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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-02

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

02.02.00

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND CIVILIANS? BY EROL MANISALI
  • [02] (CUMHURIYET)
  • [03] CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
  • [04] CEM: "POSITIVE BEGINNING"
  • [05] 'STATESMAN OF THE YEAR' AWARD FOR CEM AND PAPANDREOU
  • [06] TIME: "WARMTH IN RELATIONS IN THE AEGEAN"
  • [07] DENKTAS: "FIRST OF ALL, SOVEREIGNTY"
  • [08] MESUT YILMAZ: 'FRICTION IS HARMFUL`
  • [09] EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF PETROLEUM IN TURKEY
  • [10] BELARUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN ANKARA
  • [11] ANGER OVER SPECIAL PENSION PLAN
  • [12] TURKISH STUDENTS IN GREECE
  • [13] ANNUAL RENT INCREASE OF 25% PASSED BY JUSTICE COMMISSION
  • [14] IPEKCI COMMEMORATED
  • [15] SUPPORT FOR EXPORTERS FROM TOSKAY
  • [16] JCR INCREASES TURKEY'S CREDIT RATING
  • [17] 1999 BUDGET
  • [18] TURKCELL SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH ERICSSON
  • [19] OGER ADVERTISING TURKEY
  • [20] TURKEY'S BIG PROMOTION
  • [21] OTTOMAN WORKS OF ART TO BE EXHIBITED IN THE U.S.A.
  • [22] AWARD FOR FAZIL SAY
  • [23] LOVE FLOOD FOR BARIS MANCO
  • [24] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [25] A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND CIVILIANS? BY EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)
  • [26] REAL ISSUE STARTS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND CIVILIANS? BY EROL MANISALI

    [02] (CUMHURIYET)

    [03] CONDITIONAL SUPPORT

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit met with the opposition parties' leaders to discuss the amendment to the Constitution which will enable the President to be elected twice. The True Path Party (DYP) Leader Tansu Ciller and Virtue Party (FP) Leader Recai Kutan gave their conditional support to the 5+5 formula. Ciller said, "First, let's vote for the constitutional amendment on the Presidential election being carried out by the general public at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). After the will of the TGNA is revealed, then the 5+5 formula may be discussed." Ecevit stressed that there were drawbacks for the present regime and this also necessitates some constructional amendments. He also emphasized, "The election of the President directly by the people public will mean a change to a presidential or semi-presidential system, and this will also mean a radical change in the state structure and regime. In our opinion, this has some drawbacks." /Aksam/

    [04] CEM: "POSITIVE BEGINNING"

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem met the European Commission member responsible for EU expansion, Gunter Verheugen. The first concrete steps to be taken during the process of membership were discussed by the two men. Cem stated that they will start by considering the easy-to-solve issues fist, the main target being to gain time. In addition, it was decided that the Partnership Council between the EU and Turkey will meet on 11th April. Meanwhile, Verheugen declared Turkey's inclusion in the EU Programme and its news-agencies. He pointed out that the Turkish bureau within the EU Commission will be strengthened and its staff numbers will be increased. Cem described his meeting with Verheugen as a positive beginning, and stated that Turkey's membership process would be continued at the desired level. Cem further added, "Relations with Greece are developing in a positive direction and this will continue. This does not negate our support for the views of the Turkish-Cypriots at the UN-inspired Cyprus peace talks." Furthermore, Verheugen stated his opinion that the rapprochement between Turkey and Greece was important and that a positive atmosphere had been created between Ankara and the EU due to this. /Turkiye/

    [05] 'STATESMAN OF THE YEAR' AWARD FOR CEM AND PAPANDREOU

    American establishment 'The East-West Institute' declared their intention to give the 'Statesman of the Year' Award, which is given to those statesman who undertake true leadership in establishing a united and peaceful Europe, to Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem this year. The awards will be presented by actress Olympia Dukasis, an Oscar winner whose father is Greek and whose mother is Turkish, and by the President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, on the 2nd May 2000 in New York at a gala night. /Turkiye/

    [06] TIME: "WARMTH IN RELATIONS IN THE AEGEAN"

    In its latest issue, 'Time' magazine has reserved a big place for Turco-Greek relations which have reached a pinnacle. In the article published under the title 'Warming of relations in the Aegean', it was stated that a friendly climate has taken the place of the cold winds that had been blowing for many years between the two countries, and now television channels in both countries have begun to broadcast each others' video clips. In the article, it was further disclosed that a Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs had visited Turkey for the first time in 40 years and that, during this visit, permanent agreements had been signed in the name of friendship and peace. In 'Time' it was added that the most serious crisis between the two countries was now only the issue of Cyprus. /Turkiye/

    [07] DENKTAS: "FIRST OF ALL, SOVEREIGNTY"

    On the second day of the second round of indirect meetings under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan's special representative to Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, has met Klerides and Denktas. President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Rauf Denktas answered a journalist's question before the meeting and stated that they would not discuss the issue of land and borders unless the TRNC's sovereignty is recognized. Dentas said that during the meetings they had discussed the confederation proposal and that they had requested the recogniziton of the TRNC's sovereignty. Meanwhile, the leader of the Greek-Cypriot Administration, Glafkos Klerides, issued a statement to the Associated Press news agency and stated that any insistance upon the recognizition of the sovereignty of the TRNC began to create an obstacle to any solution. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] MESUT YILMAZ: 'FRICTION IS HARMFUL`

    During his party's Central Decision Executive Board meeting, Leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz stressed that the tension between the Virtue Party (VP)and the General Staff is harmful and both of them are at fault. Yilmaz said, "Recai Kutan stretched the situation when important democratic developments were being experienced. Although this was provocation, the General Staff should not have addressed the VP. If the establishments and politicians come into conflict, not only themselves, but also the whole of the country is damaged. None of the establishments are an alternative to any other." /Sabah/

    [09] EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF PETROLEUM IN TURKEY

    The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, Semih Fehmi, has arrived in Turkey as the official guest of the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Cumhur Ersumer. Fehmi stated that he had arrived in Turkey in order to organize various meetings to discuss the gas distribution pipeline project. Fehmi further stated that Egypt's natural gas capacity is enough to meet Turkey's need for many years and that they were open to cooperation with Turkey on this issue. /Turkiye/

    [10] BELARUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN ANKARA

    Belarussian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Latipov Ural Ramdrakovic, has arrived in Ankara to discuss some issues. The guest Minister was welcomed by State Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen and other officials at Esenboga Airport. During Ramdrakovic's visit, regional and international developments, but mostly mutual relations, are expected to be discussed. /Turkiye/

    [11] ANGER OVER SPECIAL PENSION PLAN

    After the Head of the High Court of Appeal's criticism of 'Special Pension Plan` yesterday, the Chief Republican Prosecutor of the High Court of Appeal, Vural Savas, and trade unionists have also reacted to the law. Voicing his harsh criticism of the inclusion of legal personnel under the law, Savas said that they wanted to be humiliated. The trade unionists also called on Demirel to abolish the law. /Aksam/

    [12] TURKISH STUDENTS IN GREECE

    Eight students from the Private Aykan High School have gone to Athens in order to contribute to the rapprochement between Turkey and Greece that began to speed up recently. The visit of the students, who will also be received by President Stefanopulos, will last for one week. Then Greek students will visit Turkey in October. /Star/

    [13] ANNUAL RENT INCREASE OF 25% PASSED BY JUSTICE COMMISSION

    A draft law limiting rent increases was accepted by the Justice Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). The draft law envisages an increase of 25% on rents in the year 2000 and 10% in the year 2001. The opposition party has claimed that the draft law is against the Constitution, whereas the parties in power pointed out that the new arrangements will make a great contribution to decreasing inflation. /Hurriyet/

    [14] IPEKCI COMMEMORATED

    'Milliyet' newspaper's Editor-in-Chief and Chief Writer Abdi Ipekci, killed 21 years ago, was commemorated at his tomb in Zincirlikuyu cemetery. The 'Ipekci Monument` was also inaugurated in Nisantasi, where he was murdered, at a ceremony attended by thousands of citizens. The International Press Institute (IPI) placed Ipekci on the list of 'Heros for the Freedom of the Press` of the last 50 years; IPI made this decision after a search in more than 100 countries and chose only Ipekci from Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [15] SUPPORT FOR EXPORTERS FROM TOSKAY

    State Minister Tunca Toskay has said that State subsidies to exporters and the administration of the on-account system will be speeded up; the schedule for export repayments in the year 2000 has also been set. Toskay held a press conference yesterday during which he explained a series of measures consisting of 11 articles. These 11 articles are as follows: Treasury payments and State aid will total 12 trillion TL in the year 2000; the opinion of the Treasury and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat will be taken into consideration when determining priorities; the administration of loans and coordination decisions will be speeded up; Small and Medium Scale Enterprises will continue to receive support both for training and financially; export repayments will be faciliated by the on-account system opening up processed agricultural products to world markets; the limit on repayments of AVX has been increased by 100%; the ratio of deposit, which was 10% and which belonged to the foreign trade market companies' and sectoral foreign trade companies' AVX repayment requests, if they exceeded 2 billion TL, was decreased to 5%; companies who falsify bills will be charged with four times the amount for their repayment requests; the processing of permits will be continued for products exported to the EU; the work concerning the finalization of technical details on raw materials that were exported will be speeded up; the process of encouraging exports at the investment stage will continue and on this the Treasury and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat will establish a common commission. /Turkiye/

    [16] JCR INCREASES TURKEY'S CREDIT RATING

    The improvement in Turkey's economic situation has begun to reflect on its international credit rating. The Japanese credit rating establishment JCR increased Turkey's points from 'BB' to 'BB+'. JCR is expected to make a statement concerning this issue today because of the differing time zones between Turkey and Japan. Under this, the Treasury is expected to export debentures onto the Japanese market, probably in March. /Hurriyet/

    [17] 1999 BUDGET

    Finance Minister Sumer Oral has declared the results of the 1999 budget. Accordingly, expenditure was 28,018 quadrillion TL and revenues amounted to 18,973 quadrillion TL; the budget deficit was 9,045 quadrillion TL. Pointing out that the 1999 budget was one of the best in the last 20 years, Minister Oral said, "Even though many reversals, setbacks and earthquake disasters were experienced, the decrease in the budget deficit was a remarkable event." Tax revenues of 14,807 quadrillion TL were 607 trillion TL higher than the estimate. /Sabah/

    [18] TURKCELL SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH ERICSSON

    Turkcell has signed a background agreement with Ericsson amounting to 850 million dollars. Under this agreement, subscribers will be able to make use of and speak via the Internet, use interactive TV, video links and personal multimedia systems over their mobile phones. In addition, Turkcell will increase its network capacity thanks to this accord. In a statement issued by Turkcell, this cooperative pact has the highest budget of any entered into with Ericsson. /Hurriyet/

    [19] OGER ADVERTISING TURKEY

    One of the five biggest tour agencies in Germany which persuades German tourists to Turkey, Oger Tours, has initiated a 20-million-DM promotional campaign. Revealing that the reservations had been very well since the beginning of the year, an official from Oger Tours, Huseyin Baraner, said, "If everything is fine, we expect 2.5 million tourists from Germany." Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu left for Germany to meet with Turkish and German tour operators. /Sabah/

    [20] TURKEY'S BIG PROMOTION

    The Turkish Promotion Foundation (TAV) has launched a magnificent promotional campaign for Turkey, the total budget of which is 75 thousand dollars. The project, which was also approved by the Vatican, aims to attract the Christian world to Turkey due to the Millenium. Under the scheme, a map has been drawn up that will be talked about very much and very special gifts will be presented to those statesmen, who visit Turkey in the year 2000. On the map entitled 'Holly Land 2000', can be seen those holly places in Turkey which are depicted in the Bible. In addition, the holy water from the Virgin Mary's Fountain in Ephesus, near Izmir, has been bottled in special crystal bottles. On the map, not even Turkey's name was written, only those of seas and holy places at that period. /Star/

    [21] OTTOMAN WORKS OF ART TO BE EXHIBITED IN THE U.S.A.

    The Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay, will visit two big continents for two exhibitions of Ottoman works of art in March. Talay will visit the U.S.A. for the Topkapi Treasures exhibition at the famous Corcoran Art Museum in Washington on the 1st of March. Afterwards, Talay will attend the opening ceremony of an exhibition, which include famous Ottoman calligraphic works and works by renowed Turkish painters, in one of the most famous art museums in Europe, the Louvre, in France on 14th March. /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] AWARD FOR FAZIL SAY

    Prominent pianist and composer Fazil Say was presented with the 'R10`, one of the most important awards in France. Last month, he received 'Le Monde de la Musique` and RTL Television awards. /Milliyet/

    [23] LOVE FLOOD FOR BARIS MANCO

    Famous singer Baris Manco has been commemorated in many memorial ceremonies on the first anniversary of his demise. Manco's tomb and house were mobbed by his admirers. In memory of Manco, a soiree has been organized in Ankara to be attended by his wife and children. He also commemorated in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. /Sabah/

    [24] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [25] A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND CIVILIANS? BY EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Erol Manisali writes on the new arrangements in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The recognition of Turkey's EU candidacy has led to a tendency to become more concerned with new arrangements within the country, rather than with her full-membership to the Union. Turkey is located in a region with internal conditions and balances peculiar to herself. Under these special conditions there are three factors which are in oposition to each other but are in fact intertwined. They can be listed as: politicizing religion, politicizing both the PKK and the Southeastern problem, and Kemalist ideology and thought.

    At the junction of these three, the influence of the military in Turkish society can be seen. The military is sensitive on the issue of the territorial integrity of Turkey. It is against the politicization of the PKK problem, and does not want new autonomies to be granted to the Southeast of the country. Secondly, it has always been opposed to using religion for political purposes. With the statement issued on 28 February 1998, the Army is being shown as a target for both the EU and those who want to exploit religion for political purposes. It is said that now Turkey is a candidate, the military has to withdraw. A third factor is that the prevalent Kemalist thought among military circles disturbs the EU as much as it does those religious fanatics. Those who are against Kemalism take shelter behind the "reason for candidacy". The secular and nationalistic characteristics of Kemalism create nervousness both within the country and abroad.

    If the role of the military in Turkish society is reduced to that of those in other EU countries, it may result in particular consequences. These could mean the creation of a convenient atmosphere within the country for those trying to exploit religion, and the EU in defending a political identity for the Southeast and the PKK may carry out its wishes more easily. The subject of other minorities may even come up.

    In short, a climate in which ethnic and religious disputes become widespread may be created under the guise of democratization and the Copenhagen criteria. While the real aim for Turkey should be to reach a more democratic and higher level, it is being distorted by Turkey's internal situation and foreign pressure. Those who exploit the issue are hiding behind EU candidacy; they are able to say that ethnic and religious politicization should be allowed for, as required by EU candidacy.

    During the last 10 years, the Governments in power were not able to discern this contrast within Turco-EU relations. This dispute presented as being between the military and civilians is in fact among those who want to use religion for political purposes and those against them and as well as between ethnic separatists and those opposing them. Within this conflict, two targets are revealed: the military and Kemalist thought.

    The EU has also been a party to this dispute. It has granted candidacy status to Turkey, and this is not full-membership in any respect. However, those who defended the politicization of ethnic and religious affairs are backed by Brussels; they expect Brussels to intervene in Turkey and, as a result, in the military. This may create great problems between Turkey and the EU in the future, as the EU will intervene in Turkish politics in line with its own policies.

    The real aim for Turkey is to be a democratic, secular and developed society within the guidelines spelt out by Ataturk. "

    [26] REAL ISSUE STARTS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on relations between Turkey and the EU. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The talks Foreign Minister Ismail Cem held with EU officials in Brusssels yesterday form the first official steps in the new process begun after the Helsinki Summit. Thus, relations between Turkey and the EU have entered into a participation and integration process following years of intense and tiring diplomatic efforts.

    EU candidacy, which has created great enthusiasm in Turkey, is the beginning of the road before us and is much longer and harder than the part we have already travelled. In other words, the real work starts now. During the process of passing via candidacy to integration and full-membership there are many duties both Turkey and the EU have to carry out. The talks between the delegation headed by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and the EU Commission have given a start to this long process of many stages during which there may be some ups and downs.

    The steps to be carried out can be cited thus: establishing a participation partnership and determining a 'route map' on the issue, the preparation of a national plan by the Turkish side and the carrying out of political and economic reforms, the starting of a follow-up mechanism by the EU to evaluate developments on the Turkish side, and providing the opportunity to participate in the various agencies and programmes of the EU.

    The political will of both sides should be kept alive for the technical research to yield positive results. This will exists today. Even though there may be some doubts from time to time, there is the will and intention to proceed along this road. Occasionally, some problems or obstacles may arise due to complicated Turkish or European political issues. There should be mutual understanding and the determination to surmount these problems and not to lose sight of our goal. The talks in Brussels are a good start; the main issue is to be able to continue in the same spirit."


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