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Turkish Press Review, 00-03-29

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

29.03.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL IN TURKMENISTAN
  • [02] DEMIREL CONGRATULATES PUTIN
  • [03] CRITICAL VOTE ON AMENDMENT DRIVE
  • [04] NEW CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENCY
  • [05] SIMITIS' STATEMENT IN 'HURRIYET'
  • [06] MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND TRT TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT
  • [07] OHAL EXTENDED
  • [08] ECEVIT: "DEMIREL IS THE ELEMENT OF STABILITY"
  • [09] CRESPO: "WE ARE AGAINST THE DEATH SENTENCE"
  • [10] TUPRAS' GOING PUBLIC
  • [11] TOURISM AGENCIES HOPEFUL FROM 2000
  • [12] TURCO-AMERICAN TRADE AND INVESTMENT COUNCIL'S FIRST-TERM MEETING
  • [13] BANKING ORGANIZING AND CONTROLLING COUNCIL
  • [14] MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION IN THE TGNA
  • [15] FEHRIYE ERDAL'S TRIAL
  • [16] GUREL IN THE US
  • [17] 'TURKISH WORLD' BY MINISTER CAY
  • [18] 'TURKEY TO DEFEAT INFLATION`
  • [19] COOPERATION IN TOURISM
  • [20] WARNING FOR KDP
  • [21] LUFTHANSA WANTS THY
  • [22] WORLD BANK'S DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [23] SABANCI TO MAKE INVESTMENTS WORTH $800 MILLION THIS YEAR
  • [24] MESSAGE FROM TUSIAD TO U.S.: "OUR IMAGE HAS CHANGED"
  • [25] YALOVA: "WE WILL ALSO PRIVATIZE HIGHWAYS"
  • [26] EUROPEAN DELEGATION IN SOUTHEAST
  • [27] US STATE DEPARTMENT: ARMENIAN LOBBY DAMAGING TURCO-ARMENIAN RELATIONS
  • [28] FITCH IBCA VISIT TO TURKEY SET FOR APRIL
  • [29] MINISTER FORESEES HIGH REVENUES FROM GSM SELL-OFFS
  • [30] EU TO INSPECT TURKISH MILK
  • [31] TURKISH SOCKS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN
  • [32] ORDER OF MERIT FOR ARA GULER
  • [33] TURKEY'S FORESTS ARE AT A GOOD LEVEL
  • [34] SISECAM CARRIES OUT $1.2 BLN INVESTMENT
  • [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [36] WHERE IS THE STATE? BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
  • [37] FOREIGNERS FAVOUR DEMIREL BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] DEMIREL IN TURKMENISTAN

    President Suleyman Demirel, accompanied by four ministers and many businessmen, is paying an official visit to Turkmenistan. The main topic of the visit is the Turkmen natural gas venture. Demirel emphasized that Turkey and Turkmenistan have settled on an agreement in which Turkey would buy 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas after its transport to the Turkish border, and added that companies had notified Tukrmen Head of State Saparmurad Turkmenbasi on March 20 that they had provided the financial sources for the venture. /Milliyet/

    [02] DEMIREL CONGRATULATES PUTIN

    In a statement issued by the Presidential Press Centre, President Suleyman Demirel sent a message of congratulation to Vladimir V. Putin, who was elected the President of the Russian Federation on 26 March 2000, and invited him to Turkey to pay an official visit. /Turkiye/

    [03] CRITICAL VOTE ON AMENDMENT DRIVE

    The first vote on the presidential amendment package of the three ruling parties will be held in Parliament today. The package that came to the country's agenda with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's demand for clearing the way for a second term in office for President Suleyman Demirel will thus have its first test today. The outcome of today's vote will not only decide whether Demirel can have a second term in office, but it will also be a test for the leaders of the three coalition leaders as it will demonstrate to what extent they have succeeded in convincing their deputies to support the move. The outcome of the vote will be shaped by the amount of defections in the three coalition parties and the opposition True Path Party (DYP), as the main opposition Virtue Party (FP) has already declared that it would not vote in favour of the package unless amendments proposed to be made in Constitutional Article 69, covering party closures, are radicallly altered with proposals during t! ! he parliamentary debate. /Turkish Daily News/

    [04] NEW CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENCY

    The Virtue Party's (FP) Parliamentarian from Adiyaman, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat declared his candidacy for Presidency. Stating that he hadn't consulted his party before announcing his candidacy, Firat claimed that he had more of a chance than Demirel at the election. /Milliyet/

    [05] SIMITIS' STATEMENT IN 'HURRIYET'

    The Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis has sent a positive message to the Editor-in-Chief of the daily newspaper 'Hurriyet', Ertugrul Ozkok, saying, "Greek people have lent their hands of friendship to the Turkish people following the earthquake disaster. However, Turkish and Greek people have now exceeded the earthquake diplomacy. The two nations have put forward their desire for peace and cooperation and want concrete steps taken for the future. Greece has proven that it supports Turkey's European perspective with the decision in Helsinki. Turkey has declared that it approves the framework drawn up by the European Union (EU)". He added, "We can open a new page as part of the relations between Turkey and the EU. Economic development in Southeastern Europe and in the Balkans can pave the way for an important step for the improvement of our region". /Hurriyet/

    [06] MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND TRT TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT

    The cooperation protocol between the Ministry of the Environment and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) will be signed by the Minister of the Environment, Fevzi Aytekin, and the General Director of Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on 31 March in order to increase sensitivity towards environmental problems and to ensure active participation. As part of this protocol, television programmes for children, women, farmers and peasants will be screened. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] OHAL EXTENDED

    The circular of the Prime Ministry concerning the extension of a State of Emergency (OHAL) in five provinces for four more mounths as from 31 March 2000 was accepted at the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). The State of Emergency for the provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Hakkari, Van and Tunceli was extended 37th time by the General Council of the TGNA. The circular was accepted by 234 votes against 69. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] ECEVIT: "DEMIREL IS THE ELEMENT OF STABILITY"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit repeated his support for the Constitutional amendment that will ensure the re-election of President Suleyman Demirel for a period of five more years and intimidated the Virtue Party (FP). Ecevit stated that stability was ensured thanks to the participation of government partners, opposition parties and people from different parts of society and said, "Therefore I find it useful that the Presidency should cover two periods of five years and that President Suleyman Demirel should be re-elected for a period of five more years. Mr. Demirel is the element of stability." /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] CRESPO: "WE ARE AGAINST THE DEATH SENTENCE"

    The European Parliament's (EP) Socialist Group Chairman, Enrique Baron Crespo, said that it was hightime that Turkey made developments on the issue of democracy and human rights. He said, "We are against the death sentence and of course and are against the execution of Abdullah Ocalan". Crespo met the Mayor of Avcilar, Mustafa Degirmenci, the General Chairman of the DISK, Vahdettin Karabay and Mothers of Peace Initiative. He added, "The mothers of peace showed their sorrows to me and wanted me to share in their sorrows with the mothers of martyrs. Therefore I will meet the mothers of martyrs and put forward their demands to them. They are not in pursuit of revenge but desire peace. We will also deliver their message to the EP." /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] TUPRAS' GOING PUBLIC

    It will be soon decided whether or not the rate of Tupras' to go public will be increased after the end of the demand collection period. According to information received, a decision whether or not to increase the share of 15% that will go to the public by TUPRAS between 5 and 7 April during which the process of demand collection will come to an end. The possible decision and amount of increase will be determined by the Privatization Administration Board after the collection of demands. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] TOURISM AGENCIES HOPEFUL FROM 2000

    Tourism agencies are hopeful from the year 2000. Officials from the tourism agencies stated their prior target was to increase the number of tourists of 1998 and to this end importance should be given to internal tourism. The representatives of the tourism sector pointed out that Turkey had the power enough to overcome difficulties in the sector and that they were considering whether the investment budget of the Ministry of Tourism for the year 2000 will be sufficient. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] TURCO-AMERICAN TRADE AND INVESTMENT COUNCIL'S FIRST-TERM MEETING

    The Turco-American Trade and Investment Council's First-Term Meeting started in Washington and it was stated that the American businessmen were particularly interested in the fields of energy and telecommunications in Turkey. It was further stated that the SBC Company, one of the biggest companies in the telecommunications sector, was interested in the telecommunications tenders except from GSM bidding. Furthermore, American officials stated that they were interested in the Turkish energy sector bidding and added, "However, we are waiting for the lists of the privatization projects' in the energy sector." /Sabah/

    [13] BANKING ORGANIZING AND CONTROLLING COUNCIL

    The names of the five people to be elected for the Banking Organizing and Controg Council was decided. The former Minister of Finance, Zekeriya Temizel, will be the Chairman of the Council and Biltekin Ozdemir will be the Deputy Chairman. Prof.Kemal Cevik, Enver Guney and Mehmet Cekinmez will also be elected as members. The letter of intent sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that seven people will be elected for this Council and the remaining two will be chosen by the end of March. /Sabah/

    [14] MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION IN THE TGNA

    The 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) will be celebrated magnificently. A reception, including a fireworks displaying will be organized on the evening of 23 April. Also decided to publish a special commemorative stamp of the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the TGNA will be issued. The Speaker of the TGNA, Yildirim Akbulut has sent invitations to the Speakers of the Assemblies of other countries and it is expected that they will accept. /Sabah/

    [15] FEHRIYE ERDAL'S TRIAL

    Belgium's Gent Supreme Court of Appeal approved the decision that Fehriye Erdal and the illegal DHKP-C organization members Musa Asaoglu and Kaya Saz will be tried without arrested. Asaoglu and Saz will be released whereas Fehriye Erdal will remain in custody due to the demand for extradition. /Star/

    [16] GUREL IN THE US

    State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel went to the US in order to attend the 'Turco-American Business Council Meeting' to be held in Washington. Gurel made a statement before his departure at Ataturk Airport saying, "Political and military cooperation between the US and Turkey is beginning to develop in the economic field. The Washington meeting will contribute to these developments." Answering a journalist's question, Gurel stated that he would not hold a meeting concerning the Cyprus issue. He will return to Turkey on 2 April. /Turkiye/

    [17] 'TURKISH WORLD' BY MINISTER CAY

    The State Minister responsible for Relations with Turkish-Speaking Countries, Abdulhaluk Cay, has written a book titled 'Turkish World' comprising 175 pages. Cay examines the history of the Turkish Republic and gives examples of good things said about Turks. In this book, explainations are given on Turks, the meaning of the word 'Turkish', the homeland of Turks, characteristics of the Turkish nation and other Turkish-speaking countries. /Turkiye/

    [18] 'TURKEY TO DEFEAT INFLATION`

    The 'Turkish Exporters' Assembly' (TIM) and the 'Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges' (TOBB) have initiated a campaign 'Turkey is defeating the inflation' to help stop the rise of the inflation rate in Turkey. Famous names from the cinema, sport, theatre and the television world will also give their support. The Chairmen of the TIM and the TOBB expressed that they expected the support of all institutions and non-governmental organizations for the four-month campaign. /Aksam/

    [19] COOPERATION IN TOURISM

    The Association of the Tourism Investors (TYD) Chairman, Tavit Koletavitoglu, stated that Turco-Greek cooperation in tourism was on the agenda. He commented that there was an agreement with the Association of Greek Tourism Enterpreneurs (AGTE) to develop tourism between the two countries. He also stressed that four members representing both countries associations would meet and discuss the joint ventures. Tours are expected to be organized to all countries in the Eastern Mediterranean area including Turkey and Greece. /Aksam/

    [20] WARNING FOR KDP

    The concern of Ankara over the attitude of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) 'as a state' in Northern Iraq, was conveyed once more to the KDP delegation, presided over by so-called Prime Minister Necirvan Barzani, during their meetings in Ankara. Turkish Foreign Ministry's officials also warned them about the maps on the KDP's Web page on the Internet which shows certain regions within Turkish borders, as Kurdish. /Aksam/

    [21] LUFTHANSA WANTS THY

    The German airway company, Lufthansa, declared that they wanted to buy Turkish Airlines (THY) which is expected to be privatized, and negotiations were continuing between the executive boards. Lufthansa has 15% of the market in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [22] WORLD BANK'S DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY

    A delegation of the World Bank's Finance Sector Arrangement Loan (FSAL), is coming to Turkey during the first week of April. Presided over by Lalit Raina, the delegation will stay in Turkey for one week. They will observe the work on establishing the Banking Organizing and Inspection High Council and the privatization of certain State Banks. /Milliyet/

    [23] SABANCI TO MAKE INVESTMENTS WORTH $800 MILLION THIS YEAR

    The Sabanci Group had a turn-over of $9.5 billion in 1999. Sakip Sabanci, the Head of the Executive Board of the Sabanci Conglomerate, said, "Our turn-over will increase by 13 % in the year 2000 and reach $10.7 billion. We aim at making investments worth $800 million this year". /Hurriyet/

    [24] MESSAGE FROM TUSIAD TO U.S.: "OUR IMAGE HAS CHANGED"

    A delegation from the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), currently in Washington, has given a message to US officials that the Turkish Government headed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is working hard and performing well. During a meeting attended by representatives of various institutions close to the US Administration and the Congress, the Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of TUSIAD and the Head of the Foreign Affairs Commission, Aldo Kaslowski, said, "Turkey's image has changed". Kaslowski stated that even though the Turkish economy had experienced one of its worst years because of the earthquake disaster, the coalition government had done its best for Turkey. Kaslowski remarked that steps for reforms had been taken in the social life and the economy by the Ecevit government and added that a stand-by agreement had been signed with the IMF and an anti-inflation programme had been put into effect. He pointed out that this government was the m! ! ost stable one for 15 years. /Hurriyet/

    [25] YALOVA: "WE WILL ALSO PRIVATIZE HIGHWAYS"

    The State Minister Responsible for Privatization, Yuksel Yalova, said that 76 state-owned companies and institutions will decrease to 25 by the end of the year and added, "This year, 51 institutions and next year 25 will be privatized and then it will be the turn of the higways, railways and ports". Yalova issued a statement, following his three-day official visit to Astana, Kazakhstan, yesterday giving information on the privatization initiatives in Turkey. Yalova remarked that the target would be reached before scheduled. /Hurriyet/

    [26] EUROPEAN DELEGATION IN SOUTHEAST

    Andras Barsony, the Head of a European Council Parliamentarians' Assembly delegation visiting Turkey which went to Diyarbakir has stated, "However you call it, it is a fact that there is a problem in this region". Speaking to the press after a meeting of the delegation with the Emergency Rule (OHAL) Deputy Governor and Diyarbakir Governor Cemil Serhadli, Barsony said that their visit was meant to gather information to be used in a report on Turkey the delegation will prepare for the European Council Parliamentarians' Assembly. Barsony remarked that the delegation would also meet with state officials in Ankara. Barsony pointed out that the tasks to be fulfilled by Turkey to become an EU member should be taken as a whole. "The democratization process and fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria should go hand-in-hand" he stated. /All papers/

    [27] US STATE DEPARTMENT: ARMENIAN LOBBY DAMAGING TURCO-ARMENIAN RELATIONS

    The US State Deaprtment criticized Armenian activists' efforts lobbying for the legislation of bills recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide and said that these activities would adversely affect improving Turkish-Armenian relations, the Anatolia News Agency reports. In a recent press conference, Deputy Spokesman for the US State Department James Foley said, "This is not a new issue. It has emerged in previous years also. Like previous administrations, we have demonstrated a negative attitude towards taking legislative measures against this very sensitive issue. We believe that this type of rather careless measure will adversely affect improving Turkish-Armenian relations".

    [28] FITCH IBCA VISIT TO TURKEY SET FOR APRIL

    Leading credit rating agency Fitch IBCA will send a team to Turkey in April to review economic developments. After the one-week mission, Fitch IBCA is expected to revise Turkey's rating. Most recently the agency has confirmed Turkey's foreign currency rating as B+. /All papers/

    [29] MINISTER FORESEES HIGH REVENUES FROM GSM SELL-OFFS

    The Minister of Transport Enis Oksuz considers the keen interest in the two new mobile phone GSM network licences an indication that "the tender will earn a good deal of money for Turkey". Markets have been speculating that the government might raise as much as $1 billion for each licence, well above the minimum $650 million price set earlier". A total of 28 firms have so far applied for Turkey's lucrative GSM business. Bids for the two licences close on April 3. State-owned telecommunications company Turk Telekom will start running a third network simultaneously with the private operators. /Turkish Daily News/

    [30] EU TO INSPECT TURKISH MILK

    A team of experts from the European Commission (EC) scheduled to visit Turkey between April 3 and 7 will carry out observations at certain Turkish milk processing facilities and laboratories, the Agriculture Ministry announced yesterday. Third countries must comply with the EU's hygiene and technical standards in order to be able to export dairy products to the Union. The team will check Turkey's compliance with the EU's criteria, Agriculture Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said in a written statement. /Turkish Daily News/

    [31] TURKISH SOCKS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN

    The Istanbul Sock Industry, one of the first companies to produce socks for women in Turkey, is now competing in Europe, particularly in Italy. The Head of the Executive Board of the Company, Niso Doenyas, said that they would also export socks to South Africa this year. /Hurriyet/

    [32] ORDER OF MERIT FOR ARA GULER

    A noted Turkish photographer, Ara Guler, has been awarded the Order of Merit by the Turkish Armenians Patriarch Mesrob II. A ceremony was held on March 27 at the Patriarchate reception hall celebrating the 50th anniversary of Guler's art life. /Hurriyet/

    [33] TURKEY'S FORESTS ARE AT A GOOD LEVEL

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has evaluated the forests in European countries and according to the evaluation, made as part of international agreements signed by European countries, Turkey ranks eighth with 53 points. /Hurriyet/

    [34] SISECAM CARRIES OUT $1.2 BLN INVESTMENT

    Glass manufacturer Sisecam carried out a $1.2 billion worth of investments in Turkey over the past five years, according to the company's report on 1999 activity. The company's investments stood at $86.3 million, down from $159 million in the previous year, due to weak demand in 1999. /Turkish Daily News/

    [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [36] WHERE IS THE STATE? BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the reception given by the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) in Ankara. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The representative of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party printed invitations in addition to renting a room to hold a reception in one of the most luxurious hotels in Ankara on the occasion of Nevruz, the unofficial spring festival, as if he has an official standing.

    The General Staff did not accept the invitations and returned them. The IKDP representative held the reception. Only when news of the reception was published in the newspapers did Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to it. How can the State not know anything about such a reception being held in the captial of the country?

    Ankara made her move only after the reception and summoned a high-ranking delegation of the IKDP to the Foreign Ministry and gave them a warning."

    [37] FOREIGNERS FAVOUR DEMIREL BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the voting to be held today in the TGNA concerning an amendment to the Constitution. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Foreigners favour Demirel. The international community, both Westerners and Easterners would like President Demirel's term of office to be renewed once more. Therefore, diplomatic representatives of various countries in Turkey have turned their eyes to the TGNA which will vote on the amentment of the Constitution providing for Demirel's stay in power for five more years.

    The reasons for the international communty wanting Demirel to remain as the President for five more years is that he is seen as the symbol of stability in Turkey. All friendly countries, and international organizations which have ties with Turkey and companies doing business in Turkey see his stay in power as essential.

    Demirel is also accepted as an influential figure in protecting domestic political balances and democracy. Moreover, during his terms both as Prime Minister and President, Demirel has made friends abroad. In other words the world knows and respects him. Therefore, his stay in power for one more term is seen as an important factor in the the continuation of foreign relations.

    Whatever their attitude are towards Turkey, foreigners agree on the choice of Demirel. Whereas Central Asian countries voice their opinion, Westerners not to give an impression of intervening in the internal affairs of Turkey, do not openly express opinions but state that Demirel's election for a second term will provide for the continuation of the stability achieved during recent years. If not, political tension will rise. Even the Coalition Government may be in danger. The implementation of promised reforms will be delayed. Such uncertainty is a luxury Turkey cannot afford at a time when things were getting into better order.

    Financial circles are also sensitive on the issue. In short, it is feared that not electing Demirel would lead to a political crisis and tension and a delay in reforms.

    Another interesting point is that Greece also wants Demirel to be re-elected. Athens believes that Demirel is an experienced statesman favouring good relations with neighbouring countries. He has a constructive role in the Turco-Greek rapprochement. "


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