|Saturday, 17 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-06
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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
 GUL HOLDS TALKS IN JAPANPresident Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul, currently in Japan, yesterday met with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Afterwards, Gul opened an exhibition in Tokyo on the Ottoman fashion. Princess Tokamado also visited the exhibition where the Turkish models promoted some dressings. Gul and his wife also attended a dinner hosted by Turkey's Ambassador in Tokyo Sermet Atacanli and met members of "2010 Japanese Year in Turkey" committee. As part of his visit, Gul attended the Turkey-Japan Business Forum. Stating that Turkey is a very attracting country for Japanese investors, he said, "Turkey has made many important structural and economical reforms in recent years and it should be discovered again in terms of investment possibilities." Both Turkey and Japan will take advantage of investments you will make in Turkey, he added. Gul also met with some firms' top managers, with State Ministers Kursad Tuzmen and Mehmet Simsek also in attendance. /Star-Aksam/
 ERDOGAN TELEPHONES HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART PUTINPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly made a telephone call to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. According to a statement by the Russian Embassy in Ankara, the two leaders spoke about commercial and economic relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 BABACAN MEETS WITH US SEC'Y OF STATE RICEForeign Minister Ali Babacan, currently in Washington, yesterday met with Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, California representative Howard Berman, Missouri representative Roy Blunt, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and Indian Senator Dick Lugar and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and spoke about Turkey's fight against the terrorist PKK and cross-border operation into northern Iraq. Babacan said that Turkey wanted to normalize its relations with Armenia and that Turkey doesn't want an Iran with nuclear weapons, adding, "But isolation doesn't work. A dialogue must be set up with Iran." Asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Babacan said, "The decision will be conclusive in every case and we will respect it. Turkish democracy will get out of this process by finding the right path." In related news, Babacan met with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice. Asked about the closure case, Rice said, "We have just an excellent relationship with the government of Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan," adding, "I have been fortunate to have a very good relationship with now President (Abdullah) Gul when he was foreign minister and now with Foreign Minister (Ali) Babacan. So our view is that Turkey will, of course, resolve its issues through its democratic processes. But we are going to continue to work with this government with which we have found a excellent working relationship and share common values and which increasingly, over the last year or so, we find ourselves working more cooperatively, more in unity to solve really hard problems than I think has been experienced in Turkish-US relations for some time." /Milliyet/
 TOP COURT ANNULS CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE ALLOWING HEADSCARFTurkey's top court yesterday declared the law to allow wearing Islamic headscarf at universities invalid. Members of the Constitutional Court, chaired by Hasim Kilic rejected the constitutional changes 9-2. The court reportedly based its ruling on Article 4 of the Constitution, which stipulates that Republic's core values, including secularism, cannot be altered. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Democratic Society Party (DTP) had backed the changes. Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic Left Part (DSP) then applied to the top court asking annulment of the law. Speaking to reporters, Kilic called on all people to respect the ruling of the top court and said that they would release a well-reasoned statement soon. /All Papers/
 OPPOSITION PARTIES' VIEWS ON TOP COURT'S ANNULMENT DECISIONThe Constitutional Court yesterday repealed constitutional changes lifting headscarf ban at universities and halted the execution of the amendments, by a vote of 9-2. Commenting on the decision, opposition National Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli defined the court's decision as not legal, but political. Stressing that the headscarf issue has been pushed into a further deadlock by the court's decision, he said that the decision would only deepen the problem. "It is politically unacceptable that the constitutional amendment is considered as a move against the basic principles of the state," Bahceli said. He also warned that the high court decision would speed up the division and the polarization of the Turkish society on grounds of faith. "The court's authority is limited to examining a constitutional amendment in form. This authority which is clearly defined in the Constitution was overstepped." The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said, "I hope no attempts in violation of the Constitution will take place from now on. Those who govern Turkey have to abide by the Constitution." Stating that the CHP warned the government that those changes would violate the Constitutional principles, Baykal said that he hoped Turkey would be governed with common sense and with an understanding entirely absorbing the Constitution. Opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer said that Turkey had entered an unnecessary political polarization period due to debates on the headscarf ban and added, "I hope the common sense will prevail from now on." In related news Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek declined commenting on the decision, saying, "It's not legally right to make an evaluation without seeing the legal ground of the decision." /Turkiye-Cumhuriyet/
 GEN. BUYUKANIT: "TURKEY URGES THE MIDDLE EAST TO REACH SUSTAINABLE PEACE AND STABILITYAddressing opening ceremony of the Strategic Research and Studies Centre's (SAREM) annual meeting titled "Middle East: Its future in uncertainties and security challenges", Chief of General Staff Yasar Buyukanıt said that some European countries supported the terrorist PKK and this approach didn't comply with fighting terrorism. Buyukanıt added that Turkey has always expressed its decisiveness on the fight against terrorism in every platform. Touching on developments in the Middle East region, he said that Turkey had realized its national independence war in the Middle East region, which is now experiencing rapid and unforeseen changes. Stating that Turkey has cultural, historical and traditional ties between the Middle East, Buyukanit added, "Turkey urges to boost friendly relations with all countries within the region and was affected by problems in that region. So it urges the Middle East to reach sustainable peace, and stability." He also said that certain terms such as the "clash of civilizations, and the Crusades" used by western strategists, should not be used on behalf of lasting regional stability. In his speech, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun stressed that the PKK was in a disintegration process. Speaking about the cross-border operations in northern Iraq, intelligence-sharing with Iran, the PKK and its Iranian branch PJAK, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug also said that the terrorist PKK lives a big chaos. /Aksam/
 CHP'S TOP STAFF MEETS IN DIYARBAKIRFollowing his visit to southeastern Anatolian province of Sanliurfa, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday traveled to Diyarbakir. Attending his party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, Baykal said that his party saw the ethnical differences as a wealth of the country and urged all citizens to live together in peace and to be respectful each other. Stressing that all states in the world were trying to integrate and act together, Baykal said that his party was against separatists and the people trying to divide up the country. He added that the CHP welcomed all people from different ethnics, including Kurds. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 ADDRESSES OF MESSAGES FROM CHIEFS OF GENERAL STAFFBY ISMAIL KUCUKKAYA (AKSAM)
Columnist Ismail Kucukkaya comments on statements made by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:
"This year's international symposium by the General Staff coincided with a highly critical period. The General Staff's Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM) brought the issue of the Middle East to the international society's agenda. Two highest-ranking commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces yesterday reflected Turkey's stance on the Middle East in Istanbul and underlined the importance of developments for us. Thus the message was given that each development in this region concerns Turkey. Obviously, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug sent necessary messages to Brussels and Washington through a considerably careful and diplomatic style.
As the frame which was formed is relevant to the unitarian state structure and the secular system, statements directed towards foreign countries also serve the purpose of reiterating something for Turkey as well. The timing is also striking. We're now in a vital calendar in terms of the Middle East, Iraq and Iran. Buyukanit's warning on the moderate Islam was a reference to certain addresses in the US. Both commanders avoided possible polemics about politics and law. But of course legal organs won't allow such ascriptions as the moderate Islam, because this consists of a general interpretation and message. Those words by Buyukanit excited reporters very much, because at that time the Constitutional Court was discussing a decision on the headscarf issue and then announced its decision in a few hours.
Commanders have been very sensitive for many months. They don't speak, but avoid polemics and reiterate the TSK's unchangeable institutional policies. They're probably trying to prevent misunderstandings. There was a considerable participation from the international society to the symposium. Among the participants were retired generals, Istanbul Mayor, rectors and the inter-universities commission head. As the issue was the Middle East, Ahmet Davutoğlu, chief advisor to the prime minister, was also there. He said that things in the Middle East weren't as bad as people thought.
The opening speech made by Buyukanit was closed to polemics and his messages were short and clear. He showed a large picture of the Middle East and emphasized Turkey's key role and the importance of radical religious trends and terrorist links in the Middle East. Subsequently, his criticisms on such ascriptions as the moderate Islam were a strategic one. The main theme of his speech was that Turkey's secular structure was the key of peace in the world and the region's stability. Basbug said that high-level and full-capacity measures were taken on Iranian and Iraqi borders and that the terrorist PKK was shaken greatly and thus still under the influence of this blow.
We asked him his thoughts about the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP). He was welcoming this and said that they had been saying it for months that there were many dimensions of the fight against terrorism. He stated that a TV channel broadcasting in Kurdish could be useful, if it can save the people from propagandas of the TV channel of terrorists. These two stances are vitally important, as they show the Land Forces Command's stance on the issue. Both these statements and our conversations show that messages were sent as part of a successfully drawn framework and limits and Turkey's unchangeable principles were conveyed and the necessary emphasis was made for the Middle East as well. The successful organization by the General Staff's Communication and Protocol Departments deserve praises. Second Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun with whom he talked at the dining hall was also pleased with these developments. He told us the importance of selecting a good speaker and said that the sun of reality shines with a conflict of ideas. The sun of reality was shining yesterday at the War Colleges Command in Istanbul."
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