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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-10
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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
10.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 PARLIAMENT COMMISSION WRITES TO DANISH PM ABOUT CARTOONSDenmark is continuing to feel repercussions over controversial cartoons published in that country depicting the Prophet Muhammed. Parliament’s Human Rights Commission will send a letter about the ensuing crisis to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. During yesterday’s commission meeting, members stated that European countries have initiated a global attack on the Islamic world and that this had to be protested. After the meeting, members of the commission agreed to send a common proclamation to some world leaders including Rasmussen. In related news, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc also sent letters to European Union countries and to his counterpart in New Zealand, which has also published cartoons depicting Muhammed. /Star/
 LETTERS TO BE SENT TO 192 UN COUNTRIESPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working to defuse the cartoon crisis, which began after Danish paper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons depicting Muhammed as a terrorist, through a letter calling for moderation and common sense. The letter, to be sent to 192 UN countries, touches on the “tolerance of Islam, the need to approach recent events with common sense and moderation, and respect for beliefs as a universal value.” /Hurriyet/
 GUL SENDS MESSAGE TO ISLAMIC WORLDSpeaking on the cartoon crisis with reporters, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that Turkey, which has embraced different cultures, religions and societies throughout history, offered a chance to overcome the crisis. Gul called on the entire Islamic world to show common sense, warning that acts of violence help those who want to link Islam and terrorism and that violent demonstrations only harm Islam. Speaking on the murder of Andrea Santoro, an Italian priest who served in Trabzon, Gul said that this incident was unacceptable and that he condemned it. Gul also spoke about the Cyprus issue, saying that Turkey would withdraw its soldiers from the island if there were a permanent solution there. Gul said that Turkey was doing its best to strengthen the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and added, “We are opening the world to Cyprus more. A stable economy is emerging on Cyprus. We are following a good direction on the Cyprus issue.” /Turkiye/
 GERMAN FM PRAISES TURKEY’S ROLE IN DEFUSING CARTOON CRISISGerman Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said yesterday that Turkey was playing a conscious and constructive role in helping to solve the crisis over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Steinmeier said, “Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Turkey could play a constructive role in this [cartoon] issue. I met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul about it. Turkey is playing a conscious and constructive role in solving the problem. I read Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodirquez Zapatero’s common declaration on the issue published in the newspaper. The views on this declaration are in accord with my own.” Steinmeier is set visit Ankara next week to evaluate the crisis with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and make concrete suggestions about bilateral dialogue. /Milliyet/
 BRITAIN’S STRAW: “THE TRNC COULD BE INDIRECTLY RECOGNIZED”In the wake of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announcing a 10-article Cyprus plan proposing including the Greek Cypriots in the Customs Union in return for lifting the embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Britain and the Greek Cypriot administration have come to odds. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw criticized sharply Greek Cpriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, saying, “Had EU membership been proposed under the current circumstances, neither the British government nor most European governments would have touched the idea of allowing a divided Cyprus into the EU. If Papadopoulos continues this way, the TRNC could be recognized indirectly.” In addition, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou said, “Britain can’t be a mediator anymore. Those supporting the Turkish plan are separatists.” /Hurriyet/
 LETTER BY TRNC’S TALAT PUBLISHED AS UN DOCUMENTTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat’s letter sent to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Feb. 1 has been published as a UN document. Talat’s letter says that Turkey’s recent Cyprus action plan was for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. Talat emphasized in the letter that the content of the plan was in line with the EU Council’s decision of April 26, 2004 and with Annan’s report of May 28, 2005, which calls for an end to the TRNC’s isolation. /Cumhuriyet/
 RICE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN PACE SET TO VISIT TURKEYAnkara will soon be visited by both US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace. US sources stated that the scheduling for Pace’s visit was as yet uncertain but that Rice was planning to visit Ankara this spring. Pace was reportedly invited to a March 23-24 symposium on “Global Terrorism and International Cooperation” which includes an opening speech by Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. The main topic of Pace’s visit would be Iran. There would also be a comprehensive exchange of information on the political process in Iraq and the fight against the terrorist PKK during his visit. /Sabah/
 PRIME MINISTRY HOSTS EXPORTS SUMMITSeven government ministers and a host of bureaucrats attended yesterday’s Economic Coordination Committee chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which discussed problems faced by Turkish exporters. State Ministers Abdullatif Sener and Kursat Tuzmen, European Union chief negotiator and Economy Minister Ali Babacan, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan, Labor and Social Security Minister Murat Basesgioglu, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Industry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun and Central Bank President Sureyya Serdengecti attended the committee meeting, which gathered to consider “Problems of Exports from the Standpoint of the Real Sector.” /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ASSET DECLARATIONS... BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on declarations of politicians’ assets. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Even if the cartoon crisis rocks the entire world, Turkish readers’ interest in and concerns over politicians’ declaration of their assets also continue. So I find it more useful to write on this issue. I also do this in the hope that it will contribute to the proposal that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) promised to bring to Parliament. An open declaration of assets is an important step to becoming transparent, but it may not be enough due to two reasons. Firstly, the origin and time of assets gained and how they were obtained are as important as the person’s declaration. In other words, those assets must also have a legal basis. Otherwise, the situation would be like filling a museum with stolen historical artifacts. Secondly, if penalties for wrongful or incomplete declarations have no teeth, openness will be crippled from the start.
In addition, the state must also be transparent to handle such declarations properly. For example, land registry records are open to official investigation, but this doesn’t mean that those records are actually open to everybody. If you can’t convince the relevant officials that you need to see those records, you can’t see them. In practice, this situation makes the records closed to everybody. However, records about immovable property are the most important evidence of corruption and illegal gains. Therefore, regulations for declarations which fail to open up land registry records would be insufficient. In addition, the asset declarations show the resources belonging to the person himself. However, the resources that he used when he was performing his duties (the state’s instruments, allocations and authorities) actually belong to us, that is, the public. These resources were committed to the trust of that person. Therefore, it’s our right to control how he used those resources. Speaking of transparency, we should know the time to conduct an inspection, and then our democracy will be a true one.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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