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Turkish Press Review, 07-04-02

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

02.04.2007

ERDOGAN AND RISK
  • [00] IN ESKISEHIR, ERDOGAN CRITICIZES YOK Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended a series of opening ceremonies over the weekend. Addressing one such gathering, Erdogan criticized the Higher Board of Education (YOK) citing a shortage of instructors in its opposition to a government plan to open new universities. "They say that there aren't enough teachers for new universities and that founding universities isn't as important as sending teachers there," said Erdogan. "The government's mission is to found universities, and YOK needs to train new teachers." Stressing that some regions in Turkey have been forsaken, Erdogan added that his government doesn't discriminate among the regions. He further stated that the largest chunk of the government's budget goes to education. /Sabah/

    CONTENTS

  • [00]
  • [01] FM GUL: "WE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE BEEN AT THE EU ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS"
  • [02] AGAR: "THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T ACTING TO COUNTER SECURITY PROBLEMS"
  • [03] BAYKAL: "WE'RE TRYING TO FORM AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE AKP FOR THE FALL ELECTIONS"
  • [04] TURKMEN MEMBER OF IRAQI PARLIAMENT: "WE EXPECT HELP FROM TURKEY"
  • [05] TUZMEN TOUTS PLANS TO BOOST EXPORTS TO CHINA
  • [06] ITALIAN FIRM WINS MAJOR HELICOPTER TENDER
  • [07] ERDOGAN AND RISK

  • [01] FM GUL: "WE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE BEEN AT THE EU ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS"

    In an interview with German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul spoke on Turkey not being invited to last month's celebrations in Berlin marking the 50th anniversary of the European Union, saying, "Needless to say, we would have liked to have been there. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and I were invited to Rome for the signing ceremony of the European constitution. We would have liked to have been invited to Berlin." In related news, Gul will go to Germany for a two- day visit. He is expected to meet with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and discuss bilateral relations as well as Turkish-EU ties. /Hurriyet-Turkiye/

    [02] AGAR: "THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T ACTING TO COUNTER SECURITY PROBLEMS"

    Speaking at a meeting of his party over the weekend, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that an amnesty several years ago had led to a burst of crimes in Turkey, saying that if his party comes to power in November's general elections this security problem would be solved. "The amnesty law is the reason for the spike in crime," he said. Agar further criticized the government on security issues, saying it has failed to take measures against worsening security problems. /Milliyet/

    [03] BAYKAL: "WE'RE TRYING TO FORM AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE AKP FOR THE FALL ELECTIONS"

    Appearing on television yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that for November's general elections, his party was working to form an alternative to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), adding that he was aware that they needed to bring reluctant voters and ones on the center-right and left wings under the roof of the CHP. Baykal further said that next month's presidential election should be held without creating a crisis in the country. /Turkiye/

    [04] TURKMEN MEMBER OF IRAQI PARLIAMENT: "WE EXPECT HELP FROM TURKEY"

    Fevzi Ekrem, a Turkmen member of a Shiite Party in Iraq's Parliament, said yesterday that he opposed current developments in Kirkuk, a northern Iraqi city which could join Iraq's Kurdish administrative region in a referendum later this year. He said many efforts were being made to wipe out Iraqi Turkmen in Kirkuk. Ekrem said that the Turkmen expect Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and other Turkic republics to give them a helping hand. /Turkiye/

    [05] TUZMEN TOUTS PLANS TO BOOST EXPORTS TO CHINA

    State Minister Kursat Tuzmen yesterday touted government plans to increase exports to China, saying that a Chinese delegation which visited Turkey last week signed an export agreement worth $300 million. The agreement includes iron and steel, chrome, and marble. Tuzmen further stated that they had discussed olive oil as well as hazelnuts, adding that intense efforts were being made to export these strong Turkish products to China. /Turkiye/

    [06] ITALIAN FIRM WINS MAJOR HELICOPTER TENDER

    A major defense industry tender 12 years in the making was won by Italy's Agusta Westland on Friday, reports said over the weekend. The Italian firm will supply Turkey with combat helicopters as part of a military modernization program. Following Friday's meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Committee under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul stated that the project envisaged the initial purchase of 50 ATAK helicopters but stressed that Mangusta A-129 attack helicopters would be produced in Turkey. /The New Anatolian/

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

    [07] ERDOGAN AND RISK

    Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and next month's presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The countdown to next month's presidential election is ticking. Efforts to exacerbate an emerging political crisis are also continuing. Everybody has different expectations, which is natural. So they're putting their cards on the table in line with their expectations. But those who expect that developments will lead to a bigger crisis will be disappointed. We always confuse certain things with each other. Debates over the presidential election have nothing to do with the person to be elected, his wife's headscarf or the policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Everybody is trying to ensure his position in the months to come. Let me say at once to avoid misunderstanding that I'm not talking about an inner- party debate. All of Turkey's sectors, groups and power centers are trying to see what role they will have and are angling themselves. We're overlooking many important meetings amidst the whirling debate. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently held a very risky and important meeting. He met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Now, we say very tough words about the Iraq issue and make impassioned speeches. Nobody can dispute the rightness of our position, but it's not enough to be right. As the most important country in the region, we must produce a solution.

    Erdogan has been laying out Turkey's position on this issue, particularly during his group speeches, since the beginning of the year. He warned everyone that we should avoid certain steps which could bring conflict, instead of looking for reconciliation. The US administration is emphasizing choices which would increase Ankara's concerns, instead of removing these concerns concerning this issue. Similarly, Kurdish groups and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani are also continuing to make certain speeches which could worsen tension. In such an atmosphere, it would be easy to voice ineffectual words and threats, like certain Turks are doing. But let's not be unfair. By meeting with Talabani, Erdogan chose perhaps the most difficult alternative. This was also Turkey's highest-level contact to date with Talabani, who hasn't been invited to Turkey due to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's opposition. Some people stress that the meeting was held outside the territory of these two countries (at an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia). Talabani's proposal that a Turkish delegation can come to Kirkuk to examine public records concerning the issue might not produce a solution in the short term. However, the important thing is that such risks which are vitally important for Turkey have been taken at such a time. Those who want to squeeze Turkey in their borders are either unaware of the upcoming danger, or they're working for those trying to corner us."


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