|Tuesday, 13 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 07-06-18
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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
 ERDOGAN: “THE AKP IS A PARTY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE”On a campaign stop ahead of next month’s elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday spoke to crowds in the southeastern Anatolian city of Sanliurfa. Erdogan said that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was the voice of all Turkey’s people, not just certain groups. Stressing that the AKP is a centrist, conservative and democratic party, he said that its principle of one flag, state, nation and motherland would never change. Touting his government’s policies, Erdogan stated that they had founded new universities in nearly half the nation’s 81 provinces and were on the way to at least one in every province. After attending a number of opening ceremonies in Sanliurfa, Erdogan returned to Ankara in the late afternoon. /Turkiye/
 TOP COURT TO RULE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PACKAGEThe Constitutional Court will rule tomorrow an appeal against a package of constitutional changes that includes popular election of the president. In its application to the court, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) argued that the 366 votes for the first article of the package is one less than required. On Friday the court rapporteur submitted its report to the judges, saying, “The whole package should be annulled since the approval of 367 deputies was necessary for each of its amendments.” /Turkish Daily News/
 BAYKAL: “WE SHOULD STOP THE THREAT IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Speaking to news channel Haberturk, main opposition leader Deniz Baykal said over the weekend that he and former President Suleyman Demirel had recently had a very beneficial meeting at Demirel’s house, adding, “We confirmed that we were looking at Turkey’s future from the same perspective.” Also touching on recent developments in northern Iraq, Baykal said that region was harboring a threat to Turkey. “We have to stop this threat,” he said. “This is our right. We have to realize this. Turkey has to make its power felt. If Turkey shows its determination with all of its power, it will stop northern Iraq from continuing its illegitimate attitude.” /Sabah/
 US GENERAL: “WE CAN’T HAVE FRICTION WITH OUR ALLY TURKEY”US Brig. Gen. J.H. Pittard, who works with Iraqi security forces in the country’s north, told reporters the US doesn’t want to be at odds with Turkey in the region, stressing, “We can’t have it to where we have friction with a NATO ally.” Quoted in Sunday’s Washington Post, Pittard said that Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq should stop supporting PKK terrorists or else “suffer the consequences.” Referring to Turkish troops along the Iraqi border, the US commander downplayed the prospect of a cross-border operation, saying, “It may just be brinksmanship.” /Hurriyet/
 RUSSIA MOVES TOWARDS OPENING CONSULATE IN NORTHERN IRAQA Russian delegation visited Erbil over the weekend to hold talks with Kurdish officials towards opening a consulate in the region. During their talks, officials from both sides stated that a Russian consulate would help to develop bilateral relations. In addition, France and Greece are also expected to open consulates in the region. /Turkiye/
 1.7 MLN TAKE UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAMSome 1.7 million students yesterday took the nationwide University Entrance Examination (OSS). The three-hour test, which determines whether students go on to university or not, is viewed as the biggest factor for the students’ future path. Results of the exam are expected to be announced late next month. /Milliyet/
 CHINESE OFFICIAL CALLS ON TURKISH BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST IN CHINABo Xilai, minister of commerce of the People’s Republic of China, yesterday said that he wanted more economic cooperation between Turkey and China. Addressing the Turkish-Chinese Business Forum in Istanbul, Bo called on Turkish businessmen to invest in China and said that the trade volume between the two countries had increased 50% in 2006 and doubled in the first four months of 2007. Stating that he would try to promote cooperation between the two countries in a number of areas, Bo said, “We can buy more goods from Turkey. Make a list of goods you can sell.” /Cumhuriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE SOURCE OF UNFRIENDLY SCENARIOS IN THE USBY SEMIH IDIZ (MILLIYET)
Columnist Semih Idiz comments on a workshop on Turkey held last week at the Washington-based Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We shouldn’t be surprised that the brainstorming done recently at the Hudson Institute was criticized in Turkey at a time when ‘metal storming’ scenarios are being mentioned in our country (referring to Metal Storm, a popular novel envisioning a Turkish-US conflict). At this point, what’s most surprising is that our diplomats weren’t invited to this workshop, but that it was attended by top Turkish military leaders. Obviously this situation has a reasonable explanation, but I don’t want to dwell on this. Instead, I’d like to focus on the discussions that reportedly took place there.
This brainstorming was based on a speculative scenario of the assassination of a former Constitutional Court head, the terrorist PKK killing 50 people in Istanbul, and the Turkish Armed Forces’ subsequent move into northern Iraq. We should look for the reasons behind this scenario, not in Washington, but in Ankara, because looking at Turkey from the outside, one can see that the state’s basic organs are at odds with each other and the consensus necessary for the country’s strategic interests remains out of reach. Elements of this scenario, which was supposedly prepared by a Turkish researcher, should not be strange to us, because they are inspired by real events.
It was claimed during the workshop that delivering PKK leaders from northern Iraq to Turkey before the July 22 elections would bring help to Justice and Development Party (AKP). However, we know that this discussion was actually caused by Turkey. It’s not so hard to guess who’s in contact with foreign diplomats in Turkey so that such assumptions are forwarded. Of course, one could look at the workshop in Washington and think that they crossed the line. However, we can’t prevent such meetings, because Americans use them to try to plan for developments that might influence their own strategic interests.
It’s also hard to guess that similar scenarios about Turkey and other countries are being discussed at the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), which is within the General Staff but not open to civilians. Before getting angry about Hudson Institute workshop, these issues should be taken into consideration. From this viewpoint, one could claim that this disturbing brainstorming was even useful for our understanding how the outside world sees us. As I said, if such evaluations are made about Turkey, we should look for the reasons for this not in Washington, but in Ankara, which gives very complicated signals about possible developments!”
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