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Turkish Press Review, 99-04-15
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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
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS .. FROM THE COLUMNS
 "THE THING THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN" - BY TOKTAMIS ATES (CUMHURIYET)
 ECEVIT WARNS AGAINST THE START OF A LARGER CONFLICTPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit made an evaluation on the latest Serbian incursion into Albanian territory and warned against the start of a larger conflict in the Balkans. He said: "The occupation of Albanian villages was merely a spark but this spark could turn into a fire. I am deeply concerned over this issue. As I have previously said, the US and Russian Federation should reach a consensus on a peaceful solution".
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem also evaluated the recent developments on the issue and said: "If Serbian attacks spread, the situation which is already dangerous could gain a new dimension. We are in close contacts with the Albanians and NATO. I hope that the situation will not worsen. However everything can happen any time in the Balkans". /Aksam/
 RUSSIAN WARSHIPS TO PASS THROUGH TURKISH STRAITSNine Russian warships which will go to Adriatic will begin to pass through the Turkish Straits today. The passage of all of these vessels will be completed on April 22. According to information given by the Press Information Centre of the Office of General Staff, three of the Russian warships will pass through Turkish Straits today and tomorrow, the other three on April 18-19 and the final three will pass on April 21-22. /Aksam/
 GEN.KIVRIKOGLU IN BRUSSELSNATO Military Committee will hold an extraordinary meeting today. The Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu went to Belgium yesterday to attend the NATO Military Committee summit during which new steps against Serbs including a land operation will be deliberated. /Aksam/
 TURKISH SOLDIERS TO KOSOVOIt is announced that 500 Turkish soldiers will participate in the NATO Implementation Force which will be established to ensure security in Kosovo after Serbs leave the region. Turkish F-16 aircraft will also continue their protection mission under the umbrella of NATO. /Sabah/
 CEM: "MED-TV TO BE SUSPENDED PERMANENTLY"Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem said that the decision concerning the suspension of MED-TV broadcasts was still valid. Cem added: "Turkey welcomed the decision concerning MED-TV broadcasts taken by British Independent Television High Board. There are also claims that the suspension of MED-TV broadcasts will continue." /Sabah/
 SPANISH HIGH COURT SUSPENDS KURDISH MEETINGThe Spanish High Court has evaluated an application by the Spanish Government complaining about a meeting of the so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile in the Basque Region. The Spanish Government made a complaint to the High Court when the Basque Parliament approved on February 9 that the Kurdish Parliament-in-exile could hold a meeting in July at its building. Officials from the Government said that the only institution authorized on foreign policy was the Government and noted that a regional parliament could not have such an authorization. The Spanish High Court suspended the meeting to be held in the Basque Region. The Spanish Constitution foresees that the High Court should decide on the application within five months. /Aksam/
 "BAKU-CEYHAN IS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE"The US Special Representative responsible for Caspian region, Richard Morningstar said that Baku-Ceyhan oil route was the only way to transport Caspian oil to the world markets. In his speech at the Istanbul University, Morningstar said that the Bosphorus Straits were not convenient for the oil transport due to security and environmental concerns. He noted the route over Iran was not economic to transport oil. /Sabah/
 TURKEY TO LODGE A COMPLAINT ABOUT GREECETurkey will lodge a complaint about Greece during a NATO summit due to its support for the PKK terrorist organization. Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli stated that at bilateral meetings during the summit to be held in Washington on April 23-25 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of NATO, they will express their views on the Greek-PKK relations. /Turkiye/
 GEN.KIVRIKOGLU CRITICIZES COUNTRIES WHICH SUPPORT PKKThe Chief of Turkish General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, said that Turkey has the power to take every measure against some countries' support for the PKK terrorist organization. Gen.Kivrikoglu added: "Some of them are our neighbours, some others are our so-called allies who are responsible for the bloodshed in our country". Gen.Kivrikoglu, who made a statement to the Defence and Aviation bi-monthly magazine, noted that Syria, which has been sheltering the PKK for a long time, had to end its support due to Turkey's determination. He remarked that they expect other countries will also cease their support for the PKK in the near future.
Gen.Kivrikoglu stressed that there was not a 'Kurdish problem' as some PKK-supporters claim, Turkey had only 'a problem of terror' created by those who want to divide the country. /Hurriyet/
 DEMIREL RECEIVES GREEK AMBASSADORPresident Suleyman Demirel yesterday received Greece's new ambassador, Ioannis Corantis. The Greek Ambassador, who presented his credentials to Demirel yesterday, has been in Turkey since early April. He replaced the former ambassador, Dimitrios Nezeritis, who completed his post in Ankara and returned to Athens. /All papers/
 HAYDAR ALIYEV: "I AM VERY PLEASED"Haydar Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President who is granted the Ataturk International Peace Award this year, said, "I am very pleased to receive a peace award in memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk." Expressing his gratitude to Turkey, Aliyev added, "My message to the younger generation of Turkey and Azerbaijan is that, they shall protect and develop their countries in line with the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk." /Cumhuriyet/
 HADEP TO ENTER ELECTIONSThe Constitutional Court yesterday decided to reject last week's application by Chief Prosecutor Vural Savas to prevent the People`s Democratic Party (HADEP) from taking part in the Elections. The Court said that there has been an on-going closure case against the party and that the grounds for suspending the party have not yet been proven. Savas' attempts in February to prevent HADEP from taking part in the Elections had also been struck down by the Constitutional Court. Thus, HADEP will be able to attend the Elections to be held on April 18, 1999. /Aksam/
 RESULTS OF ELECTIONS ON INTERNETThe Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) will announce the results of the General and Local Elections to be held on April 18 to Turkish and world public opinion via Internet. The TRT General Directorate has completed preparations for a new Web-site and established a team consisting of experienced journalists and computer experts responsible only for this Web-site. /Hurriyet/
 "WE SHOULD NOT GIVE UP THE EU MEMBERSHIP TARGET"Chairwoman of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), Meral Gezgin Eris said that Turkey ought to sustain its determination to become a member of the European Union (EU). Eris noted that Luxembourg Summit had been a great mistake made against Turkey; 'it was very discreditable', she added. "However, Turkey should not give up her target to become a member of the EU," Eris noted. /Sabah/
 KURSAT YILMAZ IS BEING EXTRADITEDKursat Yilmaz, a mafia chief, will be brought to Turkey from Bulgaria, where he was captured last summer. According to information provided by the Interpol Department of the General Directorate of Security, the Bulgarian Interpol sent a letter to its Turkish counterparts in order to extradite Yilmaz due to the decision of the Bulgarian Court of Appeals. A special team will bring Kursat Yilmaz to Turkey on Saturday. /Cumhuriyet/
 OSMAN OCALAN ACCUSES HIS BROTHEROsman Ocalan criticized his brother Abdullah Ocalan, who is still under arrest in Imrali Island. Osman Ocalan claimed that his brother now denied the orders that he had given for long years. "We are unsuccessful in suicide attacks. And some Turkish intellectuals showed reaction against these attacks. We are in desperate situation at the moment because Abdullah Ocalan's lawyer announced that his client does approve these attacks," said Osman Ocalan, adding, his brother, now, denied the orders that he had given for several years. Ocalan noted that Abdullah Ocalan's attitude caused uneasiness in the organization. "Most of our members are pessimistic and discouraged. Not only Turkey but also Europe believe that the PKK is collapsing," Osman Ocalan said. /Sabah/
 TERRORISTS KILL TWO PEOPLEMembers of the PKK terrorist organization blockaded the Tunceli-Elazig highway two days ago and kidnapped two people, Sait Celik (27) and Cuneyt Kutlu (18). Following an investigation into the incident, the bodies of these two people were found by security forces in the region yesterday. /Aksam/
 TERRORIST CAPTURED IN KAPIKULEAli Gelmez, a member of the PKK terrorist organization who has entered Turkey from the Kapikule Border Gate in Edirne has been arrested and sent to the Edirne Closed Prison. During his interrogation at the Anti-Terrorism Department of Edirne Security Office, Gelmez confessed that he was engaged in PKK activities in Bucharest, Romania.
Meanwhile, following the capture of the PKK Chief Abdullah Ocalan on February 16, a domestic conflict has occurred in the PKK. 145 terrorists, who were trying to escape from the PKK, were captured and killed while 21 terrorists committed suicide. It is reported that 33 terrorists out of 200 who managed to escape surrendered to Turkish security forces. /Turkiye/
 34 IBDA_C MEMBERS TAKEN INTO CUSTODYThe trial of the leader of the IBDA_C outlawed organization and its three other members started yesterday at the 6th State Security Court in Istanbul. Following the trial, members of the IBDA/C organization held a demonstration against the police and 34 of them were taken into custody by police. /Sabah_
 SALOMON SMITH BARNEY PRAISES IMKBOne of the leading international counselling institutions, Salomon Smith Barney (SSB), said that the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) was among the world's highest-performing stock markets. According to SSB's latest emerging markets report, the IMKB rose from 19th to 17th as the most successful emerging country stock market. Colombia ranks first while Greece ranks 26th. The report noted that the negative influence of the Russian crisis on the Turkish economy has decreased.
Salomon Smith Barney (SSB) also announced that there had been a clear decrease in the rate of inflation and predicted that it would be 46 % at the end of 1999. It was also reported that exports would increase by 3 % whereas imports would decrease by 1 % compared to last year. /Sabah/Aksam/
 EASTERN DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMEIt is reported that the 'Eastern Development Programme' started for the Eastern Anatolia Region by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will be implemented in May. The Head of the Erzurum Chamber of Trade and Industry, Haluk Sungur, said in a statement that officials from the State Planning Organization (DPT), World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Ataturk University also participated in the Eastern Development Programme. Sungur added that the Erzurum Chamber would also extend $1 million in aid for the Programme. /Hurriyet/
 "IMPROVEMENT IN ECONOMIC MARKETS WILL CONTINUE"Head of the Strategic Planning Group of Koc Corp., Necati Arikan said that whatever would be the result of the 18 April elections, there would be a notable liveliness in markets. Arikan predicted that markets would be more vivid in the second half of the year and said that they aimed not only domestic but also foreign markets for the next period. He added that Turkey was in need of a powerful and stable government to complete its economic and social reforms. Arikan stressed, "Currently, what Turkey needs most is a stable government which would accelerate privatization. Turkish economy is powerful. We believe that inflation rate will continue to fall, and that there will be an increase in industrial production in the second half of the year." /Sabah/
 TURKISH CONTRACTORS ARE HOPEFULFollowing the removal of the UN commercial embargo on Libya, Turkish contractors are hoping to receive their money from this country. The Head of the Turkish Contractors' Union, Kadir Sever, said that since the beginning of the embargo in Libya, oil prices have been falling down. He added that Libya had to call US companies to do business in this country and this shows how bad is the situation in Libya. Kadir Sever also noted he believed that with the removal of the embargo, Libyan economy would improve and Libya would be able to pay its debts to Turkish construction firms. /Aksam/
 TURKISH ELECTIRICITY PRODUCTION COMPANY TO BE DIVIDED INTO TWOTurkish Electricity Production Company (TEAS), which carries out both production and transmission activities in order to achieve a full liberalization in energy, will turn into two separate companies. With a new arrangement, transmission functions will be gathered within the structure of a new company under the name of 'Turkish Electricity Transmission Company'. Only production department will leave in the current structure of the TEAS. /Aksam/
 737-800 TYPE-BOEING IN THYA new 737-800 type-Boeing has been added to the fleet of the Turkish Airlines (THY). A ceremony was held on the occasion yesterday. Thus the number of 737-800 type-Boeing aircraft in the THY fleet increased to seven. The THY has been renewing its fleet with new Airbus, Boeing and RJ type-aircraft during the last 10 years. /Aksam/
 EGEBANK IN IRELANDEgebank established a finance company in Ireland in order to be effective in finance and capital markets. Central Bank former President and the Motherland Party (ANAP) former MP, Rusdu Saracoglu was appointed as the President of the Egebank Finance Company.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands' ABN Amro Bank established ABN AMRO Financial Leasing Company in Istanbul. The company, which has a capital of 720 billion TL , will also conduct international intermediatery activities. /Sabah/
 CHILDREN FROM 31 COUNTRIES TO ATTEND 23 APRIL FESTIVALAlmost 1,000 children from 31 countries will attend the 21st 23 April National Sovereignity and Children's Festival, which is the only children festival in the world. Officials announced that preperations had already been completed to welcome world children to celebrate the children's festival given as a gift to children by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Ataturk. It is expected that the number of the countries to attend the festival will increase this year. /Sabah/
 COOPERATION WITH CHINESE NEWS AGENCYA cooperation agreement has been signed between the News Agency of the People's Republic of China, and the Turkish TGRT TV and Ihlas News Agency. According to the agreement, the Chinese News Agency will convey the developments in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Balkans, Turkish-Speaking Republics and the Middle East to the Chinese public opinion via the network of TGRT and IHA news agency. Developments in China will also ve conveyed to the Turkish public opinion by TGRT and Ihlas via the Chinese News Agency. The TGRT General Director Ali Baransel has gone to Beijing as the official guest of the General Director of the Chinese News Agency Qua Chaoren. Baransel also met the officials from the Chinese Central TV station. /Turkiye/
 ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTION IN SINOPAnti-nuclear activists will meet in Sinop on April 25 in order to protest the efforts to establish a nuclear plant in Akkuyu, Sinop. Meanwhile, the Joint Secretariat of Eastern Mediterranean Environmentalists has also declared that they will give extensive support to the anti-nuclear campaign in Sinop. The proposed demonstrations will be the first anti-nuclear action in the post-election period. /Cumhuriyet/
 HALIL MUTLU BREAKS WORLD RECORDTurkish Olympic Champion weightlifter Halil Mutlu (56 kgs) won all three gold medals in his category during the 78th European Weightlifting Championship organized in Spain, breaking a world record of his own as well with his 135.5 kgs lifting in his third attempt during the snatch competition. /Milliyet/
 NURI ALTOK, THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE READY-TO-WEARDuring the General Council of the Union of Ready-to-Wear Exporters' of Istanbul (IHKIB) yesterday, Nuri Altok was elected as the new Chairman of the Union. Meanwhile, Okan Oguz, who has been the Chairman of the Union for six years, remarked during his farewell speech that IHKIB is not only the largest exporter of the ready-to-wear sector but also the largest exporters' union of Turkey due to its annual exports worth more than $6 billion. /Milliyet/
 TURKISH ARTIST IN PARISTurkish ceramist artist, Mehves Demiren opened an exhibition in Paris within the framework of activities concerning the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, the Anatolian News Agency reported. Officials announced the exhibition, which is held in Galerie Christie Couderc in Paris, is composed of 38 pieces and will end on 30 April. Mehves Demiren, who opened her first exhibition abroad in the Central Library of Amsterdam in the Netherlands in 1998, displays her works of art in Paris like "Series of Housese", "Walls of Seljucks", "Series of Love Puzzle" and "Ceramic Mirrors."
 FIRST LEG OF THE TURKISH CUP FINAL ENDS WITH DRAWThe Turkish Cup Final first leg played yesterday at Ali Sami Yen Stadium between Galatasaray and Besiktas ended with a 0-0 draw. This score is generally interpreted as a slight advantage on the part of Besiktas, for the second match in May will be held in the Inonu Stadium, known as the stronghold of the latter. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS .. FROM THE COLUMNS
 STABILITY OR CRISIS - BY KENAN AKIN (TURKIYE)Columnist Kenan Akin comments on the Elections to be held and their outcome. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Three days prior to the Elections, one is bound to write on 'politics' even though the tragedy in Kosovo is not far from our minds. It is not right to comment on which party will win or which party has to win. The winner of these elections should be 'stability'. If not, it is possible that the country will be dragged into a crisis. However, at a time when the country is faced with a variety of problems, there is no place for the slightest hesitation let alone a crisis. Nevertheless, we do not think that 'stability' will come out from these Elections. If we want a happy future for Turkey we should go to ballot boxes and wait patiently in queues to cast our votes using our logic not yielding to our emotions. Indeed, it will be a great test of democracy for our people.
One cannot always say that the results of the polls coincide with the actual results. However, it is believed that six parties will be able to enter Parliament. It also seems quite certain that none of the three parties to get the higher votes will be able to obtain enough seats to form a government on itself. The key to the formation of a coalition government is in the hands of the voters. One should not forget that the choice for 'stability' or 'crisis' is in the hands of the voters."
 "THE THING THAT WE CANNOT EXPLAIN" - BY TOKTAMIS ATES (CUMHURIYET)Today in his column, Toktamis Ates referred to the interview of Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Georgios Papandreu printed in German weekly "Der Spiegel" magazine. Ates said that Papandreu's answer to the first question was interesting.
"The magazine asked Papandreu his idea concerning the honorary citizenship title given to Ocalan by Greek Olympia Region City Assembly. And Papandreu replied that it was the decision of the Greek public opinion. He added, "Ocalan issue has two sides. Turkey views Ocalan as a terrorist whereas Greece considers him a warrior of democracy and freedom. There are traces of truth on both attitudes." It is amazing. If Ocalan was that honorable to be given the "honorary citizenship" title, I would happily give Ocalan them."
Ates stressed that he was seriously shocked and saddened to read that Greek people accepted Ocalan as a 'warrior of democracy' as it had been reported by the Foreign Minister of Greece, which is accepted as the cradle of democracy. He claimed that Ocalan was almost as democratic as Hitler or Mussolini. Ates added, "I do not say that Ocalan is as democractic as Hitler or Mussolini but close to them. Because the democracy in the PKK organization is under-developed than seen in both Italian Fascist Party and German Nazi Party. I hope that Greek people will live under the administration of a democratic leader as Ocalan for sometime in order to understand the meaning of democracy."
To see Ocalan a 'warrior of freedom' was as pity as to see him a 'warrior of democracy', said Ates and added, "If Ocalan had had the intention of struggling for the freedom of the Kurdish nation, then he would have revoted against Hafiz Esad in Syria, where Kurdish nation was faced with the most brutal pressures. However, Ocalan prefered to fight against Turkey, where Kurdish people, as all other ethnic citizens, are considered 'first class citizens'.
Greek people ought to think why Hafiz Esad supports Ocalan and PKK. And they also have to learn the underlying reason why Syria considered the period served in the PKK for 'military service'."
Toktamis Ates concluded his article saying that it was enough to go crazy seeing that people of Greece, which gave its name to democracy, accepted Ocalan as a warrior of freedom and democracy. If the share the PKK has taken from European drug trafficking was taken into consideration, it could be better understood, Ates ended, what kind of a "hero" is Ocalan.
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