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Turkish Press Review, 07-11-21

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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

21.11.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “DEMOCRACY STRENGTHENS THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM”
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “THOSE WHO IGNORE THE CONSTITUTION CAN’T PRACTICE POLITICS WITHIN A CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER”
  • [03] BABACAN MEETS WITH EU’S REHN AND PORTUGUESE FM AMADA
  • [04] IRAN, TURKEY SIGN ENERGY PACT
  • [05] TOP US COMMANDERS VISIT GENERAL STAFF TO DISCUSS PKK
  • [06] OPENING NOT TO THE MOUNTAINS, BUT TO THE CITIES

  • [01] GUL: “DEMOCRACY STRENGTHENS THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM”

    Prioritizing democracy strengthens the fight against terrorism, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday. “The more importance we attach to democracy, the greater our successes will be,” he added. “Democracy serves to isolate both terrorism and terrorists.” At an Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) awards ceremony, Gul said, “All citizens living in this country are equal. We cannot ignore problems. Democracy isolates the ground where terrorists seek to win over sympathizers.” In related news, before leaving for a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, Gul said that the Baku-Tbilisi- Kars railway would offer new possibilities for passenger and freight travel between Asia and Europe. Gul said that in bilateral and trilateral meetings with his Georgian and Azerbaijani counterparts Mikheil Saakashvili and Ilham Aliyev, they would discuss recent regional and international developments as well as issues concerning Turkey. Gul is being accompanied by State Minister Kursad Tuzmen and Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim. /Aksam-Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “THOSE WHO IGNORE THE CONSTITUTION CAN’T PRACTICE POLITICS WITHIN A CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday criticized recent statements by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli about a possible cross-border operation into northern Iraq. Speaking at his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting, Erdogan said that those who fail to make the proper choice between terrorism and democracy can’t look to democracy for help, adding, “Those who don’t pay heed to constitutional provisions cannot practice politics within the constitutional order.” He said, “The objective of the AKP is to make everyone who acts in line with democracy and the constitutional order part of the democratic system. Democracy is a system that tolerates all kinds of differences.” In related news, chairing a Higher Board of Science and Technology meeting, Erdogan said, “In international competition, countries lacking strength will always lag behind.” /Star/

    [03] BABACAN MEETS WITH EU’S REHN AND PORTUGUESE FM AMADA

    A foreign ministers’ meeting of the Turkish-European Union Troika started yesterday in Brussels with the participation of Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Afterwards, Babacan held a joint press conference with European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and Term President Portugal’s Foreign Minister Luis Amada. Babacan said that they had had a fruitful and beneficial meeting. Stating that he had stressed Turkey’s determination in its EU reform process, Babacan said, “What we expect from the EU is that it not use the negotiation process for political purposes, not discriminate between chapters in the negotiations, and that it open the chapters which are technically ready for talks without delay.” Babacan said that he also spoke about Turkey’s expectations on the fight against the terrorist PKK and the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/

    [04] IRAN, TURKEY SIGN ENERGY PACT

    Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and his Iranian counterpart Parviz Fatah signed yesterday an energy cooperation agreement. Under the pact, three thermal power plants, one in Turkey and two in Iran, each with a 2,000 megawatt capacity, are set to be built. In addition, a hydroelectric power which will generate 10,000 megawatts of electricity will be constructed in Iran. Guler said that the two countries will continue to sign similar agreements. /Sabah/

    [05] TOP US COMMANDERS VISIT GENERAL STAFF TO DISCUSS PKK

    Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of coalition forces in Iraq, yesterday arrived in Ankara. The generals visited General Staff headquarters to discuss the fight against terrorism with Gen. Ergin Saygun, deputy chief of General Staff. In statements after the meeting, the PKK was described as a common enemy of Turkey and the US. In related news, US Chief of General Staff Adm. Mike Mullen yesterday said that Turkish-US relations carry a vital importance, adding that the two countries’ armies have always enjoyed strong relations. Stressing that the PKK is a terrorist group, he denied that the US had in any way supported the PKK or its actions. In another related story, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit today at the Prime Ministry. A possible cross-border operation into northern Iraq and counter-terror measures are expected to dominate the talks. /Milliyet- Cumhuriyet/

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

    [06] OPENING NOT TO THE MOUNTAINS, BUT TO THE CITIES

    BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (SABAH)

    Columnist Muharrem Sarikaya comments on political parties debating how best to fight terrorism. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Parliament saw harsh exchanges between party leaders yesterday. This heated debate centered on methods for fighting terrorism. As Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli told his party’s group meeting yesterday, disagreement over these methods is continuing in both the ruling party and the main opposition. Bahceli’s criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sprung from the possibility of a terrorists being granted a general amnesty for. An answer to Bahceli was not long in coming. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his own party’s group meeting that they had no intention of issuing an amnesty. He also didn’t retreat from his stance of ‘you must choose either weapons or democracy.’ So when a terrorist who lives in the mountains lays his down his arms and comes to a city, what will clear him? A general amnesty? AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat answered this by saying that Erdogan’s call was not directed towards those in the mountains, but those who live in cities and that the armed terrorists in the mountains and those who foment terrorism in the cities with their words are the same.

    Firat added that these words were being addressed to people who support the (pro-Kurdish) Democratic Society Party (DTP) or the PKK and that they will either live in cities and not support terrorism and exercise their democratic rights, or they will suffer the consequences. When I asked him about their plans for bringing terrorist group members who were never involved in attacks down from the mountains, Firat said that as a result of diplomatic contacts with the US and other relevant parties, a decision was reached that the PKK would be unable to make a life in Iraq. He added that those who live in the mountains will either lay down their arms and surrender or suffer the consequences there. He added that they will first lay down their arms and surrender, and then things will go from there. Actually what he means about the next stop is clear: a judicial process.

    What about the MHP proposal for a constitutional amendment to lift the immunity of deputies who have committed crimes against the state? As Erdogan said yesterday that the AKP wouldn’t carry out a political lynching, the ruling party is closed to this initiative. In addition, the view of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which has become the target of MHP criticism, differs from that of the AKP. CHP group deputy leader Kemal Anadol said that an amendment wouldn’t cover current deputies and asked, ‘So are we going to do this soon? Then what’s the use of doing it? When all the immunities are lifted, the problem will be solved.’ Anadol added that there was another method, that is, if a report on a deputy who has committed crimes against the state is submitted to Parliament, then the Joint Commission on Immunities could convene and address the issue. Then Anadol said in reproach that they haven’t been able to convene the commission of late but hope they can this time. Parliament started this week in tension, but I hope it will end this week with a solution.”


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