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Turkish Press Review, 05-04-27
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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
27.04.2005FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN ADDRESSES EU CONFERENCE IN ISTANBUL, DENIES SLOWDOWN IN ACCESSION EFFORTSSpeaking at a conference yesterday organized by the Economist magazine on Turkey’s European Union membership, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied claims that recently Turkey had lost momentum in its efforts to join the EU following the Union’s summit last December, adding that not Ankara but the EU had slowed down concerning Turkey’s EU membership bid. “Any delay is from the EU, not from Turkey,” he said. The premier touted his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) EU reforms, calling them a “silent revolution.” Touching on the so-called Armenian genocide, Erdogan called for politicians and historians to research the issue. “We’re ready to face up to our history, but others also need to face their histories,” said Erdogan. “We’re opening our archives, but Armenia should also open its archives. Everybody should reveal the facts.” Erdogan stressed that no state has the right to cast a shadow over another country’s past through lobbying. The premier stated that secular, democratic Turkey was a model country in its region. Later, Erdogan met with his Australian counterpart John Howard to discuss bilateral relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY-EU PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL CONVENESThe 44th Turkey-European Union Partnership Council meeting was held yesterday in Luxembourg. After the talks, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul representing Turkey, EU Term President Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn held a joint press conference. Speaking to reporters, Gul said that at the meeting, they had reviewed Turkey’s reforms to be implemented before Oct. 3, when Ankara’s EU talks are set to begin. Stressing that Ankara would extend an additional protocol to new EU member countries, including Greek Cyprus, Gul reiterated however that doing so would not mean Turkish recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration. He also urged the EU to keep its promises to the TRNC to end its international isolation. Underlining his government’s determination to continue efforts to fully implement reforms, Gul said that Turkish officials were aware of their shortcomings and were trying to redress them. The Turkish foreign minister added that his government had put priority on fighting human rights violations. In addition, Gul touted Turkey’s recent economic successes. /Turkiye/
 ARMENIAN PRESIDENT: “WE AGAIN PROPOSE ESTABLISHING NORMAL RELATIONS WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS”Armenian President Robert Kocharian yesterday answered a recent letter from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposing formation of a joint Turkish- Armenian group to study the so-called Armenian genocide allegations. In his letter, Kocharian said, as neighbors, Turkey and Armenia should try to find ways to live peacefully both today and in the future, adding that for these reasons, Armenia was proposing the establishment of normal relations, opening the borders and starting a dialogue between the two countries. “There are neighboring states – specifically in the European continent – whose past was difficult and whose views were at odds,” he said. “However, this did not prevent them from opening their borders, having diplomatic relations, sending representatives to each other’s capitals, and at the same time discussing disputed issues.” Kocharian added that the proposal would not work if it does not deal with both the present and the future, adding that for an efficient dialogue, there was a need to foster a favorable political atmosphere. “Thus, we have proposed and we again propose establishment of normal relations between our countries without preconditions,” he said. “Within that context an intergovernmental commission may be formed to discuss any issue or issues existing between our countries with the aim of solving them and coming to a mutual understanding.” /Aksam/
 PARLIAMENT APPROVES AKP DEPUTY’S RESIGNATIONParliament yesterday approved Justice and Development Party (AKP) Agri Deputy Cemal Kaya’s resignation. Kaya last week resigned as a deputy to face corruption charges, but needed parliamentary approval for it to be official. Kaya criticized opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal’s efforts to “blacken his name,” saying that he would defend his honor in court like any ordinary civilian. “I resigned in order to prove my innocence and to protect my name and rights,” he said. Kaya further denied CHP claims that he had quit the opposition and joined the AKP in order to inappropriately receive state tenders. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL: “SAYING WE’LL OPEN OUR ARCHIVES TO LOOK INTO THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ISN’T ENOUGH”Addressing his party’s group meeting yesterday, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal evaluated recent developments on the so-called Armenian genocide issue, and criticized the government’s stance, saying, “Saying we’ll open up our archives isn’t enough. We should also consider the political dimension.” /Sabah/
 PARLIAMENT APPROVES BILL FOR HIRING 10,000 NEW POLICE OFFICERSParliament yesterday approved a bill under which the Directorate General of Security would hire 10,000 new police officers. The bill enables four-year university graduates to join the police force. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had earlier sent the bill back to the Parliament, saying that some of its provisions were not in accordance with the Constitution. /Sabah/
 KEMAL DERVIS NAMED HEAD OF UN AGENCYUnited Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric yesterday announced the appointment of Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Kemal Dervis to the post of UN Development Program (UNDP) head. If confirmed by the general Assmbly, Dervis will serve the post for four years. Dervis is a former state economy minister and World Bank official. /Star/
 NEW TRNC GOVT ESTABLISHEDTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday approved the third Republican Turkish Party (CTP)-Democrat Party (DP) coalition government established by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer. In the new Cabinet, the CTP has 10 ministries besides the prime ministry, and the DP has three. DP leader Serdar Denktas will continue to serve as deputy premier and foreign minister in the new coalition. /Turkiye/
 US TO MODERNIZE TURKEY’S F-16 FLEETTurkey has submitted a project to modernize its F-16 fleet to the US. A preliminary agreement on the project was signed yesterday in Ankara by Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman. At a joint press conference, Gonul said that under the $1.1 billion agreement, 117 Turkish Air Force F-16 warplanes would be upgraded by the US through 2012. /Hurriyet/
 MARMARIS INTERNATIONAL MARITIME FESTIVAL STARTS TODAYThe Marmaris International Maritime Festival will start today. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will attend the opening ceremony. He will arrive in Marmaris aboard a Turkish navy frigate and will be saluted by gunfire and “Man the Rails.” The inaugural ceremony will be followed by the Festival Parade and the openings of the Exhibition Hall and the new Indoor Swimming Pool of Marmaris. There will be a reception for guest sportsmen, other participants and the media at the Club Hotel Pineta. Today’s festivities will also include a public concert at the Marmaris Amphitheatre by famous pop singer Kenan Dogulu. /BYEGM/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SYMBOLS OF QUALITY BY OMER FARUK GUNEL (STAR)Columnist Omer Faruk Gunel comments on the current European Organization for Quality meeting in Antalya. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday Antalya began hosting the 49th Congress of the European Organization for Quality, an independent, non-profit group striving for improvement in the sphere of quality management. Approximately 1,000 Turkish and foreign visitors are attending the two-day meeting. Nearly half of the participants came from Iran, the Russian Federation, the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal, mainly from academic circles. The Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) is hosting the gathering. TSE head Kenan Malatyali is very satisfied with the meeting because it’s brought nearly 1,000 visitors to Antalya at the start of the tourist season.
This is the second time that Turkey has hosted the European Quality Congress. ‘Italy was supposed to host the congress, but it changed its mind at the last minute,’ Malatyali said. ‘So Turkey had this great opportunity to promote its tourism sector on its way towards European Union membership.’
The EU has its own standards. Everything from education to health, from the public sector to the media, is subjected to quality standards. Candidate countries are expected to abide by these standards. Turkey has made good progress on this issue. However, Ankara has yet to establish the EU’s political standards. ‘Turkey isn’t so far behind Europe in terms of quality management,’ said European Quality Organization head Wolfgang Kaerkes. According to him, Turkish companies have done their homework well to improve their quality management systems. Some 85-90 percent of large firms have already fulfilled the requirements of European quality standards.
The only problem is with the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have yet to increase their efficiency and quality to the necessary levels. However, the SMEs’ problems might be resolved with EU financial aid and technical assistance.
Many prominent European firms have chosen Turkey for making new investments. Although the EU and Turkey are cooperating in many fields, Brussels has yet to approve Turkey’s diamond-shaped TSE quality symbol. The EU doesn’t yet see the TSE mark an equivalent of its own CE mark, which indicates that a product complies with the EU’s safety, environmental and quality standards. A product must bear this mark, otherwise it can’t be exported to the EU member states. Turkish firms must reach the CE level so that they can do business in the EU.”
 WARSHIPS TO SALUTE SEZER BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (SABAH)Columnist Muharrem Sarýkaya comments on the current Marmaris International Maritime Festival. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Marmaris International Maritime Festival, which begins today, will be the first of its kind, for 16 battle and training ships will salute President Ahmet Necdet Sezer upon his entrance into the Port of Marmaris aboard a Turkish battleship. Commanders from the Russian, Ukrainian, and Bahraini navies will be among the officials who will participate in the saluting ceremony.
The idea for this festival was conceived by Naval Forces Commander Adm. Ozden Ornek. In a meeting with top government officials in Marmaris last year, Ornek asked: ‘Every year we attend festivals outside Turkey. Why don’t we organize such a festival in Marmaris?’ Upon this proposal, Mugla Governor Huseyin Aksoy, Marmaris Governor Cemalettin Ozdemir and Mugla Municipal Ali Acar began to research festivals held before, to get an idea on how a festival should be run. The Aksaz Naval Base assisted them in their research, while the General Staff, Office of the Prime Minister, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), and the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) sponsored the event. ‘The preparations were over in just 10 months,’ Ozdemir said.
The Port of Marmaris will host some 3,000 guests from 13 different countries for the next six days. Hopefully, in the near future it will be famous for its festival as well as its seaside and sun.
Aksoy yesterday said that seamanship in Turkey is still underdeveloped, and therefore the main purpose of the festival is to promote domestic seamanship.
The truth is, we haven’t yet learned how to make use of our seaside. Some people living near the shore don’t even know how to swim. A 25 percent rise is expected in the number of tourists visiting Turkey this year. But we still lack skilled tour operators. While the number of unemployed rises, the lack of trained tour guides and personnel continues to hinder the sector’s development.”
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