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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-04

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

04.12.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL OPENS AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER AT ANKARA UNIVERSITY
  • [02] ERDOGAN STRESSES SELF-SUFFICIENCY FOR THE HANDICAPPED
  • [03] PM ERDOGAN, BASGUG ATTEND SAFETY DRILLS
  • [04] BABACAN TO MEET TODAY WITH AZERI, ARMENIAN COUNTERPARTS
  • [05] FRENCH GOVT SEEKS TO BLOCK CONTROVERSIAL BILL ON 1915 INCIDENTS
  • [06] ITALY'S DINI SET TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [07] NEW US AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH GUL
  • [08] GALATASARAY ADVANCES TO NEXT STAGE IN UEFA CUP
  • [09] TICKETS FOR UEFA CUP FINAL IN ISTANBUL NEXT MAY TO GO ON SALE
  • [10] AFRICA AND TURKEY
  • [11] THIS TIME BAYKAL IS ON THE RIGHT PATH

  • [01] GUL OPENS AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER AT ANKARA UNIVERSITY

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday opened a new African Studies Center at Ankara University. The center was established by the university to boost scholarly and academic cooperation between Turkey and African countries. Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Gul said that Turkey has long supported Africa and that this would continue, adding that Turkey has begun to see the fruits of its outreach to Africa. "Turkey sees the continent's problems as its own," Gul said. Stressing that those problems concern all of humanity, he also said the countries of Africa cannot be left to deal with the continent's hardships of their own. Turkey sees Africa not only as the cradle of civilization but also as the future of humanity, Gul added, saying that the continent offers great opportunities for Africans themselves. In other news, the Presidential Culture and Arts Greater Awards will be presented today in a ceremony at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Renowned Turkish novelist Yasar Kemal will get an award from President Gul, along with architect Turgut Cansever and classical composer Alaeddin Yavasca. Many writers have been invited to attend the ceremony, including novelist Adalet Agaoglu and Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk. Given on behalf of the Turkish state, the awards honor people who make significant contributions to Turkey's cultural life and the arts. President Gul is also expected to visit the southeastern province of Diyarbakir next week, at the beginning of the Muslim Sacrifice Holiday. There is no detailed information on his itinerary, but Gul is set to exchange holiday greetings with local people at the regional highway authority. Gul is also expected to meet with representatives of non-governmental organizations in the city. /Turkiye- Hurriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN STRESSES SELF-SUFFICIENCY FOR THE HANDICAPPED

    A delegation led by State Minister for Women and Children's Affairs Nimet Cubukcu yesterday visited Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum, to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, started by the United Nations in 1992. "We are aware of the responsibility on our shoulders," Cubukcu wrote in Anitkabir's memorial guestbook. "We will continue our efforts to bring sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the disabled." Afterwards, the delegation, including representatives of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) for the disabled, was received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) policies on the handicapped are based on fairness, said Erdogan, and they work to promote self-sufficiency. "This government introduced the Law on the Disabled, which began reforms," he added. Erdogan reiterated that they will continue to eliminate social, physical and legal hurdles faced by the disabled. /Turkiye- Aksam/

    [03] PM ERDOGAN, BASGUG ATTEND SAFETY DRILLS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug yesterday attended Safety 2008 National Crisis Management drills, meant to test Turkey's readiness to respond to a chemical or biological attack. Briefing Erdogan and Basbug on the drills, National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Tahsin Burcuoglu said that the Prime Ministry and General Staff are involved, along with 15 ministries, 25 public institutions, the governorships of Ankara, Istanbul, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kocaeli, Mardin and Sırnak, and three non-governmental organizations. He said that after the Cold War, new threats arose such as terrorism, ethnic conflict, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and technological attack. During the drills, Erdogan and Basbug tested a secure, coded communications system developed by the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK). /Turkiye/

    [04] BABACAN TO MEET TODAY WITH AZERI, ARMENIAN COUNTERPARTS

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is scheduled to meet separately with his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Armenia today in Helsinki during a gathering of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Officials say there is no official decision to have three-way talks similar to the ones held at the UN in September, though observers still expect trilateral talks today. In addition to separate talks with Babacan, Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian are expected to have a bilateral meeting. Representatives from Russia, France and the US of the OSCE's Minsk Group, which works for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, will also be at the meeting. /Today's Zaman/

    The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday held its first debate on a draft report on Turkey by Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the EP's rapporteur for Turkey. Turkey was represented by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Addressing the gathering, Oomen-Ruijten called on Turkey to speed up its reforms for European Union membership and to carry them out with resolve. Hannes Swoboda, vice chair of the EP's second-biggest group, the Socialists, yesterday stated that some countries in the EU are working arbitrarily to stall Turkey's negotiations, adding, "That holds back Turkey's reform process. Unless we have a clear answer on Turkey's EU membership, asking Turkey to do something is hard." MEP Vural Oger, a German-Turkish politician, similarly charged that French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are hurting Turkey's reform process, and that the EU should instead encourage it. /Star/

    [05] FRENCH GOVT SEEKS TO BLOCK CONTROVERSIAL BILL ON 1915 INCIDENTS

    A top French official yesterday said that the government opposes sending to the Senate a controversial bill passed by the lower house of Parliament in 2006 which would criminalize denial of Armenian claims of a so-called genocide in 1915. Responding to a parliamentary question on the bill, French State Minster for the Interior and Local Authorities Alain Marleix said the government doesn't want the bill to be sent to the Senate, stressing that members of Parliament shouldn't meddle in historians' business. He also stressed that Turkish-French relations would be hurt if the bill is passed. Marleix also characterized President Abdullah Gul's Yerevan visit in September as a very encouraging and strong gesture towards normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia. A parliamentary research commission has also come out against Parliament trying to legislate historical issues. A report by the commission said it isn't Parliament's role to make laws on historical matters, introducing penal sanctions. /Turkiye/

    [06] ITALY'S DINI SET TO VISIT TURKEY

    Lamberto Dini, the head of the Italian Senate's Foreign Policy Commission, will come to Turkey today as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Murat Mercan. Dini will be received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his two-day stay. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] NEW US AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH GUL

    New US Ambassador to Ankara James Franklin Jeffrey yesterday presented his letter of credentials to President Abdullah Gul. Afterwards, Jeffrey visited Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum, and signed its memorial guestbook. /Milliyet/

    [08] GALATASARAY ADVANCES TO NEXT STAGE IN UEFA CUP

    Competing in the group B of the UEFA cup, Turkey's world-renowned football team Galatasaray defeated its German rival Herta Berlin 1-0 with a penalty goal scored by Milan Baros in the 69th minute of the last night's match in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. With this victory, Galatasaray raised their points to nine and guaranteed advancing to the next round. Thousands of Turkish supporters, who came to the stadium to watch the game, cheered with joy. Whether Galatasaray will advance to the next round as the group leaders or not depends on the last match of Metalist, now in the second place in the group. Galatasaray will wait for the result of Benfica- Metalist match that will be played on December 18. If Benfica wins the match, Galatasaray will be the leader of the group, however if Metalist wins the match, Galatasaray will finish the group second. The next round draw will be made on December 19. /Sabah/

    [09] TICKETS FOR UEFA CUP FINAL IN ISTANBUL NEXT MAY TO GO ON SALE

    The logo and ticket design for the 2008-09 UEFA season final match, to be played next May at Istanbul's Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, were released this week, with tickets to go on sale this Friday. They were unveiled at a star-studded event at the Kadıkoy Sureyya Opera venue attended by State Minister for Youth and Sports Murat Baseskioglu, along with UEFA Deputy Chairman and Soccer Federation President Emeritus Senes Erzik, Turkish Soccer Federation (TFF) head Mahmut Ozgener, Bulent Korkmaz, Brazilian Fenerbahce player Roberto Carlos and many UEFA officials. Baseskioglu said that after holding the 2005 Champions League final at Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Turkey hosting the 2009 UEFA Cup final match is an important step. As Turkey is vying to host the 2016 European Football Championship, he said Turkey hosting international competitions helps its goal of hosting the 2020 Olympics. TFF head Özgener also spoke, saying: "This game will play an important role in Turkey's attracting bigger events in the years to come. The TFF is working hard on this." Tickets for the final match will be sold on the TFF website, www.tff.org, beginning at noon on Friday. /Today's Zaman/

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

    [10] AFRICA AND TURKEY

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey's relations with African countries. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "President Abdullah Gul yesterday opened an Africa Studies Center at Ankara University. Addressing the ceremony, Gul said, 'The issues of the continent cannot be left on Africans' shoulders alone.' What did he mean? I will touch on this below. Our universities need African studies centers. Hopefully we will soon have similar centers on Israel, Armenia, Greece, and ethnic Kurds.

    Few remember today how the Ottoman Empire gave up its African holdings under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. Three centuries of Ottoman Turkey in three continents were forgotten. Over the last 60 years, a brand new Africa has born. A continent of colonies is now covered by states. Most of these states recently voted for Turkey's temporary seat on the UN Security Council.

    In recent years, the G-8 countries agreed on a number of promising programs for the world's poorest continent, but later failed to deliver.

    The US (for its African slaves), Britain and France (for their many colonies), Russia (for introducing communism to the continent and subsequent bloodshed), and finally Italy and Germany all owe Africa, since in past decades they came there with bad intentions.

    The Ottomans ruled the majority of Africa beginning in the 16th century. It founded states which had no similarity to the European colonies. It defended the continent against the Europeans. No history book calls Turks' administration of Africa colonialism, but Turkish rule, because we didn't exploit it.

    Up to now our relations with African countries have been weak. We even closed our embassy in Ghana. Now, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has decided to open embassies in 10 African countries.

    A Turkey reaching out abroad will improve us and create a modern country."

    [11] THIS TIME BAYKAL IS ON THE RIGHT PATH

    BY HASAN CELAL GUZEL (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Hasan Celal Guzel comments on the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I listened to what Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said during his party's group meeting with amazement, but also with gladness. What he said reflected the realities of at least 70 years. Baykal said that seeing people's clothing as a challenge to the state is the result of an obsession and asked if we're again going to split up Turkey, as it is already divided. He added that if women want to cover their heads for their own reasons, this alone can't be taken as a signal of their politics or secularism, and that if they want to join the CHP they can't be rejected. Baykal said that one can't become a CHP supporter by wearing trousers, calling this a single-party mentality, and asked if there is a dress code. I've written similar things for years, so it's nice to hear this from Baykal. Some of my friends say Baykal will never change and all this is just for show, but I told them that this time I want to believe in Baykal.

    For six years I've been writing columns criticizing the CHP and its supporters. As I've said before, this isn't hostility or personal. My criticisms are of the CHP's statist, Jacobean, bureaucratic and ideological mentality since the single-party era. In the past, I wrote articles praising the CHP and Baykal. I wrote back in October 2004 that I hope I'm not setting my hopes too high, but a voice in my head said the dogmatic, Jacobean CHP was ready for social, democratic changes. I also wrote back in February 2007 that a CHP which respects spiritual values would open the way for it to become the ruling party, dispel this public tension, and consign religious exploitation to the ineffective political margins. Baykal called me a few times and said I was being unfair, that I was dwelling on the CHP of the single-party era and that now it places great importance on democracy. Unfortunately the past four years tested my patience. The CHP's stance particularly for most of this year and last reflected the opposite of what Baykal said.

    But Baykal's latest speech revived our hopes and expectations. Baykal spoke of the 'historical mistake' better than the late Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who coined the term. I think Baykal started efforts to make the CHP more a party of the people. Secularism's rigid emphasis on social and cultural life could change and it could stop fighting against people's values. A CHP which accepts people with chadors and headscarves will seem more sympathetic to many. In addition, a CHP which looks hopefully at the ballot box will find it easier to care about democracy. This change in Baykal and the CHP could of course cause it to lose votes among some of its Jacobean base, but ultimately could make up for this in attracting other votes. In other words, this change would provide the CHP the identity of a true, broad-based social democratic party and pave the way for it to become the ruling party. More importantly, it would dispel public tension over religion and secularism. I know believing in this dream is hard, but I continue to wait for it with all my good will."


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