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Turkish Press Review, 06-03-29
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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
29.03.2006FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN, MERKEL SPEAK ABOUT IRANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently had a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reportedly to discuss the latest developments on Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The conversation took place last week during a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Prime Ministry spokesperson Akif Beki yesterday said that the Iran issue hadn’t been discussed during the conversation. /Cumhuriyet/
 SEZER: “TACKLING EMPLOYMENT, POVERTY, CORRUPTION AND THE INFORMAL ECONOMY CONTINUE TO TAKE PRIORITY”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday that the tight monetary and fiscal policies of Turkey’s economic program had led to improvement in some economic balances, adding that continuing to take such steps was of great importance. In a speech at a summit on “Change and Continuity in Family Companies” sponsored by the Ankara Chamber of Industry, President Sezer said, “The permanency and continuity of further steps to be taken are of great significance. The economy shouldn’t be dealt with using short-term strategies.” He added, “In addition to problems increasing volatility, troubles such as employment, poverty, corruption and the informal economy continue to take priority on our economic agenda.” /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN CALLS FOR COOPERATION IN FIGHTING TERRORISMPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday delivered a speech entitled “Dialogue Among Civilizations” at the Arab League summit in Sudan. Erdogan stressed the historical bonds between Turkey and the Arab world and said, “Thus, contributing to the stability, security and welfare of the Arab world has priority in our policies.” Underlining that the world shouldn’t be deceived by people seeking a “clash of civilizations,” Erdogan also called for cooperation in fighting terrorism. During his speech, Erdogan also touched on developments in Iraq, saying, “Turkey wants to see a democratic Iraq with territorial integrity which can preserve political unity and stability and establish peaceful relations with its neighbors.” /Star/
 BRYZA: “TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP HAS KEY ROLE IN COUNTERING RADICAL ISLAM”A top US diplomat late Monday stressed democratic, secular Turkey’s crucial role in countering the rise of radical Islam, and stated that Washington’s support for its European Union membership stems from Ankara’s stance in the ideological divide within the Muslim world. US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Matt Bryza made the remarks at the 25th Annual Conference of the Turkish American Business Council (TAIK) and American Turkish Council (ATC), where Turkey’s EU bid was at the forefront of the discussions. The conference was held in Washington. Bryza described Turkey as a “successful country” with its majority-Muslim population but democratic and secular governmental system. EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-President Joost Lagendijk also told the meeting that the Union has made grave mistakes regarding the Cyprus issue, and this has resulted in an atmosphere where it is difficult to find common ground on the dispute over the divided island. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political advisor and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Egemen Bagis expressed Turkish decisiveness on its path to the EU despite emerging difficulties. /The New Anatolian/
 OLLI REHN: “TURKEY IS AN IMPORTANT BRIDGE”Speaking to reporters yesterday, European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said, “We could face a period of political tension in Turkish-EU relations,” and added, “Skilful diplomacy is needed in order to prevent a train accident.” Rehn said that Finland, which will assume the EU term presidency this July, would need to use all its diplomatic skills to prevent a derailment at the end of the year. Rehn also said that the Muhammed cartoon crisis which rocked the Islamic world showed how valuable a bridge Turkey can be. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THAT ERA DESERVES RESPECT BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:
“The appointment that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) wants to make for the Central Bank head is a dark joke. International financial circles are surprised that the AKP is trying to appoint an interest-free banking expert to be Central Bank governor. This ruling party wants to appoint a person who thinks earning interest is forbidden by religion to head an institution whose most important duty is setting interest rates. Albaraka Turk is the leader of interest-free banking in Turkey and Adnan Buyukdeniz, general director of Albaraka Turk, was educated well, but his world view isn’t in line with modern banking concepts. Not only Turkey, but also world financial circles wouldn’t want a person who believes in interest-free banking heading a country’s central bank. These are the AKP’s obsessions of creating an Islamic society. These people are also angry with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, because he ended this comedy with a veto. Instead of being angry, they should pray for Sezer, as he gave them the chance to turn back from a mistake. Why is the AKP doing this? The strongest possibility is they want to apply populist policies with an eye to elections. They want to appoint a Central Bank governor in accordance with their own views. I hope this mistaken stance won’t turn Turkey’s economy upside down. Let’s not go back to that problematic time of crisis.
Actually, developments aren’t so bright. The current account deficit is inching up, unemployment is rising, people have problems making ends meet and theft, bad luck, and lack of public order prevail and the rosy picture in the economy has started to darken. The ruling party doesn’t care about these things. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan scolds people who complain to him and insults everybody, mostly the media, and says that this ruling party is paying the cost created by 80 years of the republic, pointing to the Republican People’s Party (CHP). However, Erdogan doesn’t know that when the CHP turned over the political power to the Democrat Party in 1950, Turkey had no foreign debt left over from the Ottoman Empire. At that time, the budget was balanced and inflation was zero. The leadership of the republic created miracles until 1950. However, in three years Erdogan’s ruling party has racked up foreign debt of $100 billion. Before mouthing such big words, Mr. Erdogan should look at the conditions in which the republic took over the country and how a nation was created. If he learns these things, then he wouldn’t criticize that era but would respect those leaders.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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