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Turkish Press Review, 04-11-05
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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
05.11.2004SEZER, ERDOGAN CONGRATULATE BUSH ON REELECTION ERDOGAN TO VISIT LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS SEEKING SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU TALKS ERDOGAN WARNS AKP COLLEAGUES AGAINST ANTAGONIZING CHIRAC IN LEADUP TO SUMMIT GUL MEETS WITH PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT SUNGAR: “THERE ARE PARTS OF THE EU PROGRESS REPORT WHICH WILL COMPLICATE ANKARA’S EU TALKS” FRENCH PARLIAMENT COMMISSION REJECTS EU “SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP” WITH TURKEY IN LIEU OF MEMBERSHIP PAPADOPOULOS: “IF ANKARA DOESN’T RECOGNIZE GREEK CYPRUS BEFORE THE EU SUMMIT, WE’LL BLOCK THE START OF ITS TALKS” TURKEY TO TAKE OVER ISAF COMMAND IN FEBRUARY GERMAN GREENS LEADER ROTH VISITS SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIAN REGION FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... A DIFFERENT BUSH? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) BUSH’S VICTORY, AND A NAGGING QUESTION BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
 SEZER, ERDOGAN CONGRATULATE BUSH ON REELECTIONPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday sent their congratulations to US President George W. Bush for winning a second term on Tuesday’s election. Pointing to healthy relations between Turkey and the US, the two top leaders stated that they expected those ties would grow stronger during Bush’s second term. They added that Ankara would continue to cooperate with the US in the fight against terrorism. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TO VISIT LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS SEEKING SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU TALKSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to travel to Luxembourg on Nov. 14 for an official visit. The visit is important since Luxembourg will assume the rotating European Union presidency on Jan. 1. During his stay, Erdogan is expected to meet with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Junker and seek his support for Turkey beginning its EU accession talks. In related news, on Dec. 3-4 Erdogan is due to pay an official visit to the Netherlands, the current EU president. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN WARNS AKP COLLEAGUES AGAINST ANTAGONIZING CHIRAC IN LEADUP TO SUMMITPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday warned members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to steer clear of any statements which might antagonize French President Jacques Chirac in the runup to Dec. 17, the day European Union decision-makers are set to decide on starting Turkey’s EU membership talks. “I believe Chirac will take a positive stance on our membership bid,” said Erdogan. “However, he asked me to understand the problems he’s facing due to domestic opposition to our joining the EU. Therefore, everybody should be careful not to make statements in this period that could bother him. We must show understanding for his problems.” /Hurriyet/
 GUL MEETS WITH PORTUGUESE PRESIDENTVisiting Lisbon yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio. During their meeting, Sampio lent support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. At December’s EU summit, a date is expected for beginning Turkey’s accession talks. Turkey’s accession process may take as long as Portugual’s, but the important thing is not to be demoralized, counseled the president. Stressing that Turkey was ready for its negotiations, Gul asked the EU to treat Ankara the same as all other candidates. The Turkish foreign minister then met with Portuguese parliamentarians and businessmen and in the late afternoon saw Jose Socrates, the opposition Socialist Party leader. After completing his contacts in Lisbon, Gul proceeded to Brussels to attend EU meetings, where he is expected to see EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen. /Turkiye/
 SUNGAR: “THERE ARE PARTS OF THE EU PROGRESS REPORT WHICH WILL COMPLICATE ANKARA’S EU TALKS”Last month’s European Union Commission progress report on Turkey contains elements which could complicate Ankara’s EU accession talks, yesterday warned Murat Sungar, Turkey’s secretary-general for EU relations. Addressing a conference on Turkey’s EU bid, Sungar reiterated Turkey’s determination for membership. /Cumhuriyet/
 FRENCH PARLIAMENT COMMISSION REJECTS EU “SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP” WITH TURKEY IN LIEU OF MEMBERSHIPThe French Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission yesterday rejected a proposal for a European Union “special partnership” with Turkey in lieu of full membership. The proposal, made by the Union for French Democracy (UFD), was voted down during debates on France’s contribution to EU financial aid for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). /Turkiye/
 PAPADOPOULOS: “IF ANKARA DOESN’T RECOGNIZE GREEK CYPRUS BEFORE THE EU SUMMIT, WE’LL BLOCK THE START OF ITS TALKS”Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday threatened that his government would veto Turkey beginning its European Union accession negotiations if Ankara doesn’t recognize Greek Cyprus by Dec. 16, one day before the EU summit when the Union is to decide on beginning talks. Speaking to reporters before flying to Brussels, Papadopoulos predicted that if Turkey doesn’t “fulfill its obligations” it won’t get a date. “Recognizing Greek Cyprus is Ankara’s obligation not only for us, but also for the EU,” said Papadopoulos, adding that he would discuss the issue in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY TO TAKE OVER ISAF COMMAND IN FEBRUARYNATO officials yesterday announced that Turkey is to take over command of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Afghanistan next February, to be followed by a co-command of Italy, Britain and Spain. Currently the ISAF is commanded by the Eurocorps, an intervention force including troops from Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. A number of countries including Turkey, the Czech Republic and Romania have agreed to take turns at the command of Kabul airport, said one NATO official. The number of troops to be sent to Afghanistan is to be determined at a NATO meeting on Nov. 23 in Brussels. /Hurriyet/
 GERMAN GREENS LEADER ROTH VISITS SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIAN REGIONGermany’s visiting Greens Group leader Claudia Roth yesterday traveled to the southeastern Anatolian province of Sirnak. While there, Roth asked local mayors whether tanks that Turkey purchased from Germany some years ago had been used against civilians. “It’s very important to us that the German tanks were not used against the civilian population,” she added afterwards. Roth and her accompanying delegation then went to the Habur Border Gate where they listened to the complaints and problems of Turkish trucker drivers doing business in neighboring Iraq. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A DIFFERENT BUSH? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the US President George W. Bush and Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Will US President George W. Bush change? In other words, will he change the policies of his first term? Everybody around the world is talking about this and wondering. We hope that he will be more realistic, compromising and pragmatic rather than continuing to act unilaterally and aggressively on foreign policy. Everybody in the US knows that unilateral and aggressive policies bring bad results. In addition, the political and economic pricetag of Iraq is mounting. International hatred of Bush’s policies is turning into anti-Americanism. In his second term, Bush will need to move closer to Europe, avoid more military adventures, deal with such problems as the Palestinian issue and be more respectful to international bodies like the United Nations. In short, Bush should review his first-term policies. Such changes would help Turkish-US relations. It’s clear that the thorniest aspect of our recent relations is the Iraq issue, that is, its territorial integrity and stability, the Kurdish formation in the north and the presence of the PKK terrorist group. For these reasons, there’s still tension between Ankara and Washington.
No great changes in the US policy on Iraq should be expected in the short term. However, Bush can give Turkey’s sensitivity and expectations more consideration and stand with Ankara. This will be a test of how much Bush will change. Similarly, if Bush doesn’t change how he approaches Turkey’s neighbors such as Syria, this will put us into a difficult situation and rock the region. Turkey has an active role in these issues. If Bush tries to solve the problems in cooperation with his allies instead of acting unilaterally, Turkey can help this. Finally, if he adopts a policy of transatlantic rapprochement, this will also boost Turkish-US relations. Our diplomacy wants to maintain its freedom of movement in foreign policy, and it doesn’t want to have to choose between America and the European Union. A US-EU rapprochement would make things much easier for Turkey.”
 BUSH’S VICTORY, AND A NAGGING QUESTION BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on this week’s US presidential elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
“When US President George W. Bush put the blame for the September 11 attacks on distant countries and societies, he gained the support of many conservatives. Many Americans saw Bush as a leader who would protect them from terrorism. Thus, the Republicans scored a great victory. Yet many other Americans and people in other parts of the world thought that Bush’s violent policies would fail. We’ll see whether Bush’s victory will make the US president and his hawks more aggressive or make them see common sense. No doubt that Bush’s victory is in no way good for the world. One cannot help but worry about humanity when Bush is in office, because his policies can neither end terrorism, nor lead to peace in the Middle East. Bush ruined everything that his predecessor Bill Clinton did over eight years for a positive US image internationally.
Even people who favor the war in Iraq accept that the US is in a quagmire there. Over 1,100 American soldiers have been killed. Americans have killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians. What was Bush’s justification? ‘Saddam poses a threat to the US because Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.’ These justifications proved wrong. What will happen now? Iraq will become an even greater nightmare for the US. What will the future of the region be if Bush leaves Iraq in such chaos?
Looking at the US elections from the Turkish angle, the situation is clear: US policies about Turkey wouldn’t have changed much even if Kerry had been elected. In fact Kerry’s policies on Cyprus and the Armenian question weren’t clear, and this could have caused some problems. Thus, in the short term, Bush’s victory is good for Turkey. But in the long run, there’s no doubt that Bush’s violent policies will also harm Turkey. In the future the US will have to leave Iraq in chaos and this will cause trouble for Turkey and other countries in the region. Whatever we say, the world will have to live with Bush for four more years. The election is over, but this question still nags me. Would Bush have won if Hillary Clinton had been the Democrats’ candidate instead of Kerry?”
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