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Turkish Press Review, 02-08-08

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

<LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

08.08.2002

YILMAZ: “DERVIS BELIEVES ALLIANCES COULD LEAD TO STRONG, STABLE GOVERNMENT” STATE MINSTER UNLU: “I WILL NOT RESIGN” SEZER APPROVES OZKOK AS NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF PARLIAMENT TO CONVENE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION FOREIGN MINISTER GUREL MEETS WITH IRAQI COUNTERPART OKUYAN STEPS DOWN FROM LABOR MINISTER POST TURKEY’S 49th POLITICAL PARTY ESTABLISHED IMF GREENLIGHTS LOAN TRANCHE TO TURKEY TALABANI: “WE DON’T WANT AN INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN” JOINT TURKISH-JAPANESE FUNDED MEDICAL CENTER OPENS TODAY FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... ALLIANCE LOOKS UNLIKELY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) TWO-ROUND ELECTIONS POSSIBLE? BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] YILMAZ: “DERVIS BELIEVES ALLIANCES COULD LEAD TO STRONG, STABLE GOVERNMENT”
  • [02] STATE MINSTER UNLU: “I WILL NOT RESIGN”
  • [03] SEZER APPROVES OZKOK AS NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF
  • [04] PARLIAMENT TO CONVENE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION
  • [05] FOREIGN MINISTER GUREL MEETS WITH IRAQI COUNTERPART
  • [06] OKUYAN STEPS DOWN FROM LABOR MINISTER POST
  • [07] CEM TO MEET WITH BAYAR
  • [08] TURKEY’S 49th POLITICAL PARTY ESTABLISHED
  • [09] IMF GREENLIGHTS LOAN TRANCHE TO TURKEY
  • [10] TALABANI: “WE DON’T WANT AN INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN”
  • [11] JOINT TURKISH-JAPANESE FUNDED MEDICAL CENTER OPENS TODAY
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [13] ALLIANCE LOOKS UNLIKELY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [14] TWO-ROUND ELECTIONS POSSIBLE? BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

  • [01] YILMAZ: “DERVIS BELIEVES ALLIANCES COULD LEAD TO STRONG, STABLE GOVERNMENT”

    After meeting with Economy Minister Kemal Dervis yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz stated that Dervis told him that he wouldn’t enter politics unless a formation could be found that could put together a strong government. Yilmaz and Dervis met to evaluate their ongoing efforts to form election alliances. During the meeting, the two discussed ways to create a strong alliance in the leadup to elections set for Nov. 3. Following the meeting, Yilmaz said, “In order to go into politics, Mr. Dervis wants to see the composition of a strong government that will be able to firmly steer the Turkish administration. He considers it a precondition for his going into politics. Mr. Dervis believes that in elections [without alliances], a single party could win 20% of the votes and a second party get 10%. The other parties, however, might not be able to pass the election threshold. Thus, some 60% of the people’s votes would not be represented in Parliament. Such a situation would spur an immediate furor over the elections. This would mean that the party receiving 20% of the total votes would take 60-70% of the deputies, with the remaining deputies making up a weak opposition -- truly a nightmare scenario for Turkish democracy. Dervis values stability and a possible alliance above his own personal benefits. He thinks that a strong, harmonious government should emerge following the elections. Therefore he wants us to make this prospect more likely by forming election alliances.” Stating that such alliances were not a ploy by parties fearful of falling below the threshold to save themselves, Yilmaz said, “Parties that take part in alliances should be obliged to individually pass the 10% threshold. We’ve asked the Democratic Left Party [DSP], True Path Party [DYP], New Turkey [YT] and Democratic Turkey Party [DTP] to put together an alliance. A DYP spokesman has alleged that we’re afraid of falling below the threshold, but that is untrue.” /Hurriyet/

    [02] STATE MINSTER UNLU: “I WILL NOT RESIGN”

    Following a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Democratic Left Party (DSP) Deputy and State Minister Fikret Unlu met with Economy Minister Kemal Dervis at his office at the Prime Ministry. State Minister Tayyibe Gulek was also present at the meeting. “I have always been proud of working alongside Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit,” Unlu told reporters after the meeting. “I will continue to carry out my duties. I will not resign. Those who have complaints about me can come and tell me themselves.” /Milliyet/

    [03] SEZER APPROVES OZKOK AS NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved the Supreme Military Council’s (YAS) appointment of Gen. Hilmi Ozkok to be the new Chief of General Staff. Gen. Ozkok will succeed retiring Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu and the reigns will officially change hands on Aug. 30. /Turkiye/

    [04] PARLIAMENT TO CONVENE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION

    In the second extraordinary session in the midst of its summer recess, Parliament will today convene in order to debate a job security bill and supplementary budget measures. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Motherland Party (ANAP), and Democratic Left Party (DSP) yesterday applied to reconvene Parliament. /Aksam/

    [05] FOREIGN MINISTER GUREL MEETS WITH IRAQI COUNTERPART

    Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel yesterday met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naci Sabri in Jordan. Gurel told his counterpart that Turkey didn’t want an operation in Iraq but that if Iraq doesn’t obey the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, Turkey could do nothing to help it. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc, who also participated in the meeting, said afterwards that Iraq was still hesitating to comply with the UN resolutions. “We want Iraq to change its stance as soon as possible because it doesn’t have much time.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] OKUYAN STEPS DOWN FROM LABOR MINISTER POST

    Labor and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan yesterday stepped down from his post in a resignation announced by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit after a Cabinet meeting. It was reported that Okuyan left the post to protest a lack of support for a job security bill. State Minister Nejat Arseven has been appointed as Okuyan’s successor. In a separate development, former Transportation Minister and Mersin Deputy Enis Oksuz resigned from the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) yesterday. /Turkiye/

    [07] CEM TO MEET WITH BAYAR

    New Turkey (YT) leader Ismail Cem is scheduled to meet with Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Mehmet Ali Bayar today. The senior politicians will reportedly discuss ways that they could cooperate in November elections, although Cem reportedly doesn’t favor such alliances with other parties. In related news, the YT will not receive Treasury aid for early elections since it hasn’t yet completed its party organization. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] TURKEY’S 49th POLITICAL PARTY ESTABLISHED

    A new political party called the New Faces Party (YTP) was officially established yesterday. Lawyer and businessman Munci Inci and businessman Ates Unal Erzen are among its founding members. The YTP is Turkey’s 49th political party. /Star/

    [09] IMF GREENLIGHTS LOAN TRANCHE TO TURKEY

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board yesterday approved a loan tranche totalling $1.1 billion to Turkey. IMF Europe Department Director Michael Deppler stated that the current economic program would continue to be implemented, early elections notwithstanding. Deppler also said that an IMF team was scheduled to visit Turkey in October in order to consider the next loan tranche to Turkey. “State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis has a very important place in this economic program,” he added. “In case of a military operation against Iraq, the Turkish economy will be affected as well as the economics of the entire region.” Deppler remarked that the IMF expects the Turkish government to continue to carry out the economic reforms. In a separate move, the World Bank is also to release $450 million in credits to Turkey next week. /Turkiye/

    [10] TALABANI: “WE DON’T WANT AN INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN”

    Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani yesterday met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Deputy Undersecretary Turkekul Kurttekin. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Talabani said that the IPUK wouldn’t participate in any United States operation in Iraq without a sufficient and justifiable reason, adding that he didn’t want an independent Kurdistan. “We are struggling for a democratic, secular Iraq which meets the needs of the Kurds,” he remarked. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] JOINT TURKISH-JAPANESE FUNDED MEDICAL CENTER OPENS TODAY

    A private medical center jointly built by the Japanese government and the Turkish Foundation for the Poor and Homeless will be officially opened today. The Private GUC-CAK Cankaya Medical Center, personally supported by Japanese Ambassador to Turkey Shigeo Takenaka, was funded by the Japanese government with a donation of $94,000 and by the Turkish government with TL 47.25 billion. The opening ceremony will be attended by Ambassador Takenaka, former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and various Turkish government officials. /Hurriyet/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [13] ALLIANCE LOOKS UNLIKELY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes about efforts by Motherland Party leader Mesut Yilmaz to form an alliance before elections in November. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz has been meeting with other political party leaders to get support for legal amendments designed to enable political parties to form alliances before elections. However, it looks like it is going to be difficult for the parties to find common ground on this matter. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has made it clear that he is opposed to such alliances. Similarly, True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller is also against the idea. When we asked her about the subject she replied, ‘We want the public to form the alliance. And the only way to achieve such an alliance is with a two-round election system. Through a two-round election system, citizens will have the opportunity to vote for the party that is their second choice. This, we believe, is much better than forming artificial alliances that bear the risk of upsetting the delicate balances in Parliament.’ The approach of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to alliances is no different. According to all the latest public opinion polls, the AKP will emerge from the elections as the largest party; so, it isn’t in need of any alliances. Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli doesn’t seem to have any worries about breaking through the 10 percent threshold either. This explains why he too isn’t keen on alliances. As for the Republican People’s Party (CHP), its leader Deniz Baykal seems certain that his party will emerge second in the elections. Baykal would like to see those people who believe in the potential of CHP and who are also looking for alliances, particularly Economy Minister Kemal Dervis, joining his party. New Turkey (YT) hasn’t accepted the idea of alliances either. In fact, according to reports, YT leader Ismail Cem told former President Suleyman Demirel that he didn’t think it was a good idea to form alliances. So the only party left is the Felicity Party (SP). SP leader Recai Kutan has not yet made his views clear on the matter. He just said that his party didn’t think an alliance was necessary but that they were still assessing the latest developments. It looks like ANAP leader Yilmaz has not found the support he had hoped for on the issue, but that doesn’t mean he has given up trying. DSP and CHP officials see Yilmaz’s efforts like this, ’Yilmaz fired before taking aim; first he supported the initiative to hold elections and then he started to ask for support on alliances. He should have looked to form his alliance before deciding on elections’.”

    [14] TWO-ROUND ELECTIONS POSSIBLE? BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi writes on the heated debate concerning a two-round election system and current proposals about forming alliances in elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “What are the political parties for? Certainly, they are for bringing a specific political point of view to power and administrating the country in that direction to sustain the nation’s well-being. If no single party is able to do this on its own, then what is wrong with reaching a consensus and offering a joint political program to the people? This is the proposal Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is hesitating agreeing to. However, time is passing and even if he has a change of heart on the matter, it might already be too late. Of course, we are talking about the forming of alliances between political parties in elections. As my colleague Muharrem Akkaya also writes today, this issue has been the subject of serious discussion, especially between the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP). DYP chairwoman Tansu Ciller reportedly put forward her getting the prime ministry as a precondition for compromising with ANAP. Here, we won’t be discussing the ethical aspects of this, but let’s take a closer look at her other proposal concerning the two-round elections system. Recently resigned former Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk, who is also one of our nation’s foremost election law scholars, has actually written a well-informed article on the subject. Though France has such a system, Turk contends that the two-round setup works best in countries where individual candidates compete in relatively small electoral districts. Turkey, by contrast, has parties competing in a proportional election system. Furthermore, what Ciller proposes is a multi-candidate system. Moreover, the election mechanism in Turkey is unable to afford a one-week interval between the first and second rounds. And a prolonged time period between the two may create even more serious problems. Another important point is that two-round system is not a foolproof one in terms of excluding extremist parties. Letting such parties in is also possible. Yet, Turk warns us that there are also some serious ethical concerns about this system. All in all, the two-round election system proposal needs to be considered carefully.”

    ARCHIVE

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