|Monday, 24 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 98-12-28
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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 TO MEET PARTY LEADERSThe Prime Minister-designate Yalim Erez will kick off his quest to form a government today in a crucial meeting with Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan. President Suleyman Demirel said at a press conference on Saturday that Erez was the majority choice of the leaders of political parties represented in Parliament with the exception of Tansu Ciller, the True Path Party (DYP) leader. Demirel said Ciller wanted to be given the mission to form the new government, but he had declined. If Kutan agrees to back the Erez Cabinet, the prime minister-designate will have a good chance of forming a Cabinet.
The meeting between Erez and Kutan will be at 10:00 a.m. In the afternoon, Erez will meet separately Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit. On Tuesday, he will meet Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Erez has also asked for an appointment from Ciller but has not received any response. /All papers/
 THREE MAJOR LABOUR UNIONS TO MEETTurkey's major labour unions, the Turkish Confederation of Labour Unions (Turk-Is) headed by Bayram Meral, the Labour Confederation (Hak-Is) headed by Salim Uslu and the Confederation of Revolutionary Labour Unions (DISK) headed by Ridvan Budak will meet tomorrow to discuss the problems workers are facing in connection with the current economic crisis. /All papers/
 BAYINDIR CLINIC OPENSBayindir Clinic in Kavaklidere, Ankara, which will provide health care on a daily basis, was officially opened by President Suleyman Demirel yesterday. The clinic, which has a capacity of 250,000 patients per year, will provide both in and outpatient services as well as laboratory services. The clinic, which will operate under 320 personnel, cost TL 3.5 trillion. /All papers/
 18 PKK TERRORISTS KILLEDDuring the clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK terrorist organization, 18 PKK members were killed and one Turkish soldier died. The fighting occurred on Saturday during operations around Sirnak's Mount Gabar which lies close to Turkey's border with Iraq. /All papers/
 POLITICAL STABILITY A MUST FOR SUCCESSFUL PRIVATIZATIONTurkey cannot succeed at privatization if it is unable to establish a three- or four-year government, Privatization Board (OIB) Chairman Ugur Bayar said. Bayar told the Anatolia news agency that privatization was a difficult business. Turkey should carry out its privatization programme in times of stability, and the state and public should give it their full support, Bayar added.
 FOREIGN FINANCING BOTTLENECK ROOT OF THE ECONOMIC CRISISThe economic crisis in Turkey stems from a foreign financing bottleneck, said deputy chairman of the international rating institution DCR Duff Phelps, Selcuk Abac. Abac told the Anatolia news agency that Turkey's credibility on the eve of 1999 is low, experiencing a scarcity of foreign funds and the absence of international investors. The deputy chairman believes that the new government initially needs to take measures to overcome insecurities and has come up with five such measures to help the Turkish economy recover: "1. Financing techniques which will assure foreign markets should be used to increase Turkey's credibility. 2. The economic promotion of Turkey should be well-conducted. 3. A Standby agreement with the IMF should be signed. 4. Control mechanisms should be made more effective in the banking sector for the betterment of its prestige. 5. Rating practices should be spread out to assure economic transparency and confidence and a local rating practice should be initiated."
 TAX RATES TO INCREASE IN 1999Hikes on various taxes will take effect on January 1. Taxes on the purchase and sale of vehicles, stamp duty, and some other duties will be increased by 77.8 %. While judicial duties will increase between TL 670,000 and TL 63.29 million, passport taxes will increase between TL 4.91 million and TL 23.89 million. In addition to tax rates, tax fines will be increased between 25 and 150 % in the new year, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 DEMIREL OPPOSES ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTYTurkish President Suleyman Demirel said at a press conference on Saturday that he opposed the abolition of the death penalty to fulfill conditions for the extradition of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan from Italy to Turkey. He noted that Turkey was not prepared to abolish the death penalty because of the size of the toll of victims of terrorism. "Neither the state nor society are ready for abolition" Demirel added. /All papers/
 DPT EXPECTS CONTINUATION OF DECLINE EXPORTSExport and import figures for 1998 are expected to be $27 billion and $48 billion respectively and the current accounts deficit to be $1.5 billion. The decline in exportation is forecast to continue next year, as well. According to the State Planning Organization (DPT)'s "1998 Macroeconomic Developments", the objectives of the first half of 1998 were achieved, however the Russian crisis put an end to the positive trend. Amongst structural reforms planned for 1998, only tax reform was enacted. Social security and financial sector reforms are still waiting to be enacted. /All papers/
 MENZIR JOINS ANAPIstanbul Deputy and former Transport Minister Necdet Menzir, who has resigned from the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP), joined the Motherland Party (ANAP) yesterday. Thus the number of ANAP deputies in Parliament rose to 137. The recent situation in Parliament is as follows: Virtue Party (FP) 144, ANAP 137, True Path Party (DYP) 99, Democratic Left Party (DSP) 61, Republican People's Party (CHP) 55, Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) 12, Grand Unity Party (BBP) 8, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 3, Democrat Party (DP) 1, Changing Turkey Party (DEPAR) 1, independent 18 and empty seats 11. /Sabah/
 ITALIAN PROPOSAL FOR ERDEMIRThe Italian firm, Daniel, has made a proposal worth $86 million for a project of 'Completion of the Capacity Modernization' of the Eregli Iron and Steel Company (Erdemir). A tender regarding the New Galvanization Line, the construction of which has been envisaged to be made within the framework of the said project for Erdemir, was put out on December 15. While the Italian Daniel firm made a proposal worth $86.6 million together with two Japanese partners, the most convenient proposal came from the Japanese firm, Mitsubishi, with $56.4 million. /Aksam/
 MKEK EXPORTSThe Machinery and Chemicals Industry Institution (MKEK) made exports worth $5.8 million to 22 different countries during the first 11 months of this year. According to data of MKEK Directorate-General, the highest arms exports worth $2.4 million were made to Bosnia-Herzegovina as of the end of November 1998. /Aksam/
 ARMENIAN CONCERN OVER FRIGATESThe frigates to be purchased from the US by Turkey in 1999 have emerged panic in Armenia. Armenian lobby in the US has begun initiatives to prevent the delivery of 11 frigates to Turkey. An organization called ANKA consisting of Armenian institutions started propaganda via the Chairman of the International Relations Committee, Ben Gilman, in the US to prevent the delivery of frigates worth $205 million. It is reported that Ben Gilman, who is an influential person at the Armenian lobby in the US, will launch important initiatives against Turkey by the first months of 1999. If Turkey takes counter-measures, serious problems may be experienced in the delivery of the frigates. /Aksam/
 NSC TO MEET TOMORROWThe National Security Council (NSC) will hold its last meeting in 1998 tomorrow. The NSC, which will convene with the ministers of the 55th government, will mainly discuss the economic crisis. Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel will furnish information regarding Turkey's economic situation. The NSC headed by President Suleyman Demirel will be held at the Presidential Palace. Recent developments on the Ocalan issue and the struggle against drug trafficking and fundamentalist activities will also be taken up during the meeting. /Aksam/
 S-300 PROBLEM IN SOUTHERN CYPRUSIt is reported that political parties in Southern Cyprus have opposite ideas regarding the deployment of Russian-made S-300 missiles on the island and these views will be conveyed to Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis by Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides, who has been living his hard days because of his hesitation whether the missiles will be deployed in Cyprus or in Crete. Meanwhile, the Communist AKEL party made a statement yesterday and said that Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration should make a common decision on the deployment of the S-300 missiles. /Aksam/
 DEMIREL: "ATATURK'S COMING TO ANKARA GIVES DIRECTION TO HISTORY"The 79th anniversary of Ataturk's coming to Ankara was celebrated during ceremonies in the capital city. President Suleyman Demirel issued a message saying: "Ataturk's coming to Ankara in order to start the National Independence War was an important step to give a direction to history." Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that it was the honour of Ankara that Ataturk had chosen the city as the headquarter of the War of Independence. Local administrators of Ankara also laid wreath to the Mausoleum yesterday. /Cumhuriyet/
 STAND-BY AGREEMENT AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW GOVERNMENTThe Head of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, evaluated his meeting last weekend with Yalim Erez, who was appointed to establish the new government, to daily Milliyet newspaper. Ercel said that they would not devaluate Turkish lira. He added that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent messages last week saying that immediately after the new government was established in Turkey, they would invite Turkish officials to discuss the stand-by programme. Ercel noted that even if it would be an interim government, they would meet IMF representatives. /Milliyet/
 MILLIYET TELLS OCALAN ON CNNMilliyet correspondent to New York, Sema Emiroglu, is invited to the "World News" programme of the CNN television channel to talk on Turkey's opinions about Abdullah Ocalan. The programme will be on air at 18:00 p.m. with Turkey's time. /Milliyet/
 OCALAN DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE EUROPEIt is reported that Abdullah Ocalan wants to go another European country from Italy, which helped him bring his terrorist activities to a political ground. It is added that Ocalan prefers a European country which does not have close economic and political ties with Turkey. It is reported that Ocalan has struggled in order not to go neither to Libya nor to South Africa.
Meanwhile Italian Democratic Catholics Centre Party (CCD) deputy, Maurizio Ronconi, said that Ocalan would not welcome the new year in Italy. Ronconi noted that Ocalan would be hosted by another country in the new year. Although he did not announce which country would accept Ocalan, diplomatic circles predicted that Ocalan would be sent to Libya. /Turkiye/
 ITALIAN PATIENCE IS OVERThe patience of Italy, which is seeking ways to get rid of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, is over. The Italian Justice Ministry Undersecretary and Greens Deputy Franco Corleone evaluated the developments following Ocalan's arrival in Rome and said that the incident put forth the weakness of political and legal unity of Europe. He noted that a European Constitution was needed, otherwise no solutions could be found to the problems such as the Ocalan issue. Corleone, in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper, criticized the German Interior Minister Otto Schilly and the Foreign Minister and Greens Leader Joschka Fischer, who did not act in line with the Italian policy regarding the Ocalan problem. Corleone stated that Ocalan was ready to go to a third country and added that however he did want to give up his political struggle. /Aksam/
 KURDISH TV IN NORTHERN IRAQIt is heard that Kurdistan TV (KTV) will start to broadcast in Northern Iraq as an alternative to MED-TV, which broadcasts pro-PKK programmes. Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) financially supports KTV. Besides Kurdish language the TV will have programmes in Arabic, Turkish and English. The TV channel will give news about social, cultural and political events in Northern Iraq. /Hurriyet/
 OIL IN SILVANThe Turkish Petroleum Company, (TPAO) found a high quality oil reserve in Silvan township of Diyarbakir. Batman Region Office of TPAO has started drilling "Kayayolu-3" well in Silvan and they found high quality oil reserves at a depth of 2,800 metres. TPAO officials said that they continued their studies to calculate the daily amount of oil that they were going to get from the well. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS
 "THE WORLD WITH TWO PILLARS" -BY YAKUP KEPENEK (CUMHURIYET)Cumhuriyet correspondent Yakup Kepenek wrote his article today that there were a lot of topics to be discussed on the agenda of the world while entering the last year of the century. However, he added, two of them, economy and technology, had priority.
Kepenek continued: "The world economy is in an indefinite period. The economic crisis started in the Far East last year, spread all over the world. The crisis hit the transition economies, especially Russia, and emerging economies. It is not known when the crisis ends. However, it is understood that IMF economic programme does not cure the illness. The real problem of the world economy is knotted at this point. There are not international institutions to put the global economy into order. At the threshold of the last year of the century, the most important defect of the world economy is the deficiency of such an institution."
Regarding the technology Kepenek noted that the world was living the third biggest technology revolution of its history. He added: "After the first and second technology revolutions in the world, the first one was started with Kopernik and continued with Galile and Newton in the 16th century, the third technology revolution in the world is the functioning of the human brain. During 1999, the power of keeping in the mind, which is one of the least known parts of the brain, will be an important subject for surveys."
 THREE ISSUES...-BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)Sedat Sertoglu, a journalist from the daily Sabah newspaper, says the following in his article today: "The first issue is Northern Iraqi problem. The second is Cyprus and the third is oil and natural gas.. When we take into account the first one, we hear that there are 'initiatives towards the establishment of an independent Kurdistan State in Northern Iraq'. Even though Barzani and Talabani made statements on CNN TV two days ago and said: 'An Independent State is not realistic and is out the question. We should solve the issue within the framework of Iraq's territorial integrity', concern in Ankara is continuing. Now, Barzani and Talabani will sit and discuss a new date for elections, I don't know how many times; but once again they will try a federation with the Baghdad government. At this point, there should be an answer to this question: 'Should Turkey only view these developments in Northern Iraq as a spectator, or actually make intiatives to channel the issue?' We believe that Turkey should exert efforts to channel the developments in Northern Iraq in line with its own interests. Otherwise, there may be undesired developments in the region.
The second issue is Cyprus...We believe that Turkey's policy is not accurate. The new policy, in other words, the confederation will be accepted by anyone in the UN. The signals that they will not approve this proposal have already arrived. Following a decision taken by the UN Security Council last week, we should launch new initiatives in 1999. The US has already stated that it will attach great importance to the solution of the Cyprus problem next year.
The third issue is the transportation of Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan oil and the Turkmen natural gas to Ceyhan..In other words, Turkey is to become a significant energy terminal in the 2000s. As far as we know, the Azeri consortium has postponed its decision on oil until mid-1999. There is a flourish on the issue of Turkmen natural gas. There may be some developments in 1999...The issue of Kazakh oil will await the Azeri decision...These three issues will be seriously dealt by Turkey in 1999. We will carefully follow the standpoint of the new government to be established in Turkey....." /Sabah/
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