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Turkish Press Review, 03-01-31

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> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

31.01.2003

TURKEY MAY REQUEST PROTECTION FROM NATO AGAINST POSSIBLE IRAQI ATTACK IN BID TO EASE TURKISH CONCERNS, US COULD TELL IRAQI KURDS “HANDS OFF” MOSUL AND KIRKUK DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL: “THE US WANTS TURKEY’S SUPPORT, BUT IT’S DETERMINED IN ANY CASE TO CONFRONT IRAQ” GUL, SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD DISCUSS IRAQI STANDOFF ERDOGAN: “I’M STILL HOPEFUL FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION IN IRAQ” PEARSON: “AN AGREEMENT ON CYPRUS IS VERY NEAR” GREEK FM PAPANDREOU DISCUSSES CYPRUS WITH ERDOGAN, YAKIS VERHEUGEN: “IF TURKEY IS TRULY DETERMINED, IT MAY START EU ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS IN 2005” TURKISH, TRNC BUSINESS GROUPS DISCUSS PROSPECTS FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT INTERFAITH PEACE CONFERENCE PROPOSED FOR ANKARA FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… THE FACE OF A FUTURE IRAQ BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET) A BLIND ALLEY BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY MAY REQUEST PROTECTION FROM NATO AGAINST POSSIBLE IRAQI ATTACK
  • [02] IN BID TO EASE TURKISH CONCERNS, US COULD TELL IRAQI KURDS “HANDS OFF” MOSUL AND KIRKUK
  • [03] DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL: “THE US WANTS TURKEY’S SUPPORT, BUT IT’S DETERMINED IN ANY CASE TO CONFRONT IRAQ”
  • [04] GUL, SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD DISCUSS IRAQI STANDOFF
  • [05] ERDOGAN: “I’M STILL HOPEFUL FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION IN IRAQ”
  • [06] PEARSON: “AN AGREEMENT ON CYPRUS IS VERY NEAR”
  • [07] GREEK FM PAPANDREOU DISCUSSES CYPRUS WITH ERDOGAN, YAKIS
  • [08] VERHEUGEN: “IF TURKEY IS TRULY DETERMINED, IT MAY START EU ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS IN 2005”
  • [09] TURKISH, TRNC BUSINESS GROUPS DISCUSS PROSPECTS FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT
  • [10] INTERFAITH PEACE CONFERENCE PROPOSED FOR ANKARA
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [12] THE FACE OF A FUTURE IRAQ BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
  • [13] A BLIND ALLEY BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] TURKEY MAY REQUEST PROTECTION FROM NATO AGAINST POSSIBLE IRAQI ATTACK

    Ahead of a possible US-led war against Iraq, Turkey might request protection and defense assistance from NATO against Iraqi attack, diplomatic sources said yesterday. Accordingly, under Article 4 of NATO’s charter, founding member Turkey can ask the alliance to hold consultations on a possible Iraqi threat to its security. Furthermore, under Article 5, Turkey can call upon its fellow members for military assistance should the country face any aggression, as the article states that an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all. Turkey’s appeal is also expected to lead NATO to clarify its official stance on the Iraq issue, which alliance members declined to do last week at the behest of France and Germany. France has vacillated on its support for a possible Iraq intervention, which would not be carried out under NATO auspices in any case, while Germany has steadfastly opposed one. /Star/

    [02] IN BID TO EASE TURKISH CONCERNS, US COULD TELL IRAQI KURDS “HANDS OFF” MOSUL AND KIRKUK

    The United States is set to warn Iraqi Kurdish groups not to stake any military or territorial claims on Mosul and Kikuk, two oil-rich areas in northern Iraq, reported US daily the Washington Post yesterday. “Protecting the oil fields from seizure or destruction by any combatants would be a key early goal of a military campaign,” wrote the Post. According to the newspaper, the US warning is intended to ease Turkey’s concerns about the formation a possible Kurdish state in the region as well as securing Turkish support in a military offensive against Saddam Hussein. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL: “THE US WANTS TURKEY’S SUPPORT, BUT IT’S DETERMINED IN ANY CASE TO CONFRONT IRAQ”

    Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said yesterday that the United States didn’t want to conduct an operation against Iraq without Turkey’s help. Turkey is opposed to a northern front against Iraq, stated Gonul, but the US considers such a front to be vitally important. “If Turkey doesn’t allow the US to open this front and ends up waging war with a southern front alone, then Turkey may be cut out of the postwar decision-making process in the region,” he warned. “But the US is determined to conduct an operation whether it has Turkey’s support or not.” /Turkiye/

    [04] GUL, SYRIAN PRESIDENT ASSAD DISCUSS IRAQI STANDOFF

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received a telephone call from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. During their conversation, the two leaders discussed developments in the wake of the recent Istanbul summit seeking a peaceful resolution in Iraq. /Turkiye/

    [05] ERDOGAN: “I’M STILL HOPEFUL FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION IN IRAQ”

    Appearing on television yesterday, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was still hopeful for a peaceful resolution of the Iraqi crisis. The world shouldn’t usher in the 21st century with war, remarked Erdogan, adding that if all nations worldwide wanted peace, then they should do their utmost to find a peaceful solution to the US-Iraq standoff. Erdogan stated that Parliament was soon set to decide if Turkey would take part in a war. Turkey should take all measures in case of a war, he cautioned. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Erdogan added that both sides needed to make sacrifices in order to reach an agreement for the island. /Turkiye/

    [06] PEARSON: “AN AGREEMENT ON CYPRUS IS VERY NEAR”

    US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson yesterday visited Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc to discuss a number of issues, including Cyprus. Speaking after their meeting, Pearson said that they had discussed recent developments on a possible US-led operation against Iraq, in addition to Cyprus. He stated that the two sides on the island were working very hard to reach an agreement and that a settlement was very near. “However, this doesn’t mean that all Cyprus’ problems have been overcome,” he added. /Aksam/

    [07] GREEK FM PAPANDREOU DISCUSSES CYPRUS WITH ERDOGAN, YAKIS

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Greece Foreign Minister George Papandreou to discuss ways to resolve the Cyprus issue. During their talks, Erdogan said that he wanted Papandreou to put forth more effort to reach an agreement. Papandreou stated that Greece also wanted a solution to the dispute. Later, Papandreou also met with Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis. During their meeting, Papandreou proposed to Yakis that Turkey and Greece negotiate security and guarantor issues for the island, which he said in turn would help Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides find a solution. “Greece is ready for negotiations, and we will begin when the Turkish government is ready,” said Papandreou. /Milliyet/

    [08] VERHEUGEN: “IF TURKEY IS TRULY DETERMINED, IT MAY START EU ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS IN 2005”

    Appearing on television yesterday, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen, who is currently visiting Turkey, said last December’s EU Copenhagen summit had produced decisions which satisfied Turkey and moreover constituted “a guarantee” from the EU. “The decisions at Copenhagen put Turkey much closer to its EU goal,” he stated. “Turkey may start negotiations with the EU in 2005, and these talks could continue for 5-10 years. Everything depends on Turkey’s determination to join the Union.” Also touching on the United Nations Cyprus plan, Verheugen stressed that Feb. 28 was the EU-UN deadline for the two sides to reach an agreement on the plan. /Aksam/

    [09] TURKISH, TRNC BUSINESS GROUPS DISCUSS PROSPECTS FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT

    Over 50 business group leaders from both Turkish and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) gathered yesterday at Istanbul’s Bogazici University to discuss the prospects of a negotiated settlement in Cyprus. Speaking at the meeting, which was sponsored by the Turkish Industrialists2 and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD), TUSIAD board member Sadi Gucum stressed that the current UN Cyprus plan represented an important opportunity for the island. “No peace agreement can be signed without concessions,” he argued. “This is a plan, after all. Although it’s very detailed, at this stage the two parties can take it as a basis for an eventual agreement. We shouldn’t forget that the Lausanne Peace Treaty was also signed with mutual concessions.” The business leaders are set to reconvene today in Girne, in the TRNC, to continue their discussions. /Sabah/

    [10] INTERFAITH PEACE CONFERENCE PROPOSED FOR ANKARA

    A prominent European Jewish leader yesterday proposed holding the first in a series of interfaith peace conferences in Ankara. Dr. Michel Friedman, president of the European Jewish Congress, conveyed his proposal to several top Turkish political figures in Ankara, including Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, People’s Republican Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, and various government ministers. Friedman said that the conferences would encourage understanding between the Abrahamic faiths -- Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- and that Turkey, with its overwhelmingly Muslim population, would be an ideal host country. Adding that the meeting would bring together religious, political and academic leaders, Friedman said that his proposal had been greeted warmly. /Sabah/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [12] THE FACE OF A FUTURE IRAQ BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on a possible postwar future in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Back in 1989, Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in the hope that he could benefit from the confusion of that country’s revolution. eight years later, however, he was forced to withdraw, with financial losses amounting to $105 billion and a death toll of 50,000. If he hadn’t attacked Iran and had instead followed an enlightened policy of establishing a developed Iraq with the support of the Arab and Western worlds, today his would have been the most developed country among the Arab states and Iraq’s ethnic groups would have been peacefully integrated through social and economic ties. Saddam later invaded Kuwait to make up for the financial losses of the Iran-Iraq war and Iraq’s $35 billion weapons debt. The Iraqis looted Kuwait’s Central Bank and Iraqi soldiers plundered the mansions and luxury cars of Kuwait’s elite. But Saddam had again miscalculated because he didn’t reap Kuwait, but rather the woes of the Gulf War and a decade-long embargo. Moreover, since Kuwait’s Central Bank declared worthless the dinars Iraq had stolen, using their recorded serial numbers, Saddam couldn’t benefit from this theft, either.

    Saddam’s repeated miscalculations come from his militarist culture, which celebrates conquests. His is a ‘Pan Arabism’ and narcissism which considers itself the ‘great leader’ of all Arabs. It’s also a tribal culture which can’t find its place in the modern world. Now Iraq is facing the fear of war and disintegration. Shiite Arabs in the country’s south have a tradition of revolt. They started a revolt during 1991’s Gulf War, but Saddam defeated them. In addition, there are Kurds in northern Iraq who never integrated with the country’s mainstream due to their tribal structure. They, too, have a longstanding tradition of revolt and struggle. They revolted during the Gulf War and attacked Kirkuk, but Saddam overcame them as well. Today they have a well-established ‘protected’ region. Finally, there are the sovereign Sunni Arabs in the middle third of the country with their Baath party and secret police.

    If the bull of war comes into this china shop, would the Shiites and Kurds revolt again? What would their political demands be? Would a civil war break out with counterattacks against the battered remains of Saddam’s collapsed regime? When the Shiites and Kurds revolted during the Gulf War, Saddam stopped them with blood and terror until the US-British ‘no-flight zones’ were established in order to stop him. If Saddam and his regime are removed from power during the war, and angry groups revolt again and civil conflicts break out, who will ensure order? US forces? How would a new regime be established? Once the central authority collapses, will the ethnic factions who have a tradition of revolt and separation fight for competing regimes? What would be the result of all this? A war seems a very difficult prospect, but a postwar period seems to be even moreso. And besides Iraq, it would be most difficult for Turkey! Turkey can’t just remain a bystander to this, nor can it behave dogmatically. Instead, Turkey has to be effective and do whatever is necessary.”

    [13] A BLIND ALLEY BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Orhan Birgit writes about a possible US-led war against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Perhaps even the US president and the Pentagon don’t know exactly when a war against Iraq will begin, but each step Bush takes on the road to Baghdad shows more and more that he is a ‘lonely man’ walking down ‘Warmongers Boulevard.’

    Yesterday at the European Parliament, hundreds of Greens, Communists, Socialists and Social Democrats made clear their feelings, holding ‘No to war’ signs in their hands against ‘Big Brother’s’ hysterical war cries, as if they were demonstrating in an anti-war rally on the streets. The American people as well as Turkey’s ‘irregular prime minister’ must have seen the EU parliamentarians live on television. And we once again witnessed that Recep Tayyip Erdogan had taken the wrong course last year by appealing to President Bush in an attempt to drum up support for Turkey’s EU accession.

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has begun beefing up its military presence on the Iraqi border, sending additional ammunition and materiel on Wednesday, following Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz’s threat that Iraq would attack any country which allows US soldiers to use their soil as an invasion staging ground. Yet, our ‘prestigious’ media confined themselves to merely citing the threat of an Iraqi attack against Kuwait. How I wish the situation were that simple, but unfortunately it’s not. What will happen when the US completes its military preparations in our country’s airbases and harbors? Not only Kuwait, but the Turkish people as well are under a serious threat of war. The wolf of war is at our door and Turkey is about to turn into a blind alley.”

    ARCHIVE

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