|Sunday, 5 April 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-01-02
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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 & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ERDOGAN: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT WILL DO WHAT’S NEEDED TO REACH A CYPRUS SETTLEMENT”After 40 years of impasse, it’s now high time to reach a solution on Cyprus, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday. “Politics is the art of producing solutions, not problems, and the AKP government intends to do just that,” said Erdogan, speaking in the Black Sea province of Rize. “The AKP government will do what’s needed to reach a solution. Cyprus isn’t just a problem of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] President Rauf Denktas, or for that matter myself or any other individual. Rather, it is a question of the TRNC’s struggle for existence.” He said that while Denktas had found the current United Nations plan negotiable, the TRNC leader didn’t trust the Greek Cypriot side. He recommended that Denktas negotiate on the basis of the UN plan, adding, “If no agreement is reached before the UN’s Feb. 28 deadline, things will get worse.” /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN TO TOUR CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICSRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to pay visits to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan on Jan. 7-11. Then Erdogan, accompanied by a delegation, is set to travel to the People’s Republic of China on Jan. 14. He is expected to return to Turkey on Jan. 17. /Turkiye/
 GEN. MYERS, US JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN, TO VISIT TURKEYOn the heels of the visit of US Deputy Treasury Secretary John Taylor and Deputy Secretary of State Mark Grossman two weeks ago, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, is scheduled to pay a visit to Turkey this month as part of his regional tour of eight countries. During Myer’s meetings with Turkish officials, the Iraq issue is expected to be taken up. /Turkiye/
 ARINC: “PARLIAMENT WILL DECIDE ON IRAQ AND CYPRUS IN LINE WITH TURKEY’S INTERESTS”Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said yesterday that the Iraq and Cyprus issues should be debated in Parliament, whether in a closed or open session. “Following Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s tour of Middle Eastern countries, Parliament will be briefed on the Iraq issue on Jan. 15-26,” said Arinc. Stressing that the government was working on the Iraq and Cyprus issues, Arinc said that important duties lay with Parliament as well. After debating the issues fully, Parliament will decide on them in line with the nation’s interests, stated the Parliament speaker. Remarking that the time for a decision on the Cyprus issue was looming, Arinc said that he and a delegation would pay a visit to the island on Jan. 8-10. /Turkiye/
 ECONOMY MINISTER TUZMEN TO VISIT IRAQ, URGE COMPLIANCE WITH UN RESOLUTIONSState Minister for the Economy Kursat Tuzmen is set to visit Iraq on Jan. 10 accompanied by a Foreign Ministry delegation. During his meetings with Iraqi government officials, Tuzmen will reportedly say that Turkey places great importance on its economic relations with Iraq. He will also say, however, that time is running out and so Iraq should obey the United Nations resolutions to get Turkey’s support and head off a possible war. /Hurriyet/
 SIMITIS: “SOLVING THE CYPRUS ISSUE WOULD BE A BOON TO TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONS”Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday that if the two sides on Cyprus reach an agreement for the island, this would constitute a great step forward for peace and stability in the region. “A solution to the dispute is possible,” said Simitis, whose country just took over the European Union’s rotating presidency. “Moreover, a solution would also improve relations between Turkey and Greece.” Simitis added that his government would continue to work hard to reach an agreement. In related news, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated that improving Turkish-Greek and Turkish-EU relations would be his country’s priority during its six-month EU term presidency. Papandreou added that he hoped the two sides would accept UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan before the United Nations’ deadline, Feb. 28. “However, if problems still remain on Feb. 28, negotiations should continue until we reach an agreement.” /Hurriyet/
 ANAP TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS, ELECT NEW LEADERThe Motherland Party (ANAP) is scheduled to hold an extraordinary congress on Jan. 11-12 at the Ataturk Sports Center in Ankara. Over 1,100 delegates are expected to participate in the congress to elect ANAP’s new leader as well as its administrative ranks. Currently there are five contenders for the chairmanship, namely Ali Talip Ozdemir, Lutfullah Kayalar, Isin Celebi, Ekrem Pakdemirli and Yasar Barut. ANAP was a junior partner of the three- member 1999-2002 coalition government, yet it failed to reach the 10% representation threshold in Turkey’s Nov. 3 general elections, receiving just 5.1% of the vote. Soon after the elections, longtime ANAP Chairman and former Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stepped down from the party’s helm. /Turkiye/
 MHP EX-DEPUTY CHAIR: “THE PARTY SHOULD HOLD AN EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS WITHOUT DELAY”The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) should hold an extraordinary congress without delay, said former Deputy Chairman Muharrem Semsek yesterday. Stating that the MHP had been dealt the most crushing defeat in its history in last November’s general elections due to its championing certain “misguided policies,” Semsek argued that the MHP grassroots had long voiced the need for change but that uncertainty still plagued the party. The MHP failed to meet the 10% representation threshold in Turkey’s Nov. 3 general elections, thus excluding the onetime coalition party and largest party in Parliament from the national assembly entirely. /Aksam/
 SUPREME COURT HEAD OZKAYA: “LEGISLATION SHOULD NOT SERVE PERSONAL INTERESTS”Taking sharp exception to a recently passed three-article constitutional amendment package allowing Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to enter Parliament and thus become prime minister, Supreme Court Chief Justice Eraslan Ozkaya said yesterday that legislation should never be a servant to personal interests. Eraslan stressed that individually oriented legislation was contrary to the basic principles of the law. In the last hours of 2002, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer signed into law the constitutional amendment package, a package over which the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction. Also criticizing Deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir’s suggestion earlier this week that dismissal decisions of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) should be open to judicial review, Ozkaya said, “Yalcinbayir’s proposal stands in stark contrast to the government’s reluctance to lift parliamentary immunity.” /Cumhuriyet/
 TOURISM MINISTER AKSIT VISITS BRITAINTourism Minister Guldal Aksit yesterday travelled to Great Britain to attend the London Boat Show Fair and meet with various local travel agencies there. Before leaving, Aksit told reporters that Britain was one of the countries sending the most tourists to Turkey. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 GREECE, THE EU’S NEW TERM PRESIDENT BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on Greece’s assuming the EU term presidency for the next six months. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It’s hard not to envy Greece.
Greece yesterday took over European Union’s rotating presidency. Over the next six months, Athens will have a tremendous opportunity to make important political, social and economic decisions which will significantly shape the EU’s future.
It’s also difficult not to admire Greece’s current position within the Union, for we all know that just a few years ago certain EU circles harshly criticized its for its weak economy and uncooperative attitude towards both the Balkan countries and Turkey. Greece is nothing but a burden for the Union, they argued. Now, however, this country has become the EU term president. Let’s admit that the pragmatic, progressive policies of the Simitis administration have played an important role in Greece’s successful rise within the EU ranks.
This is, in fact, a very critical period for the EU. There’s a host of problems that the new EU president will have to tackle with. Greece should develop productive and innovative policies to address these problems.
On the one hand, the EU has its own problems to deal with, such as the enlargement process, the European Convention, and harmonization problems of its new members. On the other hand, the Iraq issue looms large as the Union’s the major international issue.
Doubtlessly, Greece’s term presidency will provide it with certain important opportunities. Athens will host a ceremony on April 16 to mark the accession of 10 new members which were admitted to the Union at the recent Copenhagen summit. It’s an important opportunity for Greece to stand as EU term president in a period when the number of EU members swells to 25. However, the issue of Cyprus, one of the 10, might overshadow this opportunity. If the parties on the island fail to reach a settlement by Feb. 28, then the Greek Cypriot administration will become a full EU member alone, without Northern Cyprus, which might escalate problems on the island. One is tempted to believe that Greece will be proud to help Greek Cyprus join the EU and will do its utmost to achieve this goal during its presidency. However, Greece will also undeniably have to take into consideration the possible negative and even disastrous consequences of such a move.
Greek officials have recently stated that their country will promote Turkey’s EU membership bid during their EU presidency. Considering Greece’s recent positive attitude towards our country, we’re inclined to believe their honesty and sincerity. Greece now has greater opportunities to help us. However, if the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the Union on their own, Greece and Turkey will probably face bigger problems in the future.”
 FAREWELL TO 2002 BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on developments from last year and his expectations for the new year. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday we completed the first day of the new year. One down, 364 to go. We hope these 364 days will bring happiness to our nation as well as all of humanity. When starting a new year, you can’t help looking back for a moment and also thinking of the future. It’s the same if you’re a citizen of a country like Turkey, which starts the day with one issue and then goes to bed with new ones. The last year was very busy indeed. When we were on the verge of solving our economic crisis, we held elections. We swept 90% of the political actors from the stage. We took important steps concerning such important issues as the European Union. However, things ultimately fell short at the year’s-end. Turkey implemented important reforms both to the Constitution and in other laws in 2002. If Turkey had been able to implement such reforms in 2000 or 2001, we also would have been able to make a better case for our EU membership bid. Actually if this delay had occurred in another European country, this would have been tolerated as the problem sprang from the coalition parties’ obligation to convince each other to reach a consensus, for example, when they tried to soften the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) concerning the death penalty issue. Before an atmosphere of consensus emerged, the proposed reforms might have been rejected, which could have spelled the end of the government. Europe tells us constantly to do our homework, but last year it failed to do its own. It also continued to keep Turkey’s EU membership bid in a waiting-room limbo. For every single request they make of countries due to join the Union imminently, they give us three or four, but they will eventually give in because the Turkish nation is determined to join. The most dramatic incident of the last year was how the coalition partners of the Ecevit government paid the price on Nov. 3 for their mistaken economic policies. Now a new year full of foreign problems concerning Cyprus, the EU and Iraq is before us. Meanwhile, the Turkish nation is expecting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to expand freedoms, solve the unemployment problem and protect the secular republic. We hope that over the next 364 days, most of these problems will be solved and most of these hopes fulfilled.”
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