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Turkish Press Review, 01-03-30

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

30.03.2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] ECEVIT ON THE NEW ECONOMIC STRATEGY
  • [02] CEM IN THE US
  • [03] DERVIS MEETS FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER
  • [04] GOVERNMENT IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE
  • [05] VURAL'S STATEMENT ON NATIONAL PROGRAMME
  • [06] MIRZAOGLU'S WARNING
  • [07] IZGI ASKS FOR KAZAKHSTAN'S SUPPORT FOR BAKU-CEYHAN
  • [08] GREEK PARLIAMENT RATIFIES AGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY
  • [09] OKKAN ASSASSIN KILLED BY POLICE
  • [10] FP SUPPORTS DERVIS
  • [11] GERMANY DRAWS ATTENTIONS TO PKK
  • [12] IRAN, IRAQ AND KDP SUPPORT PKK
  • [13] ALARM FOR TERRORIST USAME BIN LADIN
  • [14] US PRESIDENT BUSH REPEATS HIS PROMISE FOR THE ARMENIAN BILL
  • [15] TGNA REACTION TO NEWLY FORMING ARMENIAN LOBBIES IN THE US
  • [16] ISTANBUL-ANKARA RAPID TRAIN PROJECT
  • [17] AYTEKIN: "TRANSPORT THROUGH STRAITS WILL CAUSE ENVIROMENTAL POLLUTION"
  • [18] NEW STAGE IN THE SALE OF TURK TELEKOM SALES
  • [19] TUZMEN'S STATEMENT
  • [20] DEADLINE FOR THY BIDDING
  • [21] THREE NEW UNIVERSITIES ESTABLISHED
  • [22] THREE MILLIONS GERMAN TOURISTS EXPECTED THIS YEAR
  • [23] "LANGUAGES YEAR" FESTIVITIES
  • [24] TURKISH DIRECTOR DERVIS ZAIM IN THE US
  • [25] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [26] DEMIREL'S CALL ON THE MIDDLE EAST BY SAMI KOHEN (TURKIYE)
  • [27] WHAT EUROPE SAYS BY ERTUG YASAR (AKSAM)

  • [01] ECEVIT ON THE NEW ECONOMIC STRATEGY

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said many important laws could be enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). Ecevit, stating an economic strategy should be determined, said, "We have to find a national economic strategy, which would be in compliance with both the program to be presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the National Programme to be presented to the European Union (EU). After meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Ecevit delivered statements to the journalists at the Prime Ministry, saying, "I have briefed Sezer on the legislation activities in particular. I believe that by debating the urgent laws before the TGNA, the former speed can be ensured. Today the National Security Council (MGK) and the Supreme Planning Council meetings will be held. In addition, the Economic and Social Council will convene, which is of the utmost importance. The support of the Virtue Party (FP) for the TGNA enactment of fifteen laws is pleasing." /Turkiye/

    [02] CEM IN THE US

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, on an official visit to the US, addressed the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Affairs on Wednesday. The Institute is a leading US think-tank. Cem said Turkey may take some measures to prevent excessive oil tanker traffic passing through the Turkish Straits. Transportation of Kazakh oil to Western markets will obviously mean tankers will have to carry this oil through the Straits, increasing the risk of dangerous accidents and pollution. Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with apopulation of 10 million, is located on the Straits. Mr. Cem is scheduled to meet with key figures of the US Administration, including President Bush's National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, US Vice President, Dick Cheney, Secretary of State, Colin Powell and Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfield. /Turkish News/

    [03] DERVIS MEETS FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER

    State Minister for the Economy, Kemal Dervis met yesterday with French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius. Dervis said he gave information regarding the economic program to the French officials. Dervis also said he wanted to meet with other G-7 Finance Ministers. /Milliyet/

    [04] GOVERNMENT IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE

    The Higher Planning Board(YPK) will convene today under the lead of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Macroeconomic targets, such as inflation and growth rates will be discussed during the meeting. An average exchange rate will be determined for the budget law. A inflation rate around 40-45-50 % and a growth rate of minus 2-2.5% is projected. The additional budget will be the one quarter of the 2001 budget. The former budget deficit estimations of $5.2 billion will rise to $15 billion. /Milliyet/

    [05] VURAL'S STATEMENT ON NATIONAL PROGRAMME

    Speaking after the Interior Coordination and Harmonization meeting, Turkish Secretary General for EU, Volkan Vural, said they aimed to send legal regulations for the short term targets mentioned in the National Programme to the TGNA by the end of the year. He added, "The National programme should not be left on paper." /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] MIRZAOGLU'S WARNING

    State Minister Responsible for Maritime, Ramazan Mirzaoglu, warned that transportation of Kazakh petroleum through the Turkish Straits would negatively affect shipping traffic and world trade. Mirzaoglu said it would be more appropriate to transport the petroleum through the pipeline. Mirzaoglu attended the planting ceremony of 2,000 trees, organized at the garden of the Directorate General of State Meteorological Works yesterday. After planting a tree, he answered journalists' questions saying, "The transportation of Kazakh petroleum through the Turkish Straits will end the trade of all Black Sea countries." /Turkiye/

    [07] IZGI ASKS FOR KAZAKHSTAN'S SUPPORT FOR BAKU-CEYHAN

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi met with his Kazakh counterpart Jarmahan Tuyakbay, and was received by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Izgi addressed the Kazakh Parliament yesterday. In his speech, Izgi asked for continued Kazakh support of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline projects.The pipelines that will create an alternative method of transporting Kazakh oil to world markets. Izgi and the accompanying delegation will travel to Kyrgyzstan April 1. /Turkish Daily News/

    [08] GREEK PARLIAMENT RATIFIES AGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY

    The Greek Parliament has ratified seven agreements with Turkey designed to improve relations between the two traditional rivals, the Greek Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The approved agreements include cooperation in customs; sea transportation; tourism; science and technology; economic cooperation; protection of investments and the environment. The ratification comes ahead of a scheduled trip to Ankara by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou. Discussions during the working visit are expected to include bilateral relations, Turkey's efforts to join the EU, and the recent economic crisis. The agreements were signed during a period of improved relations in 1999, but their ratification was delayed last year following renewed tension between the neighbors. /Turkish News/

    [09] OKKAN ASSASSIN KILLED BY POLICE

    Hizbullah militant Hasan Sariagac, believed to be one of the shooters in the assassination of Diyarbakir Police Chief Gaffar Okkan, and five policemen was killed in a clash in Baglar, Diyarbakir. On a telephone tip from an informer, police forces swooped down on the house where Sariagac was staying. After the clash, one man, three women and five children, who were also in the house with Sariagac, were taken into custody. Issuing a written statement after the operation, Diyarbakir Governor Ahmet Cemil Serhadli said a weapon which was used in Okkan's assassination was seized during the operation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] FP SUPPORTS DERVIS

    Group Deputy Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP), Bulent Arinc, said they would support the enaction of the laws requested by the State Minister Responsible for the Economy, Kemal Dervis, so Turkey can find peace and overcome its economic criris. Arinc held a press conference on behalf of his party at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and mentioned the issue of the TGNA enacting of some laws. He said, "If the enaction of fifteen laws are necessary for the welfare of Turkey, we will support Mr. Dervis as the FP, on behalf of the Turkish nation." /Turkiye/

    [11] GERMANY DRAWS ATTENTIONS TO PKK

    German Federal Interior Affairs Minister Otto Schilly said there is no evidence the PKK terrorist organization has given up violent activities and found a more peaceful method for its struggle. Schilly said the PKK could resume violent activities in Turkey and Europe. He added the decrease in the number of PKK activities in 2000 (791) compared to 1999 (2536) was related to Abdullah Ocalan's capture by the Turkish police forces. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] IRAN, IRAQ AND KDP SUPPORT PKK

    A report on the recent situation in Northern Iraq says the PKK terrorist organization is receiving support from Iran, Iraq and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The report said PKK's control in the region has shifted to the Gara region at the order of Iran. Iraqis train PKK terrorists at the Mahmur Camp to pass into Turkey. The KDP and Iraqis help PKK terrorists move freely between Gara and Musul. /Turkiye/

    [13] ALARM FOR TERRORIST USAME BIN LADIN

    Turkish police forces have taken broad measures against the possibility of terrorist activities perpetrated against US, Israeli and British representatives in Turkey at the order of international Saudi terrorist, Usame bin Ladin. The Directorate General of Security has sent a warning circular to the directorates of all security forces. The circular emphasized a speech by Usame bin Ladin which alluded to taking revenge for the joint American and British air attack to Iraq. Stating that retaliatory attacks could occur in Turkey, the circular demanded special security measures be taken at the US, British and Israeli Embassies, Consulates and residences. Officials from the three countries were informed of the issue and measures being taken. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] US PRESIDENT BUSH REPEATS HIS PROMISE FOR THE ARMENIAN BILL

    US President George W. Bush has repeated his promise to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide. Representatives of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) claimed Bush said, in the letter he wrote in February that he attached importance to his campaign promise. Armenian lobbies have initiated a new campaign demanding Bush keep his promise to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide. House Representative George Radanovich is preparing a new bill on the issue. As Turkish officials are closely following the recent developments, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem , currently in Washington, is expected to convey Turkey's wishes for a continuation of the old US Administration's support for Turkey on the issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] TGNA REACTION TO NEWLY FORMING ARMENIAN LOBBIES IN THE US

    Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Foreign Relations Commission members form a lobby in the US (where the Armenian lobbies were powerful) to prevent attempts to have the so-called Armenian allegations recognized. Commission members will actively lobby before the April 24 Commemoration Day for the so-called Armenian genocide. The delegation chaired by Foreign Relations Commission Chairman Kamran Inan, will arrive in the US April 2. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] ISTANBUL-ANKARA RAPID TRAIN PROJECT

    At long last, bidding for the Istanbul-Ankara rapid train project will be launched April 20. The Project will be largest government project after the GAP. Minister of Transportation, Enis Oksuz, said the train is scheduled to begin running in 2003. The trip would take 135 minutes, and the speed of the trains will be 230 Km/hr. /Turkiye/

    [17] AYTEKIN: "TRANSPORT THROUGH STRAITS WILL CAUSE ENVIROMENTAL POLLUTION"

    Minister of Environment, Fevzi Aytekin, said measures must be taken to prevent the enviromental pollution which may result from the transport of Kazakh oil through the Straits. Stating Turkey must develop a new enviromental policy, the Minister said international agreements prepared long ago should be reviewed. He added, "It should be known, if petroluem tankers cause enviromental pollution then very heavy fines will be levied." /Turkiye/

    [18] NEW STAGE IN THE SALE OF TURK TELEKOM SALES

    Ankara 6th Administrative Court has stopped enforcing the tender requirement for the sale conditions of 33.5% of Turk Telekom Corporation shares. In an action brought by the Central Foundation for Developing Public Management (KIGEM), the Court decided to 'stop the enforcement' on the grounds that 'this was against the law and if carried out, would cause damage, difficult or impossible to eradicate'. /Aksam/

    [19] TUZMEN'S STATEMENT

    Turkey, looking for resources to overcome its economic crisis, requested US support to faciliate contracts, delayed by the United Nations (UN), and to increase the textile quotas. Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Kursat Tuzmen, currently in the US, said issues concerning commercial agreements with Iraq, increasing commercial relations with the US, textile quotas and the Turco-US Free Trade Agreement were discussed during meetings with American commerce officials. Tuzmen held a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, saying, "We have a contract amounting to 650 million US dollars with Iraq. However, one third of the biddings are here in Turkey, whereas the remaining ones are being held up by the UN. Taking the latest economic crisis into consideration, we pointed out the operations were being carried out slowly and demanded the faciliation of these issues." /Aksam/

    [20] DEADLINE FOR THY BIDDING

    Today is the deadline for all proposals in the bidding opened to privatize Turkish Airlines (THY). The Administration of the Privatization Board (OIB) invited tenders with announcements from 14.12.2000 for the privatization of the THY. /Turkiye/

    [21] THREE NEW UNIVERSITIES ESTABLISHED

    The TGNA adopted a law for the establishment of three foundation universities, Yasar University, Izmir Economy University and Istanbul Trade University. Also, the TGNA empowered the government to open, merge and close faculties, institutes and senior high schools. /Star/

    [22] THREE MILLIONS GERMAN TOURISTS EXPECTED THIS YEAR

    It is estimated that the number of German tourists visiting Turkey will increase by 27 % and reach three million. Turkish Research Center Chairman, Faruk Sen, said the Turkish tourism sector will improve significantly with the contribution of the EU funds. Sen added, "According to the research, 85 % of the German population have not yet visited Turkey. This is a great potential market." /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] "LANGUAGES YEAR" FESTIVITIES

    Turkey is preparing for celebrations to mark the "European Languages Year" announced by the European Council to stress the importance of foreign languages. A national committee has been established to coordinate ceremonies, including representatives from the Foreign Ministry, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), the Turkish Language Association (TDK), and universities. The celebration will be held across Europe between May 5-11. /Turkish News/

    [24] TURKISH DIRECTOR DERVIS ZAIM IN THE US

    Director Dervis Zaim will deliver a speech at a conference titled "Mediterranean Representation Policies in the Post-Colonial Period" chaired by famous theorist, Frederic Jameson, at American Duke University April 5. Dervis will present his bulletin titled, "Remake of 'Psycho': Mimicry and Turkish Cinema". His first film "Somersault in a Coffin" will be screened at the Mediterranean Cinema and Photography conference. His second film 'Elephant and Grass' will also be released at various festivals in the US. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [26] DEMIREL'S CALL ON THE MIDDLE EAST BY SAMI KOHEN (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on former President Suleyman Demirel's call to both sides regarding the Middle East issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Former President Suleyman Demirel a member of the international commission formed to investigate the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, advised both sides to talk over the matters between themselves. He suggested the parties discuss the security problems and take a step forward to begin negotiations.

    Demirel expressed his deep concern over the escalating clashes saying the Middle East peace procee was at its most fragile point. Peace concerns not only both sides in the conflict, but everyone in the immediate region, and close neighbours such as Turkey. If the violence continues and the situation deteriorates it could spill over the borders. This in turn would result in new developments in the region. Will the escalating clashes in the Middle East result in an all out war in the region?

    Demirel believes that terrorist and fundamentalist movements would cross the borders of the neighbouring countries rather than risk an outbreak of all out war. Therefore, he suggests both sides end the violence.

    The duty of the international group, known as the 'Mitchell Commission' was formed at the initiative of the US and the UN. The group isrestricted to investigating the causes of the present clashes and finding ways to end them. It does not have a mediating mission. However, as a leader who has followed these incidents for 35 years, Demirel is expressing his opinions to both sides, saying that the peace is at a very fragile point. Therefore, negotiations must be started promptly. At present, security issues could be discussed. Demirel has said that there won't be security without peace.

    Demirel can speak to both Arafat and to Israeli leaders more frankly than other commission members. However, the lack of trust between the two sides has reached such a point that no one can break out of the vicious circle. Is there any other way to stop the violence? Can sending an international observer group to the region bring any results? The group does not have the authority to make such a suggestion. An idea,not accepted by both parties, cannot be proposed. However, Demirel is repeating what he has said during his recent contacts: take the initiatives and talk over the measures which would end the violence. Only then can the peace process begin.

    There is no other way to prevent the spread of violence and end clashes which reached dramatic dimensions. However, at present there is no accord in sight which can ensure a cease-fire."

    [27] WHAT EUROPE SAYS BY ERTUG YASAR (AKSAM)

    Columnist Ertug Yasar writes on the National Programme prepared for the EU. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "In Turkey, where the agenda changes swiftly, the National Programme prepared for the EU is almost forgotten. However, a document titled 'National Programme for Harmonization with Community Acquis' presented to the EU officials is seen as the starting point for the structural reforms required for Turkey to become a modern democracy. The EU Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, has described the programme as such. Europe is attaching great importance to this document, which we seem to have forgotten. Our European friends see this programme as the first condition for EU membership bringing reforms to Turkish political life.

    It may be recalled that Turkey has had a long EU membership adventure beginning in 1959. Disregarding any developments since then, the most important date for Turkey is December 1999 when her candidacy status was recognized at an EU Summit. Turkey's candidacy came at a time when countries like the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia were almost ready for full EU membership.

    The problems between Turkey and the EU can be summarized under five points: respect for human rights, respect for minority rights, issues between Turkey and Greece, Cyprus, and the functions of the military in political life. The National Programme was not expected to bring any novel solutions to the problems with Greece and the Cyprus issue. However, there were certain anticipations on human rights, minority rights and the functions of the military in political life.

    The first reaction by EU circles was disappointment- they did not see their expectations come true. We believe Turkey is losing another historical chance and this will delay our membership beyond 2010."


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