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Turkish Press Review, 02-07-09
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
09.07.2002ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON NOV. 3 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) EARLY ELECTIONS A BARRIER TO OUR EU BID BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) DECISION DAY FOR ECEVIT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
 FIVE MINISTERS AND 19 DEPUTIES RESIGN FROM DSPYesterday, Ankara was shaken by surprise resignations from senior government partner, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), and the Cabinet, even as it was still busy discussing Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli's recent call for early elections in November. State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan met yesterday afternoon with the prime minister. The meeting came only a day after Ecevit urged Ozkan during a live TV interview to step down from his deputy prime minister post, and only two days after the strong DSP figure was accused by his fellow party members of failing to respond to a smear campaign against the prime minister and his wife, Deputy DSP Chair Rahsan Ecevit. After the meeting, Ozkan issued a written statement, declaring his decision to withdraw from the Cabinet and resign from the DSP. Ozkan said that for 11 years he had spent his political life in the DSP alongside the prime minister with loyalty, tolerance and honesty. "During our meeting, as I recognized that Mr. Ecevit did not require my services anymore, I decided to resign," said Ozkan. "After 11 years, I finally learnt from the prime minister that there is no place for sentimentality in politics." He also told reporters that he had never promoted factionalism within the party. Following Ozkan's statement, a series of resignations came from the DSP, one after the other. Culture Minister Istemihan Talay, State Ministers Recep Onal, Hasan Gemici and Mustafa Yilmaz, and Deputy Parliament Group Chairman Ali Iliksoy declared their resignations, as did 19 parliamentary deputies. Other DSP deputies and some other top officials were reportedly also in line to quit their posts and the party. Meanwhile, Ozkan, who met with a group of deputies at a dinner last night, is expected to meet with State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis -- who currently lacks a party affiliation -- today, while Ecevit called Foreign Minister Ismail Cem for a meeting. DSP member Cem's stance will reportedly be clear after this meeting. /All Papers/
 YILMAZ: "LET'S HAVE POLLS IN SEPTEMBER, RATHER THAN WAITING FOR NOVEMBER"In a television interview yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz said that it would be difficult to continue with the present government. He suggested that should the nation go to elections, it would be best to proceed until then with a government which could pass necessary European Union accession reforms. He stated that the current crisis was a result of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's health problems and the EU. "Let's call Parliament for an extraordinary session next week, rather than waiting for Sept. 29," Yilmaz added. /Hurriyet/
 CILLER: "LET'S AMEND THE ELECTIONS LAW AND THEN HOLD POLLS"True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said yesterday that Turkey was giving an impression of being a "sick man," and that she welcomed recent initiatives for early elections. Expressing her party's views on NTV yesterday, Ciller said, "Early election initiatives are the right steps to be taken to save Turkey and its democracy, although they have been delayed." She added, "There are a number of things to do, such as convening Parliament. We suggested that Parliament not recess, saying that we support EU harmonization laws without any precondition." Ciller also remarked that Turkey should banish uncertainty and latch onto stability with elections which would be held after amending the Elections Law, retaining the 10% election threshold but implementing a two-round election system. /Turkiye/
 BAHCELI: "IF ECEVIT STEPS DOWN FROM HIS POST, THIS DUTY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE MHP"Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday commented on recent resignations from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and how they might affect the government. "If Ecevit steps down from his post, then certain constitutional procedures will be put into motion," said Bahceli. "This would mean giving the party with the largest number of seats in Parliament [with yesterday's resignations, the MHP] the duty of establishing a new government." Bahceli added, "It is hard to estimate when the defections from the DSP will end, but this number might reach as high as 40. If Mr. Ecevit continues to fulfill his duty, we would support him. However, we cannot give up the idea of early elections on Nov. 3. Mr. Ecevit will make a decision on this issue. If he gives up his post, the party with the most deputies in Parliament will be on duty. I hope President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will apply this rule." /Milliyet/
 DYP SUBMITS PROPOSAL FOR EARLY ELECTIONS TO PARLIAMENTA proposal regarding elections to be held on Nov. 3 signed by True Path Party (DYP) Parliament Group Acting Chairmen Turhan Guven, Nevzat Ercan and Ali Riza Gonul as well as Amasya Deputy Ahmet Iyimaya was submitted to the Bureau of Parliament yesterday. The proposal said that the government had lost the support of both Parliament and the public. It remarked that the lack of harmony in the government was also hampering Turkey's European Union membership bid and that early elections were the only remedy for Turkey's troubles. /Turkiye/
 TUSIAD GIVES CONDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR EARLY ELECTIONSTurkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said yesterday that if Turkey can meet the Copenhagen criteria and make changes to the Political Parties and Elections Law, then he wouldn't have any objection to early elections being held in November. Asked about the economic cost of elections, Ozilhan said, "As long as the political instability goes on like this, there will always be an economic cost. We have been feeling the pinch for two months now. In other words, speaking approximately, we can say that maybe we will have difficulties for one or two more months, that's all." Concerning the prospect of early elections, TUSIAD Deputy Chairman Aldo Kaslowski said, "While the Copenhagen criteria are still on the agenda, we don't want early elections to be held in November. Elections should be held anytime after December." /Milliyet/
 ISAF HEAD ZORLU MEETS WITH KARZAIAfghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday met with the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Turkish Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu. At the meeting, Karzai said that he wanted an official from the ISAF to participate in a commission formed to find the killer of Afghan Vice President Haci Abdulkadir, who was assassinated last weekend. ISAF spokesman Samet Oz stated that since the incident, security measures had been strengthened. /Turkiye/
 DERVIS: "IF UNCERTAINTY ENDS, THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM CAN CONTINUE"Speaking to Reuters yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis said, "There should be no reason for any deviation [from the government's economic program] if the [political] situation does not prevail too long." Dervis also briefed reporters on the current discussions on early election and markets in Turkey and said that recently, the economic program's macroeconomic targets, including budget and current account balances, have seemed attainable, and even subject to being exceeded. "As I said before, the important point is not to let the political uncertainty drag on for too long," Dervis added. /Hurriyet/
 FORMER US PRESIDENT CLINTON IN ISTANBULFormer United States President Bill Clinton yesterday arrived in Turkey to attend a Turkish-American Businessmen's Association (TABA) meeting in Istanbul. Clinton is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Ciragan Palace today focusing on relations between Turkey, the United States and Europe. /Cumhuriyet/
 LAND FORCES RECEIVE NEW HOWITZERSThe initial six units of a new delivery of howitzer guns designed and produced in Turkey were presented yesterday to the Turkish Land Forces Commandership in a ceremony. The T-155 Panther Howitzers, which have a range of 40 kilometers, were produced in order to offer artillery support. /Turkiye/
 SOUTHEASTERN BUSINESSMEN: "THE IRAQ EMBARGO IS HURTING TURKEY"Bedrettin Karaboga, the chairman of the Southeastern Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (GUNSIAD), said yesterday that the United Nations- imposed economic embargo on Iraq was taking a greater toll on Turkey everyday. "We have presented a report to UN officials on how this embargo is hurting Turkey's economy," said Karaboga. "We told them we want it to be to be lifted as soon as possible." /Turkiye/
 BREKK: "WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE IMF IS THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM"International Monetary Fund Turkey Representative Odd Per Brekk yesterday offered his views on Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli's recent call to hold polls in November. Remarking that what was important for the IMF was the implementation of the economic program without any delays no matter what domestic political changes take place, Per Brekk underlined that political uncertainty should not be allowed to hurt the economy. An IMF delegation chaired by the Fund's Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen is scheduled to arrive in Turkey tomorrow for its third review. The IMF's Executive Board is expected to hold a meeting at the beginning of August to release a new loan tranche to Turkey amounting to $1.1 billion. /Cumhuriyet/
 BILDACI: "BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE WILL BENEFIT TURKEY"Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation Executive Director Gokhan Bildaci spoke yesterday in Istanbul on the social and environmental effects of the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline project. Saying that the pipeline would be completed by 2005, Bildaci added, "If everyone supports this project, Turkey will earn considerable amounts, both directly and indirectly through taxes." /Turkiye/
 AKTEKS THREAD FACTORY OPENED IN ALEPPOAn acrylic thread factory based in Gaziantep opened a branch facility in Aleppo, Syria yesterday. Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Akteks company facility, Syrian Prime Minister Muhammed Mustafa Meri said that Turkish-Syrian relations were improving but that they should be made better. "This factory shows the point that Turkish-Syrian relations have reached," he said. "We have been making efforts for the development of the country as part of the economic reforms initiated by our President Bashar al-Assad. Aleppo is Syria's most important trade center. Actually, the opening of this factory is the product of common values between our two countries which are based in history. The Akteks thread factory should set an example for other investors. We want to develop our cooperation with Turkey and we are preparing the necessary infrastructure for this purpose. I believe this factory will speed up the development of our relations." /Aksam/
 TOBB CHAIRMAN URGES ACTION FOR MARKET STABILITYSpeaking to reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu urged the Treasury and Central Bank to act in order to prevent unstable market exchange rates. Hisarciklioglu is scheduled today to visit State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis to discuss uncertainty in the markets. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH ARTISTS PARTICIPATE IN "MANIFESTA 4" IN GERMANYScores of young artists from all over the world are participating in the summer-long Manifesta 4, the European Biennial for Modern Arts in Frankfurt, Germany. Young artists from Turkey such as Halil Altindere with his movie "I Don't Like Long Goodbyes," Esra Ersen with her film "This Is Disney World" and Erden Kosova with his presentation "Istanbul, Not Constantinople" are among those taking part in the biennial. The arts event runs through Aug. 25. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON NOV. 3 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes on the prospect of early elections and their possible effect on the country. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has said that early elections might be held on Sunday, Nov 3. He proposed that the government stay in power and the Parliament hold an extraordinary session, on Sept. 1, to decide on early polls. Our adaptation laws to the European Union's accession criteria and amending the Law on Political Parties and the Elections, however, were left unmentioned. The EU issue is being left up to the new Parliament and the new government. This is the kind of attitude Mr. Bahceli had to adopt, so it's nothing to be criticized. Technology should be used to cast votes and in determining the results of elections. We should leave behind medieval practices and try to keep up with modern times. The date for the elections, Nov. 3, was chosen after careful consideration as Turkey might be heading towards a rehearsal of a mini disaster in December. Such a disaster seems impending due to the fact that the Turkish people are in seriously incapable hands. Rejection by Brussels on the one hand, war in Iraq on the other ... there's no guessing how national fury will affect voting patterns. So it is important that elections are held before the U.S. congressional elections and any strike against in Iraq, and certainly before a rejection from Brussels and the harm it could do to the Turkish economy. The government problem is important, but the EU issue is vital. So the political parties have only the month of July to put their act together. It shouldn't be forgotten that the EU will start preparing its progress report not in December, but September."
 EARLY ELECTIONS A BARRIER TO OUR EU BID BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the recent developments regarding early elections and their influence on Turkey's EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
"How will early elections influence Turkey's EU membership bid? If the Parliament is called for an extraordinary session in September as Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli suggested and elections are held on Nov. 3, can Turkey get a date from the EU for the start of its accession negotiations? Or will Turkey miss the EU train amongst all this chaos? These questions were posed to Spanish Foreign Minister Josef Pique, whose nation has just completed its duty as EU term president, yesterday at the Foreign Economic Relations Council's (DEIK) meeting in Istanbul. The Spanish foreign minister's answer shows that whether there are elections or not, the start of the membership process depends on Turkey's resolve to comply with the Copenhagen criteria. In other words, the holding of elections in November will make it more difficult for a date to be given at the Copenhagen summit in December. Meetings with other EU officials confirm this impression. That is to say, holding elections in November will weaken Turkey's chances of getting a decision in favor of Turkey in December. Excepting that, the Parliament should convene earlier and pass reform laws before such elections. Otherwise, focusing only on elections and leaving issues regarding the EU aside, Turkey will lose its chance for membership. Spanish Foreign Minister Pique said that if elections are held in November and a government capable of fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria doesn't come into power, it will be hard for the EU to set a date. He added that the uncertainty prevailing for some time was causing concern in the EU and continued, 'In this situation it is very hard for the EU to decide in Turkey's favor.... However, you can recover the time lost in the end if only positive messages come from Turkey. We shall continue to help Turkey but it has to help us too...' EU officials who would like Turkey to get a date at the Copenhagen summit suggest that the reform laws complying with the Copenhagen criteria should be passed as soon as possible. If elections are to be held in November and no arrangements regarding the Copenhagen criteria are made, we should not expect for any decision concerning Turkey's membership in the EU. It can be asked what if the membership is postponed till 2003? The crux of the matter is that in December the EU's new enlargement policy will be decided upon. The admittance of 10 new countries is in question. If a date for accession negotiations is not given before then, the chance of deciding on such an opportunity later gets weaker. In fact, no such decision may emerge. Notwithstanding all these negative factors, it is still possible to catch the EU train. If the Parliament could be convened as soon as possible, and reform laws were passed before the elections, the country will be nearer to its goal. Then the EU issue cannot be exploited in the coming political elections. This duty falls on the political parties in favor of Turkey's admittance into the EU and non-governmental organizations..."
 DECISION DAY FOR ECEVIT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan's quitting the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and his resignation from his post as state minister. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Yesterday's developments were no surprise. It has been apparent for quite some time that Ozkan was being driven to part ways with Prime Minister Ecevit, especially after Ecevit made his distrust of Ozkan known to the public. Ozkan's resignation was partly due to the uneasiness shown by Ecevit for Ozkan's -- together with some of his colleagues -- remaining silent in the face of heavy criticisms and accusations against Ecevit himself. However the underlying reason was of a more substantial one: the search for a different government model in which Ecevit would not take part and Ozkan would take over the prime ministry. Ecevit knew that this particular model was supported by one of the coalition partners, namely the Motherland Party (ANAP) and its leader Mesut Yilmaz; and by some major business and media representatives. Ecevit did hope that Ozkan would oppose such a government alternative which would bypass Ecevit altogether. But Ozkan's attitude proved to be quite the opposite; together with others who showed commitment to this alternative government model, the conviction that Ozkan, too, was expecting that Ecevit would leave his post got even much stronger. Upon these developments Ecevit sacrificed Ozkan, some of his ministers and some of his MPs. The fact that Ozkan quit the government and the DSP but did not leave his post as a parliamentary deputy shows that, in the very near future, he can take other positions in the political arena. According to some rumors, Ozkan and those MPs who quit the DSP, are to assemble in a new political formation. It is expected that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and State Minister Kemal Dervis would also take sides with Ozkan. After all, the fact that with the resignations the DSP now has far fewer deputies than the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) can be seen as a serious setback to Ecevit's prime ministry; thus he can resign. Today Ecevit will come to a decision, after a meeting with his coalition partners, as to whether to leave or not."
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