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Turkish Press Review, 08-01-25

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

25.01.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] KARAMANLIS VISITS FENER GREEK PATRIARCH
  • [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES EP TURKEY RAPPORTEUR
  • [03] RULING AKP, MHP REACH ACCORD ON LIFTING UNIVERSITY HEADSCARF BAN
  • [04] AKP’S BAGIS: “WE’RE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE OUR EU NEGOTIATIONS”
  • [05] BUSH SENDS DEAL ON NUCLEAR ENERGY COOPERATION WITH TURKEY TO CONGRESS
  • [06] TUSIAD: “WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE ALL OUR ENERGY ON THE ECONOMY”
  • [07] TURKIC UNION ASSEMBLY TO BE ESTABLISHED

  • [01] KARAMANLIS VISITS FENER GREEK PATRIARCH

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, after the premier visited Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Turkey. “Ataturk and (late 19th-early 20th century Greek statesman Eleftherios) Venizelos had the political will and courage not to let the disputes and tragedies of the past become obstacles to efforts to build a better future, peace and cooperation for the benefit of the two peoples,” Karamanlis wrote in the mausoleum’s commemorative guestbook. After completing his contacts in Ankara, Karamanlis traveled to Istanbul where he and Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visited Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos. The patriarch hailed Karamanlis’ visit as “historic” and praised him for working with Erdogan to improve Turkish- Greek relations. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with his counterpart at dinner in Istanbul. /Sabah/

    [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES EP TURKEY RAPPORTEUR

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur. During the one-hour meeting, the two discussed Turkish-European Union relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] RULING AKP, MHP REACH ACCORD ON LIFTING UNIVERSITY HEADSCARF BAN

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) yesterday reached an agreement on how lift the ban on wearing headscarves on university campuses. To end the ban, the parties decided to amend Articles 10 and 42 of the Constitution. Negotiations on technical details of the amendments will continue between the parties ahead of sending the legislation to the full Parliament. In related news, speaking to reporters about the accord, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said it came as no surprise. He added that he would comment on the proposal after he sees it. /Turkiye/

    [04] AKP’S BAGIS: “WE’RE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE OUR EU NEGOTIATIONS”

    Turkey is determined to continue its accession negotiations with the European Union, said ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Egemen Bagis yesterday. Speaking in Germany to a meeting of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, he said that under the AKP government, Turkey had made important progress in the foreign policy arena. /Milliyet/

    [05] BUSH SENDS DEAL ON NUCLEAR ENERGY COOPERATION WITH TURKEY TO CONGRESS

    The White House announced yesterday that US President George W. Bush had greenlighted a cooperation deal with Turkey concerning the peaceful use of nuclear energy. On Tuesday Bush sent the deal to the US Congress. /Milliyet/

    [06] TUSIAD: “WE NEED TO CONCENTRATE ALL OUR ENERGY ON THE ECONOMY”

    As the world is trying to fend off an economic crisis and it is clear a difficult year lies ahead for Turkey, the nation is “unfortunately” fixated on the headscarf issue, said Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag yesterday. “Our growth has slowed considerably and inflation has a relatively upward trend,” she added. “Unemployment has begun to rise, with high current deficit account figures and weakened financial discipline. And unfortunately this is how we are bracing for the upcoming global wave.” Yalcindag also called for measures to protect macroeconomic stability and reestablish financial discipline. “The world is approaching a global crisis, and 2008 will be a difficult year for Turkey. We need to concentrate all our energy on the economy,” she said. In related news, Mustafa Koc, the head of TUSIAD’s High Consultation Council, said difficult days lay ahead for Turkey and that the only way the nation can get through this is to maintain the European Union process and continue to transform the economy. /Hurriyet/

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

    [07] TURKIC UNION ASSEMBLY TO BE ESTABLISHED

    BY NASUHI GUNGOR (STAR)

    Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on a project for a Turkic Union Assembly. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I recently visited Istanbul Deputy Alaaddin Buyukkaya at Assembly. He’s also the head of the Turkish Group of the European Security and Cooperation Organization Parliamentarians Assembly (AGITPA), one of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) founders, and a well-known figure in economic circles. During my visit, I spoke to him about a project he’s leading called the Turkic Union Assembly which aims to unite the countries of the Turkic world. Buyukkaya recently gave a presentation about this proposal in Azerbaijan.

    I asked him what kind of Assembly it would be. He said it would take recommendations and promote common policies and cooperation among Turkic-speaking countries. He added that both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul have shown an interest in the project. Erdogan assigned his Deputy Undersecretary Hakan Fidan to coordinate the project. Fidan used to head the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA).

    Turkey’s interest in the Turkic world has long been trumpeted, but no serious steps have been taken. So how is this project different? Buyukkaya said the basis of the project is a unity of opinions, business and language, not a union under the roof of a state. When I asked him about Turkey’s oft-spoken role as an ‘elder brother,’ he said they never use that expression and that they are aiming for an equal relationship. He added that Turkic communities now know each other to an unprecedented degree, thanks to the communications age, and that such an important advantage shouldn’t be squandered through empty phrases like ‘big brother.’

    In addition, the Turkic world’s region is the world’s new energy basin. For example, the largest natural gas beds are in Turkmenistan. Buyukkaya’s views might spark talk and debate. He said that resources owned by these countries shouldn’t be controlled by the Russian ruble but instead benefit their own peoples. He added that when we open their resources to the world with dollars and euros, we would be contributing to their improvement. So we’re entering a new era which extends towards interior parts of Central Asia in the area of energy.

    So what’s Russia’s stance? Will it just watch these developments? Will it allow others to act comfortably in its traditional area of influence? Buyukkaya said that Russia is first trying to maintain its influence and wield the energy security card by creating problems around the Caspian and the Caucasus, meaning, trying to continue to have control over energy in the region.

    This project is difficult and has to deal with sensitive balances. Buyukkaya said that they have to follow a calm, careful strategy.”


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