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Turkish Press Review, 07-12-12

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

12.12.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT: “TERRORISM HAS BECOME POLITICIZED”
  • [02] US’ WILSON: “THE PKK, NOT THE KURDS, IS TURKEY’S ENEMY”
  • [03] IN ANKARA, JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH CONDEMNS PKK
  • [04] IRANIAN COMMERCE MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA
  • [05] US’ HUGHES: “WE USED NEW PROGRAMS AND EXTRA FUNDS TO HELP WIN OVER TURKS”
  • [06] NEW YOK CHAIRMAN AND THE HEADSCARF ISSUE

  • [01] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT: “TERRORISM HAS BECOME POLITICIZED”

    Speaking yesterday at a symposium in Ankara on cutting off ideological and economic support to the terrorist PKK and its affiliates, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said, “Terrorism has become both politicized and legalized. While the politicization has been completed, only a part of the legalization has been done. They’re in Parliament, only its armed dimension hasn’t been legalized. They even submit proposals to change the Constitution.” In related news, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun said that the attitude of certain countries, including some of Turkey’s allies, is the most important factor allowing the terrorist PKK to find shelter. He added that challenges to anti-terrorism measures over democratization and human rights concerns also help the PKK. “European countries which have faced few terrorist attacks compared to Turkey are able to take harsh measures in their own countries, including shutting down political parties,” he said. “But these countries’ harsh measures have attracted no protests.” /Turkiye/

    [02] US’ WILSON: “THE PKK, NOT THE KURDS, IS TURKEY’S ENEMY”

    Asked a question about American policy on Turkey’s Kurds, US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson yesterday posted a statement on the embassy’s website. "The United States regards Turkey and the people of Turkey as friends and allies," said Wilson's statement. "President Bush stated on November 5 that the PKK is an enemy of the United States, of Iraq and of Turkey. We are focused on working with our Turkish allies and partners in Iraq against that violent, terrorist enemy. However, it should be made clear that the PKK is the enemy - not Turkey’s ethnic Kurds, nor any other ethnic group in this diverse country. We look forward to working with Turkey and its citizens for peace, security and freedom in the region and in the world." /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] IN ANKARA, JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH CONDEMNS PKK

    On a one-day visit to Ankara yesterday, Jordan’s King Abdullah held a press conference after his meetings with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where the Middle East peace process and recent developments in Iraq were discussed. Stating that he supports Turkey’s fight against terrorism, he added, “I condemn the terrorist PKK’s attacks. I support Iraq’s territorial unity.” /Milliyet/

    [04] IRANIAN COMMERCE MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA

    Iranian Commerce Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi is scheduled to visit Ankara tomorrow. Officials from the Iranian Embassy said that agreements to boost bilateral trade will be signed during Kazemi’s visit. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] US’ HUGHES: “WE USED NEW PROGRAMS AND EXTRA FUNDS TO HELP WIN OVER TURKS”

    Outgoing Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes said yesterday that the US had initiated new programs and allocated extra funds to win over the Turkish public. Saying that many public relation experts have been working hard in Turkey, Hughes added that Turkey is a key country for the US. /Star/

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

    [06] NEW YOK CHAIRMAN AND THE HEADSCARF ISSUE

    BY HALUK SAHIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Haluk Sahin comments on the background of the new head of the Board of Higher Education (YOK) and the headscarf issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “President Abdullah Gul’s decision to appoint Yusuf Ziya Ozcan head of the Board of Higher Education (YOK) made big headlines yesterday. Nowhere else in the world would such an appointment be considered so important. But we shouldn’t be surprised by this interest in our country, because it involves two important domestic fault lines: secularism and the headscarf ban at universities. I took a look at Ozcan’s CV on the Internet. These points were interesting for me: His doctorate from the University of Chicago proves his academic aptitude. Moreover, it isn’t easy to become a professor at METU.

    His list of publications is wide ranging and covers a large variety of issues such as methodology, income distribution, social politics, police training, iodized salt, cell phones, etc. Even if he moved from one area to another, his studies on police training and Muslims are interesting. He gave courses at the International Islamic University in Malaysia in 1992- 1994 as a visiting lecturer. I guess Professor Ahmet Davudoglu, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) foreign policy brain trust, also spent time there. President Gul also has experience with the Islamic Development Bank.

    In light of this common feature of officials, which became very important following this summer’s elections, let me note that following those elections, the appointment of a sociologist with high Islamic sensitivities, instead of a constitutional jurist from Galatasaray University, is to be expected, but meaningful as well. After his appointment was announced, Ozcan stressed two important issues: Full academic freedom and high standards of scholarship. Indeed, scholarship at a place bereft of freedom is like trying to jog with no oxygen in the air. You could quickly suffocate.

    The issue of educational quality, which has been kept on the back burner due to populist political pressures, requires separating different issues from each other. Quality universities can’t be created by opening slum universities under political pressure. The new YOK head considers the headscarf ban a serious violation of human rights and argues that it should be lifted. He prefers a more libertarian and tolerant mode of administration. In other words, he hopes that if the students who come to universities wearing a headscarf aren’t held back, the issue will be forgotten.

    Although I also support lifting the university headscarf ban, which I consider discrimination against female students, I believe that prospects for this right now are extremely optimistic. If this issue hadn’t been misused so much by those who made it political fodder, lifting it would have been appropriate. But now it might and will cause tensions. What is needed is a consensus framework about what will happen after the ban at is lifted. A ‘minority’ who believe that we’re gradually losing the republic sees Ozcan’s appointment as another step in this conspiracy. They ask if the debate will end there, or will they move to the next stage. One day after the university ban is lifted, will people start pushing to end it at high schools too so that graduates wearing headscarves can be appointed to public posts? When will the spiral of freedom start to narrow? I wonder if Ozcan, who undertook an ordeal by accepting this difficult post, will do something to create such a consensus. Who knows, maybe there’s no need for such compromises anymore!”


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