|Tuesday, 27 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 07-02-21
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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
 SEZER: "COMPULSORY EDUCATION SHOULD LAST FOR 12 YEARS"President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and his wife last evening attended a ball in Istanbul celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Turkish Education Foundation (TEV). Addressing the gathering, the president said that education acted as insurance for the future. Stressing that education and training in the country should be carried out under Ataturk's principles and the Constitution, and in line with modern scholarly and educational criteria, Sezer said that in order to raise the quality of education and ensure the continuation of development, after the necessary infrastructure is laid, compulsory education should be extended to 12 years. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN MAKES APPEAL TO YOUNG PEOPLE AT AKP GROUP MEETINGSpeaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, yesterday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made an appeal to young people, and read out parts of Ataturk's famous address Nutuk. Erdogan said that a country's power cannot be measured by material values alone, adding, "Young people brought up bereft of moral and national values cannot protect their country's future, or that of our republic, or even their own. Our concept of youth is to trust in them to the last and to equip them to take care of and develop national values, to look after universal values." Erdogan also said that he wants young people to have the right to both vote and be elected as deputies in the next elections. /Hurriyet/
 FM GUL: "IF THE ARMENIAN RESOLUTION PASSES, TURKISH-US STRATEGIC COOPERATION WILL SUFFER"Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received a visiting US congressional delegation led by Democratic Congressman Norm Dicks, and they spoke about the resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide now facing the US House of Representatives. Expressing Turkey's frustration over the terrorist PKK presence in northern Iraq, Gul said that Ankara is running out of patience. /Star/
 IRANIAN FM VISITS ANKARAIranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday arrived in Ankara for talks with Turkish officials and to attend a Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Commission (KEK) meeting. Mottaki first met with Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During their one-hour-and-a-half talk, the two discussed the Iraq issue, the Mideast conflict and Iran's controversial nuclear program. Erdogan reportedly urged the Iranian foreign minister to pursue diplomatic means to resolve the issue, adding that Ankara would continue to do its best to ease the tension in the region. Mottaki then had talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Following their meeting, Gul told reporters that neighboring countries should coordinate their efforts to help solve the current issues in the region and that stability would also boost economic prosperity. Mottaki is expected to be received today by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in Istanbul. /Sabah/
 IRAQ'S VICE PRESIDENT MEETS WITH ERDOGANIraq's Vice President of Shiite origin Adel Abdul Mehdi, on a visit to Turkey for two days of talks with Turkish officials, yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mehdi and Erdogan reportedly discussed recent developments in Iraq. The Turkish premier underlined the importance of Iraq's political unity and preserving its territorial integrity. Furthermore, Erdogan warned Mehdi about the Kirkuk situation and reiterated Ankara's concern over the terrorist PKK's activities in northern Iraq. Today the Iraqi leader is expected to meet with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: "FIRST, THE PKK SHOULD BE ERADICATED"Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that as long as formations in northern Iraq continue to lend support to the terrorist PKK, Turkey could not establish ties with them. Speaking at his party's group meeting, Baykal urged the US and Iraqi administrations as well as formations in northern Iraq to counter the PKK. Touching on recent debates over possible early general elections, Baykal also called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to hold elections at the beginning of May, before the presidential election, so that a new Parliament elects the next president. /Aksam/
 BABACAN BRIEFS PARLIAMENT ON EU PROCESSState Minister and Ankara's chief negotiator for European Union talks Ali Babcan yesterday briefed Parliament on the EU Commission's program for this year. Stressing that Turkey will continue to walk along the accession EU path with honor, Babacan said that during its negotiations, Turkey's politics would not be held hostage by the bloc. He stated that at least four chapters are targeted to be opened for talks in the first half of the year. Touting Ankara's implementation of four important reform packages over the last four years, Babacan stated that so far people have focused on the question of when Turkey will be ready for the EU, but later they will ask when the Union will be ready for Turkey. /Turkiye/
 PACE PRESIDENT: "THE EU SHOULD KEEP ITS PROMISES TO THE TRNC"Rene van der Linden, president of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), yesterday called on the European Union to keep its promises to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), saying the embargo imposed on it should be lifted. Speaking to news channel NTV, Linden, currently on the island to meet with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, said that a solution on the island is a must. Also stating that Turkey has obligations to fulfill, Linden said that the problem would be solved under UN auspices and the EU would contribute to this process. After meeting with Greek Cypriot administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday, Linden will meet today with Mehmet Ali Talat, the president of the TRNC. In related news, Jack Straw, the British House of Commons leader and former foreign secretary, yesterday said that the support of the British government and Parliament for Turkey's EU bid continues. At a meeting held by Britain's undersecretary of state responsible for migration, Joan Ryan, in north Enfield, London, an area with a high Turkish population, Straw said that Turkey has always been a close ally of the West and Europe. Straw also said that the British government would do its utmost to end the embargo on the TRNC. /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WHO KNOWS TURKEY'S BALANCES BEST NOW? (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on this week's visits to Ankara of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Both Mottaki and Mahdi were in Ankara yesterday. We think that the clear link between Iran's nuclear program and Iraq's future was discussed. All political problems in the region such as the terrorist PKK, the Turkmen situation in Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, and Lebanon are connected to each other. Political sensitivity in the region has increased. Everything could go better, or it could go worse.
Turkey is part of this diplomatic situation, but how?
Do the public and political decision-making mechanisms have enough information about the policies and measures pursued in this process?
The title of today's column has this goal in mind. Let's give a hint to those who want to answer this question. Who knows best both the government's and the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) view on Turkey's stance on Iraq's future, Iran's nuclear program, what it would do about energy transportation lines and security, and if the US Congress will pass the Armenian resolution?
There are people who know firsthand the government's and TSK's stance on these important political-strategic issues prior to May's presidential election. These are US Vice President Dick Cheney, US President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and US Congressman Tom Lantos, who chairs the US House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee.
Over the last two weeks, first Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and later Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit conveyed their views in detail on these important issues to these figures during their contacts.
We have to assume that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has information on these issues owing to his regular weekly meetings.
The Turkish media lacks this information. We journalists know the issue only from the answers we get to our questions. The debates in Parliament don't say enough. For example, we don't know if Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc or main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal is fully aware of the views of the government and the TSK. The members of the National Security Council (NSC) don't have the latest information on the issue, since it hasn't met for about two months now.
Prior to his critical contacts in Washington, Buyukanit visited Gul at the Foreign Ministry to discuss his visit. During their meeting, maybe they coordinated what they would tell the US officials. In fact, when there was a discrepancy in the statements of Buyukanit and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on holding direct official meeting with Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, Gul said that the statements weren't in conflict, but complemented each other.
Turkey has to make decisions which will affect foreign policy this year, when it will also hold two elections and make important decisions on domestic matters. So sharing these decisions with the public would be beneficial."
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