|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 08-10-30
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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
 85th ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC CELEBRATEDThe 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic was celebrated yesterday throughout the country and in Turkey's representations abroad. In Ankara, the day's first ceremony was held at Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum. Officials visiting the mausoleum were led by President Abdullah Gul, who signed its memorial guestbook. Also attending the ceremony were Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Hasim Kilic, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer, Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Hasan Gerceker, Cabinet members, military officers, and Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya. Following the ceremony, Gul received congratulations at the Parliament. Afterwards, a parade was held at the Ataturk Culture Center (AKM). /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL HOSTS RECEPTIONS MARKING REPUBLIC DAYCelebrating 85th Republic Day, President Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa last night threw a reception at the Cankaya Presidential Palace for nearly 900 guests, including representatives of non-governmental organizations, businessmen, artists, athletes, journalists and media representatives. Asked by reporters about the impact of the global financial crisis on Turkey's economy, Gul said, "Turkey is taking proper measures to counter the crisis. We should take the crisis seriously, but should also guard against an atmosphere of panic." Earlier in the day, Gul hosted a reception for top state and government officials at the palace, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, National Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, and other political party representatives. Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, in the midst of an official visit to Turkey, also attended. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: "THE REPUBLIC WILL SURVIVE AND PROSPER THROUGH SERVICE, NOT EMPTY PROMISES OR CONFLICT"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ankara Greater Municipality Mayor Melih Gokcek yesterday inaugurated 13 new traffic underpasses in the capital. Also attending the grand opening were Deputy Prime Ministers Cemil Cicek and Hayati Yazici, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, and State Ministers Murat Basesgioglu, Faruk Nafiz Ozak and Faruk Celik. Speaking at the inauguration, Erdogan said that Turkey had been reborn under Ataturk's leadership during the War of Independence, when some mistakenly believed that the nation was finished. Addressing a number of recent terrorist attacks, Erdogan stated, "Look at our nation's history: At difficult times when hope was fading, we taught our enemies a lesson by standing together." Adding that Turkey can survive and prosper only through service, not empty promises or conflict, he said, "Our republic can advance to higher levels by working, improving our cities and countryside, and raising Turkey's dignity and prestige." /Star/
 US CONGRESSMEN ISSUE MESSAGE MARKING REPUBLIC DAYThree members of the US House of Representatives' Turkey friendship group â€" Robert Wexler (Democrat of Florida), Ed Whitfield (Republican of Kentucky), and Kay Granger (Republican of Texas) â€" yesterday issued a message marking Republic Day for Turks living in the US. Stating that Turkish-US relations are critically important on the 85th anniversary of the proclamation of the republic, the message said these relations should be strengthened. Expressing support for Turkey's EU bid, the message added that the next US president should continue this support. "Turkey is an indispensable partner in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and the Black Sea," it said. The statement also said that the US is determined to eliminate the terrorist PKK threat and that it will continue intelligence-sharing towards this end. /Milliyet/
 ISTANBUL HOSTING WEF MEETINGThe World Economic Forum (WEF) will start its two-day Europe and Central Asia meeting in Istanbul today. The meeting brings together international and regional business leaders, government and media representatives, and cultural and religious leaders. Nine heads of states or government, including Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cabinet ministers both from Turkey and abroad, and other public figures are expected to share ideas on dealing with the global crisis, the region's future, and business opportunities. /Turkish Daily News/
 IMF GROUP VISITS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATIONA delegation from International Monetary Fund yesterday visited the Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI), which is responsible for implementing government housing policies. During the first visit from an IMF delegation to TOKI, the delegation was briefed by TOKI head Erdogan Bayraktar. The delegation was curious how TOKI works on large housing project without any financial support from the Treasury. "TOKI gets loans from market when it needs them," Bayraktar said, and spoke about TOKI's income-sharing model. Under this model, TOKI produces luxury houses for wealthier buyers and uses the revenues from this to fund lower-income housing projects. Bayraktar also said that TOKI sells houses at their actual values using easy installment plans, adding that officials from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, North Africa and Central Asia have also visited to learn about its work. /Sabah/
 NETHERLANDS PROMOTION DAYS SET FOR NEXT MONTHRepresentatives of 130 Dutch companies, including banks ING and Fortis, are set to visit Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir on November 23-28 to take part in Netherlands Promotion Days. The aim of the event, organized by the Dutch Embassy, is to boost trade between Turkey and the Netherlands. Representatives from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sectors such as agriculture, food, education, automobiles, energy and information are set to take part. In Ankara, Dutch Foreign Trade Minister Frank Heemskerk will meet with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and State Minister Kursad Tuzmen. /Star/
 PRESIDENCY AWARDS ANNOUNCEDThe 2008 Presidency Awards will be given to novelist Yasar Kemal, architect Turgut Cansever and musician Alaeddin Yavasca, it was announced yesterday. The Presidency Grand Culture and Art Awards have been given since 2005 to artists, institutions and foreigners which make important contributions to Turkey's culture and art. The awards ceremony will reportedly be held at the Cankaya Presidential Palace at a date to be set later. /Hurriyet/
 FILMGOERS FLOCK TO DOCUMENTARY ON ATATURK"Mustafa," a new documentary about Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, began showing at nearly 200 theaters throughout Turkey yesterday. The film's premiere in Ankara was attended by such notable figures as Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, former President Suleymen Demirel, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, and Constitutional Court head Hasim Kilic. The film, written and directed by journalist Can Dundar, presents a human portrait of the founder of the republic of Turkey. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 THE REPUBLIC AND THEMBY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the republic on its 85th anniversary. A summary of his column is as follows:
"I've heard people criticize Ismet Inonu for putting his own picture on banknotes, instead of those of Ataturk. [Note: Inonu was Ataturk's colleague before and after the founding of the republic, and succeeded Ataturk as Turkey's second president.] In answering them, I've written a few times what Inonu said about the issue and today, the republic's 85th anniversary, let's revisit that. Back during the Democrat Party (DP) era, when this issue was discussed at a Republican People's Party (CHP) parliamentary group meeting, Inonu told a few journalists, including me, why he had taken this action.
In sum, he said to us that after founding the republic, the first thing they thought of was whether the regime would survive or not, so they placed great importance on the republic's 10th anniversary. He added that they had worked hard to make sure the occasion was celebrated with huge ceremonies and great excitement. At that time, he continued, republic fonder Ataturk was still with us, but after passed away, the precondition for keeping the republic alive was institutionalizing it. To do so, he explained, it had to be demonstrated that the state and the republic continued to live with symbols without its founder, which is why he put his portrait on banknotes and stamps and hanging in public offices.
The founders of the republic feared that supporters of the sultans, after more than six centuries of rule, would try to restore the sultanate. I should mention gratefully that members of the Ottoman dynasty never attempted such lunacy. As a matter of fact, the republic's regime is a value shared and owned by the entire community, excepting certain tactless persons who cling to the Ottoman dream.
But clearly there are some crazy people who still hate this great change, just like in 1923, when the republic was established. If you ask them, they say that Ataturk's militarily and diplomatic victories and innovations and his establishment of a nation-state aren't terribly important. They even blame the failure to initiate a democratic regime in Turkey starting in 1923 on Ataturk, as well as Inonu. These people can't see that at that time, 90% of the people were illiterate and earned only about $45-$100 a year, and that these 13 million undeveloped and poor people had yet to grasp the concepts of infrastructure, welfare, human rights, law and economy. These people compare us Britain, which has had 700 years to develop its democracy!
For them, Turkey's secularist model is also wrong. They want the state to stop regulating religion in Turkey, as if we had the experience of the Christian West under our belt and as if mosques never served political ends. Can we consider a person who fails to see that this road leads to Iran as educated? Fortunately, as former President Suleyman Demirel and historian Erik Jan Zurcher have both said, the foundations of the republic are very sound. That's why it continues its path."
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