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Turkish Press Review, 02-08-01

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

<LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

01.08.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT DECIDES TO HOLD EARLY ELECTIONS ON NOV. 3
  • [02] DERVIS: "I AM CONTINUING MY MISSION"
  • [03] COALITION LEADERS SIGN SUPPLEMENTARY LETTER OF INTENT
  • [04] JUSTICE COMMISSION PASSES EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE
  • [05] BUSINESSMEN FROM SOUTHEASTERN REGION VISIT PEARSON
  • [06] TIM CHAIRMAN: "AN IRAQ OPERATION WOULD DAMAGE TURKEY'S ECONOMY"
  • [07] NEW MUSEUM AND INTERNET ARCHIVES PLANNED TO COMBAT GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS
  • [08] CYPRUS SUMMIT IN SEPTEMBER IN PARIS
  • [09] TATARSTAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS AYDIN DOGAN
  • [10] SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL MEETS, MAKES NEW APPOINTMENTS
  • [11] DENKTAS AND CLERIDES TO MEET TOMORROW IN CYPRUS BUFFER ZONE
  • [12] IZGI: "ELECTIONS CAN BE POSTPONED IN CASE OF WAR"
  • [13] ASPARUK: "TO PROTECT TURKEY, AN EARLY WARNING SYSTEM IS NEEDED"
  • [14] US GENERALS VISIT TURKEY
  • [15] GREECE GIVEN WARNING OVER AIRSPACE VIOLATION
  • [16] SALIH TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [17] ANCIENT HITTITE EXHIBIT IN BERLIN
  • [18] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [19] WAR IN IRAQ SEEMS LIKELY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [20] THRESHOLD WARNING TO DERVIS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

  • [01] PARLIAMENT DECIDES TO HOLD EARLY ELECTIONS ON NOV. 3

    Parliament yesterday officially decided to hold early elections on Nov. 3, with the decision easily passed by a vote of 449-62. Members of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) voted against the early elections resolution. In the runup to the vote, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit met with his coalition partners and tried to convince them to give up the early elections bid. However, both Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz reportedly rejected Ecevit's request. Parliament's decision will take effect immediately after being published in the Official Gazette. According to the Constitution, five days after the early elections decision has been officially published, replacements are to be found for Transportation Minister Oktay Vural, Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen and Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk either from within Parliament or by independent figures. /All Papers/

    [02] DERVIS: "I AM CONTINUING MY MISSION"

    At a press conference yesterday at Istanbul Ataturk Airport after returning from the United States, Economy Minister Kemal Dervis pledged to continue his mission to help Turkey's economy. "The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will hold meetings on Aug. 7-8 and discuss giving a loan to Turkey of approximately $1.6 million," said Dervis. "I think it's very important for me to continue my mission because it was I who signed our letter of intent [LOI]," he said. Touching on domestic political issues, Dervis stated, "We must do what is needed as soon as possible in order to improve our economy and end the political uncertainty dragging it down." He also said that no country besides Turkey had so many political parties, and that it would be risky to hold early elections in such a situation. /Aksam/

    [03] COALITION LEADERS SIGN SUPPLEMENTARY LETTER OF INTENT

    Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit, Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday held a meeting in Parliament where they signed a supplementary letter of intent (LOI) to the International Monetary fund to pledge that the government would continue to implement Turkey's current economic program. Also participating in the meeting were Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and Forestry Minister Nami Cagan. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Ecevit said, "During the meeting, we discussed such issues as the economy and the IMF." The meeting lasted for 10 minutes. /Aksam/

    [04] JUSTICE COMMISSION PASSES EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE

    Parliament's Justice Commission yesterday passed a 14-article package of laws needed for Turkey's European Union harmonization process. The first article of the package would abolish the death penalty except for during times of war or imminent threat of war. The package still needs to be approved by the full Parliament and signed by the president. /All Papers/

    [05] BUSINESSMEN FROM SOUTHEASTERN REGION VISIT PEARSON

    A 10-member delegation from the Southeastern Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (GUSIAD) led by Bedrettin Karaboga visited US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson yesterday to share their concerns about a possible operation against Iraq by the US. During the meeting in Ankara, the businessmen talked to Pearson about the economic losses Turkey suffered following the 1991 Gulf War, adding that they believed this new Iraq operation could cause the region's economy to collapse. Speaking after the meeting, Karaboga said that the delegation brought to Pearson's attention the danger of the war causing a large stream of refugees from Iraq and that the delegation asked the US to carry out policies with an eye towards fixing the economic problems of the region. Karaboga added that Pearson told the delegation that he was well aware of the economic impact an operation could have on Turkey's economy. /Milliyet/

    [06] TIM CHAIRMAN: "AN IRAQ OPERATION WOULD DAMAGE TURKEY'S ECONOMY"

    Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici said yesterday that Turkey's commerce with Iraq, one of Turkey's major commercial partners before the Gulf War, had been crippled due to the war and that a possible new operation against Iraq would bring exports to a virtual standstill. Recalling that before the Gulf War, Iraq was one of Turkey's top four trading partners with bilateral trade totaling nearly $2-2.5 billion, Satici said that following the passage of United Nations sanctions against Iraq, the volume of bilateral trade plummeted to $123 million by 1995. "A possible operation against Iraq is being much discussed these days," Satici added. "However, Turkey suffered losses in the 1991 operation. If a new operation takes place, foreign trade will suffer further losses. Not only will Turkey's commerce with Iraq and other countries in the region be hurt, but also our trade with all countries worldwide." /Milliyet/

    [07] NEW MUSEUM AND INTERNET ARCHIVES PLANNED TO COMBAT GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS

    A group set up to counter Armenian allegations of a so-called genocide yesterday decided to build a museum to better document and publicize its cause. The Coordination Council to Fight Baseless Genocide Claims, meeting under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, also resolved to translate into English and post on the Internet over 20,000 documents from Ottoman archives refusing the claims. A statement from the council's fourth ordinary meeting said that it had reviewed international developments concerning the so-called genocide issue. "Along these lines, the council looked at how we are providing information and education on the issue in Turkey," the statement added. "Also discussed were setup and working principles of scholarly institutes to combat the baseless claims, as well as measures to aid the needs of citizens who wish to learn the Armenian language." /Milliyet/

    [08] CYPRUS SUMMIT IN SEPTEMBER IN PARIS

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Clerides and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will hold a summit in Paris on Sept. 6, the UN announced yesterday. At the tripartite summit, the leaders are expected to discuss the Cyprus direct negotiations process which began this Jan. 16. During the meeting, which will be held in the leadup to an October gathering on the European Union's expansion process, Annan is expected to propose solutions to the Cyprus issue. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TATARSTAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS AYDIN DOGAN

    Tatarstan Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov yesterday visited Dogan Holding Chairman Aydin Dogan at the holding's head quarters in Istanbul. At the meeting, Minnikhanov suggested to Dogan that they could make joint investments together. Speaking to reporters, Dogan said that Minnikhanov was looking for areas in which Turkey and Tatarstan could cooperate. "He invited me to visit Tatarstan, and I said I would do so this September," Dogan added. /Hurriyet/

    [10] SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL MEETS, MAKES NEW APPOINTMENTS

    The Supreme Military Council (YAS) yesterday met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. During the meeting, the YAS discussed the retirement and appointments of military officials. Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu is to retire and Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Hilmi Ozkok will replace him, under a YAS decision set to take effect on Aug. 30. Kivrikoglu and Ozkok attended the YAS meeting, as did Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Naval Forces Commander Vice Adm. Bulent Alpkaya, Air Forces Commander Gen. Cumhur Asparuk, Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Aytac Arman and National Security Cuoncil (MGK) Secretary General Gen. Tuncer Kilinc. The YAS members later paid a visit to Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum. /Turkiye/

    [11] DENKTAS AND CLERIDES TO MEET TOMORROW IN CYPRUS BUFFER ZONE

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides will meet tomorrow in the Cypriot buffer zone, in the latest meeting in Cyprus's direct talks process. After this meeting, the two leaders will take a three-week break from the talks, and are set to reconvene on Aug. 23 or 26. /Turkiye/

    [12] IZGI: "ELECTIONS CAN BE POSTPONED IN CASE OF WAR"

    Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi said yesterday that according to the Constitution's Article 78, elections could be postponed in times of war. Elections could be delayed for a full year, or for even longer if the war in question continued, he added. Commenting on increased talk of a possible US attack on Iraq, Izgi commented that a US-Iraq conflict was not just likely but inevitable. /Star/

    [13] ASPARUK: "TO PROTECT TURKEY, AN EARLY WARNING SYSTEM IS NEEDED"

    Speaking in the current issue of Turkish Journal M5 Defense and Strategy, Air Forces Commander Gen. Cumhur Asparuk says that a threat of "uncontrolled countries" possessing weapons of mass destruction is hanging over Turkey. In an interview, Asparuk states that Turkey's neighborhood was one where antidemocratic regimes and radical terrorist groups had easy access to such weapons. "Turkey must take the necessary precautions to guard against such threats," he comments. "Towards that end, we must install an early warning system. Even now we are utilizing our missile defense systems." /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] US GENERALS VISIT TURKEY

    A group of generals from the United States arrived in Turkey yesterday in order to visit various departments and military units of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). The Generals are expected to be briefed on a number of different issues during their meetings Turkish with military officials. /Sabah/

    [15] GREECE GIVEN WARNING OVER AIRSPACE VIOLATION

    The Office of the Chief of General Staff released a statement yesterday saying that a Greek C-130 aircraft had violated Turkish airspace on Monday and that the Turkish jets had taken prompt and appropriate action. Greek authorities have been warned about the violation, the statement added. /Sabah/

    [16] SALIH TO VISIT ANKARA

    Berham Salih, local government leader of the northern Iraqi area under the control of Jalal Talabani's Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK), is expected to arrive in Ankara today. Salih is scheduled to hold several meetings in the Foreign Ministry during his visit. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] ANCIENT HITTITE EXHIBIT IN BERLIN

    After a successful run in Bonn, Germany, a groundbreaking exhibit of ancient Anatolian Hittite artifacts has now moved to take the spotlight in Berlin. The exhibit, organized by Turkey's Culture Ministry under the title "The Hittites: Nation of 1,000 Gods" will be on display at the Martin Gropius Gallery through the end of this year. The show features over 150 ancient artifacts and examples of Hittite art as well as an informative documentary film. A model of Hattusha, the ancient capital of the Hittite Empire, will also be on display. For more information on the exhibit, visit http:/_www.kultur.gov.tr. _Cumhuriyet/

    [18] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [19] WAR IN IRAQ SEEMS LIKELY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes about the likelihood of a US intervention in Iraq and the reactions it may spark in the international community. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The United States is using diplomacy to prepare itself for war in Iraq. The preparations are taking quite a long time. US requests and expectations from Turkey for this planned operation are more numerous compared to the Gulf War 11 years ago. The reason is, it has less support from its partners this time around. A clear-cut Republican defeat in the US congressional elections this November is the only way an operation in Iraq can be prevented, because those results would mean that the American public does not want war in Iraq. There are members of the US administration such as Secretary of State Colin Powell who believe that an operation should be postponed (Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War). Neither Saddam Hussein unexpectedly accepting UN monitoring of Iraq's weapons nor a change of regime in Iraq occurring seem at all likely. Washington knows that Turkey doesn't want a war in Iraq and that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, whose popularity has taken a nosedive due to his US- friendly attitude, is particularly set against the idea. The US puts more trust in politicians it knows better such as Economy Minister Kemal Dervis, former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Mehmet Ali Bayar, an ex-diplomat at Turkish Embassy in the US. But in any case, the US wants to secure Turkish support and commitment before the general elections take place in Turkey on Nov. 3. The Arab states will not show much more support to Iraq than they do to the Palestinians. In fact the Arab countries don't even like Saddam. However, they will oppose intervention in Iraq to protect the interests of the Arab League. Also, the object of their criticism will be Turkey rather than the US, due to their interests in good bilateral relations. Ankara can't and won't simply say 'We don't want to have anything to do with war in Iraq.' Turkey is not as frightened of Saddam's racist Arab policies and its weapons, but there are Turkmens and Kurds in Iraq and that's why Turkey is already very much involved."

    [20] THRESHOLD WARNING TO DERVIS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the latest international and domestic developments affecting Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Under the shadow of a possible operation against Iraq by the United States, Parliament has decided to hold elections on Nov. 3. Ankara saw intensive diplomacy traffic yesterday. When Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the Presidential Palace together with Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu was added to US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson's visit to the Foreign Ministry, the lobbying didn't end until the morning and the capital was awash in rumors. Some claimed that US President George W. Bush had stated in a letter his determination to overthrow Saddam Hussein and requested Turkey's permission to locate bases and land forces within Turkey for a possible operation against Iraq. The silence of military sources, the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Ministry left the door open for all kinds of speculations, including the postponement of early elections. At the same time, Washington kept quiet. Spokesmen for both the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the US State Department yesterday denied reports that the US was preparing for an operation against Iraq and that permission was being requested from Turkey for this purpose. Meanwhile, early elections were on Parliament's agenda. Suddenly the focus of the rumors shifted: If the US carries out an operation against Iraq this fall, the government might convene Parliament again in order to postpone elections due to a state of war under Article 78 of the Constitution. However, a scenario under which Gen. Kivrikoglu's term of duty would be extended on the grounds of war came to an end yesterday when Gen. Hilmi Ozkok was appointed as Chief of the General Staff. Now let's talk about the situation of State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis. When the Cem-Dervis couple was incapable of garnering the desired power against the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), attention was directed to the Republican People's Party (CHP). During our conversation with CHP leader Deniz Baykal yesterday, he said that the CHP was the only alternative against the AKP. Baykal is reacting against the opinion that 'if a union cannot be ensured among the leaders and their parties announcing the same aims, the AKP will come to power alone. In order to prevent this, the leaders should leave the chair to Dervis.' Against these opinions, Baykal says, 'We cannot design policies in order to ensure some circles' psychological comfort. If New Turkey Party (YTP) wants to, it can terminate itself, it's none of our business. The CHP is taking its power from the nation. Clearly the AKP would be the top party on the right and thus CHP would be the top party on the left. Cem wasn't supported. So Dervis' place is in the CHP.' Baykal also brought up a poll asking if Dervis should enter the YT or the CHP, to which 62% of respondents replied that they favored Dervis' joining the CHP. Baykal also said that with or without Dervis, the CHP would continue its path, adding that he thinks that the YT will be unable to pass the representation threshold in the elections. There are also some concerns about this issue in the YTP, too."

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