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Turkish Press Review, 03-02-25
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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
 PARLIAMENT EXPECTED TO CONSIDER IRAQ
 PROPOSALS TODAYThe Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul convened yesterday to discuss the Iraq issue. Following the six-and-a-half-hour meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said that the Cabinet had comprehensively discussed the prospect of war in Iraq and its possible consequences. Sener stated that most of the ministers still had considerable doubts over the current course of events. “However,” he continued, “after long discussions, the proposals to allow US troops to be stationed in Turkey and sending Turkish troops to Iraq were opened for the ministers’ signatures, and it was decided to send them to Parliament for debate.” Sener added that the authority to ultimately accept or decline the proposals belonged to Parliament alone. In the meantime, discussions continued between Turkish and US officials over a deal to ensure Turkey’s support for US war preparations. Reportedly, compromises on military and political topics have largely been reached, while certain economic issues still remain unresolved. Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis yesterday told reporters that without a full compromise, the proposals would not be sent to Parliament. /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ARINC: “THE AKP SHOULD WAIT
 FOR A SECOND UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION”Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said yesterday that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government should wait for the United Nations Security Council to pass another resolution on Iraq before sending proposals on war preparations to Parliament. It wouldn’t be appropriate for the government to send such proposals to Parliament before “international legitimacy” is ensured and weapons inspectors complete their work in Iraq, added Arinc. /Aksam/
 WHITE HOUSE: “WE CONTINUE TO MAKE GOOD
 PROGRESS IN TALKS WITH TURKEY TOWARDS
 COOPERATION ON IRAQ ISSUE”Since Washington wants to use Turkish military facilities as a base to launch a northern front during a possible Iraq war, the Bush administration is closely following recent Turkish political developments on a proposal to authorize the US to deploy its troops in Turkey. The White House yesterday expressed its satisfaction with Turkey’s recent efforts just as the Cabinet agreed to send a proposal to Parliament to allow the US troop deployment. “We continue to make good progress in the talks with Turkey,” said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. “Our plea is with the actions taken by the Turkish government to date. This is a very serious matter and the democratic country of Turkey has taken it seriously, has responded seriously, has listened carefully, and we're working together. And that's where it stands for now. And we, of course, look forward to a vote in the Turkish Parliament as well.” Asked about the issue of Turkey’s military presence in northern Iraq, reportedly a bone of contention in the talks, Fleischer declined to address any specifics. The Bush administration spokesman also stressed that although Turkey “was not a voting member of the United Nations Security Council, it would suffer economic damage as a result of any hostilities as a country on the front line,” as proved by the 1991 Gulf War.” /Cumhuriyet/
 PRESIDENT SEZER, AKP LEADER ERDOGAN MEET
 WITH ANNAN TO DISCUSS CYPRUSRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss the Cyprus issue. During their talks, Annan briefed Erdogan on the third Cyprus plan he recently prepared. Annan’s plan is intended to improve the chances of a settlement being reached on the island before this Friday’s deadline, though Annan indicated yesterday the date could be pushed back as much as a week. Also present at yesterday’s meeting was Alvaro de Soto, the UN special envoy to Cyprus. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan expressed hope about the third plan, saying that he believed it had a better chance of promoting a resolution than its predecessors. For his part, Annan said that they had reached a consensus on an acceptable solution for the island. “We have here a great chance for a united Cyprus, and it entering the European Union,” he said. “I know that the third plan will allay the concerns of both sides.” Annan later met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. At the meeting, Sezer said that a solution should depend on the realities of the island and that in particular, the presence of two equal states should be accepted. He added that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas had taken a positive, constructive approach while negotiating with outgoing Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides. /Aksam/
 SIMITIS: “WE WON’T NEGOTIATE OVER NEWEST
 VERSION OF UN CYPRUS PLAN”Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday stated that the Greek government was not planning to negotiate on the third and latest version of the United Nations plan for an agreement on Cyprus. Greece currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, a body which Greek Cyprus is in line to join, and is also -- along with Turkey -- a guarantor nation for the island of Cyprus, though not a direct party to negotiations. Simitis stated that he would ask the UN to put more diplomatic pressure on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots instead of pushing the revised plan. “Athens and Greek Cyprus are both supporting peace efforts,” said Simitis. “However, despite all the public outcry in northern Cyprus, [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President] Rauf Denktas is still insisting on pursuing a ‘no-concession’ policy. Under these circumstances, reaching an agreement seems impossible.” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan produced the third revised plan in hopes of reaching a settlement before this Friday’s deadline, though yesterday he indicated the date could be pushed back up to a week. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY CAUTIONS US OFFICIALS OVER IRAQI
 KURDISH GROUPTurkey yesterday warned the Bush administration to be careful in its dealings with the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP), as recent pronouncements from the group have cast doubt on its intentions. Meeting with US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal reminded him of both a history of hostile statements by IKDP head Massoud Barzani and this week’s remarks by Hoshyar Zebari, the IKDP’s foreign policy chief, predicting “clashes” should Turkish forces enter northern Iraq. “Zebari’s remarks have confirmed our suspicions,” Ziyal reportedly told the US ambassador. “That’s why Turkey believes that the number of weapons given to the group during a possible war in the region should be strictly limited. Nobody should doubt that Turkey will spare no effort to prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdish state.” /Hurriyet/
 AWACS SPARE PARTS, PATRIOT MISSILES FROM
 NATO EN ROUTE TO TURKEYNATO yesterday sent a first cargo plane carrying AWACS early warning system spare parts and support personnel to Turkey to bolster Turkey’s defenses for a possible war in Iraq. Turkey is the only NATO country on Iraq’s border. The planes are expected to be in Turkey this week, and to be based out of an airbase in Konya. Meanwhile, an initial group of military personnel (360 in total) who will work on Patriot missile defense systems to be sent by alliance number the Netherlands will arrive in Turkey tomorrow, while a second group is to arrive on Friday. The Patriot defense systems requested by Turkey to use for self-defense in a possible war are expected to be in Turkey by midweek. /Turkiye/
 SEZER, BUYUKATAMAN DISCUSS STANCE OF
 TURKS LIVING IN US ON IRAQ CRISISPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday met with Turkish-American Associations Federation Chairman Kayaalp Buyukataman. At the meeting, Buyukataman briefed Sezer on the reaction of the nearly half a million Turkish people living in the United States to a looming US-led war in Iraq, telling him that many had yet to make up their minds. “Turks in the US lack clear and sufficient information on such a US-led operation, so it’s difficult for them to decide on a stance,” he said. “They are waiting, just like the rest of the US, for a final decision to be made about an operation.” Sezer replied that US-based Turks would probably to make up their minds just after a war begins in the region. “When people lose their husbands, wives, friends, and loved ones and when the first casualties are sent back home, people will show their real reaction,” added the president. /Milliyet/
 TOBB HEAD: “THE US SHOULD COMPENSATE TURKEY
 FOR ITS LOSSES IN ANY IRAQ CONFLICT”Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said yesterday that the United States should compensate Turkey for the economic losses it suffers in any Iraq conflict, adding however that increased trade would be better than aid. “Each year the US imports over $1.25 trillion in goods from other countries, yet Turkey’s share of this pie is only one-quarter of one percent,” argued Hisarciklioglu. “This does not befit the Turkish-US partnership relationship.” The business leader urged improved trade ties to remedy this situation. “Right now Turkey’s economy is at a dangerous, critical point,” he added. “When the Iraq and Cyprus issues are finally resolved, we may regret not making better choices during this period.” /Star/
 SOCIAL SECURITY AND STATE ENTERPRISES TOP AGENDA OF TURKEY-IMF MEETINGAn International Monetary Fund delegation currently visiting Turkey yesterday held talks with state economic officials at Ankara’s Treasury building. At the meeting, the delegation was briefed on Turkey’s state economic enterprises (SEEs) and measures to cover the 2003 fiscal year deficits of social security institutions. IMF Turkey desk chief Juha Kahkonen did not participate in the meeting and worked separately. /Star/
 DEADLINE FOR TECHNOLOGY AWARD SUBMISSIONS
 SET FOR MARCH 28March 28 has been set as the deadline for submissions to compete in the fifth annual technology awards as decided jointly by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TUBITAK) and the Turkish Businessmen’s and Industrialists’ Association (TUSIAD), an awards spokesman said yesterday. The awards will fall under two categories, the Grand Prize and the Achievement Awards, and the finalists will be announced on July 26. The honors will be handed out at a Dec. 9 ceremony during an international technology congress in Istanbul. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 BARZANI’S DESIGNS
 BY HIKMET CETINKAYA (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Hikmet Cetinkaya comments on recent political developments concerning northern Iraq ahead of possible US-led military campaign against Saddam Hussein. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Don’t the US, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium know very well that Saddam Hussein is a dictator? Don’t you think there is a historical dishonesty in all this Iraq business?
Weren’t it they (the US and certain other European countries) which supported Hitler’s post-Versailles rise in order to counter Soviet socialism? Wasn’t it Britain which in 1922 signed an alliance pact with Iraq in order to balance out Iran? Saddam Hussein had yet to be born at that time.
Let me remind my readers what Sir Percy Cox, then Britain’s high commissioner for Baghdad, told Sheikh Ibn-Saud, the would-be Saudi Arabia king of the time, in a tent in the Arabian desert in 1922: ‘I’m the one who will draw the borders between Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.’ Indeed, he did just what he said. Today’s borders separating these countries were laid down at that time. Sir Cox did so because it was in the best interests of his country.
Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (IKDP) foreign policy chief, said on Sunday that if Turkish troops enter northern Iraq by force, there would be clashes between them and the region’s Kurds. In fact, this is what IKDP leader Massoud Barzani has been saying since the very beginning of the Iraq crisis. A ‘Kurdish state’ in northern Iraq is what he has always dreamed of.
The Kurdish tribes in northern Iraq are dead set against the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) entering the region, and they are trying to urge the US and Britain to head off Turkey’s ‘interference.’ Maybe it’s just that the US and Britain are seeking ways to refashion a post-Saddam Iraq together with Kurdish leaders as a tripartite country.
It’s well known that Barzani has been cooperating with the terrorist organization PKK for some time now. Moreover, his nephew Ethem Barzani, the leader of the Hizbullah Party, has called on the PKK to conduct ‘armed resistance’ against the TSK in northern Iraq in order to secure the future of ‘Kurdistan.’
What about Kuwait? What was Britain’s point in creating such an artificial stump state just to Iraq’s south? Kuwait was established specifically to prevent Iraq’s becoming a Britain’s competitor in its claims on oil-rich gulf territories.
As time went by, Iraq began resisting the British mandate and dominance. In 1958, it ended the monarchy and declared a republic, and in 1990 it became the world’s enemy with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.
But didn’t the US and certain other European countries sell Saddam weapons of mass destruction during the country’s decade-long war with Iran? Using those very weapons, didn’t Saddam gas thousands of Kurds to death in Halepce?
What we are witnessing today in the Iraq crisis is nothing but historical dishonesty. It was the US which supported Iraq in the ‘80s against the regime in Iran. A similar thing is happening now in northern Iraq. Kurdish groups are being used against Turkey. IKDP leader Barzani is branding Turkish forces in the region as ‘invaders.’ The game goes on.”
 NEW DANGER IN NORTHERN IRAQ
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on escalating tensions on Turkey’s role in northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“At a time when everyone is focused on ongoing Turkish-US talks concerning preparations for conflict in Iraq and the proposal to be presented to Parliament, the news coming from northern Iraq is worrying. This news signals that Turkey might come into conflict with the Kurds in northern Iraq. While the meetings between Turkey and the US are near their conclusion, Kurdish leaders are talking about the possibility of conflicts, foreshadowing a new danger in the region.
As Turkey has emphasized during its talks with the US, the issues it considers vital in the determination of northern Iraq’s status are as follows: 1) Iraq’s territorial integrity must be protected. 2) The establishment of an independent Kurdish state must not be permitted. 3) A possible Iraqi federal system must be organized not based on ethnic lines, but rather on geographical ones. 4) The country’s ethnic Turkmen will be considered ‘essential constitutive elements’ and included in the country’s new political structure. 5) The Kurds must not have dominion over Mosul or Kirkuk. 6) Kurdish peshmergas will be disarmed when the time comes.
Meanwhile, Turkey has taken an important military stance by starting preparations for transporting units to northern Iraq ahead of a possible war. Ankara stated that these soldiers would be stationed in northern Iraq to stop a possible flood of refugees and to head off the terrorist PKK_KADEK from declaring an independent state or seizing Mosul and Kirkuk. Turkish officials stated that our forces would undertake this duty of establishing control in northern Iraq whether or not US soldiers are given permission to pass through Turkish territory for a northern front.
It’s been known from the beginning that northern Iraq’s Kurdish groups didn’t welcome Turkey’s taking a stand in the region. During their meetings with Turkish officials, these groups have been saying that they weren’t seeking independence, but also requesting that Ankara not get involved in the determination of their status. When the issue of Turkish soldiers’ entering northern Iraq and controlling certain areas and the disarmament of peshmergas came onto the table, the Kurds said the following: 1) The Turkish army shouldn’t be stationed in northern Iraq. 2) Kurdish authorities will decide on the disarmament of peshmergas when Iraq’s new general structure is determined. 3) Turkey’s political and military interventions would cause other actors to intervene and thus sow instability.
Such tension between Turkey and northern Iraq’s Kurds is troublesome. In particular, if Turkish soldiers enter northern Iraq and Kurdish militants resist them, this could have dangerous consequences. Turkey thinks it is obliged to establish a military presence in northern Iraq in order to head off ‘untoward developments.’ Ankara should tell the Kurds and the world at large its reasons for this stance, using sound arguments. This shouldn’t be considered an intervention in another country or, what would be worse, as occupation.”
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