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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-23

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

23.03.2004

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY CONDEMNS ISRAELI ASSASSINATION OF SHEIKH YASSIN
  • [02] BUFFER ZONE TALKS END WITHOUT CYPRUS DEAL
  • [03] US’ EDELMAN MEETS FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY ZIYAL TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [04] TRNC DELEGATION SET TO TRAVEL TO FOUR-WAY CYPRUS SUMMIT IN SWITZERLAND
  • [05] DE SOTO: “DENKTAS’S SUMMIT NO-SHOW WON’T DAMAGE THE CYPRUS PEACE PROCESS”
  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY BRIEFS EU AMBASSADORS ON CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [07] VERHEUGEN: “IT’S TOO LATE FOR THE EU TO WITHDRAW ITS PROMISE THAT TURKEY CAN JOIN IF IT FULFILLS THE CRITERIA”
  • [08] OZKOK RECEIVES SOUTH KOREAN CHIEF OF STAFF
  • [09] ERDOGAN CAMPAIGNS IN KONYA, BAYKAL IN EDIRNE
  • [10] BABACAN: “THE IMF WILL DECIDE ON THE SEVENTH REVIEW NEXT MONTH”
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [12] MIDEAST TERROR AND CHAOS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
  • [13] RELATIONS WITH THE US BY ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)

  • [01] TURKEY CONDEMNS ISRAELI ASSASSINATION OF SHEIKH YASSIN

    Turkey yesterday strongly condemned the assassination of Hamas' spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin by Israeli forces after the wheelchair-bound leader finished morning prayers in a Gaza mosque early on Monday. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the killing of Yassin would do nothing to improve Palestinian-Israeli relations, but would instead only escalate tensions in the region. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul criticized the deadly Israeli missile attack as “an action to incite enmities.” Speaking to reporters, Gul added, “Neither peace nor co-existence can be reached this way. We cannot fight terrorism like this. I hope this event will not worsen tension.” In addition, the Foreign Ministry also released a statement denouncing the attack, saying: “Turkey harshly condemns the Israeli attack… [as it] believes that such attacks will not serve the peace being sought in the region; on the contrary, this will exacerbate the atmosphere of violence. Turkey expects the sides to refrain from steps which could aggravate the already grave atmosphere. The Israeli and Palestinian people should live in their own states in safety and security.” /All Papers/

    [02] BUFFER ZONE TALKS END WITHOUT CYPRUS DEAL

    The 15th and final round of talks in the Cypriot buffer zone between the island’s two sides led by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos ended yesterday without reaching a deal. Speaking to reporters, Denktas reaffirmed his decision not to attend the four-way summit beginning tomorrow in Switzerland. Stressing that he was opposed to any push for a resolution based on pressure, he stated that the future of a nation could not be forged under such a limited timetable. “Up to now I have been branded as hardliner, but not attending the talks is also a way to promote a compromise,” said Denktas. He added that there was no friction between himself and Ankara and that he conveyed his best wishes for success to the TRNC delegation attending the summit. /Turkiye/

    [03] US’ EDELMAN MEETS FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY ZIYAL TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE

    US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman yesterday met with Foreign Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal to discuss the latest developments on the Cyprus issue. Edelman reportedly said that it was vital that the Turkish Cypriots be represented at the four-way meeting in Switzerland starting tomorrow. While the Turkish Cypriot president has declined to attend, other state officials are going in his stead. Edelman also called the upcoming gathering “the best opportunity” ever given to the parties on the island, adding that US officials were using “telephone diplomacy” with those involved to promote the process. /Sabah/

    [04] TRNC DELEGATION SET TO TRAVEL TO FOUR-WAY CYPRUS SUMMIT IN SWITZERLAND

    To attend a four-way Cyprus summit, part of last-ditch efforts to reach a deal on the island before Greek Cyprus’ European Union accession, a delegation from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) headed by Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat is set to travel to Lucerne, Switzerland today. The summit is expected to begin tomorrow with the attendance of the Turkish and Greek foreign ministers. On next Monday, the Turkish and Greek Prime ministers and UN Secretary-General Kofi-Annan will also join the meeting. /Milliyet/

    [05] DE SOTO: “DENKTAS’S SUMMIT NO-SHOW WON’T DAMAGE THE CYPRUS PEACE PROCESS”

    Recent remarks by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas saying that the Cyprus peace talks were continuing “under pressure” were inaccurate and unfair, said Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto yesterday. De Soto further stated that Denktas’s decision not to attend this week’s four-way Cyprus summit in Switzerland wouldn’t damage the peace process, adding that TRNC Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas were fully authorized to continue the negotiations. /Aksam/

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY BRIEFS EU AMBASSADORS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    Foreign Ministry officials held a meeting yesterday in Ankara with the ambassadors of the European Union member countries to brief them on recent developments concerning the Cyprus issue. During the gathering, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal reiterated the Turkish side’s sine qua nons. Speaking later to reporters, Sean Whelan, the ambassador of EU Term President Ireland, said that work was continuing to include a possible agreement on Cyprus in the EU’s primary law, but that no agreement had yet been reached on the matter. He added that the topic would be taken up at a meeting of the European Parliament next week. /Turkiye/

    [07] VERHEUGEN: “IT’S TOO LATE FOR THE EU TO WITHDRAW ITS PROMISE THAT TURKEY CAN JOIN IF IT FULFILLS THE CRITERIA”

    Speaking to Austrian daily Die Presse yesterday, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen praised Ankara’s EU reforms, adding that it was too late for the Union to withdraw its promise to Turkey that it could join the bloc if it fulfills the Copenhagen criteria. “For the last 40 years we have promised Turkey that it could become an EU member after fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria,” he said, warning that changing this policy in mid-course could jeopardize Turkey’s reform process and stability. Verheugen further stated that Ankara had made important progress over the last two years. /Aksam/

    [08] OZKOK RECEIVES SOUTH KOREAN CHIEF OF STAFF

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday received his South Korean counterpart Gen. Jonk Hwan. Speaking afterwards, Ozkok said that the close ties enjoyed between Ankara and Seoul since the Korean War 50 years ago continued to develop to this day. “Countries who don’t forget the friends that helped them in difficult times don’t face such difficulties again,” stated Ozkok, praising Hwan for his contributions to bilateral military, political and economic ties. /Aksam/

    [09] ERDOGAN CAMPAIGNS IN KONYA, BAYKAL IN EDIRNE

    Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday made a campaign stop in Konya ahead of next Sunday’s local polls, while Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal did the same in Edirne. In addition, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit campaigned in Denizli, while True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar stumped for voter support in Bolu, while Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli did the same in Kars. /Aksam/

    [10] BABACAN: “THE IMF WILL DECIDE ON THE SEVENTH REVIEW NEXT MONTH”

    State Minister for Economy Ali Babacan yesterday stated that the International Monetary Fund Executive Board is expected to convene next month to evaluate the results of its seventh review of Turkey’s economic program. “We’ve managed to put out the fire, but it’s now high time that we build a new house,” said Babacan, referring to Ankara’s success in breaking out of a cycle of economic crises. /Sabah/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [12] MIDEAST TERROR AND CHAOS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the terror and chaos in the Middle East and Turkey’s concerns about this. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The Middle East isn’t calming down. Last week on the first anniversary of the war in Iraq, the regional chaos and terror continued violently. Yesterday Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin was assassinated when Israel Air Force helicopters fired missiles at a car carrying the wheelchair-bound leader, raising the ire of the Palestinians. Thus hopes for peace in the Middle East were again dashed. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s policies will turn Israel into the new target of ‘revenge attacks.’ US President George W. Bush’s post-9_11 doctrine of pre-emptive war has failed to prevent terrorism following the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but has turned many countries into new targets of revenge attacks. Though Turkey declined to take part in the Iraq war, it still suffered from terrorist attacks connected to al Qaeda. And then, 200 innocents were slain in attacks in Spain. When the White House hawks were planning the war in Iraq, they ignored warnings that solutions not addressing the Israeli- Palestinian problem were doomed to failure. It was clear that they could win the war but not the peace. Unfortunately this proved true. Today there’s no stability in Iraq, and the Middle East isn’t safer than before. In addition, most Arab countries are eyeing the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME) suspiciously. Kurdish revolts in Syria, confusion in Iraq and finally Sheik Ahmed Yassin’s assassination might turn the Middle East into a fireball. Turkey’s concerns about the region’s situation are rising.

    During his recent contacts in Washington, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug argued against the idea that Turkey should be held up as an example of ‘moderate Islam’ for the Middle East. On the first anniversary of the war, there are more and more articles written by Western thinkers criticizing the US. For example, as history professor Richard Overy wrote in British daily The Guardian, ‘Terror cannot be fought as if it were a war against a hidden, global and undifferentiated enemy. The threat, such as it is, has been exacerbated by the arrogant display of naked power shown by the US, Britain and its motley coalition. But the real changes to "our way of life" are the consequence of the panicky Western response to terrorism, which has eroded civil liberties and the rule of law and threatens to smother us with a security net that will undermine the so- called "democratic" values that the West is pledged to preserve. This is an unnecessary price to pay, but we will all see the surveillance state grow unless democratic non-compliance reasserts itself.’ The war in Iraq was a historic mistake. It seems the chaos and terrorism in the Middle East will continue for years to come.”

    [13] RELATIONS WITH THE US BY ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Ali Kislali comments on Turkey’s relations with the US. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Signs that Washington wanted to change its relations with Turkey first emerged 15 years ago, during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Turkey’s road was shown as being parallel with the United States’ advice. They gave advice like, ‘Be a moderate Muslim country, and be tolerant towards the Kurds and give them what they want.’ Such counsel was given directly or indirectly through articles, analyses or books from the US. Even if the PKK was declared a terrorist organization, it was sometimes treated as having US support. One piece of news that raised suspicions was that US helicopters were aiding the PKK. Our chief of General Staff and many officers at that time didn’t deny it.

    There are also signs that the US also supports political parties using religion as a tool in their policies. In his recent visit to the US, Deputy General Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug brought up this issue, rejecting the US’ request to present Turkey as a ‘moderate Islamic state.’ He added, ‘Since its founding in 1923, Turkey has been a secular, democratic, and social state under the rule of law.’ Basbug also criticized the US approach to PKK terrorists in northern Iraq. He said that its promises aren’t being kept and that Turkey is waiting to see action. US President George W. Bush, who got into deep trouble after invading Iraq, needs Ankara for its Greater Middle East Project. But it appears that our leading organizations don’t share this view. From our standpoint, we have to accept the fact that it’s no easy thing to form balanced relations with a superpower like the US. This task has to be done by political powers and state organizations, which must provide useful information about past relations and their current dimensions.”

    ARCHIVE

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