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Turkish Press Review, 07-09-28

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

28.09.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS TUSIAD GETS SOLID SUPPORT FROM BY SPAIN

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
  • [02] TOPTAN: “UNIVERSITIES LEAD THE PUBLIC”
  • [03] CICEK: “THERE’S NO HEADSCARF PROBLEM, WE’LL DISCUSS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION”
  • [04] FM BABACAN CONTINUES CONTACTS IN NEW YORK
  • [05] TURKEY, IRAQ EXPECTED TO SIGN ANTI-TERROR PACT TODAY, WITH SOME ISSUES LEFT OUT
  • [06] HALUK KOC TO SEEK CHP HELM
  • [07] COREPER TO INVITE TURKEY TO OPEN TALKS ON TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORKS
  • [08] SPANISH QUEEN VISITS CAPPADOCIA
  • [09] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

  • [01] ERDOGAN ADDRESSES COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

    Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think-tank, Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan yesterday weighed in on issues such as headscarves, the terrorist PKK and US soldiers’ possible withdrawal from Iraq through Turkey. Touching on recent debates over the new draft constitution, Erdogan said, “There’s a description of secularism in articles of the 1982 Constitution, and we took these in our party’s program. We don’t have any concerns about secularism. We’ll put almost the same description of secularism as in 1982 Constitution.” Erdogan said that Turkey is a victim of terrorism and that the resources of terrorism must be cut off, and that no country can do this alone. He said that the terrorist PKK’s presence in northern Iraq and its attacks from there have a huge negative impact on Turkey. “Our expectations are clear,” he explained. “Iraqi officials and the United States should quickly take concrete steps instead of making statements about the fight against the PKK. But unfortunately, we have yet to see any concrete steps. The blood shed in the attacks of this terrorist group is exacerbating the mass trauma in our society and trying the patience of the Turkish people as well as narrowing our political options each day.” Regarding the possible withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Erdogan said that he thinks a sudden withdrawal would not be right, saying that the coalition forces could instead leave Iraq using a timetable. Erdogan also met with Richard Holbrooke, a former top US State Department official. /Aksam-Cumhuriyet/

    [02] TOPTAN: “UNIVERSITIES LEAD THE PUBLIC”

    Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan yesterday attended a ceremony at Rize University to usher in the 2007-2008 school year. Addressing the gathering, Toptan said that universities were the country’s most important safeguard on the path to the civilization. Pointing to how some 20 million students, including university students, were being educated, Toptan said the country has a great potential so long as these students are trained well. He said universities are institutions which lead to the development of science, technology and the enrichment of the cultural life of the public, adding that they find solutions to the problems facing the country. /Milliyet/

    [03] CICEK: “THERE’S NO HEADSCARF PROBLEM, WE’LL DISCUSS THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION”

    Appearing on Sky Turk yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek responded to criticisms of the new draft constitution. “Since 1990s non- governmental organizations and political parties with groups in Parliament have been working to change the Constitution,” said Cicek. “Some say, ‘They [the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP] started work to change the constitution after they got 47% of the vote in July’s general elections. This isn’t true, we started this work before the elections. When going to elections, we said we wanted a new constitution. We’re putting together a constitution not for the AKP but for Turkey. We can also make use of the initiatives of NGOs regarding this matter.” On the headscarf issue, Cicek said, “There is no such problem. Some people take up certain issues from time to time and turn them into a problem.” He added, “There are articles in the Constitution saying that the right to education is a fundamental right. We will discuss these arrangements. But we don’t think it makes any sense to get stuck on only one article. Some people are trying to hamper this project by stirring up extreme discussions. I personally think that some of these discussions lack good will.” /Star-Hurriyet/

    [04] FM BABACAN CONTINUES CONTACTS IN NEW YORK

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, currently visiting the US, yesterday continued his contacts in New York. During a meeting between Babacan and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Iraq and terrorism issue, the Armenian resolution before the US Congress and the Cyprus and Mideast issues were discussed. Underlining Ankara’s concerns about Iraq’s territorial integrity, Babacan urged the top US diplomat to take concrete steps to stop PKK terrorists from taking shelter in northern Iraq. In addition, Babacan also met with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht, and they reportedly talked about the trial in absentia of fugitive terrorist Fehriye Erdal. Furthermore, the foreign minister held talks with his Russian, Dutch and Dominican counterparts. /Turkiye/

    [05] TURKEY, IRAQ EXPECTED TO SIGN ANTI-TERROR PACT TODAY, WITH SOME ISSUES LEFT OUT

    Three days of negotiations between Turkey and Iraq on a pact on cooperation against the terrorist PKK stalled yesterday when the sides failed to reach agreement on the terms of “conditional hot pursuit” operations by the Turkish military into northern Iraq. Following the talks, the sides will reportedly sign the seven-article text, but leave behind controversial issues for discussion at a later date by a commission. /Sabah/

    [06] HALUK KOC TO SEEK CHP HELM

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Samsun Deputy Haluk Koc said yesterday that he would run for the party leadership at the upcoming party congress. Koc, who served the CHP as deputy group leader in the previous Parliament, will run against CHP leader Deniz Baykal. Stressing that he had considered what leading the party would mean, Koc said he would soon hold a press conference. “The understanding of our party’s administration should be changed,” said Koc. /Milliyet/

    [07] COREPER TO INVITE TURKEY TO OPEN TALKS ON TRANS-EUROPEAN NETWORKS

    Diplomatic sources yesterday said that the European Union’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) had agreed to invite Turkey to open its membership negotiations on the chapter on trans-European networks. A letter of invitation will be sent to Turkey soon, requesting that Ankara submit its position paper on the chapter. /Star/

    [08] SPANISH QUEEN VISITS CAPPADOCIA

    Spanish Queen Sophia, currently visiting Turkey, yesterday traveled to Nevsehir to see the historical and cultural landmarks of Cappadocia. The queen spent the night in Urgup and also met with regional government officials. /Turkish Daily News/

    [09] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    TUSIAD GETS SOLID SUPPORT FROM BY SPAIN

    Columnist Selale Kadak comments on this week’s Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association’s (TUSIAD) visit to Spain. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “As the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) won’t always lobby in countries trying to hinder Turkey’s European Union bid, this time it went to Spain, an always-friendly country. Right now TUSIAD head Arzuhan Yalcindag and her team is extremely busy. The European Commission will release its new progress report on Turkey in November. Until then, Yalcindag and her team will pay intensive one-day visits to capital cities of friendly countries and try to ensure that the voices of countries favoring us are better heard. In Spain, Yalcindag was accompanied by her deputies Pekin Baran and Umit Boyner, Board Of Directors members Ali Kibar, Bulent Akgerman, and Haluk Dincer and the association’s foreign poliicy advisor Soli Ozel.

    Everybody worked hard and the entire team learned about political and commercial ties between Spain and Turkey. Meanwhile, Kibar told stories about interesting incidents in exports from Turkey to other countries, mostly to Spain. After all, TUSIAD was to be received by Spanish King Juan Carlos for the first time. Yalcindag heard out her team’s views on messages to be given and the support to be requested. Meanwhile, Kibar wanted the team to relax and told them some stories about Spanish history in order give them a lift, after holding intensive meetings for 67 hours and long flights. TUSIAD’s secretariat also did its homework very well. The TUSIAD team arranged meetings with important people in Madrid, except for former Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who was in the US that day, with the support of the CEOEF, TUSIAD’s Spanish counterpart. Yalcindag and her team first met with Spanish Economy Minister Pedro Solbes and then State Secretary for EU Relations Alberto Navarro. Immediately after these meetings, the Turkish team met with representatives from the Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organization (CEOE) during lunch. Then the delegation met with the opposition People’s Party spokesman Eduardo Zaplana and spent half an hour with Spanish King Juan Carlos in a very warm atmosphere. Turkish Ambassador to Spain Ender Arat accompanied the delegation during all these meetings.

    Spain openly supports Turkey’s EU membership. Soli Ozel mentioned the reason for this as it has some interest in it and Spain wants to strengthen its investments with Turkey. The Spanish government not only put Turkey on its list of 11 priority countries in terms of commerce and investment, but also put aside €353 million to be used for promotion and support projects through 2009 to help Spanish firms in Turkey. I think the size of this figure can be better appreciated it we consider that Spain’s budget for South Korea, which is among the 11 countries, totals €7 million. In addition, let me say that the US, Mexico, Morocco, Algeria, Brazil, China, India, Russia and Japan are also among these 11 countries.

    Commercial ties between Turkey and Spain have been grown a lot in recent years. Arat said that at the moment the trade surplus totaled $800 million in favor of Turkey. The trade volume between the two countries totaled €2.3 billion in 2001, and by last year this ballooned 274% to reach €6.3 billion. According to data from the first half of this year, Spain ranks fifth in Turkey’s exports and 10th in Turkey’s imports.”


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