|Sunday, 18 March 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-27
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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
 GUL TO ATTEND ASTANA 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONSPresident Abdullah Gul is set to attend celebrations in Astana, Kazakhstan next week at the invitation of his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev marking the city's 10th anniversary as the country's capital. In line with the importance of Ankara's relations with the Turkic world on his first official visit as president to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Gul is also expected to meet with his Turkic counterparts as well as his Russian and Georgian counterparts Dimitri Medmedev and Mikhail Saakashvili. Energy-related issues in addition to bilateral ties are expected to dominate Gul's talks. Nazarbayev decided to move the country's capital from Almaty to Astana in December 1997. Since then, Astana has turned into the center of the country's economic, cultural and political life, and has become a magnet for foreign and domestic investors, showing significant development. /Turkiye/
 TOPTAN VISITS UKRAINEIn Kiev yesterday, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then met with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk. A Turkish parliamentarian delegation also attended the meeting. Afterwards, Toptan told a press conference that visa procedures between the two countries could be lifted if Ukraine agrees to this proposal. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN TO WORK WITH LAWYER DEPUTIES ON AKP'S ORAL DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSUREPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will soon meet with his staff to discuss the oral defense the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will present against a closure indictment. Erdogan will form a framework defense text with AKP deputies who are also lawyers, as they have been working on a preliminary defense for some time. The text will be forwarded to the Constitutional Court next week. Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek is expected to present the defense, in which he will stress the AKP's views on secularism and religion. /Star/
 MGK REAFFIRMS DETERMINATION TO KEEP UP PRESSURE ON TERRORIST PKKThe National Security Council (MGK), chaired by President Abdullah Gul, yesterday convened at the Cankaya Presidential Palace ahead of August's Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting, where key armed forces personnel decisions will be made. According to a statement released after the six- hour meeting, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler briefed the council about Turkey's energy policies. Talks in Baghdad by Murat Ozcelik, Turkey's deputy special representative in Iraq, were also discussed during the gathering. The statement added that the MGK reaffirmed its determination to maintain measures to counter the terrorist PKK. Cooperation with the Iraqi government as part of Turkey's national interest will also contribute to the stability of Iraq and the region, it said. Maximum use should be made of domestic and renewable energy sources, it urged, and energy cooperation with neighboring countries should be strengthened so Turkey has an important role as a transit country and also as one developing nuclear energy. /Aksam-Star/
 PACE PASSES REPORT ON TURKEY STRESSING DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONSThe Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) yesterday passed a report stipulating that a monitoring mechanism for Turkey should be reviewed, if the need arises. The report prepared by Belgian MEP Luc Van den Brande focuses on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey. "The Monitoring Committee proposes to the assembly to intensify its post- monitoring dialogue with Turkey," says the report, "closely follow the development of the democratic functioning of its state institutions and, in particular, the constitutional drafting process and, if need be, seriously consider the possibility of reopening the monitoring procedure for Turkey." It also expresses great concern about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which could also result in political bans on the prime minister and the president. "Regardless of the court ruling, the case will affect the political stability of the country," the report warns. /Turkiye/
 TRNC'S TALAT VISITS DISKVisiting Turkey yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat met with Suleyman Celebi, the head of the Turkish Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DISK), at the group's headquarters in Istanbul. Telling how he is set to meet with the Greek Cypriot administration leader next Tuesday, Talat said that the TRNC wants to start negotiations towards finding a settlement on the divided island. For his part, Celebi urged the European Union not to show double standards on its stance on a settlement. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL TO CONVENE IN AUGUSTThe Supreme Military Council (YAS), chaired by prime minister, is set to convene in the first week of August to decide on promotions and appointments within the hierarchy of the armed forces. The positions of 115 generals and admirals will be taken up during the gathering. In addition, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug is expected to be appointed new chief of General Staff to succeed Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, who is retiring. /Cumhuriyet/
 TOBB, BYEGM TO PROVIDE FREE FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION TO MEMBERS OF THE MEDIAThe deputy director general of Turkey's Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM), Salih Melek and Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), yesterday signed a protocol to provide free foreign language education to members of the media working for national as well as local outlets. A signing ceremony held at TOBB's Ankara headquarters was attended by State Minister Mehmet AydÄ±n, TOBB Media and Communication Council (TOBBMIM) head Vahap Munyar, and members of the council. Under the project, 100 members of the media â€" half from national and half from local outlets â€" selected by governor's offices will take foreign language course for three months, the most successful of whom will go on to receive further instruction in London and Washington. /Sabah/
 ISTANBUL TO HOST NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY MEETINGThe Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) will hold a meeting in Istanbul next Tuesday and Wednesday. During the Cross-Regional Workshop for CTBTO International Cooperation meeting, representatives of 36 countries will discuss encouraging non-proliferation and efforts to boost the number of CTBTO member states. Turkey ratified the non-proliferation treaty in 2000. /Cumhuriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 LET'S COME TO THE POINTBY OKAY GONENSIN (VATAN)
Columnist Okay Gonensin comments on a story published by Taraf daily and the General Staff reaction to it. A summary of his column is as follows:
"A month filled with football is over, and now we have to get back to certain issues. During the football-filled days, certain news stories published by Taraf daily stirred little public reaction. The most important story concerned certain plans of the General Staff, which seemed like those of a political party. The General Staff all but confirmed the existence of the plans but indicated they had not been approved at the top level. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said that people should know who controls Taraf's purse strings.
It's hard to conceive of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) performing actions to influence the public and government agencies and sway the nation, just like a party. But considering our recent history, one can't help but be not surprised that in our current atmosphere, which lacks a democrat, secular and progressive political power, the TSK is trying to fill this gap. Whenever politics loses its ability to govern the country and direct the people, in short, whenever it fails to fulfill its duty, the TSK takes this upon itself. Unfortunately, some people still think that the necessity to 'take this upon itself' constitutes 'direct intervention' into the government. These kinds of people still want to amass power through the TSK in order to cover their clumsiness, impotence, and lack of vision.
Of course, we can't know if Taraf has certain 'organizational' or capital relations outside the ones it has declared or if it's a vehicle to stir things up. We only know that Taraf's story was confirmed and was a journalistic success. The paper fulfilled its task of informing the public on important issues. If Taraf or another paper becomes a tool for an agenda, the importance of its stories will fade and its influence wane. It's not easy to cure diseases in a political arena where the center and center-left are completely empty, and make democratic institutions there. In hobbled democracies, concepts will continue to be muddled."
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