|Monday, 4 March 2024
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-06
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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
 COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETINGThe approval of the so-called Armenian genocide bill in the House Committee of International Relations was at the top of the agenda of the Council of Ministers meeting held yesterday. It was reported that the Council of Ministers decided to defend Turkey's views on the so-called genocide by using the documents in the state archives to prove the historical facts distorted by the Armenians. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who started the meeting by reading the declaration of the acting chairmen of the political parties in the TGNA, said, "I regret the decision made in the House Committee." Stating that if the bill was approved at the floor of the House of Representatives, Turkey had to give a more organized and determined reaction. Mr. Ecevit said, "What fits Turkey is to give a reaction which is not emotional but based on reason and national awareness." Pointing out that the approval of the bill would seriously damage Turkey's bilateral relations with the US and Armenia, Mr. Ecevit said, "In that case, we will not be responsible for the consequences of the decisions to be made. Armenia has provoked the US." Meanwhile, Minister of Defense, Sabahattin Çakmakoğlu, said that military and defense biddings between Turkey and the US might be reconsidered. After the meeting, Chairman of Virtue Party Recai Kutan met Prime Minister Ecevit. Mr. Kutan stated that Turkey's commercial relations with Iraq would be improved. /Cumhuriyet/
 CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CANCELS THE AUTHORITY LAWUpon the application of the main opposition Virtue Party (FP), the Constitutional Court has annulled the law which gives the government the authority to issue decrees with the power of law (KHK). The Law of Empowerment No 4588 went into effect on July 6, 2000 and based on that law the government has issued 20 decrees up to now. If no case is opened separately for those which were put into effect, the decrees will remain in force. /All Papers/
 JOINT DECLARATION OF FIVE PARTIESThe deputy leaders of the five political parties which have groups in the parliament have prepared a joint declaration in coordination with the Foreign Ministry stating that the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) may not extend the mandate of the Reconnaissance Force of NATO, if the so-called Armenian genocide resolution is approved in the US House of Representatives. The declaration includes the following points: 1. The approval of the so-called Armenian genocide resolution would come to mean that history is distorted for political purposes. 2. TGNA and the government have informed the world that the approval of the resolution would have negative effects on Turkish-Armenian and Turkish-US relations, as well as on the peace efforts in the Caucasus. 3.In case of the approval of the resolution, TGNA would assess extending the mandate of the Reconnaissance Force of NATO in the light of the changing conditions. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY'S REACTION TO EP ON THE CYPRUS ISSUETurkey has reacted to the European Parliament (EP) which stated that the Greek-Cypriot Administration could enter the European Union (EU) without achieving a solution concerning the both sides. Stating that the EP kept its stance in favour of the Greek Administration, Turkey said, "The EP does not contribute to a solution to the benefit of both sides." Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, after meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, said, "We already know that the EP has negative approaches to certain issues related to Turkey. However, we have made ourselves abundantly clear on our determination to exclude the Cyprus issue from our relations with the EU." The fifth round of the meetings on the Cyprus issue is expected to be held in Geneva. The UN and the US have been putting pressure on both sides to start direct talks. /Cumhuriyet/
 ECHR MAKES A DECISION AGAINST THE GREEK-CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATIONErkan Egmez, who was kidnapped and tortured by the Greek policemen when he was working on his land in Akincilar, a village at the border of the Turkish Republic of the Norhern Cyprus (TRNC), on October 7, 1995, won the lawsuit against the Greek-Cypriot Administration at the European Commission of the Human Rights (ECHR). It was reported that the lawsuit will be brought to the High Court. /Cumhuriyet/
 HUMAN RIGHTS CHAIRMANSHIP ESTABLISHEDThe Human Rights Chairmanship was established within the structure of the Prime Ministry. According to the decree with the power of law regulating the establishment of the Human Rights Chairmanship, the duties of the Chairmanship are to ensure the coordination among the institutions in charge of the issues related to the human rights, to investigate the allegations on the violations of human rights, to implement the program related to human rights and to avoid the possible defects. /Cumhuriyet/
 SUPPORT FROM US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCEUS Department of Defence stated that the official visit of Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, was postponed after the developments regarding the so-called Armenian genocide resolution and that it was completely understandable. The speaker of the Pentagon Colonel Vic Warzinski said that they were sorry that the visit was postponed for this reason and the Defense Ministry is openly against the resolution. The fact that during his speech Mr.Warzinski used the word "so-called" for the resolution, drew attention. /Sabah/
 AMERICAN ARMENIANS ARE HAPPY WITH THE APPROVALThe approval of the so-called Armenian genocide bill at US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee was welcomed among the Armenians living in the US. Ross Vartian, the Chairman of the American Armenians' Assembly, claimed that more than 140 members of the House of Representatives supported the bill, thus, it could not be defined as a partisan effort. Vartian said that the approval of the bill at the committee, was a reply of the US to the first serious humanity crisis in the 20th century. He added that the votes cast in favour of that bill, at the same time, was a recognition of the on-going US moral-leadership in the world also in the new century. /Turkiye/
 GAFFNEY: "LET'S NOT OFFEND TURKEY"Chairman of the Security Studies Centre in Washington, Frank Gaffney warned the House of Representatives not to offend Turkey which is an indispensable ally of the US, over the Armenian bill as it would seriously damage the US interests. In an article appearing in "Investor's Business" newspaper, Mr. Gaffney said: "The "partisan efforts" of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert may providea chance for Republican James Rogan to hold his position, however, in the end, it will be detrimental to the US interests." /Turkiye/
 TURKEY WANTS PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EASTThe violence, which occurred following the far right Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon's visit to Al Agsa mosque compound last Thursday, and after which 70 people died and 1800 people were injured, has not ended yet although the Palestinian and Israeli leaders promised to create an atmosphere of peace. Meanwhile, Turkey wanted an impartial and open investigation to be made concerning the violence in Jerusalem, Gaza and West Strip and take the necessary legal actions to be taken against those who committed crimes during the incidents. During the United Nations' (UN) Security Council's extraordinary meeting, Turkey's Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Umit Pamir, said, "We believe that it is high time to stop the increase in the tension in the region." Pamir recommended the parties to display maximum moderation so that the peace can be ensured again. Pamir added, "Turkey is deeply worried about the latest incidents occurring due to the use of extreme force. Nothing can justify the loss of innocent lives." /Aksam/
 HEAVY DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC IN OCTOBERWith the end of the summer, diplomatic traffic in Ankara is expected to liven up. Russian Prime Minister M. Kasianov is to come to Ankara as the guest of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on 23-25 October when they will discuss bilateral economic and military relations as well as regional developments. At the end of the month Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok is expected visit Turkey and tour the earthquake regions. Before the Accession Partnership Document is disclosed in November, the political directors of the European Union (EU) troika, comprising Sweden, Finland and France, will arrive in Ankara on 6 October. President Sezer will leave on a tour of the Turkic Republics on 16-20 October, after hosting Czech President Vaclav Havel on October 10-12. The Foreign Ministry has also announced that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will go to Bucharest on October 20 for a meeting of Black Sea Economic Cooperation foreign ministers. /Turkish Daily News/
 SCHWIMMER'S STATEMENTEuropean Council's General Secretary Walter Schwimmer attended the programme entitled 'Cuvaldiz' on the TV8 channel, answered the questions of Faruk Bildirici and Dogan Tilic and evaluated the relations between Turkey and Europe. Schwimmer said, "The Ocalan trial is a very special case. I must say with appreciation that when the Turkish Court passed death sentence on Ocalan, Turkey acted in accordance with the moratorium that it will not practice death sentence on anyone. The removal of the death sentence from the Penal Code is a very important European standard. I believe that Turkey will take the necessary step to abolish the death sentence." /Hurriyet/
 WOLF: "BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE CASPIAN"The US President Bill Clinton's Advisor for the Caspian Basin, John Wolf, said that Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was very important in Caspian in terms of security. Wolf pointed out the support of the US for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project. Wolf added, "The US does not expect any benefit from this project. If Kazakhstan also participates in the project, it will be a safe place to transport the rapidly increasing petroleum to the international markets." /Aksam/
 DEFENSE NEWS ON THE BIDDINGS BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE USIn an article published in the Defense News, known as the magazine of the American defense circles, it was stated that if the so-called Armenian genocide bill was approved in the House of Representatives, Turkey would give certain important defense biddings to other countries. A high-level Turkish official stated that in case of an approval, Turkey would be seriously disappointed since the legislative organ of Turkey's closest ally would have dealt a blow to the friendship between the two countries. The official said, "Our cooperation with the US on certain critical defense issues continues, whereas there might be some retardings. We give the projects, where the US technology is not essential, to other countries." Meanwhile, an American source stated that it was inevitable for the US weapon firms to lose a considerable amount of the Turkish defense market, if the bill was approved at the House of Representatives. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAQThe government has appointed Mehmed Akad as Ambassador to Baghdat within the framework of the governmental decision to take steps that would provide new openings in Turkish foreign policy towards Iraq, especially after the approval of the so-called Armenian genocide resolution in the US House Committee of International Relations. Mr. Akad will take up his post on February 1, 2001. It was learned Iraqi authorities had approved the appointment of Mr. Akad. Moreover, State Minister Tunca Toskay will visit Iraq to participate in the Baghdat Fair starting on Nov.1. /Milliyet/
 A DEPUTY OF TURKISH-ORIGIN IN DANISH PARLIAMENTA deputy of Turkish-origin Isminur Lone Yalcinkaya entered the parliament of Denmark. Ms. Yalcinkaya is the first foreigner to enter the Danish parliament. /Milliyet/
 AMERICAN SENATORS IN GAPAmerican Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Howard Baker arrived in Mardin to examine the latest developments in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). Holding investigations in Mardin, the senators visited Deyrulzafaran Monastery and attended the banquet given in the honor of them. /Star/
 RAILWAY BETWEEN TURKEY AND IRAQTurkey and Iraq has agreed to start the railway transportation between the two countries. Ambassador Selim Karaosmanoglu, the Counsellor of the Foreign Ministry, who is currently holding contacts in Baghdat, met Undersecretary of Iraqi Transportation and Communications Ministry Sabri Gati. Stating that thay were ready to open the railway line between the two countries, Mr. Gati said, "Iraqi engineers have developed the line extending from Iraq to Turkey and Syria." Mr. Karaosmanoglu also stated that the Turkish government was determined on starting the railway transportation between the two countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 TELECOM TO BE PRIVATIZEDIn a statement issued by the Prime Ministry, a meeting, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, was held yesterday with the participation of the State Ministers Recep Onal and Yuksel Yalova and the Minister of Communication Enis Oksuz. During the meeting, it was decided that in the privatization of the Turk Telecom, 29% of the shares will be sold as block sale and 5% will be offered to the public. /Aksam/
 INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL CIRCLES' ESTIMATION CONCERNING TURKEYInternational rating institution Schroder Salomon Smith Barney (SSSB) estimated that the inflation rate will be 27% in terms of the Wholesale Price Index (TEFE) and 34% in terms of the Consumer Price Index (TUFE) at the end of this year in Turkey. SSSB's estimation concerning the inflation rate in Turkey is 15% in TEFE and 18% in TUFE for the year 2001. In SSSB's report, it was estimated that the Turkish government will be in power by the next elections and that it will continue to follow the economic stability programme. Meanwhile, the international capital circles maintain their optimism concerning the increase in the prices and current deficit. /Aksam/
 AUTOMATIVE EXPORT REACHES 2 BILLION US DOLLARSAutomative export increased by 1.3% in September. According to the information received by Uludag Association of Exporters' (UIB) General Secretariat, automative and sub-industry export, which amounted to 188 million US dollars in September 1999, reached 190,594,266 US dollars in September 2000. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH ENVIRONMENTALIST RECEIVES THE ALTERNATIVE NOBEL AWARDTurkish environmentalist, Birsel Lemke, received one of the alternative Nobel Awards that are given in Stockholm. Lemke was deemed worthy of this award because of her struggle against extracting gold with cyanide and the role that she played in the international campaigns for the prohibition of this dangerous technology. These alternative nobel awards began to be given by Jakob von Uexkull in 1980 and this year they will be given during a ceremony at the Swedish Parliament on 6 December. /Aksam/
 ANZAK WINE TO BE PRODUCED IN CANAKKALETurkey and Australia will produce grapes on the land on which they fought against each other in 1915. Then a wine entitled 'Anzak' will be produced from these grapes. Australian Advisory Company Eric's General Director Rob Gourlay and the owner of the Pepper Tree wine company, Chris Cameron, made observations in the region after which they decided that the soil in Canakkale was ideal in producing wine. /Hurriyet/
 ISRAELI CONTEMPORARY PAINTING EXHIBITIONThe "Israeli Contemporary Painting Exhibition", organized by Israeli Office of the Culture Attache, under the sponsorship of Osmanli Bank, was opened by Culture Minister Istemihan Talay and Israeli State Minister Haim Ramon. The exhibition, including paintings and photographs of 20 Israeli artists, will be open until Oct. 17, 2000 at the Yildiz Sale Pavilion in Istanbul. /Hurriyet/
 AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TURKEY BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz writes on the latest developments concerning the so-called Armenian Genocide. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The US Congress has created an important opportunity for the revision of Turkish foreign policy with the Armenian resolution. When the 'Johnson letter' was sent to Turkey, the country was in a weak position and particularly passive against the US. Although some may still think so, the present day Turkey is not in the same situation. In the 1980s if the American aid had been cut off in the amount of $ 20 million due to the activities of the Armenian and Greek lobbies, a crisis would have erupted in our relations with the US. However, nothing has been said on the question today as the military aid worth $ 300- 400 million in low-credit loans do not have any meaning for Turkey. It has reached a point where we can do without it.
Meanwhile, NATO, which was established during the Cold War and was supported mainly by the US, has begun to lose its meaning following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This organization seemed to gain an importance during the disintegration process in Yugoslavia. However, the incidents which took place within the framework of Bosnian and Kosovar crises have puzzled the minds concerning unity in NATO, its mission and consistency. 'Collective defence' has seriously eroded in the face of selective choices of the members. When the searches by Europe for a new defence organization independent from NATO and Washington has been added to these developments, the future of the Northern Atlantic Alliance has become uncertain.
Today, following the Cold War NATO is still an organization seeking a mission for itself. The principles accepted at the 50th anniversary Summit held in Washington last April have not been able to change the situation. Clearly, if Turkey is faced with a serious foreign threat it is doubtful if NATO will come to its aid. We should remember how Germany shuffled its feet during the Gulf crisis and had been accused by Turgut Ozal as an unreliable ally.
Turco-American military relations are conducted within the framework of Defence and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SEIA). Turkey receives military aid or low-credit loans within the scope of this agreement. In return, Turkey grants the US the right to have a military base on its territory. It is the US which benefits from the SEIA most. That is to say, the US itself had said that it needed the Incirlik Airbase for the crisis in Iraq and Balikesir Air Base for the operation in Kosovo.
The military equipment bought from the US cannot be called 'aid', it is 'trade ' at best. If Turkey buys equipment, American companies are earning money in return and as much as the Greek and Armenian lobbies permit.
The point I am trying to make is that, the time has come to review if the Turco-American military relations still continue to protect their 'strategic' character and what benefit do these relations have for Turkey. The Americans themselves have said that Turkey which was a 'wing' country in collective defence has in fact become a 'focal' country. This is not a favour on their part. When they are talking about this they are voicing a fact concerning the US global interests.
For example, at present Washington has a sound policy towards Iraq. However, this does not exactly coincide with Turkey's interests and choices. The fact is, Ankara has not objected to this policy not to damage the 'strategic relations' between itself and Washington. We should not ignore the fact that, even though Turkey may have a host of problems it is the most stable country in the region. The military might of Turkey has an important deterrent effect. Those who avoid picking up a fight with Turkey do not act with the belief that 'America is behind Turkey'. They are acting with caution because they are afraid of Turkey's might.
Turkey has the strongest economy in the region. Istanbul has become the New York of the Middle East, Balkans and the Caucasus. Kayseri, Adana, Gaziantep have reached a status where they can attract foreign capital by themselves.
When we take up this and a dozen another factor besides it, the relative advantages of Turkey can be clearly seen. Within this framework, the time has come to seek new and dynamic balances in our foreign policy suited to Turkey's location. Otherwise, no one will understand that Turkey has other alternatives to follow."
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