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Turkish Press Review, 06-06-29

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

29.06.2006

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER’S LANDMARK VISIT TO RUSSIA BEGINS
  • [02] PRESIDENT SEZER: “WE’RE PROUD OF OUR LAND FORCES”
  • [03] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THOUGHT
  • [04] GUL: “BLACKMAIL DOESN’T SUIT THE EU”
  • [05] EU’S KRETSCHMER IN HAKKARI
  • [06] EU POSTPONES CUSTOMS UNION CHAPTER
  • [07] TURKEY’S US AMBASSADOR SENSOY: “WASHINGTON’S KURDISH ALLIES PROVIDE ARMS TO THE PKK”
  • [08] LE MONDE POINTS TO TWO-STATE SOLUTION ON CYPRUS
  • [09] BABACAN: “THE ECONOMY AND NATION ARE GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TEST”
  • [10] TUZMEN: “WE MAY REVISE EXPORT FIGURES IN LIGHT OF CURRENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS”
  • [11] S&P CHANGES TURKEY’S OUTLOOK NOTE FROM “POSITIVE” TO “STABLE”
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [13] THE GREATEST POLITICAL MATCH BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

  • [01] SEZER’S LANDMARK VISIT TO RUSSIA BEGINS

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, accompanied by his wife, yesterday flew to Moscow, Russia to pay an official visit at the presidential level, the first ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Sezer is expected to have a face-to- face meeting with Putin today, and then they will attend inter-delegation talks. He will also receive Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the Russian Duma’s lower house. Bilateral relations, including energy and economic cooperation, as well as the Iraq and Iran issues, are expected to dominate the talks with Russian officials. /Milliyet//

    [02] PRESIDENT SEZER: “WE’RE PROUD OF OUR LAND FORCES”

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday sent a message to Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit to mark the anniversary of the Land Forces. Sezer stated that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), one of the basic pillars of the Turkish Republic, had provided pride and security to citizens through its praiseworthy services for the nation’s unity, security and well- being, adding, “The place of the Land Forces within the TSK, one of the strongest armies of the world which takes deterrence as a basic principle, is truly great.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THOUGHT

    Speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on freedom of expression and respect for religious beliefs yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the recent cartoon crisis, saying that insulting a religion shouldn’t be considered freedom of expression. “Criticism and insult are different from each other,” said Erdogan. Stressing that it should be seriously considered whether freedom of expression was being abused as freedom to insult, Erdogan stated that freedom of expression and thought were indispensable factors of common values. “Our system of values shapes our identity,” he said. “Islamophobia should be considered a crime against humanity.” He stressed that the main problem was a dangerous polarization in the international community on the basis of cultural and religious values. “Democracy is a regime of compromise and patience as well as freedom,” said Erdogan. Touching on the so-called Armenian genocide, Erdogan said that Ankara had proposed that historians should research the issue. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan said that the government wouldn’t take any more steps on Cyprus for its European Union membership. “We’ve taken 11 steps, and we won’t take any more until those who need to take steps do so,” added the premier. /Milliyet/

    [04] GUL: “BLACKMAIL DOESN’T SUIT THE EU”

    In Moscow, where he participated in a ministerial-level conference of the Pact of Paris and is to accompany President Ahmet Necdet Sezer during his current official visit to Russia, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that blackmail would not help to reach a Cyprus resolution. Speaking to reporters, Gul said that Turkey’s European Union membership process was a bumpy road, adding that Ankara was aware of its responsibilities. Stressing that a number of reforms for EU harmonization had been implemented and certain of them are already underway, Gul said that the Cyprus issue should not be used to block Ankara’s EU process. Pointing to the Turkish side’s efforts for a settlement on the island, the foreign minister stated that the issue could not be resolved through blackmail, but rather with measures strengthening confidence. Asked whether Ankara intends to open its airports and harbors to Greek Cypriots, Gul said it was not fair to expect the lifting of an embargo on one side while keeping the other. Meanwhile, as part of Ankara’s efforts to facilitate finding a resolution to the Iran issue through diplomatic means, Gul met with his Russian counterpart. During their talks, Gul reportedly spoke about his recent visit to Tehran. Furthermore, Gul had a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who arrived in Moscow late in the afternoon, and exchanged views on the matter. /Turkiye/

    [05] EU’S KRETSCHMER IN HAKKARI

    Hansjoerg Kretschmer, head of the European Commission Representation in Ankara, yesterday held contacts in the southeastern Anatolian city of Hakkari. Kretschmer and his delegation visited Hakkari Mayor Metin Tekce, who later said that he had addressed some questions about the dimensions of political criteria within the context of Turkey’s European Union bid. He also said that he had told Kretschmer that some steps should be taken in order to get through the EU process more quickly so Turkey can be a member. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] EU POSTPONES CUSTOMS UNION CHAPTER

    The starting of actual negotiations on the Customs Union, which constitutes one of the 35 chapters of Turkey’s European Union negotiations, has been postponed. The EU defended the decision by saying that by not opening its airports and harbors to EU member Greek Cyprus, Turkey had failed to fulfill one of its Customs Union obligations. This decision of the EU, which has conducted negotiations with Turkey along with Croatia since last October, caused Croatia to move one step ahead. The EU will start Customs Union negotiations with Croatia. The Union could also reportedly postpone chapters on access and free movement of services by citing the airports and harbors issue. /Hurriyet/

    [07] TURKEY’S US AMBASSADOR SENSOY: “WASHINGTON’S KURDISH ALLIES PROVIDE ARMS TO THE PKK”

    Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington Nabi Sensoy said on Tuesday that the US’ Kurdish allies in northern Iraq provide arms, shelter and equipment to the terrorist PKK and that the US government should do more to disrupt these links. Sensoy said that Ankara had evidence that as many as 3,000 PKK militants had recently moved from positions in northern Iraq to the Turkish border to carry out operations inside Turkey. In a meeting with editors and reporters at right-wing daily The Washington Times, Sensoy said the units of the PKK, which is also considered a terrorist group by the US government, had received arms, safe passage and other logistical help from the two leading Iraqi Kurdish parties, both of which are strongly allied with Washington. Sensoy said Washington should at least use its influence on its Iraqi Kurdish allies to end their links to the PKK, and to disrupt the militants’ command-and-control networks. “You have great influence over these people,” he said, “Average Turks are increasingly frustrated by the apparent inability to contain the PKK threat from Iraq.” /Hurriyet/

    [08] LE MONDE POINTS TO TWO-STATE SOLUTION ON CYPRUS

    French daily Le Monde said yesterday that the Cyprus issue was continuing to poison relations between the European Union and Turkey, adding that the issue could only be resolved through forming a two-state Cyprus. Stressing that the two peoples on the island do not want to live together after a division of three decades, the daily said that despite this fact, no Greek politician could dare to say that a two-state Cyprus should be part of the EU. Claiming that not only the Greek side, but also the Turkish side was responsible for the deepening of the problem, it said Turkey did not take an equal stance towards the Greek Cypriot administration as towards the other EU states in order to ensure the end of the international embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), adding that that stance was bringing the problem to a deadlock too. /Turkiye/

    [09] BABACAN: “THE ECONOMY AND NATION ARE GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TEST”

    Speaking at a conference organized by the Turkish Banks Association (TBB) yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan responded to criticisms of the government about recent fluctuations in the markets, saying that the economy and the Turkish nation were going through a difficult test. Babacan stated that all economic institutions and units were acting with common sense and taking necessary measures. He further stressed that fiscal discipline and a determined monetary policy would continue to be the main approach in bringing down inflation. /Aksam/

    [10] TUZMEN: “WE MAY REVISE EXPORT FIGURES IN LIGHT OF CURRENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS”

    Speaking to reporters yesterday before flying to Geneva to attend a meeting of the World Trade Organization, State Minister Kursat Tuzmen commented on the effects of recent exchange rate fluctuations, adding that there had been a slowdown in the rise of imports. “There is a slowdown especially on the basis of quantity,” said Tuzmen. “We see considerable falls in raw material imports.” He said that the export figures would be revised if current economic developments continue. Tuzmen stated that exports, targeted as $79 billion, would instead reach $84 billion by the end of this year. /Sabah/

    [11] S&P CHANGES TURKEY’S OUTLOOK NOTE FROM “POSITIVE” TO “STABLE”

    International credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s yesterday changed Turkey’s outlook note from “positive” to “stable” after the expectations for better economic indicators in the Turkish economy, affected by recent fluctuations, worsened. The agency didn’t change Turkey’s short-term and long-term credit notes. /Milliyet/

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

    [13] THE GREATEST POLITICAL MATCH BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on Turkey’s political situation. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Let’s imagine that we’re facing a cup final like in football. Let’s make it a final consisting of two matches. I’m talking about a great derby. Maybe the current picture of politics can be summed up by such a metaphor. All these developments center around two axes. The first leg of the final is next year’s presidential election, and the second is next year’s general elections, that is, a new five-year period of political power. The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) leadership and the opposition are now working strategy for this cup final. The AKP is planning to win the two matches, and the opposition is pursuing a victory of 2-0. However, the unchangeable rules of derby matches will apply: Such matches have no favorite and there’s usually the strong likelihood of a draw. I believe both parties will determine their sine qua non, indispensable and vital interests and bargain for them.

    From what I can tell, rather than the presidential election, the general elections will stand in the forefront for the AKP and it will try to come to power single-handedly. What’s more, they’re lucky here with the players they have on the field. However, the presidential election requires a very risky gambit. If they exert all their efforts, their strength might not last until the general elections. Meanwhile, the presidential election is the most critical final for its rivals. They don’t want to lose this game and they will fight as much as they can. They are motivated for this final. Obviously, they want to win the general elections as well.

    This is the teams’ psychology towards a final series consisting of two matches. I think these matches will end in a draw. That unique rule of football and life will apply: Whoever wants something more will win. Of course, the element of chance will be a determining factor. However, the system will win the presidential finals and the AKP will win the game of coming to power. Then this match would end in a draw. However, each will win the points he desires. At least, nobody would lose what he can’t risk. Viva football…”

    ARCHIVE

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