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Turkish Press Review, 06-09-21

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" 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 : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said yesterday that Turkish universities were at a level where they are able to compete with others in the world. Delivering a speech at a gathering at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (METU) ushering in the new school year, Sezer said that universities play a leading role in societies. Stressing that universities should be encouraged to carry out scientific research, the president called for removing obstacles to this. Furthermore, Sezer asked students to act with responsibility in line with the nation’s interests, and to work hard. /Aksam/[02] ERDOGAN URGES IRAQ TO TAKE STRICTER MEASURES AGAINST PKK

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week sent a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki listing Ankara’s expectations for measures against the terrorist group PKK, beyond Iraq’s recent steps. Welcoming Iraq’s sensitivity on the issue, Erdogan called on Iraqi officials to take more concrete measures, including an official declaration of the PKK as a terrorist group, closing all political parties favoring the group, ending all armed and political activities of the PKK and related organizations, and stopping terrorists from crossing Turkey’s border to launch attacks. Erdogan underlined that those steps would help to boost bilateral relations. /Turkiye/[03] TURKIC CONVENTION SETS AMBITIOUS TARGETS

    The 10th Turkic States and Communities Convention wrapped up yesterday with a joint declaration which set ambitions targets to strengthen cooperation in the Turkic world. The joint declaration listed the common stance of the participating Turkic states and communities in 35 areas and also envisaged a new action plan to create common ground for closer cooperation. The last session of the convention started yesterday with speeches by State Minister Besir Atalay and Turkish Brotherhood and Cooperation Association (TUDEV) head Abdulhaluk Cay. Professor Umay Turkey also gave a speech thanking Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government for realizing the 10th convention. After the commissions’ reports and the joint declaration were read out, former President Suleyman Demirel delivered a speech. /The New Anatolian/ [04] ERDOGAN: “THE AKP GOVT WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH ENTHUSIASM”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a series of openings in Bursa. Addressing crowds during ceremonies, Erdogan said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was working hard with enthusiasm to develop the country further. Stressing that Turkey had recently undergone a great change, the premier said that they were trying to serve all the nation’s regions and provinces equally. Erdogan is set to travel to the US on Sept. 30 to pay a three-day visit. During his stay, the premier is expected to meet with representatives of the Turkish community in the country and top US officials, including President George W. Bush on Oct. 2 in the White House in Washington. /Turkiye/[05] GUL WARNS IRAQI OFFICIALS ABOUT KIRKUK

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan yesterday briefed reporters about Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s ongoing contacts at the UN in New York. Stressing that Gul had held a series of talks with various countries’ top officials including his counterparts from Italy Mexico, and Singapore, Tan said Gul also met with Eshref Gazi, the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy for Iraq. The spokesman stated that the two had exchanged views on the Kirkuk issue, and Gul urged Gazi to make efforts towards a settlement between sides before a referendum set to be held at the end of 2007. /Star/[06] EURLINGS: “STATEMENTS ON GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS SHOULD BE STRICKEN FROM THE EP REPORT”

    Dutch MEP Camiel Eurlings, the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs rapporteur who recently prepared a report on Turkey, yesterday said, “Recognizing the [so-called] Armenian genocide can’t be a precondition. These statements should be stricken from the text.” Speaking about next week’s vote on the report, Eurlings said that he didn’t like the current state of the report and he was working to change it. “If the report is issued as is, it will be a problem for Turkey’s accession,” said Eurlings. In related news, Eurlings’ report, which contains exaggerations, is now encountering opposition from EP groups. Recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide as a precondition for membership is at the focal point of the debates. Socialists and Greens are planning to vote against the report if it’s not changed. /Milliyet/[07] IMF, WORLD BANK LOOK FORWARD TO 2009 ISTANBUL MEETING

    A memorandum of understanding for holding the 2009 International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings in Istanbul was signed yesterday in Singapore. The memorandum was signed by State Economy Minister Ali Babacan, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. Rato said that the period until 2009 where when the meetings will be held will be a tough time for Turkey as preparations will need to be made, but expressed his conviction that Turkey will be very successful in organizing the event. Babacan thanked the IMF and the World Bank heads in his speech at the signing ceremony. He added that Turkey has had an intensive and successful cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank and that the same cooperation would continue for the organization of the 2009 meetings. /Hurriyet/[08] TUZMEN PLEDGES "WIN-WIN" ECONOMIC STRATEGY WITH CHINA

    State Minister Kursat Tuzmen yesterday arrived in China with 150 businessmen in a bid to balance trade between the two countries. “My visit to China with a large delegation of Turkish entrepreneurs and bureaucrats is intended to foster joint interests,” said Tuzmen, and underlined that they were pursuing a win-win strategy with China. Stating that China was the world's richest country 500 years ago, Tuzmen said, “China will again be the richest country of the world. But we were the richest 350 years ago. We can’t wait another 150 years. Thus, we should cooperate. Let’s see this while we’re alive.” Tuzmen also met with Shangai Mayor Han Zheng. /Hurriyet/[09] TURKEY'S GDP RANKS NO. SIX AMONG EU STATES

    A report comparing the Turkish economy with those of European Union countries prepared by the Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions (TISK) was released yesterday. The report stated that as of last year, Turkey had the sixth-largest economy among EU states with its $569 billion gross domestic product (GDP) according to purchasing power parity. Turkey left behind 15 EU member countries, including Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. In addition, in 2005 Turkey individually created more added value than all of the 10 countries ranked lowest on the list combined. /Star/[10] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS[00] A NEW BREATH

    Columnist Soli Ozel comments on Turkish-EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The publication of the European Union’s progress report on Turkey has been postponed. They wanted to provide Ankara with the chance to overcome problems on the Cyprus issue through reforms. It’s a matter of controversy how much the ruling party, nation and Parliament want to continue reforms in Turkey. Two years ago, the government’s foreign policy analysts used to say proudly that it had created a balance between freedom and security in Turkey, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if Turkey doesn’t continue on the EU path, it would go on with the Ankara criteria instead of the Copenhagen criteria. Although the Turkish people were a bit concerned about what exactly the Ankara criteria would be, they welcomed the idea. Everybody wanted to believe in Turkey’s determination to be a more decent state, with a more liberal democracy, and to turn the rule of law into the code of administration. Back then, 70% of Turks favored Turkey’s EU membership. But now many things have changed.

    Firstly, those who are against Turkey within the EU did their best to weaken Turkey. French Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy said openly that Turkey had no place in the EU. Some other countries, including Austria, agree with him. Pope Benedict XVI will try to block our membership. The cartoon crisis and terrorist attacks in Europe which were associated with jihad supporters caused the European public to take a harsh stance against Muslims. Doubt, fear and enmity grew, and this was reflected in views about Turkey.

    These indicators, which can be explained from the identity crises of the EU and certain EU members, weren’t new. The situation about the Cyprus issue was more disturbing for the Turkish nation. The EU broke its promises and became a pawn of the Greek Cypriots. It’s easy to be angry with the EU. But Turkey should also look at itself too. Why did Turkey want to become an EU member? This nation claimed that it didn’t want EU membership for economic opportunities alone. This government claimed that it would make EU norms predominate in Turkey and bring this country to the top level politically. In the last two years, Turkey became a country in which freedoms cause disturbances, and it started to be less tolerant of different views and identities. The government didn’t believe in its promises either and started to act as if it forgot that it started a Westernization project. Turkish-EU relations need a new breath. Both sides’ interests require walking together. Obviously our Parliament will handle the current reform package in light of this.”


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