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Turkish Press Review, 03-02-19
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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
19.02.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER: “A NEW UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION IS NEEDED”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday stated that the US should first win international legitimacy before launching any military operation in Iraq, saying that a second UN Security Council resolution beyond Resolution 1441 was needed. He reiterated that the decision-making body in Turkey for an official decision to authorize stationing US troops on Turkish soil was the country’s Parliament. “Turkey has to take every possible measure to avert a political crisis or any foreign intervention in its domestic politics,” said Sezer. “The Turkish Parliament has the final say on whether to allow the deployment of US soldiers at Turkey’s airbases and ports.” /All Papers/
 GUL: “OUR PROPOSAL AWAITS AN ANSWER FROM THE US”Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday returned from Brussels after attending an emergency summit of European Union leaders on the Iraq issue, representing Turkey as an EU candidate and neighbor of Iraq. At a press conference at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Gul said that during his two-day visit he had had the opportunity to meet with many European leaders. Stressing that the 28 European countries had a common stance on the Iraq issue, Gul said, “European countries have been supporting Turkey’s initiatives in the region to resolve the issue through peaceful means.” Asked about the fate of two separate proposals designed to allow US troops to be stationed in Turkey and to send Turkish troops to Iraq, both of whose consideration has been delayed, the prime minister stated that Turkey had certain economic, political and military concerns about the proposals. “We’ve conveyed these concerns to the US, but we’ve yet to receive a reply, ” he said. Without a reply, it will be difficult to debate the proposals in Parliament, added Gul. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT WON’T MAKE UNILATERAL COMMITMENTS TO THE US ON IRAQ”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that the AKP government wouldn’t make unilateral commitments to the United States on the Iraq issue, calling such a move on Turkey’s part “impossible.” Erdogan also said that Turkey and the US were strategic allies, adding that since Parliament would soon make a decision on the stationing of US troops on Turkey’s soil, the days to come would be very crucial. If Turkey’s strategic alliance carries importance for the US, he remarked, then it should also meet Turkey’s demands. “If not, then only one country would be making concessions to the other within a framework of friendship and cooperation between two countries,” he said. “Parliament’s decision depends on our nation.” He added that the government couldn’t accept any arrangement that it couldn’t explain and justify to the nation. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP GOVERNMENT’S IRAQ POLICYOpposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) policy of negotiating with the United States on Turkey’s support for a possible Iraq war while at the same time trying to prevent the very same war, suggesting that such a policy was “contradictory.” Baykal added that there was no legal, moral, or political justification for a war against Iraq. /Aksam/
 BUSH: “TURKEY HAS NO BETTER FRIEND THAN THE US”US President George W. Bush yesterday stated that he hoped Turkey and the US government would soon reach an agreement on the Iraq issue which would satisfy both sides. “The US is Turkey’s best friend,” said Bush. “We’re working closely with Turkish officials and you all know that we have great respect for the Turkish government. Turkey does not have a better friend than the US.” Meanwhile, when asked by a reporter about the US impasse with Turkey over a deal to ensure its support for a US-led operation, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer yesterday said that now was “decision time” for the Turkish government. Fleischer told reporters the debate about US forces using Turkish bases would be "settled one way or another rather soon." /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH OFFICIALS MEET WITH US OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS IRAQTurkish officials chaired by veteran diplomat Deniz Bolukbasi yesterday met with United States officials under former US Ambassador Marisa Lino to discuss a possible US-led operation against Iraq. During the meeting, Lino proposed that US troops would protect the security of Mosul and Kirkuk, two strategic oil-rich cities in northern Iraq. Bolukbasi said that observers from Turkish foces should also be present in those cities, adding that the entire region on the Turkish-Iraqi border should be under Turkey’s control. Ankara has long expressed its interest in the fate of the two cities, and in particular making sure the region’s Kurds do not attempt to seize them during a war. /Hurriyet/
 ANNAN TO VISIT CYPRUS NEXT WEEK AHEAD OF DEADLINE FOR AGREEMENTUnited Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to pay a visit to Cyprus next week. According to diplomatic sources, Annan’s visit is intended to give a final push towards both sides on the island signing his Cyprus proposal before next Friday’s Feb. 28 deadline. Meanwhile, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday criticized UN Special Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto’s recent stance on the Cyprus issue. Denktas remarked that de Soto was treating the issue as if it were his own personal problem and trying to force both sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible, an approach Denktas called unhelpful. /Cumhuriyet/
 DE SOTO: “THERE MAY BE A THIRD UN PLAN, BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR YET”Alvaro de Soto, the United Nations special envoy to Cyprus, said yesterday that a third UN Cyprus plan may be presented to both sides on the island but that this was not yet clear. Speaking after meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, de Soto said that the two sides needed to negotiate first before making a statement to the public. De Soto is set to meet today with Tassos Papadopoulos, Greek Cyprus’ new president-elect and its new representative at the island’s bargaining table. /Aksam/
 GREEK PM SIMITIS: “IN CASE OF AN IRAQ WAR, THE EU WILL CONSIDER SPECIAL AID TO TURKEY”Speaking at a closed meeting at the European Union’s Iraq summit in Brussels yesterday, EU Term President Greek’s Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that in case of a war in Iraq, the EU would discuss granting special aid to Turkey. Addressing Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul’s stated concern about a wave of immigration at the nation’s borders with Iraq, Simitis stated that the EU shared his concern and would look into the situation. /Sabah/
 TUZMEN SEEKS TO BOOST TRADE TIES WITH ALGERIAState Minister Kursad Tuzmen accompanied by a delegation of 200 bureaucrats and businessmen is set to travel to Algeria today. During his four-day visit, Tuzmen will meet with Algerian officials to help develop bilateral trade relations. After completing his contacts, Tuzmen will then fly to Great Britain to attend the “Turquality-Elite” fashion show in London. /Turkiye/
 NUREMBERG HOSTS TURKISH-GERMAN FILM FESTIVALNuremberg, Germany is set today to begin hosting a Turkish_German Film Festival. The one-week festival is aimed at improving cultural dialogue between the two countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A RACE AGAINST TIME BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the race against time in the Iraq crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It seems as if every morning’s newspaper bears a fresh proclamation of, ‘This is a very critical week’ or ‘The most critical day,’ but right now such phrases are apt. Will Parliament consider the proposal for allowing the deployment of US forces in Turkey or won’t it? How long will the Bush administration wait? Or will Bush abandon the northern front and choose an alternative plan? At this point not weeks, but just a few days remain to make these important decisions. Actually the time factor is vital for the US. Bush has to race against time in his preparations for an attack against Iraq. Now if he can’t complete his work on his war plans, he will soon have passed the most appropriate period for attack, that is, the middle of March. However, Turkey isn’t in such a hurry. On the contrary, Ankara wants to gain time. As a matter of fact, the reason for uneasiness between Ankara and Washington is both sides’ different approach towards the time factor.
There were two reasons for Turkey to take its time concerning the second proposal: the international situation and the bargaining between Ankara and Washington. The report presented by the UN inspectors to the Security Council, the many speeches to the council in favor of a peaceful solution, the increasingly widespread demonstrations against war and the expectations of possible positive effects at the European Union’s recent summit all played important roles in pushing back the second proposal till after last week’s holiday. Although these factors haven’t disappeared, the signs from Washington show that Bush isn’t deterred by them at all and is still determined on a military operation. His pressure on Turkey is an indicator of this.
Secondly, Turkey expects its economic, political and military negotiations with the US to lead to an agreement more favorable to Turkey’s interests. Certain developments towards this end happened during the holiday but nothing is firm yet. At this point, the time factor becomes key again and perhaps we’re in the most critical days right now. Whether the second proposal will be sent to Parliament or not will be determined during this critical period.
Both sides expect this issue to be solved through a consensus. If one can be reached concerning the above-mentioned three issues, maybe the issue of the second proposal will be solved at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Yesterday’s speech by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was very important. He gave the Parliament and the public this message: History in the region is to be rewritten. Turkey’s choice is whether to be excluded from this process or instead to play an active role in it.”
 MORALS, BEING REALISTIC AND ORIENTALISM BY ERGIN YILDIZOGLU (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Ergin Yildizoglu comments on a possible US-led war against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Those who favor a war in Iraq have gradually, bit-by-bit, exhausted all of their arguments. Their evidence hasn’t convinced anyone. Now they have only one last place to hide: Reasons of ‘morality.’ Moreover, as they get more and more distant from the realm of concrete facts, they find strange companions for themselves on the road to war.
There are basically two lines of arguments armed with ‘moral’ reasons intended to justify a war that could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people.
The first is that Saddam Hussein is a deranged dictator, so the Iraqi people should be set free from his chains. It’s not important who does it! Unfortunately, many Muslim, mostly Arab and sometimes ex-left-wing writers seem to have adopted this logic. For example, an Iraqi ‘enlightened’ writer, in order to dissuade people from marching in anti-war demonstrations in Britain, can even dare to say: ‘I beg you! Even if you have no trust in the British government and don’t consider Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to be a threat, please think of the Iraqi people.’ And he adds on behalf of them: ‘When will you free us? When will we start living as we deserve?’ Reading between the lines, we can see sentiments along these lines: ‘We have to be realistic. The US will win this war anyway, so we have to get aboard that train to get access to at least the leftovers of the victors’ spoils. What’s the point in opposing the inevitable?’
The second line of argumentation is, so to speak, a bit more ‘sophisticated, ’ as it is pursued largely by ex-socialists. They say that it’s not enough to oppose a war alone. Those who do so should also come up with a project which would lead to the democratization of the whole region. Thus, this approach highlights a key point: The region truly needs democracy. So there’s no problem if this is achieved through the peaceful means of the UN. But what if there’s no way besides war, and the UN Security Council approves such a war?
Here, I won’t get into the business that the call to be ‘realistic’ almost always implies ‘just accept what is given to you,’ and try to show you that this call is a ‘respectable’ way of finding a cover for ideological cowardice. Instead, I’ll pose these two questions: Democracy, but for whom? And by whom?
Won’t the democracy established following a war in Iraq be an exclusivist one founded for the people whom the very forces who established it see as appropriate? Aren’t the Bush administration, which came to power through a democratic glitch, and the most militarist right-wingers in Israel and Washington’s well-connected oil and weapon lobbies’ friends among those who will establish democracy in Iraq?
As the respected social critic Edward Said asked, ‘Will such grotesqueries be champions of progress? Who gave them such an assignment?’ For God’s sake, on what moral or logical grounds does the foundation of a militarist regime in Iraq fit in ‘bringing democracy’ at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives?
On the other hand, those who argue that the region needs a democratization project implicitly carry an orientalist logic, one that they feel deep inside supported by the belief in the inferiority of the East before the West. The East can barely achieve anything on its own. It is passive and immature, and cannot establish democracy or achieve development without Western aid.
Today, the most moralistic attitude is opposing a war in Iraq which would kill hundreds of thousands of people without doing a single thing to bolster the image of the omnipotent US and veiled under the disguise of being ‘realistic.’ One cannot bargain about morals.”
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