|Sunday, 25 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 07-08-17
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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
 SEZER LEAVES APPROVAL OF NEW CABINET LIST TO HIS SUCCESSORPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to present his new list of Cabinet ministers. During their 20- minute meeting, Sezer reportedly said, “It would be more appropriate to present the list to the new president.” In so doing he left the approval of the list to his successor, who is likely to be Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. After the meeting, Erdogan told a press conference, “The president didn’t even look at the Cabinet list. In my view, it was an act of courtesy to the next president.” Erdogan further praised Sezer’s act as a “very important gesture” showing “a positive approach.” /Star/
 TOP LEADERS ATTEND CEREMONY AT PRESIDENTIAL PALACEIn a ceremony at the Presidential Palace yesterday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer honored businessman Jak Kamhi with a State Medal of Merit for his invaluable services both at home and abroad. Among the dignitaries at the ceremony were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. Asked by reporters following the ceremony if he would resign, Buyukanit turned the question on its head, asking why he would do this, though adding that “some” could be pleased if he stepped down. “I will hand over my post to someone when my term in office ends,” added Buyukanit. /Sabah/
 GUL VISITS DTP, MEMUR-SEN TO SEEK SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENTIAL BIDForeign Minister Abdullah Gul, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) presidential candidate, yesterday met with Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Turk to seek support ahead of next week’s presidential election. Speaking afterwards, Gul said that he had told Turk about how he would act if he is elected. “I told him that I would embrace everyone, stand at the same distance from everyone, and represent the whole nation, ” said Gul. For his part, Turk said that his party expects Turkey’s next president to stand for the entire nation, adding that they would decide how to vote in next week’s election after discussions in the party’s decision-making organs. Later, Gul visited Memur-Sen head Ahmet Aksu to seek support for his presidential bid. Aksu said that the nation’s will was reflected in the new Parliament emerging from last month’s elections, adding that Memur-Sen fully supports Gul. “We believe that he will protect the republic and its basic principles,” he added. /Turkiye/
 REHN: “GUL IS APPRECIATED IN EUROPE”Speaking to Finnish reporters, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said yesterday that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) presidential candidate Abdullah Gul is appreciated in Europe, saying that he is known for taking steps to advance Turkey’s EU bid. Stressing that it was important for Turkey to hold its presidential election next week within the framework of democracy and the rule of law, Rehn stated that he hoped the election would be held without any hitches, like last month’s general elections. /Milliyet/
 US STATE DEPT’S MCCORMACK: “AHEAD OF NEXT WEEK’S ELECTION, WE HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE IN TURKEY’S SECULAR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM”Asked by reporters about Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s presidential bid, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack on Wednesday said the decision about who will be Turkey’s next president belongs to the Turkish Parliament and people. “We have confidence in Turkey's secular democracy,” he added. “And there are … going to be a variety of different points of view within Turkey. That is the nature of democracy. But … these questions need to resolved within the confines of Turkey's law and Turkey's Constitution. And we have full confidence that the Turkish system will come to terms with whatever differences there are within that system to produce a result that is democratic, that is consistent with Turkey's history, and consistent with Turkey's laws and Constitution.” /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ANALYSISBY MAHIR KAYNAK (STAR)
Columnist Mahir Kaynak comments on next week’s presidential election and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s candidacy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“What I will write about next week’s presidential elections might be seen as being in favor of one person and against another. But no matter who’s elected, it doesn’t concern me personally. I don’t have expectations from anybody and any losses I might suffer aren’t important enough to distress me. Giving a sound analysis would provide only a personal satisfaction. Let me explain what I mean through a concrete example. As a result of the full 2002 elections, Abdullah Gul was elected prime minister, because at that time Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not take a seat in Parliament. Under the law then, it didn’t seem possible that the situation would change. But then a process in which the Republican People’s Party (CHP) played the leading role took Gul from this post and made Erdogan prime minister.
Was this done only to fulfill the requirements of democracy, as the CHP claimed? However, this spring the same CHP mounted a controversial and successful effort to block Gul from becoming president. That couldn’t be said to spring from concerns about democracy. These developments were evaluated as being efforts for democracy or personal bargains, but nobody was interested in their political dimension. In other words, nobody asked if there was any intention to block the policies Gul would follow. Even today US Deputy Secretary of State Matthew Bryza’s rejection of Gul’s candidacy was explained as that it would cause tension in our country. The only aspect of such an election which concerns the US was the fear that Turkey’s stability would be upset, it was said.
While doomsday scenarios are being written about our region, including a bloody civil war in Iraq with the US’ withdrawal, engulfing all the surrounding countries, including Turkey, does it make sense to deal with a problem arising just from headscarves? In addition, I believe that instead of raising the headscarf bar, the doors of the Presidential Palace should be open to everyone.
In this case, the level of post-election tensions will depend on how government policy is perceived, and this will be determined not only by the presidency, but also the structure of government. So I define consensus differently. In other words, it doesn’t have to be between political parties. If a person who is in harmony with the world balances is elected, such tension won’t arise. Two strategies can be pursued for this issue. A person who is impartial in terms of international politics or a person who will represent the policies that we’ll follow in the world can be elected president. The problem is neither democracy not the headscarf. I hope that Turkey will prove that it’s above these problems.”
 A GESTURE OR A VETO?BY OKAY GONENSIN (VATAN)
Columnist Okay Gonensin comments on outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s declining to approve Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's new Cabinet list, saying that the premier should instead submit the list to his successor. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The tradition in forming new governments is that the newly elected prime minister seeks the views of the president on the new Cabinet, and the list he presents is accepted without objections. But Prime Minister Erdogan didn’t feel the need to act in the traditional way and made it clear the other day that he feels the president should approve the list he presents, stressing that the names on the list were elected. President Sezer yesterday reacted to this with a symbolic ‘bulk veto.’ Seeing Sezer’s leaving the task of Cabinet approval to the next president as a goodwill gesture is wishful thinking. Of course it is the prime minister who has the final word about the new Cabinet, but seeking a compromise with the head of the state in the exercise of this right is what is expected.
On the other hand, with his ‘veto,’ Sezer showed that he didn’t want to take any responsibility for the new government, which clearly demonstrates his deep concern over things to come. These concerns are, in fact, clear. It’s well known that Sezer has secularist fears about the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its governments due to some of the manners and statements of AKP members. It’s also known that the worries of the skeptics will only grow when Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is elected president. Sezer’s veto is a sign that he shares the same fears and concerns. If he had done the opposite, he would have made a real gesture to reduce political tension. But he didn’t, and so he showed that he belonged to the pole of tension. The president has worked as a real opposition against the AKP government since 2002, using his powers to supervise and restrict it. His last move is a part of this, and even the strongest one. Over the years Sezer has rejected hundreds of appointment decrees sent by Erdogan, and with this final move, he turned down the appointments of all the Cabinet ministers. Not approving the legacy of the new government both politically and legally, the president acted contrary to the expectations of the majority of people who want compromise and conciliation. This majority is in fact larger than just those who voted for the AKP. If he had taken this into account, Sezer would have expanded roads towards conciliation. But he refused to act this way.
Time will tell whether what he did was right or wrong.”
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