|Tuesday, 22 June 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-09
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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
09.06.2008FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 GUL HAILS VISIT TO JAPAN AS TURNING POINT FOR TURKEYPresident Abdullah Gul yesterday returned to Turkey after completing a four- day visit to Japan. Speaking to reporters, Gul said that his talks in Japan had been friendly, reflecting the traditional good relations between the two countries. Stating that both sides had worked on the ways to boost bilateral cooperation, Gul called the visit a turning point for Turkey's policy of reaching out towards the eastern Asia and Pacific region. Saying that Japan and other Far Eastern countries see Turkey as an influential and important country in its region, the president reiterated that Turkey is also an important trade partner for them due to its close relations with the Europe, the Middle East, and the Balkans. /Star-Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: "THE AKP WILL CONTINUE TO PURSUE ITS COURSE"Speaking at a meeting of his party's women branch yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would continue to follow the course it had laid out. Referring to last week's Constitutional Court ruling overturning constitutional changes to lift the headscarf ban at universities, and claims that the ruling had strengthened chances the court would also decide in favor of closing down the AKP, Erdogan said, "Don't let anything discourage you. The AKP will determinedly continue to pursue its goals. No power can deter us from our course. Don't let yourself be demoralized by such developments." /Milliyet/
 TOPTAN IN ATHENS FOR BSEC GATHERINGParliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, accompanied by his wife, yesterday traveled to Athens to attend a meeting today of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Parliamentary Assembly. While there, Toptan is also due to hold bilateral meetings with top Greek officials, among other appointments. /Turkiye/
 THIRD TURKISH-ARAB FORUM IN ISTANBUL THIS WEEKThe Third Turkish-Arab Forum, led by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), will start in Istanbul this week. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will give the opening the speech at the forum, which will also be attended by his Syrian counterpart Naji Otri, his Palestinian counterpart Salam Fayyad, and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa. Banking and finance will be discussed at the meeting, which nearly 400 foreign investors and businessmen are expected to attend. Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), yesterday said he expects the meeting to do much to promote Turkish-Arab cooperation. /Star/
 DSP'S SEZER: "THE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER SHOULD UNBIASED"It is improper for the Parliament speaker to criticize top court decisions, said opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday. Speaking at a meeting of his party in Edremit, Balikesir, Sezer said that no one has the right to increase tension in Turkey. Addressing Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan's remarks criticizing a Constitutional Court ruling upholding the headscarf ban at universities, Sezer accused Toptan of not acting impartially, adding that Toptan had been a consensus candidate for the post. He should defend the judicial branch as much as the legislative, Sezer added. /Hurriyet/
 IMF: "TURKEY WILL BECOME THE WORLD'S 16TH-LARGEST ECONOMY"Five years from now, Turkey will have the world's 16th-largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund. Under IMF projections for 2008-20013, Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of purchasing power parity will increase to $942 billion by year's-end, and reach $1.3 trillion by 2013. /Milliyet/
 "SONBAHAR" GETS TOP NOD AT ADANA GOLDEN COCOON FILM FESTIVALAt its concluding awards ceremony yesterday, the Fifth Adana Golden Cocoon Film Festival gave director Ozcan Alper's "Sonbahar" (Autumn) the award for best film. Many actors, directors, reporters and producers attended the gala event. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 EVEN THEY CALL THE DECISION AN INSULTBY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on France's stance on Turkey's EU membership bid. A summary of her column is as follows:
"For the first time, senators from France's ruling party have cried foul at the position of their leader and the party itself. Senators from President Nicholas Sarkozy's Union for a Secular Movement (UMP) stated that they would object to a constitutional amendment to make Turkey's European Union membership subject to a referendum. The package of constitutional changes in question was passed by parliamentarians last week, and a final vote by deputies and senators is due on July 7. Former French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin stated that he was against holding a referendum on Turkey. According to Raffarin, pointing specifically to one country in the Constitution is improper. The same point was brought up by the party's minister responsible for European affairs. But Sarkozy isn't forsaking a political leadership based on fear and reluctance about Turkey's membership, something which already exists in France and the European public.
His stance didn't soften during his recent visit to Greece, either. During the visit, Sarkozy got a great deal of support from Athens. Speaking at the Greek Parliament, he said he stood with Greece and advocated that the separation on Cyprus be ended completely. These remarks got hearty applause, but they couldn't reach an agreement on the Turkey issue. Athens wants to avoid anything which might hinder Turkey's full membership bid. During the visit, opposition leader George Papandreou gave Sarkozy a letter saying that the promises which were made to Turkey about full membership should be kept and that Turkey should also fulfill all its responsibilities.
This whole debate has avoided one issue. Sarkozy is considered the leader of the campaign against Turkey's EU membership, but actually this is France's position. Sarkozy's policies shape France's stance on Turkey. Obviously, this situation has made relations between the two countries suffer. So is all this something new? No, of course not. It actually began with debate over the EU constitution and elections in France - in short, after Turkey's candidacy was officially accepted. But Turkey never too it seriously enough. Ankara says that it favors the EU, but it does nothing to develop innovative policies to overcome the biggest hurdles on this road. Some may call this characterization unfair. The government might ague that it has tried hard to reverse this situation, but to little avail. If it had been effective, results would have been seen. I don't mean boycotting French products or provoking crises. This is something which could get back on track by a proper determination of priorities. If your priority isn't supporting your domestic policies, but becoming a full EU member, then the policies and results you promote will be different. At a time when even French politicians call this decision isolating Turkey in the French Constitution an insult, feelings on this issue should have been expressed more effectively."
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