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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-27
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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
27.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN: “WE’VE INVITED IRAQI LEADERS TO TURKEY IN ORDER TO HALT THE PROVOCATIVE ACTIONS IN IRAQ”Speaking at a meeting of his party in Istanbul at the weekend, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized provocative actions in Iraq, saying that these actions spoiled the friendship between the groups in the country. “There is a provocative action in Iraq, which creates a conflict between the Sunni and the Shi’ite” he said. Erdogan invited the Iraqi leaders and the leaders of the neighboring countries to Turkey in order to search the ways for halting this provocation. The premier stated that Ankara explained the leaders of the US, Britain, and the coalition forces what should be done in Iraq, adding that protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity was one of those. Erdogan stressed that he didn’t lose his hopes concerning Iraq, and added, “We’ve invited Iraq’s neighboring countries to discuss what we can do. Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari will come to Ankara on Tuesday to discuss the issue. We’ll also meet with the Sunni leaders.” Later, addressing another party meeting, Erdogan said that the headscarf issue could be solved with social agreement without creating any tension. /Turkiye/
 BUYUKANIT: “WE’LL CONTINUE TO FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM AS LONG AS TERROR EXISTS”Land Forces Commander Yasar Buyukanit, who was in Diyarbakir over the weekend, yesterday visited Diyarbakir Governor Efkan Ala with the accompanying commanders. During the meeting, Buyukanit said that as long as terror exists, Turkey’s fight against terrorism would continue. “We hope not to see terror on this geography anymore because the citizens of this region, not Istanbul, face certain difficulties due to terrorist attacks,” he said. “We wish that the citizens of the region coexist by overcoming their economic problems.” /Sabah/
 GONUL: “TURKISH-ISRAELI DEFENSE TIES CONTINUE AS IT WERE BEFORE HAMAS VISIT”Speaking in Kayseri yesterday, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul commented on recent Hamas visit to Ankara, saying that there weren’t any negative developments between Turkish-Israeli defense relations. “Relations between the two countries are continuing as it were before the visit.” Gonul stated that Hamas visit was between parties not governments. Touching on the project of modernizing M-60 tanks, Gonul said that the first model was made in Israel, but others would be made in Kayseri. /Turkiye/
 MEHMET AYDIN ADDRESSES ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS MEETING IN QATARState Minister Mehmet Aydin, who is currently in Qatar to attend a meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations, made an opening speech at the meeting. Aydin said that the world needed such projects as the Alliance of Civilizations, adding that the leaders of the western world should see the reasons lying under the recent cartoon crisis. “The cartoon crisis is a complicated issue,” he said, adding that the events and reactions to these were similar with two icebergs, adding that prejudices against Islam were under these icebergs. /Turkiye/
 PARLIAMENT’S FOREIGN AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: “IT’S TIME FOR TURKEY TO PAVE THE WAY TOWARDS PEACE”Debates over the Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal’s recent visit to Turkey as the guest of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continue. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Mehmet Dulger spoke about this visit which was criticized by opposition parties and said, “A country which is in a fragile as Turkey should have a thorough knowledge of what is going on around it. It’s time for Turkey to pave the way towards peace. Turkey is considered to be a country which can put an end to conflict between Israel and Palestine. We can gather the sides which have disagreement.” /Star/
 ANAVATAN LEADER MUMCU: “GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SENSITIVE AGAINST THE IMPOSITIONS ON CYPRUS”Opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Party leader Erkan Mumcu over the weekend reacted to the separation of the aid regulation prepared by the European Union Commission from the direct commerce regulation and the reduction of the aid to 129 million euros which was planned as 259 million euros, saying, “Anyhow, this aid was waiting for a long time within the initiative of Greek Cypriots. This isn’t new; the government should have a sapient stance at this point, because the Cyprus problem isn’t an issue which can be regarded as the domestic matter of the EU. From Turkey’s standpoint, Cyprus issue’s real platform is the UN. So, the government should be sensitive and careful against the direct impositions or against the EU’s impositions. /Hurriyet/
 GREEK FM: “GREEK SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BID ISN’T UNCONDITIONAL”Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bayonnakis said that Athens' policy of supporting Turkey’s possible European Union membership continued but warned that this support wasn’t unconditional. In an interview with Greek daily To Vima, Bayonnakis said Greek support for Turkey’s EU perspective was a strategic choice and emphasized that the recent reshuffle in the Greek Foreign Ministry wouldn’t cause a change in the government’s policy with regard to support for Turkey’s EU bid. “Greek support in that regard is clear. Our foreign policy is in the direction of supporting Turkey’s EU perspective,” said Bayonnakis. The Greek foreign minister, however, said Greece’s support wasn’t unconditional and noted that there were some criteria that Turkey had to fulfill in return. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI PM TO VISIT TURKEYIraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Caferi will come to Ankara upon the invitation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s concerns on Iraqi army’s maneuvers in Northern Iraq, which began with the conflict of sects in Iraq, will be conveyed to Caferi. Caferi to whom premier’s letter of invitation was forwarded by Turkey’s Special Representative to Iraq Ambassador Oguz Celikkol will come to Ankara for the second time. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 DOUBLE GAME BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)Columnist Erdal Safak comments on the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s stance. A summary of his column is as follows:
“This week we’ll witness ‘meaningful’ developments concerning the Cyprus issue both in the European Union and the United Nations. The picture is as follows: the EU applauded Turkish Action Plan on Cyprus, but the Greek Cypriots scored the goal under Austria’s arbitration. Austria says that it’s trying so membership talks can be opened under a few headings during its term presidency which will last until July, but it also it’s kicking Turkey under the table by using Greek Cypriots’ foot. Unfortunately, our friends in the EU are used as a tool in this game. The most recent example of this was seen at the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER). After the EU Commission stated that it was ready to open membership talks under the first heading (Science and Research), Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos went to Vienna. Austrian Prime Minister Wolfgang Schussel supposedly asked him not to use its right to veto and Papadopoulos accepted this on condition that two regulations concerning the EU’s support for Turkish Cypriots are separated. Now, let’s inform you on these regulations. Following the referendum in April 2004, the EU prepared three regulations for supporting northern Cyprus: Green Line, Direct Trade and Financial Aid. The first of them permitted the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypriot (TRNC) goods’ export to the EU through the Greek Cypriot administration and came into force in August 2004. The second of them freed the trade from TRNC to the EU. The last of them made it free to give the aid of harmonization from the EU to Turkish Cypriots. Direct Trade and Financial Aid regulations were associated with each other. They would be either accepted or rejected together. The majority of votes was necessary for the first of them and the unanimity was needed for the second one. Greek Cypriots didn’t want to be considered as the party hindering the financial aid to Turks and they also wanted two regulations to be separated to prevent the trade from TRNC harbors which would mean the actual recognition.
When the issue turned into a deadlock, Turkey announced the Action Plan on Cyprus. This package envisaged to bring the membership talks to life under the UN leadership and lift all the restrictions mutually. Britain, Italy and Spain applauded this and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn supported this. Meanwhile, Greek Cypriots were prepared to kill Turkey’s plan. They were hopeful about Austria and waiting for the time to open membership talks with Turkey. In this conjuncture, Papadopoulos said that if two regulations are separated, he wouldn’t use his right of veto. Then, Austria brought to the issue to COREPER as the so-called mediator and two regulations were separated! What’s more, the acceptance of Trade Regulation was stipulated on a few conditions: return of Maras to Greek Cypriots, carrying out the trade from Magosa under the control of EU Commission, freezing the transactions about Greek Cypriot goods on the north, seeking unanimity instead of majority of votes in COREPER decisions, in other words, making the Greek Cypriot support a condition in every step. The strangest thing is that Britain, Italy and Spain which supported Turkey’s plan accepted Greek Cypriots’ demands without saying a word. What’s more, Papadopoulos said that the EU owes him ‘thank you’, as he didn’t use his right to veto. Meanwhile, Austria, which won a so-called diplomatic victory, invited Ankara to open membership talks under the heading of ‘Science and Research.’ If I were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul or State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, I wouldn’t accept this invitation. Membership talks can be delayed for a few months in order to give an answer to Schussel’s double game. What would we lose?”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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