|Thursday, 22 March 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 09-03-18
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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
 GUL: "SO LONG AS WE BOTH ACT RATIONALLY, TURKEY AND IRAQ HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO COOPERATE AND BENEFIT"On the sidelines of the Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul yesterday, President Abdullah Gul met with his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and reportedly discussed security issues and ways to boost bilateral trade. "Turkey and Iraq have the potential to cooperate and benefit a great deal, as long as we both act rationally," Gul said during the meeting. Underlining the importance of ensuring security between the countries, he said, "When security has been ensured, everything will be easier." He added, "If we act rationally, we will share happiness, and will share suffering if we don't." For his part, Talabani said that he had consulted with representatives of all sectors of Iraqi society prior to the meeting. "They want to develop ties with Turkey," he added. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN: "THE OPPOSITION CAN'T STAND THE SERVICES MY PARTY PROVIDES"Campaigning yesterday in Beypazari, Ankara and Denizli ahead of the March 29 local elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli are trying to drag Turkey down. "In democratic systems, the opposition should produce projects to benefit their countries," he added. Claiming that Turkey's opposition parties have nothing positive to contribute, he said they only want the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to lose the elections, and that they can't stand the services the party provides. In related news, Erdogan attended the opening of a Ciner Group factory in Beypazari. /Star/
 BAYKAL URGES PEOPLE TO BRING RULING AK PARTY TO ACCOUNT IN COMING LOCAL ELECTIONSAddressing a crowd of thousands at a rally in the central Anatolian province of Nigde ahead of the March 29 local elections, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal continued to criticize Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his campaign rhetoric, saying that instead of focusing on conflict, the premier should focus on the real problems of ordinary people. Stating that seven years of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule has been enough, Baykal said, "In democratic regimes, governments sometimes make mistake. But if people continue to support governments which are at fault, then democracy suffers greatly. In the coming local elections, the people should make the ruling party account for what they've done over the last seven years in office." He also accused the government of trying to cover up corruption within the AK Party. In related news, campaigning in Istanbul's Zeytinburnu district, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer said there are always political alternatives, and criticized the AK Party's performance in office. Sezer also criticized Baykal, saying that he prevents left-wing parties from coming to power. In other news, commenting on Erdogan saying he would seek opposition party support for constitutional changes after the local elections, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Develet Bahceli accused Erdogan of trying to change the country's course in the middle of an election campaign. He added, however, that they could discuss such changes after the local elections, less than two weeks away. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY MARKING 94TH ANNIVERSARY OF CANAKKALE VICTORYTurkey is marking the 94th anniversary of the Canakkale Victory today. Ceremonies will be held both in Canakkale and Gallipoli with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attendance. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug has also issued a message marking the day. /Sabah/
 PM'S CHIEF ADVISOR DAVUTOGLU IN WASHINGTON FOR TALKSAhmet Davutoglu, chief adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday traveled to Washington to hold talks with the US administration ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey early next month. Davutoglu will also visit several think-tanks in Washington and address a conference at Princeton University on Turkish foreign policy. /Hurriyet Daily News/
 EROGLU DENIES PLANS TO COMMERCIALIZE WATER RESOURCESInaugurating a water exhibit as part of this week's Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul, Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu yesterday said that the government has no plan to commercialize water resources, adding that these resources belong to the state and that the only issue is their proper, effective management and utilization. To this end, private companies could build hydroelectric power stations, Eroglu said. He also said that cross-border water disputes should be solved by the countries involved, without outside intervention. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦ FROM THE COLUMNSâ€¦
 A CLEAR CALCULUSBY OKTAY GONENSIN (VATAN)
Columnist Oktay Onensin comments on the local elections in less than two weeks. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Sixteen big cities account for more than 60% of Turkey's population and voters, so pre-election polls focus on these cities. According to the polls, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party dominates half of the 16, namely Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Samsun and Sakarya. The AK Party should win these cities easily, just as it did in previous elections.
Aytac Durak, running under the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) banner in Adana this year, is neck and neck with the AK Party candidate. Durak's personal characteristics could determine the outcome. It seems the Democratic Society Party (DTP) is slightly ahead in Diyarbakir. The AK Party lost the last elections there by a slight margin, which makes it difficult to make any prediction about the city.
There are two other big cities where the race is tight. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), AK Party and MHP candidates are running neck and neck, and the CHP and the MHP are likely to fight for the top spot.
There's no doubt about Izmir and Eskisehir. Yilmaz Buyukersen of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) is the favorite in Eskisehir. The CHP's Aziz Kocaoglu is well ahead in Izmir. The AK Party is lagging in three big cities and running a close race in three others. The CHP is ahead in only one of these big cities.
This is the situation in 14 of the 16 big cities; two key cities remain. The AK Party is the favorite in Istanbul and Ankara, leading by 8-12 points in both cities. If this continues, these two huge cities will provide the AK Party with victory. The MHP support of 8% in Istanbul and 20% in Ankara will play a deciding role.
It won't be easy for the MHP, which has recently won more support nationwide, to ask its own supporters to vote for the CHP candidate in Istanbul or Ankara. Moreover, there's no time for bargaining towards this end. So even if fewer voters turn out to cast ballots, the AKP will win at least 10 and maybe as many as 13 out of Turkey's 16 big cities."
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