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Turkish Press Review, 08-02-05

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

05.02.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TRAVELS TO QATAR
  • [02] ERDOGAN TO VISIT GERMANY THIS WEEK
  • [03] PRINCIPLE OF SECULARISM’S ANNIVERSARY TO BE CELEBRATED
  • [04] GUL APPOINTS THREE TO BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
  • [05] SIX LITERARY LIGHTS GUL’S GUESTS AT CANKAYA PALACE
  • [06] SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS: “WE WON’T LET SECULARISM BE VIOLATED”
  • [07] SAHIN: “THE GOVT IS SENSITIVE ABOUT SECULARISM”
  • [08] MHP LEADER BAHCELI WARNS PARTY MEMBERS AGAINST PROVOCATIONS
  • [09] TURKISH PLANES BOMB TERRORIST TARGETS IN N.IRAQ
  • [10] GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER VISITS ANKARA
  • [11] DSP’S SEZER MEETS WITH TOPTAN, ERDOGAN, BAHCELI ON HEADSCARF ISSUE
  • [12] NINE TURKS DIE IN FIRE IN GERMANY
  • [13] ZEKI SEZER’S GOOD FAITH INITIATIVE

  • [01] GUL TRAVELS TO QATAR

    President Abdullah Gul will travel today to Qatar for three-day visit at the official invitation of the country’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. In their talks, the two leaders will discuss regional and international issues. During Gul’s stay, a Turkey-Qatar Business Forum will also be held by the Turkey-Qatar Business Council of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN TO VISIT GERMANY THIS WEEK

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a four-day visit to Germany starting on Thursday. Erdogan is set to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss bilateral relations, Turkey’s European Union membership process, and issues of Turks living in this country, as well as regional and international issues. Then Erdogan will attend an international security conference in Munich and hold bilateral meetings with world leaders. /Turkiye/

    [03] PRINCIPLE OF SECULARISM’S ANNIVERSARY TO BE CELEBRATED

    The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Organization today will celebrate the 71st anniversary of the principle of secularism being introduced into the Constitution. CHP officials said that today at noon, a ceremony will be held at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, and called on all people to attend the gathering to support CHP efforts to preserve the fundamental principles of the Constitution. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] GUL APPOINTS THREE TO BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION

    President Abdullah Gul appointed three academics, Omer Demir, Berrak Kurtulus and Durmus Gunay, to vacant seats on the Board of Higher Education (YOK). Gul also approved the reelection of Necmi Yuzbasioglu to YOK by the Inter-University Council. /Turkiye/

    [05] SIX LITERARY LIGHTS GUL’S GUESTS AT CANKAYA PALACE

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with six Turkish literary lights at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, the latest in a series of invitations to distinguished figures since he took office five months ago. His guests yesterday were Dogan Hizlan, Hilmi Yavuz, Adalet Agaoglu, Selim Ileri, Rasim Ozdenoren and Elif Shafak. At the occasion, he said he disapproved of referendums over “fundamental rights and freedoms,” in particular citing the controversial headscarf issue, which faces a vote in Parliament this week. /Sabah/

    [06] SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS: “WE WON’T LET SECULARISM BE VIOLATED”

    Supreme Court of Appeals acting Chief Justice Osman Sirin said yesterday that the judiciary won’t allow anyone to violate the Constitution’s principle of secularism. Speaking at a farewell ceremony for two retiring members of the court, Sirin criticized the government’s recent initiatives to amend the Constitution to allow headscarves at universities. “The Constitution’s principle of secularism can’t be weakened through direct or indirect arrangements,” argued the top jurist. /Milliyet/

    [07] SAHIN: “THE GOVT IS SENSITIVE ABOUT SECULARISM”

    State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said yesterday that no political parties in Parliament mean to weaken the regime or the Constitution’s principle of secularism. Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Sahin commented on remarks by Supreme Court of Appeals acting Chief Justice Osman Sirin. Sahin said that the government was more sensitive than any other state institution about the republic and its principles. “We’ll deal with the issue with great care so as not to harm the fundamental principles of the republic,” said Sirin. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] MHP LEADER BAHCELI WARNS PARTY MEMBERS AGAINST PROVOCATIONS

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday warned party members to be resist possible provocations on the headscarf issue. Pointing to recent harsh criticisms of his party, as it supports government efforts to lift the headscarf ban at universities, Bahceli urged his supporters to be sensitive to mass demonstrations against the government initiative. /Milliyet/

    [09] TURKISH PLANES BOMB TERRORIST TARGETS IN N.IRAQ

    Turkish fighter jets bombed more than 70 terrorist PKK targets in northern Iraq, the General Staff announced yesterday. "Some 70 targets came under fire, and after successfully completing their duties, our planes returned safely to their bases," the military said in statement. The statement added that only confirmed PKK targets had been attacked and that the “greatest efforts” had been made to minimize the impact of the operation on the civilian population. /Star/

    [10] GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER VISITS ANKARA

    German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Besir Atalay and Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu. During the visit, Atalay said that Turks living in Germany face new difficulties due to a Migration Law passed last summer. For his part, Schauble said that Turks should learn to speak and read German to take advantage of equal opportunities. /Sabah/

    [11] DSP’S SEZER MEETS WITH TOPTAN, ERDOGAN, BAHCELI ON HEADSCARF ISSUE

    Democratic Leftist Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday met separately with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli to discuss the headscarf issue. Speaking to reporters after meeting with Erdogan, Sezer said that he had expressed his party’s concern over rising public tension and had urged the premier to halt his initiatives on the issue. /Turkiye/

    [12] NINE TURKS DIE IN FIRE IN GERMANY

    At least nine Turks, five of them children, were killed and about 60 others were injured in an apartment building fire in the southwestern German city of Ludwigshafen on Sunday. The blaze started during a birthday party. The possibility of arson has been raised because the building was used by Nazis. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged German Interior Minister to investigate the cause of the fire. Expressing his sorrow over the lives lost, he underlined the possibility of arson. / Aksam/

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

    [13] ZEKI SEZER’S GOOD FAITH INITIATIVE

    BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on meetings yesterday between the premier, Parliament speaker, and two opposition party leaders. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer is working to halt efforts to end the headscarf ban at universities. Yesterday he met separately with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. Sezer’s initiative aims to postpone the constitutional and legal changes involved at least until tensions cool down, as they have already caused fights and polarization.

    The meeting between Bahceli and Sezer signals that Erdogan also expects support from the DSP. After listening to Sezer’s requests to halt the process, Erdogan said that they wouldn’t stop the process for a constitutional amendment but that they could work together on Article 17 of the Board of Higher Education (YOK) Law. Speaking to me yesterday, Sezer said that Erdogan indicated the process would continue for the constitutional articles but that changes to Article 17 might be postponed. “He told me that if the DSP has a suggestion on the issue, we can work on Article 17,’ said Sezer. ‘But we think it would be useful for the process to halt completely.’

    Sezer summed up the reasons for his requests like so: ‘As I told Erdogan, there has been already a contentious, divisive atmosphere. There are debates, conflict and tension between women and women, men and women, and academics and academics. This is happening in the general public as well. Competing demonstrations are taking place. The healthy way to start to dispel these problems is to halt the process. After things calm down, a broad-based search for a consensus can be started with the participation of all the parties and non-governmental organizations. We don’t believe making such an issue the subject of a constitutional amendment and a law is proper. This problem can be solved through the public’s common sense and consensus, without the need for such arrangements.’

    The meeting did nothing to halt the process. But Sezer said that he understood Bahceli’s concerns and that the MHP explained its stance. ‘Bahceli welcomed us very warmly,’ said Sezer. ‘He listened to our suggestions and explained his party’s stance and its reasons in detail. He said that they wanted to prevent the use of this issue as a political weapon and that they supported the change towards this end. In addition, although not openly, he reiterated that they were against allowing headscarves in secondary education and the public sphere. He signaled that if there’s a pressure to spread the places where headscarves are allowed, they would definitely oppose it.’

    Despite Sezer’s good faith initiative, the process hasn’t stopped yet. Erdogan and Bahceli’s remarks show this. But it’s already clear that the process will be very painful. The Constitutional Court will rule on the issue legally. It’s also very likely that the issue will be brought to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It seems unlikely that the two courts will rule against precedent.”


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