|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 08-10-20
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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
 GUL URGES EU MEMBERS TO KEEP THEIR PROMISES ON TURKEY 'S ACCESSIONSpeaking to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine while visiting the 60th Frankfurt Book Fair last week, President Abdullah Gul urged European Union member countries to keep their promises to Turkey. Stressing that the nation has seen considerable changes in recent years, Gul said, "Turkey is very different from five years ago, and it will also be very different five years from now." He added, "If Turkey successfully concludes its accession talks with the Union, the EU member countries will need to take a political decision on Turkey's accession. When that time comes, Turkey wants the member countries to keep their promises to Turkey " Asked about the impact of the global economic crisis, Gul said, "Thanks to structural reforms in recent years, Turkey 's financial markets have become more resistant to global fluctuations. That's why it will be less affected by the crisis." Asked about Turkey's foreign policy successes of recent years and Europe's appreciation of this, Gul said, " Turkey 's foreign policy is directed towards solutions, aiming to solve not only its own problems but also regional issues." /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: "THE AKP HAS CONSISTENTLY FOUGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION"The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has consistently fought against corruption, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking at his party's congress in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, Erdogan said that the AKP has never tolerated corruption, and that it would continue to weed out anyone involved in corruption. "Have those trying to find corruption in our party done the same with their own parties?" he asked. Touching on recent deadly terrorist attacks, Erdogan said the attacks cannot harm Turkey's integrity and unity. In related news, Erdogan is set to visit Diyarbakir today. /Aksam-Cumhuriyet/
 TOPTAN VISITS KAZAKHSTANParliament Speaker Koksal Toptan yesterday flew to Kazakhstan for an official visit. Before leaving, Toptan said Turkey and Kazakhstan have excellent relations thanks to their shared history, culture, and location and that during the visit he would have a chance to explore these ties at the parliamentary level. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN CITES WORLDWIDE SUPPORT FOR TURKEY IN SUCCESSFUL SECURITY COUNCIL BIDTurkey last Friday won its bid for a non-permanent seat on the 15-member UN Security Council as voted on by the General Assembly. Speaking to reporters in Ankara after returning from New York yesterday, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan hailed this success. "Three factors helped Turkey win the election for the seat: our structural reforms of the last several years, our foreign policy achievements, and our promotional campaign," he said. Babacan stressed that Turkey got support from countries all over the world, not just a particular region. /Star/
 ERGENEKON TRIAL BEGINS AT A COURT IN SILIVRIThe trial of 86 suspects accused of forming a criminal gang known as Ergenekon to create a military coup to topple the government will begin today at a court in Istanbul's Silivri district. The suspects included retired Major Gen. Veli Kucuk, Worker's Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek, Cumhuriyet columnist Ilhan Selcuk and former Istanbul University Rector Kemal Alemdaroglu. A total of 46 of the 86 suspects are currently in custody. /Turkish Daily News/
 SPANISH FM IN TURKEY FOR TALKSSpanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos arrived in Turkey yesterday for talks on both bilateral ties and international issues. Moratinos is set to meet with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. During his talks in Ankara, he is expected to discuss Turkish-Spanish relations, Turkey's European Union membership bid, and the UN-backed Alliance of Civilizations initiative. /Today's Zaman/
 FINANCE MINISTER UNAKITAN: "DON'T PUT WATER WHERE THERE'S NO FIRE"Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan yesterday met with newspaper editors and businessmen at a breakfast in Istanbul . Rebuffing criticism of the government's response to the global financial crisis, Unakitan said, "At a time when the world is rushing its fire brigades to put out a host of fires, it's easy to react reflexively to mobilize your own fire brigades as well … But it's also important that you don't begin putting water where there is no fire." Commenting on European banks raising the guarantee amount for accounts, Unakitan said that Turkish banks see no need to raise the current 50,000 YTL limit for government guarantees. /Hurriyet/
 CB HEAD YILMAZ: "WELL-MANAGED LIQUIDITY WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN WEATHERING THE GLOBAL CRISIS"Central Bank head Durmus Yilmaz said yesterday that central banks should intervene in currency markets to manage liquidity in line with market needs, stressing the key role of well-managed liquidity in weathering the global financial crisis. Saying that as an independent financial institution, the bank's role is to fight inflation using a flexible approach as part of a floating currency regime, he said that the bank would continue to apply interest rate policies in line with its inflation targeting. Stating that the bank has modern tools to respond to liquidity problems arising from the crisis, he touched on the bank's role in maintaining foreign exchange liquidity. Yilmaz cited in particular a new system to avert or alleviate the liquidity squeeze, in which a bank with excess foreign currency sells this liquidity to other banks in need so as to reduce borrowing from abroad and money transfers to foreign countries. The Central Bank plays the role of broker to ensure the effective working of the system in this context, he said, adding that this practice is not very common among world central banks but that Turkey is successfully implementing it. /Sabah/
 45th ANTALYA GOLDEN ORANGE FILM FESTIVAL CONCLUDESThe 45th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, which brought together world- famous actors, actresses and directors, ended last night following its award ceremony. The Best Film Award went to Ben Hopkins' "The Market-A Tale of Trade," and Tayanc Ayaydin also got Best Actor for his role in the movie. Nurgul Yesilcay won Best Actress for her performance in the film "Conscience."" In addition, British actor Michael York received the Honorary Award of the Fourth International Eurasia Film Festival, held concurrently with the Golden Orange. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN'S STANCEBY NASUHI GUNGOR (STAR)
Columnist Nasuhi Gungor comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's stance on recent political developments and the fight against terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We're starting this week with the first hearing in the Ergenekon trial, the most important case in our recent history. The course of the trial, with its witnesses, accusations and the facts that come out, will likely be much talked about, and these discussions will color the trial. The tension which followed the recent terrorist PKK attack on the Aktutun military outpost and developments between the government, army, and media are inseparable from Ergenekon. We can see this from Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's angry statements (against Taraf daily's coverage) after the attack. Obviously the Ergenekon case will cause more tension. We still don't know how retired Generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur will figure in the case. But Gen. Galip Mendi's visit to them in prison on behalf of the General Staff hinted at where the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) stand, though the effect of this is unclear.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticized for supporting Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's statements. Of course he could have stayed silent and watched how the debate unfolded, but that's not Erdogan's way. What's more, the political tension is so high that it precludes calm discussion. Looking at the issue in terms of freedom of press is needed, but it's not enough. Seeing Erdogan's move as taking sides with the TSK or retreating from democratic gains is hardly fair.
Erdogan took a serious risk with his statements, as the reactions to him show. But many people fail to see that he was actually trying to keep things from getting out of control. If Taraf's disrespectful coverage of Erdogan promotes a more democratic discussion of this issue, then it should continue it. But ignoring Erdogan's role and power to keep anti-terrorist efforts within democratic bounds helps no one. Erdogan said these determined efforts are continuing within democracy and that no solution outside of democracy will be sought. These words give important clues about the limits Erdogan wants to maintain on the issue. The most difficult aspect of the fight against terrorism is the balance our politicians strike between democracy and security. Ignoring this balance and expecting politicians to act like newspaper columnists or intellectual would be strange.
We're also due to see another important development this week: The Constitutional Court will release its full decisions on two critical decisions (upholding the university headscarf ban and turning back the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP). We'll not only discuss the limits reached or not reached by the Ergenekon probe, but also see the political effect of these decisions. The Supreme Court's headscarf ruling almost drew the limits of politics, and its decision not to close the AKP effectively gave everybody another chance. Would our politicians dare cross these lines again?"
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