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Turkish Press Review, 06-01-27
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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
27.01.2006FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 STRAW MEETS WITH ERDOGAN, GULPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at Ankara’s Esenbogan Airport before departing for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Straw also held talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Afterwards, speaking at a press conference, the British Secretary praised Ankara’s efforts to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue, expressing his support for the recent action plan. He said it was a constructive step and called on other concerned parties to take steps for its implementation, a reference to Greek Cypriots. Furthermore, Gul appreciated Straw’s Wednesday visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), calling it as a “courageous move.” /Star/
 ERDOGAN HOLDS BILATERAL MEETINGS IN DAVOSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday traveled to Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum meetings. After his arrival, Erdogan first held talks with Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger. The meeting focused on bilateral economic and political relations, Erdogan told reporters. In addition, the Turkish premier met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and he is set to hold bilateral meetings with other world leaders today, including United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Cyprus issue is expected to dominate Erdogan’s talks with Annan. /Turkiye/
 ISRAELI CONSULATE GENERAL: “ANKARA’S RELATIONS WITH IRAN, SYRIA MAY AFFECT OUR RELATIONS WITH TURKEY”Addressing a conference entitled “Future of Turkish-Israeli Relations” yesterday, Israeli Consulate General Mordehay Amihay said that the Israeli government respected Ankara’s will to have good relations with its neighbors, Iran and Syria, adding, “However, this may affect Turkish- Israeli relations.” He stated that Israeli-Turkish relations gained a new dimension in 1990s, but there was a need to ask if those relations were strong enough. “Israel wants to strengthen its relations with Turkey,” he said. Touching on strategic partnership, Amihay said that he didn’t believe that Turkey would help Israel in a possible conflict in the region. “I don’t think that Israel would request Turkey’s help,” added Amihay. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAYKAL: “ERDOGAN WANTS TO SIT AT THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE BY USING HIS MILITANT POWER”Speaking at a meeting of his party, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal predicted that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was opposed to early elections since he wanted to wait for presidential elections. “Erdogan’s only aim is to sit at the Presidential Palace by using its militant power of 34%,” added Baykal. /Milliyet/
 GREEK CYPRIOT FM IACOVOU: “WE OFFICIALLY REJECT TURKEY’S PLAN”Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou stated on Wednesday that they officially rejected Turkey’s 10-point action plan and he asked British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to tell this decision to Ankara. Iacovou said that his meeting with Straw was in a harsh climate and added, “Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul connects irrelevant topics to each other in his recent proposals. One of them is the mutual abolishment of embargos, which he suggested in last May, the other is the quartet meeting, which we rejected before.” “To open its ports is Turkey’s obligation to the European Union; this issue is irrelevant to the solution of the Cyprus problem and doesn’t concern the UN secretary-general. Our proposal is clear. Turkey will ensure that Maras and Magosa will be opened in the Greek and Turkish Cypriot partnership.” Iacovou blamed Straw for not behaving within the framework of guarantorship and threatened to apply to Hague Tribunal. /Hurriyet/
 US, ITALY SUPPORT TURKEY’S CYPRUS ACTION PLANThe US administration announced that they view Turkey’s new action plan for Cyprus as “a positive step contributing to solution efforts.” Spokesperson of the US Embassy in Ankara Joseph Pennington said, “We welcome the proposal affirmative. The proposal is an initiative which will contribute the UN secretary-general to renew his plans. We ask parties to take up these ideas seriously. The US is ready to support the UN in this effort.” Furthermore, Italian Ambassador to Ankara Carlo Marsilio said that Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini appreciated Turkey’s stance on Cyprus issue. /Milliyet/
 EP REPORT: “NO PRIVILEGED PARTNERSHIP FOR THE TIME BEING”The European Parliament (EP)’s removal of the privileged partnership section from its latest report concerning Turkey was approved on Thursday. The report was prepared by EP Foreign Relations Commission head Elmar Brok and was submitted to the General Assembly for approval following the approval of the Foreign Relations Commission. The EP urged Turkey to remove all existing legislative and practical obstacles to full enjoyment of fundamental rights freedoms by all Turkish citizens, in particular the freedom of expression, religious freedom, cultural rights and the rights of minorities in general. The rights of the Fener Greek patriarch as well as the rights of the Greek Minority in Istanbul, Imbros and Tenedos were mentioned in the report. /Sabah-Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR JUDICIAL REFORMSpeaking at the meeting of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) General Assembly, TUSIAD Chairman Omer Sabanci said that recent judicial matters were on top of Turkey’s agenda, adding that this adversely affected Turkey’s prestige in the international stage and he called for judicial reform in the country. Touching on Cyprus, Sabanci said that he appreciated the government’s new action plan, saying that TUSIAD was pleased with this initiative. “We support the government’s action plan, ” he said. Also touching on the economy, Sabanci said that the economy needed a structural change. Sabanci stressed that high current accounts deficit showed that the exports sector needed to create more added values. Sabanci added that TUSIAD would continue closely follow Turkey’s agenda, adding that it would strive to prevent the creation of artificial agenda. /Hurriyet/
 THY BEGINS FLIGHTS TO DUSHANBEThe Turkish Airlines (THY) yesterday began its direct flight to Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe. The scheduled flights will reportedly help to develop bilateral economic and cultural relations. THY’s Istanbul- Dushanbe flights will be held once a week, on Thursdays. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY URGES HAMAS TO ACT RESPONSIBLYWhile urging the international community to show respect for the results of the Palestinian parliamentary elections, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul warned the Islamic movement Hamas, which swept to victory in elections, to adhere to a continuation of the Middle East peace process. Speaking yesterday in Ankara, Gul said Hamas should act responsibly from now on and should also respect principles of democracy. /Turkish Daily News/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 SIMULTANEOUS CYPRUS INITIATIVES BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the Cyprus issue and relations between Turkey and the European Union. A summary of her column is as follows:
“While evaluating Turkey’s Cyprus plan and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw’s visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat, the simultaneity in these steps should be taken into consideration. Are these two initiatives the herald of a great change on Cyprus? No. The plan announced by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul presents the suggestions made by Turkey until now in a well-organized way. If you certainly look for something new, the 10th article can be shown. As Talat said, the statement within this article says that the parties’ positions won’t be harmed, that is, if the package is implemented, parties will be able to continue their Cyprus policies. In other words, the TRNC’s direct trade with Europe or lifting the embargo won’t mean that the TRNC was recognized. Those who evaluate Straw’s visit say that this visit doesn’t mean recognizing the TRNC.
Straw’s visit should be considered as part of this. Britain supports Turkey’s European Union membership, but the bottleneck concerning the Cyprus issue should be solved to ensure improvement. Otherwise, membership talks might be endangered. Britain isn’t lonely. It’s understood that it ensured the support of Washington and other countries in favor of Turkey’s EU membership.
Actually, the Cyprus issue is the reason why Turkey has been unable to take great steps since it was determined to start membership talks with the EU on Oct. 3. The Greek Cypriot administration is blocking the European process seriously. It was stipulated that Turkey will sign the additional protocol on Dec. 17 to be able to start membership talks on Oct. 3. Turkey signed the protocol, but didn’t have the Parliament approve. The European Parliament followed the same path as well and said that firstly the Turkish Parliament should approve this before us. The EU started to prepare draft reports. The reports will be prepared until the end of the year and decisions of this year will be established. This can be seen in initial drafts. The EU’s draft enlargement report for 2006 calls Turkey on to approve the additional protocol and lift its embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration. It requests Turkey to complete these steps during the first two years of talks and expects a timetable for this from Turkey. Although Gul said after Oct. 3 that Turkey had a national plan, which couldn’t be rewritten, it requested Turkey to prepare a national report consisting of the responsibilities concerning the process of talks and how to implement them. Actually, the signs that a national program will be prepared started to be received. This is the reason for Ankara’s plan, that is, the fact that the EU started to exert pressure on Turkey.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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