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Turkish Press Review, 06-09-22

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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





    Speaking at an awards ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan said that the government makes investment decisions in light of the country’s interests, adding that the strategic importance of investments was also considered by the government. Erdogan stressed that red tape should be cut, adding that the government’s goal is an administration which both costs less and provides better public service. The premier stated that he was once Istanbul’s mayor, so he places importance on the local exercise of democracy. In related news, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has begun preparations for its general congress set for Nov. 11. /Turkiye/[02] GUL MEETS WITH US OFFICIALS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, on his third day of his visit to the UN in New York, met with representatives of Jewish groups and hosted a reception for leaders attending the NATO foreign ministers meeting. Then Gul met with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice. Reportedly the two top diplomats focused on the PKK and Cyprus issues, as well as Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Furthermore, Gul had a meeting with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Rehn said that the EU had encouraged Turkey to continue its reform process, adding that they had exchanged views on the Cyprus issue in order to prevent a “train wreck” on the road to Turkey’s EU membership. /Aksam/[03] LAGENDIJK, EURLINGS AGREE “GENOCIDE” RECOGNITION NOT REQUIRED FOR EU MEMBERSHIP

    Turkey-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk said yesterday that Turkey had a chance on the road to its EU membership. Stressing that Turkey’s recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide wasn’t a precondition to its EU membership, Lagendijk said that the matter was still controversial and it was not yet clear whether or not there had been any genocide of Armenians. Furthermore, European Parliament Turkey Rapportor Camiel Eurlings stated that the so-called Armenian genocide shouldn’t be a precondition for Turkey’s EU membership. He added that he would propose changes to the subject in the recent report on Turkey prepared by him. /Turkiye/[04] ISTANBUL COURT DROPS CHARGES AGAINST NOVELIST ELIF SAFAK

    The Beyoglu 1st Criminal Court in Istanbul on Thursday dropped all charges against novelist Elif Safak, who had faced up to three years in prison for writing a work of fiction in which characters referred to a “genocide” of Armenians in Turkey during World War I. Safak didn’t appear at the trial, as she was confined to hospital in Istanbul after giving birth to a baby girl on Saturday. The European Commission on Thursday hailed the court’s acquittal. “The commission welcomes this recent judgement; this is obviously good news,” said Krisztina Nagy, spokeswoman for the European Union’s executive arm. Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk also praised the verdict. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Safak’s acquittal, saying his government was open to reform proposals to expand freedom of speech. “Of course, the ruling concerning Ms. Safak has pleased me,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. /Turkish Daily News/[05] BUYUKANIT: “WE’RE DETERMINEDLY CONTINUING THE FIGHT AGAINST TERROR”

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said yesterday that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) was determinedly continuing its fight against terrorism, adding that the TSK wouldn’t hand its duty to counter the terrorist PKK to anyone else. Saying that one cannot bargain with the PKK, Buyukanit stated that the term “special envoy” had been misunderstood and that it properly meant a representative in the fight against the PKK. “The envoys won’t bargain with PKK,” said Buyukanit. “Turkey fights the PKK through its own armed forces. Our determination against terror will continue and intensify.” /Sabah/ [06] GOVT OFFICIALS, UNION FAIL TO REACH AGREEMENT ON WAGE HIKES

    Government officials yesterday met with representatives of civil servants’ unions to discuss the raise in their salaries but failed to reach agreement on the issue. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. The groups are expected to meet again today. Sahin is expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan before today’s meeting. /Milliyet/[07] TURKISH BECOMES OFFICIAL TONGUE IN KOSOVO

    Kosovo’s Parliament yesterday approved Turkish as an official language in the country, in addition to Albanian and Serbian. Some 200,000 people in Kosovo, with its population of 2.5 million, speak Turkish. /Turkiye/[08] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS...[00] NOT GUILTYBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on author Elif Safak’s trial and its outcome. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “A verdict of not guilty was handed down to author Elif Safak, who was on trial due to her novel ‘Baba ve Pic’ (The Bastard of Istanbul) under Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 301. The verdict caused people to say that there are liberal judges in Turkey. Public Prosecutor Mehmet Akilli read the novel and said during the trial that the views coming from the mouths of its characters remained ‘within the framework of freedom of expression.’ He recommended the verdict of not guilty as ‘there is no evidence that requires a punishment on the grounds that she acted to insult or denigrate Turks.’ Judge Irfan Adil Uncu didn’t find it necessary to question Safak and concluded that when the book is examined as a whole, the legal elements of the crime are absent. Thus, another author escaped from the pincers of Article 301. Now, there is only the aggressiveness of the Kemal Kerincsiz group which caused incidents in front of the court, arguing that there was an insult against Turks. This group also tried to harass Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair Joost Lagendijk, who came from Brussels to follow the trial.

    As Turkish Judge Riza Turmen at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said when reform bills were being passed by Parliament, Turkey isn’t borrowing these laws from the EU, but enacting them in order to harmonize its law with that of Europe. Thus, judges should internalize the freedoms on the EU path and make more democratic decisions. Article 301 sticks out like a sore thumb in a period when we assume that 'thought crimes' are being done away with. What’s more, it has caused arbitrary charges to be filed. A person frustrated by an author or who doesn’t like a book or movie goes to court. These kinds of cases don’t suit Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul called Safak and gave their support. Erdogan stated that he was pleased with this decision. But it’s not enough. The government should find the courage to send a bill to Parliament annulling Article 301. As a social democratic party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) should defend freedom of thought, instead of being afraid of criticisms from nationalists. The judiciary did its job. Now it’s the legislature’s turn. Article 301 should be annulled.”[09] KRETSCHMER TALKED ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTSBY GILA BENMAYOR (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Gila Benmayor comments on Hansjoerg Kretschmer’s recent remarks. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Hansjoerg Kretschmer’s tenure as head representative of the European Commission in Ankara is ending. At a speech at the dinner held by the Marmara Group, Kretschmer said: ‘Turkey’s European Union membership will be a historic event, because it will show that a Muslim country can adopt European values.’ But he added: ‘Turkey still hasn’t adopted European liberalism. Cultural differences make it difficult for Turkey to adopt European values.’ He also said that the role of the Turkish military shouldn’t be different from that of militaries in other European countries.

    Kretschmer pointed out that the reforms shouldn’t be seen as compromises and said that the EU Commission has started to watch two things closely, namely the practice of the reforms and women’s rights. This is a sign of the EU closely watching women in Turkish society. In Parliament 4.4 percent of the deputies are women, and in business life women's representation is 25 percent, both of which is far below EU countries. There are also other issues like education. The EU Commission is more sensitive to this with the report by Dutch Deputy Emine Bozkurt on the situation of the women in Turkish society. Bozkurt is also preparing to present a new report next month. The report will be discussed in November and voted in December or January. It's certain that we will discuss women in Turkey in the coming days.”


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