|Monday, 4 March 2024
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-19
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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 VISITS KYRGYZSTANPresident Ahment Necdet Sezer visits Kyrgyzstan. Speaking at a dinner given in his honour, President Sezer said Turkey will not allow the Taleban administration in Afghanistan to threaten order in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Sezer said one of the main orientations of Turkish foreign policy is to consolidate cooperation among the Central Asian States, with whom Turkey shares a common language and history. "Turkey is very sensitive about terrorism, drug smuggling and reactionary groups threatening regional security which could affect the balance and stability in Central Asia, said Mr. Sezer. President Akaev expressed hope that Turkey would soon receive full EU membership. /Milliyet/
 TGNA ELECTS OMER IZGI AS THE NEW SPEAKERTurkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) elected the new Parliamentary Speaker in the fourth round of voting. Omer Izgi, a Nationalist Action Party (MHP) parliamentarian from Konya, obtained 264 votes and became the new Parliamentary Speaker. The other candidate, Murat Basesgioglu, a deputy from the Motherland Party (ANAP), received 262 votes. Omer Izgi is also the acting President, as President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is on an official visit to Turkish Speaking Republics in Central Asia. /All Papers/
 TENSE WAITING FOR THE ARMENIAN BILLWith the situation still tense regarding a vote on the so-called Armenian genocide bill in the US House of Representatives, it was announced that the House recess will be delayed one more week. The House of Representatives was supposed to recess for the November elections, however, due to a heavy schedule, it has been postponed. Diplomatic circles said the Armenian bill may be voted any time before the recess. /Turkiye/
 PEARSON: "WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ARMENIAN BILL"The American Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson and his wife went to Samsun, their first visit to an Anatolian province other than Ankara and Istanbul. Ambassador Pearson met with Samsun Governor Muammer Guler. Regarding the Armenian bill, the Ambassador said the US Administration was anxious and understood the concerns of the Turkish people. /Turkiye/
 MAKOVSKY: "BOTH SIDES WILL LOSE"A Middle East specialist from the Washington Institute, Alan Makovsky, warned of severe damage to Turkish-American relations if the so-called Armenian genocide bill is approved in the House of Representatives. Mr. Makovsky presented a report to the US government, stressing the possible results the approval would have on the relations of the two countries as well as possible repercussions in the Middle East. Mr. Makovsky said Turkey could close Incirlik Airbase and change her positive attitude regarding defense industry projects by American firms. According to his report, Turkey could cancel the bids for the defense industry and temprorarily restrict operations of "Poised Hammer" in northern Iraq. /Sabah/
 DE SOTO GOES TO CYPRUSThe UN Secretary General's Special Cyprus Representative Alvaro de Soto will arrive in Cyprus on 22 October to begin contacts before the fifth round of proximity talks to be held in Geneva November 1. De Soto will meet with TRNC President Rauf Denktas and Greek-Cypriot Administration leader Glafkos Klerides on October 13th and 27th. De Soto will also hold talks with some political party officials, and is due to leave October 28th./Aksam/
 TURKEY SET FOR LEADERSHIP ROLE IN BALKANS'RECONSTRUCTION DRIVEOn the third and final day of the Stability Pact convention, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said, "Turkey has strong historical, geographical and cultural links to countries in the region. For this reason, Turkey's role in the region is of key importance. Additionaly, security and stability in the Balkans have implications for all of Europe. I want to stress our satisfaction with the level of interest by the Turkish private sector toward the pact. Turkey is ready and willing to play a stronger role in economic affairs." Mr. Yilmaz noted that a fund of 2.4 billion euros had been allocated to the region by the pact with 1.8 billion euros earmarked for economic reconstruction and development. The Pact's Special Coordinator Bodo Hombach said Turkey demonstrated great dynamism in the past several years, remarking that the ongoing rapprochement between Turkey and Greece would contribute to stability in the Balkans. Mr. Hombach said the change of government in Yugoslavia inspires new hope, as President Vojislav Kostunica is sending very positive signals regarding Kosovo and Montenegro. /Turkish Daily News/
 MESUT YILMAZ VISITS BRUSSELSState Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz left for Brussels to participate in meetings regarding the European Union (EU). Mr. Yilmaz will first meet with Loyola De Palacio, the Deputy Chairman of the EU Commission responsible for transport and energy. Mr. Yilmaz is expected to attend the meeting of the UNICE and deliver a speech. He will also meet with European private sector representatives. /Turkiye/
 FINAL AGREEMENTS ON BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE TO BE SIGNEDThe final agreements on the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline, which transfers Azeri petroleum to world markets, will be signed in Ankara today. During the ceremony to be held in Ankara Palace, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer is expected to sign the "Host Country" agreement, while BOTAS General Director Gokhan Yardim will sign the "Delivery of Key" and Undersecretary of Treasury Selcuk Demiralp the "Intergovernmental Guarantee" agreement. Similar agreements were previously signed in Azerbaijan and Georgia. /Aksam/
 ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS TURKEYAlbanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta arrived in Turkey Wednesday to attend the meeting of the Foreign Economic Relations Committee(DEIK). Mr. Meta was met by representatives from the Albanian Consulate at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. He will head back to Albania Thursday. /Turkish Daily News/
 ERDAL NOT TO BE EXTRADITEDA letter sent from Belgium Justice Ministry to Istanbul State Security Court said that Fehriye Erdal, one of the suspects of the Sabanci murder, would not be extradited to Turkey. According to the Belgium Justice Ministry's decision, Erdal will not be sent back Turkey due to the following reasons: she is a political criminal, the weapons used in assassination do not comply with the conditions stated in the European Aggrement dated 1977 regarding the prevention of terrorism, and Turkey has not ruled out the implementation of the death penalty. /Turkiye/
 EXERCISE 'RELIABLE MERMAID' TO BEGIN IN DECEMBERThe Turkish, Israeli and US navies will carry out the third naval exercise of Reliable Mermaid in Israeli territorial waters in December. The officials specifically pointed out that only search and rescue operations will be carried out in this exercise. Observers from Arabic countries were invited in order to alleviate any suspicion or reaction to the exercises. In two previous exercises, Jordan had sent observers. /Milliyet/
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES IN HIGH LEVELThe foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank reached its highest level this year exceeding $24.8 billion. According to data from the Central Bank, the reserve showed an increase of $309 million during the week of October 6-13. The reserve reached $24 billion 839 million. /Cumhuriyet/
 MOODY'S : "WE MAY INCREASE YOUR CREDIT GRADE"Moody's, the international credit rating company, announced that they will evaluate the economic conditions in Turkey. Moody's rates more than 100 countries and has given a current grade B1 to Turkey. The grade will be increased depending on the economic conditions. /Hurriyet/
 ROTTERDAM MAYOR IN ISTANBULMayor of Rotterdam, Holland Ivo w. Opstelten visited Turkey with a group of 35 businessmen. Mr. Opstelten said discussions with Turkish officials will be held on to improve the commerce between the two countries. Mr. Opstelten signed a letter of good will to develop cooperation with the Mayor of Istanbul, Ali Mufit Gurtuna. Co-chairman of the Holland-Turkey Business Council, Zekeriya Yildirim said, "Rotterdam is an important transit center for commerce. Our importers make use of this center, but our exporters don't." Mr. Yildirim said that since the establishment of the Council, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased by $1 billion. /Hurriyet/
 A NEW TURKISH STORE IN MOSCOWRamstore, a joint venture of Koc and Enka Holding, opened its sixth store in Moscow in the last three years. The new supermarket cost around $3 million. /Milliyet/
 TOURISM AWARD FROM CZECH REPUBLICCSA Airtours which operates under the aegis of Czech Airlines, gave awards to Turkish travel agencies organizing tours to Czech Republic. Novitas Travel Agency, which organizes cultural tours to Prague, received the "Best Partner" award. /Hurriyet/
 TEXTILE SEMINARThe `Fashion and Marketing Seminar' organized by the Mediterranean Exporters Union and the German Textil Wirtschaft firm will be held today in Adana. Sakir Sayan the general secretary of the Mediterranean Exporters Union, said the seminar will include men's and women's wear in Germany, Spring and Summer fashions 2001, what to do in Turkish textile and ready to wear industry, trends in thread and cloth, and samples of fashion designers. /Cumhuriyet/
 ZEUGMA TOURThe Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Southeastern Anatolia Project Administration will organize a tour introducing the ancient city Zeugma and viewing current projects for 16 European journalists between October 23rd and 28th. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY'S PATH PASSES THROUGH THE EU BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on Turkey's accession process to the EU. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We are entering a new phase in the 'EU Accession Process'(KOB). The articles expected to be included in the Accession Partnership Document, to be announced on November 8, will be discussed during the next 20 days. After November 8, the question is whether the articles mentioned in the document will be carried out.
Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for EU Affairs, Mesut Yilmaz, and EU Secretary General Ambassador Volkan Vural went to Brussels yesterday. They will meet with a variety of people to discuss many issues among which will be the need to avoid expressions offending Turkey from being included in the Document. Two days ago, Deputy Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit met with Foreign Ministry Acting Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and EU Department Head Selim Kuneralp.
EU Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen, travelled to Athens to negotiate a compromise with Greece regarding conditions unacceptable to Turkey it wanted to include in the TOB. During this busy time, we have to mention points attracting our attention:
1- The current Deputy Prime Minister responsible for EU Affairs, closed the door to the EU following the Luxembourg Summit in 1997 when he was the Prime Minister. Following the Summit, both sides slowly began talks. The current situation was reached at the Helsinki Summit last December. What happened during the last two years? There was not an extraordinary change in our economy. We have not been able to reform our democracy by at the push of a button. In short, in 1999 Turkey was able to prevent terrorism before it reached the level of ethnic coflict. Following this, the EU decided to pressure Turkey with hopes of admittance instead of excluding it altogether.
2- The EU which began with six members based on economic cooperation, has developed along with the agreements it has made, today includes 15 members. No country was admmitted to the EU by arguing it had special importance. The EU includes countries which act with their brains not with their emotions. Therefore, we must leave sentimentality aside and clearly explain to the EU, the conditions under which we can enter the Union during the November 8 process. These conditions are being mentioned by various representatives to the EU when the time is convenient. Care should be taken that the conditions are outlined at the proper forum.
3- The news and commentaries envisioning that the issues in KOB are all related to political criteria. As mentioned above, the EU is based on economics. There is no discussion over the inequitable income distribution. There is no reference to the low level of national income in comparison to EU countries. And in education, the news people are not concerned with quality, but rather with the 'mother tongue' issue.
If all the countries had to solve their problems before entering the EU, why was Spain not asked to resolve the Basque issue or why was not Greece allowed to enter the EU only upon resolution of its problems with Turkey?
4- Yilmaz woulmd like to hold the entrance card to the EU in his hand. This is an understandable desire on the part of anyone holding mthe office of Foreign Minister. However, it has been noticed that his initiatives launched to further his goal have excluded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The rights and wrongs of the Foreign Ministry is a matter of discussion but to completely exclude it, is something else. This exclusion may stem from a desire on Yilmaz's part to be the determining factor in foreign relations.
5- Glancing at modern standards of living, we can see that the EU countries are serious role models ranging from economics to social life. In order to attain a better standard of living we must to make our choices with this in mind. In the meantime we should not leave everything else in the backstage and be able to draw our own plan.
Taking all these factors into consideration, we can say that Turkey's path intersects with the EU."
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