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Turkish Press Review, 08-07-02

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

02.07.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] POLICE DETAIN 23 IN ERGENEKON PROBE
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "WE'RE LOCKED IN A STRUGGLE BETWEEN FORCES FOR AND AGAINST TURKEY'S TRANSFORMATION"
  • [03] AT HIS PARTY GROUP MEETING, BAYKAL LASHES OUT AT ERGENEKON DETENTIONS
  • [04] BAHCELI: "RECENT DEVELOPMENTS SHOWS THE AKP'S WEAKNESS"
  • [05] TOP PROSECUTOR MAKES ORAL ARGUMENT IN AKP CLOSURE CASE
  • [06] RUSSIAN FM IN ANKARA FOR TALKS
  • [07] SARKOZY ADVISER: "FRANCE WILL TREAT TURKEY'S EU BID HONESTLY AND IMPARTIALLY"
  • [08] TALAT, CHRISTOFIAS REPORTEDLY AGREE IN PRINCIPLE ON SINGLE SOVEREIGNTY ON CYPRUS
  • [09] FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 48 YEARS

  • [01] POLICE DETAIN 23 IN ERGENEKON PROBE

    Security forces yesterday detained 23 more people as part of the continuing Ergenekon probe, officials from the prosecutor's office said yesterday. Police carried out operations in several provinces, including Ankara and Istanbul. Retired Gen. Hursit Tolon, Cumhuriyet daily Ankara representative Mustafa Balbay, Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) head Sinan Aygun, and the head of Kemalist Thought Association (ADD), retired Gen. Sener Eruygur, were among those taken into custody. The alleged criminal network was unearthed after police seized hand grenades, TNT, and detonators in a shanty house in Istanbul over a year ago, and the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation. Since then, many people have been detained and interrogated by security forces. A retired colonel and Ufuk Buyukcelebi, the editor in chief of Halka ve Olaylara Tercuman daily, were also apprehended in Antalya and Istanbul. Police searched Buyukcelebi's office and seized a number of documents. /All Papers/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "WE'RE LOCKED IN A STRUGGLE BETWEEN FORCES FOR AND AGAINST TURKEY'S TRANSFORMATION"

    Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the AKP has no links to new detentions as part of the Ergenekon probe. Saying he has no information about yesterday's developments, he added that the detentions are part of a prosecutor's indictment, which he said should be completed as soon as possible. "But some circles can't stand democracy in Turkey," he added. "Whenever Turkey tries to stand on its own two feet, whenever it grows stronger, these circles erect hurdles before it." Saying that Turkish politics is locked in a struggle between forces in favor of the nation's transformation and ones opposing it, Erdogan added, "While some want Turkey to become a global power, others want to maintain the country's status quo." /Aksam-Star/

    [03] AT HIS PARTY GROUP MEETING, BAYKAL LASHES OUT AT ERGENEKON DETENTIONS

    At his main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) group meeting yesterday, Deniz Baykal harshly criticized the detentions of several people this week, including retired generals and a journalist, as part of the Ergenekon probe. Saying that the probe has been going on for a year without any indictments, Baykal asked, "Is this possible in a state of law?" /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] BAHCELI: "RECENT DEVELOPMENTS SHOWS THE AKP'S WEAKNESS"

    At his party's group meeting yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli stated that developments since a closure case was filed against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have demonstrated the ruling party's weakness. "What we're experiencing is instructive, because it shows how the AKP caused a deterioration in the understanding of basic principles of governance such as democracy, the rule of law, the nation's will, patriotism, and a proud foreign policy." /Milliyet/

    [05] TOP PROSECUTOR MAKES ORAL ARGUMENT IN AKP CLOSURE CASE

    Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya yesterday made his oral argument before the Constitutional Court in favor of closing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Yalcinkaya briefly repeated his indictment, reiterating that the AKP is violating the Constitution's principle of secularism and that this constitutes an "imminent danger." He argued that Venice Commission guidelines on banning and dissolving political parties were not applicable to the AKP closure case. Yalcinkaya added that the Constitutional Court's recent ruling upholding the university headscarf ban did not invalidate his charges against the AKP, but on the contrary strengthened them. He also cited recent remarks by AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat saying that Ataturk's revolutions had "traumatized" the Turkish people. The AKP is set to present its oral defense tomorrow. /Sabah/

    [06] RUSSIAN FM IN ANKARA FOR TALKS

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov yesterday arrived in Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan. Lavrov is set to meet with Babacan today, and will also be received by President Abdullah Gul as part of his visit. Their talks are expected to focus on bilateral ties as well as regional and international developments. /Star/

    [07] SARKOZY ADVISER: "FRANCE WILL TREAT TURKEY'S EU BID HONESTLY AND IMPARTIALLY"

    France assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union yesterday from Slovenia. Afterwards, in an interview with ABHaber, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's adviser for European Union affairs Alain Lamassoure said that France would be honest and impartial towards Turkey's EU membership bid. Stating that his country's stance against Turkey's full EU membership has not changed, he added, "Chapters linked to full membership will be blocked, but France will support opening all the chapters not linked to full membership." Lamassoure said that three or four chapters could be opened in the months to come. France's UN Ambassador Jean- Maurice Ripert also called Turkey a vital and strategic partner of the Union, saying the EU negotiation process will continue as planned. / Star/

    [08] TALAT, CHRISTOFIAS REPORTEDLY AGREE IN PRINCIPLE ON SINGLE SOVEREIGNTY ON CYPRUS

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot administration leader Dimitris Christofias yesterday held a key meeting to see if the groundwork has been laid for starting a new peace initiative to end the division on the island. "The two leaders met today in a positive and cooperative atmosphere," said Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for Cyprus. "They discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship, on which they agreed in principle." He said Talat and Christofias reviewed the work of expert committees from both sides that have been meeting since April to prepare for direct negotiations between the two leaders. He added that they also agreed to hold another preparatory meeting on July 25. /Today's Zaman/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [09] FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 48 YEARS

    BY GUNERI CIVAOGLU (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Guneri Civaoglu comments on yesterday's detentions of prominent figures as part of the Ergenekon investigation. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Yesterday saw the detention by security forces of Kemalist Thought Association (ADD) head and retired Gen. Sener Eruygur and retired Gen. Hursit Tolon, former commander of the First Army and Mediterranean Army. Nothing like this has been seen in Turkey for 48 years.

    Under a civilian government, it's quite astonishing … An unwritten immunity has seemingly been lifted…

    Of course, everyone should be equal before the law. We can also discuss immunity without a legal basis.

    But keeping people in jail without even knowing their alleged crime for a year-and-a-half as part of a probe called Ergenekon, with still no indictments, is contrary to human rights and the principles of justice.

    Secular Cumhuriyet daily's Ankara representative Mustafa Balbay, Tercuman daily Editor in Chief Ufuk Buyukcelebi and Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) head Sinan Aygun were also taken by police. It's unbelievable. Aygun's telling reporters 'My crime is to love Ataturk' is burned in our memories.

    There are many other detentions. Some of them have yet to be announced.

    In the 1940s, 'nationalists' were hunted. Then, in 1950, 'a communist witch hunt' was staged. A number of intellectuals were then picked up and sent to prison.

    Now the Ergenekon wave is swelling.

    If opposition to democracy and Kemalism are put in the same basket, this 'border violation' becomes very dangerous.

    On the same day Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya presented to the Constitutional Court his oral argument to dissolve the ruling party, two former top commanders being taken into custody and their houses in a military compound being searched have turned things upside down.

    Do these detentions send a message? Like: 'If the Constitutional Court rules under military pressure, then imagine the days to come. In the future, when they retire, other currently serving generals could hear a knock on their door.'

    Maybe I'm wrong, but if I had four stars on my shoulder, I would certainly think about it.

    What about the detentions of two journalists and the ATO head…?

    Is this a warning to certain media members and non-governmental organizations which oppose or may oppose the government, telling them not to play with fire?

    The exclusion of the Istanbul republican chief prosecutor from the developments raises question marks.

    The case file on Ergenekon should be released soon.

    If these detentions had not exploded like fireworks, Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya's arguments before the Constitutional Court would be all over headlines and TV screens.

    Turkey and the world will now talk about these detentions.

    The international public will get the impression that a planned coup was exposed while the ruling party's closure case was being considered.

    The news that two generals were alleged to be in charge of the action will explode like a bomb.

    Last week's meeting between Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the premier's residence is getting more attention now.

    Did Erdogan ask Basbug to greenlight the detention of the two ex-generals?"


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