|Monday, 24 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 98-12-24
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 EREZ GETS THE MANDATEPresident Suleyman Demirel has charged independent deputy and Minister of Industry Yalim Erez with the task of forming the government. During a press briefing, Demirel said: "In compliance with general tendencies and in order to facilitate the formation of a government capable of winning a vote of confidence from Parliament, I charged Mugla Deputy Yalim Erez with establishing an administration based on the duties bestowed on me by the Constitution".
During a meeting of the Virtue Party (FP) Executive Committee it was agreed that full support would be provided for a government model that receives backing from both the FP and Motherland Party (ANAP), providing that elections be held on April 18, 1999 as scheduled. Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) leader Husamettin Cindoruk's negative disposition towards an Erez government was displayed by his words, "Erez is not an independent deputy, since he had been expected to join ANAP". It is also reported that the Republican People's Party (CHP) was also against a government formed by Erez. CHP leader Deniz Baykal stated that it was necessary for the new government not to be a continuation of the recently toppled administration and commented: "The formation of a new government by a deputy who participated in the previous one indicates that the new government will just be an extension of the old".
During a True Path Party (DYP) Parliamentary Group meeting, DYP leader Tansu Ciller said: "Once again, they are trying to accomplish the impossible. The DYP will not provide any support for this process that is a continuation of the previous government". Prior to the President giving the mandate to Erez, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit confirmed that Erez would be the next prime minister-designate. "We will form our opinion in accordance with the structure of the new government. Under no circumstances, however, will we demonstrate a negative attitude in establishing the government. This would not mesh with our understanding of the concept of government. We will consider it our duty to provide all the help we can as long as we are not placed in a situation deviating from our usual coherent behaviour". /All papers/
 DEMIREL AND YILMAZ LAY FOUNDATIONPresident Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz attended a foundation-laying ceremony of the CarrefourSA Izmit Trade Center. At the ceremony Demirel thanked the Sabanci Group for their contributions to the Turkish economy and wanted them to continue their investments. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said for his part that such big shopping centers not only facilitated shopping needs of people but also helped the government to collect tax and to struggle against inflation. He praised the Sabanci Group, which won the quality award in Europe this year, for the services it gave to Turkish people. The Chairman of the Sabanci Group, Sakip Sabanci, said that the investment would ensure jobs for 400 people. /Turkiye/
 TEMPORARY BUDGET IS ACCEPTEDThe temporary budget was accepted at the Planning and Budget Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday at the end of a three-hour meeting. The budget will be presented to the General Council today and it is planned that it will be approved before the new year. /Turkiye/
 D'ALEMA DENIES HELPING OCALANItalian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema yesterday denied reports that his government was involved in negotiations to send the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to a third country, saying Ocalan was free to go where he pleased. Italian RAI state television said Ocalan's departure would occur in a matter of hours or at the most, days. Meanwhile, the litte suburban neighbourhood of Infernetto, where Ocalan has been staying while in Rome, was crowded with visitors late Tuesday as security in the area was further beefed up by the Italian authorities.
Ocalan said earlier that he was preparing to leave the country, apparently submitting to pressure following a move by Italian authorities in which all restrictions that had been placed on Ocalan were lifted. There have been various rumours concerning Ocalan's next destination, But Italian newspapers said recently that he is most likely to go to a Baltic republic or an Eastern European country.
Meanwhile, Ankara has been maintaining its attitude concerning the extradition of Ocalan. "A third country possibility for Ocalan is out of the question for us" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan told reporters yesterday at a weekly press briefing. Utkan noted that Turkey might have to wait due to 'some reasons beyond its control' before it could reach its ultimate objective of extraditing Ocalan. "What is important for us within that waiting period is that the separatist leader be prevented from continuing his terrorist activities. But the recent interviews he gave to various press organizations show that he can continue with his actions despite the restrictions imposed on him" Utkan complained. /All papers/
 ANKARA: "WE WANT OCALAN"The Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador, Korkmaz Haktanir, said yesterday that Italy was seeking ways to expel the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to a third country. The Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Alexander Lebedev, was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry two days ago. During the meeting between Haktanir and Lebedev, it was discussed that Ocalan might go to Russia. Lebedev said: "Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Primakov made an official decision that Ocalan could not be sheltered in Russia. I can guarantee that the PKK leader will not be allowed to enter Russian territories". Meanwhile, the Sudanese Ambassador to Ankara also visited the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday and said: "The arrival of Ocalan in Sudan is out of the question". /Milliyet/
 RUSSIAN TV: "OCALAN HAS COME BACK"The Russian state-run TV channel ORT put forth an important allegation yesterday night and claimed that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan has come back to Russia. The channel noted that during an operation jointly carried out by Italian and Russian intelligence services, Ocalan has been brought to Russia. However it was not declared that whether Ocalan was brought to Moscow or another city. The Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, Nabi Sensoy, said that he did not believe in this probability. /Sabah/
 OCALAN THANKS HIS GREEK FRIENDSThe chief of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, said that the support that Greece gave to him played an important role in his arrival in Europe. According to the Greek "Eksusia" newspaper Ocalan claimed that there was a great support for the terrorist organization in Greece. He pointed out that although Kurdish and Greek people had intense feelings for each other, he was afraid of going to Grece and Greece was afraid of hosting him due to the reaction of Turkey. The sympathy and friendship that Greece showed to him encouraged him to go to Europe, Ocalan said. He added that if he did not have Greek friends with him, he would never go to Europe. /Aksam/
 CRITICISM AGAINST PANGALOSAccording to a written statement issued by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos' visit to the Lavrion camp near Athens was criticized. The statement recalled that Pangalos made claims against Turkey in his speech at the camp. It was added that Pangalos was aware that PKK terrorists were being trained in the camp. /Cumhuriyet/
 WTO: TURKEY RANKS 17TH IN EXPORT OF SERVIVESTurkey's foreign trade volume has increased, according to a World Trade Organization (WTO) publication entitled "World Trade 1998", in spite of the global crisis; however the Russian crisis has had an adverse effect on this trend. Turkey's share of total world trade volume is 0.5 %. In commodity exports, Turkey ranks 33rd in the world, while placing 25th in the importation of goods.
The report indicacted that Turkey was following a successful path in the services sector. Concerning the export of services, Turkey ranks 17th in the world. In the total world service exports, Turkey has a 1.5 % share, ranked ahead of many industrialized countries such as Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Finland and Ireland. /All papers/
 TURKEY AND TRNC DISAPPROVE OF UN RESOLUTIONS ON CYPRUSTurkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) criticized yesterday the recent resolutions of the UN Security Council regarding the Cyprus problem. The Security Council expressed deep concern yesterday over the continuing militarization efforts in Cyprus and asserted that the ultimate solution for the long-divided island should be a single independent state based on the political equality of the two communities. In a second resolution the Council extended the mandate of the 2,500-member UN Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) on the island for six months until June 30, 1999. The resolutions did not openly mention the planned deployment of Russian-made S-300 missiles by Southern Cyprus.
While the Security Council resolutions received full support from Southern Cyprus, Greece, the US and the EU, Ankara criticized them for failing to take into account the position of the Turkish Cypriot side. In a written statement yesterday, the Foreign Ministry said that the resolutions failed to mention the confederation proposal put foth by TRNC President Raud Denktas. It asserted that a final solution for the island could not be achieved on a bi-communal basis, but only on a state-to-state basis. In Lefkose, TRNC President Rauf Denktas asserted that the resolutions favoured Southern Cyprus and encouraged it in its intransigent stance.
 CLINTON RESOLUTE ON CYPRUSCommenting on the resolutions of the UN Security Council, US President Bill Clinton said that Washington was determined to 'end the tragic division' of the island. He said he believed that the year 1999 would bring significant opportunities for the two Cypriot sides to achieve progress in line with their anticipations. Clinton called on the parties to refrain from acts that would escalate the already high tension on the island. Greece and Southern Cyprus expressed satisfaction with the resolutions and praised Clinton's comments on them.
Meanwhile, in Vienna Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schussel of Austria, the EU Term-President Country, welcomed yesterday the resolutions adopted by the Security Council by expressing 'full support' for them. He called on all interested parties to cooperate with the UN in their efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. /All papers/
 S-300 RIFT IN SOUTHERN CYPRUS LEADERSHIP GROWSThe harsh dispute inside the Greek Cypriot Administration on the planned deployment of the Russian-made S-300 missiles was aggravated further yesterday as the Democratic Party (DIKO), led by Parliament Speaker Spyros Cyprianou, threatened to withdraw from the Greek Cypriot National Council if the missiles' arrival is cancelled. Furthermore, Vassos Lissarides, the leader of the socialist EDEK party, the minor coalition partner in the government, said that he would consider withdrawing from the government if the missiles are not installed in Southern Cyprus, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 UTKAN: "FORMATION OF AN ARMY IN N.IRAQ IS IMPOSSIBLE""It is impossible to form an army in the region very close to Turkey that we are focusing on with great attention" said Necati Utkan, the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. In reference to a Washington Post story datelined Zakho that discussed a military training complex in the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP)-controlled area of northern Iraq, Utkan said that these reports have already been denied. In a weekly press briefing yesterday, Utkan said: "The lack of control and authority in northern Iraq enabled the PKK presence in the region. So, we are insisting on a formula to solve the problems in northern Iraq within the principle of the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq". He added that Iraq should implement the UN Security Council resolutions. /All papers/
 DOCUMENTARY ON UZUNGOLThe French State Television Channel, "France-3", is going to promote Uzungul, one of the tourism heavens on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. During recent years, many tourists visiting the Black Sea are from France. It is expected that after the Uzungol documentary is broadcast, there will be an increase in the number of French tourists to travel to Turkey. /Aksam/
 CELEBI: "EXIMBANK SUPPORTS SEEs"The Minister of State, reponsible for economy, Isin Celebi, said that Eximbank foresaw $ 500 million-borrowing for the next period. At a meeting of the Members of the Sectoral Foreign Trade Association (SEDER), Celebi noted that a great deal of Japan credit was almost guaranteed. He added that the Eximbank gave $ 3.3 billion in 1998 and 36 percent of this credit was granted to the Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SEEs). Pointing out that SEEs were the fundamental stones of the economic policies, Celebi added that the Eximbank would be organized in order to be ready to extend $ 10 billion in credits and 50 percent of these credits would be used by SEEs. Finally Celebi said that he believed that the new government to be established would do its best to ensure economic stability in Turkey. /Aksam-Sabah/
 19 PASSENGERS DIEAs a result of the crash between an oil tanker and a bus, 19 passengers died. A bus going from Giresun to Ankara collided with an oil tanker near the Havza district of Samsun last night. The tanker blew up immediately after the crash and the fire started both in the tanker and the bus. At the end of the fire 19 passengers died. /Aksam/
 ISMET INONU IS COMMEMORATEDThe "Second Man" in the history of the Republic of Turkey, former President and Prime Minister of Turkey and military friend of Ataturk, the founder of Turkey, is being commemorated on the 25th anniversary of his death. Ismet Inonu, who died on 25 December 1973, was the second President of the Republic of Turkey. On the occasion of commemorative celebrations of Inonu, panels are organized in various universities and programmes describing his personality and discussing his life are made both on radio and television channels during the week. Also, an official ceremony is going to be held tommorrow in Ankara to commemorate Inonu. /Cumhuriyet/
 EXPORTS OF PULSES FROM GAP REGIONThe Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region exported 42,779 tonnes of pulses worth $25.5 million in the first 11 months of 1998, the Anatolia news agency reports. In the January-November 1997 period, a total of $28.7 million of pulses were exported. Sahin Batalli, Chairman of the Southeastern Anatolian Live-Stock and Aquacultural Products Exporters' Union told the Anatolia news agency correspondent that they exported pulses to Iraq, France, Germany, Austria and Saudia Arabia.
 SECURITY OF STRAITSNew bid has been opened for the construction of full automatic computer ship taffic control system that will provide the passage security of Istanbul and Canakkale Straits. Bids will be received from the companies for a second time on February 26, 1999, with the framework of the tender which was annulled a while ago by the Maritime Undersecretariat as there were few participation for the tender that was in international level, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 DEMIREL SENDS A MESSAGE TO EMPEROR AKIHITOPresident Suleyman Demirel sent a congratulatory message to Japanese Emperor Akihito yesterday for the National Day of Japan. The Presidential Press Centre quoted Demirel as saying: "I want to reiterate my since wishes towards further improving the existing friendly relations between Turkey and Japan", the Anatolia news agency reports.
 TURCO-BULGARIAN COOPERATIONA cooperation agreement and protocol in the fields of energy and infrastructure signed between Turkey and Bulgaria was approved yesterday. In accordance with the agreement, companies from the two countries will be encouraged for the infrastructural and energy projects, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 AZERI DEFENSE MINISTER IN ANKARAGeneral Sefer Abiev, the Azeri Defense Minister, arrived in Ankara yesterday for an official visit. Deputy Prime Minister and National Defense Minister, Ismet Sezgin, welcomed Abiev at Ankara's Esenboga Airport. Sezgin said that Abiev's visit to Turkey would accelerate the existing relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Abiev, for his part described his visit to Turkey as a new stage in the relations between the armed forces of both countries, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 BELL HELICOPTER FOR GOVERNMENTAL VIPThe Turkish Airlines buys an American Bell 430 helicopter for the use of President and the Prime Minister. The helicopter, obtained by leasing, will cost $5 million dollars whereas the price may rise due to additional security systems. Commanded for a capacity to serve for 4 or 5 persons, the vehicle has full VIP cabin design. It is reported that the underlying motive for such decision is the frequent troubles and even accidents faced by the helicopters assigned to the President and the Prime Minister by various corporations. The government currently owns two Gulfstream G4's for VIP service. /Hurriyet/
 CHRISTMAS FLOWERS OF EUROPE ARE FROM TURKEYIt was reported that 10 million branches of flower have been exported from Antalya to Europe for the Christmas week which is beginning to be celebrated today. A great portion of the flowers has been exported to the Netherlands, Germany and especially Britain, whereas a considerable amount has been exported to Japan, Russia and Romania for the same purpose as well. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS"FROM CIVIL LEADERSHIP TO PRIME MINISTRY"- By Fatih Altayli (Hurriyet)
Fatih Altayli, a columnist in the Hurriyet daily, evaluates Yalim Erez's mandate to form the new government in the context of his strong background in civil society organizations and regards his possible Prime Ministry as a chance for the implementation of civil initiative in Turkey. Altayli writes:
"Yalim Erez has been given the mandate to form the new government, as we all expected. Yet his story of coming to the edge of such an essential office is an extraordinary example among other leaders: He came forth predominantly as a leader of civil society just as in the Western democracies. He was a tenderfoot in Istanbul Trade Chamber; then he was trained in the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, which is the largest employers' organization of Turkey. By the time he had reached the leadership of the Union, he entered in the political life. Despite his political failures, he was one of the best Ministers of Industry and Trade ever seen; because he was coming from the world of industry, since he knew the troubles and was contemplating for their solutions for years. Another impressive of Erez's qualities is his flexibility with loyalty to principles. He did not insisted on his failures but maintained the discipline in views in front of party discipline. He did not personalize his debates and accepted to reconcile sometimes despite himself.
Erez is a good choice for the President. He is not one who is in pursuit of a last success in the wake of the end of his political life. He is one who wants to remove the obstacles in front of Turkey through innovations. Can he succeed? Let's hope. Since he is the representative of the civil society. If he can, that means others can also. Why should not that seat be occupied by the chairperson of DISK or TUSIAD tomorrow? Erez is important. He is the people among professional politicians and retired bureaucrats."
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