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Turkish Press Review, 09-03-11

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

11.03.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL MEETS WITH IRAN'S KHAMENEI, AHMEDINEJAD
  • [02] AT CAMPAIGN RALLIES, ERDOGAN LAMBASTES OPPOSITION AND MEDIA
  • [03] CAMPAIGNING IN HIS HOMETOWN, BAHCELI URGES HIGH VOTER TURNOUT IN LOCAL ELECTIONS
  • [04] FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS VISIT US CONGRESS TO MAKE CASE AGAINST ARMENIAN RESOLUTION
  • [05] GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIAN PROTESTS TREATMENT OF MEDIA IN TURKEY TO EC'S BARROSO
  • [06] ECHR SENTENCES TURKEY TO PAY COMPENSATION TO OZGUR RADIO
  • [07] EP DRAFT PROGRESS REPORT ON TURKEY DEBATED
  • [08] BAYKAL WARNS OF WORSE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AFTER LOCAL ELECTIONS
  • [09] BRITAIN' S MILIBAND: "TURKEY IS A STABLE AND ATTRACTIVE ECONOMY FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS"
  • [10] BAYKAL AS A SULTAN

  • [01] GUL MEETS WITH IRAN'S KHAMENEI, AHMEDINEJAD

    President Abdullah Gul and an accompanying delegation yesterday arrived in Tehran to attend the 10th summit meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization. Speaking to reporters at Esenboga Airport, he said US President Back Obama's visit to Turkey next month was important for both nations, adding that they share a similar approach to global and regional issues. Asked if Obama visiting a majority-Muslim country like Turkey so soon in his presidency sends a message to Muslim countries, Gul said that the visit will be a message in itself. Saying the visit will usher in a new era, Gul added, "Troubles between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Iran issue are very important in this era." In Tehran, Gul first met with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, followed by his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He will return to Turkey after the summit and bilateral talks with attending countries' heads of state. /Star/

    [02] AT CAMPAIGN RALLIES, ERDOGAN LAMBASTES OPPOSITION AND MEDIA

    Speaking at campaign rallies in Kahramanmaras and Malatya yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lambasted opposition parties as well as some media outlets and business figures. Erdogan said that the media was attacking the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and that some business circles support this. /Milliyet/

    [03] CAMPAIGNING IN HIS HOMETOWN, BAHCELI URGES HIGH VOTER TURNOUT IN LOCAL ELECTIONS

    Addressing thousands of people at a rally in the southern province of Osmaniye, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday called the local elections set late this month a critical milestone in deciding Turkey's future. "With these elections, we will not only choose mayors and members of municipal and provincial councils but what is more important, we will also decide on Turkey's future," Bahceli told the rally in his hometown. Calling on everyone, no matter what political party they support, to cast their ballots, Bahceli stressed the importance of high voter turnout in the elections. Stating that the elections present a great opportunity for the Turkish people to show their will, Bahceli said the nation should be aware of the importance of this. /Turkiye/

    [04] FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS VISIT US CONGRESS TO MAKE CASE AGAINST ARMENIAN RESOLUTION

    A Foreign Ministry delegation chaired by Deputy Undersecretary Unal Cevikoz went to the US this week to take Congress' pulse on a draft resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide allegations and to tell of Turkey's outreach to Armenia firsthand. The delegation will also address such issues as the Caucasus, the Azerbaijani-Armenian dispute, and the emerging situation after the Russian-Georgian conflict. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] GERMAN PARLIAMENTARIAN PROTESTS TREATMENT OF MEDIA IN TURKEY TO EC'S BARROSO

    German parliamentarian Gunther Krichbaum, the chair of Bundestag's Committee on European Affairs, this week sent a letter to European Commission Head Jose Manuel Barroso calling on the commission to take action against oppression and censorship of the Turkish press. In related news, European Parliament rapporteur Alexander Graf Lambdorf said, "A country which wants to join the European Union should respect press freedom in a way that sweeps away all doubts. The oppression of critical media and journalism disturbs us deeply." /Milliyet/

    [06] ECHR SENTENCES TURKEY TO PAY COMPENSATION TO OZGUR RADIO

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Turkey was wrong to ban broadcasts of Ozgur (Free) Radio, saying that this violated freedom of expression, and sentenced it to pay €7,500 to the station as compensation. After the station read out on the air from a newspaper called Evrensel in 2003, it was taken off the air for one month by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), which cited the need to protect public order, and the station appealed the case to the ECHR. In its decision, the court said the radio station cited the source for the quoted material and that the ban was disproportional. The court also said the ban violated the principles of a democratic society, adding that forcing media outlets to keep their distance from the content of a quotation conflicts with their duty to inform the public. /Milliyet/

    [07] EP DRAFT PROGRESS REPORT ON TURKEY DEBATED

    European Parliament debate of a draft progress report on Turkey by EP Turkey Rapporteur Rita Oomen Ruijten began yesterday and is set to end tomorrow. During the debate, many MEPs pushed for stronger calls on the Turkish government to address flaws in the Ergenekon probe and to continue to strictly respect the principle of secularism by representing all sectors of Turkish society. During debate in the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee last month, concerns over press freedom in Turkey were highlighted. /Milliyet/

    [08] BAYKAL WARNS OF WORSE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AFTER LOCAL ELECTIONS

    Illegal phone taps have become a grave threat to Turkey, said Republican People's Party's (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday. Speaking to reporters, he claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a high-tech phone tap system. Touching on the economy and unemployment, he said Turkey has never before faced such a situation, neither in war, nor in the 2001 crisis. Claiming that the government delayed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund until local elections late this month, he warned that Turkey will face worse economic conditions after the elections. /Aksam/

    [09] BRITAIN' S MILIBAND: "TURKEY IS A STABLE AND ATTRACTIVE ECONOMY FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS"

    Turkey is a country of huge potential, and its European Union accession process and the reforms that it requires are already bringing benefits, said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday. Addressing a panel on the EU at the London School of Economics, he added, "Turkey is now a much more stable and attractive economy for foreign investors, and until the recent downturn it was growing at an impressive 7% a year. Of course we have other key interests at stake in Turkey: its strategic position makes it a logical transit route for energy from both the Middle East and Central Asia, and a key force for stability and prosperity in regions on Europe's fringe." /Star/

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

    [10] BAYKAL AS A SULTAN

    BY HASAN BULENT KAHRAMAN (SABAH)

    Columnist Hasan Bulent Kahraman comments on this month's local elections and the Republican People's Party (CHP). A summary of his column is as follows:

    "As I've said before, certain points about the sultanate should be touched on in terms of the popular culture and social mind and mentality. When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal a 'sultan,' he was quite right, but something key was missing. Erdogan said that if Baykal, who has never won a general election, still leads his party, this amounts to a sultanate. Erdogan isn't the first to make this criticism. The real issue is whether the CHP wants to become the ruling party or not and also the reason why it still enjoys a lot of support. I believe this question is very important for the upcoming local elections.

    Whether the CHP wants to become the ruling party or not is a real problem all by itself, because every party would like to be the ruling party. Moreover, power is an obsession in Turkey due to the wish to provide certain classes and circles with government benefits. If a party isn't marginal, it would like to become the ruling party. Yet the CHP isn't a marginal party, but it doesn't really want to be the ruling party, either.

    CHP history and ideology must be looked at to explain this negative and surprising situation. Except for the 1970s, the CHP avoided trying to transform society but instead turned itself into a party of the status quo, and the post-1994 period CHP administration chose this policy consciously and knows very well that it can't become the ruling party with such an outlook.

    Its character as a status quo party also limits how much support it can get. Its supporters know it can't become the ruling party. These upper- income, well-educated, city-dwelling supporters, often past middle age, know they're not the majority in Turkey, don't they? So the only reason they vote for the CHP is intertwined with the party leadership's aim of preserving the status quo. These people consider the CHP a roadblock party. They support the CHP in order to prevent politics outside the CHP from getting completely out of control.

    The stances taken by the CHP since 1994 to sow conflict and polarization such as secularists versus anti-secularists, Islamists versus nationalists, and EU supporters versus the EU opposition have forced voters who want to stop certain policies to choose this party. CHP supporters worry that if they don't vote for it, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would get more than 80% of the vote. Maybe some of them vote as social democrats or for some other reason, but unfortunately this approach is purely illusory.

    The CHP isn't a real social democrat party. It lacks a social democrat character so much that once Baykal thought that a text written by Tarik Bugra was written by Sheikh Edebali and turned it into a nonsense concept and politics called the Anatolian left. People who vote for the CHP do so in order to maintain the Kemalist, secularist line with the impulse of an apolitical policy. Their criticisms of the CHP wooing of chador-wearing women, which has a sincere and important side in itself, reflect the reality of these people very clearly. It's true that Baykal maintains his reign just like a sultan, but everybody is satisfied with this situation and this is no coincidence. But this doesn't mean that this reign will be shaken after the end-of-month elections!"


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