DERVIS'S FORMER ADVISER TRANSFERRED TO CANKAYA PALACE
Zeynep Damla Gurel, a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP), has been appointed as an adviser to Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Gurel will work as an adviser on the European Union. Guler was an adviser to former minister Kemal Dervis.
THREE WARNINGS FROM TUSIAD
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) said Monday that polarization in Turkey is turning into a trauma. TUSIAD told that the tension in Turkey must be decreased. TUSIAD indicated that in democracies solutions can not be found by party closures. Finally, TUSIAD stressed that Constitutional amendments made in a hurry will only deepen the problems.
WORKERS' PARTY LEADER IN JAIL ON CHARGES OF MEMBERSHIP IN ERGENEKON ORGANIZATION
Leader of the Workers' Party (IP), Dogu Perincek, was put to prison Monday on the charges of being a member of "the Ergenekon organization. Perincek was brought to court early Monday on charges of "being high-level leader of Ergenekon terrorist organization and obtaining and holding classified state documents." Perincek denied the allegations. Kemal Alemdaroglu, former rector of the Istanbul University, was also brought to court on the charges of being a member of the organization. The court decided not to arrest Alemdaroglu due to his health condition and age but he was put under legal control.
SIDES PARTIALLY AGREE ON SOCIAL SECURITY BILL
Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik and a platform of workers' unions gathered for the last time on Monday. The sides agreed to lower the number of days needed to qualify for retirement to 7,200. The government refused to step back on increased retirement age and removal of early retirement in certain jobs.
TWO DEMANDS, TWO SUPPORTS
Visiting Ankara on Monday, U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney requested from Turkey to send combatant troops to Afghanistan and establish good relations with Iraqi Kurds. Cheney affirmed U.S.'s support to Turkey on the issue of terrorist organization PKK and made a promise to establish an energy partnership with Turkey.
ALL TURKISH SHIPYARDS UNABLE TO RECEIVE NEW ORDERS UNTIL 2011
Turkish shipyards have received dozens of orders for new ships and will be unable to receive new orders at least until 2011. Turkish shipyards need around 40,000 well trained workers.
These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on March 25th, 2008. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, President of Turkmenistan, received a warm welcome in Ankara on Monday. Berdimuhamedow's meeting with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul was very fruitful. Gul referred to Berdimuhamedow as "my brother". Thanking for the warm welcome, Berdimuhamedow stressed that "relations between Turkey and Turkmenistan will develop and become stronger". Berdimuhamedow is the first high level Turkmen official to visit Turkey in seven years.
REFORMS MUST BE MADE WITHOUT DELAY, KEYMAN
Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman, an expert on international relations, said that reforms must be made in Turkey without delay. Political life in Turkey needs new arrangements, Keyman told. Dr. Keyman argued that the electoral threshold in Turkey must be dropped to 5 percent from the current 10 percent.
TURKMEN PRESIDENT VISITS ANKARA
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow paid a visit to Turkish capital Ankara on Monday, as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Berdimuhamedow was welcomed at Cankaya Presidential Palace at a full military honors. The two leaders discussed the current status of Turkish-Turkmen relations and focused on opportunities to develop ties in the future based on mutual benefit and equality. Gul and Berdimuhamedow also focused on the need to develop cooperation in the fields of energy, textiles, transportation, communications, tourism, construction and banking.
NGOs CALL FOR RESTRAINT, DEMOCRACY
Several non-governmental organizations called for restraint and democracy in discussions over the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the probe against the "Ergenekon terrorist organization." Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Associations (TUSIAD) urged all to act calmly. "We can overcome the current situation only by easing the tensions, through democracy and respect for the law," TUSIAD said. Turkish Exporters's Assembly (TIM) called for commonsense in economic, political and social areas, and urged the government to strengthen relations with European Union and the IMF.
TUSIAD CALLS FOR DEMOCRACY, RESPECT FOR LAW
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) called for democracy and respect for law to overcome problems, saying that no one should intervene in politics out of the political arena. TUSIAD urged the government to focus on welfare and peace, and called on the opposition parties to quit an idea of Turkey which is closed to the outside world.
MHP ALSO UNDER "SCRUTINY" BY CHIEF JUDGE, AK PARTY OFFICIAL SAYS
Nihat Ergun from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party said Monday that the Nationalist Movement Party(MHP) was also under "the scrutiny" of the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals. Ergun said MHP was monitored by the prosecutor as the party had supported the lifting of the headscarf ban at universities. "A legal arrangement over the closure of political parties is now inevitable," Ergun said after closure cases filed against AK Party and the Democratic Society Party (DTP).
CHENEY: TURKEY IS PRESENT IN NORTH OF IRAQ
Visiting Ankara as part of his tour in the Middle East, U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney said on Monday that he witnessed great economic development in north of Iraq. "I asked the authorities as to who were greatly involved in the re-construction of north of Iraq. The answer I received was 'Turks'," Cheney stressed. In his meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Cheney told that the U.S. expects cooperation in Afghanistan to continue. Gul told Cheney that the problem in Afghanistan can not be solved with more soldiers. "You must firstly win the hearts of the Afghani people," Gul noted.
BUYUKANIT: TURKISH STATE TO DECIDE ON SENDING TROOPS
Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said Monday that the Turkish state is to decide whether or not to send combatant troops to Afghanistan. "It is not the Turkish Armed Forces to decide on sending troops to Afghanistan," Gen. Buyukanit stressed.
BUSINESS ASSOCIATION WARNS AGAINST POLARIZATION THREAT
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) issued a statement on Monday, calling for commonsense "against a danger of polarization." TUSIAD urged the government to focus on welfare and peace, and to avoid interpreting democracy through majority rule and a narrow political understanding. Whereas the association called the opposition parties to bring about political alternatives that can help solve the country's problems and quit and idea of Turkey which is closed to the outside world.
PERINCEK PUT TO PRISON OVER PROBE AGAINST "ERGENEKON"
Dogu Perincek, chairman of the Workers' Party (IP), was sent to prison early Monday after he was arrested by an Istanbul court within the scope of an investigation about "Ergenekon terrorist organization." Perincek was brought to court early Monday on charges of "being high-level leader of Ergenekon terrorist organization and obtaining and holding classified state documents." Meanwhile, another suspect in the probe, Kemal Alemdaroglu, former rector of the Istanbul University was released after he was interrogated by three Istanbul prosecutors.
AKP EXPECTED TO PRESENT AMENDMENT BILL THIS WEEK ON PARTY CLOSURES
Ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is expected to present to the parliament this week a constitutional amendment bill. An AK Party official said the amendment bill was concentrated on Article 69 on the closure of political parties. The official also said there might be changes to the political parties law and "we can also consider going to referendum."
U.S. VICE PRESIDENT ASKS FOR MORE TURKISH TROOPS FOR AFGHANISTAN
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney requested more troops from Turkey to participate in operations in Afghanistan. Cheney met Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. "The number of the assistance force can be increased," Ankara responded to Cheney's request.