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Turkish Press Review, 08-05-12
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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
12.05.2008FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 IN ANTALYA, ERDOGAN URGES TERRORISTS TO GIVE THEMSELVES UP UNDER PENITENCE LAWPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the nation's fight against terrorism will go on as long as it has to, and called on terrorists to give themselves up under Turkey's penitence law. Speaking at an opening ceremony in Antalya, Erdogan spoke about recent Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) cross-border operations into northern Iraq and soldiers who fell to terrorists. "Thanks to recent successful Turkish security forces operations, Turkey's fight against terrorism has reached a critical stage," he said. "Because of our government's political and cultural measures, the terrorist organization, now isolated both in Turkey and abroad and cut off from its financial resources, is mired in panic and confusion." He added, "I once again call on those who went astray: You have seen that this path leads nowhere. You have reached the end of the road, and so you should leave it before it's too late." /Milliyet/
 SIX FALLEN SOLDIERS LAID TO REST IN THEIR HOMETOWNSThe funerals of six fallen soldiers who lost their lives in a terrorist PKK attack on a military outpost in Semdinli, Hakkari were held in their hometowns yesterday. Pvt. Gokhan Uzun was laid to rest in Trabzon, Pvt. Halil Ibrahim Atasagun in Afyonkarahisar, Pvt. Emrah Sudut in Gaziantep, Pvt. Eyyup Dagtekin in Sanliurfa, Pvt. Yurdakul Alcan in Mersin, and Pvt. Serhat Genc in Antalya. /Aksam/
 BAYKAL: "THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO THE CHP"Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized recent remarks by both Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chair Joost Lagendijk and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. Speaking on television, he claimed that Lagendijk and Rehn's remarks had gone too far, beyond what anyone has the right to do. Responding to claims that despite poor election showings, he is resisting replacing the CHP's leadership, Baykal denied this, saying he had changed the party leadership before. Challenging critics who charge the CHP does nothing, Baykal urged them to suggest alternatives. Baykal also said there was no alternative to the CHP. /Star/
 CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT TO REPRESENT TURKEY AT NATO MEETINGChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is set to travel to Brussels this week to take part in a meeting bringing together military officials of the alliance's members and partner nations. For the first time, chiefs of staff from non-NATO countries contributing to NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo will participate in the discussions, set for Wednesday and Thursday. /Today's Zaman/
 ELIZABETH TO REITERATE BRITAIN'S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EU BIDBritain's Queen Elizabeth will pay an official visit to Turkey tomorrow at the invitation of President Abdullah Gul. Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, the queen will first visit Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and also meet with Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later she will visit Bursa and Istanbul. The queen is expected to reiterate Britain's firm support for Turkey's EU accession bid, and to say that with its strategic position along energy transportation corridors, Turkey's accession to the Union would enhance the EU's worldwide influence. The queen last visited Turkey in 1971. /Turkiye/
 CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO ELECT NEW HEADSumru Cortoglu, the chairperson of Turkey's Council of State, will step down tomorrow, as he has reached the mandatory retirement age. Turkey's top administrative court will start electing its new head on May 20. Court members Yilmaz Cimen, Mustafa Birden, Gursoy Gonenc and Turgut Candan have all declared they will seek the post. Candidates must have eight years' experience with the court, and they need the votes of at least 44 members to win. The court's chief justice is elected through a secret ballot. If no winner emerges from the first three rounds, a runoff between the top two candidates follows. If this also produces no winner, the election process will start again. The new Council of State chair will serve the court for four years, if mandatory retirement age is not reached. A member of the Council of State since 1992, Cortoglu was elected its head two years ago. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRNC'S TALAT: "NEVER BEFORE HAS THERE BEEN SUCH A CHANCE FOR A SOLUTION"Despite differences between bilateral committees and working groups, laying the groundwork for negotiations to find a settlement on Cyprus, the general atmosphere is good, said Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday. "If both side keep their word, negotiations will start next month," Talat added. "Never before has there been such a chance for a solution." He also stated that the hardest subjects in the negotiation process will be property ownership and land rules. /Star/
 LEGENDARY SOPRANO GENCER DIESTurkish soprano Leyla Gencer, one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, has died of heart failure in Milan, Italy, at the age of 79. Born in Istanbul in October 1928, Gencer won international recognition after her debut in 1957 at Milan's La Scala Theater as Madame Lidoine in the world premiere of Poulenc's "Les Dialogues des Carmelites." Known as "La Diva Turca," she performed at La Scala and other leading world theaters until 1985, accumulating a repertoire of more than 70 roles, notably the great heroines of Donizetti. She was the artistic director of the La Scala Academy, when she passed away on Friday in her home in Milan. A commemorative ceremony for Gencer will be held in Milan today, after which her body will be cremated in line with her wishes. Her ashes will then be brought to Istanbul and scattered over the Bosphorus. /Cumhuriyet/
 FERRARI'S MASSA WINS TURKISH GPFerrari's Felipe Massa yesterday won the fifth race of the Formula One World Championship Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park. The Brazilian driver, who started the 58-lap race in the pole position, finished in first place to win the Turkish race for the third year running. McLaren's British driver Lewis Hamilton, who started the race in the third place, finished close behind Massa for second place, while Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikonnen came in third. "It's just fantastic, today was a very difficult race," Massa said after his seventh career win. Istanbul was hosting the race for the fourth time. The next stop on the F1 calendar is the 55th Monaco GP in Monte Carlo on May 25. /All Papers/
 ON ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY, THY AIMS FOR RECORD PROFITTurkish Airlines (THY) is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Stressing that other airline companies in Europe and US are feeling the pinch of recession, CEO Temel Kotil said that THY's growth in the first quarter of this year had reached 16 percent. Stating that last year THY had the best bottom line of any European airline, he said, "We intend to be the world's most profitable airline company this year." /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A PARTY FOR AVERAGE TURKS?BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the differences between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). A summary of his column is as follows:
"Discussing European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn's term 'democratic secularism,' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his Justice and Development Party (AKP) the party of 'average Turks.' If we see average Turks in line with our observations, we would averaging out the social group that we belong to. For a proper definition, we need to look at data from various studies. First let's look at findings of a reliable pollster, A & G: AKP support rose to 54 percent in January, but fell to 42 percent at the end of April. So the AKP is still the political current in society but its support is slippery, and can rise or fall. The economy and stability are the key factors. If the market suffers and the AKP has an aggressive image, its votes fall, or vice versa. Support for the Republican People's Party's (CHP) hasn’t fallen yet, but its support could rise slightly from 19 percent to just 23 percent. So the CHP isn't greatly influenced by social developments. It moves around a stable and constant vote basis. In addition, its relation to social dynamics is weak and gives the image of an isolated party.
The AKP's high but unsteady support shows its sensitivity to social trends. The fact that CHP support is low but stable shows that it's not so affected. So millions of small businesses, farmers and unemployed people have problems, and calls for democratization in society are rising, but these millions of people don't see an alternative in the CHP. The sociological meaning of the 'opposition gap' is that the CHP is an isolated party in these terms. It isn't a party of social needs, but an elitist and ideological one. Back in the '70s, CHP leader Deniz Baykal said as much in his book 'Siyasi Katılım' (Political Participation). What's more, the CHP has turned into an ideological party and has become more isolated from societal sectors. Hurriyet daily's chief columnist Ertugrul Ozkok charged that the CHP has ceded the issues of the economy and the European Union to the AKP by making it a front for a totalitarian nationalism. This is a serious charge. To put it symbolically, small businesses don't affect either party. That's why employers, small businessmen and farmers don't consider the CHP an alternative to the ruling party.
The CHP's elitist and ideological structure, inflexible and insensitive to social requests, keeps it from being a mass party of average Turks! To define the average Turk's social and cultural characteristics, sensitivities, hopes and wants, academics have looked over a decade of data. An average Turk rejects a theocratic state, but wants respect for religion; believes in democratic secularism, but wants the headscarf ban to be lifted; and places importance on a non-problematic course of things. Obviously, this Turk usually votes for the AKP, to which there is no alternative, because unfortunately we lack a social democratic party supported by millions of average citizens from throughout Turkey."
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