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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-17

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

17.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL'S THREE-DAY AFRICAN TOUR AIMS AT STRONGER TIES
  • [02] OBAMA TELEPHONES GUL, ERDOGAN
  • [03] ERDOGAN: "OUR SERVICE DEMONSTRATES OUR PATRIOTISM"
  • [04] TOPTAN HOLDS TALKS IN SYRIA
  • [05] SPECIAL ENVOY OZCELIK IN IRAQ FOR TALKS
  • [06] REPRESENTING OBAMA, US SENATOR DUE IN ANKARA TO TALK CYPRUS
  • [07] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [08] GET USED TO THAT WORD

  • [01] GUL'S THREE-DAY AFRICAN TOUR AIMS AT STRONGER TIES

    President Abdullah Gul is set to begin a two-nation African tour starting Friday in a bid to improve bilateral trade ties. Gul, accompanied by a large business delegation, will hold talks in Kenya and Tanzania. /Aksam/

    [02] OBAMA TELEPHONES GUL, ERDOGAN

    In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, US President Barack Obama yesterday stressed the importance that he places on Turkey's strategic partnership, saying that he wants to cooperate on regional issues. "During the conversation, Obama underlined the importance that he places on Turkish-US relations, saying that he appreciates the leadership Turkey has taken on regional issues," said the Presidential Press Center. "The two leaders also reaffirmed their will to work together, reviewing regional as well as international issues." Afterwards, Obama telephoned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and told him that Turkey plays an important role for peace in its region. According to the Prime Ministry, Obama said, "I would like to say that your leadership is vital in the Middle East peace process and that America always understands Turkey's sensitivities." Obama also expressed his willingness to work with Turkey on such issues as peace in the Middle East, ending PKK terrorism, and relations with Armenia. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN: "OUR SERVICE DEMONSTRATES OUR PATRIOTISM"

    Speaking to a campaign rally of thousands in the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said he hopes the local elections late next month will usher in a new era in Turkey . Pointing to the 40 days left until polls open, he called on supporters to knock on every door and stump for his Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Turning to the opposition parties, Erdogan said true republicanism requires doing something for the people, and that the AK Party shows its patriotism through its work for the people and country. "We show our nationalism through our service," he added. "Turkey is a country that can't be boxed in; it's a country that thinks big." Touching on ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund, Erdogan criticized past governments for borrowing $30 billion from the Fund. "They let us a debt of $26.5 billion," he said. "Today, Turkey's debt to the IMF is $8 billion. If we find the Fund's terms would benefit the country, we will strike a deal. If not, why should we do so? The talks are going well at the moment." Stating that before the AK Party came to power in late 2002, Turkey's debt amounted to 70 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), he said, "Now it's down to 35 percent. The math is clear." Erdogan also touted government efforts in areas such as health, education, social aid and affordable housing. Stressing that no power can divide the Turkish people, Erdogan said, "In this country, everyone can freely define and live their own cultural identity or belief." He also pledged to devote more space in school religious curriculums to Alevism. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [04] TOPTAN HOLDS TALKS IN SYRIA

    Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, in Damascus at the invitation of his Syrian counterpart Mahmoud Al-Abrash, yesterday was received by Syrian President Bashar Assad. Also at the meeting were Syrian-Turkish Interparliamentary Friendship Group Chair and opposition Nationalist Movement Party deputy leader Mehmet Sandir, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputies Mahmut Durdu and Mehmet Erdogan, and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Huseyin Unal. Toptan also met with Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Naji al-Otari, who praised Turkey's regional and international peace efforts. /Aksam/

    [05] SPECIAL ENVOY OZCELIK IN IRAQ FOR TALKS

    Turkey's Special Envoy Murat Ozcelik yesterday went to Iraq for a third round of talks with Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish regional administration there. Ozcelik is first expected to be received by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, and to meet with representatives of Sunni and Shiite groups in Baghdad. After his talks in the capital, Ozcelik will proceed to the northern Iraqi city of Erbil to meet with Barzani and other officials from the regional administration. In earlier talks with the regional administration, the sides agreed to establish in Erbil an office of the tripartite mechanism among Turkey, the US and Iraq, meant to coordinate efforts against the terrorist PKK. In related news, Iraq's new Ambassador to Turkey AbdulAmir Abu Tabikh came to Ankara yesterday. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] REPRESENTING OBAMA, US SENATOR DUE IN ANKARA TO TALK CYPRUS

    US Senator Richard Durbin will arrive in Ankara on Wednesday to hold contacts on the Cyprus issue. Durbin is on a three-nation regional tour including the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Greece and Turkey to gauge the state of the Cyprus issue and the sides' desire for peace. After meeting with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday, Durbin will proceed to Greece today. He will start his meetings in Ankara on Thursday and is expected to be received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Milliyet/

    [07] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [08] GET USED TO THAT WORD

    BY EMRE AKOZ ( SABAH )

    Columnist Emre Akoz comments on the Kurdish issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "I saw the sensitivity of Kurds during a recent conference in Erbil, northern Iraq on 'Searching for Peace and a Future Together' organized by the Abant Platform. Which name should the region be given? Some of the nearly 100 intellectuals who came from Turkey call it 'northern Iraq ,' while some prefer the 'Kurdish autonomous region.' In the Iraqi Constitution, on the other hand, the territories are called the 'Kurdistan Region,' and the political formation administrating the region is the 'Regional Government of Kurdistan.' When those from Turkey called it anything but ' Kurdistan,' the local Kurdish intellectuals reacted with astonishment and restrained anger. (But they don't seem to care about calling the region's capital city Erbil, rather than Hewler.)

    We're used to such sensitivity about words. When Istanbul is called ' Constantinople ' by the Western media, we get angry, seeing this name as the snoring of a monster slumbering in the West's unconscious. The aim of this monster is to wake up and end Turkish sovereignty in so-called ' Constantinople.' The word Kurdistan is full of rich historical meanings.

    The Ottoman Empire used to call the region where the Kurds lived Kurdistan. This was a quite normal and simple definition. We also saw the same word in the early years of the Turkish Republic, but it fell out of use following the Kurdish rebellions. The pressure applied by Iraqi leaders and particularly Saddam Hussein on the Kurds also had an impact on Turkey, and the Turkish media stopped using the word ' Kurdistan.' The logic behind it went something like this: 'Calling this Kurdistan would mean accepting the existence of Kurds as an ethnic group which forms a state. In this case, there would be a nation called "the Kurds of Turkey," which would violate our principle of "one state, one flag and one nation." So the word Kurdistan should not be used.'

    Of course, the Turkish intellectuals taking part in the conference didn't have this point of view; they have already criticized this logic. Yet Turkey's educational system and media has perhaps had an impact on them. But the Kurdish participants saw in the avoidance of the word the 'arrogance of a dominant nation and great state.'

    Yes, the Kurds generally saw things this way, but devoted Turkey watchers are witnessing an unexpected change. Ankara's stance on Kurds is slowly shifting. They started to consider the 'Kurdish region' not a threat, but an opportunity. Don't be surprised if the Turkish media, which up to now has let the state set its language and stance, starts to frequently use the word Kurdistan and realizes that Kurds are actually our large-hearted friends, not enemies from the mountains."


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