|Sunday, 8 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-03-01
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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
 ADDRESSING NATION, ERDOGAN HAILS TURKEY'S PROGRESS UNDER HIS GOVTAddressing the nation on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the progress made in Turkey over the four years of his administration, adding that it was making steady investments in all provinces, not just certain ones. Erdogan said that recent changes to the Oil Law were a key step in fighting corruption. Stressing that the number of provinces using natural gas has more then quadrupled from nine to 43, Erdogan stated that his government aimed to further increase this number to 60. The premier stressed that people can't live in the past, adding that future needs must be considered. "We have to lay the proper legal infrastructure in line with these needs," he stated. /Turkiye/
 QUEEN BEATRIX VISITS KAYSERI, AND WITH PM EROGAN MEETS WITH TURKISH AND DUTCH BUSINESSMENQueen Beatrix, currently paying an official visit to Turkey, yesterday visited the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. She was accompanied by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa. In Kayseri, Beatrix held a meeting with industrials and businessmen in the Kayseri Industrial Zone. During the meeting, the businessmen told Beatrix about Kayseri's economic situation and their work. Beatrix asked them how workers organized in Turkey and whether its union situation was like Europe's or not. Later, Beatrix returned to Ankara and attended a meeting with Turkish and Dutch businessmen together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Also among the participants were State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan and Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL MEETS WITH VISITING DUTCH FMForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Dutch counterpart Maxime Verhagen, who is accompanying Dutch Queen Beatrix during her stay in Turkey. During their meeting, Verhagen stressed Turkey's obligations for its European Union membership bid. Addressing the Cyprus issue, she said that Turkey was not the sole party responsible for the situation, but Greek Cyprus also bore responsibility. Commenting on the so-called Armenian genocide, Verhagen said that Armenia and Turkey should discuss the issue and reach an agreement. "The issue should be followed by both historians and politicians," she added. /Hurriyet/
 WATER SUMMIT HELD IN ANKARAA water summit was held in Ankara yesterday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan serving as chair. During the meeting, the water problems of Ankara, which is now experiencing a record dry winter, was discussed, and it was decided to bring water into the province from the Kesikkopru Dam over the Kizilirmak River. State Minister Besir Atalay, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler, and Ankara Greater Municipality Mayor Melih Gokcek were present at the meeting. /Milliyet/
 CICEK: "TURKEY'S SOUTHEASTERN NEIGHBOR IS IRAQ"Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said yesterday that Turkey's southeastern neighbor was Iraq, and that it did not recognize any others. In a TV interview, Cicek responded to US Condoleezza Rice's recent remark calling northern Iraq "Kurdistan." Stressing that Iraq is going through a very complex and complicated period, Cicek said that southeastern Turkey has a border with Iraq. Criticizing Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani's statements that Turkey should "get used to an independent Kurdistan," Cicek said that both Barzani's wording and stance were unacceptable. He added that Barzani had not made a sound analysis of the situation in his country. /Sabah/
 RICE: "THE US IS WORKING TO COUNTER THE PKK"Testifying before the US Senate yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the terrorist PKK acting on the border between Turkey and the northern Iraqi area of "Kurdistan" was responsible for attacks on Turkish territory. She stated that the US, Turkey and Iraqi administration had formed a tripartite commission to counter the terrorist PKK, adding that Iraqi officials and the US didn't want attacks on Turkey from Iraq. She said that Joseph Ralston, the US special anti-terrorist envoy, was taking part in the commission to help end the PKK's ability to attack Turkey. /Aksam/
 IRAQ'S NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SET TO MEET IN BAGHDADIraqi officials have invited its neighboring countries to discuss the situation in the country on March 10 in Baghdad. Representatives from Egypt, the UN Security Council permanent member states, the Arab League and the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) are also expected to take part in the meeting. /Turkiye/
 US INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: "TURKEY WILL FIGHT IF THE IRAQI KURDS TRY TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT STATE"Speaking at a conference on global threats yesterday, US National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said that Turkey would fight if the northern Iraqi Kurds try to establish an independent state. "If the Arab Sunni minority in Iraq is subjected to a massacre, then the Arab Sunni state will intervene in this," he added. /Sabah/
 FRENCH SORBONNE RECTOR: "TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP WOULD BENEFIT THE EU"Henri Menudier, the rector of Paris' Sorbonne Nouvelle University, said yesterday that Turkey's European Union membership would be a great boon to the bloc. Speaking at a gathering in Hamburg, Germany, Menudier said that his negative thoughts about Turkey's EU membership had changed after he visited the country. Pointing out that Turkey had already fulfilled a number of membership criteria, Menudier added, however, that it still has not recognized the Greek Cypriot administration. He stated that the chaos in the Mideast would be ended by Turkey's EU membership, and that the bloc was not a Christian club, as Europe includes people from a number of different faiths. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 RIDING A TANKColumnist Hasan Celal Guzel comments on the military and politics in Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows:
"Firstly, I would like to share my sincere observations about the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK):
1. The Turkish army is the apple of the nation's eye and the most prestigious institution of the state, and the Turkey loves its soldiers very much.
2. Our nation has the understanding and foresight to distinguish between soldiers who favor coups and soldiers who carry out their duty to protect their country. Our nation wouldn't consider the latter responsible for the illegal acts and despotism of pro-coup soldiers.
3. Our nation has embraced the Turkish army, in particular the chief of General Staff.
4. Turkey's region and current domestic conditions increase the importance of its national defense and safety, and the need for a strong army for the dangers it faces is being gradually felt. Actually, solving our problems is impossible without a diplomacy backed by armed force.
On the other hand, over the last half-century, the important problem for Turkey was that we haven't firmly established a democratic regime. During this period, our regime was interrupted by coups, and Turkey lost a great deal as a result. In other words,
1. Turkish democracy stayed limited. This situation damaged our image on the international stage and put our diplomacy in a difficult position.
2. Turkey's economic progress was interrupted and we faced economic crises. In addition, the power vacuum during the intermediate regimes caused an increase in corruption.
3. Turkey was deprived of a stable political structure.
So we want both: We can give up neither our army, the greatest protector of our existence, nor our democracy, which is the manifestation of human rights and freedoms, the national will and the sovereignty of our nation. We need the democratic regime, but on the other hand, we also need a strong army in the service of our national will, in accordance with the rules of this regime. Our democracy should be remade with this understanding. Towards this end:
1. A new constitution should be drawn up. It should deal with the TSK in an unambiguous way.
2. Through the enactment of judicial reforms, we should enable that judges and public prosecutors act independently and impartially.
3. The TSK's senior members shouldn't go outside of their duty of defense.
4. Intellectuals should abandon their double standards, and the media should stop trumpeting anti-democratic coups.
5. Political parties should give up their habit of using the military as a political tool and taking advantage of coups.
6. Politicians shouldn't create a tension in the political atmosphere with irresponsible remarks and demagogic positions."
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