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Turkish Press Review, 03-05-15
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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> e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
15.05.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER: “POVERTY AND CORRUPTION ARE STILL OUR MOST PRESSING PROBLEMS”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday visited the Black Sea region city of Tokat to participate in the first meeting of the Kelkit Platform, a regional development group. Speaking at the platform, Sezer said that poverty and corruption were still Turkey’s most pressing problems. Later speaking at Gaziosmanpasa University, Sezer said that Turkey should vigorously fight corruption in order to achieve sustainable growth. /Milliyet/
 ARINC TO VISIT JAPANParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc is set to pay a one-week official visit to Japan beginning on May 31 at the invitation of the Diet, Japan’s parliament. During his visit, Arinc will be accompanied by deputies from both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN CALLS BUSH TO EXPRESS CONDOLENCES OVER TERRORIST ATTACK IN SAUDI ARABIAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called US President George W. Bush to express his condolences for US citizens who lost their lives in Tuesday’s terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia. During their conversation, Erdogan condemned the attack and remarked that for many years the Turkish nation, too, had suffered grievously from terrorism. The attack underscored, Erdogan added, the need for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. /Milliyet/
 KYRGYZ PM VISITS TURKEYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolay Tanaev, who is paying an official visit to Turkey. During a joint press conference, Erdogan said that Turkey and Kyrgyzstan had a very good relationship. Pointing to the $40 million annual trade volume between the two countries, Erdogan said that both were determined to further commercial ties. The two leaders stressed that during the current visit, three agreements were signed concerning commerce and trade. Remarking that Kyrgyzstan was celebrating the 2,200th anniversary of its foundation this year, Tanaev thanked Turkey for supporting the Kyrgyz proposal that the UN observe that special occasion this year. The Kyrgyz premier also paid visits to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and former President Suleyman Demirel. /Turkiye/
 GUL TRAVELS TO BRUSSELSForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Brussels, Belgium to attend meetings of the Convention on Europe’s future. Before departing, Gul told reporters that he would meet today with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen to discuss Turkish-EU relations. Stating that these relations were at a critical stage, Gul said, “We’re now in a period where after a 40-year struggle, Turkey has the chance to start its accession negotiations.” /All Papers/
 FM SPOKESMAN DIRIOZ URGES LIFTING OF IRAQ EMBARGO, CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF TURKISH BUSINESSMAN’S RIGHTSForeign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz yesterday indirectly conveyed messages from Ankara to the Bush administration concerning Iraq. Speaking at a press conference, Dirioz stated that Turkey believed that the decade- long UN embargo on Iraq should be lifted as soon as possible, because of the years of suffering that it had caused the Iraqi people. He added that the rights of Turkish companies set to conduct business in Iraq should be guaranteed. According to Dirioz, Turkey believes that an international aid campaign should be organized to help the Iraqi people during the present transition period and that Iraq’s resources should be protected as being as the nation’s own. Dirioz also stressed that Turkey supported and was ready to contribute to the recently prepared Israel-Palestinian “road map” to peace. “Turkey will continue to support all efforts to forge a lasting peace in the Middle East,” said Dirioz. /Cumhuriyet/
 PLANNING AND BUDGET COMMISSION PASSES FOREIGN INVESTMENT BILLParliament’s Planning and Budget Commission yesterday passed a bill to improve the climate for foreign direct investments (FDI), a structural benchmark in Turkey’s latest letter of intent (LOI) to the International Monetary Fund. Turkey had pledged to the IMF that the full Parliament would pass the bill before April 30. Speaking at the commission, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that unemployment was still Turkey’s most serious problem, but that it could be solved by FDI. “The bill would liberalize FDI in Turkey and provide foreign investors equal treatment with their domestic counterparts,” he said. “The bill won’t solve all problems regarding FDI, but it does provide a framework.” He added that 14 other bills would soon be presented to Parliament in a further bid to improve the nation’s investment climate. /Star/
 EC’S FILORI: “EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON TURKEY’ FULFILLING ITS COMMITMENTS”European Commission Spokesman Jean-Christophe Filori warned yesterday that if Turkey fails to implement the political reforms it has promised to carry out, its European Union accession talks wouldn’t begin in 2005 as projected. Speaking to reporters, Filori argued that a recent government search of the Ankara offices of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) had violated Turkey’s commitment to improve its human rights situation. “We see a gap here between the stressed reforms and their practice,” he added. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA SENDS MONITORING DELEGATION TO IRAQAnkara yesterday sent to Iraq a delegation made up of both military and civilian officials charged with monitoring the latest developments in the region. The delegation chaired by former Ambassador to Baghdad Selim Karaosmanoglu is expected to travel from northern Iraq to the capital to confer with local Iraqi authorities on recent political developments. Meanwhile, current Ambassador to Baghdad Osman Paksut, who took up his duties again last week after a wartime hiatus, recently sent reports to Ankara stressing that security has yet to be established in the country. Paksut complained that political chaos so dominates Iraq right now that his search for an official government contact has so far been fruitless. /Cumhuriyet/
 WASHINGTON POST: “KURDS' BID FOR STAKE IN IRAQI OIL REBUFFED BY US OFFICIALS”US authorities recently rejected a bid by ethnic Kurds for a stake in the state oil giants of northern Iraq – the dominant force in the local economy – preferring to retain the present management so as to ease the resumption of large-scale production as quickly as possible, reported The Washington Post yesterday. “Throughout Iraq, battles over control are unfolding as long-repressed groups such as Shiite Muslims in the south and Kurds and Turkmen in the north seek a stake in the future,” wrote reporter Peter S. Goodman. “But battles over Iraq's oil industry have been particularly charged. The Kurdish groups say they have no designs themselves on the fields around Kirkuk, which produce 40 percent of the country's oil. Such a development could well bring military action from Turkey, whose government fears that Iraqi Kurds with oil could finance Kurdish resistance groups inside Turkey. The Kurds say they only want a new system that supplies them a fair opportunity to get jobs and contracts.” /Cumhuriyet/
 CONDOLEEZZA RICE: “THE US HAS GONE THOUGH A DIFFICULT TIME WITH TURKEY, BUT OURS REMAINS A STRONG RELATIONSHIP”US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice yesterday stated that notwithstanding recent difficulties, the United States was still very much aware of its joint strategic interests with Ankara. “[Turkey] is a longtime ally,” Rice told reporters in Washington. “It is an alliance that is based on friendship and interest, and I expect that it will be well into the future. We have a lot of work to do. Turkey has a very strong interest in the establishment of a stable and unified Iraq. The United States has a strong interest in the establishment of a stable and unified Iraq. This is an area in which we can work together. We actually have worked together pretty effectively at the end of the conflict, and I expect that we will in the future. Turkey, I would hope, would be involved in the reconstruction effort in Iraq, lending support to that, because a stable Iraq will be a good neighbor for Turkey, and I am sure that that is what Turkey wants.” She added that Turkey was important as a model to the world that democracy and Islam can exist side-by-side. “Yes, we went through some difficult periods of time, but this is a strong relationship,” stated the powerful US advisor. “It's going to remain a strong relationship and we look forward to continuing to work with it.” /Sabah/
 CEYLAN’S “DISTANT” TO COMPETE IN CANNES FILM FESTIVALTurkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s acclaimed film “Distant” (Uzak) is due to be screened in competition at the 56th annual Cannes Film Festival, which began last night. Employing little dialogue, “Distant” focuses on the visit of a village man to his melancholic photographer friend living in Istanbul. It has been some two decades since a Turkish film competed at Cannes. /All Papers/  FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SUICIDE ATTACKS AND POLITICAL SUICIDE BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Ali Bayramoglu comments on Monday’s suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia and the reasons for anti-Western feelings in much of the Muslim world. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It is not only bloodshed or unfolding political developments which day by day are dragging the globe into a dangerous polarization, but also the mentality behind these two which must seriously concern us.
The first signs emerged in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. Although these were uncoordinated incidents, several mosques and Muslim-headed offices in the US were attacked. In Europe, there were calls for campaigns against resident Muslims. Some even cried that stopping long enough to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent amounted to hesitation in the face of terror.
On the other side, Arab news agencies lauded terrorists who had attacked on the World Trade Center as martyrs, while certain Muslim writers and intellectuals tried to justify the hijackings and suicide attacks.
The more legitimacy the ‘egocentric’ and ‘exclusionist’ way of the West has gained, the more the hatred of the Muslim world has grown larger and more obvious.
The war in Iraq provided a temporal break, but that lull ended with Monday’s suicide bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A week after the Sept. 11 attacks, I wrote the following lines about the dangers the Middle East and the world at large might face in the not-too-distant future:
1. Globalization of terrorism, and the emergence of a political and ideological current embracing terrorism as its means, backed by mass support from those who feel excluded…
2. Evolution of Muslim identity into an ever-insurrectionist and resistant actor in many conflict-torn regions of the world…
3. Legitimization of terror and violence fed by the global inequality and injustice which grow with each passing day…
The latest bombing incident in Saudi Arabia reminds us once again these risks and dangers.
The overlapping economic and cultural polarization, the politicization of subordinate identities and the ongoing self-rationalization all explain what is going on today but in no way justify it. The threat is apparent: Violence begets violence, and extreme nationalisms and fundamentalist mentalities began to pick up strength.
Here is what one prominent Muslim law professor says: ‘Today one can hear unethical sermons in certain local Muslim communities and student organizations even in the US, sermons which call for a war against the West. This is contemporary orientalism anchored in disappointment, exclusion, hatred and ignorance.’
This situation is the result of an impoverished, suppressed and excluded culture’s claim for difference, and it is being further incited by the US’ hard-headed policies to take advantage of and radicalize the Muslim world.
The only real way to bring an end to terror would be addressing and alleviating the feelings of subordination and lifting the suppression. Otherwise, Muslim political culture will grow even more violent.”
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