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Turkish Press Review, 00-01-05
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>05 January 2000
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... HE DOES NOT DESERVE TO DIE IMMEDIATELY BY TUFAN TURENC
 DEMIREL: "THEY WILL FIND A SOLUTION"Regarding the Ocalan case, President Suleyman Demirel has called upon the coalition partners to think calmly: "It is necessary to discuss the issue using a commonsence approach. I belive and hope they will solve this problem." Replying to journalists' questions and statements that the Ocalan case had caused a crisis in the coalition, Demirel stressed, "It is possible as a coalition is not an easy situation to be in. However, not every problem creates a crisis. I am sure that they will be able to reach a solution." /Milliyet/
 COMMANSENSE SUMMITThe case of terrorist Abdullah Ocalan come to the fore as the most important issue for the government. The leaders of the coalition government will meet on Jan. 12th to discuss Ocalan's death sentence. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz and Deputy Prime Ministers Husamettin Ozkan and Cumhur Ersumer, Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk and Foreign Affairs Minister Ismail Cem will attend the Summit. The MHP would seem to be the key party in the decision. /Milliyet/
 'LETTER FOR THE YEAR 2000`Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received 23 letters addressed to the 'Prime Minister of the year 2000` at a ceremony which was part of the promotional campaign, 'Letter for the year 2000`. The campaign began in October 1986 and lasted for one year, during which time 15,074 letters were posted, to be delivered in the year 2000; 35 of them were addressed to the 'President of the year 2000`, 34 for the 'Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and 23 for the 'Prime Minister of the year 2000`. /Milliyet/
 ECEVIT: RATE OF INFLATION CAN RISE FOR A FEW MORE MONTHSPrime Minister Ecevit assessed the latest figures for the rate of inflation: "The rate of inflation can rise not only in the first month of the year, but in the first few months of the year." He added that after a few months of hardship the rate of inflation would tend to fall. Noting that he had expected such a rise in the rate of inflation, Ecevit said that if they were able to implement their schedule as it stands, then difficulties would continue for a few months, but after that the rate of inflation would plummet."/ Hurriyet/
 'L'EXPRESS' PRAISES ISMAIL CEMThe French magazine 'L'Express' praised the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, for his achievement thanks to the measures he took to help us on our way to EU candidacy. In this magazine it was written, "The doors of the EU were opened to Turkey and Ismail Cem has become a star in his country; he is especially admired by young people. It was discovered through questionnaries distributed in many universities that the young people desire to see Cem as President. Turkish people think that Cem has made a huge contribution to our achievement in Helsinki." /Sabah/
 BILL CLINTON'S STATEMENT CONCERNING ATATURKClinton pleased us previously by talking like a Turk and has now made a big gesture in his Millenium speech. Clinton declared, "We are here thanks to Ataturk" at the Turkish Grand National Assembly while visiting Turkey last year and has now pointed out his admiration for the great man, Ataturk, once more. During his address to the International Trade Organization, the American President listed Ataturk among the people who marked past Millennium: "Shakespeare wrote, Einstein thought, Ataturk built." /Aksam/
 INTERNET REMOVES BACKERS IN APPOINTMENTSThe Prime Minister's Office has transferred the work of appointing staff and awarding promotions, which have been a burden on administors' shoulders, to the visual world with its first circular of the year 2000. In the circular dated 3rd January 2000, public institutions will make 'interinstitutional appointments', 'promotions involving a change in status and title' and 'promotions without a change in title or status' by means of a new system called the 'numerical data transforming system' as of 1st January, 2000. The circular signed by Undersecretary Ahmet Sagar has been sent to the relevant institutions and establishments. Websites have been set up listing the posts available and the website addresses were also published in this circular. Thanks to this system, all computer users will be able to follow the progress of their applications. /Turkiye/
 ISRAEL-SYRIA TALKS CONTINUE: 'WATER CANNOT BE SUBJECT TO BARGAIN'It was revealed that during the Israel-Syria peace talks' parts concerning the water of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates were not discussed as the subject of bargaining. Israel stated that the sources of water on the Golan Heights were of the utmost importance and that they would try to reach an agreement with Syria. Israel further added, "However, Turkey will be informed about this accord and it will not be signed to the disadvantage of Turkey." Israel will reply to Turkey's suggestions concerning the purchase of water from Manavgat. The second round of peace talks between Syria and Israel is also being closely followed by Turkey. This is depicted in the foreign press thus: 'Turkey is worried about developments concerning water and security.' However, Turkey was briefed by Israel concerning the talks held in the U.S.A. and feels that there is no need to be worried about the negotiations that have been going on in America. /Cumhuriyet/
 JAPAN TO BE INVOLVED IN THE MANAVGAT WATER ASSURANCE PROJECTIt was revealed that the Japanese and the Saudi Arabians have become very interested in the Manavgat Water Assurance Project, considered to be the 'Water of Peace'. Ahmet Acar, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Acar Transport, Tourism and Trade, a company which transports water from Mersin's district of Anamur to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said that Japanese firms had become interested in the 'Manavgat Water Assurance Project', which is the hope of the Mediterranean, particularly the Far Eastern countries. Acar also stated that a Japanese firm, the name of which he did not want to announce, wanted to become partners with a Saudi Arabian firm and to be involved in transporting the 'Water of Peace' to Mediterranean countries. Acar further disclosed, "These Japanese and Saudi firms want to undertake this task by establishing a consortium with a Norwegian firm, which is strong in terms of technology." /Cumhuriyet/
 EMERGENCY AID UNIT FOR STRAITSThe Minister of the Environment, Fevzi Aytekin, said that the establishment of an 'Emergency Aid Team` is needed in order to undertake emergency measures for ships collisions and their damage to the Straits. The Minister also declared that 800 tons of crude oil had spilt from the Russian tanker which grounded off Florya and it was not possible to clean up the pollution completely. /Hurriyet/
 CHP TO OPEN OFFICES ABROADThe Republican People's Party (CHP) has completed amendments to its legislation regarding the Political Parties Law (PPL) which was issued on Aug. 14th 1999 and permits political parties to open offices abroad. The CHP is planning to open offices in the US, Switzerland, Australia, Greece, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, England, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland, Finland, Austria, and Sweden. A member of the CHP's Central Management Board, Fuat Cay, said, "We see countries such as Germany where there are large Turkish populations as being of great importance." /Milliyet/
 BANK CRISIS ON TRNCThe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has requested help from Turkey in order to surmount its banking crisis. The TRNC's government has asked for a 200-million-dollar loan to strengthen her Central Bank. Premier Dervis Eroglu revealed that they had sent their request to Ecevit and State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel. Meanwhile, although the government has call on the people 'not to panic`, many Turkish-Cypriots rushed to some local banks to withdraw their money. /Hurriyet/
 POSITIVE SIGNS IN ECONOMYThe Turkish economy has entered the year 2000 very positively: interest fell by 60 points in the Treasury's bond sale yesterday, electricity subsidies were removed; the promised loan was received from the IMF; there was no excess demand for foreign currency and the Stock Exchange has continued breaking records. The government is also taking the radical precautions essential to the achievement of its inflation target for the year 2000. The monetary and foreign exchange rate policies, envisaged by the Central Bank as part of its three-year programme have ended the excesses in foreign exchange rate fluctuations; the target of a 20% foreign exchange rate decreased interest on the Turkish Lira. In addition, it is expected that many sectors, mainly the tourism and construction sectors, will see an explosion in growth. /Turkiye/
 ECONOMIC GROWTH IN TURKEYThe Republic of Turkey will celebrate the 77th anniversary of its establishment in the year 2000 especially since the Turkish economy has grown on average by more than 5% annually. This speed of growth slowed between 1977 and 1999 to 3.75%. The time of greatest economic growth occurred in Turkey during the period when Ataturk was President. The Gross National Product increased on average by 7.4% annually between 1923 and 1938 and again between 1965 and 1971 during the period of Suleyman Demirel's Presidency. During this time, the average growth rate of our Gross National Product stood at 7.3% annually. During the period when Adnan Menderes was in power, we experienced the 'third most rapid growth' rate, on average 6.3% annually between 1950 and 1960. /Turkiye/
 KOC SYSTEMS TO IMPROVE CUSTOMSAn agreement between the Customs Undersecretariat and Koc Systems Limited has been signed by State Minister Mehmet Kececiler and Koc Financing's General Director, Bulent Gonc. Koc Systems was awarded the international contract put out to tender using a World Bank loan as part of the modernization of the Customs. As part of the agreement, 27 million dollars will be invested in infrastructure. Kececiler delivered a speech during the signing ceremony: "We will begin automation as of tomorrow (today) and all Customs requirements will be able to be organized from the businessman's office thanks to this system. The new Customs regulations, comprising 900 articles, was sent to the Prime Minister's Office, to be issued on 8-9th January and implemented on 5th February." /Aksam/
 IZMIR TRADE STOCK EXCHANGE'S TRANSACTION VOLUME: 913 TRILLION TLIzmir Trade Stock Exchange (ITB), considered to be one of the most important elements in the Turkish economy, broke another record in terms of its volume of transactions on the 109th anniversary of its establishment. The ITB's transaction volume reached 590.7 trillion TL the previous year and 913 trillion TL in 1999. Among these transactions, cotton was top with 206.4 trillion TL, 29% of all transactions. /Aksam/
 DUTILH MARITIME AND TOURISM LIMITED COMPANY WAS SOLDIt was disclosed that the Anatolian Maritime Trade Company has purchased the Dutilh Maritime and Tourism Limited Company, which belongs to the tax record breakers, Hendrik and Karel Dutilh, brothers from Izmir. Director-General, also one of the partners in the Anatolian Maritime Trade Company, Ugur Uzunhekim said, "Dutilh had an office in Izmir and we represented the same firms in Istanbul. We learned that Dutilh wished to sell the company and aspired to take it over." It was stated that the take-over of the company would occur on 1st April 2000, with Istanbul as the company headquarters whereas Izmir would be reduced to a branch office. /Cumhuriyet/
 1 MILLION DOLLARS FOR GALATASARAYThe government has come to the aid of Galatasaray, that is, it has given 1 million dollars to Galatasaray Football Club from the Turkish Promotion Fund. Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli signed the release papers for the money which Galatasaray received due to the fact that they have represented Turkey in Europe successfully. /Sabah/
 COLD, SNOW AND 'FLU GO HAND IN HANDTogether with the cold and the snow, 'flu epidemics have gripped the whole country. Yesterday, due to the snow in Ankara, schools were closed and 650 traffic accidents occurred. In the Eastern, Black Sea and Central Anatolian regions more than 1,000 villages were cut off due to blocked roads. In the earthquake-hit zone weather conditions effected the people badly, who are striving to survive in their tents. Meanwhile, the snow has caused an increase in the demand for prefabricated houses by those earthquake survivors who previously preferred to stay in tents to receive free meals three times a day. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 HE DOES NOT DESERVE TO DIE IMMEDIATELY BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc writes on the abolishment of capital punishment and the death sentence on Ocalan. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Towards the end of 1998 Ocalan was expelled from Syria, but had not been brought back to Turkey at that time. Turkey was following Ocalan and asking for his extradition from the countries to which he fled but the provisions in the laws of other countries did not permit them to give him back to the Turkish Government as capital punishment was still in force in Turkey. Therefore, the Justice Minister of the time Hasan Denizkurdu, prepared a draft law commuting capital punishment to life imprisonment. The general public reacted neither favourably nor unfavourably to this draft law. However, as there were no clear opinions on the question the matter was shelved, and thus, Turkey lost an important opportunity.
If the draft law could have been enacted then, the disputes over his execution would not have been experienced. The conditions have changed today, and President Suleyman Demirel, who previously did not look warmly upon the draft law, is saying today that that the sentence passed on Ocalan should not be carried out and the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights should be awaited. The interests of Turkey require such conduct.
President Demirel knows that if the verdict on Ocalan comes to Parliament, it would be approved. However, the interests of the country necessitates that the sentence should not brought before Parliament today. We need reason, logic, patience and determination to surmount this problem. Great responsibilities befall politicians today. They should not act with concern for the vote of their electorate.
We should not endanger the future of the country and the nation by killing the terrorist once to satisfy ourselves. Statesmanship shows itself in such difficult times."
 SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE BY VEYSEL GANI (TURKIYE)Columnist Veysel Gani comments on the accident off the shores of Florya. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We have been left face to face with what we have feared... A tanker loaded with tons of oil not only ran aground off the shores of Florya but also polluted the water. It is not possible to repair the damage incurred by the massacre of the environment...Turkey has never been able to stand up firmly against savage capitalists wanting to turn the Turkish Straits into an oil pipeline.
Although it seems as if only the coasts of Florya have been damaged the fact is the Marmara Sea has been polluted. If no-one can put a stop to this tanker transport threatening Istanbul, Turkey would be faced with regrettable consequences. As Turkey did not voice any opposition those who turned the Black Sea into a dead sea, they have turned their eye on the Straits and the Marmara Sea.
The cost of the pollution we face cannot be calculated in US dollars, let alone Turkish lira. Ships in bad condition, preferred by the Russians as they provide cheap transport, are a great threat to our national resources and beauty spots. Turkey cannot surmount these problems if she continues to allow the passage of empty oil tankers from the Aegean to the Marmara sea.
We should take preventive measures before we are faced with such accidents. It should be stressed that the Straits are not a pipeline for petroleum, and the precautions accepted at international level should be improved. Not only the Foreign Ministry but also non-governmental organizations and, particularly, environmental organizations should be informed and their help requested.
It is necessary to bring in some restrictions on the transport of petroleum and other dangerous materials, even if the tankers are solid and in compliance with international standards."
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