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Turkish Press Review, 06-02-17
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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
17.02.2006FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EP HAILS TURKEY’S INITIATIVES ON CARTOON CRISISThe European Parliament yesterday welcomed Turkey’s diplomatic initiatives on the recent cartoon crisis with a resolution and hailed Turkey’s mediation efforts. The EP General Assembly’s resolution on the crisis, prepared by political groups, said, “Freedom of expression shouldn’t be abused by sowing religious hatred or through racism and xenophobia.” It also condemned acts of violence in Arab countries in reaction to the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “BUREAUCRATIC HURDLES TO FOREIGN CAPITAL WILL BE SWEPT AWAY”Speaking at an opening ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that bureaucratic obstacles to foreign investment in Turkey would be lifted in order to attract more capital. Erdogan stated that an investment promotion agency would soon be established towards this end. “The priority of our government is to cut more red tape,” said Erdogan. He stated that the government was solving Turkey’s problems and added, “We’re creating lasting solutions to our problems such as unemployment and social security.” /Turkiye/
 GUL MEETS WITH CZECH DEPUTY PM TO DISCUSS BILATERAL RELATIONS, TURKEY’S EU BIDForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with visiting Czech Republic Deputy Prime Minister Cyril Svoboda, who is in Ankara for an official visit. Speaking afterwards, Svoboda said that Turkey’s European Union membership process would be difficult and complicated, adding that the Czech Republic had gone through the same process. “We know that the Turkish government will successfully complete this process,” he added. For his part, Gul commented on the recent cartoon crisis, saying that freedom of press didn’t mean attacking the sacred values of religions. /Hurriyet/
 HAMAS DELEGATION VISITS ANKARA, GUL SAYS PALESTINE AND ISRAEL SHOULD COEXISTA Hamas delegation led by Khaled Mashaal, the group’s political bureau chairman, yesterday arrived in Ankara for a visit. Speaking after his meeting with Foreign Ministry officials headed by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Mashaal called the meeting very positive and beneficial. “We briefed Turkish officials on the details of recent developments in Palestine,” said Mashaal. “We heard important advice from these officials which I believe we’ll benefit from.” Mashaal said that he was pleased with the interest of Turkey during their visit. Responding to critics of the visit, Gul said that Ankara was trying to its best to deal with difficult days, adding that he believed the Palestinians and Israelis should coexist. Gul further stressed that Hamas should act in accordance with democracy since it was elected through democratic means. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not meet with the delegation, since the visit was unofficial. /Sabah/
 US, EU WATCH HAMAS VISIT CLOSELYHamas’ surprise Ankara visit yesterday was watched carefully by both Washington and the European Union. Though the US was reportedly not pleased, neither was its reaction extreme. The US administration gave the same message through both Washington and US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson: “The important thing is what you say to Hamas.” EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said, “The EU will not invite any Hamas leader or member.” Solana, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, said that their support for the Palestinian people would continue until a new government is established. /Hurriyet/
 ISRAEL: “MASHAAL’S VISIT WAS A HUGE MISTAKE”Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal’s surprise visit to Ankara yesterday led to political tension between Israel and Ankara. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul telephoned his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni and got a clear message: “We are against this visit.” Israeli Prime Ministry spokesman Raanan Gissin branded the visit a huge mistake which could wound Turkish- Israeli relations, adding, “How would you feel if we met with Abdullah Ocalan?” /Cumhuriyet/
 HIGH-LEVEL US OFFICIAL: “TURKEY CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE IRAN NUCLEAR CRISIS”George Schulte, the US’ permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, asked Turkey to send a more consistent signal to Tehran over the nuclear crisis during his contacts in Ankara this week. A high-level US official familiar with Schulte’s visit said that they had determined that Iran’s nuclear program wasn’t peaceful. “Our aim is to reach a political solution. This is a goal which we share with Turkey,” said the official. “Schulte came to Ankara to consult with the Turkish government. As a NATO ally, Turkey’s views are important for the US. We think that Turkey can play an important role in this diplomatic process on sending a consistent signal to Iran.” /Cumhuriyet/
 MERKEL: “TURKEY PLAYS AN IMPORTANT MEDIATING ROLE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD”Speaking to German magazine Stern about the recent Muhammed cartoon crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Turkey played an important mediating role in the Islamic world. “I’m pleased with this,” she said. Merkel said that the crisis wouldn’t affect Turkey’s European Union bid, adding that membership negotiations were continuing independent of the crisis. /Star/
 AGAR: “GOVT STANCE ON HAMAS VISIT WAS APPROPRIATE”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said that the government’s stance on the controversial visit of a Hamas delegation was appropriate, adding that he welcomed Ankara’s efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. Commenting on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, Agar said that the government should act in line with the international community. /Turkiye/
 GULER, EGYPTIAN OIL MINISTER SIGN PACT FOR NEW NATURAL GAS FIRMEnergy Minister Hilmi Guler yesterday met with Egyptian Oil Minister Sami Fehmi. During the meeting, the two ministers signed a protocol to jointly found a Turkish-Egyptian company named Tergas. Guler said that with this project, natural gas would be transported to Turkey from Egypt by some time next year. Asked if the gas would be cheaper than Russian gas, Guler said that the price hadn’t been determined yet. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NEITHER SURPRISE NOR COINCIDENCE BY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on developments in Middle East and Turkey’s role in them. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Those who think that yesterday’s visit by a Hamas delegation was a coincidence are wrong. Nor is it right to call it a surprise. The surprise comes in how reporters, politicians and certain diplomats learned about this incident at once. The diplomatic leads that we followed yesterday show an agreement and consensus between Ankara and Washington about this visit. In addition, this agreement has another segment: Moscow. The Russians, who are gradually strengthening themselves and seeking power on the world stage by distancing themselves from Washington, supported Hamas’ visit to Ankara. In fact, Hamas’ second visit will be to Russia. It should also be understood well that the Anatolia news agency reported this week that the Russians said we would meet with Hamas and that this would be an important chance for peace in the Middle East. Thus, those who think Hamas’ visit was for our ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are wrong. In addition, such an important diplomatic development which concerns the entire Middle East seems like a well-prepared step. Obviously, our public institutions gave the green light for it.
It was also a skillful move that Hamas was welcomed at AKP headquarters, instead of such public institutions as the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry or the General Staff, because the international community expects Hamas to take certain steps. It doesn’t want Hamas to gain legitimacy on the political and international stage without these steps. Ankara put forth the importance of the visit with calculation. The Middle East is being reshaped. The world can’t sleep peacefully unless the region is peaceful and stable. Such an original model like Turkey is vitally important for world peace. Now, it’s time to open the doors for dialogue between Palestine and Israel. The threat of Hamas can turn into an opportunity towards this end. Who else might visit Turkey next? Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani might visit Ankara once more. Thus, the Kurds would be involved in the game in the Middle East, of course, under the direction of Turkey. In addition, the pope and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad will visit Turkey as well.
Incidents in this region never happen without a reason. When Turkey is the subject at hand, everything is calculated. I wished that some people understood Turkey’s real power. Then they could take a wider perspective, instead of narrow and small, local political calculations. But don’t worry, because Turkey is developing and improving.”
The news and articles issued in the Turkish Press Review may be quoted from provided due acknowledgement is made.
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