|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 08-10-13
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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
 IN SIVAS, ERDOGAN LAMBASTES TUSIAD STATEMENTSSpeaking at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new housing project built by the Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI) in Sivas, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday criticized recent statements by Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag and top official Mustafa Koc suggesting the government could do more to protect Turkey from the global economic crisis. "Turkey isn't feeling the crisis like the US and Europe are," he said. "We're giving this our complete attention." He added, "I don't understand some people. There are people in my country adding fuel to the fire. We're taking measures. We don't provide opportunities to those who seek them, whether it's a non-governmental organization (NGO) or a public group. It's a grave error to say such things while there's no such danger in Turkey." /Star/
 BABACAN: "WE WILL WORK UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SECURE TURKEY'S SEAT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL"Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday went to New York ahead of this week's vote to select new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2009-2010. Speaking to reporters before leaving, Babacan said that Turkey, which has a long record of contributing to world peace yet has not sat on the council for nearly 50 years, now hopes to secure a non-permanent seat. Saying that council is made up of five permanent members and 10 non- permanent ones elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, he added, "Turkey was a member of the Council in 1951-1952, 1954-1955 and 1961. If we win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, this will do much to promote peace, security and stability all over the world." Stating that Turkey deserves membership, he said that a country needs 128 of 192 votes to win a seat. Babacan said that he had held contacts with his counterparts from 150 countries seeking support for Turkey's bid and that he would work hard until the last minute to secure the seat. /Star/
 TURKISH JETS HIT TERRORIST PKK BASES IN N.IRAQTurkish warplanes hit terrorist PKK targets in northern Iraq over the weekend. A General Staff statement said that Turkish jets had successfully destroyed 31 targets in the region. Stating that the operation only targeted the terrorist group, the statement added that no civilians had been harmed during the operation. /Turkiye/
 TRNC'S TALAT, GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER TO HOLD FOURTH MEETING TODAYTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will meet today for the fourth time as part of comprehensive Cyprus negotiations which began last month to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem. Talat and Christofias are expected to focus on the property issue, one of the thorniest problems on the island. Talat said on Saturday that they have to find a settlement to the longstanding problem and make utmost efforts towards this end with support from the international community. /Hurriyet/
 PAN-ORTHODOX SUMMIT HELD IN ISTANBULRepresentatives of 14 Orthodox churches came together in Istanbul over the weekend. During the gathering, organized by the Fener Greek patriarch as part of events marking 2008 as the year of St. Paul, the religious leaders agreed to hold talks to resolve the issues dividing them. They also decided to continue to back efforts to establish interfaith dialogue and to protect the environment. /Hurriyet/
 STATE MINISTER SIMSEK ATTENDS G-20 MEETINGState Minister Mehmet Simsek is currently in Washington for talks and meetings with officials of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Simsek represented Turkey on Saturday at a meeting of the G-20, the group of nations with the largest economies in the world, held as part of the annual meetings of the IMF and WB on how to fight the ongoing global financial crisis. Addressing the gathering, he promoted the Turkish Central Bank's recent initiative to increase liquidity flow in inter-bank transactions to ease the crisis. Under this measure, the bank began to buy foreign currency from banks holding excess foreign currency and sell it to banks in shortage. In related news, next year's annual meetings of the IMF and WB are scheduled to be held on Oct. 6-7 in Istanbul. /Hurriyet/
 TOP BUSINESSMAN REMAIN CONFIDENT IN TURKISH ECONOMYCommenting on the global economic crisis and its impact on Turkey's economy, Eczacibasi Holding head Bulent Eczacibasi yesterday said that he believed that Turkey would weather the crisis with minimal damage. Stressing that today Turkey is seeing the fruit of six years of wise economic policy, he said, "Thanks to those policies and reforms, Turkey restored basic economic balances and made its financial system healthier. These advantages are hugely important for Turkey at the moment to successfully deal with the crisis." Stating that no country can remain unaffected by global economic turmoil, Eczacibasi also urged close cooperation between the private sector and the government to tackle the crisis. Praising government statements meant to raise confidence, he said, "We should preserve the atmosphere of trust and stability in the country. But at the same time we should take the crisis more seriously and make our road map clear for facing the crisis." Eczacibasi also said that Turkey should continue close relations with the International Monetary Fund to maintain its fiscal discipline. /Turkiye/
 WORLD BANK'S KATSU: "TURKEY'S ECONOMY IS WELL-PLACED TO WEATHER THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC TURMOIL"Shigeo Katsu, vice president of the World Bank, said on Friday that Turkey's economy is in good condition to weather the current global financial crisis. Addressing a meeting on European and Central Asian economies, held as part of the annual International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings in Washington, Katsu said, "Turkey is a very interesting country. It rebuilt and modernized its economy in the past seven years after going through a serious economic crisis in 2001." He added that the Turkish economy is more powerful now. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE SOUTHEAST TODAYBY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)
Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the southeastern Anatolian region. A summary of his column is as follows:
"As Turkey has been discussing terrorism, government bodies have been holding numerous meetings and making decisions, and I've been listening to government leaders and the military. So what's going on in the southeast? I was there over the weekend, where I met with people who feel the effects of separatist terrorism firsthand and talked with soldiers, policemen, local officials, and businessmen who invest in the region. I was particularly curious about the situation in and around Tunceli. During a year of rising terrorism, there's always been good news from Tunceli. Before going there, I made an appointment with Tunceli Governor Mustafa Yaman.
I also met with Fenerbahce Deputy Chair and Limak Group owner Nihat Ozdemir, who currently is the largest investor in the region. He told me that Limak has poured $2.5 billion into the region and created 14,000 jobs. Its investments center on cement factories and the energy sector, both to tackle the energy crisis and create employment opportunities.
Ozdemir showed me models for the forthcoming Alkurmu Dam in Siirt and Seyrantepe Dam in Tunceli. Then we toured four dams, including ones in Tatar and Uzuncayir. Seven dams are being constructed on the Botan River using the build-operate-transfer (BOT) method. In other words, the private sector finds its own resources, that is, builds the power plants, produces electricity, and gives the state its share.
We flew from Siirt to Elazig, where we saw Lake Keban and its magnificent natural surroundings. New dams are also being built there. The dams change the climate and culture of the region, and also help to fight terrorism, by closing corridors for infiltration. Among the largest of these investments are the Tatar and Seyrantepe Dams, which we visited. The state built the dams but neglected the equipment investment, so the water flowed for five years for nothing. Now production has started with the BOT method, with money found the private sector.
The quality of the regional highways from Elazig to Siirt and Tunceli to Diyarbakir is outstanding. Tunceli Governor Yaman told me that they build these roads, although there's little traffic there. They also look at the psychological effects. Tunceli is a very lively region with a good infrastructure. As the governor said, after the dams are constructed, the city will turn into a region of lakes. Yaman said the people living in Tunceli have no cultural or sociological links with the terrorist PKK. People are well-educated. The appointment of an Alawi rector to a new university by President Abdullah Gul was met very positively. In addition, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's recent visit to Tunceli had a big impact.
While listening to the governor, I remembered back when Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala was the Diyarbakir governor, forging close relations with the public, watching investments closely, and serving as a bridge between the state and the nation. While having tea, I was pleased to learn from the local security director that the number of terrorist attacks had fallen sharply.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Elazig on Saturday and also attend some opening ceremonies in Tunceli next week. The governor told me that Erdogan places great importance on Tunceli, and Ozdemir said that the Prime Ministry was ready to do anything for Tunceli. This is evident on the roads, and there's also great development in villages and towns near the dam construction. Life is lively there.
The state started to send very good administrators to the region. Erdogan is also prioritizing investment. The General Staff not only takes military measures, but also favors a comprehensive approach. Finally, the private sector is making large investments in the region. Bureaucrats represent not restrictions, but the warm and loving heart of the state. That's why the terrorist group is going crazy. As they see that the end is near, they've become aggressive. But the example of Tunceli shows us a lot."
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