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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-24

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

24.02.00

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] 1,366 MEMBERS OF TERRORIST HEZBULLAH ORGANIZATION SENT TO COURT, 669 OF THEM DETAINED
  • [02] 5+5 CRISIS
  • [03] LEADERS' SUMMIT TODAY
  • [04] LETTER FROM PUTIN TO DEMIREL
  • [05] EU CONDEMNS TURKEY
  • [06] 1,366 MEMBERS OF TERRORIST HEZBULLAH ORGANIZATION SENT TO COURT, 669 OF THEM DETAINED
  • [07] 'WINTER 2000` MANOEUVRES
  • [08] YILDIRIM AKBULUT IN SHANGHAI
  • [09] CEM TO VISIT TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS
  • [10] MEETINGS BETWEEN ANKARA AND DAMASCUS
  • [11] EDUCATION BREAKTHROUGH IN PRISONS
  • [12] FIRST TENDER IN MOBILE PHONES IN MARCH
  • [13] ONAL WARNS ABOUT HIGH PRICE INCREASES
  • [14] TURKISH AGRICULTURAL PANEL
  • [15] QUALITY RESTRUCTURING IN EDUCATION
  • [16] RODRIK TRUSTS THE ECONOMIC PROGRAMME IN TURKEY
  • [17] TURKISH AIR FORCES TO BRING HELICOPTERS FROM FRANCE
  • [18] STATE BIDDING DRAFT LAW IS READY
  • [19] IKV BECOMES PRIVATE SECTOR'S COORDINATOR TO THE EU
  • [20] TURKISH 'KOLEKSIYON' FURNITURE COMPANY OPENS A BRANCH IN MOSCOW
  • [21] GLOBAL STOCK EXCHANGE TO ESTABLISH E-GLOBAL
  • [22] TREASURY: "OUR CONTACTS WITH THE WORLD BANK ARE NOT CUT"
  • [23] SABANCI'S CALLIGRAPHY EXHIBITION
  • [24] WORLD APPRECIATES PROF.GAZI YASARGIL
  • [25] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [26] EUROPEAN STANDARDS AND TURKEY BY YALCIN PEKSEN (AKSAM)
  • [27] "NO COMPLAINTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT" BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] 1,366 MEMBERS OF TERRORIST HEZBULLAH ORGANIZATION SENT TO COURT, 669 OF THEM DETAINED

    [02] 5+5 CRISIS

    The Presidential election which has been on the agenda of Turkey for some time has increased the tension in the political life. Ecevit's proposal which envisages to 'limit the presidential term in office to five years for two electoral terms' has still not been accepted by the Motherland Party (ANAP). Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit criticized ANAP Leader Mesut Yilmaz and asked him to 'prove his leadership` and convince his party members to support the constitutional amendment in order to avoid instability in the country. /Turkiye/

    [03] LEADERS' SUMMIT TODAY

    The Chairmen of the coalition parties will hold a meeting today. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz will attend the meeting during which the situation concerning a Constitutional amendment for the re-election of the President for five more years is expected to be discussed. /Milliyet/

    [04] LETTER FROM PUTIN TO DEMIREL

    The Acting Head of State of Russia, Vladimir Putin, will send Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov to Ankara as his special envoy. Klebanov who will visit Ankara on February 28-29 and will present a letter from Putin to Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. It is reported that the letter will include a response for Demirel's proposal for a stability pact in the Caucasus. During the meetings, Klebanov is also expected to discuss the Chechnya issue. /Milliyet/

    [05] EU CONDEMNS TURKEY

    Officials from the European Union (EU) issued a statement refering to the Mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) who have been taken into custody and said, "This issue will not be good for relations between Ankara and Brussels. We would like to recall that Turkey is an EU candidate". The EU Term-President, Portugal, has launched initiatives to take a stance against Turkey by meeting with officials from the 15 EU-member countries.

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has shown a harsh reaction to the EU, which condemns Turkey for its treatment of the three HADEP Mayors, who are in custody and said, "Committing a crime has no privileges. Laws are valid for all people and for all regions. The Republic of Turkey has laws and those who do not abide by these laws are subject to the judicial process". The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on the issue that there should be respect for the independence of jurisdiction in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [06] 1,366 MEMBERS OF TERRORIST HEZBULLAH ORGANIZATION SENT TO COURT, 669 OF THEM DETAINED

    A total of 669 people, who were arrested during operations carried out last month against terrorist Hezbollah organization, were detained, as of February 19. Officials said that nationwide operations, which started with the operation in Beykoz district in Istanbul on January 17, in which Huseyin Velioglu, the head of the terrorist Hezbollah organization was killed, continue.

    A total of 1,366 terrorists were arrested and sent to court. 669 of them were detained after their trial. A total of 997 actions occurred between 1991 and 1999 related with terrorist Hezbollah organization. Security forces launched 780 operations against the terrorist organization. A total of 4,505 people were arrested during the operations of which 4,501 people were sent to the Law Courts, 72 members of the terrorist organization were tried and sentenced, 108 are still under arrest, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [07] 'WINTER 2000` MANOEUVRES

    One of the Turkish Armed Forces' planned manoeuvres 'Winter 2000` has been carried out succesfully in Sarikamis under heavy winter conditions. In addition to President Suleyman Demirel, the Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Ministers, Forces' Commanders and high-ranking officiers observed the exercise. Among foreign observers, were, for the first time, Greek generals and colonels. /Hurriyet/

    [08] YILDIRIM AKBULUT IN SHANGHAI

    The Turkish delegation in China, headed by the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Yildirim Akbulut, has completed its meetings in Shanghai. The delegation will depart for Turkey tonight. /Turkiye/

    [09] CEM TO VISIT TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, will arrive in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on 26 February, to meet the President of TRNC, Rauf Denktas and officials from the government of the TRNC. The evaluation of the second tour of meetings of the United Nations' indirect meetings, and preparations concerning the third tour of meetings which are planned for the summer, will be on the agenda of Cem's meetings. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] MEETINGS BETWEEN ANKARA AND DAMASCUS

    Since relations between Turkey and Syria have normalized following deportation of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, from Syria, Ankara has decided to enter discussions on the issue of water with Damascus. Ankara will also exert efforts for an official agreement for stronger cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, in line with the Adana Accord signed in 1998. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that meetings on these two vital issues should be held between Turkey and Syria. The meetings are expected to start in Damascus at the beginning of March. The foreign ministers of Turkey and Syria met in New York last September and decided to establish a working group to form a new framework on all dimensions of bilateral relations. The Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ambassador, Ugur Ziyal, will head the Turkish delegation. /Milliyet/

    [11] EDUCATION BREAKTHROUGH IN PRISONS

    According to a cooperation protocol signed between the Justice Ministry and National Education Ministry, prisoners will have education programmes. The programmes will teach them to read and write, as well as social and cultural skills in order to rehabilitate them. /Turkiye/

    [12] FIRST TENDER IN MOBILE PHONES IN MARCH

    The Minister of Transport, Enis Oksuz, said that a tender would be put out in March for the two GSM licences to be transferred to the private sector. Oksuz issued a statement, following his meeting with the Head of the IMF-Turkey Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, and stated that the licences would have a bid value of $650 million. /Milliyet/

    [13] ONAL WARNS ABOUT HIGH PRICE INCREASES

    The State Minister responsible for the economy, Recep Onal, attended a meeting of the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) yesterday, and said, "In order to reach the target to reduce inflation rate, price increases in the private sector should be lower for the remaining part of the year". The Head of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yucaoglu, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stating that the high price increases demanded by labour unions would danger the economic programme. Yucaoglu pointed out that the Economic and Social Council should convene and find a basis of reconciliation. /Milliyet/

    [14] TURKISH AGRICULTURAL PANEL

    The panel of the 'Turkish Agriculture on the Process of the European Union' organized by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) was held yesterday. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) representative to Turkey, Maharaj Muthoo, and the European Commission's representative to Turkey, Karen Fogg, delivered the opening speeches. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's representative to Turkey, Maharaj Muthoo spoke against the restrictions imposed on Turkey by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerning the agricultural sector. /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] QUALITY RESTRUCTURING IN EDUCATION

    The Ministry of Education started 'restructuring ' to increase quality in the education sector. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, Bener Cordan, stated that a 'measuring and evaluating bureau' to evaluate students' success and an 'in-training centre' for teachers to assess themselves would be established. Within this students will be examined all over Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] RODRIK TRUSTS THE ECONOMIC PROGRAMME IN TURKEY

    Professor of the International Economy of the Harvard University, Dani Rodrik, recently elected as an advisor of the Turkish Republic's Central Bank, stated that he believed that the anti-inflation programme, implemented by the Turkish government, would be successful. Prof. Dr. Rodrik pointed out that the anti-inflation programme's chance of success ranked highest among programmes that have been implemented since 1980. Rodrik said, "This anti-inflation programme was designed perfectly in terms of technics and to have been adopted by the public. Now the important thing is to continue with this programme without hindrance and without taking backward-steps". /Aksam/

    [17] TURKISH AIR FORCES TO BRING HELICOPTERS FROM FRANCE

    The test flights of the first Cougar helicopters, supported by the Turkish Aviation Industry (TAI) and Turkish firms such as Aselsan and Netas and are manufactured by Turkey in France, tested positively. As part of the agreement made with the French Eurcopter firm, this helicopter will be brought to Turkey at the end of February and would be used by Turkish Air Forces. The provisional project for 28 helicopters will be completed by the year 2005. /Aksam/

    [18] STATE BIDDING DRAFT LAW IS READY

    Work concerning the New State Bidding Draft Law, prepared to discipline institutions and to remove rumours concerning the abuse and misuse of the state biddings system has been completed and it will be forwarded to the ministries concerned for their opinion. It is expected to come into force sometime this year. However, it is envisaged that the draft law should not be implemented until the year 2001 in order that there can be a transition period. /Aksam/

    [19] IKV BECOMES PRIVATE SECTOR'S COORDINATOR TO THE EU

    The Economic Development Foundation (IKV) will coordinate the private sector's relations with the European Union (EU) and the public sector from now on. A declaration issued by the IKV stated, "The IKV members held a meeting on the ministrial level and reached the agreement that the IKV will carry out the Turkish private sector's duty of coordination in its relations both with the EU and with the public sector." /Aksam/

    [20] TURKISH 'KOLEKSIYON' FURNITURE COMPANY OPENS A BRANCH IN MOSCOW

    The 'Koleksiyon Furniture Company' opened a branch in Moscow. Koleksiyon's office in Moscow, established after a six month market research project, will carry out the sale and marketing activities of the K Project, which is an expert in office furtnitures, and of the K Studio, which is a home furniture brand, in Russia and in other countries in the region. /Sabah/

    [21] GLOBAL STOCK EXCHANGE TO ESTABLISH E-GLOBAL

    The Global Stock Exchanges is forming a new department called 'E-Global' in order to promote the advanced solutions in terms of technology. Dimitris Theodorou from the American firm, Goggle Media, an expert on internet entertainment channels and on interactive media, was appointed to the Office of the Director of E-Global. /Sabah/

    [22] TREASURY: "OUR CONTACTS WITH THE WORLD BANK ARE NOT CUT"

    The Treasury stated that loan discussions with the World Bank have neither been cut off nor postponed. A written statement by the Treasury stated, "The structural harmonization loan of three billion dollars that was promised by the World Bank, within the framework of the stand-by agreement, signed with the IMF has been activated. Half of this two part loan amounting to 1.5 billion dollars is for economic reforms and the financial sector. The loans will be discussed by the Administration of the World Bank in the following months." /Star/

    [23] SABANCI'S CALLIGRAPHY EXHIBITION

    Businessman Sakip Sabanci is exhibiting 27 calligraphy artifacts in Ankara. The exhibition was opened by Sakip Sabanci, Culture Minister Istemihan Talay and former Culture Minister Agah Oktay Guneri. Sakip Sabanci expressed his pleasure at having such a collection which has been displayed in many countries and to be able to present it to Turkish art lovers. Sabanci's 'Gold Letters` collection will be exhibited at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, between March 17 and May 29, 2000. /Turkiye/

    [24] WORLD APPRECIATES PROF.GAZI YASARGIL

    Some American medical circles have decided that Prof.Gazi Yasargil is number one worldwide leader in the field of brain surgery and will give him an award due to his contributions in the field of micro-neurosurgery. A special ceremony will be held at the Arkansas Medical Sciences University in Little Rock, the US, on February 26 for Prof.Yasargil who has been on the cover of the 'Neurosurgery' magazine published in the US. Scientists from 11 countries and 23 US states will also attend the ceremony. /Milliyet/

    [25] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [26] EUROPEAN STANDARDS AND TURKEY BY YALCIN PEKSEN (AKSAM)

    Columnist Yalcin Peksen comments on the European attitude in relation to the detention recently of three HADEP mayors. A summary of his column is as follows:

    Our European allies, who are preparing to welcome Turkey into the EU, were angered by our detention recently of mayors from the HADEP party. Just as we were beginning to say that our relations were improving, they have begun to reproach us. Were we not ready to enter the EU although no-one knows exactly when? Were we not sensitive enough on the issues of human rights, democratization and Kurdish rights? What did we want to do to these three mayors who had been elected by the public from the HADEP party? What if they had connections with the PKK terrorist organization? Did the PKK commit any sin?

    When representatives from European countries came to Turkey they met the President of the Human Rights' Association, Akin Birdal, and passed on to Diyarbakir to meet members of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP). They did not care to see the Turkish Foreign Minister or Prime Minister.

    This brings wicked thoughts to my mind. Fancy these Europeans accepting HADEP before Turkey and yet we need their permission to obtain entrance to the EU!! Imagine us waiting at the quay on Imrali Island for an appointment to ask Ocalan to lift the power of veto they have used to block Turkey's entrance to the EU organization!!

    The Europeans are insisting on our implementing European standards for our Kurdish citizens. In fact, citizens of Turkish origin are also waiting to see the implementation of these standards as soon as possible but their plight does not interest the Europeans.

    Standards in Turkey are not up to those of Europea, and there may be dozens of examples in this respect. A citizen complained about a Post Office in the ?i?li district where not only Turks, but citizens of Greek, Armenian and Jewish origin are living. That is to say, all of our citizens are eagerly waiting for European standards here. But we should not belittle ourselves so much. The mafia leader Alaattin Cakici could not stand the prison in France, the cradle of civilization, and came back to Turkey. He can buy the kind of sandwich he wants now!"

    [27] "NO COMPLAINTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT" BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the Presidential Elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "We were able to meet Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit following the speech he delivered at his party's the parliamentary group meeting.The Premier answered our question on whether the present situation could turn into a government crisis by saying that he had not hadany complaints from the Government so far. He also made it clear that he did not want to add anything to his speech.

    Yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Ecevit invited the Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) to join a conference of Coalition party leaders, including Devlet Bahceli, at 14.00 today. The conference will consist of two stages. During the first, stage the Presidential Election will be discussed. After this, Interior Minister where Minister Saadettin Tantan and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will attend the next stage. The main issues to be taken up during the second stage are to be those concerning the HADEP mayors, military operations against Hizbullah and the PKK and their effects.

    Prime Minister Ecevit and ANAP Chairman Yilmaz are two of the leaders who have worked most harmoniously together during recent years. The contribution of the "Yilmaz-Ecevit line" cannot be denied in overcoming the problems besetting Turkish politics and in establishing a mentality of compromise within the complex fabric of the TGNA. Both during the time in office of ANAP leader Yilmaz and that of the Democratic Left Party Chairman, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, harmonious and careful relations have beenpreserved. That was why the new Parliament has worked so productively.

    Can the speech delivered by the Prime Minister damage this relationship? The first assessment of political lobbyists was that Ecevit was questioning the leadership of Yilmaz and so reacted with such a harsh statement. However, if his words are read carefully, it can be seen that Ecevit was not questioning his leadership at all but was rather, calling on him to pull his weight within his party's parliamentary group. The signal Ecevit wants to give out is that Yilmaz has control over his party, and if he so wanted, he could force the ANAP parliamentary group to vote in the way he himself would prefer. As Prime Minister, he desires Yilmaz to do just that.

    It can be stated that Ecevit does not want to turn the issue into a governmental crisis nor to dissolve the coalition. His aim is to guarantee 367 votes by making Yilmaz use all of his power. This shows that the Prime Minister does not see 367 votes in the bag.

    The DSP-MHP-ANAP Coalition has been able to solve all of the critical problems facing it up to now without turning them into a governmental crisis. They were able to handle important questions such as the Ocalan affair, the Amnesty issue, and the European Union. While overcoming these problems, the fact that Yilmaz took sides with Prime Minister Ecevit made it easier to convince MHP Leader Bahceli. This time it is observed that Ecevit and Bahceli are in agreement and this may provide a certain flexibility in Yilmaz's stance. The Ecevit-Yilmaz axis should be preserved so as not to disturb the stability which has so far been protected."


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