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Turkish Press Review, 06-12-01

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

01.12.2006


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE POINT WE'RE AT NOW WAS UNIMAGINABLE FOUR YEARS AGO"
  • [02] ISTANBUL HOSTS POPE BENEDICT
  • [03] TURKEY REPEATS REFUSAL OF ECUMENICAL TITLE
  • [04] TAN: "WE CONSIDER EU COMMISSION DECISION A SLOWDOWN, NOT SUSPENSION"
  • [05] YAS CONVENES, DECIDES TO DISMISS 37 SOLDIERS FROM TSK
  • [06] GREEK CYPRIOTS DISSATISFIED WITH EU COMMISSION DECISION ON TURKEY
  • [07] SARKOZY: "PRIVILEGED PARTNERSHIP SHOULD BE OFFERED TO TURKEY"
  • [08] GREECE RESCHEDULING GUL'S VISIT
  • [09] FINNISH PM TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [10] US EMBASSY: "PKK TERRORIST DESIGNATION UNCHANGED"
  • [11] SWEDISH FM: "THE COMMISSION WENT TOO FAR"
  • [12] FINNISH FM: "THE DECISION ON TURKEY'S TALKS MIGHT CHANGE"
  • [13] ERDOGAN'S VISIT TO IRAN

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE POINT WE'RE AT NOW WAS UNIMAGINABLE FOUR YEARS AGO"

    Addressing the nation on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the point where Turkey is now was unimaginable just four years ago. Stressing that Turkey's image had improved during his party's term in office, Erdogan stated that the nation wasn't the same "old Turkey" anymore. "Our image has changed," said the premier. "Don't forget that we emerged today from days of economic crisis and democratic weaknesses. Today the whole world is interested in Turkey, we're the center of attraction." Erdogan further stated that communities living in peace reach welfare, while communities living in conflict cannot. "If the gap between the poor and the rich is shrinking today, that means that we're on the right path," added Erdogan. /Milliyet/

    [02] ISTANBUL HOSTS POPE BENEDICT

    On the third day of his visit to Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Fener Greek patriarch in Istanbul. After being greeted by Patriarch Bartholomeos, Pope attended a four-hour liturgical celebration for the Feast of St. Andrew. The pope and patriarch signed a common declaration proposing cooperation between Christians. The pope then visited Hagia Sophia and then the Sultan Ahmet or Blue Mosque. He also visited the Armenian Patriarchate. /Turkiye/

    [03] TURKEY REPEATS REFUSAL OF ECUMENICAL TITLE

    Reiterating that Turkey has no intention of recognizing any "ecumenical" title for the Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, the Foreign Ministry yesterday made it clear that Turkey regards the patriarchate as "a Turkish institution," not a universal one. Commenting on Pope Benedict XVI's characterization of the patriarch as "ecumenical" during a meeting between the two leaders yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said that Turkey had proclaimed to the world that it would not recognize the title "ecumenical," adding that other definitions were in no way binding for Turkey. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] TAN: "WE CONSIDER EU COMMISSION DECISION A SLOWDOWN, NOT SUSPENSION"

    Responding to the European Union Commission's recommendation for partial suspension of Turkey's EU talks, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan yesterday said that there were hidden factors behind the decision and that the Foreign Ministry considered the decision a "slowdown," not a suspension. "This isn't compatible with the EU's principle of transparency, " said Tan. "They're also uncomfortable with this. The negative political context sometimes prevents them from acting fairly." Tan reiterated that the isolation of Turkish Cypriots should be brought to an end in order to enable steps on the Cyprus issue. /Sabah/

    [05] YAS CONVENES, DECIDES TO DISMISS 37 SOLDIERS FROM TSK

    The Supreme Military Council yesterday convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the meeting, the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) preparedness for war, its modernization needs, and disciplinary cases of soldiers were among the issues discussed. A statement released following the meeting stressed that the fight against terror and reactionary movements should continue effectively, adding that the TSK would continue to do its best towards this end. It was also stated that a total of 37 soldiers, two of whom were involved in reactionary movements, were being dismissed from the TSK. /Sabah/

    TALAT: "THE EU IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY GREEK CYPRUS"

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that the European Union Commission had made a very unjust decision on Turkey, adding that the EU was under the influence of Greek Cyprus, or even being held hostage by it. "Instead of lifting the embargo from the TRNC, the EU is handling Turkey's membership process to satisfy the Greek Cypriots," said Talat. /Turkiye/

    [06] GREEK CYPRIOTS DISSATISFIED WITH EU COMMISSION DECISION ON TURKEY

    Greek Cypriots are dissatisfied with the European Union Commission's recent decision on Turkey which suspends eight chapters and holds off the closure of all others. Greek Cypriot administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday said that the decision is insufficient to put pressure on Turkey to urge it to fulfill its commitments to the bloc. In related news, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is expected to arrive in Greek Cyprus to have a meeting with Papadopoulos to evaluate recent developments in Turkey's EU membership process. /Aksam-Turkiye/

    [07] SARKOZY: "PRIVILEGED PARTNERSHIP SHOULD BE OFFERED TO TURKEY"

    Appearing on a television, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who just announced his intention to run for president next year, said yesterday that Turkey's European Union accession talks should be suspended, adding that privileged partnership should be offered instead. Sarkozy further claimed that Turkey wasn't in Europe, but in Anatolia. "Europe is for European countries," added Sarkozy. /Milliyet/

    [08] GREECE RESCHEDULING GUL'S VISIT

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is due to invite Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to Greece on Dec. 7-8 for a meeting initially postponed due to a UN Security Council meeting which Bakoyannis is to attend. The Greek Foreign Ministry declared that the Security Council meeting was postponed to Dec. 12 so Gul could visit the country. In related news, Foreign Ministry sources stated that Gul was reconsidering his visit due to all the scheduling changes. /Milliyet/

    [09] FINNISH PM TO VISIT TURKEY

    Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen is set to arrive in Ankara today to have talks with Turkish officials to convince them to open their harbors and ports to Greek Cyprus. During his meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to call on the European Union Commission to soften its decision and stance towards Turkey. /Aksam/

    [10] US EMBASSY: "PKK TERRORIST DESIGNATION UNCHANGED"

    There is no change in the US declaration of the PKK as a terrorist group, said the US Embassy yesterday, responding to a federal court ruling limiting the president's power to cut the financial resources of groups designated terrorist. "The US government is currently considering what steps to take next with respect to the recent ruling by a US District Court in California regarding terrorism financing," said an official embassy statement. "We wish to clarify that the PKK remains a designated terrorist organization, and US legal restrictions on the provision of support to the PKK continue to apply." Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan said that the decision of US court had reached him and after reviewing the 45-page document he would speak to the press. /Hurriyet/

    [11] SWEDISH FM: "THE COMMISSION WENT TOO FAR"

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt yesterday said that he was worried Turkish-European Union relations would suffer after the EU Commission proposed Ankara's negotiations be partially suspended. Speaking to Cumhuriyet, Bildt said that he had found the Commission's proposal harsh and was worried it would cause unavoidable damage. "As long as the EU puts on the brake, it will be more difficult to return," said Bildt and added that he had noticed some hazards in the proposal. He also said that the Commission's proposal had gone too far and that if Europe decides to cut off relations with Turkey, this could demolish the stability of the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] FINNISH FM: "THE DECISION ON TURKEY'S TALKS MIGHT CHANGE"

    European Union Term President Finland's foreign minister said yesterday that the EU Commission's decision to partially suspend negotiations with Turkey would "probably" change. Speaking to Turkish reporters in Helsinki, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that the commission's recommendation on suspending eight chapters would probably change before the EU foreign ministers' meeting set to begin on Dec. 11. Underlining that Turkey's EU candidacy should continue, Tuomioja said that if Turkey fulfills its requests, the EU will say "welcome" to it. /Cumhuriyet/

    BABACAN: "THE EU FAILED BY REQUESTING UNILATERAL CONCESSIONS FROM ANKARA"

    Speaking to Britain's The Financial Times yesterday, Turkey's chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan responded to the decision of the European Union Commission recommending the suspension of Turkey's EU talks, saying that the EU had failed by requesting unilateral concessions from Ankara. Stressing that the Cyprus issue should be kept separate from Turkey's EU bid, Babacan added that Ankara was opposed to linking Turkey's EU talks and Cyprus. "Our proposal on the Cyprus issue is to put it to one side in the accession negotiations and deal with it by lifting sanctions on both sides simultaneously," said Babaacan, adding that it was impossible for Turkey to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots unilaterally. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [13] ERDOGAN'S VISIT TO IRAN

    BY NASUHI GUNGOR (STAR)

    Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Iran. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's program will continue with Iran. His visit to Jordan was followed closely by the whole world. What's the context for his visit to Iran? Firstly, the problem of ‘redefining Lebanon,' in which Iran is a direct actor, continues. Iran won't reduce r the tension in Lebanon until the Fuad Saniora government resigns. Secondly, US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met in Jordan. If you wonder if the term ‘strong leader' used by Bush for Maliki would boost his power or hurt his support, let me give you an example. Muqtada Al-Sadr, a rising figure of Iraqi politics, said that because of this meeting he had suspended his relations with the government. It would be useful to focus our attention on the fact that this suspension is parallel with the government crisis in Lebanon. Thirdly, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met almost all the important actors in Iranian politics nearly a week ago in Iran. The message of all the meetings between religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hashemi Rafsanjani with Jalal Talabani was common: If Iraq asks, Iran is ready to do anything to ensure stability and peace in this country.

    In sum, this is the situation in Iraq before Erdogan's visit to Iran, which will be very comprehensive. How will this help promote a solution to the tension seen in a broad area extending from Lebanon and Palestine and from Syria to Iraq? The Middle East is paying attention to what Turkey is saying, particularly in an atmosphere following Ankara's rejection on March 1, 2003 of US deployment in Turkey for the Iraq invasion. The Maliki government is suffering from hard days in Iraq. Al-Sadr's stance, rising domestic conflict and most importantly, the stance of actors outside Iraq will clarify the search for a new government in Iraq in a short period of time. At this point, Turkey will give the message, mostly to Iran, of ‘focusing on certain formulas to reduce tension in Iraq and Lebanon.' Now Turkey is maintaining the thesis of establishing a government model which is supported at least temporarily by all the political actors in Iraq. Of course, this isn't necessarily a request for a change of government. However, Ankara realizes that it would be very hard for the Maliki government to survive. Finally, a person who contributes to the government's foreign policy said, ‘Some people are tending to see Erdogan's visit to Iran as an attack on this country's activity in Shiite areas. This is certainly wrong. For example, the role played by Turkey about Sunni groups' participation in the elections and government aimed to raise their participation and defuse tension.' This is the general situation in the region. In addition, the messages given there will lay the groundwork of the region's immediate future."


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