|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-03-09
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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...
 JORDANIAN KING CALLS UPON TURKISH BUSINESSMENKing Abdullah Bin-Al Huseyin of Jordan, who has paid an official visit to Turkey, has proposed that Turkish businessmen take advantage of Jordan in order to overcome US quotas. King Abdullah attended a meeting of the Turco-Jordanian Business Council held in Istanbul yesterday, together with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel; stating that a Free Trade Agreement would be signed between the US and Jordan within this year, he called upon Turkish textile producers to invest in the Organized Free Zones in Jordan. King Abdullah remarked that those who are involved in the textile and ready-to-wear sectors and are experiencing quota problems will be able to sell their products without quota and customs inhibitions to the US. He further remarked that Jordan is ready to help Turkey on this issue.
King Abdullah mentioned that railways had been privatized in Jordan last year, and telecommunications and postal services would be privatized in the near future. He said that Turkey could use Jordan as a springboard for the Middle East, and added that he would make every effort to ensure the success of Turkish businessmen in Jordan. President Suleyman Demirel said for his part that Jordan was one of the most important states involved in the Middle East Peace Process, and added that relations with Jordan should be developed in every field. Demirel remarked that they also desired to invest in other countries in conjunction with Jordanian businessmen. Concerning the water problem in the region, Demirel said, "Israel, Palestine and Jordan; these three countries will together consider a joint venture. If they want to purchase water, we will sell it to them". /Star/
 SIGNATURES ARE READYThe partners in the government have completed signing the proposals for an amendment to the Constitution and have sent them to the Head Office of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). The coalition parties have collected 327 signatures for Article 101, 255 signatures for Article 69 and 245 for Article 86. The Speaker of the TGNA, Yildirim Akbulut, said, "I will immediately hand these signatures over the Constitutional Commission". It was also decided that the amendments would be debated separately by the TGNA following the Feast of Sacrifice. /Star/
 ECEVIT TO VISIT PAKISTAN AND INDIAForeign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli has stated that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will visit India shortly and that Ecevit would also pay an official visit to Pakistan as soon as possible. Atacanli's statement was interpreted as a 'conciliatory message' to Pakistan, which was affronted by the fact that Ecevit also intends to go to India on 30 March. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN IN TURKEYThe European Commissioner responsible for EU Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, is to arrive in Turkey for the first time since the proclamation of Turkey's EU membership candidacy. Turkey will ask Verheugen to immediately put into effect the EU's material and technical help to allow Turkey to prepare herself for membership. Beginning his meetings in Istanbul today, Verheugen will proceed to Ankara tomorrow and is expected to meet with Premier Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Premier Devlet Bahceli and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. /Milliyet/
 AMBASSADORS TALK ABOUT EUA Panel entitled, "The Ambassadors explain: Spain, Portugal and Greece's EU Experiences" was organized at Bilkent University in Ankara. During their speechs, the Spanish Ambassador to Ankara, Jesus Atienza, the Portuguese Ambassador, Jose Stichini Vilela, and the Greek Ambassador, Ioannis Korantis, stated that they believed that Turkey would become a full member of the EU; however, first Turkey should implement certain criteria. /Milliyet/
 HIZBULLAH TERRORISTS CAPTUREDDuring operations carried out by security forces, two members of the Hizbullah terrorist organization were captured in Osmaniye, eight in Diyarbakir, and three were arrested in Tatvan. Officials said that raids in search of the terrorists were on-going. /Star/
 ABDULLAH GUL: CANDIDATE FOR FP CHAIRMANAbdullah Gul, a Virtue Party (FP) Deputy from Kayseri, announced his candidacy yesterday for the FP Chairmanship. The FP's General Congress will be held in May. The present Chairman of the FP, Recai Kutan, said that everyone had the right to stand as candidate for the Chairmanship and wished him good luck. /Star/
 DRUG RAIDDuring raids by Icel Directorate of Security's Narcotics Teams, security forces seized 630 kilos of unadultered morphine and 22 tons of hashish. Icel's Security Director Haluk Bahcekapili stated that the 22-ton cache was the largest confiscated in a single raid in the world and it was worth 12 trillion TL. An investigation into the incident is underway. /Turkiye/
 PAPANDREOU PHONES CEM ABOUT AKKUYUAthens is concerned over Turkey's venture to establish a nuclear power station in Akkuyu. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou phoned his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem yesterday and expressed his concern over the issue. Papanderou said, "Western European tourists are concerned about two things: one is the damage to the environment by nuclear power, the other is war. The building of a nuclear power station in Turkey during this period of time when the Aegean is attempting to be turned into a 'Sea of Peace' will concern Western Europeans. This will harm the tourism sector in both countries". Cem said for his part that the construction of any nuclear power station without adhering to the certain security criteria embodied in Western standards was out of the question. /Hurriyet/
 NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL TO VISIT TURKEYThe NATO Secretary-General George Robertson will arrive in Turkey today on a two-day official visit. Robertson will be received by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and will also meet Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY WARNS SYRIA OVER THE BORDER ISSUETurkey has warned Syria to change its policies concerning Hatay, a province in Southern Turkey. Following the Adana Accord in which Syria committed itself to stop supporting terrorism, Ankara started to exert efforts to overcome the other problems in existence between Turkey and Syria. Ankara has expressed its concern that many official Syrian books and documents show Hatay as being within Syrian borders, and presented a document to the Damascus Administration which included a condition to respect their mutual borders as laid down by international agreements. Ankara has issued the message that if this problem is overcome, relations between the two countries will be much better in the near future. A Turkish delegation headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal met Syrian officials yesterday and discussed the security mechanisms in place between the two countries. The outcome of the meeting was the decision to engage in further negotiations. /Hurriyet/
 EL SARA: "PKK IS FINISHED"The Syrian Foreign Minister, Faruk El Sara, declared the end of the PKK terrorist organization while replying to the questions of Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand yesterday on CNN Turk. El Sara said that matters concerning the head of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, and the PKK itself were no longer an issue, and added, "A new page of history has been started". The Syrian Foreign Minister extended an invitation to Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to come to Damascus. /Hurriyet/
 RAPID PRIVATIZATIONDuring a press conference, the Minister of State responsible for Privatization, Yuksel Yalova, and the Chairman of the Privatization Administration Board, Ugur Bayar, supplied information about the new privatization plans. Yalova stated that they have launched tenders for public shares in six companies, and in nine facilities belonging to two companies, including the Black Sea Copper Facilities, SEKA, TUMOSAN and EBK. In the meantime, the Government will also give the go-ahead to the privatization and autonomy of the public banks after the Feast of Sacrifice next week. The final revision of the autonomy procedures for the Ziraat and Halk Banks is being organized by the Treasury. /Turkiye/
 BORUSAN AND TIME IN PARTNERSHIPThe Turkish company Borusan, which has made many investments in various areas, has become associated with the one of the leading companies in the data processing sector, Time. Borusan bought 49% of the shares in the Time Data Processing Company. A member of the Borusan Executive Board, Bulent Demircioglu, stated that their target is to join Time's technological know-how with Borusan's experience in international trading. /Turkiye/
 GARANTI TO SELL SHARES TO FOREIGNERSIt is reported that Garanti Bank will complete the sell-off of 9.6 % of its shares to foreign investors by March 22. The price and number of these shares will be set by the end of the Road-Show on March 21. /Star/
 MOBIUS TO VISIT TURKEYDr.Mark Mobius, a noted figure in international financial circles, will arrive in Turkey in order to attend the 'Third Developing Global Stock Exchanges' Conference and Fair', jointly organized by the International Stock Exchanges' Federation and the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB). During the Conference and Fair on April 5-7, recent developments in capital markets in developing countries will be deliberated. /Hurriyet/
 BRITAIN CAN NOW CONNECT TO THE INTERNET USING VESTELOne of the biggest television producers in Turkey, Vestel, aims to sell 750,000 TVs with Internet capabilities to Britain through its main distributor in Britain, Alba-Bush. Executive Board Chairman of the Zorlu Holding Company, Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, declared his belief that his company was the greatest TV producer in the world and added, "We have invented a great thing, that is, the Internet-TV. This television connects to the Internet thanks to a small internal computer. We will export an initial 250,000 Internet-TVs to Britain and this amount will reach 750,000 in the year 2001." /Aksam/
 A STAR FOR SWEDISH INDUSTRYAlarko Chairman Ishak Alaton has been declared 'The Star who Shows Swedish Industry the Way Forward" by the Swedish Ambassador to Ankara, Sture Theolin. During the Swedish Commercial Centre Organization's General Council meeting, Alaton stated that he was stepping down so as to give young people a chance in industry. He also sent a letter to Ambassador Theolin in which he complimented him for his contributions to economic relations between the two countries. It was stated that there were 73 companies of Swedish origin in Turkey and that this number is expected to reach 100 shortly. /Aksam/
 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INCREASEDAt the first month of this year, industrial sector production increased by 4.2%. In a statement issued by the State Institute of Statistics (SIS), in comparison to last year, production had decreased by 15.4% in the mining sector but increased by 4.6% in the production sector, also showing an increase of 10.6% in the electricity, gas and water sectors. /Aksam/
 TUZMEN: "EXPORTS SHOULD BE INCREASED"The Foreign Trade Undersecretary, Kursad Tuzmen, stated that exports should be increased by 7-8% in order to reach their targets. Tuzmen, speaking at an information session on "Encouraging Exports" at the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ATO), recalled that exports had increased by 5% in the January-February period this year compared to the same period last year; he pointed out the importance of this increase being permanent. Tuzmen added, "The current foreign exchange policy creates problems for exporters. Exporters should be encouraged." /Aksam/
 BELGIAN POLITICIANS MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO TURKEYBelgian female members of Parliament have suggested that a Ministry of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities, which can be found in some European countries, should be also established in Turkey. The Belgian politicians were speaking at the European-Mediterranean Female Politicians' Forum that had been organized to mark the World's Women Day. They defended the idea that a Ministry of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunity should be present in all 28 countries which were attended the meeting. The Belgian political representatives also stated that a delegation would visit Turkey in the middle of April; it was thought that the women might be helpful in the establishment of this Ministry. /Aksam/
 MILITARY COOPERATION IN THE BALKANSThe Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Boyko Noev, and the Turkish Minister of National Defence, Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, met yesterday. During the encounter Turkey's participation in the military manoeuvres that will be organized by Bulgaria and Romania came onto the agenda. Turkey warmly welcomed this suggestion and it was decided that negotiations concerning the date and the coverage of the manoeuvres should be launched. /Cumhuriyet/
 STATE INVESTMENT OF 515 TRILLION TL IN ISTANBULThe Turkish State will invest 515 trillion 774 billion TL in Istanbul this year; the total amount of State investments this year is expected to be 7 quadrillion 612 trillion TL. According to State Planning Organization (DPT) data, Istanbul is to receive the lion's share of investment with Ankara coming second with 409 trillion 992 billion TL. Izmir will receive the third largest share of state investments with 186 trillion 98 billion TL. On the other side of the coin, Bayburt is the province which is to be granted the lowest amount of investment, a mere 2 trillion 67 billion TL. /Sabah/
 OKSUZ'S STATEMENT ON GSM TENDERMinister for Communications, Enis Oksuz has reported that interest in the GSM tender is very high and that consumers will be much better off after the bidding is concluded. Oksuz said, "The number of those who applied for our specification document has reached 21. Of course it is not clear which ones will become involved in the bidding for tender, which will form consortia or the names of these bidders as yet. Balances within the market have begun to change, so not only the price of equipment and links to the network will be decreased after this tender is concluded." /Sabah/
 TURKISH LEADERS' MESSAGES ON 8 MARCHWhile World's Women's Day was being celebrated in various ways on 8 March, Turkish political leaders pointed out the necessity of the protection of and improvements in Turkish women's rights. President Suleyman Demirel stated that Turkish women had obtained their rights much earlier than in many countries; however, it could not be said that these rights are fully reflected in all aspects of social life. The Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Yildirim Akbulut, stated that the struggle for women's rights was continuing in many countries. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit congratulated women on World Women's Day and gave red carnations to his party's female politicians who were present at the DSP's Parliamentary Group meeting yesterday. Ecevit said, "Secularism is one of the guarantees of gender equality." /Cumhuriyet/
 PISKINSUT IN ITALYThe Head of the Human Rights Commission, Sema Piskinsut, has declared the Prime Ministry's decision to establish a 'monitoring delegation' in the fight to wipe out torture, which is a sign that the Executive has had its awareness of the issue raised. Piskinsut went to Napoli to attend the European-Mediterranean Female Politicians' Forum, at which she said, "It is planned that a committee to track the progress of the eradiction of torture will be established within the Supreme Council of Human Rights, which operates to ensure the coordination of seven Ministries attached to the Prime Ministry." /Cumhuriyet/
 DE SOTO VISITS TURKEYThe United Nations' (UN) Special Representative for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, will arrive in Ankara today. De Soto's visit is important in terms of the acknowledgement of each side's stance prior to the the third round of talks that will be held in New York on 23 May. Also the U.S. Special Representative for Cyprus, Alfred Moses, is expected to visit Ankara and Athens after his meetings in Cyprus, in order to explain his opinions on a solution to the Cyprus issue. After these visits, Ankara is expected to welcome the EU's current President, the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Gama, on 14 March. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH PAINTERS' EXHIBITION IN PARISPainters Zehra Kaptan Aral and Cihat Aral, who were invited to France by the Saint-Claude Municipal Council, have opened their second personal exhibitions totalling 66 works at the Anatolian Cultural Centre in Paris. Zehra Aral depicts the dialectic of human life and nature with the use of plain composition in her paintings whereas Cihat Aral reflects an effective language of art based on social truths in his paintings. /Cumhuriyet/
 HOPE FOR TOURISM IN 2000Recalling that the year 1999 had been a bad year for tourism, the Chairman of the Turkish Hotels' Union, Sinan Babila, stated that they were hopeful for the year 2000. Babila said, "Bookings during the first quarter of the year have shown that we can match 1998 figures in the year 2000, which means an income of $7-8 billion." He also stressed that the declaration of Turkey as an EU candidate and stability in Turkish politics had benefitted the image of Turkey, and this would affect tourism positively. /Turkiye/
 19TH INTERNATIONAL ISTANBUL FILM FESTIVALThe 19th International Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Culture and Arts Foundation, will be held between April 15 and 30. The Festival will begin with the film 'Everything About My Mother' directed by Pedro Almodovar and will end with the film 'Mozart in Turkey' directed by Mick Csaky. During the Festival, a total of 180 films from all five continents will be shown. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE REAL AGENDA BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the relations with the European Union. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The real aim of the Republic of Turkey is to be a member of the European Union. The criteria adopted by the European Union epitomize the modern standards of civilization; these are an indication of whether we shall be able to reach the level of modern civilization or not. Certainly, our efforts which have been going on for 200 years have not been in vain, but it is also a fact that so far we have been unable to attain our goal.
We have the potential. What we lack is the will-power. Changes or reforms, however one may choose to call them, can only be made when the political will to do so is not lacking in any respect. When such a desire has been displayed, progress was certain. But to choose to proceed slowly is no longer enough.
Today there are those who are opposed to the EU criteria. Those who are afraid of weakening our national culture were convinced that this culture could reach the heights it deserved. However, there is still the concern that our rights as a State will be restricted. Some people believe that they will lose their power, the privileges and gains they have achieved using modern methods. These fears are all groundless. Which EU country has had the rights of its State restricted? Where have bureaucrats lost their prestige?
These are all delaying tactics using outmoded excuses which have been put forward in order to benefit from the status quo. Turkey, will eventually become a Eurasian state enjoying full benefits of these European criteria; we call this "Great Turkey". Such terms are irritating to some of our citizens. Even those arguments which seem most reasonable and are against these civilizing criteria cannot be accepted. They delay our reaching modern standards. Not a moment, let alone a day, should be lost in gaining ground for our aims."
 THE JORDANIAN KING'S VISIT BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the water issue in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Jordan is the Middle-Eastern country Turkey feels closest to. In fact, Ankara has had no problems with the Hashemi Dynasty in the past. The late King, Hussein, had great sympathy for Turkey and respect for President Demirel. The changing conditions both in the Middle East and the world brought Ankara and Amman together. At present, close ties are developing between the two States under the name "special relations".
The visit of King Abdullah is a turning point in the strengthening of these relations. The young King, whom we have been able to observe at the dinner given by the Foreign Economic Relations Council in his honour, has shown that he is walking in his father's footsteps as far as every issue is concerned.
One important characteristic of Turco-Jordanian relations is that they share common interests; in this way strategic relations have been formed. Cooperation in the areas of security, defence and the fight against terrorism is getting stronger every day. The two countries are working for the establishment of peace and stability in the region. During the negotiations in Ankara, economic cooperation was also discussed.
King Abdullah, in a statement he made at the dinner, said that Preferred Industrial Regions established in Jordan and the Free Trade Agreement expected to be signed shortly with the US, would provide great opportunities for Turkish entrepreneurs. Turkey could open up to Jordan, other Arab states and to the US through this medium. He also called on Turks to come to Jordan and benefit from these advantages.
In fact, if Turkish entrepreneurs used this advantage, bilateral trade would increase to over $100 million and the would be able to launch initatives in third countries.
One of the most important issues is the Jordanian request to buy water from Turkey. The idea of selling water from the Manavgat River to Jordan via Israel has been discussed for some time. We learned that Jordan does not look warmly on bringing water via a pipeline from Haifa to her land all by herself, as the cost would be very high. The King wants this to be a regional scheme. That is to say, Israel and Palestine should also participate in this venture.
It is understood that Jordan wants the waters which would flow to the sea in any case to be given to her for free, at least for a time or at a very special discount price. Turkey wants to sell these waters. However, in the words of an official, a dispensation may be granted to Jordan.
Certainly this issue cannot be expected to reach a conclusion during King Abdullah's visit to Istanbul. It will continue with bilateral or trilateral meetings and negotiations."
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