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Turkish Press Review, 07-05-10

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

10.05.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] BAYKAL: “WE’VE REACHED AN AGREEMENT FOR ELECTION COOPERATION WITH THE DSP”
  • [02] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT VISITS BRUSSELS
  • [03] LAGENDIJK: “THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROCESS BECAME A GAME”
  • [04] MERKEL: “TURKEY SHOULD BE TIED MORE CLOSELY TO EUROPE”
  • [05] FORMER GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER REITERATES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP
  • [06] FORMER US AMBASSADOR DENIES RIFT WITH AKP GOVERNMENT
  • [07] CANADIANS THANK KIZILAY FOR EVACUATING ITS CITIZENS FROM LEBANON
  • [08] NGOs SPOTLIGHTED AT UNIVERSITY EVENT
  • [09] THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CRISIS

  • [01] BAYKAL: “WE’VE REACHED AN AGREEMENT FOR ELECTION COOPERATION WITH THE DSP”

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday said that the CHP and Democratic Left Party (DSP) had settled how they will cooperate in July’s general elections. “The DSP and CHP have reached an agreement,” Baykal told a press conference, adding that the pact would be discussed and evaluated by the DSP’s party organs. Speaking about Baykal’s statements, DSP leader Zeki Sezer said, “I don’t want to weigh in on this through the media. There’s no rush.” Under the pact, Sezer reportedly won’t run for Parliament, but will continue to hold the party helm. /Star/

    [02] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT VISITS BRUSSELS

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, currently in Brussels to attend a meeting of NATO’s Military Committee, yesterday expressed Turkey’s views on terrorism and efforts to counter it. During the three- day gathering, the military dimensions of the Comprehensive Political Directive announced at last fall’s summit in Riga, Latvia are being discussed. /Aksam/

    [03] LAGENDIJK: “THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROCESS BECAME A GAME”

    Before it was aborted, Turkey’s recent presidential election process was being conducted inappropriately and turned into a “game,” said Joost Lagendijk, the co-chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission, yesterday. Speaking after a meeting of Turkish journalists with European parliamentarians in Brussels, Lagendijk also said that he didn’t approve of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rush to amend the Constitution before campaigning for July’s early elections, adding, “They could have done this before.” Asked whether the AKP’s relations with the European Union had gone stagnant, Lagendijk said, “This is a correct analysis. In the beginning, the AKP swiftly made reforms. But things slowed down after 2005. Let’s hope that after the general elections on July 22, a government eager to make reforms will emerge.” He also said that unification efforts both on Turkey’s left and right were positive and should be supported. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] MERKEL: “TURKEY SHOULD BE TIED MORE CLOSELY TO EUROPE”

    Whatever the European Union’s final decision on Turkey is, it should be tied more closely to Europe, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday. Stating that efforts to bind Turkey to Europe had led to great changes in the country, Merkel argued “Take a look at the economic developments, reforms, and legal changes. The Turkish government and Parliament considered the (recent) Constitutional Court decision (on the presidential election) and obeyed it. This is the rule in democracies.” Merkel said that Turkey’s orientation towards Europe comes from Ataturk, the nation’s founder, adding, “This brought a very strict understanding of secularism. There are different views on this issue, even in Europe. Look at Germany or France.” /Aksam/

    [05] FORMER GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER REITERATES SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP

    When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joins hands with the opposition, military intervention into democracy can be prevented, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said yesterday. Speaking about Turkey’s EU membership in Helsinki, Finland, Schroeder said that Turkey should certainly become an EU member. Schroeder added that he had talked about the vital importance of this issue with his contacts in EU member countries and made great efforts towards this end. He added that Turkey is currently closer to the EU but that recent interventions in democracy should be overcome. In the years to come, Turkey will be better understood by the EU, Schroeder predicted. /Milliyet/

    [06] FORMER US AMBASSADOR DENIES RIFT WITH AKP GOVERNMENT

    Former US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman yesterday denied rumors that he was angry with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Speaking to Milliyet, he added that he supported Turkey’s EU membership and that he appreciated the AKP government’s efforts towards this end. Edelman, who served in Turkey from 2003 to 2005 and is currently a defense undersecretary, said that he had learned about a recent controversial General Staff statement from reading the news and furthermore had played no role in shaping the US reaction to it. /Milliyet/

    [07] CANADIANS THANK KIZILAY FOR EVACUATING ITS CITIZENS FROM LEBANON

    Two officials from Canada’s Embassy in Ankara yesterday visited the Turkish Red Crescent’s (Kizilay) Adana office to thank it for evacuating Canadians from Lebanon last summer. Second Consul Andre Vachon Vachon said that the Canadian people would never forget Turkey’s hospitality during these evacuations. Stating that the number of Canadians living in Turkey had risen sharply in recent years, he added that this could lead to more Canadian tourists visiting Turkey. For his part, Deputy Consul Merih Cobanoglu said that there were nearly 53,000 Canadian citizens in Lebanon and that not an even single piece of luggage had been lost during the evacuations, adding that they are deeply grateful to Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [08] NGOs SPOTLIGHTED AT UNIVERSITY EVENT

    The role and importance of foundations in Turkey’s education and social life was the focus of a European Day event organized at Kadir Has University yesterday. Speaking at the event, Turkish-European Union Association head Haluk Gunugur said that unless the state promotes non- governmental organizations, they will be ineffective on the international stage. Fikret Kasapoglu, Istanbul’s vice governor responsible for the EU and NGOs, said that civil groups were active in the process of Turkey’s EU membership. “During the process of Turkey’s EU membership, social change and transformation is an important goal on our road map,” he added. “We should ensure this.” Also speaking, Turkish European Foundation head Ziya Muezzinoglu said that NGOs had made positive contributions to the EU accession process, including making it more transparent. /Turkiye/

    Industry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun yesterday said that if political stability and the atmosphere of confidence continue, Turkey could join the ranks of the world’s 10 largest economies by 2023, the republic’s 100th anniversary. Stating that great progress has been seen in Turkey’s economy, Coskun said that they preferred a model of improvement led by the private sector. “Now the crises are over,” he added. “Economic hurdles have been cleared, and Turkey is advancing with firm steps in a sustainable process of growth. Our economy is improving with the highest growth rate among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and will improve more.” /Turkey/

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

    [09] THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CRISIS

    BY SOLI OZEL (SABAH)

    Columnist Soli Ozel comments on foreign policy developments. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “There are at least three current foreign issues that closely concern Turkey. The first is the reported US plan to withdraw from Iraq either completely or by redeploying into certain areas starting in 2009 and, along those lines, how Iraq’s future will be shaped. The second is the struggle for regional dominance between Iran and the US. The third is Nicholas Sarkozy’s recent election as French president.

    Concerning the first issue, the recent Sharm al-Sheikh conference of countries neighboring Iraq didn’t work out. The next such conference will be held in Istanbul. The possibility of US withdrawal by redeploying soldiers to certain areas would mean an American presence in northern Iraq. Thus issues such as the future of the city of Kirkuk,the terrorist PKK and relations between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish region take on added importance. Whether a consensus is reached or not on these issues will determine the quality of Turkish-US relations in the future.

    As for the competition between Iran and the US, which also carries importance for the future of Iraq, the two parties are seeking to mobilize their allies in the region. Iran wants to use Iraqi Shiites, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas as far as it can. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, scared and even vexed by Iran’s recent policies, is trying to form a bloc opposing Tehran. Hence, it is working to make peace between Israel and Palestine. Trying to form regional coalitions, it is spending a lot of money in Lebanon. Although it bitterly criticizes the US, it gives the impression that it may cooperate with the Washington neocons.

    Sarkozy’s presidential victory, on the other hand, may affect relations between Turkey and the EU. However, Sarkozy’s being anti-Turkish, as he has openly declared, isn’t the only factor in these relations. In his comprehensive and detailed analysis in yesterday’s Financial Times, Martin Woolf argued that Sarkozy’s France will actually be a problem for the EU. According to Woolf, France’s traditions and the new president seeking a Europe suitable for the vision of France will come to face both France and the EU. Under this scenario, the future of the EU becomes more and more unclear. Turkey has a good chance of benefiting from these ambiguities if it doesn’t waver from its goal of becoming a member and continues to move forward. Without doubt, however, relations between Turkey and the EU should be taken up with a different political style from now on.

    It is clear that both the treatment of the EU or its members towards Turkey and the language they use play a role in the recent rise in anger in Turkey. In addition to other factors, protestors flocked to mass rallies seemingly due to a feeling of being deceived by the EU. After the recent statement of the General Staff and the subsequent crisis, the Union gave the impression that it got the message, so it should act accordingly. Turkey, on the other hand, should give up attributing identity and integration problems it hasn’t been able to solve for the last 84 years to the EU or others. Considering these developments, it is clear that Turkey is entering a difficult period.”


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