|Tuesday, 27 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 07-02-14
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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 TRAVELS TO TURKMENISTANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday traveled to Turkmenistan to attend new Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov's inauguration ceremony in Ashgabat today. Speaking to reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before his departure, Erdogan said that Turkey would continue to lend support to Turkmenistan and the Turkmen nation through their ups and downs. He stressed that during his stay he would also have the opportunity to review bilateral relations as well as discuss regional and international issues with top Turkmen officials. Erdogan, accompanied by State Ministers Besir Atalay and Mehmet Aydin and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler, is also expected to attend opening ceremonies of facilities built in the country by Turkish contractors. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: "ISRAEL SHOULD RESPECT THE HOLY SITES OF THE REGION"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday spoke about recent developments at his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) group meeting. Erdogan praised the Oil Market Law which just came into effect as an important step for the fight against corruption. Scolding Israel before Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's visit to Turkey starting today, Erdogan criticized Israel allowing construction near holy sites in Jerusalem. He urged Israel to take a course of action which shows respect for the holy sites and doesn't escalate tension. /Cumhuriyet/
 CHP'S BAYKAL: "ETHNIC DEBATES HARM THE COUNTRY"Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that Turkey needs peace at home. Addressing his party's parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said, "We are debating the republic, nationalism, Ataturk's principles and our ethnic origins," adding that this is wrong and could drag the country into a quagmire. Stressing that all sectors of society should work hand in hand in unity, Baykal asked what Turkey's 70 million people share. "Both nationalism and the Islamic faith are our own values," said the CHP leader. Baykal also laid out his party's basic principles in the runup to elections this November: a new industrialization policy, an education system prioritizing vocational high schools, a foreign policy which protects Turkey's interests both in the European Union and on Cyprus, and ensuring peace in the country. /Turkiye/
 GEN. BUYUKANIT TO MEET VICE PRESIDENT CHENEYChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday proceeded to Washington to begin his official contacts. During his visit, Gen. Buyukanit will seek the Bush administration's support in fighting the terrorist PKK and against the so-called Armenian genocide allegations. The US side will ask Turkey to send additional troops to Afghanistan to help establish stability there. Gen. Buyukanit, who is in the US as the official guest of his US counterpart Gen. Peter Pace, will meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and former US Ambassador to Ankara Eric Edelman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos and Chief of Staff of the US Army Gen. Peter Schoomaker. /Milliyet/
 US EMBASSY'S NUMBER TWO HOSTS AKP DEPUTIESUS Embassy in Ankara Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney yesterday hosted at a banquet for a group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies in her residence in Ankara. The topic dominating the gathering was the Armenian resolution before the US House of Representatives. Turkish deputies warned that passage of the resolution would exacerbate the Turkish public's anti-Americanism, and McEldowney replied that her administration was doing its best to avoid developments harming bilateral relations, adding that the US would soon take concrete steps against the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. /Sabah/
 CoE EXPECTED TO REJECT OCALAN'S BID FOR RETRIALThe Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is expected today to weigh in on the issue of giving a new trial to convicted terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan. The committee will reportedly declare that retrying Ocalan is unnecessary. The Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe yesterday suggested turning down Ocalan's demand for a new trial, and passed on its opinion to the ministers. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY TO EXPLORE FOR OIL IN THE MEDITERRANEANWhile tension continues over the Greek Cypriot administration's recent contracts to search for oil in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey decided to also to carry out its own oil exploration both west of Cyprus and in the region between the island and Egypt. An agreement is reportedly expected to be signed soon with officials from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Turkish oil company TPAO in the first stage plans to explore shallow waters of the Mediterranean in a 12-mile area including the gulfs of Antalya, Iskenderun and Mersin, and then to continue work in deep waters where the Greek Cypriots also plan exploration. An international tender for the research work is expected to be held in three months. In related news, TRNC officials stated that the real goal of the Greek Cypriots wasn't to look for oil for their people's prosperity but to spur a new crisis in the region in line with their own interests. /Milliyet-Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…SOLVING THE ARTICLE 301 CONFLICT
 HALUK SAHIN (RADIKAL)Haluk Sahin comments on the debate over Article 301 and the government's stance on the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The government managed to make a simple issue like Article 301 very complicated. Everything about the issue is mixed up with each other. What everyone says and wants on the issue has become incomprehensible. There's no problem for those trying to score political points from these arguments, those trying to spread nationalist propaganda. However, the ones suffering from this are the Turkish people.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that due to Article 301 some foreigners believe Turkish prisons are full of journalists and writers, adding that they warn people who want to travel to Turkey that it's a dark, dangerous place. Instead of making swift changes to the law, the government asked for the views of non-governmental organizations. These groups, some of which don't even deserve be to called NGOs, want to make the article even tougher by adding speaking against the ‘Turkish nation' to the law besides just ‘Turkishness." If they keep it up, soon violating the law could get you life in prison.
When Cyprus or southeastern Anatolia comes up, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) says ‘We're party to these.' There are also parties to the Article 301, which include people earning their living by producing ideas and expressing them: Writers, translators, journalists, academics, and artists… We should give priority to what they say, but it seems that the government considers these people equal to chambers of veterinarians.
Some institutions favor doing away with the law altogether. They believe the need could be met by other laws. The Turkish Journalists' Association believes that the problem would be solved if the term ‘insulting' were replaced by ‘casting aspersions.' The Press Council declared its proposals three months ago."
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