|Friday, 16 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-12
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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
 IN ZAGREB, GUL REITERATES TURKEY'S DETERMINATION FOR EU MEMBERSHIPPresident Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Croatian counterpart Stepan Mesic in Zagreb, Croatia. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Gul said that countries with large populations and economies have naturally faced hurdles to European Union accession, and sometimes political issues are exploited during this process. Stating that Turkey's strategy on EU membership is very clear, he added, "Our negotiation process will continue with determination and patience." Touching on investment possibilities between the two countries, Gul said that Turkish businessmen are very eager to invest in Croatia, adding, "We can cooperate in tourism, the hotel sector and energy." Afterwards, Gul visited historical sites in Zagreb, and then attended a Turkish-Croatian Business Council meeting. Speaking at the gathering, Gul said that Turkey's aim in the EU process is full membership, adding, "Turkey is determined to complete the negotiation process in due time." For his part, Mesic said that Croatia is following developments in Turkey with interest and that political will is strengthening economic ties between the two countries. /Turkiye/
 TOPTAN TO MEET WITH POLITICAL PARTY LEADERSParliament Speaker Koksal Toptan, ahead of meetings with parliamentary political party leaders next week seeking ways to avert a political crisis over a controversial top court headscarf ruling, today will meet with the group deputy chairmen of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Democratic Society Party (DTP). During the gathering, Parliament's upcoming agenda and various political issues are expected to be taken up. /Hurriyet/
 AKP TO SUBMIT DEFENSE TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT NEXT WEEKThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will submit to the Constitutional Court its defense in the closure case against it early next week. A group of AKP deputies chaired by Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek will finalize their work on the defense in line with last week's top court ruling upholding the headscarf ban at universities. Following his own reexamination of the arguments, Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to submit the defense to the top court next Monday or Tuesday. /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: "THE AKP'S CRITICISMS OF THE HEADSCARF RULING WERE VERY ARROGANT"Speaking at his main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, CHP leader Deniz Baykal accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of "arrogance" in its criticisms of last week's Constitutional Court ruling upholding the university headscarf ban. Baykal also called insults by some AKP members of Constitutional Court members "unacceptable." "They try to create an atmosphere suggesting that either secularism or democracy can exist in society, but this isn't the case," he said. "There can be no democracy without secularism. We are striving to spread secularism." /Aksam/
 PARLIAMENT PASSES NEW TRT LAWFollowing three weeks of debate, Parliament yesterday passed a law allowing the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) to broadcast in languages other than Turkish, including Kurdish. While the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) opposed the government move, the Democratic Society Party (DTP) supported the initiative. /Cumhuriyet/
 EU TO OPEN TALKS WITH TURKEY ON TWO MORE CHAPTERSRepresentatives of European Union member countries are set to give the go- ahead today for the opening of accession talks with candidate Turkey on two more negotiating chapters. A committee of permanent representatives of EU countries known as COREPER is expected to approve the opening of the talks on company law and intellectual property rights chapters without debate. A final decision to start the talks on these chapters is expected to be made at an intergovernmental conference attended by EU ministers and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Luxembourg next Tuesday. /Today's Zaman/
 IRAQ'S SALEH URGES TURKISH INVESTMENT TO AID RECONSTRUCTIONIraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh yesterday arrived in Istanbul to attend the Third Arab-Turkish Economic Forum. Speaking to reporters, Saleh said that the forum will be a chance to boost ties and relations between the two countries, both of which are striving for peace, stability and wealth in the region. Asked about economic ties between Turkey and Iraq, Saleh said they fall short of their potential, and that the Iraqi side wants more Turkish investment to help Iraq's reconstruction. "The Iraqi government sees Turkey as an example in terms of economy and democracy," he added. /Star/
 DUTCH JUSTICE MINISTER VISITS TURKEYOn an official visit to Turkey yesterday, Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin met with his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Ali Sahin. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Sahin said that Turkey and the Netherlands have longstanding ties of friendship and that their meeting had been very fruitful. Sahin also said that Turkey had been benefited greatly from the Netherlands' experience in its own EU accession. Sahin stressed the need for effective bilateral cooperation to deal with terrorism, drug trafficking, and human smuggling. Touching on problems between the two countries on the extradition of criminals, he said, "My Dutch counterpart suggested documentation of the problems, and we are affirmative on the matter." For his part, Ballin said the two countries do joint work in many areas, and both are trying to benefit from their mutual experience fighting crime. Ballin also said that his country was eager to share its experience with Turkey on prison systems, smuggling and other crime-related issues, and to benefit from how Turkey deals with domestic violence. /Sabah- Cumhuriyet/
Turkey's Special Envoy to Iraq Murat Ozcelik yesterday held talks in Baghdad with Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi to hammer down details of Prime Minister Erdogan's coming visit there. They also exchanged views on Turkey's intention to open a consulate in Basra and Turkish investors' possible contributions to Iraq's reconstruction. For security reasons, exact dates for Erdogan's visit have yet to be announced, but it is expected to take place in the weeks to come. /Sabah/
 KONYA HOSTS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCEMayors, government representatives, ambassadors, city planners and scholars from 22 cities from all over the world have gathered for three days in the 9,000-year-old central Anatolian city of Konya to discuss the preservation of culture and history. Teaching the historical heritage of living history to citizens, especially the young generation, is important for building bridges between the past and the present, Konya Mayor Tahir Akyurek told the gathering. /Turkish Daily News/
 TURKISH NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM DEFEATS SWITZERLANDTurkey last night defeated co-host country Switzerland 2-1 in a Euro 2008 Group A match played in Basel. Semih Senturk and Arda Turan scored the Turkish team's goals. The third match on Sunday with the Czech Republic will determine whether the Turks or Czechs reach the quarterfinals. /All Papers/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 THE NATION AND ITS WILLBY OKAY GONENSIN (VATAN)
Columnist Okay Gonensin comments on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's understanding of the nation's will. A summary of his column is as follows:
"One of the phrases most often heard in recent weeks late has been the 'nation's will.' When 'will' is mentioned, a 'decision' is understood and this decision shows 'what the nation wants.' In showing its will, the nation doesn't examine political parties' programs, and knows nothing of their bylaws, but it considers their leaders generally, gauges what the parties will do, and then votes. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan often confuses his own will and the nation's. But the broad outlines of the nation's will are clear: It wants a decent and peaceful life, one filled with hopes of preparing a good future for its children. Parties and leaders who receive a majority of votes are responsible for fulfilling this.
The nation shows its will by going to the ballot box once every four or five years. In 2002, when all the other political parties and leaders collapsed, the nation's will turned to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Other parties and leaders were unable to manage the economy or solve the terrorism issue and so impoverished the country both financially and spiritually. But expectations from the AKP were just the opposite. On its way to the 2007 elections, the AKP should have considered how well it had responded to the nation's will over the previous four years, but it failed to do this, because it started to get a swell head due to its landslide win. The nation's will didn't want the AKP to just solve the headscarf issue, but rather wanted it to continue the economic stability gained in its first term and bring a new approach to the fight against terrorism, because it saw that the old approaches were fruitless.
Did the nation's will want the presidential election to turn into a fight? Did it want double-digit inflation or falling markets or the terrorism issue abandoned? Or did it want a solution to the headscarf issue through strife? Erdogan and his AKP have constantly been invoking the 'nation's will.' They think that their electoral success gave them a mandate on every issue. The AKP doesn't understand that saying 'if someone voted for me, my will is theirs' is the most primitive and undeveloped interpretation of democracy, and it stubbornly resists understanding this."
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