|Saturday, 25 May 2013|
Turkish Press Review, 02-05-15
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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> <map name="FPMap1"> <_map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 IN ICELEAND, CEM LOBBIES FOREIGN MINISTERS ON CYPRUS ISSUEThe foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and of the European Union met in Reykjavik, Iceland yesterday for two days of meetings to discuss common issues related to European security. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem represented Turkey at the meeting. In a final declaration issued yesterday, the foreign ministers reaffirmed that cooperation between NATO and the EU was important for the fight against terrorism and rededicated themselves to continuing efforts to combat terrorism as well. Among the major issues of Cem’s bilateral meetings was the Cyrus issue and recent developments concerning the ongoing peace talks between the two leaders of the island. He launched new initiatives to lobby for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’ recent proposal which, Turkey believes, would provide both sides on the island with new opportunities towards a permanent peace. Stressing that Denktas’ proposal, which was prepared in accordance with the EU’s models of administration, was of great importance to resolve the problems of the island, Cem requested that the EU and NATO countries persuade the Greek Cypriot administration to take more positive steps. /Cumhuriyet/
 ANNAN VISITS DENKTAS ON CYPRUSArriving for a two-day visit to Cyprus, UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday traveled to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and met with TRNC President Rauf Denktas. Annan said he would tell both leaders on the island that they needed to make a major breakthrough by the end of June. “We are at a critical point in the talks which I hope will not be neglected,” Annan added. Annan also said that the UN Security Council expects the direct talks process to end in June. Annan stated that the talks were very important for the region. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH CYPRIOT NGOs TELL ANNAN OF HOPES FOR PEACEA coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is currently visiting Cyprus, expressing their wish for the establishment of peace on the island. The NGOs state in their letter that if a permanent solution is reached through the initiatives of Annan, this would set a good example for other regions of the world suffering from similar problems. Meanwhile, a number of Greek Cypriot groups held demonstrations in Southern Cyprus yesterday to protest Turkey and the TRNC. /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS, CLERIDES CLASH ON CNN TURKAppearing yesterday via satellite on CNN Turk’s “Manset” (Headline) current affairs program, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRCN) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot administration leader Glafcos Clerides offered sharply contrasting views of the island’s negotiations process. Denktas accused Clerides of misleading the international community, adding that the Turkish Cypriots would never forsake their right to equality. Clerides rejoined that such an attitude would bring the talks to a standstill and remarked that the negotiations should refocus on the “basic issues.” /Hurriyet/
 A CALL FOR PEACE IN THE BALKANSA trilateral summit attended by the presidents of Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria yesterday began in the Aegean town of Cesme. Prior to the meeting, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and his Romanian and Bulgarian counterparts, Ion Iliescu and Georgi Purvanov, spoke to journalists. Sezer stated that Turkey placed a high premium on sustaining peace and stability in the Balkans. Stressing that the Balkan countries were still suffering a number of problems which could adversely affect the rest of Europe, Sezer said, “We all know that permanent peace is a must for social development and political stability. That’s why the existing problems in the region have to be solved as soon as possible. We believe that the international community also has many responsibilities to help the region end its problems. NATO and the EU should do their utmost to provide the region with prosperity and stability on the one hand, and to protect ethnic and historical identities in the region as enriching elements of European identity on the other.” /Cumhuriyet/
 SYRIAN PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEYLater this month Syrian Prime Minister Mustafa Miru is due to pay a visit Turkey, marking the first such visit in over 25 years. During his trip scheduled for May 28-29, Miru is expected to convey a message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad telling of his desire to bring Turkish–Syrian relations to an even higher level. Additionally, transborder water matters and the Hatay issue are expected to be discussed. Turkey’s Hatay is near the Syrian border, and Damascus has previously made claims on the Turkish territory. /Hurriyet/
 BRUSSELS COURT DEFERS DECISION ON ERDALAn appeal court in Brussels yesterday deferred making a decision on whether Fehriye Erdal, a fugitive from Turkish justice, would be tried in Belgium for her crimes in Turkey, passing the decision down to a lower court. The court’s ruling was in response to an earlier decision that Erdal could be tried in Belgium for the 1996 murder of Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, a decision which Erdal’s lawyers appealed. Yesterday’s appeals court decision sent the matter to a court in Bruges, a city in the Flemish part of the country, which is now charged with making a determination on the matter. Erdal’s lawyers were reportedly pleased by the ruling, but lawyers representing the Sabanci family pointed out that the court had not closed off the possibility that Erdal may have to face the Belgian justice system for the murder. /Aksam/
 TURKEY REQUESTS 145 TERRORISTS’ EXTRADITIONIn the wake of European Union’s recent inclusion of the terrorist PKK and DHKP-C on its list of terrorist groups, Ankara has prepared a list of members of these two organizations residing in Europe and given this list to the countries in question. Ankara has requested the extradition of 145 terrorists who are administrators in the PKK and DHKP-C terrorist organizations. In order to head off any potential legal problems in their extradition, the list consists of individuals who already have been sentenced or who are wanted for crimes previously committed. Some 116 PKK members and 29 DHKP-C members are wanted by international law enforcement organization Interpol and marked as “code red.” However, little or no effort has been made to date to apprehend these terrorists. /Sabah/
 RSF OFFICIAL BARRED FROM ENTERING TURKEYRobert Menard, secretary-general of private press group Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders, or RSF), was barred yesterday from entering Turkish borders through a decision by Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen. This decision was made in the wake of the posting in a Paris railway station of an RSF-made map purporting to depict “enemies of press freedom,” including Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu. “I used my authority” to bar Menard, said Yucelen. /Sabah/
 DERVIS: “THE ECONOMY IS GETTING BACK ON TRACK”Speaking to reporters yesterday after meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis said that the two officials had discussed recent economic developments. “We are entering a process of growth, and everything is coming back on track,” Dervis added. Dervis is traveling to Paris today to attend an Organization for European Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council of Ministers meeting. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH EXPORTS FAIRS PROMOTEDAnkara’s Hilton Hotel yesterday hosted a meeting to promote a series of Turkish export products fairs to be held later this year in Nigeria and Sudan. Speaking at the meeting, State Minister and Turkey-Sudan Joint Economic Commission (KEK) Co-Chairman Ramazan Mirzaoglu stated that not only were there cultural and historical ties between Turkey and Sudan, but also that “blood ties” exist between the two countries. Mirzaoglu added that Sudan was Turkey’s “foot in the door” to Africa and called on Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in Port Sudan, a free zone in Sudan. The fairs are to be organized by private firm Turkel Fairs. /Aksam/
 CHHIBBER: “YOU ARE DOING WELL”World Bank Turkey Director Ajay Chhibber said yesterday that he sees very positive signals concerning the nation’s economic growth. Chhibber also said that March industrial figures and other statistics show that the Turkish economy is gaining life and that the positive trends will continue. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WILL ANNAN SUCCEED? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s visit to Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Can any result be expected from United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s visit to Cyprus set to begin today and his meetings with leaders from both sides?
Before the visit, the head of the international body gave correct signals that his visit would not yield a ‘miracle,’ but rather he would give a ‘message of hope.’
Of course, no one can expect Annan to produce an agreement on the island which has been unable to reach one during 31 meetings over the last four months. However, the visit at least gives a ‘hope.’ If he doesn’t believe that his visit would save the talks from a dead end, and give a momentum to the dialogue, he wouldn’t have come to the island.
As for the Turkish side, this visit has some positive aspects. First of all, the secretary-general’s visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas at his office by proceeding to the Turkish side for the first time and calling him ‘His Excellence’ shows that principle of equality on which the Turkish side has been very sensitive has been taken into consideration. In addition to that, it is an opportunity for Denktas to tell Annan directly about Turkish side’s 20-page proposal which was given to Clerides on April 29.
On the other hand, it is clear that Annan will ask the Turkish side to be more flexible and to make some concessions. Meanwhile, the Greek side also claims that Clerides will be under same pressure.
Annan reportedly will not propose a written plan, but he is expected to propose a series of offers or views for a settlement.
If following Annan’s contacts a way can be found to save the talks from a bottleneck, some progress may be achieved in the coming days, and even a ‘pre-agreement’ could be reached. Thus, the target settled at the beginning of the dialogue for reaching an agreement in June may be achieved after all.
But if the visit isn’t successful in revitalizing the talks, the direct talks process will be in danger. Because this time both sides will deduce that a common basis is lacking.
To quit the process of seeking a solution would serve neither the Turkish nor the Greek side in this critical situation. If Annan can leave the island having put the process of dialogue back on track, he will have accomplished a difficult mission.”
 A GRIEVOUS SIN BY OKAY GONENSIN (SABAH)Columnist Okay Gonensin comments on Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his columns is as follows:
“What will happen if Turkey closes in on itself with meaningless and destructive discussions?
It remains a country uncomfortably in the same league as Syria and Iran, struggling with its worsened domestic problems and still mired in debates over democracy. Investments continue to fall, unemployment is rising and as a result, our social problems have become intractable.
The first way to make Turkey even more like its Mideast neighbors is to block Turkey’s path to EU membership. Who would take responsibility for that? Who would dare raise his children in a country like Syria, Iran or Iraq?
The decision of the EU to begin negotiations with Turkey depends on Turkey’s upcoming steps to implement its commitments. If these steps are taken within next two months, the EU has no choice other than to begin the negotiations.
Now, Parliament, the government, the president and all the parties in Parliament have an enormous responsibility.
Certain circles are disturbed by the Motherland Party’s (ANAP) and its leader Mesut Yilmaz’s focus on this topic. They think that if Turkey takes steps on the EU membership process, ANAP and Yilmaz will get the political credit.
However, if Turkey successfully passes the most important thresholds in its road to the EU membership, clearly the credit for this will belong neither to a person nor a party. This will be a step shared and approved by at least 80% of the public with its all parties and institutions. This honor will belong to this entire generation for thinking of their children’s future.
On the other hand, the responsibility for keeping Turkey consigned to Syria’s league would be very high, and would constitute a kind of treason against the country.”
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