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Turkish Press Review, 06-01-25
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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
25.01.2006FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER’S VISIT TO AZERBAIJAN POSTPONED DUE TO BAD WEATHER CONDITIONSPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s official visit to Azerbaijan was postponed due to bad weather conditions. Sezer was going to visit Azerbaijan upon an invitation of his Azerbaijani counterpart between Jan. 25 and 26 to discuss bilateral relations. In a written statement from the Presidential Palace, it was stated that Sezer would visit Azerbaijan as soon as possible. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN CALLS ON EU COUNTRIES TO KEEP THEIR PROMISES ON CYPRUSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called on European countries to end international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Addressing his Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that Turkish side had done its best and it was European countries’ turn to take concrete steps. He reiterated that Turkey favored a comprehensive and just settlement on the island. Stressing that the Cyprus issue was a national cause, Erdogan said that he tried to convey Ankara’s views on the matter to the world leaders on all occasions. He added that he would have an opportunity to discuss the topic with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other leaders in Davos during the World Economic Forum meetings. /Turkiye/
 WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM BEGINSThe annual meetings of the World Economic Forum will begin today in Davos, Switzerland. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Davos tomorrow to attend the gathering. He is expected to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to hold bilateral talks with a number of leaders, including Georgian, Afghan, Pakistani and Swiss presidents. Furthermore, he is scheduled to attend panels and gatherings, as well as to meet with businessmen representatives. Before leaving for Davos tomorrow, Erdogan will receive British Foreign Minister Jack Straw to exchange views on the Cyprus issue. Meanwhile, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan is also set to attend the meetings in Davos. Erdogan is expected to return to Turkey on Friday. /Sabah/
 TURKEY’S NEW ACTION PLAN FOR CYPRUSForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday revealed the details of the Turkey’s new action plan, which was submitted to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday. Gul stated that a new initiative was taken in order to contribute to peace and stability in Cyprus and that the proposed action plan would contribute to a lasting solution. Gul said, “Parts approached towards a solution in 2004 but despite Turkey’s efforts, a solution which UN Secretary-General desires was prevented.” “The current status quo works against the interest of all,” said Gul and added, “We are launching a new initiative.” Turkey’s new 10-point action plan is based on previous proposals by Gul on May 30, 2005 but the recent plan includes concrete proposals for future steps, time frame and mechanisms. In related news, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday said that the action plan on the solution of the Cyprus issue which was revealed by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul would trigger a solution, adding, “Turkish Cypriots explicitly, clearly and strongly support the proposals.” Talat at a press conference evaluated the action plan revealed by Gul. Talat said that all elements of the proposals were consulted continuously and they were informed and added, “We are ready to support what lies within our responsibility.” /Star-Aksam/
 PAPADOPOULOS CALLS TURKEY’S NEW ACTION PLAN AN “OLD TURKISH INITIATIVE”Greek Cypriot leader Tasos Papadopoulos, who is in Moscow for an official visit, yesterday evaluated Turkey’s new action plan on Cyprus, calling it an “old Turkish initiative.” Papadopoulos claimed that Ankara needed to do something under its obligations to the European Union, adding that the action plan was a result of these obligations. “We know this issue, there is nothing new,” said Papadopoulos. “However, we’ll review this.” Papadopoulos stressed that Greek Cyprus policy didn’t change and it wouldn’t change in the future. In related news, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Yakovu claimed that Ankara would sooner or later open its ports to Greek Cyprus. /Sabah/
 ANNAN IS PLEASED WITH STRAW’S VISIT TO CYPRUSUnited Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan evaluated British Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s visit to Cyprus as a positive development. Secretary- General’s spokesperson said that Annan was attaching importance to work being conducted for a lasting solution in Cyprus. Spokesperson noted that Annan was pleased with Jack Straw’s visit. Straw will meet today with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat. /Cumhuriyet/
 US: “SOLUTION IN CYPRUS WILL BE ON THE BASIS OF ANNAN PLAN”US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack yesterday said that the US is in contact with the European Union on the Cyprus issue and repeated US’ support for the Annan Plan by drawing attention to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s meeting with National Security Council (MGK) Secretary- General Yigit Alpogan. Spokesman stated that the referendum on the Annan Plan cut no ice, adding, “The US believes that the solution in Cyprus will be on the basis of Annan Plan. Therefore, we’ll continue to show concern for the issue.” The United Nations also stated that they had analyzed the Turkish action plan on the Cyprus issue. UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stefan Dujarric said, “This plan is in line with the secretary- general’s efforts to resolve this problem.” “We welcome efforts for a solution to the deadlock,” said the European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. /Aksam/
 ALPOGAN MEETS WITH RICE, DISCUSSES IRAQ, IRAN, AND CYPRUSNational Security Council (NSC) Secretary General Yigit Alpogan, who is in Washington for an official visit, met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss a number of issues, including Iran, Iraq, Turkish-European Union relations and Cyprus. During their meeting, Rice said that there was consensus between Ankara and Washington against Iran’s nuclear plans, adding that time to talk the issue with Tehran was over. Rice stated that the issue should be brought to the UN Security Council. She further stated that due to its neighborhood with Iran, Ankara pursued a relatively soft policy towards Iran. Later, Alpogan met with Eric Edelman, the former US Ambassador to Ankara. /Cumhuriyet/
 JOURNALIST MUMCU COMMEMORATEDJournalist and writer Ugur Mumcu, who was murdered in Ankara in 1993, was commemorated on the 13th anniversary of his death by the representatives of the political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) all over the country. /Milliyet/
 STRAW VISITS CYPRUSBritish Foreign Minister Jack Straw yesterday started a tour of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece yesterday. As part of his two-day contacts in Cyprus, Straw is set to first meet with Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Yakovu. He is then expected to proceed to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and hold talks with President Mehmet Ali Talat. After completing his contacts on the island, Straw will head to Istanbul. On Thursday, he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan has welcomed Straw’s mission, saying it will back up UN efforts for healing the Cyprus division. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY CHARGED IN COMPLAINT BY CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORThe European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that Turkey had violated the rights of a Turkish citizen who was the first conscientious objector in the country to openly declare his refusal to perform compulsory military service for reasons of conscience. In the matter of the complaint filed by Osman Murat Ulka, the Strasbourg-based court decided that Turkey had violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human rights and charged Turkey to pay 11,000 euros in financial compensation to the complainant. /Turkish Daily News/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 CYPRUS BREAKTHROUGH BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)Columnist Erdal Safak comments on the ‘Cyprus package’ announced by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The soul of ‘Cyprus package’ announced by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday is decreasing the mutual lack of confidence with free trade before a new peace and reunification agreement. The package envisages that measures are implemented not fragmentarily, but together and simultaneously. In other words, neck or nothing. When British Foreign Minister Jack Straw left London for Lefkosa, Gul opened the Cyprus package in Ankara. This is a great timing, because of following reasons:
* The Greek Cypriot administration staggered, as Straw decided to meet with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat at his office during his visit to the island.
* United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan welcomed the proposals delivered by Turkey last week in a written form excitedly. Annan is expected to announce its support to the world following a meeting to be held with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Davos (Note: The US and Britain support the plan as well).
* The positive atmosphere deriving from the abatement of the Orhan Pamuk action was strengthened by this move of the government.
* Ankara strengthened its hand before the Cyprus meetings to be held by the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
If the plan had been announced before, it wouldn’t have repercussions enough among a series of warm developments, including the elections in Iraq and the budget crisis in the European Union. If it had been announced later, there would be the impression that this was made with the fear of the EU’s semiannual report. The plan firstly creates the impression that the call made by Turkey last year to open harbors and airports mutually was more comprehensive, but this isn’t the case, because that call envisaged that Turkey’s windows will be opened to Greek Cypriots and that those of EU will be opened to the TRNC. However, the ‘Action Plan’ announced by Gul yesterday is based on the principle that the mutual lack of confidence will be solved with trade, before starting a new initiative of solution on the island. If the Greek Cypriot administration rejects this package, it would bear the following consequences:
* Turkey would be saved from the EU’s pressure of opening its harbors and airports to Greek Cypriots until the end of the half of this year. The deadline for this is envisaged as March 31 in the Framework Document, but the EU circles say that we have time until the end of June.
* Greek Cypriots lost their right to say something in terms of opening or closing the headlines of negotiation with the EU.
* The EU would be no longer able to postpone the measures to save TRNC from the isolation, because, otherwise, Britain and the US use initiative to start direct relations with the TRNC.
* Annan would give up a new initiative due to the negative stance of Greek Cypriots.
* Most importantly, everybody would understand that the last chance for peace and reunification was missed. The results of this would be an agreement moved from a solution based on federation to the model of confederation, in other words, the limited cooperation of two states, instead of one state with two nations and two regions.
Shortly, Greek Cypriots will either use the principle of win-win or lose in all the fields. We hope they will prefer the first alternative.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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