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Turkish Press Review, 07-03-20

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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

20.03.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN SPEAKS WITH SPANISH PM ZAPATERO
  • [02] IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION MEETING HELD IN ISTANBUL
  • [03] CICEK URGES MEDIA, PUBLIC TO THREAT NEVRUZ RESPONSIBLY
  • [04] TUSIAD HOLDS MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON
  • [05] US CONGRESSMAN WEXLER: "THE US NEEDS TURKEY'S SUPPORT"
  • [06] STARS AND STRIPES: "US MILITARY OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT FALLOUT IF GENOCIDE RESOLUTION PASSED"
  • [07] TURKISH-KAZAKH BUSINESS COUNCIL SIGNS COOPERATION PROTOCOL
  • [08] HISARCIKLIOGLU UNDERLINES UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUE
  • [09] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

  • [01] ERDOGAN SPEAKS WITH SPANISH PM ZAPATERO

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday telephoned his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to discuss steps to accelerate the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, which they co-chair. During their conversation, the two leaders agreed that the appointment of former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio as high representative of Alliance of Civilizations should be proposed to the UN secretary-general. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION MEETING HELD IN ISTANBUL

    The Fifth Meeting of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) opened yesterday in Istanbul in the presence of Dr. Ali Baban, the Iraqi minister of planning and development cooperation. Addressing the gathering, Baban said that stability and order in Iraq will also serve the interests of Turkey and other countries. Stressing that terror targets all of Iraq and its infrastructure, Baban pointed to the importance of the economy for his country. He stated that in addition to fighting terrorism, the Iraqi government is making resolute efforts to provide economic development. Baban also called on donor countries to aid Iraq more in line with the country's real needs. He also expressed the appreciation of his government and the Iraqi people for Turkey's continuing aid and interest in their issues. /Turkiye/

    [03] CICEK URGES MEDIA, PUBLIC TO THREAT NEVRUZ RESPONSIBLY

    Measures to be taken for this week's Nevruz celebrations were discussed at yesterday's Cabinet meeting, which lasted for seven hours and was chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the meeting, government spokesperson Cemil Cicek told a press conference that the media shouldn't cover any incidents during Nevruz as if they were a football game and warned people not to be easily affected. "If something illegal arises, the state has thought about measures to be taken, drawn up plans, and will do whatever is necessary." The Cabinet also discussed a bill proposing the opening of 17 new universities submitted by the Education Ministry. /Star/

    [04] TUSIAD HOLDS MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON

    Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association's (TUSIAD) officials are holding meetings to work against the so-called Armenian genocide resolution before the US Congress both in Washington and New York. The delegation includes TUSIAD Chairperson Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, Vice Chairs Ferit Sahenk and Umit Boyner, board members Haluk Dincer and Ali Kibar, member Cem Duna and advisor Soli Ozer. /Aksam/

    [05] US CONGRESSMAN WEXLER: "THE US NEEDS TURKEY'S SUPPORT"

    US Congressman Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, said yesterday that the US needed strong relations with Turkey for the sake of its own interests. "No one should forget that we need Turkey's support from Europe to Iraq," said Wexler. Wexler, founder and co-chairman of the Turkish-American Friendship Group, speaking at a gathering in New York, said that Turkish community would continue to play an important role in the US. Stressing that the Friendship Group had 71 members in the House of Representatives, Wexler said that they try to explain to fellow congressmen why Turkish-US relations are so important. He stated Turkey has been an ally of the US for more than 50 years, and that the two countries have lent support to each other on many international issues. He added that the Congress should not pass Armenian resolution so as not to damage bilateral relations. /Turkiye/

    [06] STARS AND STRIPES: "US MILITARY OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT FALLOUT IF GENOCIDE RESOLUTION PASSED"

    Stars and Stripes, the daily newspaper published for the US military, yesterday reported that military officials are worried about the fallout if Congress passes a symbolic resolution to recognize the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey as "genocide." "I'm worried about the potential impact to our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," Maj. Gen. Robertus Remkes, director of strategy, policy and assessments at the U.S. European Command, told the paper. "If you see Turkish public opinion going away from the West, where do you see it going?" Remkes said. Remkes made his comments as weeklong meetings in Germany were concluding between mid- to senior- level officers from the U.S. and Turkish militaries. /Aksam/

    [07] TURKISH-KAZAKH BUSINESS COUNCIL SIGNS COOPERATION PROTOCOL

    The Turkish-Kazakh Business Council yesterday signed a cooperation protocol with Kazakhstan's National Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers (Atameken). Turkish-Kazakh Business Council Co-Chair Oktay Varlier said that Atameken has single-handedly assumed the functions in Kazakhstan of two top Turkish groups, the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). Atamaken Chair Azat Peruashev said that presentation forums should be held in order to promote opportunities for cooperation and privatization in both countries. /Hurriyet/

    [08] HISARCIKLIOGLU UNDERLINES UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUE

    Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said yesterday that unemployment was Turkey's number one issue. Addressing a gathering in Istanbul held jointly by the Union of Economy Reporters (EMD) and TOBB, Hisarcikli pointed to a recent spike in the crime rate. He stated that if the unemployment issue is not addressed, Turkey will not be able to continue its structural reforms process. Hisarciklioglu also touched on the current foreign trade deficit, and urged the government to take necessary measures. /Sabah/

    [09] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES BY NURAY MERT (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Nuray Mert comments on May's presidential election and the opposition's stance on the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "This week people are talking about the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) poll of its members in the upcoming presidential election. This is natural, but I think the reactions against the poll are interesting. The reaction of the main opposition party is known. According to them, everything done on the election is an imposition, but we can't understand what kind of imposition it could be for the ruling party to decide on a president within its own organization.

    Debates over the presidential election began a year ago, when I believed that if a president were elected from the AKP, this could raise the tension and so it would be proper to reach a compromise over a name. I thought that the government, parliament and president all coming from the same party could be problematic, even if legal. I still believe that, but the remarks of the opposition haven't been reasonable. While I was thinking there was need for a democratic compromise ahead of what is legal and legitimate, the opposition has declared what is legal and legitimate is actually illegitimate. It further started to say that the regime was under threat. Under these conditions, it became an imposition to advise the current government to produce a candidate from outside the AKP.

    This election has different tension factors from those held in the past no matter what some say. Presidential elections have always caused tension and debates, and many times this tension reached a crisis point. This situation was always considered a conflict between politics and soldiers. Some claim that there is such a conflict this time too. We can see similarities, but they aren't the same. This time there is a symbol at the heart of the tension, the headscarf, which was made a political symbol by those who react against it, not by conservatives and religious people themselves.

    The tension caused by the possibility of the president's wife wearing a headscarf is a shame for our country. For years, I've struggled against secularism being shaped by opposition to the headscarf. I've been saying this for years, but I've seen little progress."


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