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Turkish Press Review, 08-02-27

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

27.02.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM ERDOGAN SET TO VISIT QATAR IN APRIL
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “TURKEY’S ONLY TARGET IS THE PKK”
  • [03] YEMENI PRESIDENT CONDEMNS TERRORISM
  • [04] BABACAN: “THE AIM AND DURATION OF TURKEY’S CROSS-BORDER OP IS DEFINITE”
  • [05] CICEK: “OUR ARMY WON’T STAY IN N.IRAQ FOREVER”
  • [06] INTER-UNIVERSITIES BOARD TO MEET TOMORROW AND DISCUSS HEADSCARF ISSUE
  • [07] MHP’S BAHCELI: “THE AKP SHOULD KEEP ITS WORD TO CHANGE THE YOK LAW TO ADDRESS THE HEADSCARF ISSUE”
  • [08] CHP’S BAYKAL: “HOW CAN WE TRUST THE AKP?”
  • [09] TOP US GENERAL: “TURKEY DOESN’T NEED OUR APPROVAL FOR ITS LAND OPERATION IN N.IRAQ”
  • [10] UN TO RESUME DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES ON CYPRUS
  • [11] STRAW: “THE EU SHOULD KEEP ITS PROMISES TO TURKEY”
  • [12] BAYKAL, OZCAN ON HOW TO SOLVE THE HEADSCARF ISSUE

  • [01] PM ERDOGAN SET TO VISIT QATAR IN APRIL

    Following up on President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Qatar earlier this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to pay his own visit there in the second half of April. Qatar is reportedly considering tourism investments in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “TURKEY’S ONLY TARGET IS THE PKK”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday urged unity for the entire nation. Addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that the government was carrying out a multi-pronged fight against the terrorist PKK, adding that no one could harm Turkey’s national unity and peace. Stressing that Turkey is acting in line with its international rights to protect its indivisible territory and people, the premier praised intelligence support from the US and the Iraqi administration for its anti-terrorist operations. /Turkiye/

    [03] YEMENI PRESIDENT CONDEMNS TERRORISM

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday hosted a luncheon in honor of visiting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Salih. Speaking at the gathering, Erdogan said that the two countries share common values and that Turkey is ready to lend support to Yemen. For his part, backing Turkey’s fight against terrorism, Salih said that he condemns all terrorist activities in the world. He also encouraged Turkish businessmen to invest in Yemen, offering the incentive of free land for investments over $10 million. /Turkiye/

    [04] BABACAN: “THE AIM AND DURATION OF TURKEY’S CROSS-BORDER OP IS DEFINITE”

    The limits, duration and aim of Turkey’s current cross-border operation into northern Iraq are all definite, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday. Alongside his visiting Albanian counterpart Lulzim Basha, Babacan added that the operation would continue until its mission is fulfilled. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] CICEK: “OUR ARMY WON’T STAY IN N.IRAQ FOREVER”

    In an interview with Iraqi television, Deputy Prime Minister and Government spokesperson Cemil Cicek yesterday tried to dispel concerns over Turkey’s land operation in northern Iraq against the terrorist PKK. Stressing that Turkey is exercising its legal right to defend itself, he said that after the destruction of the terrorist PKK bases in northern Iraq, Turkish troops will return home. “Turkey places great importance on Iraq’s territorial integrity, and the Turkish Army is taking necessary measures not to harm civilians,” Cicek added. “The Iraqi government also views the PKK as a terrorist group and enemy.” /Hurriyet/

    [06] INTER-UNIVERSITIES BOARD TO MEET TOMORROW AND DISCUSS HEADSCARF ISSUE

    Meeting tomorrow, the Inter-Universities Board (UAK), made up of all Turkey’s university rectors, is expected to discuss the headscarf issue. Akdeniz University Rector Mustafa Akaydin, the UAK chairman, told reporters yesterday that they had also invited Board of Higher Education (YOK) head Yusuf Ziya Ozcan to attend the gathering. Akaydin also said that rectors who allow girls to enter universities with headscarves were acting illegally, despite recent constitutional changes to end the ban. In related news, Ozcan said yesterday that the headscarf issue at universities could be resolved through the already-passed changes and that there was no need to modify the YOK Law, as some have called for. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [07] MHP’S BAHCELI: “THE AKP SHOULD KEEP ITS WORD TO CHANGE THE YOK LAW TO ADDRESS THE HEADSCARF ISSUE”

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for reportedly backtracking on changing the Board of Higher Education (YOK) Law to deal with the headscarf issue. Speaking to his party’s parliamentary group, Bahceli said that when the MHP joined forces with the AKP to amend the Constitution to lift the university headscarf ban, the parties had also agreed to modify Article 17 of the YOK Law towards the same end. But recent statements by AKP deputies and a YOK circular urging rectors to allow headscarves at universities show a hesitation to amend the crucial YOK Law to solve the problem, the MHP leader said. Our agreement with the AKP is a matter of honor for the MHP, added Bahceli, calling on the ruling party to keep its promises. /Milliyet/

    [08] CHP’S BAYKAL: “HOW CAN WE TRUST THE AKP?”

    Speaking to his parliamentary group meeting, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized the way the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Board of Higher Education (YOK) chairman had dealt with the headscarf issue at universities. “Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is asking the CHP not to go to the Constitutional Court to overturn the constitutional changes on the issue, but is also seeking CHP help on Article 17 of the YOK Law,” said Baykal. “If you trust the constitutional changes you made, then let the CHP take the issue to court. It’s you who failed to keep your agreement with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). How can I trust you and reach an agreement?” In addition, Baykal criticized President Abdullah Gul for approving the constitutional changes in the midst of the military’s ground cross-border operation into northern Iraq. In related news, the CHP will submit to the Constitutional Court a petition signed by its own and Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputies as well as Tunceli independent Deputy Kamer Genc. /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [09] TOP US GENERAL: “TURKEY DOESN’T NEED OUR APPROVAL FOR ITS LAND OPERATION IN N.IRAQ”

    US Gen. Carter Ham, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday that the Turkish Army had no need for an US greenlight for its land operation into northern Iraq against the terrorist PKK. "The Turkish military does not ask ... nor does the United States military provide approval for these missions," Ham told a Pentagon press briefing. "It isn't that kind of a relationship. It is " we have asked and the Turkish military has agreed to provide notification so that their operations do not come in conflict with the Multinational Force Iraq's operations inside of Iraq. So ... it isn't, again, a situation of approval." /Hurriyet/.

    [10] UN TO RESUME DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES ON CYPRUS

    Following the recent victory of AKEL leader Dimitris Hristofias in Greek Cypriot presidential elections, the United Nations has decided to launch initiatives to revive negotiations between the sides to find a settlement on the island. Special UN Envoy Michael Moeller will carry out shuttle diplomacy between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders towards that end. Moeller is scheduled to meet with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat on Friday and then with Hristofias on Monday. The UN diplomat is also expected to invite both leaders to meet in the buffer zone. /Milliyet/

    [11] STRAW: “THE EU SHOULD KEEP ITS PROMISES TO TURKEY”

    Saying that he was pleased with developments in Turkey, British Justice Secretary Jack Straw yesterday called on the European Union to keep its promises to Turkey. Straw added that he was impressed by Turkish politicians’ efforts to advance Turkey’s EU bid and sustain democracy. In related news, at a meeting in Brussels last week, Swedish Prime Minister Frederick Reinfeld criticized French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s anti- Turkish stance and policies. “We shouldn’t erect new walls to exclude Turkey,” he said, adding that EU membership was open to all countries which fulfill its requirements. “These requirements are obvious: the rule of law, democracy and an open market economy.” Predicting that Turkey’s EU membership process will take a long time, Reinfeld added, “But we have to stick to the promises given to Turkey.” /Aksam-Sabah/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] BAYKAL, OZCAN ON HOW TO SOLVE THE HEADSCARF ISSUE

    BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the views of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Board of Higher Education (YOK) Chairman Yusuf Ziya Ozcan on the headscarf issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I jumped at the opportunity to meet separately with opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Board of Higher Education (YOK) Chairman Yusuf Ziya Ozcan and to hear their very interesting and important analyses. Now let me tell you my observations and impressions of Baykal and Ozcan on a solution to the headscarf issue. Baykal told me that he had met with theologians on the headscarf issue, examined various sources, consulted the Koran, and finally conveyed his views to the public. Baykal showed a singular stance on this sensitive and risky issue. He told me that if it is Turkey’s problem, it should be solved with an appropriate timetable, methodology and social consensus.

    So what kind of a formula is Baykal suggesting? ‘The problem isn’t the headscarf, but imported headscarves,’ said Baykal. ‘A party with a strong belief in secularism can solve this problem. In other words, we need a government with a solid record on secularism. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) can’t solve this issue, because it has other calculations and it can’t make society believe in it. The headscarf crisis can be ended only by a government which doesn’t exploit the issue politically. The AKP has exploiting it from the very beginning. Only a government lacking a hidden agenda of pushing Turkey to another goal and changing people’s lifestyle can solve the issue.’ For Baykal, the issue can only be resolved through its own natural course, without direction, and in line with personal preferences over time. I think that with these opinions and views Baykal wants to argue that the CHP can solve the headscarf issue.

    I also met with Ozcan for nearly two hours. Considering the atmosphere created by the news on the Internet and TV, there’s great interest in Ozcan. Ozcan has almost become a symbol of polarization in Turkey. He believes that these debates are harming universities. He’s also concerned that if the situation continues this way, the academic world will collapse. He said that he’s not the government’s servant. Ozcan stressed that he would struggle for our rights, but never fight, and that he would pay attention to his style.

    Ozcan made a mistake this week by impetuously sending a circular to universities asking them to admit students wearing headscarves. Certain universities heeded him, while some didn’t. So what’s next? What he will do to the rectors? I asked him. He said that he would meet with them to try to convince them and if they didn’t budge, he would initiate a process to enforce the law. But one university rector told reporters that maybe they could convince Ozcan. Then I remembered that Ozcan had said that he wouldn’t fight the rectors and that all sorts of debates would take place. Now I wonder who will convince whom.”


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