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Turkish Press Review, 08-06-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

20.06.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL TO HOST LUNCHEON FOR THINK-TANK HEADS
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "WHEN LIVES ARE AT STAKE, THE GOVT CANNOT BE INDIFFERENT"
  • [03] TOP COURT TO HEAR AKP'S ORAL DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE
  • [04] EP'S POETTERING: "IF THE AKP IS CLOSED, THIS WILL SHOW TURKEY IS NO LONGER SEEKING EU ACESSION"
  • [05] CHP ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO STRIKE DOWN SECTIONS OF NEW SOCIAL SECURITY LAW
  • [06] TURKEY-EU COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR: "THE CHP MUST ACT TO SHOW IT FAVORS EU ACCESSION"
  • [07] TUSIAD CALLS FOR PUBLIC CONSENSUS ON ISSUES
  • [08] UNDP HEAD DERVIS: "TURKEY'S ECONOMY IS AT A CROSSROADS"
  • [09] TURKEY FACING CROATIA IN EURO 2008 QUARTERFINALS TONIGHT
  • [10] IRELAND'S REJECTION

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL TO HOST LUNCHEON FOR THINK-TANK HEADS

    President Abdullah Gul will host a luncheon on Monday for the heads of three think-tanks. Issues such as strategic developments in international power balances, the world economy, and the impact on Turkey of international economic problems will be discussed at the meeting. Attending the gathering will be Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM) head Faruk Logoglu, Turkish Economic Policy Research Foundation (TEPAV) head Guven Sak, and Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) head Ibrahim Kalin. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "WHEN LIVES ARE AT STAKE, THE GOVT CANNOT BE INDIFFERENT"

    Meeting with bureaucrats and shipbuilding industry and labor representatives to address a rising tide of workplace accidents and deaths in Istanbul's Tuzla shipyard, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the government cannot be indifferent to any problem where lives are at stake. Stressing that Turkey's shipbuilding industry has made remarkable strides in recent years, Erdogan said, "But recently, increasing work accidents have begun to cast a shadow over the industry's success." He added, "Various organs have done needed work on matters in their area of responsibility. Many measures have been taken, but we have yet to see any satisfying outcome. So now we have convened to discuss all aspects of the issue." Underlining that the government won't let the accidents hold back the industry, Erdogan said, "After correctly diagnosing the problem, we will look for ways to solve it. Discussions will undoubtedly facilitate the solutions." He added, "Similar problems can be seen in every country whose shipbuilding industry shows rapid development. The government will take the necessary measures and do its part." /Turkiye/

    [03] TOP COURT TO HEAR AKP'S ORAL DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on July 3 will deliver its oral defense on the case seeking its closure. Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek will present the party's defense before the Constitutional Court, and AKP parliamentary group deputy head Bekir Bozdag will also be present at the hearing. Ahead of the AKP's defense, on July 1 the court will also hear oral arguments by Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, who brought the case. /Turkiye/

    [04] EP'S POETTERING: "IF THE AKP IS CLOSED, THIS WILL SHOW TURKEY IS NO LONGER SEEKING EU ACESSION"

    Speaking to reporters after a European Union Summit in Brussels, European Parliament Chairman Hans-Gert Poettering yesterday said the case seeking the closure of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had gave rise to "extraordinary circumstances." "If the AKP is closed and the prime minister banned from politics, it shows that Turkey won't want to continue its negotiation process with the EU," he argued. "Then the EU's attitude will change completely." Asked what effect Ireland's recent rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon might have on the EU enlargement process, Poettering stated that nobody in the EU is thinking of freezing Turkey's talks. Dimitrij Rupel, the foreign minister of Slovenia, which currently holds the EU presidency, called the closure case "extraordinary." "At the moment, there is no direct link between Turkey's negotiation process and the closure case of the ruling party, but when the case concludes, the trial and possible effects will be carefully assessed and then there will be an appropriate response," he added. Speaking to German daily Bild, European Union Commission Vice Chairman Guenter Verheugen yesterday defended Turkey's EU accession, adding that it is a mistake to try to paint Turkey as a closed community. "Turkey is a European Union candidate country, and is not hostage to Ireland's rejection," he said. /Star/

    [05] CHP ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO STRIKE DOWN SECTIONS OF NEW SOCIAL SECURITY LAW

    The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) yesterday petitioned the Constitutional Court to postpone application and ultimately strike down a number of provisions of the social security law recently passed by Parliament. The CHP asked the court to review some 15 articles of the law on social and general health insurance, and pension rights, and to halt those articles' application until it makes a decision. /Turkiye/

    [06] TURKEY-EU COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR: "THE CHP MUST ACT TO SHOW IT FAVORS EU ACCESSION"

    Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair and EP Greens Group spokesperson Joost Lagendijk yesterday spoke about the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) stance on the EU. "Favoring the EU cannot be shown by saying nice things in the media," he said at a meeting on Turkey. "You have to perform actions. You have to support EU reforms, and shouldn't block them in Parliament." /Turkiye/

    [07] TUSIAD CALLS FOR PUBLIC CONSENSUS ON ISSUES

    Turkey's leading business group yesterday called for a public consensus on issues to ease recent tension in the country. Speaking at the annual Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Board of Directors meeting, Chairman Mustafa Koc said that politicians in Turkey act like brothers squabbling over their inheritance. He said that he believes there is a desire in the country to advance Turkey from a developing country to a developed one, and this makes it hard to explain why politicians are acting in a way that risks the economy and democracy and threatens to alienate Turkey from the rest of the world. Koc argued the country is wasting precious time on political debates focused on short-term interests. "How can we endanger the regime and its main tenets?" he asked. "Have we lost so much control?" TUSIAD President Arzuhan Doğan Yalcindag, speaking at the same meeting, echoed Koc's remarks, arguing that political disagreements that would be normal in most countries seem to become incredibly destructive in Turkey. "Decisions of the Constitutional Court can be criticized, but repudiating the country's top court is unacceptable, " she said. Stressing that the current closure case against the ruling party could be instructive, Dogan said, "The lesson here is to find a balanced solution without harming the system." She added that a national consensus that covers the needs, hopes and fears of all sectors of society is needed. Stating that the TUSIAD doesn't advocate constitutional changes, which she sees as a quick fix to long-term problems, Dogan added, "We're talking about a true national consensus document" which could be produced after a serious work of up to a year-and-a-half. /Hurriyet/

    [08] UNDP HEAD DERVIS: "TURKEY'S ECONOMY IS AT A CROSSROADS"

    Turkey's economy is at a crossroads and important problems need addressing, said United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) head Kemal Dervis yesterday. Speaking to the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Board of Directors, former Economy Minister Dervis, the architect of Turkey's economic recovery after the 2001 crisis, said that developments have allowed central banks to ignore certain inflationary tendencies and that Turkey, too, will suffer from the global economic slowdown. "When one considers past financial crises, each time we faced a huge recession, market and currency depreciations, and slowing growth," he said. "Today is similar. However, I'm an optimist. As we saw in the past, such crises were overcome in a relatively short period of time." He also warned that inflation redistributed wealth in favor of the rich and so caused social problems. "The poor need to be protected. Social policies need to be strengthened," he urged. /Turkish Daily News/

    [09] TURKEY FACING CROATIA IN EURO 2008 QUARTERFINALS TONIGHT

    The Turkish National Football Team will take on Croatia in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals tonight in Vienna, Austria. The match will begin at the Ernst Happel Stadium at 9:45 pm Turkish local time. Turkey defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 in Group A of the Euro 2008 last Sunday, and so qualified for the quarterfinals. The two teams facing off tonight have played an official and two friendly matches. Turkey lost one of these three matches, and drew with Croatia in the other two. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be in Vienna to cheer his countrymen on. /All Papers/

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

    [10] IRELAND'S REJECTION

    BY BERIL DEDEOGLU (STAR)

    Columnist Beril Dedeoglu comments on Ireland's rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The power struggle within the European Union might have played a role in the Irish referendum rejecting the Treaty of Lisbon. The EU was born from tense cooperation between Germany, Britain and France. When one of these parties started to dominate the EU leadership a bit, the others did something to balance this out. But after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected French president, this situation changed.

    France vetoed the proposal that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair become EU president, a post envisaged under Lisbon. Meanwhile, France attempted to establish a Mediterranean union only with countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and also and suggested that a Black Sea union be set up. France thought it could do these things in spite of Turkey and also seek power to the exclusion of Britain and Germany. France, which has performed joint maneuvers with the Greek Cypriot administration and undertook a role in Lebanon which is different than that of the EU, also argued that the EU should be strong and influential. What's more, Sarkozy dreamed of a strong Europe which he could lead and was deeply disappointed that a France similar to the US had not been established.

    I've been using this past tense, because Ireland hindered these policies. Ireland firstly made Sarkozy's grand plans impossible. When he was trying to set up a referendum on Turkey's EU membership, he saw that such referendums might end with unexpected and undesired results..

    From now on, either all countries will continue to approve the treaty and put pressure on those who rejected it to vote again, or the current situation will be accepted and the degree of cooperation will be up to the Council of Europe, decision or there will be a two-speed EU. In the long term, the last possibility is the most likely. In other words, one or more integrated countries will become the 'core' Europe, and there will also be countries ringing this. Of course, this will happen with new agreements and thus new pains. Britain has been defending this approach since 1974, when it entered the European Economic Community.

    This might sound like a conspiracy theory, but when the proposed EU Constitution was rejected by France and the Netherlands, Britain was freed from the need to vote. Now it's not among the countries which have put Lisbon to a vote. It seems to be watching what others are doing.

    It's inconceivable that Britain will let France move into the Mediterranean, then go on with the Palestinian region via Lebanon, and also let Germany move along the Russian axis. In this respect, there's no need for Ireland to follow a foreign policy different than Britain's. Thus, Ireland might have helped Britain with its rejection and met Britain's expectations.

    Now there are two possibilities for Turkey. Either membership ties with all candidate countries will be temporarily frozen due to the crisis, which is hardly likely to happen, or Turkey will be asked which EU it will join. This might be a method for Turkey to target the outer ring and thus make for an easier integration."


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