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Turkish Press Review, 02-08-29
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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
29.08.2002FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER VETOES APPOINTMENT DECREESPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday vetoed a number of recent Cabinet civil service appointment decrees on the grounds that making such appointments so close to elections would be unethical. Sezer had previously informed the government after Parliament voted to hold elections on Nov. 3 that he would block any such appointments if they were not vital to the smooth functioning of the state. Over the past three weeks the Cabinet forwarded several appointment decrees to the president, all of which were vetoed yesterday.
 ECEVIT CALLS FOR LEFTIST UNITY UNDER DSP BANNERPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday issued a call for everybody who espouses the views of the democratic, national left to unify under the banner of his Democratic Left Party (DSP). Speaking at a Prime Ministry press conference, Ecevit said that the DSP had long been the sole bastion of unity among an otherwise fragmental left. He stated that his call was not meant for all leftists, but rather only for those defending the views of the national left. Regarding efforts to postpone elections set for Nov. 3, the prime minister said, “The DSP has been opposed to the early elections from the very beginning. However, now it’s too late to postpone them.” /All Papers/
 PARTY LEADERS RESPOND TO CILLER’S CENSURE PROPOSALTurkey’s political life, already consumed with election campaigning along with proposals to delay the November elections, yesterday received another jolt in the form of a proposal made by True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller. “We are ready to support any censure motion to bring down the current government,” said Ciller in a statement. “However, elections should be held at their scheduled time.” Following her declaration, the Felicity Party (SP) decided to withdraw a censure motion that it had previously submitted to Parliament. Speaking on the matter, New Turkey Party (YTP) Secretary-General Istemihan Talay said that his party would support such an initiative. “We aren’t eager to be in an election government, but we do want to hold polls under a trustworthy government,” he said. Talay also added that the YTP was in favor of holding elections on Nov. 3 as scheduled. Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Tayyip Erdogan also weighed in the issue, calling such initiatives “disrespectful” and vowing that his party would have no involvement in such “provocative” actions. Meanwhile, coalition government partner Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz stated that his party would not support the initiative. To bring down the government, the votes of 276 deputies would be needed. No party in Parliament besides the DYP and the YTP has given support to Ciller’s proposal. /Turkiye/
 ZIYAL MEETS WITH WOLFOWITZ, GROSSMAN IN WASHINGTONForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, who is currently visiting the US, yesterday met with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and US Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman, the later a former US ambassador to Turkey. During their talks, Turkish-US relations were discussed along with a number of important issues such as Iraq, Cyprus, Turkish-European Union relations and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). After the meeting, a high-level US official told reporters that the Bush administration wanted to thank Turkey for its support in the war against international terrorism. “Turkey has a pivotal role in our fight against terrorism,” said the official. “The US is lending its full support to Turkey’s EU membership bid. The recent reforms passed by the Turkish Parliament displayed its determination towards this goal.” /Cumhuriyet/
 KIVRIKOGLU HANDS OVER HIS DUTIES TO OZKOKChief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, who is set to officially retire tomorrow, yesterday handed over his duties to his successor at the post, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, in a ceremony in Ankara. Among those present to witness the handover were President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Ministers Mesut Yilmaz and Devlet Bahceli, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and numerous other state ministers. In his speech for the occasion, Kivrikoglu stated that there was a continued need for measures to counter separatist, reactionary threats which still pose a danger to Turkey. “The Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] will never allow opponents of Turkey’s republican order to exploit the opportunities which democracy offers as a cover to damage our basic principles,” he said. “The terrorist PKK can’t escape responsibility for its actions merely because it now calls itself KADEK.” Kivrikoglu added that the TSK was not opposed to Turkey’s European Union membership bid. /Milliyet/
 IKDP REPRESENTATIVE ZABARI VISITS TURKEYIraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) foreign policy head Hoshyar Zabari arrived in Ankara yesterday to brief Turkish officials about the recent Iraqi opposition leaders’ meeting in Washington earlier this month. He is expected to discuss a number of sensitive issues with the officials, including IKDP leader Massoud Barzani’s recent statement that if the Turkish forces were to move into northern Iraq, forces from the IKDP would “bury” them there. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ: “I’M CONFIDENT ANAP WILL SURPASS THE 10% ELECTION THRESHOLD”Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday confidently predicted that his party would surpass the 10% threshold in November’s elections. “ANAP will certainly attract as many votes in these elections as it did in the last ones in 1997,” said Yilmaz. “Our surveys say that over half of the voters remain undecided, and we expect to win over most of this group.” /Milliyet/
 OZYER RESIGNS FROM ANAP, BASESGIOGLU JOINS AKPMotherland Party (ANAP) Mugla Deputy Hasan Ozyer resigned from the party yesterday after meeting with ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz. Including Ozyer’s resignation, the number of ANAP deputies in Parliament fell to 71. In related news, former ANAP Kastamonu Deputy Murat Basesgioglu, who resigned from ANAP last week, yesterday joined the Justice and Development Party (AKP). /Milliyet/
 LAGENDIJK: “TURKEY WON’T GET INTO THE EU UNLESS THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS RESOLVED”Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission, told reporters yesterday that Turkey wouldn’t be admitted into the European Union unless the problem of Cyprus is resolved. He added that he was informed of this condition during Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz’s visit last week to Denmark, the current holder of the rotating EU presidency. Lagendijk also said that pressure was being put on both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to reach a settlement, adding however that a settlement still wouldn’t guarantee Turkish accession. Remarking on possible future political systems for Cyprus, Lagendijk noted that the EU favored a system with “one state, one president and two autonomous regions.” /Aksam/
 DENKTAS: “IF THE GREEK CYPRIOTS JOIN THE EU ALONE, THE TRNC MIGHT INTEGRATE WITH TURKEY”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday stated that if the European Union was to let the Greek Cypriots join the EU as the sole representative of the entire island, then the TRNC might begin considering integration with Turkey as a solution. Denktas remarked that under such circumstances he would have to begin thinking of “alternative solutions” for the future of the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek press gave wide coverage to Denktas’s warning, claiming that Turkey and Turkish Cypriots were “bluffing” in order to block Greek Cypriots from joining the EU. /Cumhuriyet/
 WASHINGTON TIMES: “PRESIDENT BUSH SHOULD PRIORITIZE PUSH FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP”US daily The Washington Times yesterday urged the Bush administration to make Turkey’s European Union membership bid a top priority, saying such membership would be beneficial for all parties concerned. In an unsigned Times editorial, the paper remarked that “Turkey’s entry into the EU would give Western, progressive, free-market policies a foothold in the Middle East … [and] provide a critical example to other countries in the region.” In pushing Turkey’s EU bid, Bush should “lean on his European friends … to set a date” for Turkey’s membership negotiations,” the editorial added. Finally, the EU “should demonstrate [that] it does, ultimately, want Turkey to join the club,” the paper concluded. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SOYSAL WELCOMES ECEVIT’S CALL BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s call for leftist unity and the reply given by Independent Republic Party (BCP) leader Mumtaz Soysal. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has made the expected call. Ecevit yesterday called upon everybody who espouses national left-democratic left ideology and culture to unite under the banner of the Democratic Left Party (DSP). When Ecevit was making this call, he didn’t neglect to emphasize the difference between, on the one hand, his party and the People’s Republican Party (CHP) and, on the other, the New Turkey Party (YTP). We asked Ecevit for whom the call was intended. He replied like so:
- My call was not directed to a certain institution or institutions. I made the call to everybody who espouses a national leftist and democratic left ideology. Some intellectuals who consider themselves leftist cannot bring themselves to reconcile leftist ideology with nationalism. They think that nationalism and the left contradict each other. However, this is not so. The left in Europe, which they are trying to imitate, is nationalist as well. Being a leftist requires protecting the integrity and welfare of the nation and the country. That’s why I called on those who think this way to join the DSP.
When Ecevit emphasized the concept of the ‘national left,’ Independent Republic Party (BCP) leader Mumtaz Soysal and Republican Democracy Party (CDP) leader Yekta Gungor Ozdan initially came to mind.
When we reached Mr. Soysal, he was at an international meeting in Switzerland where the Cyprus issue was being discussed. During our phone conversation, Mr. Soysal warmly welcomed Mr. Ecevit’s call and added, ‘Mr. Ecevit’s definition of the national left shares some overlap with ours. This is one of the basic approaches on which the BCP is based. I also agree with Mr. Ecevit in terms of his opinion about social democrats in Turkey. Anyway, at one time I participated in the DSP and worked for it due to this overlap. I subsequently left the DSP over disagreement with some of its policies. However, our understanding of the left still overlaps. The call made by Mr. Ecevit and the framework he drew suits us.’ We asked Mr. Soysal if he would accept Mr. Ecevit’s call and join the DSP. His answer was as follows:
- Even though we don’t have the right to participate in the November elections, we do have a party. Although as a leader I have the authority to deal with such things, I must evaluate this situation with my colleagues. - What sort of a method will you choose to answer Mr. Ecevit’s call? I asked. - Of course, our approach wouldn’t be in the form of bargaining. We will discuss the issue. The method isn’t a problem. It’s not important for me whether I become a deputy or not. Our power comes from our ideology. We will speak with Mr. Ecevit in terms of this understanding. - Do you expect a separate invitation from Mr. Ecevit? Right now I’m in the middle of this meeting on the Cyprus issue, but I’ll return to Turkey for the weekend. Of course if Mr. Ecevit calls me, I will go and speak to him.
Thus, the first positive response to Mr. Ecevit came from Mr. Soysal. The CDP is evaluating Mr. Ecevit’s call as well. They are in contact with the BCP concerning this issue. Ecevit’s call might cause a gathering under the common denominator of the ‘national left’.”
 WHAT ABOUT OUR SOCIAL CONTRACT? BY OMER CELIK (STAR)Columnist Omer Celik writes on the state of the concept of the political in Turkey and its repercussions for public life. A summary of his column is as follows:
“As elections draw near, we’ve still going out of our way to avoid any theoretical discussion of politics and the concept of the political. Instead, we are being forced-fed a preoccupation with numerous non- political concerns such as doomsday scenarios and postponement of elections, concerns which are besieging our genuine political agenda and pulling it down to the moral bottom. Moreover, another very crucial problem has emerged: more and more politics is losing its function as the cement of social existence, the glue holding it together. Thus, society’s will to live under a political umbrella on the basis of some sort of a social contract is growing even weaker. This is what we face today in Turkey, a hitting of the political rock-bottom with almost no confidence in the political will or the institutions symbolizing politics. This, in turn, has damaged the concept of legitimacy which can only be created by the very institution of politics, sweeping aside the political as the source of the social bond. Consequently, the people have begun to question the grounds for their social co-existence and political identity, a development which has altogether resulted in the weakening of the collective consciousness. Turkey’s social breakup arises from its political turmoil and chronic state of constant crisis, paving the way to a social disintegration and a diminishing in the people’s notion of belonging to this country. This has pushed society to a counter position against the political will, and the ground of national togetherness and coherence, to which the ruling elites in Turkey are very sensitive, has grown shaky. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the conventional political rationale in Turkey is stuck in an ill-conceived notion of stability. This deformed perception of stability presupposes a homogeneous and undifferentiated mass of people which marginalize and repress any political movements trying to represent divergent element in our society. Thus, society and the political fall apart, leaving almost no space for political action. Secondly, the institution of politics is unable to renew itself. All of the above- enumerated malaises point to one thing: the social contract which holds the people of this country together is being threatened by its chronic administrative crisis. However, the source of this threat is not to be found in centrifugal forces, but rather in the very sterile center itself. This the problem to which Turkey has to find an immediate solution.”
THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE TURKISH PRESS REVIEW WILL APPEAR ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2002.
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