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Turkish Press Review, 99-02-19

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

19.02.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [02] DEMIREL: "EUROPE NEEDS TURKEY"
  • [03] ECEVIT: "DO NOT INTERVENE IN TURKEY'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS"
  • [04] REPENTANCE LAW
  • [05] ATTACK ON TURKISH TRAVEL AGENCY
  • [06] TOTAL DAMAGE BY DEMONSTRATORS AMOUNTS TO 18 BILLION TURKISH LIRAS
  • [07] SILENT DEMONSTRATION IN JAPAN
  • [08] DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRAN
  • [09] BOMB ALERT TO THE REFUGEE BUREAU
  • [10] REACTION FROM IRAQ TO ACROSS-THE-BORDER OPERATION
  • [11] PKK TARGETS TURKS
  • [12] BAYKAL: "THE WEST CANNOT INTERVENE"
  • [13] THREE PRISONERS BURN THEMSELVES
  • [14] KAVI: "TERROR PREVENTS TURKISH-EU MEMBERSHIP"
  • [15] "NO MORE EXCUSES TO INVEST IN THE EAST"
  • [16] "THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM CANNOT BE INTERVENED IN"
  • [17] OCALAN'S LAWYER: FORMER TERRORIST
  • [18] ANKARA VETOES GERMAN LAWYER
  • [19] HADEP: "WE WANT PEACE"
  • [20] PKK REALITY IN FRENCH SENATE
  • [21] OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN IRAQ
  • [22] DOMESTIC CONFLICT IN PKK
  • [23] BAYIK TO REPLACE OCALAN
  • [24] ASALA-TYPE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES
  • [25] DEMONSTRATIONS IN SANLIURFA
  • [26] CLASHES IN BATMAN
  • [27] SADDAM ADMONISHED CONCERNING INCIRLIK
  • [28] REACTIONS AGAINST DEMONSTRATIONS IN GERMANY
  • [29] FOREIGN PRESS
  • [30] US WANTS FAIR TRIAL
  • [31] OCALAN SHAKES GREEK AND KENYAN GOVERNMENTS
  • [32] OCALAN TO BE TRIED ON THE ISLAND OF IMRALI
  • [33] TURKISH DAILIES SET ON FIRE
  • [34] S-300 MISSILES ON CRETE
  • [35] CEM VISITS CZECH REPUBLIC
  • [36] FRENCH AND BOSNIAN CHIEFS OF GENERAL STAFF IN ANKARA
  • [37] IMKB RISES, ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE FALLS
  • [38] SECOND TOUR OF IMF IN MARCH
  • [39] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS
  • [40] INCREASE IN EXPORTS
  • [41] US SPACE SCIENTISTS IN ISTANBUL
  • [42] INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR
  • [43] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [44] THE RETURN OF `KARAOGLAN'? - BY A.TANER KISLALI (CUMHURIYET)
  • [45] PROMOTION AND TERROR -BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [02] DEMIREL: "EUROPE NEEDS TURKEY"

    President Suleyman Demirel, who spoke on the 47th anniversary of Turkey's entrance into NATO, sent a message to Europe which implied that it needed Turkey. He stressed that Turkey was a country with a young, dynamic and productive population and that over a period of 75 years since its foundation it had become the 16th largest economy in the world thanks to its secular democratic character. The President added, "Turkey has a prestigious reputation and the State is respected throughout the world. All organizations which aim to function well in Europe, yet exclude Turkey, are bound to remain deficient." /Sabah/

    [03] ECEVIT: "DO NOT INTERVENE IN TURKEY'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit issued a statement concerning the prosecution of Ocalan yesterday, which sparked debates at an international level. Evaluating the resignations within the Greek government, Ecevit said, "A state which attempts to intervene Turkey's internal affairs will face disruption in her own internal concerns as well. The Greek case proves this fact. Thus, serious turmoil has begun within the national political spheres of those countries which have been supporting the separatist PKK organization for years. I hope others will also evaluate the recent developments in the same way, and avoid any outright intervention in Turkish concerns."

    Noting that full responsibility for the Ocalan prosecution case and other procedures concerning his trial enter the jurisdiction of the independent Turkish courts from now on, Ecevit emphasized that no guarantee can be given that Ocalan will not be sentenced to death. He said, "It is impossible to give any such guarantee. Turkey has not applied the death penalty for 18 years. Yet I cannot tell you what may happen in the future. As the Democratic Left Party (DSP), we are against capital punishment. However, that has nothing to do with the current situation. I cannot answer any question concerning the judiciary because the courts are fully independent in Turkey."

    Prime Minister Ecevit also added that it is of no consequence whether the European Court of Human Rights consider the State Security Courts (DGMs) independent or not. Ecevit said, "What is crucial here is that they comply with our Constitution. Nobody can question the independence of the judiciary in Turkey. Our DGMs are able to operate fully-independently" /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] REPENTANCE LAW

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday discussed the "Repentance Law" with President Suleyman Demirel. Ecevit stated that both the President the Chief of General Staff held the law to be of great significance. He added that the "Repentance Law" was supported by the Motherland Party and the True Path Party but it was very difficult to convene Parliament just before the elections. He also noted that they were working to render the draft effective as of today, and to encourage the young people in question to avail themselves of the law and continue their normal lives with their families from now on. /Sabah/

    [05] ATTACK ON TURKISH TRAVEL AGENCY

    A molotov cocktail was thrown into a Turkish travel agency in Liege, Belgium. The bomb caused damages. Officials stated that supporters of the separatist organization had thrown the bomb. In another development, the Turkish Embassy in Brussels called on the Turks in Belgium to be careful in the face of provocation./Sabah/

    [06] TOTAL DAMAGE BY DEMONSTRATORS AMOUNTS TO 18 BILLION TURKISH LIRAS

    It has been realized that the PKK supporters who had occupied the Greek residence in The Hague and took three people hostages, caused great damage to the building amounting to 18 billion Turkish Liras. /Sabah/

    [07] SILENT DEMONSTRATION IN JAPAN

    Demonstrations against Greece, which is accused of aiding Ocalan's return to Turkey, are still in progress. Yesterday, 30 supporters of the PKK, gathering in front of the Greek Embassy in Tokyo held a silent demonstration holding the pictures of Ocalan and flags. /Sabah/

    [08] DEMONSTRATIONS IN IRAN

    In front of the UN building in Tehran in Iran, 150 demonstrators protested against the capture of Ocalan. The demonstrators, shouting slogans against Turkey, dispersed at noon. Officials stated that the situation was under control around the Turkish Consulate in Urumiye which had been attacked by the supporters of the PKK.

    [09] BOMB ALERT TO THE REFUGEE BUREAU

    In Kenya, a bomb alert was sounded for the Refugee Bureau which was reported to have deported Ocalan. After a call stating that a bomb had ben planted, the Bureau was evacuated. However, it proved to be a false alarm. /Sabah/

    [10] REACTION FROM IRAQ TO ACROSS-THE-BORDER OPERATION

    The Saddam Administration has called on Turkey,which is carrying out a campaign in Northern Iraq against the PKK terrorist organization, to withdraw all its forces in the region. A statement issued by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that the Baghdad Administration had called on the Turkish Government to withdraw its forces in Iraqi territory." /Sabah/

    [11] PKK TARGETS TURKS

    PKK violence was yesterday directed against Turks in Germany. The separatists attacked and wounded five Turks with iron bars in Heilbronn and Munster. Moreover, PKK terrorists threw Molotov cocktails at the offices of Turks in Nurnberg, Stuttgart, Bremen, Bielefeld, Lohne, Freiburg and Bunde.

    PKK members clashed with Greek Security Forces who aimed to prevent their demonstration in front of the Turkish Embassy in Athens. /Hurriyet/

    [12] BAYKAL: "THE WEST CANNOT INTERVENE"

    Remarking that both the world and Europe had failed to achieve good marks when it came to Ocalan, Deniz Baykal, the Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), stated, "At the moment, ethically, the West has no right to approach this question by belittling the Turkish judicial process while forgetting its own notable deficiency of legal prudence and its own gigantic contradictions." Baykal argued that Turkey should use the current evolution as an opportunity to reveal her own identity and her own conception of law and humanity. Reiterating that his party is ready to give Parliamentary support to the passing of the "Penitence Bill" still pending on the agenda, Baykal said, "These vital decisions should be made as soon as possible. The sources that nourish terrorism must be permanently eliminated. The economic and social measures to ensure this should be taken. To this end, we really have to make a rapid, comprehensive and serious start." /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] THREE PRISONERS BURN THEMSELVES

    The protests carried out by PKK militants against Ocalan's capture are still in progress. Very recently, three imprisoned militants burnt themselves. Meanwhile, during numerous events throughout the country, three policemen and nine demonstarators were wounded. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] KAVI: "TERROR PREVENTS TURKISH-EU MEMBERSHIP"

    Husamettin Kavi, Chairman of the Turco-European Union (EU) Joint Consultation Committee, said that due to terrorism, Turkey had had difficulty harmonizing with EU standards. He added that Turkey had spent $ 60-70 billion over the last 15 years on the struggle against terrorism. Yesterday, Kavi met European MPs in Istanbul to whom he said that the EU always criticized Turkey on political grounds but the organization itself did not run the Customs Union process. He added, "For the last fifteen years Turkey has spent all her foreign loans on the struggle against terrorism but she has not achieved enough investment in the Southeastern region. Turkey should attain EU standards. However, for his part, the EU should strengthen the Customs Union." Kavi invited the MPs to the Turco-EU Joint Consultation Committee meeting to be held in March in Istanbul. /Hurriyet/

    [15] "NO MORE EXCUSES TO INVEST IN THE EAST"

    Businessmen in the Eastern and Southeastern regions said that the new process, begun with the capture of Ocalan in Kenya, should be positively evaluated. Representatives of the business world in the Eastern and Southeastern regions claimed that no one had any futher excuse to invest in their region. Mehmet Aslan, the Chairman of the Gaziantep Trade Union, said that this historical event would bring hope to the region and also, he added, effective measures to solve both unemployment and economic problems should be taken immediately. The Chairman of the Adiyaman Trade and Industry Chamber, Zafer Ersoy, said that both foreign and domestic investment had not come to the region because of terrorism but now, he added, they did not have any excuse to start seriously channelling investments into the region. The Chairman of the Kars Trade and Industrialists' Chamber, Mehmet Yilmaz, claimed that the burden of terrorism on the East had been extortionate and agriculture and animal husbandry had both decreased in the region. Yilmaz added that the number of tourists visiting the region would increase. Moreover, businessmen from Kahramanmaras, Erzurum, Erzincan and Igdir said that they were very hopeful for the future of their region. /Hurriyet/

    [16] "THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM CANNOT BE INTERVENED IN"

    Sources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the independence of the judiciary in Turkey was under the guarantee of the Constitution and that the Turkish State cannot tolerate any interference in this state of affairs. Diplomatic sources added that it could be easily seen in the Turkish Constitution that articles related to the judiciary were more independent than those in Western Constitutions. Asking everyone to respect the independency of the judicial system, the same sources noted that not only domestic but also foreign circles should respect the institutions of the Republic of Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [17] OCALAN'S LAWYER: FORMER TERRORIST

    The Turkish Foreign Minitry has given an order to foreign representative offices for Turkish citizens living in Western Europe to protest against the presence in court of the Dutch lawyer of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, Britta Bohler. It has come to light that Bohler has been active in the terrorist organization, 'Red Army Fraction'. Bohler, who is of German origin and lives in Holland, acted as the voice of the PKK terrorist organization during the period following Ocalan's departure from Italy. Diplomatic sources remarked that as Ocalan was still a Turkish citizen, a foreign lawyer defending him before Turkish administrative and judicial authorities was against the relevant laws. /Milliyet/

    [18] ANKARA VETOES GERMAN LAWYER

    Eberhart Schultz, Ocalan's German lawyer, wishes to come to Turkey. However, it has been reported that Turkey will not permit his entry into the country. Schultz has sent a letter to the Turkish Embassy in Bonn, in which he states that since he is Ocalan's lawyer, he should like to meet him. Schultz requested guarantees for his safety from Turkish authorities. Meanwhile, meetings concerning those measures to be taken against developments at an international level on the subject of Ocalan were convened at the Foreign Ministry yesterday. During the meetings, it was decided that the international demands for 'controller' and 'observer' delegations would be rejected. /Milliyet/

    [19] HADEP: "WE WANT PEACE"

    Osman Ozcelik, the Deputy Chairman of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), said that Ocalan's conveyance to Turkey will not alter their demand for a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. Ozcelik said, "We do not want war, we want peace. No social problem can be resolved through violence. A question hangs over us, and it is the fundamental question of the country." /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] PKK REALITY IN FRENCH SENATE

    The French Minister Responsible for European Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said that the activities of the separatist PKK organization were condemned throughout Europe and added that France had started a legal procedure against the organization concerning protection rackets. Speaking in the French Senate, Moscovici said that the Southeast Anatolian issue should not be confused with the PKK problem. /Aksam/

    [21] OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN IRAQ

    During the current operation carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against the PKK terrorist organization in 10 separate regions of Northern Iraq, terrorist camps are being surrounded by military units. The operations, which began last week along the Northern Iraqi border, penetrated beyond the border with a force of more than 20,000 soldiers two days ago. Military units are extending towards the regions of Haftanin, Zap and Hakurk. /Milliyet/

    [22] DOMESTIC CONFLICT IN PKK

    The conflict within the PKK terrorist organization continues unabated. Some PKK members were involved in conflicts in Tunceli during which two terrorists died and three were wounded. The rooting-out of terrorists by Turkish security forces is on-going in the region. /Milliyet/

    [23] BAYIK TO REPLACE OCALAN

    During a congress to be held by representatives of the so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile in the upcoming months, it is reported that Cemil Bayik will replace the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. A representative who blames Europe for the capture of Ocalan said: "We will do our best to end the incidents; however, Europe should be put in the picture. Ocalan should be tried in an international tribunal not as a terrorist but as a war criminal". /Milliyet/

    [24] ASALA-TYPE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES

    The PKK terrorist organization has determined a new 'operational strategy' following Turkey's successful capture of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, and is preparing for a wave of new assaults against Turkish diplomats. Osman Ocalan, who made a statement on behalf of the PKK Central Committee, called upon PKK supporters to increase their activities in Europe and Turkey. Ocalan said: "Every kind of action is legal". /Milliyet/

    [25] DEMONSTRATIONS IN SANLIURFA

    Due to some armed demonstrations in the Mursitpinar border region, in the Suruc district of Sanliurfa along the Turco-Syrian border, some tension was experienced. Following the capture of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, nearly 250 PKK supporters gathered in the Aynalarap district of Syria. Turkish military units placed tanks along the border. It is reported that PKK members shouted slogans in support of the PKK. Syrian officials claimed that the demonstrators were shouting slogans supporting the re-election of the Syrian Head of State, Hafiz Esad. Turkish military units are tightening their security measures along the border. /Milliyet/

    [26] CLASHES IN BATMAN

    Members of the separatist terrorist organization have begun violent attacks throughout Turkey due to Ocalan's capture. There were fierce clashes between Security Forces and PKK members yesterday in Batman. Military sources announced that 10 PKK members were wounded and 120 were taken into custody. Also, a member of the Security Force and nine civilians were wounded during the clashes.

    Meanwhile, there were clashes last night between Security Forces and PKK members in Ceyhan, Adana. It was also reported that there were demonstrations in Mersin. /Aksam/

    [27] SADDAM ADMONISHED CONCERNING INCIRLIK

    The US Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary of State, James Foley, said that any kind of attack against Incirlik Air Base would be a fatal mistake. Such a step against Incirlik, Foley added, would be very "painful" for Iraq. Foley noted that Iraq alone would be fully responsible for its actions. /Aksam/

    [28] REACTIONS AGAINST DEMONSTRATIONS IN GERMANY

    The Head of the European Police Union, Hermann Lutz, has said that militants involved in terrorist activities in Germany should be deported. Lutz made a statement on 'Saarlaendischer Rundfunk' radio yesterday saying that meetings should be held with Turkey in order to establish the legal basis from which to deport PKK supporters. Lutz noted that European politicians should cooperate in preventing terrorist activities. /Milliyet/

    [29] FOREIGN PRESS

    GERMAN

    Bild: A German newspaper, Bild, devoted wide coverage to the capture of the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and the demonstrations held throughout Europe, saying 'It is enough'. The newspaper stated that Germany had neither captured Ocalan nor extradited him to Turkey; however, all the attacks seemed to be focussed on Germany.

    Frankfurter Rundschau: The newspaper noted that it has been observed that the conflicts affecting Anatolia could also be seen in Wilmerdorf, Berlin.

    US

    Wall Street Journal: An article in the newspaper said that a terrorist was now in the hands of Justice. The article pointed out that the whole world had seen the real face of the supporters of the terrorist organization, who take innocent people hostage and raid Embassies. The article asked the Italian government, which was demanding a just trial of Ocalan, why they had not implemented these rules while Ocalan was still in Italy.

    Washington Post: Turkey celebrates the capture of Abdullah Ocalan. Ocalan's four month flight ends in Kenya.

    New York Times: Now, after the capture of Ocalan, Kurds should cooperate with the US to topple Saddam and make peace with Turkey. Turks have finally declared their victory against terrorism.

    GREECE

    Katimerini: The government is seriously wounded. Pondiki: I am ashamed of being Greek. Many things can be forgiven; however, incidents which happened concerning Ocalan could never be forgiven. Vradini: Traitors..They handed Ocalan to Turkey on the orders of Simitis. The government should immediately resign.

    BELGIUM

    La Libre Belgique: The newspaper mainly explained the PKK threat for Germany. The newspaper quoted Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as saying that Turkey would prove herself as a state of law.

    FRANCE:

    Le Monde: The three first pages of the newspaper were devoted to the Kurdish problem and the Ocalan issue. The newspaper questioned the cooperation of both Israel and Kenya in the operation to capture Ocalan.

    Liberation: The French judge, Jean Francois Ricard, who interrogated Ocalan in Rome, was to issue an order to arrest Ocalan prior to his capture.

    Le Figaro: The newspaper stated that Kurds were exporting their conflict to Europe. It also underlined the Israeli-Turkish cooperation in the matter. /Milliyet/

    Le Soir: Turkish Intelligence Services seized Ocalan in front of Greek diplomats who had tried to protect him.

    BRITAIN

    The Independent: Turkey is a State within the world. Ankara should be included among the influential capitals. Turkey is a "good player" in the world politics.

    RUSSIA

    Rus Izvestia: Turkey has guaranteed to respect Ocalan's legal rights.

    KENYA

    Kenya Daily Nation: Kenya closed its Embassies and Consulates in 34 countries in case of PKK attacks.

    ISRAEL

    Jerusalem Post: The Kurdish issue starts now. This is not merely a Turco-Kurdish issue but, at the same time, it is the problem of whole Europe. /Hurriyet/Turkiye/

    [30] US WANTS FAIR TRIAL

    The US administration recalled its call for a fair and independent trial of the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan. US State Department Spokesman James Foley noted that Ocalan should be tried according to international norms.

    Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac made a statement prior to his US visit and said that he believed that Ocalan would be tried according to the principles of a state of law. Syrian Foreign Minister Faruk El Sara, who is visiting Russia, noted that Ocalan was Turkey's internal affair. He added: "No one has the right to intervene in Ocalan's trial". /Milliyet/

    [31] OCALAN SHAKES GREEK AND KENYAN GOVERNMENTS

    The capture of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan continues to send shock waves through countries. Three key members of the Greek cabinet, including Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, resigned yesterday following the request of the Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis. Other Ministers who presented their resignations were the Interior Minister and the Public Order Minister. Following these resignations, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the Greek people have rid themselves of Ministers who 'openly supported terrorism'.

    Meanwhile, Kenya reshuffled its Cabinet yesterday in a long-awaited overhaul apparently hastened by the outcry over its dubious role in the seizure of Ocalan. The government announced that Finance Minister Simeon Nyachae had been demoted to the Ministry of Industrial Development. It said Immigration Chief Frank Kwinga had been fired, possibly because of reports that Ocalan and several aides were able to sneak into the East African country under falsified passports. /All papers/

    [32] OCALAN TO BE TRIED ON THE ISLAND OF IMRALI

    Abdullah Ocalan will be tried by Ankara State Security Court (DGM) on Imrali Island, where he is currently being held. Ocalan faces the death penalty in the case filed in Ankara DGM. Ocalan will be interrogated by DGM prosecutors on Imrali Island, situated in the Marmara Sea. /All papers/

    [33] TURKISH DAILIES SET ON FIRE

    Distribution of Turkish daily newspapers such as Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah and Turkey, were prevented in London yesterday by the supporters of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. A group of PKK terrorists raided an office belonged to the Hurriyet newspaper in northern London, and seized the packages of dailies. They later set on fire the newspapers to stop their distribution throughout Britain, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [34] S-300 MISSILES ON CRETE

    Russia and the Greek Cypriot Administration signed an agreement concerning the deployment of the S-300 missiles on the Aegean island of Crete. It is reported that the misiles will be sent to the island during the second half of the year. Madeleine Albright, the US Minister of State, said that the retreat from the decision to deploy the missiles on Cyprus was a courageous strategy. Meanwhile, it is also reported that Russia will send S-300 missiles along with new MIG-29 fighters to Armenia as well. Russia declared that these weapons will be deployed on the Russian military bases in Armenia and will not be given to the Armenian Military. /Cumhuriyet/

    [35] CEM VISITS CZECH REPUBLIC

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem paid an official visit yesterday to the Czech Republic, seeking to boost Turkey's economic cooperation with the rapidly developing ex-communist country. After talks with his Czech counterpart, Jan Kavan, Cem said during a joint press conference that Turkey and the Czech Republic had many opportunities for broader economic cooperation, the Anatolia news agency reports.

    [36] FRENCH AND BOSNIAN CHIEFS OF GENERAL STAFF IN ANKARA

    The French Chief of General Staff, Jean Pierre Kelche, who is in Ankara for an official visit, yesterday met his Turkish counterpart General Huseyin Kivrikoglu. Kelche later visited the Minister of Defence, Hikmet Sami Turk, and said that France supported Turkey's membership of the EU and the WEU.

    Meanwhile, Bosnia-Herzegovinan Chief of General Staff, Rasim Delic, visited his Turkish counterpart, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu. Delic thanked Kivrikoglu for Turkey's contribution to the Bosnian peace-keeping force. /Turkiye/

    [37] IMKB RISES, ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE FALLS

    The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) increased by 0.87 % yesterday; the IMKB index reached 3,652 points. During the same period, the Athens Stock Exchange decreased by 6.1 % following the resignation of three Cabinet Ministers. /Milliyet/

    [38] SECOND TOUR OF IMF IN MARCH

    It has been decided to hold more meetings with the IMF prior to the General Elections in Turkey; these meetings to facilitate the provision of financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will take place in the second half of March. To this end, State Minister responsible for the economy and Deputy Prime Minister, Hikmet Ulugbay, will go to Washington. Treasury Undersecretary Yener Dincmen, Deputy Undersecretary Cuneyt Sel and the Head of Central Bank Gazi Ercel will accompany him. /Milliyet/

    [39] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS

    Turkey has repaid a total of $904.26 million in foreign debts since the beginning of this year, the Anatolia news agency reports. The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid $713.8 million, the Central Bank repaid $53.5 million, the Ministry of National Defence and the Defence Industry paid $89.64 million and the Defence Fund paid $1.23 million between January 1 and February 17, 1999.

    [40] INCREASE IN EXPORTS

    There were positive developments in exports in February. There was a 14.3 percent increase in exports compared to the same period last year. In February, Turkey saw 156.5 million dollars-worth of exports. /Aksam/

    [41] US SPACE SCIENTISTS IN ISTANBUL

    In order to attend the first U.F.O.congress to be held within the Eastern European, Balkan and Middle Eastern regions, US space scientists will come to Istanbul. The Congress, organized by the Sirius Space Sciences Centre, will be held on February 20-21. /Milliyet/

    [42] INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR

    The EMIT99-Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism Fair opened yesterday attended by Turkish Tourism Minister Ahmet Tan and Maltese Tourism Minister Michael A.Refalo. In addition to Turkish tourism institutions, representatives from 33 countries are attending the Fair at which Turkey has 250 stands. /Milliyet/

    [43] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [44] THE RETURN OF `KARAOGLAN'? - BY A.TANER KISLALI (CUMHURIYET)

    Ahmet Taner Kislali, a columnist in the Cumhuriyet daily, evaluates the growing influence of the Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader, Bulent Ecevit, in Turkish politics. Kislali writes:

    "Can we evaluate the recent developments as the "return of Ecevit", who was once called `Karaoglan' by the people? After being the `Cyprus Conqueror' 25 years ago, now he seems to be attaining a similar stature. Will he hold a determining position in Turkish politics once again? How much of the apparent public support for him will be reflected in the April elections?

    Contrary to his unwavering, severe discourse 25 years ago, today he is no longer the man of a particular pole. Now he is a more moderate and agreeable leader. He was always decisive and courageous in foreign policy matters, taking `reasonable risks'as in domestic policies. He had proven this in Cyprus and in his abolition of the poppy prohibition. Very recently, he has proven this again in the case of Ocalan.

    The foreign policy of the former ANASOL government also bore the mark of Ecevit. Yet, there is another fact, which began during the period of that government and which continues today as well: the Left has proved in addition that it can steer the economy in an efficient way. Ecevit's ministers responsible for the economy have scored good marks until now.

    The `Cyprus Peace Operation' in 1974 was the main reason behind the rise in Ecevit's votes from 33% to 42%. Can the `Ocalan Operation' generate a similar boom in votes for the DSP in the forthcoming elections? Today, Turkey has the largest mass of `undecided' voters. The kind of incidents like the capture of Ocalan affect this mass to a great extent. The `undecided' vote turns toward the powerful one.

    A crisis-ridden period... A society in pursuit of `stability'... A coherent political line from the `Cyprus Operation' to the `Ocalan Operation'... An honest, trusworthy leader... We will understand whether all these mean the return of `Karaoglan' in two months' time. "

    [45] PROMOTION AND TERROR -BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on the prejudiced approach of foreign journalists and widespread misinformation on the Southeastern problem. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Following the capture of Ocalan the foreign press has flown to Turkey. They are asking our opinion on the matter.... The foreign press is interested in two main points: first, will the trial be open to the public and in line with the legal system and, secondly, what will Turkey do now that it has achieved a great victory as a State by capturing Ocalan?...We are telling them that it will be a most fair trial and the laws will be meticulously implemented. When we reply to their questions with the question "What must it do?" they start talking a little shyly about the creation of an independent State or Federation. We are trying to tell them that it is impossible and that we are preparing for a General Election where a voter in Diyarbakir has the same vote as another voter in Istanbul and everybody is equal.Then, they attempt to say that we must hold a referendum to ask the Kurds their opinion. We reply that "Why not ask the same question to the whole population,not only Kurds?". This idea does not appeal to them. They believe that all Kurds in Turkey want a separate state... When we give them the names of deputies of Kurdish origin in Parliament they are puzzled.... We try to explain the geographic location of Turkey to them and point out the situation of Kurds living in Iraq, Iran and Syria. Had it not been for this terrorist organization, which received outside support, the situation in Southeastern Turkey would have been much better. With an end to terrorism, new schools and hospitals would be constructed, and new investments would be made in the region. Great steps would be taken concerning the question of human rights... We are trying to tell them that they have to separate the PKK from the Kurdish question. The PKK does not represent the entire Kurdish population. It is free to speak Kurdish in Turkey and Kurdish casettes are released in Turkey....All these questions show that Turkey has a great problem in explaining itself. Although an important one, it is not new." /Sabah/


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