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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-23

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

23.01.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL MEETS WITH AFRICAN AMBASSADORS AND DIPLOMATS
  • [02] ERDOGAN: "THE GOVT ISN'T A PARTY IN THE ERGENEKON CASE"
  • [03] PM ERDOGAN HOLDS FIRST WEEKLY MEETING WITH CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG
  • [04] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH NEW GOVERNORS AND POLICE CHIEFS
  • [05] 38 MORE DETAINED UNDER ERGENEKON PROBE
  • [06] BAGIS: "TURKEY WILL CONTINUE ITS EU ACCESSION WITHOUT SACRIFICING ITS NATIONAL POLICY"
  • [07] EP'S WATSON: "ERDOGAN'S STATEMENTS ON ISRAEL WON'T INFLUENCE TURKISH-EU RELATIONS"
  • [08] IRAQI FM ZEBARI DUE IN ANKARA TODAY
  • [09] CHP SET TO FIELD KILICDAROGLU FOR ISTANBUL MAYOR
  • [10] TOP BUSINESSWOMAN WARNS OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY
  • [11] A STEP IN RELATIONS WITH THE EU
  • [12] AN UNSUNG ORGANIZATIONAL GENIUS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL MEETS WITH AFRICAN AMBASSADORS AND DIPLOMATS

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received ambassadors and senior diplomats from 36 African countries at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During the meeting, Gul said, "Africa has big problems. Africa's problems are the problems of humanity. And as needed, we respond to those problems without any expectations in return." Stating that Turkey's successful bid last year for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council got considerable support from African countries, Gul said Turkey would be Africa's voice on the council. President Gul hosted the first Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit last August in Istanbul with representatives from 50 African countries. In related news, the Foreign Ministry also hosted ambassadors of African countries yesterday at a meeting as part of Turkey's UN Security Council membership for 2009-2010. Afterwards, a ministry statement said Turkey, acting under the principles and goals of the UN Charter, is making comprehensive efforts to restore international peace and security as part of its mission as a UN Security Council member. "Turkey places special importance on matters related to Africa within the framework of Turkish- African strategic cooperation," it added. /Turkiye/

    [02] ERDOGAN: "THE GOVT ISN'T A PARTY IN THE ERGENEKON CASE"

    At a press conference at his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced 13 more AK Party mayoral candidates for cities across Turkey for the March local elections. Speaking to reporters, Erdogan rebuffed accusations of interference in the ongoing Ergenekon probe, saying that the government is not a party in the case's legal proceedings. Stressing that the judiciary is independent and that Turkey is ruled by the principle of the separation of powers, Erdogan said that the government is not a decision-maker in the Ergenekon legal process. He said no one should falsely claim that the government is a prosecutor in the case. Erdogan also said that during this time everyone should avoid damaging the reputation of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and security forces and warned against smear campaigns. Erdogan yesterday also attended a gathering of governors of the Turkey's 81 provinces at the Interior Ministry to discuss security measures for the local elections. Erdogan told the governors that they should work in harmony with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to take necessary steps to ensure security. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] PM ERDOGAN HOLDS FIRST WEEKLY MEETING WITH CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF BASBUG

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday saw Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug for their first regularly weekly meeting. After meeting with President Abdullah Gul, Basbug proceeded to the Prime Ministry. During their two-hour meeting, the two leaders discussed the ongoing Ergenekon probe and other current issues. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH NEW GOVERNORS AND POLICE CHIEFS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met at the Interior Ministry with governors across Turkey, including newly appointed governors and police chiefs, with Interior Minister Besir Atalay also in attendance. Erdogan urged the officials to do whatever is necessary to ensure public safety in this March's local elections. Afterwards, Erdogan met with Martin Schultz, socialist group head in the European Parliament. "We discussed the energy chapter of Turkey's accession talks, which we support opening," Schultz said. /Star/

    [05] 38 MORE DETAINED UNDER ERGENEKON PROBE

    The Ergenekon probe detained 39 more people yesterday, including 20 police and military officers. The 20 are alleged to be part of assassination teams directed by Ibrahim Sahin, an ex-police officer currently under arrest as part of the case. Police also raided the headquarters of the Metal Workers' Union and Eurasia TV (ART) in Ankara. Union head Mustafa Ozbek, VERSO Survey owner Erhan Goksel, and senior journalist Unal Inanc were also rounded up. Among the detainees are 17 police officers from a special operations unit, two non-commissioned officers, three lieutenants, seven journalists, and five union activists. Istanbul Acting Prosecutor Turan Colakkadi said there might be more detentions based on documents and evidence discovered in previous raids. "Searches are executed under court order. Prosecutors are immediately informed of the suspects, who have the right to object to the court," he added. Searches were undertaken in 30 locations in various cities, he said. The latest detentions covered 13 cities. Meanwhile, Professor Yalcin Kucuk and Independent Republic Party (BCP) deputy leader Engin Aydin, arrested in an earlier wave of Ergenekon detentions, were released yesterday. Also retired Brig. Gen. Levent Ersoz, who has evaded arrest under the probe since summer, was detained late last week. Union leaders, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and detainees' relatives condemned the detentions as part of a suppression campaign. The Ergenekon case concerns an alleged ultranationalist gang that conspired against the government in order to provoke a coup. Prosecutors describe the alleged gang as a terrorist group. /Hurriyet Daily News/

    [06] BAGIS: "TURKEY WILL CONTINUE ITS EU ACCESSION WITHOUT SACRIFICING ITS NATIONAL POLICY"

    For the first time in his new post, chief European Union talks negotiator Egemen Bagis yesterday met with members of Parliament's EU Harmonization Committee to tell them about the national program for this year's EU reforms. Bagis urged members of opposition parties to support the program during the meeting, which lasted about three hours. Saying that Turkey will continue its EU accession process without sacrificing its national policy, Bagis added, "We're seeking full membership. No other option is acceptable." Afterwards, Bagis also met with socialist group head in the European Parliament Martin Schultz, saying, "Turkish people believe that EU membership will make a great contribution in areas such as human rights and democracy." /Aksam/

    [07] EP'S WATSON: "ERDOGAN'S STATEMENTS ON ISRAEL WON'T INFLUENCE TURKISH- EU RELATIONS"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent statements condemning Israel's use of disproportionate force won't influence Turkish-European Union relations, said Graham Watson, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament, yesterday. In Ankara for talks, Watson, who is also running for EP president, said, "At a time when the EU abandoned the Palestinian people, Erdogan acted as a spokesman for many people in the EU who were frustrated. Neither the EU nor the US tried hard to end Israel's use of disproportionate force or collective punishment." /Star/

    [08] IRAQI FM ZEBARI DUE IN ANKARA TODAY

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is set to arrive in Ankara today to hold separate meetings with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan. Issues on the table include the fight against the terrorist PKK, Turkey's tripartite counter- terrorist mechanism with the US and Iraq, and Kirkuk. /Star/

    [09] CHP SET TO FIELD KILICDAROGLU FOR ISTANBUL MAYOR

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu will run for Istanbul Greater Municipality mayor in this March's local elections, CHP leader Deniz Baykal is reportedly set to announce today. /Milliyet/

    [10] TOP BUSINESSWOMAN WARNS OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY

    Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag yesterday was reelected chair of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD). Speaking to members of the top business group meeting in Istanbul, Yalcindag urged the government to take necessary steps to dispel economic uncertainty, adding that this year's economic growth target should be set as soon as possible. "We urgently need to make a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the economy, and the government should follow policies in line with the outcome of such a study," Yalcindag said, stressing the need for a plan that would revive domestic markets, encourage demand and protect Turkey's competitiveness. On relations with the European Union over the past three years, she said, "Both parties, Turkey and the EU, should leave behind the inertia and lack of confidence that have prevailed." She added that TUSIAD welcomed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit to Brussels. /Sabah/

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

    [11] A STEP IN RELATIONS WITH THE EU

    BY BERIL DEDEOGLU (AKSAM)

    Columnist Beril Dedeoglu comments on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit to Brussels and Turkish-EU relations. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "While the Ergenekon probe and the inauguration of new US President Barrack Obama continue to make headlines, it seems as if Turkey's European Union membership process, which is expected to be accelerated, has again fallen into the background.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to the EU capital Brussels last week for the first time in four years. The main aim of his visit was demonstrating Turkey's determination to join the EU both to the European and Turkish publics. Along these lines, the probable culprits for the slowdown in Turkey's reform process were explained. Although not every social sector in Europe is interested in what's going on in Turkey, many people in important places care about the slowdown and political and legal tensions in Turkey. Thus it's likely that the Turkish delegation said in Brussels that developments connected to the Ergenekon probe are related to the reform process, because the trials and debate over them might help prepare the groundwork for future reforms. Moreover, small but meaningful steps such as TRT's starting broadcasting in Kurdish have been taken. The Turkish delegation told EU officials that it would continue the reform process, with or without the EU, and continue efforts for democratization and the rule of law. In other words, Erdogan touted the image of a country where this can happen, despite EU hurdles.

    It was made quite clear that Turkey is getting angry about these EU hurdles. The EU deserves this, as a number of chapters in our talks have been held back for purely political reasons, not membership criteria.

    Nor is this the first time such concerns have been mentioned. All the institutions, both civilian and official, which operate as part of the Turkish-EU relations have been mentioning them. But this has led nowhere. Erdogan's reproach was as a warning that Europe might have to pay the real price for these distractions and delays. As for the issue of energy safety and sustainable development vis-a-vis the Nabucco project, the EU is dependent on Russia, which is using this to its advantage. Obama's ascent in the US also indicates the quest for an international system which is not exclusive, but inclusive. The EU's lack of a unified stance on Gaza was mentioned along these lines.

    The content of these speeches and messages is actually based on Turkey's declaration that it won't accept anything less than full EU membership. Thus Turkey forced the EU to make a decision not in principle, but politically, as now is the time for the EU to make a historic choice. Let's hope such visits will continue."

    [12] AN UNSUNG ORGANIZATIONAL GENIUS

    BY MEHMET Y. YILMAZ (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Mehmet Yilmaz comments on the Ergenekon probe. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Yesterday, in the latest Ergenekon probe detentions, 35 were people taken into custody. Among them were trade unionists, policemen, former journalists, and well-known figures who appear frequently on TV.

    I've lost track of how many people have been detained under Ergenekon due to the number of people detained and then freed, or taken into custody and released.

    I wish newspapers would work to monitor the number of people detained and kept behind bars, as well as the number awaiting trial. But I'm not just curious about numbers.

    If we saw all the names of the figures related to this probe, we could get an idea of the picture the prosecutors are trying to draw.

    We see an organization which has almost hundreds of active members.

    There are schemes, plans, charts, and thousands of pages of phone tap records and documents. But one thing is missing: We still don't know who led the group.

    When this top figure comes to light, after his trial, he should be allowed to lecture on business administration at one of our universities.

    Because anyone who managed to bring together such a vast variety of dissimilar people would find solving the most complex organizational problems to be a piece of cake. We would be unwise to let him rot in prison!"


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