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Turkish Press Review, 99-04-07
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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
 THE THRESHOLD RECKONINGS OF THE CHP AND MHP - BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (HURRIYET)
 DEMIREL: "URGENT MEASURES NEEDED FOR REFUGEES"President Suleyman Demirel has called on US President Bill Clinton to take urgent measures to stop the human tragedy in Kosovo and has stressed that NATO should remain 'strong and determined' in its action against Yugoslavia. "Urgent steps are needed to stop the human tragedy which is taking place as a result of Milosevic's cruel ethnic cleansing campaign", Demirel said in a letter to the US President yesterday. "We should take immediate action to alleviate the plight of these people who have become the victims of crimes against humanity" Demirel said. Demirel dubbed the Serbian violence in Kosovo 'one of the cruelest massacres in European history'.
Eleven Turkish F-16 fighter jets are participating in the NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia. A General Staff statement revealed yesterday that the Turkish F-16s have flown a total of 405 hours on NATO missions. Turkey has also repeatedly expressed her readiness to take part in an eventual NATO ground force in the region. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has said that a military unit trained for this eventuality is on standby in Ankara. /All papers/
 ECEVIT TO VISIT REFUGEESPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit is expected to visit the Kirklareli refugee compound today. Meanwhile, the transportation of Kosovar refugees from Macedonia continues unabated. Some 3,000 of them will be placed in prefabricated houses in the Kirklareli refugee compound, but the overwhelming majority will be hosted in a huge tent camp which will be set up nearby. "We have taken all possible measures to provide comfort for the refugees. Large amounts of money and other aid from all around Turkey is literally flowing into Kirklareli", said the Governor of the Province, Kemal Onal. Some 5,500 Kosovar refugees have already been settled in Turkey, mostly with relatives who have been migrating to Turkey ever since World War I.
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced that the number of Kosovars arriving in Turkey has already reached fifty thousand people. Meanwhile, the British BBC Television channel praised Turkey's support of the Kosovars. /All Papers/
 MORE AID FOR ALBANIA AND MACEDONIAA 15-strong team from Kizilay (the Red Crescent) yesterday embarked for Albania where it will oversee the establishment of a 5,000-person refugee camp. Twenty-one huge trucks and a military cargo plane filled with humanitarian aid packages and materials required for setting up the camp also left for Albania. Albanian Ambassador to Turkey, Saimir Bala, expressed his gratitude for Turkey's efforts, saying that "Albania will never forget what Turkey has done". Kizilay General Director Fatih Evren said that a similar team would head to Macedonia within the next few days to set up another 5,000-person camp for the refugees there.
Meanwhile, President Suleyman Demirel appointed Ambassador Ahmet Acet as his special envoy to Albania and Macedonia to coordinate the distribution and use of the humanitarian aid which Turkey is sending to the two countries. /All papers/
 NATIONWIDE FUND-RAISING FOR KOSOVARSAs the refugee crisis in Kosovo reaches epic proportions, Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are inaugurating an array of fund-raising campaigns across the country for the refugees. Many state institutions are also contributing to the growing campaigns, and the amount of money raised has already reached millions of dollars. Most of the money will be used to accomodate the Kosovars in Kirklareli camp.
Announcing their donation of more than $1 million, the Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) called on the business world to participate in the campaigns. The Central Bank, Is Bankasi and Ankara Municipality were among the bodies that donated significant amounts of money yesterday. /All papers/
 ECEVIT DONATES ONE BILLION TL TO REFUGEESPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit donated one billion TL to the campaign for the Kosovar refugees in Turkey, thus paving the way for other political leaders to do likewise. Remarking that aiding the Kosovars affected by this outrage is a humanitarian obligation, Ecevit demanded support from his Cabinet members and all other MPs as well. /Aksam/
 GRATITUDE FOR TURKEY FROM THE UNThe stance of Turkey, which has brought around two thousand Kosovar refugees to Turkey by plane and stated that it will host a total of 20 thousand, has been received gratefully by the officialls of the United Nations' High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR officials stated that they were grateful to Turkey for welcoming the refugees. It was also revealed that during this effort, Turkey had not asked the UNHCR for any help. /Milliyet/
 DEMIREL TO VISIT THE HOTSPOTPresident Suleyman Demirel is preparing to go to Albania and Macedonia on Sunday to convey Turkey's thoughts on the Kosovo problem and NATO operation to the world. Officials stated that the President would be going to the region on a working visit for a day and that he was planning to meet the leaders of both countries and to exchange views on a solution to the problem. /Milliyet/
 CROSS-BORDER OPERATION IN NORTHERN IRAQIt is reported that the Turkish Armed Forces have begun a military operation against PKK terrorist camps in Northern Iraq; nearly 15,000 Turkish soldiers and 2,000 village guards are participating in the operation. The Turkish Armed Forces penetrated 15 kilometres along Northern Iraqi territories and a two-hour long air attack was carried out against Sinat and Pirbela camps. It is reported that some peshmerges from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are also supporting the operation. /Cumhuriyet/
 GEORGIAN CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF IN ANKARAThe Georgian Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defence Minister, Brigadier General John Pirtshalaisvili, who is in Ankara on an official visit, visited the Turkish Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, yesterday, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The Georgian Chief of General Staff also met Turkish Defence Minister Hikmet Sami Turk yesterday.
 THY PLANE CRASHTurkish Airlines' (THY) a Boeing 737-400 crashed yesterday 10 minutes after it took off from Adana Airport heading for Jeddah in Saudia Arabia in order to bring Turkish pilgrims back home. Two pilots and four members of the cabin crew died immediately after the plane hit the ground. Officials announced that an investigation has been launched into the incident. /Sabah/
 RESTRICTIONS ON ELECTION PROPAGANDA TO START TOMORROWRestrictions on election propaganda campaign period prior to the General and Local Elections to be held on April 18, 1999, will start tomorrow. According to information received from officials of the Supreme Election Board, election propaganda should be made in line with Law No.298, "The Basic Principles concerning Elections and Voter Registers". /Cumhuriyet/
 OCALAN REQUESTS AMNESTY FOR PKK MEMBERSAbdullah Ocalan, the chief of the terrorist PKK organization who has been held in Imrali Prison for the past two months, stated in his supplementary affidavit that he wants nothing for himself and requested that the Turkish Government enact a special amnesty law for PKK members. Ocalan also said, "I am ready to bring the PKK to a legal position. I am ready to be used to provide inner peace in Turkey", reiterating his desire for the legalization and politicization of the terrorist PKK. Meanwhile, it is reported that the State Security Court (DGM) attorneys' indictment of Ocalan will rely upon international conventions against terrorism and the European Court of Human Rights' relevant rulings. /Hurriyet/
 FRISILLO'S SENTENCE ANNULLEDThe Eighth Criminal Department of the Court of Appeals has annulled a decision concerning Italian journalist Dino Frisillo, who was tried by the Diyarbakir State Security Court and sentenced to one year's imprisonment. The Court of Appeals noted that Frisillo should have been tried according to the 312th Article of the Turkish Penal Code. Following the decision, Frisillo will be tried 'in absentia' by Diyarbakir's Third State Security Court on April 27. /Cumhuriyet/
 IDENTITY OF THE ATTACKERIt is reported that investigations into the bomb attack against the Bingol Governor, Suleyman Kamci, have revealed that Baki Tatli was the culprit. The Governor of the Emergency Rule Region, Aydin Arslan, said that the bomb attack against the Governor was actually carried out against the State. Baki Tatli joined the PKK terrorist organization on October 25, 1997, officials noted. Meanwhile, those who were wounded during the attack are currently under treatment at the Euphrates (Firat) University Medical Centre and Bingol State Hospital.
Meanwhile, yesterday Metin Yamalak was arrested following claims of his involvement in the molotov-cocktail attack against the Mavi Carsi shopping centre in Kadikoy Goztepe, which caused the deaths of 13 people. /Cumhuriyet/
 ANKARA STRESSES THE PRIORITIES ON PEACE PROCESSConcerned about the future of the Middle East peace process, Turkey finds itself, along with other members of the international community, in a position to urge the Palestinians to postpone their intention to set up an independent state. High-level Turkish officials made that opinion clear once again to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in Ankara for a brief five-hour working visit. /All papers/
 DEMIREL: "TURKEY IS A RULE OF LAW"President Suleyman Demirel has said that Turkey is a rule of law. On the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Military Court of Appeals, Demirel attended an international symposium entitled: 'Judiciary and Military Judiciary by the year 2000' held in Ankara yesterday, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 DENKTAS AND KLERIDES MAY MEETYannakis Kasulides, the Foreign Minister of the Greek-Cypriot Administration, argued that following the General Elections in Turkey in April, Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Glafkos Klerides, the Greek-Cypriot Administration Leader, may meet this summer, Kasulides did not clarify whether the offer would be made by UN or another country. According to the Greek-Cypriot radio, Kasulides said that "the Greek-Cypriots are ready to such a meeting" but he did not know to what extent they "can bear the conditions put forward by the Turks." /Aksam/
 A GROUP OF DEPUTIES FROM US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESA group of deputies from the US House of Representatives headed by Floyd Spence, will pay an official visit to Turkey in order to hold contacts on the economic and political issues, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The delegation will depart from Turkey on Friday night.
 CHINESE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER IN TURKEYPresident Suleyman Demirel received yesterday visiting Chinese Parliament Speaker Li Peng. Demirel praised the state of Chinese-Turkish relations and expressed hope that they would further accelerate. Demirel hosted a dinner in Li's honour yesterday evening. /All papers/
 GEN. ATES IN CHINAGeneral Atilla Ates, the Commander of the Land Forces who is paying an official visit to People's Republic of China, met yesterday Chi Haotian, the Chinese Defence Minister. Addressing the meeting, Haotian said that further improvement of relations between Turkey which has a significant position between Europe and Asia, and People's Republic of China, one of the biggest developing countries of the world, will be beneficial for both countries. Gen.Ates reminded that Turkey attributes great importance to China's role in the region and in the world, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 US CONGRESS APPROVES SALE OF SEA HAWKS WITH HELLFIRESThe London-based Jane's Defence Weekly reported that the US Congress has approved the sale of the first shipment of four Sea Hawk helicopters equipped with short-range AGM-114 Hellfire anti-vessel missiles to Turkey. Hellfire Ltd. will produce 84 laser-command missiles for Turkey in a $6.7 billion deal. Meanwhile, the Turkish company Aselsan has started to produce the laser mechanisms used for the missiles. /All papers/
 IMKB BREAKS RECORD AT 4,899.54 POINTSThe Istanbul Stock Exchange's (IMKB) National-100 index increased by 193.45 points and closed the first session yesterday at 4,899.54 points, a new record. Shares transacted in the IMKB gained value by 4.11 % on average. /All papers/
 CENTRAL BANK'S PROFIT TOTALS 298 TRILLIONThe Central Bank made a profit of 298.4 trillion TL in 1998. The Head of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, who delivered a speech at the 67th Ordinary Meeting of the Share-Holders' General Council yesterday, said that the annual rate of inflation was around 40 %. He added: "If populist policies are not implemented in the election period, the determination to struggle against inflation will be confirmed in the markets and positive expectations for the economy will continue". /Hurriyet/
 TUSIAD: "ECONOMY WILL REVIVE IN THE SECOND HALF"The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), estimates that the Turkish economy will revive in the second half of the year. In TUSIAD's Conjuncture Report it is emphasized that due to the maintenance of the present stability policy and a possible stand-by agreement with the IMF in the post-election period, the recovery of the Turkish economy will be able to turn into a medium-term trend. /Aksam/
 38 HADEP MEMBERS ARE UNDER ARRESTA group of young people demonstrated in support of the PKK terrorist organization in the Ortaklar township of Aydin by kicking the doors of houses and breaking their windows. Security forces announced that the 38-member group, who are all HADEP members, were arrested. /Milliyet/
 PKK OPERATIONS IN TUNCELIThe Turkish Armed Forces has begun a wide range of operations against the terrorist PKK organization. Operations have been launched in and around the Cemisgezek, Hozat and Ovacik districts of Tunceli; also aircrafts have bombed the Ali Bogazi and Les River districts. Military sources announced that most of the terrorists' camps and shelters were damaged; they did not reveal the number of dead or wounded. /Turkiye/
 NINE TERRORISTS APPREHENDEDDuring operations in the Inegol district of Bursa, nine members of the PKK and TKP-ML TIKKO were apprehended. It is reported that members of both organizations gathered in the building of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) in Inegol and held meetings. As a result of an exhaustive search of the building, many documents belonging to the illegal terrorist organizations have been found. /Hurriyet/
 HEROIN SEIZEDA total of 19.7 kilos of pure heroin was seized in an operation held in Gurpinar county of eastern Van yesterday, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 A TOTAL OF $140.5 MILLION EXPORTS FROM GAP REGIONA total of $140.5 million exports was realized from the agricultural, animal and industrial products in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first three months of 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Meanwhile, the GAP region will host Turkey's biggest agriculture fair between April 8-11. A number of Turkish and foreign firms are expected to take part in the 12th International Agro-GAP '99.
 AUTO EXPORTS INCREASEThe Turkish automobile sector's exports increased by 27 % in the first three months of 1999, reaching $548.5 million. According to information the Anatolia News Agency obtained from the Union of Uludag Exporters (UIB), the boost in exports stemmed from Oyak Renault's exports of their Megane Wagon, which is only produced in Turkey. In addition, during the first three months of the year, tractor exports increased by 217 %, reaching $8.4 million.
 TURKISH AIRLINES TO SELL ITS 310-200 AIRBUS PLANETurkish Airlines (THY) will sell one of its seven 310-200 Airbus planes to Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) as a part of its 'Fleet Rejuvenating Programme', the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 TOBB PROMOTES TURKISH TOURISMThe Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) decided to begin a campaign with a budget of four trillion TL in order to promote Turkish tourism. Fuat Miras, the Chairman of TOBB, said that tourism fairs were ineffective in promoting Turkey. Miras added that he himself and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem would organize a joint press conference in the next few days to explain the details of the campaign. He leaked a few points of the campaign, however: billboards in those countries which send the most tourists to Turkey would display advertisements for Turkey's tourist resorts; most leading neswpapers and TV channels world-wide would show advertisements promoting the peace and comfort to be enjoyed in Turkey; editors of world-leading magazines and TV channels would be invited to visit tourist sites in Turkey. /Sabah/
 DTP MP RESIGNS FROM HIS PARTYThe Democratic Turkey Party's (DTP) Balikesir MP, Ahmet Bilgic, has resigned from his party. With his resignation, the DTP group lost its simple majority in the Parliament. The DTP established its party group with 20 MPs, but following the recent resignation they have an insufficient number of MPs for the DTP to be a party group in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY RANKS THIRD IN CERAMICS IN EUROPECeramics and Bathroom Suites `99 has been opened in the TUYAP Center in Istanbul. Delivering a speech during the opening ceremony of the Fair, Bulent Eczacibasi, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Eczacibasi Holdings, claimed that the ceramics industry is among the most rapidly developing industries in Turkey and it is among the top-three in Europe in terms of its production capacity. /Aksam/
 SUCCESS OF TURKISH PROFESSORTurkish Professor Umran Inan from the Electric Engineering Department of Stanford University in the US has discovered some important facts about the movement of electricity in the atmosphere. Following his discovery, storms can be followed more easily and more accurate knowledge about the chemical structure of the atmosphere can be attained. The American National Science Foundation, the US Air Force and NASA have offered financial support for Inan's studies. Graduating from the Middle East Technical University in 1973 in Ankara, Inan went to Stanford University in 1977 and has been studying there ever since. Inan has received various awards for science and he has had books and research papers on electrical engineering published. /Milliyet/
 JOURNALIST GULCIN TELCI PASSED AWAYJournalist Gulcin Telci passed away at the age of 53, losing her struggle against a merciless illness in Istanbul. Telci worked for the `Dunya', `Milliyet' and `Hurriyet' dailies, and `Para' and `Tempo' magazines. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 THE THRESHOLD RECKONINGS OF THE CHP AND MHP - BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (HURRIYET)Enis Berberoglu, a columnist in the `Hurriyet' daily, reflects on the possible consequences of the 10% general elections threshold for the forthcoming April Elections. Berberoglu writes:
"It is no longer difficult to estimate the possible percentage of votes the parties will receive in the forthcoming elections. Everybody can easily guess the rankings among the parties. Nevertheless, given that a party has to collect 10% of the nationwide votes in the general elections in order to enter Parliament, the performance of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in this elections has recently gained critical importance for the future of Turkish politics.
According to data provided by some research companies, the political commitments of Turkish young people tend towards the Virtue Party (FP), the MHP and the CHP, whereas the two major parties of the centre right, i.e. the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP) have gradually been discarded by young voters. 2.5 million new young voters will vote on April 18. Hence, if the above tendencies prove to be true, neither the CHP nor the MHP will face serious difficulties in exceeding the necessary threshold to enter Parliament. However, politics is always full of surprises. Therefore, let us consider the three scenarios which may apply to the current situation:
1. Neither the CHP nor the MHP succeeds in exceeding the threshold: In that case, along with the votes of other smaller parties such as HADEP, the political choices of almost 30% of the voters will have been excluded from Parliament. It follows that 150 of the total 550 MP seats will be shared among four major parties : the FP, ANAP, the DYP and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). This `gift' may lead to a relatively comfortable two-party coalition in the following years.
2. The CHP succeeds, the MHP fails: Since the CHP's presence in Parliament will lower the number of seats gained by the DSP, the intended DSP-ANAP coalition may not be realized. At least, this will certainly strengthen the DYP-FP front.
3. The MHP succeeds, the CHP fails: Regarding this possibility, four right-wing parties but only a single centre-left party will be represented in Parliament. Do you believe a moderate government headed by a left-wing Prime Minister might come out of such a Parliament? Or is it more reasonable to expect a new Nationalist Front (MC) formed by the FP, DYP and MHP? The latter, of course...
There is no need to reiterate how much antidemocratic it is to maintain this 10% threshold. In addition, we think that the most perilious scenario that Turkey may face due to this unjust hurdle is the possibility that the MHP will enter Parliament and the CHP will be excluded. For a new Nationalist Front after 20 years will surely transform the February 28 crack in Turkish politics into an unbridgeable gap.
The task of the media is to remind you of the possible consequences of your vote which may not occur to you at the moment. The rest is your own decision."
 HUMANITY IS ALIVE...- BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Orhan Birgit comments on Turkey's humanitarian policies towards the Kosovar refugees. A summary of his column is as follows:
"On the fourteenth day of the NATO operation, the the wind has begun to blow against Milosevic. While the country of the dictator, who started the genocide following a dream of 'Greater Serbia', was being continually bombed by the allied planes, the Russian Federation's Deputy Commander of the Navy Admiral Igor Kastanov, stated that it would not be appropriate for his country to send a warship to the region which is torn by conflict. Thus, it becomes evident that there will be no help from Milosevic's trusted friend... As a country in the region, the duties befalling Turkey increase. The Ecevit Government which worked all through the recent holiday, trying to alleviate the sufferings of the Kosovar refugees, is taking concrete steps...Turkey has decided to give shelter to 20,000 Kosovar refugees in Turkey besides building tent-cities in Albania and Macedonia. This humanitarian approach displayed by the Turkish government is reflected positively by Western countries. French radio and television made this decision the most important part of their broadcasts. US sources praised this approach in their commentaries... Turkey views the question primarily as a humanitarian problem and,being a country in the region, does not hesitate to act in helping to solve it.../ Cumhuriyet/
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