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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-22

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

22.01.2009

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] TOP STATE OFFICIALS UNDERLINE IMPORTANCE OF RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY
  • [02] ERDOGAN TO HOLD WEEKLY MEETINGS WITH CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG
  • [03] BAYKAL CRITICIZES GUL'S LUNCHEON WITH TOP STATE OFFICIALS
  • [04] IN BRUSSELS, CHIEF NEGOTIATOR BAGIS OPTIMISTIC ON TURKISH-EU TIES
  • [05] UN'S BAN URGES EUROPEAN OR TURKISH PRESENCE ON GAZA BORDER
  • [06] TUZMEN IN EGYPT TO BOOST TRADE TIES
  • [07] A HOST OF MEETINGS
  • [08] OBAMA IN THE WHITE HOUSE

  • [01] TOP STATE OFFICIALS UNDERLINE IMPORTANCE OF RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY

    As part of his constitutional duty to ensure the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of the state, President Abdullah Gul yesterday hosted a luncheon for the heads of the legislative, executive and judicial branches at the Foreign Ministry Residence in Ankara. In attendance were Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Hasim Kilic, Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Hasan Gerceker, Council of State head Mustafa Birden, Court of Accounts head Mehmet Damar, Court of Jurisdictional Disputes head Ahmet Akyalcin, Military High Court of Appeals head Ahmet Alkis, Military Supreme Administrative Court head Turgut Aribal and Mustafa İsen, the secretary-general of the president's office. Afterwards, a presidential statement said the top officials had exchanged views on issues related to their respective branches as well as regional and international developments in a sincere atmosphere. "It was emphasized at the meeting that the deepening of democracy, in line with the principle of the rule of law, as well as with basic principles, showing maximum care towards the implementation of procedural legal arrangements, will strengthen Turkey, and ease the overcoming of the challenges we face and enhance the atmosphere of public confidence," the statement said. It also said that president was planning to hold such meetings regularly, as all the participants had found it helpful. /Sabah/

    [02] ERDOGAN TO HOLD WEEKLY MEETINGS WITH CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG

    From now on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug will hold regular weekly meetings, the Prime Ministry announced yesterday. Starting today, Erdogan will meet with Basbug every Thursday to discuss recent developments in Turkey. After completing his weekly meeting with President Abdullah Gul, Basbug will proceed to the Prime Ministry to meet with Erdogan. /Aksam/

    [03] BAYKAL CRITICIZES GUL'S LUNCHEON WITH TOP STATE OFFICIALS

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday criticized President Abdullah Gul's luncheon with top state officials, which Gul has pledged to make a regular event. "The heads of judicial bodies meeting with the government violates the division of powers and judicial independence," Baykal told his party's Central Executive Committee (MYK). "Judicial bodies should keep their distance from the government." Baykal also said Gul's initiative was without precedent. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] IN BRUSSELS, CHIEF NEGOTIATOR BAGIS OPTIMISTIC ON TURKISH-EU TIES

    At a press conference following his meetings in Brussels, Chief European Union negotiator Egemen Bagis yesterday said Turkish-European Union relations were gaining momentum. Stating that Turkey's EU membership is everyone's project, Bagis said, "I have asked to meet with the leaders of (Turkey's) opposition parties. I will seek their support." He added, "Certainly we cannot be of the same opinion on every issue (with the opposition). After all, the EU is based on a culture of discussion and reaching compromises." /Milliyet/

    [05] UN'S BAN URGES EUROPEAN OR TURKISH PRESENCE ON GAZA BORDER

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes European Union or Turkish forces should police Gaza border crossings to ensure that weapons cannot be smuggled to Hamas, Britain's Financial Times reported yesterday. "In the absence of Palestinians manning the crossing, then the idea of having a European or Turkish presence (on the border) has to be discussed," said Ban, who was promoting the idea among political leaders in Israel, the Palestinian territories and the other countries. "I think this should happen." /Star/

    [06] TUZMEN IN EGYPT TO BOOST TRADE TIES

    Accompanied by a large business delegation, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen yesterday traveled to Egypt as part of efforts to boost trade ties with the country. On his way to Egypt, Tuzmen said that Turkey has been increasingly working to establish new trade connections in alternative markets to recover its losses from falling demand in Europe due to the global economic crisis. "We will strengthen our connections with this country and bring trade relations to higher levels," he said. "Our exports to Egypt have increased fivefold since 2002. We will consolidate and improve upon our success." More than 100 businesspeople from Turkey will hold as many as 2,000 meetings with their Egyptian counterparts in the hope of striking business deals, partnerships and joint ventures. /Turkiye/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] A HOST OF MEETINGS

    BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the luncheon held by President Abdullah Gul yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I was in Ankara yesterday and everybody, including me, was curious about the luncheon held by President Abdullah Gul. I had a useful meeting with the presidential bureaucracy at the Cankaya Palace last Friday. This time it's the Office of the Prime Minister's turn. I heard very interesting news. The Prime Ministry has been working to arrange weekly meetings between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug. These meetings would be added to the routine meetings between Gul and Basbug, once a week, on Thursdays.

    This news is very exciting and actually hopeful. As you know, Ankara has been under great tension. Relations among institutions have been tense. Yesterday's meeting at the Foreign Ministry Residence is important in terms of Gul's involvement at this time. Perhaps this summit was long planned, but even so, we're facing a period in which relations between the judiciary and political leaders are under a microscope, as the military mentions its concerns and expects some sensitivity.

    So such universal values as the independence of the judiciary, the confidentiality of investigations, and the principle of presuming innocence until one is proven guilty must have been discussed at the meeting. Even the image which was given through Gul's invitation is important, aiming to establish an atmosphere. That image would send certain messages to everybody and also relax society. Obviously, in these days of crisis we consider presidents not as mere figureheads, but a problem-solving authority.

    Cumhuriyet daily covered a speech made by Gul four days ago under the headline 'Call to Responsibility.' Similarly, Gul's warning about the (state-owned broadcaster) TRT comforted central circles and the media. So the Cankaya Palace can undertake initiatives from time to time to create a comfort zone to ease social and institutional tensions. This is what everybody expects and needs.

    I've long thought that the face-to-face meetings between Erdogan and Basbug were very useful. Both of these figures are effective and successful communicators. Moreover, speaking through the media is very different. Erdogan and Basbug are very charismatic leaders for their own bases and the staff of their own institutions. They feel it necessary to make adjustments in line with their messages to the media. This situation sometimes causes problems. But when they speak to each other face-to-face (they have held three important meetings with very concrete results), they can take certain steps to help the country.

    I've already said that I saw the Erdogan-Basbug meeting following the latest Ergenekon detentions as well as Erdogan's statements afterwards as more important than his victory speech in the last general elections. Nobody is trying to help some people avoid the courts. After all, the trials of everyone who has been charged will continue. But obviously at least maximum sensitivity has been put forth.

    Anyway, Ergenekon is turning into a legal matter. That's why I consider Erdogan and Basbug starting regular weekly meetings a historic step. When I visited the Prime Ministry, bureaucrats were working to arrange today's meeting between the two. They also met last Thursday, albeit for unscheduled talks. But they were a bit uncomfortable. They were concerned that the public would think they were discussing recent developments in the Ergenekon probe. The fact that the Cankaya Presidential Palace summit happened just one day later increased this concern. News of the regular meetings starting today appeared on the TV news last night. I'm sure this move will disappoint those who expect tense relations between institutions. Erdogan is making the right move."

    [08] OBAMA IN THE WHITE HOUSE

    BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on US new President Barack Obama. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Anglo-Saxon societies celebrate their new heads of state beginning their terms through great ceremonies. The coronation of British monarchs and US presidents' inauguration are similar in terms of this glorification. The Americans already say, "'We elect a king every four years.' The president is the head of both the government and the state, as there is no premier, and he is the military's commander in chief. On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, the monarch is only an indispensable symbol.

    The beginning of the term of Barack Obama, the 44th president, took on greater extravagance. Some 2 million people watched it in Washington, and half of the world on television. Invitation cards were being sold for $8, 500. After eight years, the Democratic Party is back in power. The Republican Party became the opposition.

    For the first time in history, a black president has been elected to a non- black-majority nation. The inauguration cost some $150 million at a time of ongoing global crisis. On the same day, following a 75 percent drop in value of its shares, the Royal Bank of Scotland, in the US' key ally the UK, closed its doors with a loss of half a trillion.

    Obama has shadowed the Gaza tragedy. Israel caused damage worth $2 billion in the region. Saudi King Abdullah will pay for half of it. Saudi Arabia, which has the world's biggest oil reserves and is the top oil exporter, profited enormously from high oil prices in the wake of the Iraq invasion. But what about the children suffering in Gaza? Nothing can console them.

    Obama took his oath of office on the same Bible used to swear in President Abraham Lincoln. He is expected to help get the world out of the global economic crisis, set Iraq and Afghanistan in order, show Iran its place, tackle Hamas and Al Qaeda, rearrange the world's oil flow, put Israel at ease, etc.

    In my poor opinion as a historian, I know that he can't possibly tackle all of these issues. With apologies to our strategic ally, leaders like Lincoln come along only once."


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