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Turkish Press Review, 04-04-01
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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
01.04.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 NSC TO DISCUSS CYPRUS PLAN TODAYThe National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer met yesterday at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During the meeting, Iraq’s new constitution and contacts with the United States concerning the fight against the terrorist organization in northern Iraq were taken up. The NSC is set to reconvene today to discuss the final version of the Cyprus plan reached last night, with the attendance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, just back from the Cyprus talks in Switzerland. /Turkiye/
 CYPRUS TALKS COMPLETED; ANNAN URGES POSITIVE STANCE ON APRIL 24 REFERENDUMDuring yesterday’s Cyprus talks in Buergenstock, Switzerland, the four sides – the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Turkey, Greek Cyprus and Greece – completed their evaluations of the final version of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan and expressed these to him both orally and in written form. Then all four sides met once more with Annan in separate talks. UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto also attended the meetings. The Turkish side was not satisfied about the arrangements in the plan concerning bizonality, a transition period, legal challenges by Greek Cypriots to the final agreement, and derogations. On the other hand, the Greek side raised objections to the continued presence of Turkish troops on the island and demanded an increase in the number of Greeks allowed to return to the North and the removal of restrictions. A signing ceremony scheduled for last night at 8:00 pm had to be cancelled due to the Greek side’s objections. Then US Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned the Turkish and Greek leaders to urge them to come to an agreement. Finally Annan submitted the final version of the plan to both sides at 12:45 am today. In a press conference, the UN chief expressed his expectation that a united Cyprus would join the European Union on May 1. He also called on the leaders to take a positive stance for a referendum on the agreement set for April 24. /All Papers/
 ERDOGAN: “WE’RE READY TO FULFILL OUR RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CYPRUS”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Ankara was ready to fulfill its responsibilities envisaged by a revised Cyprus plan in line with the cooperation and timetable foreseen by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Speaking at a press conference after Annan presented both the Turkish and Greek sides the revised plan yesterday, Erdogan said that after making necessary evaluations of the plan the government would submit it to Parliament. Erdogan further stated that Ankara would respect the result of a referendum on the plan to be held on April 24. Addressing himself to both the Greeks and Greek Cypriots, the premier urged, “Let us walk together on the road of peace which started in Buergenstock and let us take the necessary steps together.” He stated that Turkey’s approach to the Cyprus issue was based on a win-win understanding, adding that Ankara favored a just and permanent peace on the island. “All our actions have been taken with this aim in mind,” added Erdogan. /Milliyet/
 PRODI: “I WILL DO MY BEST TO HELP A CYPRUS RESOLUTION UNDER THE UN PLAN”I am ready to do my best to help a Cyprus resolution under the United Nations Cyprus plan, pledged European Union Commission President Romano Prodi yesterday. Speaking at a press conference in Strasbourg, France, the seat of the European Parliament, Prodi added that EU legal analysts were working on the issue of derogations, which they assumed would be temporary. “We’ve made exceptions for a transitional period, but not permanent derogations,” said the EC leader. /Aksam/
 DENKTAS. “VERHEUGEN HAS NO RIGHT TO WEIGH IN AT CYPRUS TALKS”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday lashed out at Guenter Verheugen, the EU commissioner for enlargement, saying that he had made promises on the Cyprus issue which he couldn’t keep. “Verheugen won’t even be at his post a few months from now,” said Denktas. “He doesn’t have the right to say anything at the [Swiss] Cyprus talks.” Denktas further charged that there was a “great conspiracy” against the Turkish Cypriots, adding that its methods were deception and pressure. While Verheugen attended the just-concluded Swiss talks as observer, Denktas refused to negotiate there. /Cumhuriyet/
 TOBB CHAIRMAN: “SUNDAY’S WIN MEANS MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE AKP”The Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) win in last Sunday’s local elections will mean more responsibility for the ruling party, said Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu yesterday. “The AKP government should complete its structural reforms as soon as possible,” Hisarciklioglu said in a written statement, adding that with the economy there was no time to waste. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN TOUTS POSITIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTSSpeaking at a meeting of the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan touted recent positive economic developments, such as 2003’s $5 billion in foreign investment, a trend he predicted would continue this year. He added that the government would never deviate from its International Monetary Fund-supported economic program. /Sabah/
 2003 GROWTH BEATS TARGETThe State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced yesterday that last year Turkey’s gross national product (GNP) rose 5.9%, beating the official target by nearly a full percentage point, while its domestic national product (NDP) increased 5.8%. In addition, the nation’s per capita income climbed to $3,383, an increase of 30.2%. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WHO WOULD GAIN WHAT FROM A SOLUTION IN CYPRUS? BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on a possible solution to the Cyprus problem. A summary of his column is as follows:
“While Ankara’s National Security Council is evaluating recent development on Cyprus, other countries will hold similar meetings. Therefore, it would be useful to summarize the expectations of the parties involved.
The Greek part of Cyprus: This is the party least willing to reach a solution by May 1. It has scored economic and political progress even as its Turkish neighbor has stagnated under a political and economic embargo. It is acting with the assurance of guaranteed European Union membership. But due to its worries about the sovereignty of the Turkish side and international pressure, it’s still at the table.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC): Nicosia’s greatest hope is to gain EU membership and international recognition without harming bizonality and Turkey’s guarantees. TRNC President Rauf Denktas’s current stance is negative. The government can be a winner if it manages to convince its people to approve an agreement.
Greece: If no agreement is reached, the Greek part of the island will become an EU member, and Athens will be keeping its promise to the Greek Cypriots. But it would face heavier EU pressure and would be held responsible for a division in Cyprus and excluding Turkey from the Union. In addition, the unresolved situation in Cyprus would make reaching a solution in the Aegean more difficult. This situation contradicts Greece’s policies of removing any threat from the east and cutting its defense expenditures.
Turkey: A just and permanent solution in Cyprus will benefit Turkey in many ways. Firstly, it will remove a real obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership. Secondly, Anakra will have proved it can work within Europe’s culture of political pacts. Thirdly, Turkey will be able to conduct its foreign policy more effectively. Better steps will be taken in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus.
Britain: The third guarantor nation for Cyprus will feel better if a unified Cyprus joins the EU. The Cyprus problem will then be part of the Union. If these problems end with Turkey’s own membership, this will mean security and stability in the eastern part of Europe.
The European Union: A solution in Cyprus will boost the arguments in favor of Turkey’s EU membership. In this respect, Germany’s claim that Turkey as a secular Muslim country implementing Western democratic values would constitute a bridge to other Muslim countries would be strengthened.
The United States: Washington has more than one expectation in Cyprus. A solution in the eastern Mediterranean could be an example for the conflicts in Israel-Palestine and Armenia-Azerbaijan. The solution in Cyprus on land could be an example for the Azerbaijani land that was invaded by Armenia [upper Karabagh]. The Armenian diaspora in the US is the only obstacle to such a solution. A Cyprus deal would help the US convince the Armenians.”
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