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Turkish Press Review, 06-11-16
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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
16.11.2006FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN ATTENDS OPENINGS, WHO MEETING IN ISTANBULPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a group of openings in Istanbul. Addressing a ceremony, the premier said that his government was trying to do its best to serve the people. Stressing that the Republic of Turkey was a secular, social and democratic state ruled by laws, Erdogan said these concepts should not be used as political fodder. He stated that the country as a whole was enjoying a development process, and called on citizens not to let the country be ideologically divided. Furthermore, the premier also delivered a speech at a three-day conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Istanbul on the problem of obesity. Pointing to the problem, which annually takes the lives of some one million people worldwide, he stated that it resulted from the culture of unlimited consumption. /Aksam/
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided to send a delegation led by Turkish-American Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Egemen Bagis to hold contacts with US officials. During their stay in the country, Bagis is expected to brief US officials in detail about Turkey's Armenian policy, including Erdogan's proposal last year to form a commission to study the issue. /Turkiye/
 TRNC CELEBRATES 23RD ANNIVERSARYThe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), whose formation was declared on Nov. 15, 1983, is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this week. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday left for the TRNC to attend anniversary ceremonies on the island. Speaking to reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Gul said that the European Union was not neutral on the Cyprus issue, as Greek Cyprus is already a member of the bloc. He reiterated his call to the world to end the international isolation of the TRNC, adding that the only place for a settlement on the island was the United Nations. Later, addressing ceremonies in Nicosia, Gul urged EU countries not to use Cyprus as an issue in Turkey's EU membership bid. Turkey will lend support to the Turkish Cypriots whatever the conditions, Gul added. Furthermore, also speaking at the gatherings, TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots would never consider, accept, or even discuss proposals which ask them to made concessions from their rights. /Aksam/
 EP TO DISCUSS VAROSHA, ENDING ISOLATION OF TURKISH CYPRIOTSThe European Parliament is due this week to discuss the situation of Varosha and ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. During the session, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn is expected to brief the MEPs on recent developments on the issue. The MEPs will also give their own views on the problem. /Turkiye/
 IRAQI PM DUE IN TURKEY TODAY FOR OFFICIAL VISITIraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is due to arrive in Ankara today to pay an official visit. During his stay, Al-Maliki will meet separately with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral relations. Other issues to be discussed by the delegations of both countries are the terrorist PKK, Iraq's constitutional situation, and the situation of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Al-Maliki is expected to be accompanied by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. /Cumhuriyet/
 BASBUG: "MILITARY TIES WITH FRANCE ARE SUSPENDED"Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug said yesterday that military ties with France had been suspended in the wake of the French Parliament's passage of a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. Speaking at a reception marking the 23rd anniversary of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Basbug stated that there had been high- level visits between the two countries, but that they weren't continuing. Also participating in the reception, Air Forces Commander Gen. Faruk Comert stated that he had invited his Greek counterpart to Turkey, but had yet to get a response. He added that tensions between the two countries were due to policy differences. /Milliyet/
 KHATAMI PUSHES FOR CLOSER TURKISH-IRANIAN TIESFormer Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, visiting Turkey to attend the meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations held in Istanbul this week, said yesterday that Turkey and Iran needed to move closer together. He made these remarks at the Turkish Parliament, where he met with Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. "We have the same destiny and we're on the same path, " Khatami said. Stressing that Turkey and Iran are the two big countries in the region, Khatami said enemies of the region are trying to keep it in a state of permanent crisis. /Turkish Daily News/
 BAYKAL CRITICIZES NGOS WORKING TO CHANGE ARTICLE 301, SUGGESTS OTHER PROBLEMS SHOULD TAKE PRIORITYMain opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday received Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, who sought the CHP's support for the new Turkish Trade Law. Speaking afterwards, Baykal commented on controversial Article 301, criticizing non-governmental organizations working on changes to the law as requested by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "They are meeting and wasting time to change Article 301, while Turkey has other problems," added Baykal. /Sabah/
 MHP'S BAHCELI: "OUR CONGRESS WILL BE A HOPEFUL SIGN OF GOOD DAYS TO COME"Speaking at a press conference at his party's headquarters yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that the party's general congress this weekend would be a sign of hope and good news of bright days and a proud future. Bahceli further stated that decisions taken at the congress would help Turkey to be a leading country in the world by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…
 HOPE IN PRODIBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
Columnist Derya Sazak comments on Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi gave a pen as a gift to Social Democratic People's Party (SHP) leader Murat Karayalcin and said that if an alliance is established, he would sign it with that pen and send a copy of the agreement to him. All the roads lead to alliance in Rome. Prodi is our hope. Karayalcin, who believes an Italian-style ‘Olive Tree Alliance' could be implemented in Turkey for next year's elections and went to Rome to hear about the project from Prodi, returned to Turkey full of hope. However, after I heard the leftist politicians' views on NTV last night, I can say that for the SHP, joining the ‘Prodi Alliance' in Italy seems easier than establishing synergy with the Republican People's Party (CHP) or the Democratic Left Party (DSP). Former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's widow Rahsan Ecevit said that his husband's last wish was an ‘election alliance.' Meanwhile, CHP leader Deniz Baykal thinks that parties which get one or two percent of the vote can join the CHP. Prodi said that if the parties want to establish an alliance, the Italian model would work. He said that they had done this in Italy, although nobody believed in it in the beginning. Prodi added that they had established an alliance among the leftist parties a year before the elections, presented a program to the public and announced a prime ministerial candidate six months before. Prodi was successful and was able to beat Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian prime minister isn't a party member, but he became the left's candidate during a primary election with the votes of 4 million members.
The party members who voted donated one euro, and so support totaling 4 million euros was provided. Now Italy is governed by a leftist coalition and the government is struggling with certain difficulties. Meanwhile, Prodi asked why Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to become president, and Karayalcin told him about the authority under the Constitution. They also talked about the possibility of freezing the EU membership talks with Turkey. Prodi said that Italy supported Turkey and that the possibility of interrupting the membership process due to the Cyprus issue should certainly be prevented. He added that the change of climate in Europe was related to the upcoming elections in France. Italian International Foreign Trade Minister Emma Bonino told Karayalcin that her party would start a campaign to support Turkey. Meanwhile, the pope's visit to Turkey this month will be extensively covered by the Italian media. Let's pray it goes off without any problems."
 RELIGION, CULTURE AND POLITICSBY SOLI OZEL (SABAH)
Columnist Soli Ozel comments on the Alliance of Civilizations. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Our point of view on the world also determines the conclusions we draw. If you believe that people's beliefs determine their behavior, then you can understand their behavior by understanding their essence. Therefore Max Weber claimed that being Protestant is necessary for Capitalism, development and modernization. But Asian development disproved this thesis. Many social scientists are trying to understand the material conditions behind cultural expressions. Religious movements try to understand this by analyzing the characteristics of the religion. It has become widespread to present religion as it is in the mindset of those who try to politicize religion. Material facts are analyzed in the emergence of religious movements. However, the cultural expression was dominant in perceiving societies and reflecting the problems in politics.
Those who politicized religion also saw the issue from a cultural perspective. While the activities of radical Islamists led to a backlash among non-Muslims, it was discussed how modernization and Muslim societies will interact. The report of the Alliance of Civilizations, released this Monday, was an important one in its rejection of reducing problems to culture. It links problems in all societies with imperialism, poverty, freedom and lack of political participation, economic underdevelopment, and the fear of globalization. This way it completes the necessary framework in understanding the problems between the West and the Islamic world. It also shows the dynamics which worsened the problems between these two worlds. It also says that the conflict between Israel and Palestine isn't the reason for these problems but a symptom of them.
Turkey's being a part of this project in an important development. With this project Turkey is not only boosting its reputation but also undertaking a great responsibility. From this point of view, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who defends dialogue against a clash of civilizations, should be in Turkey during the pope's visit. Not meeting with the pope out of worries this might be used against him in domestic politics contradicts his mission and means evading responsibility. Someone else could go the NATO summit in Riga. The pope's visit is more important then the NATO summit. His recent speech shaped the agenda. He is also against Turkey's EU membership for cultural reasons. In these circumstances, one can't even think that he would visit another majority-Muslim country. Other Muslim countries wouldn't welcome the pope. This is what makes Turkey different. Therefore all eyes will be on Turkey. Erdogan's absence during the pope's visit will draw international attention. Most importantly, both Turkey and Erdogan will lose a great opportunity."
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