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Turkish Press Review, 05-04-14
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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
14.04.2005FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER VISITS SYRIAPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday began a two-day visit to Syria. Sezer’s trip was welcomed by the Syrian people and media with great enthusiasm. After meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad, Sezer told reporters that they had agreed to develop bilateral ties and cooperation in all areas. He also expressed his pleasure at hearing that in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559, Syrian troops would complete their withdrawal from Lebanon by end of this month. For his part, Assad stated that both countries share the view that Iraq must ensure its territorial integrity, stability and peace. In the evening the Syrian president hosted a dinner in honor of Sezer and his wife. /Star/
 ERDOGAN WARNS PEOPLE TO RESIST PROVOCATIONSPointing to recent activities which began in Mersin with a flag desecration incident, and the mob beating of a group that was illegally distributing leaflets in Trabzon and similar events in Sakarya, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called on all citizens to be vigilant against provocations. Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that whenever Turkey gets ahead of developments, such events are organized, adding that this time Turkey would foil these tricks. Stressing that Turkey is a country that respects the rule of law, Erdogan reiterated his government’s determination to develop the nation’s democracy to a high level. In addition, before beginning his visit to Syria, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer called on people not to let themselves be manipulated by provocations that serve certain circles’ interests, but instead work to preserve the nation’s unity and integrity. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH GREEK FOREIGN MINISTERPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molivyatis in his office in the Prime Ministry. Following the roughly 45-minute meeting, no information was given to reporters. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN CHIDES NORWEGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER OVER PROTESTSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday chided Norwegian Defense Minister Kristne Krohn Devoled over Norwegian security forces’ failure to properly control protests against him during his visit to Oslo. Erdogan’s two-day visit to Norway ended in protests as demonstrators outside the Norwegian Parliament building threw eggs at the departing Turkish delegation. “If I did not have a pre-scheduled program, I would have left your country by now,” Erdogan reportedly told Devoled during his visit to NATO headquarters. He recalled Turkish officials’ hospitality during Norwegian officials’ visit to Turkey and denounced the protests. For her part, Devoled apologized to Erdogan, but no official apology or statement was made on the issue by Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENT DEBATES ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONSParliamentarians yesterday debated motions submitted by both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition Republican People’s Party CHP) on the Armenian issue. Addressing the General Assembly, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that this year there were a number of activities against Turkey to mark the 90th anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide. “This organized campaign is based upon prejudice, falsehoods and accusations,” said Gul. He also warned countries who blame Turkey that their stance would damage bilateral relations. Afterwards, deputies agreed to join forces to pursue a more active policy on the issue. In addition, it was decided to send a letter signed by all deputies, including AKP leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and CHP leader Deniz Baykal, to the British Parliament concerning the Armenian allegations. /Turkiye/
 GEN. BASBUG: “CASUS BELLI IS STILL AN EFFECTIVE STATE POLICY”Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday stated that “casus belli” is still an effective and applicable state policy, referring to a cause for war against Greece should it decide to extend its territorial waters farther into the Aegean Sea. Gen. Basbug said that Turkey had to adopt this policy because on May 31, 1995, the Greek Parliament ratified the Law of the Sea Convention, which gives all coastal countries the right to extend their territorial waters to an outer limit of 12 nautical miles from their coastline, including their islands. “In return, on June 8, 1995, our Parliament issued the ‘casus belli’ that authorized the Turkish government to take all necessary steps in the event that Greece extended its territorial waters in the Aegean beyond the present six nautical miles,” he added. “This is still an applicable policy whose aim is not to cause conflicts in the Aegean but help prevent potential problems.” Last week Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc had proposed lifting the "casus belli" against Greece, while Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul later said Arinc's statement was part of Ankara's policy for the resolution of all Greek-Turkish problems. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALABANI: “AN INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN WOULDN’T SURVIVE”Iraq’s newly elected President Jalal Talabani said yesterday in an interview with French daily Liberation that an independent Kurdistan in the region wouldn’t survive for long. “Just like any other nation, the Kurds have the right to demand autonomy,” Talabani said. “But when they face the truth, they see that it’s impossible for now. An independent Kurdistan in the region wouldn’t survive for long if our neighbors just sealed their borders, let alone declare war on us. We mustn’t confuse illusion and reality. Our people voted for us because we were in favor of a federation, not independence.”
 SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT VISITS TURKEYSouth Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun is set to arrive in Turkey today to pay an official visit. Roh will be the first ever South Korean head of state to visit Turkey after Turkish soldiers fought for his country 55 years ago. The president and his accompanying delegation of representatives of large Korean companies are expected to meet with economic circles in a bid to increase South Korean investments in Turkey. /Turkiye/
 BABACAN: “THE CURRENT GROWTH RATE AND FISCAL DISCIPLINE WILL BE SUSTAINED”Speaking to reporters before leaving for the United States to attend spring IMF-World Bank meetings together with Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan stated that Ankara hopes to reduce the ratio of Turkey’s debts to its gross national product (GNP) to reasonable levels. Criticizing recent speculations about Turkey’s foreign debt rate, Babacan said that Turkey’s debt burden had fallen rapidly over the last 29 months thanks to the government’s fiscal discipline. “I also want to underline that our current growth rate is a sustainable one,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUZMEN: “ONE MORE BORDER GATE WILL BE OPENED TO TRACTOR TRAILER TRAFFIC WITH BULGARIA”State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday stated that Turkey’s Kapikule border gate into Bulgaria will be officially opened in a June ceremony to be attended by both nations’ premiers. “In addition, the Derekoy-Malka Tirnova border gate will be opened to tractor trailer traffic with Bulgaria,” he said. During his current visit to Bulgaria, Tuzmen met with Economy Minister Milko Kovacev, Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Vassilev and Finance Minister Milen Veltchev, and then briefed reporters about his meetings. “A commission will be established by May 15 to work on cutting customs red tape and speeding up operations at the gate,” he said. “The work of this commission will be discussed at a Joint Economic Commission [KEK] meeting scheduled for May 31 in Ankara.” /Hurriyet/
 FINANCIAL TIMES: “DESPITE NEW $10 BLN IMF LOAN, TURKEY NEEDS A ROAD MAP”Turkey and the International Monetary Fund have reached agreement on a $10 billion loan arrangement after weeks of haggling over the progress of economic reforms and a controversial regional aid spending plan, reported the Financial Times yesterday. “Both sides said a final round of talks on the arrangement had been successfully completed and a letter of intent [LOI] updated and finalized,” wrote FT reporter Vincent Boland. “They said the board of the IMF might consider signing off on the loan in the first half of May ... The $10 billion arrangement is seen by the financial markets as essential to maintaining the pace and consistency of Turkey's recovery from that crisis. Although it is one of the world's fastest- growing economies, analysts said the country still needed a ‘road map’ to ensure that it achieved sustained rather than boom-and-bust economic growth.” Bolan also underlined the political importance of the agreement, noting that it is the “19th arrangement between Turkey and the IMF and one of the few that any administration in Ankara has willingly accepted without a currency or other crisis forcing its hand.” /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FRIENDSHIP IS OK, BUT... BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkish-Greek relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The fact that Turkish and Greek boats have been uttering threats and challenging each other even while Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molivyatis is in Ankara to discuss how the two nations can obtain lasting peace and friendship confuses us. Maybe you’ve been able to make some sense of it. We haven’t…
Our Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his Greek counterpart Petros Molivyatis signed an agreement to end dogfights over the Aegean. Meanwhile, the Athens News Agency reported that 34 Turkish airplanes had recently violated international air traffic laws by violating Greece’s national airspace.
Gul had previously announced that he was against lifting the casus belli decision, but somehow he changed his mind overnight and expressed that he had no objection to removing it. I’d say, ‘If no one has any objections, then just announce that the casus belli has been lifted and be done with it.’ But it’s not that simple.
Let’s say the Kardak issue is just a minor, unfortunate disagreement. What about Turkish airplanes violating Greece’s national airspace? If the reports are true, doesn’t this mean that our Foreign Ministry and General Staff have communications problems?
Let’s make it clear, we do want to be friends with the Greeks, but we believe that friendship is only possible if both sides adopt a serious and sincere approach towards each other.
But if you say, ‘Let Turkey lift the casus belli and give up on Kardak, but let Greece continue to teach its children in primary school that Turks are savages and barbarians. Let Greece ignore the European Union criteria for minorities when it comes to Turks living in western Thrace. And let Greece still recognize the Armenian ‘genocide’ and other fake claims.’ If you say this, then I say, no way.”
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