TURKEY PRESS SCAN ON MARCH 25

These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on March 25, 2010. The World Bulletin does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

TURKEY PRESS SCAN ON MARCH 25

TURKIYE
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     PREMIER CALLS ON OPPOSITION TO SUPPORT CONSTITUTIONAL BILL
     Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for reconciliation with the opposition parties over a proposed constitutional amendment bill. "Everyone wants the change. Here is the opportunity. We have no prejudices, no preconditions. Our doors are wide open for reconciliation for those who have any proposals or criticisms," Erdogan said. "If you fail to extend support, we will submit the bill to the parliament and then put it on popular vote." In related news, government spokesman Cemil Cicek said the standing parliament had the authority to make a new constitution. Cicek said the package could include more amendments in the light of proposals or criticisms.
    
     OIC HEAD AWARDED PAKISTANI ORDER OF MERIT
     Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), received the highest civilian order of merit in Pakistan. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zerdari presented Ihsanoglu the order "Hilal-e Pakistan" (Crescent of Pakistan) for his efforts to help Pakistan and India solve their issues.
    
     ZAMAN
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     FULL SUPPORT FROM VENICE COMMISSION TO CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE
     Thomas Markert, the secretary general of the Venice Commission--the advisory council of the Council of Europe (COE) and European Parliament, said they found all proposals in the constitutional amendment bill of Turkey positive.
     Speaking to daily ZAMAN, Markert said election of members to the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) by the parliament was important. He said it was also normal for the justice minister to take place in HSYK.
     Markert said closing a political party was such an important issue that it could not be left to the hands of only one prosecutor, adding that giving this authority to the parliament was a positive step.
     Also, Markert welcomed the proposal about paving the way for filing lawsuits against the decisions of the HSYK and Supreme Military Council, and said those boards were autonomous but they were not courts.
     Markert said the right to individual application to the Constitutional Court would increase the citizens' confidence in the justice system, adding that the structure of the Constitutional Court was obligatory.
    
     POSITIVE NOTE FROM NGOs TO BILL
     Also the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported the constitutional amendment bill of the government. In a joint statement, TOBB, TISK, Turk-Is, Hak-Is, Kamu-Sen, TESK and TZOB underlined importance of the bill and made public that they were expecting the new constitution to be implemented. The NGOs said suggestions should be discussed and solved in compromise. They said that the bill did not include rules regulating economy and working life, which they defined as an insufficiency.
    
     YENI SAFAK
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     SWEDEN TO TAKE STEP BACK IN WRONG DECISION
     Turkey's determined attitude against the Armenian resolution --which was adopted at Sweden's Parliament-- brought results. Repeating that he was sorry about the issue, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that the resolution could be debated again at the parliament. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkish ambassador to Sweden --who was recalled to Turkey after approval of the resolution-- would be sent back to Sweden next week.
    
     TWO HERONS FINALLY DELIVERED
     Two of the ten Herons (unmanned aircraft) which Turkey ordered from Israel under an agreement signed in 2005 were finally delivered. Turkish soldiers are flying the drones which are currently under test flights at Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Center Command in the eastern province of Batman. 
 

 VATAN
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     TO WHOM HAS MERCEDES GIVEN AS BRIBE IN TURKEY?
     German Daimler company, the manufacturer of Mercedes, has given millions of USD of bribes in 22 countries, including Turkey, to win official tenders. After Siemens, the second biggest German company was involved in bribery scandal. A worker, who was sacked by Daimler in 2004 after serving the company for 18 years, confessed the bribery network. According to information given by David Bazzetta, working in the U.S. headquarters of the company, Washington district attorneys launched an investigation and found out that the company gave bribes in 22 countries to win official tenders between 1998 and 2008.
     Daimler confirmed allegations, and announced that it was ready to pay 185 million USD of fine if the case was dropped.
    
     SIX CONDITIONS OF BDP
     The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which would have a key role in constitutional amendment process, demands that articles of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) on "praise and propaganda regarding (head terrorist Abdullah) Ocalan" should be changed.
     Bengi Yildiz, the deputy chairman of BDP group at parliament, spoke to daily VATAN and made public their demands about six legal amendments.
     1- Praising Ocalan: The party demands that TCK's article 215 on "praising the crime and the criminal" should be amended. (Osman Baydemir and 52 mayors have been punished under this article.)
     2- Insulting Crime: TCK's article 216 regulates crimes of "provoking people to hatred and enmity". This was the infamous article 312 in the former TCK.
     3- Children Throwing Stones: TCK's article 230 regarding which the government has prepared an amendment bill. The article is about "committing crimes without being a member of an organization."
     4- State Security: The regulation mentioned in TCK's article 314 which considers it a crime to "set up an armed organization against security of the state and constitutional order and being a member of that organization."
     5- Emblem of organization: The regulation that envisages ten years of imprisonment for those "who carry the emblem or signs of terrorist organization" under Article 7 of the Counter Terrorism Law.
     6- Financial Support: Article 8 of the Counter Terrorism Law which regulates crimes like "collecting monetary assistance and properties and providing funds for terrorist organizations."
    
     CUMHURIYET
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     TRICK AGAINST JUDICIARY
     Senior Justice and Development (AK) Party officials who are touring the civil organizations have sought for support for the package. AK Party who did not find clear support, said they were not going to visit the high courts which the constitutional amendment package was intended for. Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc said majority of the amendments was written in line with the proposals of the high courts.
     Vice President of the Supreme Court of Judges and Prosecutors, Kadir Ozbek, said the roof of the state would collapse if the package was adopted. Responding to a question if there could be compromise, Ozbek said, "in order to reach consensus they first need to talk to us." Ozbek said allegations that they were opposing the package in order to protect their positions, deeply hurt them.
    
     INTORREGATION FOR 18 MILLION EURO
     Firdevsi Ermis who revealed the Deniz Feneri e.V with his testimony, apparently came to Turkey to testify not last month --as it is widely believed-- but a year ago.
     Ermis who was sentenced to 1 year and 10 months in the case in Germany apparently came to Ankara on November 6 and 7 and gave statement to prosecutors in Ankara.
     Ermis told prosecutors everything about how the 18 million Euro was channelled into Turkey.
    
     RADIKAL
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     WE NEED EURO FOR ENVIRONMENT
     Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu said that Turkey was expecting 10-15 billion Euro of support from the EU after the environment chapter was opened. He added, "we will be a model country. The money required is 59 billion Euro."
    
     LARGE-SCALE CUSTODY IN GAME-FIXING
     A total of 46 people including soccer team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor's coach Arif Erdem, players Kenan Hasagic and Taner Gulleri as well as Recep Ozturk from Konyaspor were detained in a game-fixing operation. The names of Erdem, Hasagic and Ozturk also take place in a report of Bochum prosecutor in Germany regarding Genclerbirligi's game last year.
    
     THEY GIVE BRIBE IN TURKEY TOO
     A lawsuit was filed against German automobile giant Daimler in the U.S. as the company gave bribe in 22 countries for ten years. The file includes claims that Daimler's company in Turkey Mercedes Benz Turk gave bribe to ESHOT in Izmir province and during sales to police department in Ankara.
 

HURRIYET
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     POLICE DETAIN OVER FORTY IN SOCCER-FIXING PROBE
     Police in Turkey took forty-six people under custody including former soccer players in a probe over a sports betting fraud. Police were searching for seven more people in the investigation that was set off after a prosecutor in Bochum, Germany sent a 600-page dossier to Turkey. UEFA Cup winners Galatasaray's former players Arif Erdem, Fatih Akyel and Evren Turhan are among the detainees.
    
     GOVT. VOWS SCHOOLING FOR CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL ARMENIANS IN TURKEY, SAYS ARCHBISHOP
     Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc has pledged to provide schooling for children of the Armenian families living in Turkey illegally, said religious leader of the Armenian community in the country, Archbishop Aram Atesyan. Illegal Armenians in Turkey have become an issue of debate after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "we could deport them." Atesyan said he received the word from Arinc during a meeting last week. Arinc told the daily HURRIYET that the prime minister had issued a direct order for the schooling of illegal Armenian children as well as children from other minorities.
    
     MILLIYET
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     AHLATLIBEL ON ONE SIDE, AND BRUSSELS ON OTHER
     Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, who met with media executives, said, "on one side we are working for the adjustment to the EU, on the other side we are faced with Constitution obstacles. We are trapped in between Ahlatlibel (the district where Constitutional Court takes place) and Brussels."
    
     SURPRISING OPERATION IN AK PARTY
     Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discharged Kursad Tuzmen --deputy chairman for foreign relations of Justice & Development (AK) Party-- from his mission, and replaced him with Adana deputy Omer Celik. The previous day, Tuzmen said that AK Party also made some mistakes regarding democratic move.
    
     SULEYMANOGLU IN INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
     World and Olympics champion Turkish weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu is in intensive care unit due to liver failure. State Minister for youth & sports Faruk Ozak visited Suleymanoglu, and said that his condition was good.
    
     SABAH
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     "GAME-FIXING-SPOR" UNDER DETENTION
     Seven footballers, including former international ones, are accused of game fixing. Among them are former footballers Arif Erdem and Fatih Akyel and Kenan Hasagic, who is the goalkeeper of Super League team Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor.
    
     WE CAN CHANGE IT IF NECESSARY
     Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave time to the opposition till the weekend for the constitutional amendment bill. Erdogan said, "you can contact us if you have suggestions and contributions, and we can change them if necessary."
     Erdogan addressed the opposition regarding the constitutional amendment bill during a hospital inauguration in Ankara. "Our doors are wide open, and we are also open to a compromise," he said.
     Prime Minister Erdogan said, "every one is practically complaining about the constitution. Here is the opportunity, we have prepared a draft. Those who have criticisms or suggestions should contact us and say it frankly. We take them into consideration, and we change them if necessary. What else can we do?"
     Erdogan said the government would wait till the weekend, and then present the bill to the parliament.
    
     HE TESTIFIES FOR THREE HOURS
     Turkish businessman Hakan Uzan testified on the second day of the Libananco case in Paris for three hours. U.S. lawyer of the Uzan's family will get 5 billion USD if he wins 20 billion USD case.
  

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Mart 2010, 08:46

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