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Turkish Press Review, 06-08-01

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    Addressing the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on recent developments in the Mideast, saying that all conflicts should be solved through peaceful means. Saying that he wanted peace and welfare for all of humanity, Erdogan added, “Unfortunately, in our era of scientific and technical progress, humanity has been unable to safeguard peace and universal values.” Erdogan stated that the recent weeks' bombings in Lebanon had killed civilians, the elderly, and children, adding that the conscience of humanity cannot help but be disturbed by these bombings. “People are being killed in a country neighboring us,” he said. “There can be no reason for killing innocents, burning regions, and justifying violence.” The premier further stressed that not only were the lives of innocents being lost, but so too were humanitarian values which could form the basis for peace in the world. In related news, Erdogan is due to travel to Malaysia tomorrow to attend an extraordinary meeting of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) to discuss the Mideast. /Turkiye/[02] CICEK: “ANKARA IS WORKING HARD TO END THE WAR BETWEEN LEBANON AND ISRAEL, AND IT’S AGAINST ALL FORMS OF TERROR”

    Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek commented on recent developments in the Mideast, saying that Ankara was participating in serious constructive work to end the war between Lebanon and Israel. Cicek stated that Turkey was displeased by recent developments in the conflict, adding that it stands against all forms of terrorism. Stressing that diplomatic traffic is continuing to bring peace to the region, Cicek stated that the prime minister would attend this week’s meeting of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) towards this end. Cicek added that Turkey would participate in a possible peacekeeping force deployed in Lebanon after a cease-fire is established. /Turkiye/ [03] BUYUKANIT NAMED NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF, OUTGOING CHIEF OZKOK SAYS HE’S COMFORTABLE WITH THE APPOINTMENT

    Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit was appointed Turkey’s new chief of General Staff yesterday. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer signed the Cabinet decree appointing Gen. Buyukanit the new commander of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). At a reception yesterday with the two generals, Ozkok said that he was both pleased with the appointment and comfortable handing over his post to Buyukanit. Asked by reporters what he thought about taking over the post at a critical period, Buyukanit said that Turkey would use its great potential to overcome all obstacles. In related news, the Supreme Military Council (YAS) will convene today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make decisions on the promotion, retirement and disciplining of TSK personnel. /Star/[04] GREEK FM: “ATHENS WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TURKEY’S EU BID”

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday met with Greek ambassadors to discuss several issues. During the meeting, Bakoyannis commented on relations with Turkey, saying that Greece would continue to support Turkey’s European Union membership bid. She added, however, that this didn’t mean a “blank check” for Turkey and that there would be no privileged treatment. Bakoyannis added that if obstacles arise during Turkey’s EU talks, then Ankara and Athens would continue to cooperate in energy and economic areas. /Sabah/[05] IRAQI DEPUTY PM: “WE’LL BEGIN A SERIOUS FIGHT AGAINST ALL TERRORIST GROUPS WITHIN IRAQ”

    Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said yesterday that the Iraqi government would begin a serious fight against all terrorist groups, including the terrorist PKK, within the borders of the country. “These terrorist groups are threatening our neighbors,” said Saleh. “We’ll fight terrorism not only for Iraq’s safety, but for the safety of the whole world.” /Milliyet/ [06] ENERGY SUMMIT CONVENES

    An energy summit was held yesterday with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, and Energy Minister Hilmi Guler to discuss Turkey's energy difficulties. During the meeting, the effects of possible natural gas and electricity price hikes on inflation were discussed, and it was decided that any price hike would endanger this year’s inflation target. Guler presented alternative solution proposals from the Energy Ministry to the participants. /Aksam/ [07] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...[00] OUR NEXT CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFFBY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Turkey's next chief of General Staff. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s four years in office will be remembered as a rooted process of change and transformation. In addition, he’ll be remembered for such incidents as a force commander’s being convicted of corruption, high-ranking army officers being accused of forming a gang, resignations in the name of ‘honor,’ and the confessions of retired commanders. Unfortunately, he’ll also be remembered for a period in which information and disinformation were mixed with each other. However, most of the public will think of Gen. Ozkok positively, as a democratic, honest, transparent person respectful of the civilian administration. As for the next chief of General Staff, that is, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, whose appointment will become certain during the four-day Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting set to start today, such a picture can be drawn: most of the public is impatiently waiting for his duty. However, can it be said that the same people favor Gen. Buyukanit and Gen. Ozkok? I’ll leave the answer to you, in order not to be accused of ‘disrupting’ the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

    Of course, there are some problems: During Gen. Buyukanit’s turn at the helm, will efforts for a democratic solution in the fight against terrorism and the southeast and Kurdish issues be conducted simultaneously?Will the TSK’s stance on the Iraq and Cyprus issues change?Will relations with the European Union suffer a 'train wreck,' as reforms which would entrench democratization and strengthen the civilian authority are stopped?

    Of course, tentative answers can be given to these questions. However, we think just the opposite. Gen. Ozkok’s stance on all these issues during his term in office reflected not his personal views, but the TSK’s line. In addition, Buyukanit contributed to the formation of those views. Although he sometimes made certain reactive criticisms, he was neither opposed to the West, nor to the EU. I still remember the speech he made at the War Academies back in May 2003: ‘I have once more underlined the TSK’s views about the EU. The TSK can’t be opposed to the EU, because it’s the geopolitical and geostrategic requirement of the aim of modernization shown to the Turkish nation by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkey is a part of Europe and it will become an EU member. Even if this judgment conflicts with the views of some, it’s the clear expression of the determination of Turkey and the TSK.’ I believe that Gen. Buyukanit will confirm this strong stance after he takes over the helm. In addition, some things will change during his term. For example, those who want to put the concepts ‘moderate’ and ‘Islam’ next to each other will have to think twice.”


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