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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-25

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

25.02.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] HADEP (PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY) BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)
  • [02] ACCORD ON PRESIDENCY
  • [03] SUPPORT FROM CILLER
  • [04] ECEVIT MEETS POLFER
  • [05] AMBASSADOR MORALI SUMMONED TO IRANIAN FOREIGN OFFICE
  • [06] 'ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT`
  • [07] AWARD FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON
  • [08] FINGER PRINTS ON IDENTITY CARDS
  • [09] IMF OFFICIALS' MEETINGS IN ANKARA
  • [10] FLORI: "DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY TO GO ON"
  • [11] DISCUSSIONS WITH THE WORLD BANK
  • [12] ATHENS' HISTORICAL DECISION
  • [13] PROF. KWATA IN TURKEY
  • [14] NEW POLICE FOR THE DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF SECURITY
  • [15] REPENTANCE LAW EXTENDED FOR SIX MONTHS
  • [16] NO CYANIDE IN THE MARMARA SEA
  • [17] KARSAN OTOMOTIVE FACTORY OPENNED
  • [18] YAPI KREDI TO BUY COMPANY IN IRELAND
  • [19] M1 ABRAHAMS TO JOIN THE TANK BIDDING IN TURKEY
  • [20] FNSS PARTICIPATES IN THE AMERICAN BIDDING
  • [21] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [22] DESERVING THE BLOW BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
  • [23] HADEP (PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY) BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] HADEP (PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY) BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    [02] ACCORD ON PRESIDENCY

    The tension between Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Motherland Party leader, Mesut Yilmaz, over the constitutional amendment to change the election procedures of the president, disappeared yesterday. After the leaders meeting, stating that they had a 'full consensus` on the issue, Premier Ecevit stressed that the draft of the 5+5 constitutional amendment will soon be put forward for signatures of the parliamentary representatives of the three coalition parties. He added that he was confident that the amendment would easily be legislated with the support of over 367 parliamentary representatives. In its proposal, the Government changed an article in the constitution which stated that 'no one could be elected President twice, to a 'President can be elected by the TGNA among its members, over forty years of age and graduated from a university or among Turkish citizens, with the necessary qualifications, for a five year term. No one can be elected President more than twice`. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] SUPPORT FROM CILLER

    The leader of the True Path Party (DYP), Tansu Ciller, continued her meetings with party leaders to try to speed up the constitutional amendment process on the Presidential election. She said that if necessary, DYP's parliamentary representatives would sign the government's proposal. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] ECEVIT MEETS POLFER

    Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Lydie Polfer visited Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit the day before and Ecevit asked Polfer, "Why don't you think of visiting the mothers of those soldiers who died in operations carried out against the PKK". During 50-minute meeting, Polfer stated that they were waiting for the decisions taken in Helsinki to be put into practice as soon as possible. Polfer also brought up the issue of the detention of the HADEP mayors. Ecevit replied with these words: "It is impossible for me to intervene in justice. I cannot ask questions to public prosecutors even for information. There are also mothers of the soldiers who have died during operations carried out against PKK terrorists. Why don't you think of visiting their associations or meeting with these assosiations' officials?". Then the two ministers exchanged ideas concerning the improvement of the relations between the two countries. /Sabah/

    [05] AMBASSADOR MORALI SUMMONED TO IRANIAN FOREIGN OFFICE

    The Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Turan Morali, was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Office in the wake of Ecevit's declarations regarding the election results in Iran. During his meeting with the Turkish Ambassador, a deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for Asia and Ocean Affairs, Muhsin Eminzade, stated that the Turkish Premier's remarks constituted an interference in Iran's internal affairs and was an assult on the Iranian nation and system. /Hurriyet/

    [06] 'ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT`

    The European Parliament's Human Rights Commission has unanimously accepted a report on 'Human Rights in the World`, prepared by the Swedish parliamentary representative, Cecilia Malmstrom, and a draft resolution. Malmstrom stated in her report that no country, incorporationg capital punishment in its constitutional code, could be a full-member of the EU. The report also emphasized that the abolishment of execution in EU countries was a great success and this should also be applied in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] AWARD FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON

    During his visit to Germany on May 1-2, US President Bill Clinton will be presented with the 'Charlemagne Award` for his efforts both towards Turco-Greek rapprochement, and finding solutions for Cyprus and Northern Ireland issues. It will be the first time that the award has been presented to an American President. Previous leaders, who received it, were Winston Churchill, Conrad Adenauer, Vaclav Havel, Juan Carlos and Tony Blair. /Hurriyet/

    [08] FINGER PRINTS ON IDENTITY CARDS

    The Ministry of Interior will put finger prints on the back of identity cards due to the identification of those who die during the disasters or in traffic accidents taking so long. This work by the Ministry of Interior's Identity and Citizenship Law concerning the taking of the finger print was started. /Aksam/

    [09] IMF OFFICIALS' MEETINGS IN ANKARA

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, chaired by the IMF's Turkish Desk Chief, Carlo Cottarelli, supported the opinion of the World Bank regarding the banking sector. The delegation, who visited Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank, in Ankara and exchanged information concerning the public banks' reconstruction and asked questions to the Treasury and the Central Bank officals about the privatization of the public banks. The IMF delegation wanted them to implement the decisions made in the World Bank's report on banks and suggested that public banks should be privatized as soon as possible. State Minister Tunca Toskay, who met Cottarelli, made a statement after this meeting saying that they had topics discussed were the price index, export, agriculture, privatization and the situation of Eximbank. /Turkiye/

    [10] FLORI: "DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY TO GO ON"

    A spokesperson for the European Union (EU) Commission, Jean-Christophe Flori, evaluated the detention of the HADEP Mayors and said that the EU Commission would continue talks with Turkey. Flori stated that they considered this issue to be very 'saddening' and added, "The way to improve the issue of democracy and human rights in Turkey is dialogue and the strategy decided in Helsinki required it. It was also stated that the EU's term president, Portugal, received information from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through their Embassy in Ankara, concerning the mayors' detention. The Italian Prime Minister, Massimo D'Alema, arrived in Brussels to visit the EU Commission and said that it was early for a change in attitude and strategy towards Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [11] DISCUSSIONS WITH THE WORLD BANK

    The World Bank's Director to Turkey, Ajay Chibber, stated that an agreement would be reached in a few days, on discussions with officials from the Treasury with regard to the economic reform loan of 750 million dollars. Chibber made a statement, after his meeting with the Treasury Undersecretary, Selcuk Demiralp and other Treasury officials saying, "Meetings are continuing positively. The most important issue within the framework of the economic reform loan is is the reconstruction of the energy sector. I am sure that we will reach an agreement soon as those issues discussions are about to close." Chibber added that the financial sector loan would be discussed by the Executive Board of the World Bank in May. /Aksam/

    [12] ATHENS' HISTORICAL DECISION

    The Greek Orthodox Church, which was against the construction of a mosque in Athens, finally had a change of mind. The Athens government gave permission for the construction of a mosque in its capital city. Greece had not given permission for a mosque to be built since the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923. The Church made a statement saying, "within the framework of religious freedoms, we are not against the construction of a mosque'. Islamic Cultural Centre will be built next to the mosque to be built near the Athens Airport, which will be opened in the year 2001. /Sabah/

    [13] PROF. KWATA IN TURKEY

    Prof. Yohhiaki Kwata, who arrived in Istanbul as the guest of Koc Holding Company, stated that Turkey was on an active fault-line and that heavy industrial facilities should not be built in the region. Prof Kwata, who has done 250 researches and written 10 books on the subject of earthquakes, said that he made investigations in the earthquake-hit regions after the earthquake on 17 August and that a strong earthquake occurs in Istanbul once in 300 years. He also visited the Toyotasa's factory. Kwata added that the buildings should be made stronger. /Sabah/

    [14] NEW POLICE FOR THE DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF SECURITY

    The draft law which will enable to appoint 20,000 policemen to the Directorate General of Security was accepted at the Interior Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). Also two draft laws to make a change in the State Employees Pension Fund Law were united. These two draft laws will also be discussed by the Planning and Budgetary Commission of the TGNA. /Turkiye/

    [15] REPENTANCE LAW EXTENDED FOR SIX MONTHS

    The 'Law Relating to Decisions Concerning Some Criminals', No. 3419 and known as the 'Repentance Law' was accepted by the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). As a result, the period to use this 'Repentance Law' was extended for six months. This law was enforced in order to wipe out terrorist organizations using information given by people who make confessions about illegal organizations. A total of 612 people applied to make use of this Repentance Law. /Turkiye/

    [16] NO CYANIDE IN THE MARMARA SEA

    Turkey's oldest research ship ARAR is looking into whether cyanide reached the Marmara Sea, Straits and the Black Sea from Romania. The lecturer of the Sea Sciences Institute of Istanbul University, Assoc. Prof. Erdogan Okus, stated that they had not found signs of cyanide in the Straits from their preliminary researches. The ARAR is also doing research on whether cyanide is present in the Marmara Sea and took samples of sand, water and sea animals. Okus stated that they would start the same work in the Black Sea on instructions from the Ministry of Environment. /Milliyet/

    [17] KARSAN OTOMOTIVE FACTORY OPENNED

    The New Karsan Otomotive Factory was opened by President Suleyman Demirel in the Akcalar Industrial Region, Bursa. During his speech Demirel praised the factory and said, the "New Karsan Otomotive Factory is a facility for the 21st century. It has regenerated itself according to international norms." Inan Kyrac, the Chairman of the Karsan Executive Board, stressed that the new factory has 60,000 square metres of closed area and cost 70 million dollars. /Star/

    [18] YAPI KREDI TO BUY COMPANY IN IRELAND

    The Executive Board of Yapi Kredi Bank dedided to buy Yapi Kredi Internatioal Financial Services Limited Company in Ireland. In a statement sent by the Yapi Kredi Bank to Istanbul Stock Exchange, this company will be sold to Stork Fiancial Investments in Ireland, for 1 million 650 thousand dollars. The Executive Board of Yapi Kredi Bank decided to invest in Fintur Holding B.V.'s increase of capital with 70 million 583 thousand Euros in order to invest in the companies that are active in the telecommunications sector. /Aksam/

    [19] M1 ABRAHAMS TO JOIN THE TANK BIDDING IN TURKEY

    The American General Dynamics Company arrived in Moscow for meetings regarding buying 'Arena', a Russian active tank protection system, for 'M1 Abrahams' tanks that are under tender in Turkey. According to the news given by Interfax by depending upon the Russian military-industry complex's sources, this company is interested in 'Arena' to win Turkey's tank tender for one thousand tanks. /Aksam/

    [20] FNSS PARTICIPATES IN THE AMERICAN BIDDING

    It was revealed that a Turkish firm in Golbasi, Ankara tendered for 8,000 armoured vehicles that the American Army require for the newly formed Brigade Battle Team. The Turkish firm FNSS that sent three vehicles for tests for the tender, amounting to billions of dollars and was supported by the Turkish General Staff. The Second Chief of the General Staff, General Edip Baser, who paid a visit to Washington at the beginning of February, sent the message to the American officials that a share should be reserved for the Turkish firm in this bidding. /Milliyet/

    [21] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [22] DESERVING THE BLOW BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the detention of the mayors of Diyarbakir, Bingol and Siirt, who are all members of the People's Democracy Party(HADEP).A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The detention of Diyarbakir, Bingol and Siirt Mayors all elected from HADEP has created a stir both at home and abroad. The general question asked is, "How can this be done to anyone who is elected by the people's votes?

    If their complaint is based on the fact that, those who had been elected mayor are treated as ordinary criminals while being taken into custody, they are right. It brings into mind the arrest of the deputies from the People's Labour Party (HEP) who were hurriedly put into police cars when their political immunity was lifted. We, all protested this treatment. This was carried out by those who believe that rough handling is in the line of duty and take great pleasure in handcuffing intellectuals, politicians and writers rather than thieves. They satisfy their inferiority complex through this type of behaviour.

    The essence of the matter is not the rough treatment by security forces. The heart of the issue is that these three mayors have committed an action considered to be a crime by the Turkish Penal Code, that is, they have aided and abetted an illegal terrorist organization.

    If we take a look at information appearing in the press they are faced with a serious accusation. It is claimed that Diyarbakir Mayor Feridun Celik, Siirt Mayor Selim Ozalp and Bingol Mayor Feyzullah Karaaslan met one of the leading names of the PKK, in Europe, Murat Karayilan, and participated in actions and demands aimed to divide Turkey and gave financial aid to the PKK terrorist organization.

    Justice will decide whether these accusations are true or not. We should not mention those who are giving their verdict before justice takes its course and ask for the release of these mayors, which is rather audacious but address these Mayors and others with the same mentality.

    Politics based on ethnic origin is just as harmful as politics based on religion. If the mayors and those sharing their views, want to be a constructive and help peace to prevail in the country, they should reject politics based on ethnic origin; that is to say, racial discrimination. If they do not do so, they have to endure blows dealt to them by the laws of the State, as this is the result of a reflex action as in self-defense."

    [23] HADEP (PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY PARTY) BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay expounds on the detention of the three Mayors and reactions received. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The developments in Southeastern Anatolia have entered a process where it is very hard to make an assessment. There are five aspects of the situation: The EU, PKK, HADEP, politicians and the military...

    There seems to be no change in the policy followed by the EU towards Turkey. Today it is trying to convince Turkey by seeming to be along side the country in order to implement the policies it once tried to impose on Turkey.

    Although they are aware that Turkey is very sensitive on the issue of territorial integrity, they are starting the programme of strengthening local administrations only in Southeastern municipalities as a bloc. Even a child can see that the Europeans are trying to do something different concerning the region.

    We can describe the policy followed lby the EU from another aspect as such: They are trying to stress the differences rather than the similar characteristics of the Anatolians. Turkey has to be vigilant, but not be scared over the issue. Turkey understands EU candidacy as sharing the light coming from the window of civilization. If dust and smoke starts to come in from this window, it is natural that the country will begin to take measures.

    The PKK terrorist organization held its seventh ordinary congress inside the Iranian border. The basis of the decisions taken is that they will carry their fight to a political platform. In his confessions Ocalan did not reject his ties with HADEP, but on the contrary gave information on their relations. The PKK carried its armed force into Northern Iraq. We are hearing that it has started to buy heavy arms too. In parallel with these developments, HADEP increased its activities. Their demand is the common yearning of all: peace and full-democracy.

    Arming its militants with heavy weapons in Northern Iraq and asking for full-democracy in Diyarbakir! When we come to HADEP we see two important developments taking place. One is the detention of the mayors members of HADEP, and the other is the conviction of 18 people to serve three years and nine months in prison. HADEP Chairman, Ahmet Turan Demir and former Chairman Murat Bozlak were among those 18 people. The common crime and the reason for their conviction was their relations with the terrorist organization...

    If HADEP wants domestic peace it has to give a clear answer to this question: Will it depend on Anatolia or to Europe? It seems that HADEP thinks it can get quicker results by using the second path. The EU is telling HADEP, not to be concerned if the floor it stands on becomes slippery, it will always hold HADEP's hand. However, members of HADEP ought to know that one cannot walk on such a floor. The EU will hold your hand and let you think you are on solid ground. Should suddenly the question of a tender come about, it will withdraw its support! Instead of depending on Europe, if you solidify the ground you are standing on, integrate with the lands where you are living, you will not fall down even if someone pushes you.

    We do not see that politicians are producing policies, or having brain storms regarding what to do, on the steps Ocalan may take. 36 HADEP Mayors came to Ankara just after the verdict on Ocalan's death sentence was ratified by the High Court of Appeals. They asked for appointments with the President and the Prime Minister.

    If the relations with the EU deteriorate, the climate of spring in the Southeast leaves its place to harsh winds, it seems that Turkey will begin to discuss one issue again and that is the carrying out the death sentence on Ocalan."


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