|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-25
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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
25.05.2007FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 SEZER PARTIALLY VETOES NUCLEAR POWER LAWPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday vetoed three articles of a law greenlighting the construction and operation of nuclear power plants. In sending the law back to the Parliament, Sezer argued that a provision saying that Treasury funds would be used to pay to decommission nuclear plants would impose a great financial burden. Sezer also argued that the law fails to provide a legal framework for privatization. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN TELEPHONES NEW FRENCH PRESIDENT SARKOZYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday made a congratulatory telephone call to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to wish him success in his new post in the wake of his election early this month. During their conversation, Erdogan reportedly told Sarkozy that Turkey and France had cooperation in a number of areas as well as direct contacts, and that such contacts were needed to solve problems between the two nations. "Let's not speak to each another through the media," said Erdogan. For his part, Sarkozy expressed his condolences over a terrorist bombing attack in Ankara this week. /Milliyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: EVERYONE KNOWS THE PKK GETS SUPPORT IN EUROPEForeign Ministry spokesperson Levent Bilman yesterday reiterated a call for international cooperation against terrorism, saying that Turkey had long urged its allies to work together more closely on this. In his weekly press conference, addressing recent remarks by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, Bilman said that everybody knew that there were subsidiary companies in Europe supporting the terrorist PKK. "This doesn't show that these countries give direct support," he added. "We always continue our initiatives to end the activities of these groups in these countries." Bilman also said that the Iraqi government in Baghdad had recently told Turkey of its intention to cooperate against PKK terrorism. Bilman also said that these issues would be discussed during the weekend visit to Baghdad of Oguz Celikkol, Turkey's special envoy to Iraq. /Star/
 EUROPEAN COMMISSION: NO COUNTRY'S CANDIDATE STATUS HAS EVER BEEN REVOKEDEuropean Union Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger said yesterday that Turkey's EU membership bid and the bloc's enlargement policy would not be up for discussion in the EU anytime soon. Speaking to reporters yesterday about this week's meeting in Brussels between EU Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is strongly opposed to Turkey's EU membership, Laitenberger said that in the bloc's history no country's candidate status has ever been revoked, adding that the beginning of membership talks and the opening and closing of negotiations chapters are decided on unanimously by the EU member states. /Turkiye/
 REHN: WE HAVE A STRONG MANDATE TO CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH TURKEYIn the face of continued opposition by new French President Nicholas Sarkozy, European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn yesterday reaffirmed Turkey's path to EU membership. "We got a strong mandate from the member countries to continue negotiations with Turkey," he said. "The EU Commission thinks that the negotiations should be continued. This serves both Turkey and the EU's interests. If the negotiations end in success, Turkey would be an even more important bridge between civilizations." /Star/
 PKK MINE KILLS SIX SOLDIERSYesterday a mine laid on the road by terrorist PKK militants in Sirnak killed six soldiers and left 10 others wounded. A ceremony for the fallen was held in Siirt with the attendance of the soldiers' families and Interior Minister Osman Gunes. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit messages of condolences. Following the incident, a wide crackdown began in the region. /Hurriyet/
 POLICE PROBING TERRORIST TIES OF SUICIDE BOMBERPolice are continuing to investigate the terrorist bomb attack Tuesday in Ankara's crowded Ulus shopping district which resulted in six deaths and nearly 100 injuries. Ties that suicide bomber Guven Akkus, who triggered the plastic explosives, may have had with illegal organizations are also being looked at by security forces. Using human remains and other evidence at the scene of the attack, Ankara Police forensic units were able to identify the suicide bomber as 28-year-old Akkus. Investigations are now focused on the possibility that Akkus had ties to the terrorist PKK or its Kongra-Gel affiliate. /Today's Zaman/
 TOP LEADERS TO OBSERVE MILITARY EXERCISESPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul as well as force commanders will observe the Efes 2007 and Denizkurdu 2007 exercises set to begin today in the Aegean Sea. Some 10,000 soldiers are expected to take part in the exercises. /Turkiye/
 OECD: TURKEY'S ECONOMY WILL GROW AROUND 6 PERCENT THROUGH 2008The Organization for Economy and Development (OECD) projected yesterday that barring unforeseen developments, Turkey's economy will grow at around 6 percent in 2007-2008. In its semiannual World Economic Outlook Report, the OECD stressed that if macroeconomic policy institutions are strengthened and new structural reforms gain credibility, and if business investments hold steady after July's general elections, a 7 percent long- term growth potential is within striking distance. The report added that in order to sustain Turkey's rapid growth, curbing the informal economy should be prioritized. /The New Anatolian/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 SIX VICTIMS OF MINESBY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
Columnist Derya Sazak comments on recent terrorist attacks. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Three sergeants, two privates and one corporal from units attached to the 3rd Brigade were killed yesterday by a mine laid by the terrorist PKK. After six innocent people were killed by Tuesday's bomb attack in Ankara, the death of these soldiers deepened the public sorrow. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that if the military asks for it, Parliament would provide legal support for a cross-border operation into northern Iraq. It seems that now there is a desire to take Turkey into the Iraqi quagmire, and that the PKK is again a big issue after a period of dormancy. Those who pine for the conflicts of the '90s are trying to force Turkey to deal with terrorism at a time of elections. Notes I obtained of PKK head Abdullah Ocalan's meetings with his lawyers said that a Kurdish nation- state supported by the US and Israel would be in conflict with the Turkish Republic.
Rising nationalism is making our nation, shaken by these recent attacks, angrier and more inclined to violence. When soldiers die, the public asks what we're waiting for. In past years Turkey has conducted military operations in northern Iraq, and today a new cross-border operation might be coming. If Parliament decides to do this, our military would go to Iraq. The army is ready to do this. But the problem isn't limited to the PKK or even (Kurdish administration leader) Massoud Barzani and Iraq President Jalal Talabani (also a Kurd). The US stands behind the status quo in northern Iraq. What does the US really want? Through its occupation of Iraq, the US makes poor people die on their own land, blown up by bomb attacks and living in an insecure atmosphere, and this situation in Turkey is seen by the US as just background news. The Bush administration's irresponsibility has set the Middle East on fire. Turkey might be turned into another Iraq with suicide bombers and could even join the ranks of countries suffering from civil war, just like Baghdad, Beirut and Palestine. Such a situation would serve the interests of extreme nationalist Westerners like new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said he doesn't Europe's borders to reach Iraq, Syria and Iran. Turkey is suffering through a tough time both inside and out. The nation feels besieged. When we see victims of terrorism, we are hurt. As the elections loom, we should work to keep our heads. I send my condolences to the mothers of the fallen soldiers."
 BACK TO COALITIONS?BY BILAL CETIN (VATAN)
Columnist Bilal Cetin comments on campaigning for July's general elections and the possibility of a coalition government. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The political parties are working frantically. On one hand they are competing to recruit attractive candidates. On the other, they are competing with slogans and promises. Young Party (GP) leader Cem Uzan's promises such as cutting taxes and lowering oil prices have been ridiculed. But today even the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is pledging to cut taxes. They are touting immediate cuts in value-added tax (VAT) rates for some basic foodstuffs and next year for the tourism sector. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which is now preparing its economic and social platform, is also planning similar tax cuts and cheaper oil. We will also hear parties' well-intentioned and optimistic promises of how they will fight unemployment and poverty. In sum, all the parties are trying to make their mark with populist promises.
Naturally, all these parties make such promises supposing that they will come to power alone. But will a single party gain power in July's general elections like in fall 2002? When we look at recent polls, the possibility of a single-party government seems low. In line with the present election system, if two parties pass the 10 percent threshold, a powerful single party would come to power. But if three parties cross the threshold, there could be a coalition government, though the chances for a single-party government are still high. If four or more parties get into Parliament, on the other hand, a coalition is unavoidable.
As we don't even know the parties' platforms or candidates, it's too early to make predictions. These two factors will weigh large on voters' decisions. According to the AKP's optimistic projections, three parties - the AKP, CHP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) - will pass the threshold and the AKP, by winning 38-40% of the vote, will be able to come to power with more than 300 deputies. Will the new Democrat Party (DP), set to take an important step towards unification tomorrow, be able to get across the threshold? According to its members, the DP will do so easily and thus become the largest party on the center right.
It's hard to know what's in store for the DP. If they can't figure out what to do with Mesut Yilmaz, the former leader of the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), which formed the DP together with the True Path Party (DYP), they may have a tough time in the Black Sea region and Istanbul. If the DP passes the threshold despite all this, formation of a coalition will be unavoidable."
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