Press Review

ERDOGAN: "ISLAM AND TERRORISM ARE IRRECONCILABLE"

in the central Anatolian city of Konya yesterday, President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended ceremonies marking the 734th anniversary of the death of mystical poet and philosopher Rumi. During the ceremony, Gul said that today there is a greater need than ever to understand Rumi's philosophy. "We can make a better world if we try to understand the Rumi's call for fellowship and divine union," Gul added. Also speaking to the ceremony, Erdogan said that Rumi's messages were meant for the entire world, adding that Islam means peace and love. "Islam and terrorism are irreconcilable," he said. Erdogan also attended the inauguration of a new courthouse in Konya. Saying that terrorism saps Turkey's resources, Erdogan added that the best thing the ruling the Justice and Development (AK) Party has yet done is to put the country in the right direction, in line with republic's original aims. /Star-Milliyet/

PM ERDOGAN TO VISIT SPAIN NEXT MONTH

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the First Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations to be held in Madrid, Spain on Jan. 15-16. At the meeting, Erdogan is expected to firmly rebuff efforts to downgrade Turkey's European Union membership bid to a "privileged partnership." The premier will argue that Turkey presents an opportunity for the EU to implement the Alliance of Civilizations, and is a model country in this project. /Turkiye/

BABACAN: "EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT OUR ONLY GOAL IS TO FIGHT TERRORISM"

Turkey is fighting terrorism using the legal and diplomatic means available to it, said Foreign Minister Ali Babacan yesterday. Speaking to reporters in Paris, while attending a conference of donors to Palestine, Babacan said that Turkey is fighting the terrorist PKK using legal means. Recent airstrikes against the PKK in northern Iraq targeted only the terrorist group and were authorized by Parliament, he added. "Everyone can see our only goal is to fight terrorism," he said, arguing that Turkey had made this clear. /Star/

EU'S NAGY: "WE UNDERSTAND TURKEY NEEDS TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE"

Krisztina Nagy, spokesperson for European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, yesterday commented on Turkey's weekend airstrikes against terrorist camps in northern Iraq, saying, "We understand Turkey's need to protect its citizens." Stating that the EU is keeping track of developments, Nagy said the European Commission's views that Turkey is not using disproportionate military force and does respect human rights and the rule of law remain unchanged. In related news, Russian Ambassador to Ankara Vladimir Ivanovskiy yesterday said that terrorism can never be justified for any reason, adding that Russia has also suffered from terrorism and supports Turkey's anti-terrorist efforts. /Aksam/

US: "INTELLIGENCE SHARING TO HELP TURKEY FIGHT THE PKK WILL CONTINUE"

Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman yesterday said that the US would continue to give intelligence to Turkey. Speaking to reporters, he added that the US gave intelligence to help Turkey track down the terrorist PKK in northern Iraq, but declined to say if it had provided a target to Turkey. In related news, State Department spokesperson Tom Casey said that they want to see action to eliminate the terrorist PKK. /Sabah/

TRNC TO OPEN OFFICE IN ROME TODAY

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is set today to open a representative office in Rome, Italy. The opening will be done by TRNC Deputy Prime Minister Turgay Avci. The office aims to publicize the TRNC among Italians and to develop economic, cultural and social relations between the two nations. Turkish Ambassador to Rome Ugur Ziyal and a number of Italian parliamentarians are expected to attend the opening ceremony. /Turkiye/

Copyright © 2007