|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-07
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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
 GUL WITHDRAWS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACYForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday withdraw his candidacy for the presidency after Parliament failed to convene with 367 deputies, a formality that the Constitutional Court ruled must be fulfilled for a vote to elect a new president. Other than ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, also present at Parliament were independent deputies Suleyman Bolunmez, Hamza Albayrak, Goksal Kucukali, Ummet Kandogan, Fuat Gecen, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Hakkari Deputy Esat Canan, Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Malatya Deputy Mirac Akdogan and True Path Party (DYP) Hatay Deputy Mehmet Eraslan. After meeting with officials from the AKP, Gul told a press conference, "I see it is vain to continue with new rounds of voting. We entrust ourselves to the nation." Early general elections are set for July. Afterwards either a new Parliament will elect a president, or if the Constitution is changed, the choice will go to a popular vote. /All papers/
 CENTER RIGHT UNITES UNDER DEMOCRAT PARTY TITLEThe unification of Turkey's two main center-right parties is a "remarkable achievement" which will undoubtedly serve the nation, said Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu following the signing of a weekend protocol merging the True Path Party (DYP) and ANAVATAN. Speaking after signing the protocol, Mumcu said he hopes the unification will be good for both parties as well as the future of the country. Mumcu added that union of the two parties under the traditional Democrat Party rubric would be a remarkable achievement. DYP leader Mehmet Agar said that his party had decided to merge upon the urging of the nation as believers of a Turkish tradition that calls for brotherhood. Stating that the perception and courage of the nation have come together, Agar claimed that good days would soon come. The two parties will gather their general assemblies, make the necessary modifications to their bylaws and announce the decision for union simultaneously. Mumcu and Agar's co-chairman status will continue until one is chosen to take the helm. /The New Anatolian/
 AGAR SIGNALS OPENNESS TO FURTHER UNITY OF CENTER RIGHTSpeaking to news channel NTV, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that the DYP would warmly welcome parties or people who want to support unity on the center right and that its door are open to those who want to join them. Agar said that they have returned to their roots by merging with the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) and were feeling good about solving an issue which had seemed insoluble. Saying that he got congratulatory phone calls after the merger was announced, Agar added that the DYP's party congress would follow ANAVATAN's. He added that the merger was now set and had not been imposed. /Turkiye/
 MUMCU TOUTS PARTY MERGERSpeaking after news of his party's merger with the True Path Party (DYP), Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu said that now is a time to make space for those who are seeking unity. Speaking to a meeting of his party in Istanbul over the weekend, Mumcu said, "We are adding a new phase and breakthrough to our distinguished past going back to 1983. Our party has changed Turkey." Mumcu added that this process was focused on the future. /Turkiye/
 CHP, DSP LEADERS SIGNAL ELECTION ALLIANCEMeeting on Saturday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer agreed that the DSP would not be closed, but signaled some sort of alliance would be reached for July's elections. After the meeting, Sezer said, "We're determined to join forces and proceed to the elections," adding, "We'll try to solve the technical and legal details which will put the public at ease as soon as possible. I believe that we can get an outcome which the public will take an interest in." Speaking about the meeting, Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) leader Murat Karayalcin said, "I welcome this meeting even though we weren't called," adding, "This was a development which I have desired since the SHP was founded. It's not just like we wanted it, but an important step is being taken... But a unification which doesn't include the SHP isn't a real left." /Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet/
 BAHCELI: "THE MHP IS MOBILIZING FOR ELECTIONS"Speaking in Erzurum over the weekend, Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that the MHP has started to mobilize for July's elections and criticized both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the recent scuttled presidential election. Saying that the MHP is working to save Turkey from a crisis, Bahceli added, "While other parties are looking for ways to unite in order to pass the threshold, we nationalists are getting ready to come to power alone." /Turkiye/
 DANISH EDUCATION MINISTER MEETS WITH CELIKDanish Education Minister Bertel Haader last week toured pilot schools for Turkey's European Union accession and also met with his Turkish counterpart Huseyin Celik. During his last night in Istanbul, Haader said that he respected the secular system in Turkey and that each country has a different secular tradition. Haader said that he had met with Turkish groups in Denmark and that Turkish children there can learn about Islam in school at their families' request. He added that the European Union has made Turkey a candidate country and that it should keep its promise. Haader further stated that the Danish government sees Turkey as a rapidly developing country and that the EU isn't a Christian club where Muslims aren't allowed. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SARKOZY'S FEARBY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
Columnist Semih Idiz comments on France's weekend presidential election and its repercussions in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"When I wrote these lines, the winner of France's presidential election wasn't yet clear. But like many observers, I assume that the right's candidate Nicolas Sarkozy will win. If I'm wrong, this would be a welcome mistake. Firstly, we should know that Sarkozy being elected doesn't signal a success, but rather a failure for France. He represents a rough expression of the French people's basic fears and concerns. European political commentators have already mentioned that among these fears are such elements as Muslim minorities in Europe, migrants and Turkey. But there are bigger problems in the background still.
Things in France aren't like they used to be. It's neither in Europe's vanguard, nor does it know how to maintain the great advantages it provided for its people thanks to the EU. For this reason, Sarkozy will try to do for France what Margret Thatcher did for Britain. Of course, the French people know this pill will be bitter both socially and economically. But they cling to it as their last hope and hope their country will return to its glorious tradition. But the truth is that even this bitter pill won't be able to save France from being ordinary, because the world has changed so much. Instead of keeping up with this world, France has alienated even countries it considered part of its natural cultural backyard. Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika's comment that it doesn't need France because it has friends like the US is the most concrete sign of this.
Followers of the European press know that within the EU, Sarkozy's presidency isn't considered a good development. When I spoke with three EU ambassadors recently and one of them said that Sarkozy was sure to win the elections, I said this means the French people deserve him. Then the ambassador replied, half jokingly and half seriously, yes, but we don't deserve him. It's clear Sarkozy will be unfavorable for Turkey, because his anti-Turkey stance was part of his election campaign. When he was accused of being a supporter of the US, he defended himself by saying that if he were, he wouldn't object to Turkey, which he called the 'apple of the US' eye.' Of course, he is pleased that these remarks encouraged anti- Westernism in Turkey. However, those who look at Sarkozy and say Europe doesn't want us should know that Sarkozy isn't afraid that Anatolian villagers will flock to Europe. Old EU members even started to take measures against new members in this respect. Sarkozy and his compatriots are actually afraid of Turkey as a developing, competitive country, and what's more, one strategically more important than France globally. This development of a country with a Muslim population and its having an equal say with France within the EU is certainly a truth hard to swallow for crypto-fascists."
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