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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-19

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

19.07.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT SEZER PLEDGES TO SERVE UNTIL SUCCESSOR IS ELECTED
  • [02] IN GAZIANTEP AND KAHRAMANMARAS, ERDOGAN TARGETS OPPOSITION RIVALS
  • [03] BAHCELI, AGAR AIM CAMPAIGN BARBS AT AKP
  • [04] TURKEY PROTESTS AUSTRIA OVER WANTED TERRORIST FINANCIER
  • [05] TALIBAN ATTACKS TURKISH CONVOY
  • [06] PKK MINES KILL MORE TWO SOLDIERS
  • [07] CLASH OF THE PARTY LEADERS
  • [08] POST-ELECTION SCENARIOS AND GOVT FORMULAS

  • [01] PRESIDENT SEZER PLEDGES TO SERVE UNTIL SUCCESSOR IS ELECTED

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday received a delegation led Arif Ali Atay, head of the Divrigi Culture Foundation. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Atay said that the president had told them he would step down when his successor is elected by the new post-election Parliament. May’s aborted presidential elections led to Sezer staying in office past his seven-year term, and also triggered Sunday’s general elections. Furthermore, Atay stated that Sezer favored a single five-year presidential term rather than a five-year term with a chance at reelection, as the former would be more effective. He also said Sezer told them the next president could equally well come from Parliament or outside, adding that what’s most important is a candidate’s loyalty to Ataturk’s principles and the republic. /Sabah/

    [02] IN GAZIANTEP AND KAHRAMANMARAS, ERDOGAN TARGETS OPPOSITION RIVALS

    Addressing campaign rallies in Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday criticized his leading rivals, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli. Stating that he wants a more powerful Justice and Development Party (AKP) to emerge from Sunday’s general elections, Erdogan said, “We’ll make all our nation’s dreams come true. We’ll strengthen justice and development in all areas.” /Star/

    [03] BAHCELI, AGAR AIM CAMPAIGN BARBS AT AKP

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday visited Giresun and Antalya to woo voters’ support for his party. Meanwhile, speaking at a campaign rally in Sivas, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli targeted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) would be brought to an end by this Sunday’s elections. In related news, at a campaign rally in Balikesir, opposition Democrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar criticized the premier’s recent remarks that he would leave politics if the AKP fails to win a second term of single-party rule. /Hurriyet/

    [04] TURKEY PROTESTS AUSTRIA OVER WANTED TERRORIST FINANCIER

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday lodged a protest of Austria doing nothing to stop Riza Altun, known as “the European cashbox” of the terrorist PKK, from traveling from Vienna to northern Iraq. Christian Steiner, the chargé d’affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Ankara, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, and Turkey’s protest was conveyed orally, as well as in Vienna. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also said that he condemned Austria harboring Altun, who is wanted by Interpol. Underlining the importance of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Gul said that when Altun was recognized, he should have been immediately arrested and delivered to Turkey. He added that Ankara was closely watching developments, and would make necessary initiatives for Altun’s extradition to Turkey. /Turkiye-/Hurriyet/

    [05] TALIBAN ATTACKS TURKISH CONVOY

    A three-vehicle Turkish convoy carrying a reconstruction assistance team working in Kabul, Afghanistan, was attacked yesterday morning. During the attack, a Turkish policeman was injured. Speaking to reporters, former NATO Representative in Afghanistan Hikmet Cetin blamed former Afghan rulers the Taliban for the attack, saying that they don’t like how Turkey is helping the country. “Terrorist groups don’t want education and development,” Cetin said. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also condemned the attack. Stressing that Turkey was giving great aid to the Afghan people, Gul said Ankara would not be deterred by terrorist attacks. /Milliyet/

    [06] PKK MINES KILL MORE TWO SOLDIERS

    A road mine planted by PKK terrorists took two soldiers’ lives in Cukurca, Hakkari on Tuesday. Six other soldiers wounded in the attack were taken for treatment at Hakkari Military Hospital. Security forces started a broad crackdown in the region. /Milliyet/

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

    [07] CLASH OF THE PARTY LEADERS

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on rising conflicts between political party leaders ahead of Sunday’s general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Political party leaders are pointing harsh fingers at each other from the campaign trail. The spotlight is on three leaders in particular: Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Deniz Baykal of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP), and the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) Devlet Bahceli.

    It seems nearly certain that all three parties will all pass the election threshold. Then why are they so busy sniping at each other?

    The reason is to attract more votes in this weekend’s elections. The vote percentage is as important as the number of deputies taking seats in Parliament because in the fall 2002 elections, the AKP got two-thirds of the seats in Parliament though it got only one-third of the votes.

    Among the three leaders, the agenda is set by Erdogan. His two rivals are trying to respond to him. They don’t praise a single thing done by the government over the last five years as they fear doing so would lose them votes. What they fear more than losing votes is other parties attracting more votes.

    Erdogan, who knows this, set the tone this week by saying that if his party gets a smaller percentage of votes than in 2002, i.e. 34.4%, he would consider quitting politics, and raised the bar by saying that he would quit if his party doesn’t come to power alone. Both Baykal and Bahceli criticized these remarks. Maybe they thought it would be impolite not to lash out at Erdogan!

    Next month these three distinguished politicians will meet and agree on presidential candidate suitable for Turkey. They will calm down our democracy. I don’t think that they will argue or disagree, because holding general elections again so soon would harm the Turkish Republic. Although they’re lacking in political experience, Parliament’s new deputies won’t allow such chaos to cripple our country.”

    [08] POST-ELECTION SCENARIOS AND GOVT FORMULAS

    BY BILAL CETIN (VATAN)

    Columnist Bilal Cetin comments on the outcome of this weekend’s general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pledge to give up politics if his party isn’t elected to another term of single-party rule sets the bar high. In order to come to power alone, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would have to get 38% of the votes if three parties pass the threshold, or 40% if four parties cross the threshold. Can it?

    Yes, in theory. Even though polls show the AKP riding high, it isn’t easy to get more than 38% of the votes. Because assuming voter turnout of 85%, the AKP would have to get nearly 14 million votes in order to come to power alone in a three-party Parliament. This is only possible if the AKP boosts its votes by 35%.

    The prime minister believes that he can achieve this. If his party can get 38% of the votes on Sunday, it can easily get the majority necessary to form a government alone in a three-party Parliament. If a fourth party also passes the threshold, they’ll need 40% of the votes for a single-party government.

    We’ll see whether this will happen or not on Sunday night. We’ll also see if there will be a single-party government or we’ll return to coalitions, and if Erdogan or some other party leaders and politicians will quit the political stage or not.

    Moreover, it would be difficult to form a bloc with an overwhelming majority in Parliament even if a single-party government is formed after the elections, as it’s almost certain that at least three parties will cross the threshold.

    In the 2002 general elections, the AKP got 10.6 million votes and won 357 seats in Parliament. But this time a party would win 280-290 seats even if it gets more than 14 million votes.

    The voters’ will is going to determine what kind of a government will be formed. But right now there are at least six scenarios:

    1. An AKP single-party government, if it gets more than 38% of the votes

    2. A less powerful minority AKP government, if it gets nearly 35% of the votes but it has nearly 260 seats, with the support of independent candidates of the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP)

    3. A coalition of the AKP and the Democrat Party (DP), if four parties pass the threshold.

    4. A coalition of the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in a three-party Parliament

    5. A coalition of the AKP and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)

    6. A coalition of the CHP and MHP.”


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