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Turkish Press Review, 06-10-31

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 stated that Cyprus was a political issue and that he European Union should fulfill its promises to Turkey about this issue, adding, “There is currently no Turkish government which could give up Cyprus.” He also said that that the UN was the place to solve this problem. “They (the EU) can’t ask anything from us until they fulfill their own responsibilities,” he said. Speaking at the opening of the Ninth Foreign Trade Week, Erdogan said that Turkey’s exports would reach $83 billion by the end of this year, up from $47.3 billion in 2003. The prime minister also said that promoting trade has been one of the priorities of his ruling Development and Justice Party (AKP) since it came to office four years ago. /Cumhuriyet/[02] GUL MEETS WITH BELGIAN FM, DISCUSSES CYPRUS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Belgian counterpart Karel De Gucht, who is paying an official visit to Ankara, and they discussed a number of concerns, including the Cyprus issue. Speaking at a press conference afterwards, Gul briefed reporters on recent developments on the Cyprus issue. Asked about the invitation of Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja to the leaders of both sides of the island to solve the issue, Gul said that he suggested Tuomioja conduct shuttle diplomacy between the sides. For his part, De Gucht stated that both sides should make constructive contributions to solve the problem. /Turkiye/[03] CICEK: “WE’RE DETERMINED ON TURKEY’S EU BID”

    Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that they had evaluated recent developments in the runup to the release of Turkey’s latest European Union progress report on Nov. 8. Cicek stated that the government was determined on Turkey’s EU membership bid, adding that its work on harmonizing laws and their implementation would continue. “Turkey’s determination will continue no matter what the progress report says,” stated Cicek. “EU membership is an indispensable goal for us. Our EU goal has been state policy since 1963.” /Turkiye/[04] DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL, RUMSFELD MEET AT THE PENTAGON

    Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday met with his US counterpart Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. The fight against the terrorist PKK, ways to strengthen defense industry cooperation and Turkey’s purchase of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets developed by the US were all discussed during the meeting between the delegations led by Gonul and Rumsfeld. /Hurriyet/[05] NSC TO CONVENE TODAY

    The National Security Council (NSC) is due to convene today under the chairmanship of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to discuss a number of issues. Gen. Yasar Buyukanit will participate in the NSC meeting as the chief of General Staff for the first time. Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug and Gendarmerie General Commander Isik Kosaner will participate in the meeting for the first time. /Aksam/[06] PERES TOUTS ISRAEL’S RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

    At a reception marking the 83rd anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic on Sunday, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said that the Turkish Republic was very sound. Peres also touted bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that these relations would also contribute to peace in the Middle East. Peres added that Muslim, Christians, and Jews would continue to co-exist despite their differences. /Milliyet/


    Hansjoerg Kretschmer, the outgoing head of the European Commission delegation to Turkey, claimed yesterday that although the Turkish government wants to keep up its reform process, the military is resisting this. Speaking to CNN-Turk on the last day of his four years of duty in Turkey, Kretschmer described his relations with the Turkish military as “absent” and said that all of his requests to establish a dialogue with the Turkish military had been rebuffed. About his farewell visit to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Kretschmer said, “I believe that the content of my meeting with Sezer should be kept confidential.” /Star/[08] SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD: “I OPPOSE THE PKK’S TERROR CAMPAIGN”

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday said that he was against the terrorist PKK’s activities in the region. Stating that the terror group’s activities in Turkey and in the region would sooner or later impact his country too, Assad said that he rejects attacks on innocents. “Relations in every area between Turkey and Syria are flawless,” he said. Assad also emphasized that he was against any kind of division in Iraq, be it ethnic or religious. He warned that Iraq’s division could cause new wars. /Star/[09] EP PRESIDENT: “TURKEY SHOULD CONTINUE ITS NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE EU”

    European Parliament President Josep Borrell said yesterday that Turkey should continue its negotiations with the European Union. “Arguments over Turkey’s full EU membership are premature,” he said. Adding that EU Term President Finland was doing its best to prevent Turkey’s talks from coming to a halt, Borrell stated that a plan was being prepared for the Cyprus issue. Borrell called Turkey a “great country with a long history,” adding that he didn’t want the negotiations to falter. /Turkiye/ [10] BABACAN: “DIFFICULTIES IN OUR EU BID ARE DUE TO CERTAIN EU MEMBERS, NOT ANKARA OR BRUSSELS”

    State Minister for the Economy and chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan said yesterday that Turkey’s difficulties in its EU bid were due to certain EU member states, not Ankara or Brussels. “We’re sure of ourselves, ” said Babacan. “There is no problem in Ankara or Brussels. Certain countries aren’t ready for Turkey’s membership since they are preoccupied with their own problems.” Babacan further stressed that if the negotiation process was only technical, it could be completed in three or four years. /Milliyet/ [11] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on next year’s presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “When I was looking at who came to Sunday’s reception held by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, I said to myself that Sezer has established a common denominator for people who can bring Turkey to the future. Sezer places great importance on universities. As a reflection of this, many university staff were among the participants, from Ege University Rector Ulku Bayindir to Samsun 19 Mayis University Rector Ferit Bernay. When Sezer invited artists and musicians, he chose among them carefully. From legislative circles to the business world, and from the bureaucracy to representatives of institutions, Sezer acted with the concerns that I mentioned in the beginning. Sezer became a figure who is liked by the public, without pandering.

    I can summarize the topics of conversation at the Presidential Palace reception as follows: 2007 has already started for Ankara. Two important events of the next year are the spring presidential election and fall general elections. Of course, electing our next president has a priority. Who will be at the Presidential Palace after Sezer, in other words, in Ataturk’s seat? This question was asked all over the reception hall. Concerning the issue, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he wouldn’t talk about this subject until next April. Sezer’s term of office will end on May 16, 2007. Thirty days before this date, the timetable to elect the new president will begin. So Erdogan has to talk in April. It seems that Erdogan is planning to keep the issue low-key until April and then came to the Presidential Palace with an accelerated timetable. It seems that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal has a similar strategy.

    Speaking to reporters on the issue, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said that he would like to talk about it not as the chief of General Staff, but as an ordinary citizen. He said that the president was an exemplary person who protects the republic’s values fully. Most of the public also think that a person like Sezer should be elected president.”


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