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Turkish Press Review, 05-02-09

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

09.02.05

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] IN WAKE OF TSUANMI DISASTER, ERDOGAN VOWS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES
  • [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH IRANIAN FM IN MALAYSIA
  • [03] GUL CRITICIZES BARZANI’S REMARKS ON KIRKUK
  • [04] TURKEY HAILS PEACE PLEDGES FROM EGYPT SUMMIT
  • [05] POSSIBLE AKP PUSH TO END HEADSCARF BAN DRAWS OPPOSITION FIRE
  • [06] SENER: “SUNNIS MUST BE INCLUDED IN IRAQ’S POLITICAL PROCESS”
  • [07] EDELMAN: “THE US HAS NO ‘REVENGE POLICY’ ”
  • [08] RICE CITES TURKEY AS MODEL FOR IRAQ
  • [09] FORMER MINISTERS OZKAN, ONAL FACE SUPREME STATE COURT
  • [10] FOREIGN MINISTRY PLANS TO FIGHT HOLLYWOOD BIAS
  • [11] IMF’S BREDENKAMP: “INCREASED SUBSIDIES WOULD THREATEN THE STANDBY”
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [13] RICE’S PAX, AND TURKEY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

  • [01] IN WAKE OF TSUANMI DISASTER, ERDOGAN VOWS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH SOUTH ASIAN COUNTRIES

    In Bangkok, Thailand, on the third day of his five-nation tour of the Asian disaster zone, Erdogan met with his Thai counterpart Thaksin Shinawatra. Offering the premier political counsel, Erdogan remarked on the importance of opposition parties in Parliament. “If we had a Parliament without opposition, we would prefer to hold another election,” said the Turkish premier. Then he proceeded to Phuket Island in southern Thailand. Speaking to reporters there, Erdogan said that Ankara would do its best to help dress the wounds in the disaster-hit south Asian countries. He said that his visit also presented an opportunity to renew and strengthen Turkey’s trade, economic and cultural ties with the region’s countries. After completing his contacts in this country, Erdogan is expected to head for the Maldives and Sri Lanka before returning to Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH IRANIAN FM IN MALAYSIA

    While visiting Malaysia to see the damage from December’s tsunami, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday had a surprise meeting in Kuala Lumpur with Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Kharrazi, who is also visiting the country. During a 20-minute talk, the two leaders focused on how their nations could help in disaster relief. Erdogan called on Islamic countries to send more aid to the region. /Star/

    [03] GUL CRITICIZES BARZANI’S REMARKS ON KIRKUK

    Iraq’s Kurdish groups should learn lessons from the past, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday. In a joint press conference alongside his visiting Tunisian counterpart Abdelbaki Hermassi, Gul criticized Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) head Massoud Barzani’s recent vow never to “forsake” the city of Kirkuk, saying that it was high time for the Iraqi Kurds to learn from the past instead of indulging in flights of fancy and unrealistic rhetoric. “Failed leadership, unrealistic projects and irrational rhetoric have long plagued the Middle East, especially Iraq,” he said. “So Iraq’s Kurds must act with common sense. In fact, all Iraqis should focus their energy on fostering an atmosphere of peace and stability. Any other course will damage both their country and the region.” Urging the Iraqi people to face the future without being bogged down in the past, Gul added that Turkey was ready to assist them towards this end. “Turkey wants Iraq to forge peaceful relations with its neighbors,” he stressed. For his part, Hermassi said that Tunisia and Turkey stood as one in wanting to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity. /Sabah / Cumhuriyet/

    [04] TURKEY HAILS PEACE PLEDGES FROM EGYPT SUMMIT

    Turkey yesterday hailed the outcome of this week’s Egyptian summit for Mideast peace. A Foreign Ministry statement said that pledges from both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to halt attacks and military actions was a positive step towards a permanent settlement and peace in the region. It added that Ankara wanted both sides to stick to their commitments to maintain and strengthen the current positive atmosphere. At Tuesday’s summit in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheik, Sharon and Abbas, along with host Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah, met for the first time in four years. /Turkiye/

    [05] POSSIBLE AKP PUSH TO END HEADSCARF BAN DRAWS OPPOSITION FIRE

    A weekend article in Germany’s Welt am Sonntag quoting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the effect that the government would seek to overturn the ban on wearing headscarves at university has sparked fierce debate in Ankara. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies denied that a report was being prepared on legislative changes to lift the ban, but acknowledged that the issue was being discussed with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Speaking at yesterday’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) group meeting, CHP leader Deniz Baykal charged that Erdogan was trying to distract the country with an “artificial agenda.” Our Constitution cannot be changed at the whim of the prime minister, added Baykal, warning that insisting on the issue could lead to controversy similar to last year’s adultery-ban firestorm. He charged further that the government’s “passive” and “ineffective” foreign policy had relegated Turkey to the sidelines of the latest developments in northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] SENER: “SUNNIS MUST BE INCLUDED IN IRAQ’S POLITICAL PROCESS”

    Addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting yesterday, acting Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener briefed his party on the latest developments in Iraq. Lamenting how many Sunni groups had boycotted the recent Iraqi elections, Sener said that Turkey had strived to ensure the participation of all Turkey’s social and ethnic groups in the polls. “The coming months are very important for Iraq’s future,” he said. “Therefore, all groups should be represented in the new administration. Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unity must be protected. The US administration shares this view, and we’ll do our utmost towards this end.” /Aksam/

    [07] EDELMAN: “THE US HAS NO ‘REVENGE POLICY’ ”

    The US does not have a policy of revenge, US Ambassador in Ankara Eric Edelman told a press conference yesterday. Edelman took sharp exception to the view that the US is trying to “punish” Turkey for a lack of cooperation in its Iraq invasion. “If the US had such feelings, it would not have supported Turkey with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union,” added Edelman. He said he understood one of the reasons for the recent anti-American sentiment in Turkey concerns Iraq. Edelman stated that, over the past six weeks, there have been many contacts between Turkish and US officials, referring specifically to the weekend meeting between Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, adding that both sides are aware of the importance of their relationship. Asked about the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, Edelman said that the US wants to preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity. “The Iraqi people will decide on Kirkuk through compromise,” he said. Asked whether Washington was seeking to use Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase as a “full operational headquarters,” Edelman said that this hadn’t come up during Rice’s meeting with Gul. In response to a question on Iran, Edelman replied that this issue had not been discussed in detail during Rice’s visit. “The US hasn’t asked anything of Turkey concerning Iran,” he added. Asked what Washington was doing to end the international blockade against the Turkish Cypriots, Edelman answered that several Cyprus initiatives were ongoing. Asked about the continued presence of the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq, Edelman commented that the US faces a difficult security situation in the country. “Yet this does not imply that we will not fulfill our promises” to fight the PKK, he added. /Hurriyet/

    [08] RICE CITES TURKEY AS MODEL FOR IRAQ

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in France as part of a tour of Europe and the Mideast, including Turkey, yesterday cited Turkey as an example of the successful coexistence of Islam and democracy, adding that it could be a model for Iraq. Speaking at Paris’ Sciences Politiques Institute, Rice said, "What we must understand there is no inherent conflict between Islam and democracy." /Turkiye/

    [09] FORMER MINISTERS OZKAN, ONAL FACE SUPREME STATE COURT

    Hearings for former state ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Recep Onal began at the Supreme State Court yesterday. The two are charged with irregularities in Halk Bank during their terms in office, with prison sentences of one to three years being sought. /Star/

    [10] FOREIGN MINISTRY PLANS TO FIGHT HOLLYWOOD BIAS

    Foreign Ministry sources yesterday said lawsuits were being planned to combat biased portrayals of Turks and Turkey in American film and TV productions. The moves follow Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s complaints during US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent visit about this bias, with Rice replying that Washington had no power to change the entertainment industry. /Hurriyet/

    [11] IMF’S BREDENKAMP: “INCREASED SUBSIDIES WOULD THREATEN THE STANDBY”

    We cannot go forward with our standby program with Ankara when the budget figures don’t add up, yesterday warned Hugh Bredenkamp, the senior International Monetary Fund representative in Ankara. “That’s the case right now,” he added, referring to a government proposal to expand subsidies Bredenkamp said would lead to “dramatically” higher costs. /Milliyet/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

    [13] RICE’S PAX, AND TURKEY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s weekend visit to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, ‘Each of us [Ankara and Washington] . . . have a responsibility with our publics, because we have democracies to speak out for how important and central [our] relationship is to both of us; to remind all of us and our people of the long history that we have together, of what we have achieved together, of what we have supported for one another, and of what a prosperous future we have in working on the many difficult and complicated issues ahead, as well as the bright opportunities ahead.’ Rarely have I heard such sweeping sincere sentences from a politician. Rice reminded us that during the half-century of the Turkish-US partnership, we defeated Soviet communism and pushed Russia back to its borders. She meant that from now on, we could reset the political balance, reestablishing it by continuing our strategic partnership. She wanted to say that the US was not planning on benefiting solely from opportunities, but rather sharing these with its strategic allies. Rice also suggested that only countries ignoring their best interests would turn this down. She was telling the Turkish people that both it and the American people can prosper by taking advantage of these opportunities, and called on our government to quell the soaring anti-American feelings in Turkey.

    Rice won’t retreat from the Pax Americana. If Washington can’t do this with Turkey, it will instead work with Kurds, Armenians, etc. She will eventually become the secretary of defense and command the US armed forces. She will become a candidate for the Republican Party leadership and perhaps run against Hillary Clinton from the Democrats. Hillary is seven years older than Rice and still a New York senator. Whoever wins will protect the Pax Americana. Only their styles are different. Those who have difficulty understanding this combination should reconsider and expand their horizons.”


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