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Turkish Press Review, 03-11-20
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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 <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
20.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 DNA TESTS CONFIRM IDENTITIES OF SUICIDE BOMBERS; ATTACKS SIMILAR TO AL QAEDADNA tests have confirmed the identities of both terrorist suicide bombers as Turkish nationals, Mesut Cabuk (29) and Gokhan Elaltintas (22), announced Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler yesterday. Speaking to the press alongside Chief of Security Forces Celalettin Cerrah, Guler said that the style of last weekend’s attacks, which killed 25 and wounded hundreds, was similar to those carried out by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terror network. “The target, method of attacks and connections of the people who carried them out are parallel with terrorist attacks undertaken by al Qaeda in other parts of the world,” stated Guler. /All papers/
 ISRAELI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “WE WILL COOPERATE WITH TURKEY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM”Appearing on Turkish television yesterday, visiting Israeli Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said that it would be wrong to call any terrorist attack part of a fight for freedom. He added that Israel and Turkey would cooperate in the fight against terrorism. /Aksam/ TALABANI VOWS NO REFUGE FOR TERRORISTS IN IRAQ
Current Iraqi Governing Council President Jalal Talabani arrived in Ankara yesterday and met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During their one-hour-plus meeting, Erdogan warned Talabani about the threat posed by PKK_KADEK terrorist group’s continued presence in northern Iraq. Talabani reportedly assured the premier that the new democratic Iraq would not allow terrorist groups to take refuge there. In addition, Talabani met with State Minister Kursad Tuzmen and told him that Iraqis wanted to have good relations with Turkey. He also pledged to protect the safety of Turkish businessmen and drivers in Iraq. /Milliyet/ DENKTAS: “GREECE IS BLOCKING A RESOLUTION ON CYPRUS”
Speaking at Yeditepe University in Istanbul yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas charged that Greece was blocking a resolution on the island. “It is using the European Union, the United States, and Britain as tools for its own ends,” said Denktas. “When I explain my reasons for not accepting the United Nations’ Cyprus plan, some claim that I’m the obstructionist. But as for Greek leaders who hail Annan’s plan as a great step forward for Enosis [political union between Greece and Cyprus], these critics are silent.” /Cumhuriyet/  CETIN NAMED NATO’S TOP CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATOR IN AFGHANISTAN
NATO Secretary-General George Robertson announced yesterday that former Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin had been appointed the alliance’s top civilian administrator in Afghanistan. Cetin is to be responsible for the coordination and implementation of NATO’s political and military assistance to the Afghan provisional government. Robertson added that Cetin would work in close cooperation with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the United Nations and various international coordination organizations. /Sabah/
 DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF VISITS WASHINGTON FOR DEFENSE MEETINGSDeputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday attended high- level joint defense group meetings in Washington and also met with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. After the meetings, Basbug spoke with US Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris. Basbug is also expected to attend a meeting of the American-Turkish Council and have talks with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN: “DENKTAS IS STANDING IN TURKEY’S WAY”Speaking yesterday after meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) opposition party leaders, European Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen charged that TRNC President Rauf Denktas was “solely responsible” for the lack of a resolution on the island, branding him a “significant obstacle” to both the TRNC and Turkey. ”Denktas is not only an obstacle to the Turkish Cypriots, but also to economic aid they could receive from the EU,” said Verheugen. “Denktas is also an obstacle to Turkey.” /Hurriyet/
 AKP REQUESTS INQUIRIES INTO YILMAZ, TANERFollowing last week’s inquiry motions into four former government ministers, 65 ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) deputies yesterday submitted another inquiry motion to the Parliament Speaker’s Office, this time for former Premier Mesut Yilmaz and former Cabinet Minister Gunes Taner. The motion alleges corruption in the Turkbank tender during Yilmaz and Taner’s terms in office. /Turkiye/
 IMF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING POSTPONED TO DECEMBERInternational Monetary Fund Turkey Representative Odd Per Brekk said yesterday that an IMF Executive Board meeting originally set for November had been postponed to Dec. 12. At the meeting, the board is expected to release a $500 million credit tranche to Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 AGREEMENT REACHED ON BLUE STREAM PROJECTAfter 11 months of talks, the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and Russian Gazprom’s sales division Gasexport finally reached an agreement yesterday on Turkey’s purchase of natural gas from Russia. In a press conference, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler said that terms of the agreement regarding the Blue Stream Project had been changed. Under the changes, both the amount of gas purchases and the price will be reduced. /Hurriyet/
 COUNCIL OF EUROPE GIVES ONE-WEEK EXTENSION ON LOIZIDOU CASELast night marked the deadline for Turkey to pay some $900,000 in compensation to Greek Cypriot citizen Titina Loizidou, but an extension came at the last minute. Officials from the Council of Europe said they pushed the deadline back one week and that meetings would continue to discuss the issue. /Turkiye/
 CHE GUEVERA’S SON VISITS ANKARACamilo Guevera Marc, the son of legendary Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevera, yesterday met with Ankara’s Cankaya District Mayor Haydar Yilmaz. Guevera Marc is in Ankara to attend a series of activities to celebrate Cuban Culture Week. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WE CAN’T LIVE WITH THIS CONSTITUTIONBY TARHAN ERDEM (RADIKAL)
Columnist Tarhan Erdem writes on Turkey’s Constitution and the new public administration bill. A summary of his column is as follows:
“At the latest Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the need for the new public administration bill. ‘Unless this bill is passed, progress on the path towards democratization will elude us,’ warned Erdogan. ‘Our bloated administrative structure is preventing the state from delivering efficient public services to our people.’ I agree with this statement completely.
However, Erdogan failed to mention that the bill would violate the Constitution. For example, it is incompatible with the following provision of Article 127:
‘The central administration has the power of administrative trusteeship over the local governments in the framework of principles and procedures set forth by law with the objective of ensuring the functioning of local services in conformity with the principle of the integral unity of the administration, securing uniform public service, safeguarding the public interest and meeting local needs, in an appropriate manner.’
In fact I believe that the bill is in violation of more than 14 articles of the Constitution, which is why we really should be discussing the Constitution, not the bill. Such innovative projects are doomed to find themselves in breach of this outmoded, insufficient Constitution.
New reforms usually contradict existing law since it’s impossible to simultaneously modify all the related provisions. The latest provisions would supersede the old ones so as to avoid contradictions in their implementation. However, if a law is in breach of the Constitution, it will be annulled by the Constitutional Court.
In truth, our current Constitution constitutes a real obstacle to reform efforts. When we were discussing new reforms for higher education, it was argued that Articles 130 and 131 were blocking the intended reforms. In addition, our Constitution is against the working of the free market. Let’s recall that the privatization of Tekel [the state alcohol and tobacco monopoly] was halted on the grounds that it would have violated the Constitution.
If this bill is approved, it will inevitably encounter similar problems. Whenever we try to make radical reforms, we’re doomed to be blocked by our own Constitution. Therefore, it must be immediately amended. In order to do that, our nation must begin a conversation about a number of key sensitive issues such as citizen-state relations, the definition of citizen, and our state institutions.
Our real problem is the Constitution; we can no longer live with it!”
 THE BEST RESPONSEBY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the government’s stance on last weekend’s bomb attacks in Istanbul. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkish security authorities have been successful in uncovering the facts about the weekend bomb attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul, thus boosting our esteem both at home and abroad. This shows the advanced level we’ve reached in our fight against terrorism. Another reason why the authorities got results so quickly is that the suicide bombers were Turkish. Security services had sufficient information about both the terrorists and their organizations, and this made their discovery quicker and easier. This is the good side of the coin. The bad side is that the bombers and their supporters are Turkish and that international terrorism is using them. Even if we accept that the real responsibility for the attack lies with al Qaeda, it shows that this terrorist movement with resources abroad also has an active branch here in Turkey.
The government’s energetic stance following last weekend’s attacks was the best response to rumor mongers and similar parties. In particular, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and members of the government saw these actions as a terrorist attack against Turkey itself and so condemned them. In this respect, Erdogan’s recent statement, ‘If these terrorists wanted to send a message, then rest assured they will find no audience here,’ show the government’s ambition in the fight against terrorism and took a clear stand against actions based on fanaticism. Probably terrorists are trying to tell Ankara to change the course of its domestic and foreign policies. But Turkey is a secular, democratic country which has close relations with both the West and Israel. The ruling party is following a moderate, pragmatic policy line. Thus, these characteristics have put our country in the ‘enemy camp’ and the crosshairs. By scorning the terrorists’ message, Erdogan is also letting the world know that Ankara won’t change course.
Turkey has a clear consensus on this issue, as shown by voices from other political parties, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and various sectors of society. Global terrorism must have its reasons, but nothing can justify such attacks as last weekend’s in Istanbul. Condemnations of attacks targeting innocents and a unified stance on this issue serve as proof.”
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