|Friday, 17 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-08
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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
08.05.2007FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 ELECTIONS BOARD REJECTS PROPOSAL FOR JUNE POLLSThe Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) yesterday rejected an application by a minor party to move early general elections forward one month to June. The Young Party (GP) argued that Parliament can't decide to hold early elections while the presidential election period is still ongoing and asked the YSK to change the date for early general elections from July 22 to June 24. Citing Articles 8 and 77 of the Constitution, the YSK rejected the application. Following Sunday's failed vote in Parliament, as it lacked the necessary quorum, the presidential election has been postponed until after July's general elections. /Aksam/
 BAYKAL: "WE'RE WAITING FOR THE DSP TO CLARIFY HOW OUR ALLIANCE WILL WORK"Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said, "While not closing the Democratic Left Party (DSP), we have decided to forge an alliance for the general elections. We're waiting for the DSP to evaluate the discussions with party officials and clarify the situation with proper sense." After a weekend meeting between Baykal and DSP leader Zeki Sezer about an alliance, talks between delegations from both parties have begun. Asked how the parties will take part in July's general elections, Baykal said, "Any kind of formulation can be arranged that is needed for an election coalition, including DSP candidates running under the CHP umbrella." /Cumhuriyet/
 MUMCU FAVORS CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES FOR "MORE DEMOCRACY"Speaking about a package of proposed constitutional changes, opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu yesterday said, "A new system should be introduced, an arrangement to make the system more democratic." Mumcu also denied allegations that his party had had advance knowledge of a recent Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) statement seen as a warning to the government. "Those who had knew about the statement beforehand are sitting there," he claimed, indicating the government's Cabinet ministers. /Star/
 AGAR: "THE TURKISH PEOPLE DON'T WANT TENSION OVER RELIGION AND SECULARISM"Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar yesterday said that his party's unification with the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) was a strong project for coming to power, adding, "Our nation don't want a policy which produces tension. There is no contradiction between the values of the republic and our moral values. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a democratic party for itself." Speaking to Cumhuriyet, Agar said, "The Turkish people don't want tension," adding, "They don't want an atmosphere where the government takes sides within institutions of the state. We won't base our policy on tension between religion and secularism. The Turkish people have no problem with religion or the values of the republic. Bringing this understanding to the government is part of why we merged with ANAVATAN." /Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD: "CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AFTER THE ELECTIONS"The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) yesterday came out against a Constitutional amendment package facing Parliament. In a written statement, the business group criticized the rush to pass the "very radical" proposed changes, saying the public hasn't had a chance to fully consider them. The statement added that it would be better and more proper if the package were taken up by the new Parliament following July's general elections. After agreeing in Parliament to hold elections on July 22, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) last week proposed a constitutional reform package including popular election of the president, who would serve five years rather than seven and for a maximum of two terms. /Milliyet/
 RESIGNATIONS DUE FROM BUREAUCRATS SET TO RUN IN GENERAL ELECTIONSIn line with regulations set by the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) for the general elections scheduled for July 22, civil servants who plan to run for seats in Parliament must step down from their posts by 5:00 p.m. today. Meanwhile, the prime minister appointed new interim ministers, Fahri Kasirga, Osman Gunes and Ismet Yilmaz, for the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Transportation, respectively. Under the Constitution, the heads of these ministries must resign within five days after a date is set for early elections, with replacements appointed from inside or outside Parliament by the premier to serve during the election period. /Turkiye/
 SARKOZY'S PRESIDENTIAL VICTORY WORRIES ANKARANicolas Sarkozy's election as president of France on Sunday is leading Turkey to worry about its European Union membership aspirations as well as Turkish-French bilateral ties. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he respected the French people's choice and expressed his hope for a better stance from Sarkozy towards Turkey than during the recent campaign. Furthermore, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that Turkey was passing through a very sensitive and pivotal period and called on everybody to be patient and cautious. Underlining that Turkey was continuing its accession talks in line with a unanimous decision by the bloc, Rehn urged all EU members to treat Turkey justly. Furthermore, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said that cutting off Turkey's accession talks would be a mistake and that the commission favored continuation of this process. During the campaign, Sarkozy often argued that Turkey "has no place" inside the EU, raising the possibility of a risk to Ankara's decades-long ambition to join the bloc. /Sabah/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 SARKOZY IS BAD NEWS FOR ALL OF US MEHMET ALI BRAND (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)Columnist Mehmet Ali Brand comments on Nicolas Sarkozy's election as president in France. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Sarkozy's victory in the presidential race is bad news, not only for Turkey, but also for both France and Europe. Even if he fulfills only half the promises he made during his campaign, he will further complicate the balances in Europe and deal a huge blow to Turkey's Europe project.
Here is the sentence that sums up Sarkozy's principle policy:
'Whoever doesn't love France can leave...'
You may remember that in the second half of the 1990s, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would similarly tell people opposing the state policy on the Kurdish issue to 'love it or leave.'
Sarkozy plans to modernize the French economy to make it work better. He aims to get back the leadership Paris has lost. While doing this, he's set to follow a more conservative, right-wing policy that strains principles such as human rights and equality for foreigners, and that accepts foreigners only to the extent that it can make them 'French.'
Sarkozy's clearest policy is to keep Turkey out of Europe. No other EU country has been so unambiguous. As he sees it, Turkey is an Asian country. Furthermore, he argues, as its accession to the European family would upset balances in the EU, it should be kept outside.
Besides all this, he believes Armenians were subjected to a genocide and so says he will work to have Turkey punished.
These policies will poison Turkish-French relations in the coming years. France will be branded an enemy of Turks. This polarization will benefit both the EU opponents in Turkey and Turkey opponents in Europe. 'See how France will veto us. Let's drop our bid,' our EU-skeptics will say and increase their opposition. The two groups will feed on each other. The attempt to exclude Turkey from Europe will reach a high with Sarkozy.
Ankara's job will prove to be harder, but it won't be impossible. There are three reasons for this: 1. Sarkozy demonstrated that he couldn't halt our negotiation process. So wheels will continue to turn ... 2. Nobody can exclude a Turkey which has met the criteria based only on the reasoning that it is a Muslim country. 3. No government in Turkey can sever ties with the EU and halt the negotiations.
Our job will be harder, but the EU project will not die, as long as our government takes the necessary steps and completes the reforms. Sarkozy can't decide whether Turkey is European or not. We cannot give him this power."
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