|Monday, 11 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-12-17
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 SEZER RECEIVES HIS SLOVAKIAN COUNTERPARTPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer welcomed his Slovakian counterpart Rudolf Schuster with an official ceremony yesterday. Sezer said that during Schuster’s visit the leaders would seek ways to boost economic and trade ties and discuss various international and regional issues, especially European integration and international solidarity against terrorism. Schuster said that his visit would help to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Ankara and Bratislava. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN: “TALKS WILL CONTINUE TO FIND A SOLUTION ON CYPRUS”Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Sunday’s general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had been conducted democratically and that efforts to solve the Cyprus issue would continue after the establishment of a new government there. Speaking to his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that through their votes, the Turkish Cypriots had pointed to a new political period where the ruling and opposition parties were reconciled. He also stated that the Turkish Cypriots wanted to see new policies and new politicians take the stage. Commenting on Saddam Hussein’s weekend capture, Erdogan said that oppressive dictators would one day have to account for their cruelty. Stressing that there were no obstacles real or otherwise to establishing a democratic administration in Iraq, the premier said that an atmosphere of peace in Iraq might also contribute to Turkey’s own stability. On Ankara’s European Union membership bid, Erdogan said that discussions of whether Turkey should become an EU member had given way to settling the details of how and when this would happen. He reiterated Ankara’s determination to join the EU ranks, including high-level democratic standards for the Turkish people. /Turkiye/
 GUL: “A NEW CYPRUS PLAN IS IN THE WORKS”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said yesterday that officials from both Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) were working a new compromise plan for a settlement on Cyprus, one expected to be released within a week. Stressing that its compromises would not be unilateral, Gul said, “The other side must also willing to make compromises. Nobody should expect only the Turkish side to make concessions.” /Turkiye/
 TRNC PRIME MINISTER EROGLU RESIGNS; DENKTAS TO MEET WITH PARTY LEADERS TO DISCUSS FORMING NEW GOVERNMENTTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday met with TRNC President Rauf Denktas and presented his resignation, as is customary after general elections. During their talks, Denktas said that Sunday’s election results showed that cooperation between the four parties which won seats in the TRNC Parliament was a must. He also stated that the new Northern Cypriot government expected to be founded soon should work in harmony with Ankara. Denktas is expected to meet this week with the chairmen of the three other parties – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) leader Mustafa Akinci, and Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas – to discuss the formation of the new government. /Milliyet/
 SWISS PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDEBy a vote of 107-67, the Swiss Parliament yesterday passed a resolution recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide alleged to have taken place in 1915-18. While deputies voting in favor of the resolution claimed that it would help make peace between Turks and Armenians, Free Democratic Party (FDP) Deputy Johann Schneider argued that holding Turkey responsible for the Ottoman Empire’s alleged actions was a mistake which would damage ties between Ankara and Bern. "We strongly condemn and reject the resolution adopted by … the Swiss Parliament on the so-called Armenian genocide,” said a Turkish Foreign Ministry Statement. “It is unacceptable that events which took place under the special conditions of World War I and which caused great pain to both Turks and Armenians be distorted and presented as a genocide at the hands of one party. Switzerland will bear the responsibility for the negative consequences triggered by this decision which was taken without consideration for bilateral ties.” The Parliament vote followed a statement by Ankara that Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey had met with a militant of the terrorist group PKK/KADEK. The foreign minister, however, argued against the resolution. /Hurriyet_
 SYRIAN INTERIOR MINISTER VISITS TURKEYSyrian Interior Minister Ali Hammoud arrived in Ankara yesterday upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdulkadir Aksu. During their talks, the importance of strengthening cooperation between Ankara and Damascus on security matters was emphasized. /Star/
 BAYKAL: “ANKARA SHOULD HELP TRNC PARTIES FORM A COALITION GOVERNMENT”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that the results of Sunday’s Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) general elections had made clear the need for a consensus on the island. He added that the National Unity Party (UBP), the Democratic Party (DP), the opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) should form a coalition government and that Ankara should help this to happen. /Turkiye/
 TALAT: “A TRNC GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY CAN BE ESTABLISHED”Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) Republican Turkish Party (CTP) said yesterday that his party was looking into establishing a post-election government of national unity in line with both efforts to reach a settlement on the island and a view towards the European Union. Concerning his meeting today with President Rauf Denktas, Talat told reporters that he had no specific plans concerning the new government to be established following Sunday’s TRNC elections. “In any case, however, we’ll establish the new government,” he added. In related news, the official results of the elections were published yesterday in the TRNC’s Official Gazette. The newly elected deputies are scheduled to begin their duties after taking the oath of office in Parliament next Friday. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN: “I HAD HOPED FOR AN OPPOSITION VICTORY IN THE TRNC, SINCE DENKTAS IS TRYING TO BLOCK A RESOLUTION”Guenter Verheugen, the European Union’s commissioner for enlargement, yesterday claimed that Turkey was an “occupier” on the island of Cyprus. Ankara has troops stationed in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in its role through international treaties as a guarantor for the island. Verheugen said further that he had hoped an opposition victory in Sunday’s Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s (TRNC) general elections, as he believed TRNC President Rauf Denktas was trying to block a resolution. “He doesn’t want to negotiate over the United Nations’ Cyprus Plan,” added the commissioner. /Milliyet/
 US’ WESTON TO VISIT CYPRUSFollowing Sunday’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), US Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston is set to travel to the island today to hold a series of contacts with both officials of the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration. TRNC President Rauf Denktas is expected to meet with Weston tomorrow. /Turkiye/
 WB’S KATSU PRAISES GOVERNMENT’S STEPS ON THE ECONOMY, URGES MORE STRUCTURAL REFORMSDeputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener yesterday received visiting World Bank Vice President Shiego Katsu to discuss recent economic developments. Speaking afterwards, Katsu praised the government’s recent reforms, adding however that further structural reforms were needed and that the WB stood ready to help Turkey towards this end. Katsu added that the WB would continue to cooperate with Turkey. Touching on the government’s privatization slate, Katsu said that there was more to do on the issue. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ANKARA’S TOP ISSUE IS CYPRUS BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin writes on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“In Parliament yesterday, our ruling and opposition parties discussed the Cyprus issue. Both Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal both focused on this issue in their addresses to their respective party’s group meetings. While Erdogan argued that Sunday’s election results had effectively remade the political landscape and enabled the Turkish Cypriots to move more decisively towards a permanent settlement on the island, Baykal took an opposite tack, saying the new environment would not help efforts for a solution.
‘What would happen if the sides failed to reach a permanent settlement by May 1?,’ one reporter asked Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Tokyo yesterday, referring to the date Greek Cyprus is to due to join the European Union. ‘If Turkey does its best, nobody could ever rebuke Ankara in case of a failure,’ replied Gul. What could these words mean? What exactly will Turkey do so as to ‘do its best?’ Does this statement mean that Ankara will announce its support for new negotiations over the UN plan? If this is the case, it would be a quite serious step. However, neither the Turkish and Greek Cypriots nor Ankara and Athens are ready to sign the UN plan in its current form. This is why Ankara is expected to launch a new initiative by proposing changes to the UN plan. I suppose our Foreign Ministry is now busy preparing this initiative.
No matter what Ankara is now trying to do, there are still two unclear points: First of all, if the Turkish Cypriots’ new government is unwilling to cooperate with Ankara towards a permanent solution, all our efforts will prove pointless. As a matter of fact, there seems to be little chance of such a new government forming unless the current leftist and rightist party blocs are dissolved. President Rauf Denktas yesterday pledged that the new government would be predisposed to cooperate with Ankara. Today he is set to meet separately with the leaders of the various political parties. In addition, after snubbing him for months on and, Denktas is expected to meet soon with Thomas Weston, the US special coordinator for Cyprus. The US State Department recently stressed that a solution should be formed in line with the UN plan.
The second odd point is that Ankara and Lefkosa both seem to be making light of the deadline set by the EU, that is, next May 1. In other words, both sides seem to believe that if a permanent solution can’t be reached by this date, it won’t be the end of the world. Moreover, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday put forth that Dec. 30, 2004 is the actual deadline for the Cyprus issue. However, he also reiterated the following ‘troublesome’ fact: If the sides fail to reach a permanent settlement by May 1, Turkey will become a country with troops deployed within EU territories. What will happen then? It’s not realistic to think that the EU will declare war against Turkey. However, it may turn down our membership not as soon as the deadline passes, but later. Such developments would shake up everything, making the future much more complicated for us than today.
I hope Verheugen won’t turn out to be right. Accordingly, Ankara and Lefkosa should accelerate their moves for the sake of both Turkey’s future and that of the Turkish Cypriots.”
 CYPRUS AND THE TRUTH TO COME BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the Cyprus issue and the results of Sunday’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). A summary of his column is as follows:
“As a nation, we have neither an ideal concerning the Cyprus issue, nor goals to make that ideal a reality. However, the Greek Cypriots do. Their ideal is to turn Cyprus wholesale into a Greek island. That’s why the island is now about to slip through our fingers. We must see that it’s getting harder and harder for us to protect our rights on Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots are completely unified towards their goals, but we’re split in two. After the results of last weekend’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) were announced, our inability to improve Cyprus even a little bit became even more clear. All the money sent to the island has been squandered. In the last 30 years, not a single Turkish businessman went to the island to invest there. Those who governed Cyprus took care of themselves first and couldn’t stop looting. Today the number of Turkish Cypriots living in Britain and Australia is higher than those still on the island. Some 100,000 Turkish Cypriots got passports, identity cards and birth certificates from the south. We should all accept that a national issue can’t be handled this way.
Let’s examine the current situation. The results of last weekend’s elections make clear the need for national consensus, domestic peace and action in unity and solidarity. If the current confusion resists solution, we’ll all see that Cyprus slipped through our fingers. The four parties with seats in Parliament should come together in line with the goals mentioned above. It’s important to present a unified front to the Greek Cypriots. Obviously Ankara’s responsibility rose after these elections. Now the Justice and Development Party (AKP) can’t shrink from playing a determining and guiding role. Can a government which appoints imams as administrators to the Society for the Protection of Children fulfill such a duty? Actually one cannot help but doubt it.”
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