|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-03
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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
 FM CEM VISITS UZBEKISTANForeign Minister Ismail Cem, who is currently in Uzbekistan, met Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov yesterday in Tashkent. After the meeting, Mr. Cem held a conference at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy. Stating that Turkey's Eurasian policy is to contribute positively to the regional countries, Mr. Cem said that bilateral relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan should be more planned, organized and rational. Meanwhile, Uzbek President Islam Kerimov received Mr. Cem and pointed out that he recognized that the bilateral relations between the two countries entered a phase of improvement following his meeting with the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Mr. Kerimov said, "Both Turkey and Uzbekistan will benefit from the development of the relations between the Turkish and Uzbek nations." After his meeting with President Kerimov, Mr. Cem also met Turkish businessmen working in Uzbekistan. /Cumhuriyet/
 BEN AMI'S LETTER TO FM CEMIsraeli Acting Foreign Minister, Solomo Ben Ami, sent a letter to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem informing him about the ongoing clashes between Israeli and Palestinian forces for five days. Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, Uri Bar Ner, went to the Foreign Ministry yesterday to inform the Turkish officials about the clashes. /Cumhuriyet/
 MOFAZ TO VISIT TURKEYIt was reported that Israeli Chief of General Staff Saul Mofaz will arrive in Ankara tomorrow to pay an official visit. Mr. Mofaz is expected to discuss the improving military cooperation between Turkey and Israel during his meetings. It was reported that Mr. Mofaz will meet Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu and Minister of Defense Sabahattin Cakmakoglu. Mr. Mofaz is expected to visit Adapazari, Golcuk and Antalya after completing his meetings in Ankara. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ: GOVERNMENT WORKS IN HARMONYSpeaking at a meeting organized jointly by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the German Embassy in Ankara, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stated that the abolishment of the death penalty could be taken up after Turkey's negotiations for the full EU membership started. Citing England, which abolished the death penalty after it became a full EU member, as an example Mr. Yilmaz said, "Turkey has not carried out an execution since 1984. The Turkish government works harmoniously." Mr. Yilmaz also criticized the stance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and that of the Christian Social Union Party (CSU) towards Turkey, since they carried out lobbying activities against Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 CLINTON: "I AM AGAINST THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL"President Ahmet Necdet Sezer phoned the American President Bill Clinton and expressed Turkey's concern over the approval of the so-called Armenian genocide bill. Mr. Clinton replied by saying that he was also against the bill and added, "I share your concern on the approval of this bill. The US Administration is completely against this bill just like all the previous US Administrations and this issue should be dealt with not by the representatives, but by the historians." Clinton also pointed out the importance of the relations between Turkey and the US and said, "I am proud of the Turco-American relations, which have been strengthened during the last two years." /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH DELEGATION IN WASHINGTONPrior to the voting on the so-called Armenian genocide bill at the US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee, a delegation from the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) went to the US to explain Turkey's sensitivity concerning the issue. The delegation will mention the negative effects of the bill at an office that will be allocated to them at the House of Representatives. The delegation is chaired by the Motherland Party (ANAP) deputy Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, who said, "We did not come here to threaten anybody but to safeguard the relations between Turkey and the US." Irtemcelik added that he wanted his American colleagues to act with commonsense. /Aksam/
 CAKMAKOGLU IN ATHENSFollowing the visits paid by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Chief of the General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Minister of Defence Sabahattin Cakmakoglu arrived in Athens yesterday to attend the 'Defendory 2000' defence fair that will be opened today. Cakmakoglu delivered a speech at the airport and said, "After the earthquake, the Turkish and Greek people created an atmosphere of friendship, which we fully support. If there are some problems, we want them to be solved through dialogue." /Hurriyet/
 ERSUMER'S STATEMENT ON POWER CUTSMinister of Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer stated that there was no timetable determined by the Ministry on carrying out power cuts. Meeting with the Yemen Minister of Electricity and Water, Mr. Ersumer said that they will inform Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Council of Ministers when the conditions requiring power cuts arise. /Star/
 FEHRIYE ERDAL TO BE TRIED AT THE END OF THIS YEARBelgium's Western Flemish Region's Public Prosecutor Jean Marie Berkvens, said that Fehriye Erdal, who is one of the accused in the Sabanci assassination case, could be tried of the crimes that she committed in Belgium at the end of this year. Berkvens added, "The interrogation about Fehriye Erdal was completed. However, whether or not she will be tried due to the crimes that she committed in Turkey is not clear yet." Officials say that this possibility is not ignored and that they examine the possibilities concerning the issue. They also say that the files concerning the crimes that she committed both in Belgium and Turkey could be collected together. /Aksam/
 ARMENIAN TO BE TAUGHT AT THE WAR ACADEMYWhile the relations between Turkey and Armenia, are becoming tenser, the Armenian language is beginning to be taught at the War Academy in Turkey. The 2000-2001 school year at the War Academies began with ceremonies yesterday. Land Forces Commander, General Hilmi Ozkok, delivered a speech and said, "Our aim is to train the commanders, who are aware of their duties and responsibilities for the Republic of Turkey and sensitive against foreign and internal threats." War Academy Commander, Major General Nejat Bek, also spoke on the significance of learning a foreign language. He further stated that in addition to German, Russian, Greek, Bosnian and Bulgarian, Armenian will also be taught as a second foreign language at the War Academy. /Hurriyet/
 CHHIBBER: "PRIVATIZE THE STATE BANKS, RECEIVE THE LOAN"During the World Bank Executive Board's meeting on Sep. 29, the release of the first portion of the FSAL loan which was envisaged to be granted to Turkey, was taken up. World Bank's Representative in Turkey, Ajay Chhibber, said that the $390-million first portion of the $780-million loan would be released after the enactment of the bill regarding the privatization of the state banks at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). /Turkiye/
 IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEYAn International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Chief of the Turkey Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, will come to Turkey in mid-October. The delegation is expected to arrive in Ankara after the presentation of the 2001 Fiscal Year Budget to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). /Turkiye/
 DEMIRALP: "PROGRAM WILL ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENTS"Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said that the current stabilization program will attract billions of dollars of foreign investment into the Turkish energy sector. Mr. Demiralp said at a seminar organized by the IMF and Treasury Undersecretary that raising living standards and social security while reducing poverty will mark the success of the program. Mr. Demiralp said that the disinflation program is one of the most important economic developments in Turkey and that he expects direct foreign investment to increase in the near future. He said that foreign investment will also create job opportunities for the poor. The foreign capital investment was very low compared to Turkey's economic potential. Reformation and stabilization of the Turkish financial and banking sectors will help to increase the flow of foreign capital into the country. /Turkish Daily News/
 COUNCIL OF STATE APPROVES OF THE GSM 1800The Council of State's First Department approved of the GSM 1800 licence draft agreement between Is Bankasi and Telekom Italia. An official from the Ministry of Communication said, "The final sale agreement will be signed as soon as possible and 500 million US dollars of the sale will be collected at the signature date. In addition, the remaining amount will be paid in three months." /Aksam/
 TUNNEL THROUGH THE BOSPHORUSThe representatives of the Transport Ministry said that they were evaluating the proposals presented by three consortiums on the project of a tunnel that will be built beneath the Bosphorus. The tunnel will be 58 meters below the sea level and be opened in 2005. The officials said that after the technical board examines the proposals with regard to the technical and administrative dimensions, the results will be sent to Japan, from where the required credit will be received for construction. According to their response, the construction will start. When completed, the tunnel will facilitate public transportation since the railroads will go through this tunnel. /Milliyet/
 A NEW RAILROAD THROUGH GAPThe Spanish government stated that it could extend $1 billion for the construction of a new railroad that will make the biggest regional development project 'Southeastern Anatolia Project' (GAP) reach the sea both in Iskenderun and in Mersin. The Turkish side proposed the establishment of a joint committee to conclude the conditions for financing the project and to determine the fundamental principles and procedures for starting feasibility studies. The Spanish government stated that the construction of the railroad could be undertaken by Spanish firms. The railroad will contribute to strengthening the commercial ties with other states in the region and help the economic conditions to improve. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 PARALLEL ACTION PLAN BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the latest developments concerning the Resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide. A summary of his column is as follows:
"A Resolution aimed at confirming the Armenian allegations of genocide has been approved at a House subcommittee and passed on to a House Committee. However, the resolution did not find the expected support due to the warnings by the Turkish Government and the initiatives launched by the Clinton Administration. This does not mean that the Resolution, however toned down, will not be adopted at the International Relations Committee. However, it also has to be debated at the Congress floor. As the Congress will go into a recess next week there may not be time to discuss it and as a result the resolution will be aborted.
We hope the events will take such a turn. Otherwise, that is to say if the Resolution is adopted at the House of Representatives, a tense period will be experienced in Turkey's foreign relations.
Ankara has determined the counter measures it will take in an 'action plan' in such a case. Some of the measures are directed against Armenia and some of them against the US. Certainly, these measures will hurt Armenia. The Armenian nation will pay for the wrong policy Kocharian Administration is following.
The policy to be followed against the US will cast a shadow on the relations between Turkey and the US advanced to a level of strategic cooperation. This is a result partly desired by the Armenian militants. What is more, we have to accept that the US Administration has shown determination in the debates at the Committee. When taking such measures we have to be careful that while the reaction shown and the measures taken should be detrimental for our opponents, they should not jeopardize Turkey's own interests. In other words, we have to calculate well the effects of the punishing or dettering measures on ourselves.
As mentioned above, we hope that pro-Armenian Resolution will not be adopted at the US House of Representatives. However, this should be an occasion for Ankara to determine new strategies with a calm and realistic approach. Since, this scenario is neither the first nor will be the last such resolutions will be introduced to the US Congress, and the parliaments of France, Italy and other countries. Armenian diaspora will wage its campagin in countries ranging from Canada to Australia.
Turkey should prepare a Parallel Action Plan if and when this crisis is overcome. It should be a long-term plan covering constructive strategies. The expression of Turkish view, in other words public relations, should take a systematic and dynamic place within this plan. For example, the TGNA could have intervened into the matter long before and tried to influence the US Congress. When everything is nearly over, five parliamentarians are sent to Washington.
Ankara defends the view that determining whether such a genocide has really taken place, or in fact that it has never taken place, should be left to historians. If Ankara is sincere, it has to to bring historians into the question.
Finally, possibilities to establish new relations and a dialogue with the Armenian diaspora should be searched. In the forming of a new strategy aimed at preventing continuous fights and tension the contributions of non-governmental organizations are needed as much as those of the State. The recent events can provide an opportunity for such an initiative."
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