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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-07

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

07.02.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ECEVIT DUE IN DUZCE
  • [02] CRUCIAL DAYS FOR BAKU-CEYHAN
  • [03] MINISTERS ARE ABROAD
  • [04] CEM TO VISIT MOROCCO
  • [05] YILDIRIM AKBULUT TO VISIT BAKU
  • [06] ZALEWSKI IN TURKEY
  • [07] WEAPON STORE IN BATMAN WAS UNCOVERED
  • [08] SUCCESS OF TURKISH AND GREEK POLICE
  • [09] RECONSTRUCTION WORKS OF FACTORIES IN THE EARTHQUAKE-HIT REGION
  • [10] THE MINISTRY OF FORESTRY BOUGHT GRADERS
  • [11] THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS TO MAKE REFORM
  • [12] CHANGE IN THE MILITARY PUNISHMENT LAW
  • [13] SECOND GAP
  • [14] CONTROL SYSTEM ON STRAITS
  • [15] DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAN
  • [16] ECONOMIST: 'CEM IS AN EXPERT ON STRATEGY`
  • [17] INVITATION TO ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE FOR COOPERATION
  • [18] LOW RESIDENCE TAX IN ISTANBUL
  • [19] ISTANBUL IS THE LEADER OF FOREIGN TRADE
  • [20] FINANSBANK SUPPORTS AKUT
  • [21] STATEMENT BY AKYUZ
  • [22] FIRST PILGRIMAGE CONVOY ON FEBRUARY 16TH
  • [23] HELICOPTER TENDER
  • [24] EXPORT RECORDMAN: LIO OIL
  • [25] 'HARDLEY'S HAREM' WAS RECLAIMED FROM THE SEA
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [27] HALF-WAY THROUGH BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)
  • [28] SECOND REFORM IN SOCIAL SECURITY BY ERDAL SAGLAM (HURRIYET)

  • [01] ECEVIT DUE IN DUZCE

    Premier Bulent Ecevit is going to Duzce today to attend ceremonies organized for the inauguration of Duzce becoming a province. Following the ceremony, Ecevit will visit the prefabricated buildings in Fevzi Cakmak district. He will return to Ankara in the afternoon. /Turkiye/

    [02] CRUCIAL DAYS FOR BAKU-CEYHAN

    The knot in the construction of Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be resolved this month. Following the accord of the recent conference in Ankara held between the officials of three countries, it is expected that a final meeting between Georgian and Azerbaijani officials will be held to smooth out the last hitches over passage prices. During the last meeting in January held by the officials of three countries, on the issue which is of vital importance for the Caucasus region, an agreement was reached on environment, land and security issues. /Turkiye/

    [03] MINISTERS ARE ABROAD

    The Minister of Labour and Social Security, Yasar Okuyan left for England, State Minister Hasan Gemici and the Minister of Communication, Enis Oksuz went to Israel and the Minister of Forestry, Nami Cagan went to Italy yesterday. Okuyan, who left for England from Ataturk Airport, made a statement saying, "I am going to London as the official guest of the British government and to attend a meeting with the Ministers of Labour of the OECD countries. On the agenda is the problem of the young unemployment and the solution we hope will resolve problems. In addition, I will hold bilateral meetings with British Ministers and meet the directors of non-governmental organizations established by the Turkish people." In addition, Gemici and Oksuz went to Israel to hold biletarel meetings. Gemici stated that he would chair the 'Joint Economic Commission Meeting' in Tel Aviv and said, "During this meeting, we will examine the relations between Israel and Turkey and try to ensure the improvement of these relations. Meanwhile, Oksuz stated that he would hold biletarel meetings with the Israeli Ministers of Communication and Correspondence to improve the Turco-Israeli relations. Oksuz is expected to return to Turkey on 14th February and Gemici is expected to arrive in Turkey on 9th February. Cagan, who left for Italy yesterday, will attend the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) meeting. /Aksam/

    [04] CEM TO VISIT MOROCCO

    Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, will go to Morocco today for an official visit. In a written statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cem will go to Morocco from Greece on Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammed Benaissa's invitation and that his visit will take place between 7th and 9th February. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] YILDIRIM AKBULUT TO VISIT BAKU

    The Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Yildirim Akbulut, will go to Baku following the invitation of the Azerbaijani Speaker Murtuz Elaskerov. The visit will be attended by one deputy from each of the parties, represented in the TGNA and it will last for three days. The Turkish Parliamentary delegation, chaired by Akbulut, will first hold a meeting with the Organization of Turkish Businessmen Among the Nations (TUSIAB) and listen to the problems of businessmen. After this Akbulut and the accompanying delegation are expected to meet the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Murtuz Elaskerov and will be welcomed by the Azerbaijani Parliament. /Aksam/

    [06] ZALEWSKI IN TURKEY

    Poland's Commander of Land Forces, General Zbigniew Zalewski and the accompanying delegation arrived in Turkey. General Zalewski, who arrived in Turkey as the offical guest of the Turkish Commander of Armed Forces, General Atilla Ates, will be welcomed at the Land Forces' Headquarters. General Zalewski's visit to Turkey will end on 10th February. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] WEAPON STORE IN BATMAN WAS UNCOVERED

    A weapon store in Batman was uncovered after the confessions of two Hizbullah militants and one other, who were detained in Batman. The cellar of the house, which was being used as a shelter, was investigated and a Kalashnikof, 30 hand grenades and 6,300 bullets were seized. It was further stated that 19 cases, the murderers of which are unknown, will be uncovered by confessions of the Hizbullah organization members, who were brought from Izmir. In addition, 6 of the 7 Hizbullah members, captured during the operation were held and detained in Mus. /Sabah/

    [08] SUCCESS OF TURKISH AND GREEK POLICE

    The diplomatic friendship between Turkey and Greece was reflected in police operations. During the first operation held by the Turkish and Greek police against international drug-trafficking, a drug team of 6 Nigerians was captured with 4 kg 250 gr drugs in Greece, which amounts to 40 billion TL in Istanbul and 120 billion TL in Greece. An Austrian was also detained. /Milliyet/

    [09] RECONSTRUCTION WORKS OF FACTORIES IN THE EARTHQUAKE-HIT REGION

    The wounds of the industrial facilities in Kocaeli, which were mostly greatly damaged by the earthquake on 17th August, are healed. In Kocaeli, 70% of the industrial facilities started manufacturing on full capacity, 6 months after the earthquake, and now new factories are being constructed. The factories are on concrete supports in order that their resistance against the earthquakes are stronger. The Chairman of Kocaeli Industrial Commerce, Yilmaz Kanbak, said that most of the private sector firms damaged by the earthquake, have started manufacturing again and however, most of the firms in the public sector are not on full capacity yet. /Milliyet/

    [10] THE MINISTRY OF FORESTRY BOUGHT GRADERS

    The Ministry of Forestry bought 127 graders. The HCM Machinery Company, which won the bidding for the tender put out at the end of 1999, for the 'Struggle Against Fire' amounted to 12 million dollars and will bring the 127 graders to Turkey for the Ministry of Forestry with a foreign loan. A member of the Executive Board of HCM Machinery Company, Can Gumuscuoglu, stated that they would give the spare part service of the 'Champion' brand graders, from Canada without hinderance. /Aksam/

    [11] THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS TO MAKE REFORM

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, started an investigation regarding the bid for computer purchases for the Agriculture Credit Cooperative Centre Union. Gokalp stated that there were irregularities in the number of units supplied and an investigation started on documents presented to him. Gokalp further added that those who attempt exploitation, irregularities and thefts would certainly be punished. /Aksam/

    [12] CHANGE IN THE MILITARY PUNISHMENT LAW

    An important change was made in the Military Punishment Draft Law, which was prepared and presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). As part of the change made by the Justice Commission of the TGNA, the Ministery of Defence was given the authority to punish the soldiers including generals. The draft law, which was changed by the Commission, was on the agenda of the TGNA's General Council. As part of this change, the Minister of National Defence, Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, will be able to reduce the 1_8 of the salary of soldiers and officers, cancel weekend vacations of soldiers, military students and junior officers and watch them closely and keep them in prison. /Sabah/

    [13] SECOND GAP

    Turkey has nearly completed her investments in the South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP), one of the world's biggest agricultural ventures, and now will initiate a further new giant one. The venture was put on the State Water Works (DSI)'s agenda for the year 2000. The Blue Tunnel Project will cost 100 Trillion TL and will be 17km in long, four metres wide and will irrigate 120,000 hectare of the Konya plain. /Turkiye/

    [14] CONTROL SYSTEM ON STRAITS

    Construction of the 'Vessel Traffic Management and Information Systems` will start soon and aims to follow, control and direct the vessel traffic in the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. The project studies were carried out by the Maritime Undersecretariat and the American Lockheed Martin Company, which is bidding for the construction, made the agreement and applied to the Treasury Undersecretariat for the Loan ratification. The system will cost about 30 million dollars and it is planned to be completed next year. /Turkiye/

    [15] DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAN

    Iran who has supported the PKK terrorist organization for years, called on the world community to help stop 'terrorist acts` by the Mujahideen rebels, after their deadly mortal attacks in the capital, Tehran. Following explosions on day before in the street, where main official buildings are, Turkey keeps a close eye on the developments in Tehran. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials are concerned about the situation in Iran and are in contact with the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Turhan Morali and are being updated continually. Morali said that there was not security problems for the Chancery building. /Hurriyet/

    [16] ECONOMIST: 'CEM IS AN EXPERT ON STRATEGY`

    The prominent magazine of the financial world 'The Economist` has published an article about Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem in its latest issue. The article defined Cem as a 'Turkish strategy expert` and stated his accomplishments during his two and half years in office as follows, he persuaded the EU to accept Turkey as a candidate, convinced President Rauf Denktas to attend the proximity talks under the auspice of the UN and to make Turkey one of the favourite allies of the USA in the region. /Turkiye/

    [17] INVITATION TO ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE FOR COOPERATION

    The world's two largest stock exchanges, Eurex and CBOT suggested the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) be in cooperation with them concerning the futures and options markets. Within the framework of the Eurex and CBOT, the centres for which are in Germany, there is the U.S.A., Germany, Switzerland, Finland. In addition, Turkey, Australia, Honk Kong and Argentina wants to take come within this net. The work concerning establishing another stock exchange was speeded up. Also that the futures and options market is being planned and established most probably in Izmir. /Milliyet/

    [18] LOW RESIDENCE TAX IN ISTANBUL

    According to a joint research, covering 52 countries, and held by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and World Tourism and Trade Council (WTTC), Istanbul is one of the most important cities in Europe in terms of its low residence tax and among countries having tax rate on tourism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] ISTANBUL IS THE LEADER OF FOREIGN TRADE

    Istanbul is the city by which foreign trade increased by 12,120 export and by 19,935 import firms, in terms of Turkey. Istanbul is followed by Izmir with 1,972 firms and Ankara third with 1,072 firms, Bursa fourth with 1,030 firms and Gaziantep came fifth with 403 firms. /Aksam/

    [20] FINANSBANK SUPPORTS AKUT

    The Finansbank has started a campaign to contribute to the Search and Rescue Society (AKUT) Search and Rescue Association Education Centre Project. Officials from the Finansbank stated that they would transfer a certain amount of the endorsement, to be obtained from their Mastercard Gold, Classic, Finansbank Visa Gold, Classic and Galaxy Card and the cash withdrawals both in Turkey and abroad between February and May 2000, to the 'AKUT Search and Rescue Association Education Centre'. Finansbank officials asked their customers who own a Finansbank credit card saying, "You can contribute to this project and support AKUT by having more Finansbank credit cards. /Sabah/

    [21] STATEMENT BY AKYUZ

    The Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) representative to Washington and the former Deputy Chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), Abdullah Akyuz, in an interview to Sabah daily, stated that Turkey would continue being an important country for America and that the U.S.A.'s world leadership in the computer, communications and the electronic trades should be made good use of. Akyuz stated that Turkey would be the leader in terms of technology, in the region, if it makes a cooperative with the U.S.A. /Sabah/

    [22] FIRST PILGRIMAGE CONVOY ON FEBRUARY 16TH

    The first pilgrimage convoy is going to set out from Ankara on Feb. 16th. The last of the pilgrim nominees will finish on Friday, March 10th. About 2,000 personnel will attend the pilgrims who will visit the 'Holy Lands` organized by the Religious Affairs Directorate. In every convoy, five officials officiers will be on duty to help the pilgrims. During the pilgrimage Saudia Arabian Airlines will carry out 48 flights, and Turkish Airlines, 133. /Turkiye/

    [23] HELICOPTER TENDER

    Ankara cornered in a 4-billion-dollar helicopter tender between the US and Europe. Turkey will decide on whether to prefer a European Company, as an EU-candidate country, or the US, who supports her in the international arena. In the 145 attack helicopters production programme, American Boeign's Apache Longbow and Bell-Textron's King Cobra, German-French consorsium Eurocopter's Tiger, Ka-50_2, to be produced by the cooperation of Russian Kamov and Israel, and Italian Agusta's Mangusta A-129A type helicopters are competing. The evaluation in the Defence Industry Undersecretariat has already been completed. Now the Prime Minister, the General Staff and the Defence Minister will come together before the meeting of the the executive committe. The meeting is expected to be held later this month. /Hurriyet/

    [24] EXPORT RECORDMAN: LIO OIL

    The leader of olive oil export, the Lio Oil Industry is getting ready to go public. It will be the third oil company in the world after the Spainish Kopie and Greek Elias, oil companies went public. Last year, Lio company has 5% of the 508-thousand-ton world olive oil exports, and exports oil to about 20 countries around the world. With the 26% of Turkish olive oil exports, the Lio Company is planning to buy an olive oil brand in the US and to produce it in this country with this brand. /Hurriyet/

    [25] 'HARDLEY'S HAREM' WAS RECLAIMED FROM THE SEA

    The body of the American battle plane, which crash landed in World War II in the sea near Antalya's district of Manavgat, was reclaimed. The spot the plane crashed in was named 'Hardley's Harem' by pilot Gilbert Hadley, who died in the crash and was found in 1972. The plane's cockpit had been reclaimed in 1995 and the bones of Hardley, flight officer James R. Linsey and Bombardee Leon Storms sent home to their country. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [27] HALF-WAY THROUGH BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on the two day conference of Turkish and Greek journalists. A summary of his column is as follows:

    The two-day conference of Turkish and Greek journalists was completed yesterday. At the end of the conference messages of friendship were exchanged. However, it was surprising to see where the relations between the two countries have now reached from the state they were in before. When the Greeks we met learned that we were from Turkey, they welcomed us warmly and the atmosphere seemed that to be as a meeting of old friends. A Greek summed up the situation thus: "We are like two trees coming from the same hundred years old root.. We have lost years because of the wrong policies followed by those governing us... It is pleasing to see that we are coming together again..."

    In Greece, people favour peace with Turkey and the latest polls made showed that 56% of the Greeks are for peace and living together side by side. If both sides can carry this with commonsense, the official talks will reach somewhere. The politicians have to understand the sensitivies of each other. Therefore, they are trying to reach their goal step by step.

    Peoples living on both sides of the Aegean may hear more good news. When the Greek elections are over and a new cabinet is formed, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who is expected to win the election, will pay an official visit to Turkey.

    The Greeks as well as Turks are complaining about the issues such as the energy policy of their Government, traffic, and the justice system. However, there are also differences like the low rate of inflation, and no armed demonstrations after the success of a football team. It is possible to give many more examples.

    If Ecevit, Simitis, Cem and Papandreu are able to reach the end of this road, it will be to the benefit of both countries. Both the Greeks and Turks are aware of this. The road may be long, bu if you are among those who think that believing is half succeding, both sides are already half-way down this long road."

    [28] SECOND REFORM IN SOCIAL SECURITY BY ERDAL SAGLAM (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Erdal Saglam comments on the social security reforms. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Labour and Social Security Minister, Yasar Okuyan, is working on new legal arrangements which will complete the first social security reform. Okuyan, noted that six more laws would be accepted and added that four of these would be presented to the TGNA soon and the other two would come on the agenda later in the year.

    Okuyan stated that the bill to put the Social Security Organization (SSK), the State Employees Pension Fund, and Bag-kur (three different pension systems existing today) all under one roof and the bill concerning individual pension system will be presented to the TGNA soon. The arrangement granting the right for strike to civil servants will also be completed in soon.

    As the social security system is being completed, general health insurance is also a must to have accepted by society. The Minister stated that the general health insurance scheme will have to be worked on with the Health Ministry and therefore, will take a little more time.

    On employment security the situation seems a little bit more complicated. Last year, Okuyan stated that they were afraid the employers would give way to all workers just before the law went into effect. He is repeating the same concern today and due to the economic programme this possibility may be strengthened. Even if he does not openly say so, it is sensed that employers are bringing these threats to the agenda secretly.

    Okuyan seems determined. He stated that job security and general health insurance would be accepted anyway. He is hopeful that individual insurance will come into effect soon and expects to get $ 10 billion from it for the Treasury. He added that the present social security and premium systems would be kept and the new system would be granted to those who wish to have it. Some of the life insurance systems available at present could keep up with this law. Okuyan also believes that as this system, which will give voluntary second plan to those who are working it has to be made more attractive.

    When reminded that the Finance Ministry does not want to let go of the State Employees Pension Fund, he stated that they would solve the matter soon. He added that these reforms would be as hard as the first one but will be completed.

    Even though these reforms may seem to be in the background for the programme, these arrangements are necessary for a lasting drop in the rate of inflation and establishing a system on Western norms. It seems that all sectors are fighting against deformations and if this programme is to succeed and inflation is to drop to a one-digit number structural measures should be completed and if the system will be re-established in modern norms everybody has to keep up with it.

    The troubles of keeping up with this, will be felt in wider sectors and more intensely as the progrramme goes along. Certainly, resistance to it will increase. But we do not have any other choice."


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