|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 99-01-27
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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
 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BANKING LAW FOR TURKEY -- BY OSMAN ULAGAY
 DEMIREL STRESSES NEW TIES BETWEEN TURKEY AND ALGERIAOn the last day of his two-day visit to Algeria, President Suleyman Demirel drew attention to the historical and cultural ties between Turkey and Algeria and expressed his gratitude for the hospitality of the Algerian people. Demirel also expressed Turkey's willingness to cooperate with Algeria in every field to ensure peace and stability in the Mediterranean. Demirel said he was happy to see that Algeria has recently taken important steps both in economic and social fields. He also praised his Algerian counterpart, President Liamine Zeroual, for his devotion to the establishment of secular democracy in his country.
Demirel also stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries in their fight against terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, racism and intolerance as problems that affect the entire world. Demirel informed journalists about several forthcoming joint projects in the fields of defence, the military, national activities, science and technology. The President also gave a speech at a meeting of the Turkish and Algerian Businessmen's Council.
Zeroual, after a one-and-a-half hour meeting with Demirel, said that they had reached an agreement on every issue that was raised during their talks. "We talked about the peace process in the Middle East and the situation of Iraq and Africa, including the Lockerbie incident. We came to a consensus on all the issues that we discussed" he said. /All papers/
 DEMIREL: "GO AND CAST YOUR VOTE!"Returning to Turkey from Algeria where he had paid a two-day visit, President Demirel demanded that all citizens should cast their votes in the forthcoming elections in April. Demirel said: "I call on our nation: `Let us all vote and decide on our future'. Elections are for the people's decision on their future." /Turkiye/
 BAYKAL: "CHP WILL BE ONE OF THE STRONGEST PARTIES"The Republican People's Party (CHP) Leader, Deniz Baykal, responded yesterday to rumours that his party would be unable to pass the 10 % threshold. He asserted that the CHP would go into the April 18 elections with more confidence than any other party, the Anatolia news agency reports. Baykal, speaking on the Iraqi situation, said that the current policy of the US and the UN Security Council concerning Iraq will have very grave consequences for innocent Iraqi civilians.
Baykal also criticized the government for informing the public that Ocalan's whereabouts are still unknown. The CHP Leader said that he had difficulty in understanding how nobody could be aware of where the PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan is, a person responsible for the deaths of 35,000 people.
 GREAT EXPECTATIONS FROM CILLERTansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), started her election campaign with the motto `New Turkey in the new Millenium', reflecting her desire to form a `Great Right-Wing Bloc' with other parties of the former the Democratic Party (DP) origin. Ciller describes this project in terms of the co-existence of conservative sensitivity and left-wing libertarian discourse, and plans to garner those votes which had shifted to the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Virtue Party (FP) from the former DP and the Justice Party (AP). The `Great Right-Wing Bloc' presupposes the integration of the New Democracy Party (YDP), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the new DP into the DYP. Ciller also plans to prepare for the elections by consulting to the advisors to Tony Blair and Al Gore. /Aksam/
 DSP CHOOSES CANDIDATE FOR ISTANBUL MAYORAs the local and general elections approach, the contest between the two great parties (the Republican People's Party and the Democratic Left Party) on the left is heating up. The Democratic Left Party (DSP) is preparing to drop one of its bombshells by getting ready to reveal Aydin Guven Gurkan who recently resigned from the Republican People's Party (CHP) to stand as Mayor in Istanbul. /Milliyet/
 EREZ NOT IN THE RUNNING FOR CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE DTPMugla Independent deputy Yalim Erez was disappointed when Gokberk Ergenekon stepped forward in the dispute over the Chairmanship of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP), following the debate concerning Erez as a possible Chairman. Erez decided not to enter DTP while only five days were left of the extraordinary congress of this party. It was learnt that Erez assessed the situation with his friends after the proposal by the present chairman of the party. Independent deputy Mehmet Kostepen who participated in the meeting said that Erez would hold a press conference today explaining his reasons for not taking part in the DTP. /Milliyet/
 RIDVAN BUDAK JOINS DSPPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit has announced that Confederation of Revolutionary Labour Unions (DISK) Chairman Ridvan Budak has joined the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Anatolia news agency reported. Ecevit said that he was happy abour Budak's decision to join his party, adding that they would 'probably' declare him as a candidate.
 MINISTER OF FINANCE VETOES SQUANDERING EXPENDITUREZekeriya Temizel, the Minister of Finance, vetoed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' demand to purchase Mercedes cars for 20 governors on the basis of economic priorities in the rational allocation of public funds. This decision is interpreted as a reflection of Prime Minister Ecevit's modest attitude in refusing to use luxury cars and to move to the Prime Ministerial Residence. /Aksam/
 TOBB DEMANDS STABILITY FIRSTIn a report submitted to Prime Minister Ecevit, the Turkish Union for Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) emphasized the need for stability in economic policy decisions as the most important requirement of the Turkish economy. Describing the autonomy of the Central Bank as the fundamental problem in this respect, the report notes that trading with the EU countries needs prudent macroeconomic discipline. Accordingly, central to such discipline is the implementation of a realistic exchange rate policy which would prevent the overvaluation of the Turkish Lira in a state of domestic high inflation. In addition, the report also demands amendments to the Privatization Code on the way to allowing for the allocation of privatization revenues to compensate in part for domestic public debt stocks. /Aksam/
 $100 MILLION FOREIGN LOAN FOR FORD-OTOSANFord-Otosan received a $100 milion foreign loan for its 550-million-dollar investment in Golcuk, Kocaeli. The loan, concerning the import of machinery and equipment for Ford-Otosan's new plant, was provided by the German Hopovereinsbank with the participation of the Turkish Garanti Bank and Isbank within the framework of the authorization delegated by Kocbank. Speaking at the endorsment ceremony, Ali Ihsan Ilkbahar, the General Manager of Ford Otosan, noted that this would be the largest foreign loan received since 1980. Meanwhile, "This credit implies the foreign investors' confidence in the Turkish economy and in this investment during a state of global crisis", said Engin Akcakoca, the General Director of Kocbank. /Aksam/
 RECORD IN THE TREASURY BONDS BIDDINGIn the bonds bidding yesterday, the Treasury achieved the highest amount of net borrowing hitherto received. A total offering of 1.350 trillion Turkish Lira was made for the 147-day bid, of which 907 trillion was met, which corresponded to a net revenue of 643 trillion TL. Meanwhile, the average ordinary and compound annual interest rates for the bonds came to be 106.85% and 143.09%, respectively. /Aksam/
 UN ACCEPTS TWO SEPARATE STATES IN CYPRUSThe Greek newspaper 'Vradini' comments on the situation Cyprus as follows:
In one way or another, with Rauf Denktas' proposed Confederation, a state which does not exist will be legalized. To advance this situation would come to mean the legalization of the 1974 invasion and the division of the island into two. In fact these opinions were voiced by David Hannay, the English envoy to Cyprus, three days ago. The support shown by Hannay to the idea of a Confederation and autonomous "cantons" created discontent in Nicosia and Athens. It would be naive to suggest that the expression of Hannay's personal opinions are accidental. The events passing behind closed doors should also be taken into account. The UN special representative for Cyprus, Ann Hercus, is openly supporting the existence of two separate states in Cyprus. The first stage is the acceptance of a non-existing state, its recognition will come later.
 BANKING BILL OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO GOVERNMENTThe government's number one priority is the enactment of the Banking Bill, said Hikmet Ulugbay, Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister responsbile for Economic Affairs. Ulugbay said that the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP) support the Banking Bill and that disagreements arising from technical issues had been overcome. "The Banking Bill will allow the post-election government implement its policies efficiently" Ulugbay said.
The results of 1998 and 1999's financial policies will be discussed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, Ulugbay said, and he indicated that Turkey's anti-inflation drive had been successful in spite of unfavourable global conditions. Meanwhile, a five-member IMF delegation headed by IMF's Turkey-desk Chief Martin Hardy is coming to Turkey today for negotiations. /All papers/
 JAPANESE RATINGS COMPANY TO PROBE TURKEYJapanese rating agency JCR's Turkey-desk Chief Masami Shigematsu says the founding of a government in Turkey is a positive development for the economy. Shigematsu said that a JCR delegation will arrive in Turkey on February 16 for three days, meeting people from government and business circles in order to gather information on the latest developments in the economy. After returning to Tokyo, the delegation will assess the information gathered and will probably announce in late February their new credit rating for the country, said Shigematsu. /All papers/
 MILITARY PREPARES 'WATER' REPORTIf a consensus is reached over the three-stage plan being suggested by Ankara on cross-border waters, not only the water disputes over the Tigris and Euphrates basin but other problems as well could be solved, the Turkish General Staff has said in a report, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
The 'Cross-Border Waters' report outlined the plan as follows: * The water resources of the Tigris and the Euphrates should be calculated according to scientific measures; * Water needs should be calculated through the classification of soil types; * Water should be distributed using these two calculations.
 20 TERRORISTS KILLED IN MARDINDuring an operation in the Nusaybin district of Mardin yesterday, 20 members of the PKK terrorist organization were killed and their weapons were seized. During the conflict, two Turkish security officials died. Officials stated that operations in the region were on-going, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 NECATI UTKAN: TURKEY'S AMBASSADOR TO ROMEThe Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Necati Utkan, has been appointed as the Turkish Ambassador to Rome following the resignation of Inal Batu. The decision to appoint Utkan was approved by President Suleyman Demirel and published in the Official Gazette yesterday. The former Turkish Ambassador to Rome, Inal Batu, has resigned from this post because he wishes to stand as a Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate in the April 18 General Election in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 GREECE IN THE DELIBERATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTSDuring a session of the European Court of Human Rights yesterday, the complaint submitted by Ibrahim Serif, a man of Turkish origin living in Western Thrace, against Greece was discussed. In his application, Serif suggested that Greece was violating human rights because it did not permit him to become a 'mufti' (official expounder of Muhammedan law) and had sentenced him, citing as their reason that he had been inciting people to dissent. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH CHAIRMAN OF COEPAFor the first time, a Turkish citizen, Lale Aytaman, the Mugla Deputy from the Motherland Party (ANAP), has become the Chairman of the Commission Responsible for the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Administration following an election of members in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (COEPA). /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH WATER IN U.S.Hayat Su (Life Water), produced jointly by the French Danone company and the Sabanci Conglomerate, has entered the US market. Officials from Hayat Su stated that they had exported 200,000 tonnes of Hayat Su, worth $3 million in 1998 to the US. They stated that they also exported water to Germany, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Lebanon, Azerbaijan, other Turkish-Speaking Republics, African countries and the US. /Hurriyet/
 ANNUAL DOLLAR-BONDS FROM TREASURYThe Treasury Undersecretariat will put on sale one-year term bonds in US dollars via the Central Bank. According to a statement by the Central Bank, the bonds which will start at 10,000 US dollars and available in denomination, will be on sale between January 27 and February 4. /Hurriyet/
 OECD DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEYA delegation from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will arrive in Turkey on February 4. The delegation which will stay in Turkey for nearly one week will hold meetings with contacts both in Ankara and Istanbul and receive information on the current situation of the Turkish economy. /Hurriyet/
 PATRIOTS ARE READYWhile the US air-strikes against Iraq are on-going, the Patriot missiles deployed at Incirlik air base in Adana are ready to be launched. Three batterries of Patriot missiles loaned by the US have been ready for any possible air attack by Iraq.
The US Deputy Undersecretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Jones, said that there have been bombings in the no-fly zone and added: "Iraq has been violating the no-fly zone, which is very significant for northern Iraqi people. We have received excellent support from Turkey on this issue". Jones noted that despite US efforts to bring together opposition groups in Iraq, their aim was not the establishment of a Kurdish state. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that they were concerned over the escalation of the crisis in Iraq and added that they wanted a step-down from the current tense situation. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH-GREEK SUMMIT IN APRILThe Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel, and the Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis, will come together on April 21-23 in New York during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of NATO. Demirel and Simitis will meet for the first time since the NATO Summit held in Madrid in July 1997. The Greek government attaches great significance to this summit because it will take place just after the General Election in Turkey. /Hurriyet/
 OTTOMAN EMPIRE 700 YEARS OLDThe 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire will be commemorated in the Sogut district of Bilecik today. Wreaths will be laid on the busts of Turkish prominent figures who established the Ottoman Empire and the tomb of Ertugrul Gazi, the father of Osman Bey, will be visited. /Hurriyet/
 EXECUTION FOR OPPOSITION FROM OCALANKemal Kara, the former representative of ERNK, the political wing of the PKK terrorist organization, has been executed on the orders of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kemal Kara, who had been tortured in a forest in Switzerland, was taken to hospital, but died two days ago. Abdullah Ocalan earlier announced a 'clean-up operation' against his opponents while he was in Italy. /Hurriyet/
 'OCALAN MIGHT BE IN AFGHANISTAN'Intelligence units have begun to evaluate information claiming that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who was reported missing following his arrival in Russia after leaving Italy, might be in Afghanistan. The PKK Representative in Russia, Mahir Velat, had earlier stated that there were countries in the world not under US control. This strengthened the possibility that Ocalan might be in Afghanistan. /Cumhuriyet/
 ITALIAN NEWS AGENCY CLAIMS OCALAN IS IN KUWAITThe Italian private news agency 'Velino', published an interview with the chief of the PKK terrorist organization and claimed that Ocalan was in Kuwait. It added that Ocalan had left Italy due to psychological pressures. Velino stated that the Italian government was keeping Ocalan in Kuwait until it granted him political asylum. /Sabah/
 NO SOLDIERS TO AZERBAIJANTurkey has not welcomed an Azerbaijani demand for the deployment of a military unit in that country. The Azerbaijani Adviser to President Haydar Aliyev, Riza Guluzade, had earlier declared that the Turkish army should arrive in the country and wanted the US and Turkey to set up a base in Azerbaijan. Foreign Ministry resources noted that this issue included so many strategic elements of importance that, it was, therefore, not on Turkey's agenda. /Cumhuriyet/
 SWEDISH CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF IN TURKEYGen.Owe Victorin, Chief of General Staff of Sweden, arrived in Turkey yesterday as the official guest of Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Chief of General Staff. Gen.Owe Victorin is welcomed by high-ranking military officials in Ankara's Esenboga Airport. Contacts of the General in Turkey will last for four days, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND GEORGIAPolitical consultations between Turkish and Goergian Foreign Ministries will start today. A Foreign Ministry statement pointed out that Aydin Sahinbas, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary, will head the consultations which will last for two days. The Georgian delegation will be headed by Giorgi Burduli, First Deputy of Foreign Minister, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 SECOND OF TURKEY'S OPENING MEETINGSThe second of Turkey's meetings staged within the framework of opening policy to Southern Asia, Far East and Pacific regions, started in Foreign Ministry yesterday. Korkmaz Haktanir, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, heads the meeting attended by all ambassadors and related chairmen of departments. A discussion session is expected to be staged by Strategic Research Centre about Turkey's relations with the region, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 COOPERATION BETWEEN D-8 COUNTRIESTurkey wants to share its experience stemming from its location and wide economic relations with friendly countries and want to contribute to the world peace in this respect, the Anatolia news agency reports. A Foreign Ministry statement pointed out yesterday that D-8 initiative should be maintained and the projects envisaged should be implemented. The statement said that D-8 cooperation sixth Commission Meeting convened in Istanbul yesterday and it would last also today, adding that Deputy Foreign Ministers of the D-8 member countries were participating in the meeting.
 VAN TEXTILE'S EXPORT TO THE NETHERLANDS AND THE USThe Van Textile has begun to export dressing gown and shorts to the Netherlands and to the US, the Anatolia news agency reports. Responding to questions of the Anatolia news agency correspondent, Abdullah Sari, the Governor of Van, reminded that the Van Textile has been providing employment to 99 workers.
 CHROME MINE COLLAPSESA chrome mine in Alacakaya County of Elazig in the Eastern Anatolia Region collapsed yesterday killing one person. The chrome mine belonging to the private sector collapsed in the midday. A full investigation regarding the incident is underway, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 NARCOTICS RAIDIn four separate raids organized in Istanbul, ecstasy and various other drugs, with a market value of 10 billion Turkish liras, were seized. Nine people were taken into custody concerning the sale of narcotics. During the raids in Fatih and Aksaray, three people, two of foreign nationality, were arrested in conjunction with the selling of hashish and opium. /Milliyet/
 PROFITABLE YEAR FOR TURKISH COAL MININGThe Turkish Coal Mining Corporation (TKI) which was described as one of the black holes in the economy, and had experienced a large deficit for years, showed a huge profit this year. TKI, which met the need for coal used for domestic as well as supplying most of the requirements of the power stations, made a profit of 55 trillion Turkish liras in 1998 from the sales it has achieved. /Milliyet/
 INTERNATIONAL AWARD PRESENTED TO TURKISH PROFESSORThe Head of the Textile Department of Marmara University and the founder of the Turkish Textile Fund, Professor Inci Tezcan, was awarded with the "1998 World Superior Service Medal". The Textile Institute which traditionally gives professional and academic titles and awards to those achieving success in the field of textiles, this year granted the award to Prof. Inci Tezcan. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY IN QUEST OF BOGAZKOY SPHINXTurkey is trying to retrieve the Bogazkoy sphinxes from Germany during the meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Return of Cultural Works of Art, operating within the structure of UNESCO. Bilateral talks on the return of the sphinxes between Turkey and Germany have not been held since 1996. At the meeting, which will last until 28 January, Turkey is being represented by officials from the Foreign and Culture Ministries. /Sabah/
 TURKISH YOUTH IN CUSTODY DIES IN HOSPITALThe death of Ramazan Arican (29),admitted to hospital after being taken into custody in Copenhagen last Friday, left Danish police under a cloud of suspicion. The family of the youth blamed the police for Arican's death and requested that the Turkish Ambassador to Copenhagen, Turan Morali, launch an initiative by the Danish Foreign Ministry asking for an investigation. /Sabah/
 CALL FOR `TWO-STAGE' ELECTIONS FROM ANAPThe Motherland Party (ANAP) reiterated its call for the amendment of the election system to allow for a `two-stage' method both for local and parliamentary elections. Yasar Okuyan, the Assistant Chief of ANAP, noted that they were demanding the codification of an election system based on a `two-stage, narrow constituency' method, which would, he argued, provide a proper reflection of the people's choice in the Parliament. /Aksam/
 THE BALANCE SHEET OF THE HOLIDAY: 239 DIEDSevkey Ayaz, the Vice General Director of the Police, declared that 239 people died and 318 of them injured in the traffic accidents which occurred during the 9-day holiday. He also noted that 94 of the total of 153 accidents happened due to the carelessness of the drivers. /Turkiye/
 FAZIL SAY: A NOMINEE FOR THE CD OF THE YEAR IN FRANCEA famous Turkish pianist, Fazil Say, has been nominated to receive an award for the CD of the Year in France with his Mozart CD. The awards, to be given to the first five CDs chosen from many CDs around the world, will be presented during a ceremony to be held in Paris on February 9. During the ceremony which will be broadcast live on the French First Channel, Fazil Say will perform a 10-minute recital accompanied by the National de France Orchestra. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BANKING LAW FOR TURKEY -- BY OSMAN ULAGAY (MILLIYET)In his column in "Milliyet" Osman Ulagay analyzes the significance of passing the banking law for Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The Turkish Programme Director of the World Bank, Ajay Chhibber, believes that the passing of the Banking Law in the near future would play an important role in setting relations between Turkey, the IMF and the Wold Bank on a new footing. Chhibber, in a statement to 'Milliyet' prior to the visit of the IMF delegation to Turkey, said, "The passing of the Banking Law by Parliament while the Ecevit Government is in power, is of special significance as it will give out signals to the effect that Turkey is able to take concrete steps concerning her structural reforms. "World Bank Director Chhibber stated that if the Banking Law was passed and institutional and legal arrangements concerning the privatization of the energy sector are implemented, Turkey would have the opportunity of obtaining foreign resources in the period up until the elections.
The opinions expressed by Ajay Chhibber have great significance as they signal that the meetings with the IMF delegation in Turkey could be more than just a formality."
 IRRITATION GROWS IN THE GULF - BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)Hasan Cemal, a columnist in the `Milliyet' daily, reflects on Ankara's concern for the US policy against Iraq and its repercussions. Cemal writes:
"Ankara is disturbed by the American scenarios envisaging the overthrowing of the Saddam regime because she thinks this will exacerbate the ever-existing turbulence in the region. It has been stated that these US attempts can hardly generate their intended purpose and may well result in a greater instability. Prime Minister Ecevit also declared this attitude during his meeting with Parris, the US Ambassador to Ankara, yesterday.
Ankara maintains that the US has no proper strategy to remove Saddam. She could have directly invade Iraq with her own army, but she did not. This might be due to the Vietnam syndrome. Now she has launched a scheme to overthrow Saddam through organizing his Iraqui opponents. However, she attempted such a strategy against Fidel Castro in the 1960s which ended in a complete fiasco. Has she forgotten that bitter experience? Can she dare to initiate a new adventure that may remove all stability from the region? These are the questions frequently asked in the Turkish diplomatic circles nowadays.
But what does Ankara want? Ankara is not concerned with the fate of the Saddam regime. Her main concerns are focused on the probable post-Saddam uncertainty. A high level official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday: `1.Iraq must not be divided. This would mean extra instability in the region which will undermine Turkish policies. 2.The political union of Iraq must not be destroyed. That is, developments towards a federational or confederational system should not be allowed. 3.The vacuum of political authority in Northern Iraq must not be exploited by the PKK. 4.The security of the Turkmans in Northern Iraq must not be threatened.'
There is another point highlighted by Prime Minister Ecevit: Ankara's wish to leave even a tiny opening for dialogue rather than entirely cornering Saddam. Consequently, the waters of the Gulf are growing warmer."
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