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Turkish Press Review, 08-11-19

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

19.11.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] OBAMA: "TURKEY HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST TERRORISM"
  • [02] UN ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS CHAMBER OPENS IN GENEVA
  • [03] ERDOGAN DUE IN INDIA TOMORROW
  • [04] BABACAN VISITS WARSAW
  • [05] GOVT ANNOUNCES INTEREST-FREE LOANS TO CUSHION REAL SECTOR FROM EFFECTS OF CRISIS
  • [06] BAHCELI: "THE MHP IS READY TO HELP SOLVE ALEVIS"
  • [07] BRITAIN'S FLINT: "TURKEY'S EU TALKS WILL REVIVE NEXT YEAR"
  • [08] IN GERMANY, AYDIN DOGAN GIVEN GOLDEN VICTORIA AWARD
  • [09] SOME CHP SUPPORTERS ARE ANGRY AT BAYKAL
  • [10] END

  • [01] OBAMA: "TURKEY HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST TERRORISM"

    US President-elect Barack Obama yesterday telephoned President Abdullah Gul, thanking Gul for his congratulations after the recent historic US elections. "During the conversation, Obama stated his admiration for Turks and Turkey, and that he has been following developments in Turkey with interest," according to the Presidential Press Office. "He stated that he believes Turkey has the right to fight terrorism as part of its right to self-defense, stressing the importance of the special alliance between Turkey and the US." It also said that both leaders expressed their will to work together and to consult closely on regional issues. For his part, Gul stated that Obama's message to the world of hope and change has also been embraced by Turkey, which has similar stances as the US on thorny global problems. /Aksam/

    [02] UN ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS CHAMBER OPENS IN GENEVA

    The Chamber for Human Rights and the Alliance of Civilizations in the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland was opened in a ceremony yesterday. Among those attending were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and State Minister Mehmet Aydin, along with Spanish King Juan Carlos, Prime Minister Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Foreign Minister Jose Angel Moratinos, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Jorge Sampaio. "If the will shown by our leaders translates into effective action, the Alliance of Civilizations can be a 21st century peace project," Erdogan told the ceremony. "Spanish flamenco and Turkish Sufi music give the same message, and though Rumi and Cervantes used different languages, they showed the same spirit." /Milliyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN DUE IN INDIA TOMORROW

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a four-day official visit to India beginning tomorrow, accompanied by 200 businessmen. During his visit, he is scheduled to hold talks with top Indian officials. He also is set to attend a Turkish-Indian Business Forum and to sign several trade agreements. /Star/

    [04] BABACAN VISITS WARSAW

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan paid a two-day official visit to Warsaw on Monday and Tuesday at the invitation of his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski. Babacan's visit focused on Turkey's EU accession bid and improving political and trade relations between the two countries as well as international and regional issues. After meeting with Sikorski, Babacan told a joint press conference that Turkey and Poland enjoy friendly relations as two allies, and thanked Polish officials for supporting Turkey's European Union accession bid. On bilateral trade relations, Babacan said they had reached €2.5 billion, adding that more and more Turkish businessmen are investing in Poland. Babacan later separately met with Deputy Premier and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Deputy Parliament Speaker Stefan Niesiolovski, and Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz. During his meeting with Pawlak, Babacan reportedly asked for streamlined visa procedures for Turkish businesspeople, scholars, and artists wanting to visit Poland. Babacan yesterday also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Asked about a new security agreement foreseeing the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, Babacan told reporters, "We're examining the details of the agreement between the two countries. The views of Iraq's neighbors on the agreement will also be very important." He added that both the US and Iraq support Turkey's fight against the terrorist PKK. /Turkiye/

    [05] GOVT ANNOUNCES INTEREST-FREE LOANS TO CUSHION REAL SECTOR FROM EFFECTS OF CRISIS

    At a press conference yesterday, Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan spoke about a new government loan program to protect Turkey's real sector and promote job growth at a time of global economic crisis. Caglayan said that the government would give zero interest, 12-month loans to craftsmen and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He said that the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) will also extend financial support to small businesses with a further YTL 350 million in loans, in addition to other government support programs for small businesses. Through the loans, the government hopes to encourage small businesses to hire more employees. The government will loan YTL 2,000 for each new employee companies with at least nine employees hire, and YTL 100, 000 to companies that recruit more than 47 employees, all in a bid to increase employment. /Sabah/

    Speaking to his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal spoke on the issue of women wearing headscarves or chadors joining the party. Baykal said that anyone who respects the law can join the CHP, whatever their culture, religion, lifestyle, or garb. Baykal said that people who feel deceived by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are coming to the CHP. Touching on the ongoing Ergenekon case, Baykal said that many people are suffering due to the allegations, and also urged that the trial be shown live on TV. /Hurriyet/

    [06] BAHCELI: "THE MHP IS READY TO HELP SOLVE ALEVIS"

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said yesterday that no one could remain blind to the issues of Turkey's Alevis. Speaking to his party's parliamentary group meeting, Bahceli said that the MHP is sincerely ready to help begin a process of mutual understanding. He added that Alevis' problems should be dealt with in the spirit of national unity, social tolerance and solidarity. /Hurriyet/

    [07] BRITAIN'S FLINT: "TURKEY'S EU TALKS WILL REVIVE NEXT YEAR"

    Turkey's European Union negotiation process will revive next year, said British Minister for Europe Caroline Flint yesterday. Speaking to Star daily, Flint underlined that Britain has always supported Turkey's EU membership, and that next year's EU Commission progress report will be very important for Turkey. Touching on the Cyprus issue, she stated, "As negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders go forward, the embargo on the Turkish Cypriots can be lifted by itself." /Star/

    [08] IN GERMANY, AYDIN DOGAN GIVEN GOLDEN VICTORIA AWARD

    The German Union of Magazine Publishers (VDZ) yesterday gave Dogan Holding Chairman Aydin Dogan the Golden Victoria Award for his contributions to the integration and friendship of Turkey and Germany. At the ceremony in Berlin, German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that people see each other through the media and that it can help migrants be better understood. Stating that the Dogan Group has helped Turks living in Germany integrate with society, Schaeuble praised the stories covering the Euro 2008 semifinals between the two countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she appreciated the Dogan Group's work to promote harmony. For his part, Dogan said that he was honored and thanked the VDF. He said that cultural differences should not be seen as a source of problems, but as a resource. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [09] SOME CHP SUPPORTERS ARE ANGRY AT BAYKAL

    BY ORAL CALISLAR (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Oral Calislar comments on Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal's stance on new CHP members and headscarves. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal has spoken out on women wearing chadors covering them from head to toe in Istanbul's Sultangazi neighborhood. Anger over this might rise, because the similar headscarf issue has caused a great deal of tension up to now. And Baykal was the main player in this. This new issue will inevitably irritate CHP supporters who are focused on it. If you ask me if the headscarf is the main reason for our domestic tension, I would say no. There are other concerns underlying it. The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) two straight election victories and the way it's come to dominate certain government institutions concerns some people who see themselves as the 'state.' After an AKP member was elected president, and the Kemalist stronghold of the Board of Higher Education (YOK) was lost, and an Islamist was appointed to the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), this spurred the great tension.

    Previously moderate nationalists and Kemalists are getting angrier and taking a harder line, and headscarves and chadors are playing a role in this. Those who fear the AKP has seized the state's pillars get apoplectic when they see a woman wearing a headscarf. The CHP is working to rally these people. The issue of university students wearing headscarves turned into a power struggle. Efforts to allow these women to attend university were cited as the reason behind the unsuccessful closure case against the AKP.

    Headscarf opponents have won most of the battles so far. The AKP lost, as young women in headscarves can't attend university. As this defeat rankled both the AKP and the young women, many people protested a 'restrictive mentality' " that is, the CHP and its supporters " and supported the AKP. Actually, such restrictions go against the flow of history. So the power struggle over a group of female students offended the public conscience. The continued restrictions have helped keep Turkey in an abnormal state. This polarization hasn't brought the CHP electoral success, but it bolstered its identity as the state's party and strengthened in ways outside of votes.

    It didn't use this strength to reform the Constitution, but managed to maintain YOK's structure and had the Constitutional Court sanction the AKP. None of this is enough to make the CHP the ruling party, or attracted masses of supporters. Here's where Baykal's pragmatism kicks in. He is aiming at areas seen as the AKP's turf. Of course, the restrictions in this area have to be reviewed in light of this strategy.

    Our country should go work on its democratization problems so Baykal's move can be meaningful. For example, can he work to make our Constitution more democratic? Can he develop a political solution to the Kurdish issue? Can he say new, progressive things about European Union harmonization laws and the military's role in politics? As some people say the AKP is now using statist language, can the CHP make a democratic breakthrough on the other end? After everything we've experienced, such things might not be seen as very likely. Baykal's political history doesn't inspire hope, but we will continue to watch."

    [10] END


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