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Turkish Press Review, 06-08-17

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

17.08.2006


CONTENTS

  • [01] IN BEIRUT, GUL MEETS WITH LEBANESE FM
  • [09] BY FATIH ALTAYLI (HURRIYET)

  • [01] IN BEIRUT, GUL MEETS WITH LEBANESE FM

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Lebanon for an official visit, yesterday met with his Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Salloukh. Gul and Salloukh discussed a number of issues, including the recent Israeli offensive. During their meeting, Gul said that Ankara supported the seven- step plan of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, adding that he believed this was the best hope for a permanent peace in the Mideast. Later, Gul met with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. During their meeting, Berri said that Lebanon was pleased with the stance of Ankara during the Israeli campaign. Speaking afterwards, Gul said that he had discussed the issue of sending Turkish soldiers to the UN peacekeeping force. “Our stance on the issue is clear,” he said. “This force shouldn’t be seen as being against the Lebanese nation. We haven’t yet made a decision.” /Milliyet/ [02] BAYKAL: “DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD BE EVALUATED IN LIGHT OF RICE SAYING THE MIDEAST WILL BE RESHAPED”

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that he was concerned about the possibility of Turkey sending soldiers to the UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in Lebanon, adding that developments in the region should be evaluated in light of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent statement that the map of the Mideast would be reshaped. Baykal further warned the government that Turkey shouldn’t take sides in a conflict whose sides aren’t even clear yet. “The goal of the UN going to Lebanon isn’t yet clear,” said Baykal. “We want peace and stability in the region, but getting involved in the issue is very difficult. We should steer clear of religious and ethnic wars.” /Aksam/ [03] TURKEY COULD APPOINT COORDINATOR FOR FIGHT AGAINST TERRORIST PKK

    Turkey is reportedly preparing to appoint a coordinator in its fight against the terrorist group PKK. Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said that the process would gain momentum after the US appoints a coordinator in the fight against the PKK. Tan stressed that Ankara could also appoint a PKK coordinator. “There is no decision yet,” said Tan. “We’ll first wait for the appointment of the US. Later, we’ll do an evaluation.” /Milliyet/

    [04] AMERICAN CONSUL IN ADANA VISITS SIRNAK

    Eric Green, the United States consul in Adana, yesterday visited Sirnak Mayor Ahmet Ertak. Green said that it was important for him to learn about the situation and problems of the southeastern Anatolian region. He added that he has a professional optimism over the problems of the region and that the Middle East was a perennially difficult area. “My country wants a solution to these problems in line with democracy,” said Green. /Cumhuriyet/ [05] US STATE DEPT’S WELCH: “IT’S UP TO TURKEY TO DECIDE ON DEPLOYING TROOPS IN LEBANON”

    US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch on Tuesday stated that whether to deploy troops in the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon is a decision that Ankara has to make based on its national interests and own foreign policy guidelines. Speaking at a press conference, Welch also expressed Washington’s great confidence in the Turkish military, citing his country’s experience in working with Turkey in such peacekeeping operations. Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said that Washington wasn’t trying to change the borders of the Middle East, underlining that Washington’s policy towards the territorial integrity of both Turkey and Iraq is "forthright and plainspoken." /Aksam/[06] UNDER NEW PLAN, TRNC PORTS COULD OPEN TO TRADE UNDER THE UN

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) ports could be opened up to international trade under the supervision of the United Nations as parts of efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, reported Britain’s the Independent yesterday. “Under the proposals being discussed,” wrote the paper, “the UN could control key Northern Cypriot ports, such as Famagusta. Goods would be shipped with UN paperwork and customs declarations, rather than those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus -- which are anathema to the official [Greek] Cypriot government in Nicosia. The new arrangements could give Turkey enough of a concession to lift a ban on Greek Cypriot ships and planes... One EU diplomat confirmed that UN control of Turkish Cypriot ports is seen as a potential solution to the looming crisis with Ankara. The issue is coming to a head because Turkey is being threatened with suspension of its EU membership talks in the autumn unless ports are opened to all EU vessels... In Ankara the mood is increasingly hardline and the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has little room for maneuver in the runup to Turkish elections.” /Cumhuriyet/[07] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS..[00] SENDING OUR TROOPSBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on a planned peacekeeping force for Lebanon. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Will Turkey send troops for the peacekeeping force in Lebanon? The government seems to be willing to make a contribution to a force which is likely to fight with Hezbollah in the future. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s discussion with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Land forces Commander Yasar Buyukanit, and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s visit to Lebanon after his meetings with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and opposition Republican People’s Party leader Deniz Baykal, are signs that the government is thinking about sending troops to Lebanon.

    After our experience over rejecting the March 2003 motion on US troops in southeastern Turkey, we have to be careful. Turkey shouldn’t be part of a war in the Middle East. Israel’s violence against Lebanon didn’t bring anything except the killing of children and civilians and destruction of the country’s infrastructure. Although US President George W. Bush declared Israel’s victory, there was no military gain except for gaining more enemies. The people suffered. One million people fled their homes and 350 children died. And 117 Israeli soldiers also died.

    The winners are the arms dealers and contractors who will rebuild the region. The US is being held responsible for the war as the Bush administration destroyed the region for the sake of ‘remaking the Middle East.’ Armed organizations like Hezbollah gain political power as a force of resistance. Israeli attacks weren’t enough to disarm it. Hassan Nasrallah became a ‘hero!’ Now would it be right to leave the job that Israel couldn’t do to forces from various countries? The UN force will serve as a buffer between Israel and Hezbollah. As a result, the troops in the region will be seen as foreign troops and can therefore find themselves becoming a target.

    Turkey shouldn’t send its troops into the Hezbollah fire while trying to contribute to the peace. The government would pay a high price if our troops die in the Middle East. The government is trying to play with the US while making regional policies with Syria and Iran. It will be difficult to strike a balance.”[08] A COORDINATOR FOR WHAT?[00]

    [09] BY FATIH ALTAYLI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Fatih Altayli comments on a decision to appoint a special coordinator for the fight with the terrorist PKK. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Under a proposal of the US, it’s been decided to appoint a special coordinator for the fight with the terrorist group PKK.

    As I said, the idea comes from the US. An official from Turkey and another from the US will be in charge of ensuring coordination between the two countries during the fight with the PKK. Furthermore, reportedly, another official from Iraq could also join them.

    They will coordinate the higher-level planning. The idea of appointing coordinators caused annoyance between security units in Ankara. This initiative, which has no meaning for Turkey, can only be seen as an effort to placate Turkey over the matter.

    Because, according to Turkish security and intelligence units, there is no need for such a coordination group.

    If the issue is the intelligence flow, that already exits. Through the General Staff and National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Turkey has been sharing information on the movements of the PKK and the region it’s in with both Iraqi officials and the US.

    If there is no problem on this, what kind of work will the coordinators do then? As they can't command soldiers and don’t take part in political decision-making mechanisms in Turkey, what will they do?

    In addition, it has a dangerous aspect.

    If the US coordinator, who will have an official title with Turkey’s approval too, meets with the PKK, and undertakes the duty of being a go- between for Turkey and PKK, then Turkey will face an unexpected fait accompli.

    Turkish security forces are worried about that the coordinator initiative could bring issues to unforeseen dimensions, and expect Turkey to say to the US: ‘What is this coordinator for? The situation in northern Iraq is clear. And Turkey’s expectations are clear too'."

    ARCHIVE

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