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Turkish Press Review, 99-02-09

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

09.02.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EXPLOSION IN FRONT OF TURKISH CONSULATE IN KOMOTINI
  • [02] HUSSEIN LAID TO REST
  • [03] IMF AGREES TO POST-ELECTION FINANCIAL AID
  • [04] JETRO AND ITO PROBE TURKISH AUTOMOTIVE PARTS' EXPORTS
  • [05] TURKISH-CHILEAN TRADE AGREEMENT
  • [06] $3,000 FOR ATATURK SCHOOL IN CHILE
  • [07] TURKISH BUSINESSMEN FLY TO MOSCOW
  • [08] TURKISH FIRMS IN FOODEX JAPAN 99 FAIR
  • [09] IMPORTS IN EURO
  • [10] OCALAN IS IN GERMANY
  • [11] BILICAN: "OCALAN IN RUSSIA"
  • [12] PKK ON THE AGENDA OF RUSSIAN-ITALIAN MEETING
  • [13] PANGALOS: "OCALAN UNWANTED IN GREECE"
  • [14] BELGIAN AMBASSADOR: "TURKEY WILL OVERCOME SEPARATIST TERROR"
  • [15] SET BACK FOR GANG IN ADANA
  • [16] SEVEN PKK TERRORISTS CAPTURED
  • [17] TURKEY REJECTS TRI-PARTITE SUMMIT PROPOSAL
  • [18] NATIONAL COMPROMISE TEXT
  • [19] THE WAKE OF AN AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION
  • [20] BARGAINING FOR 480 THOUSAND PUBLIC WORKERS BEGINS
  • [21] YILMAZ: "ANAP WILL WIN THE APRIL 18 ELECTIONS"
  • [22] DYP-LDP ALLIANCE
  • [23] MHP LEADER: "WE REJECTED THE DYP"
  • [24] GREECE AND SOUTHERN CYPRUS REACH MISSILE DEPLOYMENT DEAL
  • [25] HERCUS PROPOSES COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WITH TRNC
  • [26] HASHISH RAID
  • [27] CARGO VESSEL GOES AGROUND
  • [28] DEMIREL'S MESSAGE TO LAHUD
  • [29] EXPLOSION IN FRONT OF TURKISH CONSULATE IN KOMOTINI
  • [30] DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN DANGER
  • [31] CATHOLIC AND ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS DELEGATION IN ISTANBUL
  • [32] TARKAN RANKS EIGHTH IN TIME SURVEY
  • [33] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
  • [34] THE FIRST SIGNALS OF CHANGE? -BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)
  • [35] CANNOT FIND SHELTER, BUT... - BY ALTAN OYMEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] EXPLOSION IN FRONT OF TURKISH CONSULATE IN KOMOTINI

    [02] HUSSEIN LAID TO REST

    The funeral of King Hussein, who died of cancer on Sunday at the age of 63, was one of the most extraordinary diplomatic and political gatherings in recent memory. US President Bill Clinton, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Britain's Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat were among the leaders who attended the funeral.

    World leaders expressed their sense of loss and grief over the death of King Hussein. President Demirel said: "The Turkish nation has lost a great brother and friend...King Hussein has done a lot for Jordan through his experience and knowledge. He has contributed a great deal to the peace of the region and the world. He also played an obvious role in the strengthening of permanent ties between Turkey and Jordan". /All papers/

    [03] IMF AGREES TO POST-ELECTION FINANCIAL AID

    Turkey and the IMF, in joint agreement, reached a decision to launch a programme that will include financial assistance within 1999, announced Treasury Undersecretary Yener Dincmen. Dincmen said that the programme will probably be actioned after the elections. Dincmen noted that the details of the programme will be decided on in Washington and Ankara during meetings between the IMF mission and representatives of the Turkish economic management.

    Hardy explained his views on the Turkish economy. He said that Turkey gives the favourable impression of a reliable country which is able to balance its economy, and which knows how to resist hardships imposed by external factors successfully.

    Accordingly, inflation will continue to decrease and be lowered to 45% according to the wholesale price index in June. In the same way, it is estimated that, privatization revenues apart, the budget will have a TL 180 trillion deficit in March, whereas it will give a TL 580 trillion surplus by the end of June. /Aksam/

    [04] JETRO AND ITO PROBE TURKISH AUTOMOTIVE PARTS' EXPORTS

    The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) held a seminar in Istanbul yesterday on the possibility of exporting automotive parts from Turkey to Japan, officials at ITO said. The Japanese market for imported automotive parts, questions related to quality control standards and Japanese import expectations were discussed at length, ITO officials declared. Two Japanese officials will visit Turkish parts manufacturers over the next week and will hold another seminar on February 19. /Turkiye/

    [05] TURKISH-CHILEAN TRADE AGREEMENT

    Turkey and Chile will cooperate in the fields of banking, finance, privatization, energy, agriculture and animal husbandry, according to an agreement that was reached during the Joint Committee's first meeting and was signed in October. In addition, a list of commodities that could be traded between Chile and Turkey was drawn up. According to the agreement, which was approved by the Cabinet yesterday, both countries will try to develop bilateral trade relations. /Aksam/

    [06] $3,000 FOR ATATURK SCHOOL IN CHILE

    Every year, Turkey will contribute $3,000 in aid to 'Ataturk College' which has been open for nearly 10 years in the Chilean capital of Santiago. With the aid to be financed by the budget of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) as of 1999, donations will be sent in order to meet the requirements of this school. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who visited South American countries last year, also visited Ataturk College and promised the administrators of the school that Turkey will be closely interested in their work. /Hurriyet/

    [07] TURKISH BUSINESSMEN FLY TO MOSCOW

    A delegation of Turkish businessmen representing 103 companies flew to Moscow yesterday for a three-day fact-finding tour of the Russian market. The trip was organized by the EXPO Turk Export Products Trade Fair Organization. EXPO Chairman Oktay Ulkuguner said that the trip aims to promote Turkish services and tourism to the Russians at a time of crisis in the former Sovier Republic. /All papers/

    [08] TURKISH FIRMS IN FOODEX JAPAN 99 FAIR

    Eleven Turkish firms will participate in the 24th International Food and Beverage Fair to be held on March 9-12, 1999, in Chiba, Japan. According to a statement by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat's Exports Development Centre (IGEME), their involvement in the Fair will contribute to increasing Turkish exports of foodstuffs, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [09] IMPORTS IN EURO

    Following the 1999 import regime published in the Official Gazette on February 7, harmonization with the European Single Monetary System, the EURO, has been achieved. According to the import regime, all reductions in imports will be made in EUROs instead of in ECUs. The Foreign Trade Deputy Undersecretary, Reyhan Atmaca, said that with this import regime, prepared in line with the Customs Union provisions with the European Union (EU) and the World Trade Organization, harmonization with EU import policies has been attained. /Hurriyet/

    [10] OCALAN IS IN GERMANY

    Ankara was shocked yesterday evening by allegations claiming that the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, is in Germany. According to information conveyed to the Prime Ministry by reliable sources, Ocalan is concealing himself in a house in Germany unbeknown to the German government. It was also claimed that the Democratic Socialism Party (PDS) in Germany supports the PKK terrorist organization. /Hurriyet/

    [11] BILICAN: "OCALAN IN RUSSIA"

    The Head of the Turkish Security Office, Necati Bilican, said in his statement to the German Der Spiegel magazine that Abdullah Ocalan was again sheltering in Russia. Bilican added that Ocalan would only settle in a country where he could keep in contact with his organization. He noted that no European country desired to shelter Ocalan so as not to damage their relations with Turkey. "Turkey can defend her security. It is known that the PKK has camps in Greece. We do not expect any support from Greece in the struggle against terrorism." /Milliyet/Sabah/

    [12] PKK ON THE AGENDA OF RUSSIAN-ITALIAN MEETING

    Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and an Italian trade delegation accompanying him went to Moscow yesterday. An official statement said that Russia and Italy would discuss trade relations but diplomatic circles predicted that the Abdullah Ocalan issue would be deliberated in the meeting. /Sabah/

    [13] PANGALOS: "OCALAN UNWANTED IN GREECE"

    Yesterday, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos stated that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's presence is not wished for in Greece. Pangalos was speaking in Bosnia-Herzegovina's capital Sarajevo, where he had arrived for an official visit. In response to insistent questions by reporters on Athens' stance regarding Ocalan, Pangalos said: "Ocalan's presence is not coveted in Greece. He is not in Greece and I do not know where he is". /All papers/

    [14] BELGIAN AMBASSADOR: "TURKEY WILL OVERCOME SEPARATIST TERROR"

    Alexis Brouhns, the Belgian Ambassador to Ankara, stated that his country will never allow Ocalan to use their lands as a base for the terrorist activities of the PKK. He also noted that they will never let Ocalan enter Belgium. Brouhns said, "We, as Belgium, consider every question within in context and implement our national policy in line with these conditions. This is the fundamental reason that urged us to declare Ocalan a terrorist and not allow him to enter into Belgium. We believe that Turkey, through her democratic agenda and decisiveness, will overcome these domestic problems of hers, which have been presented by some as the `Kurdish question' but which are in fact completely concerned with terrorist activities." /Aksam/

    [15] SET BACK FOR GANG IN ADANA

    In the recent security operations undertaken by the Adana police force, 14 persons were arrested on the basis of participating in various armed incidents in Istanbul, Mersin and Hatay, and forming an organization to commit crimes. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] SEVEN PKK TERRORISTS CAPTURED

    Seven members of the PKK taken into custody in Mus because of their support for the terrorist organization were arrested by the Justice Court in the Bulanik district of Mus yesterday and sent to prison. /Turkiye/

    [17] TURKEY REJECTS TRI-PARTITE SUMMIT PROPOSAL

    Turkey has rejected a proposal for a tri-partite summit between Turkey, Syria and Iran, which was brought onto the agenda during Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Muhsin Eminzade's visit to Ankara last week. Eminzade had proposed the revival of tri-partite meetings between these three countries which had started in 1992. Ankara halted these meetings in 1994 due to Syrian support for the outlawed PKK organization. It is reported that Turkey's stance will continue until all her concerns over Syria are no more. It was decided during Eminzade's meetings that a telephone exchange line be established between Turkish and Iranian commanders. /Hurriyet/

    [18] NATIONAL COMPROMISE TEXT

    Yesterday, the Economic and Social Council (KESK) held its first meeting, which lasted for seven and a half hours, in Ankara under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. At the meeting all sides reached an agreement to solve the economic problems in Turkey. Employees' salaries, relations with the IMF, the measures to be taken against the global economic crisis, the support to be given to exports, Eximbank loans and many other economic topics were discussed at the meeting.

    At the end of the meeting, representatives of the government and the unions of both employers and workers reached an agreement on a report. The report comprised the following points: the country's economic problems should be solved as soon as possible, the negative attitude of international institutions towards the Turkish economy should be redressed, privatization should be carefully conducted so as not to cause unemployment, technical working groups are to be established to work on Social Security reforms, agricultural incentives will be put in place, the dismissal of employees and the clarification of the Compulsory Savings Fund. /Sabah-Milliyet/

    [19] THE WAKE OF AN AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION

    The new "Direct Income Support" project of the Treasury is promoting a radical transformation in the Turkish agricultural policy. Instead of costly and economically unproductive agricultural pump-priming policies, producers will be given direct funds in line with certain criteria. The Treasury suggested that the World Bank set up a research project to assess the feasibility of the "direct income support" system in Turkey. In this respect, the Treasury plans to implement this new system for a product of which the number of producers and the amount of production is known in advance. Accordingly, the state will neither purchase the product nor provide subsidies in the form of fertilizers, medicines and loans. Instead, it will pay a certain amount of money directly to the producers according to land riches or their average income in recent years. /Aksam/

    [20] BARGAINING FOR 480 THOUSAND PUBLIC WORKERS BEGINS

    Turk-Is Union's Executive Board will pay a visit to State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel to discuss the collective bargaining process on behalf of 480 thousand public workers. Bayram Meral, the Chairman of the Union, stated that they will hold a preliminary meeting with Minister Gurel in order to request the government to precipitate the process so that the contracts are endorsed before the elections in April. /Aksam/

    [21] YILMAZ: "ANAP WILL WIN THE APRIL 18 ELECTIONS"

    Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz was quoted yesterday by the Anatolia news agency concerning the collapse of the 55th government: "The reason behind the collapse of the government, on the orders of mafia leaders, was our fight against criminal gangs". Speaking at an ANAP ceremony, in which the candidates standing for mayor in 23 cities were announced, he said that the April 18 elections are significant because they will determine the government that will carry Turkey into the 21st century. He added: "I assert that the winner of the elections will be ANAP". Yilmaz noted that while his party was in power there had been peace in Turkey and efforts to attract new investment had been inaugurated.

    [22] DYP-LDP ALLIANCE

    The True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said that they will forman alliance with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the forthcoming general and local elections on April 18. Ciller noted in a written statement yesterday that she and LDP leader Besim Tibuk had been considering the issue of alliance for a long time, and the meetings had ended in a joint-decision to ally the two parties. /Aksam/

    [23] MHP LEADER: "WE REJECTED THE DYP"

    Devlet Bahceli, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader, stated that the True Path Party (DYP) had offered them the opportunity of an alliance in the elections on April 18 but they had rejected this proposal. Noting that they will not ally themselves to any party in the elections, Bahceli said, "The surprise party of the elections will be the MHP." /Aksam/

    [24] GREECE AND SOUTHERN CYPRUS REACH MISSILE DEPLOYMENT DEAL

    Greece and Southern Cyprus hammered out the details of the deployment of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the Greek island of Crete following Southern Cyprus' cancellation of the order, Defence Ministers from the two countries said yesterday. The Greek Defence Minister said yesterday that the S-300s would be deployed on Crete as part of Greece's defence pact with the island nation. /All papers/

    [25] HERCUS PROPOSES COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WITH TRNC

    The Deputy Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus, Ann Hercus, who has been holding shuttle diplomacy talks between the two sides on Cyprus, has suggested to Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides a proposal to establish commercial relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The Anatolia news agency reported that Hercus is exerting these efforts as part of the Confidence-Building Measures between the two sides in Cyprus.

    [26] HASHISH RAID

    In a raid in Malatya, 1.5 kilos of hashish were seized by members of the Security Office's Narcotics Department yesterday. Three people were taken into custody regarding the incident. /Turkiye/

    [27] CARGO VESSEL GOES AGROUND

    A cargo vessel, which had unloaded fertilizer at a wharf in the Bulancak district of Giresun, went aground later that night. Officials noted that the vessel had unloaded its 125 tonnes of fertilizers and the crew had not requested any assistance. The crew members stated that they would solve the matter by themselves. /Turkiye/

    [28] DEMIREL'S MESSAGE TO LAHUD

    The Presidential Envoy to Lebanon, Ambassador Aydan Karahan, said yesterday that if the Lebanese government so desired, Ankara could mediate in the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon. Karahan, who conveyed President Suleyman Demirel's message to Lebanese President Emil Lahud, said that Turkey was ready and willing to exert herself in order to solve the problems between Israel and Lebanon. Karahan added: "Turkey enjoys good relations with Israel". /Turkiye/

    [29] EXPLOSION IN FRONT OF TURKISH CONSULATE IN KOMOTINI

    A bomb was set off in front of a building just opposite the Turkish General Consulate in Komotini. There has been no official announcement concerning the dead or wounded or the financial cost of the incident. The entrance to and exit from the Turkish Consulate were restricted. /Sabah/

    [30] DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN DANGER

    The "dual citizenship reform" in Germany affecting the rights of almost seven and a half million foreigners living in Germany is in danger. The Social Democrats and Greens coalition government, under Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder, lost the by-election in Hessen. So it now appears that the government will have difficulty achieving reforms, including that of dual citizenship, which they had promised. After the result of the elections was announced, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Oskar Lafontaine, said that after these results, they should re-evaluate the dual citizenship law. On the other hand, the Federal Minister of Interior Affairs, Otto Schilly, said that they did not expect to make any changes to the "Dual Citizenship Law" which they were determined to put into force by January 1, 2000. /Sabah-Milliyet/

    [31] CATHOLIC AND ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS DELEGATION IN ISTANBUL

    Twenty-four Catholic and Orthodox religious leaders came from the US to Istanbul as the official guests of the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. It is reported that the delegation of religious leaders will work on the programme of activities to celebrate the 2000th birth anniversary of Christ in Turkey. They will also visit the historic and tourist sites of Istanbul. The delegation, later, will fly to Rome to meet the Pope. /Sabah-Cumhuriyet/

    [32] TARKAN RANKS EIGHTH IN TIME SURVEY

    Tarkan, a noted pop music singer, who has been rising up the European music charts, has ranked eighth in a survey in Time magazine published in the US. In the ratings, Charles Aznavour ranked first, Elvis Presley came second and Charlie Chaplin ranked third. Tarkan notched up 118,639 points. /Hurriyet/

    [33] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....

    [34] THE FIRST SIGNALS OF CHANGE? -BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Orhan Birgit reflects on the changes to be in the coming elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    As Turkey prepared its infrastructure for the General and Local Elections to be held on April 18, the first signals contradicting claims that nothing would be altered were seen in the election of their candidates by the two centre-right parties....As these do not reflect the whole country it is not right to generalize. However, the unofficial results of the pre-elections held by the Motherland Party in 15, and by the True Path Party in 10 provinces show that many of those who are currently serving as deputies will not be candidates in the April 18 elections. The faces we are accustomed to see have had to give way to their places to new names....Particularly in the small-to medium-size constituencies where only five or six deputies will be elected, we shall see new faces in the Parliament after the elections. The elections to determine candidates by these two parties' candidates will be completed on February 14. Therefore the true lists of those parties will be settled in the next week.

    The same can be said for the Virtue Party and the Republican People's Party. However the change in the Virtue Party will attract more interest as it holds the largest number of seats in the Parliament.... The Virtue Party, as the successor of the closed Welfare Party and its leaders, is continually talking of change. How much this change will affect the lists of candidates will be seen on February 14.

    The changes occurring in settlement patterns of the voters and their different methods of evaluating problems will have a serious impact on the votes to be cast on April 18". /Cumhuriyet/

    [35] CANNOT FIND SHELTER, BUT... - BY ALTAN OYMEN (MILLIYET)

    Altan Oymen, a columnist in the `Milliyet' daily, reflects on the recent developments regarding the question of Ocalan and discusses the possibilities in the near future. He writes:

    "The leader of the PKK is unable to find a country in which to shelter. This is a favourable situation for Turkey. Yet the satisfaction with that situation should not be exaggerated as Turkey is not content with this mere fact according to its official policy. She insists that the PKK leader is responsible for the killing of thousands of people, including women and children. She declares, `Ocalan must be extradited to me, and I myself will judge him.'

    However, Ocalan does not run such a risk while wandering from country to country undetected. Nobody wants to extradite him to Turkey. In particular, the EU countries have a well-known objection to that. They say, `There is still capital punishment in Turkey. We do not extradite criminals to those countries where capital punishment is still in effect.'

    But where will Ocalan be tried? He is not being handed over to Turkey. Germany does not want him. Where? There is no definite answer to this question. At first, Germany and Italy proposed to try him before an international court; however, it was immediately understood that it would be impossible, both technically and politically.

    In short, the present situation is as follows: while the PKK leader searches for a place to shelter, he is considered `guilty' by everybody, but he continues his excursions confident that he will not be tried anyway. Now, does this situation comply with the official demands of Turkey?

    If the government is resolved to bring Ocalan to court, there is just one thing it has to do. It should prepare a bill which will be discussed by the commissions and enacted by Parliament: the code that will abrogate the capital punishment. Indeed, this issue was put on the agenda of Parliament by the former Minister of Justice, Hasan Denizkurdu. Most of the parties in Parliament declared that they stand for the abolition of capital punishment. Yet the government has not made any attempt to reflect this shared viewpoint yet.

    If that attempt had been made and that law had been enacted, it would not have been so easy for the European courts to reject Turkey's demands for the extradition of Ocalan. Besides, do we not desire to be an EU member one day? If we do, we are obliged to abrogate capital punishment. What will we lose if we do it today?"


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