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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-23

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

23.12.2008

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ISRAEL'S OLMERT PAYS FAREWELL VISITS TO GUL, ERDOGAN
  • [02] YOK SUBMITS SHORTLIST OF ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY RECTOR CANDIDATES TO PRESIDENT GUL
  • [03] TALABANI: "BOTH BAGHDAD AND THE REGIONAL N.IRAQI ADMINISTRATION ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PKK"
  • [04] IRAQI PM TO VISIT ANKARA
  • [05] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG ISSUES MESSAGE MARKING ANNIVERSARY OF KUBILAY ASSASSINATION
  • [06] HOPES FOR SETTLEMENT ON CYPRUS PUSHED TO 2009
  • [07] HISTORICAL ISTANBUL SITES TO BE RESTORED
  • [08] TWO MISTAKES IN THE DISCUSSION BETWEEN GUL AND ARITMAN

  • [01] ISRAEL'S OLMERT PAYS FAREWELL VISITS TO GUL, ERDOGAN

    Paying a farewell visit, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose term of office will end in February, was received by President Abdullah Gul at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara yesterday. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan were also present. The meeting was closed to the press, but Gul and Olmert shook hands for the cameras. Later, Olmert met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Prime Ministry Residence. Erdogan also hosted a working dinner in honor of Olmert, with Babacan also in attendance. Olmert's talks with Gul and Erdogan reportedly focused on the Middle East peace process and Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as the negotiations between Syria and Israel under Turkey's mediation, and how the coming elections in Israel will affect these talks. During the meetings, Israel's embargo on the Gaza Strip was also discussed. In related news, Erdogan had a phone conversation with his Palestinian counterpart Ismail Haniye. The Palestinian prime minister told about Palestine's demand that Israel lift the embargo. Erdogan also reportedly told Olmert about Turkey's views on the issue and what Haniye had said. /Turkiye/

    [02] YOK SUBMITS SHORTLIST OF ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY RECTOR CANDIDATES TO PRESIDENT GUL

    The Board of Higher Education (YOK) yesterday submitted to President Abdullah Gul for final selection its shortlist of rector candidates for Istanbul University, Turkey's oldest university. The board cut down to three a list of six candidates chosen by a university faculty vote. At the top of the list was Professor Yunus Soylet, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's family physician, who was also selected by Gul to serve on YOK. Soylet got the second-highest number of faculty votes. Professor Ali Akyuz, the top vote-getter, was second on the list, and Professor Melih Boydak was third. In the faculty elections, Akyuz got 483 votes, while Soylet got 467 and Boydak 365. /Hurriyet/

    [03] TALABANI: "BOTH BAGHDAD AND THE REGIONAL N.IRAQI ADMINISTRATION ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PKK"

    Both the Iraqi government and the regional administration in northern Iraq are concerned about the terrorist PKK's activities, said Iraqi President Jalal Talabani yesterday. Speaking to CNN Turk, Talabani said that several Kurdish groups continue to urge the terrorist PKK to lay down its arms. Stressing that all Kurdish groups should explain to the terrorist PKK that the era of armed struggle is over, he claimed that if certain conditions are met, the PKK will lay down its arms. Asked about the possibility of Turkey issuing a general amnesty for terrorists, he said, "I can't interfere in Turkey's domestic affairs. I'm not in a position to tell Turkey to do this or that. This decision is up to our Turkish brothers." He also expressed regret that President Abdullah Gul had been forced to postpone a visit to Iraq due to health problems. /Star/

    [04] IRAQI PM TO VISIT ANKARA

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will arrive in Ankara tomorrow for official talks with Turkish officials. Maliki will be received by President Abdullah Gul and meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Ankara will reportedly urge Maliki to implement the decisions made at a recent tripartite meeting among the US, Turkey and Iraq in Baghdad and take concrete measures against the terrorist PKK, saying that otherwise military operations against the terrorist group will continue. /Turkiye/

    [05] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG ISSUES MESSAGE MARKING ANNIVERSARY OF KUBILAY ASSASSINATION

    In a message marking the 78th anniversary of the assassination of Lt. Kubilay by religious extremists in 1930, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday said that the principle of secularism is the safeguard of Turkey's social democratic state under the rule of law. Underlining that harming the principle of secularism through futile political debates only causes problems, he added that Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will fight all threats to Turkey's national integrity and its indivisible territory. A ceremony will be held today in Menemen, Izmir to commemorate Kubilay and others slain 78 years ago. /Milliyet/

    [06] HOPES FOR SETTLEMENT ON CYPRUS PUSHED TO 2009

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias yesterday met for a 13th round of talks for a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, UN Special Cyprus Envoy Alexander Downer said that the two leaders have a great deal to discuss and do, adding that they are working decisively towards a resolution. For his part, Talat said that next year they will make more efforts to solve the issue. /Turkiye/

    [07] HISTORICAL ISTANBUL SITES TO BE RESTORED

    As part of the Istanbul 2010 European Culture Capital project, Istanbul officials have stepped up work to spruce up Turkey's largest city. The Directorate General of Foundations has decided to restore and renovate 88 historical sites in the province, including the famous Suleymaniye Mosque and Spice Bazaar. The restoration will be carried out under the supervision of a scientific board. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [08] TWO MISTAKES IN THE DISCUSSION BETWEEN GUL AND ARITMAN

    BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on a suggestion made by a Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy about the ethnicity of President Gul's mother. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Everyone is talking about a statement made by Canan Aritman, Republican People's Party (CHP) Izmir deputy, which implied that President Abdullah Gul's mother had Armenian roots. Citing his family tree, President Gul said this argument was false. Gul stated that he is Muslim and Turkish on both sides of his family, as 100 years of the tree proves. Gul said that he felt he had to set the record straight in order to correct a tendentious lie which started when he ran for president last year and has recently been openly and deviously resurrected. He added that he wanted to establish the truth for history's sake.

    Aritman's statement implying that Gul's mother has Armenian roots was unfortunate. The path she took was wrong. Whether Gul's mother has Armenian roots or not shouldn't be used for political fodder. Aritman's 'racial' approach was widely criticized, including by the CHP, her own party. This is another sign that what Aritman did was wrong. Aritman offended Turkey's Armenians with her suggestion about Gul. Her approach, which paints being Armenian as a crime or deficiency, is contrary to the Turkish Republic's founding principles. Her words ill suit a member of a party like the CHP (Turkey's first party), which established the founding principles of the republic. The Turkish Republic isn't based on an ethnic basis. Ataturk's understanding of the nation wasn't racist. In an excellent formulation of his understanding of the nation and nationalism, Ataturk said that the nation which established the Turkish nation is called the Turkish nation. Whatever one's ethnic background, each and every citizen of the Turkish Republic can undertake any post or duty. The president, Parliament speaker, prime minister, chief of General Staff and government ministers may have different ethnic roots. This is a requirement of the republic's founding principles.

    Gul not only released his family tree, but also sued Aritman. The president represents the entire nation, and he's head of the state. Thus his filing a lawsuit against claims that there are Armenians in his family and allegations of discrimination might offend our Armenian citizens. If being an Armenian or having a family with Armenian roots is seen as something which has to be denied, this might cause misunderstandings, particularly in terms of Gul's responsibility to represent the entire nation. Although he was trying to prevent political exploitation, Gul shouldn't have sued her, but instead, out of consideration for our Armenian citizens, found it sufficient to issue a statement. Looking at the situation in terms of the republic's founding principles, Gul filing a lawsuit against Aritman's statements amounts to compounding one mistake with yet another."


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