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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-15

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

15.02.00

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] DEMIREL TO VISIT DUZCE
  • [03] RAUF DENKTAS DUE IN ANKARA
  • [04] CLASH WITH HIZBULLAH: FIVE POLICE OFFICERS KILLED
  • [05] FASSINO ARRIVES IN TURKEY
  • [06] BLUE STREAM PIPELINE
  • [07] CEM TO BE GIVEN HEART FOUNDATION AWARD
  • [08] THANKS FROM HILLARY
  • [09] FARMERS INTERESTS TO DECREASE TO 40%
  • [10] MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS' ANNOUNCEMENT
  • [11] EARTHQUAKE IN BOLU
  • [12] REPAIRS TO THE GALATA BRIDGE
  • [13] DECISION DAY FOR HELICOPTER PURCHASE: MARCH 6TH
  • [14] TURKISH LIRA GAINED VALUE
  • [15] TURKCELL TO GO PUBLIC
  • [16] CREDIT LYONNAIS SECURITIES ASIA TO OPEN FUND IN TURKEY
  • [17] TREASURY IN PURSUIT OF THE MUNICIPALITIES IN DEBT
  • [18] TURKISH AND GREEK ARTISTS' EXHIBITION OPENED
  • [19] EMITT 2000
  • [20] OGER: STOP EXCESSIVE BUILDING
  • [21] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [22] NEW SPIRIT IN THE BALKANS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [23] A DAY IN THE PAST BY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (HURRIYET)

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

    [02] DEMIREL TO VISIT DUZCE

    Three hundred prefabricated houses in Duzce built thanks to the Governor of Izmir, businessmen from Izmir and concerned citizens, will be handed over to their owners today in a ceremony attended by President Suleyman Demirel. All the basic needs of a family can be met even under the present winter conditions. These houses were produced in the village of Ahmetler. The houses cost 750 billion TL together with the infrastructure work and 250 prospective houses have been selected by drawing lots. Furthermore, 50 of these prefabricated houses will be reserved for Health Centres, Playschools, Gendarmerie and PTT services. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] RAUF DENKTAS DUE IN ANKARA

    Following the proximity talks held under the auspices of the UN in Geneva, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, arrived in Ankara yesterday. After his meeting with President Suleyman Demirel, Denktas spoke at a conference to the students of Army High School students about Cyprus. Stressing that during the debates in Geneva they had proposed a solution along the lines of the situation in Belgium, President Denktas stated, "We defend this model. Look at Belgium, there are two societies who speak two different languages. However, if one side removes the other from the government by force and if it says that it is the sole government and wants to be dependent on France, then there would be no Belgium. This was the situation which occurred on Cyprus." He also said that friendship between the two countries was only reasonable, and to have a good relationship with Turkey was a wise attitude for Greece to adopt." /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] CLASH WITH HIZBULLAH: FIVE POLICE OFFICERS KILLED

    Five police officers and five Hizbullah militants were killed in shooting which flared up after police had acted on a tip-off and surrounded two houses in which the militants were holed up in the Eastern Anatolian city of Van early on Monday. Two police officers from the Anti-Terrorism Department- Mehmet Unver and Naci Akcay- and three from the Special Operations Department- Mustafa Acikgoz, Vahit Uslu and Harun Karabulut- were killed during the clash. Five Hizbullah militants were also shot dead, and two others captured alive. This was the first gun battle between security forces and fundamentalist terrorists since the raid in Pendik, Istanbul, in January in which Hizbullah leader Huseyin Velioglu was killed. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] FASSINO ARRIVES IN TURKEY

    Italian Minister of Foreign Trade, Piero Fassino, will arrive in Turkey today for a three-day official visit to improve the bilateral commercial relations. Fassino will attendd meetings in Istanbul and participate in a meeting of the Turco-Italian Business Council there. Fassino will also meet members of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) and visit Istanbul Chamber of Trade. Fassino, who will arrive in Ankara on Thursday, is expected to be welcomed by Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit. /Star/

    [06] BLUE STREAM PIPELINE

    The construction of the section of Blue Stream natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea has begun; it is being carried out by the Italian Eni and Russian Gazprom companies. The submarine section of the pipeline may attain up to 2,150 metres. Meanwhile, the overland construction in Russia and Turkey started this month. /Turkiye/

    [07] CEM TO BE GIVEN HEART FOUNDATION AWARD

    It was stated that Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem will be given the Turkish Heart Foundation's "Sakip Sabanci Good Heart Award". The selection committee decided Cem was worthy of the medal this year due to services rendered to Turkey with his facilitation of Turkey's European Union candidacy, the improvements seen in relations between Turkey and Greece and the respect that he has ensured for Turkish foreign policy. Cem will receive his award on the evening of 17th February at the Sabanci Centre. /Sabah/

    [08] THANKS FROM HILLARY

    The wife of the American President Bill Clinton, Hillary sent a letter of thanks to Nuri Ozaltin, the owner of the Ozaltin Company and the Gloria Golf Resort Hotel. Ozaltin had presented Hillary with a silk carpet and a plastic sculpture depicting Bill Clinton Playing golf, on her visit to Antalya in November. /Hurriyet/

    [09] FARMERS INTERESTS TO DECREASE TO 40%

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, stated that the interest rates of loans to farmers would be decreased to 40%, in March. Gokalp addressing the public in Eskisehir's district of Cifteler and said, "The farmers should be supported and the rate of the agricultural credit cooperations and Ziraat Bank will decrease to 40% as from March. Also, the price of fuel oil, used by farmers will decrease. In addition, the animal breeding improvement programme is continuing. /Sabah/

    [10] MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS' ANNOUNCEMENT

    The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a statement saying it is compulsory for meat products to carry a stamp showing they are fit for human consumption. Packaging should not be torn or split. In addition, inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Health will take random samples from time to time and analyze them with internationally accepted methods. /Sabah/

    [11] EARTHQUAKE IN BOLU

    Bolu's district of Mengen was shaken with a magnitute of 5.0 according to the Richter scale yesterday morning. This was followed by another earthquake, the epicentre of which was in Bolu and registered 3.8 according to the Richter scale. Istanbul, Ankara, Izmit and Sakarya felt this quake. The roofs of some buildings collapsed in Mengen and people panicked. The Minister of National Education, Metin Bostancioglu, arrived in the region for a tour of inspection. Bostancioglu stated that it was unfortunate that the earthquake happened on the first day of the second-term of schools. /Star/

    [12] REPAIRS TO THE GALATA BRIDGE

    Repairs to the Galata Bridge, which cannot be opened because of a production mistake started yesterday. Officials stated that the two lanes carrying traffic on the Halic side will be closed until 24th February 2000. The bridge will be closed to pedestrians and sea traffic on February 2000. /Milliyet/

    [13] DECISION DAY FOR HELICOPTER PURCHASE: MARCH 6TH

    The decision on the helicopter project which will place the Turkish Armed Forces amongst the strongest land forces with air support in the world, has been postponed to March 6th. The reason for the postponement was stated to be due to the hectic schedules of the Prime Minister, the Chief of General Staff and the National Security Minister which mean that their meeting cannot be held. Before the meeting at the beginning of March, the Prime Minister will be briefed on March 3rd by Defense Industry authorities. There are several helicopters competing in Turkey's helicopter tender: Boeing's AH-64D Apache Longbow (United States), Bell Helicopter-Textron's AH-IZ King Cobra (United States), Agusta's A129-I (Italy), Eurocopter's Tiger (France) and Kamov's KA-50_52 (Russia). The venture includes 145 attack helicopters and will cost Turkey about 4 billion dollars. /Hurriyet/

    [14] TURKISH LIRA GAINED VALUE

    State Planning Organization (SPO) stated that the Turkish lira made a gain of 2%. In February, SPO's Economic Developments Report, it was written: "As from end of the January 2000, the change in the foreign exchange basket that consists of 1 dollar and 0.77 Euro, reached its target. In January, the average increase in the foreign exchange basket was 3.7%. During the same period, the increase in the price of durable goods was 5.8% and the Turkish lira made a gain of 2% in real terms." /Aksam/

    [15] TURKCELL TO GO PUBLIC

    Turkcell Communication Services Company, will be offered to the public by Goldman Sach and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, who are among the world's largest GSM establishments. After the election held last week in London, Turkcell gave authority to foreign investment bank, Goldman Sach and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, to handle the offer. Turkey's leading GSM company, Turkcell, is among the fastest growing in Europe. Turkcell has more than 5,750,000 subscribers in Turkey and holds majority shares with GSM companies in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. /Aksam/

    [16] CREDIT LYONNAIS SECURITIES ASIA TO OPEN FUND IN TURKEY

    Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia opened a branch in Istanbul last year and its London Director, Jonathan Compton, stated that they decided to come to Turkey almost a year ago because of importance among developing markets. Compton said, "We want to establish funds in Turkey and the decision to come to Turkey was made before the IMF agreement was signed and Turkey's candidacy to the EU was approved. During our activities in Turkey, we will transfer the money from abroad to Turkey and deal with privatization. Also the tourism sector attracts interest and has a great potential. We have not decided yet whether or not the funds will cover Turkey only or the region." /Milliyet/

    [17] TREASURY IN PURSUIT OF THE MUNICIPALITIES IN DEBT

    The Undersecretariat of Treasury has begun to investigate 30 local administrations and dependent establishments, which cannot pay their guaranteed foreign debt amounting to nearly 3 billion dollars. Among the municipalities to be investigated by the Treasury, which are trying to create the balance of public financing within the framework of the stand-by agreement that was signed with the IMF, are Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir metropolitan municipalities. /Milliyet/

    [18] TURKISH AND GREEK ARTISTS' EXHIBITION OPENED

    An exhibition organized by the Association of Mimar Sinan University State Fine Arts Graduates, in Ankara and by the Athens Aenaon Art Gallery was opened at the State Fine Arts Gallery yesterday. Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay spoke during the opening ceremony and pointed out the warmth of relations between Turkey and Greece due to the earthquakes in both countries. Greece's Ambassador to Ankara, Hannis Korantis, said, "When art speaks, diplomacy is silenced. On seeing the souls of Turkish and Greek artists and tonight's great event, I believe that this is more effective than the efforts of diplomats." /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] EMITT 2000

    Turkey's biggest tourism event, the Eastern Mediterranean International Travel and Tourism Fair 'EMITT 2000` will be organized in Istanbul on Feb. 17-20, 2000. 250 travel agencies from 40 countries, 500 organizations and 50 foreign journalists are expected to attend the Fair. The General Director of Ekin Software Centre, which is organizing the Fair, Halim Bulutoglu, said that this was the first and the biggest international Fair of its kind to take place in the Mediterranean basin, added that EMITT, would be included into the top five European organizations within the next five years. /Hurriyet/

    [20] OGER: STOP EXCESSIVE BUILDING

    Vural Oger, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Oger Tours, the company which aims to bring 800,000 German tourists to Turkey in the year 2000, said that the biggest danger to tourism, even greater than that of the PKK, was to increase the number of building sites in the country. Oger Tours has allocated 20 million DM to the promotion and advertising of Turkey and has launched its campaign to cover the whole of Germany. Vural Oger stated that they were hopeful about the year 2000 and they expect to make 800-850 million DM. /Hurriyet/

    [21] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [22] NEW SPIRIT IN THE BALKANS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the new climate prevailing in the Balkans. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "As Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has stated, Balkan countries have for the first time in 66 years begun the process of determining their own fate. This is the main result of the recent Bucharest meeting of six Balkan countries. As this has great significance regarding the future of the region, it was registered by three documents.

    The first of these is "The Charter for Stability, Security and Cooperation and Good-neighbourly Relations in Southeastern Europe". This paper outlines a framework for cooperation in a variety of areas from political solidarity, to trade, cultural ties and combatting terrorism.

    The second official paper sets out the style of and mechanism for the cooperation process as envisaged by the Charter. It is in the nature of an action plan and covers the timetabling of periodical meetings and talks to be arranged by the countries which have signed the Charter; the number of these countries is expected to increase in the near future.

    The third document is called the "Bucharest Declaration". It expounds on various problems in the Balkans, also named Southeastern Europe, and especially on the situation in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Moreover, it outlines the basis of cooperation with international organizations.

    With this handful of documentation, a new phase is beginning in the Balkans. The main feature of this process is that it is entirely a "Balkan initiative". The implementation of multilateral solidarity and a system of cooperation in a region like the Balkans, which has been like a powder-keg throughout history, depends on solutions to the problems of the countries within this system. In a place, where bilateral disagreements still continue, one cannot talk of collective cooperation. Within this context, the rapprochement between Turkey and Greece is promising for the future of this "Charter".

    The meeting between Ecevit and Simitis during the Bucharest Summit is one step taken along this path. Another concerns the Greek diplomats' imparting their know-how on relations with the EU to their Turkish counterparts. In fact, there are many factors where Turkey can make use of Greek experience concerning the EU; Athens' help to Ankara on the issue will reflect positively on bilateral relations.

    Another step forward concerns the meeting the Turkish-Greek, and Bulgarian Foreign Ministers plan to organize at our common border. This will open the path to cooperation between the three countries on many common issues, from infrastructure to communications, for which the financial support of the EU may be provided.

    The new spirit envisaged by the Charter will improve with such measures."

    [23] A DAY IN THE PAST BY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (HURRIYET)

    Prof. Mumtaz Soysal comments on the developments of the past year. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Only last year, on 15 February 1999, Abdullah Ocalan was captured in Nairobi,the capital of Kenya, coming out of the Greek Embassy. He had a Greek-Cypriot passport in the name of Greek-Cypriot journalist Lauros Mauros. As following inquiries have shown, he used this passport to enter Greece on February 1st. After staying two days in Glifada near Athens, moved on to Africa. His trip to Italy had been followed with interest in Greece. At the time. Greek Deputy Foreign Minister George Papandreou said that the Ocalan crisis was the problem of the whole of Europe and called on the EU to show solidarity on the issue.

    From Italy, Ocalan went on to Russia and then returned to Greece. Officials were aware of his comings and goings and according to international law they were obligated to cooperate with bringing the terrorist to trial. However, they denied the whole issue. Ocalan then flew to Minsk and the rest is common knowledge.

    The narrative of the past does not aim to poison developments of today. We have to state repeatedly that the peaceful existence of the people on both sides of the Aegean and side by side is to the benefit of all and it should be achieved.

    However, this peace should not be based on dreams and emotions but realities and a balance of interest. It should be clear that a neighbour who dared to do everything for her own interests and even sheltered a terrorist, is treading carefully with the determination of someone who is used to achieving his own ends.

    The near past was not lived to be forgotten in Anatolia, in the Aegean or on Cyprus. They should be known well, so as not to be repated and steps for living in peace and in human dignity should be taken accordingly."


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