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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-17

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

17.12.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS TURKEY
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "THE 2009 BUDGET WILL TURN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS INTO AN OPPORTUNITY"
  • [03] OPPOSITION LEADERS CRITICIZE GOVT DURING BUDGET DEBATES
  • [04] BABACAN HOSTS LUNCHEON FOR EU AMBASSADORS
  • [05] EU TO OPEN TWO MORE CHAPTERS IN TURKEY'S ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS
  • [06] TOP COURT RULES TO MERGE COUNCIL OF STATE, ERGENEKON CASES
  • [07] FORMER AMBASSADORS CRITICIZE APOLOGY OVER ARMENIAN INCIDENTS AS UNBALANCED, BIASED
  • [08] ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY BEGINS CHOOSING NEW RECTOR
  • [09] ECHR RULES AGAINST TURKEY IN ARMENIAN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP CASE
  • [10] CB HEAD YILMAZ UNVEILS 2009 MONETARY, EXCHANGE MARKET POLICIES
  • [11] PROMISING EASIER ONLINE PROCEDURES, E-STATE WEBSITE TO OPEN TOMORROW
  • [12] BEWARE OF PROVOCATIONS
  • [13] END

  • [01] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS TURKEY

    Bulgarian President Georgi Pirvanov arrived in Ankara yesterday for an official visit. Pirvanov was welcomed by his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Speaking to reporters following their meeting, the two leaders said that they had discussed regional and international issues, as well as opportunities to develop bilateral ties. Gul said that certain issues between the two states could be solved easily through talks with friendship, cooperation and mutual trust. /Hurriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "THE 2009 BUDGET WILL TURN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS INTO AN OPPORTUNITY"

    Addressing Parliament during debates over the 2009 budget yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the budget will be an important tool for Turkey to turn the global crisis into an opportunity. Warning that some are trying to exploit the crisis for their own ends, Erdogan said, "Turkey's economy is now well-positioned and safeguarded against global economic fluctuations." He said Turkey's biggest gain since his party came to power six years ago is that it now believes it can do anything, adding that the government restored faith in politics and moved the country's economy forward. Dismissing claims by opposition party leaders, Erdogan said, "This crisis is not Turkey's crisis but a global one." He added, "Of course Turkey is being affected by the crisis, but this effect isn't as serious as some claim." Turks won't fall for crisis opportunists and fear- mongers any more, Erdogan said. Touching on the government's efforts to counter the crisis, the premier said the government has acted very cautiously since seeing initial signs of the crisis and has taken all necessary measures to protect Turkey's people and economy. Those measures include, he said, interest-free loans to small- and medium-sized companies, installment payment of tax debts, financial support for employers to retain and add workers (especially young people and women), more resources for large-scale regional development projects such as the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), higher state guarantee on bank deposits, and other measures to maintain liquidity flow in domestic financial markets through Central Bank intervention. Touching on a possible standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund, Erdogan said Turkey could benefit from the Fund's accreditation power in the world economy, but any agreement must be in line with the nation's interests. /Turkiye/

    [03] OPPOSITION LEADERS CRITICIZE GOVT DURING BUDGET DEBATES

    Addressing Parliament yesterday during debate over the proposed 2009 budget, main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal urged the government to prepare an economic package with the participation of all actors in the economy, adding that more money should be invested in infrastructure. He called for cuts in the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and private consumption and insurance taxes to spur domestic demand and said that the state guarantee for bank deposits should be increased further. Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said the crisis would hit Turkey harder next year, adding that measures must be taken to ensure Turkey weathers the crisis with minimal damage. Stressing that the crisis has made the economy more vulnerable, Bahceli stated that economic policy ignoring the importance of production and the real sector would make Turkey subject to control by outside forces. /Turkiye/

    [04] BABACAN HOSTS LUNCHEON FOR EU AMBASSADORS

    Nobody should doubt the government's determination on European Union reforms, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday. Hosting a luncheon for EU countries' ambassadors in Ankara, Babacan said that full EU membership is a strategic goal and state policy for Turkey. Adding that the accession process is not just a matter of foreign policy, he stated, "It also constitutes a strong framework for the reforms we have been implementing in Turkey." Calling relations between Turkey and EU a win-win relationship, he warned that if the EU halts its expansion it would lose influence, and that negative messages from several member states on Turkey's membership process have cast the EU's commitments into doubt. "Such discussions hurt the reform climate in Turkey," he added. "The EU should avoid attitudes that could harm Turkey's confidence regarding its membership goal." Underlining the government's determination on EU reforms, he said, "The speed of reforms might change due to conditions, but Turkey will complete its transformation process sooner or later. We've carried out a series of reforms and made significant progress on fundamental rights and freedoms." Stating that the government doesn't want a slowdown of the reform process, he underlined that the process is not totally under the government's control, and that political conditions and the EU's approach towards Turkey also strongly affect the process. /Star/

    [05] EU TO OPEN TWO MORE CHAPTERS IN TURKEY'S ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS

    The European Union is set to open two more chapters of Turkey’s accession talks at its year-end intergovernmental conference in Brussels, where Turkey will be represented by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. The chapters on the free movement of capital and information society and the media will be opened at the gathering on Friday. Thus far, the EU has only opened two chapters in Turkey's talks per presidential term. The two new chapters will bring the total number of chapters opened to 10 out of the total 35. /Star/

    [06] TOP COURT RULES TO MERGE COUNCIL OF STATE, ERGENEKON CASES

    Overturning a lower court decision, the Supreme Court of Appeals yesterday ruled that possible links between a deadly 2006 shooting at the Council of State the shooting and Ergenekon, a criminal network accused of attempting to overthrow the government, should be investigated. The 9th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the cases covering the Council of State shooting and a hand grenade attack on a newspaper office be merged in light of suggested links between them and the Ergenekon probe. /Today's Zaman/

    [07] FORMER AMBASSADORS CRITICIZE APOLOGY OVER ARMENIAN INCIDENTS AS UNBALANCED, BIASED

    More than 50 former Turkish ambassadors yesterday issued a statement criticizing an initiative to apologize for World War I-era killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans. The statement emphasized that an online apology issued by about 200 intellectuals failed to mention the death and suffering of Turks during 1914-15, which was not less than those of the Armenians, and so was unbalanced. The statement also mentioned attacks and assassinations by Armenian terrorist groups in the late 20th century which took 70 lives, including five ambassadors and four consul generals, and injured more than 570 people, saying that the Armenians should apologize for these murders. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY BEGINS CHOOSING NEW RECTOR

    Istanbul University yesterday held a voting to elect its new rector. Among 13 candidates, Professor Ali Akyuz came in first, with 483 votes from some 2,500 faculty members. The list of the top six vote-winners will be cut down to three by the Board of Higher Education (YOK), and the list will be sent to the president. The person approved by President Abdullah Gul will then be named the new rector of Turkey's leading university. /Hurriyet/

    [09] ECHR RULES AGAINST TURKEY IN ARMENIAN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP CASE

    The European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) ruled yesterday that Turkey violated the property rights of two Armenian foundations in Istanbul. Under the ruling, Turkey must return the titles of all properties to the Samatya Surp Kevork Armenian Church, School and Cemetery and the Foundation for the Armenian Hospital in Yedikule in three months or be subject to paying 600, 000 euros in compensation to the Samatya Foundation and 275,000 euros to the Yedikule Foundation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] CB HEAD YILMAZ UNVEILS 2009 MONETARY, EXCHANGE MARKET POLICIES

    Central Bank Head Durmus Yilmaz yesterday held a press conference giving the outlines of 2009 monetary and exchange market policies. Yilmaz said that next year the CB will follow a sound and cautious monetary policy to grapple with the worsening conditions of the global financial crisis, giving wider space to conduct foreign currency purchases and sales and also bailing out banks when needed. "Inflation targeting and floating exchange rate policies will continue unchanged, and exchange rates will not become a policy tool," he said, adding that they will be determined solely through ordinary supply-and-demand conditions. He added, "Still, the bank will not hesitate to mobilize its vast reserves to help exchange rates overcome hurdles in times of deep oscillations and volatility." /Milliyet/

    [11] PROMISING EASIER ONLINE PROCEDURES, E-STATE WEBSITE TO OPEN TOMORROW

    Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said yesterday that the E-State Project will officially start tomorrow. He said that the project will enable people, using just their official ID number, to carry out procedures through the Internet without visiting public offices. The www.turkiye.gov.tr website will open tomorrow after a ceremony attended by the prime minister. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] BEWARE OF PROVOCATIONS

    BY YIGIT BULUT (VATAN)

    Columnist Yigit Bulut comments on provocations at home and abroad. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Nobody can ruin our friendship. What happened? Why start my column this way? I'll get right to the point: A deep divide between Kurds and Turks has recently been incited. In other words, there's a massive psychological operation targeting our citizens of Kurdish origin. This effort isn't taking place only in Turkey, but also on Turkish citizens living abroad. There are millions of Turkish people living in Europe who have never wondered about their own roots, but now somebody insistently want them to. They ask this question on their behalf. Especially foreign services of certain countries want to ruin the friendship between these Turkish people. Their ridiculous arguments are actually quite simple. One of them says this: 'If Turkey has the right to intervene in northern Iraq, [Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud] Barzani should have the right to intervene with Kurds living in Turkey.' Only one response is possible to this proposition: It's out of the question! Let's show why we can't get entrapped by this…

    Barzani has nothing to do with the Kurdish movement or the ethnic, cultural or economic development of Kurdish identity. He only wants to take advantage of states which are pulling the strings and to exploit the Kurdish people. In short, let's not be fooled by this. They also make extensive use of another argument. Some people unfortunately think that the US saved Iraq from the cruelty of Saddam Hussein and that people of Kurdish origin who can't come together think they can seize a historical opportunity under Barzani's leadership in northern Iraq. How pitiful! Barzani is the Kurdish nation's investment in its future.

    I'm sad to see that those who believe this are so naïve and think that the territories occupied by the military-industrial complex were taken for the sake of bringing democracy. But what would have happened if these territories had no oil? The imperial powers would never have bothered! The military-industrial complex has reaped hundreds of billions of dollars in profits as the result of rising oil prices and the oil resources seized due to the chaos since representatives of global powers in Iraq to 'bring democracy' set foot in oil-rich regions. In other words, the aim wasn't Kurds, but money!

    So we shouldn't be deceived! Let me address our citizens who see themselves as Kurds. If someone is going to take care of you, it's not Barzani, a pawn of great powers who isn't even Kurdish, but rather the Turkish Republic. All of us, including our Laz, Kurdish, Pomak, Circassian, and other citizens, have only one solution, namely strengthening this country! We might have made certain mistakes in the past, but now we have the trust to proceed into the future hand in hand."

    [13] END


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