|Friday, 28 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 04-07-16
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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
16.07.2004GUL “I HOPE THE EU REPORT WILL BE OBJECTIVE, SINCE IT WILL AFFECT THE DECISION ON ANKARA’S ACCESSION TALKS” PALACIO: “TURKEY COULD BE A BRIDGE FOR ENERGY” TOP FUGITIVE CAKICI NABBED IN AUSTRIA TURKEY, ISRAEL SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR INCREASED TRADE BOUCHER: “WE WELCOME A HEALTHY STATE OF TURKISH-ISRAELI RELATIONS” BABACAN: “THE IMF BOARD COULD CONVENE AT MONTH’S END TO DISCUSS RELEASING A $670 MILLION CREDIT” KIRKUK’S ETHNIC MAKEUP UNDER ATTACK, WARNS FOREIGN MINISTRY SYRIAN PM VISITS ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS MESSAGES AND AFTERWARDS... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) TURKEY AND ISRAEL BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
 GUL “I HOPE THE EU REPORT WILL BE OBJECTIVE, SINCE IT WILL AFFECT THE DECISION ON ANKARA’S ACCESSION TALKS”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Loyola de Palacio, the European Commission’s vice president and EU transport commissioner, to discuss a number of issues. Speaking afterwards, Gul said that they had discussed such issues as Turkey’s EU membership bid. The foreign minister stated that Turkey constituted a bridge between the West and the East on issues such as communications and energy. He said that he believed the commission’s fall progress report on Turkey would be pivotal in the EU’s decision whether or not to begin accession talks with Ankara. “I hope the commission won’t disregard the reforms we recently passed,” added Gul. For her part, Palacio echoed that Ankara had a strategic importance for the EU on communications and energy issues. Touching on Ankara’s EU bid, she stated that the European Commission was currently preparing Ankara’s progress report. /Turkiye/
 PALACIO: “TURKEY COULD BE A BRIDGE FOR ENERGY”European Commission Vice President Loyola de Palacio yesterday met with Energy Minister Hilmi Guler in Ankara. Palacio said that Turkey could be a bridge in providing long-term energy security in the European Union. Stressing that the country has rich alternatives for providing energy, Palacio said that Turkey could transfer oil and natural gas from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Azerbaijan. Palacio also stated that Turkey would be included in the west European electric network. /Sabah/
 TOP FUGITIVE CAKICI NABBED IN AUSTRIAAustrian police yesterday arrested one of Turkey’s most wanted fugitives, mafia kingpin Alaaddin Cakici. He was captured in the Austrian city of Graz where he was traveling under a fake Turkish passport in the name of Faik Meral. Cakici was involved in a 1998 scandal that brought down Turkey's government. In 1998, Cakici was netted by a similar operation in Nice, France, and extradited to Turkey but managed to escape. Ankara has applied to Vienna for his extradition. He had also been jailed in 2002 for inciting an attack on a journalist and for “forming and directing a gang established to commit crime.” /All papers/
 TURKEY, ISRAEL SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR INCREASED TRADETurkish Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Sami Guclu and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding reached by the Turkish-Israeli Joint Economic Commission (KEK). Speaking at the signing ceremony, Olmert hailed the accord as a turning point which would pave the way for the Turkish-Israeli trade volume to rise to $5 billion within three years. Guclu stressed that the memorandum had completed the legal groundwork for strengthening bilateral economic and commercial relations. Later speaking to reporters, Olmert said that third countries, for the time being, would have a minimal role in efforts to broker peace in the Middle East, adding however that Turkey would play an important and positive role in providing stability in the region in the future. Asked about Turkish plans to send troops to Gaza, Olmert said that these troops would be welcome in the region. /Hurriyet/
 BOUCHER: “WE WELCOME A HEALTHY STATE OF TURKISH-ISRAELI RELATIONS”Washington welcomes Turkey having good relations with Israel, said US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday. Asked by reporters about this week's visit to Ankara of Deputy Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Boucher said, "We have always encouraged nations to have good relations with Israel. We think they are an important part of the region. We've always welcomed people who have had good relations with Israel and have tried to be a positive force for moving forward in the region, moving forward on peace. If Turkey takes that role, if Turkey wants to do that, that's good." Asked about if recent tensions in Turkish-Israeli relations were a matter for concern, Boucher declined to comment on the issue. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN: “THE IMF BOARD COULD CONVENE AT MONTH’S END TO DISCUSS RELEASING A $670 MILLION CREDIT”State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said yesterday that the International Monetary Fund Executive Board could convene at the end of this month in order to discuss releasing a $670 million credit to Turkey. In related news, IMF External Relations Director Thomas Dawson confirmed that the board could convene at month’s end. /Aksam/
 KIRKUK’S ETHNIC MAKEUP UNDER ATTACK, WARNS FOREIGN MINISTRYTurkey’s special representative in Iraq has warned that the demographic makeup of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk is under siege, a development which the Iraqi people are concerned about, Foreign Ministry spokesmen Namik Tan told reporters yesterday. “There is a serious effort to change the demographic makeup of the city,” said Tan. In related news, Iraqi daily El Karar reported that US President George W. Bush had warned Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani not to increase the Kurdish population of the city. /Star/
 SYRIAN PM VISITS ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGESyrian Prime Minister Mohammed Naji al-Otari, who is currently visiting Turkey, yesterday toured the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) and met with IMKB Chairman Osman Birsen. Speaking afterwards, Birsen said that he had briefed al-Otari on the workings of the exchange, since Damascus hoped to soon establish its own stock market. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 MESSAGES AND AFTERWARDS... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkish-Israeli relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Did Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s visit to Turkey earlier this week end Ankara’s aloof stance towards Israel? Did it really help both sides overcome their problems in bilateral relations?
Turkish and Israeli officials alike stated that Olmert’s visit had helped to reassure the continuity of warm and friendly relations between the two countries, as a forum for both sides to give each other clear messages on such sensitive issues as Israeli operations against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, operations branded by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdodan as ‘state terrorism.’
We can summarize the message given by the Turkish side as follows: The Middle East peace process is an important aspect of Turkish-Israeli relations. Turkish leaders’ criticisms of Israel should be interpreted as friendly comments, which must be carefully considered for the sake of peace and stability in the region. Turkey is ready to act as a ‘facilitator’ for the peace process.
For his part, Olmert stressed that Israel placed a high premium on Turkey’s role in the region. He also told the Turkish officials about the Sharon government’s fight against terrorism and its policy on withdrawing troops from the Gaza Strip. If Israel really draws back from the area and a new coalition government is formed, this will give a boost to peace efforts.
In fact, it isn’t the peace process that will determine the future course of Turkish-Israeli relations, but rather both sides’ northern Iraq policies. Rumors of Israeli involvement with the Kurds in northern Iraq, fueled by an article last month in the New Yorker, are believed to be the main factor that has led to strains in Turkish-Israeli ties. The article alleged that Israeli officers were training Kurdish commandos in northern Iraq and using the region as a jumping-off point for Mossad agents to enter Iran.
However, after Olmert’s visit, Israel now seems to understand Turkey’s concern on the issue, which is why he told the Turkish press that news reports about Israeli involvement in northern Iraq were simply not true. The Sharon government is now expected to take more sensitive steps on this issue and won’t let a new crisis erupt between the two countries.”
 TURKEY AND ISRAEL BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkish-Israeli relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“If Turkish-Israeli relations soured, our influence would decline in the eyes of the US, the EU and even the world. Arab countries and Iran are very relaxed and have started to despise Turkey. What will happen to Israel? It will also suffer damage. However, I’m interested in Turkey’s situation. If the reason for the bilateral spat was Israel’s alleged intervention in northern Iraq, this would fall within the issue of Turkey’s security. If Israel has security problems with Syria, Iraq and Iran, clearly we have similar problems with northern Iraq. Israel cannot help to establish a Kurdish state through bypassing Turkey. If it does, the balance of powers would be spoiled not only in the Middle East, but also worldwide. However, if Ankara’s stance has aims beyond the northern Iraq issue and hopes to take the mission of rescuing Palestinians from oppression and forging an Arab-Israeli peace, this is a `mission impossible.’ Former US President Bill Clinton couldn’t manage it. This knot won’t be untied anytime soon.
If the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) pursues such a policy, it would be sheer folly leading inevitably to great disappointments and great losses. We don’t have the power to be a Middle East peace broker. Even if we had it, this would go against our interests. Anyway, what Mideast country would ask us to serve as mediator? These are hard political realities, not stuff for romantics and idealists. Of course we will learn Turkish-Israeli relations better as time passes. Israel has denied that it’s doing anything in northern Iraq. We don’t know how good our intelligence is, we only know that the PKK gangs are still in the mountains and that tribes are doing everything they can to transform Kirkuk into a rose garden. In addition, I’m sure that Israel’s continued construction of its wall will lead to more protests and criticisms worldwide.”
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