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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-07

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

07.02.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "OUR NATION IS THE CHIEF SAFEGUARD OF TURKEY'S REPUBLIC AND DEMOCRACY"
  • [02] FM GUL MEETS WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE RICE
  • [03] INTERIOR MINISTER AKSU: "NOBODY INVOLVED IN THE MURDER OF DINK WILL BE TOLERATED"
  • [04] WILSON: "TURKISH OFFICIALS' VISITS TO WASHINGTON WILL AID EFFORTS AGAINST THE ARMENIAN RESOLUTION"
  • [05] GOVT TOUTS ANTI-DROUGHT MEASURES
  • [06] WASHINGTON'S CONCERNS ABOUT TURKEY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "OUR NATION IS THE CHIEF SAFEGUARD OF TURKEY'S REPUBLIC AND DEMOCRACY"

    Addressing his party's group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that over the last four years his government had not only fought simple offenses, but also countered circles seeking to create privileged areas for themselves, and that it would continue to do so. Stressing that the nation had embraced the basic principles of the republic and assimilated democracy and the rule of law, Erdogan stated that the nation was the chief safeguard of the Turkish Republic and democracy. Commenting on the 70th anniversary of the inclusion of the principle of secularism in the Constitution, Erdogan said that he had tried to hold the principle above political disputes in order to pass it on to future generations and make it a unifying principle. Later Erdogan met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is paying an official visit to Turkey. Speaking at a joint press conference, Musharraf said that they had discussed current issues and also hailed relations between the two countries. For his part, Erdogan said that all regional countries bear a responsibility to promote peace in the Middle East, adding that he believed in a new peace initiative towards this end. Erdogan also praised Pakistan's anti-terrorist efforts. /Turkiye/

    [02] FM GUL MEETS WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE RICE

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, currently in Washington, yesterday met with US Vice President Dick Cheney, President Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. After their meeting, the two top diplomats held a press conference. Asked about the so- called Armenian genocide resolution set to be debated in the US Congress, Gul said that Turkey and the US were longtime allies and friends. Stating that the two countries are partners in the areas of global strategy and culture, Gul added, "Turkish-US relations shouldn't be held captive to this issue. This isn't a political issue. I consider this issue a real threat to our relationship. Why do we fight shoulder to shoulder if such a resolution were adopted? Why do we support each other? I believe this won't happen. If it does, it would be a real shock. Passage of such a resolution would seriously damage our bilateral relations. I believe that Turkish-US relations don't deserve such an unfortunate development." /Star/

    [03] INTERIOR MINISTER AKSU: "NOBODY INVOLVED IN THE MURDER OF DINK WILL BE TOLERATED"

    Displaying and distributing images painting Hrant Dink murder suspect Ogun Samast in a flattering light can't be reconciled with reason or logic and isn't part of anyone's job, said Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu yesterday. Speaking at Parliament, Aksu said, "Turkey is a state of law and all our work is being conducted on legal grounds. We will reveal negligence (in the Dink case), if there has been any." /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] WILSON: "TURKISH OFFICIALS' VISITS TO WASHINGTON WILL AID EFFORTS AGAINST THE ARMENIAN RESOLUTION"

    US Ambassador to Washington Ross Wilson said yesterday that the recent and current visits of Turkish officials to Washington such as Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and Foreign Minister Abdulah Gul would help efforts against the so-called Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress. Wilson added that he would travel to the US next month and make efforts against the resolution himself. /Hurriyet/

    [05] GOVT TOUTS ANTI-DROUGHT MEASURES

    In an attempt to ease fears about falling water supplies in much of the country, the government yesterday revealed a plan in the works to combat the effects of global warming, focusing mainly on schemes that would make better use of Turkey's limited water supplies. Environment and Forest Minister Osman Pepe, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler and Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker held a press conference in Ankara under the banner "Climate change, drought and water management." The assembled officials stated that there was currently no drought in Turkey, though Pepe noted that since last October there has been 8% less rain than in the same period in 2005-06. /Turkish Daily News/

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

    [06] WASHINGTON'S CONCERNS ABOUT TURKEY

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's visit to Washington and Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is holding interesting meetings in Washington this week. According to Gul's impressions, important developments will soon occur concerning the terrorist PKK. Are Americans again distracting Ankara, as they have done up to now, or will they really take effective steps against the terrorist group? Gul seems to believe the promises made by American officials. According to the journalists accompanying him, he has a smile on his face. If America keeps the promises it made to Gul and takes the steps expected by Turkey, relations between the two countries, which recently have been a ‘dialogue of the deaf,' can be fixed. Washington is concerned that the anti-American and anti-European atmosphere in Turkey could worsen, because they have already reached a dangerous level. Washington is also concerned by the racist and nationalist wave rising in Turkey. I think they realize that European countries played an important role in this atmosphere. If they still haven't understood this, we should be seriously concerned.

    According to experts in Washington, jingoistic elements in Turkey are forcing the limits of our positive nationalism which has embraced Islam and democracy. Not only the US and Europe, but also trends which despise the country's values played a role in this negative development. These kinds of actions provoke illiterate people living in areas on the outskirts of cities. Washington believes that the basic traditions of the Turkish nation are Islam and democracy. According to these Americans, the only party which embraces these traditions is the Justice and Development Party (AKP). So even though it was disappointed by the AKP after it rejected the March 1, 2003 motion on US troops in Turkey before the Iraq invasion, Washington supports this party. Because there is no other party that Washington can trust. Washington particularly doesn't care for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). It knows that the CHP was the driving force against the March 1, 2003 motion. It doesn't consider the other parties as strong.

    So Gul's expectations that the US will take effective steps concerning the terrorist PKK might have a basis. For example, they could arrest and send a few PKK leaders to Turkey as a gesture to the AKP before this year's elections. This might strengthen the AKP. However, no matter what the US does, certain facts won't change. If the PKK issue isn't resolved, and if Iraq falls apart, a Kurdish state is established in northern Iraq, Kirkuk is given to the Kurds and a so-called Armenian genocide resolution is passed, hatred of the US in Turkey will rise. Even if it comes to power again, the AKP can do nothing to prevent this. If the US still can't understand this, it means that their diplomats and intelligence officials in Turkey may as well have stayed at home."


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