|Wednesday, 20 June 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-05-22
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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
22.05.2008ISRAEL AND SYRIA REVEAL PEACE TALKS IN TURKEY SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS HARSHLY REACTS TO EFFORTS TO INFLUENCE JUDICIARY GOV'T LASHES OUT AT A DECLARATION BY SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS EP ADOPTS TURKEY REPORT WORLD'S SECOND BIGGEST HOUSEHOLD TEXTILES FAIR OPENS IN ISTANBUL FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS TURKEY FINALY SUCCEEDED BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)
 FISCHER VISITS KAYSERIAustrian President Heinz Fischer, currently in Turkey, yesterday met with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Baykal said he discussed with Fischer the closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Turkey's EU membership bid. After completing his talks in Ankara, Fischer and his wife yesterday proceeded to Kayseri, hometown of President Abdullah Gul. Fischer, accompanied by Gul, toured the Kultepe Kanis_Karum excavation site, which was used as a rest stop by Assyrian merchants some 4,000 years ago, and Hunat Mosque. Afterwards, Gul and Fischer presided over a business council meeting in Kayseri that brought together Austrian and Turkish businessmen. In related news, Gul is set to host prominent artist from music world at the Cankaya Palace, the latest in a series of invitations to distinguished figures since he took office. /Sabah- Cumhuriyet/
 ISRAEL AND SYRIA REVEAL PEACE TALKS IN TURKEYSyria and Israel have started meetings after Turkey acted as a mediator between them. Historical meetings started in Istanbul on Monday through mediation of Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, a deputy counselor from foreign ministry. Advisors to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad discussed the problems in indirect talks. Both countries thanked Prime Minister Erdogan for their efforts. In coordinated statements, Israel and Syria said they had begun an open dialogue with the aim of a comprehensive peace. Washington also eulogized Turkey's efforts. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that meetings between Syria and Israel is a positive development. Stating that they are waiting for utmost efforts from both sides to reach a lasting solution, he added, "Both sides should continue negotiations at the next term." In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to pay a surprise visit to Iraq in June. /Sabah-Star/
 SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS HARSHLY REACTS TO EFFORTS TO INFLUENCE JUDICIARYPresident's Committee of the Supreme Court of Appeals issued a written statement yesterday and lashed out at critics to the judiciary made from inside and outside. The latest developments are enough to prove that the government tries to create a pro-executive judiciary, said the statement adding that the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was a corporate case and supported chief prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya who filed the lawsuit. "The defendants and their supporters ignored the fact that the indictment was institutional, and they attempted to make the Chief Public Prosecutor subject to reactions and enmity of the people through illogical, unlawful remarks and articles and acts most of which constitute crimes in themselves," it said. " Stressing that since a year and especially recently, systematic attacks on the judiciary undermine the Republic's founding values, the statement added that methods and intentions were more frequently tried recently to influence the court to take a result in favor in the case and by complaining about judges, targeting them, even getting help from foreign individuals and institutions. /Hurriyet/
GOV'T LASHES OUT AT A DECLARATION BY SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS
Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday harshly criticized a declaration by Supreme Court of Appeals, in which the court's Board of Chairmen accused the government of putting pressure on the judiciary and trying to create a pro-government judiciary. Cicek held a press conference with two high-level party executives from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Parliament, and said, "This is a political declaration and it cannot be accepted. The court has no right, duty or authorization to make a declaration like this." Stressing that the declaration has no judicial or democratic legitimacy and that the court cannot act like a opposition party and cannot become a party to political debates, Cicek also said, "With this declaration, the court became a party to the ongoing closure case seeking the closure of AKP," and added, "This declaration also aims to influence the Constitutional Court's decision on the changes lifting the headscarf ban at universities on the eve of decision." Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin also criticized the declaration as totally unnecessary and political, and said, "The government has worked so far in accordance with the principle of separation of powers and will continue to do so. It's not designed to control the judiciary for political goals." /Milliyet/
 EP ADOPTS TURKEY REPORTThe European Parliament (EP) yesterday debated and voted a report on Turkey. The report, prepared by Dutch Christian Democrat parliamentarian Ria Oomen- Ruijten, was adopted by lawmakers 467-62. Urging Ankara to accelerate the reforms with respect to democracy and secularism, the report said that use of exaggerated force during May 1 celebrations was worrying, and that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) closure case should be concluded in respect to European values. It also called on the Turkish government to respect pluralism, secularism and democracy while carrying out reforms and to reach a compromise with political parties and urged the political parties to distance themselves from violence and terrorist organizations. Addressing the gathering, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that the EU executive body was concerned about the slow pace of reforms in Turkey. The report is a non- binding and recommendatory one. /Turkiye/
 WORLD'S SECOND BIGGEST HOUSEHOLD TEXTILES FAIR OPENS IN ISTANBULThe 14th Household Textiles Fair began yesterday in Istanbul. Delivering a speech at the opening of the fair, Sate Minister for foreign trade Kursad Tuzmen said that Turkey's exports gain in the five months of this year reached $50 billion and that the fair indicated that Turkish textile industry would have a brilliant future. Stressing that over 700 firms from the world's textile industry attended the fair, Tuzmen also said that the textile industry would highly contribute to Turkey's export gains in the years to come. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY FINALY SUCCEEDEDBY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)
Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Syrian-Israeli peace talks and Turkey's mediation in them. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Syrian-Israeli peace talks which had been continuing through Turkey's mediation and secret diplomacy were made official following yesterday's simultaneous four-sentence statement in three capitals. According to statements made in Ankara, Damascus and Jerusalem; Syria and Israel have initiated peace talks through Turkey's mediation, both parties indicated that they would continue these talks with good will and open-mindedly, they have decided to conduct the dialogue decisively and continuously in order to reach a comprehensive and peaceful goal as part of principles of the Madrid Conference and both parties finally thanked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey for their role and hospitality during this process. Shalom Turgeman and Yoram Turbowicz, advisors to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who have conducted secret talks, firstly met with prime Minister's chief advisor Professor Ahmet Davudoglu and officials from the Foreign Ministry who are appointed for this purpose. Then the Syrian delegation, chaired by Samir Taki, met with Davudoglu and officials from the Foreign Ministry. After technical problems were solved and an agreement was reached as part of negotiations following these indirect contacts, parties sat at the table for official meetings.
We consider the possibility of a peace agreement between Syria and Israel higher than the past. Our optimism is based on two reasons:
1. Two countries convinced each other that they really want peace during the shuttle diplomacy conducted by Davudoglu. Damascus responded all the questions of Jerusalem clearly and openly.
2- Nearly 85 percent of problems between Syria and Israel were solved thanks to previous initiatives and even former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak were very close to a peace agreement at the beginning of 2000. When Syria wanted the 400-meter coastal strip by the Taberiye Lake, Barak left the table. You might think that one shouldn't miss the opportunity of peace for a 400-meter territory, but that coastal line will provide Israel's access to Taberiye Lake, where it can meet 40 percent of its water needs.
Of course, there are certain factors casting a shadow on optimism. For example, Olmert's position is on the rocks due to claims that he has accepted a bribe from an American businessman, because he stated that he would resign, if he was accused formally. Ehud Barak is considered the candidate with the highest chances of becoming the prime minister in a possible election. He's the one who rejected a chance of peace during talks in 2000!
As for Turkey's position, of course, Ankara can't conduct Syrian-Israeli peace talks all by itself. It will be inevitable for the US, even other important actors such as the European Union and Russia, to intervene in the process and undertake the responsibility after a certain point. By the way, Turkey, as the only country enjoying the confidence of two countries, has already gained a trump card in the EU and prestige in the world. If negotiations end with a peace agreement to change balances and dynamics in the Middle East, Turkey's power and prestige will reach extraordinary and fascinating dimensions, because the postulate of 'a dialogue can't be made without Turkey,' will be added to the rule that 'a war without Egypt and a peace without Syria can't happen in the Middle East'."
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