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Turkish Press Review, 09-03-05

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

05.03.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT EU COMMISSION
  • [02] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES TUSIAD DELEGATION
  • [03] ERDOGAN: "ALL BRANCHES OF THE STATE SHOULD TAKE A UNITED STANCE AGAINST CRIMINAL GANGS LIKE ERGENEKON"
  • [04] CAMPAIGNING IN MANISA, ERDOGAN VOWS TO CONTINUE SERVING THE PEOPLE
  • [05] BABACAN: "TURKEY HAS A POSITIVE VIEW ON THE US WITHDRAWING ITS TROOPS FROM IRAQ VIA TURKEY"
  • [06] CHIEF EU NEGOTIATOR BAGIS: "TURKEY NEEDS MAJOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES TO JOIN THE EU"
  • [07] IN CAMPAIGN RALLIES, OPPOSITION CONTINUES TO LAMBASTE ERDOGAN
  • [08] DEPUTY CHIEF OF GEN. STAFF IGSIZ VISITS BAGHDAD
  • [09] ANKARA'S DUTY IS TO BRING HAMAS INTO LINE
  • [10] END

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT EU COMMISSION

    President Abdullah Gul will go to Brussels at the end of the month and visit the European Union Commission. Gul, as a guest of honor, will also participate in a business forum in Brussels bringing together European business leaders. /Hurriyet/

    [02] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES TUSIAD DELEGATION

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, High Advisory Council Chairman Mustafa Koc, and members of the group's board. The influential business group presented its views on how to cushion the global economic crisis' impact on Turkey. In related news, a TUSIAD delegation also met with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. /Hurriyet/

    [03] ERDOGAN: "ALL BRANCHES OF THE STATE SHOULD TAKE A UNITED STANCE AGAINST CRIMINAL GANGS LIKE ERGENEKON"

    The legislative, executive and judicial branches should take a united stance on fighting criminal gangs like Ergenekon, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking to news channel 24, Erdogan compared Italy's Operation Clean Hands to the controversial probe of Ergenekon, a criminal network suspected of plotting a coup against the government. Stating that the government is trying to carry out the law, he added, "The opposition takes a different stance on this." Touching on the issue of illegal phone taps, he said that Turkey has taken measures similar to those in other countries to eliminate this. On the case against the Lighthouse Foundation, a German-based charity run by Turks, he stated that legal process between the two countries is continuing. Adding that German judiciary has been hearing the case, he also decried opposition efforts to tie the government to the alleged wrongdoing. Erdogan also spoke about government initiatives such as TRT 6, the first Kurdish-language channel of the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), adding, "The opposition cannot tolerate such democratic developments." In related news, Erdogan will today attend an inauguration ceremony at the newly modernized Sarp border gate, set to be a gateway to the Caucasus and Central Asia with renovations by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is reportedly also set to attend the ceremony. /Star/

    [04] CAMPAIGNING IN MANISA, ERDOGAN VOWS TO CONTINUE SERVING THE PEOPLE

    Campaigning in the Aegean province of Manisa for local elections late this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday told a crowd of thousands, "We set out to serve the people, and our service will continue as long as the people continue to support us." Stressing that his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) approach to politics is service and human oriented, Erdogan said, "We don't have an Ankara-centric mode of governance and politics. The people chose us to serve them, not to cause fruitless political debates and tensions." Criticizing opposition parties for "smear campaigns" and efforts to raise tension, Erdogan said that Turkey shouldn't waste its time and energy on such tactics. "In cooperation with some media outlets, opposition parties are campaigning for local elections based on smears to discredit the AK Party, but the people don't believe those smears." Later attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for houses built by the Prime Ministry Housing Development Administration (TOKI), Erdogan touted government efforts to provide affordable housing to low- income people. /Turkiye/

    [05] BABACAN: "TURKEY HAS A POSITIVE VIEW ON THE US WITHDRAWING ITS TROOPS FROM IRAQ VIA TURKEY"

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday attended a meeting of NATO and European Union foreign ministers in Brussels. On the sidelines of the meeting, Babacan met with his US and British counterparts Hillary Clinton and David Miliband. On news reports saying the US wants to use Turkish ports and bases to help withdraw its troops from Iraq, Babacan said the US has yet to request any assistance of that kind, but added, "We have a positive view on that subject." /Aksam/

    [06] CHIEF EU NEGOTIATOR BAGIS: "TURKEY NEEDS MAJOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES TO JOIN THE EU"

    Speaking at a conference at Istanbul's Fatih University yesterday on the Treaty of Lisbon and Turkey's European Union accession process, State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said Turkey needs sweeping changes to its current Constitution to join the bloc. "Turkey cannot join the Union with its current Constitution," he said. "I hope we'll make good use of the period after local elections (late this month) by changing and modernizing the Constitution with the support of opposition parties." On the treaty, a 2007 package of reforms for the EU (including curbing countries' veto power) which faces widespread public opposition in many member states, Bagis said, "Turkey needs the approval of 27 EU member states to open chapters in membership negotiations with the Union. But when the Treaty of Lisbon is approved, the EU decision-making process will work faster." Stating that the EU suffers from a serious energy supply security problem, Bagis said Turkey is the most critical country for the realization of the Nabucco Project to meet Europe's energy needs. Asked whether the Turkish people still support EU accession, Bagis said a clear majority, 65 percent of the people, do support the bid. /Turkiye/

    [07] IN CAMPAIGN RALLIES, OPPOSITION CONTINUES TO LAMBASTE ERDOGAN

    Addressing a main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) campaign rally in Yalova, CHP leader Deniz Baykal yesterday continued slamming Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his campaign trail rhetoric. In related news, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli addressed a campaign rally in Yozgat and lambasted Erdogan. /Milliyet/

    [08] DEPUTY CHIEF OF GEN. STAFF IGSIZ VISITS BAGHDAD

    Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hasan Igsiz yesterday paid a one-day visit to Iraq. A statement on the General Staff website said that Igsiz and his delegation visited Baghdad at the invitation of Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jasim to hold talks on bilateral military cooperation. During the visit, the importance of continuing cooperation between the two countries on military issues was stressed, the statement added. /Hürriyet/

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

    [09] ANKARA'S DUTY IS TO BRING HAMAS INTO LINE

    BY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Semih Idiz comments on Middle East peace efforts and Ankara's role in this. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Ankara is just around the corner, developments in the Middle East have started to get more interesting. One of the most interesting issues concerns developments that could gradually isolate Israel. It's clear that likely Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have certain problems with the world on solving the Middle East issue and will come into conflict with Washington on this. The reason is very obvious. The US has advanced its outlines for a solution and shows every sign of continuing to stand behind this. It involves the coexistence of two states sharing borders which recognize Palestine's independence. On the other hand, Netanyahu abhors any mention of the concept of Palestinian independence.

    But first let's look at the Hamas front. At the meeting of donor countries on Gaza reconstruction in Sharm el-Sheikh this week, a clear consensus about isolating Hamas emerged. The clearest sign of this was how Hamas wasn't invited and how the reconstruction aid is set to bypass the group. In other words, no matter how much the Justice and Development (AK) Party government tries to legitimize Hamas, as long as it refuses to forsake terrorism, recognize Israel, and acknowledge Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' authority, it will never get a place at the table. This is even clearer now. At this point, Turkey's basic role and even duty will be bringing Hamas into line. Ankara will be able to raise its stature vis-à- vis the Middle East conflict to the extent that it succeeds in this.

    Of course it's impossible for Hamas, which not only doesn't recognize Israel but has vowed to destroy it, to accept the US formula of the coexistence of two independent states. From this point of view, now Netanyahu and Hamas are on the same plane to a certain extent, albeit at opposite ends. In addition, it's uncertain how Israel will be able to overcome this deadlock, because its international image has suffered due to the Gaza operation. It's nothing strange to think that Netanyahu would welcome an attack by Hamas which would create a pretext for Israel. If Hamas did give Israel another pretext for attacks, diplomatic efforts for a solution would be suspended, giving Netanyahu some breathing room. But when we look at the big picture " and consider the Obama administration's search for a dialogue with Iran and its diplomatic flirting with Syria " it's clear that the general course of events isn't going the way extreme rightists in Israel would like.

    So this makes Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni's reluctance to be involved in a coalition with Netenyahu and other extreme groups which support him more understandable. As for Turkey, the greatest contribution that Ankara can make in peace efforts would be using its influence on Hamas to make sure it doesn't give Israel a pretext for further attacks. In other words, Ankara should convince Hamas not to give extreme rightists in Israel the opportunity they're looking for."

    [10] END


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