|Monday, 4 March 2024
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-04
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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
 HOUSE COMMITTEE APPROVES SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLThe so-called Armenian genocide bill was approved at the House Committee of International Relations yesterday. The bill foresees all the American Presidents to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide with formal declarations on April 24 and the US to determine its foreign policies in accordance with their recognition of the so-called genocide. A Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) delegation of five deputies also attended the session during which the bill was discussed. Delivering a speech at the session, Motherland Party (ANAP) deputy Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik said that neither the American Congress nor another legal body had the right to act as an authority on this issue and added that it was not the duty of the politicians to verify the reality of the historical incidents, but that of the historians. Stating that there was no historical evidence on the so-called genocide, Mr. Irtemcelik said, "History should be written based on documents. Ottoman archives are open and clear, whereas Armenian archives are not. Turkey, one of the countries which first recognized the presence of the Armenia, desires to establish peaceful relations with its neighbours. However this bill will not serve the peace." Meanwhile, Congressman Porter Goss said that the approval of the bill would be detrimental to the bilateral relations between the US and Turkey and said, "If we offend the Turkish nation, it is clear that one day we will regret it." The bill will be discussed at the Genaral Council of the House of Representatives tomorrow or next Tuesday. /All Papers/
 STRONG REACTIONS TO THE APPROVAL OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLTurkey has vehemently reacted to the approval of the so-called Armenian genocide bill at the House Committee of International Relations and it was stated that the approval of the bill showed that Turkey's serious warnings were not fully comprehended by the US Administration. Turkey has determined the basic outline of its action plan including the possible sanctions that Turkey could impose on Armenia and the US. A written declaration was made after a meeting chaired by Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry Ambassador Faruk Logoglu. "We have already stated that the approval of the bill will seriously damage Turkey's bilateral relations with Armenia and the US and will adversely affect the peace initiatives in the Caucasus. Members of the House of Representatives should not miss the last oppurtunity to avoid these negative developments," said the statement. Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem said that the bill did not reflect historical facts and emphasized that the negative effects of the approval of the bill would be observed in the future. He thanked the TGNA delegation and the Turkish Embassy in Washington for their extraordinary efforts to defend Turkey's views on ther issue. Deputy Chairman of Motherland Party (ANAP) Ahat Andican evaluated the approval of the bill as a stance which will deal a blow to the friendship between Turkey and the US. Stating that the approval of the bill would not be beneficial for Armenia, Mr. Andican said, "Armenia, in a sense, is dependent on Turkey to survive in the region." /All Papers/
 GARCIA'S STATEMENT ON THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLFrench Ambassador to Ankara Bernard Garcia said his government tried to do its utmost to avoid the so-called Armenian genocide bill from being brought to the agenda of the French Senate. Stating that they believe holding a vote for such an issue would be a violation of the Constitution, Mr. Garcia said, "Even though the bill is approved in the Senate, it would not be binding for the French Government. French foreign policy for Turkey would not be affected by the approval." Expressing his views on Turkey's accession partnership document, Mr. Garcia said that solving the Aegean and Cyprus problems cannot be regarded as a prerequisite for Turkey's full EU membership and added, "The preparation of the accession partnership document and the discussions over the Aegean and Cyprus issues are two separate processes parallel to each other." /Cumhuriyet/
 ARMENIAN LOBBY AT WORKAs the debates over a resolution recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide are continuing in the US, the Armenian lobby is working hard to bring the issue on the agenda in the European Parliament and the French Senate. The Armenian lobby is trying to get some phrases which refer at least implicitly to the so-called Armenian genocide inserted into the Turkey report, which is expected to be voted on in the European Parliament. But reports say that such efforts are not welcomed by the raporteur, Philippe Morillon. Another such effort is underway in France, with a bill recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide coming onto the Senate agenda. The French Parliament recognized the bill in 1998 but it was not brought onto the Senate agenda. The bill has been inactive since then. The French Foreign Ministry, on the other hand, has announced that it is against the bill's being debated in the Senate. French Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Francois Rivasseau said that the adoption of the bill would make no contribution to peaceful relations between Turkey and Armenia. /Turkish Daily News/
 ECEVIT OPENS MIT PRESS UNDERSECRETARIATPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit opened the Office of the Press Counsellor at the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) yesterday. Stating that the mission of the MIT was to inform the public as well as to prevent the flow of false and misleading information, Mr. Ecevit said, "MIT has prevented the threat of misleading information. If intelligence agencies work openly, the results would be more productive." /All papers/
 CAKMAKOGLU-COHACOPULOS MEETING IN ATHENSMinister of Defense Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, who traveled to Athens to attend the opening of the Greek Defense Fair, met Greek Defense Minister Akis Cohacopulos yesterday. Stating that they discussed basic issues related to both countries during the meeting, Mr. Cakmakoglu said, "Turkish and Greek nations desire such meetings concerning basic issues between the two countries to continue." Meanwhile, Mr. Cohacopulos said, "We believe that the security expenses of both countries should be decreased. Of course these expenses are necessary for the security of our nations. However, we have agreed upon that a certain part of these spendings should be reserved for other needs of our nations." /Cumhuriyet/
 VEDRINE'S LETTER TO CEMIt was reported that EU term president France's Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine sent a letter to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem concerning Turkey's accession process to the EU. It was stated that in his letter Mr. Vedrine evaluated the developments in Turkey's accession process to the EU and explained the initiatives they had launched concerning the Cyprus and Aegean issues which Turkey did not want to include in the accession partnership document. /Cumhuriyet/
 BARZANI IN ANKARAThe Leader of Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party, Mesut Barzani, arrived in Ankara yesterday. It was reported that Mr. Barzani, who is expected to meet Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, officials from the Foreign Ministry and National Intelligence Service (MIT), wanted to hold contacts, before his visit to Britain, concerning the latest developments in Northern Iraq, fight against PKK terrorism and some other regional issues. Turkey will convey the necessity for stopping the attacks against the Turkmens and letting the involvement of the Turkmen groups into the administrative mechanism of the region. /Cumhuriyet/
 CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF MOFAZ'S VISIT TO TURKEY POSTPONEDThe visit of Israeli Chief of General Staff Shaul Mofaz, which would start today, was postponed. It was stated that the postponement was due to the unrest in Israel and Israeli Defense Minister's visit abroad. According to the Israeli laws, Chief of General Staff and Defense Minister cannot leave the country at the same time. /Aksam/
 ANNUAL INFLATION RATE BELOW 50%The decline in the inflation rate is going on. For the first time after more than a decade, the annual price increase rate in consumer prices has been below 50%. According to the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) data, in September, wholesale prices increased by 2.3%, while consumer prices rose by 3.1%. The annual inflation rate figures are 43.9% in wholesale prices and 49% in consumer prices. After the announcement of the figures, Minister of Finance Sumer Oral said that for the first time in more than 15 years the high rate of inflation had been pulled down considerably. Oral added that the inflation target which was envisaged by the Government as 25%, could not be achieved, however, they were trying to receive the most possible lowest figures. /Turkiye/
 GEORGIA APPROVES THE PLAN FOR NATURAL GAS PIPELINE TO TURKEYThe natural gas company has secured Georgia's agreement to build a pipeline from the Caucasus to Turkey. Ghia Abashidze, the press secretary for the Georgian International Gas Corporation, said that the presidents of his company and Turkey's Turgaz-Petrol met last week with Itera Vice President Bogdan Kluk to discuss construction of the pipeline. The 60-kilometer pipeline would carry Russian natural gas via the Georgian town of Kobuleti to Turkey and other world markets. It would take about a year to build. /Turkish Daily News/
 EXIMBANK RECEIVES $220 MILLION IN SYNDICATION CREDITTurk Eximbank received $220 million in Euro-syndication credit from international financial markets. The agreement for the on-year term credit, which has libor+0.95 interest rate, was signed by the General Director of Turk Eximbank Ahmet Kilicoglu and the representatives of 47 banks which have participated in the syndication, yesterday in Istanbul. /Aksam/
 ELECTRONIC INFORMATION NETWORK FOR CONTROLLING THE BANKSThe Banking Regulation and Supervision Board (BDDK) is planning to establish an electronic information network in order to observe the developments in the banking sector. With the help of this network, credit transactions, especially the ones of the companies owned by the banks and large amount of credits will be followed. The Board will also form a department which will assess the data collected from the banks. /Milliyet/
 $5 MILLION FOR ZEUGMAThe US-based organization Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) provided $5 million to revive the Belkis-Zeugma ancient city which will be inundated once the Birecik Dam is finished. It will be possible to continue the rescue activities in the coming years./Aksam/
 TURCO-JAPANESE WEEKThe economic and social relations between Turkey and Japan will have a new dimension with the celebration of the "2000 Japanese Week". To mark the 110th anniversary of the Turco-Japanese relations, the Embassy of Japan and Turco-Japanese Foundation Culture Center will jointly organize the week which will commence in October and last for two months. In the scope of the celebrations, many activities such as painting and sculpture exhibitions, symposiums, food festival, Japanese martial art performance and Japanese film shows will be held. /Turkiye/
 FAIRS IN ISTANBULIstanbul will host three different fairs in the following days. COMPEX 2000, International Computer Fair, will be held on Oct. 4-8 under the sponsorship of Telsim. The others, the Electrics-Electronics and Illumination 2000 fairs, organized by Interteks, will be open on Oct. 5-8. /Star/
 GALATASARAY "SECOND" IN THE WORLDGalatasaray has ranked second on a list prepared by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) for September which evaluates the performances of the football teams in the world. As Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup, and then the Super Cup, its place on the list has risen. Also in September, due to its successes both within the country and abroad, Galatasaray has been put to the second place on the list following Bayern Munchen. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY UNDER PRESSURE BY EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Erol Manisali writes on the recent developments aimed at squeezing Turkey into a corner. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Certain developments which seem to be apart from each other are all aimed at squeezing Turkey into a corner. Armenian Resolution, Kurdish Resolution, Cyprus and Aegean issues all seem to be isolated developments but they all unite on pressurizing Turkey.
1) The so-called Armenian Genocide Resolution, is hung over Turkey like a black cloud by distorting history. This time not only the US but also Yerevan is supporting the case and this shows that they have a higher aim. In parallel with the developments in the US, there are activities going on in the EU; in addition to the initiatives in France, new ones are launched in Italy and Holland. Probably, the US and the EU will take the so-called Armenian genocide to the UN and have it discussed on a wider basis. When search for peace in the Caucasus was on the agenda, from where and why are these deceptive pressures are brought to the fore?
2) The EU has undertaken the Southeastern issue for now as it can use it for blackmailing Turkey in its bid for the EU membership. The US is standing in the back because it aims to deal with Northern Iraq first. The rest will come later. The EU has squeezed Turkey into a corner on the Aegean and Cyprus issues. In fact, the Turkish Government which accepted membership on condition has left itself open to pressure. Greece is forcing Turkey by using the EU.
The US is contributing to the case as the Cyprus proximity talks were imposed by the US although it was clear that they would bear no results. The Southeast, Aegean and Cyprus issues have been brought as a part of Turkish-EU relations. They are stating that if Turkey wants improvement in relations it has to make concessions. Let no one doubt that tomorrow, the same blackmail will continue on the Armenian issue. The US will adopt the Armenian issue as its official policy in its relations with Turkey and will have demands in the future.
Certainly, we have grave mistakes. First of all we do not have a long-term state policy. A narrow circle in the country is mortgaging the future of Turkey on behalf of 65 million. In 1995, this circle forced the signing of a document which should not have been signed. In December 1999, the same narrow circle made us accept the candidacy on condition which does not have any meaning at all. Now, the EU is is saying that we have to implement certain conditions in the Southeast, the Aegean and Cyprus otherwise it would not be responsible for the events to happen. Now there is the Armenian case in line.
Are the EU and the US reviving the 'Eastern Issue'? Are the words of Lord Curzon at Lausanne be coming true? Are not they forcing the territorial integrity of Turkey and its national interests too much? The region is rich in oil and natural gas and there are the New World Order and ethnic problems to scratch. No one wants a strong Turkey in the region. They would prefer a dependent, weak and even divided Turkey. In the country there is a range of problems stretching from fundamentalists to secessionists. We have difficulties in solving them. Political parties are making concessions to fundamentalists and secessionists, an important part of the big capital is preferring to cooperate with foreign powers. The intellectuals who should be a solid base are supporting either the fundamentalists or the secessionists and have become strangers to their own society.
This controversial structure provides the greatest support for foreign powers. These circles which do not hesitate to defame the State and the Turkish Armed Forces, to vilify the Turkish people and slander the religion and language are showing up in newspapers and on television programs.
Those who prepare this climate are playing with Turkish national interests. The greatest threat to them comes from those supporting Kemalist views and defending national interests. They won't be able conquer this last stronghold. The silent majority sees the facts."
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