although I do not agree with him totally, it has some relevance for sure:
Six years ago Brazil held presidential elections as Turkey headed for general elections. Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party, deemed too radical, was the favorite candidate, and the Justice and Development Party, or AKP had a similar position in Turkey. International finance actors panicked. Lula tried to convince these actors that he would not make radical changes. AKP leaders, at the same time, were trying to convince international finance actors and the outside world that their party would stick to the market dogmatism and to the system……….
But whereas Lula benefited from his country’s human resources, the AKP chose communitarian solidarity. Brazil produced original policies, but Turkey failed to come up with any vision or mission once projects at hand were completed. Lula relied on a broad consensus. In Turkey, spoilers attempted anything to undermine democracy. In the end, the AKP was strengthened. After this period, the prime minister began to behave like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, not as Lula. The AKP disrupted a corruption system like Chavez did. But it is increasingly understood that the AKP’s steps are not a part of an original democratic project, but fits into what is called ?competitive authoritarianism.? The prime minister’s order, on which newspapers to read must be understood in this context. Choosing to become Venezuela over becoming Brazil is not a wise choice to make, and will be harmful to the one who makes this choice……….
The International Press Institute, the World Association of Newspapers, or WAN, and the World Editors Forum, or WEF, have called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop threatening
The head of Doğan Holding, Aydın Doğan wants an end to a damaging row with the prime minister which has raised questions about press freedom in the EU candidate. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
……Doğan said his media group was not out to crush the government and if it issued positive news announcements, such as EU reforms or fiscal discipline, they would be published. But he stressed Doğan would continue to report on corruption.
"We are ready to support the prime minister when we think he does the right thing, like EU integration and Cyprus," Doğan said…………
Mehmet Ali Birand
………..His first performance just after taking office was to have a meeting with editors-in-chief and TV general manager for two consecutive days. He established a total of seven hours of dialogue with the media……….
What I was impressed the most with was Gen. Başbuğ’s purpose in this two-day press conference:
To iron out relations with the public through sound use of the media. To explain the General Staff’s prospective position and how the military join these efforts of communication. To show how the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, as a whole will act in political arena and to draw the limits………….
What was the TSK’s old attitude?
An institution it was that putting distance between itself and civil society and the media, not sharing any information; a supercilious institution it was that showing fierce reactions to criticisms. The old TSK resembled Gods who do not like to express their views or to be held accountable for anything.
A very rigid communication there was. They were complaining about that civil society doesn’t understand the military………..
A TSK more distant from politics
Gen. Başbuğ has a different style. He looks like a cold manon the surface but knows how to communicate very well, more than many othermilitary members.He said that in the next two years, the TSK will have morecommunication with civil society and will put distance betweenitself and the government.
Frankly, we are now face to face with a new approach that we have missedfor a long time. Both society and politics were tired of a militarythat has been talking too much. We read statements almost everyday and about almost everything. The TSK has been perceived as anopposition party or an NGO. When TSK talked a lot, theimpression was created that the military was poking its nose intoeverything……….
In short, Başbuğ has given a start to an extremely critical process. Some circles in the TSK would be disturbed by this new approach andwould interpret the situation as being surrendered to the governing.Justice and Development Party, or AKP. But with this attitude, theGeneral Staff increases the influence of the military. It is very obviousthat empty threats or warnings bring no good to the TSK. Başbuğ is giving fine-tuning to the militaryI hope that the retired military officers or civilian lobbies will nothurt Gen. Başbuğ as they hurt the former chief Hilmi Özkök…………..
Media organizations were wooing military headquarter insiders and were having them leak secret information and documents, said Turkey’s new top commander during his first meeting with
Weekly press conferences
Turkey’s top general announced that as part of the new communication strategy the communication department of the Office of the Chief of General Staff would hold weekly press conferences starting from Sept. 26.
In addition, Başbuğ stated, ?There will be a communication medium open for 24 hours.
No politics over TSK
There were also expectations from the media, Başbuğ maintained. ?We are open to criticisms but we say ?no’ to those criticisms that are not accurate, that are intentional or based on prejudice,? he said………..
New accreditation system
Yesterday’s meeting also marked a new orientation of the military, as it invited two pro-government papers, Star and Yeni Şafak, who were previously on its back list……….
Visit to former generals
Right after his appointment as top general, Başbuğ ordered his garrison commander in Kocaeli to pay a visit to the two imprisoned ex-generals, which brought severe criticism from the pro-government media.
?Claiming that the visit aimed to affect the Turkish judiciary is the greatest aspersion against it. We have every confidence in the judiciary,? Başbuğ stated…………..
Motion to be extended
In the last part of the meeting, Başbuğ responded to questions on security matters and other related issues. On the extension of the parliamentary authorization to conduct cross border operations into northern Iraq, Başbuğ denied that there were doubts among cabinet members. ?The government has no hesitancy on the subject. It will be discussed on Wednesday (today), we have no doubt,? he added…………
PKK’s breaking point
Here are some important messages given by Başbuğ on the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and the measures to be taken:……….
Harsh to Iraqi Kurds
. ?The Kurdish groups were assigned to ensure security in Dohuk-Arbil-Sulaimaniyah in May 30, 2007. This also contradicts the Iraqi constitution, but there is a de facto situation. I tell everyone that nobody can have the right to criticize me if the local Kurdish administration does not fulfill its job. If you don’t do this we’ll continue to do it. You are both criticizing and giving advice. Stop giving advice and fulfill your own responsibility. Terrorist organization is provided with logistical and political support. This cannot be ac
……..Yet this does not mean that abstaining from alcohol can never be a problem in Turkey. On the street, it might be perfectly fine and even often the desired thing, but in other circumstances, things could be just the opposite. For example if both Mr. Bekdil and I were young officers in the Turkish military and he loved sipping wine while I was refraining from it, it would be me who would have problems in getting promoted. (In case you haven’t noticed, there are no high-ranking officers in this country who abstain from alcohol, who pray five-times-a-day or whose wives are covered.)
……….Now let me proceed to the “Islamo-liberalism” concept that Mr. Bekdil objected to. I use that term in order to imply a synthesis of the Islamic faith with the political philosophy of classical liberalism. I do not just believe that it is theoretically possible — a topic on which I am writing a book — but I have also seen the AKP as a party which has the potential to nurture an example of this synthesis. And in the past six years, many American or European observers, who are free from the obsessive secularism that pervades the minds of most elite Turks, have also made similar, optimistic comments about this party………..
The old ways of Ankara:
Yet I have also noted that the Islamo-liberal side of the AKP is threatened by its tendency to adapt to the old ways of Ankara. That was what I precisely pointed out in my piece “The Ankara-ization of the Islamo-liberal AKP,” which ran in these pages about four months ago. When I look at the AKP, I disregard the attacks on their Islamo-liberal side, that they are pro-capitalist, globalist, non-nationalist conservatives who want to liberalize Turkey’s Sovietic secularism. But I do think that the problem with “Ankara-ization” is serious, as evidenced by their heavy-handed attitude on the recent May Day, or the corruption and nepotism in their ranks………….
………. Perhaps there is a lesson to take from that: The problem is not the Islamic side of the AKP, let alone its liberalism, but rather its swing to Turkish politics as usual – a leader-dominated and nepotism-oriented structure that favors tension to reconciliation and machismo to civility.
When Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan travel to New York this month as part of the opening of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, they will urge their counterparts to consider Turkey for one of the non-permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council. Turkey is a candidate for the seat on the Security Council allocated to the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) for the term 2009-2010. Elections for the seat are scheduled for October 17.
by YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN
The mayor of İstanbul’s Şişli district has once again called on main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and senior CHP management to resign, noting that even though they have been in the party administration for more than 35 years, they have been unable to achieve anything of note.
by ALİ ASLAN KILIÇ, ANKARA
As the date of the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair approaches, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay underscores the importance of this event for Turkey. This year Turkey has been invited to the annual book fair as the guest of honor. Günay notes that Turkey will use the occasion to put on a broad cultural exhibition for all of Europe.