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Turkish Press Review, 09-05-07

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

07.05.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES BAHCELI
  • [02] FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU PAYS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO TRNC
  • [03] DEPUTY PM ARINC VISITS LEBANON
  • [04] SARKOZY SENDS LETTER OF CONDOLENCES TO GUL
  • [05] EP HOLDS MEETING ON TURKEY
  • [06] 12th EURASIAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT BEGINS IN ISTANBUL
  • [07] IGNORANT CUSTOMS, OR THE WISDOM OF THE STATE?

  • [01] PRESIDENT GUL RECEIVES BAHCELI

    President Abdullah Gul yesterday received opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli. During the nearly hour-long meeting, the two exchanged views on recent domestic and international developments, proposed constitutional changes, and efforts for normalized relations between Turkey and Armenia. Bahceli reiterated that Gul's term of office would last for five years. /Hurriyet/

    [02] FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU PAYS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO TRNC

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday paid his first visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as Turkey's top diplomat, a post he got last week in a recent major Cabinet reshuffle. During his day visit to the island, Davutoglu met with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat to discuss ongoing comprehensive talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides towards a lasting solution of the Cyprus issue. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Davutoglu reiterated Turkey's support for the negotiations, and called on everyone, including the European Court of Justice, which recently rattled the TRNC with a controversial property ruling, to do the same. "Everyone should avoid steps that could negatively affect the Cyprus talks and everyone, including international courts, should support the efforts led by TRNC President Talat." The European court last month ruled that a Greek Cypriot court decision, ordering a British couple to demolish a holiday house they had built in the TRNC, is applicable in Britain as well because both Greek Cyprus and Britain are European Union members. The Turkish Cypriots say the ruling ignores the principle of bi-zonality, endorsed by the UN as a basic parameter of any settlement on Cyprus. Expressing his hope that the talks will soon yield a positive outcome that ensures and guarantees the bi-zonality, bi- communality, and political equality and security of the two sides, Davutoglu said that this would make not only Cyprus but also the entire eastern Mediterranean region an area of peace and welfare. Stating that his visit was also meant to express his support for Turkish Cypriot democracy on the heels of parliamentary elections and to call for unity between the new government and Talat for the talks, Davutoglu said, "We are confident that the Turkish Cypriot people will act in unison in support of the talks led by President Talat in such a critical period." Davutoglu also reiterated that Turkey would determinedly continue to support the TRNC in all areas. For his part, Talat expressed gratitude for Ankara's support, and added, "During a time of unfair outside interventions in the ongoing comprehensive talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, it is very pleasing to feel Turkey's full support for us." Stating that he had briefed Davutoglu on the negotiations and exchanged views on them, Talat also said that they would do all they could to reach a positive solution that benefits the Turkish Cypriot people. Davutoglu also met with new Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and new Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun. /Turkiye/

    [03] DEPUTY PM ARINC VISITS LEBANON

    Bulent Arinc paid his first official visit to Lebanon yesterday in his new post as deputy prime minister. During his visit, Arinc was received by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, and met with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in Beirut. Bilateral political and economic relations as well as regional issues dominated Arinc's talks. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Arinc said, "As a firm friend, Turkey places great importance on Lebanon's national unity and stability. The Lebanese people suffered great agonies in the past. Turkey wants those agonies to end and the Lebanese people to live in peace." During his visit, Arinc attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a $20 million trauma and rehabilitation center to be built by Turkey. He also visited the tomb of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005. /Sabah/

    [04] SARKOZY SENDS LETTER OF CONDOLENCES TO GUL

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday sent a letter of condolences to his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul over the killing of nine Turkish soldiers in Lice, Diyarbakir. In the message, Sarkozy said that France strongly condemned the incident, and offered his condolences to the families of the victims. /Milliyet/

    [05] EP HOLDS MEETING ON TURKEY

    Speaking at a meeting at the European Parliament on Turkey's democratization, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that he was getting mixed messages from Turkey, adding that the EU is closely watching the Kurdish issue, the ongoing Ergenekon probe, and press freedom. For his part, EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Co-Chair Joost Lagendjk said that some things in Turkey are changing for the better, and some for the worse. "I urge the Turkish government to approach each issue on the basis of the rule of law," he added. /Milliyet/

    [06] 12th EURASIAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT BEGINS IN ISTANBUL

    The 12th Eurasian Economic Summit began in Istanbul yesterday, with the attendance of former President Suleyman Demirel, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, Koç Holding Chairman Emeritus Rahmi Koç, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ISO) head Murat Yalcintas, Istanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas, and Kosovar President Fatmir Sajdiu. Speaking at the meeting, Gunay touted Turkey's "soft power" in making peace among civilizations. He added that Turkey is the world's number seven tourist destination and that it also provides an opportunity for diverse countries to come together and interact. Describing tourism as a "peace project," Gunay emphasized, "Turkish tourism helps people get to know each other." /Today's Zaman/

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

    [07] IGNORANT CUSTOMS, OR THE WISDOM OF THE STATE?

    BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the killing of 44 people in Mardin earlier this week. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The massacre in Mardin should a wake-up call to the people of Turkey. Whatever the reason behind the killings, we should consider sweeping changes in the region. There's no time to waste. A total mobilization, including the ruling and opposition parties, non-governmental organizations, media and the military, is needed. This campaign should aim to ensure that the universal, encompassing character and steady impartiality of the law overcomes the cruel violence of customs.

    We should start with statements made by statesmen just after the incident. The wives of President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should intervene, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) should mobilize, and the military should work to promote the principle of not customs, but the state; not violence, but the law; not mortal human beings, but citizens. We need a real transforming move to change the sociological structure of the region.

    Problems which have been largely solved in most of Turkey should also be solved in southeastern Anatolia, rural areas, and the suburbs of cities. Waves of migration are bringing feuds from far-away mountain villages into the outskirts of cities. As this incident showed, where the state doesn't exist, custom in its negative sense is sovereign. If there is a state, the law reigns. The state, its institutions and society should certainly question themselves. This incident follows years in which the official approach to the region has been shaped by security concerns alone. But recent policies from the government and military have encouraged us and given us hope.

    Most of Turkey is under the concept of modern citizenship, whereas another part is under the shadow of a rigid structure of feudalism dating back hundreds of years. Modern Turkey can't allow millions of people, unable to act as either individuals or citizens, to become slaves of a tribal-clan system. Yes, the state should carry out this revolution. Reasonable people who love their state, rather than liberal fascists, have the right to want this. Essential economic measures should be taken, and effective education should be brought to the region. The state should compassionately apply its force and its laws, which are based on international law. The state shouldn't allow customs to insist on their own rules. Customs are an alternative to laws, but the law doesn't acknowledge any alternative.

    Our republic's greatest revolution was the transition from mere mortal human beings into citizens. Each citizen is equal before the law. The issue of whether the law operates in line with universal standards is another problem. Today we're facing certain problems in certain regions which run the risk of spreading. Citizenship is a legal status. If the people live like subjects of customs instead of citizens with a legal status, how can we strengthen modern life? Southeastern Anatolia has the reality of polygamy, unregistered children, women who are seen as less than human, and girls who aren't sent to school. In addition, how can one explain how thousands of members of a tribe vote for just one party? If the consciousness of citizenship had taken hold, would 10,000 people have voted for the same party?

    A great consciousness-raising and education campaign is needed. But this campaign should be long term. Men should be taught at every opportunity, including military service, that they shouldn't beat their wives. Nimet Cubukcu will have a greater chance to help women in her new post as education minister. We can hope to spread a consciousness which sets people free, replacing the culture of submissiveness. Cubukcu can sow the seeds of projects aimed at future generations. In our time, popular TV series and hit songs can impact the views of millions of people, and new idols can be created. Now the people are learning how to become individuals.

    The state's support for the tribal structure is counterproductive. In the past, the continuation of the feudal structure was excused on the pretext that it could be easily controlled. Now there is an urban structure and the main model isn't dependent on the land. The way the state will treat urban newcomers is problematic now. The terrorist PKK and the Democratic Society Party (DTP) are fed mostly from the city, rather than the remote mountains. If the problem isn't solved at its wellsprings, when it spreads to the city it might be too late. Whoever directs the change will win. Even Barack Obama was elected US president after championing change. In this new era, those who don't promise change will lose. As the state can't lose this battle, it has to take up this change. Now isn't the time to interpret the world, but to change it. We should learn valuable lessons from the tragic massacre and humanitarian plight in Mardin."


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