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Turkish Press Review, 05-03-09
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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
09.03.2005FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN: “POLICE MUSTN’T LET THEMSELVES BE PROVOKED”All civil servants, including security forces, must calmly perform their duties without allowing themselves to be goaded by provocation and by at all times keeping in mind their social responsibilities, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting yesterday. After European leaders criticized the police clampdown on an unauthorized International Women’s Day demonstration in Istanbul and what they termed a "disproportionate" use of force, Erdogan yesterday focused his group meeting speech on the importance of Women’s Day and rights in general. “Discrimination against women is worse than racism,” he said. “There is no institutionalized gender discrimination in Turkey. Our culture accepts men and women as two equal sexes, without prioritizing one over another.” Erdogan also stressed the importance of girls’ education and improving the rights of working women. In related news, Parliament Human Rights Commission head Mehmet Elkatmis also criticized the police violence against women protesters. However, Istanbul Mayor Muammer Guler argued that the policemen had been provoked by the protestors, while announcing an investigation into the "disproportionate" use of force. Some eight policemen were identified as using excessive violence during the demonstration and are due to be questioned. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN TO HOLD SECURITY SUMMIT TODAYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to hold a security summit in Ankara today. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and the representatives of the police, gendarmerie and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) are expected to attend the summit, where the new Criminal Procedural Code (CMK) and a number of security issues, such as a rising urban wave of purse-snatching and theft, will be discussed. The new CMK has been criticized by security forces as depriving them of needed tools to fight crime. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN, BAYKAL AGREE TO COOPERATE ON ARMENIAN ISSUEOpposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader yesterday visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Parliament to brief the premier on his party’s plans on the so-called Armenian genocide allegations, and he called on the government to work together with opposition parties in Parliament on the issue. Speaking after their talks, Erdogan stated that they had agreed to join forces. “Turkey is ready to resolve the issue. It has opened up its state archives,” said Erdogan, calling on everybody to come and study them. Baykal, for his part, said that the Armenian genocide allegations began after 1975 and are politically motivated. He urged Armenians to open their state archives as well. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: “WE OPPOSE SECOND-CLASS EU MEMBERSHIP”Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said that his party opposed any second-class European Union membership for Turkey, and criticized the fact that a chief negotiator for Ankara’s EU talks has yet to be named by the government. He also denounced Istanbul security forces’ violent crackdown on women protestors over the weekend. He accused the government of failing to take effective measures against such incidents. /Star/
 EMINE ERDOGAN: “WOMEN SHOULD BE MORE ACTIVE IN THE ECONOMY, POLITICS, BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY”Addressing a conference yesterday to mark March 8 International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife Emine Erdogan lamented that women don’t play a larger role in Turkey’s economy, politics, business and the community, adding that she believed women should be more active in these fields. “We have to do this,” she said. Erdogan further stressed that women aren’t at the place they deserve both at home and abroad although they are key elements of society. She added that women could overcome these difficulties themselves, as they have the power to do so. /Turkiye/
 WORKING MOTHERS’ RIGHTS SET FOR BOOSTParliament’s Planning and Budget Commission on yesterday, International Women’s Day, approved a bill proposing that working mothers be allowed three hours of daily breastfeeding leave for the first six months after birth and one-and-a-half hours a day for the second six months. The bill also says that pregnant women who are willing to work up to three weeks before the expected birth date will be allowed to do so, with doctor approval. The bill would also boost other maternity and paternity leave rights. /Star/
 ANOTHER AKP DEPUTY RESIGNSRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Yozgat Deputy Mehmet Erdemir yesterday resigned from his party, claiming that it had become disconnected from the country’s national interests. After the resignation, the AKP now has 362 seats in Parliament, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has 169, and independent deputies occupy 11 seats. /Turkiye/
 CELIK CONTINUES HIS CONTACTS IN THE USEducation Minister Huseyin Celik who is currently visiting the US, yesterday said that he had asked US officials to send more English teachers to Turkey, adding that Turkey was also planning to send Turkish teachers to America. After meeting with high-level officials responsible for education in Washington, Celik stated that the government intended to open new 15 universities in Turkey. “We want to cooperate with the US and other countries to train scholars for them,” said the minister. /Turkiye/
 STUDENT AMNESTY BILL PASSES PARLIAMENT COMMISSIONA student amnesty bill vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer last week for failing to pass Parliament with a qualified majority of 330 votes yesterday was approved by Parliament’s Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Commission without any changes. In related news, speaking to a Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the student amnesty was a social project from which there would be no retreat. He also urged AKP deputies to fully attend a session of the General Assembly next week to ensure that the bill is passed by at least 330 votes. /Turkiye/
 AGAR CRITICIZES GOVT’S “WEAK” STANCE IN TALKS WITH EU TROIKAOpposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday criticized what he called the government’s “weak” stance during its meeting with the European Union Troika on Monday, adding that this weakness had allowed the EU to impose fresh demands on Ankara. Agar further charged that a lack of government backbone had resulted in the Cyprus issue moving to the EU platform from the United Nations. “I’m concerned about the government’s inability to protect the rights of our nation,” added Agar. In related news, Agar released a statement yesterday to mark March 8, International Women’s Day, saying that his party was preparing measures to better the situation of Turkish women and promote their political participation. /Cumhuriyet/
 REHN: “TURNING A NEW PAGE IN ANKARA’S EU ACCESSION TALKS IS RELATED TO ITS GOOD RELATIONS WITH GREEK CYPRUS”Addressing a meeting hosted by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) yesterday, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that turning a new page in Ankara’s EU accession talks was also related to its good relations with Greek Cyprus. “Turkey will accept the membership of new EU members by signing the Ankara Agreement Protocol,” he said, referring to an expansion of the Turkey-EU Customs Union to include Greek Cyprus. “This is one of the conditions of the Council of Europe to begin Ankara’s accession talks.” Rehn claimed that Turkey hasn’t kept some of its promises to the EU, adding that zero tolerance for torture should be implemented at all levels of the state and in all regions. Speaking after the meeting, Rehn reiterated that Turkey signing the Ankara Agreement Protocol would accelerate its EU membership bid. Rehn also said that Turkey’s accession talks would begin on Oct. 3, as stated last December by the European Commission. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS APPROVES NEW COALITION GOVTTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday approved a Cabinet slate submitted by Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the winning party in last month’s elections. The new government is a renewed alliance between Talat's Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Serdar Denktas’s Democrat Party (DP). The Cabinet includes many of the same figures who resigned last October after the government lost its parliamentary majority following the failure of a United Nations plan to reunify the island. Last month Talat’s party won 24 seats in the 50-member Parliament, forcing it to form a coalition with the DP. In related news, the CTP earlier this week nominated Talat to run for the TRNC presidency. The presidential elections will be held in April. /Hurriyet/
 BABACAN: “THE DATE FOR A NEW IMF STANDBY ISN’T CLEAR YET”Addressing Parliament yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that the date for a new standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund wasn’t yet clear, adding that it could be set after the passage of a handful of measures. Babacan added that in 2003 and 2004 Turkey received $2.9 billion from the European Union and that some of this had already been paid back. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE ARMENIAN ISSUE BY HASAN PULUR (MILLIYET)Columnist Hasan Pulur comments on the Armenian issue and claims of a so- called Armenian genocide. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I should first emphasize that there is in fact a historical Armenian issue, which unfolded as follows: Imperialist states seeking to split the Ottoman Empire forced Armenians loyal to the Ottoman Empire to revolt against the empire and promised them an independent Armenian state in return. This was a result of the empire’s decision to enter World War I on the same side as Germany. France and Britain incited the Armenian revolt against the Ottoman Empire in order to gain a strong hand in the Dardanelles and the empire’s southern and eastern flanks. Thus, Armenians attacked Turkish civilians and furthermore, Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman Army deserted to the Russian Army.
The Ottoman government called on the Armenians to stop the violence. Heedless, the Armenians continued and as a result, the Ottoman government forced the Armenians in the region to emigrate. This was the only thing the Ottoman Empire did to put a halt to the Armenian violence. During this emigration, the Armenians had to fight neither the Ottoman government nor the Turks, but the Kurds in the region. This is the incident which the Armenians now call ‘genocide.’
Historian Mete Tuncay wrote in an article published in the Journal of Social History that in his view, the so-called Armenian genocide is a sort of myth for the establishment of the Armenian state. ‘Armenians want Turkey to recognize the so-called genocide and pay compensation and give land to the Armenian state,’ said Tuncay. It is true that there is an Armenian issue, but this is nothing more than a fight between two communities, as Ziya Gokalp has noted.
People who talk about these issues as if they happened yesterday ignore the ongoing killings in Iraq and the destruction of valuable works of ancient civilizations in museums there.”
 BAD NEWS FROM THE EU BY TAMER KORKMAZ (ZAMAN)Columnist Tamer Korkmaz comments on Turkey’s EU membership talks and the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“France has already planted a ‘referendum mine’ along Turkey’s path to the European Union. Ankara didn’t even raise a word of protest.
A package of constitutional changes accepted by the French Parliament and approved by President Jacques Chirac last week aims to block Turkey’s European Union membership. The decision announces that new members will not be admitted into the Union without the French public’s consent after 2007. It’s obvious that the resolution aims to block Turkey’s path. [Turkey is currently the only EU candidate projected to join after 2007]
Even if Turkey successfully completes full membership talks in the next decade, the fate of Turkey’s membership will be decided by the French people.
The ‘referendum barricade’ idea belongs to Nicolas Sarkozy, head of the French government and the person most likely to succeed Chirac after France’s next elections scheduled for 2007. Backed by his party, Sarkozy has used the issue of Turkey’s EU membership as a weapon against Chirac. And at last, he was able to make the French Parliament accept these constitutional changes.
Sarkozy is offering ‘privileged partnership’ to Turkey, and 90 percent of his party members support this scheme.
Sarkozy stands united with the German rightists who are expected to come to power in the next German elections. In other words, the bloc against Turkey within the EU will be fortified by the year 2007. Meanwhile, the French public is being ‘stuffed’ with Armenian ‘genocide’ claims.
At the same time, the Cyprus issue is also at hand. However, there is no trace of a solution on the horizon. A few days ago, Greek Cypriot Justice Minister Doros Theodoru made a significant confession. ‘Our efforts to date have been aimed at preventing a solution,’ he said. ‘We’ll try to avoid negotiations till Oct. 3. Then we’ll pursue a solution within the framework of EU law.’
The Greek Cypriots’ strategy aims at forcing Turkey to recognize the Greek Cypriot Republic. They’ll block a solution until Oct. 3, and then Ankara will have to recognize them in order to continue its EU membership negotiations.
Greek Cypriots are the ones trying to prevent a solution, but Turkey has to pay the price!
How will the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sign the protocol which grants recognition to the Greek Cypriots, when the Greek Cypriots have officially announced that they have no intention of compromising?
On top of all this, just when the EU Troika was arriving in Istanbul this weekend, female demonstrators were being beaten up by the Turkish police. Europeans who oppose Turkey’s membership will certainly use this to their advantage.”
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