|Sunday, 18 February 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 08-11-05
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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: "TURKEY WILL EMERGE FROM THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC TURMOIL EVEN STRONGER"Turkey will emerge from the current economic crisis rocking the world even stronger, said President Abdullah Gul yesterday. "We shouldn't be so worried about the economic crisis," he told a reception in Istanbul marking the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Banks Association (TBB). "By acting conscientiously and with cooperation, I believe we will get through this period easily." Stating that Turkey's banks have been developing alongside its economy, he said, "We're proud of that progress." Also speaking at the reception, TBB head Ersin Ozince commented on what he called "unprecedented" world economic turmoil, saying, "When the crisis will end and how it will affect the economy are currently unpredictable." Touching on the importance of preserving trust and capital, he added that a strong economy is closely connected to a healthy and flourishing financial sector. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN VISITS COMMANDO SCHOOLPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, Defense Minster Vecdi Gonul, Interior Minister Besir Atalay and Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, all members of the Higher Anti-Terrorism Board, yesterday visited the Egirdir Commando Brigade. The group was told by the commanders about the training of the commandos, and then watched them do practice exercises. Erdogan praised the soldiers for their courage and success in the face of difficult conditions. /Hurriyet/
 TOPTAN URGES HARMONY AMONG TOP STATE BODIESTestifying before Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission yesterday, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said that Turkey needs harmony among its various powers and bodies. Pointing to recent turf disputes between the Constitutional Court and Parliament, Toptan said such bodies should not try to overstep their authority and urged them to foster harmony, not conflict. /Hurriyet/
 BABACAN ATTENDS UNION FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN FM MEETINGForeign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday attended a foreign ministers meeting of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. The meeting started with a working dinner hosted by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. During the meeting, the diplomats discussed such issues as the location of the union's secretariat, its work methods, and key project areas for the bloc. Before the meeting, Babacan spoke with his British counterpart David Miliband on Turkey's EU accession process and developments on the Barcelona Process. With 43 member countries, the Union for the Mediterranean represents 750 million people and aims to develop common projects in areas such as water purification, solar energy, and domestic security. France and Egypt will assume the co-chairmanship of the union for the next two years. During the meeting, some disagreements between Israel and Arab countries were also solved. /Sabah/
 FM TO VISIT CZECH REPUBLICAs part of his tour of European countries, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is set to visit Prague today at the invitation of his Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg. The two are set to discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues. /Hurriyet Daily News/
 AT GROUP MEETINGS, OPPOSITION LEADERS CRITICIZE AKPTurkey belongs to all of us, and no one has the right to tell anyone to go away, said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday, criticizing remarks made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his recent visit to southeastern Anatolia. At his party's group meeting, Baykal said, "Mistakes in the fight against terrorism have brought Turkey to this point," adding, "Now he says that people have a right to defend themselves with guns. If people defend themselves with guns, what's your function?" In related news, at his opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) meeting, party leader Devlet Bahceli pointed to recent tension between Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Democratic Society Party (DTP). He said that political and moral sordidness in Turkey has reached frightening proportions, blackening Parliament, political parties and government agencies in the process. /Cumhuriyet/
 PRAISE, CRITICISM FOR TURKEY IN EU PROGRESS REPORTIn its annual progress report on Turkey set to be released today, the European Union Commission reportedly praises Turkey for its active diplomacy and key role in finding peaceful solutions to disputes in the Middle East and Caucasus. Stressing Turkey's importance for the diversification of EU energy resources, the report urges the Union to boost its relations with Turkey. It reportedly highlights President Abdullah Gul's conciliatory role, his good working relations with the government, his calls to speed up reform efforts, and his active role in foreign policy. The report also reportedly criticizes both the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), saying that the government has failed to take necessary steps to amend the Constitution in line with EU criteria and that the CHP continually tries to block reform efforts. It urges Turkey's major political parties to work together to find consensus. On the controversial Ergenekon case, the report notes claims of irregularities in the case. The report also stresses concerns about the impartiality of Turkey's judiciary. /Star/
 REHN: "URGENT REFORMS ON PRESS FREEDOM ARE NEEDED"Speaking at a conference marking the 45th anniversary of the Ankara agreement, the basis of Turkish-European Union relations, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that freedom of the press and expression should be priority areas for reform. "The negative atmosphere against the press in Turkey has become a source of serious concern," he said. "Reforms should be made immediately." Stating that the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had diverted precious time and energy away from reforms, Rehn said Turkey should learn from this. Rehn said that Turkey must have broad-based dialogue, adding, "This is important for the country's stability and making progress on its accession." /Milliyet/
 LEBANESE PM CALLS FOR STRONGER ECONOMIC TIESAfter completing his contacts in Ankara, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora yesterday proceeded to Istanbul. Speaking at a Turkish-Lebanese business meeting organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Siniora said, "We're aware of the importance of the Turkish economy." Calling for stronger bilateral economic ties between the two countries, he stated that Lebanon also has a dynamic economy, despite difficult conditions. Siniora also met with President Abdullah Gul during his official visit. /Today's Zaman-Star/
 US PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA MAKES HISTORY WITH VICTORY OVER MCCAINDemocrat Barack Obama inscribed his name into American history last night, becoming the country's first black president-elect in a runaway victory over Republican John McCain. Less than an hour after sealing his hold on the White House, Senator Obama and his wife Michelle stepped onto the stage at Chicago's Grant Park, holding the hands of their two daughters at a massive victory rally. "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer," the next US president said. Senator McCain telephoned Obama to concede, and told his disappointed supporters in Arizona, "The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly." President George W. Bush also called Obama to congratulate him on his historic victory. /Today's Zaman/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 HOPE FOR A BETTER FUTURE WITH OBAMABY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)
Columnist Hasan Cemal comments on yesterday's US presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:
"As I wrote this, voting was still underway in the US. But all the signs pointed to Democrat Barack Hussein Obama being elected the US ' first African-American president. If something unexpected happens and McCain is elected, I would be very disappointed, as this would be an unreasonable choice by the American people. Such surprises are sometimes seen, but not this time, I don't think. So the excitement of revolutionary change has reached the US.
Obama's historic march to the White House with his call to change Washington is about to conclude. It was indeed historic, and why not? A black man is being elected president of a country which suffered the horrors of slavery, fought a civil war over it, and witnessed the tragedy of racism and racial discrimination for decades, and where non-whites or non-Anglo-Saxon people can be treated as second class. This is a revolution in itself. Obama's election as the first African-American president is an exciting event which could trigger cultural changes not only in the US, but also across the world, and could help dispel prejudices about skin color. It's very exciting.
So how did Obama made such a great breakthrough? Because he represented the new at a critical time, gave hope for change, captured the young people, and inspired confidence as a leader. Obviously the Bush administration has devastated the Republicans politically. The reasons for this aren't complicated. The Bush era provoked injustice and inequality in the US for eight years and caused ordinary Americans to lose confidence due to the war in Iraq and its methods of fighting terrorism. The recent economic crisis made this bad situation only worse. The American people made their choice by rejecting:
(1) The Republicans' market radicalism
(2) The war in Iraq, and
(3) The Bush administration methods of fighting terrorism
In short, the American people's reaction and disappointment over eight years of Bush created the craving for change, propelled Obama onto a great wave of political power, and led to his march to the White House. A similar wave in 1976 led to the election of President Jimmy Carter, another Democrat. The trauma caused by the US defeat in Vietnam and the crisis over Nixon's Watergate scandal led to the Republicans' defeat at the ballot box. Now it's Obama's turn!
Will Obama make history? This question concerns not just Americans, but the entire world. That's why we've been following the US presidential elections as if they were a global referendum. We hope Obama will make history at the White House and won't disappoint those who are clamoring for change. We also hope that he will end the Bush administration's high-handed arrogance, and will stress diplomacy and dialogue over war and conflict, and start appointing people who will make the US and the world a more livable place in cooperation and solidarity with its friends and allies. I'd like to be hopeful about a better future with Obama's presidency."
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