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Turkish Press Review, 07-12-07

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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

07.12.2007

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “A NEW ERA HAS DAWNED WITH TURKMENISTAN”
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “THANKS TO ANKARA’S DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES, THE INTL COMMUNITY IS ON OUR SIDE”
  • [03] US’ WILSON: “I THINK INTELLIGENCE SHARING IS PAYING DIVIDENDS”
  • [04] YOK CHAIR TEZIC SET TO STEP DOWN
  • [05] OECD PREDICTS 6% GROWTH NEXT YEAR
  • [06] KENT NAMED NEW CEO OF COCA-COLA TURKEY
  • [07] CANKAYA AND THE JUDICIARY

  • [01] GUL: “A NEW ERA HAS DAWNED WITH TURKMENISTAN”

    President Abdullah Gul, currently in Turkmenistan as the official guest of his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguli Berdimuhammedov, yesterday said, “I consider my visit an event which will boost relations between our sister countries.” Speaking at a joint press conference with Berdimuhammedov at the Presidential Palace, Gul said, “Turkmenistan is the country of our forebears, and we are as one people living in two countries. Our race, language and religion are the same. So I am excited to be here.” Announcing that they had decided to establish an economic cooperation council, Gul said, “During our meetings, we realized that there is a great potential and decided to work on this with determination.” Gul also attended a meeting of the Turkey-Turkmen Business Council. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “THANKS TO ANKARA’S DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES, THE INTL COMMUNITY IS ON OUR SIDE”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan yesterday said that that Turkey’s right to conduct a cross-border operation into northern Iraq had started to find acceptance in the international community, adding that this support is needed to ensure Turkey does not pay an undue price for its justified actions. Speaking at the 20th General Assembly of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), Erdogan said his government is handling the fight against terrorism politically, militarily and diplomatically, adding, “There are hardly any countries which don’t support Turkey. The fact that we are justified in conducting a cross-border operation has started to find serious acceptance in the European Union, Gulf countries, the US and Japan, and all other countries.” /Star/

    [03] US’ WILSON: “I THINK INTELLIGENCE SHARING IS PAYING DIVIDENDS”

    Speaking to reporters at Finland’s national day reception, US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson said yesterday, “The (pro-Kurdish) Democratic Society Party (DTP) should put a distance between itself and terrorism,” adding that he thinks recently intensified intelligence sharing between the US and Turkey is producing good results. Wilson also said that he has briefed decision-makers in Washington about Turkey’s perspective on domestic and international issues. /Sabah/

    [04] YOK CHAIR TEZIC SET TO STEP DOWN

    The term in office of Erdogan Tezic, chairman of the Board of Higher Education (YÖK), is set to end on Saturday. His successor will be chosen by President Abdullah Gul. At to a farewell gathering yesterday, Tezic said that he will make a final visit to Gul today. /Milliyet/

    [05] OECD PREDICTS 6% GROWTH NEXT YEAR

    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has predicted growth in Turkey next year of 6 percent. According to a new OECD economic outlook report, Turkey’s economy slowed down earlier this year as a result of interest rate hikes in 2006 and political uncertainties, but gained momentum after July’s general elections. “In the absence of shocks, growth should settle at around 5.8 percent in 2008 and 6.3 percent in 2009,” the report said. The report indicated appreciation of the Turkish currency had undermined Turkey's competitiveness and that this has led to job losses. “In this context the government is encouraged to restore fiscal restraint, which would help the Central Bank to continue reducing interest rates, and to increase the flexibility of product and labor markets to help the economy to cope with strong appreciation,” the report said. “Turkey's current account deficit, a weak spot of the country's economy, is expected to remain above 7 percent and the unemployment rate above 9 percent.” /Aksam/

    [06] KENT NAMED NEW CEO OF COCA-COLA TURKEY

    The Coca-Cola Company has announced that Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer of its Turkish operations, will succeed Neville Isdell as CEO as of next July. /Today’s Zaman/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] CANKAYA AND THE JUDICIARY

    BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on opposition leader Deniz Baykal’s remarks on the president’s recent actions. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The media, universities, and the judiciary; main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that his party sees the besieging of these three areas is a part of a plan to transform Turkey.

    These institutions will be seized, even torn down! The CHP tried to block a recent bill changing procedures for appointing judges and prosecutors, but Parliament passed it lighting speed, and the president approved it before the ink even had a chance to dry.

    The law sets new arrangements in interviews for these posts. Baykal blasted how the president signed the law without reviewing it. Calling the new law a danger to the independence of the judiciary, he said, ‘It is regrettable that the president is playing his assigned role him in this process so well. The need for a president who is impartial, inspires confidence and defends the Constitution seems even clearer following recent incidents. Unfortunately, President Abdullah Gul didn’t take a stand against the government’s improper activities, and failed to act as the public expects him to. His signing of the law in a rush, at three o’clock in early morning, after just arriving Ankara from Pakistan, should be reviewed. Wasn’t the president obliged to have his analysts and lawyers examine the controversial law to see if there was anything wrong with it?’

    The CHP leader asked, ‘Why doesn’t the president carry out his normal examination and inspection process? This situation is dispiriting in terms of both the rule of law and the president’s position.’

    It’s not hard to guess that the source of Baykal’s anxieties lie in judicial hiring from the (Fethullah) Gulen community. Stressing that Cankaya’s impartiality was compromised when Gul took office, Baykal objected to the law’s speedy approval, and asked, ‘Did the order (to do this) come from someplace higher?’

    Why did Cankaya sign the law in a rush?

    Was it only to highlight the difference between Gul and his predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer?

    Have the promises made before Gul was elected been kept?!”


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