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Turkish Press Review, 99-11-18

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

18.11.99

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] DEMIREL: MOST EXPERIENCED LEADER
  • [03] OSCE SUMMIT COMMENCES TODAY
  • [04] SUPER AGREEMENTS
  • [05] THE SOFT BELLY OF THE OSCE: CHECHNYA
  • [06] MIDDLE EAST MEETING
  • [07] ISTANBUL DECLARATION AT BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION CONFERENCE
  • [08] NATO OR OSCE
  • [09] 'TURCO-ISRAELI COOPERATION' IN SPACE
  • [10] ECEVIT-SIMITIS MEETING
  • [11] KOFI ANNAN WILL STAY FOR 6 DAYS
  • [12] PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITS EPHESUS
  • [13] GOOD NEWS ABOUT MARMARA FAULT-LINE'S EFFECT ON ISTANBUL
  • [14] PROMISE OF SUPPORT FROM CANADA
  • [15] JAPAN WILL INVESTIGATE TUNNELS
  • [16] NEW MILITARY SYSTEMS
  • [17] IMF IS LIKELY TO INCREASE LOAN TO 6 BILLION DOLLARS
  • [18] ISTANBUL TRADE CHAMBER ELECTIONS
  • [19] TURKISH NATIONAL TEAM IN EURO 2000
  • [20] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [21] ROAD MAPS - BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)
  • [22] TURKEY'S PLACE AND ROLE - BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] DEMIREL: MOST EXPERIENCED LEADER

    President Suleyman Demirel is the only leader who has attended both the OSCE's Helsinki Summit in 1975, which was accepted as the beginning of the OSCE, and the Istanbul Summit. President Demirel had attended the first Summit under the title of 'Prime Minister`. Turkey, from the very beginning, has been among the most active members of this organization. /Turkiye/

    [03] OSCE SUMMIT COMMENCES TODAY

    Istanbul is hosting the last and biggest meeting of the century. The Presidents of 25 countries and Prime Ministers of 23 countries are attending the OSCE Summit. Two countries are being represented at Foreign Ministerial level and three others at various levels. Glafkos Klerides, leader of the Greek-Cypriots, is also present.

    President Suleyman Demirel, U.S President Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, French President Jacques Chirac, Andorran Head of State Marc Forne, Armenian Head of State Robert Kocharyan, Austrian President Thomas Klestil, Azeri President Haydar Aliyev, Belarus Head of State Aleksandr Lukashenko, Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, Georgian Head of State Eduard Shevardnadze, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyzstan Head of State Askar Akayev, Lithuanian Head of State Valdas Adamkus, Moldovian Head of State Petru Lucinschi, Uzbekistani Head of State Islam Kerimov, Polish Head of State Aleksandr Kwasniewski, Romania Head of State Emil Constantinescu, Slovakian Head of State Rudolf Schuster, Swiss President Ruth Dreyfuss, Tajikistan Head of State Imamali Rahmanov, Czech President Vaclav Havel, Turkmenistan Head of State Sapharmurad Turkmenbasi, and Ukranian Head of State Leonid Kucma are participating in the Summit.

    Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofsstad, Croatian Prime Minister Zlatko Matesta, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Estonian Prime Minister Mari Laar, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Urban, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Icelandic Premier David Oddsson, Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, Latvian Prime Minister Andris Skele, Liechtenstein's Prime Minister Mario Frick, Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Maltese Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek and Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson are also attending the Summit.

    From the OSCE-Mediterranean Cooperation Partners: Ahmed Attaf, the Foreign Minister of Algeria; Amr Mousa, Egyptian Foreign Minister; Ehud Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister; Abdulillah al-Hatip, the Jordanian Foreign Minister; Mohammad bin Isa, the Foreign Minister of Morocco; and Said bin Mousa, the Foreign Minister of Tunusia are present at the Summit.

    Britain's Foreign Minister Robin Cook and Vatican's Foreign Minister Angelo Sodano are representing their countries during the meeting.

    The U.S has the biggest delegation of 800 people, while Andorra is coming to Turkey with a 20-person-representative group.

    The cost of the Summit for Turkey has been estimated at about 6-7 million U.S dollars but it was pointed out that the OSCE Summit is a good opportunity for the global promotion of the country. /Turkiye/

    [04] SUPER AGREEMENTS

    During the OSCE Summit, which is commencing today, the following agreements are going to be signed:

    * The agreement on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) and the European Security Charter which has been adapted to new conditions.

    * The agreement on the Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline with Turkmenistan.

    * The final agreement concerning the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

    * A joint declaration concerning regional issues including Chechnya, Kosovo and the Upper Karabagh.

    * The Summit declaration.

    * A declaration concerning children rights

    * A declaration pointing out that torture cannot be tolerated within the scope of human rights. /Turkiye/

    [05] THE SOFT BELLY OF THE OSCE: CHECHNYA

    The attitude of Russia is being wondered at as far as the reaction of Western countries to the Chechen issue, particularly that of the U.S, during the Summit, is concerned. According to Russian officials, Russia will not conform to pressure from the OSCE countries during the consultations. On the Chechen topic, the U.S in particular emphasizes that during the fight against terrorism, the civilian population should be exempt from this struggle. Clinton is being expected to request a solution to this issue from Yeltsin. /Turkiye/

    [06] MIDDLE EAST MEETING

    American President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, meeting before the OSCE Summit, discussed the Middle East peace process. The two leaders, following the tripartite meeting which was held last week in Oslo attended by Palestinian Leader Yaser Arafat, took up the subject of withdrawal from West Sharia. /Turkiye/

    [07] ISTANBUL DECLARATION AT BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION CONFERENCE

    Heads of the member states or governments of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (KEI), who are in Istanbul for the OSCE Summit, met at Musir Fuat Pasha Villa in Istinye yesterday Turkey's request. During the KEI non-official Summit, chaired by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, the "Istanbul Declaration", which was prepared by member countries' top-level officials and which includes KEI's perspective of the future, was accepted. President Suleyman Demirel issued a speech during the conference and said, "The KEI's vital mission is to establish a link between Europe and Asia, the Caspian, Black Sea and Mediterranean Basins." Demirel also pointed out the importance of the KEI's economic collaboration and teamwork in the fight against terrorism. Besides Turkey, the Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Armenian, Georgian, Moldovian, Romanian and Ukranian Presidents, the Albanian and Greek Prime Ministers and the Russian Federation's Minister of Foreign Affairs also attended the meeting. /Hurriyet/

    [08] NATO OR OSCE

    The differences in opinion on the European Security Charter's content are lasting: Russia wants to preserve the OSCE's place and strengthen it within the European security system, while European countries have a pro-NATO attitude envisaging that NATO will play a role in the military and political future of Europe. In the case that these differing opinions continue, a decision is not expected to emerge from the Summit, since all decisions taken by the OSCE must be unanimous. Russia has expressed the view that, regarding an undesired decision, she could veto the document. /Aksam/

    [09] 'TURCO-ISRAELI COOPERATION' IN SPACE

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, have had face-to-face discussions with the world leaders who came to Istanbul due to the OSCE Summit. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit held the first meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak. During the consultations, an important step concerning the sale of water from Turkey to Israel was taken. The two Prime Ministers decided to speed up the present mechanism so as to market Manavgat water to Israel. According to this, the scheme will be implemented in the year 2000. Yesterday, another important issue at the rendezvous was the growth of joint cooperation in satellite technologies between Turkey and Israel. Ecevit also thanked Barak for the aid that Israel had sent to Turkey. Prime Minister Ecevit also met Malta's Prime Minister, Edvard Fenech Adami, and the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien. The deliberations were closed to the press.

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, held his first discussions with the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aleksander Dimitrov. Dimitrov said, "I am happy that my first encounter with Cem is as part of the OSCE Summit. Relations between our two countries are perfect." Then, Cem conferred with Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amr Musa, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs David Levi and Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammed Bin Isa. After the meeting, Musa said, "We have discussed our mutual economic and political relations." In addition, before the talks, Levi said that that he would brief Cem about the Middle East peace process. /Hurriyet/

    [10] ECEVIT-SIMITIS MEETING

    Critical discussions between the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will be held today concerning the Helsinki Summit. The Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sermet Atacanli said that such a meeting would be positive. Atacanli briefed press members, who are observing the OSCE Summit, and said, "During this meeting, Ecevit and Simitis will not discuss the Cyprus question because it is not a bilateral topic. Despite this, an improvement in this issue will reflect positively on relations between Turkey and Greece." /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] KOFI ANNAN WILL STAY FOR 6 DAYS

    Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, will stay in Turkey for six days to attend the OSCE Summit. Annan, who will open the OSCE Summit, will hold face-to-face meetings with the various leaders present. /Hurriyet/

    [12] PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITS EPHESUS

    American President Bill Clinton visited the ancient city of Ephesus with his family. President Clinton, who declared that he was amazed by Ephesus, also toured the house of the Virgin Mary as a pilgrim; the Clinton family lit candles, prayed and thus performed the duties of the pilgrimage. Then, they signed the visitors' book. Afterwards, the Clinton family had lunch, during which President Clinton stated, "1 million Americans will visit Israel on pilgrimage in year 2000. We should direct those Americans to Turkey." Then, President Clinton, his family and the people with him went on to Istanbul. /Sabah/

    [13] GOOD NEWS ABOUT MARMARA FAULT-LINE'S EFFECT ON ISTANBUL

    The results of the Turkish Petroleum Cooperation's (TPAO) secret research were announced with the permission of the Minister. The research, conducted by five foreign and technologically fully-equipped vessels, focussed on the geological fault-line more than 4,500 metres under the sea. In the light of the research carried out by the TPAO in the Marmara Sea, a fault-line map was prepared, which has reduced general concern. According to this research, the dangerous fault-line is very far from Anatolia. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Isikara, said, "The fault-line that frightened everyone in Istanbul is very far away, that is, it is 50-60 km from Istanbul." /Hurriyet/

    [14] PROMISE OF SUPPORT FROM CANADA

    Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said that they would continue to support the work to repair the earthquake damage and help the earthquake victims. Chretien inspected damaged buildings in Adapazari, where he arrived by helicopter belonging to Land Forces' Command. Chretien also went to the district of Servidan, which received help from the Canadian government, and said that he shared the sorrows of the people in the region. Chretien said, "Canada did her best to aid Turkey and will continue to help. Our support will continue. Turkey is not alone. We are also planning to build a primary school in Servidan." /Milliyet/

    [15] JAPAN WILL INVESTIGATE TUNNELS

    The Ministry of Public Works and Settlement has invited the Japanese, who have constructed bridges with the American Federal Highways' Management, to check Bolu Tunnel, highways, viaducts, and all overpasses and underpasses. Under the guidance of the Turkish and Japanese experts' reports, all highways, viaducts and tunnels in the area will be strengthened. /Milliyet/

    [16] NEW MILITARY SYSTEMS

    National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu suprisingly declared that the length of military service might be taken up again. The Minister also said that the 'contracted officer system` was also being worked on. /Aksam/

    [17] IMF IS LIKELY TO INCREASE LOAN TO 6 BILLION DOLLARS

    As part of the stand-by agreement that has been being deliberated for three weeks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the "putting into figures" stage has begun, and the "letter of intent", which includes a comprehensive and three-year stability plan, has begun to be written. It was stated that the draft letter will be edited this weekend and will be placed in the file to be presented to the IMF Executive Directors' Council by the delegation chaired by the IMF Turkey Chairman Carlo Cottorelli, once it has been signed by the State Minister Devlet Bahceli and Central Bank Chairman Gazi Ercel on Monday. The delegation chaired by Cottorelli, who will return to Washington after the letter of intent is signed, will sign both the report on Turkey and the stand-by agreement. The accord will probably be presented for approval at the talks on 12th and 13th December. All these procedures are expected to come to an end by the third week of next month. In addition, the IMF is expected to loan Turkey 4 billion dollars, but it has also been stated that the suggestion to increase the amount due to both the "original conditions and the earthquake disaster" by %50 would be conveyed to the IMF. /Milliyet/

    [18] ISTANBUL TRADE CHAMBER ELECTIONS

    The Istanbul Trade Chamber's (ITO) elections were held at the World Trade Centre yesterday. Twenty-five thousand people voted in the ballot to decide the 200-member Assembly; the organization has a total of 280,000 members. The Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges, Fuat Miras, the Chairman of the Istanbul Industry Chamber, Husamettin Kavi and the former Chairman of the TOBB, Yalim Erez observed the elections and supported the Chairman of the ITO, Methmet Yildirim, who won the elections. Dundar Ucar, Mithat Akar, Oguz Satici and Reha Medin, part of the present Executive Board, were unabale to win seats in the election. Officials from the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Organization (MUSIAD) were elected. In addition, the elections of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) have come to an end; Husamettin Kavi won the elections. /Hurriyet/

    [19] TURKISH NATIONAL TEAM IN EURO 2000

    The score of the football match between Turkey and the Irish Republic last night was 0-0, but this was enough for the Turkish national team to qualify for the 11th European Football Championship. Besides the celebrations all around Turkey, people living in the earthquake-hit region watched the match on televisions that they had set up in the street, and also rejoiced at the match result. In addition, Americans in Istanbul for the OSCE Summit waved Turkish flags and joined in with the celebrations. /Hurriyet/

    [20] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [21] ROAD MAPS - BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Former Ambassador Ilter Turkmen expounds on President Clinton's visit and statements in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "There was great symbolism in President Clinton's visit. To give a standing ovation to a US President after his speech at the Turkish Grand National Assembly could not have been dreamt of only 20-25 years ago. Today all the political parties agree on the importance, necessity of a Turco-US partnership, and that it is in accord with Turkish interests. Turkey is proud of the scope her strategic partnership with the US has reached and no one is claiming that this comes to mean abandoning our sovereignty. Turkey is ready to move towards new horizons in the global comunity, hand-in-hand with the US.

    President Clinton's attitude has played a key role in creating such an optimistic atmosphere looking towards the future. In all his statements, President Clinton gave out signals to touch the hearts of the Turkish nation. He has taken the sensitivities of various political circles into consideration and took great care not to leave the impression that Turkey is being pressurized.

    There are two prongs of President Clinton's mission. The first is to achieve comprehensive strategic cooperation in the areas of democracy, energy, stability and security in a region stretching from the Balkans to the Caspian and covering the Middle East. The US President hopes that Turkey will be a role model for all other Muslim countries, and thus will contribute to a compromise between the Islamic World and the West.

    The second concerns Turkey's membership to the EU. Clinton sees this as necessary not only for Turkey but also for Europe. He believes that Europe cannot fulfil the mission it has undertaken of accomplishing peace and prosperity within its borders without Turkey.

    These are all very well, however Clinton has also outlined a road map for Turkey to achieve her aims. This road-map is very similar to that of the European Union. It covers enhancing democracy, improving freedoms, and avoiding the sense of exclusion by any group or individual. He also stressed that the Government and the National Assembly should work efficiently, financial discipline which would impress the IMF positively should be accepted, the Cyprus problem should be solved as soon as possible and a compromise should be reached between Turkey and Greece.

    The main message Clinton issued was that Turkey should have confidence in herself and enter the 21st century with that assurance. However, he did not neglect the warning the "New york Times" had stressed, which was that Turkey built had been on the ruins of many ancient civilizations, all of which had been as optimistic as we are today. If we do not want to share the same fate, we should support our hopes and words with action."

    [22] TURKEY'S PLACE AND ROLE - BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Dogan Heper comments on the last summit of the century taking place in Istanbul. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The last important international meeting of the twentieth century has begun in Istanbul. The leaders of 54 countries are participating in the two-day OSCE Summit where decisions taken in Istanbul will shape the world in the next century. Solutions in line with the accords reached at this conference will be found for new problems.

    The US President came for the OSCE Summit, but has turned it into a visit to Turkey and therefore these days are of significance for the country. It is understood that a year before the completion of his term of office, President Clinton is trying to take important steps to overcome problems in a globalized world, such as being influential in troubled regions, eliminating disputes and preventing the world from returning into a polarized world full of conflicts.

    Clinton believes that Turkey has a place in Europe. That is what Turkey desires. He believes a developed Turkey is a role-model for those of her neighbours who are undemocratic, far from secularism and who do not attach any consequence human rights and freedoms. A Turkey who is accepted by Europe will show that there is no religious discrimination here. At this point, it can be seen how the US views the EU, and how Europe's view of the EU differs. The Europeans regard the EU almost as a new country with recognized borders. The US, on the other hand enjoys a global view and therefore believes that Turkey should be given a role in the EU.

    Clinton's words that the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire shaped the 20th century and the initiatives of Turkey would shape the 21st century show his vision. The role this vision gives to Turkey is very important for Turkey but the country also has a neighbour in Russia who is afraid of the activity in Istanbul. President Yeltsin came to Turkey to prevent any decisions from being taken against Russia. Russia also wants to keep Turkey far from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

    The US is our ally but Russia is our neighbour. We have trade relations with Russia which is a large State although she may not be a super-power today, but we do not know what the future holds. Therefore, Ankara cannot ignore the presence of Russia in any initiative concerning the region and, in some cases cooperation with her may be to Turkey's advantage.

    If Russia can be convinced, stability in the region can be achieved sooner rather than later, and Moscow will understand how groundless her concerns are. As President Clinton said during the dinner with Turkish businessmen, "Turkey will be an element of stability in the region in the third millenium."


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