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Turkish Press Review, 08-11-10

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

10.11.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] ATATURK TO BE COMMEMORATED NATIONWIDE TODAY
  • [02] TOP OFFICIALS RELEASE MESSAGES MARKING 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATATURK'S DEATH
  • [03] ERDOGAN REITERATES OPPOSITION TO ETHNIC, REGIONAL NATIONALISM
  • [04] IN ISTANBUL, BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP
  • [05] BBP HOLDS ITS 7TH CONGRESS
  • [06] ALEVI GROUPS HOLD RALLY IN ANKARA
  • [07] REMEMBERING ATATURK WITH PROFOUND RESPECT
  • [08] TURNING A LEADER INTO DOGMA

  • [01] ATATURK TO BE COMMEMORATED NATIONWIDE TODAY

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, will be commemorated today nationwide on the 70th anniversary of his death. Ceremonies to remember Ataturk and his legacy will begin early this morning with an official ceremony at Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum. High-level state and government officials led by President Abdullah Gul, who will lay a wreath at the tomb, will be present. Many other events and activities will also take place around the country. Like every year, thousands of people are expected to flock to Ataturk's mausoleum to show their gratitude and commitment to Ataturk and his legacy. Starting at 9:05 a.m., the exact moment of Ataturk's death, flags will fly at half-mast, car horns and sirens will be sounded, and two minutes of silence will be observed throughout the country. Following that, the national anthem will be played. Ataturk died in Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace on November 10, 1938. His body was first taken to a temporary resting place at the Ethnography Museum in Ankara. When Anitkabir was completed on November 10, 1953, his body was interred in his final resting place with a grand ceremony. /Turkiye/

    [02] TOP OFFICIALS RELEASE MESSAGES MARKING 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATATURK'S DEATH

    President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday all released messages marking the 70th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. In his message, President Gul said Ataturk was a leader who won the love and respect of not only the Turkish people but all of humanity. "The reforms and revolutions following the proclamation of the republic under Ataturk's leadership laid the foundations for a democratic, modern, independent and prosperous Turkey, and started a great transition and modernization process," he added. "While moving towards the goal of surpassing the level of civilized nations set by Ataturk, it is vitally important for Turkey to continue growing, progressing and maintaining the modernization process with unity." Toptan's message said that Ataturk's principles and revolutions would ever sustain and guide the Turkish nation. In his message, Erdogan said, "We are in the midst of a huge campaign to provide the most advanced standards of living to all our citizens, in line with the goal set by Ataturk of reaching beyond the level of civilized nations." Stressing that the republic's greatest ideal is to unite all persons of the nation on the basis of citizenship in the Turkish Republic, regardless of ethnic, religious or lifestyle differences, Erdogan added, "I believe that by protecting all values and institutions of the republic, our nation has been contributing to the realization of this goal." He also said, "In line with its founding ideal, the Turkish Republic is now one of the strongest countries of the free and prosperous world, and a prestigious member of the family of civilized nations." Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug also released messages marking the anniversary. /Turkiye/

    [03] ERDOGAN REITERATES OPPOSITION TO ETHNIC, REGIONAL NATIONALISM

    Speaking at a ceremony for a new housing project in Erzurum organized by the Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKI), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has a vision which includes all of Turkey's citizens. Stressing that the AKP will not shrink from serving Turkish society, he added, "Our party has never had any part in political tension, and never will." Reiterating that AKP has long embraced the slogan "one nation, one flag, one motherland and one state," he stated that the party is opposed to ethnic and regional nationalism, and that they maintain the same distance from all beliefs. /Star/

    [04] IN ISTANBUL, BAYKAL CRITICIZES AKP

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday attended an opening ceremony in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district. In his speech, Baykal said that the district's mayor was pursuing projects focused on individuals and that the CHP wants to win the Istanbul Greater Municipality mayoral post in local elections next March so as to serve all Istanbulites the same way. Baykal also criticized the ruling Justice and Democratic Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their policies on the economy and terrorism. Afterwards, Baykal attended another ceremony in the Alibeykoy district. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] BBP HOLDS ITS 7TH CONGRESS

    The Great Union Party (BBP) held its seventh congress over the weekend at Ankara's Ataturk Sports Arena. BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu, the sole candidate for the leadership, was reelected unanimously. Stating that he was ready to work with anyone who can promote peace in Turkey, Yazicioglu said, "I don't deal with people's religion, race or sect. I deal with their humanity." /Star/

    [06] ALEVI GROUPS HOLD RALLY IN ANKARA

    Members of Turkey's Alevi community held a rally in Ankara yesterday to draw attention to their problems. Tens of thousands of Alevis and their supporters rallied to demand equal religious rights. /All papers/

    FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [07] REMEMBERING ATATURK WITH PROFOUND RESPECT

    BY MEHMET Y. YILMAZ (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Mehmet Yilmaz comments on the 70th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I remember Mustafa Kemal Ataturk with profound respect on the 70th anniversary of his death.

    When I see recent discussions about him, I feel embarrassed that our nation keeps wasting time on such useless arguments.

    Historical figures and events should be evaluated in the context of their own times, in light of the conditions and experienced back then.

    Alexander the Great, who could be seen today as a bloody imperialist, was an important and progressive king in his own time.

    There are countless examples along those lines.

    But more than that is true of Ataturk.

    People who blame the republic founded by Ataturk and his colleagues for today's democratic shortcomings can see how much he accomplished not only by looking at conditions in his time, but indeed conditions today.

    One needn't look far. To see this, three or four weeks in a majority-Muslim North African or Arab country would suffice.

    If Turkey hadn't gone through such a great revolutionary transformation, odds are today it would be very much like modern Morocco, Egypt or Syria. Possibly we could even have had a Saudi-type regime.

    For this reason alone, Ataturk deserves to be remembered with great respect."

    [08] TURNING A LEADER INTO DOGMA

    BY CAN DUNDAR (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Can Dundar writes about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and how to honor his memory. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Years ago I saw a newspaper story about an unemployed young person protesting his plight. He was holding a gun to a statue of Ataturk in the local town square, threatening to shoot if anyone got too close. After some initial confusion, the police convinced the young man to surrender. The newspaper reported the next day that the troubled young man apologized by laying flowers in front of the statue.

    There's another incident that sticks in my mind. A trade union leader said he knew what to do if the government failed to give the workers their rights. One would think his first priority would be calling for a general strike. But no! He said he would go to Ataturk to complain about the government.

    Of course, visiting Ataturk's mausoleum shows the nation's love and respect for its leader. But going there and shedding tears, saying that we're desperate, turning his mausoleum into a tomb, ascribing an ethereal function to this visit, and turning the visitor's book there into a book of complaints don't reflect the image of a nation that he would be proud of, do they?

    In 1924, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk told teachers in Samsun that the real guide for civilization, life and success in the world was science, and that looking for any other guide was sheer ignorance. In the 1930s, he said that he wouldn't leave behind as his legacy any saying, dogma or calcified rule, but that his legacy was science and knowledge.

    But instead of giving out annual awards for academic research and the like, what are we doing to honor such a leader who saw life from this perspective? We organize commemorations at a mountain where some people see a shadow which resembles his face. Isn't it sad that some young people here say that his Nutuk (Great Speech) is the only resource and that reading anything else is a betrayal? Can we forgive those who censor his most revolutionary ideas, make him ambiguous, interpret him as they want, and make everyone completely confused?

    A shanty house owner who appears with a picture of Ataturk in front of a bulldozer set to knock down his unlicensed construction… A coup supporter who tries to overthrow the government and explain Ataturk's principles with verses from Koran on the pretext of protecting him… A politician who thinks that he can keep a leader alive by putting up a statue of him, while there's still no library or museum devoted to him, while his complete works have yet to be published and his houses and works are left neglected… A scholar who distributes pins of his likeness, instead of producing academic works… A teacher who turns him into dogma by making students learn by heart such words as 'loving him is worship,' instead of teaching the students about his fight against dogma… A trade union leader who tries to raise his profile by visiting Ataturk's mausoleum, when he can't organize the workers under him… The young people who think that the way to honor him is to vote for him in a poll about the 20th century's greatest leader… These people and indeed all of us should rethink his struggle for science and knowledge and how he was left alone in his fight. Now is the time for us to secularize our approach towards a leader who provided Turkey with secularism."


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