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Turkish Press Review, 08-06-24

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

24.06.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL HOSTS THINK-TANK HEADS AT CANKAYA PALACE
  • [02] PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT IRAQ
  • [03] BAYKAL: "WHEN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON THE AKP CLOSURE CASE, IT SHOULD ANNOUNCE ITS REASONING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE"
  • [04] IN STRASBOURG, PACE'S PUIG EXPRESS EU'S CONCERNS OVER AKP CLOSURE CASE
  • [05] AKP OFFICIAL'S REMARKS CLAIMING "TRAUMA" OVER ATATURK'S REVOLUTIONS DRAW FIRE
  • [06] TUNISIAN ENVOY ARRIVES IN ANKARA
  • [07] FIRAT: "I STAND BEHIND MY WORDS"

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL HOSTS THINK-TANK HEADS AT CANKAYA PALACE

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday hosted a luncheon at the Cankaya Presidential Palace for the heads of three think-tanks, the latest in a series of invitations to prominent civilian figures since he took office last year. Former Ambassador Faruk Logoglu of the Eurasia Strategic Studies Centre (ASAM), Guven Sak of the Turkey Economic Policy Research Foundation (TEPAV), and Ibrahim Kalin of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) attended the event. Touching on this fall's US presidential election, Gul said that it is essential for Turkey to reach out to advisors to the two presidential nominees, and to make clear Turkey's views on such issues as terrorism and the Armenian allegations. "We have to strengthen ties with the US presidential nominees," he urged. Stating that Turkey has to follow global dynamics closely, he said that universities have a great role to play in this process. Commenting on the Turkish National Football Team's historic win over Croatia last week, Gul said that he will go to Basel to watch Wednesday's Turkey-Germany semifinal match. /Turkiye-Star/

    [02] PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT IRAQ

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to pay a one-day visit to Iraq late this month or in early July. The two countries' strategic relationship mechanism will be the primary topic of the meeting. Erdogan and his Iraqi counterpart Nouri Al-Maliki are expected to publicly announce their agreement on such issues as security, energy, the economy, and cultural and social cooperation. A large delegation including several Cabinet members, including Energy Minister Hilmi Guler, is expected to accompany Erdogan. The premier's visit will mark his first trip to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government and the US-led invasion of 2003. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] BAYKAL: "WHEN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON THE AKP CLOSURE CASE, IT SHOULD ANNOUNCE ITS REASONING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE"

    Commenting yesterday on the case seeking the closure of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said, "Whatever verdict the Constitutional Court gives on the case, the legal justification should be made public along with the verdict." Asked about claims that a decision to close down the party won't take effect without being published in the Official Gazette, the official state newspaper of record, Baykal said, "There is a special situation regarding this closure case. The case has been filed against the ruling party. There is a working political order. It isn't a question of halting enforcement of the ruling. That's why the legal justification should be made public immediately after the announcement of the court's decision on the case." Baykal also said that to avoid uncertainty, the court could quickly release a summary of the reasoning behind its decision as a precursor to releasing the full justification. Asked if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could run as an independent candidate if the AKP is shut down and general elections follow, he said, "It depends on the court decision. The decision should solve the problem without any need to resort to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK)." /Milliyet/

    [04] IN STRASBOURG, PACE'S PUIG EXPRESS EU'S CONCERNS OVER AKP CLOSURE CASE

    If the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is closed by court order, there will be serious consequences, said Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) President Lluis Maria de Puig yesterday. Speaking at the opening of PACE's summer session in Strasbourg, Puig said the EU expects the Turkish judiciary to do its duty in line with the Union's democratic values, and that on Thursday PACE will hold a debate about recent developments in the functioning of Turkey's democratic institutions. "In any democracy, it's normal for people to have different ideas and views, " he added. "The main thing is that disputes are settled through democratic means, in line with Council of Europe values. I hope that Turkish institutions will fulfill their responsibilities in this area. But we, too, have a responsibility, namely to provide Turkey with a clear, unequivocal European perspective." /Turkiye/

    [05] AKP OFFICIAL'S REMARKS CLAIMING "TRAUMA" OVER ATATURK'S REVOLUTIONS DRAW FIRE

    Dengir Mir Firat, deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has come under fire for telling a reporter that Turkey was "traumatized" by the revolutions of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. In remarks quoted in Sunday's New York Times, Firat said that Turkish society had been "traumatized" by the revolutions of Ataturk early in the 20th century, adding, "Overnight they (the Turkish people) were told to change their dress, their language. Their religious ways were dismantled." Firat confirmed his remarks yesterday, saying that they came out of a wide-ranging conversation. He said that every revolution sows social trauma and that his remarks cast neither a positive nor negative light on Ataturk's revolutions. Onur Oymen of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) said yesterday that Firat's words exposed what kind of mentality now rules Turkey. He called it unjust and wrong to describe Ataturk revolutions, which freed the Turkish nation, as a period of oppression. In addition, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said, "It's the revolutions of Ataturk that brought us to the present day." Masum Turker, general secretary of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), also said Firat's remarks revealed the real aims of the AKP. "His remarks aim to open up a debate over Ataturk and shake the basic principles of the republic," he added. /Hurriyet-Turkish Daily News/

    [06] TUNISIAN ENVOY ARRIVES IN ANKARA

    Fouad Mebazaa, the head of Tunisia's Chamber of Deputies, arrived in Turkey yesterday for an official visit upon the invitation of Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. Mebazaa and his delegation will meet today with Toptan and the head of Parliament's Turkey-Tunisia friendship group, Eyup Ayar. Mebazaa will leave Turkey on Thursday. /Turkish Daily News/

    Pvt. Oktay Kara lost his life and another 14 soldiers were injured due to an explosion in a military vehicle at barracks in Islahiye, Gaziantep. The vehicle was on patrol during a changing of the guard when the explosion occurred. /Aksam/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] FIRAT: "I STAND BEHIND MY WORDS"

    BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (SABAH)

    Columnist Muharrem Sarikaya comments on controversial remarks by Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat defended his recent remarks to the New York Times, saying, 'Yes, I said those words and I stand behind my statement.' Keep in mind that his remarks were not lengthy ones " just a few lines in a two-and-a-half--page story on Turkey. The part of his remarks which drew criticism from many people, including other AKP deputies, was this: 'Turkish society has been traumatized. Overnight they were told to change their dress, their language. Their religious ways were dismantled.' As the criticism began, Firat was at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. When I spoke with him on the phone, he told me that his statement hadn't been really understood and that people had criticized him without reading what he actually said.

    When I checked the English text, he confirmed that he had spoken those words and that he stood behind them. When I told him that even some people from the AKP had criticized him, he said that he knew AKP Kirikkale Deputy Vahit Erdem speaks English very well and that he wished Erdem had read his statement not in Turkish newspapers, but in the original. Expanding on his remarks, Firat said, 'The revolution of 1923 (when the republic was founded) brought sweeping changes to lifestyles. After all, revolutions bring changes. None of the revolution was soft. It was a traumatic situation.' He cited the French and Russian revolutions as other examples of this. Firat stressed that the though the 1917 Russian revolution preceded Turkey's, 'Its impact on society is still being felt. Isn't there social conflict? Yes, it's still going on.'

    When I asked what he meant by saying that people's religious ways had been 'dismantled,' he told me that the structure based on religion was changed and the caliphate and courts based on Islamic law were abolished. 'A law was passed concerning Islamic monasteries and dervish lodges,' he added. 'Muslim theological schools were closed, and nation's education was centralized. Every revolution is a trauma. Ataturk's revolutions were like this as well. This is the social difference between evolution and revolution. I'm not saying that these were good or bad developments. I'm also not saying that I miss those days. I'm just making a determination.'

    Firat can make a sociological determination, but these words were heard differently at a time when a closure case against the AKP is proceeding on the grounds that it's opposed to the very foundations of the Turkish Republic. Some AKP deputies also heard the words differently. That's why Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said that Ataturk's revolutions have brought us to the present day. In addition, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk may be criticized by some, but the only feeling deep within the Turkish nation's heart is their commitment to the revolutions and their respect for the indispensability of these revolutions. Today, both the most pious and the most modern people agree with this."


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