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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-22
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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
22.03.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN, GUL, OZKOK DISCUSS TURKEY’S STRATEGY FOR FOUR-WAY CYPRUS SUMMITPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday met to discuss Turkey’s strategy for a four-way Cyprus summit set for Wednesday in Switzerland, to be held with the participation of Ankara, Turkish Cyprus, Athens, and Greek Cyprus. Also present at the meeting was Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. "Any agreement must be included in the European Union's primary law," Gul said after the meeting. "This is a nonnegotiable issue for us." In related news, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriots could reject the United Nations Cyprus plan if it were not altered to include certain Turkish-requested changes. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “WE WANT TO CONTINUE THE CYPRUS TALKS WITH DENKTAS”Appearing on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara wanted Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to continue his role in the Cyprus negotiations, citing Denktas’s decades of political experience, and adding that he was still hopeful the president would travel to Switzerland to attend this Wednesday’s four-way summit. “I haven’t yet lost my hope on this,” said Erdogan. “We began this negotiating process with Denktas, and we want to continue and conclude it with him.” The premier further stated that the Turkish side had not altered its sine qua nons, adding, “There is no disagreement between Ankara and the TRNC administration on these. We will definitely insist on them.” /Milliyet/
 DE SOTO MEETS WITH TURKISH OFFICIALSUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto yesterday met with Turkish Foreign Minister Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and other officials. During their five-hour meeting, they engaged in a comprehensive discussion on the Cyprus issue in the runup to this week’s four-way summit in Switzerland, which is to include Ankara and Athens. The Ankara officials reiterated their sine qua nons and stressed that an agreement on Cyprus should be included in the EU’s primary law. In related news, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas will meet with Greek leader Tassos Papadopulos this morning under de Soto’s supervision. At the meeting, topics on the table will reportedly include property rights, a united Cyprus constitution, national anthem and flag, a proposal for three foreign judges to sit on the Cypriot supreme court, and settlers from Turkey. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY CELEBRATES NEVRUZNevruz, a day marking the advent of spring, was celebrated yesterday by thousands of people throughout the country in festivities held in various cities. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer issued a message for the occasion stressing the role of bonds based upon affection, respect and tolerance as well as cultural and social activities in promoting peace and harmony. In his message, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope that, Nevruz, a day of spring, fertility, love and friendship, would be celebrated in peace. Yesterday’s celebrations went off peacefully, unmarred by the violence seen in some previous years. /Sabah/
 POLITICIANS CAMPAIGN IN IZMIR, ISTANBUL FOR NEXT SUNDAY’S LOCAL ELECTIONSYesterday both ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal campaigned for voter support in Izmir, with next Sunday’s March 28 local elections now looming less then a week away. In addition, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit also campaigned in Izmir, while True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar stumped for votes in Istanbul. /Hurriyet/
 SCHROEDER, SOLANA SAY TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP KEY FOR EUROPE’S SECURITYGerman Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder said yesterday that Turkey’s European Union membership was important for both his nation’s security and that of all of Europe. Speaking at a meeting of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) where he stepped down as party chair to hand over the reins to Franz Muentefering, Schoeder stated that the SPD’s rivals were trying to use Ankara’s EU membership bid as a demagogic tool. Pointing to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, he said that a modern Turkey would contribute to Europe’s security. In related news, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana yesterday stressed that Turkey’s EU membership would strengthen Europe’s stability and security. Speaking to a German newspaper, Solana predicted that the nation’s improvements in democratization and human rights would be greatly aided by its EU membership. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ROADS TO SWITZERLAND BY ASLI AYDINTASBAS (SABAH)Columnist Asli Aydintasbas writes on the ongoing Cyprus negotiations. A summary of her column is as follows: “Not only Lefkosha, but also Washington and Ankara were busy wrangling over Cyprus this weekend. The main issue was Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas’s recent refusal to attend the next round of talks, protesting the lack of progress so far towards a settlement and the failure of the United Nations to take his demands into account. Washington sent a message to Ankara over the weekend, accusing the Turkish press of distorting the facts by painting Denktas as a ‘productive’ negotiator, which the US says is the opposite of the truth. In other words, the US believes that Denktas’s refusal to travel to Switzerland was no loss, but on the contrary a boon to the talks. ‘Will Ankara allow Denktas to paralyze this critical process?’ one high-level US official asked me. Washington isn’t worried about Denktas’s latest move. In truth, it was exactly what the Bush administration expected from him. However, the Americans believe that the Turkish Cypriots will support an Ankara-backed agreement regardless of Denktas. To Washington, the most important question is whether Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Serdar Denktas is going to show up in Switzerland. ‘He’s like Hamlet, torn between his own father and the future of his country,’ said one US diplomat. According to the rumor mill, he’s still undecided. While the US administration thinks that the parties will manage to reach a settlement in Switzerland, some believe this overly optimistic. The UN currently has the main points of a permanent settlement. Security problems seem to have been overcome. However, everybody knows that the Greek side has been coy about its own position in the talks, and in so doing making them more difficult for all involved. Both Washington and the US are worried that the Greek side might refuse to hold a referendum on a possible agreement. As we are entering another critical week, everything depends on what the participants’ attitudes will be. Each has a unique historic role. Let’s wait for the final scene...”
 ON TO SWITZERLAND BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the four-way Cyprus summit to be held in Switzerland this week. A summary of his column is as follows:
“A new four-way summit on the Cyprus issue is due to start this Wednesday in Switzerland. Barring some last-minute change, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas won’t be in attendance. In his stead, TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas will accompany Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis are also set to weigh in a few days later.
What’s the picture on the Turkish side in the runup to Switzerland? Denktas’s decision not to go shows that he doesn’t expect anything positive to emerge for his side from the summit. The lack of progress in the talks so far and the Greek Cypriots’ unyielding stance have led him to this view. Denktas said that if the Turkish side’s sine qua nons are absent from the final UN plan, the TRNC will urge its citizens to reject the plan in a referendum. Denktas’s support for the plan depends on getting the sine qua nons accepted in Switzerland. If he gets this, Denktas will say ‘yes’ and call on the nation to do the same.
On the other hand, Premier Talat has been arguing from the very beginning that accepting United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan even as it is would be preferable to rejecting it. Serdar Denktas’s stance is different. He argued that Ankara and the TRNC should take a united stance on the sine qua nons before going to Switzerland, indicating that he thinks these planks must be taken in at the Swiss talks. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that Serdar Denktas will say yes to Annan’s current plan and campaign for the referendum that way. In addition, if Serdar Denktas is at odds with Talat, this could create a TRNC government crisis.
As for Ankara’s stance, following yesterday’s meeting between Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Gul, it was stressed that Turkey would hold firm on the sine qua nons. Gul stated that this line would be pursued and defended in Switzerland. If this stance yields results and Annan’s plan is changed to include the sine qua nons, there will be smooth sailing. Then it would be easy to hold a referendum with Denktas’s support to get a ‘yes’ result. Otherwise, defending the unaltered plan and seeking a yes vote won’t be easy for Erdogan or Gul either. Let’s hope that Switzerland sees the changes in the plan that proved elusive on Cyprus, namely the Turkish side’s sine qua nons, and that the Greek Cypriots and European Union see the light and relent.”
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