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Turkish Press Review, 03-02-28
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
28.02.2003TALABANI: “IRAQI KURDS HAVE NO INTENTION TO ESTABLISH A KURDISH STATE IN NORTHERN IRAQ” FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NSC TO CONVENE TODAYThe National Security Council (NSC) headed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is to convene today at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During NSC’s regular monthly meeting, the Iraq and Cyprus issues are expected to be taken up. In related news, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul last night met with Cabinet ministers who will attend the NSC gathering to review today’s agenda of the meeting. /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS IRAQ PROPOSAL TOMORROWThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government yesterday decided to delay a vote on a proposal to tomorrow, allowing US troops to be stationed in Turkey as well as sending Turkish troops to northern Iraq. “We want the proposal to be debated on Saturday,” said Salih Kapusuz, a senior member of the AK Party. He said discussions that were ongoing within the party since Wednesday didn’t seem likely to end before Saturday. AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that the proposal would be voted in Parliament without waiting for United Nation’s second resolution on the issue. He said, “It is not clear when the UN will decide on the matter.” Meanwhile, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced yesterday that it would vote against the proposal and the party decided not to support it. “This is the first time in the Republic of Turkey’s history that foreign troops will land in Turkey,” CHP leader Deniz Baykal said at a party meeting yesterday. /All Papers/
 PREMIER GUL, GERMAN FM FISCHER MAKE PHONE CONVERSATION, DISCUSS POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAQPremier Minister Abdullah Gul and German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer made a phone conversation and conferred on recent developments concerning the prospect of US-led war in Iraq, said a press release yesterday. The release stated that Gul told Fischer that Turkey was ready to contribute to the UN Security Council’s efforts to find a peaceful solution to settle the Iraq crisis without resorting to a war. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALABANI: “IRAQI KURDS HAVE NO INTENTION TO ESTABLISH A KURDISH STATE IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) head Jalal Talabani said yesterday that Iraqi Kurds had no secret plans over northern Iraq such as establishing a Kurdish state in the region in the post-Saddam period. Speaking at an Iraqi opposition gathering convened yesterday in Salaheddin, northern Iraq to discuss Iraq’s postwar future, Talabani stated that the IPUK favored a federal democratic regime in the country, adding that this regime would embrace all of the opposition groups including Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen population. /Cumhuriyet, Sabah/
 ANNAN URGES DENKTAS AND PAPADOPOULOS TO MAKE QUICK DECISION ON THIRD REVISED CYPRUS PLANUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos met at an UN compound in Lefkosha UN-manned buffer zone yesterday to discuss the third revised Cyprus plan. Following the meeting Denktas told reporters that Annan characterized the plan as “the last opportunity,” and requested of the both leaders to make their decisions on it in 10 days and then hold a referendum on the issue on March 30. /Cumhuriyet/
 MHP LEADER BAHCELI: “INTERVENTION TO IRAQ ISN’T LEGITIMATE”Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said yesterday that Turkish people had been disappointed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ruling and that the government had abused Turkish nation’s political will. Criticizing the government’s foreign policy, Bahceli said, “It is carrying out an unclear and inconsistent policy.” The government seems to be in favor of a peaceful resolution. On the other hand, preparations for a war are continuing, said the MHP leader. Remarking that an intervention to Iraq was not yet confirmed by the international community, Bahceli said that Turkey’s stance shadowed its reputation and effectiveness. /Turkiye/
 ILDEM: “THE PRESIDENT BELIEVES THAT PARLIAMENT WILL TAKE A DECISION ON THE PROPOSAL IN LINE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Presidential Foreign Affairs Chief Adviser Tacan Ildem said that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer had stated that he kept his belief that allowing US troops to be stationed in Turkey should be based on “international legitimacy” standards and that it was Parliament to make a decision on Iraq proposals. “The president stated that Parliament will decide on whether these standards were maintained and he believes that members of Parliament will take a decision on the proposal in line with international law,” Ildem stated. “However, the president’s personal opinion will not be above Parliament’s decision.” /Hurriyet/
 US GEN. MYERS: “US VICTORY AGAINST IRAQ WOULD MAKE THE WORLD MORE SECURE THAN IT WAS IN THE PAST”Speaking at a ceremony in New York yesterday, United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said that the US victory in an operation against Iraq will make the world more secure than it was in the past. Myers added that the Iraqi government had deployed missiles near by the border of Turkey and Kuwait and that the US had destroyed some of them. /Aksam/
 TUSIAD CHAIRMAN: “IF PARLIAMENT REJECTS THE PROPOSALS ON IRAQ, TURKEY’S ECONOMY WOULD BE NEGATIVELY AFFECTED”Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said yesterday that if Parliament doesn’t approve the proposals on Iraq which will allow the US troops to be stationed in Turkey, this would affect Turkey’s economy negatively. Ozilhan stated that the interest rates and exchange rate would increase if Parliament rejects the proposals on Iraq. Ozilhan also remarked that if the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government doesn’t waste the loan on populist expenses but carefully use it in rolling over Turkey’s debts, the economy would grow faster after the operation. “The economic package will compensate costs Turkey will be exposed to due to an operation against Iraq, ” Ozilhan added. Also speaking at the TUSIAD meeting, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Turkish union of chambers and commodities exchange chairman, said that the US economic package would enable Turkey to roll over its public sector’s domestic and foreign debts more easily. “It’s clear that a US-led operation against Iraq will affect the economy adversely at the beginning of the operation which is impossible to deny,” he said. “The important thing is to use the loan to roll over Turkey’s debts. If Turkey can easily roll over its debts, this will also boost Turkey’s production.” /Milliyet/
 BESIKTAS DEFEATED SLAVIA PRAGUETurkish football team Besiktas yesterday recorded a 4-2 victory over the Czech Republic’s Slavia, enough to advance the team to quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TRUSTING THE US BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on trusting the US concerning the Iraq crisis. A summary of her column is as follows:
“One of the problems in the meetings held with the US is northern Iraqi Kurds’ armament. Ankara is against the US’ giving northern Iraqi Kurdish groups even the light weapons. The weapons of forest watchmen, who were organized against the terrorist organization PKK previously, were then directed to the Turkish soldiers. It’s a great concern these days that the same problem will occur in northern Iraq during or after the US operation. It’s interesting that the US prefers to burden the responsibility of giving these weapons on Turkey, instead of giving relieving replies to Ankara. The things Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis told us during our talk with him at Parliament are very interesting. Yakis said, that the US had answered the question, ‘Why are you giving the Kurds so much weapons?’ as follows: ‘We requested Turkey’s permission to pass 120,000 soldiers from Turkey to northern Iraq but it hasn’t been permitted. We need Kurds’ support to carry out the operation with a minimum of risk and we’ll use their armed forces. Therefore we have to give them weapons.’
The only benefit Turkey had gained during the negotiations it held with the US to remove its concerns concerning the issue of Kurds’ armament was the US’ promise to recollect the weapons given to Kurds after the war.
The lack of confidence in the US derives not only from the Washington administration’s not keeping the promises it made to Turkey during 1991’s Gulf War. It’s also disturbing for Ankara that the US officials are holding ‘strategic partner’ bargains with Turkey but on the contrary they also have a relation of ‘union of faith’ with northern Iraqi Kurds. It’s interesting that the same disturbance is also present in northern Iraq. This concern is the reason of Kurdish officials’ aggravating their tone in their explanations against Turkey lately. The US is trying to calm Ankara with US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s explanations and northern Iraqi Kurds with US President Bush’s Envoy to the Iraqi opposition Zalmay Khalilzad’s words. The document that puts forward Khalilzad’s efforts of calming in the most concrete way is the written statement made by the US Embassy in Ankara. The statement made by Khalilzad earlier this week is concerning the pleasing developments about reaching an agreement on a memorandum of understanding in the negotiations between Turkey and the US. Stating that the situation in northern Iraq is also important, Khalilzad added, ‘We believe that the operation to be carried out by the coalition forces will be in a full coordination and Turkey will be in compliance with it in northern Iraq. When the mission is over, all the coalition forces will withdraw from the region.’ Khalilzad emphasized that the US’ ‘Kurdish friends’ will work in cooperation with Turkey to rescue the Iraqi people surely. Are you aware of the fact that we have a communication with northern Iraqi Kurds as if it’s ‘an independent state,’ either indirectly or through the US. The US put Turkey and northern Iraqi Kurds on the same scale concerning the operation against Iraq. Can we trust the memorandum of understanding signed with the US and its written and verbal guarantees? Not the operation against Iraq, but the post-operation period is likely to be more difficult for Turkey.”
 ANOTHER DEADLINE... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Cyprus peace process. A summary of his column is as follows: “Today, February 28, was the deadline imposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the communities of Cyprus to accept reunification under a UN peace plan. Annan has been holding talks on the island in the hope of reaching agreement by his deadline. He recently met with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and new Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulous in his bid to get them to sign his deal today. However, as Annan's self-imposed deadline run out, the secretary-general was now asking the two leaders to meet him at the Hague on March 10 to give their final response. If there is a March 10 agreement, the plan will be put to simultaneous referendums of Greek and Turkish Cypriots on March 30. Annan expects an answer today on whether the leaders will attend The Hague meeting. We are familiar with such deadlines as far as the Cyprus peace process, which has been going on for years, is concerned. In the past, deadlines were imposed and extended over and over. However, this time everything seems a little bit different. The UN secretary-general made every possible effort to help both sides to reach an agreement. In that case, today may not be a deadline any more. However, it is clear that Annan will not set out another deadline after March 10. If the two communities fail to reach an agreement, the Greek Cypriot administration is very likely to join the EU on its own. Annan had presented a third revised plan to the two leaders of the island, which in fact includes favorable ideas for the Turkish side. Annan has made significant changes on a number of sensitive issues such as map, security, migration and political structure which previously bothered Denktas. However, Denktas finds these changes neither convincing nor satisfactory. Although the latest version of Annan’s plan defines Turkish and Greek Cypriots as ‘constituents’ of a joint state, Denktas wants international community to recognize two separate and equal sovereignties. Lack of accord concerning such philosophical issues are very important to Denktas. The Turkish side finds integration with the Greek side very dangerous. The Turkish Cypriot administration sees their Greek neighbors as a rival rather than a partner to live with. That’s why Annan felt it necessary to stress that his proposal should be regarded as a peace plan, not a matter of war. Of course, the Greek side has also certain concerns. Let’s admit that under these circumstances, we need a miracle for the communities of the island to reach a historic agreement!”
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