|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 99-01-11
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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
 ECEVIT'S NEW CABINET IS READYThe Leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Bulent Ecevit, is going to present the list of the members of the 56th government Cabinet to President Suleyman Demirel. Before being received by Demirel, Ecevit is expected to discuss the list with the leaders of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP), Mesut Yilmaz and Tansu Ciller. Ecevit said yesterday that there would be two Deputy Prime Ministers.
After Ecevit has presented the list to the President, the new government programme will be read out in Parliament on 12 January and be discussed on 15 January at the General Council of the Assembly. The new government will ask for approval from Parliament on 17 January. /Milliyet/Aksam/
 DEMIREL: "WE SHOULD CONSIDER THE FEDERAL SYSTEM"Speaking in a conference organized by the Turkish Administrator's Society, President Demirel noted that the Turkish state is enmeshed within its services and therefore an administrative reform should be made to ensure the governability of the country. Demirel declared that Turkey has no more time to provide political stability. Emphasizing that the authorities and responsibilities of administrative units should be reorganized, Demirel said: "We are a unitary state. We are unable to consider the federal system because of the fear of damaging the unitary state. As we are unable to consider the federal system, however, we have always been confined within centralism. Turkey has two issues in front of her: decentralization and reorganization." /Cumhuriyet/
 EREZ EXPECTED TO JOIN DTPAllegations that Mugla Independent Deputy Yalim Erez will join the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) as its new chairman are being voiced in the corridors of Parliament. Erez said: "Our participation in the DTP will occur when circumstances have reached the point of maturity. When I went to the DTP after I returned the mandate to the President, they welcomed me and told me that the party's doors were open to me and my friends. I told them that I would talk to my friends, those from other parties and the independent ones".
Meanwhile, the DTP's General Management Council (GIK) will meet today to discuss holding a grand convention to enable those who will join the party to take part in its administrative bodies. At the meeting the number of the GIK members will be increased from 40 to 50, and the number of Central Discipline Council members will be increased from 15 to 21. According to the Anatolia news agency, Erez and Deputy Unal Erkan are expected to join the DTP within the week.
 KIRCI CAUGHT IN ISTANBULHaluk Kirci, who was once sentenced to the death penalty for serial killings but later released, was caught with his wife at a friend's house in the district of Pendik-Kurtkoy in Istanbul, at the time of his arrest, he was being sought by police for his connection to various crimes. Kirci was snatched by police in a raid on the flat in Pendik-Kurtkoy at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday and taken to the Istanbul Police Department for questioning. /All papers/
 OCALAN STILL IN ITALYThe Italian "La Republica" newspaper quoted Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, saying that Abdullah Ocalan should leave Italy as soon as possible otherwise he would be tried. The newspaper claimed that Turkey did not want the extradition of Ocalan and wanted Ocalan to be as far as from the Mediterranean as possible. It was reported that Italy was still in contact with the former Soviet Republics in order to find a place for Ocalan. /Aksam/
 ITALIAN INITIATIVES FOR OCALAN NOT SUCCESSFULAccording to information received from circles close to the New Communist Party by the daily 'Hurriyet' newspaper, the invitation of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to Italy had been planned two years ago. With the election of Massimo D'Alema, a post-Communist leader, as the Italian Prime Minister, the process was in progress. Ocalan was to be promoted to the Italian public during [Ban ordinary congress of the New Communist Party in Rimini on March 21-24; Ocalan's political asylum was to be on the agenda and a Kurdish mini-summit was to be held in Italy. However, these initiatives have not been successful due to Turkish and US diplomatic efforts. D'Alema confessed that Ocalan was a terrorist, thus the opportunity to grant him political asylum has weakened. /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: CHP WILL SCORE HIGHLY IN ELECTIONSDeniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), argued that his party will make a surprising result in the elections in April 1999. Baykal said: "We will win the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. This is important not only for the CHP but also for the whole of Turkey." With respect to the recent political developments, Baykal argued that the relations between political parties have changed since 1995. He claimed that Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), has increasingly functioned as an adhesive between the two mass parties in the center-right of the political spectrum, i.e. between the Motherland Party (ANAP)and True Path Party (DYP). Noting that Turkey can no longer tolerate a political environment where political identities are radically eroded by the intertwinement of the right- and left-wing parties, Baykal also argued that the difference between the CHP and other parties will be elucidated in the forthcoming elections. /Cumhuriyet/
 RADIATION AMONG SCRAP METALThe radioactive material, Cobalt 60, in a radiation accident in the Ikitelli district of Istanbul on Saturday, was found among tonnes of scrap metal yesterday night. Meanwhile, the number of injured rose to 10. The owner of the Culhalar Limited Company, Bayram Culha, who imported the Cobalt 60 from the US for the Piker Medicine Industry based in Ankara, surrendered himself to the police yesterday. Eight people were also taken into custody regarding the incident. The Cobalt 60 was later taken to the Kucukcekmece Nuclear Research Centre. /Hurriyet/
 BERBEROGLU RESIGNS FROM DYPTrue Path Party (DYP) Antalya Deputy Osman Berberoglu resigned from his party yesterday. Berberoglu said in his petition: "I don't even recognize the DYP, which has turned into a party in which promises made, internal regulations and party philosophy have been forgotten, and the administration no longer works". Berberoglu claimed that although DYP leader Tansu Ciller had said that a primary election was going to be held to determine the candidates for the provincial party organization in Antalya, she wouldn't keep her promise. /All papers/
 HERCUS TO RESUME SHUTTLE DIPLOMACYAnn Hercus, the UN Secretary-General's Special Deputy Representative to Cyprus will resume her shuttle diplomacy on Cyprus today after a break of one and a half months, the Anatolia news agency reports. Ann Hercus will come together with Glafkos Klerides, the Greek Cypriot Leader today.
Meanwhile, the discussions on the government programme of the National Union Party (UBP) and Socialist Liberation Party (TKP) which formed a coalition in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) under the leadership of Dervis Eroglu, the former Prime Minister after the General Election, ended in the TRNC Parliament yesterday morning. The vote of confidence will take place on January 12, 1999.
 SUMMIT IN APRILAs soon as a government is formed in Turkey, the US plans to hold a summit on the Cyprus problem. The solution concerning the problem can be stated thus: in return for territorial concession from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the TRNC would be recognized by the Greek-Cypriot Administration. In 1999 the US is preparing to apply great pressure to both parties following its determined stance which resulted in the reversal ofthe Greek-Cypriot decision to deploy S-300 missiles on the island. It is stated that within this framework, the US is planning to bring the Turkish and Greek prime ministers together during the NATO meeting in April.
The Greek 'To Vima' newspaper, close to government circles, writes that the US aims to rouse the parties to the Cyprus problem from their winter's hibernation. The deputy to experienced diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Thomas Miller, will work for the recognition of the Turkish state on the island by the Greek-Cypriots, in return for territorial concessions by the Turks which have been held as a negotiation card for 25 years. However, it is very difficult for both parties to accept these conditions. /Sabah/
 IRAQI KURDISH LEADERS AGREE TO SPEED UP WASHINGTON PROVISIONSTwo rival Kurdish leaders have agreed to normalize the situation in northern Iraq and reiterated their commitment to the Washington agreement signed on September 17 last year, according a joint statement released in the northern Iraqi town of Salahaddin at the end of a two-day meeting on Saturday. "Both sides expressed their commitment to the Washington agreement and will strive to implement all the agreement's clauses and remove all obstacles and hindrances to the fight against the PKK terrorist organization" the statement read.
The two leaders also agreed to open representative offices in each other's territory, release remaining prisoners and facilitate the return of internally-displaced people. /All papers/
 TURKOMANS ACCUSE ANKARA AND THE KDP OF MISGUIDED POLICIESTurkey's policy on the Iraqi Turkomans was harshly criticized yesterday during a panel discussion in Ankara at which Mesud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) policies concerning the Turkomans were also labelled 'ethnic cleansing'. Professor Hasan Koni, Associate Professor Umit Ozdag, Associate Professor Ekrem Pamukcu, former Minister Halil Sivgin and three prominent journalists served as panelists at the discussion organized by the Turkoman Front. Turkey's alliance with the US and Britain was said to be against Turkish interests.
Former Minister of Health, Halil Sivgin, said that Turkey should be aware of the situation '..when the declaration for the establishment of two independent states is made in May', a reference to the declaration of independence of the Palestinian state and the elections to be held in northern Iraq to determine a local administration made up of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the KDP. According to official Turkish remarks, there are two-and-a-half million Turkomans living in northern Iraq. The signing of the Washington agreement and the encouragement of the Iraqi opposition caused concern in Turkoman circles that they were being excluded from the process. /All papers/
 `TURKEY ASSUMES A NEW ROLE IN THE WORLD'An article written in the International Herald Tribune said that Turkey has assumed a new role in the world scene, saying that she was shy in the past. International Herald Tribune, in its last issue included an article written by Stephen Kinzer, who evaluated the internal and foreign policies of Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 "TURKEY IS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN ITS FOREIGN POLICY"One of the leading newspapers in America, "The New York Times", reported that Turkey maintained her important successes concerning her foreign policy despite her difficulties regarding domestic policy. In an article in the newspaper it was stressed that the US former, and Israel's new ally, Turkey, held a significant military power. The article listed Turkey's five greatest successes in 1998 as follows: the Greek-Cypriots retreated from their decision to place Russian made S-300 missiles on the island upon Turkey's threats to hit the missiles last week; last October, Turkey asked Syria to expel the chief of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, and started to increase the number of soldiers by the Turco-Syrian border to show her determination, thus Syria immediately expelled Ocalan: The chief of the PKK then went to Russia and Turkish officials warned Russia that Turkey could request the recall of Russia's heavy debts to Turkey if they let Ocalan stay in Russia. Turkish firms in Russia announced that they would pull out of Russia, so Ocalan went to Italy. Italy did not accept Turkey's request for Ocalan's extradition, leading to Turkey threatening the Rome administration with the boycott of imported of Italian goods and the exclusion of Italian firms from military bid. Turkey also resolved to support the Baku-Ceyhan oil route which will transfer Caspian oil to the West. /Aksam/
 INDUSTRIALISTS AND BANKS MEET TODAYIn the second meeting between the Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges (TOBB) and Turkish Union of Banks (TBB), to be held in Istanbul today, a joint report concerning the current economic problems will be prepared and submitted to the government. The main point of discussion for the meeting is the ever-present question of credits between the real sector and the banks. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW RESTRICTIONS ON FOREIGN IMPORTSFrom now on, foreign companies can only participate in international fairs in Turkey for the purpose of exhibition and promotion, but not for retail sale. Twenty circulars, prepared by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM), which include regulations to be implemented within the guidelines of Turkey's imports plan for 1999, were published in Sunday's Official Gazette. Prior to the new regulations, foreign firms could sell their products at fairs if they had received prior permission from the DTM. According to the Circular on International Fairs in Turkey, goods exhibited in a fair can only be imported after a fair has concluded and in keeping with established customs regulations. Circulars concerning goods and equipment which can only be imported by specified institutions and companies were published in the Official Gazette yesterday. /All papers/
 $4 BILLION TARGET FOR 1999 PRIVATIZATIONSThe Privatization Board (OIB) will be aiming for $4 billion in sales for 1999, with $3.25 billion in cash to be collected this year and the rest in the future, the Anatolia news agency reports. The programme itself is expected to be discussed by the Supreme Board of Privatization (OYK) as soon as the government is formed. The OIB is planning to privatize 25 state institutions this year.
 "BANKERS' LOBBY" UNDERMINES THE BANKING LAWIt is argued that the projected Banking Law, which permeates the agenda once again after the state's confiscation of Interbank, is currently being obstructed by a "bankers' lobby". Accordingly, private banks demand that the government to water down certain articles of the proposed Banking Law, especially those concerning special mechanisms of control and the responsibilities of the executive board members. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH READY-TO-WEAR TURNS TOWARDS THE USThe Turkish ready-to-wear sector turned towards the US upon the economic crisis in the Far East and Moscow in 1998. Turkish firms' ready-to-wear export to the US increased by 23 percent and reached $ 651 million in 1998. The sector achieved $ 111 million of exports to Tunisia with an increase of 1.1 percent in 1998. The Chairman of the Turkish Ready-to-Wear Exporter's Union, Ismet Ozcan, said that despite the global economic crisis, the total export reached $ 7.7 billion with an increase of 6.5 percent last year. /Milliyet/
 SAKARYA TO BE LIKE HONG KONGThe "Silk Road Valley Free Zone Project", which will be established between the Karasu and Kaynarca districts of Sakarya, was promoted on the Campus of Sakarya University. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said at the meeting that the project, which would be realised by EGS Corporation, would bring great colour and variety to the regional economy. Yilmaz added that the project would be the biggest Free Zone project in Turkey and the region would achieve an exports equal to that of the total of Turkish exports. The Minister for Forestry, Ersin Taranoglu, said for his part that the project was a global project and Sakarya would become an important economic centre like Hong Kong or Dubai.
The Chairman of the Executive Board of the EGS Corporation, Selami Gurguc, said that the total cost of the project would be $ 30 billion and it would be the second biggest project in Turkey following the South Eastern Anatolia Project (GAP). Gurguc added that 150 persons would be employed within the project, with which they aimed at $ 25 billion annual export. He noted that the "Silk Road Free Zone Project" will be the first Free Zone in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region, which has a potential 700 million consumers. Gurguc pointed out that the Free Zone would comprise high-technology investments, production industries, a financial centre the off-shore offices of international banks, modern shopping centres and tourism and services sectors. /Aksam/Turkiye/
 TURKISH STEEL GOODS IN EU MARKETFrom 1 January 1999, Turkish construction steel entered the European Union (EU) free from quota restrictions, in line with the agreement signed between the EU Commission and Turkey on 25 July 1996, which foresees the free circulation of the products of the European Coal and Steel Union (ECSU). Leon Brittan, the European Parliamentary Member responsible for Industry and Trade issues, requested the inclusion of Turkish iron in the EU free market. The request was accepted despite the objections of Greece. Within the framework of the agreement there will be no new taxes or any limitation on the free circulation of Turkish iron and steel products in EU markets.
Meanwhile, the EU Statistics Office, "Eorostat", announced that Turkey was the best customer of Europe. Saying that Turkey achieved ECU 11 billion of imports during the first six months of 1998 from the EU, Eurostat announced that Turkey's export to the EU was ECU 6.7 billion within the same period. /Turkiye/
 STOCK EXCHANGE EXPECTING FOREIGNERSThe Stock Exchange, which entered the New Year in a whirlwind, has lost its enthusiasm. The direction of the markets will be determined by foreign funds deciding on 1999 investment funds. The Stock Exchange, which has made an average 15% premium every January, also entered this year in good spirits. The index surpassed its resistance point at 2.650 points on the first day of the week. Sales continued due to the morale created by the fall in interest rates, and closed at 2.885 points this Wednesday, with a premium of 11% when compared to the closing session of 1998. However, this morale did not last long. As the eyes of the whole world are turned on Brazil, it affects the inflow of foreign capital into the IMKB. The trend of the IMKB in the coming days will be directly influenced by foreign funds deciding on their New Year investment plans concerning Turkey. /Sabah/
 CITIBANK GETS PERMIT TO BUY A BANKCitibank, one of the largest banks in the world, wants to buy a bank which has a wide network of branches in Turkey. According to informed circles, managers of Citibank stated their request on the matter to the Central Bank and Undersecratiat of the Treasury some time ago and gave a list of the banks they planned to buy. The managers of the four banks on the list were not aware of this request. The request is viewed positively by the related state offices and Citibank began its meetings on the matter. An official from the Central bank stated that in the next ten years great competition would be seen in the banking sector in Turkey./Sabah/
 AUSTRALIA AWAITS TURKISH BUSINESSMENThe Australian government opened its doors to businessmen in order to receive the greatest commercial benefit from the Olympics to be held in 2000 in Australia. According to a programme on 'Business Club Australia', VIP (very important people) status will be given to businessmen who will visit Australia by the end of Olympics if they create business potential. The Australian Consulate-General in Istanbul stated that, to date, 16 Turkish businessmen, including representatives from the Koc and Sabanci Conglomerate, have applied in order to participate in the programme. /Hurriyet/
 ULUG: "BUSINESS COUNCIL BUREAUS WILL BE OPENED IN ANATOLIA"The Turkish-Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Business Councils, which are active within the Foreign Economic Relations' Council (DEIK), are being re-structured. The Chairman of the Business Councils, Tunc Ulug, said yesterday that the name 'Turkish-CIS Business Councils' would be renamed 'Turkish-Eurasian Business Councils' and would act as a think-tank. Ulug noted that they were planning to establish bureaus in some Anatolian cities; Urfa, Adana, Erzurum and some Black Sea region cities in particular are being considered. /Hurriyet/
 BOOKLET FOR EXPORTERSPhilip Byrd, representative in Turkey of the International Exporters' Federation based in the US, published a booklet for exporters. The booklet, which includes many words and sentences regarding exports, also contains the Turkish pronounciation of some English words. /Hurriyet/
 ASELSAN STARTS PRODUCING BASE-MOUNTED STINGERSThe state-run electronics equipment company ASELSAN has started to produce base-mounted Stinger missiles. The base-mounted Stinger rockets will be entirely produced by ASELSAN using domestic resources. Production tests of the rocket yielded positive results. Military sources told the Anatolia news agency that after the successful tests, the missiles went into mass production and will continue to be produced for two years. The Armed Forces have ordered 208 Stinger rockets and related systems at a cost of $380 million.
 91 KILOS OF HASHISH SEIZEDNarcotics officials struck heavy blow on drug smugglers in 1998 in southeastern Sanliurfa province, the Anatolia news agency reports. The units from the Struggle Against Smuggling and Organized Crime staged 83 operations and captured 123 drug smugglers in this province last year. In those operations, narcotics officials confiscated 90.8 kilos of hashish, 1,478,983 roots of Indian hemp and 14.8 kilos of hemp seeds.
 EARTHQUAKE IN IZMIRAn earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale occurred in Izmir yesterday morning. The Kandilli Earthquake Research Institute of Bogazici University announced that the epicentre of the earthquake was off the coast of the Foca district by the Aegean Sea. No casualties were reported. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 THE WORKING PLAN OF ECEVIT - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila analyzes the working plan of Prime Minister designate Bulent Ecevit in his column. A summary is as follows:
"The Chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Bulent Ecevit has determined the working plan of his minority government. When he receives a vote of confidence, his first action will be to convene the Economic and Social Council. The main problem on the agenda of the Council will be the dismissal of workers due to the economic crisis. Ecevit will try to determine what measures can be taken against such reduncies in this meeting which will also discuss the economic and financial causes and effects of the crisis. He will request a trilateral compromise by employers, workers and government representatives to solve this problem.
In his plan, the Budget Law and Banking Law take second place. He hopes that both of these laws will be enacted in the Parliament which will work for a month. He wants the government to have an annual budget and the enactment of amendment in the Banking Law would contribute to overcoming the economic crisis. He is also determined not to play with bureaucracy. He instructed his new Ministers not to dismiss or appoint someone new to government offices without a legal decision. The final aim of the DSP is to carry the country into the elections without losing people's trust in Ecevit."
 THE REGISTER OF ULUGBAY - BY ERTUGRUL OZKOK (HURRIYET)Ertugrul Ozkok, a columnist in the daily 'Hurriyet' newspaper, says the following in his article today: "Before the 1995 General Election, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said: 'Everyone calls us the Party of Ecevit. Actually, we are the party of a cadre. Our candidates are experts from many fields'. Ecevit gave as an example, Hikmet Ulugbay, who was writing economic articles in the Turkish Daily News during that time. However, when the Motherpath government was established, the Finance Ministry was given to the DSP and naturally Zekeriya Temizel was appointed as the Finance Minister; Ulugbay became the Education Minister. Now, if Ulugbay is transferred from the Education Ministry to a Ministry responsible for the Economy, what will happen?
Of course, everyone will evaluate the situation from his own standpoint. The secular part will say that it is a compromise given by Ecevit to the True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller while the DYP wing will say that it is a political success. But there is also another dimension. Ecevit has said that they will hold important meetings with the IMF in the upcoming period. He added: 'Ulugbay has fluent English. Therefore, I am considering appointing Ulugbay as the Minister responsible for economy'. Ulugbay was the Secretary-General of the Treasury in late 1970. Later, he became the Financial Counsellor to Washington. So, the post to which he would actually be assigned, would have been the Minister responsible for the Economy".
 EURO OR DOLLAR? WHO IS IN POWER? - BY TURKEL MINIBAS (CUMHURIYET)Turkel Minibas, a columnist in the Cumhuriyet daily, discusses the expectations of the Euro and its possible impact upon the Turkish economy. After summarizing the underlying motives for the transition to the Euro, Minibas writes:
"European Monetary Union (EMU) requires a redefinition of the international division of labour with reference to this new power bloc. Countries whose foreign trade largely depends on the European market must restructure their production and income policies before 2002. Especially if they have a Customs Union Agreement with the EU confined to the free circulation of industrial goods!
Since 39% of her exports and 43% of her imports are made with the member countries of the EMU, Turkey will not face a remarkable problem in payments in the short-term because the `obsolete' currencies are valid until the end of 2001. However, the EU's competitive strength is multiplied with the EMU. Therefore, one cannot regard the transition to the Euro merely as a change in the instrument of payment, because: 1. Since the Customs Union Agreement solely concerns industrial goods, Turkish exporters will face lower prices and their profits will decrease insofar as they rely upon the textile sector. 2. Since the intensification of competition within the EU will lower the prices of imported goods, the import of consumer goods will increase as well as investment goods. Consequently, foreign trade deficit with the EU will expand.
If you intend to start the week in a pipe-dream, you may anticipate an augmentation in the demand for export goods, an expansion of industrial production due to the slackening in price of import goods, a more favourable environment for obtaining foreign credits, and a boom in Turkish tourism in line with the welfare increases in Europe. I hope you will not forget to take off your rose-colored glasses while turning the page."
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