|Sunday, 23 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-11-22
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 YILMAZ: "IF EU CONTINUES TO ACT AGAINST OUR INTERESTS, TURKEY WILL FOLLOW ITS OWN PATH"
 TURKISH GOVERNMENT TO PREVENT INCLUSION OF BORDER DISPUTES WITH GREECE INTO THE DOCUMENT
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 YILMAZ: "IF EU CONTINUES TO ACT AGAINST OUR INTERESTS, TURKEY WILL FOLLOW ITS OWN PATH"Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said, "We believe, a Turkey within the EU, would not experience an ethnical separation or a crisis in the regime due to the threats against secularism. We want to go on with our westernization policy along with the Western countries. The EU should avoid imposing conditions on Turkey that can no way be accepted. However, if the EU continues to put down conditions that are clearly contrary to our national interests, we shall follow our own path. Turkey's full EU membership is not optional. Rather, this membership is a necessity due to historical, geographical and political facts. The EU will accept Turkey as a full member by respecting our territorial integrity, the rights of Turkish-Cypriots and by leaving the Armenian issue to the historians. /Hurriyet/
 BAHCELI'S STATEMENT ON TURKEY-EU RELATIONSEvaluating Turkey-EU relations, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli said, "If we keep our determined stance on the path towards the EU, it will be easier both domestic and foreign problems to solve." Pointing out that the European Parliament began to accept the demands of the terrorist organization which it previously rejected, Mr. Bahceli said, "The EU approaches Turkey's membership without taking historical facts into consideration or plays an unfair game." /Cumhuriyet/
 FM CEM TO VISIT ISRAELMinister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem is going to Israel today. Mr. Cem, who will meet his Israeli counterpart Solomo Ben Ami, will convey ideas and views discussed during his meetings with the Palestinian officials. It was stated Mr. Cem, who is expected to be received by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, might travel to Palestine after completing his meetings in Israel. It was observed that Mr. Cem was pursuing a three-phase plan to help the revival of the peace period in the Middle East. First, aiming to solve the crisis stemming from lack of trust between Israel and Palestine, he meets the both parties to find common point of views. During the second phase, he aims to begin the peace talks. And for the final phase, a period which will lead the parties to a final solution is aimed. The second leg of Turkey's attempts for peace in the Middle East is the fact- finding committee which includes former President Suleyman Demirel. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH GOVERNMENT TO PREVENT INCLUSION OF BORDER DISPUTES WITH GREECE INTO THE DOCUMENTTurkish officials will visit European capitals to exert diplomatic pressure to be able to ensure a change in the final version of the Accession Partnership Document before the meeting of the EU General Affairs Commitee on Dec.4. The government is uneasy about the probability of the inclusion of border disputes with Greece in addition to the Cyprus issue as political criteria to the document. Ankara wants to solve the problem during the term-presidency of France. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will travel to Brussels on Nov.28. Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu and Deputy Undersecretary responsible for EU Affairs, Ambassador Akin Alptuna will visit other European capitals. /Milliyet/
 JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION MEETINGThe 46th Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting began yesterday in Antalya. On the first day of the meeting, Turkish parliamentarians and members of the European Parliament mainly discussed the addition of the Cyprus issue into the Accession Partnership Document's short-term priorities. Addressing the meeting, Turkish parliamentarians complained that Turkey could not benefit from the financial possibilities of the EU and critisized the EU for unequally treating the two sides on the Cyprus issue. The meeting will end today. /Turkiye/
 TERRORIST OCALAN TRIAL AT ECHRThe hearing which takes up the appeal by terrorist Abdullah Ocalan's lawyers, began yesterday at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). During the three-hour hearing, both Turkey and terrorist Ocalan expressed their views by means of their lawyers. While 16 lawyers were defending Turkey, terrorist Ocalan was defended by 10 lawyers, saying his capture and the trial in Turkey was unjust. The court is expected to declare its decision in 10 days. Meanwhile, 20 thousand Turks gathered in Strasbourg to protest Ocalan and the PKK and support the relatives of the people killed by the terrorist PKK members. /Turkiye/
 ROBERTSON TO VISIT ANKARANATO Secretary-General George Robertson will arrive in Turkey tomorrow to discuss the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) with the Turkish officials. As EU term president France's studies on the ESDI has not satisfied Turkey, the situation emerging after Turkey's discontent, will be discussed during Mr. Robertson's meetings. Mr. Robertson is expected to suggest Ankara to improve proposals via NATO instead of waiting for the EU's new proposals. After attending a conference organized by Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in Istanbul, Mr. Robertson will travel to Ankara where he will be received by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Turkey wants to take part in the decision-making mechanism of the military operations to be carried out by NATO within the framework of the EU's new security structure. However, the EU is not in favour of including non-member countries into the decision-making mechanism. /Cumhuriyet/
 MIRZAOGLU HEADS FOR TURKMENISTANTurkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has asked Turkey to take up a resolute stance on the issue of Turkmen natural gas, Turkish State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu said yesterday. Mirzaoglu headed for Turkmenistan yesterday to attend the 10th Executive Committee meeting of the Association for International Standardization. He was received by Niyazov on Tuesday morning before proceeding to the meeting. Mirzaoglu said that the meeting with Niyazov was meant to contribute to a further improvement of relations with Turkmenistan. Some of the current problems are those concerning visa requirements and the activities of Turkish businessmen. /Turkish Daily News/
 HJELM-WALLEN'S STATEMENT ON CYPRUSSwedish Deputy Prime Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen said, "We have great expectations from Turkey in the solution of the Cyprus problem. In order to take a further step towards a solution on Cyprus, Turkey should help to solve the problem of division on the island." /Aksam/
 KUCMA TO VISIT TURKEYUkrainian President Leonid Kucma, who will pay an official visit to Turkey, will meet TGNA Speaker Omer Izgi and then will address the parliamentarians in the TGNA tomorrow. /Aksam/
 IRAQ-TURKEY NATURAL GAS PIPELINEIt was stated Iraq is holding contacts with Turkish, Italian ad French companies for establishing a natural gas pipeline from Iraq to Turkey. An agreement signed between the two countries in 1996 foresees Turkey to purchase 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Iraq every year. It is planned to transfer the natural gas through 1380 km-pipeline. /Cumhuriyet/
 ORAL: "WE REACHED OUR TARGETS"Finance Minister Sumer Oral said, "Financial figures for October show that the budget targets for 2000 will be reached, moreover, they may go beyond." The budget expenditures for the 10 months of the year amount to is 38.918 quadrillion TL. Compared with the last year, 70.6%, 94.5% and 30% increases are observed in expenditures, incomes and budget deficit, respectively. /Turkiye/
 HELICOPTER PURCHASEThe obstacle to transfer the eight military helicopters which were planned to be sold to Turkey by the US, was removed after Senator Joseph Biden withdrew his objection. Senator Biden, a member of the Greek lobby, last week said that he will prevent the sell of CH-53E helicopters to Turkey due to the Cyprus issue. In his new statement, Biden said he is still not sure about Turkey's intentions on Cyprus, however, he changed his stance after being assured by the Department of State. Now, Clinton administration is expected to apply to the Congress for an official permission. According to the agreement, the helicopters are planned to be dispatched to Turkey in 2003. /Turkiye/
 ENERGY AWARD FOR TURKEYEuropean Co-generation Association elected Turkey the most succesful country in 2000 for the implementations of co-generation. The Chairman of the Association Ton Van Der Does presented the award to Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Cumhur Ersumer. /Turkiye/
 WIND ENERGY INVESTMENT BY GERMAN COMPANIESGerman P and T Technology and Jacops companies signed a joint agreement with Kardemir Joint Company regarding wind energy production investment in Turkey. According to the agreement, the factory to produce machines for wind energy will be constructed in Duzce in 2001. /Turkiye/
 ALTERNATIFBANK RECEIVES $35 MILLION CREDITAlternatifbank has obtained $35 million in syndication credit from foreign financial markets to finance exporting companies. Bayerische Hypo Vereinsbank guaranteed the one-year credit with libor+0.9 interest rate. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY TO BOOST BANKING LIQUIDITY IN JAN 2001Turkey's Central Bank will lower its reserve requirement ratios for banks to four percent from six percent on January 12, 2001 to improve sectoral liquidity, Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said. "The following week we will inject the amount into the banking sector, which should be in the region of TL 500 trillion.", Ercel said. The sum had previously been held by the Central Bank at no interest. Reform of the banking system is one of the conditions laid down by the IMF and World Bank in loan agreements backing the government's reform programme. /Turkish Daily News/
 CEYLAN RECEIVES GRAND PRIZEA film titled "Clouds of May" directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan received Grand Prize in the Brussels Mediterranean Films Festival. Meanwhile, it was also awarded with Don Quichotte Award in Forum de Cinema Europeen Festival in France. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 OTHER ALTERNATIVES BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turco-European relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The recent negative developments in Turco-European relations, have brought the issue of 'other alternatives' before Turkey into the agenda again. The statements by high-level Turkish officials say that if the EU does not delete the conditions on Cyprus and the Aegean issues mentioned in the Accession Partnership Document, Ankara will review its relations with the Union and even break off political dialogue and, if needed withdraw its application for EU membership.
It is not certain whether or not the EU circles take these warnings seriously. The climate in Brussels is blurred. It seems that there is an uncertainty over the issue. That is why the Council of Europe has postponed a decision on the issue to December 4. At this point, the EU is squeezed between Turkey's warning and Athens' pressure and is looking for a middle path.
European diplomats are saying that the EU cannot dare to lose Turkey. However, among them there are those who do not favour Turkey's membership, and even oppose it openly. Nevertheless, the EU policy is not to exclude Turkey without admitting it into the Union. Therefore, it is not desired for the APD to bring the relations to a breaking point by those shaping its policies. We hope that warnings by Ankara will lead to a satisfying result in the meeting to be held at the beginning of December in Nice. However, if this does not happen, is Turkey determined to sever the ties with the EU and turn towards 'other alternatives'?
Certainly there are other choices Turkey can make in foreign policy. Its geostrategic location is amply suited for this purpose. As President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has said, the world does not consist only of Europe. However, Europe has an important place in the world and Turkey's both domestic and foreign policies. It would be highly beneficial to improve ties with Asian, African and Latin American countries. No matter how much they are improved, these relations are bound to be weak when compared to those with Europe in political, economic, technological, commercial, military, cultural and social areas. These relations are of importance when they are added to those we have with the EU, not as an alternative to them.
Before taking a turn in the opposite direction in foreign policy as a result of the offense suffered because of the EU, the relations with the US should be reviewed as well. An integration with the EU provides Turkey the opportunity to balance its relations with the US and have a wider space for manoeuvres. Severing ties with the EU increases dependence on the US. In fact, the criticisms coming from Europe are occasionally mentioned in the US as well. A divided US Congress and a weak Administration following the elections gives the impression that a difficult period is awaiting us in the relations with the US."
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