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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-09

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

09.01.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN
  • [02] ARAB AMBASSADORS PRAISE ERDOGAN'S EFFORT ON GAZA
  • [03] BABACAN: "THE UN SHOULD FIND A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS IN GAZA"
  • [04] CICEK: "EVERYONE SHOULD TRUST IN THE JUDICIARY AND AVOID UNDERMINING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE"
  • [05] TUSIAD: "THE ERGENEKON PROBE SHOULD BE CONDUCTED CAREFULLY"
  • [06] EU'S SOLANA VISITS ANKARA
  • [07] RED CRESCENT SENDS MORE HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA
  • [08] THE AKP'S SOCIETY OF FEAR

  • [01] CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF MEETS WITH GUL, ERDOGAN

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday met with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to share his views and assessments about the ongoing Ergenekon probe. After the meeting, a Prime Ministry statement said, "Recent developments were discussed at the meeting held at the request of Gen. Basbug." The General Staff also released a statement saying that Basbug conveyed his views of detentions of individuals under the Ergenekon probe. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ARAB AMBASSADORS PRAISE ERDOGAN'S EFFORT ON GAZA

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received a delegation of Arab ambassadors in Ankara representing Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Oman, and Tunisia. On behalf of the delegation, Tunisian Ambassador Mohammed Bin Nasser Al-Wohaibi thanked Erdogan for his work on the Palestinian issue, saying, "The Arab world appreciates Turkey's international efforts to help end the humanitarian tragedy in the Gaza Strip and to push for an immediate cease-fire." /Star/

    [03] BABACAN: "THE UN SHOULD FIND A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS IN GAZA"

    In New York, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and an accompanying delegation yesterday met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "The UN should find a solution to the problems in Gaza," Babacan told the meeting. For his part, Moon praised Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's efforts to end the violence in the Gaza Strip, and to provide peace and security in the region. In related news, according to a Prime Ministry statement, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Egemen Bagis yesterday was appointed state minister to fill the chief negotiator post for Turkey's European Union membership talks. The decision to separate the duties of the foreign minister and chief negotiator is due to recent developments in the Middle East and Turkey's non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, said the statement. Until now, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has held the chief negotiator post. /Star-Aksam/

    [04] CICEK: "EVERYONE SHOULD TRUST IN THE JUDICIARY AND AVOID UNDERMINING JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE"

    Commenting yesterday on criticisms of recent detentions under the Ergenekon probe, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said that everyone should avoid making statements that could harm the ongoing judicial process of the Ergenekon probe and trial. Dismissing main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) claims that the probe is politically motivated, Cicek said, "Turkey has a functioning judicial system. The Turkish judiciary is independent. We should do everything we can to promote this independence. Everyone, especially members of judicial bodies, should avoid statements and acts that could harm a fair trial." Referring to a meeting of Supreme Court of Appeals members to discuss a police search under the probe of a former court chief prosecutor's home, Cicek called on the court to make sure that they do not compromise their impartiality by publicly announcing they have a pre-established opinion on the probe. He said it is likely that in the end, the case will come before that very same court. Later, Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Hasan Gerceker said that the court had decided to not to issue a statement after their meeting, citing similar concerns about impartiality and not affecting an ongoing legal process. Instead, he said, they decided to take legal action on the suspects' complaints about the probe's prosecutors. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [05] TUSIAD: "THE ERGENEKON PROBE SHOULD BE CONDUCTED CAREFULLY"

    The ongoing Ergenekon probe should be carried out carefully, said the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) yesterday in a statement. "For the last year-and-a-half, Turkey has been discussing a judicial process called the Ergenekon probe," it said. "As the probe goes forward, debate over how the probe is being carried out is rising. The rule of law is an order under which no one and no institution has immunity, and everyone is subject to the law… In such cases, judicial bodies act very carefully so as not to violate the rights of the suspects. If necessary, resource and material support should be provided to expedite the process. In order not to erode public confidence that the case is being conducted in line with law and human rights, transparency should be adhered to, and the public should be kept regularly informed. And all political sectors should avoid statements which could cast a shadow over the independence of the judiciary." /Milliyet/

    [06] EU'S SOLANA VISITS ANKARA

    European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, on a one-day visit to Ankara, yesterday met with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During their meeting, Erdogan told Solana about his recent Middle East shuttle tour and how he supports peace efforts in Gaza. Afterwards, Solana praised Turkey's efforts to promote a cease-fire in Gaza to reporters, calling these efforts very constructive. Asked whether he had asked Turkey to use its influence with Hamas to accept a cease-fire proposal, Solana said, "There is no need for me to do so. The Turkish government's feeling of responsibility is very high, and they are already doing this." /Star-Milliyet/

    [07] RED CRESCENT SENDS MORE HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA

    Turkish aid organization Kizilay (the Turkish Red Crescent), which recently sent 11,000 packages of foodstuffs to Gaza in the midst of Israeli attacks, has sent another humanitarian aid convoy carrying foodstuffs, blankets and medical supplies to the region. Kizilay had previously sent five experts and 10 truckloads of foodstuffs to Gaza. The second convoy carries 3,300 packages of foodstuffs, 5,000 blankets and one ton of medical supplies, the group said in a statement yesterday. Kizilay head Tekin Kucukali said that both Turkey and the international community should work to alleviate the suffering in the region. /Turkiye/

    Talks on a possible standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund began yesterday with a meeting in Ankara between State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek and an IMF team led by the Fund's Turkey desk chief Rachael van Elkan. The two discussed the outlines of the agreement for a possible loan to limit fallout from the global economic crisis on Turkey's economy. IMF Turkey representative Husein Samei and Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci also attended the meeting. Initially Turkey had wanted to sign a precautionary standby deal with the Fund, in which loans were optional, but later a standby deal with a loan emerged to better fight the crisis. The IMF is urging the government to take stricter fiscal policies by hiking taxes and slashing expenditures to boost savings. The government, however, has suggested that it will reject such measures, especially in the current climate when the country needs more public investment and liquidity to reinvigorate markets and industrial production. After holding a series of talks with senior economic officials in Ankara, the IMF team is expected to proceed to Istanbul to meet with businesspeople and banking representatives to discuss the real sector's financing needs. The IMF team will stay in Turkey until the end of January. Talks are expected to resume next month. The new deal is likely to be approved by the Fund in March. /Sabah/

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

    [08] THE AKP'S SOCIETY OF FEAR

    BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on recent detentions under the Ergenekon probe. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Sabih Kanadoglu…

    An esteemed jurist who served as the chief public prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey … The Supreme Court of Appeals' honorary chief prosecutor…

    A man who campaigned for 50 years for the rule of law…

    His house was rummaged through the other day on a warrant from the Ergenekon prosecutor. The police took everything they could find, including a CD by pianist Fazil Say.

    The most tragicomic part is that according to the search warrant, Kanadoglu was accused of being involved in the bombing of Cumhuriyet daily, attack on the Council of State, and connections with gang members…

    After the search, asked if he had been hurt, he said, ' I've suffered no material damage, but very great moral damage.'

    Sami Selcuk…

    The Supreme Court of Appeals' honorary chief justice…

    Here is his commentary on the issue:

    'In all my professional life, I've never seen such an indictment. Such an indictment cannot be prepared. I hope the jurists conducting this probe are aware that they discharging a very critical duty.'

    Mehmet Ali Sahin…

    The justice minister…

    Speaking to reporters about the developments:

    'This is completely judicial in nature, not political. As justice minister, I learn about all these developments through the media!'

    Professor Kemal Guruz…

    Former head of the Board of Higher Education (YOK)…

    A photo showing how he was treated by police when he was being taken to the police station after his house was searched clearly attests to how Turkey is being transformed into a police state.

    The Ergenekon probe and trials, which claim to target gangs involved in the state responsible for unsolved murders, now have turned into a tool for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to settle accounts with the republic.

    The ruling party has begun to use the judiciary to take revenge on its opponents and shut them up.

    Six years after the AKP took power, Turkey has been transformed into a society of fear.

    Everybody is warning each other not to speak.

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli gave the same warning to MHP members: ' Be careful. Watch what you say on the phone.'

    Turkey is going through a period similar to the US in the 1950s, created by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

    In the McCarthy era, a senator from the state of Wisconsin, in the name of defeating communism, subjected thousands of Americans to punishing inquiries, pressuring them to inform on their friends and colleagues or risk losing their jobs and being thrown in jail. McCarthy had no concrete evidence. After causing thousands to suffer, he was exposed as a charlatan and was disgraced. Four years of darkness and fear in the country came to an end.

    Have no doubt; the judiciary will get through this similar dark era in Turkey."


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