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Turkish Press Review, 06-10-20

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

20.10.2006


CONTENTS

  • [01] BABACAN: “TURKEY WON’T TAKE UNILATERAL STEPS ON CYPRUS”

  • [01] BABACAN: “TURKEY WON’T TAKE UNILATERAL STEPS ON CYPRUS”

    Turkey’s chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan, as part of his visits to European capitals to voice Turkey’s views, yesterday completed his contacts in Athens. Speaking to reporters at the Turkish Embassy in Athens, Babacan said, “Turkey’s determined stance will continue against the EU’s pressure on Cyprus.” Babacan, who met with economic, political and diplomatic officials including Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, said that the details of the Cyprus plan prepared by the EU Term President Finland were not yet clear. “But communication between Greece, Greek Cyprus, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkey continues through various channels,” said Babacan. “It should be known that Turkey won’t take any unilateral steps on Cyprus at any cost,” he added. “Our determined stance forced [EU Term President] Finland to find a new proposal. But I also think that we shouldn’t expect any positive developments towards a solution before year’s-end.” /Cumhuriyet/[02] UNAKITAN TOUTS 18 STRAIGHT QUARTERS OF GROWTH

    Speaking at a housing summit yesterday, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan commented on developments in the economy and the housing sector, saying that the economy had shown continuous growth over the last 18 quarters. “This stability is a result of fiscal discipline and the Central Bank’s independent policies,” said Unakitan. Pointing to the importance of continued fiscal discipline, Unakitan stated that the floating exchange rate policy will remain in force. Speaking to reporters after the summit, Unakitan said that work on a value-added tax cut for the tourism sector was continuing. “The tax burden on employment will also be reduced,” added Unakitan. /Milliyet/ [03] TAN URGES IRAQ TO FIGHT THE PKK

    In response to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari’s recent remarks that Iraq would not fight the terrorist group PKK, Foreign Minister Spokesman Namik Tan said yesterday that fight against the PKK was among the Iraqi government’s obligations and that ducking this responsibility was out of the question. During a regular weekly press conference, Tan said that as a country bordering Turkey and a member of the international community, Iraq had certain obligations, while noting that Turkey has been closely following security problems in its neighbor. He also remarked that the fight against terrorism was one of the top priorities of both Iraq and the international community, adding that Ankara was expecting the Iraqi government to take concrete steps to end the presence of the terrorist group in northern Iraq. /Turkiye/[04] US’ SPECIAL ENVOY RALSTON ASKS TURKISH NATION TO BE PATIENT ON PKK ISSUE

    At a meeting held by the Eurasian Strategic Research Center (ASAM) in Istanbul yesterday, the US’ special envoy for countering the terrorist PKK, retired Gen. Joseph Ralston, said, “We don’t have the option to sit at the table with the terrorist PKK. We have a military option, but it should be the last resort. Iraq, the US and Turkish government will overcome the terrorism problem by cooperating. I am asking the Turkish nation to be patient.” Taking the floor at the same meeting, Turkey’s Special Envoy against the PKK retired Gen. Edip Baser said, “We see ending the terrorist PKK’s presence in northern Iraq in the shortest time possible as a necessity which can’t be delayed.” /Star/[05] BAYKAL: “TURKEY FACES A SERIOUS TERROR PROBLEM”

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday met with labor leaders to discuss a number of issues. During the meeting, Baykal said that Turkey faced a serious terrorism problem, adding that it wouldn’t be right to ignore it. Criticizing Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, who recently said that oil and hydroelectric resources in southeastern Anatolia should belong to the local administration, Baykal stated that this was expressed by a politician, not a terrorist. “We see again see terrorists in the mountains and politicians in the provinces working on the same political project,” said Baykal. Also commenting on the recent dispute between Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar, Baykal said that it was irresponsible to create such arguments between soldiers and politicians. “The fight against terror should continue with determination,” added Baykal. /Aksam/

    Writing in British daily The Guardian yesterday, historian ad columnist Timothy Garton Ash lambasted the Armenian bill passed by the French Parliament last week. His column said that the bill showed double standards and inconsistencies on France’s part, adding that the French Parliament didn’t have the right to “correct” history through such laws. His column stressed that the bill was a misstep. /Sabah/ [06] TURKISH SOLDIERS LEAVE FOR LEBANON

    Turkish soldiers and engineering company employees who will serve under the international peace force in Lebanon, as part of the expanded UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL II, yesterday left for Lebanon following a send- off ceremony in the southern port of Mersin. Some 95 out of a total convoy of 261 personnel, including both soldiers and civilians, left from Mersin on two ships, while the others are expected to arrive at Beirut Airport today. In addition, the construction equipment to be used by civilian personnel will arrive in the region via Syria. Addressing the ceremony, where civilian officials and soldiers’ relatives were also present, Turkish commander Rear Adm. Veysel Kosele said the Turkish troops representing the country would vigorously fulfill this honorable responsibility and duty. /Sabah/[07] RTUK URGES BOYCOTT OF FRENCH PROGRAMS

    After the passage of a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide by the French Parliament last week, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) yesterday recommended that Turkish radio and TV stations boycott French programs and productions, including French songs. RTUK member Saban Sevinc said that the decision was made in light of the Turkish nation’s opposition to the bill. He added that banning commercials was out of the question since this is an economic matter. /Sabah/ [08] TOP TURKISH OFFICIALS TO VISIT THE US

    Four top Turkish military and defense officials will be visiting the US over the next three months for key talks on bilateral defense and military relations. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun, Air Force Commander Gen. Faruk Comert and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul are the officials set to travel to the US between now and next February to meet with their US counterparts. /Turkish Daily News/[09] BRITAIN’S MACSHAME: “THE EU COULD COLLAPSE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF HISTORICAL APOLOGIES”

    Britain’s former European Minister Denis MacShane warned yesterday that if the European Union begins to ask member countries for formal apologizes for certain events in their histories, the bloc could face a danger of collapse. In a guest op-ed in French daily Liberation, commenting on French President Jacques Chirac’s remarks during his recent visit to Yerevan, MacShane said that then British Premier Tony Blair should visit Madagascar and Algeria to urge France to formally apologize to these nations for its massacres during World War II. Stressing that the EU was putting new obstacles in front of Turkey almost each month, MacShane said that Turkey’s friends should make diplomatic efforts to urge the EU to fulfill its commitments to this country. /Turkiye/ [10] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…[00] THE OFFICIOUSNESS OF HARMONIZATIONBY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mumtaz Soysal comments on Turkey’s EU membership process. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has been checking the situation in European cities and trying hard to find an appropriate way to open Turkey’s harbors and airspace to Greek Cypriot ships and planes. Doubtlessly he’s trying to save what can be saved. However, when officials from the EU say that this is an open-ended process, does our minister has to make such an irreversible concession? Is this keeping a promise which was made before? Did they keep the promise that they made before the 2004 referendum on Cyprus? The delegation head in Ankara said two days ago that the EU Council’s statement on removing the isolation on the Turkish Cypriots was just political and lacked legal meaning, didn’t he? Our Parliament is trying hard to enact harmonization laws. For example, it’s even ignoring the things that Greece did to Turkish foundations in Western Thrace and is opening the way for foreign foundations in Turkey. It’s trying to implement the principle of reciprocity without waiting for the other party to make improvements. Why is it in such a hurry and acting officiously? Is this meant to influence next month’s Copenhagen report and decisions at the summit in December? Didn’t they tell us that no matter what we do, the process is open-ended and full membership is never guaranteed?

    Now it’s time to evaluate the process of full EU membership coolly, before spending more time and before they try harder to save the day, week or month. Otherwise the price of getting out of this quagmire will be too high not only for the current government, but also for a nation with a population of 75 million. We needn’t think about conspiracy theories. Can we see that pressing the Kemalist republic has almost turned into an orchestration in the Western world? In spite of all our requests, the US is trying to establish an independent Kurdish state just next to our southeastern region, Europe is forcing us to make all the concessions by using some people’s wish for Westernization and saying all the time that we won’t be a full member, and some people from Cyprus want to cut loose from Turkey and go to the EU to live there. The sooner such mistakes are stopped, the better. In this atmosphere, should we get angry with France, call the engagement off, be relaxed and then be in a tough spot with the EU, or try hard to come to our senses in order to become a stronger and sounder nation?”[11] CROSS-BORDER DISCUSSIONBY NASUHI GUNGOR (STAR)

    Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on Turkish-EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “It’s easy to discuss a problem on our borders. However, there is a different agenda in the discussions beyond our borders. Ankara’s policy on Iraq and on the Kurds within this context has changed over the last two years. We can see the importance of this change now, because Turkey will face deeper problems in the near future. Let’s look at recent developments in Iraq. For example, the Iraqi Parliament approved a new law ‘enabling a federal structure.’ While the Sunnis were against this, the Shiites and Kurds approved it.

    Sunni groups claim that this law would split Iraq. There are economic as well as political concerns behind this rejection. With the Shiites demanding federalism, the Sunnis could find themselves stuck in regions without oil reserves. The situation in northern Iraq is different. The Iraqi Kurds made a great contribution in passing the new law. A possible Iranian influence cast a shadow over the new law.

    Moreover, the US Iraq working group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker has prepared a report on Iraq. The most important part is not the US withdrawing from the region, but possible advice to assume a ‘softer’ central structure and a federal government. Would one report affect developments in the region? Of course not, but we shouldn’t forget that this commission is close to the US government. Ankara also watched US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s meetings in Iraq and her remarks on preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity by developing the federal system in the country.

    It’s debatable how the government can handles these problems, but by doing this we have to adopt a broader perspective. Seeing the cross-border dimension of the problem doesn’t mean that we have to expect action from others. We always confuse them. The problems we face don’t only concern us. We somehow forget that we share a border with insanity.” [12] TO OUR READERS

    In observation of the Ramadan Seker Bayram holiday, the Turkish Press Review will not appear next Monday through Wednesday. Please join us again on next Thursday, Oct. 26.

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