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Turkish Press Review, 99-02-10

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

10.02.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL: "ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 18"
  • [02] ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT MEASURES
  • [03] WASHINGTON REASSURES ANKARA
  • [04] INCIRLIK AIRBASE TO BE REARRANGED
  • [05] KURDISH PARLIAMENT-IN-EXILE IN SPAIN
  • [06] PRO-PKK GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY
  • [07] GREEK MPs ASK ATHENS TO GRANT OCALAN POLITICAL ASYLUM
  • [08] SUPREME COURT INVESTIGATES THE ITALIAN OFFICIALS DUE TO OCALAN
  • [09] PKK PURCHASES A VILLAGE IN RUSSIA
  • [10] PKK OPERATION IN ISTANBUL
  • [11] EMERGENCY RULE LENGTHENED FOR FOUR MORE MONTHS
  • [12] CEM: "DEMOCRACY IS IMPORTANT"
  • [13] KUTAN: "PUBLIC WILL DETERMINE DEMOCRACY"
  • [14] PROMISE TO TURKEY
  • [15] WORLD BANK DELEGATION ARRIVES TO SUPPORT LOANS
  • [16] IMF IS PERSUADED IN 18 HOURS
  • [17] AID TO RUSSIA IN TURKEY'S INTERESTS
  • [18] TREASURY ON ROAD SHOW
  • [19] IMKB AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS
  • [20] "TURKEY IS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY FOR INVESTMENT"
  • [21] `JET-PA CHAIN' REPORT FROM SPK
  • [22] KUTLU AKTAS WILL RUN FOR ANAP IN IZMIR
  • [23] $2 MILLION FOR THE 700TH ANNIVERSARY
  • [24] ENERGY GIANTS MEET FOR THE SECOND TIME
  • [25] FULL COMPETITION IN FOOD SECTOR
  • [26] TOBB TO ESTABLISH 'WASTE MARKET'
  • [27] GREAT AWARD FOR TOURISM
  • [28] A TURK IN DYNASTY
  • [29] TURKISH FILMS IN BERLIN
  • [30] TURKISH ACTOR IN HOLLYWOOD
  • [31] TURKISH WIND IN GERMANY
  • [32] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [33] TREASURY GOES TO IMF BEFORE THE ELECTIONS - BY TAYFUN DEVECIOGLU (SABAH)

  • [01] DEMIREL: "ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 18"

    President Suleyman Demirel said yesterday that the April 18 parliamentary and local elections will be held on schedule and that the two-tier election system will not be implemented. Demirel added: "The system can be changed in time for the next elections". He noted that he wants the two-tier system in all elections. He said that even the President should be elected through a two-tier system. Demirel pointed out the fact that there are so many parties in Turkey, 21 of which are participating in the elections, and this means there are serious 'divisions' within the political spectrum.

    Demirel stated that in recent years, Turkey's foreign counterparts have come to terms with the fact that Turkey faces a terrorism threat. "So now they are saying we understand the terrorism threat but now you also have to find a political solution to the issue. They say this but they never spell out what they mean by a political solution" Demirel complained. /All papers/

    [02] ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT MEASURES

    The Economic and Social Council, which met on Monday, decided to maintain their budget discipline and stabilization policies to be implemented as three-month programmes in 1999. In addition, a consensus was reached to preserve the implementation of the principle of the Social State, not to allow pre-election spending sprees and to diminish the public sector's borrowing requirement.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced the results of the Council meeting in Ankara yesterday at a press meeting. The council decided that the search for funds to be transferred to Eximbank to finance exports should be accelerated, and that loans granted by Halk Bank to tradesmen, artisans and small to medium-scale enterprises would be increased to stimulate production. Ecevit said that the Council is a step towards participatory democracy. He noted that the meeting was very fruitful, that almost all of the economic and social problems of Turkey were assessed and that it was agreed that employers, employees and the State should find solutions to these problems, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [03] WASHINGTON REASSURES ANKARA

    The US Administration has declared that Iraq should cease threatening Turkey and other neighbouring countries and stated that if not, it will use force. The US State Department's Spokesman, James Rubin, said: "If Iraq continues to threaten its neighbours, it will be a grave mistake". /Milliyet/

    [04] INCIRLIK AIRBASE TO BE REARRANGED

    It was reported that the agreement concerning the use of Incirlik Airbase in Adana would be changed. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Turkey had reported to the US that it had been negatively effected due to the procedures carried aout from the airbase and Turkey had already convinced the US administration about there was a need to rearrange the terms of the agreement. Ecevit added that the certain rules and regulations would be applied, such that Iraqi activity the region would be monitored and the US would not use the airbase during a probable operation against Iraq. /Aksam/

    [05] KURDISH PARLIAMENT-IN-EXILE IN SPAIN

    The Kurdish Parliament-in-exile is now in Spain after leaving Italy. The Local Assembly of the Basque region in Spain has allowed the so-called Parliament to set a date for a meeting in July. Turkey reacted strongly to the Spanish decision, which has itself been struggling against its own terrorism problem for years. Turkey decided to critize Spain. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Basque Parliament, Juan Maria Atutxa, said that deputies were free to allow or prohibit the meeting in the Parliament. Members of the People's Party, which is in power in Spain, in the Basque Parliament voiced their anxieties concerning future economic relations between Turkey and Spain. Also, the main Opposition party, the Spainish Socialist Workers' Party, evaluated the decision as "unsuitable".

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit criticized the decision saying that it would be contrary to both friendship and partnership to allow the so-called Parliament to meet in the Basque region. He believed that the people of the Basque region would not support the decision and the Spanish government was against the meeting.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry noted that the plan by separatists to hold a meeting in a European Parliament building would have as its aim the encouragement of terrorist activities. The report added that Turkey believed that the European Parliament would not allow a meeting which would aim to increase every type of terrorist activity. The meeting also wished to to deceive Parliament and manipulate it for its own interests. /Aksam/

    [06] PRO-PKK GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY

    A previously unknown group supporting the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, has claimed responsibility for a bomb explosion late on Monday near the Turkish Consulate in the Greek city of Komotini (Gumulcine). An anonymous telephone call to the local state radio station claimed to represent a group called 'Support for Ocalan- the Hawks of Thrace'. Turkish Consul-General Sakir Ozkan Torunlar said that there was no damage to the Consulate building, adding that he had visited the injured bomb disposal expert in the hospital.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a statement condemning the incident and implied that it was a result of Greece's hostile policies towards Turkey. On the other hand, the Greek Government yesterday condemned the bomb attack against the Turkish Consulate. /Turkiye/

    [07] GREEK MPs ASK ATHENS TO GRANT OCALAN POLITICAL ASYLUM

    A group of Greek MPs yesterday asked the government to grant political asylum to Abdullah Ocalan, a demand which Greece has said it will not even consider. Ocalan, the PKK leader, "has suffered unacceptable treatment from the world, in particular from Europe", said Costas Bandouvas, a deputy with the governing Socialist Party. The deputies, including former socialist Public Order Minister Stelios Papathemelis, said they will soon submit a 50,000-signature petition to Parliament calling on Europe and the Greek government to grant Ocalan asylum. But the Greek government is reluctant to increase tension in her already strained relations with Turkey. /All papers/

    [08] SUPREME COURT INVESTIGATES THE ITALIAN OFFICIALS DUE TO OCALAN

    The Supreme Court of Italy, which accepted Turkey's application for extradition of Ocalan, has begun a thorough investigation concerning all government officials related to the arrival of Ocalan in Italy and his subsequent release without trial. The Chairman of the Supreme Court, Bruno Fasanelli, launched an investigation following the application of Augusto Sinagra, the lawyer on behalf of Turkey, and decided to re-institute the inquiries against Ocalan. Furthermore, the Supreme Court also demanded that the Court of Appeals continue its incomplete investigation concerning Oliviero Diliberto, the Minister of Justice, who was charged with a breach of duty. /Hurriyet/

    [09] PKK PURCHASES A VILLAGE IN RUSSIA

    While there are allegations that the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, has returned to Russia, intelligence units reported that the PKK terrorist organization has purchased a village in Russia. A report submitted to high-level state officials noted that Ocalan was trying to settle in 'Biyeduhable' village between the districts of Krasnodar and Maykop. It is also reported that there were PKK flags and Ocalan's posters hung on some houses in this village.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated yesterday that there was no definite information about Ocalan's location, while replying to allegations that Ocalan might be in Germany. Ecevit added: "But the reality will become evident sooner or later". On the other hand, according to the German DPA news agency, German Interior Ministry officials rejected the allegations claiming that Ocalan was in Germany. /Milliyet/

    [10] PKK OPERATION IN ISTANBUL

    Nine PKK members were under arrest yesterday in Istanbul. Officials said that PKK members had been preparing to organize attacks on the party buildings and security headquarters in Istanbul. Also, they added, arms, bombs and outlawed documents were seized by the close of the operations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] EMERGENCY RULE LENGTHENED FOR FOUR MORE MONTHS

    The Emergency Rule in place in Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Siirt, Sırnak, Tunceli and Van is being extende for four more months from March 30 1999 following the acceptance of a memo from the Prime Ministry at the plenary session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. /Sabah/

    [12] CEM: "DEMOCRACY IS IMPORTANT"

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, said that there was no correlation between European Union (EU) membership and the protection of the democratic and secular status of Turkey. Cem added, "Turkey has the necessary political distance. And we are struggling to solve some other problems. There is only one country which is against Turkey's EU membership. It is not Turkey's problem that Greece vetos our EU membership, because Turkey would not be able to protect her democratic and secular identity if she entered to the EU". /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] KUTAN: "PUBLIC WILL DETERMINE DEMOCRACY"

    The Leader of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, has said: "The elections will not be between those who are for and those who are against the regime, as was speculated. They will be held between those who are for democracy and those who are not". Kutan, speaking after a group meeting, complained about the early elections and then stated that the FP will do its best to guide Turkey into a fair, honest election period. /All papers/

    [14] PROMISE TO TURKEY

    The last European Security and Cooperation Organization (ESCO) Summit of the century will be held in Istanbul in November. The most prominent Presidents and Prime Ministers in the world will come to Istanbul in order to attend this summit. The first sign of the meeting came from the US President Bill Clinton, who addresed a letter to President Demirel and expressed his pleasure at the gathering of the Summit in Istanbul. Moreover, the French President Chirac also noted that he will attend the summit. /Hurriyet/

    [15] WORLD BANK DELEGATION ARRIVES TO SUPPORT LOANS

    Two people from the World Bank arrived in Ankara yesterday to investigate the allocation of a World Bank $200 million loan aimed at helping the crisis-hit non-financial sector. The delegation will meet officials from the Treasury and the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, Eximbank, the Turkish Development Bank, Halkbank and some private banks.

    The loans will be granted within the guidelines of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). Sub-sectors which need financial assistance will be determined and reported on to the World Bank. Economic authorities will give a detailed presentation to the delegation on the use of the loans. Meanwhile, the World Bank Director of Turkey, Ajay Chhibber, said that agricultural reforms were one of the most important issues to be tackled today and in the future by Turkish politicians. /All papers/

    [16] IMF IS PERSUADED IN 18 HOURS

    The IMF delegation which has completed its visit to Turkey, the previous day, made promising statements concerning an agreement which would relieve the pressure on the economy. However intense activity took place behind the scenes. During the 12 day visit which the IMF delegation paid in order to evaluate the Turkish economy, the persuasive position of the Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel, State Economic Minister Hikmet Ulugbay, and the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) was instrumental in achieving a positive report. During the negotiations Temizel and Ulugbay insisted on a realistic evaluation of the year 1998, emphasizing Turkey's determination in implementing the programme despite the global crisis and political problems and stating the positive results which had been achieved. /Sabah/

    [17] AID TO RUSSIA IN TURKEY'S INTERESTS

    An evaluation meeting was held with the participation of both public and private sector representatives, in order to review trade relations between Turkey and Russia and improve cooperation opportunities between the two countries. Deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Mithat Balkan, speaking at the meeting stated that it was very hard for Russia to overcome the economic crisis. He added, "However hard it may be , it is in Turkey's interests that Russia overcome this crisis." Balkan also noted that relations should gain momentum in a very short time. The Turkish Ambassador to Moscow, Nabi Sensoy, said that the two countries which were economic partners had to expand their fields of partnership. /Sabah/

    [18] TREASURY ON ROAD SHOW

    Treasury officials will be on a 'Road Show' next week in order to inform investors about Euro-bond exports which will be the second sale of the year abroad. As part of the 'Road Show', which is expected to last for nearly one week, Treasury officials will organize various seminars. Meanwhile, according to officials from Deutsche Bank, the positive view of the IMF delegation towards the Turkish economy will increase Turkish foreign borrowing opportunities. /Milliyet/

    [19] IMKB AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS

    The price of share certificate on the Istanbul Stock Exchange has been rising in line with the positive atmosphere in the market. The compound index has attained its greatest level since last August. The Compound Indext increased to 2,924 points with a 109 point increase and share certificates have gained an average of 3.8 percent in the last six months. Financial expert expects that the positive atmosphere will continue following the fruitful meetings between the representatives of the government and the IMF. /Aksam/

    [20] "TURKEY IS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY FOR INVESTMENT"

    Akbank, one of the sponsors of the Euromoney International Bonds Congress, held a session concerning the Turkish bond market yesterday. Speaking in the session titled `Investment Strategies and Opportunities in the Turkish Bond Market', Cuneyt Sel, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Treasury, mentioned the improvements in the current balance of payments and noted that the ratio of domestic debts to the GNP in Turkey is lower than those in other developing countries like Brazil. Meanwhile, Resit Toygar, Deputy General Director of Akbank, reflected on the privileged position of the Turkish market. Toygar said, "Our market, providing high returns, is flexible and liquid. In 1998, the average return on the basis of the US dollar was realized as 24%." /Hurriyet/

    [21] `JET-PA CHAIN' REPORT FROM SPK

    It was revealed that in 1996, the Board of Capital Markets (SPK) had sent a `warning report' to the Treasury with regard to an a special offer on cars organized by the Islamic corporation Jet-Pa, drawing attention to the fact that this offer relied upon a fraudulent system in which loans were paid back by further borrowing in turn. Accordingly, "it is observed that Jet-Pa has to borrow increasing amounts in order to meet the obligations it has already entered into. Therefore, we think that this situation poses a great danger to those citizens who participated in the campaign." /Hurriyet/

    [22] KUTLU AKTAS WILL RUN FOR ANAP IN IZMIR

    It has been declared that Kutlu Aktas, the former the Minister of the Interior and the former Governor of Izmir, will run as a candidate for Izmir Metropolitan Mayorship on behalf of the Motherland Party (ANAP). Aktas said, "I had to accept. The people of Izmir expressed their intense desire for me to stand. I know that this is a very arduous duty. I will take part in democratic contest." Meanwhile it is reported that the famous Turkish woman writer, Adalet Agaoglu, declared her Parliamentary candidacy standing for the socialist Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP). /Hurriyet/

    [23] $2 MILLION FOR THE 700TH ANNIVERSARY

    $2 million has been allocated for the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. Planned within the celebrations is a culture week which will be organized at the French Versailles Palace. In order to promote Ottoman and Turkish cultures, many exhibitions will be held in a variety of noted museums world-wide, especially in France and Austria. Various examples of tile-ware from Topkapi Palace will be exhibited in the People's Republic of China. /Milliyet/

    [24] ENERGY GIANTS MEET FOR THE SECOND TIME

    The 'Second Annual Turkish Energy Summit' will be held today and tomorrow in Istanbul. The meeting is sponsored by the Turco-British Chamber of Commerce, the Taba-Amcham Department of Trade and Industry's Bureau in Turkey, Istanbul Chamber of Industry, the Menas Partnership, the Energy Intelligence Group and Financial Times Energy. Many foreign and Turkish representatives from the energy sector are expected to attend the Summit. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Prof.Ziya Aktas will deliver an opening speech at the summit. /Turkiye/

    [25] FULL COMPETITION IN FOOD SECTOR

    Harmonization within the guidelines of the commitments concerning processed foodstuffs outlined in the Customs Union Agreement has been achieved with the European Union (EU). The industrial quota of processed foodstuffs, including imported biscuits and pizza, has been lifted for the EU and EFTA. In the imports of these foodstuffs from the EU, only limits on agricultural shares will be implemented. With the CU agreement between Turkey and the EU, processed agricultural products were drawn up in three separate lists. According to the agreement, the industrial import duty on processed foodstuffs should become zero for the EU. /Turkiye/

    [26] TOBB TO ESTABLISH 'WASTE MARKET'

    Growing environmental awareness in Turkey has created new sectors in the economy, the Anatolia news agency reports. The 'waste market' is seen as an important vehicle by which industrial and other wastes may contribute to the economy. The waste market has been established under the Union of Turkish Chamber and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).

    [27] GREAT AWARD FOR TOURISM

    Turkey continues with her achievements in the field of tourism promotion. Turkey received the silver medal in the 'International HSMAI Adrian Commercials Awards Competition' held in the US in 1998. During another advertising campaign two years ago, Turkey received the bronze medal. As a result of commercials last year, the increase in the number of tourists which was foreseen as 12%, rose to 21% due to Turkey's success in promoting herself. Officials are very pleased with the results. /Milliyet/

    [28] A TURK IN DYNASTY

    Turkish soloist and pianist Muhiddin Durruoglu Demiriz from the Belgian Royal Great Philharmonic Orchestra has been representing Turkey abroad for many years. Demiriz, who held a concert at Antalya Culture Centre yesterday, said: "I have become a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire. It was not easy to enter this orchestra as a Turk. However, music is universal". /Milliyet/

    [29] TURKISH FILMS IN BERLIN

    The 49th Berlin Film Festival will start today. The festival is of great importance for Turkey this year, as four Turkish films will participate in the Festival. Officials noted that during the Festival they hope Turkish films will receive a lot of attention. One of the Turkish films will be nomimated for the International Competition Section. /Milliyet/

    [30] TURKISH ACTOR IN HOLLYWOOD

    Murat Demirag, a Turk born in New York, is in both the film and commercials sector in Hollywood. Demirag has taken roles in TV advertisements, plays and films on Broadway and in Los Angeles. /Aksam/

    [31] TURKISH WIND IN GERMANY

    One of the leading magazines in Germany, the "Focus", reported that Turkish pop singers, Tarkan, Tugce San and Rafet El Roman, were the new hopes in the German music sector. Calling Tarkan the new "Mick Jagger of Europe" the magazine noted that the German Motor Music Company had reached an agreement with the famous Turkish pop singer. It was reported that Tugce San is still performaning with the US pop singer Janet Jackson in Germany. At the end of the article, it was claimed that Turkish pop songs were very popular in Germany. /Aksam/

    [32] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [33] TREASURY GOES TO IMF BEFORE THE ELECTIONS - BY TAYFUN DEVECIOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Tayfun Devecioglu looks at the economic situation after the issuing of the IMF report. A summary of his column is as follows:

    Economic officials describe some of the sentences in the statement issued by IMF Turkish-Desk Chairman Martin Hardy as a 'miracle'. Such as, " We would like to enter into closer cooperation with Turkey so as to implement a more comprehensive and enthusiastic anti-inflation programme after the elections. Such a programme could be supported by the sources from the Fund."....Hardy in his statement expresses the IMF's desire for a plan with Turkey to lend money to the country. In other words, it means to say that Turkey is a country with which they can enter into an agreement, therefore Turkish officials should go to Washington with this aim in mind before the elections...However, both the IMF and the officials are making their calculations bearing in mind the probability of a coalition with the Motherland Party (ANAP)and Democratic Left Party (DSP) govennment in power...In the report it is stated that the Staff Monitoring Agrement begun during the Yilmaz government is being meticulously implemented by the Ecevit government. It has been observed that the IMF is pleased with this development...The only law Ecevit wants the Parliament to pass is the Banking Law before the elections.... The Treasury seems highly relieved by the IMF statement. /Sabah/


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