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Turkish Press Review, 03-12-18
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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
18.12.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EU COMMISSION REPRESENTATIVE: “NEGOTIATIONS CAN’T BEGIN BEFORE TURKEY FULFILLS THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”It would be pointless for Turkey to demand that the EU set a beginning date for its membership talks in return for a permanent settlement on Cyprus, said European Union Commission Representative to Turkey Hansjoerg Kretschmer yesterday. Stressing that the matters were separate, Kretschemer said that Turkey’s membership talks could not begin before Ankara completely fulfills the Copenhagen criteria. “The EU can’t give Turkey any guarantee on this,” added Kretschmer. “It is the EU leaders who will have the final word on Turkey’s status in December 2004. Negotiations can only begin if Ankara has fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria.” In related news, Greek Ambassador to Ankara Michaeal Christides said that Greece would not support any proposal from Turkey for a four-way conference on the Cyprus issue. “The international community supports efforts in line with the UN plan,” said the diplomat. “I don’t think that a new platform is necessary.” In addition, Austrian Ambassador to Ankara Marius Calligaris said that the world expected Turkey to do its utmost to reach a permanent solution on Cyprus in line with the UN plan. Finally, German Ambassador to Ankara Wolf- Ruthart Born reiterated that Germany wanted the Cyprus issue to be resolved by May 1, 2004, stressing that a united Cyprus would be beneficial to Turkey. Greek Cyprus is due to join the EU next May. /Cumhuriyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: “A NEW TRNC GOVERNMENT WILL BE FORMED SOON”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said that a new government in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) would be formed as soon as possible. “We are discussing with TRNC officials the formation of their new government, and we will cooperate with it once it’s formed,” added Dirioz. /Milliyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “TURKISH CYPRIOTS WANT EU MEMBERSHIP”Guenter Verheugen, the European Union commissioner for enlargement, said yesterday that Sunday’s general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) proved that the Turkish Cypriots favor EU membership. He added that he believed the Turkish Cypriots wanted a resolution on the island within the framework of the United Nations’ Cyprus plan. /Milliyet/
 DYP LEADER AGAR: “TURKEY’S EU BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN EFFORTS FOR A CYPRUS RESOLUTION”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that Ankara should proceed very carefully while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is in the process of forming a new government. Agar stated that Turkey’s European Union membership bid was immensely important and that this should be considered in efforts for a resolution on the island. The DYP leader added that Turkey should get a date to begin accession talks at the EU summit in December 2004. Touching on local Turkish elections scheduled for next April, Agar said that his party was continuing to prepare for the polls. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS MEETS WITH TRNC PARTY LEADERSIn the aftermath of Sunday’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), work on establishing a new government is ongoing. Towards this end, President Rauf Denktas yesterday met with leaders of the four parties in Parliament – namely the Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat, the National Unity Party’s (UBP) Dervis Eroglu and Democratic Party’s (DP) Serdar Denktas as well as Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) leader Mustafa Akinci. Following the meeting, Talat told reporters that his party would welcome any coalition that included all parties in line with “a settlement on the island by May 2004 and a vision of European Union membership.” Greek Cyprus is due to join the EU on that date. In related news, President Denktas told reporters that he had encouraged all party leaders to establish a broad-based national government. Commenting on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks that new policies and politicians were needed on the island, Denktas said that he supported this fully. “When individuals capable of shouldering this heavy responsibility step forward, everybody will step aside most honorably so the successors can take over,” said Denktas, who has been active in Turkish Cypriot politics for decades. /Turkiye/
 LEADING US CONGRESSMAN EXPRESES SUPPORT FOR CTP LEADER TO FORM TRNC GOVERNMENTIn the wake of Sunday’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat should form a new government, recommended a leading US congressman yesterday. Rep. Mark Kirk, a majority-party Republican who serves on key US House committees, added that resolving the Cyprus issue would help not only Turkish-European Union relations, but also Turkish-US ties, and urged the new TRNC leaders to confront the issue. In related news, US Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston yesterday met with CTP leader Talat during his visit to the island. After his contacts there, Weston is expected to proceed to Ankara to meet with Turkish officials to discuss recent developments on Cyrus. /Turkiye/
 BAHCELI: “THE TRNC SHOULD ACT TOGETHER WITH TURKEY”Speaking to the media in Ankara yesterday, Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that new government to be established in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should be robust and reliable, should vigorously defend the Turkish Cypriots and should have a good dialogue with Ankara. “If not,” warned Bahceli, “political chaos in the TRNC could ensue.” In line with Sunday’s election results, possible solutions to the Cyprus issue should be reviewed by officials from both Ankara and the TRNC, added the MHP leader. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY REBUKES SWISS AMBASSADOR OVER “GENOCIDE” RECOGNITIONAnkara yesterday continued to voice serious concern over Tuesday’s official recognition by the Swiss Parliament of the so-called Armenian genocide. The Parliament voted 107-67 to recognize Armenian allegations of “genocide” at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. After a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement strongly condemned and rejected the decision, Swiss Ambassador to Ankara Kurt Wyss was summoned to the Foreign Ministry yesterday to hear Ankara’s serious concerns. Wyss met with Assistant Undersecretary Nabi Sensoy, who warned Switzerland once again that such moves could deal a great blow to bilateral relations. Sensoy reiterated that the Swiss Parliament would bear responsibility for any negative consequences its decision might cause. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL RECEIVED BY JAPANESE PRINCE MIKASAForeign Minister Abdullah Gul was received yesterday in Tokyo by Japanese Prince Mikasa, the honorary co-chairman of the year of Turkey in Japan. He later met with a number of Turkish citizens living in Japan at a reception at the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo. Gul also spoke with his Japanese counterpart Yoriko Kavaguchi, House of Representatives President Yohei Kano and Japanese Senate Asssistant Chairman Shooji Motooka. “After the recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul, the Japanese Foreign Ministry advised their citizens not to visit Turkey,” said Gul. “I hope these meetings will change your position.” For his part, Motooka condemned the attacks, adding that international cooperation was a must for effectively fighting global terrorism. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN PLEDGES KONYA-KARAMAN ROAD COMPLETION NEXT YEARA new divided road between Konya and Karaman, some 100 kilometers to the southeast, will open next year, pledged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Before visiting the central Anatolian town of Konya, Erdogan cut the ribbon on a new hospital in Karaman. Erdogan also predicted that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would emerge victorious in next spring’s local elections. /Turkiye/  FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CYPRUS AND TURKEY BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the Cyprus issue and Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“What factors have hurt the ruling party in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)? Corruption, the appearance of oligarchy, the nation’s annoyance, and the Cyprus issue’s persistence due to the policies of TRNC President Rauf Denkas. The opposition was expected to be very successful in such an atmosphere, but this didn’t happen, due largely to the repulsive words of Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat which hurt Turkey’s national pride. For example he said, ‘One can say that Turkey saved us, but it stuck around longer than was necessary’ (Britain’s The Guardian, September 21, 2002). ‘Turkey’s presence in Cyprus violates international law.’ (TRNC daily Vatan, September 19, 2003).
First of all, everybody should take a lesson from Sunday’s elections on the importance of cooperation. Mr. Denktas and the National Unity Party (UBP) should also learn this lesson. The oligarchic appearance of their policies to date and the fact that foreign policy became synonymous with the failure to solve the issue sowed the seeds for the backlash from TRNC citizens. Mr. Talat and the CTP should realize this: hard bargains on Kofi Annan’s plan, Turkey’s active support, and reaching a solution with Ankara – all these are necessary.
Obviously, the election results showed the need for new approaches. Denktas should demonstrate that he’s the nation’s leader. He can do this by acting impartially and signaling that he’ll move in harmony with Ankara towards a solution. If Denktas tries to manipulate Turkey’s domestic political balances and institutional sensitivities, this will lead to problems and weaknesses in Ankara. Talat should realize that his policies are wrong- headed. A TRNC leadership without Turkey’s support would have a weak hand at the bargaining table. For this reason, Denktas should be open to a solution in line with Ankara, and Talat should accept that Denktas will continue in his role as negotiator.”
 EU STORM BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Hadi Uluengin comments on last weekend’s European Union summit. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The capture of Saddam in Tikrit and Denktas’s defeat in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) seem to have made us forget last weekend’s European Union summit. But it shouldn’t be, because the summit in question raises the specter of the EU itself going off track.
The leaders of 25 countries – the 15 EU members and 10 soon-to-be members – proved unable to reach an agreement at the summit on how post-enlargement decisions would be made. Poland and Spain’s stubbornness proved particularly problematic. Consequently, for the time being, the draft constitution prepared by Valery Giscard d’Estating is a dead duck. Even if a solution is eventually reached, the weekend failure proved three things:
* First, the EU, which admits new members without guaranteeing its internal mechanisms, will face many difficulties in the future.
* Second, this difficulty will inevitably will bring about a “Europe of peoples” made up of capital cities which have different speeds of development.
* Third, except for the EU’s inner circle, this process could move Europe, which cannot go further than nation-states, towards being only a free trade association.
This state of affairs is in Turkey’s interest, and if Ankara plays its cards right, then our membership bid will succeed, but I’ll cover this subject in a later column.
Now let’s talk about Turkey and the tempest in a teapot. The summit’s declaration referred to the ‘southeast.’ Nor was this the first time. In May 1999 the Prime Minister Ecevit said that Turkey would boost its efforts to complete the reforms in the country, including the southeast.
The declaration released on Saturday praised developments in Turkey but also demanded that ‘Ankara exert new efforts to continue to adjust relations between Turkey’s military and civil circles according to European norms … and [also improve] cultural rights in the southeast.’ Is the ‘southeast’ mentioned here any different from Ecevit’s?
We must work to correct our mistakes instead of stirring a tempest in a teapot.”
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