|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-18
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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
 CHP, DSP JOINING FORCES FOR JULY'S GENERAL ELECTIONSMain opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer announced yesterday that the two parties would join forces to compete in the general elections set for July 22. Baykal and Sezer hailed the alliance decision as a historic development. After a meeting at CHP headquarters, Baykal said, "We have agreed to work to form an election alliance. We will work together hand in hand." He added, "We hope that this initiative will unify us in the future. We do not want to make them (DSP members) members of the CHP under pressure. We respect their political identities, and thus they can run in the elections on our lists. And we hope to get into Parliament altogether. After we get there, we will work in solidarity to realize the same goals, though we have separate political identities." /Hurriyet/
 FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF DEADLY ATTACK ON THE COUNCIL OF STATE MARKEDYucel Ozbilgin, a judge who lost his life in last year's armed attack on the Council of State, was commemorated yesterday on the first anniversary of the attack. Speaking at a ceremony in Ankara, Chief Justice Sumru Cortoglu said that the attack had been aimed at harming the secular republic through both the Council of State and Ozbilgin himself. Stating that everybody should be wary of mindsets which have refused to embrace the secular republic, Cortoglu said, "Such attacks will not make us veer from Ataturk's shining path." After the ceremony at the Council of State, Chief Justice Cortoglu and her colleagues along with Court of Appeals judges visited Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum. As part of the commemoration, a ceremony was held at Ozbilgin's gravesite. President Ahmet Necdet Seezer also released a message marking the sad day. "This horrific attack has gone down as a black stain in the history of the republic," said Sezer. "This attack, which was meant to harm Turkey's secular republic, was condemned by the Turkish people, who are deeply attached to Ataturk and his principles and reforms." /Aksam/
 GUL: "COOPERATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE EU ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS"Ankara again reacted coolly yesterday to a proposal by France's new President Nicholas Sarkozy for Turkey to lead a "Mediterranean union" instead of joining the European Union, an idea he first raised earlier this year. "Turkey is a Mediterranean country, but cooperation in the Mediterranean and the EU are two different things," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters. "Turkey is a country that has launched accession negotiations with the EU in line with the decision of all the member states, including France." Gul said that Turkey expects all EU member countries to be loyal to their commitments. "Naturally, there may be some internal political developments in some member states, but they shouldn't be linked to our negotiation process," he added. /Cumhuriyet/
 32 EUROPEAN POLITICIANS, EXPERTS URGE EU TO KEEP PROMISES, SUPPORT TURKISH DEMOCRACYIn a letter published in Wednesday's International Herald Tribune, 32 European politicians, academics and thinkers called on the European Union to reaffirm promises it gave to Turkey so as to help continue its democratization and accession process. "In recent days Turkey's citizens have been carefully watching the reactions of politicians across Europe and the United States to the memorandum by the Turkish military issued on April 27," said the letter. "In these fraught circumstances, it is vital to send an unambiguous message to Turkish society. We strongly regret this intervention that could harm Turkey's progress as well as its relations with the European Union ... Turkish legislation has never been closer to European standards than today, and many of these changes have been brought about under the current government. We believe that it is up to the Turkish political process, and to Turkish civil society, to express the preferences of the Turkish public. Large demonstrations, challenges of political decisions in courts and political campaigns are all acceptable tactics in democratic politics." The letter concluded: "Finally, we call on European governments to reaffirm the promises and commitments that the EU has made in the past. Turkey still has much to do before it meets European standards, but by showing solidarity with Turkish democrats, the EU can now help to keep the process on track." Among the letter's signatories were former Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, former Portuguese Foreign Minister Teresa Patricio Gouveia, former Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio and European Parliament members John-Bendit, Andrew Duff, Dan Jorgensen, Joost Lagendijk and Cem Ozdemir. /Turkiye/
 PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL TO FOUND 17 NEW UNIVERSITIESParliament yesterday passed a bill to found new universities in 17 provinces. If President Ahmet Necdet Sezer signs the measure, new universities will be founded in Karaman, Agri, Sinop, Siirt, Nevsehir, Karabuk, Kilis, Cankiri, Artvin, Bilecik, Bitlis, Kirklareli, Osmaniye, Bingol, Mus, Mardin and Batman. The bill would leave nine of Turkey's 82 provinces without universities. /Milliyet/
 TOPBAS ATTENDS CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT IN NEW YORKIstanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas yesterday attended a climate change summit in New York City, alongside the mayors of the world's 40 largest cities as well as former US President Bill Clinton. During the summit, the impact of global climate change on cities and ideas for solutions were discussed. A post-summit declaration signed by Clinton and the other participants announced a special energy conservation plan to be implemented in 15 cities. Addressing the summit, Topbas spoke about six environmentally friendly projects in the works and also thanked Istanbulites for doing their best to conserve water. /Sabah/
 TOURISM LEADERS URGE POLITICIANS TO AVOID CRISES IN RUNUP TO JULY ELECTIONSLeading tourism sector trade groups, including the Turkish Hotels Federation (TUROFED) and Association of Tourism Investors (TYD), yesterday personally delivered messages to political party leaders ahead of the July elections. Tourism sector representatives visited Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as the leaders of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), True Path Party (DYP), Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). During these meetings, the sector representatives said that especially since Turkey has gotten off to a good start this year in attracting foreign visitors, any election crises which would damage tourism should be avoided. Representatives of the sector also stressed that tourism provides one-fourth of Turkey's foreign exchange revenues and that all the parties should prepare tourism policies for the elections. /Sabah/
 GERMANY, TURKEY SIGN PACT FOR 7.5 MLN EUROS IN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCEAn agreement under which Germany will provide Turkey with financial assistance totaling 7.5 million euros was signed at the Treasury Undersecretariat yesterday. The agreement was signed by Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci and German Ambassador to Turkey Eckart Cuntz. Speaking after the signing ceremony, Canakci said that besides the current agreement, a pact for 500,000 euros in aid has also been signed for a waste management project in Samsun. /Turkiye/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FINALLY AN ALLIANCE ON THE LEFTBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET )
Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the announced alliance of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP) for July's general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:
"A historic step has been taken: The leaders of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP), Deniz Baykal and Zeki Sezer, announced yesterday that they are going to form an alliance for July's general election.
Under this alliance, DSP candidates will compete in the election on the CHP's lists, and so pave the way for a future unification.
This move effectively silences critics who accuse the left of being unable to unite, often made by people who have never voted for leftist parties. After the unification of the center-right True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) under the umbrella of the Democrat Party (DP), a new possible ruling coalition has emerged from the alliance of the center- left CHP and DSP. What the demonstrators in recent weeks in Ankara, Istanbul, Manisa and Izmir wanted above all was the unification of the center-left. Baykal and Sezer are now finally realizing this call by the masses.
The leaders of the two parties should work to formulate a more strategic vision for the Turkish center-left, which was split by the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup, as well as to win at least 30% of the votes in July's elections.
Because if this alliance is conceived as a tactical process to limit the DSP's group in Parliament, the CHP's chances of victory over the ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) will be diminished.
Baykal and Sezer have historic opportunities before them.
The first such opportunity is to come up with projects which will make the center-left a real contender in July's elections and ensure a broad alliance which goes beyond getting familiar members of the two parties into Parliament. Secondly, they could provide Turkey with a more natural political environment, in the wake of coups and transition periods with the center left and right parties, as in European democracies.
If the CHP and DSP buy into the rising nationalism in our society and think only of the coming elections, they can achieve little more on election day than winning some more votes.
The alliance of the center-left will certainly create a synergy due to calls from society, but if this opening is limited to transfers from rightist parties, as in CHP candidate lists as recently reported in the media, and is closed to the left, these hopes will be dashed.
Because social and economic projects such as prosperity and development, reducing unemployment, and ensuring the future of our young people and our EU accession are so much part of the duties of the center left, in other words the CHP and DSP, that they can't be monopolized by the AKP.
Back in the 1970s, the late Bulent Ecevit introduced a leftist model with the slogan 'Neither the depressed nor the depressor_ A just, humanitarian order' and paved the way for freedoms with a civil, democratic program.
Now, it's Baykal and Sezer's turn.
I hope they will also be successful."
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