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Turkish Press Review, 07-06-07

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

07.06.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] ERDOGAN DENIES CLAIMS OF CROSS-BORDER OPERATION
  • [02] GUL: “TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM WILL CONTINUE”
  • [03] SEVEN FALLEN SOLDIERS LAID TO REST
  • [04] CUBAN ENVIRONMENT AGENCY HEAD VISITS TURKEY
  • [05] BELGIAN FM: “HALTING TURKEY’S EU TALKS WOULD BE COMPLETELY FOOLISH”
  • [06] TURKEY, EU SIGN SCIENCE AND RESEARCH COOPERATION PACT
  • [07] US DEPUTY COMMERCE SECRETARY VISITS TUZMEN
  • [08] CANDIDATE LISTS AND QUESTIONS

  • [01] ERDOGAN DENIES CLAIMS OF CROSS-BORDER OPERATION

    Denying claims that Turkey is conducting a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that it would be out of the question for Turkey to show its hand publicly. Speaking on television, Erdogan added that that if a step towards a cross-border operation is foreseen, Turkey would speak with Iraq and also bring the matter to Parliament. He added that Turkey’s official counterpart in Iraq is not the Kurdish leader, but Iraq’s central government. /Turkiye/

    [02] GUL: “TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM WILL CONTINUE”

    Speaking to reporters at a reception celebrating Africa Day, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul denied foreign news agency reports that Turkey had initiated a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, but added that Turkey’s fight against terrorism was continuing and that it would do anything necessary to root out terrorism. /Turkiye/

    [03] SEVEN FALLEN SOLDIERS LAID TO REST

    Seven soldiers who were killed in Monday's terrorist attack in Tunceli were laid to rest in their hometowns yesterday. Crowds accompanied the funerals holding Turkish flags and chanting slogans condemning the terrorist PKK. The seven fallen were Eraslan Gungor (Amasya), Burhan Yalcin (Sirnak), Eyup Yabangulu (Kayseri), Mustafa Aslan (Balikesir), Emrah Kayadelen (Gaziantep), Ilhan Saglam (Erzurum), and Erdem Erkacti (Izmir). Military officials were also present at the ceremonies, and spoke with the families to ease their pain. Thousands cried for the soldiers yesterday across Turkey. /The New Anatolian/

    [04] CUBAN ENVIRONMENT AGENCY HEAD VISITS TURKEY

    Gisela Alonso, the president of the Cuban Environment Agency, currently in Ankara to attend a symposium on environment held by the Chamber of Environment Engineers, yesterday met with Turkish Environment and Forest Minister Osman Pepe. Pepe and Alonso spoke about industrialization and environmental problems and also exchanged views on models for environmentally conscious development. /Aksam/

    [05] BELGIAN FM: “HALTING TURKEY’S EU TALKS WOULD BE COMPLETELY FOOLISH”

    Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said this week that stopping Turkey’s European Union accession talks “would be completely foolish, ” reiterating that there were good reasons for his unequivocal support of Turkey’s membership. Speaking with Turkish daily Today’s Zaman in Gent, Belgium, De Gucht also voiced his belief that newly elected French President Nicholas Sarkozy, whose strong opposition to possible Turkish EU membership created an outcry both in Turkey and in pro-Turkey European circles, wouldn’t stop or even ask for the suspension of Turkey’s accession talks. Stressing that many reforms had been made in Turkey over the last five years due fundamentally to the EU membership drive, he said: “I am convinced that Turkey should have a chance to become a member of the EU. It is up to the Turkish people to demonstrate that they can become a member and I think they are in a position to do so. The last five years have seen a lot of good things in your country. I am personally convinced that these changes, to a very large extent, have been motivated by the prospect of EU membership. That is a very good thing.” /Today’s Zaman/

    [06] TURKEY, EU SIGN SCIENCE AND RESEARCH COOPERATION PACT

    Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the EU Volkan Bozkir and EU Commission’s Director General for Research Jose Manuel Silva Rodriguez last week signed a landmark science and cooperation agreement for 2007-2013, stated the Foreign Ministry yesterday. It stated that the program, with a budget totaling €53.2 billion, aims to strengthen Europe’s capacity in the field of science and research and lend Turkey a new dynamism in this field. Turkey’s participation in the Program will reportedly boost the research and renewal capacity of the nation’s industry and business sectors, and there will be cooperation between the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and EU institutions in such fields as transportation, energy, bio/nano-technology, water, etc. /Milliyet/

    [07] US DEPUTY COMMERCE SECRETARY VISITS TUZMEN

    A delegation led by US Commerce Deputy Secretary David Sampson yesterday visited State Minister Kursad Tuzmen as well as Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). Speaking afterwards, Tuzmen said that Turkey hopes to boost its trade volume with the US and wants American firms to make more investments in Turkey. For his part, Samson emphasized the importance of professional chambers. /Milliyet/

    FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [08] CANDIDATE LISTS AND QUESTIONS

    BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the candidate lists submitted by parties for the July 22 general elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The political parties’ candidate lists have led some observers to try and forecast what the next Parliament will look like.

    Some say that Parliament won’t have as many young deputies as expected. Others believe there still be few women. Still others say that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will move to the center due to a few of its candidates whose have social democratic roots.

    On the other hand, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is said to have shifted to the right, as it put some liberal candidates close to the tradition of the old Democrat Party on its list.

    Analysis of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is hard to do, since it’s taken a ‘stealth’ policy. However, it’s giving the impression that MHP leader Devlet Bahceli didn’t allow on its list anyone who hobbled the party in the past.

    I don’t feel the need to mention the others, namely the Democrat Party (DP) and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), because if they can’t come together and draw up a list which will inspire confidence in their voters, it won’t be necessary.

    Considering all this, some questions come to mind:

    For instance, we couldn’t understand why (former Prime Minister) Necmettin Erbakan came back to run as an independent candidate. I think he has the devil’s own luck. He was prosecuted and sentenced to over two years in prison in addition to be banned from holding public office. But then Parliament passed a special law so he could avoid jail time.

    I can understand why an octogenarian ex-premier wasn’t imprisoned but instead confined to his house. But it’s difficult to understand how Erbakan can run for Parliament now while others are still banned from doing the same.

    Another question came to mind when I first saw the lists:

    Will the next Parliament have another Leyla Zana or Merve Kavakci (two former controversial deputies)? If it does, we should expect tension from Parliament’s opening session.

    Another issue is the disgruntled. Current deputies who didn’t make the lists or weren’t as high on them as they wanted could pose problems. In past years, they even went so far as to seek cancellation of the early general elections.

    I don’t think they will do so this time. But I think if the government wants the current Parliament to enact a law, it seems it will face a tough time. For instance, if the law to reduce the preparation period for constitutional amendment referendums to 45 days is sent back by the president, passing it again will be like getting blood from a stone.”


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