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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-15
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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 : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
15.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ERDOGAN CRITICIZES COUNCIL OF STATE HEADSCARF RULINGSpeaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the recent Council of State ruling barring a teacher who wore a headscarf outside school from becoming principal as well as the council’s criticisms of the government on the issue. Erdogan said that the “independence of mind” of judges was as important as their judicial independence, adding that positive law and its results could always be criticized. “There should be no interference in the judicial process, but defending the law after a decision is the right of politicians and non-governmental organizations [NGOs] alike,” he said. “Judicial independence doesn’t only include the independence of the judiciary vis-à- vis the executive, but also the independence of mind of judges who should consider the general principles of law and positive law in issuing rulings.” /Turkiye/
 PM ADDRESSES REGIONAL AND SECTORAL COUNCIL MEETINGPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday chaired the third meeting of the Regional and Sectoral Council. Ten Cabinet ministers were also present at the meeting. During the meeting, Erdogan briefed the participants on the government’s work on energy, saying that this winter’s natural gas shortage was a result of natural circuit plants. The premier stated that these plants were expensive. “Since we don’t produce natural gas, we’re not independent on the issue,” he said. Erdogan further called for businessmen to strive to compete with Chinese and India, adding that the process of globalization needed to be understood. /Aksam/
 GUL MEETS WITH GERMAN FM, DISCUSSES PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICTForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss a number of issues, including bilateral relations. Speaking afterwards, Steinmeier said that they had discussed recent developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, adding that the Turkish and German governments shared the same views about Hamas being elected in last month’s Palestinian elections. Steinmeier said that a new era had begun with the election of Hamas and that it needs to abandon violence in order to prove its credibility. Steinmeier stated further that Turkey had influence over Middle Eastern countries, adding that Germany could cooperate with Ankara to end the conflict. /Cumhuriyet/
 AGAR: “THE NATION EXPECTS EARLY ELECTIONS”Opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that the nation was expecting early elections, adding that the government shouldn’t frustrate the nation’s will. “Farmers, the retired, the employee, and civil servants – none are pleased with their situation,” he said. “Previous governments’ efforts to avoid early elections also failed.” In related news, opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) leader Erkan Mumcu commented on the Council of State decision barring a teacher who wore a headscarf outside school from becoming principal, saying that in order to resolve the issue private and public spaces needed to be distinguished from each other. /Turkiye/
 GUL SPEAKS ON HEADSCARF RULING, PROSPECT OF HAMAS VISITForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov, who was in Ankara for an official visit. After the meeting, at a joint press conference Gul was asked about the Council of State’s recent statement about its controversial headscarf ruling. “The universal character of democracy is clear and certain,” said Gul. “I don’t want to come to loggerheads with any institution.” When asked whether the Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or the Foreign Ministry had invited Hamas representatives to visit Turkey, Gul underlined the importance of sending the right messages to Palestinians following Hamas’ election victory and warned of the dangers of acting otherwise, saying, “If missteps are made at the beginning, we won’t be able to get back on track and the peace process might be deadlocked.” /Star/
 MHP LEADER BAHCELI: “PM’S REACTION IS A CONFESSION OF HELPLESSNESS”Opposition leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday held a press conference at the party headquarters to criticize the government. “The premier’s reaction to the Council of State’s recent ruling expanding the headscarf ban out of public spaces for those providing public service is actually a confession of helplessness,” said Bahceli. Also touching on the Muhammed cartoon crisis, Bahceli said, “This is a deplorable situation.” /Cumhuriyet/
 DANISH FM: “SINCE WE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING ILLEGAL, WE WON’T APOLOGIZE”Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said yesterday that the Danish government wouldn’t apologize to the Muslim world for the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. Speaking to the Associated Press, Moeller said that since nothing illegal was done there was no need to apologize to Muslims. Moeller said that no one had predicted such an intense reaction from the Muslim world, adding that there was no doubt that the feelings of many Muslims were hurt. “We’re trying to make contacts with the related governments, but it will take us time to resolve the issue,” he added. /Turkiye/
 US’ PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE IAEA VISITS ANKARAGeorge Schulte, the US’ permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, will come to Ankara to discuss Iran today. Schulte will share intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program and hopes to convince Ankara of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. Schulte is also expected to visit other countries in the region. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is reportedly planning to visit Tehran. /Sabah/
 CYPRUS HIGH-LEVEL CONTACT GROUP TO MEET WITH TALATThe European Parliament’s Cyprus High Level Contact Group is reportedly set to go to Cyprus on March 5-8 and will meet with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat at his office. The members decided that during the meeting, state symbols of the TRNC shouldn’t be in the office and no photos should be taken. The contact group consists of eight MEPs and hopes to develop relations with the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots. /Hurriyet/
 DOVISH ATHENS MAYOR BECOMES GREEK FMGreek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis announced on Tuesday a wide-ranging reshuffle of his government, making the current mayor of Athens, 51-year- old Dora Bayonnakis, the country’s first female foreign minister. The popular mayor is seen as dovish towards Turkey, and analysts say her appointment is a good omen for the possible revival of stalled efforts to reunite the divided island of Cyprus. /Turkish Daily News/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ATATURK WOULDN’T HAVE SPOKEN IN THAT HALL BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on a dinner held in the honor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The controversy over last week’s ‘street-level’ exchange between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a farmer in Mersin led to the neglect of an important incident. A dinner held in Kahramanmaras in Erdogan’s honor was attended by 500 people. However, there was a strange situation during the dinner. However, this situation was found strange neither by Erdogan, nor his wife nor ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) administrators, nor the other people at the dinner. The scene in the hall was quite strange for a country which is in the midst of membership talks with the European Union. The women and men who attended the dinner were sitting in separate places, and most of the women were wearing headscarves. The situation was reminiscent of Iran or an Arab country, instead of Turkey. This picture didn’t disturb the AKP members, because this is now they envision Turkey.
Erdogan gave a speech during the dinner. Firstly, he touted the successes of his party and what it still hopes to achieve. He said that one of his aims was to bring the republic above the level of modern civilizations and that Ataturk had started the War of Independence by uniting the nation. He added, ‘We started a war of economic independence by becoming the ruling party on Nov. 3, 2002.’ Erdogan said that they had taken Ataturk as an example and tried hard to reach his goals. He also stressed the importance of everybody’s standing together to reach these goals. Actually, there’s nothing to say about this business of Ataturk’s goals. However, some things should be emphasized.
First of all, Ataturk would never speak in such a hall, nor even go in, because the situation in that hall is completely the reverse of the revolutions accomplished by Ataturk 80 years ago. Ataturk wanted the clothing of modern Turkish women to be like that of other women living in civilized countries. He wanted Turkish women to participate in social life in equal conditions and rights with men and participate in production. That’s why he pushed those revolutions. Therefore, he gave political and social rights to Turkish women before many civilized countries did. That’s why Ataturk would never accept that seating plan and speak in that hall. Erdogan’s speech in that hall is a sad contradiction of Ataturk’s goal of civilized countries and a betrayal of the great revolutionary’s heritage.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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