|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-12-22
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
22.12.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN: “THE MINIMUM WAGE SHOULD PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH A DECENT LIVING”Speaking at the opening ceremony of a Flyinn shopping center in Istanbul yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan touted recent positive economic developments, including drops in interest rates from 69% to 26% and inflation from 30% to 20%, both of which he said had made it easier for Ankara to borrow. “We no longer have any difficulty getting lines of credit, ” said Erdogan. Touching on the country’s minimum wage, which is due to be re-adjusted soon, Erdogan stated that the wage should provide people with a decent living, adding that such a requirement was not unfair to employers. Erdogan further pledged that the government would continue its fight against corruption. /Hurriyet/
 GUL RETURNS FROM JAPANESE VISITAfter completing his contacts during an official visit to Japan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul returned last night to Turkey. Speaking to reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Gul expressed his satisfaction over the areas of agreement between Turkey and Japan on various international issues. Stressing that economic and trade cooperation had been the main topics discussed, Gul stated that he had briefed Japanese businessmen on recent economic developments in Turkey. Concerning ongoing work towards establishing a new Turkish Cypriot government following recent elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Gul urged the TRNC political parties to avoid deputies switching sides for the sake of a new government. Recalling that Turkey had seen the same thing done in past years, the foreign minister commented that this trend had done harm to politics and cost the country dearly. “A broad-based government , one including all parties, would be the best solution for the TRNC,” added Gul. /Turkiye/
 AMID PUSH FOR “FEDERAL” IRAQ, ANKARA KEEPING CLOSE WATCH ON IRAQI KURDISH GROUPSAnkara is preparing to increase its diplomatic pressure on Washington after Kurdish representatives recently submitted a proposal to Iraq’s Governing Council in an attempt to establish a federal Iraq. The Foreign Ministry is soon to reiterate strongly to Washington that Ankara wants Iraq’s territorial integrity protected. The proposal from the council’s five Kurdish members – including the heads of the two main Kurdish groups, Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani – is said to foresee the expansion of Kurdish autonomy from three northern provinces to include the oil-rich province of Tamim around Kirkuk. Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP), said over the weekend that the Kurds want Kirkuk back for its historical significance, not its oil riches. Meanwhile, US diplomatic sources reportedly said that the Bush administration shares Ankara’s desire to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity. /Cumhuriyet/
 TOBB CHAIRMAN: “THE NEW MINIMUM WAGE SHOULDN’T UPSET OUR ECONOMIC BALANCES”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu urged that the government not allow its upcoming revised minimum wage to upset Turkey’s economic balances. Touching on this year’s economic accomplishments, Hisarciklioglu said that annual inflation would end up at 19%, thus bettering the official target. He further stated that the “burden of high taxes” should be reduced, as it was holding back investment. /Hurriyet/
 OTTOMAN EXHIBIT OPENS AT ATLI KOSKAn exhibition spotlighting historical Ottoman works opened at the Sabanci Family’s Atli Kosk in Istanbul yesterday with the attendance of many prominent figures. Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the European Union should be a venue for different cultures to encounter each other in peace, not come into conflict. He added that the exhibit served to once again demonstrate the glory of the Ottomans. The show is set to run for three months. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 OPPOSITION TO THE EU BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on those opposed to Turkey’s European Union membership. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Speaking of foreign circles, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said recently, ‘Those who oppose or don’t believe in our European Union membership should also stay out of Cyprus issue.’ His words were true but incomplete, because this should also apply to Turkey itself.
The upper ranks of Turkish bureaucracy are full of people who oppose the EU. They are gripped by fear that they will lose their position and power under the EU system. But on the contrary, they should thrive in the healthy atmosphere of the EU. Among those opposing the EU, there are those who believe they are only protecting the nation’s interests. They’re trying to burn Turkey’s bridges with the EU. They aren’t afraid of losing out personally, because they imagine that they can hold onto their privileges forever. Those supporting the status quo are gambling with Turkey’s future and trying to make it veer off the course it’s been following for many years.
Turkey is afraid of being cheated once again by the West on the Cyprus issue. We’re also waiting for fair treatment from the EU, that is, a date for membership negotiations to begin. I don’t want speculate what will happen if we don’t get a date next December. I’m sure there are diplomats and statesmen in Europe who know the answer to this. I know that if we see positive developments, those who currently support the status quo in Turkey will all of a sudden become fervent EU supporters.”
 THE KURDISH MOVE BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on efforts by northern Iraq’s Kurds to form an ethnic-based federal administration. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Last week Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massoud Barzani sent a proposal to the Iraqi interim administration for a future ethnic-based federation in the country. Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to establish a joint government in northern Iraq. The Iraqi Kurdish leaders thus started moves aimed at putting an end to the conflicts among their parties, preserving unity in northern Iraq, and forming an ethnic-based federation in the country. This move also aims at drawing the geographic boundaries of the Kurdish region to include Kirkuk, Mosul, Diyala, Arbil (Erbil), Sulaimaniya and Dohuk. Thus the Kurdish groups would have control over oil in the region.
We should recognize that it’s the Kurds which benefited the most from the US invasion of Iraq. Barzani and Talabani reaped significant political benefits and scored great successes for their people. How did they do this?
There’s no doubt that their major asset was cooperation with the United States. Seizing every opportunity, Barzani and Talabani kept working on their diplomatic and judicial initiatives without hesitation. One consequence of these initiatives is their proposal for an ethnic-based federation.
According to Dr. Nihat Ali Ozcan, an analyst specializing in Iraq and terrorism, their proposal was actually drafted by three US experts, namely Brenden O’Leary, the University of Pennsylvania’s director of the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, along with Peter Galbright and Halit Salih, an American of Kurdish origin.
Barzani and Talabani, who paid these Americans to draft proposal, sent it to the Iraqi Governing Council last week. O’Leary is known for his study ‘Multi-national Federalism, Federacy, Power-sharing and Kurds of Iraq.’ This enabled Barzani and Talabani to push for a constitution that fits their aims.
This proposal is at odds with the structure that the US is seeking form in Iraq. While the US wants an administration-based federation in Iraq, the proposal points to ethnic-based federation. In its November ‘road map’, the US suggested forming regional parliaments in 18 cities and then a federation based on these cities.
The ethnic federation suggested by Barzani and Talabani is altogether different. The Kurdish leaders, who by now have gotten used to making the US do whatever they want, will push hard for their interests. If their proposal is accepted, an Iraqi federal state will emerge. The country’s Turkmen and other ethnic groups will not be counted as founders and have no place in this structure.
It’s still not known how the Shiites and Arabs will react to the Kurdish proposal. However, it’s quite clear that the Kurdish groups are forging forward …”
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