|Monday, 18 February 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 00-08-29
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TURKEY HOSTS BARAKTurkey hosted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak yesterday. Mr. Barak held talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu. Mr. Ecevit and Mr. Barak held a joint press conference. Mr. Ecevit said Turkey was ready to make every possible contribution to the Middle East peace process. Mr. Barak said Israel highly appreciated Turkey's contributions to the peace process. It was reported that Mr. Ecevit asked Mr. Barak to be more flexible on the status of Jerusalem, which would mean for Israel to make some concessions that would please the Palestinian side. However, Mr. Barak said, "Israel will not renounce on the issue of Jerusalem." Emphasizing the role of the United States as a mediator in the Middle East peace process, Mr. Barak said, "We do want peace in the Middle East." On the water issue, Barak said they were interested in transporting Turkish water from Manavgat and that discussions on the issue were still continuing. Meanwhile, it was learned that Israel was planning to participate in six irrigation projects within the framework of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). /All papers/
 JUSTICE MINISTER ON PRESIDENTIAL POWERSJustice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk stated that political parties should reach a consensus concerning the Constitutional changes to limit the Presidential powers. Turk said, "None of the parties can make Constitutional amendments itself. The government does not have the authority to submit a proposal to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) concerning the Constitutional amendments. It is within the limit of the TGNA both in terms of giving a proposal and in terms of accepting it. Therefore inter-party concensus in Parliament is necessary." Turk said the TGNA inter-party Harmonization Commission is working for the Constitutional amendments. /Aksam/
 KUTAN: "STATE SHOULD WITHDRAW ITS HAND FROM ECONOMICS"The Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP) Recai Kutan stressed that economic problems should be solved immediately and said: "The State should withdraw its hand from economics." During his visit to Erzincan, Mr. Kutan delivered a speech at the Erzincan Chamber of Trade and Industry. Emphasizing that, he has visited 36 provinces in Anatolia since July 1, Kutan said that all of the provinces had almost same problems. He added: "When certain conditions are abided by, the FP is in the favour of privatization. However, citizens should not suffer during the process." /Turkiye/
 AKBULUT VISITS THE USThe Speaker of the Turkish Grand Assembly (TGNA) Yildirim Akbulut left for New York yesterday to attend the National Assembly Speakers' Meeting which will be organized jointly by the United Nations and the Interparliamentary Association. Before leaving, Mr. Akbulut said that during the meetings, the ways to increase the role of national parliaments in international decision-making mechanisms as well as cooperation between the parliaments would be discussed. He is expected to address at the meeting and hold bilateral talks with his counterparts. /Turkiye/
 TALAY TO VISIT VATICANCulture Minister Istemihan Talay will travel to Vatican on September 2-4 to participate in the canonizing ceremony of Pope John 23. Pope John 23 lived between 1935-45 in Istanbul as the Vatican's Apostolic Vicar. During his 10-year stay in Istanbul, Pope John 23 acted as a vessel through which Vatican and Turkey established diplomatic relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 TWO GERMAN SMUGGLERS ARE CAPTUREDTwo German smugglers were captured in Karaburun. Policemen seized many historical artifacts such as coins, marble plates, earthen decanters dating back to Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods while investigating one of the smugglers' yacht and house. The smugglers were taken into custody. The officials said that the artifacts will be handed over to the Curator of Izmir Museum. /Cumhuriyet/
 SCHROEDER SUPPORTS TURKEYAfter the Turkish Defence Ministry made an agreement with the German Fritz Werner Company to build a factory to produce rifle bullet in accordance with the NATO standards, an anti-Turkey lobby had started to prevent the initiative in Germany. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in his interview with German ZDF TV channel two nights ago reacted angrily to these circles and said, "It was a right decision to build a bullet factory in Turkey. This decision is also in accordance with the NATO policies. Some people may show emotional reactions but they cannot influence the decision of the German government." /Milliyet/
 MILITARY RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL INCREASEAccording to the news published in the Israeli daily "Haaretz" upon a report prepared by the Israeli Ministry of Defence, it was stated that the volume of the strategic cooperation between Turkey and Israel increased by 4% when compared to last year and the agreements signed between the two countries are in operation. Land, air and naval forces of the two countries are also continuing their joint exercises with full capacity. According to the report, the military cooperation between the two countries is being carried out in three categories; the military exercises; the strategic cooperation against threats by third countries and the joint struggle against the proliferation of ballistic missiles. Meanwhile, officers of the two countries are having simulation training via computers at a military academy in Turkey. /Milliyet/
 DGM LIFTS ARREST WARRANT FOR GULENIstanbul No.2 State Security Court (DGM) lifted the arrest warrant issued by Ankara No.2 DGM for Fethullah Gulen, one of the most famous religious leaders in Turkey. The court decided that there was lack of evidence for his arrest. The arrest warrant was issued a few weeks ago by Ankara No. 2 DGM at the request of the DGM Chief Public Prosecutor Nuh Mete Yuksel. The Prosecutor has been conducting an investigation on Gulen for almost a year, under the Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), claiming that he provoked hatred and enmity between people on the basis of religious, ethnic and regional differences. /Turkiye/
 COUVELIERS CALLS FOR ERDAL TO BE TRIED IN BELGIUMParliamentary group deputy leader Hugo Couveliers of the coalition government's center-right Flemish Liberal Democrats Party (VLD) said Fehriye Erdal, who is wanted for crimes in Belgium as well as for the murder of Ozdemir Sabanci in Turkey, should be put on trial in Belgium. Couveliers said that Erdal and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party / Front (DHKP/C), the terrorist group she belonged to, had left the people and the government of Belgium disturbed. He said that Belgium had become a terrorists' paradise and added, "If we do not stop people like Fehriye Erdal right away our country will turn into a pirate ship." /Turkish Daily News/
 COTTARELLI TO VISIT TURKEYAn IMF delegation chaired by IMF Chief of Turkey Desk Carlo Cottarelli will visit to Turkey on August 30. The delegation will stay in Turkey until September 12 to review mostly the 2001 budget. It will also discuss the precautions taken for the stabilization of the economy in 2000 and will meet the Turkish officials to discuss possible new revisions and supplementary measures. In this context, issues such as current balance deficit, upward trend in imports and the rate of inflation will be examined. The IMF delegation will also examine the process of privatization of state-owned banks, the arrangements made for eight banks under the control of Deposit Insurance Fund, the privatization of Turk-Telekom and fiscal structure of the State Economic Enterprises. After these meetings, Turkey will sign the third supplementary Letter of Intent which will be submitted to the approval of IMF Executive Board. /Sabah/
 BOEING BUILDS A SCHOOL IN BOLUAn American aircraft company, Boeing International Corporation is building a school in Bolu, one of the most devastated regions in August 17 earthquake. The construction of school started in June and it will be completed on Sep. 15. Directors of Boeing are also expected to participate in the opening ceremony. /Turkiye/
 YIMPAS' EIGHT BRANCH IN GERMANYYimpas Holding Company, which has seven branches in various regions of Europe, opened its eight branch in Hamm, Germany. Yimpas Hamm, which is located on an area of a total of 19,000 square meters, was opened by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Speaker Yildirim Akbulut. _Aksam
 KOCBANK ORGANIZE A MEETINGAsian Banks Union's (ABB) Ordinary General Council meeting to be hosted by Kocbank will be held on 21 and 22 September in Istanbul this year. During the meeting, which will be attended by high-ranking bankers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Russia, Australia and Uzbekistan and Asian Pasific countries, the issue of "Banking in the New Millenium" will be discussed. /Aksam/
 ISTANBUL: CANDIDATE FOR 2008 OLYMPICSThe International Olympics Committee included Istanbul as one of the candidate cities for hosting 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Other candidate cities are Beijing, Toronto, Osaka and Paris. The Chairman of Turkey National Olympics Committee Sinan Erdem said, " As a result of our extensive efforts, Istanbul was included as an eligible city for hosting Olympic games. Therefore, we should finish the constructions of sport complexes which are still underway." /Hurriyet/
 "ZORBA" BALLET IN ISTANBULHungarian State Ballet will perform the "Zorba" Ballet adapted from famous Greek author Nicos Kazancakis' well-known novel on September 5-9 in Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theather, Istanbul. The music of Zorba was composed by Mikis Theodorakis. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 BARAK'S ANKARA VISIT BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on the reasons for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's sudden visit to Turkey has generated great interest in the region. Even though it lasted only six hours, it drew the attention of the whole Middle East. The Arab press gave wide coverage to the issue just as the Israeli press.
Certainly the Middle East problem was discussed during this visit. Diplomatic activity witnessed in the Turkish-Israeli-Palestine triangle made this discussion inevitable. However, this was not the real aim of Barak's visit as the opinions of both parties on the Middle East are known. The aim of the visit was cooperation in defence industry. Both the Israeli officials and the press have made this clear from the start.
Last week, Barak met leading figures of the Israeli defence industry. During the meeting, it came out that the leaders in the section were highly troubled. Turkey's exclusion of Israel from certain key military tenders had led to anxiety in this sector. According to the agreement signed in 1966, one of the most important subjects of military cooperation envisaged between Turkey and Israel was the cooperation in defence industry. That was what gave the cooperation a 'strategic' importance.
We know that military cooperation between the two countries increased by every passing day. This is not reflected in the Turkish press. The two states conducted military exercises recently and the war pilots are continuing to work together in both countries. Although the cooperation between the two countries has improved the promises in the defence industry field has not reached the levels desired by the Israelis. Some of the military tenders which were sought after went to Western companies and this led to a deep anxiety in Israel.
In brief, the powerful defence industry lobby in Israel requested from the Prime Minister to visit Ankara and learn what was going on. Thus Barak, came to Ankara. The reason of Israeli exclusion from these tenders were linked to the plays of French and American companies. Turkish desire to enter the EU is considered to be a significant factor concerning the issue. However, some Israeli Ministers are viewing the issue differently.
They wonder if the tactlessness of the Education Minister has destroyed the magic between the two countries. As can be recalled, Yossi Sarid, Israeli Education Minister in April, warmly supported the concept of 'Armenian genocide' and he stated that it would be taught in the Israeli schools.
This statement by Sarid and the excitement it led to in the Armenian diaspora created aversion in Ankara. This reached such a point that Barak had to clarify the issue during the meeting he held with Ecevit and said that Sarid, who was no longer in the Cabinet had expressed his personal views.
The interest of the Arab world in the visit stems not from Turkey's role in the Middle East process but, rather from the efforts to strengthen Turkish-Israeli military cooperation. The Arab world views Turkey as a state committed to Israel and therefore does not look warmly upon the role it would play in the Middle East process.
In fact, Arabs would like Turkey to end the military cooperation with Israel. However, this does not seem to be possible at the moment."
NOTE: The Turkish Press Review will not be published tomorrow due to Victory Day holiday.
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