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Turkish Press Review, 08-10-17
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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
17.10.2008FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 GUL MEETS WITH PM ERDOGAN, CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFFPresident Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. His regular weekly meeting with Turkey's top general lasted for an hour. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: "NO ONE SHOULD PAINT THE GOVT OR TSK AS WEAK ON TERRORISM"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday commented on Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's criticism of media claims of military negligence in a recent terrorist PKK attack which left 17 soldiers dead. Urging full unity and solidarity in the fight against the terrorism, Erdogan said, "Turkish security forces are valiantly fighting the terrorist group. Ignoring this is unfair to our fallen soldiers." He added, "Of course the press is free and has the right to criticize. But the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also has the right to defend itself against criticisms. Those who complain about the tone and sharpness of Gen. Basbug's recent remarks should also look at their own situation. The press has a mandatory code of professional ethics. Criticizing and waging a biased and excessive campaign are two different things. No one should try to paint the government or the TSK as weak on terrorism." He also warned the media of the "dangerous and depressing" effect certain stories can have on soldiers. Stressing that press shouldn't fall into a PKK propaganda trap, Erdogan also said, "All of us should be on the same side against terrorism. No one has the right to encourage terrorism. It is terrorism and the terrorist group that should be targeted, criticized, grilled and discouraged, not the army." Echoing Basbug, Erdogan called on everyone to take the "right stance," saying that this is not a matter of choice but a human, legal and moral obligation. "We are right and standing in the right place," he said. /Sabah/
 TURKEY'S BID FOR SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT FACES ELECTION TODAYThe election to select new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2009-2010 will take place today in New York. Speaking to Reuters in New York, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday that Turkey, which has not served on the Security Council since 1961, is gaining support for its efforts to secure one of 10 nonpermanent seats on the 15-member council. Babacan added that the balloting is secret and that Turkey will continue its campaign until the last second. The winners, chosen on a region-by- region basis, will serve a two-year term beginning next January alongside permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. /All papers/
 TURKEY, CHINA START TALKS ON NEW SILK ROAD PROJECTTurkish and Chinese officials have started talks on a planned revival through high-speed trains of the Silk Road, the historic trade route between the East and the West. State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen said he had had talks with a Chinese delegation led by Chinese Vice Minister for Railways Peng Kaizhou. "China has a huge population and a great potential in global railway and road transportation," he added. "China has a trade volume of $2.3 trillion, and this will grow to $10 trillion in the next few years. Joint projects with such a country will speed up our own growth." He also said, "We aim to bring transportation routes from China to our Mediterranean port city of Mersin via Kazakhstan and to make a Silk Road for speed trains." Tuzmen said both countries support the project and that officials from both sides would work on it. /Turkiye/
 TALAT: "EVEN THE TRNC IS FEELING THE GLOBAL CRISIS"Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday stated that despite its isolation, the TRNC economy is also indirectly feeling the effects of the global economic crisis. Speaking on a visit to Istanbul, Talat said, "Our biggest source of income is tourists coming from Turkey." He added, "Since the crisis is affecting Turkey, it indirectly affects Cyprus. As we are largely isolated, we feel the crisis the least. But it's such a large crisis that it also influences Cyprus indirectly." /Milliyet/
 FIVE SOLDIERS SLAIN IN HAKKARIFour soldiers were killed late Wednesday by PKK terrorist gunfire in the southeastern province of Hakkari, said a General Staff statement yesterday. "Another soldier was killed in a helicopter crash due to technical error while trying to block the terrorists' escape route," it added. "Fifteen security personnel were also slightly injured in the crash." /All papers/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 RESTRICTIONS CAN'T SHOW US THE RIGHT PLACEBY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Ferai Tinc comments on the role of restrictions in the fight against terrorism. A summary of her column is as follows:
"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday responded to Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's recent call on everyone to act carefully and take the right stance. He said that we are at the 'right place' against terrorism and that people in the 'wrong place' should be worried. Turkey is in the midst of a very serious process. News stories are being put under wraps, people who ask questions are being painted as tendentious, and the General Staff is trying to put a lid on criticism. If opposing the use of violence as a political method is the right place, I'm there. But the 'right place' that I've been hearing about has nothing to do with this. This position of saying 'we'll decide where the right place is' serves to damage democracy, a force which can erode the basis of terrorism, as well of freedom of information, which is the indispensable condition for doing that.
A 2005 Committee of Ministers resolution by the Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a member, concerns freedom of expression and the press in the fight against terrorism. It would help us to reconsider this resolution, which stresses that terrorism threatens democracy, as it threatens the right to live, which is a basic human right. It also says charges to the effect that media organs which cover terrorism end up serving terrorism should be avoided. It says terrorism should not be used as a pretext for excessive restrictions on freedom of expression and the press. It says that the confidentiality of journalists' sources must be respected. It also cites Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, stating that the fight against terrorism shall not constitute a reason for the violation of this right.
It also says journalists should be briefed regularly and sufficiently and that restrictions on their access to the sites of news stories should be limited and temporary. It says that journalists' independence from political or economic pressure would help the media maintain editorial independence vis-a-vis their owners.
The same resolution also urges journalists to remember their responsibility not to endanger those who fight terrorism and to avoid a reporting style which might sow hostility and hatred. Among journalists' other responsibilities are resisting self-censorship. It also stresses that coverage of terrorist incidents should tell the facts, because only people who are properly informed can make good decisions and find the right place. If this place is found under the shadow of restrictions, it will always remain in doubt."
 ANGER IS HARMFULBY MELIH ASIK (HURRIYET)
Columnist Melih Asik comments on the General Staff's recent response to its critics. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We can see that the terrorist PKK's strategy has been directed since 2004 not in line with the interests of the Kurds, but those of the US.
The PKK is striking in the name of the US…
The aim is to destabilize the Turkish army, disgrace it in public and destroy its influence in Turkish political life.
In this way, the military's sway will be dissolved, and the US designs on critical issues, mainly on Cyprus and northern Iraq, will be easily realized.
In this conflict, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is on the US side against its own army …
At the end of this process, religious circles are expecting the establishment of an Islamic state.
No one realizes that if the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) collapse, the country will also collapse, or at least turn into another Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Moreover, friends of the US in the media are conducting a psychological war against the TSK and nationalist circles in the name of the US and the PKK. This involves all sorts of disinformation and betrayal.
The weapons to be used in this psychological war aren't anger and pressure, but facts and reality.
Anger causes weakness and casts a shadow over whoever is angry.
The TSK should face criticism by questioning itself and solving its problems. This is the way public suspicions should be dispelled.
An advisory network should be formed for media relations.
Top commanders should avoid direct contact with the media, unlike in the recent incident, and should avoid belligerence, and instead should leave these matters to their press and public affairs units.
No one should be doubt that one day the facts will come home."
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