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Turkish Press Review, 00-02-29

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

29.02.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKISH TELECOM PREPARES FOR THE WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [03] DEMIREL'S STATEMENT ON 28 FEBRUARY DECISIONS
  • [04] ECEVIT IN ALBANIA
  • [05] ONAL TO VISIT BRUSSELS
  • [06] DEMIREL: "THE WAY TO SUCCESS IS ECONOMIC STABILITY"
  • [07] ARTHUR ANDERSEN RECEIVES 'SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AWARD'
  • [08] TURKISH TELECOM PREPARES FOR THE WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE
  • [09] OPEL TURKEY IS TEN YEARS OLD
  • [10] TURKCELL'S COVERAGE EXPANDED IN AMERICA
  • [11] TURKISH PEOPLE SELECTED AS THE SECOND MOST HARDWORKING
  • [12] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA NOT TO OPEN EMBASSY IN SOUTHERN CYPRUS
  • [13] THREE HADEP MAYORS RELEASED
  • [14] PUTIN'S LETTER FOR DEMIREL
  • [15] GOLD KORAN RECOVERED
  • [16] 'FINANCE SOURCES OF ORGANIZED CRIMES`
  • [17] PSYCHO-SOCIAL EDUCATION
  • [18] TURCO-IRAQI COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION
  • [19] TURKISH INTERNET COMPANIES' SHARES TO BE OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC
  • [20] HIZBULLAH MEMBERS ARRESTED
  • [21] EU DELEGATION FROM ATHENS
  • [22] ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILWAY RESTORATION VENTURE
  • [23] LAND PRODUCE SECTOR IN TURKEY
  • [24] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [25] PROBLEMS IN THE SOUTHEAST BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [26] DOUBLE STANDARDS BY SAHIN ALPAY (MILLIYET)

  • [01] TURKISH TELECOM PREPARES FOR THE WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [03] DEMIREL'S STATEMENT ON 28 FEBRUARY DECISIONS

    President Suleyman Demirel received the State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu and the accompanying delegation at the Cankaya Presidential Palace and evaluated the decisions taken on 28 February three years ago, to journalists. Demirel said that the decisions taken on 28 February were a process and said, "The first article of these decisions is the preservation of democracy and secularism and the last article is to take action against those against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This is a process which began with the declaration of independence and is still continuing. Nobody can exploit the faith of people. Religion and the state had been separated and this is what the Republic is." Some of these decisions are not easy to put into practise but the practise of these decisions is being carefully controlled monthly by the National Security Council. /Turkiye/

    [04] ECEVIT IN ALBANIA

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrived in Albania for a two-day official visit. Before his departure, he answered a journalist's question: "Will you make a statement concerning the anniversary of the decisions made on 28 February?" and he replied, "The Turkish democracy is continuing in a very health way." Ecevit also pointed out the friendship with Albania and said, "The Turkish and Albanian people have lived together and shared a common history and culture for many centuries. With my visit, I am contributing to the improvement of our cooperation. We are going to examine what we can do to improve our economic relations." Ecevit was welcomed by the Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta at Tirana Rinas Airport. After the meetings between the delegations, an agreement on highway transportation between Turkey and Albania was signed. After Ecevit and Meta held a press conference during which Ecevit said that it had been decided that Albania's debt to the Turk Eximbank, amounting to 10 million dollars, would be bound to a timetable. Ecevit added that there would be a cooperation against organized crime organizations, by the two countries' intelligence services. The two Prime Ministers then attended the Turco-Albanian Business Council during which Meta said that some Turkish firms were working very successfully in Albania. Ecevit met met with the Albanian Parliament's Chairman, Skender Gjinushi and was also received by the Albanian President Rexhep Meidani. /Turkiye/

    [05] ONAL TO VISIT BRUSSELS

    State Minister Recep Onal pointed out that Turkey's economic agenda with the European Union (EU), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank was very intensive and said, "We think that the economic agenda will become more intensified and our preparations are within this framework. Onal made a statement before his departure to Brussels and recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem was continuing the work to speed up relations with the EU and added, "We had to be involved in the work concerning the economy. The earthquake loan amounting to 600 million dollars, from the EU to Turkey is still in progress. Besides, there is the fund amounting to 750 million dollars that we were not able to receive from the Customs Union, due to the Greek veto. The EU's Mediterranean funds together with other funds will be discussed in Brussels." Onal added that he would visit Luxembourg after leaving Brussels and would meet officials from the European Investment Bank. /Turkiye/

    [06] DEMIREL: "THE WAY TO SUCCESS IS ECONOMIC STABILITY"

    President Suleyman Demirel received Ankara Chamber of Trade's Chairman Sinan Aygun and the Chairman of Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Foundation (TUSIAV) Veli Saritoprak. During his visit, Aygun said that economic stability was necessary for the continuation of political stability. Demirel replied, "Everyone should desire both economic and political stability and support it." Saritoprak informed Demirel how the TUSIAV's Women's Branch had organized tea parties and that other events to aid the earthquake-hit region. In addition, the Chairman of Turkey-Moldovia Friendship Association, Irfan Unver Nasrattinoglu presented Demirel with the 'honorary chairmanship' of the association. The Japanese Farmers' Organization, JAZENCHU delegation visited Demirel and presented him with a cheque amounting to 623 thousand dollars, collected for Turkish farmer's earthquake victims. Demirel also received the Ambassadors of France and Nigeria, the Chairman of Ankara Chamber of Tradesmen and Artisans Ali Ercan and accompanying delegation, deans of the medical faculties of Hacettepe, Gazi and Baskent Universities, General Chairman of Harb-Is, Orhan Atay and accompanying delegation, the members of the Executive Board of Modern Arts Foundation and a delegation from Igdir. /Turkiye/

    [07] ARTHUR ANDERSEN RECEIVES 'SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AWARD'

    Turkish-American Businessmen Association (TABA) gave the 'Superior Performance Award' to Arthur Andersen, one of the largest advicory firms. During the award ceremony, 12 of the 141 American companies in the the industry, service and education in Turkey, was given the 'Superior Performance Award'. These awards were given for the first time this year to strenthen economic relations between Turkey and America and to encourage foreign investors. /Sabah/

    [08] TURKISH TELECOM PREPARES FOR THE WORLD TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE

    The company, which will organize the World Telecommunications Conference, to be held in Istanbul and will last for six weeks, will be decided today. This conference is very important in terms of its being the 'longest duration of an international meeting held in Istanbul' and due to the fact that it will be held in another place never having been held anywhere other than Geneva before. The World Communications Conference will be held between 1 May and 10 June. The bidding for the conference, with a reserve budget of 6.5 million dollars will be attended by seven firms. /Sabah/

    [09] OPEL TURKEY IS TEN YEARS OLD

    Opel Turkey, which has been increasing its market share, celebrated the tenth anniversary of its establishment at the Princess Hotel in Izmir. Opel's General Director to Turkey, Erhard Spranger, high-ranking officials and the factory's personnel attended this evening during which successful personnel were awarded medals. Spranger stated that their aim was to be amongst the top three of the Turkish market place and that in spite of all the negative aspects, there was an increase in sales in 1999. /Aksam/

    [10] TURKCELL'S COVERAGE EXPANDED IN AMERICA

    Turkcell signed an international circulatory (roaming) agreement with operator 'Pasific Bell Wireless' and expanded its coverage service. In a statement made by Turkcell, Turkcell has included California, Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Nevada City, Ontario, Oakland, Palermo, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, West Hollywood, Nevada, Carson City and Las Vegas to regions which its service covers, thanks to the agreement that it signed. It was stated that Turkcell will continue to serve 81 countries with 163 operators. /Aksam/

    [11] TURKISH PEOPLE SELECTED AS THE SECOND MOST HARDWORKING

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) research showed that Turkish people were the second most hardworking in the world. According to the report by the ILO concerning this issue, nearly 90% of Turkish men who work for more than 40 hours a week and women for nearly 80%. According to the data of the ILO, the Czech Republic has the most hard working people in the world. /Turkiye/

    [12] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA NOT TO OPEN EMBASSY IN SOUTHERN CYPRUS

    Relations between Ankara and Sarajevo, which were about to break down when Bosnia stated that it would open an embassy in Southern Cyprus, have resumed normality. Bosnia-Herzegovina's Ambassador to Ankara, Besim Sipahic, made a statement on the issue stating that they were aware of Turkey's sensitivity on this subject and that it would be out of the question to open an embassy in Southern Cyprus. Sipahic arrived in Konya to hold meetings with industrialists and businessmen and recalled that relations between Bosnians and the Turkish people have been going on for 500 years and said, "As we know Turkey is sensitive about this issue, I immediately sent a letter to my government and asked them to be careful." /Turkiye/

    [13] THREE HADEP MAYORS RELEASED

    The three pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HADEP) mayors of Diyarbakir, Bitlis and Siirt, who were detained last week, were released from prison by the Diyarbakir State Security Court on Monday. Feridun Celik, Selim Ozalp and Feyzullah Karaaslan will still stand trial on charges of aiding and abetting the separatist PKK. The court also ruled to prohibit the mayors from travelling abroad until the end of their trials. After their release, the Interior Minister also permitted them to return to their posts. /Hurriyet/

    [14] PUTIN'S LETTER FOR DEMIREL

    The Russian Acting Head of State, Vladimir Putin's letter which includes positive messages for the 'Caucasia Stability Pact` is going to be presented to President Suleyman Demirel by the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Ilya Klebanov. It is also understood that another subject covered in the letter relates to the Turkish Armed Forces' tender to purchase four billion dollars of helicopters. Putin has asked for President Demirel's support for the Russian-Israeli joint venture, KA-50-2 helicopters. Following his meeting with Demirel, Klebanov will meet with National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and Premier Bulent Ecevit. /Hurriyet/

    [15] GOLD KORAN RECOVERED

    The Turkish Government has recovered the 'Gold Koran', worth about two million dollars, stolen from the Nuruosmaniye Library in 1920s. Minister of Culture Istemihan Talay received the stolen Koran from the Rector of the Johns Hopkins University, William Brody, at a ceremony held in the Turkish Embassy in Washington. The stolen first volume of the 'Gold Koran' dates back to the 11th century and was donated to Johns Hopkins University by a collector John Work Garret, in 1942. The second volume of the Koran is still at the Nuruosmaniye Library. /Hurriyet/

    [16] 'FINANCE SOURCES OF ORGANIZED CRIMES`

    A panel entitled, 'The Financial Sources of Organized Crimes` and organized by the General Directorate of Security's Smuggling and Anti-Organized Crimes Department and Marmara University's Faculty of Law, was opened with a speech by the Interior Minister, Sadettin Tantan. During his speech, Minister Tantan pointed out that they had experienced great difficulties during their struggle with anti-crime organizations because of the shortages of the judicial infrastructure. He stated, "Prosecutors should not sit in their seats but also participate in police activities". In addition to Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan, also attending the meeting were Governor of Istanbul, Erol Cakir, Istanbul General Director of Security, Hasan Ozdemir, and a number of high-level officials, experts and academicians. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] PSYCHO-SOCIAL EDUCATION

    According to a Protocol signed by the National Education Minister, Metin Bostancioglu and UNICEF's Representative for Turkey, Philippe Heffinck, 240,000 children will receive psycho-social councelling in earthquake regions. Bostancioglu stressed that the effects of the quakes, which caused to 17,800 deaths and left 880,000 people homeless, on the people of the quake-hit region will be lowered after a long time rehabilitation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] TURCO-IRAQI COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION

    The 'Turco-Iraqi Commercial and Economic Cooperation' seminar was held in Baghdad yesterday, as part of the Joint Economic Commission meeting between Turkey and Iraq, following a four-year interval. The seminar was opened by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hikmet Mizban Ibrahim. Ibrahim stated that relations between the two countries would further develop and said, "This delegation shows the importance given by Turkey to our relations. This approach will be very positive for our ties". Ibrahim also complained about the UN to the Turkish delegation which wanted tender contracts to be accelerated.

    Iraqi Oil Minister Major General Amir Muhammed El Resid, stated that further developments in bilateral relations would be an achievement for Turkish firms and added, "Turkish firms should participate in tenders and take advantage of chances. However, the bids should not be too high. We will exert every effort to make Turkish firms win tenders. Moreover, we have completed all legal infrastructure in order to improve border trade". Turkish State Minister Edip Safter Gaydali was received by Iraqi First Deputy Prime Minister Taha Yasin Ramazan yesterday. During the meeting, Ramazan expressed his views needed to bring Turco-Iraqi relations to a desired level. /Milliyet/

    [19] TURKISH INTERNET COMPANIES' SHARES TO BE OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC

    Following the high profits made by US Internet companies on the stock exchanges, Turkish Internet companies rolled up their sleeves to offer their shares to the public. Among these Turkish Internet companies are Ixir, Ihlas.net and Vestel.net. The General Director of Ixir, Babur Ozden, said that they were planning to offer their shares to the public within 14 months, in order to strengthen the company. Ozden pointed out that it would also be attractive for the Turkish Internet companies to open to foreign stock exchanges. The General Director of Ihlas.net, Salih Kardas, said that they were also planning to offer their shares to the public within the year. He added that Internet companies would make a positively effect on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) and would increase importance of technology shares in both foreign countries and Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [20] HIZBULLAH MEMBERS ARRESTED

    Four members of the Hizbullah terrorist organization, Hamit Simsek, Mehmet Sirin Temiz, Hamdullah Yildiz and Hayrullah Gurbuz, have been captured during raids by security forces against the Hizbullah terrorist organization in Batman. Later they were brought to Malatya, and brought before the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of the Malatya State Security Court (DGM) and after their interrogation they were put under arrest. Raids against the Hizbullah organization are on-going throughout Turkey. Nine Hizbullah members taken into custody in the Tatvan district of Bitlis, were also put under arrest yesterday. Twelve members were taken into custody in the Narman district of Erzurum while 17 Hizbullah members were captured in Bayburt. /Milliyet-Star/

    [21] EU DELEGATION FROM ATHENS

    A delegation representing the Greek Foreign Ministry in Turkey expressed the Greek experience regarding the EU completed its meetings in Ankara yesterday. The eight-member delegation, headed by the EU Secretary-General of the Greek Foreign Ministry, Stelyo Perakis, met with the Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry responsible for the EU, Ambassador Uluc Ozulker and other officials. During the meeting, the laws and regulations of the EU, Copenhagen criteria and the participation in the EU programmes were discussed. /Milliyet/

    [22] ANKARA-ISTANBUL RAILWAY RESTORATION VENTURE

    Tenders for the ventures planned for the restoration of the Ankara-Istanbul railway and fast inter-city non-stop trains between Ankara and Istanbul will be put out within this year. The General Directorate of the Turkish Railways will initiate the first tender concerning the restoration of the current Ankara-Istanbul railway in March. /Star/

    [23] LAND PRODUCE SECTOR IN TURKEY

    State Minister Tunca Toskay said that Turkey was the luckiest country throughout Europe from the standpoint of land produce. Meetings organized by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM) continued yesterday with the "land produce sector". Toskay stated that this sector was one of the sectors seriously affected by the crises in the world and the Turkish economy. /Star/

    [24] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [25] PROBLEMS IN THE SOUTHEAST BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the problem Southeastern Anatolia is faced with. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The release of three HADEP mayors has eased tension in the Southeast. Certainly, they will still stand trial. We believe that there is a relationship between HADEP and the PKK and that HADEP takes its instructions from the PKK.

    The principal murderers of the PKK terrorist network will be sentenced to life imprisonment under severe conditions. We have to explain this clearly to our Western friends. However, great care should be shown in the style of doing so. We do not want to criticise the prosecutors who are dealing with a very difficult problem. However, the high number of requests for capital punishment, in the indictments, is disturbing. The best way would be to abolish capital punishment for once and all. A severe life-imprisonment would be more effective than the death sentence itself. For the first ten years, the prisoner should be put into a cell without being able to get in touch with anyone. We could take the French example on this issue.

    The military has done its duty and is still going on to do so. Turkish security forces are active and vigilant. The PKK terrorist organization and Hizbullah has been dealt with. No terrorist or violent action will be permitted. However, to establish law and order in the Souhteast does not solve all problems. This only forms the infrastructure to allow for a solution to take place.

    As soon as the amendment on the Constitution is made, we have to take up the Southeastern issue. This problem has many aspects. We have to be able to to explain to the West that Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin have never been treated as a minority and they will never be treated so in the future. A French model could be given as an example. In addition to this we should be able to inform them that the State will never allow education in Kurdish even as an elective subject. However, the Kurdish language should be free to be expressed in the press and publications, TV, courses and schools. The control of the State without applying any pressure is essential.

    Will the question be solved? The question will only be solved when the GAP (Southeastern Anatolia Project) is completed. Foreign states have understood this reality better than us."

    [26] DOUBLE STANDARDS BY SAHIN ALPAY (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sahin Alpay comments on the reactions of the EU and the US on the detention of HADEP mayors. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Turkish public have not been able to understand the reasons for the reaction shown by the US and the EU to the detention of HADEP mayors. If the argument of 'intervening into national affairs' which is outdated is left aside, protests against reactions seem to take the guise of the West hampering Turkey's fight against separatist terrorism.

    However, this is not the case. The legal reasoning of reactions coming from the West is "so long as there is no possibility of escaping or removing evidence", the detention of suspects and relieving them of their duty without being tried, especially those elected by the people is not in line with the norms of a state of law and democracy.

    Certainly the reactions also have political reasons: Western States who find peace in Turkey essential for their own security, expect Ankara to avoid any actions which would provoke new conflicts, begin to enact legislation aimed at solving the Kurdish problem, especially after the declaration of the PKK, saying that it has stopped the fight for separatism and terrorism.

    Certainly, no one can expect Ankara to follow HADEP Chairman Ahmet Turan Demir's call and allow the PKK to enter politics. The leaders of the PKK and the militants who have committed murders will account for their crimes.

    However, Turkey has to do what is should have done from the very first in the fight against separatist terrorism: the Kurdish question and terrorism should be separated from each other in addition to lifting the barriers before the freedom of use of the Kurdish language and culture. The opportunity of expressing their demands within the framework of democracy should be recognized to those who reject violence and separatism.

    Turkey's Western friends, especially the EU, is being accused of applying double standards. It is claimed that while the fight against terrorism in Spain is being supported it is being hampered in Turkey. If the reports and statements of the spokesmen are read carefully, it will be seen that the EU, considering the special circumstances, is not opposing the ban on separatism in Turkey, and to recognize that the cultural and language rights to be granted should be on an individual basis to Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin. Furthermore, the EU finds it enough that the National Security Council (NSC) should be a consultative organ and its authority be limited to military and security matters, in line with the Copenhagen criteria. However, it is clear that the role of the military is not confined to the NSC.

    The truth of the matter is that the EU is applying a double standard concerning Turkey but this is a double standard in favour of Turkey."


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