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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-27

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

27.01.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] PM ERDOGAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS
  • [02] FM BABACAN ATTENDS EU MEETING ON GAZA
  • [03] CICEK: "TURKEY'S STANCE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE OR TURKISH CITIZENS OF JEWISH ORIGIN"
  • [04] GULER TO ATTEND NABUCCO SUMMIT IN HUNGARY
  • [05] LAST YEAR SOROS PREDICTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
  • [06] ELECTIONS AND CHARITY
  • [07] FM BABACAN ATTENDS EU MEETING ON GAZA
  • [08] CICEK: "TURKEY'S STANCE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE OR TURKISH CITIZENS OF JEWISH ORIGIN"
  • [09] GULER TO ATTEND NABUCCO SUMMIT IN HUNGARY
  • [10] LAST YEAR SOROS PREDICTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
  • [11] ELECTIONS AND CHARITY

  • [01] PM ERDOGAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday and Thursday to attend the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. Erdogan will meet with World Bank President Robert Zoellick and have bilateral talks with a number of heads of state and government during the forum. Erdogan will also participate in sessions on the global financial crisis and developments in Gaza and will express Turkey's views. Around 2, 500 people from 96 countries, including 43 heads of state and government, are expected to participate in this year's forum, whose theme is "Shaping the Post-Crisis World." /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] FM BABACAN ATTENDS EU MEETING ON GAZA

    European Union President the Czech Republic hosted a meeting on Gaza in Brussels yesterday, with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Palestine in attendance. Following the meeting, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg thanked Turkey for its intense efforts to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza. Schwarzenberg said their ultimate goal was a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine issue. /Milliyet/

    [03] CICEK: "TURKEY'S STANCE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE OR TURKISH CITIZENS OF JEWISH ORIGIN"

    After yesterday's Cabinet meeting, government spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek told a press conference that this year will see Turkey make the maximum effort for European Union accession. Stating that the EU should also do what's necessary, he urged all opposition parties to support Turkey's accession process. Touching on five US Jewish groups saying that Turkish Jews no longer feel safe after protests of Israel's attacks in Gaza, Cicek said that all the citizens living in Turkey have the same rights and their safety is protected by the state. Saying that Turkey opposed the policies of the Israeli government, he added that Turkey's stance has nothing to do with the Israeli people or Turkish citizens of Jewish origin. /Star/

    [04] GULER TO ATTEND NABUCCO SUMMIT IN HUNGARY

    A summit today in Budapest, Hungary will bring together participants in the Nabucco project, a pipeline to transport Caspian natural gas to Europe via Turkey. Important decisions will reportedly to be taken during the gathering, where Turkey will be represented by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler. /Sabah/

    Turkey and International Monetary Fund have agreed on the outlines of a new standby agreement, said State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek yesterday. In a statement, he said that Turkey would continue talks with the Fund to finalize work on some mid- and long-term structural reforms under the new agreement. Under the deal, the IMF is expected to provide $20 billion to Turkey in loans. In related news, Central Bank head Durmus Yilmaz yesterday predicted that inflation this year would be between 5.4 and 8.2 percent, with a median rate of about 6.8 percent, and that inflation in 2010 would be between 4 and 7.6 percent, with a median rate of about 5.8. He also predicted that inflation would fall to around 5.2 percent by the end of 2011. Stating that a gradual recovery in the crisis- hit world economy will begin early next year, Yilmaz said that inflation falling below expectations would mean less unemployment and a lower drop in production for Turkey. He added that thanks to the CB's recent interest rate cuts, a partial revival in domestic demand would be seen in the second half of this year. /Turkiye/

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

    [05] LAST YEAR SOROS PREDICTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN

    BY MEHMET BARLAS (SABAH)

    Columnist Mehmet Barlas comments on this year's Davos meetings. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "What makes life exciting is the unpredictability of what will happen tomorrow. The ambiguity of the future also constitutes the most important weakness of humanity. That's why throughout history society has sought out fortune tellers and prophets. As doctrinaire ideologies establish clear models about the unknown future, they have an impact on the masses. Along these lines, the annual three-day World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland features some of the most influential people in the world giving their predictions about the future of the economy and politics. Late President Turgut Ozal's tradition of sending Turkish representatives is being continued this year by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Some say that this year's meeting won't be as spirited as previous years and that some bank owners and CEOs from the US, Europe and the Far East won't be able to attend. This year's star is certain to be Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. I checked what was said last year at Davos and found something striking. George Soros, the famous American financial speculator, said in his speech at Davos last year that the world economy was about to enter the most serious economic crisis in 60 years and that banks and financial institutions would be unable to regroup without government intervention. He added that the central banks had already lost their power to improve the situation.

    As for American politics, Soros said that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would be elected president, but that Obama would push for radical changes. His economic forecasts last year got a cool reception. For example, David Gergen, political commentator and former aide to several US presidents, said he didn't think Soros was talking about a crisis as serious as the Great Depression. I checked George Bush's 2008 State of the Union Address and his economic policies, and Soros' warnings went completely unheeded. After huge financial institutions started to go bankrupt, the US and European governments decided to support the market by showering it with public money. I wonder who will be the most prescient economic and political prophet this year in Davos."

    [06] ELECTIONS AND CHARITY

    BY BILAL CETIN (VATAN)

    Columnist Bilal Cetin comments on the local elections set for March 29. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The general elections in summer 2007 were held amid disputes over secularism, having a devout Muslim president, and coup rumors. On the other hand, the local elections this March will take place amid disputes over the ongoing Ergenekon probe.

    Of course, the election campaign won't focus only on the probe. Allegations of corruption and promises of public aid will also be issues.

    In Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) will be in a cutthroat struggle to win.

    The AK Party believes that it can preserve its rule in the larger cities. They even have plans to win Izmir, a CHP stronghold, and so deal a major blow to the main opposition party. The AK Party believes a controversy over arsenic in city water will work to its advantage.

    But for the time being, the CHP isn't worried about Izmir. Current Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu believes his party will easily keep the city.

    The CHP's main aim in this period is to win Istanbul and Ankara.

    CHP leaders thinks that the impact of taking the Istanbul Greater Municipality from the ruling party wouldn't be limited to the city itself, but would shake its power centers and push the AK Party into a downward spiral.

    Because of this, in Istanbul the CHP nominated Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who recently became a symbol of the fight against corruption.

    Indeed, recent elections have seen as much as a 17-point difference between the two parties in Istanbul, so the CHP catching up with the ruling party seems a tall order. But the CHP has high hopes. It plans to win on March 29 with a couple of rising stars, Kilicdaroglu and Gursel Tekin. Kilicdaroglu's nomination shows that the CHP will try to hit the AK Party over corruption claims, rather than disputes over secularism. Kilicdaroglu, who recently managed to topple two top AKP staffers, now will try to make fall current Istanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas fall from the voters' grace.

    Of course, claims of corruption in AK Party-controlled municipalities won't be enough for the CHP to win.

    The CHP also knows this, and they believe that delivering free coal and food packages to the poor are important elections weapons for the AKP. So the CHP is criticizing this aid as 'society getting used to a culture of charity.' But the people getting this aid are clearly glad, so the CHP has aid plans of its own.

    CHP candidates say they won't give material aid like the AK Party, but instead financial support. They pledge to give monthly credits to poor families' bank accounts.

    Moreover, Ankara mayoral candidate Murat Karayalcin made a promise. In addition to financial aid to the poor, he vows to provide 25,000 new jobs.

    Delivering aid to the poor seems to have turned into a race of who will give more charity." PM ERDOGAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN DAVOS

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday and Thursday to attend the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum. Erdogan will meet with World Bank President Robert Zoellick and have bilateral talks with a number of heads of state and government during the forum. Erdogan will also participate in sessions on the global financial crisis and developments in Gaza and will express Turkey's views. Around 2, 500 people from 96 countries, including 43 heads of state and government, are expected to participate in this year's forum, whose theme is "Shaping the Post-Crisis World." /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] FM BABACAN ATTENDS EU MEETING ON GAZA

    European Union President the Czech Republic hosted a meeting on Gaza in Brussels yesterday, with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan as well as the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Palestine in attendance. Following the meeting, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg thanked Turkey for its intense efforts to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza. Schwarzenberg said their ultimate goal was a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine issue. /Milliyet/

    [08] CICEK: "TURKEY'S STANCE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE OR TURKISH CITIZENS OF JEWISH ORIGIN"

    After yesterday's Cabinet meeting, government spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek told a press conference that this year will see Turkey make the maximum effort for European Union accession. Stating that the EU should also do what's necessary, he urged all opposition parties to support Turkey's accession process. Touching on five US Jewish groups saying that Turkish Jews no longer feel safe after protests of Israel's attacks in Gaza, Cicek said that all the citizens living in Turkey have the same rights and their safety is protected by the state. Saying that Turkey opposed the policies of the Israeli government, he added that Turkey's stance has nothing to do with the Israeli people or Turkish citizens of Jewish origin. /Star/

    [09] GULER TO ATTEND NABUCCO SUMMIT IN HUNGARY

    A summit today in Budapest, Hungary will bring together participants in the Nabucco project, a pipeline to transport Caspian natural gas to Europe via Turkey. Important decisions will reportedly to be taken during the gathering, where Turkey will be represented by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler. /Sabah/

    Turkey and International Monetary Fund have agreed on the outlines of a new standby agreement, said State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek yesterday. In a statement, he said that Turkey would continue talks with the Fund to finalize work on some mid- and long-term structural reforms under the new agreement. Under the deal, the IMF is expected to provide $20 billion to Turkey in loans. In related news, Central Bank head Durmus Yilmaz yesterday predicted that inflation this year would be between 5.4 and 8.2 percent, with a median rate of about 6.8 percent, and that inflation in 2010 would be between 4 and 7.6 percent, with a median rate of about 5.8. He also predicted that inflation would fall to around 5.2 percent by the end of 2011. Stating that a gradual recovery in the crisis- hit world economy will begin early next year, Yilmaz said that inflation falling below expectations would mean less unemployment and a lower drop in production for Turkey. He added that thanks to the CB's recent interest rate cuts, a partial revival in domestic demand would be seen in the second half of this year. /Turkiye/

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

    [10] LAST YEAR SOROS PREDICTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN

    BY MEHMET BARLAS (SABAH)

    Columnist Mehmet Barlas comments on this year's Davos meetings. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "What makes life exciting is the unpredictability of what will happen tomorrow. The ambiguity of the future also constitutes the most important weakness of humanity. That's why throughout history society has sought out fortune tellers and prophets. As doctrinaire ideologies establish clear models about the unknown future, they have an impact on the masses. Along these lines, the annual three-day World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland features some of the most influential people in the world giving their predictions about the future of the economy and politics. Late President Turgut Ozal's tradition of sending Turkish representatives is being continued this year by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Some say that this year's meeting won't be as spirited as previous years and that some bank owners and CEOs from the US, Europe and the Far East won't be able to attend. This year's star is certain to be Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. I checked what was said last year at Davos and found something striking. George Soros, the famous American financial speculator, said in his speech at Davos last year that the world economy was about to enter the most serious economic crisis in 60 years and that banks and financial institutions would be unable to regroup without government intervention. He added that the central banks had already lost their power to improve the situation.

    As for American politics, Soros said that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would be elected president, but that Obama would push for radical changes. His economic forecasts last year got a cool reception. For example, David Gergen, political commentator and former aide to several US presidents, said he didn't think Soros was talking about a crisis as serious as the Great Depression. I checked George Bush's 2008 State of the Union Address and his economic policies, and Soros' warnings went completely unheeded. After huge financial institutions started to go bankrupt, the US and European governments decided to support the market by showering it with public money. I wonder who will be the most prescient economic and political prophet this year in Davos."

    [11] ELECTIONS AND CHARITY

    BY BILAL CETIN (VATAN)

    Columnist Bilal Cetin comments on the local elections set for March 29. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The general elections in summer 2007 were held amid disputes over secularism, having a devout Muslim president, and coup rumors. On the other hand, the local elections this March will take place amid disputes over the ongoing Ergenekon probe.

    Of course, the election campaign won't focus only on the probe. Allegations of corruption and promises of public aid will also be issues.

    In Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) will be in a cutthroat struggle to win.

    The AK Party believes that it can preserve its rule in the larger cities. They even have plans to win Izmir, a CHP stronghold, and so deal a major blow to the main opposition party. The AK Party believes a controversy over arsenic in city water will work to its advantage.

    But for the time being, the CHP isn't worried about Izmir. Current Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu believes his party will easily keep the city.

    The CHP's main aim in this period is to win Istanbul and Ankara.

    CHP leaders thinks that the impact of taking the Istanbul Greater Municipality from the ruling party wouldn't be limited to the city itself, but would shake its power centers and push the AK Party into a downward spiral.

    Because of this, in Istanbul the CHP nominated Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who recently became a symbol of the fight against corruption.

    Indeed, recent elections have seen as much as a 17-point difference between the two parties in Istanbul, so the CHP catching up with the ruling party seems a tall order. But the CHP has high hopes. It plans to win on March 29 with a couple of rising stars, Kilicdaroglu and Gursel Tekin. Kilicdaroglu's nomination shows that the CHP will try to hit the AK Party over corruption claims, rather than disputes over secularism. Kilicdaroglu, who recently managed to topple two top AKP staffers, now will try to make fall current Istanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas fall from the voters' grace.

    Of course, claims of corruption in AK Party-controlled municipalities won't be enough for the CHP to win.

    The CHP also knows this, and they believe that delivering free coal and food packages to the poor are important elections weapons for the AKP. So the CHP is criticizing this aid as 'society getting used to a culture of charity.' But the people getting this aid are clearly glad, so the CHP has aid plans of its own.

    CHP candidates say they won't give material aid like the AK Party, but instead financial support. They pledge to give monthly credits to poor families' bank accounts.

    Moreover, Ankara mayoral candidate Murat Karayalcin made a promise. In addition to financial aid to the poor, he vows to provide 25,000 new jobs.

    Delivering aid to the poor seems to have turned into a race of who will give more charity."


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