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Turkish Press Review, 08-05-15

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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

15.05.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] QUEEN ELIZABETH VISITS BURSA
  • [02] GUL CALLS FOR MORE COOPERATION TO FIGHT POVERTY IN MUSLIM WORLD
  • [03] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP'S VISION INCLUDES ALL OUR CITIZENS"
  • [04] BABACAN MEETS WITH BRITISH SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
  • [05] ISRAEL'S OLMERT THANKS ERDOGAN FOR MEDIATION EFFORTS
  • [06] WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GUL-ERDOGAN BALANCE?

  • [01] QUEEN ELIZABETH VISITS BURSA

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, on an official visit to Turkey, yesterday traveled to the northwestern province of Bursa. The queen visited the historical Koza Han (Silk Cocoon Market), attended a luncheon, watched a fashion show, saw a Karagoz shadow puppet performance with 13 children, and also visited the Yesil (Green) Mosque and Tomb. Professor Ilber Ortayli briefed the queen about the mosque's history. She was accompanied by State Minister Mehmet Aydin and Bursa Governor Sahabettin Harput. Uludag University Theology Professor Mehmet Emin Ay read out the Koran's Rahman sura to the queen. Meanwhile, Prince Philip visited a car factory in Bursa. He was greeted by senior executives of Turkey's leading carmaker TOFAS, including Mustafa Koc, the chairman of parent company the Koc Group. He toured the body and press workshops guided by TOFAS's Industrial Group Director Massimo Rissi. Hayrunnisa Gul and Zeynep Babacan, the respective wives of the president and foreign minister, accompanied the British royal family. The queen will host a reception in Istanbul today. /Turkiye/

    [02] GUL CALLS FOR MORE COOPERATION TO FIGHT POVERTY IN MUSLIM WORLD

    The 24th Monitoring Committee Meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) under the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) umbrella began yesterday in Antalya. In a message sent to the meeting, President Abdullah Gul said that many Muslim countries still suffer from underdevelopment, and stressed the importance of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development under the Islamic Development Bank to boost cooperation among Islamic countries to overcome poverty and underdevelopment. The meeting aims to improve and liberalize trade relations among Islamic countries. Speaking to the meeting, OIC Secretary General and Turkish scholar Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also underlined how underdevelopment and other poverty-related problems hurt many Muslim countries and called on OIC members to contribute generously to the solidarity fund. Ihsanoglu also stressed that the rising threat of a global food crisis threatens efforts to overcome poverty in poor Muslim countries. Ihsanoglu also urged the creation of synergy among member states which have advantages in diverse areas. Also speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren said that OIC member states should immediately take necessary measures against rising food and commodity prices. Saying that trade among Muslim countries has risen markedly in recent years, Ekren also called on the member states to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement, saying they all would benefit from it. /Milliyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP'S VISION INCLUDES ALL OUR CITIZENS"

    Speaking at a ceremony for a new housing project organized by the Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has a vision which includes all of Turkey's citizens. Stressing that the AKP will not shrink from serving Turkish society, he added, "Thanks to TOKI's housing projects, the world mortgage crisis hasn't affected Turkey." Defending the controversial new Social Security Law, Erdogan said it gives special protection to every citizen under 18. /Aksam/

    [04] BABACAN MEETS WITH BRITISH SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday met with British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, who is accompanying Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Turkey. Speaking to reporters following a three-hour meeting, Babacan said that they had agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation against terrorism. Concerning relations with the northern Iraqi administration, Babacan said that Turkey's direct dialogue with the regional administration was based on confidence building. Urging the Kurdish officials to take concrete steps to counter the PKK terrorist group, Babacan said this would contribute to the dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and the regional administration. Following Babacan's remarks, asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Miliband said that constitutional principles and rules should be respected, but added that Britain believes publicly elected governments should be supported. /Turkiye/

    [05] ISRAEL'S OLMERT THANKS ERDOGAN FOR MEDIATION EFFORTS

    Speaking to Hurriyet daily, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke at length for the first time about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's mediation efforts between Syria and Israel over the Golan Heights issue, saying that he was very grateful for these efforts. Calling Erdogan a good friend, Olmert also said he hoped Erdogan's efforts would bring positive results. /Hurriyet/

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

    [06] WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GUL-ERDOGAN BALANCE?

    BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the balance between President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Let's consider the political balances following a possible closure decision against the Justice and Development Party (AKP). At this point, the balance between President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be key, besides many other factors. If the Constitutional Court doesn't decide to close the AKP, the current balance will continue. This could mean a serious problem between the Presidential Palace and the Prime Ministry and a possible split before Gul's term in office ends. Following a closure decision, the balance between the parties which seems to have been implicitly accepted following last year's presidential elections would face a critical test. I've said many times that although there are great differences between Erdogan and Gul in the way they practice politics, their characters and even their way of approaching life, basically, I don't believe that there's competition between them.

    Claims that Erdogan and Gul will part ways during the closure case and speculation that the AKP will be split for this reason have grown louder. But I see very little chance of this happening. Erdogan might have been hurt that Gul ran for the presidency. I agree that Erdogan was expecting Gul to give up his candidacy by himself, but it didn't happen. Later, Gul faulted the way Erdogan handled the headscarf issue in terms of timing and methodology. I believe Gul thinks that the issue could have been handled in a less confrontational way.

    As it has been mentioned many times, I should mention the talk of a chill between Emine Erdoğan and Hayrunnisa Gul, the wives of Erdogan and Gul. But this issue concerns the two families, and they can solve this problem using a 'minimal relationship,' just like business partners solve similar problems. Here the important thing is preventing an emotional, personal conflict through the rationality of doing a business.

    But if we're waiting for a way out for the AKP and Turkey, we should admit that Gul and Erdogan act in partnership and cooperate with each other in their opinions and actions, and act in line with their shared roles. I know that some people disagree with me, but they're wrong, as the AKP would never give this up.

    If the Constitutional Court closesd the AKP and banned Erdogan from politics, obviously this would favor Gul. Erdogan would be out of the political arena for some time, but Gul would stay in the Presidential Palace (a non-political office) and his stature would grow. In addition, this situation can't be discussed as part of the competition between Erdogan and Gul. My impression from many political incidents shows that Gul and Erdogan will put their heads together, direct the post-AKP period together, and make careful calculations. And you, do you think that Erdogan and Gul are competitors or partners?"


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