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TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2009
In Today's Papers
Debates Continue on 'Kurdish Initiative'
Media outlets continue reporting about the ongoing controversy and
debates regarding the ruling AKP government's 'Kurdish Initiative.'
Last week, MHP leader Bahceli had lashed out at the National
Security Council's (MGK) approval of the continuation of the
government efforts to find a settlement to the Kurdish question.
President Gul has invited Bahceli to the presidential palace for a
meeting, but the MHP leader turned down the call. Monday papers
report the AKP deputy group chief Bekir Bozdag said MHP was accusing
all with "treason" at a time when the President, Prime Minister, the
government, and MGK was working to help the initiative which aims
peace, security and happiness in the country. "What the MHP has
been doing is not nationalism but racism. Why is the MHP uneasy
with the efforts seeking peace, could it be out of fear that there
will be no more martyrs' funerals for the MHP to abuse?" asked
Bozdag. MHP Secretary General Cihan Pacaci underlined the
importance of Turkeys' unity, and said the "process" was one in
which the PKK's demands were discussed. "The MHP will not even
discuss this process -- that's why we didn't meet with the Interior
Minister and the President," said Pacaci. CHP deputy chairman Onur
Oymen said a "model" wanted by the U.S. for Turkey and the AKP
government's policies "overlapped." "It's interesting that for the
first time, the MGK did not mention the continuation of a
'determined fight against the PKK.' It means they've abandoned
fighting, but will continue it through negotiations," emphasized
Oymen. The pro-Kurdish DTP deputy group chief Selahattin Demirtas
sais what the MHP opposed was a democratic solution to the problem.
"MHP opposes democratization and peace. We do not support the AKP
but only the peace process. At the time being, CHP and MHP want
war," said Demirtas.
Two Revised Laws for the Kurdish Opening
Mainstream Vatan reports that the government is in preparation to
launch legal steps to advance its democratic move. The AKP
government revises the repentance law and public reform bill in
order to renew them. Article 221 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK)
says that those who set up, lead, become a member of an illegal
organization and aid or commit offense in name of such organization,
will not be punished if they surrender to security forces and give
information about illegal organization on their free will. The
government decided to revise this bill because it is believed that
the arrangement was not effective and that the government had to
make arrangements to help the integration of former terrorists with
the society. The Public Reform Law, which was vetoed by former
President Sezer in 2004, will also be revised. This bill was
suggesting shrinkage in the state's authorities and transferring the
authority from the central government to local administrations.
Editorials on the Debates on the Kurdish Initiative
Ferai Tinc wrote in mainstream Hurriyet: "Contrary to the arguments
by some, developments in Iraq invalidate the belief that Turkey's
Kurdish initiative was imposed by foreign powers like the U.S. Some
in Turkey tend to argue that the U.S. wants to see a solution to the
Kurdish problem because it affects Iraq's stability. As the chaotic
situation in Iraq grows even more serious than before, it may be
more difficult for the U.S. to implement the current plans to
withdraw. Along with Shiite and Sunni tension, Iraq has more
serious potential problems including Kirkuk's status and tension
between Arabs and Kurds. Turkey has to resolve its Kurdish issue
because it is an internal problem to address. In the meantime,
Ankara needs to develop a security plan based on developments in
Ali Bulac wrote in Islamist Zaman: "Turkey certainly has to find
ways to address the Kurdish problem on its own. Yet at the same
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time, this issue has obtained a regional nature ever since the
invasion of Iraq with the involvement of U.S., Europe and several
countries in the region and we cannot simply ignore that."
Mehmet Tezkan wrote in mainstream Vatan: "By reading the recent
statements from DTP as well as from the government, one cannot help
but wonder about the serious inconsistencies regarding the approach.
The government characterization is advancing democratic standards
countrywide just like they like to call the current efforts as a
democratic initiative. As for the DTP figures, democratic steps are
not enough and results can only be achieved by negotiation with the
PKK and its leader directly or indirectly. If these approaches
remain as they are, it will require optimism to expect something
concrete out of this process."
Chief Prosecutor Finds 'No Links' Between Deniz Feneri-AKP
Mainstream Haberturk reported on Sunday that following an
investigation that has lasted two and a half months, the chief
prosecutor has decided there was no concrete proof of links between
the Germany-based Islamist Deniz Feneri charity and the ruling AK
Party, dropping charges that the AK Party was receiving financial
aid from foreign organizations. According to article 69 of the
Turkish Constitution, political parties are prohibited to accept aid
from foreign states, international organizations and individuals who
are not Turkish citizens. Three Turks from the administration of
Deniz Feneri charity in Germany have been convicted for "fraud" for
collecting donations totaling 41 million Euros, out of which 17
million Euros have been transferred to Turkey. The investigation of
the chief prosecutor against the AK Party has concluded, but Ankara
prosecutor is still probing the links of the Deniz Feneri charity
with the suspects in Ankara, says Haberturk.
Hakkari Governor To Be Appointed MGK Secretary General (Bugun)
Conservative-nationalist Bugun says the AKP government, aiming to
advance the civilianization of the National Security Council (MGK),
will hand over the post of MGK Secretary General to a governor.
Hakkari governor Muammer Turker is the strongest candidate for the
Erdogan to Participate in G-20 Pittsburgh Summit in September
Monday's mainstream Haberturk reports Prime Minister Erdogan will
participate in the G-20 Summit that will be held in Pittsburgh on
September 24-25, which will discuss the global economic crisis.
Erdogan is expected to meet with President Obama during his four-day
visit to the U.S., says Haberturk.
Editorial on Obama's Health Care Plan
Omer Taspinar wrote in mainstream Sabah: "Unlike developments in
Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans are more focused and debating on the
Obama administration's health care plan. President Obama is trying
to achieve what President Clinton tried and failed to do 16 years
ago. This is a tough period for Obama because the anti-reform lobby
is very alive in the U.S. again. This is a leadership test for
President Obama with all the risks as he tries to achieve something
against the no-additional-tax lobbies and pro status quo lobbies
which make about the half of the country."
TV News (CNN Turk)
- On August 24-25, the Friends of Democratic Pakistan meeting will
be held in Istanbul with the participation of Richard Holbrooke, the
U.S. Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- On August 27, Turkmenistan's Head of State Gurbanguli
Berdimuhamedov will pay a state visit to Turkey. Berdimuhamedov
will meet with President Abdullah Gul in Antalya.
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- Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said "dialogue" with the IMF
continued, adding the sides were discussing the amount of funds to
be given to Turkey.
- A draft bill on judicial reform will be discussed at Monday's
meeting of the Council of Ministers.
- Collective bargaining talks between the government and the labor
unions will be continued on Monday.
- On August 27-28, NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen will
visit Turkey to meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister
- Eight years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S. Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen says al-Qaeda remains "very
capable" of attacking the U.S.
- Armenian Americans community representatives sent a letter to
Secretary Clinton , expressing their concern about the unfair and
inaccurate" statements of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Matthew Bryza.
- Israeli PM Netanyahu has asked the Swedish government to condemn
an article in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet saying that Israeli
troops harvested the organs of the Palestinians they killed.