|Saturday, 25 May 2013|
Turkish Press Review, 04-04-21
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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
21.04.2004ERDOGAN: “WE WANT CYPRUS TO BE A UNITED ISLAND OF PEACE” DUTCH MINISTER NICOLAI: “IF GREEK CYPRIOTS REJECT THE UN PLAN, WE WON’T FORSAKE TURKISH CYPRUS” NSC TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY MEETING POWELL: “WE WANT THE UN TO PASS A RESOLUTION BEFORE THIS WEEK’S CYPRUS REFERENDUMS” EP SEEKS TO SWAY GREEK CYPRUS ON UN PLAN ECEVIT MEETS WITH DENKTAS, JOINS HIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST UN PLAN AKEL REJECTS TALAT’S REQUEST FOR MEETING CHP LEADER BAYKAL: “THE NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PACKAGE SHOULD INCLUDE AN END TO IMMUNITY” YASAR NURI OZTURK RESIGNS FROM CHP GREEK PM: “EVEN IF THE CYPRUS PLAN ISN’T APPROVED, WE’LL STILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TURKEY’S EU BID” MILITARY COOPERATION PACT SIGNED WITH CHILE TURKISH WEIGHTLIFTER SCORES THREE GOLD MEDALS IN KIEV FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... CYPRUS AND TURKEY BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET) REGIMES CAN’T BE IMPOSED BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)
 ERDOGAN: “WE WANT CYPRUS TO BE A UNITED ISLAND OF PEACE”“We hope that Cyprus becomes an island of peace where Turkish and Greek Cypriots live together in a united republic of Cyprus,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Before leaving for Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend a summit of heads of state and government of South East European Cooperation Process (SECCP) countries, Erdogan stated that he would meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and Albanian Premier Fatos Nano during his visit to the capital Sarajevo. /Turkiye/
 DUTCH MINISTER NICOLAI: “IF GREEK CYPRIOTS REJECT THE UN PLAN, WE WON’T FORSAKE TURKISH CYPRUS”Atzo Nicolai, European affairs minister for the Netherlands, said yesterday that the European Union should revise its stance if Greek Cyprus rejects the United Nations Cyprus plan in Saturday’s referendums. After meeting with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara, Nicolai told a press conference that Cypriots now had a historic opportunity before them. “We’ve never been so close to a settlement on Cyprus before,” said the Dutch minister. Pointing to the importance of a positive result in the referendums, Nicolai said that if Greek Cyprus rejects the plan, Turkish Cyprus would not left forsaken. Commenting on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, the Dutch minister stated that Ankara had made important progress on its road to membership. “But,” he added, “it’s hard to give a date for its membership, as we’re now focused on deciding in December whether or not to begin negotiations with Ankara.” The Netherlands will be EU term president when that decision is made. In related news, Gul yesterday left for Sarajevo to attend a South East European Cooperation Process (SECCP) summit. Speaking to reporters en route, Gul said that he had been sorry to hear Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’s recent charge that Ankara had “sacrificed” Cyprus for the sake of its EU membership bid. Gul said that Turkey would always stand behind Turkish Cypriots. In Sarajevo last evening, Gul attended an unofficial foreign ministers’ gathering and also held bilateral meetings. /Milliyet/
 NSC TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY MEETINGThe National Security Council (NSC) is due to hold an extraordinary meeting next Monday. The meeting, chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, is expected to focus on a number of issues, but especially Cyprus. /Aksam/
 POWELL: “WE WANT THE UN TO PASS A RESOLUTION BEFORE THIS WEEK’S CYPRUS REFERENDUMS”US Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday that Washington wanted the UN Security Council to pass a resolution on new security arrangements for a future united Cyprus before Saturday’s referendums in order to encourage a “yes” vote to reunite the island. “We’re working with the UN Security Council on a resolution that we would like to see acted upon this week, and that resolution should give encouragement to the Cypriots both north and south that the UN will be putting its weight behind this agreement,” said Powell. “A resolution will make sure that we call on all parties to meet their obligations.” /Milliyet/
 EP SEEKS TO SWAY GREEK CYPRUS ON UN PLANIn the countdown to Saturday’s referendums on Cyprus, the European Parliament is set to convene today to discuss a proposed resolution on Cyprus. The resolution, to be voted on tomorrow, calls on both sides on the island to approve the UN plan. An EP delegation is also expected to travel to Southern Cyprus on Friday to meet with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopulos and leaders of AKEL, Greek Cyprus’ largest political party, to convince them to support the plan in the referendums. /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT MEETS WITH DENKTAS, JOINS HIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST UN PLANDemocratic Left Party (DSP) leader and former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday visited Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to throw his support behind the campaign against the UN Cyprus plan. Speaking afterwards, Ecevit said that he had come to the island to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue, adding that he would visit the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) after returning to Ankara. Ecevit added that the TRNC’s economy had developed despite the economic embargos imposed on it. For his part, Denktas warned that if the Turkish Cypriots accept the plan, then they would face a host of difficulties. In related news, TRNC Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said yesterday that the plan included both positive and negative elements for both sides. /Cumhuriyet/
 AKEL REJECTS TALAT’S REQUEST FOR MEETINGGreek Cyprus’s largest political party, the AKEL communist party, yesterday rejected a request from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat to meet with AKEL leader Dimitris Christofias to discuss this Saturday’s referendums. Christofias stated that the party was still discussing its stance ahead of this Saturday’s referendums, so such a meeting at this stage would not be useful. AKEL has opposed the plan, but also held out the possibility of supporting it if it gets certain guarantees from the UN. /Cumhuriyet/
 CHP LEADER BAYKAL: “THE NEW CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PACKAGE SHOULD INCLUDE AN END TO IMMUNITY”Commenting on a new 10-article constitutional amendment package prepared by the government, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that his party would not support the package if it does not include measures to lift deputies’ immunity. “If the package leaves out measures on immunity, this would make us suspicious about the government’s sincerity concerning democracy,” said Baykal. “Amendments to the Constitution should be made not for sake of our European Union membership bid, but rather for our people.” /Sabah/
 YASAR NURI OZTURK RESIGNS FROM CHPRepublican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Yasar Nuri Ozturk yesterday announced his resignation from his party. He stated that he had made this decision due to disagreements on certain matters with party leader Deniz Baykal and the party administration. /Sabah/
 GREEK PM: “EVEN IF THE CYPRUS PLAN ISN’T APPROVED, WE’LL STILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TURKEY’S EU BID”Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday received Yigit Alpogan, Turkey’s ambassador to Greece. During their talks, Karamanlis pledged that even if Greek Cypriots reject the UN Cyprus plan at this Saturday’s referendums, Athens would still continue to support Ankara’s European Union membership bid. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet with Karamanlis today in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. /Hurriyet/
 MILITARY COOPERATION PACT SIGNED WITH CHILEDeputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug and Chilean Defense Minister Michelle Bachelet yesterday signed an agreement on military cooperation between their two countries. After the signing ceremony, Basbug stated that this agreement would help boost relations between Ankara and Santiago. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH WEIGHTLIFTER SCORES THREE GOLD MEDALS IN KIEVTurkish weightlifters yesterday won a total of five gold medals and one silver and broke two European records in the first day of the European Men’s and Women’s Weightlifting Championship in Kiev, Ukraine. Nurcan Taylan, Turkey’s entry in the 53 kg women’s category, won three gold medals and broke two European records. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CYPRUS AND TURKEY BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on Turkey, Cyprus, and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’s recent statements. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas has been criticizing the Turkish government of late. Of course he can take issue, but it’s worrisome that this is becoming a polemic. ‘If we aren’t sovereign, why did Turkey send its ambassador?’ he asked recently. ‘Why has it recognized us as a sovereign state for 20 years? It’s sacrificing Cyprus in order to get a date from the EU. Turkey once risked a war for the Aegean islet of Kardak, but now it’s preparing to forsake Cyprus.’ When I asked Justice Minister Cemil Cicek about these comments, he replied, ‘We’re keeping our silence because we respect Denktas’s historic character. We know that such a discussion between Anatolian Turks and Cypriot Turks would be very harmful.’ I wonder if Denktas has considered the issue from this point of view.
Denktas’ message to Turkish Cypriots that ‘Turkey is forsaking you for EU membership’ is very mistaken. Even if UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan is accepted, Turkey will support Turkish Cypriots both politically and economically for years to come. Turkish Cypriots shouldn’t get the impression that they’ve been forsaken. Moreover, the TRNC’s Founding Declaration clearly envisaged ‘the re-establishment of partnership between two equal nations [Turkish and Greek Cyprus] under the roof of a federation.’ That’s why the TRNC’s Constitutional Court accepted that Annan’s plan, which would put an end to the TRNC and establish the ‘roof of federation,’ should face a referendum.
When there’s conflict between reason and feelings, the requirements of reason should be followed. Of course there isn’t just one reasonable way, but discussions about this shouldn’t cause friction between Cyprus and Anatolia. On the contrary, we’re entering a process in which the feeling of solidarity between Turkish Cypriots and Turkey should strengthen our economic and social ties more than ever. Denktas can criticize the government and lead a ‘no’ campaign, but if he says that Turkey is forsaking Cyprus, he’s not only being unfair, but also hurting solidarity. When I spoke to Cicek about presenting Annan’s plan to the UN Security Council for ‘guarantees,’ he replied, ‘He was supposed to present it after the referendums. We aren’t complaining about it. In addition, the Security Council resolution has a positive side because it will boost the legal power of the derogations in Annan’s plan.’ After 30 years, we’ve reached a good crossroads. All of us, including Denktas, should think of the era to follow Saturday’s referendums.”
 REGIMES CAN’T BE IMPOSED BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on a conference on Islam, democracy and secularism. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Washington, DC hosted a very interesting conference this week called ‘Islam, Democracy and Secularism: Turkey’s Experience.’ The most interesting aspect of the gathering was its organizers, Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Turkey’s Journalists and Writers Association, whose honorary president is Fethullah Gulen. On the one hand there is a foundation founded by an individual but outlawed by an official ideology, and on the other hand a prestigious university.
One of the most interesting presentations was University of Utah’s Hakan Yavuz’s classification of seven Islamic ‘zones,’ contrary to Samuel Huntington’s assumption of one Islam in his theory of the ‘clash of civilizations.’ Yavuz states that Turkey’s Islam differs from the Islam of the Arab world and Iran. Ankara should support this concept.
I have bad news for those who expect the United States to request help from Turkey in its Greater Middle East Initiative. Scholars attending the conference were near unanimous in arguing that no regime can be imposed on another country and that the Turkish experience couldn’t be imposed on the Arab world.
Another important speech was made by State Minister for Religious Affairs Mehmet Aydin. Aydin emphasized that religion and the state are both parts of life and so must co-exist. Therefore, the question is to determine how their relationship works. The best choice, according to Aydin, is both the state and religion refraining from getting involved in each other’s affairs, with the state treating all religions impartially. Gandhi once made a very important observation: ‘Those who say that politics and religion can’t live together know neither religion nor politics.’ Aydin’s most important statement is that Islam is an individually oriented religion. ‘Since man has to give an account of his own actions, one has to make every contribution to individual improvement,’ said Aydin. This statement emphasizes the serious errors of both fundamentalists and secularists.”
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