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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-16

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

16.07.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN MAKES CAMPAIGN VISITS TO ISTANBUL, KOCAELI
  • [02] MHP’S BAHCELI: “THE COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED UNDER AKP RULE”
  • [03] FELICITY, LABOR PARTIES WOO VOTERS IN ISTANBUL
  • [04] US’ WILSON REITERATES DENIAL OF PKK WEAPONS ALLEGATIONS
  • [05] GREEK CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “TURKEY’S ELECTIONS WILL INFLUENCE THE CYPRUS ISSUE”
  • [06] ISTANBUL TO HOST SEPTEMBER BLACK SEA GAS AND OIL SUMMIT
  • [07] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [08] THIS TIME NEXT WEEK
  • [09] PUTIN’S STAKE

  • [01] ERDOGAN MAKES CAMPAIGN VISITS TO ISTANBUL, KOCAELI

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over the weekend, held campaign rallies in Kocaeli and Istanbul in the runup to the general elections set for next Sunday, July 22. Addressing the crowds, Erdogan said that in visiting about 40 cities across the country, he had been heartened to see people’s support for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He stressed that if it can get more than 40 percent of the vote in Sunday’s elections, the AKP will continue to serve the country through one-party rule. Touting his government’s record during the past four-and-a-half year, the premier predicted that people will vote for his party to promote stability, confidence, justice and development in Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [02] MHP’S BAHCELI: “THE COUNTRY HAS SUFFERED UNDER AKP RULE”

    Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said yesterday that the nation has suffered under more than four-and-a-half years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule. Addressing a campaign rally in Antalya, Bahceli said that contrary to the AKP’s claims, Turkey now lacks stability. “Turkey has lost valuable time in conflict and polarization, ” said the MHP leader. He charged that people who want the AKP to come to power again are separatists, plunderers, and heads of tribes, as well as people seeking to reap improper personal gains. /Milliyet/

    [03] FELICITY, LABOR PARTIES WOO VOTERS IN ISTANBUL

    Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan yesterday addressed crowds in Istanbul’s Cağlayan Square to try to win their votes in the weekend general elections. Also in Istanbul, at a Labor Party (IP) rally in Kadikoy, IP leader Dogu Perincek charged that other political parties toe the line to US policies. He said that the IP would make efforts to move Turkey in the direction of the principles laid by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [04] US’ WILSON REITERATES DENIAL OF PKK WEAPONS ALLEGATIONS

    Again rebuffing allegations that the US has provided weapons to the terrorist PKK, US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson over the weekend said, “It’s not logical for the US to provide weapons to an organization which we consider terrorist.” Speaking at a reception at the French Embassy in Ankara, Wilson said US officials took the false reports of the US supplying arms seriously and was working to definitively disprove them. /Aksam/

    [05] GREEK CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: “TURKEY’S ELECTIONS WILL INFLUENCE THE CYPRUS ISSUE”

    Greek Cypriot Parliament Speaker Dimitris Hristofyas over the weekend said that the results of next Sunday’s general elections in Turkey would have an influence on the Cyprus issue. “If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins the elections, it is possible that he could make an attempt on the Cyprus issue,” said Hristofyas. “If we don’t get prepared, the Turkish side may get ahead. We should take measures. But if Erdogan loses, there will be backtracking on the Cyprus issue.” /Aksam/

    [06] ISTANBUL TO HOST SEPTEMBER BLACK SEA GAS AND OIL SUMMIT

    Turkey is set to host an important summit on energy this September. The International Black Sea Oil and Gas Summit, scheduled for Sept. 6-7 in Istanbul, will bring together a number of important international companies, oil and gas ministers of Black Sea coastal countries, and investment and finance companies. The participants are expected to discuss regional cooperation, energy security, relations with the European Union, environmental problems, the security of the Turkish Straits, pipelines, and regional opportunities. /Turkish Daily News/

    [07] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [08] THIS TIME NEXT WEEK

    BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the July 22 general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “This time next week the results of the July 22 general elections will be clear. CNN Turk will announce the outcome on Sunday evening. Back in fall 2002 it did the same without making a single mistake. Today I would like to be a bit adventurous and share my rough forecasts for the results. I believe the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be the top party and come to power alone, but with fewer seats, because more parties and independents will get in and take more of Parliament’s 550 seats. I also think the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will boost its vote share, but on the other hand it will have somewhat fewer deputies. I think the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will be the number three party. I hope the Democrat Party (DP) gets into Parliament as well. I also believe that independents from the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) will establish a group in Parliament.

    All the parties will be glad with the outcome of the election, but one group in particular will be very happy: Our high bourgeoisie who are firstly secular, then liberal! These people were defined by the foreign media as well with this headline: Those who vote for CHP but who want the AKP to come to power alone. These people like the CHP’s secularism, but the AKP’s economic program. Our high bourgeoisie longs to see the AKP as a party with fewer seats, but one which won’t worsen paranoia over reactionaryism. They want the AKP to come to power for stability and the economy, but they also want a CHP with more votes so as to safeguard secularism. After the general elections, Parliament’s first task will be to elect the president, as I believe, through consensus. This consensus might be between the AKP and CHP, or perhaps the AKP and MHP. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the AKP and MHP find common ground on such issues as the presidency and the Board of Higher Education (YOK).

    The AKP’s candidate list has already signaled that it will be more conciliatory. I think in the end Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will want to become president. So what about Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul? With his qualifications, Gul is a long-distance runner. The CHP will tread softly following the elections. When CHP leader Deniz Baykal talked about the ‘New Left,’ I applauded him, but Cumhuriyet criticized him. Politics requires flexibility. Don’t be surprised if Baykal and Erdogan shake hands one day after the elections. I’m only concerned about what relations in Parliament will be like between the MHP and DTP. Bahceli succeeded in preventing a Turkish-Kurdish polarization in the country by steering young people away from conflicts. Now the DTP members also say, ‘We’ve learned our lessons and will be reasonable from now on.’ I hope MHP-DTP relations in Parliament won’t stoke public tensions. Turkey should manage to create a period in which the national per capita income rises to $10,000.”

    [09] PUTIN’S STAKE

    BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Russia suspending the European Conventional Forces Agreement. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Europe just saw the clock moved back to the Cold War Era when Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the European Conventional Forces Agreement, an ironic and strange development.

    Before the 1990s, two political systems and military blocs were in conflict in Europe. With the fall of communism and the end of the Warsaw Pact, everything changed.

    Six former Warsaw Pact countries (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria), the three Baltic countries which were under Soviet rule (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) and finally Slovenia, formerly part of Yugoslavia then, are now all NATO members. Although it’s of great concern to Turkey, Putin’s decision threatening to reignite the arms race got little in media coverage here due to our looming elections. Turkey is also a NATO member, and one of the pivotal agreements in this process was signed in Istanbul in 1999.

    Before addressing the question of whether NATO or Russia is in the right, we should look back at history a bit:

    After the first summit of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was held in Helsinki in 1976 (with Turkey represented by then Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel), negotiations between NATO and Warsaw Pact for disarmament in Europe started. Although the talks stalled many times, in November 1990 the parties signed an agreement for mutual arms reduction in Paris, with Gorbachev in office in the Soviet Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Sixteen members of NATO and six members of the Warsaw Pact signed this agreement, which limited the number of tanks, cannons, warplanes and helicopters the two parties could have. Thanks to this agreement, 125,000 heavy armaments were withdrawn from or destroyed in Europe.

    But when the terms and conditions changed over time, updating the Paris agreement became inevitable. A new agreement was signed at the November 1999 OSCE summit in Istanbul. The most important aspect of this agreement signed by Demirel, who was then president, was that the conventional arms quota of Europe was determined according to countries, not blocs. This was because the Warsaw Pact had dissolved and many of its members had entered NATO, as a result of which Russia was alone on behalf of the Eastern Bloc.

    Russia ratified the Istanbul agreement in 2004 but so far NATO countries, including the US, have not. Their rationale they cite is Russia not closing its bases in Transnitri (Moldova) and South Ossetia (Georgia). But over the years NATO has expanded to include many former Soviet and Warsaw Pact countries, and also signed cooperation agreements with those it couldn’t take in. The US has bases in Romania and Bulgaria, and stretches to the Caucasus and Middle East, formerly under Soviet Union influence or rule, and finally established missile shields just 30 kilometers from the Russian border in former Warsaw Pact territories in order to protect Europe from missile attacks from Iran and North Korea.

    Now if you were in Putin’s shoes, wouldn’t you balk at this double standard?”


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