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Turkish Press Review, 08-03-21

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

21.03.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL, TOPTAN AND ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES MARKING NEVRUZ
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “NOTHING CAN BLOCK OUR QUEST TO SERVE THE PEOPLE”
  • [03] BAYKAL CRITICIZES PROPOSED REFERENDUM ON MAKING CLOSING PARTIES MORE DIFFICULT
  • [04] CHIEF JUSTICE DEFENDS PROSECUTOR FROM CRITICISM
  • [05] LAW SCHOOL DEANS LEND SUPPORT TO PUBLIC PROSECUTOR
  • [06] AGREEMENT REACHED ON SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS
  • [07] WEEK ONE OF THE CRISIS

  • [01] GUL, TOPTAN AND ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES MARKING NEVRUZ

    The annual Nevruz festival has long been celebrated by all the cultures that call this region home, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday in a message marking the annual event. In a separate statement for the occasion, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said, “Nevruz, which heralds the advent of spring, is a wonderful example of cultural and historical ties among fellow countries and communities.” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also issued a message saying, “I celebrate the Nevruz festival of both our people and those of the wider region.” Stating that Nevruz has celebrated in Anatolia, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Caucasus for ages, he added, “I hope Nevruz will strengthen the ties of friendship and fellowship between our people and those of the region.” The General Staff also marked the festival on its official website. /Milliyet - Hurriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “NOTHING CAN BLOCK OUR QUEST TO SERVE THE PEOPLE”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said, “Nothing can stop us on the course to serve the people. I believe we will pursue our democratic struggle in a mature, understanding way within the bounds of the law.” Speaking to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members after returning from Istanbul to Ankara, Erdogan said that under AKP rule Turkey has attained an advanced democracy and economy, adding that they will continue in this direction. Erdogan urged party members to understand that the AKP will not allow tension and will manage the country in the best way with solidarity. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] BAYKAL CRITICIZES PROPOSED REFERENDUM ON MAKING CLOSING PARTIES MORE DIFFICULT

    In TV interview yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized proposals for holding a referendum on constitutional changes to make party closures harder. Stating that such a referendum would amount to an indirect vote on the principle of secularism, he added, “Was the principle of secularism put into our Constitution through a referendum? The (ruling) Justice and Development Party (AKP) is making up its own law.” He also addressed the current closure case against the AKP, which proposes a five-year political ban for its founding members, including President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “A political ban would affect the president ethically, but I suppose it wouldn’t be a legal necessity,” he said. “If the president accepts these circumstances, he will continue at his post. It’s shameful that the prime minister may face a ban.” /Sabah-Milliyet/

    [04] CHIEF JUSTICE DEFENDS PROSECUTOR FROM CRITICISM

    Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Judge Hasan Gerceker yesterday defended Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, who has faced criticism for his indictment seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Rather than politicizing law, the government must show that law should stand above politics, he said. Saying that the independent judiciary benefits everyone, he added that wherever it is lacking, basic rights and freedoms cannot be protected. /Sabah/

    [05] LAW SCHOOL DEANS LEND SUPPORT TO PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

    Deans from 26 law schools yesterday convened in Ankara to express their support for Public Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, who last week filed an indictment seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In a joint declaration released by the deans, they underlined the importance of the judiciary in democracies. Condemning criticisms of Yalcinkaya, the deans stated that the prosecutor had acted in line with his duty and responsibility to protect constitutional principles, adding that the judiciary should not be subject to political pressure. “Protecting the judiciary is protecting the state under the rule of law, and this is everyone’s duty,” they added. /Hurriyet/

    [06] AGREEMENT REACHED ON SOCIAL SECURITY REFORMS

    Following fierce debates, a compromise has been reached on most aspects of proposed social security reforms. Under the agreement between the government, labor unions, and employers, the number of premium days needed for a pension will be cut to 8,000 days, and the respective retirement ages for women and men would be 58 and 60. Also, workers who opt to retire sooner would receive smaller pensions than those who do so later. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [07] WEEK ONE OF THE CRISIS

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:

    “This week Turkey was embroiled by the chief public prosecutor’s case seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A serious political crisis has emerged.

    This crisis will be managed by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If the harsh criticisms of the chief prosecutor and the people who share similar views continue, the crisis could get worse. On the other hand, if the government deals with the country’s major issues, and also gets itself ready for the case, the tension may ease.

    Overcoming this crisis without damaging democracy is vital for Turkey. Otherwise, the state and nation will face a great blow.

    On July 23 we will mark the 100th anniversary of the second constitutional monarchy. Monarchy means democracy with a crown. The place we have reached after a century of experience with democracy in both the Ottoman and republican eras falls short of Western standards and is still fragile.

    A democratic crisis in Turkey, God forbid, would makes our enemies happy, leave us even behind states which used to be Ottoman provinces, and make our people suffer at the doors of foreign consulates.

    Every responsible politician should ask this: Where did I make a mistake, where did we go wrong? And they must find the right answer. Government officials from top to bottom must do the same.

    If no mistakes were made, then why is Turkey rocked by such crises?”


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