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Turkish Press Review, 07-01-09

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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

09.01.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER ARRIVES IN ITALY
  • [02] PM ERDOGAN: "DEBATES OVER MAY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ARE VIRTUAL"
  • [03] FM GUL SEEKS MEETING WITH RICE
  • [04] CICEK: "TURKEY HASN'T GOTTEN THE SUPPORT IT NEEDS TO FIGHT TERRORISM"
  • [05] EGYPTIAN FM TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [06] TUZMEN: "TURKEY TARGETS $100 BLN IN EXPORTS IN 2007"
  • [07] THE STORY OF A BRIDGE

  • [01] SEZER ARRIVES IN ITALY

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer arrived in Italy yesterday. Italian Transportation Minister Alessandro Bianchi welcomed Sezer, accompanied by Turkish Presidential Secretary General Kemal Nehrozoglu, at Rome's Ciampino military airport. Sezer attended a dinner hosted by Turkish Ambassador in Rome Ugur Ziyal, and is set to start his formal meetings today. Sezer and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano will lead the meetings between Turkish and Italian delegations, and later will hold a joint news conference. /Milliyet/

    [02] PM ERDOGAN: "DEBATES OVER MAY'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ARE VIRTUAL"

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a meeting of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM). Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen, chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, Industry and Commerce Minister Ali Coskun, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker also attended the meeting held at Ankara's Sheraton hotel. Taking the floor at the meeting, Erdogan said that he was also very proud of advances in Turkey's exports parallel to democratic reforms and growth. He said that they broke a record on exports last year with a total of $85 billion and that this success would also continue in the future. Also touching on May's presidential election, Erdogan described the debates over the election as "virtual." Stating that the presidential election process would start in April, Erdogan – a likely candidate -- added, "Each party will take necessary steps when the process starts. Work on the election will be conducted in April by the Parliament. Parliament will be on recess in July, and afterwards the general election campaign will start." General elections are set for November. Erdogan also said that he had spoken to Special Envoy for countering terrorism Edip Baser and will continue to do so and that abolishing the post was out of the question. /Turkiye/

    [03] FM GUL SEEKS MEETING WITH RICE

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is planning a visit to the US next month. The terrorist PKK and the Armenian issue will be up for discussion during his visit. Gul is also expecting an appointment from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Gul will reportedly tell Rice about Ankara's concerns on recent developments in Iraq and the referendum set for late this year in Kirkuk. /Sabah/

    [04] CICEK: "TURKEY HASN'T GOTTEN THE SUPPORT IT NEEDS TO FIGHT TERRORISM"

    Turkey hasn't gotten the support it needs from other countries in the fight against terrorism, government spokesman Cemil Cicek told reporters after the Cabinet meeting yesterday. Justice Minister Cicek said that retired Gen. Edip Baser remains Turkey's special representative for countering terrorism. "A single person or a single measure cannot suffice in the fight against terrorism," he added. "This issue always tops Turkey's agenda." /Turkiye/

    [05] EGYPTIAN FM TO VISIT TURKEY

    Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit will come to Ankara today for a three-day official visit. Gheit is expected to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Talks between Gheit and Turkish officials will center on bilateral issues as well as regional and international matters, including Iraq, the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] TUZMEN: "TURKEY TARGETS $100 BLN IN EXPORTS IN 2007"

    Turkey is targeting exports of $100 billion in 2007, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen said yesterday. Taking the floor at the opening of a Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) meeting, Tuzmen said that Turkey's economic growth has continued for 19 quarters without interruption. Tuzmen said that he expected imports to reach $135 billion in 2006 and predicted the trade deficit would be 22% at the end of 2006 (compared to 22.8% at end- 2005). "Turkey has reached such a level in exports that it now sells over 20,000 different goods to more than 200 countries," he said. Tuzmen predicted a serious improvement in that ratio in 2007, due to a slowdown in domestic demand and an anticipated easing of energy prices. /The New Anatolian/

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

    [07] THE STORY OF A BRIDGE

    BY ERDAL SAFAK (SABAH)

    Columnist Erdal Safak comments on the issue of demolishing Lokmaci Bridge, which is located between the two sides on Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Lokmaci Bridge in Lefkosa, located between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, is now swarming with foreign and domestic journalists. All the reporters ask everybody who crosses the bridge if it will be demolished or not. If things go on this way, Lokmaci will be more famous than the Kwai Bridge. Lokmaci is an important issue but there are certain odd details about it. During the Christmas massacre of 1963, Turkish Cypriots established a barrier in the area which today is called the Green Line. The barrier, which took its name from a local Armenian seller of Lokma cakes, was protected by Turkish security officers until the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation. Afterwards, it was transferred to the responsibility of the armed forces. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriots established their own barriers and thus a bilateral separation emerged.

    Although the peace and unification plan prepared by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in an April 2004 referendum, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat, who has continued the TRNC's policy of opening up barriers, removed the Lokmaci Bridge as a gesture at the end of 2005. However, there was a problem. The region was both a shopping area and a military zone. In other words, people were shopping there, while there were armed patrols. This situation was scaring Greek Cypriots who went to the Turkish side to shop. The solution was to build a bridge so civilians could pass on the upper level and soldiers below. This idea was quickly implemented thanks to funds provided by the Turkish Embassy's Aid Foundation. Small shop owners enjoyed this situation like a festival.

    Then, as part of solution policies, Talat decided to dismantle Lokmaci Bridge in order to open a new passage between the two sides and end Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos' complaints that Turks were disturbing the buffer zone. The UN, US and EU applauded this decision. The EU even wanted to pay for the dismantling and promised to give 100 euros for this. Again small shop owners welcomed the decision. In sum, Lokmaci Gate was established with Turkish Republic funds and it will be destroyed with EU funds. Shop owners celebrated while it was being established and destroyed. Papadopoulos first expressed his approval and then said that if it is destroyed, he would remove their barrier. However, when Greek Cypriot shop owners said that the Turkish side was cheaper, he changed his mind and made the situation more difficult by saying that the soldiers in the area should withdraw, mines and dangerous substances should be cleared, buildings on both sides should be repaired, and door front symbols of the ‘so-called' Turkish state should be removed. After he laid down these conditions, Greek Cypriot shop owners started to celebrate. In other words, Turkish shop owners are happy that Lokmaci Bridge will be removed and Greek Cypriot shop owners are glad that their own barriers aren't being destroyed. The current situation is this. Work to remove Lokmaci Bridge will start today. However, no new gate will be opened. Is this situation at all understandable?"


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