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Turkish Press Review, 08-07-01
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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
01.07.2008FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN ADDRESSES THE NATIONAddressing the nation on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the government will never allow anyone to destabilize Turkey or to cast a shadow over its achievements. Erdogan said that Turkey should throw off talk of "crises" and never return to the past. He also stressed that the country's current political situation clearly shows the crucial importance of an atmosphere of stability and trust. Reiterating the government's resolve to aid regional and global peace efforts and citing Turkey's recent mediation between Syria and Israel, Erdogan said, "The government will determinedly continue to pursue its efforts to ensure peace in our region and the world." He added, "In recent years, Turkey has been pursuing a more active and influential diplomacy for peace, not only on disagreements it has been involved in, but also on other world disputes … The international public is aware of Turkey's role in laying the groundwork for dialogue to end clashes towards a lasting peace in the Middle East, and it appreciates this." Touching on Turkey's European Union membership bid, he said, "Turkey's full membership in the Union will contribute to improving dialogue and rapprochement between civilizations." He added that Turkey will continue to implement membership reforms despite any obstacles it may face. On the economy, Erdogan said that the government wouldn't retreat from its growth and gross national product (GDP) targets, adding that it wants GDP to reach $1 trillion in the years to come. Erdogan also pledged to fight inflation, to attract more foreign investments to the country, and to boost Turkey's exports. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/
 SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL MEETING BEGINS WITHOUT CHPThe 23rd Congress of the Socialist International (SI) began yesterday in Athens with representatives of 150 political parties and organizations from 120 countries, but without Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). The CHP declined to attend over fears it would face criticism or even expulsion due to alleged violations of SI principles. At the meeting, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) Republican Turkish Party (CTP), led by Premier Ferdi Sabit Soyer, is expected to be given observer status, and the Iraqi Patriot Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) is set to gain full membership. /Turkiye/
 FRANCE ASSUMING EU TERM PRESIDENCYFrance is assuming the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union today with fanfare and a pledge to mediate the crisis over Ireland's rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon. During its term presidency, France is set to focus on a proposed Mediterranean Union, defense, the fight against illegal immigration, energy policy, and rising oil prices. Meanwhile, Ankara is urging France to treat its EU candidacy fairly and objectively, as well as to open two chapters for negotiations. /Turkiye/
 LUXEMBOURG'S ASSELBORN: "CLOSING THE AKP WOULDN'T HALT TURKEY'S EU TALKS"Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs and immigration, yesterday met with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Ankara. Afterwards, asked how Turkey's EU negotiation process would be affected if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were closed by court order, Asselborn said that the ruling on the closure case won't influence Turkey's negotiating process. "As a foreign minister of an EU country, I cannot get involved in Turkey's domestic affairs," he said. "I don't have that authority. Turkey's Constitution developed on the basis of the country's history. I think that today we should have respect for the spirit of the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe's European Commission for Democracy through Law). I heard that the Constitutional Court could make a decision soon. I hope Turkey can face this problem in the context of the spirit I mentioned." /Milliyet/
 TRNC'S TALAT TO MEET WITH GREEK CYPRIOT LEADERTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat will meet today with Greek Cypriot administration leader Dimitris Christofias under the terms of a framework agreement reached in May. Before the meeting, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou expressed pessimism about the possibility of direct negotiations, whereas Talat's spokesperson Hasan Ercakica said, "We want to begin comprehensive negotiations." A senior Turkish official said that the Greek Cypriots are failing to abide by earlier agreements and trying to introduce new conditions. /Milliyet/
 US' WILSON HAILS ERDOGAN'S VISIT TO IRAQ AS POSITIVE STEPUS Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson yesterday attended the opening ceremony of a Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Project organized in Ankara by the Turkish Education Association. Touching on an upcoming visit to Iraq by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he praised the visit as a step forward for relations between the two countries. Stating that Turkey has helped the Iraqi people and government in their efforts to establish a strong, stable society, he added that Turkey has played a large supportive role in that process. /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WHO'S AT FAULT: THE SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL OR THE CHP?BY MAHMUT OVUR (SABAH)
Columnist Mahmut Ovur comments on the relationship between the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Socialist International (SI). A summary of his column is as follows:
"For years, the relationship between the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Socialist International (SI) had been a thorny one. They suffered particular problems over the Kurdish issue. But the biggest problem is that our social democrats haven't taken part in SI committees since the time of the Social Democratic People's Party (SHP). Former Culture Minister Ercan Karakas told me that nearly 160,000 parties from various countries with different stances are part of the SI, and that our problem is that the CHP doesn't give the SI enough importance or take part in its committee meetings. He added that participation on these committees is important for relations with other members of the group.
When this indifference of Turkey's social democrats was compounded by the CHP's anti-European Union stance, particularly after 2000, relations between the CHP and SI weakened and deteriorated. The CHP's stances on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, the Foundations Law, and the military's e-memorandum before last year's presidential elections mad things worse. Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DISK) head Suleyman Celebi said that certain CHP positions and those of European social democrats don't gel at all and that there are great differences in terms of democracy and global norms. He added that this problem is nothing new and that the SI can't change course in just two months, and that the problem is about whether the CHP will reposition itself or not.
CHP leader Deniz Baykal isn't attending this week's SI meeting in Athens, and so the already-weakened ties will suffer more. So will they break off entirely? Neither Karakas nor Celebi think so. More importantly, Karakas said that nobody represents Turkey on SI committees. This obviously means our exclusion. If you're not there, it means you're not involved in the issues which are discussed there. Karakas added that the CHP is inward- looking and seems not to care about international relations, and so its influence is meager. Karakas said that we could solve a great many problems on the international stage and that the SI could help in this. That's why the CHP is facing questions within the left. It used to be part of the SI as a 'modernizing party,' but now it's the target of much criticism. The CHP should respond to this."
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