|Monday, 24 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 99-02-26
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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
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 MGK MEETING IN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICEThe National Security Council (MGK), met yesterday in Cankaya Palace under the Chairmanship of President Suleyman Demirel. The MGK noted that no country or no society should support the bloody terrorist organization, the PKK. The statement issued at the end of the five-hour meeting said that the trial of the chief of the terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, would certainly be very just and there would be no doubt about the issue. It continued, "The issue is now the responsibility of the independent Turkish judiciary." It was decided to legalize the Repentance Law as soon as possible during the meeting. It was also pointed out that epecially in the aftermath of the capture of Ocalan, PKK-Greek relations and Greek enmity towards Turkey had been proved. Therefore, Turkey would take the measures necessary against this enmity, read the statement. /Aksam/
 DEMIREL: "GREECE HAS CAUSED COMPLICATIONS IN THE EAST"President Suleyman Demirel has noted that the problems in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions of Turkey originated from the Ottoman period and Greece had caused further complications in these regions. Demirel, who received the Head of the Executive Board of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade, Salih Boyaci and an accompanying delegation at the Presidential Palace yesterday, said that if the current economic trend in Turkey continues over the next 10 years, income per capita could increase to $10,000. Boyaci said, for his part, that development in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) could only be achieved through Turkey's contributions. /Sabah/
 SHEVARDNADZE IN ANKARAEduard Shevardnadze, the Georgian President, is scheduled to arrive today in Ankara, where he is expected to sign a joint communique on economic and political issues with his Turkish counterpart, Suleyman Demirel. The timing of the visit is thought to be related to the on-going debates over the Baku-Ceyhan project and also to the debates over security in the Caucasus. Shevardnadze will travel to Istanbul with Demirel on Saturday. The Georgian President is being accompanied by his Foreign Affairs, Defence, Transport, Communications and Energy Ministers. /All papers/
 GREECE HELPS OCALAN'S AIDES LEAVE KENYAThree PKK terrorists, female associates of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, left the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday to be taken to the airport. The three terrorists had been holed up in the Greek Embassy for nearly two weeks. Leaving for Greece on a private plane with them was the Greek Ambassador to Kenya, Giorgos Kostoulas, who has been recalled to Athens at the request of the Kenyan government. The Athens branch of ERNK, the political wing of Ocalan's PKK, earlier identified the women as Semse Kilic, Melisa Deniz and Nudgan Deria.
Speaking to reporters, Pavlos Apostolodis, the General Secretary to the Greek Foreign Ministry, said that Greece would give political asylum to one of the Kurds, a woman, while another would receive refugee status and still another would go to Belgium. In Athens, a crisis desk has been set up to direct the operation and Prime Minister Costas Simitis is closely following developments, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 CETIN CALLS ON EUROPE TO BE WARY OF TERRORISMTurkish Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin has forewarned European countries about the dangers of terrorism and said that, by giving shelter to PKK supporters, they were endangering their own safety and encouraging terrorism. Speaking in the House of Commons, Cetin noted that Turkey's 'no official contact' policy with the EU was still intact. "Unless the EU recognizes us officially as a candidate along with the others, we are not going to back down from our policy" Cetin stated.
Cetin added that the EU was wrong to tell Turkey it cannot join before the Cyprus problem is solved. "It is not only our problem, Greece and the Greek Cypriots are also part of the problem, but the EU has not told them to solve the problem before joining", he pointed out. /All papers/
 US AND EU CAUTION GREECEGreece, recently charged with supporting the PKK terrorism for years, is subject both to harsh criticisms within the EU and faces the danger of being placed on the US list of `countries sponsoring terrorism'. The EU countries' Ministers of the Interior, who have recently met in Bonn, criticized Greece unequivocally due to her support for the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Meanwhile, the US has launched initiatives both in Brussels and Athens, warning EU authorities that if Greece maintains her supporting attitude towards PKK terrorism she will probably be placed on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. It is reported that the EU Ministers have demanded that Greece gets rid of her `Turkey paranoia', while a high-level US official said, "The attitude of the Washington administration to those sponsors of terrorism is very well known; however, we can neither give a specific deadline to Athens nor discuss this issue in public." /Hurriyet/
 ATHENS: "THERE IS A RISK OF CLASHES"Greek Defence Minister Akis Cohacopulos said yesterday that there was a risk of clashes between Turkey and Greece. He claimed that Turkey wished to increase tension in the Aegean and on Cyprus. Meanwhile, the Government Spokesman, Reppas said that Greece was in a state of high alert against a probable attack from Turkey which would want to change the balance in the region. /Aksam/
 GERMANY CONDEMNS PKK TERRORISMDuring the German Federal and Provincial Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bonn, PKK terrorist activities which have been going on in Europe since last week were condemned. The statement concerning the activities read: "Germany condemns every terrorist activity carried out by PKK members. These activities are a great threat to the peace of Europe." After the meeting, the German Ministry of Interior Affairs, Otto Schilly, said that they were determined to struggle against PKK terrorism and that Germany, as a State of Law, will accelerate its criminal proceedings. Schilly also added, with regard to the pro-Kurdish MED-TV, that the TV channel did not broadcast in Germany but had its two stations in London and Brussels. The issue of banning MED-TV broadcasts, noted Schily, had to be seriously looked into by London; the result is expected to be the banning of the TV station.
Meanwhile, PKK supporters caused panic among German people and also in other European coutries. One of the leading weekly German magazines, "Stern", dealt with PKK terrorism in its latest issue, reporting the panic among people in the German nation. The magazine pointed out that the German people's view of the PKK had taken a negative turn in the aftermath of the recent incidents. It was reported that the true identity of the PKK had revealed itself as a very dangerous terrorist organization which was now understood by Germany. /Turkiye/
 OCALAN HAS $2.5 MILLIONThe PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, has given a 36-page affidavit to the State Security Court Attorneys on Imrali, in which he made a number of critical remarks. Ocalan stated, "My initial purpose was to establish an independent Kurdish State. However, then, I realized that this was an apparent folly and I gave up this idea. I understand that terrorism is wrong. I regret the deaths of 35,000 people, including 10,000 martyrs. The financial funds of the PKK are maintained by the European branches of the organization; yet I personally have 2.5 million dollars." Ocalan also argued that the PKK does not directly smuggle drugs but collects extortion money from smugglers. /Hurriyet/
 LAWYERS MEET OCALANTwo lawyers for the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, met him yesterday in prison on Imrali Island where he is being held; the meeting lasted 20 minutes. A judge was present and questions were restricted to Ocalan's health, a member of the legal team said. On their way to the meeting, a mob shouting anti-PKK slogans threw stones at the bus the lawyers were being transported in. "Allegations that the lawyers were in any danger are groundless" regional Governor Orhan Tasanlar said.
Turkish authorities have stressed that Ocalan is being treated well. One of the prosectors who has been interrogating him, Nuh Mete Yuksel, told reporters in Ankara yesterday that Ocalan was in 'very good condition'. Security along the coast near the prison island is tight, with police guarding the jetties and sea and air traffic restricted. /All papers/
 LOGAN: "JUDICIARY CANNOT BE AFFECTED"The British Ambassador to Ankara, David Logan, said yesterday that the capture of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan had caused international interest in the matter to emerge. Logan noted that there could be no foreign intervention in the judicial system. Logan stated that the future of the PKK leader would be determined during the judiciary process and pointed out that there was no need for the Turkish government to intervene in this process. Logan indicated that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's remarks on the issue were pleasing and added that the judiciary process should be fair and transparent. /Sabah/
 SHOCK INVESTIGATION CHALLENGES ATHENSThe US administration has initiated an undercover investigation concerning claims that the Greek Minister of Defence entered into a perilous cooperation with Russia regarding the NATO air defence mechanism, thereby endangering NATO's the military secrets. It is reported that US military officials will hold an urgent meeting with regard to these charges in the Pentagon today. Meanwhile, observers claim that the Simitis government will not be able to cope with this scandal which is very likely to undermine the position of Greece in NATO. /Hurriyet/
 HADEP'S ATTORNEYS TO PETITION THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURTTurkey's Chief Prosecutor asked a panel of judges yesterday to ban candidates from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) from running in the April 18 General and Local Elections. HADEP faces closure by the Constitutional Court if it is found to be a front for the PKK terrorist organization. Yesterday's motion was presented by Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas. Savas said he had received information that PKK terrorists were pressurizing people into voting for HADEP by threatening to kill them or burn their villages down, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 MOSSAD OPENS TWO OFFICES IN TURKEYThe Israeli Intelligence Service MOSSAD expanded its intelligence activities in Turkey. According to the Foreign Report published by the British Foreign Ministry, the cooperation agreement betwen Ankara and Jerusalem has given Israeli intelligence services the opportunity to enlarge its bases in Turkey. MOSSAD has opened two offices in Turkey. The Report also noted that Israeli experts had proposed to assist Turks in preventing PKK terrorists along the border from penetrating the country. However, the Head of MOSSAD, Efraim Halevy, had earlier denied Israeli contributions to the operation which resulted in the capture of the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in Kenya. /Sabah/
 PRO-PKK DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUESupporters of the PKK terrorist organization continued to demonstrate in support of Abdullah Ocalan yesterday. The major protests took place in Iran, Lebanon and Australia. In Tehran, more than 1,000 Kurds protested outside the Turkish Embassy, calling for Ocalan's release. Meanwhile, about 1,000 people demonstrated outside the Turkish Embassy in Beirut, shouting pro-Ocalan slogans and calling for revenge against Ankara. In Melbourne, more than 400 protestors staged a peaceful demonstration to demand a fair trial for Ocalan. /All papers/
 ANNOUNCEMENT TO ACTIVE PKK MEMBERSAnnouncements, which request that active PKK members surrender to the Turkish Security Forces, have been prepared by the Hakkari Governor and have been distributed by helicopter over the mountainous regions. The leaflets read: "Intense terrorist activities in the region are the main reason for your lack of unemployment, lack of uneducation and lack of health. Living in the mountains does not solve any of these problems but only causes new grief. Now, the Turkish State will guarantee you a new opportunity for you to start a new life and serve your country. Come and surrender. The Repentance Law will be legalized to meet your expectations. Do not persist in wrong-doing." /Turkiye/
 SIX PKK TERRORISTS KILLEDDuring operations carried out by Turkish security forces against the PKK terrorist organization in Batman, Mardin and Tunceli, six terrorists were killed and one was captured. Officials noted that terrorists were still being rooted out in the region. /Sabah/
 GREECE IMPEDES EXPORTS FROM TURKEYGreek customs officials are commiting arbitrary treatments due to the strain between Greece and Turkey following the capture of the terrorist PKK leader Ocalan. Very recently, Greek officials prevented the conveyance of 11 buses, to be exported from Turkey to Germany, over the Greek territory. /Hurriyet/
 RAHMI KOC RESIGNSRahmi Koc, the Head of the Turco-Greek Business Council, which has recently cancelled all joint activities with Greece, resigned from his post yesterday. Rahmi Koc sent a letter to the Foreign Economic Relations Council's Chairman yesterday evening, saying that they had done their best to aid the development of Turco-Greek relations, adding however, recent incidents showed that their efforts are in vain. Koc said: "Under these circumstances, the Turco-Greek Business Council has no meaning". Koc had earlier stated that it had become evident that Greece supports the PKK terrorist organization and had called on Greek business circles and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to follow their consciences. /Sabah/
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UPCentral Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $325 million in the week of February 12-19, 1999, the Anatolia news agency reports. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves, which totalled $20.067 billion on February 12, had risen to $20.392 million by February 19. Meanwhile, Turkey's international reserves increased by $74 million and reached $32.514 billion according to data dated February 5. International reserves were $32.440 billion on January 29. As of February 5, gold reserves were $1.012 billion, while the foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks amounted to $11.060 billion.
 IMKB INDEX INCREASES BY 4.71 %The Index of Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) increased by 4.71 % yesterday following Turkey's new foreign borrowing opportunities. The exports of 500 million-Euros worth of bonds had a positive effect on the IMKB. The daily transaction volume amounted to TL 129.1 trillion. It is expected that the borrowing programme for March, to be announced by the Treasury today, and inflation data to be declared on April 3 will also channel the IMKB. /Hurriyet/
 WORLD BANK RECOMMENDS ACCELERATION OF PRIVATIZATIONWorld Bank experts, headed by Hans Otto Moritz, one of the officials from its privatization group, are examining Turkey's privatization process and social security projects. Moritz and the accompanying World Bank delegation arrived in Ankara on Tuesday. The experts stressed that the lack of a regulatory council is a major obstacle to privatization. The privatization programme should be directed by one single entity, claimed the experts, noting that the current multi-headed system slows down the privatization process. The World Bank experts will stay in Turkey for 10 days and will perpare their assessment when they return to Washington. /All papers/
 JCR UNLIKELY TO CHANGE TURKEY'S ECONOMIC RATINGThe Japanese Credit Rating (JCR) Agency's delegation headed by the Agency's Desk Chief in Turkey, Masami Shigematsu, is expected to neither raise nor lower Turkey's current grade 'BB' rating for the overall health of the Republic's economy. According to information the Anatolia news agency obtained from Shigematsu and fellow-delegation-member Yoshihiko Tamura, although the JCR considers Turkey's economic performance in 1998 to be one characterized by success, it will probably not increase Turkey's grade because of the Russian crisis, Turkey's deteriorating foreign trade balance and the upcoming elections. The JCR delegation will return to Tokyo today.
 TRNC REQUESTS INVESTMENTThe Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, yesterday visited Chairman of the Istanbul Trade Chamber (ITO), Mehmet Yildirim. During the meeting, Eroglu said that in the wake of the capture of the separatist chief, the new realities were causing uneasiness both in Greece and Greek-Cyprus. Eroglu pointed out that the TRNC ought to build up a strong economy and that they need more investment in Cyprus. He invited Turkish businessmen to make more investments in the TRNC. /Turkiye/
 DPT REPORT EXAMINES FUTURE EFFECTS OF THE EUROTurkey can expect to experience a period of economic recovery in the wake of the European Union (EU) countries' formation of the Monetary Union by increasing its exports, provided that it can accomplish its structural reforms, said the State Planning Organization (DPT) in its report, "The effect of the Euro on Turkey". The report indicated that 50 % of Turkey's foreign trade is with EU countries and that 45 % of Turkey's total debt is in EU member countries' national currencies. /All papers/
 COMPULSARY EDUCATION TO BE 12 YEARS LONGAt the 16th National Education Council meeting, the period of compulsory education was decided to be increased to 12 years. Other decisions taken at the meeting are as follows; compulsory education should have a multi-purpose structure; at a local level vocational education should be strengthened; an autonomous "Turkish Vocational Standards Institution" is to be established in order to establish standards in the professions; distance learning is to be more wide-available; the professions should be promoted to students during their primary education; teachers should receive tutorship training; and it was decided that greater opportunities for vocational and technical education would be ensured for women and the disabled. /Turkiye/
 ATUK: "TURKISH READY-TO-WEAR RANKS FIRST IN EUROPE"The New Chairman of the Turkish Clothing Industrialists' Association (TGSD), Bulent Atuk, has remarked that the growth rate in the clothing sector was 6.5 % last year, and ranked first in Europe and sixth in the world. Atuk said: "The textile sector and the ready-to-wear sector are different from each other. These are two sectors which complement each other". Atuk added that there were many opportunities in the ready-to-wear sector and noted that evaluation schemes were needed to investigate these opportunities. /Sabah/
 TUNISIAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER IN TURKEYTunisian Environment Minister, Mohammed Mehdi Mlika, came to Turkey on Wednesday to attend the 'Fifth Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins Conference' which will be organized in Marmaris, Mugla. Mlika was welcomed by his Turkish counterpart Fevzi Aytekin at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. The two ministers later held a meeting, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 DEMIREL CONGRATULATES KUWAITI NATIONAL DAYPresident Suleyman Demirel congratulated yesterday Emir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad as-Sabah for the National Day of Kuwait. The Presidential Press Centre said Demirel sent a congratulatory message saying: "I want to express my hope and confidence that the friendly relations between our two countries will develop in every field bringing productive results in accordance with the mutual interest of our peoples", the Anatolia news agency reports.
 OECD MULTILATERAL TAX CENTRE IN ANKARAOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Multilateral Tax Centre will give courses to 28 tax experts from various experts on taxes between March 1-12, the Anatolia news agency reports.
 MERLONI IN EUROPEThe Turkish Merloni firm, a producer of electrical durable goods, attended Koln Fair last week. Merloni is the third biggest durable goods producer after Electrolux and Bosch in Europe. The firm produces seven million items annually to its facilities in Manisa; Merloni exports 50 % of its annual production.
Meanwhile; the Turkish companies Beko and Arcelik are being successful in competing in European markets; Beko and Arcelik products were also exhibited at Koln Fair. /Turkiye/
 "TURKEY SHOULD BE BETTER PROMOTED"A member of the Administration Council of the Turkish Tourist Hotels Union (TUROB), Ali Erdim, said that funds for the promotion of Turkey were insufficent and added that hotel managers would be better to promote Turkey in general instead of only their hotels. Turkey tries hard to compete in the European tourism sector with a total fund of only $ 12 million. Erdim asked the authorities to increase tourism funds in order to increase Turkey's tourism revenue. /Aksam/
 FIRST PILGRIM GROUP TO GOThe first group of Turkish pilgrims will be given a send-off tommorrow from Ankara. The Office for Religious Affairs has ensured that every facility is offred to the Turkish pilgrim group during their holy visit. It has been reported that the Head of the Office for Religious Affairs, Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, will attend the leave-taking ceremony in Istanbul. In addition, 2,976 Turkish personnel including doctors and nurses will accompany the Turkish group during the pilgrimage. /Turkiye/
 "GAP WILL FEED THE WORLD"Mahmut Erdir, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, declared in a conference that the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region will feed the entire world in the near future. Emphasizing the need for the rejuvenation of animal husbandry in the region, Erdir said, "Our most significant purpose is to revive the waning animal husbandry in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia." /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH FILMS IN DENMARKDuring the 10th year of the International Film Festival, "The Night Film Festival", which will be held between 26 February and 14 March, Turkish films will be screened as a special promotion package. The Turkish films days will start with a show of "Eskiya" by Yavuz Tugrul on 26 February and other Turkish films to attend the Festival are as follows; "Kasaba" by Nuri Ceylan, "Akrebin Yolculugu" by Omer Kavur, "Tabutta Rovasata" by Dervis Zaim, and "Isiklar Sonmesin" by Reis Celik. Moreover, "Istanbul in Photograps" by Ahmet Ozdil, and "Istanbul from Friday to Sunday" by Ara Guler and Kemal Sevim will be displayed during the Festival. Ara Guler's photographic exhibition will open during the Festival. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 WESTERN PROBLEM - BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Taha Akyol, a columnist for Milliyet daily newspaper, says the following in his article today: "The European Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for an 'International Kurdish Conference' describing this issue as 'Turkey's affair'. This is a good development. Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, an Istanbul deputy candidate for the Motherland Party (ANAP), says that we should not feel complacent. There may be heavier pressures by Europe on Turkey, he adds. It is also pleasing that the European Parliament is urging the PKK to give up violence and increase its respect for public order. Europeans remember the importance of public order when they were confronted with PKK terrorist activities. However, the real target of PKK terrorism is Turkey and public order is also essential for Turkey. Turkey will certainly struggle against terrorism and protect peace and stability.
Of course, political pressures on Turkey will increase, however, Turkey's strength will also be augmented. Turkey, whose share in the global economy has been boosted due to the market economy, can now use economic pressure on European states. The most recent and best example is Italy. Turkey has the strongest Army in the region apart from Russia; the struggle against terrorism has further increased the strength of the Turkish Armed Forces".
 HOW CAN THE STATE HONOUR SABANCI? - BY KENAN AKIN (TURKIYE)Kenan Akin wrote today in his column about the private "Ottoman Calligraphy Art Exhibition" set up by Turkish businessmen Sakip Sabanci. Akin said that the exhibition, "Golden Letters", has attracted great interest in the US. It is a fact that the "Golden Letters" exhibition reveals the remnants of the powerful Ottoman Empire to the New World. Sakip Sabanci plays the role of a "Golden Bridge" with his "Golden Letters". How can the Turkish State honoure Sabanci, not only because of his services but also due to this exhibition? He will be decorated with the "State Honour Medal" or maybe an honour equaivalent to the title of "ambassador". Sakip Sabanci, as a matter of fact, both promotes and represents Turkey in the best way. The Mayor of Beverly Hills awarded Sabanci the "Honorary Citizenship" title to praise his services.
In addition, Kenan Akin, talked about Turkish young people in the Peninsula Hotel, Los Angeles, where Sabaci was given the title. Akin added that the manager of the hotel, Ali Kasikci, is a Turk and should be applauded because of his successful management of the hotel. Kasikci not only organized a cocktail reception in Sabanci's honour but also put on a Mevlevi performance.
Akin concluded that the 700th Anniversary of the Ottoman Period had been joyfully celebrated in Los Angeles.
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