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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-01

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

01.12.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP BROUGHT NEW IDEAS AND POLICIES TO TURKISH POLITICAL LIFE"
  • [02] PM ERDOGAN WARNS AGAINST PESSIMISM
  • [03] ERDOGAN WORKS TO DEFUSE TENSION BETWEEN PAKISTAN, INDIA IN WAKE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
  • [04] IN IZMIR, BAYKAL TOUTS CHP MAYOR
  • [05] NEW US AMBASSADOR ARRIVES IN ANKARA
  • [06] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [07] WARS OVER AFRICA
  • [08] THE CRISIS IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYBODY

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE AKP BROUGHT NEW IDEAS AND POLICIES TO TURKISH POLITICAL LIFE"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials yesterday attended a meeting in Kizilcahamam, Ankara as part of preparations for next year's local election. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan urged all the candidates to conduct themselves in a friendly, democratic way during the campaign. "Our motto is 'a race with peace'," he added. "We will conduct our campaign in line with this principle, and we're determined to act with common sense and moderation on the campaign trail." Chairing his party Central Executive Board (MYK), Erdogan said that they set the government's roadmap for next year, stating, "The AKP brought new ideas and policies to Turkish political life. No other party has convened its MYK as regularly as we have." /Aksam/

    [02] PM ERDOGAN WARNS AGAINST PESSIMISM

    In a televised address to the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that rising state investments in southeastern Anatolia are taking a heavy toll on the terrorist PKK. Stressing that the government is now taking public services to all parts of the country, Erdogan expressed determination to continue to this policy. "We're determined to bring all public services and the state's compassionate hand to every corner of the country, and to improve public facilities in every part of the country." Erdogan said the state investments have panicked the terrorist group, adding, "That's why it is resorting to cruel, atrocious attacks and plans in the region." Touching on the impact of the global economic crisis on Turkey, Erdogan warned against pessimism. "We believe that the crisis has started to decline, but its effects will continue over a long period, and relief from the crisis will take more time," he said, adding that the crisis' affect on Turkey has been minimal. Decrying those who are trying to exploit the crisis by spreading pessimism, Erdogan said, "Turkey will come out of this crisis with minimal damage thanks to its strong economic structure, determination and stability. We're taking all necessary measures to counter the crisis and even turn it into an opportunity for the country." He also said that the government will soon announce new measures to protect the real sector from the crisis. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [03] ERDOGAN WORKS TO DEFUSE TENSION BETWEEN PAKISTAN, INDIA IN WAKE OF TERRORIST ATTACKS

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani telephoned his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the weekend in a bid to help defuse tension between Pakistan and India in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Afterwards, Erdogan telephoned his British and Israeli counterparts Gordon Brown and Ehud Olmert, and reportedly expressed his concerns about escalating tension in South Asia. Erdogan also telephoned UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying that the UN could mediate between the two countries. Erdogan also telephoned his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to tell about his conversation with Gilani, and Singh thanked Erdogan for his efforts to help defuse tensions. /Star/

    [04] IN IZMIR, BAYKAL TOUTS CHP MAYOR

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday attended two opening ceremonies in Izmir. First he attended the opening ceremony of Ahmet Pristina Caddesi, named after a late, beloved CHP mayor of the city, and afterwards attended the opening of a park in the Cigli district. In a speech, Baykal praised Greater Municipality Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu, Pristina's successor, hinting that he may run for a second term next March. In related news, Mustafa Sarigul, the mayor of Istanbul's Sisli district and a former CHP dissident, yesterday joined the opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) in a ceremony. /Milliyet/

    [05] NEW US AMBASSADOR ARRIVES IN ANKARA

    James Jeffrey, the new US ambassador to Turkey, yesterday arrived in Ankara. Speaking at Esenboga Airport, Jeffrey said, "I am very happy to be back in Ankara." Jeffrey has served in Turkey three times, in both Ankara and Adana. /Cumhuriyet/

    State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen yesterday said Turkey is working to diversify its export markets in response to shrinking demand from European markets. "There is stagnation in the world economy and Turkey's exports to these markets have been hurt, but we're diversifying our export markets, particularly at a time when demands from European markets are shrinking," he said. "We're planning to respond to this by turning to regional and neighboring countries." He said exports to countries such as China, India , Iran , Iraq , and Syria as well as countries in the Gulf region, North Africa and Central Asia would continue to grow in the months to come, adding that acting to fight the global crisis in coordination with neighboring and regional countries would benefit everyone. In related news, Tuzmen and Jia Qinglin, head of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, participated in a Turkish-Chinese Trade and Economic Opportunities Forum in Istanbul over the weekend. Speaking at the forum, Tuzmen said that Turkey's exports to China had risen from just $550 million in 2005 to over $1 billion last year. He said that Turkey's exports to China rose 50 percent this January to September year-on-year. He added that they expected exports to reach $1.5 billion by year's-end. Urging Chinese businessmen to import more from Turkey, Tuzmen called on them to help narrow the bilateral trade deficit. Also speaking at the forum, Qinglin said that last year Turkish-Chinese trade totaled $10 billion, adding that this year it is expected to reach $13 billion. /Turkiye/

    [06] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [07] WARS OVER AFRICA

    BY MAHIR KAYNAK (STAR)

    Columnist Mahir Kaynak comments on Turkey's position in coming jockeying over Africa. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I tend to analyze political developments using a model with a global context. So I locate each incident, from the terrorist attacks in India to piracy in Somali, using this model. Up to now the key strategic substance has been oil, and it has been an important determinant in all political developments. But there are signs that policies and practices aimed at using alternative energy are on the rise. Similarly, there are moves along these lines in measures to fight the economic crisis. One can say that the strategic asset of the years to come will be agriculture.

    China and India, with their burgeoning populations, are trying to carve out a place for themselves in Africa. This interest is said to concern energy resources, because oil is today's favorite raw material. People's needs are arranged much like a pyramid, with food making up the bottom row. If you pull a brick out of that row, the whole thing collapses. Similarly, a hungry person cares about nothing but filling his stomach. Agriculture's share of gross domestic product (GDP) is very small, but if it was zero, other sources of revenue would also be zero. Powers seeking to establish or maintain world domination have to control agriculture. Africa is a continent with a low population, whether the result of a conscious policy or not. So it looks almost like a new America. It can assimilate the population overflow from China and India, or it can become a region which meets their needs.

    From this point of view, two strange developments " piracy off the coast of Somali and the terrorist attacks in India " are more understandable. Any country which sends a military force to the region under the guise of protecting sea vessels off Eastern Africa will actually form a beachhead for controlling this continent. The terrorist attacks in India won't help any Muslims, but they might trigger a conflict between Pakistan and India and so limit India's influence in Africa.

    US President-elect Hussein Barrack Obama has been evaluated from many points of view, but few have noted that he looks like a continent. If you made a statue of Africa, he would be the best model for it, because he's a little bit Muslim, and Christian, and a little African. He looks like a poor person, but he has the potential to become rich. I believe the Middle East will carry the traces of its past richness like somebody who inherited a fortune, but it will have to lead a poor life, and the great powers will compete with each other to control Africa. How else to explain our politicians' recent visits to Africa and their welcoming African statesmen? Is this a conscious policy or are we just going with the flow? Does the rising number of Turkish schools in Africa have a cultural aim, or are they part of a great strategy?"

    [08] THE CRISIS IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYBODY

    BY YAMAN TORUNER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Yaman Toruner comments on the global economic crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Top US economic officials are being accused of failing to take timely measures to stave off economic crisis. The crisis has gone too far, and no one knows what effect new measures will have. The long-term cost to the country of bailout measures is also being discussed.

    If certain measures had been taken at the beginning, the crisis would not have had such a deep impact in the country and the world, so countries in Europe and elsewhere have proposed taking more serious and effective measures.

    International institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are reevaluating the situation of countries in light of the crisis and want to quickly grant loans to countries which will listen to them. Turkey is among these countries.

    The IMF has some $400 billion on hand at most. If Turkey acts quickly, it could get $20-30 billion of this. This money would both raise Turkey's foreign currency reserves and give us the ability to hold off the crisis for longer.

    In addition, funds from the IMF could be used to strengthen the real sector. On this subject, the IMF made a decision for all countries. The IMF will grant funds to central banks, but a portion of the money could be used by treasuries, or could be given to the real sector. But responsibility for repayments would belong to central banks.

    The possibility of using this money for the real sector makes our politicians' mouth water. Moreover, the premier wants to announce an agreement with the IMF. If an agreement is signed under these conditions, the government will have an ace in the hole for next year's local elections.

    The crisis has also hit Russia badly. Falling energy prices (especially oil) have lowered foreign currency entering the country. A number of companies are close to bankruptcy. People with cash on hand are buying these companies at giveaway prices. Rumors say certain government officials are among the buyers.

    As for us, our economic officials seem not to grasp how deep the crisis is. Measures to fight it will stress interest rates, exchange rates, and the stock exchange, and certain pie-in-the-sky ideas are wasting time.

    The crisis' effect through the end of this year will be less than I expected. Due to next week's Sacrifice Holiday, and the New Year and Christmas holidays, the effects of the deepened crisis will be seen early next year. We and the world may face a big recession.

    The absence of political instability is a very good situation for us. It's very likely that the ruling party will sweep the local elections next March, and this would also help the economy.

    Taking a realistic stance on the issues, the premier should discuss the real sector's urgent problems with economic officials. Now the economy's weak spot is the situation of the real sector. Developing measures to protect the sector would help the ruling party ensure a victory in March.

    This should be done by the end of the year."


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