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Turkish Press Review, 08-11-26

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

26.11.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN PLEDGES NEW MEASURES TO COUNTER ECONOMIC CRISIS
  • [02] NORWEGIAN CROWN PRINCE VISITS ANKARA
  • [03] FM BABACAN TO MEET WITH HIS ARMENIAN, AZERI COUNTERPARTS IN HELSINKI
  • [04] LAGENDIJK MEETS WITH ERDOGAN, PARTY LEADERS
  • [05] SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE MEETS WITH ERDOGAN
  • [06] NAZIM EKREN TELLS FRENCH TRADE DELEGATION ABOUT REGIONAL TURKISH PROJECTS
  • [07] MOROCCAN OFFICIAL: "WE COULD BE TURKEY'S GATEWAY TO AFRICA"
  • [08] BAYKAL: "THE CHP IS CONCERNED WITH HOW PEOPLE THINK, NOT HOW THEY DRESS"
  • [09] BAHCELI CRITICIZES GOVT PLANS TO EASE PRISON ISOLATION OF TERRORIST LEADER
  • [10] TUSIAD HEAD: "BUSINESSES SHOULD INVEST IN PEOPLE"
  • [11] OECD PREDICTS TURKEY WILL BE FASTEST-GROWING COUNTRY
  • [12] WHAT SHOULD BAYKAL NOT DO?

  • [01] ERDOGAN PLEDGES NEW MEASURES TO COUNTER ECONOMIC CRISIS

    Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the government is discussing decisive measures to counter the impact of the global economic crisis on Turkey with sector representatives, experts and businessmen. "We are addressing the issue at length, calmly, with common sense, not in haste. I believe that Turkey will emerge from the crisis with minimal damage," Erdogan said. Stating that the government would soon announce a new package of measures to curb the crisis' impact, Erdogan warned opportunists that they would not be allowed to exploit the situation. Stressing that the crisis is centered on the US and is not the result of his government's economic policies, Erdogan said it is affecting all countries because we live in a global world. Turkey will be minimally affected by the crisis, and the government is taking all necessary measures against it, Erdogan said. The premier also expressed support for a recent move by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to bring in women who wear chadors as members. "If this is a genuine initiative, then I do congratulate those behind this change," he said, expressing hope that it's not an attempt to politically exploit the headscarf issue. "We expect to see more like this. If this continues, many problems would be solved," he added. Erdogan also dismissed claims that the government is discriminating in favor of AKP supporters in distributing aid to the poor with an eye on the local elections next March. He said they have boosted aid programs for the needy in recent years, adding that provincial governors supervise the aid's distribution. /Sabah/

    [02] NORWEGIAN CROWN PRINCE VISITS ANKARA

    Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon Magnus yesterday arrived in Ankara at the invitation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Magnus first visited Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum, and then met with Erdogan. "Norway became an EU member, but its people turned down membership (in a 1972 referendum), " Erdogan told a joint press conference. "But Turkey still continues its membership negotiations." He added, "If our negotiations succeed, then we'll ask our people. I believe they will approve it. According to the polls, 60% of the Turkish people favor EU membership. We want our European friends to continue fair negotiations and to reach a conclusion." /Milliyet/

    [03] FM BABACAN TO MEET WITH HIS ARMENIAN, AZERI COUNTERPARTS IN HELSINKI

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is expected to meet with his Azeri and Armenian counterparts, Elmar Memmedyarov and Edward Nalbandian, as part of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting next week in Helsinki. Diplomatic sources say that preparations in all three countries are continuing and that a first meeting in New York this fall was symbolically important, but the second will move beyond symbolism to address substantive issues. The issue of Nagorno-Karabakh is expected to be discussed at the meeting. /Star/

    [04] LAGENDIJK MEETS WITH ERDOGAN, PARTY LEADERS

    Turkey-European Union Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair Joost Lagendijk yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. During the meeting, Lagendijk supported the expansion of freedom of expression in Turkey. Lagendijk also met with opposition National Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli for the first time in six years. Bahceli asked Lagendijk whether he found it acceptable for the European Commission to omit any mention of positive developments in its annual Turkey progress report released last month. In reply, Lagendijk disputed Bahceli's argument, saying the report had stressed positive developments such as changes to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and Turkey's attempts to normalize relations with Armenia. Lagendijk also met with Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Turk. /Aksam-Star/

    [05] SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE MEETS WITH ERDOGAN

    Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Hasan Gerceker yesterday met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin also in attendance. Gerceker spoke about the court's heavy workload as well where a new building for the court will be built, saying these were societal problems, not just judicial ones. /Aksam/

    [06] NAZIM EKREN TELLS FRENCH TRADE DELEGATION ABOUT REGIONAL TURKISH PROJECTS

    French State Minister for Foreign Trade Anne-Marie Idrac, accompanied by a business delegation, yesterday met with Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren. Afterwards, Ekren said that he had told Idrac about the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP), Eastern Anatolia Project (DAP) and Konya Plain Project (KOP). Stating that he stressed the importance of these projects both regionally and internationally, he added, "They expressed their willingness to invest in these projects." /Star/

    [07] MOROCCAN OFFICIAL: "WE COULD BE TURKEY'S GATEWAY TO AFRICA"

    The International Turkish-African congress, held by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) with the theme of regional organizations, institutionalization and cooperation in Africa, began yesterday in Istanbul with the attendance of representatives from 12 regional organizations. At the congress, Moroccan State Minister Latifah Akharbach said that her country was ready to be Turkey's gateway to Africa. Stating that Turkey is a large country with a rich history, culture and economy, she said, "Political relations between the two countries are very good," but added that bilateral trade ties should be improved. Calling on Turkish firms to invest in Morocco, she also said that the Moroccan government was providing great opportunities to Turkish investors. /Turkiye/

    [08] BAYKAL: "THE CHP IS CONCERNED WITH HOW PEOPLE THINK, NOT HOW THEY DRESS"

    Rebuffing critics of his party's recent welcome mat for women wearing headscarves and chadors, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that his party is acting out of human concerns, which are not contrary to secularism. Addressing his parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said, "Even if they are wearing chadors, I cannot turn away people from the CHP who believe that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deceived them." He added that the CHP is concerned with how people think, not how they dress. He also criticized possible government plans to ease the prison isolation of convicted terrorist PKK head Abdullah Ocalan, saying, "Unfortunately, the PKK succeeded in making the government change its attitude towards Ocalan through violence." /Hurriyet/

    [09] BAHCELI CRITICIZES GOVT PLANS TO EASE PRISON ISOLATION OF TERRORIST LEADER

    Addressing his parliamentary group meeting yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for moving to end the solitary prison confinement of convicted PKK terrorist head Abdullah Ocalan. Claiming that pressure from supporters of the terrorist PKK and from the European Union wouldn't end until Ocalan is released, Bahceli urged the government to resist this pressure. Responding to Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan's pledge to step down as AKP leader if his party falls short in next March's local elections, the MHP leader said that the premier is afraid of public anger over the government failure to take action against the global economic crisis. /Hurriyet/

    [10] TUSIAD HEAD: "BUSINESSES SHOULD INVEST IN PEOPLE"

    Businesses should invest in the future, instead of just concentrating on solving current problems, said Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag yesterday. Speaking at the 17th Quality Congress in Istanbul, she said, "Investing in people is one of the key components of investing in the future. This brings us once again to the importance of quality management." Also addressing the gathering, KalDer Board Chairman Ali Riza Kalyan said, "Crises are temporary, and when they're over people stick with companies that protected the quality of their brands." /Hurriyet/

    [11] OECD PREDICTS TURKEY WILL BE FASTEST-GROWING COUNTRY

    Turkey will be the fastest growing country in the mid-term among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, predicted the group yesterday. In an economic outlook report on its members, the OECD predicted that after recovery from the current global economic crisis, economic growth in Turkey would rise to 4.5 percent in 2010. In its mid-term scenario for 2010-2014, the organization predicted growth in Turkey of 6.8 percent. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] WHAT SHOULD BAYKAL NOT DO?

    BY AVNI OZGUREL (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Avni Ozgurel comments on recent moves by Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and the prime minister's response. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Last week I wrote about recent moves by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. In terms of the CHP's history since Ataturk, Baykal's moves were very important. Baykal closed the door on an elitist approach which has dominated the party since 1938, one which falsely paints the views of Ataturk's successor Ismet Inonu as Kemalism.

    So the grumbling and objections from the CHP are to be expected, because the party got to its current sorry state without making any important changes to its outlook or image for 80 years. At this point, I should express my concerns and record. I remember how Baykal invited theologian Yasar Nuri Ozturk into the CHP and how he recently said, 'Both religion and the flag are ours.' But such things are mere slogans for the CHP which remained empty, no matter how sincere they were.

    Let's digress a bit here. Inonu was worried that a fundamental change of rhetoric on religion would constitute a step back on secularism and a concession to reactionaries. So he never considered changing CHP policy, no matter what his personal views were. Late Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was the one who realized that the CHP was making a mistake in terms of issues of faith and that this condemned it to remain in opposition.

    That's what Ecevit thought when he led the CHP. He also said that some measures which were understandable when the republic was founded " for example, the decision to close Islamic monasteries " might be reconsidered in today's world. I should add that Inonu wasn't opposed to this and even asked Ecevit to raise the issue after studying it. Similarly, it should be remembered that afterwards, Ecevit presented the coalition with the National Salvation Party (MSP) as a 'historic consensus.' End digression.

    What concerns me now is that up to now whenever Baykal has taken two steps forward, he's been scared into immediately taking a step back. With these new moves, Baykal actually brought the CHP to a critical threshold. I don't know if the CHP will suffer resignations over this or how these moves will affect next year's local elections. But if Baykal made these moves just to seem noble without considering a possible negative backlash, he must have prepared the political end of the CHP. Fortunately, initial signs show that he won't retreat this time.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hasn't responded to the CHP's moves. It's incredible to think that Erdogan, who answers columnists in speeches when necessary, has stayed silent, because he's placed so much importance on the issue. I think Erdogan has taken a commonsense stance on this issue, because perhaps he thought approaching the issue in a way that would provoke the CHP's base would score him political points but damage the country in the long term. I hope this, and not preoccupation with economic issues, is the reason for his silence."


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