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Turkish Press Review, 08-07-03

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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

03.07.2008

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday addressed the Fifth Turkey Energy Forum in Istanbul. Commenting on the recently released first quarter 6.6 percent growth figure, Erdogan said, "Turkey is continuing to develop on a very strong and healthy base." Pointing to the nation's growing energy demands, Erdogan said that his government had made necessary investments to meet this demand in the coming years. He said that Turkey is working to meet half of its oil needs through its own resources by 2015. Some 300,000 meters are set to be drilled between 2005 and 2010, said Erdogan, adding that over last six years, the Turkish Oil Corporation (TPAO) had made some $4.5 billion in investments both in Turkey and abroad. /Turkiye/

CONTENTS

  • [01] BABACAN RECEIVES RUSSIAN FM
  • [02] PRIME MINISTRY DENIES ANY LINK BETWEEN ERDOGAN-BASBUG MEETING AND NEW ERGENEKON DETENTIONS
  • [03] BAYKAL: "IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES, LEADING FIGURES CAN'T BE DETAINED WITHOUT SOLID EVIDENCE"
  • [04] TOP COURT TO HEAR AKP'S ORAL DEFENSE AGAINST CLOSURE TODAY
  • [05] FRENCH PRESIDENT SARKOZY: "THE AKP CLOSURE CASE PROVES TURKEY DOESN'T BELONG IN THE EU"
  • [06] TOBB HEAD CRITICIZES DETENTION OF AYGUN
  • [07] TUSIAD WARNS AGAINST POLARIZATION, ANXIETY OVER ERGENEKON PROBE
  • [08] VICTIMS OF SIVAS COMMEMORATED

  • [01] BABACAN RECEIVES RUSSIAN FM

    Russian Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday received with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. During their talks, Lavrov called on Babacan to make sure Iranian and Palestinian officials are fully included in the Middle East peace process and discussions of Iran's nuclear program, saying that peace can't be reached if certain sides are excluded. Afterwards, Babacan said that two countries aim to have a multifaceted, intense partnership. For his part, Lavrov said that the Cyprus issue was also discussed at the meeting and that he affirmed Russia's will to support the peace process. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] PRIME MINISTRY DENIES ANY LINK BETWEEN ERDOGAN-BASBUG MEETING AND NEW ERGENEKON DETENTIONS

    The Prime Ministry yesterday denied any connection between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent meeting with Land Forces Commander Gen. Ä°lker Basbug and this week's detentions under the Ergenekon probe. Such a link is neither legal nor possible, as there is a continuing investigation and judicial process, said a ministry statement. Commenting on the same claims yesterday, Basbug also denied any linkage, saying, "I want to openly declare that the comments, implications and evaluations made about my recent meeting with Erdogan are absolutely false. The Ergenekon probe did not come up at all during that meeting." Basbug also dismissed the claims as conspiracy theories, saying, "I don't want to believe that everyone espousing these conspiracy theories has malicious intentions, but don't those theories serve to harm the Turkish Armed Forces' chain of command? Don't those theories deliberately serve this end or not? We have the right to ask these questions." He also said, "Turkey is going through difficult times. Everyone should act responsibly and carefully, and remain calm. In this respect, the media bears an important responsibility." The General Staff also released a statement saying that the detention of top retired officers and the searches of their homes were completely in line with law, adding that uniformed officers had conducted the searches in military areas. /Hurriyet/

    [03] BAYKAL: "IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES, LEADING FIGURES CAN'T BE DETAINED WITHOUT SOLID EVIDENCE"

    Commenting on this week's detentions as part of the Ergenekon probe, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said, "These detentions have been going on for over a year. The waves of detentions are still surging. It's quite hard to see this as the natural course of justice." He added, "In democratic countries, honorable, well- known, prominent figures can't be detained without presenting solid evidence." Accusing the government of using its power for political ends, Baykal warned, "In the end, those who are responsible for the current developments will suffer the consequences of what they have done." Saying that Turkey stands at a crossroads, he added the CHP will closely follow developments on the detentions and bring the issue to Parliament if need be. /Hurriyet/

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

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) today 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. In the defense, Cicek is expected to outline his party's performance since it came to power in areas such as European Union membership reforms, the economy, tourism, education, health, and women's rights. Cicek will also cite examples of other countries' struggle for democracy and explain European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) criteria for closing down a party. /Star/

    [05] FRENCH PRESIDENT SARKOZY: "THE AKP CLOSURE CASE PROVES TURKEY DOESN'T BELONG IN THE EU"

    Just days after assuming the European Union Term Presidency, France is continuing to make remarks opposing Turkey's full EU membership. Commenting on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), French President Nicholas Sarkozy yesterday said that the case proved he is right to oppose Turkey's membership. He added that the move is also a clear indication that Turkey is neither democratic nor a European country. /Turkiye/

    [06] TOBB HEAD CRITICIZES DETENTION OF AYGUN

    The Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) Assembly held an expanded extraordinary meeting yesterday. Speaking at the gathering, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu criticized this week's detention of ATO head Sinan Aygun as part of the Ergenekon probe. Stating that Aygun was being treated in a manner reminiscent of the coup era, Hisarciklioglu said, "When we go to bed, we don't want to worry what kind of Turkey we will face in the morning." He added, "A highly esteemed member of our community was subjected to treatment reminiscent of the coup era, which deeply offends us. We don't approve of this." Afterwards, ATO Assembly Chairman Nuri Gurgur said that lack of official statements about the probe's allegations is exacerbating fears and that procedures in the case should be concluded as soon as possible. /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [07] TUSIAD WARNS AGAINST POLARIZATION, ANXIETY OVER ERGENEKON PROBE

    Turkey's trust in democracy and the law should not be harmed, said the Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) yesterday about the ongoing Ergenekon probe. "There have been a great many detentions and arrests as part of the Ergenekon probe, which has been going on for nearly a year and has intensified in the last four months, but no indictment has been filed as of yet, "said a TUSIAD statement. Saying that the process should continue until its completion within the framework of the law, it added, "Moreover, polarization and anxiety should not be exacerbated, and no organization or person should have any expectation of gaining an advantage." /Aksam/

    [08] VICTIMS OF SIVAS COMMEMORATED

    Victims of a deliberately set hotel fire in the central Anatolian city of Sivas were commemorated yesterday on the 15th anniversary of the tragic incident. Demonstrators in front of the Madimak Hotel called for the hotel to be turned into a museum and urged a full-scale investigation of the incident. On July 2, 1993, during the Alevi Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural and Literary Festival, many participants who were staying at the hotel in downtown Sivas found themselves besieged by an angry mob who set the venue ablaze. When the fire was finally extinguished, 37 people were found dead, including two hotel workers. Among those lucky enough to have escaped the blaze was prominent writer Aziz Nesin, who is thought to have been the mob's main target. /Today's Zaman/
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