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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-06
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
06.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 PRESIDENT SEZER: “SECULARISM IS THE SAFEGUARD OF FREEDOM”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday released a message to mark the 69th anniversary of the codification of the principle of secularism in the Constitution. In his message, Sezer underlined that the notion of secularism can’t be reduced to simply the freedoms of conscience and religion, and added, “The basic principle of the notion of secularism is the separation of religious affairs from those of the state. Moreover, secularism is without a doubt a sine qua non precondition for democracy and the freedoms of conscience and religion.” Sezer said that it was thanks to the principle of secularism that the Turkish people could live in peace and freedom. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN RELEASES MESSAGE MARKING 69TH ANNIVERSARY OF CODIFICATION OF SECULARISM IN CONSTITUTIONPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday released a message marking the 69th anniversary of the codification of the principle of secularism in the Turkish Constitution. Erdogan called the principle of secularism “people’s freedoms of religion and conscience” and stressed the importance of accepting secularism as a common value above political and ideological concepts for peace to prevail in society. He added that this notion should be reinterpreted in light of Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s rational and progressive view and his goal to reach the level of civilized countries. /Turkiye/
 IN BUYUKCEKMECE AND ZEYTINBURNU, ERDOGAN ADDRESSES MEETINGS OF HIS PARTYSpeaking at a meeting of his party in Buyukcekmece over the weekend, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan touted recent economic developments, saying that the interest rate for housing loans has fallen below 1%. Touching on the recent controversy over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in foreign newspapers, Erdogan called for the nation to act with common sense. He stated that reacting against the insult was normal, but that this shouldn’t result in violence. Erdogan said that the Muslims couldn’t tolerate insults to the prophet of any religion, adding that similar events had been seen in the past. Later, speaking at a meeting of his party in Zeytinburnu, Erdogan said that his party was striving to overcome poverty in the country. “More than 700,000 children can’t go to school due to poverty,” he said. “I’ve ordered all municipalities to reach poor families and help them send their children to school. We’re determined that by next year there will be no child who can’t go to school due to poverty.” Responding to criticisms of the government’s Cyprus policy, Erdogan said that Cyprus was a national cause. “We’re more loyal to the cause than those who criticize our policy,” added Erdogan. “We’re determinedly working for a resolution on the island, and our most recent step for this was accepting the Annan plan. No one should expect another step from us, since now it’s the Greek Cypriots’ turn.” /Turkiye/
 AKP’S CELIK SHOT IN THE LEGA man opened fire on ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group deputy leader Faruk Celik on Sunday as he was entering a party convention in the Nilufer district of Bursa, wounding him in the left leg. The gunman was arrested but the reason for the attack wasn’t immediately known. Celik was taken to Uludag University Hospital. He is in stable condition. /Turkish Daily News/
 AGRICULTURE, HEALTH MINISTRIES PREPARE PROJECT TO FIGHT AVIAN FLUContinuing their efforts to fight avian influenza, the Agriculture and Health Ministries have prepared a joint project called “Turkey’s Fight Against a Bird Flu Pandemic.” The cost of the project is $45 million, to be financed by the World Bank. The project is expected to be presented to the WB next week. /Star/
 ITALIAN PRIEST MURDERED IN TRABZONAndrea Santore, the Italian priest of the Santa Maria Catholic Church in the Iskenderpasa district of Trabzon, yesterday was shot dead at the church. Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said that the case was being investigated from all angles. The Foreign Ministry also condemned the murder, saying, “Approving of this murder is inconceivable.” /Aksam/
 PAPADOPOULOS TRIES TO SHUT OUT THE US, BRITAIN FROM RESOLUTION EFFORTSGreek Cypriot Administration leader Tassos Papadopoulos over the weekend stated that from now on, he wouldn’t discuss the Cyprus issue with the US and Britain, adding, “I don’t accept the Americans and British playing a key role. Whenever they bring me a new proposal, my answer will always be, ‘What do Russia, France and China, the three other members of the UN Security Council, say?’ ” He also said, “The Americans and British accept all of Turkey’s demands about Cyprus for their own interests.” /Hurriyet/
 EX-IMF OFFICIAL: “TURKEY’S CREDIBILITY IS RISING IN INTL MARKETS DUE TO MACROECONOMIC PROGRESS AND POLITICAL STABILITY”Former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff said yesterday that Turkey’s credibility was rising in the international markets as a result of its macroeconomic progress and political stability. Rogoff stated that inflation had fallen to single digits, and predicted that it would fall further. “Growth will not be lower than 5%,” he said. “Exports, especially in the automotive sector, are very dynamic. I believe that Turkey’s export capacity will rise further.” He stressed that reforms in the European Union accession process and global integration had helped Turkey achieve Asian-style growth. However, Rogoff underlined that the current accounts deficit and the level of real wages continued to pose risks to the country. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CAN THE OPPOSITION SEE THE TEMPEST INSIDE PEOPLE? BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on commemoration ceremonies held for Abdi Ipekci. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The interest in the commemoration ceremony for Abdi Ipekci was huge, even though he was assassinated 27 years ago. I attended some panels; one of them was at Istanbul Technical University and the other was organized by Eskisehir’s Kemalist Thought Association. The halls were too big for the panels, but both of them were full of people young and old. This was an indication that awareness of our country’s problems is on the rise. Actually, the full halls encouraged and pleased us. We tried to tell the audience about the dangers faced by the secular democratic regime with Professor Nur Serter, retired Tuncer Kilic, journalist Ali Sirmen and Professor Coskun Ozdemir at the panel in Istanbul. The audience was very receptive there. At Eskisehir it was much the same. The people listened to the speeches, asked questions and expressed their concerns for three hours. Journalists Altan Oymen, Fikret Bila, Derya Sazak and Turgut Kazan, a lawyer representing the Ipekci family, and I explained journalist Ipekci’s philosophy, the scandal of Mehmet Ali Agca’s release, political murders, reasons for keeping them in the dark and the stance of today’s media at this panel.
We all went to Eskisehir in this freezing weather via the land route and a great many people filled the hall, which shows that the people are concerned and looking for a better way. The opposition parties should evaluate this dynamism and quest in the right way. The evaluation made by both me and the speakers at the panel is as follows: Millions of people who are concerned about the secular democratic republic expect that a new political power will be established and that this power will defeat the current power in elections. In other words, they want unification on the both right and left wing. Millions of people who believe in Ataturk’s enlightenment are very worried that the country will again fall into darkness. These meetings are important warnings to the opposition. These messages should be evaluated well, because these people believe that the country can be saved only by defeating the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). They think that a solution contrary to democracy won’t be a solution. I also hope that the murder of Andrea Santore, the Italian priest of the Santa Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon, wasn’t meant as reprisal against the irresponsible stance of certain Western newspapers. It’s the mission of every civilized person to stand against acts intolerant and disrespectful of people of other faiths. The reason for the murder in Trabzon should be found immediately. No provocateur in Trabzon can destroy Anatolia’s tolerance and respect for other religions.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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