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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-18

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

18.07.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN VOWS TO QUIT POLITICS IF AKP DOESN’T WIN SECOND TERM AS SINGLE-PARTY GOVT
  • [02] IN KAYSERI, GUL PUSHES FOR SECOND AKP TERM
  • [03] OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERS WOO VOTERS IN FINAL DAYS BEFORE POLLS
  • [04] BAHCELI: “ERDOGAN HAS LOST CONTROL”
  • [05] IRAN: “US POLICIES AIM AT DISSOLVING THE UNITY AMONG REGIONAL COUNTRIES”
  • [06] EU’S REHN CALLS FOR MORE REFORMS AFTER ELECTION
  • [07] BABACAN: “AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE IS NEEDED TO FINANCE THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT”
  • [08] WOULD NEW NEOCONS WORK?
  • [09] DID TURKEY MAKE A STAKE AGAINST THE US?

  • [01] ERDOGAN VOWS TO QUIT POLITICS IF AKP DOESN’T WIN SECOND TERM AS SINGLE-PARTY GOVT

    Addressing a campaign rally in Isparta ahead of Sunday’s general elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if his party doesn’t win a second term as single-party government, then he would quit politics. He challenged the leaders of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to do the same. Pointing to how 22 banks were turned over to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) in the months before the AKP came to power in fall 2002, Erdogan charged that MHP leader Devlet Bahceli was one of the people responsible for this. The premier also criticized the prospect of a coalition between the CHP and MHP. /Turkiye/

    [02] IN KAYSERI, GUL PUSHES FOR SECOND AKP TERM

    Addressing crowds in Kayseri yesterday ahead of Sunday’s general elections, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul urged people to return the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power for a second term. “What we did is the assurance of what we will do,” said Gul, adding that the people shouldn’t pay any heed to opposition party leaders. Gul further touted the accomplishments of the AKP government, saying that inflation fell to single digits after three decades of sky-high rates. /Turkiye/

    [03] OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERS WOO VOTERS IN FINAL DAYS BEFORE POLLS

    Addressing rallies in Bolu and Bursa, main opposition leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In related news, opposition Democrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar visited Denizli to convince voters to support his party in Sunday’s general elections. /Hurriyet-Aksam/

    [04] BAHCELI: “ERDOGAN HAS LOST CONTROL”

    Addressing crowds in Iskenderun yesterday in the runup to Sunday’s elections, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pledge to quit politics if his party doesn’t come to power again single-handedly in the elections, saying this shows Erdogan has lost control. He further claimed that Erdogan was illegally trying to block the MHP from coming to power alone. Bahceli further stated that terrorist attacks have escalated under AKP rule. /Milliyet/

    [05] IRAN: “US POLICIES AIM AT DISSOLVING THE UNITY AMONG REGIONAL COUNTRIES”

    Ahmad Noorani, undersecretary for economic and commercial affairs at the Iranian Embassy in Ankara, yesterday rebuffed the US reaction to a recent energy agreement signed between Iran and Turkey, saying that he doesn’t think Turkey’s view will change due to US objections, and added, “This is a win-win agreement.” Speaking at a press conference at the embassy, Noorani said that the fuel agreement will be finalized in four or six months. “You all know what the US did in Iraq,” he said. “US policies aim at dissolving the unity among regional countries. We hope that the US will see the consequences of its policies and give them up. The future of the region will be set by the peoples of the region.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] EU’S REHN CALLS FOR MORE REFORMS AFTER ELECTION

    Turkey needs to accelerate its reforms after Sunday’s general elections to kick-start its stalled effort to join the European Union, the EU’s enlargement commissioner said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday. “Last year the reform process slowed down,” Rehn told German daily Die Welt. “After the parliamentary elections we expect Turkey to step up its reform push again and to make progress in the direction of the EU.” He added, “Progress is needed with regard to freedom of belief and religion. Only then can the membership negotiations get a new thrust.” /Today’s Zaman/

    [07] BABACAN: “AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONFIDENCE IS NEEDED TO FINANCE THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT”

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said yesterday that an atmosphere of confidence is needed to finance Turkey’s current account deficit, adding that last year’s deficit was $32 billion. “If there is a problem in the economic program, it may not be possible to finance the deficit,” said Babacan. He added that the economy could fall short of this year’s growth target of 5%, but this wouldn’t pose any grave problems to the economy. /Sabah/

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

    [08] WOULD NEW NEOCONS WORK?

    BY NASUHI GUNGOR (STAR)

    Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on the US neocons and Turkey’s upcoming general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The picture is getting clearer. Two political parties are serving the same project. The project of a coalition between the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) isn’t an ordinary design of domestic politics. On the contrary, it’s oriented towards influencing and directing all the developments around Turkey. Whenever we bring up this issue, MHP circles respond harshly. But the MHP’s current position prepared by its leader Devlet Bahceli is clear.

    Responses to Turkey’s natural gas agreement with Iran indicate that we will face a series of tension-filled problems following Saturday’s elections. Obviously, we have very serious advantages and strong cards. I would like to re-emphasize that an official who is predominant on the issue of energy is in charge. But this ‘great game,’ which spans from the US to Russia and from Iran to Central Asia, is getting more and more complicated. Thus, the issue of who will govern Turkey during the months and years to come is more important than ever. It would be meaningful to bring a new ruling party model to Turkey. The CHP has always been careful to toe the same line of the US administration’s neocons on certain issues such as the Iraq war, Parliament’s rejection of US soldiers deploying in Turkey back in March 2003, and Palestine and Hamas. It can’t be expected to take a different line after Saturday’s elections.

    The operation in Iraq is moving towards provoking ethnical religious sectarian differences, rather than an air or land operation. The US administration put aside a lot of money for this purpose. Here, sensitivities about the ethic Azeris living in Iran grow more important. This is one of the important tasks of the MHP, which has been forced to stand next to the CHP. Sensitivities about Azeris in Iran were once taken very seriously in Turkey. But recently, the good sense of people who see the harm Turkey could suffer due to a project to divide Iran has gained strength. The US places great importance on the Azeri card in the Iran crisis. It needs two important tools to work more effectively; firstly, the current Azerbaijani administration. However, the US hasn’t found the support it expected from the Aliyev administration. On the contrary, relations between Iran and Azerbaijan are improving rapidly. The second country which places importance on the Azeri card is Turkey. But after Iraq was occupied, Turkish-Iranian relations also started to improve rapidly. The latest natural gas agreement is an important milestone in this.

    The government took a very important step. We have to see it by moving outside daily political discussions. Only then we can understand why an alliance of neocons can’t govern this country.”

    [09] DID TURKEY MAKE A STAKE AGAINST THE US?

    BY IBRAHIM KARAGUL (YENI SAFAK)

    Columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on a recent natural gas agreement between Turkey and Iran. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Why did the US oppose the natural gas agreement between Turkey and Iran? To understand Turkey’s position in this geopolitical energy chess game and see how such an agreement could affect regional policies, we have to evaluate the issue within the framework of general trends of the 21st century.

    This is the first comprehensive international project between Turkey and Iran. It is set to be completed in five months. It envisages the transit of Iranian and Turkmen gas to Europe, gives Turkey the right to have 30 billion cubic meters of gas, and includes an extensive partnership between Ankara and Tehran, despite all contrary winds.

    With this cooperation, the two countries are in fact implementing a European Union project. Ankara is not only helping Europe reach Iran’s resources but is bringing Iran to Europe. Nor is this project against the interests of Russia, contrary to popular opinion. This initiative may even aid Russia in the ‘great game’ it’s playing in the axis of the Middle East and the Caspian.

    The US opposes this project, and for serious reasons: The new global balance is being shaped by the struggle for energy centered on the Middle East and Caspian. This is why the US invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq, and wants to reshape the Middle East. The political project it’s implementing from Lebanon to Pakistan and its efforts to stake out Central Asia aim at controlling these resources. But Gazprom’s tentacles spreading all over the globe frustrated the US. While the US was staking out the Middle East, ambitious projects started to be implemented in Central Asia by Russia, China, Iran and other countries of the region.

    Up to now, Turkey has generally determined its position according to the energy projects of the US. The Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline is the most striking example of this. But this project for Iran’s natural gas and the Blue Stream project with Russia have been out of the US initiative, and both got harsh reactions from Washington.

    The EU, distant from the energy resources of both the Middle East and Central Asia, meets most of its needs from Russia. As the energy crisis between Russia and Ukraine impacted Europe last winter, the EU had to look for new routes. The Turkey-Iran project is one of these.

    Turkey undertook to be the crossroads between the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe in order to have influence in 21st century energy struggles. But partnering with the US only and being distant from the countries controlling the resources isn’t enough for this. Hence, Turkey has never hesitated to seek cooperation between the US and Russia when necessary, and continues this policy. Stances will stiffen in the days to come, and we’ll see in the near future that that unilateralism doesn’t yield good results for a country.

    In sum, the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME) and the great Eurasian project led by Russia are clashing, and Iran and Turkey are playing their own games.”


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