|Thursday, 22 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 07-06-26
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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
26.06.2007FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 BSEC LEADERS MEET IN ISTANBUL TO MARK GROUP’S 15TH ANNIVERSARYLeaders of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) member states yesterday convened in Istanbul to mark the group’s 15th anniversary. Such issues as energy and ties with the European Union were discussed at the summit. Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that the Black Sea region is attracting increasing international attention. Gul further stressed that if the BSEC countries work together, dealing with the problems of the 21st century will become easier. In the post-meeting final declaration, the BSEC member states stated that they would act with the EU to strengthen cooperation over energy and its just distribution. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis during the summit. Erdogan said that he always appreciated Karamanlis’ support, adding that economic ties between the two countries are getting stronger every day. For his part, Karamanlis said that his main goal was to improve bilateral ties. Later, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer hosted a dinner for the BSEC member state leaders. /Milliyet- Turkiye/
 BAYKAL CAMPAIGNS IN ANTALYA, AGAR IN AFYONKARAHISARCampaigning in Antalya yesterday ahead of next month’s elections, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that his party would protect both faith and democracy in Turkey. “We won’t allow the Turkish Republic project to go down in failure,” he said. “We know that there are forces pushing for this failure and to make Turkey a typical Middle Eastern country.” Also addressing a campaign rally in Afyonkarahisar yesterday, Democrat Party (DP) leader Mehmet Agar rebuffed predictions that his party wouldn’t reach the 10% election threshold, adding that the nation would decide who is telling the truth. “They can say whatever they want,” stated Agar. /Turkiye/
 DSP’S SEZER: “THE LEFT IS TURKEY’S LAST HOPE”Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer said yesterday that Turkey needs new leadership and projects and that the left is its last hope. At a breakfast meeting with reporters in Burdur, Sezer said that he wants to make Turkey a happier place. He added that polarization and terrorist attacks have been on the rise amid eroding secular democracy and the exploitation of people’s religious beliefs. Charging that Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule has been a time of constantly rising tension, Sezer added that the country needs development, not tension. Concerning the election alliance between the DSP and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Sezer said that they had put forth an “Intellectual Turkey Project” and were working together on it. /Cumhuriyet/
 FRANCE BLOCKS OPENING OF EU TALKS ON MONETARY POLICYAlthough European Union Term President Germany had announced that three new chapters are set to open in Turkey’s membership talks, France yesterday objected to the first chapter on economy and monetary policy. France gave no reason for its objection, but threatened to veto the chapter if it were submitted, so Germany withdrew the chapter and only submitted the other two. These two chapters will be opened during an intergovernmental meeting to be held today with the participation of Turkey’s chief negotiator Ali Babacan. /Hurriyet/
 NATIONAL AGING ACTION PLAN APPROVEDThe Higher Planning Council (YPK) yesterday approved a National Aging Action Plan to improve the quality of life of Turkey’s elderly so they can live out their lives in health, dignity, and self-respect. The plan proposes measures to alleviate problems of aging and to provide and diversify elder-focused services in a planned and programmed way. Under the plan, policies which provide all people with sufficient economic and social protection during their old age are to be developed and implemented. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN: “TURKEY IS A RISING ECONOMIC STAR”Addressing a Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) meeting yesterday, Economy Minister Ali Babacan said the improvements seen in Turkey over the last five years have attracted the attention of many neighboring countries as well as the European Union. Stressing that Turkey was a rising star offering unique opportunities for the business world, Babacan added that many countries are watching Turkey and wondering what the secret of its success is. “The reforms we’ve made are known as a silent revolution, ” said Babacan. /Turkiye/
 TUSIAD CRITICIZES FRENCH DECISIONCriticizing France’s blocking a new chapter of Turkey’s European Union talks, the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) representative to the EU said yesterday that France’s stance on Turkey is out of step with EU principles and constitutes a hostile stance against the Turkish people. TUSIAD’s Bahadir Kaleagasi added that there was no real conflict between Turkey and France, but that the extent of this hostile stance needs explaining. He added that it was extraordinary for a democracy to act in such a hostile way towards a fellow democratic state. /Star/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 DON’T FORGET THE EUBY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)
Columnist Ismet Berkan comments on Turkey’s European Union membership bid and two new negotiations chapters set to open today. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We don’t mention it so often, but we have a goal: full EU membership. We never talk about it, but the driving force of the relatively stable economic growth we’re enjoying today is our EU membership drive.
If we didn’t have this aim, we wouldn’t have as much economic stability as we have today and we couldn’t think about some plans for our future.
In this respect, it’s important that two more chapters in our talks will be opened today in Brussels with the participation of Ali Babacan, our economy minister and chief negotiator for EU talks. Don’t forget that this train is still going along, albeit slowly.
Here I’ll reiterate things I’ve said many times before: The real aim is the happiness and welfare of all, not EU membership. Today the best tool to reach this goal is holding membership talks with the EU. To the extent that we succeed in these talks, the gulf between us and prosperous Western countries will shrink.
Don’t mind the shrill voices. Turkey’s full membership perspective didn’t end with Nicholas Sarkozy becoming president of France. It may slow down or face some political troubles, but these hurdles, accidents or bumps shouldn’t keep us from looking at the big picture.
In this big picture, the rapid progress Turkey will make through negotiations with the EU can be seen.
Will these negotiations succeed? Will Turkey become an EU member?
We don’t have to answer these questions today. What is important is walking this path towards full membership. I believe that the road leading towards a goal is as important as the goal itself. We should walk this way without getting tired or bored. Doing so will speed up our goal.
Yesterday, France put a hurdle in front of us. We aren’t going to open one of the chapters that we’re ready to. This chapter was the one aiming at monetary union.
Of course Turkey won’t adopt the euro as soon as this chapter is closed. We have a lot of time before that, but negotiations in this chapter would help Turkey grow closer with a lot of economic institutions, including the European counterparts of our Central Bank and Finance Ministry. But this hurdle isn’t so important. If Portugal, which takes over the EU term presidency next week, tries hard enough, we could start negotiations on as many as five chapters over the next six months.
Moreover, a Europe which has left its constitutional crisis behind it will have more room to look forward, and Turkey will continue to occupy a central place in the EU’s future plans.
As I’ve said before, what EU countries do or what kind of stances they take against Turkey aren’t important. What is important is Turkey’s appetite for negotiations and full membership. So we should always keep our eyes on the prize.”
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