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Turkish Press Review, 98-12-30

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

30.12.98

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [02] BAYKAL'S MODEL -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [03] EREZ: "I WILL PREPARE MY MINISTERS LIST BY NEXT WEEK"
  • [04] BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT EREZ
  • [05] LE FIGARO: "EREZ TO BE THE FIRST KURDISH PM OF TURKEY"
  • [06] NSC MEETING
  • [07] S-300 MISSILES TO BE SENT TO CRETE
  • [08] TURKEY SILENT, US PLEASED
  • [09] TAI TO UPGRADE CN-235s
  • [10] TURKEY CALLS ON SIDES TO PUT AN END TO CLASHES
  • [11] TRNC PARTIES SIGN COALITION PROTOCOL
  • [12] NET MINIMUM WAGE TL 57 MILLION
  • [13] CHINA WILLING TO BUY MORE TURKISH GOODS
  • [14] OCALAN ON ITALIAN RAI 1 TV
  • [15] SUDAN DOES NOT ACCEPT OCALAN
  • [16] HEAD OF IBDA-C CAPTURED
  • [17] 'TURKEY WILL BE A TARGET'
  • [18] $1.2 BILLION IN CREDITS
  • [19] INTERIM BUDGET APPROVED
  • [20] WORLD BANK TO DOUBLE FINANCIAL AID
  • [21] TEMIZEL: "INFLATION RATE DECLINED TO 56 PERCENT"
  • [22] FOREIGN BANKS BELIEVE IN EREZ
  • [23] OVER FOUR MILLION TURKS LIVING ABROAD
  • [24] ERDEMIR TO BUY A FACTORY FOR $1
  • [25] INSURANCE EXPENSES INCREASED
  • [26] TURKISH WRITER SUES NASA FOR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES
  • [27] HAKAN SUKUR ON THE WAY TO JUVE TODAY
  • [28] MADONNA READS MEVLANA POEMS
  • [29] FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [30] BAYKAL'S MODEL -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS

    [02] BAYKAL'S MODEL -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    [03] EREZ: "I WILL PREPARE MY MINISTERS LIST BY NEXT WEEK"

    Mugla Independent Deputy and the Minister of Industry and Trade, Yalim Erez, appointed by President Suleyman Demirel to form the 56th new government, maintained his self-confident attitude on the second day of his political grounds and said: "I believe that I can define the ministers list by next week and present it to the president". After finishing his meetings with party leaders yesterday, Erez said he would establish the 'roof of his government' and start his second round meetings. While receiving conditional support from Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, Erez had a very tense meeting with True Path Parrty (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller. The Erez-Baykal meeting lasted about an hour, at the end of which they made a joint statement. Baykal has reportedly informed Yalim Erez that they will support Erez in his bid to form a government, providing that the new government is not just a continuation of the previous government, and that the ministers are distributed equally among the political parties and that the elections are held on April 18, 1999, as scheduled. The Erez-Ciller meeting ended after only 13 minutes when Ciller got up to show that the meeting was over.

    Speaking after these meetings, Erez said that except Ciller, his meetings with the leaders of the Virtue Party (FP), the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the CHP were all very positive. Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Husamettin Cindoruk explained that he suggested that Erez form a broad-based government with wide participation from the political parties and added that if the government that is structured under this concept has a government programme that is not contradictory to their principles, the DTP would also provide its support and would provide ministers. /All papers/

    [04] BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT EREZ

    Several of Turkey's biggest business organizations holding a joint meeting in Istanbul called on the country's political parties to back the Prime Minister-designate Yalim Erez in his efforts to form a government. "We, who believe that only political stability will help the country overcome its economic obstructions, hope the political parties in the Grand National Assembly will give their necessary support to the government that is being formed by Yalim Erez" a joint statement by the organizations said. The participating business groups included the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), the Chamber of Shipping (DTO) and the Istanbul Commodities Exchange (ITB). /All papers/

    [05] LE FIGARO: "EREZ TO BE THE FIRST KURDISH PM OF TURKEY"

    Le Figaro, the French daily, reported that Yalim Erez would be the first Turkish Prime Minister of Kurdish origin if he succeeded in forming the new government. /Hurriyet/

    [06] NSC MEETING

    The economic crisis in Turkey was the main agenda item of Tuesday's National Security Council (NSC), as military leaders reportedly said that they did not welcome the recent economic difficulties in the country. For most of the nearly four-and-a-half hour meeting chaired by President Suleyman Demirel, the participants were briefed by Isin Celebi, the State Minister responsible for economic affairs, and Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel on the country's ongoing economic situation. According to a statement issued after the meeting, the ministers explained the effects of the global economic crisis on Turkey and suggested precautions to prevent the situation from worsening. Various other issues including terrorism and the rising danger of Islamic fundamentalism were also discussed in the meeting, which was attended by top political, military and diplomatic officials.

    The military and civilian leaders also discussed the current crisis in Iraq, beginning with Operation Desert Fox two weeks ago. The participants stressed that Ankara's policy towards Iraq is stable and pointed out that there is continuing tension between Baghdad and the international community, particularly after Monday's US air strike against an Iraqi missile battery in northern Iraq. /All papers/

    [07] S-300 MISSILES TO BE SENT TO CRETE

    The announcement on whether or not to reroute shipments of Russian-made S-300 missiles to the Greek island of Crete in the Mediterranean was made late on Tuesday, after a National Council meeting held in Nicosia upon the return of Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides from Athens. Particularly out of concern that the deployment of the missiles on Cyprus would meet with a Turkish reprisal, the Greek Cypriot Administration last week discussed whether or not to store the missiles on Crete. But this would require the consent of Greek authorities. Following the meeting of the Greek Cypriot National Council yesterday, it was reported that the S-300 missiles would not be deployed on Cyprus. Klerides stated that meetings with the Russian government would begin for the deployment of S-300 missiles on Crete. /Turkiye/

    [08] TURKEY SILENT, US PLEASED

    Turkey: Turkey chose to stay silent over the decision of Greek Cypriot Leader Klerides not to deploy S-300 missiles on the island. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that there will be a press conference today at 10.00 a.m.

    The EU: The EU expressed its satisfaction over the decision of the Greek Cypriot Administration for not deploying S-300 missiles on the island and stated that it applauded this decision.

    The US: The US welcomed the decision by Glafkos Klerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration, not to deploy S-300 missiles on the island.

    Greece: At the meeting of Greek Cypriot National Council, Greece supported the decision on not deploying S-300 missiles on the island. /Aksam/

    [09] TAI TO UPGRADE CN-235s

    Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has undertaken the upgrading of the avionic systems of three Casa CN-235 light transport aircraft and eight Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters by the General Staff's special forces. The upgrade programme, which was initiated by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) last year, stipulates the installation of special systems in the aircarft that will be used by the special forces. With the upgraded aircraft, the special forces are expected to gain flexibility in several missions, such as search and rescue, transport, air refueling and low-visibility and bad-weather flight. /All papers/

    [10] TURKEY CALLS ON SIDES TO PUT AN END TO CLASHES

    Turkey yesterday expressed concern over the re-starting of the clashes in Kosovo and expressed worry that Turkish citizens living in Kosovo may be affected negatively by these clashes. A Foreign Ministry statement said the clashes will spoil the tranquility atmosphere which was hardly provided and hamper efforts for a political solution and pointed out that a new and grave refugee problem may erupt because of the hard winter conditions, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [11] TRNC PARTIES SIGN COALITION PROTOCOL

    After lengthy negotiations, a centre-right and a social democrat party in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have agreed to form a coalition. Leaders of the centre-right National Unity Party (UBP), victorious in the recent TRNC general elections, and the social democrat Communal Liberation Party (TKP) signed a coalition protocol yesterday in Lefkose, the Anatolia news agency reports. UBP Chairman and the likely Prime Minister, Dervis Eroglu, and the TKP leader Mustafa Akinci will be presenting their Cabinet list to President Rauf Denktas today. Eroglu told journalists at a press conference that the two parties have agreed on the distribution of government portfolios.

    [12] NET MINIMUM WAGE TL 57 MILLION

    The gross minimum wage was determined as TL 78.075 million for the six months of 1999 and TL 93.6 million for the second half of 1999 for workers over the age of 16. For workers under the age of 16, the gross minimum wage will be TL 66,363,750 for the first half of 1999 and TL 79.56 million for the remainder of the year. The new minimum wage was increased by 103.2 % compared to the minimum wage for the first half of 1998. The new minimum wage was accepted unanimously by the Commission for Determining the Minimum Wage yesterday. /All papers/

    [13] CHINA WILLING TO BUY MORE TURKISH GOODS

    The trade deficit between Turkey and China end, the People's Republic of China's Ambassador to Turkey, Yao Kuangyi said in his speech in Kayseri Industrial Chamber (KSO). Kuangyi told the Anatolia news agency in Kayseri, where he was invited by Erciyes University, that the current political and economic relations between Turkey and China are in a very good condition, however the two countries do not know each other enough.

    Regarding the Turkish economy, Kuangyi said: "We are closely observing the economic developments in Turkey. Your economy is growing and there is a sizeable trade potential between the two countries". Turkish Airlnes (THY) will start its Istanbul-Beijing-Shanghai flights in the summer of 1999 which will affect the trade between China and Turkey positively, said Kuangyi, adding that China and Turkey may cooperate in hydroelectric power plant construction. China has very modernized technolgy in railway construction and Chinese companies could build Turkey's railways, Kuangyi said. "Turkey has a big project to modernize its 100,000 kilometer long railways. An expertise group will come from China in the coming weeks to make the necessary examinations. If a bidding is opened, we will participate in this bidding" he added.

    [14] OCALAN ON ITALIAN RAI 1 TV

    News on the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been staying in a villa in the Infernetto town, Rome, were broadcast on the Italian RAI 1 TV channel yesterday. Ocalan stated that he was pleased over being in Italy and said: "I came here to announce the Kurdish issue to Europe". Noting that he wanted the so-called Kurdish problem to be solved through peaceful means, Ocalan added: "I wish that 1999 will be a year of peace. My arrival in Rome is a step taken to this end". /Turkiye/

    [15] SUDAN DOES NOT ACCEPT OCALAN

    Despite all her efforts, Italy could not find a suitable country to send Ocalan once again. It was reported that Ahmet Yildiz, the ERNK representative to Italy, made contacts in former Soviet republics but could not achieve any results, and the alternative of Sudan was refused by the Hartum administration at the last minute. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia also rejected to welcome the PKK leader. Under the current circumstance, then, after Christmas, Italy is preparing herself to spend the new year with the terrorist leader. /Hurriyet/

    [16] HEAD OF IBDA-C CAPTURED

    Salih Mirzabeyoglu, the leader of the Islamist Great Eastern Raiders' Front (IBDA-C), was captured with 11 other militants of the organization. Mirzabeyoglu, who has not been captured for years, has been held responsible for a series of terrorist activities and violent actions in order to establish a federated Islamic republic in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [17] 'TURKEY WILL BE A TARGET'

    Government officials said that Turkey would be a target of Iraq. They noted that before such operations, world public opinion should be established and it should be supported by international circles. They regarded the recent US attacks against Iraq as dangerous for the region and for the situation of Turkey.

    An anonymous government official answering the questions of the Cumhuriyet correspondent said: "To date, Iraq has not legally recognized the no-fly-zone but now it announces its resistance against this application. And that Turkey will be in under risk to give permission to the activities of the Operation Northern Watch". /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] $1.2 BILLION IN CREDITS

    The Minister of Transport, Ahmet Arif Denizolgun, said that credits necessary for the tunnels and suburban lines envisaged to be constructed in Istanbul would be obtained soon. Noting that meetings on the credits to be received from the Japanese credit institution, OECF, were almost completed, Denizolgun stated that following the final evalulation with the representatives of the Japanese firms, who will arrive in Turkey on January 5, 1999, the credits totalling $1.2 billion would be obtained. Denizolgun pointed out that an international tender to be put out for the construction of the system would be announced in 1999. /Turkiye/

    [19] INTERIM BUDGET APPROVED

    A draft law about the interim budget of 1999 fiscal year was approved by the Parliament yesterday. The Minister of Finance, Zekeriya Temizel, said that Turkey was passing through a hard period and that the interim budget would help Turkey pay its foreign debts. With the interim budget, public institutions will be given the authority to collect revenues and to meet their expenditures. /Sabah/

    [20] WORLD BANK TO DOUBLE FINANCIAL AID

    World Bank officials announced that if a revolutionist government was established, they would be ready to double the financial aid to Turkey. In order to increase the aid the government should be established as soon as possible and stability programmes should be applied. The World Bank announced before the government crisis in Turkey that they would extend Turkey $ 3 billion for three years. It is expected that the financial aid will be used in the reforms of banking and energy systems and also in privatization.

    Meanwhile, Turkey's Trade Attache to Washington, Dilek Emil, said yesterday that immediately after the establishment of the new government, a new period of meetings between the Turkish government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be started.

    On the other hand, the Head of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, said yesterday that he hoped that next term meetings between the Turkish government the IMF would yield positive results. He added that the new government should be established and new economic policies should be discussed with the IMF. /Sabah/

    [21] TEMIZEL: "INFLATION RATE DECLINED TO 56 PERCENT"

    In a speech he gave during the discussions of the preliminary budget in the Parliament, Zekeriya Temizel, the Minister of Finance, informed the members about the latest inflation rate figures and the proposed increase in the salaries of the public personnel. Temizel declared that the annual rate of inflation according to the wholesale price index realized as 56% which represents a deviation of six points from the initial target, yet refers to a considerable decrease compared to the recent years. In turn, the annual inflation according to the consumer price index has reached an approximate rate of 85%, whereas the increase in the salaries of the public personnel has been 82.2% during the year. Temizel noted that the difference between these two figures would be covered by the proposed salary increases in the preliminary budget. /Hurriyet/

    [22] FOREIGN BANKS BELIEVE IN EREZ

    Foreign banks believe that the Minister of Trade and Independent Deputy, Yalim Erez will ensure stability in the country if he succeeds in establishing the new government. Richard Grey from the Bank of America said that it seemed that the political tension was decreased and that important steps had been taken towards stability in Turkey. He noted that the government had put forward its targets and this made a positive effect in the market. /Milliyet/

    [23] OVER FOUR MILLION TURKS LIVING ABROAD

    The population of the Turks living abroad has been increasing. According to the General Directorate of Turks Living Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of 1998 there are 3,5 million Turks still living abroad. It is reported that 50 percent of the Turkish population is in Germany and the other half is in Austria, the US and Saudi Arabia. According to the same sources 470,700 Turks have double citizenship status. /Sabah/

    [24] ERDEMIR TO BUY A FACTORY FOR $1

    The General Director of Eregli Iron and Steel Company (ERDEMIR), Tanju Argun, said that they offered to buy Kermikovtzi factory in Bulgaria for a dollar. Argun said that they wanted to purchase 71% shares of the company and added that they planned to invest $300 million in the factory in five years. Noting that they would participate in increasing the capital of the factory with $10 million, Argun said: "We shall decrease the number of workers. We shall give $16 million in severance pay in five years. However our purchase of this factory does not mean that we decided not to buy ISDEMIR. We aim to put ERDEMIR in the leading 10 companies in Europe."/Aksam/

    [25] INSURANCE EXPENSES INCREASED

    At a time when Social Security Reform and unemployment insurance are on the agenda, total insurance expenses which stood at $29.7 per capita at the end of 1997, reached $14.7 in the first six months of 1998. When the first six month periods are considered, there is a 15.1% increase. According to information furnished by the Treasury Undersecretariat, total insurance expenses paid by private companies during the January-June period, amounted to $945.5 million. During the same period in 1997, the insurance expenses were $821.3 million. /Aksam/

    [26] TURKISH WRITER SUES NASA FOR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

    Fatih Catallar, a Turkish science-fiction writer, brings a compensation suit against NASA for its illegal appropriation of his ideas about "Great Explosions" expressed in his book, the Universal Door. /Hurriyet/

    [27] HAKAN SUKUR ON THE WAY TO JUVE TODAY

    Having reached an agreement with Juventus in principle, Hakan Sukur is going to Italy today. Known as "The King" in the Turkish football circles, Hakan could not refuse a 14-million-dollar bid and said "yes" to the great Italian team for a contract of four years. It is reported that Hakan Sukur is going to Torino today in order to sign the final contract. /Hurriyet/

    [28] MADONNA READS MEVLANA POEMS

    English translations of Mevlana's poems read by actresses such as Madonna and Goldie Hawn were released in a CD. The influential New York Times newspaper stated that Oliver Stone wanted to make a film on the life of Mevlana and gave wide coverage to the commemorative ceremonies of Mevlana. The newspaper which noted that Mevlana was one of the great mystics in the world and had millions of followers added that 'Mevlana' meant 'Great Master'./Aksam/

    [29] FROM THE COLUMNS

    [30] BAYKAL'S MODEL -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    In his column, Fikret Bila dwells on the latest government crisis and the solution offered by Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People's Party. A summary of the column is as follows:

    "The leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) states that they had no problem with the new prime minister-designate Yalim Erez and that they had explained their conditions in forming a new government. If the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Virtue Party (FP) formed a coalition, they did not want to enter the government and there was no need for them to be in the government as the three parties had sufficient seats for a vote of confidence. However, if this did not work out, then they would participate in the coalition but they had their conditions. The conditions they put forth could be listed as, first it should be a new government, secondly the three parties (ANAP, DSP and CHP) should be represented equally, and third there should not be ministers in the government from other parties. As the first condition may offend the ministers serving in the present government, the two other parties may reject it but if a compromise can be reached, a coalition without the Virtue Party seems possible." /Milliyet/


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