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Turkish Press Review, 06-10-11

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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> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

11.10.2006


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN WARNS FRANCE OF CONSEQUENCES OF ARMENIAN BILL

  • [01] ERDOGAN WARNS FRANCE OF CONSEQUENCES OF ARMENIAN BILL

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday warned France of the consequences for Turkish-French relations if the French Parliament passes a bill to criminalize questioning Armenian "genocide" claims. Addressing his Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdogan said that nothing would happen to Turkey if the French Parliament passes the bill, but it would cause great changes for France. Pointing out that one of the pillars of the Copenhagen criteria is freedom of expression, Erdogan said it is illogical to penalize someone for exposing a lie. The premier also spoke out against efforts for a tit-for-tat by Turkey passing a law designating French atrocities in Algeria as "genocide" and criminalizing its denial, saying Turkey will not “clean dirt with dirt.” We’ll clean the dirt with clean water, said Erdogan. /Star/[02] BAYKAL: “CHP DEPUTIES WILL OBSERVE FRENCH PARLIAMENT’S VOTE ON ARMENIAN BILL”

    Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said his party would send four deputies to observe the vote at the French Parliament on the bill to criminalize questioning the Armenian genocide claims. “We’ll watch the French Parliament vote on this unacceptable measure,” said Baykal. “This has nothing to do with human rights or civilization.” Commenting on French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s remarks that Turkey should do away with Article 301, Baykal said that European countries had similar laws. /Sabah/[03] PARIS COURT TO RULE ON COMPLAINT AGAINST TURKISH CONSUL

    A Paris court is expected today to rule whether a complaint filed by an Armenian group against Turkish Consul General Aydin Sezgin is admissible. The group has accused the consul general in Paris of spreading “denial propaganda” concerning an alleged Armenian genocide during World War I and demanded the removal of part of the consulate general’s website. During a hearing at the Paris Court of Appeals last Friday, the prosecutor argued that the complaint should be rejected on the grounds of Sezgin’s diplomatic immunity. Sezgin’s lawyers also argued that the court should reject the complaint, saying that the consul general was free to defend Turkey’s official thesis concerning the issue in the country where he is officially representing his own country. /Turkish Daily News/[04] FORMER FRENCH CULTURE MINISTER LANG COMES OUT AGAINST ARMENIAN BILL

    Former French Culture Minister and Socialist Party Deputy Jack Lang yesterday came out against a bill which proposes penalties for denying an alleged Armenian genocide, on the grounds that it violates freedom of speech. Speaking to French daily Liberation, Lang said members of his own party had unfortunately introduced the measure in order to win over votes, adding that he regretted the bill. Stressing that the bill would clearly contradict Article 11 of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man from the time of the French Revolution, Lang said it would also violate the French Constitution. /Turkiye/[05] TURKISH ARMENIAN PATRIARCH CRITICIZE FRANCE’S ARMENIAN BILL

    Turkish Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan said yesterday that France passing a bill criminalizing denial of the alleged Armenian genocide would not help improve “dialogue, empathy or mutual understanding.” In order to examine, research, and debate this matter, all countries, starting with Turkey and Armenia, must remove barriers rather than erect them, said Mutafyan in a written statement. He added that the aim should always be efforts that would contribute to dialogue, empathy, and mutual understanding, and that anything that does not serve that aim is unreasonable. /Star/[06] FRENCH HISTORIAN APPLIES FOR TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

    French historian Jean-Michel Thibaux, who has come out against the French bill that would make it a crime to question the so-called Armenian genocide, is now applying to become a Turkish citizen. Thibaux brought the matter to Mehmet Dulger, the head of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission Mehmet Dulger, through a Turkish friend. Dulger then forwarded the request to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “If the Turkish government grants citizenship to me, Turkey will be my homeland,” said Thibaux. /Milliyet/[07] ITALIAN FM D’ALEMA: “TURKEY SHOULD BE AN EU MEMBER”

    Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema yesterday said that Turkey should be a member of the European Union. D’Alema said that he disagrees with those who think that Europe’s doors should be closed to Turkey for ethnic or religious reasons, and added, “The Italian government completely supports Turkey’s European goal.” Speaking after a meeting on Turkey at the Italian Foreign Ministry, D’Alema said, “We consider Turkey’s membership imperative, and it would bring added value to the EU.” He also said that Turkey should be encouraged to continue reforms. /Hurriyet/[08] TOBB DELEGATION IN PARIS TO WARN FRENCH OFFICIALS OF FALLOUT FROM ARMENIAN BILL

    A delegation from the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) yesterday traveled to Paris to warn French officials about problems between Turkey and France likely to follow passage of a bill making denial of the so-called Armenian genocide a crime. During its stay in the country, the delegation will meet with leading French businessmen and the head of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the bill. Before flying to Paris, TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu stated that the French nation would suffer the most if the bill is passed. /Aksam/ [09] TRNC’S TALAT MEETS WITH REHN

    European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that Turkish- European Union relations were caught in a vicious cycle due to misunderstandings about the Cyprus issue. Speaking at a meeting held by the European Policy Center, Rehn said it was his duty to halt this vicious cycle. In related news, Rehn met with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat, who was holding contacts in Brussels. Talat said that the EU Term President Finland’s proposal for direct trade with the TRNC has some problems and that Turkish Cypriots’ rights shouldn’t be violated during Turkey’s EU bid. He also met with European Parliament President Joseph Borrell. /Cumhuriyet/[10] GENERAL STAFF DELEGATION VISITS BEIRUT TO SEE AREA FOR TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT

    The General Staff yesterday sent a delegation of eight officers to Lebanon to see the area where Turkish soldiers are slated to be deployed for a UN peacekeeping force. The delegation was welcomed by UN officials in the country. After completing their tour, the delegation is to meet with Turkish soldiers. /Aksam/ [11] BABACAN MEETS WITH IMF DELEGATION

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday met with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund, currently in Turkey to review Ankara's standby agreement. During the meeting, Babacan and the delegation, headed by the Fund’s Turkey Desk Chief Lorenzo Giorgianni, discussed a number of issues such as developments on the 2006 budget, next year’s budget, monetary policy, social security reform, and developments in the finance sector. Later, the delegation met with Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan before the meeting of the Supreme Planning Council. During the meeting, Unakitan and the delegation discussed recent economic developments and the 2007 budget. /Aksam/[12] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...[00] TOMORROW AND FRIDAYBY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on the French bill to criminalize denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech yesterday shows how the French bill to criminalize denial of the so-called Armenian genocide has angered Ankara. Even French politicians and other EU countries have come out against this bill by the French Socialist Party. This step is not acceptable at a time when the EU Commission (like democrats in Turkey) is pressing Turkey to lift limits on freedom of speech and not make insulting Turks a crime. This double standard is not only against Turkey, but also violates human rights, as it belittles the Holocaust by comparing the so- called Armenian genocide to the undeniable Nazi genocide against the Jewish people. Moreover, French Interior Minister and leading presidential hopeful Nicholas Sarkozy called Erdogan and tried to bargain with him to block the bill if Turkey changes its penal code and opens its borders with Armenia. This action was criticized as vicious. How will French intellectuals accept this hostile accusation coming from political aims? What kind of a standard will it bring to the EU?

    As of Friday it will be one year since the screening process of the acquis communautaire with Turkey started. Turkey’s chief EU Negotiator Ali Babacan said yesterday that Turkey could reach the communautaire in a short period if there were only technical problems, but that political problems are a big obstacle for it. Babacan also stressed that the world has tried to prevent a clash of civilizations. ‘Recent developments like the cartoon crisis in Denmark and the French bill, however, encourage this clash,’ said Babacan. ‘Turkey is proof of the fact that secularism and democracy can work in a society where the majority is Muslim.’ Babacan also said that Turkey’s EU membership would be the best answer to intolerance.” [13] MILITARY-CIVILIAN DIALOGUE BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on the military-civilian relationship in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “If we can understand the civilian mission of the civilian and military leaderships, we can better interpret today and make predictions for next year. Debates over fundamentalism and separatism, the commanders’ latest remarks and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stance should be evaluated in light of Turkey’s specific structure of society and state. In this sense, Turkey is a unique example. I’ve gotten various criticisms from both sides against my latest column in which I tried to examine this argument. When I wrote that the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) mission was to favor the European Union and that the way to being a great statesman doesn’t go through the presidency, but from getting through next year in a stable and peaceful way, I got many reactions. I want to say that the state can contain different reflexes at the same time. Even if it seems that they’re against each other, they may not. Sometimes you champion an issue but attack in another area or look for stability or favor controlled tension. Actually, I’ve been trying to add a new ring to ‘Erdogan’s thesis of reconciling with the system.’ I think Erdogan sees our state structure as being specific to our region, culture and tradition and tries to become reconciled to it. This should be supported.

    In Turkey today, protecting democracy, loyalty to secularism, commitment to the EU bid and protecting Turkey's unitary structure can be seen as overlapping policies. The TSK’s policy has been shaped as part of this framework. Of course both the military and the government want EU membership. During this, the following understanding dominates: ‘Let the reforms be implemented but fundamentalism shouldn’t come to our country. Let’s make arrangements for the EU, but our country’s unitary structure should be protected as well.’ We should understand these concerns. A plan for the state and the regime has started to emerge for this reason. Everybody should consider the military’s remarks ‘business as usual.’ The important thing is to keep the channels of communication and expression between the civilian and military open. Social and institutional transformations aren’t unilateral. During transformations, everybody has an impact on the other and transforms them. Finally, a way of reconciliation can be found. Here, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) should see the social mandate. The mandate that brought the AKP to power was the need for policies to fight unemployment and poverty. So it wasn’t a political choice, but a social one. Meanwhile, we should see the political and social meaning of the AKP. We can’t forget the difference between Turkey’s situation right now and in and November 2002, when the AKP government was elected. Today, not conflict, but real peace and solidarity are needed. Or country is experiencing something unique. If we can succeed, our way will be clear.”

    ARCHIVE

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