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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-31

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

31.05.99

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] HISTORIC TRIAL TO START TODAY
  • [04] OCALAN TRIAL COVERED BY INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
  • [05] PKK TRIES TO DRUM UP EUROPEAN SUPPORT
  • [06] SO-CALLED PARLIAMENT TO BE DISSOLVED
  • [07] GOVERMENT PROTOCOL SIGNED
  • [08] DEMIREL URGES "RAPID MEASURES" IN ECONOMY
  • [09] GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME TO BE PUT BEFORE PARLIAMENT THIS WEEK
  • [10] DEMIREL AND ECEVIT BEGIN DRIVE FORWARD TO EU
  • [11] CLINTON TO INVITE ECEVIT TO U.S. SOON
  • [12] COMMANDER OF AIR FORCE WARNS GREECE
  • [13] 88TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TURKISH AIR FORCE
  • [14] SEAWOLF-99 TO START TOMORROW
  • [15] CHRISTIANITY PROPAGANDA ON THE KURDISH TV
  • [16] FOUR VILLAGE GUARDS KILLED
  • [17] CHP TO HOLD EXTRAORDIONARY PARTY CONGRESS IN JUNE
  • [18] IMKB TO COOPERATE WITH LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [19] TOURISM SECTOR EXPECTS CONCRETE SOLUTIONS
  • [20] TURKISH BANKS SPAN FOUR CONTINENTS
  • [21] INCREASE IN OLIVE EXPORT
  • [22] EFFECTIVE PROMOTION FOR HAZELNUTS
  • [23] THE LIONS ARE CROWNED: GALATASARAY THE CHAMPION
  • [24] TURKISH MUSICIANS IN AMERICA
  • [25] TARKAN SINGS IN MOSCOW
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [27] THE TRIAL - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
  • [28] THE DAY OF RECKONING - BY SEBAHATTIN ONKIBAR (TURKIYE)
  • [29] THE COALITION GOVERNMENT - BY IPEK CEM (SABAH)
  • [30] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [31] TURKISH FIGHTERS CONTINUE TO STRIKE YUGOSLAVIA
  • [32] NATO SOLDIERS IN BALIKESIR

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] HISTORIC TRIAL TO START TODAY

    Abdullah Ocalan who is responsible for the killing of 30,000 citizens will stand trial today. At the trial, Ocalan will report on the bloody terrorist actions which have been going on for 15 years in Turkey. During the trial Ocalan will stay in a special protective enclosure. After the 139-page claims about Ocalan are read out, Ocalan's defence will be heard. Officials previously announced that the case will continue uninterruptedly with the exception of weekends.

    Meanwhile, an information desk has been established in Mudanya for the families of those soldiers who have been killed during the struggle against the PKK. These families will stay in Mudanya and Bursa in hostels prepared by the State for free. Also, many world-famous press members and representatives of the news agencies have already been registered at Mudanya Press Centre, establihed by the General Directorate of Press and Information in order to follow the trial. There are 50 telephones, 10 fax machines, 10 telephone lines attached to both satellites and computers at the press centre. It is reported that 544 foreign and 261 domestic members of the press have alreay arrived in Mudanya.

    Furthermore, the Western media have put the Ocalan trial on their agenda. The German "Welt am Sonntag" newspaper claimed that the Turkish nation had requested the dead penalty for Ocalan. The German Minister of Interior Affairs, Otto Schilly, sent a message through the German media asking the Turkish government to act in line with the principles of international law during the Ocalan case. The Greek "ToVima" and "Elefteropiya" newspapers claimed that the Ocalan trial would be postponed because of the start of the tourism season in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [04] OCALAN TRIAL COVERED BY INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

    The historic trial on Imrali Island has had a great effect on foreign newspapers, TV channels and news agencies. The American CNN television channel set up a special section on in its web site under the title of "Ocalan to be Trialed". The 'New York Times' printed interviews with the families of Turkish soldiers who have been killed in the struggle against PKK and reflected their feelings concerning the trial. Reuters News Agency noted that the island would stage an historic trial. The Greek 'Kathimerine' wewspaper claimed that the trial would increase tension between Turkey and Greece. /Aksam/

    [05] PKK TRIES TO DRUM UP EUROPEAN SUPPORT

    PKK supporters in Europe have begun a campiagn in Europe to demand that Ocalan's be set free. As part of this initiative they asked the UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan, and US President Bill Clinton to send messages to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. An announcement was issued in Britain signed by 61 persons and institutions all around Europe accusing Turkey of not making enough effort to solve the Kurdish issue. /Milliyet/

    [06] SO-CALLED PARLIAMENT TO BE DISSOLVED

    The so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile based in Brussels is reported to have been dissolved. Furthermore, the National Congress which convened last week in Amsterdam will be the highest institution to represent the Kurdish population in the world. It is claimed that Necdet Bulden, the Chairman of the so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile, has already resigned from his post.

    Adding that Ocalan experienced great dissapointment when he was refused political assylum in Europe, it is reported that there have been clashes going on between the PKK's European wing and the PKK groups in the mountains. It is also cliamed that senior representatives of the PKK have withdrawn to Northern Iraq. /Turkiye/

    [07] GOVERMENT PROTOCOL SIGNED

    The 57th Government Protocol was signed on 28 May. The headscarf issue, the eight-year basic education period, harmony and cooperation between the coalition partners are the highlights of the 57th government. According to the general principle of the government protocol, the coalition partners have resolved to protect the integrity of the tenets of the Republic, which is based on secular and democratic rules, from both external and internal threats. Other important topics of the protocol are the struggle against terrorism, the studies concerning banking legislation, the national budget, the restructuring of the State Security Courts, preparing economic and financial policies and social security reforms. /All papers/

    [08] DEMIREL URGES "RAPID MEASURES" IN ECONOMY

    After approving the 57th Government, President Suleyman Demirel handed over a file to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit concerning the problems in the economy and the measures needed to solve these problems. Demirel requires the following of the government: the State should be excluded from industry and trade; legal obstacles preventing privatization should be eliminated; the Budget and Banking Laws should be given priority; the Economic and Social Council should be convene, inflation should continue to decrease and export totals and production capacity usage should be increased. In his report, Demirel stressed the importance of "stability in the economy". /Milliyet/

    [09] GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME TO BE PUT BEFORE PARLIAMENT THIS WEEK

    The commission established to prepare the government programme has begun its work; it is expected that the programme of the newly-established 57th Government will be read out in Parliament this week. In line with the Constitution the programme ought to be read out a week after the new goverment is established at the latest. Discussions concerning the programme will be after two days after the programme has been read out in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). 24 hours after the discussions, the 57th Government will request the approval of Parliament for its programme; 276 'yes' votes out of 550 are required to obtain the TGNA's approval. /Aksam/

    [10] DEMIREL AND ECEVIT BEGIN DRIVE FORWARD TO EU

    Prior to the EU Summit to be held in Cologne on June 3-4, President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit have begun a drive to ensure the issue of Turkey's candidacy of the Union remains on the agenda. Accordingly, President Demirel called German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroder two days ago in order to receive the support of Germany for Turkey's candidacy. Demanding from Schroder that Turkey be involved in the expansion process of the EU as its 12th candidate, Demirel also expressed his pleasure that Germany's recent policies have been in favour of Turkey's candidacy. In turn, Schroder told Demirel that they wished to see Turkey's full membership of the EU as its 12th candidate and that they would make every effort to achieve this end. Schroder also promised Demirel that he will send Joschka Fischer, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Turkey as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ecevit has also written an important letter to his German counterpart - a letter considered to be the first foreign contact of the 57th government. In his letter Prime Minister Ecevit urged Schroder to maintain Germany's intimate policies in favour of Turkey's candidacy of the EU, stressing the new government's sensitivity as regards relations with the EU. /Hurriyet/

    [11] CLINTON TO INVITE ECEVIT TO U.S. SOON

    US President Bill Clinton is expected to invite Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to Washington in the upcoming days. The invitation to Ecevit is expected to be sent out as soon as the schedules of the two leaders allow. The Washington administration is reportedly satisfied with the structure of the new Turkish government and is optimistic that it will carry out crucial economic and democratization reforms. /All papers/

    [12] COMMANDER OF AIR FORCE WARNS GREECE

    General Ilhan Kilic, the Commander of the Turkish Air Force, warned Greece for her recent provocative actions concerning the disputed islets and islands in the Aegean Sea. Answering a question concerning the recent Greek enterprise to hoist the Greek flag on an islet whose status has not been clarified, Kilic said, "If you build a shanty on unregistered land, one will come and demolish it." Kilic also said that currently there were no `dog fights' in the Aegean. /Hurriyet/

    [13] 88TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TURKISH AIR FORCE

    The Commander of the Turkish Air Force, General Orhan Kilic, said that the Turkish Air Force is ready to meet every mission both at home and abroad. The 88th Anniversary of the Turkish Air Force was celebrated in a number of ceremonies in Ankara yesterday. In his speech Kilic said that the Turkish Air Force holds a distinguished place in world aviation and it has the highest strike power in Europe.

    Meanwhile, celebrations were also held in Diyarbakir 2nd Air Force Headquarters, in Adana's Incirlik Air Base, Kayseri 2nd Air Maintenance Centre and also in Istanbul. /Turkiye/

    [14] SEAWOLF-99 TO START TOMORROW

    `Seawolf-99', one of the planned manoeuvres of the Turkish Navy for 1999, will start tomorrow. It is reported that 60 vessels - frigates, submarines, assault boats and assistance ships - will take part in the exercises as well as fighters and bombers from the Turkish Air Force. `Seawolf-99' will be carried out in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Turkey warned Greece to remove her ships from part of the international waters and her fighters from part of the aerial defence area of the Aegean which were previously declared the field for the manoeuvres by Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [15] CHRISTIANITY PROPAGANDA ON THE KURDISH TV

    Instead of Med-TV which operated as the voice of the terrorist PKK until it was closed down by the British ITC due to Turkey's intense diplomatic efforts, now another Kurdish TV station has started to broadcast from Britain and from the frequency abandoned by Med-TV. It is reported that following the closure of Med-TV, the former officials of this television channel offered a cooperation to the British CTV station, a channel which aims to spread Christianity. Following Eutelsat's acceptance of the application submitted on behalf of CTV for the frequency abandoned due to the closure of Med-TV, Kurdish broadcasts restarted on May 12. The new channel emphasized that its objective was to reach the Kurdish population living in Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, whereas it is observed that the producers and the speakers on CTV are those who had been previously employed by Med-TV. /Hurriyet/

    [16] FOUR VILLAGE GUARDS KILLED

    Last night a group of terrorists attacked some village guards who were protecting the State Water Works (DSI) workers in the Iskenderun province of Hatay. The terrorists killled four of the village guards. Military sources reported that a wide-ranging rooting-out operation has begun in order to seize the terrorists. /Sabah/

    [17] CHP TO HOLD EXTRAORDIONARY PARTY CONGRESS IN JUNE

    It was announced that in the course of the seven-hour meeting at the Republican People's Party (CHP) headquarters, CHP provincial chairmen decided that the elections for the CHP Party Assembly members will be held at the party's 10th extraordinary congress, projected to be held on 26 June. A committee was formed to determine the location and details of the proposed congress. /All papers/

    [18] IMKB TO COOPERATE WITH LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE

    Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) and the London Stock Exchange will sign a mutual cooperation agreement on 2 June in Istanbul. According to an IMKB statement, the agreement will be signed by IMKB Chairman Osman Birsen and the London Stock Exchange's Chairman, John Kemp-Welch. /Aksam/

    [19] TOURISM SECTOR EXPECTS CONCRETE SOLUTIONS

    Turkish Hotel Owners' Union (TUROB) Chairman Ali Gureli, commenting on the newly-formed coalition government, stated, "We are expecting the new government to make decisions that will solve the crisis in the tourism sector". Gureli added that the tourism sector is growing and proposed that a new authority be formed which would include the Transport, Environment, Culture, Labour and Interior Ministeries besides the Tourism Ministry. Thus, a National Tourism Council should be established, headed by the Tourism Ministry, he said. /All papers/

    [20] TURKISH BANKS SPAN FOUR CONTINENTS

    Turkish banks with their contemporary services are providing a service in 26 countries spanning four continents world-wide. According to the report, "Our Banks 1998" prepared by the Turkish Banks' Union both private and public Turkish banks have financial interests in 20 countries. They are also providing services through their office outlets, particularly in those countries where Turkish workers' are living. /Aksam/

    [21] INCREASE IN OLIVE EXPORT

    It is reported that for the January-April period of 1999, the greatest increase in exports was seen in the olive and olive oil sector. According to the Exporters' Union, a total of $ 85 million-worth in olives and oil exports was achieved in the first four months of 1999. Fruit and vegatables came second with 40.1 % and automotive exports were third with 35.1 %. /Sabah/

    [22] EFFECTIVE PROMOTION FOR HAZELNUTS

    The Hazelnut Advertising Campaign, started last year with the aim of increasing hazelnut exports to the US, is bearing fruitful results. The General Secretary of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union, Ahmet Tunavelioglu, said that the demand for hazelnuts has increased through cold-calling and also through web sites and magazines in which hazelnut advertisements have been published. /Turkiye/

    [23] THE LIONS ARE CROWNED: GALATASARAY THE CHAMPION

    Following a O-O draw with Gaziantepspor in the match played in Istanbul, Galatasaray, known as `the Lions', became the champion of the Turkish Premier League for 1999. This is the 13th time Galatasaray has won the championship position in the Premier League, having been the champion in 1997 and 1998 as well./All papers/

    [24] TURKISH MUSICIANS IN AMERICA

    The Turkish choirs established by Irfan Dogrusoz, Yasar Tanrikut, Serpil Kislalioglu, Ilhami Gokcen and Oguz Ozkan, have been staging performances in various parts of America. "Our Choir" was established in 1993 in Connecticut and the "Toronto Classical Turkish Music Choir" was established in 1987 in Toronto. These Turkish music groups not only give recitals but also held hold courses to teach Turkish music to the Americans. /Turkiye/

    [25] TARKAN SINGS IN MOSCOW

    Tarkan, the world-renowned Turkish pop singer, took the stage in Russia for the first time and performed for thousands of his Russian fans. During the concert, Tarkan was granted the award, `The Most Popular and Most Appreciated Foreign Singer". In the brief speech he delivered, Tarkan said that he did not know that he was loved that much in Russia and it was a surprise to be given such great enthusiasm by the Russian audience. /Hurriyet/

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

    [27] THE TRIAL - BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Ferai Tưnc, a columnist for `Hurriyet', reflects on the trial of Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the terrorist PKK organization. She writes:

    "The trial of a person who has already been sentenced to punishment in the hearts of millions might seem a small detail for most of us. To make a claim for rights and laws for a person who has been the instrument of the forces of evil against Turkey might be counted as being pointless. The demand to stick meticulously to the legal framework in its application to a person who is the father of a movement which murders teachers, which extorts money from businessmen, which tends to prevent state officials who try to bring water and electricity to the people might be accepted as a detail. The concern about `What others will say?' about a decision on a person whose close ties with international drug networks has even been confirmed in the drug trafficking reports of a number of countries including the US might be found absurd. However, this is Turkey. This country, which has a state tradition of more than seven centuries, has to now crown her struggle against terrorism with a legal meticulousness.

    The 57th Government declared that one of its urgent tasks will be the Constitutional amendment concerning the State Security Courts (DGMs). The DGMs are ever-disputed as regards their legal independence because of the presence of a military judge among its members. Furthermore, the view that `there can be no just trial before the DGMs due to their contradiction of the just trial commitment mentioned in the Sixth Article of the International Human Rights Convention' has been made a doctrine by the European Human Rights Court of which Turkey is a member as well. Each day passing with no further steps taken concerning the civilianization of the DGMs supports a mechanism which operates against Turkey. In the situation that the Ocalan case be concluded before the prtesent DGM, it is apparent that Turkey will either have to pay compensation to Ocalan or she will be excluded from the European Council. Any step which will prevent Turkey from being treated as a `pariah' will never be too late. Therefore, we should give full support to the Government in its aim to carry out this much-needed amendment concerning the DGMs at the earliest opportunity.

    For Turkey, another meaning is attached to this trial which begins today. Europe, in particular the European left which is in power in the present conjunture, is preparing to use the Ocalan trial as a process of exoneration of its own conscience. European egoism, which abandoned Ocalan halfway through the process which started with his departure from Syria and ended with his capture in Kenya, will now pretend to be a determined `Ocalanist'. Yet the best defence against this tendency is to prove to them that Turkey is a country governed by the rule of law.

    Another point that we have to be careful of throughout the process of the trial is to avoid both a discourse and attitude which may hurt the Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin. We have cried and suffered together for years. This trial should give us the opportunity to put an end to a bitter period. In order to go on our way..."

    [28] THE DAY OF RECKONING - BY SEBAHATTIN ONKIBAR (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Sebahattin Onkibar comments on the Ocalan trial lwhich will start today. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The chief of the separatist terrorist PKK organization, who has killed tens of thousands of citizens indiscriminately - women, children, young or old - will stand trial before the independent Turkish courts. From now on justice will have its say and we have the utmost trust in it.

    During this critical process we call on everyone to be careful concerning security. The PKK terrorist organization may try to engage in some despicable acts or perform acts of sabotage. Therefore, we should stand firmly behind our security forces. No one should doubt that the independent Turkish courts will pass a fair sentence on him. The procedures and terms of judgement are set down according to rules and will not be changed arbitrarily. Therefore, we have to wait for the result calmly, trusting our institution of Justice.

    Everyone should be certain that a murderer who even deigned to kill babies will get the punishment he deserves. Turkey, a State governed by the rule of law, will implement whatever the Law requires. Our belief in the Justice system bars us from passing judgement before the trial. Such an act would show a lack of confidence in the system and in those implementing it. Therefore, the case is now in the courts where the last say will be had on the matter.

    Certainly, during the trial a significant part of Europe will try to be provocative by taking a stand against our Justice system and judges. This is to be expected. Those who supported Ocalan in the past will naturally try to protect their tool today; the double standards of the West are known to everyone.

    One of the leading tour operators in Germany invited visitors to Antalya to see that everywhere was calm and tourists could enjoy the sun and the sea as they liked. They were surprised to see how calm the city was. However, they took a photograph of hotel bodyguards carrying their guns and, apparently, this picture was reproduced and distributed throughout Europe. The impression given was that no one could go anywhere without armed bodyguards.

    Meanwhile, the Governor of Bursa is calling on the families of those killed by Ocalan to be helpful. He stated that they would try to do everything for those families but their inflow to Mudanya and any talk of of demonstrations or meetings would be presented in the Western press as interference in the justice system. He asked these families to await the decision of the courts calmly. Everyone should trust the Turkish courts and wait for their decision. If the Turkish system is damaged by their actions, Turkey will suffer from it."

    [29] THE COALITION GOVERNMENT - BY IPEK CEM (SABAH)

    Columnist Ipek Cem writes on the new Government. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "The 57th Republican Government formed with the partnership of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP)and the Motherland Party (ANAP) has begun to work. The parties which came first second and fourth in the General Election have agreed on the Government Protocol.

    Since the new government represents a wide spectrum of the public it may be considered a good reflection of democracy. However, it may also be viewed as a risky union since it brings together political structures and personalities holding views which are poles apart. It is too early to say if hope or pessimism will prevail.

    There are important factors which will decide the success of the govenment. The balance in the distribution of the control of the banks should not be as important as what can be done to make them an asset for the Turkish economy as soon as possible.

    How possible is it for the new Government to achieve its aim of being a government of 'compromise and progress'? The increase in the number of State Ministries may not positively affect the speeding up ofthe work of the Government when Turkey needs to take the right decisions swiftly. The working hours of the Turkish Grand National Assembly should also be increased.

    The most difficult point the new Government may face may be in reflecting decisions taken jointly from one source. It is important that the decisions taken should be agreed upon. If the government gives the appearance of a 'two or three-headedness', the respect shown to it both in Turkey and abroad will lessen.

    The work of the new Cabinet will not be easy. However, it has the necessary knowledge and experience to overcome the difficulties which may arise. Furthermore, as it is a government which reflects the will of the people shown in the Election we wish them every success."

    [30] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [31] TURKISH FIGHTERS CONTINUE TO STRIKE YUGOSLAVIA

    According to information provided by the Office of the Chief of General Staff's Press Centre, Turkish F-16 fighters located in Italy for duration of the the Kosovo Operation undertook 30 flight hours yesterday, reaching a total of 734 hours since the beginning of the strikes. Turkish fighters were extremely successful in hitting their targets and returned to their bases without any loss. Meanwhile, it is reported that there are 16,701 Kosovar refugess in Turkey. It is also reported that the Turkish Red Crescent dispatched 49 tons of aid material worth 99 billion TL to Albania. /Hurriyet/

    [32] NATO SOLDIERS IN BALIKESIR

    According to military sources almost a thousand NATO soldiers arrived in the 9th Main Aircraft Base at Balikesir. The US C-5 and C-17 cargo planes have been bringing logistic supplies to the base. They added that the number of NATO soldiers at the base by the end of the first week would reach 2,000. /Turkiye/
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