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Turkish Press Review, 03-01-13
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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
13.01.2003GUL COMPLETES MIDEAST TOUR IN BID FOR PEACE ARINC TO VISIT DENKTAS, OTHER LEADERS IN TRNC STATE MINISTER TUZMEN MEETS SADDAM US JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN MYERS TO VISIT TURKEY SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITING ANKARA TODAY PARRIS, DE SOTO VISIT AKP LEADER ERDOGAN ANAP ELECTS OZDEMIR ITS NEW LEADER PM ECEVIT: “THE EU ACCESSION OF THE GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION IS ILLEGAL” LITERACY CAMPAIGN LED BY SEMRA SEZER, PRESIDENT’S WIFE, TEACHES 300,000 PEOPLE TO READ BIDDING TO BEGIN ON ISTANBUL ELEVATED RAILWAY PROJECT FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS IRANIAN ADMINISTRATION FEARFUL, BUT NATION HOPEFUL BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR) MYERS’ VISIT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
 GUL COMPLETES MIDEAST TOUR IN BID FOR PEACEAfter completing his tour of Middle Eastern countries including Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran in a bid to resolve the Iraq issue through peaceful means, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, accompanied by a delegation, yesterday returned to Ankara. On his final stop in Iran, Gul met with Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, Vice President Mohammed Reza Arefi and Foreign Minister Kemal Harrazi. Gul told reporters that he had discussed Turkish-Iranian bilateral relations as well as the Iraq issue with the Iranian officials. Stating that the aim of his tour was peace, Gul said, “Everybody, especially Iraq’s administration, should try to avert a war.” In related news, yesterday’s Tehran Times daily praised Gul’s contacts regarding the Iraq issue, saying that he was leading a serious effort to head off a possible war. /All Papers/
 ARINC TO VISIT DENKTAS, OTHER LEADERS IN TRNCParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc is set to travel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) tomorrow accompanied by 20 deputies who are members of Parliament’s Foreign Ministry and Defense Commission. Arinc is to hold separate meetings with TRNC President Rauf Denktas and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu. Arinc is also scheduled to exchange views with officials from non-governmental organization (NGOs) and meet with several domestic party leaders, such as the National Union Party and the Republican Turkish Party. /Aksam/
 STATE MINISTER TUZMEN MEETS SADDAMState Minister Kursad Tuzmen returned to Ankara yesterday after completing a visit to Iraq, during which he met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Tuzmen brought on his trip a message from Prime Minister Abdullah Gul to Saddam, reportedly stating that a war would not only harm countries in the region, but also across the entire world. “We ask the Iraqi administration to strive to prevent a war. Doing so is in your hands,” wrote Gul. In addition, Tuzmen met with Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramazan. After a one-hour meeting, Ramazan told reporters that Iraq wanted to boost its trade volume with Turkey. Stating that Iraq had no wish for armed conflict, Ramazan predicted that Turkey would be the country most affected by war in his country. En route to Ankara, Tuzmen said that his visit had been very fruitful and that bilateral trade relations had been discussed with Iraqi officials. He added that he was bringing back goodwill messages from Saddam to both President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as an unwritten message for Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. /Turkiye/
 US JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN MYERS TO VISIT TURKEYUS Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers is set to visit Ankara this weekend to hold contacts in a bid for support for a possible military operation in Iraq. On the expected agenda of Myers’ visit are various US requests of Turkey, chief among them stationing US troops in the country and opening a northern front for an Iraq operation. In related news, several Iraqi opposition leaders will reportedly arrive in Ankara next week for a series of meetings. /Cumhuriyet/
 SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITING ANKARA TODAYSyrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sharaa is due to arrive in Ankara today to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Yasar Yakis. Al-Sharaa and Yakis are expected to confer on a possible US-led war in Iraq and the two countries’ respective stances in case of such a conflict. Al-Sharaa is also set to be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Cumhuriyet/
 PARRIS, DE SOTO VISIT AKP LEADER ERDOGANFormer US Ambassador to Turkey Marc Parris visited ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the weekend. Speaking after their meeting, Parris said that the visit had been personal in nature, and that he had not given Erdogan any messages from the United States. Parris does not currently hold a US government post. In related news, United Nations Special Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto also visited Erdogan, but declined to speak to reporters after their meeting. /Aksam/
 ANAP ELECTS OZDEMIR ITS NEW LEADERAt its extraordinary congress over the weekend, the Motherland Party (ANAP) elected Ali Talip Ozdemir as its new leader. During the congress, Ozdemir won 640 votes out of 1078, while his closest competitor Lutfullah Kayalar got 428. Ozdemir succeeds Mesut Yilmaz, the longtime party leader who stepped down after ANAP’s poor showing in last November’s elections. On the second day of the congress, members of the Central Decision Board (MKYK) were also elected. Speaking after the congress, Ozdemir said that he would try to carry on the tradition of Turgut Ozal, who was ANAP leader and Turkish president when a heart attack claimed his life in 1993. /Milliyet/
 FORMER PM ECEVIT: “THE EU ACCESSION OF THE GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION IS ILLEGAL”The Greek administration in Cyprus is illegitimate, and the European Union’s recent decision to proceed with its accession is clearly illegal, charged Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. Speaking in Istanbul, Ecevit said that Turkey’s EU membership bid and the Cyprus issue were two separate matters, adding that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, his successors after the DSP’s loss at the polls last November, were acting “submissively” on Cyprus in order to bolster Turkey’s bid. Such a stance cannot be the nation’s official policy, criticized Ecevit. He added that the island has two separate and distinct cultures, religions, languages, as well as states and nations, and that anyone failing to recognize these realities could in no way contribute to a peaceful resolution. /Cumhuriyet/
 LITERACY CAMPAIGN LED BY SEMRA SEZER, PRESIDENT’S WIFE, TEACHES 300,000 PEOPLE TO READCrowning a successful literacy campaign which has so far taught over 300,000 people to read, Semra Sezer, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s wife, yesterday handed out literacy certificates to some of the campaign’s graduates in Ankara. Mrs. Sezer said that the aim of the National Education Campaign, begun in 2001, was to enable everybody to receive a basic education, and that the literacy course graduates’ success was a victory not just for themselves, but for all of Turkey. /Milliyet/
 BIDDING TO BEGIN ON ISTANBUL ELEVATED RAILWAY PROJECTIn an effort to reduce traffic congestion in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis with over 10 million people, the municipality leadership is due to open bidding soon for an elevated railway project. The 3.5-kilometer railway will initially connect the Bakirkoy and Incirli districts on the city’s European side, and construction is estimated to cost some TL 100 trillion and last a year-and-a half. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 IRANIAN ADMINISTRATION FEARFUL, BUT NATION HOPEFUL BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the situation in Iran and Turkey vis-à-vis a possible attack by the US against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“A possible US-led operation against Iraq is the top issue on the agenda not only in Turkey, but also across the entire region. The situation in Iran is no different. However, there are sharply contrasting opinions concerning the operation there. The Iranian administration is afraid, but the nation is hopeful. Iran’s dominant administration is completely opposed to an operation. First of all, the mullahs there fear that the US will make Iran its next target. Secondly, it’s afraid of the establishment of a new pro-US administration next door to it. Tehran doesn’t want a new administration in Iraq that is friendly with its ‘great enemy.’ The front pages of newspapers are full of pieces rallying against the war. Former Iranian President Rafsanjani said openly, ‘The Iraqi nation won’t and shouldn’t allow an administration that is a US puppet.’ However, the majority of the Iranian nation disagrees with the administration. The Iranian public is hopeful about a US operation against Iraq. This is not due to lack of love for Saddam Hussein’s administration or because they want the Iraqi nation to be saved. Rather, the Iranian people expect the US to change the regime in Iran, one which has created economic turmoil in the region. These contrasting opinions held by the administration and the nation are actually a graphic display of Iraq’s split nature.
All things in Iran right now are of two kinds, namely the reformists and the conservatives: two armies, two police organizations, two educational systems and even two separate administrations. They are the chosen and the appointed ones. The chosen ones represent the country’s reformist wing, with its current leader President Khatami. However, the nation isn’t hopeful that Khatami will be able to carry out needed reforms. They are instead casting their lot with the Iranian Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Ali Khatami, the president’s brother, who might have greater success.
Iran is interested in recent developments in Turkey. The Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) victory in our elections last November pleased the mullahs. Hamit Haci Babaei, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee, expressed this pleasure by saying, ‘The presence of a party in power in Turkey taking its roots from Islam will push our bilateral relations forward.’ The people in Iran don’t understand Turkey’s ambiguous stance, in giving warm messages to the US but also sending a commercial delegation to Baghdad. Concerning Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s recent visit to Tehran, Babaei said, ‘The Turkish prime minister toured the Middle East in order to show that Turkey has no choice but to support war if it comes to that.’ In spite of warm messages to the AKP, efforts by Iran’s Islamic administration to export a regime to Turkey are a thing of the past. Support for the terrorist PKK has also plummeted. The great interest shown in Mr. Gul during his visit to Tehran actually reflects the latest situation of the mullah regime, which is experiencing its most difficult days since Iran’s revolution over 20 years ago.”
 MYERS’ VISIT BU FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the upcoming visit of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, expected next weekend. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Washington is expecting US Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, during his visit to Turkey next weekend, to persuade the Turkish government to give a straightforward answer to the US demands on the Iraq issue.
According to diplomatic sources, Myers’ visit to the region carries great importance for the US, as it is trying to decide whether or not to open a front in northern Iraq. The US places a high premium on Turkey’s response to its demands, which explains the Bush administration’s recently stepped-up pressure on Turkey.
Let’s take a look at our domestic political situation ahead of Myers’ visit:
Our government is currently trying to buy time before giving a straight answer to US demands. Ankara has so far said neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ to the Bush administration.
Gen. Myers really cannot expect to receive an answer from his Turkish counterpart Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. Our political institutions should immediately develop an official Iraq policy to be conveyed to Ozkok. Otherwise, the only answer Myers will get from Ozkok will be along these lines: ‘The decision on the Iraq issue will be made by the Turkish government, not the army.’
Our government is still trying to find a peaceful solution. The members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) are terribly confused, which is why they sometimes make contradictory remarks on the issue. For instance, on the one hand, the AKP government authorized US military officials to conduct inspections at our bases and ports, but then just this weekend, it also sent State Minister Kursat Tuzmen and an accompanying delegation of 300 to Baghdad. There Tuzmen met with Iraqi vice President Taha Yasin Ramazan, who made threatening statements against Turkey.
And what about the Turkish Army?
Although our government hasn’t developed a specific policy as yet, the Turkish Army is already preparing for war. Turkish and US military officials are working on war plans together. The US wants to interpret Turkey’s recent agreement to let US military officials carry out inspections at Turkish ports and airbases as a clear signal that the Turkish government will lend its full support during an Iraq war.
Despite assuming an anti-war stance, our government is seriously concerned about the consequences of any Iraq war which takes place without Turkey’s support. If its overtures are spurned by the Turkish government, the US is likely to withdraw its political and economic support for Turkey. The cost of such a development will definitely be high for us. The US might both support Kurdish groups in northern Iraq which want to establish their own independent state, which would be politically disastrous for our country. The Bush administration also has the power to manipulate international financial institutions, upon which our economy is greatly dependent.
This is the dilemma which the AKP government is currently dealing with. In fact, Ankara is truly in hot water. The clock is ticking and there’s little time left for our government to make its official decision. Not only the US but also our General Staff is waiting for the government to take a stand.”
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