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Turkish Press Review, 05-09-23
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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
23.09.2005FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 GUL MEETS WITH IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTERForeign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently visiting New York, yesterday met with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari. The two top diplomats’ meeting at United Nations headquarters focused on Iraq’s new constitution, the situation in Tal Afar, and the terrorist group PKK’s presence in northern Iraq. Gul conveyed Ankara’s concern especially on the PKK issue, while Zebari reportedly pledged to Gul to do his best on the matter. In addition, speaking at a meeting organized by a Turkish group in the city, Gul underlined that Turkey and the US were strong allies sharing common ideals and goals. Stressing that Ankara favored a just and permanent settlement on Cyprus, Gul also stated that Turkey wanted Iraq to retain its unity and territorial integrity and live in peace and prosperity. He also urged the US to move to end the presence of the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. /Turkiye/
 EU COUNTER-DECLARATION HAILED BY GREEK CYPRUS, CRITICIZED BY ANKARAThe new European Union Permanent Representatives’ (COREPER) counter- declaration was met with satisfaction by Greek Cyprus, but not Ankara. Greek Cypriot House of Representatives Speaker Demetris Christofias said that as the proposals submitted to COREPER by Greek Cyprus were “fair and sensible,” a positive result was reached. In related news, European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Camiel Eurlings yesterday said that Turkey must fully implement this summer’s Ankara Agreement protocol as soon as possible, not at some very late date in its accession negotiations. Eurlings went to Nicosia to prepare a report on the protocol extending Turkey’s Customs Union to new EU members, including Greek Cyprus, and met with Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou. In a statement after the meeting, Eurlings said, “The implementation of the protocol with all member states is of utmost importance, because it doesn't only touch Cyprus and Turkey, but also the credibility of the EU as such.” But Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan yesterday said, “Turkey is saddened over the EU’s declaration. This one-sided and politically-motivated declaration could weaken the UN process regarding Cyprus. We are saddened over the EU’s declaration of Sept. 21. This declaration, which does not conform with the spirit of cooperation between the EU and Turkey, contains some unjust overtures, as well as new elements.” He added, “It is impossible for Turkey to share this position.” /Cumhuriyet-Star/
 TURKISH, US OFFICIALS HOLD SERIES OF MEETINGS ON PKK ISSUEAs part of Ankara’s urging the US to move against the terrorist group PKK to help end its threat to Turkey, Turkish and US officials last week held a series of meetings in Ankara. Turkey reportedly submitted a report including intelligence on the group’s financial resources and its organizational structure. The report stated that the PKK had a yearly income of some 150 million euros. /Turkiye/
 COURT POSTPONES ARMENIAN CONFERENCEA controversial once-delayed conference on the Armenian allegations was postponed yesterday by Istanbul’s Fourth Administrative Court. The conference was scheduled to begin today at Bogazici University with the attendance of both Turkish and foreign scholars. Certain nationalist circles had condemned the gathering, as some speakers were to voice views at odds with Turkey’s official view of the so-called Armenian genocide claims. Commenting on the court ruling, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that he could not approve of such a decision, adding that he found it incompatible with democracy. The conference, coordinated by Bogazici and Sabanci Universities, was originally scheduled for May before being postponed to this month. /Aksam/
 WOLFOWITZ: “TURKEY’S PROGRESS IS HIGHLY IMPORTANT FOR THE ENTIRE REGION”World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz yesterday said that Turkey’s real progress is highly important not only for itself but for the whole region as well. Wolfowitz, a former top Pentagon official and traditional Turkey supporter, told a Washington press conference prior to the WB’s annual fall meetings that the Turkish economy was on track, especially in the wake of the 2001 economic crisis. In related news, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger said that Turkey’s economy was improving but they were worried about the current accounts deficit. /Hurriyet/
 EUROCHAMBRES: “TURKISH BUSINESS IS BULLISH ON THE ECONOMY”According to the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres), the Turkish business community’s confidence in the economy exceeds that of many European countries. According to Eurochambres’ new research, the Turkish business community has more economic confidence than Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland. The research also found that Turkey’s harmonization program with the EU was very successful and said that development of Turkish-EU economic cooperation would be beneficial for both sides. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CYPRUS AND THE PKK BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the Cyprus and PKK issues. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Cyprus and PKK issues seized Turkish foreign policy and kept Ankara from carrying out its duties. Difficult to say, but true. Cyprus is about to cost us the European Union, and the PKK is about to damage our relations with the US, because we missed the opportunity on the Cyprus issue and became prisoner of a dim-witted policy, namely, “deadlock is a solution.” As for the PKK, we will end this sooner or later. However, if Ankara had permitted the deployment of US soldiers in Turkey before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, we could have solved a Kurdish issue which doesn’t involve the PKK. Our diplomats shouldn’t mistake the meaning of this week’s remarks by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She said that the US needs time to destroy the PKK. Of course, some might ask, ‘What’s the reason for this? What’s she waiting for?’ She wants to see to what extent Ankara will toe the US line on the issues of Syria and Iran. If the strategic rapprochement doesn’t occur as she expected, the US will continue to allow the PKK to vex us.
As for Brussels, the fact that conditions haven’t been determined just 10 days before Oct. 3 shows the weakness of the European Union. Austria is protecting Croatia, a country which long ago it ruled. It’s doing sneaky bargaining over Turkey. France hasn’t set its policy yet. If it calculates badly, it might split the EU in two. If Britain decides that it was blindsided by France, it would next take half of the EU members and attempt to forge full cooperation with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under US patronage.
What can we do? As long as we don’t defeat the PKK with our security forces and change our policy, we should expect nothing from the US on this issue. Of course, we should defend the rights of Turks on the Cyprus issue, but we shouldn’t be offended by the treachery of certain European states. We should be extremely well prepared for the membership talks in Brussels. We shouldn’t show neglect or fatigue on this issue. In addition, we shouldn’t believe people who say that the alternative to the EU for Turkey is NAFTA, Beijing, etc.”
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