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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-30
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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
30.03.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 AKP WINS 57 MAYORAL RACES, OPPOSITION CHP TAKES 9According to results from Sunday’s local elections, as yet still unofficial, out of 81 cities in contention, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 57 mayoral races, including those in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul and the capital Ankara. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won nine mayoral races, while the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) took four, and the True Path Party (DYP) one. The Social Democratic People’s Party (SHP) won five mayoral races and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) won three. The national breakdown of votes is as follows: AKP, 41.8%; CHP, 18.1%; MHP, 10.4%; DYP, 10.1%; SHP, 4.9%; Felicity Party (SP), 4.01%; and Motherland Party (ANAP), 2.46. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN: “ANY CYPRUS AGREEMENT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN EU LAW”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday traveled to Buergenstock, Switzerland to attend the Cyprus summit there on the island’s future. Before his departure, Erdogan told reporters that the Turkish side was continuing to work on the issue with good will. Reiterating Turkey’s sine qua nons, Erdogan underlined that any agreement on Cyprus should be included in the EU’s primary law, warning, “Otherwise all our work will be in vain.” After arriving in Buergenstock, Erdogan make a phone call to US President George W. Bush. The US leader reportedly congratulated Erdogan on the success of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Sunday’s local elections and confirmed that he would attend a June NATO summit in Istanbul, while Erdogan told Bush his views on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s revised Cyprus plan. In related news, the Turkish premier last night met with Annan and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. /Hurriyet/
 ANNAN PRESENTS REVISED CYPRUS PLANUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday presented a 220-page final draft Cyprus plan to both the Turkish and Greek sides meeting in Switzerland. Annan stated that during his preparation of the new draft, the Turkish Cypriots’ concern about biozonality had been taken into account. In addition, he said that a limited number of Turkish soldiers could remain deployed on the island even after Turkey becomes an EU member. Meanwhile, Annan rejected Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos’ demand that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) citizens who settled in the country from Turkey not be allowed to cast ballots in an upcoming referendum on the plan. According to Greek media reports, Annan replied to a letter from Papadolpulos on the matter stating that all Turkish Cypriots who voted in December’s TRNC parliamentary elections could also vote in the April 20 referendum. /All Papers/
 TURKISH, GREEK SIDES SET TO WEIGH IN ON NEW CYPRUS PLAN THIS MORNINGSpecial UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro De Soto said yesterday that the Turkish and Greek sides meeting in Switzerland would express their views this morning on a just-presented final UN Cyprus plan. Speaking to reporters, de Soto stated that in any case, by Wednesday a text should be ready to go to referendum. In related news, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen is reportedly hopeful that the new plan will enable a settlement on the issue by May 1, when Greek Cyprus is set to join the EU. /Turkiye/
 WORLD MEDIA HAIL AKP VICTORY IN LOCAL POLLSWorld media outlets yesterday hailed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) victory in Sunday’s local elections. Reuters and CNN called the AKP’s success a “victory for Turkey’s conservatives” and Prime Minister and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, predicting that "the scale of Sunday's victory should strengthen his hand in pressing more sensitive reforms [for Turkey's European Union membership bid] ... and in key Cyprus reunification talks" going on now. The New York Times also yesterday stated that "the stabilizing financial policies of the governing party had paved the way for its success in the elections." /Turkiye/
 NSC TO DISCUSS NEXT MONTH’S CYPRUS REFERENDUMThe National Security Council (NSC) is set to convene tomorrow to discuss a number of issues, including the Cyprus issue and a referendum scheduled to be held on the UN Cyprus plan next month. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who traveled to Switzerland yesterday to attend the current Cyprus summit there, will not be able to attend the meeting. /Milliyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE CHP WAS SUCCESSFUL IN SUNDAY’S ELECTIONS”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal claimed that his party had performed successfully in Sunday’s local elections, even though the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept the polls in most races. Commenting on the elections results, the CHP leader underlined that the recent elections were not general but local polls and so comparisons to the last general elections of November 2002 would be misplaced. Stressing that in local elections people are inclined to vote for candidates in line with the ruling party in order to receive more services, Baykal said, “In spite of this, the CHP was successful, taking the number two spot among the 20 parties participating in the polls.” The CHP received 18% of votes in Sunday’s elections and lost the mayor’s post even in Antalya, Baykal’s own home district. /Sabah/
 IMF’S KRUEGER: “PREVIOUS TURKISH GOVTS FAILED TO TAKE NEEDED MEASURES TO REDUCE INFLATION”Anne Krueger, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said yesterday that the real disappointment of years past in Turkey was the failure of previous governments to take measures to bring down chronic high inflation. Speaking at New York University on policy reforms in emerging markets, Krueger stated that previous administrations in Ankara had failed to realize the requirement of reforms and to complete needed economic measures, adding that this had hindered Turkey attaining economic stability. /Milliyet/
 TIM CHAIRMAN: “THE AKP HAS MORE ON ITS SHOULDERS WITH SUNDAY’S WIN”Turkish Exporters Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici said yesterday that Sunday’s local elections win by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had put more responsibility on the AKP’s shoulders. In addition, Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) Chairman Sinan Aygun stated that the AKP would be responsible for the work done by the municipalities, while Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) Chairman Zafer Caglayan said that the AKP should continue to implement its sound fiscal policies. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 UNPRECEDENTED BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on CHP leader Deniz Baykal’s claim of success in Sunday’s local elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I’ve seen many politicians who’ve labeled election results their own success, but God knows I’ve never seen an approach like that of opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Do you think that CHP was defeated in Sunday’s elections? According to Baykal, it wouldn’t be right to compare Sunday’s results with the general elections of November 2002, because the two elections had ‘different dynamics.’ Therefore, the fall in the CHP’s votes to 18 percent, one percent less then they got in the general elections, is unimportant. It’s even a success. Why could it be a success? Because local elections should be compared to the previous local elections. Baykal says that the proper approach is to compare Sunday’s elections with the local elections of 1999. Thus we see an increase in CHP votes from just 11 percent in 1999.
In the previous local elections the CHP was there, but the now-ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) didn’t yet exist. Bearing this in mind, we can say that the AKP gained 42 percent of votes, or if we consider the 16 percent of votes won by the Virtue Party (FP) (a predecessor of the AKP), we could say that the AKP boosted its votes by 26 percent.
Predictions that the ruling party’s votes would rise and the opposition’s would fall didn’t bear out completely. The CHP’s votes decreased, but other opposition parties like the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and True Path Party (DYP) votes saw 10 percent jumps in their votes.
Baykal’s view that ‘the dynamics of local elections and general elections are different, so comparisons should be done with the previous local elections’ could have a scientific value, but eight of 20 political parties which took part in the previous elections weren’t there for Sunday’s elections. That means 40 percent of the actors in the elections have changed. Now how can a comparison with the November 2002 elections not be scientific, whereas a comparison of elections in which 40 percent of the actors have changed is?”
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