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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-10

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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

10.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL CONTINUES OFFICIAL MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON, NEW YORK
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “I SAW THE SPIRIT OF PUBLIC UNITY IN DIYARBAKIR”
  • [03] NEW DP LEADER VISITS DEMIREL
  • [04] PM ERDOGAN TO VISIT SPAIN, SWITZERLAND THIS MONTH
  • [05] 87TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST INONU VICTORY COMMEMORATED
  • [06] BRITAIN’S CYPRUS REPRESENTATIVE VISITS PARLIAMENT
  • [07] GUL’S VISIT TO THE US

  • [01] GUL CONTINUES OFFICIAL MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON, NEW YORK

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday continued his contacts in Washington. Gul spoke with editors of The Washington Post and then met with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen at his hotel. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, top Foreign Ministry officials and General Staff Intelligence Service Director Rear Adm. Alaattin Sevim, as well as US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson, attended the latter meeting. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Gates said that they had had very fruitful talks and the opportunity to discuss a number of issues. Gul then met with representatives of the local Turkish community at the Turkish Embassy. The president urged Turks living in the US to take a more active role in politics and to cooperate closely with each other. Gul also attended a luncheon hosted by the Turkish-American Council (ATC) in his honor. Addressing the gathering, Gul underlined Ankara’s determination to end PKK terrorism. Pointing to Turkish-US cooperation against the PKK, Gul said that during his meeting on Tuesday with US President George W. Bush, they underlined that their resolute stance against the terrorist group would continue. Touting economic developments in Turkey, Gul said that investments in the country had risen, with US companies alone investing $5 billion in 2006. “Our aim is to be the 11th-largest economy in the world by 2023,” said the president. After completing his contacts in Washington, last evening Gul proceeded to New York. He had a dinner with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at his official residence. During their talks, the Cyprus, Iraq and Iran issues, as well as Turkey’s bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council in 2009-10, were taken up. Gul reportedly urged the UN to be more active this year and begin a new initiative to resolve to the Cyrus issue. Calling on the international community to end the embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Gul stated that the Turkish side will maintain its positive stance to promote a settlement on the island. The Turkish president will meet with international investors today during a breakfast. After an interview with CNN, Gul will deliver a speech at the Council on Foreign Affairs. He is also expected to receive representatives of Jewish and Turkish groups at the Turkish House in New York. /Turkiye-Aksam/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “I SAW THE SPIRIT OF PUBLIC UNITY IN DIYARBAKIR”

    Addressing a meeting of provincial chairmen of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the subject of last week’s deadly PKK attack in Diyarbakir, saying that Turkey will not allow terrorists to harm a friendship that has lasted for a millennium. “Nobody should chase after futile dreams,” said Erdogan. “It is clear that there are some who do not want Turkey to develop, improve and sustain its stability.” Talking about his visit to Diyarbakir to console the victims of the bombing, Erdogan said he had seen the spirit of unity among the people of Diyarbakir. /Hurriyet/

    [03] NEW DP LEADER VISITS DEMIREL

    Suleyman Soylu, the just-elected leader of the Democrat Party (DP), yesterday officially yesterday officially began his term in office. When he came to DP headquarters, Soylu called on all party members to work together for sake of Turkey’s future. Then the leader visited veteran politician and former President Suleyman Demirel. /Turkiye/

    [04] PM ERDOGAN TO VISIT SPAIN, SWITZERLAND THIS MONTH

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will separate pay visits to two European countries this month. First, this Sunday, he will visit Spain to attend the first Alliance of Civilizations Annual Forum. Then on January 25, he will attend meetings of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. /Star/

    [05] 87TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST INONU VICTORY COMMEMORATED

    President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday issued messages marking the 87th anniversary of the First Inonu Victory, one of the two major battles in the Inonu district of Eskisehir in the Turkish War of Independence. Gul hailed the victory as a milestone in the War of Independence, and Erdogan said that he respectfully commemorated then military commanders Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Ismet Inonu and all the other heroes who lost their lives in the epic war. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] BRITAIN’S CYPRUS REPRESENTATIVE VISITS PARLIAMENT

    Joan Ryan, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Special representative for Cyprus, yesterday met with Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission head Murat Mercan, European Union Harmonization Commission head Yasar Yakis and other parliamentarians. Stressing that Britain expects Ankara to resume talks to resolve the Cyrus issue as a goodwill gesture, Ryan asked Turkey to open one of its harbors to the Greek Cypriots. But Mercan and other members turned down Ryan’s proposal, saying that the Greek Cypriots should first show a positive stance to find a settlement on the island. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [07] GUL’S VISIT TO THE US

    BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on President Abdullah Gul’s visit to the US this week. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Even if international relations seem to be very highfalutin, they work with a policy of give-and-take. In relationships between two countries on any level, only the issue of who gave and took, and what, is considered. As a fresh example, if the US starts to provide intelligence about the terrorist PKK after waiting for some time, explaining this by saying that the US finally saw the light is a mistake. Of course, determination plays an important role in international relations. But it’s not misguided to ask what the US, which delayed receiving Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan even after last November’s deadly PKK attack, wants from Turkey in return for providing intelligence. A prime minister who gives something in return would only be acting prudently, if what he gave and took were balanced. In addition, it would be nonsense to reproach or criticize a balanced deal.

    US President George W. Bush’s stance clearly shows what was taken by President Abdullah Gul, and even Turkey, during his visit to the US this week. On TV, Bush touched Gul’s back a few times and indicated the chair behind Gul, urging him to sit. Of course, Bush acted very innocently. His aim was to make his guest comfortable, but this scene reminded me of the past. When I was a child and wanted senior members of our families to pray for us, they used to stroke our backs during prayer. When I saw this scene on TV, I couldn’t help but think that okay, now he made Bush stroke his back and received his prayer.

    I don’t know if it would help Turkey to receive Bush’s benediction, but this prayer is very important for Gul. Not only the neocons, but also the State Department and Pentagon weren’t so pleased with Gul and distrusted him. Gul’s stance in March 2003, when Parliament rejected the deployment of US soldiers in Turkey on the eve of the Iraq war, his attitude about receiving Hamas in Ankara in 2006, his relations with Syria, etc. were always received with suspicion. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has developed a close relationship with Gul. He worked with her very closely, but I know personally that some people at the State Department have a negative view of Gul. The Bush administration announced to the entire world that it has changed its negative stance on Gul. His back was stroked and given prayers. Turkey’s achievement is this apology to Gul from the US, which sat on the fence when the military issued a memorandum opposing Gul’s presidency last spring.

    In this respect, the visit isn’t ill-timed. Bush, in his last year as a president, isn’t taken seriously in the US or in the world. In the US, almost everybody with an interest in the world discusses the presidential candidates’ foreign policy positions. Bush is now visiting the Middle East. Of course, everybody will show proper attention to him, but I doubt his views will be taken seriously, as he has been very unsuccessful in foreign relations during his last year.”


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