|Monday, 21 June 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-03-25
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ECEVIT: "MENACE OF FUNDAMENTALISM HAS NOT REACHED DISTURBING LEVELS"
 ECEVIT: "TURKEY WILL BE AFFECTED"Due to the NATO air-strike against Yugoslavia, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "This war will certainly affect neighboring countries, including Turkey." Remarking that the Turkish Government was officially informed about the operation prior to its beginning, Ecevit said, "Ms. Albright called our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and informed him about the air-strike."
The Prime Minister stated that despite various international efforts to reach at a consensus in the region, the Serbians had refused the peace plan for Kosovo and had continued their outrageous activities. Ecevit added, "There has already been a de facto war in Kosovo for months, but it was a local one. Now it has been turned into an extensive war, which might have dramatic consequences." /Milliyet/
 ALBANIANS FLEE TO TURKEYHundreds of Kosovar Albanians, Turks and Bosnians, most of which are children, women and elderly people, have been fleeing to Turkey following the start of the NATO operation against Yugoslavia last night. Turkish officials announced that the number of Kosovar Albanians arriving in Turkey is expected to increase. "With this in mind", they added, "necessary measures have been taken". The Kosovars arriving in Turkey are coming through legal means without tourist visas, Foreign Ministry sources said, and added that they could not be considered refugees. /Hurriyet/
 PAPANDREU CALLS CEMImmediately before the start of the NATO air-strike against Yogoslavia, the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, called Ismail Cem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in order to inform him about the recent developments. Meanwhile, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yorgo Papandreu, called his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem. According to the Foreign Ministry, Papandreu extended his opinion to establish a cooperation among the Souteastern European countries concerning humanitarian aid within the framework of Southeastern Europe Process. /Hurriyet/
 COURT DECIDES OCALAN'S TRIAL ON IMRALI ISLANDThe Ankara State Security Court (DGM) resolved on Wednesday to continue the case opened for the trial of the chief of PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, on the island of Imrali, citing security concerns as the reason of its decision. Dozens of families of soldiers who lost their lives in clashes with the PKK gathered outside the court chanting anti-Ocalan slogans.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are working on yet another indictment against Ocalan that will be based on the confessions he made following his capture. No trial date has been set, since the indictment has yet to be filed. Once this indictment is filed; however, all of the cases against Ocalan are expected to be combined into one main trial that should be held on Imrali Island. /Sabah/
 MED-TV'S VAIN EFFORTSDue to the possibility of being permanently prohibited by the British authorities, the pro-PKK Med-TV channel continues its efforts to find a new place for broadcasting, following the suspension of its broadcasts by the ITC for 21 days. However, it is reported that Med-TV's attempt to obtain a broadcasting license in Norway and Switzerland was refused by both countries, whereas it is very likely that the Netherlands and Spain will act in the same way.
Meanwhile, speaking before the Permanent Committee of the European Transborder Television Charter, Caroline Morisson, the British representative, stated that the ITC's decision should be considered by all EU countries. She remarked that the ITC is an earnest and independent institution, and that it will be fallacious on the part of other EU countries to issue a decision contrary to that of the ITC. /Turkiye/
 "OCALAN WAS PROVIDED WITH A GREEK PLANE"The `Ocalan fiasco' investigation, carried out by the public prosecutors in Athens, revealed that the Greek Intelligence Agency (EIP) had provided Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the terrorist PKK, with a plane for his flights between Greece and Russia in October 1998 and January 1999. /Milliyet/
 ECEVIT: "MENACE OF FUNDAMENTALISM HAS NOT REACHED DISTURBING LEVELS"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said in a press conference yesterday that the menace of fundamentalism has not reached a disturbing level, reported the Anatolian News Agency. Ecevit said, "The struggle against fundamentalism, initiated by the 55th government, is still in progress. The governmental efforts against Islamic movements have reduced the menace of fundamentalism in Turkey. Today, any political party based on religious fundamentalism loses its popularity within the public opinion."
 DEMIREL: "TURKEY IS PROUD OF DSI'S ACHIEVEMENTS""Turkey is utilizing only one-third of its water resource potential, in other words, there is much work to do", said the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Ziya Aktas, during a meeting of the State Waterworks (DSI) Regional Directors in Ankara on Wednesday. He said that the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is planned to be completed in 2010 and that the DSI's action plan should be examined and supported at each stage.
Meanwhile, President Suleyman Demirel addressed the same DSI meeting. He said that the failures and successes of the Republic throughout 75 years had been thoroughly analyzed, and that it had been concluded that important achievements have been made by the country. Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin and the Austrian Ambassador to Turkey, Ralph Scheide, and other officials were also present at the meeting. /Turkiye/
 ULUGBAY CALLS FOR ROMANIAN INVESTMENTTurkish and Romanian businessmen should increase their joint investments in Romania and Turkey and in third countries, Deputy Prime Minister Hikmet Ulugbay declared on Wednesday. Speaking at the "Investments in Romania" forum in Istanbul, Ulugbay stressed how the two countries was able to improve their economic interrelations. Accordingly, Turkish companies became the leading foreign investors in Romania in January 1999, whereas 5,231 Turkish firms have directed their investments in Romania's brewing, forestry products, real estate development, tourism and retail sectors.
Several Turkish banks, including Demirbank, Finansbank, Bayindir Bank and Robank, have invested up to $ 100 million in banking and brokerage activities as well as other financial operations in Romania. Ulugbay said the opening of Turkish banks in Romania and a free trade agreement between Ankara and Bucharest were helpful for increasing the trade volume between the two nations. /HUrriyet/
 FINNISH NAVAL FORCES COMMANDER IN TURKEYAdmiral Ekso Illi, the Finnish Naval Forces Commander who is paying a visit to Turkey as the official guest of Admiral Salim Dervisoglu, the Turkish Naval Forces Commander, visited the Commandership of the Fleet in Golcuk yesterday. Illi was welcomed by a military ceremony during his arrival in Golcuk and met Admiral Ilhami Erdil, the Commander of the Fleet, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
 TURKISH DEPUTY CHAIRMAN TO CONTROL EUROPEAN TV CHANNELSSebnem Bilget was elected to the Deputy Chairmanship of the Permanent Committee of the European Transborder Television Charter for two years. Birget is currently the Director of the International Relations Department of the Higher Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), working hard to suspend MED-TV broadcasts. /Hurriyet/
 PACKAGE TO REJUVENATE TOURISMThe government launched initiatives to confront the biased campaigns against Turkish tourism in Europe. Following Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's direction to resolve the current problems faced by travel agencies and tourism companies, a `tourism summit' was held in Ankara yesterday, in which a new set of measures was decided to be taken in order to rejuvenate tourism. Accordingly, the head tax and airport fees will be reduced, fuel subventions will be provided for airliners, touring operators will be encouraged, and tax debts of tourism companies will be postponed. /Milliyet/
 TUSIAD APPEALS TO PARLIAMENTBulent Eczacibasi has issued an appeal to Parliament to Ademanding that the MPs consider the remaining days of the current session as a historic opportunity. Eczacibasi made the appeal in his position as Chairman of the High Advisory Council of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD). Eczacibasi called on members of Parliament to take steps to pass the Repentance Law and to demilitarize the State Security Courts. /Milliyet/
 ERCEL: "ONE-BILLION-DOLLAR FOREIGN INVESTMENT BACK TO TURKEY"Gazi Ercel, Chairman of the Central Bank, gave a statement to the US "Wall Street Journal" newspaper saying that foreign investment which had left Turkey due to Russian economic crisis had been back to Turkey. He added that there had been one-billion-dollar foreign investment to Turkey for the last seven weeks. Ercel said, "Foreign investors has finally realized that Turkish economy has not been effected by the Russian economic crisis. And that they have started to come back to Turkey." /Hurriyet/
 EMLAKBANK IN EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN REGIONSWithin the framework of the new economic programme to be applied by the Government to the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions Emlak Bank has accelerated its prepartions in the region. Erdin Ari, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Emlak Bank, said that they aimed to facilitate banking activities in order to help regional investors and the clients of the bank. /Hurriyet/
 INTEREST RATES WILL EASE OFFMetin Sahin, the Minister of Industry and Trade, noted on Wednesday that interest rates will decrease to 90% and below in the following weeks, reported the Anatolian News Agency. Delivering a speech at the 39th General Assembly of the National Productivity Center (MPM), Sahin said, "We carried out diligent efforts to overcome the crisis with minimum damages. What we need is a broad reconciliation. Obviously, interest rates are high above the rate of inflation. In this respect, we will intensify our efforts to lower interest rates. We expect to get them down to 90% or below in the folowing months."
 "TURKEY WILL NOT FACE A FOREIGN EXCHANGE CRISIS"Burhan Karacam, the former General Director of the Yapi Kredi Bank, stated that Turkey, which has overcome the global crisis through fulfilling its promises, will never face a foreign excahnge crisis. Attending the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) Council metting, Karacam said, "It is not a realistic approach to expect a serious devaluation." Karacam argued that the gradual decrease in inflation will continue in the following months and Turkey's successful performance during the global crisis has had a positive impact on foreign investors. /Aksam/
 ENCOUNTERED EXPORTS ROSE BY 6% IN 1998Despite the narrowing of markets due to the crises in Asia and Russia, Turkish export sector rose, however at a small pace, during 1998. State Statistics Institute `export quantity index' displayed an annual average increase of 6% in 1998. During the same period, the amount of imports showed a decrease of 4.6%. There was a decrease of 34.5% in the exports to Russia, and a fall of 42.6% in the exports to Asian countries which suffered an economic crisis last year. However officials state that if there is narrowing in the European market, and if the Russian and Asian markets do not reopen exports would go through a serious difficulty during 1999. /Sabah/
 DAM PROTOCOL WITH AUSTRIAThe building and credit agreements of the Borcka and Muratlý Dams and hydroelectric power plants to be constructed on the river Coruh were signed yesterday. The agreement for the construction of the dams were signed by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ziya Aktas, Director General of State Water Works Dogan Altinbilek and the officialls of the consortium. /Cumhuriyet/
 KOC LAUNCHES INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVING TURCO-US TRADEBusinessman Mustafa Koc, who is undertaking a more responsible role in the business world recently, started working for improving trade relations with the US. Koc will invite American senators to Turkey for lobbying activities through Turco-American Business Council. The Chairman of the Turco-American Business Council Koc believes that the US is aware of Turkey's importance. The volume of trade between the two countries reached six billion dollars last year. However Koc thinks that if Turkey is promoted better, the trade volume would reach higher amounts. /Sabah/
 GREAT SUCCESS OF THE TURKISH POLICEThe Turkish Police dealt another blow against drug trafficking, but this time in Italy. The Narcotics Teams learnt that a great amount of heroin was brought to Turkey to be conveyed to Italy through Istanbul. During the cross-examination of three persons captured due to this incidence, the Turkish police revealed that the heroin had been on its way to Italy on a Ro-Ro ship and informed the Italian police about the event. Eventually the Italian Narcotics teams captured 28.5 kgs of heroin, worth approximately $6 million. /Aksam/
 TURKISH PHONE IN CEBIT'99`Kaan 901' and `Kaan Wirex' cordless telephone systems, produced by the Basari Electronics Co., have been promoted to the world market during the CeBIT'99 Fair in Hannover. Noting that a 20-million-phone market for cordless systems will be formed in Europe in the following years, Ferda Yildiz, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Basari Electronics Co., claimed, "Our target is to take place in this market with our own brand. We want to sell one million phones in 2000 and 2001." `Kaan 901' is the lightest cordless phone in the world. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATED TO SAVE DOCTOR'S LIFESo this is traditional Turkish solidarity. From early hours on Wednesday, ten thousand people gathered at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Center in Istanbul in order to give blood samples for Dr. Oktar Babuna, who has leukemia, in order to learn whether or not a bone marrow transplant was a possibility. A group of doctors came to Istanbul from Germany on Tuesday evening in order to help the 35-year-old Dr. Babuna, who has just about 10 days left to live is a suitable bone marrow donor is not found. The blood donations were immediately flown to Germany by a private airplane. If even one sample that is suitable for Babuna is found, he will be saved. /All papers/
 ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVALThe 27. Istanbul Music Festival, organized by Isatnbul Culture and Art Foundation, will be held between June 9-Jul2, 1999. During the Festival,850 musicians will present a total of 33 performances. The main theme of the 27. Festival is the Italian and Central European music. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY IS TO HAVE MODERN ARTS MUSEUMAt a meeting addended by the Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay, the President of the Murmara University, Prof. Omer Faruk Batirel, and the Dean of Fine Arts Faculty Prof. Marmara University Modern Arts Prof. Husamettin Kocan it was stated that Turkish Museum of Modern Arts would be opened. The Museum is planned to be opened before the year 2000 at the Building of the Marmara Universty President. To the museum where the restoration projects are being prepared the Ministry of Culture will donate 50 billion Turkish Liras. The finances necessary for the opening of the Museum will be provided through campaigns to be opened. /Cumhuriyet/
 EFES PILSEN FIGHTS TO JOIN EUROLEAGUE FINAL FOURIn the EuroLeague match on Tuesday night, Efes Pilsen launched an attack against Lithuanian BC Zalgiris Kaunas in a bid to become the first Turkish men's team to enter the frenzied furor of Final-Four Competition. History may be in the making for Turkish men's basketball if Efes can just come out ahead in the next two games. If Efes does succeed in joining the Final-Four fray, regardless of whether it progresses any further in the competition, it will be a great victory not just for the team, but for the entire Turkish basketball. /Milliyet/
 YOUNG NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM SMASHES ROMANIATurkish Young National Football Team under-18 won against the Romanian Young National Football Team with 3-1 in Istanbul. Faruk, Seydi and Omer scored Turkey's three goals against Romania. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 HOW WILL TURKEY BE AFFECTED? - BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)In his column in "Milliyet" daily Sami Kohen takes up the Kosova problem and its possible impact on Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"What does the bombing of Yugoslovia by NATO forces mean for Turkey? To what extent will Turkey participate in this war? Is there the possibility of widening of the conflict and leading to a Turco-Greek friction? The answers to these questions first of all depend on the length and limits of the operation. If Milosevic gives up(a weak possibility) and the operation ends in a short while the danger of the spreading of the conflict to the Balkans and taking Turkey within itself will be gone. However if the war spreads around Kosova it may create risks for Turkey. Turkey has followed a consistent policy from the start of the Kosova problem... It has defended the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia but insisted on an autonomous status for Kosova.. In fact Kosova was autonomous until 1989, when Milosevic unilaterally abolished it. This was the spark kindling the Kosova problem.... It is unfortunate that the Kosova crisis comes at a time when Turco-Greek relations are going through a tense period due to the Ocalan affair. However it is hard to believe that differing views and stands can lead to a war between the two states. But in the words of an experieced diplomat, "This is the Balkans. Its past is well-known by all, its future not certain."
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