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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-05

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


  • [00] ERDOGAN: "OPPOSITION PARTIES SHOULD NAME THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES" Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the weekend attended the opening ceremony for a road connecting Bornova and Karsiyaka in Izmir. Speaking at the ceremony, Erdogan said that he was happy to cut the ribbon on facilities which will make important contributions to the Aegean region and Izmir. Touching on May's presidential election, he said the opposition parties should name their presidential candidates. "No one should expect us to produce an economic plan with an eye on the upcoming (November) general elections," he said. Erdogan charged that the opposition political parties have done whatever they could over the last three years to slow down the workings of Parliament, adding, "But they realized how determined we are and gave up trying to pressure us to call early elections." /Star/
  • [00] GUL GIVES MESSAGES ON IRAQ BEFORE LEAVING FOR WASHINGTON Speaking yesterday before leaving for Washington to pay a six-day official visit, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that he hoped his trip would help to improve cooperation between the two allies within the Turkish-US common vision document. Asked about Iraq, Gul stated that the problems of the country are continuing. "This shows that our concerns about the country were well-founded," said Gul. "Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs, Sunnis, and Shiites should try to find ways to coexist." /Aksam/
  • [00] BAYKAL: "A TWO-STATE CYPRUS HAS BECOME INEVITABLE" Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that hopes ended for a united Cypriot republic following the recent initiative of the Greek Cypriot administration to find oil in the Mediterranean. In a written statement, Baykal said that the real reason for this initiative was to end Turkey's exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean. He further stressed that there was no hope for a resolution under a single state. "A two-state Cyprus on the island has become inevitable," added Baykal. /Turkiye/
  • [00] DYP'S AGAR: "FAR FROM DIVIDING THE COUNTRY, TURKEY'S NATIONALISM ENRICHES AND DEVELOPS IT" Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar over the weekend attended a ceremony in Istanbul. Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Agar said that Turkey's nationalism was a nationalism which doesn't divide the country but on the contrary enriches and develops it. "This understanding champions the indivisibility of our country and the unchangeability of its borders," added Agar. /Turkiye/
  • [00] ATALAY HOLDS OFFICIAL CONTACTS IN OMAN State Minister Besir Atalay, currently in Oman, yesterday met with Omani Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahad bin Mahmoud Al Said and Industry and Trade Minister Maqbool bin Ali Sultan. During their meeting, Sultan stated that they wanted to develop bilateral ties with Turkey in all areas, adding that joint investments should be given priority. For his part, Atalay said that improving relations between investors from the two countries was important, calling on Omani businessmen to invest in Turkey. Later, Atalay met with Omani Transportation and Communication Minister Sheikh Mohammed, Tourism Minister Rajiha Bint Abdul Amir and Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi. /Hurriyet/
  • [00] TURKEY SET TO SELL ELECTRICITY TO GREECE A new page is opening in Turkish-Greek relations with the selling of electricity. Greece wants to buy one billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from Turkey annually. Turkey has started laying the technical groundwork for the exports. Top officials of Greece's electricity company came to Turkey last month as the official guests of the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEIAS). Greek authorities stated officially that they wanted to buy electricity from Turkey this year. Officials from the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said that Greece's request for electricity was being evaluated. "The most important component of selling electricity to Greece is Turkey's balance of supply and demand," said one official. "But one part of the unused capacity of the Hamitabat, Kirklareli natural gas power station could be allocated to Greece." /Sabah/
  • [00] WHAT SHOULD ERDOGAN DO? BY YAMAN TORUNER (MILLIYET) Columnist Yaman Toruner comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan possibly running for president in the election set for this May. A summary of his columns is as follows: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would exchange views with parliamentary deputies, non-governmental organizations, businessmen and his friends on his possible presidential bid. He shouldn't ask them ‘Who should be the president?' but rather ‘Should I be president?' The people he consults will respond with concerns coming from their own interests. Deputies and businessmen will advise him to stay prime minister, while others from religious sects and his friends will want him to become president. Many people can't tell him what they really think, as although they believe it would be better if he stayed premier, they will hesitate to say so. In the end, Erdogan and his own family will make the final decision. Normally Erdogan could become president. I've said so before. If he misses the opportunity, he may not get another one. If it's decided that someone else will become president, then a new debate will begin: Who will it be? Erdogan should give up his tactic (or ploy) of making the public wait and say whether he'll run or not. Some 70 million people are waiting for his decision. The country has huge economic, political and social problems. His decision is very important, especially for foreign investors. Actually, as he delays his announcement, the economy is getting worse, ambiguity is dominating the public, and the cost is growing higher. If I were an opposition party leader, I would like Erdogan to remain premier and be a rival to me. I would say: ‘Don't embarrass the country any more. Make your decision clear and declare it as soon as possible. Come to a position with the nation on the issue. If you have self-confidence, lead your party in the next general elections. The premier has the real power in Turkey. If you become president for one term, then your political career will end. You will also harm your own political actions. Stability is needed not only for the ruling party, but also for the opposition parties. Have you any idea about the current economic state of the country? Everybody is putting up with this.' Your party, businessmen and Turkey will be pleased if you lead your party as premier in the next general elections. But, if you say, ‘I would like to be president,' then you will throw the country into crisis. We don't want the country suffer from political crises. You always make your announcements at the last moment; you like to make the country tense. The country doesn't need crisis dealers. We want the nation not to pay bills that it's already paid."
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