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Turkish Press Review, 07-12-31

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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

31.12.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] IN TELEVISED ADDRESS, ERDOGAN REVIEWS 2007 AND LOOKS TO FUTURE
  • [02] TRNC’S TALAT TO VISIT ANKARA THIS WEEK
  • [03] GERMAN GREENS DEPUTY: “THE DTP SHOULD CLARIFY ITS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE TERRORIST PKK”
  • [04] TOBB ACCELERATES PUSH FOR IZMIR TO HOST EXPO 2015
  • [05] PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THE BAD GUYS!
  • [06] TO OUR READERS

  • [01] IN TELEVISED ADDRESS, ERDOGAN REVIEWS 2007 AND LOOKS TO FUTURE

    Addressing the nation on television for the last time this year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the democratization reforms Turkey has accomplished in recent years can be fairly called a revolution. Erdogan added that with this July’s general elections, Turkish democracy had passed a critical test. Erdogan recounted notable events of 2007, including Abdullah Gul being elected president and the passage of a referendum of constitutional changes in October. Touching on the terrorist PKK, Erdogan reiterated that the government is working to eliminate the terrorist group, saying it threatens Turkey’s unity and integrity. "We are trying to cut social, logistic, financial and psychological support to the terrorist group," he said, and cited the November motion authorizing the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to take cross- border operations against the PKK. Erdogan added that these operations only targeted the PKK in northern Iraq. "Our government has worked hard on the diplomatic front to eliminate terror and lay out Turkey's just cause,” he said. “After unfortunate longtime isolation on this issue, Turkey for the first time managed to get strong international support in its fight against terrorism. Regional countries, Middle Eastern countries, the United States and the European Union started to take Turkey’s side in its just fight. We will continue to steadfastly use all political, military, diplomatic, social and economic means in this process." Erdogan also said that investments in eastern and southeastern Anatolia since 2003 totaled 8.4 billion YTL, predicting that private sector and foreign capital investments will rise as the difficulties caused by terrorism diminish. /Star/

    [02] TRNC’S TALAT TO VISIT ANKARA THIS WEEK

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat will arrive in Ankara this Thursday for an official visit at the invitation of President Abdullah Gul. The two leaders will discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/

    [03] GERMAN GREENS DEPUTY: “THE DTP SHOULD CLARIFY ITS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE TERRORIST PKK”

    While visiting Izmir yesterday, Ozcan Mutlu, a Turkish Greens member of the German Parliament, said that Turkey’s Democratic Society Party (DTP) should clarify its attitudes towards the terrorist PKK. Saying that DTP had failed to condemn terrorist PKK attacks, Mutlu added that this situation has led European countries to be concerned about the DTP. /Turkiye/

    [04] TOBB ACCELERATES PUSH FOR IZMIR TO HOST EXPO 2015

    The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) is accelerating its push for the Aegean province of Izmir to host Expo 2015. TOBB leader Rifat Hisarciklioglu wrote a second letter seeking the support of local chambers of commerce and industry in countries that will vote on the candidacy in March. Hisarciklioglu argued in his letter that thanks to the city's geographical position, Izmir hosting the event would spur a dynamic atmosphere for the Aegean Free Trade Zone as well as organized industrial zones, ports, trade and investment opportunities and new partnerships. Hisarciklioglu added that such dynamism could create a business volume of some $10-15 billion. "If Izmir hosts Expo, this would not only bring great investment opportunities to the city and its surroundings, but also to the unique region where our country is located, ” he said. “It would also create a huge opportunity for businessmen from all around the world.” /Cumhuriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [05] PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW THE BAD GUYS!

    BY RAHMI TURAN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Rahmi Turan comments on the state of the nation and expectations for the New Year. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The modern world is not for the just, but for the powerful. If we can’t stand on our own two feet, no one will feel sorry for us!

    Our country is moving through a time of a lack of unity. There are certain power centers trying to create enemy camps among the people. We’re not learning lessons from Pakistan, which is going to hell!

    Every New Year brings new hopes and new emotions. What is this hope? That we will come our senses, that common sense will win out …

    Today is the last day of the year … A journey to hope is beginning tomorrow. What will 2008 bring to Turkey?

    Will our expectations come true? Will our problems be overcome? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

    Is it our fate to always live always in troublesome times?

    * *

    No one should expect that year prices will stay steady in the coming year! Tomorrow an electricity price hike will take effect. Natural gas prices will also rise 10% percent. Other price hikes will be automatically implemented tomorrow. More hikes, more burdens!

    Indirect taxes are the ones which hit both poor and rich equally. They are unfair taxes. Without any discrimination between rich and poor, everybody pays these same taxes. The Value-Added Tax, Special Consumption Tax, Communication Tax, etc. are such taxes.

    Turks will continue to pay the highest taxes in the world, and to face many difficulties!

    * *

    Don’t ask, ‘What is this situation?’ Because our nation made its choice. You’ll shut up and wait. Wait for what? To be crushed under more burdens…

    We’re criticizing the government, but they didn’t come from outer space … Our society gave them this … Our people turned toward them.

    In any case, it seems that the people pleased with the situation are in the majority. They have been tricked by the government’s largesse! A model of state largesse has recently emerged! A famous expression says: Every nation has the government it deserves!

    We defend democracy, then we tolerate them, even we don’t like them …

    Economic officials are planning to sign a new standby with the International Monetary Fund in February. Is there anything new for the people? No, same old bowl, old hamam…

    Through the new standby agreement, Turkey will get a new road map and homework. This means that our people will continue to suffer under austerity policies …

    * *

    Misadministration will continue, but some people will continue to say: Everything is in order … Things are going well. Bright days are just around the corner! Politicians will lull the nation, televisions will fill our brains with junk, certain media will bilk pleasantly…

    They’ll be nice, we’ll be bogeymen. It’s our fate!

    Former State Minister Abdullatif Sener, who was sidelined by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), made a remark that I like. It’s interesting to hear it from an AKP member; it’s a sincere and open stance. ‘Turkish people admire good people, but follow bad people!’

    This is our country in a nutshell!”

    [06] TO OUR READERS

    The Turkish Press Review will not appear on tomorrow, New Year’s Day. Please join us again on Wednesday, January 2.
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