|Saturday, 24 February 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-10-14
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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
 ERDOGAN SENDS LETTER TO SYRIA'S ASSADPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar Assad. According to Syria's official news agency Sana, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, currently in Damascus for an official visit, delivered the letter to the president. The letter reportedly focused on joint investment projects and bilateral relations. /Milliyet/
 ANKARA URGES N.IRAQI ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE CONCRETE MEASURES AGAINST TERRORIST PKKTurkey wants to see concrete steps, not more statements, from the northern Iraqi regional administration against the terrorist PKK, said Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday. "The terrorist group has been launching its attacks against Turkey mostly from northern Iraq, and Turkey wants the administration (there) to keep its word to engage in close cooperation against the terrorist group," he told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. Cicek added that for the time being the Cabinet would meet every other week to discuss terror and the economy. Touching on the global economic crisis and its impact on Turkey, Cicek spoke about the crisis' psychological aspect, stressing that everyone should avoid undermining Turkey's atmosphere of trust and stability. /Aksam/
 TURKEY TO HOLD TALKS WITH IRAQI OFFICIALS TO STOP PKK TERRORISMA Foreign Ministry delegation led by Murat Ozcelik, Ankara's special envoy to Iraq, will go to Baghdad today to speak with Iraqi Kurdish officials about the importance of cooperation against the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq. Ozcelik's delegation, including diplomats and military officials, will meet with Massoud Barzani, the leader of the northern Iraqi regional administration, and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The meeting reportedly will be the first step in a long-term dialogue. /Aksam/
 ANTI-TERROR BOARD TO CONVENE TODAYThe second meeting in as many weeks of the Supreme Anti-Terrorism Board, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be held today. During the meeting, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) requests and measures in the fight against terrorism will be discussed. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRNC'S TALAT, GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER DISCUSS PRESIDENTIAL ISSUETurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias yesterday held their fourth meeting under new comprehensive Cyprus negotiations to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem. The meeting, held with the attendance of Special UN Envoy Alexander Downer, lasted over three hours. Talat and Christofias spoke about the presidency in a possible united Cyprus and power-sharing. Talat reportedly proposed a model used in Bosnia and Switzerland, whereas Christofias supported a presidential system rotating between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot Cabinet had cancelled plans for the National Guard to hold military exercises. Praising the cancellation, Talat's spokesperson Hasan Ercakica said the TRNC was canceling its Taurus military exercises as well. Downer said that the two leaders would continue to talk about the presidential system next week, adding, "Ozdil Nami, the Turkish Cypriot representative for European Union and UN talks, this week will meet with George Iacovou, the Greek Cypriot leader's chief adviser for negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots." /Star/
 ERDOGAN: "OUR ECONOMY'S FIRM FOUNDATIONS WILL CUSHION IT FROM THE GLOBAL CRISIS"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a meeting in Ankara held as part of the 11th Foreign Trade Week. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan said, "Given recent developments in international stock exchanges, triggered by the US global financial crisis, Turkey, which is a developing country, will surely be affected by these global fluctuations, but their effect will be minimal." Stating that Turkey had learned a great deal from previous financial crises, he said, "Over the last six years we restructured our financial and banking systems in light of these experiences, and now they're in a solid position. Today, Turkey is better positioned financially than many developed countries." About the impact on exports, he said, "I believe our foreign trade won't be greatly affected by the crisis, but will turn it into an opportunity." Erdogan also criticized what he called fear mongering by some, saying that the government was taking all necessary measures to protect the country from the crisis. /Turkiye/
 SIMSEK: "NO ONE IS IMMUNE FROM THE GLOBAL CRISIS, BUT TURKEY SHOULD FEEL MINIMAL EFFECTS"The ongoing global financial crisis will inevitably affect everyone, but Turkey less so, said State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek yesterday. "The world is going through a difficult period," he told reporters after his meetings in Washington with World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials. "No country, no company, and no individual is immune to the crisis. This crisis will influence Turkey like other countries. But we think this effect will be limited, as the foundations of Turkey's banking sector are firm." Simsek added that technical work on a standby agreement with the IMF was continuing and that a delegation will come to Turkey as part of this. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY GUEST OF HONOR AT FRANKFURT BOOK FAIRTurkey is the guest of honor country at the 60th Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's most prestigious book fair, starting today. President Abdullah Gul and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk will deliver speeches at the fair. Over 600 guests from Turkey, including writers and poets, will attend the fair, which runs until Sunday. In addition, more than 200 TV and newspaper reporters from Turkey will cover the event. /Turkish Daily News/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 DIPLOMATIC PATHS ON THE NORTHERN IRAQ ISSUEBY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
Columnist Semih Idiz comments on diplomatic paths to solve the northern Iraq issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Following the terrorist PKK attack on a military outpost in Hakkari last week, many have been discussing two different ways to get terrorist forces out of northern Iraq. One of them is the military option. According to this view, the PKK presence in northern Iraq can be ended only through comprehensive military operations. By the way, any regional forces who aid or turn a blind eye to terrorists should be punished or forced to change their ways. The second path is the diplomatic one. Under this view, all diplomatic possibilities should be pushed, and the support of the US, the central Iraqi government and the northern Iraqi regional administration to Turkey should be ensured for this. Actually, this second way has been tried before. In line with the first path - cross-border air and land operations - which has been partially taken, efforts have been made to involve all the relevant parties, along with steps for intelligence-sharing with the US and strategic cooperation with Baghdad. In addition, direct contacts have been made with the regional Kurdish administration. But the latest attack proved this to be insufficient.
Now Ankara has decided to accelerate these diplomatic efforts. The decisions taken at the latest high-level meetings concern this. One of these decisions concerns the triple security mechanism. Another is for holding direct contacts with the northern Iraqi regional administration. Meanwhile, President Abdullah Gul is due to pay a visit to Baghdad. In an atmosphere in which PKK attacks sow great anger and indignation, taking the diplomatic path is very brave. Obviously, with its latest attack, the PKK hoped to put Turkey at odds with the Iraqi government, the regional Kurdish administration, and the US. Ankara is being careful not to fall for this.
The direct meetings which are soon expected with Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the northern Iraqi Kurdish regional administration, should be seen in this light. This won't be the first such meeting between Turkish officials and a Kurdish administrator. One was held in Baghdad in May 2007, and a three-point consensus was reached. The first concerned Kurdish leaders stopping their speaking and taking stances against Turkey. The second concerned the regional administration ending its blind eye towards terrorist PKK activities and its logistical support for the PKK. The third concerned holding joint operations when necessary. On the first point, great progress has been seen. Kurdish officials have done an about- face, and after the latest incident even stood openly for Turkey and against the PKK. But nothing solid has been seen on the second point. The upcoming meetings with Nechirvan Barzani will press on this point as well as the third point, seeking clear progress here.
Will the previously reached but unrealized consensus be followed this time? The Kurdish administration should know that this could be their last chance. Turkish leaders constantly say that they consider Iraqi Kurds friends, not enemies, and urge them to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. The Barzani administration is expected to see this as an opportunity to win Turkey's confidence, instead of trying to bargain. Now it's his duty to show this courage."
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