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Turkish Press Review, 03-06-12
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
12.06.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... WHO HAS CHANGED? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) AEGEAN PROVOCATION BY CENGIZ CANDAR (TERCUMAN)
 ERDOGAN TO BEGIN STATE VISITS TO MALAYSIA AND PAKISTAN TODAYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to begin today a total of five days of official visits to Malaysia and Pakistan. He will be accompanied by a delegation numbering nearly 250, including government ministers and businessmen. This will be Erdogan’s longest foreign trip so far, since becoming prime minister in March. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN VISITS TUSIAD, TOUTS RECENT POSITIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTSSpeaking to the Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chief Advisory Board yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan touted Turkey’s recent positive economic developments, adding that he welcomed TUSIAD’s contributions to restoring stability and trust to the economy. Erdogan said that merely criticizing the government would do nothing to help the economy, adding that TUSIAD and similar institutions had to do their part by boosting production. “Just as we fought corruption in the past, now we have to battle our own pessimism,” said the premier. For his part, TUSIAD Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said that he appreciated the government’s recent performance on the economy and other issues. Touching on Turkish-US relations, he said that he thought Washington favored renewed cooperation if Ankara takes a clear, determined stand in the Middle East region. “I think that from now on, in Turkish-US relations, the ball is in Ankara’s court,” said Ozilhan, who recently visited the US. “If Ankara’s stance is resolute, then the US will be happy to cooperate with us.” He cited the appreciation of the lira and falls in interest rates and inflation as positive economic developments adding, however, that it was too early to say that the economy was completely out of the woods. Later, touching on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Ozilhan said that the sixth EU harmonization package and the National Program were both necessary steps for making progress on the nation’s EU bid. “We sincerely believe that Parliament will vote on the EU reform package in full knowledge that these reforms enjoy public support,” he said. “Improvement depends on structural reforms rather than short-time financial moves.” The TUSIAD chairman warned that any concessions from budget discipline in anticipation of local elections next spring might endanger the future of both Turkey and its AKP administration. /Aksam/
 RESOLUTION ON SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE INTRODUCED IN US SENATEOn the heels of a similar measure in the US House of Representative, a resolution was introduced to the US Senate yesterday that would effectively grant US recognition to the so-called Armenian genocide. Both the House and Senate measures are meant to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Genocide Convention, and urge that lessons be learned from the so- called genocide, incongruously placed among other historically supported events. The new measure was introduced by a Republican and a Democrat, John Ensign and Jon Corzine, plus 16 co-sponsors. Its matching House resolution last month passed the powerful Judiciary Committee, but has yet to face a full House vote. /Turkiye/
 PAPANDREOU TELLS BRUSSELS OF ALLEGED AIRSPACE ALLEGATIONSGreek Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday met with European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen in Brussels. During their meeting, Papandreou complained to Verheugen about Ankara, claiming that Turkish fighter jets had harassed a Greek passenger plane en route from Istanbul to Athens on Monday. Papandreou later told reporters that he and Verheugen had agreed that Greece would summit monthly reports to the EU about alleged Aegean airspace violations. /Turkiye/
 MAN SETS OFF EXPLOSIVE AT US CONSULATE IN ADANA, NO ONE HURTA man set off an explosive device yesterday on the grounds of the US Consulate in the southern province of Adana. Cumali Kizilkoca threw two explosives – variously described as bombs, grenades or concussion bombs – while leaving the consulate, but only one of them went off. No injures were reported in the attack, though some of the consulate’s windows were shattered. An investigation is underway. /Turkiye/
 UNIVERSITY SENATE: “UN COVENANTS POSE A GRAVE THREAT TO TURKEY’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY”Istanbul University’s (IU) Senate yesterday issued a statement contending that the recently ratified United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights posed a grave threat to Turkey’s territorial integrity. These covenants were ratified last week by the Parliament and then sent to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for his approval. The IU Senate called passage of these covenants “a grievous error.” The first article of both agreements includes the following statements: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” The covenants also clearly state that signatory countries shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right in conformity with the provisions of the UN Charter. The senate called on President Sezer to veto these covenants on the grounds that they would violate Turkey’s principles of national unity and integrity. The senate and other circles are fearful that such efforts would encourage separatist movements within Turkey. Ankara had in fact expressed certain reservations on these covenants in line with its Constitution, stressing that the nation’s integrity must be protected. /Hurriyet/
 WIN OVER MACEDONIA TAKES TURKEY TO TOP OF GROUP SEVENTurkey defeated Macedonia last night 3-2 during a Euro 2004 qualifying Group Seven match in Istanbul, thus moving the Turkish football team to 15 points in six games and to the top of the Group Seven. England ranks second with 13 points in the group. Other upcoming important matches for Turkey include Liechtenstein (Sept. 6) and England (Oct. 11). /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHO HAS CHANGED? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on an apparent positive change in European Union’s stance towards Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who used to be opposed to our European Union membership, said this week in Ankara that the EU should accept Turkey within its ranks. ‘I appreciate your government’s reforms,’ stated Juncker. ‘We support you on this road. Actually we have changed, but you’ve changed a great deal as well.’ Obviously there has been a shift. The signals recently sent by the EU demonstrate this. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen, who up to now has always spoken negatively about us, now has a positive stance towards starting our negotiations in 2005. The European Parliament, which has a history of harshly criticizing Turkey, published a report last week in favor of our getting a date for membership next year.
What has changed the EU’s mind? EU officials say that the actual change happened on our part, and so the EU is now looking at Ankara differently. Did Turkey’s rejection of US requests for the war in Iraq have anything to do with this? European diplomats I spoke with don’t think so. France, perhaps, was glad about this and so influenced. However, as one European diplomat told me, ‘The EU wouldn’t set aside the requirements for membership and welcome Turkey with open arms just because Ankara objected to the US.’ Then what changed the EU’s stance on Turkey? The answer to this is obviously our own changed stance: that is, the determination to do the work required for EU integration and the steps taken towards this purpose. The sixth harmonization package being presented to Parliament is one of these steps.
As Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday on news channel NTV, ‘Turkey cannot establish its own conditions on the path to the EU. No, we must do the things that the members before us previously did.’ In his new book ‘Europe’s Road Map,’ Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) representative in Brussels and noted EU expert Bahadýr Kaleagasi writes, ‘Democracy cannot be bargained over… We can make basic rights and freedoms fodder for negotiations neither with the EU nor within ourselves.’ Former President Suleyman Demirel, who considers Turkey’s integration with the EU as our great ‘European project,’ emphasizes in his book ‘The 21st Century Road Map: Democracy and Progress’ that the realization of this vision requires a strong political will and determination.
In sum, the positive change in the EU’s stance towards Turkey is the result of our efforts to harmonize with the EU. In Kaleagasi’s words, ‘We have to begin to implement the democratic reforms’.”
 AEGEAN PROVOCATION BY CENGIZ CANDAR (TERCUMAN)Columnist Cengiz Candar comments on Greek allegations of Turkey’s so-called violations of Greek airspace. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I got a call from Athens on Tuesday; it was Greek radio station Antenna asking me if I could comment on ‘Turkish-Greek relations.’ I thought to myself, ‘What could I say except for some general and positive remarks about Ankara-Athens relations on the eve of the EU’s Salonika summit?’ I agreed to the station’s request, but was shocked by their first question: ‘What do you think about the current Aegean crisis between Turkey and Greece? Do you think Turkey could escalate the tense situation into a hot conflict in the months to come?’ The question took me by surprise, for I hadn’t been expecting such nonsense. I briefly explained that there was no such crisis between our two countries, adding that anticipating a ‘hot conflict’ in the Aegean could only be the product of a delirious mind.
Then came the next question, this time asking my opinion about Turkish violations of Greek airspace. Apparently, Athens has once again been captured by the airspace violation paranoia, a Greek delusion which I thought had long ago been left back in the 1980s. But why is Greece once again trying to resurrect a long-buried issue between Ankara and Athens and resorting to such ridiculous rhetoric? During the interview, I realized that much of the Greece’s media, and thus its public opinion, was consumed by the so-called ‘Turkish violations of airspace’ and the ‘Aegean crisis.’ I told the station that most Turkish people didn’t even know anything about the issue and that, in any case, they wouldn’t be interested.
Why is Greece doing this? Why is Athens, as our General Staff so aptly put it, trying to provoke Ankara just before next month’s Salonika summit when Greece is due to hand over the EU term presidency to Italy? Is the Greek administration preparing to take the issue to Brussels in order to force the Union to make a decision against Turkey? If this is Greece’s real agenda, that would signal a shift in the Simitis government’s recent policy towards our country, a policy which Athens has been pursuing for four years now. The most probable reason for such a shift would be that Greece is planning to keep a ‘strategically weakened Turkey’ – especially in the wake of the Iraq war – under international pressure and so force Ankara to make huge concessions on certain issues.
Whatever the reasons for the Greek policy of provocation, Turkey should not let these reasons lead us astray from the EU path or weaken our resolve to take necessary steps.”
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