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Turkish Press Review, 09-02-26

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

26.02.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] THY PLANE CRASHES NEAR AMSTERDAM, KILLING NINE
  • [02] PM ERDOGAN OFFERS CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF CRASH
  • [03] GUL RECEIVES US MIDEAST ENVOY MITCHELL
  • [04] CAMPAIGNING IN AFYON, ERDOGAN LAMBASTES DTP AND MHP LEADERS
  • [05] US AMBASSADOR JEFFREY VISITS BAGIS
  • [06] ANNUAL US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CRITICIZES PRESSURE ON THE PRESS
  • [07] TUZMEN VISITS GEORGIA IN BID TO BOOST TRADE TIES

  • [01] THY PLANE CRASHES NEAR AMSTERDAM, KILLING NINE

    A Turkish Airlines (THY) passenger plane with 134 people on board, including seven crew members, yesterday crashed in a field while trying to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, killing nine and injuring 84. Six of the injured were in serious condition, Dutch and Turkish officials confirmed. The plane split in three as it crashed in a field near the runway of the airport, which is 20 kilometers southwest of Amsterdam's center. The dead included three pilots onboard identified as Hasan Tahsin Arisan, Olgay Ozgur and Murat Sezer. Breaking into three distinct sections, the plane crucially did not catch fire at the moment of impact, reportedly the single biggest reason why so many survived the crash. Amid much speculation over the cause of the crash, officials said that they would withhold comment until after examining the plane's flight data recorder. /All papers/

    [02] PM ERDOGAN OFFERS CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF CRASH

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday gave his condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in a plane crash in the Netherlands. "Our crisis desk, together with the civil aviation authorities, has been monitoring the investigation being carried out at the scene," he said. "The process is being closely monitored. We hope that all the injured passengers survive this accident. Our wish is that we overcome this accident with minimal damage." Dutch Premier Jan Peter Balkanende telephoned Erdogan to offer his condolences for the casualties. He said he was personally following developments concerning the crash, reassuring Erdogan that Dutch authorities were providing all necessary aid. Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said that the cause of the crash would be determined after an investigation. "The crashed plane recently underwent maintenance by civilian aviation authorities," he said. Speaking to reporters alongside THY Director General Temel Kotil, THY Executive Board Chairman Candan Karlitekin said the captain of the plane was a very experienced pilot. He also briefed President Abdullah Gul on the crash. Aviation experts said the way the pilot landed the plane had prevented the crash from being more deadly. / Turkiye/

    [03] GUL RECEIVES US MIDEAST ENVOY MITCHELL

    US special Middle East envoy George Mitchell yesterday arrived in Ankara to held talks with top officials. After meeting with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Mitchell and his delegation were received by President Abdullah Gul, with Babacan and US Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey also in attendance. Issues reportedly discussed during the meeting included the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Turkey again taking command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan this year, and the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Mitchell reportedly reiterated Turkey's importance in the Middle East for the US. /Aksam/

    [04] CAMPAIGNING IN AFYON, ERDOGAN LAMBASTES DTP AND MHP LEADERS

    Addressing a campaign rally in Afyon yesterday ahead of local elections late next month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Turk for addressing the party's deputies in Kurdish during its group meeting in Parliament this week, accusing him of "trying to stoke tension." He added, "One who opposed TRT 6, (the state) Kurdish-language TV station, is trying to cause crises through violating the Constitution," as Turkish is the official language of all group meetings in Parliament. Erdogan also implicitly criticized opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli saying about the incident, "Parliament should do what is necessary to counter this betrayal." Saying that some are trying to lay the groundwork for tension and conflict, Erdogan said, "On the one side, there is a repressive mindset which doesn't allow a dialect to be spoken in daily life, and on the other, there are some who make shows through violating the Constitution." /Star/

    [05] US AMBASSADOR JEFFREY VISITS BAGIS

    US Ambassador to Ankara James Jeffrey yesterday visited State Minister and chief EU talks negotiator Egemen Bagis. During his visit, Jeffery stated that the US supports Turkey's EU bid, adding, "Turkey's future is very important for the US, and it will play a very important role in the West." /Sabah/

    [06] ANNUAL US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CRITICIZES PRESSURE ON THE PRESS

    In its annual Human Rights Report released yesterday, the US State Department had some critical remarks on press freedom in Turkey. "The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens (in 2008); however, serious problems remained in some areas," said the report. "The law provides for freedom of speech and of the press; however, the government continued to limit these freedoms in occasional cases. Some senior government officials made statements during the year strongly criticizing the press … Prosecutors harassed writers, journalists, and political figures by bringing dozens of cases to court each year under various laws that restricted media freedom; however, judges dismissed many of these charges … Some members of the AK Party (ruling Justice and Development) party and Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan continued to file suits against journalists and cartoonists during the year … Several large holding companies which owned news agencies in the country were concerned over losing business opportunities if their journalists wrote articles critical of the government … Senior government officials, including Prime Minister Erdogan, made statements during the year strongly criticizing the press and media business figures, particularly following the publishing of reports on alleged corruption in entities in Germany connected to the ruling party." Also touching on the ongoing Ergenekon probe, the report said, "On July 14, prosecutors in Istanbul indicted 90 persons, including prominent military, business, and press corps personalities, on charges of plotting to foment unrest and topple the elected government as members of an organization labeled the 'Ergenekon Network.' … Several individuals were held without charge for approximately a month prior to the July 14 indictment." /Milliyet/

    [07] TUZMEN VISITS GEORGIA IN BID TO BOOST TRADE TIES

    On his seventh official visit to neighboring countries this year as part of Turkey's strategy to cushion the blow of the global economic crisis on exports, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen said yesterday that Georgia will soon ease customs procedures for Turkish entrepreneurs. After meeting with Georgian President Michael Saakashvili as part of his visit with a large business delegation, Tuzmen said the Georgian leader had promised to solve the problems that Turkish businesspeople face at Georgian customs and in operating in the country. He said Georgia expects to soon initiate a comprehensive infrastructure project using $4.5 billion in loans from international institutions and funds, and that Turkish contractors expect to get a $1.5 billion share of this. Georgia plans to hold tenders for a series of projects, including the construction of highways, mass housing and public buildings. Tuzmen also met with Georgian Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri. /Hurriyet/
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