FABULOUS QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“HE WHO HAS A THOUSAND FRIENDS HAS NOT A FRIEND TO SPARE, WHILE HE WHO HAS ONE ENEMY SHALL MEET HIM EVERYWHERE.” By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Time chooses ‘The Protester’ not Erdogan as ‘Person of the YeaR
"The Protester" has been named American Time magazine's Person of the Year although Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan topped the poll of the People's Choice for Time's 2011 Person of the Year.The magazine revealed its decision on Wednesday, after it announced on Tuesday that Erdoğan was Time readers' choice for the title of Person of the Year.The magazine did not name Erdoğan the Person of the Year but chose “The Protester,” which refers to waves of protests across the world, including those against dictators in the Middle East and the Occupy Wall Street movement that left their mark on 2011.Time defines the Person of the Year as someone who, for better or for worse, influences the events of the year."Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they'd had enough," Time Editor Rick Stengel said in a statement."They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change," he said.The magazine also revealed the runners-up for 2011 Person of the Year on its website, TIME.com. Coming in No. 2 on the list is Adm. William H. McRaven, who organized the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in May.Time's choice for last year was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg although WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ranked first in Time's poll.Time has chosen its Person of the Year every year since 1927, and sometimes it has involved a group, like the protester, or a concept.According to Time's annual poll for 2011, Erdoğan received 122,928 votes nominating him as the most influential person of the year, with Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi coming in a far second with only 75,000 votes and the protester coming third.The Turkish prime minister not only topped the People's Choice for Time's 2011 Person of the Year poll but the list of least popular people as well. He came in first among the least popular with 180,564 votes.
Salehi comforts Ankara over NATO shield threats
Iranian FM assures Turkey that the Islamic country does not pose any threat to its neighbor denying aggressive statements made by its officials.
Iran has dismissed comments from its own officials to target a NATO missile shield in eastern Turkey if the Islamic republic is threatenedby the West, Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. “We reject those views completely,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview, adding that those who had made the irresponsible statements had been warned. “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s official stance on Turkey is based on deep brotherhood and friendship,” he said, adding that only Iran’s supreme leader, president and foreign minister were able to pronounce on Iran’s official attitude on international matters and foreign policy. “Other statements are considered personal views,” he said. “Our relations with Turkey are at their best level ever from a political, economic and cultural perspective. More than 2 million Iranians visit Turkey each year, Salehi said. “There may be different views but that is natural. Turkey and Iran favor peace, stability and security in the region,” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu thanked Salehi for his statement yesterday. “There was no tension in ties with Iran [over the statements of Iranian officials],” he told reporters. “Turkish-Iranian friendship is forever. No one can deny it.” Meanwhile, Turkey’s uneasiness over Iranian officials’ threats to hit the NATO radar system to be deployed in Turkey was expressed by Davutoğlu in speaking with Salehi on Dec. 13.
Small countries join EU, big countries bargain
Small countries were joining the European Union while big countries were bargaining, Turkey’s president said late Dec. 9 after Turkey’s disappointment in not progressing in its EU bid while Croatia signed its accession treaty. “Small countries are joining the EU, but big countries are bargaining,” Gül said at the fourth World Policy Conference in Vienna, Austria.
Gül’s remarks came after Croatia, whose negotiation process with the union began at the same time as Turkey, signed an accession treaty with the EU. Croatia will become EU’s 28th member in July 2013. Gül said Turkey’s real goal was to conclude the negotiation process successfully, and then it may decide not to join the union, just like Norway. When asked how many EU member countries were also members of the G-20, Gül said “Only three or four of them, and therefore this should be evaluated well.” Turkey is a member of G-20 and became an EU candidate country in December 1999. The union launched accession talks with Turkey on Oct. 3, 2005. The EU has so far opened 13 of the 35 chapter headings to negotiations with Turkey. Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Dec. 10 from Indonesia where he was attending the fourth Bali Democracy Forum that they would ask about the EU membership issue to the Turkish people. “Turkey wants to join the EU… We have been given many obstacles… But the EU is not a single choice for Turkey. We will ask about the EU membership issue to our people,” Arınç said during a meeting with Indonesian media representatives. The EU was not sine qua non for Turkey, Arınç said, and Turkey had a model partnership with the U.S. as well as Asia and Africa. Turkey recently opened 30 embassies in Africa, he said.
Attack kills 4 in Belgium
A lunch-hour attack yesterday in a busy central square in the eastern Belgian city of Liege left 75 people injured and four dead, including the gunman, a prosecutor said. The lone gunman opened fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in Liege, killing three people before turning the gun on himself. More than 70 people were also wounded in the lunch-hour attack, public prosecutor Daniel Reynders said. Reynders said the gunman, Nordine Amrani, 32, was among the four people dead, along with a 15-year-old who died instantly, and a 17-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman who died later in the hospital. The country’s federal crisis center said it was neither a terrorist incident nor was linked to a pending criminal trial. “It was a lone gunman,” the center’s Benoit Ramacker told Agence France-Presse. “We’re investigating all avenues.” Belgium’s Interior Minister Joelle Milquet broke off EU talks and immediately headed for Liege after the attack, as did newly named Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. The attack sent terrified residents running for their lives, and hours later groups of people sat weeping on sidewalks across the windy city amid the screech of ambulance sirens and the roar of helicopters hovering overhead. The shooting took place around noon on Saint-Lambert square, home to the courthouse and located near a busy Christmas market in the town of 196,000. Some reports said it was a foiled bid to rescue a suspect from the courthouse, but judicial sources said Amrani acted alone. The sources said police had raided Amrani’s Liege home recently seeking cannabis plants but had found arms instead. In 2008 he was sentenced to almost five years behind bars for illegal possession of arms and growing marijuana. There was much confusion over the early details of the events, with initial reports citing more than one gunman. Journalist Nicolas Gilenne told AFP he had just left the courthouse where he was covering a trial when the attack began. “He wanted to hurt as many people as possible” he said.