|Saturday, 16 December 2017|
Turkish Press Review, 08-11-27
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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
 PRESIDENT GUL TO VISIT IRAQ NEXT MONTHPresident Abdullah Gul is expected to visit Iraq next month, with the exact date undisclosed until the last minute for security reasons. Turkey's Special Envoy to Iraq Murat Ozcelik and Ambassador to Iraq Derya Kanbay met this week with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih to hammer down the details of the visit. Talabani reportedly said Gul's visit is very important for ties between the two countries, adding, "Iraqis see how Turkey places great importance on Iraq." An official Turkish delegation is expected to visit Iraq ahead of Gul's visit. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN ADDRESSES SIXTH SPORTS COUNCIL IN ANKARAIf young people are not allowed to channel their high spirits into sports, other undesirable alternatives will fill this void, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Addressing the opening ceremony of the Sixth Sports Council, Erdogan stated that countries which have never hosted the Olympics have a disadvantage in the games, adding, "We hope to host 2010 Olympics, so we'll prepare well in terms of infrastructure and human resources." Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Hasan Gerceker, Council of State head Mustafa Birden and Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin also attended the gathering. /Star/
 BABACAN: "THE PKK IS ANXIOUS ABOUT OUR TALKS WITH THE N.IRAQI ADMINISTRATION"Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday arrived in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for an official visit. Babacan will meet today with his Tajik counterpart Hamrohon Zarifi to discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments. Babacan will also meet with Turkish citizens and businessmen living and working in the country and later proceed to Kyrgyzstan. Speaking to reporters en route to Tajikistan, Babacan said that starting direct talks with the regional administration in northern Iraq is part of Turkey's strategy to isolate the terrorist PKK in the region, adding that this step is making the terrorist group anxious. He stressed that these talks signal that the issue isn't a Turkish-Kurdish conflict, or one with the regional administration, or about the ethnic origin of people living there. Babacan said what's important for Ankara is the terrorist PKK presence in northern Iraq and the regional administration's stance on this. He urged the regional administration to take more tangible steps and a firm stance against the terrorist group. He also said that the administration should be aware that their interests and the well-being of their people depend on establishing good ties with Turkey. /Turkiye/
 ALBANIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ANKARAAlbanian President Bamir Topi yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Afterwards, Gul told a joint press conference that Parliament has just passed a protocol regarding Albania's membership to NATO and that he signed the protocol during his meeting with Topi. Stating that Turkey is working to promote Albania's NATO membership, Gul said, "I hope other countries will do their part before next year's summit so Albania can participate in the summit as a full member." Topi also met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Gul hosted a dinner in Topi's honor at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. /Star/
 FORMER SHP LEADER KARAYALCIN MEETS WITH BAYKALFormer Social Democratic Party (SHP) leader Murat Karayalcin, who gave up the post so he could run for Ankara mayor next March as the candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), yesterday met with CHP leader Deniz Baykal. Afterwards, Baykal told a press conference that he hoped to present Karayalcin as the party's candidate for Ankara Greater Municipality mayor as soon as possible. For his part, Karayalcin said that he work hard to win next year's election. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUZMEN: "GROWING FOREIGN TRADE AND INVESTMENTS ARE THE BEST WAY TO COUNTER THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS"State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen, with his French counterpart Anne-Marie Idrac, yesterday attended a working meeting in Istanbul held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). Speaking at the meeting, Tuzmen said that rising foreign trade and investments were the best remedies to the global economic crisis, adding that Ankara recently signed free trade agreements with France, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Montenegro. "Given these agreements, we can say that Turkey is among the countries that will come out of the crisis with minimal damage," Tuzmen said. Turkey, as a safe harbor for investments with an economy in good condition, is one of the chief destinations for foreign investments, he added. Tuzmen and his French counterpart yesterday also attended a Turkish- French Commerce Association ceremony honoring several leading Turkish and French firms for their successful trade between the two countries. Stating that bilateral trade between Turkey and France has risen 70 percent over the last two years, Tuzmen added that trade could rise to $20 billion in the years to come. Touching on the trade deficit between the two countries, Tuzmen also said France is Turkey's sixth-biggest foreign trading partner but Turkey has only a one percent share in France's overall imports. Also speaking at the ceremony, Idrac said many French companies have investments in Turkey and employ thousands of people, adding that they do well in Turkey and expect new French entrepreneurs in the country. Idrac said this shows their confidence in Turkey. She also said that her country stands by Turkey's bid to join the European Union. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 FUROR OVER THE POPEBY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on recent remarks by Pope Benedict XVI alleging that Armenians faced genocide by Turks in 1915. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Pope Benedict XVI, just as Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was on a visit to Turkey, let loose a bombshell. The pontiff said that Armenians had been subjected to genocide by Turks in 1915.
A furor ensued. The Vatican's delicate diplomatic balance has been lost. There are harsh accusations. The Turkish-Armenian rapprochement became anxious.
Most Armenians are Greek Orthodox, and a large minority is Catholic, while a small minority is Protestant. The Vatican's policy is to woo Orthodox believers, whatever country they are from, to increase Catholic hegemony. Centuries ago, when the pope was on the verge of swallowing the Orthodoxy (a Catholic ceremony was even held by a cardinal in Hagia Sofia) in the name of the Holy Roman Emperor, Mehmet the Conqueror's giving protection to the Orthodox patriarch and Orthodox believers was a huge blow to the pope and Catholics. It changed the history of Europe.
Turkey's denial of the title of the Fener patriarch, which is recognized by 200 states, and our move to close schools which were left untouched even by Mehmet the Conqueror and Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, are hampering our influence and harming Turkey.
The pope, who knows history better than us, couldn't hide his anxiety, looking through the lens of his nostalgia over his days in a Nazi youth group. He panicked over the possibility of rapprochement with Turkey of the Orthodox and Echmiadzin (Armenian) patriarchs.
In fact, Benedict didn't help the cause of world peace. He wanted to keep the hostility alive by agitating both sides. He forgot the Spanish Inquisition has a past full of genocides. He accused us, the Turks. It cast a shadow over our relations with the Vatican, where Turkey has an ambassador. We had assumed the pope was wiser than the irresponsible Western politicians who go after various interests."
 LAGENDIJK SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED!BY EMRE AKOZ (SABAH)
Columnist Emre Akoz comments on recent moves by opposition leader Deniz Baykal and the views of Joost Lagendijk, the co-chair of the Turkish- European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission. A summary of his column is as follows:
"It seems Europeans will never understand how Turkish politics work. If you're wondering what makes me say this, Joost Lagendijk is exhibit A. Lagendijk is a leftist Dutch politician, and a Green. He's married to Turkish journalist Nevin Sungur. But what's more important, Lagendijk is co- chair of the Turkish-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission. So we could expect him to better comprehend Turkish politics. But no! He was surprised by recent moves by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. He expressed surprise over Baykal laying out the welcome mat for women wearing chadors, calling this incomprehensible in light of Baykal's past stance on the headscarf issue. Lagendijk also praised the CHP's development of a policy on the headscarf issue and said he hoped such courageous moves would continue.
Why is Lagendijk so surprised? Because principles have an important place in European politicians' minds. He can't grasp why such a politician, so outspoken on the headscarf (and chador) issue, who was eager to challenge relaxations of headscarf restrictions in court, made this move. He imagines there's a great conflict. When reporters asked him if he thinks Baykal is being sincere, he said that it was too early to say, and mentioned next year's local elections. Lagendijk added that we would see how serious Baykal is, but that he would like to consider it a positive move. In other words, Lagendijk can consider the issue only in terms of opportunism, because he said Baykal made the move to attract more votes next March. But he should also see that the CHP is the party of the bureaucratic elite both in its current senior management and historically, and also that group's political spokesman.
In light of this, the headscarf issue isn't a sociological issue, but a political one. If it was left to sociology, we would never have such an issue. Both the 'street' (social relations) and the ballot box (the reflection of the nation's will in politics) show this. As the problem was created politically, it has no real content. We now see politics built only through rhetoric, divorced from the nation's social problems. Because of this, principles don't bind them. Thus our politicians can move from black to white and from yes to no with a speed and alacrity that amazes Europeans. In sum, the CHP leadership can't embrace this issue without getting a green light from the bureaucratic elite. We should look at the military, that is, the core of the bureaucratic elite, in order to tell if it was a move made with an eye on next year's elections."
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