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Turkish Press Review, 09-01-28

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

28.01.2009

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE CHP MAYORAL CANDIDATE DOESN'T KNOW TODAY'S ISTANBUL"
  • [02] PM ERDOGAN REJECTS OPPOSITION CRITICISMS OF GOVT GAZA POLICY
  • [03] NEW LATVIAN AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO GUL
  • [04] BABACAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
  • [05] BAGIS: "TURKEY IS FOCUSING ITS ATTENTION ON ITS GOAL OF EU ACCESSION"
  • [06] EU TALKS NEGOTIATOR BAGIS MEETS WITH GEN. BASBUG
  • [07] GULER: "NABUCCO SHOULD BE COMPLETED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE"
  • [08] US JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN MULLEN: "COOPERATION WITH TURKEY AGAINST THE PKK WILL CONTINUE"
  • [09] CHP'S BAYKAL: "SILIVRI SHOULDN'T BECOME THE AK PARTY'S GUANTANAMO"
  • [10] WISELY AND COOLLY
  • [11] THUNDER, BUT NO SHOWERS!

  • [01] ERDOGAN: "THE CHP MAYORAL CANDIDATE DOESN'T KNOW TODAY'S ISTANBUL"

    Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul mayoral candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu knows little about the city today. Referring to Kilicdaroglu's claims that the suburbs have suffered greatly under current AK Party Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas, Erdogan said, "Kilicdaroglu is 16 years behind developments in Istanbul. No suburb in Istanbul is suffering the problems Kilicdaroglu mentioned." Erdogan said that under AK Party rule, those suburbs have shown modern urban development. Topbas was an advisor to Erdogan when he was Istanbul mayor in 1994-98. He was elected mayor of Istanbul's Beyoglu district in 1999, and became Istanbul greater municipality mayor in 2004. Kilicdaroglu, a two- term deputy for Istanbul, has worked as a state auditor and high-level Finance Ministry official. He also served as undersecretary at the Labor and Social Security Ministry and headed two important state social security institutions (SSK and Bağ-Kur). /Sabah/

    [02] PM ERDOGAN REJECTS OPPOSITION CRITICISMS OF GOVT GAZA POLICY

    At his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected opposition criticisms that during the recent Israeli attacks in Gaza, the government's policy showed inexperience and a lack of balance. "Until recently, this understanding of foreign policy lacked even a hint of a good reputation in the world," he said. "Previous governments had no regular contacts with neighboring and regional countries … Now there is a Turkey which meets with all of them, which sits at the same table with all of them." Turkey strongly condemned Israel's attack in Gaza, stressing that no lasting peace can be reached without Hamas, and played an active diplomatic role to restore peace and stability to the region. Erdogan also said that he would meet this week with Israeli President Simon Peres during the Davos World Economic Forum and speak to him about his words on peace and democracy. Erdogan also stressed that Jews living in Turkey are protected by the Turkish state. /Sabah/

    [03] NEW LATVIAN AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO GUL

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received at the Cankaya Presidential Palace Latvia's Ambassador to Turkey Aivars Vovers, who presented his letter of credentials to Gul. /Today's Zaman/

    [04] BABACAN TO ATTEND WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday went to Davos, Switzerland to attend the annual World Economic Forum. Speaking to reporters before leaving, Babacan said that he is likely to meet with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian on the sideline of the meetings. "The most important issue to be discussed during the forum will be the global crisis," he added. /Star/

    [05] BAGIS: "TURKEY IS FOCUSING ITS ATTENTION ON ITS GOAL OF EU ACCESSION"

    For the first time in his new post, Turkey's chief European Union talks negotiator Egemen Bagis yesterday attended a working lunch at the Czech Embassy, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, with EU ambassadors also in attendance. Speaking at the gathering in Ankara, Bagis urged all EU countries to support Turkey's EU bid and reiterated Turkey's will to cooperate with them during its full membership process. He talked about Turkey's national program, the recent restoration of the citizenship of late Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, the state's landmark new Kurdish- language TV station TRT 6, and his appointment as a full-time EU negotiator, saying, "All these developments show Turkey is focusing its attention on its goal of EU accession." /Today's Zaman/

    [06] EU TALKS NEGOTIATOR BAGIS MEETS WITH GEN. BASBUG

    For the first time in his new post, Turkey's chief European Union talks negotiator Egemen Bagis yesterday visited Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug at General Staff headquarters. In related news, Basbug also yesterday met with former Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu. /Turkiye/

    [07] GULER: "NABUCCO SHOULD BE COMPLETED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE"

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler yesterday attended a summit of participants in the Nabucco project, a pipeline to transport Caspian natural gas to Europe via Turkey. Addressing the meeting in Budapest, Hungary, Guler said that Turkey can work swiftly on the project, and urged the other participants to do the same. Guler also stressed the importance of the project for Europe's energy security and strategy, stressing that it should be initiated and completed as soon as possible. /Turkiye-Star/

    [08] US JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN MULLEN: "COOPERATION WITH TURKEY AGAINST THE PKK WILL CONTINUE"

    US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen yesterday said that intelligence-sharing between the US and Turkey against the terrorist PKK would continue under the Obama administration. At a press conference in Washington, Mullen said, "My relationship with Gen. Basbug and the military- to-military relationship with Turkey has been one that we cherish for many, many decades. And certainly it's been one that we worked very hard on recently, and one that I feel very positive about. And in particular, that focus on intelligence-sharing with respect to what we've done with Turkey … over the better part of the last year, has been very important. And I see no indication that that won't continue.." /Milliyet/

    [09] CHP'S BAYKAL: "SILIVRI SHOULDN'T BECOME THE AK PARTY'S GUANTANAMO"

    Speaking at his parliamentary group meeting, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday charged that the ongoing Ergenekon probe amounted to a legal lynching,

    saying, "US President Barack Obama declared that Guantanamo prison would be closed. The Silivri courtroom, where the Ergenekon trial is being held, shouldn't be allowed to become the Guantanamo of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)." Baykal added that the Ergenekon probe is violating the rule that investigations be kept confidential. In related news, speaking at his parliamentary group meeting, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli criticized the stands of both Baykal and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the probe. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [10] WISELY AND COOLLY

    BY TURKER ALKAN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Turker Alkan comments on new Kurdish studies departments at universities. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Should we open Kurdish studies departments at universities, or not? I was completely surprised when I heard certain academics say no. Their reason for this answer is interesting, that is, they argue that under our Constitution, the official language is Kurdish and education in other languages isn't permitted. Then what will we do about the schools giving education in English, French or German? (If you like, you can add Arabic education at Koran courses to this list!) Are all of these schools violating the Constitution?

    What's more, Kurdish studies departments don't necessarily study in Kurdish, but rather study the history, culture and folklore of the Kurdish language and people. And unlike departments studying ancient Sumerian, an obscure tongue few are interested in, it's very natural to start departments for Kurdish, which is spoken by millions.

    Some charge this is a trap set by separatist Kurdish militants and that these departments will feed Kurdish nationalism. Well, for years we've been doing a lot of things out of our concerns about the development of Kurdish nationalism. For example, we prohibited the use of Kurdish and tried to prohibit babies getting Kurdish names. But none of this was successful; they didn't quell the development of Kurdish nationalism, but only fueled it.

    We should have learned from this situation. Actually, maybe we have. For example, some recent positive developments include Kurdish music, cassettes, books and newspapers, language courses, a TRT station broadcasting in Kurdish, etc. We were angry with France for establishing a 'Kurdish Institute,' but they were only doing what we should have done.

    I was very surprised about the prominent academics who oppose Kurdish departments. They're looking at the issue only from the political point of view (and this point of view could be wrong). But it also has academic and cultural dimensions. It's wrong for academics to ignore or object to studying the language, history and culture of millions of our people.

    As for political concerns, I believe the Kurds will be loyal to an administration which respects their language and culture, rather than ignoring them. Turkey's unity and integrity can be provided by a mentality which doesn't ignore the Kurds but considers them a respected part of the social and political fabric. You can love your country very much, but heroism isn't enough. What's important is to be able to love the country with our minds, that is, wisely and coolly."

    [11] THUNDER, BUT NO SHOWERS!

    BY ISMAIL KAPAN (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Ismail Kapan comments on recent developments in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Every Tuesday, following political parties' parliamentary group meetings, there's so much news that you can hardly choose …

    But sometimes you get pessimistic. How do men who want to come to power speak so sloppily and superficially … Don't political party leaders feel embarrassment at such remarks? Do they have no principles? Is politics that cheap and simplistic?

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal still sees the Ergenekon probe as a sham. Unbelievable! In spite of the clear articles of criminal procedural law, and the judiciary's clear and exact actions, he keeps saying it's not clear what the people in custody are accused of. He's deliberately trying to paint the case as the doing of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He makes strange remarks, comparing the trial venue to Guantanamo.

    I can't explain to him about judicial procedures. But anybody who pays attention to the news now knows that suspects and the accused are told immediately what they are accused of. This is obligatory under the law … All procedures " searches, seizures, taking into custody, etc. " need a judge's approval and court warrant.

    In addition, the suspect's lawyers follow this process. They can intervene whenever they need to object and make arguments … Although Baykal and his legal advisors know this very well, I expect to learn in the future why they are trying to politicize the case, influence the judiciary and confuse the public.

    Baykal, saying he'll call the ruling party to account, is thundering about the March 29 local elections and the CHP mayoral candidates. You know what they say: If you can't send showers, then you thunder! According to him, Kemal Kilicdaroglu running for Istanbul Greater Municipality mayor has shaken Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As if Kilicdaroglu had swept the votes and already taken the mayoral seat!

    Actually, Erdogan and current Mayor Kadir Topbas are very comfortable. They are sarcastically offering Kilicdaroglu an Istanbul city guide.

    Why won't the media, which is puffing up Kilicdaroglu so much, learn from its past mistakes?"


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