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Turkish Press Review, 07-10-19

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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

19.10.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] SYRIA’S ASSAD BACKS TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST THE TERRORIST PKK
  • [02] ERDOGAN TO VISIT BRITAIN NEXT WEEK
  • [03] BABACAN: “NOBODY SHOULD TEST TURKEY’S DETERMINATION TO FIGHT TERRORISM”
  • [04] IRAQI FM URGES TERRORIST PKK TO LEAVE IRAQ
  • [05] CHP’S KOC TO SEEK PARTY HELM
  • [06] DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL TO MEET WITH US COUNTERPART
  • [07] ARMENIAN PATRIARCH MUTAFYAN VOICES OPPOSITION TO US HOUSE RESOLUTION
  • [08] ENVIRONMENTALISTS, NGOs TRY TO BLOCK MINING IN KAZ MOUNTAINS
  • [09] ASSAD: “IF IRAQ SPLITS UP, THE REGION WILL EXPLODE”

  • [01] SYRIA’S ASSAD BACKS TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST THE TERRORIST PKK

    On an official visit to Turkey, Syrian President Bashar Assad yesterday met with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. During their talks, Assad reportedly reiterated his support for Turkey to end PKK terrorism, saying that Turkey had a legitimate right to carry out a cross-border operation against the terrorist PKK. For his part, pointing to recent strengthening bilateral relations, Toptan said that cooperation between Turkey and Syria on international issues would serve to promote regional and world peace. After completing his contacts in Ankara, Assad, accompanied by his wife Esma, proceeded to Istanbul. /Sabah/

    [02] ERDOGAN TO VISIT BRITAIN NEXT WEEK

    Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan will travel to London on Monday. During his contacts there, the main issue will be the recently passed motion giving authorization for a cross-border operation into Iraq. Erdogan will also sign a strategic partnership pact with his British counterpart Gordon Brown and deliver a speech at Oxford Union on Turkish’s regional and global vision, priorities and goals. In related news, Erdogan yesterday met with General Staff Chief of Operations Gen. Nusret Tasdelen and afterwards held his weekly meeting with President Abdullah Gul. /Hurriyet/

    [03] BABACAN: “NOBODY SHOULD TEST TURKEY’S DETERMINATION TO FIGHT TERRORISM”

    Turkey is determined in its fight against terrorism and no one should dare test this, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday. In Cairo, the first stop of his Middle East tour, Babacan was received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Afterwards, he told a press conference that despite Turkey’s efforts to fight the terrorist PKK together with the US and Iraq, the problem had not been solved, but on the contrary had grown. Underlining the authorization given to the government by Parliament for a cross-border operation into Iraq, Babacan said that a limited operation against the terrorist PKK could be conducted, if necessary. /Star/

    [04] IRAQI FM URGES TERRORIST PKK TO LEAVE IRAQ

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari yesterday urged the terrorist PKK to leave Iraq “as soon as possible.” Speaking to Reuters, Zebari said that he was “not comfortable” about the motion passed this week giving the Turkish government authority to take a cross-border operation into Iraq, but added they weren’t expecting any large operation. He said that this operation could take the form of air raids on suspected bases of the terrorist organization. “Our formal request is that they (the PKK) leave Iraqi soil and leave Iraq for its people and do not bring us more problems than we're already suffering,” Zebari added. / Star/

    [05] CHP’S KOC TO SEEK PARTY HELM

    Haluk Koc, Samsun deputy of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), yesterday announced his candidacy for the party’s leadership, challenging current leader Deniz Baykal. He said that the party must renew itself both for its own well-being and that of Turkey. The next CHP general congress will probably be held next February. Other potential candidates include Mustafa Sarigul, the mayor of Istanbul’s Sisli district, and former CHP Deputy Gulsun Bilgehan Toker. /Aksam/

    [06] DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL TO MEET WITH US COUNTERPART

    Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday said that he would meet with his US counterpart Robert Gates on Sunday in Kiev, Ukraine. Gonul said that they would discuss the resolution concerning incidents of 1915 set to be considered by the US House of Representatives and the situation after Parliament passed a motion giving authorization for a cross-border operation into northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] ARMENIAN PATRIARCH MUTAFYAN VOICES OPPOSITION TO US HOUSE RESOLUTION

    Mesrob Mutafyan II, the patriarch of Turkey’s Armenian community, yesterday paid visits to both President Abdullah Gul and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan congratulating them on their new posts. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mutafyan underlined that they were opposed to the Armenian resolution before the US Congress, as it could damage relations with Turkey. He also stated that he would urge US officials to block the resolution from going to a House floor vote. /Turkiye/

    [08] ENVIRONMENTALISTS, NGOs TRY TO BLOCK MINING IN KAZ MOUNTAINS

    Environmentalists and non-governmental organizations yesterday pledged to do their utmost to prevent gold mining in the Kaz Mountains in the northern Aegean region. The mountains recently became a battleground in which locals and NGOs are taking a stand against 11 mining companies prospecting in the area with official government permission. Appearing on TV yesterday, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler claimed that public opposition to the mining was backed by foreign interests. These interests always seek to block Turkey’s efforts to use its gold resources, argued Guler. /Turkish Daily News/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [09] ASSAD: “IF IRAQ SPLITS UP, THE REGION WILL EXPLODE”

    BY ERGUN BABAHAN (SABAH)

    Columnist Ergun Babahan comments on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s views about Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is uncomfortable about a possible military operation by Turkey into Iraq. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he supports the terrorist PKK. He’s afraid that such an operation could irreversibly upset the regional balances. In his own words, he doesn’t believe that Turkey has designs on Iraq. But he would prefer that the problem be solved through political, not military, means. So when he was told about Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari urging the terrorist PKK to leave Iraq, he smiled and called this an important step.

    Assad believes that the US is planning to establish an independent Kurdish state in the region. Calling the possible disintegration of Iraq a bomb which would blow up the Middle East, he urged all countries to support Iraq’s unity. He denied that in past years Syria served to headquarter the PKK. Stating that they were ready to discuss this issue, Assad tried to put a clear distance between himself and terrorism. He says that convicted PKK head Abdullah Ocalan was in Syria back in the ‘90s but that his country didn’t support him with money or weapons, unlike the actions of others today. Assad summed up his attitude by saying that when Turkey expressed its discomfort about the PKK being on Syrian soil, Damascus asked itself if this matter was important enough to lose Turkey’s friendship, and so chose this friendship.

    Now, some 10 years later, we have come to face new tensions over a neighboring country and terrorism, and the threat of using force has again forced the host country to act. Unfortunately, the region we live in doesn’t make it easy to solve problems through political means. In this atmosphere, saber-rattling might be more effective than diplomatic methods. We hope the Iraqi administration understands Turkey’s determination. Actually, its ability to take effective measures against the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq is debatable. But it’s even an important development that the people living in the region now see that they might be in trouble due to the terrorist group.

    Here it’s very significant that it supports trying to cut monetary and military support to the group. A terrorist group whose financial and military support is cut is unlikely to survive for long. And obviously, there are a great many things which can be done about this by Washington.”


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