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Turkish Press Review, 07-03-07

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

07.03.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS EQUIVALENT TO IGNORANCE"
  • [02] PM ERDOGAN INVITES PUTIN TO BSEC SUMMIT
  • [03] GUL TO VISIT MOROCCO, MACEDONIA, AND GREECE
  • [04] BAYKAL: "WE MUST WORK TOGETHER AGAINST SEPARATISTS"
  • [05] AGAR: "TURKEY CANNOT ABANDON ITS UNITARY SYSTEM"
  • [06] US MUSLIM LEADER EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY AGAINST ARMENIAN RESOLUTION
  • [07] GEN. BASBUG MEETS WITH AZERBAIJAN'S ALIYEV
  • [08] US SENATE VOTE ON RESOLUTION CONDEMNING DINK MURDER POSTPONED
  • [09] ARMENIAN FM CLAIMS TURKEY IS TRYING TO PUNISH US OVER RESOLUTION
  • [10] IMF DELEGATION VISITS UNAKITAN
  • [11] YUSUF KANLI (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)
  • [12] DENIZ GOKCE (AKSAM)

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS EQUIVALENT TO IGNORANCE"

    Speaking at his party's group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on March 8, International Women's Day, saying that he considered violence against women as being equivalent to ignorance. "Discrimination against women is more dangerous than racism," he said, adding that there should be no gender discrimination. Criticizing the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Erdogan stated that his government, not the CHP, started a landmark campaign to encourage girls to go to school. "They say we're telling lies about women, but we know their actions," said Erdogan. "They say that the CHP was Turkey's first party, but what has it done for our women? You can't come to power single-handedly, because Turkish women don't trust you." In related news, Erdogan is expected to attend a forum in Azerbaijan on Friday. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat is also expected to be present. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [02] PM ERDOGAN INVITES PUTIN TO BSEC SUMMIT

    In a telephone conversation yesterday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited him to attend the 15th summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) to be held on June 25 in Istanbul. Putin stated that he had supported efforts for developing cooperation in the Black Sea region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] GUL TO VISIT MOROCCO, MACEDONIA, AND GREECE

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is due to travel to Morocco on March 15 and Macedonia on March 22 to pay official visits. Gul is expected to pay an official visit to Athens at the end of this month, but the visit could be pushed back to the beginning of April if Gul's program is too busy before then. During his stay in Athens, Gul is expected to meet with his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis to discuss bilateral ties and stress that Ankara has friendly relations with Athens. /Turkiye/

    [04] BAYKAL: "WE MUST WORK TOGETHER AGAINST SEPARATISTS"

    At his party's group meeting, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said that a debate over a proposed new provincial system arose just as some were trying to provoke internecine conflict in Turkey. Stating that some people don't favor Turkey's unity and integrity, Baykal said, "While the whole world is trying to develop unity, here some are trying to divide Turkey into provinces. Is this progress? We must frustrate these efforts." /Turkiye/

    [05] AGAR: "TURKEY CANNOT ABANDON ITS UNITARY SYSTEM"

    Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday met with earthquake victims in Elazig. Speaking to reporters about former President Kenan Evren's recent proposal that Turkey adopt a provincial system, Agar said, "Who would accept a provincial system in Turkey? Besides, that's not what he's saying. Turkey cannot abandon its unitary system." /Star/

    [06] US MUSLIM LEADER EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY AGAINST ARMENIAN RESOLUTION

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Turkish Parliament with Egemen Bagis, a Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul deputy and chairman of the Turkey-US Interparliamentary Friendship Group, US Muslim leader Warith (Wallace) Deen Mohammed expressed support for Turkey against the US Armenian resolution, saying that he would lobby against the measure. For his part, Bagis said that he appreciated Mohammed's support for Turkey on the resolution, which may soon face a vote in the US Congress. /Turkiye/

    [07] GEN. BASBUG MEETS WITH AZERBAIJAN'S ALIYEV

    Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug, currently in Azerbaijan, yesterday met with President Ilham Aliyev and Defense Minister Sefer Abiyev. During their meeting, Aliyev said that the cooperation between the two countries was developing successfully, adding, "We need this cooperation also in the military realm." Basbug said that he was ready to do his utmost as land forces commander. /Turkiye/

    [08] US SENATE VOTE ON RESOLUTION CONDEMNING DINK MURDER POSTPONED

    The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday postponed its vote on a resolution condemning the murder this January of journalist Hrant Dink. The delay came from Senator Richard Lugar, who objected to the text of the resolution. A vote on the resolution, which was submitted by committee Chairman Joe Biden, is reportedly set for two weeks from now. /Hurriyet/

    [09] ARMENIAN FM CLAIMS TURKEY IS TRYING TO PUNISH US OVER RESOLUTION

    Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian yesterday claimed that Turkey was trying to punish the US for the Armenian resolution now before Congress. In Washington, Oskanian said that he thought governments shouldn't intervene on the issue, but adding that since the Turkish government lobbied against passage of the resolution, his government also had to take action. /Sabah/

    [10] IMF DELEGATION VISITS UNAKITAN

    A delegation from the International Monetary Fund yesterday visited Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan in Ankara. The delegation is headed by IMF Turkey Desk Chief Lorenzo Giorgianni and Turkey Representative Hugh Bredenkamp. During the meeting, a number of issues such as the 2006 budget, the budget for this year, and a new value-added tax (VAT) regime were discussed. /Sabah/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…THE AKP'S ALTERNATIVE CAN'T BE THE AKP ITSELF

    [11] YUSUF KANLI (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)

    Columnist Yusuf Kanli comments on upcoming general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It's not at all compatible with the notion of democracy. Nor is it easy to subscribe to the idea that there is no alternative to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration in the country. Still, most Turks have been stressing that under the prevailing conditions, the only alternative to the AKP is the AKP itself.

    This is a very dangerous situation, for Turkish democracy to have a ruling majority to which there is no alternative, which could land the country in a serious deadlock paving the way to totalitarian tendencies in governance. Are we seeing signs of this? The rigid, uncompromising ‘I'm the boss, I set the rules' understanding of the AKP leadership might all be indications of an exhausted administration after almost five years in office. However, at the same time the same factors show the impact of the absence of a credible political alternative to the democracy perception of the ruling group. For good governance in a democratic country, having a strong, credible opposition is as fundamentally important as having a strong, capable executive. Be they the ‘armed forces' or the ‘unarmed forces' -- like the ‘civilian force' of big business, labor groups and women's groups in the country in the Feb. 28, 1997 process, the so-called postmodern coup period - - extraneous elements should not be allowed to step into politics and play a decisive role in a manner replacing the key players of democracy, the political parties.

    Thus, the problem of today's Turkey is not the absence of a strong political force in government, but rather the lack of a credible opposition which can pose a challenge to the governing party and thus offer a democratic alternative to any possible quest for change the population might have.

    All the surveys indicate that in going to the polls Turks will not only consider their political allegiances, but at the same time and perhaps more than their political inclinations they will shape their vote to contribute to the country's economic and political stability. As long as there is no clear indication that any of the existing political opponents of the AKP can come to power and maintain stability in the country, many Turks who under normal conditions wouldn't even think of voting for the AKP or an Islamist-rooted party will be voting for the AKP, taking into consideration the immense suffering and instability during the 2000-2001 period and the consequent economic-financial crisis that ripped almost 60 percent of the wealth away from the population in a few months.

    Thus, unless the AKP makes a big mistake, it may even boost its vote to over 40 percent in the next elections and return with a very high parliamentary majority, though it might lose some seats to independent pro- Kurdish candidates in the southeast, and a possible third and fourth party getting over the 10 percent national threshold might diminish their parliamentary advantage.

    Who will be the next president and who heads the AKP in the election campaign period will of course be decisive on the overall election performance of the AKP, but the real problem will be the growing polarization in the country along Kemalist-nationalist and Islamist lines. If the AKP, with its own mistakes, starts giving an impression that even if with an overwhelming majority in Parliament it won't be able to maintain political and economic stability -- because of the possible intervention of non-political forces in politics of the country -- then the electorate will have to create a new alternative and vote for that in the polls. In this framework, even if no credible opposition grouping can be forged before the polls, one of the existing parties will start to emerge as the alternative.

    After all, we should never forget that when the AKP came to power in November 2002, it was only nine months old. Thus, the AKP's alternative cannot be the AKP, and Turkey has the potential to produce a credible alternative if compelled."

    WIND IS OUR THE BEST ENVIRONMENTAL FRIEND

    [12] DENIZ GOKCE (AKSAM)

    Columnist Deniz Gokce comments on wind energy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I have recently been touching on energy and environmental problems.

    Among renewable energy resources, wind energy is the most interesting and most-invested technology in the whole world. Wind energy produced 7,475 MW of the worldwide electrical energy produced in 1997, rising to 73,904 MW in 2006. Although only 1% of world electricity has been produced this way, Denmark gets 18% of its electricity through wind, along with 9% for Spain and 7% for Germany. By 2010, the world's wind energy production is expected to reach 160,000 MW.

    As wind energy is abundant, renewable, and clean, plus it reduces the greenhouse effect, it has been replacing energies obtained from fossil fuels. Using wind energy will postpone the running out of fossil fuels, and it doesn't cause environmental pollution, as it doesn't emit substances such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other contaminants. Although investments for wind need intensive capital, low operation and maintenance costs make this investment attractive.

    According to the Electricity Affairs Study Board (EIE), Turkey is one of the richest countries in Europe in wind energy. In fact, wind resources could meet the country's entire power needs. Turkey plans to produce 1,413 MW of electrical energy this year, 1,788 MW in 2010 and 2,163 MW in 2013.

    Our latest wind energy power station opened last year in Bandirma. The capacity of the station is 120 million Kwh and will meet power for 100,000 people. This issue should not be neglected!"


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