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Turkish Press Review, 07-08-31

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

31.08.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] FRIDAY, AUG. 31, 2007
  • [02] NATION CELEBRATES VICTORY DAY
  • [03] GUL APPROVES NEW CABINET
  • [04] GUL SET TO ATTEND UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK FOR FIRST TIME AS PRESIDENT
  • [05] CHP’S OYMEN: “OUR CONCERNS HAVE NOT BEEN ASSUAGED”
  • [06] CAGLAYAN PLEDGES NEW INDUSTRY INCENTIVE SYSTEM
  • [07] PENTAGON TO PROBE HOW US WEAPONS ENDED UP IN PKK HANDS
  • [08] FIVE TURKS TAKEN HOSTAGE IN AFGHANISTAN
  • [09] EUROPEANS SEE TURKEY FIRST IN LINE TO JOIN EU, SAYS POLL
  • [10] GULF INVESTORS INVITED TO TURKEY
  • [11] WAS THE CRISIS PUT OFF?
  • [12] END

  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    [01] FRIDAY, AUG. 31, 2007

    Directorate General of Press and Information

    Summary of the news in the Turkish pres this morning

    [02] NATION CELEBRATES VICTORY DAY

    Turkey marked its 85th Victory Day and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) Day yesterday throughout the country. Celebrations in Ankara began with a visit to Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit signed the Anitkabir commemorative guestbook and wrote, “The Turkish Armed Forces will protect the country against dangers both within and without. It will not spare any sacrifice to do so.” Following a ceremony at the military’s headquarters, a parade was held at Ankara’s hippodrome with the attendance of President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later in the day, Buyukanit hosted President Gul, Erdogan, Cabinet ministers, political party leaders, members of diplomatic missions in Ankara and journalists at a reception at Land Forces headquarters. In addition, the day was celebrated with ceremonies in all provinces throughout Turkey, as well as in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] GUL APPROVES NEW CABINET

    Turkey’s new President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday approved a Cabinet list submitted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In the revamped version of the old Cabinet, only six Cabinet ministers lost their jobs, including two already departed because they did not seek reelection to Parliament. Observers said the Cabinet included talented new names handpicked for the job even before the elections. As expected, Ali Babacan became foreign minister to replace Abdullah Gul. Babacan’s old post of state minister for the economy went to Mehmet Simsek, who was recruited by Erdogan for the post before the elections. Another figure handpicked for a specific job was Zafer Caglayan, who became industry and trade minister. Previously Caglayan was the head of the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO). One surprise of the Cabinet change was the ouster of Abdulkadir Aksu as interior minister. He was replaced by Besir Atalay, who was previously state minister. Also, the only woman on the Cabinet, Nimet Cubukcu, state minister for family affairs, kept her seat. The new 25-minister Cabinet of Turkey’s 60th government is as follows:

    Prime Minister: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    Deputy Prime Ministers and State Ministers: Cemil Cicek, Hayati Yazici and Nazim Ekrem

    State Ministers: Mehmet Aydin, Murat Basesgioglu, Kursad Tuzmen, Nimet Cubukcu, Mehmet Simsek, and Mustafa Sait Yazicioglu

    Foreign Minister and chief EU talks negotiator: Ali Babacan

    Defense Minister: Vecdi Gonul

    Transportation Minister: Binali Yildirim

    Labor and Social Security Minister: Faruk Celik

    Industry and Trade Minister: Zafer Caglayan

    Health Minister: Recep Akdag

    Culture and Tourism Minister: Ertugrul Gunay

    Public Works and Housing Minister: Faruk Nafiz Ozak

    Environment and Forestry Minister: Veysel Eroglu

    Justice Minister: Mehmet Ali Sahin

    Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister: Mehmet Mehdi Eker

    Education Minister: Huseyin Celik

    Interior Minister: Besir Atalay

    Finance Minister: Kemal Unakitan

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister: Hilmi Guler

    In addition, the new government’s program is expected to be read out in Parliament this afternoon. Debates on the program will be held in Parliament on Monday. Finally, the new government is expected to officially begin its five-year term in office after winning Parliament’s vote of confidence on Wednesday. /The New Anatolian-Hurriyet/

    [04] GUL SET TO ATTEND UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK FOR FIRST TIME AS PRESIDENT

    President Abdullah Gul is set to pay his first visit to the US as the president of Turkey to attend United Nations General Assembly meetings from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3. Gul will be accompanied by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. The top Turkish leaders are also expected to hold a series of official contacts with US officials. /Turkiye/

    [05] CHP’S OYMEN: “OUR CONCERNS HAVE NOT BEEN ASSUAGED”

    The new government’s Cabinet does not show any fundamental change, but a continuation of the previous term, said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Onur Oymen yesterday. Oymen added that CHP would continue to watch the government’s performance for positive signs, adding that their concerns over the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have yet to be assuaged. Stressing that oft-criticized Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Education Minister Huseyin Celik had kept their posts, Oymen said this show that the ruling party doesn’t take public criticism seriously. Oymen also said making Ali Babacan foreign minister was a mistake. /Aksam/

    [06] CAGLAYAN PLEDGES NEW INDUSTRY INCENTIVE SYSTEM

    In his first official reception in his new office yesterday, Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan stated that a new industry strategy and policy would be included in the government program to be announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tomorrow. Receiving Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) head Nurettin Ozdebir and members of the ASO’s board, Caglayan said that the new government would bring added competitive power, production and employment to industry and new ways to fight unemployment. /Sabah/

    [07] PENTAGON TO PROBE HOW US WEAPONS ENDED UP IN PKK HANDS

    US Defense Department officials confirmed yesterday that weapons which it had given to Iraqi security forces had been found on PKK terrorists, adding that the Pentagon’s chief inspector would go to Iraq next week to investigate. The New York Times reported that serial number on some pistols and other weapons recovered in Turkey matched those of weapons given to Iraqi security forces by the US in 2004 and 2005. “Pentagon officials said they did not yet have evidence that Iraqi security forces or Kurdish officials were selling or giving the weapons to Kurdish separatists, as Turkish officials have contended,” said The Times. “It was possible, they said, that the weapons had been stolen or lost during firefights and smuggled into Turkey after being sold in Iraq’s extensive black market for firearms. Officials gave widely varied estimates " from dozens to hundreds " of how many American-supplied weapons had been found in Turkey.” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters that Pentagon inspectors have been investigating these claims since January and that chief Pentagon inspector Gen. Claude Kicklighter would go to Iraq next week with an 18-member delegation. /Milliyet/

    [08] FIVE TURKS TAKEN HOSTAGE IN AFGHANISTAN

    Five Turkish citizens who work for Turkish construction firm ZDM in Afghanistan were taken hostage yesterday. The Turkish firm reportedly had a dispute with a firm owned by Afghan businessman Abdulfettah Zengerzade. Machine engineer Ercan Ketene was among those first taken hostage, but was released and taken to the hospital when a blow to his head resulted in injury. The identities of the other hostages are not yet known. The Turkish Foreign Ministry is working to resolve the dispute and get the hostages freed. /Milliyet/

    [09] EUROPEANS SEE TURKEY FIRST IN LINE TO JOIN EU, SAYS POLL

    According to a survey by Eurobarometer, the European Union’s public polling unit, people in EU member countries see Turkey as first in line to join the bloc in the near future. In the poll, 27,000 people were asked what counties would most likely join the EU first. Turkey led with 34 percent, followed by Croatia (12 percent), Romania and Bulgaria (11 percent) " both of which are actually already in the EU " and Ukraine (10 percent). The Dutch especially believe Turkey will become an EU member soon, by 66 percent, compared with 59 percent of Swedes, 55 percent of Danes, 52 percent of Luxembourgers, 51 percent of Finns and Greeks, and 50 percent of Germans. /Star/

    [10] GULF INVESTORS INVITED TO TURKEY

    Egemen Bagis, an Istanbul deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and policy advisor to Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday called on businesspeople in Gulf countries to invest in Turkey. In guest columns published in The Gulf News and Gulf Times dailies, Bagis touted the Turkish economy, saying that it is the world’s 17th largest. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [11] WAS THE CRISIS PUT OFF?

    BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on relations between the military and new President Gul. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The first days of President Abdullah Gül at Cankaya haven’t been so easy. He can’t enjoy being the new president. He’s enduring the protest of the military against his presidency, even as he is their commander-in- chief.

    As a matter of fact, these developments are clearly outside the boundaries of the normal course of politics. Since his press conference of April 12, the chief of General Staff has been balking at an AKP member whose wife wears a headscarf being elected president, and he’s also allowing the military under his commandership to do the same.

    Let’s look at what has happened since Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was elected president on Monday:

    A half-hour after Gul was elected, the invitation for the Victory Day reception reached the Cankaya Palace. The invitation was for Gul alone, not the new first lady. It was perhaps one of the most difficult tests for Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit that it was the wife of the president who wouldn’t be allowed onto the military’s turf due to its rules.

    Not only the invitation for the Victory Day reception, but also those for the graduation ceremonies of the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA), Land Force Cadet School, Air Force Cadet School and Naval Force Cadet School didn’t include the first lady.

    At the ceremony at GATA, Gen. Buyukanit and the soldiers showed their harsh reactions to Gul. They neither saluted nor applauded him properly. They referred to him as "respected president" rather than the usual "my respected president."

    But at Victory Day ceremonies yesterday this atmosphere was dispelled a bit. Buyukanit smiled for a photo with the president and prime minister. He even said "my respected president," which gave the government a sigh of relief. Of course we have many such occasions ahead: the welcoming reception President Gul and his wife will hold, Parliament’s inaugural reception on Oct. 1, etc. But this brings a question to mind: Has the crisis been put off? The question has a point because the impression that secularism only interests the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) may harm both the TSK and the principle of secularism itself. Thus the officers must have considered it. The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was the party which allowed Gul to become president taking part in the presidential vote, ensuring the necessary quorum of 367. There are also signs that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal is fine tuning his party’s policies. Apparently Baykal wants his party members not to say things which may be interpreted as provocations or being a mouthpiece for the military. Thus we can say that the CHP, following the MHP, is favoring a low-profile policy to continue opposition within the boundaries of democracy.

    [12] END


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