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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-05

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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

05.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL WARNS OF SECRET EFFORTS TO SPREAD ISLAMOPHOBIA
  • [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES VISITING QATARI PM
  • [03] ANTI-TERRORISM BOARD CONVENES
  • [04] NEW PLAN SET TO MAKE ISTANBUL INTO GLOBAL FINANCIAL CENTER

  • [01] GUL WARNS OF SECRET EFFORTS TO SPREAD ISLAMOPHOBIA

    On the second day of his official visit to Saudi Arabia, President Abdullah Gul yesterday addressed the Saudi Consultative Council, making him the first-ever foreign Muslim leader to do so. "Islamophobia has recently been spread secretly," said Gul. Stating that trying to link Islam and terrorism is a grave mistake, Gul added, "Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey try to promote peace and stability in the region." Touching on the Arab peace initiative to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, he said that the divide between Palestinians should be bridged. He also expressed support for Saudi King Abdullah's plan to bring together the conflicting Palestinian sides to make peace. "If promises had been kept and the Palestinians had embraced each other, the Palestinians would be better off, and recent developments would never have happened," he said. Calling the Palestinian divide the chief hurdle to an independent Palestinian state, he expressed his sorrow at the recent Israeli attacks in Gaza. Later, speaking to the Turkish-Saudi Business Council in Riyadh, Gul said that the Turkish banking system was well prepared for the global financial crisis. "You can trust in Turkish banks," he added. Afterwards, Gul met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. Gul also visited the King Saud University and the King Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center. /Aksam-Star/

    [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES VISITING QATARI PM

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received his Qatari counterpart Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani. During their meeting, al- Thani praised Turkey's work on the Gaza issue and efforts for regional peace. Stating that Qatar wants to host an international conference on the reconstruction of Gaza, al-Thani asked for Ankara's support. For his part, Erdogan said that Turkey will continue its efforts to promote regional peace, adding, "We approve of the conference on the reconstruction of Gaza. Turkey will do its part." /Sabah/

    Speaking at a meeting promoting Ankara candidates from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for next month's local elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey isn't a country controlled by developments but instead one that controls them. Stating that over 80 years ago the Turkish people rose to the unavoidable challenge of winning the War of Independence, Erdogan added, "Today we have no choice but to win our struggle for development. We will finally reach the level of modern civilizations which Ataturk set a goal for us." Alluding to criticisms of his walkoff from a panel in Davos last week, Erdogan said, "With the spirit we inherited from our history, we will always protect the honor of the Turkish nation and state, just as we have done so far." He added, "Turkey is no ordinary country, although some media figures fail to understand this." Erdogan also pledged major improvements to Ankara's subway network in the years to come to reach such areas of the city as Cayyolu, Kecioren and Sincan, saying that cooperation between the Transportation Ministry and Ankara Greater Municipality will make this possible. During the meeting, AK Party Ankara Greater Municipality Mayor Melih Gokcek, who is running for reelection, touted his projects for the city. /Turkiye/

    [03] ANTI-TERRORISM BOARD CONVENES

    The Higher Anti-Terrorism Board chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened yesterday. During the meeting, which Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug also attended, a planned coordination undersecretariat under the Interior Ministry was discussed. A resolution to set up the unit will soon reach the Cabinet, and then is expected to be sent to Parliament. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] NEW PLAN SET TO MAKE ISTANBUL INTO GLOBAL FINANCIAL CENTER

    A new project is set to make Istanbul a regional financial center within 10 years and a global one in just a few decades, Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren said yesterday. Ekren touted the project at a joint press conference alongside Istanbul Governor Muharrem Guler, Istanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas, Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) head Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, IsBank CEO Erdin Ozince, and Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) head Omer Vardan. Stating that a strategy document for the project will be finalized by June, he said if the project is well planned its goals could be reached earlier. For her part, Yalcindag said that much needs to be done to make Istanbul a financial capital like London, Hong Kong or New York, adding that the project would benefit Turkey's overall economy. She said that the project could create jobs for tens of thousand of peoples and add $20 billion to Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025. Also speaking at the conference, Ozince said the ongoing global economic crisis had underlined the importance of the project, and added, "If Turkey is to be one of the world's top 10 economies by 2023, the centenary of the Turkish Republic, then the country will need not less than $300-500 billion of financial capital." Also, Vardan said that Gulf capital has begun to see Turkey as a safe haven for investment in the midst of the crisis, adding that this project would bolster Turkey's appeal for foreign investors. /Turkiye/
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