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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-04

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

04.03.2004

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “AKP MAYORS WILL SERVE THE PEOPLE WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION”
  • [02] CABINET DISCUSSES AMENDMENTS FOR EU HARMONIZATION
  • [03] IN MEETING WITH GUL, BRITISH FM STRAW STRONGLY ENDORSES TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP, CALLING IT “IN THE UNION’S INTEREST”
  • [04] 80 YEARS OF REPUBLICAN LAW CELEBRATED
  • [05] DENKTAS: “I AGREED TO NEGOTIATE OVER THE UN CYPRUS PLAN AT ANKARA’S URGING”
  • [06] WESTON PRAISES TURKEY’S EFFORTS TO REACH CYPRUS SETTLEMENT
  • [07] VERHEUGEN: “WHETHER OR NOT TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS WITH TURKEY WILL BE OUR MOST DIFFICULT DECISION”
  • [08] LUXEMBOURG PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “IF THE EU COMMISSION REPORT IS POSITIVE, THEN ACCESSION TALKS MAY BEGIN NEXT YEAR”
  • [09] EP HEAD COX MEETS WITH TUSIAD
  • [10] COUNCIL OF EUROPE SAYS NO NEED FOR CONTINUED MONITORING OF TURKEY
  • [11] FEBRUARY SHOWS HISTORIC SINGLE-DIGIT INFLATION
  • [12] GENCLERBIRLIGI DEFEATS PARMA, ADVANCES TO FOURTH ROUND OF UEFA CUP COMPETITION
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [14] THE COMMANDERS’ MESSAGE BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “AKP MAYORS WILL SERVE THE PEOPLE WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION”

    Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged yesterday that mayors from the AKP would serve the citizens without any discrimination, whatever the results of the March 28 local elections. Criticizing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Erdogan charged that CHP leaders were trying to change the subject from the upcoming elections to foreign policy issues. Claiming that the CHP was out of touch with the people, the premier predicted that election day would prove this. /Milliyet/

    [02] CABINET DISCUSSES AMENDMENTS FOR EU HARMONIZATION

    Following a five-hour cabinet meeting yesterday, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters that the gathering had taken up the process of Turkey’s European Union harmonization. “We discussed what steps are needed next,” said Cicek, “and specifically, needed amendments to the Constitution.” Stressing that radical reforms necessitate such amendments, Cicek said, “We will present them to Parliament without delay.” Calling on all politicians to help the process go forward, the justice minister said that no one had the right to stand in the way of Turkey’s future. /Turkiye/

    [03] IN MEETING WITH GUL, BRITISH FM STRAW STRONGLY ENDORSES TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP, CALLING IT “IN THE UNION’S INTEREST”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his British counterpart Jack Straw in Istanbul. Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Gul said that he and Straw had reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate closely in the fight against terrorism. Commenting on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Straw underlined that Turkey’s political institutions were closer to EU norms than the 10 countries set to join the Union this May. "We have been very strong supporters of Turkey's membership of the EU ... We are ready to give any support we can," said Britain's top diplomat. "We commend the progress which has been made ... and we look forward to a positive decision from the European Council to set a clear timescale for negotiations in December," he added, referring to the key EU summit that month. "It's for Turkey to decide whether it's in its interests to join the EU,” said Straw, “but by God, it's in the European Union's interests for Turkey to be inside that Union." The two foreign ministers also attended a ceremony at the British Consulate commemorating the victims of a terrorist attack last November. In addition, Gul met with Djibouti Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah. After the meeting, agreements proposing cooperation in various areas were signed. /Turkiye/

    [04] 80 YEARS OF REPUBLICAN LAW CELEBRATED

    A panel discussion on 80 years of republican law in modern Turkey was held in Ankara yesterday by the Kemalist Thought Association (ADD). Many top military commanders and scholars attended the discussion, which celebrated the 80th anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate and the adoption of groundbreaking laws that formed the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic. /Hurriyet/

    [05] DENKTAS: “I AGREED TO NEGOTIATE OVER THE UN CYPRUS PLAN AT ANKARA’S URGING”

    Appearing on television yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said that he still didn’t believe the United Nations Cyprus plan was a good one, adding that it was at Ankara’s urging that he had agreed to negotiate the plan with the Greek Cypriots. “I agreed to negotiate over the plan since the Turkish government wanted me to do so, ” stated Denktas. “We may not reach an agreement by May 1 [when Greek Cyprus is due to join the European Union],” he warned, adding that he was surprised by some people’s belief that such an agreement was certain. In related news, Denktas is expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara today to brief him on the current Cyprus negotiations. Denktas is also set to meet with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos for the ninth time today. /Aksam/

    [06] WESTON PRAISES TURKEY’S EFFORTS TO REACH CYPRUS SETTLEMENT

    Special UN Cyprus Envoy Thomas Weston met yesterday in Ankara with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Ahmet Davutoglu, a top adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss the ongoing Cyprus negotiations. Speaking afterwards, Weston said that though there were clearly disagreements between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots on certain issues, these differences could be overcome. He further praised Ankara’s efforts to help reach a just and permanent peace on the island. /Aksam/

    [07] VERHEUGEN: “WHETHER OR NOT TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS WITH TURKEY WILL BE OUR MOST DIFFICULT DECISION”

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said that the EU’s decision at its summit this December whether or not to begin accession talks with Turkey would be its most difficult one. “For more than 40 years, we have promised to Turkey that we would accept it as an EU member,” said Verheugen, adding his praise for Ankara’s reforms over the last two years. /Aksam/

    [08] LUXEMBOURG PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “IF THE EU COMMISSION REPORT IS POSITIVE, THEN ACCESSION TALKS MAY BEGIN NEXT YEAR”

    Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday received his visiting Luxembourgian counterpart Jean Spautz to discuss bilateral relations and Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Speaking afterwards, Spautz said that Turkey had taken important steps towards fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria. “If the EU Commission’s December report on Turkey is a positive one, then accession talks with Ankara may begin in 2005,” predicted Spautz. Later, Spautz met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Aksam/

    [09] EP HEAD COX MEETS WITH TUSIAD

    After paying a visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula and the Martyr’s Cemetery there, European Parliament President Pat Cox yesterday proceeded to Istanbul to meet with members of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). During their meeting, Turkish-European Union relations were discussed. /Turkiye/

    [10] COUNCIL OF EUROPE SAYS NO NEED FOR CONTINUED MONITORING OF TURKEY

    Turkey no longer needs to be monitored for any “democratic shortcomings,” declared the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (COEPA) Monitoring Committee yesterday. Meeting in Paris, the committee passed a report lifting the monitoring procedure on Ankara. "Turkey has clearly shown over these past three years its determination and capacity to fulfill the statutory obligations as a member of the Council of Europe," said the report. The monitoring procedure began in 1996. The report, which should have a significant influence on the European Commission’s October progress report on Turkey, is expected to be debated and voted on once again in April at COEPA’s General Assembly. /Sabah/

    [11] FEBRUARY SHOWS HISTORIC SINGLE-DIGIT INFLATION

    In historic figures released yesterday by the State Institute of Statistics (DIE), February inflation was 0.55% on the consumer price index (CPI) and 1.64% on the wholesale price index (WPI), pushing year-to-year WPI to 9.14% and CPI to 14.28%. This represents the first single-digit WPI showing since 1977, and is a landmark in Turkey’s anti-inflation efforts. /All papers/

    [12] GENCLERBIRLIGI DEFEATS PARMA, ADVANCES TO FOURTH ROUND OF UEFA CUP COMPETITION

    Turkish football side Genclerbirligi yesterday won 3-0 against the former UEFA Cup winners Parma and advanced to the fourth round of UEFA competition. Their victory over the Italians bettered their previous cup performance in 2001, when they reached only the first round. “This success is important for the development of Turkish football,” said Coach Ersun Yanal. “We're happy about it. The game we played also pleased me greatly.” /Sabah/

    [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [14] THE COMMANDERS’ MESSAGE BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on top military commanders’ participation in a panel yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Top commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) yesterday participated in a panel commemorating the 80th anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate and the establishment of the educational union. Among the participants were Land Forces Vice Adm. Ozden Ornek, Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Sener Eruygur, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, General Staff General Secretary Gen. Sukru Sarisik, Land Forces Staff Chief Gen. Fethi Remzi Tuncel and Operations HQ Chief of General Staff Lit. Gen. Metin Yavuz Yalcin, along with their wives. Obviously, this scene carried great significance because it showed that there is a ‘unity of opinion and action’ among the force commanders. In this respect, the TSK was sensitive to the atmosphere.

    Generally we’re used to seeing the commanders as a group in activities on official platforms, but this was the first time they appeared on a panel organized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Their participation as a group will be interpreted from a variety of angles. Something else important was that a declaration of ‘national consensus’ was announced under the title, ‘An Invitation to National Awakening and Unity.’ The commanders applauded this declaration. Was this applause merely polite or were they showing their agreement with its content? Obviously the commanders’ participation at this panel will reverberate both nationally and internationally. People will connect it to many current issues and the ruling party’s approaches. Some will question if it’s the beginning of a new era, and if this will continue.”

    ARCHIVE

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