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Turkish Press Review, 03-12-23
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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
23.12.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER APPROVES LAW ON TUBITAKPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved the law on changing the current administrative structure of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). Sezer had earlier vetoed the draft on the grounds that it was contrary to the law. /Star/
 SEZER: “PRODUCTIVITY WILL OVERCOME OUR PROBLEMS”Productivity is one of the factors which increase the competitive power of the countries and improve their political and economic conditions, said President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in his message released on the occasion of the “Week of Productivity.” “Adopting a sense of productivity in every institution and by every individual will help us to overcome our problems,” added Sezer. /Hurriyet/
 PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES CYPRUS ELECTIONSParliament yesterday convened to discuss next year’s budget. However, it was focused on last Sunday’s elections held in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Speaking at the meeting, Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ýnal Batu said that TRNC’s elections once again blocked hopes of those who wanted to accept the United Nations’ Cyprus plan, adding that the best solution was to form a national agreement government in the TRNC. Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Yasar Yakis said that Ankara should support TRNC’s efforts to form a new government. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “I WILL SOON DISCUSS FORMATION OF THE TRNC GOVERNMENT WITH DENKTAS FACE TO FACE”Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would soon meet with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas face to face to discuss the formation of TRNC’s new government. Erdogan briefed Cabinet members on the recent developments after last Sunday’s elections. “We want a resolution to be reached on the island as soon as possible,” he added. /Milliyet/
 GUL WARNS KURDISH LEADERS NOT TO TAKE MISLEADING STEPSForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday warned Iraqi Kurdish leaders not to take misleading steps. Speaking at the Parliament’s plenary session where his ministry’s 2004 budget was debated, Gul commented on recent developments in northern Iraq. “We hope that Iraq preserves its territorial and political unity and becomes a democratic country where all groups are represented and participated in its administration,” said Gul. “If misleading steps are taken which damage Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unity, then it may cause turmoil in the country.” He stressed that any attempt to change the democratic structure of Iraq would be very dangerous. In addition, commenting on the Cyprus issue, Gul said that the topic was at a very critical point and it should be dealt with calmly and rationally. “All sides should make efforts for an optimum solution,” urged the foreign minister. /Turkiye/
 MARTYRED KUBILAY COMMEMORATEDOur nation is determined to resist any action against the republic, said President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday in his message commemorating 2nd Lt. Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay who was martyred on December 23, 1930 in Menemen. “Our nation will always preserve the secular and democratic republic of Turkey,” added Sezer. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok also released a statement to mark the Kubilay Day. “Kubilay was a symbol of Turkey’s revolutionary history, showing how the military was prepared to sacrifice in order to protect and preserve the Republic,” said Ozkok. “2nd Lt. Kubilay was martyred by the Naksibendi sect revolting against the secular republic. /Sabah/
 US STATE DEPARTMENT: “IRAQIS SHOULD DECIDE ON THEIR OWN FUTURE”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said that Washington believed that the Iraqi people should discuss their own future. Stressing that after a long period, for the first time, Iraqis were working on establishing their own government and forming their own future, Boucher said that the US administration welcomed such efforts. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS: “THE UN CYPRUS PLAN SHOULDN’T BE NEGOTIATED”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday received Republican Parliament Speaker Vehbi Zeki Serter. Denktas said that the UN Cyprus plan shouldn’t be negotiated. Greek Cyprus is set to join the EU next May. “Negotiating the plan means to hold a referendum on it with all its deficiencies,” said Denktas, adding that 70% of the nation would reject the plan in case of a referendum. He further stated that he would soon meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss TRNC’s new government to be formed soon. In related news, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat said that recent elections showed that most of the Turkish Cypriots favored a resolution on the island, adding that a coalition with National Unity Party (UBP) was difficult. /Aksam/
 IKDP, IPUK LEADERS AGREE TO UNIFYAs part of their efforts to establish a “Kurdish Federation” in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani and Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani yesterday decided to unify. During a meeting in Baghdad, the two leaders signed an agreement to assign IKDP’s Necirvan Barzani as the prime minister of the “Kurdish government” and IPUK’s Kosret Resul Ali as the “parliament speaker.” Furthermore, the agreement proposed six ministers from the IKDP and four others from the IPUK to take part in the “cabinet.” In related news, appearing on Al Arabia television, Barzani said that they expected more than federalism, “However,” he added, “under these circumstances, federalism will be the best solution for Iraq.” /Turkiye/
 TURKMEN LEADER ABDURRAHMAN HARSHLY CRITICIZES KURDISH LEADERSCommenting on Iraqi Kurdish leaders’ recent statement to establish a “Kurdish Federation” in northern Iraq including Mosul and Kirkuk, Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Chairman Faruk Abdullah Abdurrahman said yesterday that both Turkmen and Arabs would oppose such an attempt. Abdurrahman, currently visiting Ankara, met with Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ali Tuygan. Underlining that Mosul and Kirkuk were Turkmen cities, the ITF leader said, “This attempt is a step to establish a ‘Kurdish state’ in northern Iraq.” He stressed that Turkmen favored Iraq’s territorial integrity, and opposed its division with a fait accompli. He added that natural resources of Mosul and Kirkuk belong to all Iraqis. /Turkiye/
 UNAKITAN: “WE ARE TRYING NOT TO POSE HEAVY BURDEN ON THE ECONOMY WHILE RE-ADJUSTING THE MINIMUM WAGE”Appearing on television yesterday, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said that the government would try not to pose heavy burden on the economy while re-adjusting the minimum wage. Touching on privatization, Unakitan said that he was very hopeful on the government’s efforts for privatization for next year. Also touching on local elections scheduled for next April, Unakitan stated that the elections would not cause the AKP government to deviate from fiscal discipline. “Our nation supports us so we don’t need to pursue populist policies,” he added. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE KIRKUK TEST BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)Columnist Erdal Safak writes on the recent developments in northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“As it is understood that Washington supports the establishment of a federal system based on provinces in Iraq, Kurdish groups have recently elevated their voices to oppose this model as it divides northern Iraq into three separate parts leaving Kirkuk out of Kurdistan. Now, two main Kurdish leaders Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani are trying to persuade Washington to establish a ‘geographical federation.’ First they have decided to form a joint government in northern Iraq. Then they submitted a bill to the Governing Council proposing to establish a geographical federation. The bill envisages that the geographical areas where Kurdish population constitutes the majority according to the results of the 1957 census will be considered Kurdish territories. In other words, Kirkuk and some other provinces will be governed by the joint Talabani-Barzani government. Barzani recently claimed that the Kurds want Kirkuk back for its historical significance, not its oil riches.
In addition, Barzani issued an ultimatum enlisting his conditions to remain as a part of Iraq:
. We cannot make concessions from our self-determination right.
. We cannot accept any alternatives other than a self-governing one.
. We believe that the federation is the best way to prevent Baghdad government’s disregarding the Kurdish parliament.
. We are in favor of a federation based on voluntary unity of the Arab and Kurdish people.
. We cannot abandon Kirkuk and other newly saved provinces of Kurdistan.
Will Washington accept this ultimatum? The recent reports state that Saddam was captured by Talabani’s peshmergas who surrendered him to the US officials after intense discussions and bargaining on the Kurdish political role in northern Iraq. I think these reports are clear enough to understand the recent trend in northern Iraq. In other words, the imminent Kirkuk crisis will be a real test for Turkey’s Iraq policy.”
 DENKTAS IS MISTAKEN BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’ mistaken policies. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The most important duty of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas is to ensure the establishment of a government and develop a harmonious policy with Ankara. However, Denktas is challenging Ankara, saying, ‘Kofi Annan’s plan isn’t open to discussion. Sitting at the table to discuss Annan’s plan is to present the plan to referendum with its unfairness to Turkish Cypriots.’ These words will make it difficult to establish a government in the TRNC and conflicting with Ankara won’t solve the Cyprus problem.
Diplomacy requires a special language. However, Denktas is closing all the doors and weakens the bargaining power of Turkey and the TRNC. When Annan asked the opinion of parties about the territory section of the plan, former Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides expressed his opinion, but Denktas said, ‘I won’t tell my opinion before the other issues are determined.’ After learning Greek Cypriots’ opinion about the territory section, Annan and his team prepared the plan. The same stance isn’t suitable for establishing a common ground among the parties in the TRNC and establishing a common policy with Ankara.
Ankara will make a decision about the Cyprus issue. The plan prepared by Foreign Ministry about Cyprus has been completed. This plan is about the necessary changes to be made in Annan’s plan. President, Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff and Foreign Minister will meet together and discuss the plan prepared by the Foreign Ministry. Ankara should take vital factors into consideration when it’s evaluating the Cyprus issue. Denktas can’t see what Turkey would lose because of his mistaken policy as much as Turkey can see. Consequently, Denktas should act in harmony with Ankara.
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