|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 00-09-01
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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
 SEZER TO MEET LEADERS OF 22 COUNTRIESPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer will meet the leaders of 22 countries, including the US President Bill Clinton, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at the United Nations (UN) Millennium meeting to be held between 6-8 September in New York. Mr. Sezer is expected to meet Mr. Clinton on September 7. The leaders of Central Asian countries, Balkan countries, Black Sea countries, as well as the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Austria and Sweden are some of the figures Mr. Sezer is scheduled to meet. Before the meetings with his counterparts, Mr. Sezer will receive the representatives of the Jewish communities and will address a group from Turkish community living in the US. On Sept 6, he will attend the opening of the Millennium meeting and attend a banquet organized by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. After delivering a speech at the UN Millennium meeting on September 7, he will start his bilateral meetings. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will also hold talks with the foreign ministers of 35 countries in New York. It was reported that Mr. Cem's meetings with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou, the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and with the Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian foreign ministers gained significant importance due to the latest developments in the Middle East peace process and the rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 BERDIYEV IN ANKARATurkmen Foreign Minister Batir Berdiyev paid his first official visit to Ankara. Mr. Berdiyev met Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. During the meetings, bilateral relations and regional issues were discussed. /Turkiye/
 DANGEROUS DEVELOPMENTAs a result of the intensive pressure by the Armenian lobby in the US, a probability has appeared for a draft bill which envisages training of US civil servants on the so-called Armenian genocide, to be passed by the US House of Representatives. During a meeting with the Armenian Lobby members, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, a Republican, said: "I intend to bring this draft bill to the House of Representatives' General Session." In the wake of Turkey's effort, the Draft bill has been at the House of Representatives' International Relations Committe for months and it has not been sent to the general session hitherto. However, Hastert has the authority to bring the matter to the agenda of the general session with the title of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It is stated that the draft bill might be put on the House of Representatives' agenda in September. The draft bill does not envisage any sanctions for Turkey, but in an indirect way, the so-called genocide will be officially recognized by the American Congress for the first time. Diplomatic circles say that this development may damage Turco-American relations. /Turkiye/
 GEN. KIVRIKOGLU'S REACTIONS TO GREEK MISSILESThe Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu harshly reacted against Greece's purchase of new missiles. Stressing that Turkey would not permit an upset of balances weaponry power between the two countries, Gen. Kivrikoglu said: "Greece's action will receive a response." A while ago, Athens has signed an agreement with the Matra-BAE company, a British-French partnership, for the purchase of 600 km-range missiles. Meanwhile, Greece also signed a 56-billion dollar agreement with the French Aerospatiale Matra Missiles company yesterday in Athens, regarding the purchase of three assault boats, 27 guided-missiles and three guided-missile administration systems. The delivery of them will be completed by the end of 2004. /Turkiye/
 FEHRIYE ERDAL'S TRIALThe decision not to deport Fehriye Erdal, who is one of the accused in the Sabanci assassination case, caused a crisis within the Belgian government. It was stated that a discussion occurred between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior concerning the issue and that this issue would be taken up in detail and a concrete decision would be made during the weekly ordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers today. Although the Belgian Minister of Justice Marc Werwilghen said, "It is impossible to try Erdal in Belgium due to the crimes she has committed in Turkey", the Belgian Minister of the Interior Antoine Duquesne said, "The last word concerning the issue has not been uttered yet. The concrete decision concerning the issue will be made today." /Aksam/
 POLICE SEIZE A SMUGGLER IN ISTANBULPolice seized a person trying to smuggle a historical bible written in Armenian out of the country at Istanbul`s Ataturk Airport. The smuggler was taken into custody. The bible is estimated to worth about $2 million. /Cumhuriyet/
 NAVAL COMMAND TO MOVE TO IZMIRThe Golcuk Naval Command, which suffered great damages during the earthquake that occurred on 17 August last year, will be moved to Izmir and the foundation of the new Naval Command will be laid at the beginning of October with a magnificent ceremony. According to news received from a military official at the Naval Command, the new Command will be active in 2001 at the Yenikale Harbor, Izmir. /Aksam/
 MANAVGAT WATERFollowing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Ankara, important developments have occurred concerning the sale of the Manavgat water. According to news published in the "Haaretz" daily, Turkey accepted to decrease the cost of water from 23 cents to 8-10 cents. If the transportation cost is not more than expected, then the cost of the Manavgat water will be almost at the same amount as the cost of the water refined from the sea. Therefore, Israeli opposition parties' approach concerning the issue is becoming more positive. /Aksam/
 NATIONAL MEDICINE ORGANIZATION TO BE ESTABLISHEDThe "National Medicine Organization" project, which was prepared by the Ministry of Health and by the Chemical Industry Employers' Union, was presented to the State Planning Organization (SPO). The National Medicine Organization, which will be an autonomous organization within the Ministry of Health and which will be formed in accordance with the European Union standards, will have the authority to give patent to all medicines and to produce, control and distribute them and to control all pharmacies. /Aksam/
 COTTARELLI'S STATEMENTHead of IMF's Turkey Desk Carlo Cottarelli said that the inflation rate in Turkey would decline to the lowest level of the last fifteen years by the end of this year. Mr. Cottarelli, who is currently in Ankara within the framework of the third "screening" work as part of the stand-by agreement, began to hold his contacts. After meeting Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp, Mr. Cottarelli issued a statement and said that the situation of the Turkish economy was getting better and that the inflation rate had declined. Mr. Cottarelli added, "Great efforts can be exerted in the structural field and an improvement can be ensured in privatization. The domestic demand should be monitored. The consumption rate of vehicles and other durable products increased due to the decline in the interest rates." Meanwhile, Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said that the situation of the economic programme was highly satisfying. /Aksam/
 GNP GROWS BY 4.4 PERCENTThe State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced that Turkey's Gross National Product (GNP) rose by 4.4 % in the second quarter of this year. The growth rate in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was announced as 5.8 % in the same period. Additionally, the growth in the agricultural sector was 2.3 %, 1.3 % in the construction sector while the trade sector achieved a 10.6 % growth rate. /Hurriyet/
 ECEVIT'S BOOK TRANSLATED INTO MACEDONIANPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit's book entitled "Poems" was translated into Macedonian by Esad Bayram and published under the title of "Izyavana Lubov". It was reported that the book, published by Ina-Komerc Printing House, has attracted great attention. Macedonian author and poet, Prof. Sande Stoycevski, wrote a review about the book in which he wrote, "Bulent Ecevit shows his respect for people with the poems he has written." /Aksam/
 A TURKISH REPRESENTATIVE IN UN WOMEN COMMITTEETurkish candidate Prof. Feride Acar from the Middle East Technical University has been elected to the UN Committee For Prevention Of All Kinds Of Discrimination Against Women in New York. /Milliyet/
 A SEMINAR BY TURKISH OFFICIALS IN LONDONThe Turkish-British Business Council acting within the framework of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) will organize a seminar in London to promote the capital markets and investment opportunities in Turkey to British investors. State Minister Tunca Toskay, Governor of Central Bank Gazi Ercel, Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp, Chief of IMF Turkey Desk Carlo Cottarelli and head of Privatization Administration Ugur Bayar will participate in the seminar which will take place on September 13. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 BALANCE TUNING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the latest developments in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Heavy diplomatic activity, concerning the Middle East, witnessed in Ankara last week has brought two new developments to surface regarding Turkey's strategy in the region. One of them is the change in Turkish policy towards the Arab-Israeli dispute. For the first time, Ankara has left its non-involvement policy aside and undertaken the role of mediator in the dispute between Palestine and Israel to contribute to the solution of the problem and the 'peace process'. Turkish diplomacy is trying to maintain a sincere dialogue with all concerned parties.
The second development pertains to the 'balance tuning' Turkey is trying to maintain between Israel and the Arabs. Turkish foreign policy which inclined more to the Israeli side towards the end of the 1990s, is trying to maintain a balance by giving more importance to the relations with Arab world.
In 1998 and 1999 the relations between Turkey and Israel have developed speedily. There were various reasons which led Ankara for pursuing such a policy. Israel was one of the few countries which could meet Turkey's defence requirements and it was ready to share its technology with Turkey in all fields, including military areas. A productive cooperation could also be followed in economy and Israel was able to support Turkey both in the US and the EU. Just as these were taken into consideration, Turkey had disputes with Syria and certain other neighbours. As Turkey was determining its long-term strategy, it took the effect of its relations with Israel in the Arab World into consideration. In fact, this policy was instrumental in Syria's change of heart towards Ocalan and the PKK.
At presents there seems to be a slowing town of warm relations with Israel. A Turkish diplomat said that bilateral relations did not continue by warming up. 'Turkey's relations with Israel are warm and will stay at that level. This does not mean that a period of coldness will follow.' This balance has its reasons too. There is a certain improvement in the relations with countries such as Syria with whom there was tension in the past. Ankara is trying to open up to these counries. Furthermore, the impression in the Arab world that Turkey was inclined towards Israel has left Ankara in a difficult spot. Finally, following the Camp David Summit, Arafat's request for help led Turkish officials to the belief that Ankara could play a more active role in the region and therefore had to tune the balances more carefully.
Israelis believe that this new policy is the main reason why some defence tenders were not given to them. In fact, as Turkish officials have pointed out, the exclusion of Israel on such issues is out of the question. Turkey still needs Israeli defence equipment and technology. The same thing goes for economic cooperation. However, Turkey has some interests in the Arab world too. Therefore, Ankara is trying to improve its relations with the Arab world starting with its close neighbours.
Turkey's entering the Middle East stage upon the request of Arafat has led Turkish diplomacy to protect sensitive balances. This new role has been instrumental in the 'fine tuning' of the Turkish policy."
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