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Turkish Press Review, 04-01-20
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
20.01.2004FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 PAKISTAN’S MUSHARRAF, IN ANKARA, SET TO DISCUSS BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH PRESIDENT SEZERPakistani President Pervez Musharraf yesterday arrived in Ankara for an official visit. Musharraf is expected to meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to discuss bilateral relations. Later, he is to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and deliver a speech to the Parliament. /Aksam/
 ARINC VISITS AUSTRIAParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc accompanied by his wife Munevver Arinc plus a group of deputies yesterday left for Vienna to pay a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Austrian counterpart Andreas Kohl. Speaking to reporters en route to the Austrian capital, Arinc said that there was no need for Parliament to authorize the US use of Incirlik Airbase for Iraq troop transfers. Upon his arrival, Turkey’s Ambassador to Vienna Mithat Balkan briefed Arinc and his delegation on Turkish-Austrian relations. Arinc also met with representatives of the Turkish community living in Austria. During their meeting, the Parliament speaker reiterated Ankara’s determination to gain full European Union membership. He added that the Turkish military also fully supported the government’s efforts towards joining the EU. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN RETURNS FROM JEDDAH ECONOMIC MEETINGAnswering reporters’ questions en route to Turkey from Saudi Arabia, where he had attended the Jeddah Economic Forum, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Muslims should work to further develop themselves. Erdogan also explained his opposition to the idea of an Islamic common market, saying that neither the economy nor the money had any religion. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TO MEET WITH ANNAN AT DAVOS FORUMPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan at the annual four-day World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, set to begin tomorrow. Erdogan will head to Davos after a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Friday intended to clarify Ankara’s new stance on the Cyprus issue. In Davos, he is expected to tell Annan about how the UN Cyprus plan is viewed by both Ankara and the new Turkish Cypriot government, as well as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas. /Hurriyet/
 GUL: “THE EU HAS GRASPED TURKEY’S IMPORTANCE”Stressing that Turkey has passed the point of no return on its road to European Union membership, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that the EU had understood Turkey’s importance in the aftermath of both the Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks and the Iraq war. “I don’t think that they will say to us, ‘You are Muslims, we can’t be involved with you’,” said Gul. He further pledged that Ankara would fully implement its commitments laid out in the latest EU progress report on Turkey. On the Cyprus issue, Gul stated that solving the problem before Greek Cyprus’ accession to the EU on May 1 would serve the interests of both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA TO HOST CYPRUS SUMMITTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas is planning to come in Ankara to attend a Cyprus summit following a meeting of Ankara’s National Security Council (NSC) on Friday. In the runup to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Davos, Switzerland, Ankara wants to firm up its stance on the Cyprus issue. The summit is scheduled to be held this Saturday, Jan. 24, just before Erdogan’s departure for Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. Also expected to attend the summit are the TRNC’s Prime Minister and Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat as well as Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas. /Turkiye/
 GREEK PM SIMITIS: “TURKEY WOULD BENEFIT FROM A CYPRUS RESOLUTION BEFORE MAY”Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday met with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos. Speaking afterwards, Simitis said that the Greek Cypriot administration was ready to begin negotiations over the island on the basis of the United Nations Cyprus plan, adding that the Greek Cypriots wanted a resolution reached as soon as possible. Simitis stated that the key to a possible resolution was in Ankara’s hands. “Turkey will benefit from a resolution on the island by this May,” he said, adding that failure to reach one could hurt Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Greek Cyprus is due to join the EU on May 1. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “A CYPRUS RESOLUTION ISN’T A CONDITION FOR TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP, BUT ANKARA SHOULDN’T BLOCK ONE”European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday praised the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s stance on the Cyprus issue, adding however that some circles within Turkey were still resisting a resolution. He stated a resolution on the island was not a condition for Turkey’s EU membership, but added that Ankara shouldn’t block a settlement. Verheugen also warned that it would be difficult to begin accession talks with Turkey if it doesn’t recognize Greek Cyprus, which is scheduled to join the EU on May 1. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH, US OFFICIALS REPORTEDLY PLAN CRACKDOWN ON PKKTurkish and US military authorities reportedly met in Ankara recently to discuss the PKK_KADEK issue. The meeting focused on political and military measures needed in order to crack down on the terrorist group, which remains active in northern Iraq. The two sides agreed to share intelligence in order to cut off the terrorist group’s financial resources. /Hurriyet/
 ISTANBUL TO HOST OECD MINISTERS CONFERENCEIstanbul is scheduled to host the 2004 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministers Conference. Government ministers responsible for small- and medium-sized enterprises (KOBIs or SEEs) and businessmen from 80 countries are expected to attend the conference set to take place on June 3-6. The Turkish KOBIs, particularly those active in the information technology and communications sectors, will be promoted to international markets at the conference. The main subject of the gathering will be “Improving Entrepreneurship and Innovative KOBIs in the Global Economy.” /Hurriyet/
 TUSIAD REPORT: “TURKEY DOESN’T TRUST ITS JUDICIARY”A new report by Turkey’s leading business group contends that the Turkish public lacks confidence in the nation’s judiciary and believes the rule of law is being ignored. The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) report, entitled “The Rule of Law and Judicial Reform in Light of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Principle of Fair Trials,” blames this lack of trust in the legal system and judicial officials for the proliferation of illegal mafia-type groups which pervert justice by taking it into their own hands. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TIME’S UP ON CYPRUS BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on Turkey’s stance on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Over the next week, Ankara will enter its most difficult and busy conjuncture on the Cyprus issue. Ankara has been working on a comprehensive diplomatic maneuver in order to prevent the Greek Cypriot administration from becoming a European Union member on May 1 and so being accused of failing to promote a resolution. In this maneuver, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan will be accepted as the basis for negotiations, then talks will start and even if an agreement proves unreachable before May 1, at least Ankara will have shown its sincere desire for one.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should bring a concrete Cyprus package to his visit to US President George W. Bush next week in Washington. The aim is to get Bush’s support for the Turkish side on the issue. However, this step alone won’t be enough. Erdogan should also present to Annan the document paper reflecting the Turkish side’s new negotiating positions. However, it’s difficult for the eight-day timetable to allow this. The first difficulty is that today Ankara lacks a common stance showing its position on negotiations. Actually there is a position paper prepared by the Foreign Ministry and supported by the government. However, Ankara’s policy hasn’t been finalized due to the military’s objections to this document.
This Friday’s National Security Council (NSC) meeting is expected to determine our common stance. However, some sections of the military are rejecting flexibility on Cyprus. The day after the NSC meeting, Erdogan will meet with Annan in Davos. Probably he will also participate in a common summit to be organized by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas the same evening. One day later, i.e. on January 25, Erdogan will go to the US and have a second meeting will Annan. This isn’t enough either because US diplomacy needs to be convinced about Ankara’s new opening before Wednesday so Bush and Erdogan can reach a consensus on the Cyprus issue. For example, Annan wants to present a Cyprus plan for referendum before May 1 to both sides on the island in order to open the talks. As part of this, Annan has asked Ankara, Athens and both sides on Cyrus for a ‘blank check’ on the referendum issue. Can Ankara give this check in one week? Difficult to say.
The success of Erdogan’s visit to Washington depends on whether all these preparations can be completed by the beginning of next week. If they can’t, Erdogan’s visit to Washington might be crippled. Another critical question is, will President Ahmet Necdet Sezer just sit and watch a possible deadlock? Or would he use his influence to open Ankara’s path?”
 MESSAGES FOR CHANGE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements at this week’s Jeddah Economic Forum. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The statements made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Jeddah Economic Forum this week carried meaningful messages. Touching on various current issues from the modernization of the Islamic world to its economic and social development, the views put forth by the premier actually reflect a vision. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also laid out the pillars of this vision at the last May’s meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Tehran, Iran and at the OIC’s Business Council summit in Malaysia. Gul’s call to the Islamic world to move towards political reform, transparency and modernization at both of these summits drew great attention. Now the prime minister’s statements at Jeddah gave us further detail.
The first and most important message from Erdogan was that the Islamic world should ‘embrace change.’ In his words the world is still divided between those who merely watch change and those who embrace it. Countries which use technology effectively, boost production, and open themselves up to the world are the winners. Turkey is striving to take its place among those who ‘embrace change and win.’ Another message concerned political and social reforms. Answering questions, Erdogan mentioned women’s position in society and politics and gave as an example the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) emphasis on women.
The prime minister signalled a similar change by answering a question on a possible ‘Islamic common market.’ Erdogan was clear: We are against any common market based on religion or ethnicity. This wouldn’t be useful; on the contrary it would lead to divisions. Unlike the ideology of Necmettin Erbakan and his Welfare Party (RP), which saw the European Union as a ‘Christian Society’ and wanted to establish a common Islamic market, Erdogan has a pragmatic approach to the issue, contending that a ‘Union of Jointly Developing Countries’ could be established based on common interests rather than religion. Considering Erdogan’s worries about ‘division,’ policies that could encourage the so-called ‘clash of civilizations’ should be avoided. Turkey’s stance is integration with the EU (and the world economy). This would enable Turkey to both maintain its close ties with developed countries and further develop its relations with countries in the region.
The premier’s statements in Jeddah are an example for countries in the region which also want to ‘embrace change.’ With its messages issued in Iran, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, Turkey has once again demonstrated that it can be a model and serve as a bridge between the West and the Islamic world. This has a geo-strategic as well as international importance.”
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