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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-14

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

14.01.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL WELCOMES TOP FILMMAKERS TO CANKAYA PALACE
  • [02] ERDOGAN DISMISSES OPPOSITION CLAIMS THAT ERGENEKON PROBE IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED
  • [03] IRANIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MEETS WITH ERDOGAN
  • [04] BABACAN: "PEACE IN KOSOVO MEANS STABILITY IN EUROPE"
  • [05] BAYKAL: "DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DETAINED WITHOUT SOUND EVIDENCE IN ERGENEKON PROBE"
  • [06] BAHCELI GIVES CONDITIONAL SUPPORT TO GOVT ON ERGENEKON PROBE
  • [07] US SEC'Y OF STATE NOMINEE CLINTON: "WE'LL TAKE CARE OF THE ARMENIAN ISSUE"
  • [08] GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER: "WE HAVEN'T MADE ANY PROGRESS IN FOUR MONTHS OF TALKS"
  • [09] FIFA FAIR PLAY AWARD GOES TO TURKEY, ARMENIA
  • [10] LEADERS' WIVES
  • [11] TURKEY'S ROLE FOR A CEASE-FIRE…
  • [12] END

  • [01] GUL WELCOMES TOP FILMMAKERS TO CANKAYA PALACE

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday welcomed eight prominent figures from the world of film to the Cankaya Palace, in the latest in a series of meetings with distinguished figures. At the luncheon were directors Sinan Cetin, Erden Kiral, and Yucel Cakmakli, producer Turker Inanoglu, scriptwriter Gani Mujde, actor Sener Sen, and actresses Lale Mansur and Zuhal Olcay. Afterwards, Mujde said that they mostly discussed problems of the Turkish movie sector and ways to combat movie pirating. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN DISMISSES OPPOSITION CLAIMS THAT ERGENEKON PROBE IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

    Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan devoted the bulk of his speech to debate sparked by the recent detentions and arrests under the Ergenekon probe, urging everyone to refrain from casting a shadow over the judiciary. Stressing the importance of respecting judicial independence, Erdogan said, "Prosecutors and judges are continuing their efforts fully independent of all outside pressure." The government, politicians and citizens have a responsibility to help laws be implemented in the best way possible, he said. Dismissing main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal's claims that the government has made the probe a political tool, Erdogan said, "We set out with the goal of fighting the mafia and gangs. Our fight against these groups is certainly not based on any desire for revenge." Citing how the police recently found underground caches of weapons as part of the probe, Erdogan asked, "How will the CHP explain these weapons?" Accusing Baykal of interfering in the ongoing judicial process of the probe, Erdogan said, "Sometimes he says the fight against gangs should continue, but sometimes he acts like Ergenekon's defense lawyer." Touching on the continuing Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip, Erdogan said humanity is dying in Gaza along with civilians and children. Stating that the international community was late to react to the incidents in Gaza, Erdogan said those who are silent in the face of the Gaza attacks will bear historical responsibility, regardless of why they stayed silent. "Keeping silence and not taking any action is being complicit in the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza," he added. Erdogan also warned that the Israeli attacks would escalate regional tension. In related news, the premier yesterday also visited Palestinians wounded by Israel's attacks now in Turkey for treatment. Erdogan told them that they are in safe hands now and among friends. Asked about the state of the peace talks, Erdogan said talks in Egypt are going better than two weeks ago/ Turkiye- Milliyet/

    [03] IRANIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER MEETS WITH ERDOGAN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani. During the meeting, Erdogan conveyed Turkey's views on the need for a cease-fire in Gaza, an end to the Israeli embargo, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. Larijani reportedly supported Turkey's views on these issues, saying, "No solution excluding Hamas is realistic." They also discussed bilateral economic ties and the fight against terrorism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] BABACAN: "PEACE IN KOSOVO MEANS STABILITY IN EUROPE"

    Wherever differences are embraced as a richness, then lasting peace can be established, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday in Kosovo. Addressing the Kosovar Parliament, Babacan added that Kosovo's peace and welfare means Europe's peace and welfare, underlining the importance of solving problems through diplomacy. Touching on the Middle East, Babacan stated that Turkey is working on ending the tragedy in Gaza, and that international community should act together to prevent such tragedies. /Star/

    [05] BAYKAL: "DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DETAINED WITHOUT SOUND EVIDENCE IN ERGENEKON PROBE"

    Main opposition Republican People Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday continued to criticize the government on recent detention and arrests under the Ergenekon probe. Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting, Baykal said that the detentions of distinguished individuals and former top officials under the probe were causing widespread public concern. Saying that there were no claims of wrongdoing while those individuals were in office, Baykal added, "If you detain retired generals and former top officials, you need to have a very strong case against them. You have to know why they were detained if you detain these people. You have to have legal grounds. So if there was sound evidence to take these people in custody, why did you release them without even taking them before a court? I'm happy that they were released, but we need to look into this. What happened in three days to make you release them?" /Turkiye/

    [06] BAHCELI GIVES CONDITIONAL SUPPORT TO GOVT ON ERGENEKON PROBE

    Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli called the Ergenekon probe an important development that may help dispel shadows hanging over Turkish democracy. Calling on the government to bring all illegal organization and gangs to justice, Bahceli said "Everything should be conducted within the framework determined by the law. Everyone should refrain from casting shadows over the credibility of the law and instead should act in a way that will maintain the freedom of the judiciary. No one is allowed to put pressure on the esteemed prosecutors and judges on the case." He also said everyone is innocent until proven guilty, adding that those who are proven guilty will bear the consequences. Bahceli also said, "No institution cannot be brought under suspicion due to its members engaging in illegal activities," urging the government to protect the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against smear campaigns. He said given the broadening scope and deepening judicial dimensions of the Ergenekon probe, the judiciary should be supported with additional means and staff to better deal with the case. /Sabah/

    [07] US SEC'Y OF STATE NOMINEE CLINTON: "WE'LL TAKE CARE OF THE ARMENIAN ISSUE"

    The US must strengthen its relationship with Turkey to help secure a lasting peace in the Middle East, Senator Hillary Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. In Clinton's confirmation hearing before the committee, New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez also said that he hoped she would show an interest in the 1915 Armenian incidents and solving the Cyprus issue. "We'll be closely taking care of this and other difficult issues," Clinton replied. /Milliyet/

    [08] GREEK CYPRIOT LEADER: "WE HAVEN'T MADE ANY PROGRESS IN FOUR MONTHS OF TALKS"

    Turkey, a candidate country for the European Union, cannot continue its military presence on Cyprus, said Greek Cypriot administration leader Demetris Christofias yesterday. Speaking at a meeting, Christofias claimed that Turkish Cypriot side is aiming to establish something more like a confederation than a federation on the island, contrary to UN aims, and added, "Turkey should encourage Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to approve a 'reasonable and positive thesis,' and has a commitment to help the negotiation process for peace between the two sides succeed." He also complained that in four months of bilateral talks, no progress had been made./Milliyet/

    [09] FIFA FAIR PLAY AWARD GOES TO TURKEY, ARMENIA

    The FIFA Fair Play Award for 2008 has gone to the football associations of Turkey and Armenia for their part in encouraging dialogue between the two countries, which otherwise lack any diplomatic ties, FIFA's website reported on Monday night. Last September, Turkish President Abdullah Gul spent eight hours in Yerevan, on the invitation of Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, to attend the two countries' qualifying match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In other news, on Monday famous Turkish basketball player Mehmet Okur scored a career-high 43 points for his team, the Utah Jazz, to help it beat Indiana 120-113 in the NBA. /Today's Zaman/

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

    [10] LEADERS' WIVES

    BY BERIL DEDEOGLU (STAR)

    Columnist Beril Dedeoglu comments on a visit paid by the wives of regional countries' leaders to Emine Erdogan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "The wives of the Lebanese, Libya, Syrian, Qatari, Azeri, Jordanian and Pakistani leaders came to Turkey as the guest of Emine Erdogan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife. Of course, the aim of these women wasn't only traveling. The wives of a great many political figures who are very important for the Middle East came to take a stand on the Palestinian issue. It's hard to remember any similar previous initiative, but I don't think this will be forgotten, because the women are the wives of state leaders working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but they don't represent the state.

    According to the majority of those countries, Israel is using disproportionate force in its Gaza operations. In other words, most of these countries don't object to establishing strategic and military relations with Israel, and even favor such ties. On the contrary, these countries have such a social structure that they can't stay silent about harm suffered by Muslim nations. There are also concerns that the same countries' Israeli policies could strengthen radical groups, which might in turn carry out terrorist attacks both against the ruling parties in their own countries and the entire world.

    Nobody can guarantee that Israel's operation in Gaza won't spread to its close neighbors such as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and that this situation won't cause a new power struggle which might extend to Pakistan, Azerbaijan and even North Africa. So there's no guarantee that more women and children and civilians won't die both in Gaza and other places. Thus the humanitarian dimensions of the problem could pave the way for future problems.

    The leaders' wives started an initiative to draw public attention to these terrible conditions. Obviously, the difficulties of being women and mothers are exacerbated during war, and it's also important for women outside of war to recognize this. Moreover, the special situation of these women showing their humanitarian sensitivity makes it possible to see the issue through a political lens. This way, the activities carried out by representatives of the state through official channels are supported by a less official channel thanks to their wives. In other words, while the men continue state diplomacy, the women carry out public diplomacy. The leaders aim directly at decision-makers, but their wives do this indirectly.

    I wish that wives of the leaders of non-majority Muslim countries were also involved in such initiatives. For example, if women from India or Sweden could have participated, then it would have been stressed that the people dying in Gaza aren't just Muslims, but also humans, civilians, women and children. As it stands, the effect of this initiative could be blunted. Nevertheless, this is an important initiative and I hope it will be expanded and maintained."

    [11] TURKEY'S ROLE FOR A CEASE-FIRE…

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "During the third week of the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, concentrated diplomatic efforts unfortunately have yet to yield any results. Still, people are looking at Cairo, which is the focus of the efforts.

    As part of a plan put together with France, Egypt is discussing the details of a cease-fire with Hamas' Gaza and Damascus wings along with Israel, and with the help of other actors, including Turkey, it is trying to reach a consensus on the issue.

    The truth of the saying 'the devil is in the details' is now becoming clear. Efforts for a cease-fire are being drowned in the details of the preconditions put forward by the sides.

    Indeed, the hard-won UN Security Council resolution for a cease-fire should be implemented soon. But both sides have rejected this balanced resolution, as it failed to meet their own preconditions.

    These details basically are related to the heart of the conflict in the region.

    Israel is asking for assurance in two matters for a cease-fire: an end to the missile attacks from Gaza (and supplies of missiles), and a crackdown on the tunnels used to smuggle weapons…

    On the other hand, Hamas is demanding that Israel cease its attacks and open Gaza's connections to the world, lifting its blockade.

    Egypt (also naturally watching for its own position) is trying to provide balance and a common ground among the details of the opposing positions.

    I have no idea about the details of the bargaining behind closed doors, but I understand that the plan proposed by Egypt has basic points which should be finally somehow accepted, although it is difficult, by the two sides. For example, Israel's ending its attacks and retreating, putting checkpoints in Gaza under a supervision mechanism and stopping missile attacks, etc.

    Details such as where and by whom that this supervision will be carried out are still under discussion. Egypt, towards this aim, is planning to convene the Arab League. During UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's visit to the region this week, this is expected to be one of the issues to be taken up…

    What is Turkey's role in all these initiatives and contacts?

    Turkey was the first state to launch initiatives just after the attacks on Gaza began. France and the others later joined these efforts.

    Meanwhile, Egypt came to the forefront thanks to its plan on the issue and contacts with all sides, including Israel. But behind the scenes, Turkish diplomacy worked to cover others' shortcomings. Shuttle diplomacy by the prime minister's chief advisor Ahmet Davutoglu between Cairo and Damascus and his continued contact with Hamas' Khaled Meshaal are among his complementary contributions to the ongoing efforts.

    We understand that, Turkey, in this period of negotiation over a cease-fire, is mostly engaging with Hamas and Syria, and trying to reach a common point on details with them.

    As reported in yesterday's Al-Hayat, Hamas trusts Turkey even more than Egypt, so Ankara has a kind of mediator or conciliatory role in the issue."

    [12] END


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