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Turkish Press Review, 07-01-26

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

26.01.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN HOSTS EU AMBASSADORS, ATTENDS SPK MEETING
  • [02] ISMAIL CEM'S FUNERAL SET FOR TODAY
  • [03] GONUL VISITS THE US FOR F-35 PROJECT
  • [04] US AMBASSADOR WILSON: "TURKEY SHOULD COOPERATE WITH THE KURDISH ADMINISTRATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ"
  • [05] TURKEY TO SEND $20 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL AID TO LEBANON
  • [06] BABACAN: "RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE DOESN'T RISK INFLATION"
  • [07] YALCINDAG ELECTED TUSIAD'S FIRST WOMAN CHAIR
  • [08] ISMAIL CEM AND THE ROAD AHEAD

  • [01] ERDOGAN HOSTS EU AMBASSADORS, ATTENDS SPK MEETING

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last night hosted a dinner for European Union member states' ambassadors in Ankara. Speaking to the diplomats, Erdogan said that he believed that during its term presidency, Germany, like its predecessor Finland, would do its best to further develop relations between Turkey and the bloc. The premier reiterated that Ankara would continue its reforms to raise the standards of living of the Turkish people, adding that the Cyprus issue should not be linked to the ongoing process. Also addressing the gathering, German Ambassador Eckart Cuntz said that Erdogan had come together for the first time with representatives of the EU from 27 countries with a total population of 500 million, including new members Bulgaria and Romania. He stated that although there were certain outstanding issues, a "train crash" had been prevented and the Union would be pleased to continue talks with Turkey. In addition, yesterday Erdogan attended a meeting of the Capital Markets Board (SPK) in Ankara. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan touted the achievements of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government during its rule. Stressing that they would continue efforts to ensure ongoing progress and bring down inflation, the premier said that the country had a stronger and healthier economic structure than in previous years. /Turkiye/

    [02] ISMAIL CEM'S FUNERAL SET FOR TODAY

    Former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who died on Wednesday at the age of 67, will be laid to rest today in Istanbul after a state ceremony. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and several state ministers are expected to attend the funeral. Furthermore, former Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Deputy Foreign Minister Kassimis are expected to represent Athens in bidding farewell to Cem, the architect of Turkish-Greek rapprochement during the late 1990s. /Milliyet/

    [03] GONUL VISITS THE US FOR F-35 PROJECT

    Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul arrived in Washington yesterday for talks with US officials on an F-35 project and other matters. Gonul signed the F-35's memorandum of understanding with Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. He is expected to meet with his US counterpart Robert Gates today at the Pentagon during a lunch. Turkey expects to obtain a work share worth more than $5 billion for its local defense industry for the manufacture of the US-led, next generation F-35 fighter aircraft, offsetting nearly half of the program's planned $11 billion cost for Ankara. In addition, Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35s over the next 15 to 20 years. /Turkiye/

    [04] US AMBASSADOR WILSON: "TURKEY SHOULD COOPERATE WITH THE KURDISH ADMINISTRATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ"

    Speaking at a panel entitled "US and Turkey: Democratic Partners of 2007" organized by the Eurasia Strategic Research Center (ASAM), US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson yesterday spoke on the US, Turkey and Iraq. "So what do we do now?" he asked. "We believe that the US-Turkish alliance and Turkish- Iraqi friendship and partnership are a means to address the [terrorist] PKK problem collaboratively. We believe that successful work in this way would not just relieve frustrations or set the PKK back a few years, but would fundamentally end the problem, or at least its international aspects in the region. This requires a combination of tough measures against PKK terrorists; stopping the financial and other support that comes to the PKK from its criminal networks in Europe; and cooperative actions by Turkey and Iraq, including the Kurdistan regional government authorities in the north, to better secure the border… We are listening to Turkey on this issue. We agree Kirkuk is sensitive; many in Iraq think so, too. We also believe that no outside power, including the United States, should dictate to the Iraqis how to deal with their internal issues." /Hurriyet/

    [05] TURKEY TO SEND $20 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL AID TO LEBANON

    The Third International Donors Conference for the reconstruction of Lebanon organized by France with 40 countries and 14 international organizations in attendance was held in Paris yesterday. At the gathering, aid pledges for Lebanon reached a total of $7.6 billion. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, representing Ankara at the conference, said that Turkey would extend $20 million in additional aid to Lebanon. Gul said that Ankara had previously sent $30 million to Lebanon and that the new aid will be allocated for Lebanon's social and economic development. Reiterating that Turkey attaches importance to the stability, territorial integrity and independence of Lebanon, Gul called for peaceful solutions in the country, saying that all groups in Lebanon should steer clear of provocations. /Turkiye/

    [06] BABACAN: "RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE DOESN'T RISK INFLATION"

    Speaking to news channel CNBC-e in Davos, Switzerland, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that raising the minimum wage has no effect on inflation on the economy's demand side but could affect the supply side since boosting wages would cost industrialists. Pointing to the experience of past years, Babacan said, "You may remember that although we raised the minimum wage 34 percent in 2005, inflation remained below the target. Last year the minimum wage rose 8.5%, and inflation was 9.65%. Because of this, we borrowed some 1.5 points of inflation from the previous year. So wage increases for this year can be accepted as the inflation difference from last year." He said that the Central Bank wouldn't want any hike in the minimum wage, noting that it had to evaluate the subject from all sides. He also emphasized that both the Central Bank and the government were carefully following inflation developments. /Star/

    [07] YALCINDAG ELECTED TUSIAD'S FIRST WOMAN CHAIR

    At the 37th General Assembly of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) held in Istanbul yesterday, Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag was elected the new chair of the influential business group. As the first woman to head the association since its foundation, Yalcindag said that it was an honor to be chosen and that being the first female chair adds to the responsibilities of the position. She stated that TUSIAD has always been a pioneer in Turkey. Yalcindag also pointed to the need for increased representation of women nationally for Turkey to rise to a desired level. /The New Anatolian/

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

    [08] ISMAIL CEM AND THE ROAD AHEAD

    Columnist Hikmet Bila comments on former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian origin, both recently deceased. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "How many politicians deserve such high praise? Have you noticed what everybody's been saying after the passing of former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem? Everybody said he was a gentlemanly politician. In President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's words, ‘His versatile personality, conciliatory attitude and democratic stance won the nation's appreciation and respect.' When the work of the journalist, author, reader, broadcaster, photographer, and administrator were fused with delicacy, love and respect, Cem was born. Cem lived and died without compromising from these qualities. I believe that the seed of courtesy and elegance planted by Cem will one day flower.

    People are confused in the Turkey Cem left behind. The country of people who want to develop is being pulled in all directions. Maybe you've seen on nature TV shows how hyenas attack an injured lion. As he tries to fend off an attack on his head, another hyena bites his tail. Then when he turns around to ward this off, another one bites him on the stomach. When he tries to claw one, another attacks his neck. And so it goes. Turkey has two large tendencies, that is, getting along well with both the US and the European Union. It has established its commerce, politics and strategy on the basis of cooperation with these two powers for at least 60 years. Now let's see where we've gotten to in these 60 years. The EU has suspended its membership talks with Turkey and it wants Cyprus. The US supports the armed or political terrorism targeting Turkey and puts sacks on Turkish soldiers' heads [the July 2003 Sulaimaniyah incident], its allies of 60 years. According to surveys, fewer than 50% of the Turkish people support the EU and nine out of 10 Turks don't like the US. So what's interesting is that relations built over six decades have lost ground over the last few years. It's terrifying to even think how such a big change in such a short period of time can change the fate of a country.

    Let's not forget the funeral of Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish journalist of Armenian descent. What was the meaning of tens of thousands of people marching in unison to his funeral? Was it only the expression of the wish to live on this territory in fellowship without any ethnic discrimination? Why was the word ‘peace' stressed after Dink was killed? There was no war between Turks and Armenians living in Turkey. Don't you think that that act of coming together was the show of a deep instinct against larger fears?"


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