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Turkish Press Review, 07-06-08

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

08.06.2007


CONTENTS

  • [01] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT: “ANY CROSS-BORDER OPERATION WOULD NEED A POLITICAL DIRECTIVE”
  • [02] BAYKAL: “WE DON’T WANT A WAR IN IRAQ, WE’RE PURSUING OUR RIGHTS”
  • [03] CASEY: “THE US WILL DO ITS BEST TO COUNTER THE PKK”
  • [04] PENTAGON: “THERE IS NO INDICATION OF A CROSS-BORDER OPERATION”
  • [05] ITALIAN FM TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [06] SCORES OF WORLD CEOS TO ATTEND INVESTMENT COUNCIL MEETING
  • [07] RED LINES
  • [08] PARTIES FALL SHORT ON FEMALE PARTICIPATION

  • [01] CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT: “ANY CROSS-BORDER OPERATION WOULD NEED A POLITICAL DIRECTIVE”

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit stated yesterday that any cross- border operations would need a political directive to proceed. Asked by reporters about the possibility of a cross-border operation, Buyukanit said, “We need political directives,” adding, “Turkish soldiers aren’t bullies. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has principles. The country has interests. We are people who know what to do to.” Responding to an Associated Press story claiming the Turkish army had entered northern Iraq, Buyukanit said that he believed such false reports were intentional. /Hurriyet/

    [02] BAYKAL: “WE DON’T WANT A WAR IN IRAQ, WE’RE PURSUING OUR RIGHTS”

    In an interview with Aksam daily, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday addressed reports of military activity in the region bordering northern Iraq as well as domestic policy, the economy, foreign policy and the presidential election to be held after next month’s general elections. “The Turkish Armed Forces making the border area of a ‘Temporary Military Security Region’ by (TSK) isn’t a state of emergency, it’s related to the geography,” said Baykal. “We want it to be understood that we’re determined. International law doesn’t accept support for terrorism. Its Turkey’s right to demand this [ends]. In the past, we pursued our just cause against Syria with determination [in 1998, when it was harboring terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan]. It is understood that the military has such a need, made a claim and the demand was met. The military says ‘Allow us, we’re making preparations here’.” /Aksam/

    [03] CASEY: “THE US WILL DO ITS BEST TO COUNTER THE PKK”

    US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said yesterday that the US wanted to do its best to help Turkey and Iraq in the fight against the terrorist PKK. Speaking at a press conference, Casey denied claims that Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said that he wouldn’t fight the PKK in northern Iraq. Casey statd that Barzani and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had promised to work with the US and the Turkish government in the fight against terrorist PKK. /Sabah/

    [04] PENTAGON: “THERE IS NO INDICATION OF A CROSS-BORDER OPERATION”

    There is no indication that Turkey has conducted or is preparing to conduct a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, said a senior Pentagon official yesterday. Brig. Gen. Perry Wiggins, deputy director for regional operations, added that Turkey was a US partner in the global war against terrorism. /Turkiye/

    [05] ITALIAN FM TO VISIT TURKEY

    Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema will visit Turkey next Tuesday and Wednesday. During his visit, D’Alema will meet with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul and hold contacts with other high-level officials. The two top diplomats are expected to discuss issues such as bilateral political, economic and cultural relations as well as Turkey’s European Union bid, Cyprus, and other regional and international issues. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] SCORES OF WORLD CEOS TO ATTEND INVESTMENT COUNCIL MEETING

    The fourth meeting of the Turkish Investment Consultancy Council will be held in Istanbul on Monday as chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Expected at the meeting are International Monetary Fund First Deputy Chairman John Lipsky, World Bank Regional Deputy Director Shiegeo Katsu, top officials of international institutions, and the heads of the Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD), Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) and the International Investors Association (YASED). Over 20 multinational companies will represent 11 countries and 12 different sectors during the meting. /Turkiye/

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

    [07] RED LINES

    BY YILMAZ OZDIL (SABAH)

    Columnist Yilmaz Ozdil comments on the latest statement by the General Staff. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Another statement has been posted on the General Staff’s website. It was a notice prohibiting civilian air traffic in the airspace of the southeastern Hakkari, Siirt and Sirnak regions. The statement made a big splash in the Turkish media. Some agencies carried it as breaking news, while newspapers scrambled to change their headlines at midnight to say that the Iraqi border region was declared a security area from June 9 (tomorrow) to Sept. 9 and its airspace a restricted zone. It was also topic A on TV channels, where analysts called it a clear declaration of red lines. Some even said that we were lashing out at the US. This development was something quite new and full of frenzy.

    However, this notice, encompassing the very same area, was in fact issued nearly a month ago, on May 5. You can even look at the statement dated April 5 for yourself. What does it mean, then? Two months ago our border was declared a security area from April 7 to May 7. So actually, we lashed out a while ago. Then May 7 came and this declaration expired, but then it was extended for another month, and covering a wider area. Later, on June 8, when the second month expired, it was seen that the danger wasn’t over but instead had grown much bigger. Thus, another notice was issued and the restrictions were extended for three months as of June 9. That is what happened.”

    [08] PARTIES FALL SHORT ON FEMALE PARTICIPATION

    BY NICOLE POPE (TODAY’S ZAMAN)

    Columnist Nicole Pope comments on women’s participation in politics as reflected in the parties’ candidate lists. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Shortly after the electoral lists were released, media headlines hailed a great victory for Turkish women and an ‘explosion’ in the number of female candidates.

    The head of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD), Ms. Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ, expressed satisfaction that the parties had acted with sensitivity.

    But when the lists were examined in the harsh light of day, the optimism paled and more nuanced assessments started appearing, alongside statements by women’s rights activists expressing their profound disappointment. Political parties may have increased the number of female candidates, but they started from such a low base that the end result remains well below expectations, despite the effective campaign led by non-governmental groups such as the association to Cultivate and Support Women Candidates (KA-DER).

    Take the main political parties: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had promised a woman from each of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Unless Turkey has shrunk in recent weeks, he has failed to fulfill his pledge: his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is only fielding 63 female candidates out of 550, and only 20 or so are in places that make them likely to enter Parliament. The situation is even worse in the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), where only 52 of the 550 candidates are women.

    By most estimates no more than 40 women will make it into Parliament. This would bring the ratio of female deputies from an appalling 4.4% to a still rather embarrassing 7.3%. In the list compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union last September, Turkey ranked 123rd in terms of female participation in the national Parliament. If estimates for the upcoming elections prove correct, Turkey can expect to climb to number 108, which would place it behind Somalia and Kenya, but just ahead of Benin.

    This is hardly the great ‘victory’ that was announced. It is an improvement, yes, but one that still falls far short of the mark to ensure adequate representation to half of Turkey’s population.

    The point, also, is not to add women to the lists to make them look more colorful or give parties a more progressive image: it would also be useful to have more women who are in touch with the grassroots and are familiar with the issues of concern to Turkey’s female population. Some women candidates were chosen in the general scramble for celebrities, top-level bureaucrats and prominent names that often precede elections. It was particularly striking this year; all the main political parties tried to revamp their image. In the process of moving closer to the center and eliminating opposition to the leadership, the AK Party and the CHP shed almost half their current representatives.

    The poor representation of women is a symptom of the democracy deficit within the political parties. It is hardly surprising that so many successful people, women as well as men, who could really contribute a lot to this country, react with horror when asked if they would ever enter politics. Too many parliamentarians feel they are at the mercy of their party leader and can’t express critical opinions or make constructive contributions.

    Now that the lists have been handed in, the next stage of the process can start. Will the various political parties offer coherent visions for the future of Turkey and concrete solutions to the problems it faces? Women voters will no doubt want to know how they plan to address issues of particular concern them, such as childcare, flexible employment, health and domestic violence.”


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