|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-03-02
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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
 CHHIBBER: "TURKEY IS A STRONG COUNTRY FROM THE ECONOMIC STANDPOINT"
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 CHIRAC TO VISIT TURKEYThe French President, Jacques Chirac, will arrive in Turkey between 4 and 6 June as the guest of the Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel. Chirac's visit to Turkey is very important because France will be the European Union Term-President after Portugal as from July. During his visit, Chirac will also open an exhibition organized by French companies which are active in Turkey. /Aksam/
 APPROVAL FOR AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER STATIONThe Council of Ministers has given its final consent to the Akkuyu nuclear power station, which had previously been postponed four times. The Turkish Electricity Joint Stock Company (TEAS), the authorized body, will negotiate with those firms participating in the bidding for the tender within 10 days. The three consortiums which are bidding for the venture are as follows: Westinghouse-Mitsubishi (US-Japan), AECL (Canada) and NPI (Germany-France). During the meeting, it was decided that the firm which will win the bidding will be selected entirely on technical merit. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "Our relations with those countries which are competing for the tender are very good. Therefore, it would not be right to utilize political criteria. The selection will be made by experts from the relevant institutions". /Milliyet/
 TURKISH DEFENCE MINISTER: "TURKEY SHOULD NOT BE EXCLUDED"National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu has summed up the latest developments in the abolishment of the Western European Union (WEU), the defence branch of the EU, replacing it with the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). Cakmakoglu stated that the ESDI should come under the scope of NATO, and those countries which were not currently EU members, should not be excluded from it. He stressed that in the case that Turkey's rights under the WEU were taken away, she would prevent the EU from using NATO's facilities and capabilities; this Turkey has the power and ability to do. /Cumhuriyet/
 DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER DUE IN ANKARADanish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Peterson is coming to Ankara today on the invitation of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials stated that during the meetings, in addition to bilateral relations, regional and international issues will be discussed. Peterson is expected to be received by President Suleyman Demirel and meet with Premier Bulent Ecevit. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW LETTER OF INTENTA new letter of intent comprising ten articles will be discussed by the IMF's Executive Directors' Board in April. The letter includes all developments since Dec. 22, 1999, the date on which the stand-by agreement was signed, and commitments to taking all measures required of Turkey. It will be handled together with the IMF delegation's report; this group was headed by Carlo Cottarelli. Following the ratification of the letter by the Board, the second portion of the IMF loan for Turkey, about 305 million dollars, will be released. According to the stand-by agreement, during this year Turkey will present letters of intent to the IMF every three months. The main letter, which was handed over to the IMF in December, consisted of 64 articles. /Cumhuriyet/
 ISKENDER IGDIR'S BODY FOUNDThe dead body of Iskender Igdir was located by search and rescue teams after a 27-hour search. Igdir, a member of the AKUT rescue team and a photographer for Atlas magazine, had climbed Mt. Ararat with three other people led by Nasuh Mahruki, an experienced mountain climber. They had an accident while descending the mountain which resulted in Igdir falling down a cliff at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It is expected that Igdir's corpse will be retrieved today. /Cumhuriyet/
 BOSNIA NOT TO OPEN AN EMBASSY ON SOUTHERN CYPRUSPresident Suleyman Demirel has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidential Council, Alija Izzetbegovic, following a decision by the Bosnia-Herzegovinan Federation to establish diplomatic relations with Southern Cyprus. Demirel said in his letter that relations between Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina would be damaged as a result of such an initiative. Izzetbegovic sent a letter of response to Demirel and stated that even though they recognized the Greek-Cypriot Administration, they would not open an Embassy on Southern Cyprus. /Milliyet/
 JORDANIAN KING AND QUEEN TO VISIT TURKEYKing Abdullah of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania will visit Turkey on March 7-8. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli held his weekly press conference yesterday and said that there had been no official announcement concerning the Jordanian King's visit to Turkey, but expressed his pleasure at the honour. /Star/
 DENKTAS: "THERE MIGHT BE CONCRETE DEVELOPMENTS"The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, stated that concrete developments might occur in the last week of the third round of proximity meetings that will be held in New York in May. Denktas added, "Some foreign diplomats told me that the leader of the Greek-Cypriot Administration, Glafkos Klerides, had said that he would keep away from signing an agreement based on two States for Cyprus. I want to believe in this. Additionally, it is important what the price of this will be to us." Denktas pointed out that they would not back down from the existence of the state and that they were targetting a firm and permanent agreement over Cyprus. /Turkiye/
 MUTAFYAN'S LUNCHEON FOR GURTUNAArmenian Patriarch Mesrop Mutafyan hosted a luncheon yesterday in honour of Istanbul Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna for his services to the city. Mutafyan delivered a speech at the luncheon at the Samatya Surp Kevork Church Foundation saying that Fatih Sultan Mehmet had granted this church to the Armenians for the first time during the early Ottoman era and added, "Therefore, this church is very important for us". Gurtuna said for his part that if different beliefs can come together and talk to each other, it could be seen that they have many points in common. /Milliyet/
 TALABANI SENDS DELEGATION TO ANKARAThe Leader of Northern Iraq's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Jelal Talabani, sent a delegation to Ankara. It was revealed that the delegation will meet the General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Middle Eastern Branch, Ambassador Turkekul Kurttekin. The fact that Talabani has sent a delegation to Turkey after a break of one-and-a-half years, has been interpreted as his desire to improve relations with Turkey. /Sabah/
 TURKEY'S NEW SATELLITEThe General Director of Turk Telecom, Fatih Yurdal, stated that Turkey will have the most powerful satellite in Europe in July. He stressed that telecommunications and access to the Internet will be strengthened in Turkey after the launch of the new satellite, 'Turksat 2A`. The use of Turksat 1B and Turksat 1C will gradually be abolished following the launch of Turksat 2A. /Hurriyet/
 NO OBSTACLES BEFORE BAKU-CEYHAN PROJECTThe Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources held a series of meetings in Istanbul after which it declared that agreement had been reached on the article concerning Georgia in the Baku-Ceyhan venture. It was revealed, "A full agreement was reached concerning the article on Georgia as a transit country for Azeri petroleum during the meetings which were held between 26 February and 1 March." In the explanation it was also stated that the parties should begin to discuss the price of transit along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline and that the cooperative manner displayed by the parties in Istanbul will speed the conclusion of this important issue. /Turkiye/
 10 MILLION PEOPLE TO BE INSUREDThe Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health began their work to prepare a draft law concerning the establishment of 'General Health Insurance". This plans to insure 10 million people, who are outside the coverage of the current social security scheme. It is planned that these people's health insurance premiums will be paid by the State, but the rate of these premiums will be determined later. According to the data obtained, during this work by officials from these two Ministries, the poor people who will benefit from this 'General Health Insurance' will be determined according to the 'Poverty Standard'. /Turkiye/
 EIGHT FOREIGN COMPANIES TO COMPETE IN MOBILE PHONE TENDERBidding for the GSM Mobile Phone Network, part of the government's privatization programme is beginning. The Minister of Transport, Enis Oksuz, said that eight telecommunications companies from various foreign countries were interested in the tender, and added that Greece was one of them. Oksuz stated that any consortium wishing to submit its proposals should establish a new company; the foreign partner of this new company should have three years' experience of the mobile phone sector and have a minimum of two million subscribers. Moreover, the share of the foreign partner in the company will not be allowed to be less than 49 %. Oksuz pointed out that revenue of $2 billion was expected from the GSM tender. /Milliyet/
 CLEVELAND CLINIC-DOGUS GROUP PARTNERSHIPThe Dogus Holding Company will open a hospital in Istanbul together with the renowned American institution, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. This Foundation is also known as 'The Clinic' and has been serving in the health sector for the last 78 years in the US, it is described as the leading heart surgery centre in the world. The hospital's foundation will be laid either in June or July 2000. /Milliyet/
 MORGAN STANLEY GATHERS MORE IMKB SHARESFollowing a fall of nearly 30%, based on US dollars, between January 18-February 23 in the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) Index, there has been a welcome increase over the last few days. The IMKB-100 Index went up by 1,253 points yesterday and reached 17,199 points; the rise in the IMKB Index during the last week was 28%. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, one of the world's leading financial institutions, has recommended in its report that the amount of Turkish shares in its portfolio should be increased; the IMKB has become attractive again to foreign investors. /Milliyet/
 CHHIBBER: "TURKEY IS A STRONG COUNTRY FROM THE ECONOMIC STANDPOINT"The World Bank Director to Turkey, Ajay Chhibber, held a press conference in conjunction with the Chairman of Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO), Zafer Caglayan, during which he stated that the struggle against inflation in Turkey should carry on unabated. Chhibber added, "The 57th Government has taken important decisions to reduce the inflation rate and has started this economic programme very successfully. If the government debts are lower than those of the markets, then it will be able to contribute to industry and the subsequently-decreased inflation rate will continue all year. In addition, if the fall in interest rates reflects on the economy, then it will be reactived." /Aksam/
 AGRICULTURAL REFORM PRESENTED TO THE PRIME MINISTRYUnder the agricultural reforms, the draft law concerning Direct Income Support (DGD) has been sent to the Prime Ministry to be discussed by the Council of Ministers. As part of the DGD, pilot regions were determined; these will be Polatli, Trabzon, Antalya and Adiyaman. It was also planned that DGM payments will be in May and October each year, amounting to five dollars per one-tenth hectare for the farmers. It is envisaged that the DGD system will be implemented in the whole of Turkey in 2002. /Aksam/
 CEVHER MOULDING COMPANY RECEIVES AWARDOne of the world's leading motor companies, General Motors, has deemed the Cevher Moulding Company worthy of the 'Best of the Best in Automotive Products' award for the third time. The Chairman of Cevher's Executive Board, Haluk Ozyavuz, will receive the award on behalf of the Cevher Group in Munich on 19 May. Ozyavuz held a press conference at which he delivered a speech saying that their aim was to be better than the American firms, which have received this award seven times, and to make our country's voice heard all around the world. Ozyavuz added that technology, price, quality and service were the criteria used in determining which company should receive the award. /Aksam/
 RENAULT HAPPY WITH ITS INVESTMENT IN TURKEYRenault's Deputy Buying and Marketing Chairman in Europe, Francois Hinfray, held a press conference at the Geneva Motor Fair during which he stated that Renault was very happy with its investment in Turkey in terms of quality, fertility and output. He also declared their full confidence in the Oyak-Renault factory. Hinfray added, "Cooperation between Renault and Nissan will be made good use of and this good development will be reflected in Turkey and other countries within a short period of time. Oyak-Renault in Turkey is the only factory that manufactures the Megane Van in the world and we are very pleased with this product. We might give other models to this factory to produce following the Megane's success. The Turkish market has experienced hard times during the last two years but we believe that it will improve in the long run." /Turkiye/
 DE SOTO'S INTENSE DIPLOMATIC TRAFFICThe United Nations' (UN) General Secretary's Special Advisor responsible for Cyprus, Alvaro De Soto, will meet the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, and the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreou, separately. De Soto will arrive in Turkey on 8 March and will evaluate the situation with Cem. Then he will leave for Athens and meet Papandreou. Furthermore, in a statement made by the Spokesman for the UN General-Secretary, Fred Eckhard, De Soto is very happy with the latest developments. /Turkiye/
 INCREASE IN CONSUMER GOODS' MANUFACTURINGAccording to data from the Association of Consumer Goods Industrialists, manufacturing increased by 14.45% and the exportat of consumer goods increased by 60.61%, while internal sales decreased by 10.97% in January. In 1999, the total consumer goods manufactured increased by 1.66% and 4,549,640 items had been sold. /Sabah/
 BARCLAYS BANK TO OPEN REPRESENTATIVE IN TURKEYBarclays Bank, which is based in England, has decided to establish a representative in Turkey so as to intensify its institutional banking activitie. The Director of Barclays' Executive Board, Alex Jablonowski, delivered a speech to businessmen and bankers during which he said that Turkey's situation and its developments both at home and abroad were very encouraging. Jablonowski also stated that they were interested in financing foreign trade and venture loans, and particularly concerning energy and the Turk Telecom and GSM ventures. /Sabah/
 HISTORIC ARTEFACTS TO BE RETURNED TO TURKEYOne hundred and thirty-three historic artefacts, which were smuggled unsuccessfully from Turkey in 1997 and brought to the U.S. where they were seized by Ameican and Turkish police in Customs at Oklahama, will be given back to Turkey. The document recording the return of these pieces was signed by the General Director of Monuments and Museums, Alpay Pasinli, yesterday in Washington. The Turkish Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay, the Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Sencer Ozsoy, the Turkish Ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin, the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of State, Evelyn Lieberman, Deputy Secretary of State Marc Gorssman, the U.S. Deputy Director of Customs, Bonni Tischler, and officials from the American State Department's Turkish bureau attended the signing ceremony held in the American State Department's Agreements Hall. /Turkiye/
 GALATASARAY-BORUSSIA DORTMUND MATCH TODAYGalatasaray F.C. will play the German team, Borussia Dortmund today in the Fourth Round of the UEFA Cup. The match will be held at Westphalen Stadium in Germany at 8:30 p.m. today while the return match will be in Istanbul on March 9. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 RELATIONS WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey's relations with her neighbours. A summary of his column is as follOws:
"An improvement in cold or thorny relations with our neighbours is among the foreign policy goals of the Ecevit Government. The new initiatives towards Iraq and Syria should be considered with this in mind. The visit to Baghdad by a delegation of businessmen headed by State Minister Gaydali and the Foreign Trade Undersecretary has a political aspect in addition to its economic aim.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal's impending visit to Damascus aims at normalizing relations with Syria. All these initiatives create a good opportunity to establish the good relations required by our common interests despite the disputes between Turkey and these countries.
Relations with Iraq were damaged because of the Gulf War. In addition to "foreign factors" such as the UN sanctions following the Gulf War and Saddam Hussein's challenging of the UN, in particular the policy followed by Baghdad concerning the river waters resulted in the freezing of relations. It is no secret that Turkey has suffered great economic losses because of these. The volume of her foreign trade, which was around $ 2.5 billion in 1989, today reaches only $600 million. Turkey's loss of income over the last ten years totals $40 billion.
It is a fact that so long as Saddam Hussein resists and the US and the international community continue their policies, no great changes, especially within the political arena can be expected in relations between Ankara and Baghdad. In the economic field, in spite of all the restrictions, a better result can be achieved than the present one. The UN "food for oil" programme gives Iraq the opportunity to import foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals amounting to $5 billion; Turkey can increase her share of this market. The members of the delegation which went to Iraq returned with the impression that an important step had been taken in this direction.
Relations with Syria were cold and occasionally tense when the PKK and Ocalan were based in this country. With the expulsion of Ocalan and the signing of the Adana Accord in 1998, disagreements began to be solved. Ankara now believes that it is time to normalize relations with Syria. During Deputy Undersecretary Ziyal's visit, bilateral relations will be reviewed and a 'Declaration of Principles" will be signed.
River waters a source of disputes between Turkey and Syria, are also a problem with Iraq. The day before yesterday, the Iraqi Agriculture Minister suggested the division of the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates trilaterally. Certainly, this proposal cannot be accepted by Ankara. In the words of a Turkish official, if this mentality goes on there will be no water to be shared in 10 to 20 years' time. According to Turkey, not the sharing but the allocation of water can be talked about and the river waters flowing to our neighbours should be used rationally and optimally.
Certainly these questions can be seriously negotiated after relations are normalized. The most important issue at hand is to establish a climate of trust. "
 TURKISH AND GREEK LOBBIES CLASH BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz writes on lobbying activities in the US. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Turkish and Armenian lobbyists are clashing in the State of Virginia in the US. This may seem normal, as every year the Armenian lobbyists start to intensify their activities just before 24 April; they try to make official history come into line with their own interpretations. As always, Ankara and the Turkish lobby in the US enter this arena as well. A policy, half-convincing and half-warning, is followed by the American authorities and a result is achieved. The efforts of the Armenians are frustrated at the last minute.
However, this time the Turkish lobby in the US seems to be standing alone on its own two feet without support from Ankara and it is proving this point by carrying out its own initiatives. This development in Virgina has been going on for a while. As a result of intense efforts by the Armenian lobby, 24 April was accepted by the State Congress as the "Commemoration Day of the Armenian Massacre". In accordance with procedures, the issue went to the State Senate's "Rules and Regulations Committee". However, the Turkish lobby was ready. A delegation of eight led by the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations' Chairman, Egemen Bagis, went to Virgina to meet the members of the Rules and Regulations Committee to discuss the matter on Monday. The delegation members, among whom Edward Tasci who is of Turkish origin and his wife were also present, attended the meeting in a hall filled mostly with Armenian spectators.
Due to the fiery debates between the two sides, the Rules and Regulations Committee could not solve the matter and, therefore, postponed the voting on the Bill for a week. The members of the Committee have decided to obtain more information on the issue during this week.
In short, if leading names in the Turkish lobby had not attended this meeting, the Bill would have been passed by the Virginan Senate. This does not mean that the work of the Turkish lobbyists is over. The Bill has only been postponed. However, the Turkish lobby is determined not to leave the arena open to the Armenian lobby and a handful of American politicians.
In the 1970s and 80s Turks in America were silent, indifferent and unrelated. Today the situation has changed to a great extent; Turks in the US are making themselves heard, and filling every gap they see. They are forcing the limits of lobbyism, one of the most important tools in American politics.
If this Turkish lobby manages to be successful in the Virginan Senate next week, this will be a great blow to the international Armenian lobby. Certainly, we would have liked Turks and Armenians to look wisely at the past with the aim of learning lessons for the future. However, we believe that this will take time. The Turks in the US seem to have learnt their lesson from the past, that is, leaving the arena to others will not bring any advantages to oneself."
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