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Turkish Press Review, 09-05-18

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

18.05.2009


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATION TO CELEBRATE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
  • [02] GUL: "THERE IS A GREAT WILLINGNESS AND GOOD INTENTIONS ON THE SYRIAN SIDE TO SEEK A PEACE DEAL IN THE MIDDLE EAST"
  • [03] PM ERDOGAN MEETS PUTIN IN SOCHI
  • [04] ERDOGAN INAUGURATES NEW LIBRARY IN ISTANBUL
  • [05] IRAQ'S MALIKI: "COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES ENHANCED"
  • [06] BRAZILIA'S LULA DUE IN TURKEY
  • [07] DP AND DSP ELECT THEIR NEW LEADERS
  • [08] CHRISTOFIAS HOPEFUL ABOUT REACHING SOLUTION BEFORE TALAT'S TERM ENDING
  • [09] HADISE RANKS 4TH AT EUROVISION
  • [10] OBAMA AND DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  • [01] NATION TO CELEBRATE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

    The Turkish nation will celebrate May 19, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Commemoration and Youth and Sports Day, tomorrow with parades and ceremonies throughout Turkey, at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and at Turkish missions abroad. May 19 marks the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence, which is an official holiday dedicated to the youth of Turkey. 90 years ago, on May 19, 1919 Ataturk landed in the Black Sea province of Samsun as a high-level military inspector, and started to organize national forces to save the nation from foreign occupation. Afterwards, a national resistance arose across Anatolia and Ataturk became the leader of the national struggle for independence, which quickly grew in strength and ended foreign occupation throughout Turkey within three years, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. In related news, Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan yesterday sailed to Samsun with a ship called Ankara to mark the day. /All Papers/

    [02] GUL: "THERE IS A GREAT WILLINGNESS AND GOOD INTENTIONS ON THE SYRIAN SIDE TO SEEK A PEACE DEAL IN THE MIDDLE EAST"

    There is great willingness and good intentions on the Syrian side to seek a peace deal in the Middle East, said yesterday President Abdullah Gul as part of his three-day visit to Syria. Speaking to the reporters, Gul spoke about Turkey's mediation role between Israel and Syria. "Syrian President Bashar Assad has a very positive attitude and that's very important," he added. Stating that the Syrians are very closely following the signals sent out by the US President Barack Obama, Gul reiterated their genuine request to conclude a deal. Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa visited several historical and touristic places in Aleppo in the last day of his visit, Assad and his wife also accompanied them in their tour. /Star/

    [03] PM ERDOGAN MEETS PUTIN IN SOCHI

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in Sochi on Saturday. During the meeting, ways to boost cooperation on economy, energy and policy were discussed. Afterwards, Putin told a joint press conference that Turkey and Russia desired a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and that Turkey could play a role during the process. For his part, Erdogan said that Russia is the most important energy resource of Turkey and that there wasn't any problem regarding cooperation. Erdogan also called on both sides to carry the regional cooperation to an international level, saying that the two countries can look for a solution on Cyprus and the Middle East problems under the auspices of UN. /Milliyet/

    [04] ERDOGAN INAUGURATES NEW LIBRARY IN ISTANBUL

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday inaugurated a new library in Istanbul's Yildiz Palace. Sponsored by the Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), the new library features rare manuscript books and other unique materials from the Islamic civilization. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Erdogan said, "Bringing together the past and the future, this library will preserve a unique book treasury and historic heritage, making them available for researchers." Also speaking at the ceremony, Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC) head Ekmeledding Islamoglu thanked Premier Erdogan for his support to establish the library, and added that it would serve further improvement of dialogue and cooperation efforts among different civilizations. State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks Egemen Bagis and Adurrahman Al-Uveys, the culture minister of the United Arab Emirates, attended the ceremony as well. The IRCICA is an international institution which is active in fields of research, publishing, documentation and information. Its mandate covers multifarious themes in the fields of the history of Muslim nations, history of arts and sciences in Islam, and other subject areas in Islamic culture and civilization. By means of these activities, it aims at studying and better promoting the Islamic culture and civilization throughout the world and acting as a catalyst for research and cooperation in these areas to improve mutual understanding between Muslims and other nations, civilizations and cultures of the world. The IRCICA started its activities in 1980 as the first subsidiary organ of the OIC related with culture. /Turkiye-Star/

    [05] IRAQ'S MALIKI: "COOPERATION BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES ENHANCED"

    Turkey and Iraq will end the terrorist PKK through cooperation between the two countries, said yesterday Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital by a Turkish firm in Karbala, he added, "We are in reliable cooperation with Turkey to end the terrorist PKK and others in the region, which aims at damaging the neighboring countries. Stating that the cooperation between the two countries enhanced, he added that they were looking for the ways to boost it much more. /Milliyet/

    [06] BRAZILIA'S LULA DUE IN TURKEY

    Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) is preparing to host Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Istanbul at the Turkey- Brazil Business Forum meeting. The Brazilian leader, a former labor unionist better known as just Lula, will visit Turkey for the first time and will be accompanied by top ministers and Brazilian businesspeople, the DEIK said in a statement. Lula will attend the forum at the Ciragan Palace on Thursday. The crowded delegation consists of Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and Industry Minister Miguel Jorge, while the businesspeople represent such sectors as energy, infrastructure, aviation and tourism. The forum will also be attended by Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). Among the Brazilian businesspeople who will attend the forum is Jorge Zellada of Petrobras, the oil giant which has invested $130 million in Turkey since 2006. Presidents of Turkish football clubs Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray are also invited to the forum. Brazil sent 1, 176 football players abroad last year, receiving more than $1 billion in revenues. /Hurriyet Daily News/

    [07] DP AND DSP ELECT THEIR NEW LEADERS

    Husamettin Cindoruk was elected as the chairman of Democrat Party (DP) in the 5th extraordinary convention of the party on Saturday. Cindoruk got 559 votes in the second tour, after Suleyman Soylu and Mehmet Ali Bayar had withdrawn from candidacy. In related news, opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) held an extraordinary congress yesterday to elect a new leader for the party, as its former leader, Zeki Sezer, resigned after the party's defeat in this year's March 29 municipal elections. There were 16 candidates in the race, including Sezer himself. Former DSP deputy and one of the party council members, Masum Turker won the leadership race with 431 votes in the third tour, while Sezer got 357 votes. /All Papers/

    [08] CHRISTOFIAS HOPEFUL ABOUT REACHING SOLUTION BEFORE TALAT'S TERM ENDING

    Greek Cypriot Administration leader Dimitris Christofias yesterday expressed hope for reaching a permanent resolution to the Cyprus issue before Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat's term in office ends. “I hope that a resolution will be reached within Talat's term in office. The future belongs to Cypriots. There are two leaders who agree on the same viewpoint. If we want Cypriots to live in peace and welfare, we have to found a united Cyprus,” Christofias said. Talat's term as president expires in April 2010. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] HADISE RANKS 4TH AT EUROVISION

    Turkish singer Hadise ranked the fourth with her song "Dum Tek Tek" by getting 177 points at the final of Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow on Saturday. Afterwards, Hadise said, "I said I would be in top five and then I ranked the fourth," adding that she had reached her goal." /All papers/

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

    [10] OBAMA AND DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST

    BY OMER TASPINAR (SABAH)

    Columnist Omer Taspinar comments on the visit to be paid by US President Barack Obama to Egypt and Turkey's role in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "US President Barack Obama made his decision and chose Egypt as the place to visit in order to make an important speech to the Islam world. This situation isn't so pleasing for Turkey, because it would be more correct to make such an important speech in Istanbul. But now it's Egypt's turn to get excited about Obama. As far as I can see here, the Egyptian people seem to be very happy. An Egyptian friend of mine who's also a political scientist made a joke about it, saying to me that as Turkey is European, he has chosen Egypt.

    Joking apart, Obama's preference about Cairo is now a very important matter of prestige for the Mubarak administration, which has felt a serious competition between Turkey and itself about leadership in the Middle East. On the other hand, many people criticize Obama for choosing such an authoritarian country like Egypt. A great many people, mostly the human rights and democracy lobby in Washington, think that such a speech should be made in a more democratic country. When the 'democracy in the Middle East' is mentioned, one remembers the era of Bush. As you can remember, when the Bush administration insisted on democracy in the region, the Muslim Brotherhood got the best of Egypt and the Hamas in Palestine.

    So the dilemma faced by Obama is understandable. One of the most difficult questions which confuse Obama, who has come into power to clear the mistakes that were made in the era of Bush, is whether the democratization in the Middle East would always be beneficial for Islamic movements. It seems always the Islamic parties will come into power, if the elections in the Middle East are held freely and democratically. The political movements with the broadest base which are oppressed by oppressive regimes in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia all have Islamic roots. If genuinely democratic elections are held in the future, most of these movements could win a victory.

    This fear can be defined with the term 'one man, one vote, one time.' In other words, there is such an anxiety that elections will be held once, Islamic ones will win and no more elections will be held. On the one hand, Washington requests democracy, and on the other, it's scared that democratic elections would cause theocracy. But this fear of democracy suffered by the US strengthens the status quo and deepens the problem, because the authoritarian systems supported by Washington consider the mosques as the only opposition. This way the authoritarian regimes strengthen the Islamic movements more.

    So what is the solution? If both the autocracy and democracy serve Islamic movements, what should the US do? The solution is based on not considering the democracy only as a preference, but starting a process of institutionalization through rights and freedoms, namely, constitutional principles. There is only one alternative, that is, gradual political openings and gradual democratization, instead of holding the elections immediately. In this process, the aim should be creating a free political domain for the opposition and thus the political Islam shouldn't be the mere alternative anymore.

    Of course these democratic openings shouldn't be 'cosmetic.' As my democratic and liberal friends in Cairo always say, Egypt hosts hundreds of weak non-governmental organizations. The authoritarian Mubarak regime loves these organizations very much, because the regime can easily keep them under control. The libertarian constitutional reforms and thus real political parties should be strengthened, instead of cosmetic organizations. Of course, Turkey has the most serious democratic experiences about all these issues in the Islam world. Thus we shouldn't get stuck in concepts of 'model' or 'moderate Islam' when the US shows us as an example, but we should explain the importance of 'gradual democratization and institutionalization'."

    To our readers

    In honor of May 19, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Commemoration and Youth and Sports Day, the Turkish Press Review will not appear tomorrow. Please rejoin us on Wednesday.


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