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Turkish Press Review, 09-05-12

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

12.05.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL HOSTS DINNER FOR NEW CABINET
  • [02] ERDOGAN DUE IN AZERBAIJAN
  • [03] NEW STATE AGENCY TO GATHER ALL COUNTERTERRORISM INTELLIGENCE UNDER ONE ROOF
  • [04] GOVT COMPLETES PREPARATIONS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES
  • [05] PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT IN ANKARA FOR OFFICIAL VISIT
  • [06] SWEDISH PM: "THE EU HAS TO KEEP ITS WORD TO TURKEY"
  • [07] BABACAN-LED MEETING OUTLINES NEW ECONOMIC POLICY
  • [08] BUSY DAYS

  • [01] GUL HOSTS DINNER FOR NEW CABINET

    President Abdullah Gul last night hosted a dinner for newly appointed Cabinet members at the Foreign Ministry Residence. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended the dinner. /Star/

    [02] ERDOGAN DUE IN AZERBAIJAN

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, tomorrow will pay a working visit to Baku, Azerbaijan. Erdogan will meet with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and address the Azeri Parliament. /Cumhuriyet-Aksam/

    [03] NEW STATE AGENCY TO GATHER ALL COUNTERTERRORISM INTELLIGENCE UNDER ONE ROOF

    A new state agency to coordinate the counterterrorism efforts of various security forces will also gather all intelligence collected by different agencies in a single place, Interior Minister Besir Atalay told a press conference in Ankara yesterday. Atalay said the new agency would be called the Undersecretariat for Public Order and Safety, adding that it would enable the state to gather all intelligence information from different security units under one roof. Explaining that the undersecretariat will offer policy alternatives to decision-makers by analyzing security policy, Atalay said that the new unit would have no operational functionality. Stating that the new agency will have a "human focus" in its counterterrorism policy, Atalay said Turkey needs strategy alternatives for its decision-makers and that this could be supplied by research into every aspect of terrorism, including its social and psychological dimensions. Atalay also stressed that the government's counterterrorism efforts would be in sync with democracy, adding that they would not sacrifice democracy to terrorism. A bill to set up the new agency has already been sent to Parliament. /Turkiye/

    [04] GOVT COMPLETES PREPARATIONS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES

    Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that all sectors of Turkish society agree on the need for constitutional changes. Stating that the government has completed its preparations for either sweeping or more targeted changes, Cicek said those who favor this effort should voice their views. Cicek also said the government is set to introduce major changes to the organizational structure of the country's European Union affairs agency to take a more effective course in accession negotiations. "There is an urgent need for an organizational overhaul of the Secretariat General for EU Affairs to continue the negotiations in a more effective fashion," he said. Cicek also said the overhaul was needed as the secretariat's current organizational structure has serious problems, adding that a number of new departments would be introduced to it as well. /Hurriyet/

    [05] PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT IN ANKARA FOR OFFICIAL VISIT

    Portuguese President Anibal Cavacu Silva arrived in Ankara yesterday for a four-day official visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. After receiving Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan late yesterday, today Silva is expected to meet with President Gul at the Cankaya Presidential Palace and to address Turkish lawmakers in Parliament. As part of his visit, Cavacu will also visit Istanbul and the Cappadocia region. With firm support for Turkey's EU accession bid, Portugal enjoys good political and cultural relations with Turkey and aims to further improve bilateral trade ties. /Sabah/

    [06] SWEDISH PM: "THE EU HAS TO KEEP ITS WORD TO TURKEY"

    Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt yesterday said that the European Union has to keep its word to Turkey. Stating that the EU promised to be open to new members as long as they fulfill the Copenhagen criteria, Reinfeldt added, "I think we have to abide by this assurance. But this means a reform process and change." In related news, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn's spokesperson Krisztina Nagy yesterday spoke about French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent statements that they favor a "privileged partnership" for Turkey in lieu of full EU membership. "The EU's stance on Turkey is very clear and we have stated it many times," she said. "The important thing here is Turkey fulfilling the EU criteria." /Milliyet-Star/

    [07] BABACAN-LED MEETING OUTLINES NEW ECONOMIC POLICY

    Chaired by State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, the Economic Coordination Board (EKK) gathered yesterday with the attendance of other economy-related Cabinet ministers such as Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan and Cevdet Yilmaz, the state minister responsible for the State Planning Organization. The EKK plans to focus on ways to strengthen the Turkish economy's competitive power and to make it more resilient in the long term to reduce the impact of the global economic crisis, said a statement released after the meeting. The statement added that members of the board focused on the global crisis and recent economic developments. "In upcoming meetings of the council, we will continue to discuss ways to reduce the impact of the global crisis on our country and examine the outcome of measures taken so far. It is one of the priorities of our council to determine the steps to be taken and the regulations to be implemented in order to strengthen the Turkish economy’s competitive power and make it more resilient. Some relevant non-member ministers and representatives of public and private institutions, including NGOs and universities, may be invited to future meetings of the board," said the board’s message. /Aksam/

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

    [08] BUSY DAYS

    BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on Turkish foreign policy days. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The Middle East and the Caucasus are seeing intensive diplomatic efforts right now. The many visitors to these regions seem to be racing against time.

    Pope Benedict XVI is now in the Holy Land. In Jordan, the first stop of his tour, he focused on peace and dialogue between Islam and Christianity. In Israel, where he arrived yesterday, he also stressed the fellowship of the three Abrahamic faiths.

    Jordan's King Abdullah set off alarms on the first day of the pope's visit. He said that if peace talks in the Middle East are postponed or again fail, a new Arab-Israeli war was inevitable. He also said this could happen as soon as 12-18 months!

    On the day Abdullah's alarms echoed in Western capitals, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Egypt to express his views about proposals for peace. But the same Netanyahu dynamited the entire process about the Golan Heights, which was the foundation of the Syrian-Israeli talks that ended due to the attacks in the Gaza Strip, by saying he would never give up Golan! We'll see the impact of this in Syria on Friday when President Abdullah Gul visits.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Azerbaijan today, in the first step of a series of developments. Erdogan is also expected to visit Moscow this month. Furthermore, diplomatic sources expect that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will again visit Ankara afterwards. These visits will be followed by a summit in Saint Petersburg of US President Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the leaders of the Minsk Group, which is responsible for finding a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

    Erdogan's visit to Baku, accompanied by new Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, comes at a time just before important developments on energy issues. At last week's energy summit in Prague, a consensus was reached on signing a governmental-level agreement on the Nabucco gas pipeline project in the near future. Andris Piebalgs, member of the European Commission responsible for energy, said the pact would be signed on June 25. Also, meetings between Turkey and Azerbaijan about gas from the second stage of the Shahdeniz reserves have started. But for a happy ending on Shahdeniz, there should be no clouds in relations between Ankara and Baku. That's why Erdogan's visit is especially important.

    Even if the recent tension between Ankara and Baku over efforts to normalize Turkey's relations with Armenia has largely softened thanks to Gul's meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Prague as well as numerous phone calls between the two sides, one critical question has yet to be answered. According to the Azeri press, responding to statements that Turkey had "informed" Azerbaijan at each stage of meetings it held with Armenia under Swiss mediation, Aliyev said that informing and consulting are two different things, and asked if Turkey had set Nagorno- Karabakh as a condition with Armenia.

    We know that Erdogan has reiterated at every opportunity that there can't be normalization before the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is solved, and that Turkey doing anything that would hurt the Azeri people or government is out of the question. It seems our Azeri brothers want and expect this to be repeated to their faces. We hope that these expectations will be fulfilled and the Azeri people's doubts about Turkey, which are largely unfair and groundless, will be dispelled by what Erdogan says during his visit."


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