|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-12-12
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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
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 ERDOGAN, GUL ATTEND EU SUMMIT IN BRUSSELSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accompanied by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul arrived yesterday in Brussels to attend the European Union’s year-end summit. Erdogan, as part of his bilateral meetings, met separately with his Belgian counterpart Gul Verhofstad plus Bertie Ahern, the prime minister of incoming EU Term President Ireland. Erdogan also talked with Silvio Berlusconi, the premier of the current president, Italy. Following their meeting, Erdogan stated that he had expressed his views on topics concerning Turkey set to be covered in the summit’s final declaration. He said the declaration included positive elements, adding, however, that he opposed a mention of “cultural rights” in southeastern Anatolia. In addition, Gul met with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen. He told reporters that their talks had focused on Turkey’s recent reforms and the Cyprus issue. /All Papers/
 SCHOENBOHM: “THE EU SHOULD STOP APPLYING DOUBLE STANDARDS TO TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP BID”Wulf Schoenbohm, Turkey representative of the Konrad Adanauer foundation, said yesterday that he believed Turkey could solve the problems that have held back its European Union membership, adding however that it might take 15 years for its bid to go through completely. Addressing a conference on Ankara’s EU bid, Schoenbohm said that Turkey was more developed than the 10 countries due to join the EU next spring. “I can’t understand why these countries will be part of the EU before Turkey,” he said. “The Union should cease applying double standards to Turkey.” /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS: “I HOPE MY FELLOW TURKISH CYPRIOTS WILL VOTE WITH COMMON SENSE”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday received a delegation from the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu- Sen) to discuss the TRNC’s general elections set for Sunday. During their talks, Denktas said that he hoped his fellow Turkish Cypriots would vote with common sense at the polls. Denktas himself is not up for re-election. Touching on Ankara’s European Union membership bid, Denktas said that he was not opposed to Turkey joining the EU, but added that violations of international agreements should not be a part of this process. “The EU shouldn’t make the Cyprus issue an obstacle to Turkey’s membership,” said Denktas. He added that he opposed proposals to recall Turkish forces from the island, saying their continued presence was vital. /Turkiye/
 PAPADOPOULOS: “THE UN CYPRUS PLAN HAS MANY DEFICIENCIES WHICH MAKE A REFERENDUM ON IT IMPOSSIBLE”Speaking yesterday before flying to Brussels to attend a European Union summit, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos said that the United Nations’ Cyprus plan had many deficiencies, including security problems, and so holding a referendum on the plan was out of the question. /Aksam/
 AS POLLS LOOM, TRNC AMBASSADOR CHARGES ULTERIOR MOTIVES IN UN CYPRUS PLANThe main target of the United Nations’ plan is to take Turkey out of Cyprus, charged Ahmed Zeki Bulunc, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) ambassador to Turkey, yesterday. Echoing TRNC Prime Minister Serdar Denktas’s recent statements on the issue, Bulunc said, “There are rich oil beds between Turkey and the TRNC. These are very important for the United States and the European Union.” In related news, TRNC political parties are making their final campaign push in the countdown to Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Among parties set to contend in the polls are the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turks Party-United Front (CTP-BG), the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), and the Democratic Party (DP). /Star/
 TURKEY, GREECE TO OPEN 13 NEW AEGEAN AIR CORRIDORSFollowing meetings in Paris coordinated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, Turkish and Greek officials agreed yesterday to open 13 new air corridors over the Aegean. Speaking to reporters, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz called the new arrangements important for ensuring flight safety and order. Saying that the corridors in question would begin to be used on Dec. 25, Dirioz added, “These arrangements will put an end to longtime problems between our two countries.” /Hurriyet/
 GERMAN POLICE RAID HOMES OF BANNED EXTREMIST GROUP MEMBERS, LEADERAs part of a nationwide sweep, German police yesterday searched nearly 1, 200 apartments of members of Islamic militant Metin Kaplan’s group as well as Kaplan’s own house. The raid was aimed against members of the Caliphate State, a German-based group which seeks the overthrow of Turkey’s secular government. Following the September 2001 attacks against the United States, the German government banned the group. Many members were taken into custody including the group’s leader, Metin Kaplan, a.k.a “Black Voice,” the son of the late Cemalettin Kaplan. Metin Kaplan was released after being questioned. German Interior Minister Otto Schily stated that the operation was aimed at 1,000 militants defying the ban on the group. /Sabah/
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 SECURITY ISSUES BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on security issues concerning NATO, the European Union and Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows:
“This weekend, general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the current European Union summit are both hogging the spotlight. However, today I want to bring another issue to your attention. If I hadn’t attended a recent meeting, I might have missed the importance of two paragraphs in the draft European constitution set to be voted on at the EU summit. Gen. Aydogan Babaoglu, the head of the General Staff’s Planning and Principles Department, made an interesting speech at the 13th International Security and Cooperation Conference in Antalya organized by the Turkish Atlantic Council. When I remembered US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s warning at the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting last week in Brussels, Babaoglu’s speech looms larger in importance. Powell warned the EU not to establish a second security organization on a par with NATO.
Babaoglu said Turkey was being excluded in certain phases of NATO-European Union relations as it’s not yet an EU member, adding, ‘Turkey should be able to participate in EU mechanisms as a NATO member.’ As we see from the speech, which stressed that non-EU NATO members shouldn’t be excluded from security arrangements, the agreements between NATO and the EU aren’t working as envisaged.
Turkey thinks that the EU-NATO agreements reached during Nice and enacted in Copenhagen last year aren’t being practiced transparently. The Berlin and Nice documents and Copenhagen agreements brought certain guarantees to Turkey, ones to prevent its ‘exclusion,’ as Ankara was included in previous European security policies as an observer. However, in Europe’s new era, France and Germany have started to look for a more independent security umbrella. The proposed EU constitution’s sections on security are being closely followed by defense circles for this reason. Will this constitution prepare a basis for the establishment of a second defense umbrella, one excluding NATO? This is a question which the final document should answer. This is not just a question, but also another problem for Ankara.”
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