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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-17

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

17.07.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “OUR NEXT PRESIDENT SHOULD COME FROM THE TOP PARTY IN SUNDAY’S GENERAL ELECTIONS”
  • [02] BAYKAL CRITICIZES GOVT ANTI-TERROR POLICY AS INCONSISTENT
  • [03] AGAR: “WE’LL MAKE THE AKP ACCOUNT FOR ITS ACTIONS”
  • [04] BAHCELI, YILMAZ AND UZAN HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL
  • [05] US EMBASSY: “IRAN IS AN UNTRUSTWORTHY PARTNER FOR TURKEY”
  • [06] US STATE DEPT DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF WEAPONS SALES TO PKK
  • [07] IN TEHRAN, TRANSPORTATION MINISTER ANNOUNCES MORE FLIGHTS TO IRAN
  • [08] DEBATES OVER IRAN AND NATURAL GAS
  • [09] WHAT THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FAILS TO SEE ABOUT TURKEY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “OUR NEXT PRESIDENT SHOULD COME FROM THE TOP PARTY IN SUNDAY’S GENERAL ELECTIONS”

    Appearing on news channel NTV yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s next president should come from the top party to emerge from Sunday’s elections. The early general elections were triggered by an opposition boycott of Parliament, where the president is elected, in protest of the AKP’s candidate. Erdogan predicted that the AKP would win the weekend elections, adding, “This would amount to the nation directing us to choose the new president from the AKP. So will we respect the nation, or act in line with the will of a minority?” The premier further stressed that if the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) both get into Parliament, this would lead to tension, so the people’s votes are crucial. /Milliyet/

    [02] BAYKAL CRITICIZES GOVT ANTI-TERROR POLICY AS INCONSISTENT

    Speaking to crowds in Igdir ahead of this weekend’s elections, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the government’s anti-terrorism policy, charging that it was full of inconsistencies. Also commenting on healthcare issues, Baykal said that the CHP would end the “green card” program and develop a better way to ensure that the poor get free treatment. Later, Baykal proceeded to Trabzon and continued to campaign against the government. /Milliyet/

    [03] AGAR: “WE’LL MAKE THE AKP ACCOUNT FOR ITS ACTIONS”

    Democrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that when they came to power, they would make the Justice and Development Party (AKP) account for its actions. Speaking to crowds in Ordu in the runup to Sunday’s general elections, Agar criticized the AKP’s policies and activities during its four-and-a-half years in power. He stated that fighting terrorism was a serious job which a DP government would do well. Touching on the merger process between the True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), Agar said that they were working in close cooperation, and that the merger could happen in the near future. /Turkiye/

    [04] BAHCELI, YILMAZ AND UZAN HIT CAMPAIGN TRAIL

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday addressed crowds in Gaziantep. Predicting that his party will come to power alone through this weekend’s general elections, Bahceli said that under their rule Turkey would take a new direction forward. Meanwhile, former Premier Mesut Yilmaz, running as an independent candidate from Rize, said that Turkey has a political vacuum which needs to be filled. In related news, Young Party (GP) leader Cem Uzan yesterday visited Bursa. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [05] US EMBASSY: “IRAN IS AN UNTRUSTWORTHY PARTNER FOR TURKEY”

    Commenting on a natural gas agreement between Ankara and Tehran, Kathy Shallow, spokeswoman of the US Embassy in Ankara, yesterday said that Washington was opposed to all kinds of agreements with Iran. Stressing that Iran is continuing its nuclear program in defiance of the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Shallow said that it would be unwise to trust Tehran on energy issues. In related news, appearing on news channel NTV, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said that the pact with Iran was only a preliminary agreement, adding that negotiations would continue. “The details will be discussed within a month,” added Guler. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [06] US STATE DEPT DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF WEAPONS SALES TO PKK

    US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday that allegations that the US was supplying weapons to the terrorist PKK are untrue. Speaking to reporters at a daily briefing, McCormack said that cooperation between Iraq and Turkey would serve both countries’ interests. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that US officials had told Ankara that their administration had in no way supplied weapons to the PKK. Gul added, however, that they had proven that some weapons used by the terrorist group were US or European. Turkey’s top diplomat added that in the chaos and power vacuum plaguing Iraq, PKK terrorists are using weapons given to the Iraqi army by US and European countries. He also urged the US to act very carefully, as it has lost a great deal of its credibility in the Turkish public. /Turkiye-Aksam/

    [07] IN TEHRAN, TRANSPORTATION MINISTER ANNOUNCES MORE FLIGHTS TO IRAN

    Transportation Minister Ismet Yilmaz, currently in Tehran to attend the second International Iran Transportation Forum, said yesterday that the Turkish Airlines (THY) would double the number of its flights to Iran. “We agreed that THY will increase its weekly flights to Tehran to 14 and six to Tabriz,” said Yilmaz, after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Rahmati. /Turkish Daily News/

    FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [08] DEBATES OVER IRAN AND NATURAL GAS

    BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on possible natural gas cooperation between Turkey and Iran. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Responding to news reports saying that Turkey and Iran are preparing for new cooperation in natural gas, the US Embassy in Ankara said that it’s opposed to any kind of cooperation with Iran. The US doesn’t want Turkey to cooperate with Iran or Russia, as in the second Blue Stream Project. Instead, it wants Turkey to place more importance on the Sahdeniz Project with Azerbaijan or a project to buy gas from Iraq. Turkey favors these two projects, but, it also wants to implement the Nabucco natural gas transportation project in order to carry Turkmen gas to Europe, or to enrich Turkmen natural gas with the Caspian Sea passage to complement the Sahdeniz Project, or it expects the US to openly support the selling of Sahdeniz gas on world markets.

    But none of this is happening, and the situation in Iraq is getting more unstable every day. The tension over northern Iraq makes the validity of a natural gas project with Iraq doubtful, even if it is signed, due to such factors as the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipelines’ susceptibility to sabotage. European companies, particularly German and Italian ones, which are willing to purchase gas from Iran, which has the world’s second-largest natural gas fields, have started to accuse Turkey due to its geographical location of being an obstacle to this trade and Nabucco as well. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler responded to recent requests of Iran, and thus efforts for cooperation with Iran began. But, it shouldn’t be forgotten that no agreement has been signed with Iran; rather, there is a memorandum of consensus to establish a workgroup to see if there is grounds for an agreement. If the two countries can find such grounds within a month, workgroups will start work on this, including the issue of selling and developing three gas fields in Iran, and maybe then an agreement will be reached. At this point, there are a few questions:

    1. These efforts with Iran came on the eve of Turkey’s weekend general elections. Might this not be a coincidence?

    2. The US has already announced its opposition. Could such an agreement can be signed and implemented in spite of the US?

    3. Such cooperation challenges Russian domination in the region and so could disturb it. Will this situation have a negative impact on Turkey’s other energy projects with Russia?

    4. If these efforts bear fruit, how will be Turkey benefit? According to energy and diplomatic sources I spoke with yesterday,

    Nothing that Turkey did or intended to do violates the UN Security Council resolutions on Iran. Thus there are no legal grounds for the US to cry foul.

    This step could be a catalyst to open the clogged equation of US and Russia in the region, because it motivates both sides to take action.

    Thus, it might bring both new opportunities and new risks to Turkey.

    If a possibility of agreement with Iran can be found under the UN resolutions, this will have a positive impact on Turkish-US relations and bring a new, rich alternative to dependence on Russia for natural gas.

    In spite of all these elements, particularly sources from the Foreign Ministry reject suspicions that this move is only a tactic for Turkey.

    So is an agreement with Iraq dependent on factors other than the ‘great energy game’ between the US, EU and Russia? From what I saw, the answer to this question is yes. These are as follows:

    1. Iranian and European buyers giving up seeing Turkey only as a transit country,

    2. As part of this, Turkey’s ability to get a price advantage in the domestic consumption of Iranian gas. In other words, the Turkish nation’s ability to use cheaper natural gas due to its geography…

    It will be interesting to follow this process.”

    [09] WHAT THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FAILS TO SEE ABOUT TURKEY

    BY ELIF SAFAK (ZAMAN)

    Columnist Elif Safak comments on how Turkey is depicted in the world media. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “The world media is closely watching our elections set for this weekend. But that doesn’t mean they grasp what’s happening. They often use clichés in reporting on Turkey. They depict Turkey as being divided in half: Islamists and secularists. It’s as if there were two types of people in Turkey who never meet, speak or listen to each other. It’s as if they live on two different islands or are so different that they have nothing in common. Some of the Western media show Turkey this way and focus solely on the extremes. Striking photos accompany these clichés: Women in headscarves are juxtaposed with others wearing swimsuits, with the caption: ‘Modern Turkey’s dilemma.’

    The focal point of news reports, editorials and photos about Turkey in the Western media is women’s bodies and clothes (especially their hemlines, hairstyles, and headscarves), which are seen as both the center and symbol of deep ideological and political divides.

    But in real life is that really true? Are Turkish women so deeply polarized? In this country, in an average family one girl may wear a headscarf while her sister doesn’t. Or a girl who wears a headscarf gets married to the son of a family whose women wear headscarves. Or one of two women working in the same workplace may wear a headscarf. Or the doctor or dentist of an unheadscarved woman may wear a headscarf, or vice versa. We could give thousands of similar examples. This is Turkey’s reality. Women wearing headscarves or not are shoulder to shoulder in every walk of life.

    Turkey is a country of synthesis, hybrids and nuance. It is too complex, variable and multi-layered to be understood using clichés. In many respects it has a sui generis nature. It can’t be treated as equivalent to the countries of the Middle East, Balkans, Europe or the rest of the Muslim world. There’s always a ‘but’ in analyses of Turkey. And in this every ‘but’…

    It is the world of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, 9_11, violence in Iraq, terrorist acts in London and the mosque raid in Pakistan. Hence, no one has the time or desire to examine the nuances. Using clichés and talking about dilemmas is what is valued and respected by everyone in such a world. Western democracy is on the one hand, whereas Islamic civilization is on the other… Clash of civilizations…

    Doesn’t Turkey have extremes? Of course it does. Aren’t there basic structural dilemmas? Of course there are. But there are also syntheses, balances, grey areas, in-between places. This what the Western press ignores about Turkey.

    One of the reasons why Turkey is treated using such simplistic analyses is that it hasn’t expressed itself properly and so hasn’t been easily understood by observers from all over the world, whereas the other reason is rising global polarization.”


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