|Sunday, 23 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-01-19
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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
 PARLIAMENT ADOPTS CHP PROPOSAL TO DISCUSS KIRKUK, IRAQParliament yesterday adopted the proposal of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to hold a special session to discuss Iraq and its city of Kirkuk. The session is expected to be held next Tuesday. Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that Turkey was concerned about recent negative developments in northern Iraq, adding that Ankara wasn't intervening in Iraq's internal affairs. "We're meeting with all groups in the country to protect its territorial integrity," said Gul. Stressing that conflict between all groups was rising in the country despite a number of steps which have been taken, Gul stated that Ankara was worried that ethnic conflict could soon begin. "We want an Iraq with political and territorial integrity," he said. "Unfortunately, Iraq is now far from this. We'll continue our efforts towards this end." /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH PARTY MEMBERS TO DISCUSS APPROACHING GENERAL ELECTIONSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with the members of his party yesterday to discuss the general elections set for this fall. During the meeting, Erdogan said that he wanted his party to boost its share of the vote by 10%. Also commenting on May's presidential election, Erdogan said that a candidate hasn't been determined yet by his party. "We won't have a candidate until the official date," added Erdogan. "We'll declare our candidate after the official application date is announced." /Turkiye/
 IN BURSA, CHP'S BAYKAL SAYS TURKEY CAN'T BE BYSTANDER TO DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQSpeaking at Uludag University in Bursa yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal commented on recent developments in Iraq, saying that Turkey couldn't be only a bystander to this situation. "The division of Iraq is in its last stage," he said. "Terrorist attacks on Turkey are getting resources from Iraq. The terrorist PKK has offices and training centers in Iraq. This is a violation of international law." Baykal added that Ankara wanted the coalition forces to stop the terrorist PKK from getting support from the country. /Turkiye/
 DYP'S AGAR: "TURKEY SHOULD ACT IN UNISON AGAINST RECENT NEGATIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ"Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that Turkey should act in unison against recent negative developments in Iraq, adding that the issue should be handled with common sense. "We should be prepared for any development," he said. Agar further stressed that the Iraq issue is now more important than ever, but that it shouldn't be used as political fodder in this year's elections. /Star/
 CHP'S OYMEN: "SINCE OTHERS WON'T, IT'S UP TO TURKEY TO STOP TERRORIST INFILTRATION"Speaking at discussions leading to next week's special Parliament session on Iraq, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy group leader Onur Oymen said that the demographic makeup of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk was being changed and that holding a referendum under these circumstances would be the harbinger of grave conflicts. Stating that developments in Kirkuk shouldn't be considered a domestic issue, Oymen said, "The issue in Kirkuk is a human rights issue, isn't it? Since when are human rights a domestic issue?" Oymen cited UN Security Council Resolution 1723 stressing all countries' responsibility to prevent the infiltration of terrorists from neighboring countries to Iraq, or from Iraq to other countries. Saying that Iraq and the US haven't fulfilled this responsibility and that it was now Turkey's responsibility to do this, Oymen added that Turkey should send soldiers to its southern border. /Cumhuriyet/
 US DIPLOMAT BURNS SPEAKS WITH ERDOGAN ABOUT IRAQ, PKKVisiting Ankara to speak about US President George W. Bush's new Iraq plan, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Parliament. Burns also heard Turkey's views on the issue from Erdogan. Erdogan told of Turkey's concerns about developments in Kirkuk and warned that these might cause serious problems in the region. Erdogan also spoke of Turkey's concern on the issue of the terrorist PKK, characterizing this week's operation at the Mahmur Camp as positive but added that Turkey was expecting further such steps. Erdogan also warned the US administration to resist a resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide expected to soon face a vote in the US House of Representatives. Afterwards, Burns said that he had had a very good meeting with Erdogan. Burns added that he had expressed Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's thanks to Erdogan for Turkey's cooperation in Afghanistan and its support concerning Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. Burns added that the US knew of the losses suffered by Turkey due to terrorism and the feelings of the Turkish people. Burns added that the US would continue to act on the PKK issue and would take certain steps with both the Turkish and Iraqi governments. /Hurriyet, Turkiye/
 EKER ANNOUNCES DROUGHT ACTION PLANAgriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker said yesterday that a drought action plan had been prepared to prepare for long-term problems of global warming and drought. Speaking at a press conference, Eker said that a drought management coordination council would also be set up as part of the plan. Eker said that the council would work on how Turkey will be impacted by global warming and determine which regions face the greatest risk. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE KIRKUK TRAPBY DERYA SAZAK (MÝLLÝYET)
Columnist Derya Sazak comments on Turkey's policy on Kirkuk. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The attack this week on a Turkmen district in Kirkuk which killed 30 people is matter of concern. Ankara is also about to be drawn into a trap. The provocative referendum preparations by the US, the possibility that the de facto Kurdish state will declare Kirkuk its capital, and the north taking control of the oil resources in the city and turning a blind eye to PKK activities in the region are all factors that point to a cross-border operation. National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Undersecretary Emre Taner said that in light of recent developments, Turkey's policy can't be limited to a defensive one. Taner's warning that nation-states who can't see global threats may not survive is an important one. But does this policy require for Turkey to take military measures or to boost its effectiveness through peaceful means? It's clear there are disagreements over our Iraq policy at the state level.
There are important disagreements over northern Iraq, the terrorist PKK and the Kurdish question among the opposition, political power and the military. This conflict came to a peak during debate over the motion on US troops coming to Turke prior to the Iraq invasion on March 1, 2003. The General Staff and the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) didn't give clear advice to the National Security Council (MGK). Four years later, the situation is no different. Turkey wants to go back to the conditions before 2003, but the US and the Iraqi government don't like this idea. The statements of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and main opposition leader Deniz Baykal are aimed at gaining votes in the coming elections.
It's dangerous for the US, which is already stuck in the Iraqi quagmire, to create more chaos in Turkey. It's also interesting that the PKK has declared a cease-fire, and peaceful solutions to the issue are on the table besides debates over an intervention in Iraq. The recent statements of former MIT Deputy Undersecretary Cevat Ones also support a civil solution to the problem. Ones said that historically, Turkey's policies on the Kurdish question haven't been successful. What happened when Israel bombed Lebanon?"
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