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Turkish Press Review, 07-12-14

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

14.12.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL MEETS WITH NAZARBAYEV
  • [02] US’ WILSON: “THE PKK IS WELCOME IN NEITHER IRAQ NOR TURKEY”
  • [03] SPAIN’S NAVARRO: “EXCLUDING TURKEY FROM THE EU WOULD AMOUNT TO BARBARISM”
  • [04] TUSIAD URGES REFORMS TO COUNTER EU SNAG
  • [05] BAHCELI’S HEADSCARF FORMULA

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL MEETS WITH NAZARBAYEV

    On the second day of his four-day visit to Kazakhstan, President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev. Speaking before meetings between their delegations, Nazarbayev said that Turkey was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence and that relations between the two countries grow stronger each day. “We have forged great cooperation in both foreign and domestic policy,” he added. “Turkey supported Kazakhstan’s bid to be elected term president of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) in 2010. I also give thanks for this support.” Gul congratulated Nazarbayev on Kazakhstan’s independence day and said that developments in his country have an impact in Turkey as well. “As long as there’s political will between Turkey and Kazakhstan, our ties will become stronger in all areas, ” he added. “Cooperation within the Turkic world will develop, and further concrete steps will be taken.” /Turkiye/

    [02] US’ WILSON: “THE PKK IS WELCOME IN NEITHER IRAQ NOR TURKEY”

    US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson yesterday said the US is well aware of the difficulties and hardships caused by PKK terrorism. "We intend to help Turkish authorities, as best as we can, in eradicating PKK terrorism," Wilson said during a visit to aviation industry facilities in the central Anatolian province of Eskisehir. "We’re working together with Turkey in this struggle. We worked together in the '90s. And we have working together for the last seven years. Especially after US President Bush's recent meeting [with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan], we have worked very hard in line with the decisions taken at that meeting. We see that concrete results are being achieved to help the Turkish people and security forces." Wilson said the terrorist PKK is beginning to understand that it’s not welcome in either Iraq or Turkey. "It has enemies in both the US and Europe, " added Wilson. In related news, Dell Dailey, US State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, said yesterday that both Turkey and Iraq would prefer a political solution to deal with the PKK. Addressing the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think-tank, Dailey reiterated that the US is sharing intelligence with Turkey. Asked what he meant by “political solution,” Bailey said, "I mean a political solution both in Turkey and Iraq." /Turkiye/

    [03] SPAIN’S NAVARRO: “EXCLUDING TURKEY FROM THE EU WOULD AMOUNT TO BARBARISM”

    Speaking to Spanish state television channel TVE, Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union Alberto Navarro said excluding Turkey from the EU would amount to barbarism. Navarro said Turkey is a country looking towards the West and making legal reforms. Speaking on the Treaty of Lisbon signed by EU leaders this week, Navarro said that the treaty would bring stability to the Union. "The treaty will make it possible for Turkey to join the EU," Navarro added. Addressing opposition to Turkey's membership in the EU, Navarro stressed, "Excluding Turkey from the EU would truly be barbarism." He added, "Twenty-two years ago, Spain was a poor country. Spain has lived its best times as a member of the EU. Spain became a country that is rich, developed and takes in immigrants. Turkey is a founding member of the Council of Europe. Turkey is a country that looks at Europe, that has abolished the death penalty from its laws, and has made reforms. Just like Spain, Turkey's EU process will be a long one." /Milliyet/

    [04] TUSIAD URGES REFORMS TO COUNTER EU SNAG

    Turkey’s largest business group yesterday pressed the government to speed up the reform process to keep the country’s European Union membership bid on track despite opposition from certain EU countries. “We almost dropped the EU project,” complained Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, leader of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD), at a meeting of the group, which was also attended by a government minister. “One reason for this loss of motivation is the unjust and unacceptable stance on the part of some EU countries against us.” /Today’s Zaman/

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

    [05] BAHCELI’S HEADSCARF FORMULA

    BY BILAL CETIN (VATAN)

    Columnist Bilal Cetin comments on the headscarf ban at universities and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli’s stance on it. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has made a new suggestion about the controversial headscarf ban at universities, which made headlines again this week with the appointment of a new Board of Higher Education (YOK) head by President Abdullah Gul. It’s long been known that the MHP and Bahceli are opposed to the ban. Before the 1999 elections when it became a coalition partner it promised to tackle the issue, but it didn’t follow through. It saw that the issue wasn’t as easy as it appeared.

    So at a press conference yesterday, when he was asked if the ban would be lifted, Bahceli chose his words carefully. He stressed that he didn’t favor this ban. Stating that providing education is a basic duty of the state, Bahceli said that certain young people’s right to education can’t be taken from them just because they’re wearing headscarves. ‘There must be no such ban at universities,’ Bahceli said. ‘If the headscarf is seen as a political symbol, public officials can distinguish between those wearing headscarves as a political symbol or as a symbol of reactionary activity and then do what’s necessary. Other than this, the MHP can’t consent to the headscarf ban.’

    Yet Bahceli also knows that it’s not feasible to solve the problem by lifting the ban or appointing a new YOK head or letting individual rectors decide. So he didn’t say that if the rectors allow headscarves and YOK doesn’t institute disciplinary proceedings, the problem would be solved. He knows that the ban took the character of a constitutional provision through a 1999 Constitutional Court ruling, so he proposed a constitutional amendment. He pointed to Article 10 of the Constitution, which speaks of ‘equality before the law.’ Bahceli says the article can be reinterpreted and rearranged to clarify the term ‘public sphere’ to allow students wearing headscarves to attend university.

    So far the MHP hasn’t told the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has a majority of 341 deputies, that it can support it on this issue. The MHP also hasn’t asked the AKP to introduce an amendment to Article 10 to lift the ban, because it can see that this is a sensitive issue which might create serious disturbances among certain institutions and circles and polarize society. So the MHP says that a social consensus is needed for a solution and the issue can’t be solved without one. Bahceli made a reasonable suggestion, but something is interesting in his statements. He is urging certain public officials to distinguish women wearing headscarves as a political symbol or as a symbol of reactionary activity from those who are not. How would this work? Who could make such a distinction? Will there be a fortune teller in front of each university? Will that official allow students wearing headscarves due to religious beliefs to attend university, but exclude those wearing it as a symbol of reactionary activities? This isn’t realistic.”


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