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Turkish Press Review, 03-06-23
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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
23.06.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN, GUL RETURN IN HIGH SPIRITS FROM THESSALONIKI SUMMITPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul returned in high spirits to Ankara this weekend after the conclusion of the European Union’s summit in Thessaloniki (Salonika), Greece. Speaking after their return, Gul lauded the atmosphere of the summit, saying it had been positive to an extent never before seen. “All the remarks from the summit were positive,” he added. During the summit, the Union reiterated its pledge to review Turkey’s progress on its EU membership bid in late 2004 and decide then whether or not to begin its accession talks. Last week the government passed a sixth EU harmonization package including several reforms for its membership bid. /Turkish Daily News/
 ERDOGAN: “THE GOVERNMENT WILL PASS ALL NECESSARY REFORMS TO FULFILL THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”Speaking to Greek daily to Vima yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that the government would pass all necessary further reforms in order to carry out the European Union’s Copenhagen criteria. The premier added that the EU had taken positive decisions regarding Turkey’s membership bid during Greece’s term presidency, which draws to a close next week, adding that he appreciated Athens’ positive approach. /Milliyet/
 GUL MEETS POWELL, ANNAN, OTHER LEADERS AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUMDuring the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan, yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Gul told reporters that during their talks, Turkey’s role in Iraq’s reconstruction had been discussed. In addition, Gul met with United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan and reportedly told him that the embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) must be lifted. In a separate meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Gul said that Turkey supported the peace road map to resolve the Middle East conflict. For his part, Shalom asked for Gul’s help in mediating between Israel and the Palestinians in direct talks. Gul also met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou. No statement was made following that meeting. /All Papers/
 GENERAL STAFF OFFICE READIES PROPOSAL TO SHORTEN COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICEThe General Staff Office recently took a significant step forward in Turkey’s EU membership bid by preparing a proposal to shorten the nation’s period of compulsory military service for males. The proposal suggests cutting the number of Turkey’s active-duty soldiers by 17% and shortening the current compulsory 18 months of military service to 15. After the General Staff Office presented it to the government, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the proposal would be discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul remarked that he believed the proposal would be approved by the government without any changes since the key institution in determining the duration of military service was the General Staff Office. “The duration of military service will thus be more appropriate to the conditions of our age,” said Gonul. /Hurriyet/
 BUSH SENDS CYPRUS REPORT TO US CONGRESSUS President George W. Bush has sent the US Congress a periodic progress report covering the latest developments on Cyprus. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bill Frist received the report. “The United States remains committed to finding a just and lasting settlement for Cyprus,” said Bush in a letter accompanying the report. “Serious efforts continued during this reporting period to persuade the two sides on Cyprus to resume negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Mission for Cyprus, on the basis of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposed settlement plan. As in the past, US officials, including Secretary of State Powell, Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston, Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Klosson, Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson, and Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller provided intensive diplomatic support to this process.” /Star/
 KETI CLERIDES: “TURKISH CYPRIOT OPPOSITION GROUPS ARE OUR POTENTIAL ALLIES”Greek Cyprus should work to boost its ties with “potential allies” among political opposition groups in Turkish Cyprus, a prominent Greek Cypriot has urged. Speaking in the current issue of Greek Cypriot magazine Selides, Keti Clerides, the daughter of former Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and a former parliamentarian, criticized both the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Ankara for an alleged failure to help the Cypriot peace process. “We should strengthen our cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot opposition groups, for they can help us to find a permanent solution on the island,” stated Clerides. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI OIL FROM KIRKUK-YUMURTALIK PIPELINE LOADED ONTO TANKERSThe first oil transferred through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline in the aftermath of the Iraq war was loaded onto tanker ships yesterday. To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held at the facilities of Turkey’s Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) at the Anatolian port city of Ceyhan- Yumurtalik. Speaking at the ceremony, senior US advisor to the Iraqi Oil Ministry Philip Caroll said that revenues from the oil sales would be used to benefit the Iraqi people. /Turkiye/
 FINANCE MINISTER UNAKITAN VISITS ROMANIA, PLEDGES TO END IMF LOANS NEXT YEARFinance Minister Kemal Unakitan yesterday traveled to Romania to pay an official visit at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart Mihai Nicolae Tanesescu. The two leaders headed their respective delegations during bilateral meetings. At a press conference, Unakitan told journalists that Turkey was planning to cease taking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as of next year. “However, Turkey will continue to carry out the IMF programs which are beneficial for itself,” said Unakitan. “Cutting altogether our relations with the Fund is out of the question.” /Turkiye/
 BABACAN: “TURKEY WILL ACHIEVE ITS 5% GROWTH AND 20% INFLATION TARGETS”Speaking at a conference on “Turkey’s Role in the Middle East” at the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan pledged that this year Turkey would achieve its targets of 5% growth and 20% inflation. Babacan told the conference that there were no longer any bureaucratic obstacles to international investment in Turkey. Touching on the state of the Middle East, the economy minister said that the region’s most pressing problems were economic instability and political uncertainty, adding that a peaceful atmosphere would also contribute to economic development. Also touching on postwar Iraq, he said that slated US economic compensation to Turkey over Iraq might be used by Turkish entrepreneurs for Iraq’s reconstruction. /Milliyet/
 SUREYYA AYHAN WINS IN 1,500-METER DASH IN EUROPEAN NATIONS CUPTurkish runner Sureyya Ayhan yesterday scored another honor for Turkey by capturing first place in the 1,500-meter dash competition at the European Nations Cup in Istanbul. Ayhan’s winning time of 4:06:63 also racked up 12 points for the Turkish team. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Ayhan said she felt heartened by all the support she had received. Ayhan’s trainer Yucel Kop said that next the celebrated runner had set her sights on the world championship. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ONE-DIMENSIONAL ORDER AND OUR REGION BY EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Erol Manisali writes about US plans for and recent developments in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Thanks to the giant international oil companies, Iran’s populist Prime Minister Mossadeq, who had hopeful aspirations for the nationalization of his country’s oil resources, was overthrown in 1953 by a ‘secret’ joint Anglo-American operation code-named ‘Operation Ajax.’ Once the Mossadeq administration was toppled, these oil companies grabbed the reins of Iran’s shah figurehead monarchy. For many years Shah Reza Pahlavi served as the number one upholder of US and British interests in both Iran and the region. Then in 1979 came the Islamic uprising headed by former exile Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader who had long been harbored by a vigorous anti-US France. This Islamic ‘revolution,’ just like Osama bin Laden, was the result of longstanding oppressive US and British imperialist policies.
In spite of US pressure, France and Germany, then the Soviet Union, China and Japan established good relations with Tehran and breached Washington’s embargo on the country. From time to time, Turkey, too, has tried to forge close relations with Iran.
Once the Cold War was over, a unidimensional order, more precisely a US- dominated order, emerged. A doomsday scenario was now underway, and we have witnessed the 1991 Iraq crisis, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, and civil wars in the Caucasus… Moreover, the internal dynamics of the US and capitalist order have desperately needed a Bush administration to carry through this scenario. Washington named terrorism its new top enemy, a foe which replaced the communist threat.
The US and Britain thus began targeting terrorism which they themselves created with their own hands. Under what I call the ‘sustainable superiorities’ theory, the US (and the West) has to define an enemy to attack in order to maintain capitalist order and its strongholds, the giant economic enterprises. The US fell prey to the 9_11 attacks carried out by terrorist Osama bin Laden, which provided the Bush administration with the rationale for a military campaign in Afghanistan. Now that the eastern wing of the US invasion in the region was now secured, preparations for an intervention in Iraq could begin. The United Nations, international rules, and global public opinion were all brushed aside, and the US and Britain attacked the number one ally of the terrorists, Saddam Hussein. While the Iraq invasion was still in progress, Washington declared Syria and Iran as its next two targets. The foundations of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq have already been laid, threatening both Turkey and Iran. And now we see students taking to the streets of Tehran, fiercely protesting the country’s regime. Those who remember the events of 1953 in Iran can easily see that today the same scenario is once more being put into practice. A typical US (and British) masterpiece!”
 IRAQ POLICY SHIFT BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on Turkish-US relations and Ankara’s policy towards Iraq. A summary of her column is as follows:
“In the most concrete result of Foreign Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal’s visit to Washington last week, Turkey asked the US to take over control of our Habur border gate into Iraq from the Iraqi Kurds. Habur has been one of the most problematic subjects in Ankara concerning Iraq. Kurdish groups have started to exact a $100 ‘tribute’ from Turkish truck drivers wanting to pass through the gate. The aim of this was to gauge Turkey’s reaction to the Kurds’ efforts to establish domination over the region. The second problem concerning Habur occurred during Ziyal’s visit to Washington. This time an Iraqi Turkmen delegation became a crisis due to an ‘arbitrary decision’ by the Kurds. When Kurdish groups attempted to block the passage of this delegation, Turkey temporarily closed the Habur gate to trade. The Kurdish groups then waited for Turkey to react violently, but Ankara didn’t oblige. Ziyal brought up this issue under the category of ‘Iraq’s sovereignty’ during his contacts in Washington and suggested that the US take over the Habur gate. Stating that the same policies should apply to all of Iraq’s border gates so as to protect the country’s integrity, Ziyal said that Kurdish groups were coming up with arbitrary, biased, ad hoc policies. The good news is that the US warmly welcomed the idea of taking over the border gate.
Ziyal’s message is the first concrete sign of Turkey’s radical policy shift towards Iraq in the post-Saddam period. Ankara has been mired in ‘red lines’ and focusing on northern Iraq, but is now changing its tactics albeit with the same aim as always: protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity. Now, however, a policy of solving the problem through Washington is replacing that of putting pressure on the Kurds. Ankara is not only insisting that the US establish domination over all of Iraq, but also suggesting that the Kurds have a role in both northern Iraq and the new future central administration in Baghdad. Interestingly, the Kurdish groups reacted positively to this stance of Ankara’s, perhaps tactically, or perhaps because they understand that independence isn’t in the cards right now. Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) foreign policy chief Hoshyar Zebari told Reuters earlier this week, ‘I think we’ll give up many of the powers, the privileges and the freedoms we enjoy now as an almost semi- independent entity… [in return] for being re-integrated into the new Iraq.’ He also openly mentioned that the Kurds want to have a major role in the coming central administration.
Ankara is preparing to strengthen Turkey’s hand in Baghdad through economic steps. Ziyal’s suggestion to Washington that the US should channel part of its compensation to Turkey over Iraq into Ankara’s efforts to reconstruct Iraqi hospitals and schools in not only Mosul and Kirkuk, but all over Iraq, are part of this policy of ‘economic aid.’ For the first time in a while, Washington has once again started to refer to Ankara as a ‘strategic ally,’ and the reasons for this can be found Turkey’s policy shift over Iraq.”
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