|Friday, 3 April 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-01-27
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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> e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
27.01.2003GUL TRAVELS TO STRASBOURG FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPE PARLIAMENTARIANS MEETING POWELL URGES TURKEY TO DECIDE ON IRAQ AS SOON AS POSSIBLE PAPANDREOU: “WE WILL SUPPORT TURKEY’S PEACE EFFORTS ON IRAQ” PEARSON CANCELS BRIEFING ON IRAQ ISSUE TURKISH-IRAQ FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION: “IRAQ SHOULD FULLY COOPERATE WITH THE UN” THOUSANDS STAGE ANTIWAR RALLY IN ISTANBUL DENKTAS MEETS DE SOTO, DISCUSSES UN CYPRUS PLAN CLERIDES: “ERDOGAN CAN SOLVE THE CYPRUS ISSUE” YAKIS: “TURKEY WILL NEVER ACCEPT A SOLUTION WHICH FAILS TO SATISFY THE TRNC” FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... TURKEY TO FACE DIFFICULT TEST BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM) ANKARA’S CONFUSION ON CYPRUS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
 GUL TRAVELS TO STRASBOURG FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPE PARLIAMENTARIANS MEETINGPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Strasbourg to attend a meeting of the Parliamentarians Assembly of the Council of Europe. Speaking there with representatives from European Turkish associations, Gul said that Turks who lived in European Union countries should try to integrate there. “But I won’t tell them to assimilate. Assimilation and integration are different,” added Gul. He is expected to make a speech to the council today. /Aksam/
 POWELL URGES TURKEY TO DECIDE ON IRAQ AS SOON AS POSSIBLEPrime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell at a “Turkish Night” organized during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During the meeting, Powell said that Turkey should make a decision on its support for a prospective US-led operation against Iraq as soon as possible. He added that the US would need Turkey’s help in such an operation, calling its support “very important.” Gul replied that the decision on such an operation rested with the nation’s Parliament. “The Gulf War did great harm to our economy, so it would be difficult for Parliament to make its decision on this delicate issue in a short time,” added Gul. /Milliyet/
 PAPANDREOU: “WE WILL SUPPORT TURKEY’S PEACE EFFORTS ON IRAQ”Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou during the Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum to discuss a possible US-led operation against Iraq. During the meeting, Papandreou said that Greece supported Turkey’s efforts to promote peace in the region. He added that Greece would support Turkey’s further efforts at the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting later this week. /Turkiye/
 PEARSON CANCELS BRIEFING ON IRAQ ISSUEUS Ambassador in Ankara Robert Pearson over the weekend cancelled a briefing to a group of Turkish parliamentarians which had been scheduled for today. Citing the release later today of a report on Iraq’s cooperation with UN weapons inspectors, Pearson said that any briefing before the report is issued would be premature. There was no immediate word on whether the briefing would be rescheduled. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH-IRAQ FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION: “IRAQ SHOULD FULLY COOPERATE WITH THE UN”Iraq should fully cooperate with the UN weapons inspectors currently working within the country, said the final declaration issued yesterday after an international meeting hosted by the Turkish-Iraqi Friendship Association. The weekend meeting entitled “The Importance of Iraq’s Territorial Integrity for World Peace” was held in Istanbul with the attendance of representatives of Iraqi friendship groups from 12 European countries. “The US should cease putting pressure on Turkey,” added the statement. /Cumhuriyet/
 THOUSANDS STAGE ANTIWAR RALLY IN ISTANBULA host of Turkish nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) yesterday staged a rally in Istanbul to voice their opposition to Turkey’s participation in a possible war in Iraq. Around 10,000 took part in the demonstration to voice their wish for a peaceful solution to the Iraq problem. Waving signs reading "Peace Now," the protestors filled Beyazit Square on the European side of the city, urging the government to refuse both participation in a US-led military strike and Washington’s requests to use Turkish bases during its military deployments. /Hurriyet/
 DENKTAS MEETS DE SOTO, DISCUSSES UN CYPRUS PLANTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday met with UN Special Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto to complete his work and possible revisions on the UN Cyprus plan. “We have completed our meetings with UN officials,” said Denktas. “From now on, we will discuss our views on the UN plan and prepare a number of proposals to be presented to Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides.” /Star/
 CLERIDES: “ERDOGAN CAN SOLVE THE CYPRUS ISSUE”Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides said yesterday that the Cyprus issue would be solved when ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan becomes Turkey’s prime minister. Clerides stated that he hoped Erdogan would handle the issue within the framework of European Union policies after taking the post, adding that he thought the AKP leader would also formulate a new stance on Cyprus. Erdogan is widely expected to assume the nation’s top political post after a special election in March. /Aksam/
 YAKIS: “TURKEY WILL NEVER ACCEPT A SOLUTION WHICH FAILS TO SATISFY THE TRNC”Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis over the weekend declared that Turkey would never accept a solution which failed to satisfy the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Stating that Turkey supported UN-backed peace talks between the two leaders of the island, Yakis said, “Turkey will always support the Turkish Cypriots and never forsake them.” /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TURKEY TO FACE DIFFICULT TEST BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Turkey’s situation concerning the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Iraq crisis will enter a new and more difficult phase for Turkey later today with the presentation of the United Nations weapons inspectors report to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The reason is that the US and Britain have made clear their intention to go to war. If chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix’s report points the finger at Iraq, then of course everything will be easier because the possibility of the UN passing a new resolution authorizing military action against Iraq will increase enormously. This would take Turkey off the diplomatic hot seat, because Ankara could be seen as acting in accordance with the international community, not US wishes.
However, if Blix’s report is ambiguous, something expected by the US and Britain, the winds of war won’t stop blowing immediately because the arrow has already left the bow of these two countries, whose aim is to eliminate Saddam Hussein. This scenario would force Turkey to face certain unpleasant possibilities. Recently I pored over old news reports and confirmed that back in 1991 the Turkish people didn’t want the Gulf War either, which put the government in a dilemma. However, there is a great difference between the current situation and the one in 1991. At that time, President Turgut Ozal acted according to the US requests, effectively ignoring what the people wanted. He also rebuffed the military’s warnings, leaving the then chief of General Staff no choice but to resign. The people’s angry reaction at least hindered his intention to have Turkish soldiers fight alongside US forces in Iraq. And as Ozal predicted, history bore out whether Turkey was to profit from this situation.
We should admit that in the current situation, the Justice and Development (AKP) government has so far done the best that it can. However, Ankara has to answer its strategic partner’s pressure. Due to its strategic position it’s impossible for Turkey, which has no tradition of neutrality, to be in the middle on this. When US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently said, ‘Germany and France are the old Europe… [but] vast numbers of other countries in Europe are with the United States on this issue,’ he was actually telling the truth, which makes the things more difficult for Ankara. Because except for these two countries, there really haven’t been many European Union members clearly against the US drive to war. Such countries as Italy, Spain, Poland and Hungary, which the US thinks of as its supporters, haven’t come out in opposition to war.
In addition, the new EU members are expected to support the US. In other words, Washington has effectively divided the EU, and this situation will cause Turkey to face a serious dilemma. Should Turkey act together with Germany and France, which didn’t treat it very generously at December’s EU summit, or rather cast its lot with the majority of its fellow NATO members? Our choice will cause long-lasting results in terms of Turkey’s foreign and defense policies. Turkey is facing a truly difficult test.”
 ANKARA’S CONFUSION ON CYPRUS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc writes about Turkey’s Cyprus policy. A summary of her column is as follows:
“What is causing the current tension between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Is it because Lefkosha and Ankara have diverging views on the Cyprus issue? Or does the bulk of this discrepancy lie in Ankara’s ambiguous stance on the problem?
True, Turkey has of late failed to speak in one voice on its Cyprus policy, a failure plaguing not only the government but also the country’s prominent institutions which have a say on our foreign policy.
Certain circles in Turkey characterize UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus peace plan as a ‘surrender,’ one effectively aimed at annihilating the Turkish Cypriots and forcing Turkey to take its hands off the island. Recently, the Foreign Ministry gave the first signals of a shift in Turkey’s policy on the issue, and then denied that any change was on the agenda while President Ahmet Necdet Sezer pledged full support to Denktas. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc paid a visit to the TRNC earlier this month, proclaiming the moment he set foot on the island that the Turkish Cypriots’ demand for peace should be seriously taken into consideration. Yet, upon his departure from the island he apparently changed his mind, saying, ‘Turkey’s withdrawing support for Denktas would mean betraying the Turkish Cypriots. Standing up for Denktas’s cause would be the wisest action.’
When I asked Denktas about Arinc’s change of heart, he said, ‘He held contacts with our officials and they presented him with certain documents. I suppose that’s why now he thinks differently about the issue.’
Although Arinc is the Parliament speaker and tries to keep a distance between himself and his party, he has substantial influence over certain AKP officials. Arinc’s change of heart on the Cyprus problem contrasts starkly with Erdogan’s recent remarks in Davos. One could even argue that Erdogan’s statements would deserve to be labelled a ‘betrayal of the Turkish Cypriots’ if seen through Arinc’s glasses.
Ankara’s ambiguous and uncertain stance stems from this unsteady cluster of diverging views on Cyprus. Of course in a democratic country there will be conflicting opinions trying to influence the course of politics, but the current odd situation in Turkey is that the country lacks an official stance.
The EU accession of the Greek Cypriot administration has shifted all the parameters of the problem. If Turkey’s political leadership truly wants to secure the rights and the legitimacy of the Turkish Cypriots, then it needs to make up its mind on Cyprus, and soon.”
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