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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-09

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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

09.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL, BUSH MEET AT THE WHITE HOUSE
  • [02] WHITE HOUSE: “BUSH WILL TALK TO PRESIDENT GUL ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH IRAQ”
  • [03] ERDOGAN: “THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE TERRORIST PKK IS DRAWING NEAR”
  • [04] BAHCELI: “THE MHP IS COMPLETELY OPPOSED TO ANY CHANGES TO ARTICLE 301”
  • [05] SUSPECTS ARRESTED FOR DIYARBAKIR BOMBING
  • [06] IT WON’T WORK WITHOUT THE US (…BUT IT ALSO WON’T WORK WITH ONLY THE US)

  • [01] GUL, BUSH MEET AT THE WHITE HOUSE

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his US counterpart George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condolezza Rice at the White House. Issues such as the terrorist PKK, Cyprus, energy and the Middle East dominated their talks. “Turkey is a strategic partner of the United States,” Bush said after the meeting. “Relations between the United States and Turkey are important for our country. And we have worked hard to make them strong and I believe they are strong. We deal with common problems. One such problem is our continuing fight against a common enemy, and that's terrorists, and such a common enemy as the PKK. It's an enemy to Turkey, it's an enemy to Iraq, and it's an enemy to people who want to live in peace.” For his part, Gul said, “Our relations are important, and we will continue to work together to ensure that peace, stability and prosperity continue to grow around the world.” He added, “We are also working against our common enemy, the PKK, and we have once again underlined the importance of our cooperation in fighting against the PKK. And I would like to thank the president for his determination as well on this regard. As the president has said, we have discussed some other important issues such as energy and the issues with respect to the Middle East. The president is engaged very much in efforts to ensure peace in the Middle East, and we believe that these are important efforts which can yield results. We also discussed Iraq and we will continue to discuss issues such as Iraq, the Balkans and other issues.” Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Mehmet Simsek, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, Gul’s foreign policy advisor Ahmet Davutoglu, and Turkish Ambassador to Washington Nabi Sensoy also attended the meeting. /Milliyet/

    [02] WHITE HOUSE: “BUSH WILL TALK TO PRESIDENT GUL ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH IRAQ”

    Speaking to reporters before President Abdullah Gul’s meeting with his US counterpart George W. Bush, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that Bush would reaffirm the US commitment to work with Turkey as well as Iraq to combat the terrorist PKK. “As you know, those issues have been going on for … several years, but more intensely in the past couple of months, ” she added. Asked about the terrorist PKK, Perino said, “One of the things that the president will do is to talk to President Gul about this opportunity now to work with the folks in the Kurd region, including President [Jalal] Talabani and [Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki on a long- term political solution, because Prime Minister Maliki and President Talabani share the concern about the PKK, as does the United States, with that of President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan.” /Milliyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN: “THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE TERRORIST PKK IS DRAWING NEAR”

    Addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the beginning of the end for the PKK is drawing near, calling the terrorist group a tool for the international drug trade. Touching on the last week’s deadly PKK attack in Diyarbakir, Erdogan said that no social issue and no reason could justify terrorism, adding, “The only legitimate way to talk and solve issues is politics.” Erdogan also criticized the Democratic Society Party (DTP) for its failure to denounce the terrorist PKK. “Why does such an approach persist here in Parliament, if it is calling the terrorist group ‘a political organization’?” he asked. “If they are a political group, then what are you (the DTP) doing in Parliament?” / Hurriyet/

    [04] BAHCELI: “THE MHP IS COMPLETELY OPPOSED TO ANY CHANGES TO ARTICLE 301”

    Speaking to his party's group meeting in Parliament yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that the MHP is completely opposed to any changes to controversial Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 301. "The MHP is against any sort of proposal (to change) this article,” he said. “It is also determined to work against those who feel uneasy regarding the current wording of the article. Opening discussion on this article, which does not need to be changed under any circumstances, may create new tensions." In related news, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized President Abdullah Gul’s current visit to the US, saying that international meetings are important but making them into regular events is a mistake. /Sabah/

    [05] SUSPECTS ARRESTED FOR DIYARBAKIR BOMBING

    The police yesterday detained a 23-year old identified as E.P., saying he was the perpetrator of last week’s deadly Diyarbakir bombing. Police also detained six people accused of helping him. E.P. was said to have trained in terrorist PKK camps in northern Iraq. “A suspect was caught,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said about the news. “I don’t know the details. I can’t say that he’s the perpetrator, I’m not authorized.” /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [06] IT WON’T WORK WITHOUT THE US (…BUT IT ALSO WON’T WORK WITH ONLY THE US)

    BY GUNGOR URAS (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Gungor Uras comments on Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “President Abdullah Gul’s meeting this week with his US counterpart George W. Bush is important. Turkish leaders’ regular relations with the US administration serve Turkey’s political and economic interests.

    The US is now reshaping the Mideast. While this is happening, Turkey will either sit to one side and watch developments or take an active role.

    US support has great importance in ending terrorism in Turkey, resolving the Kurdish and Armenian issues, our relations with our neighbors, and keeping the military strong.

    When we come to the US influence on our economy … Although on paper the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are independent institutions, they are directed by the US. Turkey will need these institutions’ support for a long time to come.

    * *

    Don’t forget that the US also carried us to the waiting room of the European Union. Turkey needs foreign financial support. In order to cover our foreign currency deficit, make investments, and turn over our foreign debt stock, direct foreign capital and loan flow can’t be delayed.

    Foreign capital and foreign loan come through New York. Washington’s green light is important to prevent jams on the road to New York. When it flashes a yellow, delays are inevitable.

    For this reason, players in the Turkish economy are always in close contact with the US. Our big economic players keep a constant watch on America. Based on the signals coming from the US, foreign currency and interest rates are determined, and the stock market rises and falls.

    * *

    Have we become so dependent on the US? Not only Turkey, but also many countries have become tightly bound to the US. This is what ‘new world order’ means. We have to evaluate President Gul’s visit to the US through this lens.

    But … This doesn’t only apply to the US. There’s a great country to our north, Russia. It would be a mistake to ignore this country. Russia is as important for us as the US. We’re dependent on Russia for our natural gas. Russia is an attractive market. Russia is a power which can balance Turkey’s relations with the US.

    It’s wrong to evaluate relations with the European countries only within the framework of the EU. Let the debate about our EU membership continue. We’re doing half of our exports to European countries. Some 5 million Turks are living in these countries.

    Looking at both the president and prime minister’s visits abroad in this wide perspective would be helpful.”


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