|Saturday, 16 January 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 07-05-30
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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
 ERDOGAN: “HISTORY WILL BE THE JUDGE OF SEZER’S VETO”Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s recent veto of a constitutional amendment package, saying that history will be the judge of this action. Erdogan also presented nine new additions to the AKP ranks from left-wing social democrats and the center right. In related news, speaking to news channel NTV, Erdogan weighed in on various issues facing Turkey such as headscarves, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s presidential bid, and his meeting early this month with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit in Istanbul. /Star-Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TOUTS ECONOMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF HIS GOVTPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a ceremony marking the 145th anniversary of the Court of Accounts. Addressing the gathering, Erdogan touted the economic accomplishments of his government, saying that Turkey’s debt to the International Monetary Fund fell from $23.5 billion to just $9 billion. “When we came to power, the Central Bank’s reserves totaled $26 billion, but now this figure has grown to $65 billion,” he added. The premier further stated that economic balances prevented last year’s fluctuations from flaring into a crisis. Also addressing the gathering, Court of Accounts Chief of Justice Mehmet Damar said that the opinions of the court, which safeguards the state’s Treasury and protects the nation’s interests, should be valued. /Sabah/
 BAYKAL: “OUR GOVT WILL MAKE THE ELECTION SYSTEM MORE REPRESENTATIVE”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that the CHP would change the electoral system if it comes to power in the July 22 elections, adding that it would also give the people more power to choose their deputies. “Under our rule, electoral districts will be smaller and there will be districts with four or five deputies,” said Baykal. “First, people will vote for a party and then mark six out of 12 who they want elected.” /Turkiye/
 AGAR, MUMCU MEET WITH TUSIADDemocrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu yesterday appeared before the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) as part of its series of meetings with political leaders ahead of July’s general elections. Opening the meeting, TUSIAD Chairwoman Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag said that preparations for popular election of the president are being rushed and that the issue should be given greater consideration. Taking questions from TUSIAD members, Agar said that an extensive debate about the presidential election process is needed to reach a consensus, adding that the Constitution would be changed to allow election by popular vote. Mumcu spoke about economic issues and criticized the floating exchange rate policy. TUSIAD had its first meeting in the series with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week. /Milliyet/
 ANKARA DELIVERS DIPLOMATIC NOTE TO US OVER AIRSPACE VIOLATIONThe Foreign Ministry yesterday delivered a diplomatic note to the US concerning a violation of Turkish airspace last week by US jets, an incident already described by the US side as “apparently accidental.” The note was delivered to a US Embassy official at a working-level meeting, contrary to media expectations that it would be handed to the ambassador himself so as to highlight Turkey’s anger over the incident. /Today’s Zaman/
 LE FIGARO: “SARKOZY WON’T BLOCK TURKEY BEGINNING EU TALKS ON NEW THREE CHAPTERS”French daily Le Figaro yesterday predicted that new French President Nicholas Sarkozy wouldn’t veto Turkey beginning European Union accession talks on new three chapters. According to the newspaper, Sarkozy sent his top advisor Jean David-Levitte to Ankara this week in order to find a way to head off damage to relations between the two countries. /Turkiye/
 GERMAN FM: “EUROPE NEEDS TURKEY”German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier yesterday declared that Europe needs Turkey. Stating that Turkey has assumed the role of a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, the German foreign minister dismissed as “baseless” allegations that Turkey’s negotiations with the European Union would end in failure. Speaking before the opening ceremony of the Europe-Asia Meeting (ASEM) attended by foreign ministers from 26 EU and 16 Asian countries, Steinmeier stated that Europe needs Turkey. He added that the Turkish reform process must continue. /The New Anatolian/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 DEMOCRACY BEGAN WITH MAY 27BY HINCAL ULUC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Hincal Uluc comments on the May 27, 1960 Revolution. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I’m addressing our democrat friends: the foundations of the basic principles of democracy were laid in our country through the May 27 Revolution.
Liberty... Equality... Justice... Fraternity...
These were key words of the French Revolution, which changed the whole world’s way of life.
Four of these came to Turkey through the May 27, 1960 Revolution.
The Republic of Turkey’s most free, most advanced Constitution vis-a-vis human and society rights was written on May 27... But later, they curtailed it, never mind...
The fairest elections in our republic’s history were carried out under the May 27 laws. The system, which didn’t waste even a single vote, was brought about those favoring May 27. For instance: The Turkish Labor Party, for the first and last time, got into Parliament through the elections held under real democratic law.
The safety of prosecutors was ensured through the laws of that period. The Constitutional Court, which prevents the arbitrary rule of leaders or their passing whatever laws they want, was also established back then.
Labor, for the first time, had the right to establish free labor unions, and had the right to strike.
Freedom of the press was ensured by advanced laws. Through Law 212, white- collar workers got better living standards and guarantees, in place of slavery.
The media got the right to prove ‘libelous’ allegations after May 27. The country’s most popular and esteemed journalists were in jail before May 27, as they were not servants of the government.
The Turkish Radio and Television Institution (TRT) was arranged to be autonomous. Autonomous... Not so-called free, like today.
Universities became autonomous.
The State Planning Organization (DPT) was established through May 27. Planning of the economy began through May 27. Previously, the ruling Democrat Party (DP) spokesmen had kidded, “What’s planning? Isn’t it a kind of pilaf?
It’s like a joke: before, there was no real freedom to travel. If you weren’t from the Democrat Party or Homeland Front (Vatan Cephesi), you couldn’t travel abroad. May 27 provided that freedom to everybody.
Holding gatherings and organizing rallies had been prohibited... May 27 lifted the need for permission, as informing officials sufficed.
On that date Turkey stopped being a police state. It became a state of right, rule and justice. Human rights were included in the Constitution. Turkey saw its fullest expression of freedom in the realms of politics, social life, individuals and institutions through the May 27 Constitution. The Turkish people understood and saw what being a person under that Constitution was.
But others, coming later, began to curtail these freedoms by arguing, “The people don’t deserve that much freedom.” And this is how we got where we are today…
Now those who either don’t know or don’t want to remember the days before May 27 are trying to criticize it. Their efforts are in vain... They cannot change history or reality.
Those who attack the Republican Army by saying ‘fascist’ at every turn ignore the fact that from the outset that army has acted only democratically, and intervened only when the country was in a deadlock, and after they put everything in order, they handed the government back to civilians as soon as possible and returned to their barracks...
It doesn’t matter…
The important thing is that the military is still our country’s most honorable and trustworthy institution, far and away retaining the lead in all surveys.
If the people of this country sleep peacefully at night, it’s thanks to their trust in the military...
As long as the secular, progressive and revolutionary republican military exists, ever loyal to Ataturk’s principles, the Republic of Turkey will also exist.
Of that there should be no doubt!”
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