|Sunday, 28 February 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 07-06-04
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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
 CENTER-RIGHT MERGER FALTERSThe merger of two parties from Turkey’s fractured secular center-right opposition showed signs of cracking over the weekend after one party leader accused the other of not abiding by the terms of their merger agreement, when rather than dissolving, the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) instead elected a new executive board. The leaders of the True Path Party (DYP) and ANAVATAN last month said they were joining forces to form the new Democrat Party (DP). ANAVATAN Party leader Erkan Mumcu said that an historic opportunity had been missed. “DYP leader Mehmet Agar and I both need to apologize to the nation,” he added. /Sabah/
 AHEAD OF ELECTIONS, PARLIAMENT TAKES EARLY SUMMER RECESSParliament yesterday decided to begin its summer recess due to the general elections scheduled for July 22. Since the last general elections four-and- a-half years ago, in November 2002, Parliament has passed landmark legislation and key reforms. Of the 61 laws vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, 49 were later passed by Parliament, while 12 are in parliamentary commissions. /Turkiye/
 US DEFENSE SECRETARY: “I HOPE THERE WON’T BE UNILATERAL MILITARY ACTION ACROSS THE IRAQI BORDER”US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that he understood Turkey’s concerns over the Iraqi issue, but hoped it would not take unilateral military action across the border in Iraq. Gates said that he sympathized with the Turks’ concern about cross-border raids by PKK terrorists. “The Turks have a genuine concern with Kurdish terrorism that takes place on Turkish soil,” said Gates. “So one can understand their frustration and unhappiness over this. Several hundred Turks lost their lives each year, and we have been working with the Turks to try to help them get control of this problem on Turkish soil.” /Turkiye/
 BUYUKANIT TO MEET WITH HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART ON WEDNESDAYChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is due to receive his Russian counterpart Yury Baluyevski on Wednesday. During the meeting, the military leaders are expected to discuss a number of issues, including the security of the Black sea. /Aksam/
 NAZIM HIKMET COMMEMORATED IN MOSCOWTurkish poet Nazim Hikmet Ran was commemorated at his tomb in Moscow, Russia yesterday, on the 44th anniversary of his death. To mark the occasion, an open air concert was also organized by Anadolu University’s Symphony Orchestra in Dogancayir, Eskisehir. The ceremony was attended by Turkish Journalists’ Union head Ercan Ipekci, Russian-Turkish Businessmen Union (RTIB) Chairman Ali Ihsan Akiskalioglu, Turkish-Russian Research Center (RUTAM) head Hakan Aksay and many other Turkish and Russian citizens. /Cumhuriyet/
 ANKARA, MOSCOW SIGN COOPERATIVE PACT AGAINST ILLEGAL TRAFFICKINGThe customs services of Turkey and the Russian Federation have vowed to work together to fight illegal trafficking. Deputy Customs Undersecretary Bulent Ertem said yesterday that a common protocol has been signed between the Customs Undersecretariat and the Russian Customs Administration as the result of meetings held last week. Ertem added that they had resolved to especially fight drug smuggling and that there would be a wide range of cooperation with Russia, including information sharing and joint operations. /Hurriyet/
 TEMPLETON GROUP: “TURKEY IS A PROFITABLE COUNTRY FOR INVESTMENTS”Mark Mobius, the chairmen of global investment fund Templeton’s Emerging Markets Group, yesterday said that Turkey continues to be a profitable country for investments. Speaking to Global Investor magazine, Mobius stated that Turkey was an attractive market for foreign capital investment. He added that Turkey has a secular system and the outcome of July’s general elections was not so important for maintaining foreign capital’s interest in the country. /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT AN OPERATION, BUT A WARBY ERDAL GUVEN (RADIKAL)
Columnist Erdal Guven comments on a possible cross-border operation into northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“As conditions right now won’t allow us to take hot pursuit into northern Iraq against the terrorist PKK, people are inadvertently thinking about a cross-border operation. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit says, ‘We have no order to do so’ and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, ‘It hasn’t been demanded,’ and they’re not talking about hot pursuit. They mean a cross-border operation, which is not a limited raid but a planned one with a large time span and mandate. That’s why Buyukanit said Thursday, ‘Will we enter and fight against PKK, or will we do something about [Iraqi Kurish leader Massoud] Barzani?’
But what are the chances of such an operation succeeding? In a speech back in April, Buyukanit said that an operation would be beneficial. But what exactly did he mean by ‘beneficial’? What are the risks involved and the price to be paid? We can’t have a reasonable discussion and or produce a rational risk analysis without this basic data. Such an analysis is necessary, because Buyukanit isn’t talking about a regular practice; he is implying a military operation which would affect the fate of everyone living in that country.
We did so in the past. Of course these Turkish operations were effective to a certain extent, but the leaders of the terrorist PKK weren’t taken out of action (excepting two of them), and its structure wasn’t destroyed either.
Back then the legal and de facto conditions were suitable. In the 1980s we had bilateral agreements with Iraq. Saddam used to give token objections to Turkey’s cross-border operations. Kurdish leaders used to give support to Turkish troops and even guide them sometimes, as it suited them. Back then the US wouldn’t object and the European Unioni would criticize in principle, just like the countries of the region.
Now the military and political geography of both Iraq and northern Iraq is completely different. There is a central government in Baghdad whose president and prime minister are Kurdish. Regional Kurdish leaders even say that they will resist a possible intervention by Turkey.
In sum, entering northern Iraq in such a context means mustering up the courage for war. Moreover, it wouldn’t be easy to make the world believe that the reason is the PKK. Because they think Turkey’s main goal is harming the process it sees as the beginning of independence for northern Iraq.”
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