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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-22

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

22.12.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] IRAQ'S HASHEMI MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN
  • [02] ERDOGAN ANNOUNCES CANDIDATES FOR ISTANBUL, KOCAELI IN LOCAL ELECTIONS
  • [03] TOPTAN PAYS VISIT TO MACEDONIA
  • [04] MAIN OPPOSITION CHP REVISES PROGRAM AT CONGRESS
  • [05] BABACAN DECRIES ATTEMPTS TO WATER DOWN EU MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT TO TURKEY
  • [06] REHN: "NEXT YEAR WILL BE A REAL TEST OF TURKEY'S EU BID"
  • [07] GEORGIAN PM TO VISIT IN TURKEY
  • [08] AKP PREPARES PROJECTS FOR GAP REGION
  • [09] TURKEY, SYRIA PLEDGE TO BOOST FINANCIAL COOPERATION
  • [10] THE CHP'S GROWING PAINS
  • [11] END

  • [01] IRAQ'S HASHEMI MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN

    Visiting Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was received yesterday by President Abdullah Gul in Ankara. Afterwards, he proceeded to Istanbul and met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Also at the latter meeting were Prime Ministry chief advisor Ahmet Davutoglu and members of the Iraqi delegation. During the meeting, such issues as Turkey's expectations of Iraq for fighting terrorism and measures to counter the global economic crisis were discussed. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN ANNOUNCES CANDIDATES FOR ISTANBUL, KOCAELI IN LOCAL ELECTIONS

    In local elections set for next March, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to stay the course with the current mayors of the Istanbul and Kocaeli greater municipalities. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday announced the re-nomination of the AKP mayors: Kadir Topbaş in Istanbul, and Ibrahim Karaosmanoglu in Kocaeli. Speaking at a press conference at the AKP's Istanbul branch, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that some believe anything is justified to win elections, but the AKP sees things differently. Pledging that the party will continue its commitment to abide by democratic principles, Erdogan added that candidates who are open to change and improvement, and have a vision, will stand as candidates again for the AKP. Also attending the ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister Hayati Yazici, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, and other top party members. /Aksam/

    [03] TOPTAN PAYS VISIT TO MACEDONIA

    Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan left for Macedonia yesterday at the invitation of his Macedonian counterpart Trajko Veljanoski. Toptan will be received by Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski and address the Macedonian Parliament today. Tomorrow, Toptan will proceed to Albania, where he is expected to hold meetings with Albanian President Bamir Topi and Prime Minister Sali Berisha. /Hurriyet Daily News/

    [04] MAIN OPPOSITION CHP REVISES PROGRAM AT CONGRESS

    At its 14th congress in Ankara over the weekend, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) worked on changes to the party's program and bylaws. At the congress, CHP's leader Deniz Baykal criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recent statement saying that a newspaper should report the news correctly or it would be closed down. "Will he (Erdogan) set the criteria for closing down papers?" Baykal asked. "Just closing a paper won't end his annoyance. If he can, he'll establish a media monopoly." Baykal also criticized corruption as well as a recent initiative to apologize for the World War I-era killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] BABACAN DECRIES ATTEMPTS TO WATER DOWN EU MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT TO TURKEY

    In an interview in daily Today's Zaman, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan put the blame for slow progress in Turkey's European Union accession talks on the bloc's current Term President France, saying that during a recent meeting of EU foreign ministers Paris seemed to have put new hurdles on Ankara's membership path. Stating that there were attempts to water down the EU's membership commitment to Turkey on the eve of that meeting, he criticized the EU for failing to open talks on six more chapters, despite the fact all technical preparations were complete. /Today's Zaman/

    [06] REHN: "NEXT YEAR WILL BE A REAL TEST OF TURKEY'S EU BID"

    EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that the coming year would be a critical one for Turkey's EU accession bid, adding, "Next year will be an important test of whether Turkey is serious about its EU accession perspective." In an interview with Reuters, Rehn said, "I am aware of the dilemma emanating from Turkey's more religious and secular ways of life. But Turkish society has to find a way to compromise. The energy to be used for to fulfill necessary legal and economic reforms is wasted for domestic tensions." On the Cyprus issue, Rehn said that a comprehensive solution to the issue should be reached next year, urging all parties of the issue to work to create a win-win situation for the two communities on the divided island. /Milliyet-Turkiye/

    [07] GEORGIAN PM TO VISIT IN TURKEY

    Georgian Prime Minister Grigol Mgalobishvili is set to arrive in Turkey tomorrow for two days of official talks. Mgalobishvili, a former ambassador to Ankara, will be accompanied by a large delegation including his finance and energy ministers. The premier will be received by President Abdullah Gul and then will meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before proceeding to Istanbul on Wednesday to hold talks with businesspeople. His visit to Ankara is his first official trip since becoming Georgian premier. /Hurriyet/

    [08] AKP PREPARES PROJECTS FOR GAP REGION

    The ruling Justice and Development Party has prepared a package to fight cultural and social underdevelopment in nine cities of the southeastern region. The package includes nearly 400 social and cultural projects in line with the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) action plan, which has been led by Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren. The government will allocate nearly 50 million YTL for the package. /Star/

    [09] TURKEY, SYRIA PLEDGE TO BOOST FINANCIAL COOPERATION

    In talks in Syria including Turkish banking sector representatives, Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren over the weekend met with Syrian Prime Minister Naci Otri and his Syrian counterpart Abdallah Dardari. Ekren's talks focused on economic and financial cooperation with Syria. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Ekren said that better relations and political stability between Turkey and Syria in recent years have paved the way for developing economic cooperation between the two neighbors. In view of the strong will of the Turkish and Syrian leaders, bilateral economic ties should be strengthened, Ekren said. He also stressed the importance of better regional economic cooperation to help weather the global economic crisis. For his part, Otri said that they came to agreements on many matters after talks with Turkish bank officials ahead of a Turkish-Syrian joint economic commission meeting. Dardari said that economic and technical cooperation would be launched soon between the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and the Syrian Planning Institution. /Turkiye/

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

    [10] THE CHP'S GROWING PAINS

    BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on yesterday's Republican People's Party (CHP) congress. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The Republican People's Party (CHP) changed its program yesterday, at a time when both Turkey and the world are facing major transformations. The first factor forcing the CHP's hand is this wave of change. In 2008, we're seeing the collapse of a spoiled, aggressive type of capitalism which ignores human concerns, just like the oppressive socialism unconcerned with people was wiped out with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. So it can be said that the globe is on the threshold of an era in which social justice and social democracy have greater importance. Nor is there any way for Turkey to stay outside of this. Turkey has become closer to political, economic, financial and social developments in the world thanks to our EU reforms over 2002-2005, with the CHP's help as well.

    At a time when Europe is suffering financial and political shockwaves, the opposition CHP should reposition itself, as should the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The debate over certain AKP policies is making people look to the CHP. Back in 1994, the CHP program had strong political goals due to conditions back then. Abolition of the death penalty, the end of State Security Courts (DGM), expanding compulsory primary education, allowing Kurdish and other mother tongues and similar democratization goals were realized thanks to many EU harmonization reforms.

    As the AKP is the ruling party, the CHP didn't get any credit, but it did support all these changes. It can be hardly said that the new CHP program passed yesterday has the memorable goals of its 1994 platform. CHP dissidents yesterday charged that the revised program was voted in hurriedly without proper debate. CHP leader Deniz Baykal's presentation shows that the party will shift from a rhetoric some members find overly nationalistic towards a stance stressing social justice and democracy. By accepting a woman wearing a chador as a CHP member, Baykal started to break the self-spun CHP cocoon of nationalistic rhetoric. Yet how will they be able to provide these changes within the CHP's structure, which many criticize as clumsy?

    Will this new program change the reinforced concrete structure? These are questions awaiting answers. The CHP raising its visibility as an alternative to the ruling party is also very important for Turkish democracy. The first test of the success of yesterday's congress along these lines will be seen in the local elections in three months."

    [11] END


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