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Turkish Press Review, 08-07-30
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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
30.07.2008FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN REITERATES COMMITMENT TO FIGHT TERRORISMSpeaking to his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated the government's commitment to fight terrorism in the wake of a double terrorist bombing in Istanbul that killed 17 people and injured dozens more. "This country responds to terrorism with one heart and one voice," said Erdogan. "Whoever believes Turkey can be dragged into instability through terrorism, murder and violence should know that will never happen." He said that Turkey would never retreat from fighting terrorism and added, "Those who are responsible for the attacks will be apprehended sooner or later." Referring to the timing of the attacks, Erdogan said, "These heinous designs and plans will fail in their attempt to wound the unified soul of our nation." /Turkiye/
 TALABANI SENDS GUL CONDOLENCES OVER ISTANBUL TERRORIST ATTACKSIraqi President Jalal Talabani telephoned President Abdullah Gul yesterday to offer his condolences over Sunday's terrorist attacks in Istanbul's Gungoren district, said the president's press office. Talabani condemned the terrorist attacks and also spoke with Gul about a suicide bombing attack this week at a protest rally in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk which killed 23. In the aftermath of that attack, Kurdish protestors attacked an Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) office, and clashes broke out between protestors and guards protecting the office. Talabani then told Gul that peace was later restored in the city. He also condemned the attack on the ITF office and said that all ethnic groups in Kirkuk should learn to live together in peace. Gul thanked Talabani and expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the suicide attack in Kirkuk. The president said the attack had been meant to stir up ethnic violence and underscored the importance of working against such a trend. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN: "TURKEY'S FOREIGN POLICY HAS GROWN MORE ACTIVE"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey has been pursuing a more active foreign policy in recent years, in line with its geopolitical and strategic position, and added that it has played a key role on many international issues. Speaking at a ceremony finalizing a tank contract set to be carried out by the Defense Industry Undersecretariat in cooperation with Koc Holding's Otokar, Erdogan said, "Turkey has taken an active role in solving many regional and global problems. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) must have a national defense industry to help our armed forces improve its supplies and capabilities. Our goal is to carry our necessary activities through making as much use of the facilities and capabilities of the national industry as we can. There have been many projects in recent years to meet the needs of the TSK. I would like to reaffirm my belief that by 2011, we will exceed our target to meet at least half of the needs of the TSK through local resources." /Sabah/
 BABACAN: "WE'RE TAKING THE INITIATIVE TO SOLVE THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DISPUTE PEACEFULLY"Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, on the sidelines of the 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, Iran, yesterday met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He also held talks with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. Babacan's talks were dominated by bilateral relations, the international dispute over Iran's nuclear program, and Ahmedinejad's forthcoming visit to Turkey. Afterwards, Babacan told reporters that the nuclear dispute could be solved through dialogue. "What is important is that the parties to the issue must understand each other clearly and continue talking," he said, and added that Turkey was taking the initiative to seek a peaceful solution to the issue. Babacan is expected to meet today with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Laricani. / Star/
 INTERNATIONAL LEADERS CONDEMN ISTANBUL BOMBINGSLeaders worldwide issued firm condemnations in the wake of Sunday's deadly terrorist attack in Istanbul. The leaders said the heinous, brutal attack targeting innocents could not be justified for any reason and expressed their condolences for the people killed and injured. Among those condemning the attack were the White House, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Tzipi Livni, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, and the Spanish and Iranian governments. Two bombs exploded minutes apart in one of Istanbul's busiest districts on Sunday night, killing 17 and injuring over 100 others. /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 WHAT IS THE JUDICIARY'S CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY?BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)
Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:
"The closure case ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will probably come to a conclusion in a few days. Of course the verdict will be scrutinized closely. The following two legal points are very important:
How will the Supreme Court use its authority? Will it be limited to its authority to judicial review under the Constitution and the law? Or will it make a decision based on political expedience? This is called discretionary authority in legal circles, but the judiciary has no such authority. Political parties decide what is discretionary and what's not.
The other issue is how the Supreme Court will interpret such basic issues as secularism and democracy. Will it say that secularism is the basis of the entire constitutional system, or view the issue through the lens of 'a healthy reflection of the democratic regime,' as it has in recent decisions? Besides these two issues, the Constitutional Court can't make a decision meant to regulate politics!
Professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, a constitutional law expert, told journalist Devrim Sevimay that he wants a decision which penalizes the AKP but doesn't actually close it. In other words, a decision which sanctions the AKP on the grounds that it has become the focus of anti-secular actions but which doesn't close it, but instead only cuts off its Treasury aid.
Kaboglu said that with such a decision, the Constitutional Court would be fulfilling its role of making political peace through the law. He also wants the court to issue a legal justification for its ruling which draws Turkey's future political and legal roadmap. Although I've read a lot about this issue, I've never seen another academic arguing that the Constitutional judiciary should make political peace through the law or draw Turkey's future political and legal roadmap, nor have I seen anything like this in the Constitution. Giving the judiciary the 'role' of political arrangement shows a typical desire for discretionary control. Under liberal constitutional thinking, this is unacceptable.
By now the members of the court must have looked at the case closely and come up with provisional decisions. What's more, we know how each member interprets basic concepts through previous precedent-setting rulings. All over the world, all such precedents are the same. Moreover, nowhere in the world is the absolute sovereignty of a single view to provide an unbiased judiciary possible, but pluralism is ensured. For this reason, members of such top courts are normally elected by parliaments. The only constitutional judiciary whose members aren't elected by Parliament, at least since the 1980 coup, is Turkey! Of course constitutional law isn't like criminal law. It's open to varying interpretations. So both the political and legal ripples of this case will be important for Turkey."
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