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Turkish Press Review, 08-03-19

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

19.03.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] LEADERS HAIL MARCH 18 CANAKKALE NAVAL VICTORY ON ITS 93RD ANNIVERSARY
  • [02] ERDOGAN URGES EU LEADERS TO HELP RESTART CYPRUS TALKS
  • [03] BAYKAL: “THE JUDICIARY IS DEMOCRACY’S SAFETY VALVE”
  • [04] DTP OFFICIAL BLASTS AKP CLOSURE CASE AS “SHAME FOR DEMOCRACY”
  • [05] BAHCELI: “THE REPERCUSSION OF THE AKP CLOSURE CASE WILL BE FELT ACROSS TURKEY”
  • [06] GERMAN GREENS’ ROTH: “THERE’S NO ROOM IN EUROPE FOR WALLS AND BOUNDARIES”
  • [07] US VICE PRESIDENT TO VISIT ANKARA NEXT WEEK
  • [08] NATO’S SCHEFFER: “NATO’S NEW MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM WILL INCLUDE TURKEY”
  • [09] POLITICS AND THE CLOSURE CASE

  • [01] LEADERS HAIL MARCH 18 CANAKKALE NAVAL VICTORY ON ITS 93RD ANNIVERSARY

    President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many Cabinet ministers yesterday attended a ceremony marking the 93rd anniversary of the Canakkale Naval Victory and remembering that battle’s fallen soldiers. Speaking at the ceremony, Gul said the victory played an important role in both Turkish and world history by affecting 20th century military and political developments. For his part, Erdogan said, “The Canakkale Naval Victory has a special place in the history of humanity, as it showed a nation risking its life to protect its territory from enemy occupation, despite a host of challenges, with high spirits and faith.” /Hurriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN URGES EU LEADERS TO HELP RESTART CYPRUS TALKS

    Following Dimitris Hristofias’ election to the leadership of Greek Cyprus, efforts to restart talks for a settlement on the long-divided island have risen. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly sent a letter earlier this month to the leaders of European Union member states expressing Ankara’s will to resume talks for a just and permanent settlement on Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations, as well as within the framework of the plan proposed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. /Milliyet/

    [03] BAYKAL: “THE JUDICIARY IS DEMOCRACY’S SAFETY VALVE”

    Speaking at his Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Deniz Baykal expressed sorrow over the state of the country today, adding, “What makes us happy is a healthy democracy.” Stressing that his sorrow doesn’t mean that he agrees with the actions of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which now faces a closure case, Baykal said he had told AKP officials many times that to prevent instability, they should not distort the fundamental principles of the Constitution. Stating that the judiciary acts as a safety valve for democracy, the CHP leader said that the public chief prosecutor’s indictment seeking the AKP’s closure was not a personal matter, but an effort to protect the republic’s principle of secularism. He stressed how the Constitution bars parties from using religion as a political tool as well as Turkey’s unique status in the Muslim world. He also urged the AKP not to try to change the Constitution to avoid closure, adding that political parties and politicians are temporary and shouldn’t try to arrange the judiciary to suit their own needs. /Sabah/

    [04] DTP OFFICIAL BLASTS AKP CLOSURE CASE AS “SHAME FOR DEMOCRACY”

    Democratic Society Party (DTP) group leader Ahmet Turk yesterday criticized a prosecutor’s case seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Democracy Party (AKP) as “a shame for democracy.” Speaking at his party’s group meeting, Turk said, “Every political party in this country should be free to state its opinion, as long as it does not provoke violence.” Turk called on the government to send a new civil constitution to Parliament for consideration, adding that his party would do whatever it can to help. /Turkiye/

    [05] BAHCELI: “THE REPERCUSSION OF THE AKP CLOSURE CASE WILL BE FELT ACROSS TURKEY”

    A new case seeking the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) closure has deeply shaken Turkish politics, said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday. Speaking to his party’s group meeting, Bahceli also said that political parties act within the limits set by the Constitution, and if these limits are transgressed, the sanctions are clear. Stating that the Supreme Court of Appeals chief prosecutor filed the closure indictment based on his assessment, Bahceli added that we wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the case. “The effects of the case won’t just be legal, but will have a deep impact on Turkey,” he said. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] GERMAN GREENS’ ROTH: “THERE’S NO ROOM IN EUROPE FOR WALLS AND BOUNDARIES”

    Germany has experience with divided societies, and there is no room for walls and boundaries in Europe, said German-Turkish Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chair Claudia Roth yesterday. Roth, currently visiting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), yesterday met with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat. “We felt joy with the fall of the (Berlin) wall, and this experience shows that mutual understanding and compromise can been reached after years, and that every country, including those in Europe, can live without walls and separation.” For his part, Talat reiterated his call for an end to sanctions on the TRNC. “Cypriot Turks want a solution on the island, as they showed in the 2004 referendum, and the problem remains unresolved due to actions of the Greek Cypriots,” he said. Roth also presented a piece of the Berlin Wall to Talat. /Turkiye/

    [07] US VICE PRESIDENT TO VISIT ANKARA NEXT WEEK

    US Vice President Dick Cheney, on the first stop of his 10-day Mideast tour, yesterday met with Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in Iraq. Following their talks, Cheney said that they had discussed issues concerning the country. The vice president is expected to arrive in Ankara next Monday for key talks with top Turkish officials on the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) ongoing operations against the PKK. Milliyet_

    [08] NATO’S SCHEFFER: “NATO’S NEW MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM WILL INCLUDE TURKEY”

    NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer yesterday said NATO is now making plans for a new short-range missile defense system. “The planned US missile defense system doesn’t cover all of Europe, but NATO’s new missile system would encompass Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania,” said Scheffer, stressing that NATO should protect all its allies as required under the principle of the indivisibility of security. He also added that this new short-range missile defense system could be joined with the planned US missile defense system in the future. In related news, Turkey’s NATO Permanent Representative Tacan Ildem said that Turkey would support NATO’s new missile defense system, stating that excluding some countries from the system would harm the principle of the indivisibility of security. /Aksam/

    State Minister in Charge of the Economy Mehmet Simsek said yesterday that Turkey doesn’t need any new standby agreement with the International Monetary Found, stressing that Turkey’s economy has become resistant to global shocks and crises. “Turkey will focus on other options in its relations with the IMF in the years to come,” said Simsek. He also added that Turkey will probably pass proposed social security reforms. To release a credit tranche worth $1.3 billion to Turkey, the IMF stipulates the passage of those reforms. /Aksam/

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

    [09] POLITICS AND THE CLOSURE CASE

    BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on a prosecutor’s case seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows.

    “The following issues should about the prosecutor’s indictment seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) should be made clear:

    1. Saying Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya’s indictment was politically wrong doesn’t mean that what he did violated the law. He just used his authority under the Constitution and the law. He made a claim, and the judiciary will decide if it’s valid or not, and it makes no legal difference whether that party won 47% or 2% of the vote. There’s the difference of specific weight and this difference isn’t legal, but political. In other words, what’s being debated is whether his indictment complies with politics, not the law.

    2. As long as our Constitution and laws allow parties to be closed based on ambiguous and open-ended definitions, similar cases may well be filed in the future. Here, the responsibility lies with the executive and legislative branch. Crimes which require the closure of a party might be limited to directly using, praising or encouraging violence, as in many European countries.

    3. When politics start to discuss it, the meaning and importance of the nearly 47% of votes won by the AKP in last July’s elections come up. In democracies, whoever captures the executive branch single-handedly uses his mandate proportional to his power to remake laws. But in modern pluralist democracies, the strength of a mandate doesn’t depend on the majority of votes. That’s why three powers were defined: the judicial, legislative and executive. Even the UN Charter says that democratic rights shall not be used in a way to limit rights and freedoms.

    4. I don’t want you to think that I believe the AKP deserved this case, but since it came to power it has focused all its political capital on the headscarf issue. This move can be said to have pushed the judicial branch’s limits. So the limits of both the judicial branch and politics should be redrawn.

    5. Democracies grow and mature on big cases based on claims that the limits of the judicial branch and politics violate those of each other. The Leyla Sahin case at the European Court of Human Rights and our headscarf are linked by the common denominator of the government’s move and the closure case.

    It would have been better if the die hadn’t been cast, but, as it is now, we should wait for the judiciary’s decision. What’s interesting here is that a cause-effect relationship was implied in government circles between the Ergenekon probe (into an alleged right-wing terrorist group) and the closure case. According to Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, the ‘deep state’ was disturbed that certain places and people would be exposed through the Ergenekon investigation and so made Yalcinkaya file the closure case.

    This sounds like a conspiracy theory. But if the government suspects this, the closure case will be dragged out. Is there any reason why the government shouldn’t deal with the Ergenekon gang? Has somebody blocked the government from conducting police operations and bringing suspects to court? If somebody has done this, the government must ensure that those hurdles are overcome and justice is done. As there are suspicions that there’s such a cause-effect relationship, the government should deal with this gang and uncover all the dark relations. This way, on the one hand, two important legal processes at the Constitutional Court (constitutional changes on wearing headscarves at universities and the AKP closure case) will define the limits of politics and the judicial branch, and on the other, it would be removed from dark and dirty relations. Every cloud has a silver lining. I wonder what the silver lining here will be.”


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