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Turkish Press Review, 99-02-12

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

12.02.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE BEING HELD IN FRANCE
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [03] TURKEY-CROATIA BOOST BILATERAL COOPERATION
  • [04] SPAIN PUTS PRESSURE ON BASQUE REGION
  • [05] PARLIAMENT ON VACATION DUE TO ELECTIONS
  • [06] TEMIZEL: "THE BANKING LAW WOULD HAVE ACCELERATED CAPITAL INFLOWS"
  • [07] YILMAZ KICKS OFF ANAP ELECTION CAMPAIGN
  • [08] AYDIN JOINS ANAP
  • [09] BROEK, "FIRST SOLUTION, THEN EU MEMBERSHIP"
  • [10] SYMPOSIUM ON "LEGAL ASPECTS OF TURCO-TRNC RELATIONS"
  • [11] GERMANY: "WE INSIST ON DUAL-CITIZENSHIP"
  • [12] DUFF AND PHELPS LOWERS TURKEY'S GRADE
  • [13] IMKB INDEX OVER 3000
  • [14] FIRST BOSTON ADVISES INVESTMENT IN TURKEY
  • [15] ARMENIAN PRESSURE ON FRENCH SENATE
  • [16] TURKEY'S PERSPECTIVE IN EUROPE
  • [17] LE MONDE: "TURKEY FAVOURS THE US IN HELICOPTER BID"
  • [18] PKK MEMBER STANDS TRIAL IN GERMANY
  • [19] EMBARGO BY THE CB AGAINST THOSE WHO SUCCUMB TO THE MILLENIUM BUG
  • [20] KARACAM: "BANKS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIGH INTEREST RATES"
  • [21] ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY TO TAKE INVENTORY OF TURKEY'S CHEMICALS
  • [22] TURKISH CARNATION EXPORT TO JAPAN
  • [23] TURKISH TEXTILES LOOK TO FOREIGN LOANS
  • [24] 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE BEING HELD IN FRANCE
  • [25] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [26] THE NEW MIDDLE CLASS - BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)
  • [27] WHAT VEINSTEIN TEACHES - BY SERVER TANILLI (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE BEING HELD IN FRANCE

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [03] TURKEY-CROATIA BOOST BILATERAL COOPERATION

    Turkey and Croatia been paved the way for accelerated bilateral relations by signing five cooperation agreements after a meeting between visiting President Franjo Tudjman and his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Demirel and following talks between delegations from the two countries. Tudjman and Demirel also participated in the Turco-Croatian Business Council meeting. Speaking at the gathering, Demirel stressed that the present volume of bilateral trade did not reflect the genuine potential of the two countries. He added that Eximbank export loans should be carefully considered.

    On Thursday, Croatian Ministers accompanying Tudjman held talks with their Turkish counterparts. /All papers/

    [04] SPAIN PUTS PRESSURE ON BASQUE REGION

    Spain will not grant visas to the Kurdish Parliament-in-exile who are planning to meet in the Basque region. Spanish Prime Minister Jose M. Aznar gave assured his Turkish counterpart, Bulent Ecevit, that everything would be done by the Spanish government to cancel the meeting. The Basque decision had angered Turkey and worried Spain which fears damaging its economic relations with Ankara. Jose M. R. Fraga, Spokesman for the governing Conservatives, called the Basque decision a "shame" while Minister of Foreign Affairs Abel Matutes accused the Basque region of "giving legitimacy to groups linked to certain terrorist acts."

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said in a press conference yesterday in Ankara that if the Basque Parliament did not alter its recent decision, it would put Spain in a difficult postion in Europe. Ecevit added that Turco-Spanish economic and bilateral relations would be greatly damaged if the meeting took place. /Milliyet/

    [05] PARLIAMENT ON VACATION DUE TO ELECTIONS

    The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) went into recess due to the forthcoming elections in April. In the last working day of the TGNA, a Parliamentary majority, vital for making legislative resolutions, could not be achieved. Therefore the Banking Law, still pending in the schedule of Parliament, could not be discussed and enacted in spite of the fact that all the parties have agreed on it. Noting that it is quite hard to reach a Parliamentary majority due to the forthcoming elections, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "Some important bills, such as the Banking Law, on Parliament's agenda could not be enacted during this period; we accept this with great sorrow alongside understanding." /Aksam/

    [06] TEMIZEL: "THE BANKING LAW WOULD HAVE ACCELERATED CAPITAL INFLOWS"

    While Parliament could not enact the Banking Law on its agenda due to the lack of a Parliamentary majority in yesterday's session, Zekeriya Temizel, the Minister of Finance, said that if the Law had been passed, the foreign capital inflows to Turkey would have augmented rapidly. Noting that the reforms concerning the financial sector are not related to party politics but to the future of the country, Temizel said, "According to the resolution of the Constitutional Court, there is still time to enact this law. The Banking Law will provide improvements in basic economic indicators. In particular, we will be able to overcome the question of high interest rates. There are no short term risks in the banking sector. Yet we are concerned with medium- and long-term improvements. We want to emancipate the financial sector's operational principles from both individuals and governments. Through this law, the Turkish banking system would be able to comply with the prevailing international norms." /Sabah/

    [07] YILMAZ KICKS OFF ANAP ELECTION CAMPAIGN

    The Moterhland Party (ANAP) kicked off its propaganda campaign for the April 18 elections wirth the slogan "We are the voice of the silent majority." ANAP organized a meeting in Istanbul to inform the public about its goals for Turkey. Presenting the new image and principles of ANAP, Yilmaz said that they wanted a reliable future, to solve Turkey's health, education and work problems by 2003 and to put Turkey into the top ten greatest countries in the world by 2010. /Turkiye/

    [08] AYDIN JOINS ANAP

    Canakkale Independent Deputy Hikmet Aydin returned to his former party, the Motherland Party (ANAP) on Thursday. With Aydin's return to the fold, the number of ANAP seats in Parliament increased to 137. /Turkiye/

    [09] BROEK, "FIRST SOLUTION, THEN EU MEMBERSHIP"

    The Chief-Commissioner of the European Union (EU) Foreign Relations Commission, Hans Van den Broek, pointed out that if Greek-Cyprus became an EU member before the Cyprus issue was resolved, this would create problems in the international arena. According to a Greek-Cypriot radio station, Broek said that he would exert himself to reach a settlement of the Cyprus issue. Regarding the Russian made S-300 missiles, Broek remarked that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should welcome the Greek-Cypriot decision not to deploy the S-300 missiles on the island. Broek added that they expected that Turkey would increase the number of its soldiers on the island. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] SYMPOSIUM ON "LEGAL ASPECTS OF TURCO-TRNC RELATIONS"

    High-level officials and legal experts from Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) gathered in Ankara on Thursday for a two-day symposium to discuss the legal aspects of the close relationship between the two countries. The Turkish Minister of Justice, Selcuk Oztek, said in his opening speech that a 1989 Turkey-TRNC agreement concerning judicial cooperation in legal procedures, commerce and criminal issues constitutes one of the main legal base regulations governing bilateral relations between the two states. The symposium, organized by the Turkish Justice Ministry and the Turkish-Cypriot Development Platform, will end today. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] GERMANY: "WE INSIST ON DUAL-CITIZENSHIP"

    The German Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, noted that they had not retreated from the dual-citizenship bill which is to be re-organized due to pressure by the Opposition, and said, "Just the contrary, we insist on carrying out our purpose." Describing the Citizenship Law reform, including dual-citizenship, as a very significant project, Schily pointed out that they should prepare a bill which could be accepted by the majority of the Federal Parliament, as well as by the Opposition and the State Assemblies. /Sabah/

    [12] DUFF AND PHELPS LOWERS TURKEY'S GRADE

    Duff and Phelps (DCR), an international credit rating institution, lowered Turkey's credit grade concerning borrowings in terms of TL from "BB plus" to "BB". However, it re-approved Turkey's credit grade concerning borrowings in terms of foreign exchanges without revision. The DCR declared that this change reflects the weakening of the domestic financial structure. It also stated that a possible agreement with the IMF would help Turkey overcome its macroeconomic unbalance. Noting that Turkey has a fairly fluid and advanced capital market, the DCR emphasized that if Turkey continues its targeted economic program, its credit grade could be raised. /Hurriyet/

    [13] IMKB INDEX OVER 3000

    The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) was not unduly concerned by DCR's lowering of Turkey's credit grade. The IMKB General Index exceeded the 3000-point mark yesterday, reaching 3035 with an increase of 2.19% compared to the previous day. /Hurriyet/

    [14] FIRST BOSTON ADVISES INVESTMENT IN TURKEY

    Preparing a research report on the Turkish economy, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) said that Turkish markets are expected to revive following the April elections and therefore, investors need to penetrate Turkish markets prior to the elections in order to receive higher returns. Accordingly, the CSFB expects "a reformist government after the elections. It is very likely that the stock markets and the fixed-return investment instruments in particular will revive after the elections." /Aksam/

    [15] ARMENIAN PRESSURE ON FRENCH SENATE

    Armenians living in France have lobbied the French Senate in order to force them to place the Armenian genocide on the agenda of the Senate. The draft bill concerning the Armenian genocide was accepted by the French Parliament in May; in order to be legalized, it should be approved by the Senate. Following Turkey's harsh reaction, the French Senate postponed placing the draft bill on the agenda. Turkey had admonished France concerning the draft bill saying that French-Turco relations would be damaged if the draft bill were be accepted by the Senate. /Turkiye/

    [16] TURKEY'S PERSPECTIVE IN EUROPE

    The Turco-German Foundation organized a conference concerning "Turkey's Perspective in Europe: The Future of Turco-German Relations" in Istanbul. The Head of the Turco-German Foundation, Vural Oger, said at the conference that the foundation aimed to improve both Turco-German relations and the legal rights of Turkish citizens living in Germany. /Milliyet/

    [17] LE MONDE: "TURKEY FAVOURS THE US IN HELICOPTER BID"

    A French newspaper, "Le Monde" reported that Turkey favoured the US over Europe when it came to the purchase of helicopters. According to the artice by Jacques Isnard, Turkey turned down the 200 military helicopter produced by the Eurocopter Corporation, a Franco-German joint-venture company. It is claimed that Turkey had decided to buy 50 "Blackhawk" helicopters from the US. /Turkiye/

    [18] PKK MEMBER STANDS TRIAL IN GERMANY

    A State Court in Stuttgart, Germany on Thursday began a trial against a member of the outlawed PKK, the Anatolia news agency reported from Bonn. The office of the Federal Prosecutor in Stuttgart said that Harun Bekir is charged with being the representatives of a terrorist organization in Mannheim between 1995 and 1996. He is also linked to a number of assaults carried out by the PKK, including arson attacks against some Turkish businesses in 1993 in Germany.

    [19] EMBARGO BY THE CB AGAINST THOSE WHO SUCCUMB TO THE MILLENIUM BUG

    Gazi Ercel, the Governor of the Central Bank, declared that those firms which fail to resolve the "Year 2000" problem in computer systems will not be allowed to enter the markets and systems under the control of the Central Bank. Noting that they have formed a "Year 2000 Committee" to resolve the question, Ercel said that the Cnetral Bank will be ready for the Millenium by April 15. /Hurriyet/

    [20] KARACAM: "BANKS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIGH INTEREST RATES"

    Burhan Karacam, the Chairman of Yapi Kredi Bank, argued that the banks were being unjustly criticized because of the so-called fancy returns due to high interest rates on industrial loans. Holding a press conference on "Credit Relations between the Banking and Industrial Sectors in Turkey", Karacam mentioned that it has long been claimed that the banks are selling the low-cost funding at a high rate to the industrial sector, but the banks are merely intermediary institutions in this process. Karacam said, "The banks are held responsible for high interest rates on industrial credits, which are indeeed rooted in the unfavourable developments in emerging markets and alterations in the tax laws. It is true that the interest rates on loans increased unreasonably due to the jam in liquidity, and no doubt, this creates a considerable burden for the industrial sector. Yet it is not true that the banks receive excessive profits from this process, for the increase in interest rates also increases the re-collection risk undertaken by the banks." /Hurriyet/

    [21] ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY TO TAKE INVENTORY OF TURKEY'S CHEMICALS

    The Ministry of the Environment has begun a project to take an inventory of all the chemicals that are being used in the cosmetics, industry, food production, nuclear and other sectors in Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported. In addition, the Ministry is also working to prepare a set of regulations regarding the storage and transportation of these chemicals. It was reported that the current regulations would be adjusted according to European Union standards. By the year 2000, all countries will be obligated to disclose information about the chemicals they use and the products that contain these chemicals, so Turkey has started to gather the information in oder to meet that deadline.

    [22] TURKISH CARNATION EXPORT TO JAPAN

    In time for Valentine's Day on 14 February, 10 million sprays of carnations have been exported from Antalya to Europe and Japan. Antalya Flower Exporters said that the European demand for carnations was lower than had been expected. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] TURKISH TEXTILES LOOK TO FOREIGN LOANS

    The ready-to-wear sector of the market is seeking foreign investment. Representatives of the sector decided to meet representatives of their financial backers from abroad. The Turkish Clothing Industrialists' Association (TGSD) organized meetings with five foreign banks. The TGSD also announced that they aimed to establish a consortium under the chairmanship of one Turkish bank and five foreign banks. This consortium would transfer foreign financial funding to Turkey, they reported. A renowned Turkish foreign trade company will be the guarantor of the process. /Milliyet/

    [24] 700TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE BEING HELD IN FRANCE

    The Foundation for the Protection of Culture and Works of Art has organized an exhibition to mark occasion of the 700th Anniversary of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire. The exhibition, which will be opened on 19 February at the famous Lafayette Galleries in Paris, will cover the themes of "Suleyman the Lawmaker", the "Turkish Bath" and the "Bosphorus". The first area of the exhibition will offer a glimpse of daily life in Istanbul; the second section, "Turkish Bath", is divided into the men's and women's facets of this traditional Turkish institution; the third section, the "Bosphorus", decorated in blue, and glass objects and the blue stones used to ward off the evil eye, which, in Turkish belief, is a potent source of ill fortune. /Turkiye/

    [25] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [26] THE NEW MIDDLE CLASS - BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc expresses his opinion of the statement made by the Chairman of the Motherland Party, Mesut Yilmaz. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "When the Great Turkey Party was forced out of the race by the Generals of September 12, it became clear that Ozal's Motherland Party was going to win the elections... At the time Ozal made the middle class his base and addressed himself directly to it...He based his election campaign on the middle class which formed the backbone of Turkish society. The middle class brought Ozal to power.... It seems that the present Chairman of the party, Yilmaz has also chosen the "middle class" as his target audience. However election specialists have found a new name for the "middle class" and that is the "silent majority"...It seems clear that Yilmaz will prepare his election campaign on the wishes, necessities and longings of the "silent majority" which forms a great part of the electorate. The target is right but Yilmaz does not have the advantages which Ozal had in 1983...These elections come at a time when politics have hit the rock-bottom, in addition to the divisions in the political arena. Therefore it will not be easy for him to embrace the "silent majority". The campaign statements Yilmaz has issued to the press were laborious to prepare but were evaluated were evaluated positively by those listening to them. The logical argument in which domestic and international problems were set forth; the solutions proposed to them and the targets pinpointed for action were correct. When he says that the 1999 elections are in fact a Referendum which will determine whether Turkey will keep pace with the new Millenium or go back a hundred years, he is making a correct statement. He expresses his confidence in the ability of Turkish society to make the correct choice...We shall see whether the"silent majority" will make him the largest party in the Parliament." /Hurriyet/

    [27] WHAT VEINSTEIN TEACHES - BY SERVER TANILLI (CUMHURIYET)

    In "Cumhuriyet", columnist Server Tanilli looks into the recent discussions on the statements of the great historian Gilles Veinstein. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "In recent weeks in France a great debate has taken place concerning the great historian Gilles Veinstein who was elected to the Department of Turkish and Ottoman history, newly-founded at the College de France. Even though his appointment was officially approved by the French President, Jacques Chirac, discussions continued to prevent its implementation regarding inflammatory issue such as the "Armenian Genocide."... College de France is an educational institution dating back to the 16th century, affiliated to the Ministry of Education and autonomous from the University...It is a great honour to be elected to this prestigious Institute... Veinstein is one of the few specialists on Ottoman history especially between the 15th and 18th centuries... A campaign against him was launched because of one his articles published in the L'Histoire magazine in 1995. In his article entitled "Three Questions On A Genocide" Veinstein did not deny the calamity which befell tens of thousands of Armenians in 1915, during the "deportation" which came during the most turbulent period in the First World War... What he is against is that these were pre-determined massacres and were implemented by the Ottoman Administration as some circles claim. ...Therefore the incidents which took place are dissimilar to the "Jewish Holocaust" carried out in the Second World War. In the Ottoman Empire, like the Jews and all other Christian citizens Armenians were not subjected to racial discrimination. The Armenians were even called 'the loyal nation'. When the national system emerged in a very sensitive region in the form of terrorism, a gap between the two societies was formed and widened."


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