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Turkish Press Review, 99-04-30

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

30.04.99

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] TWO KINDS OF NATIONALISM AND THE NATO CONCEPT - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
  • [03] OCALAN TRIAL TO RULE TODAY
  • [04] ECEVIT RETURNS FROM TRNC
  • [05] "TURCO-SYRIAN RELATIONS IMPROVING STEADILY"
  • [06] "KOSOVO IS TURKEY'S FAMILY ISSUE"
  • [07] ANKARA REACTS AGAINST ARMENIAN CONFERENCE
  • [08] BAHCELI MEETS EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS
  • [09] KUTAN: "WE DO NOT INSIST ON OUR PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT"
  • [10] CALL FOR UNITY FOR REFORMS
  • [11] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS
  • [12] BAKU-CEYHAN TO BE CONSTRUCTED BY BOTAS
  • [13] NATIONAL PROMOTION COUNCIL
  • [14] TURCO-JAPAN COOPERATION IN ERDEMIR
  • [15] GENERAL ELECTRIC IN TURKEY
  • [16] `SOUTHEASTERN EUROPEAN COOPERATION'
  • [17] UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAM ON SUNDAY
  • [18] TEN TERRORISTS KILLED IN BINGOL
  • [19] DECISION ON IBDA-C TRIAL
  • [20] DRUGS OPERATION
  • [21] PKK MEMBERS ARRESTED
  • [22] `NATIONAL SHIP' PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED IN 2004
  • [23] NATURE ACADEMY TO BE ESTABLISHED
  • [24] BAYINDIR-ASTALDI: `BOLU TUNNEL WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2000'
  • [25] FRENCH PROGRAMME PRAISES TURKISH TOURISM
  • [26] ISTANBUL PHOTO EXHIBITION IN PARIS
  • [27] ADVERTISEMENT AWARD FOR UNIVERSITIES
  • [28] TURKISH MESSAGE INTO SPACE
  • [29] TURKISH PARADE IN NEW YORK
  • [30] `ISTANBUL PUPPET FESTIVAL' BEGINS
  • [31] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [32] KUTAN AND THE VIRTUE PARTY'S PLACE - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [33] TWO KINDS OF NATIONALISM AND THE NATO CONCEPT - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

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

    [02] TWO KINDS OF NATIONALISM AND THE NATO CONCEPT - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    [03] OCALAN TRIAL TO RULE TODAY

    The leader of the terrorist PKK organization, Abdullah Ocalan, will continue to be tried in Ankara State Security Court (DGM) today. However, he will not appear in the courtroom. The DGM is expected to rule today for a consolidation of all court cases against the chief of the terrorist PKK and set a date for continuing court proceedings at the Imrali Island prison, where Ocalan has been kept since February. Citing public order concerns and Ocalan's security, court sources earlier announced that the chief of the PKK would be tried by Ankara DGM convening on Imrali. According to laws covering legal proceedings, the court is empowered to decide the venue for its sessions. /All papers/

    [04] ECEVIT RETURNS FROM TRNC

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit returned from his vacation in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) yesterday. After he arrived in Ankara Ecevit was received by President Suleyman Demirel. It was announced that Demirel informed the Prime Minister about his recent visit to the US. /All papers/

    [05] "TURCO-SYRIAN RELATIONS IMPROVING STEADILY"

    Relations between Turkey and Syria have improved since the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, the Anatolian News Agency reported. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli said that relations between the two countries were progressing in a positive way. On Wednesday, Turkey and Syria signed a protocol for concerning trans-border transport that could pave the way for increased trade and tourism.

    Meanwhile, asked whether Russian ships carrying oil to Yugoslavia would be stopped, Atacanli said that Turkey would comply with the 1936 Montreaux Treaty. He added that Ankara has also been complying with the UN resolutions on the imposition of sanctions against Belgrade and that the latest NATO decision to block the transfer of oil to that country was not 'anything new' for it.

    [06] "KOSOVO IS TURKEY'S FAMILY ISSUE"

    The French "Le Figaro" newspaper reported that the Kosovo problem was accepted as a "family issue" by most of the people in Turkey because of the great number of Kosovars who have arrived in Turkey. Mentioning the Kirklareli refugee camp for Kosovars, the paper noted that Kosovars living in Turkey had visited the camp in order to find their relatives. It added that Turkey had got used to "refugee waves" from the Balkans, such as the intense refugee influx from Bulgaria during the time of the Jivkov administration. Finally, it praised Turkey's humanitarian aid programme which has been prepared for the refugees. /Aksam/

    [07] ANKARA REACTS AGAINST ARMENIAN CONFERENCE

    A conference which aims to discuss the Armenian 'genocide' in the European Parliament (EP) has drawn a reaction from Ankara on the grounds that a debate on the genocide, which Turkey does not recognize, may further tarnish fragile Turco-EU relations, reported the Anatolian News Agency. The Turkish reaction was demonstrated by a letter written by ANAP Istanbul MP Bulent Akarcali, the co-president of the Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, to five EP MPs. In his letter Akarcali maintained that the Turkish nation was facing 'a campaign of accusations which was completely unjust'.

    [08] BAHCELI MEETS EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS

    The Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, met the Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) member countries in Ankara and said that the EU should clarify Turkey's full EU membership. Bahceli stated that as a party they had not been involved in the issue of Turco-EU relations and noted that their first initiative would be to make a detailed evaluation of this issue. The MHP came second in the General and Local Elections held in Turkey on April 18. Bahceli said: "We approve the continuation of dialogue between Turkey and the EU. Full EU membership is Turkey's state policy. However, this dialogue should yield concrete results". /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] KUTAN: "WE DO NOT INSIST ON OUR PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNMENT"

    The Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, stated that if they are asked to participate in the new government, this issue will be evaluated with officials from his party. Kutan said: "The present formula for the establishment of the new government is a Democratic Left Party (DSP)-Nationalist Action Party (MHP) coalition. If they ask us for FP participation in the government, we will evaluate this issue. However, we do not insist on our participation in the government. We will be constructive". /Milliyet/

    [10] CALL FOR UNITY FOR REFORMS

    Anatolian industrialists came together in Antalya in order to examine the fundamental problems of the Turkish economy and express their demands of the new government to be formed following the April 18 Elections. Erkut Yucaoglu, the Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) which leads the meetings, demanded that the government implement a social security reform that will slow down the high rates of inflation. He also remarked that through implementing political and democratic reforms, the government should ensure the participation of the masses in political decision-making processes. Yucaoglu said, "These reforms are directly related to the life of the masses. Thus we have to explain how they are interconnected with the daily life practices of the man on the street. Such an attempt requires both a unity of thoughts and a unity of power." /Sabah/

    [11] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS

    Turkey paid off $827.9 million of her foreign debts between April 1 and 28. A total of $2.8 billion in foreign debts has been paid off since the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, Central Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $873 million between April 16-22. Foreign exchange reserves, which stood at $20.448 billion on April 16, rose to $21.321 billion on April 22. As of April 6, gold reserves amounted to $1.012 billion, Central Bank foreign exchange reserves $21.172 billion and foreign exchange reserves at commercial banks totalled $10.754 billion, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [12] BAKU-CEYHAN TO BE CONSTRUCTED BY BOTAS

    The General Director of the Pipeline Transportation Company (BOTAS), Gokhan Yildirim, said that the company would be the constructor of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline which is aimed to be completed in 2003. He added that Turkey foresaw the cost of the construction of the Baku-Ceyan pipeline as being $ 2.4 billion. /Aksam/

    [13] NATIONAL PROMOTION COUNCIL

    The Advertisisng Sector's Coordination and Research Association (TASEAD) organized a conference on "National Promotion" yesterday. Nail Keceli, the Chairman of TASEAD said in the opening speech of the conference that they aimed to prepare an "advertising and promotional constitution" in order to ensure the issue of Turkey's promotion in a plan and programme. He added that promotional activities should be conducted by a working group under the umbrella of the Turkish Chambers and Stock Exchange Union (TOBB) which includes the State. Meanwhile, Motherland Party (ANAP) Istanbul MP, Bulent Akarcali said in his speech that information sessions and promotional activities should be arranged by non-governmental organizations. /Aksam/

    [14] TURCO-JAPAN COOPERATION IN ERDEMIR

    The Turkish Eregli Iron and Steel Factories have signed an agreement with the Japanese Mitsui and Nippon Steel Corporations in order to see Permanent Galvanization and Infrastruce Project come to fruition as part of their modernization and capacity increasing project. With the project the competitive edge of Erdemir will be increased and Turkey will gain a modern galvanization establishment. According to the agreement, the project will be completed in March 2000 at a cost of $ 58 million. Tanju Argun, the General Director of Erdemir, said that they aimed to meet the needs of Turkish industry and that they had the responsibility of being a leader in taking Turkish heavy industry into the 21st century. /Turkiye/

    [15] GENERAL ELECTRIC IN TURKEY

    The General Electrics firm is entering into the Turkish market. Murat Ozdogan, the Chairman of the Herpa firm which is the distributor for General Electric telephones in Turkey, said that GE aimed to make a profit of $ 1 million annually. Stella Morabito, in charge of the African and Central Asian Markets, said that the Turkish telephone market presented them with a tough challenge but, she added, they aimed to meet this by selling high-quality goods at reasonable prices. /Aksam/

    [16] `SOUTHEASTERN EUROPEAN COOPERATION'

    The Minister of Transport, Hasan Basri Aktan, in a statement upon his arrival at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport following a signing ceremony held in Athens, said that with the memorandum accord signed among the 10 countries in Southeastern Europe, significant steps have been taken concerning the issue of international overland transport in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAM ON SUNDAY

    The Student Selection Examination (OSS) will be held throughout Turkey on Sunday. Nearly 1.5 million students are expected to attend the examination which is 176 questions long. Depending on the results of this examination, students will be able to enrol at university. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] TEN TERRORISTS KILLED IN BINGOL

    A clash between security forces and terrorists (in an operation) in Bingol's Genc district left ten terrorists and two security officials dead, the Anatolian News Agency reported on Thursday. According to information issuing from the Emergency Rule Region (OHAL) Governor's Office, military operations are being carried out in order to maintain peace and security in the region.

    [19] DECISION ON IBDA-C TRIAL

    Three members of the illegal IBDA-C organization have been sentenced to imprisonment of between 16 and 30 years. The trial was held at Izmir State Security Court (DGM) yesterday. Murat Kucuk, Sait Dursun Deliktas and Yakup Kose were involved in bombing activities in 1996. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] DRUGS OPERATION

    Cooperation between the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department and international security organizations is yielding positive results. As a result of the cooperation between Turkish and Dutch police, 3.2 tons of heroin and cocaine and 25 weapons have been captured. /Cumhuriyet/

    [21] PKK MEMBERS ARRESTED

    According to a statement issued by the Istanbul Security Office's Anti-Terrorism Department, 15 members of the PKK terrorist organization have been taken into custody following an operation carried out with the cooperation of Erzurum Security Office; eight of these PKK members were arrested and sent to Umraniye Prison. /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] `NATIONAL SHIP' PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED IN 2004

    There has been a great leap forward in the steps being taken by the Naval Forces Command within the guidelines of the modernization project for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). It is planned that the 'National Ship' project will be completed in 2004 while preparations for a frigate project are on-going. Nine such projects will be mostly completed in 1999, according to information furnished by the Office of General Staff's Press Centre. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] NATURE ACADEMY TO BE ESTABLISHED

    The Forestry Ministry will establish an "International Academy for the Protection of Nature" to safeguard natural assets for the first time in the world. According to information received from officials of the Forestry Ministry, an academy led by Turkey and including some Turkish-Speaking Republics will be established in order to prevent erosion and protect natural assets. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] BAYINDIR-ASTALDI: `BOLU TUNNEL WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2000'

    The Turkish Bayindir and Italian Astaldi Joint Venture stated that the construction of the Bolu Mountain Tunnel was in progress and the Tunnel would be completed in June 2000. A statement issued by the Joint Venture pointed out that the Tunnel experienced severe geological conditions and therefore special staff were working using special techniques to aid the construction of the Tunnel. /Milliyet/

    [25] FRENCH PROGRAMME PRAISES TURKISH TOURISM

    A programme dubbed 'Success' broadcast by the French TV channel, TF1, two days ago devoted wide coverage to the life of Turkish businessman Mumtaz Teker, who is the owner of a tourism empire including many companies in France. The programme noted that the Teker group set up by Mumtaz Teker brings almost 500,000 tourists to Turkey every year. The programme also promoted many tourist sites in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [26] ISTANBUL PHOTO EXHIBITION IN PARIS

    An exhibition including photos of Istanbul will be opened today in Paris, France. The exhibition, expected to be visited by hundreds of thousands of French citizens, will last until August 1. /Hurriyet/

    [27] ADVERTISEMENT AWARD FOR UNIVERSITIES

    A ceremony was held yesterday to present the awards of the 'Advertisement Competition Among Universities' organized by the Turkish branch of the International Advertisement Association (IAA). The awards ceremony, attended by 27 teams from 10 universities, saw the Hermes Agency from the Communications Faculty of Ankara University come first and the MIRAJ Advertisement Agency from the Communications Faculty of Marmara University come second. The advertising campaign prepared by the Hermes Agency will be brought to the IAA International Advertisement Conference to be held in Budapest on September 27-28. /Hurriyet/

    [28] TURKISH MESSAGE INTO SPACE

    Turkey will attend the third 'Space Day' organized by NASA this year. Teachers and students from Yuzyil Isik Primary School will represent Turkey during the open day to be held on May 6. Teachers and students will sign a poster sent by the Lockheed Martin Company which will then be sent into space in October or November. /Milliyet/

    [29] TURKISH PARADE IN NEW YORK

    An ancient military band will participate in the Turkish Day Parade to be held in New York on May 15. The Parade will be performed along Madison Avenue, one of the most splendid streets in New York. /Hurriyet/

    [30] `ISTANBUL PUPPET FESTIVAL' BEGINS

    The second International Istanbul Puppet Festival will be held on May 4-12, 1999. In the opening ceremony of the festival, a shadow play will be performed by the Mehpare Aksoy Yigit Shadow Theatre. /Cumhuriyet/

    [31] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [32] KUTAN AND THE VIRTUE PARTY'S PLACE - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Fikret Bila, a columnist for `Milliyet', reflects on his interview with Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), concerning the results of the recent Election and the alternatives for the new government. Bila writes:

    "Kutan seems content with the percentage of votes the FP received in the General Election. He gives the impression that Necmettin Erbakan, the chairman of the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) and the leading figure of political Islam in Turkey, is also pleased with 15%. Then, what is the place of the FP in the new Parliament? Will it take part in the Government or remain in the Opposition?

    `It is likely that we will remain in the Opposition', says Kutan. `The expectation of the people is towards a Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) coalition government', he adds. I ask him about the possibility of their becoming part of the Government. He says, `It is quite early to speak of it. There are 7 or 8 alternatives according to the results of the Election. However, in a DSP-MHP government, we will surely remain in the Opposition.' Kutan claims that only if there arise certain hesitations or concerns as to the distribution of the Ministries can there be a possibility of a government including the FP. Yet what he also expects is a DSP-MHP government.

    What sort of a policy will the FP follow if it becomes the main opposition party? According to Kutan, `a constructive and compromising one'. I ask him what their attitude might be in the election of the Speaker of Parliament. He says, `The political tradition was to choose the Speaker from the largest party in Parliament. However, this tradition was undermined in the last Parliament. If a DSP-MHP coalition is formed, since the Prime Minister will be from the DSP, then the Speaker of Parliament may well be from the MHP.' I also ask about their attitude towards the Presidential Election, especially due to Ecevit's demand for the prolongation of Demirel's term of office. Kutan says, `Ecevit suggested such a solution. Yet I am not quite as brave as him. It is quite early. I say neither "yes", nor "no" at the moment.'

    The impression I reached in my interview with Kutan is that the FP is preparing itself for the Opposition. However, it is already apparent that a struggle between `the old' and `the new' will be experienced during the Great Congress to be convened in November. Recai Kutan claims that there are no `cracks' in the Party when he speaks of Bulent Arưnc and Abdullah Gul, but a tacit competition between Necmettin Erbakan and Tayyip Erdogan is already being felt."

    [33] TWO KINDS OF NATIONALISM AND THE NATO CONCEPT - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tưnc comments on the speech delivered by the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, on the anniversary of the Court's establishment and the NATO concept. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "The words of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer bear a far greater significance beyond that of the sensitivity of a lawyer. Before discussing whether Article 312 of the Penal Code should be lifted or not, the gist of Sezer's call should be understood. Sezer underlines an important point:

    "The provisions limiting the freedom of thought and expression in the Constitution and laws should be harmonized in line with the international agreements to which Turkey is a signatory. "

    On NATO's 50th anniversary when the organization is adopting a new concept, Turkey is faced with the responsibilities and obligations of implementing the agreements on which it has put its signature.

    Fifty years ago, the aim of the NATO pact signed in Washington was described as the protection of the security and freedom of its members. In the Strategy Concept of the Alliance accepted last week the following expression is found:

    The alliance has exerted every effort to provide for the maintenance of a just and peaceful atmosphere. However, the crises and conflicts which can happen in the Euro-Atlantic region can threaten regional order and peace. Therefore, the Alliance will no longer be satisfied with the protection of its members, but will also contribute to peace and stability in the region."

    Briefly it can be said that NATO is taking on the responsibility for the mission of establishing democracy and stability in addition to its mission of 'defence'. The organization believes that the foundation of the security concept is related to the development of democratic institutions, determination in solving problems through peaceful means and adds that no state should frighten another through threats or the use of force. On its 50th anniversary, NATO moves from a `defensive' policy to 'attack' policies.

    Another new development in NATO is the adoption of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). Europe is bringing its defence mechanism within NATO. Europe gains the right to intervene in developments threatening regional stability by using the forces of NATO. In fact this is a compromise reached between Europe and the US within the new concept of NATO's role.

    Turkey, which does not have a say in the decision-making process as it is not a full member of the EU, gained the right of veto by her initiatives in Washington. A leading NATO specialist, Professor Duygu Sezer, says that this is only a tactical victory, and in the long run Turkey will be faced with EU demands at any time. There would be continual tension between Turkey and Europe in NATO.

    The only way to eradicate this tension is through catching up with international standards in human rights and democracy issues. Turkey should share common values with Europe even if it is not a member of the EU. Norway is not a member of the EU and does not have a say in the decision-making process, but it also is a NATO member like Turkey. The reason why the ESDI does not disturb Norway is that it shares common values with Europe.

    There are two kinds of nationalism in the world. One is the nationalism of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who says, `Turkey has to make the necessary amendments in its laws to be in line with the international norms on human rights' and the other is that of Slobodan Milosevic."


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