|Tuesday, 27 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 09-06-08
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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
 TURKISH OLYMPIADS CLOSE WITH AWARDS CEREMONYTop officials and thousands of spectators on Saturday attended a ceremony in Ankara honoring the winners of a 10-day Turkish Olympiad marathon, during which 700 children from 115 countries showed off their skills in singing, reciting poetry, and prose composition. Among the officials attending were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, State Ministers Hayati Yazici, Selma Aliye Kavaf and Faruk Celik, Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Health Minister Recep Akdag, Board of Higher Education (YOK) head Yusuf Ziya Özcan, and Ankara Mayor Melih Gökcek. The contestants impressed the audience with their performances singing popular Turkish songs and poems. /Today's Zaman/
 FM DAVUTOGLU HOLDS TALKS WITH US’ SEC'Y OF STATE CLINTONForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his US counterpart Hillary Clinton in Washington over the weekend. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Clinton said that their meeting had been very wide- ranging and fruitful. "There are many things that we can do together," she added. "We have been cooperating for a long time. We are members of the NATO, and working together as part of the G-20 to respond to the ongoing global economic crisis." Clinton said that the US firmly supports Turkey's EU accession bid and welcomes its reform efforts towards this end. Touching on US President Barack Obama's landmark address to the Muslim world last week in Cairo, Clinton said, "The United States is determined to be in engagement with Muslims globally. Such an engagement is based on mutual interests and respect. We believe in freedom of religion and expression in dynamic societies. We know that such values are ones shared also by Turkey. At the same time, I would like to thank Mr. Davutoglu and his government for the important role Turkey played as a source of peace and stability." Stating that they had also discussed the Cyprus issue, Clinton said, "We support the ongoing talks between Turkey and Armenia towards normalized relations, and efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue." For his part, Davutoglu said that he was pleased to meet with Clinton, expressing his appreciation for Clinton's views on the region and bilateral and global problems. "We agreed to deepen and diversify bilateral relations between our two countries,” he said. "We plan to work together not only in security issues but economic and energy security as well. We discussed issues such as the Middle East, Caucasus, Black Sea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. I noted that our two countries share parallel views on such issues. Turkey and the US carry similar views on global matters, relations between civilizations, the G-20 summit, the economic crisis and the UN Security Council. Our two countries can contribute to the peace and well- being of humanity." He added that Turkey places great importance on the stability of both Pakistan and Afghanistan and will continue to support these two countries. Asked about Obama's speech, Davutoglu said, "It dealt with understanding, vision and peace. We share the same vision." In related news, as the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments try to fight Taliban insurgents along their volatile border, Davutoglu will visit the two countries this week. Davutoglu's trip follows Turkey’s assumption of the UN Security Council presidency for the month of June. He is set to visit Pakistan on June 9-10 and Afghanistan on June 11-13. The potential for Turkey to provide counter-insurgency training for Pakistan’s military is expected to be discussed. /Turkiye/
 NATO HEAD SCHEFFER IN ANKARA FOR FAREWELL VISITNATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, set to soon hand over his post to former Danish Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen, yesterday came to Ankara to pay a farewell visit. During his visit, Scheffer will be received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and will meet with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug. /Turkiye/
 JAPAN'S KOIKE: "TURKISH-JAPANESE COOPERATION WILL MAKE A MARK ON THE 21st CENTURY"Turkey plays a key role for both the West and East in line with its geopolitical and strategic position, said Yuriko Koike, a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, yesterday. Speaking to Sabah daily, Koike, currently in Turkey as part of the Year of Japan in Turkey, said that Turkey provides a path for reaching Asia, the Caucasus and Europe. Stating that Turkey's cultural and historical ties with Turkic states since the fall of the Soviet Union give it power for the future, she added that President Abdullah Gul's recent visit with a business delegation helped boost bilateral relations. "The visit encouraged businesses on both sides' to sign new agreements and investments," he added. She also said that Turkish-Japanese cooperation will make a mark on the 21st century. /Sabah/
 ANATOLIA CITY WELCOMES CHINESE DELEGATIONRepresentatives from Chinese conglomerate Sinochem just visited Sivas to do preliminary research on possible investments in the area. Sinochem's Song Lijun, Du Huibin and Jia Xuemin visited Sivas Governor Veysel Dalmaz, along with representatives from mining company Gurteks. Calling Sivas a city rich with mining potential, Dalmaz said it had many reserves that have not been fully tapped. Saying that many investors are interested in the area, Dalmaz said they hope to attract Chinese and Indian investors. /Hurriyet Daily News/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 OBAMA SHOULD CONTINUE STUMPING FOR TURKEYBY OMER TASPINAR (SABAH)
Columnist Omer Taspinar comments on the European Union, the US, and Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The basic message of US President Barack Obama 's speech in Cairo last week was very clear: the US is opening a new page with the Islamic world. Obama put forth a vision cutting off scenarios of a 'clash of civilizations' between Islam and the West and instead promoting cooperation for peace and justice both in the Middle East and the world at large. So what's the role of Turkey's prospective European Union membership in this vision? If you're curious about this, you should have seen the tension during the meeting between Obama and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy only two days after the speech in Cairo.
Obama knew very well about Sarkozy's views about Turkey, but he didn't mince words. Obama said that a cooperation similar to the concept of 'model partnership' that he put forth between Turkey and the US in Ankara should be established between the EU and Turkey as well. Let's remember the vision that was defined by Obama as 'model partnership.' He defined this cooperation as 'partnership with people across the Muslim world, to advance our common hopes, and our common dreams.' Similarly, this time Obama supported Turkey's EU membership by stressing the concept of civilizations like so: ' In all of this, I think Europe and France have a critical role to play, just as the United States does, in sending a message to Muslims around the world that we welcome and want their participation in a world community that is peaceful, that is prosperous, that is economically integrated, that is developing on behalf of all people and not just some people.'
So the resulting picture is clear: Turkish-EU relations concern Washington very closely. US presidents change, but the importance placed on Turkey's EU membership and the support for this remain the same. Remember the Bush administration's strong support for Turkey's EU bid during the 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul? In response, then French President Jacques Chirac angrily told reporters that France wasn't interfering in US' relations with Mexico.
Clearly, Sarkozy also doesn't like Obama's lobbying for Turkey. So we should ask if the US support for Turkey will cause a backlash in the EU. When I spoke with European diplomats and politicians in Paris about this, they signaled that everything depends on Turkey's performance and that Washington's lobbying shouldn't' have much of an impact. But I disagree. The EU sometimes neglects foreign policy in the face of its bureaucratic, economic and constitutional problems and foreign policy coordination issues, often leaving such decisions hanging in the air. And when a decision is urgently needed, a deadlock between Britain and France often emerges.
As a result, an economic giant such as the EU fails to act in unison in its foreign policy, thus making it a dwarf politically and militarily. Remember the disintegration of Yugoslavia? The EU's ineffectual foreign policy and non-existent military policy was a bystander to the killing of tens of thousands of innocents. At that time, the US, constantly accused of pursuing its military interests and oil, went to the aid of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. In light of this poor European foreign policy and strategy performance, the US fears the EU will fall flat when dealing with Turkey as well. So, in a friendly way, Obama warned the EU, as it has a tendency to turn inwards instead of thinking strategically. In short, he told Europe that it gives the best response to terrorism and the 'clash of civilizations' idea by accepting Turkey and that this could also help it become more active in the Middle East. We hope that both Sarkozy and the European public will come to grasp this message in time."
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