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Turkish Press Review, 09-03-20

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

20.03.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT IRAQ NEXT WEEK
  • [02] ERDOGAN PLEDGES TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE WITHOUT LETUP
  • [03] BAGIS MEETS WITH EU ENLARGEMENT DIRECTOR LEIGH
  • [04] OPPOSITION LAMBASTES PM ERDOGAN
  • [05] TRT TO LAUNCH KURDISH-LANGUAGE RADIO STATION AND ARABIC TV CHANNEL
  • [06] ISTANBUL TO HOST WORLD TURKISH ENTREPRENEURS COUNCIL NEXT MONTH
  • [07] CANAKKALE IS THE SOURCE OF HOPE

  • [01] GUL TO VISIT IRAQ NEXT WEEK

    President Abdullah Gul is set to pay a two-day official visit to Iraq next week, the highest-level visit between the two countries since 1976. Gul is reportedly to meet with his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and representatives from various ethnic and religious groups in Baghdad's Green Zone. Gul will tell Talabani about the social, cultural and economic aspects of the Kurdish issue and measures to address it. They will also exchange views on Turkey's intention to open a consulate in Basra and free trade zones. Gul will attend a dinner given in his honor by Talabani, with the attendance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, and other high-level figures. /Star/

    [02] ERDOGAN PLEDGES TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE WITHOUT LETUP

    Campaigning in the Aegean provinces of Burdur and Kutahya ahead of March 29 local elections, a little over a week away, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that thanks to the efforts of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over the last seven years, Turkey now commands attention and respect worldwide. "Turkey has become a country admired and praised worldwide for its remarkable contributions to world peace," he said. "Thanks to the government's efforts, it became a non-permanent UN Security Council member and is one of the co-chairs of the Alliance of Civilizations." Criticizing the economic shortcomings of the coalition government of the early 2000s, which included the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Erdogan said, "We inherited a 30 percent-plus inflation rate from the past government and turned it into 7.7 percent, despite the ongoing economic crisis. During the term of the coalition government of the early 2000s, 16 banks went bankrupt, costing the people nearly $40 billion. Now there are no failed banks, despite the impact of the global economic crisis." He added that they had also made Turkish currency more valuable and trustworthy for the people, and cut interest rates for Treasury borrowing sharply. "Be honest and speak the truth," Erdogan said. He added they also paid back salary cuts of millions of civil servants and workers, which had been made in past years for purposes such as saving money for a housing fund. Touching on the economic crisis, Erdogan said that the government has been closely following the crisis since its earliest signs. "Nobody needs fear," he added. "To date the government has announced 47 different sets of measures to counter the crisis, and will continue to take all necessary measures." Citing a recent government tax cut to stimulate sales of appliances, houses and cars, Erdogan said the cuts had boosted domestic sales. Erdogan also accused opposition parties of exploiting the crisis for political gain. Urging employers not to lay off their workers due to the crisis, Erdogan said the government will give them financial support for this. Erdogan also pledged that they would determinedly continue to serve the people without any letup, citing his party's slogan, "No stopping, keep moving ahead." /Turkiye/

    [03] BAGIS MEETS WITH EU ENLARGEMENT DIRECTOR LEIGH

    State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis yesterday received European Commission Directorate General for Enlargement head Michael Leigh and an accompanying delegation, including Marc Pierini, head of the European Commission Delegation in Turkey, and Jean-Christophe Filori, head of the directorate general's Turkey unit. Afterwards, Bagis met with Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) head Zahid Akman to discuss the negotiating chapters on information society and the media. /Aksam/

    [04] OPPOSITION LAMBASTES PM ERDOGAN

    Campaigning in Karabuk yesterday, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) MHP leader Devlet Bahceli claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is very worried about losing votes in the upcoming March 29 local elections. Campaigning in Manisa, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized Erdogan for targeting the CHP and its late leader Ismet Inonu. /Sabah/

    [05] TRT TO LAUNCH KURDISH-LANGUAGE RADIO STATION AND ARABIC TV CHANNEL

    The state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) will start a radio station that broadcasts in Kurdish, following this year's launch of TRT 6, Turkey's first official Kurdish-language television station, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday. In a televised interview, Erdogan said TRT 6 is popular not only in southeastern Anatolia, but also in northern Iraq. "Now we have a new project: We will start a Kurdish-language radio station," he announced. He added that TRT also has plans to start an Arabic channel, adding that the preparations for it are almost complete. /Turkiye/

    [06] ISTANBUL TO HOST WORLD TURKISH ENTREPRENEURS COUNCIL NEXT MONTH

    Turkish entrepreneurs from all over the world will gather in Istanbul at next month's World Turkish Entrepreneurs Council, set to be co-hosted by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat and Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK). Speaking at a press conference yesterday alongside Coca-Cola President and CEO Muhtar Kent, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that the council would be an important force for promoting Turkish brands in global markets. He said he believed that millions of Turks living abroad who have created new businesses would help bring Turkey to a more prominent international position. Also speaking at the conference, Kent said, "It's high time to bring together strengths and opportunities in this period of global financial crisis and to focus on new economic areas." He said the council is taking place at a crucial time and is important for its participants. "Every crisis gives birth to an opportunity," he added. "I hope that the face-to-face meetings at the council will generate new opportunities. We plan to discuss regional problems and possible solutions." Saying that now is the time to unify and create new areas of economic cooperation, he added, "As Turks, we make efforts to help our country on every platform possible. However, in order to have a louder voice, we need to find common ground. I hope that we will take necessary steps in this direction at the meeting." He said the council would give Turkish bureaucrats, professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and academics from all over the world the chance to cooperate. /Hurriyet/

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

    [07] CANAKKALE IS THE SOURCE OF HOPE

    BY MEHMET ALI KISLALI (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Mehmet Ali Kislali comments on Martyrs Day and military-civilian relations in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) held a meaningful commemoration in Canakkale. The occasion was March 18, Martyrs Commemoration Day. The victory over British and French naval forces in the first stage of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's triumph in Canakkale 94 years ago, and the soldiers who have died there, were commemorated. The occasion brought together top military leaders, including the chief of General Staff, force commanders, and the 1st army commander, and civilian leaders, namely the prime minister and defense minister. Two speeches made at the commemoration can be seen as messages from these two groups.

    The multidimensional speech made on behalf of the TSK reiterated the main themes earlier stressed by the chief of General Staff and the land forces commander. Lt. Gen. Gokhan Gokay said that the founding principle of the Turkish Republic was based on the unitary and secular nation-state, and that the TSK would continue to protect these principles set by Ataturk. He was almost revealing the views of the commander, who would speak to the mother of a dead soldier a little later.

    The chief of General Staff should be aware of society's expectations of the TSK in these difficult days. After being appointed last year, he visited some southeastern Anatolian cities and asked the people how they were doing. This week he did the same thing with visitors to the Martyrs Monument on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale, including 19 students from Kosovo who were guests of the TSK and 33 other students who were brought from Lice, Kulp and Hani as part of the TSK's social development support activities. Numerous forebears of 10 of the Kosovar students had fought in Canakkale.

    When Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug was speaking to the people around him, a mother of a fallen soldier approached him and asked him to protect their rights. As she wasn't satisfied when he asked her to be at ease, he then told her something short and simple but meaningful. He said that if hope comes to an end, everything comes to an end, and asked her to be strong. Basbug also congratulated Gokay for his speech on behalf of the TSK, which helped the audience better remember the victory of Canakkale.

    His speech showed that the TSK's evaluations were absorbed. Actually Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn't forget an important point, although his speech was completely within civilian limits. This came when he said that under his Justice and Development (AK) Party government, the country has remained a democratic, secular and social state under the rule of law. In this way Erdogan showed some understanding to the owners of the ceremony he attended.

    Our country is going through strange times. Some, like the mother of the fallen soldier, want the military to be more active. On the other hand, others want Erdogan to keep some distance from the TSK, one of our country's more important institutions. This issue shouldn't be misunderstood. But relationships are now almost on the knife-edge and we hope that the country which has the qualities mentioned by Erdogan, will be governed without new crises."


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