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Turkish Press Review, 06-03-06
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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
06.03.2006ERDOGAN: “WE’RE TRYING TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH, JUSTICE, AND SECURITY” FM GUL: “THE AIM OF THE GME IS PEACE IN THE MIDEAST, NOT INTERVENTION” CICEK: “THERE WILL BE NO MORE AMNESTIES” AGAR: “THE GOVT HAS FAILED TO ACHIEVE STRUCTURAL CHANGE NEEDED BY THE ECONOMY” PROSECUTORS REPORTEDLY ACCUSE BUYUKANIT OF INTERFERING WITH JUDICIARY FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... GAINS FOR BOTH RUSSIA AND HAMAS BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
 ERDOGAN: “WE’RE TRYING TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH, JUSTICE, AND SECURITY”Speaking at a meeting of his party over the weekend, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the government was trying to improve conditions in areas such as education, health, justice and security. Addressing the participants, Erdogan said that the government had achieved important reforms in education and added that 75,000 classrooms had been built since his party came to power. “In Izmir, over 1,500 classrooms were completed and with the support of donations, this number rose to 1,715,” said Erdogan. “A total of 967 schools have Internet connections, and we’ll try to boost this figure as soon as possible.” Erdogan stressed that the government’s education efforts would not flag until illiteracy is wiped out, adding that in three years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule the literacy rate had risen from 80% to 89%. The premier stressed that the government had also made important reforms in health care, adding that various state hospitals were taken under the Health Ministry. Later, Erdogan attended the opening ceremony of a natural gas circuit plant in Izmir’s Kemalpasa district. Addressing the crowd, Erdogan said that nuclear energy was important for Turkey, adding that the government aimed at inexpensive, quality electricity production. “We place importance on seeking domestic energy resources,” he added. /Turkiye/
 FM GUL: “THE AIM OF THE GME IS PEACE IN THE MIDEAST, NOT INTERVENTION”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that initiatives under the U.S.’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME) don’t foresee political or military intervention in regional countries. Gul’s remarks came in a written response to a question motion submitted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Mustafa Ozyurek. “Efforts for change and reform should first of all be nourished by the region’s own internal dynamics,” Gul said, adding that there was no single pattern of reform that would work in all countries. “An approach which doesn’t take every country’s specific characteristics and sensitivities into consideration cannot be successful. Things cannot be forced. Democratization is a process, and it should be expected to proceed at different rates in different countries.” /Star/
 CICEK: “THERE WILL BE NO MORE AMNESTIES”Speaking at a ruling party branch congress in Ankara yesterday, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that from now on there would be no more amnesties and that all amnesties should be ended immediately, adding that these remarks would bind him in the future. Stating that the statute of limitations is one of the key factors preventing some cases from coming to satisfactory resolutions, Cicek said that they had lengthened the statute in the revised Turkish Penal Code (TCK) for just that reason. /The New Anatolian/
 AGAR: “THE GOVT HAS FAILED TO ACHIEVE STRUCTURAL CHANGE NEEDED BY THE ECONOMY”Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday attended a meeting of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). Speaking before the meeting, Agar criticized the government, saying that in the three years it has been in power, it had failed to achieve the structural change which the economy needed. Asked about comments accusing Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit of trying to interfere in judicial proceedings over last year’s Semdinli incidents, Agar said that this was a judicial issue, adding that there was no need for further comment. /Aksam/
 PROSECUTORS REPORTEDLY ACCUSE BUYUKANIT OF INTERFERING WITH JUDICIARYLand Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit has been charged with interfering with the judiciary by making remarks about an officer alleged to have been involved in the Semdinli incidents, reports claimed over the weekend. According to dailies Milliyet and Sabah, the Van Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is probing the Semdinli incidents, has accused Gen. Buyukanit with interfering with the judiciary through remarks he made saying he knew one of the non-commissioned officers alleged to have been involved and that he didn’t believe the man who would do such a thing. /The New Anatolian/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 GAINS FOR BOTH RUSSIA AND HAMAS BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Hamas’ weekend visit to Moscow and Turkey’s stance. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Certain important aspects of Hamas’ visit to Moscow didn’t get much attention in Turkey. However, there are some hints showing that Hamas gained much from this visit. Obviously, Russia gained something from it. Those who supported Hamas’ visit to Ankara in our country are glad, because they see the subsequent visit to Moscow as a point against people like me who consider Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s visit to Ankara last month as ill timed. However, this criticism, coming from nationalists and Islamists, ignores the real picture. Neither the US nor Israel is most angry about Meshaal’s visit to Moscow. This visit angered the Chechens the most. I will call them ‘Chechen insurgents,’ because the last time I called them ‘militants’ some people got mad at me. Movladi Udugov, one of the leaders of the resistance, last week said, ‘We regret this decision of Hamas. Through this action, the leaders of Hamas will shake the hands of the killers of 250,000 Chechen Muslims, including 42,000 Chechen children.’ Udugov added that people justifying the murder of the Chechen people could in no way be seen as friends or comrades of the Chechens. This statement, made by a group which used to declare its close cooperation with Hamas, shows why Russia benefited from Meshaal’s visit. This was shown when Meshaal took a question about Chechenya during a press conference in Moscow, replying that it was Russia’s domestic affair and they can’t interfere in it.
In short, Russia managed to break an important link of Muslim solidarity. Russia had already weakened the Shiite dimension of this solidarity due to its nuclear flirtation with Iran. Meanwhile, former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov said that Hamas’ January election victory showed the bankruptcy of the US’ project of bringing democracy to the Middle East. Russia considers its support for Hamas within the framework of its competition with the US over the Middle East. In addition, it believes that the US will give up ‘irritating’ Central Asia with a similar ‘democracy project.’ As for Hamas, its gain is of course great, because it gained certain legitimacy with its visit to Moscow without having to give up its harsh stance against Israel and with no hint of renouncing terrorism. This isn’t similar to the support it gained from nationalists and Islamists during its visit to Turkey, because Russia is a key member of the Mideast Quartet also including the US, UN, and European Union. Likewise, although Meshaal had already visited Turkey and Iran, the Moscow trip was seen as more important. In sum, balances are rapidly changing in Moscow and not raw dreams and shallow suspicions, but bitter truths are speaking. Strategies which fail to consider this have no future.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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