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Turkish Press Review, 07-08-15

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

15.08.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “MY SOLE AIM WILL BE TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN THE CONSTITUTION’S BASIC PRINCIPLES”
  • [02] GUL VISITS POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS
  • [03] BUSINESS WORLD WELCOMES GUL’S PRESIDENTIAL RUN
  • [04] NEW CABINET LIST TO BE PRESENTED TO SEZER
  • [05] US STATE DEPT: “WE HAVE FULL FAITH IN TURKEY’S SECULAR DEMOCRACY”
  • [06] COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR CIVIL SERVANTS TO BEGIN TODAY
  • [07] THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE AND GUL

  • [01] GUL: “MY SOLE AIM WILL BE TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN THE CONSTITUTION’S BASIC PRINCIPLES”

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday after officially applying to run for president as the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul described how he would act as a president, saying that if he is elected his basic mission would be to ensure harmonization among institutions. Stressing that he was aware of his responsibilities in taking this supreme post, Gul added that if Parliament elects him, his priority would be to follow the Constitution of the Turkish Republic, which would be his guide. “I know our Constitution well,” said Gul. “Its basic principles are contained in its first four articles. My sole aim will be to protect and strengthen these principles. Impartiality will certainly be my principle.” Gul further added that he would act as the president of everyone, including those having personal views at odds with his own. “The president will stand outside politics, ” said Gul, adding that he would also listen to non-governmental organizations. /Sabah/

    [02] GUL VISITS POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) just-announced presidential candidate, yesterday visited political party leaders in Parliament as well as independent deputies to seek support for his candidacy. Gul first visited Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli. He then met with Great Union Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazicioglu and Sanliurfa Independent Deputy Seyit Eyyüpoglu. Gul also visited Democratic Leftist Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer. However the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which is again opposed to Gul’s candidacy after his run in this May, refused to meet with him. After a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting yesterday, CHP officials released a statement charging that electing Gul president would destroy the basic principles of the Republic of Turkey. The opposition party has also decided not to be in Parliament next week when the body votes for president. When it did the same this spring, it effectively blocked Gul’s candidacy, but as the AKP can get the necessary quorum in the new Parliament, the CHP boycott cannot do the same this time. In related news, Gul is also expected to have talks with representatives from unions and non- governmental organizations today. /Aksam/

    [03] BUSINESS WORLD WELCOMES GUL’S PRESIDENTIAL RUN

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s renewed presidential candidacy yesterday got support from top Turkish business figures. Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) head Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag said that TUSIAD would watch Gul’s commitments closely, adding that she hoped his stance would continue in his new post. Turkish Exporters’ Union (TIM) head Oguz Satici said that Gul would continue his statesmanship if he is elected president. In related news, the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) will hold a meeting today to declare TOBB’s expectations of the new government. /Sabah/

    [04] NEW CABINET LIST TO BE PRESENTED TO SEZER

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to present his new Cabinet list to outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer tomorrow. There will be meetings at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters today to give the list its final shape. Erdogan will reportedly make significant changes in the new Cabinet compared to his last one. /Milliyet/

    [05] US STATE DEPT: “WE HAVE FULL FAITH IN TURKEY’S SECULAR DEMOCRACY”

    Asked about the re-nomination of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to run for president, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday that this was an internal domestic matter, adding that the Turkish Parliament would decide who will be the next president. “We have full faith in Turkey’s secular democracy,” said McCormack. /Turkiye/

    [06] COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR CIVIL SERVANTS TO BEGIN TODAY

    Representatives from civil servants’ unions and the government will begin a series of talks this afternoon to discuss pay raises for some 2.5 million civil servants next year. Turkish Kamu-Sen union head Bircan Akyildiz said yesterday that some 400,000 civil servants are suffering by earning wages below the hunger line, adding that they will especially work to ensure a pay hike for those workers next year. /Cumhuriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE AND GUL

    BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkey’s presidential election and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s candidacy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul seems certain to become president in less than two weeks. We have always had problems and issues electing our presidents, and they have only been solved after going through serious tensions. Just consider our electing Ismet Inonu to succeed Ataturk, and Fahri Koruturk after Cevdet Sunday; the problems electing Fahri Koruturk; electing Turgut Ozal after Kenan Evren; and holding early general elections after current President Ahmet Necdet Sezer took office in 2000. All these show that our political culture lacks the maturity to calmly solve these problems.

    Now we’ve reached the stage of solving such problems not with fights, but in line with the public’s wishes. Like it or not, the public has found Gul worthy to be their president. From now on, if there is something illegitimate about his presidency, let’s talk about it. If not, we should hold our tongues and accept this. This issue is as simple as it is in democracies and under the rule of law. As the person writing these lines, I hope that Gul will be a good president. But let me say it honestly that I’m not happy with how things have turned out, because we can’t forget Gul’s conduct when he was prime minister (in late 2002-early 2003). At that time, Gul was the prime minister of Turkey, not of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) members. However, while in office, he failed to show the skillfulness, neutrality and statesmanship expected of him. On the contrary, we saw that Gul was smiling all the time, expressing his views in a soft, careful style, but making ambiguous remarks, opening two doors on an issue, and acting confusedly on problems which required determination. Almost all of the foreign policy red lines entrusted to Gul were erased by him.

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal stated something more important than this. Baykal pointed to the suspicions stemming from Gul’s political past, calling it unsuitable that the republic’s president has a problem with the philosophy of its very foundation. He thus branded Gul a conscious member of a secretive ideological circle. If I’m not mistaken, he meant Gul’s closeness to religious orders and religious communities. When Gul was in Parliament as a Felicity Party or Welfare Party deputy, he often stressed his attachment to democracy, but it’s almost impossible to find an example of this, except certain pro forma remarks indicating that he has adopted the basic philosophy of the republic. When the election is over and Gul is president, everybody will watch him. Gul doesn’t have the luxury of being neutral about the basic principle of the republic, because the person who lives in the Presidential Palace either adopts this philosophy and stays there, or else he leaves.”


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