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Turkish Press Scan for Feb. 16

HDN | 2/16/2011 12:00:00 AM |

These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on February 16, 2011. The Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review does not vouch for their accuracy.

From Hürriyet Daily News:

Zaman

-- Urgent need for 100,000 doctors, nurses

 The rector of Medipol University, Professor Sabahattin Aydın, has said there is an urgent need for more than 100,000 nurses in Turkey, daily Zaman reported Wednesday.

 There are 153 medical doctors per 100,000 people in Turkey, whereas this number is 322 in the U.S. and 340 in Europe. Health Minister Recep Akdağ stated that the need for doctors in Turkey is more than 100,000. Professor Aydın, on the other hand, said there are currently 90,000 nurses working in Turkey, but another 100,000 should be added to this number. Aydın also said that nursing should be turned into a more attractive profession in order to gain more young people as nurses. “While doctors can examine patients for only a short period of time, nurses generally spend more time with them. We have to use paid companions instead of nurses, which is not very healthy. That is why we need to overcome this nursing problem,” he said.

 Aydın said the need for doctors and nurses is not an issue that can be solved in a short period of time. He stressed that there is also urgent need for specialists in psychology and physical therapy.

Habertürk

-- Use LPG tanks for only 10 years, officials say

 Following several gas leaks and automotive explosions, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority, or EPDK, announced that automotive LPG systems should be replaced after 10 years, daily Habertürk reported Wednesday.

 Even small cars reportedly should apply to the Turkish Union of Engineers’ and Architects’ Chambers, or TMMOB, in case of accidents. The cars should obtain certification that their system is leak-proof from the TMMOB. According to reports, there are 2.1 million cars with LPG systems in Turkey. After the price of diesel oil and gas raised many people bought cars with LPG systems. There are allegedly 800,000 cars with LPG system in traffic do not have a leak-proof certification report or other safety report.

 The EPDK will meet with the police department, the TMMOB and the authorities that test LPG appliances to discuss accidents involving LPG systems and ways to check cars. Sinan Aygün, the head of the Ankara Chamber of Trade, said some cars with LPG systems park at shopping malls. “Malls are at risk,” he warned. Despite a law implemented in 1998, some cars are not checked by security officials at malls, he said.

Taraf

-- Person jailed by mistake wins court case

 A person who was arrested on suspicion of killing two people and freed after 132 days when authorities realized he was innocent has been awarded compensation for the error, daily Taraf reported Wednesday. Bülent Köseoğlu was arrested in 2008 on suspicion of murdering two people in the Marmara province of Bursa. Köseoğlu sued authorities after he was freed and won compensation of about 7,500 Turkish Liras in a recent court decision. After Köseoğlu learned that two people had been murdered with a pump-rifle, he called one of the families of the victims he knew to offer his condolences. He was then put under surveillance and got arrested when burnt scars were found on his palms. Köseoğlu stayed in prison for 132 days, until a scientific team reported that gunpowder is not found on the palm of a person after using a rifle. He sued the authorities, noting that 49 of his sheep and goats had been lost and all the crops he had planted had died during the time he was kept in prison. He asked for 50,000 liras in emotional damages and 50,000 liras more in material compensation from the court, which decided to grant him 5,000 and 2,500 liras for the damages, respectively.

Vatan

-- Experts divided on lifespan stats

 Statistics suggesting that the average lifespan of Turks increased three years in the space of six years have divided sociologists and population experts, daily Vatan reported Wednesday. The data was gathered by the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade, the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TÜİK, and the Education Directorate. While professors Sabahat Tezcan and İsmet Koç from Hacettepe University said the average lifespan of Turkey was able to increase in relation to the decrease in infant mortality, a professor from Çukurova University, Adnan Gümüş, and expert Bülent Tanla said the censuses during the years 1996 to 2009 were inconsistent and that this was reflected in the numbers illustrating the increase in average life span. “Men suffer more from traffic accidents, venereal diseases and tuberculosis. Thus, it is not surprising to see that average lifespan has risen in women. On the other hand, it is not possible for the average lifespan to increase [so much] in two years because it increases a year every 10 years. In the last two years, women gained three kilograms on average in Turkey. But it is not possible to say that our life span has risen three years in the span of just six years. TUİK should check how they calculated this numbers,” Tezcan said.

From Anatolia News Agency:

HÜRRİYET

-- ‘WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND DETENTIONS’

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone said that freedom of press was mentioned in Turkey but that journalists were also detained, stating that they could not understand it. "Turkey wants a free press. Both the government and also the opposition say that they support free media. We are monitoring this process. Freedom of expression and freedom of press are vital for Turkey, the United States and for the region," Ambassador Ricciardone said.

-- GÜL VISITS IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER

Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who is visiting Iran, had a meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also attended the meeting. Khamenei said that there must be unity in the Islamic world against the games of enemies.

MİLLİYET

-- IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER EULOGIZES TURKEY

Turkish President Abdullah Gül met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei as part of his visit to Tehran. Hoseini-Khamenei said in the meeting that Turkey's rising role in Islamic world would bring benefits to the region. President Gül said that he hoped that the country's transformation would be beneficial for the region.

-- MEDIA SHOULD BE FREE

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone said regarding a police raid on the headquarters of an Internet site at "odatv.com" that Turkish government talked about freedom of press but also journalists were detained. He said that he could not understand it.

SABAH

-- TRANSPARENCY LESSON TO ARAB LEADERS

While chatting with Turkish reporters accompanying him during his visit to Iran, Turkish President Abdullah Gül received the news that mobile phones and the Internet had been cut due to the demonstrations in Tehran. Commenting on the issue, Gül said telephone lines might be cut, but the TV showed everything.

"The biggest problems in totalitarian regimes are injustice, corruption, lack of accountability and underuse of resources," Gül noted.

"Countries in the region experience such incidents as none of them has an audit mechanism concerning these principles," he also said.

-- LET BLACK AND WHITE BE REVEALED

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the latest detentions in Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case. "Everybody should respect the jurisdiction. This judiciary process will strengthen the Turkish Armed Forces," Erdoğan said.

The prime minister noted that nobody could be considered a criminal unless a final judgment was reached about him/her. "However, the black and white should be revealed. Those who are associating this process with the government are insane," he said.

VATAN

-- KILIÇDAROĞLU: WHERE IS ERGENEKON? I WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER

Commenting on the developments regarding the Ergenekon case, Republican People's Party (CHP) chairperson Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the case had been going on for 3 years and detentions continued.

Pointing to the people who had been arrested as part of the case for being a member of a terrorist organization, Kılıçdaroğlu said, "So you can become a member of this organization anytime you want. I wonder where this organization is. I will go and become a member."

-- THESE CASES TO STRENGTHEN TSK

Referring to Ergenekon and Balyoz cases, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "The black and white will be revealed soon. Be patient."

Erdoğan noted that the jurisdiction should be respected in order to identify the guilty and the innocent, and to reach satisfying judgments. "Whatever the result will be, it will strengthen the Turkish Armed Forces," the prime minister said.

CUMHURİYET

-- ‘YOU'RE PRODUCING CRIME’

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu commented on a police raid on news website Odatv and claimed that Soner Yalçın was detained to prevent the establishment of a new TV channel. Kılıçdaroğlu said that they did not want immunity in an atmosphere where democracy was violated. "Your prosecutors and judges may produce crime and detain us. We are ready to pay the price for democracy," he said.

-- ‘I CANNOT UNDERSTAND’

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone said that he could not understand that when freedom of press was mentioned in Turkey, journalists were detained. Ricciardone said that independent and free jurisdiction was a must for democracy.

RADİKAL

-- INNOCENCE IS BASIC PRINCIPLE

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had a meeting with General Staff Chief Gen. Işık Koşaner at Dolmabahçe Palace on Saturday, commented on the latest detention wave in Balyoz case while speaking at his party's group meeting yesterday.

"Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise. Nobody could be considered guilty just for being detained, arrested or judged. Nobody could be named a criminal unless a final judgment was reached about him/her. However, the jurisdiction should be respected so that the black and the white will be revealed," Erdoğan said.

-- U.S. AMBASSADOR: WE CLOSELY MONITOR BALYOZ PROCESS

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone said that they closely monitored the detentions within the scope of Balyoz case and they expected a duly executed and transparent judicial process. The ambassador also said that he was trying to comprehend how freedom of press could be debated while journalists were being arrested.

TÜRKİYE

-- TSK TO BE MORE POWERFUL

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted to those who accused the government of detentions under Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case. Erdoğan said that the process was carried out by jurisdiction and everyone should respect it. Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) would be strengthened at the end of the process, Erdoğan said.

-- KHAMENEI SAYS POWERFUL TURKEY IS A MUST FOR ISLAMIC COUNTRIES

Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who is visiting Iran, had a meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also attended the meeting. Khamenei said that a historical opportunity has been caught to boost bilateral ties between Turkey and Iran. Khamenei said that powerful Turkey was a must for Islamic countries.

ZAMAN

-- JUDGES REMOVED FROM OFFICE DUE TO BRIBERY, NOT BALYOZ

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) replied to remarks by attorneys of several suspects who claimed that the latest decision to arrest 163 soldiers in Balyoz case came after the judges in charge were changed. The board's deputy head Ahmet Hamsici said the place of duty of the judges of 10th and 14th High Criminal Courts had been changed due to "bribery" claims, not in connection with the Balyoz case.

-- JOBLESS RATE DOWN TO 11 PCT, BUDGET RUNS 1 BLN TL SURPLUS

Two positive pieces of news came from the economy yesterday. Employment figures for November 2010 were pleasing. Jobless rate dropped 2.1 points to 11 percent compared to the same period of a year earlier. The number of employed was also up by 1.1 million. The second positive development was about the budget. Thanks to the increase in tax income and decline in expenditures, Turkey's central government budget ran a surplus of 1 billion Turkish liras (TL) in January 2011. Such a development takes place for the second time in 21 years.

YENİ ŞAFAK

-- LET JURISDICTION DO ITS JOB

Delivering a speech at his Justice and Development (AK) Party's group meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that detentions within the scope of Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case was carried out by the jurisdiction. "This process will strengthen the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces)," Erdoğan said.

-- BUDGET YIELDS 1 BILLION TL SURPLUS

The 2011 Central Government Budget ran a surplus of 1 billion Turkish liras (TL) in January 2011. Budgetary expenses were 22,494,000 TL and revenues were 23,499,000 TL. The Central Government Budget in January 2010 ran a deficit of 3,121 million TL.

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