|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-11-03
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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
03.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES DISCUSS IRAQ SITUATIONThe foreign ministers of Iraq’s seven neighbors including host country Syria as well as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan met in Damascus over the weekend to discuss the Iraq issue and how they can best support this nation. In their final declaration, the countries pointed to the importance of Iraq’s territorial integrity as well as its political unity. The declaration called on Iraq’s Governing Council to cooperate with its neighbors in the fight against terrorism. Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, however, did not attend the meetings in Damascus. He is expected to be present at the next such meeting in Kuwait. After representing Turkey at the meeting, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul returned to Ankara last night. At Esenboga Airport, he told reporters that terrorist groups taking shelter in Iraq were threatening the security of regional countries. /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT FACES BUSY SCHEDULE THIS WEEKParliament is scheduled to face a busy work schedule this week. Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission will continue to hold hearings on the 2004 budget. A 1,200-page report by Parliament’s Special Anti- Corruption Commission will also be debated in the General Assembly tomorrow. Following its four-month investigation of corruption, the commission had proposed parliamentary inquiries into 25 former government ministers, including former premiers Bulent Ecevit and Mesut Yilmaz. On Wednesday, bills on international agreements are set to be debated by the full Parliament. In addition, the next day amendments to the Forest Law that earlier this year were vetoed by the president and sent back to Parliament will be taken up. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS: “FOREIGNERS ARE TRYING TO INTERFERE IN UPCOMING TRNC ELECTIONS”At Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas told reporters that foreigners were trying to interfere in next month’s TRNC general elections. “Yet those who are interfering in our elections are also telling Turkey, ‘hands off’,” charged Denktas. /Cumhuriyet/
 ARINC’S MOTHER PASSES AWAYParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc’s mother died on Saturday in Bursa. Sevdiye Arinc was 84. She was laid to rest in Manisa yesterday in a funeral attended by a large crowd, including a number of government ministers and scores of parliamentary deputies. /Sabah/
 PKK SHELL KILLS FOUR CHILDRENAn unexploded shell left by the terrorist group PKK_KADEK in a southeastern village went off yesterday, killing four children. Eleven children had found the explosive device in the village of Andac near Sirnak and were examining it when it detonated. In addition to the four deaths, the shell also caused injuries in the seven other children, all of whom are now being treated at a military hospital. /Hurriyet/
 OZDEMIR: “THE BUDGET SHOWS NEXT YEAR WILL BE DIFFICULT”Speaking at the Ankara provincial congress of his party yesterday, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Ali Talip Ozdemir said that one of Turkey’s most pressing problems was security. Also touching on next year’s budget, Ozdemir argued that the draft budget proved that it would be a difficult year. /Cumhuriyet/
 DISASTER RISK MAP PLANNEDThe Directorate General of Disaster Preparedness will draw up a map of possible disaster-prone areas in Turkey, it announced over the weekend. The map, studies for which began this May, will try to identify high-risk areas. The map is expected to help lessen the damage caused by disasters and in planning city development as well as tunnels and dams. /Turkiye/
 MONTHLY EXPORTS SOAR TO A RECORD $4.9 BILLIONThe Turkish Exporters’ Association (TIM) yesterday announced that this October the nation’s exports had soared to $4.9 billion, the highest figure in the history of the Turkish Republic. Last year in the same period, exports were $3.6 billion. TIM Chairman Oguz Satici said, however, that Turkey needed to further boost its exports. In related news, Foreign Trade Undersecretary Tuncer Kayalar said that exchange rates would continue to help Turkey’s trade balance. /Milliyet/
 TOBB COUNCIL CHAIRMAN: “THERE’S NO NEED TO ERASE ZEROS FROM THE LIRA”Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Council Chairman Kemal Colak said yesterday that there was no need to erase zeros from the Turkish lira. “This is a sensitive issue which should be weighed very carefully,” he said. “Such a move would cost a great deal.” Last week, amid reports of falling inflation, the government announced plans to remove six zeros from the lira in early 2005. /Aksam/  FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WOMEN AND THE TURKISH PENAL CODE BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak writes on a bill to eliminate clauses in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which discriminate against women. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have agreed to a new bill to strike certain clauses in the TCK which discriminate against women. A ‘woman’s point of view’ was jointly put together by female members of both Parliament and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The bill is to be discussed today at an Istanbul panel entitled ‘Women’s Human Rights in the Turkish Penal Code.’
The TCK Woman’s Working Group drew up comprehensive proposals to be presented to the Parliament. Moreover, a number of NGOs launched a quite effective campaign to promote the new bill. For example, the New Solutions Foundation believes that the TCK in its current form fails to properly deal with the issue of discrimination between the sexes. According to these groups, the TCK legitimizes so-called ‘honor killings,’ kidnapping and other kinds of discrimination against women in both the public and private spheres. It also sees the bodies of women as the property of men, family and society. These NGOs believe that unless necessary changes are made, discriminatory customs and traditions will continue to be seen as superior to the states’ judicial regulations, which also violates the Constitution’s principle of equality.
Luckily, female members of both the CHP and AKP are very keen to address this issue, and the two parties aren’t at odds over this. They seem to support the ‘woman’s point of view’ and want it to be accepted by Parliament.
 PROGRESS REPORT PLANKS BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the European Union’s Progress Report on Turkey due out this Wednesday. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The European Union is busy making a decision whether or not to start full membership negotiations with Turkey. Its Progress Report on Turkey to be released on Wednesday will show how Ankara could realize its harmonization with the EU this year. A draft version was leaked to the press, but we’ve been overemphasizing its positive points. Brussels says we have certain defects in some fundamental areas. For instance, the report stresses that the government has the political will to harmonize with European norms but also that the reforms’ implementation is being hindered. The main theme is a lack of implementation. It states that there are serious defects in terms of the military’s role in politics and solving the problems of religious minorities.
The following points in the 133-page draft drew my attention:
* Necessary regulations have yet to be made about education and broadcasting in mother tongue languages.
* The judiciary’s process of judgment is very slow. A law on the freedoms of thought and expression should be put into practice in a more effective way.
* Limitations to freedom of association persist. There are 500 human rights trials even now.
* Religious minorities have problems with freedom of religion and the right to own property.
The report contends that upcoming changes to the National Security Council (NSC) won’t suffice to solve the problem of the military’s role in politics. The report also argued that the military’s role in politics is continuing. In addition, the presence of military representatives on two important civilian bodies, the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) and the Higher Education Board (YOK), is among other negative factors. One positive step is that the defense budget was recently opened to Parliament’s approval and control, just like in other European countries.
For me, the key part of the report is its evaluation of our foreign policy. It’s important that the report states that there are developments in Turkish-Greek relations and that Ankara supports solving the Cyprus issue. We must wait for Wednesday to discuss the report in detail.”
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