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Turkish Press Review, 03-11-14
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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
14.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN SET TO ATTEND TRNC’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) tomorrow in order to attend celebrations marking the island nation’s 20th anniversary. Also set to attend are opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal as well as many deputies and bureaucrats. Erdogan is expected to meet with TRNC President Rauf Denktas as well as opposition party leaders to discuss the Cyprus issue, ahead of the TRNC general elections just one month away. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL, DENKTAS REACT TO CoE LOIZIDOU COMPENSATION ORDERSpeaking about the Council of Europe’s (CoE) recent decision ordering Turkey to pay some $900,000 in damages to Greek Cypriot citizen Titina Loizidou for allegedly “depriving her of access to her property” following the 1974 Turkish Peace Operation in Cyprus, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that Ankara would continue its “conciliatory” attitude and still expects that talks on the issue would continue. Additionally, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday branded the verdict as “yet another political decision” by Europe against Turkish Cypriots. CoE officials said Turkey could face sanctions if it fails to meet next Wednesday’s Nov. 19 deadline for compensation. /All Papers/
 GUL TO VISIT SWEDEN NEXT WEEKForeign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to Sweden next Tuesday for an official visit. During his visit he is expected to meet with his Swedish counterpart Laila Freidvals to discuss bilateral relations, Turkey’s European Union membership bid, and Iraq, among other issues. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH BREAKTHROUGHS REPORTED ON CYPRUS ISSUEFollowing last week’s release of the annual European Commission Progress Report on Turkey, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reportedly briefed EU leaders on basic points of Turkey’s new strategy for Cyprus during this week’s EU troika meeting in Rome. Under the new strategy, in return for a more balanced approach in UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan, Turkey is set to both open Northern Cyprus’ Maras area to settlement under UN supervision and gradually reduce its military presence in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyrus (TRNC). Greek Cypriot daily Fileleftheros reported yesterday that Turkey was planning to withdraw some 5,000 soldiers. Meanwhile, TRNC President Rauf Denktas yesterday told reporters that the TRNC and Turkish officials were working jointly on a new plan to resolve the Cyprus issue. Pointing to TRNC general elections one month from now, Denktas stated that the plan was being prepared with possible new developments in mind. /Turkiye/
 2004 BUDGET APPROVED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONParliament’s Planning and Budget Commission yesterday approved the 150 quadrillion Turkish lira budget for fiscal year 2004. Speaking after the vote, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that this would be the last single-year budget, as starting with the 2005-07 period budgeting would be done for three years at once. “Another difference is that by the 2005 budget, we will have eliminated six zeros from the lira,” added Babacan. /Aksam/
 AKP SUBMITS INQUIRY MOTIONS ON FOUR FORMER MINISTERSDeputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday submitted two separate inquiry motions to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on former ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Recep Onal concerning the Halkbank case as well as on Cumhur Ersumer and Zeki Cakan on allegations of corruption in energy bids during their terms in office. Speaking at a press conference, AKP Deputy Group Chairman Haluk Ipek said that Parliament’s Special Anti-Corruption Commission had conducted very serious investigations into corruption, adding that the inquiry motions were submitted in line with the commission’s conclusions. Ipek added that the AKP government was determined to look into all allegations of corruption. /Turkiye/
 WASHINGTON PRESSES FOR SOLUTION ON CYPRUSWith general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) just one month away, the United States is putting on renewed pressure for a solution on Cyprus. Next week US Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston is due to pay visits to Turkey, Greece and the island. His visits are aimed at facilitating a solution for Cyprus based on UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan’s plan before next May, when Greek Cyprus is set to join the European Union. Weston will reportedly express US concerns that there be no election fraud. US officials also promised a more intense effort would begin after the Dec. 14 polls. /Hurriyet/
 CHP SEEKS TO REVERSE IRAQ DEPLOYMENT MOTIONThough the government to date has decided against using the authority granted by Parliament to send Turkish troops to Iraq, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is now seeking that this authorization be reversed or given back to Parliament. CHP deputies Ali Topuz and Kemal Anadol requested yesterday that a reversal of the motion should be debated. The ruling AKP passed the original motion single-handedly, without CHP support. /Star/
 TURKISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD APPROVES ARIA-AYCELL MERGERThe Turkish Telecommunications Board yesterday approved the merger of GSM operators Aria and Aycell, Aycell General Director Cahit Paksoy announced yesterday. Aria is a joint venture of Turkey and Italy. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 THE EU PROGRESS REPORT: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH? BY HURSIT GUNES (MILLIYET)Columnist Hursit Gunes comments on the recent EU Progress Report on Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“When the Progress Report on Turkey prepared by the EU Commission put forth the Cyprus issue as a precondition, some people here protested, because Ankara wants to get a date for its membership talks as soon as possible. Another reaction came from Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Both of these responses should be evaluated.
The Cyprus issue has long been a problem for Turkey. The rights of Turks on the island were guaranteed under the 1959 London Agreement. However, in the ‘60s the Cyprus Republic was transformed into a Greek Cypriot state with Turks suffering under oppression until 1974, when Turkey cried enough. This history shouldn’t be ignored today. In addition, no other country besides Turkey has recognized the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Thus Turkey has been caught in between the security of the Turkish people on the island and international recognition. So the solution is to create a guarantee including international recognition, and this might come through the European Union. However, when the EU is giving the Turkish Cypriots a guarantee, it shouldn’t propose political solutions that would treat them unjustly. This is our problem with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. If the EU announces our date for negotiations and adds that we should solve the Cyprus problem as part of this timetable, solving all these problems would be easier.
In the past there was no EU but now it exists, and the Greek Cypriot administration will soon join it. Of course it can’t be expected that the Greek Cypriots will oppress the Turkish Cypriots. However, including the Cyprus issue in the report as a precondition was unnecessary and it also made things harder. Gul spoke of a gap in the report, rather than emphasizing the superfluous sections. In Gul’s view, certain articles about headscarves should have been included in the section on human rights and freedoms in Turkey. Normally a country’s foreign minister defends his own country, as is his duty. Never before have we seen a FM complaining about defects in his own country, but now it’s happened in ours. This is also a blunder, because facing the same problem, France is trying to exclude headscarves from public places. Thus Gul is at odds with France.
If the EU wants Ankara to take a harsher stance on the headscarf issue in the coming months, will the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ask Turkey to turn back on its EU bid? This is critically important. In other words, I wonder if the main reason behind the AKP’s support for our EU bid is its expectation of more freedom on headscarves? If this is the situation, what a pity!”
 GUL’S EU CONTACTS IN ROME BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin writes on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s meeting with the EU troika in Rome earlier this week, which included Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul began his address to the EU troika meeting with these words: ‘The reason we didn’t respond either harshly or openly to the statements regarding the Cyprus issue in the [EU Progress Report’s] Strategy Document was so as not to hand an opportunity to others. However, here and now we will voice our reaction.’ Not surprisingly, Gul’s primary criticism was the report’s focus on the Cyprus issue, something which it argued could constitute a ‘serious obstacle’ to Ankara’s EU bid, failing a permanent settlement by May. ‘The EU is criticizing only [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Rauf] Denktas,’ added Gul. ‘However, reconciliation must be mutual. One-sided reconciliation is tantamount to surrender. If the EU really wants to reach a permanent solution on the island, then it should also put pressure on the Greek Cypriots.’
Responding to Gul’s criticisms, Verheugen underlined that the Cyprus issue wasn’t considered among the EU’s political criteria. ‘However, Cyprus is a political reality. We can’t turn a blind eye to it. This is the first time we’ve included it on our written documents.’ Verheugen stated that the reason for the report’s inclusion of the Cyprus issue was to help Turkey better understand that time is running out to make helpful moves on this issue.
Gul also highlighted Turkey’s recent political reforms, giving his European counterpart the good news that new regulations on the National Security Council (NSC) are due for completion this weekend. He added that legal regulations on education and broadcasts in languages other than Turkish were also almost completed. He proposed that a mechanism be established to help both side be better informed about each other.
Moreover, Verheugen also stressed that next progress report is to be written next October. ‘I hope that Turkey completes its reforms before October. The clock is ticking. Please don’t think that you can wait until the end of 2004. Turkey should finish its work at the latest by next summer’.”
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