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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-04

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

04.05.99

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] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN PARIS
  • [03] ECEVIT GETS MANDATE TO ESTABLISH NEW GOVERNMENT
  • [04] RUBIN: "WE BELIEVE IN TURKISH DEMOCRACY"
  • [05] PARRIS MEETS BAHCELI
  • [06] REFORM PACKAGE TO BE IMPLEMENTED
  • [07] NEWSWEEK: "DSP-MHP COALITION WILL BRING STABILITY"
  • [08] ELECTION FOR THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT
  • [09] HEADSCARF IN US PRESS
  • [10] SOLANA: NATO IS AN ALLIANCE HEADED TOWARDS SUCCESS
  • [11] FOGG: "AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED WITH EU"
  • [12] UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAM TO BE HELD ON JUNE 6
  • [13] IMF SCRUTINIZES THE SOURCE OF TURKISH AID TO KOSOVO
  • [14] BANKS' SHARE IN GNP IS HIGH
  • [15] TURKEY TO BE SURROUNDED BY NATURAL GAS PIPELINES
  • [16] TURKEY AND US TO DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES
  • [17] TURKEY AND AUSTRALIA SEEK TO BOOST TIES
  • [18] NEW EXPORT STRATEGIES
  • [19] THE WORLD LOOKS THROUGH TURKISH GLASS
  • [20] OIL PRODUCTION IN ADIYAMAN
  • [21] BRITISH TRADE DELEGATION IN TURKEY
  • [22] BELGIAN FIRMS SEEK TURKISH BUSINESS
  • [23] SWISS INVESTMENT IN TURKEY
  • [24] KAZAKH ORDER FOR NETAS
  • [25] STFA RAILWAY IN PAKISTAN
  • [26] UGUR BAYAR: MOST SUCCESSFUL BUREAUCRAT
  • [27] A NEW OTTOMAN HISTORY
  • [28] NOAH'S ARK AT THE MOUNT ARARAT
  • [29] TOURISTS GO RAFTING IN ANTALYA
  • [30] 229,000 TOURISTS VISIT CAPPADOCIA
  • [31] SECOND INTERNATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY FILM FESTIVAL IN ISTANBUL
  • [32] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [33] ECEVIT SHOULD BE QUICK - BY KENAN AKIN (TURKIYE)

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

    [02] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN PARIS

    President Suleyman Demirel yesterday went to Paris for a two-day official visit. Demirel was welcomed by French Prime Minister Daniel Vaillant at Orly Airport with a state ceremony. Later he met his French counterpart Jacques Chirac at Margny Palace. Following that, the Turkish President began an intense round of talks by first giving an interview to the French News Channel, LCI. After the interview Demirel received representatives of the leading French newspapers. He also participated in a programme broadcast by the French Europe 1-1 radio station. Finally, he attended a banquet given by the French International Relations Institution (IFRI).

    In his speech at the banquet, President Demirel evaluated both domestic and international issues. Concerning Turco-European Union (EU) relations Demirel said that Turkey, located in the heart of a chaotic geopolitical region, is one of the most important strategic partners of Europe. He added that despited the fact that there are problems between Turkey and EU , history has revealed that both Europe and Turkey need each other and additionally that EU membership has priority in Turkey's foreign policy. Demirel also evaluated the recent developments in Kosovo saying that NATO operations have to be successful in the region otherwise new Milosevic-minded people would threaten European peace. On terrorism Demirel stressed that every country should struggle against it although some of Turkey's neighbours support such activities against Turkey.

    Today President Suleyman Demirel and his French counterpart Jacques Chirac will inaugurate today the Topkapi Dynasty Treasures Exhibition in Versailles Palace which has been organized as part of the 700th Anniversary of the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. It will be the first time that treasures from another palace are exhibited in Varsailles Palace. /Cumhuriyet/Sabah/

    [03] ECEVIT GETS MANDATE TO ESTABLISH NEW GOVERNMENT

    President Suleyman Demirel gave the mandate to form the 57th government of Turkey to the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman, Bulent Ecevit, yesterday. With 136 seats in Parliament, the DSP is the largest party to emerge out of the April 18 Parliamentary Election. Ecevit said that he planned to begin talks with party leaders by Wednesday after conferring with his own advisors today. After Sunday's controversial opening of Parliament, when a Virtue Party (FP) Deputy, Merve Kavakci, caused a scandal by entering the Parliament hall without removing her headscarf, Ecevit said: "It is out of the question for us to make any compromises on the country's basic principles of a secular republic".

    During the swearing-in of Parliament on Sunday, Kavakci attended the ceremony, intending to take the oath with her headscarf on. Ecevit broke off the ceremony in protest and forced the Speaker to call a recess, after which Kavakci left the session without being sworn in. /All papers/

    [04] RUBIN: "WE BELIEVE IN TURKISH DEMOCRACY"

    The US State Department's Spokesman, James Rubin, held a press conference yesterday saying that they believed in Turkish democracy. He added: "We will wait and see the outcome of the establishment process of the new government. This is Turkey's domestic issue". /Turkiye/

    [05] PARRIS MEETS BAHCELI

    The US Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris, visited the Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, yesterday. Following the meeting, Parris said that it had been an interesting meeting. Replying to questions posed by journalists, Parris declared that this was the first time he had met Bahceli and said that during the meeting they had discussed Turco-US relations and developments which might occur in the near future. /Aksam/

    [06] REFORM PACKAGE TO BE IMPLEMENTED

    The Chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Bulent Ecevit, will sign a series of economic and social reforms if the 57th Turkish Government, headed by him is established. Ecevit will also continue with those plans implemented by the 56th Government during the existence of the 57th Government. /Turkiye/

    [07] NEWSWEEK: "DSP-MHP COALITION WILL BRING STABILITY"

    Onr of the leading US magazines, "Newsweek" claimed in its issue yesterday that Turkey would maintain her stability under the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) coalition government. The article concerning Turkey's future political stability said the reason for the increase in the nationalist votes in Turkey had two main reasons; one of which was the Italian government's refusal to hand over Abdullah Ocalan to Turkey and the fact that the European Union (EU) did not seem willing to discuss Turkey's full membership of the organization. /Hurriyet/

    [08] ELECTION FOR THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT

    Following the swearing-in of the members of Parliament, a race has begun to elect the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament. Nominees were allowed to apply for the post as of yesterday; the application period ends on May 12. Afterwards, a 10-day election campaign will begin. /Aksam/

    [09] HEADSCARF IN US PRESS

    One of the leading US newspapers, the New York Times, has devoted wide coverage to the headscarf crisis which took place in the Turkish Parliament on Sunday. The newspaper remarked that Turkey was a secular country and both military and political administrators were against religious influences in public life. It added: "One of those who reacted harshly against the wearing of headscarf was Ecevit, who has been given the mandate to establish the new government". The newspaper recalled that Merve Kavakci, the Virtue Party (FP) Deputy who created a crisis in Parliament on Sunday by showing up with a headscarf on, would not be able to attend the General Council's deliberations without being sworn-in. /Aksam/

    [10] SOLANA: NATO IS AN ALLIANCE HEADED TOWARDS SUCCESS

    The NATO Secretary-General, Javier Solana, remarked that the world has changed a lot during the last half century. He said that the Cold War had ended and globalization was affecting all dimensions of our lives. He added that the security concept was also beginning to include economic, social and humanitarian issues. Concerning the NATO operation in Yugoslavia, Solana stated that they had to help Kosovar refugees fleeing from the Serbian massacre. He added that NATO was determined to succeed and that Turkey had greatly contributed to the solution of the refugee problem since the beginning of the conflict. /Turkiye/

    [11] FOGG: "AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED WITH EU"

    Ambassador Karen Fogg, the European Commission's Representative to Turkey, said that she had discussed Turco-EU relations with some businessmen in Izmir and she was very optimistic on this issue even though some circles were not. Fogg, who was the guest of the Aegean Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (ESIAD), evaluated Turco-EU relations. Fogg remarked that Turco-EU relations had the capacity to further improve and said: "Even though Turkey has semeed to be rejected according to the results of the European Council meeting in Luxembourg, it was not so in Brussels". Fogg added that the private sector in particular should be more active in amelioration of Turco-EU relations. /Aksam/

    [12] UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAM TO BE HELD ON JUNE 6

    The Chairman of the Higher Education Board (YOK), Professor Kemal Guruz, announced yesterday that the nation-wide university entrance exam will be administered on June 6, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The exams were cancelled because the examination booklets were stolen from the Theology Faculty of Marmara University in Istanbul on Saturday.

    [13] IMF SCRUTINIZES THE SOURCE OF TURKISH AID TO KOSOVO

    The IMF is carefully following expenditure in Turkey under the staff monitoring agreement. In this respect, it is reported that during the Spring Summit of the organization held in Washington, the Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Hikmet Ulugbay was asked where the source of Turkish aid to Kosovo came from as well. In the special Kosovo meeting during the Summit, Ulugbay explained Turkey's policy goals and general aproach to this question. Remarking that Turkey's aid given to the Kosovar refugees has reached a total of $32 million, Ulugbay emphasized that Turkey would continue to provide all support possible for the Kosovars. It is reported that the IMF was particularly concerned over the source of the aid, asking the Turkish delegation whether the support for Kosovar refugees was allocated from the budget or from other sources. In turn, it is reported, Ulugbay and the Turkish delegation answered that no funds were allocated from the budget for this purpose.

    Meanwhile, it is reported that Turkey has rejected the IMF's proposition to implement the `Argentinian Model' against high inflation following the formation of the new government. Ulugbay maintained that this model would propel the Turkish economy towards unregistered economic activities and would have a negative impact on her exports. /Milliyet/

    [14] BANKS' SHARE IN GNP IS HIGH

    According to a survey done by the State Planning Organization (DPT) concerning 13 deposit banks on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), it was ascertained that banks had achieved high growth rates in real terms in 1998. The share of total assets of these banks in the Gross National Product (GNP), which was 20.2 % in 1996, increased to 25.9 % in 1998.

    Meanwhile, the IMKB National 100-Index increased by a total of 799.96 points in April and rose to 5354.03 points. The IMKB has been positively affected by the results of the General and Local Elections held in Turkey on April 18. /Turkiye/

    [15] TURKEY TO BE SURROUNDED BY NATURAL GAS PIPELINES

    The General Director of the BOTAS Oil Transport Company, Gokhan Yardim, said that BOTAS has rolled up its sleeves to meet the increasing demand in Turkey for natural gas. Yardim added: "With our ventures already in the pipeline and our future projects, Turkey will be surrounded by pipelines". Yardim declared that the main connection network of Turkey would be completed by 2003. /Turkiye/

    [16] TURKEY AND US TO DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES

    All aspects of Turco-American relations will again be discussed this week as the 18th Annual Conference on Bilateral Ties between the two nations takes place in Washington on Thursday and Friday, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Energy and defence issues are to top the agenda during the conference, which is expected to be attended by a number of high-level officials including Turkish Energy Minister Ziya Aktas, as well as some of Turkey's leading businessmen.

    [17] TURKEY AND AUSTRALIA SEEK TO BOOST TIES

    Turkey and Australia are ready to enhance their mutual cooperation, particularly in the agricultural realm, despite the distance between the two countries, President Suleyman Demirel said yesterday. Demirel was speaking before a meeting with visiting Australian Governor-General William Deane. "Australia has great experience in agriculture, livestock breeding and environmental issues. We have many opportunities for cooperation, particularly within the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP)" Demirel said. Following the meeting between Demirel and Deane, delegations from the two countries were scheduled to hold bilateral talks later in the day, reports the Anatolian News Agency.

    [18] NEW EXPORT STRATEGIES

    Foreign Trade Undersecretary Yavuz Ege said that after Turkey had maintained political stability, this would bring economic stability as well. He added that in line with recent developments in Turkey, the national exports strategy had already been revised. "From now on, we will revise the national exports strategy programme every year. The important thing in the programme is policies and measures," said Ege adding that the Japanese Eximbank loans would be ready to use within three months. Also, he noted, there would be an increase in World Bank loans to be offered to Turkey in 1999. /Sabah/

    [19] THE WORLD LOOKS THROUGH TURKISH GLASS

    Turkish glass industry has attained to 1.3 % of world production and 4 % of European Union (EU) production with production volume of over one million tons. According to the Istanbul Trade Chamber (ITO), Turkey exports glass to 110 countries in the world among which are Germany, Italy, the EU countries, the US, Egypt, Israel and Algeria. The same sources announced that there had also been a 13 % increase in the export of glass goods. /Sabah/

    [20] OIL PRODUCTION IN ADIYAMAN

    The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) produced a total of 3 million 120 thousand barrels of oil in Adiyaman, the biggest oil reserve in Turkey, within the first four months of 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Officials at the Regional Directorate of the TPAO said that 57 % of oil production in Turkey is being provided by 160 oil wells in Adiyaman. The TPAO produces 26 thousand barrels of oil per day. The TPAO also has an oil-prospecting programme in Gaziantep and Hatay and carries out test-production activities in Kilis and Sanliurfa.

    [21] BRITISH TRADE DELEGATION IN TURKEY

    The representatives of 12 British companies, members of Sheffield Chamber of Industry and Commerce, came to Turkey yesterday, the Anatolia Newes Agency reports. The British trade representatives will carry out a market survey for their products ranging from transportation to translation services during their visit which was organized by the Sheffield Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The British delegation will depart for Israel on May 7.

    [22] BELGIAN FIRMS SEEK TURKISH BUSINESS

    A delegation of Belgian businessmen is visiting Istanbul and holding talks with their Turkish counterparts in order to strengthen and extend their commercial ties, Belgian and Turkish officials have said. The delegation is composed of representatives of companies from Wallonia, the French-Speaking part of Belgium, and Brussels, accompanied by members of enterprise federations. The delegation earlier held meetings in Ankara and Izmir. The visit was organized by regional trade and advertising agencies in Wallonia (AWEX), Brussels (UEB) and Liege. /All papers/

    [23] SWISS INVESTMENT IN TURKEY

    The Swiss Hotel Group has decided to increase its investment in Turkey. General Director of Swiss Hotel in Turkey Albert Hoffman said that they would construct a giant tourist complex in Gocek, Mugla. The complex, he added, would have a luxury hotel with 250 suites, a marina with the capacity to hold 400 yaches, 60 hostels and 130 private villas. Another venture they had considered was the running of a 150-suite hotel, constructed by Yapi Kredi International, by Kumkoy beach on the Black Sea coast, said Hoffman. He noted that they aimed to end the Gocek project within two years. In conclusion Hoffman said that following the establishment of the new government, tourism traffic would increase in Turkey. /Sabah/

    [24] KAZAKH ORDER FOR NETAS

    An order worth $3 million, the first step of an agreement worth $40 million signed last year between the investment company, Netas-Vesnet, and Kazakh Telecom last year, has been signed. Initial systems, part of a Netas venture consisting of DMS digital telephone stations for 16,000 subscribers in Taraz, will be put into service in August. Netas has been active in Kazakhstan for eight years. /Aksam/

    [25] STFA RAILWAY IN PAKISTAN

    The STFA Construction Company will implement its ninth project in Pakistan. An agreement to initiate the construction of the 17 km-long light railway has been signed between the Pakistani Government and the STFA Construction Company-SNC Lavalin (Canada)-Adcon Engineering (Pakistan) partnership. It is reported that the Pakistani Government has signed the decree needed for the project's go-ahead in order to alleviate the bottleneck in Karachi. /Aksam/

    [26] UGUR BAYAR: MOST SUCCESSFUL BUREAUCRAT

    Two publications for the oil sector, "Energy and Petroleum" and "PT World", have selected Petrol Ofisi as the most successful State Economic Enterprise and BP as the most successful 'foreign distribution company'. At the end of an evaluation organized by both publications, it was reported that the Head of the Privatization Administration, Ugur Bayar, was the person who had made the greatest contribution to the sector. /Aksam/

    [27] A NEW OTTOMAN HISTORY

    For the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, a new book on Ottoman history, `Lords of the Horizons' by Jason Goodwin, has been published, The book stresses "the multireligious and multicultural structure of the Ottoman State and its tradition of tolerance which ensured the unity of this structure for a long time." According to Fouad Ajami who reviewed the book in the `New York Times Literary Supplement' this week, Goodwin claims that the governors and the governed had done well for quite a long period of time. Ajami maintains that the Ottoman Empire was not only the Empire of the Turks but also of many ethnic and cultural traditions including the Greeks, Armenians. Slavs, Persians and Arabs. /Milliyet/

    [28] NOAH'S ARK AT THE MOUNT ARARAT

    The US NBC television channel debated the present whereabouts of Noah's Ark with scientists. The "Noah's Ark" serial documentary is still being broadcasted by the NBC television channel. It was prepared by scientists who had studied Mount Ararat in Turkey. While some researchers claimed that the ruins of the Ark would be under the glacier on the mountain, some of them put forward the theory that it would be found in the town of Durupınar. /Sabah/

    [29] TOURISTS GO RAFTING IN ANTALYA

    Nowadays, Koprulu Canyon in Antalya is crowded with domestic and foreign tourists who enjoy rafting. There is a 12 km-long rafting course along which there are four resting points. One of the resting points is the historic Roman Bridge over the Canyon which enchants tourists. /Sabah/

    [30] 229,000 TOURISTS VISIT CAPPADOCIA

    It is reported that 229,669 Turkish and foreign tourists visited the Cappadocia region during the first four months of 1999. Officials from the Nevsehir Directorate of Culture stated that out of 229,669 tourists, 108,828 were Turkish while 120,841 were foreign. /Turkiye/

    [31] SECOND INTERNATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGY FILM FESTIVAL IN ISTANBUL

    The Second International Archaeology Film Festival starts in Istanbul today. The event, sponsored by FIAT, the Vehbi Koc Foundation and press sponsor Cumhuriyet, will continue until May 7. /All papers/

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

    [33] ECEVIT SHOULD BE QUICK - BY KENAN AKIN (TURKIYE)

    Kenan Akin, a columnist for `Turkiye', reflects on the reasons for the urgent need for the formation of a new government by DSP leader Bulent Ecevit to whom President Demirel gave the mandate yesterday. Akin writes:

    "DSP leader Bulent Ecevit, who was given the mandate by President Demirel in order to establish the 57th Government, should be quick and form the coalition as soon as possible. Both the domestic and international circumstances necessitate the urgent formation of the new government. True, the caretaker Cabinet is also led by the Prime Ministry of Ecevit; however, in the current conjunture, there are many dangers associated with governing Turkey with a minority government which has already resigned as well. Of course, we have nothing to say against the personal commitments of Prime Minister Ecevit and his staff. Yet the national will expressed through the Election has to be reflected both in Parliament and in the governance of the country. On the contrary, there is a general impression that Ecevit is reluctant to expedite this process. Ecevit, who had a good oportunity to evaluate the current evolution and the possible government formulae, should establish the new coalition as soon as possible.

    Anyway, there seems to be a Democratic Left Party (DSP)-Nationalist Action Party (MHP)-Motherland Party (ANAP) government on the horizon. Moreover, there is a general consensus in society that such a formula is the most appropriate one. What is left is the determination of the Speaker of Parliament and the Ministers. Perhaps this is the point over which Ecevit is currently concerned most. Yet nothing is further from the truth, coalitions can only be established through mutual concessions and reasonable agreements."


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