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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-11
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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
11.03.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN TOUTS HIS ADMINISTRATION, BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP POLICYIn campaign rallies yesterday ahead of the March 28 local elections, Turkey’s two main party leaders painted starkly contrasting pictures of 18 months of single-party rule. Speaking to voters in Van, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan touted the positive steps taken by his administration. But addressing a rally in Corum, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the AKP’s tax policies, and specifically its tax amnesty program, which he charged had benefited AKP-linked businesses. Baykal also turned aside the premier’s contention that the CHP is not a republican party. /Sabah/
 GIVE-AND-TAKE PROCESS IN CYPRUS TALKS TO BEGIN TOMORROWThe Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides yesterday met once more as part of the ongoing talks to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue. Following the meeting, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas told reporters that the topic of upcoming referendums had been taken up. Denktas pointed to the difficulty of settling the future of a nation in such a limited time, adding that a process of give and take would begin tomorrow. In related news, last night TRNC Premier Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas arrived in Ankara to discuss recent developments in the talks with Turkish officials. /Turkiye/
 GREEK FM: “CYPRUS WILL BE THE TOP PRIORITY OF OUR NEW GOVERNMENT”The foreign policy path pursued by the new administration in Athens will enhance Greece’s stature on the international stage, pledged Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis yesterday. Molyvitais said that the government would do its best to further develop friendly relations with neighboring countries, including Turkey, adding that the Cyprus issue would be Athens’ top priority. "It's still too early to say that negotiations will fail," said Molyviatis. "The Greek government wants a positive outcome of the negotiations so there is a solution by May 1 [when Greek Cyprus is due to join the European Union]. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement by March 29, then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will intervene. We hope that two sides reach an agreement by that date and can join the EU together.” /Aksam/
 VERHEUGEN ACCUSES DENKTAS OF BLOCKING RESOLUTION, BUT HOLDS OUT HOPEEuropean Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday charged that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas had stood in the way of a resolution in current talks on the island. However, he stated that the negotiations between the two sides were going well. /Milliyet/
 JORDAN’S KING, BRAZILIAN FM DUE TO VISIT ANKARAJordan’s King Abdullah is set to arrive in Ankara next Tuesday for a two- day official visit. During his visit, Abdullah and Turkish officials are expected to discuss bilateral relations, Iraq, and recent developments in the Middle East. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim is also scheduled to pay an official visit to Turkey next week. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD OPENS PARIS BUREAUThe Turkish Industrialist’s and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) yesterday opened a bureau in Paris. Present at the opening were State Minister Ali Babacan, TUSIAD Chairman Omer Sabanci, and Francis Mer, France’s economy, finance and industry minister, as well as a number of Turkish and French businessmen. Speaking at the ceremony, Babacan said that Ankara had implemented all of the required EU reforms and further urged France to lend its full support to Turkey’s European Union membership bid. The bureau is tasked with conveying the Turkish private sector’s views as well as proposals on Turkish-EU relations to French organizations and the public, and with contributing to the strengthening of Turkish-French economic ties. In addition, the bureau will work to promote Turkey generally in France. /Turkiye/
 FM SPOKESMAN TAN: “WE EXPECT WASHINGTON TO KEEP ITS PROMISE TO FIGHT THE PKK”Ankara expects Washington to keep its promise on doing away with the terrorist PKK, which remains active in northern Iraq, Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan told reporters yesterday. Pointing out that US State Department’s latest annual report on terrorism specifically names the PKK as a terrorist group, Tan also added that many top US officials, including the president himself, had recently pledged to take effective measures to crack down on the PKK. “We expect the US to keep its promise as soon as possible,” added Tan. /Hurriyet/
 IMF’S DAWSON: “TURKEY’S PROGRAM HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL”Turkey’s economic program has been very successful, IMF External Relations Department Director Tom Dawson told a Washington press conference yesterday. Asked if he had any ideas about how the Turkish-IMF relationship could continue after the program’s ongoing seventh review, Dawson said, “It's very much up to the Turkish authorities as to how they wish to proceed when the program ends. As I have said on a number of occasions, it has been a very successful program. When there have been issues such as in the present context, the need to make further fiscal adjustments or in other contexts structural adjustments, the authorities have always acted with dispatch and efficiency to achieve the program targets. That is exactly what the present mission is looking at, the steps needed to achieve the 6.5% primary fiscal target for 2004, as well as discussing some of the structural reform agenda.” He also expressed his confidence that everything is on track in Turkey, recalling that Reza Moghadam, the Fund’s Turkey director, is expected to issue a statement at the conclusion of the current delegation’s visit. /Hurriyet, imf.org/ FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 MAY 1, AND AFTER… BY YIGIT BULUT (RADIKAL)Columnist Yigit Bulut comments on the ongoing Cyprus talks and Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“While considering various contingencies for the future of Cyprus, I come up with different conclusions, even while using identical assumptions. Let’s look at the various post-May 1 scenarios:
Main setup: The negotiations on Cyprus end in an agreement, and a united Cyprus joins the European Union on May 1. There’s no problem at this point. Developments until May 1 are assumed to be positive, and there would be no problems during the negotiation process.
Alternate ending 1: It’s assumed that Turkey will be given a date for EU accession talks after Cyprus becomes an EU member, and there is a complete change in Turkey’s constitutional basis. While all these developments continue, the stock market rises 1.7% or even 2%. This rise continues until December, when the expectations become concrete. Turkey enters a new era by getting a date for accession talks. Economic crises are things of the past, and foreign investment floods the Turkish market.
Alternate ending 2: There is a short period of positive expectations. There is a complete change in Turkey’s constitutional basis. The markets also have positive expectations, and the stock exchange rises 1.7%. While it is realized that nothing went as expected, the expectations for December and dynamics that say Cyprus was a loss balance each other out. When the markets grow uneasy yet stay largely positive and calm, it begins to dawn on people that the EU won’t give Turkey a date. Those who were against the Cyprus plan react harshly, and their influence spreads. The government tries to cope with this, but the stock market suddenly falls. Investments also fall and interest rates rise, which leads to a new crisis, one worse then the one in 2001. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration becomes known as the ‘government that gave away Cyprus and then fell.’
Which one of these scenarios is most likely? The answer is clear. Fifty- fifity for either. Consequently, as Gunduz Aktan wrote in his column yesterday, every EU country praises Turkey’s EU membership bid, but none of them will give a guarantees. Turkey definitely can’t ‘risk Cyprus’ without a guarantee for the start of accession talks.”
 KARAMANLIS’ NEW RULE BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on the new era of New Democracy Party (YDP) leader and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“With the recent elections in Greece, it’s clear that the two sides on Cyprus won’t be able to reach a solution by March 22. So, now we’re expecting four-way meetings between Turkey, Greece, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and the Greek Cypriot administration. The rule of New Democracy Party (YDP) leader and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has begun in Athens. What stances he will take on issues of interest to Turkey isn’t yet clear. Ankara has started to analyze the elections not just politically, but in terms of family. Former Greek Premier Constantin Karamanlis’ family left their home in Konya’s Karaman district and emigrated to Greece when he was just one year old. This connection makes the nephew Karamanlis the ‘Turkish friend.’ Of course we have a mutual interest in the warming of Turkish-Greek relations. So, the initial picture indicates that Karamanlis will never forget that his family emigrated from Anatolia; he will always think that he should be a friend to Turkey and so work to solve problems speedily. However, this isn’t really so. The first news from Greece is as follows:
- Karamanlis’ aides are more nationalist.
- Certain politicians who didn’t care for the ousted socialists’ stance on Cyprus defected from the ruling PASOK party to join the YDP.
- Karamanlis might believe Cyprus is headed for an impasse.
Some believe that the Southern Cyprus administration will work more harmoniously with Karamanlis. Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos will visit Athens and meet with the new premier. Some think that Papadopoulos will have an influence on Karamanlis during this meeting.
As for the Turkish side, there is Denktas’s stance against the partnership of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the TRNC government. If UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says, ‘Let’s start negotiations with Ankara,’ we shouldn’t be surprised, because we have discussed the issue with Athens. When I read the Foreign Ministry’s statement yesterday, I was shocked "It has become clear the Greek Cypriot side lacks the political will and desire for a solution," it said. Actually this is hardly a discovery by the Foreign Ministry. When we connect the dots on the statements made by Denktas following the meetings, such a picture emerges. If Denktas hadn’t told what happened during the meetings, he would have been branded the uncompromising side again. TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and his deputy Serdar Denktas arrived in Ankara with a last-minute decision just like previously. He seems to be preparing something new with the government. We hope that the warm messages of the first days prove lasting.”
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