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Turkish Press Review, 03-12-19

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

19.12.2003

ERDOGAN VISITS UZBEKISTAN, COMMENTS ON FUTURE OF CYPRUS GUL MEETS WITH JAPANESE PM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONS DENKTAS, WESTON DISCUSSES TRNC ELECTIONS AND CYPRUS ISSUE BLAIR: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN WILL MAKE REACHING A RESOLUTION EASIER” VERHEUGEN: “TRUE TURKISH CYPRIOTS SUPPORT EU MEMBERSHIP” VISITS OF GERMAN PM, FOREIGN MINISTER SET FOR AFTER NEW YEAR US ASKS ANKARA TO REQUIRE VISAS FROM IRANIAN CITIZENS PARLIAMENT BEGINS DEBATE ON 2004 BUDGET IMF RELEASES $502 MILLION LOAN TRANCHE EU TO EXTEND TO ANKARA 250 MLN EUROS IN ACCESSION AID NEXT YEAR FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... THE EU SHOULD GIVE ANKARA A DATE NEXT SPRING BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET) OPENING TO THE EAST BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS UZBEKISTAN, COMMENTS ON FUTURE OF CYPRUS
  • [02] GUL MEETS WITH JAPANESE PM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONS
  • [03] DENKTAS, WESTON DISCUSSES TRNC ELECTIONS AND CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [04] BLAIR: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN WILL MAKE REACHING A RESOLUTION EASIER”
  • [05] VERHEUGEN: “TRUE TURKISH CYPRIOTS SUPPORT EU MEMBERSHIP”
  • [06] VISITS OF GERMAN PM, FOREIGN MINISTER SET FOR AFTER NEW YEAR
  • [07] US ASKS ANKARA TO REQUIRE VISAS FROM IRANIAN CITIZENS
  • [08] PARLIAMENT BEGINS DEBATE ON 2004 BUDGET
  • [09] IMF RELEASES $502 MILLION LOAN TRANCHE
  • [10] EU TO EXTEND TO ANKARA 250 MLN EUROS IN ACCESSION AID NEXT YEAR
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [12] THE EU SHOULD GIVE ANKARA A DATE NEXT SPRING BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
  • [13] OPENING TO THE EAST BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS UZBEKISTAN, COMMENTS ON FUTURE OF CYPRUS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday arrived in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, to pay an official visit. Erdogan was accompanied by a delegation including Cabinet ministers, deputies and a group of businessmen. Before his departure, Erdogan spoke to reporters on the Cyprus issue. “There are two states and two nations on the island,” Erdogan pointed out. “The main problem on the island is the acceptance of both states’ existence. If both of them are recognized, we accept this. If not, then we’ll take a stance similar to [those who refuse to recognize Northern Cyprus].” Although for years Turkish Cypriots have faced obstacles from outside against their claiming their full human rights, added the premier, they have always shown a positive attitude while struggling to explain their case to the world. Stressing that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan was unbalanced, Erdogan urged that revisions be made to redress this situation. Commenting on last weekend’s elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Erdogan stated that the Turkish Cypriots had made a good choice by not preferring one side to the other, and that it was time to solve the issue by working collaboratively. /Turkiye/

    [02] GUL MEETS WITH JAPANESE PM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Japan for an official visit, yesterday met with his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi to discuss bilateral relations, recent developments in Iraq, and Japan’s decision to send troops there to deliver humanitarian aid. The two premiers also discussed how Japanese troops could contribute to Iraq’s stability. During their talks, Gul said that Ankara could allow Japan to use some of its facilities to provide aid to the Iraqi people. /Aksam/

    [03] DENKTAS, WESTON DISCUSSES TRNC ELECTIONS AND CYPRUS ISSUE

    Tom Weston, the US special coordinator for Cyprus, yesterday met with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to discuss last Sunday’s TRNC general elections. Speaking afterwards, Denktas called their meeting “fruitful and constructive.” He added that they agreed on the need for a resolution on the island but had been unable to reach common ground on some issues. Denktas stated that he had told Weston about efforts to form a new TRNC government, adding that forming a national government would be the best path. For his part, Weston said that only way to reach a resolution on the island was the United Nations’ Cyprus plan and added that this could be done by next May, when Greek Cyprus is set to join the European Union. Later, Weston met with Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), one of the four parties that won TRNC Parliament seats in the recent polls. Weston is expected to travel to Ankara today. /Aksam/

    [04] BLAIR: “THE UN’S CYPRUS PLAN WILL MAKE REACHING A RESOLUTION EASIER”

    Speaking yesterday on the results of last weekend’s general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the polls proved the importance of making progress on the Cyprus issue within the framework of the United Nations’ plan. “The UN plan will make it easier to reach a resolution on the island,” added Blair. /Star/

    [05] VERHEUGEN: “TRUE TURKISH CYPRIOTS SUPPORT EU MEMBERSHIP”

    The wish of “true Turkish Cypriots” was expressed in Sunday's general elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen told the European Parliament yesterday. “Most Turkish Cypriots want the resolution of the conflict [over the island's two nations] on the basis of the United Nations plan, and they want their membership of the EU,” added Verhuegen. “The Turkish government has an interest to use the window which is no longer very big but which is still open today to push things forward.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] VISITS OF GERMAN PM, FOREIGN MINISTER SET FOR AFTER NEW YEAR

    German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder is set to visit Turkey in a little over two months, on Feb. 23-24. During his contacts in Ankara, Schroeder is expected to stress Berlin’s support for Ankara’s EU membership bid. In the meantime, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is set to pay a visit to Ankara on Jan. 21-22. Among the major issues that the German officials are expected to discuss with Ankara are Turkey’s relations with the EU as well as recent developments in Iraq and on Cyprus. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] US ASKS ANKARA TO REQUIRE VISAS FROM IRANIAN CITIZENS

    US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman yesterday visited Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu and conveyed a request from Washington that Turkey require visas for Iranian citizens in order to better control its eastern border. Washington wants Turkey to take more forceful measures to crack down on illegal border activities and global terrorism, Edelman reportedly stated. He is also said to have asked for strengthened security measures near Ankara’s US Embassy and other American institutions. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] PARLIAMENT BEGINS DEBATE ON 2004 BUDGET

    Parliament’s General Assembly began yesterday to debate the 2004 fiscal budget. In his presentation, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said the document had been prepared with great care in line with its key societal role, adding that it was designed to put the economy back on track and put an end to chronic crises. Debate on the budget is expected to conclude on Wednesday. /Turkiye/

    [09] IMF RELEASES $502 MILLION LOAN TRANCHE

    The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board, as part of its standby agreement with Turkey, has reportedly completed its discussion of the sixth review of Ankara’s economic program. IMF officials stated that a $502 million loan tranche had been released, adding that for the time being, some $16 of $19 million had been extended to Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [10] EU TO EXTEND TO ANKARA 250 MLN EUROS IN ACCESSION AID NEXT YEAR

    The European Parliament approved the European Union’s 2004 budget yesterday. The 99.7 billion euro budget allocates 780 million euros for two candidate countries, Bulgaria and Romania, while also granting to Turkey next year some 250 million euros in accession aid. EU officials stated that the amount was double that of this year. /Turkiye/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [12] THE EU SHOULD GIVE ANKARA A DATE NEXT SPRING BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on last weekend’s European Union summit. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Vital decisions concerning the European Union’s enlargement will be taken next spring. The decision on whether Bulgaria and Romania will be ready for membership in 2007 will be taken at the EU’s spring summit. The European Commission will also express its views on Croatia’s full membership request. Further steps towards the Union for the western Balkan states will also be decided on. The EU will also sign its final accession with the 10 new member states in May 2004. The Cyprus issue should be solved by then.

    The most important reason for the EU taking critical decisions on its future next spring is that the European Commission’s term of office will end soon. After that date, Europe will have to deal with parliamentary elections and the formation of a new commission. The decision on Turkey will be left to this new commission. Its main duty, however, won’t be enlargement, but rather the economy.

    As the recent Brussels summit ended in a fiasco for enlargement, there was another very important development which also concerns us. European Commission head Romano Prodi received a letter signed by the leaders of Germany and France. This letter expressed the opposition of the ‘Group of Six’ – the countries just mentioned plus Britain, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands – to the expanding EU budget. They demanded that expenditures remain one percent of GNP as they have been. This budget is to be in force from 2007 to 2013. The consequences of the Group Six approach are obvious: A reduction of funds, and more problems for new members. This also demonstrates that the rich countries of Europe no longer want to spend money for the joint budget as they have previously.

    This is a key reason why Turkey didn’t get an encouraging message. The phrase we often hear ‘Turkey should overcome its macroeconomic imbalances and structural problems’ reflects the EU’s consideration of its new economic situation vis-a-vis Turkey’s membership bid.

    Europe will take its critical decisions on enlargement next spring, and the same goes for Cyprus. A ‘solution’ is expected from the Cypriot Turks and Turkey by May 1. With all this in mind, I say that Europe should decide on beginning talks with Turkey at its summit next spring. Otherwise we can expect to see our bid begin to peter out.”

    [13] OPENING TO THE EAST BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey’s relations with the East. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Right now Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Uzbekistan, and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Japan. These are just the latest examples of the opening of Turkish polity to the East. These visits shouldn’t be considered a course change. Turkey’s foreign policy goals and priorities are the same, but it’s putting more emphasis on ‘new dimensions.’ Turkey has ignored the East. By East, I mean the broad geography extending from the Middle East to the Far East, covering the Caucasus and Central Asia. All these countries have different importance for Turkey, especially in terms of economic potential. However, none of them can be an alternative to the West, that is, to the US and European countries in the economic and political areas. Sometimes those angered with the US or the European Union point to the East an alternative, but this is neither reasonable nor realistic. Turkish foreign policy will be successful only as long as it evaluates the ‘Eastern’ dimension along with the US and the EU.

    Actually Turkey’s geographical situation is very suitable for multidimensional thinking. However, our foreign policy priorities have caused our attention to move to these countries and regions. Actually most of these countries show more of an interest in Turkey than we show in them, for example Japan. Japan has been watching Turkey not just for the purpose of selling its goods or promoting trade. It has many experts on Turkey who speak our language and know our history and culture. In addition, many Japanese students learn about us. Japan declared 2003 ‘The Year of Turkey,’ and there is a great interest in various cultural and artistic activities promoting our nation. During his current contacts in Tokyo, Gul has argued that Turkish-Japanese relations should be improved not only bilaterally, but also on the basis of third countries. For example, great benefits could be realized for Iraq’s reconstruction if Turkey’s information and experience were combined with Japan’s financial resources and technology. This would establish a wholly new field of cooperation between our two countries.

    Gul told how Japan is one of the rare few countries which doesn’t require visas for Turkish citizens, and that there are 2,000 registered Turkish citizens in this country. Throughout the Year of Turkey, the interest and sympathy of Japanese towards Turks is continuing.”

    ARCHIVE

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