|Monday, 9 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 06-11-27
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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
 NATO SUMMIT TO BEGIN TOMORROW IN RIGAHeads of states and governments of the 26 NATO member states will meet tomorrow in Riga , Latvia . The two-day gathering is expected to focus on the Afghanistan issue. Turkey will be represented by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. During his contacts as part of the meetings, Erdogan is expected to discuss the Cyprus issue with European leaders. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN URGES ARAB COUNTRIES TO COOPERATEOn the second day of his visit to Jordan , Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the Young Arab Leaders' Forum. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan underlined the importance of cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region. Stressing that some $1 trillion is spend annually for defense, Erdogan said that if that money had been used for education and to promote people's prosperity, there would be no threat of global terrorism in the world. Pointing out that some 150 Turks had been killed in Iraq since 2003, Erdogan said that although Turkey was not a part of the coalition forces in Iraq , it had also suffered. Furthermore, he urged support for the Palestinian people. Erdogan, accompanied by his wife and a delegation, visited the Akabe Private Commercial Region and had a tour of the Red Sea . After completing his contacts, Erdogan last evening returned to Ankara from Jordan . Speaking to reporters at the airport, the premier said that he had held very fruitful meetings in the neighboring country, adding that Turkey would take steps to prevent Lebanon suffering like Iraq . Erdogan also noted that he planned to visit Iran and Syria next month to discuss the Lebanese issue. /Sabah/
 ARINC VISITS OMANOn the second day of his visit to Oman , Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc met with the country's top leaders, including Sultan al-Said. During his contacts, Arinc underlined that cooperation between the two countries in foreign policy initiatives was needed in order to ensure stability in the region. /Milliyet/
 FM GUL: " TURKEY IS READY FOR A QUADRIPARTITE SUMMIT OVER CYPRUS "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday went to Finland to attend the Euro- Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) foreign ministers' meeting set to begin today. Before his departure, Gul told a press conference that reports of his meeting with Greek Cyprus administration Foreign Minister Georges Lillikas were untrue. "Our government's Cyprus policy is clear and transparent," said Gul. "If a multilateral meeting is held concerning Cyprus -- a meeting including the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, as well as Turkey and Greece, which are guarantors and motherlands of these two sides - - we would attend this meeting. But a meeting beyond this is out of the question." Gul stated that he would meet with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioa and that they would discuss Turkey 's European Union bid and Finland 's view of the Cyprus issue. Also touching on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey starting tomorrow, he said the visit was important for shattering many prejudices against Turkey and that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would probably meet with the pope before leaving for the NATO summit. /Turkiye-Aksam/
 BAYKAL: "A CHP GOVT WILL HELP SMALL BUSINESSMEN AND WORKERS"Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday predicted that his party would come to power in the next general elections. Speaking at a meeting of small businessmen in Ankara , Baykal said that his government would strive to help the workers and "honest people." In addition, also addressing the gathering, Turkish Tradesmen and Artisans' Confederation (TESK) Chairman Dervis Gunday charged that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had failed to pay attention to the problems of small businessmen, while praising the CHP for its pro-labor policies. /Sabah/
 RUSSIAN DEPUTY FM: "THE UN'S ROLE ON CYPRUS SHOULD BE STRENGTHENED"Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko yesterday stated that Iraq 's territorial unity should be protected and added, "We share our Turkish colleagues' concerns about the Kurdish issue." Grushko also stressed that steps should be taken to strengthen the role of the UN on the Cyprus issue and that the Ankara and Moscow are following almost overlapping policies on Iraq, Iran's nuclear program and the Arab-Israeli conflict. "We're ready to help reinvigorate the goodwill mission of the UN secretary-general," added Grushko. /Cumhuriyet/
 VATICAN: "WE'RE NOT AGAINST TURKEY 'S EU MEMBERSHIP"Speaking to Rai Due TV, Vatican Secretary of State of Tarcisio Bertone said yesterday, "I hope Turkey can fulfill the conditions put before it to join the European Union." In related news, Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi said that they weren't against Turkey 's EU membership. In addition, on the eve of his visit to Turkey , Pope Benedict XVI sent 7,000 euros in aid to the victims of the recent floods in Iskenderun . /Star- Cumhuriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 LET'S BE HOSPITABLE TO THE POPEBY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey . A summary of his column is as follows:
"The main aim of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey might be building morale for the Christian minority who met with Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos and said that they felt under threat in Turkey . However, the entire world will pay attention to the contribution or lack thereof of this visit to Christian-Muslim fellowship and to Turkey . There are also negative expectations on the issue. Before his visit, books were published on the attempted assassination on Pope John Paul II, and fanatics' slogans of hatred and some incredible conspiracy theories echoed in the West. Would- be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca's 1981 attempt to murder the pope strengthened the negative expectations, too. Even the extraordinary security measures being taken for the pope's visit send a negative message to the world. In sum, Turkey is facing a potential PR disaster. The government, realizing this, is trying to improve the situation. As part of this, some people say that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the pope will have a brief meeting at the airport.
If this happens, the wearisome speculation in Europe will end. Otherwise it won't be forgotten that Erdogan says he wants to forge peace among civilizations but ‘avoided seeing the pope.' Meanwhile, the Vatican says the pope might visit the Blue Mosque. Sources from the Vatican stressed that this suggestion of Turkey had pleased them and would probably happen and be a great gesture. These sources emphasize that in the past only two popes have visited mosque and that this gesture by Pope Benedict will express regret for his words in September which hurt the Muslim world. Of course fanatics won't be satisfied by this. However, Turkey doesn't have the luxury of surrendering to fanatics. Actually, Turkey and Vatican are working to make sure this visit has a positive outcome. So no matter what happened in the past, we have to show our hospitability to the pope. We must do this not only to promote ourselves, but also for peace among religions. Obviously, showing an ugly face contradictory to Turks' hospitability would promote neither ourselves nor the cause of peace."
 THE PAPAL VISITBY MEHMET BARLAS ( SABAH )
Columnist Mehmet Barlas comments on this week's visit by Pope Benedict XVI. A summary of his column is as follows:
"If Pope Benedict XVI hasn't made the speech in Germany this September which was against Islam and our Prophet Muhammed, then his visit wouldn't be such a tense one. The world should know this. And Catholics should accept that even the pope, who is seen as infallible, can in fact make mistakes. Turkey has also received other popes. Moreover, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, who served in Turkey for 10 years and made friends from every sector of Turkish society, in 1958 became pope under the name John XXIII. He was born in 1881 and was appointed cardinal of Turkey and Greece in 1934 when Ataturk was president. During Roncalli's term in office, people could pray in Turkish in Catholic Churches in Turkey and official letters were written in Turkish. He met with Fener Greek Patriarch Benjamin and made steps for an Orthodox-Catholic rapprochement in 1939. He served as cardinal until 1944 and was a member of the front against Nazism. Later he became ambassador to Paris and then the cardinal of Venice . After rising to the papacy in 1953, he made great efforts for a dialogue between different religions. I wish Benedict XVI was also known for his respect for other beliefs and would take a conciliatory attitude.
Whether it comes from the pope or politicians, we don't like intolerance. I hope those who share the pope's intolerance can learn from the reactions against him. The understanding of not destroying, but peaceful coexistence should be widespread in politics. I wish Benedict XVI wasn't stuck in Orthodox-Catholic rapprochement and could learn from his predecessor John XXIII. He also shouldn't forget that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the funeral of the late John Paul II with a delegation including State Minister Mehmet Aydin. This means that just being the pope isn't enough."
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