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Turkish Press Review, 98-12-25

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

25.12.98

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EREZ: "GOVERNMENT'S DUTY IS TO HOLD ELECTIONS"
  • [02] MERAL: "NEW GOVERNMENT MUST BE ESTABLISHED SOON"
  • [03] ELECTION CALENDER READY
  • [04] BUSINESSMEN LEND SUPPORT TO EREZ
  • [05] BELGIAN PRESS: "OCALAN POISONED ITALIAN POLICY"
  • [06] OCALAN CALLS FOR US HELP
  • [07] THREE CONDITIONS FROM OCALAN TO ITALY
  • [08] MOSCOW GUARANTEES ANKARA
  • [09] HABUR BORDER GATE LOSES TL 10 TRILLION EVERY MONTH
  • [10] JAZZ CONCERTS IN NEW YEAR
  • [11] MITTERRAND SUPPORTS OCALAN
  • [12] ITALY REJECTS HOUSE ARREST FOR OCALAN
  • [13] TURKISH TOURISM IS DIRECTED TOWARDS ASIA
  • [14] ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [15] MISSILES TO CRETE
  • [16] BOMB ATTACK IN VAN
  • [17] REACTION TO UN CYPRUS RESOLUTION
  • [18] MINIMUM WAGE TO BE DECIDED TODAY
  • [19] PARLIAMENT EXTENDS NORTHERN WATCH ANOTHER SIX-MONTH MANDATE
  • [20] POAS SHARES TO BE SOLD
  • [21] HUGE FAIR IN ISTANBUL
  • [22] FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [23] EUROPEAN DOUBLE STANDARD: PINOCHET AND OCALAN -BY ISMET GIRITLI (TURKIYE)
  • [24] DUTIES OF AN ALLIANCE -BY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (HURRIYET)
  • [25] VIOLENCE PRODUCES VIOLENCE - BY YALCIN DOGAN (MILLIYET)
  • [26] "ISMET INONU" -BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] EREZ: "GOVERNMENT'S DUTY IS TO HOLD ELECTIONS"

    Assigned to form Turkey's 56th government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Independent Mugla Deputy Yalim Erez said that the yet-to-be-formed government's primary duty will be to hold elections on April 18, 1999, as agreed by Parliament, in a democratic and healthy atmosphere. Erez told journalists that he is attempting to reach a 'grand consensus', before his first meeting as the prime minister-designate with Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin early yesterday.

    Welcoming Erez's statement that he is going to meet first the Virtue Party (FP), FP leader Recai Kutan said that their support is pending an election date of April 18, as planned. Speaking at his party's parliamentary group, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that ANAP will discuss every proposal of Erez unconditionally in order to get the country out of the 'government crisis'. Yilmaz accused True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller, who immediately voiced her disagreement with Erez's appointment, of not taking the welfare of the country into consideration and thinking only of herself and her party. Yilmaz pointed out that Erez's appointment was Parliament's last chance before the President intervenes and forms a 'Cankaya' government.

    Meanwhile, within the framework of meetings, Erez met Minister of Labour and Social Security Nami Cagan. Before the meeting, Erez said he was considering forming a council consisting of political party leaders and unions to establish the social security reform package. Erez also met Justice Minister Hasan Denizkurdu yesterday. /All papers/

    [02] MERAL: "NEW GOVERNMENT MUST BE ESTABLISHED SOON"

    Bayram Meral, Chairman of the Confederation of Turkish Union Workers (Turk-Is) said that the government has to be established quickly. He added: "It would be very optimistic to expect many achievements from a government that will last for only a three or four month period". The Turk-Is board of governors were meeting to discuss the details of the collective labour agreements for the next year and the strategies they will follow in the upcoming April 18 elections. /All papers/

    [03] ELECTION CALENDER READY

    The calender for the upcoming national and municipal elections, to be held on April 18, 1999, has been determined by the Supreme Board of Election (YSK). In accordance with the YSK's timetable, the election period will start on January 4, 1999. On the controversial issue of how Turks living abroad will cast their votes, the YSK has decided that they will be able to vote at Customs beginning on March 25, 1999. The deadline for political parties to inform the YSK of the criteria and methods they will employ in defining their candidates is, January, 8, 1999, the Anatolia news agency reports. If political parties as for it, a bi-election for determining candidates for both elections could be held on February 14, 1999, the YSK suggested.

    [04] BUSINESSMEN LEND SUPPORT TO EREZ

    Omer Dinckok, board chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ISO), stated that the government to be established by Yalim Erez would be able to receive a vote of confidence. Husamettin Kavi, ISO administrative board chairman, wishes Yalim Erez success, saying: "I hope under these circumstances he will be able to form a government that gets a vote of confidence. If not, the future picture of the country will be rather gloomy. We are anxiously awaiting the establishment of the new government". /All papers/

    [05] BELGIAN PRESS: "OCALAN POISONED ITALIAN POLICY"

    The 'La Libre Belgique', one of the leading newspapers published in Belgium, said that Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema exerted great efforts to get rid of the leader of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan. The newspaper described Ocalan as a 'hot potato' which burnt Italians' mouth. The newspaper claimed that Ocalan would soon leave Italy and pointed out that Ocalan poisoned Italian policy and diplomacy. The newspaper stated that D'Alema was disturbed with the stance of Germany and Turkey and said that the Italian Foreign Ministry was evaluating every opportunity to solve the Ocalan problem. The newspaper added that Ocalan might go to Ukraine or another Baltic country or Lebanon.

    In Ankara, Turkish Justice Minister Hasan Denizkurdu yesterday said that Italy was 'massacring justice' by trying to send Ocalan away even before considering a Turkish request for his extradition. "All the principles of justice have been violated since Ocalan arrived in Italy" Denizkurdu said, vowing that Turkey will "follow him wherever he goes. Turkey's extradition request remains in place". /Turkiye/

    [06] OCALAN CALLS FOR US HELP

    The Voice of America which airs the official policies of the Washington Administration broadcast an interview held with Ocalan who led to a 'mini crisis' between the US and Turkey. Ocalan called for support to solve the Kurdish problem from the Washington Administration which described him as a terrorist and asked that he stand trial. He added that if he leaves Italy, it will not be because he is deported. He stressed that he did not want to quit the PKK but that he was tired of the arbitrary behaviour displayed by some of his members. /Hurriyet/

    [07] THREE CONDITIONS FROM OCALAN TO ITALY

    Bargaining with Italy in going to a third country, Ocalan demands protection, a continuance of his political activities, and recognition by the conference of a political title. Ahmet Yaman, the representative of ERNK, said: "Ocalan may leave Italy for another country only on the condition that his life will be protected of his life, the possibility to continue his political activities exists, and that there is recognition of his political identity and that he not be a refugee." Giuliano Pisapia, Ocalan's lawyer, noted that Ocalan could go to former Soviet republics but it was difficult to be sure about the provision of his security in these countries.

    In this respect, the Corriere Della Sera daily reported that, most recently, Denmark and Finland were offered as alternatives to Ocalan and wrote: "Denmark and Finland can be perfect choices to this end. For they are close to the Kurdish propaganda centers. They are situated so that it is easy to be in touch with MED TV in Brussels. Above all, there is an established respected Kurdish community in these countries." Meanwhile, La Stampa noted that Ocalan had been promised an international conference on the Kurdish question after his leaving the country. /Milliyet/

    [08] MOSCOW GUARANTEES ANKARA

    Russian officials said that the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is not in Russia and is not expected in the country any time. "Abdullan Ocalan is not and will not be on the territory of the Russian Federation" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency. Rakhmanin was responding to Russian television reports on Ocalan's whereabouts. /All papers/

    [09] HABUR BORDER GATE LOSES TL 10 TRILLION EVERY MONTH

    Minister of State, responsible for the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), Salih Yildirim said that after the US operation against Iraq, traffic through the Habur border gate stopped, only in transit vehicles were given permission. Yildirim added: "Fuel oil flow almost ceased and the daily cost of this is TL 400-500 billion to Turkey. The monthly loss is nearly TL 10 trillion." He pointed out that the transport of fule oil and border trade through the Habur border gate ensure jobs for one million people. Yildirim noted that Turkey hoped Iraqi officials would take serious, the requests of the United Nations and world public opinion and that the crisis would be solved as soon as possible. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] JAZZ CONCERTS IN NEW YEAR

    World famous British jazz singer, Elaine Delmar, is going to come to Turkey as the guest of the Istanbul British Council. Delmar, who interprets classical jazz songs of the 20th century in a dynamic style, also uses the blues technique in her interpretation of Broadway musicals and classic jaz songs. During her first visit to Turkey, Delmar will give two performances, the first one will be on 28 December at the Istanbul State Theatre Taksim Stage and the second one will on 29 December at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel. /Sabah/

    [11] MITTERRAND SUPPORTS OCALAN

    Danielle Mitterrand, widow of the French former President Francois Mitterrand, asked European Union (EU) countries to reach a compromise to give Abdullah Ocalan political asylum in "Europe". Head of the France-Libertes, Mitterrand, noted that the Ocalan issue not only belonged to Italy but it also belonged to Europe. She called the EU to give Ocalan political asylum immediately. /Sabah/

    [12] ITALY REJECTS HOUSE ARREST FOR OCALAN

    Giovanni Melarba's, the Italian lawyer resposible for presesnting Turkey's petition in court for the extradition of Ocalan; had the request made to put Abdullah Ocalan under house arrest rejected by Italian Minister of Justice, Oliviero Diliberto. In his report Diliberto pointed out that there was no need to take Ocalan under watch. /Sabah/

    [13] TURKISH TOURISM IS DIRECTED TOWARDS ASIA

    The Turkish Hotel Owners' Association (TUROB) organized a meeting in Euro Plaza in Istanbul. The chairman of TUROB, Ali Gureli, explained the effect of the global economic crisis on the Turkish economy and listed the measures that Turkey should take against the crisis. Gureli noted that the capital withdrawn from Asia due to the recent economic crisis, had been looking for new areas in which to invest. He added that during his visits to the Philippines, Britain and the US since October, he realised that the capital taken out of Asia and the international hotels chain were positively directed towards Turkey and take Turkish tourism market. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] ORGANIZATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

    State Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said that human rights organizations will be re-organized in Turkey. He stated that in addition to the Human Rights Investigating Committee at the Turkish Parliament, a new organization within the executive branch will be formed. Turk added: "The representatives from the Labour and Social Security and Environment Ministries will also participate in the nex expanded council. The Council will meet at undersecretarial level. When certain political preferences are in question the council may be held at a ministerial level."/Hurriyet/

    [15] MISSILES TO CRETE

    In a bold move to avert any future war with Turkey, Southern Cyprus decided yesterday to send Russian-made S-300 missiles to the Greek island of Crete, instead of deploying them on Cyprus. The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation reported after a marathon four-and-a-half hour session of the Greek Cypriot National Council, which comprises all the Greek Cypriot political parties, that 'no missiles will be deployed in Cyprus'.

    The radio report, quoting what it said was based on highly reliable sources, added that the Greek Cypriot authorities would be sure to re-deploy the missiles in Crete if the US and Britain were able to enforce a no-fly zone over the island and would contribute to demilitarization that would lead to a comprehensive solution. Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides is said to be flying to Athens on Monday to discuss the deployment. /All papers/

    [16] BOMB ATTACK IN VAN

    In the wake of a bomb attack on a military vehicle in Van, the casualty toll has been placed at 23. The explosion was triggered by a female terrorist who blew herself to pieces as she set off the bomb. It was announced that one person died and 22 were injured. 14 soldiers were among the casualties. The military vehicle was bombed in the city centre of Van just in front of the Military Guest House while it was transporting soldiers. Van Governor Abdulkadir Sari stated that he heard the bomb attack from his house and immediately went to the site of the incident. He added that an investigation was underway to try to identify the terrorist. /All papers/

    [17] REACTION TO UN CYPRUS RESOLUTION

    The latest UN Security Council resolution, criticizing the 'militarization efforts' in Cyprus, continued yesterday to draw strong criticism from Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, said that the latest UN Security Council resolution, that also extended the mandate of the Peacekeeping Force on the island for another six months, is repeating the mistake of recognizing once again the Greek Cypriot Administration as the sole authority on Cyprus.

    In a written statement yesterday, Denktas noted that the TRNC would not accept the above mentioned 'mistaken attitude' and that his displeasure had been conveyed to the UN Secretary General. Speaking on the shuttle diplomacy carried out by UN Special Envoy Ann Hercus, Denktas stated that the envoy's goodwill mission can only be carried on with the consent of both sides on the island. /All papers/

    [18] MINIMUM WAGE TO BE DECIDED TODAY

    A large number of the country's workers will be watching carefully the final announcement of the rate for the minimum wage for 1999, a decision that is set to be taken today by the Minimum Wage Parliamentary Commission. Salih Kilic, general education secretary of the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is) said that he hopes that the minimum wage increase will be higher than the inflation rate. /All papers/

    [19] PARLIAMENT EXTENDS NORTHERN WATCH ANOTHER SIX-MONTH MANDATE

    Parliament yesterday extended the mandate for Operation Northern Watch for a further six months. The US, British and Turkish force, based at the Incirlik base near Adana, was formed as the successor to Operation Northern Watch and enforces the no-fly zone in northern Iraq. /All papers/

    [20] POAS SHARES TO BE SOLD

    The Privatization Board decided yesterday to sell 51 % of the state-run oil company Petrol Ofisi A.S. (POAS) for $1.15 billion to the second highest bidder after the winning consortium demanded back their original deposit. The Garanti Bankasi AS-Dogus Holding AS consortium has now been declared the winning bid. /All papers/

    [21] HUGE FAIR IN ISTANBUL

    SODEX '99 (the Natural Gas, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Installation Fair) will be held in the Istanbul Dunya Trade Center on May 6-May 9, 1999. It is reported that SODEX, which is the largest specialized fair organized in Turkey, will succeed in the near future in becoming one of the three largest fairs of this sector in Europe . /Milliyet/

    [22] FROM THE COLUMNS

    [23] EUROPEAN DOUBLE STANDARD: PINOCHET AND OCALAN -BY ISMET GIRITLI (TURKIYE)

    Ismet Giritli, a journalist from the Turkiye daily newspaper, says the following in his article today: "Britain and Italy, which are two full EU members, have different stances concerning the extradition of General Pinochet and the terrorist Ocalan demanded by Spain and Turkey respectively. This shows once again that they implement a 'double standard' regarding the Human Rights Law. A Spanish judge has demanded that Pinochet be arrested and extradited to Spain. Similar extradition demands also came from France, Switzerland and Belgium. On the other hand, Germany and Italy, which are afraid of Ocalan and his gangs in Europe, refrain from using the "Universal Judgement Right" and are remote regarding the extradition of Ocalan to Turkey. If Italy does not try Ocalan and allows him to go to a third country, which Turkey does not permit, the most moderate reaction of Turkey should be to recall the Turkish Ambassador to Rome, which is unfortunate for Rome where the European Law originated". /Turkiye/

    [24] DUTIES OF AN ALLIANCE -BY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (HURRIYET)

    In his column in Hurriyet, Mumtaz Soysal analyzes the situation in Iraq before and after the US-British strikes. A summary of the column is as follows:

    "Everyone is aware that geopolitical circumstances and defence needs forged a close tie between Turkey and the US. These ties cannot be easily broken in the near future. However both countries have duties to bear due to this alliance. The Iraq affair is a good example illustrating this.

    The aggressiveness of the Saddam regime should be checked. However the methods used to check them should not damage the interests of our allies or they should not lead to unwanted results. The last strikes on Iraq have been counter productive. At present Saddam is stronger in Iraq and the Arab world. Iraq's ability to speedily repair the damage done by the Gulf War should also be remembered. Furthermore, Turkey had to bear the burden of the strikes since three thousand trucks are waiting at the Habur border gate, unemployment is rising and stagnation in the provinces near the border is being felt. Turkish politicans, who know the psychology of the people in the region, should point out the mistakes in the methods used to their allies and the US Administrators have to stop insisting on these methods which are against the benefits of their allies." /Hurriyet/

    [25] VIOLENCE PRODUCES VIOLENCE - BY YALCIN DOGAN (MILLIYET)

    Yalcin Dogan, a columnist in the Milliyet daily, reflects on the causes of and solutions to `violence' which tends to pervade society. With reference to two recent examples, including the suicide bombing yesterday in Van, Dogan writes:

    "To scrutinize this tendency is out of the scope of a daily article. Nevertheless our initial reaction to such incidents is to fight violence with violence. The underlying reason for that is that Turkey is unfortunate due to her geographical location. The inconsistencies created by this geographical area adds to the already existing inconsistencies of Turkey. Disharmony destroys the conditions for liberal and tolerant discussion; and violence produces violence.

    None of these are the problems of today. They disturb all of us every day, while every one of us has his own thoughts to overcome these disputes. Yet they remain as thoughts.

    However, the first step to do away with violence is to give consent to the conditions for free discussion and tolerance. The gist of the matter is in expressing tensions with words, not with violence; and its fundamental step is based on the appropriation of parliamentary democracy." /Milliyet/

    [26] "ISMET INONU" -BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)

    Journalist Ali Sirmen wrote today in his column about Ismet Inonu on the 25th anniversaty of his death. Sirmen said that peole who witnessed that period would remember that Inonu was the guarantor of the regime. Sirmen continued, "When something serious happened , every one was curious about Inonu's thoughts on the issue. Ten years after his death, Inonu was still the hope of the social democrats. People who wanted Erdal Inonu to gather the social democrats under his leadership trusted the 'Inonu' surname in addition to Erdal Inonu being a man of reason, intelligent and knowlegeable."

    Sirmen added: "His success at Lousanne, in addition to his fame as a result of his victories as the commander of the Garp Front, were instrumental in his being qualified as "second man" concerning Ataturk's reforms. He was also the architect of the multi-party period in Turkey."

    "In his article journalist Aktay Akbal said yesterday that Inonu has not been surpassed. This is evident. 25 years go when I was a young and inexpereinced journalist, I wrote that Inonu was surpassed by Ecevit, who put the Republican People's Party (CHP) into a social democratic structure and united the party with the nation. If Ismet Pasha had read this article, he would have laughed a lot..." /Cumhuriyet/


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