|Tuesday, 25 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-01-18
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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
18.01.2007FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…
 UKRAINIAN PM VISITS TURKEYTurkey is determined to develop mutual investments as well as joint efforts on contractor services and energy with Ukraine, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday at a joint press conference with visiting Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovic. He spoke after Turkish and Ukrainian delegations signed a defense industry cooperation agreement and a protocol on Ukraine's accession to Operation Black Sea Harmony. Recalling that he had visited Ukraine in 2004, Erdogan said that the trade volume between the countries rose significantly following his visit. Yanukovic said for his part that his country is ready to play an active role in the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project. "We have concluded that our relations at this point need new dynamics," he said. "The matter concerns the transition from export-import operations to the implementation of high technology projects." /Star/
 TURKEY'S MIDEAST AMBASSADORS GATHER IN ANKARATurkey's ambassadors to Iran, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt gathered in Ankara yesterday to discuss recent developments in the region in the light of US President George W. Bush's new Iraq strategy. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is expected attend today's session of the meeting. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN REASSURES EU AMBASSADORS OF TURKEY'S DETERMINATIONState Minister and chief negotiator Ali Babacan yesterday told the ambassadors of European Union countries to Ankara that reforms would continue at the same pace. Meeting with EU ambassadors at a luncheon, Babacan briefed them on last week's summit of all EU-related Turkish state institutions and stressed that a detailed road map concerning the legal arrangements to be made by Turkey through 2013 would be completed before this fall's elections. Babacan also urged the EU to dispel the dark atmosphere covering Turkey's membership talks and to get the talks going smoothly again. He further stated that Turkey was willing to start membership talks in the chapters which are ready and that they want to see progress on eight chapters which were suspended. /Milliyet/
 BAHCELI MAKES SIX PROPOSALS ON KIRKUK ISSUEThere is an atmosphere of total civil war in Iraq and Kurdish groups are benefiting from this atmosphere of chaos, conflict and separation, said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday. Bahceli told a press conference that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had surrendered in Iraq and was a mere bystander to developments there, and that Iraq's Turkmen were being given the cold shoulder. Bahceli made six proposals for strategies which should be followed by Turkey as follows: A comprehensive strategy of political persuasiveness supported by military force should be developed; Kurdish peshmerga groups should be clearly warned; the US should be told that Turkey cannot be a bystander to the formation of an independent Kurdish state; in contacts with the US and Sunni and Shiite groups, they should be told that a referendum on Kirkuk is unacceptable; economic sanctions should be imposed; and a cross-border operation should be done, if necessary. /Milliyet/
 US FORCES RAID CAMP WITH PKK MILITANTS IN NORTHERN IRAQUS troops in Iraq yesterday raided a refugee camp where PKK militants were taking shelter in northern Iraq. An official of the Mahmur district, Abdurrahman Palef, said that Iraqi Army and coalition forces launched the operation on the PKK-controlled camp yesterday morning. Palef said that the aim of the operation was "to get a head count, do identity verification and see if there were any military elements in the camp." There were no violent incidents during the day. /Star/
 TAK ADDED TO EU'S TERRORIST LISTThe Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), whose name was heard for the first time in 2004 and which committed bomb attacks in Bayrampasa and Bahcelievler last year, has been added to the official terrorist list of the European Union. With TAK's addition, the number of terrorist groups which act against Turkey on the EU's list rose to four. /Milliyet/
 UNAKITAN STRESSES DETERMINATION ON PRIVATIZATIONS AND REFORMSFinance Minister Kemal Unakitan said yesterday that the government was determined to prepare social security reforms and carry out privatizations. Speaking after a conference in London, Unakitan emphasized falling oil prices. Unakitan added that there might be a delay in social security reforms due to certain developments beyond the government's control. /Sabah/
 ARINC OPENS TURKISH SCHOOL IN SUDANParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and his Sudanese counterpart Ahmet Ibrahim al-Tahir yesterday opened a Turkish school built by the Manisa Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association in Hartum. Arinc said that these schools would give high-quality education to children. Speaking at a ceremony which started with Sudanese children singing the Turkish national anthem, Arinc said that such schools were opening all over the world and that they honored for Turkey. /Sabah/
 PARLIAMENT PASSES OIL LAW CHANGESChanges to the Oil Law to ease domestic and foreign capital exploration for and production of oil were passed by Parliament yesterday. Under the changes, the state would not charge for an exploration license and would extend discounts for operating oil fields. The state's share would also vary depending on the type of production, land and air areas, water depth and the method of production. /Aksam/
 GUL TO VISIT THREE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN THREE DAYSForeign Minister Abdullah Gul next week will visit three European countries in a row to attend various meetings. Firstly, Gul will visit Paris next Thursday to attend the National Donors' Conference to be held for Lebanon. The next day, he will go to Brussels for a meeting of NATO member countries' foreign ministers. Following this meeting, officials of countries contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and NATO member countries will meet. After leaving Brussels, Gul will represent Turkey during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 26-27 and attend a session about Turkey's political future there. Gul also plans to go to the US at the beginning of next month. /Turkiye/
 BOMB IN KIRKUK KILLS 10 TURKMENA car bomb exploded in a Turkmen district in the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk yesterday, killing 10 Turkmen. Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) Ankara representative Ahmet Muratli claimed that the bombing was a provocation as part of plans to annex the city to the Iraqi Kurdistan region. He also said that the bomb clearly targeted the Turkmen since the street is full of Turkmen offices, including a cultural center and several other non-governmental organizations. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…
 PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS THE MIDEASTColumnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on Parliament's decision to hold a special session on Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
"As I wrote yesterday, Parliament's decision to discuss Iraq is both proper and correct.
Today, again as I promised, I'll tell you about the decisions that I hope Parliament will take unanimously. I think it's very important at this stage for Parliament to take some decisions unanimously, for the following reason.
Right now the US administration is confused about the Iraq issue. It's open to suggestions, but at the same time it could begin to take dangerous actions at any moment.
At such a juncture, by pursuing active policies, Ankara could affect the countries of the region and call for Washington to act with common sense.
The decisions which I hope Parliament will take are as follows:
1) Without delay, Turkey should start an active initiative to hold an international meeting with the participation of all the countries of the Middle East plus the US, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China.
The latest initiatives of the US administration are unavoidably provoking Shiite-Sunni conflict in Iraq. Turkey should take necessary measures to reduce this danger. All countries of the region and leading countries of the world should immediately sit at a table together to discuss the Iraq issue, without any discrimination between Shiites and Sunnis. Ankara should contact these countries at once to hold such a meeting.
In addition, Turkey should try to explain to the US that its recent anti- Iran initiative is too dangerous.
2) Turkey should declare that it accepts the Iraqi reality, that Iraqi Kurds will be a guarantor in the region, that the northern Iraqi Kurds will understand the meaning of being a guarantor after US forces leave the country, and that it's open to all kinds of economic, political, and social ties with the Kurdish federated state.
Parliament should also invite Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to visit Turkey.
3) In light of today's demographic confusion, Parliament, as expressed by all official and unofficial institutions of the world, should unanimously declare that Ankara won't allow a referendum in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk before order is ensured in this city.
Turkey should start an initiative to make UN soldiers, who generally arrive in places too late, to go to Kirkuk in a timely fashion.
There's no need for a motion, but opposition parties, and especially the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), should accept that they would give authority to the government to send soldiers to the region should Iraqi officials insist on holding a referendum in Kirkuk.
CHP leader Deniz Baykal's support towards this end is called for.
4) Parliament should give authority to the government to declare amnesty to PKK terrorists who voluntarily come down from the mountains.
Turkey couldn't accept the terrorist PKK as a legitimate player and negotiate a cease-fire with it, but it should try to save its own children who fell into the clutches of the PKK.
I sincerely support Parliament's initiative to hold a special session to discuss Iraq."
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