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Turkish Press Review, 06-10-13

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" 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 : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was held yesterday after a bill on the so-called Armenian genocide was passed by the French Parliament. Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Defense Industry Secretary Murad Bayar were also present. During the meeting, Erdogan harshly criticized the action of the French Parliament, saying that relations between the two countries were hurt by the passage of the bill. Later, in a written statement, Erdogan said that Ankara found approval of the bill completely unacceptable. /Aksam/[02] ERDOGAN MEETS WITH AFGHAN FM

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Rengin Dadfar Spanta for talks on bilateral ties as well as the development of Afghanistan. /Turkish Daily News/[03] GUL: “FRANCE IS NO LONGER A COUNTRY OF FREEDOMS”

    Responding yesterday to the French Parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called Armenian genocide, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that France could no longer be called a “country of freedoms.” Saying that France would live with this shame, Gul added that France had destroyed its historical prestige. He further stressed that the matter was a national issue and that the Turkish nation would act together against this. In related news, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said that the decision of the French Parliament was embarrassing and its stance “unfriendly.” /Sabah/

    US Special Envoy for countering the terrorist group PKK retired Gen. Joseph Ralston, accompanied by his Turkish counterpart, former Gen. Edip Baser, yesterday visited Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. During their talks, Gul clearly expressed Turkey’s expectation that the US would take “concrete steps” in the fight against the PKK. He also stated that the ongoing work to coordinate joint efforts against the PKK “should not turn into a kind of diversionary exercise.” /Turkiye/[04] ORHAN PAMUK AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE

    Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk yesterday received the Swedish Academy’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Pamuk is the first Turk to win the prestigious prize, and had been rumored as one of the frontrunners to win this year. The 54- year-old writer is Turkey’s best-known author at home and abroad. The Swedish Academy said Pamuk “in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city (Istanbul) has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.” The writer will formally receive his award on Dec. 10 from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm. /All Papers/[05] FRENCH PARLIAMENT PASSES ARMENIAN BILL

    By a vote of 106-19, the French Parliament yesterday passed a controversial bill that would criminalize denial of an alleged genocide of Armenians. Speaking before the vote, Deputy Patrick Devedjian criticized both the Turkish government and European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn for opposing the bill, claiming that there was no freedom of thought in Turkey. Speaking on behalf of the French government, State Minister Responsible for the EU Catherine Colona reiterated that the government was opposed to the bill, adding that the democratic process in Turkey should be supported. “The Turkish nation should observe its history objectively,” she added. /Aksam/[06] EU OFFICIALS DECRY FRENCH PASSAGE OF BILL

    Krisztina Nagy, spokesperson for European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, yesterday predicted a just-passed French bill on an Armenian “genocide” would deal a heavy blow to Turkish-Armenian relations, adding, “It is not up to law to write history.” In a letter published in French daily Liberation, Commissioner Rehn said, “Let’s not kill the dialogue with Turkey,” and warned that the approving the bill could lead to disaster. Liberal MEP Andrew Duff said, “France has rejected freedom of expression. It’s a black day for France.” Turkey-European Union Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk stated that the French Parliament had made a foolish decision and was not acting European. “Turkey should be calm and even-tempered," said European Parliament Rapporteur on Turkey Camiel Eurlings. "It shouldn’t fall into the trap of those who don’t want Turkey in the EU.” /Hurriyet-Star/[07] BABACAN CRITICIZES PASSAGE OF ARMENIAN BILL

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan, in Brussels for European Union meetings, yesterday criticized the French Parliament's passage of the Armenian bill, saying that the parliaments can’t judge the events of the past. “Turkey is deeply disappointed by the bill's passage,” added Babacan. /Sabah/[08] OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERS CRITICIZE FRENCH PARLIAMENT’S APPROVAL OF ‘GENOCIDE’ BILL

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday expressed his regret over the French bill making it a crime to question Armenian genocide claims, adding, “No law can hold history a prisoner. I strongly condemn the French Parliament’s decision.” True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said, “Members of the French Parliament have condemned themselves to be cursed before France, the European Union and international public opinion.” Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer said that France had sullied itself by approving the bill. Meanwhile, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) head Kemal Devis, a former Turkish economy minister, said that the bill shows a double standard. /Cumhuriyet/

    Appearing on television yesterday, France’s Ambassador to Ankara Paul Poudade commented on the French Parliament’s passage of the Armenian bill, saying that French-Turkish relation could be hurt by the decision. Poudade pointed out that the bill was passed by the lower house of Parliament, but had not yet become a law. “Accepting the so-called Armenian genocide claims is not a precondition for Turkey’s European Union membership bid,” said Poudade, adding that dialogue between the sides on the issue should be should be improved. /Milliyet/[09] TURKISH TROOPS LEAVE FOR LEBANON

    A farewell ceremony was held yesterday in Ankara for some 260 soldiers and civilians, accompanied by 46 vehicles, to be sent to Lebanon to take part in United Nations peacekeeping forces there. The group will travel to Lebanon tomorrow following another ceremony at Mersin Harbor. /Star/[10] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS…[00] WHO WILL LOSE WITH THIS LAW? MEHMET ALI BRAND (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)

    An excerpt from Mehmet Ali Brand’s column in today’s Turkish Daily News is as follows:

    "Who will benefit and who will lose if this bill becomes law?

    The only one benefiting from this law will be the Armenian diaspora. This way, they will be able to point to France to try to persuade other European Union countries and the United States to do the same. The French Parliament's decision will be seen as a symbol. They will pressure the world to accept the Armenian genocide as a fact.

    One country that will be harmed is France. It will lose any credibility or influence it has over Turkey. Political relations will probably be suspended. French economic interests will also suffer. Many Turkish state tenders that may have gone to French companies will be given to others.

    The biggest damage will be suffered by Armenia.

    The Turkish public's attitude against the genocide claim will become tougher, and any possibility of a formula for an agreement will be gone.

    The opening of the Turkey-Armenia border will be postponed indefinitely.

    Any efforts to establish dialogue between Armenia and Turkey will be suspended.

    Turkey will be hurt, too. France's stance on matters of interest to Turkey will be negative. French tourists will probably choose another country to spend their holidays in.”[11] GENOCIDE OF FREEDOM OF THOUGHT BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on the bill on the so-called Armenian genocide which was passed in France yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The French Parliament didn’t surprise anyone. The bill deeming it a crime to reject the so-called Armenian genocide was passed by a vote of 106-19. France was recorded in the history books as a country which enacts a law over history and which even puts history on trial. I offer my condolences to freedom of thought. Firstly, decisions were made on claims on the so- called Armenian genocide. Parliaments of various countries decided that a genocide was carried out against Armenians in 1915. Then articles condemning those who allegedly did this were added. Then new laws replaced these decisions. Laws emphasized that the successors of the Ottomans -- in other words, Turks -- should apologize to Armenians. Now we’ve reached a point when it’s a crime to even discuss the genocide with France. France previously enacted a law indicating that the Jewish people had suffered from the Holocaust during World War II and that it was a crime to deny it. The genocide against the Jews is proven through documents. However, there’s neither a court decision nor a conclusion agreed on by the lawyers about what happened in 1915. Yesterday France committed genocide against freedom of thought.

    We can summarize the actual state of the issue this way. If we ask history how relations between the French and Armenians were during and just before World War I, I think it will start with the fact that the French people made Armenians wear their uniforms and ordered them to wage war on their behalf of them, and that the Armenians did everything to get the things they were promised. In this sense, maybe France is apologizing to the Armenians! I also wonder if France is laying the basis so Turkey can be cut off from the West completely. Of course, they know that such a law will be greatly criticized in Turkey. What’s more, this law might create a basis for debate when it has to be applied it in the future. Considering France as a whole with its stance and steps in recent years, France is getting smaller in every sense!

    So what are we going to do? Normally, we respond only when the Armenian claims hurt us very much. For example, we learned back in May that France might enact this law. Back then, there was some criticism but the French Parliament adopted the view that the bill would be debated and then voted on. Then it was debated and the date for the vote was set nearly three weeks ago. However, Turkey raised its voice only at the last moment. We need a longer roadmap and we should assume that this disease might spread outside France. The issue should be evaluated supra-governmentally, and we should look for a possible way out.”[12] NOBEL PRIDE BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on writer Orhan Pamuk winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Now Turkey also has a writer who has won the Nobel Prize. The 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature was given to Orhan Pamuk. This is a huge success for a novelist. This is the product of his work over 30 years. His books have been translated into 30 languages. Some of them are: ‘Mr. Cevdet and His Sons,’ ‘The Black Book,’ ‘The Silent House,’ ‘My Name is Red,’ ‘Snow’ and ‘Istanbul: Memories and the City.’ With his internationally known works, Pamuk deserves this prize. Pamuk is an intellectual who has a peaceful stance on issues like the Armenian and Kurdish questions. He was also the target of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Some even said it was Pamuk who brought the trouble about Article 301 to Turkey, but Pamuk won the Nobel Prize. In the '80s Yasar Kemal came close to winning the award. The Swedish Academy interpreted this as follows: ‘Pamuk has created new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.’ Pamuk is liked because he works on characters in issues such as the past vs. the present, East vs. West and secularism vs. Islam.

    Last year when he won the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, he said that an author also has a function in transforming the concept of the ‘other,’ the ‘foreigner’ and the ‘enemy’ in people’s minds. He pointed out that we lack a German writer who considers what the Turks in Germany have lived through, and added: ‘I also feel that there is also a need for a Turkish writer who can imagine the dark side of history and the Kurds and minorities.’ Thank you, Orhan Pamuk. Turkey is proud of you.”


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