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Turkish Press Review, 02-08-27
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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> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
27.08.2002FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 LEADERS MARK VICTORY WEEKPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi yesterday issued messages to mark Victory Week, a seven- day commemoration of the final push of Turkish forces in the War of Independence. Remarking that Turkey had made no concessions from its independence no matter how difficult the conditions it faced through history, the leaders stressed that the world had witnessed many great victories of the Turkish nation, which had in turn altered the course of history for many other countries as well. /Cumhuriyet/
 “ATATURK AND WAR OF INDEPENDENCE MUSEUM” OPENSA new museum located in the area beneath Ataturk’s tomb in his mausoleum, Anitkabir, was opened in Ankara yesterday. Besides President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Cabinet ministers, military officials and distinguished guests were present at the dedication ceremony of the Ataturk and War of Independence Museum. In his opening speech, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said that the new museum symbolized the epic story of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. /All Papers/
 ECEVIT: “THE DSP WENT THROUGH A POLITICAL COUP”Speaking on Show TV last night, Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said that the DSP had experienced a political coup earlier this summer when a large number of its deputies resigned from the party. “I still didn’t understand who was behind this plot, or why,” he added. Ecevit also charged that other than the DSP, Turkey’s leftist parties lack a consistent political ideology. When asked about recent political rumors concerning postponement of elections scheduled for November, Ecevit stated that it was too late for such attempts and that they would come to nothing. /Hurriyet/
 YILMAZ: “ANAP HAS NO INTENTION OF POSTPONING ELECTIONS”Striking against an atmosphere swirling with allegations, claims, and counter-claims, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz tried yesterday to clear the air, asserting that his party had neither any intent nor initiative to delay elections scheduled for Nov. 3. ANAP is a member of the current coalition government, but has faced defections and reports of declining support, and even predictions it will fail to reach the election representation threshold, in the weeks since Parliament set a date for early elections. At a press conference before an ANAP Executive Board meeting, Yilmaz said that continuing the current government after Nov. 3 would be impossible. Elaborating on this point, Yilmaz stated that the government had lost its majority in Parliament and also pointed to recent declarations by Devlet Bahceli, leader of government coalition partner the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), charging that parties which voted to abolish the death penalty –- the vast majority in Parliament -- had in effect aided and abetted the terrorist PKK. Yilmaz said such declarations had caused a crisis of confidence in the government. “This is an election government, and its continuation past the scheduled elections date would weigh down the economy,” Yilmaz added. /Turkiye/
 CILLER: “MY SUPPORT FOR NOVEMBER ELECTIONS IS UNWAVERING”Amid rumors that some circles were trying to postpone elections scheduled for Nov. 3, a main opposition party leader yesterday said that she had rebuffed efforts to offer her a political reward to support such a delay. Appearing on NTV, True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller reiterated her party’s opposition to postponing elections. Ciller alleged that the prime ministry had been offered to her by people in the “highest positions” in return for her working to postpone elections, but that she had refused this proposal. Turkey has entered an election period, said Ciller, and that period shouldn’t be changed. Ciller also predicted that center-right would emerge the winner of elections. /Turkiye/
 KUTAN: “THE ELECTIONS CAN’T BE POSTPONED”Appearing on television last night, Felicity Party (SP) Chairman Recai Kutan said that attempts to postpone the elections set to be held on Nov. 3 would prove fruitless and that the SP had no intention of getting involved in such efforts. Kutan added that the SP would in no way form an alliance with the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) in elections. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “POSTPONEMENT WOULD SHOW DISRESPECT FOR THE PEOPLE”Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters yesterday that apart from being morally and ethically wrong, trying to postpone November’s elections was also a sign of disrespect for the people. “Our people will not forgive such a shameful attempt,” he added. /Turkiye/
 KIVRIKOGLU MAKES FAREWELL VISIT TO COALITION LEADERSChief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, who is due to resign on next Sunday, yesterday paid separate visits to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahceli and Mesut Yilmaz. Speaking after the meetings, Kivrikoglu said that he would continue to follow political developments after his resignation. /Milliyet/
 YTP UNVEILS PARTY EMBLEMAfter a number of revisions, the New Turkey Party (YTP) has at last chosen an emblem for itself. YTP Secretary General Istemihan Talay unveiled the new party’s emblem to journalists yesterday in a meeting at the party’s headquarters. The emblem of the YTP is a red-colored globe adorned with numerous white stars. Talay said that the white stars represented the importance the party places on human beings. /Aksam/
 MUMCU TO DECIDE TODAYMotherland Party (ANAP) Isparta Deputy Erkan Mumcu is expected to reach a decision today on whether or not he will quit the party. After meeting with ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday, Mumcu told reporters that the two shared a number of views on Turkey’s problems and how best to solve them. “However, our solution proposals don’t match each other exactly,” he added. /Turkiye/
 FORMER SHP LEADER TO JOIN YTP, OTHERS COURTEDAydin Guven Gurkan, a former leader of the Social Democratic People’s Party (SHP), is scheduled to join the New Turkey Party (YTP) today at 11:30 a.m. YTP officials are also reportedly trying to persuade Altan Oymen, a former leader of the rival leftist Republican People’s Party (CHP), to join their party. Another former SHP leader, Erdal Inonu, yesterday declined to join the YTP but held out the possibility of his support if the party worked to unite Turkey’s fractured left. /Milliyet/
 DENKTAS: “A SOLUTION FOR CYPRUS MUST BE BASED ON THE REALITY OF TWO INDEPENDENT NATIONS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday warned the European Union and the Greek Cypriot administration that a permanent solution for Cyprus could not be reached without recognizing the existence of two independent nations on the island. “The EU must base its Cyprus policies on the fact that there are two separate states on the island, which are not dependent on any other country,” said Denktas. “Both the Greek Cypriots and the EU have to accept this reality, because the TRNC would never agree to a proposal which fails to recognize its independence. The EU has already recognized the Greek Cypriots as the legitimate government of the island, as if they were the sole representatives of the entire population on Cyprus. We’ve never accepted this idea, and we never will.” /Cumhuriyet/
 GREECE TO OFFER CONDITIONAL SUPPORT AT COPENHAGEN SUMMITAccording to recent reports in the Greek media, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou is planning to present a new proposal on the Cyprus issue to the European Union at this December’s Copenhagen summit. Greek is reportedly planning to propose to the EU that Turkey be given a specific date for the beginning of its accession negotiations process. Greece’s support to Turkey will be conditional on the Turkish government undertaking a number of new responsibilities on the issue of Cyprus. Remarking that such a development would also help Turkey’s reform period, Papandreou asserted that Turkish-Greek relations would greatly improve if Greece’s proposal were accepted by the EU. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQI TRADE MINISTER SALAH: “IRAQ PLACES A HIGH PREMIUM ON ITS COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WITH TURKEY”Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Salah yesterday visited the Aegean Chamber of Commerce in Izmir. Stating that Iraq places a high premium on its commercial relations with Turkey, especially since the Gulf War, Salah also underlined that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had always encouraged policies aiming at bettering Turkish-Iraqi relations since he considered Turkey a good friend and neighbor. Salah also stated that he would establish contacts with Turkish officials during his visit with the aim of improving bilateral commercial relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 2000 CENSUS PUTS POPULATION AT 67.8 MILLIONState Minister Tunca Toskay yesterday released the official results of Turkey’s October 2000 census, announcing that the head count put Turkey’s population at 67.8 million. “Extrapolating from that figure using the established birthrate, we can estimate the nation’s current population at approximately 70.1 million,” he added. Toskay also said the census had for the first time put Turkey’s birthrate at below 20 per 1,000. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 NOW THAT DERVIS HAS JOINED THE CHP... BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)Columnist Hasan Cemal writes about why former Economy Minister Kemal Dervis changed his mind about joining the New Turkey Party (YTP) and joined the Republican People’s Party (CHP) instead. A summary of his column is as follows:
“John Maynard Keynes, one of the greatest economists of the 20th century, once responded to criticism of his changing his mind on an issue by saying ‘When facts change, I change my mind.’ Now, I don’t know if Kemal Dervis remembered these famous words when he changed his own mind about joining the New Turkey Party (YTP) but I do know that Dervis had promised Husamettin Ozkan and former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem that they would continue their political careers together. Dervis personally told me, on the day he unsuccessfully tried to resign from his post as economy minister, that he had promised Cem and Ozkan and that he wouldn’t go back on his word. So, what happened? Did the facts change? Cem’s dismissal, without any consideration, of Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal’s proposal for alliance and attempts, and again, efforts by Cem to form alliances with the centre-right seem to have been the key factors leading to Dervis’ about-face. Dervis’ intentions were good in trying to unite the left. However, he was naive. It was clear that it wouldn’t work. Party leaders, their egos and their lack of will to reach a compromise has made unification of the left a near impossible prospect for years now. Despite Dervis knowing all this he tried anyway. As for me, I visited 14 provinces in May and six in August and came to the conclusion that the Cem-Dervis partnership had given new hope to Turkish politics. However, it was obvious that the YTP would be in trouble if Dervis didn’t join. Anyhow, all that’s in the past now. Facts have changed and Dervis chose to join the CHP. It’s time, therefore to start saying new things. It looks like Baykal has been given another chance in politics and has a real opportunity to make something good out of his partnership with Dervis. We’ll soon see if he is able to. Let’s hope that with its new ‘social liberal synthesis’ the CHP also gets the votes of centrist voters.”
 WHO’S TELLING THE TRUTH? BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Orhan Birgit comments on numerous and conflicting reports of efforts to postpone November’s elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Those claiming that underhanded maneuvers are taking place to postpone the Nov. 3 elections have indicated that three parties are spearheading these efforts. They allege that high-ranking officials at the Motherland Party (ANAP), the True Path Party (DYP) and the New Turkey Party (YTP) are involved. Among those fingered is Husamettin Ozkan, the YTP’s ‘number-two’ man. There are even reports –- as yet undenied –- that some weeks ago during a meeting at the Hilton Hotel, Ozkan tried to head off Kemal Dervis’s joining the People’s Republican Party (CHP) by telling him there was no rush to choose a party, as the elections would eventually be postponed.
Although it had been announced that Ozkan and YTP leader Ismail Cem would meet together in Istanbul after Cem returned from Germany last Friday, Ozkan said that he would be unable to be there owing to important contacts in Ankara, which may be evidence of Ozkan’s role in these postponement efforts.
Claims by leader Tansu Ciller in yesterday’s Hurriyet and Star that she was offered the prime minister’s post were she to lead postponement efforts have only strengthened suspicions of underhanded tactics. Ciller said she firmly turned down this offer, but others claim that the DYP was never involved. ANAP leaders have denied Ciller’s account and even claimed that Ciller herself put the prime minister post on the table as a bargaining chip.
The plot thickened with yesterday’s Sabah. Sabah Ankara representative Engin Ozgonul said the postponement plotters would use an indirect method in order to avoid the public disapproval and wrath more open efforts should surely draw. This indirect tactic would consist of forming a front to pass changes to the Political Parties and Elections Law, changes which the public favors as well. If these changes were passed before November, so the plot goes, the Higher Board of Elections (YSK) would have to postpone the polls, since there won’t be enough time for them to be implemented. According to Sabah, ‘The DYP, ANAP and YTP -- who are playing the leading roles in this plan -- sent DYP deputy group leader Nevzat Ercan to Necmettin Erbakan to court the Felicity Party’s (FP) support. ‘If this report is true, then Ciller’s account cannot be. If on the other hand it’s not true, why haven’t the DYP or Ercan spoken up to deny it?
In any case, clearly there are secret activities going on behind closed doors. Even while all the political parties are publicly preparing for the November polls, some of them are also working to postpone them.”
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