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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-17

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

17.02.00

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] FOUR SIGNATURES READY FOR DEMIREL
  • [03] ECEVIT: "WE WILL GET RID OF HIZBULLAH"
  • [04] 25,000 BULLETS UNDER INVESTIGATION
  • [05] CEM: "RELATIONS WITH GERMANY WILL NOT DETERIORATE"
  • [06] DENKTAS: "KLERIDES WILL ACCEPT THE TWO STATES"
  • [07] TURKEY WARNS FRANCE
  • [08] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ANKARA
  • [09] US SUPPORTS BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN VENTURE
  • [10] MINI SUMMIT OF THE THREE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
  • [11] CEM: 15 YEARS FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP
  • [12] OBSERVATION STARTED BY THE IMF
  • [13] GUL PROCLAIMS HIS CANDIDACY
  • [14] DRAFT LAWS TO BE DISCUSSED
  • [15] GOOD NEWS FOR TENANTS
  • [16] VOTING RIGHT ABROAD
  • [17] RUSSIAN BLOW TO PKK
  • [18] 40 PREFABRICATED HOUSES COMPLETED
  • [19] JPC MEETING POSTPONED
  • [20] TURCO-JAPANESE MEETING
  • [21] ECONOMIC REPORT PRESENTED TO NSC
  • [22] TANK BARGAINING
  • [23] MEASURES AGAINST POLLUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN
  • [24] BELIEF TOURISM
  • [25] COOPERATION IN TOURISM BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE
  • [26] NEW REGULATION FOR EXPORTS OF CHICKENS
  • [27] PEOPLE WITH RESTRICTED INCOMES TO BE SUPPORTED
  • [28] REFINERY CONSTRUCTED IN TURKMENISTAN
  • [29] ITALY CALLS FOR COOPERATION
  • [30] TURKEY HOPES FOR 1.7 BILLION DOLLARS FROM THE EU
  • [31] ISTANBUL METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
  • [32] SEMINAR IN LONDON ON ILISU AND GAP
  • [33] OTTOMAN TREASURY IN THE U.S.A.
  • [34] `GREASE' TO BE STAGED IN TURKEY
  • [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [36] EU, AUSTRIA AND TURKEY BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)
  • [37] THE PKK IS FINISHED; IT'S TIME TO INVEST BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] FOUR SIGNATURES READY FOR DEMIREL

    A proposal which envisages a constitutional amendment for the re-election of President Suleyman Demirel has been opened for signature. Four leaders including Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister, Devlet Bahceli, Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, and Head of the True Path Party (DYP), Tansu Ciller, have signed the proposal which enables the re-election of the President for five more years. Ecevit said that this amendment would make a great contribution to stability in the country. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] ECEVIT: "WE WILL GET RID OF HIZBULLAH"

    During his speech at his party's group meeting, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "The biggest betrayal of Islam comes from the Hizbullah organization. Now, it is better understood that the best service for Islam comes from secularism which has respects for beliefs. A pioneer for secularism in the world is Turkey, and its pioneer in Turkey is the Democratic Left Party (DSP). We are determined to save our country and our religion from the calamity of Hizbullah." Recalling that the five police officers had been killed during the clash in Van, Ecevit wished God's mercy for them. Premier Ecevit also mentioned the proposal for the Constitutional amendment for the Presidential election and said that he and the coalition parties' leaders had already signed it and they would present the draft for the approval of the Opposition Parties today. /Turkiye/

    [04] 25,000 BULLETS UNDER INVESTIGATION

    In addition to the investigations concerning missing weapons and ammunition, the criminal observation of weapons seized during the crackdown against the Hizbullah is continuing. As a result of work on the seized weapons, in the Adana Regional Laboratory, four murders, perpetrators of which were unknown, have been discovered. Stating that the investigations on 25,000 bullet cases were underway in the Diyarbakir Regional Criminal Laboratory, a high level security officer declared that investigations might continue for some months and after their completion many unsolved murders may be clarified. /Turkiye/

    [05] CEM: "RELATIONS WITH GERMANY WILL NOT DETERIORATE"

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who participated in the Meeting of Consuls-General in Western Europe, held in Berlin, Germany, said that the postponement of the visit of German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroder to Turkey would not negatively affect the relations between the two countries. Cem held a press conference prior to his departure to Turkey and said, "The Turkish Prime Minister would like to host Schroder at an early date. Our relations with Germany are good. This postponement will not influence our relations". /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] DENKTAS: "KLERIDES WILL ACCEPT THE TWO STATES"

    The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, who attended the second Cyprus proximity talks, which began on January 31, returned to the TRNC yesterday. Denktas in a statement concerning his talks, stated that they had the opportunity to discuss the Cyprus issue in detail. Denktas pointed out that Greek-Cypriots would see the reality sooner or later and Greek-Cypriot Leader, Glafkos Klerides, would accept that there were two states on the Island. Denktas recalled that the Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu had said that Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots should take lessons from the cooperation between Turkey and Greece. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] TURKEY WARNS FRANCE

    Turkey has warned France over the initiatives to bring the so-called Armenian genocide draft to the agenda of the French Senate. The French Ambassador to Ankara, Jean-Claude Cousseran, was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday and he was warned that if the draft was to be deliberated again, relations between Turkey and France would become tense. Deputy Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Bulent Akarcali, said that a reaction should be made to circles which are working against Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ANKARA

    The Swedish Foreign Minister arrived in Ankara yesterday as the guest of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem. Inter-delegationary meetings between the Turkish and Swedish Foreign Ministries will be held tomorrow. It was revealed that Cem will bring the problems of Turkish citizens living in Sweden to the table and that Mrs. Lindh, his Swedish counterpart, will concentrate on the human rights reforms that need to be implemented in Turkey. /Sabah/

    [09] US SUPPORTS BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN VENTURE

    The Clinton Administration has pointed out their continuing support for the construction of the pipeline to transport oil from the Caspian Sea to the West via Baku, Tbilisi and Ceyhan. Officials stated that at the meeting between the Azerbaijani President and the American President two days ago at the White House the natural gas pipeline through the Caspian and the Baku-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline were topics for discussion. The two leaders shared the same positive opinion of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. /Milliyet/

    [10] MINI SUMMIT OF THE THREE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three Balkan countries, Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece, are set to meet on Saturday to discuss joint projects and their common border security. The mini summit will take place in Filibe and after the first meeting, the next meeting will take place in the Greek border city of Orestias and then the third and final one in Edirne./Turkiye/

    [11] CEM: 15 YEARS FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP

    The Minister of Foreign Afairs, Ismail Cem, declared that it would take Turkey no more than 15 years to get a full membership of the European Union. He also said that it was a very important development for Turkey to be given an understanding of membership in the Helsinki summit. In the meeting set to take place in Brussels between the EU and the Turkish Joint Economic and Social Consultation Committee, Turkish-EU relations will be discussed./Star/

    [12] OBSERVATION STARTED BY THE IMF

    Recep Onal, the Minister of State, yesterday stated that Turkey was now completely ready for the observation by the International Monetary Fund which has started. In another statement, this time made by IMF it was pointed out that countries, such as Turkey, trying to decrease their inflation rate should be weary of the fact that having a definite and final inflation rate target could lead to problems.

    It was also stated by Minister of State Recep Onal that, apart from some deviation caused by the earthquake, the performance criteria determined in the letter of intention given to the IMF, have fully been met./Aksam/

    [13] GUL PROCLAIMS HIS CANDIDACY

    Abdullah Gul, the Virtue Party's parliamentary representative from Kayseri, will declare his candidacy for the leadership of the Party. Leaning on support from Tayyip Erdogan, who has a great popularity within the Party, Abdullah Gul will launch his candidacy campaign and declare his 'reformist` targets at the weekend. Oguzhan Asilturk, a veteran party member, representing the conservative wing of the party, will attend the leadership race at the Congress to be held on May 14. /Hurriyet/

    [14] DRAFT LAWS TO BE DISCUSSED

    Parts of some draft laws presented to the Council of Ministers by the Labour Minister which were then sent to a sub-committee for consideration, will be opened for signature at the Ministry for Labour this week. A consensus was unable to be reached concerning the draft law on the unification of the State Employees' Pension Fund, Social Insurance Institution and the Self-Employed Persons' Pension Fund under the same roof, to be renamed the 'Social Security Organization'. This document was shelved in order to be discussed at a later date and other drafts concerning the insurance and health departments under the umbrella of the Self-Employed Persons' Pension Fund, the Employment Authority, Is-Kur and the Social Insurance Institution, which departments will be run by two different General Directorates, will be opened for signature tomorrow at the Council of Ministers. /Sabah/

    [15] GOOD NEWS FOR TENANTS

    As a another step, taken to reduce the inflation rates, rent increases for homes have been limited by 25% this year, and by 10% next year under a new act passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The home owners will not be able to increase rents if the tenants are obligated to pay the rent in a foreign currency./Aksam/

    [16] VOTING RIGHT ABROAD

    Izmir Deputy Rifat Serdaroglu has presented a proposal to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) for the amendment to the law which envisages that Turkish citizens living abroad can vote in deputy elections. According to the proposal, every consulate-general or consulate determined by the Supreme Election Board will be a constituency. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] RUSSIAN BLOW TO PKK

    During a raid on the PKK camp, the Russian Security Forces seized 12 PKK militants in Zmana region, near Moscow. A further crackdown against the PKK was also carried out in Kazakhstan and six PKK militants were taken into custody. A number of weapons and ammunition have been seized in the raids. /Turkiye/

    [18] 40 PREFABRICATED HOUSES COMPLETED

    Forty prefabricated houses built by the International Transporters' Association in Bolu, which has been seriously affected by the earthquakes in Duzce and in the Marmara Region, have been completed. A ceremony attended by the Head of the International Transporters' Association Saffet Ulusoy, many officials and citizens was held yesterday. /Cumhuriyet/

    [19] JPC MEETING POSTPONED

    The European wing of the Joint Parliamentary Commission which constitutes a bridge between the European Parliament and the Turkish Parliament has decided to postpone the meeting planned to be held in Ankara on February 22-23. It is reported that a bureau assembly, including the Turkish members of the JPC, should convene as soon as possible and search for ways for better joint initiatives. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] TURCO-JAPANESE MEETING

    The Association of the Solidarity and Research of the Turco-Japanese Culture, founded four years ago, is preparing to bring together the business world of the two countries. A Congress entitled 'From crisis to stability, the Japanese-Turco model` will be held on Feb. 18 in Ankara. A number of the Japanese and Turkish businessmen, high level managers from both the private and public sectors are expected to attend the meeting. /Hurriyet/

    [21] ECONOMIC REPORT PRESENTED TO NSC

    In the economic report presented to the National Security Council (NSC) by the Undersecretary of the State Planning Organization (DPT), Akin Izmirlioglu, the economic situation in the world and in Turkey has been evaluated. The report stated that the world economy entered an improvement process in 1999 following the years 1997 and 1998, and that the development in the US and Japan has continued. The report said that the earthquake in Turkey has negatively affected the capital amount at a rate of $7-10 billion. It pointed out that the DPT was continuing with its studies on 'Social, Economic and Cultural Development Strategy' for the Southeastern Anatolian Region for the period of 2000-2002. /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] TANK BARGAINING

    Developments concerning the 'Leopard 2' tanks have been evaluated in different ways by many circles in Berlin. Some political circles believe that the Turkish army want German tanks however they say that some politicians are giving pressure for the American 'M-1 Abrams' tanks. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] MEASURES AGAINST POLLUTION SHOULD BE TAKEN

    The Black Sea Culture and Environment Association, which is concerned about the cyanide in the Tisa River in Romania and may threaten the Black Sea via the Tuna River, has requested the Ministry of the Environment to take urgent measures. The Minister of the Environment, Fevzi Aytekin, said that the distance between the Black Sea and the point where the Tisa River crosses the Tuna River is 1,100 km and added, "The cyanide is not expected to flow in the Black Sea". /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] BELIEF TOURISM

    The mayors of 23 provinces where the belief tourism will be organized met the Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu, yesterday. Mumcu said that they would support investments in the belief tourist regions. During the meeting, it was also decided that a 'Union of Municipalities for Belief Tourism in the Year 2000' would be established. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] COOPERATION IN TOURISM BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE

    The Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair EMITT' 2000 will be opened today. Regional cooperation could be achieved between Turkey and Greece, during the Fair, to be opened at the TUYAP International Fair and Congress Centre and attended by 700 institutions, including 85 foreign institutions, from 40 countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [26] NEW REGULATION FOR EXPORTS OF CHICKENS

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has made a series of arrangements because of the increase in diseases that are contracted by humans from chickens. Poultry, their meat and eggs will be strictly controlled from now on. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be able to send an expert to the importing country and check there as well. It has become compulsory for the chickens and meat to be obtained a maximum of one month before their export and for eggs to be obtained a maxiumum of one week before export. In addition, it is now mandatory to confirm that the products are clear of any contagious diseases with a written laboratory analysis from the exporting country. /Sabah/

    [27] PEOPLE WITH RESTRICTED INCOMES TO BE SUPPORTED

    The Chairman of the Collective Housing Administration, Kamil Ugurlu, stated that they would sell land, which is to be allocated by the Directorate General of National Real Estate, to those citizens on restricted incomes at cost price following the completion of essential infrastructure. Ugurlu delivered a speech at the State Economic Enterprises (SEE) meeting at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) during which he said, "We aim to meet the needs of those citizens who want to build their own houses by 2025 with the above-mentioned scheme. Four million people will be granted land for which planning permission and essential services have been made ready. /Sabah/

    [28] REFINERY CONSTRUCTED IN TURKMENISTAN

    The Turkmenbasi Refinery, constructed by GAMA AS in Turkmenistan had a ceremonial openning yesterday. The refinery was constructed under an agreement made between the Turkmen Ministry of Petrol and Gas Industry and Natural Resources and the Japanese consortium, CHIYODA. The refinery is expected to produce 750 thousand tons of petrol with high rates of octane. In the construction of the refinery, GAMA AS was made in charge of supplying the construction material and machines as well as technological equipment./Aksam/

    [29] ITALY CALLS FOR COOPERATION

    In a meeting held in Istanbul by the Turkish-Italian Business Council, Italian Minister of Foreign Trade stated that Italy would like to go back to the old days when Turkey and Italy were good trade partners. He also said that Italy would like to increase Italian investment in Turkey, help Turkey with its modernisation programme and increase cooperation on issues concerning communications, energy and helicopter construction.

    The Italian Minister pointed out that Italy was very much in favour of cooperation and wanted to support Turkey in further developing its defence industry and agriculture./Aksam/

    [30] TURKEY HOPES FOR 1.7 BILLION DOLLARS FROM THE EU

    The State Minister responsible for the Economy, Recep Onal, has been talking of the issue of 'financial aid' in relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU). Onal said he intended to go to Brussels at the end of this month and further added, "Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp, Central Bank Chairman Gazi Ercel and I will leave for Brussels at the end of this month to discuss the funding that will be supplied to Turkey with EU officials. There is a fund of 750 million dollars available that we should have taken from the EU. Not only this, the EU has set up a new fund amounting to 8.5 billion dollars; this fund will be used both for itself and for those countries who are in need of this money. Turkey is happy to make use of 20% of this fund. In the future, we hope financial links with the EU will improve." /Sabah/

    [31] ISTANBUL METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS

    The Mayor of Istanbul, Ali Mufit Gurtuna, is carrying on the tradition of awarding scholarships, which tradition was begun by former mayor Tayyip Erdogan. The City of Istanbul awarded the scholarships amounting to 2 trillion 50 billion TL, to 25,600 students. Gurtuna presented them to students orphaned or affected by the earthquakes last year, saying that this practice had begun in 1994 with 2,500 scholarship students and that Istanbul Municipal Council had continued to give its support to education in spite of all this financial difficulties. /Milliyet/

    [32] SEMINAR IN LONDON ON ILISU AND GAP

    The head of the State Water Works, Prof. Dr. Dogan Altynbilek and the head of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), Dr. Olcay Unver, have gone to London to take part in a seminar on the issues of the GAP and Ilisu projects. The two officials will be talking about their new settlement project concerning the people affected by the GAP and Ilisu projects./Cumhuriyet/

    [33] OTTOMAN TREASURY IN THE U.S.A.

    The Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington is preparing to host a great exhibition to be opened on 29 February 2000. The exhibition will display a wide selection of Ottoman works of art from Topkapi Palace Museum, from the Turkish and Islamic Works of Art Museum, the Military Museum, Istanbul Archaeology Museum, Yildiz Palace Museum and other examples of pieces selected from a special collection, the Engin and Nuri Akin collection. The Ottoman showcase was prepared by the Directorate General of Monuments and Museums, part of the Ministry of Culture. These valuable works of art, a total of 241 pieces, will be temporarily exhibited in the U.S.A., at the Corcoran for one year and then museums in San Diego and Fort Lauderdale. /Milliyet/

    [34] `GREASE' TO BE STAGED IN TURKEY

    The famous Broadway musical, Grease will be staged at the Mydonose Showland between 3rd-14th March. The musical was first staged in 1972 and following its success, a blockbuster film, Grease, was made starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in the leading roles. The soundtrack of the film, as well as the film itself, was a great success and the album sold over 8 million copies worldwide./Cumhuriyet/

    [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [36] EU, AUSTRIA AND TURKEY BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Former Ambassador Ilter Turkmen comments on the reflections of the Austrian elections in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The EU reaction to the taking part of the extreme right-wing Freedom Party led by Georg Haider in the Austrian Government has been widely talked about in Turkey. It was stressed that the EU countries, which viewed the measures the Turkish Government had taken against critically, interpret their concept of democracy differently and do not balk from applying double standards.

    Even though on both occasions the issue concerns the protection of values deemed essential for society, the implementation of double standards is debatable. First of all, Turkey was not an EU country until two months ago. She was not even a candidate. Some European countries, like France, may be aware of the dangers of fundamentalism, but others did not believe that a situation such as that in Iran, Afghanistan or Algeria could arise in Turkey. The US was moreconcerned with the terrorist aspect of religious fundamentalism. Their inability to perceive such a possibility until the recent murders carried out by Hizbullah should be considered natural. Therefore, Turkey was criticised for closing the Welfare Party and bringing its members to trial. Despite the outcome of the elections in Austria, if the Virtue Party is closed we may again be faced with criticism. If HADEP (People's Democracy Party) is closed, the reaction may be even harsher.

    The fact that Haider's party became a Coalition member in Austria has aroused concern in all European countries, especially in Germany, as it may encourage the extreme right-wing there also. Turkey should share the same concern. In fact, Prime Minister has already expressed his views on the subject. Although there is no question of a return to the 1930s in Germany, the strengthening of the farright would leave Turks living in that country under great pressure and would exacerbate the already existing opposition to Turkey's EU membership.

    However, it seems that the EU reaction will be a paper one only. It is not possible to exclude Austria from organizational cooperation within the EU as Article 6 of the European Union Agreement states that human rights based on the traditions of its member countries will be respected at all times. The seventh Article stipulates that if the principles mentioned in Article 6 are continually violated, certain rights of the member country concerned could be suspended, such as the right to vote in the Council of Europe. In order to reach such a decision, the approval of one third votes of the European Parliament is required. There is no measure to actually exclude a member from the EU.

    It seems that the situation in Austria has not reached the stage where it might be necessary to resort to Article Seven. Therefore, at present, the only obvious reaction to the "Freedom Party" is limited tonot shaking the hands of its Ministers or leaving the conference while they are speaking.

    If the "Freedom Party" evades creating problems with the basic policies of the EU and Haider can control his impulses and contain his disturbing rhetoric, he can continue as a member of the Coalition. However, there is another aspect of the situation to be remembered and that is that the EU is in the process of launching negotiations with six more candidate countries for membership. There is the always danger of extreme right-wing parties gaining strength in the present EU countries and EU candidate countries. If such a situation arose in those countries, the EU has given the signal that negotiations would be stopped immediately. We have to follow the developments in Europe closely because of their possible effect in Turkey."

    [37] THE PKK IS FINISHED; IT'S TIME TO INVEST BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Dogan Heper writes on the urgency of the need for economic development in Southeastern Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "As the Hizbullah organization and its actions are being uncovered, the PKK has been forgotten. The most favourable climate for the establishment peace for the last 15 years has emerged in the Southeast. The same sequence is always repeated in Turkey; when the problem reaches its crescendo, everyobody is talking about it. No matter what may be the cause, if the issue loses momentum, the search for a lasting solution seems to be shelved. That is why, many problems which would seem to have been dead are revived later.

    When Ocalan was brought to Turkey, the PKK did not lay down its arms but it stopped fighting. Recently, the seventh PKK congress decided to remove the name "Kurdistan" from its title on the instructions of Ocalan. The so-called Congress decided to enter the political arena, thus quitting the armed struggle.

    It cannot be denied that even though the real aim of these decisions is to save Ocalan from the execution of the death sentence which was passed on him, there are benefits to silencing the weapons. Conditions should be created so as to make it lasting and the most basic of these is economic. For years, top-level officials have all been saying this.

    Recently, Prime Minister Ecevit's development plan envisaged for the Southeast had this goal in mind. However, as there has been no statement on the recent situation, we do not know how this is being implemented. The fact that terrorism is nourished by poverty is well-known. Therefore, if industry does not come to the Southeast, even if only small and medium- scale businesses, lasting peace will not be seen there.

    Taking this into consideration the Chief of General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, suggested the formation of an Undersecratiat for the Southeast. It is well-known that the aim of the proposal was to speed up the services to be provided to Southeastern Anatolia.

    Total military success has been achieved, however, the military also know that the key to lasting victory lies in rescuing the Southeast from poverty. It is estimated that terrorism has cost Turkey $130 billion over 15 years. A development plan using a tenth of this figure can make Turkey an indivisible land of peace and development.

    It is worth every sacrifice if it will bring about such a permanent and lasting solution."


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