|Friday, 16 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 08-06-25
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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 REJECTS OPPOSITION CALLS FOR HIM TO STEP DOWNSpeaking to his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded opposition leaders' call for him to step down unethical. "Making such illegitimate proposals to a political party and its leader, which won 47 percent of the popular vote," said Erdogan, "violates our national and moral values, as well as universal democratic principles." Erdogan also criticized opposition leaders for commenting on the pending AKP closure case before the Constitutional Court could issue a ruling, saying, "Acting in place of the high court, certain politicians are attempting to carry out 'extrajudicial execution,' and they make proposals to rearrange the political arena. Law, politics and the nation cannot abide such an understanding." He added, "In democratic countries, the people decide whether a political party leader should step aside or continue his political career. Opposition leaders don't have that authority." /Turkiye/
 PM ERDOGAN MEETS WITH LAND FORCES COMMANDERPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a meeting with Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug in Ankara yesterday. In their two-hour meeting, Erdogan and Basbug reportedly discussed possible measures to counter the terrorist PKK in the months to come and other recent developments. /Hurriyet/
 BABACAN ATTENDS PALESTINE SECURITY CONFERENCEForeign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that he was working to help establish a Palestinian state with secure borders. Babacan, in Berlin to attend a donors' meeting for Palestine, told reporters that the attendees had exchanged views on how Palestine can develop its own police and legal institutions. "Having their own security forces and legal institutions is very important for the future of the Palestinians," said Babacan, adding that the conference was a good opportunity to support efforts for an independent Palestine and stability in the Mideast. /Turkiye/
 AT GROUP MEETING, BAYKAL LAMBASTES AKP DEPUTY CHAIRMANAt his party's group meeting yesterday, main Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal criticized recent controversial remarks by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Dengir Firat, saying that they represented an effort to settle accounts with Ataturk's modernization project. Baykal also expressed concerns about the economy, saying, "Turkey ran into debt under AKP rule. The privatization honeymoon is over, and now the bill has come due." /Cumhuriyet/
 MHP'S BAHCELI LASHES OUT AT ERDOGANOpposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday lashed out at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that efforts to counter the will of the nation and the judiciary will come to nothing. "Erdogan is struggling to save his political career, not for th sake of Turkey's future," Bahceli told his deputies at a parliamentary group meeting. Touching on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Bahceli stated, "Following the AKP's closure, any newly founded party should also be closed, because it will only a continuation of the AKP, and that is against the Constitution." /Star- Aksam/
 MGK TO CONVENE TOMORROWThe National Security Council (MGK), chaired by President Abdullah Gul, is set to convene tomorrow at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, ahead of August's Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting, where key armed forces personnel decisions will be made. Issues expected to be discussed at the gathering include the fight against the terrorist PKK at home and abroad, Turkish-European Union relations, the Council of Europe's reaction to the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) closure case, new negotiations on Cyprus, Turkey's mediating between Israel and Syria, and recent developments in Iraq ahead of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's planned visit there. /Star/
 BARROSO, REHN REITERATE THEIR SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EU MEMBERSHIPThe European Union should abide by its commitment on Turkey's full membership process, European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said yesterday. Commenting on French President Nicolas Sarkozy's efforts to hinder Turkey's full EU membership talks, Barroso said, "Sarkozy's request to block Turkey's EU negotiation process hurts the EU's credibility." In related news, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn yesterday said that Ireland's recent rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon doesn't mean that the EU has also rejected its enlargement process. Speaking at a conference in Brussels on the Western Balkans, Rehn stated that enlargement policy was not an issue during the referendum campaign. "Ireland's recent rejection will not affect Turkey's negotiation process," he added. /Star/
 TURKEY-EU CO-CHAIR LAGENDIJK: "TURKEY SHOULDN'T LEAVE ITS ACCESSION WORK TO THE LAST MINUTE"Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair Joost Lagendijk yesterday said that unlike its last-minute football goals, during its EU negotiation process Turkey shouldn't leave its work to the last minute. "There's no need to wait till the last minute," he explained, during a visit to Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce (GTO) head Mehmet Aslan, alongside EP Greens Group Turkey advisor Ali Yurttagul. "Everything should be done at the right time." Asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Lagendijk said, "For us, it's difficult to understand this," adding, "If a ruling party is closed down, there would be a harsh reaction from the EU. But I don't agree with those who want to use this to postpone or halt the negotiation process." /Milliyet/
 WILSON: "TURKS ARE FEELING BETTER ABOUT THE US"At the opening ceremony of a photo exhibit held by the US Embassy in Kahramanmaras, US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson yesterday said that recent opinion polls show a rising tide of sympathy and interest among Turks for the US. "The reason for this is very simple," he added. "Mostly it's related to Iraq. Over the last year-and-a-half, we've seen promising developments in Iraq. For this reason, the US' image in Turkey has started to improve." Asked about the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Wilson said, "I'm worried about its impact on Turkey's democratic institutions," and added, "I'm sure that the institutions in Turkey and its people will find a solution to these problems." /Milliyet/
 FRENCH SENATE REJECTS REFERENDUM ON TURKEY'S EU BIDThe French Senate early this week rejected a proposed constitutional change for a public referendum on Turkey's European Union membership. The proposal, already passed by France's lower house, had stipulated a direct referendum over the membership of countries whose population exceeds 5 percent of the EU's total population. Following the Senate's rejection, the constitutional amendment package will be sent back to the lower house. Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee warned last week that a referendum might give the impression that France has directly targeted one of its allies. It might cripple diplomatic ties between Turkey and France, added the committee. Debate over the proposal will be concluded at a joint session with the lower house next month. /Sabah/
 TURKEY STARTS ATTACK COPTER CO-PRODUCTION PROJECT WITH ITALIATurkey yesterday officially started a $3-billion project to produce attack helicopters in association with the Italian company AgustaWestland. A ceremony marking the occassion was held at Turkish Aviation and Space Industry (TAI) headquarters in Ankara, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit in attendance. Speaking at the ceremony Erdogan hailed the project as a major step towards reducing Turkey's dependence on foreign defense industry companies. Erdogan also said that software for the project would be created by Turkish engineers and the helicopters would carry Turkish-made weapons. /Turkiye/
 GERMANY BANS ROJ TVThe German Interior Ministry has moved to ban domestic operations of Roj TV, a European broadcast organ of the PKK terrorist group. The ministry stated yesterday that operations of Roj TV as well as its parent company, Mesopotamia Broadcast, were banned on June 19. It also stated that Roj TV encourages PKK violence and helps the terrorist group recruit members to attack Turkey. /Turkiye/
 FETTULLAH GULEN FREE TO RETURN HOMEFettullah Gulen, the leader of a religious movement in Turkey, was acquitted in a final ruling of the General Council of Supreme Court of Appeals yesterday. Gulen, now residing in the US, had faced allegations that he established an illegal organization to change the secular structure of Turkey and found a state based on religious rules to replace it. He was charged under the anti-terrorism law. Ankara's 11th Major Criminal Court decided in favor of Gulen's acquittal, and the ninth branch of the Supreme Court of Appeals confirmed the decision. /Turkish Daily News/
 TURKEY TO FACE GERMANY IN EURO 2008 SEMIFINAL TONIGHTThe Turkish National Football team will come up against Germany tonight in the semifinals of the European Soccer Championship 2008. The match will take place at the St. Jakop Park Stadium in Basel, Switzerland and will kick off at 9:45 pm Turkish local time. This will be the second semifinal appearance for Turkey in a major tournament following the 2002 World Cup. Only 14 members of the 23-man Turkish team are available to play as nine players are out due to injury or suspension. The wining team will meet the victor of the Russia-Spain semifinal match in Vienna, Austria on June 29 in the final. President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also be present at the stadium tonight to support their national teams. /All Papers/
FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TWO AGAINST THE REPUBLICBY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on controversial remarks by Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat showed has again showed that he's an interesting person. His recent statements against the republic are the expression of certain thoughts through a traumatic delirium. Actually Firat's opinions are identical to those of President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and other AKP supporters and members. As a matter of fact, the greatest harm done by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is turning the country's regime, Ataturk and the republic's revolutions into something debatable on the world stage. Not a single regime in any country in the world has faced a campaign of degradation matching the one against Turkey's regime and values. The ruling AKP is responsible for this, and it also laid the groundwork for this. I think this AKP-created atmosphere both in Turkey and abroad has had more of an impact than what it's done within Turkey. Their target is clear: the republic, its values and accomplishments, and Ataturk, and degrading and slandering them. I'm not angry with Firat. He's defending the AKP mission, that's all.
Sabrina Tavernise is the New York Times correspondent in Turkey, but she works as the AKP's reporter. Almost all the news stories and analyses that she files serve the AKP mission. From what I can tell, Firat got stirred up by this American correspondent. It always happens this way. Unable to help themselves, they pour out their suppressed enmity towards the republic and Ataturk. Firat said, 'Turkish society has been traumatized. Overnight they were told to change their dress, their language. Their religious ways were dismantled.' Here is what he actually meant: 'Our nation was cut off from its religion, faith, past, traditions and customs through sudden, unexpected pressure. Its mosques were shuttered, and people were even forbidden to worship.'
Actually in her story, Tavernise completed Firat's statement by writing: 'Turkey’s current struggle is the latest chapter in a remarkable history that began in the 1920s, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, looking toward Europe, destroyed all connections to the East, changing the alphabet into Latin letters, placing mosques under state control and crushing the religious hierarchy.' These words were meant to be applauded by a certain ideology, right?
As I said, Tavernise is the AKP's reporter. She came to Turkey with a certain mission, or to put it better, she was sent to Turkey for this reason. So she's fulfilling this mission completely. She also slanders the republic, the secular order and Ataturk's revolutions in almost all of her news stories. While doing this, she's supported by the AKP and certain circles. Now think: In what other country can a foreign correspondent prepare such reckless news stories or make such analyses? For example, could Turkish journalists in Washington undertake such a mission? In 'America the free,' they can't do this, but they certainly can in Turkey, which isn't free. But Tavernise enjoys greater privileges in Turkey. She can write whatever she wants and make any interpretation she wishes, because she's supported by the ruling AKP."
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