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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-06

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

06.02.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER, ARINC, AND ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES HONORING SECULARISM
  • [02] PAKISTANI PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF VISITS TURKEY
  • [03] IN WASHINGTON, GUL MEETS WITH CHENEY
  • [04] SENER: "THE GOVT IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING TURKEY'S EU PROCESS"
  • [05] BABACAN: "RATHER THAN RETREAT INTO THE PAST, TURKEY MUST ADAPT TO TODAY'S WORLD"
  • [06] IN WESTERN THRACE, BAKOYANNIS PLEDGES "NEW PAGE" IN HOW GREECE TREATS ITS MINORITIES
  • [07] WILSON MEETS WITH BAHCELI TO GAUGE MHP VIEWS ON NATIONALISM
  • [08] ISRAELI PM OLMERT TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [09] IHSANOGLU MEETS WITH EGYPT'S MUBARAK
  • [10] AZERBAIJAN'S DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS WITH BUYUKANIT
  • [11] RALSTON AGAIN!

  • [01] SEZER, ARINC, AND ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES HONORING SECULARISM

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday all issued messages marking the 70th anniversary of the inclusion of the principle of secularism in the Constitution. In his message, Sezer said that it was improper to try and redefine secularism when Constitutional Court decisions and the Constitution itself have clearly defined the concept. Sezer stressed that secularism was the foundation of modernism, and acted as a safeguard for all freedoms. Arinc, in his statement, said that secularism provided people with freedom of religion. In his message, Erdogan said that it was everyone's duty to protect the concept of secularism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] PAKISTANI PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF VISITS TURKEY

    Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf yesterday arrived in Ankara for a two- day working visit. After meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer hosted a dinner in honor of Musharraf and his wife. The Pakistani president is expected to exchange views with Turkish officials on the Mideast issue and efforts to end the violence in the region. /Hurriyet/

    [03] IN WASHINGTON, GUL MEETS WITH CHENEY

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday began his contacts in Washington. First Gul met with Vice President Dick Cheney and then held talks with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. Gul reportedly conveyed Ankara's concerns over an Armenian resolution possibly reaching the floor of the House of Representatives, warning that should the measure pass, relations between the two allies could be seriously damaged. He also stated that Turkey has had enough of the terrorist PKK and expressed Ankara's impatience on the issue, urging US officials to take concrete steps, and soon. Furthermore, he touched on the Kirkuk issue, adding that Ankara favors the preservation of Iraq's territorial integrity. As part of his contacts, Gul today is expected to meet with his counterpart Condoleezza Rice at a noontime luncheon. Tomorrow the foreign minister is scheduled to have talks with congressmen from the House of Representatives to seek support to prevent the Armenian resolution from reaching the House floor. In addition, Gul will address during a gathering of the German Marshall Fund think-tank. After completing his contacts in Washington, Gul will proceed to New York. /Turkiye/

    [04] SENER: "THE GOVT IS CLOSELY FOLLOWING TURKEY'S EU PROCESS"

    State Minister Abdullatif Sener said yesterday that the government was closely following developments in Turkey's European Union membership process. Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Sener said that Economy Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan had briefed the government ministers on recent developments in the EU process. Asked about Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 301, Sener said that similar laws have long existed in Western countries, but no action had been taken and nobody has been punished, adding that through a new understanding and modern interpretation the issue could be resolved. /Turkiye/

    [05] BABACAN: "RATHER THAN RETREAT INTO THE PAST, TURKEY MUST ADAPT TO TODAY'S WORLD"

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday attended a meeting of the Investment Climate Improvement Coordination Committee (YOIKK) held at the Treasury Undersecretariat. Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu and Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici were also present. Addressing the gathering, Babacan rebuffed claims that a recently passed oil law would put the country's resources in the hands of foreigners, calling such charges inaccurate. He further stated that Turkey should adapt itself to the world as it is instead of trying to retreat into the past. Stressing that Turkey paid $29 billion to import energy last year and that it was dependent on foreign countries, Babacan added that he didn't believe that energy investments could be made through public resources alone. Babacan also stated that the method and timing of the privatization of Halkbank would be decided after current conditions are evaluated. /Milliyet/

    [06] IN WESTERN THRACE, BAKOYANNIS PLEDGES "NEW PAGE" IN HOW GREECE TREATS ITS MINORITIES

    Visiting Turkish villages in Greece's Western Thrace region yesterday, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis pledged that Athens would solve all of the problems of Greece's minorities. Speaking at the Gumulcine Chamber of Commerce, Bakoyannis stated that Greece was determined to turn a new page in its relations with minorities, adding that the government would do work on a number of issues such as education, development, funds, and citizenship. /Sabah/

    [07] WILSON MEETS WITH BAHCELI TO GAUGE MHP VIEWS ON NATIONALISM

    US Ambassador Ross Wilson yesterday visited opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli to discuss a number of issues. During their meeting, Wilson asked Bahceli his views about nationalism, and Bahceli told the ambassador about his own and his party's views on the issue. Bahceli stressed that Turkish nationalism isn't based on racism, adding that his party accepts as Turkish anyone who is a Turkish citizen. /Sabah/

    [08] ISRAELI PM OLMERT TO VISIT ANKARA

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to arrive in Ankara next Thursday to pay an official visit. During his short stay in Ankara, Olmert is expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a number of issues, including last month's murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent. Olmert is expected to express support for Turkey in its relations with Armenia following the killing. The two premiers are also expected to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This will be Olmert's first visit to Turkey as prime minister. /Hurriyet/

    [09] IHSANOGLU MEETS WITH EGYPT'S MUBARAK

    Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, on a visit to Egypt, yesterday met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Speaking afterwards, Turkish scholar Ihsanoglu said that they had discussed the problems of Islamic countries and that their meeting had been very fruitful. /Sabah/

    [10] AZERBAIJAN'S DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS WITH BUYUKANIT

    Azerbaijani Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Sefer Abiyev, paying an official visit to Turkey, yesterday met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. The two top commanders reportedly discussed bilateral and regional issues. /Hurriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [11] RALSTON AGAIN!

    BY HUSNU MAHALLI (AKSAM)

    Columnist Husnu Mahalli comments on US Special Envoy for countering terrorism Joseph Ralston and his recent visit to Ankara. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "US Special Envoy for countering terrorism Joseph Ralston came to Ankara again. What's more, he came not from Baghdad, but from Erbil, that is, the capital of the Kurdistan Federated Region. However, we were told that Ralston was supposed to work to coordinate between Washington, Baghdad and Ankara. Even Shirvan Vaili got his marching orders from the Iraqi government. Just like Ralston, he was appointed special envoy for countering terrorism. But Ralston and Turkey's Special Envoy Edip Baser couldn't meet with Vaili. Instead, during his latest visit to Erbil, Ralston met with Kerim Sincari, who was appointed by the Kurdish regional government. In other words, Ralston is discussing the PKK issue directly with Kurds. When Ralston was in Erbil, I keep an eye on the Kurdish TV channels, newspapers and websites. According to all of them, Ralston is the American coordinator on the ‘PKK and Kurds in Turkey.' According to these reports, Ralston and Barzani agree that the PKK and the Kurdish issue should be solved only through dialogue and peaceful methods. In other words, Turkey should sit at the table with the terrorist PKK and solve its own Kurdish issue. We don't know whom Ralston met with or how he met with them in Erbil, but everybody knows that Americans have close relations with PKK members in Kandil. In sum, neither Washington nor Ralston want to solve the PKK issue right now.

    According to Washington, the PKK issue can be solved only with one condition: if the Justice and Development (AKP) government accepts all the regional designs of the US. Maybe the Americans won't come out and say this, but probably they will give certain signs to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and the chief of General Staff to this effect. Meanwhile, representatives of Jewish lobbies can be more frank, because they have the trump card of blocking the so-called Armenian genocide resolution at the US Congress, and now it's time to use this. What's more, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will come to Ankara this month and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to visit Israel. However, the same Israel has always rejected Erdogan's offers to help broker peace between Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon and tried hard to prevent Turkey taking a regional role. However, the same Turkey brought together Israel and Pakistan in the summer of 2005 in Istanbul and tried to make peace between these two countries, which have no diplomatic relations with each other. Today Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will tell Erdogan in Ankara that we should contribute to the solution of these regional problems, mostly the Palestine and Iraq issues. In additionright now Musharraf doesn't have very good relations with the US, and Afghan President Hamid Kharzai is constantly accusing Pakistan of interfering in his country's domestic affairs and supporting the Taliban. However, both Kharzai and Musharraf came to power with US support. In other words, leaders whose common denominator is their serving the US sometimes can't reach an agreement between themselves and can even be on opposite sides militarily. This column started with Ralston and now has reached Kashmir. So Americans will put very complicated demands to Turkey as well as other countries in the region and the Iraqi Kurds in order to solve the PKK issue. The important thing is to muddle people's minds and prevent them from thinking soundly; in other words, to sow confusion and capitalize on it."


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