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Turkish Press Review, 03-06-02

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

02.06.2003

FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN TOUTS ECONOMIC PROGRESS, DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF POST-STUFFING
  • [02] GUL TO ATTEND NATO MEETINGS IN MADRID
  • [03] ECEVIT: “THE TSK IS OPPOSED TO EU TRICKS, NOT TURKEY’S EU BID”
  • [04] ARINC VISITS TOKYO, HAILS HEALTHY TURKISH-JAPANESE RELATIONS
  • [05] EU COMMISSIONER CHRIS PATTEN: “THE EU HAS GEOSTRATEGIC INTERESTS IN TURKEY”
  • [06] CS MONITOR: “THE US SEES TURKEY AS A ROLE MODEL FOR THE MUSLIM WORLD”
  • [07] NETHERLANDS MEETING SPOTLIGHTS TURKEY’S EU BID, NSC ROLE IN ANKARA’S POLITICS
  • [08] ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILWAY TO BE RENOVATED, CUTTING TRAVEL TIME IN HALF
  • [09] ISTANBUL TO HOST INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL
  • [10] TURKEY PLACES SECOND IN TAE KWON DO COMPETITION
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [12] RELATIONS WITH THE US BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [13] META-NARRATIVE, SACRED SUBJECT BY ETYEN MAHCUPYAN (ZAMAN)

  • [01] ERDOGAN TOUTS ECONOMIC PROGRESS, DENIES ALLEGATIONS OF POST-STUFFING

    Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that in recent day Turkey had seen positive economic developments, including drops in inflation and high interest rates. Also responding to allegations of AKP post-stuffing, Erdogan said, “Some circles have claimed that we are trying to fill many state posts with our own supporters,” but in truth the party had no such aim. “Even after I’ve responded to these claims, they still say that they aren’t satisfied,” added Erdogan. /Milliyet/

    [02] GUL TO ATTEND NATO MEETINGS IN MADRID

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to Madrid, Spain today to attend the NATO foreign ministers’ spring meetings. The main topics of the gathering are expected to be the reconstruction of Iraq and NATO’s possible role in this process as well as NATO’s assuming command of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. In related news, Gul has reportedly set plans to visit Israel and Palestine this fall. Before his visit, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nebil Saat and Israeli President Mose Katsav are expected to visit Ankara in July. /Turkiye/

    [03] ECEVIT: “THE TSK IS OPPOSED TO EU TRICKS, NOT TURKEY’S EU BID”

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said yesterday that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) was not opposed to Turkey’s European Union membership bid, but rather to the EU’s “tricks.” “To take a stand against these tricks is the duty of every institution, not only the TSK,” said Ecevit. “Some circles in Turkey are trying to depict the TSK as opposed to Turkey’s EU membership bid, but this isn’t the case.” He added that in his view, fulfilling every condition the EU puts forth would not ensure Turkey’s membership. /Aksam/

    [04] ARINC VISITS TOKYO, HAILS HEALTHY TURKISH-JAPANESE RELATIONS

    Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc paid an official visit to Japan over the weekend upon the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Hiroyuki Kurata. Arinc was welcomed at Tokyo’s Narita Airport by Vice Parliament Speaker Shoji Motooka, Turkish Ambassador to Tokyo Solmaz Unaydin and other officials. Speaking at the airport, Arinc said that Turkish people highly respected the Japanese, adding that the Turkish-Japanese Friendship group was the largest friendship group in Parliament, counting more than 350 deputies out of total 550 in its ranks. “Bilateral relations between the parliaments of both countries should be further strengthened,” urged Arinc. /Turkish Daily News/

    [05] EU COMMISSIONER CHRIS PATTEN: “THE EU HAS GEOSTRATEGIC INTERESTS IN TURKEY”

    European Union Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten said yesterday that the EU had geostrategic interests in Turkey. Speaking to Greek daily To Vima, Patten said that in the future, Turkey would play a key role in relations between the EU and Islamic nations. “Turkey is a Muslim country which has tried to improve its democracy and is working hard to find its own place in the Union,” he said. He also expressed his surprise with recent controversial criticisms by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz of the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) alleged failure to take up a strong stand on supporting the US on the Iraq war, adding that he found the US official’s comments “inappropriate.” Patten remarked that he trusted Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since it was trying to carry out economic and political reforms. /Aksam/

    [06] CS MONITOR: “THE US SEES TURKEY AS A ROLE MODEL FOR THE MUSLIM WORLD”

    The Christian Science Monitor last week published an op-ed written by staff writer Jane Lampman focusing on the recent efforts of US Muslims to help democratic coalitions form in the Islamic world. The piece underlined Turkey’s situation as a surprisingly successful synthesis of Islam and democracy. “As part of an ongoing effort to promote democracy in the Muslim world, American Muslims provided an opening in three Arab countries for both Islamic and secular democrats to come together for the first time to debate the compatibility of Islam and democracy,” said the piece. “In Morocco, Egypt, and Yemen, government leaders, opposition members, and civic activists joined in frank private and public workshops on such hot topics as human rights, women's rights, and religious tolerance … Indicators of change are multiplying in the Arab world, with Morocco moving to genuine elections, Bahrain holding its first vote, and Qatar announcing a new constitution. In Saudi Arabia, professionals are pushing to modernize the political system. And Turkey is offering an intriguing example.” The CS Monitor also quoted Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), the US-based think tank that sponsored the meetings with local civic groups, as saying “[In Turkey a] party with Islamic roots has come to power, but it now says it believes in secularism and that it is compatible with Islam. Secular democrats in the countries involved insisted they never be called secularists, but liberals or nationalists. Turkey's Justice and Development Party [AKP] could change that perception.” The US daily stated that the CSID had plans for further “Islam and democracy” meetings this year in Turkey as well as in Algeria, Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps Iraq. /Sabah/

    [07] NETHERLANDS MEETING SPOTLIGHTS TURKEY’S EU BID, NSC ROLE IN ANKARA’S POLITICS

    Turkey’s EU membership bid was discussed over the weekend at a meeting held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands attended by a number of deputies from the European Parliament along with scholars and politicians. The discussions chaired by Joost Lagendjik, the co-chairman of the Turkish Parliament- European Parliament Joint Parliamentary Commission, underlined that Turkey’s entrance to the EU would benefit both sides. Turkey’s Ambassador to The Hague Tacan Ildem stated that the Turkish government was pursuing its political, economic and social reforms with great resolve. Senator Wim van Eekelen, a Liberal Party MP, remarked that the Turkish National Security Council’s (NSC) role in civilian politics should not be regarded as an obstacle to democracy since it is only an advisory institution. He recalled that Portugal also had a similar institution when it became an EU member. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILWAY TO BE RENOVATED, CUTTING TRAVEL TIME IN HALF

    Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim said yesterday that on next Sunday ground would be broken for the refurbishment of the Ankara-Istanbul railway, a project that will enable travel between Turkey’s two principal cities in as little as three to three-and-a-half hours. Speaking at the Chamber of Architects and Engineers fourth ordinary meeting, Yildirim remarked that through the project had been discussed for 20 years, “Up to now nothing has been done on it.” The renovation is planned to be completed in two-and-a- half years. The Ankara-Istanbul rail journey currently takes six hours or more. /Turkiye/

    [09] ISTANBUL TO HOST INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL

    The Seventh International Environmental Film Festival is set to begin in Istanbul on this Saturday, June 7. Some 26 films, including documentaries, will be screened free of charge through June 12. /Turkiye/

    [10] TURKEY PLACES SECOND IN TAE KWON DO COMPETITION

    The Third International Ismet Iraz Tae Kwon Do Tournament in Ankara ended yesterday. Turkey’s team won four gold medals, seven silvers and 10 bronzes, and placed second overall. Spain came out first, while Azerbaijan ranked third in the tournament. /Anatolia News Agency/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] RELATIONS WITH THE US BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s relations with the United States. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I don’t know what we’ve done so far to repair our relations with the US, but this is the most important issue for Turkey’s future. This issue is also urgent because Washington hasn’t yet made up its mind about Ankara. Following its disappointment with our stance in the war in Iraq, now it wants to gauge how we will act in a forthcoming larger war with Iran. It will draw up its war plans according to our stance.

    I didn’t know that there was such intense opposition to the US in Turkey. I haven’t read in any history books how wars are judged to be legal or illegal according to their compliance with international law. The books that I read classified wars according to who won them and who lost.

    We’re still discussing how much the US is right. We’re such a great nation of law that we can give lessons about law to the world. We can’t seem to understand that those who hold absolute power and vision also have a voice in international politics.

    I believe that our government as represented in the Foreign Ministry and our Washington embassy isn’t doing enough to repair our relations with the US. I believe that even the importance and urgency of this issue are being ignored. Instead we’re giving Washington advice on TV and in the newspapers. We should clearly see that the US doesn’t act on the basis of our advice or any other nation’s. It keeps its own counsel and depends on this for its power. Is this at all surprising? The US is just acting in the way that other countries have in the past.”

    [13] META-NARRATIVE, SACRED SUBJECT BY ETYEN MAHCUPYAN (ZAMAN)

    Columnist Etyen Mahcupyan writes about a longstanding rift between Turkey’s politicians and its bureaucratic class, with the military foremost among the latter. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Back in the time of monarchs and dictators, things used to work much more harmoniously… The legitimacy-generating ideological discourse and political power were unified and embodied in a single and identical subject, and the identities of the politician and the bureaucrat were crystallized in a single man.

    Then came modern times, and the politician and bureaucrat’s paths parted. It was now the politician who legitimately enjoyed the political discourse and power. In Turkey, however, the authoritarian administrative mentality, based on the priority and leadership of the bureaucratic class, has lingered. But at the same time, the nation has strived to be ‘modern.’ Thus, a system has emerged where politicians seemed to be dominant but in reality it was the bureaucratic class which ruled the country. The politicians, who were answerable to the people but lacked the authority, have been criticized, imprisoned and even taken to the gallows. And the bureaucrats, who had the authority but were in no way answerable to the people, have preferred to stay behind the scenes.

    Yet, this differentiation between the politician and bureaucrat has torn away the discourse/subject connection, a vital connection which constituted the backbone of the political order. The loss of the politician/bureaucrat totality, which was unified in the emperor himself during Ottoman times, and which played a key role in the institutionalization of politics in the modern Western world, has become the core issue of politics in pseudo- democratic countries like Turkey. Although the bureaucratic class persisted in being the real subject of politics and dominated it through such means as the National Security Council (MGK) as well as military memoranda and coups, it has lost the ability to have the final say in politics any time and anywhere it wanted. Thus a crisis emerged between elected politicians and the appointed bureaucrats, which jeopardized the democratic order itself.

    In order to overcome this crisis, the bureaucratic class has moved to seek a diversification on both the discourse and subject levels, and it has made the official state ideology, Kemalism, untouchable. Once we had before us many ‘voices’ and many ‘actors,’ but in the end they were all embedded in Kemalism and thus came to dominate the bureaucratic sphere of politics. On the discourse level, the president and influential media, and on the subject level the military and judiciary, for example, are all facets of the same game. However, the authoritarian seal makes this diversification inauthentic. In reality, the institutionalized political discourse and power in Turkey are completely placed within a hierarchical structure.

    This makes the military an unchallengeable point of reference. Yet it also has to be above and beyond politics, as if it is mute about the subject. Though the military never speaks, everything should be the way it wants. -- But life is not that simple. So the military needs a special language through which it should be perceived as mute but at the same time should mean a lot. That’s why we hear clichés in military statements like ‘… no one should doubt that we are determined to struggle against …’ The military is using a meta-narrative which repeats itself, conveying the message that the military is ‘above’ any political discourse, and which has a ‘religious’ overtone. And through this very meta-narrative, the military is deemed sacred at the top of the political subject’s hierarchy. It is regarded as ‘above and beyond’ politics even if it manipulates politics’ each and every dimension. In reality, the military is haunting politics, making it impossible and even meaningless. And Kemalism is the very ideology which ‘legitimizes’ this system.”

    ARCHIVE

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