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Turkish Press Review, 05-08-26

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

26.08.2005

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES TO BE DISCUSSED BY PARLIAMENT COMMISSION
  • [02] TUBITAK BRIEFS ERDOGAN, GOVT MINISTERS ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL POLICY
  • [03] GUL, US STATE DEPT’S BRYZA DISCUSS PKK, TURKEY’S EU BID AND CYPRUS
  • [04] US PRAISES TURKEY’S STEPS ON DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [05] GREEK GOVT SPOKESMAN: “THERE ARE STILL OBLIGATIONS ANKARA NEEDS TO MEET FOR ITS EU BID”
  • [06] AIR FORCES COMMANDER GEN FIRTINA PASSES TORCH TO GEN. COMERT
  • [07] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [08] THE IRAQ DIFFERENCE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES TO BE DISCUSSED BY PARLIAMENT COMMISSION

    A 55-article constitutional amendment package is expected to reach Parliament next month. Parliament’s Constitutional Commission will convene on Sept. 29 in order to discuss the package and reduce the number of its articles to 15. The commission’s work on the package is expected to be completed on Oct. 15 and then it will be sent to the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for support. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip will approve the final shape of the package, which covers a number of issues, including parliamentary immunity and the Board of Higher Education (YOK). /Star/

    [02] TUBITAK BRIEFS ERDOGAN, GOVT MINISTERS ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL POLICY

    Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TUBITAK) Deputy Chairman Nukhet Yetis yesterday briefed Prime Minister and a group of government ministers on scientific and technological policy. Also present at the briefing were Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener, State Minister Besir Atalay, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Education Minister Huseyin Celik, Prime Ministry Undersecretary Omer Dincer and a representative from the State Planning Organization (DPT). /Star/

    [03] GUL, US STATE DEPT’S BRYZA DISCUSS PKK, TURKEY’S EU BID AND CYPRUS

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza, who is currently paying an official visit to Ankara. During their meeting, Bryza said that Washington considers the terrorist group PKK a problem that Turkey and the US will tackle together, adding, however that Turkey and Iraq should also cooperate to fight that threat. Speaking afterwards, Bryza said that he and Gul had confirmed the strategic cooperation between the two countries during their meeting, adding that they had also discussed other issues such as Turkey’s European Union membership bid, Cyprus, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. Later, Bryza met with State Minister Kursat Tuzmen and US Charge d'Affaires in Ankara Nancy McEldowney. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] US PRAISES TURKEY’S STEPS ON DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS

    In a statement released on Wednesday, the US State Department praised Turkey’s steps on democratization and human rights, adding that the US supported Turkey’s efforts to become a more democratic country. “The United States has long supported Turkey’s democratization efforts as it continues on its path toward the European Union,” said the statement. “Turkey has made impressive strides in recent years on democratization and human rights issues, as reflected by the European Union decision to grant Turkey a date to open European Union accession talks. This progress has also been noted in the department’s annual human rights reports. We commend the Turkish authorities and the Turkish people on their determined effort and will continue to support Turkey as it moves this process forward.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] GREEK GOVT SPOKESMAN: “THERE ARE STILL OBLIGATIONS ANKARA NEEDS TO MEET FOR ITS EU BID”

    Greek government spokesman Theoodoros Rusopulos said yesterday that there were still some obligations that Ankara needed to fulfill for its European Union membership bid. Rusopulos stated that the Greek and Greek Cypriot leaders had determined a common stance following Turkey’s declaration that signing the additional Custom Union protocol didn’t mean recognition of Greek Cyprus. /Star/

    [06] AIR FORCES COMMANDER GEN FIRTINA PASSES TORCH TO GEN. COMERT

    Air Forces Commander Gen. Ibrahim Firtina yesterday handed over his post to Gen. Faruk Comert in a ceremony. Also present at the handover were President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Addressing the ceremony, Comert said that his way was the way of Mustafa Kemal Atatturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, saying that this way was modern. “Our only support will be the Turkish nation,” he added. /Star/

    [07] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [08] THE IRAQ DIFFERENCE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the situation in Iraq and Turkey’s stance on it. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Could Iraq become a new Iran? In other words, will the new political structure of our neighbor cause the establishment of a fundamentalist regime under the influence of the Shiites? Would the Republic of Iraq or the Shiite administration in southern Iraq, if it cuts loose from the center, fall under the sway of Iran, and would this situation change the balance in the region? Don’t say that it’s too early to think such things. These questions are being questioned and discussed in all circles interested in Iraq’s future. Incidents and particularly the elections in Iraq showed the Shiites’ power. Under the Saddam Hussein regime, the Sunnis were dominant, although they were just 20% of the population and Shiites were in the background with 60%. Religious leaders of this community played a great role in the Shiites’ displaying their power. In the Islamic world, elections – or more clearly and generally, democracy – have caused religious parties to gain great success, come into power or establish a strong opposition. This trend can be seen in Muslim countries over a wide area, from southern Africa to Asia and from the Middle East to the Far East. It was inevitable for elections in Iraq to produce such a result.

    Now the question is whether this political success of the Shiites will lead to the establishment of a mullah regime in Iraq. At first glance this may seem inevitable. However, some experts disagree. Firstly, the lack of such a danger, at least in the short term, is being emphasized with the following example: During work on the new constitution, the Shiites wanted Iraq to be called an ‘Islam republic.’ When others opposed this, a consensus was reached on the ‘Republic of Iraq.’ This is an important indicator, because the expression ‘Islam republic’ is included in the constitution of many countries, from Afghanistan to Pakistan. If Iraq is divided and a separate state is established in the south, would Mullahs dominate it? Even if such a scenario comes to pass, experts think that it is unlikely to look like Iran, because the ideology and vision of Ayatollah Sistani is very different from that of Ayatollah Khomeini. In addition, the Shiites in Iraq are very different from the Shiites in Iran in terms of ideology, history and national identity. For Turkey, obviously, it would be good if Iraq could maintain its secular character. However, this isn’t happening, and this is the reality. The important thing is to maintain the moderate, balanced line of the regime and try to stem the spread of radicalism. As long as Iraq maintains this line, developments in Iraq concerning Islamic policies will be considered a domestic issue.”

    ARCHIVE

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