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Turkish Press Review, 08-08-26

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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

26.08.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] TOPTAN, PM ERDOGAN RELEASE MESSAGES MARKING VICTORY WEEK
  • [02] EDUCATION MINISTER CELIK DUE IN IRAN TODAY
  • [03] MHP CHARGES RULING AKP FAILING TO FIGHT EMBEZZLEMENT
  • [04] DSP'S SEZER: "WE CAN'T CONVICT THE LEFT TO LANGUISH IN OPPOSITION"
  • [05] BUYUKANIT TOUTS TIMING OF FEBRUARY ANTI-PKK CROSS-BORDER OP
  • [06] HISARCIKLIOGLU URGES WOMEN TO TAKE ACTIVE PART IN SOCIETY
  • [07] MOSCOW'S MOVE

  • [01] TOPTAN, PM ERDOGAN RELEASE MESSAGES MARKING VICTORY WEEK

    Ahead of August 30 Victory Day celebrations this Saturday, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday separately released messages marking Victory Week. Both leaders stressed the pivotal nature of the day for Turkish history and called for unity. "The Turkish War of National Independence, which resulted in a great victory, formed the basis of the Turkish Republic , which is now a proud member of the modern world," said the prime minister's message. "The Turkish people will continue to live freely on this land. Our duty is to pass the spirit of independence on to future generations and to make the republic, which is a democratic, secular and social state under the rule of law, surpass the level of contemporary civilizations." August 30 Victory Day marks the War of Independence's final battle in Dumlupinar in 1922, which led to the defeat of the invading Greek army and the creation of the Turkish Republic the following year. /Turkiye/

    [02] EDUCATION MINISTER CELIK DUE IN IRAN TODAY

    Education Minister Huseyin Celik is set to visit Iran today at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart Alireza Ali-Ahmadi. During his four- day visit, Celik and his delegation will meet Iranian officials in a bid to boost bilateral relations in the area of education. /Aksam/

    [03] MHP CHARGES RULING AKP FAILING TO FIGHT EMBEZZLEMENT

    At a press conference at Parliament, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy group leader Oktay Vural yesterday lashed out at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over high-profile cases of embezzlement. "Unfortunately, the AKP has failed to take a determined stand to battle embezzlement," charged Vural. /Aksam/

    [04] DSP'S SEZER: "WE CAN'T CONVICT THE LEFT TO LANGUISH IN OPPOSITION"

    Opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer yesterday said talk of an election alliance in local polls due to be held next March is uncertain right now. "No one has the right to sentence the left to a life sentence of being in opposition," he said. "If (late DSP leader Bulent) Ecevit) was the only one able to bring the left to power since 1950, this should give us pause. The DSP and the (main opposition) Republican People's Party (CHP) are separate parties sharing similar sensitivities. We didn't face any problems in our alliance before last year's general elections. We have to examine the success of this alliance. The Constitutional Court decision ruling (last month) to not close down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) gave us the chance to beat it in the next general elections." /Star/

    [05] BUYUKANIT TOUTS TIMING OF FEBRUARY ANTI-PKK CROSS-BORDER OP

    Ahead of his retirement on Saturday, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday received members of the News Photographers' Association and Professional News Cameramen's Association. During the meeting, Buyukanit touted the timing of the February Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) cross-border operation into northern Iraq , stressing that the TSK chose intentionally to strike at a time of poor weather conditions to ensure the success of this key offensive against the terrorist PKK. "Normally operations are conducted in the best possible weather conditions," he explained. "We chose the worst conditions because then members of the terrorist PKK couldn't detonate their bombs due to the heavy snow. The army planners looked over weather reports for recent decades and set February for the operation, when the coldest and the harshest conditions prevailed in the area." He added, "That's why we had no major casualties. If the operation had been held in the summer, we would have had more casualties. The success of the operation proved us right." Buyukanit, who has reached mandatory retirement age, will hand over his duties to Gen. Ilker Basbug on Saturday. /Turkiye/

    [06] HISARCIKLIOGLU URGES WOMEN TO TAKE ACTIVE PART IN SOCIETY

    At the Turkish Union of Chambers of Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) first women entrepreneurs' board congress yesterday, TOBB head Rifat Hisarciklioglu called for positive discrimination to boost female employment and urged that Parliament set up a commission on gender equality. More than 600 female entrepreneurs from around Turkey participated in the congress held at TOBB University in Ankara . Stressing the importance of women's role in society, Hisarciklioglu said that Turkey fares poorly in female employment, with only 24 percent of all women in the workforce, compared to a world rate of 49 percent and European Union average of 56 percent. Also addressing the gathering, State Minister Nimet Cubukcu said that traditional values limit women to responsibilities in private life. "But every day women are overcoming cultural and economic obstacles to join the economy as entrepreneurs," she added. Cubukcu said the government had introduced new regulations to permit flexible work hours for women, but their effect has yet to be seen. /Hurriyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] MOSCOW'S MOVE

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the conflict in the Caucasus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The Russian Parliament's decision yesterday to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has raised issues of separatism and territorial integrity. The move was meant to give a legal imprimatur to these two Georgian regions' declarations of independence back in the 1990s. The Kremlin still has to approve the decision. Actually, Russian leaders openly said during the recent conflict over South Ossetia that the two separatist regions would never again be dominated by Tbilisi , but it's clear that they're not in any hurry to approve Parliament's decision but instead will act in line with developments. In other words, Moscow will try to use this trump card against the West.

    Russia's support for South Ossetia and Abkhazia's separatist movements is nothing new. After Georgia left the former Soviet Union and gained independence, these two regions declared they wanted to leave Tbilisi . After a pro-US administration was established in Georgia , Russia boosted its military and economic support to the two regions and even distributed Russian passports to the locals. If a pro-Russian regime, instead of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, had held power in Tbilisi , Moscow 's stance on Georgia 's territorial integrity would have been different too, just like its stance on Kosovo declaring its independence earlier this year. Back then, the Kremlin defended Serbia 's territorial integrity against Kosavar separatism. And when many Western countries recognized Kosovo's independence, Moscow clearly said that if you do this, one day we'll recognize Abkhazia (and South Ossetia ). In this respect, the latest step by Russia on the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia can be considered its move in response to Kosovo.

    In principle, or on paper, everybody is in favor of territorial integrity and against separatism. The Russian Federation also espouses these principles due to its own problematic regions, like Chechnya . But when it suits its interests, Moscow carefully defends the same criteria for others, like on the Kosovo issue, or for Cyprus . Moscow has long supported the Greek Cypriot administration over the Cyprus issue, objected to Turks' establishing a separate entity, and refused to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). But Russia 's operation in South Ossetia and its active support for separatism both there and in Abkhazia and now its decision to recognize their independence shows that when its own interests are at stake, it takes the opposite side. Moscow 's recognizing separatist regions over Georgia 's territorial integrity is a bad example for the Greek Cypriots, who have always gotten sympathy and support from Russia , as they're concerned about the West recognizing Kosovo."


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