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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-09

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

09.02.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [02] AUSTRIA ASSURES ECEVIT
  • [03] ECEVIT'S GUEST
  • [04] CEM VISITS MOROCCO
  • [05] TURKEY'S EU MEMBERSHIP TIMETABLE BEGAN TO OPERATE
  • [06] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN TRNC
  • [07] REJECTION OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE FOR MERVE KAVAKCI
  • [08] CRACKDOWN ON HIZBULLAH
  • [09] HIZBULLAH TERRORISM
  • [10] NEW STATION FOR KANDILLI
  • [11] NO RESPONSE TO GREEK HARASSEMENT
  • [12] TURKISH-GREEK MEDIA DECLARATION
  • [13] END TO HOT MEALS
  • [14] INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FINANCE FOUND TURKEY SAFE
  • [15] WOLFENSOHN TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [16] STANDARD AND POOR AWAITING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
  • [17] VESTEL TO GROW IN THE U.S.A.
  • [18] BOOM IN THE AUTOMOBILE SALES
  • [19] INTEREST RATE 40% IN SPITE OF THE INFLATION
  • [20] GREAT DEMAND FOR A-TYPE FUNDS
  • [21] OPTIMISIM IN THE ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [22] TEN-MILLION BANKNOTES ARE DEFECTIVE
  • [23] TELEPHONES AND FIXED PRICES
  • [24] A RISE IN INVESTMENT FOR GOLF
  • [25] TANSAS' CALENDER BECAME SECOND IN THE WORLD
  • [26] TURKISH MUSIC DAYS
  • [27] TOPKAPI DAGGER TO GO TO U.S.
  • [28] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [29] NO COMPARISON (SAMI KOHEN) (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] AUSTRIA ASSURES ECEVIT

    The Austrian Ambassador to Ankara, Ralph Scheibe, visited Bulent Ecevit to deliver a message from the new Austrian Prime Minister Schussel. In his message, Schussel, stated that the newly formed government would not change current policies regarding the issues of concern to Turkish society.

    Ambassador Scheibe said that the message's aim is to reassure the Turkish government after a radical rightist party joined the coalition government in Austria. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] ECEVIT'S GUEST

    Prime Minister Ecevit received the Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Ichita Yamamoto and his accompanying delegation. The guest Deputy Minister will visit, Public Works and Settlement Minister, Koray Aydin. Aydin and Yamamoto are expected to open the Japanese village founded for the victims of the earthquake. /Turkiye/

    [04] CEM VISITS MOROCCO

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, in his visit to Morocco was received by the Moroccan King Muhammed yesterday. In the meeting bilateral relations and regional issues were discussed and Minister Cem conveyed the invitation of President Suleyman Demirel. Following the meeting King Muhammed stated that Morocco expects Turkey to support them in their relations with Europe. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TURKEY'S EU MEMBERSHIP TIMETABLE BEGAN TO OPERATE

    The EU Commission's responsible member for expansion, Gunter Verheugen held a press conference in Brussells on the issue of expansion and stated that recognition of Turkey's candidacy during the Helsinki Summit was the most discussed issue and that after the Summit some of their expectations concerning Turkey had in fact materialized. Verheugen further stated that he would come to Turkey in March and that the appointments in the process of Turkey's preparation for full-membership had been determined. Verheugen added, "The expansion of the EU will bring economic success. However, some countries will experience problems in the beginning. Relations between Greece and Turkey have improved and the Turkish Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem's visit to Athens and his declarations are promising. The Aegean is now being considered as a sea of peace, which is very encouraging. A window was opened concerning the Cyprus problem but I do not know when this will be solved. However, the efforts being shown today are enough and also the Helsinki decisions became effective on this issue." /Aksam/

    [06] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN TRNC

    The Republican Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus approved the bill which set the date of the presidential election on 15th April 2000. According to this law, if none of the candidades receive more than 50% of the votes required to be elected as the president in the first round, a second round of voting will be held. The second round of elections will be held on 22nd April between two candidates with the highest number of votes. At present, there are five candidates for the presidency. /Turkiye/

    [07] REJECTION OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE FOR MERVE KAVAKCI

    The Council of State rejected unanimously an appeal on Tuesday by Merve Kavakci against a government decision to strip her of Turkish citizenship. The decision closed the door permanently for her to take seat as a parliamentarian. She may also be judged according to the 312_2 artical of the Turkish Penal Code. Merve Kavakci now has the right to appeal once again to the supreme court for a final review of her case to keep Turkish citizenship. She has already married a Turk and automatically became a citizen again. /Hurriyet/

    [08] CRACKDOWN ON HIZBULLAH

    26 people have been arrested out of the 43 that were taken into custody in the crackdown against the Hizbullah. 18 more, among which there is a religion teacher, have also been detained in Konya and 30 taken into custody in Gebze.

    In the operations throughout the country, of 43 people taken into custody in Diyarbakir, 26 were arrested after questioning.

    In the meantime, it was stated by the Minister of Justice, Hikmet Sami Turk, that the cases concerning the Hizbullah, much like the Ocalan case, will be handled in one court in one centre. In his statement, Turk said, the reason for this arrangement was to enable the cases to be heard in a short period of time./Cumhuriyet/

    [09] HIZBULLAH TERRORISM

    A delegation presided by the Chief Deputy of the National Security Council, Lieutenant General Ilker Basbug, visited the Governor of the State of Emergency Region, Gokhan Aydiner. Later attending a meeting, where the governors of 11 provinces participated, the delegation discussed the issues of the region. The Governor Aydiner stated that 1,326 operation have been carried out against the Hizbullah terrorist organization since 1992, and 1,530 militants were arrested out of 5,015 taken into custody. He also said, "The organization had been greatly dented, however, we continue to crackdown up to the capture of the last militant." /Turkiye/

    [10] NEW STATION FOR KANDILLI

    The management of the Belbasi Seismic Observation Stations, which had been used by Turkey and the U.S.A. for the purpose of joint defence since 1951, was transfered to the Kandilli Observatory. Discussions held by the General Staff, Command of Air Forces and Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory with the U.S.A. under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were completed during American President Clinton's visit to Turkey. The agreement to transfer the management of the Belbasi Seismic Observation Station to Kandilli was signed by the U.S.A.'s Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris and the General Director of the Bileteral Political Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tansu Okandan. Ambassador Parris stated that Belbasi had an important role in measuring seismic activity caused by nuclear tests and added, "I hope these developments will be of benefit to Turkey, which has suffered from earthquakes so much." Belbasi Station will take its place among 20 main stations that work under the control of the United Nations. /Aksam/

    [11] NO RESPONSE TO GREEK HARASSEMENT

    For the first time, Turkey has not responded to the Greek Air Forces war planes' harassement to Turkish war planes which were on a training flight recently. The non-response of the Turkish Air Forces prevented a dog fight over the Aegean Sea, and stems from the fact that they do not wish to break down the rapprochment between the two countries. During the last days of January and in the first week of February, unarmed Turkish war planes were harassed by armed Greek war planes, while flying in international air space near Lemnos Island. The attitude of Greek Air Force were evaluated in Ankara as, "The Greek Armed Forces are annoyed with the Turco-Greek rapprochment". /Hurriyet/

    [12] TURKISH-GREEK MEDIA DECLARATION

    The closing declaration of the '1st Mass Media Conference` organized on Feb. 5th-6th 2000, between Turkish and Greek journalists, as a result of the initiatives of the Press Council last October, has been issued. The declaration emphasized the necessity and benefits of the cooperation between the two countries' press media organizations. and also pointed out the importance of the responsible attitudes of the journalist to develop the relations. The conference has been organized with the participation of journalists, directors of mass media organizations and academicians. /Hurriyet/

    [13] END TO HOT MEALS

    The Co-ordinator Governor of the Disaster Area, Kutluay Oktem, declared that hot meals would no longer be given to the quake survivors in Kocaeli, Sakarya and Yalova from the beginning of February, but dry food aid would be initiated. This will come into effect in Bolu and Duzce later. /Hurriyet/

    [14] INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FINANCE FOUND TURKEY SAFE

    Turkey passed the first test concerning 'transperancy', which also takes place in its government's protocol. International Institute of Finance (IIF) gave the Turkish economy a very high 'transperancy' mark. IIF discussed the world's most important and developing economies and gave Turkey 84 out of 100 in an evaluation, which was made on the basis of public financial management, payment balance-sheets and Treasury data. The project is being implemented with the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance's SAY2000 project, the Treasury's internal borrowing programme, Central Bank's weekly situation plan, the income management automation project and the three month expense programme of the Ministry of Finance had a great effect on its success, which put Turkey on a higher level regarding financial transperancy. /Sabah/

    [15] WOLFENSOHN TO VISIT TURKEY

    The Chairman of the World Bank James Wolfensohn is going to pay his first official visit to Turkey in May. Wolfensohn will discuss structural reforms and infrastructural ventures which are supported by the World Bank, with Premier Bulent Ecevit and other officials responsible for the economy. Ecevit and Wolfensohn met for the first time during Ecevit's US visit in September. /Hurriyet/

    [16] STANDARD AND POOR AWAITING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

    Marie Cavanaugh, one of the directors of Standard and Poor stated that an increase in Turkey`s rating this year is possible, however, they want to see how the economic programme is functioning. She also said that it was possible to encounter problems during the implementation of the economic programme in areas such as agriculture and privatization but that it was early days for any sound conclusions to be reached by just interpreting the figures for the first month. /Star/

    [17] VESTEL TO GROW IN THE U.S.A.

    The Zorlu Group, which has become very successful in the European market place by buying the most famous home textile brand in France, BelAir, two years ago, will follow the same strategy when opening to the U.S.A. markets in electronics. The Chairman of the Zorlu Holding Company, Ahmet Zorlu, made a statement at the Confortec 2000 Durable Goods Fair, held in Paris and said that they would buy a company, in which distritubion and marketing channels are advanced either in France or South America in order to increase their market share of exports in the U.S.A. Zorlu further stated that their work concerning this issue was continuing and that background works should be held in the region in order to be successful in the American market. /Sabah/

    [18] BOOM IN THE AUTOMOBILE SALES

    The automative sector, which had previously experienced some difficulties, entered the year 2000 with great productivity and sales increases. According to the January figures announced by the Association of the Automative Industry. The automative production grew by 121%, an increase from 6,294 to 13,934 when compared with the first month of last year. In addition, automative exports increased excessively by 233%, which increased Turkey's market share in the automative sector to above 50% for the first time. /Sabah/

    [19] INTEREST RATE 40% IN SPITE OF THE INFLATION

    After interest rates were announced as 4.9% on the consumer goods and 5.8% on wholesale goods, interest rates reduced by 4-5 points during the Treasury's biddings that were held yesterday. The Treasury had some success during the opening of two bids made in order to pay the highest amount of internal debts in its history. The Treasury sold net 2 quatrillion 309 trillion TL during the two biddings which were for 3 and 12 months-terms. The net sale figure, which was determined as 623 trillion TL before opening in the bond bidding of three months was achieved. In addition, the proposal of 1 quatrillion 209 trillion TL came from the banks and the intermediary establishments involved to the above-mentioned bond. /Milliyet/

    [20] GREAT DEMAND FOR A-TYPE FUNDS

    The A-type funds received great demands after the increase in the Istanbul Stock Exchange. The total portfolio value of the investment funds reached 330 trillion TL. A-type funds, which are being recommended so that small investors are not influenced by the fluctuations on the stock market, increased its amount of share certificate, which they have had in their portfolio since last December, to its highest level since 1994. According to the data of the Capital Market Council (SPK), 55.4% of the portfolios of A-type funds as from December, consisted of share certificates. /Milliyet/

    [21] OPTIMISIM IN THE ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Chairman of Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), Osman Birsen, stated that last year was very successful in terms of the stock exchange and that the year 2000 would be also. Birsen stated that the stock exchange had reached very high figures in terms of index values last year and had pleased everyone. Birsen further added, "IMKB made a good start at the beginning of the year 2000 and is continuing to give profit on the real basis. The positive atmosphere in the IMKB cannot be disturbed by any nothing. Nothing can spoil these developments. No-one in Turkey has the right to be pessimistic concerning this issue. My advice to the public is that they should not criticize the IMKB and make good use of its present performance." /Milliyet/

    [22] TEN-MILLION BANKNOTES ARE DEFECTIVE

    Some of the ten-million banknotes, issued on Nov. 5th 1999, were declared to be defective. It is understood that some security figures such as Ataturk's signature and torch design were not printed. The Central Bank is going to collect these banknotes from the market. /Hurriyet/

    [23] TELEPHONES AND FIXED PRICES

    The verdict on the fixed prices given by the Council of State pleased telephone subscribers. The decision of the Council of State which stated that fixed prices were not legal will serve as an example for cellular phones as well. Due to the fixed prices and additional taxes the number of people trying to get their phones disconnected increased greatly. Therefore, a crisis centre was formed to deal with this issue./Turkiye/

    [24] A RISE IN INVESTMENT FOR GOLF

    A 40% increase is expected in the year 2000 in the newly developing sector of golf tourism in Turkey. The revenues obtained from golf, considered "the billonaires' game", has reached a sum of 7 million dollars.

    MNG Holding has started work to construct an illuminated golf pitch so that it can also be used at night in Antalya, where 4 other pitches exist already.The number of visitors is increasing constantly, last year 92 thousand people came to Antalya just to play golf.

    The Sales Manager of the International Golf Club, İbrahim Atar, says that the target for the year 2000 is a 40% rise and comments that golf tourism in the Mediterranean is at a Golden Age and that more and more artists, politicians and businessmen are choosing to come to Turkey each year. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] TANSAS' CALENDER BECAME SECOND IN THE WORLD

    'The Millenium 2000' calender, which was prepared by the Tansas Company for the new millenium, received a medal in the branch of best printing and graphics during the olympics and was organized by the World's Association of Calender in the U.S.A. This calender was dedicated to all of the scientists of the history of civilization, adventurers, creative inventors and to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. /Sabah/

    [26] TURKISH MUSIC DAYS

    'The Year 2000 Turkish Music Days' will be organized by Cite de la Musique which is dependent on the French Ministry of Culture and by the Auditorium De Lyon which is dependent upon the Lyon Municipality and will be held in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Saint Claude and Dieppe between 9th and 17th February. Musician Okay Temiz stated that he would be attending the 'Year 2000 Turkish Music Days' with the support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and that the Turkish Diament Group would also be in Paris. Artists Musa Eroglu, Inci Cayirli, Sabahat Akkiraz, Nilufer Akbal, Sulukule Band, Birol Topaloglu, Bogazici Quartet, Elazıg Musical Organization, Fotem Folk Dances Group and Mahmut Demir are also invited. /Turkiye/

    [27] TOPKAPI DAGGER TO GO TO U.S.

    The famous Topkapı Dagger is set to be taken to the United States next week. It will be the first time that the dagger will be taken out of the country and on 29th February it will be displayed with other artifacts from the Topkapi Palace Treasury Department's art collection. President Suleyman Demirel, who is expected to visit the United States at the end of this month will open the exibition in Washington`s Corcoran Art Gallery. A statement made by the White House said that after a meeting of President Suleyman Demirel with President Bill Clinton they will visit the exhibition. /Turkiye/

    [28] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [29] NO COMPARISON (SAMI KOHEN) (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the lessons Turkey can learn from the Austrian example. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "What are the lessons Turkey can learn from the Austrian experience? As in all countries, this important event is still being discussed in Turkey. However, if we have to be honest, some of the evaluations are superficial. Therefore, the comparisons made on the subject and the results obtained can be misleading.

    The main factors in the Austrian experience can be summed up as follows: First, Joerg Haider is known as an old Nazi supporter. He is a politician who has openly expressed his sympathy on the subject and displayed his extreme nationalistic views. There are others like him in the Freedom Party he heads. However, it is still a legal party. Haider had to sign a document expressing his loyalty to democracy and constitutional order in order to be a partner of the coalition. Still, there are those both within the country and especially abroad, who do not trust him or his party.

    Secondly, the EU reacted harshly on Haider's coming to power and gave serious warnings to try to prevent it happening. It was not successful. Nowadays, many countries and institutions led by the US and the EU are trying to isolate Austria and by applying pressure. However, there are those who say that it is too early to say anything and they have to wait and see what policies the Government will follow. The argument against this opinion is that Europe has not forgotten the world of Hitler and that history should not repeat itself.

    The lessons which to be drawn out from this experience can be listed: First, an intervention by the EU in the affairs of an advanced state such as Austria is meaningful. This shows that countries opening up to the world cannot declare any longer that "this is my internal affair and no one can intervene." Especially on topics such as democracy and human rights...

    Secondly, Nazism, and fascism are the nightmares of Europeans; there is no other issue which creates an allergic reaction more than racist tendencies and policies. However, an interesting contrast can be observed here. The EU is trying to obstruct the Freedom party's coming to power but at the same time notes that it received 27% of the vote and therefore, believes that its continuation to exist is a requirement of democracy. In other words, the EU does not defend the closure of the party. In fact, Austrian laws did not foresee such an event.

    Even though there may seem to be some similarities at first sight, the situation in Austria is different than the one in Turkey. The difference in 'intervention in internal affairs' should be taken into consideration.

    However, there are no similarities between the Freedom Party in Austria and Virtue Party or the People's Democracy Party in Turkey. The main threat to Europe is Nazism and racism. This is not Turkey's concern. Fundamentalism, religious and ethnic terror which are threats in Turkey do not concern Europe except for a few examples.

    The reason why Europe's attitude may be seen as a 'double standard' stems from this difference."


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