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Turkish Press Review, 08-04-21

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

21.04.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "EVERYONE SHOULD ACCEPT DEMOCRACY AND ITS RULES"
  • [02] CABINET TO DISCUSS PROPOSAL FOR MAY 1 HOLIDAY
  • [03] BABACAN TO ATTEND SUMMIT OF IRAQ'S NEIGHBORS
  • [04] AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA TODAY
  • [05] EP COMMISSION TO VOTE ON TURKEY REPORT
  • [06] IN US, TUZMEN URGES CONTINUED LOW TARIFFS ON TURKISH GOODS
  • [07] ATTACK ON KAMER GENC SHOWS HOW AKP SEES DEMOCRACY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "EVERYONE SHOULD ACCEPT DEMOCRACY AND ITS RULES"

    There are still some in Turkey who are unable to adjust themselves to the principles of multiparty democracy, and those who oppose the public will lose support, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking to the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Women's Branch Congress in Istanbul, Erdogan stressed that only with democracy can Turkey's problems be overcome, adding that voters should keep an eye on the politicians they voted for and hold them accountable. Saying that everyone should respect the results of democratic elections and understand the message that the people sent in last year's general elections, he said, "All political groups and leaders and everyone should fully embrace the principle that sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the nation." /Milliyet/

    [02] CABINET TO DISCUSS PROPOSAL FOR MAY 1 HOLIDAY

    Meeting today, the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss a proposal to make May 1 an official "unity and solidarity day" holiday. Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik said he would support the proposal, adding that trade unions also favor it strongly. In related news, as part of Wednesday's April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day celebrations, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan will welcome visiting children from all over the world to attend National Sovereignty and Children's Day festivities of the state-owned broadcaster TRT. Parliament will celebrate its 88th anniversary on Wednesday. /Milliyet/

    [03] BABACAN TO ATTEND SUMMIT OF IRAQ'S NEIGHBORS

    A meeting of Iraq's neighboring states will be held in Kuwait tomorrow, with Turkey represented by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also in attendance. Security, economic and political issues in Iraq are expected to dominate the meeting. Babacan will reportedly underline the importance of Iraqi territory not being used by terrorist groups. /Sabah/

    [04] AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DUE IN ANKARA TODAY

    Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik is due to arrive in Ankara today to pay an official visit at the invitation of her counterpart and chief negotiator for Turkey's EU talks Ali Babacan. Plassnik will meet with Babacan and will also be received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and Turkey's EU accession talks are expected to dominate her talks. The Cyprus issue and other regional matters will also be discussed. Austria is one of the countries least supportive of Turkey's EU accession bid. /Milliyet/

    [05] EP COMMISSION TO VOTE ON TURKEY REPORT

    The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission will vote today on a Turkey report prepared by Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the EP's Turkey rapporteur. The draft report discussed by the commission last month urges Turkey to speed up its reforms for European Union membership and to carry them out resolutely. Following today's vote, next month the report will face the full EP. The report is also expected to express concern over the case seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). /Turkiye/

    [06] IN US, TUZMEN URGES CONTINUED LOW TARIFFS ON TURKISH GOODS

    At the annual American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting last week in Washington, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen urged the continuation of low US tariffs on Turkish exports. Tuzmen also discussed export problems between the two countries with US Commerce Department officials. On his way back to Turkey, Tuzmen said that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's participation in the ATC meeting was very important. Stating that Rice had stressed Washinton's support for Turkey in a speech to the meeting, Tuzmen added, "This shows that Turkish-US relations are improving." /Today's Zaman/

    FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] ATTACK ON KAMER GENC SHOWS HOW AKP SEES DEMOCRACY

    BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on last week's attack by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies on independent Deputy Kamer Genc. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I think that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the only prime minister who could have seen the recent ugly event in Parliament as normal and claimed that the deputy who faced such attacks was guilty.

    Such a stance has never seen in a parliamentary regime anywhere in the world.

    A deputy stood before the full Parliament and criticizes the ruling party, prime minister and president. This is both right and the duty of a deputy. But some heroic lawmakers from the ruling party, in order to ingratiate themselves with their leader, tried to shut up him by swearing, insulting and then attacking him. If other deputies hadn't interceded, he would have been badly beaten.

    But Genc, a deputy from a poor province of Tunceli, was doing his job.

    His constituents sent him to Parliament to follow and criticize the government and its policies and to promote their rights.

    * *

    If he had given the ruling party a pat on the back, and sat silently, the AKP deputies would have carried him on their shoulders. All his requests would have been met, and he would have feathered his nest without any trouble.

    But then he couldn't look at the faces of his electorate and visit his polling district, Tunceli.

    What can you do? It's difficult to live honorably in Turkey. There are bills to be paid. Kamer Genc is doing this as well. He is being saved by opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies.

    I know, Genc is a sharp-spoken, hot-tempered person and his criticisms are harsh.

    But if you're the ruling party, and believe in the sacredness of the lectern in parliamentary regimes, you have to welcome all criticisms, even ones you don't like.

    You listen, and respond to them before Parliament.

    This is a fixed rule of democracies, one which they always protect.

    If you can't bear the criticisms and attack people who oppose you, this means that you don't care about democracy.

    * *

    Another issue is the premier's comments on the matter. He said that his fellow deputies didn't favor violence and then criticized Genc for his 'harsh stance' and accused the Tunceli deputy of acting as a provocateur.

    It is clear that Genc's harsh criticisms touched the premier's sore spot and make him angry.

    Erdogan's stance casts a shadow on Parliament's honor and encourages AKP deputies to quash the opposition. This isn't an acceptable stance in a parliamentary system.

    Parliament is obliged to protect opposition lawmakers.

    A ruling party lacking in tolerance will have difficulty during its rule.

    Turkey can never be a peaceful country amid such high tension."


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