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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-13

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

13.02.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] IN KAHRAMANMARAS, ERDOGAN MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE, ATTENDS OPENING CEREMONIES
  • [02] FM GUL: "ARTICLE 301 IS TURKEY'S OWN BUSINESS"
  • [03] JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: "THE DEBATE OVER ARTICLE 301 HAS BECOME POLITICAL"
  • [04] BUYUKANIT: "THERE'S NO CHANGE IN TSK POLICY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM"
  • [05] BASER: "IF MEETING WITH BARZANI COULD HELP OUR ANTI-TERROR EFFORTS, THEN I COULD DO SO"
  • [06] DYP'S AGAR: "WE'RE WORKING TO COME TO POWER SINGLE-HANDEDLY THIS FALL"
  • [07] ISRAELI PM DUE IN TURKEY TOMORROW
  • [00] SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] IN KAHRAMANMARAS, ERDOGAN MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE, ATTENDS OPENING CEREMONIES

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended ceremonies marking the anniversary of the independence of Kahramanmaras. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan said that the people of Kahramanmaras had liberated themselves through their own efforts, making it known as a place which stood up for itself. "The people of this province proved to the world the strength of the Turkish nation," said Erdogan. "Kahramanmaras is synonymous with the flag, honor, and the faith of the Turkish nation." Later he attended several opening ceremonies in the province. Addressing the participants, Erdogan said that, with the service it is providing, his government is restructuring Turkey. In related news, the premier is due to travel to Turkmenistan today for a two-day official visit. /Turkiye/

    [02] FM GUL: "ARTICLE 301 IS TURKEY'S OWN BUSINESS"

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday held a joint press conference with his visiting Australian counterpart Alexander Downer. "We're working with non-governmental groups on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK)," he told reporters. "Any US or European intervention would make getting anything done difficult." Gul also said that both he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are of the opinion that the law should be changed. "It's damaging Turkey's image," he explained. "It's portraying Turkey as a country where hundreds of journalists and intellectuals are jailed for their speeches. This is wrong. We want everyone to freely express their thoughts as long as they don't incite violence or make remarks amounting to insult." Gul added that making insults isn't allowed in Turkey or anywhere else. /Hurriyet/

    [03] JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: "THE DEBATE OVER ARTICLE 301 HAS BECOME POLITICAL"

    The government's performance last year and goals for this year as well as Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's recent visit to the US were discussed at yesterday's Cabinet meeting as chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the meeting, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek told reporters that they were getting a variety of views and proposals on the future of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). "Freedom of expression doesn't mean insults or humiliation," he said. "The issue is how to draw the line between criticism and insult. If a legal evaluation were done, the issue could be easily resolved. But the issue was made into political folder and everybody sees it through their own political lens." /Star/

    [04] BUYUKANIT: "THERE'S NO CHANGE IN TSK POLICY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM"

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, en route to Washington yesterday for an official visit, spoke to reporters before his US contacts. He stated that there was no change in the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) policy in the fight against terrorism, adding that Turkey, in its fight against terror, deals with the central authority in Baghdad as its counterpart in Iraq. Commenting on Kurdish region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani's remarks that the PKK wasn't a military problem and that Turkey needs to solve the problem through political means, Buyukanit stressed that such statements make it impossible to discuss the issue with him. /Milliyet/

    [05] BASER: "IF MEETING WITH BARZANI COULD HELP OUR ANTI-TERROR EFFORTS, THEN I COULD DO SO"

    Speaking to news channel NTV yesterday, Turkey's Special Envoy for countering terrorism Edip Baser said that he didn't consider meeting with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani a "red line." "I don't see it like that," said Baser. "If I believe that such a meeting will be beneficial for our fight against terrorism and that he is acting with good will, then I can meet with him. I know that I could face criticism, but I could do so if I believe it would be a step forward in our fight against terrorism." /Milliyet/

    [06] DYP'S AGAR: "WE'RE WORKING TO COME TO POWER SINGLE-HANDEDLY THIS FALL"

    Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that his party aimed to come to power alone in this November's general elections, warning further that there are people and groups trying to polarize the country. "We need to reach compromise among values, not conflict," he said. "The government formed after the elections will make Turkey move ahead," added Agar. /Turkiye/

    [07] ISRAELI PM DUE IN TURKEY TOMORROW

    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will visit Turkey tomorrow. During his two-day official visit, Olmert will meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Issues such as Turkish-Israeli bilateral relations and Iran's nuclear program are expected to be discussed during the meeting. Issues related to energy are also expected to be on the table during Olmert's visit. The Black Sea-Red Sea project, meant to transport water to countries such as Palestine and Jordan and thus ease water supply tensions in the region, and also an agreement on this project to be signed later this year, will also be discussed. /Cumhuriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNSWHEN IT WILL BE NORTHERN IRAQ'S TURN?

    [00] SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Sami Kohen comments on recent developments on the PKK issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "For a long time US officials were telling Ankara, ‘You'll see the concrete results of our fight against the terrorist PKK. Be patient.'

    The US cited France's operation last week targeting top-level PKK militants and detaining 14 of them as the result of their fight against the group.

    After the operation, US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson told reporters this was an accomplishment of the mechanism established to counter the PKK. In addition, the same day Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who was visiting the US, pointed to the US officials' contribution to that development.

    The Turkish media painted the operation in similar way. Pointing to an arrest in Belgium, they even said that an operation against the terrorist group had been launched all across the Europe.

    Of course the French police operation and detention of key PKK figures are important developments. For a long time, Turkey was telling its European colleagues, including France, about the group's activities and urging them to take necessary steps.

    Did France act of its own initiative, or in the US' desire or act with joint mechanisms?

    US officials claimed that this new concrete result was made through their contributions. In addition, PKK militants in France have also accused the US of encouraging the operation.

    On the other hand, French officials have rejected those claims, saying that they had already followed the group, and after a recent tip, they had carried out the operation of their own initiative.

    But the timing is thought provoking.

    Anyway, the important point is France's taking action on the issue.

    As for other European countries, at least at this stage, it would be overblown to speak about a large-scale operation against the PKK in Europe. There has yet to be action against the group in other states.

    Indeed, the Turkish public's real expectation is related to the group in northern Iraq, and that message has been conveyed to the US officials at every turn.

    The situation in northern Iraq is more complex. Turkey has already given all information both to Iraqi officials and the US. Everyone knows the group's presence and activities there anyhow.

    During a conversation with Wilson, I asked him why the US hadn't caught some already known PKK figures and carried out an operation similar to the one in France. He said, ‘We have no police force in the region.'

    The sensibility of US officials on legal issues doesn't fit the reality in Iraq. The US doesn't hesitate to intervene when it serves its own interests. Its operations against Iranians in northern Iraq are a recent example of this.

    Nevertheless, there is a possibility of the US making certain gestures on the issue in the days to come. US Deputy Secretary of State Daniel Fried's recent message to the Turkish media saying that now it's northern Iraq's turn has raised our hopes. We'll wait and see."


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