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Turkish Press Review, 03-11-05
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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
05.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TURKISH EMBASSY IN THE NETHERLANDS ATTACKEDThe Turkish Embassy to the Netherlands suffered minor damage yesterday after a man attacked it with a Molotov cocktail-type explosive. There were no injuries. Turkish Ambassador to The Hague Tacan Ildem told news channel NTV that the attacker spoke Dutch and was not a Turkish national, and later in the day Dutch police announced that they had taken a 16-year old suspect into custody. /All Papers/
 GUL: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT HAS BRIGHTENED TURKEY’S FUTURE”Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Parliamentary Group meeting, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday looked back on his party’s first year in office. Pointing to the AKP’s landslide win in last fall’s elections, Gul said, “Today is the first anniversary of a new era in Turkey under AKP rule.” Arguing that his government had brought Turkey out of the darkness and into the light, Gul stated that under his party the economy had moved off the intensive care list. AKP leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. /Milliyet/
 GONUL: “INCIDENTS THREATENING TURKEY’S SECURITY COULD TRIGGER DEPLOYMENT IN IRAQ”Speaking before Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission yesterday, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul warned that if events in Iraq take a turn jeopardizing Turkey’s security, this could trigger a wider Turkish troop deployment. Turkey currently has a limited military presence just across the border into northern Iraq to protect against terrorists. Parliament’s recent resolution authorizing deployment does not mean it will definitely send troops, added Gonul, but Ankara won’t shrink from doing so if the nation’s security requires it. /Cumhuriyet/
 LOLOGLU WARNS WASHINGTON OVER NORTHERN IRAQ, SAYS NO TURKISH TROOPS WITHOUT IRAQI INVITATIONTurkey’s Ambassador in Washington Faruk Lologlu yesterday called on the US administration not to be partial to the Iraqi Kurds during the process of setting a course for Iraq’s future. Speaking to military affairs reporters at a breakfast meeting, the ambassador said, “If, for whatever reason, you say we should have a federation in Iraq and that the north of Iraq should belong to the Kurds, that's a recipe for disaster.” Criticizing Washington over a lack of effort to convince Iraq’s Governing Council to support a Turkish troop deployment, Lologlu said that if the Iraqis didn’t issue a clear invitation, Ankara wouldn’t insist on sending troops there. But, he added, contrary to recent new reports, the troop deployment issue "is still alive, very much alive … The option is still there. The offer is still on the table." He added that Turkey also expected concrete steps from the US against the PKK/KADEK terrorist group in northern Iraq. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY MAY JOIN THE EU AFTER IT REACHES UNION STANDARDS THROUGH THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”Guenter Verheugen, European Union commissioner for enlargement, said yesterday that the Union had decided at its 1999 Helsinki summit that Turkey could join the EU after it reaches EU standards through implementing the Copenhagen criteria. “The most pressing problems of the 21st century could be a conflict between Western democracies and the Islamic world, but this could be headed off by Turkey’s EU membership,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 UNATIKAN: “TURKEY’S ECONOMIC SUCCESS TOOK THE EU BY SURPRISE”Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, who is currently in Brussels to attend a meeting of his counterparts from European Union member states, said yesterday that Turkey’s recent positive economic developments had taken the EU by surprise. “Our economic program is on track,” he said. Also touching on the nation’s EU bid, he added that Turkey had the political will to join the EU. /Aksam/
 TUSIAD HEAD DISCUSSES TURKEY’S EU BID WITH BELGIAN PMTurkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan yesterday met in Istanbul with visiting Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to discuss Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking afterwards, Verhofstadt said that his country favored positive bilateral relations as well as strengthening current ties with Turkey. “We are ready to do our utmost for Turkey to join the Union,” he said, adding that Ankara’s implementation of EU reforms would be very important for this. /Aksam/
 BESIKTAS DEFEATS SPARTA PRAGUELast night Turkish football side Besiktas defeated the Czech Republic’s Sparta Prague 1-0 in Istanbul at a UEFA Champions League Group G match. With this win, Besiktas rose to second place within its group. In addition, Galatasary is set to face Olympiakos in Group D tonight in Athens. Galatasaray defeated its Greek rival in Istanbul 1-0 a fortnight ago. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 OUR FOREIGN POLICY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s foreign policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League. We can participate in their activities, but we shouldn’t have high hopes of them. Although not in the same category, the United Nations’ situation is the same. I hope NATO won’t be the same by staying reluctant to act. We should place emphasis instead on our bilateral relations. In any case, this is classical diplomacy and it never loses its importance. Countries whose bilateral relations are weak are doomed to suffer harm.
The most important issue for Turkey is its European Union membership bid, next relations with the US and then relations with the Turkic Republics. Any mistakes and carelessness we make in those areas will hurt our nation greatly. The EU is a matter of our civilization and our march towards the West. Ataturk emphasized it with the words ‘the level of modern civilization,’ and this is possible only by reaching European standards, norms, criteria and principles. All the revolutions of Ataturk, our reforms prior to him and our innovations since – all exist solely for this goal.
We need a flawless policy with a new start to make up for our tragic delays and mistakes of the past. The government is responsible for everything, but it’s a national policy as well. In addition, it will paint Turkey’s future and provide our children with a bright tomorrow.”
 THE WORSE THE CHAOS IN IRAQ GROWS, THE WORSE PROBLEMS WE WILL FACE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin writes on Turkey’s Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin firmly stated that his country won't lend troops to an international peacekeeping force in Iraq. ‘From the start we’ve opposed military intervention,’ said Putin. ‘Today it would be incoherent and stupid to say we were prepared to send troops.’ In addition, Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio yesterday announced that Spain was temporarily withdrawing its diplomatic staff from Baghdad due to the extreme disarray of conditions there.
Meanwhile, Ankara is satisfied with the outcome of the recent two-day Damascus summit of the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighbors, namely, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey itself. The summit’s final declaration included a significant sentence calling on Iraq’s Governing Council to fight against the terrorist groups in Iraq, including the PKK_KADEK. Ankara is counting this as a victory over the terrorist group even though the council has failed to recognize the final declaration. Ankara still believes that Turkey’s contribution to peacekeeping duties would change things a great deal in the war-torn country, while at the same time, boosting Turkey’s status on the international stage. Certain circles think that Turkey could play a major role in establishing peace and stability in our neighbor.
To give you an idea how confused people are on this issue, I’d like to share some quotes from my conversations with some Turkish and foreign diplomats at a dinner last week. Western diplomats believe that a democratic regime might be established in Iraq. But how exactly should this happen? Should it be a union of federations based on ethnic and religious identities? Or is it possible to create an awareness of common citizenship in Iraq?
Onur Oymen, a former foreign ministry undersecretary, stated that he believes ethnic or religious-based formations in Iraq are doomed to fail. ‘We believe that the Turkish model, which brings together different identities under one common sense of citizenship, would be the best,’ he argued. But Hikmet Cetin, a former foreign minister and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, disputed this, contending that an up-to-down democracy imposed by foreign powers in Iraq carried a high risk of failure. Then I asked these ex-diplomats a question: ‘Which Turkey will be a model to Iraq? The Turkey of the 1930s, the Turkey of the ‘70s or today’s Turkey?’ Furthermore, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) former Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis highlighted another important point: ‘Although we’re talking about a Muslim democracy, there is a significant problem that while a significant number of countries don’t see Turkey as a sufficiently developed democracy, yet another significant group thinks we’re not Muslim enough.’
Ankara stopping efforts on the troop deployment issue is the right move for now. The ball is Washington’s court. Ankara should be very careful since recent reports show every-increasing chaos across the border. As a matter of fact, the risks we’re very likely to face in Iraq if we send our troops there are beyond our imagination and darker than ever. It’s now high time for Ankara to revise both its Iraq policy and its objectives in the region.”
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