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Turkish Press Review, 00-03-24

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

24.03.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL TO VISIT TURKMENISTAN
  • [02] DEMIREL'S CONCERNS
  • [03] KUTAN: 'NO SUPPORT IF THEY DON'T ACCEPT OUR REQUEST`
  • [04] TURKISH PROTEST AGAINST THE UKRAINE
  • [05] VERHEUGEN: "TURKISH-CYPRIOTS SHOULD BE REPRESENTED"
  • [06] CHIRAC'S VISIT POSTPONED
  • [07] RECTORS' MEETING
  • [08] GREEK-CYPRIOTS' ARMAMENT
  • [09] REGIONAL COOPERATION TO BE TOPIC AT TRIPARTITE SUMMIT
  • [10] SOKOLOV COMES TO TURKEY
  • [11] CHINESE-TURKISH RELATIONS ARE IMPROVING
  • [12] TURKISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES' GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • [13] TURKEY SOON TO SIGN TWO HUMAN RIGHTS PACTS
  • [14] FOREIGNERS' INTEREST IN GAP
  • [15] GUARANTEE FOR TUPRAS WORKERS
  • [16] BURDEN OF BAKU-CEYHAN ON ANKARA
  • [17] TURKEY MAKES THE NEWS IN BALKAN COUNTRIES
  • [18] MAYOR OF LONDON VISITS GOKCEK
  • [19] LEONARD VISITS THE MOTHERS OF MARTYRS' ASSOCIATION
  • [20] PROTEST AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
  • [21] FOREIGN AID STATISTICS FOR EARTHQUAKE
  • [22] INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS EXPERTS MEET IN ISTANBUL
  • [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP
  • [24] SALOMON SMITH BARNEY SEES POSITIVE OUTLOOK
  • [25] GSM BIDDING
  • [26] TURKISH AIRLINES' SUCCESS
  • [27] 67.5 MILLION DOLLARS SPENT ON TECHNOLOGY
  • [28] GREECE ENJOYS EFES PILSEN
  • [29] EXPORTS INCREASE BY 7% IN TWO-AND-A-HALF MONTHS
  • [30] INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR IN BERLIN
  • [31] GALATASARAY IN UEFA CUP SEMI-FINALS
  • [32] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [33] THE CAUCASIAN PACT BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [34] IT DOES NOT BECOME PRESIDENT CHIRAC BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

  • [01] DEMIREL TO VISIT TURKMENISTAN

    President Suleyman Demirel will pay an official visit to Turkmenistan as the guest of Turkmen President Saparmurad Turkmenbasi on March 28-29. The Foreign Ministry stated that the two Presidents would discuss improving the brotherhood between the countries and discuss regional and international issues. According to the Ministry, Demirel's visit will further improve Turkish-Turkmen relations, which are already quite warm. /Turkish Daily News/

    [02] DEMIREL'S CONCERNS

    President Demirel attended the opening ceremony of the 4th Consumer Council and the 3rd Traditional Consumer Award Ceremony at Cankaya Presidential Palace. In a speech, he said, "If a country is opened up to the world market, then that country's consumers will be protected. If a country turns its back on the world market, then the consumer will have to pay the price of the difference in conditions between the world market and that of his_her own country. Welfare is directly proportional to consumption and it should not mean wasteful expenditure. One should meet his own needs in the best way possible." /Sabah/

    5+5 FORMULA APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION

    Yesterday, the TGNA's Constitutional Commission began debating the proposals to amend the Constitution put forward by the three ruling coalition parties, beginning the countdown to President Suleyman Demirel's second term in office. The Constitutional Commission decided yesterday to combine the proposals of the coalition parties and the opposition in a single draft amendment. In this way, the proposed alterations to Article 69, which regulates the closure of political parties, Article 86 which regulates salaries and pensions for parliamentarians, and Article 101 which outlines the procedures to be followed in the election of the President, have been amalgamated and approved at the ballot-box by the Constitutional Commission, 17 votes to four. According to the prescribed schedule, the first vote on the constitutional amendment will be on March 29. The Constitution requires that a second ballot be staged in order to enact such an alteration; on April 4 the second and final vote will take place. However, the Government will decide whether or not to continue with the process or withdraw the proposed amendment depending on the results of the initial vote. /All papers/

    [03] KUTAN: 'NO SUPPORT IF THEY DON'T ACCEPT OUR REQUEST`

    The Leader of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, said that if their request concerning the amendment of Article 69 was not complied with, they would not support the 5+5 formula relating to the Presidential election. Kutan said, "I am declaring clearly that we are not in a position to support the formula unless alterations are made in accordance with our views." /Hurriyet/

    [04] TURKISH PROTEST AGAINST THE UKRAINE

    In the aftermath of Ukrainian coastguard vessels opening fire on Turkish boats fishing in the Black Sea, killing one fisherman and wounding another, a diplomatic crisis between the Ukraine and Turkey has now broken out. The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned Ukraine's Ambassador to Turkey Olexander Motsyk to obtain further details of the incident. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk telephoned his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, proposing an immediate meeting between the two countries' Foreign Ministers in order to discuss the recent incident. Conveying his deep sorrow and condolences to the families whose loved ones were killed by the Ukrainian Coast Guard boats, Tarasyuk told Cem that any relevant governmental organization would be welcome to attend the talks. /Turkish Daily News/

    [05] VERHEUGEN: "TURKISH-CYPRIOTS SHOULD BE REPRESENTED"

    EU sources have announced that the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, has requested that the Turkish-Cypriots be represented during the on-going EU membership negotiations with the Greek-Cypriot Administration, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The two-day long EU-Greek-Cypriot negotiations are scheduled to commence today. According to information obtained from the same sources, Verheugen, who is also expected to visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to talk to President Rauf Denktas, is prepared to insist that a delegation from the TRNC should participate in the negotiations with the Greek-Cypriot Administration.

    [06] CHIRAC'S VISIT POSTPONED

    Once France's Eurocopter was eliminated from the 4-billion dollar helicopter tender, President Jacques Chirac suspended his planned visit to Turkey in protest. Chirac sent a message to President Suleyman Demirel and said that he would postpone his visit until the relations between the two countries had returned to normal. Turkish officials noted that France's attitude to the rejection of its helicopter was very harsh and they also stated that Turkey was disappointed to see that relations between the two countries were based on only mutual benefits. Negotiations are still underway between delegations from both countries in order to reorganize the visit. /Hurriyet/

    [07] RECTORS' MEETING

    University rectors will gather at the Presidential Palace on Sunday to express their views on different problems before President Demirel, especially on the 'staff issues`, 'headscarf` dispute and 'academicians' salaries`. They will also point out the drawbacks to the 'Staff Register Pardon`, as it will allow those staff who were dismissed from universities due to the headscarf issue or reactionary activities to return to their positions. /Hurriyet/

    [08] GREEK-CYPRIOTS' ARMAMENT

    The Greek-Cypriot Administration, which was previously unable to place its S-300 missiles on the island due to Turkish pressure, is now trying to obtain warships from Greece. It is stated that the light warships that will be donated to the Greek-Cypriot Administration will cause a crisis in this period when relations between Turkey and Greece have been improving. While the initiatives to ensure permanent and fair peace on Cyprus are continuing, the Greek-Cypriot National Escort Army (RMMO) is trying to expand its military equipment, which situation has caused many reactions. /Aksam/

    [09] REGIONAL COOPERATION TO BE TOPIC AT TRIPARTITE SUMMIT

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu will meet in Sofia on April 3-4, the Anatolia News Agency reports. According to the Bulgarian Presidential Office, the three Presidents will take part in a summit that has become a tradition every year in one of the three countries. They will discuss developments in the region starting with Kosovo and will also evaluate the Southeastern Europe Stability Pact. In addition, they will consider how to bring important regional infrastructure ventures to life through tri-partite cooperation. At the end of the summit, the three Presidents will sign a joint declaration. Last year's summit was held in Sinaya, Romania.

    [10] SOKOLOV COMES TO TURKEY

    Bulgarian Speaker of Parliament Yordan Sokolov will come to Turkey as the guest of Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Yildirim Akbulut on March 26-29. Sokolov will arrive on Sunday and will visit Ataturk's Mausoleum, Anitkabir, on Monday. The two Parliament Speakers will meet at Parliament, after which Sokolov will be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Sokolov will meet Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli on Tuesday and will move on to Izmir to see historic and tourist sites on Wednesday.

    [11] CHINESE-TURKISH RELATIONS ARE IMPROVING

    The Foreign Ministry has announced that relations between the People's Republic of China and Turkey are improving day by day and said that for Turkey, there is only one China. According to the Ministry, Turkey has no political relations with Taiwan, only economic, cultural and trade relations. Officials further said that following the elections on March 18, they were hopeful that peace and happiness would reign in Taiwan. /Turkish Daily News/

    [12] TURKISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES' GENERAL ASSEMBLY

    Preparations for the Eighth General Assembly in celebration of friendship, fraternity and cooperation among the Turkish-speaking states and communities have been completed, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The Secretary-General of the Turkish-Speaking States' and Communities' Friendship, Fraternity and Cooperation Foundation (TUDEV), Atilla Simsek, held a press conference to discuss the TUDEV General Assembly which will be held in Samsun between March 24 and 26; he stated that over 900 delegates will attend, some 500 of whom will be from Anatolia. Among the dignitaries will be President Suleyman Demirel, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli as well as seven other Ministers and almost 50 deputies. Representatives from all of the Turkish-Speaking Republics, the autonomous federal Turkish-Speaking States and Communities from all over the world will be present at the Assembly. This year will be the first time that representatives of the Turks in Tunisia and Mongolia are seen at the General Assembly.

    [13] TURKEY SOON TO SIGN TWO HUMAN RIGHTS PACTS

    State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik has said that Turkey will soon be a member of two international pacts concerned with protecting human rights, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Participating in the annual meeting of the Human Rights Commission held in Geneva, Switzerland, Irtemcelik announced that Turkey would sign the two pacts in the near future. He stated that the first of the pacts concerned civil and political rights while the other dealt with socio-economic and cultural rights. In his statement, in which he recalled the steps Turkey had taken in the field of human rights, Irtemcelik said, "The process of improvements in human rights in Turkey cannot be reversed". He also remarked that EU candidacy had given the government the impetus to rapidly implement reforms.

    [14] FOREIGNERS' INTEREST IN GAP

    The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Cumhur Ersumer, met with the Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy, Annemaria Joritsma. Ersumer, in Holland to attend the Second World Water Forum and Ministers' Conference, declared that they had held a very fruitful meeting with the Dutch Minister. He also stated that Holland had shown an interest in certain projects in the GAP region; the main topic of the Dutch Joint Economy Commission meetings in Ankara in May will be the irrigation projects. Meanwhile, Canadian Ambassador Jean Mare Duval is going to Sanliurfa today to inspect the work in the region. /Turkiye/

    [15] GUARANTEE FOR TUPRAS WORKERS

    State Minister Yuksel Yalova, Responsible for Privatization, stated that there was a great demand from foreign investors and Turkish citizens for shares in TUPRAS. Underlining the fact that TUPRAS was one of the biggest companies in Europe, Yalova said, "We guarantee you will earn a profit from these shares." He also emphasized that no employees would be dismissed but the hiring off new staff might be possible, as the company will also make new investments. Meanwhile, Yalova noted that, so far, the privatization programme was two or three months ahead of schedule. /Turkiye/

    [16] BURDEN OF BAKU-CEYHAN ON ANKARA

    Turkey will assume a great burden in the next phase of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline venture, paying $1.4 billion towards the construction of the oil pipeline and being responsible for expenditure exceeding $2.4 billion including the cost of interest on foreign loans. Turkey will also have joint responsibility for repairing any damage likely to occur to the pipeline laid in Azeri and Georgian territories. Despite all of this outlay, Turkey will not own the pipeline but will only be able to obtain transit fees and taxes from it. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] TURKEY MAKES THE NEWS IN BALKAN COUNTRIES

    Articles published in Balkan countries concerning Turkey have been collected and prepared as a report for the 'Balkan Neighbours' magazine. A few summaries follow: In the Albanian press (July-August 1999): The press welcomes the policy being followed by Turkey, a 'friendly country' to the Balkans. Wide coverage is still being devoted to the earthquake victims in Turkey. In the Bulgarian press (July-August 1999): Turkey has a positive image in general, however, it is not European. It focuses in particular on Turkey's Asian image. It also points out Turkey's efforts to attain Western standards. In the Macedonian press (September-October 1999): The main topic concerning Turkey in the newspapers is that of Turco-EU relations. The newspapers also covered the murder of journalist Ahmet Taner Kislali saying that it could have been committed by fundamentalists. In the Greek press (September-October 1999): The media played an important role in establishing close relations between Turkey and Greece especially in the aftermath of the earthquakes. The newspapers also focus on Athens which should assume an important role in Turco-EU relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] MAYOR OF LONDON VISITS GOKCEK

    The Mayor of London, Clive Martin, visited the Mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, yesterday. The British Ambassador to Ankara, Sir David Logan, also accompanied Martin who expressed his pleasure at being in Ankara and said, "We would be pleased to see Turkey as an EU member". Melih Gokcek briefed his visitor about Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and remarked that the Municipality of Ankara enjoyed an annual income of $800 million, which figure rose to almost $1.5-2 billion thanks to both loans and government support. /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] LEONARD VISITS THE MOTHERS OF MARTYRS' ASSOCIATION

    Following Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's criticism that foreign officials never meet the families represented by the martyrs' associations whereas they meet representatives of human rights establishments, the European Commission's Representative to Turkey, Niall Leonard, visited the Terrorist Victims' Social Solidarity Association yesterday. The families of the dead soldiers and civilians warmly welcomed Leonard and criticized Europe for its attitude to the death sentence passed on Abdullah Ocalan. After the two-hour meeting, officials from the Association presented Leonard with an album of photographs of PKK terrorist atrocities. /Milliyet/

    [20] PROTEST AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

    The 'Blue Planet` group organized a demonstration on Bogazici University's campus to protest against the construction of a nuclear power plant in Mersin Akkuyu. They chanted slogans such as 'No Power Plants`, 'Dead People Don't Need Energy` and held up placards stating 'Let's be active today! We don't want to be radioactive tomorrow`. The demonstrators also handed out oranges to students to emphasize that Mersin's oranges would become polluted by radiation. /Hurriyet/

    [21] FOREIGN AID STATISTICS FOR EARTHQUAKE

    It was stated that 52% of aid received by the earthquake-hit region's Logistic Support Coordination Centre (DBLDKM) in the aftermath of the earthquake that occurred in the Marmara Region in Turkey came from abroad. A total of 1,310 out of 2,541 vehicles came from abroad and the remaining 1,231 from home. From among the 46 countries which helped the earthquake victims by sending items such as clothes, food and medical supplies, Germany sent the most aid with 671 vehicle-loads, followed by Italy which sent 123 vehicle-loads and Sweden with 72 vehicle-loads. /Milliyet/

    [22] INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS EXPERTS MEET IN ISTANBUL

    A conference entitled 'New Dimensions of Turkish Foreign Policy in 2000 and Beyond', which will be held on Friday and Saturday in Ankara in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Foreign Policy Institute, will bring together many Turkish and foreign international relations specialists. The participants will discuss issues such as Turkish-EU relations, security problems, Cyprus, Greece and the Balkans. /Turkish Daily News/

    [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP

    The Turkish Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves rose by $546 million to $23.8 billion in the week ending on March 15, the bank announced yesterday. The bank said its gold reserves remained unchanged at $1.01 billion. It stated that commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves stood at $13.8 billion on March 3, according to the most recent figures available. Meanwhile, nine of 13 foreign investment funds in Turkey earned modest gains for their investors in January, Capital Markets Board revealed. /Turkish Daily News/

    [24] SALOMON SMITH BARNEY SEES POSITIVE OUTLOOK

    Wall Street investment company Salomon Smith Barney (SSB) has, in its latest report on equity research in Turkey, said that the outlook for the equity market is positive and is fuelled by privatization momentum of better liquidity. "After the release of the robust IMF programme details at the end of 1999 and the strong start of the new foreign exchange and monetary regimes in 2000, we remain positive on the near-term outlook for Turkey" stated the report. /Turkish Daily News/

    [25] GSM BIDDING

    A top-level official from the Ministry of Communications recalled that the period in which offers could be received for the GSM services licencing transfer to the private sector would come to an end on 3 April and said, "It is out of the question to extend this period". Officials further stated that 27 companies had bought the spesification document for this tender. Meanwhile, State Minister Tunca Toskay stated that the specifications for the privatization of 20% of Turk Telecom might be ready to be put out to tender by the end of April. /Sabah/

    [26] TURKISH AIRLINES' SUCCESS

    Meetings between America and Turkey concerning the 'open skies' issue have reached a conclusion and it is expected that an agreement will shortly be initialled. The implementation of the decisions that were reached during the meetings, chaired by the Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Communications and attended by officials from Turkish Airlines (THY) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will take place in three stages. Under this agreement THY will expand its network from the three cities in America which it already flies to in the first year; in the second year this number will increase to four and then five in the third year. Furthermore, THY will add the capital of Southern Korea, Seoul, to its routes on 26 March, its 76th international route. /Sabah/

    [27] 67.5 MILLION DOLLARS SPENT ON TECHNOLOGY

    Support totalling 67.5 million dollars and covering 179 schemes has been provided since 1991 through the Turkish Technology Development Foundation (TTGV). The use of materials harmful to the ozone layer has been decreased by 33% thanks to the implementation of 22 schemes supported by a TTGV fund of 20 million dollars. The TTGV has supported a total of 102 ventures thanks to 43.3 million dollars supplied from the World Bank. /Sabah/

    KAVI: "TURKEY'S GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION SHOULD BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF"

    Executive Board Chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Trade (ITO), Husamettin Kavi, attended a discussion forum on 'New Dynamics and Strategies for Competitiveness in International Trade' organized by the 'Globus' magazine. During the discussions he said, "Turkey is in search of new things and wants to produce and share much more. However, it is not possible because internal purchasing power is limited. Therefore, Turkish businesses should be directed to the foreign markets and Turkey's geographical position should be taken advantage of." /Sabah/

    [28] GREECE ENJOYS EFES PILSEN

    Efes Pilsen, whose export to more than 30 countries amounted to nearly 10 million dollars, aims to increase this amount to 12 million dollars in the year 2000. Efes Pilsen also plans to introduce the Turkish beer to Greece. Efes Pilsen's Export Director Kemal Gursel stated that they had exported 16 million litres of beer in 1999 and had ensured the influx of 10 million dollars to Turkey. /Sabah/

    [29] EXPORTS INCREASE BY 7% IN TWO-AND-A-HALF MONTHS

    State Minister Tunca Toskay stated that according to statistics supplied by the Exporters' Association, there has been an increase of 7% in exports over the past two-and-a-half months, which is very promising. Toskay added, "However, we are very cautious on this subject. Data for 1999 is better than we expected and we were cautious in 1999 as well. The total income from exports amounted to 588 million 250 thousand dollars in 1999, which was greater than our expectations. It is a great achievement in spite of low growth rates, the world economic depression and global markets which are still closed." /Sabah/

    [30] INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR IN BERLIN

    The world's biggest tourism and travel fair, the International Tourism Fair-2000 was held in Berlin; Turkey was promoted successfully at the Fair. In a statement issued by Messe Berlin GMGH's representative to Turkey, Turkey's stand covering an area of 2,300 square metres and designed in a new modern way by Forum Fair Organizers was one of the best three from among 177 countries participating. /Aksam/

    [31] GALATASARAY IN UEFA CUP SEMI-FINALS

    Galatasaray won against Real Mallorca 2-1 last night in Istanbul, so going through to the UEFA Cup semi-finals. The score of the first match between these two Turkish and Spanish football teams was 4-1, again in favour of Galatasaray. Other UEFA Cup semi-finalists are as follows: Arsenal (Britain), Leeds United (Britain) and Lens (France). /Cumhuriyet/

    [32] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [33] THE CAUCASIAN PACT BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on the Caucasian Pact suggested by President Suleyman Demirel. A summary of his column is as follows: "The proposal to form a Caucasian Pact which President Suleyman Demirel made during his visit to Georgia on 14-15 January, is moving slowly but surely forward. All of the 12 foreign statesmen Demirel has sent a letter to on the subject have returned official replies in which all of them expressed the opinion that they were in agreement with the idea in principle. Among these supporters are French President Jacques Chirac, US President Bill Clinton, English Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian Acting President Vladimir Putin. The letter from Armenian President Robert Kocharian stating that he looked warmly upon such a proposal is of great significance. All the leaders support the proposal in principle, however, they hold different opinions as to the formation of the pact and on which political conditions the organization of it should be based. The most important difficulty facing the Pact is the on-going dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Karabakh region. Although Armenia and Azerbaijan were to agree on a framework for a solution, the backwards step taken by Armenia following the attack on its Parliament has frustrated the hopes for peace at the moment. Acoording to Demirel, although at this stage the Karabakh dispute may seem like an obstacle, it will be an important incentive to overcoming the disagreement. The arrival of a comprehensive aid package from the West in the area will encourage the countries in that region to take steps towards the brighter future which awaits them. President Demirel stated that now that all the replies had been received, would take one more step forward. That step will be to unite the ideas expressed in the letters, moving towards the formation of a mechanism to enable the Pact. Before taking such a step, President Demirel is waiting for the results of the Presidential Election in Georgia on April 9. When Turkey had first announced this proposal in January, the initial idea was to draw the attention of the international community to the Caucasus and especially to the sensitive situation in Georgia. The last two months show that success has been achieved in attaining this goal. Time is needed to put this proposal into action. "

    [34] IT DOES NOT BECOME PRESIDENT CHIRAC BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on President Chirac's letter stating the excuse for the cancellation of his visit to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows: "If the signature under the text belonged to Libyan leader Muammar Khaddafi, we would have said, "What else do you expect from such a leader? He sees everything from a salesman's perspective." However, it was the French President who sent the message to Turkey stating that he had personally worked to hinder the passage of the Armenian massacre bill through the French Senate, exerted every effort to ensure Turkey's EU candidacy and played a key role in the registration of this candidacy in Helsinki. The letter went on to say that Mr. Chirac was deeply disappointed to see that the French company had been eliminated from the helicopter tender, and therefore, had cancelled the visit he was planning to make to Turkey in the spring. Furthermore, this message was handed to our Ambassador by an ordinary official. This behaviour is rude if nothing else. This makes us wonder if the priority of Western values is not to protect the legal interests of a country through legal means but to sacrifice it for those of others. This line of thought comes to mean that, even though the French-German firm entering into the helicopter tender did not meet the expected specifications, Turkey would have to buy them, thus risking her own defence. Leaving aside such an important subject as national defence, what would the French have said if we had told them, "The refrigerators Germany is producing may be better than ours but you must buy ours." We all know that President Chirac has worked hard to improve Turkey's relations with the EU. He has defended the Turkish arguments on all platforms. Therefore, we are grateful to him. However, it does not seem proper to destroy the friendly relations between the two countries due to such a primitive understanding as this. His reaction may be explained as a reflection of his emotions. However, it should also be mentioned that, when the French National Assembly accepted a motion on the "Armenian Genocide" in May 1988, Turkey did not show any improper reaction. She avoided any action which would humiliate France. Therefore, President Chirac should behave as becomes his position."
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