|Monday, 17 December 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 00-11-07
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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
 RACAN MEETS ECEVITCroatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan, paying an official visit to Turkey, met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. In the press conference held after the meeting Mr. Ecevit said bilateral relations were going well between the two countries. He added, "However, economic and commercial relations are not at a satisfactory level. We have to improve them." Thanking Mr. Racan for informing him on the latest and possible developments in the Balkans, Mr. Ecevit said Turkey expected Yugoslavian Head of State Vogislav Kostunica to take further significant steps. Mr. Racan said the toppling of Milosevic did not necessarily mean that his policies would also disappear. Mr. Ecevit said, "I share Mr. Racan's hopes and concerns over Yugoslavia. I hope Mr. Kostunica will make significant changes to catch up with modern democratic countries. The first condition for Yugoslavia is to end ethnic discrimination." Stating that economic relations between Turkey and Croatia should be improved, Mr. Racan said Croatian Head of State Stepan Mesic would also visit Turkey. Mr. Racan invited Mr. Ecevit to Croatia. The Croatian Premier was also received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. /Cumhuriyet/
 PEARSON: "NO CHANGE IS EXPECTED IN TURCO-AMERICAN RELATIONS"US Ambassador to Turkey, Robert Pearson, said the new US President will also be aware of Turkey's strategic position and, like the Clinton administration, will continue to attach importance to Turkey. During his opening speech at a panel titled, "200 Years in Turco-American Relations" held in Ankara at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Pearson recalled Clinton's words that "Turkey will play a critical role in the formation of the 21st century." Mr. Pearson said he is certain both presidential candidates, George Bush and Al Gore are aware of this truth. Stressing that the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1830, Mr. Pearson said the relations gained a new dimension after the Second World War. Emphasizing the great importance the US attaches to Turkey's role in NATO, The US Ambassador said the relations are not limited to security and trade topics as cooperation in various areas such as education and tourism is rapidly increasing. /Turkiye/
 FULL AGENDA CONCERNING THE EUROPEAN UNIONAnkara makes an effort to have the Accession Partnership Document (APD) prepared by the European Commission, accepted at the Council which convenes on 20 November and 5 December. It will then prepare the National Programme. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will be in Strasbourg attending the European Council's Meeting of Ministers when the APD is announced. Cem will hold bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of member countries in Strasbourg before the APD is voted upon at the European Council. He will try to persuade his counterparts for acceptance of the Commission's document as a whole. Cem will also attend the OSCE Summit on 27 and 28 November and is expected to go to Brussels on 29 November. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will go to France, the current Chairman of the EU, on 15 November. During his contacts in France, Yilmaz will give information on the National Programme prepared by the EU Secretary General and will explain Turkey's short-term and long-term engagements. In addition, EU Representative Responsible for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen will be in Turkey between November 20 and 22. /Aksam/
 DENKTAS WARNS EUAnswering questions of a reporter from Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, stated the EU's approval of Greek-Cypriots' membership would be a cause for war. Mr. Denktas said. "If the EU approves membership of the Greek side, despite all the unsolved problems, we, as the Turkish-Cypriots, would do all we can to survive." He also reminded the press that Greek-Cypriots were trying to solve the problem by attaining full EU member status without consent from the Turkish side. Mr. Denktas responded to the statement by EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen which criticized Denktas for being contradictory with the facts. Stating that German politicians did not want to admit the facts, Mr. Denktas said, "How is it possible for Greek-Cypriots to represent the whole island, despite the existence of two separate nations and democracies? Is this fair?" /Cumhuriyet/
 ANKARA WARNS FRANCE ON THE ARMENIAN BILLThe French Senate will vote on the so-called Armenian genocide bill today. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu each sent a letter to their counterparts stating that the bill`s approval would seriously harm the positively developing relations between the two countries. It was stressed that the bill is contrary to mutual strategic interests and approval would prevent the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, having negative effects on regional stability. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate unless its approval is prevented by the French government. A Turkish Parliamentary Delegation went to Paris yesterday and requested a meeting with the Chairman of the Senate. The request was turned down due to lack of time, as the voting will be held today. /Milliyet/
 SHEVARDNADZE TO VISIT TURKEYGeorgian President Eduard Shevardnadze will arrive in Turkey tomorrow to pay an official visit at President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's invitation. It was reported the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and other transportation projects would be among the subjects to be discussed during the meetings with Mr. Shevardnadze. /Cumhuriyet/
 ESAD TO VISIT TURKEYIt was reported that Syrian Head of State Besir Esad was planning to visit Turkey. "Syrian President's first deputy Abdulhalim Haddam's contacts in Ankara were a preparation for President Esad's future visit." said the Tesrin, the official broadcasting organ of the Syrian government. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ: TURKEY AND BULGARIA SHOULD SUPPORT EACH OTHERThe 14th term meeting of the Turkey-Bulgaria Economic and Technical Cooperation Joint Committee began in Ankara. The Turkish side was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and the Bulgarian side by Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Evgeni Tchatchev. Delivering the opening speech, Mr. Yilmaz said, "Since Bulgaria is one of the transit countries for the transfer of Russian natural gas to Turkey, the projects in Bulgaria should be completed in good time." Stating that electrical energy constituted an important dimension of Turco-Bulgarian relations, Mr. Yilmaz said, "After signing the cooperation agreements and protocols on energy and infrastructure, Turkey has fullfiled all her responsibilities. I believe the Bulgarian side will work to improve relations." Mr. Yilmaz added, "Turkey and Bulgaria, two candidate countries for the EU, should continue to support each other in their efforts for full EU membership." /Cumhuriyet/
 TUNISIA WANTS TO IMPROVE TIES WITH TURKEYTunisia wants to develop its ties with Turkey in every area, said the Tunisian Ambassador Mohammed Alyasir. Speaking at a press conference in the Tunisian Embassy over the weekend, the Ambassador said the infrastructure for trade development between the two countries already existed. Noting that Tunisia is located at an important junction of major trade routes, making it a trade link between Africa and Europe, the Ambassador said Tunisia offers great opportunities for prospective Turkish investors. He also drew attention to the fact that labor costs were comparatively low in Tunusia and that the government provides incentives for foreign investors. Alyasir claimed that Turkish companies wanting to invest in Tunisia would have access not only to Tunisian markets, but also certain African markets. /Turkish Daily News/
 GEN. KIVRIKOGLU IN BRUSSELSChief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu left for Brussels yesterday to participate in NATO meetings. Gen. Kivrikoglu is expected to sit in at the 140th Military Committee Chief of General Staffs Meeting, the Europe-Atlantic Partnership Council, NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Russian Federation Military Committee Chief of General Staffs Meeting. /Turkiye/
 THREE STATE BANKS TO BE PRIVATIZEDThe government summitted a bill to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) which foresees the privatization of the three state banks after their autonomization in three years. Previously, the decrees with the power of law for the privatization of Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank and Emlak Bank were rejected by the President. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN CAPITAL DRAFT LAW PRESENTED TO THE TGNAThe 'Foreign Capital Draft Law' was presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to guarantee the transfer of foreign investors' income in order to increase foreign investments in Turkey. If the draft law is accepted integrally, then the income transfer will be guaranteed. The transfer of foreign capital to Turkey will become free as it is elsewhere in the world and process of prior consent will be removed. As part of the draft law, companies with foreign capital have the same rights as companies with local capital. /Aksam/
 CONFERENCE ON TURKEY-EU COMMUNICATION PLATFORMThe first conference of the Turkey-EU Communication Platform organized by the Advertising Foundation, Advertisers Association and Hurriyet newspaper, was held in Istanbul yesterday. EU Secretary General of Turkey, Volkan Vural, delivered a speech at the conference. Mr. Vural said, "We will receive a document from the EU Commission in 48 hours. This is the Accession Partnership Document, a road map to begin the negotiation process for Turkey's full EU membership. The President of the World Advertisement Givers Federation, Anthony Gortzis, said Turkey would sell its commodities easily after becoming a full EU member. Editor in-chief of the Hurriyet, Ertugrul Ozkok said, the infrastructure of the Turkish media is as strong as that in the most developed countries. Mr. Ozkok also pointed to the marriages of the Turkish media with the European media. Dogan Burda Rizzoli (DBR), CNN Turk and CNBC are the examples of these mergers. He maintained that cooperation in the media sector with foreign groups should be increased. /Hurriyet/
 AVISO CLASS POSTAL SHIPS IN THE TURKISH NAVYThe Ministry of National Security completed its transfer of six patrol ships not in use by the French Naval Forces to the Turkish Naval Forces. The purchase agreement for the ships was signed between the Ministry of National Defence's Foreign Provision Department and the French officials. According to the information obtained, six Aviso class postal ships will be used for reconnaissance and observation on the Aegean. The cost of the ships was agreed upon at 60 million US dollars. The ships are expected to arrive in Turkey during the first six months of 2001. /Aksam/
 TURKISH SHIP BURNED ON CRETEA fire occurred on the Turkish flagged tanker entitled 'Olcay S' 50 miles south of the Greek Island of Crete. Three sailors were injured during the fire as a result of an explosion on the tanker. One of the injured, airlifted by helicopter, could not be saved at the hospital and died. The Greek Ministry of Naval Trade reported that two other sailors were being treated on Crete. /Aksam/
 FOUR HIZBULLAH MEMBERS CAPTUREDFour members of the illegal terrorist organization Hizbullah, including those responsible for the Batman area, were captured in Istanbul. Four bomb fuses were seized during the raid on the terrorists' house. /Star/
 NORWEGIANS' SUGGESTIONChairman of the Norwegian Association of Industrialists and Businessmen (NHO), Leif Frode Onarheim, stated that other European countries have a tendency to point out the negative aspects of Turkey, whereas positive issues concerning Turkey were ignored. He gave suggestions to Turkey. Onarheim, speaking at a meeting on the 'Economy, Globalization and the Social Responsibility of Companies' organized by NHO and the Turkish Association of Industrialists' and Businessmen (TUSIAD) said, "It is important for people to understand Turkey. European countries talk about the political instability and the pressure on security and freedom of speech. If you add the high inflation rate during the last years, then you can understand why a businessman excludes Turkey from his list of possible investments. These are not the truths. You should reflect an accurate picture of your country." /Aksam/
 MEETING ON THE PROBLEMS OF TEXTILE AND CERAMICS SECTORProblems in the textile and ceramics industry were discussed during a meeting chaired by the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan. The meeting was attended by employers and employee representatives, bureaucrats and some ministers. Employer and employee representatives presented a report concerning problems in the industry at a meeting also attended by the Minister of Finance Sumer Oral, Minister of Industry and Trade Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, Minister of Labor and Social Security Yasar Okuyan and the State Minister Tunca Toskay. /Star/
 TURKEY ISSUES BONDS TOTALING 50 BILLION YENThe Treasury issued three-year bonds totaling 50 billion yen with a 3 percent interest rate to be sold in Japanese financial markets. The related agreement was signed yesterday by Turkish and Japanase officials in Tokyo. Daiwa and Nomura Security Companies underwrote the issuing of the bonds. This is the third time that Turkey has issued bonds in the Japanese markets. The total Turkish bonds issued in Japan reached 140 billion yen. /Milliyet/
 YAPEX 2000 FAIRThe "Yapex 2000" Construction Fair, the largest construction elements' fair in Turkey and the Middle East, will be held in Antalya Expo Center Nov. 9-12. About twenty thousand visitors are expected at the fair where the latest technological developments in the construction sector will be exhibited. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 EXPECTATIONS FROM ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Mustafa Balbay comments on the expectations concerning the Accession Partnership Document. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The Accession Partnership Document (APD) which will have a determining effect on Turkey's full EU membership, will be announced tomorrow. The last touches to the document have been made. Words which may be understood both ways have been sprinkled between the lines. A balance which would not offend Ankara or frighten Athens has been established. The text will be ratified at a meeting to be convened on November 20 or on December 5. This will be the real turning point. Recent surveys prepared by the EU within its own structure do not show a pleasing picture for Turkey. In the European Union 47% of the people are against Turkey's full membership. Among the 13 EU member candidates it is the most opposed country. Turkey is most supported by Spain and least supported by Australia in its desire for full EU membership. 60% of Europeans are against enlargement altogether. When these results are taken into consideration, the question of why Turkey wants to enter a community where it is not wanted may come to mind. The reason for these survey results is that Europeans are not acting with their hearts but with their brains. When the survey is viewed as a whole it can be seen that the EU community is not against Turkey per se but against sharing the Union's prosperity. If the Turkish economy had been near EU standards the picture may have been different.
Another question may be, why does the EU want to improve its ties with Turkey despite the unwillingness of its people. The answer is clear. There is no better market than Turkey in close surroundings. 20% of Turks are spending as much as Europeans on goods and services. This number is more than the total Greek population. This is one of the trump cards we hold. In Turkey, percentage of the population wanting to enter the EU is close to 70. Those who are against Turkey's full EU membership claim that not only do Europeans not want Turkey in the Union, but by keeping the hope of entrance to the EU alive, they aim to impose their will on us. Those against EU membership also say Turkey has to look for other alliances. Certainly, the search for new alliances should go on. Turkey has to take into consideration not only the problems in the area, but also the possibilities.
The text of the Accession Partnership Document is made up of three parts: politics, economics and institutions. From an institutional point of view Turkey is the only country which has accepted customs union with other candidate countries. Turkey's economy is bigger than that of the others. However, there has to be mutual understanding on political matters. The EU plans to express its political requests in sentences guaranteed not to draw the reaction of the Turkish public. For example, instead of saying 'Kurdish problem' it refers to the same question as 'individual rights' and, despite expressing its close interest in the Southeast, says that differences between regions should be eliminated. This may be regarded as EU efforts to consider Turkey's sensitivities.
Our financial rights are an important aspect ofour relations with the EU which we refrain from bringing to the foreground. Leaving the past aside, the total credits we should have received since the approval of the Customs Union in 1995 amount to one billion dollars. There seems to be no plans in the APD regarding the issue.
One of the sides, a party to the bargaining continuing in Brussels today is Greece. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Greece is working hard to add articles contrary to Turkish interests in the text. Following the announcement of APD the ball will be in Turkey's corner. We have to prepare our plans by the end of the year."
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