|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-04-30
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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
 PRESIDENT GUL, PREMIER CALL FOR COMMON SENSEPresident Abdullah Gul yesterday said that everybody should have common sense during the May 1 celebrations and that everyone should obey the laws. He said, "This is a festivity of laborers and workers. We should celebrate it in peace and silence. But some events occurred in the past and everybody is concerned because of this. Everyone should act with common sense." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called on labor unions not to be deceived by illegal organizations' provocations and said, "May 1 should be celebrated as a day of labor and solidarity in peace." In related news, speaking on behalf of the government, Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik said that only a small group of unions' leaders and representatives would be allowed to enter Istanbul's Taksim square on May 1 to make press statement and to lay a wreath to the Taksim memorial. /Turkiye/
 GUL: "TURKEY CAN TURN THE CURRENT GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS INTO AN OPPORTUNITY"President Abdullah Gul yesterday held a meeting with reporters to promote a social responsibility campaign held under the theme of "Attention to traffic rules: Ten thousands of lives" at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. After the meeting, asked about Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's recent statements on the slowdown in the flow of foreign capital to Turkey, Gul said, "If Turkey continues to be reliable, predictable and stable, it can turn the current global crisis into an opportunity and attract more foreign capital." Gul also vocalized an advertising film as part of that campaign. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN: "NOONE CAN DAMAGE THE PEACE IN TURKEY"Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) group meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that some sections of society were feeling uncomfortable of the nation's enthusiasm and hope and that boosting the morale was vitally important for the economy. He added, "While the Turkish economy grew and the country developed in the last 5.5 years, some did all they can to block this." He said, "They used every way to disturb tradesmen, industrialists, investors, farmers, laborers and civil servants. Now they think they got an opportunity. Upon the international fluctuations and drought, they are after taking a swing at the stability and security in Turkey. But they cannot damage the peace in Turkey." /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: "THREAT AND BLACKMAIL TO JUDICIARY CAUSES DISASTER IN THE COUNTRY"Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that any initiative to threaten and blackmail the judiciary would cause a disaster in Turkey. Addressing his party's first parliamentary group meeting after the party's general congress this weekend, Baykal said that any attempt to change the Constitution, while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) closure case process was continuing, would be wrong. He also criticized the developments regarding the Sabah-ATV tender, saying that his party would be on the matter till the end. Furthermore, Baykal urged the government to allow workers to celebrate May 1 at Istanbul's Taksim Square. "Responsibility of any possible clashes during the celebrations will belong to the government," Baykal added. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAHCELI CALLS AKP FOR PUBLIC REFERENDUM ON ARTICLE 301Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to conduct a public referendum regarding any change in Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting, Bahceli said that his party didn't favor any change in Article 301."The MHP can't tolerate any insult to Turkish values," said Bahceli. Rebuffing what he called polemics around May 1 and urging labor unions to postpone their insistence on celebrating the day at Istanbul's Taksim Square to upcoming years, he also criticized the government's resistance to close the square to celebrations. /Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet/
 TURKEY-EU TROIKA MEETING TO BE HELD IN ANKARATurkey-European Union troika meeting will be held in Ankara next Tuesday. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will represent Turkey at the meeting, while the EU will be represented by EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, EU Term President Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel and next EU Term President France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. Political issues as well as the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Turkey's reform process will be discussed at the meeting. /Star/
 EU'S REPRESENTATIVE VISITS MHPOpposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) yesterday hosted European Union Turkey Delegation head Marc Pierini. During his talks with MHP Secretary- General Cihan Pacaci, Pierini reportedly made warnings about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), saying that if the party is closed, Turkey might experience instability both in politics and economy. For his part, Pacaci explained his party's views regarding the EU. He said that the MHP wasn't against Turkey's EU membership bid, but urged the EU to respect Turkey's sensitiveness on certain matters. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN OFFERS PARTNERSHIP IN NABUCCO PROJECT TO TURKMENISTANTurkmenistan Deputy Prime Minister Hocamohammed Mohammedov yesterday arrived in Ankara to attend the meeting of Turkey-Turkmenistan Joint Economic Commission, with a high-level delegation, consisting of ministers and senior bureaucrats. Mohammedov met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Erken, State Minister for foreign trade Kursat Tuzmen, and Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan were also in attendance at the meeting. During the meeting, Erdogan said, "Turkey and Turkmenistan can work jointly to realize the Nabucco Project." For his turn, Mohammedov said, "Turkmenistan places great importance on Turkey and Turkish investors." Nabucco is a 3,300-kilometer natural gas pipeline running from the Caspian Sea via Turkey and the Balkan states to Austria. The construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2009 and end in 2012. The project has a great importance for EU to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies. Addressing the joint economic committee meeting, Caglayan said, "Being the safest energy corridor of the world, Turkey can enable Turkmenistan to export its natural gas and oil to western markets in the safest and quickest way," adding that Turkey has the necessary infrastructure to perform this. Mohammedov also separately met with Tuzmen and Caglayan. Stating that the trade volume between the two countries has significantly increased in 2007, Tuzmen said that Turkish contractors would invest $5 billion in construction sector of Turkmenistan in 2008. During his meeting with Mohammedov, Caglayan said, "Turkey is ready to share its industrialization experience with Turkmenistan," adding that the two countries could cooperate to establish small-scaled industry estates and industrial zones. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 WHAT DOES THE US WANT FROM TURKEY CONCERNING THE IRAN ISSUE?BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on the Iranian policy followed by Turkey and the US. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Gregory Schulte, the US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, was in Ankara yesterday to hold meetings with officials from the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff about Iran's nuclear program. US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson brought together a group of reporters and Schulte at his home, where we could get answers to some of our questions. I'd better summarize the course of this meeting so that I can tell you better why we couldn't get an answer to all questions. According to the information provided by Schulte, the US' stance about Iran's nuclear program is as follows:
The US believes that Iran doesn't have the capacity to produce nuclear weapons yet, but that it's efforts are directed towards producing nuclear weapons in order to threat many countries in the region, mostly Israel,
The US is concerned that if Iran owns nuclear weapons, a competition of nuclear armament will begin,
So it suggests a double strategy about Iran, which is based on diplomacy and sanctions. The US expects these efforts to change the leadership of Islamic regime in Iran and ensure the continuation of negotiations with the UN,
Schulte said that we should understand what the Iranian administration wants and added that for example, if it seeks international intelligence, security or new technologies, we should tell Iran that these can be provided in the best way not by confliction, but cooperation.
This is how it works in Turkey, because Turkey has economic cooperation with Iran, mostly in the area of natural gas. Schulte implied that the Iranian administration used these to show the entire world that it's not alone in the international arena and that everything is fine and thus it's not a good time to make cooperation with Iran. Likewise, Wilson, who is one of the actors of latest operations against Iraq, criticizes the thinking that Iran is making cooperation with Turkey in its fight against the terrorist PKK, implying that nobody should compare these two areas of cooperation.
Schulte said that at this point, Turkey has an important role to play, because it's a NATO member and a country neighboring Iran. As the US indicated, Turkey has already been conducting a diplomacy based on convincing Iran. Similarly, Schulte said that the US can take what it needs from Turkey this way or the other, but that Turkey should send a message to Iran, which is common with other countries.
By the way, the question which remained unanswered is as follows: It's not enough to be a bordering neighbor to conduct diplomacy and deliver messages, so do the US' expectations have operational characteristics and what is expected from Turkey, in addition to its current diplomacy efforts? At this point, Schulte said, 'We're talking with Turkey about ways of responding security considerations and I can't give a more detailed answer to this question.
So was the Iranian issue discussed during the US Deputy President Dick Cheney's visit to Ankara last month with its dimensions of operation? After hearing this question, Wilson said that he was present in those meetings, during which mostly the Iranian issue was discussed, but the issue of operation through Turkey wasn't opened up. Then Schulte added that he wants no war.
Asked whether the US will change its policy on Iran under the leadership of Democrats, Schulte gave an evasive answer, saying, 'I'm a diplomat, not a politician.' But Robert Einhorn, former assistant secretary of state and currently an advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Hilary Clinton, has told us before that he could take the White House's stance on Iran to a more realistic line.
Of course, the US' pressure about Iran on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration, which has been dealing with problems caused by the closure case against it, and its pressure on then government in the beginning of 2002 about Iran don't share the same conditions. But it's also striking that expectations about the Iranian issue from the AKP, whose searches for an international support against the closure case isn't a secret, has increased these days."
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