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Turkish Press Review, 06-12-25

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

25.12.2006

  • [00] PARLIAMENT TOP FINALIZE BUDGET DISCUSSIONS THIS WEEK Parliament will this week conclude discussions on next year's budget that have been ongoing since November. The final talks will take place today, and deputies will vote on the budget as a whole. Leaders of parties in Parliament are expected to speak during the day. Moreover, on Wednesday, Parliament will also asses the law on appointment of the founding rectors of 15 new universities, which was vetoed by the President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Turkish Daily News/ TURKISH DELEGATION CHAIRED BY ERDOGAN ATTENDS NIYAZOV'S FUNERAL CEREMONY Saparmurat Niyazov, the authoritarian president who has for two decades dominated life in Turkmenistan with his all-encompassing cult of personality, was laid to rest yesterday. Prominent Turkish figures were present at the funeral ceremony. Turkish delegation chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and composed of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler, various Turkish deputies, mayors and businessmen, constituted the biggest foreign delegation among delegations from 40 countries and international organizations that were participating in the funeral. Following the ceremony, Erdogan expressed his and the Turkish nation's condolences in a special book for Niyazov, saying that he and his nation were deeply saddened with the death of the founder of Turkmenistan Niyazov, who was a great statesman. "We share the sorrow of the Turkmen nation," wrote Erdogan. "We'll always remember with respect Niyazov's contributions to improving ties between Turkey and Turkmenistan." Niyazov was buried at a family mausoleum. /Sabah/

    CONTENTS

  • [00] PARLIAMENT TOP FINALIZE BUDGET DISCUSSIONS THIS WEEK
  • [01] GREEK CYPRIOT FM: "EU IS APPLYING DOUBLE STANDARD TOWARDS TURKEY"
  • [02] US ENVOY IN GREECE CITES LEGAL OBSTACLES FOR DIRECT FLIGHTS
  • [03] GERMAN FM: "TURKEY'S EU APPROACH IS IN OUR INTEREST"
  • [04] BAKONYANNIS INVITES GUL TO ATHENS
  • [05] RICE PRAISES TURKEY'S IRAQ POLICY
  • [06] LA REPUBLICA: "EUROPE HARMS ITSELF IF IT REJECTS TURKEY"
  • [07] IS THIS POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH RELATIONS WITHOUT ANY PRECONDITION WITH YEREVAN?

  • [01] GREEK CYPRIOT FM: "EU IS APPLYING DOUBLE STANDARD TOWARDS TURKEY"

    Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas said over the weekend that the European Union was applying double standard towards Turkey during its EU membership process. Saying that some countries proposed privileged partnership for Turkey, Lillikas added that Turkey's EU talks were open- ended and that full membership wasn't guaranteed. "The leading countries requested this," said Lillikas, adding that the Greek Cypriot administration supported Turkey's full EU membership. /Milliyet/

    [02] US ENVOY IN GREECE CITES LEGAL OBSTACLES FOR DIRECT FLIGHTS

    US Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries said yesterday that legal obstacles stand in the way of direct flights between the United States and northern Cyprus due to international treaties. Speaking to a newspaper, Ries stated that the US administration examined the issue of direct flights to the TRNC, but reached a negative conclusion. Ries, in an interview with Greek daily Tipos Tis Kiriakis, said Washington had worked on ways to start direct flights with northern Cyprus at the request of the Turkish government but had reached a negative conclusion on the issue, the Anatolia news agency reported from Athens on Sunday. "We examined the issue of direct flights for easing the isolation [imposed on the Turkish Cypriots], but there are two problems: This is not appropriate from a commercial aspect, and also there are legal obstacles with regard to international treaties," Anatolia quoted the ambassador as saying." /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] GERMAN FM: "TURKEY'S EU APPROACH IS IN OUR INTEREST"

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said yesterday that further efforts that aimed at making the country a member of the European Union are in the interests of the Union. In his comments published in German Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, Steinmeier, who is a Social Democrat member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling grand and supporter of Turkey's EU bid, urged the EU to press on with membership talks with Turkey. /The New Anatolian/

    [04] BAKONYANNIS INVITES GUL TO ATHENS

    Speaking to Elefterotipia daily, Greece's Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that the Cyprus issue would be receiving considerable attention in 2007 at both the United Nations and the European Union levels, adding that it would take time for the incoming UN secretary-general to make new recommendations on the issue. Stressing that it would be wrong to expect a resolution for an issue, which lasted for more than three decades, within one or two years, the Greek foreign minister said that however, the Cyprus issue is expected to shift into a new orbit. Furthermore, Bakoyannis said that she was expecting his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul's delayed visit to Athens to take place very soon but was unable to furnish a specific date. /Turkiye/

    [05] RICE PRAISES TURKEY'S IRAQ POLICY

    During an interview with The Associated Press last week, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice praised Turkey's policy on Iraq. Stressing that certain neighboring countries like Turkey have been quite helpful while some others have not been, Rice said that Iran's influence and activities were feeding violence in Iraq. Touching upon the PKK presence in northern Iraq, Rice said that Turks and the US were dealing with the problem in a trilateral cooperative mechanism. /Hurriyet/

    [06] LA REPUBLICA: "EUROPE HARMS ITSELF IF IT REJECTS TURKEY"

    Italian La Republica daily said yesterday that postponement or cut off as regards Turkey's accession talks would greatly cost to the European Union. Criticizing the EU's stance to Turkey, the daily said that it was too late for alternatives rather than full membership. Underlining that the Greek Cyprus was accepted by the bloc without resolving its issues, the article also pointed out that Turkey was a very important country for the EU with its powerful army, stable economy and its influence in the Mideast. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] IS THIS POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH RELATIONS WITHOUT ANY PRECONDITION WITH YEREVAN?

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on an article written by Armenian Defense Minister Serge Sargsian and published on The Wall Street Journal. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "In an article in The Wall Street Journal, Armenian Defense Minister Serge Sargsian called on for normalizing relations with Turkey without any precondition, which is very pleasing. However, unfortunately, it's not sufficient for opening a real door of dialogue, because Sargsian didn't discuss the issue with all its dimensions in his article. He wrote that neither Turks, nor Armenians will leave the region and the logical solution to establish relations with each other and that neighbors do it in today's world. He added that we can't stay enemies forever and that we must take steps forward for our future. It's impossible not to agree with him. Who can object to these words? There are very warm relations between the Turkish and Armenian nations, aren't there? Why wouldn't we crown this closeness with diplomatic relations? He wrote that this opening wouldn't mean that they have given up the claims on Armenian genocide and the European Union must relate this issue with Turkey's full membership. Even if we leave this suggestion aside, his presentation is lacking, because Armenia's preconditions aren't the only thing that matters. As long as Azerbaijan's invasion and the Karabagh issue continue, is this possible to correct Armenian-Turkish relations? What's more, he claimed that Turkey doesn't act constructively. This isn't true. Turkey is one of the founding countries of the Minsk group which tries hard for a solution and it has been making efforts for the solution of the problem since the very beginning. Even if a concern on overcoming the pressure from Europe and the US is felt in his article, this wish for peace must be taken seriously by taking the future developments in the region into account.

    Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are three valuable neighbors for us and important developments are expected to occur in this region. The stability will be very important in southern Caucasia, which will feel the effects of Turkmenistan's president death and the harsh competition of oil between Russia and the West. It's vitally important not only for Turkey, but also for the West's interests to solve the problems between these three countries. The region's importance for the US' interests appeared once more when US President George W. Bush received Azerbaijani Ambassador to Washington Yashar Aliyev. Bush said to Aliyev two weeks ago that the US supported Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and that the US would try to solve the problems as soon as possible. Meanwhile, another important development caused Yerevan to review its policies. The EU stated that it didn't recognize the referendum of independence in Karabagh and told Yerevan that neither the referendum, nor its solution would be accepted legally, before the problem is solved. Next year, it's possible to see the results of approaches of the EU and the US towards the region as southern Caucasia's rapprochement to the West. Problems and conflicts which would hinder this process must be certainly solved. Although Yerevan's call is insufficient, it's worth discussing it with certain creative suggestions."


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