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Turkish Press Review, 05-05-02

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

02.05.2005

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS ISRAEL, PALESTINE
  • [02] TURKEY CELEBRATES MAY DAY
  • [03] ARINC: “PARLIAMENT CAN CLOSE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT”
  • [04] GUL ADDRESSES NGO CONFERENCE, STRESSES NEED FOR REFORM IN ISLAMIC WORLD
  • [05] TALAT URGES UN SECRETARY-GENERAL TO LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVE
  • [06] US STATE DEPARTMENT’S KENNEDY TO ARRIVE IN ANKARA TODAY
  • [07] SCHROEDER REITERATES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP, URGES CONTINUATION OF ITS EU REFORMS
  • [08] ANOTHER TURKISH TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN IRAQ
  • [09] MARMARIS MARITIME FESTIVAL ENDS
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [11] TURKISH-ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION BY ERDAL SAGLAM (HURRIYET)
  • [12] TURKISH-ISRAELI RELATIONS AT FULL THROTTLE BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS ISRAEL, PALESTINE

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by a group of Cabinet ministers, deputies, businessmen and bureaucrats yesterday traveled to Israel to pay an historic, official visit. After a face-to-face meeting with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Erdogan told reporters that Turkey would continue its mission of being a safeguard for peace in the region. “I believe Turkey has many things to do in the Mideast. We’re aware of that and acting with that responsibility,” said the Turkish premier, on his first visit to Israel. He then met with Deputy Premiers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert. Later in the afternoon, Erdogan also had talks with his Israeli counterpart Ariel Sharon. Following a one-and-a-half-hour meeting, the two leaders told reporters that they had agreed to establish a direct phone hotline between the two countries. Sharon said that Erdogan’s efforts would contribute to bilateral relations and to the entire region. Meanwhile, Olmert and Industry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun signed an agreement aimed at developing cooperation in industry as well as in research and development. Erdogan today is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and visit Harem-a Sherif (the Temple Mount). Then he will head to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Premier Ahmed Qureia. Erdogan is expected to return to Ankara in the afternoon. /Turkiye/

    [02] TURKEY CELEBRATES MAY DAY

    The first of May was celebrated nationwide yesterday with the attendance of thousands of people. A heavy police presence and calls for peace by union leaders prevented violence during demonstrations, and only some 50 people were arrested in Istanbul due to illegal protests. /All Papers/

    [03] ARINC: “PARLIAMENT CAN CLOSE THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT”

    Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said yesterday that Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin had interfered in Parliament’s legislative authority. Appearing on television, Arinc commented on Bumin’s recent remarks on efforts to lift the headscarf ban at universities and state institutions. He said that Parliament had right to do anything, including closing the court or changing its status or composition. Stressing that certain countries had no institutions similar to the Constitutional Court, Bumin added that Parliament could enact any kind of legislative change. /Star/

    [04] GUL ADDRESSES NGO CONFERENCE, STRESSES NEED FOR REFORM IN ISLAMIC WORLD

    Speaking at the International Islamic World Nongovernmental Organizations Conference in Istanbul yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul stressed the necessity for reform in Islamic countries, adding that Turkey has been emphasizing this need for some time now. “Reform is not about Islam or religion,” he said. “It’s about the governance of Muslim societies.” Gul said that the subject should be approached with confidence, open-mindedness, and without anxiety. “If we don’t put our house in order in today’s world, someone else will do it,” said Gul. “We should do this through change in the governance of Muslim societies.” He stated that relations of Islamic countries with the Western world posed an important problem. “I believe that forming a platform on the issue will be useful,” he said. “Recently we’ve seen rising international interest in the Islamic world, and this interest is an important opportunity to introduce the Islamic world on the international stage.” /Sabah/

    [05] TALAT URGES UN SECRETARY-GENERAL TO LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVE

    Newly elected Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday called on United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to launch a new initiative to resolve the decades-long Cyprus issue and to send a special representative to the island for fresh peace talks. Talat stated that during his five-year tenure he hoped a settlement would be found on the island, describing this as his “mission.” He said that he had asked Annan to commission a senior UN official to seek avenues for new attempts on the island. He added that he had urged the secretary-general to be more active in pushing Greek Cypriots to take new steps towards reaching a settlement. /Star/

    [06] US STATE DEPARTMENT’S KENNEDY TO ARRIVE IN ANKARA TODAY

    US State Department Undersecretary Laura Kennedy is due today to arrive in Ankara to meet with Turkish officials to discuss a number of matters, including the so-called Armenian genocide issue, Cyprus, and the Caucasus. During her two-day stay in Turkey, she is expected to urge Ankara to open its borders with Armenia and to stress that closed borders aren’t useful for either side. However, Turkey doesn’t want to open its borders to Armenia before it takes concrete steps for the resolution of the Nagorno- Karabagh dispute. The US sources said that the genocide issue was up to the historians, but that the issue also had a political dimension. Recently the US administration urged Armenia to recognize its borders with Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] SCHROEDER REITERATES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP, URGES CONTINUATION OF ITS EU REFORMS

    Speaking to Turkish daily Milliyet yesterday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is due tomorrow to arrive in Turkey for a two-day official visit, said that his country would continue to support Ankara’s European Union membership, adding that Ankara needed to continue its EU reforms. “Turkey has taken important steps since last December’s EU summit, when it was decided to begin Ankara’s accession talks on Oct. 3,” he said. “The talks will be difficult and will last long, and Ankara’s reforms will determine the course of talks.” Touching on the Cyprus issue, Schroeder said that the recent election of Mehmet Ali Talat as president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) proved the willingness of the Turkish Cypriots to reach a resolution on the island. During his two-day stay, Schroeder is expected to meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Cyprus, Iraq and the so- called Armenian genocide. Later, he will proceed to Istanbul to attend a Turkish-German Economic Congress. /Milliyet/

    [08] ANOTHER TURKISH TRUCK DRIVER KILLED IN IRAQ

    Another Turkish truck driver was killed in Iraq, in northern Baghdad yesterday. An Iraqi police official said that bullets had been fired at the driver in the Mekhul region in the neighborhood of Beyci. The death toll of Turkish drivers killed in Iraq to date exceeds 90. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] MARMARIS MARITIME FESTIVAL ENDS

    The Marmaris International Maritime Festival ended last night with a closing celebration which included concerts by Sefarad and Ozcan Deniz as well as performances by the guest bands and entertainment groups. Closing celebrations which began at Ataturk Square lasted until the wee hours of the night. Addressing a press conference, Marmaris Governor Cemalettin Ozdemir expressed his gratitude to the participating nations and his hope that this festival would become a unique traditional event in the Mediterranean basin. Highlights of the last day of the festival included award ceremonies for a variety of sports events such as laser and optimist class centerboat races and international naval crew competitions. The Underwater Photography Competition award ceremony and reception were also held during the last day. Meanwhile, a replica of the Uluburun, an ancient merchant vessel thought to be one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world, sailed to sea on Saturday for its historic maiden voyage to Alexandria. The findings of the Uluburun shipwreck numbered over 20,000 items, including the royal seal of “Queen Nefertiti” as well as a large selection of amphorae and jewelry. The ship is nearly 15 meters long and five meters wide and can carry 20 tons. Almost 35 centuries ago, its original cargo consisted of 10 tons of copper ingots and one ton of tin. A seafood preparation contest was also held on Saturday in which 20 teams from various luxury hotels took part. Furthermore, famous diver Yasemin Dalkilic, who holds the unofficial world record for freestyle diving, held a diving demo at Cape Kadirga in Marmaris and later on gave a press conference telling of her exploits and experiences. The clippery mast contest held at the main boardwalk of the town also attracted great interest. /BYEGM/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [11] TURKISH-ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION BY ERDAL SAGLAM (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Erdal Saglam comments on last week’s Ankara Forum, where Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian businessmen met in the capital. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “On his visit to the Mideast region, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is likely to talk with Israeli and Palestinians officials about ways of boosting economic cooperation between Turkey, Israel and Palestine. Erdogan is expected to lay out for them Turkey’s current efforts to establish a proper infrastructure for trilateral cooperation.

    Last week’s Ankara meeting will be a trump card for Erdogan. The Ankara Forum held by Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian businessmen has yielded much more productive results than expected. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) scored a major victory by organizing such a historic event.

    At the beginning of the meeting, the participants were told that Turkey does believe the forum will be beneficial to all relevant sides, stressing that a triple cooperation must be established as soon as possible. Turkish officials also requested that Israeli and Palestinian businessmen steer clear of a number of sensitive issues which are beyond the forum’s scope and ability to resolve.

    For security reasons, Israel does not want Palestinians to do business in the regions near its territories. Therefore, instead of Palestinians, the Turkish private sector might make investments in these sensitive areas. Turkey has already signed free trade agreements with both countries. Therefore, industrial regions which Israel left will be revitalized thanks to this triple cooperation.

    The forum also focused on establishing industrial and technoparks, constructing packaging and inventory stores in Palestinian territories, establishing insurance systems for Turkish investors, and developing new cooperation projects. In addition, faith tourism and infrastructure investments for highways and ports were two other significant issues discussed.

    In other words, the three countries gave priority to the free movement of businessmen, goods and capital, and they tried to find ways to eliminate the current hurdles to these.

    This was the first time coming together of Israeli and Palestinian private sector representatives. The meeting was very productive and is expected to yield positive results in the future. The TOBB, moreover, promised to help the Palestinian businessmen establish a system of chambers of commerce. Finally, this was a moderate initiative, which has brought about very important results. We hope this will have positive repercussions in the political arena as well.”

    [12] TURKISH-ISRAELI RELATIONS AT FULL THROTTLE BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Turkish-Israeli relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Speaking in an interview with Milliyet, Israeli Ambassador to Ankara Pinhas Avivi pointed to an interesting irony: Although most people consider 2004 to have been the tensest year in Turkish-Israeli relations, it was in fact the year in which economic relations between the two countries reached their highest level.

    Avivi said that the trade volume between Turkey and Israel exceeded $2 billion last year, a figure twice as big as the volume of trade between Turkey and Russia. He noted that defense industry expenditures and revenue from Israeli tourists aren’t even included in this amount.

    It’s clear that Turkish-Israeli relations have improved significantly over the last few years. By the way, the assertion that our relations with Israel are based solely on military interests is no longer valid, because our mutual interests have gone beyond military purposes. In brief, we can’t break off our ties with Israel simply due to political unrest.

    While the Islamic press in Turkey has criticized Erdogan’s recent visit to Israel, the Palestinians are pleased. According to the Israeli press, the political unrest between Turkey and Israel has been left behind with Erdogan’s visit to Israel. Here in Israel, everybody is talking about the warm and friendly conversation on the phone between Erdogan and Sharon on April 15, which is believed to have melted the ice.

    On the other hand, Israeli officials acknowledge that Turkey may not yet be capable of playing such a great role as a negotiator on the Middle East issue. Ankara’s offer sounds tempting, but neither the time nor the conditions are right for this.”

    ARCHIVE

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