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Turkish Press Review, 08-05-07

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

07.05.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL MEETS WITH VISITING FRENCH STATE MINISTER
  • [02] EU'S REHN MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN
  • [03] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP'S TOP PRIORITY IS TO PRESERVE DEMOCRATIC AND ECONOMIC STABILITY"
  • [04] EU-TROIKA MEETING HELD IN ANKARA
  • [05] BUYUKANIT: "OUR ARMY IS MORE POWERFUL AND INSPIRES FEAR IN OUR ENEMIES"
  • [06] BAYKAL: "WE WILL TO SUBMIT CENSURE MOTIONS AGAINST PM ERDOGAN"
  • [07] BAHCELI: "THE AKP TRYING TO THREATEN THE OPPOSITION WITH EARLY ELECTIONS"
  • [08] DTP'S TURK: "KURDS HAVE LONG TURNED THEIR GAZE TOWARDS TURKEY"
  • [09] SIMSEK DENIES FISCAL DISCIPLINE SACRIFICED TO POLITICS
  • [10] ONE CARRIAGE, THREE HORSES

  • [01] GUL MEETS WITH VISITING FRENCH STATE MINISTER

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with France's Minister of State for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet, in Ankara to attend a Turkey-European Union Troika meeting. During their talks, Gul reportedly conveyed a message to French President Nicolas Sarkozy not to harm Turkey's motivation to pursue EU harmonization reforms. Stressing that Ankara has made great progress in both political and social reforms, as well as human rights and freedom of speech, Gul said that EU member states should avoid discouraging Turkey from continuing this progress. He added that France should be open to Turkey's full membership perspective and clearly express this. For his part, Jouyet said that his country has no intention of harming Turkey's EU membership progress, adding that Ankara shouldn't be worry about France's EU term presidency, which begins in July. /Milliyet/

    [02] EU'S REHN MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received visiting European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. During their meeting, issues such as Turkey's reform slate and progress in EU membership talks were discussed. Rehn told Erdogan that his visit to Turkey has been fruitful and satisfying. Rehn was also received by President Abdullah Gul. /Aksam/

    [03] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP'S TOP PRIORITY IS TO PRESERVE DEMOCRATIC AND ECONOMIC STABILITY"

    Addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that AKP's most important priority is preserving democratic and economic stability. Stressing that there are those who would like to see the country grow weaker, he added, "People used to creating crises for political ends see the country slipping into weakness as an opportunity to weaken the government." He added such people aren't interested in Turkey's successes or economic growth. Saying he will continue to fight terrorism in a variety of ways, he called diplomatic means the most important plank of the fight against terrorism. "We have close cooperation with the central Iraqi government, and our dialogue with the local northern Iraqi administration will also continue." Stressing that the AKP has made enormous strides towards finishing the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), he added that the government allocated 2.3 billion YTL this year to create jobs in the region. /Star/

    [04] EU-TROIKA MEETING HELD IN ANKARA

    A Turkey-European Union Troika meeting was held in Ankara yesterday, with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, EU Term President Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, upcoming Term President France's State Minister for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet, and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn in attendance. Afterwards, Babacan told reporters that Turkey's EU membership process has an importance beyond daily political concerns and that it's critical to start negotiations on chapters which are technically ready. Rehn said that the quick progress of the membership process depends on the reforms moving forward. /Aksam/

    [05] BUYUKANIT: "OUR ARMY IS MORE POWERFUL AND INSPIRES FEAR IN OUR ENEMIES"

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and other top army commanders yesterday took part in the Anatolian Eagle military exercises. The exercises simulated cross-border operations against the terrorist PKK, using live ammunition, and also tested new weapons and equipment developed by the Turkish defense industry. Afterwards, Buyukanit said, "The Turkish army places great importance on two things: high technology and well- educated officers to use this technology. Our army has showed very great progress in these areas, and now it is more powerful than ever before." /Turkiye/

    [06] BAYKAL: "WE WILL TO SUBMIT CENSURE MOTIONS AGAINST PM ERDOGAN"

    Speaking to his party's group meeting, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized the government, saying that the CHP would submit censure motions against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over violence during May 1 observances in Istanbul as well as the recent sale of Sabah daily and television station ATV. Charging that the police used excessive force last week and had recently arbitrarily detained some important figures, Baykal said, "This shows that some circles inside the state use its power to pursue their own ends." Baykal also urged the government to pursue an independent foreign policy more in Turkey's interests. /Hurriyet/

    [07] BAHCELI: "THE AKP TRYING TO THREATEN THE OPPOSITION WITH EARLY ELECTIONS"

    Speaking to his party's group meeting in Parliament yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli claimed that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in the midst of fighting off a closure case, is trying to threaten the opposition with going to early elections. "The decision is theirs, and no one will stop them from doing what they want," he added. He also criticized the government over violence in last week's May 1 demonstrations in Istanbul's Taksim Square. "Our nation didn't deserve such scenes, which looked like a war zone," he added. /Sabah/

    [08] DTP'S TURK: "KURDS HAVE LONG TURNED THEIR GAZE TOWARDS TURKEY"

    Democratic Society Party (DTP) group chairman Ahmet Turk, accompanied by a group of deputies, yesterday traveled to Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq to have talks with top Iraqi officials, including President Jalal Talabani. Speaking to reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Turk said that through dialogue and compromise, all problems can be solved, adding that throughout history Kurds have turned their gaze towards Turkey. Stressing that his party wants to visit Iraq from time to time to hold contacts in a spirit of fellowship, Turk said that Turkey should develop relations with neighboring countries, especially a state with millions of Kurdish citizens. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] SIMSEK DENIES FISCAL DISCIPLINE SACRIFICED TO POLITICS

    State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek yesterday denied claims that the government had cut the primary surplus target to use economic resources for political gain in the runup to next year's local elections. "Some relaxation of strict economy policy is necessary to finance economic reforms such as raising the quality of public services, creating more employment opportunities, and boasting agricultural production." he said. He also predicted that a 4 percent annual inflation target will be reached in the midterm, and growth this year will be nearly 4.5 percent. /Hurriyet/

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

    [10] ONE CARRIAGE, THREE HORSES

    BY MEHMET ALTAN (STAR)

    Columnist Mehmet Altan comments on the EU Troika meeting held in Ankara yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Our membership talks with the European Union have of course started, but many people are still far from understanding the EU. We identify any statement made by any Western politician or the disposition of any member country with EU policies as a whole, so we still don't know how to distinguish between the EU's common and official policies. In addition, we still haven't grasped that the EU is an independent organization with its own legislative, executive and judicial branch. When the word EU is mentioned, a wise person would look towards the EU Commission. But the general tendency is towards seeing each voice raised there as the EU as a whole. We also ignore that the EU is the organization of a new mentality which tries to bring all member countries to the information age and transform them all. As I said, the EU Commission constitutes the EU's government.

    As we don't follow the EU Commission, we know nothing about the disputes between member countries and the EU. For example, few know that the EU Commission warned France over prohibiting selling companies to foreigners, saying it could take legal action against France if it ignores this warning. How many of you know that the EU Commission stated that it would challenge Italy over the mountains of trash in Naples? I actually wrote this as an introduction to the Troika meeting. The group called the EU Troika is made up of the foreign ministers of the current and upcoming EU term president countries and the foreign minister of the country whose problems are being discussed.

    The EU Troika met in Ankara yesterday, attended by EU Term President Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, upcoming Term President France's State Minister for EU Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet, and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. What was the message of the meeting? The EU told Turkey that its membership talks should be accelerated and that implementing laws is as important as enacting them. Rupel said that sooner or later Turkey will join the Union and thus he supported us. He added that he was concerned over the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Saying that Slovenia is working to make sure Turkey's membership talks continue, Rupel said that it was trying to open at least two chapters by July, when it will pass the EU helm to France.

    Asked whether France is expecting developments in the process of Turkey's bid during its term presidency, Jouyet reiterated the decision made by the European Council about our membership talks last December, adding that France will be objective, neutral and balanced on Turkey during its presidency. Jouyet added that France would treat the criteria on opening new chapters in Turkey's talks the same way. These developments mean renewed green lights.

    Of course, we shouldn't forget that Rehn pointed to the excessive force used during last week's May 1 observances and that the police should have instead acted in line with EU standards. Rehn also said that he wants Turkey to develop political dialogue and consensus and that Turkey should be making progress, not retreating. The AKP's understanding this and doing what's needed is as important as its strategy against the closure case.

    Troika is a Russian word meaning a carriage drawn by three horses from three sides. If the AKP hears these messages correctly and does what's needed, the carriages of both Turkey and the government will move very rapidly, without any problems from the past. Isn't this what we need the most?"


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