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Turkish Press Review, 08-10-10

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

10.10.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: "TURKEY'S PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED ONLY THROUGH STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY"
  • [02] FALLEN POLICEMEN LAID TO REST
  • [03] SUPREME ANTI-TERRORISM BOARD CONVENES
  • [04] BABACAN CALLS FOR GERMANY TO HELP CUT OFF PKK'S FINANCIAL RESOURCES
  • [05] US AND EU CONDEMN TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR
  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKISH-US INTELLIGENCE-SHARING COOPERATION CONTINUES"
  • [07] BLAIR: "TURKEY HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE A WIDE RANGE OF MEASURES TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE FROM TERRORISM"
  • [08] STATE MINISTER TUZMEN: "TURKEY WILL WEATHER THE GLOBAL CRISIS WITH MINIMAL DAMAGE"
  • [09] TOP BUSINESS FIGURES EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
  • [10] IS THE TSK HELPLESS?
  • [11] END

  • [01] GUL: "TURKEY'S PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED ONLY THROUGH STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY"

    After completing his official visit to Finland, President Abdullah Gul yesterday proceeded to Estonia. Speaking to reporters on the presidential plane, Gul praised the quick arrest of suspects in Wednesday's terrorist PKK attack in Diyarbakir. Hailing the police's work in that incident, Gul said that Turkey's problems can be solved only through strengthening democracy. Lamenting how terrorists try to disturb the peace, Gul stated that bringing the attack's perpetrators to justice can lessen the attack's impact. /Star/

    [02] FALLEN POLICEMEN LAID TO REST

    The funerals of four fallen policemen and a bus driver who lost their lives in Wednesday's terrorist PKK attack in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir were held in their hometowns yesterday. /All papers/

    [03] SUPREME ANTI-TERRORISM BOARD CONVENES

    In the wake of two attacks in the past week by the terrorist PKK in the southeastern provinces of Hakkari and Diyarbakir, which killed a total of 22 soldiers and policemen and injured many others, the Supreme Anti- Terrorism Board, chaired by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday convened in Ankara to discuss a new course of action against the terrorist group. The meeting included Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, and Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, along with top military commanders and other high-level security officials, including Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug, National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Undersecretary Emre Taner and Security General Director Oguz Kagan Koksal. There was no statement after the six-hour meeting. The participants reportedly discussed issues such as fortifying military outposts along the Turkish-Iraqi border, better intelligence-sharing, and socioeconomic measures to combat terrorism. Basbug also reportedly briefed the board members about the army's requests for broader powers to fight the terrorist PKK, while Babacan spoke about the possible effects of those powers on Turkey's European Union accession bid. The board will continue discussing the issue next week. /Turkiye/

    [04] BABACAN CALLS FOR GERMANY TO HELP CUT OFF PKK'S FINANCIAL RESOURCES

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday telephoned his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier to speak about ways Turkey and Germany can cooperate against the terrorist PKK. Saying that the PKK is still getting financial aid from some German-based associations, Babacan called for Berlin to help cut off these financial resources. /Aksam/

    [05] US AND EU CONDEMN TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR

    The US condemned Wednesday's terrorist attack on a police academy bus in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir which took five lives, including those of four policemen. "News of the terrorist attack on a police bus in Diyarbakir yesterday was deeply saddening," said a statement from the US Embassy in Ankara. "We condemn it. Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and friends of the victims of this attack. The United States continues to work closely with Turkey against our common enemy, the PKK." Asked about the attack, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said, "The EU condemns all terrorist incidents," and added, "We condemn the PKK's terrorist attacks. The PKK is a terrorist organization. These incidents are a terrible wound for the Turkish people." France also condemned the terrorist attack, declaring through its embassy and Foreign Ministry its full solidarity with Turkey. In related news, German Ambassador to Ankara Eckart Cuntz offered his condolences for the policemen who lost their lives in the terrorist attack. /Milliyet/

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKISH-US INTELLIGENCE-SHARING COOPERATION CONTINUES"

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Ozuergin yesterday told a press conference that the US, European Union, Arab League and NATO have all been briefed on last week's terrorist attack in Hakkari and on the motion extending for one year Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) authorization to carry out cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Ozuergin said that the tripartite counter-terrorist mechanism between Turkey, the US and Iraq could be evaluated further and that intelligence-sharing with the US continues. Asked about whether new anti-terrorist measures will conflict with Turkey's EU harmonization, Ozuergin said, "Necessary measures will be taken without making concessions from our freedom or security." /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] BLAIR: "TURKEY HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE A WIDE RANGE OF MEASURES TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE FROM TERRORISM"

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, now a special envoy for the Middle East Quartet, yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Speaking to Sabah daily about the recent terrorist PKK attacks, Blair said that he supports and understands Turkey taking stronger measures to fight terrorism. "Turkey has the right to take a wide range of measures to protect its people from terrorism," he said, urging the international community to give Turkey more support in its fight against the terrorist PKK. Touching on Turkey's rising profile and importance in recent years, he also said, "Today both the West and the Islamic world are showing more interest in Turkey." /Sabah/

    [08] STATE MINISTER TUZMEN: "TURKEY WILL WEATHER THE GLOBAL CRISIS WITH MINIMAL DAMAGE"

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen, on a two-day visit to the US city of Atlanta, said on Wednesday that Turkey would weather the global economic crisis with minimal damage based on its stock exchange and smaller companies. Addressing a think-tank, Tuzmen stressed that Turkey must pursue trade focusing on good prices, excellent quality and high technology. Tuzmen stressed that Turkish exports to the US had dropped as the lira gained value and in the face of rising competition from the Far East. "Nevertheless, Turkey and the US pursue similar ideals globally. These are peace, democracy, freedom, welfare and the fight against terrorism," Tuzmen said. He also inaugurated the Year of Turkey at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, set to be observed with a host of activities through next May. Tuzmen later visited the headquarters of Coca-Cola in the city. He also attended openings of two non-governmental organizations, the US Southeast Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce (TACC) and the Istanbul Center. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TOP BUSINESS FIGURES EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

    Speaking to reporters yesterday, Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) head Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag said that the current global economic crisis and its impact on Turkey's economy deserve close attention. She said she doesn't want to cause any panic or harm Turkey's atmosphere of trust and stability but urged the government to take the issue more seriously. Koc Holding Chairman Mustafa Koc, another leading business figure, said that a new standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund could help to dispel concerns caused by the global financial crisis. "We must be very careful about the issue," he said. "Turkey learned a lot from the 2001 economic crisis, and Turkish banks are now in good condition thanks to that experience." He also urged the government to watch for the impact of the crisis on Turkey's economy. /Turkiye/

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

    [10] IS THE TSK HELPLESS?

    BY MEHMET ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Mehmet Ali Kislali comments on terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Although low-intensity conflict is now called asymmetrical war, it's not actually like a guerilla war. It's a very different combat, with its own unique rules and needs. Britain's T.E. Lawrence " "Lawrence of Arabia" " described it as being like 'eating soup with a knife.' In his new book 'The Sling and The Stone,' US Col. Thomas Hammes describes it as the war of the 21st century and argues that to win this war, first its true nature must be understood, and that from now on wars won't be waged by armies confronting each other. Neither man is wrong, because countries with large armies have recently been unable to win such wars.

    But things in Turkey are different. Turkey is working against a small part of a separatist ethnic group on its own territory, whereas most members of the group are outside Turkey's borders. Nearly 80,000 village guards fight against them, and this fight has been going on for 24 years. Turkey has been unable to take control of the resistance in a short period of time, unlike in the early years of the republic. This obviously comes from how the modern world no longer allows the state to use unlimited force. Countries with similar problems, such as Britain and Spain, brought their struggles to an acceptable level without facing as many casualties as we did when neighboring countries cut their support for the IRA and ETA. But Turkey hasn't reduced its own low-intensity conflict to an acceptable level. It has apparently been unable to internalize, explain or implement the rules governing such struggles.

    So has the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) been helpless in the face of the terrorist PKK, which takes inspiration from Mao? We can answer this by examining the past and present of both the TSK and PKK. It was bad luck for the TSK that the fight against the PKK began in 1984, in the wake of the 1980 coup. The ruling party at that time declared a state of emergency, taking Britain's colonial years as an example, without fully understanding the situation, and so got off to a bad start. When the terrorist PKK was about to declare a part of southeastern Anatolia a so-called 'rebel zone' in the early 1990s, the TSK started to take proper steps and so prevented this.

    When terrorist PKK head Abdullah Ocalan was captured in 1999, the entire country mistakenly thought that the problem was solved. It was unfortunate for Turkey that none of its ruling parties took any steps to counter this complex and difficult problem. The ruling parties tried to meet military requests without understanding the vital importance of the issue. Was this issue dealt with by postgraduates sent to the West, or within the TSK or the military academies? How did the TSK command see their goals in this? How much has it tried to develop its ability to win an asymmetrical war, and what results has it seen? In light of all this, what has it requested from the ruling parties? And how many of these requests were fulfilled? Who can say that these questions have been sufficiently answered, and what necessary steps have been taken in this critical period since the establishment of the republic?"

    [11] END


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