|Wednesday, 19 June 2013|
Turkish Press Review, 04-05-06
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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
06.05.2004FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 KRUEGER: “TO SUSTAIN ITS HIGH DEBT STOCK, TURKEY MUST BOOST THE PRIMARY SURPLUS”Speaking at the Turkish Economy Congress in Izmir yesterday, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger praised the government’s efforts on inflation, the primary surplus and fiscal reforms. Krueger cautioned, however, that Ankara should increase its primary surplus in order to sustain its high debt stock in the medium term. “Turkey’s primary surplus target for the last year was 6.5%, but it achieved 6.2%,” said Krueger, adding that she didn’t see the high primary surplus damaging growth. “A high primary surplus will boost growth and create new jobs,” she added. Touching on inflation, Krueger stated that resolve would be needed to bring inflation down further, adding that a single-digit rate was now achievable. Krueger predicted that Turkey would benefit from the completion of its economic reforms. Also speaking at the congress, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer hailed recent economic indicators as “positive,” adding however that some structural problems remained and that sustainable growth was very important. “As unemployment is still too high, we need to reduce it,” urged Sezer. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN TO TRAVEL TO GREECE TODAYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Greece late this afternoon to pay an official visit. During his three-day stay, Erdogan is expected to meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis as well as President Konstantin Stephanopoulos, Parliament Speaker Anna Psaruda and Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyanni. On Saturday, the last day of his visit, Erdogan is to visit Gumulcine, a town in western Thrace, where he will meet with representatives of the Turkish minority in that region, which adjoins Turkey. /Turkiye/
 GUL TO ATTEND EURO-MED FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETINGForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday left for Dublin, Ireland to attend the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers. Speaking to reporters before leaving, Gul said that the meeting had been held since 1995 and that this year 25 European Union member states were participating. “We expect to discuss developments in the Middle East as well as regional issues,” he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS: “ANKARA SHOULD RECOGNIZE GREEK CYPRUS AS WELL”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday was awarded an honorary doctorate by Gaziantep University. Speaking at the ceremony in his honor, Denktas said, “What joined the European Union [on May 1] was the Greek Cypriot side, not Cyprus. This membership won’t affect the Northern Turkish side.” Commenting on the issue of Ankara’s possible recognition of Greek Cyprus, the TRNC leader said that besides the TRNC, it would also be good for Turkey to recognize Greek Cyprus. /Star/
 TRNC’S TALAT: “POWELL HAS PLEDGED TO HELP END THE EMBARGO”Speaking to reporters in the wake of his Tuesday meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, who is currently paying an official visit to the US, said that Powell had vowed to work to end the TRNC’s isolation. Talat expressed his satisfaction with the positive stances of both Powell and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whom he also spoke with on Tuesday. In related news, US State Department Cyprus Envoy Thomas Weston said that the US administration’s forthcoming steps on the Cyprus issue would encourage the Turkish side. /Turkiye/
 AGAR LENDS SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT ON YOK BILLIn a press conference yesterday, minor opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar threw his party’s support behind the government’s new Higher Board of Education (YOK) bill. Stressing that the DYP was opposed to any discrimination, Agar said the religious-oriented imam hatips were also schools of the Turkish Republic and so should not be treated unjustly. Commenting on recent allegations of torture of Iraqi prisoners by coalition forces, Agar urged the authorities to punish all those guilty of that crime against humanity. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP’S ECONOMIC POLICIES, ERDOGAN RESPONDSAddressing the Turkish Economy Congress yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) economic policies, charging that a swelling current accounts deficit could lead to another national economic crisis. Baykal also warned that interest rates remained too high, but urged the continuation next year of Ankara’s International Monetary Fund- supported economic program. “We need to pay back $25.2 billion to the IMF between 2004 and 2007,” said Baykal. He added that 6.5% primary surplus target was too high for Turkey and needed to be reduced. For his part, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded that the government could reduce this target after discussing the issue with IMF officials, adding that Turkey needed to pay back $20 billion to the IMF, not $25 billion. /Aksam/
 CB HEAD: “TURKEY SHOULD MAINTAIN TIES WITH THE IMF AFTER COMPLETION OF ITS STANDBY PROGRAM”Appearing on television yesterday, Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti urged continued ties in some fashion with the International Monetary Fund after next year’s completion of Ankara’s standby agreement. “Since Turkey’s debt stock is too high, I believe that we need to continue our path with the IMF,” said Serdengecti. “There’s no need to worry about the current accounts deficit if we maintain sound fiscal policies.” /Aksam/
 NEW IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR PRAISES TURKEY’S ECONOMIC INDICATORSRodrigo Rato, the International Monetary Fund’s new managing director, yesterday praised Turkey’s recent economic indicators. Speaking at a press conference, Rato hailed positive developments in the Turkish economy. In related news, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Donald Johnston said yesterday that Turkey was at an important turning point. “The Turkish government is on the right track,” said Johnston. He also praised Ankara’s reforms. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 A NATO FORCE IN IRAQ? BY OYA BERBEROGLU (AKSAM)Columnist Oya Berberoglu comments on this June’s NATO summit in Istanbul. A summary of her column is as follows:
“During their summit next month in Istanbul, will NATO members consider sending troops to Iraq? Remember that Turkey favors sending its own troops under the NATO banner. This issue will be discussed at the summit. Some are even saying the US will push for this at the meeting. There are also claims that a secret deal was struck during State Minister Ali Babacan’s recent visit to the US. Some officials in Bulgaria confirmed signs pointing to troops being sent to Iraq. US officials are saying that discussions in NATO over Iraq haven’t begun, but this isn’t the whole truth. We’ll see whether NATO will decide to send troops to Iraq this June or at the end of the year. The US is planning to grant self-governance to the Iraqi people on June 30. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that for a NATO intervention, a sovereign recognized by the UN should come to power.
I recently got some information after the Cyprus referendum. We’ve already read press leaks about a US request for a base on Cyprus in return for recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and an end to the embargo. There’s also a deal over Cyprus to send Turkish troops to Iraq.
If we see the situation from the European Union’s perspective, it wouldn’t have given Turkey a date for accession talks even if a reunited Cyprus joined the EU. I recently wrote that the EU is considering Turkey a favorable neighbor; now this idea is being voiced by the Union itself.
The second half of this year is very critical for Turkey as well as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The issue of starting accession talks will determine the future of the AKP. If the EU doesn’t give us a date, something the AKP has had high hopes on, then things will get more complicated.”
 FROM HERE ON OUT BY SOLI OZEL (SABAH)Columnist Soli Ozel comments on the aftermath of last month’s Cyprus referendums. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Greece today, where he will not only meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis, but also pay a visit to the western Thrace region adjacent to Turkey. Turkish-Greek relations might not be spoiled by this visit. However, considering Erdogan’s difficulties with mastering the details of issues, he should avoid in-depth discussions. Some people fear that Turkish-Greek relations, after starting down a positive path on the basis of common interests over the Cyprus referendums, will be spoiled. Actually Karamanlis stated before the referendums that Greece would support Turkey’s European Union membership and it getting a date for membership negotiations. However, problems stemming from the Greek Cypriot administration are possible. As we saw last week, the gains from the referendums haven’t turned out to be concrete. In addition, it’s become clear that Ankara made a grave tactical error by rejecting the United Nations plan at the 2002 Copenhagen summit. Turkey painted itself into a corner by opening the door for the Greek Cypriots’ single-handed EU membership, first in Copenhagen and then at The Hague.
It would have been fitting for a country calling EU membership its strategic target to place the Cyprus issue in a wide strategic context and act accordingly. Our position on Cyprus paved the way for the current disappointment. What’s more, the current stance of Azerbaijan proves that the negative situation faced by Turkey concerning Cyprus has complicated its relations with not only the West, but also the entire world. The other Turkic republics and Muslim countries acted no differently, that is, they showed a stance favoring Greek Cyprus. Obviously Washington’s support is very important as well. As Turkey won’t recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, we shouldn’t let the political momentum be lost. In this respect, the guarantor nations should start certain contacts. We can ensure that the Turkish and Greek Cypriots take certain steps as part of Annan’s plan with the encouragement of Ankara and Athens. In addition, our progress on the Aegean issue mustn’t be lost either. In short, the political advantages gained through the referendums by Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) must be translated into definite gains.”
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