|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-11-13
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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
13.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… ANOTHER DANGER ZONE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) TURKEY’S EU BID BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
 ERDOGAN: “THE CURRENT MINIMUM WAGE IS INSUFFICIENT”Speaking at a Turkey Business Association meeting in Ankara yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey’s current minimum wage was insufficient to meet basic standards of living and so should be increased. Also pointing to the government’s determination to battle corruption, Erdogan said, “Our efforts have begun to bear fruit.” Underlining the importance of the government’s privatization drive, the premier said, “State institutions which are a burden on the state will be privatized one by one.” Later in the day, Erdogan traveled to Rize, a Black Sea province, for a two-day visit. /Turkiye/
 GUL: “TURKEY HAS LONG PROTECTED THE KURDS”Appearing on television yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that Turkey had protected the Kurds for many years. “Over the last 15 years, it is Turkey that has protected them – not the Germans, Europeans or others,” said Gul. “We are always telling Kurdish leaders to be careful in their speeches and statements so as not to offend Turks. Such things have long- term costs.” Stressing that the US must fight against the terrorist group PKK/KADEK in northern Iraq, Gul said, “If the US fails to do so, this would cast a shadow over its pledge to fight terrorism.” Dismissing the PKK/KADEK terrorist group’s recent announcement that it was allegedly dissolving itself and reorganizing under a new name, Gul said, “Terrorist groups do this sort of thing, they try to survive by changing their names from time to time.” The foreign minister also said that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with all parties, including the opposition, during his visit this weekend to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Remarking that resolving the Cyprus issue would held advance Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Gul added, “However, this would not be enough without our implementing reforms.” /Turkiye/
 UNITED STATES RECOGNIZES PKK/KADEK/KHK AS TERRORIST GROUPThe PKK_KADEK terrorist group’s latest name change notwithstanding, it is still a terrorist organization, affirmed the US State Department yesterday. Rebuffing reports that the PKK_KADEK has dissolved itself to re-form as the so-called KHK, a State Department official said, “The US stance on this issue is clear. Whatever name the PKK adopts, it will remain a terrorist organization.” Only last weekend, US troops in northern Iraq came under fire from PKK/KADEK militants. /Hurriyet/
 BREUER: “TURKEY’S STEPS TOWARDS THE EU DESERVE APPRECIATION”Turkey has taken positive steps forward on its European Union membership bid, and these steps should be recognized, said Rolf Breuer, the head of German banking giant Deutsche Bank, yesterday. At a meeting organized by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD), Breuer said, “Turkey should be a member of the EU, but the question is when? There are constructive developments on this front, and they deserve appreciation.” /Sabah/
 GOVERNING COUNCIL HEAD TALABANI TO VISIT ANKARA NEXT WEEKCurrent Iraqi Governing Council President Jalal Talabani is expected to visit Ankara next Tuesday. During his visit, Talabani will be accompanied by a delegation including Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. In addition to holding the council’s rotating presidency, Talabani is also head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKPD), a group Ankara has had a rocky relationship with in recent years, and Zebari is his deputy in the group. Their firm opposition led to the recent cancellation of plans to send Turkish troops to Iraq. Concerning next week’s visit, diplomatic sources were pessimistic that any deal would be reached. /Aksam/
 BABACAN: “THE IRAQ WAR PRODUCED LITTLE ECONOMIC FALLOUT”Speaking before Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that this year had seen positive economic developments despite the Iraq war, adding that its economic fallout in Turkey had been negligible. “Together the nation’s trust in the government and the government’s determined implementation of the economic program have made economic progress possible,” said Babacan. “And these successes are just the beginning.” He added that resisting populist policies had aided the recovery and that the government would never deviate from the program. Babacan predicted that growth next year would be at 5% and the primary surplus at 6.5%. Also speaking to the commission, Yakup Kepenek, a deputy from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), conceded that there were positive economic trends, but argued that they had failed to help the nation at large. The commission also discussed the budgets of the Finance Ministry and the Treasury Undersecretariat. /Turkiye/
 SEEKING IMAR BANK DOCUMENTS, POLICE RAID STORAGE DEPOT OF FORMER BANKING WATCHDOG HEADActing on a tip concerning alleged undisclosed documents about Imar Bank, which banking authorities took over this summer, police yesterday raided a storage depot associated with former Banking Supervision and Regulation Agency (BSRA) Chairman Engin Akcakoca. Some 60 containers of documents were taken away for examination. Akcakoca, who stepped down from the BSRA helm only last week, said that the documents were photocopies of official documents bearing his signature, not secret ones about Imar Bank. “I was keeping about 7,000 copies of decisions made during my chairmanship, if I should need them in the future in the case of a suit,” he added. /Milliyet/
 NGOs, BUSINESSMEN BRIEF ERDOGAN ON HOW TO PROMOTE TURKEY ABROADRepresentatives of the Turkey Promotion Council, an umbrella group of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and businessmen, yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss with him how best to boost Turkey’s profile and image abroad. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ANOTHER DANGER ZONE
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the latest developments in the Caucasus region. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Whenever instability rears its head in the region, the importance of the Caucasus is better understood. Right now, for instance ...
Instability in the Caucasus, a key issue for Turkey due to security concerns, might result in grave consequences. Moreover, the Caucasus, our main gateway to Central Asia, has rich oil and natural gas reserves, which is why Ankara has always given it special importance in the post-Soviet period.
If its stability is shattered, the US and Russia could intervene in the region, which would suddenly make it into a top world hotspot.
Two recent elections have recently raised our concerns about the situation there. Luckily, in Azerbaijan, clashes between police and opposition supporters protesting the results of last month’s presidential elections which handed victory to Ilham Aliyev, the son of outgoing President Heidar Aliyev, failed to last long. Now the new young leader has a weighty responsibility to tackle the country’s political, economic and social problems. The other important development is Georgia’s elections. Thousands marched through the capital Tbilisi to protest recent poll results that put the coalition of President Eduard Shevardnadze in the lead. People accused his government of rigging the election through falsified voter lists and ballot- stuffing. Opposition protesters are vowing they will reject any result that gives Shevardnadze's bloc dominance in their Parliament. Protesters have been demanding both the resignation of Shevardnadze and the annulment of the election results, but so far he has rejected both demands. Nobody knows how things are going to develop in the country. Is Georgia plunging into chaos? This would be a grave development indeed. Turkey has successfully established strategic relations with both Azerbaijan and Georgia. However, the continuation of these ties is completely dependent on stability in the region. We’re about to face new dangers. Other important issues such as Cyprus, the Middle East and our EU membership bid shouldn’t distract us from perceiving these dangers and taking measures to counter them.”
 TURKEY’S EU BID
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the implications of Turkey’s European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“On Tuesday British Prime Minister Tony Blair hailed Turkey’s European Union membership, calling it ‘epochal’ that a Muslim nation and US ally would join the EU ranks. On the same day German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder predicted that next December the EU would give Turkey a date for membership negotiations. The Italian prime minister is also our prime minister’s pal, and we expect such sweet nothings from the French prime minister too. Joking aside, Blair’s evaluation of Turkey in terms of Europe’s interests was interesting for us. Britain was our successor in governing quite a few Middle Eastern countries, for example Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, Syria and Lebanon. In 1940, Britain was the world’s superpower.
I’ve written in this space many times that our position as the US’ strategic ally would boost our prestige in Europe. Moreover, Europe and the US both attach great importance to our status as a Muslim country. They want to urge others to follow Turkey’s lead in demonstrating the compatibility of democracy and Islam. However, I don’t think one should say that everybody should experience Islam as we do in Turkey, because every Muslim country must act in accordance with its own traditions, and not necessarily our example.
When Turkey becomes an EU member, Europe will grow more militarily powerful. It will also gain a friendly, easy gateway to Asia. Europe also thinks that as long as democracy spreads, terrorism will lose support.”
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