|Monday, 19 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 08-04-10
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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
10.04.2008FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS
 GUL RECEIVES NGOs FROM DIYARBAKIRPresident Abdullah Gul yesterday received at the Cankaya Presidential Palace a delegation representing non-governmental organizations from the southeastern province of Diyarbakir. The delegation gave Gul a report about the region’s problems and invited him to visit. They also asked Gul to pressure the government to complete the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP). The main topics of the meeting were democratization, incentives for investment, Turkey’s European Union bid, and controversial Article 301. In related news, Gul yesterday visited the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK). /Sabah/
 TURKEY SEEKS PACIFIC COUNTRIES’ SUPPORT FOR SEAT ON UN SECURITY COUNCILA Turkey-Pacific islands’ foreign ministers meeting began yesterday in Istanbul. Addressing the gathering, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan brought up Turkey’s financial aid to underdeveloped countries in the Pacific island region and asked the countries to support Turkey’s bid for a non- permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2009-2010. During the meeting, Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Samuel Abal expressed strong support for Turkey’s candidacy. Saying that small Pacific island countries face many challenges and problems in the globalized world, especially climate change caused by other countries, Abal added that his country admires the growth and development Turkey has shown in recent years. After the first session of the meeting, Babacan told reporters that most of the countries present support Turkey’s UN Security Council bid. Asked about Turkey not having signed the Kyoto anti-global warming pact, Babacan said, “The decision to approve or not approve this protocol is up to individual countries, and Turkey is evaluating the terms of this protocol. Each country can have a different approach to the issue.” He added that Turkey is stronger on environmental issues than many European countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 LAND FORCES COMMANDER VISITS TRNCLand Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday traveled to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to inspect troops stationed there. Basbug was received by TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat, Parliament Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu and Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer. Afterwards, Basbug said, “All the Turkish units on the island since 1974, when the Cyprus Turkish peace operation took place, brought peace and security to Cyprus. Today, the TRNC is a reality. If you are urging a comprehensive, permanent and just solution, you have to accept this reality.” For his part, Talat said that he strived to realize a just and lasting political solution. /Turkiye/
 CZECH PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION: “WE SUPPORT TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP”A delegation from the Czech House of Representatives’ European Affairs Committee yesterday met with members of Parliament’s EU Harmonization Committee. Afterwards, Jan Bauer, deputy chair of the committee, said that they support Turkey joining the EU when it fulfills all the necessary criteria and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposal for a “Mediterranean union” was no replacement for EU membership. /Turkiye/
 TOP EU OFFICIALS TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY TODAYEuropean Union Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn are set to arrive in Ankara today to meet with Turkish officials amid high tension over the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and claims that Turkey’s EU reforms have stalled. This will be only the second time Ankara has hosted an EU Commission head during the decades it has sought EU membership. Barroso and Rehn are expected to begin their stay by paying with a visit to Anitkabir, Ataturk’s mausoleum. Following a luncheon with President Abdullah Gul, the two top EU officials will meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Then they will go to Parliament, and after Barroso addresses the General Assembly, they will meet separately with members of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Democratic Society Party (DTP). The visit reportedly will focus on urging officials to accelerate Turkey’s EU reform process. In related news, CHP officials yesterday said Barroso should not touch on the AKP closure case during his address to Parliament. They said that no one has the right to comment on an ongoing case, adding that Turkey’s legislature is independent and doesn’t need EU permission to do its duty. EU officials have said the case jeopardizes Turkey’s membership bid. /Milliyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS
 A NEW BEGINNINGBY SOLI OZEL (SABAH)
Columnist Soli Ozel comments on Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Just three years ago our country was focused on its European Union membership bid, but then our people and politicians it withdrew from this goal, even though it is meant to strengthen our economy as well as promote prosperity, an advanced democracy and legal order. In other words, our EU membership goal signaled what kind of a country people want to live in. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tends to refocus on the EU and the conditions for membership only when it gets into a tough spot. We don’t know how deeply it understands or has internalized the bloc’s basic principles.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (AKP), which was originally founded to bring Turkey into the West, is competing with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over who can oppose the EU more. Let alone EU membership, its policies and rhetoric fit with almost none of the Socialist International’s principles.
Obviously, the EU is no place for solving Turkey’s problems. Our issues have mounted and been put off for a long time. Our people and politicians should make certain basic choices and vital decisions about all these postponed problems. But Turkish-EU relations aren’t only among nations, but are something more comprehensive and multifaceted. These relations should be seen as part of the world’s transformation and power redistribution.
The world is entering a process of reconstruction in every respect. One result of recent economic crises is policies very different from those of 30 years ago coming to the forefront, with a stronger hand controlling the economy. Institutions guiding the world economy will see similar changes. They will probably make sweeping changes in line with the new situation.
In politics, existing institutions will also either renew themselves or lose relevance. Press coverage of the recent NATO summit in Bucharest signal that even that bloc is in a delicate situation. In this case, continuing the internal settling of accounts in Turkey in isolation from the outside world means taking the risk of being caught in a whirlpool. Actually, the basic principle of EU relations is that it can guide Turkey so it doesn’t lose its direction.
European Union Commission Head Jose Manuel Barosso’s current visit to Ankara should be seen through this lens. This visit may and should be a reason to reinvigorate our relations. Yesterday’s call by Milliyet daily for the EU to see and understand all the developments in Turkey is very appropriate. In light of what veteran journalist Mehmet Ali Birand wrote, Barosso is aware of democratic demands and people’s sensitivity about secularism. This visit should be also seen as a new beginning.”
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