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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-23

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

23.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL VISITS TANZANIA
  • [02] IN SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA CAMPAIGN STOPS, ERDOGAN STRESSES UNITY
  • [03] BABACAN: "IN THE WAKE OF DAVOS, ISLAMIC COUNTRIES AND THE WEST ARE INTENSELY INTERESTED IN TURKEY"
  • [04] IN KOCAELI, CHP'S BAYKAL SLAMS RULING PARTY
  • [05] STATE MINISTER TUZMEN DUE IN GEORGIA
  • [06] ARMENIAN PM PROPOSES ENERGY COOPERATION WITH TURKEY
  • [07] 38 TURKISH DEFENSE COMPANIES ATTEND IDEX 2009
  • [08] ARCHITECT CANSEVER DIES AT 89
  • [09] ERBIL AND ANKARA'S HONEYMOON

  • [01] GUL VISITS TANZANIA

    President Abdullah Gul visited Dar as Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend as part of a four-day African tour which included Kenya. Gul was greeted by his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. He also met with Tanzanians who have studied in Turkey, saying, "The more you contribute to Tanzania's development, the prouder we'll be of you." Urging them not to forget how to speak Turkish, Gul also asked them to come back to Turkey to visit their Turkish friends. Afterwards, he also told a Turkish-Tanzanian Business Forum, "Bilateral relations will be strengthened by Turkey opening an embassy in Tanzania." /Turkiye/

    [02] IN SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA CAMPAIGN STOPS, ERDOGAN STRESSES UNITY

    Campaigning over the weekend for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) ahead of local elections late next month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke about unity to rallies of thousands of people in the southeastern Anatolia provinces of Diyarbakir, Adiyaman and Kahramanmaras. "All of us are fundamental elements of this country," he said in Diyarbakir. "All of us are first-class citizens. No one is superior to another. We embrace all with the same sincerity." Touching on government efforts to solve regional economic problems and expand the cultural rights of people living in the region, Erdogan said that the new TRT 6 channel, Turkey's first Kurdish-language state TV station, has attracted great interest not only in Turkey, but also from places as varied as Western Europe and the Middle East. In Adiyaman, Erdogan said, "We founded this country together. No instigation can harm the Turkish people's unity. No power can divide Turkey." Stating that his party bases its policies on the pillars of justice, service and freedom, Erdogan stressed the government's determination to improve and protect democracy. Criticizing the opposition for what he called a smear-based election campaign, Erdogan said politics is done in public rallies, within and for the people, not through using the media to spread slander. Erdogan also pledged the government would continue to equally bring all public services to all regions of the country without any discrimination. Dismissing opposition claims that the government is using social aid programs to win votes in the upcoming elections, Erdogan said, "Our duty is to serve the public." In Adiyaman, Erdogan also inaugurated public facilities such as a hospital. /Turkiye/

    [03] BABACAN: "IN THE WAKE OF DAVOS, ISLAMIC COUNTRIES AND THE WEST ARE INTENSELY INTERESTED IN TURKEY"

    Israel made a great mistake in Palestine by launching an offensive which left 1,300 dead, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday. Speaking to Star daily, Babacan stated that nobody should be silent in the face of such a human tragedy. Referring to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's walkout protest last month from a panel in Davos with the Israeli president, he added, "If you take a sincere attitude towards democracy, international law, solidarity, fundamental rights and freedoms, and you defend the same principles everywhere you go, everybody will trust you." He also said, "After that incident, there is intensive interest towards Turkey from both Islamic countries and the West… Erdogan's attitude was called the Turkish stand." Touching on US President Barack Obama's phone calls to President Abdullah Gul and Erdogan, Babacan said that the first bilateral talks between the leaders can be held during the April G-20 meeting in London. /Star/

    [04] IN KOCAELI, CHP'S BAYKAL SLAMS RULING PARTY

    Speaking at a weekend campaign rally in Kocaeli, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal lambasted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). In related news, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the CHP's candidate for Istanbul Municipality mayor, visited various districts of the city over the weekend and criticized the performance of current Mayor Kadir Topbas. In other campaign news, opposition Democrat Party (DP) leader Suleyman Soylu stumped for DP candidates in Istanbul, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Ankara Deputy Deniz Bolukbasi held a press conference in Kayseri. /Hurriyet/

    [05] STATE MINISTER TUZMEN DUE IN GEORGIA

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen will travel to Georgia today for a two-day visit. A group of 100 Turkish businesspeople will accompany Tuzmen, who is expected to meet with Georgian Premier Nika Gilauri. Tuzmen will also participate in a Turkish-Georgian business forum in Tbilisi, and meet with Turkish investors in the country. He will also meet with Georgia's economic development and finance ministers. /Hurriyet Daily News/

    [06] ARMENIAN PM PROPOSES ENERGY COOPERATION WITH TURKEY

    Speaking at a weekend economic forum, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said his country could cooperate in the energy sector with Turkey. According to the ArmInfo news agency, Sargsyan said, "It should be known that we would welcome Russian-Turkish cooperation during reconstruction of the Metsamor nuclear power plant, whose lifespan is nearing its end. We're open to cooperation." Sargsyan underlined that such cooperation would have both economic and political benefits. /Hurriyet/

    [07] 38 TURKISH DEFENSE COMPANIES ATTEND IDEX 2009

    IDEX 2009, the Middle East's biggest defense industry fair, opened over the weekend in Abu Dhabi with a ceremony attended by Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan as well as Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar. Turkey is participating in the fair with 38 companies. Speaking to reporters, Gonul said during the fair, two Turkish defense companies signed sales and joint production agreements on Turkish-made assault boats and rockets with firms from Abu Dhabi. /Sabah/

    [08] ARCHITECT CANSEVER DIES AT 89

    Turgut Cansever, the only Turkish architect to have received the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture three times, died on Sunday in Istanbul. He was 89. Last year he also received the Grand Culture and Art Award. /Today's Zaman/

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

    [09] ERBIL AND ANKARA'S HONEYMOON

    BY OMER TASPINAR (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Omer Taspinar comments on goode relations between Ankara and the northern Iraqi regional administration. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "I was among nearly 100 participants from Turkey who last week went to Erbil, the capital of the northern Iraqi regional administration, for a two- day conference entitled 'Searching for Peace and a Future Together,' organized by the Abant Platform. This meeting alone and the speech given by Turkish Consul in Mosul Huseyin Avni Botsali there shows the rapprochement Ankara and the administration have had for the last year. During this time, there have been official contacts between the two. The Foreign Ministry, led by Special Representative to Iraq Murat Ozcelik, has met with Massoud Barzani, the head of the region. Naturally, Washington is also following these important developments very closely.

    At the same time, American officials are asking: Why did Ankara change its mind after years of resistance and start to welcome dialogue with Erbil? Three basic answers can be given to this question. The first is about a change in Washington's policy. Since 2007, Washington has been providing Turkey with more support to fight the terrorist PKK. Intelligence cooperation in particular has helped make the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) more effective against the PKK in the Kandil region.

    These cross-border operations obviously strengthened Ankara's hand vis-à- vis the regional administration. The Foreign Ministry certainly likes to have a strong hand. So a more self-confident Ankara has seen no harm at sitting at the table like this over the last year. In addition, Ankara's hand is stronger because political relations between Baghdad and Barzani are getting worse due to disagreement over the Iraqi oil law and the status of Kirkuk.

    The second factor promoting a more comprehensive and serious dialogue between Ankara and Erbil is again about the dynamics in Washington. In the past, Turkey used to want to talk to just Washington and Baghdad about the northern Iraq issue. But now the US is set to gradually withdraw from Iraq under its new President Barack Obama. This will result in a serious vacuum both in Iraq and in the northern region. Ankara doesn't want this vacuum to be filled by Tehran. In addition, Ankara doesn't want the US to establish a permanent or temporary military base in northern Iraq. So Turkey's policy of rapprochement with Erbil makes sense to make the US feel there's no military or political problem in northern Iraq.

    For the third factor, I should touch on the economic rapprochement between Ankara and Erbil. This new friendship benefits both sides, because there's trade of $7 billion. From Turkey's viewpoint, northern Iraq is an opportunity to reduce its energy dependence on Iran and Syria. This region is also an important resource for employment and investment in our southeastern region.

    These are all factors leading Ankara to approach Erbil more positively. But we shouldn't forget a very important problem which could poison these positive developments, namely the Kirkuk issue. The US again has something to do with this very difficult issue. A new report by Henri Barkey of the Carnegie Endowment, an influential US think-tank, presents creative formulas for Kirkuk. The Obama administration should put more political and diplomatic priority on this issue without delay. Otherwise the relatively good course of incidents in Iraq and between Ankara and Erbil might sour."


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