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Turkish Press Review, 08-05-13

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

13.05.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GOVT SPOKESPERSON CICEK: "TURKEY CAN COOPERATE WITH IRAN TO FIGHT TERRORISM"
  • [02] BABACAN: "WE ARE DOING REFORMS FOR THE TURKISH PEOPLE"
  • [03] JUSTICE MINISTER SAHIN VISITS SLOVAKIA
  • [04] QUEEN ELIZABETH'S VISIT TO TURKEY BEGINNING TODAY
  • [05] PARLIAMENT TO WORK OVERTIME ON EU LEGISLATION
  • [06] IHSANOGLU: "THE EMBARGO ON THE TRNC IS ILLEGITIMATE"
  • [07] MILAN MOURNS "LA DIVA TURCA"
  • [08] TALAT, CHRISTOFIAS AND A SOLUTION

  • [01] GOVT SPOKESPERSON CICEK: "TURKEY CAN COOPERATE WITH IRAN TO FIGHT TERRORISM"

    A Cabinet meeting held yesterday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the economy and inflation. Central Bank head Durmus Yilmaz also spoke to the Cabinet members. Asked afterwards whether Turkey would cooperate with Iran to counter the terrorist PKK, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Cemil Cicek said, "We are now doing multifaceted work," and added, "We're trying to cooperate with whoever we can. We're trying to evaluate all the information and evidence we have. Recently Turkey has found better opportunities for cooperation than in the past." Asked whether the meeting had discussed the economic impact of the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Cicek said, "The Central Bank head didn't spoke about the case. We all know that if economic stability doesn't accompany political stability, there are some negative consequences. If Turkey is more resistant to certain shocks, one of the key reasons for this is political stability." /Aksam-Turkiye/

    [02] BABACAN: "WE ARE DOING REFORMS FOR THE TURKISH PEOPLE"

    There has been no slowdown or reluctance in Turkey’s European Union accession reforms, said Foreign Minister and chief negotiator for Turkey’s European Union talks Ali Babacan in Helsinki, Finland yesterday. Meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Babacan and Alexander Stubb spoke about bilateral relations, Turkey's EU process and the fight against the terrorist PKK. At a joint press conference afterwards, Babacan said that Turkey wasn't lagging on its EU bid and reforms, and added, "Turkey has made many reforms and stays in contact with the EU Commission about these reforms." Stressing that the reforms are for the Turkish people, he added, "If the EU asks us for a firm timetable timing for the reforms, it should do the same for Turkey's EU membership." For his part, Stubb said that aim of the negotiating process is Turkey's full EU membership, expressing his hope that Turkey will join the EU at the end of the process. /Star-Sabah/

    [03] JUSTICE MINISTER SAHIN VISITS SLOVAKIA

    Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin arrived in Bratislava, Slovakia , yesterday for a meeting of the Turkish-Slovak Economic Commission (KEK). He will preside over the commission which begins today. Sahin yesterday met with Ivan Rybarik, state secretary of the Slovak Economy Ministry, and also helped open the new Slovak-Turkish Chamber of Commerce. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] QUEEN ELIZABETH'S VISIT TO TURKEY BEGINNING TODAY

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth will begin a historic visit to Turkey today, her first in over 35 years. Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip and a delegation, the queen will arrive in Ankara in the evening and first visit the mausoleum of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. President Abdullah Gul and his wife will then receive the British monarch at the Cankaya Presidential Palace and host a state banquet in her honor. Tomorrow, the queen will travel to Bursa in northwestern Turkey, and on Thursday she will proceed to Istanbul to attend special events. /Hurriyet/

    [05] PARLIAMENT TO WORK OVERTIME ON EU LEGISLATION

    Parliament will be working overtime as the government seeks to speed up its European Union accession process, with deputies planning to pass more legislation than usual before it breaks for summer recess. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) official Sadullah Ergin yesterday said that Parliament, after a busy schedule last week that went into overtime, will continue to work in the same vein this week. "We'll probably work more days and hours this week as well. Parliament might stay open until July 15," he added. /Today's Zaman/

    [06] IHSANOGLU: "THE EMBARGO ON THE TRNC IS ILLEGITIMATE"

    Visiting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General and Turkish scholar Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu yesterday met with President Mehmet Ali Talat, and reiterated the OIC's firm support for the Turkish Cypriots. Stressing that the OIC is opposed to the illegitimate and unfair embargo on the TRNC, he said, "There is no set of values under which punishing a people like this is acceptable. I hope the process of confidence-building measures and peace negotiations which were recently initiated by Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, under the auspices of the UN, will come to a successful conclusion." Ihsanoglu said that the OIC would continue to cooperate with the TRNC government to counter the unjust sanctions on Turkish Cypriots. Ihsanoglu was also awarded an honorary degree by Near Eastern University. /Turkiye/

    To avoid more uncertainty among investors as global credit dries up, Ankara should make a speedy decision on its future relations with the International Monetary Fund after the conclusion of its standby arrangement, said Lorenzo Giorgianni, chief of the IMF's Turkey desk, in an interview with Britain's Financial Times yesterday. "There was a lot of hard work, a lot of it behind the scenes, by government and Central Bank officials, to make this work," he said, adding whatever program replaces the $10 billion standby should be "home grown." Urging a speedy decision, he said, "To the extent that it (no decision) increases the uncertainty among investors, a decision would be better sooner than later." /Star/

    [07] MILAN MOURNS "LA DIVA TURCA"

    A memorial service was held in Milan, Italy yesterday for legendary Turkish soprano Leyla Gencer, who died of respiratory and cardiac failure over the weekend. The service took place at the historical Santa Babila Church, near the Scala Theater. Relatives, friends and students of "La Diva Turca" all attended the service. Afterwards, Gencer's body was taken to the Milano Lambrate cemetery, where she will be cremated. Following her wishes, her ashes will then be brought to Istanbul to be scattered over the Bosphorus on Friday. /Hurriyet/

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

    [08] TALAT, CHRISTOFIAS AND A SOLUTION

    BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ilter Turkmen comments on his visit to Cyprus at the invitation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Last week I was part of a group of academics and reporters who went to Cyprus at the invitation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat. From my visit, I could tell that my previous impression that the people of the TRNC aren't eager for a solution was mistaken. Our contacts showed that Turkish Cypriots generally prefer a solution to continuing the status quo. Economic growth of over 10% over the last three years from a construction boom has stopped, and last year the economy even shrunk 2%. People generally think it won't be easy to provide economic momentum without a solution.

    Obviously, electing Dimitris Christofias the Greek Cypriot administration leader and Talat's search for a solution have raised people's hope for a settlement. Working groups and committees, envisioned by former Greek Cypriot administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos but inactive up to now, have started to become more active. These groups show a picture of parties' positions on such issues as management and power-sharing, safety and guarantees, and relations with the European Union and borders. They also deal with daily issues. The opening of Lokmaci Gate has established a new confidence. After the gate opened, the number of people crossing the border from the south to the north leaped from 800 to 3,000 per day. In addition, contacts between Turkish and Greek Cypriots are very common on both the official and social levels.

    Of course, the most interesting aspect of our visit was our nearly three- hour-meeting with Christofias. The Greek Cypriot leader dealt with the push for a solution, referred to his friendship with Talat, and asked who could solve the island's problems if not he and Talat. He reiterated that if a solution can be found, 50,000 people of Turkish origin on Cyprus would accept being citizens of a new federal state. According to Christofias, talks should aim for a solution under the consensuses reached in 1977 between then TRNC President Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Archbishop Makarios and in 1979 between Denktas and Spyros Kyprianou, that is, a solution based on two nations, two zones, and political equality. But he's against calling this 'people' instead of 'nation.' He rejects the 'virgin birth' thesis which was established without Greek Cypriot consent in the Annan plan, which he had supported in 2004 but no longer. In other words, he wants the state to be a continuation of the ' Cypriot Republic ' and rejects agreements of guarantee and alliance. He argues that no EU member state can be put under the custody of another, non-EU state. Contrary to the Annan plan process, he wants the parties to negotiate without any mediator.

    We also talked with Christofias about ending the TRNC's isolation. He doesn't favor allowing direct trade between the TRNC and the EU. He believes direct exports from Magusa Harbor to the EU would mean recognizing the TRNC. He wants Turkey to fulfill its obligations under the Customs Union and unilaterally open its harbors to Greek Cypriot ships and planes. It was expected that if negotiations started, they would be long and hard and that the Greek Cypriot administration would benefit from its status as the EU member and try to get rid of certain planks in the Annan plan it dislikes. But in the interest of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, it would be best to try to find ways to reach agreement with Christofias, who seems to unmoving on issues sensitive to Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, in terms of EU membership."


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