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Turkish Press Review, 07-03-29

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

29.03.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES ARAB SUMMIT IN SAUDI ARABIA, CALLS FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN IRAQ TO BE ENSURED
  • [02] FM GUL: "TURKEY HOPES ARMENIA WILL AGREE TO SET UP A JOINT COMMISSION OF HISTORIANS"
  • [03] ARINC: "A PERSON WHO IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION WILL BE ELECTED PRESIDENT"
  • [04] BAYKAL: "TURKEY'S NEXT PRESIDENT MUST EMBRACE THE CONSTITUTION"
  • [05] FORMER NATO COMMANDER JONES HAILS TIES BETWEEN ANKARA AND WASHINGTON
  • [06] EC DELEGATION HEAD PIERINI: "WITHOUT CIVIC CONTACT BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE EU, ANKARA'S EFFORTS COULD BE WASTED"
  • [07] TUSIAD HEAD YALCINDAG: "CHANGING TURKEY'S COURSE WOULD BE POLITICAL SUICIDE"
  • [08] ETHNIC POLICY TRIGGERS NATIONALISM

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES ARAB SUMMIT IN SAUDI ARABIA, CALLS FOR PEACE AND STABILITY IN IRAQ TO BE ENSURED

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently in Saudi Arabia to attend a two-day Arab summit as the guest of Saudi King Abdullah, yesterday addressed the gathering. Erdogan commented on the need for peace and stability in the Middle East, saying that everyone was injured by the constant stream of deaths in Iraq. Erdogan further stated that stability and security should be ensured in Iraq as soon as possible. "Protecting Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity has vital importance for regional peace and stability," he said. "The possibility of Iraq's division is an unacceptable and tragic scenario." Afterwards, Erdogan held bilateral meetings with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Speaking after their meeting, Talabani said that they had discussed a number of issues, including the Iraqi city of Kirkuk and terrorism, adding that their meeting had been positive and constructive. "We resolved to solve problems through dialogue," he added. /Turkiye/

    [02] FM GUL: "TURKEY HOPES ARMENIA WILL AGREE TO SET UP A JOINT COMMISSION OF HISTORIANS"

    In a guest op-ed entitled "Politicizing the Armenian Tragedy" published in US daily The Washington Times yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul urged officials in Yerevan to take up Turkey's offer of setting up a joint commission of historians to explore what happened to Turkish Armenians at the end of World War I. "With regard to the Armenian allegation describing the tragedy that befell them as genocide, the question, from the point of view of international law, is whether the Ottoman government systematically pursued a calculated act of state policy for their destruction in whole or in part," wrote Gul. "The answer to this question can only be established by scholars who have the ability to evaluate the period objectively, working with the full range of available primary sources. Hence Turkey made a proposal to Armenia in 2005 to establish a joint commission of historians to find out once and for all what really happened, and how it took place. Turkey has no difficulties in facing its past. All Turkish archives, including the military archives of the period, are open to the entire international academic community. However, important Armenian archives are not. We eagerly await a positive response from Armenia, agreeing to establish this joint commission and declaring its readiness to accept its conclusions. We are also prepared to work together with other parties to conduct this research. I hereby extend an invitation to any third country, including the United States, to contribute to this commission by appointing scholars who will earnestly work to shed light on this tragedy and open ways for us to come together. The establishment of such a commission will also help shape an atmosphere conducive to the normalization of Turkish- Armenian relations." Gul also touched on the Turkish-US ties, writing, "Today, as the United States and its allies confront critical challenges around the world, there is perhaps no nation more at the forefront of our collective efforts than Turkey. Our strategic partnership spans a wide range of global challenges, from helping secure Iraq and Afghanistan to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promoting energy security and fighting terrorism in our region and beyond." /Turkiye/

    [03] ARINC: "A PERSON WHO IS ELIGIBLE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION WILL BE ELECTED PRESIDENT"

    Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday flew to Portugal to pay an official visit upon the invitation of his Portuguese counterpart Jaime Gama. Speaking before his departure, Arinc commented on May's presidential election, saying that a person who has the qualifications laid out in the Constitution would be elected president. "The Parliament is a party on the issue, since it will elect the next president," he said. "Turkey will have a very good president." He further added that provocative acts could hurt Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [04] BAYKAL: "TURKEY'S NEXT PRESIDENT MUST EMBRACE THE CONSTITUTION"

    Addressing the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal commented on May's presidential election, saying that if a person fails to embrace the Constitution he shouldn't be elected president, adding that cooperation between institutions should be ensured on the basis of the Constitution. Also commenting on November's general elections, Baykal said these elections would be an opportunity for a new economic program to be implemented. Baykal further stated that if the CHP comes to power after the elections, it would reduce the primary surplus target from 6.5% to 4%, adding that it would also implement a sector- and company-based incentive policy. /Sabah/

    [05] FORMER NATO COMMANDER JONES HAILS TIES BETWEEN ANKARA AND WASHINGTON

    Addressing an American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting in Washington yesterday, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander of the US European Command James Jones, whose term in office recently ended, said yesterday that relations between Turkey and the US were invaluable, adding that both countries should be careful about each other's sensitivities. Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun also attended the meeting. /Sabah/

    [06] EC DELEGATION HEAD PIERINI: "WITHOUT CIVIC CONTACT BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE EU, ANKARA'S EFFORTS COULD BE WASTED"

    Speaking at a meeting on the European Union and Turkey, Marc Pierini, the head of the delegation of the European Commission in Turkey, yesterday said that contact between various sectors of Turkish society and Europeans was of vital importance to dispel misunderstandings about Turkey. Otherwise, he warned, even if officials and bureaucrats complete the negotiations, popular referendums in EU member states could doom Turkey's EU hopes. /Milliyet/

    [07] TUSIAD HEAD YALCINDAG: "CHANGING TURKEY'S COURSE WOULD BE POLITICAL SUICIDE"

    Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) head Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag yesterday said that even if a coalition government emerges from general elections later this year, nobody could change Turkey's course, which is oriented to the European Union and has brought permanent economic stability closer. "Turkey has scored important successes with the anchor of the International Monetary Fund and the EU," he said. "Now society expects this course to continue. So no matter what kind of government emerges from the general elections, nobody wants to go off-course. Doing so would be political suicide." /Hurriyet/

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

    [08] ETHNIC POLICY TRIGGERS NATIONALISM

    Columnist Ardan Zenturk comments on nationalism in Turkey and Bulgaria. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Is it mere coincidence that young people from immigrant families living in the poor suburbs of Paris fought with the police and set cars on fire? No, because as soon as politicians like Nicolas Sarkozy, whose presidential campaign is based on the hatred of others, have a say in Europe's future, more serious developments follow. Georgi Koritarov, a leading Bulgarian journalist I spoke with at a café in Sofia, talked about the right-wing politicians who appeal to his country's nationalism. He said that Bulgaria faces problems created by right-wing parties which can't produce modern ideologies or adapt to the present day and so desperately take refuge in nationalism. He added that nationalism in Bulgaria comes from right-wing politicians' impotence and directly threatens Turkey. You could use these remarks and apply them to just about my country with a few changes. However, Nadejda Mihailova, known as the strong foreign minister who carried Bulgaria to the European Union, said that he was against religious and ethnic discrimination in society. He said that rapid changes and openings for minority movements lie at the root of rising nationalism in Europe and Bulgaria. Mihailova added that if a minority movement seems to be moving towards blocking the rights of the majority, nationalism rises in response.

    This situation is not only based on unqualified politicians who argue that they talk on behalf of majorities and use nationalism to score political points. At the same time, it comes from the majority's criticism of never- ending requests from those who consider themselves a ‘minority,' and who produce ethnic-based policies and always request tolerance. Actually, something Hasan Aziz, the mayor of the Bulgarian town of Kircali, said shows that Turks living in Bulgaria understood this very well. Aziz said that the EU would never support a party which produces an ethnic policy. He added that Bulgaria's Movement for Rights and Freedoms doesn't want to be known as a Turkish movement, but as a political party embracing Bulgaria. Let's think about this. All these discussions took place in a city in Bulgaria, a country which doesn't fight terrorism and constantly have to bury fallen soldiers. Bulgaria is a unitary state which successfully took its multicultural situation to its Parliament and joined the EU. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms led by Ahmet Dogan is a Bulgarian government coalition partner. On the other hand, Bulgaria is experiencing a process where this Turkish movement is turning into a Bulgarian party. In this regard, this is a very important experiment for Turkey."


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