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Turkish Press Review, 08-08-21

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

21.08.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] BAKU SUPPORTS ERDOGAN'S PROPOSED CAUCASUS PLATFORM
  • [02] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [03] GUL SENDS CONDOLENCES TO SPANISH KING JUAN CARLOS AND FRANCE 'S SARKOZY
  • [04] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT DUE IN TURKEY FOR REGIONAL TALKS
  • [05] TURKEY TO ALLOW US SHIPS TO GO THROUGH STRAITS TO TAKE AID TO GEORGIA
  • [06] ISRAEL, TURKEY , US HOLD JOINT MEDITERRANEAN EXERCISES
  • [07] TURKEY, AFRICAN COUNTRIES SIGN PACT FOR BUSINESS CHAMBER
  • [08] IN ISTANBUL , SUDANESE PRESIDENT REJECTS GENOCIDE CHARGES
  • [09] SAHIN SCORES GOLD IN OLYMPIC WRESTLING
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [11] A CAUCASIAN PLATFORM

  • [01] BAKU SUPPORTS ERDOGAN'S PROPOSED CAUCASUS PLATFORM

    On a one-day visit to Baku yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev about Turkey 's proposal for a new Caucasus platform. Later, Erdogan told a joint press conference that he was pleased by the proposal's warm reception. He said that the two countries had agreed that the pact would make a major contribution to promoting peace, security and stability in the region. "It should be a geography-based platform, and must aim at regional peace and security, and include economic cooperation and energy security," Erdogan said. "It must be based on the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and include a joint mechanism for problem-solving and crisis management." Erdogan said Russia and Georgia had also welcomed the proposed platform, adding that Turkey was pleased to see Azerbaijan follow suit. Stressing that Turkey , Azerbaijan and Georgia have together worked on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the forthcoming Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, Erdogan said he believes cooperation between the three countries to make the Caucasus a region of peace, stability and prosperity would continue. For his part, Azerbaijan 's Aliyev said his country had good relations with both Russia and Georgia , and expressed his wish for friendly relations between these two countries. /Turkiye/

    [02] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY

    The National Security Council (MGK), chaired by President Abdullah Gul, is set to convene today in Istanbul , with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit attending for the last time ahead of his retirement. Issues expected to be discussed at the gathering include the Georgian crisis in the Caucasus, the fight against the terrorist PKK at home and abroad, and developments in Iraq . /Milliyet/

    [03] GUL SENDS CONDOLENCES TO SPANISH KING JUAN CARLOS AND FRANCE 'S SARKOZY

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday sent a message to Spanish King Juan Carlos expressing his deepest condolences for a plane crash in Madrid which killed more than 140 people. In related news, Gul also send a message of condolences to his French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the loss of 10 French soldiers and 21 injured during NATO operations in Afghanistan . /Milliyet-Star/

    [04] ROMANIAN PRESIDENT DUE IN TURKEY FOR REGIONAL TALKS

    Romanian President Traian Basescu, along with Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu, will pay a one-day working visit to Turkey today as part of a regional tour expected to address the crisis in the Caucasus . Basescu is expected to meet with both President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Today's Zaman/

    [05] TURKEY TO ALLOW US SHIPS TO GO THROUGH STRAITS TO TAKE AID TO GEORGIA

    Turkey yesterday approved the passage of two US naval ships and a coast guard cutter through the Turkish Straits into the Black Sea to transport humanitarian relief supplies to Georgia , said State Department spokesman Robert Wood. The move followed US talks with Ankara over use of the Straits to carry humanitarian aid. /Milliyet/

    [06] ISRAEL, TURKEY , US HOLD JOINT MEDITERRANEAN EXERCISES

    Israel, Turkey and the US yesterday held joint rescue maneuvers involving naval ships and aircraft in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel . The maneuvers were part of Reliant Mermaid, a trilateral humanitarian search and rescue exercise marking its ninth year. /Aksam/

    [07] TURKEY, AFRICAN COUNTRIES SIGN PACT FOR BUSINESS CHAMBER

    On the final day of the First Turkish-African Cooperation Summit, President Abdullah Gul yesterday hosted a breakfast for leaders, representatives and businessmen from participating countries at the Ciragan Palace . Gul, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu and Muhammad Al Masri, head of the African Chambers Union, also signed a protocol establishing the Turkish-African Chamber (TAC). The new chamber is designed to boost trade relations between Turkey and the continent. "Our aim is to improve trade relations, increase investments, establish a conducive business environment for investments, promote knowledge and technology transfers, and develop a logistics infrastructure between Turkey and African countries," said a statement about the new chamber. It added that the TAC would help institutionalize cooperation between Turkish and African business organizations. /Sabah/

    [08] IN ISTANBUL , SUDANESE PRESIDENT REJECTS GENOCIDE CHARGES

    In Istanbul yesterday, after attending the first Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir denied claims that he was responsible for genocide in Darfur , dismissing such claims as enemy propaganda. He said a move by an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to charge him with war crimes only encourages those who don't want peace in the region. "If the (prosecutor's) figures were accurate, there should be mass graves. Where are those mass graves?" al-Bashir told a press conference. "It is true that people were killed, but the figures are inflated. It is true that there is a war between the government and rebels, but why is that rebels against the government are considered downtrodden? It's a double standard." Al-Bashir said his country always kept the door open for peace and dialogue, adding that it was fighting those who want to divide Sudan . /Sabah/

    [09] SAHIN SCORES GOLD IN OLYMPIC WRESTLING

    Turkish wrestler Ramazan Sahin yesterday won an Olympic gold medal in the men's 66 kg in freestyle wrestling in Beijing 's Olympic Games. Sahin got the gold by besting his Cuban, Iranian, Georgian and Ukrainian rivals. It was the first gold for Turkey in this year's Olympics. Sahin has also won world and European championships. /All Papers/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [11] A CAUCASIAN PLATFORM

    BY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Ismet Berkan comments on the crisis in the Caucasus and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal to prevent future crises. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The impact of Russia 's recent attack on Georgia in the wake of Georgia attacking South Ossetia is difficult to gauge. Turkey , one of two countries accused openly by Russia during the first days of the conflict, wants to promote peace through active diplomacy. Of course, Russia first halted its military operations and then stated that it would withdraw to the border of Ossetia and Abkhazia (but it still hasn't withdrawn) without any intervention by the international community. That's why Turkey didn't play a role in this.

    Early in the conflict, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly telephoned his Russian counterpart Dimitry Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, but reports said they wouldn't take his call. Erdogan denied he had telephoned them, but he didn't hide his wish to help end the crisis, and then proposed a new Caucasus security and stability platform. Erdogan later went to Moscow and spoke to Medvedev and Putin. It seems they didn't reject this proposal and even said it might be useful. The next day Erdogan went to Tbilisi , where his proposal was also welcomed.

    Erdogan yesterday went to Azerbaijan to further promote the proposal, and it seems he'll do the same with Armenia . So what is this platform? How seriously should we take it? First, the platform would be a basis for bringing together five Caucasian countries " Russia , Turkey , Georgia , Azerbaijan and Armenia . The aim is to get them to talk to each other. But you know that the Russians said they wouldn't speak to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili anymore. Armenia is still occupying 20% of Azerbaijani territory. And even if the two countries sometimes speak to each other, they've been unable to reach an agreement, perhaps because Russia doesn't want one.

    Turkey has no diplomatic relations with Armenia , but it recognizes this country and sometimes talks with it, but there are serious problems between the two countries. So this Caucasus platform might be useful, and even talking about it might help. What's more, Turkey could benefit from it as well. But expecting success beyond this level is for now just a pipe dream. As I said, it would be a success just to get these five countries to sit down to a table and have dinner. If they could do this, it would be very good. But unfortunately I don't expect even that much. I wouldn't expect Russia to speak to anybody about the places it considers its sphere of influence, particularly the Caucasus and Central Asia . And if it speaks, I wouldn't expect it to say anything meaningful. If Russia decides to recognize the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent, things will get more complicated, and Russia will certainly reject any solution to the Caucasus issue besides its own. We should keep a close watch on the region and assess it carefully."


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