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Turkish Press Review, 00-03-31

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

31.03.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [02] SECOND ROUND ON APRIL 5
  • [03] THIRTEEN NEW NAMES FOR PRESIDENCY
  • [04] BAHCELI'S STATEMENT ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
  • [05] ECEVIT IN INDIA
  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO GO TO JAPAN
  • [07] CHIANG ZEMIN TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [08] WARM MESSAGE FROM CLINTON
  • [09] MILITARY RAPPROCHEMENT BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY
  • [10] MAYORS OF ATHENS AND ISTANBUL IN THE US
  • [11] AMENDMENTS TO ASSOCIATIONS' LAW
  • [12] EU PARLIAMENTARIANS REACT TO BIRDAL'S IMPRISONMENT
  • [13] COMMANDERS TO MEET TODAY
  • [14] HOLLAND REJECTS POLITICAL ASYLUM DEMAND OF KARAYILAN
  • [15] TURKEY'S SEVEN CHURCHES PLAY MAJOR ROLE IN FAITH TOURISM
  • [16] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CONFORMITY FORUM FOR EU
  • [17] EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS TO MOVE INTO PREFABRICATED HOUSES
  • [18] AWARD FOR THY AND DELTA IN THE US
  • [19] ONAL IS CONTENT WITH NEW IMF CHAIRMAN
  • [20] TREASURY TO RECEIVE 600 MILLION EUROS LOAN
  • [21] ISTANBUL GOLD STOCK EXCHANGE'S SUCCESS
  • [22] KOC-SABAH PARTNERSHIP FOR GSM
  • [23] $125 MILLION IN LOANS TO FINANSBANK
  • [24] INVESTMENT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MANUFACTURING SECTOR
  • [25] DEMAND FOR TUPRAS SOARS ABOVE PLANNED OFFER
  • [26] EFES PILSEN'S SUCCESS
  • [27] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [28] INDIAN EXAMPLE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [29] WHAT ECEVIT OWES BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [02] SECOND ROUND ON APRIL 5

    The second round of meetings on the Constitutional amendments will be on April 5. The plenary session will begin at 1.00 p.m., and sit until the second round of voting has been completed. Up to that date, the government and the opposition parties will look for ways to compromise. /Hurriyet/

    [03] THIRTEEN NEW NAMES FOR PRESIDENCY

    In the wings of the TGNA, which hasn't yet granted permission for Suleyman Demirel to run for President again, new names have begun to be heard. Possible candidates from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) are Ismail Cem, Ertugrul Kumcuoglu and Hikmet Sami Turk; from the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Tunca Toskay and Sadi Somuncuoglu; from the Motherland Party (ANAP), Yilmaz Karakoyunlu, Yildirim Akbulut and Kamran Inan; from the Virtue Party (FP), Dengir Dir, Mehmet Fırat and Vecdi Gonul and from the True Path Party (DYP), Dogan Gures and Kamer Genc are possible presidential candidates. /Hurriyet/

    [04] BAHCELI'S STATEMENT ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

    Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Devlet Bahceli, stated that there would be no backing down from his signature of the Constitutional amendment package and that his party was not thinking of meeting the Virtue Party's (FP) demands. Bahceli said, "If the package reaches a deadlock, then the process will continue in accordance with the 101st article. Bahceli further added that his party has clearly explained its stance on this matter from the very beginning and that the Presidential election should be carried out in such a way as not to give any opportunity for outside intervention or crises. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] ECEVIT IN INDIA

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit flew to India yesterday. Ecevit's four-day official visit was on the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Premier Ecevit was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Culture Minister Istemihan Talay and State Ministers Edip Saffer Gaydali and Abdulhaluk Cay. Before leaving, Ecevit said that in addition to his political meetings he would also meet the Turco-Indian Businessmen's Group in New Delhi. He also declared that during the meetings, two cooperation agreements would be signed and he would also receive an honorary doctorate from Visva-Bharati University. /Turkish Daily News/

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO GO TO JAPAN

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will visit Japan at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Yohei Kono, the Anatolia News Agency reports. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Cem will be received by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and will take part in talks with Foreign Minister Kono. The statement announces that Cem will also meet the Turco-Japanese Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman, Kanezo Muraoka, and will also exchange their views on bilateral relations including regional and international matters.

    [07] CHIANG ZEMIN TO VISIT TURKEY

    China's Head of State, Chiang Zemin, will visit Turkey in April. During a press conference in Beijing yesterday, the Spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sun Yuxi, stated that the Chinese Head of State would visit Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Greece and South Africa between 12 and 27 April. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] WARM MESSAGE FROM CLINTON

    American President Bill Clinton sent a warm message of cooperation to the Turco-American Relations' 19th Annual Conference currently underway in Washington. Clinton congratulated Turks and Americans on friendship between the two countries in the message that was shown on video during the Conference Ball last night. Clinton recalled his visit to Turkey November, adding, "I was extremely pleased to become acquainted with the beauty of Anatolia and Istanbul and the warmth and hospitality of the Turkish people. I was very impressed by the power and resistance of the ordinary Turks in their struggle to overcome the two tragic earthquake disasters." Clinton also mentioned the importance of cooperation between Turkey and the US in the areas of security and the economy and pointed out that they would keep on supporting Turkey so that it can take its place in a democratic Europe as a candidate country to the European Union. /Milliyet/

    [09] MILITARY RAPPROCHEMENT BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY

    The rapprochement that started between Turkey and Greece last year, has begun to spread to the military. It was stated that within the framework of the 'Dynamic Mix' manoveuvres, to be organized in the Aegean Sea under the auspices of NATO, Turkish warplanes would land at Greek bases and the Greek warplanes would land at Turkish bases. In addition, Ankara will insist that Athens extend its confidence-building measures after the elections in Greece. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] MAYORS OF ATHENS AND ISTANBUL IN THE US

    The Mayor of Istanbul, Ali Mufit Gurtuna, and the Mayor of Athens, Dimitrios Avramopulos, met at the gathering that was organized by the Western Political Institute (WPI) in Washington, issuing signal that they would continue to work to strengthen permanent friendship and cooperation between the two countries. These two Mayors stated that they were in full support of their governments' policy of dialogue and rapprochement on both shores of the Aegean Sea. Avramopulos called Gurtuna the 'intelligent leader of the city' and stated that the Greek government fully supported the policy of opening up to Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [11] AMENDMENTS TO ASSOCIATIONS' LAW

    The Cabinet has been given the authority to dissolve the administrative organs of Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and the Turkish Aviation Board (THK), the Anatolia News Agency reports. The Cabinet now has the authority to rewrite, implement and annul the procedural rules of the two organizations, dissolve their organizational bodies and replace them with interim boards on the advice of audit reports.

    [12] EU PARLIAMENTARIANS REACT TO BIRDAL'S IMPRISONMENT

    European Union parliamentarians yesterday condemned Turkey's imprisonment of International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) Deputy Chairman Akin Birdal during a European Parliament session in Brussels. Turkey was criticized during the meeting for imprisoning Birdal, who had previously been given a two-year sentence but was granted a temporary release on health grounds, while a European Parliament delegation was in the country. The Chairman of the socialist group within the EU Parliament, Enrique Baron Crespo, said that they supported Turkey in its EU candidacy, but they disapproved of Birdal's imprisonment. European Parliament Chairman Nicole Fontaine stated that they will watch developments concerning the incident closely.

    [13] COMMANDERS TO MEET TODAY

    The Chief of General Staff and force commanders will today meet at the Headquarters of the General Staff today. Activities of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will be discussed. The Commanders of Land, Naval and Air and the General Commander of the Gendarmerie will convene under the chairmanship of the Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu. During the meeting, the results of [Athe first vote taken in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) for constitutional amendments and their related developments will also de debated. Meanwhile, President Suleyman Demirel will open the TSK Rehabilitation Centre, the foundation of which was laid in December 1996. The Centre will serve for the rehabilitation of disabled TSK staff wounded in conflicts. /Aksam/

    [14] HOLLAND REJECTS POLITICAL ASYLUM DEMAND OF KARAYILAN

    Holland has rejected the political asylum demand of PKK member, Murat Karayilan, who made his application on November 14, 1999. This decision has dealt a blow to Karayilan's political attempts. The reports from the Dutch Interior Ministry and the Dutch intelligence service have been effective in the decision. /Aksam/

    [15] TURKEY'S SEVEN CHURCHES PLAY MAJOR ROLE IN FAITH TOURISM

    The Independent Protestant Church Association's Chairman, Ertan Cevik, has stated that in the Book of Revelation, the last chapter of the Bible which was written by St.John the Evangelist, a close associate and disciple of Jesus Christ, seven churches are mentioned, adding, "Christians read about these churches in the Bible without realizing that they are located in Turkey", the Anatolia News Agency reports. Cevik added that Christ had transmitted warnings concerning various events to John, to be sent to churches located in Ephesus (Efes), Smyrna (Izmir), Bergama, Thyatira (Akhisar), Sardes, Philedelphia (Alasehir) and Laodocia (Denizli).

    [16] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CONFORMITY FORUM FOR EU

    The Religious Affairs Directorate is to form an international forum in order to participate in the process of accession to the EU, a process which it considers important, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The international forum will discuss "Religious Life in Turkey as it enters the EU" and will take place in Istanbul between May 2 and 6. EU Ambassadors and experts in many relevant fields are expected to attend the forum, including jurists, historians, theologians and advisors. Topics such as Islam's image in Europe and the position of Islam in Europe will be discussed.

    [17] EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS TO MOVE INTO PREFABRICATED HOUSES

    Thirteen tent cities, which were set up after the earthquake that occurred on 12 November in Bolu, have begun to be dismantled now that prefabricated houses have been built. Having survived the earthquake, 2,000 families living in the tents have been moved into prefabricated houses. Officials from the crisis desk in Bolu stated that the crisis situation in Bolu was now over and that they were trying to help earthquake survivors return to normal. Officials added that they would dismantle the remaining tents in which a small number of earthquake survivors are living and move them into the prefabricated houses. /Milliyet/

    [18] AWARD FOR THY AND DELTA IN THE US

    The 19th annual meeting of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) for discussions between Turkey and the US in defence, economy and culture started yesterday in Washington. The award of "Leadership in Trade" was presented to the Head of Turkish Airlines (THY) Yusuf Bolayirli and the Deputy Chairman of Delta Airlines Scott Yohe at the opening ceremony. The Turkish Minister of Public Works and Housing, Koray Aydin, gave a speech and said Turkey would cooperate in trade and investments and asked US businessmen to invest in Turkey. George Munoz, the Head of OPIC, an over-seas private investment company affiliated to the US Administration, remarked that OPIC had not extended such intensive support to any country other than Turkey during the last year. /Aksam/

    [19] ONAL IS CONTENT WITH NEW IMF CHAIRMAN

    State Minister Recep Onal has declared that the fact that Horst Kohler had been elected Chairman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was a positive development. Onal said that he knew Kohler from his work both in Germany and in the European Union (EU) and the two men were on good terms with each other. Onal stressed that Kohler knew Turkey very well and that this situation would reflect positively on Turkey's relations with the EU. /Sabah/

    [20] TREASURY TO RECEIVE 600 MILLION EUROS LOAN

    It was revealed that the value of the bonds to be sold abroad by the Treasury under the leadership of BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank would amount to 600 million Euros. In a statement issued by Paribas and Deutsche Bank, the bonds will expire on 14 April 2005. /Sabah/

    [21] ISTANBUL GOLD STOCK EXCHANGE'S SUCCESS

    The Chairman of Hong Kong's Gold and Silver Stock Exchange, Raymond Chan, said that the Gold Stock Exchange in Istanbul (IAB) might be the world's fifth biggest such stock exchange after that of New York, Hong Kong, London and Tokyo. Chan visited the IAB and stated that its success derived from the fact that it connects the main consumers in Asia and Europe to each other and that it is located between the Middle Eastern countries and international markets. /Sabah/

    [22] KOC-SABAH PARTNERSHIP FOR GSM

    The Koc Conglomerate stated that it would bid in the GSM 1800 licence going out for tender on April 3, 2000, together with Bilgin-Medya Group as its Turkish partner. The Koc Holding Company previously stated that it would bid in the GSM tender with SBC, based in the US, as its foreign partner. The name of the partnership between the SBC and the Koc Group will be KOCTEL Telecommunications Services Joint Stock Company. /Aksam/

    [23] $125 MILLION IN LOANS TO FINANSBANK

    Finansbank has received a three-year term secured loan, worth $125 million, from foreign markets. The Bank of America acted as the lead arranger for the loan which was secured on commercial foreign currency influx. The loan has a BBB rating from Duff and Phelps and Fitch IBCA. An original plan to borrow $100 million was revised due to strong investor demand for participation. /Aksam/

    [24] INVESTMENT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MANUFACTURING SECTOR

    The Treasury Undersecretariat has prepared 213 documents of encouragement which foresee investments totalling 392.5 trillion TL in February 2000. From these investments, 132.5 trillion TL will go to the manufacturing sector, 6.4 trillion TL to mining and 2.1 trillion TL to agriculture. The investments in the documents of encouragement prepared between February 1 and 29 are fixed. /Aksam/

    [25] DEMAND FOR TUPRAS SOARS ABOVE PLANNED OFFER

    Preliminary subscription-building for the state-run refinery TUPRAS, Turkey's largest industrial company, as it more than tripled the originally proposed 15 %, the Privatization Administration Board (OIB) announced yesterday. During March 22-29 subscription period, domestic demand for TUPRAS shares totalled 40,895,364 against 11,212,800 initially offered. The initial demand covers 54.71 % of all TUPRAS shares. Turkish officials said previously that they might consider raising the stake to 30 % if they see a strong demand from international markets as well. The price band for shares will be unveiled on Sunday, and the offer price will be set once subsciptions are finalized by April 7. Meanwhile, 25.77 of the shares of the Eregli Iron and Steel Company (ERDEMIR) have been transferred to the Privatization Administration Board (OIB). /All papers/

    [26] EFES PILSEN'S SUCCESS

    The Turkish basketball team Efes Pilsen has reached the 'Final Four` in the Men's European League. Yesterday, defeating the French Asvel team 68-66, Efes Pilsen was included in the top four teams of the European League for the first time. The Turkish team will play Panathinaikos on April 18 in Salonica. /Hurriyet/

    [27] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [28] INDIAN EXAMPLE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on relations between Turkey and India. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to India provides an opportunity to view the "Indian model" at close quarters, in addition to improving relations between India and Turkey. India, the second most densely-populated country in the world, draws Turkey's interest both with her rapidly-developing economy and technology, and the active role she plays in international relations.

    Turkey's close ties with Pakistan have somewhat distanced New Delhi in the past. However, recently Turkish diplomacy has rightly decided that Turkey's links with Islamabad should not hinder any improvement in relations with India. The diplomatic warmth witnessed recently will certainly gain a new impetus with the visit of Prime Minister Ecevit, who has held India in great esteem since his youth.

    During his visit, the Prime Minister will see that Turkey can do a lot of business with India in all areas, from trade to joint ventures, technology to culture. At present, our relations are in need of improvement. In addition to these, this visit provides an important oppotunity to observe some particularly Indian characteristics, one of them being that India can maintain a climate of pluralistic freedom notwithstanding the fact that she does not enjoy many of the conditions required for a democracy. In India, there are 26 states and six regions; the number of official languages tops 17; two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line; illiteracy is 50%. In spite of all these factors, India has managed to successfully maintain democratic order. The reason for this lies in the fact that Indian politicians and rulers, as well as the people, truly believe in democracy. That is why, although violence, religious movements or the currents of separatism may be seen in the country from time to time, India has been able to solve these problems using a pluralistic system and freedom of expression.

    It is a real achievement for India to maintain her multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural structure a democratic way, and to sustain the rate of development in technology, agriculture and other fields.

    There are important conclusions for Turkey to draw in observing the example of India. During his visit, our Prime Minister will certainly gain some impressions which should lead to a detailed study of the "Indian model"."

    [29] WHAT ECEVIT OWES BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi comments on the results of voting for Constitutional amendments and on the short announcement made by the Prime Minister prior to his departure to India on the subject. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that stability was based on very sensitive balances and that he was working not to upset them. We hope he continues his efforts on the issue in the light of the responsibilities he has undertaken for the people and history. It is a mistake for him to see President Demirel as the only source and guarantee of stability in Turkey. While Turkey was dangling in instability Demirel was President. They have built the climate of stability themselves by laying the foundations of a social peace with a "compromise government" despite the difficult arithmetics in the Parliament since the 18 April elections. They did not do this for Demirel and cannot sacrifice it for Demirel.

    It appears that the required number of votes to re-elect Demirel will not be cast. Forcing this issue will only lead to a governmental crisis.

    Ecevit has done all he can. As his responsibility must be towards the nation he should take out the issue of Demirel's candidacy from being a governmental problem. Turkey has entered a process of fighting inflation and preparing for full-membership in the EU. People trusted him and accepted the sacrifices he asked. In the end he has to bow to the will of the Parliament and the virtue of democracy.

    He should withdraw the proposal for the amendment in the Constitution , ask for a vote of confidence from Parliament and getting this support, should go on tackling the issues at hand. As the ruling majority, they can agree on a candidate for president.

    The ruling parties which even agreed on the postponement of Ocalan's death sentence, and should attach great importance to the prestige they have gained in the eyes of the people.


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