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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-04

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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

04.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] BOMB BLAST IN DIYARBAKIR KILLS FIVE, WOUNDS 67
  • [02] GUL: “TERRORISM SHOWED ITS UGLY FACE”
  • [03] ERDOGAN PUSHES SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS
  • [04] TRNC PRESIDENT TALAT VISITS ANKARA
  • [05] PARLIAMENT PASSES EXPANDED SMOKING BAN
  • [06] LATE PM ECEVIT’S PAPERS TO BE PUBLISHED
  • [07] DRAFT CONSTITUTION PRESENTED TO ERDOGAN
  • [08] HOTEL CONSTRUCTION IN HISTORIC AREA OF ISTANBUL TO BE REVIEWED
  • [09] EU COMPLETES SEPARATION ON CYPRUS WITH THE EURO

  • [01] BOMB BLAST IN DIYARBAKIR KILLS FIVE, WOUNDS 67

    A bomb blast in Diyarbakir yesterday killed five people, including two children, and wounded 67, including 30 soldiers. The blast occurred while a military personnel vehicle, the presumed target, was passing by. The injured were taken to the Dicle University Medical School Hospital as well as the local military and state hospitals. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is set to travel to the area today to assess the situation. He will meet with the wounded and speak with the military and state agencies about the incident. /Hurriyet/

    [02] GUL: “TERRORISM SHOWED ITS UGLY FACE”

    Speaking to state television about the bomb attack in Diyarbakir yesterday, President Abdullah Gul said, “I ask for God’s mercy for those who lost their lives. Through this incident, the world saw the ugly face of terrorism.” Also commenting on the incident, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Such incidents won’t diminish our determination. We will continue our fight terrorism both nationally and internationally.” Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said, “I condemn the attackers and those who supported them. There’s no doubt that these heinous attacks will be fought off.” In an official statement on the attack, the US Embassy in Ankara said, “Today’s bombing in Diyarbakir is a horrific example of the senseless tragedy that terrorism brings. We open our hearts and offer deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those hurt in this brutal act. We strongly condemn this violence and reiterate our determination to stand together with Turkey in combating terrorism in all its form.” /Hurriyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN PUSHES SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS

    The Economic and Social Council yesterday discussed social security reforms planned to take effect this June. Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined that the inequities of the existing social security system must be eliminated and its structural problems resolved. Pointing to the increasing financial burden on the system, Erdogan said that the problem is not a passing issue but concerns the country’s very future. “If necessary measures are not taken, the deficiencies of the system will mortgage our future,” he added. “Our government is determined to solve this problem whatever the cost.” /Turkiye/

    [04] TRNC PRESIDENT TALAT VISITS ANKARA

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday arrived in Ankara as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Talat began his official meetings after visiting Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum. After meeting with Talat, Gul told reporters that Turkey would continue to do its part as a guarantor country for Cyprus and that the Greek Cypriot administration is continuing its uncompromising attitude. Later, Gul hosted a luncheon for Talat along with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. Talat was also received by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Star/

    [05] PARLIAMENT PASSES EXPANDED SMOKING BAN

    Parliament yesterday approved a bill to extend the country’s smoking ban to all enclosed public areas. The bill, set to come into effect in 18 months, would prohibit smoking in all bars, restaurants and coffeehouses. In 1997, Turkey banned smoking in offices with more than four workers, some public transportation, and some public places including sports centers. It also curbed cigarette advertising and mandated health warnings on cigarette packages. /Sabah/

    [06] LATE PM ECEVIT’S PAPERS TO BE PUBLISHED

    The papers of the late Premier Bulent Ecevit are set to be published by Turkish IsBank Culture Publications. Initially, documents relating to the 1973 Cyprus Peace Operation are planned to be published on the operation’s 35th anniversary. Speaking about the book deal, the late premier’s wife Rahsan Ecevit said that the work would help illuminate over a half-century of Turkish history. Proceeds from the sales of the book rights will be donated to the Mehmetcik Foundation (for soldiers) and the GATA Military Hospital. /Milliyet/

    [07] DRAFT CONSTITUTION PRESENTED TO ERDOGAN

    A commission of Justice and Development Party (AKP) members has completed their work on a new constitution and submitted it to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The group led by AKP Deputy Chairman Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said that in the new draft, the first four articles of the current Constitution had not been touched. /Milliyet/

    [08] HOTEL CONSTRUCTION IN HISTORIC AREA OF ISTANBUL TO BE REVIEWED

    Responding to recent disputes over construction of a Four Seasons Hotel in a historic area in Istanbul, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay yesterday paid a visit to the site. Gunay told reporters that state bodies will meet soon to evaluate the construction work and decide whether it will continue. /Milliyet/

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

    [09] EU COMPLETES SEPARATION ON CYPRUS WITH THE EURO

    BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s stance on the issue. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “The situation on Cyprus has grown more complicated since Greek Cyprus adopted the euro at the beginning of this year. President Abdullah Gul’s meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday in Ankara was meant to raise the international profile of this issue. If the European Union is implementing monetary union " the final stage of integration " with a country that hasn’t been able to completely fulfill the acquis communautaire, this is a real problem. The EU isn’t bothering to hide anymore that with this step, it’s prepared to forsake the TRNC. When the common currency entered into force, the Turkish Cypriots were left to their own fate. This situation raises the issue of the right to self-determination. I don’t argue that the Kosovo model should be followed and a campaign initiated for recognition of the TRNC, but the process of searching a new solution for the TRNC has clearly begun.

    Besides Greek, there is also Turkish on the island’s euros. But Greek Cypriot policy can’t be said to be following suit. Speaking on the common currency, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Markulli said that adoption of the euro would be a new initiative for a resolution on the island and that the closer they get to the euro and the deeper relations get between the two sides, the easier unification will be. She claimed that unification would be facilitated and the problems solved with the Turkish side’s accession to the other state. The Greek Cypriot government, which will grow stronger and richer through the euro, is calculating that the North won’t be able to resist the money’s attractive force.

    The Greek Cypriot administration is pushing two issues internationally. The first is former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan. This plan doesn’t exist anymore in the new process of talks to start under UN supervision. The second point is one that they’re trying to exclude from EU documents. They are trying to make people forget that Turkey supported Annan’s plan and thus supported a solution on the island. The administration celebrated exclusion of this fact from official documents at an EU summit last month as a great success.

    Next the Greek Cypriots hope to go back to the situation before the Annan plan and paint Turkey as the side obstructing a solution. The Greek Cypriot strategy for 2008 is to block ending the TRNC’s isolation and to ensure the continuing embargo puts pressure on the TRNC and Turkey. Could this plan work? If Turkey and the Turkish side can produce confident and creative policies and end their inactivity, the plan will fail. No initiative which doesn’t guarantee the Turkish side’s equality or make the Greek Cypriots feel comfortable can succeed. The EU has completed the separation on the island with the euro, and they should be made to see this.”


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