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Turkish Press Review, 03-12-04

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

04.12.03

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] US COMMANDER VISITS TURKEY
  • [02] AL QAEDA-ATTRIBUTED STATEMENT DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ISTANBUL ATTACKS
  • [03] SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [04] CICEK: “TERRORISM IS CONTRARY TO ISLAM”
  • [05] SECOND CUSTOMS GATE PLANNED FOR TURKEY-IRAQ BORDER
  • [06] ERDOGAN: “IF TURKEY DOESN’T JOIN THE EU, IT WON’T BE THE END OF THE WORLD”
  • [07] GUL: “VERHEUGEN’S STATEMENTS ARE UNACCEPTABLE”
  • [08] DENKTAS: “VERHEUGEN IS TRYING TO SIGNAL TURKISH CYPRIOTS TO VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION”
  • [09] INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABLED OBSERVED
  • [10] SECOND INDUSTRIAL CONGRESS CONVENES
  • [11] NOVEMBER INFLATION FIGURES RELEASED
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [13] THE LOIZIDU PRECEDENT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] US COMMANDER VISITS TURKEY

    US Joint Chiefs of Staff Deputy Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, who is currently paying a visit to Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Gen. Ilker Basbug, yesterday met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. After a meeting with Turkish and US delegations, Pace attended a lunch given in his honor. Then Pace proceeded to Adana for an inspection tour of NATO’s Incirlik Airbase, where US troops are stationed. /Aksam/

    [02] AL QAEDA-ATTRIBUTED STATEMENT DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ISTANBUL ATTACKS

    A statement sent yesterday to the media allegedly by the terrorist network al Qaeda denied that it had been involved in last month’s deadly terror attacks in Istanbul. This was a reversal of earlier al Qaeda-attributed avowals of responsibility. “Al Qaeda has never carried out any attacks targeting civilians,” said the statement. “It has no link either with the Sept. 11 attacks, nor the attacks on Bali, Casablanca, or Riyadh, nor the recent ones in Istanbul.” Claiming that the Sept. 11 attacks were linked to the US Pentagon and CIA and Israel’s Mossad rather than al Qaeda, the statement underlined however that the current resistance in Iraq against US forces was organized and carried out by al Qaeda. /Turkiye/

    [03] SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL TO CONVENE TODAY

    The Supreme Military Council (YAS) chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to convene today. The members of the council are expected to take up matters concerning the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) personnel, training and discipline. /Turkiye/

    [04] CICEK: “TERRORISM IS CONTRARY TO ISLAM”

    Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, who is currently holding a series of official contacts in Washington, yesterday told reporters that there were no words in either the Holy Koran or spoken by the Prophet Mohammed that allowed or condoned terrorism. “Some people [committing terrorist acts] may believe that they are acting in the name of Islam,” said Cicek, adding that they were very much mistaken, as terrorism was contrary to Islam’s teachings. /Star/

    [05] SECOND CUSTOMS GATE PLANNED FOR TURKEY-IRAQ BORDER

    Meetings between Turkish and Iraqi delegations held at the request of Iraq’s Governing Council were completed yesterday. After the meetings, Foreign Trade Undersecretary Tuncer Kayalar said that bilateral trade relations had been discussed, with both sides agreeing to begin talks this month on opening a second border gate. He added that problems at the Habur Customs Gate and measures necessary to eliminate them had also been discussed. /Turkiye/

    [06] ERDOGAN: “IF TURKEY DOESN’T JOIN THE EU, IT WON’T BE THE END OF THE WORLD”

    Speaking yesterday at the 19th Regular Congress of the Confederation of Turkish Workers’ Unions, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that for the last year Turkey had seen a determined and consistent administration under Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule and that the economy had also started to function properly. Touching on the Cyprus issue, Erdogan said that unilateral concessions were not acceptable since there were two languages, two nations and two religions on the island. He also said that should Turkey not join the European Union, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, as the nation would still continue its course. “We are implementing the Copenhagen criteria to raise the nation’s standard of living,” added Erdogan. /Aksam/

    [07] GUL: “VERHEUGEN’S STATEMENTS ARE UNACCEPTABLE”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Brussels to attend the NATO foreign ministers’ fall meeting. Speaking to reporters before departing, Gul said that European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Verheugen’s recent statements indicating the EU wanted an opposition victory in upcoming Turkish Cypriot elections were unacceptable, calling the words “unfortunate.” Gul added that Turkey was doing its utmost to help reach a resolution on Cyprus. /Sabah/

    [08] DENKTAS: “VERHEUGEN IS TRYING TO SIGNAL TURKISH CYPRIOTS TO VOTE FOR THE OPPOSITION”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday charged that recent statements by European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen had hurt efforts for a resolution on the island. Verheugen was quoted on Tuesday as saying that the EU would recognize the results of the TRNC’s Dec. 14 elections, but only in case of an opposition victory. “Verheugen has once again raised doubts as to whether or not he really favors a resolution,” said Denktas. “He is trying to tell the Turkish Cypriots to vote for opposition parties which support the Annan plan, but our nation doesn’t care for interference.” Denktas added that Turkish Cypriot citizens had worked long for their freedom and that the European Union should appreciate this. He further stated that the EU had committed a great error by accepting Greek Cyprus, as that this action would make reaching a resolution on the island more difficult. In related news, Verheugen’s spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori yesterday denied that Verheugen had said that the EU would recognize TRNC elections only in case of opposition victory. /Turkiye/

    [09] INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABLED OBSERVED

    On the occasion of the International Day of the Disabled, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday received handicapped citizens coming from 81 provinces throughout Turkey. Speaking at the reception, Sezer pointed to the importance of special training for the disabled, calling for the integration of handicapped individuals into society. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a gathering in Ankara that his government placed great importance on the sensitive matter, adding that it was working on new legal arrangements to raise standards of living for the handicapped. /Turkiye/

    [10] SECOND INDUSTRIAL CONGRESS CONVENES

    During the current Second Industrial Congress organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), economic issues were discussed. In a message sent to the congress, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his government would try to solve issues troubling the industrialists and continue to support them so they can compete in foreign markets. Pointing also to the recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul, speakers at the congress called on all countries worldwide to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. /Hurriyet/

    [11] NOVEMBER INFLATION FIGURES RELEASED

    The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) yesterday released month-on-month inflation figures for November. Inflation last month was 1.7% on the wholesale price index (WPI) and 1.6% on the consumer price index (CPI), pushing year-to-year WPI to 19.3% and CPI to 16.2%. This year’s annual inflation target is 20%. /All papers/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [13] THE LOIZIDU PRECEDENT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the court-ordered compensation paid this week by Turkey to Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot citizen. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “This week Turkey paid 1.12 million euros as compensation to Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot citizen. Thus, the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) verdict was carried through. When Ankara agreed to pay the compensation, it got a promise from the European Council’s Secretariat General that this trial wouldn’t set a precedent. This promise was recorded, and some people consider this record a victory for Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). But the same atmosphere of victory can be seen in Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration. The Greek Cypriots consider the result a win for themselves.

    Normally it’s unusual for both sides to claim victory. Of course time will tell who is really the victor. However, considering the situation for Turkey and the TRNC, our early declaration of victory might not be justified. In other words, it’s the European Council’s Secretariat General which accepted that this trial wouldn’t establish a precedent and this institution is an executive body, which means its decisions don’t bind the judiciary. It’s the court which makes the decision. One day the ECHR might say that the secretariat’s administrative decision doesn’t bind us and might consider the decision a precedent.

    In addition, the Loizidu case is based on the idea that Turkey is an invader on Cyprus. Turkey is now in a situation through paying compensation of having accepted the accusation of ‘invader.’ At least Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration would interpret the situation this way. It’s not difficult to guess that the European Union would agree with this interpretation. However, Turkey’s military presence there during the Cyprus Peace Operation is based on international agreements. It intervened through its role as guarantor state. Turkey and the TRNC shouldn’t give up their efforts to find political solutions to the problem.”


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