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Turkish Press Review, 06-01-03

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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 : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

03.01.2006

FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] CABINET DISCUSSES THE EU
  • [02] TURKISH AMBASSADOR ATTACKED IN BAGHDAD
  • [03] GUL TO TRAVEL TO THE MIDEAST FOR PACT ON INDUSTRIAL ZONE
  • [04] OZKOK CRITICIZES RECENT CHANGES TO ANTI-TERROR LAW
  • [05] TRNC COURT RELEASES MATSAKIS
  • [06] STRAW TO VISIT, WILL DISCUSS CYPRUS, EU, IRAN
  • [07] TIMES OF LONDON: “VIENNESE SET TO REPEL TURKS’ NEW ADVANCE ON THE WEST”
  • [08] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR: “CROATIA AND MACEDONIA WILL JOIN THE EU, BUT TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP IS UNCERTAIN”
  • [09] EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S MIREL: “TURKEY DID ITS HOMEWORK WELL”
  • [10] RUSSIA-UKRAINE NATURAL GAS DISPUTE THREATENS TURKEY, EUROPE
  • [11] TUZMEN: “WE BROKE RECORDS WITH $7.3 BLN IN EXPORTS IN DECEMBER, AND 2005 EXPORTS REACHED $73.4 BLN”
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [13] IS THE PRESIDENT SOWING ETHNIC NATIONALISM? BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)

  • [01] CABINET DISCUSSES THE EU

    The first Cabinet meeting of the year was held yesterday chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the meeting, developments on Turkey’s European Union bid in line with Austria’s taking over the EU’s term presidency, the possible effects of the Russian-Ukrainian natural gas dispute on Turkey, and Monday’s attack on the convoy of Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Unal Cevikoz were discussed. Afterwards, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told a press conference that he condemned the attack, and he also criticized speculative news reports after recent top-level visits of foreign officials. “These were routine visits, but it was groundlessly reported that the US asked Turkey for military bases,” said Cicek. “Turkey has become a target of violence due to this news. And our officials abroad pay for it.” Cicek added, “Parliament passed 165 laws last year. We will continue our efforts to enact and institutionalize per the EU progress report to the last. The government isn’t resting on its laurels. Our determination continues.” /Star/

    [02] TURKISH AMBASSADOR ATTACKED IN BAGHDAD

    A convoy carrying Turkish Ambassador to Iraq Unal Cevikoz was attacked yesterday in Baghdad, damaging vehicles but causing no causalities. Cevikoz reportedly had met with Sheikh Harith al-Dhari, the head of the influential Sunni Arab Association of Muslim Scholars, which is headquartered in the mosque compound, and was coming back to his office. A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said that the ambush was a professional job. “We strongly condemn this attack on our staff and ambassador, and we expect the attackers will be captured as soon as possible,” said the statement. It also noted that such attacks would not affect Ankara’s determination to support Iraqis in building a democratic country and preserving its political unity and territorial integrity in peace with its people and neighbors. /Hurriyet/

    [03] GUL TO TRAVEL TO THE MIDEAST FOR PACT ON INDUSTRIAL ZONE

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to the Middle East on Thursday to have talks with his Palestinian and Israeli counterparts as part of a signing ceremony of agreements for reopening an industrial zone in the Gaza Strip. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) will manage the Erez Industrial Zone. The region is expected to house some 250 workplaces and employ 10,000 Palestinians. /Turkiye/

    [04] OZKOK CRITICIZES RECENT CHANGES TO ANTI-TERROR LAW

    Speaking to a magazine yesterday, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok criticized recent changes to the Anti-Terror Law, warning that terrorists would benefit from these changes. Ozkok stated that these changes would provide opportunities for the terrorist PKK, adding that Turkey should adopt a law in accordance with European Union legislation. “Turkey needs to determine and implement its measures according to its own conditions,” he said, adding that the Anti-Terror Law should be updated as soon as possible and that Ankara needs to have the will to implement the law. “If we have this will, then it will be easy to fight terrorists,” added Ozkok. “Some circles are supporting terrorism.” Ozkok further stressed that terrorism was the chief enemy of democracy. In related news, speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that the issue had been discussed at the gathering. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TRNC COURT RELEASES MATSAKIS

    A military court in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday decided to release Marios Matsakis, a Greek Cypriot member of the European Union Parliament, as the immunity of the European parliamentarian was valid in the TRNC. The trial will be suspended until Matsakis’s term of office expires. He was arrested on Saturday in Nicosia after a November incident when he stole a Turkish flag from a TRNC military outpost along the buffer zone. /Hurriyet/

    [06] STRAW TO VISIT, WILL DISCUSS CYPRUS, EU, IRAN

    British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will visit Turkey later this month. Cyprus, the European Union and Iran are the foremost subjects that Straw is set to discuss. After the transfer of Britain’s EU presidency to Austria on Jan. 1, Straw will primarily evaluate the UK’s six months at the helm. The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that Cyprus, one of Turkey’s most critical issues, will have priority for Straw. Wrangling between Iran and the European Union over Tehran’s nuclear program and recent developments in Iraq will also be up for discussion. /Star/

    [07] TIMES OF LONDON: “VIENNESE SET TO REPEL TURKS’ NEW ADVANCE ON THE WEST”

    The transfer of the EU presidency form Britain to Austria is being interpreted in the British press as “Viennese set to repel Turks' new advance on the West.” The Times of London, in an article about the subject, cited the 1683 Siege of Vienna, adding, “A little over three centuries ago Austrian forces, reinforced by their Polish allies, dashed the Ottoman Empire’s aggressive ambitions for Western Europe when they defeated the Turkish army at the second siege of Vienna. Ironically, having been the bulwark against Turkish military expansion in 1683, Austria now finds itself representing its 24 EU allies in handling Ankara’s diplomatic campaign to win a place at the European Union’s top table.” The Times interpreted the Viennese presidency as a repetition of history. /Hurriyet/

    [08] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR: “CROATIA AND MACEDONIA WILL JOIN THE EU, BUT TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP IS UNCERTAIN”

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, new European Union term President Austria’s Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel said that Croatia and Macedonia would join the EU, but characterized Turkey’s membership prospects as uncertain. Schussel said that Turkey deserved EU membership, but it was difficult to predict the outcome of negotiations. “No one can decide now whether full membership is the only choice for Turkey,” added Schussel. /Milliyet/

    [09] EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S MIREL: “TURKEY DID ITS HOMEWORK WELL”

    Supportive messages from the European Union to Turkey are continuing. “Turkey started the screening process well and continues to do so,” yesterday said Pierre Mirel, director of the Candidate Countries’ Directorate of the European Commission. Mirel spoke about the actual negotiations following the screening expected to begin in March, and said, “The screening process shows that Turkey did its homework well.” He also said that the actual negotiations between Turkey and the EU will also be successful. Underlining that there’s not just one ideal negotiations structure looked at from the perspective of past experiences, Mirel said that different countries had accession talks with different structures in the negotiations process. “There are three different structures pertaining to talks. The best one will become clear after six months,” he added. /Star/

    [10] RUSSIA-UKRAINE NATURAL GAS DISPUTE THREATENS TURKEY, EUROPE

    The crisis between Russia and Ukraine on the price of natural gas is also threatening Turkey, which is a major buyer of Russian natural gas, as well as European countries. Officials from state gas and oil company BOTAS said yesterday that Turkey had purchased large amounts of gas before Russia’s cutoff. But experts warned that negative effects of the crisis could be felt in the country soon. Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria could start stocking gas, leaving Turkey with a smaller supply. /Sabah/

    [11] TUZMEN: “WE BROKE RECORDS WITH $7.3 BLN IN EXPORTS IN DECEMBER, AND 2005 EXPORTS REACHED $73.4 BLN”

    Speaking at a meeting to evaluate exports yesterday, State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said that with $7.3 billion in exports in December, Turkey had broken a record in the republic’s history. Tuzmen stated that despite a slowdown in 2005, last year’s exports reached a total of $73.4 billion. Touching on the current account deficit, Tuzmen said that the deficit was a top issue for Turkey, adding that since goods and service imports rose more than exports, the current account deficit had increased. Tuzmen added that the slowdown in last year’s exports was due to a worldwide slowdown. Also addressing the gathering, Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici said that foreign trade deficit was expected to reach $42 billion by the end of this year. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [13] IS THE PRESIDENT SOWING ETHNIC NATIONALISM? BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on discussions on primary and sub- identity. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Extraordinary developments which will occur close to Turkey (Iraq, Iran and Syria) will determine our fate in 2006. The main axis of the discussion in the Kurdish issue was set by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as ‘identity’ during the second half of 2005. He opened the discussion of primary and sub-identity. However, he couldn’t give a satisfactory answer to this discussion and produced contradictory solutions every day. Thus, the discussion expanded every day and everybody said different things about it. In the end, the public got tired of this and wanted to end the discussions. When President Ahmet Necdet Sezer weighed in as part of his New Year’s Day message, newspapers wrote that Sezer had had the final word about the discussion of primary and sub-identity. We thought that after Sezer made these remarks, Erdogan would close the subject and relieve both himself and the public. However, Erdogan can’t control himself and quit a topic when necessary. One day after Sezer’s remarks, Erdogan made another statement about primary identity which conflicted with that of Sezer. I’m afraid we will grow more confused as long as these two top state officials make contradictory statements.

    Sezer said that the name of the nation was defined by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and that the Turkish public which established the Turkish Republic is called the Turkish nation. Sezer added that one cannot maintain the singular state structure without settling the national identity awareness. Only one day after this statement, Erdogan said that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had three red lines. Erdogan said that one of them was ethnic nationalism and that it wouldn’t allow this. Erdogan said that the only primary link that connects us was Turkish Republic citizenship. Sezer said that a (primary) identity should exist other than the law which connects a nation in joy and sorrow and that this was being Turkish. Meanwhile, Erdogan said that along with other sub identities, he considered being Kurdish and Turkish as sub identities and announced ethnic nationalism as his party’s red line. According to Erdogan, if we insist on a national identity as a primary identity (being Kurdish_Turkish) for any reason, then we would be sowing ethic nationalism. When we follow Erdogan’s reasoning, we see that being Turkish is also within the category of sub identity just like being Kurdish, and insisting on one of them creates ethnic nationalism. According to Erdogan, is Sezer sowing ethnic nationalism? I couldn’t understand this. With Erdogan’s latest remarks we’re back at square one.”

    ARCHIVE

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