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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-10

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

10.05.99

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] PM BULENT ECEVIT TO START SECOND ROUND OF TALKS
  • [03] ECEVIT: "IRAN IS TRYING TO EXPORT ITS REGIME TO TURKEY"
  • [04] DEMIREL: `NO TURNING BACK FOR CYPRUS'
  • [05] TURK AT WEU SUMMIT
  • [06] ATHENS' CALLS FOR COOPERATION
  • [07] TURKISH ARMY CHIEF IN ISRAEL
  • [08] ATC MEETING ENDS
  • [09] DENKTAS REPROACHES NATO
  • [10] TERRORISTS ATTACK TUNCELI
  • [11] EUROPEAN BUSINESSMEN READY TO INVEST IN TURKEY
  • [12] TREASURY EXPORTS BONDS
  • [13] INCREASING PROMOTIONAL ADVERTISING
  • [14] SPANISH JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY
  • [15] LOBBYING FOR TOURISTS
  • [16] INCREASE IN EXPORTS TO SPAIN
  • [17] FREIGHT TRANSPORT TO RUSSIA
  • [18] PETLAS IS LOOKING FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS
  • [19] AIR-CONDITIONING SECTOR IS GROWING
  • [20] RO-RO TRANSPORT CONTINUES TO INCREASE
  • [21] 28 FEMALE DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED
  • [22] DAAD SEMINAR IN ISTANBUL
  • [23] TURKEL IN EGYPT
  • [24] YUNUS EMRE COMMEMORATED
  • [25] INTERNATIONAL TURKISH MUSIC DAYS
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [27] MIRACLE! - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)
  • [28] ATLANTIC-URAL EUROPE - BY ZEYNEP GOGUS (SABAH)
  • [29] PENITENCE LAW SHOULD BE ENACTED - BY FATIH ALTAYLI (HURRIYET)

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

    [02] PM BULENT ECEVIT TO START SECOND ROUND OF TALKS

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that he would start the second round of talks to establish a coalition government with leaders of the political parties in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). He added that he was currently evaluating the results of the first round of talks with the members of his party. Ecevit met also economy ministers yesterday in Ankara to discuss the recent economic developments.

    Meanwhile, in his meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, asked to be sent to the Supreme Court to be acquited. However, he added, his party would be ready to give the neccessary support to the coalition government as yet to be established. Attending the meeting of the ANAP youth departments chairmen yesterday, Yilmaz said that a new coalition government would be established by the end of this month with the support of his party. He noted that they would try to aim for the establishment of a government in line with their party's principles.

    Deputy Chairman of the True Party (DYP) Mehmet Golhan said that a party-coalition government would be established. However, he added, if their contribution to the establishment of a government was needed they would be ready to take on this responsibility. In his press conference yesterday in Konya, Golhan added that the structure of the new government would be shaped by the end of next week.

    It is reported that at the end of the first round of talks, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) share the same views on many domestic and international issues. /Hurriyet_Cumhuriyet_Aksam/

    [03] ECEVIT: "IRAN IS TRYING TO EXPORT ITS REGIME TO TURKEY"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Iran was trying to 'export' its ideology to Turkey. A demonstration was held there in support of Merve Kavakci, the Virtue Party's (FP) Istanbul Deputy who entered the Turkish Parliament wearing her headscarf. Ecevit remarked that Iran supported both separatist and fundamentalist organizations. Ecevit said: "Even though Turkey does not meddle in Iranian internal affairs, Iran is continually trying to export its regime to Turkey. Moreover, Iran is trying to assist the PKK terrorist organization along the Turkish-Iranian border. These attempts do not abide by the unwritten code of neighbourly relations. I believe that Iranian President Hathemi is endeavouring to bring about a more contemporary regime in the country; however, I think that there are also some contradictions inside Iran".

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Sencar Ozsoy, met the General Director of the Turkey Desk at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Ozsoy harshly rebuked Iranian officials during the meeting and said that Turkey would take measures to defend itself if required. Ozsoy also prepared a report on anti-Turkey activities in Iran. It is reported that following the investigation of the report sent to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the issue of the steps that would be taken against Iran will be discussed. /Aksam/

    [04] DEMIREL: `NO TURNING BACK FOR CYPRUS'

    President Suleyman Demirel has said that the status quo on Cyprus cannot be reversed and that the final solution should be based on coexistence between the two states there. "There is a de facto situation of two states (in Cyprus). The problem that should be solved is related to what the relationship between them will be.. There cannot be any turning back. Bringing back the former conditions is impossible", Demirel told reporters after a meeting with visiting TRNC President Rauf Denktas. Demirel also called on Western countries not to put the Cyprus problem on the agenda of their bilateral relations with Turkey.

    He added: "Nobody can dictate conditions that are not accepted by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots". Demirel stressed that the new Turkish government, still to be formed, would not back off from Turkey's policy on Cyprus. The Demirel-Denktas meeting took place before the opening ceremony of an exhibition of Denktas' photos in Ankara on Saturday. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and TRNC Ambassador to Turkey Nazif Borman also attended the meeting. /All papers/

    [05] TURK AT WEU SUMMIT

    Turkish Defence Minister Hikmet Sami Turk went to Germany yesterday to attend the Western European Union's (WEU) Bremen Summit. Prior to his departure from Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Turk said that initially the Defence Ministers of EU and NATO member countries will unofficialy convene and discuss European security and defence and the crisis in the Balkans. Turk remarked that a joint session of Foreign and Defence Ministers together with the full, associate and observer members of the WEU will gather in the afternoon.

    Turk stated that they would deliberate issues related to defence policy as part of the European Crisis Management initiative during the meeting of Defence Ministers. Turk said that the Turkish Permanent Representative to WEU, Ambasador Guner Oztek, will also participate in the meeting of Foreign Ministers. Turk added: "Turkey has been an associate member of the WEU since 1992. As everyone knows, Turkey continues with its initiatives to improve its status in the WEU". /Turkiye/

    [06] ATHENS' CALLS FOR COOPERATION

    The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yorgo Papandreu, said that cooperation between Turkey and Greece in their humanitarian aid to Kosovo should be evaluated in a useful way and this positive atmosphere should be continued into the future. In his statament to the Greek "To Vima" newspaper, Papandreu noted that cooperation in Kosovo, a "confidence capital", had been established between Turkey and Greece. He added this capital ought to be used in a rational way to the improvement and re-establishment of the Balkans. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] TURKISH ARMY CHIEF IN ISRAEL

    Land Forces Commander Gen.Atilla Ates went to Israel yesterday on an official visit. Gen.Ates was officially invited to Israel and is heading a military delegation. After the Turkish Army delegation concludes its meetings in Israel, it is expected to return to Turkey on May 12. /All papers/

    [08] ATC MEETING ENDS

    US surface-to-air Patriot missiles are becoming one of the possible choices of the Turkish military, which wants to improve its air-defence systems. Following the meeting of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington late last week, defence representatives from both sides reportedly agreed to increase Turkey's air defence capabilities.

    In another development, Turkey has also decided it needs six frigates, 12 corvettes and 28 helicopters for its naval forces over the next 10 years. The decision was made during the same meeting. Turkey is considering the joint construction of the frigates and corvettes in its own shipyards with the help of a foreign contractor. The projects are expected to exceed a total of $2.5 billion, and separate official tenders for the frigates and the corvettes will be launched this year. /All papers/

    [09] DENKTAS REPROACHES NATO

    The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, reproached NATO because of its failure in getting positive results from its strikes against Yugoslavia. Denktas, who visited Izmir Governor Kemal Nehrozoglu yesterday, told journalists that the troubles on Cyprus were initiated by Makarios in 1963 and were similar to Milosevic's policy. Denktas stated that there was an ethnic-cleansing also at that time. /Turkiye/

    [10] TERRORISTS ATTACK TUNCELI

    Terrorists set four homes, a car and an electricity sub-station on fire in the Mazgirt township of Tunceli. Roughly 20 terrorists also killed animals in the village. Officials announced that there was no electricity in the village at the moment and a search is in progress to root out and capture the terrorists. /Sabah/

    [11] EUROPEAN BUSINESSMEN READY TO INVEST IN TURKEY

    The Founder and Honorary Chairman of the European Federation of Turkish Businessmen's Associations, Aydin Yardimci, has said that European investors are closely watching developments in Turkey's political scene and economy in preparation for investing there. Yardimci stressed that the April 18 election results imply political stability, and that international markets were awaiting the foundation of a coalition government and the announcement of its economic programme. Yardimci also cited research indicating that the Turkish economy will experience a substantial recovery during the summer months.

    German businessmen in particular are very enthusiastic about the prospect of investing in Turkey, said Yardimci, who added: "Germans are very willing to invest in Turkey as long as political and economic stability can be established. Investments which were delayed due to political instability can be put into effect in the Autumn. European investors agree that Turkey is a fast-developing market with promising potential". /All papers/

    [12] TREASURY EXPORTS BONDS

    The Treasury will export 12-month bonds tomorrow. A net sale worth 400-500 trillion TL is expected from the export of the bonds, the reypayment of which will be on May 17, 2000. The Treasury is also planning to export two-year bonds on May 25. The Treasury will repay a total of 2.2 quadrillion TL of the country's foreign debts in May. /Milliyet/

    [13] INCREASING PROMOTIONAL ADVERTISING

    According to information obtained from the Ministry of Tourism, 1,563,446 tourists visited Turkey between January and April of this year. Last year, during the same period, 1,836,797 tourists visited Turkey, indicating a 14.7 % decrease. During the first four months of 1999, 748,880 tourists from countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and 561,057 tourists from Eastern Europe arrived in Turkey. In a breakdown of the nationalities visiting the country, Germany came top with 307,313 visitors, followed by tourists from Romania, Iran, the US, France, England and Bulgaria.

    Minister of Tourism Ahmet Tan evaluated the figures and stated that there had only been a 15 % decrease in the number of tourists visiting Turkey. He added that to correct this deficiency, promotional advertising would be given priority. Tan concluded: "23 promotion councils in 20 countries are arranging activities to upgrade the tourism sector". /All papers/

    [14] SPANISH JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY

    Retur Tourism Agency and the Ministry of Tourism co-hosted nine representatives from the leading Spanish newspapers and television channels between 3-10 May in Cappadocia and Antalya. Plane tickets for the Spanish press members were donated by Turkish Airlines (THY). The General Director of Retur, Iskender Cayla, said that they had had ties with Argentina, Chile and Spain for many years and they aimed to increase the potential tourist traffic from these countries to Turkey. Cayla noted that due to Ocalan's capture and the Kosovo crisis there had been a stagnation in tourist traffic this year and that they were trying hard to overcome this negative development with cooperation between the private sector and the State. He said that the Turkish press also had a lot to do to enliven the tourism season in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [15] LOBBYING FOR TOURISTS

    Representatives of Turkish tourism companies visited the German Tourism Fair, the biggest tourism fair in Europe, between 2-5 May. Representatives of Turkish tourism agencies such as Ulusoy Tourism, Setur, Active Tourism and Tuyap_Picasso Tourism contacted their German counterparts during the Fair at which tour operators, owners of tourism offices and travel agencies gathered. /Hurriyet/

    [16] INCREASE IN EXPORTS TO SPAIN

    Spain has become the country to which Turkey achieved the highest increase in exports (43.1 % ) during the January-April period. Turkey exported products worth $211.9 million to Spain while exports worth $1.8 billion were sent to Germany. During the first four months of this year, exports totalled $8.5 billion. Of this amount, $6.3 billion worth of export products were sent to the top 20 countries on the export list. /Aksam/

    [17] FREIGHT TRANSPORT TO RUSSIA

    Despite the global crisis in 1998, international highway carriers contributed $1.5 billion to Turkey's economy. According to data from the International Carriers' Association, while 58.58 % of freight exports in 1998 were to European countries, 26.62 % were to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 8.29 % were to Middle Eastern countries and 6.48 % to Iran. The foreign exchange input provided from freight export to European countries increased by 17.62 % when compared to 1997 and reached $327.097 million. /Aksam/

    [18] PETLAS IS LOOKING FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS

    The General Director of Petlas, the makers of a Turkish brand of tyre, Adnan Sahin, said in a press conference: "Meetings with world-renowned firms are in progress so as to produce various kinds of tyres and to utilize investments with state-of-the-art technology". Sahin pointed out that the outcome of the meetings would be finalized in the upcoming days. Sahin said that they would bring the latest technology to the sector and they envisaged an investment worth $300 million to that end. /Turkiye/

    [19] AIR-CONDITIONING SECTOR IS GROWING

    The Head of the Air-Conditioning Research and Training Foundation, Mustafa Baygan, said that Turkish air-conditioning industrialists were integrated with the world. Baygan stated that there were more than 50 firms in this sector and the sector had an annual trade volume of $250-300 million. /Turkiye/

    [20] RO-RO TRANSPORT CONTINUES TO INCREASE

    Ro-Ro (roll-on-roll-off) transport has continued to increase. While a total of 85,958 vehicles were carried on the Haydarpasha-Trieste line, the number of vehicles on the Cesme-Trieste line was 5,239, a 75 % increase when compared to 1997. On the Tekirdag-Trieste line which became active in 1998, a total of 8,773 vehicles were transported. /Turkiye/

    [21] 28 FEMALE DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED

    Demonstrators protested against an 'external appearance' leaflet circulated at Malatya Inonu University. Out of 44 female protestors who were taken into custody, 28 demonstrators were arrested yesterday. Meanwhile, the interrogation of 192 male demonstrators who were taken into custody is in progress. /Turkiye/

    [22] DAAD SEMINAR IN ISTANBUL

    The German Academic Transformation Association (DAAD) has organized a symposium in Istanbul at which Turco-German relations in the field of science were discussed. Dr. Helmut Blumbach, the Chairman of DAAD, said in his speech that close contact had been made with Turkey in this area. He added that an exchange programme comprising both students and academics was being widely implemented between the two countries. /HUrriyet/

    [23] TURKEL IN EGYPT

    The trade fair organization company Turkel will hold the Tex Winter 99-2000 Fair between 12-14 August in Cairo, Egypt. Companies involved in chidren's clothing, textiles and ready-to-wear garments will attend the Fair. Egypt with its 60 million-strong population is the biggest market in Africa. /Hurriyet/

    [24] YUNUS EMRE COMMEMORATED

    Noted Turkish minstrel Yunus Emre was commemorated in Yunus Emre, a village in Eskisehir, with various events yesterday. Agriculture Minister Mahmut Erdir, Eskisehir Governor Ali Fuat Guven and a crowded group attended the celebrations. /Aksam/

    [25] INTERNATIONAL TURKISH MUSIC DAYS

    As part of the sixth annual International Turkish Music Days, a concert staged by the Turkses Group was received with great interest. The Turkses Group was set up in 1986 under the auspices of the Turkish World Research Foundation. The Group aims to unite Turkish music from the Turkish-Speaking Republics with their total population of 250 million people. /Turkiye/

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

    [27] MIRACLE! - BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

    Sukru Elekdag, a columnist for `Milliyet', reflects on the great political opportunity in front of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). Elekdag writes:

    "We have claimed many times in this column that the April 18 Election would not provide Turkey with an effective and stable government, and that an election held without changing the electoral system would result in a `pathological' Parliament structure and intensify the crisis within the State. The Election results confirmed our opinion: the present configuration of Parliament impedes the possibility of forming a harmonious, effective and lasting coalition. A Democratic Left Party (DSP)-Nationalist Action Party (MHP) based coalition seems to be the most reasonable alternative. However, it is impossible to establish a strong and stable government out of a coalition formed between two parties which pursue quite different policy goals.

    The first talks between DSP leader Ecevit and MHP leader Bahceli simply revealed the incommensurate natures of these two parties. However, other coalition alternatives does not seem feasible. In this respect, a new set of socioeconomic problems for Turkey becomes inevitable.

    Yet the MHP can change this destiny. The MHP's being the stronghold of nationalism in Turkey indeed enables it to make brave decisions on certain vital national issues. Let me give two examples from history: despite the American public opinion which considered China the greatest enemy of the US, President Nixon initiated a process of cooperation between these two countries. American society regarded this decision with understanding, for it had been taken by Nixon, a man famous for his anti-communist commitments. On the other hand, it was General de Gaulle who recognized the independence of Algeria in spite of the French Army. However, the French stood for De Gaulle's decision, for he was already the symbol of French nationalism.

    The main problems which the 57th government will face are the ones which have a pronounced effect on our relations with the Western world: our economic problems and our human rights record. Turkey's deficiency in human rights damages Turkey's interests to a great extent. Western powers impose restrictions on the fulfillment of our defence requirements. Our economic and commercial relations with international economic organizations are also negatively effected by this situation. Therefore, the question of human rights has now become the most significant and urgent issue to be tackled by the new government. In this context, the Constitutional and legal precepts concerning the formation of the State Security Courts (DGM) should be amended, a law concerning compensation to those of our citizens who were damaged by the struggle of the security forces against terrorism, and last but not least, a Penitence Law should be enacted. Besides, the law concerning the trial of state personnel should be amended and two other draft bills concerning torture and freedom of expression should be expressly enacted.

    Apparently, most of these laws are against the ideology of the MHP. Yet due to the national interests of Turkey, these steps should be taken. If the programme of a possible DSP-MHP-based government declares a commitment to enact these laws immediately, this will have a miraculous impact on Turkey's fate. It will give the message to the Western world that a strong government which is capable of taking brave decisions has come to power in Turkey. In this respect, its first positive impact will be the easy acquisition of foreign capital sources that will mitigate the current problems in the Turkish economy. On the other hand, such a compromise will contribute to a great extent to the construction of social harmony and peace in Turkey. In this way, the MHP will receive the praise of our people as well."

    [28] ATLANTIC-URAL EUROPE - BY ZEYNEP GOGUS (SABAH)

    "What will be the attitude of the new government towards the European Union (EU)?" asked Sabah columnist Zeynep Gogus in her article today. Gogus claimed that one of the rational alternatives is to follow a wait-and-see policy for a while because of the present situation in the EU.

    Gogus also asked in her article, "What is happening in Europe?" And she answered saying, "Italy's former Prime Minister Romano Prodi has become the favourite of the EU. He obtained the vote of confidence from the European Parliament to become the leader of the European Commission. Prodi was one of the leaders who most supported Turkey's EU membership during his term as Prime Minister. Meanwhile, there will be a long holiday after the European Parliament elections in June. No-one in the EU will open a file until October; the Turkey File is among the files which will not be opened for the next five months."

    Zeynep Gogus pointed out that another factor effective on EU-Turco relations is that Europe is changing. She added, "Almost every European diplomat says that the EU will undergo a structural change within the new period. There were two "wheels within wheels" in Europe in the past; now it has three. What does it mean? The first group comprises the countries who participated in the European Monetary and have lifted border restrictions with the Schengen Agreement. The second group comprises the countries which do not belong to the first group but are still members of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries who will join the EU next enlargement period come under the scope of the second "wheel". It seems that there will a third with the developments in Kosovo."

    "Europe has been slowly shaping from the Atlantic to the Urals. New country groups have been forming. Which country join which group will become clear by the end of next year. The answer to the question, "Where will be Turkey's place in an Atlantic-Ural Europe?" will be very different."

    [29] PENITENCE LAW SHOULD BE ENACTED - BY FATIH ALTAYLI (HURRIYET)

    Fatih Altayli, a columnist for the `Hurriyet', reflects on the vital need to enact the Penitence Law to initiate a more effective struggle against PKK terrorism. Altayli writes:

    "Following the meeting between Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), and Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), certain differences in the policy goals of the two parties have been revealed. Differences between the policies of two parties is of course quite natural.

    I can understand those differences concerning the headscarf issue and the Eight-Year Uninterrupted Education programme. Yet I fail to understand the MHP's opposition to the Penitence Law. For the Penitence Law is not only demanded by the DSP but predominantly by the Army which has been fighting against PKK terrorism in Southeastern Anatolia for 15 years. Those soldiers who have been suffering from terrorism have a single demand from the civilians: the Penitence Law. This Law, for which Ecevit has stepped up his case over the past few months, will facilitate the military struggle against the terrorist PKK. It will lead to the surrender of many terrorists in the mountains.

    Yet the MHP is firmly against this Law; Bahceli says, `We cannot speak of this Law while Abdullah Ocalan is being tried.' On the contrary, for my own part, this law should be enacted while Ocalan is being tried and the PKK is dispersed. However, its seems that the MHP has even outdone the soldiers when it comes to `patriotism'. While our soldiers who are giving their lives in that region are crying out for the enactment of this Law, the MHP says that now is not the time for it.

    Consequently, it is impossible to understand the MHP's attitude."


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