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Turkish Press Review, 06-08-16

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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <>

<LINK href="" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <style type="text_css"> <!-- .baslik { margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; margin-top:1cm; font-size:12.0pt; color:#000099; text-align: justify; } --> <_style> e-mail : <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning





    The Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) yesterday convened to discuss a number of issues, including sending Turkish soldiers to Lebanon. During the meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the issue of sending soldiers was not yet clear. “We don’t want to be involved in an atmosphere of conflict,” said Erdogan, adding that Turkey wouldn’t be involved in efforts to disarm Hezbollah. Erdogan further stated that Muslim countries would join in the UN peacekeeping force, but that the US and Britain wouldn’t send soldiers. /Milliyet/[02] ERDOGAN TO VISIT THE US IN OCTOBER

    At the invitation of the US president, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Washington in October. Erdogan is expected to depart from Ankara after receiving German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 5-6. The premier is set to have talks with President George W. Bush and other officials on the Mideast issue and Turkey’s fight with the terrorist group PKK. Erdogan will reiterate Turkey’s expectation that the US will take more concrete steps to end the presence of PKK militants in northern Iraq. /Turkey/[03] ARINC: “IF THE UN PASSES A RESOLUTION, THERE’S NO NEED FOR PARLIAMENT'S PERMISSION”

    Speaking about Turkey sending troops to a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed in Lebanon, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday said, “This issue is the duty of the government,” and added, “If the UN passes a resolution which binds all its members, the government can send troops without asking the Parliament. If the UN doesn’t make a clear decision, the government has to ask permission from the Parliament.” Lebanese Ambassador George Siam yesterday visited Arinc to thank him for his peace efforts and give him a letter from Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nebih Berri. /Cumhuriyet/[04] TURKISH OFFICIALS MAKE GREAT EFFORTS ON LEBANON ISSUE

    Following the cease-fire in Lebanon, Turkey is making efforts to find a settlement in the region. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, after a summit on the Mideast chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Prime Ministry yesterday, visited President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to brief him about recent developments in the region. He also told Sezer that during the summit it was agreed a decision to send Turkish troops to Lebanon under a UN force should wait until the UN Security Council makes the conditions more clear. Afterwards, Gul yesterday visited main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. The foreign minister reportedly will pay visits to other political party leaders in the coming days to exchange views on the matter. In addition, Gul is set to travel to Lebanon this morning, and then on Sunday to leave for Israel. Today, Gul will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and other officials. /Turkiye/[05] BAYKAL: “WE DON’T WANT TO CREATE TENSION OVER NEXT YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION”

    Appearing on television yesterday, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that his party doesn’t want to create tension over next spring’s presidential election. “We don’t want to lead to tension in Turkey,” said Baykal. “We only want the next president to contribute to stability. The next president should be trustworthy.” He stressed that his party didn’t insist on that this new president be from the CHP, adding that if someone from outside Parliament is proposed, his party could support that figure. /Milliyet/ [06] CHP'S BAYKAL: “DON’T RUSH TO SEND TURKISH TROOPS TO LEBANON”

    Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday welcomed Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at his party headquarters in Ankara. After their talks, Baykal told reporters that Gul had told him about the recent situation in Lebanon. Stressing that the UN should pass a new resolution on the matter, Baykal said that his party was firmly opposed to sending Turkish troops to the region, adding that doing so could put Turkey in the line of fire. “Clashes can drag Turkey into turbulence. This is the Middle East,” said the CHP leader. “The matter should be discussed publicly before a decision is made.” /Turkiye/[07] TWO SOLDIERS KILLED IN SIRNAK

    Two soldiers were killed yesterday in a conflict between security forces and terrorists in Sirnak. Infantry Cpl. Yakup Pak and infantryman Kadir Ozdemir were killed in a conflict with PKK terrorists. It was stated that operations against the PKK would continue. Funerals for the two servicemen will be held today in their respective hometowns. /Sabah/ [08] US CALLS ON PKK TO CEASE ITS TERRORIST ACTIVITIES

    The US on Monday called on the terrorist PKK to cease its terrorist actions and lay down its arms. US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack underlined in his written statement marking 22 years since the beginning of the PKK terrorist violence that this violence undermines prospects for a more democratic and secure future for the people of both Turkey and the region, stressing that it also significantly sets back the aspirations of Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish population that the PKK purports to represent. “Since August 15, 1984, PKK violence has accounted for the deaths more than 30,000 Turkish security forces and civilians,” said the statement. /Star/[09] PARLIAMENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION HEAD: “THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST MAP IS UNACCEPTABLE”

    Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Mehmet Dulger yesterday spoke about Israel’s attack on Lebanon and US Secretary of State Department Condoleezza Rice’s statements about a “new Middle East.” Pointing to a map of the greater Middle East published in US Armed Forces Magazine, Dulger said, “Who has the will in the Middle East? Do people living in the region want this map? These questions are important. You break my country into pieces; will we accept this? Whoever wants to create this geography should think twice.” The map, accompanying an article by a former US general, envisions a future “Kurdistan” in parts of the Turkish Republic. /Cumhuriyet/[10] GOVT, CIVIL SERVANTS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING BEGINS

    Collective bargaining between the government and civil servant labor confederations began yesterday. The bargaining will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. Speaking before yesterday’s meeting, Sahin said that the government was determined to have civil servants’ pay keep pace with inflation. Saying that the government had raised the salaries of civil servants by 2.5% in the first and second halves of the year, Sahin added, however, that inflation so far in the second half of this year was 4.8%. “We are sitting at the negotiating table with determination to make up the inflation difference to civil servants,” added Sahin. /Aksam/[11] EXPLOSION IN HISTORICAL ISTANBUL PARK RAISES SECURITY CONCERNS

    A small bomb went off in a park in a historical district of Istanbul on Tuesday, one day after a similar explosion in the same park slightly injured three people. No one was injured in Tuesday’s blast in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, but security measures around the park have been tightened. A private news agency claimed that the explosion was caused by a small bomb placed near a lamppost, but no official comment has confirmed the information. /The New Anatolian/[12] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…[00] TURKEY SHOULD GO TO LEBANON NOT TO FIGHT, BUT TO REBUILDBY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)

    Columnist Isment Berkan comments on a peacekeeping force for Lebanon. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “After the war in Lebanon, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) decided to expand its field of duties and increase its staff. I said earlier that I was against sending Turkish troops to UNIFIL. Let me summarize my reasons for that:

    1. What will the purpose of this duty be? Protecting Lebanon from Israel, or disarming Hizbullah, or protecting Israel from Hizbullah. In all of those cases, Turkey’s entering an environment of conflict would benefit nobody.

    2. It would be useless if the force lacks the authorization to use weapons and if it has this authorization, then we would enter a war which is not ours.

    3. The problem seems to be one between Lebanon and Israel, but it is actually between Israel and US on the one side and the entire Islamic world on the other. Syria and Iran are very strong in terms of armaments. Not the policy, but the public opinion of Turkey is more a part of the Islamic world than the Western world.

    4. The problem should be solved, or at least the hope of a solution should be seen on the horizon, because Lebanon is an important, but small part of the business. Those who can solve the problem are the Arab world and Israel. Therefore before all else, it is the business of the Arab world to protect Lebanon and bring stability to the country.

    There is still work on a new duty for UNIFIL. If a consensus is reached on its duties, then countries will be asked to send their troops. It is understood that Turkey is expecting a consensus in the UN. I think this is wrong. Turkey, instead of sending combat troops to Lebanon and getting involved in a bloody war, should establish contact with the Lebanese government and send humanitarian aid. The Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and similar organizations are already doing this, but what I’m talking about is rebuilding its destroyed roads, bridges and infrastructure like electricity and sewage. This is a work of military engineering. It would be more useful for Lebanon if Turkey would send its military engineering teams and a mobile hospital with its personnel. I think we have to think about this.”


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