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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-15

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

15.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY CAN DISCUSS ITS OWN ISSUES”
  • [02] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES B’NAI B’RITH HEAD
  • [03] PM ERDOGAN HOLDS CONTACTS IN SPAIN
  • [04] ERDOGAN: “THE PROPOSED MEDITERRANEAN UNION IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO THE EU”
  • [05] CHP’S OZYUREK: “POLITICAL SYMBOLS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE DAMAGE PUBLIC UNITY”
  • [06] TRADE CHAMBERS, FORMER CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS OPPOSE PROPOSED CB MOVE TO ISTANBUL
  • [07] SUDAN’S PRESIDENT TO VISIT TURKEY NEXT WEEK
  • [08] PACE’S LINDEN VISITS PARLIAMENT
  • [09] INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND THE HEADSCARF

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY CAN DISCUSS ITS OWN ISSUES”

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday traveled to Egypt for an official visit. Before leaving Ankara, Gul held a press conference at Esenboga Airport. Asked about the government’s new initiative of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attending a fast-breaking dinner given by Alevis, Gul said, “These matters are being discussed.” He added, “Turkey is a country which can discuss its own issues. All this is being openly followed by the people. We should be proud of the atmosphere Turkey has.” Asked about the country’s European Union membership bid, Gul said, “The EU bid is the top issue for me, the government and Parliament,” adding, “I think that this year will be more fruitful. All sectors are taking part in the process of drawing Turkey’s roadmap. Our screening process is over. Everything necessary will be done.” /Aksam/

    [02] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES B’NAI B’RITH HEAD

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Moishe Smith, the head of international Jewish group B’nai B’rith. During their talks, Iran’s nuclear program and the situation of Jews in Turkey were among the issues taken up. /Milliyet/

    [03] PM ERDOGAN HOLDS CONTACTS IN SPAIN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visiting Spain to attend the first Alliance of Civilizations Annual Forum, was received yesterday by King Juan Carlos. Also present at the meeting were Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Turkey’s Ambassador to Madrid Ender Arat. Erdogan also held talks with Senate President Javier Rojo. After a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Erdogan told reporters that the success of the Alliance of Civilizations process will mean the end of terrorism. For his part, Zapatero said that his country’s ongoing support for Ankara’s full European Union membership will continue. The two leaders then attended a Turkish-Spanish Business Council meeting. /Turkiye/

    [04] ERDOGAN: “THE PROPOSED MEDITERRANEAN UNION IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO THE EU”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that a French-proposed “Mediterranean union” is no alternative to the European Union. “We’re against such an idea,” he told in a breakfast organized by Europa Press in Madrid, Spain. “And we’re definitely against Turkey taking part in such a formation if it is put forth as an alternative to the EU.” Stressing that Spain has also been fighting terrorism for decades and that Turkey’s operations will not end until terrorism is eradicated, Erdogan added, “I can’t say anything about how long our cross-border operations into northern Iraq will last. But we hope we can end them as soon as possible.” When asked by a reporter, Erdogan denied that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was a religion-oriented political party. “We’ve always refused to do politics through exploiting religion,” said the premier. He also said that headscarves are not political symbols and that all political parties in Turkey have women wearing headscarves among their members. “Even if it is a political symbol, can you ban symbols or say that wearing a symbol is a crime?” asked Erdogan. “Girls in the US and Europe can go to university wearing headscarves, but in this country, where 99 percent of the population is Muslim, we have such a problem. I believe that we’ll overcome this problem.” /The New Anatolian-Sabah/

    [05] CHP’S OZYUREK: “POLITICAL SYMBOLS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE DAMAGE PUBLIC UNITY”

    Commenting on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks yesterday on the headscarf issue, opposition parties, jurists and university rectors spoke out against his views. Speaking to reporters, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Mustafa Ozyurek warned that if people bring political symbols into the public sphere, this will damage the nation’s unity. Acting without considering people who oppose political symbols in the public sphere will causes clashes and big problems in Turkey, said Ozyurek. In addition, rectors of a number of universities, including Uludag University, Bolu Izzet Abant Baysal University and Osmangazi University, stated that politics should be carried out in political parties, not universities, adding that they would continue to act in line with court rulings on the issue. /Sabah/

    [06] TRADE CHAMBERS, FORMER CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS OPPOSE PROPOSED CB MOVE TO ISTANBUL

    Former Central Bank Governors Sureyya Serdengecti, Gazi Ercel and G. Tayyar Sadiklar yesterday declared their opposition to the government’s just- announced plan to move the CB to Istanbul. The governors stated that the bank was a symbol of the republic. Stressing that the CB’s balance sheet is heavily involved in the public sector, the governors said then moving the bank would be meaningless. Expressing their concern about possible future government intervention in bank policy, including monetary policy, the governors warned that the bank’s independence may be at stake. In addition, Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) and Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) Chairmen Sinan Aygun and Nurettin Ozdebir expressed their opposition to the government’s planned move. /Milliyet/

    [07] SUDAN’S PRESIDENT TO VISIT TURKEY NEXT WEEK

    Sudan’s President Omer al-Basir is scheduled to visit Turkey next week at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. During his three- day stay, in addition to Ankara, Basir will hold contacts in Istanbul. The US and international human rights groups have accused Sudan’s president of carrying out genocide in Darfur. /Milliyet/

    [08] PACE’S LINDEN VISITS PARLIAMENT

    Rene Van der Linden, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), yesterday met with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission head Murat Mercan and European Union Harmonization Commission head Yasar Yakis. During his talks, Linden asked Parliament to speed up its work on changing controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). He also criticized state prosecutors seeking the closure of the Turkish Democratic Society Party (DTP), calling political parties an important element of democracy. Linden was also received by President Abdullah Gul. Hurriyet-Star_

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

    [09] INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND THE HEADSCARF

    BY ERGUN BABAHAN (SABAH)

    Columnist Ergun Babahan comments on the headscarf issue and the government’s stance on it. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Some young Turkish women have a headscarf problem, as those wearing headscarves aren’t allowed to receive a university education in Turkey. There is so much tension over this that if a young girl wearing a headscarf enters a university, the regime could be lost. The headscarf ban is ultimately based on a Constitutional Court ruling. As the court sees the headscarf as a symbol of political Islam, it believes they should be banned at universities. So the only way to end this ban is a constitutional amendment. Speaking to reporters in Spain yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that they would solve the issue this way and while doing so, they would try not to create tension. He added that even if headscarves are symbols, banning them is wrong.

    Actually, these words might sow tension. But it isn’t only up to the government. As I’ve written before, a friend of mine, a political science lecturer, said that people who want to create a crisis before a new constitutional amendment have 26 issues ready and that just one of those could shake the nation. As for a constitutional amendment, I think it’s wrong to consider the issue one of only the headscarf ban. Yes, young girls wearing headscarves have a serious problem exercising their educational rights, but though Turkey has passed a great many legal reforms, it hasn’t reached the stage of evaluating rights and freedoms from the perspective of individuals. Instead of the possibilities of rights and freedoms for individuals, the harm the state could suffer are being discussed.

    We should look at this issue through libertarian lenses, including the educational rights of girls wearing headscarves and the individual as the basis of the state. A young girl wearing a headscarf, an Alevi student, and a Kurdish worker should take their places in this system of freedoms as the holders of general individual rights. It would be unthinkable for a country in the midst of full membership talks with the European Union to be based on an understanding that gives priority to the state. Instead, our foundation should lie in human honor, the principle of equality, and individual freedoms. When these points are given legal guarantees, a lot of our problems will be solved.”


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