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Turkish Press Review, 06-11-21

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

21.11.2006

FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…

CONTENTS

  • [01] OIC MINISTERS DISCUSS WOMEN'S ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT
  • [02] GUL TO TRAVEL TO FINLAND NEXT MONTH
  • [03] BABACAN: "EVERY WEEK MORE THAN $1 BLN IN FOREIGN CAPITAL FLOWS INTO TURKEY'S BOND AND BILL MARKET"
  • [04] CICEK: "NOW IT'S EUROPE'S TURN"
  • [05] TALAT MEETS WITH ANNAN, DISCUSSES ISOLATION OF TURKISH CYPRIOTS
  • [06] FINLAND SETS DEC. 6 DEADLINE ON PORTS ISSUE
  • [07] BAYKAL CALLS REMARKS OF MHP'S BAHCELI "IMPORTANT"
  • [08] STUBBORNNESS
  • [09] THE IMPORTANCE PLACED ON THE POPE'S VISIT

  • [01] OIC MINISTERS DISCUSS WOMEN'S ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT

    Istanbul yesterday hosted the Organization of the Islamic Conference's (OIC) ministerial conference on women's role in development. Speaking at the gathering, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that not only the Islamic world, but the whole world faced serious problems whose solutions can only be found through discussion. Stressing that steps to advance women's rights play a very important role in the development of democracy, he said that the reason women were prevented from participating in social activities wasn't religion but traditions painted as religious rules. State Minister for Women and Family Affairs Nimet Cubukcu and OIC Secretary- General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a Turkish scholar, also attended the meeting and addressed the ministers of member states on the issue. Later, returning to Ankara from Istanbul, Erdogan stated that despite calls from the opposition to hold early general elections before next May's presidential election, the elections would be held as scheduled, in late October of next year. The trust and stability established in Turkey will continue, Erdogan said. He added that early elections would hurt both political and economic development, and that everyone should get used to the fact that the elections would take place at their normally scheduled time. /Star/

    [02] GUL TO TRAVEL TO FINLAND NEXT MONTH

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is expected to travel to European Union Term President Finland next month for an official visit. During his stay in the country, Gul will meet with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja to discuss Turkey's EU membership bid and the Cyprus issue. Gul is expected to stress that Turkey doesn't pose an obstacle to a Cyprus resolution and stress, in contrast, the uncompromising stances of Greece and the Greek Cypriots. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] BABACAN: "EVERY WEEK MORE THAN $1 BLN IN FOREIGN CAPITAL FLOWS INTO TURKEY'S BOND AND BILL MARKET"

    Speaking at a reception marking the 143rd anniversary of Ziraat Bank, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday hailed it as one of the finest banks in the sector. Babacan also touted recent economic developments, saying that every week more than $1 billion in foreign flows only into Turkey's bond and bill market. Babacan further stressed that one of the most important reforms carried out by the government was providing autonomy for institutions. /Hurriyet/

    [04] CICEK: "NOW IT'S EUROPE'S TURN"

    Cabinet ministers chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday convened and discussed domestic and foreign issues. Speaking to reporters after the gathering, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters that the ministers took up the fee the government charges Turkish citizens traveling abroad, adding that it would be drastically lowered from 70 YTL to 15 YTL. Aid to the victims of recent floods in southeastern Anatolia was also discussed, said Cicek. Asked about the government's stance towards European Union Term President Finland's recent call for Turkey to take steps on the Cyprus issue before Dec. 6, Cicek said Ankara had already fulfilled its commitments on the issue, unlike the EU. He also urged the EU to lift the embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as soon as possible. /Turkiye/

    [05] TALAT MEETS WITH ANNAN, DISCUSSES ISOLATION OF TURKISH CYPRIOTS

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday met with outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Geneva. Speaking afterwards, Talat said that his meeting with Annan aimed at bringing the Annan plan back for reconsideration, adding that a Cyprus resolution could only be found through the UN. Asked if the Annan plan could be taken as a basis for a resolution, Talat said that the plan had been discussed for four or five years and couldn't be dismissed. Saying that he had requested a meeting with Annan, Talat called their meeting "comprehensive and very positive" and added that it proved that the Cyprus issue could only be solved by the UN, not the European Union. Talat further added that the sides should take advantage of Annan's experience to reach a resolution and that he should continue to be active in efforts for a resolution even after leaving the UN helm. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] FINLAND SETS DEC. 6 DEADLINE ON PORTS ISSUE

    Pressure on Ankara to open its ports to Greek Cyprus has been rising. Despite Turkey's announcements that no further steps would be taken on the Cyprus issue before the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is ended, European Union Term President Finland's Premier Matti Vanhanen said yesterday that Ankara should make a decision on the opening of its ports to Greek Cyprus. He stated that if Turkey does not open its ports to Greek Cypriots, the EU Commission, in the first week of December, is expected to make recommendations on the matter, and that during its gathering on Dec. 11, the EU foreign ministers could decide on Turkey's accession process in line with that advice. Vanhanen stressed that the topic would not be allowed to dominate the summit of the 25-nation bloc's leaders on Dec. 14-15, who will review Ankara's progress since the opening of accession talks in October 2005 and have the final say if Ankara does not open its ports and airports to Greek Cyprus by then, but decisions would be made before the meeting. The summit will take up various topics including the enlargement process, he added. In related news, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn also stated that they had already held a summit for Turkey so there was no need for a new one. /Turkiye/

    [07] BAYKAL CALLS REMARKS OF MHP'S BAHCELI "IMPORTANT"

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday commented on opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli's remarks at his party's weekend congress, saying that they were very important. "It's very important that the MHP considers nationalism together with the republic and modernization," said Baykal of his right-wing rival. "It's important that MHP adopts this. They could have considered nationalism as opposed to the republic's values and Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's principles, but fortunately they didn't." /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [08] STUBBORNNESS

    BY GUNDUZ AKTAN (RADIKAL)

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

    "According to the additional protocol, the EU decided that Turkey must open its ports and harbors to Greek Cypriots by year's-end. As the Greek Cypriots' stance was known, it was thought that the process of membership talks would be blocked by the end of this year. When Finland's well- intentioned stance, which lacks an understanding of the issue's complexity, encountered the solidarity within the EU, an un-negotiable suggestion emerged. Not even the government which was established through extraordinary methods in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) could accept this suggestion. In such an atmosphere, five Turkish former foreign ministers suggested that a ‘time out' should be given to membership talks with the EU. As I didn't see the TV program they were on, I guess former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem talked about it. This stance doesn't show that they've given up our EU membership bid. On the contrary, obviously, all of them support Turkey's EU membership. In addition, their stance can't be reduced to the unfair EU policy on the Cyprus issue. Perhaps the ministers concluded that the EU doesn't want to make us a member at this stage. On the other hand, they believe the Turkish people lost their desire for the EU due to the EU's misbehavior. They were afraid that if the situation continues this way, a serious break would ensue and put an end to our EU membership process. They thought that a time out under these circumstances would create a more positive atmosphere for the membership talks in the future.

    The validity of this stance can't be denied. However, what do we see? The ‘liberals' who defend EU membership at all costs assert that if a time out is given, the membership talks will never start again; then we'll have to pay a heavier price than before to restart them, and we'll suffer an economic crisis as we won't be able to provide the financing to meet our great current account deficit without the EU. This openly means that membership talks shouldn't be stopped in order to head off these negative possibilities. So we should accept the EU's demands. However, just this submissive stance has gotten us to this point. This stance is the reason for the EU's unfair and even sometimes disrespectful stance towards us. This stance causes the Turkish nation to see the EU with enmity and even hatred. In spite of the chapter of civilian-military relations in our 2006 progress report, the government sees that every concession it makes on the Cyprus issue before next year's elections will hurt it. If the government acts like certain ‘liberals' who have brought us to this point, it would hurt our EU membership process.

    If a country needs the EU's support on the issue of civilian-military relations and if its economy would collapse if it defends its legitimate rights and interests, then it has no choice but to surrender to the EU. A serious state should have provided the necessary coordination so its press, academics and big business could take certain stances which are appropriate to all stages of the EU membership process. As it didn't do this, foreign policy amateurs are now here. Heraclitus said, ‘Character is destiny.' Maybe not becoming an EU member is a historical destiny formed by certain characters who don't know how to demand membership."

    [09] THE IMPORTANCE PLACED ON THE POPE'S VISIT

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on next week's visit to Turkey by the pope. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "World attention is already focused on the visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey next week. More than 2,000 journalists will observe this visit. The world media as well as the Italian and Islamic media are already talking about the importance of the visit. The visit is also the theme of the cover of Time magazine. As Time also says, the visit by the pope is taking place in different conditions then those during the visit by Pope John Paul II. There is a tension between the Islamic world and the Christian world now, and the new pope has a different personality then his predecessor. All this make this visit important.

    One shouldn't be surprised that the pope chose Turkey as his first visit to a Muslim country. As the Vatican explained, the majority of Turkey's population is Muslim, it has a secular Constitution, it is the cradle of various cultures and civilizations and a bridge between the East and the West. The pope faced a strong backlash from the Islamic world for his remarks on Islam in a recent speech in Germany. He later tried to correct his attitude and indicated that he favors a dialogue between the two religions. Is there a better country than Turkey to win over the Islamic world? The most important thing is what kind of messages he will give from Turkey. That's why everyone, especially the Islamic world, is curious what he will say. This can be a historical opportunity for the Vatican.

    This comes at a time when efforts for a dialogue between civilizations are more intense. A few days ago Istanbul hosted the Alliance of Civilizations led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The importance attached to the visit by the pope is also important for Turkey. It is a great opportunity for the presentation of Turkey. With this visit, millions of people will see Turkey's modern, historical and cultural characteristics. With this, Turkey will be better understood with its function as bridge. This visit is also an opportunity to give the pope a better impression of Turkey and to corrent some of his false impressions about Turkey (for example, of its EU membership)."


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