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Turkish Press Review, 03-11-10
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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
10.11.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 SEZER, ERDOGAN ISSUE MESSAGES COMMEMORATING REPUBLIC FOUNDER MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURKMustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, will be commemorated today in scores of ceremonies which will be held at his Ankara mausoleum Anitkabir and throughout the country to mark the 65th anniversary of his death. In a message to the nation yesterday, Presdient Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that Ataturk would forever live in the hearts of the Turkish people and that his principles would continue to guide the country into the future. He called the declaration of the republic one of history’s most important turning points, adding that it was the mission of all citizens to work for the secular, democratic and modern republic that is Ataturk’s gift. In his own message to mark the occasion, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ataturk was famed worldwide as a leader with a clear vision of the future. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc underlined that the republic was founded by Ataturk from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire and that it was given as a gift to the nation. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN: “WE’LL NOT ALLOW ANYBODY TO DISTURB THE SOCIAL PEACE”“We have to work to further positive developments without letting any initiatives disturb the social peace,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking to a gathering of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial chairmen, Erdogan said that during the AKP’s first year of rule, it had not allowed itself to be distracted by political disputes, but rather had taken important steps to brighten Turkey’s future. Underlining that next year’s local elections had great importance for his party, the premier stated that he believed the AKP would prove victorious in these elections. He added that his government was working on a new radical reforms package for local administrations which should pass Parliament very soon. In addition, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also addressed the meeting. Stressing that troop deployment to Iraq was no longer on the agenda, Gul added however, “If any development which threatens Turkey’s security takes place in northern Iraq, we’ll not remain silent about it.” He also reiterated that Turkey wanted a permanent resolution for the Cyprus issue and that Ankara would review its policy on Cyprus. /Turkiye/
 GUL TRAVELS TO ROME TO ATTEND EU TROIKA MEETINGForeign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to travel to Rome today to attend a European Union troika meeting, or a gathering of the current EU term president Italy, the next term president Ireland and the EU commission. During the meeting, both Turkey’s EU membership bid and the Cyprus issue are expected to be discussed. /Cumhuriyet/
 OZKOK: “WITHOUT A PRESENCE, WE HAVE NO SAY IN IRAQ”Speaking to daily Radikal yesterday, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok said that as Turkey had no presence in Iraq it also had no say there. Pointing to the current turmoil in Iraq, just two days after Turkey and the US confirmed that there were no plans to deploy Turkish troops there, Ozkok said that he had no idea about future developments in the country. Stressing that besides Turkmen, Turkey had also a relationship with Iraq’s Kurds, Ozkok added however, “Kurds are openly declaring that they want a free Kurdistan, and that this is against Turkey’s interests.” Pointing to the strategic importance of Cyprus for Turkey, Ozkok said that any negative development there would box Turkey in. Regarding a recent cut in the duration of obligatory military service, Ozkok said that this measure had help achieve 17% in savings. /Sabah/
 UN INVITES TURKISH POLICE TO LIBERIAThe United Nations has invited Turkey to participate in an international police force to be established in Liberia, and Ankara reportedly has replied positively and begun its preparations. Furthermore, a delegation of four was sent to this country to conduct observations. Turkey is expected to contribute 50 policemen to the force. Last month the UN decided to establish an international peacekeeping police force in the country, which has suffered under a civil war leaving thousands dead and injured. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMEN KILLED IN BAGHDADThe body of Turkish businessman Osman Peltek was found yesterday in Baghdad. Petek, 53, had been missing for two days. His body will be brought to Samsun to be laid to rest. An investigation into his death is underway. /Cumhuriyet/
 PKK ATTACKS US TROOPSPKK_KADEK terrorist group militants yesterday opened fire on a group of peshmerga from the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) and US soldiers who were patrolling in the north of the Amedin region near the Turkish border. During the clash, one peshmarga was reportedly killed, while 10 others were wounded. No information on whether any suffered injuries was available. /Turkiye/
 WORLD BANK CONSIDERS $4.5 BILLION IN LOANS FOR EU ACCESSIONAndrew N. Vorkink, World Bank country director for Turkey, said Friday that the WB had discussed a new Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Turkey proposing loans of up to $4.5 billion over the next three years in order to support its European Union membership bid. Vorkink said that the government was continuing to implement the nation’s economic program successfully and that as a result, the economy would likely grow further, and inflation and interest rates would fall even more. “While Turkey faces many challenges, one cannot be but bullish on Turkey’s future,” said Vorkink. “It has a vibrant private sector, it stands at the door of Europe, it has nearly 70 million energetic people and the economy is on the move.” He added that the WB was focusing on areas for which the EU acquis commaunitaire did not apply, such as education, health care and social assistance, adding that progress in these areas was extremely important. “If the reform program isn’t balanced, then Turkey will be ready for the acquis, but it won’t be ready to function within a competitive market like the EU,” he said. “This way, Turkey will be ready to function within the EU, when the EU is ready for Turkey.” /Milliyet/
 BABACAN: “$8.5 BILLION US LOAN WAS NOT FIGURED INTO NEXT YEAR’S BUDGET, BUT WILL CONTRIBUTE IF IT COMES”Appearing on television yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that the government had not considered an $8.5 million US loan while preparing next year’s budget, adding that there was no problem with the budget. “But if the credit comes, it will make a contribution,” he said. “Both the US treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve head said that Turkey could use the credit whenever it wants.” On Saturday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the loan was still in the pipeline notwithstanding Ankara’s decision not to send troops to Iraq for now. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 MODERNITY WITH HEADSCARVES!?!
 BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the headscarf issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Ataturk began a struggle to make the Turkish nation into a modern Western society by rescuing it from Arab moves and styles. Today Turkey is continuing to fight against those who want to make headscarves put of daily life and return to these Arab ways. Saying ‘Our aim and belief is to reach the level of modern countries’ and defending headscarves is contrary to modernity, civilization and democracy. With this understanding no nation can either reach the level of modern civilizations or integrate with Europe, because Europe cannot accept the integration of religious symbols into daily life. Actually, it doesn’t accept this in any case and is taking measures against it.
The benefits Ataturk provided through his revolutions today disturb the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). For this reason, they want to take steps to change the state’s structure and the education system. They’re looking for ways to create a nation and generation in line with their views. Those who say that they favor a modern nation should know that this isn’t possible with veiled women, and not a single woman would want to live the life they point to.
What kind of a democratic understanding is this? Everybody knows that many religious sects are putting pressure on little girls and women to cover themselves with headscarves and that this pressure is greater on people with lower incomes, don’t they? If they don’t know, there are groups right here that can tell about it. They can brief people on this issue but what would change? How can such a top staff, which cloaks its own family according to the Arab Islamic understanding, see these truths? How can it accept that Islamic headscarves cannot be compatible with a democratic regime? It cannot do this because modern democratic moves requires a deep tolerance and culture.”
 FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
 BY YASEMIN CONGAR (MILLIYET)Columnist Yasemin Congar writes on US President George W. Bush’s Nov. 6 address last week to the National Endowment for Democracy. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The speech delivered by US President George W. Bush on Nov. 6 was important. Bush last week addressed the National Endowment for Democracy to mark the 20th anniversary of the organization, which devotes itself to promoting democratization movements throughout the world. ‘Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe,’ said Bush. ‘Because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.’ He accepted that decades of US policies condoning oppressive regimes in the region for years for the sake of stability had failed. He asked the world to consider his current Iraq policy as part of a new US strategy.
While the White House trumpeted his speech as ‘historic,’ certain opposition circles argued that Bush’s attempt to justify his Iraq policy was unconvincing. It’s true that there are many points over which we can criticize the Bush administration. However, this doesn’t change the fact that Bush’s address made significant new remarks on the Middle East. ‘The message is right, but the messenger was wrong,’ one can say. If so, we should embrace the message, but at the same time, keep a close eye on the messenger to check whether he keeps his promises.
Bush added that he did not believe that Islam and democracy were incompatible, saying, ‘I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.’ These words will be tested in Iraq and other troubled countries in the region. Will Iraq manage to establish its own democracy? Will Washington provide the Iraqi people with the necessary political autonomy to do so?
As a matter of fact, considering developments in the postwar period, the Bush administration currently seems to be faltering, making contradictory moves and statements on Iraq. Let’s recall the deployment issue. Washington first asked for our soldiers but then failed to establish the necessary conditions to allow the deployment. Since recent developments in the region show that Washington’s plans have failed one by one, Bush’s credibility is very likely to be questioned harsher than ever.
In order to change his international image as the ‘bad messenger of a correct message,’ Bush should take more effective measures to jump-start Iraqi democracy. Otherwise he will lose his credibility completely. Washington should not cut its spending on Iraq, and should not leave the region before safe conditions are established for founding a democracy. In the meantime, the Americans should also show that they have full respect for the political will of the Iraqi people.
This won’t be an easy test. Its results will be seen beyond Iraq, as Bush himself stated.”
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