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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-17

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

17.05.99

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] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [03] DSP WANTS COALITION WITH MHP
  • [04] THIRD ROUND FOR PARLIAMENT SPEAKER
  • [05] KAVAKCI LOSES HER TURKISH CITIZENSHIP
  • [06] KUTAN ASSESSES RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS
  • [07] CLINTON AWAITS NEW TURKISH PM
  • [08] AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AWAITS NEW GOVERNMENT
  • [09] BOMBING IN HATAY
  • [10] PKK PROVOKES HEADSCARF CRISIS
  • [11] EXPORT LOANS FROM ETIBANK
  • [12] TAN: "TURKEY HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE IN TOURISM"
  • [13] TRADITIONAL TURKISH DAY PARADE
  • [14] RATING PERIOD IN PRIVATIZATION
  • [15] TURKISH INVESTORS IN ROMANIA
  • [16] RADIO COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM IN COALMINES
  • [17] HASAN CELAL GUZEL RESIGNS
  • [18] ATHENS IS GETTING READY FOR MISSILE CRISIS
  • [19] CRISIS IN AEGEAN
  • [20] INDUSTRY FAIR IN JUNE
  • [21] TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION IN LIBYA
  • [22] TURKEY TO PURCHASE ELECTRICITY FROM BULGARIA
  • [23] EXPORTS TO EU COUNTRIES
  • [24] REPUBLIC CONCERTS FROM BILKENT UNIVERSITY
  • [25] HAMZA YERLIKAYA: EUROPEAN CHAMPION
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
  • [27] "A NEW DAY" -BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)
  • [28] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [29] TURKISH AIRCRAFT ON DUTY
  • [30] NATO FOCUSES AIR CAMPAIGN ON SERB GROUND FORCES IN KOSOVO
  • [31] FIRST GROUP OF TURKISH SOLDIERS LEAVES FOR ALBANIA
  • [32] GEOPOLITICAL IDENTITY OF TURKEY -BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] DSP WANTS COALITION WITH MHP

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Bulent Ecevit, assigned by President Suleyman Demirel to form the new government, has been granted full authority by his party to form a coalition government comprised of his DSP, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP). Meanwhile, Bulent Ecevit's wife and DSP Deputy Chairman Rahsan Ecevit, has been adding new accusations to those already levelled against the MHP.

    Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, turned down Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's meeting suggestion yesterday saying that there was no meaning in discussing the conditions of the coalition government to be established unless Rahsan Ecevit apologized to his party. Meanwhile, MHP Deputy Chairman Tunca Toskay said that the mutual trust and the intention to cooperate had been very badly damaged.

    Ecevit held an extra-ordinary meeting with the DSP parliamentary group and the party assembly yesterday, expressing his thoughts about the possibility of a DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition government. "We will try to do our best not to remind people of the disturbing events that have occurred in the past. In recent years, our nation saw how harmoniously and compromisingly we can work with coalition governments. Although there are serious concerns, this government would be useful for the country. I think this model is worth testing", Ecevit stated. /All papers/

    [04] THIRD ROUND FOR PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

    The third round of the Parliament Speaker's elections will be held tomorrow. If the Parliament Speaker is unable to be elected during the voting tomorrow, then the fourth round will be held on May 20. /Aksam/

    [05] KAVAKCI LOSES HER TURKISH CITIZENSHIP

    Virtue Party (FP) Istanbul Deputy Merve Kavakci's Turkish citizenship was officially revoked yesterday after the related Cabinet decision was published in the Official Gazette. "The Cabinet has decided that Merve Kavakci has forfeited her Turkish citizenship on the grounds of violating Article 25-a of the Turkish Citizenship Law on May 13" the publication stated.

    According to Article 25-a, Turkish citizens are required to inform authorities when they acquire a second citizenship. Officials from the Interior Ministry announced previously that they had not received any notification from Kavakci informing them that she had become a US citizen. Kavakci is expected to lose her seat in Parliament after the decision is certified by being officially published in the coming days. But the question of whether losing her Turkish citizenship will affect Kavakci's deputy status will not be resolved until the Supreme Election Board (YSK) makes its final decision. /All papers/

    [06] KUTAN ASSESSES RECENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

    Virtue Party (FP) Chairman Recai Kutan stated that many government models could be created with 414 deputies, the number of deputies in Parliament excluding those belonging to the Democratic Left Party (DSP). During his speech at the FP regional administrators' meeting held in Ankara yesterday, Kutan assessed the recent political developments in Turkey. Kutan added that some business circles and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) support a DSP-MHP-ANAP formula. /All papers/

    [07] CLINTON AWAITS NEW TURKISH PM

    The US administration will reportedly be inviting the Turkish Prime Minister to Washington after the new government in Ankara is formed. An Anatolia news agency reporter in Washington quoted US officials as saying that the last time President Bill Clinton held talks with a Turkish premier was 18 months ago. Washington is eager to have talks with Turkey's new leaders to develop the areas of cooperation between the two countries.

    [08] AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AWAITS NEW GOVERNMENT

    The results of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant bid, which was initiated by the Turkey Electric Production and Transmission Corporation, will be announced after the establishment of the new government. It is announced that the technical and economic requests of the firms have already been evaluated by the commission. They added that immediately after the establishment of the new government, the results would be disclosed to the public. /Hurriyet/

    [09] BOMBING IN HATAY

    A bomb exploded in the Dortyol district of Hatay yesterday wounding 11 people including seven soldiers. A member of the PKK terrorist organization, Feridun Altun, who intended to plant the bomb in a cafe was also seriously wounded. Hatay Security Chief Suleyman Ikizer and Dortyol Sub-Governor Yasar Gul examined the scene of the incident. /Aksam/

    [10] PKK PROVOKES HEADSCARF CRISIS

    Malatya Governor Atilla Vural stated that members of the PKK terrorist organization and the illegal THKP-C organization were also provoking the headscarf crisis in the city, in addition to members of Islamic groups. Vural sent a seven-page 'secret' report to the Prime Ministry, Interior Ministry and the General Secretariat of the National Security Council and listed those guilty of motivating 'pro-headscarf' activities in Malatya. /Milliyet/

    [11] EXPORT LOANS FROM ETIBANK

    Etibank, which has contributed to the Turkish economy in the fields of both individual and institutional banking since its privatization, is initiating a new facility for exporters. According to the statement issued by Etibank, it is declared that the Bank plans to present new services to exporters. In this respect, Etibank will provide a special Export Loan in order to support those exporters who contribute to the economic developments by means of enabling foreign exchange inflow. /Sabah/

    [12] TAN: "TURKEY HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE IN TOURISM"

    Ahmet Tan, the Minister of Tourism, said that Turkey has a relatively fertile tourism potential. Attending the `Erzincan 2000 Rafting and Outdoor Sports Festival', Tan remarked that tourism in Turkey would spread from the coastal regions to mountain and plateau tourism, which is one of the aims of the present government. Pointing out that only one million tourists came to Turkey 15 years ago whereas this figure has reached 10 million now, Tan said, "Our aim for the next 10 years is to host 25 million tourists. Yet figures are not that important. Rather, it is more important to attract once again those tourists who have come to Turkey before." /Sabah/

    [13] TRADITIONAL TURKISH DAY PARADE

    The 18th Traditional Turkish Day Parade was held yesterday in New York. Nearly 10,000 Turkish people including those from various districts of the US and Canada attended the parade. The Turkish Ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin, the Turkish Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Volkan Vural, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) Representative to New York, Ambassador Aytug Plumer, the Consul-General to New York, Fuat Tanlay, and the Turkish-Speaking Republics' Permanent Representatives to the UN also participated in the parade. /Aksam/

    [14] RATING PERIOD IN PRIVATIZATION

    The Chairmanship of the Privatization Board (OIB) will take advantage of the ratings level of those institutions to be privatized. The Deputy Head of the Executive Board of the Duff and Phelps Credit Rating Co. (DCR) in Turkey, Prof.Selcuk Abac, remarked that international investors were looking for a climate in which to transfer sources to Turkey. Abac pointed out that from the DRC viewpoint, the way to increase the credit rating of Turkey is the establishment of a majority government, the government's control of the economic situation and a medium-term standby agreement between Turkey and the IMF. /Aksam/

    [15] TURKISH INVESTORS IN ROMANIA

    Bayindir Holdings will expand its investments in Romania. The Bayindir Holding Company, which set up the Banca Turco Romana five years ago in Romania, is continuing with the construction of an international-standard shopping centre in Bucharest and also is establishing a site consisting of 97 villas. The Head of the Executive Board of Bayindir Holdings, Kamuran Cortuk, stated that they were pleased with their investment in Romania and said that they would continue to invest in the country in the near future. /Aksam/

    [16] RADIO COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM IN COALMINES

    As part of the 'Project to Enhance Workers' Safety', part of the cooperation scheme in place between the Turkish Hard Coals Institution (TTK) and the Japanese Technical Cooperation Agency (JICA), a wireless communications network will be established with the mines owned by the TTK Kozlu coal company. The project signed in 1995 aims to transfer state-of-the-art technology to the mines, increase productivity and decrease the number of occupational accidents. /Aksam/

    [17] HASAN CELAL GUZEL RESIGNS

    The Chairman of the Re-Birth Party (YDP), Hasan Celal Guzel has resigned from his post. Meanwhile, it was decided during their second Extra-Ordinary Party Congress that the YDP will continue with its political agenda. /Aksam/

    [18] ATHENS IS GETTING READY FOR MISSILE CRISIS

    Following the crises of Kardak, the S-300s and Plati, the Greek administration is getting ready for another missile crisis with Turkey. Greece, which had to deploy the S-300 missiles on Crete instead of Cyprus due to Turkish pressure, is establishing missile and radar systems on Aegean islands. The Director of the Armament Office of the Greek Defence Ministry, Ioannis Sbokos, who delivered a speech at the Assembly Commission, said that they aimed to establish an impassable axis stretching from Maritza to Crete, deploying 32 missiles within three years and implementing a new radar system. /Aksam/

    [19] CRISIS IN AEGEAN

    On Saturday tempers in Turkey were running high due to the controversial wedding ceremony of a Greek-Italian couple, to whom the Greek authorities had leased the small Aegean island of Plati, the ownership of which Turkey considers to be undetermined. Greek boats arrived in the area; Athens, for its part, says that the Greek boats were small patrol boats aiming to guard the area against any incidents created by private citizens. In the end, no incident was reported. However, top Turkish officials delivered harsh statements targeting Greece. Ankara believes that by opening these islands to inhabitation Greece aims to create a de facto situation in support of its claims that it owns the islands.

    President Suleyman Demirel, for his part, reiterated that those islands whose ownership is not clearly determined by agreements constitute a 'grey area' in the Aegean. He referred to international legal rules, saying that Turkey has the right to ownership of the island since it is the successor of the Ottoman Empire, which was their last owner. "I hope Greece will refrain from creating such trivial and unnecessary crises", Demirel stressed. On Sunday, Greek and Turkish patrol boats continued to tightly control the area. Turkish journalists sailing to Plati on fishing boats were not allowed out of Turkish territorial waters by Greek patrols. /All papers/

    [20] INDUSTRY FAIR IN JUNE

    The Eurasian Industry Fair (AEF'99) will be held in Istanbul on June 10-13 at the Tuyap Fair and Congress Centre. A total of 400 firms from various countries including Germany will participate in the Fair organized by Hannover Messe International Istanbul. /Turkiye/

    [21] TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION IN LIBYA

    A 50-man Turkish business delegation went to Libya on Saturday to convey their 'congratulations' on the removal of the UN embargo which had been imposed on Libya. The Turkish delegation held various meetings over the two days they were there. /Milliyet/

    [22] TURKEY TO PURCHASE ELECTRICITY FROM BULGARIA

    An electricity agreement, which would provide Turkey with 33.7 billion kw_h of electricity over an eight-year period, has been signed between the Turkish and Bulgarian governments in Bulgaria. Talks on this agreement have been ongoing since November 1998 between the Turkish Electricity Corporation (TEAS) and the Bulgarian Electricity Corporation (NEK), the Anatolia news agency reported.

    [23] EXPORTS TO EU COUNTRIES

    This year during the January-April period agricultural and animal products amounting to $ 44,226,000 were exported to EU countries from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region. This showed an increase of 28.6%. The Chairman of the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, Abdulkadir Cikmaz, stated that in the first four months of this year, animal products worth $738,000, $ 774,000 worth of grains and cereals, $ 6,004,000 of dried fruit and $ 36,730,000 worth of textiles were exported to EU countries from the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] REPUBLIC CONCERTS FROM BILKENT UNIVERSITY

    The sixth Bilkent Anatolia Music Festival will start in Samsun, where Mustafa Kemal launched the War of Independence on May 19th 1919. During the festival the themes of 'the Republic' and 'Independence' will be performed and follow in the footsteps of Mustafa Kemal's route on its 80th anniversary. The promotion programme of the Festival was held at Bilkent University in the garden of the Music and Performing Arts Faculty the night before. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] HAMZA YERLIKAYA: EUROPEAN CHAMPION

    The Turkish wrestler, Hamza Yerlikaya became the European champion for the fourth time. Yerlikaya won against Swede Martin Lidberg yesterday. Meanwhile, Bulgaria came first with 48 points while Turkey, as a team, reached fourth place with 31 points. /Aksam/

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

    [27] "A NEW DAY" -BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Sabah columnist Gungor Mengi wrote his article today about the recent tension between Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Bulent Ecevit and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli. Gungor said that Turkey's future should be established on tolerance instead of on the negative memories of the past.

    He said: "Rahsan Ecevit's worries concerning the MHP dealt a heavy blow to the expected DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition. However, Bulent Ecevit's press conference yesterday showed that this reaction does not intend to exclude the MHP. Ecevit sees that the national will has forced him to set up a partnership with the MHP; he has no other choice. He knows that he cannot escape his responsibilities."

    "With Rahsan Ecevit's statement, the Ecevit family wanted to control extremist elements in the MHP, to decrease the tension among the DSP voters and to place the MHP in an approving position. Ecevit yesterday stated that they had no intention of excluding the MHP. He added that they have worries which concern the past instead of today; they wanted to remind everyone of the painful experiences of the past. However, Rahsan Ecevit's words have forced the MHP to defend its honour. They should be evaluated in the light of the measures to lead to trust and cooperation in the future. Additionally, Devlet Bahceli turned down Ecevit's meeting suggestion."

    Mengi pointed out that there have been three urgent issues: the economy, the trial of Ocalan and the headscarf and reactionary movements. He added: "Turkey waits for the provision of services. This is more important than the DSP's worries and the MHP's touchiness. Yes, Ecevit and Bahceli ought to start today as two statemen." /Sabah/

    [28] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [29] TURKISH AIRCRAFT ON DUTY

    It is reported that NATO, which has increased the number of its aircraft since the beginning of the air strikes against Yugoslavia, might give directives for those aircraft which are currently not participating in the strikes to hit targets because NATO cannot want additional aircraft due to poor physical conditions. As a result, Turkish F-16 aircraft may also take part in the strikes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said on the likely new mission of the 12 Turkish aircraft deployed at Ghedi air base in Italy that a change in the mission was natural if NATO takes a new decision. Turkish F-16 aircraft have made more than 250 sorties to some targets in Yugoslavia with the approval of Ankara. /Milliyet-Hurriyet/

    [30] NATO FOCUSES AIR CAMPAIGN ON SERB GROUND FORCES IN KOSOVO

    Pledging to intensify air raids despite the risk to civilian 'human shields', NATO pounded Yugoslav forces in Kosovo in what Serb media said were the heaviest attacks yet in the embattled province. In Brussels, NATO said yesterday it had focused its attacks over the past 24 hours on Serb ground forces in southern and southeastern Kosovo. Since Saturday, NATO planes have hit targets particularly in the areas of Junik, Prahovo, Boljevac, West Rogovo and the Kosovo capital Pristina, a statement said.

    No figure was given on the number of sorties flown over the past 24 hours, but NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said Alliance planes had flown a total of 21,903 sorties since the beginning of the air campaign on March 24. Of this figure, 7,710 were strike sorties. Of the strike sorties, 1,798 were aimed at the Yugoslav air defence system, he said. /All papers/

    [31] FIRST GROUP OF TURKISH SOLDIERS LEAVES FOR ALBANIA

    Part of a 126-strong Turkish military unit left for Tirana this weekend to join a special NATO force deployed in Albania. The troops will take part in the distribution of humanitarian aid to the Kosovar refugees who are escaping from Serbian atrocities in Yugoslavia. A statement issued by the General Staff yesterday said that a number of vehicles and assorted equipment had also been sent with the group of Turkish soldiers on Saturday.

    Turkey is participating in the NATO air strikes with 11 of its jets stationed at a military base in Italy. It has also opened up three air bases within its territories for the use of NATO planes. The bases are located at Balikesir, Bandirma and Corlu; NATO planes will fly through Bulgarian and Romanian airspace en route to Yugoslavia. /All papers/

    [32] GEOPOLITICAL IDENTITY OF TURKEY -BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

    Former Ambassador Sukru Elekdag expounds on Turkey's geopolitical situation in his column in "Milliyet". A summary of his column is as follows:

    " Turkey's decision to open up its air bases to NATO to be used in the military operation against Yugoslavia is in line with her national interests as Turkey cannot remain indifferent to the fate of the Turkish and Moslim peoples, with whom she shares a common history and culture, left in the Balkans from the days of the Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, Turkey is closely concerned with the security and stability of the Balkans because of her geostrategic interests, and has to follow an active policy towards this region.

    The Balkan peninsula is an advanced defence zone for Thrace, the Turkish Straits and Istanbul. Therefore, Ankara's sensitivity towards the conflicts and geopolitical changes in the region has an understandable reason. On the other hand, it is in line with Turkish national interests to fulfill its commitments towards NATO, which is both contributing to our defence and has undertaken a new and important mission in the protection of peace and stability in Europe.

    Last but not least, due to European policies excluding Turkey, Ankara's cooperation with the US has taken an important place in her foreign affairs, within the framework of NATO, the only bridge between the West and herself. This in turn requires her to view her responsibilities towards the Alliance as being of great significance.

    In so far as Turkey supports NATO, Greece is hampering the military operation of NATO against Yugoslavia. In fact, when Turkey announced that it will open up its air bases to NATO, Athens immediately issued an official statement saying that she will not allow her airspace or territory to be used during the military strikes against Yugoslavia. Athens is not contributing any military support to the operation, is not receiving Kosovar refugees and with her support for Belgrade, is hampering the operation whose aim is to make Milosevic listen to reason. It is also known that Greece has secretly violated the embargo against Yugoslavia. However, she is planning to benefit from this operation without any sacrifices as the organization which will administrate the 'aid plan' for developing and reconstructing the Balkans is said to be based in Salonica.

    The opening-up of air bases to NATO may let the EU see the role Turkey can play in the creation of an atmosphere of peace and stability in the Balkans. This development shows clearly the dimension of the contribution Turkey can make to the 'prevention of crises' and 'peace-keeping' operations to be implemented under the auspices of NATO.

    Turkey, in a key location and a bridge between three continents, has a unique geopolitical identity within the region, controlling all the communication lines via air, land or sea. With its location Turkey is a focus of power not only for the Balkans but also for the Caucasus-Central Asia corridor and the Middle East.

    During the Western European Union meeting held in Bremen last week, the Ministers of the EU stated that they would form the nucleus of the European joint defence system until the end of the year 2000. If she is placed within this system, enjoying equal rights with the WEU countries, Turkey can give NATO all the strategic opportunities we have mentioned above. If the future EU strategy is planning to open itself up to Eurasia, Turkey's integration with the defence system of the Union is a must. Both sides will greatly benefit from a meaningful dialogue on the issue."


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