|Monday, 17 December 2018|
Turkish Press Review, 00-11-10
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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...
 TURKEY COMMEMORATES ATATURKThe founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, will be commemorated today on the 62th anniversary of his death. Thousands of people will visit Ataturk's Mausoleum and pay their respects. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, in his message to the nation, said Ataturk's most important victory was to create a modern state from a defeated empire. Mr. Sezer said, "Ataturk is one of the greatest world leaders throughout history. He was an exemplary leader respected by all people for his intelligence, compassion, consideration and democratic personality. Commenting on the decleration of the most important turning point in history, Sezer noted that it is the mission of all Turkish people to work for the secular, democratic and modern republic that was Ataturk's gift. State officials, led by Sezer, will visit Anitkabir, Ataturk's Mausoleum to lay a wreath at his tomb in honor of the occasion. Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the Chief of General Staff and Force Commanders, Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahceli, Mesut Yilmaz and Husamettin Ozkan, the political party leaders, presidents of higher Courts, bureaucrats, deputies and foreign dignitaries are expected to attend the ceremony. /All papers/
 COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETINGThe Council of Ministers discussed the accession partnership document during yesterday's meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. After the meeting, Minister of State Sukru Sina Gurel said, "The Cyprus issue, included in the objectives of the accession partnership document, is a preeminent concern for both sides of the island. Turkey will continue to follow the Helsinki decisions. Considering Cyprus and the accession partnership document as two different issues, Turkey will evaluate the document in light of these decisions. Additionally, the Turkish government will continue comprehensive social, economic and political reforms. It is clear that issues related to human rights and democratization, mentioned in the accession partnership document, are taken up in accordance with the Report of the Human Rights Coordinator High Council, appropriated by the Turkish government as a reference. It is important for us to maintain harmony between Turkey and the EU in basic objectives and principles. The differences should not be considered "problems". We expect the EU to fullfil its responsibilities as soon as possible so the accession partnership document can be put into effect immediately. /Sabah/
 YILMAZ: "NO TURNING BACK IN THE ACCESSION PERIOD"Stating Turkey has entered a point in its relations with the EU from which there would be no turning back, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said, "This period will continue to its end. We can no longer go back." Replying to a question from a TV channel on whether Turkey accepted the accession partnership document, Mr. Yilmaz said, "Whether Turkey approves the document or not is of no concern as it is an EU document. The important thing here is the national plan which will take the accession partnership document into consideration when it is drwan up." /Sabah/
 NO PROBABILITY OF CHANGE IN THE ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENTEU Commission Turkey Representative, Karen Fogg said the statements in the document regarding Cyprus are not "conditions", but rather "priorities". Ambassador Fogg said it is less likely that a change would be made in the points of the document. Responding to a question on the probability of including the word "Kurd" in the document, Ms.Fogg said, "All groups living in Turkey should enjoy the freedom of expression, education, TV and press in their own language." /Aksam/
 ATHENS SATISFIED WITH ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENTSpokesman for the Greek government Dimitri Reppas said, "The accession partnership document does not concern Turko-Greek relations. It is a part of Turkey-EU relations. The document's declaration is a positive development for Turkey. As the Cyprus issue has always been a matter of concern for Turkey-EU relations, it must be included in the accession partnership document." /Milliyet/
 SIMITIS' STATEMENT ON TURKEY'S FULL EU MEMBERSHIPGreek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, currently in Italy on an official visit, said in the joint press conference held after meeting with his Italian counterpart Guiliano Amato, "We have always supported Turkey's full EU membership. However, there are certain international requirements which Turkey must meet." Stating he has always supported the UN's policies on Cyprus, Mr. Simitis said, "As far as the Cyprus issue is concerned, we expect Turkey to pursue policies in accordance with UN decisions. That is necessary for attaining a solution in the region." /Cumhuriyet/
 BUSINESS CIRCLES EVALUATE ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENTEvaluating the accession partnership document prepared by the EU, the Turkish business world emphasized the importance of the EU' further steps as well as those of Turkey. Turkish businessmen said Turkey has already shown stability on the path towards the EU. They stated the text of the accession partnership document should be clearly explained to the public. Stating that Cyprus and minority issues should not be considered obstacles for Turkey, representatives of the private sector said they believe these issues should be solved through dialogues and realistic approaches. They also emphasized the private sector's continual support for Turkish bureaucracy and diplomacy. /Sabah/
 NO CONCESSION FOR CYPRUSForeign Minister Ismail Cem, in Strasbourg to participate in the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers meeting, reacted harsly to the addition of the Cyprus issue into the short term solution package of the Accession Partnership Document (APD). Stressing the section which includes the Cyprus issue would not help solve the problem, Mr. Cem emphasized that Turkey would not change its Cyprus policy. Affirming the document in general, he said the government would work hard to develop individual rights and freedoms within the framework of the Constitution. Meanwhile, meeting with his French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine at a dinner yesterday, Ismail Cem conveyed Turkey's concern over the acceptance of a so-called Armenian genocide bill the day before in the French Senate. Mr. Cem expressed his view that if enacted, the bill will damage Turco-French relations. Mr. Vedrine said that French government was also against the bill and they expected the bilateral relations not to be badly affected. /Turkiye/
 ANNAN PRESENTS A DOCUMENT TO PARTIES IN CYPRUS PROXIMITY TALKSSecretary General of UN, Kofi Annan presented a non-binding paper to the parties at the fifth round of the Cyprus proximity talks in Geneva. Greek-Cypriots leaked the details of Annan's paper to the press, despite warnings by Annan that the press should not be informed about the details of the talks. Both the UN and Turkish Cypriots are uneasy due to this development. The paper is non-binding and does not mention federation or confederation. The paper says the political equality of the two parties should be openly recognized, but only one sovereign state should be established on the island. Greek-Cypriots and Greece seem to be content with the non-paper. According to the news on the Greek-Cypriots' radio, a single, indivisible state is the aim of the paper. This state would have one international identity and citizenship. Two societies will actively participate in the central goverment. /Aksam/
 LEADERS AGREE ON AMNESTYAfter the Council of Ministers meeting yesterday, the coalition partners discussed the "amnesty" topic. During the one-and half-hour meeting, leaders of the parties forming the 57th government compromised on the content of the amnesty. Accordingly, inmates convicted of gang crimes will be not forgiven. The leaders reportedly took up Necmettin Erbakan's situation, the leader of the banned Welfare Party. They decided to make the necessary amendments in the law to prevent Erbakan from going to prison in January 2001. /Turkiye/
 SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL IN ITALYThe Italian Parliamentary leader of the Northern Union Party, Giancarlo Pagliarini demanded a bill regarding the so-called Armenian genocide be put on the EU agenda.Three bills regarding the so-called Armenian genocide submitted to the Italian parliament will be discussed Nov.13-17. /Aksam/
 AZERBAIJAN'S COUNCIL OF EUROPE MEMBERSHIPTurkey prevented full membership for Armenia in the Council of Europe without Azerbaijan. During the Council of Europe Ministers meeting, the full membership of both Azerbaijan and Armenia was legally accepted. However, accession ceremonies were put off. The Council did not want Azerbaijan accepted as a full member due to alleged unfair voting practices, while letting Armenia become a full member. In addition to Turkey, a group of countries defended the view either both countries become members at the same time or neither of them do. Finally, an intermediate formula was found, and both countries legally accepted as full members. In reality however, their full membership has been suspended for a time. /Turkiye/
 NEW LAND SERVICE COMPANYSix European Airport Land Service companies including the "Celebi Joint Company" from Turkey, came together and formed a new marketing company, "Aviance" based in Londra. The speaker of the company Peter O'Boyle said, "We combined our powers to serve in 34 airports in seven countries. Our target is to mainly serve Europe than other continents." The founder companies of the "Aviance" are Alyzia (France), GHI (Britain), Euro Handling (Spain), Celebi (Turkiye), Jet Aviation (Switzerland), Laufer Aviation (Israel). /Hurriyet/
 GERMANY SUPPORTS TURKISH STUDENTS AND ACADEMICIANSAt the Istanbul University German Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) has showcased the opportunities it provides for students and academicians wishing to be educated in Germany. Posters, by 10 non-governmental organizations which are members of the IFA, were placed in the university campus in order to promote the student exchange program. The exhibition will continue for four weeks. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY TO PURCHASE A SEISMIC RESEARCH SHIPState Minister Edip Safter Gaydali said an international bid will be organized to buy a seismic research ship. Mr. Gaydali said $25 million for the purchase of the ship will be paid with foreign credits. /Aksam/
 DEMIRALP-COTTARELLI PRESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD NEXT WEEKTreasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said a press conference might be held with IMF's Chief of Turkey Desk Carlo Cottarelli, next week. Stating the issues had only been partially discussed thus far, Mr. Demiralp said, "We will discuss the issues completely after today. The meeting's agenda consists of a wide range of issues as 2000 and 2001 are discussed together." /Sabah/
 BUDGET DEFICIT REDUCESThe positive effects of the Turkish government's current economic program, implemented with the IMF on public finance, are clearly observed when the 1999-2000 and 2001 budgets are compared in US dollars. While expenditures will decrease by 17 %, revenues will increase by 6 % and the budget deficit will be reduced by 70 % in the 2001 budget. /Sabah/
 BILL ON PRIVATIZATION OF STATE BANKS APPROVEDThe bill on privatizating state banks was approved in the TGNA Planning and Budgetary Commission yesterday. The bill is an IMF prerequisite contained in the additional letter of intent and necessary for the World Bank's financial sector adjustment credit. It foresses the privatization of three state banks in three years. Minister of State Recep Onal said, "The objective is the total withdrawal of the state from the financial sector." /Sabah/
 ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC AWARDS BY TUBITAK AND TUBAThe Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey(TUBITAK) and the Turkish Academy of Sciences(TUBA) "Year 2000 Science, Service and Encouragement Awards" were presented yesterday. Scientists received their plaques from President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The ceremony was held for the awards in TUBITAK's Feza Gursey conference hall. In his speech Mr.Sezer stated Turkey should rise become a country producing and selling its own technology instead of buying it from others. Mr.Sezer stated the awards, to recognize the distinguished research, effort and contribution of Turkish scientists and to announce their achievements to the public, were of great importance to Turkey. Prof. Emel Arinc, Ozer Bekaroglu, Erhan Piskin and Gazi Yasargil received TUBITAK's science awards. Prof. Nermi Uygur, Prof Ramazan Gencay and Associate Prof.Tayfun Sonmez received TUBA's awards. Those who received awards were also given varying monetary prizes. /Turkish Daily News/
 AWARD FOR SABANCITurkish businessmen Sakip Sabanci will be awarded by the Paris Anatolia Culture Center with an Honoury Award, thanks to his Golden Letters Exhibition in Paris. In the ceremony, to be held today, Culture Minister Istemihan Talay and Inan Kirac will also receive awards. Additionally, the Legion d'Honeur, a French honorary medal will be presented to Sabanci for his efforts to develop Turco-French relations in following days. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ANKARA'S VIEWPOINT BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Ankara's views concerning the EU's Accession Partnership Document announced yesterday. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Ankara is pleased that Turkey has set out on the road to Europe, even though it does not completely agree with the 'road map' drawn up. Does the 'road map', drawn up by Europe, show an obligatory direction? Ankara does not believe so. Although they are not called conditions, the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have important reservations on two points. The first is the Cyprus issue. The second is the request for education and dissemination in Kurdish which is not openly expressed in the document. Neither are the 'cultural rights' sometimes called 'minority rights' or 'individual rights' mentioned openly.
Ankara's stance on these two issues was pointed out in the Foreign Ministry statement and dominated discussion at the Council of Ministers held yesterday. The statement says Turkey cannot accept a link between the Cyprus issue and the European Union. Furthermore, individual rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution.
Ankara is basing its message to Europe regarding the ADP on the Helsinki Declaration and the Lipponen letter. These texts do not use Cyprus as a pre-condition for the EU membership. The issue is a problem between the Greek-Cypriot Administration and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. On the question of 'rights' Ankara stated thatthe Turkish Republic is founded on equal citizenship and individual rights. It stipulates that rights and freedoms should be improved on an individiual basis and does not accept the approach for the rights of a group or minority. It is not possible for Turkey to accept demands which would contradict its unitary structure. Turkey does not accept ethnic or religious discrimination because 'equal citizenship' is granted to everyone.
Ankara's sensitivity on these two issues are valid. It seems these sensitivities will continue during the process for full EU membership. Therefore, as moving towards its goal of entering the EU, Ankara will determine the road to follow itself by taking the contidions and realities into consideration. It is out of the question to follow exactly the 'road map' drawn up by the EU.
The National Program to be prepared will be based on this framework."
 IS THE ISSUE CYPRUS? BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)Columnist Semih Idiz writes on the interpretation of the Accession Partnership Document. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Did the EU scored a last minute goal on Turkey? Because the Cyprus issue was included among the short-term goals in the Accession Partnership Document, it is seen as such. Concern over the issue does not stem from the style used in the APD on the problem, rather, the location of the Cyprus problem in the document.
In fact, Ankara did not want Cyprus mentioned at all in the document. However, we must understand by now that in relations with the EU this is not possible. The Cyprus question was brought to the agenda during the Customs Union negotiations in Helsinki and is now a part of the APD. Turkey cannot prtend it doesn't exist, but can say, 'You may bring up the issue but I refuse to talk about it.' Let's have a look at what the EU Document says: The APD requests the UN Secretary General's efforts concerning the Cyprus question to be supported. This is no imposition. It leaves the issue where it already is. What is the Turkish side doing at the moment? It is supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary General. No one following these negotiations can say otherwise. At the moment, the party which is acting like a spoilt child, believing that Turkish side is being favoured, is the Greek-Cypriot side. It is the Greek-Cypriot side which is furious with UN due to its recognition of equal status and listening to the idea of 'confederation'. As Turkey is showing the necessary efforts why should it be offended? Instead of being offended, would not it be more correct to say,'You are mistaken. We are doing our utmost to help the UN.' The Cyprus question is not the issue in the APD. There are other matters however, which require attention. Issues such as freedom of expression, minority rights, and the reform in the National Security Council are not related to any issue, but it is clear what the APD means to say.
The EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen openly discussed Kurdish rights, the insufficient improvement on human rights issues and decreasing the political role of the Armed Forces. In other words, all sensitive topics by name. We have to consider these points thoroughly. Turkey has to prepare its program for full EU membership. It seems this will be a reform program which will be hard to swallow by certain circles in our establishment. Prior to the announcement of the APD, high-ranking diplomats said Europe had entered a dynamic atmosphere, with new developments coming one after another, following the stagnant climate of the 1980s. They believed Turkey could not make headway with old arguments in a dynamic Europe. In short, we are on the eve of important decisions."
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