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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-02
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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
02.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH VISITING ROMANIAN PM, DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONSPrime Minister Recep Edogan yesterday discussed bilateral relations with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Papescu Tariceanu, who is currently in Ankara for an official visit. Speaking at a press conference following their meeting, Erdogan said that they had discussed a number of issues, including economic, cultural, and foreign policy ones. Erdogan said that there were no political problems between the two countries and that Romania was Turkey’s ally. “We’ve been closely following the Romania’s reforms over the last 15 years,” he said. The premier said that Romania had become an important country due to the courageous steps taken by its government, adding that it was due to join the European Union next year. “We’ll benefit from Romania’s experience for our own EU bid,” said Erdogan. “We place importance on developing our relations with Romania in all areas. I believe that strengthening ties will not only boost the welfare of our nations, but also contribute to the atmosphere of peace and stability in our region.” Touching on economic ties between the two countries, Erdogan said that last year their bilateral trade volume surpassed $4 billion. For his part, Tariceanu said that he believed Turkey would be successful after recently beginning its EU accession talks, adding that Romania was ready to share its insight with Ankara in this regard. “Turkey is one of our important allies and economic partners,” added Tariceanu. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: “ERDOGAN IS ACCUSING US IN ORDER TO DEFLECT ATTENTION FROM HIS ASSETS”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that in order to defuse controversy over his own assets, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused the CHP of being the only party having a bank. Baykal said that CHP didn’t earn any money from Isbank, nor would it in the future. Addressing Erdogan’s remarks that it was legally impossible to declare his assets, Baykal stated that his party would support all legal reforms clearing the way for disclosure. Baykal said that it wasn’t abnormal for politicians to have money, but it was important how it was earned. In related news, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that politicians should openly declare their assets. /Sabah/
 MUMCU OPENS HIS BOOKSMotherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu yesterday declared his assets at his party’s group meeting in Parliament. Mumcu said that a law stipulating transparency in asset declaration should definitely be enacted. Mumcu noted that he quit his commercial business after he entered politics, emphasizing that he’s not using credit from state banks. In related news, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday harshly criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for remarks made on Tuesday saying that he wouldn’t declare his assets since the laws don’t allow it. Sezer, after paying a visit to Antalya Trade and Industry Bar head Kemal Ozgen, said, “We’re declaring our assets and no one condemns us for declaring them.” /The New Anatolian/
 AKP DEPUTIES COMEZ, GECEN DECLARE THEIR ASSETSJustice and Development Party (AKP) Balikesir Deputy Turhan Comez and Hatay Deputy Fuat Gecen yesterday held a joint press conference to declare their assets. Comez and Gecen stated that instead of trying to improve the country, Turkish political parties were serving personal interests. “In the 2002 general elections, the nation punished parties which saw politics as a way to enrich themselves,” warned Comez. In related news, AKP Bursa Deputy Ertugrul Yalcinbayir declared his assets through his Parliament website. /Aksam/
 GALATAPORT TENDER REJECTED, ERDOGAN DEFENDS DECISIONCommenting yesterday on a bid for the Galataport project from Israeli businessman Sami Ofer and his son Eyal, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the tender wouldn’t be abandoned even if it is cancelled at this point in time. The project would clear out existing shops and homes along the Karakoy and Tophane shorelines of Istanbul to make space for a marina and numerous cultural centers. On Wednesday Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said he had sent the file back to the Privatization Administration (OIB). He also pointed out that there was a case before the Constitutional Court to cancel some of the provisions of the shoreline law that included zoning authority. Last week Sener announced that he wouldn’t approve the tender because the Karakoy area hadn’t yet been properly zoned for the project. Sener on Tuesday said that he was sending the file back to the OIB. While the prime minister tried to defend the government’s position, opposition leaders used the high-profile controversy to strike out at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). /Turkish Daily News/
 ERBAKAN BILL PASSED BY PARLIAMENT COMMISSIONParliament’s Justice Commission yesterday passed a bill to allow Necmettin Erbakan, the father of political Islam in Turkey, to serve his prison sentence at home. Former Prime Minister and defunct Welfare Party (RP) leader Erbakan was sentenced to two years and four months behind bars in the “Lost Trillion” case, but was able to postpone serving his sentence by submitting medical reports to the court. The bill presented by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) also stipulates that the second clause of Article 110 of the Penal Procedural Code be changed so that people over 75 will be able to serve their sentences at home if they’re sentenced to less than three years. The bill was passed by Parliament’s Justice Commission yesterday and will be brought before the full Parliament soon. /The New Anatolian/
 FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS TURKEYFrance will celebrate “The Year of Turkey” in 2007 after observing “The Year of Armenia” during this year, according to reports from French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy’s meeting with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday. At a press conference after the meeting, asked about the so- called Armenian genocide, Douste-Blazy said, “There’s conciliation and solidarity in the groundwork of the European Union,” and added, “Now it’s time to discuss the disputes and to look ahead. France has seen Turkey’s moves forward. We are in favor of the issue being debated in Turkish society.” About Iran’s nuclear program he said, “We are quickly taking a determined stance. This process will push Iran. We are trying to defuse the tension.” During his stay in Ankara, Douste-Blazy will also be received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Hurriyet/
 EXPORTS DIP IN JANUARYAddressing a press conference in Samsun yesterday, Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici yesterday released export figures for January. Satici said that last month’s exports fell 1% compared to the same month last year to reach about $5 million. He stated that TIM wasn’t opposed to autonomy for the Central Bank, but that the CB should establish price stability through the monetary policies. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FINE-TUNING GETTING HARDER BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the developments in the Middle East and Turkey’s stance. A summary of his column is as follows:
“At first glance, the West – mostly the US, Russia and China – are on the same page concerning the Iran issue. This emerged from a meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in London earlier this week. A consensus was reached there that the issue of measures to be taken to convince Iran to give up its nuclear program should be brought to the council. However, it was agreed to make the final decision during the International Atomic Energy Agency’s meeting on March 6. Obviously, it’s very important for the West to establish a common front with Russia and China. However, a chance has been given to diplomacy until March. Russia and China, who want this more, have already sent their diplomats to Tehran. Actually, they prefer that the issue be solved in accordance with a formula without bringing it to the Security Council, for example, the suggestion to implement Iran’s uranium enrichment program under Russian control. Would Iran accept this? If diplomacy fails to find an immediate solution, it would inevitably bring the issue to the Security Council. However, it’s uncertain if a consensus similar to that of in London will be reached on measures that would force Iran, for example, sanctions. Obviously, neither Russia nor China favors such measures as an embargo due to their current economic and strategic ties with Iran.
We see that problems in the Middle East, mostly the Iranian crisis, are tipping the balance of international power now. It’s also another important development that the US and France (and Germany) are on the same page within the West concerning the Iran issue. The same can be said about the Syria-Lebanon issue and the common front which emerged within the Western alliance concerning the latest developments in Palestine. France is acting together with the US concerning the Syrian issue. The stance taken by the European Union against Hamas is in line with that of the US. In short, as French daily Le Figaro stated yesterday, Europe, including France, is moving closer to the US. If the divide which emerged on both sides of the Atlantic during the Iraq crisis is remembered, this partnership over Middle East problems can be understood better. It’s unlikely that the rapprochement between the West and Russia and China will last long, because Moscow and Beijing would prefer to follow another line due to their different interests. And what’s Turkey’s place in this picture?
* There are certain concerns and views shared with the West concerning the Iran issue. However, Ankara is against the policy of forcing and insisting, and instead favors the continuation of dialogue. In the final analysis, Turkey’s views are different from the West and closer to Russia.
* There’s a similar situation concerning the Syrian issue. In spite of the concerns shared with the West, Ankara favors a dialogue with Damascus.
* Concerning the Palestinian issue, the West is planning to cut off the aid so Hamas meets its conditions. However, Turkey is against such a move.
In short, it seems that new developments in our region will make it harder for Turkey to fine-tune its common strategies.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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