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Turkish Press Review, 01-03-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

20.03.2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATIONAL PROGRAM ANNOUNCED
  • [02] ANKARA'S COMMITMENTS
  • [03] CEM: "OUR AIM IS TO HOLD NEGOTIATIONS IN 2003"
  • [04] EU COMMISSION PLEASED WITH TURKEY
  • [05] G-7 WELCOMES THE NATIONAL PROGRAM
  • [06] NATIONAL PROGRAM COSTS EURO 15 BILLION
  • [07] FIVE DRAFT LAWS TO BE ENACTED
  • [08] MACEDONIAN IMMIGRANTS TO COME TO TURKEY
  • [09] WOMEN VISIT PARLIAMENT FOR EQUAL SHARE OF ASSETS
  • [10] KIVRIKOGLU VISITS BANGLADESH
  • [11] TANTAN AND HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART DECIDE TO COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER
  • [12] GEN. BUCSE IN TURKEY
  • [13] TURKEY INFORMS CHINA ON CYPRUS
  • [14] GUL IN ISRAEL
  • [15] PROF. ERDAL INONU IN BERLIN
  • [16] ENERGY MEETING HELD IN ANKARA
  • [17] ERSUMER: PEACE AND HARMONY MUST RULE IN ENERGY SECTOR
  • [18] SHEVARDNADZE: "SAHDENIZ AGGREMENT IS A GREAT VICTORY"
  • [19] DERVIS' STATEMENT CONCERNING THE NEW ECONOMIC PROGRAM
  • [20] FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH IMF FOR $6.2 BILLION CREDIT
  • [21] PROMISE FOR STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE WORLD BANK
  • [22] TREASURY'S CRITICAL DAYS
  • [23] TURKISH TRADE DELEGATION RETURNS FROM JORDAN
  • [24] BUSINESSMEN SUPPORT ECONOMIC PROGRAM
  • [25] MUMCU'S TOURISM PROJECT
  • [26] KOSGEB'S TOUR TO GREECE
  • [27] ISTANBUL PREPARES TO HOST 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES
  • [28] TURKS PREPARE FOR OLDEST-KNOWN FESTIVAL
  • [29] MEDIUM TERM GOALS DOMINATE PROGRAM BY ILNUR CEVIK (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)

  • [01] NATIONAL PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

    The Turkish government approved the National Program (NP) during the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday. It was stated that compromise was made from the disagreements before due to the economic profits that Turkey will have if she becomes a member of the European Union (EU). During the meeting, in which there was no disagreement, the program was decided to be presented to the EU because of the problems that might occur during the translation. The NP was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for the relations with the EU, Mesut Yilmaz. Yilmaz said, "The announcement of this program proves the government's determination concerning Turkey's membership in the EU. /All papers/

    [02] ANKARA'S COMMITMENTS

    In the program, it was stated that the efforts will be made to solve the problems through dialogue. The following was written concerning the problem of Aegean and Cyprus: "Within the framework of her peaceful foreign policy, Turkey will continue her initiatives to solve her problems with Greece through dialogue. Turkey will continue to support the efforts of the United Nations (UN) so that a new cooperation will be established within the context of a solution that is acceptable and dependent upon the truths about the island and the sovereign equality of the parties in Cyprus. In the program, it was also stated that the 'Constitution and the Other Concerned Laws' would be changed within the framework of the harmonization with the EU. It was further stated that the issue of the structure and the function of the National Security Council (NSC) would be reviewed in the middle term. In the chapter titled 'Custody Before the Trial' under the title of the 'Political Criteria', the following precautions are expected to be taken: "Reviewing Article 19_6 of the Constitution", "Enacting the New Criminal Trial Procedure Law", "Changing the State Security Court Law'. In the National Program's 'Political Criteria' chapter, under the subtitle of the 'Removal of the Capital Punishment', it is pointed out that according to the Constitution, it is within the exclusive authority of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to decide whether to carry out death sentences that were given in the past. The issue of Kurdish language education did not take place in the National Program openly. /Aksam/

    [03] CEM: "OUR AIM IS TO HOLD NEGOTIATIONS IN 2003"

    In his evaluation speech on the declaration of the National Program, which is a milestone of Turkey's accession period to the EU, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said "Everything depends on us by now. Our aim is to begin holding negotiations in 2003." Cem added, "The National Program is a detailed work since it includes many issues regulating social life in Turkey. The Foreign Ministry will explain the details of the program to the EU countries this week. It does not matter if the EU finds the program sufficient or not. It's very important that we have a set target. There are certain sensitive issues such as the abolition of capital punishment, the NSC (National Security Council), and the Kurdish issue. There are ongoing legal works about the abolishment of capital punishment. As far as the NSC is concerned, I believe the increase in the numbers of the civilians in the NSC will be a change in the vision of Turkey because the political structure should be first strengthened in Turkey. The official language of the Republic of Turkey is Turkish, so there is not any statement in the National Program concerning the Kurdish issue. Additionally, the Cyprus issue should be handled separately. >From now on, everything is in our hands. We will decide what to do and how to do. The point is to complete our preparations before 2003." /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] EU COMMISSION PLEASED WITH TURKEY

    Spokesman of the European Union (EU) Commission, Christophe Flori, said they were pleased the National Program was accepted. Flori said, "We have not received the document, but we expect the document to be sent to the Commission officially by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, next week. The Commission will examine the National Program comparatively. It will be compared with the Accession Partnership Document, which was presented by the EU, and then a detailed explanation will be made concerning the issue". /Sabah/

    [05] G-7 WELCOMES THE NATIONAL PROGRAM

    Ministers of Finance of the developed G-7 countries, declared they welcome the approval of the National Program by the Turkish Government. A statement issued said, "G-7 countries welcomed the declaration of the National program which includes powerful economic reforms for the revival of the Turkish economy. To regain the trust and cooperation with private sector is important. We continue to support those kinds of efforts." /Turkiye/

    [06] NATIONAL PROGRAM COSTS EURO 15 BILLION

    Secretary General for the European Union, Volkan Vural, said Turkey needed Euro 15 billion to be able to implement the reforms which were foreseen in the National Program. Vural said the EU will give financial support amounting Euro 4.5 billion to Turkey. According to the information from the Secretariat General of the European Union, Euro 1 billion 403 million will be granted to and a credit amounting Euro 170 million will be given to Turkey between 2001-2006. Turkey will also receive Euro 890 million within the framework of the MEDA 2 and be granted Euro 150 million within the special cooperation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] FIVE DRAFT LAWS TO BE ENACTED

    The government is planning to enact five draft laws within the 'Urgent Precautions Package'. Some of the changes to be made are as follows: Turk Telekom, 33.5% of which was planning to be privatized previously, is now planning to be privatized with the average of 51%. Turkish Airlines (THY) will be professional with the change that will made in the Civilian Aviation Law. THY will determine the prices of its tickets. The Treasury will have a healthy structure. The Central Bank Law will be harmonized with the European Union (EU). The changes to be made in the Banking Law include strict control decisions. The new control mechanisms will be implemented concerning the use of loans and off-shore banks. /Sabah/

    [08] MACEDONIAN IMMIGRANTS TO COME TO TURKEY

    The clashes between the Albanian guerillas and the Macedonian security forces has caused some civilians to immigrate to other countries, including Turkey. Bulgarian border authorities stated approximately 2,000 Macedonian women and children are on their way to Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [09] WOMEN VISIT PARLIAMENT FOR EQUAL SHARE OF ASSETS

    A 10 member committee formed by the representatives of various women's associations visited Parliamentary Justice Commission members yesterday in an effort to convince them of the need for an equal share of the assets made during marriage in case of a divorce. Union of Turkish Women Chairwoman Sema Kendirci said only 8.5 percent of Turkish women have assets of their own and the rights of women should be carefully protected. She said 90 % of Turkish women cannot protect their own rights and they will apply a vote boycott to female deputies who do not defend women's rights in the Parliament. /Turkish Daily News/

    [10] KIVRIKOGLU VISITS BANGLADESH

    The Chief of the General Staff, Huseyin Kivrikoglu began a six-day South East Asian tour. Yesterday Kivrikoglu visited the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina. Hasina reiterated strong admiration for the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Kivrikoglu also met with the Commander of the Bangladesh Land Forces, Harun-Ur Reshid. /Milliyet/

    [11] TANTAN AND HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART DECIDE TO COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER

    Turkish Minister of the Interior, Sadettin Tantan, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Rusaylo, had a phone conversation yesterday concerning the Russian plane that was hijacked. The two Ministers sent their condolences to one other for those who died during the action and decided to cooperate with each other so that the hijack will be investigated and a similar incident will not occur again. /Sabah/

    [12] GEN. BUCSE IN TURKEY

    Romanian Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Gheorghe Bucse, in Turkey to pay an official visit, met with Air Force Commander General Ergin Celasin. Following the meeting, Gen. Celasin said Turkey has been cooperating with the Romanian Air Force Command since 1992. Stressing that they want to improve mutual cooperation with Turkey, Gen. Busce said, "We desire to be a NATO member and want to benefit from Turkey's experience." /Turkiye/

    [13] TURKEY INFORMS CHINA ON CYPRUS

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Yigit Alpogan who has been in China on an official visit, asked Chinese officials to support Turkey's policy on Cyprus. The visit is being carried out within the scope of the Turkish-Chinese Action Plan signed between the two countries during Chinese Foreign Minister Jang Jiaxuan's visit to Turkey last year. Diplomatic sources in Beijing said the meeting was very efficient and they had taken information about Cyprus. /Turkish Daily News/

    [14] GUL IN ISRAEL

    A Virtue Party deputy and also a member of the "Council of European Parliamentarians Assembly's Middle East Committee", Abdullah Gul, left for Israel to hold meetings related to the Mideast Peace Negotiations. /Turkiye/

    [15] PROF. ERDAL INONU IN BERLIN

    Prof. Erdal Inonu, currently in Dortmund, Germany, traveled to Berlin as a guest of the Berlin Kemalist Thought Association. Inonu stated in his speech to reporters that he did not want to take part in a newly emerging party. He added, "They want me to lead this new political initiative. However, I simply want to write my thoughts. I will not take part in a new political party." /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] ENERGY MEETING HELD IN ANKARA

    The Strategic Technic Economic Research Center organized an "Energy Arena" meeting in Ankara yesterday. Delivering a speech in the meeting, former President Suleyman Demirel said Turkey has no other alternative but to participate in world markets. He added, "Since EU countries applications are better than ours, we have to adopt ourselves to them." Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer said not fighting, but peace should be dominant in the energy sector. European Union representative for Turkey, Ambassador Karen Fogg, also attended the meeting. /Turkiye/

    [17] ERSUMER: PEACE AND HARMONY MUST RULE IN ENERGY SECTOR

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said that peace and cooperation were essential to solving Turkey's energy problems. A discussion forum was held by the Strategic Technical Economic Research Center (STEAM) at the Ankara Hilton yesterday, at which Ersumer stressed that war and fighting had dominated the search for energy in the 20th century, but that this would give way to cooperation and peace in the 21st. The minister went on to say that Turkey's new role is to be a bridge to deliver Caspian and Middle Eastern oil and natural gas to western markets. Important steps have been taken to transport Egyptian natural gas through the Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to Turkey under a recent agreement with Syria, he added. /Turkish News/

    [18] SHEVARDNADZE: "SAHDENIZ AGGREMENT IS A GREAT VICTORY"

    Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze evaluated the Sahdeniz natural gas agreement signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan as a "great victory". In a statement, Shevardnadze said the agreement which foresees Azeri natural gas transport through Georgia has a strategic importance for his country. Stressing that the natural gas exported to Turkey will be a remedy for Georgia's energy shortage, Shevardnadze added, "The project in question will be as useful as the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project." /Turkiye/

    [19] DERVIS' STATEMENT CONCERNING THE NEW ECONOMIC PROGRAM

    The State Minister responsible for the economy, Kemal Dervis, gave detailed information on the new economic program and said, "The urgent legal measures are the conditions needed so the economic program can be succesful. The urgent precautions package will be implemented immediately by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers. The situation of the social group, which is affected by the crisis most, will be particularly examined and the social support programs, which will be established for this group, will be supported by international resources. The problems of the banking sector do not show that all the banks have an unhealthy structure. The banks were not well controled in the past. We are determined that another gap does not occur. The inflation rate will be high during the following months. However, we will defeat inflation, which has been making the economy worse. The inflation rate will decrease to 2% monthly at the end of this year. We are also determined to decrease the inflation rate under 20%. It is estimated that the economy will grow again at the end of summer. This U turn was observed in countries such as Brazil, Mexico and South Korea that experienced a similar crisis. The price policy in the public sector will be determined without causing employment loss. In addition, privatization is among our prioritized targets. Our preparations concerning the arrangements in the urgent precautions package continue. Some of them will be ready to be presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly next week". /Sabah/

    [20] FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH IMF FOR $6.2 BILLION CREDIT

    Turkey and the IMF came to terms with the conditions of the framework agreement for the release of $6.2 billion IMF credit. According to the agreement, the banking sector will be strengthened and urgent measures will be taken for the restructuring of the state-owned banks. Inflation will rise temporarily, but will be decreased monthly to 2 % by the end of the year. Gross National Income minus interests will be kept at 4 % and for the public sector it will be 3.6%. The economy will shrink 2 % in 2001. Legal bases will be concluded for the privatization. If market conditions are suitable, the majority share of Telekom will be prepared for the sale. Turkey will receive the $6.2 billion portion of the existing stand-by credit which has not yet been drawn. IMF European Director Michael Deppler, suggested the credit be used to support the budget. /Milliyet/

    [21] PROMISE FOR STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE WORLD BANK

    World Bank Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Nicholas Stern said they give full support to the economic program prepared by State Minister for the Economy, Kemal Dervis. Stern said, "We believe this program facilitates the recovery from the crisis. The World Bank will give strong support." /Milliyet/

    [22] TREASURY'S CRITICAL DAYS

    Treasury has decided to borrow in the range of TL 2.5-3.5 quadrillion through three-month bills today ahead of a TL 3.3 quadrillion redemption on Wednesday. The Treasury said it would hold the auction on the basis of a single pricing system where eligible bidders will buy the bills at the highest interest rate quotation accepted by the Treasury, regardless of the interest rate they offer. Markets have viewed today's borrowing as critical. Market participants commented favorably about the term of the auction and the single pricing system, although that would mean the Treasury tolerating a relatively expensive rollover. /Turkish Daily News/

    [23] TURKISH TRADE DELEGATION RETURNS FROM JORDAN

    A Turkish trade delegation which visited Baghdad and Jordan returned to Turkey yesterday. Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen said that he thought Turkey was on the verge of signing a $50-$60 million trade agreement with Jordan. The visit, which was organized by the Uludag Exporters' Association and the foreign trade undersecretary, ended with good results, according to Tuzmen. He stated that Turkey and Jordan had negotiated on such topics as industrial policy, trade, agriculture, water and transportation. Undersecretary Tuzmen said that there were opportunities for Turkey in the construction business and that Jordan's current condition reminded him of Turkey in the 1980s. /Turkish News/

    [24] BUSINESSMEN SUPPORT ECONOMIC PROGRAM

    The representatives of the private sector, the heads of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) and the Turkish Employers' Union Confederation (TISK) came together and agreed to continue their support for the economic program. They also requested the government and opposition political parties fully and openly support the program. /Milliyet/

    [25] MUMCU'S TOURISM PROJECT

    Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu, visited Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and gave him information on the new projects. Mumcu said an income of 40 billion US dollars was targeted to be reached with four new projects. Meanwhile, Ecevit said he would bring this issue to the agenda during the leaders' summit. /Sabah/

    [26] KOSGEB'S TOUR TO GREECE

    The Chairmanship for Administration of Development of and Support to Small and Medium Scale Industries (KOSGEB), Gaziantep Director Sedat Karsli, said KOSGEB would organize a tour to Greece within the framework of its tours abroad. Karsli stated KOSGEB would support half of the costs of the Small and Medium-scale enterprises (KOBIs) which will attend the tour. /Cumhuriyet/

    [27] ISTANBUL PREPARES TO HOST 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES

    Istanbul is preparing for a very important test to host the 2008 Olympic Games. A delegation of 17 people will evaluate the city on 20-25 March to examine the report presented to the International Olympics Committee by Istanbul. Numerous preparations have been made so the delegation can work comfortably. The commission will be welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. Yilmaz will be accompanied by Fikret Unlu, Governor of Istanbul, Erol Cakir and the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Ali Mufit Gurtuna. /Sabah/

    [28] TURKS PREPARE FOR OLDEST-KNOWN FESTIVAL

    Nevruz, the oldest-known festival in the world, observed for more than 5,000 years at the beginning of every spring, will be observed this year again on March 21 by all the Turkish and Turkish speaking communities living throughout the world. As part of the festivities, a group of students, on invitation from the Culture Ministry, visited Ataturk's Mausoleum (Anitkabir) in Ankara on Monday. The 30 students from 15 provinces throughout the country said that it was their first visit to the Mausoleum. The students arrived in Ankara on Sunday and will be taken to various plays, concerts and be shown around Ankara by Culture Ministry officials. /Turkish News/

    FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [29] MEDIUM TERM GOALS DOMINATE PROGRAM BY ILNUR CEVIK (TURKISH DAILY NEWS)

    The long waited National Program is out and Turkey has set a vague course towards achieving democratic standards that exist in other civilized countries... Most of the democratic norms that are enjoyed by European Union citizens are to be achieved in the medium term according to the program. This is the only normal view of the social, economic and political complications we are facing in our country as the forces of progress and change struggle with those who want to main the status quo. The fact that those who want to maintain the status quo are firmly entrenched in the state apparatus forces those who want speedy progress to be cautious. Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has said medium term means five years. Many of the real reforms seem to be spread over the years and are rather vague. If this had been a democratization program prepared by Turkey not for EU membership but simply because the country wanted to democratize to catch up with the civilized world the national program announced on Monday would have been more meaningful. But even in this state that fact Turkey acknowledges it has defects and that it wants to improve this situation is significant.
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