|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-04-16
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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
16.04.2007FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 RACE FOR PRESIDENCY BEGINSThe process of electing Turkey's 11th president starts today with candidacy applications that will continue until April 25. The new president will take office on May 16 after taking oath in Parliament. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is expected to make its final decision on their candidate following a Central Decision-Making and Executive Committee (MKYK) meeting on April 18. But it is not certain whether or not Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan will announce their candidate just after the decision is made or will wait until the last day of candidacy applications. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY FAIR IN HANNOVERPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Germany over the weekend to attend an international industry fair in Hannover. Before the opening of the fair, Erdogan and Merkel met to discuss Turkey-European Union relations and bilateral ties between the two countries. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Erdogan said that Turkish economy was getting stronger and open to global competition. Stressing that some 250 Turkish firms will display their products at the fair, Erdogan said Turkey has become an attractive country for the investors. He also added that Turkey would positively contribute to the EU, and would never be a burden to the bloc. The Turkish premier also met with a group of Turkish citizens living in Hannover. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan touted his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government achievements, saying that they were working hard to further develop the country. In addition, commenting on the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey, Erdogan said that all positions were temporary and but achievements would be permanent. /Turkiye/
 HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MARCH FOR SECULAR REPUBLICOn Saturday Turkey's capital Ankara hosted a huge rally organized by the Kemalist Thought Organization (ADD) against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's possible presidency since he is regarded by many people as an "Islamic threat" against the secular Republic. Chanting slogans and carrying banners for a secular Republic in line with the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Republic of Turkey, thousands held a meeting in Tandogan Square, and then visited Ataturk's mausoleum (Anitkabir) to show their loyalty to his principles. In related news, foreign media also showed great interest in the event, calling it the biggest organized reaction against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party fellows said that a non-governmental organization used its democratic right. Premier Erdogan, before leaving for Germany on Saturday night, said, "It is very positive that no violence occurred," expressing his pleasure for the usage of that democratic right. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN TO MEET WITH AGAR, MUMCUPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu tomorrow at the party headquarters. Agar said that he didn't have any previsions that Premier Erdogan would meet with them, adding, "I consider this meeting as a beginning. I think that Erdogan will also meet with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal." /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: "IT'S OUR TURN TO UNITE"Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal spoke over the weekend about the mass rally held on Saturday and said, "If the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ignores this kind and friendly rally held by hundreds of thousands of people, the social tension would rise. When the AKP expressed national will, they always mentioned national will of those who voted for them. But they have to consider the national will of those who didn't vote for them and they have to take this into consideration." "What is the meaning of the social meeting at the rally square? We have to find an answer to this. The request for unification was mentioned very often at that square. After this, the power at that square should be united in one political center," he said. In related news, speaking at his Democratic Left Party's (DSP) meeting held in Istanbul, Zeki Sezer said, "2007 is the year of pride abroad and to get rid of this government to have peace in Turkey." Social Democratic People's Party (SHP) leader Murat Karayalcin said, "We want an agreement only with left parties. We foresee a very strong agreement to defend the Republic. The Republic can only be protected through left values." /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/
 COLLISION TAKES 33 LIVESTurkey is mourning for 33 people who died in an accident on Saturday near central Anatolian city of Aksaray. A bus carrying elementary school children to Cappadocia collided with a truck, killing 33 people and injuring 14, mostly children. Yesterday 29 of the bodies were laid to rest after a funeral held in Izmir's Konak Square. /Sabah/
 VOLKER: "THE US WILL ACT TOGETHER WITH TURKEY ON PKK"The U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Kurt Volker said over the weekend that the US' goal is to act together with Turkey on the terrorist PKK issue. Speaking to Greek daily To Vima, Volker said that Turkey was subject to many attacks from the terrorist PKK, adding, "Ankara's concerns about this issue emanate from probability of the terrorist PKK's activities to get stronger and to outburst from its nortern Iraq borders. Our goal is to continue to work with Turkey and the Iraqi government and to encourage them for close cooperation to find a solution to the terrorist PKK problem." /Aksam/
 BABACAN: "BUSINESS CIRCLES WANT STABILITY"State Minister Ali Babacan yesterday said that the markets in Turkey and abroad prefer a president in harmony with the government for Turkey's economic stability. Babacan, currently in Washington to attend the spring term meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, told a press conference, "The best result envisaged by the business world after the elections to be held in 2007 is a one-party government. Business world want a president who will work in harmony with the government for the future of Turkey's economy." /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 DEMOCRACY IN ESSENCE IS ALSO IMPORTANTBY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
Columnist Semih Idiz comments on last weekend's public demonstration in Ankara which was held by thousands of people to support the Republic. A summary of his column is as follows:
"When you look at that enthusiastic mass of people who filled Tandogan Square in Ankara and then visited Ataturk's Mausoleum on Saturday, it's impossible not to be greatly glad on behalf of secularism, because, 'devotion to secularism not in words, but in essence is the sine qua non of our republic, as Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said. However, unfortunately, this isn't enough, because secularism isn't the only condition of the republic. It shouldn't be forgotten that the Baas regime which brought Iraq to the threshold of disaster was claiming secularism. In short, the condition of a republic which is willing to move forward on the way to 'modern civilization' has another sine qua non condition, that is, a democratic order in which individual rights are also guaranteed. If we don't guarantee our democracy just like secularism, then it would be impossible to talk about an 'intellectual Turkey.'
Just like many people, we also doubt the sincerity of certain people and sectors who insistently emphasize their devotion to secularism today. No matter what they say, their discourse and actions cause us to doubt their devotion to secularism. Similarly, there were some people and sectors among those who have filled the Tandogan Square, whom we doubted their devotion to a democratic order in essence. Of course, one cannot sacrifice secularism, by emphasizing democracy. The ability to have received certain percentage of votes during the elections doesn't give a party the right to play with basic principles of the republic.
However, similarly, one cannot sacrifice democracy, by emphasizing secularism. If it is done, the claim to be modern and intellectual would lose all of its meaning. Then, such an order would emerge that wouldn't be desired by most of tens of thousands of people who have filled Tandogan Square and then visited Ataturk's Mausoleum. In sum, if we want a modern and intellectual Turkey, we would talk about an order which is both democratic and secular, because it's impossible to separate these two factors from each other. Meanwhile, another important issue should be reminded. One of the things which were reflected two days ago was the enmity towards the West. However, both the secularism and democracy are the political concepts which came to us not from the East, but from the West, just like the reforms which provided the modern appearance of the mass who have filled Tandogan Square.
The only thing that would make them survive is the route drawn by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on this direction. Therefore, we should congratulate the will which was displayed two days ago on behalf of our democratic and secular democracy. However, we should also understand what we are protecting well. If we are to put it on a simple basis of 'political revenge,' we shouldn't forget that those who are in the target of this revenge have the capacity to fill public squares as well. Of course, we wouldn't like to see such a picture, because that picture would show a dangerous separation for our country, which would be harmful to everybody. Then, our republic would be harmed."
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