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Turkish Press Review, 07-10-24

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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

24.10.2007

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL URGES PUBLIC TO BE WARY OF PROVOCATIONS
  • [02] RICE EXPECTED TO VISIT GUL AHEAD OF IRAQ SUMMIT
  • [03] PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT SPAR OVER TERRORISM
  • [04] ANKARA URGES IRAQI PRESIDENT TALABANI TO COOPERATE IN FIGHT AGAINST PKK
  • [05] IN BRITAIN, ERDOGAN AGAIN SOUNDS WARNING ON CROSS-BORDER OP
  • [06] NSC TO DISCUSS CROSS-BORDER OPERATION
  • [07] EU AMBASSADORS WARN DTP AGAINST TERRORIST TIES
  • [08] TIME TO ACT RESPONSIBLY

  • [01] GUL URGES PUBLIC TO BE WARY OF PROVOCATIONS

    President Abdullah Gul said yesterday that Turkey has both the ability and the determination to effectively fight terrorism. In a written statement, Gul called on people not to weaken the country’s unity and friendly public atmosphere during their justified protests against terrorism. Stressing that the whole nation mourns the scores of soldiers killed by recent PKK terrorist attacks, Gul urged people to act with common sense and to be wary of provocations. /Turkiye/

    [02] RICE EXPECTED TO VISIT GUL AHEAD OF IRAQ SUMMIT

    Ahead of a summit on Iraq scheduled for Nov. 2-3, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to first travel to Ankara to meet with President Abdullah Gul. The summit in Istanbul is set to bring together UN Security Council member states, G-8 countries and Iraq’s neighbors to discuss the situation in Iraq. Rice will represent the US at the summit. In her visit to Ankara beforehand, Rice and Gul are expected to discuss bilateral relations and the PKK issue. /Turkiye/

    [03] PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT SPAR OVER TERRORISM

    In Parliament yesterday, deputies from opposition parties criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) stance against PKK terrorism. Taking the floor, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Onur Oymen said that over the last seven years, Turkey has lost 12 times more people than the total death toll of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US. The Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) Mehmet Sandir said that the government was responsible for the grievous losses. “The true danger is when the nation loses its faith in the government’s fight against terrorism,” said Sandir. He also claimed that the PKK is no longer being led by the convicted terrorist head imprisoned on Imrali island, but by Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani. Speaking for the government, Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek said that the government was doing its best to combat the problem, which has gone on for 25 years, adding that all institutions share a common understanding of the issue. /Hurriyet/

    [04] ANKARA URGES IRAQI PRESIDENT TALABANI TO COOPERATE IN FIGHT AGAINST PKK

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday traveled to Baghdad to meet with top Iraqi officials. During his meetings with both President Jalal Talabani and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, he gave them a list of measures Turkey is strongly urging the Iraqi government to take against the terrorist PKK. Speaking to reporters, Babacan pointed to Turkey’s friendly relations with Iraq, saying he didn’t want the PKK issue to damage these ties. For his part, Zebari said that they would work together with the Turkish government and that they didn’t want any instability in their country. Asked whether Ankara was planning any cease-fire with the terrorist group, Babacan said, “Cease-fire is a term which is used between two countries or regular armies and not with a terror organization. The problem we are facing here is a problem of terrorism.” In related news, Iraqi Premier Nouri Al Maliki also said yesterday that the PKK’s offices in Iraq would be closed and the group would not be allowed to carry out activities on Iraqi soil. “The PKK is a terrorist group,” he said. “We’ll try to limit their activities, which threaten both Iraq and Turkey.” /Milliyet/

    [05] IN BRITAIN, ERDOGAN AGAIN SOUNDS WARNING ON CROSS-BORDER OP

    Prime Minister Erdogan, paying an official visit to London, yesterday met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. During their meeting, the two leaders signed a Turkey-Britain strategic partnership document meant to facilitate Turkey’s EU membership, the fight against terrorism, and ending the isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Speaking to reporters, Erdogan warned that Turkey could exercise its option for an incursion into northern Iraq at any time, adding that such an operation would only target the terrorist PKK. The premier also complained that in the 14 months of its existence, a trilateral anti-terror mechanism set up by the US, Turkey and Iraq had yielded no results. “Unfortunately, there are some countries in Europe which extend financial support and abet the terrorist organization," said Erdogan. In addition, Erdogan met with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Olmert, and they spoke about bilateral relations and the Middle East peace process. /Star/

    Tens of thousands of Turks yesterday took to the streets in 11 cities at the funerals of 12 soldiers who were killed by PKK terrorists on Sunday in the southeastern province of Hakkari. Carrying Turkish flags and chanting anti-PKK slogans, the crowd condemned the PKK’s acts of violence. Besides the soldiers’ relatives, local and military officials, parliamentarians and representatives of non-governmental organizations gathered throughout the country to pay their last respects to the fallen soldiers. /Aksam/

    [06] NSC TO DISCUSS CROSS-BORDER OPERATION

    The National Security Council (NSC) will convene today in Ankara. President Abdullah Gul will preside over the meeting, which will be held at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. A possible joint operation with the US against the PKK and a possible unilateral cross-border operation into northern Iraq are expected to dominate the gathering. Possible sanctions against northern Iraq, including cutting electricity, closing or slowing crossings through the Habur border gate, and curbing food and construction material exports to the region, will also be discussed. /Star/

    [07] EU AMBASSADORS WARN DTP AGAINST TERRORIST TIES

    At a two-hour working luncheon in Ankara yesterday, ambassadors of European Union member states to Turkey invited Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Turk and Deputies Fatma Kurtalan and Akin Birdal to discuss the terrorism issue. Calling on the party not to repeat its past mistakes, the diplomats reportedly urged the DTP to keep its distance from the PKK terrorist group and to act in earnest to help promote peace in the country. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [08] TIME TO ACT RESPONSIBLY

    BY MEHMET Y. YILMAZ (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Mehmet Y. Yilmaz comments on the government ban on radio and television broadcasts about the recent terrorist attack. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The government decided yesterday to ban all radio and television broadcasts about the recent terrorist attack in Hakkari. A Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) statement said the ban is meant to maintain the morale of security forces and prevent broadcasts which hurt the public’s moral values. Obviously, in a democracy, it’s not right to ban radio and TV broadcasts without a court order. But while we defend media freedom, radio and TV stations should also show restraint. The rush to air unconfirmed reports, a provocative style which has raised public tension, and pseudo-experts’ outlandish interpretations have all been rampant. We should always keep in mind that we’re going through a tough time and that provoking and agitating people is the last thing anyone should do now. Turkey isn’t facing this problem for the first time. We’ve been living with these terrorist attacks for nearly 20 years. We have never surrendered to terrorism, and we won’t now. We should be more careful than ever to avoid creating an atmosphere ripe for provocateurs who are ready to exploit this and commit irrevocable actions.

    In this country, many people spend most of their time at coffeehouses. There are many unemployed people, and so these coffeehouses produce ‘coffeehouse philosophers.’ These philosophers claim to know everything, from the economy to the military, from engineering to football, medicine, architecture, etc. They have an opinion on each and every issue and as they speak convincingly, people at surrounding tables nod their heads in approval. Actually, they are like columnists, just like us. Maybe a reason for the large number of columnists at our newspapers is the meeting of this oral coffeehouse culture with our written culture. The situation we’re facing now presents unique opportunities for these kinds of people. Now I wonder how many people are making strategic analyses and discussing military plans, just like our TV and radio stations and newspapers. Of course, these philosophers aren’t criminals. But let me warn the people who listen to those coffeehouse conversations: Please don’t believe everything these chatterboxes say!”


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