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HDN | 7/29/1997 12:00:00 AM |

The forgotten criteria From a July 28 column of Radikal's Ismet Berkan A very important contact took place on July 2 between the new Turkish government and Germany, a leading member of the European Union (EU). German Ambassador Hans Joachim Vergau was received by Sina Gurel, the state minister in charge of EU and Cyprus affairs. I have in front of me the "service note" of this meeting. Sukru Gurel: Our government is determined to develop its ties with the EU. We support Turkey's membership

The forgotten criteria

From a July 28 column of Radikal's Ismet Berkan

A very important contact took place on July 2 between the new Turkish government and Germany, a leading member of the European Union (EU). German Ambassador Hans Joachim Vergau was received by Sina Gurel, the state minister in charge of EU and Cyprus affairs.

I have in front of me the "service note" of this meeting.

Sukru Gurel: Our government is determined to develop its ties with the EU. We support Turkey's membership as a political goal. Of course, this is not only a political goal but also a right born of the Ankara agreement. At any rate, Turkey-EU relations should be two-sided. Both sides have commitments. We are trying to fulfill these. The EU should also try and do what it can.

Ambassador Vargau: As Klaus Kinkel indicated during his visit to Ankara, Turkey is on the right path for full membership. Full membership is possible for countries that fulfill the Copenhagen criteria. This is also valid for Turkey ... Continually repeating that Turkey has a right to full membership bothers us. This is not true. If you read Article 28 of the Ankara agreement, you will see that it says Turkey's full membership will be considered if it fulfils certain criteria. This statement does not produce a right.

When we turn to the Cyprus question, Kinkel has characterized Greece's attitude before the customs union agreement was concluded as "blackmail." At that stage, Greece said that it would endorse Turkey's membership in the customs union only if full membership talks began with Cyprus six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference. In other words it has a commitment to start membership talks with Cyprus. But this does not mean that Cyprus will be admitted as a full member. We do not want a country in the EU that is divided and where a large number of the people are treated as a minority.In conflict with everyone, are we always right?

From a July 28 article by SABAH's Mehmet Ali Birand

We haven't lived in such chaos for many years. We are facing internal and external disputes. The new government opened a door of hope. Saying that he would start a period of peace, Mesut Yilmaz reassured us, he gave us hope...

But let's examine our foreign affairs. We are in conflict with everyone. Why? Are they always wrong and are we always right?

Let's examine our relations with our allies.

Even though we are not in a fight with the European Union, there is a clear and present danger that we may be left out when the borders of Europe are being redrawn. The quarrel that started on the issues of human rights and democracy has brought us to the point of diverging paths.

Unless a compromise formula is discovered soon, it is very likely that the EU and Turkey may split. Our relations with the U.S. administration are as bad as during the days of the 1974-78 embargo. And the Clinton administration turns a blind eye to it. The conditions they propose are: the solution of the Cyprus problem and a compromise with Greece on the Aegean.

Now, let's come to our neighbors...

There's no need to discuss our problems with Greece. Despite the Madrid Agreement, we are like a bomb that may explode any time, any place. Even if the solution for Cyprus is found, it seems very unlikely that our relations with Greece will improve.

The efforts of the Syria-Iran-Iraq trio to establish a front against Turkey are increasing. Moreover, the number of those joining this front is also increasing.

Egypt displayed its opposition clearly. Initially the problem was only on the water issue. Now it is hardening its attitude following the warming relations between Turkey and Israel.

Libya is now at the point of burning the bridges between us. Gaddafi used to choose his words carefully. Now he has also let loose.

The coldness in our relations with Russia cannot be avoided in any way. The suspicion in Moscow's eyes grows every day.

This scene is very abnormal. No country can survive such a "chain of bad relations."

The state has to realize how bad the situation is and it has to reconsider its fundamental policies to establish internal and external peace. In this context, Ismail Cem gives us hope. With his general approach and his attitude towards the world, he has the talent to end all these abnormalities. Of course, "talent" alone might not be sufficient...

We probably cannot be right on every subject and in every case. Shouldn't we pay attention to what the others say? MGK minutes on 'eight-year education' should also be released

SABAH said that if the minutes of the National Security Council (MGK) meeting of May 31 were released to the public "the insincerity of DYP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and former Interior Minister Meral Aksener would come to light." The paper said that when the issue concerning police spying on the military came to the agenda of that MGK meeting both Ciller and Aksener denied having any knowledge of this. The minutes of that meeting which the military recently decided to release in an unprecedented move, appeared to prove that Ciller and Aksener had lied to the MGK because they both admitted recently that they knew of this operation initiated by police intelligent chief Bulent Orakoglu. SABAH said Ciller had the same attitude on the eight-year compulsory education issue. Having defended the uninterrupted eight years of compulsory education at MGK meetings, the paper said Ciller was now supporting the opposite view and was indicating that religious junior high schools should not be closed. SABAH proposed the MGK minutes on this issue be released to reveal the DYP leader's about face. DYP concerned over minutes

MILLIYET, dealing with the same story, said that the True Path Party (DYP) opposed the release of the MGK minutes by arguing that it would be illegal to do so. DYP's Mehmet Golhan was quoted saying: "No minutes have ever been released to date. If you inform the public of everything, there would be no secrecy left." Golhan added that even if these minutes were revealed, they would not "prove anything anyway." Dostum's deceit

SABAH reported that it was discovered the Afghan leader General Rasit Dostum, who sought refuge in Turkey two months ago and asked the Turkish state to rent a house for him, was in fact rich on the basis of his real estate holdings. It said the state had rented a highly luxurious and well furnished apartment in Ankara's Or-An district, where Dostum and his relatives live today. The paper said however, that it was discovered Dostum already owned houses in six countries, including Turkey, Britain, France and the United States. Live bomb blows terrorist up

SABAH said that a female terrorist who was sent to Bodrum by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), died when the bomb exploded in her hands as she was getting ready for her "midnight mission." The PKK militant, Kudret Denktas, who was said to have been trained in explosives in a "neighboring country," died in a toilet while trying to connect three bombs in order to increase the impact of the explosion. Four more bombs were found in her bags. Authorities announced that the bombs were Russian made. Demirel says the 'Secular Caravan' would move on

MILLIYET said President Suleyman Demirel issued two important warnings to reactionary radical Islamists and to Europe over the weekend. In his speech at an opening ceremony for Canakkale Ceramics in Canakkale, Demirel said: "Very strong faith lies behind the power that transforms a country from being agriculturally based into an industrial society. The secular Turkish Republic has never given up combating any difficulty that it has come across in the past 73 years. It will never do so." He continued by indicating: "If Turkey can establish industries and health establishments that compete with Europe and the world, if it can bring onto the agenda science and technology that can compete with the rest of the world, if it has managed modernization in every aspect of life, I cannot imagine anything being more wrong than for Europe to tell it to stay out." He added that in 10 years time, having solved its unemployment problem, Turkey would start accepting laborers from other countries. Europe should not reject a Turkey that has accepted democracy, human rights, liberty and equality, just as in Europe. Refahyol fills 59,000 positions in nine months

HURRIYET, in its main story, dealt with the "personnel placing" policy of the former Refahyol Government and said that 59,000 positions had been filled in nine months by the pro-Islamic Welfare Party (RP) and the True Path Party (DYP). The paper said most of those appointed under this policy had been placed in key state positions. Using figures provided by State Minister Hikmet Sami Turk, the paper said the 59,000 people placed in these jobs did not include those placed by Refahyol just prior to its collapse. Islamic protest against eight years of primary school

HURRIYET also wrote that a large group on Sunday had unfurled "the green flags of Shariah" and protested the government bill for eight years of uninterrupted education because it would abolish the junior high school levels of the religious imam-hatip schools. It said the police, while preferring to look and not intervene with the illegal protest, nevertheless arrested 11 people in connection with the disturbances. It added that Abdurrahman Dilipak, a well known Islamist intellectual, and Mustafa Karahasanoglu, a columnist for the Islamist AKIT newspaper were being sought by the police for speaking at the illegal demonstration. Voices raised in DYP for new congress

HURRIYET, said that voices were being raised in the DYP once again for a party congress after this suggestion had been shelved by party members following allegations that their leader Tansu Ciller was a "CIA agent." It quoted Hasan Subasi, a DYP member and the mayor of Antalya, as saying that Ciller's personal opinions had become party policy. It suggested Subasi was preparing to put himself up for the leadership of the DYP. There is oil but no policy

ZAMAN, in its main story, said that the answer to the question why Turkey has no oil while its neighbors have plenty is that Turkish governments have not had an "oil policy." It quoted State Minister Mehmet Kececiler, responsible for the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) as maintaining that Turkey has sufficient reserves to take care of its own needs. According to Kececiler, Turkey needs advanced technology and large amounts of funds to tap the oil reserves it has and those which are lying dormant underground. Kececiler said that misplaced preferences of successive governments had obstructed Turkey from taking advantage of this resource. He pointed out that the TPAO has in recent years found foreign exploration more lucrative than searching for resources at home. Imam-hatips not protected

ZAMAN, in a story on the eight-years uninterrupted education bill, said that contrary to claims that the government's bill on this has protected the interests of the religious imam-hatip schools, this was belied by available statistics. It said that according to Education Ministry figures, imam-hatip schools have been receiving the lowest funding from the government although they have been proved to have provided the highest productivity. It said that according to these figures, the annual cost of one student who attending an industrial vocational school in 1995 was TL 20 million. The same figure was TL 28 million for girls technical schools, and 13.5 million for tourism and trade schools. As for imam-hatip schools, the paper said the corresponding figure in this case was only TL 9 million. The day of reaction

YENI SAFAK, the radial Islamist daily, said that Tuesday would be the day of protest for parents whose children attend imam-hatip schools. It said tens of thousands of parents would be converging on Parliament to make their feelings known against the government's bill on eight years of uninterrupted education. The paper claimed this would be "the greatest protest in history." The gang is now in London

RADIKAL, in its main headline story, quoted the British daily The Observer as indicating that Britain had come under the influence of the Turkish drug smuggling mafia. The paper said that according to The Observer, the Turkey-based "mafia-politician-police gangs" had taken hold of the heroin in that country. It said The Observer had established a "parallel" between the "Susurluk gang" linking the underworld, the police and politicians in Turkey, and the gangs operating in Britain. KOC landing in Uzbekistan

YENIYUZYIL, in a leading front page article, said that the KOC Holding group, one of Turkey's principle durable consumer products manufacturer, was organizing a "landing in Uzbekistan" where it was reported to be readying itself for a $75 million investment in the automotive sector. Recalling that KOC inaugurated a $262 million automotive investment joint project with FIAT in Bursa, the paper said that KOC would be getting a 50 percent share of an automobile factory in Uzbekistan. It said the factory to be set up would produce 3000 vehicles a year under the Italian Iveco licence.

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