|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 00-02-16
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 MINISTRY FOR THE SOUTHEAST COMES TO ATTENTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 DEMIREL IN DUZCEDemirel in attending the handing-over of the prefabricated houses built by the Province of Manisa in Duzce delivered a speech during which he said, "After the earthquake disaster that occurred on 17 August, the State showed that it had not been shaken by this terrible event. We overcame our shock and then we were able to cope with it thanks to the help of the global community. The Turkish State built 30,000 temporary houses and it was planned to build 60,000 permanent houses by the end of the year 2000. This year will be the year in which we repair the earthquake damage completely." After Demirel's speech, the Governor of Manisa and the Mayor of Duzce received a shield from President Demirel . /Aksam/
 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONAfter the agreement between the coalition partners of the Government, a constitutional amendment which allows presidents to be in office for two five-year terms, has been presented to members of parliament for signature by the Government. Premier Ecevit was the first to sign the proposal. The number of the signatures will be an indicator of the possibility of President Suleyman Demirel remaining in office for a further five year term. In the mean time, the Opposition parties, the Virtue Party (FP) and the True Path Party (DYP), have officially proposed an amendment to the Constitution in order that the next president of the country be elected directly by the people, not by Parliament. The two different proposals and the differences between the government and the opposition proposals on the election of the president by Parliament or by the people is a critical part of Constitutional Commission debates. /Hurriyet/
 CANDIDACY NEGOTIATIONS TO START WITHOUT TURKEYThe European Union (EU) has officialy started to full membership negotiations with six more candidate countries. Turkey is the only candidate excluded from the negotiations. In addition to the negotiations since 1998 with Estonia, Hungaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and the Greek-Cypriot Administration, the EU has started full membership negotiations also with Malta, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia. The EU is debating 30 different subjects. The EU accepted Turkey's EU candidacy at the Helsinki Summit, however, it stated that it was not possible to start full-membership negotitions soon. The EU Commission will declare its strategy to prepare Turkey for full-membership. /Cumhuriyet/
 LINDH DUE IN TURKEYIn reciprocation of Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit to Stockholm on Nov. 24-25, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh is coming to Turkey today on a two-day official visit. During his meetings, he will discuss the reforms needed before EU membership, human rights, bilateral and regional issues. In addition to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Lindh will meet parliamentary representatives, Kamran Inan and Sema Piskinsut, and also with representatives of human rights organizations. /Cumhuriyet/
 TANTAN IN CHINAYesterday, Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan met with Prime Minister Zhu Rongji in Beijing during his visit to China. During the encounter, both sides expressed the desire to develop their mutual relations. Tantan invited the Chinese Premier to Turkey on behalf of Bulent Ecevit. Interior Minister Tantan also thanked the Chinese Government for not sheltering the terrorist Ocalan while he was a fugitive. Tantan and those with him visited the Chinese Seismology Bureau and were briefed by the Director of the Bureau, Chen Zhangli. While there, replying to questions from journalists regarding the crackdown against the Hizbullah organization in Van, Sadettin Tantan stated that since the militants had used children and women as a human shield, the security forces had acted hesitantly and so casualties had been caused. /Cumhuriyet/
 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON TRNCOn the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) restrictions concerning the presidential elections, which will be held on April 15, began yesterday. This time, President Rauf Denktas will stand against five other nominees. The most powerful rival of Denktas is the Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Unity Party, Dervis Eroglu. Denktas will stand as an independent candidate. Before the presidential election, Rauf Denktas, who completed the second round of the proximity talks under the auspices of the UN in Geneva, has begun to give positive messages that at the end of the third round of the talks, the sides might be closer to a solution and candidacy for the EU might be a possibility. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY'S UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL CANDIDACYTurkey stated that since candidacy to the United Nations (UN) Security Council would involve the mobilization of all its financial resources, it had changed its mind about becoming a UN Security Council member. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli said, "Turkey is thinking of using its 'present limited resources' for its European Union candidacy only. UN Security Council candidacy will be considered at a later date. Following the earthquakes that occurred on 17 August and 12 October last, it became compulsory for Turkey to re-evaluate how to use its funds. As a result, it was found to be more appropriate to use the limited resources that remained from the cost of the OSCE Summit for the work that EU candidacy requires." /Aksam/
 EUROPEAN UNION SUPPORT FROM GERMANYTurkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, attended the gathering of Western European Consul-Generals in the German capital, Berlin, at which he met the Federal German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joschka Fischer. Fischer declared, "Since the day I took up my posting as a Minister, I have had many productive meetings with Cem. We, as the German nation, support Turkey's full-membership to the European Union (EU). Extremely friendly relations have been in existence between Turkey and Germany up to now; we want the continuation of these warm relations and are trying to strengthen them further." For his part, Cem stated that conditions in Turkey had improved since their last encounter in Istanbul." Cem thanked the government of Germany and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as well as Fischer for their support of Turkey's EU candidacy. /Aksam/
 MINISTRY FOR THE SOUTHEAST COMES TO ATTENTION OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCILDuring the regular meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) on 25 February at Cankaya Presidential Palace, the future of the State of Emergency Region (OHAL) will be talked of. At the MGK meeting, the main topic for deliberation will concern the replacement of Emergency Rule if it is not renewed when it officially comes to an end on 30th March 2000. It is also expected that the government members present will bring the issue of the establishment of a 'Ministry for the Southeast' into the agenda at the MGK gathering. /Aksam/
 PAPANDREOU: "ECEVIT HAS HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE"The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreou, evaluated the warmth of relations between Greece and Turkey and the problem of Cyprus in 'Newsweek' magazine. Papandreou stated that Ecevit had an historical importance in the solution of the Cyprus problem and pointed out that the Greek people did not consider Turkey as a threat any more. Papandreou said, "If the Turks and Greeks show that we can cooperate, then we can be an example so there will be no need for a 'Berlin wall' between the Greek-Cypriots and Turks. The Turkish people in Cyprus can gain a local autonomy under the roof of a federation and human rights can be secured. In addition, I have signed five agreements in Ankara. During his visit to Athens Cem has signed five others. We also improved relations between businessmen, women's groups and municipalities." /Milliyet/
 RENT LAW BEFORE PLENARY SESSIONThe amendment of the Rent Law will be discussed by the TGNA today. The Assembly will work on the Law which proposes a 25% increase for rents in the year 2000 and 10% in 2001. If the Law is enacted, the rent contracts prepared in the year 2000 will restrict any rent increase with 25%. /Cumhuriyet/
 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THKThe Turkish Aviation League (THK) is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its foundation with various events throughout the country. The celebrations will begin with a visit to Ataturk's Mauseoleum by a THK delegation. /Cumhuriyet/
 CIVIL CODE'S 74TH ANNIVERSARYThe Union of Istanbul Women Organizations is going to organize a conference entitled 'A Door to Light` to mark the 74th anniversary of the acceptance of the Civil Code. The opening speech of the conference will be delivered by Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk. /Cumhuriyet/
 SNOWFALL CAUSES SCHOOLS' CLOSUREAnkara Governor's Office declared that primary, secondary and high schools would be closed in Ankara and eight towns in the surrounding area today, due to the heavy snowfall overnight. /Cumhuriyet/
 LOAN FOR TUBE-CROSSING FROM JAPANThe documentation concerning the loan obtained from Japan for the financing of the Bozuyuk-Mekece Highway and the Istanbul Straits Tube-crossing has been approved. The ratification of the papers signed by the Turkish and Japanese governments was published in the Official Gazette yesterday and went into effect. According to this, a total of 41 billion 831 million Japanese Yen will be provided in two parts, one of 29 billion 367 million Japanese Yen and the other 12 billion 464 million Japanese Yen. This money was obtained from the Japanese Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) for the financing of these two ventures. The repayment of the loan will be over 18 years, the first seven years of which have been deferred. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH SHADOW-PUPPET THEATRE IN GREECEThe '1st International Shadow-Puppet Theatre Carnival' was organized between 8 and 14 February 2000 in Patras, Greece, attended by the Turkish performers. Turkish puppeteer Metin Ozlen and his assistant Alpay Ekler presented 'Tahir and Zuhre', and puppet-masters, author Unver Oral and his assistant Meserret Oral presented 'Punch the Swinger' during the Carnival. /Turkiye/
 BP AMOCO TO SELL AZERBAIJANI GAS TO TURKEYThe American petroleum company, BP Amoco, stated that they were willing to sell gas produced from the beds in the Caspian Sea to Turkey, as from the end of the year 2002. According to this statement, gas produced from the Shah Sea Project, will be transported to Turkey in the amount of 5 billion cubic metres in the first stage, followed by 16 billion cubic metres in the winter of 2002-2003. The Chairman of the Export Department of BP Amoco Azerbaijan, Andy Hopwood, stated that this agreement was based on the one signed by Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani officials during the OSCE Summit in November. /Sabah/
 THE ECONOMY IS READY FOR IMF INSPECTIONMost of the structural criterias determined for the first review made in the stand-by agreement, signed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have been implemented. The work on the remainder is continuing. The IMF delegation will begin its first meeting of reviews today. The IMF's Chairman of Turkey, Carlo Cottarelli will arrive in Ankara on 18th February due to his busy schedule. The delegation, which is expected to stay in Turkey for 10 days, will review the economic implementations of 1999 and discuss topics envisaged in the letter of intent and other issues bound to the timetable. Within this framework, the January and first half of February implementations will be evaluated. The IMF delegation will also meet officials from the Treasury, the Central Bank, Privatization Management, the Ministry of Finance and the State Planning Organization. /Sabah/
 THE TREASURY TO EXPORT BONDS TO JAPANThe Treasury will export bonds amounting to 25 billion yens (nearly 250 million dollars) to the Japanese markets next week. The General Director of the Foreign Economic Relations of the Treasury, Aydin Karaoz, will attend the Road Show in Japan at the weekend. The Japanese intermediary institution, Nomura, will export bonds. Treasury had purchased three year quota amounting to 500 billion yens from the Japanese Ministry of Finance. /Sabah/
 FRENCH COMPLIMENTS TO MUSIC OF ELAZIGFrance's news magazine 'Le Nouvel Observateur', which is distributed around the world, mentioned the Turkish Music Academy, which was established by Nihat Kazazoglu in Elazig. In the news, Elazig, the Turkish culture and the musicians of the group were pointed out. The work of Kazazoglu and other musicians was described as an 'obsession for music' and, "There is dance and music in Elazig in which you can never see anywhere else." /Sabah/
 FOREIGNERS' VIEW OF TURKEY HAS CHANGED POSITIVELYThe Chairman of the Executive Board of the Turkish Economy Bank (TEB), Yavuz Canevi, made a press statement concerning the offer of the TEB to the public saying, "When we went abroad in the past, foreign investors used to ask questions about the Turkish economy and the inflation rate in Turkey. However, now they want to be informed about the companies. Foreigners' views about Turkey have changed positively. We went on the road-show and attended 49 meetings in 10 countries and were very pleased by the enormous interest in Turkey." /Milliyet/
 TURKISH EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION IS 12 YEARS OLDThe Turkish Educators Association (Egit-Der) is to celebrate its 12th anniversary. The General Chairman of Egit-Der, Mustafa Gazalci, made a statement yesterday about the work of Egit-Der and said, "Egit-Der will continue its work to modernize education, settle down democracy and to solve the teachers' problems." /Milliyet/
 AGREEMENT IN ENERGYIt is expected that the World Bank, the Treasury and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Sources, and the State Planning Organization will reach an agreement concerning the reconstruction of the energy sector. It was learned that the parties involved will meet officials from the World Bank to reach an agreement concerning the reconstruction of the energy sector in Turkey. /Turkiye/
 MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE SUPPORTS THE BEET-GROWERSThe Minister of Industry and Trade, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, stated that they had given 26.5 trillion TL yesterday to the beet-growers. Tanrikulu made a written statement saying, "Within the framework of the support policies during recent years, the growers' interest in beet seeding has increased and the Ministry of Industry and Trade's efforts to treat the growers justly and ensure stability in production is continuing. Our initiatives are for an effective payment programme in spite of the hard economic conditions. Distributions all over Turkey have started and the payments will finish in 10 days." /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 FOREIGN CAPITAL AND TURKEY BY FIKRET BILA ( MILLIYET)Columnist Firet Bila comments on the reluctance of foreign investors to put capital in Turkey and what should be done to encourage it. A summary of his column is as follows:
"During the Davos conference foreign investors complained to Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit about the bureaucracy in Turkey. They stated that they had to get approval from 40 different places for their investment application. On his return home, Prime Minister Ecevit inquired into the situation and found out that to get a permit, foreign investors had to make more than 40 transactions with 25 different organizations. On hearing this,he gave instructions to reduce formalities to a minimum.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Husamettin Ozkan asked for a preliminary study on the subject and if the Coalition partners approve, one department to be authorized to deal with foreign investments. The organizations nominated to approve transactions will be given a 20 day period in order to reply. If there is no response from the cocerned organizations the permit will be automatically cosidered as given.
In an interview with Prime Minister Ecevit, his biggest complaint was on red tape. He saw two obstacles before Turkish economy and they were the energy bottleneck and bureaucracy. He added that Turkey had to overcome both of these obstacles. Ecevit said that they had to take the measures required to lift the restrictions on energy and reduce formalities to a minimum.
On the economy, the Prime Minister was optimistic. He expressed his belief that even though the rate of inflation was high in the first month, they would reach their goal. He added that some of the measures they have taken, had already began to yield results. Prime Minister Ecevit said that Turkey would be able to adapt to EU standards economically but he wondered whether the EU was ready to take Turkey in.
Prime Minister Ecevit also expounded on political issues and said that Turkey had to take steps in democratization and human rights. However, when the country was still under the pressure of terrorism, it was hard to take those steps. He added that these would take time, and if the pressure of terrorism is lifted then it would be easy for Turkey to take the necessary steps. In his opinion the problem in Turkey stemmed from an imbalance between the punishments and their implementation.
It is understood from the Prime Minister's words that Ankara is optimistic in implementing Europe's expectations, but is not sure whether the same optimism is shared by Europe in accepting Turkey."
 THE CONSTITUTION WILL BE AMENDED BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes on the amendment to the Constitution. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The amendment of the Constitution has been brought to the attention of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Firstly, the election of the President through a referendum will be discussed; this is the proposal brought to the table by the Virtue Party and the True Path Party. As the other parties and, therefore, the Government will not endorse this it stands no chance of being accepted.
After this, Article 101 will be voted on. The third paragraph of the Article will be removed; this is the part where it declares that a person cannot be elected as President for a second consecutive term in office. The sentence which states that the presidential term in office is for a period of seven years will be amended to "the President will be elected for a period of five years and can hold this office twice."
That well-known article, Article 86 of the Constitution, which arranges the salaries, travel expenses and pensions of the political representatives has to be removed and it should be noted that each and everyone of these issues will be organized under separate laws. Otherwise, the issue of "special pensions for representatives" will continue to dominate the news. It should also be that provision for the salaries and pensions of those working in the judicial field will be altered.
These amendments will be achieved. The members of the Parliament have commonsense and love their country, so they will cast their votes, not with their emotions but by using their logic. With this Constitutional amendment, Demirel will be able to be re-elected. I believe that even his rivals will cast their votes for him.
If Demirel is not re-elected President, Turkish politics will regress to the situation of seven years ago; the Turkish Speaking States will be ignored; stagnation will be seen in the Caucasian, Balkan and EU policies; energy projects, investment and construction initiatives for growth will be delayed. Not only that but vacancies will be filled by top-level bureaucrats; democratization will be postponed, and it will be hard to overcome crises. As President Demirel re-enters active party politics, the balances will change. In short, stability and harmony will be dealt a great blow."
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