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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-09

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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

09.07.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] PARTY LEADERS CONTINUE CAMPAIGNING AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
  • [02] GUL: “NOT ONLY IZMIR, BUT ALL OF TURKEY WILL BENEFIT FROM THE CITY HOSTING EXPO 2015”
  • [03] AEGEAN FOREST FIRES RAGE ON
  • [04] GREEK AMBASSADOR SUMMONED OVER OFFENDING MAP; TURKEY EXPECTS APOLOGY
  • [05] RUSSIA’S IVANOV: “TURKEY FACES A MISSILE THREAT”
  • [06] TRNC PRESIDENT TALAT GETS MEETING PROPOSAL FROM PAPADOPOULOS
  • [07] BABACAN: “RECENT HISTORY SHOWS THAT TURKEY DIDN’T BENEFIT FROM GOVT COALITIONS”
  • [08] A CROSS-BORDER CAKEWALK?

  • [01] PARTY LEADERS CONTINUE CAMPAIGNING AHEAD OF ELECTIONS

    Political party leaders continued campaigning over the weekend for the July 22 elections. Addressing rallies in Antalya and Izmir, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), saying that although he had visited Antalya many times over the last five years, CHP leader Deniz Baykal never had. On the other side of the political spectrum, the premier also criticized the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), saying that nationalism was meant to serve the nation. Speaking in Mugla and Denizli, CHP leader Baykal downplayed rumors that the CHP and MHP would form a coalition, saying that he was working for the CHP to come to power single-handedly. Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer spoke in Balikesir, saying that he believed that the head of the terrorist PKK should not be hung, because Turkey wouldn’t benefit from this. (The death penalty no longer exists in Turkey, but MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has recently raised the issue again.) Speaking in Alanya, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that Turkey wouldn’t be divided, adding that his goal was to maintain the nation’s unity. /Turkiye/

    [02] GUL: “NOT ONLY IZMIR, BUT ALL OF TURKEY WILL BENEFIT FROM THE CITY HOSTING EXPO 2015”

    The Expo 2015 Council, vying to bring the event to Izmir, convened in the Aegean coast city over the weekend under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Speaking before the meeting, Gul said that the Expos were large exhibitions, fairs, and cultural activities, adding that not only Izmir, but all of Turkey would benefit from the city hosting Expo 2015. Gul further stressed that the Foreign Ministry was doing the necessary work to win the right to host Expo, adding that Turkey’s rival Italy had hosted Expo many times. Saying that the six-month Expo’s would attract attention worldwide, Gul stated that about 40-50 million tourists were expected to visit. In related news, Jim Hoagland, a columnist at The Washington Post, wrote yesterday that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned Gul on Friday to urge Turkey not to carry out a cross- border operation into Iraq, but was unable to get assurances from Gul that there would be none. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [03] AEGEAN FOREST FIRES RAGE ON

    The tourist resort of Bodrum in the Aegean region and the Manavgat district in Turkey’s tourist capital Antalya felt the fury of fiery blazes as the country’s forest fire season got underway over the weekend. Still struggling with the shock of the blaze in Bodrum that started Saturday, the country was rattled with other fires in Manavgat and in four separate districts of Izmir on Sunday. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] GREEK AMBASSADOR SUMMONED OVER OFFENDING MAP; TURKEY EXPECTS APOLOGY

    Greek Ambassador to Ankara George Yennimatas was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Saturday over a map showing a divided Turkey which was used last week in Athens during a seminar by the Greek General Staff. According to diplomatic sources, Turkey’s displeasure over the map was conveyed to Yennimatas. Sources stated that the Turkish Embassy in Athens is also expected to register a protest. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] RUSSIA’S IVANOV: “TURKEY FACES A MISSILE THREAT”

    Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov over the weekend suggested that Turkey faces a missile threat and that it should have more say in discussions about placing a missile shield in Europe. Speaking to Russian channel Rossia, Ivanov stated that Turkey was in the “danger region” and accepted for the first time that countries such as Iran and North Korea constitute a missile threat. Ivanov said that missiles coming from states cited as threats in fact wouldn’t reach most NATO countries besides Turkey. “In the meantime, I would like to say that Turkey should have more to say in discussions and in suggestions and should play the most determining role, because Turkey is very close to the region where the missile threat exists,” he said. /Milliyet/

    [06] TRNC PRESIDENT TALAT GETS MEETING PROPOSAL FROM PAPADOPOULOS

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica said over the weekend that Greek Cypriot administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos had made a proposal to meet with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat through a letter delivered by Michael Moller, the UN secretary- general’s special representative on Cyprus. Ercakica said that the proposal would be evaluated seriously and their answer might be positive. /Milliyet/

    [07] BABACAN: “RECENT HISTORY SHOWS THAT TURKEY DIDN’T BENEFIT FROM GOVT COALITIONS”

    Appearing on television yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that recent history shows that coalition governments do not benefit Turkey. “I believe that Turkey needs a single-party government for five more years in order to make considerable improvements,” said Babacan. “Turkey developed rapidly over the last four-and-a-half years. Inflation was reduced to single digits, and six zeros were eliminated from the Turkish lira.” /Sabah/

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

    [08] A CROSS-BORDER CAKEWALK?

    BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on a possible cross-border operation into northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Necessary conditions are present for Turkey to conduct a cross-border operation against the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. Article 51 of the UN Charter states that an attacked country may take any step until the UN takes necessary measures. If our Parliament passes the relevant motion, we will have laid the necessary legal groundwork.

    But does lining everything up on paper mean that such an operation would be easy or successful? The answer is no! Because the issue has international dimensions.

    Turkey was legally in the right in 1974 when it entered Cyprus. But this didn’t prevent it from being branded an invader. This definition still prevails, and Turkey remains isolated on the Cyprus issue.

    Today there is a belief that Turkey hasn’t exhausted all peaceful means to counter the presence of the PKK in northern Iraq. That is what Iraqi Kurds say on international platforms.

    The Iraqi Shiites’ announcement that they would support the Kurds in case of a cross-border operation shows that Turkey wouldn’t just have problems with the West. Of course Ankara doesn’t have to take this seriously.

    The US invasion of Iraq showed that a country with a powerful military which believes that it faces a serious threat may use its right to unilateral intervention even if it lacks the necessary legal framework.

    At this point a second question comes to mind: Is it certain that we’ll get the results we want as the result of such an operation?

    Above all, if an operation is going to be conducted, we shouldn’t announce it beforehand. Such operations should be launched unexpectedly in order to damage their targets quickly. As Mt. Kandil has long since been abandoned, such an operation should be conducted against PKK terrorist bases in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, which means an operation to areas where Kurdish peshmerga and soldiers of the US and other countries are deployed.

    Such an operation targeting the Mahmur camp faces other difficulties, as it has the status of UN refugee camp.

    Something many analysts warn of is PKK militants stepping up their bloody attacks in Turkey and so exacerbating domestic Turkish-Kurdish tensions.

    Moreover, groups such as al-Qaeda, which has killed hundreds of innocent people in northern Iraq in recent days, also pose risks. Such groups are quite likely to also target the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in order to raise tension not only in northern Iraq but also in the whole region.

    According to both government and military officials, comprehensive plans considering every contingency of a cross-border operation have been drawn up. I hope this is true, because we’re talking about an asymmetrical fight.

    For this reason, the risk of aggravating already bleeding wounds shouldn’t be ignored.”


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