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Turkish Press Review, 08-05-30

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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

30.05.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN RECEIVES US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DELEGATION
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "TURKEY IS DETERMINED ON ITS EU BID"
  • [03] ATALAY: "BUGGING IS A SEVERE BLOW TO FREEDOM AND UNACCEPTABLE"
  • [04] CHP LEADER BAYKAL: "FARMERS ARE SUFFERING"
  • [05] MHP WANTS PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION FOR BUGGING INCIDENT
  • [06] TURKEY, GREECE TO FORM JOINT HEADQUARTERS AND GROUND FORCES
  • [07] TRT TO BROADCAST IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL LANGUAGES
  • [08] AKP DEPUTIES TO MEET IN KIZILCAHAMAM
  • [09] THIS IS THE LIMIT!

  • [01] ERDOGAN RECEIVES US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DELEGATION

    Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan yesterday received a delegation of US deputies headed by John Tanner, chairperson of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATOPA) group of the US House of Representatives. US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson also attended the meeting. Afterwards, asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Tanner said, "One should respect the operation of institutions of democracy, this is all I will say" adding, "We want institutions of democracy to operate in Turkey. We respect Turkey as a democracy in this part of the world." /Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "TURKEY IS DETERMINED ON ITS EU BID"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the government and the Turkish nation were working determinedly on Turkey's EU bid and criticized political impediments before Turkey, saying that the government will continue reforms. At the 19th European Foundation Centre (EFC) Annual General Assembly, Erdogan spoke about Turkey's EU accession process. Stating that there's not a skeptic stance about EU membership, Erdogan said that Turkey was continuing its reform process independently from its negotiation process and closely following their implementation in the proper sense. /Star/

    [03] ATALAY: "BUGGING IS A SEVERE BLOW TO FREEDOM AND UNACCEPTABLE"

    During a meeting of Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission yesterday, Interior Minister Besir Atalay touched on the claims that headquarters of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) had been bugged and said, "The bugging severely violates individual freedom and this is unacceptable." Atalay also suggested opposition parties to establish a joint parliamentary commission to thoroughly investigate the allegations. The CHP accused the government of trying to blanket the incident and urged the government to expose those who are responsible for the bugging as soon as possible. The opposition National Movement Party (MHP) Secretary-General Cihan Pacaci said that his party supported the government's suggestion but that the commission should be impartial. Commenting on the claims by the CHP, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek reiterated the government's suggestion to set up a parliamentary commission to probe the claims and said, "The government is determined to do whatever necessary to detect those who are involved in the incident." /Sabah/

    [04] CHP LEADER BAYKAL: "FARMERS ARE SUFFERING"

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday visited Luleburgaz, a town in the Thracian province of Kirklareli. Attending an opening ceremony, Baykal said that Thrace had considerably fertile lands, but farmers were suffering due to improper policies of the government. Stressing that Turkey was at crossroads for a new future, Baykal said that by preserving the national unity, his party would do its best to meet the country with a rule respectful to the principles of the republic. /Hurriyet/

    [05] MHP WANTS PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION FOR BUGGING INCIDENT

    Concerning recent allegations that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Secretary-General Onder Sav was bugged by security forces, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to back a parliamentary investigation on the matter. In a written statement, calling the allegations as a scandal, Bahceli said that bugging of constitutional organs and political parties was threatening parliamentary regime and future of the state ruled by laws. "AKP is intending to establish a dictatorship of fear," said the MHP leader. Stressing that a parliamentary investigation should be launched, Bahceli asked the AKP to back this proposal. "It will be a test of sincerity for the AKP," he added. /Hurriyet/

    [06] TURKEY, GREECE TO FORM JOINT HEADQUARTERS AND GROUND FORCES

    General Staff yesterday issued a written statement on Greek Chief of General Staff Gen. Dimitrios Grapsas' recent official visit to Turkey upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Yasar Buyukanit. According to the statement, Buyukanit and Grapsas discussed the ways to deepen the strength of confidence-building measures, and Turkey and Greece decided to extend cooperation possibilities to international level. Two countries will join together military operations led by NATO to boost the peace as a part of confidence-building measures package which came into force two years ago. The statement also said that Turkey and Greece were set to form joint headquarters and ground forces and that they would work on which regions or areas they will boost cooperation possibilities, according to the project to be implemented by two countries' General Staffs. /Aksam/

    [07] TRT TO BROADCAST IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL LANGUAGES

    Parliament yesterday adopted a bill which made changes to the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) law. With these changes, TRT will be allowed to broadcast in local and regional languages and dialects, including Kurdish, Arabic and Persian. /Sabah/

    [08] AKP DEPUTIES TO MEET IN KIZILCAHAMAM

    Ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) 12th Consultation Meeting will begin tomorrow in Kizilcahamam, Ankara. During the two-day gathering, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to evaluate developments for the party's closure case and deputies will exchange views on the issue. State Minister Mehmet Simsek will also provide information on recent economic developments. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [09] THIS IS THE LIMIT!

    BY GUNGOR MENGI (VATAN)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi comments on Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's recent statements on religious freedoms in Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "A foreign minister is a country's face looking at the international society. A good foreign minister might present a bad regime as a likeable one, but an inexpert foreign minister might cause his country to lose so many things. Ali Babacan is the foreign minister in Turkey, which loses so many things. Speaking at the European Parliament, Babacan recently said that not only non-Muslim minorities, but also the Muslim majority faced certain problems concerning freedoms of religion. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) introduced us to a type of politician who complains about his country abroad. We have become familiar with certain ministers who score an own-goal, but Babacan is above all of them.

    Even foreign ministers of military regimes used to do their best to overcome the criticisms against Turkey, let alone dispraising Turkey on the international arena, because what's important is the state's honor and continuity and the state will always remain, even if administrators change. A foreign minister can't dispraise his country, even if his criticisms are based on justifications. Babacan's qualified educational background wasn't enough for making him a good foreign minister. As he wasn't trained in line with the state's traditions and decency, he couldn't have understood the responsibility required by his post. What's more, his statements aren't even incriminating information, but straightforward smear words! What he has done must have embraced supporters of the AKP as well. If a foreigner listening to him had asked what he had done to solve these problems in the last six years of the government, what he would have said?

    In this country, all the people worship freely. Nobody can claim the opposite. I wonder what are the problems of freedom suffered by the Muslim minority " not being able to marry four women, inability to ban alcohol or cut a thief's hands or the incapacity of making women wear headscarves or legalizing religious orders? Babacan might be using foxiness to protect his party or trying to make people think that statements against secularism which are mentioned in the closure case against the AKP were actually made in order to defend freedoms of religion, because he also stated that he believed that courts would make a decision in line with the Copenhagen criteria and principles of the Venice Commission and maintain their honorableness. It's like he's cheating a child. In other words, it means that if the court decides to close the AKP, the court won't be honorable anymore. The ruling AKP is making mistakes continuously and what Babacan has done is an embarrassing backbite which can be an additional indictment to the closure case!"


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