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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-02

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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

02.07.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “WHY DIDN’T YOU HANG OCALAN?”
  • [02] GUL: “THERE IS NO SECRET AGREEMENT WITH THE US”
  • [03] BAYKAL ATTENDS EDIRNE RALLY ALONG WITH DSP LEADER SEZER
  • [04] IN TRABZON, BAHCELI CRITICIZES ERDOGAN
  • [05] AGAR: “CAN THERE BE A DEMOCRACY WITHOUT RULES?”
  • [06] PKK MINE KILLS 3 SOLDIERS
  • [07] PKK MILITANTS: “MT. KANDIL IS BEING CLEARED OUT IN A PANIC”
  • [08] MARITIME AND CABOTAGE FESTIVAL CELEBRATED
  • [09] THE CHP’S SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL DILEMMA

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “WHY DIDN’T YOU HANG OCALAN?”

    Speaking at a campaign rally in Mersin over the weekend, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli. Recalling that Bahceli, whose party was part of the coalition government that revoked the death penalty as part of Turkey's European Union accession, once showed off a noose as if to hang the terrorist PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, Erdogan said, “Why didn’t you hang him when he was delivered to you?" Erdogan also accused the MHP of trying to score political points at mosques over soldiers killed by terrorists. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] GUL: “THERE IS NO SECRET AGREEMENT WITH THE US”

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul over the weekend blasted recent claims that the government had made an agreement with the US not to carry out a cross- border operation into northern Iraq, calling the allegations "slanderous lies." He added that if any agreement had been made, there would be an official state record of it. /Milliyet/

    [03] BAYKAL ATTENDS EDIRNE RALLY ALONG WITH DSP LEADER SEZER

    Speaking at a political rally in Edirne, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that the CHP had blocked from coming to Parliament an alleged agreement under which Turkey promised not to cross into Iraq in return for $1 billion from the US. Baykal also said that the AKP had encouraged terrorism through its mistaken policies. Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer also attended the rally. /Aksam/

    [04] IN TRABZON, BAHCELI CRITICIZES ERDOGAN

    Campaigning in Trabzon over the weekend, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that people living in the Black Sea region were suffering because their hazelnut and tea production is no longer appreciated. Charging that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was disregarding former governments, Bahceli said that Erdogan can’t be a nationalist. /Aksam/

    [05] AGAR: “CAN THERE BE A DEMOCRACY WITHOUT RULES?”

    Opposition Democrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar over the weekend criticized Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc for attending a meeting held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Kayseri along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. “This was improper," said Agar, referring to the customary impartiality of Parliament speakers. "It was against normal procedure. Everyone should follow this. The AKP has started to be afraid of everything. Can there be a democracy without rules? Religion and the republic don’t need to be guarded by politics. Turkey needs a DP which will share all these values.” /Sabah/

    [06] PKK MINE KILLS 3 SOLDIERS

    The Pulumur district of the Tunceli province last week witnessed another roadside mine attack against security forces in which a noncommissioned officer and two sergeants were killed. At funerals held for the fallen soldiers in their hometowns, mourners cursed the terrorist PKK. Meanwhile, security forces launched a crackdown in the region to capture the terrorists. /Hurriyet/

    [07] PKK MILITANTS: “MT. KANDIL IS BEING CLEARED OUT IN A PANIC”

    Recent rumors that Turkey would carry out a cross-border operation into northern Iraq have caused panic and fear among the terrorists, who have begun to flee from their camps on Mt. Kandil, according to four PKK terrorists who surrendered to Turkish security forces over the weekend in Sirnak. Stressing that the terrorists were trying to survive in the camps under very difficult conditions, the four stated that Turkish security forces had treated them very well. They said that they were no longer believed in the terrorist group, adding that they had seen two US armored vehicles bringing weapons to the camps on the mountain. In related news, clashes between Iranian forces and militants of PJAK, an Iranian branch of the terrorist group PKK, have escalated recently, and many terrorists have reportedly been killed. /Turkiye/

    [08] MARITIME AND CABOTAGE FESTIVAL CELEBRATED

    The Maritime and Cabotage Festival’s 81st anniversary was celebrated yesterday through ceremonies and competitions in a number of cities. State Minister Kursad Tuzmen attended a ceremony in Mersin. /Milliyet/

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

    [09] THE CHP’S SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL DILEMMA

    BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) relations with the Socialist International. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “It’s unclear if the latest council meeting of the Socialist Internationalist (SI) in Geneva was good or bad for the Republican People’s Party (CHP). If the CHP were expelled from the SI, this would reportedly please not only the AKP, but also the left in Turkey, because most leftists in Turkey don’t understand what this party, which has nothing to do with social democracy, is doing at the SI. In addition, it hasn't escaped the notice of Western social democrats that the CHP supports the Turkish Penal Code’s notorious Article 301, thus violating the basic principles of social democracy and unabashedly reflecting a militarist and nationalist face.

    In Sweden, many have started to say openly that they are ashamed of sharing the same roof with the CHP. In addition, those who saw the Turkish-EU Joint Parliament Commission meetings know the chill wind between the CHP and European social democrats. Not a single word appeared in the foreign press about CHP leader Deniz Baykal’s speech at the event. When Baykal started speaking, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani left the hall in protest, and all the reporters followed. This situation showed who the focus of international attention is.

    Talabani was there as the SI’s guest of honor with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. However, accusatory questions in our press asking why Talabani and Barzani were there suffice to show how these issues are covered in Turkey. At this stage, there's no way that the Turkish public would know that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is a member of the SI, that there is a ‘Working Group for the Kurdish Issue’ within the SI (which includes Iraq's Kurdistan Democrat Party, KDP, and Turkey's Democratic Turkey Party, DTP), and that this group convened in northern Iraq in May 2006.

    There's also no way they can know why Baykal’s speech was disliked in Geneva, whereas Talabani’s speech, which ended with his call to neighboring countries not to intervene in Iraq’s domestic issues, got international media coverage. We should also stress that Baykal’s speech was of course full of truths. If there were not a political dialogue gap between the CHP and Western social democrats, this would have been understood. However, at this point the CHP needs to convince Western social democrats about the political view that it claims to espouse.

    In sum, for now the CHP being expelled from the SI is a matter of wishes, not reality. However, it’s also clear that the SI has its eyes on the CHP. So we can say the CHP faces a dilemma of its possible expulsion from the SI. Even if the CHP claims otherwise, there's no way a political rhetoric peculiar to the extreme right can fit in with the social democratic view.”


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