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Turkish Press Review, 00-04-18

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

18.04.00

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKEY'S VIEWS TOWARD GREEK-CYPRIOTS WON'T CHANGE"
  • [02] ECEVIT'S STATEMENT CONCERNING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
  • [03] GROSSMAN'S STATEMENT ABOUT TURKEY AND THE EU
  • [04] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO VISIT ALGERIA
  • [05] STATE MINISTER CAY TO VISIT TURKMENISTAN
  • [06] EFFORTS TO BOOST TRADE WITH NEIGHBOURS
  • [07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT MEETS ELCIBEY
  • [08] SUPPORT FOR TOURISM
  • [09] IHSANOGLU'S GREAT SUCCESS
  • [10] ERCEL: "INFLATION RATE WILL DECREASE"
  • [11] POAS' PROFIT INCREASES BY 121%
  • [12] FUTURE CALL SUMMIT 2000
  • [13] STOLL: "TURKEY'S FUTURE IS BRIGHT"
  • [14] ERDEMIR'S PROFIT WORTH 34.9 TRILLION TL
  • [15] ONAL'S VISIT TO U.S.
  • [16] TURCO-GREEK FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION FAIR
  • [17] TREASURY HOLDS TWO AUCTIONS
  • [18] AUTOMOTIVE EXPORTS UP 103.1 % IN FIRST THREE MONTHS
  • [19] GSM BIDDING
  • [20] SURPLUS INCOME IN BUDGET
  • [21] DECREASE IN IMKB INDEX
  • [22] GOVERNMENT PUTS UP TENDERS TO SELL OFF IRON AND STEEL MILLS
  • [23] TURKISH-SLOVENIAN FREE TRADE TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT YEAR
  • [24] 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF ANZAC OPERATION
  • [25] MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS' STATEMENT ON UEFA SEMIFINAL
  • [26] MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP FROM LOGAN
  • [27] 'THERE WON'T BE A KURDISH STATE IN IRAQ'
  • [28] SEVEN HIZBULLAH MEMBERS CAPTURED
  • [29] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKEY'S VIEWS TOWARD GREEK-CYPRIOTS WON'T CHANGE"
  • [30] 'EURO 2000' SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE DISCUSSED IN TURKEY
  • [31] TURKEY SENDS ENVOYS TO GREECE FOR BRIEFING ON EU
  • [32] CAMPAIGN FOR TURK WRONGED BY US JUSTICE SYSTEM
  • [33] FAIR OF "FRANCE 2000"
  • [34] OTTOMAN FASHION IN GREECE
  • [35] FESTIVAL IN THE TRNC
  • [36] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
  • [37] THE MESSAGE OF TURKISH CYPRIOT VOTERS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [38] EUROPEAN DEFENCE AND SECURITY BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

  • [01] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKEY'S VIEWS TOWARD GREEK-CYPRIOTS WON'T CHANGE"

    [02] ECEVIT'S STATEMENT CONCERNING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received representatives and columnists of the newspapers at his home in Ankara and discussed the Presidential elections, stating that any candidate for the Presidency should be impartial and independent. Ecevit added, "When the candidate for President is elected, the President should sever his ties with his party." Ecevit stated that the candidate for the Presidency should also be experienced in terms of the foreign relations. However, he avoided providing any names concerning possible candidates. Ecevit added, "As regards this issue, the picture concerning is not yet clear. However, the point that has been reached is a critical one. The President, who should be elected, should be able to ensure foreign and internal stability." /Star/

    [03] GROSSMAN'S STATEMENT ABOUT TURKEY AND THE EU

    US Deputy Secretary of State, responsible for European Affairs, Mark Grossman, said, "The biggest achievement of the cooperation between the US and the European Union (EU) is the official approval of Turkey's candidacy to the EU." Grossman also evaluated the relations between Greece and Turkey and said that the rapprochement between Turkey and Greece, which started last year, was good, but was not enough yet. Grossman said, "The rapprochement that started between the two sides of the Aegean Sea should continue. There are so many things to be done concerning this issue." Grossman said that within this framework, a comprehensive solution for the Cyprus problem should be found. /Turkiye/

    [04] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO VISIT ALGERIA

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem wil go to Algeria from April 20-22 as the guest of Algerian Foreign Minister Yousef Yousfi. Apart from the political relations between the two countries, economic, commercial and cultural relations, as well regional and international issues involving both countries will be discussed during the visit. /Turkish Daily News/

    [05] STATE MINISTER CAY TO VISIT TURKMENISTAN

    State Minister Abdulhaluk Cay will go to Turkmenistan's capital of Ashkabad on Thursday to hold meetings on various issues and to attend the Turkmen-Turkish Business Council meeting. During his four-day visit Cay will also meet with Turkmen President Saparmurat Turkmenbasi, Council of Ministers Deputy Chairman Yollu Kurbanmuradov and other ministers. /Turkish Daily News/

    [06] EFFORTS TO BOOST TRADE WITH NEIGHBOURS

    The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat will heighten efforts to boost trade with Turkey's neighbours in May through international trade fairs and a Joint Economic Commission with Syria, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Furthermore, State Minister Recep Onal will chair the first Joint Economic Commission meeting between Turkey and Syria in 12 years, to be held on May 8-12. In connection with the Commission, a trade fair will also be held in Damascus, and over 60 companies have already signed up.

    [07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT MEETS ELCIBEY

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had a 30-minute talk with former Azerbaijani President Ebulfez Elcibey at the Prime Ministry, the Anatolia News Agency reports. At the end of the meeting, Elcibey asked journalists to keep the Turco-Azerbaijani relations alive on the agenda. He expressed the hope that the sensitivity shown on the Cyprus issue would be displayed on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as well. He said that he discussed Turkey-Azerbaijan relations with Ecevit. Elcibey also visited Motherland Party (ANAP) Leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday.

    [08] SUPPORT FOR TOURISM

    The season of tourism officially started during the opening programme that was held at Lutfi Kirdar International Congress and Exhibition Palace as part of the Tourism Week activities. Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu, delivered a speech during the programme that was organized with the cooperation of the Turkish Association of Travel Agencies (TURSAB), Turkish Association of Hotel Owners (TUROB), Turkish Organization of Tourism Investors (TYD) and the Association of Tour Operators (TUREB), pointed out the 8th Turkish President, the deceased Turgut Ozal's contribution to the tourism. In addition, Mumcu said that tourism was a global industry and added, "The tourism sector is of utmost importance in Turkey's integration with the world in the process of globalization. We say that 'Turkey is heaven.' However, the heaven of tourism should also be promoted. It is impossible to separate tourism from its social, cultural, historical and physical environment." /Turkiye/

    [09] IHSANOGLU'S GREAT SUCCESS

    The Founding Chairman of the Organization of Turkish Scientific History and the Chairman of Istanbul University's Department of Scientific History, Prof.Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was elected to be a member of the International Scientific History Academy. Prof.Ihsanoglu is the second Turk to be elected a member of the International Scientific History Academy, which includes some leading scientists including Joseph Needham, Alexandre Koyne and Rene Taton. /Turkiye/

    [10] ERCEL: "INFLATION RATE WILL DECREASE"

    Chairman of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, who is in Washington now for the meetings of the World Bank, stated that Eximbank was being supported so that the foreign exchange policy will not be affected negatively and that the cost of the production had decreased due to the fact that the interest rates had decreased. Ercel added that they would not compensate by alerting the foreign exchange policy and that they would take a variety of precautions so that the foreign exchange policy would not harm the balance of payments. Ercel further stated that as part of the monetary and foreign exchange policy, the inflation rate would decrease to sub-zero starting this summer. /Star/

    [11] POAS' PROFIT INCREASES BY 121%

    Petrol Ofisi Joint Stock Company (POAS) increased its net profit by 121.24% when compared with last year and climbed to 70 trillion, 157 billion, 454 million TL. The amount of the POAS' gross sales increased from 739 trillion, 992 billion, 713 million TL to 1 quadrillion, 334 trillion, 911 billion, 427 million TL and the rate of increase was 80%. In addition, number of the people working at POAS increased by 200 persons. /Aksam/

    [12] FUTURE CALL SUMMIT 2000

    Future Call Summit 2000, which was organized by Turkcell and Ericson and during which speedy developments in the telecommunications sector will be discussed, will be held on 24 April in Istanbul. In a statement issued by Turkcell, the information on the latest Turkcell product and Ericson and the new mobile communication solutions that they present to their institutional and personal customers will be presented during the Future Call Summit 2000. /Aksam/

    [13] STOLL: "TURKEY'S FUTURE IS BRIGHT"

    The Director of Foreign Economic Relations of the French Economy Ministry, Jean Francois Stoll, stated that following the earthquake disaster, Turkey entered a rapid development process and said, "This rate of development frightens other rival countries." Stoll pointed out that France viewed the structural reforms in the Turkish economy and the warm relations with the IMF and the EU as positive. He added, "There are a lot of things to do. However French companies think that Turkey's future is bright and concrete steps are being taken in Turkey." Stoll remarked that Turkey ranked fifth among the countries to which France exported its products and affirmed that Turkey was their number one target market. /Milliyet/

    [14] ERDEMIR'S PROFIT WORTH 34.9 TRILLION TL

    ERDEMIR, Turkey's iron and steel company, stated that it achieved a total of 34.891 trillion in profits TL during the first three months of this year. ERDEMIR had announced a total of 24.922 trillion TL in losses in 1998 and 32.673 trillion TL lost in 1999. /Milliyet/

    [15] ONAL'S VISIT TO U.S.

    Completing his contacts with the World Bank and the IMF in Washington, Minister of State Recep Onal stated that the meetings were very fruitful. During his press meeting at the Turkish Embassy, Onal stated that he met US Secretary of Treasury Larry Summers and emphasized that Summers was following the improvements in the Turkish economy closely. The Treasury Undersecretary, Selcuk Demiralp, also said that due to the spring period meetings, the World Bank could not convene the council concerning Turkey on time, but that, however, the World Bank would decide on the loan (that was supposed to be given Turkey) by the end of April or May. /Hurriyet/

    [16] TURCO-GREEK FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION FAIR

    The Turco-Greek Friendship and Cooperation Fair will be held on April 20-23, 2000 , in Athens. The fair will be the first organization which exhibites Turkish export products in Greece. Companies of Koc Holding will also display their products on a 210 square-metre area. The fair aims to increase the trade volume between Turkey and Greece. /Sabah/

    [17] TREASURY HOLDS TWO AUCTIONS

    The Treasury is holding two domestic auctions today to borrow between 2.7 quadrillion TL and 3 quadrillion TL, according to its auction programme for April. Planning to sell 697 trillion TL worth of three-month bills maturing on July 19, 2000, the Treasury will also sell 14-month bonds maturing on June 20, 2001, to raise between 2 quadrillion TL and 2.3 quadrillion TL. The papers are value dated for April 9. The Treasury is set to hold another 21-month auction on April 25 to raise between 200 trillion TL and 350 trillion TL. /All papers/

    [18] AUTOMOTIVE EXPORTS UP 103.1 % IN FIRST THREE MONTHS

    Turkey's automotive exports rose by 103.1 % to 25,430 units in the first three months of 2000 compared to the same period last year, Automotive Industry Association (OSD) data revealed. Car exports rose by 156.7 % to 21,419 units, while those of commercial vehicles fell by 36.3 %. Tractor exports were up 43.3 % to 1,694 units. During January and February of this year, Oyak Renault exported 18,793 cars and Tofas' exports stood at 2,564 units. /All papers/

    [19] GSM BIDDING

    The bid offered by the Turkish Is Bank and Telecom Italia of 2.525 billion dollars for the first section of GSM 1800, prevented the sell of the second license of the GSM 1800. Yesterday, four consortiums, participated in the auction, desisted from bidding on the tender. The Ministry of Transport cancelled the bidding. /Hurriyet/

    [20] SURPLUS INCOME IN BUDGET

    In January-March period of the budget for the year 2000, realized 1.291 quadrillion TL more than expected. The total income target was exceeded by 21 percent. The Minister of Finance announced the budget figures for the first three-month period. Accordingly, *Incomes: 7.479 quadrillion TL, *Taxes: 5.976 quadrillion TL, *Expenses (excluding interest rate): 4.779 quadrillion TL, *Budget surplus (excluding interest rate): 2.700 quadrillion TL. /Hurriyet/

    [21] DECREASE IN IMKB INDEX

    Yesterday, at the beginning of the session, Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) experienced a shocking drop in prices due to the uncertainty at the GSM bidding and the developments at the world stock exchanges. After the desistance of all groups from the tender, the IMKB fell below 17,000 points for a time, and closed the day with a loss of 1,121 points and 6.1%, to 17,245 points. /Hurriyet/

    [22] GOVERNMENT PUTS UP TENDERS TO SELL OFF IRON AND STEEL MILLS

    The Privatization Administration Board (OIB) has offered bids for government shares in the iron and steel mills of Iskenderun Demir Celik (ISDEMIR) and Asil Celik to contribute to restructuring Turkey's iron and steel industry, State Minister Yuksel Yalova said at a press conference yesterday. Yalova stated that the government has set a June 30 proposal deadline for ISDEMIR's sell-off tender and a June 16 deadline for Asil Celik. The state owns a 100 % stake in ISDEMIR and 93.38 % in Asil Celik, Yalova said and added that privatization of state-owned companies is a must in order for the state to allocate sufficient funds to its essential duties of ensuring justice, security and infrastructure. /All papers/

    [23] TURKISH-SLOVENIAN FREE TRADE TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT YEAR

    A free trade agreement signed between Turkey and Slovenia for industrial and agricultural products will take effect on January 1, 2001. The agreement signed between thw two EU candidates was published in the Official Gazette yesterday. According to the agreement, the amount of trade volume between the two countries will not be restricted by any means and preventive regulations on trade will be abolished on January 1, 2001. However, the agreement allows each country to protect its domestic agricultural industry. /Turkish Daily News/

    [24] 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF ANZAC OPERATION

    International celebrations will be organized to honor the 85th anniversary of Anzac Operation on 25 April Gallipoli Peninsula Battlefield. The first celebration will be held on Anzac Bay. The 'monument,' which was built for Anzac soldiers who died during the war, will be opened and the 'Dawn Ceremony' will be held at 05:00 with the participation of nearly 8,000 tourists and the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is also expected to attend this international celebration. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS' STATEMENT ON UEFA SEMIFINAL

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied to the the words of Galatasaray's Technical Director, Fatih Terim, who said that he received no help from the London Embassy when he went to England to watch the match between Leeds United and Arsenal. The Deputy Spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sermet Atacanli, stated that the Ministry had performed its duty as best it could. Atacanli's written statement is as follows: "The developments concerning the semifinal second match of the UEFA Cup that will be played between Galatasaray and Leed United on 20 April are being monitored by our Ministry carefully and of the highest level." /Sabah/

    [26] MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP FROM LOGAN

    The British Ambassador to Ankara, Sir David Logan, said that the most important issue for the Leeds United-Galatasaray match was that there be a calm, friendly and secure atmosphere. Logan replied to questions posed by journalists while leaving a seminar entitled "Struggle Against Money Laundering" at the Interior Ministry and stated that the British government had taken every measure necessary for security.

    Meanwhile, a total of 66 deputies and the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Yildirim Akbulut have applied to go to Leeds to watch the match. Among the deputies are True Path Party (DYP) Leader Tansu Ciller, DYP Deputy Rasim Zaimoglu and State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik. It is reported that the Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Altan Oymen will also go to Leeds. /Milliyet/

    [27] 'THERE WON'T BE A KURDISH STATE IN IRAQ'

    During a conference on 'Kurds: Identity Search' organized by the American University in Washington, which caused uneasiness in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, some differences were between the Iraqi policies of Turkey and the US. The Special Representative of the US State Department Responsible for the Transition Process in Iraq, Francis Ricciardone, pointed out the US felt the need to work with the minorities in Iraq until a legitimate regime is established in Baghdad. He remarked that their relations with the Iraqi Kurdish leaders were a part of their support for a democratic Iraq. He said that there was no doubt that they condemn the PKK terrorist organization and praised Turkey's acceptance of the Kurdish refugees who came from Iraq to Turkey in 1990 and Turkey's support for the Reconnaissance Power. He added that Turco-US relations were good and the US was supporting Iraq's territorial integrity and opposed the establishment of a separate Kurdish state. /Milliyet/

    [28] SEVEN HIZBULLAH MEMBERS CAPTURED

    Arif Balyemez, Nurettin Bayram, Ozcan Kutludogmus, Haci Ali Deli, Mehmet Balaban and Mehmet Kargin were taken into custody during the operations against the terrorist Hizbullah organization that was held in Gedikagzi Street of Erkenek town in Malatya's district of Dogansehir. /Cumhuriyet/

    [29] FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKEY'S VIEWS TOWARD GREEK-CYPRIOTS WON'T CHANGE"

    Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli stated that Turkey meeting with Greek-Cypriot officials in some forums will not change Turkey's views and added that the Helsinki Summit decisions will not make any change in Turkey's policy toward the Cyprus issue, as had been previously stated by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Atacanli also said that there is no authority governing the entire island representing both nations. /All papers/

    [30] 'EURO 2000' SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE DISCUSSED IN TURKEY

    Interior ministers from Holland and Belgium will come to Turkey tomorrow to discuss issues concerning the 'Euro 2000' soccer championship. According to a written statement issued by the Danish Embassy, the ministers will meet with Turkish Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan and the three countries will sign an agreement about 'Euro 2000'. The agreement is to be signed by all the countries participating in Euro 2000 and the content of the agreement will be announced during a press conference to be held tomorrow. The ministers will also visit State Minister for Sport Fikret Unlu. /Turkish Daily News/

    [31] TURKEY SENDS ENVOYS TO GREECE FOR BRIEFING ON EU

    Talks concerning bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Greece for the purpose of Turkey's accession to the EU began yesterday in Athens. As the meetings continued, a Turkish delegation met with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, a meeting that Turkey's Ambassador to Greece Ali Tuygan also attended. After the meeting Papandreou said, "This is our second meeting and there are concrete suggestions and steps to be taken. Greece's contribution to Turkey joining the EU is beneficial for both countries. We consider an agreement enabling the exchange of both countries' experiences particularly constructive for cooperation in easing Turkey's course to the EU." /Turkish Daily News/

    [32] CAMPAIGN FOR TURK WRONGED BY US JUSTICE SYSTEM

    A committee has been formed by the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA) and a campaign launched to have the case of Fugen Gulertekin, allegedly wrongfully imprisoned in the US, to have her case tried again and to get her released, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Fugen was jailed for eight years after trying to save the life of a baby who was choking in a day care centre she had opened. The fact that, contrary to its rules and regulations, it had never been disclosed to the centre that the child in question had sufferred serious health problems since birth was disregarded by the jury.

    [33] FAIR OF "FRANCE 2000"

    France will organize the "France 2000" Fair in Istanbul between June 6 and 10. The Chairman of the French Ministry of Economy's Promotion and Fair Organization Commission, Jean Claude Karpeles, stated, "Turkey is the first country where France has organized a fair for the second time. We organized our first fair in 1996 and we had a success. France's interest in Turkey is continually increases". 150 French companies are expected to participate in the fair and it will cost about 1.3 trillion TL. /Hurriyet/

    [34] OTTOMAN FASHION IN GREECE

    In a fashion show that will be organized in Athens between 20 and 23 April by Ladin Fair Company, Ottoman textiles will be exhibited. Famous designer Cemil Ipekci introduced his collection, which he selected from the 'Collection of the Ottoman-Turkish Classicals' and which were specially produced for him, to the press members in Vakko Factory yesterday. Ipekci will exhibit his collection under the name of 'Harem 2000' and stated that he had never been as excited by a collection this much before. /Turkiye/

    [35] FESTIVAL IN THE TRNC

    Hacettepe University's Group of Children's Folk Dancers, will attend the 3rd International 23 April Children's Festival, which will be organized by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) between 20 and 26 April. Hacettepe University's Group of Children's Folk Dancers will perfom the folk dances that depict the issues of War of Independence and Ataturk. The Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, England, Poland and some other 15 European countries will attend the festival. During the festival, Hacettepe University's Group of Children Folk Dances will also visit the President of the TRNC, Prime Minister of the TRNC and the Speaker of Assembly. The members of the group, who will represent both Turkey and Hacettepe University, will be the guest of the families in the TRNC. /Turkiye/

    [36] FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....

    [37] THE MESSAGE OF TURKISH CYPRIOT VOTERS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the results of the first round of Presidential Election in TRNC. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It was not a surprise for many that Rauf Denktas was not able to be elected in the first round. It will not be a surprise when he wins the second round of the Election with a clear majority.

    It seems chances are high that Denktas will be reelected as President. Certainly the percentage of votes received by Mustafa Akinci and Mehmet Ali Talat in the first round will partly determine the results in the second round. Most likely, both candidates will leave their supporters free to choose whomever they wish. This means that Denktas will win with a clear majority.

    There are some factors which came up during this Election such as the necessity felt by all candidates to talk about the need for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Even Eroglu, who saw an impasse as a solution, began to discuss the issue. While the particular solution varies according to each candidate, polls show that an important section of the population wants an improvement in the negotiations, and a solution be found.

    During the election campaign the EU factor was stressed. The people living in the TRNC do not want to be excluded from or left behind in the integration process with the EU. Turkish Cypriots hope and wish to reach the same economic level as the Greek Cypriots and have a better future within the EU.

    In the first round, voters cast their votes in line with their political tendencies and emotional reactions. They have to be logical and realistic in the second round. This is a factor working in Denktas' favour. When there is no strong candidate, it seems clear that he has the stamina to realize "change within continuity."

    Denktas expresses this message when he states, "People sincerely want a compromise. However it should no be a compromise at all costs, but a sound one. Secondly the people want the doors of the EU to be opened. This compromise should define the status of Turkish-Cypriots as opposed to Greek-Cypriot wishes. Thirdly, in a solution Turkey should remain as a guarantor power. I would like to work for a sound solution as the people want."

    This election showed the reality of the TRNC to the whole world. Leading TV channels in various countries discussed the TRNC and the presidential election held there. While they also mentioned that Turkey was the only State recognizing the TRNC, nevertheless, a reality was openly voiced."

    [38] EUROPEAN DEFENCE AND SECURITY BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Former Ambassador Ilter Turkmen comments on the European Security and Defence Identity. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "For years the establishment of The European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) by the EU has being discussed. During the Summit held in 1994, NATO supported this concept. However it took time for the project to be carried out. First of all, there had to be a change in the stances of the key countries. The US accepted a separate European identity on the condition that it should have organic ties with NATO. France took one more step towards cooperation within NATO, while England supported a more European approach. In the end England and France agreed that they should have a military force with an autonomous operational capability.

    At present ESDI is in the implementation stage. The West European Union (WEU) is being included in the EU. The aim is to form an operational force of 60,000 which could be mobilized in 60 days. The Europeans were made aware of their military shortcomings and weaknesses during the Balkan crises.

    The interesting part of the ESDI concept is that the area of intervention is wide. ESDI will not only undertake responsibilities in Europe or in the wide area covered by OSCE, but will work in any part of the world. However, its duties are limited to those within the Petersburg missions (humanitarian aims, rescue operations, war missions within the framework of crisis management, contribution to peace) as mentioned in the 1997 Amsterdam Agreement. 'Defence of territory' is not among them. This basic defence duty is among the responsibilities of NATO.

    Turkey will not be able to continue its WEU status in ESDI. Although the WEU was not doing much Turkey was an associate member there. Maybe it did not have a vote on decisions, but it was present at all stages of the decision-making process. There will be not such opportunity in the ESDI. Turkey will be consulted before the decision is made, and if it wants to participate in the operation it should attend the studies concerning these operations. However, Turkey wants a method close to that which the WEU accepted. During the Association Council meeting in Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem repeated this request and added that Turkey was ready to allocate a brigade supported by naval and airforce units to participate in the Petersburg missions.

    Whether Turkey's request is accepted or not, ESDI cannot do without Turkey in the operations it will be engaged in, with or without NATO. This factor should not be forgotten when considering EU membership. Within the EU, Turkey will have the opportunity to use its potential in all regions where it can be influential due to its geo-political location."


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