|Monday, 24 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-01-10
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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
 SEZER MEETS WITH ITALIAN PRESIDENT, DISCUSSES TURKEY'S EU BIDPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer, currently paying an official visit to Italy, yesterday met with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. During their meeting, Napolitano stressed that Italy supported Turkey's European Union membership bid since it believed that Ankara would contribute to the expansion of the Union. For his part, Sezer said that he welcomed Italy's support, adding that he believed Turkey would contribute to Europe's political identity, strengthen its economy and security, and develop global understanding and cooperation. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN: "WE WON'T ALLOW A FAIT ACCOMPLI IN KIRKUK"Speaking at his party's group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan decried recent efforts to change the demographic makeup of Kirkuk, a northern Iraqi city with a large ethnic Turkmen population, saying that Ankara wouldn't allow a fait accompli to take place there. "The outcome of a referendum in the city (planned for later this year) is already clear," said Erdogan. "Such an outcome isn't healthy, and a fait accompli which doesn't consider neighboring countries won't help Iraq's stability. Ethnic groups in Iraq should especially listen to these warnings." Stressing that the Iraq issue has eclipsed even Turkey's European Union membership bid in importance, Erdogan stated that he had to say this due to recent developments. "I want to draw people's attention to dangerous developments in the country," added Erdogan. /Turkiye/
 BAGHDAD PLANE CRASH BLAMED ON WEATHERA plane carrying 35 people crashed during landing at an airstrip near Baghdad yesterday, killing 32 and injuring one, with the remaining passengers missing. The plane was trying to land at a US military base 80 kilometers north of Baghdad when it crashed. The Moldova-registered Antonov- 26 plane had taken off from an airport in Turkey's southern city of Adana and was carrying construction workers from the Kulak construction company. Adana Governor Cahit Kirac said preliminary reports suggested that the crash was due to bad weather. /Turkish Daily News/
 BAYKAL: "WE SHOULD PROTECT OUR NATIONAL UNITY AND TURN BACK THOSE WHO SEEK TO DIVIDE US"Speaking at his party's group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal called on all Turks to be vigilant about protecting Turkey's national unity, saying that they shouldn't give way to those who seek to divide the country. "Our greatest asset is our national unity," said Baykal. "We should be very careful and not forget that our official language is Turkish. We should protect our language, land, and nation." /Turkiye/
 DYP'S AGAR MEETS WITH ARINC TO DISCUSS ELECTION REFORM PROPOSALSOpposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday visited Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc to brief him on his party's proposals to make changes to the Election Law. Agar stressed that problems with the current law could be overcome without damaging stability or lowering the election threshold. For his part, Arinc called Agar's proposal a "delayed opportunity," saying that Parliament did work in 2002 on the election system, but that changing the Election Law wouldn't be easy. He added that Parliament would consider the proposals of opposition parties. /Milliyet/
 TRNC BEGINS DEMOLITION OF BRIDGE OVER LEDRA ST.The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday began demolishing the bridge over Ledra St. in order to open a new crossing with the Greek Cypriot administration. The demolition also damaged the cause of Greek Cyprus administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos. Demolition of the bridge, which caused an image crisis between Turkey and the TRNC, will continue for two days. TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots wanted the demolition of the bridge over Ledra St. Speaking to BRT TV in the TRNC, Talat said that whole world, including certain sectors in Turkey, should respect their decision. TRNC Interior Minister Ozkan Murat said that the Turkish side had decided to demolish the bridge with the best of intentions. Stating that Turkish side had done its part, Murat said, "Now it's the Greek Cypriots' turn." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the decision to demolish the bridge over Ledra St. should be respected. According to Filelefteros daily in Greek Cyprus, Papadopoulos said, "The persuasiveness of the person we've been negotiating with (Talat) has been damaged," and claimed that the TRNC president wasn't in any position to decide about a solution to the Cyprus issue. /All papers/
 QUEEN BEATRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS AND ISRAELI PM TO VISIT TURKEYNext month Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will visit Turkey as the guest of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will visit Turkey as the guest of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Beatrix will visit Turkey between Feb. 27 and March 3, and Olmert's stay will be in the second half of February. A Dutch press release said that Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima would accompany Beatrix during the visit. The queen and crown prince will go to Istanbul and Kayseri. /Aksam/
 US STATE DEPT'S BRYZA: "WE SHOULD TAKE MORE MEASURES IN IRAQ"Matt Bryza, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, yesterday said that the US should take more measures against the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. Speaking at a seminar on Turkish-European Union relations held by the American-Turkish Council (ATC), Bryza said, "We should give Turkey more help to counter the threat of terrorism. We've done a lot with our European partners. We share information with Turkey, but we should do more in Iraq. I understand the impatience of our Turkish friends. I don't blame them." /Milliyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE GREEK CYPRIOTS' TACTICBY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the recent Lokmaci Bridge crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
"They're taking the same tactic in the crisis over Lokmaci Bridge. When the Turkish side takes a step, the West congratulates the Turks. However, the Greek Cypriots say that it's good but not enough, and you should take another step as well. When Turks take a second step, Westerners say ‘bravo' again but the Greek Cypriots still don't seem to be pleased and tell the Turkish Cypriots to take a third step. Then the Turks say, ‘Enough! We won't take a third step.' Then the Greek Cypriots say that the Turks have taken two steps and then stopped, so they don't want to find a solution. Then Westerners agree with them and say that yes, Turks don't favor a solution, and our European Union membership bid gets more difficult. The result is a wash. But in the meantime the Turkish side has made concessions without getting anything in return. The issue of Lokmaci Bride is something like this.
We can't see reality on the Cyprus issue. The Greek Cypriots' understanding of solution is to dominate the entire island. However, the West knows this as well, and their solution is also to leave Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots. Their intention is clear because they haven't kept a single promise they made around the time of the 2004 referendum. If the Greek Cypriots wanted a real, permanent solution which accepts Turks' presence and sovereignty on the island, the problem would have been solved a long time ago. The West favors the Greek Cypriots, not us. Some people haven't grasped this yet.
Being at loggerheads over Lokmaci or dismantling the bridge won't contribute to a solution on Cyprus because the Greek Cypriots won't destroy the wall on their side before tour soldiers withdraw from the region. In other words, they won't open the gate. You can't get any results in politics without taking both risks and responsibility. Ankara being a bystander on the Cyprus issue is unacceptable. The Cyprus issue is a very important and strategic national cause for Turkey. I don't know why the government isn't pusuing effective policies. Is it waiting for Cyprus to be swallowed bit by bit by the Greek Cypriots?"
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