|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-10-24
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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 MUSLIM COUNTRIES TO WORK TOGETHER TO COUNTER GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISISMajority-Muslim countries will undoubtedly feel the effects of the global financial crisis, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday. Speaking in Istanbul at the opening of the 24th meeting of the Organization of THE Islamic Conference's (OIC) Economic and Commercial Cooperation Permanent Committee (ISEDAK), Gul said that businessmen, tradesmen and industrialists from Muslim countries should work together to help weather the financial crisis. Focusing on improving investment opportunities, Gul added, "We must improve trade relations and boost mutual investment." Stressing that direct investment plays an important role in the global economy, he urged Muslim countries to keep money earned in recent years within fellow Muslim countries in these hard times, with the financial crisis in full swing. /Star/
 ERDOGAN: "NO ONE IS ABOVE THE NATION'S WILL"No one should be condemned or discriminated against due to their thoughts and beliefs, or different lifestyle, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, alluding to a recent Constitutional Court ruling upholding the headscarf ban at universities. "If we do these things, we cannot raise Turkey beyond the level of modern civilizations," he said at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges University of Economics and Technology (TOBB-ETU) in Ankara, at a ceremony marking the new school year. Stressing that no one is superior to the will of the Turkish people, Erdogan said that the court had overstepped its power and ignored Parliament's area of authority. "The decision refers to consensus, but it failed to consider the votes of 411 deputies supporting constitutional changes to lift the headscarf ban at universities as a consensus," he added. "This is unacceptable. Only the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) agreed with the court ruling. Also, it was only the CHP that came out against the changes." He also said, "Of course the decision is binding and everyone should respect it. But it seems that it will be continued to be debated and commented on." He also addressed recent demonstrations in southeastern Anatolia provoked by Democratic Society Party (DTP) allegations that jailed terrorist PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was being mistreated. "Those claiming that they favor a democratic solution to the southeastern Anatolia issue in fact support separatist violence," he said, alluding to the DTP. During the ceremony, Erdogan also presented laptops to the 100 top-scoring students on the University Entrance Exam. Afterwards, asked about opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli's proposal to restrict the Constitutional Court's powers, Erdogan said he was open to all well-intentioned and constructive proposals to help Turkey. /Turkiye/
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday lambasted a recent Constitutional Court ruling upholding the university headscarf ban, the full decision for which was released this week. Claiming that the ruling was political, not judicial, and that it harmed the principle of the separation of powers, Bahceli charged that the court had usurped Parliament's authority and left the headscarf issue unsolved. Stating that Parliament must respond to this usurpation of its constitutional duty and authority, he added, "The MHP and its 70 deputies are ready to work to help reach a broad-based consensus to amend Articles 148 and 153 of the Constitution, which concern the Constitutional Court's functions, powers, and decisions." /Aksam/
 GOVT OPPOSES RAISING DEPOSIT GUARANTEE LEVELCommenting on the global financial crisis and Ankara's response to it, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said the government was opposed to raising the current guarantee level for bank deposits over 50, 000 YTL. "Raising the guarantee level would not be the right step," he told reporters. "It could lead to misperceptions that Turkey's economy is heading towards trouble. We cannot let such an atmosphere arise." Erdogan added, "In past years, a limitless Treasury guarantee for bank deposits did considerable harm to Turkey's financial system and caused financial crises. A hundred percent guarantee for bank deposits led to an unsound banking system because it made opening a bank an ordinary thing. The guarantee was used to exploit the Turkish people's economic resources. Due to this limitless guarantee, the Treasury had to assume the debts of failed banks." Touching on relations between the financial and real sectors, he said, "I don't approve of the financial sector trying to force the real sector into early repayment (of debts) or renewing their loan agreements with higher interest rates." He urged banks to change their attitude towards manufacturers, which he described as "unpleasant," in reference to high interest rates charged by banks at a time of global crisis. The government is working to help establish better relations between banks and manufacturers through measures to be announced soon, he added. The Turkish economy is strong and the impact of the global financial crisis will be minimal, he added. /Sabah/
 EU'S REHN: "TURKEY NEEDS A SOCIAL CONSENSUS"European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) should address the constitutional basis of recent domestic tensions. In an interview with European Voice magazine, Rehn said that Turkey needs a social consensus which will enable the coexistence of various lifestyles. Stating that constitutional reform would be a real test of Turkey's determination to join the EU, Rehn said Turkey needs social dialogue to decide what kind of state it aspires to become. /Milliyet/
 OBAMA: "A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH TURKEY IS AN IMPORTANT US NATIONAL INTEREST"A close relationship with Turkey is a key US national interest, according to US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Obama addresses the Turkish-US relationship on his campaign website, in a section entitled "Restoring the Strategic Partnership with Turkey." "Barack Obama and (vice presidential candidate) Joe Biden believe that a close relationship with a stable, democratic, Western-oriented Republic of Turkey is an important US national interest," says the website. "That relationship has been deeply strained in recent years, most importantly by the Bush administration's misguided and mismanaged intervention in Iraq, which has helped revive the terrorist threat posed to Turkey by the (separatist PKK). The result is that this strategically important NATO ally, the most advanced democracy in the Muslim world, is turning against the West â€" in recent polls only 12 percent of Turks had a favorable opinion of the United States. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will lead a diplomatic effort to bring together Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders and negotiate a comprehensive agreement that deals with the PKK threat, guarantees Turkey's territorial integrity, and facilitates badly needed Turkish investment in and trade with the Kurds of northern Iraq. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will support the promotion of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in Turkey and support its efforts to join the European Union." Obama is leading against his Republican rival John McCain in most recent polls. /Milliyet/
 IRAQI'S HAKIM: "TURKEY AND IRAQ WILL WORK TOGETHER TO ELIMINATE THE PKK"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Ammar al-Hakim, the deputy chairman of Iraq's Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, at the Prime Ministry. Erdogan reportedly urged Iraq to take concrete step against the terrorist PKK. For his part, Hakim reportedly stated that Turkey and Iraq will work together to eliminate the PKK. /Milliyet/
 ERGENEKON TRIAL TO RESUME ON MONDAYThe 13th High Criminal Court yesterday adjourned the Ergenekon case until next Monday. At yesterday's hearing, the court denied defendants' requests to be released. Early this week the court began hearing the Ergenekon case at a courtroom built inside the Silivri prison complex in Istanbul. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 WATCHING A GAMEBY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (CUMHURIYET)
Columnist Turker Alkan comments on the US presidential elections and Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Watching another country's elections isn't like watching a soccer game. You have to think about how the candidates would treat your country. And if the country in question is the US, which is both near and far from Turkey and has a large impact on us, you would certainly watch those elections differently.
At the same time, there will always be certain factors which might change the usual preferences for your country's interests. We seem to be facing this situation now in terms of the US elections set for Nov. 4. Our leaders and many people interested in foreign policy favor the incumbent Republicans, who are more conservative than the Democrats. Why? Because they think that American liberals are more interested in human and minority rights and could disappoint Turkey by, for example, supporting the Greek Cypriots and Armenians on such issues as Cyprus or the so-called Armenian genocide.
But even in this situation, certain factors might change the usual preferences. The Iraq policies followed by the Bushes, both father and son, as Republican presidents hurt Turks' views of Americans in general, not just certain politicians, and damaged our positive feelings for the US and its people. Yet perhaps the enthusiasm stirred by Barack Obama, the Democrats' candidate, among both the US people and young Turks could help dispel the bad feelings over the Bushes and so warm up Turkish-US relations.
But an official Obama statement this week referring to the 'Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus,' as well as the campaign's stance on the so- called Armenian genocide, also play a role. So while many university students in Turkey share their US counterparts' enthusiasm over Obama, the same cannot be said of political circles. So if politicians who are campaigning for votes far away ignore Turkey, shouldn't we remind them that that doing so carries a high price?"
 THINKING OF OTHERS' CHILDRENBY MEHMET Y.YILMAZ (HURRIYET)
Columnist Mehmet Yilmaz comments on recent incidents in southeastern Anatolia. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We've seen that children were in the forefront of recent clashes between security forces and terrorist PKK supporters in southeastern Anatolia.
Yesterday, reporters asked Sabahat Tuncel, a Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy, about this.
When asked if she would allow his own children to take part in such incidents, she responded, 'I'll think about this when I have one, but of course I don't know what things will be like then!'
I think I know the right answer.
If Tuncel were a mother of young children, she wouldn't allow them to take part in such incidents!
Unfortunately, our region has a sick tendency to urge children to stand in the forefront of such events.
Not only in incidents supporting the terrorist PKK, but in demonstrations against the headscarf ban, haven't we seen small children with head coverings in the forefront?
And hasn't this also happened for years in Palestine?
There may be two reasons for bringing children to demonstrations with stones and flags in hand: To encourage security forces to act more cautiously, or to use any unfortunate incident involving the children to hurt the image of these forces!
Whatever the reason, this practice is abhorrent, and those who do so fail to love children but instead see them as weapons.
A responsible politician doesn't need to actually have a child to think about what might happen to children.
And if you don't feel that other people's children matter as much as your own, then you have no place taking a seat in Parliament."
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