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Turkish Press Review, 07-09-19

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

19.09.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL RECEIVES BUSINESS LEADERS
  • [02] PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN TRNC FOR OFFICIAL VISIT
  • [03] ERDOGAN TO FLY TO THE US TOMORROW
  • [04] AKP DISCUSSES NEW DRAFT CONSTITUTION
  • [05] ERDOGAN: “TURKEY HAS THE STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION TO ERADICATE TERRORISM”
  • [06] BABACAN ARRIVES FOR US VISIT
  • [07] RECTORS MEETING SET TO DISCUSS DRAFT CONSTITUTION
  • [08] US STATE DEPT’S BURNS VISITS TURKEY
  • [09] ERDAL TO BE TRIED IN ABSENTIA IN BELGIUM
  • [10] TOP COURT BEGINS TO SELECT NEW HEAD
  • [11] RELATIONS WITH YEREVAN

  • [01] GUL RECEIVES BUSINESS LEADERS

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received a Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) delegation led by Arzuhan Yalcindag and then Guler Sabanci, the chairwoman of Sabanci Holding, along with other top executives of the group. /Turkiye/

    [02] PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN TRNC FOR OFFICIAL VISIT

    President Abdullah Gul, accompanied by his wife and State Minister Cemil Cicek, yesterday arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) for his first foreign trip in his new office. Speaking to reporters before his departure, Gul said that during his two-day stay, he would exchange views on the Cyprus issue. Stressing that the Turkish side has made efforts to promote a settlement on the island, Gul urged the international community to end the unjust embargo on the TRNC. Following his arrival, Gul met with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mehmet Ali Talat and then held a joint press conference. Gul said that efforts for a settlement should be based on the reality that there are two nations, two states, two languages and two religions on the island. Asked about the presence of Turkish forces in the TRNC, Gul said that the soldiers were a symbol of peace, adding that Turkey has no other motive. The president also paid a visit to Turkey’s Embassy in Lefkosha. /Turkiye/

    [03] ERDOGAN TO FLY TO THE US TOMORROW

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to the US tomorrow to attend United Nations General Assembly meetings on next Monday and Tuesday. Erdogan is expected to address the meeting and to hold bilateral talks with fellow international leaders. /Turkiye/

    [04] AKP DISCUSSES NEW DRAFT CONSTITUTION

    The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Executive Board (MYK), chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, convened yesterday. During the nearly seven-hour meeting, party members discussed the new draft constitution, but reportedly failed to reach a consensus on a formula on certain controversial issues, including dress codes for students in institutions of higher education. The MYK is expected to continue discussing the issue today, and if no resolution is reached, the talks will continue following Erdogan’s return next week from a visit to the US. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] ERDOGAN: “TURKEY HAS THE STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION TO ERADICATE TERRORISM”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a ceremony marking the start of the new school year at the National Police Academy in Ankara. Addressing the ceremony, Erdogan said that global terrorism threatens every country in the world. “Today, every country in the world is prone to the threat of global terrorism,” he stressed. “For example, the Pentagon, whose security they (Americans) were very confident about, couldn’t hold up against terrorism.” He added, “Some countries are reluctant to adopt necessary measures to combat global terror. We always said that nations should take a united stance against terrorism.” Noting that the Turkish police have important responsibilities for keeping security in the country, Erdogan stressed, “Turkey has sufficient strength and determination to eradicate terrorism.” /Aksam/

    [06] BABACAN ARRIVES FOR US VISIT

    Ahead of Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday arrived in the US for a visit extending into next week. First, in the state of Illinois, Babacan will visit Chicago and Northwestern Universities and meet with representatives of Turkish associations in Chicago. On Friday Babacan will proceed to New York to attend UN General Assembly meetings. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] RECTORS MEETING SET TO DISCUSS DRAFT CONSTITUTION

    The Council of Higher Education (YOK) will convene its Committee of Rectors today. Earlier this week YOK made urgent calls to the rectors of both state and private universities, saying that they should meet to discuss the new draft constitution. During the meeting, which will be chaired by YOK head Erdogan Tezic, the issue of headscarves will be discussed. Afterwards, a statement is expected to be released referring to Council of State and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decisions saying that headscarves are a political symbol. /Sabah/

    [08] US STATE DEPT’S BURNS VISITS TURKEY

    US State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns arrived in Istanbul Monday night and spent Tuesday in Istanbul. Burns visited the Fener Greek patriarch and then Suleymaniye Mosque. Speaking to reporters, Burns said that he would discuss strategic issues with the new Turkish government and reaffirm the great importance the US places on its alliance with Turkey. He added that the PKK is a terrorist group which his country in no way supports. Burns later flew to Ankara, where he is expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and senior members of the Foreign Ministry and Parliament. /Milliyet/

    [09] ERDAL TO BE TRIED IN ABSENTIA IN BELGIUM

    The Belgian Supreme Court yesterday upheld a lower court decision to try fugitive terrorist Fehriye Erdal for the crimes she committed in Turkey. In October 2005, a Ghent Court ruled that Erdal could not be tried in Belgium for the crimes she committed in Turkey, but this decision was overturned last year by the Supreme Court. The Ghent Court than reviewed the decision, and ruled against the suspect’s lawyers, saying that Erdal could be tried in absentia in Belgium. Erdal, wanted for her role in the 1996 assassination of top Turkish businessmen Ozdemir Sabanci, escaped house arrest in Belgium early last year. /Sabah/

    [10] TOP COURT BEGINS TO SELECT NEW HEAD

    The Constitutional Court yesterday began the process of electing its new chief justice following the June retirement of Tulay Tugcu. The court’s new head needs at least six votes of the 11 members of the top court. The voting will continue today. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [11] RELATIONS WITH YEREVAN

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey’s relations with Armenia. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The border between Turkey and Armenia has been closed since 1993. Ankara cut all its relations with Armenia after the newly independent state occupied Karabagh in a conflict with Azerbaijan. Since then, the border has been closed and there has been no contact or trade between Turkey and Armenia. But you can find lots of Turkish products at stores in Armenia, reaching there indirectly, through Georgia. The issue of opening the border and normalizing relations has been brought up from time to time by non- governmental organizations. The issue was discussed at a conference last year on the economic and social impact opening the border would have. A later study was discussed during a meeting jointly organized by the ARI movement in Istanbul and the Armenian International Political Research Group (AIPRG). The focus was on the economic benefit of opening the border, but political factors stalling normalization were also discussed.

    Of course, if the border is opened, both sides will benefit. Trade, transportation, tourism, etc. will be galvanized, and the economy will grow. Actually, opening it would benefit Armenia more, as the closure also hurts it more, and its economy is weaker. But according to Armenian sources and research, the Armenian economy has recently shown rapid improvement. Yerevan is boosting its trade with its neighbors and Europe, selling electricity to Georgia and Iran, etc. According to analyst Mher Beghramyan of AIPRG, Armenia has adapted itself to this situation. Likewise, in spite of Turkey’s sanctions, the country’s economy is improving. So we can’t say that the closed border has made Yerevan change its policy on Karabagh or Azerbaijan. Seeing the issue as primarily economic is also a mistake. The reason for Turkey’s insistence is wholly political, and this can’t be separated from economic considerations. In other words, there have been two factors behind Turkey not changing its policy on Armenia: firstly, Yerevan’s lack of compromise on Karabagh, and secondly its stance on its disagreements with Ankara, mostly on the so-called Armenian (“genocide”) issue.

    Under Ankara’s policy, there won’t be any move towards normalizing unless Yerevan changes its stance. On the other hand, Yerevan is opposed to linking the border issue with these problems. Yerevan wants the border to first be opened and then to have other issues discussed. Speaking at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Istanbul this June, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian signaled that if the border is opened, a proposal for a conference on the genocide issue might be discussed. Actually, the way to solve this complicated conundrum is to sit at the table and start a dialogue using creative diplomacy covering all the issues. Striking such a balance would be beneficial for both countries, not only economically, but also politically.”


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