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Turkish Press Review, 07-11-29

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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

29.11.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL RECEIVES PM ERDOGAN FOR WEEKLY MEETING
  • [02] PRESIDENT GUL SAID TO FAVOR UNIVERSITIES ELECTING THEIR RECTORS
  • [03] YAS MEETING SET FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW
  • [04] SERBIAN PRESIDENT DUE IN TURKEY TODAY
  • [05] PRINCE CHARLES VISITS ISTANBUL
  • [06] TURKISH BUSINESSMEN AWARDED SPAIN’S ORDER OF CIVIL MERIT
  • [07] PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY

  • [01] GUL RECEIVES PM ERDOGAN FOR WEEKLY MEETING

    President Abdullah Gul late yesterday afternoon received Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During their one-hour regular weekly meeting, the leaders reportedly discussed recent developments on the terrorism issue. /Turkiye/

    [02] PRESIDENT GUL SAID TO FAVOR UNIVERSITIES ELECTING THEIR RECTORS

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received a delegation led by Tahsin Yesildere of the Association of University Scholars. Speaking afterwards to reporters, Yesildere said that they had discussed issues related to academics. He added that Gul favored a system where universities elect their own rectors. In addition, the president yesterday hosted a luncheon for Professors Talat Halman and Halil Inalcik. During their one-and-a-half- hour meeting, a number of issues were taken up. Gul will reportedly continue holding occasional meetings with leading Turkish intellectuals to exchange views on various topics. /Milliyet/

    [03] YAS MEETING SET FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW

    The regular winter meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) will be held today at Military Staff headquarters. The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with the attendance of Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, force commanders and other top officers. During the two-day meeting, issues related to the staff, training and discipline of the Turkish Armed Forces will be addressed. Decisions made at the gathering will be presented to the president for his approval. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] SERBIAN PRESIDENT DUE IN TURKEY TODAY

    Serbian President Boris Tadic will arrive in Ankara today at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. During his two-day official visit, Tadic will be accompanied by a delegation of high-level bureaucrats and businessmen. In addition to Gul, the Serbian leader is expected to meet with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He will also attend a meeting of the Turkish-Serbian Business Council in Istanbul. /The New Anatolian/

    [05] PRINCE CHARLES VISITS ISTANBUL

    Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, yesterday visited Istanbul’s Eyup Sultan Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Koc Museum, among other historic and cultural sites. During their visit to the Kariye Museum, the couple was accompanied by Mesrob Mutafyan, patriarch of the Armenian community in Turkey, along with Ishak Haleva, the head rabbi of Turkey's Jewish community, and Istanbul Assistant Mufti Yusuf Izzettin Konuk. /Star/

    [06] TURKISH BUSINESSMEN AWARDED SPAIN’S ORDER OF CIVIL MERIT

    Spanish Ambassador to Ankara Luis Felipe Fernandez de la Pena yesterday presented two Turkish businessmen with awards in recognition of their contributions to economic relations between Turkey and Spain. At Istanbul’s Spanish Consulate, the ambassador awarded the Order of Civil Merit to Alarko Holding Chairman Ishak Alaton and Zorlu Holding CEO Ahmet Nazif Zorlu for their contributions to economic relations between the two countries. /Today’s Zaman/

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

    [07] PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY

    BY MUSTAFA ERDOGAN (STAR)

    Columnist Mustafa Erdogan comments on the system of parliamentary immunity. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Parliamentary immunity provides parliamentarians with full freedom of expression in their duties. The need for this is very clear, because one cannot represent a nation without freedom of speech. Speech limitations on our representatives would mean certain issues facing the nation would be covered up or never mentioned. And this would cut off the possibility of both informed decisions on vital issues and well-executed actions to address these issues.

    Obviously, freedom of expression is necessary for everybody, but whatever the general state of this freedom, there should be full freedom of speech in Parliament. So this exception, which benefits our parliamentary deputies, shouldn’t be considered a privilege contrary to equality under the law. This distinction isn’t arbitrary, but a democratic obligation so that the nation can be represented and sound public policy formulated.

    As long as deputies remain deputies, immunity protects them from criminal prosecution and procedures such as arrest. Its goal is to ensure the ability of deputies (and especially those in the opposition) to carry out their duties without feeling government pressure. In principle, it’s not wrong for deputies to have this guarantee or safeguard. So this shouldn’t be considered a privilege either.

    This exemption for deputies is both wide and narrow. It’s wide, because what’s necessary for a deputy’s political safety isn’t exemption from standing trial, but from such procedures as arrest, where force is necessary, which would prevent deputies from carrying out their duties. This is enough to protect the nation’s representatives.

    On the other hand, immunity doesn’t cover charges for crimes covered under Article 14 of the Constitution, provided they were filed before the elections which brought the deputy in question to power. But it’s not clear what sorts of crimes are covered by this article, and in fact the article is subject to politics, so this exception to immunity is dangerous.

    Immunity is more necessary for Turkey than in the West, because in our country, deputies must be protected from abuses of the political plurality and the state. Recent experience shows that protecting deputies from the state is indispensable and a quite necessary safeguard for democracy. But the scope of immunity should be limited to being exempt from procedures such as arrest, and the exceptions under Article 14 should be done away with.”


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