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Turkish Press Review, 99-04-21

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

21.04.99

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] CAN YUGOSLAVIA BE SMASHED INTO MORE PIECES? - BY MUSTAFA ASULA (TURKIYE)
  • [03] DEMIREL IN WASHINGTON
  • [04] MHP AWAITS DSP'S DECISION
  • [05] DEATH PENALTY ASKED FOR OCALAN
  • [06] KUTAN, "WE SHALL RE-EVALUATE OUR PARTY POLICIES"
  • [07] GOKCEK: MAYOR OF ANKARA
  • [08] DSP RANKS FIRST AT BORDER GATES
  • [09] 18 APRIL ELECTIONS: FOREIGN PRESS
  • [10] HUMANITARIAN AID TO KOSOVO
  • [11] TURKISH AIRCRAFT FLY FOR 752 HOURS
  • [12] TURKISH DELEGATION TO US
  • [13] TUSIAD: "WE TRUST IN ECEVIT"
  • [14] RECORD ON IMKB
  • [15] BANKING LAW AND THE BUDGET
  • [16] AGAR'S NEW AIM: LEADERSHIP
  • [17] TREASURY GOES ON WITH THE PROGRAMME
  • [18] UZBEKS ARE SATISFIED WITH TURKISH INVESTORS
  • [19] `TURKISH TOURISM FRIGHTENS ITS COMPETITORS'
  • [20] COMPETITION FOR MEB'S TENDER
  • [21] EXPORTS OF OLIVE OIL
  • [22] DTM PROVIDES SUPPORT TO ENCOURAGE EXPORTS
  • [23] TURKISH LORRY DRIVERS ARE IN DIFFICULTY
  • [24] `GOLDEN BELL' AWARD TO TURKEY
  • [25] FAREWELL TO AKYAVAS
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [27] THE NEW PARTY IN THE HEADLINES - BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)
  • [28] CAN YUGOSLAVIA BE SMASHED INTO MORE PIECES? - BY MUSTAFA ASULA (TURKIYE)
  • [29] "RETURN THIS ANSWER TO D'ALEMA" - BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] CAN YUGOSLAVIA BE SMASHED INTO MORE PIECES? - BY MUSTAFA ASULA (TURKIYE)

    [03] DEMIREL IN WASHINGTON

    President Suleyman Demirel embarked yesterday for the US where he will participate in NATO's 50th anniversary Summit in Washington and visit Pittsburgh. "The success which the NATO Alliance has had to date in providing peace and security in Europe is a guarantee for the tasks it will assume in the future", Demirel told reporters before leaving Ankara. Prior to the Summit, Demirel will visit Pittsburgh where he will meet representatives of the Turkish community living in the US, think-tanks and the media. In his statement, Demirel also praised relations between Turkey and the US.

    "I hope that my visit will contribute both to highlighting our solidarity with NATO and improving Turkey's relations with the US" Demirel said. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Defence Minister Hikmet Sami Turk are accompanying Demirel to the US. Meanwhile, Turkey presented its reservations concerning the final declaration of the NATO Summit. Turkey rejected a paragraph in the Washington final declaration which highlights the European Defence Identity within the guidelines of the Western European Union (WEU). The NATO Permanent Representatives' Council in Brussels discussed Turkey's rejection yesterday. /Turkiye/

    [04] MHP AWAITS DSP'S DECISION

    The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader, Devlet Bahceli, said yesterday that they wanted a coalition government which will work in harmony to ensure stability in the country. The MHP Leadership Council was evaluating the results of the 18 April Election yesterday. Concerning Turkey's European Union (EU) membership, Bahceli said that since the country had not obtained a positive result concerning her inclusion in the EU after trying for many years, it meant that there were some points that Turkey should reconsider. He added that EU full membership was a long-term target. Bahceli noted that Turkey ought to evaluate other opportunites open to her as well, such as ties with the Turkish-Speaking Republics.

    At the end of the meeting, MHP Deputy Chairman, Sadi Somuncuoglu said that there many common points to be seen in the DSP and MHP party programmes. He added that it would be important to agree on common principles on which to establish a coalition government. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] DEATH PENALTY ASKED FOR OCALAN

    Ankara State Security Court's (DGM) Chief Prosecutor has completed the investigation started after the capture of Ocalan in Kenya and his conveyance to Turkey. In the supplementary indictment prepared by the DGM prosecutors, the death penalty was asked for Ocalan who is accused of "treason", and "aiming to divide the country".The indictment is expected to be sent to the second DGM in Ankara which will try Ocalan. It is reported that wide coverage is given to the history of the PKK, its terrorist actions, and drug trafficking activities. Written documents showing that Ocalan was responsible for all of the actions undertaken by the PKK, his pictures and videos taken inspecting the militants at the camps, the speeches he delivered on MED TV, the television station of the terrorist organization, the orders he gave for suicide attacks via MED TV, and the confessions of his former right-hand man are among the proof shown and stated in the indictment. /Sabah/

    [06] KUTAN, "WE SHALL RE-EVALUATE OUR PARTY POLICIES"

    The leader of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, said yesterday that their party was newly-established and it was wrong to claim that there had been a decrease in the number of their votes. Kutan added that they would organize a party congress in the Autumn and re-evaluate their party policies. He remarked that they had got the message at the end of the elections. At the press meeting held at the FP party building, Kutan said that it seemed that the Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader, Bulent Ecevit, would be appointed to establish the new government. He added they were ready to take responsibility if they were asked. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] GOKCEK: MAYOR OF ANKARA

    Melih Gokcek from the Virtue Party (FP) has become Mayor of Ankara for a second term. According to the unofficial results of the local elections, Melih Gokcek received 33.7 % of the votes while Murat Karayalcin from the Republican People's Party (CHP) received 31.9 % of the votes. Gokcek attained 29,432 more votes than Karayalcin and has become Mayor of Ankara. Meanwhile, Ali Mufit Gurtuna from the FP became the Mayor of Istanbul. The Democratic Left Party's (DSP) Izmir Municipality mayoral candidate, Ahmet Piristina, won a landslide victory over the other candidates to become the city's new Mayor. /Aksam/

    [08] DSP RANKS FIRST AT BORDER GATES

    In the ballot boxes at nine border gates set up for those Turkish citizens living abroad, a total of 66,097 voters cast their votes in the General and Local Elections. Out of this total, 65,255 votes were valid. According to information received from the Supreme Election Board (YSK), the Democratic Left Party (DSP) gained most of these votes, the Virtue Party (FP) was the runner-up, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) came third, the Motherland Party (ANAP) fourth and the True Path Party (DYP) came fifth. /Turkiye/

    [09] 18 APRIL ELECTIONS: FOREIGN PRESS

    The US 'Washington Post' newspaper reported that nationalism was on the rise in Turkey. It claimed that there would be ethnic tension in Turkey due to the fact that the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) had become the second largest party in the TGNA at the end of the 18 April Election. The `Wall Street Journal' daily reported that voters who were fed up with scandals put Ecevit who was known for his honesty, in a leading position, whereas Bahceli achieved success with the a slogan "Modernization without losing Turkish values".

    British 'The Guardian' newspaper claimed that Bulent Ecevit had developed a nationalist point of view in his political philosophy in recent years. It said that Devlet Bahceli was moderate and was closer to the centre in his ideas. `The Independent' predicted that Ecevit would establish a coalition government with the MHP, while `The Times' said,`The winds of nationalism in the Balkans have also affected Turkish policy.'

    The German `Frankfurter Rundchau' reported that the participation of an ultra-nationalist party in the coalition might cause Turkish policy to run into difficulties, whereas the `Suddeutsche Zeitung' claimed that following the elections, Turkey bid farewell to Europe.

    The French 'Liberation' newspaper reported that not only had Abdullah Ocalan's capture played an important role in the success of bot the DSP and MHP but also the decision taken at the end of the Luxembourg Summit, which excluded Turkey from the European Union, had been very effective. In the same way, `Le Figaro' argued that the results of the Election show disappointment over Europe.

    `Yediot Aharonot' (Israel) claimed that the Islamists failed and noted that it was very surprising that the Republican People's Party (CHP), established by Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, was unable to exceed the 10 % threshold./Aksam/Hurriyet/

    [10] HUMANITARIAN AID TO KOSOVO

    Turkish private and public institutions continue to send humanitarian aid to Kosovo. The Turkish Is Bank has launched a donation campaign which has already reached 140 billion TL. The money collected by the end of the awareness campaign will be used to reform the living conditions of Kosovars living in tent-cities.

    Meanwhile, the Medical and Chemical Industrialists Employees' Union (IEIS) has decided to participate in the humanitarian aid effort for the Kosovars. Medicines, including vitamins, with a total value of 103 billion TL were given to Turkish Red Crescent representatives to be sent to the refugee camps.

    Meanwhile, Bilkent University has started to collect every kind of clothing to send to the refugees. It was also announced that they would give educational support to the Kosovar children. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] TURKISH AIRCRAFT FLY FOR 752 HOURS

    According to a statement made by the Press Information Centre of the Office of General Staff, since the beginning of NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, Turkish F-16 aircraft, which have been participating in the NATO operation, have successfully carried out their duties and returned to their bases. Turkish aircraft have flown for a total of 752 hours. /Turkiye/

    [12] TURKISH DELEGATION TO US

    A Turkish delegation headed by State Minister responsible for the economy, Hikmet Ulugbay, will go to Washington to attend IMF-World Bank meetings. During the meetings which will start on April 23 and will last for one week, the general situation and the projections for the global economy will be discussed. Ulugbay is expected to meet some representatives from financial circles and the heads of the IMF and the World Bank. An IMF delegation will visit Turkey in May. /Aksam/

    [13] TUSIAD: "WE TRUST IN ECEVIT"

    The Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) said that they trusted in Bulent Ecevit, the Chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP). An evaluation of the General and Local Elections held in Turkey on April 18 by TUSIAD noted that the political parties should reach a consensus on Turkey's priorities. The evaluation stated that the Turkish nation had clearly shown its reaction to the parties which remain far away from Turkey's priorities. It also said the Association believes that a coalition established by Ecevit will achieve those reforms which are needed by Turkey. /Aksam/

    [14] RECORD ON IMKB

    Following the signals according to the results of the Election on April 18, it has been realized that there is a possibility that a strong government can be established. Because of this, the Index of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) broke a record yesterday; the Index increased by 456 points and reached 5,018. The daily transaction volume on the IMKB totalled 228 trillion TL yesterday. Meanwhile, interest rates decreased by 10 points. /Aksam/

    [15] BANKING LAW AND THE BUDGET

    The new government has to pass two important laws as quickly as possible through the TGNA. The deadline for the Banking Law is 12 June 1999, and for the Budget, 30 June 1999. Finance Ministry officials stated that if the Budget Law is not enacted until 30 June 1999, the State would not be able to pay the wages of its civil servants. Bureaucrats at the Treasury are saying that the period, recognized by the Constitutional Court,in which to eradicate the loopholes in the Banking Law will end on 11 June. /Sabah/

    [16] AGAR'S NEW AIM: LEADERSHIP

    Mehmet Agar, who entered the elections as an independent candidate for Elazęg, received 30 to 35 thousand more votes than the Virtue Party(FP), which came out as leader among the parties in the province. Agar, who was elected , stated that the leaders responsible for the diminishing of the votes cast in favour of the centre-right should withdraw. He added that he aimed for the leadership of the centre-right and pointed out that there should be a punishment system for political failure in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [17] TREASURY GOES ON WITH THE PROGRAMME

    Director General for Foreign Relations at the Treasury Aydin Karaoz, stated Turkey would continue her foreign borrowing as programmed. Karaoz also hinted that if the Staff Monitoring Agreement made with the IMF could be taken a step further, the economy would improve much more smoothly. Remarking that not all dynamics within Turkey were related to politics, Karaoz said that was why Turkey was able to borrow money three days before the Election. /Sabah/

    [18] UZBEKS ARE SATISFIED WITH TURKISH INVESTORS

    Uzbeks, who are satisfied with the Harezm Sugar Processing Plant established by Turkish Sugar Processing Plant, presented an offer for the second such facility to be set up in Semerkand. According to information received from Yekta Ergul, the Project Director of the Harezm Sugar Processing Plant, Turkey has submitted two different proposals, consisting of a daily 3,000 and a daily 6,000 tons of beet processing capacity, to Uzbekistan for the Semerkand Sugar Processing Plant. Ergul noted that the Turkish Eximbank has also submitted a 'goodwill letter' in order to finance Semerkand Sugar Processing Plant.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Ambassador to Tashkent, Umur Apaydin, visited the Harezm Sugar Processing Plant and was informed about the initiatives which have been launched there. The Director of the Plant, Kuvandik Kerimov, said that Turkish workers had worked hard during the construction of the plant and added: "I really admired their efforts". Meanwhile, the foundation of the reconstruction of three airports by a consortium consisting of the Turkish Alarko Holding, the British Laing and the Japanese Merubeni firms, was laid during a ceremony held at Urgenc Airport in Uzbekistan. The reconstruction will last for 18 months during which 500 Turkish people will be employed. /Aksam/

    [19] `TURKISH TOURISM FRIGHTENS ITS COMPETITORS'

    The Deputy Undersecretary of the Tourism Ministry, Bulent Serim, said that tourism was of great importance in the Turkish economy and added: "Turkey's developing tourism sector, and our natural assets, historic and humanitarian values frighten our competitors". The opening of 'Tourism Week', which has previously been held between April 15 and April 22, was held following the General and Local Elections this year. Bulent Serim delivered an opening speech on behalf of Tourism Minister Ahmet Tan, who is currently abroad. Serim said: "Tourism is one of the most rapidly developing sectors in the world. Tourism is a means to establish friendship and brotherhood between countries". /Turkiye/

    [20] COMPETITION FOR MEB'S TENDER

    A race has begun to win the National Education Ministry's (MEB) 'Computer Hardware and Software Equipment' project which has been put out to tender, it is envisaged that items will be purchased within the guidelines of the Ministry's Basic Education Programme Project. Firms which have sumitted their tenders are as follows: Bull, Estron, Ashoford, Siemens Nixdorf, Ihlas Acer, Compaq, Vestel Servus, Meteksan JV, Infor Otomasyon, IBM Turk Ltd., Sentim, Datasel, Bilkom, Yildiz Elektrik, Koc Sistem, Data Teknik and Escort. /Aksam/

    [21] EXPORTS OF OLIVE OIL

    It is reported that during the last five months, 55,000 tons of olive oil were exported to foreign countries and a new period in the export of olive oil has begun. Officials from the Olive Oil Exporters' Union remarked that a lively period in the sector was in progress and exports by the end of the season will exceed 100,000 tons. /Aksam/

    [22] DTM PROVIDES SUPPORT TO ENCOURAGE EXPORTS

    The extent of tax and duty exemptions has been enlarged by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM). The changes were published in the Official Gazette yesterday. According to the DTM communique, Turkish companies opening stores abroad will be regarded as a service which pours foreign currency into the country. Investment projects carried out under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model may be considered exports in certain sectors and will be tax-exempt, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [23] TURKISH LORRY DRIVERS ARE IN DIFFICULTY

    Mithat Karabiyik, the representative of the International Transport Association in Hungary, said that Turkish lorries were now reaching via Romania due to the conflict in Yugoslavia. He added that there were many illegal applications being processed by Romanian Customs officials. Turkish lorry drivers had grown tired of these applications because they lost both money and time as a result. /Hurriyet/

    [24] `GOLDEN BELL' AWARD TO TURKEY

    It was reported that there was a 20 % increase in the number of American tourists who visited Turkey last year and there was a 140 % increase between 1992 and 1998. The Turkish Tourism Attache to New York said that Turkey was to be honoured with the 'Hsmai Adrian Promotion Golden Bell' award this year. It was the second time that Turkey had been given the same award; the award is the most prestigious in the tourism and promotion sectors. /Hurriyet/

    [25] FAREWELL TO AKYAVAS

    Turkish painting has lost one of its masters who was accepted internationally. Painter Erol Akyavas passed away in Istanbul on 20 April. Akyavas who had started painting as a guest student in the Bedri Rahmi Workshop, of the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul then went on to the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. In 1950 he worked with A. Lhote and Fernand Leger. He also studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the US. Many of his works are in private collections in addition to those displayed in the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Berlin Museum of Art Collection, and the Stuttgart Museum of Art's Collection. /Sabah/

    [26] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [27] THE NEW PARTY IN THE HEADLINES - BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

    Orhan Birgit, a columnist for the `Cumhuriyet' daily, reflects on the underlying reasons for the rise of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), and in particular, of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). Birgit writes:

    "Just a few days before the Election, we already knew that the new government would be a coalition; however, we were somewhat obliged to think that the new formation would be a Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Motherland Party (ANAP) coalition. A DSP candidate had told me the following anecdote: `A villager says that the whole village will vote for Ecevit in this Election. That is because both Mesut Yilmaz (ANAP leader) and Tansu Ciller (the True Path Party leader) have implored Ecevit to become Prime Minister.' True, as a `political engineer', Ecevit has succeeded in taking advantage of the opportunity to advertise his party to the new generation and to reveal the capabilities of his staff. He has built a new image on top of his well-known attitudes before the 1980 coup d'etat.

    As for the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), obviously, being a political force known as an active participant in violent acts before 1980 is no longer a matter of pride for the key figures of the MHP. Even Alparslan Turkes, the founder of the Party, was pretending to be seen in his autumn years as a new political figure oposed to the uncompromising discourse of the pre-1980 MHP. The new MHP administration after Turkes struggled to abolish the organic links between the Party and those former `idealists' connected to the Mafia.

    Devlet Bahceli, the new leader of the MHP, has aimed to incorporate those nationalist and conservative university professors in the movement. For ballots are more concrete than research institutes, and those who were engaged in the business of manipulating public opinion are not so realistic. Thus, a party which was shown slightly over the 10% national threshold has now achieved a status which can influence the fate of the country for the next five years.

    Now all the press is holding `seminars' to get to know this party and its leader. On TV yesterday, Bahceli defined his party as `nationalist conservative' and declared their loyalty to the `market economy'. He further announced that they will avoid any turmoil concerning the issue of `headscarves'. He said, "The MHP is aware of the changes in the world, indeed it has already adapted itself to these changes." Does not that reply explain not only the rise of the MHP but also the decline of the Virtue Party (FP) from 22% to 15%?"

    [28] CAN YUGOSLAVIA BE SMASHED INTO MORE PIECES? - BY MUSTAFA ASULA (TURKIYE)

    Mustafa Asula, a columnist for the daily 'Turkiye' newspaper, says the following in his article today:

    "Currently, time does not resolve anything in Yugoslavia. On the contrary, time freezes the situation there. Actually, there are occasions when time solves somethings. However, it is evident that as time goes by, there are more negative results occurring in Yugoslavia. While the massacre continues unabated, instability from the political and social standpoint in the Balkans is further increasing. What are the options available to NATO? The bombardment will continue until Belgrade's resistance is demolished. Initially, the refugee problem should be solved as soon as possible; this is the first priority. The reinforcement of the Kosovar Liberation Army (KLA) through training and armament, support for them in a land operation and security regions in Kosovo are next in line. Thirdly, preparations for a large-scale land operation are needed. These are the alternatives for NATO.

    The most important thing is the result. Even though the Rambouillet agreement is signed, can Kosovars be left to Milosevic's understanding of justice again? This will not be realistic. For instance, is it possible for Turkish and Greek Cypriots to live together following what was done by Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots? What kind of status will Kosovo hold after being saved by a NATO land operation? Independence would be preferred. Will an Independent Kosovo be able to live? What kind of undesired developments might occur in Europe in the future? A new plan has been drawn up by the Germans. The US has not yet given the green light for this plan. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is also given the go-ahead to launch some new ideas. However, NATO, which is the pioneer on the Kosovo issue, has not abandoned its caution".

    [29] "RETURN THIS ANSWER TO D'ALEMA" - BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (MILLIYET)

    Enis Berberoglu in his article analyzed the reason for the increase in nationalist votes in Turkey. Berberoglu attracted his readers' attention to the massive contribution of Italian Prime Minister, D'Alema, to the increase in the number of nationalist votes in Turkey. In August 1998, it was believed that elections would not have altered the political scene in Turkey one bit, Berberoglu said and queried what had changed within six months in order to increase the MHP's votes by almost 8 points.

    Berberoglu added, "The only important development in August 1998 was Abdullah Ocalan's banishment from Damascus by Turkey's changing policies against Syria. The threats of war against Syria and Ocalan were to become the major issues on the agenda of the Turkish nation.

    However, Ocalan was welcomed and treated by Italy as if he were a statesman. PKK members attacked and wounded Turkish press members before the very eyes of the Italian police; such scenes exasperated the Turkish nation. Italian goods were boycotted, and there were hunger strikes in Turkey. In those days, three crescent flags were at the front line of social reaction. Ocalan's departure from Italy was not enough to lower the tension in Turkey because Greece was next in line to shelter Ocalan after Italy. The process of Ocalan's being captured and brought to Turkey revealed the level of Greek enmity against Turkey.

    Reactions against the Italian Prime Minister increased the votes of the MHP. Ocalan's being brought to Turkey increased the number of DSP votes. The Turkish nation, this time, voted on performance instead of promises."

    In the last part of his article Berberoglu said that the Turkish people had voted for the DSP and the MHP for the same reasons. However, he asked, would it be enough to establish a harmonized partnership?


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