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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-29

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

29.12.99

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] ECEVIT'S STATEMENT CONCERNING THE SUPPLEMENT
  • [03] NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [04] AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER-STATION WAS DISCUSSED AT THE TGNA
  • [05] ISMAIL CEM ON CYPRUS
  • [06] CONGRATULATIONS FOR NEW YEAR
  • [07] SCHROEDER: "TURKEY WILL BECOME AN EU-MEMBER"
  • [08] HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COUNCIL WAS ESTABLISHED
  • [09] ONE MORE STEP FROM ATHENS
  • [10] CHANGE OF TURN IN FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • [11] "DO NOT REPEAT YOUR MISTAKES"
  • [12] STATE PLANNING ORGANIZATION: "TURKEY IS NOT RISKY"
  • [13] SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE EMPLOYEES WAGES
  • [14] COMPULSARY EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE
  • [15] SOCIAL SECURITY AUTHORITY TO BE REFORMED
  • [16] SUPPORT FROM THE DCR TO THE STAND-BY AGREEMENT
  • [17] IMKB FIRST FOR FOURTH TIME
  • [18] TURKISH DEPUTY CHAIRMAN TO FRENCH SEB GROUP
  • [19] VAKIFLAR BANK TO BECOME AUTONOMOUS
  • [20] ERCEL: "NO CONCESSION FOR MONETARY PROGRAMME
  • [21] DEMAND FOR HOUSE LOAN
  • [22] MEVLANA IN LIST OF UN
  • [23] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [24] NEW CHANCES FOR CYPRUS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [25] CATCHING UP WITH THE TIMES BY MIM KEMAL OKE (TURKIYE)

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

    [02] ECEVIT'S STATEMENT CONCERNING THE SUPPLEMENT

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that inflation cannot be lowered without the sacrificing from manuel workers, officials and farmers and that they were waiting contributions from all sectors of society. After the meetings regarding the year 2000's financial budget in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TRNC), Ecevit delivered a speech on behalf of the government and said, "Contributions from the private sector, house owners, owners of private schools and of hospitals, in short, contributions from all social sectors are necessary. The government will determine its path. When we are successful, then the way to the wellfare will be opened. The unhealthy structure in the public economy is the basic reason of the economic problems. Our Government is determined to solve this problem, to lower budget deficits and to reduce the rate of inflation. In addition, it must be decisive as our economy is in a critical situation."

    Ecevit further added that once the programme is implemented, foreign sourced capital should increase vastly in the year 2000. Also, he said, "International evaluation institutions have begun to positively change Turkey's credit rating. Aid to come from the IMF is also the key for foreign investments." /Milliyet/

    [03] NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONVENE TODAY

    The last National Security Council (MGK) meeting of this year, will be convened today at 09:30 at the Cankaya Presidential Palace and will be chaired by President Suleyman Demirel. The report on the removal of the State of Emergency in South East Anatolia will be discussed. Also on the agenda is the stages to be taken for the village guardsmen's retirement and the possibility of their employement within the state sector. /Hurriyet/

    [04] AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER-STATION WAS DISCUSSED AT THE TGNA

    Three party leaders, who form the coalition, held a meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday evening and discussed four issues. Leaders discussed the issue of nuclear power-stations, headscarves, the minimum wage and arbitration issues. During the Summit between Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, a final decision concerning Akkuyu nuclear power-station was not reached. However, it was stated that the government had a tendency towards reaching an agreement concerning Akkuyu. Leaders also discussed the harmonization law to be implemented as part of the Arbitration Law. Ecevit gave the article that was prepared by the Directorate General of Laws and Decisicons to Minister of Energy, Cumhur Ersumer. In addition, leaders discussed the issue of headscarves and reached a decision. From now on, no-one will not even attempt to enter the TGNA with a headscarf. / Milliyet/

    [05] ISMAIL CEM ON CYPRUS

    The Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, was received by the President of the TRNC, Rauf Denktas, during his short vacation on the Island. Following the meeting a joint press conference was held. Cem declared that on the threshold of a new Millennium, they were more optimistic for a solution of the long-lasting Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU membership would give a chance to express their views on the EU platform more effectively. Minister Cem also stressed that in the year 2000 they would carry out their plans for lifting of the TRNC embargo. President Rauf Denktas emphasized that if the EU requires Cyprus' membership as a whole, then they had to accept the status of the Turkish Cypriots and their sovereignty. /Aksam/

    [06] CONGRATULATIONS FOR NEW YEAR

    The Turco-Greek rapproachment reflected also to Cyprus. Yesterday, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Rauf Denktas and the Leader of the Greek-Cypriots Glafkos Klerides congratulated each other for the coming New Year during a short telephone call. Meanwhile, the traffic on Cyprus to find a solution speeded up after the acceptance of Turkey's EU candidacy. During the early days of the year 2000, the British Government will apply pressure to the both sides to find a solution to the issue. /Sabah/

    [07] SCHROEDER: "TURKEY WILL BECOME AN EU-MEMBER"

    German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, made a statement to a German private TV channel, 'Phoeix' and said that he was hopeful that positive developments would occur in the future. Schroeder also answered questions concerning the European Union and other political developments in the world and stated that he was sure that one day Turkey would enter the EU. /Hurriyet/

    [08] HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COUNCIL WAS ESTABLISHED

    After the announcement of its EU-candidacy, Turkey became reckless regarding human rights and that issue is one of the most important elements for full-membership. The government is planning to implement three main structures concerning human rights and established a 'Human Rights Advisory Council' gathering together human rights organizations and the state under the same roof. The decree in the power for the official establishment of the Chairmanship of Human Rights, Human Rights Adviasory Council and the Supreme Council and Co-ordinator of Human Rights, which form these three structures, was open for signing. The Human Rights Advisory Council will consist of ministries, state departments, professional institutions, representatives of non-governmental organizations concerning human rights and people who are famous for their activities on this issue. The Council will convene regularly and build bridges between the non-governmental organizations and state and solve problems immediately. The expenses of the Council will be met by the Office of the Prime Minister. /Hurriyet/

    [09] ONE MORE STEP FROM ATHENS

    The atmosphere of peace and friendship between Greece and Turkey, which started during the last six years and reached its peak at the Helsinki Summit, is gaining speed day by day. According to a news published in the Greek 'Eksusia' newspaper, Greece is becoming Turkey's law advisory in the EU issues. An agreement concerning the issue will be signed between the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreu and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem during Papandreu's visit to Turkey. It was stated that there were four important articles in the draft agreement on the agenda for Turkey's problem-free membership. These four articles are as follows: 1) Greece will collect information concerning Turkey's principles concerning the EU and provide large information transfers. 2) Technical information will be given in order that the State mechanism in Turkey can operate better with regard to EU issues. 3) Greek diplomats will help their Turkish colleagues so Turkey can be completely prepared for EU issues before the date for Turkey's full-membership discussions begin. 4) Solidarity between all the Ministries of the two countries to be improved. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] CHANGE OF TURN IN FOREIGN MINISTRY

    The decree of ambassadors of the Foreign Ministry is ready. Accordingly, a number of Ambassadors are changing their positions. Deputy Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir has been assigned as Ambassador to London, while London Ambassador Ozdem Sanberk is returning to Turkey. He is expected to be appointed as Presidential General Secretary. The Deputy Undersecretary Aydan Karahan has been posted to the Hague and Aydin Sahinbas to Vienna as the UN Representative.

    [11] "DO NOT REPEAT YOUR MISTAKES"

    To keep its promises for being the locomotive for Turkey in the EU, the Greek Government will take its first steps in January. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's friend, Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreu, will come to Ankara in the last week of January for the signing ceremony of four agreements out of eight, foreseeing cooperation between the two countries. Cem will then go to Athens to sign the remaining four. In addition to signing the agreements Papandreu will make suggestions to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The Greek Foreign Minister will talk about Greece's experiences on the road to EU membership,in order to help Turkey to meet the criteria put forth by the EU.

    [12] STATE PLANNING ORGANIZATION: "TURKEY IS NOT RISKY"

    It was stated that Turkey was ready for the Y2K problem with computers which is also called 'digital chaos'. According to the report, prepared by the State Planning Organization (DPT), 92.8% of computers in Turkey are compliant with the problem. According to the DPT report, transportation had mainly solved this problem with an average of 91.9%, communications 97.8%, health 78.5%, general administration 96.1%, energy 94.8%, defence 99%, security 97%, social security 91.8%, manufacturing 88.9%, services 90.4%, education 88.7% and justice 90%. In addition, the Central Bank finished preparations to solve the problems to be expected by the banks and financial institutions. /Turkiye/

    [13] SUPPLEMENT FOR THE STATE EMPLOYEES WAGES

    The Ministry of Finance's Budget was discussed at the Turkish Grand National Assembly's (TGNA) General Council and also the average supplement to state employees' wages was determined as 15% for the first six months and 10% for the second six months of the year. If the rate of inflation is above these increases, then there will be an additional supplement of 2%. /Turkiye/

    [14] COMPULSARY EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE

    The decree for the power of the Compulsary Earthquake Insurance has gone into effect after its publication in the Official Gazette. Public sector' and village buildings will be exempted from the insurance. /Sabah/

    [15] SOCIAL SECURITY AUTHORITY TO BE REFORMED

    Minister of Labour and Social Security, Yasar Okuyan, said that the Social Security Authority (SSK), which serves 32 million citizens, was the master of its own fate and that this institution could not be inroduced to the new technology at this time. Okuyan said, "We will convert the social to an automation system in two years-time as there are many problems that need addressing. The expenses of the SSK increased due to errors and deficiencies in outgoings. Reforms will be implemented and the SSK will be divided into two departments, Directorate General of Health Affairs and Directorate General of Insurance Affairs. The insurance sector will collect premiums and operate retirement services, whereas the health sector will deal with hospital administration and health. Seven drafts will be submitted to the TGNA by January, 2000." /Turkiye/

    [16] SUPPORT FROM THE DCR TO THE STAND-BY AGREEMENT

    The Deputy Chairman of the IBAR_Duff and Phelps Rating Co. (DCR Turkey), Prof. Dr. Selcuk Abac, stated that they would support all practices and policies of the government as part of the stand-by agreement that was signed with the IMF. Abac said, "DCR Turkey is continuing to work for Turkey and we will keep on supporting Turkish financial institutions, Holding Companies and firms with true and secure ratings both in international and national markets." /Turkiye/

    [17] IMKB FIRST FOR FOURTH TIME

    Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) completed the year 2000 with a marvellous finale. Beginning from 2.579, IMKB National-100 Index reached to 15.208 points. The IMKB was first four times during its 14-year-activity period. In 1987, 1989 and 1993, the IMKB also came firstin the world in dollar base. /Sabah/

    [18] TURKISH DEPUTY CHAIRMAN TO FRENCH SEB GROUP

    French Group SEB's firm in Turkey, Tefal's Istanbul's General Director, Semih Seftali, was appointed to the group's centre in France due to his success. Seftali became the World's Deputy Chairman responsible for the Group SEB's Food Preparing Department. Semih Seftali gained the title of the first foreigner to be appointed to Tefal's central branch in France. /Hurriyet/

    [19] VAKIFLAR BANK TO BECOME AUTONOMOUS

    The State Minister responsible for Privatization, Yuksel Yalova, declared that they were preparing a Bill for the autonomy of the Vakiflar Bank in order to remove it from political power. /Sabah/

    [20] ERCEL: "NO CONCESSION FOR MONETARY PROGRAMME

    General Director of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, expressed his views on various topics in a seminar titled, 'Exchange Rate and Monetary Programme in the year 2000`, organized by the Adana Trade and Industry Chamber. Ercel said, "We are on a long road and expect sacrifices and support from everbody." He declared that they could obtain the first results of their target against to inflation rate in June 2000. Gazi Ercel, also said that when the inflation rate holds at 20%, probably, in the year 2001, they would abolish the six zeros from TL and they would introduce the public with cents again. /Aksam/

    [21] DEMAND FOR HOUSE LOAN

    People have shown great interest in the 20-year-term house loans which has been introduced by Vakifbank. The General Director of Vakifbank, Altan Kocer, said that they had not an upper limit for the loan and they would work to fulfil demands. He also added, "loans cannot be defined as low but it is suitable and attractive for the lenght of the term." /Aksam/

    [22] MEVLANA IN LIST OF UN

    The United Nation's Secretary-General Kofi Annan, introduced the 'Most Ýmportant Persons of the Millennium` for the British BBC Television. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi was included Annan's Top 10 list for his love of mankind from all religions and races. /Aksam/

    [23] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [24] NEW CHANCES FOR CYPRUS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Cyprus problem. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "There are some positive signs concerning the Cyprus issue to a watchful eye. Following the proximity talks in New York, and the EU Summit in Helsinki, the chances of a solution for the problem in the year 2000 seem highly probable. At least, the statements of the Turkish side reflect this view. TRNC President Denktas is speaking of a compromise, using terms which show his determination such as "The Cyprus question must be solved."

    President Demirel stated that on the condition that the TRNC be accepted as a fact, many roads would be opened for the solution of the problem. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has said that Turkey and the TRNC were more optimistic concerning the question.

    Certainly, this optimism stems from the fact that the basic parametres of the Turkish position were accepted at the talks in New York. The talks took place on the basis of equality and not only as talks between communities. In the UN Secretary General's report, the authority of the TRNC was accepted de facto.

    Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir, who worked on the Cyprus question for years, stated that a new basis has been accepted for a solution and described the status for equality as the main basis for a partnership. According to the experienced diplomat, the EU factor forms an important dimension of the Cyprus question. He added that studies on the subject had started in Ankara and Lefkoshe. These studies aim at using the EU factor in favour of the TRNC. The Turkish side has to enlighten the EU on its views concerning the question and not leave the arena to the Greek-Cypriot side alone.

    Briefly, at the threshold of the year the 2000 Turkish side is preparing to launch a diplomatic attack on the Cyprus question."

    [25] CATCHING UP WITH THE TIMES BY MIM KEMAL OKE (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Mim Kemal Oke writes analyzing the performances of the Coalition parties. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Turkey is re-integrating with the world. Following OSCE, Helsinki, we are now attending the Summit at Davos. It is my sincere belief that globalization is in the interests of Turkey rather than isolation. Turkey is launching an initiative to get closer to western states. The role of Prime Minister Ecevit cannot be denied in this initiative. Ecevit has re-invented himself and has not hesitated to ask for the help of the IMF. He has grasped liberal programmes instead of out dated socialist ones. After Ozal, what Turkey needs is to put social market policies into effect in order to bring human qualities to savage capitalism.

    The process which will show the reformist qualities of Ecevit has just started. To review opinions in time cannot be labelled as being unreliable, but in fact shows maturity. No one can doubt the nationalism of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). However, to defend the nationalist themes of 1960s,70,80, and even 90, as if no changes have occurred would mean to imprison Turkish nationolism in a strict doctrine. In fact, the interpretations of nationalism should be reviewed and this should be done by the MHP.

    Finding new ways in re-arranging our national aims is a pursuit for the mind. It is our sincere hope that young and dynamic followers of the MHP will be able to do that and as long as they can do that their shortcomings will not be open for criticism."


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