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Turkish Press Review, 06-12-29

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

29.12.2006

  • [00] NSC DISCUSSES TURKEY'S EU BID, CYPRUS The National Security Council (MGK) yesterday convened under the chairmanship of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The council discussed a number of issues, including Turkey's European Union membership bid and Cyprus. It was stated at the meeting that the EU making the Cyprus issue an obstacle to Turkey's membership process was unacceptable. A statement issued afterwards stressed that Ankara expected the EU not to put forward any criteria for Turkey which it hadn't also asked of other candidate states. "The EU sharing this understanding with us is a sine qua non for the continuation of our accession talks," added the declaration. /Hurriyet/

    CONTENTS

  • [00]
  • [01] PRESIDENT APPROVES 2007 BUDGET
  • [02] ARINC: "184 DEPUTIES WILL MEET THE QUORUM TO ELECT THE NEXT PRESIDENT"
  • [03] GREEK PM EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EU BID
  • [04] BABACAN SAYS ELECTION DISPUTES HURT THE ECONOMY
  • [05] REHN: "A TRAIN CRASH IN TURKISH-EU TALKS HAS BEEN AVOIDED"
  • [06] VATICAN: "TURKEY IS A BRIDGE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST"
  • [07] NEW DIMENSION OF THE CRISIS
  • [08] TO OUR READERS

  • [01] PRESIDENT APPROVES 2007 BUDGET

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday signed the 2007 Fiscal Budget Law. Meanwhile, in the wake of a hectic schedule of debates for next year's budget, Parliament began an 11-day holiday for the Feast of the Sacrifice. The deputies will resume work on Tuesday, Jan. 9. /Turkiye/

    [02] ARINC: "184 DEPUTIES WILL MEET THE QUORUM TO ELECT THE NEXT PRESIDENT"

    Commenting on recent disputes regarding next May's presidential election, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday denied claims that Parliament needed a quorum of 367 deputies to convene for the election. He stressed that 184 deputies would fulfill the quorum for a Parliament session to elect the president, and that whichever candidate gets 276 votes would be the new president. Arinc stated that certain circles have objected to Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan possibly running for president and have sought various alternatives to prevent that. "Their justifications are running out, " said Arinc. On the other hand, two opposition parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), announced yesterday that their deputies would boycott the Parliament session on masse if Erdogan seeks the presidency. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [03] GREEK PM EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EU BID

    Speaking to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday, Grek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said that Greece supported Turkey's European Union perspective, adding that there were persuasive reasons for this. "An EU member Turkey would benefit everyone," said Karamanlis. "If Turkey fulfills its obligations to the EU, then the final result should be full membership. I emphasize this because some circles in the Union make complex comments about Turkey's situation after it carries out its all responsibilities." Asked if Turkey was being "rewarded" by the suspension of eight of its accession chapters, Karamanlis said that it wasn't. "Turkey is under control," added Karamanlis. /Milliyet/

    [04] BABACAN SAYS ELECTION DISPUTES HURT THE ECONOMY

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that arguments over next year's elections were hurting the economy, adding that foreign investors were surprised by these disputes. "Things will be better for us next year, not worse," said Babacan, adding that some people were trying to cast a shadow over Turkey's economic successes. "These approaches are incompatible with patriotism," said Babacan. "Our economic successes have been hailed by the whole world, but are still being criticized. Political and ideological goals are behind this." /Aksam/

    [05] REHN: "A TRAIN CRASH IN TURKISH-EU TALKS HAS BEEN AVOIDED"

    European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday stated that a possible "train crash" in Turkish-European Union negotiations had been avoided. In a guest column published in Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, Rehn indicated that the EU's door was open to southeastern European countries, including Turkey. Commenting on Finland's EU Term Presidency in his article, Rehn said, "The EU foreign ministers, led by their Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja, have taken a decision on how to carry forward the negotiations with Turkey, and a train crash has been avoided so far." /The New Anatolian/

    [06] VATICAN: "TURKEY IS A BRIDGE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST"

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said yesterday that Turkey was a bridge between the East and the West. Speaking to La Documentation Catholique magazine, Bertone said that Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his recent visit to Turkey would be a good reference for Turks to use during their European Union accession process. "Turkey has been a partner of Europe for a long time," said the cardinal. "Helping Turkey serves Europe's own interests." /Star/

    FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [07] NEW DIMENSION OF THE CRISIS

    Columnist M. Ali Kislali comments on terrorist PKK head Abdullah Ocalan and the stance of Turkey, EU and US on the issue of terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Inmate PKK head Abdullah Ocalan's remarks from Imrali island through his lawyers, whom he can meet with comfortably, add a new dimension to the crisis in the country. According to ace Cumhuriyet reporter Mehmet Faraç who follows these issues closely, Ocalan says that he can't be manipulated through small concessions, much like Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman, who is in prison in Peru. Ocalan said that he wanted Turkey to benefit from him, but not as simply as it is now. He also said that he had called for a ‘democratic solution' and repeated his threat that he would unleash the terrorist group if the developments that he expects don't take place. I tried to understand how Ocalan could convey this threat from prison to the public. Even experts who have fulfilled the most important duties of attorneys can't explain it. However, Ocalan has certain approaches that his Peruvian counterpart lacks. He's controlling his group from prison and nobody can explain how he can do it in the penal system. Saddam Hussein can only call on Iraqi society to unite through his lawyers. However, Ocalan is ushering in a new era with his threats about what the group will do if his formula isn't accepted. He also explained the dimension of the contribution that he'll make to their struggle in northern Iraq and threatened Turkey with ‘40 million Kurds.'

    People concerned with the issue and officials must be following and evaluating the campaign from Imrali. However, members of the media aren't told about all this. According to what we've been told up to now, the terrorist group, which is carrying out an armed conflict in order to shape Turkey's democratic structure according to his own wishes, has established a headquarters in the territory of one of our neighboring countries. When members of the group find it appropriate, they enter our territory, kill our soldiers and return to the headquarters. Certain books examining this issue say that terror won't stop unless this foreign support is ended. However, Turkey can explain its problem neither to Kurdish groups there, nor to the US which controls them. The people responsible for the fight against PKK, consisting of two retired Turkish and US generals, are waiting for a conclusion. Now, everybody knows the US' situation in Iraq. So nobody should expect something from the US which might disturb the Kurds. In addition, people are curious about what these two retired generals have done and will do. If you follow the various dimensions of developments and efforts on the issue, you can see that the US is applying to European Union members, as it is helpless to aid Turkey. Moreover, another important issue is that the EU avoids taking even the smallest measures against the PKK, even though the PKK is on its official list of terrorist groups. While Turkey's rulers are waiting for help from the US and the EU, our society is feeling comfortable, thinking that real owners of this struggle will do what is necessary at the right time."

    END

    [08] TO OUR READERS

    In observance of the Feast of the Sacrifice holiday, there will be no Turkish Press Review next Monday through Wednesday. Please join us again after the New Year, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.
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