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Turkish Press Review, 00-03-23

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

23.03.2000

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY
  • [02] ECEVIT: "TURKEY WILL BE READY FOR EU MEMBERSHIP IN 2004"
  • [03] ECEVIT: "WORLD IS BEGINNING TO RECOGNIZE TRNC"
  • [04] AMNESTY BILL AGAIN ON AGENDA
  • [05] TURKISH FISHERMEN BOMBED
  • [06] SECOND GLOBAL WATER FORUM
  • [07] NEVRUZ RECEPTION DISCOMFORT IN ANKARA
  • [08] TANTAN MEETS SCHILLY
  • [09] TRANSIT TARIFF AGREEMENT FOR BAKU-CEYHAN
  • [10] FIVE HIZBULLAH TERRORISTS SEIZED
  • [11] TED ANKARA COLLEGE TOP IN EUROPE
  • [12] ADMIRAL ERDIL IN ROME
  • [13] AMERICAN DELEGATION IN EARTHQUAKE ZONE
  • [14] MAYOR OF LONDON IN ANKARA
  • [15] CHP MAYORS CONVENE
  • [16] TURKISH-SYRIAN TRADE RELATIONS IMPROVE
  • [17] TUPRAS ROAD SHOW ALL SET TO START IN ATHENS NEXT WEEK
  • [18] AIESEC MEETING IN ISTANBUL
  • [19] MORE LETTERS FOR IMF AND WORLD BANK
  • [20] ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL YACHTING AND MARITIME FAIR
  • [21] DEMIRBANK'S BREAKTHROUGH ABROAD
  • [22] IAA'S ORDINARY GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
  • [23] YASED MEMBERS ARE HOPEFUL
  • [24] TREASURY BORROWS FOREIGN CURRENCY FOR FOURTH TIME
  • [25] TURKCELL TO BE INCLUDED IN NASDAQ
  • [26] TTK PLANS TO SELL 2.85 MLN TONS OF COAL IN 2000
  • [27] VESTEL'S ACHIEVEMENT IN GLOBAL COMPETITION
  • [28] THEATRE TI TO REPRESENT TURKEY IN POLAND
  • [29] PAATA BURCHULADZE TO STAGE CONCERT
  • [30] GALATASARAY-MALLORCA MATCH TODAY
  • [31] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [31] NO CRISIS WILL ERUPT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [32] HARSH WINDS OF NEVRUZ BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE TO BE LAUNCHED TODAY

    The amendments envisaged to Article 101 of the Constitution concerning the Presidential Election, Article 69 concerning the closure of political parties and Article 89 will be debated by the Constitutional Commission today. The first ballot will concern these three articles, and it is expected that the proposed amendments will be accepted by the ruling parties. /Milliyet/

    [02] ECEVIT: "TURKEY WILL BE READY FOR EU MEMBERSHIP IN 2004"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit declared that in completing her reforms, Turkey would be ready for EU membership in four years. Premier Ecevit hosted a dinner on Tuesday night for the EU countries' Ambassadors in Ankara. In his opening remarks at the dinner, Ecevit said that Turkey would do whatever it took to gain full membership of the EU, and mentioned in particular his government's legal reforms, including the preparation of new amendments to the civil and penal codes. Underlining Turkey's fight against terrorism, Ecevit asked EU countries not to support terrorist groups either directly or indirectly under the pretext of human rights. /Hurriyet/

    [03] ECEVIT: "WORLD IS BEGINNING TO RECOGNIZE TRNC"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the world had begun to recognize the extistence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and that a compromise on the Cyprus issue is more likely be secured if the Greek-Cypriots, too, see this fact. Speaking at the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Parliamentary Group meeting yesterday, Ecevit drew attention to the fact that EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said Southern Cyprus did not represent the Turkish population living in the northern part of the Island. The Prime Minister also noted that the US Special Presidential Envoy for Cyprus Alfred Moses had also pointed out the same fact, saying, "We accept that Southern Cyprus does not represent the Turks of the TRNC". Ecevit added, "I think it is the first time that the word TRNC has ever been used officially. Such statements show that the existence of separate state is recognized by the world. As soon as the Greek-Cypriots, too, see this simple and clear fact, an environment conducive to a compromise that could satisfy both parties can easily be created". /Turkish Daiy News/

    [04] AMNESTY BILL AGAIN ON AGENDA

    The Amnesty Bill which was suspended for a time as it had been vetoed by President Suleyman Demirel, causing a crisis between the coalition partners, will again be placed onto the agenda of the TGNA following the debates of the recent Constitutional amendments. After the Democratic Left Party's group meeting, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit answered journalists' questions saying that the Amnesty Bill would come before the TGNA in the next few days. Meanwhile, prisoners being held in Bayrampasa Prison refused to take the roll-call and wouldn't meet their relatives, who had come to visit them, in protest against the suspension of the Amnesty Bill. /Aksam/

    [05] TURKISH FISHERMEN BOMBED

    Turkish fishermen, fishing for turbot in the Black Sea, were attacked by Ukrainian war planes. During the attack, two fishing boats sank and three fishermen were killed, while 47 other crew-members were seized by Ukrainian security forces. On the second day of the Feast of Sacrifice, 10-15 fishing vessels sailed into the Black Sea from Sariyer, Istanbul. While the men were fishing in international waters, they accidently entered Ukrainian waters. Ukrainian Coast-guard Security vessels began to follow the fishing boats, in the meantime, a jet from the Ukrainian Air Forces dropped bombs on them. During the attack, two vessels, the 'Serif Cinar` and the 'Yavrum Mehmet` sank; Durmus Cinar and two other unidentified fishermen were killed. The families of the dead men accused the Ukraine of attacking unarmed vessels. Turkish diplomats have already initiated attempts to ensure the release of the detained fishermen. /Aksam/

    [06] SECOND GLOBAL WATER FORUM

    The Second Global Water Forum was held in The Hague, Holland attended by 150 countries and many non-governmental organizations. During this Forum, Turkey had the opportunity to explain its views on the distribution of water and to talk of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). Turkey repeated its opinion that the distribution of waters of the Euphrates and Tigris should be discussed not at an international level but by the three countries concerned. Baghdad and Damascus are in agreement with this and are in favour of tri-partite cooperation. /Milliyet/

    [07] NEVRUZ RECEPTION DISCOMFORT IN ANKARA

    As the reception hosted by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Northern Iraq caused discomfort in Ankara, the KDP's Representative, Safin Dizayee, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. He has been warned that the KDP should not to behave as a state, and Ankara's sensitivity on and concern over the matter have been expressed. Dizayee hosted a reception at a five-star hotel in Ankara to mark Nevruz, which none of the Turkish officials attended. /Aksam/

    [08] TANTAN MEETS SCHILLY

    Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan met Germany's Interior Minister Otto Schilly after which they held a joint press conference. Tantan stated that Germany was determined to act against the activities of terrorist organizations. He added that the two Ministers had exchanged information about smuggling, a problem which threatens both countries. Meanwhile, Schilly said a decision had been reached to form a working group concerning Turks employed in Germany and Germans undertaking work in Turkey; this group is to hold its first meeting in Germany. Tantan also met representatives of various Turkish Associations at the Turkish Cultural Centre. /Turkiye/

    [09] TRANSIT TARIFF AGREEMENT FOR BAKU-CEYHAN

    Azerbaijan and Georgia have reached an agreement concerning the transit tariff imposed on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline by Georgia. The President of Azerbaijan, Haydar Aliyev, is continuing his round of talks in Tbilisi; he met the Georgian President, Eduard Shevardnadze, during the meeting he pointed out that there are those who are opposed to the implementation of this project. Shevardnadze added that all Western countries, particularly Turkey, supported the improvement of friendship between Azerbaijan and Georgia. /Turkiye/

    [10] FIVE HIZBULLAH TERRORISTS SEIZED

    During raids carried out by security forces in Mersin, five members of the Hizbullah terrorist organization were seized. Officials said that rooting-out operations in search of terrorists were on-going. /Star/

    [11] TED ANKARA COLLEGE TOP IN EUROPE

    A TED Ankara College student, Ustun Ozgur, has come first in the 'International Mathematics Competition' organized by the Council for International Schools in Europe. During the competition in Geneva on March 17-19, a team from TED College consisting of Ustun Ozgur, Engin Yagmur and Mehmet Akyol, came top. A total of 120 students from 23 schools in various countries - including Austria, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Russia, Norway and Turkey - took part in the competition. /Sabah/

    [12] ADMIRAL ERDIL IN ROME

    Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Ilhami Erdil, will hold a series of talks in Rome and attend the European Naval Forces' Commanders' Meeting. In a statement issued by the Secretary-General of Naval Forces' Command, it was said that members of the General Staff, Naval Commanders from 16 NATO member countries and from European countries which are not NATO members will attend this gathering. This top-level conference, which is attended by the Turkish Naval Forces' Commander each year, contributes to the improvement of mutual cooperation between Naval Commanders from various countries and enables an exchange of information between them. /Turkiye/

    [13] AMERICAN DELEGATION IN EARTHQUAKE ZONE

    Members of the Seismic Security Commission (CSSC) from California are visiting the earthquake zone and have begun to inspect the precautions taken following the Marmara Quake. The delegation visited the Coordinating Governor for the Disaster Region, Kutluay Oktem. The Governor stated, "The delegation arrived in Turkey to investigate how to become organized in the aftermath of a massive quake as this same situation may well occur in California. They liked our work." /Hurriyet/

    [14] MAYOR OF LONDON IN ANKARA

    The Mayor of London, Clive Martin, arrived in Ankara yesterday with a delegation comprising eight representatives from the British financial services sector. As part of a four-day visit to Turkey, Martin will meet President Suleyman Demirel, the State Minister responsible for privatization, Yuksel Yalova, the State Minister responsible for the economy, Recep Onal and Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek. They will later meet the Mayor of Istanbul and many businessmen in Istanbul. /Sabah/

    [15] CHP MAYORS CONVENE

    Republican People's Party (CHP) Mayors will attend the "Local Administrations' Meeting" in Ankara on March 23-24 to assess the municipal authorities' problems. A total of 372 Mayors from the CHP will initially be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan and later by the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, Yildirim Akbulut. /Sabah/

    [16] TURKISH-SYRIAN TRADE RELATIONS IMPROVE

    Sanliurfa Chamber of Trade and Industry (TSO) President Ismail Demirkol said that despite Turkey and Syria being neighbours, their trade relations are at a low point but added that the cold relations between the two countries had been warming up in recent days. He remarked that Syria is buying goods from European countries such as France and England but said that buying these products through Sanliurfa, the nearest city to Aleppo, Ar Raqqah and Al Hasakah, would be easier and cheaper for Syria. Demirkol explained that newly appointed northern Alleppo Governor Muhammed Mustafa Miro has a good relationship with Turkey, which would contribute to relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, Turkey will take part in the Turkish Export Goods Fair to be held in Damascus on April 7-11. /Turkish Daily News/

    [17] TUPRAS ROAD SHOW ALL SET TO START IN ATHENS NEXT WEEK

    The Privatization Administration Board (OIB) is setting out on a road show next Monday to promote state-owned refinery TUPRAS, OIB Head, Ugur Bayar, said yesterday. Subscription in the domestic market for 15% of TUPRAS shares began yesterday and will last until March 29. During the two-week road show, Turkish officials will sound out approximately 160 international investment funds, starting from Athens then moving on to Milan, Rotterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, London, New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, Bayar told reporters in Istanbul. /Turkish Daily News/

    [18] AIESEC MEETING IN ISTANBUL

    The International Chairmen's Meeting of AIESEC, an international organization of university students, is being held between March 21-31 in Istanbul. A total of 300 university students from 85 countries are attending the Meeting, the greatest Youth Congress in the year 2000. /Sabah/

    [19] MORE LETTERS FOR IMF AND WORLD BANK

    Turkey has sent an additional letter of intent to the IMF, under the agreed three-year economic programme. In this letter, information was supplied concerning those issues which were written into the main letter of intent presented to the IMF on December 9, 1999. It also detailed the evaluation undertaken during the IMF delegation's tour of inspection in February 2000. Meanwhile, Turkey also sent a letter of intent to the World Bank due to the economic reform package of loans, worth $750 million, which the World Bank intends to present to Turkey. It is reported that this letter will be discusssed at a meeting of the World Bank Executive Board on April 11. The Head of the World Bank, John Wolfensohn, will visit Ankara on May 24-25. /Star/

    [20] ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL YACHTING AND MARITIME FAIR

    The 20th Istanbul International Yachting and Maritime Fair (Boat 2000) was opened in Istanbul yesterday. A total of 110 firms, including many foreigners, are present at the Fair which has been organized by Intertex. The Fair will be open until March 26. /Sabah/

    [21] DEMIRBANK'S BREAKTHROUGH ABROAD

    Demirbank will hold a share of the Cingilli International Corporation, to be set up with a capital investment of $100 million in Holland. During a meeting of the Demirbank Executive Board yesterday, it was decided that the bank will control a share worth $99.9 million (102 million Euros) in the Dutch company. /Sabah/

    [22] IAA'S ORDINARY GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING

    International Advertising Associations' (IAA) Ordinary General Council Meeting, which gathers together representatives from those sectors that form the world of communications, was held yesterday. The Chairman of the Dogan Media Group, Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, was appointed to the Chairmanship of the IAA, which has more than 4,000 members in 95 countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] YASED MEMBERS ARE HOPEFUL

    According to the results for March, published by the Foreign Investors' Association (YASED), foreign investors began the year 2000 in an optimistic mood. Chairman Faruk Yoneyman delivered a speech at the YASED meeting in the Hilton Hotel, and said that Turkey had recovered well in six months in spite of all the terrible events it had experienced. Yoneyman said, "A more positive atmosphere is beginning for foreign investment establishments; 79% of our members believe that the speed of economic growth will increase and 86% believe that inflation will slow down. According to 65% of our members, foreign exchange rates will rise at a slower rate than that of inflation and 80% believe that the economic climate will improve for foreign investors." /Turkiye/

    [24] TREASURY BORROWS FOREIGN CURRENCY FOR FOURTH TIME

    The Treasury is planning to borrow US dollars or Euros for the fourth time this year. The Treasury officials began to meet the foreign banks concerning the export of bonds which will take place in April. It was stated that the foreign banks will present their suggestions by the end of this week and that the export of bonds, which are expected to cover a 10-year term, will garner between 500 million and 1 billion dollars. /Turkiye/

    [25] TURKCELL TO BE INCLUDED IN NASDAQ

    Turkcell, which is in partnership with the Finnish Sonera Company, will be included in the NASDAQ, the American Stock Exchange's technological market index. It was stated that Turkcell's value is currently between 20 and 25 billion dollars and that an agreement had been reached with NASDAQ officials. Turkcell will go to public in June. /Milliyet/

    [26] TTK PLANS TO SELL 2.85 MLN TONS OF COAL IN 2000

    State-run Turkish Coal Company's (TTK) General Manager Ismail Verimbas said that TTK plans to sell 2.85 million tons of coal this year. He added that the company will take advantage of all possibilities to increase production. /Turkish Daily News/

    [27] VESTEL'S ACHIEVEMENT IN GLOBAL COMPETITION

    The Executive Board Chairman of the Zorlu Holding Company, Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, delivered a speech at a branch meeting held in the Pine Bay Hotel in Kusadasi, and said, "The rumours about Vestel are all false. It is a global firm and its target is to become the world's preferred brand." Zorlu also noted that Vestel had been the export champion in 1999; their aim is to increase exports to 1.5 billion dollars in the year 2001. Zorlu added, "We are now among the biggest companies in the electrical goods and textile sectors as well. Vestel's share in the European TV market has reached 17% and our aim is to obtain a share in the American market." /Turkiye/

    [28] THEATRE TI TO REPRESENT TURKEY IN POLAND

    Theatre Ti will take part in the '25th International Krakow Alternative Theatre Festival', which will begin today and last until 27 March in Poland, at which it will stage the play entitled 'Waiting Room'. Theatre groups from Italy, Belgium, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Turkey and many other countries will be present at this Festival, the oldest in Poland. It is Turkey's first time at the Festival. /Cumhuriyet/

    [29] PAATA BURCHULADZE TO STAGE CONCERT

    Famous opera singer Paata Burchuladze will stage a concert at the Ataturk Cultural Centre at 19:00 as the guest of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Group. Orchestra Conductor Ivan Anguelov will host this concert at which Burchuladze, who rose to fame with his interpretation of Mozart and Verdi, will be the soloist. /Cumhuriyet/

    [30] GALATASARAY-MALLORCA MATCH TODAY

    Galatasaray will play Real Mallorca this evening in Istanbul. The first match was held in Spain last Thursday which Galatasaray won 4-1. Galatasaray is widely regarded as one of the football teams which are likely to make it to the UEFA semi-finals. /Star/

    [31] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [31] NO CRISIS WILL ERUPT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments regarding the amendments to the Constitution and regarding the Presidential elections. A summary of his column is as follows: "Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Mesut Yilmaz believes that there will be no crisis concerning the amendment to the Constitution regarding the Presidential elections. He stated that, as a Government, they were proceeding along the correct path to a brighter future. Yilmaz thought that the criticisms directed at himself and his party were unfair, and they were exerting every effort to have the amendment accepted by the Commission. In answer to a question asking if the Presidential elections would turn into a Government crisis, Yilmaz replied in the negative. He added that if they were unable to pass the Constitutional amendment, they would search for a new compromise and find it. He added that their Coalition had been working in harmony to obtain compromises. Yilmaz also added that it was understood that all discussions around his name were no more than speculation. He has stressed a few times that he is not going to stand for President, whether the amendment to the Constitution was accepted or not. Another point of discussion is Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code. The Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party has stated that they are opposed to abolishing this Article. Yilmaz declared that this was not the issue today, and that it could only be taken up after the amendment to the Constitution and the Presidential Election had been passed within a democratization package. "

    [32] HARSH WINDS OF NEVRUZ BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on the Nevruz celebrations. A summary of his column is as follows: "It was noted with pleasure that Nevruz, the unofficial Spring celebration was celebrated in the proper manner as a Festival with fire and folk dances as opposed to the blood-stained festivals of the previous years. The continuation of a peaceful atmosphere pleases everyone who lives within these borders. However, we have to recognize the winds blowing across the land with these festivities. If we examine the developments in countries surrounding Turkey and their reflections within our borders,, we can say that the State organizations displayed a balanced stance. The tendency to stress the universal aspect of Nevruz brought about the sharing of this event. Leaving this optimistic view aside, let us go on to talk about the reception to mark Nevruz hosted by the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) in Ankara after opening an office in Ankara. The IKDP tried to celebrate Nevruz as a national festival and moreover, succeeded in doing this! No-one from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the reception, but the embassies of European countries attached great importance to it. German Ambassador to Ankara, Rudolf Schmidt, and Italian Ambassador to Ankara Vittorio Claudio were among the guests; the US and many other European countries also sent top-level diplomats to the occasion. Such a close interest in the reception following the opening of a mere branch office should be underlined. A written statement was distributed at the reception which stated that Nevruz was a Kurdish holiday and stressed that their struggle for freedom, which started 2,500 years ago, was continuing unabated. It also added that today Kurds were living under modern-day tyrannies. The interest of Europe in the reception and the IKDP statement may be seen as two separate things but, in fact the platform is the same. If we assess this correctly, we can say that if the establishment of a Kurdish State in Northern Iraq comes up, among the first to recognize it will be Germany, Italy and the US. They will not do it for the cause of Kurdish freedom. They would like insert a State in the middle of Iran,Turkey and Iraq which they can use as tool. Some members of Parliament, from the Southeastearn provinces, were also among those who attended the reception.We hope that they knew what they were doing. Another striking development which coincided with the Nevruz celebrations is that the Armenian terrorist organization, ASALA, has again begun to raise its head. The Ministry of Foreign of Affairs instantly sent a note to Turkish diplomatic missions in foreign countries on this very matter, warning them to be careful. During the 1970s, Turkish diplomatic missions and diplomats abroad were frequently attacked by ASALA. Some of our diplomats were killed. When ASALA withdrew from the terrorist arena the PKK took its place. Today, as the PKK is abandoning the scene, is ASALA replacing it? Elsewhere, France has once more rejected the "massacre" bill brought by the Armenians. However, Armenian lobbies are continuing their work. The US and Italy are lined up but Armenia is staying away from such initiatives as she does not want to draw a reaction from Turkey. The assassination attempt on Arcadi Gukasian, elected President by the Armenians living in the Upper Karabakh region shows that internal stability will be hard to achieve there. If Armenia can create a basis on which she can improve her relations with Turkey, her economy will rapidly improve and she will easily open up to the world. If the supporters of Barzani and Talabani follow a policy of depending upon Turkey instead of on far-away capitals, trade between us will increase and they will live in prosperity. Turkey has to think big in view of these latest developments. She has to depend upon strategies and not on people!"
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