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Turkish Press Review, 98-12-23

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

23.12.98

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] EREZ IS ONE STEP FORWARD FOR PRIME MINISTRY
  • [02] KUTAN, "VIRTUE PARTY COMPLAINS OF BEING EXCLUDED"
  • [03] BAYKAL: "NEW GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE NEW IN EVERY WAY"
  • [04] NEW EXTRADITION FORMULA FOR OCALAN
  • [05] GEN.ATES: "OCALAN SERVES AS AN EXAMPLE"
  • [06] "SOUTH AFRICA IS NOT RELATED TO OCALAN"
  • [07] SECRET SERVICE: D'ALEMA LIED TO HIS NATION
  • [08] "OCALAN TO BE HANDED OVER TO TURKEY ON CONDITION"
  • [09] HEAVY COST OF THE BOYCOTT
  • [10] "PKK TERRORISM IS A THREAT AGAINST TURKEY"
  • [11] PANGALOS VISITS PKK CAMP
  • [12] KIVRIKOGLU ASSERTS MILITARY'S RESOLUTION TO DEFEND SECULARISM
  • [13] TREASURY TO PAY $23 BILLION
  • [14] FOREIGN INTEREST IN TREASURY BONDS
  • [15] SYNDICATION CREDIT FOR AKBANK
  • [16] TURKISH FIRM TO BUY REFINERY IN ROMANIA
  • [17] NATIONAL ACTION FOR THE PROBLEM OF "THE YEAR 2000"
  • [18] TIKA, PROTECTING THE COMMON CULTURE OF THE TURKISH WORLD
  • [19] RADIATION ALARM IN BLACK SEA
  • [20] TOURISM MINISTRY TO INCREASE PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES
  • [21] FRENCH TOURISTS VISIT TURKEY
  • [22] HISTORICAL TABLEAU OPERATION
  • [23] VIOLINIST BAICH IN ISTANBUL
  • [24] FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [25] "ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DOUBLE STANDARDS" BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
  • [26] "IS THERE ANY OVERSIGHT ON OCALAN?" -BY CAN ATAKLI (SABAH)

  • [01] EREZ IS ONE STEP FORWARD FOR PRIME MINISTRY

    It was reported that President Demirel would most probably give the mandate to Yalim Erez, the Minister of Industry and an independent MP, to form the new government. Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), and Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), decided in their meeting on Monday that Erez's Prime Ministry would be the most plausible alternative for them and informed Demirel about their decision yesterday. Meanwhile, the Five-Fold Civil Initiative, composed of civil organizations representing industrialists, workers and small enterpreneurs, made a declaration in favour of Erez. It is expected that Demirel will declare his decision and appoint an MP to form the government. /Hurriyet/

    [02] KUTAN, "VIRTUE PARTY COMPLAINS OF BEING EXCLUDED"

    The Chairman of the Virtue Party (RP), Recai Kutan, complained about Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and their attitude of exclusion towards the RP, claiming that they were being discriminatory. Speaking at his party's group meeting Kutan said that Ecevit's unfruitful attempts to establish a new government caused Turkey to waste time and he added that they were ready to give full support to a broad-based government established by a deputy with whom all parties could reach a comprise. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] BAYKAL: "NEW GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE NEW IN EVERY WAY"

    The leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, yesterday said that the new government should be 'new' in every way. He noted that his party would not support the idea of giving the mandate to form the new government to someone who had worked in the previous government. "A new government should not be shadowed by the old one" he added. Baykal warned that the President should be careful not to give the impression that the next government will simply be a continuation of the past government. /All papers/

    [04] NEW EXTRADITION FORMULA FOR OCALAN

    It is claimed that at the end of the summit held at the Turkish Embassy in Rome, both sides reached a framework agreement on Ocalan's extradition to Turkey with a "formula in stages". The Undersecretary of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Umberto Vattani, and the Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Faruk Logoglu, the Turkish Ambassador to Rome, Inal Batu and other Turkish and Italian senior officials attended the meeting. Evaluating the meeting to Aksam newspaper Ambassador, Batu said, "Turkey did mnot make any bargain on Ocalan's extradition with Italian officials. If the chief of the terrorist organization is handed over to a third country Turkey's requests will be met. Since the begining of the crisis this is the most useful meeting that has been held with Italian officials, since they are no longer talking about organizing a Kurdish conference. "

    Meanwhile, Italian "La Stampa" newspaper claimed that, depending on Ankara, Libya, Sudan and Somalia were among the countries that Ocalan could be sent to. The report added that both Turkey and Italy were for Ocalan's removal from Europe. /Aksam/

    [05] GEN.ATES: "OCALAN SERVES AS AN EXAMPLE"

    Land Forces Commander, Gen.Atilla Ates, noted yesterday that the Western countries, which are quick to give lessons on human rights, have been safeguarding a murderer of innocent people and said: "This issue constitutes an example for all mankind". The leader of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, has been released by the Court of Appeals in Rome. Gen.Ates attended a ceremony during which honorary medals were presented to two Generals who have been successful in operations carried out in Southeastern Anatolia. Gen.Ates said that in recent years, terrorism was again on the stage with the support of foreign countries, was out to demolish the Republic of Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [06] "SOUTH AFRICA IS NOT RELATED TO OCALAN"

    The South African Ambassador to Ankara, Thomas Wheeler, stated that he had read claims that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan may go to South Africa in newspapers and said that these were all speculations. Wheeler noted that Italy had taken no initiatives with South Africa to this end. Replying to a question asking if Ocalan fled to South Africa, what would his country do, Wheeler said: "Again, this is all speculation, all I can say is that South Africa is a member of Interpol". /Milliyet/

    [07] SECRET SERVICE: D'ALEMA LIED TO HIS NATION

    The Chairman of the Secret Services Control Commission of the Italian Parliament, Franco Frattini, said that Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, his Deputy and some Ministers lied to the Italian nation concerning the issue of the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan. Frattini noted that the statements which claim that Italy had no information regarding the arrival of Ocalan in Rome were not accurate and said: "I cannot hide my bewilderment towards the reactions of some parliamentary members". /Milliyet/

    [08] "OCALAN TO BE HANDED OVER TO TURKEY ON CONDITION"

    The German SAT 1 television station claimed that PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan would be handed over to Turkey. The TV news reported that the Italian court would hand over Ocalan to Turkey on condition that he was not going to be tried under threat of the death penalty. According to Italian legal authorities Italy was ready to negotiate Ocalan's extradition to Turkey with Turkish officials. /Aksam/

    [09] HEAVY COST OF THE BOYCOTT

    During his visit to Ankara, the Italian Minister of Industry and Trade, Pier Luigi Bersani, evaluated the cost of the economic boycott . Turkish officials announced Italian firms had lost $ 200 million by the end of one month boycott. Bersani noted that Italy had a lot to do to re-construct its relations with Turkey. He added that it was decided that Turkish and Italian industrialists would hold a round-table meeting at the end of January. Bersani noted that he asked Turkish officials to calm Turkish public opinion. Attending the banquet given by Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD) in Istanbul, Bersani pointed out that they did not want the Turkish-Italian business relations to be damaged as a result of the Ocalan issue. He gave a guarantee to Turkish businessmen that political asylum could be given to a person who was charged with committing terrorist crimes. /Cumhuriyet/Turkiye/

    [10] "PKK TERRORISM IS A THREAT AGAINST TURKEY"

    The Elazig Governorship and the Euphrates University organized a symposium on "Security and Peace in Southeatern Anatolia on the 75th anniversary of the Republic". At the end of the three-day symposium a final comminuque was issued. The report said that terrorist activities in and around Eastern and Southeasthern Anatolia were aimed at damaging and changing the characteristics of the Republic by means of force, threat, violence and terror. It was added that state institutions, universities, media, intellectuals, political parties and non-governmental organizations should act together hand-in-hand for the stability of the State. The report noted that a regional development plan should be prepared to rebuild the damage caused by terrorist activities in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] PANGALOS VISITS PKK CAMP

    The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitri Pangalos, visited the Lavrion camp of the PKK terrorist organization in Athens. Pangalos addressed PKK terrorists as "our guests" and said, "We are together with you. We will make every effort to help and to send you to your own territories." Greece claimed that Lavrion was a refugee camp although PKK terrorists were trained in the camp. /Aksam/

    [12] KIVRIKOGLU ASSERTS MILITARY'S RESOLUTION TO DEFEND SECULARISM

    In the middle of the search for a new government to take over Turkey's administration, Chief of General Staff Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu asserted yesterday the military's determination to prevent anti-secularist movements aimed at destroying the constitutional order. In a written statement issued on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the cruel murder of a Lieutenant named Kubilay by Islamist radicals in Izmir's district of Menemen, Gen.Kivrikoglu said: "Anti-secularist movements will be unable to destroy the establishment of the nation and the constitutional order. They will face all the constitutional organs of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces".

    Gen.Kivrikoglu also underlined that the armed forces were `stronger than ever' to protect the Republic and Ataturk's principles against `any internal or external threat' aim at damaging the nation and its unity. During the turmoil in Menemen in 1930, Lt.Kubilay was decapitated by radical Islamists. He has become the symbol of the military's struggle against reactionism. /All papers/

    [13] TREASURY TO PAY $23 BILLION

    The Treasury will pay off TL 7.2 quadrillion ($23 billion) of its domestic debt in the first four months of 1999. In January 1999, the Treasury will pay TL 1.9 quadrillion towards the domestic debt. In February it will pay off TL 1.7 quadrillion and in March it will pay off TL 1.6 quadrillion.The biggest debt payment month is April with TL 2 quadrillion. The total amount of domestic debt the Treasury will pay off in 1999 is TL 16 quadrillion.

    Treasury officials told the Anatolia news agency that selling securities in US dollars and DM on international markets in December 1998 relaxed the pressure on domestic borrowing. Domestic debts will be paid by domestic borrowing in 1999, and no difficulty is expected to be faced in debt payments. Meanwhile, officials stated that two-year term securities, which make interest payments every three months, will be issued in January 1999.

    [14] FOREIGN INTEREST IN TREASURY BONDS

    There was great foreign interest in the 133-day bonds exported by the Turkish Treasury yesterday. Nearly 35 % of these bonds were purchased by foreign investors. Almost $190 million from abroad has been received through this sale. /Sabah/

    [15] SYNDICATION CREDIT FOR AKBANK

    Akbank has received syndication credit worth $100 million from leading banks in the world. Thus the amount of foreign credit which Akbank has received from foreign markets totals $950 million. Akbank General Director, Ozen Goksel, said that this amount shows that Akbank is a successful bank in international markets with its strong banking relations. /Milliyet/

    [16] TURKISH FIRM TO BUY REFINERY IN ROMANIA

    The Turkish private company Akmaya Industry and Trade Corporation, will buy the state-owned Petromedia refinery. According to the representatives of the firm, Akmaya Corp. signed an agreement with the Romanian State Owned Fund as part of a privatization programme; in line with this agreement Akmaya will buy 65 percent of the shares in the Petromedia refinery station at a cost of $ 740 million. The refinery is located in the Kostence region of Romania with an annual processing capacity of 4.8 million tons of crude oil. /Turkiye/

    [17] NATIONAL ACTION FOR THE PROBLEM OF "THE YEAR 2000"

    Concerning the problem to be faced by computer systems in the year 2000, the State Planning Organization (DPT) is preparing a "National Action Plan for the Year 2000". The aim is the plan is to inform the public about the dimensions of the problem and to help corporations initiate necessary actions to cope with this trouble, which will allegedly generate a "digital apocalypse". /Hurriyet/

    [18] TIKA, PROTECTING THE COMMON CULTURE OF THE TURKISH WORLD

    The Chairman of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), Ambassador Tugay Ozceri, said that they had been making great efforts to restructure friendly neighbouring states after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. Ozceri evaluated their activities at the 6th anniversary of TIKA to the Turkiye newspaper saying that Turkey, which had received help from other countries in the past, was now helping them and TIKA was a concrete example of the change in the structure of Turkey. He said, "Foreign aid is a means of foreign policy. TIKA, attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a development agency which contributes to the improvement of multi-dimensional relations with the Central Asian, Caucasian, Black Sea and Balkan countries. During the last six years 150 bilateral and 60 multi-sided projects have been achieved." /Turkiye/

    [19] RADIATION ALARM IN BLACK SEA

    A dark reality has emerged from hiding after 50 years in the Black Sea region. High-level radiation consisting of chemical materials and weapons carried by German war vessels sunk during World War II has created great concern in the Black Sea. Research conducted by Russian scientists shows that fishes were dying because of these chemical materials.

    According to the Izvestiya newspaper published in Russia, in two Russian ports on the Black Sea, Tuapse and Novorossiysk, some radio-active materials have been found on the surface of the sea. A Russian delegation of scientists has been researching into the effects of the Chernobil disaster on the Black Sea. Russian scientists, who carry out their work on the Ukranian and Russian coasts, discovered some remains in the Black Sea at a depth of 1,500 metres with ten times the normal level of radiation. /Sabah/

    [20] TOURISM MINISTRY TO INCREASE PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES

    The Tourism Ministry has announced that it will emphasize public relations in its promotional activities for 1999, the Anatolia news agency reports. According to information received from Tourism Ministry officials, Turkey's image abroad affects tourism by 74 %.

    [21] FRENCH TOURISTS VISIT TURKEY

    The number of French tourists who visited Turkey during the last 11 months of this year increased by 31 % compared with the same [Aperiod last year and reached 420,000, according to Turkey's Tourism Office in Paris. Of the number of foreign tourists who came to Turkey from Europe, France ranked first, while Germany came second and Britain third, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [22] HISTORICAL TABLEAU OPERATION

    During operations carried out in Edremit, Balikesir, two tableaus belonging to the 16th and 17th centuries have been seized by members of the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department of the Balikesir Security Office. Officials from the Balikesir Museum Directorate said that the tableaus were very valuable and added that they would apply to Interpol to determine whether they were stolen or not. /Sabah/

    [23] VIOLINIST BAICH IN ISTANBUL

    Russian violinist Lidia Baich will give a concert at Istanbul's Ataturk Culture Center on 26 December as part of the Yapi Kredi Art Festival'98. Pianist Natalie Baich will accompany the violonist during her recital. Lidia Baich has been studying at the Vienna Academy of Music together with Boris Kuschnir since 1990. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] FROM THE COLUMNS

    [25] "ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DOUBLE STANDARDS" BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Oktay Eksi, a columnist in the Hurriyet Daily, compares Germany's extradition of an Islamic fundamentalist to the US and Italy's refusal to extradite Ocalan to Turkey, and argues that this is a blatant example of "double standards" towards Turkey. Eksi writes:

    "Italy refuses to extradite the PKK leader Ocalan, a baby-killer, to Turkey due to the presence of capital punishment in the Turkish Penal Code in spite of the fact that it has not been applied for more than 14 years. Above all, she ignores Turkey's application for extradition which involves a 900-page report on the crimes committed by Ocalan. However, yesterday it was reported that Germany had extradited Memduh Mahmut Selim, an Islamic fundamentalist and one of the suspects of the explosions which took place in Tanzania and Sudan last summer, to the US where the death penalty is still in effect. She extradited Selim on the guarantee given by US executive officials that Selim would not be tried on a charge that requires capital punishment- a guarantee given in the face of "judicial independence". Given that the Turkish government also guaranteed that Ocalan would not be sentenced to death, one should ask here why this guarantee was counted as "null and void" by the Italian officials. Furthermore, it is reported that the Italian Minister of Justice would impede even a "conditioned extradition", an alternative put on the agenda by Giovanni Malerba, the Attorney General of the Court of Appeals in Rome. Now, is it still possible to claim that "there are no double standards towards Turkey"?

    [26] "IS THERE ANY OVERSIGHT ON OCALAN?" -BY CAN ATAKLI (SABAH)

    Can Atakli, a journalist from the Sabah daily newspaper says in his article today: "The PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan will leave Italy today or tomorrow. There are many rumours regarding the countries to which he may go, including North Korea, South Africa, Lithuania and Hungary. Almost two months have passed since Ocalan left Syria. Now let's have a look at the past and see the cost of the Ocalan issue for Turkey. Initially, Land Forces Commander Gen.Atilla Ates warned Syria and told Syrian officials to give up protecting Ocalan. At that time, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was in the US and was attending a UN meeting. But he did not say anything about this issue. At the same time, Barzani and Talabani were discussing 'the Kurdish problem'.

    During those days, the President clearly warned Syria and said that Turkey would take every necessary measure including war. The policy of frightening worked wonderfully. Syria did not know how to act. Afterwards, Ocalan left Syria, then went to Russia and finally Italy. The PKK leader Ocalan, regarded as a terrorist by the whole world, has not gained the status of a 'political leader'. The issue has been on the agenda of the European Union (EU). It is possible that further events will more tedious. Turkey should renew its policy, which has started successfully, although later it became impracticable. /Sabah/


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