|Saturday, 22 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-06-19
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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
 SEZER BEGINS THREE-DAY VISIT TO UKRAINEPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday flew to Kiev to pay a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma. Before his departure, Sezer said that Turkey placed importance on improving its bilateral relations with Ukraine, adding that this would also help the region’s stability and development. While in Ukraine, Sezer is also set to visit the Crimean Autonomous Republic to meet Tartars living there. /Turkiye/
 EU SALONIKA SUMMIT TO BEGIN TODAYThe European Union’s summit in Salonika is to begin today with the attendance of the Union’s 15 members as well as representatives from 10 countries set to join next year. The main topic of the summit will be the draft European constitution. The leaders will also discuss illegal immigration, Iraq, the Middle East situation, as well as issues concerning terrorism. EU Term President Greece’s Prime Minister Costas Simitis is expected to announce the final declaration of the summit. Simitis is reportedly trying to add two articles concerning Turkey and Cyprus to the declaration before Greece hands over the presidency to Italy on July 1. /Turkiye/
 ZIYAL PRESENTS IRAQ PACKAGE TO US OFFICIALSForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, during his current visit to Washington, has reportedly presented an Iraq package to US officials laying out Turkey’s plans on the country’s reconstruction. The package includes Ankara’s proposals for cooperation to meet the Iraqi peoples’ needs in such areas as electricity, medical services and education. During his Washington meetings, Ziyal underlined possible roles that Turkey might play in Iraq’s postwar reconstruction. /Turkiye/
 GROSSMAN: “ZIYAL’S VISIT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL AND POSITIVE”Appearing on CNN Turk yesterday, US Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman showered praised on Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal’s current visit to Washington, stating that the Turkish diplomat’s visit had so far been very successful and positive. Asked whether the US considered Turkey a strategic ally or a partner, Grossman said, “No matter how you put it, Turkey is very important to the US. Despite all the recent media reports on how US-Turkish relations were damaged after our request to station troops [for the Iraq war] was turned down, Ziyal’s visit has served to remind us that Turkey is very important for both America and the region at large. He has been very successful in his meetings and made great contributions towards improving bilateral relations.” /Sabah/
 WESTON TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE WITH TURKISH OFFICIALSUS State Department Cyprus Envoy Thomas Weston yesterday arrived in Ankara for the final stop of his European tour including Belgium, Greece, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cyprus. Weston is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and other officials to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN. “THERE’S STILL A CHANCE FOR A SOLUTION”After meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and leaders of TRNC political parties yesterday in the capital Nicosia, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said that there was still a chance to reach a settlement on Cyprus. Stressing that the EU would prefer to take into its ranks a unified Cyprus rather than a divided one, Verheugen said that tying the Cyprus problem to Turkey’s EU bid would be a mistake and would only delay a solution. “The Cyprus issue should be resolved by May 2004,” stated the commissioner, referring to the scheduled date of Greek Cyprus’ full EU accession. “There are difficulties both for Turkey and the EU on its road to membership. To add the Cyprus issue to these would only complicate the situation.” He added that the EU wanted to help raise standards of living in the TRNC and had prepared a financial aid package to that end. /Turkiye/
 WASHINGTON POST: “ZIYAL’S TALKS WITH US OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN VERY SATISFYING”The Washington Post yesterday reported that Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, who is currently visiting Washington, said that he had been very satisfied with his talks so far with US officials. “Ziyal is the most senior Turkish official to visit Washington since Turkish-American ties soured over the failure to secure a northern front for US troops in the war against Iraq,” wrote Post correspondent Nora Boustany. The influential US daily quoted Ziyal as saying, “The message was that they would like to work with Turkey. We have decided to look forward, and I come away very satisfied with my consultations with American colleagues. We have come out very strongly in favor of the [Middle East] 'road map' and economic initiatives for a free trade area and investment regarding the peace process and future of the region.” According to the Post, Ziyal characterized as positive his discussions with senior State Department and Defense officials on Iraq’s reconstruction. “The war is over and there are certain things we can do through the executive, such as using Incirlik [air] base for logistics and refueling activity,” said Ziyal. “A government decree to that effect is going forward. No parliamentary approval is necessary since it is not a military but a peace operation. Humanitarian aid to Iraq is already moving through Turkey and the only gate at the border [at Habur] is being upgraded. We are identifying areas where we can be helpful. We have decided our relationship does have a strategic component.” /Turkiye/
 FINANCIAL TIMES: “US, KURDS ISSUE JOINT ULTIMATUM FOR N. IRAQI GROUPS TO RELINQUISH HEAVY WEAPONS”The US and Kurdish authorities in Iraq this week issued a joint ultimatum for all groups in the north of the country, other than the two main Kurdish parties, to give up their heavy weapons, reported The Financial Times on Tuesday. “The Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party [IKDP] and the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [IPUK], the two Kurdish parties that each administers part of the Kurdish region, will keep their heavy weapons, which they recently augmented with supplies from the disintegrating Iraqi army,” added the daily. “Among the other groups currently holding heavy weapons are the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party. Two Kurdish parties from neighboring countries – the [terrorist] PKK of Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran – also have heavy arms at bases inside northern Iraq.” According to the British daily, Col. Harry Schute, head of the US-led civil affairs administration in northern Iraq, said that he had given these groups 15 days to observe the directive. Since the end of the Iraq war, Turkey has been anxious for the US to reign in the terrorist PKK and stop any new terror campaign before it can begin. /Hurriyet/
 JUSTICE COMMISSION APPROVES SIXTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGEParliament’s Justice Commission yesterday approved the sixth European Union harmonization package, paving the way for Parliament to pass the package of reforms and new laws as soon as possible. Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that the package would be debated by the full Parliament next week. The government has said it wants the package fully approved before July 1. /Aksam/
 BABACAN: “THE IMF ECONOMIC PROGRAM WILL END NEXT YEAR, AND WE WON’T SEEK MORE LOANS”State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday flew to London to participate in a meeting sponsored by investment bank Merrill Lynch bringing together Turkish companies and foreign investors. Babacan was accompanied by Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti and representatives from 13 companies including Migros, Tupras, and Dogan Holding. Speaking at the meeting, Babacan said that Turkey’s International Monetary Fund-supported economic program would end next year and that the government would not seek additional loans from the Fund. Asked about the government’s next letter of intent (LOI) to the IMF, the minister answered that it would be ready in a few weeks. Also touching on the nation’s European Union membership bid, Babacan said that his party favored Turkey joining the Union as soon as possible. “Our government believes that membership would raise Turkey’s standards of living through improving the economy,” he stated. “Nearly 80% of the public supports our EU membership bid, a higher figure than in some other candidate countries.” /Milliyet/
 DERVIS: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY NEEDS TO GO IT ALONE, WITHOUT THE IMF”Turkey’s economy needs to move forward alone without more help from the International Monetary Fund, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy and former Economy Minister Kemal Dervis told an economic conference yesterday. Dervis, a former senior World Bank official, said that a year ago the economy had started to recover in earnest, and that interest rates and inflation had both begun to fall. He added, however, that Turkey’s debt was still high, posing a heavy burden on the nation. “We should be very cautious and fully implement our economic program in order to keep up these recent positive economic developments,” added Dervis. /Aksam/
 NATIONAL PROGRAM SENT TO FOREIGN MINISTRYTurkey’s National Program was sent to the Foreign Ministry yesterday. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that the 900-page program would be discussed at next Monday’s Cabinet meeting. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL: “NO POLITICAL EXCUSES WILL PREVENT TURKEY’S ACCESSION TALKS WITH THE EU”Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that no political excuses would prevent membership negotiations between Turkey and the European Union from being scheduled next year. He added that both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition CHP favored Turkey’s joining the Union. /Anatolia News Agency/
 SYRIAN INDUSTRY MINISTER AL-ZAIM INVITES TURKISH BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST IN HIS COUNTRYSyrian Industry Minister al-Zaim yesterday travelled to Istanbul to discuss joint investment opportunities at a meeting of the Turkish-Syrian Business Council. Addressing the gathering, al-Zaim issued an invitation for Turkish businessmen to make investments in every field in his country, especially in energy and textiles. /Anatolia News Agency/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE VISION TURKEY NEEDS
 BY SAHIN ALPAY (ZAMAN)Columnist Sahin Alpay comments on Turkey’s stance during in the Iraq crisis and war and the vision it needs from now on. A summary of his column is as follows:
“If our Parliament had accepted the US troop deployments, Washington would have donated $6 billion (worth $26 billion in loans), and this raised the hopes of many circles, especially in the government. However, this money wouldn’t have met the trouble or the risks we would have taken by getting involved in Iraq. Furthermore, a possible Turkish-Kurdish war in Iraq and the cost of keeping a large army stationed abroad for a long period of time would have been burdensome as well.
We should abandon the habit of keeping our economy alive through foreign ‘injections.’ If we stick with the economic stability program now, we can be ‘rescued’ from the International Monetary Fund. We have to stand on our own two feet. If this happens because we happened to reject US troops deployment, then so much the better.
If we had gotten involved in Iraq, this would have threatened our democracy. But since we didn’t, now we’re making progress on our regime becoming more civilian. The seventh harmonization package proposes that the National Security Council’s general-secretary be a civilian, his powers be made to comply with the NSC’s ‘advisory role’ and the only regular militarily member of the NSC would be the chief of General Staff. In addition, the transparency of military expenditures is up for discussion.
The Turkish Republic cannot have imperial objectives. Its philosophy won’t permit it. The pillar of Turkish foreign policy is living peacefully with our neighbors and establishing good relations on the basis of mutual interests. Our army’s duty is to defend Turkey’s borders. Of course it should be strong, but it also should act for the sake of our country’s defense. We have to bring down military expenses and channel many of our resources into education, health care, social security, our infrastructure and the economy. If a country’s economy is weak, so will its army be. A country with a strong economy needs no foreign donations.
The power of our armed forces is the guarantee of our borders and national integrity. However, the real strength of the Turkish Republic is its secular, democratic character. Military might by itself means little. The actual power of a country lies in its economy, esteem and prestige.
If Turkey were an impoverished third world country, it would have accepted all the US’ conditions. You can be sure that now reasonable officials in Washington respect Turkey much more. The US administration finally understands that Turkey isn’t a ‘bird in hand’ and that one must consider our public opinion, Parliament and democracy. I’m happy that we didn’t militarize ourselves by following the US and Israel, but instead are setting a democratic civilian administration on our path to European Union membership. Our people should embrace the vision of a European Turkey living in peace and stability.”
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