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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-18

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

18.02.00

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] CIVIL CODE: 'THE MOST IMPORTANT REVOLUTION`
  • [03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL DUE IN BALIKESIR
  • [04] CAUCASIA PEACE ATTACK
  • [05] A DATE WILL BE SET FOR DEMIREL'S VISIT TO THE U.S.
  • [06] ECEVIT NOT IN FAVOUR OF REFERENDUM
  • [07] COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ITALY
  • [08] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES VISIT TO TURKEY
  • [09] HUGE INVESTMENT IN TURKMENISTAN
  • [10] TURKMEN NATURAL GAS TO BE EXPORTED TO TURKEY
  • [11] SWEDISH MINISTER ASKS FOR KURDISH EDUCATION
  • [12] TURKEY AND GREECE SIGN AGREEMENT
  • [13] SO-CALLED ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST
  • [14] 'GOOD HEART AWARD' FOR CEM
  • [15] LAW PASSED IN FAVOUR OF HOME OWNERS
  • [16] ARTIFACT OPERATIONS
  • [17] TWIN FAMILIES STILL NEEDED
  • [18] IMF CONTINUES ITS OBSERVATION
  • [19] WORLD BANK'S WARNING
  • [20] 402 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF FOREIGN DEBT PAYED
  • [21] MOODY'S GIVES MARK TO EXIMBANK
  • [22] SUZER SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH THE AMERICAN CARLTON
  • [23] 300 MILLION EURO FOR PERMANENT HOUSES
  • [24] MERSIN HARBOUR CONTAINER TERMINAL OPENS
  • [25] ANXIETY FOR PETROLEUM PRICE
  • [26] TURKISH AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN ASSOCIATION AWARDS THE AMERICAN COMPANIES
  • [27] EAST EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL TOURISM AND TRAVEL FAIR OPENED
  • [28] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [29] WE HAVE IGNITED THE SPARK BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [30] FRANCE AND TURKEY BY BULENT AKARCALI (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] CIVIL CODE: 'THE MOST IMPORTANT REVOLUTION`

    President Suleyman Demirel made a statement to mark the 74th anniversary of the acceptance of the Civil Code. Defining the Civil Code as the most important revolution, Demirel said that it granted Turkish women equal conditions with men in economic, social and political life. In the mean time, a conference entitled "A Door to Light` organized by the Union of Istanbul Woman Organizations, was held in Istanbul. The Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk opened the conference with a speech pointing out that the Civil Code had been the symbol and meaning of the Turkish Revolution. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL DUE IN BALIKESIR

    Yesterday, President Suleyman Demirel went to Balikesir to attend some opening ceremonies. Demirel was accompanied by the Finance Minister Sumer Oral and six parliamentary representatives from Balikesir. During his speechs, the President said that the most important issue of the 21st century was education and Turkey would be a country to comply with this age, giving importance to education. Relating to the earthquake, Demirel also stated that Turkey would overcome the difficulties with the solidarity of our citizens. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] CAUCASIA PEACE ATTACK

    President Suleyman Demirel launched a comprehensive diplomatic attack in the international arena in order to implement the 'Caucasian Stability Pact` which he initiated in Tblisi last month. As part of this attempt, Demirel sent letters to 12 foreign State Presidents in order to seek support for Turkey's proposal. The first positive reply came from French President, Jacques Chirac. Chirac emphasized that he would be glad to continue the dialogue on the subject which holds great importance for Europe. According to the Foreign Ministry's officials, the US also has a positive attitude towards Demirel's proposal and President Clinton will reply to the letter soon. /Hurriyet/

    [05] A DATE WILL BE SET FOR DEMIREL'S VISIT TO THE U.S.

    Turkey officially announced to the US, that President Demirel's intended visit to Washington at the end of February, was canceled and that the work on determining a new date for the visit was continuing. An official from the American Department of State made a statement, "If Demirel had come to the US, he would have attended the opening ceremony of the Topkapi Treasuries Exhibition and met President Clinton. A new date for this visit had not been determined yet. However, we are continuing our efforts with the Turkish officials to set a new date appropriate for both countries". /Aksam/

    [06] ECEVIT NOT IN FAVOUR OF REFERENDUM

    Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, in a statement about the planned amendment in the constition concerning the presidency term which will enable the current President of the Turkish Republic, Suleyman Demirel, to be elected for a second term for five years, said that it would not be wise to carry out a referendum. He stated that the presidential elections were deeply related with issues concerning the regime and the structure of the state and so had great importance. In his reply to a question asked on the Motherland Party`s views on the matter, Ecevit said that he believed a compromise will be reached between the parties of the coalition. /Milliyet/

    [07] COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ITALY

    Efforts to increase the commercial cooperation between Turkey and Italy is continuing. Within this framework of efforts, a protocol will be signed in March. Italian Foreign Trade Minister, Piero Fassino, stated that they were interested in the privatization of the Turkish telecommunication system and a GSM license that will be given. Fassino pointed out that they were also interested in privatization of the banks and said that the Italian companies were working on electricity, defence industry and weapon manufacturing projects. Turkey and Italy will transfer the cooperation on energy into a protocol, during the Joint Economy Commission (KEK) to be held in March. Fassino further stated that these cooperations are of the utmost importance for Turkey, on the way to the European Union membership and added, "We are also discussing the modernization of electrical energy distribution and the Italian companies demands with regard to participation in the projects for natural gas distribution in Turkey. /Sabah/

    [08] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES VISIT TO TURKEY

    The European Parliament commission decision to postpone their visit to Turkey after they were denied a visit to the former DEP parliamentary representative Leyla Zana, currently in prison, caused a great stir in Ankara. Different opinions were expressed over the European Parliament postponing the Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting that was to be held next week. While some parties interpreted the postponing as a negative development in Turkish-European Union relations, other officials have said that it was not a negative development but that it was just a way of showing their reaction. /Milliyet/

    [09] HUGE INVESTMENT IN TURKMENISTAN

    The Turkish firm, GAMA's continues to invest in abroad. The consortium, which was formed by GAMA and has been working in Turkmenistan for seven years and the Japanese Chiyoda firm, opened the benzine manufacturing facility in Turkmenbasi with a ceremony yesterday. The 'Turkmenbasi Refinery of High-Octane Benzine Manufacturing Facility', which was completed and is the first project under the modernization of the Turkmenbasi Refinery scheme, was implemented as part of an agreement between GAMA-Japanese Chiyoda Consortium, Turkmenistan's Petroleum and Gas Industry and the Ministry of Natural Sources. As part of this project, the CCR Unit will produce 750,000 tons high-octane benzine annually under the processing licence of the American UOP. The ceremony was attended by the Turkmenistani President Saparmurad Turkmenbasi, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) parliamentary representative from Istanbul, Ziya Aktas, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Eximbank Erol Agagil, Chairman of the Executive Board of GAMA Erol Ucer, the Chairman of the Chiyoda Company Naoyashi Uehara and people from Turkmenistan. /Turkiye/

    [10] TURKMEN NATURAL GAS TO BE EXPORTED TO TURKEY

    Turkmenistan's President, Saparmurad Turkmenbasi, stated that the Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel would be in Turkmenistan on 27 and 28 March and that the issue of natural gas would be discussed and an agreement would be signed. President Turkmenbasi received ambassadors and representatives of international companies in Ashkabat yesterday who are to attend the Flag Festival celebration tomorrow and for his 60th birthday celebrations. Turkmenbasi said that Turkmenistan's natural gas would be exported to Turkey at a low price. Turkey's Ambassador to Ashkabat, Oktay Ozuye, said, "Great steps were taken for improvement under the leadership of President Turkmenbasi and by the same process, the brotherhood and cooperation between Turkey and Turkmenistan had improved more." /Turkiye/

    [11] SWEDISH MINISTER ASKS FOR KURDISH EDUCATION

    The Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh, visited the Human Rights Association yesterday, where she was greeted by its former president, Akin Birdal. The Swedish Minister and Birdal talked mainly about issues concerning the abolishment of the death penalty in Turkey and the developments related to it.

    Minister Lindh also requested permission to be granted to the Kurds for education to be given and publication to be made in Kurdish. She also said that she was going to talk to the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, on this issue at their meeting expected to take place today. /Milliyet/

    [12] TURKEY AND GREECE SIGN AGREEMENT

    The friendly atmosphere between Turkey and Greece turned out to be a positive cooperation; these two countries took the first step concerning jointly marketing their tourism potentials. As part of a cooperation protocol signed between the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Athens Municipality, Turkey and Greece will act jointly in tourism marketing. The Turkish Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu delivered a speech during the signing ceremony of the Cooperation Protocol by the Mayors of two cities as part of the East Meditarrenean International Tourism and Travel Fair (EMITT 2000) and said, "Turkey and Greece have the same heritage, therefore we should find ways to work together. Now we want cooperation between Turkey and Greece to expand in a way to cover all the countries surrounding the East Mediterranean." /Turkiye/

    [13] SO-CALLED ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST

    The revised draft law which envisages the acceptance of the so-called Armenian Holocaust, was presented again to French Senate. The decision whether to put the bill on the agenda or not, will be taken at the meeting of the Senate's Bureau of Assembly on Feb. 22. The Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Commission, Kamran Inan warned that in case the bill is brought to the agenda, it might harm bilateral relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] 'GOOD HEART AWARD' FOR CEM

    Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem was awarded the Turkish Heart Foundation's 'Sakip Sabanci Good Heart Award' at a ceremony organized at the Sabanci Center. The Chairman of the Turkish Heart Foundation, Cetin Yildirimakin, presented the award to Cem, who said, "We are now finding what was lacking. In the past, I wrote an article in which I said, 'One thing is lacking in Turkey, that is, `love' but now I think just the opposite." /Sabah/

    [15] LAW PASSED IN FAVOUR OF HOME OWNERS

    The passing of the act, limiting rent increases by 25% for the year 2000 and by 10% for 2001 has led home owners to rent their houses with two contracts or by asking for the rent to be payed in a foreign currency. Home owners who decide to make two different contracts are complying with the new regulation of limiting rent increases by 25%. However, in the second contract they are planning to demand the difference if the inflation rate exceeds 25%.

    While lawyers say that the practice of making two different contracts is against the law, the head of the Istanbul Estate Agents Association, Sabri Ates, stated that this law was completely in favour of homeowners and is also an unjust one for the tenants. He also pointed out that rents have increased by up to 50% in this month alone. /Milliyet/

    [16] ARTIFACT OPERATIONS

    In Istanbul, Kapalicarsi and surrounding districts, Customs Protection Teams have discovered 582 historical artifacts, belonging to the Roman, Byzantium and Turk-Islam periods and carpets worth about 100 billion TL. Four suspects were taken into custody. The experts state that the gold coins, date back to the Byzantium period, were invaluable. /Hurriyet/

    [17] TWIN FAMILIES STILL NEEDED

    With the campaign launched by the Ministry of Labour to find twin families for those families affected by the earthquake, 5.500 families have been matched with other families already. However, 3.500 more families are still needed.

    The Twin Family campaign matches families from the earthquake area with families from all over the country and aims to provide the victims with a minimum of 50 million TL per month for one year. /Hurriyet/

    [18] IMF CONTINUES ITS OBSERVATION

    The International Money Fund, has started to compare the targetted figures of the economic programme with the real figures and is trying to see how far and how efficiently the programme has been implemented. It was also declared that Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of Turkey`s desk, is going to arrive in Turkey today to join the observation team./Cumhuriyet/

    [19] WORLD BANK'S WARNING

    The World Bank's head economist for the energy sector, James H. Moose, stated that if the Turkish energy sector works under free market conditions, the cost of energy will decrease. James Moose attended the meetings on the Economic Improvement Loan held between the World Bank and government officials and made evaluations on which he said, "We are ready to give all sorts of financial and technical support in order that the energy sector can work in free market conditions. I hope the discussions with the Turkish government on this issue will be resolved soon." /Turkiye/

    [20] 402 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF FOREIGN DEBT PAYED

    In the first half of February, Turkey paid off a foreign debt of 402.74 million dollars. According to the data from the Central Bank, 366.85 million dollars of the debt was paid by the Undersecretariat of the Treasury, 22.05 by the Central Bank itself and 13.84 million dollars by the administrations with general and annexed budgets. The total amount of foreign debt paid since the beginning of this year has exceeded a billion dollars, of which 605.02 million was paid in January. /Star/

    [21] MOODY'S GIVES MARK TO EXIMBANK

    Moody's gave 'B1' to the Turkish Eximbank. It was stated that the credit rating was given due to the Eximbank's five years export bonds. In a statement made by the Eximbank, 'B1' was given to Eximbank, which supports the Turkish exports because of their key role in the Turkish economy. /Turkiye/

    [22] SUZER SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH THE AMERICAN CARLTON

    It was stated that the American Marriott-Ritz Carlton Group of Hotels would open its first deluxe hotel in Istanbul, in September. The Suzer Plaza which has 27 floors and was constructed by the Suzer Group, will be open as from September, under the name of 'Ritz Carlton Istanbul'. It has 90 apartments in the apart hotel style in addition to 244 guest rooms. The agreement concerning the management of the Suzer Plaza as a hotel was signed between the Marriott-Ritz Carlton Group of Hotels and the Suzer Group in Washington. The Chairman of the Executive Board of the Suzer Group, Mustafa Suzer, said that the General Director and the Deputy General Director of the hotel would be from the Marriott-Ritz Carlton Group of Hotels. /Aksam/

    [23] 300 MILLION EURO FOR PERMANENT HOUSES

    It was stated that a loan will be obtained for Turkey by the European Council Development Bank to be used for the construction of permanent houses in the earthquake-hit regions and for investmensts in health. The Bank's Director of Financing, Rainer Steckhan, made a statement after his visit to the Coordinator Governor of the Disaster Region, Kutluay Oktem, saying that they had promised to give Turkey a loan, amounting to 300 million Euro and that the conditions of the loan would be discussed with the Turkish government. /Aksam/

    [24] MERSIN HARBOUR CONTAINER TERMINAL OPENS

    The Minister of Communication, Enis Oksuz, and the Minister of Health, Osman Durmus opened the 'Mersin Harbour Container Terminal' which costed 2.5 million dollars. Before the ceremony, in Mersin Harbour, technical information about the new terminal was given. Then Oksuz delivered a speech pointing out the importance of the communication sector. Oksuz said, "The level of the welfare of the people in this region will be increased. Our aim is to transform Mersin into a city of free trade." /Aksam/

    [25] ANXIETY FOR PETROLEUM PRICE

    Rapidly rising petroleum prices worry Turkey, as she fights against high inflation and also imports 30 million tons of petroleum in a year. The Chairman of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, said that OPEC countries were expected to take decisions on the restriction of the production of petroleum and to decrease prices, during their meeting on March 27. The Undersecretary of the Treasury, Selcuk Demiralp also commented that the experience of such a high price increase of 300% in 15 months, was unfortunate at the beginning of the new economic programme. /Cumhuriyet/

    [26] TURKISH AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN ASSOCIATION AWARDS THE AMERICAN COMPANIES

    The Turkish-American Businessmen Association (TABA) will award 12 American companies, which are active in Turkey, in a ceremony today. During the award ceremony, Arthur Andersen, Coca Cola, Enron, General Dynamics, IBM, Pfizer, Citibank, Delta Airlines, Ford, GE, Mc Donald's and Robert College Companies will be awarded. /Sabah/

    [27] EAST EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL TOURISM AND TRAVEL FAIR OPENED

    The East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair (EMITT 2000) was opened yesterday. At the openning of the fair, in which 800 companies participate, a speech was made by the Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu. He said that Turkey aimed at attracting 20 million tourists within 10 years and that Turkey was a role model for other countries with the success of its tourism sector. /Star/

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

    [29] WE HAVE IGNITED THE SPARK BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Sedat Ergin writes on the developments concerning the Caucasus Stability Pact. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "President Demirel is optimistic concerning the reactions from Western capital cities to the Caucasus Stability Pact he proposed during his visit to Tblisi last month. Demirel is following the reactions, both to the proposal itself and the "Letter diplomacy" he started later. He believes that Turkey drew world attention to Caucasia, that is to say he ignited the spark.

    Demirel does not seem to be hasty in activating the proposal. He considers this to be a matter of a process and adds that the Western nations arrive at a consensus through negotiations. He stated that after reaching a consensus they would not let up on the issue until it is resolved.

    The proposal for the Caucasus Stability Pact was originally drawn up by Turkey. However, during President Clinton's visit the issue was also discussed. Demirel views that there is a parallel between the conflicts in the Balkans, following the Cold War and the general instability now witnessed in the Caucasus. The President recalled that both the US and Europe had to intervene in both Bosnia and Kosovo, in spite of their reluctance. He added that their intervention was not enough and a Balkan Stability Pact had to be signed. Europe realized that there will not be peace in Europe unless there was calm and peace in the Balkans. The only way to ensure peace in the Balkans is through Europe taking it under its wings.

    Returning to the subject of Caucasia, Demirel stated that the security and stability problems of the region also closely concerned Europe. Citing regional disputes, ethnic hostilities and uncertainties one by one the President expressed the concern that the Caucasus may go through the same process the Balkans has gone through.

    The proposal of the President covers all the countries in the Caucasus. However, from Ankara's point of view Georgia has a special place, due to the fragile situation at home and the pressure of its location. Demirel calls on the West to take the region under its protection. He believes that only in this way, the Trans-Caucasus road would be opened and both the Caucasus and Central Asia would be connected to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and from there on to Europe. The only way to do this is to provide an umbrella of protection.

    After this, the only problem lef is tied to the question of if the West will repeat the mistake it made in the Caucasus."

    [30] FRANCE AND TURKEY BY BULENT AKARCALI (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Bulent Akarcaly comments on the latest initiative by the Armenians in France to bring the draft law concerning the claims on the Armenian massacres. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "A few busybodies led by Devedjian, are trying to bring the draft law on the claims of the Armenian massacres to the French Parliament. They are not aware that in satisfying their ambitions they will strike an irredeemable blow to Turco-French relations. Unfortunately, the number of people biased against Turkey are more than imagined. One cannot but be surprised when reading the articles appearing in two influential magazines and an important daily. They seem to be seeking the revenge they had not been able to get until now. An article in "Le Figaro" stated that scandal should not be sought for in Austria, but in granting Turkey the status of a candidate to the EU.

    The weekly L'Express stated that Ocalan had lost his credibility in the eyes of his old friends, and seemed to applaud the helicopter crash and killing of two Turkish officers. This article, which openly supports violence, terrorism and murder appeared in a prominent magazine such as L'Express.

    In a letter addressed to the editor, I asked if they could have written the same article about the Basque terrorist organization ETA, in place of the PKK. If that had been the case, they would have had to face harsh reactions from their readers. However, when the subject is Turkey, no one cares.

    In another weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, an article promoting a local group playing Turkish classical music, has been published, where one is upset to see sentences humiliating Turkey. A Frenchmen who not knowing Turkey may think that following the proclamation of the Republic,Turkish classical music was banned and the official ideology in music was to reflect the pride of being Turkish.

    If you add the interviews, commentaries aired on TV5 channel which promotes French culture and ideology to the world, you would think that all these things are not coincidental. France does not follow such a policy against any other nation.

    There is no response to these unfair, merciless and insulting actions from Turkey. We do not have a serious, continous and permanent reaction policy. Even though the number of people who speak French are too many to be ignored, we cannot use this to our advantage in showing our sensitivity towards such issues. However, our weakness, cannot justify the hostile attitude of influential newspapers, dailies and tv stations of a country which considers itself to be one of the most cultured, civilized states."


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