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Turkish Press Review, 07-11-07
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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
07.11.2007FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 GUL: “IF THE US DOESN’T WORK WITH TURKEY AGAINST TERROR, IT WILL LOSE CREDIBILITY”If the US fails to cooperate with Turkey against terrorism, it will lose its credibility in the eyes of the world, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday. “Turkey had made its preparations and decided what to do on the issue before the prime minister” visited the US this week, Gul said en route to Azerbaijan. “(Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan's goal in his trip was to share with the US the decision the country has made on how to deal with the terrorists.” Gul later met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, and they signed bilateral cooperation agreements. Afterwards, Gul told reporters that he and Aliyev had covered all issues related to the two countries at their meeting. Gul underlined that Turkey is ready to do whatever it can to establish lasting peace in the Southern Caucasus. Aliyev also said that the friendship between Ankara and Baku is flourishing. / Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN ON WASHINGTON VISIT: “WE GOT WHAT WE WANTED”Speaking to reporters yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan evaluated his meeting this week with US President George W. Bush. Calling the meeting positive and effiective, Erdogan added that he and Bush had agreed to set up a coordination system to provide better communication in operations against the terrorist PKK. Erdogan stressed that intelligence is needed at the right time, otherwise it is of no use. “Nobody is telling us not to conduct a (cross-border) operation,” Erdogan said. “We got what we wanted.” /Turkiye/
 CHP’S BAYKAL: “AT THIS POINT, TURKEY MUST DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY”The US isn’t standing in the way of a Turkish cross-border operation in Iraq, said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday. Speaking about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with US President George W. Bush on Monday, he said, “The US president saw the rising determination in Turkey and didn’t tell us not to intervene. And he paved the way for cooperation and intelligence sharing for any military intervention. All this amounts to him saying, ‘Yes, a military operation can be conducted’.” Baykal stated, “The Erdogan- Bush meeting may yield new opportunities which we can’t miss,” adding, “At this point, Turkey must do whatever is necessary, after serious preparation and with good timing.” In related news, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday criticized Erdogan’s meeting with Bush as a disappointing failure. /Hurriyet/
 ISRAELI, PALESTINIAN PRESIDENTS TO ADDRESS PARLIAMENT NEXT WEEKIsraeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during their visits to Turkey next week as the official guests of President Abdullah Gul, are scheduled to separately address Parliament next Tuesday. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday called Turkey a friendly country which can play a great role in Israel’s rapprochement with Arab countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 EU’S REHN: “REFORMS SHOULD BE ACCELERATED, AND ARTICLE 301 SHOULD BE CHANGED”The European Union Commission’s annual progress report on Turkey was released yesterday. Speaking to the media about the report, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that in the face of a “constitutional crisis,” reforms in Turkey have slowed down. Rehn added that reforms protecting freedom of speech and religion are needed and Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) should be amended without delay. Saying that the EU should keep its promises and be fair, Rehn stressed that no more chapters of Turkey’s accession talks will be opened until Turkey fulfills the requirements of the Ankara Protocol. Touching on recent PKK attacks, he said, “The EU condemns all terrorist attacks and accepts that Turkey has the right to defend itself and its citizens.” /Aksam/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WAS ERDOGAN’S US VISIT SUCCESSFUL?BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
Columnist Taha Akyol comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit this week to Washington. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Looking for an answer to this question of domestic politics is misleading. Because if you support Erdogan you saw things positively beforehand, otherwise you saw them negatively.
To find an accurate viewpoint, we should try to understand the issue and what the decisions made in Washington will mean in practices.
Speaking with my colleague Fikret Bila, former Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok brought up the matter like this: ‘The PKK issue can’t be ended through cross-border operations…’ In the 1990s, in fact, it couldn’t be ended through operations carried out by 30,000 soldiers. But cross- border operations are an important tactic that should be used properly in fighting the PKK.
But what does using them properly mean? First, we must avoid wide-ranging land clashes which the international community could see as an invasion and which could even lead to a Turkish-Kurdish war, pushing Turkish troops to fight local elements. Not because our military is incapable, but because politically it would be a bad misstep!
As things stand now, hitting PKK facilities and the shelters of its militants with airstrikes is best, along with deploying special teams for covert operations.
Here, good intelligence is necessary, and the US has pledged to provide it, but…
The US itself has failed to kill off al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, even using all of its satellite technology!
Anyway, it’s important to get intelligence from the US based on modern technology.
In addition, Deputy Chief Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun, who accompanied Erdogan on his visit, immediately starting work with his US counterpart Gen. James Cartwright would be a first step towards inspiring confidence. US commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus will also help to coordinate intelligence and operations.
This time, not retired generals but active commanders with authority over operations will carry out the work. Our General Staff will be quick to see any slackening by the US side. The US must deliver support decisively from the start to the finish.
But, just as wide-ranging cross-border land operations wouldn’t defeat the PKK but produce only losses, so too covert operations based on intelligence won’t end the terrorist group, but just cause losses.
Terrorism based on ethnic nationalism is not just an armed movement; its political and social roots cannot be neglected.
Politically, the more decisive US stance against the PKK is important. Bush’s calling it not only a terrorist group but also an ‘enemy’ is a very important new development.
As the PKK is also an enemy of the US, we’ll watch how the US how deals with its friend in Iraq, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.
The US taking a more determined stance against the PKK, pledging to give intelligence support to the Turkish troops for its possible operations, and establishing high-level military coordination are of course positive developments … They are the pluses to be noted to on the success side of the visit.
But all are first steps, and we have to see subsequent steps to make a definite judgment of developments.
Depending on the US’ actions, suspicions in Turkish-US relations will either increase or decrease.
The PKK drawing strength from ethnic nationalism inside Turkey is the key issue. How can ethnic nationalism be rendered ineffectual? This is the real question we must explore.”
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