|Tuesday, 9 March 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 00-02-21
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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
 RAILWAY NETWORK TO LINK SOUTH-EASTERN ANATOLIA PROJECT REGION
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... MASTER PLAN FOR SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA BY SUKRU ELEKDAG
 DEMIREL ATTENDS OPENING CEREMONIESPresident Suleyman Demirel attended the opening ceremony of Harran University's Department of Physical Training and Sports Teaching and the Animal Hospital in Sanliurfa. Demirel delivered a speech during the first opening ceremony at which he said, "Harran University is of great importance. The reason that this university is more important to me than Ataturk Dam is due to my view of the value of science and technology." In addition, Sanliurfa Governor Sahabettin Harput presented a painting to President Demirel during the ceremony after which Demirel returned to Ankara. /Turkiye/
 DEMIREL IN SANLIURFAPresident Suleyman Demirel opened the school ordered built by singer Ibrahim Tatlises, costing him 50 billion TL, yesterday in Sanliurfa. During the opening ceremony, Demirel said, "I believe that many valuable people will be educated in Sanliurfa, which is a candidate for 'most advanced region' in Turkey. Noone should doubt this." Demirel also addressed the students and said, "You are being given a perfect opportunity here. You will enter the door of science and you will progress to the best of your ability. I thank Mr. Tatlises on behalf both of the State I am running and on behalf of my people." /Milliyet/
 DEISS IN TURKEYSwitzerland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Deiss, arrived in Turkey as the official guest of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem. Deiss will visit Ataturk's Mauseoleum and then meet President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Minister of Justice Hikmet Sami Turk today. Deiss is the first Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs to arrive in Turkey for the past seven years. /Milliyet/
 HADEP MAYORS TAKEN INTO CUSTODYFollowing the detention of pro-Kurdish Mayors Feridun Celik and Mehmet Selim Ozalp, the Mayor of Bingol Feyzullah Karaaslan, a member of HADEP, was also taken into custody on charges of having links with the PKK terrorist organization. Yesterday, about 1,000 HADEP supporters protested against the detentions in Diyarbakir. The Chairman of HADEP in the Diyarbakir region, Ali Urkut, claimed that Premier Bulent Ecevit was responsible for the detentions. /Cumhuriyet/
 REACTION TO PRIME MINISTERThe Leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Altan Oymen, criticized Bulent Ecevit's praise of Fethullah Gulen. Asserting that the Democratic Left Party (DSP) was surrounded by the pro-right-wing parties, Oymen said, "The ideas of Fethullah Gulen are clear. To issue declarations which both praise and protect him is wrong." The CHP Leader also pointed out that Fethullah Gulen has not refuted his anti-secular and anti-republican speeches which were broadcast a while ago. /Cumhuriyet/
 EUROPEAN DEMOCRATS' ASSOCIATION MEETING TO BE HELD IN TURKEYThe European Council's role in the 21st century was discussed during a seminar organized by the European Democrats' Association (EDA) in Krakow, Poland. Chairman of the EDA, Sir Edward Haigue, and many political representatives, who are members of the European Council's Parliamentary Assembly attended the meeting. During the seminar, the importance of the approval of Turkey's candidacy to the European Union was pointed out once more, and it was stated that the growth of Europe without Turkey would be very hard. It was decided that the EDA meeting be held in Turkey next year. /Turkiye/
 'TURKEY SHOULD BE QUALIFIED TO HAVE A SAY IN DEFENCE INDUSTRY'During the meeting of the Western European Association (WEA) members in Brussels, important issues were raised concerning the European Security and Defence Identity (AGSK). Information was also exchanged concerning relations between NATO and the European Union (EU). The question of 'what would be the defence roles of the WEA member countries within the EU was debated at length. Cevdet Akcali from the True Path Party (DYP) and Faruk Bal from the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) represented Turkey at the gathering. Politicians requested that the WEA Assembly represent the second wing of the European Parliament, members be able to send representatives to the European Parliament or be moved onto the European Affairs Commission. /Turkiye/
 COTARELLI AND THE IMF DELEGATION IN ANKARAAn International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation under the chairmanship of the IMF's Chairman for Turkey, Carlo Cottarelli, will start its high-level meetings in Ankara today. The IMF officials, who arrived in Turkey before Cottarelli, gathered at the Treasury, the Central Bank, the State Planning Organization (DTP) and the Ministry of Finance and were briefed on the economic developments experienced in 1999. It was revealed that the IMF delegation would encounter World Bank officials, who are in Turkey for the talks on structural harmonization loans. Cottarelli made a statement during which he said, "This visit is very important as it is the first such visit under the IMF stand-by agreement. During the investigation, the attainment of our performance criteria is our priority." Cottarelli also stated that they would discuss the economic programme for the year 2000 as well. /Sabah/
 ERSUMER: "INVESTMENTS SHOULD BE MADE"Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Cumhur Ersumer, stated that they were in favor of implementing 'build-operate-transfer' schemes and added, "We are not insistent upon any of these. However, investments which meet our needs should be faciliated. There are three power stations which, it is claimed, produce expensive electricity. These are the projects that were agreed on in 1993. We created an atmosphere of open competition. However, the cost of electricity is not expensive compared with world prices. Meanwhile, the meetings with the World Bank concerning energy are on-going." /Sabah/
 GAZIANTEP TO BE SUPPORTEDThe work to establish the world's second biggest Prioritized Free Zone, in Gaziantep, which was placed on the agenda during Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the U.S., has been speeded up. Products from here will be able to be exported to the U.S. and other countries without Customs duties or quota limits being imposed in this region to be established between Turkey, Israel and the U.S. Official discussions concerning the establishment of the Prioritized Free Zone are still in progress. Meanwhile, the Turkish and Israeli businessmen have begun to meet. For this purpose, a delegation representing the Gaziantep Chamber of Trade and leading establishments in Gaziantep went on a tour of inspection of the world's first Prioritized Free Zone set up by the U.S., Israel and Georgia. Following this, they visited the American and Israeli Embassies. Now Israeli businessmen are expected to arrive in Gaziantep between 12 and 15 April. /Sabah/
 RAILWAY NETWORK TO LINK SOUTH-EASTERN ANATOLIA PROJECT REGIONA new link is being forged to the South Eastern Anatolia Project, one of the most important in Turkey. The Railways, Harbours and Airports Management Board (DLH), under the Ministry of Communications, is acting to build up a railway network in South Eastern Anatolia. This scheme will cover an area of 612 km and place the GAP region on a very important footing. This project, which is a priority for Minister of Communications, Enis Oksuz, is expected to cost 600 million dollars. Oksuz will visit Spain in March to try to obtain loans for the venture. It was decided that this undertaking, which will revitalize the GAP region, will be established using British railway track. /Sabah/
 TUSIAD: "LET US LIMIT THE SALARY INCREASE WITH A TARGET"Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yucaoglu, said, "An agreement should be reached during the collective bargaining talks in such a way that the salary increase should not be below the inflation rate. Firstly, 20% or 30% should be set as the cost increase during the collective bargaining talks. However, if the inflation rate surpasses this set figure, the discrepancy between this figures should be taken up." Yucaoglu also made a statement concerning the inflation rate in January and said, "December is the reason for the high inflation rate in January. This and price increases will continue until April. The first three months are a temporary period. We will evaluate all these issues in April." /Aksam/
 REFRIGERATOR EXPORT INCREASESIt was stated that refrigerator exports increased by 28.2% last year and that the largest proportion of these exports was to European Union (EU) countries partly because of cooperation between companies. According to a report on 'Turkey's Machine Industry Exports' prepared by the Istanbul Electrical and Machinery Exporters' Association (IMMIB), machinery exports, which amounted to 1 billion 130.2 million dollars in 1998, increased by 8.44% and reached 1 billion 225.6 million dollars. Refrigerators and coolers were at the top of the list among the products exported by the machinery sector, bringing 210 million dollars. In the report, it was stated that cooperation between companies and the fact that investments in Europe have moved to Turkey had a great impact on the increase in the export of these products. /Aksam/
 20 TRILLION TL FOR THE AGRICULTURE PRODUCERSThe Ministry of Industry and Trade has made a fund amounting to 20 trillion TL available so that Agricultural Co-operatives can pay off the debts they owe to producers. The Minister of Industry and Trade, Kenan Tanrikulu, stated that their Ministry was doing its best so that the agricultural sector is not undermined by the economic stability precautions. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY'S RAW MATERIAL RESERVESTurkey ranks 14th in the world with her 13,990 billion tons of raw material reserves and 12th in terms of its value. The US comes first in terms of her raw material reserves, while Russia is first in terms of the value of her resources. Turkey has the largest boron, corundum, cobalt and perlite reserves in the world. According to an investigation which was carried out by Prof. Sedat Temur, currently about 2,105,400 trillion tons of raw materials are thought to exist throughout the world. /Cumhuriyet/
 AUTOMOBILE IMPORTS FREE-OF-CHARGEUnder the new Customs regulations a notice was published in the Official Gazette which will enable those Turkish citizens who have been living abroad for at least two years to import their cars, if they are not more than three years old, without paying any customs duty. /Cumhuriyet/
 IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURSThe 'American Business Week` Magazine took up the story of ex-patriate businessmen in Europe in its last issue. Three out of the five businessmen whose stories were recounted by magazine were Turkish. It was specified that Turkish entrepreneurs were getting stronger, especially in Germany, and that they would probably have about 100 thousand workplaces and 101 billion dollars of turn over in the year 2010. /Star/
 FREE TOURISM PROMOTION FOR BELEKBelek Tourism Investors' Association (BETUYAP) came second in a competition called 'Tourism for the Future', one of the most prestigious environmental and tourism events organized by British Airways, providing Turkey with an opportunity for free promotion amounting to 3 million pounds. The world's most-watched travel programme broadcast on the British channel, ITV, 'Wish You Were Here' will present Belek for half an hour. /Milliyet/
 CHAIRMAN OF FENERBAHCE: AZIZ YILDIRIMAt Fenerbahce Club's General Council meeting, Aziz Yildirim was re-elected Chairman, leaving his rival, Vefa Kucuk, far behind. After the votes were counted, Aziz Yildirim received 2,657 while Kucuk had only 1,974. Yildirim, the 33rd Chairman of Fenerbahce Club, said, "We have learned from our mistakes. Now, we are beginning a new page in our history." Famous names, such as Sadan Kalkavan, Ugur Dundar, Selim Soydan and Atilla Kiyat were placed on Yildirim's list of Council members. /Hurriyet/
 COLD SNAP AGAINTurkey will be experiencing a period of renewed rain and cold beginning tomorrow. The Western part of the Marmara, the Aegean and Mediterranean regions will surrender to the rain and the others to snow. Temperatures are expected to drop suddenly from between five to 10 degrees Centigrade. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 MASTER PLAN FOR SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)Former Ambassador Sukru Elekdag writes on the necessity of a master- plan for Southeastern Anatolia. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Last week on television I stated that the PKK swamp could not be dried up until problems such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and desperation are overcome. A comprehensive regional economic and social programme with financial backing has to be immediately drawn up and implemented. It is of great importance to introduce such a blueprint today now that terrorism has been reduced to a marginal state. However, the Government has not seemed to be very active in doing something about this issue and the expected initiatives would probably emanate from the National Security Council.
Last week, in answer to a question posed by a foreign journalist, National Security Council Secretary- General, General Asparuk stated that a comprehensive master-plan with measures extending from economic development to the education of women was in the process of being prepared; and the funding for the venture could be supplied from the $750 million allocated to Turkey by the EU.
To prepare a socio-economic blueprint for the region ought to be appreciated. However, it should not be independent from the 8th "Five Year Development Plan" prepared by the State Planning Organization. The EU credit has been vetoed up to now by Greece; to use these financial resources, we have be certain of the Greek stance. That is to say, the money is not in our pocket yet.
The fact is that despite the harsh blows dealt to the PKK terrorist organization, the Southeastern problem still threatens the national unity of Turkey. All the problems Turkey faces both at home and abroad stem from the Southeast. Without solving this question Turkey cannot enjoy domestic stability, calm or prosperity.
Officials stated that the fight against terrorism costs Turkey $100 billion. Certainly, this figure does not cover the damages incurred by burnt down villages, destroyed commercial equipment, the devastated economy of the Southeast and the investment opportunities Turkey has missed out on due to the portrait of our country as being unstable.
Today, priority should be given to the eradication of those economic and social conditions which nurture terrorism. Therefore, a plan which will bring about employment, food, education and a civilized infrastructure in the Southeast is a must. However, the implementation of such a scheme may take time. Therefore, in the short run two measures have to be taken: The first is the establishment of a Coordination Ministry responsible for the socio-economic development of the Southeast together with the GAP Administration or Southeastern Anatolia Project. The second one is to form a fund to finance prioritized ventures as part of a new organizational model within the structure of the GAP region which may be called GAFO.
A determined and serious stand by Turkey on the issue will lead to the provision of finances from various funds within the EU and the World Bank. If we want to change the situation in the Southeast from a terrorist- producing region, we have to implement these measures."
 WHAT DOES EUROPE WANT TO SAY? BY FUAT BOL (TURKIYE)Columnist Fuat Bol writes on the interest of the West in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"While we are occupied with minor issues, the Europeans are dealing with problems concerning Turkey. Recently, the Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, came to Turkey to see the latest situation of democratization and human rights. The Swedish Minister stated that Turkish laws were unsatisfactory and those already in effect were not implemented properly. For example, although torture is banned by law it has not been totally prevented.
Even though all parties seem to agree, we cannot fulfil our obligations stemming from international agreements we have signed. It is impossible to understand or for us to explain this state of affairs to anyone. Therefore, every Westerner, encouraged by this, considers himself an inspector of the situation.
However, every politician has the duty to ensure these laws are implemented so as to fulfil the obligations stemming from our signature of international accords and to ensure the peace and prosperity of our people, not because the Europeans want it so. The edicts concerning democratization and human rights should take their rightful place in our laws and only then will Europeans see all. We cannot defend our rights or laws in this weakened state. Every European gives us advice, and we are forced to listen to them, as we are unable to say anything in our defence. If we could only enact these laws, we would be in a far stronger position and learn the real intentions of the West.
Certain Westerners intend to form minorities in Turkey. The minorities in question are not the ones mentioned in the Lausanne Treaty. The Turkish Republic is the inheritor of an Empire and the people within it are not the representatives of a homogenous culture. If political parties are established based on sects, religions, ethnic origin, or if we are forced to grant such people minority status, nothing will be left of the country.
We have to correct the current state of our democratization and human rights. Only then will we be able to defend ourselves."
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