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Turkish Press Review, 03-12-26

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

26.12.2003

FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY’S EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD ATTACKED
  • [02] VERHEUGEN, PRODI SET TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [03] EU AMBASSADORS MEET IN ANKARA OVER CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [04] DENKTAS: “IT WOULDN’T BE RIGHT FOR DEPUTIES TO SWITCH SIDES”
  • [05] PAPADOPULOS: “I CAN’T SIGN THE ANNAN PLAN IN ITS CURRENT FORM”
  • [06] ERDOGAN VOWS TO SUPPORT FARMERS
  • [07] ERDOGAN CHARGES CHP USING IMMUNITY ISSUE FOR POLITICAL GAIN
  • [08] BAYKAL: “ERDOGAN’S APPROACH TO IMMUNITY IS UNCONVINCING”
  • [09] YOK DISCUSSES NEW HIGHER EDUCATION DRAFT BILL
  • [10] TIM CHAIRMAN: “2003 EXPORTS WILL REACH A RECORD $47 BILLION”
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [12] ERDOGAN’S VISIT TO THE USBY NURAY BASARAN (AKSAM)
  • [13] A FEDERAL IRAQ, AND KIRKUK
  • [14] DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

  • [01] TURKEY’S EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD ATTACKED

    Turkey’s Embassy in Baghdad was attacked yesterday morning by two rocket missiles. Turkish Ambassador Osman Paksut said that the attack had damaged the building but fortunately had taken no casualties. He added that he was not sure whether the embassy had been specifically targeted or not. The missiles hit at the same time as separate attacks on the German and Iranian Embassies and other nearby buildings. /Turkiye/

    [02] VERHEUGEN, PRODI SET TO VISIT ANKARA

    According to recent Greek Cypriot media reports, European Commission President Romano Prodi and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen are both set to visit Ankara on Jan. 15-16. The two officials are expected to discuss with Turkish officials the latest developments on Cyprus. The EU expects Ankara to take decisive and constructive steps on the issue, added the reports. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] EU AMBASSADORS MEET IN ANKARA OVER CYPRUS ISSUE

    Ankara has launched a new diplomatic initiative to show its resolve to help Cyprus reach a permanent settlement as soon as possible. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the ambassadors of the 15 European Union member states met yesterday in Ankara to discuss the latest developments on the island. Also present at the meetings were Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington Ambassador Faruk Logoglu, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ambassador to Ankara Hayati Guven and Turkish Ambassador to the UN Umit Pamir. The diplomats were received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday and are expected to meet with Gul today. Turkish-EU relations and the Cyprus issue are expected to top their agenda. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] DENKTAS: “IT WOULDN’T BE RIGHT FOR DEPUTIES TO SWITCH SIDES”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday attended the last TRNC Cabinet meeting of 2003. “There are rumors that certain deputies will step down from their parties in favor of parties which are offering more money,” Denktas told reporters afterwards. “I hope these rumors are untrue.” Denktas stated that any deputies trying to switch sides for money would not be able to face the people, adding that doing so would be immoral. Pointing out that meetings were continuing with the TRNC party leaders to establish a new government, the president said that an early election would only waste time rather than helping the situation. Stressing that officials from Ankara were also working on the Cyprus issue, Denktas said that they were waiting for these officials to weigh in on the matter before going further. Meanwhile, the newly elected TRNC deputies are scheduled to take their oath of office today in the Turkish Cypriot Parliament. /Turkiye/

    [05] PAPADOPULOS: “I CAN’T SIGN THE ANNAN PLAN IN ITS CURRENT FORM”

    Greek Cypriot administration leader Tasos Papadopulos yesterday said that the United Nations plan for the island, known as the Annan plan, was not ready to be signed in its current form. “There are many points that need to be clarified,” said Papadopulos. “Without making the necessary changes, I can neither sign it nor hold a referendum on it. The first question that springs to mind is whether the Turkish troops [in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)] are to leave the island under this plan. I’m still unable to answer this question, which is why the plan has important deficiencies that need to be corrected.” After talks over the plan collapsed this spring, European Union and UN figures had blamed TRNC leaders for this failure, but Greek Cypriot leaders have said of late that they too find the plan unacceptable. /Hurriyet/

    [06] ERDOGAN VOWS TO SUPPORT FARMERS

    Speaking to a gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of the Turkish Union of Chambers of Agriculture (TZOB), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that for years the nation’s farmers and their problems had suffered from neglect. Pointing to the key societal role of the agriculture sector, Erdogan pledged that his government would focus on policies to reinvigorate the sector. He also pointed to new projects slated for next year including guaranteed easy credit for farmers, soil analysis and fertilizer advice, the establishment of organized agriculture areas, and similar programs. /Turkiye/

    [07] ERDOGAN CHARGES CHP USING IMMUNITY ISSUE FOR POLITICAL GAIN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that lifting the immunity of public officials was not Turkey’s most important problem, adding that he believed the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was trying to use the issue for political gain. Speaking after a meeting marking the 40th anniversary of the Turkish Union of Chambers of Agriculture (TZOB), Erdogan said that he had long sought to set up a bipartisan commission to study the issue. In related news, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that Turkey’s rules on immunity should be close to European Union standards, adding that it was time to take steps on the issue. The AKP had promised to lift deputies’ immunity before it came to power in November 2002. /Turkiye/

    [08] BAYKAL: “ERDOGAN’S APPROACH TO IMMUNITY IS UNCONVINCING”

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal charged yesterday that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s approach to the immunity issue was unconvincing, adding that the CHP is fully ready to work on the issue. In related news, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that before the November 2002 polls, he had promised to lift political immunity, as had the now ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc also said that he expected to meet with party leaders on the issue, adding that it should be solved. “We will discuss what can be done to lift immunity,” he added. /Turkiye/

    [09] YOK DISCUSSES NEW HIGHER EDUCATION DRAFT BILL

    The Board of Higher Education (YOK) General Assembly yesterday convened to discuss a new draft higher education bill in a meeting chaired by YOK head Erdogan Tezic. Speaking beforehand, Tezic said that YOK didn’t want to lose any time in legal wrangling and that a copy of the bill had been sent to all its members as well as university rectors and academics. “We’re hoping to prepare a text that won’t necessitate any constitutional amendments,” he said, adding that YOK wanted the government and Parliament to pass the law as soon as possible. /Turkiye/

    [10] TIM CHAIRMAN: “2003 EXPORTS WILL REACH A RECORD $47 BILLION”

    Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici predicted yesterday that Turkey’s exports for this year would reach $47 billion, the highest figure since the founding of the republic. He added that he hoped exports next year would climb to $50 billion or higher. /Aksam/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [12] ERDOGAN’S VISIT TO THE USBY NURAY BASARAN (AKSAM)

    Columnist Nuray Basaran comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-week visit to the US set for the end of January. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Two important discussions from before and after the war in Iraq are very striking. Firstly, there are the difficulties which emerged between Turkey and the US in terms of taking a common stance on regional and international incidents. This situation even erupted into serious crises. Secondly is the US’ incomplete and wrongheaded approach toward the belief and values of the land it clearly seems ready to occupy or control for years to come. This US stance is considered the reason behind the conflict between religions and civilizations.

    The US’ mistaken belief that every country will immediately accept the post- Cold War new world order and concepts has led to serious political crises. However, this US stance may be edging towards a change. Turkey has also suffered from this. Now Turkey and other countries in the region have important opportunities and responsibilities to establish a regional model for the US’ re-evaluation. In addition, Turkey is a key country for the US correctly grasping Islam, establishing healthy relations, and contributing sound ideas to debates about reform within Islamic countries. This role is also important for Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan because the government’s approach after the recent bomb attacks in Istanbul was confusing. These were not mere terrorist attacks, but also defined an organization which has psychological targets within Islamic society. Clear and straightforward answers are needed to fight this. This need is rising both in Ankara and Washington.

    Those planning the details of Erdogan’s one-week-visit to the US at the end of January have a great responsibility, because they would only be deceiving themselves if they said, ‘We visited the US and showed that everything is all right.’ All the steps Erdogan takes will be very important for both his own future and that of Turkey.”

    [13] A FEDERAL IRAQ, AND KIRKUK

    [14] DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the federal plans of the Kurds of northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Drafts of ‘The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Iraq’ and ‘The Kurdish Constitution’ acquired by Namik Durukan were published yesterday in the Milliyet daily. These texts were prepared by the Kurdish Parliament in Arbil (Erbil) and then sent to Iraq’s Governing Council. Some may have trouble believing it, but for the first time the Iraqi Kurds are now very close to their goal of a ‘federal solution.’ The next step is the ‘independent state’ sought by Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKDP) head Massoud Barzani.

    In past writings, Barzani has told the world the theoretical foundation of a ‘Kurdish federation’ in the near future:

    ‘The federation that will be given to the Kurds will solve both the Kurdish and Iraqi problems. The problem of the Kurds doesn’t only concern Iraqi citizenship. The question is political. It is the problem of the people. They have their own homeland, and that is Kurdistan.’

    The Kurds want to take advantage of the historical window of Iraq’s reconstruction. In the draft federal constitution Iraq would be divided into two parts, namely an Arab region (Mesopotamia) and Kurdistan. It states that as the two main groups in Iraq, the Kurds and Arabs will form the new state. The Kirkuk region is called one of the Kurds, and its Turkmen residents are left unmentioned. This formula is not surprising if we analyze the struggle of Barzani’s tribe. Barzani’s views in his book published by Doz Publications in Turkey are clear:

    ‘It is [Sadam’s] Baath regime that transformed many regions in Kirkuk and Kurdistan into Arab regions. No one can deny that there is a Turkish minority in Kirkuk. This is a reality. But there is also an Assyrian minority and some Arabs. They were settled here by Mithat Pasha in the mid- nineteenth century. It should be accepted that Kirkuk is Kurdish land and not Turkish soil. Our Turkmen brothers are a minority and should benefit from every right. Their national rights can never be denied.’

    On the cover of the book, Barzani added words said by his father Mustafa Molla Barzani in 1974: ‘I worry about Kurds coming to my grave and asking, “Why did you give Kirkuk away?” ’

    A federal Iraq is being established in line with this vision! Haven’t Talabani and Barzani’s Turkish passports given way to this formation? Our late President Ozal saw this future, saying that ‘we should discuss a federation’ after the 1991 Gulf War. Would the US destroy this plan which was prepared in Washington? After Cyprus, Ankara is facing yet another difficult situation.”

    ARCHIVE

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