|Saturday, 18 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-01
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
01.05.2007FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 IN ANKARA, AFGHAN AND PAKISTANI LEADERS RESOLVE TO MEND FENCESMeeting in Ankara yesterday, the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan signaled a move to defuse tensions over anti-terror efforts through issuing a declaration. The declaration said, "The two presidents agreed to deny sanctuary, training and financing to terrorists and to elements involved in subversive and anti-state activities in each other's country and to initiate immediate action on specific intelligence exchanges in this regard." President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended the meeting between President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. /Star/
 CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DUE TO RULE ON CHP'S REQUEST TO ANNUL FIRST ROUND OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONThe Constitutional Court is due to issue a decision today on an application by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to annul last week's first round of voting in the presidential election. The CHP argued that the vote was invalid since there were not 367 deputies present. A report on the case is said to have been distributed to the Court's members and also handed to the Court's chief justice, Tulay Tugcu. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: "WHAT WE NEED MOST IS UNITY AND SOLIDARITY"Addressing the nation on television yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on recent developments, saying that what Turkey needs most now is unity and solidarity. "If we see each other with love, which is our greatest asset, we can overcome many things," said Erdogan. "Turkey is growing and developing with stability. Instead of hurting this atmosphere of stability, let's try to keep the atmosphere of tranquility which we have managed to achieve through our efforts." Stressing that people were benefiting from Turkey's general economic growth, Erdogan added that there was no need to cite the particulars of this positive trend. /Turkiye/
 INTERNATIONAL ACTORS WEIGH IN ON RALLY, CONTROVERSY OVER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROCESSIn the wake of a massive pro-secularist weekend rally and a court challenge to last week's first round of the presidential election, European and American officials yesterday commented on the developing situation. "We trust that Turkey's democratic institutions and constitutional process can solve all issues which may emerge during the presidential election," said Sean McCormack, US assistant secretary of state for public affairs. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said, "Civil society, which doesn't want to be defeated by Islamism, reacted to defend the heritage of secularism in modern Turkish history." Joost Lagendijk, co-chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission, called the rally "impressive," adding, "All politicians should understand and hear its message." European Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger told a press conference, "Democracy in Turkey should be left to the government, which was elected through democratic means. Secular democracy is of great value for the European Union. The Constitutional Court should take its decision with full independence, without being influenced by external impositions." French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy declined to comment, but Terry Davis, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said that the statement released by the Chief of General Staff on Friday seemed a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election process. /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: "IF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES AGAINST US, THIS COULD LEAD TO A VERY DANGEROUS CONFLICT"Speaking at a press conference yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that if the Constitutional Court decides that no quorum of 367 deputies is needed for the presidential election, this could put Turkey at risk of entering a dangerous conflict. Saying that Turkey faces a significant crisis, Baykal added that the nation would be relieved if the court rules in favor of the quorum. "The process which will begin after this is a new [general] election process," said Baykal. "It's clear now that the current Parliament can't elect the president." /Aksam/
 MUMCU: "PARLIAMENT SHOULD KEEP THE INITIATIVE"Opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu yesterday said that Friday's statement by the Chief of General Staff gave the impression that there is a shadow of military guardianship hanging over Turkish democracy, adding, "Turkish democracy should dispel this impression. What should be done today is to keep the initiative in Parliament." In related news, opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar reacted harshly to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal's remarks on the Constitutional Court, saying, "The main opposition is trying to benefit from this tension. Today's situation is nothing that anyone with common sense would want. Policy requires compromise and concerted action." Meanwhile, after resigning from the CHP, Hatay Deputy Inal Batu yesterday joined its opposition rival DYP. /Turkiye/
 BABACAN: "TURKISH DEMOCRATIZATION HAS MADE GREAT STRIDES"Appearing on television yesterday, State Minister for the Economy and Turkey's chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan said that Turkey had made great progress in democratization, adding, however, that the economy could face problems if Turkey deviates from this goal. Stressing that economic indicators can be affected by both foreign and domestic developments, Babacan said that the important thing is that the economy shouldn't be hurt. "The main determinant of our economy in the long term is the healthy operation of democracy," said Babacan. /Milliyet/
 SABANCI: "THE ELECTION PROCESS IS CONTINUING UNDER THE CONSTITUTION"Commenting on the controversy over the current presidential election process, Sabanci Holding Chairwoman Guler Sabanci yesterday downplayed concerns, saying that procedures were continuing as laid out in the Constitution. Saying that the Constitutional Court would soon issue a decision on the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) request that the first round of the election be annulled, she added that this ruling would determine if the next general elections are held months from now or just weeks. Also commenting on a massive pro-secularist rally held in Istanbul over the weekend, Sabanci said that she was proud of the demonstration, adding that she especially welcomed women's participation in it. /Sabah/
 HISARCIKLIOGLU: "WE DON'T EXPECT ANY PROBLEMS IN THE MARKETS"Speaking after a meeting of non-governmental organizations yesterday, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that they didn't expect any problems in the markets due to recent developments. "The situation is sensitive, but we're expecting things to become normal," added Hisarciklioglu. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NO NEED FOR FEAR, PEOPLE WILL TAKE OVER THE WATCH ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Orhan Birgit comments on recent developments in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Speaking for the government concerning the General Staff's declaration last Friday, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that issuing the declaration in such a contentious atmosphere would be seen as an attempt to affect the top court's decision on last week's first round of the presidential election.
Similar accusations have also been made through the Justice and Development Party (AKP) front by certain journalists and people with scholarly titles, aimed at carrying out a campaign of disinformation on the Constitutional Court. Some have said that the top court's ruling on whether a quorum of 367 is needed would constitute interfering in the will of Parliament, the representative of the nation's sovereignty.
Unfortunately, a similar comment was also made by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal during a press conference yesterday. Baykal claimed that if the top court rules no quorum is needed, this would deepen the current conflict. This statement didn't suit Baykal, who has a law decree.
Not only the ruling party, but also the CHP leader should take a lesson from Constitutional Court Chief Justice Tulay Tugcu's recent statement that the top court decides only in line with the Constitution and legal procedures.
To those who imply that the top court can be swayed or that its ruling could be a catalyst for conflict, I say this: Cannot the members of the top court, who decide only on behalf of the nation by taking into consideration legal procedures, when necessary, show the courage of others' courage who firmly decried the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) declaration?
Or, what logic lies in predicting the sentence of the court prematurely just by considering the justices' appointment by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer or his late predecessor Turgut Ozal?
The first warnings saying a quorum 367 deputies is needed in sessions to elect the president were made last December. Since then, debate over the matter has been continuing.
Parliament couldn't meet that number. In addition, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc's stance ignoring the legal warnings exacerbated the tension.
The military intervention of May 27, 1960 happened against the stance of the ruling Democrat Party (DP), which saw itself capable of enacting all laws and making all decisions on behalf of the nation, as it had the majority in Parliament then.
If Turkey had had a Constitutional Court back then, the ruling DP's attempt to establish an order under an 'Investigation Commission' could have been headed off through legal means without any public harm.
Today's politicians should appreciate the value of having a guarantee of the Constitutional Court.
They know the importance not only of the existence of such a court but also of being a citizen of the same country along with the millions of others resolved to protect democracy, secularism and the republic at the same time.
If millions of people are showing their determination to protect these ideals by gathering en masse in squares, Ataturk's republic is on track and the future of the nation is bright.
In line with my 50 years of political experience, this is how I see the recent rallies, especially those in Ankara's Tandogan and Istanbul's Caglayan.
Just so, the desire of people who flocked to the squares to join political forces during the elections can be well understood by all politicians who say they strongly believe in the republic."
 CAN DEMOCRACIES RUN OUT OF SOLUTIONS?BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)
Columnist Ilter Turkmen comments on recent political developments in Turkey, including last week's first round of the presidential election and statement by the General Staff. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We have a saying: Democracies never run out of solutions. We often cite it, but many times we have seen solutions run out. And we have paid a heavy price whenever we became helpless. Let's take a look at recent history. We see that Turkey has faced a bumpy road since 1983, that political crisis has never been lacking, that we've overcome some of the difficulties we encountered in the democratic system but had to resort to means inconsistent with the ongoing system for all these years just in order to continue our system. On the other hand, throughout all these years the cutthroat struggle between the ruling and the opposition parties has stymied a common will aiming at protecting democracy. We can't deny the role of this phenomenon in the current dangerous deadlock.
Clearly, everyone made has miscalculations over the presidential election. After giving the impression that a candidate whose wife doesn't wear a headscarf would be elected president and then picking Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as the ruling party's candidate at the insistence of Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, the prime minister should have realized that this would trigger protests. On the other hand, the General Staff would have done better to voice its concerns behind closed doors when Gul's candidacy was announced, just before the first round. If this private declaration produced nothing, then it could have issued a statement later. It's always difficult to settle a conflict which has gone public through one side retreating. One way to overcome this crisis would be the Constitutional Court ruling that 367 deputies are needed to vote for president in the first round. Should it rule this way, general elections will immediately be triggered, as the presidential election couldn't continue. However, such a decision would lead to claims that it was made under the pressure of the General Staff's statement. Law would be sacrificed to politics, and the Constitutional Court would be gravely injured. Another way would be Gul's withdrawing his candidacy. But of course no one can urge him to do so, as his running is in full compliance with the Constitution.
Seeing a way out this crisis is quite difficult. Can't President Ahmet Necdet Sezer try to find a compromise?"
Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article