|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-03-06
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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
 SUMMIT OF HOPEThe Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria convened in the cities of the border regions of the three countries yesterday. Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, went to Filibe yesterday for a meeting as proposed by Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Nadejda Mihailova. A press statement was issued in order to further delevop relations between these three countries, saying, "Lasting peace, stability, democracy and econmic improvement were the common target in the Balkans". /Milliyet/
 JORDANIAN KING TO DRINK 'WATER OF PEACE'During a visit of Jordanian King Abdullah to Turkey tomorrow, it is expected that the issue of the water from the Manavgat River will be discussed in addition to bilateral relations and the Middle East peace process. The Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Kemal Mahadin, who will accompany King Abdullah during his visit to Turkey, previously visited Turkey as the official guest of the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Cumhur Ersumer in January. Ersumer and Mahadin made observations at the Manavgat Water Assurance Project facilities and at the Oymapinar Hydro-Electricity Power Station. Following this, the Jordanian Minister said, "We will re-assses this venture. We are in a close cooperation with Turkey. We want to purchase water from Turkey". /Aksam/
 IRAQ AND SYRIA CLAIM RIGHTS ON THE EUPHRATES AND TIGRISIraq and Syria, which are concerned about Turkey's becoming 'a regional power' and gain economic and political stability, have begun to claim rights concerning the water of the Euphrates and the Tigris Rivers. They are trying to get the support of Iran and Egypt. This alliance was demonstrated, once again, during the 'International Water Security Meeting' held last month in Cairo. The Director of Water Policy and Strategic Research Centre, Ali Ihsan Bagis, represented Turkey at the meeting and showed harsh reactions to the Iraqi and Syrian Ministers. Ali Ihsan Bagis claimed 'there is no equal share in the cross-border rivers but there is fair utilization'. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who had met Syrian Foreign Minister, Faruk El Sara, in New York last autumn, suggested the establishment of a working group between the two countries on the water issue. The first meeting of this working group will begin today and the Turkish delegation will be headed by Deputy Undersecretary, Ugur Ziyal. /Aksam/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMEN TO VISIT THE USThe economic rapproachement has started between Turkey and the US following the political one. Members of the Executive Board of the Foreign Economic Relations Commission (DEIK) and Turkish Industrialists' and the Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), officials from the energy and telecommunications sector will discuss economic policies and practises in Turkey to the American business executives, bankers and the public, between 29 and 31 March in the US. At least 50 officials mostly from the Treasury, Central Bank and the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade, will be in the delegation. During the three-day visit 30 panels will be held. /Sabah/
 YUCAOGLU: "A NEW TURKEY WILL BE ESTABLISHED"The Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yucaoglu, stated that 1999 was an unfortunate year for Turkey and said, "However, correct and comprehensive decisions have been made for the year 2000 and now a new Turkey will be established on these basis." Yucaoglu also considered the stability programme to be right and added, "After putting the correct targets and laying good foundations, our duty is to work hard to reach the target. However, if you miss some points in an effort to reach the target, noone can say anything to you." /Sabah/
 SUPPORT FROM SPAIN FOR KOBIAn agreement concerning the allocation of 30 million dollars as part of the loan of 400 million dollars, from Spain, within the framework of Economic and Financial Cooperation Accord of Understanding, to go to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (KOBI), has been approved. As part of the agreement, the maximum period during which the loans can be received will be 24 months after the agreement goes into effect. /Sabah/
 TURKISH FILMS IN THE USSome Turkish films including 'Kahpe Bizans', 'Propaganda' and 'Harem Suare' will be shown at the May Festival, on 5 and 28 May, in New York. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, American President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton, New York's Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Governor of the State, George Pataki are expected to attend the opening of 'New York Mayfest 2000' which will be organized by the Youth Council of the American-Turkish Women's Solidarity Organization. /Sabah/
 BIG ORGANIZATION IN THE ENERGY'Transit Petroleum Pipeline Council' will be established, within the structure of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, in order to protect Turkey's national resources from petroleum and natural gas. The new council will be the most comprehensive one in Turkey and the law to bring it about is expected to be enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) in the next few days. The Council will also oversee energy projects, delivery of crude petroleum, natural gas and the petroleum to be produced from the Caspian Sea. /Turkiye/
 FREE ZONES ARE PROFITABLETrade amounting to a total of 7 billion 886.6 million dollars was made in 1999 with an increase of 2.2%. According to calculations made by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM), the free zone in which trade volumes was the highest, was Istanbul Leather Free Zone with 2.5 billion dollars. This is followed by Istanbul Ataturk Airport, with 2.2 billion dollars and Mersin Free Zone with 1.5 billion dollars. /Turkiye/
 EURASIAN METAL WORKERS TO MEETInternational Eurasian Metal Workers Federation's (UAMIF) 11th Central Committee meeting will be held today in the General Centre of the Turkish Metal Union. It will be chaired by the General Chairman of the UAMIF and the Turkish Metal Union. During the meeting, the problems of trade union organizations in member countries, the point which was reached by the unional structure, the practice of privatization in Eurasian countries and its reflections on the workers, the unions in the 21st century and the search for new service areas, will be discussed and initiatives to improve the friendship and cooperation between the countries in the region will be evaluated. /Turkiye/
 CUSTOMS UNION IS FOUR YEARS OLDTurkey established a Customs Union with the European Union four years ago and with no financial aid. Turkey tried to be self-sufficent and improved rapidly in this area. Turkish economic rivalry increased and the commercial deficit that was seen in the first years decreased. Important developments giving hope for the future and bringing the Customs Union to life again, from the decisions made at the Helsinki Summit. European Union observers in Brussels pointed out that Ankara implemented their political and economic reforms swiftly, which has made Turkey to be one of the most attractive economic focuses in the world. /Turkiye/
 SALIHREIS FRIGATE TO SAIL TO ENGLANDThe Salihreis Frigate set out from the Maritime Command in Golcuk to sail to England to attend the education programme. In a statement made by the Maritime Command, Salihreis, which is one of the most modern ships of the Turkish Naval Forces, will attend the education programme 'preparation for battle' to be held for the NATO members' ships in Plymouth, between 15 March and 28 April. /Turkiye/
 TOSKAY IN IRANState Minister Tunca Toskay, who is responsible for economy, has gone to Iran to attend the Trade Ministers' Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). ECO Trade Ministers' The first meeting will be held in Tehran today. The Ministers are expected to sign the 'ECO Commercial Cooperation Agreement' for free trade between the member countries. /Star/
 WOMEN TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY UNDER CONTRACTThe Minister of National Defence Sabahattin Cakmakoglu stated that new military regulations allowing civilians to serve in their area of expertise, are being drawn up and expected to be put into effect this year. The new laws will apply to both men and women and will provide the new officers serving under contract with the same rights as officers already in the military. In implementing the new laws, the military aims to decrease the need for reserve conscript officers in the military. /Cumhuriyet/
 OKUYAN TO CLOSE EMPLOYMENT AUTHORITYThe Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Yasar Okuyan said, "I will close the Employment Authority, since it has become a burden to the State for 30 years with its more than 2 thousand workers. Stressing that the Employment Authority has done nothing else but to send workers to Germany, Minister Okuyan pointed out that the Authority will be restructured. /Hurriyet/
 DECISION DAY FOR ATTACK HELICOPTER PROJECTThe decision on one of the biggest defence projects in Turkey, the 4-billion dollar helicopter tender will discussed today. Premier Bulent Ecevit, the Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu and National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu will convene today at the office of the Undersecretariat of the Defence Industry. in 145 attack helicopter co-production has been postponed for the third time. The competitors for the 145 attack helicopters are American Bell-Textron and Boeing, French-German Eurocopter, Italian Agusta and Russian-Israel Kamov Companies. /Hurriyet/
 IZZET BAYSAL DIESCharitable businessman, 93-year old Izzet Baysal died yesterday. He set up 110 education and health centres during his life, and had been awarded the 'State Superiority Performance Medal`. The Governor of Bolu, Nusret Miroglu stated that a State Ceremony will be organized for him and he will be buried at the Abant Izzet Baysal University's Campus. President Suleyman Demirel, Motherland Party Leader Mesut Yilmaz and the Speaker of the TGNA Yildirim Akbulut sent messages of condolence to his family. /Hurriyet/
 TREASURY ISSUES BONDSThe Treasury Undersecretariat will issue two-year term bonds and 14-month term bonds, on March 10, just prior to the Feast of the Sacrifice. The repayment of the two-year term bonds will be on January 23, 2002, and for the other bond May 23, 2001. The Treasury will repay a total of domestic debts, worth 3.145 quadrillion TL on March 15. /Milliyet/
 IFC LOANS FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMSThe General Director of Demirbank, Hasan Akcakayalioglu, stated that meetings concerning loans worth $112 million which will be extended by the IFC, affiliated to the World Bank, were about to be completed. Akcakayalioglu said that previous IFC loan worth $6.5 million had been used by export companies and added, "We have joint initiatives with the IFC to help industrialists in the earthquake-hit region. With an agreement, to be signed in the near future, a loan worth $112 million will be provided". /Milliyet/
 IT IS THE TURN OF TUPRASThe Privatization Administration Board (OIB) has launched initiatives to offer 15 % of shares of TUPRAS to the public. The shares are expected to be offered on April 7 by the Garanti, Osmanli Bank, Korfezbank, Is Bank, Yapi and Kredi Bank, Akbank, Alternatif Bank, Disbank, Finansbank, Iktisat Bank, Kentbank, Kocbank, TEB, TSKB, Ulusalbank and Vakifbank. /Milliyet/
 STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM UNDERWAYIt is reported that following an operation by security forces during which the head of the Hizbullah terrorist organization, Huseyin Velioglu, was killed, a total of 400 bodies have been found in 11 cities, the murders for which are now discovered. The Governor of the Emergency Rule Region (OHAL), Gokhan Aydiner, said that the struggle against the PKK terrorist organization was continuing and pointed out that there were currently 600 PKK members in the region and most of them were sheltered in Northern Iraq. He added that operations in search of the terrorists were in progress. /Milliyet/
 DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IMPLEMENTATION ON MARCH 26The implementation of daylight saving time will begin on March 26. The clocks will be set one hour ahead at 1:00 a.m. This aims to save energy worth nearly 12 trillion TL and will continue until October 29, 2000. /Milliyet/
 PANGALOS: "I PITIED OCALAN"The former Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos made a statement to the 'Elefterotipiya' newspaper, published in Greece and said that the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, was to have been sheltered at the Greek Embassy in Kenya for three days at least and added that, he had given an order to send Ocalan away. Pangalos stated that after Ocalan illegally entered Greece, he exerted great efforts to have him expelled. Pangalos also remarked that he had received full support from Prime Minister Kostas Simitis on the Ocalan decision and added that if PASOK wins the general elections on April 9, he is ready to become the Minister. /Milliyet/
 WIND OF CHANGE IN THE STATEThe Turkish Government has adopted a report prepared to harmonize with the Copenhagen criteria. The report includes various issues such as an amendment to the structure of the National Security Council (NSC) and improvements in the field of human rights and democratization. Deputy Prime Minister, Devlet Bahceli, will issue a statement concerning this report today. /Milliyet/
 TURKISH HOUSES TO BE SEEN ON INTERNETSmall models of old Turkish houses, made by Turkish artist, Sule Ulgen can be seen on Internet. Among these will be houses in Safranbolu, which are under the protection of UNESCO. Ulgen had previously exhibited in Ankara, Istanbul, Brussels, Paris, Anvers and Jordan. /Aksam/
 TURKISH REMEDY FOR THE JAUNDICEIstanbul Medical Faculty marked another success in the medical world. Istanbul Medical Faculty's Chairman of the Virology Desk, Prof. Selim Badur, who graduated from the Pasteur University, has been working on a project to prevent the spread of Hepatitis C and E since 1990. His project aims to remove the elements that cause jaundice which is becoming widespread in Mediterranean countries. Badur said, "The details of this project that I am chairing, will be sent to the European Union members shortly. The results will be announced by the scientists during the Viral Hepatitis Congress to be held in 9 and 11 November in Istanbul." /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 HELICOPTER TENDER BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the tender for the purchase of helicopters. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Ankara is pondering over the helicopter production project, known as the greatest defence tender of recent years, as much as for the nuclear power plant to be built in Akkuyu. Just as in the tender for the nuclear power plant, intense lobbying and contacts are going on in Ankara regarding the helicopter tender.
When we had the opportunity to talk to Prime Minister Ecevit on the subject, he stated that there was intense lobbying on the issue. However, he did not believe that it would be proper to talk alone with the representatives of the firms and countries. He thought it would be more approppriate to hold the meeting where the decisions will be made instead of a briefing on the subject.
In answer to the question on weather political relations would be influential on the decision, Ecevit answered that Turkey had good relations with all the countries tendering such as Russian-Israeli partnership, German-French consortium and the US and therefore, he believed that it would not be proper to use a political criterion on the issue. As is the case of the nuclear power plant the standards given by technical experts will be taken as the basis. Furthermore, the resources of Turkey had be taken into consideration. Finance for the nuclear power is to be provided by the firm to which win the tender, but this is not the case in the helicopter tender.
The production of 50 helicopters out of 145, F-16 installations amount to two billion dollars. Intense political lobbying is going on, however, both the Prime Minister and the Chief of General Staff are distancing themselves away from the tenders.
The decision is hoped to be reached at the meeting, the Defence Industry Executive Committee will hold today."
 AN IMPORTANT BALKAN MEETING BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on the meeting held between the Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The meeting held by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem with his Greek and Bulgarian counterparts is evaluated as symbolic. The fact that this meeting has taken place in the border towns of the three countries confirms this view.
The meeting began in Plovdiv, with Bulgarian Foreign minister Nantenca Mihailova as the hostess. After which they went on to Edirne, Turkey for luncheon. In the afternoon they met in Orestiada, Greece with George Papandreu as the host. This is the first such meeting in the Balkans. The officials state that symbolism may be in the fore plan but they also stress that these symblolic intiatives hold great importance for the Balkans which is a boiling cauldron.
When the relations between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria are at issue, the importance of this joint initative increases. We have seen how relations between Turkey and Greece have improved in as short a time as seven months. We also recall how the relations between Bulgaria and Turkey, which was at a low ebb at the beginning of the 1990s has developed.
The fact that was not very well-known in Turkey was that the relations between Greece and Bulgaria were not good either. However, in the light of the past, woven with conflicts, the message Cem, Papandreu and Mihailova are giving is clear. The three Ministers are briefly stating that they are coming together and taking steps in line with their common interests and inspiring hope in the Balkans.
It is a significant message issued at this time, as those who are burning with the desire to realize their dream of a "Greater Serbia" are still in power. On the Albanian side, dreams of a "Greater Albania" are not over yet. The armed conflicts between Serbs and Albanians, which led to a new tension in Mitrovitza, Kosovo can be closely followed. There are new reports on armed confliccts between the Albanian militia and the Serbian forces. There are other omens of new conflicts in Serbia.
In short, as the three Ministers meet in a friendly atmosphere at the border, news concerning new conflicts smell of blood come. However, they have to proceed in order to institutialize this trilateral togetherness, as the Balkans have not reached a peaceful solution yet. Therefore, there is need for such cooperation. We also know that, if this is not achieved the initiative will pass on to foreign powers."
 BAKU-CEYHAN REPORT BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Sebahattin Onkibar writes on the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The final news on the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline was the signing of the agreement by the leaders of the countries concerned and the President of the US. With these signatures a political intention was expressed and the project gained a new identity. However, despite these signatures some hitches on the issue appeared. President Demirel immediately intervened, convinced both the Azerbaijani President, Haidar Aliyev and the Georgian President, Edouard Shevardnadze. After a few more such interventions the path of the project opened and the beginning process has been reached. Certainly, some time has to pass for the implementation of the project. Financial problems of the companies untarking the project have not been overcome. Studies concerning these issues are being conducted at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
Not only Iran, but also Russia is trying to hinder this project. Taking the results of the last Election into consideration, Iran is almost winking at the US on the issue. The Iranian Deputy Oil Minister, in an interview he gave to IRNA, stated that the most economic route for Caspian oil isthrough Iranian soil to the Gulf, his remarks were thought to be aiming at the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project. However, no results can be achieved with this stance. The failure of this project means thatthe signatures of President Clinton and the leaders of the concerned countries would reduce their importance and therefore, no country will allow this. President Demirel has engaged politics with this issue. Otherwise the project may have been shelved before. That is why we are insisting on the election of President Demirel for a second term."
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