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Turkish Press Review, 08-03-06

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

06.03.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN PLEDGES QUALITY HEALTH CARE AT TURKEY’S HOSPITALS
  • [02] CICEK: “THE GOVT AND TSK SHOWED HARMONIZATION DURING CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS”
  • [03] CHP: “WE’RE ENGAGING IN A DEMOCRATIC DEBATE WITH THE PRIME MINISTER”
  • [04] MHP: “THE PUBLIC KNOWS OUR ANTI-PKK STANCE”
  • [05] US AMBASSADOR WILSON: “THE TURKISH ARMY LEFT NORTHERN IRAQ OF ITS OWN ACCORD”
  • [06] US CONGRESSMAN: “AT ONE TIME, THE US WAS HAPPY TO SEE THE PKK STIRRING THINGS UP IN SADDAM’S IRAQ”
  • [07] GREEK FM DUE IN ANKARA THIS WEEKEND
  • [08] SABANCI HOLDING CHAIRWOMAN: “TURKEY WILL HELP EUROPE SEE THE WORLD FROM A BROADER PERSPECTIVE”
  • [09] TUSIAD URGES EFFORTS TO CHECK INFLATION, NEW INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
  • [10] WHAT IS THE CHP TRYING TO DO?

  • [01] ERDOGAN PLEDGES QUALITY HEALTH CARE AT TURKEY’S HOSPITALS

    Speaking at a ceremony inaugurating a new fleet of ambulances, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his government is working to make sure patients get quality health care at Turkey’s hospitals. Stressing that the nation’s health system will focus on people, Erdogan said that doctors at state hospitals would work full time. /Turkiye/

    [02] CICEK: “THE GOVT AND TSK SHOWED HARMONIZATION DURING CROSS-BORDER OPERATIONS”

    There are some in Turkey who are uneasy at the harmonization between the government and the armed forces, including during recent cross-border operations into northern Iraq, said Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday. Speaking to news channel NTV, Cicek stressed the importance of military secrecy. He also stated that he hopes such cross-border operations could end. “We’re an open society, and you can discuss many other matters in this kind of society,” he added. “I think we have to end this discussion.” /Milliyet/

    [03] CHP: “WE’RE ENGAGING IN A DEMOCRATIC DEBATE WITH THE PRIME MINISTER”

    Responding to a General Staff statement blasting recent criticisms it said were directed at the military, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) yesterday denied it had been engaging in a debate with the military. “We’re in a democratic debate facing off with the prime minister,” said the statement. “It is not only the duty of politicians to keep the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) out of debates.” Stressing that insults do not prove the rightness of one’s cause, the statement added that on the contrary, insults point to injustice. /Hurriyet/

    [04] MHP: “THE PUBLIC KNOWS OUR ANTI-PKK STANCE”

    The Turkish public is well aware of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) firm anti-PKK stance, said MHP leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday. He made the remarks in response to a General Staff statement blasting recent criticisms it said were directed at the military, calling them more harmful than treason. Bahceli’s written response read: “The Turkish people know well the MHP’s stance on the terrorist PKK, which is trying to harm Turkey’s national unity and territorial integrity. It’s the MHP’s democratic right to discuss subjects such as Turkey’s national security and domestic and international matters concerning Turkey. It is to the government that we address these political assessments. We stand behind our words.” Bahceli added: “Everyone and every institution must be aware of their duties and responsibilities, take action accordingly, and stay within their bounds.” /Hurriyet/

    [05] US AMBASSADOR WILSON: “THE TURKISH ARMY LEFT NORTHERN IRAQ OF ITS OWN ACCORD”

    The Turkish army decided to end its cross-border operation into northern Iraq last week of its own accord, said US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson yesterday. Speaking to Hurriyet daily at a reception at the German Embassy, Wilson dismissed allegations of US involvement in the decision. “The Turkish Army decided on its own to get out of northern Iraq,” he said. “It had nothing to do with the US.” /Hurriyet/

    [06] US CONGRESSMAN: “AT ONE TIME, THE US WAS HAPPY TO SEE THE PKK STIRRING THINGS UP IN SADDAM’S IRAQ”

    The US is partially responsible for the problem of the terrorist PKK which has plagued Turkey, suggested a US congressman yesterday. “We haven't always worked on the same side. There were certainly periods of time when the United States was only too happy to see the PKK stirring things up in Saddam Hussein's Iraq,” Representative Rush Holt, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Rumi Forum, a Washington, DC- based group promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue. “Of course now we " and to some extent Turkey " are reaping what we have sown with the PKK.” In related news, US Commander Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who recently returned from Iraq, told a Pentagon briefing yesterday that the PKK can be urged to talk and to start negotiations. /Star/

    [07] GREEK FM DUE IN ANKARA THIS WEEKEND

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will visit Ankara this Saturday to attend a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) women branches. Bakoyannis will deliver a speech at the meeting at AKP headquarters, and will also be received by President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] SABANCI HOLDING CHAIRWOMAN: “TURKEY WILL HELP EUROPE SEE THE WORLD FROM A BROADER PERSPECTIVE”

    If European leaders could peer a half-century in to the future, they would be eager to accept Turkey into the European Union, said Sabanci Holding Chairwoman Guler Sabanci yesterday. Speaking at a conference at Oxford University, Sabanci said that Turkey’s headscarf problem is both simple and complex, but added, “It is a promising development that we’re discussing ending the university headscarf ban in a democratic way. I believe we will solve this issue through democratic means.” Asked about prejudice in Europe against Turkey’s EU membership bid, Sabanci said European countries see themselves as the center of the world. “There’s a world outside Europe,” she continued. “Some European politicians, like (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy, should realize this. Europe has serious problems it should solve. Europe’s most important problem isn’t accepting Turkey into its union. If European leaders were able to foresee the balance of power that will affect the world in 50 or 60 years, they would be eager to accept Turkey into the EU. Turkey will help Europe perceive ongoing developments in the world from a broader perspective.” /Sabah/

    [09] TUSIAD URGES EFFORTS TO CHECK INFLATION, NEW INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

    Recent trends in inflation and unemployment are causes for concern, said Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairwoman Arzuhan Yalcindag yesterday. Speaking to reporters, she urged the government to come up with a new industrial strategy, fight the black market economy and keep inflation in check. She added that Turkey has to implement its monetary policy with great skill and should enact structural reforms as soon as possible. /Star/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [10] WHAT IS THE CHP TRYING TO DO?

    BY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Ismet Berkan comments on Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal’s recent actions. A summary of his column is as follows.

    “On the Internet you can find a recording of then Board of Higher Education (YOK) Chairman Erdogan Tezic saying that last night he slept peacefully. He said this last April after the first round of presidential elections at Parliament and the subsequent memorandum from the General Staff. Of course, one could expect Tezic to sleep well after this initiative meant to prevent Abdullah Gul from being elected president. I wonder who else felt that way. For example, did main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal sleep peacefully that night, when Turkish democracy faced a serious threat and the hint of a coup?

    Last April, we all waited for the same thing: 1. How would the government respond to the memorandum? 2. What would the parties react, especially the CHP? The government issued a statement holding its head high. I would expect Baykal to defend the democratic regime either through a written statement, or in front of cameras, by, for example, saying that the military shouldn’t get involved and derail the normal workings of the system, because civilian politicians like him must protect secularism and the regime. He could also have said that they would take part in the presidential vote (and end the CHP boycott), so long as the government cancelled plans for early elections, and that they would withdraw their petition to the Constitutional Court. I wonder if CHP would have won or lost votes under these circumstances.

    Back then Baykal hid behind the military and threatened the Constitutional Court, saying that if it didn’t cancel the presidential elections, then there would be a regime crisis, and now he’s having an absurd argument with the General Staff. This argument also has a dangerous side. Baykal’s debate has also the potential to provoke the army’s lower ranks against its leadership. Obviously, there were serious communication problems over the start and end of the recent ground operation in northern Iraq, and a misimpression was inevitably created. But claiming that the Turkish government and army started and finished the anti-PKK operation at the behest and with the permission of the US is improper for a person who is in theory a candidate to govern the country. If Turkey is the country Baykal describes and its army was completely ‘taken prisoner,’ it means the post of prime ministry that Baykal wants to hold is meaningless.

    We can see that Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is trying hard to dispel the misimpressions which emerged at the end of the operation. Buyukanit spoke to the Dogan News Agency and Milliyet daily on the same day, then to Hurriyet daily, and finally held a press conference on Monday. But all this only dragged out the debate. Finally, Baykal and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Buyukanit so much only because of an impression and perception impossible to prove. They accused Erdogan and Buyukanit of being liars and said the Turkish army and government were like puppets taking orders from the US.

    When the General Staff responded that he shouldn’t have done this, accusing the CHP and MHP of being ‘worse than traitors,’ the CHP said this was an insult coming from recognition, and thus upped the tension. No one can understand what the CHP and MHP expect to gain politically from this argument, except provoking the lower ranks against the army leadership. Defending war, death and killing and criticizing the government and army for not doing these things isn’t a good strategy for attracting votes " in fact, it might do just the opposite.”


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