|Tuesday, 27 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 07-02-12
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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 MEETS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF NGOs IN TRABZONPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with representatives of non-governmental organizations in Trabzon in the wake of the murder last month of Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent. Ogun Samast, Dink's confessed murderer, came from the Black Sea city. During the meeting, Erdogan said that people should guard against provocations, adding that rather than brandishing guns, he wants to see young people shaping humanity with pencils and pens in hand. Commenting on arguments that Trabzon doesn't deserve to be linked to Dink's violent death, Erdogan said that a person from any province could have committed the murder. "We shouldn't allow those who want to shatter our unique structure and the hopes of our children," stressed Erdogan. /Milliyet/
 ARINC: "WE WILL NOMINATE AN AKP DEPUTY FOR PRESIDENT"Appearing on television yesterday, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc commented on this May's presidential election to be held in Parliament, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidate would come from inside the government. "The candidate will be from inside the AKP and will be a deputy," said Arinc. Commenting on claims that he would choose the candidate in cooperation with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (a likely candidate himself) and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Arinc rejected this as a "dictatorial" method. "We couldn't do this, because doing so would show disrespect to Parliament," added Arinc. /Sabah/
 CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT IN WASHINGTON FOR VISITChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is now visiting Washington as the official guest of his US counterpart Gen Peter Pace. Besides Pace, Buyukanit will meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and former US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman, and Chief of Staff of the US Army Gen. Peter Schoomaker. Buyukanit is also scheduled to speak at a think-thank, where he is expected to convey his views on the terrorist PKK and the so-called Armenian resolution before Congress. /Star/
 BAYKAL: "WE NEED TO WAGE A DETERMINED FIGHT AGAINST COUNTRIES WHO SHELTER TERRORISTS"Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that a determined fight was needed against countries which provide shelter for terrorists. Speaking to reporters after the 43rd International Security Conference in Munich , Baykal stated that all countries should fight terrorism, adding that the conference participants agreed that terror couldn't be countered through arms alone. "The fight against terrorism should be considered comprehensively," he added. Later, Baykal returned to Turkey . /Turkiye/
 AGAR: "POLITICS REQUIRES LOYALTY AND DETERMINATION"Speaking at a weekend ceremony marking the 46th anniversary of the founding of the Justice Party (AP), a now-defunct party that was the predecessor of his own, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that politics requires loyalty and determination. Agar stressed that the AP was the first party to have a presence all across Turkey , adding that it didn't abandon its principles in the face of change. Agar added that the AP did the greatest service to the nation in Turkish history. /Turkiye/
 AUSTRALIAN FM DOWNER VISITS TURKEYAustralian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is now visiting Turkey as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. During his stay, Downer will also meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. Additionally, he will meet with Hikmet Cetin, a former Parliament speaker and NATO senior civilian representative in Afghanistan . /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN TO VISIT BRUSSELSTurkey's chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan will visit Brussels on Thursday and Friday for talks with EU officials. Babacan will meet with European Commission Vice President Guenter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and other five members of the European Commission during his two-day visit. Babacan is set to discuss issues such as Turkey 's negotiation process and the chapters on which its negotiations can start, and is also expected to brief EU officials on last month's murder of journalist Hrant Dink and recent developments on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). /Star/
 US CHARGE D'AFFAIRES MEETS WITH DYP OFFICIALSU.S. Embassy Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney hosted a weekend luncheon at the embassy with several opposition True Path Party (DYP) officials: deputy leader Nedim Bilgic, Gultekin Uysal, Umut Arik, Hatay Deputy Mehmet Eraslan, Denizli Deputy Ummet Kandogan and Ankara Regional Director Bulent Kusoglu. During the luncheon, topics of discussion included the so-called Armenian resolution facing the US Congress, the terrorist PKK, Iraq and last month's murder of journalist Hrank Dink. /Aksam/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CANAKKALE COULD HOST PEACE TALKSBY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Ferai Tinc gives a suggested locale for Middle East peace talks. A summary of her column is as follows:
"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet next Monday. This will be a preliminary meeting in order to start the process of founding an independent Palestinian state and take steps for peace in the Middle East , and it's uncertain where this meeting will be held. The summit is supposed to be held in an neutral nation, and as of this writing a venue has yet to be announced. But it won't be Jordan or Egypt . I heard that Israeli diplomats were holding various contacts to decide on a place and that this issue was discussed with Ankara as well. I have a suggestion: Canakkale. This city which in centuries past saw the Trojan War and the Battle of Gallipoli will be the best starting point for a step towards peace in the Middle East . I know that Canakkale's infrastructure isn't up to such international meetings and there's only one week left. However, if the summit is held in Turkey , at least a Canakkale tour can be organized. Even if the meeting is organized outside of Turkey , a project touting Canakkale as a city of world peace should be started so that future meetings can be held in Canakkale. The world's most important peace initiatives could take place on this soil in the years to come. Canakkale has the potential to present the best example in our region of a culture of world peace. The Mideast plan by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was prepared in Burgenstock , Switzerland . Why shouldn't the Middle East meetings be held in Canakkale?
Olmert will pay a one-day visit to Ankara on Wednesday. Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot said that during the visit, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will suggest mediating between Israel and Syria , but that the prime minister is planning to politely turn him down. The daily also wrote that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni favors discussing the peace signals coming from Syria during secret meetings, because Syria continues making weapon transfers to Hizbullah. But Yedioth Ahronot added that if the situation changes, Olmert will favor Erdogan mediating between Israel and Syrian President Bashar Assad. We've recently seen arguments promoting Turkey 's role as a mediator. Turkey is a very important country. Even if it doesn't mediate, it has a great impact on the region. Don't you think presenting an atmosphere where all the facilities to ensure peace talks are present is a better suggestion than taking up the mediator role?
Some might respond that it's uncertain if the trilateral meeting will even be held. You're right. The agreement reached in Mecca last week by Hamas and Fatah is being discussed. Under the agreement, Hamas refused once again to recognize Israel . However, there are certain openings which give an opportunity for peace talks. So Israel neither accepted nor rejected the agreement. The US , for its part, will make its decision after examining the text of the Mecca agreement. It seems that a new opportunity is emerging for a Palestinian state to be established and Israel to live peacefully with its neighbors. So long as provocations are avoided, the name of Canakkale should loom large in agreements along stages in the peace process."
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