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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-12

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

12.01.2009

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE CHP HUBBUB OVER THE ERGENEKON PROBE"
  • [02] 15 ARRESTED, 14 RELEASED IN ERGENEKON PROBE
  • [03] MIDEAST FIRST LADIES CALL FOR PEACE IN GAZA
  • [04] CHP'S BAYKAL: "THE AKP'S ALEVI OUTREACH IS A PLOY"
  • [05] BAHCELI: "THE MHP IS THE SOLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE AKP"
  • [06] TURKISH ENVOY HOLDS TALKS IN IRAQ
  • [07] BAGIS TAKES OVER CHIEF EU TALKS NEGOTIATOR POST
  • [08] US AMBASSADOR: "THE TERRORIST PKK IS OUR COMMON ENEMY"
  • [09] COUNCIL OF EUROPE DELEGATION DUE IN ANKARA
  • [10] SIMSEK: "FOREIGN INVESTORS HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE IN OUR ECONOMY"
  • [11] CITIZEN NAZIM HIKMET
  • [12] END

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE CHP HUBBUB OVER THE ERGENEKON PROBE"

    Continuing to unveil the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidates for the March local elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday announced that Izmir Deputy Taha Aksoy will run for mayor of the city and Hasan Gonen will vie for the Eskisehir mayoral seat. At the announcement, the premier also criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) negative reaction to the ongoing Ergenekon probe. Asking if the CHP fears a transparent Turkey, Erdogan said he has difficulty understanding the hubbub within the party over recent developments. Stressing that the government would never turn a blind eye to organized criminal groups, Erdogan said that no one in Turkey is above the law. He also called on everybody to wait patiently and to trust in the judiciary. /Hurriyet/

    [02] 15 ARRESTED, 14 RELEASED IN ERGENEKON PROBE

    As part of the ongoing Ergenekon probe into an alleged secret network plotting to overthrow the government, nearly 40 people were detained last week in coordinated operations in six cities. Fifteen out of 29 of those who were then referred to a court, including former Special Forces Unit deputy head Ibrahim Sahin, were arrested by court order. Retired Gen. Tuncer Kilinc, a former National Security Council (MGK) secretary-general, was released by the court, along with retired generals Kemal Yavuz, Erdal Senel and Ilyas Cinar and nine other people. Some of them were barred by the court from leaving Turkey. Kemal Guruz, former head of the Board of Higher Education (YOK), was also released yesterday by the prosecutor without being sent to court. The questioning of three others, including Professor Yalcin Kucuk, had not been completed as of Sunday. In light of information and documents reportedly found in a search of Sahin's house, police found rocket-launchers, grenades and ammunition buried in a field in Golbasi, Ankara. The recent wave of detentions also reportedly exposed plots for assassinations meant to destabilize Turkey. /Sabah/

    [03] MIDEAST FIRST LADIES CALL FOR PEACE IN GAZA

    Adding their voices to international calls for Israel to end its attacks on Gaza, withdraw its troops and end its blockade, first ladies from the Middle East gathered in Istanbul on Saturday as part of an initiative spearheaded by Emine Erdogan, the wife of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Jordan's Queen Rania, Syria's Asma Assad, Sheika Mozah Bint Nasser al-Missned of Qatar and Lebanon's Wafaa Suleiman were joined by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's daughter, Aisha, and the Pakistani prime minister's wife, Fauzia Gilani, at a meeting called Women for Peace in Palestine. The group made an emotional plea for international aid to help women and children in Gaza. Reading from a joint declaration, Erdogan called on the international community to take a more active stance to end to the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza. "In the name of mothers who greatly value peace and human life, we ask that the international community press Israel to stop its attacks," she said. "Israel must abide by the UN resolution calling for a cease-fire. It must lift the embargo. Israel must immediately withdraw its forces from Gaza." /Sabah/

    [04] CHP'S BAYKAL: "THE AKP'S ALEVI OUTREACH IS A PLOY"

    At a ceremony in Istanbul's Kadikoy district, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday charged that the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) recent outreach to Alevis is an insincere ploy. Stating that the Alevis' problems can be solved by enacting long-neglected CHP proposals, Baykal said, "The only way to make these proposals a reality is to bring the CHP to power." Baykal also criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's approach to the world economic crisis. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] BAHCELI: "THE MHP IS THE SOLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE AKP"

    Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said yesterday that his party is the sole alternative to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Speaking at gathering to promote Hikmet Cay, the MHP's candidate for Greater Konya Municipality mayor, along with other candidates, Bahceli said that the local elections in March would be an important step for "saving" Turkey from the AKP, adding that the ballot box should be the only way to change ruling parties. /Aksam/

    [06] TURKISH ENVOY HOLDS TALKS IN IRAQ

    Murat Ozcelik, Turkey's deputy special representative to Iraq, over the weekend went to Iraq to hold talks with Turkish and Iraqi officials. Meeting with Turkish officials in northern Iraq, Ozcelik and Iraqi officials in Baghdad discussed a dispute between Turkey and Iraq over pursuing the terrorist PKK without prior notification. In related news, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is expected to soon visit Turkey. /Aksam/

    [07] BAGIS TAKES OVER CHIEF EU TALKS NEGOTIATOR POST

    In a ceremony at the Secretariat General for European Union Affairs, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday handed over his chief EU talks negotiator post to newly appointed State Minister Egemen Bagis. "From now on, Mr. Bagis will carry out the chief negotiator mission," said Babacan. "He will pursue the reforms that Turkey has to fulfill." For his part, Bagis said he was honored to receive the post. /Star/

    [08] US AMBASSADOR: "THE TERRORIST PKK IS OUR COMMON ENEMY"

    Citing his quarter-century in Turkish-US relations, new US Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey over the weekend expressed enthusiasm for his new post. "I am very happy to be back in Turkey as ambassador," he said in a statement on the US Embassy website. "This is my fourth assignment here. I've been working in Turkey and in Washington on the US-Turkish relations for a good part of my career. Over the twenty-five years since I first came to Turkey, I've developed a deep appreciation for your country and an abiding respect for the complexity of the Turkish language. There's no country with which I've developed a closer attachment. I'm not saying that simply because I'm ambassador." Touching on the terrorist PKK, he added, "We share the same view of the PKK. It's a terrorist organization that's a common enemy of Turkey, the United States and the broader international community. We have backed up our verbal commitment to assisting Turkey in its efforts to counter the PKK threat with deeds. We're sharing information and supporting Turkey's political and economic steps to counter the PKK's propaganda." /Aksam/

    [09] COUNCIL OF EUROPE DELEGATION DUE IN ANKARA

    Anders Knape and Herwig van Staa, rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, are scheduled to visit Ankara today to look at the situation of local and regional democracy in Turkey. The delegation will meet with Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler as well as representatives from the Interior Ministry and the Greater Ankara Municipality. /Hurriyet/

    [10] SIMSEK: "FOREIGN INVESTORS HAVE FULL CONFIDENCE IN OUR ECONOMY"

    Speaking at a weekend conference in Ankara on improving the investment environment, State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek said that in a UN report on foreign direct investment in 2007, Turkey ranked number 23 in the world and number nine among developing nations. Stating that Turkey attracted $15.3 billion of foreign direct investments in the first 10 months of last year, he said this shows that international investors have full confidence in Turkey's future. Turkey drew $22 billion worth of foreign investment in 2007. Simsek said that the same report said Turkey was one of the 14 most attractive countries for investors for 2008-2010 on the basis of the countries' business and investment environments and the ease of doing business. Touching on the global economic crisis, Simsek said avoiding it is impossible, adding that the government is taking all necessary measures to minimize the impact on the real sector. He also said that they support research and development and reducing employment burdens to improve the investment environment. Simsek also urged Turkish companies to make use of opportunities offered by the crisis. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [11] CITIZEN NAZIM HIKMET

    BY HASAN BULENT KAHRAMAN (SABAH)

    Columnist Hasan Bulent Kahraman comments on three recent important developments. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Three recent steps taken by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) got less public attention and praise than they deserve: Turkey restored the citizenship of Nazim Hikmet, the TRT started to broadcast in Kurdish, and the new Kurdish-language TRT 6 broadcast the Alevis breaking their Muharren fast live. These problems have been around for a quarter-century and haven't been solved by any ruling party, but now that they were solved no one seems to have noticed or understood.

    Some people ask whether restoring Hikmet's citizenship was necessary and whether if he were alive today he would accept this from the ruling party. They also ask if Kurds would embrace the new channel. When I heard all this, I was shocked. I never thought this way and I consider the current situation very important, for the following reasons.

    First, I believe that most of the credit for these breakthroughs should go to Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay. He not only made the decision, but also took another important step by saying that he felt disgust at the restaurant now on the site of the 1993 Madimak Hotel fire. Some say the building should be turned into a museum. All this makes me think. As a friend of mine said, Turkish public opinion acts like a spoiled child. It cries until it gets what it wants, but then once it has what it wants, it turns its back. This also shows that the public doesn't know what it wants and doesn't take it seriously.

    But for example, when then ruling Social Democratic People's Party (SHP) was considering restoring Hikmet's citizenship, the issue was a top Culture Ministry priority. The first initiative on this issue was made by then Culture Minister Ercan Karakas, when I was a consultant to the ministry. Although there were no legal hurdles to restoring his citizenship, no previous ruling party has been willing to do so. Now it's finally been done, but people give it no respect, which is irrational. The same applies to Kurdish TV broadcasts.

    If somebody asked, 'In a unitary state, could there be a state TV channel which broadcasts in a language other than the official language using public money?' I would say nothing. What's strange is that many Kurds don't like the channel. Unfortunately, I'm at a loss to explain this.

    All this points to two things: First, culture is no longer 'high culture.' A series of problems of the political structure unsolvable up to now have been solved after they were considered as cultural problems. Secondly, there will be fiercer debate between hardened ideologues. We should be prepared for this. In addition, we should know that those who criticize good decisions are doomed to stay on the wrong side. The right thing to do is to instrumentalize politics or provide politics with a functional character. I congratulate Mr. Gunay."

    [12] END


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