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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-14

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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

14.01.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT EGYPT TODAY
  • [02] IN SPAIN, ERDOGAN TO UNVEIL ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE
  • [03] BAYKAL OPPOSES MOVING CENTRAL BANK TO ISTANBUL
  • [04] BARZANI: “WE DON’T HAVE TO DECLARE THE PKK A TERRORIST GROUP”
  • [05] DTP DEPUTY CHAIR CRITICIZES GOVT POLICIES, CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS
  • [06] PACE’S LINDEN VISITS ANKARA
  • [07] POSSIBLE TURNING POINT WITH SARKOZY AND MERKEL

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT EGYPT TODAY

    President Abdullah Gul will travel to Cairo today at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak. As part of his contacts, Gul is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Parliament Speaker Fethi Surur, Premier Ahmet Nazif and Foreign Minister Ahmet Ebul Geyt. Gul also will address Turkish and Egyptian businessmen at a Turkish-Egyptian Business Forum. After attending a ground-breaking ceremony for a new Turkish industrial zone, he will proceed to Alexandria. During his talks with top Egyptian officials, Gul is expected to take up a number of issues, including the situation in the Mideast, steps to preserve peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and cooperation against terrorism. /Turkiye/

    [02] IN SPAIN, ERDOGAN TO UNVEIL ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday flew to Spain to attend the first Alliance of Civilizations Annual Forum at the invitation of his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Accompanying the premier during his visit are Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Industry and Commerce Minister Zafer Caglayan, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim and State Minister Mehmet Aydin. Before leaving Ankara, Erdogan told reporters that during his meeting with Zapatero they would focus on bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments. “We will have a chance to talk about how to take action against international terror.” Saying that 2008 is the 225th anniversary of Turkey establishing diplomatic relations with Spain, Erdogan added that the two countries will celebrate this occasion with various activities. Erdogan stated that at the opening session of the forum he is set to unveil a national action plan to improve intercultural dialogue and promote the goals of the Alliance of Civilizations. /Turkiye/

    [03] BAYKAL OPPOSES MOVING CENTRAL BANK TO ISTANBUL

    Responding to the just-announced government decision to move the Central Bank headquarters to Istanbul, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized the move. In a statement, Baykal said that central banks are symbols of national sovereignty, adding that issuing currency is the most important element of a country’s sovereignty. Baykal said that Central Bank of Republic of the Turkey is the only institution with the authority to issue currency, adding that basing the Central Bank in the capital Ankara has a symbolic value. /Turkiye/

    [04] BARZANI: “WE DON’T HAVE TO DECLARE THE PKK A TERRORIST GROUP”

    Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Giovanni Vernetti yesterday met with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in the northern Iraqi city of Salahaddin. Afterwards, speaking to reporters, Barzani said that his administration didn’t have to declare the PKK a terrorist group just because Turkey had done so. He added that if Turkey is seeking a peaceful settlement, then they would be ready to help. For his part, Vernetti said that Italy recognizes that the PKK is a terrorist group, adding, however, that recent Turkish cross-border military operations against the PKK have damaged the Kurdish region’s security and stability. /Milliyet-Turkiye/

    [05] DTP DEPUTY CHAIR CRITICIZES GOVT POLICIES, CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS

    Democratic Society Party (DTP) Deputy Chairwoman and Mardin Deputy Emine Ayna yesterday delivered a speech at a symposium in the southeastern town of Viransehir, Sanliurfa. Commenting on a terrorist bombing earlier this month in Diyarbakir, which took six lives and wounded 67, Ayna claimed that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) policies had caused the attack, and recent Turkish cross-border military operations into northern Iraq had fueled the violence. “Violence breeds violence,” said Ayna. “If some people are ignored, then they will try to prove themselves.” Instead of clashes, Turkey is now facing war, claimed the DTP deputy. /Milliyet/

    [06] PACE’S LINDEN VISITS ANKARA

    Rene Van der Linden, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), yesterday arrived in Ankara to pay an official visit. Speaking to reporters at Esenboga Airport, Linden said that he was visiting to express his support and appreciation of Turkey’s reforms set to be carried out for its European Union membership. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] POSSIBLE TURNING POINT WITH SARKOZY AND MERKEL

    BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Turkey’s European Union membership bid and the stance of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a summit would be held with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This meeting has the potential to become a turning point in our relations with the European Union. Interestingly, Erdogan’s statement coincided with the expression of support for Turkey’s EU bid given by US President George W. Bush when he met with President Abdullah Gul last week. Bush not only said that he supported Ankara on this issue, but also put the subject on a global level by saying that Turkey’s EU membership is necessary for peace. Obviously, Bush’s view is at odds with these of Sarkozy and Merkel. But neither Sarkozy nor Merkel are telling Washington to mind its own business. They also don’t ask aloud if Mexico should became part of the US, because they consider close relations between the US and EU as a geostrategic necessity.

    So they can’t just dismiss the peace perspective put forth by Bush out of hand. But sources in Brussels tell us that Sarkozy and Merkel are about to propose a path for Turkey. There is reportedly an atmosphere, particularly on the French side, against Washington’s argument. Accordingly, France says there is no need for fear, because it won’t exclude Turkey and contribute to international instability, but instead convince Ankara to accept a ‘special relationship’ short of membership. Likewise, although Merkel prefers to stay mum on Turkey’s membership bid for now, Sarkozy still says that he’s against it. This raises the importance of the summit that Erdogan announced without giving a date, but which diplomatic sources said would be held before July.

    As there will be no change in Turkey’s basic position, Sarkozy, who’s trying to change the rules after the game begins, will be the person who should first change. If he doesn’t, he will force Ankara and EU to part ways. As this would contradict the vision of global peace put forth by Washington and Bush, the pressure during the summit will be on Sarkozy.

    The only issue that will strengthen Ankara’s hand during the summit won’t be the US’ support. Yes, it’s true that during the recent Lisbon summit, all the EU members obeyed Sarkozy and darkened Turkey’s membership perspective with word games. But they did this so as not to endanger the Lisbon Agreement, which has vital importance for the EU. On the other hand, there are a lot of countries which have political importance within the EU and support Ankara. Here it would be useful to remember the advice given by Spain, which suffered from France during its own EU candidacy. Turkey should fulfill its tasks and not give up its full membership goal. Turkey also shouldn’t get mad at others and leave the table. If there are those who don’t want this, they can try to send Turkey away from the table. Only then they will see that it can’t be done.”


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