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Turkish Press Review, 08-10-09

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

09.10.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] IN WAKE OF NEW ATTACK, GUL AND ERDOGAN PLEDGE DETERMINED EFFORTS AGAINST TERRORIST PKK
  • [02] GUL: "TURKEY'S EU BID IS NO HINDRANCE TO FIGHTING THE PKK"
  • [03] ERDOGAN: "WE'LL EVALUATE THE OPPOSITION PROPOSAL FOR A BUFFER ZONE IN N.IRAQ"
  • [04] TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR KILLS FIVE
  • [05] PARLIAMENT EXTENDS TERM OF CROSS-BORDER AUTHORIZATION
  • [06] ANTI-TERROR BOARD TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [07] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO RELEASE FULL DECISIONS ON TWO MAJOR RULINGS NEXT WEEK
  • [08] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG MEETS WITH BAYKAL
  • [09] ANTALYA GOLDEN ORANGE FESTIVAL SET TO BEGIN
  • [10] THE PKK'S REAL AIM

  • [01] IN WAKE OF NEW ATTACK, GUL AND ERDOGAN PLEDGE DETERMINED EFFORTS AGAINST TERRORIST PKK

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday condemned a terrorist PKK attack on a bus carrying police officers in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, which killed four policemen, including the bus driver, and injured 20 others. In a statement, Gül said, "I strongly condemn this atrocious attack by the terrorist group, which is facing collapse and resorting to inhumane actions in the face of the state's determined fight against terrorism." He also promised that the attack's perpetrators would be brought to justice. Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "Such terrorist attacks won't deter the Turkish people," and stressed the importance of public unity and solidarity. Erdogan also said there should be no doubt about Turkish security forces' operational effectiveness, adding that the security forces will use their authority without reservation until PKK terrorists lay down their arms. Citing this week's meeting of the Supreme Anti-Terrorism Board to discuss new anti-terrorist tactics, Erdogan said, "In addition to the security aspect, the issue also has diplomatic, political, economic, sociological and psychological dimensions." In related news, Italian Ambassador to Ankara Carlo Marsili said that the attack targeted not only Turkey but also the European Union, calling Turkey a member of the European family. Offering his condolences to the Turkish government and people, Marsili urged the EU to take stronger measures against the terrorist PKK, saying that just putting it on the EU's list of terrorist groups was not enough. /Milliyet/

    [02] GUL: "TURKEY'S EU BID IS NO HINDRANCE TO FIGHTING THE PKK"

    On an official visit to Finland, President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen. Asked by reporters afterwards about a motion extending the military's authorization to conduct cross-border operations into northern Iraq, Gul said that motion's only target is the terrorist PKK. Asked which is more important, the Kurdish issue or its European Union bid, Gul stated that the two complement each other. "Turkey's EU membership is no hindrance to fighting the PKK," he said. "On the contrary, the EU has a unified front against terrorism." Stating that Kurds are part of Turkey, but that PKK forces which try to infiltrate Turkey take haven in mountainous regions in northern Iraq not controlled by the regional administration, Gul added, "We have to distinguish between the PKK and the Kurdish people. The PKK has been recognized as a terrorist group by both NATO and the EU." Also speaking to the reporters, Halonen expressed her support for Turkey's EU membership. Praising Ankara's efforts to join the EU, Halonen added, "Reforms will pave the way for Turkey's membership." Gul also delivered a speech at the Turkish-Finnish Business Forum. /Star/

    [03] ERDOGAN: "WE'LL EVALUATE THE OPPOSITION PROPOSAL FOR A BUFFER ZONE IN N.IRAQ"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolanek. Afterwards, Erdogan told a joint press conference that they would discuss an opposition party proposal for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to establish a buffer zone in northern Iraq, along the border with Turkey. In related news, Erdogan also received former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair also met with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu. /Milliyet/

    [04] TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR KILLS FIVE

    An armed terrorist attack on a police academy bus in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir yesterday took five lives, including those of four policemen. Thirteen other policemen and five civilians were wounded and treated at local medical facilities. Following the incident, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, and Security Director General Oguz Kaan Koksal flew to the city and visited those wounded by the attack. Security forces have launched operations to find the terrorists responsible. /Hurriyet/

    [05] PARLIAMENT EXTENDS TERM OF CROSS-BORDER AUTHORIZATION

    Parliament yesterday extended for one year a motion allowing the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the motion, 497-18, with Democratic Society Party (DTP) and Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) deputies voting against it. Afterwards, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised Parliament's action. Speaking on behalf of the government, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said they would fight terrorism within the bounds of democracy and the law. /Milliyet/

    [06] ANTI-TERROR BOARD TO CONVENE TODAY

    The Supreme Anti-Terrorism Board, chaired by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will convene today to discuss recent terrorist attacks and the government and security forces' response. From the Cabinet, Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, and Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin will attend the meeting, along with top military commanders and other high-level security officials. /Hurriyet/

    [07] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO RELEASE FULL DECISIONS ON TWO MAJOR RULINGS NEXT WEEK

    Full decisions on two recent landmark Constitutional Court rulings, including the court's legal reasoning on a case upholding the headscarf ban at universities, and its decision not to close down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), could be completed by the end of the this week, said Constitutional Court Chief Justice Hasim Kilic yesterday. Stating that drafts of the full decisions will be ready to discuss and edit, he added, "If they are ready by the end of next week, we'll send them to the Official Gazette for publication." /Aksam/

    [08] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG MEETS WITH BAYKAL

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday paid a courtesy visit to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, who earlier this week criticized the government's handling of the terrorism problem. During the meeting, which lasted over an hour, the two discussed recent developments and anti-terrorist measures. Afterwards, Baykal said that Basbug's visit offered an opportunity to exchange views on recent domestic developments, adding, "Basbug provided me with realistic and important assessments of the fight against terrorism. I also had a chance to express my views on the issue. It was a very productive meeting." For his part, Basbug said that they had discussed how to wage a more effective fight against terrorism. /Aksam/

    [09] ANTALYA GOLDEN ORANGE FESTIVAL SET TO BEGIN

    The 45th annual Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Turkey's largest movie industry event, begins tomorrow. This year's festival, which has a YTL 10 million budget, features such famous actors as Bo Derek, Adrien Brody and Mickey Rourke. The festival lasts through October 19. /Turkish Daily News/

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

    [10] THE PKK'S REAL AIM

    BY ERGUN BABAHAN (SABAH)

    Columnist Ergun Babahan comments on recent terrorist attacks and the international economic crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The basic rights and freedoms and democratic openings recently seen in Turkey seem to have greatly disturbed the terrorist group (PKK). At a time when security forces are seeking broader powers, terrorism has been gradually rising, which clearly shows the situation. One aim of yesterday's bloody attack in Diyarbakir, following last week's attacks on a southeastern military outpost, has to do with morale. The attacks try to show that the group is still alive and powerful. The second aim is to hinder democratic openings.

    The terrorist group had its greatest strength just after the 1980 coup, when the legal system was suspended, people were being tortured in Diyarbakir Prison, and unsolved murders, extrajudicial executions and unwarranted detentions were very common. This pressure and violence caused a great many young people to lose their faith in the state, and to go to the terrorists' mountain bases, thinking that they would be ignored amid all this. In other words, lawlessness fed terrorism.

    Now Turkey has to fight off both the international economic crisis and a rising tide of terrorism. While doing so, it's also trying to formulate its National Program and keep its European Union membership bid on track. The PKK and its links with certain circles in Turkey are very dark and dirty. We should never forget that it might have multiple goals, some of which are directly related to domestic politics. But not only the state, but also all of its institutions are responsible for determining what these goals are and countering them.

    Terrorist attacks, as well as the economic crisis, work to shake public confidence in the future. The aim is to cause the public to seek harsher measures, suspending the law and hindering the democratic opening in the region. Next year's local elections are part of these calculations. All these goals should be assessed wisely, and proper counter-measures should be taken. Yes, Turkey's fight against terrorism will not flag, but in the meantime our country's vision for its future shouldn't be neglected. This vision should be set not by the terrorist group and its attacks, but Turkey's own choices and priorities. Obviously, Ankara needs a new opening and excitement. If Turkey properly evaluates its strengths and weaknesses and sets its goals accordingly, the atmosphere of pessimism can be quickly dispelled. The people killed in yesterday's attacks in Diyarbakir are innocent victims of a dirty game. I extend my condolences to their families."


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