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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-13

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

13.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL VISITS RUSSIA
  • [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES TUSIAD DELEGATION
  • [03] BABACAN VISITS LATVIA
  • [04] GENERAL STAFF REITERATES COMMITMENT TO RULE OF LAW
  • [05] GOVT TO ANNOUNCE NEW INCENTIVES SOON
  • [06] EMITT TOURISM FAIR OPENS IN ISTANBUL
  • [07] JERUSALEM AND ANKARA JUDGES

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL VISITS RUSSIA

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday arrived in Russia for a four-day visit as the official guest of his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler and a business delegation, Gul was welcomed by Russian Energy Minister Victor Khristenko. Following an official welcoming ceremony at the Kremlin today, Gul will meet with Medvedev. Issues on the table include bilateral political issues, recent developments in the Caucasus and Nagorno-Karabakh, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy cooperation, the ruble, and customs problems faced by Turkish businessmen. In line with his visit, Gul will also pay a visit to Tatarstan tomorrow. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN RECEIVES TUSIAD DELEGATION

    Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) head Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag along with TUSIAD High Consultation Board (YIK) President Mustafa Koc to discuss recent economic developments such as ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new standby agreement and measures to fight the global economic crisis. Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren and Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan and several other TUSIAD officials were also in attendance. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Yalcindag said that the government had achieved significant progress in talks with the IMF on a possible loan agreement. Yalcindag said that they had discussed several issues concerning the state of Turkey's economy amid the global financial crisis, as well as measures to fight the crisis. "We saw that the government sees such measures the way we do," she said, adding that TUSIAD expects more action from the government, especially to protect the country's real sector from the crisis. She also said that a new package of economic incentives should be passed as soon as possible. Erdogan reportedly assured his visitors that several disagreements would be soon overcome to finalize talks with the IMF, adding that the government would determinedly continue to take all necessary measures to protect the real sector from the crisis. /Sabah/

    [03] BABACAN VISITS LATVIA

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday met with his Latvian counterpart Maris Riekstins in Riga. Afterwards, he told reporters that the US, NATO and the European Union shouldn't take a confrontational stance in relations with Russia. He added that Turkey and Russia have a friendly relationship and that it is Turkey's biggest trade partner. He also said that Turkey will fulfill all the EU membership criteria by 2012 and then become a member. For his part, Riekstin said that Latvia, which joined the EU in 2004, fully supports Turkey's membership bid. Riekstin stated that Turkey's EU membership process isn't proceeding fast enough for either Ankara or Riga and that every candidate which fulfils the EU criteria has a right to join the bloc. /Star/

    [04] GENERAL STAFF REITERATES COMMITMENT TO RULE OF LAW

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) General Staff released a statement yesterday expressing concern about recent news stories claiming links between some TSK members and Ergenekon, an illegal secret organization alleged to have plotted a government coup. The statement said the TSK, as an institution committed to the rule of law, one of the pillars of the Turkish Republic, could never have any relationship with individuals or groups involved in illegal activities. "The way the judiciary is being drawn into everyday debates concerns us," said the statement. "Sowing doubts about the Turkish judiciary is the worst thing that can be done to it." The statement comes on the heels of controversy over a retired general suspected in the Ergenekon probe who is awaiting trial being released from jail. The statement also accused some newspapers of trying to smear the military by running stories that violate the confidentiality of the ongoing probe. The General Staff also reiterated earlier statements rebuffing the testimony of former National Police Department Special Operations Unit deputy chief Ibrahim Sahin, who was also arrested under Ergenekon, who said he was ordered by a general to assemble former members of the unit to form a new group. /Sabah/

    [05] GOVT TO ANNOUNCE NEW INCENTIVES SOON

    Speaking at a conference in Istanbul entitled "Turkey the Land of Opportunities: A Safe Haven for Investment," sponsored by the International Investors' Association (YASED), State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek said that accusing the government of failing to take necessary measures against the ongoing global economic crisis was unfair. Stating that work on a new incentives system has been completed, he said, "First we will encourage new investments. Secondly, we will make some rearrangements based on industrial and regional priorities. The arrangements will put the economic potential of cities at the forefront. The incentives will not be the same everywhere. Finally, we will provide special incentives for big investments which will attract a large amount of capital." He added that the new incentive system would include customs exemptions, reduced corporate taxes, and property support. On talks with the International Monetary Fund, Simsek said, "These talks have gone on so long because we're trying to produce a program that will support Turkey's economy. That's why it's taking so much time. We won't take steps or do things that could hurt us in the long run, instead of helping us." /Hurriyet Daily News/

    [06] EMITT TOURISM FAIR OPENS IN ISTANBUL

    Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay yesterday attended the opening of the 2009 EMITT Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Show at Istanbul's TUYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Center. In a speech, Gunay said that tourism is one of the best ways for nations and countries to get to know each other. Some 3,000 firms from 50 countries are attending this year's fair, with Syria as the guest country of honor. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [07] JERUSALEM AND ANKARA JUDGES

    BY ESER KARAKAS (AKSAM)

    Columnist Eser Karakas comments on this week's Israeli elections and Turkey's election system. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "This week's Israeli elections ended badly both for the country and humanity itself. It's very sad that following the inhumane attacks in Gaza, parties favoring the hard line won a majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. The results are sad in abstract terms for humanity, but there are more concrete dangers for Israel; no nation or country in the world has benefited from harshness and violence in the long term. It's sad that a politician like Avigdor Lieberman, who is a secular fascist, got more votes than Ehud Barak's Labor Party. But today I would like to discuss a completely different aspect of the issue.

    Israel's population includes Israeli citizens who are Arabs, and they make up 20 percent of the population, which isn't low. They have all political rights and also the right to elect and be elected. There are six Arab parties in Israel, but only a few are prominent. The National Democracy Party (Balad), the Arab Movement for Renewal (Ta'al), the United Arab List (Ra'am), and Ra'am Ta'al, an alliance of the latter two, win nearly 10 Knesset seats in every election. Naturally, there are also small Arab parties.

    In Israel, in the midst of a near-constant state of war, very interesting things may happen both in legal and constitutional decisions. Especially compared to the Kurdish issue in Turkey, Israeli laws are really quite interesting. As I mentioned above, 20 percent of Israel's population are Arabs and if they take a common position, this can tip political balances. In spite of this, Israel has an election threshold of only 2 percent, much lower than our 10 percent. Our threshold was primarily meant to keep reactionary movements out of Parliament, but because it didn't work the system was changed, as there was also the Kurdish issue.

    Then Kurds managed to get around the percent threshold and established a group in Parliament, but the threshold remains. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected an appeal against the threshold. And Israel doesn't seek to increase its 2 percent threshold and keep Arab parties out. In the midst of the violent attacks against Gaza, Israel's Central Elections Committee, the equivalent of our Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), banned two Arab parties (Ba23638370as226610655la118337185fe59987774d and233281463üp202123990 Ra'54626554ğ134808498am-Ta'65988653ğ13065923al) from taking part in the elections. To justify the ban, they cited the parties' rejection of Israel's right of existence.

    60910002ğ268425189then Kurds 209382927ğ243389444

    If you want to make an extreme comparison, the reason for this decision wasn't separatism, but was like the (pro-Kurdish) Democratic Society Party (DPT) rejecting Turkey's right to exist. The two parties applied to the Israeli Court of Justice, which is like our Constitutional Court, arguing that the ban was based on Jewish racism. (Decisions by the Israeli committed can be appealed in court, unlike in Turkey.)

    After examining the case, the court overruled the ban, saying the parties could take part in the elections. With an Arab population of 20 percent and ongoing war with outside Arabs, Israel's election threshold is still 2 percent. More importantly, though there is Benjamin Netanyahu and the killing of children in Gaza, there are also judges in Jerusalem. When someone asks the nonsense question, 'The state, or the law?' the Israelis ask in return, 'What's the meaning of a state without law?' I hope our judges in Ankara will do the same."


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