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Turkish Press Review, 07-09-27

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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

27.09.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN CONTINUES HIS CONTACTS IN THE US
  • [02] GUL: “OUR LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR FUTURE”
  • [03] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER MEETS WITH ATALAY
  • [04] TUZMEN RECEIVES JAPANESE BUSINESS LEADERS
  • [05] TUSIAD DELEGATION HOLDS MEETINGS IN MADRID
  • [06] FOREIGN POLICY MISTAKES

  • [01] ERDOGAN CONTINUES HIS CONTACTS IN THE US

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, currently visiting the US to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, yesterday continued his bilateral talks with top world leaders. Meeting with representatives of US Jewish groups, Erdogan urged them to back Turkey’s efforts to block the Armenian lobby from getting the US Congress to pass an Armenian resolution. The premier then met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The two leaders reportedly discussed bilateral energy agreements and Iran’s nuclear program as well as the Iraq issue. In addition, Erdogan rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. /Milliyet/

    [02] GUL: “OUR LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR FUTURE”

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday attended a ceremony at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace marking the 75th annual Language Day. Addressing the gathering organized by the Turkish Language Institution (TDK), Gul said that Turkish is now experiencing its most powerful period. Stressing that some 300 million people currently speak Turkish, the president said that for the sake of the nation’s future, people should preserve their language as well as their other cultural values. Then Gul attended a ceremony at Bahcesehir University to usher in the 2007-2008 school year. The president also visited the governor of Istanbul to discuss problems facing the metropolis. /Turkiye/

    European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn yesterday said Turkey should abide by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the headscarf issue. Speaking in Washington, Rehn weighed in on issues such as Turkey’s new draft constitution, headscarves, secularism and freedom of speech. “My belief in secular democracy is very strong,” said Rehn. “These two components appear in the first article of the (current) Turkish Constitution. I hope the Turkish people consider their EU process a way to strengthen secular democracy within the country.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] IRAQI INTERIOR MINISTER MEETS WITH ATALAY

    Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bulani, currently in Ankara to discuss a bilateral counter-terror cooperation agreement, yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Besir Atalay. Afterwards, Iraqi Interior Ministry Undersecretary Aidin Khalid said that the sides had reached agreement on the details of the pact and that it should be signed today. Under its terms, Turkey will seek Iraqi authorization for possible “hot pursuit” operations into northern Iraq against the terrorist PKK. Turkish and Iraqi officials also decided to open liaison offices at their respective missions in each other’s country, as well as on both sides of their shared border, to help coordinate efforts against the terrorist PKK. /Aksam/

    [04] TUZMEN RECEIVES JAPANESE BUSINESS LEADERS

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday received Nobuo Yamaguchi, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and an accompanying delegation of businessmen. Tuzmen urged the businessmen to come and invest in Turkey. “Currently, Japanese investors are in the Turkish automobile, construction and electronics markets,” said Tuzmen. “We want to see more Japanese businessmen in the energy, communications, privatization, wastewater and environmental project sectors.” Pointing to the current $3.5 billion trade volume between the two countries, Tuzmen said that both sides should work to boost this figure to $12-13 billion. /Turkiye/

    [05] TUSIAD DELEGATION HOLDS MEETINGS IN MADRID

    Visiting Madrid, a Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) delegation chaired by Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag yesterday met with Spanish Secretary for the European Union Alberto Navarro and Economy Minister Pedro Solbes. Navarro told the delegation that he has no doubts regarding Turkey’s democratization process. During their meeting, Solbes and the delegation agreed to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries. The TUSIAD delegation met with representatives of the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE). “They favorably received Turkey’s democratization steps and European Union harmonization process,” Yalcindag said afterwards. “We got more positive meetings in Madrid than in Brussels and London. We realized that we have a real friend here. No institution in Madrid has any problem regarding Turkey joining the EU.” The delegation was also received by Spanish King Juan Carlos. /Hurriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [06] FOREIGN POLICY MISTAKES

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on recent remarks by Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug on the US stance on the fight against the terrorist PKK and the legacy of a motion Parliament rejected four years ago. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug Basbug said that Ankara expects action, not more words, from Washington, on the terrorist PKK. He spoke forthrightly. The next day, two of our soldiers lost their lives.

    The motion we rejected in March 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, cost us dearly. After opening our ports, airports, and border areas to US soldiers by accepting one motion, we rejected a second. Actually, more deputies voted for the motion than against, but a qualified majority was needed for its passage. So in effect, Parliament rejected the motion. We celebrated the decision.

    It’s certain that the National Security Council (NSC) " and especially its head, the president " bears a great responsibility for this. The just- elected deputies of that time made mistakes. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) acted irresponsibly.

    If the second motion had been accepted like the first, then we wouldn’t have seen the funerals of so many fallen soldiers, our people traveling to northern Iraq wouldn’t have lost their lives, and Turkmen wouldn’t have been killed. Moreover, autonomy for Kurdistan would have been out of the question, and Kirkuk wouldn’t be a contested region.

    Who will pay this price for this horror? How about those who, when we were invited for European Union membership talks along with Greece asked the EU for 10 years? Did those who missed opportunities on Cyprus give an account for what they did?

    I mention only three major mistakes. Their impact led to pain and suffering and physical injury in Turkey. The biggest effect is that we had to postpone indefinitely our goal to raise our level of civilization. Some people are pleased with this. As for me, I see a different picture.”


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