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Turkish Press Review, 07-07-26

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

26.07.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “DON’T CRIPPLE OUR COUNTRY’S FUTURE”
  • [02] GUL: “THE PEOPLE WANT ME TO BECOME PRESIDENT”
  • [03] IN WAKE OF ELECTIONS, TOP CHP BOARD RESIGNS EN MASSE
  • [04] BAHCELI: “WE’LL BE IN PARLIAMENT TO ELECT THE NEXT PRESIDENT”
  • [05] DSP’S SEZER: “OUR DEPUTIES AREN’T RUSHING TO LEAVE THE CHP”
  • [06] PRESS GROUP SLAMS CENSORSHIP
  • [07] INSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: “DON’T CRIPPLE OUR COUNTRY’S FUTURE”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday officially undertook his new deputy duties at the Istanbul Provincial Election Council. Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said he certainly wouldn’t seek the presidency, adding that he backs Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s possible candidacy. “I respect his decision on the matter,” said the premier. Calling on opposition party leaders to work in harmony in the new Parliament, Erdogan said that he will visit all leaders to seek compromise on issues. “Don’t close the doors to dialogue,” Erdogan urged his fellow party leaders. Asked about his stance on the Democratic Society Party’s (DPT) independent deputies who won 22 seats in the new Parliament, Erdogan said there can be no dialogue with them if they try to politicize the Kurdish issue or back the terrorist PKK. /Turkiye/

    [02] GUL: “THE PEOPLE WANT ME TO BECOME PRESIDENT”

    In a press conference in Ankara yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul hinted that he will again seek the presidency, defying expectations that he would stay out of the race. “I cannot be expected to ignore the will of the people, or the signs shown at campaign rallies,” said Gul. “The will of the nation is clear and was reflected in the (Sunday general) elections.” But Gul declined to explicitly clarify whether he will run for president or not. Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Mustafa Ozyurek said that his party still opposes Gul’s presidential candidacy, adding that there was no change in their stance on him. A CHP-led boycott of May’s presidential election, protesting Gul’s candidacy, brought on last Sunday’s general elections. /Hurriyet-Turkiye/

    [03] IN WAKE OF ELECTIONS, TOP CHP BOARD RESIGNS EN MASSE

    All 19 members of the Central Executive Board (MYK) of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) have submitted their resignations to Chairman Deniz Baykal, said Deputy Chairman Esref Erdem. The CHP yesterday held its first meeting after Sunday’s general elections to discuss their outcome, where the CHP polled a distant second. After the meeting, Erdem told a press conference that the board had resigned in order to give support to party leader Baykal, who has signaled that the party needs to renew itself. Erdem also said that the issue of the upcoming presidential election had not been discussed at the meeting. /Star/

    [04] BAHCELI: “WE’LL BE IN PARLIAMENT TO ELECT THE NEXT PRESIDENT”

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday said that his deputies would attend balloting in Parliament to elect Turkey’s next president. “In the general elections, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) became the ruling party again due to the nation’s will,” Bahceli told Aksam daily. “The AKP can choose who they want as president. But the president should represent the unity of the nation and state, and shouldn’t be controversial. It would be in Turkey’s interest that he is someone who is suitable for Turkey.” An opposition boycott of May’s presidential election brought on last Sunday’s general elections. /Aksam/

    [05] DSP’S SEZER: “OUR DEPUTIES AREN’T RUSHING TO LEAVE THE CHP”

    Opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday addressed allegations that DSP deputies will leave the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) just after officially taking their seats in Parliament, which they won in Sunday’s elections by running under the CHP name. “DSP deputies leaving the CHP is no surprise,” said Sezer. “This is a decision taken in accordance with the CHP. The DSP establishing a group in Parliament isn’t something that will happen right away, we’re not in any hurry.” Sezer also said that they will decide whether or not to take part in the presidential election in Parliament if Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul again runs for the post, adding that they hope Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will act in line with his recent messages of reconciliation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] PRESS GROUP SLAMS CENSORSHIP

    In the wake of Sunday’s elections, the Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGC) expects Parliament to pass legislation to tackle the dirty triangle of politics, the media and trade, the group said yesterday. “On the 99th anniversary of the Turkish media’s first resistance to censorship, we are now slaves to censorship and self-censorship,” a TGC statement said. The group claimed that the reason that the media followed a policy of siding with powerful interests is that there are many commercial and invisible obstacles facing media bosses, and so these bosses cannot feel independent of government. Furthermore, in a ceremony at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace marking July 24 Press Day, TGC head Orhan Erinc gave awards to journalists who received permanent press cards. /Turkish Daily News-Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] INSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY

    BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on the outcome of Sunday’s general elections and the process of electing a president. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul getting ready to again seek the presidency is no surprise. On the contrary, it reflects a very natural and proper preference, because Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave him the final word on this issue; Gul was unjustly treated and his pride was hurt during May’s presidential election, and outside criticisms of the process were a factor in the Justice and Development Party (AKP) winning more votes last Sunday.

    Two remarks made by Gul were interesting. He said that Turkey was an open society and that our nation had protected institutional democracy. I have reservations about the first part. Unfortunately, Turkey doesn’t deserve to be defined an ‘open society’ yet. Firstly, open society envisages a society’s development without any hindrance or manipulation by the state. Certain actions meant to provoke and manipulate and even certain murders are enough to show that Turkey is very far from this ideal. In addition, an open society requires absolute respect for both minorities and minority views. I don’t want to talk about this at all. An open society also rejects interventions from outside the democratic system and argues that problems should be solved by constitutionally legitimate institutions. Finally, representative democracy is the open society’s sine qua non. This is what Gul means by institutional democracy. Representative or institutional democracy is based on the separation and balance of powers and considers the legislative branch a first among equals.

    This picture shows that Parliament has two priority duties:

    1. Electing a president with free will and the broadest possible consensus. If it can’t do this, let the people elect a president.

    2. Making historical reforms which will end a nearly 50-year fight and broaden the limits of freedom.

    Number two is possible through consolidating, that is, strengthening democracy with a new, civilian democracy. As Koc University’s Murat Somer wrote on this issue, democracy should be turned into the only game in town, something to which there is no alternative.

    Gul said yesterday there’s no other country with $5,500 per capita income which can operate democracy this way. When this figure reaches $7,000 or $8, 000, or $10,000 as the ruling AKP hopes, the infrastructure for ‘democratic consolidation’ will be ready, because in countries whose per capita income reaches this level, democracy becomes the ‘only game in town.’ If Parliament opens the doors to a historical consensus for a new construction of Turkey, we will enter a road to representative or institutional democracy, open society and democratic consolidation, a road from which there is no turning back.”


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