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Turkish Press Review, 08-08-15

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

15.08.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: "TURKEY FAVORS A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION TO THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DISPUTE"
  • [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH GEORGIAN'S SAAKASVILI
  • [03] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BUYUKANIT MAKES FAREWELL VISIT TO CHP LEADER
  • [04] SAHIN MEETS WITH HIS CHINESE COUNTERPART AIYING
  • [05] TURKISH-AFRICAN NGOs GATHER AT ISTANBUL FORUM AHEAD OF SUMMIT
  • [06] SIMSEK: "THE NEW ECONOMIC PROGRAM AIMS TO BOOST JOB OPPORTUNITIES"
  • [07] MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE HOLDS INTEREST RATES STEADY
  • [08] PKK ON THE PIPELINE, TURKEY IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • [01] GUL: "TURKEY FAVORS A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION TO THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR DISPUTE"

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday arrived in Istanbul to pay a two-day working visit, the first by an Iranian president in 12 years, amid the continuing international dispute over Iran's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, and the two leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional and international issues as well as the nuclear controversy. Afterwards, Gul told a joint press conference that Turkey favors a diplomatic solution to the issue. "Any solution should take into consideration the international community's concerns and should also protect Iran's legitimate rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, " he said. Gul also urged Iran to continue negotiations on the issue, saying, "Turkey hopes the talks between Iran and six major world powers will yield positive results." Stating that in recent years the Turkish- Iranian bilateral trade volume has risen to $10 billion, he added that during their meeting, they confirmed their goal to double this to $20 billion as soon as possible. "We also agreed to celebrate 2009 as a Turkey- Iran Year of Culture to mark the 50th anniversary of a bilateral culture agreement," he said. For his part, Ahmadinejad thanked Turkey for supporting Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and its efforts to solve the issue through diplomacy. He said Iran would continue negotiations on its nuclear program so long as its rights are protected. Ahmadinejad also said that Iran would welcome proposals by friendly countries on the issue during the negotiation process. Iran is pleased with Turkey's development and growing power, he added. On the 2009 Turkey-Iran Year of Culture, he said, "This will provide the peoples of our countries an important opportunity to get better know each other's culture and civilizations." Following a meeting between delegations chaired by the two presidents, various cooperation agreements were signed by government ministers of the two countries. Ahmadinejad will today attend the Turkish- Iranian Business Forum in Istanbul, and later meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH GEORGIAN'S SAAKASVILI

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Georgian President Mikhail Saakasvili as part of his tour to help end the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Saakashvili thanked Turkey's efforts to end the conflict. Stating that they discussed issues such as reconstructing areas damaged in the recent attacks, as well as restoring peace to the region, he added, "We will pursue an extensive dialogue. We will also continue to work for peace and ending occupation in the region." Expressing appreciation for Turkey's humanitarian aid and its determination to solve the crisis, Saakasvili said that Georgia's recovery is very important. For his part, Erdogan said that he came to Tbilisi to hear of its pains and express his concerns as well as to exchange views about the recent conflict. Stating that Turkey favors Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is closely interested in peace and prosperity for its neighbor, he added that Turkey has proposed establishing a Caucasus cooperation pact to establish and protect peace in the region. "We believe that this platform will have many important missions, and the Russian side is interested in the project," he added. Erdogan is expected to proceed to Azerbaijan to speak with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev about the situation as well. /Milliyet/

    [03] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BUYUKANIT MAKES FAREWELL VISIT TO CHP LEADER

    On another farewell visit ahead of his Aug. 30 retirement, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday met with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. During the gathering, they discussed issues such as the fight against the terrorist PKK and the conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia. /Turkiye/

    [04] SAHIN MEETS WITH HIS CHINESE COUNTERPART AIYING

    Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, currently in Beijing for the 29th Summer Olympics, yesterday met with his Chinese counterpart Wu Aiying. Speaking to reporters, Sahin said that as Turkish-Chinese economic and trade ties have multiplied, the number of commercial disputes has also recently risen. Referring to a judicial aid agreement between China and Turkey which took effect in 1995, Sahin added that it needs revision in light of growing relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TURKISH-AFRICAN NGOs GATHER AT ISTANBUL FORUM AHEAD OF SUMMIT

    Representatives from Turkish and African non-governmental organizations met yesterday at an Istanbul forum hosted by Turkey's Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (ASAM) ahead of next week's Turkish-African Cooperation Summit. Representatives from over 100 non-governmental organizations in 45 African countries are participating in the two-day event, which will end tomorrow with the release of a final declaration. Addressing the forum, ASAM head Suleyman Sensoy said that the meeting would help identify areas of cooperation between Turkey and Africa. United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Turkey Representative Mahmoud Ayyup said, "The UN welcomes Turkey's aid efforts for African countries. It is a very important country for the continent with its aid institutions like the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay)." He also said ties between Turkey and African countries will improve rapidly with the opening of new Turkish embassies across the continent. TIKA head Musa Kulaklıkaya stressed the key role of NGOs in international aid activities. TIKA has extended around $2 billion in annual development aid to Africa, and it runs an agricultural development program in 13 African countries. /Turkiye/

    [06] SIMSEK: "THE NEW ECONOMIC PROGRAM AIMS TO BOOST JOB OPPORTUNITIES"

    Touting the government's new economic program yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek said, "The new program has four important goals: Strengthening Turkey's competitive edge, transforming Turkish into an information society, boosting infrastructure investments, and completing the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)." The government will give priority to developing job opportunities, he said. Simsek also said that the social security reforms passed earlier this year will protect Turkey's social security institutions for future generations. /Star/

    [07] MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE HOLDS INTEREST RATES STEADY

    At its meeting yesterday, the Monetary Policy Committee, chaired by Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz, kept interest rates unchanged. "International credit conditions and global economic problems have continued to restrict total demand, but decreasing domestic uncertainty is expected to increase domestic demand," said a statement released by the committee. "As global crises and risks will continue, it is necessary to be deliberate about monetary policy." /Star/

    FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [08] PKK ON THE PIPELINE, TURKEY IN THE LINE OF FIRE

    BY NASUH MAHRUKI (STAR)

    Columnist Nasuh Mahruki comments on the crisis in the Caucasus and their impact in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The way recent terrorist attacks in Turkey coincided with the crisis in the Caucasus show the need to analyze this issue more closely. The recent fire on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline which cost $1.5 billion and the terrorist PKK killing nine soldiers in Erzincan showed how Turkey is influenced by developments in its region. But couldn't these developments have been anticipated? In 'Connecting the PKK Issue to the Pipeline,' posted at www.tepav.org.tr, Dr. Nihat Ali Ozcan, an expert at the Turkish Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), writes that terrorist groups make decisions about launching attacks in line with the requests of their sponsors_supporters at the strategic level. As an example of this, Ozcan cites the May 1993 killing of 33 security officials near the province of Bingol, just as indirect negotiations were underway with the PKK, and a subsequent increase in terrorist attacks. Ozcan says an underlying reason for the recent developments is the reaction of Russia and Iran to the political and economic impact of the BTC pipeline.

    Noting the recent PKK attacks, Ozcan then writes that the most interesting development concerns energy opportunities offered by the Nabucco pipeline and the Iraq and Basra region. Ozcan adds that the aim of these projects is to carry natural gas and oil to European markets via Turkey. He says this means setting up a very profitable shop next to Russia's stand in the EU market.

    In light of Ozcan's observations, let's look at a statement yesterday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov declared that one can forget about Georgia's territorial integrity, as South Ossetia and Abkhazia can never be convinced to rejoin the sovereignty of the government in Tbilisi. This might make us wonder how bad the Caucasus could get. And let's not deceive ourselves by saying that Turkey is ready for this crisis. But we should be fair, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent trip to Moscow, his meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitrij Medvedev, and his contacts with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili show Ankara's skill at being ahead of clumsy democracy.

    Turkey needs such speed and decision-making talent, because the developments are far-reaching. Russia is determined to make the most of the opportunity it has gained. Its recovery under Putin and the well-developed character of domestic developments make Russia stronger in terms of all international problems.

    While Turkey was playing this chess game, we have already stressed the importance of domestic peace. Over the past year or so Turkey's presidential crisis and the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) exhausted our political system. We should shake this off as soon as possible so we can focus on the current pressing agenda, but there's no indication that the opposition is ready to do this. In addition, the ruling AKP needs to take a serious look at every aspect of foreign policy, including energy. So I've made my warning to those who complain that Erdogan is doing everything single-handedly and that he got stronger because his party wasn't closed and that he doesn't listen to anybody."


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