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Turkish Press Review, 08-04-18

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

18.04.2008

FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS'

CONTENTS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT PASSES SOCIAL SECURITY BILL
  • [02] OPPOSITION CRITICIZES AKP OVER CLAIMS IT PUSHED FOR PACE DECLARATION
  • [03] AKP, CHP SHOW SOLIDARITY OVER RESTORING MAY 1 HOLIDAY
  • [04] TUZMEN MEETS WITH EU'S REHN
  • [05] US' WILSON: "WE'RE WATCHING THE AKP CLOSURE CASE CLOSELY"
  • [06] IRAQI OFFICIALS TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [07] ISTANBUL TO HOST CONFERENCE ON REVIVING SILK ROAD
  • [08] TRT LAYS OUT PLANS TO BROADCAST IN FIVE LANGUAGES
  • [09] PRESIDENT OZAL COMMEMORATED
  • [10] FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS'
  • [11] THE EU'S DECLARATION OF WAR

  • [01] PARLIAMENT PASSES SOCIAL SECURITY BILL

    After weeks of debate, Parliament yesterday passed the Social Security Bill. The bill now proceeds to the president, who is expected to sign it. Under the bill, the retirement age for both women and men would be gradually raised to 65, and the number of premium days to be eligible for pensions would increase from 7,000 to 7,200. Also, former green card holders would be covered under general health insurance. The new law is expected to come into effect in October. /Turkiye/

    [02] OPPOSITION CRITICIZES AKP OVER CLAIMS IT PUSHED FOR PACE DECLARATION

    A main opposition party official yesterday accused ruling party members of "betraying the republic" by urging the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to issue a declaration condemning closures of political parties. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is currently facing a prosecutor's case seeking its closure. Speaking to reporters, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) parliamentary group leader Kemal Anadol said that the AKP had extended interference in the judiciary to the international level. Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer joined in the criticism, saying that the ruling party had encouraged EU officials to make statements against Turkey. He called on the AKP not to let international organizations meddle in Turkish affairs. But AKP's PACE members denied the allegations, saying that no Turkish deputies were involved in seeking a declaration. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] AKP, CHP SHOW SOLIDARITY OVER RESTORING MAY 1 HOLIDAY

    After ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Corum Deputy Agah Kafkas introduced a proposal to Parliament this week to celebrate May 1 as Unity and Solidarity Day, it got open backing from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Kafkas said that May 1 is an important day for the world's labor movement, adding that he hoped the proposal would proceed through commission hearings to the full Parliament. From 1935 to 1980, Turkish workers celebrated May 1 as an official holiday under the title Spring and Flower Festival. But the holiday was eliminated in the wake of the 1980 coup. In the years since, many proposals to restore the holiday were introduced by left-wing or social democratic parties, but none succeeded. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] TUZMEN MEETS WITH EU'S REHN

    As part of his contacts in Brussels, State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday met with European Commissioners Peter Mandelson and Olli Rehn, responsible for trade and enlargement, respectively. During their talks, Tuzmen urged the commissioners to include Turkey in decision mechanisms on free trade agreements and investment relations. /Milliyet/

    [05] US' WILSON: "WE'RE WATCHING THE AKP CLOSURE CASE CLOSELY"

    The US is closely following the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and believes the matter will be settled democratically, said US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson on Wednesday. "We believe that the issue will be solved within Turkey's democratic framework, " Wilson said in New York, where he was attending an American Turkish Society (ATC) awards banquet. "First of all, the problem concerns the Turkish people and its institutions. We hope that it concludes in a way that benefits Turkey's democratic system." The ATC dinner celebrated successful partnerships of US and Turkish corporations and honored business leaders who exemplify the countries' friendship. Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Turkish Consul General in New York Mehmet Samsar were among those in attendance. Turkey's Dogus Holding and the American GE corporation received a Corporation Partnership Award at the dinner. The award was received by Jeffrey R. Immelt, the CEO of GE, and Dogus Chairman Ferit F. Sahenk. /Sabah-Aksam/

    [06] IRAQI OFFICIALS TO VISIT TURKEY

    Iraqi Deputy Chief of General Gen. Naseer al-Abadi Staff is set to visit Ankara next week at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Gen. Ergin Saygun. Later this month, Iraqi Vice President Tariq Hashimi will visit Istanbul. Finally next month, officials of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) are set to meet with officials of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO). The meetings reportedly will focus on why TPAO was not among 35 companies recently approved by Iraq's Oil Ministry to bid for tenders to develop oil and gas fields. /Sabah/

    [07] ISTANBUL TO HOST CONFERENCE ON REVIVING SILK ROAD

    The World Congress of the International Road Transportation Union's conference on reviving the Silk Road is set to be held in Istanbul on May 15-16. Transportation ministers of nearly 70 countries are expected to attend the conference. In light of the rising trade volume between Eastern and Western countries, participants will focus on the importance of reviving the historic Silk Road. Barriers to global transportation and proposals for solutions will also be discussed. Officials at the conference are expected to sign a roadmap agreement for reviving the ancient trade route. /Hurriyet/

    [08] TRT LAYS OUT PLANS TO BROADCAST IN FIVE LANGUAGES

    The state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has announced plans to broadcast in five languages, including Arabic, Persian and Kurdish. At hearings on the proposed changes yesterday at Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, State Minister Mehmet Aydin, who is responsible for TRT, said that other international news channels also broadcast in various languages. "This new policy will be very beneficial and advantageous for Turkey," he added. In related news, the Turkish General Staff has applied to the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) to set up a radio station meant to keep the public informed about terrorism and other matters related to the military. /Turkiye-Hurriyet/

    [09] PRESIDENT OZAL COMMEMORATED

    President Turgut Ozal, who also founded the Motherland (ANAVATAN) Party, was commemorated yesterday on the 15th anniversary of his death in two separate ceremonies. First Ozal's family, friends and former aides attended a ceremony at his tomb in Istanbul, followed by a ceremony at ANAVATAN headquarters. President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also both issued messages honoring the late leader. /Star/

    [10] FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS' FROM COLUMNS'

    [11] THE EU'S DECLARATION OF WAR

    BY M. ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)

    Columnist M. Ali Kislalı comments on the European Union's stance on the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:

    The European Union has declared war on Turkey, following the closure case filed by the state prosecutor against the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Besides the EU's central staff and spokesmen, its supporters in Turkey have ramped up their threats. They reiterate at every occasion that if the AKP is closed, membership talks with the EU would be suspended. (Our membership talks have been suspended for a while, anyway, haven't they?). Nobody's asking how relations with the EU have affected Turkey. Nobody's wondering about the possibility of our full EU membership, the EU's view of this, or what we have to do to get membership. Nobody in Turkey is asking who's against Turkey's membership. But all the EU advocates reiterate their threat that if the AKP is shuttered, our EU membership talks would be suspended.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also says that he doesn't believe his party would be closed. In his indictment, the prosecutor detailed AKP policies said to violate the law. Now isn't it time to wait for the Constitutional Court Court's ruling on the case? As if the EU ever treated Turkey warmly or encouraged hope for our membership, now how can it say that if the AKP is closed, Ankara's membership talks would be suspended? How can it ask the Constitutional Court not to implement the law and the prosecutor to withdraw the case?

    Who will be swayed by the EU's threats and blackmail? Probably not our experienced judges. And Erdogan's statement that he doesn't believe his party will be closed, what could it mean? The AKP is doing what it thinks is right. It's also trying hard to rally its supporters' morale, not stir up tension, and not show disrespect to the court's rulings. It leaves the task of going too far to the EU. The head of the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Council of Europe (a non-EU body) also stated that its Turkish members from the AKP asked PACE to issue a declaration opposing the closure case. I think the EU will lose the war it has declared against Turkey 's constitutional regime."


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