|Saturday, 24 March 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-17
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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
 ERDOGAN TO CHEER ON TURKISH FOOTBALL TEAM IN VIENNAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will reportedly travel to Vienna to watch the Turkish National Soccer Team play against Croatia on Friday as part of the Euro 2008 Football Championship. The Turkish team qualified for the championship quarterfinals after defeating the Swiss and Czech teams in its group A. /Turkiye/
 PARLIAMENT SPEAKER TOPTAN PLEDGES SUMMIT OF POLITICAL LEADERSParliament Speaker Koksal Toptan yesterday received Ankara Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sinan Aygun and an accompanying delegation. During the meeting, Toptan said that he would soon convene a summit of political leaders to discuss a number of social issues. Stating that listening to people's problems and finding solutions is one of his main duties, Toptan said that the expectation that Parliament can find a way out of every issue shows the nation's yearning for democracy. /Cumhuriyet/
 CICEK: "THE AKP CLOSURE CASE SHOULDN'T BE DRAGGED OUT"Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday said the government doesn't want to see the case seeking the closure of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) dragged out. Speaking to reporters following yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Cicek said, "The uncertainty caused by the closure case against the AKP is harming Turkey in various ways. The price the country is paying for this case is inestimable. If the case goes on, that price will rise." Stating that the AKP doesn't want additional time to prepare its defense, he said, "We want to bring the uncertainty caused by the closure case to a quick conclusion and for this purpose, the AKP is paying great attention to the cost-effective use of time." Cicek also added, "This is the first time that a closure case has been filed against a party that came to power single-handedly. Turkey is going through many problems caused by this case. I hope the court rules on the case as soon as possible." /Aksam/
 AKP SUBMITS ITS DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE CASEThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday submitted to the Constitutional Court the final part of its defense against the case seeking its closure. "The indictment contains no rightful justification to close down the party," said the defense. "All information about the party was interpreted contrary to freedom by the Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor's Office. Fundamental principles of universal human rights law and democracy require an interpretation in favor of freedom." The defense also said the indictment had cited distorted media reports to paint a false picture. "The AKP actually became the focal point of service to the nation, human rights, democracy, peace, friendship and tolerance," said the defense. "The six-year performance of the party proves that it is the safeguard of the democratic, secular and social state ruled by law." The defense also said the indictment is on shaky ground in dealing with President Abdullah Gul, as he was elected president prior to the beginning of the closure case, so he has no longer has any ties to the party (as Turkish presidents are traditionally neutral). "A demand to close down a political party based on the expression of ideas shows how much danger the democratic regime is in," it said. "The indictment is a sad example of attempts to undermine the political freedom of a party in a democratic regime. The AKP faces this closure case due to its support for a libertarian secular understanding." /Aksam/
 MILITARY COMMANDERS RECEIVE VISITING FOREIGN COUNTERPARTSChief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday met with his visiting Chilean counterpart Gen. Oscar F. Izurieta. In addition, Naval Forces Commander Adm. Metin Atac met with Russian Naval Forces Commander Adm. Sergeyevich Visotskiy. In Turkey for his first-ever trip abroad as naval commander, Visotskiy said he wants to turn the two countries' relationship into a strategic partnership, adding that he hopes the meeting will serve that aim. Furthermore, Air Forces Commander Gen. Aydogan Babaoglu welcomed his British counterpart Gen. Sir Glenn Torpy. /Turkiye/
 EU'S GREENS TO HOLD CONFERENCE ON DEVELOPMENTS IN TURKEYThe European Parliament's Greens Group is set to hold a conference tomorrow called "What is happening in Turkey? A discussion on the current political crisis in Turkey," led by the EP's Greens Co-President Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair Joost Lagendijk. The meeting will focus on developments since a recent top court ruling upholding the headscarf ban at universities. Former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) leader Ufuk Uras will be guest speakers at the conference. /Star/
 SECOND ROUND OF ISRAELI-SYRIAN MEETINGS ENDSThe second round of Israeli-Syrian meetings, which started on Sunday in Istanbul, concluded yesterday. The Prime Ministry stated that the peace talks held under Turkey's auspices will continue and that the sides will meet again. The statement also said that the dates of the next two meetings have been set. In related news, a Foreign Ministry statement characterized the meetings as positive and constructive. /Star/
 EU MOVES TO EASE TRNC'S ECONOMIC ISOLATIONEuropean Union foreign ministers agreed yesterday to change the Green Line rules regulating the passage of products, services and persons across the island of Cyprus to ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The EU said that duties on agricultural products would be lifted through new regulations. The value limit of personal goods carried by visitors crossing the line will also be raised from 135 euros to 260 euros to encourage economic integration. /Star/
 INVESTMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING TO START IN ISTANBULThe Fifth Investment Advisory Council meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is set to convene tomorrow in Istanbul. Top executives from 18 multinational companies such as Cisco, Citi, Danone, Eldorado Gold, Fiat, Finmeccanica, Hyundai, Indesit, ISCAR, ITOCHU, Mango, Nortel, Novartis International, Nunhems, Toyota and Unicredit Group, with a combined $755 billion in gross revenues worldwide last year, are scheduled to attend. At the meeting, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will try to attract direct foreign investments to Turkey and will tout its economic performance. /Aksam/
 CB RAISES INTEREST RATE 0.5 POINTSThe Central Bank yesterday continued its policy of raising interest rates which began last month after a hike-free 22 months. The bank, in the wake of hiking the overnight borrowing interest rate to 15.75 percent in May, yesterday, as expected, increased the rate a further 0.5 points. Citing unexpectedly surging oil prices, the Monetary Policy Committee, chaired by CB Governor Durmus Yalcin, decided to increase the overnight borrowing rate from 15.75 percent to 16.25 percent, and the lending rate from 19.75 percent to 20.25 percent. The committee also signaled more rate hikes could be in the offing, as needed. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 THE CHP COMING BACK TO THE WORLDBY HALUK SAHIN (RADIKAL)
Columnist Haluk Sahin comments on the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:
"One of the most important reasons for our current political crisis is how the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which was founded by Ataturk, had its banner of Westernization and modernization snatched away by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP). This is the most confusing element of political analyses of Turkey. Looking at the issue historically, you can see two main branches since the mid-19th century: the branch of modernization in line with the Westernization model, and the Islamic branch which opposes it and argues that we can rescue ourselves by returning to traditional values. If you follow the first branch's thinkers and institutions, you can find the CHP, which was the driving force behind political, cultural and social Westernization. This includes the establishment of the republic, reorganizing institutions in line with Western models, moving to the multiparty system, opening to the left, establishing links with the European Union, etc.
Contrary to this, there has long been an Islamic line which finds the West suspicious and harshly rejects the republic, institutional reforms opening to the left and the EU project. But for eight years, we've been facing a reverse image. The CHP, traditional engine of Westernization and modernization, has closed itself to the world and became dominated by a nationalist discourse steeped in xenophobia. It even considers the EU project, which it initiated, a conspiracy to swallow Turkey up. Meanwhile, the anti-Western branch opposite it has become the greatest supporter of the EU. Some people say that it's doing this to legitimize itself and get room to maneuver against the military, but the West still sees it as the party to talk to. On the other hand, the CHP, which should be in this role, has closed its doors to the outside world and consoles itself with third- world discourses.
People looking at Turkey find it difficult to do a sound analysis due to this strange picture, because the beginning and end of the story are inconsistent with each other. In this case, what could be more natural than Western media and institutions seeing Turkey from the point of view of AKP supporters? As a result, we face the contradiction of 'good democratic Muslims against bad-secularist autocrats' which is so loved by Western observers.
From what I can tell, the CHP has started to see its mistake of letting its banner be snatched away. The CHP said it would open offices in EU capitals to promote its policies. CHP leader Deniz Baykal said that nobody wanted Turkey's EU membership more than his party. This must be the case, if historical branches mean anything. In my mailbox I recently got a news bulletin in English published by the CHP's Istanbul office. Isn't it strange that the CHP has come out of its shell to make the world hear its voice? I also heard that CHP's Istanbul head recently even held an informal meeting with foreign reporters, and that these reporters, who previously could only meet with AKP officials, were very surprised! I wonder if the current crisis will have the beneficial effect of returning political banners to their real owners."
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