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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-10

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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

10.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN REITERATES NO IMF DEAL IF TURKEY WON'T BENEFIT
  • [02] BABACAN HOLDS TALKS IN BAKU
  • [03] BAYKAL MEETS WITH EU'S REHN
  • [04] MHP CELEBRATES 40th ANNIVERSARY
  • [05] EGYPT'S MUBARAK DUE IN TURKEY
  • [06] SARGSYAN SEES OFFICIAL TURKISH-ARMENIAN RELATIONS BEING ESTABLISHED LATER THIS YEAR
  • [07] WHAT SHOULD BUSINESSES DO?

  • [01] ERDOGAN REITERATES NO IMF DEAL IF TURKEY WON'T BENEFIT

    Some critics are trying to falsely paint the global economic crisis as Turkey's crisis or the result of government economic policies, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. At a ceremony honoring Turkey's most successful small- and medium-seized enterprises (SMEs), Erdogan stressed that the crisis originated in the US and now has spread across the globe to affect all countries, including Turkey. As soon as initial signals of the crisis emerged, the government began to take necessary measures to counter it, he added. Pointing to a comprehensive government package to combat the crisis, he said that the Central Bank had injected TL 10 billion into Turkey's financial markets in the first half of last year. Touching on ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund, Erdogan said the government will sign a new standby agreement with the Fund so long as doing so serves Turkey's interests. If the IMF puts forth unacceptable provisions, Turkey can go its own way with its own resources, he said, adding that a standby agreement should be based on mutual benefits. Pointing to how Turkey's debt to the IMF had dropped from some $23.5 billion when his party came to power in 2002 to $8 billion today, Erdogan said, "Turkey is a powerful country and we must be aware of this power." Talks on a new Turkey- IMF deal were suspended late last month, but both sides have said they hope an agreement will be reached soon. Turkey's previous successful standby agreement with the Fund ended last May. In related news, Erdogan yesterday attended the opening of a historic building restored by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO). Speaking at the event, Erdogan said that all of Turkey's historic heritage from the civilizations and cultures which once called Anatolia home should be protected without exception, adding that they all belong to this land and the Turkish people. /Turkiye-Milliyet/

    [02] BABACAN HOLDS TALKS IN BAKU

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday went to Baku, Azerbaijan for a one- day official visit and talks with his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov and President Ilham Aliyev. They discussed regional issues such as the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In related news, Babacan also met with his Ethiopian counterpart Seyoum Mesfin, who was in Ankara for an official visit. /Today's Zaman-Star/

    [03] BAYKAL MEETS WITH EU'S REHN

    Main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday met with European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. Afterwards, Rehn told a press conference that they would continue working with both the ruling and opposition parties. Stressing that the CHP values Turkey's EU bid, Baykal said, "We'll do our part to overcome the difficulties." Stating that these difficulties should be overcome by a positive approach from both parties and that the negotiation process should end in full membership, Baykal said, "CHP ties with the EU go beyond the official and governmental levels." He added, "It's our duty to support the negotiation process. Our contacts with EU officials will continue." For his part, Rehn stated that the commission works with the democratic powers in candidate countries. "We'll continue working with both the ruling and the opposition parties," he added. "We'll continue our longstanding cooperation with Baykal." /Milliyet/

    [04] MHP CELEBRATES 40th ANNIVERSARY

    Marking the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) 40th anniversary yesterday, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli and top party officials and deputies visited Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum, and laid a wreath at his tomb. In the memorial guestbook, Bahceli wrote, "Our aim is to glorify the republic which you entrusted to us." Afterwards, the group visited the tomb of Alparslan Turkes, who founded the party. /Star/

    [05] EGYPT'S MUBARAK DUE IN TURKEY

    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is to visit Turkey tomorrow following a European tour which included France and Italy. In his contacts, Mubarak is scheduled to hold separate meetings with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During these talks, they are expected to take up a number of issues, including Gaza, the need to form a Palestinian unity government, and this week's elections in Israel. Mubarak will reportedly urge Turkey to help mediate between Hamas and Fatah to form a new coalition government. Mubarak also will reportedly invite Gul to attend an international summit next month in Cairo on reconstructing Gaza in the wake of Israel's attacks. /Aksam/

    [06] SARGSYAN SEES OFFICIAL TURKISH-ARMENIAN RELATIONS BEING ESTABLISHED LATER THIS YEAR

    In an interview with the MediaMax news agency in Munich, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan yesterday said, "If recent contacts continue in the same atmosphere in the future, I can say that there will be no problems starting official relations between Armenia and Turkey in the second half of this year. Relations between the two countries will soon be different and better quality." /Hurriyet/

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

    [07] WHAT SHOULD BUSINESSES DO?

    BY OSMAN ULAGAY (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Osman Ulagay comments on the international economic crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "We're facing a time where everybody is learning extraordinary new lessons. Actually, I don't know what people unable to grasp how huge the global crisis is or how it will affect Turkey are thinking now. But all over the world, we can see that the global economy has reached a breaking point and most believe there's no turning back. In such an environment, everybody needs to look at their actions and find ways to adjust to new conditions and get through the crisis with minimal damage. Obviously, it's important that governments take certain measures to help their economies overcome the crisis, but there are also very important roles to be played by business owners and managers and independent consultants.

    Ways to mitigate the crisis' impact on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were discussed during the recent Crisis, Industry and Technology Workshop held by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce's Quality and Technology Expertise Council (KATEK). The workshop's final declaration, drawn up by moderator Ali Akurgal, has interesting things to say. The declaration says that we learned about quality during the crisis of the 1990s and productivity during the crisis of the early 2000s and that this crisis will teach us about innovation, and then lists measures which need to be taken. It also stresses that Turkey's SMEs have 'clear intellectual capital' and that if these key factors of innovation are lost due to the crisis, businesses will suffer permanent damage.

    From the list, these concrete suggestions to businesses caught my eye:

    Firms which have to temporarily stop operations should lend their workers with intellectual capital to other firms, again temporarily

    Businesses should share some of their machinery and plants with other businesses to boost capacity and cut costs

    Similarly, firms should use common supply chains and distribution networks to reduce costs

    Firms low on cash due to the crisis should join forces with financially strong firms operating in other sectors

    Firms should use technology to provide services that other businesses are unable to and thus gain greater market share

    If, for example, making technological breakthroughs in their businesses during the crisis is impossible, firms should look for new distribution channels and seek new markets."


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