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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-17
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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
17.03.2004SEZER: “TURKEY AND JORDAN REPRESENT STABILITY AND MODERNIZATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST” ERDOGAN STUMPS IN KOCAELI; BAYKAL CRITICIZES GOVT ECONOMIC POLICIES GUL: “SYRIA’S KURDISH-ARAB CONFLICT WON’T SPREAD HERE” DE SOTO PRESENTS GIVE-AND-TAKE DOCUMENT TO CYPRIOT LEADERS TALAT: “DENKTAS SHOULDN’T WITHDRAW FROM THE CYPRUS TALKS” WB PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN: “WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TURKEY” IMF’S DEPPLER: “TURKEY STILL HAS HOMEWORK TO DO” JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK TRAVELS TO EGYPT INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER COSKUN VISITS ISRAEL DYP’S AGAR: “TURKEY NEEDS A FIRM HAND AT THE HELM” EP TO VOTE ON TURKEY REPORT TODAY POLICE ARREST 18 MILITANTS FOR PLANNING NEW ATTACKS FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… WE MUST TAKE GREAT CARE BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM) FEAR EVERYWHERE BY HIKMET BILA (CUMHURIYET)
 SEZER: “TURKEY AND JORDAN REPRESENT STABILITY AND MODERNIZATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST”In the runup to a visit to the United States, Jordan’s King Abdullah accompanied by his wife Queen Rania yesterday arrived in Ankara to pay a two-day official visit. After their meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Abdullah told reporters that all parties should do their best to bring a quick end to violence in the Middle East. “Jordan will do its utmost to make peace in the region,” said the monarch. For his part, Sezer said, “Turkey and Jordan represent stability and modernization in their region.” Abdullah later proceeded to Istanbul, where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted a banquet at the Dolmabahce Palace in the royal couple’s honor. King Abdullah is expected today to meet with Erdogan and business leaders. /All Papers/
 ERDOGAN STUMPS IN KOCAELI; BAYKAL CRITICIZES GOVT ECONOMIC POLICIESPrime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday stumped for voter support in Kocaeli ahead of the March 28 local elections, while main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal did the same in Tokat and Kirsehir. Baykal criticized the government’s economic policies, charging that it had imposed a heavy tax burden on the nation. Young Party (GP) leader Cem Uzan also campaigned in Kirklareli and Edirne, while Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit spoke to voters in Yalova and Bursa. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL: “SYRIA’S KURDISH-ARAB CONFLICT WON’T SPREAD HERE”Speaking to journalists yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul disparaged recent suggestions that the Kurdish-Arabic conflict currently raging in Syria would spread across the border to Turkey. “Why would it spread to Turkey?” Gul asked rhetorically. “Is there a Turkish-Kurdish conflict in our country? Such suggestions have no basis in fact. Everybody in our region should stay on the alert, since such a conflict would harm the entire region.” In addition, asked about recent tension between Georgia and its autonomous province of Adzhara (Adjaria), Gul said that Turkey supported Georgia's territorial integrity. “Adzhara is a part of Georgia, and stability in the Caucasus is in the interests of both Turkey and the region,” he added. /Star, Sabah/
 DE SOTO PRESENTS GIVE-AND-TAKE DOCUMENT TO CYPRIOT LEADERSUN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto yesterday presented a give-and-take document to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) leader Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, following up on the leaders’ lists of requested changes to the UN Cyprus plan submitted two days ago. While de Soto included in the document Turkish requests opposed by the Greek side, which claims they contradict the UN plan, the document attempts to adjudicate both sides’ requests through a give-and-take method. /Hurriyet/
 TALAT: “DENKTAS SHOULDN’T WITHDRAW FROM THE CYPRUS TALKS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that TRNC President Rauf Denktas shouldn’t withdraw from negotiations over the island which began last month, warning that doing so would damage the Turkish Cypriots’ own interests. “If he had done this in the beginning it wouldn’t have created a big problem,” said Talat, but added that withdrawing at this stage would be inappropriate. Talat stated that the most negative development so far in the talks was Denktas’s not presenting a new TRNC draft constitution to the United Nations. /Cumhuriyet/
 WB PRESIDENT WOLFENSOHN: “WE WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TURKEY”The World Bank will continue to support Turkey, said WB President James Wolfensohn yesterday, on the heels of this week’s first meeting of the Turkish Investment Consultative Council. Speaking to reporters in Istanbul alongside International Monetary Fund Executive Director Willy Kiekens, Wolfensohn praised the government’s success in bringing down inflation and interest rates, adding that efforts to this end should continue. Asked whether there would be a new standby agreement between the IMF and Ankara, Wolfensohn said that he had no information on the issue. “One thing I know is that the WB will continue to support the Turkish economy,” stated Wolfensohn. For his part, Kiekens said that the IMF would do its best to help Turkey attract more foreign direct investments, a focus of the council meeting. Kiekens further stated that Turkey’s positive macroeconomic indicators were the result of its IMF-supported economic program. Later, Wolfensohn visited Bilgi University. /Aksam/
 IMF’S DEPPLER: “TURKEY STILL HAS HOMEWORK TO DO”International Monetary Fund European Director Michael Deppler yesterday stated that this week’s first meeting of the Turkish Consultative Investment Council had been very productive, as international CEOs had had the opportunity to tell Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan directly about their views and suggestions on the Turkish economy. “Turkey’s on the right track,” said Deppler. “However, this doesn’t mean that Ankara has finished its homework. Turkey still has a lot to do, particularly on the banking and social security issues.” /Hurriyet/
 JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK TRAVELS TO EGYPTJustice Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday traveled to Egypt for an official visit. He is expected to meet with high-level Egyptian judicial officials today and later attend a banquet in his honor. Tomorrow Cicek is scheduled to be received by Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid. /Star/
 INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER COSKUN VISITS ISRAELIndustry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun yesterday traveled to Israel in order to tour high-tech industrial parks and qualified industrial zones there. Coskun is expected to proceed to Jordan tomorrow, on the heels of King Abdullah’s visit to Turkey, and while there he is scheduled to meet with his Jordanian counterpart H. E. Halaigah. /Star/
 DYP’S AGAR: “TURKEY NEEDS A FIRM HAND AT THE HELM”Campaigning yesterday in the Black Sea towns of Mengen, Devrek and Karabuk ahead of the March 28 local elections, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that Turkey should keep a close eye on important developments unfolding in its region and that, when needed, it should step in to guide them. Adding that regional stability and peace depended on Turkey’s power, Agar said, “For that reason, Turkey needs a firm hand at the helm, and it can get this at the next general elections.” Also criticizing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s economic policies, the DYP leader charged that Turkey’s citizens were struggling under unemployment and low wages. /Turkiye/
 EP TO VOTE ON TURKEY REPORT TODAYThe European Parliament yesterday discussed a Turkey report drafted by Arie Oostlander, a member of the EP’s Foreign Relations Commission. The report is considered to be the last evaluation prior to the release of the key European Union annual progress report on Turkey this fall. It praises the reforms taking place in Turkey, but also criticizes what it calls shortcomings in implementation. A vote on the report is expected today. /Turkiye/
 POLICE ARREST 18 MILITANTS FOR PLANNING NEW ATTACKSPolice investigating the suicide bombing of a Masonic lodge last week have arrested 18 suspected Islamic militants, including three who were planning new suicide bombings, said Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler yesterday. “We have foiled new suicide attacks,” Guler told a news conference where he displayed a vest with homemade pipe bombs attached, along with other explosive material. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WE MUST TAKE GREAT CARE BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Yildiz comments on Turkey’s stance on separatist incidents. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The recent Kurdish-Arab violence in Syria concerns the Kurdish reality, something which Turkey is the best-equipped country to deal with and solve. Our reform process coincided with this period and will serve as a safety valve. In short, the antidote to Kurdish separatism is our process and pathway to European Union membership. Those who believe that the EU will divide Turkey will consider this meaningful. However, those who think about the issue more reasonably know very well that the socio-economic factors which feed this separatism can’t be ignored. For years former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has emphasized the economic dimension of this equation.
However, as economic conditions improve, people won’t forget their identity. On the contrary, perhaps the better conditions shake them up even more. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean separatism. When the state shows its caring side, the existing separatist tendencies can be discouraged. After all, there will always be those feeding this separatism. For instance, although the Basque region has been given a broader political autonomy, the ETA terror group still exists. However, as we saw recently, today Spain’s Basques condemn this organization as much as do other Spaniards.
During our fight against the terrorist PKK, there were radicalized people among our security forces. Such a thing is no longer acceptable. Let’s consider one scenario: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attempts a mass massacre against the Kurds. This would certainly outrage not only the region’s Kurds, but also the entire civilized world. Consider that after these recent incidents, there were demonstrations in our own Diyarbakir. If radicalized elements among security forces and civilian officials can’t be curbed, this would surely backfire for Turkey.
Of course we can’t ignore those making calculations for their own political ends. If the streets are reduced to ashes during demonstrations, of course our security forces will do what’s necessary. We can explain this to the entire world. However, if they treat with violence those who want only to demonstrate, incidents could spiral out of control. Actually people are already starting to think about these issues. A serious state should do this.”
 FEAR EVERYWHEREBY HIKMET BILA (CUMHURIYET)
Columnist Hikmet Bila comments on last week’s terrorist attacks in Spain. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Last week’s terrorist attacks in Madrid caused many deaths, with the number rising almost daily to now exceed 200. Not only Spain but also the whole world is in shock. The Spanish government made a statement before the dimensions of the incident were well understood: ‘This is ETA’s work.’ Nobody wanted to believe in it. Everyone suspected an attack by al Qaeda. But Madrid insisted: ‘Other scenarios don’t work. This is ETA’s work.’ When people began to think that the Spanish government had knowledge of the attacks, the truth came out. The reason for the hasty finger-pointing at ETA was the government’s election plans. Its main aim was to turn the fight against ETA into votes even while the injured were still crying out for help. Though the government fell after the elections and paid the price for its hasty lie, the incident became a historical lesson and an example of trying to use terrorism as a political tool.
What wouldn’t a mentality that uses terrorism against its own people even during times of bloodshed then do to other countries and their people that are under a terrorist threat? Terrorism has hit Europe’s heart, and it’s in a panic. The European Union will appoint a special commissar to coordinate the fight against terrorism. The EU interior ministers have been invited for an immediate meeting to discuss anti-terror measures. France wants both the EU and UN to meet immediately. Troops in Germany are now required to patrol train stations. The Belgian government stated that it had taken ‘measures both visible and covert to protect its people.’
The Netherlands is reminding everyone that it wasn’t one of the first countries to cooperate with the US in its war against Iraq and is praying this will protect it from terrorist attacks. In a panic, the Dutch government decided to discuss in Parliament a bill on fighting terrorism. Under this law, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have ties to terrorist groups or pose a threat to public order will be banned. French President Jacques Chirac also gathered a summit on the fight against terrorism. Its security alert rose from yellow to orange. Troops will be given more domestic security duties. Greece has requested help from NATO for security in the upcoming Olympics. The EU countries are discussing suspending the Schengen Treaty that currently allows free movement.
There is fear all around. Will this fear bring Europeans to their senses? Would Europe have acted in a same unified way if bombs had exploded in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia or Kenya, as it for Spain? Would Europeans who didn’t declare Spain a dangerous area but released advisories warning, ‘Don’t travel to Turkey, it’s dangerous’ after we were hit by attacks understand that they aided terrorism? Would they cease calling terror a ‘struggle for freedom’ when it strikes at Turkey or other countries? If we look at their reports on Turkey, they are far from that point. I hope one massacre will suffice for them to finally understand.”
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