|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 99-01-29
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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
 A TURKISH YOUTH RECEIVES AN AWARD FOR HIS INVENTION
 CETIN TO VISIT IRAN TODAYTurkish Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin and an accompanying parliamentary delegation will go to Iran today on a four-day official visit. Hikmet Cetin will meet the Speaker of the Assembly of the Iranian Islamic Republic, Natik Nuri, on January 30 and will be received by the Iranian President, Muhammed Hatemi. Cetin will hold a press conference the same day. /Turkiye/
 NSC WARNS AGAINST RELIGIOUS PROPAGANDAThe National Security Council's (NSC) first regular meeting of 1999 yesterday once again looked at pro-Islamic activities in Turkey. But the focal point of the meeting concerned political parties, which were warned by the meeting's mainly military participants not to carry out religious propaganda during the election campaign. President Suleyman Demirel, who chaired the meeting, will reportedly now contact the leaders of political parties and urge them to avoid religious issues during the campaign and urge them not to exploit their conservative constituencies.
Various other topics were discussed at the meeting. Among them were the latest developments in the Iraqi crisis, particularly the recent clashes between US fighter jets and Iraqi artillery in northern Iraq and the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey during these clashes. A statement issued after the meeting said that the participants had reviewed the government's fight against fundamentalists and separatists as well as other subversive elements. /All papers/
 FALSE ALARM AT INCIRLIK BASEIncirlik Air Base near Adana, used as a launching pad for US and British aircraft monitoring the no-fly zone in northern Iraq, was briefly put on the alert yesterday for a possible Iraqi missile attack. Officials at the base and at the US Embassy played down the incident, saying it was a brief alarm. "Today, Incirlik Air Base was briefly put on the alert on the basis of reports of a potential missile threat from Iraq. Subsequent information has failed to confirm these initial reports. The Patriot battery at Incirlik was never employed and the state of alert was quickly called off" a press release from the Embassy said yesterday.
The Turkish General Staff yesterday said in a written statement that an explosion and a flare were spotted 40 kilometres northeast of Mosul coinciding with the time of alert at Incirlik. In reference to the initial assertions that the explosion in Mosul could have been missile fire, the General Staff's Office said no missile route or any possible target inside Turkey had been detected. The statement also clarified that Turkey's air defence systems were ready to counter any outside threat. /All papers/
 MUBARAK IN ANKARAEgyptian President Husnu Mubarak will pay an official visit to Ankara today. It is reported that Mubarak and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel will hold a meeting and evaluate the recent situation in the region. Mubarak will later proceed to Davos. /Milliyet/
 12 DEMANDS OF TURKEY CONCERNING THE IRAQI QUESTIONThe Iraq Plan prepared by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in 1996 is being updated by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Accordingly, Turkey's demands concerning Iraq are listed under 12 headings: 1. The economic embargo must be removed. 2. Iraq should guarantee the process of democratization and the protection of human rights. 3. Security corridor in Northern Iraq. 4. Elections in Northern Iraq. 5. Ethnic groups should begin meetings with the Baghdad administration. 6. `Poised Hammer' campaign. 7.The US should respond to positive steps from Iraq. 8. The international community should be reminded of the Turkoman presence in Northern Iraq 9. Stable relations between Iraq and Israel should be established. 10. The OPEC countries should be told that their concern for oil prices is void. 11. An agreement that allows for the controlled consignment of products should be signed. 12. The US should be reminded that her right to use the bases is temporary. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAN GIVES GUARANTEES TO TURKEY ON OCALAN ISSUEIran stated that approval for the admittance of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to Iran and granting him immigration status were out of the question. The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hamid Riza Asefi, made a statement to journalists yesterday and said: "We will not accept Ocalan even though he may want to come to Iran", the Anatolia news agency reports. Meanwhile, the Lebanese government issued assurances that Ocalan was not within its borders.
 OCALAN TO ARRIVE IN BAGHDADIt is claimed that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan will settle in Iraq. One of the leading US newspapers, the New York Times, has noted that Ocalan was seeking to settle in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. An article in the newspaper said: "The Baghdad administration will support terrorist organizations, including the PKK and thus will use them for its own purposes".
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who met the Undersecretary of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT), Senkal Atasagun, yesterday, issued a statement to the effect that: "Ocalan's location is still unknown. He cannot find a place to hide". /Aksam/
 ITALIAN PASSPORT FOR OCALANNew clues have been turned over concerning the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, whose location has recently been a mystery following his two-month stay in the Italian capital of Rome. Intelligence services submitted a note to inform high-level officials, the content of the note pointed out that Ocalan was accompanied by a 150-person delegation on his departure from Italy and had an Italian passport in his possession. Following his disapperance, there has been an information influx from various foreign intelligence services on the 'Rome-Russia-Caucasia-Middle East' axis. /Milliyet/
 RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR: "CIA KNOWS WHERE OCALAN IS"The Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Alexander Lebedev, paid a one-hour visit to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. With regard to the location of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, Lebedev said: "I inquired after him to my fellow Mark Parris, the US Ambassador, yesterday. The most effective intelligence agency in the world is the CIA. Therefore, if one is to find him, I believe it will be through the CIA, or perhaps MOSSAD or the Turkish intelligence services. Definitely, however, Ocalan is not in Russia. He is no more on our agenda. We are not concerned with Ocalan anymore." /Sabah/
 OPERATION IN SOUTHEASTThe Emergency Rule Region made a statement yesterday and said that seven members of the PKK terrorist organization had been killed in the Nusaybin district of Mardin. Thus, the number of terrorists killed during the recent operations in the region reached a running total of 27. During the conflict, one Turkish security official died. Officials noted that operations in search of terrorists were on-going, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 DENKTAS STAKES ALL AGAINRauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), noted that 20 years have passed in which it has been presumed that certain principles have been discussed and, at last, everybody has reached the idea of confederation. In an interview on Bayrak TV two days ago, Denktas said, "The TRNC is essential, it exists. We will not talk to the Greek-Cypriots anymore. We do not need to talk to them. To say `This business has ended' is also a sort of politics. Confederation means `Recognize my government and I will begin to discuss with the my conditions for cooperation and unification with the Greek-Cypriots'. This is what the entire world wants, and the alternative of a Federation is beginning to be spoken about by the Greek-Cypriots as well." /Cumhuriyet/
 TWO PUBLIC BANKS ARE GUILTY OF HIGH INTERESTAccording to the Minister of Finance, Zekeriya Temizel, and State Minister Hikmet Ulugbay, both responsible for the Turkish economy under the Ecevit government, high interest rates on the financial markets are rooted in the cash deficiency of Ziraat Bank and Halkbank, the largest two public banks. Meeting the general directors of all the public banks two days ago, Temizel and Ulugbay discussed possible measures to reduce high interest rates, reiterating the view that Ziraat Bank and Halkbank compensate for the unseen transactions of the Treasury by giving high interest rates on deposits. Accordingly, it was emphasized that both banks were borrowing from the market at high interest rates in order to bridge their cash deficits, and it had become imperative to enforce measures against this situation, which created an upward pressure in interest rates. In this way, a plan was adopted in principle to provide these banks with a special array of state bonds through budgetary means. /Sabah/
 FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTSTurkey paid off $423.6 million of her foreign debts during the first 27 days of this year, according to Central Bank data. Last year, Turkey paid off a total of $12.5 billion of foreign debts, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 CONCERNS IN CAUCASIAThe Defense News magazine noted that the Russian military presence in Armenia has increased the tension in the region. An article in the magazine stated that plans to deploy S-300 missiles on a Russian Base in Armenia have been protested against by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Russian and Armenian officials said that the S-300 missiles were not aimed at third-party countries; on the contrary, they would contribute to stability in the region. /Turkiye/
 IMF PLEASED WITH THE INCREASE IN TAXESAn IMF delegation headed by Turkey-desk Chief Martin Hardy met bureaucrats from both the Finance Ministry and State Planning Organization (DPT) in separate meetings yesterday. During the meeting between the IMF delegation and DPT bureaucrats, the 1999 economic programme was discussed while during the meeting with Finance Ministry officials tax revenues during 1998 were taken up. It is reported that the IMF delegation was pleased with the increase in tax income during 1998 and they noted that this increase should also continue throughout 1999. The delegation left for Istanbul last night to meet representatives from the private sector. /Aksam/
 1999 FISCAL YEAR BUDGETMeeting of the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Committee to discuss the Draft Budget Resolution for 1999 Fiscal Year tomorrow, was postponed to February 2, the Anatolia news agency reports. The committee was planning to convene today.
 KOSOVO CRISISThe Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday saying that Turkey which is the term-president of cooperation process at the level of foreign ministers of the Southeastern European countries, maintains her efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 FIRST TURKISH CANDIDATEA Turk for the first time announced yesterday his candidacy in the elections of the Ececutive Board of North Rhine Westphalia provincial organization of the German Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU). Bulent Arslan, the Head of the Turkish-German Forum of the CDU, announced his candidacy for the membership of the executive committee, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 TKIP OPERATIONSix people known to be members of the illegal 'Ekim' (October) organization, which changed into the Turkish Communist Worker Party (TKIP) during a foundation congress held two years ago in Germany, have been seized. It has been determined that one of the suspects was involved in a murder in Ankara. /Milliyet/
 DTP'S EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS CANCELLEDThe Democratic Turkey Party's (DTP) upcoming extraordinary congress scheduled for February 1 was cancelled yesterday by the Party's Chairmanship Board. Both the role of the extraordinary congress and the issue of who would become the party's new leader came under scrutiny after Yalim Erez announced on Wednesday that he would not be joining the party and therefore not be in the running for the party's leadership. /All papers/
 GURTUNA MEETS LEADERS OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIESMayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna held a precedent-setting breakfast meeting in Istanbul yesterday with the religious leaders of the Greek, Armenian and Jewish minorities and the heads of both the Catholic and Syrian Orthodox churches. "If we look at our differences as the mosaic of nature, we will see a great deal" Gurtuna told the religious leaders. /All papers/
 NEW HOPE FOR TOURISM- AHMET TANThe new Tourism Minister Ahmet Tan was the guest of honour at the first luncheon of 1999 organized by the Turkish Hotel Association (TUROB). The meeting in Istanbul was a crowded one as representatives of the tourism sector and the press were interested in what the new Minister had to say. TUROB Chairman Ali Gureli opened the meeting, setting forth the expectations which his organization has of the new government. Evaluating last year's global crisis, Tourism Minister Tan said: "Turkey suffered the least damage in tourism due to the global crisis which affected the world in 1998. Our target this year will be to bring Turkey to a more developed level of tourism than before". /All papers/
 FIRE CREATES PANIC IN GERMAN HOMEA fire at the German Home for the Elderly, one of Istanbul's historic buildings in the Tesvikiye district, created panic. While the home was originally reserved for German speakers, it now includes a considerable number of Turks. It is believed that the fire was caused by a short circuit, although investigations ino the incident are continuing. The fire was put out by the Sisli Fire Department. /All papers/
 CELEBRATIONS TO MARK 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF OTTOMAN EMPIREThe 700th anniversary of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire will be celebrated all over Turkey in cooperation with the Culture Ministry and other state and private institutions. The Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, one of the longest lasting Empires in history, will be commemorated with busts of all 36 sultans being put on display in Topkapi Palace, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 EUROCONTROL TO IMPROVE EUROPEAN AIR TRAFFICThe European organization that organizes air traffic over the continent, Eurocontrol, is working on a project to ease air traffic controllers' workloads in order to improve safety and has asked for Turkey's cooperation in its plan, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 ANKARA TO HOST 27TH INTERNATIONAL YASAR DOGU WRESTLING TOURNAMENTAnkara will host the 27th International Yasar Dogu Wrestling Tournament between 12-14 February, the Anatolia news agency reports. Meanwhile, Kazarian, a leading Referee Instructor of FILA, and his assistant Juruli will give a three-day seminar to nearly 50 referees during the tournament.
 THREE TURKISH FIRMS AMONG EUROPEAN GIANTSThree Turkish firms made it onto the list of the 500 largest firms in the world prepared by the influential daily, "The Financial Times". In the report devised according to the market values of the firms and entitled "FT 500", Turkey was represented by Isbank, Akbank and Sabanci Holding. The daily has prepared this report since the 1980s and it is accepted as one of the most detailed reports of its kind in the world. Hurriyet_
 CHIBBER: WORLD BANK PLEASED WITH TURKEY'S PERFORMANCEWorld Bank "Turkey" Director Ajay Chhibber stated that Turkey was the second best country in the region regarding the performance of World Bank projects and added, " The World Bank is pleased with the results concerning Turkey. The projects to prevent erosion in Eastern Anatolia and eight-year elementary education are going on as planned." However Chhibber went on to say that the influence of the global crisis had had an especially hard impact on macroeconomic goals and, therefore these goals had had to be revised. He stressed that to achieve improved performance, institutional and structural reforms had to be carried out in addition to the revision of macroeconomic goals. /Hurriyet/
 CONCERN IS FELT IN BENEFITTING FROM THE YEAR 2000 IN TOURISMTurkey is late and must catch up with preparations to get a share of the faith tourism on the occasion of the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth. The Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB) started to work on its own in the promotion of the country when its hopes for support from the State were dashed. TURSAB is carrying on studies for the "Black Sea Tourism Cooperation Project" wherein 11 countries bordering on the Black Sea will participate . The project foresees the preparation of a joint tourism package. /Hurriyet/
 S-300 MISSILES NOT TO BE DEPLOYED ON CRETEAs a result of pressures by Turkey and the US, S-300 missiles are not going to be deployed on Crete. One of the influential Greek newspapers, "Eleftorotipia", claimed that the Greek-Cypriot Administration had cancelled the agreement to purchase S-300 missiles months ago, but this decision had not been announced. The daily, which accused Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and the Greek-Cypriot Administration Leader Glafkos Klerides of deceiving the public, stated, "For two years Cyprus has been acting. The meeting of Simitis and Klerides was just for the sake of appearances. The Western States did not take their statements on the deployment of missiles on Crete seriously."/Hurriyet/
 A TURKISH YOUTH RECEIVES AN AWARD FOR HIS INVENTIONAfter witnessing the difficulties experienced by his blind uncle, Murat Basaran, a Turkish student who invented some new equipment to help show the way to the visually handicapped and received the top prize for Health in the contest "Young Inventors and Innovators" held in the US. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH COMMANDER FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE PEACE FORCEThe headquarters of the "Southeastern Europe Multinational Peace Force" established on the initiative of Turkey, will be established in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in August. The first Commander of the force will be a Turkish General. To the force which will also be known as the "Southeastern European Brigade", Turkey will send a mechanized unit, a reconnaissance company, an artillery battery. /Hurriyet/
 DUTCH SHIP LANDEDLast night the Istanbul Straits narrowly escaped another danger. The dry cargo vessel "Dutch Navigator" sailing under the flag of Holland, which had not taken a pilot on board through the Straits, ran aground off the shores of Yenikoy at 19.30. The ship alarmed the locals of Yenikoy with its gigantic structure. Carrying containers loaded in Varna to Marseilles, the ship asked for help when its own efforts did not suffice. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
 THE FIRST 99 DAYS -BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Taha Akyol, a columnist from the daily 'Milliyet' newspaper, says the following in his article today: "A programme called 'The First 99 days' prepared by the True Path Party (DYP) is being kept close to their chest. In order to be more efficient, they will announce the plans during the election campaign. DYP Leader Tansu Ciller has prepared the programme together with her technical advisors. It is a beneficial set of policies from a technical and political standpoint; however, how it will be implemented is another issue.
The tradition of setting out a party's concrete aims for public scrutiny within a certain period is in line with Demirel's policy. Demirel had a 'First 100 Days' programme. It is also possible to see the traces of the late Prime Minister Turgut Ozal in Ciller's programme. In addition to Demirel and Ozal's traditions, British Prime Minister Tony Blair had announced an outline of what he wished to achieve in the 'First three months' and as soon as he won the vote of confidence, he transferred the laws of 'Home Rule' for Ireland and Scotland and the Central Bank Law over to Parliament. I believe that all parties should prepare an outline of their aims along the lines of 'First ...days' in order to enable political struggles to be more methodical". /Milliyet/
 COME ON ECEVIT.. - BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)Gungor Mengi, a columnist in the `Sabah' daily, reflects on the current debates over `two-tier' local elections and demands that Prime Minister Ecevit launch initiatives for its codification. Mengi writes:
"Tufan Algan, the Chairman of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) says, `If the required laws are passed by March, we can implement the two-tier system for the election of Mayors'. He also notes that the two-tier system does not contradict the Constitution. Interpreting the Constitution in line with the idea of a `democratic rule of law', however, one can say, in fact, that the prevailing election system is contrary to the constitution. For most of the Mayors in the last elections were elected with votes of around 20%, which clearly undermines the principle of `justice in representation' encoded in the 67th article of the Constitution. In the forthcoming elections in April, smaller minorities will be able to take hold of the cities. The contest between secular parties will be to the advantage of anti-secular parties.
In the forthcoming elections, at least the Mayors should be elected in two stages, receiving more than half of the votes of citizens. For if the secular votes are divided, the minority which rests upon religious exploitation wins the elections. The one who gathers only 20% percent of the votes is elected, yet he also becomes the one that the majority of the people do not want to see in office. The elections must be held through a system which prevents `fait accomplis'. The political parties should not miss this opportunity. The useful consequences of such a system in local elections will also inspire the implementation of a similar system in the later general elections.
Prime Minister Ecevit said that their most important duty is to hold a the elections in security. The scandal of double registration and ghost voters has already invalidated this promise. A two-tier election system is also the best measure against ballot theft. If Ecevit really wants to serve for the people and the country, if he is an honest leader as he seems to be, then, there is a historical opportunity in front of him to prove this. Othewise, he will be no more than a proxy force of the interest groups' oligarchy which is prevailing in the political system.
Ecevit said, `This system must be changed.' Let him change, then!"
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