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Turkish Press Review, 98-12-16

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

16.12.98

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BAYKAL'S PROPOSAL: CHP-DSP COALITION
  • [02] YILMAZ: "THERE IS NO ECONOMIC CRISIS"
  • [03] ITALY: PKK IS THE DRUG BOSS OF EUROPE
  • [04] TURKISH APPROVAL IS ESSENTIAL
  • [05] OCALAN: "I AM READY TO LEAVE ITALY"
  • [06] ITALY: "THERE IS NO PLAN FOR ALBANIA"
  • [07] PARRIS: "WE ARE DETERMINED ABOUT OCALAN"
  • [08] OCALAN CANNOT CONVINCE EUROPE
  • [09] COMPANIES THAT SACK WORKERS TO LOSE EXIMBANK LOANS
  • [10] $200 MILLION FOR TREASURY
  • [11] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS TO MEET
  • [12] SEZGIN: "ITALY IS LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT OF ITS BLUNDER"
  • [13] SUPPLEMENTARY DECISIONS FOR UPCOMING ELECTIONS
  • [14] BREAKFAST WITH VIRTUE PARTY
  • [15] 21 TERRORISTS KILLED
  • [16] TWO VILLAGE GUARDS DIE STEPPING ON A MINE
  • [17] GERMANY FOLLOWS ACTIVITIES OF METIN KAPLAN
  • [18] GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION LIFTS TRADE BAN
  • [19] "INTELLECTUAL MIND AND STUPIDITY"
  • [20] CHANGE IN STANCE ON OIL
  • [21] IMKB PLAYING FOR LEADERSHIP
  • [22] BALL OF FIRE
  • [23] PEACE IN THE BALKANS
  • [24] THE AGE OF BRAND IN LALELI
  • [25] ANNAN'S REPORT UNCOVERS THE BARGAINING IN CYPRUS
  • [26] TURKISH FILM IN EUROPE
  • [27] ISTANBUL DERBY: GALATASARAY-BESIKTAS
  • [28] TROY IN THE WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE LIST

  • [01] BAYKAL'S PROPOSAL: CHP-DSP COALITION

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit, appointed by President Suleyman Demirel to form the new government, met Republican People's Party CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday to discuss the possibility of a DSP minority government. Although Ecevit had managed to gain the support of his former coalition partners, the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP), Baykal refused to back a minority government. Instead, Baykal came up with a counter-proposal in the 75-minute-long meeting: A "CHP-DSP left bloc" minority coalition government. Ecevit, however, said that Baykal's proposal would lead to a left-right polarization that could be counter-productive.

    As an alternative, Ecevit proposed a broad-based ANAP-DYP-DSP-CHP coalition government. Baykal rejected this option as well, saying that the CHP would only look favourably on a broad-based coalition government if it was formed under the leadership of a deputy who is not the leader of a political party. In his statement after the meeting, Ecevit said that he and Baykal might meet once more or discuss the various proposals by phone on Wednesday. Ecevit indicated that he would also hold a meeting with ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz to evaluate the latest developments. /All papers/

    [02] YILMAZ: "THERE IS NO ECONOMIC CRISIS"

    President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz attended a ceremony to present plaquettes to top-bracket tax-payers and to celebrate the 97th anniversary of the foundation of the Samsun Chamber of Trade and Industry. Demirel and Yilmaz also participated in an opening ceremony of the Samsun-Carsamba Airport. Delivering a speech, Yilmaz said that there was no economic crisis in Turkey. Yilmaz noted that the Turkish economy had been affected by the crisis in Russia and stated that this was not considered an economic crisis. He added that positive results due to measures taken were being received. /Hurriyet/

    [03] ITALY: PKK IS THE DRUG BOSS OF EUROPE

    The Head of the Italian Security Office, Alessandro Pansa, said in a statement yesterday that the main resource of the PKK terrorist organization was drug smuggling. He added: "A great part of the drugs which enter Italy are being provided by the PKK". The Italian Finance Ministry also announced that the PKK was also engaged in the smuggling of immigrants in addition to drug trafficking. These remarkable statements by the Italian Security Office and Finance Ministry took place in the "Il Giornale" newspaper published in Italy. Alessandro Pansa also noted that there were many proofs which indicate that the PKK has been marketing drugs for many years. /Hurriyet/

    [04] TURKISH APPROVAL IS ESSENTIAL

    The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lamberto Dini, said that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan could be tried at an international tribunal with the approval of Turkey. Replying to questions put by the BBC, Dini stated that according to an agreement ratified at the Council of Europe in 1972, for the trial of an accused person in another country, the signatory countries should extend their approval. /Hurriyet/

    [05] OCALAN: "I AM READY TO LEAVE ITALY"

    The leader of the PKK terrorist organization Abdullan Ocalan said that if a political solution to his problem could not found, he was ready to leave Italy. Ocalan added: "I came here for political reasons. If I cannot be accepted politically, I will leave". Ocalan noted that he preferred the right of political asylum to be granted to him. /Hurriyet/

    [06] ITALY: "THERE IS NO PLAN FOR ALBANIA"

    Italian officials from the Prime Minister's Office and Foreign Ministry made a brief statement yesterday and said that Italy had not even considered the made-up hypothesis of expelling the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to Albania. Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was quoted yesterday as saying that Turkey and Italy are discussing the possibility of sending Ocalan to Albania for trial to resolve their dispute over his extradition. But Italy and Albania denied the report. In Tirana, the Albanian Minister of Information Mussa Ulqini also denied there had been any discussion of Ocalan coming to Albania. /Hurriyet/

    [07] PARRIS: "WE ARE DETERMINED ABOUT OCALAN"

    The US Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris, said that America was determined to see Abdullah Ocalan tried, adding that they understood Turkey's sensitivity to the usage of the expression "minority". During a dinner with to members of the Diplomatic Correspondents' Association, Parris noted that the establishment of an international court for Abdullah Ocalan's trial was out of the question. Parris claimed that the Ocalan issue did not affect the structure or procedure of NATO although both Turkey and Italy were members of the organization.

    Regarding the Northern Iraq issue, Parris said that Turkey benefitted from Northern Iraq as a regional country and the US had global advantages in the region and that the PKK had not re-grouped their strength in Northern Iraq. The US could not develop any strategy independent from Turkey in the region, added Parris.

    Moreover, the Ambassador stressed that they supported Turkey's European Union (EU) full, unconditional membership. Parris added that they welcomed improving relations between Turkey and Israel. /Aksam/

    [08] OCALAN CANNOT CONVINCE EUROPE

    The PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan made a statement saying that he "had abandoned violent activities", this is not realistic. The Belgian "Le Libre Belgique" newspaper reported that Ocalan called his men "cut-throats" in his statement to MED-TV. The newspaper noted that Ocalan tried to show that he was changed but he could not rid himself of the responsibility of his "repulsive actions" that he had been involved in for 15 years.

    Meanwhile, the French "Le Soir" newspaper attracted attention to the fact that Ocalan had accepted the Turkish government's "terrorist" accusation about himself in his statement on MED-TV. /Aksam/

    [09] COMPANIES THAT SACK WORKERS TO LOSE EXIMBANK LOANS

    Those factories that fire workers using the latest crisis as an excuse will not be able to benefit from Eximbank loans, State Minister Isin Celebi announced yesterday. Last Friday, the Cabinet announced that $10 billion in low interest loans would be made available to exporters. Celebi said that there was no economic crisis in Turkey, only a 'deadlock' and said the deadlock should not be used as an excuse to lay off workers.

    Labour Minister Nami Cagan also called on employers not to sack workers as their first reaction to the threat of a crisis. At a press conference yesterday, Cagan vowed that all legal measures would be used to safeguard jobs and protect the rights of workers. /All papers/

    [10] $200 MILLION FOR TREASURY

    The Treasury, which has exported bonds worth $200 million via Chase and Salomon Smith Barney on international markets, received great interest from foreign investors. With the arrival of the money in the Treasury, it is expected that interest rates will decrease. /Hurriyet/

    [11] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS TO MEET

    Following a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers last week, the Defense Ministers of the Alliance will gather in Brussels tomorrow for a two-day conference. The Turkish delegation will be led by Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin, a Foreign Ministry statement said yesterday. The Defense Ministers will hold discussions within the framework of the Nuclear Planning group, the Defense Planning Committee and the North Atlantic Council. /All papers/

    [12] SEZGIN: "ITALY IS LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT OF ITS BLUNDER"

    Ismet Sezgin, the Minister of National Defense and the Deputy Prime Minister, noted in a conference that Italy was regretful and even in a state of bewilderment, and said: "She made a blunder, and now she is looking for a way out of it." /Turkiye/

    [13] SUPPLEMENTARY DECISIONS FOR UPCOMING ELECTIONS

    The Supreme Election Board (YSK) made a series of decisions yesterday concerning the upcoming national and municipal elections to be held on April 18, 1999. According to the decisions, which were published in the Official Gazette yesterday, any changes in the status of local administrations after the countdown to elections begins on January 1, 1999, will not be considered valid for the April elections. Local administrations will exhibit their electoral lists for 29 days starting on December 17. /All papers/

    [14] BREAKFAST WITH VIRTUE PARTY

    Ertugrul Ozkok, a journalist from the Hurriyet daily newspaper, says in his article today: "The Virtue Party (FP) will organize an interesting breakfast tomorrow at the Bilkent Hotel in Ankara. Administrators of leading publications in Turkey, editors and correspondents are invited to this breakfast. The Chairman of the FP, Recai Kutan, himself phoned some of these administrators and editors and invited them to the breakfast. Maybe the FP will kick-off the campaign for the April 18 elections. The importance of the meeting is this: the most radical change during the period including that of the Welfare Party (RP) will be explained in a 58-page text.

    This text will be the base for further discussions related to changes to be made in the programme of the FP. In the light of these discussions, the main programme will be put forth. First of all, the mentality of 'just order' in the economic area will not be valid anymore. The FP is walking along the path towards a free market economy. Yesterday, I talked to the Deputy Chairman of the FP, Cemil Cicek. Cicek said: "We are ready to approve the definition of secularism formed during a religious council organized by State Minister Husamettin Ozkan". Then I decided to read the final declaration of the council. It says: "Secularism is not a target but a means to a lifestyle which makes people live in reconciliation. In order to determine the global and local dimensions of the issue, religious, legal, social and political experts should convene and undertake joint studies". This means that secularism could be re-defined according to the conditions of the day. The FP says that they will approve this definition. Another issue, which I wonder at, is the eight-year uninterrupted basic education system. What will the FP explain regarding this issue? Cemil Cicek said: "We are not dealing with the length of time of education. Our basic issue is how can the contents of education be richer? Our approach does not relate to the school of preaching and clergymen". However one cannot give a final decision without seeing the text to be announced tomorrow". /Hurriyet/

    [15] 21 TERRORISTS KILLED

    According to military sources, security forces started operations against the PKK separatist terrorist organization to prevent its preparations for the winter season. During the operations in and around Tunceli and Bingol 19 terrorists were killed, and in Lice township of Diyarbakir two terrorists were killed. Meanwhile, eight terrorists were seized with their weapons and two members of the security forces were killed by the end of the clashes in and around Siirt and Sirnak. It is announced that operations will continue. /Aksam/

    [16] TWO VILLAGE GUARDS DIE STEPPING ON A MINE

    In the Midyat district of Mardin, two village guards aged 25 and 33 died by stepping on a mine that had been laid on the road to the BOTAS Oil Pipeline by PKK terrorists. /Turkiye/

    [17] GERMANY FOLLOWS ACTIVITIES OF METIN KAPLAN

    Germany started investigations into Metin Kaplan who announced himself as the leader of the Islam Federated State in Germany and plans bloody activities in Turkey against the Republic of Turkey. A group of German judges came to Ankara yesterday to obtain some detailed information about Kaplan's activities in Turkey. The German delegation will also visit Istanbul State Security Court before leaving Turkey. /Aksam/

    [18] GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION LIFTS TRADE BAN

    The Greek-Cypriot Administration lifted every kind of trade ban applied against Turkey. With the new decision the import of Turkish goods will be unrestricted. According to the Greek Cypriot Fileleftheros newspaper the decision was taken immediately after the meeting between Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish and Greek businessmen in Istanbul. /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] "INTELLECTUAL MIND AND STUPIDITY"

    Journalist Yalcin Peksen wrote in his article in the Aksam newspaper today about a meeting of intellectuals in Istanbul last weekend.

    Peksen wrote that 120 intellectuals issued a joint declaration in Istanbul last weekend on establishing a "tendency of togetherness in peace despite differences observed". He reported: "Adin G.Gurkan, Fikri Saglar, Abdullah Gul, Abdulmelik Firat, Umur Talu, Abdurrahman Dilipak, Ishak Alaton and Huseyin Hatemi, who have very different world views, signed the declaration. Which means: laic intellectuals support Islamists. In other words, they try to create a whole within the polarization of society after 28 February."

    The journalist said that this situation reminded him of the Iranian intellectuals living in the period of Shah Riza Pehlevi, during which intellectuals supported both Islamists and Communists against the dictatorship of Pehlevi.

    Peksen continued: "There were similarities and dissimilarities between the situations in Turkey and Iran. Turkey is not a dictatorship but there are some threats: the PKK and Reactionism. The State was successful in its struggle against these threats."

    Now, intellectuals announce this process as "dirty". Should not Turkish intellectuals first sign the efforts above?, asked Yalcin Peksen in his article. /Aksam/

    [20] CHANGE IN STANCE ON OIL

    US President Clinton's Special Advisor on the Caspian Basin, Ambassador Richard Morningstar, said that the international consortium (AIOC) established to drill Azerbaijani oil and transport it to Western markets understood the importance of the political role the Baku-Ceyhan project will play in the region. He added: "The consortium sees the political realities concerning Baku-Ceyhan and that the Straits cannot be used as a main passage way. At present, the cost and financing of the project is being discussed." He did not want to give a deadline for the completion of the talks during which commercial problems are to be discussed. Morningstar stated that the AIOC had changed its opposition to the Baku-Ceyhan project. Morningstar expressed his confidence that all governments in Turkey would support the Baku-Ceyhan project. /Sabah/

    [21] IMKB PLAYING FOR LEADERSHIP

    The Chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), Osman Birsen, stated that the IMKB was the leader in Eurasia and had gone into partnership with the OECD to fulfil its obligations. Birsen, who spoke at a panel on "Stock Exchange Crisis in the 21st century" organized by the Foundation of Financial Administrators, said that the IMKB had entered into partnership with the OECD which had great influence on the world economy on a 50% basis. He said: "The aim of this project is to provide project financing and contribute to the development of capital markets in the region." Adding that the IMKB had been elected to the Chairmanship of the Eurasia Stock Exchanges Federation (FEAS) on special request, Birsen said that Turkey served as an example for the countries of the FEAS. /Sabah/

    [22] BALL OF FIRE

    In his column Yavuz Donat is analyzing the latest developments in Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit's efforts to form a government.

    "Yesterday, the Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal thought about Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit's request to support his minority government and came with a counter-proposal suggesting they form a coalition government. For a while Ecevit has been walking with a ball of fire in his hands. He first threw the ball to Tansu Ciller, the Chairman of the True Path Party (DYP). The tactic was clear. Ciller would either accept the proposal or be labelled as intransigent. The same was true for Baykal. He would be labelled as the leader shutting the door for a social democrat party to come into power. However Baykal threw the ball of fire back into Ecevit's hands with his counter proposal. The Virtue Party, the True Path Party and the Republican People's Party thought that Ecevit would ask the President to be relieved of his duties in a short time. However they were mistaken". /Sabah/

    [23] PEACE IN THE BALKANS

    Speaking in a symposium on "The Balkans and Turkish Policies in the Region", General Necati Ozgen, the Commander of the War Academies, stated that it would be very difficult to prevent the expansion of a Kosovo-based crisis in the region. Noting that the expense of the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina had been paid for by the Bosnians, Ozgen said that under the prevailing circumstances, "a possible extensive war in the Balkans will unequivocally have devastating effects on all parties." General Necati Ozgen mentioned the importance of the region for Turkish foreign and military policies of Turkey and emphasized the indispensability of the need for the peaceful existence of the Balkan peoples despite their different ethnic and religious backgrounds. /Turkiye/

    [24] THE AGE OF BRAND IN LALELI

    Laleli, the centre of the luggage trade between Russia and Turkey, is seeking for means to cope with the prevailing stagnation due to the crisis in Russia. It was reported that the producers were gradually compelled to get into quality production under their own brands and that triggered a major transformation in the Laleli market. The trade between Laleli and Russia is estimated as $10 billion per year. /Turkiye/

    [25] ANNAN'S REPORT UNCOVERS THE BARGAINING IN CYPRUS

    It was reported that Kofi Annan, the UN General Secretary, submitted a report to the Security Council concerning his good-will mission in the region, criticized for being "extremely optimistic" by the diplomatic circles. Considering the attitudes of Denktas and Klerides as "constructive and encouraging", Annan also expressed the terms of discussion in the concealed meetings between the two parties on the island. Accordingly, the major points of discussion are as follows: 1. A guarantee to avoid the exertion and threat of force. 2. A guarantee against the increase of military forces and equipment. 3. A mutual reduction in the number of weapons and soldiers in numbers. 4. A guarantee for the acceptance of the "set of measures" proposed by the UN Peace Force (UNFICYP) which aims to decrease tension in the cease-fire zone. /Milliyet/

    [26] TURKISH FILM IN EUROPE

    The Turkish film "Hoscakal Yarin", (Goodbye Tomorrow) by Reis Celik, will be watched today by European Parliamentary members and members of the European Court of Human Rights in the Odyssee Cinema. The film is about the period after 12 March in Turkey. Reis Celik will answer questions put by European Parliamentary members and members of the European Court of Human Rights. /Aksam/

    [27] ISTANBUL DERBY: GALATASARAY-BESIKTAS

    It is expected that the important randezvous in Ali Sami Yen stadium in Istanbul tonight between Galatasaray and Besiktas football teams will be very competitive. Both teams are established with some of Turkey's star football players and the match will not easily be forgotten for many years. Football authorities said that the match will be a "tactics war" between the trainers of the teams. Both teams will work hard to win the match. /Aksam/

    [28] TROY IN THE WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE LIST

    The ancient city of Troy, the history of which dates back 5,000 years, has been included in the 'World Cultural Heritage' list by UNESCO. According to a statement made by the Canakkale Cultural Directorate, during a meeting of the 'UNESCO World Heritage Committee' held in Kyoto, Japan, on November 30-December 5, the ancient city of Troy was unanimously included in the 'World Cultural Heritage' list, the Anatolia news agency reports.
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