Press Review

ERDOGAN: "OUR PATIENCE ON THE PKK HAS LIMITS"

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the process of fighting the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq, which began with the appointment of special envoys, should achieve concrete results, or the limits of Turkey's patience will be reached. Speaking to public broadcaster PBS on the sidelines of his contacts in the US, Erdogan said Ankara needed to see the results of these efforts. Underlining the importance of the territorial integrity of Iraq for Turkey, Erdogan stated that northern Iraq is not at peace as has been claimed, since the terrorist PKK is launching attacks against Turkey from that region. He also stressed that the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk should have a special status. /Sabah/

ARINC COMMENTS ON NEXT YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND POSSIBLE RESIGNATION OF DEPUTIES

Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday attended the Science, Service, and Encouragement Awards Ceremony at the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK). Speaking after the ceremony, Arinc commented on next May's presidential election and the possible resignation of deputies to force early general elections, saying that under the Constitution the resignation of deputies requires Parliament's approval. "The approval of Parliament is necessary for the resignation of one deputy or 100," added Arinc. /Cumhuriyet/

IN ISTANBUL, GEORGIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH TURKISH BUSINESSMEN

Georgian President Mihail Saakashvili, in Ankara for an official visit, yesterday proceeded to Istanbul and met with Turkish businessmen and investors in the province under the auspices of the Turkish Exporters' Association (TIM). Addressing the gathering, Saakashvili said that a new visa-free regime was starting between Turkey and Georgia. Saying that his mother was a Turcologist and he had grown up with Turkish culture, Sakashvili added that his country's Muslim population made up its hardest workers. "Muslims are part of our identity." Later, Saakashvili met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler also participated in the meeting. /Milliyet/

GUL: "TURKEY WON'T GIVE UP ON EU MEMBERSHIP"

Debates on the 2007 budget continued this week in Parliament. During yesterday's debates, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul addressed the deputies to ease their anxieties over recent developments in Turkey's European Union membership process. Stressing that the government would never give up its goal of becoming a full EU member, Gul said Turkey would not sacrifice its rights and assets just because hurdles have been put before the country. He stated that no concessions have been made on Cyprus, adding that the government was pursuing its Cyprus policy with the future of 73 million people in mind. /Star/

TOP TURKISH LEADERS TO ATTEND FUNERAL OF TURKMEN PRESIDENT

Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov died yesterday morning at the age of 66 due to heart failure, said an official report. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message of condolences to acting President Kurbanguli Berdymukhamedov expressing his sorrow over the death of Turkmenistan's leader, who had led the country for more than two decades. In addition, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters that he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would attend the funeral to be held on Sunday. /Turkiye/

BAYKAL: "ERDOGAN IS WORRIED ABOUT DEPUTIES RESIGNING"

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday commented on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent remarks on next May's presidential election, saying that they showed Erdogan is concerned about the possible resignation of CHP deputies. "He's worrying about the possible resignation of deputies and saying that he won't allow this," said Baykal. "How can't you allow this? The deputies are putting their stance forward." Baykal said that Erdogan had stressed that the deputies couldn't resign without the approval of Parliament. "I don't see how this is possible," said Baykal. "Erdogan says that according to the latest polls, his party would get 30% of the votes. Then they can hold early elections before the presidential election." /Cumhuriyet/

BRITAIN'S INDEPENDENT: "TURKEY HAS THE WORLD'S EIGHTH-LARGEST ARMY"

British daily The Independent yesterday published a list of the 10 largest armies in the world. On the list, Turkey is the country with the eighth-largest army, with nearly 515,000 soldiers. China placed first with 2.23 million soldiers, while the US was number two with 1.43 million. /Sabah/

BABACAN HOLDS CONTACTS IN DUBAI FOR TWIN TOWERS PROJECT

State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday held a series of contacts in Dubai for the Twin Towers project in Istanbul's Levent district. Babacan attended a conference in Dubai and later met with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and Dubai Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Dubai Holding officials held contacts with Istanbul Greater Municipality officials to carry out the project without holding a tender. /Milliyet/

TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION HOLDS CONTACTS IN AZERBAIJAN

Visiting Azerbaijan as part of Turkey-Azerbaijan Business Council meetings, a delegation of Turkish businessmen led by Industry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun was received yesterday by President Haydar Aliyev. Pointing to good relations between the two countries, Aliyev said that cooperation would continue in various areas to boost bilateral ties. The delegation also met with Economic Development Minister Haydar Babayev and Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev. /Turkiye/

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