TURKEY PRESS SCAN ON APRIL 6
These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on April 6, 2009. The World Bulletin does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
TURKEY BELONGS TO EUROPE
U.S. President Barack Obama frankly backed Turkey's EU full membership and said that an EU-member Turkey would make a significant contribution to world peace. He met with leaders of the 27 EU-member states in Czech Republic before coming to Turkey and called on them to accept Turkey as a full member to the Union.
He highlighted importance of the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States, adding, "the United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbours and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence, forging a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interests. Moving forward towards Turkish membership in the EU would be an important signal of your (EU) commitment to this agenda."
TRADE AGREEMENT WITH SPAIN
Turkey and Spain agreed to increase their bilateral foreign trade volume up to 10 billion euro. Istanbul hosted the Turkey-Spain summit on the eve of the Alliance of Civilizations Summit. During the meeting, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero extended his full support to Turkey's EU membership. The parties also agreed to increase their bilateral foreign trade volume up to 10 billion euro from the current level of 7.2 billion euro.
ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS AND OBAMA'S GOALS OVERLAP, SAMPAIO
Istanbul hosts world leaders who will attend the meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations. UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Jorge Sampaio, said that important changes took place in U.S. policies following the election of Barack Obama as the new U.S. President. "The Alliance, aiming to overcome pre-conceived notions between cultures and civilizations, overlaps with Obama's goals," Sampaio stressed.
ISLAMIC WORLD APPLAUDS TURKEY
The Islamic world applauds Turkey for objecting to the appointment of Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen as NATO's new secretary general. Many newspapers in Islamic countries praised Turkey's objection to Rasmussen's candidacy. Al Ahram newspaper of Egypt said that Rasmussen must apologize to the Islamic world for caricatures that insulted Prophet Muhammad. Qatar's Peninsula newspaper said that Turkey talked on behalf of the Islamic world.
REHN TAKES A STEP BACK
After receiving harsh response from Ankara upon comments made that NATO negotiations would affect the EU process, EU Commissioner in charge of Enlargement Olli Rehn took a step back on Sunday. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told Rehn that his comments were wrong and untimely. Following Babacan's reaction, Rehn made a statement supporting Turkey's membership to the EU. We must keep our promise and offer Turkey a chance, Rehn said.
THEY MADE FRIENDS OUT OF PATIENTS THEY RESCUED
After beginning service five months ago, air ambulances rescued 47 patients in eastern Anatolia where winter conditions are extremely harsh. Rescue teams won the hearts of the patients they carried to hospitals.
ACCEPT TURKEY AND MAKE PEACE WITH ISLAM
U.S. President Barack Obama, who proceeded to Prague from Strasbourg where NATO summit was held, gave messages about importance of rapprochement between the western countries and the world of Islam. Obama who addressed the leaders of the 27 EU member states in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, said Turkey's accession to the EU would be a positive message to the world of Islam.
"The west should work to develop closer ties and enhance cooperation with the world of Islam. Turkey's accession to the EU will be a good sign of these efforts," said Obama.
RENOUNCIATION FROM BERLUSCONI
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi gave up the NATO SG assistant seat held by Italy for years in order to solve the veto crisis in NATO.
As well as, Danish Premier Anders Rasmussen's consent to apologize, the said move also was effective in Turkey's decision to pull back its veto.
It is not certain yet who would be appointed to the seat, which Turkey won after 39 years. Turkey held the NATO SG assistant seat between 1968 and 1970.
"MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS TURKISH MEMBERSHIP IN THE EU"
U.S. President Barack Obama attended U.S.-EU Summit in Czech Republic before coming to Turkey, and called on the member states to accept Turkey as a full member of the 27-nation bloc.
"The United States and Europe must approach Muslims as our friends, neighbours and partners in fighting injustice, intolerance and violence, forging a relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interests. Moving forward towards Turkish membership in the EU would be an important signal of your (EU) commitment to this agenda and ensure that we continue to anchor Turkey firmly in Europe," he told EU leaders.
"I DID NOT PROMISE IT"
Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was elected new secretary-general of NATO after Turkey lifted its veto, changed his tune on his return to his country. He said that he did not promise to close down Roj TV. On the other hand, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied Rasmussen and said that Danish prime minister pledged to ban the TV channel.
COUNTRY SUNK IN DEBT
Turkey's net debt stock rose by 70 percent in Justice and Development (AK) Party rule and reached 150.766 billion USD. Turkey's non-bank foreign debt stock rose by 114 percent. The outlook of the banking sector which went through a serious crisis in 2001, had considerably changed in the same period. The foreign debt of banks rose by 434.8 percent between 2002 and 2008 and reached 55.358 billion USD.
"ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS" IS BEGINNING
The second forum of the "UN Alliance of Civilizations" hosted by Turkey will begin Monday in Istanbul with the participation of heads of state and government and ministers of over 30 countries. While U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make a brief appearance at the forum, Azarbaijan will not attend due to annoyance over Turkey's relations with Armenia.
A FILM STRONG ENOUGH TO AMEND IMMIGRATION LAWS
Helping immigrants is a crime in France where it can be punished by a sentence of up to five years in prison. The film 'Hosgeldiniz' (Welcome) is strong enough to amend the immigration laws in France, say many experts. 'Hosgeldiniz' was on display at the 28th Istanbul Film Festival as the opening film on Friday. The film was screened in France earlier and it was also watched by the deputies of the French Parliament. Turkish actress Derya Ayverdi said that "it is nonsense to punish individuals who help the needy, the immigrants".
PRESIDENT OBAMA: TURKEY MUST BE A MEMBER OF EU
The President of the United States Barack Obama made a call to the European Union (EU) to accept Turkey as a member to the union. Obama's comments came at the U.S.-EU summit in Prague on Sunday. Obama said that Turkey's membership to the EU would send a positive signal to the Islamic world.
385,000 NEW UNEMPLOYED
The number of unemployed individuals in Turkey continues to grow. According to a research conducted by a Turkish NGO, 385,000 more people became unemployed in Turkey between July-December 2008.
RAINFALL TO CONTINUE IN APRIL
Almost all corners of Turkey will continue to receive rainfall in April. Western regions of Turkey will receive rainfall on Monday and Tuesday. As of Wednesday, eastern regions of Turkey will receive heavy rainfall. Temperatures in Turkey will remain stable and not change due to the rainfall.
WELCOME MR. PRESIDENT
Welcome Mr. President... You are welcomed in a country that has friendly relations with the United States. But we have been offended for the last eight years. Now, it is time to heal them. Welcome to Turkey.
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Ankara's Esenboga Airport at 21:15 local time. Obama will begin his program in Ankara by visiting the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Then, he will meet with President Abdullah Gul. After holding talks with Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan and leaders of the opposition parties, Obama will deliver a 45-minute speech at the Turkish parliament. He will proceed to Istanbul to attend the Alliance of Civilizations after meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
MESSAGE THAT CAME SEVEN HOURS EARLIER
U.S. President Barack Obama called on Brussels to accept Turkey as a full member of the EU in Czech Republic, the last leg of his tour of Europe, some seven hours before arriving in Turkey. Obama said that Turkey's progress on the path leading to EU full membership would be a sound signal to the whole world. While the European Commission welcomed President Obama's support to Turkey's EU progress, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said that it was up to the EU to take a decision about Turkey's membership.
EU SUPPORT FROM OBAMA
Speaking at a U.S.-EU summit in Prague, U.S. President Barack Obama said the West must be in a closer cooperation with the Islamic world. As such, accepting Turkey into the union would be an important signal, Obama said.
PICTURE CHANGES IN CAPITAL
After winning only in Cankaya town of Ankara in the general elections of July 22, 2007, the Republican People's Party (CHP) made significant gains in the local elections of March 29, 2009. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), after being unable to secure first spot at the general elections of 2007 in any of Ankara's towns, also made significant gains by winning mayoral positions in various towns of Ankara. As such, the political picture has changed in Ankara.
U.S. INVESTMENTS TO FLOW INTO TURKEY FOLLOWING PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VISIT
The President of Turkish-American Businessmen's Association, Ugur Terzioglu, said that the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama will boost relations between Turkey and the USA. Multi-billion U.S. investments will flow into Turkey following Obama's visit, Terzioglu stressed.
GARANTI BANKASI TO ERECT TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Following similar acts of Akbank, ING Bank and Finansbank, Turkey's Garanti Bankasi has purchased a land of 48,000 square meters in Pendik, Istanbul on which the bank will erect an operation and technology center. The land cost Garanti Bankasi 33 million USD. Garanti Bankasi's technology center would be constructed in two years and will employ around 3,000 people after construction is finished.
FULL SUPPORT FROM ZAPATERO FOR EU MEMBERSHIP
Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero got together for the first Turkey-Spain summit. Erdogan said he was pleased with Zapatero's support to Turkey's EU membership. Zapatero said they gave full support to Turkey's EU membership.
LET'S GIVE A CHANCE TO TURKEY
European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said EU ought to keep its promise to Turkey which was making reforms and give it a chance to prove that it is worthy of membership. "The EU needs a stable Turkey, which is democratising," said Rehn.