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Turkish Press Review, 99-04-29

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

29.04.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS EXPECTATIONS FROM THE NEW PARLIAMENT... - BY SAMI KOHEN
  • [02] (MILLIYET)
  • [03] DEMIREL RETURNS TO TURKEY
  • [04] TRIAL AGAINST OCALAN
  • [05] TURKEY RECEIVES MOST REFUGEES
  • [06] TURKISH SOLDIERS ARE READY TO TAKE MISSION IN KOSOVO
  • [07] RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN PARTY POLITICS
  • [08] DIPLOMATS VISIT MHP
  • [09] ECEVIT SAYS EMBARGO ON TRNC BACKFIRING
  • [10] ARMENIANS TO HOLD A MEETING ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE
  • [11] ULUGBAY: "IMF TO SUPPORT TURKEY"
  • [12] BUSINESS CIRCLES EVALUATE RESULTS OF THE GENERAL ELECTIONS
  • [13] PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS IN TURKISH TOURISM
  • [14] TURKEY'S ECONOMIC SITUATION
  • [15] RELIEF IN FOREIGN BORROWING
  • [16] TEKSTILBANK SUPPORTS KOSOVAR REFUGEES
  • [17] 'BOSPHORUS IS NOT A PIPELINE'
  • [18] ENERGY SUMMIT IN ANKARA
  • [19] TURKISH SANKO AND S.KOREA DAEWOO TO PRODUCE INDUSTRY MACHINES
  • [20] DEVRAN TO PRODUCE PIERRE CARDIN SHOES
  • [21] TURKEY BECOMES A MEMBER OF 'HOLSTEIN UNION'
  • [22] BELGIAN BUSINESSMEN VISIT IZMIR CHAMBER OF TRADE
  • [23] ZORLU GROUP IN AFRICA
  • [24] BULGARIAN BUSINESSMEN WANT COOPERATION
  • [25] OPERATIONS AGAINST PKK IN ROMANIA
  • [26] FOUR PKK TERRORISTS KILLED
  • [27] TOBB'S MEDITERRANEAN SUMMIT
  • [28] HASHISH SEIZED
  • [29] EUROPEAN-TURKISH JOURNALISTS' CONFERENCE IN GAZIANTEP
  • [30] LAST SOLAR ECLIPSE OF THE MILLENNIUM
  • [31] ANKARA MUSIC FESTIVAL
  • [32] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [33] EXPECTATIONS FROM THE NEW PARLIAMENT... - BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [34] THE APPOINTED WANT DEMOCRACY - BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS EXPECTATIONS FROM THE NEW PARLIAMENT... - BY SAMI KOHEN

    [02] (MILLIYET)

    [03] DEMIREL RETURNS TO TURKEY

    Speaking upon his arrival in Ankara yesterday, President Suleyman Demirel said that the NATO Summit in Washington was a success from Turkey's point of view. "Turkey's vital security concerns have been taken into account. From this aspect, the NATO Summit was a success for us" Demirel said. He was referring to a diplomatic offensive by the Turkish delegation at the summit, as a result of which the initial text of the final declaration was amended in line with Turkey's position. The declaration stated that the planned defence organization of the EU will not be able to use NATO's assets and capabilities without the consent of the NATO Council, of which Turkey is a member.

    Demirel also pointed out that his visit to the US had turned out to be useful with respect to further improving bilateral ties between Turkey and the US, a country which he defined as a 'close strategic partner'. /All papers/

    [04] TRIAL AGAINST OCALAN

    Turkish prosecutors on Wednesday formally opened the main trial against the chief of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan. They presented their indictment to the State Security Court for the death penalty for Ocalan on charges of high treason. The 139-page indictment holds Ocalan responsible for a series of violent actions attributed to the PKK.

    In the `Indictment' prepared by the State Security Court (DGM) prosecutors against Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the PKK terrorist organization, Greece is referred as a terrorist country due to its support for the PKK and Ocalan. Accordingly, "Just like Syria and Libya, Greece is also a terrorist country which allows the presence of certain terrorist organizations in her country and which cooperates with those organizations that commit crimes against the entire humanity."

    In the last section of the `Indictment', it is stated, "Give that the PKK is supported by those countries which pursue a hostile policy against Turkey, and that it carries out an intensive propaganda against Turkey in Europe, it ought to be understood that the crime defined in the "125th article of the Turkish Penal Code" has already been committed. The defendant, Abdullah Ocalan, who is the founder of the PKK, who has prepared his organization for struggle against Turkey since its establishment, has undoubtedly committed the crime stated in the 125th article. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, there are no discriminations between individuals on the basis of any reason. The provision of any privileged rights to any community in Turkey will require the amendment to the first 4 articles of the Constitution and result in the division of the state and the country. " /All papers/

    [05] TURKEY RECEIVES MOST REFUGEES

    Commander of the NATO Allied Forces, General Wesley Clark gave information about refugees to the members of press saying that Turkey has received the highest number of refugees "voluntarily" up to now. He thanked Turkey for its self-sacrifice in accepting Kosovars, although she was not a neighbour of Kosovo. /Hurriyet/

    [06] TURKISH SOLDIERS ARE READY TO TAKE MISSION IN KOSOVO

    After Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania, Turkish soldiers are ready to be missioned in Kosovo to maintain peace. General Erol Tutal, Commander of the 4th Brigade, introduced the Turkish unit to be sent to Kosovo if required. He said that a shameful tragedy had been going on in Kosovo. Tutal said: "Turkish Armed Forces always sided by desperate people in the world like in Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania in the past. And today, we are ready to help Kosovars. If Kosovo Turkish Peace Forces will be asked to take mission, I believe that they will do their best in Kosovo and be a model to the world." /Hurriyet/

    [07] RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN PARTY POLITICS

    The True Path Party leader Tansu Ciller said that she would not resign from the leadership of her party. Although a group of opponents in the party have insisted Ciller to resign as soon as possible, Ciller claimed that while crossing a river, the rider could not change its horse which means that her resignation at the moment would only harm the party.

    Meanwhile, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz said that to hold an extraordinary party congress would not help in solving the problems in his party. He added party members gave support and authority to him at the end of the meeting on 27 April and that there was no need for him to resign from the party leadership. Although Yilmaz favoured to take part in a coalition government to be established, the opposition group in his party would not approve this intention, claiming that it would weaken their party.

    On the other hand, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who is still in the TRNC, said that he had closely watched recent developments both in DYP and ANAP. He said that he thought on different coalition alternatives without eliminating any parties in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] DIPLOMATS VISIT MHP

    The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), whose outstanding success in the April 18 Elections is reverberating across the international community as well as across the national public, is being visited by numerous foreign diplomats everyday. Devlet Bahceli, the Chairman of the MHP, received the representatives of six Turkish-Speaking Republics. During the visits, Mehmet Aliyev, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan, said, "The success of the MHP will further improve the friendly relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan." Bahceli also received Hans Joachin, the Ambassador of Germany, yesterday.

    Meanwhile, Christine Wood, an official from the US Embassy in Ankara, visited the MHP headquarter yesterday, meeting some leading figures of the Party and asking them whether or not the MHP can establish a harmonious government with the Democratic Left Party (DSP). It is reported that Sadi Somuncuoglu, the Deputy Chairman of the Party, answered in turn that they maintain the same economic views with Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the DSP. /Sabah/

    [09] ECEVIT SAYS EMBARGO ON TRNC BACKFIRING

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, on a private visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said yesterday that the longstanding economic embargo on the Turkish Cypriots had backfired and has led to further deepening of the ties between the TRNC and Turkey. He stressed that the continuation of the embargo would help the international community realize that the TRNC is a separate state, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [10] ARMENIANS TO HOLD A MEETING ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE

    Armenian lobbies are trying to bring the issue of the so-called Armenian genocide onto the agenda of the European Union (EU). Armenians will hold a meeting entitled 'Armenians on the Threshold of the 21st Century' today and tomorrow at the EU Parliament building to discuss the new strategy against Turkey. There is also an exhibition including the photos of Armenians who have died during the so-called dislocation by the Ottomans. /Turkiye/

    [11] ULUGBAY: "IMF TO SUPPORT TURKEY"

    State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hikmet Ulugbay said that International Monetary Fund (IMF) would financially contribute to Turkey if the new government to be established did not change the priorities in economy. Concerning his contacts in Washington, Ulugbay said that an economic programme which would pull down the inflation rate under 10 % was a must for Turkish economy. He added that IMF was ready to support such an economic programme. Both IMF and the World Bank were waiting for the establishment of the new government, said Ulugbay adding, there was the necessary political will in Turkey to decrease the inflation rate. /Hurriyet/

    [12] BUSINESS CIRCLES EVALUATE RESULTS OF THE GENERAL ELECTIONS

    Representatives of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) and Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir Industrialists' Chamber met yesterday in Ankara to evaluate the results of the 18 April General Elections. They foresaw that the new government ought to be established as soon as possible and the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) would immediately start its performances. The Chairman of the High Consultation Board of the TUSIAD, Bulent Eczacibasi said that they believed that there would be positive developments in Turkey and they were ready to help the new government to be established. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS IN TURKISH TOURISM

    Suffering from a bad tourism season due to the war in Kosovo and foreign campaigns against Turkey, operators in the tourism sector have finally begun to reap the benefits of their promotion campaigns. Mert Temimhan, the environmental coordinator of Belek Tourism Investors' Union, told the Anatolia News Agency that BETUYAB's facilities are currently filled to 30-35 % of their capacity, an increase from 10-15 % in March. According to Temimhan, before the anti-Turkey campaign was initiated, BELEK's facilities were 80-90 % full, and he hopes to regain these numbers by June. If not, they will continue with their promotion campaigns at full speed.

    [14] TURKEY'S ECONOMIC SITUATION

    According to a book entitled 'Economic Indicators' published by the Economic Research and Assessment General Directorate of the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, the number of television sets for every 1,000 people rose from 335 to 368 in 1997 when compared to 1996 while this number rose from 51 to 55 for cars. The electricity consumption per capita rose from 1,162 KWH to 1,303 KWH. /Aksam/

    [15] RELIEF IN FOREIGN BORROWING

    An agreement concerning a syndication credit worth $200 million provided by Halkbank from international markets will be signed in London at the first week of May. The General Director of Halkbank, Yenal Ansen, noted that the syndication credit worth $200 million would be received in return for Euro and the credit had a five-year term. Meanwhile, the Treasury increased the amount of its first bond exports in Euro market by a total of 300 million Euro to 800 million Euro yesterday. /Turkiye/

    [16] TEKSTILBANK SUPPORTS KOSOVAR REFUGEES

    Tekstilbank has sent 10 billion TL in financial assistance to Kosovar refugees who had to flee from Serbian massacres. Meanwhile, bank staff also collected 750 million TL among themselves to be sent to Kosovar refugees. /Turkiye/

    [17] 'BOSPHORUS IS NOT A PIPELINE'

    It is reported that Turkey will not allow the Straits of Istanbul and Canakkale to be used as an oil pipeline for the interests of some countries such as Russia, Bulgaria, Southern Cyprus and Greece. Representatives from various countries and 17 oil companies attended the Mediterranean and Black Sea Oil and Gas Summit held in London. The Permanent Representative of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Undersecretary Mithat Rende, represented Turkey during the Summit. Rende pointed out the danger to occur in Istanbul where 12 million people live in case of a tanker accident along the Straits. /Turkiye/

    [18] ENERGY SUMMIT IN ANKARA

    Ankara will host an important energy summit on May 26-29. The summit on 'The Future of Fuel System of Clean Fossil' to be organized by the Turkish Energy Ministry and the Turkish National Committee of World Energy Council (WEC) will host prominent guests. In addition to Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson will also attend the conference to be supported also by the UN, World Bank and World Coal Institute. /Turkiye/

    [19] TURKISH SANKO AND S.KOREA DAEWOO TO PRODUCE INDUSTRY MACHINES

    One of the leading Turkish firms, Sanko Corporation and South Korean Daewoo will produce industry machines in Turkey. According to the agreement, signed in South Korea between the representatives of Sanko Group and Southern Korean Daewoo, will produce industry machines and lorries with concrete mixers in Gaziantep. It was also decided to produce automotive spare parts in the future.

    Meanwhile, there is an intense competition in the production of industry machines in Turkey. Sabanci Group is producing machines in Turkey with the licence of Japan Komatsu; Borusan group is the distributor of Caterpiller industry machines in Turkey and Cukurova Corporation is the representative of the Liebherr firm in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [20] DEVRAN TO PRODUCE PIERRE CARDIN SHOES

    The Devran Companies' Group, which has been active in the shoe sector in Turkey for forty years, will produce Pierre Cardin shoes. The Head of the Executive Board of Devran Companies' Group, Osman Deveci, held a press conference yesterday and said that because of the Russian crisis, they would give more importance to the domestic market and they aimed at producing 50,000 pair of Pierre Cardin shoes. He added that they would also sell Pierre Cardin shoes to Turkish-Speaking Republics and Middle Eastern countries in the upcoming period. /Aksam/

    [21] TURKEY BECOMES A MEMBER OF 'HOLSTEIN UNION'

    European countries have decided to cooperate with Turkey on the propagation of animals. The Turkish Central Union of Breeding Cattle (TDSYMB) has become a member of the European Holstein Union. Head of the TDSYMB, Ismail Anil, said that if a programme on the production and care of animals is implemented, Turkey can participate in these programmes implemented by all countries in the world. /Aksam/

    [22] BELGIAN BUSINESSMEN VISIT IZMIR CHAMBER OF TRADE

    A delegation of Belgian businessmen visited the Izmir Chamber of Trade (IZTO) on Wednesday, reports the Anatolian News Agency. Mehmet Akyelli, the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of the IZTO stated that there has been a remarkable increase in the trade relations between Belgium and Turkey, pointing out that the frequent visits of Belgian businessmen were a sign of improvement in relations. In the same way, Bruno Angelet, the First Secretary of the Belgian Embassy, remarked that they were exploring new cooperation opportunities with Turkish firms in the energy, tourism, construction and shoemaking sectors. Fifty percent of the Belgians prefer to spend their vacations in Turkey, Angelet also pointed out.

    [23] ZORLU GROUP IN AFRICA

    Zorlu Group will produce curtains in South Africa. The 'Kortex Curtain Plant' set up by Zorlu Holding, the owner of which is Businessman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, began its production in South Africa. Nearly all of the shares of the curtain company belongs to the Zorlu Group. It is expected that the annual curtain production capacity of the plant, which is currently 15 million square metres, will increase to 25 million square metres by the end of this year. /Aksam/

    [24] BULGARIAN BUSINESSMEN WANT COOPERATION

    A delegation of Bulgarian businessmen from the Bulgarian Burgaz Trade and Industry Chamber continue their contacts in Antalya, holding talks with the Antalya Trade and Industry Chamber (ATSO) and visiting Bekir Kumbul, the Antalya Mayor on Wednesday. The members of the Bulgarian delegation expressed their desire to increase the volume of trade between Burgaz and Antalya and to cooperate with their Turkish counterparts particulary in the tourism sector, reports the Anatolian News Agency.

    [25] OPERATIONS AGAINST PKK IN ROMANIA

    Fourteen members of the PKK terrorist organization who have been trained on bombing activities in Romania have been captured following an operation carried out by the Romanian police. It is reported that these terrorists will be brought to Turkey. Meanwhile, PKK terrorists opened fire to a police team in the Koyulhisar district of Sivas last night and killed policeman Ogur Erduran. Officials noted that operations in the region were on-going. /Aksam/

    [26] FOUR PKK TERRORISTS KILLED

    During operations carried out by Turkish security forces against the PKK terrorist organization, four PKK terrorists were killed in the Bestler-Dereler region of Sirnak and one terrorist was captured. In the Kozluk district of Batman and in Mardin, two terrorists were captured while one terrorist surrendered to security forces in the Malazgirt dictrict of Mus. Officials from the Emergency Rule Region noted that operations in the region were on-going. /Turkiye/

    [27] TOBB'S MEDITERRANEAN SUMMIT

    The Mediterranean Regional Meeting and 1996-2000 term Councils' Joint Meeting of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) will be held in Antalya on May 7. According to a statement made by TOBB, during the Councils' Joint Meeting, the results of the General and Local Elections held in Turkey on April 18, views on the laws to be enacted in the Turkish Parliament and urgent economic measures will be discussed. During the Mediterranean Regional Meeting, economic and social problems in the region, problems of the regional unions and commodity exchanges and proposals for their solutions will be deliberated. /Turkiye/

    [28] HASHISH SEIZED

    Bolu Police seized 9 kgs of hashish being transported from the Eastern provinces to Istanbul via the D-100 highway. Three persons are taken into custody to the smuggling. It is reported that the market value of the hashish is 45 billion TL. /Sabah/

    [29] EUROPEAN-TURKISH JOURNALISTS' CONFERENCE IN GAZIANTEP

    Gaziantep Chamber of Trade (GTO) Chairman, Mehmet Aslan, stated that European journalists will come to Gaziantep for the European-Turkish Journalists' Conference to be held on June 19-21, the Anatolia News Agency reported yesterday. Both this meeting and the upcoming Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit to be held in Istanbul in September will be very important within the framework of Turkish-EU relations, Aslan stressed.

    [30] LAST SOLAR ECLIPSE OF THE MILLENNIUM

    The world will watch the last solar eclipse of the millennium from Turkey. The eclipse, which will be on 11 August, will be broadcast to the world by means of NASA TV station and through the internet services of the US Berkley and Japan Meissi Universities. NASA applied to Bogazici University and Kandilli Observatory in order to get permission to broadcast the eclipse live on television channels to the world. The US Berkley and Meisei Universities will also asked for permission to present the historical occasion to the world through their internet services.

    Dr. Atila Ozguc, Chairman of the Bosphorus University Kandilli Observatory, said that the eclipse would be best watched from Sivas, Elazig, Batman and Diyarbakir. Representatives of the Magister Tourism Agency said that two thousand tourists had already booked their places to come to Turkey in order to watch the last eclipse of the millennium. It is expected that number of tourists will increase, at least, to five thousand by that time. /Hurriyet/

    [31] ANKARA MUSIC FESTIVAL

    The 16th Ankara Music Festival began last night with the piano concert of Fazil Say accompanied by French National Orchestra. Chairman of the Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation, Mehmet Basman said that the festival became a feast of Turkey's capital during which the best examples of contemporary music were performed. The festival will end on 21 May. /Cumhuriyet/

    [32] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [33] EXPECTATIONS FROM THE NEW PARLIAMENT... - BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen of `Milliyet' comments on the expectations from the new Parliament. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The initial questions which come to mind following the General Election are related to the formation of a government. The kind of government to be formed, and if a coalition is in question, which parties will participate in it and what will the priorities of the new government be, what kind of policies it will follow are the main questions in the minds of the people.

    The parliamentary side of the issue should not be forgotten. Great duties fall upon the newly elected Parliament which is faced with the same problems as the government. It has great responsibilites to find solutions to problems. In fact, in addition to the formation of the government, we are curious as to how the new Grand National Assembly will act during this legislative term and what its aims will be...

    The reason for this curiosity lies in the fact that the performance of the previous Assembly was not satisfactory. We do not say that nothing has been done during the last legislative term, but what we remember is that they have not taken up many of the anxiously awaited reform drafts seriously, and needlessly went on bickering among themselves. To top it all, the gathering of the Assembly just prior to the Election due to egotistical reasons such as cancelling the decision for Election instead of enacting some urgent laws such as the Banking Law, Penitence Law has been the last drop to exhaust patience. Today, the duty of regaining the trust of the Turkish people and fulfilling expectations fall on the new Parliament.

    Among the many unfinished works of the last Parliament there is a series of important political reforms such as the democratization process of Turkey, and improving its image throughout the world. Around ten drafts concerning human rights prepared by the Foreign Ministry and accepted by the cabinet had not received sufficient interest and were not taken up during the sessions of the Parliament.

    We hope that the new Parliament will approach these issues with a different attitude. Certainly a decision by the Cabinet Ministers is required for the subject, but what we want to see is that the new Parliament attaches the importance to this subject at the beginning of the new legislative year.

    The speech delivered by the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Ahmed Necdet Sezer, this week, is an important call to the new Parliament to improve Turkish democracy, elevate the standards on human rights and freedoms in Turkey to those of the world. The main institution to carry out the changes in the laws according to universal norms, as proposed by Sezer, is the Turkish Grand National Assembly."

    [34] THE APPOINTED WANT DEMOCRACY - BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)

    Ali Sirmen, a columnist for the `Cumhuriyet', comments on the recent statements of Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, who stand for urgent further democratization in Turkey. Sirmen writes:

    "Ahmet Necdet Sezer emphasized that all obstacles in front of the free expression of thoughts must be removed in Turkey and that human rights can no longer be perceived as a domestic question of a country. In this way, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court gave hope to all proponents of human rights in Turkey.

    More than half a century has passed since Turkey adopted the principles of a multiparty democracy. However, it can hardly be said that our democracy is a pluralist and participatory one. For fifty years, those majorities in our Parliament have not done anything in order to compensate for the depraved state of human rights in Turkey. Furthermore, some politicians were even opposed to certain democratic means as being incompatible with the nature of Turkish society. Just take the case of the previous Parliament. Did it take even a single positive step towards the improvement of human rights and democratization? Certainly not. Those who expect from the present Parliament certain attempts towards democratization should just have a look at the election manifestos of the political parties or at the program of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

    These recent developments reminds me of that `original' distinction posed by some so-called `republicans', i.e. the artificial distinction between `the elected' and `the appointed'. According to the advocates of this distinction in media, `the elected' were the symbols, the products and the protectors of democracy, whereas `the appointed' did not have any right to operate the mechanism of control against those elected ones in order to defend the rules of the democratic game.

    Well, who is Ahmet Necdet Sezer? Certainly, an appointed one. What does he want? He wants a regime compatible with democracy and human rights. What have `the elected' hitherto done in this field, what will they do in the future? Surely, nothing. Yes, in brief, `the appointed' want democracy and `the elected' prevent it."


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