|Monday, 17 December 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-22
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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: "WE WON'T BOW TO EU BLACKMAIL"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday held a short European Union government summit together with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and chief EU negotiator Ali Babacan at his office at Parliament. While leaving his office, Erdogan commented on EU Term President Finland setting a Dec. 6 deadline for Turkey opening its ports and harbors to Greek Cypriot vessels, saying, "We won't take a different step when unacceptable issues come before us. Our stance has been clear from the beginning." Gul said that the negotiations with the EU continued and he would be going to Finland on Sunday and added, "Turkey did what it had to do. While signing the protocol, Turkey's expectation was that the EU would start free trade with the Turkish Cypriots. We expect the EU to keep its promise," he said. /Star/
 REHN: "LET'S TALK ABOUT A WIN-WIN SCENARIO"European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said yesterday, "If Turkey doesn't open its ports and harbors to Greek Cypriot vessels, they would take into consideration the counter-declaration of Sept. 21, 2005 which was unanimously issued by member states in their proposal to the EU Council on Dec. 6." Stating that the Turkey issue was longer and more challenging for the EU, he added, "Let's talk about win-win, not blackmail and red lines." Milliyet_
 NEW EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPRESENTATIVE PIERINI TAKES OFFICENewly appointed head of the European Commission Representation in Turkey Marc Pierini yesterday submitted his letter of credentials to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and also presented his wife and secretariat. Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Rafet Akgunay also attended the meeting. /Star/
 YOK OPPOSES EDUCATION COUNCIL'S RECOMMENDATIONThe Rectors Committee, chaired by Board of Higher Education (YOK) Chairman Erdogan Tezic, yesterday issued a statement opposing the National Education Council's recent recommendation to ease imam hatip clerical school graduates' entrance to universities. Stressing that implementing this recommendation could cause serious damage to the Turkish education system, Tezic said that they would seek judicial recourse if officials try to put the recommendation into force. /Sabah/
 CHP WALKS OUT OF EDUCATION MINISTRY BUDGET DEBATEParliament's Planning and Budget Commission yesterday took up the Education Ministry's 2007 budget. Debates over secular education dominated the meetings. Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) representatives left the gathering before the opening speech of Education Minister Huseyin Celik, saying that they could not tolerate the minister's s efforts to undermine the secular, democratic and social state ruled by laws. On the other hand, stating that he didn't need lessons from anybody on secularism, Celik said that he, the government and all bureaucrats were absolutely opposed to developments contrary to secular education. "We see secularism not as matter of division but unification," added the minister. /Sabah-Turkiye/
 PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITS USA group of parliamentarians led by Turkish-American Friendship Group Co- Chairman and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul Deputy Egemen Bagis paid a visit to the US this week to hold talks with their US counterparts on bilateral relations and other topics, including the Armenian issue. /Turkiye/
 ITO REPROACHES FRENCH DEPUTIES OVER ARMENIAN BILLIstanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) Executive Board Chairman Murat Yalcintas said yesterday that the French Parliament's recent passage of a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide was regrettable. The ITO organized a meeting bringing together the heads of French firms in Turkey and members of the chamber with the aim of developing ties between the two countries. French Ambassador Paul Poudade also attended the gathering. Stressing that the recent move had badly affected both political and business relations, Yalcintas condemned France, saying that the country favored daily concerns over deeply rooted historical ties. He added that the French Parliament's decision had disappointed the Turkish people, and called on French allies to stop the bill. The French ambassador, for his part, said that the bill would not go into force. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY'S OSCAR NOMINEE AWARDED AT NEW YORK FILM FESTIVALTurkish director Yuksel Aksu's debut "Dondurmam Gaymak" (Ice Cream, I Scream) one of the contenders for the 2007 foreign film Oscar, had its first international success over the weekend, with two awards at the Fourth Queens International Film Festival, held in New York, where it was also screened as the festival's opening film. The movie, extraordinary in that all but one of its cast members are ordinary people from Mugla, a small Aegean town, will open in movie theaters in Turkey -- along with 80 cinemas around Europe -- this Friday. /Turkish Daily News/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS
 THE NATIONALIST FRONTBY ERGUN BABAHAN (SABAH)
Columnist Ergun Babahan comments on next year's general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Politics has turned into a contest over who's more patriotic. We can say that next year's elections will center on nationalism in the context of Turkey's European Union membership. Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal's statements yesterday were a sign of an emergence of a nationalistic front. Baykal praised Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and underlined that Bahceli's stance was a positive development for nationalists.
Turkey is becoming inward-looking in economic competition and in politics on opening itself to foreign capital. Developments in our region and the EU's wrong attitude make this position stronger. The establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq, and the EU's behavior excluding Turkey, strengthens the belief that everyone is our enemy. This development encourages those who want Turkey to become introverted by throwing away democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Those who are against Orhan Pamuk and Elif Safak have come together. A political party which calls itself social democrat has turned to nationalism. Discrimination between nationalist and non-nationalist is fomented.
Rising fear requires an enemy. The nationalists point to elements against the unity of Turkey, as US President George W Bush has pointed to Islamic terrorism. As Ali Bayramoglu wrote in his column in Yeni Safak, ‘All this is fomented by accusations of betrayal, and policies which can't be politicized such as the nationalist state and nationalism.' According to this structure which Baykal praises, the nationalists are the owner of the unitary structure, the values of the nation and the history. Their lines determine right and wrong, and those who go outside these lines are branded traitors. Consequently, a risky road map is drawn for Turkey which could lead it into a dilemma, because this nationalism is based not an inclusion, but exclusion."
 TAKING A BREATHER, OR BREAKING IT OFFBY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (CUMHURIYET)
Columnist Mumtaz Soysal comments on Turkey's relations with the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The blackmail is continuing. Officials from the European Union want to shorten Ankara's decision-making process so that unless our stance on harbors and airspace changes as soon as possible, there will be a train wreck. They say that they don't want Turkey to dominate the Dec. 14-15 summit's agenda. They are blackmailing us, because they have the impression that Turkey is afraid of breaking off the process. Let's confess that this impression comes from the previous governments' fearful stance. We all created an atmosphere that it would be the end of the world if we can't get full EU membership, haven't we? First of all, this impression should be dispelled. Ankara should unilaterally withdraw from the membership talks. The reason should be simple: It's no longer meaningful to keep up a process which makes us constantly compensate. The term ‘taking a breather,' which is used for this stance, would only work to continue this impression. Taking a breather is an indication of getting tired, and it depends on the other side's permission. In other words, as Mehmet Ali Birand said, the EU Council will need to give us permission to take a breather. In this case, it would be inevitable for the EU to put forth new conditions for sitting at the table again after this breather is over.
No, Turkey should make the conditions to return to the table. Now it can be clearly seen that contrary to previous beliefs, continuing this process favors those who want to get more from Ankara. When the talks break off, they will have to calculate their mistakes and determine an open, honest stance. While they think about it, breaking off talks will give everyone in Turkey the chance to evaluate everything again. Shouldn't we think about our desire to become an EU member, whether it was right to accept the Customs Union with all its drawbacks towards this end, and what will be gained and lost during the process of membership talks? If some say that some of our defects were corrected thanks to this process, is it too hard to determine and correct the remaining defects using our own will? As for worries that deciding to break off the process would turn the economy upside down, rock the stock exchange and have a negative impact on the flow of foreign capital, we can say this: Don't you think that doing so would be an opportunity to reevaluate this order and hope based on mistaken premises and to thereby gain stronger national self-confidence?"
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