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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-07

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

07.05.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL: "TURKEY TO BE AMONG THE 10 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD"
  • [02] ONE ARTICLE OF TURKISH STRAITS SEA TRAFFIC ORDER REGULATIONS ANNULED
  • [03] STALEV, BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: "EXPORTS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA ARE UNBALANCED"
  • [04] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [05] ECEVIT TO BEGIN COALITION TALKS ON SATURDAY
  • [06] FP DEPUTY MENDERES RESIGNS FROM HIS PARTY
  • [07] SAVAS OPENS CLOSURE CASE AGAINST FP
  • [08] DEMIREL: "TURKEY TO BE AMONG THE 10 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD"
  • [09] MEETING AT THE PRIME MINISTRY
  • [10] ANKARA: "GREECE AND GREEK CYPRUS ESCALATING TENSION"
  • [11] ANKARA REACTS AGAINST D'ALEMA
  • [12] CLINTON PRAISES TURKEY
  • [13] "NO PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF FOREIGNERS"
  • [14] TURKISH DELEGATION IN US
  • [15] DANDIN: "FMS DEBTS SHOULD BE WRITTEN-OFF"
  • [16] 30 PKK TERRORISTS KILLED
  • [17] TUNCELI MAYOR ARRESTED
  • [18] SIX POLICE OFFICERS CONVICTED IN GOKTEPE CASE
  • [19] IRAQI OIL ON THE WAY
  • [20] INVESTMENT IN GAP
  • [21] ENERGY SECTOR TO BE OPENED TO FOREIGN INVESTORS
  • [22] IMKB INDEX RISES
  • [23] EXPORTS TO EU
  • [24] EMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR INCREASES
  • [25] A TOTAL OF 61 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED
  • [26] EXTRADITION OF ALI OYMAK
  • [27] PRISON SENTENCE FOR `SARI AVNI'
  • [28] DISBANK IN TRNC
  • [29] VESTEL TO PRODUCE TELEVISIONS IN ETHIOPIA
  • [30] JAPANESE CREDIT FOR MARMARAY PROJECT
  • [31] ONE ARTICLE OF TURKISH STRAITS SEA TRAFFIC ORDER REGULATIONS ANNULED
  • [32] SAFETY OF THE STRAITS
  • [33] TURKEY HAS 64 BLUE FLAGS
  • [34] TURKEY PROMOTED TO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS
  • [35] STERN CONCENTRATES ON TURKEY
  • [36] 24 NEW FOREST FIRE-FIGHTING HELICOPTERS
  • [37] TCG `GELIBOLU' IN GOLCUK
  • [38] STALEV, BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: "EXPORTS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA ARE UNBALANCED"
  • [39] MEDICAL FAIR IN ISTANBUL
  • [40] OTTOMAN NIGHT IN BUDAPEST
  • [41] TURKISH SKI TEAM IN THE US
  • [42] THE WOMEN OF THE TURKISH WORLD MEET
  • [43] ENRICO MACIAS STAGES CONCERT IN ANKARA
  • [44] FATIH AKIN RECEIVES OTTO SPRENGER AWARD
  • [45] AWARD FOR TURKISH WRITERS
  • [46] EXTREME SPORTS FESTIVAL IN FETHIYE
  • [47] 5TH INTERNATIONAL ANKARA CARICATURE FESTIVAL
  • [48] DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS TO OPEN A CULTURAL CENTRE
  • [49] SEVEN MARBLE HISTORICAL WORKS TO BE RETURNED TO TURKEY
  • [50] TURKISH OPERA ARTISTS TO GO TO MACEDONIA
  • [51] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [52] THE RUSSIAN GAME - BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)
  • [53] BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE SAYS ANYTHING...- BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] DEMIREL: "TURKEY TO BE AMONG THE 10 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD"

    [02] ONE ARTICLE OF TURKISH STRAITS SEA TRAFFIC ORDER REGULATIONS ANNULED

    [03] STALEV, BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: "EXPORTS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA ARE UNBALANCED"

    [04] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [05] ECEVIT TO BEGIN COALITION TALKS ON SATURDAY

    Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit of the Social Democratic Left Party (DSP) has anounced that the first round of coalition talks will include leaders of all political parties represented in Parliament and will be held separately on Saturday. Ecevit will first visit the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, and later he will meet the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) Recai Kutan, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, and the leader of the True Path Party, (DYP) Tansu Ciller. Bulent Ecevit added that at the end of the first round of talks they would learn about the leaders' ideas for the new government and later he would evaluate these talks in his party group meeting. /Sabah/

    [06] FP DEPUTY MENDERES RESIGNS FROM HIS PARTY

    Virtue Party (FP) Deputy Aydin Menderes resigned from his party and the party's Consultation Assembly yesterday. After his resignation Menderes held a press conference saying that he had no opportunity to serve his party at the moment. Menderes noted that despite his earlier warnings and declarations of dispproval concerning the presence of FP Istanbul MP Merve Kavakci at the May 2 swearing-in session of Parliament, the party administration had taken no action. He advised his party to settle the controversy within the norms of a State of Law without escalating the political tension. /Sabah/

    [07] SAVAS OPENS CLOSURE CASE AGAINST FP

    The Republican Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, Vural Savas, will open a closure case against the Virtue Party (FP) today. The Chief Prosecutor will declare in his indictment to be presented to the Constitutional Court that the FP has violated the 68th and 69th Articles of the Constitution. He will draw attention to the fact that the FP has become the focal point of anti-secular activities and a platform for the continuation of the defunct Welfare Party (RP). /Hurriyet/

    [08] DEMIREL: "TURKEY TO BE AMONG THE 10 DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD"

    President Suleyman Demirel attended the second day of the 24th Economists' Week organized by Istanbul University's Association of Economy Faculty Graduates of yesterday in Istanbul. In his speech at the symposium Demirel said that Turkey should stand among the ten most developed countries in the world. He added that this development ought to be ensured in every field such as in democracy, in the smooth running of the State and in the welfare of society. Demirel said, "Turkey should use its potential in a very rational way. The privatization process should be accelerated. Turkey should also use the resources available in the world in order to implement projected investments worth $ 400 million within the next 20 years. /Sabah/Aksam/

    [09] MEETING AT THE PRIME MINISTRY

    Coordination Centre officials at the Office of the Prime Minister met yesterday to discuss the recent developments as the 'headscarf' demonstrations were spreading. The Undersecretary for the Prime Minister, Ahmet Sagar, chaired the meeting. National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Lieutenant General Tamer Akbas, the Security-Director General and high-level representatives of the related Ministries attended the meeting which started at 16.00 hours. The crisis over women wearing headscarves and the latest developments in Kosovo were discussed. /Milliyet/

    [10] ANKARA: "GREECE AND GREEK CYPRUS ESCALATING TENSION"

    Turkey accused Greece and Greek-Cyprus yesterday of escalating the tension in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli said during a press conference that the continuation of flights to the Greek-Cypriot border serves only to raise the tension in Cyprus. Atacanli said that on Wednesday four Greek fighter jets attempted to land at a military air base in Greek Cyprus, but 'had to turn back without landing'. He stressed that Greek and Greek-Cypriot provocation was shaking confidence and harming stability on the island as well as deeping the rift between both communities. The jets were taking part in Greek Air Force military exercises near Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, said that the Turkish-Cypriots were ready to cooperate with the Greek-Cypriot side, but this was not possible with the ongoing Greek-Cypriot efforts to turn their side of the island into a military enclave. /All papers/

    [11] ANKARA REACTS AGAINST D'ALEMA

    Turkey has reacted against a statement made by Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema to the effect that the process of PKK Chief Abdullah Ocalan's trial was unacceptable. Turkey, which recalled that Italy had previously sheltered the head of the PKK terrorist organization, stressed that the Italian government had violated international anti-terrorist agreements.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sermet Atacanli held a press conference yesterday and said that a briefing had been addressed to Ambassadors concerning those persons who will follow Ocalan's trial. Atacanli pointed out that foreigners who whish to follow the trial process should apply to the State Security Court (DGM) via their Embassies in Ankara; the decision regarding the approval of their applications will be granted by the DGM. Turkey had earlier declared that foreigners wishing to follow the trial could not have the status of 'an observer', but could only attend the trial as individuals. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] CLINTON PRAISES TURKEY

    US President Bill Clinton stated that the improving military and economic cooperation between Turkey and the US contributes to the peace and stability of a vast region from the Balkans to the Middle East. Clinton issued a message on the occasion of the annual `Turco-American Relations' conference held by the American Friends of Turkey Association and the Turco-American Business Council, an organization formed by the American-Turkish Council (ATC) and the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK). Clinton said, "Relations between the US and Turkey are progressing towards new, dynamic developments. These new opportunities in front of this international bond of cooperation include the sectors of energy, transport, agriculture, trade and communications." President Clinton also noted that he believes this new conference held in Washington will contribute to the increase in cooperation, trade and investments in the energy sector./Turkiye/

    [13] "NO PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF FOREIGNERS"

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented a briefing to the representatives of 40 countries concerning the trial of Ocalan which will start in May 31. Accordingly, the Ministry announced that foreigners who would like to attend the trial of the chief of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, must submit individual applications, or they will not be permitted to observe the proceedings. Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli said that only individual applications will be accepted and that no one will receive preferential treatment. He added applications submitted with identification cards indicating that they were affiliated to any institution will not be authorized. Atacanli pointed out that Ankara State Security Court's Chief Prosecutor's Office will be responsible for deciding who will be permitted to attend the trial. /Aksam/Turkiye/

    [14] TURKISH DELEGATION IN US

    A Turkish business delegation which is currently in the US to attend a conference on Turco-American relations contacted officials from the US State Department, Congress members, representatives from the media and their counterparts. The businessmen are members of the Turco-American Business Council, which is active within the scope of the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK). They were asked many questions on the political situation following the elections in Turkey, initiatives to establish the new government, the religious 'headscarf' problem, Turco-Greek relations and the Kosovo crisis during the meetings.

    The Turkish Co-Chairman of the Turco-American Business Council, Mustafa Koc, is heading the delegation which also includes the Head of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yucaoglu. /Hurriyet/

    [15] DANDIN: "FMS DEBTS SHOULD BE WRITTEN-OFF"

    The Head of the General Staff's Planning and Principles Committee, Lieutenant General Batmaz Dandin, has said that in order to develop Turco-US defence cooperation, Ankara's debts to the FMS should be written-off, the Defence and Economic Cooperation Agreement should be reviewed and the US administration should support Turkey's demands concerning defence. Dandin, who stressed that the US administration had imposed restrictions even on the utilization of arms which it had previously sold to Turkey, said that this could negatively affect Ankara's purchase of weapons from Washington.

    Dandin who participated in the defence committee of the 18th annual meeting of the Turco-American Relations Conference in Washington stated that the Defence and Economic Cooperation Agreement signed in 1980 was unable to meet Turkey's demands. Dandin recalled that US military aid and loans to Turkey of nearly $800-900 million annually in previous years have been cut since last year. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] 30 PKK TERRORISTS KILLED

    By the end of a crack-down begun immediately after nine soldiers were killed by PKK terrorists two days ago in the Yaylidere township of Bingol, 30 PKK terrorists were killed in the same region. Turkish Air Forces backed up ground troops during the intense operations between the Bingol and Tunceli regions. Military sources announced that operations will continue unabated. /Aksam/

    [17] TUNCELI MAYOR ARRESTED

    The Mayor of Tunceli, Hasan Korkmaz, from the Republican People's Party (CHP), True Path Party (DYP) mayoral candidate, Seyfi Kilic, and the Head of the Chamber of Trade and Industry, Celal Yasar, in addition to a person called Ali Kizilkaya were remanded on charges of supporting the PKK terrorist organization. Korkmaz, Kilic, Yasar and Kizilkaya were remanded by Malatya No.1 State Security Court (DGM) yesterday and sent to prison. /Hurriyet/

    [18] SIX POLICE OFFICERS CONVICTED IN GOKTEPE CASE

    Of the 11 police officers charged with the manslaughter of journalist Metin Goktepe in 1995, six were sentenced to seven years and six months' imprisonment for involuntary manslaughter in Afyon Criminal Court while five others were acquitted of the charges. /All papers/

    [19] IRAQI OIL ON THE WAY

    Mehmet Aslan, the Chairman of the Gaziantep Trade Chamber (GTO), declared that they are inviting tenders for the transport of 2 million tons of crude oil which will be imported from Iraq in payment to Turkish exporters. Aslan said that following the agreement that 49 Turkish exporters' claims on Iraq would be repaid in crude oil, they immediately invited tenders for the transport of the oil and initiated talks with Halkbank and TUPRAS (Turkish Oil Refineries Corp.) to this end. Aslan added that this practice will have quite positive impacts on the economic and social life of Southeastern Anatolia. /Turkiye/

    [20] INVESTMENT IN GAP

    The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat and the Antalya Exporters' Union will organize a "Trade Delegation Programme" between 16-18 May in Sanliurfa, part of the efforts to improve the Eastern and Southeastern regions. With the programme it is aimed to gather the businessmen of the region and exporters from other regions in Turkey, to inform them about the GAP project and recent investments in the Harran Plateau and to create new investment opportunities. A display of regional exports goods will also be opened under the auspices of the programme. /Aksam/

    [21] ENERGY SECTOR TO BE OPENED TO FOREIGN INVESTORS

    Ziya Aktas, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said that on condition that the Ministry remains under the Democratic Left Party (DSP) in the new government, they will support foreign and national private entrepreneurs in the energy sector. Arriving in Washington in order to attend a conference concerning Turco-US relations, Aktas pointed out that they would try to re-regulate the present legal constraints on the ownership of power plants to try to encourage foreign capital investment in Turkey. He said, "We want to enact new regulations in the energy sector in order to grant the right of international arbitration to foreign enterpreneurs in the case of possible problems."

    Remarking that significant developments have recently taken place in the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project and the Trans-Caspian Natural Gas Project which are strategically important for Turkey, Aktas said, "The Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project has already become a national cause. Possible changes in the government will not change Turkey's sensitive attitude to this issue." /Turkiye/

    [22] IMKB INDEX RISES

    The increase in the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) Index continued yesterday. The IMKB National-100 Index increased by 10.036 % and reached 5,590.75 points.

    Meanwhile, Central Bank foreign exchange reserves have increased by over $2 billion during the first four months of this year. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves, which stood at $19.721 billion at the end of last year, increased by $2.018 billion and rose to $21.739 billion on April 30. As of April 16, gold reserves were $1.012 billion while foreign exchange reserves at commercial banks amounted to $10.708 billion. /Hurriyet/

    [23] EXPORTS TO EU

    Where as the rate of Turkish exports to EU countries has increased, the rate of imports has decreased. According to data from the State Institute of Statistics (SIS), Turkish exports to EU countries increased by 3.3 % during the first two months of 1999 and rose from $2.047 billion to $2.114 billion. Imports to EU countries decreased by 29.8 % and fell from $3.509 billion to $2.464 billion. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] EMPLOYMENT IN PRIVATE SECTOR INCREASES

    Growth in the employment capacity of the private sector is being observed and is in line with the positive signals coming from the economy. According to a survey by the Central Bank, the employment rate in the private sector, which was 4.3 % in February, increased to 6.7 % in March. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] A TOTAL OF 61 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED

    The Gendarmes captured yesterday a total of 61 immigrants in Meric country of Edirne, who were trying to proceed to Greece illegally, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Officials said that the immigrants will be deported once the legal proceedings are completed.

    [26] EXTRADITION OF ALI OYMAK

    Ali Oymak is also to be brought to Turkey; he is one of the assistants of Kursat Yilmaz, a Turkish criminal figure, who was captured in Bulgaria and extradited to Turkey. It is reported that the procedures for Oymak's extradition have been completed. Turkish Interpol officials will go to Sofia on May 10 and bring him to Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [27] PRISON SENTENCE FOR `SARI AVNI'

    Avni Musullu, or Sari Avni, was sentenced yesterday in Istanbul's No.2 State Security Court (DGM) to eight years and nine months in prison and fined 388 billion TL for hashish smuggling. He had also been accused of smuggling 6.2 tons of heroin abroad, but the charge could not be substantiated. /Aksam/

    [28] DISBANK IN TRNC

    Disbank will establish a bank in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). According to a statement issued by Disbank to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), the capital of the bank will total $1 million. /Hurriyet/

    [29] VESTEL TO PRODUCE TELEVISIONS IN ETHIOPIA

    The television production facility set up by Vestel in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa will be opened on May 8. Vestel televisions will be produced as part of the initiatives in Africa which have been implemented since 1997. Initially, they will be exported to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe from Ethiopia; first year projections estimate that 25,000 televisions will be manufactured. /Hurriyet/

    [30] JAPANESE CREDIT FOR MARMARAY PROJECT

    It is expected that Turkey will sign an agreement with Japan for a $ 870 million credit for the construction of the Gebze-Haydarpasa-Sirkeci-Halkali Suburbun Train Project. Turkish officials announced that a certain amount of the money loaned by the Japanese credit institution, OECF, will be used to meet the cost of the architectural infrastructure of the project. /Sabah/

    [31] ONE ARTICLE OF TURKISH STRAITS SEA TRAFFIC ORDER REGULATIONS ANNULED

    Article 50 of the Turkish Straits Sea Traffic Order Regulations regarding the 'right of free crossing and right of simple crossing' was annulled, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [32] SAFETY OF THE STRAITS

    Maritime circles appear not to be satisfied with the throwing open to tender of a new radar station to enchance the safety of the Turkish Straits, the Anatolia News Agency reported. Radar control is not enough, said one maritime expert, urging that extra measures be taken to prevent an increase in traffic through the Straits. "Faced with increasing traffic, authorities in control stations struggle to carry out their duties in primitive conditions while trying to ensure the safe passage of giant vessels." The setting up of radar stations along Turkey's two straits, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, will take place in 2001.

    [33] TURKEY HAS 64 BLUE FLAGS

    The European Environmental Training Foundation increased the number of 'Blue Flags' given to Turkey, which are the symbol of a clean sea, from 46 to 64. While there were 10 marinas granted a 'Blue Flag' last year, this year this number rose to 11. /Hurriyet/

    [34] TURKEY PROMOTED TO FOREIGN JOURNALISTS

    Retur Tourism company which brings Spanish and South American tourists to Turkey is promoting Turkey to nine Spanish journalists. The General Director of Retur Tourism, Iskender Cayla, stated that advertising carried out by various institutions in the sector was insufficient. He said that rational solutions should be reached in order to revive the tourism sector. /Cumhuriyet/

    [35] STERN CONCENTRATES ON TURKEY

    One of the leading weekly German magazines, Stern, in its recent issue evaluated the crisis in tourism throughout the world. Stern also concentrated on Turkey and said that Turkish representatives of the tourism sector were doing their utmost to revive the sector, which has been negatively affected by the war in the Balkans. The magazine stated that in tourist sites in and around Antalya, measures to ensure the safety of tourists were being taken. /Hurriyet/

    [36] 24 NEW FOREST FIRE-FIGHTING HELICOPTERS

    Forestry Minister Arif Sezer, attending the opening of a seminar on forestry in Bolu, said that they had purchased 24 helicopters in order to combat forest fires effectively. Sezer pointed out that 6,500 hectares of forests were destroyed during fires last year; these helicopters, which have been purchased to prevent these fires, cost 3.4 trillion TL. /Hurriyet/

    [37] TCG `GELIBOLU' IN GOLCUK

    The `TCG Gelibolu' frigate, the fourth of the frigates which were purchased from the U.S., was welcomed by the Fleet Commandership in Golcuk in a ceremony on Thursday. The TCG 'Gelibolu' frigate is able to fire harpoons and standard guided missiles. The fifth frigate, "TCG Gokceada", will come to Turkey in the following months, the Anatolian agency says.

    [38] STALEV, BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: "EXPORTS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA ARE UNBALANCED"

    Stoyan Stalev, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Turkey, said on Thursday that there is an imbalance in exports between Turkey and Bulgaria. Addressing industrialists and businessmen from Kayseri's Chamber of Industry, Stalev noted that his country had overcome the political transition period and completed privatization initiatives in many fields other than heavy industry, the Anatolian Agency reported.

    [39] MEDICAL FAIR IN ISTANBUL

    The 17th Istanbul International Medical Equipment and Hospital Installations Industrial Fair organized by Intertex A.S. was opened yesterday. The Fair attended by 50 Turkish and foreign firsm will stay open until Sunday. /Cumhuriyet/

    [40] OTTOMAN NIGHT IN BUDAPEST

    For the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire an enchanting celebration programme has been organized in Budapest. The Turkish Embassy in Budapest organized the programme which already lasted for one week. Last night, a fashion show was held to exhibit Ottoman clothes and Turkish singers and folk groups performed for the audiences. /Aksam/

    [41] TURKISH SKI TEAM IN THE US

    A Turkish ski team has attended the World Ski Trainers' Show Championship held in Colorado, America and came 20th out of 36 countries. The prowess of the Turkish team was watched with great pleasure by the audience. /Sabah/

    [42] THE WOMEN OF THE TURKISH WORLD MEET

    The First Turkish World Women's Congress, organized by the Foundation for Turkish World Studies, started in Istanbul yesterday attended by 85 delegates from 37 Turkish communities all over the world. Prof. Dr. Turan Yazgan, the Head of the Foundation who delivered a speech during the opening ceremony of the Congress, said, "Our aim is to reach a unity of language and thought in the Turkish world. This actually depends on the unity of the alphabet. While no single nation anywhere in the world uses even two different alphabets, the Turkish nation reads and writes in 30 different alphabets. Yet we have to implement a common alphabet as soon as possible; only Turkish mothers can achieve this goal." The Congress, which will continue for three days, focuses on the status of women and on those social, political and legal regulations needed to improve this status. /Turkiye/

    [43] ENRICO MACIAS STAGES CONCERT IN ANKARA

    The noted Algerian singer, Enrico Macias, who stated that he was in Ankara for a concert after an absence of 33 years, said: "The tickets for my concert were sold-out on the first day. This is wonderful! I will come to Turkey again". Macias who performed yesterday in the Ankara International Music Festival recalled that his ties with Turkey dated back to the Ottoman Empire. He said: "I view Turkey as my own country. Turks have protected me and my descendants". /Hurriyet/

    [44] FATIH AKIN RECEIVES OTTO SPRENGER AWARD

    Turkish writer and director Fatih Akin who was born in Hamburg, Germany, will be given the 'Otto Sprenger' award. According to a statement issued by the Sprenger Foundation, the film 'Kurz and Schmerzlos' directed by Akin has been granted this award worth DM 20,000. Akin's award will be presented to him during a ceremony to be held today.

    [45] AWARD FOR TURKISH WRITERS

    Turkish writer Emine Sevgi Ozdamar has been granted the Adelbert von Chamisso Award, worth 20,000 DM, given by the Robert Bosch Foundation. This award has been granted since 1995 to those German-language writers who are not of German origin or who learnt German in another cultural environment. `Das Leben ist eine Karawaserei' of Ozdamar is being defined by literary critics as a quite vivid robust epic text. Meanwhile, the Foundations's Encouragement Award, worth 10,000 DM, has also been granted to a Turkish writer, Selim Ozdogan, who was born in Cologne in 1971. /Turkiye/

    [46] EXTREME SPORTS FESTIVAL IN FETHIYE

    Fethiye Oludeniz (Dead Sea) is hosting the Extreme Sports Festival for the first time in Turkey. The Festival is being attended by many sportsmen from various countries during which competitions such as bungee jumping, sky diving and motocross will be held. /Milliyet/

    [47] 5TH INTERNATIONAL ANKARA CARICATURE FESTIVAL

    The 5th International Ankara Caricature Festival will be organized between May 7 and 11, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Addressing a press conferece, Nezih Danyal, the Chairman of the Caricature Foundation, noted that nine international exhibitions, a symposium on 'Caricature and Philosophy' and a cartoon performance will be organized with the participation of many Turkish and foreign caricaturists, scientists and artists.

    [48] DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS TO OPEN A CULTURAL CENTRE

    Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, the Head of Department of the Religious Affairs, said yesterday that the Department wil open a cultural centre in New York and a research centre in Washington D.C. to provide centres for the Turkish population living there, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [49] SEVEN MARBLE HISTORICAL WORKS TO BE RETURNED TO TURKEY

    Seven marbles historical wroks belonged to the Roman Empire period and four wooden panels belonged to the Ulu Mosque in Divrigi county of Sivas, will be returned to Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [50] TURKISH OPERA ARTISTS TO GO TO MACEDONIA

    The Turkish Ministry of Culture will participate in the `Opera Evenings', organized by the Opera Department of the Macedonian National Theatre. According to the statement issued by the Ministry, State Opera and Ballet artists Naci Ozguc, Senol Talinli, Suat Arikan and Birgul Su Aric will represent Turkey between May 9-31 in Scopje. /Turkiye/

    [51] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [52] THE RUSSIAN GAME - BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Sedat Sertoglu, a columnist for `Sabah', reflects on Russian plans for energy resources in the Caspian Region. Sertoglu writes:

    "We have recently noted in this column that Russia wants to expand her scope of influence in Caucasia and the Middle East. She aims to take hold of, or at least to be able to manipulate according to her own interests, the petroleum and natural gas resources in the region. That is quite dangerous for Turkey...

    Mortimer Zuckerman is the Editor-in-Chief of the US News and World Report. He published quite an interesting essay in the latest issue of the magazine issued yesterday; Zuckerman also addresses the `same danger'. He notes that if Russia achieves her goals concerning the energy resources in the Caspian Region, not only will she become richer she will also obtain new strategic opportunities. Remarking that Russia intends to establish an oil cartel together with Iran and Iraq in the region, he states that Turkey is among the countries which will be negatively affected by such development. Zuckerman adds that if Russia succeeds in establishing an energy cartel including Iran and Iraq in the Caspian Basin and the Middle East, it is likely that Saudi Arabia will also eventually participate in such an alliance. He emphasizes that Russia has already taken steps to implement this plan and criticizes the Clinton Administration for remaining inert in the face of this dangerous Russian policy, noting that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project should definitely be completed.

    Now it becomes clear that we have to spoil this Russian game which is of a vital importance for Turkey. For this reason, we have to take steps to influence both the Clinton Administration and the US Congress. To this end, we may also cooperate with Israel, who has an effective lobby in Washington. For as far as we are informed in Washington, there is a Russian lobby within the US Administration as well. Jewish circles are also aware of the danger. They know that the implementation of the Primakov Doctrine will also result in a great deal of damage to Israeli interests. Moreover, Turkey should intensify her diplomatic efforts not only towards Washington but also towards Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Khazakstan, warning them of the dangers of this Russian game which will harass them in the future.

    It is not only the task of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prevent this game. Other institutions also have to help this Ministry. In particular, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources must immediately implement measures. We have to get into action as soon as possible, if not earlier."

    [53] BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE SAYS ANYTHING...- BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen from the daily 'Milliyet' writes on the views of Europeans towards Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It is very hard to understand the recent stand taken by Europeans towards Turkey. They want to see Turkey on their side; however they are doing everything they can to push Turkey far away from themselves. Following the recent Election, European diplomats and analysts stated that the 'nationalists' had come to power in Turkey, and this would be reflected in Turkey's policy towards Europe. They also added that the main reason for this result was the negative policy the EU had followed towards Turkey. From the prestigious 'Times' newspaper to 'Time' magazine, many influential organs of the press suggested that if the West did not want Turkey to change its foreign policy, they should change their own policy towards Ankara. However, it is understood that the leading politicians and institutions in Europe still insist on their old ways and display the same negative attitudes.

    The main elements in the draft resolution prepared by the seven political groups in the European Parliament, the legislative organ of the EU, show that these circles view the "Ocalan case" only from their own viewpoints and their norms. For example, they believe that the State Security Court is not independent and therefore the trial would not be "fair". The existence of 'capital punishment' under Turkish law is another factor which casts a shadow on the trial. They are also critical of the decision not to permit foreign "observers" to follow the trial. The European Parliament is also complaining about the harassment of Ocalan's lawyers and obstructions preventing them from working properly.

    It is believed that during Ocalan's trial which will start at the end of the month, similar complaints and criticisms will be heard. This bears the danger of leading to a tense, difficult period in mutual relations due to the harsh reactions such European interventions would draw in Turkey. The acceptance of conditions imposed by the Europeans concerning the Ocalan trial by the Turkish public, which is highly sensitive on the issue cannot be expected. Some Europeans understand this point, others do not.

    The Europeans should know that taking the State Security Courts out of the system or abolishing capital punishment at this point is not a realistic expectation. However, the important point is to prevent this issue from becoming a subject of dispute between Turkey and Europe. Therefore, the Europeans should not insist on conditions such as the abolition of the State Security Courts or capital punishment.

    Despite all of these develoments, Turkey should not pretend to be deaf to the voices coming from the West and instead of taking a defiant stand, she should be careful to improve her standards of human rights and freedoms, and her justice system. Practical solutions could be found concerning the 'observers' and an atmosphere where the lawyers could work as they wish could be provided.

    We should not wait for the suggestions or intervention of others to implement the conditions needed for the best interests of our country."


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