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Turkish Press Review, 07-09-25

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

25.09.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY’S MAJOR PROBLEMS COULD BE SOLVED BY REDRESSING CONSTITUTIONAL SHORTCOMINGS”
  • [02] ERDOGAN SPEAKS AT UN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT
  • [03] ADDRESSING MILITARY ACADEMY, GEN. BASBUG STRESSES SECULARISM, UNITARY NATION-STATE
  • [04] PRESIDENTIAL PALACE OPENS ITS DOORS TO JOURNALISTS
  • [05] IRAQI KURDS: “THE PKK AND ITS OFFSHOOTS ARE ILLEGAL GROUPS”
  • [06] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA TODAY
  • [07] FIRST LESSON FROM BASBUG

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY’S MAJOR PROBLEMS COULD BE SOLVED BY REDRESSING CONSTITUTIONAL SHORTCOMINGS”

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Fermani Altun, head of the World Ehl-i Beyt Foundation, a religious group. During their meeting, Gul said that the major problems facing Turkey could be solved by redressing certain democratic shortcomings in the current Constitution. For his part, Altun said that putting regulations in the Constitution concerning attire is unnecessary. In related news, Gul is due to meet today with Council of Higher Education (YOK) head Erdogan Tezic, who is expected to tell Gul about the academic and financial problems facing universities as well as university rectors’ stance on the headscarf issue. /Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN SPEAKS AT UN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT

    After completing his contacts in Washington, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday proceeded to New York to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting. During the day, Erdogan held bilateral meetings with world leaders, including French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Then, accompanied by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Erdogan attended a UN summit on climate chance. Addressing the gathering, the premier warned that climate change is the gravest environmental threat humanity has ever faced. Erdogan said that Turkey was looking into signing the Kyoto Protocol, and places great importance on reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The premier also invited all those at the gathering to attend the March 2009 World Water Forum in Istanbul. /Turkiye-Star/

    [03] ADDRESSING MILITARY ACADEMY, GEN. BASBUG STRESSES SECULARISM, UNITARY NATION-STATE

    Speaking yesterday at the opening of the school year at the Land Forces Academy, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug commented on a number of issues, including the nation-state and Turkey’s unitary and secular structures. Basbug said that the founding philosophy of the Turkish Republic aims to protect the country’s territorial integrity. “The chief pillars of this founding philosophy are formed by the nation-state, unitary state, and secular state,” said Basbug. “What is interesting is to see is that the country’s nation-state structure is being targeted by both anti-secularists and ethnic nationalists.” He said that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) would always stand with those who want to protect the nation-state and would thus defend secularism. Basbug said that some groups are trying to change the “social structure” established by Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk into one based on religion. Touching on the US stance on Turkey’s anti-terror efforts, Basbug criticized it for not waging a direct fight against the PKK and far allowing an estimated 4,000 members of the group to remain sheltered in northern Iraq. He added that Washington should see that the presence of the terrorist group in northern Iraq poses a threat to Turkey. /Aksam/

    [04] PRESIDENTIAL PALACE OPENS ITS DOORS TO JOURNALISTS

    While preparations to open the Cankaya Presidential Palace to the public are continuing, the palace yesterday played host to some 100 reporters. Print and electronic journalists toured the new service building, the Pembe Kosk, social facilities, and the offices of top presidential aides. The president’s chief press advisor, Ahmet Sever, and several staffers serving President Abdullah Gul accompanied the journalists. /Sabah/

    [05] IRAQI KURDS: “THE PKK AND ITS OFFSHOOTS ARE ILLEGAL GROUPS”

    Kurdistan regional government spokesman Cemal Abdullah said yesterday that the administration considers both the PKK and its PJAK offshoot to be illegal organizations. He said that they want to live peacefully and establish good ties with neighboring countries, adding that they are doing their best to stop attacks from Iraqi territory into neighboring countries. /Turkiye/

    [06] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA TODAY

    Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Bolani is set to arrive in Ankara today. During his two-day stay, Bolani is expected to hold talks with officials from the Interior Ministry, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and General Staff to work on an anti-terror agreement between Turkey and Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] FIRST LESSON FROM BASBUG

    BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on a speech by Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday at the War Academy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “During the War Academy’s ceremony opening the 2007-2008 school year, the first lesson was led by Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug. It was a well-prepared analysis of the world, region and Turkey. Let’s look at what he said:

    1. The first message from Gen. Basbug was for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Basbugh indirectly made a reference to making the definition and principle of secularism subject to new debate over a new Constitution, telling the AKP that functional definitions concerning the principle of secularism in the Constitution shouldn’t be up for debate.

    2. Gen. Basbug sent three messages to the US: firstly, the US has yet to apply sanctions against the terrorist PKK; secondly, the US should see and understand that any solution not supported by Turkey can’t be a permanent solution for Iraq, that the PKK poses a critical threat to Turkey, and that now is the time not for speaking, but for taking action; and thirdly, even if Turkey lacks the power to direct developments in Iraq single-heartedly, it would be a mistake to think that it’s not strong enough to hinder certain developments and make them costlier. What did Gen. Basbug mean by this least message? Obviously, he wanted to highlight Turkey’s vital function in terms of northern Iraq. The Habur border gate is a venting pipe for northern Iraq. In addition, Turkey is its connection to the world, that is, for electricity, food, imports and exports. Similarly, it’s not hard to guess how Turkey can be influential in northern Iraq in terms of stability and security. Turkey has the armed and unarmed forces that might make life harder in northern Iraq.

    3. Gen. Basbug addressed the (Kurdish-dominated) Democratic Society Party (DTP) as well. Stressing that ethnic nationalism is the basis of separatist terrorism, Basbug said that giving ethnic identities a constitutional assurance is an oft-discussed issue. Thus, he indirectly gave the message that the requests of the PKK and the DTP, which follows the PKK’s political line, are unacceptable. He said that these requests are meant to end the nation-state and the unitary state structure and that using Kurdish as a language of education is unacceptable. He emphasized that accepting and respecting certain ethnic groups’ wish to learn their own (non- Turkish) language was something, and agreeing to give education in these languages was something else entirely. He added that the latter is incompatible with the concept of a nation-state.

    4. In his speech, Basbug also said that postmodernist movements are influencing Turkey as well due to globalization and domestic factors and that they had opened up a space for religious and ethnic identities. He added that certain communities, using the model of religious organization, have been effective in the formation of new cultural identities and that the sector of society which stresses ethnic identities is politicized to a degree unprecedented in the history of the republic. Basbug also said that the modern approach takes necessary measures at necessary times and that the basic task of people and institutions protecting Ataturk’s revolutions is to take necessary measures against developments at the right time and place.”


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