical strategic partnership… Both sides will have to understand the needs of each other in a better way.’

    At a time when the Turkish public is greatly angry over the US attack of Iraq, it might seem untimely and inopportune to talk now about the future of Turkish-US relations. However, as I mentioned above, Turkey would do well to think about and discuss its future relations with the US by taking into consideration the role it wants to play in the postwar era. And it should do so now.”

    [11] CRITICAL TURNING POINT FOR THE EU BY FERAI TINC (HÜRRÝYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the crisis facing the European Union springing from Iraq. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “The European Union is currently undergoing the most critical crisis of its history to date. It is not clear how long the current alliances, which were formed thanks to the Iraq war, will last. However, we can all see that this war has dealt a grave blow to old associations.

    According to diplomatic sources, British Prime Minister Tony Blair not only wants to discuss with US President George W. Bush the Iraq war, but also the role to be played by the United Nations in the nation’s reconstruction. One of the issues close to Blair’s heart is restarting the Middle East peace process. Blair also considers it necessary to fix US-EU relations. However, Bush doesn’t seem to attach too much importance to these two issues.

    When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently said that the UN had been rendered ineffectual on the international stage due to France’s anti- US stance, French Ambassador to Rome Loic Hennekin responded that blaming France for the current crisis was only possible through a misinterpretation of recent events. Professor Yves Gotier, a prominent French analyst of the EU, believes that the EU is on the verge of determining its future, stressing that that would constitute a critical turning point for the continent. He believes that Europe’s failure to reach a consensus on important issues facing the world community is a serious problem and that the lack of coordination among EU member countries indicates even greater problems looming in the future.

    Come April, the EU will have to face these problems. Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, the chairman of the European Convention, is to present the convention’s proposals to the members at that time, in a bid to find answers to questions on its future. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a French member of the Greens Party, believes that France and Germany should first try to reach a consensus among their fellow EU members before developing a new strategy on the issue of Iraq.

    This is a very critical turning point for the Union. We don’t know how future developments could affect the enlargement process, but this question is very important for our country.”

    ARCHIVE

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