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Turkish Press Review, 08-06-16

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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

16.06.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "NO ONE CAN HARM TURKEY'S STABILITY"
  • [02] AKP TO SUBMIT DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE CASE TODAY
  • [03] TUZLA SHIPYARD WORKERS SET TO STRIKE
  • [04] KOC: "TURKEY CANNOT FORSAKE DEMOCRACY"
  • [05] CB EXPECTED TO HIKE INTEREST RATES
  • [06] 3-2 WIN OVER CZECH REPUBLIC CATAPULTS TURKEY TO EURO QUARTERFINALS
  • [07] THE RESULTS OF THE IRISH REFERENDUM

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "NO ONE CAN HARM TURKEY'S STABILITY"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Aegean province of Izmir over the weekend to attend a series of openings, flanked by State Minister Mehmet Aydin, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Health Minister Recep Akdag, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler and Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu. Addressing one such ceremony, Erdogan said that no one can hold back Turkey's further development. Stressing that his government's sole aim is to ensure a brighter future for the Turkish people, Erdogan said that if trust and stability are lacking, along with justice and democracy, the country can get nowhere. The premier added that his government would continue to serve the people despite certain hurdles before it. /Turkiye/

    [02] AKP TO SUBMIT DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE CASE TODAY

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is expected today to submit to the Constitutional Court its defense against a case seeking its closure. In its defense, the AKP will reportedly stress that constitutional changes to lift the university headscarf ban were passed by Parliament to expand and strengthen basic rights and freedoms. It will also seek to prove party members whom Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya is seeking to ban politically are not in fact involved in anti-secular activities. The defense will also maintain that the AKP has not been a focal point for anti- secular activities but on the contrary, it has helped promote the acceptance of the republic's secular character by the vast majority of the Turkish people. In related news, AKP officials dismissed efforts to link a recent court upholding the university headscarf ban with the closure case, saying they should assessed separately. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TUZLA SHIPYARD WORKERS SET TO STRIKE

    Workers at Istanbul's Tuzla shipyard are set to begin a strike this morning for better working conditions. In a statement yesterday calling on officials to take necessary measures, scholars at universities across the country joined a chorus of voices supporting the workers. They said that they were ready to lend their expertise to help prevent workplace accidents at the shipyard, which took more than 90 workers' lives over the last six years. The strike of 5,000-6,000 workers out of 40,000 at the shipyard is expected to last at least 24 hours. /Milliyet/

    [04] KOC: "TURKEY CANNOT FORSAKE DEMOCRACY"

    Speaking to graduating seniors at Koc University yesterday, Koc Holding Chairman Emeritus and Koc University Board of Trustees head Rahmi Koc stressed that democracy is indispensable for Turkey and that no other system is acceptable. Saying that in last year's presidential elections Turkey successfully passed a test of its democracy, he added, "We see the situation of undemocratic countries and the difficulties they suffer. We cannot forsake democracy, and no other system can govern Turkey." /Turkiye/

    Sir Stephen Wall, advisor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, touches on Turkey in his new book on British-European Union relations. Predicting that it will take 20 years for Turkey to gain EU membership, Wall says the negotiation process will last for 10 years and the ensuing preparation process another decade. Saying that in evaluating Turkey's membership, one should consider what things will look like 20 years from now, he adds, "A Turkey which meets the EU criteria would make important contributions to the Union." /Sabah/

    [05] CB EXPECTED TO HIKE INTEREST RATES

    The Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, chaired by CB Governor Durmus Yilmaz, will convene today to discuss the possible economic fallout of a Constitutional Court ruling upholding the university headscarf ban. The CB is expected to raise short-term interest rates between 0.50-0.75 points. Industry Minister Zafer Caglayan last week expressed his opposition to CB rate hikes. /Star/

    Turkey will become the world's 10th-largest economy by 2023, Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan predicted yesterday. "Our goal is to see Turkey among the world's top 10 economies by 2023, when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the republic," he told a group of ruling party members over the weekend. Pointing to changes Turkey is seeing in all sectors, Caglayan added, "Just five years ago, we were the world's 26th-largest economy. Now we've jumped to number 17." /Today's Zaman/

    [06] 3-2 WIN OVER CZECH REPUBLIC CATAPULTS TURKEY TO EURO QUARTERFINALS

    Playing against the Czech Republic in its final European Championship 2008 group A match yesterday, the Turkish National Soccer Team defeated its rival 3-2 and qualified for the Euro championship quarterfinals. Arda Turan and Nihat Kahveci scored Turkey's goals. Until the last 15 minutes, the Czechs seemed on their way to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 lead, but this changed in the 75th minute when Arda scored Turkey's first goal and when Nihat scored two goals in the last three minutes of the match, giving Turkey an incredible comeback and 3-2 win over the Czechs. The national team will come up against Croatia in the quarterfinals this Friday. President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Turkish Football Federation (TFF) head Hasan Dogan to congratulate the team on its win. Dogan invited Gul and Erdogan to watch the match in Vienna. /Turkiye-Cumhuriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] THE RESULTS OF THE IRISH REFERENDUM

    BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on a weekend referendum in Ireland on the European Union treaty. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Ireland's rejecting the Treaty of Lisbon caused another crisis for the EU. The difficulty of establishing a homogenous political structure in the Union, now a 27-member giant, again became clear. The Irish referendum also showed that the concept of national sovereignty within the EU is still being put before collective sovereignty. As a result, 860,000 Irish voters said that they don't want to be governed by Brussels. They aren't alone. Today, even if 18 countries pass Lisbon, the remaining eight countries aren't enthusiastic about the treaty at all. Those who angrily say that Europe's 500 million people can't be held hostage to 860,000 Irish voters will encourage those who oppose the treaty, because this shows that the EU actually isn't a club of equals. Actually, some have started to ask why the French people weren't denounced in 2005 for rejecting the European Constitution, but the Irish people were for rejecting a similar document.

    After the referendum, voices seeking a multi-speed Europe will grow louder. Speaking to German radio, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said that it might be time to establish a club of countries more willing to adopt common EU policies. In sum, Lisbon envisages a more bureaucratically centralized Union with a chairman and foreign minister equipped with key authorities. According to the parties to the treaty, there's no other way to administer a Union of 27 members and growing. But according to Ashley Mote, a British MEP who opposes the treaty, the main aim is to turn member countries into Brussels' servants and reverse the relations between the individual and the state. According to Mote, the concept of national sovereignty will thus have a secondary position for Brussels.

    So what does all this mean for Turkey? There's no clear yes or no. As the EU will now endure this difficult situation, it might slow down Turkey's membership talks in the short run. But in the long term, the picture shifts. For an Ankara pursuing its EU path, any development hindering the transfer of national sovereignty to Brussels might be seen as a good development, as Turkey's sensitivity on this issue is well known. A multi- speed EU would also let us develop different economic, political and military ties with groups of different countries within the EU. In other words, facing an EU that isn't homogenous politically, economically or militarily, Turkey would have more say to set the depth and shape of its integration with the EU. In sum, an a la carte EU would suit Turkey more than one with a set menu."


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