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Turkish Press Review, 99-02-18

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

18.02.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS A REVIVAL OF THE 'NATIONAL STRENGTH' SPIRIT - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG
  • [02] (MILLIYET)
  • [03] OCALAN UNDER ARREST
  • [04] PKK'S VIOLENT ATTACKS IN EUROPE
  • [05] OCALAN: "I AM AT YOUR SERVICE"
  • [06] FOREIGN REACTIONS TO OCALAN'S CAPTURE
  • [07] ECEVIT IS TO GO ON AN INVESTMENT TOUR OF THE SOUTHEAST
  • [08] TURKISH FORCES IN IRAQ
  • [09] DIPLOMATIC ATTACK BY TURKEY
  • [10] ATACANLI: "TURKEY HAD NOTED DOWN THE ATTITUDE OF GREECE"
  • [11] 34 MEMBERS OF PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY (HADEP) IN CUSTODY
  • [12] LAST WARNING FROM GERMANY
  • [13] HARSH REACTION AGAINST EP
  • [14] TARIQ AZIZ RETURNS HOME
  • [15] DEMIREL: "AZIZ DID NOT ASK FOR AN APPOINTMENT"
  • [16] PRESIDENT DEMIREL OPENS CULTURE AND ART COMPLEX
  • [17] TURKEY TO DECIDE ABOUT PATRIOT MISSILES
  • [18] RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR: "I AM HAPPY, THE PROBLEM IS OVER"
  • [19] VISIT BY THE AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTER ZULFIKAR
  • [20] THE OPPOSITION IS UNCANNY FOR THE ELECTIONS
  • [21] TWO-DAY OCALAN PREMIUM ON STOCK EXCHANGE IS 17%
  • [22] AGAR WITHDRAWS HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE DYP
  • [23] THE ECONOMIST TO HOLD ENERGY CONFERENCE IN ANKARA
  • [24] FOREIGN LOAN FOR ENERGY
  • [25] BYRD INVITES TURKISH COMPANIES TO FLOCK TO US MARKET
  • [26] IRON-STEEL WORKERS PREPARE FOR STRIKE
  • [27] TOURISM UP IN JANUARY
  • [28] AN OTTOMAN VILLAGE: CUMALIKIZIK
  • [29] SPANISH WIND IN ANTALYA
  • [30] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [31] A REVIVAL OF THE 'NATIONAL STRENGTH' SPIRIT - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS A REVIVAL OF THE 'NATIONAL STRENGTH' SPIRIT - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG

    [02] (MILLIYET)

    [03] OCALAN UNDER ARREST

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit confirmed that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was currently being detained under tight security, "an island in the Marmara Sea" under tight security, referring to the prison-island of Imrali. Ecevit added that Ocalan was caught with a Greek-Cypriot passport belonging to a Greek Cypriot national but bearing Ocalan's pictures. The passport, issued by the Greek-Cypriot Immigration Department, belonged to a journalist named Lazaros Mavros, a columnist working for the Greek Cypriot daily "Fileleftheros". It is reported that Mavros is currently the head of the association "Solidarity with Kurdistan" and had contributed to the setting up of the Kurdish Parliament-in-exile. Ecevit noted that Ocalan would initially be interrogated over a period of two days. Ocalan is charged with countless murders, violent attacks, drug smuggling and cooperation with foreign nationals in order to subvert the Turkish State. The Prime Minister stressed that the Turkish justice system will not allow any outside intervention in its proceedings.

    Meanwhile, President Suleyman Demirel on Wednesday called on the nation for solidarity. Speaking to journalists, Demirel said that no one should dare to disturb peace and stability in Turkey. Demirel added that in the course of the last four months Europe had seen that the PKK is a terrorist organization. He said that anyone attempting to support Ocalan would only be sharing in his murders. /All papers/

    [04] PKK'S VIOLENT ATTACKS IN EUROPE

    The arrest of notorious Kurdish separatist chief Abdullah Ocalan sparked riots and demonstrations throughout Europe.

    Four Kurdish protestors were shot and killed while trying to force their way into the Israeli Consulate yesterday. At least 15 people were injured in the shooting at the four-storey building near Berlin's largest Turkish neighbourhood, police said. People were injured both in and out of the Consulate. After the incident Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the shooting occured when dozens of Kurds tried to storm the Consulate, using hammers and clubs. Israel immediately ordered all of its Consulates and Embassies in Europe closed. In Bonn the Ministry of Interior Affairs increased security at the likely targets of Kurd attacks after demonstrators occupied Greek Consulates throughout the country.

    European governments feared they would continue to feel the brunt of Kurdish outrage during Turkey's expected trial of Ocalan on terrorism charges. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder issued a statement using Kurds to stop their illegal actions which were not acceptable under any circumstances.

    In Russia, Kurds protested for two hours outside the US Consulate. Meanwhile, Kurds in Switzerland continued occupying several diplomatic offices and launched a new protest, pushing their way into the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees early on Wednesday.

    In London, 40 Ocalan supporters held a man hostage inside the Greek Embassy for a second day. More than 150 Kurds sang, shouted and banged drums overnight in the busy main roads.

    Kurds started storming Greek outposts early Tuesday after learning that Ocalan had been arrested at the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Breaking down doors and smashing windows, Kurdish protestors occupied Greek Embasies and consulates in at least 21 European cities on Tuesday, and briefly occupied Consulates in Vancouver, British Columbia and Sidney, Australia.

    Meanwhile, PKK demonstrations took place in a number of Istanbul neighbourhoods. In the Gazi district, a group of demonstrators congregated in the evening in the central square, after which they threw molotov cocktails, setting fire to one municipal bus, four cars and two waste disposal lorries. There were clashes between demonstrators and police officers, and a number of demonstrators were taken into custody. In another development in Istanbul, a group of demonstrators set a public bus on fire. Extensive security measures were taken in that neighbourhood as well. /All papers/

    [05] OCALAN: "I AM AT YOUR SERVICE"

    The Turkish security forces who captured the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan through a successful operation in Kenya recorded every minute of the operation. The National Intelligence Service (MIT) distributed the video film, obtained on the plane which brought Ocalan to Turkey, to all TV stations yesterday. The film, displayed live on the CNN as well, reveals that the Turkish special forces treated Ocalan in quite a professional and gentle manner. In the first conversation between Ocalan and a Turkish official, the PKK leader made some quite interesting statements. Ocalan said, "I love my country. My mother was also a Turk. I am ready to do any service if given the chance. I will accept to undertake any task with all my heart. Nobody tortured me. I love Turkey and the Turkish people. I believe that I will perform good services on their behalf." /Hurriyet/

    [06] FOREIGN REACTIONS TO OCALAN'S CAPTURE

    The capture of the outlawed PKK organization leader Abdullah Ocalan has sparked different reactions throughout the world. In a written statement Washington said that they welcomed the latest development concerning Ocalan and it was a success for Turkish security forces. The statement condemned the violent protests by Ocalan's supporters in Europe and called for an end to them.

    Ocalan's capture made front-page headlines in newspapers around the world. The French press was mostly supportive of Turkey, with the majority of dailies referring to Ocalan as a terrorist leader. The daily "Le Monde" said Turkey had captured Ocalan but the protestors' attacks against the Greek Embassies in Europe took up more space. "Le Figaro" also criticized the PKK for not renouncing terrorism.

    The Russian press also focused on the Embassy attacks, warning that the incidents might lead to further terrorist assaults.

    The capture of Ocalan was the major issue in the British press on Wednesday. The issue made the headlines in the mainstrean British dailies and most of them wrote editorials in which they expressed criticism of the PKK but called for a fair trial for Ocalan. "The Times" described Ocalan as a "brutal Marxist terrorist." "The Guardian" described Ocalan as an "egomanical, bloody leader". The "Independent" also made clear that Ocalan's capture was a great success.

    The capture of Ocalan also reverberated across the Greek press. The `Katimerini' reported that it is Greece which has lost the most prestige due to the Turkish special forces' operation. `Eleftorotopia' demanded that Pangalos, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, resign after the tragicomedy displayed by the Greek administration. `Etnos' wrote that the Greek government's policy on Ocalan had ended in a complete fiasco.

    The Italian `Corriera Della Sera' said that the capture of Ocalan was shameful for Italy and all the European governments should accept the defeat, whereas `La Stampa' said that Ocalan is a terrorist and Turkey would never let him shelter anywhere. /All papers/

    [07] ECEVIT IS TO GO ON AN INVESTMENT TOUR OF THE SOUTHEAST

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that an economic development package for Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia was ready. Ecevit, who will go on a tour of the Southeast at the end of the month accompanied by the Ministers responsible for the Economy, is expected to explain the projects concerning the region. Ecevit noted that preparations had begun to develop the economy of the region and added, "With the start of the construction season, we shall give priority to the building of regional boarding schools, and the completion of organized industrial sites." /Milliyet/

    [08] TURKISH FORCES IN IRAQ

    Following the capture of the leader of terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, the Turkish Armed Forces entered Northern Iraq. The Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, stated that this operation had been planned previously as part of the fight the Armed Forces has been carrying out against the terrorist organization over a number years; he and stressed that it was not related to the capture and conveyance of Ocalan to Turkey. It was reported that the operation was held against the camps where the PKK was concentrated in Northern Iraq near the Iranian border. /Milliyet/

    [09] DIPLOMATIC ATTACK BY TURKEY

    Turkey is supporting her military victory in the capture of Ocalan with a diplomatic attack. The Turkish Ambassador to London, Ozdem Sanberk, and the press counsellor are being invited to numerous media organizations to state their opinions. Sanberk has broken a record by appearing on 20 broadcasting organizations ,TV stations during the same day, among them the BBC, CNN, ITV, and Channel Four. /Milliyet/

    [10] ATACANLI: "TURKEY HAD NOTED DOWN THE ATTITUDE OF GREECE"

    Sermet Atacanl, Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday that the developments which took place after the capture of the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK should be a lesson for certain European countries, describing relations between Greece and the chief of terrorist as "a serious development." He added that it was seen that Ocalan had been taken to Kenya by an arrangement of the Greek government and had been hosted as a guest for a period of time. Nothing that Turkey would issue a broader statement about the attitude of Greece concerning the recent developments, Atacanli said that the withdrawal of the Turkish Ambassador from Greece was out of question. Atacanli recalled that Turkey was against terrorism wherever it came, Anatolia news agency reported.

    [11] 34 MEMBERS OF PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY (HADEP) IN CUSTODY

    Following the capture and transport of Ocalan to Turkey, some members of HADEP were taken into custody in Diyarbakir. In Southeastern Anatolia and mainly in Diyarbakir, tight security measures are being enforced by the security forces to prevent demonstrations and actions by members of the terrorist PKK organization. Entrance and exits to cities and towns are under surveillance and those suspected are being searched./Milliyet//

    [12] LAST WARNING FROM GERMANY

    German Minister of the Interior Schilly issued a final warning to the PKK terrorists concerning the occupation of Consulates. He said, "These actions could result in deaths. Take note of the incident in Berlin and avoid participating in such actions"./Milliyet/

    [13] HARSH REACTION AGAINST EP

    The report issued yesterday by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Commission of the European Parliament concerning the capture of the terrorist chief provoked reactions. The Turkish Permanent Representative to the European Union (EU), Ambassador Nihat Akyol, accused the European deputies of displaying a "prejudiced attitude" towards Turkey by trying to give advice on how to try a terrorist. "What the EP should do is not to interrogate Turkey but address our fellow-EU-member, Greece, on the most recent activities of this terrorist. Turkey is a State of Law, where each Turkish citizen has the right to a just trial". /Turkiye/

    [14] TARIQ AZIZ RETURNS HOME

    Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq who had been in the process of visiting Turkey for three days, went back to Iraq after completing his series of meetings with Turkish officials. Answering questions concerning Aziz's visit to Turkey and the latest developments in Turco-Iraqi relations, Sermet Atacanli, the Speaker of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Britain and the US had requested that they be informed about this visit and that the Turkish Foreign Ministry complied with this request. Meanwhile, in answer to a question on Iraqi Vice-President Taha Ramadan's threat against Turkey, Atacanli said, "Turkey has proven in the past that it is able to confront any threats towards herself, regardless of their source." /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] DEMIREL: "AZIZ DID NOT ASK FOR AN APPOINTMENT"

    President Suleyman Demirel stated on Wednesday that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz had not asked for an appointment during his recent visit to Ankara. Questioned by reporters concerning Aziz'z complaints about not being received at the Presendital level, Demirel said that no request from the Iraqi side to be received by him had reached the Presidental Palace. /All papers/

    [16] PRESIDENT DEMIREL OPENS CULTURE AND ART COMPLEX

    President Suleyman Demirel opened the new Ankara University Culture and Art House on Wednesday. Demirel said during the opening ceremony that the best investment was the investment made in human beings and that the infrastructure of such an investment could be provided through culture and education. After the speech Demirel visited an exhibition in the three-storey Culture and Art House. Demirel presented a piano to the Art House.

    [17] TURKEY TO DECIDE ABOUT PATRIOT MISSILES

    The US Speaker for the Secretary of Defence, Kenneth Bacon said yesterday that any attack on the part of Iraq would be a serious mistake and would receive an immediate response. Bacon recalled that the Patriot missiles had been posted to Incirlik Air Base for its protection. He added that the Patriot missiles would stay in Incirlik for as long as Turkey wanted to keep them. /Turkiye/

    [18] RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR: "I AM HAPPY, THE PROBLEM IS OVER"

    Alexander Lebedev, the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, said that he is happy with the capture and the conveyance of Ocalan to Turkey by the Turkish forces. Lebedev, who was frequently invited to the Turkish Foreign Ministry after the PKK leader had been driven out of Syria, said that he is quite happy with the situation and he hopes the question has ended on the part of Russia. /Hurriyet/

    [19] VISIT BY THE AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN MINISTER ZULFIKAR

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tevfik Zulfikar said in his special report to Sabah newspaper that soon after Turkey had agreed on military cooperation with Israel, the Jewish lobby in the US started to support Azerbaijan. Concerning the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline, Zulfikar said that approval for the project could be almost guaranteed but there was only the technical and financial issue to be decided on. /Sabah/

    [20] THE OPPOSITION IS UNCANNY FOR THE ELECTIONS

    It is reported that Ocalan's capture through a successful operation is very likely to increase votes for the Democratic Left Party (DSP), which holds power with its minority government until the forthcoming elections. In this respect, most political party leaders are emphasizing the success of the state security forces rather than that of the DSP minority government, with particular reference to the national character of the Ocalan question and the role played by determined military and state policies. Whereas Mesut Yilmaz, the Motherland Party (ANAP) leader pretends to be a partner in the successful operation, DYP leader Tansu Ciller ignores the role of the government and has attributed the success to the Chief of General Staff and the National Intelligence Service. Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), describes the operation as the success of the `Turkish State'. On the other hand, a public research corporation declared that, following the capture of Ocalan, the DSP had increased its votes in the polls by 6 percent. /Cumhuriyet/

    [21] TWO-DAY OCALAN PREMIUM ON STOCK EXCHANGE IS 17%

    The enthusiasm which pervades the capital markets due to the capture of the PKK leader Ocalan continues. While the fall in interest rates went on, the Istanbul Stock Exchange rose by 8.4% and the General Index reached 3,621 yesterday, corresponding to its highest level since August. In the same way, the total volume of transactions on the IMKB amounted to $521 million yesterday. It is reported that the two-day increase in the prices of bonds on the IMKB attained 17%, whereas the interest rates on the Treasury bonds retreated from 125% to 117%. /Hurriyet/

    [22] AGAR WITHDRAWS HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE DYP

    Mehmet Agar, a former Minister of the Interior and currently the Elazıg MP for the True Path Party (DYP), declared surprisingly that he is withdrawing his Parliamentary candidacy from this constituency in favor of the DYP. It is reported that the fundamental reason behind Agar's withdrawal is DYP leader Ciller's decision to exclude him by pushing the current MP to the lower portion of the candidates' list. /Hurriyet/

    [23] THE ECONOMIST TO HOLD ENERGY CONFERENCE IN ANKARA

    The Second Turkish Energy Conference, organized by the noted British weekly newspaper "The Economist",will meet in Ankara in early March, the Anatolia news agency reported. According to The Economist, the Conference will gather together Turkish and foreign energy officials between 2-3 March. The topics to be discussed during the conference are "Turkey's energy priorities for the coming five years," Turkey's energy balance by the year 2010", "The Fulfillment of legal requirements for investments," "Developments within the regulations," "Economic Energy Development and Privatization," "The Policy on Petroleum and Natural Gas extraction from Iran and Central Asia," and "The Integration of Energy Solutions and A Look at the Future."

    [24] FOREIGN LOAN FOR ENERGY

    The positive report which the International Monetary Fund issued after its meetings in Turkey has begun to bear fruit. A $ 1.6 billion loan is underwritten for the construction of Efsin-Elbistan Geo-thermal power station by the US, Japan, Germany, the Republic of Hungary, and France. The loan package has already been extended to the Treasury Undersecretariat. Officials announced that an energy output of over 10 billion kwh is planned; the construction is planned to be completed within four years. /Turkiye/

    [25] BYRD INVITES TURKISH COMPANIES TO FLOCK TO US MARKET

    Philip Byrd, the Chairman of the Turkish region of the International Exporters' Federation, said that Turkish products have a good chance of gaining shares in the US and Canadian markets. In his speech on Wednesday at the "Trade Opportunities with the US and Canada" Conference, Byrd said that quota limits for Turkish products imposed by the US are decreasing gradually and will be completely abolished by the year 2005. He invited Turkish companies to enter the US market, stating: "If Turkish companies have a good strategy and send high-quality goods to the American market, they can net a very satisfactory share of this market and rid themselves of the negative effects of the global crisis. In particular, I recommend that small and medium-size companies, which have a wide variety of goods, take advantage of this huge market. /Aksam/

    [26] IRON-STEEL WORKERS PREPARE FOR STRIKE

    Iron and Steel Industry workers at Iskenderun and Karabuk are preparing to go on strike due to current problems in the sector. The Oz-Celik-Is Union, which has memebers in Iskenderun Iron-Steel Plants, has decided to hold a public meeting tomorrow in order to inform society about the impass faced by the company because of the current global crisis. Similarly, workers from the KARDEMIR Plants will hold a meeting on Monday. It is reported that the main questions pursued by the trade unions in the sector are collective bargaining and the outstanding debts of the state payable to the labourers. /Cumhuriyet/

    [27] TOURISM UP IN JANUARY

    The Turkish tourism sector made a good start in 1999. In the first month of the year 358,008 tourists visited Turkey, a 3.42 percent increase compared to the same month last year. People coming from member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) constituted 46 percent of the total number, and citizens from Eastern European countries followed with 39.1 percent. Germans ranked as the top tourists to Turkey, making up 23.24 percent of all visitors. The Commonwealth of Independent States and Romania followed Germany. The US, Yugoslavia, Iran, Greece, France, Israel and Britain are other countries which had large numbers of citizens visiting Turkey. /Aksam/

    [28] AN OTTOMAN VILLAGE: CUMALIKIZIK

    Cumalikizik, 700 years old and one of the most important examples of Ottoman rural architecture, is taking part in the East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair (EMITT'99) which begins today. The Fair which will start at Beylikduzu today will be open until February 21st. Studies carried out as part of the 'Cumalikizik Preservation "98"' partnership projectaims to promote the Cumalikizik Settlement to the country and the world. /Türkiye/

    [29] SPANISH WIND IN ANTALYA

    The Spanish Juan Martin Flamenco group gave a concert in Antalya Culture Centre. The group demonstrated folk falk songs and dances from Spain. Juan Martin, who is one of three most accomplished guitarist artists in the world, impressed his Turkish audiences. /Aksam/

    [30] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [31] A REVIVAL OF THE 'NATIONAL STRENGTH' SPIRIT - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

    In his column, retired Ambassador Sukru Elekdag comments on the new self-confidence seen among the people by the recent developments and how this should be channelled. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Everyone accepts that the capture of Ocalan in Nairobi and transporting him to Turkey to stand trial is an extraordinary success. This historic event has given an enormous morale and self-confidence boost to Turks. Turkey has arrived at this historic turning point by achieving the expulsion of Ocalan from Syria, as a result of the pressure policy it implemented both with courage and prudence.... Now, Turkey should channel this energy and self-confidence into plan of action which aims to solve the Southeastern problem once and for all. If Turkey can use this great opportunity in pursuit of this, it will enter the 21st century as a proud country ready to implement new strategies. It would not be wrong to say that the Southeastern issue lies at the root of all problems Turkey faces, both within the country and abroad. It would be ingenuous to think that Turkey will achieve stability, security or prosperity without solving this question...Priority should be given to wiping out the economic and social conditions leading to and nurturing terrorism. With this in mind, a socio-economic plan eight year plan, in coordination with GAP, should be implemented right away. It should be aimed at raising an educated generation by creating suitable conditions for eight-year uninterrupted elementary education...It should also be remembered that the branches of the PKK in Europe will try to keep the question alive as long as the Kurdish lobby has some power, and will use any opportunity to exploit it against Turkey...Therefore, the new Parliament to be formed after the elections should pass laws to eradicate the torture and maltreatment in line with UN standards, to bring new definitions to crimes against the freedom of expression, and amend the Turkish Penal Code and Anti-Terrorism Law, reorganize the DGMs...The self-confidence seen in Turkey should be chanelled towards achieving these goals."/Milliyet/


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