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Turkish Press Review, 05-10-07

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Dubai Crown Prince Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is currently in Ankara for an official visit. During their meeting, Erdogan and Maktum signed a $5 billion real estate investment partnership agreement between the two countries. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Erdogan said that the agreement would initially cover the real estate of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and possessions of the Treasury. Erdogan stated that other agreements would be signed in energy, communications, agriculture, and tourism. For his part, Maktoum said that it was a cooperative agreement, adding that in the future other delegations would visit Turkey. “We’ll make new investments and take new steps,” he added, and thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s hospitality. /Sabah/[02] GUL MEETS WITH EU’S REHN, DISCUSSES BEGINNING OF ANKARA’S EU TALKS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with European Union Commissioner Olli Rehn, who is currently in Turkey for an official visit following the beginning of Turkey’s accession talks earlier this week. Speaking at a press conference, Gul said that Ankara would need to fulfill many conditions during the negotiating process, adding that in the new period the talks would be conducted between Rehn, his team and related institutions in Turkey. “Our performance will be very different,” he said. For his part, Rehn praised the beginning of Ankara’s EU talks as “a very big success,” saying that this success wasn’t the result of the last three days, but the result of the last three yeas, when important reforms were fulfilled by Ankara. Rehn reiterated that Ankara wasn’t a candidate country anymore, but one that has begun its accession talks with the EU. He added that the negotiating process would be closely watched by the nations and parliaments of EU member states and that Turkey would begin to adopt all EU norms, standards and values as part of the negotiating process. /Star/[03] JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: “OUR DEFINITION OF TERROR WON’T CHANGE”

    Briefing Parliament’s Human Rights Commission on proposed amendments to the Anti-Terror Law, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday that the present legislative definition of terror wouldn’t change. Cicek also denied reports that the definition’s components of “violence and force” would be removed, and added, “No law contradicting the European Union acquis may go into effect in Turkey. The Anti-Terror Law can only be changed within this framework.” In addition Cicek denied rumors that custody periods, which are two-four days at present, would be extended to 15 days. Custody periods cannot be changed without amending the constitution, he added. /Cumhuriyet/[04] OZKOK VISITS AZERBAIJAN

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday traveled to Baku to pay a three-day official visit at the invitation of Azerbaijani Defense Minister Sefer Abiyev. Ozkok is scheduled to meet with President Ilham Aliyev and Parliament Speaker Murtuz Aleskerov as well as Abiyev to have talks to boost military relations. /Turkiye/[05] SPANISH PM REITERATES SUPPORT FOR ANKARA’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero yesterday reiterated his country’s support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking at a press conference, Zapatero said that Turkey had stood at the EU threshold for years, adding that now it was in accordance with the European model and politically improved. He further stated that Turkey’s EU membership would enable a coming together of civilizations, the results of which would be positive. /Star/[06] DUTCH OFFICIAL VOICES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BID

    Atzo Nicolai, the Dutch minister for European Affairs, yesterday expressed support for Ankara’s European Union membership bid, adding that Turkey, by joining the EU, would send an important message to millions of Muslims living both in Turkey and abroad. “The EU, with Turkey inside it, will be stronger in the fight against terrorism and more influential in transatlantic relations,” he said, adding that the EU leaders shouldn’t hesitate about Turkey’s membership. /Milliyet/[07] TRNC’S TALAT: “IT’S TIME TO UNIFY”

    President Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that it was time to ensure unification on Cyprus. Talat met with Greek Cypriot main opposition Democratic Mobilization Party (DISI) leader Nicos Anastasidis at his residence in Girne. Speaking to reporters, the two leaders stated that they had good relations and would have an opportunity to review problems on the road to unification of the island. In related news, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos said yesterday that he expected the United Nations would soon take a step to resume peace talks on Cyprus. /Turkiye/[08] BORRELL: “A CYPRUS SETTLEMENT WILL BE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE UN”

    European Parliament Chairman Josep Borrell, visiting Cyprus yesterday, held a press conference at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Lefkosha’s buffer zone. Evaluating his contacts in both Greek Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Borrell said that following the 2004 European Union accession of the “Republic of Cyprus,” Greek Cypriots as well as Turkish Cypriots were EU citizens. Stressing that as the Greek Cypriots had joined the EU, the Cyprus issue had become a problem of the Union, Borrell added, however, that any settlement would be reached under the auspices of the United Nations. He added that Turkey’s beginning EU accession talks was a new opportunity for a settlement. /Turkiye/ [09] KARAMANLIS TO VISIT TURKEY THIS MONTH

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is planning to arrive in Istanbul on Oct. 21. Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Karamanlis are expected to attend a meeting on “Christian Democrats and Orthodox Church Dialogue” hosted by Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos. /Sabah/[10] EP DELEGATION: “WILL THE ‘GENOCIDE’ BE RECOGNIZED?”

    Members of the European Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee led by Helene Flautre yesterday paid a visit to the Turkish Parliament. During the meeting, delegation members called on Ankara to recognize the Armenian genocide claims and consider the issue of education in Kurdish. Polish members of the delegation noted that Poland had to acknowledge its part in the Jewish holocaust and asked when Turkey would face up to its own history. Afterwards, Ozlem Cercioglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said, “There were losses on both sides during the war. Although Turkey has opened up all of its archives, Armenia still refuses to open theirs.” /Cumhuriyet/[11] AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “THE MOST DIFFICULT VISIT OF MY LIFE WAS THIS WEEK IN ANKARA”

    Austrian Parliament Speaker Andreas Kohl described being in Ankara on this Monday, Oct. 3, the day which determined Turkey’s destiny on the way to European Union, as the most difficult official visit of his entire life. According to CNN-Turk, Kohl said that during his contacts in Ankara, he especially had difficulty in his meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who asked him many difficult questions which he had difficulty answering. Kohl also said that the stance of Austria in Luxembourg hadn’t damaged Turkish-Austrian relations, that on the contrary, his country got extensive coverage in the Turkish press. /Aksam/[12] FORMER US CYPRUS COORDINATOR: “GREEK CYPRUS SHOULD CHANGE ITS POLICY”

    Tom Weston, the former US special coordinator for Cyprus, said on Tuesday that the Greek Cypriot administration should modify its policy in order to make progress on the Cyprus problem, adding, “The Greek Cypriots should understand that they should change their policy, accept the proposal of the UN secretary-general, and clearly state their priorities on the Annan plan.” Weston noted that he did not expect any progress on the Cyprus problem in the near future, but expressed optimism about a settlement in the long run. Commenting on this week’s start of Turkey’s entry talks with the European Union, Weston said, “This is a historic day for both Turkey and the EU. The start of entry talks is a positive step towards the future, and a sign that Turkey and the EU are on the right track.” /Star/[13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…[00] YEARS OF CLOSE MONITORINGBY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on Turkish-EU relations. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Turkey is now in the process of membership talks with the European Union. European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn explained the meaning of this yesterday. Rehn said that from now on, Europe would be closely watching Turkey. Has the EU been watching Turkey from a distance? Didn’t the EU intervene in our domestic affairs, from the Kurdish issue to freedom of thought? Can’t its stance on the Cyprus issue be considered direct EU intervention in our foreign policy? Can anything be closer than this? Yes, it can and it will. Even the Copenhagen criteria, which we consider to be already following, will continue to pursue us. Rehn said yesterday that EU candidate countries were expected to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and that what’s expected from countries in the process of membership talks is full compliance. What’s more, it will be necessary to tell the public that there’s no guarantee of full membership. It’s difficult to cope with partners who spoil settled deals to use the EU as a tool for their domestic agendas. In other words, we will see the first signs of this period in progress reports to be prepared by the European Commission, the first of which will be issued on Nov. 9. However, let’s not forget that the close monitoring isn’t a one-way process. The Turkish people will be able to make their voices heard in this process.

    If we try to grasp the meaning of being a country in the process of membership talks without subjecting Europe to sharp criticisms, we could facilitate the process of harmonization and won’t be affected by the provocations of those trying to block our membership. Each issue closely or distantly related to Cyprus will be important. The Greek Cypriots are preparing for this. However, the noise they’ll make will put the spotlight on the Turkish Cypriots and so accelerate the solution process.

    Nobody would offer up Cyprus on a golden platter. First of all, the eastern Mediterranean’s strategic importance wouldn’t allow it.

    Have you noticed that Rehn chose three cities in his first visit to Turkey as part of the process of membership? These cities are Istanbul, Ankara and Kayseri. He said that he had chosen Kayseri as it’s a symbol of Anatolia’s industrial dynamism. Isn’t this an important choice for showing the focus of the new process? Yes, years of close monitoring are starting. When I imagine that we will be prepared for these years very well, I see a picture of Turkey, and this picture is worth all sorts of scuffles.”


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