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Turkish Press Review, 06-03-03
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
03.03.2006FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN VISITS EUROCOPTER IN FRANCEPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently in France for an official visit, yesterday met with international investors in Marseille, and called on them to invest in Turkey. Later, Erdogan visited the facilities of Eurocopter, which recently participated in a helicopter tender in Turkey. The premier stated that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) would benefit when the tender is completed. Speaking to reporters following his contacts at the facilities, Erdogan said that Ankara aimed to complete its European Union accession talks on time, adding that the government’s policies would continue to be carried out within democracy, the rule of law, and basic rights and freedoms. “Reforms in a number of areas such as the economy will continue to be implemented in order to maintain stability,” he said. “No one should doubt that we’ll resolutely continue our way.” /Turkiye/
 IN SPAIN, GUL DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH SPANISH KING, PARLIAMENT SPEAKERForeign Minister Abdullah Gul, currently in Madrid, Spain for an official visit, yesterday met separately with Spanish Parliament Speaker Manuel Marin and Spanish King Juan Carlos to discuss bilateral relations. Following his contacts, Gul called the meetings “positive and constructive.” During his meeting with Marin, Gul stated that Turkey carried great historical and strategic importance for the European Union, adding that it was a model for some Arab and Islamic countries. For his part, Marin expressed support for Turkey’s EU bid. “The Muslim Turkish nation will enrich the Union,” he added. Marin stressed that terrorist attacks also served to underscore the importance of the country. /Turkiye/
 CICEK: “BELGIUM’S FOUR-YEAR SENTENCE FOR ERDAL IS IMPORTANT, BUT NOT ENOUGH”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that this week’s Belgian court ruling convicting terrorist Fehriye Erdal of belonging to a terrorist group and giving her a four-year prison term was important, but not enough. Cicek stated that Ankara was expecting Erdal, who disappeared just after the court’s decision, to be extradited to Turkey as soon as possible. “We hope that all European Union member states will cooperate with us concerning the issue,” he added. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul criticized Erdal being allowed to escape while she was under arrest. /Milliyet/
 AGAR CRITICIZES GOVT RECORDIn a written statement yesterday, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar criticized the government policies, claiming that it didn’t understand the nation’s needs. Agar said that the government hasn’t been successful in its three-plus years in power, adding that it wouldn’t be right to say that the economy is doing well. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL MEETS WITH TOBB UNIVERSITY STUDENTSRepublican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal met this week with students at Istanbul’s Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Economy and Technology University. Taking students’ questions, Baykal stated that Turkey has been unable to shake off its ailing economy with a high current account deficit, adding that the informal economy should be controlled. Baykal added that Turkey needed judicial, educational, agricultural and social security reforms and called on the young people to help solve these basic problems. /Star/
 KRUEGER: “TURKEY HAS MADE GREAT PROGRESS AND IT’S CONTINUING REFORMS”Speaking at Stanford University yesterday, International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger said that Turkey recently had made great progress, adding that it was continuing its reforms. Saying that crises occur in the world, but that their solution was more important than the crises themselves, she cited Turkey and Brazil as examples of this. Krueger stated that the IMF supported Ankara’s reforms, adding that the government hadn’t forsaken the reform program. “The result is superb progress,” said Krueger, adding that Turkey’s floating exchange rate was a very good policy. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ANKARA’S SUPPORT FOR AL-JAAFARI ISN’T ENOUGH BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s visit to Turkey this week. A summary of her column is as follows:
“Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s visit to Turkey failed to ensure the support that he expected. The meetings he held in Turkey with certain officials weren’t useful. Al-Jaafari canceled a meeting with leaders to establishment a government of national unity due to the opposition’s resistance. Sunni, secular and Kurdish parties established a bloc to make al-Jaafari give up his bid to keep the premiership. Cracks started to emerge even among Shiites. Al-Jaafari got Ankara’s support for establishing a government of national unity in Iraq, but he’s far from that now. What’s more, some circles say that one of the most important reasons for this was precisely his visit. It was a tendentious visit. Was it right to receive al-Jaafari like a prime minister before the government is even established? Doesn’t Turkey keep an equal distance from all groups in Iraq? Did the visit make Ankara an unwitting tool for Iraq’s domestic politics? I spoke to Turkey’s Special Envoy to Iraq Ambassador Oguz Celikkol yesterday about these questions.
He told me that the request to visit Turkey came from al-Jaafari and this request was accepted. We know that not only al-Jaafari, but also all the party leaders in Iraq have recently placed importance on good relations with Turkey. Ankara’s initiatives to ensure stability in Iraq have long been welcomed positively. Following the attacks against Shiites’ holy places in Samarra, Celikkol went to Iraq to meet with all the political party leaders and the interim government. Then Iraqi President Jalal Talabani made a statement expressing his gratitude. Celikkol said that the economy, energy and transportation ministers came with al-Jaafari and that sales of electricity, a great need for Iraq, had been discussed. Of course, there are other economic and political issues. They were covered by the newspapers. The Iraqi nation is suffering from great poverty. One needn’t wait for a government to be established in order to meet their needs. Al- Jaafari continues to work as prime minister until a new government is established. It wasn’t wrong for Ankara to respond positively to his request to visit.
Was this visit against Turkey’s principle of impartiality? Celikkol answered as follows: ‘When I went to Iraq, I met with all the party leaders. We meet with Kurds, just like we meet with Sunnis, Shiites and Turkmen.’ He added that those who want to visit Turkey get a positive reply. In other words, Ankara is at equal distance from all groups in Iraq, because what’s important for Turkey is providing Iraq with stability, establishing a government of national unity, ending the violence and making life normal. Some circles say that Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr wants to visit Turkey as well. Some in Iraq may not welcome this visit. However, our open door is very natural, just like their wish to get Turkey’s support. This shows the importance they place on Turkey. We need to maintain that thin line which we call equal distance in order not to be used as a tool for Iraq’s domestic affairs. Otherwise, certain undesirable developments might happen, just like Kurds using this visit against al-Jaafari.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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