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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-19

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

19.02.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "OUR GOVT IS DEVELOPING ALL OF TURKEY 'S PROVINCES WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION"
  • [02] FM GUL: "THE GENERAL ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD AS SCHEDULED"
  • [03] OIC SECRETARY-GENERAL IHSANOGLU MEETS WITH TALAT
  • [04] BAYKAL: "ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH NORTHERN IRAQ MEANS ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PKK"
  • [05] TURKISH-ORIGIN EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS INVITED FOR VISIT
  • [06] MERKEL: "CLOSE INVOLVEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE EU BENEFITS EVERYONE"
  • [07] BABACAN BRIEFS AKP ON TURKEY 'S EU PROCESS
  • [08] CANKAYA, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MILITARY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "OUR GOVT IS DEVELOPING ALL OF TURKEY 'S PROVINCES WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been making efforts to further develop all of Turkey 's provinces without any discrimination. Visiting Erzincan over the weekend to attend ceremonies marking the city's 89th anniversary of salvation, Erdogan spoke to assembled crowds. Pointing to the KOYDES rural development project, the premier said that it was one of Turkey 's most important projects, adding that by the end of this year, no villages in the country will lack water or electricity. Furthermore, he said that Erzincan has become an attractive province for investors. "Industrial investments mean development, employment, peace and prosperity, " said Erdogan. Speaking to reporters upon his arrival to Istanbul , Erdogan said that for the now his government is determined to hold general elections in November, as scheduled previously. But the premier added that following developments in the months to come, including the May presidential election, a new evaluation might be possible. Meanwhile, State Minister and Turkey 's chief negotiator for European Union talks Ali Babacan last week reportedly told EU officials that the government was planning to hold general elections in September, three months early. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [02] FM GUL: "THE GENERAL ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD AS SCHEDULED"

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday returned to Turkey after a visit to Saudi Arabia . Holding a press conference at Ankara 's Esenboga Airport after his arrival, Gul spoke about news reports saying that Ali Babacan, Turkey 's chief European Union negotiator, had told EU officials that general elections would be moved forward one or two months, saying, "This is out of the question. Babacan told them there's stability in Turkey and the timetable is working. The elections will be held as scheduled. No one should doubt this." Commenting on whether Ankara officials would meet with Kurdish administration officials in northern Iraq , Gul said that sowing a crisis-like atmosphere in the wake of statements by various officials was very wrong, adding, "All of these remarks complement each other. The premier's and the chief of General Staff's remarks complement each other. I said if you try to create arguments out of this, it would be very wrong. I especially underlined this. So such an stance isn't comprehensible." /Star/

    [03] OIC SECRETARY-GENERAL IHSANOGLU MEETS WITH TALAT

    Organization of the Islamic Conference Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu yesterday met with Mehmet Ali Talat, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Stating that last week's ninth session of the council of the parliamentary union of the OIC member states held in Malaysia had given full support to the TRNC, Ihsanoglu added, "Our goal is acceptance of a political solution of the Cyprus problem in the international community, our kin gaining all of their rights, and the ending of the unfair isolation imposed on the TRNC." Ihsanoglu is a Turkish scholar by profession. /Star/

    [04] BAYKAL: "ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH NORTHERN IRAQ MEANS ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PKK"

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal over the weekend spoke about debates over Turkish officials meeting with Kurdish groups in northern Iraq , saying, "Politicians and soldiers can't have different security policies." He added, "Northern Iraq is making efforts not only to force itself but also the terrorist PKK on Turkey . Because northern Iraq also owns the PKK. It gives all kinds of support to the PKK. When you establish a relationship with northern Iraq , you also establish a relationship with the PKK." Commenting on proposals to hold the general elections ahead of November, when they are scheduled, Baykal said, "Let's move the general elections forward to April instead of September. This way the (May) presidential election would be held under a new Parliament." In Turkey the president is elected by Parliament. /Hurriyet/

    [05] TURKISH-ORIGIN EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS INVITED FOR VISIT

    The Turkish government has invited Turkish-origin European lawmakers to attend a special meeting in Ankara and Istanbul slated for this weekend. Some 25 parliamentarians are expected to participate in the gathering hosted by the Turkish-based European Union Communication group. The meeting will create an atmosphere of dialogue between the Turkish government and the European parliamentarians and help to solve the problems faced by Turks in Europe as well as seek ways to help their integration and to improve Turkey 's image in the West. On the other hand, the presence of deputies on the guest list alleged to have close ties to the terrorist PKK is stirring controversy. /Turkish Daily News/

    [06] MERKEL: "CLOSE INVOLVEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE EU BENEFITS EVERYONE"

    Angela Merkel, the chancellor of European Union Term President Germany, said over the weekend that close involvement between Turkey and the EU was to everyone's benefit. Speaking to Greek daily Kathimerini, Merkel said that the EU was implementing agreements which it had signed previously, and that Turkey should also fulfill its obligations in order to make progress. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] BABACAN BRIEFS AKP ON TURKEY 'S EU PROCESS

    State Minister and Turkey 's chief negotiator for European Union talks Ali Babacan said yesterday that the EU accession process had made important contributions to Turkey 's development. Speaking at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting in Ankara , Babacan said that the country had made serious strides on the economy, social security, health, education and democracy as well as other areas under AKP rule. Stressing that Turkey should prepare itself for international competition, Babacan said that the country can only be successful if it integrates with the world. In addition, commenting on May's presidential election, AKP group Deputy Chair Salih Kapusuz said that in April, his party would consult with the people and the party members, and then in May an AKP member would become president. /Turkiye/

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

    [08] CANKAYA, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MILITARY

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on differing stances by the Presidential Palace, the government and the military in Turkey . A summary of his column is as follows:

    "There are different messages from the government, the military and the Presidential Palace concerning the Iraq issue. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that talks can be held with the northern Iraqi Kurdish administration. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, in contrast, asked what we could discuss with supporters of the terrorist PKK. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that the military speaks with its weapons, but before that, there are certain things which must be done by through politics. The diplomats want Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to be invited to visit Ankara , but President Ahmet Necdet Sezer rejects the idea. This picture shows that there are disagreements at the top of the state and how complex and complicated the Iraq issue is. Indeed, except for emotional responses, Turkey has difficulty establishing a rational foreign policy and applying it in a unitary way.

    Following the 1991 Gulf War, Kurds migrated to Turkey in great numbers. Operation Poised Hammer was meant to ensure their safe return. Thus Turkey solved the problem of migration. Poised Hammer also helped Turkey 's efforts against the PKK. At that time, Poised Hammer supplied intelligence and the Turkish army carried out comprehensive cross-border operations. Turkey gave red passports and weapons to Talabani Massoud and Barzani and invited them to Ankara . Then they fought the PKK. Turkey made peace between these two Kurdish leaders so this Talabani-Barzani front against the PKK couldn't be damaged. Even if Turkey hadn't benefited from Poised Hammer this way, the Iraqi Kurds established their own public bodies under its umbrella and turned into an undeclared state. Governments which focused on fighting the PKK in the ‘90s couldn't see today's autonomous Kurdish ‘state' as an ‘urgent and immediate' problem. After Turkey refused to allow the deployment of US soldiers for the imminent Iraq invasion in March 2003, the gave Kurds the opportunity to become US allies and made it difficult for Turkey to carry out comprehensive, long-term operations in northern Iraq. And today we're confused to see this complicated picture. The same holds for the Kirkuk issue.

    The worst thing is this confusion, not only due to hesitation, but also because we seem to be a ‘risky' country, where it's uncertain who will do what. Official discussions should be done only in official institutions, for example, the National Security Council (MNK). Statements and authority should come from politicians and diplomats, and politicians should speak with the delicacy of ‘diplomatic language.' Yes, Kirkuk is a historical Turkish city, but when we consider it with its villages, the number of Kurds was greater than Turks, even in the numbers given by Ismet Pasha in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The lonelier Turkey gets concerning the issues of Kirkuk and northern Iraq , the weaker it gets too. The more world partners it finds, the stronger it will be. As Gul said, the right policy for Kirkuk is that it belongs to the Iraqi people. This is the only policy which would be supported by the Iraqi people, the region and the world. Ankara should work hard, be active politically and speak with one voice. And everybody should read the history of Mosul from the Treaty of Lausanne to 1926."


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