|Wednesday, 20 March 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-08
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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
 ECEVIT'S STATE FUNERAL SET FOR SATURDAYFormer Premier Bulent Ecevit, who passed away last weekend, will be laid to rest on Saturday in Ankara in a state funeral after ceremonies at Parliament, Democratic Left Party (DSP) headquarters, and Kocatepe Mosque. The government has prepared a bill to allow premiers to be buried in the State Cemetery, which under current law is reserved for presidents and Ataturk's brothers-in-arms. The bill is expected to be enacted before Saturday, and Ecevit can then be laid to rest in the State Cemetery. Meanwhile, Parliament held a special session yesterday in Ecevit's memory. Following a minute of silence, parliamentarians praised the late prime minister's services to the nation and Turkish political life, as well as his moderate, honest and clean way of living. In addition, Ecevit's widow Rahsan Ecevit yesterday continued to accept condolences from visitors at home. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Chief of General Staff gen. Yasar Buyukanit were among those who visited her. Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said that he would attend the ceremonies in both Parliament and Kocatepe Mosque, and then would proceed to his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) General Congress, which was planned for this weekend months ago. /Turkiye/
 EU COMMISSION TO RELEASE TURKEY'S PROGRESS REPORTThe European Union Commission is set today to release its progress report on Turkey and strategy paper. The first is said to contain tough criticisms on Turkey on Cyprus, civil-military relations, freedom of expression, southeastern Turkey, minority rights and religious freedoms. An evaluation of the Cyprus dispute to be discussed in an appendix to the strategy paper is expected to be left to December. Meanwhile, Western media reports on the report stressed that Turkey carne through its progress report but that there might be serious problems ahead. In related news, EU Term President Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday met in Berlin and gave the message that they will be working on a solution for the Cyprus issue in accordance with Finland's proposals until December's EU summit. "If the necessary political will is shown, an agreement can be reached in a couple of weeks," said Vanhanen. "We want a solution, not a conflict. I believe that the Finnish proposals will bring a solution. Turkey should fulfill its promise on implementing the Ankara Protocol." /Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet/
 ARINC VISITS ALGERIAParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, accompanied by a delegation, is continuing his contacts in Algeria. After visiting the Military Museum, Arinc said that France had committed a genocide on the Algerian nation. He added that France has such a bloody history that it is not in any position to accuse Turkey or any other country. /Turkiye/
 SABANCI: "THE EUROPEAN UNION NEEDS TURKEY"Sabanci Holding Chairman Guler Sabanci yesterday said that European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU. In a guest column published in The Financial Times Sabanci wrote, "Turkey has been an integral part of the twists and turns of European history for 700 years. She has had her good days and bad days, she has played with strong hands and weak hands, but she has always been an influential player at the table of European politics. Our countries know each other rather well. We should remember this long history of engagement when discussing Turkey's European Union membership negotiations, which formally began just last year. An EU report on the progress of the talks, due to be released tomorrow, is being seen by some as a 'crisis point.' Yet there will be no vote on accepting Turkey as a full member of the Union for at least another decade. The progress report [set to be released today] is important but must be seen in this context. It is an interim document that underlines what still remains to be done as opposed to celebrating what has been achieved. By its very nature it cannot do justice to the profound importance of these talks when it comes to facing the global issues of tomorrow… Most important there is a need for sincerity, an honest effort on both sides to arrive at a successful result, Turkey's accession as a full member. It is unfortunate that pandering to domestic political concerns has led to suspicions that the ongoing process may be insincere, with member states going through the motions in full knowledge that they have a preference for an outcome other than full membership." /Milliyet/
 PRODI URGES EU TO CONTINUE ACCESSION TALKS WITH ANKARAItalian Prime Minister Romano Prodi yesterday called on European Union countries to continue accession talks with Turkey. Speaking to The Financial Times, Prodi said that if the Turkey's progress report to be released today were full of negative aspects, then the negotiations might be suspended, but added that he didn't expect such a development. Stressing that EU's enlargement process should continue by continuing talks with Turkey and other candidate states, Prodi pointed out that Turkey's talks were complicated and then they were progressing slowly. "If you want to make it in a hurry it will fail," he said. "But certainly you must not stop it." /Aksam/
 FINLAND'S CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF KASKAELA VISITS TURKEYChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday met with his visiting Finnish counterpart Gen. Juhani Kaskaela. He was welcomed with a ceremony upon his arrival at General Staff Headquarters. After the ceremony, Kaskaela signed the General Staff's visitors book and the two commanders had a face-to-face meeting. /Star/
 NEW EC DELEGATION HEAD PIERINI ARRIVES IN ANKARANew European Commission Turkey Delegation head Ambassador Marc Pierini, the successor to Hansjoerg Kretschmer, yesterday came to Ankara on the eve of the release of the European Union Commission's progress report. Pierini held a meeting with the staff of the representation office and is expected to officially take office after giving his letter of credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Hurriyet/
 TRNC PARTY ACCEPTED IN SOCIALIST INTERNATIONALDuring this week's Socialist International meeting in Santiago, Chile, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) ruling Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was accepted to membership in the group. Attending the gathering, Deniz Baykal, the head of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP, said that the decision gave strength to the TRNC, adding that the development was a signal of the world accepting the presence of two equal nations on the island. Furthermore, CTP leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer also welcomed the move, saying that a decade of efforts had finally borne fruit. /Sabah/
 SPANISH PM TO VISIT TURKEY FOR ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONSSpanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero will arrive in Turkey over the weekend for a three-day high-level group meeting of the United Nations-led Alliance of Civilizations initiative, whose co-sponsors are Turkey and Spain. After meeting with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Saturday, the two will make public a strategy document to strengthen the current operation between Ankara and Madrid. The initiative aims at preventing hatred and misunderstanding between the Islamic world and the West and calls for interfaith dialogue. /Turkish Daily News/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY BIDS ITS INTELLECTUAL PREMIER FAREWELLBY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)
Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on late Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Politicians live in a world of politics belonging to them, look at life through the prism of politics and perceive the world this way. Politicians' interpretations and views on life are the product of an close look at politics. Bulent Ecevit established a ‘life woven by poetry.' As a man of culture and thought, his portrait was a gift to our history of politics. He looked at life from an intellectual world on a line extending from Sufism to the performing arts, from Turkish poetry to translation. Many people on our political scene write poems. We can't consider Ecevit only as a politician who wrote poems. He came from a family of aesthetic gusto. His mother was a painter. As prime minister, Ecevit had a character of great sensitivity. This quality of his had an impact on his politics. His aesthetic and moral stance brought Ecevit to a point unique among politicians. I think his most distinctive side was his intellectual sensitivity. Obviously, he used Turkish perfectly, as an intellectual. Scholar Suleyman Seyfi Ogun considers democracy the ability to choose the select. Ecevit's performance as a leftist party leader in the history of Turkish politics shows our nation's ability to distinguish the select one.
Ecevit was the latest example of a ‘statesman cum man of culture' since the administrative reforms of 1839. I consider myself lucky because many times as a journalist, I had the opportunity to meet and interview him. When I was trying to finish my farewell column to him, I looked at the books written by Ecevit on my desk. In the foreword of a book of his poetry, he wrote that since he began in politics he had never considered poetry a mode of communication. He adds that poetry isn't a way of expressing a thought, but a mode of thinking. Ecevit was a good politician who did significant services for his country. Of course, he made mistakes, but he believed in the theory of multiple worlds. He always advised that each politician should have another world besides politics."
 MHP GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND DEVLET BAHCELIBY AVNI OZGUREL (RADIKAL)
Columnist Avni Ozgurel comments on the upcoming general congress of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). A summary of his column is as follows:
"We don't have to think long to answer the question: ‘Who learned their lessons after the coup of Sept. 12, 1980?' It was the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). There's a big difference between the MHP before the '80s and after. The signs of this difference were seen during the time of late MHP leader Alpaslan Turkes and are even clearer under the current leadership of Devlet Bahceli. The MHP of today abstains from violence and believes that responding to ideas with ideas is sufficient and is seeking leadership by forming a strong group in Parliament instead of calculations of cooperation. Of course it makes mistakes and there are some shortcomings, but this is its general stance. If you can look at the situation impartially, you can see that that there are fewer accusations against the MHP and that the left-wing parties no longer always criticize the MHP, as they used to.
Some say that the MHP has abandoned its traditions and should go out into the streets again. I think these are the words of international forces which wish Turkey no good. It would be a mistake not to see this as a sign of incitement to violence. I also said that there are some shortcomings. I don't expect a different outcome from the congress. The delegates don't come to Ankara to make a show for the elections, but to form the party administration that should bring the MHP to elections.
I think the difficulties for Bahceli will begin after the meeting. He will have to make a declaration for the elections that matches the expectations of the people and the demands of Turkey. He also has to win over people who have sympathy for the party. Not the MHP, but Bahceli should go to the streets to make contacts with businessmen, diplomats, non-governmental groups and artists."
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