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Turkish Press Review, 07-02-26

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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

26.02.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS SAUDI ARABIA
  • [02] STATE MINISTER ATALAY: "MIGRATION AND SLUM HOUSING ERODE URBAN IDENTITY"
  • [03] PARLIAMENT TO TACKLE CENSURE MOTION AGAINST PM, INTERIOR MINISTER
  • [04] TALABANI: "WE TRIED TO CONVINCE THE PKK TO REACH A SETTLEMENT"
  • [05] IMF DELEGATION DUE IN TURKEY THIS WEEK
  • [06] WHICH KIRKUK ?

  • [01] ERDOGAN VISITS SAUDI ARABIA

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia over the weekend to attend the Eighth Jeddah Economic Forum. Addressing the meeting yesterday, Erdogan called on Islamic countries to embrace love, dialogue and tolerance to promote peace in the region. Stressing that without an expansion of prosperity and justice, permanent peace in the region could not be obtained, the premier said that Turkey would continue to support efforts towards that aim. Also urging Islamic states to fight poverty and ignorance, Erdogan warned that those trends sowed the seeds of terrorism. Touting Turkey 's recent reforms, the premier said that his government was determined to take further steps for democracy and freedom. In addition, Erdogan also attended a Turkish-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (KEK) meeting with Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarciklioglu and State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan. Speaking at the gathering, Erdogan called on Saudi businessmen to invest in Turkey , adding that the two countries aimed at boosting their bilateral trade volume to $7 billion. After completing his contacts in Saudi Arabia , Erdogan returned to Turkey last night. /Turkiye/

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said over the weekend that the oil exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea by the Greek Cypriot administration is no laughing matter. Speaking to reporters en route to Islamabad for a Middle Eastern foreign ministers meeting, Gul said, "I hope that European states, NATO and the countries on the Mediterranean have seen that oil exploration in the Mediterranean Sea by the Greek Cypriots is a provocation. I also hope that they have understood how dangerous it is to deal with these issues before a comprehensive, permanent solution to the Cyprus problem is reached." Before the meeting, Gul met with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Aboul Gheit and discussed Egypt 's oil exploration agreement with the Greek Cypriots. The two foreign ministers reportedly agreed to hold mutual committee visits between Turkey and Egypt on the oil exploration issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] STATE MINISTER ATALAY: "MIGRATION AND SLUM HOUSING ERODE URBAN IDENTITY"

    State Minister Besir Atalay said over the weekend that the effects of globalization, including migration and slum housing, have resulted in a diminishing sense of urban identity. Speaking at the Second City Planning Symposium held in Ankara , Atalay said that local leaders are making efforts to ensure healthy cities. "After reaching a near-chronic state, the problems of our cities are being solved," he said. /Star/

    [03] PARLIAMENT TO TACKLE CENSURE MOTION AGAINST PM, INTERIOR MINISTER

    A censure motion against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu will be the top issue before Parliament this week. The ruling party-dominated Parliament will vote on Tuesday by secret ballot on launching a probe into the premier and interior minister. On Wednesday, Parliament is expected to evaluate a number of international agreements and a bill seeking changes to television and radio broadcasts. Parliament's Justice Commission on Wednesday will discuss a bill on Internet crimes as well as another bill seeking change to the Supreme Court of Appeals. /The New Anatolian/

    [04] TALABANI: "WE TRIED TO CONVINCE THE PKK TO REACH A SETTLEMENT"

    After meeting with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said yesterday that relations with Turkey were developing further. Asked whether the Kurdish parties in northern Iraq lend support to the terrorist PKK, Talabani said that they had had talks with PKK leaders, but had never supported the group against Turkey , but on the contrary tried to convince it to come to terms with Ankara . /Sabah/

    [05] IMF DELEGATION DUE IN TURKEY THIS WEEK

    An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected to arrive in Turkey on Thursday. The delegation led by Turkey Desk Chief Lorenzo Giorgianni is set to hold talks with Turkish officials as part of the sixth review of the country's recent economic developments under a $10 billion loan program. IMF officials will proceed to Ankara after holding meetings with finance circles in Istanbul . The talks are expected to focus on the privatization of power distribution, and Halkbank, as well as social security reform. /Aksam/

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

    [06] WHICH KIRKUK ?

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the Kirkuk issue and Turkey 's stance on it. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "Why is the Democratic Society Party (DTP), which has so far preferred to hold its tongue on the Kirkuk issue, now saying that intervention in Kirkuk would disturb the Kurds living in Turkey and that they would consider an attack on Kirkuk an attack on Diyarbakir? Is it a coincidence that these remarks came at a time when people are talking about the possibility of Turkish officials meeting with Iraqi Kurds? In addition, can we also ask if it's a coincidence, considering that southeastern Anatolia would be the primary beneficiary of these meetings and all kinds of cooperation in every area? Indeed, is this a coincidence or the concerns of those who benefit from this atmosphere of conflict?

    Iraqi Arabs I met at an international meeting said that Turkey 's remarks on the Kirkuk issue are strengthening our hand for bargaining. I told them that hoping for help from Turkey will bring them nothing. The Iraqi people can never reach a consensus by relying on foreign threats, because it can't be permanent. Today, Iraq is under occupation and in such a country, no social consensus, which is the foundation of a state, can be forged. Each step which aims to prepare Kirkuk 's fate will be temporary, as long as today's conditions remain unchanged.

    Anyhow, what's important for Turkey is to reach this consensus. If a consensus pleasing everybody can't be reached on Kirkuk , this will worsen the region's safety problems. As the lack of stability in Kirkuk and its turning into a field of conflict would create a new focal point for international terrorism, this very much concerns Turkey 's safety. However, how to allocate the oil wouldn't concern Turkey , but the Iraqi people. Besides, it's completely dishonest to try to score political points through Kirkuk . Those who argue Turkey should intervene in Iraq over Kirkuk are trying to score points through Turkish nationalism, and those who threaten that this would galvanize the Kurds living in Turkey are trying to cozy up to certain circles by fomenting Kurdish nationalism. This cozying up and messages not to launch operations against the terrorist PKK in Kandil, northern Iraq etc. are the tactics of certain politicians who only promise to give pain to the people. I consider the recent remarks of the DTP provincial leader in Diyarbakir part of this.

    Some say intervention in Kirkuk will disturb the Kurds living in Turkey . Which intervention are they talking about? Are they talking about an intervention in Iraq , which is under occupation? Not only the US , but also all of its neighbors are already intervening in Iraq . Can one say that northern Iraq isn't under occupation now? Or how it would be realistic to say that Baghdad is under more occupation and Basra under less? Occupation is occupation. Look, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani discussed the oil matter two days ago. Were they alone? Of course not. After the meeting, when Barzani said that they had reached a consensus, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wasn't there, but the US Amabassador to Iraq Zalmay Halilzad was."


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