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Turkish Press Review, 07-09-24

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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

24.09.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN TO BEGIN BUSY UN SLATE TODAY
  • [02] BABACAN ATTENDS UN MEETINGS IN NEW YORK
  • [03] PM ERDOGAN, SEN. CLINTON TO ATTEND TURKISH CULTURAL CENTER FRIENDSHIP DINNER
  • [04] YOK HEAD TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT GUL
  • [05] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [06] AMBASSADOR BURCUOGLU NAMED NEW MGK HEAD
  • [07] SABANCI: “SECULARISM AND DEMOCRACY ARE IN OUR GENES”
  • [08] TESTING ERDOGAN’S LEADERSHIP

  • [01] ERDOGAN TO BEGIN BUSY UN SLATE TODAY

    Starting a busy week, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will participate in the 62nd General Assembly meeting of the United Nations set to begin today. Erdogan will deliver a speech at a high-level UN meeting on climate change today and on Friday will address the UN General Assembly. Erdogan will also participate in a reception today to be hosted by UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon. He will hold talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer. Erdogan on Tuesday will also hold bilateral talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez. On Thursday Erdogan will give a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, an influential New York-based think-tank. He will also receive Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Turkish scholar Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu the same day. He is set to return to Turkey on Saturday. /The New Anatolian/

    [02] BABACAN ATTENDS UN MEETINGS IN NEW YORK

    During a UN meeting on Iraq over the weekend, participants reportedly stressed that strong support should be given for both an enhanced UN role in Iraq and next month’s expanded ministerial meeting set to take place in Istanbul. After speeches by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan took the floor and reaffirmed Turkey’s strong support for a key UN role in Iraq. Also at a meeting on Afghanistan, Babacan said that Turkey’s support for this country would continue. In related news, Babacan met with his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis in New York. After the meeting, Babacan told a press conference, “There’s a new horizon ahead of us. And there’s a strong mandate given by our peoples to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. We’ve decided to strengthen this relationship.” For her part, Bakoyannis said, “We’ll try to give Turkish-Greek relations new momentum.” /Star-Aksam/

    [03] PM ERDOGAN, SEN. CLINTON TO ATTEND TURKISH CULTURAL CENTER FRIENDSHIP DINNER

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the US to attend the UN General Assembly meeting, is due to attend this Friday’s annual Friendship Dinner given by New York’s Turkish Cultural Center. Erdogan and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, a leading presidential candidate, are expected to deliver speeches at the gathering. Haldun Yavas, the center’s director, said that he wanted to bring together prominent figures from the world of business, art, and politics. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly are also expected to be present at the event. /Milliyet/

    [04] YOK HEAD TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT GUL

    At the president’s invitation, Council of Higher Education (YOK) head Erdogan Tezic will meet this week at the Cankaya Palace with President Abdullah Gul. During the meeting, Tezic is expected to speak about universities’ academic and financial problems as well as their stance on the headscarf issue. He will also tell Gul about the council’s work and positions. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER TO VISIT ANKARA

    Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Al-Boulani is expected to arrive in Ankara tomorrow to discuss details of an agreement between the two countries to cooperate on anti-terror efforts. Al-Boulani is expected to meet with Interior Minister Besir Atalay to discuss the issue, as well as with officials from the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and General Staff intelligence units. The Turkish and Iraqi officials will first discuss how to cut off terrorists’ logistical support. /Sabah/

    [06] AMBASSADOR BURCUOGLU NAMED NEW MGK HEAD

    Ending almost a year of ambiguity over who would be the next head of the National Security Council (MGK), the government on Saturday officially appointed Tahsin Burcuoglu, Turkey’s ambassador to Athens, to the post. The pivotal body had lacked a secretary-general for almost two months since Burcuoglu’s predecessor, Yigit Alpogan, was sent to London to be Turkey’s new ambassador. /Turkish Daily News/

    [07] SABANCI: “SECULARISM AND DEMOCRACY ARE IN OUR GENES”

    In a British TV interview over the weekend, Sabanci Holding Chairwoman Guler Sabanci said being a woman in business is “interesting,” adding that both her family and friends support her career. “I and working women like me are the fruit of 83-year-old republic,” she said. “Secularism and democracy are in our genes.” Touching on Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Sabanci said that Turkey has always been a part of European history. “I believe that with Turkey’s EU membership, both sides will win,” she added. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [08] TESTING ERDOGAN’S LEADERSHIP

    BY EROL CEVIKCE (VATAN)

    Columnist Erol Cevikce comments on debate over a new constitution and the concept of secularism. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Concerning the debate over a new constitution, I think the political goals, rather than legal questions, should be stressed. Actually, one can’t deny that the people who want changes to the current Constitution regime have political motives. Differences over the issue of secularism lie behind the political tensions, instabilities and military coups Turkey has seen since 1950. This issue is again at the heart of these debates and one of the main reasons for the war between religions which has been causing sadness worldwide for the past 20 years.

    If Turkey wants to move forward on the road of civilization and establish a modern democracy, it has to maintain its position as a secular nation, something achieved by no Muslim country besides us. So debates over the constitution are very important for the country’s future. There are two proposals over Article 45, which concerns the right to education. Under the first, the article would say, ‘Nobody can be deprived of their right to receive higher education due to their clothing.’ Under the second, it would read, ‘Institutions of higher education are free of dress codes.’

    We can see that stubbornness over the definition of secularism is the reason for these suggestions made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and both this stubbornness and the headscarf issue are now evident. Actually, though he says just the opposite, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows best that the headscarf, the symbol of an ‘Islamic republic’ even in Europe, isn’t about freedom to wear what you choose. I learned this in an interview our paper did with former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard. Asked what he thought of the university headscarf ban, Rocard said that ending the ban would be a huge change. He added that Erdogan knew and respected him and should know very well that ending the ban wouldn’t change the European public’s stance on Turkey for the better, but would rather exacerbate Turkey’s isolation. When asked about the similar ban in France, Rocard said that he thought that the ban would be harsher in France than in Turkey. Rocard added that France can’t accept a division into sects, as in Britain, because this would end in civil war. Rocard also said that secularism is the basis of co-existence.

    Obviously, if those who want to debate and redefine the issue of secularism in terms of freedom of faith and religious exercises aren’t ignorant (!), they are the prisoners of their own institutional calculations. If they can escape the pressure of their previous education, they will be able to see that the only issue over which a consensus should be reached is whether our nation’s education is secular or not. For our country can only be a strong, respected member of the modern world if its education can embrace a secular, democratic republic and ensure continuation of the revolution of enlightenment. The best evidence that this is possible through secular education is the history so far of the Turkish Republic, which will soon celebrate its centenary.”


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