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Turkish Press Review, 07-03-28

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

28.03.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN CALLS ON EU TO CLARIFY CONFUSION OVER TURKEY
  • [02] GUL MEETS WITH BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, DISCUSSES BILATERAL TIES
  • [03] BUYUKANIT RECEIVES HIS ALBANIAN COUNTERPART
  • [04] BAYKAL DECRIES LACK OF DECLARED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN FACE OF LOOMING MAY ELECTION
  • [05] IRAQI VP HASHEMI MEETS WITH SEZER, ERDOGAN
  • [06] ELECTIONS FOR TWO TOP COURTS TO BE HELD NEXT MONTH
  • [07] EP SOCIALIST GROUP DEPUTY HEAD PRAISES TURKEY PRESSING AHEAD ON EU BID DESPITE SETBACKS
  • [08] WILSON: "RELATIONS BETWEEN ARMENIA AND TURKEY SHOULD BE IMPROVED"
  • [09] IN WASHINGTON, BABACAN ADDRESSES AMERICAN-TURKISH BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING
  • [10] HURDLES THE EU MUST GET OVER

  • [01] ERDOGAN CALLS ON EU TO CLARIFY CONFUSION OVER TURKEY

    Speaking at a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called on women to get involved in politics, but criticized advocates of a quota towards this end. Erdogan also said that a seven-year European Union harmonization program and a reform package would both be unveiled next month. He also called on the EU to clarify the confusion over its failure to invite Turkish officials to its recent 50th anniversary celebrations, saying, "If the EU has negative thoughts about Turkey, it should make its decision so that we can continue our own course. Let's not waste money or energy." Erdogan also said that Turkey will not be a burden on the EU but on the contrary is ready to help shoulder some of the Union's responsibilities. In related news, Erdogan yesterday left for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to attend a two-day Arab summit as the guest of Saudi King Abdullah. /Aksam/

    [02] GUL MEETS WITH BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, DISCUSSES BILATERAL TIES

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his visiting British counterpart Margaret Beckett. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Beckett said that bilateral ties between the two countries were strong, adding that many tourists from her country come to Turkey every year. Beckett said that most important reason for this is the warm interest in Turkey and strengthening close ties. Stressing that Britain supports Turkey's European Union membership bid thanks to these close relations, Beckett added that it would continue to do so. "We'll be your stronger supporter and ally," she added. Touching on the Cyprus issue, Beckett stated that isolation of the Turkish Cypriots should be brought to an end, adding that Britain would do its best in the coming months towards this end. For his part, Gul commented on 15 British soldiers currently held in Iranian custody, saying that the matter should be solved as soon as possible. Later, Beckett met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reiterated British support for Turkey's EU bid. /Turkiye/

    [03] BUYUKANIT RECEIVES HIS ALBANIAN COUNTERPART

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday met with his Albanian counterpart Luan Hoxha, who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey. Later, the two commanders proceeded to Buyukanit's office for a closed-door meeting. Luan is expected to leave Turkey tomorrow after visiting some Turkish battalions. /Sabah/

    [04] BAYKAL DECRIES LACK OF DECLARED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN FACE OF LOOMING MAY ELECTION

    Speaking at his party's group meeting yesterday, opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the stance of the ruling Justice ad Development Party (AKP) on May's presidential election, saying that despite the short time to the election, no candidate has been declared. Baykal stressed that the atmosphere of the country was divorced from the looming election, adding that his party has no axe to grind against anyone. "We aren't getting in arguments, but carrying out a historical mission," added Baykal. "Our efforts are for democracy and the Constitution." /Turkiye/

    [05] IRAQI VP HASHEMI MEETS WITH SEZER, ERDOGAN

    Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi yesterday arrived in Ankara to hold official meetings. Speaking at Esenboga Airport, Hashemi said that they wouldn't permit any cross-border operation by Turkey and that neighbors should respect each other's borders. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Hashemi before his departure to Saudi Arabia for the Arab summit there. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also attended the meeting. Hashemi was also received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Aksam/

    [06] ELECTIONS FOR TWO TOP COURTS TO BE HELD NEXT MONTH

    The Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors held a meeting yesterday under the chairmanship of Justice Minister Cemil Cicek to discuss the controversial issue of elections for 23 vacant positions in the Supreme Court of Appeals and Council of State. Speaking afterwards, Cicek said that the group had decided to hold elections on April 15 for all vacant positions at Turkey's two top courts. /Milliyet/

    US DEFENSE SEC'Y GATES: "EVERY TURK KILLED BY THE PKK IS ANOTHER BLOW TO TURKISH-US TIES"

    Speaking to the 26th annual conference of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) yesterday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "We know what should be done on the terrorist PKK issue." Stating that the main point of the Truman Doctrine -- which started with the US granting aid to Turkey and Greece against Soviet expansionism at the dawn of the Cold War -- was Turkey continuing its national unity, he added that this was important for the Middle East and remains so today. He also said that Turkey's border with Iraq constitutes another concern and that every Turk killed by the terrorist PKK was another blow to Turkish-US ties. /Hurriyet/

    [07] EP SOCIALIST GROUP DEPUTY HEAD PRAISES TURKEY PRESSING AHEAD ON EU BID DESPITE SETBACKS

    Jan Marino Wiersma, deputy chairman of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament, yesterday praised Turkey's commitment to pursue all policy areas in its membership talks with the European Union despite a partial freeze from last December due to a dispute with the Greek Cypriot administration. "It is a very useful and wise strategy," he told a group of Turkish reporters. Wiersma said that the constitution of the European Union was still its major priority and that no groundbreaking decisions should be expected before that issue is settled. "The EU is a slowly moving tank but you do press ahead on your path and do not lose your courage," he said. /Star/

    [08] WILSON: "RELATIONS BETWEEN ARMENIA AND TURKEY SHOULD BE IMPROVED"

    US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson said yesterday that relations between Turkey and Armenia should be improved. Also commenting on an US Armenian resolution before the US House of Representatives, Wilson stated that the US administration's official policy on the issue wouldn't be changed by the non-binding resolution, adding that the US clearly encourages the sides to discuss the issue. He added that he would continue to voice his opposition to the resolution. In related news, Turkey's Ambassador to Washington Nabi Sensoy stated that if passed, the resolution could cast a shadow over Turkish-US relations. /Milliyet/

    [09] IN WASHINGTON, BABACAN ADDRESSES AMERICAN-TURKISH BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan is currently holding contacts in Washington and New York. Speaking to reporters yesterday after attending the annual conference of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington, Babacan stated that the government's stance on investment was clear, as investment has no color or religion. "Turkey is open to all kinds of capital inflow," he said. Babacan further stated that foreign investors were more curious about the results of November's general elections than May's presidential election and that they believe another Justice and Development Party (AKP) single-party government will take power. Also commenting on the meaning of nationalism, Babacan said in Turkey it is a positive force meaning to love and work for one's nation. /Milliyet- Turkiye/

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

    [10] HURDLES THE EU MUST GET OVER

    Columnist Muhsin Abay comments on recent developments in the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Although the European Union has racked up many accomplishments, it now faces a number of problems awaiting resolution. The bloc's art of achievements for the past 50 years doesn't guarantee its future success.

    The members of the EU are trying to develop a European society unified by common values, and a way of living. But they haven't agreed on the common values in question.

    There is a strange faction envisioning ‘a sterile Europe' divorced from religion and decency.

    Last year's Muhammed cartoon crisis was the result of this situation. They say that they did this in the name of freedom of speech, but they don't tolerate Muslims expressing themselves.

    Many others think that Christianity is in the essence of their common values. They extend the borders of Europe as far as Christianity goes. In the long term, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia and Georgia seemed to be included in its borders. With certain arrangements, they are even seeking ways for Lebanon to join.

    On the other hand, they have been trying to find thousands of reasons to exclude Turkey, which is still carrying out negotiations and in the middle of the enlargement area. This fact lies under the all issues put forth to Turkey such as absorption capacity, cultural harmonization, the Cyprus issue, etc.

    When it comes to human rights and democracy, supporters of both ‘sterile Europe' and ‘Christian Europe' say that everyone is equal. But, in fact, they always hold themselves one rank higher.

    This is in no way pluralism or democracy. But one day they will overcome this problem.

    We Muslims have many things to do to help them with this. We should help them as good examples.

    The EU's other basic issue lies in its decision-making mechanism. While keeping the identities of the separate member states, the bloc should have a democratic structure which makes effective decisions and puts them into effect. If it can't do this, it will lose cohesion even more, or even freeze up.

    Europe should move quickly to fill cover its democratic vacuum. The European Parliament, the bloc's only directly elected organ, today seems like window dressing. The real authority is held by the unelected European Commission. The final word rests with European summit of 27 leaders led by powerhouse leaders such as Germany, France, and Britain...

    Although the EU is the world's largest trading bloc, it has not been able to develop structures to boost its diplomatic influence. It couldn't formulate common foreign and security policies. With its current 27 member states, and tomorrow 30 or more, the bloc, in its new borders, can be an organized power speaking and acting in lockstep. This depends on the governments' acceptance of the end of the era of absolute national sovereignty. In other words, it depends on them giving up their sovereignty to some extent, to leaving behind deep-rooted hostility and assumptions of superiority, and to unify their powers within the framework of democratic freedom."


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