|Friday, 20 September 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-07
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ERDOGAN STRESSES INFORMATION SOCIETY AT INTL TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCESpeaking at the International Telecommunication Union's Conference in Antalya yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the government knew that the tax burden on electronic communications services was too high, adding that it was working to gradually reduce this. "There will be no obstacle for us being an information society," said Erdogan. "Our goal is to make both individuals and institutions receive telecommunication services." Stressing that the government was focused on providing efficient, rapid access to information with proper costs through an alternative infrastructure, Erdogan added that Turkey had faced sweeping changes in recent years. He further stated that in the classification of strong and weak states, the criteria by which they are judged began to change after the communications revolution. /Turkiye/
 CICEK: "THERE WILL BE A STATE CEREMONY FOR ECEVIT"Speaking after yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that the government would hold a commemorative state ceremony on Saturday for former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who passed away on Sunday. "Although the legislation on a state ceremony is lacking, the government will use the State Ceremony Regulation," said Cicek. "The government wants to do its best for Ecevit." Cicek. /Turkiye/
 TOP LEADERS HONOR LATE PM ECEVITTop Turkish leaders yesterday issued messages for former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who passed away on Sunday. In his message, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said that he had been deeply grieved by the death of Ecevit, adding that he believed Ecevit had a place of esteem in Turkey's political life and would always stay in the hearts of the Turkish nation. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli sent a message to widow Rahsan Ecevit, grieving for the death of Ecevit as an important statesman. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit stated that Ecevit had won the heart and respect of the Turkish nation through his honesty and loyalty to the principles of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. /Turkiye/
 ITALY BOOSTS TURKEY'S EU BID ON DAY OF PROGRESS REPORTBy playing host to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul tomorrow, Italy will demonstrate its support of Turkey on the same day the European Commission releases its progress report on Turkey. In an interview with Milliyet daily, Italy's Ambassador to Ankara Carlo Marsili spoke about the Third Turkish- Italian Forum and Turkish-Italian relations. "Turkey's progress report will be released on Wednesday," Marsili said. "The meeting of the Turkish and Italian foreign ministers in Rome on the same day is no coincidence. This title of this year's forum is ‘The 150th Anniversary of Turkish-Italian Relations: Common Vision on the EU Path.' We will show our support for Turkey's EU bid whatever the report says." /Milliyet/
 DUTCH FM: "TURKEY NEEDS TO SHOW THE EU THAT IT'S DOING ITS UTMOST TO COMPLETE EU REFORMS"Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot, in Turkey for a one-day official visit, yesterday met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to discuss Turkey's European Union membership bid. Speaking to Reuters afterwards, Bot stated that Turkey needed to send a "political signal" to the EU that it was doing all it can to push through the EU-required reforms, including plans to ease property rights for religious minorities. /Cumhuriyet/
 MERKEL: "AVOIDING A POLITICAL CRISIS DEPENDS ON TURKEY'S EFFORTS"German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday said that the European Union doesn't want a political crisis with Turkey but that it's up to Ankara to work hard to avoid this. Speaking after a special Cabinet meeting where Germany's European Union term presidency starting in January was discussed, Merkel asked Turkey to put forth more efforts to make progress on its EU negotiations. Merkel also said that EU membership talks with Turkey can only go on if Turkey opens its ports and harbors to Greek Cypriot vessels, otherwise a problem might occur. /Star/
 REHN: "WE APPRECIATE ERDOGAN'S SIGNALING CHANGES TO ARTICLE 301"European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statements on reevaluating and reforming Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). "Premier Erdogan's call for the reevaluation of controversial Penal Code Article 301 and his signaling of a possible amendment in the law in order to bring it in line with the European Union standards is an appreciated move," Rehn's spokesperson Krizstina Nagy quoted him as saying. "The statements of Erdogan show the premier's commitment to freedom of speech and the EU membership process. We expect Turkey to support this view by concrete steps." /Star/
 OIC TO DISCUSS WOMEN'S ROLE FOR FIRST TIME IN ISTANBULWomen's contributions and role in the development of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries will be discussed for the first time during an OIC ministerial meeting set for Nov. 21 in Istanbul. The meeting, where ministers from 57 countries responsible for "women's condition" from the OIC member countries will be present, will consist of four sessions in which topics such as "Preventing Poverty and Strategies and National Policies to Boost Women's Employment," "Women in Decision- Making Mechanisms," "Creating the Future by Enabling Women to Participate in Education" and "Eliminating All Forms of Violence Against Women" will be dealt with. /The New Anatolian/
 BABACAN TELLS OECD FORUM TURKEY AMONG COUNTRIES ATTRACTING RISING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTSpeaking at a forum of the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that Turkey was among the world's countries attracting rising amounts of foreign direct investments (FDI). "Though we don't seem set to achieve this year's inflation target, next year's inflation target has been announced as 4%," said Babacan. Babacan, who is also Turkey's chief European Union negotiator, said that structural reforms would continue in line with Ankara's EU reforms. /Aksam/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE VOICE OF ECEVITBY GUNERI CIVAOGLU (MILLIYET)
Columnist Guneri Civaoglu comments on the death of former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. A summary of his column is as follows:
"When I first met him, he was the youngest state minister of the Ismet Inonu government. I was a law student and was also working as a journalist. I managed to get a meeting with the foreign minister. I was just entering his room when Labor and Social Security Minister Bulent Ecevit also came in. We met and he was very kind. Then he said that he had come without an appointment, but that he had to talk to the minister immediately. The minister's secretary said, ‘Mr. Civaoglu was about to talk to him, but you can go first.' But Ecevit won the won the heart of this young journalist by saying: ‘No, I'll wait my turn.' The secretary and I insisted that he should go first, but he didn't. I had to go first. I could tell from that day that his politeness was genuine.
Ecevit was an honest person. He was never involved in any corruption. Another character trait of Ecevit was his courage. He started the democratic leftist movement years ago, when nobody was even talking about the left. He managed to win 42 percent of the votes when he led the Republican People's Party (CHP), a height never seen since. He was also brave in international relations. The 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation started when he was serving as prime minister. It was a great risk to make this decision despite the threats from the US and Britain. Except for situations where Turkey has sent troops abroad under international agreements, the Cyprus operation was our first international operation.
Of course I've criticized some of his policies. He couldn't find an immediate solution for Cyprus after the operation. Instead he chose to turn this success into an election victory, but the Cyprus problem remains like the sword of Damocles. During the '70s, both Turkey and Greece were invited to join the EU. But he rejected this, saying that we couldn't be the market of Europe. We still suffer from this failure. In 2001 he characterized his dispute with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer as 'the greatest crisis in the history of the Republic of Turkey' and so triggered an economic crisis, which is one of the biggest reasons why the Justice and Development (AK) Party won the fall 2002 elections.
But I have to stress his most important trait: He was a true democrat. He was a political leader who raised his voice during all the coups and even went to jail for this. He was a unique politician. May he rest in peace."
 AKP PARTY CONGRESSBY AYDIN AYAYDIN (SABAH)
Columnist Aydin Ayaydin comments on the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) General Congress meeting to be held this weekend. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Second General Congress is getting attention because the next presidential election is set for next May. Behind the scenes, it seems that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the strongest presidential candidate and also that if Erdogan wants it, the AKP group could elect another candidate from its ranks with full support. Such names as Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener are being mentioned. Certain sources within the AKP say that Erdogan is also among them, but that if he wants to stay party leader, a surprise candidate might be in the offing. Will Erdogan run for president? I think so. He has the votes in Parliament to take him to the Cankaya Presidential Palace. In the past, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Turgut Ozal and True Path Party (DYP) leader Suleyman Demirel were elected president this way, weren't they? What's more, they didn't enjoy such a large majority. If this logic is used, there's no problem. However, after both Ozal and Demirel were elected, their parties suffered and they found no peace in Cankaya.
Political parties other than the AKP, the military and other candidates aren't welcoming Erdogan's possible candidacy. We might like Erdogan or not, but the leader of a political party which came to power with the public's votes must be able to be a prime minister or president. Erdogan has certain characteristics distinguishing him from Ozal and Demirel, that is, Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan wears a headscarf and Erdogan's political past and the political party he leads are along a religious axis. Then one question comes up: Millions of people who voted for the AKP back in 2002 knew that Emine Erdogan was wearing a headscarf, didn't they? They also knew Erdogan's ideological tendency and the AKP's political views, didn't they? Of course they did. So even the people who didn't vote or brought the AKP to power have no right to hide behind this excuse. In spite of such developments, I believe that Erdogan wants to become president. If nothing unexpected happens, this seems very likely. But if Erdogan is elected, the next AKP leader can't bring it back with single-party rule in November 2007. So I don't know if Erdogan will be comfortable in Cankaya. The AKP's General Congress will be held this Saturday. The outcome of this meeting will give important signs of whether Erdogan will run for president. If Erdogan is thinking of being elected president, he will determine the 50- people list for the AKP's Central Decision Administrative Board (MKYK) accordingly. But if he wants to remain party leader, the list will also change accordingly. So this congress might give important signals on next year's presidential election as well."
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