|Sunday, 24 January 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 00-02-22
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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
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 UNDERSTANDING TURKEY IN THE EU PROCESS BY OKTAY VURAL (MILLIYET)
 TURKEY JOINS THE EUROPEAN UNION'S JOINT CONSULTATION COMMITTEEThe European Union's (EU) Joint Consultation Committee (JCC) meeting was held in Brussels for the first time after Helsinki. During the gathering on 17 and 18 February, the Co-Chairmen of the Turkish and the EU parties sat together with Committee members sitting next to each other. During the discussions in Brussels, it was decided that the JCC should be held more often. It is also planned that the second meeting to be held in Selcuk, Turkey, at the end of this June. Thus, the JCC's members will be able to visit Ephesus as VIPs. Meanwhile, the Turco-EU delegation from the JCC will visit Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, and the EU's representative to Turkey, Karen Fogg. /Hurriyet/
 SUPPORT FROM ECEVIT FOR IRANIAN REFORMISTSPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit gave his thoughts on the results of the Iranian polls. Congratulating the Iranian people, especially the women and young people, Premier Ecevit said, "At the end of the free elections in our neighbouring country, Iran, those who desire to live along the lines of the modern world and to engage in a more realistic democracy have won a great victory. A new era has been begun in Iran. I wish this era will be good not only for Iran but also for the whole Islamic world, including Turkey." Ecevit added, "I believe it is probable that Iran will stop exporting revolutionary ideas to other countries, and certain anti-secular powers in Turkey will no longer consider Iran's Islamic Revolution a source of inspiration. I hope that the new Administration in Iran will also adopt a more determined and coherent stance against separatist movements in Turkey." /Cumhuriyet/
 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL CALL TO ECEVITCivil Initiative Board members told Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that Turkey should work effectively on the process of European Union (EU) membership and that the Economic and Social Council (ESK) should be institutionalized. The General Chairmen of ESK visited Ecevit at the Prime Ministry for one hour. The General Chairman of Hak-Is, Salim Uslu, who is the current spokesman for the Initiative Board, told Ecevit that during the process of Turkey's membership to the EU, ties should be forged not only in terms of the economy, but also in terms of social policies. Uslu stated that they had told Ecevit that the work of the non-governmental organizations should be made more effective. Uslu further added, "During the meeting, we told Ecevit that the EU wants to watch the steps taken by Turkey closely. We also told him that changes to institutional laws which concern the professional establishments and the unions should be made. Ecevit told us that the government agreed with us over the institutionalization of ESK." /Hurriyet/
 ECEVIT: 'IT IS TURKEY'S DOMESTIC AFFAIR`The reactions against the detention of the three Mayors, members of HADEP, are on-going. While citizens were demonstrating in Diyarbakir and Siirt, in relation to the reactions from Europe, Premier Ecevit said, "The West has to welcome and respect Turkey's sensitivity over her territorial integrity. He also stressed, "The ruling system is completely independent in Turkey. This is Turkey's local issue and comes under the jurisdiction of the Turkish legal system." Regarding the rumours of his orders for the arrests, Ecevit also emphasized that he had never intended to affect justice. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINEIt was stated that the meetings in Baku between the Azerbaijani and the Georgian working groups, which aim to remove any hindrance to the process of implementing the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, would come to an end on 24 February. The Turkish delegation and American President Bill Clinton's Special Representative, John Wolf, are also expected to attend these discussions along with the Azerbaijani officials. It is expected that during the talks the disagreement concerning the cost imposed on the pipeline between Georgia and Azerbaijan will be removed to a great extent. According to official statements, the agreement articles will be sent to the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian parliaments most probably this month. It is also envisaged that the Caspian-Mediterranean petroleum and natural gas pipelines, which will be constructed as part of the agreement signed during the OSCE Summit in Istanbul on 18 November, will begin to be built in 2001. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY'S WARNING TO FRANCEThe French bill relating to the so-called Armenian genocide is going to be taken up at the French Senate today. Turkey has been striving to prevent this initiative since last week but it has been useless and her warnings over the matter have not been taken into consideration by France. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit pointed out that in the case that the bill is enacted, French-Turkish relations would be badly damaged. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem also declared, "The countries who support Armenian racism, will be judged by history." While the French Ambaasador to Ankara, Jean-Claude Cousseran, was being called to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the Turkish Ambassador to Paris, Sonmez Koksal, visited the French Foreign Office and expressed Turkey's anxiety regarding the matter. /Cumhuriyet/
 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINAN PRIME MINISTER IN ANKARAThe Bosnia-Herzegovinan Prime Minister, Ethem Bicakcic, and a accompanying delegation arrived in Ankara yesterday evening on an official visit. Bicakcic was welcomed by Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and other officials at Esenboga Airport. Bicakcic and his accompanying delegation will leave Turkey on 24 February. /Turkiye/
 COOPERATION WITH SWITZERLANDTurkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem made a surprise offer to the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Deiss, saying, 'let's work together on the Civil Code'. Cem and Deiss, who met in Ankara yesterday, discussed the steps to be taken in order to improve relations between Turkey and Switzerland. It was stated that Deiss had welcomed Cem's suggestion. /Aksam/
 TURKISH CONGRESS ON MARCH 24The Turkish Congress will be held in Samsun on March 24. The Congress will be attended by representatives of almost all the Turkish-Speaking Countries in Central Asia. The Mongols, who fought against Turks in the past, are also expected to be present at the Congress. President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, many Ministers and political party leaders are also invited to the Congress. The three-day Congress will be organized by the Turkish-Speaking States' and Communities' Foundation (TUDEV). /Sabah/
 HEROIN SEIZED IN VANA total of 52.5 kilos of heroin was seized in the Gurpinar district of Van yesterday. One person was taken into custody concerning the heroin, the market value of which totals 1 trillion TL. /Star/
 104 CHECHENS WAITING ON TURKISH BORDERIt is reported that 104 Chechens who fled Russian attacks in Chechnya have been waiting on the Turkish border tyring to enter this country for five days. The Chechen group mainly consisting of women and children arrived in the Ahiska region of Georgia last Thursday. However, since the refugees do not have passports, they have not been able to enter Turkey. The Governor of Ardahan, Ayhan Nasuhbeyoglu, said that they had sent clothes, dried food and 75 blankets to the Chechens waiting on the border between Turkey and Georgia. /Milliyet/
 YILMAZ: "LET'S ORGANIZE AN OPEN BALLOT"The Leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, has proposed an 'open ballot' for a Constitutional amendment on the re-election of President Suleman Demirel for five more years. Replying to questions posed by journalists yesterday, Yilmaz proposed that an open ballot could be organized following the first Constitutional amendment on the Presidency and then the parties would make their decisions as a group, the Members of Parliament casting their votes in line with the party whip. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that he was optimistic due to the statements which have been issued by the leaders of the parties on the re-election of President Demirel. /Milliyet/
 ERBAKAN'S TRIAL POSTPONED AGAINThe trial of the Chairman of the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP), Necmettin Erbakan, who is facing a one-year imprisonment, has been postponed again. The State Security Court (DGM) in Diyarbakir has extended a 10-day additional period until March 10 to hear opinions in Erbakan's defence. /Milliyet/
 AMNESTY DRAFT LAW TO BE DISCUSSED AGAINMembers of the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) will hold an official discussion today of the Amnesty Draft Law which was earlier vetoed by President Suleyman Demirel. It is reported that the draft law may be placed on the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) next week. /Star/
 PASSPORT APPLICATIONS ON INTERNETThe Head of the Istanbul Security Office, Hasan Ozdemir, said that passport applications could now be made via the Internet. Ozdemir stated that an on-line application could be made on Istanbul Security Office's website address: iem.gov.tr. He added that those whose births were registered in Istanbul will be able to receive their passports in two working days whereas those whose births were registered outside Istanbul would be able to obtain their passports in four working days. /Sabah/
 IMF GIVES HOPEIMF's Turkey Desk Chief, Carlo Cottarelli, began to hold his official meetings in Ankara yesterday. Cottarelli first met Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp and then State Minister responsible for the Economy, Recep Onal, followed by the Chairman of the Privatization Administration Board, Ugur Bayar. Cottarelli made a statement after his meeting with Onal in which he said, "We see that the IMF performance criteria were complied with for 1999. The high inflation rate in January derives from short-lived hindrances, one of these being the price increase on agricultural products due to the bad weather and the other being increased taxes in December. To sum up, therefore, the increase in the inflation rate is a temporary aberration and if this economic programme we have set out is implemented, inflation will fall over the coming weeks. 25% should be taken as a baseline and is very important in terms of the efficency of these measures." /Turkiye/
 REPORT FOR 2000 BY ISTANBUL CHAMBER OF INDUSTRYIstanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) has published a report entitled 'The Turkish Economy in the year 2000' which consists of data on the Turkish economy from 1999 and outlines the general picture envisaged for the year 2000. This report consists of Turkey's Gross Domestic Product (GSMH), Turkish products, employment, monetary indicators, price movements, developments in the foreign trade. In the report it was stated that the annual increase in the price of durable goods should be 20% in order that inflation may be reduced to single figures. It was also pointed out that the growth rate of 5.5% aimed at for the year 2000 was more than likely to come about; it is also expected that exports will grow by 8.7% and imports will be boosted by 14.4%. /Turkiye/
 YIMPAS THINKS 'GLOBAL'Yimpas has already proved that the Turkish character of innovation is very powerful and is quickly implementing a massive globalization venture. As a result, it is expected to become known as one of the most widespread retailers in Europe and Central Asia. The company has already signed five agreements in Turkmenistan and recently launched one of the best shopping centres in Ashkabad; the Yimpas-KST Shopping Centre was opened by Turkmen President Saparmurat Turkmenbasi. Turkmenbasi evaluated relations between Turkey and Turkmenistan during the opening ceremony, on the same date as his birthday and the Flag Festival. Turkmenbasi reiterated that, 'our two countries are one nation' and pointed out that Turkish initiatives in investing in Turkmenistan were of the utmost importance as he emphasized once more that his country's natural gas reserves were very important for Turkey. /Turkiye/
 GAZI ERCEL TO HOLD MEETINGSGovernor of Central Bank Gazi Ercel will reveal the progress of the anti-inflation programme at a meeting in Ankara today. In a statement by Ka-Der (the Association for Educating and Supporting Female Political Candidates), Ercel will supply information on the struggle against inflation and provide examples from daily life. Members of Ka-Der will query the anti-inflation programme's influence on daily shopping, the duty of women in the implementation of these measures, his point of view on the decrease of Value Added Tax (KDV), the programme's influence on special offers for consumer goods, public supplements, rents, the increase in private school fees and his suggestions to small investors on making good use of their savings. /Aksam/
 WORLD BANK DELEGATION RETURNS TO WASHINGTONThere has been a break in the meetings on financial sector harmonization laws which have been in progress for some time between Turkey and the World Bank. The World Bank delegation headed by Lalit Raina ceased the talks on the privatization of the public banks and returned to Washington. It is reported that the World Bank delegation has outlined a condition which foresees the privatization of the public banks in order to extend the financial sector harmonization loan of $1.5 billion. /Star/
 TREASURY BONDS TO BE ISSUED ON MARCH 10The date for the Treasury to launch its bonds has been changed due to the upcoming Feast of Sacrifice. According to a statement issued by the Treasury, since the holiday will begin on March 11 and end on March 19, the date for the sale of bonds will be March 10. The statement said that the repayment date of the bonds, one for two years and the other for 14 months, will not be changed. The Treasury had previously announced that two separate bonds would be issued on March 14. /Milliyet/
 SABANCI: KING OF WHITE CEMENTSabanci Holding Company's Cimsa factory, which will be the biggest in the production of white cement in the world, was opened during a ceremony attended by Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu yesterday. Tanrikulu said that Turkey's industrial production index had begun to rise and increased by 2 % in December 1999 when compared with the same month in the previous year. Investment in the factory cost $60 million. /Sabah/
 FINANSBANK PURCHASES BANK IN ROMANIAFinansbank has purchased a majority holding in a bank in Romania. A statement sent from Finansbank to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) said that Finansbank had purchased 50.07% shares in the Banca de Credit Industrial si Commercial S.A. based in Romania. Finansbank will also be partner in the Finance Portfolio Administration Joint Stock Company, which will be set up with a fund of 1 trillion TL, by sinking 700 billion TL into the company. It is also reported that the net profit of Finansbank in 1999 amounted to 65.7 trillion TL. /Sabah/
 MORTGAGE SYSTEM IN TURKEYVictor Politis, who is the first person to promote the mortgage system in Turkey, will come to Turkey for the second time. Many people are homeowners in the US and in Europe due to the mortgage system. The financial editor of CNN Business News, Myron Kandel, will deliver a speech at a conference on 'New Dimensions in the Real-Estate Sector' today. /Sabah/
 WOMEN AGAINST REACTIONARYA conference entitled 'The New World Order, Woman and Reactionary' which was organized by the Republican Women's Association, has ended. The final declaration of the Conference stated that the women who had been crushed by reactionary forces had come together for the first time to exchange their views and experiences. Representatives from Algeria, Tunisia, Russia, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the US asked for a common public opinion against reactionary to be formed. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH MARK ON SPACEAerospace engineer Gokhan Kayal has done a first by setting-up a radar system for 'Endeavour', the space-shuttle which will soon return to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. Gokhan Kayal, who was born in Ankara, graduated from Berlin Technical University. The space-shuttle 'Endeavour' was able to take three-dimensional photographs of the world thanks to Kayal's work at the Jet-Propulsion Laboratories in California. The Turkish engineer, who graduated from Fenerbahce High School in Turkey, stated that he carried out a variety of different duties within the ENVISAT satelitte project being undertaken by the Dornier Satellite System company, part of the Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace Group, in Germany. He further added that he had been sent to America to work on digital photographing for the space-shuttle in 1998. He said, "I was very excited when I saw a photo of Izmir amongst the photographs sent back by the shuttle." /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 IT IS NOT NICE MR. YILMAZ BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)Columnist Gungor Mengi writes on the recent developments concerning Presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The feeblest link in the chain forming the accord to lengthen President Demirel's term in office at Cankaya is the Motherland Party (ANAP). That is why ANAP is weakening and their Chairman, Mesut Yilmaz, is criticized for trying to dodge those issues he has agreed to at the mini-summit of the coalition party leaders. The statement Yilmaz issued yesterday is a challenge to protect his own and his party's honour. However, it is a futile effort as his proposal for voting to take place openly requires yet another constitutional amendment. It can be described as the creation of new problems in trying to solve others. Furthermore, those politicians who are against the re-election of President Demirel will oppose this amendment as well.
In fact, this rule in the Constitution plays a vital function which is a more important role than that of saving ANAP's honour. Secret ballotting is a constitutional guarantee to protect the will of party political representatives in a situation where the honour of the Republic is at stake.
Yilmaz is either convinced that the President has to stay in office for another term or is being hypocritical. If he is insincere, he deserves the ciriticism directed at him. If he cannot convince his friends, even though he sincerely believes that the re-election of the President is essential, he does not deserve to be a leader. Due to this dilemma Turkey is losing time. Our stability will founder because of these manoeuvres so ANAP should stop using delaying tactics."
 UNDERSTANDING TURKEY IN THE EU PROCESS BY OKTAY VURAL (MILLIYET)Nationalist Action Party representative Oktay Vural comments on relations with the EU and the initiatives taken during the candidacy process. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Our relations with the European Union have gained a new aspect with the recognition and granting of candidacy status to Turkey. The negotiation process, which has already begun will affect the future of our ties. In the process of entering the EU, the Copenhagen criteria play a significant role and the atmosphere created as a result of adapting to these criteria wil be the factor determining the date and direction of the entrance process. Therefore, it is incorrect to give priority to only one of these criteria and use it as a basis for the negotiations. If this had been the case, that would have been presented as a pre-condition.
Not only the taking one of the criteria as a basis, but also the handling of unilateral compliance with this condition before the negotiations have even started is wrong. In fact, during the talks with European countries, differing views are seen. The Co-Chairmen of Turco-European Joint Parliamentary Commission can cancel a visit to Turkey becasue their wish to visit someone convicted of seperatism is rejected. The legal situation in force as of 1 February 1999, stating that permission for foreign representatives who want to visit convicts can only be granted within the framework of international agreements, can easily be ignored. If the motive for the visit is not personal or because of friendship, the possibility of a different reason comes to the fore.
Another foreign statesman can dare to give his advice on our education system and language during his visit and easily forget that Turkey is an independent, constitutional state of law. And another State is trying to claim that there was an Armenian genocide in the past.
These attitudes reflecting particular views and mentalities, although marginal, can be taken as a basis for regulating relations with Turkey. All these approaches are far from understanding Turkey. As Turkey has begun talks with the EU on the entrance process, it is wrong to bring the policies of foreign statesmen to the fore. The effort to grant a social function to these ethnic values is behind this understanding. When only one of the Copenhagen criteria is given priority, it is understood that those who make this choice do not understand them.
The negotiation process will begin for our entrance to the EU. If these negotiations are to be successful, we have to understand each other, distancing ourselves from marginal values. The success of the talks depends on the victory of both parties. There will either be a winner nor a loser at the end of this process. Do the European Countries understand Turkey during this period?
Everyone has to know that Turkey and the Turkish nation did not have a philosophy based on separatism at any time in its history. All people who want to live within the unity of the State and who have the goal of serving the nation are members of society. The Turkish nation has stood united against a separatist threat recently, as had always been witnessed in the past. Separatism has never taken root and, therefore, we all share common values and we cannot permit their annihilation.
Foreign statesmen have to understand Turkey well during the process of entering the EU. It is not that hard to see the whole Turkey . We have to move away from double standards."
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