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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-09
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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
09.03.2004FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TOP EU OFFICIALS MEET WITH ERDOGAN, GUL IN ANKARATop European officials yesterday assured Turkey that the European Union would start accession negotiations with Ankara without delay if it sticks to its reform agenda to completely fulfill the EU’s Copenhagen criteria. An EU delegation comprised of Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, whose country currently holds the rotating EU term presidency, along with Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday arrived in Ankara to discuss Turkey’s EU membership bid and the ongoing Cyprus negotiations. “We have reiterated our strong assurance that if the European Council decides in December that Turkey fulfills the Copenhagen political criteria, the EU is committed to opening accession negotiations without delay,” said Cowen, speaking to reporters after the delegation’s meeting with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. “A key element in that decision will of course be progress in the reform process. We have warmly welcomed the very substantial progress made to date in legislating for reform. We discussed a number of outstanding issues in the process and the crucial importance of moving ahead with the practical implementation of reforms at all levels of administration and throughout the country.” The Ankara meeting also addressed the Cyprus issue. “It is our firm hope that the parties will redouble their efforts in the negotiating process now underway in Cyprus,” urged Cowen, adding: “The clear preference of the EU is for the accession of a united Cyprus.” For his part, Verheugen said, “The Union fully agrees with the Turkish position that we must find a solution that is, so to speak, legally waterproof,” and pledged that the EU would “find a way out of the legal minefield.” The delegation then met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called on the EU to pursue a clearer and more determined Cyprus policy. Both Erdogan and Gul believe that a Cyprus settlement must be included in EU legislation so as to prevent any future weakening. /All Papers/
 EP REPORT: “SOLVING THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS A TEST FOR TURKEY”A new European Parliament report on Cyprus released yesterday indicated the Union’s satisfaction at setting a timetable for solving the Cyprus issue. The report prepared by Jacques Poos, a parliamentarian from Luxembourg, pointed to the EU Commission’s view that if it remains unsolved, the Cyprus issue would pose a serious obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership. The report also reiterated that the EU wanted to integrate a united Cyprus into the Union, calling on both sides on the island to act with good will to solve the issue in line with the United Nations plan. The report is expected to be discussed by full EP tomorrow. /Cumhuriyet/
 AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT VOICES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BIDSpeaking yesterday after meeting with his German counterpart Johannes Rau, Austrian President Thomas Klestil said that he favored expansion of the European Union, adding that his nation and Germany stood to benefit the most from this. He stated that Austria supported Turkey’s European Union membership bid. “When Ankara fulfills the Copenhagen criteria, we should begin its accession talks as soon as possible,” added Klestil. /Aksam/
 DENKTAS SAYS SWEDISH MODEL REJECTED, CRITICIZES MEDIA COVERAGESpeaking to reporters yesterday after his daily negotiations with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots had rejected all of his proposed changes to the United Nations Cyprus plan. During the talks, said Denktas, he had proposed a Swedish model for the island entailing two equal states, but Papadopoulos had turned this down. He further criticized the media’s coverage of the Cyprus issue, saying that negative news about the talks was being deliberately published. “If the media loses credibility, then this could damage democracy,” warned Denktas. “The media’s behavior has been odd and very disappointing.” Denktas and Papadopoulos are set to meet again today. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW GREEK PM KARAMANLIS: “WE WILL SUPPORT TURKEY’S EU BID IF IT MEETS THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”Speaking to French daily Le Figaro yesterday, newly elected Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy Party leader Costas Karamanlis said that his new government would support Turkey’s European Union membership bid if it fulfills the Copenhagen criteria. But Karamanlis criticized the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) role in Turkish politics, saying that this should change. “Ankara’s important reforms would be to the TSK’s role,” he stated. “There is a great opportunity for Turkey to be an EU member, but it must prove its resolve.” He said that Athens could reduce its defense expenses provided that tensions with Turkey continue to fall. Touching on the current Cyprus negotiations, Karamanlis said that they were going through a sensitive period, adding, “I want to emphasize Greece’s commitment to help reach a resolution on the island.” In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Ankara was ready to cooperate with Greece’s new post-election government. Erdogan added that developments in Turkish-Greek relations over the last four years had been satisfactory and that he hoped this would continue. /Aksam/
 CICEK: “WE EXPECT ATHENS’ NEW ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE A POSITIVE STANCE ON CYPRUS”Speaking to reporters after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that Ankara was expecting Greece’s New Democracy Party, the winner of Sunday’s elections, to take a positive stance on the Cyprus issue and act with good will. Stressing that Athens’ new administration would directly affect the ongoing negotiating process on Cyprus, Cicek reiterated the Turkish government’s desire for a just and permanent resolution on the island. /Turkiye/
 POWELL TRIES TO SOOTHE ANKARA’S CONCERNS ON IRAQI CONSTITUTIONFollowing yesterday’s signing of an interim Constitution by Iraq’s Governing Council, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sent a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell expressing Turkey’s concerns over the document. Later telephoning Gul on the matter, Powell said that there was no need for worry. He stated that when a permanent constitution is being drafted, there would be close consultations with Iraq’s neighbors. Meanwhile, US representative in Iraq Ambassador Ron Newmann is set to arrive in Ankara today as directed by Powell. Newmann is expected to hold meetings with Turkish officials concerning the details of Iraq’s interim Constitution as well as economic matters. In related news, speaking to reporters after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that Ankara had reservations about the interim Constitution and was continuing contacts with related countries on the matter. /Turkiye/
 PARTIES CONTINUE CAMPAIGNS FOR MARCH 28 LOCAL POLLSParty leaders yesterday continued seeking voter support ahead of the March 28 local elections. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday campaigned in the capital Ankara, while True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar sought voter support in Balikesir. In addition, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli campaigned in Istanbul yesterday. /Turkiye/
 BABACAN TOUTS TURKISH INVESTMENT MEETING NEXT WEEKState Minister Ali Babacan yesterday held a press conference touting next Monday’s meeting of the Turkish Investment Consultative Council in Istanbul. Stating that the council was formed by top directors of some 10- 20 multinational companies, Babacan told reporters that representatives from 11 countries are also expected to attend the meeting, whose primary purpose is promoting Turkey’s great economic potential to foreign investors. Babacan added that World Bank President James Wolfensohn and IMF European Department Director Michael Deppler are expected to be among the meeting’s participants, which will be held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NEGOTIATIONS? BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the current negotiations on Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Can one really call the meetings between Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides ‘negotiations’? During yesterday’s talks, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos told Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, ‘The Turkish soldiers in the north are trained. If there are air attacks, these people would be armed. They would attack the Greek Cypriots and conflict would break out.’ Is any progress possible faced with logic like this? Hardly. The Greek Cypriot administration rejected all the Turkish side’s proposals without even discussing them and now it’s carrying out so-called negotiations by throwing out concerns at random. This is how the negotiations on Cyprus are going. Even if these talks haven’t been successful, they’ve showed that the Greek Cypriot administration doesn’t want to reach a solution. So we should agree that it’s wrong to constantly pressure Denktas. It was clear from the beginning that no real negotiations would take place due to the terms accepted in New York. A key mechanism, one accepted with the Turkish side’s suggestions, would be bringing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan to referendum automatically. Adding to this the guarantee of Greek Cypriots joining the EU on May 1, the Turkish side had no chance left of real negotiations. Today’s Cyprus talks proved this.
It’s far from clear that the post-March 22 talks including Turkey and Greece will be any different. Unless there’s serious pressure on the Greek Cypriot administration, it would be very difficult to make them accept the Turkish side’s sine qua nons. Ankara expects that the US will make a few changes in favor of the Turkish side during the four-way talks or when Annan is filling in the blanks. These are the negotiations which Ankara accepts. Actually Turkey accepted stipulation of Annan’s plan and is expecting corrections to it during the talks’ final stage with US help, as it wants to receive a date for EU membership negotiations this December. It’s because of this that the road map dictated by Annan was approved.”
 SELFISH MEN BY YALCIN BAYER (HURRIYET)Columnist Yalcin Bayer comments on yesterday’s International Women’s Day. A summary of his column is as follows:
“International Women’s Day was observed yesterday with various activities and statements. Some talked about Turkey’s 8 million illiterate women and lamented that only 2 percent of our women receive higher education. Some also talked about honor killings, but the essential view was to stress that women don’t have equal rights, either in law or in fact. These statements were mostly men’s. Does International Women’s Day have any importance for women in Turkey? Nese Gullu (who owns the Gulluoglu baklava) answered this question through e-mail: ‘I’d like to begin by saying, Happy International Women’s Day. This is perhaps said for people in more developed countries, not for women in Turkey… As women in our country are not free and independent enough, and aren’t on a level playing field with men. Our late Ataturk gave gender equality to our women on a silver platter, but easily gained rights in practice unfortunately face resistance from selfish men. We have to claim our legal rights. I object to this unfair resistance by men. I’m the daughter of Halit Gullu, who owned the patent rights to the Gulluoglu baklava pastry. I was my father’s partner in this business since 2000 until he passed away six months ago. Now my relatives say: ‘You’re a woman and so you can’t be involved in this business for if you do it, then other girls will too. Close your shops.’ I have three shops and small factories and employ 25 workers. My brothers and cousins are using the same Gulluoglu name, but they don’t want me to just because I’m a woman… This is the mentality of chauvinistic and selfish men. Don’t we have any brains? Are jobs for women in this country limited or are we just unaware? Men should respect women’s rights every day, instead of just buying presents and trying to appease us only on International Women’s Day.’
Gullu later told me that only 13 members of the Gullu family, which goes back five generations, are in this business, and they have a total of 34 shops in Istanbul. ‘People think that there is only one Gulluoglu shop, the one in the Karakoy district, and that the others are counterfeit. This isn’t true. We produce the same baklava and have inherited the same patent. They can’t ignore me just because I’m a woman. I’ll continue my fight to stay in this business”.’
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