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Turkish Press Review, 06-12-26

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

26.12.2006


CONTENTS

  • [01] NSC TO HOLD YEAR-END MEETING
  • [02] BUYUKANIT ISSUES MESSAGE TO COMMEMORATE MARTYRS OF SARIKAMIS
  • [03] BILMAN TO SUCCEED TAN AS FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN
  • [04] ARINC TO MEET WITH FAMILY OF BEHIC ASCI
  • [05] FINLAND PREPARES NEW CYPRUS PLAN
  • [06] GERMAN FM: "TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP WOULD SERVE THE EU'S INTERESTS"
  • [07] PARLIAMENT PASSES 2007 BUDGET
  • [08] CB HEAD ADDRESSES CONFERENCE
  • [09] THE "GREAT GAME" STARTING IN TURKMENISTAN

  • [01] NSC TO HOLD YEAR-END MEETING

    The National Security Council (NSC) will hold its last meeting of this year on Thursday. Top officials of the NSC are expected to discuss recent developments in Turkish-European Union relations and the fight against terrorism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] BUYUKANIT ISSUES MESSAGE TO COMMEMORATE MARTYRS OF SARIKAMIS

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday issued a message to commemorate the martyrs of Sarikamis 92 years ago, saying that though these heroes had been unable to win a victory against the enemy, they had inscribed the idea of "homeland" in the nation's memory. "The Turkish Republic was established by heroes coming from all over the country under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk," said Buyukanit, adding that as a result of this, Turkey became the leader in its region. /Milliyet/

    [03] BILMAN TO SUCCEED TAN AS FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

    Levent Bilman, 45, until recently deputy director-general of the Northeast Mediterranean Department at the Foreign Ministry, has been appointed the new spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, succeeding Namik Tan. Furthermore, Murat Esenli has been appointed chief advisor to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. /Hurriyet/

    [04] ARINC TO MEET WITH FAMILY OF BEHIC ASCI

    Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc will meet in Istanbul today with representatives of non-governmental organizations and family members of lawyer Behic Asci, who has been on a "death fast" for 265 days to protest conditions in F-type prisons. In addition, a group of lawyers yesterday paid a visit to Parliament and had talks with Parliament Deputy Speaker Ismail Alptekin to seek support on the issue. /Star/

    [05] FINLAND PREPARES NEW CYPRUS PLAN

    Outgoing European Union's Term President Finland has reportedly prepared a new Cyprus plan proposing that Turkey open its ports and airports to Greek Cyprus while the EU would reopen eight suspended chapters of Turkey's accession negotiations. This initiative is reportedly supported by Spain and Italy, but not by the Greek Cypriot administration. Finland's presidency ends on Sunday night. In related news, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis predicted that there would be considerable movement on the Cyprus issue next year. /Aksam/

    [06] GERMAN FM: "TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIP WOULD SERVE THE EU'S INTERESTS"

    The European Union should continue to move closer to Turkey for its own interests, according to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In comments published in today's Berliner Morgenpost, Steinmeier said that accession talks with Turkey should be accelerated. He added that a majority- Muslim, modern Turkey, open to the world, would be an important bridge to merge the cultures of East and West. /Star/

    [07] PARLIAMENT PASSES 2007 BUDGET

    The 2007 budget marathon ended yesterday after heated debates. On the last day of budget debates, the General Assembly voted on and passed next year's budget bill. Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech to the Parliament. Also addressing the deputies, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized both the government and the budget. Baykal also spoke out against Erdogan possibly running for president next May. /Sabah/

    [08] CB HEAD ADDRESSES CONFERENCE

    Speaking at a conference at Hacettepe University yesterday, Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz said that recent developments in Thailand weren't affecting the Turkish economy, adding that the CB wasn't considering clamping down on "hot money." Commenting on inflation, Yilmaz stated that after three decades of high rates, inflation in Turkey was now in the single digits. Also commenting on next year's elections, Yilmaz predicted that there would be no problems in the economy due to next May's presidential election and general elections set for November. /Milliyet/

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

    [09] THE "GREAT GAME" STARTING IN TURKMENISTAN

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the situation in Turkmenistan after President Saparmurat Niyazov's death. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "In the wake of Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov Turkmenbashi's death, will a conflict start in this calm, stable Central Asian country? Will Turkmenistan become an arena of competition and conflict due to certain countries yearning for energy and great actors in the region? Actually these questions indicate that Turkmenistan is entering a period of uncertainty. Turkmenbashi, who led an authoritarian regime for 21 years, lost his life without naming a successor. This situation makes the handover of power harder. The 2,500-member ‘Public Council' will convene in Ashgabat today and determine candidates for presidential elections expected to be held in two months. Actually, the Turkmen nation doesn't have a democratic culture and tradition. Tribal rule is continuing in Turkmenistan. However, as an old communist administrator, Niyazov didn't find it necessary to establish a freer system and sometimes chose a personal (and arbitrary) administration. He was lucky because Turkmenistan's rich energy resources caused all the countries in the world, from Russia to the US and other European countries, to tolerate his regime and pursue the country's natural gas.

    Politically, Turkmenistan has continued its policy of neutrality. Thus, it didn't take sides in the region. Economically, it tried to set the most appropriate price for natural gas. It has established a 25-year connection with Russia at the expense of hurting its friends such as Turkey and Westerners. This situation made the country dependent on Russia economically. However, experts estimate that there are 22.5 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan. In other words, the Turkmen have a great deal of energy to sell to countries other than Russia. Therefore, various projects are in the wings. One of them is the Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey line. This will connect gas to a system which will deliver it to Europe. Finally, there is an Afghan project supported by the US, and this will extend to Southeastern Asia. Now, with Turkmenbashi's withdrawal from the scene, all of these projects and efforts to get a share from Turkmen gas will enter a new era. In this respect, the future of the regime in Ashgabat is very important. In the 19th century, British author Rudyard Kipling wrote about the ‘great game' in Central Asia, in terms of the competition between Britain and Russia. Indeed, the political-military game which is sometimes staged in Central Asia will perhaps be seen in Turkmenistan's energy field."


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