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Turkish Press Review, 07-04-18

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

18.04.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “WE’RE AWARE OF TURKEY’S SENSITIVITIES”
  • [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS
  • [03] IRANIAN FM MOTTAKI VISITS ANKARA
  • [04] EFFORTS BEGIN TO UNIFY CENTER RIGHT
  • [05] GUL, BABACAN DISCLOSE TURKEY’S EU ROUTE
  • [06] GUL TO MEET BAKOYANNIS IN BELGRADE
  • [07] BAYKAL CALLS ON ERDOGAN NOT TO BE A CANDIDATE
  • [08] BUYUKANIT: “TURKEY IS READY TO FLY ITS PLANES UNARMED”
  • [09] PAKISTANI GENERALS VISIT TUSAM
  • [10] WE SHOULDN’T FORGET NORTHERN IRAQ

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “WE’RE AWARE OF TURKEY’S SENSITIVITIES”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey is a secular, democratic and social state that respects the rule of law and removing one of these elements would result in the whole structure collapsing. Speaking at his party group meeting, Erdogan said that no one in the country could benefit from promoting tension. Harshly reacting to recent remarks that there were two Turkeys, Erdogan said that differences in the public were normal, and underlined that there was only one Turkey. Furthermore, commenting on the last Saturday’s Republic rally, the premier said that the number of people attended the demonstration was exaggerated. /Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) high-level staff, yesterday met with two major center right parties, namely the True Path Party (DYP) and the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) to seek their supports during the presidential election voting rounds next month. Reportedly following their separate talks, Mehmet Agar, the leader of the DYP, gave a positive signal to Erdogan while ANAVATAN’s leader Erkan Mumcu, a former AKP deputy and minister left the door open until the last minute. Meanwhile, Agar advised Erdogan to also meet with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Erdogan previously stated that he would not intend to have talks with Baykal to exchange views on the upcoming presidential election. The CHP and some professors of law argue that if Parliament convenes for presidential election with less than 367 deputies, a lawsuit can be opened at the Constitutional Court to annul the decision made. With 354 seats in Parliament, the AKP needs 14 deputies to avoid this legal debate. /Milliyet/

    [03] IRANIAN FM MOTTAKI VISITS ANKARA

    Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki yesterday paid a surprising visit to Ankara. During his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul brought up the expanded meeting of the countries neighboring Iraq, which will be held in Cairo, Egypt on May 3-4. Mottaki and Gul spoke about the recent developments in Iraq and Iran. According to sources, Mottaki said, “We needed to contact with you before the meeting because no preparations were made before this meeting which will be realized with the participation of UN Security Council members and D-8 countries. The stage of neighboring countries to Iraq was ignored. Before this meeting, we should have determined a position as neighboring countries to Iraq.” Mottaki also asked help for the release of Iranian diplomats captured in Erbil from his Turkish counterpart and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Star/

    [04] EFFORTS BEGIN TO UNIFY CENTER RIGHT

    Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu met yesterday to discuss possible unification of their parties. Speaking to reporters, Agar and Mumcu said that they had an intention to unify but they could not yet reach a concrete agreement. /Sabah/

    [05] GUL, BABACAN DISCLOSE TURKEY’S EU ROUTE

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and State Minister and Chief European Union Negotiator Ali Babacan yesterday held a press conference in Ankara to promote Turkey’s EU Harmonization Program for 2007-2013. Underlining Turkey’s ongoing determination to be a full EU member, Gul said that the program which scheduled duties of institutions in a seven-year period was prepared in three months by exchanging views with some 200 institutions and non-governmental organizations. He said that through the road map prepared the negotiation process would become easier. Gul added that implementation of EU harmonization progress would serve the nation’s interests and raise the standards of living. Meanwhile, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn’s spokeswoman Krizstina Nagy said that they welcomed Ankara’s release of an EU harmonization program. /Turkiye/

    [06] GUL TO MEET BAKOYANNIS IN BELGRADE

    The foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece, Abdullah Gul and Dora Bakoyannis, are expected to meet in Belgrade on April 19 during an international meeting of Black Sea countries for a handover ceremony. Serbia will hand the term presidency to Turkey during the one-day meeting. Gul is also expected to meet his Russian counterpart Sergio Lavrov. Gul had to cancel his visits to Athens twice, in December and in late March, due to a political chill between the two countries. /Turkish Daily News/

    [07] BAYKAL CALLS ON ERDOGAN NOT TO BE A CANDIDATE

    Speaking at his party’s group meeting main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that they had been making warnings on the dangerous course that the ruling party drags Turkey for the last two years and now institutions such as universities, judicial power, Turkish Armed Forces, and the president and one million people who gathered in Ankara on April 14 share this expression. In an interview with CNN Turk, Baykal said, “I believe in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s not making a mistake such as being engaged in a search for presidency.” In related news, opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday said, “I don’t believe that it would be ethical for a parliament, the office term of which would end soon, to elect a president who will serve for seven years.” /Hurriyet-Aksam/

    [08] BUYUKANIT: “TURKEY IS READY TO FLY ITS PLANES UNARMED”

    Chief of General Staff Gen.Yasar Buyukanit, currently in Thessalonica, Greece to attend the First Balkan Countries Regional Conference, yesterday said that Turkish planes could fly unarmed over the Aegean Sea. Speaking at a reception where only Greek journalists attended, Buyukanit said, “Turkey and Greece aren’t enemies. We’re ready to fly our planes unarmed, you can do the same. We’re aware of planes flying so close is dangerous.” Buyukanit said, “My and Taki’s [his Greek counterpart Panayotis Hinofotis] goal is to help politicians for the formation of a convenient atmosphere to resolve misunderstandings,” adding, “But we’re soldiers and we cannot decide. We also need the help of the media to create a convenient atmosphere between the public opinions of both countries.” /Aksam/

    [09] PAKISTANI GENERALS VISIT TUSAM

    Eighteen generals and high-ranking officials from Pakistan’s National Security Academy, who came to Turkey as the guest of the Turkish National Security Academy affiliated with the Command of War Academies, yesterday visited National Security Strategies Research Center (TUSAM). During the meeting, the delegation was briefed about Turkish-European Union and Turkish-US relations. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [10] WE SHOULDN’T FORGET NORTHERN IRAQ

    BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on recent developments concerning northern Iraq and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit’s remarks on a possible intervention in the region. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The person who is most pleased with our being engaged in arguments on May’s presidential election is probably Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani since he likes fishing in troubled waters.

    I would like to caution that we shouldn’t forget northern Iraq while making discussions on upcoming presidential election. I defended military operation during the voting of the motion dated March 1, 2003 and still believe that if there had been a military operation then, this could have been in favor of Turkey. I am pleased that military officials say that rejecting March 1 motion gave harm to Turkey. However, it is too late to intervene in northern Iraq! On the contrary, now I advocate that we should establish closer ties with northern Iraq.

    Although I believe ties should be closer with northern Iraq, I also support Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit’s remarks last week that Turkey should intervene in northern Iraq. Is this a conflict? Why?

    I have two reasons:

    1- In this period the US administration’s mind is confused especially concerning the Iraqi issue. If we put forth a determined stance, we can influence the US administration.

    2- The US is playing a double game concerning Turkey through Pentagon and State Department. Barzani, who sees this, plays his own game.

    Turkey should deliver a closed ultimatum to northern Iraq to avoid it holding a referendum in Kirkuk this year. In fact, it’s not possible to get a healthy result from this year’s referendum, which would have three stages.

    Moreover, international observers accept that Kurds are accumulating disproportional population in the region.

    The Foreign Ministry should tell northern Iraqi officials that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) could make humanitarian intervention in the region to protect Turkmen!

    It’s correct that under Iraq’s Constitution (Article 140), a referendum should be held in Kirkuk by the end of 2007, but it’s not clear whether all Iraqis or only citizens of Kirkuk would vote in the referendum. Moreover, Sunnis who didn’t participate in the referendum on Constitution on Oct. 15 2005 claiming that their rights weren’t being protected attended the elections on Dec. 15 2005 after receiving guarantee through an article added to Constitution (Article 142) that necessary amendments would be made in the Constitution.

    Under Article 142, the northern Iraqi administration could request postponement of this year’s referendum in Kirkuk. If the northern Iraqi administration can make this gesture, then a new period could begin between Turkey and northern Iraq! The new period will be a period, when the two sides understand from each other’s language!”


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