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Turkish Press Review, 08-12-29

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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

29.12.2008


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL, BABACAN CONTINUES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO HALT ISRAEL'S ATTACKS ON GAZA STRIP
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "ISRAEL'S AIR ASSAULT ON HAMAS TARGETS IN THE GAZA STRIP IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY"
  • [03] AKP MAYORS IN 18 MORE PROVINCES TO SEEK REELECTION
  • [04] BABACAN: "THE APOLOGY CAMPAIGN COULD HARM TURKEY'S EU BID"
  • [05] IN TRABZON, BAYKAL ANNOUNCES CHP MAYORAL HOPEFUL
  • [06] WWI SOLDIERS COMMEMORATED IN KARS
  • [07] ACTORS IN THE TRAGEDY: THE US, ISRAEL, HAMAS

  • [01] GUL, BABACAN CONTINUES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO HALT ISRAEL'S ATTACKS ON GAZA STRIP

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday telephoned his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak as part of diplomatic efforts to halt Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also yesterday called her Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, who reportedly urged Israel to halt the attacks at once, warning that they could harm security in the entire region. Babacan also telephoned Turkish scholar Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who heads the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to urge the OIC to take immediate action. In related news, hundreds of Turks yesterday held rallies in Istanbul and Ankara to protest the Israeli attacks. /Star- Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "ISRAEL'S AIR ASSAULT ON HAMAS TARGETS IN THE GAZA STRIP IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY"

    Israel's air assault on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip is a crime against humanity, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking to a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan called on Israel to halt the attacks. As part of efforts to end the violence by Israel, Erdogan also telephoned UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and urged the UN to provide humanitarian aid to the people affected by the assaults and help stop Israel's military operation. Calling Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip a blow to world peace, he stressed that violence leads to more violence. Decrying Israel use of disproportionate force against innocent civilians, he cited Olmert's pledge to continue direct talks between Israel and Syria. Erdogan, whose government has helped mediate the Israeli-Syria talks, added, "This operation, launched despite all of these facts, also show disrespect to Turkey." /Aksam-Star/

    [03] AKP MAYORS IN 18 MORE PROVINCES TO SEEK REELECTION

    At a meeting in Ankara over the weekend, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced 18 more candidates of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for local elections next March. Speaking at the meeting, Premier Erdogan said the AKP Central Executive Board (MYK) had decided to re-nominate the party's current mayors in the provinces of Adiyaman, Aksaray, Balikesir, Bilecik, Bolu, Burdur, Denizli, Elazig, Karabuk, Kilis, Mus, Nevsehir, Rize, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Van and Yozgat. However, Erdogan declined to announce the party's candidate for the Ankara Greater Municipality. He said that they would announce all the candidates by January 15. Rebuffing main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) claims that the government is using social aid programs to win over voters, Erdogan said he find it hard to understand how the CHP can call itself a social democratic party while at the same time trying to halt government aid to the needy. Stressing that the AKP has been fighting poverty and corruption since coming to power six years ago, Erdogan said that his government has allocated some $5 billion for public aid. Addressing his party's candidates, Erdogan urged them to be humble and to work in harmony with local party members. He said they should work to win the people's hearts. /Sabah/

    [04] BABACAN: "THE APOLOGY CAMPAIGN COULD HARM TURKEY'S EU BID"

    Speaking about the initiative to issue an apology for World War I-era killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottomans, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan over the weekend said that Turkey has freedom of speech and that he cannot stand against this liberty. He added, however, that the campaign, conducted in the midst of Turkey's European Union negotiation process, could weaken Ankara's hand and even harm the process. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] IN TRABZON, BAYKAL ANNOUNCES CHP MAYORAL HOPEFUL

    At a shopping mall opening in Trabzon yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal announced that Volkan Canalioglu will be the CHP mayoral candidate for the Black Sea city in local elections next March. In a speech, Baykal criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In related news, Baykal also attended the opening ceremony of a theater in Istanbul. /Milliyet/

    [06] WWI SOLDIERS COMMEMORATED IN KARS

    Thousands of Turkish soldiers who died of freezing cold in the World War I Sarikamis Operation were commemorated yesterday with an official ceremony in the eastern Anatolian province of Kars. The ceremony was attended by State Minister Mehmet Aydin, Kars Governor Mehmet Ufuk Erden, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Kars Deputy Zeki Karabayir, 14th Mechanized Brigade Commander Taner Guvenci, the governors of Ardahan and Igdir, the mayor of Sarikamis, as well as many university students and people from throughout Turkey. Speaking at the ceremony, Aydin said though the soldiers perished due to inadequate equipment, they gave their lives for the homeland. Before the ceremony, nearly 5,000 people conducted a commemorative climb from the village of Kizilcubuk to a high point in the Allahuekber Mountains, where a monument to the fallen soldiers is located. /Sabah/

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

    [07] ACTORS IN THE TRAGEDY: THE US, ISRAEL, HAMAS

    BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the violence in the Mideast. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Every act of slaughter, even it doesn't touch you, harms people's state of mind. Photos of hundreds of corpses make me regret being a journalist.

    Isn't it an ironic that political scientist Samuel Huntington, who predicted that the days to come will bring conflicts among civilizations and great human suffering, died on the same day as Israel's attack on the Palestinians?

    For years, Palestinians have been born into this insufferable grief, grow up, and then die. And these people suffer during their short lives. The Palestinians came into this world as human beings, but were never given the right to live that way. With their homeland and freedom taken away, they have been forced to live at the mercy of Israel and the US on their own land.

    This isn't just, and no peace can be built on this injustice. If the Palestinians aren't allowed to get out of this hell, the conflicts and bloodshed in the region will never end. Death becomes an everyday occurrence, as it is now. The world doesn't want to see this reality. Mediation efforts for peace have been nothing but a show.

    The world cannot ensure peace in the region without first solving the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

    Hamas is one of the actors responsible for the tragedy in the region and the slaughter of innocents.

    Israel has lost its common sense and turned into a merciless death machine. When will it see that it will never know peace without agreeing to justly share the region's land with the Palestinians? Otherwise, though perhaps not as much as the Palestinians, it also will continue to suffer.

    The US, as far as I'm concerned, is the sole state responsible for the ongoing bloodshed. It still refuses to condemn the slaughter and stop Israel. As long as this US stance continues, the Palestinian-Israeli hostility will never end.

    It's astonishing that even the Sept. 11 attacks, which took thousands of lives, weren't enough for the US to see the facts.

    Washington has never understood that people who have lost their land and are being forced to live as parasites on their own land have no choice but to die.

    For the sake of world peace, the US must ensure the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

    And the sole way for this to happen is to give the Palestinian people back their homeland.

    Because homeland is everything!"


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