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Turkish Press Review, 09-03-03

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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

03.03.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL HEARS OF PLANS FOR TURKISH SEASON IN FRANCE
  • [02] ERDOGAN STARTS FORESTATION PROGRAM IN ANKARA
  • [03] TOPTAN MEETS WITH QATAR'S AL-THANI
  • [04] BABACAN: "A REVIVED PEACE PROCESS IS NEEDED TO SOLVE THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE"
  • [05] BAGIS: "TURKEY'S EU ACCESSION WILL HELP THE ENTIRE REGION"
  • [06] FORMER ENLARGEMENT COMMISSIONER VERHEUGEN: "THE EU FAILED TO GIVE TURKEY A CLEAR, RELIABLE MESSAGE"
  • [07] US SEC'Y OF STATE CLINTON DUE IN TURKEY THIS WEEKEND
  • [08] TUSIAD DELEGATION VISITS MHP

  • [01] GUL HEARS OF PLANS FOR TURKISH SEASON IN FRANCE

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Necati Utkan, retired ambassador and co-chair of the Turkish Season in France activities co-organized by the French Culture Ministry set to start this July and last through March 2010. Utkan briefed Gul about planned activities such as cinema, dance, and theater performances and photo and art exhibits in France as part of the project. Gul stressed the importance of warming relations between Turkish and France. /Sabah/

    [02] ERDOGAN STARTS FORESTATION PROGRAM IN ANKARA

    The government opposes any approach towards industrialization which ignores and harms the environment, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a ceremony yesterday, marking the beginning of a government-sponsored forestation program along the Ankara-Istanbul Highway. "We reject such an approach, because we are struggling to give shape to our future," he added. After his speech, Erdogan planted and watered a young tree. Erdogan also addressed supporters of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in front of Ankara's Etimesgut Municipal Hall. /Turkiye/

    [03] TOPTAN MEETS WITH QATAR'S AL-THANI

    Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, currently in Doha, yesterday met with Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. At the request of Toptan and his delegation, Al-Thani directed local officials to solve the visa problems faced by incoming Turks. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] BABACAN: "A REVIVED PEACE PROCESS IS NEEDED TO SOLVE THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE"

    In Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday attended the opening ceremony of an international donors' conference on rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel's offensive. At the gathering, Babacan said that Turkey would donate $50 million in additional assistance to Gaza. Stating that Turkey has so far collected $43 million assistance for Gaza through both state and private institutions, he added, "We witnessed a great humanitarian tragedy in Gaza." He said that an active peace process based on two states living side by side which recognize each other under UN Security Council resolutions is again needed to solve the Palestinian issue. On the sidelines of his visit, Babacan also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from countries such as Germany, Algeria, Britain, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria. /Turkiye-Aksam/

    [05] BAGIS: "TURKEY'S EU ACCESSION WILL HELP THE ENTIRE REGION"

    Turkey's EU accession will positively affect not only the nation itself but also the Islamic and Turkic world, State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said yesterday. During a meeting with the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Ankara Zakir Hasimov, Bagis said, "Turkey's EU accession will give very important messages to a very large part of the world, and the EU should carefully consider this." In related news, speaking to Sabah daily, Bagis dismissed claims that Turkey's EU accession reforms had slowed down, saying that after the local elections late this month, reform efforts would gain momentum with a very busy program. Bagis said that after the elections, constitutional reforms would take priority in these reforms, and that strategy documents on the fight against corruption and judicial reforms would follow. /Turkiye-Sabah/

    [06] FORMER ENLARGEMENT COMMISSIONER VERHEUGEN: "THE EU FAILED TO GIVE TURKEY A CLEAR, RELIABLE MESSAGE"

    European Commission Vice President and European Union Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Guenter Verheugen, who was commissioner for enlargement from 1999 to 2004, yesterday acknowledged the EU's political failure to give Ankara a clear signal concerning its perspective on Turkey's EU accession bid, stressing that this failure had damaged Ankara's will for more reforms. The EU's continued contradictory messages to Turkey have led Turks to doubt the Union's sincerity, Verheugen said. He said the EU's greatest political mistake was not introducing an open, reliable and consistent line for Turkey's EU accession bid, highlighting the importance of providing a clear perspective for Turkey. Stressing that Turkey carries great importance for the Union in terms of energy and security, Verheugen said the message the EU should give to Turkey is: "Whether you will become an EU member or not depends on yourself. We are unconditionally ready for this, when you fulfill the requirements for the accession." He also said that common human values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights are universal and don't belong to any particular belief or culture, adding that Islam can coexist with those values. /Turkiye/

    [07] US SEC'Y OF STATE CLINTON DUE IN TURKEY THIS WEEKEND

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Turkey over the weekend as part of her tour of the region. Clinton will meet with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Issues such as the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, recent developments in Afghanistan, and a proposed congressional resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide allegations are set to be discussed. /Aksam/

    [08] TUSIAD DELEGATION VISITS MHP

    Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) recently reelected Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag and an accompanying delegation yesterday met with opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli at MHP headquarters. During the meeting, issues such as the current economic crisis, a possible new standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund, and Turkey's European Union bid were discussed. /Milliyet/
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