|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-04-24
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> <_map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 APRIL 23 CHILDREN'S DAY CELEBRATEDThe April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day was celebrated yesterday throughout the country and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as well as at Turkey's foreign missions with a wide variety of ceremonies. Additionally, last night a reception was held to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) in Ankara. /All Papers/
 SEZER: "THE DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE ABOLISHED"At a Parliament reception to mark April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day yesterday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that the death penalty should be abolished. "There is no need to change the Constitution to accomplish this," Sezer added. "The death penalty could be abolished through making arrangements in the law." /Hurriyet/
 CEM AND PAPANDREOU'S JOINT MIDEAST VISIT TO BEGIN TODAYTurkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou are set to begin a historic joint visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories today. In the leadup to their visit to push for peace in the region, US Secretary of State Colin Powell called Cem to hail the unprecedented mission and to express his wishes for its success. /Hurriyet/
 BAHCELI: "GOVERNMENT COALITION COULD BE RESHAPED"Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has suggested that if the government coalition partners continue to seek solutions for controversial issues in Parliament rather than among themselves, that could cause a new formation to take shape in the government's ruling coalition. Receiving children yesterday for the April 23 Children's Festival, Bahceli answered journalists' questions regarding Motherland Party ANAP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's recent statements indicating that he favored a complete lifting of the death penalty. "I respect Yılmaz's statements which reflect his views as a party leader," Bahceli stated. Pointing to the MHP's "clear stance" regarding the death penalty, Bahceli said that his party would act in line with that stance during debates in Parliament. Stressing that coalition partners' seeking solutions by compromising with opposition parties rather than among themselves, would not cause problem within the government, he added, however, "If this practice becomes a habit, then it may lead to a new formation in the coalition." He also emphasized that he had not meant that the MHP itself would break the coalition. /All Papers/
 US CYPRUS COORDINATOR VISITS ANKARAUnited States State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston arrived in Ankara yesterday to make contacts with Turkish officials. Weston is expected to meet with Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal today. According to diplomatic circles, Weston's visit indicates that the US is planning to continue to actively contribute to the current round of talks between the two leaders on Cyprus. The US administration had previously indicated that it could help both sides to surmount any problems which could interrupt the peace talks. /Cumhuriyet/
 DERVIS RAISES BALLOON ON ENTERING POLITICSState Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis gave out signals yesterday that he might enter party politics in the future. Dervis, who is currently in Washington to attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank's spring meetings, made the remarks at a gathering held by the Washington Institute think tank. Addressing his possible future in domestic politics, Dervis said, "For the time being, I am fully concentrated on my duties. However, it is hard for a cabinet minister do his job indefinitely without being able to depend on a certain party." Dervis added that his independent status up to now had been an advantage in the implementation of economic reforms. Since the economy minister post was created for Dervis early last year, he has kept his possible political cards close to his chest, though they have sparked occasional speculation. /Turkiye/
 EU APOLOGIZES TO TURKEY FOR ERROR-RIDDEN MAPThe Office of EU Commission President Romano Prodi issued a statement yesterday apologizing for an error-ridden "political map" of Turkey showing the nation in the thrall of fringe and defunct political groups. The map in question, which showed the terrorist DHKP-C, Turkish Communist Labor Party- Leninist (TKEP/L) and the closed Virtue Party (FP) as representing Turkey, was prepared in error, said the statement. /Milliyet_
 TURKISH-AMERICAN GROUP URGES BUSH TO FOCUS ON FACTS CONCERNING ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONSA group of Turkish Americans sent a letter to US President George W. Bush this week in an effort to counter Armenian lobbies' publicity drive on April 24, the day these lobbies use to mark a so-called genocide. The letter from the Association of Turkish-American Engineers, Architects and Scientists stressed Turkish sensitivity to the unfounded allegations and asked Bush to evaluate the issue through taking the actual historical facts into consideration. Stressing that the wartime events of 1915 could never be compared to the Holocaust of European Jews, contrary to the Armenian claims, the letter said that the lobbyists' allegations created animosity between the Turkish and Armenian nations and were greatly damaging bilateral relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 LEADERS, DIPLOMATS DISCUSS REGIONAL COOPERATION IN ATHENSProminent British economy newsweekly the Economist hosted a three-day meeting in Athens over the weekend entitled "The Sixth Roundtable Meeting: Leadership Strategy for Global Development Through Regional Cooperation." High-level international officials and diplomats attended the meeting, including Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and EU Council Secretary-General Javier Solana. Motherland Party Istanbul Deputy and Turkish Democracy Foundation Chairman Bulent Akarcali represented Turkey at the gathering. The attendees condemned acts of terrorism and reiterated the need for the establishment of an international front against the menace. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALAY, AUSTRALIAN GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO MARK GALLIPOLI LANDINGCulture Minister Istemihan Talay and Australian Governor-General Peter Hollingworth are set to attend tomorrow's annual commemoration of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli. Today Hollingworth will visit an exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art and see a ballet concerning the Gallipoli martyrs, and later will give a reception at Istanbul's Akol Hotel. Tomorrow morning both Talay and Hollingworth will participate in the dawn ceremony at the site of the landing. /Turkiye/
 ANKARA HOSTING OIL GROUP MEETINGA meeting organized by domestic industry group the Oil Products Employers' Association is set to begin today in Ankara. The meeting will address such subjects as gas oil and energy policies, domestic oil production, and comparisons between Turkish and international oil pricing. Representing the government at the gathering will be Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Energy Minister Zeki Cakan. State Minister Mehmet Kececiler, True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller, Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan are also expected to attend. /Star/
 DOMESTIC STEEL CONSUMPTION FALLSAccording to a new industry group report, domestic steel consumption plummeted 34% over the last year to reach levels not seen since a full decade ago, in line with a 9.4% contraction in steel production. The Association of Iron and Steel Producers report says that increased exports had made Turkey the world's 15th-largest iron and steel producing country. But, it continues, recent protectionist measures on the part of the United States and the European Union had led Turkey to lower its $34 billion export target for this year. The report goes on to explain how the protectionist measures affected world trade in general and Turkish production in particular, and it calls on the government to take measures to counter this trend's negative effects. /Cumhuriyet/
 WORLD BANK: "TURKISH ECONOMY GREW THE MOST IN 1980-90"A new report just released by the World Bank indicates that Turkey's economy experienced its best growth period to date in 1980-90ü, a growth that so far it has not yet matched. The average growth rate for the decade in question was 5.4%, while 1990-2000 saw growth of only 3.7%. In the 1980s Turkey's economy was one of the fastest growing in the world, the report added./Milliyet/
 PUBLIC DEBT INCREASES IN Q1The Treasury announced yesterday that state debt had increased in the first quarter of this year, despite government measures for saving and economizing. Public sector debts to both domestic and foreign sources increased by $14.7 billion to reach a total sum of $138.3 billion. Foreign debt alone grew to $9.6 billion. The trend was ascribed to continuing difficulties in the real economy. /Cumhuriyet/
 ALP ELECTED TO POST AT ARCHITECTURE ORGANIZATIONDr. Ahmet Vekif Alp, an advisor to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, has been elected Eastern European director for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the AIA announced this week. Alp will assume the post at a ceremony in Amsterdam next month. The AIA is one of the most prominent and internationally active organizations in the field of architecture. /Aksam/
 AYLIN TASDELEN BREAKS WEIGHTLIFTING RECORDSTurkish weightlifter Aylin Tasdelen, 53 kg, broke European records yesterday by lifting 92.5, 112.5 and 205 kilograms in the snatch, clean-and- jerk and overall categories respectively, during the 15th European Women's Weightlifting Championship held in Antalya. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TODAY IN STOCKHOLM BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Orhan Birgit writes on the international conference organized by the Swedish government. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The second international conference organized since 2000 by the Swedish government begins today. During the conference beginning on 24 April, the theme of 'True Justice and Reconciliation' will be discussed. The Swedish ambassador responsible for the conference to be held under the coordination of the foreign ministry of the host country called the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm to say that Armenia's deputy foreign minister would also attend the conference. In order to counter the claims of the Armenian diaspora on 24 April, Bulent Akarcali was appointed to head Turkey's delegation in Stockholm. Certainly, he is taking official reports and original documents with him proving Turkey's arguments countering the claims of the so-called genocide. However, one of the firmest arguments on the issue to date is presented in an interview with our colleague Hrant Dink published by French weekly L'Express. Hrant Dink is the responsible editor of the Armenian newspaper Agos published in Istanbul. In order to attract younger readers the newspaper is published not only in Armenian, but also has Turkish sections. While talking to L'Express, Dink called the Armenian diaspora to travel to Istanbul and said, 'I am ready to discuss all issues with you here in Istanbul. I am proud to be an Armenian of Turkey. I want to represent the rebirth of this community with my newspaper. If Turkey does not move along the road to democratization, Armenia will never be secure.' I have never seen such a warm sense of belonging from people of any other ethnic origin in describing their identity. A Turkey where such a sense of belonging is felt by everyone is fully in line with the definition of citizenship as laid out by Atatürk. Today, at the Stockholm conference, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Rouben Shougarian and an accompanying delegation will participate. Hrant Dink describes Turkey's neighbor to the northeast as a country 'near suffocation' whose only real chance to move forward depends on Turkey. I hope that the Yerevan goverment listens to the voices of its kinsmen in Istanbul calling for common sense, and makes use of this opportunity."
 FRANCE'S OWN FEBRUARY 28 BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc writes on the results of the elections in France. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Jean-Marie Le Pen hasn't even had the chance to do anything yet, but his surprise success in Sunday's elections was enough for the French to take to the streets. But where is the democratic spirit of France? Le Pen fought fair and square in the elections and so advanced to the second round. He didn't resort to fraud or anything of the sort. During the election campaign he reiterated what he had been saying all along. 'I will expel foreigners, establish security and take France out of the European Union.' The people voted for him. He received most of the votes from the southern and eastern provinces and made it to the second round. This result angered the democratic, freedom loving French people. Now, all of them regardless of political stripe -- leftist, rightist or moderate -- are united in opposition to fascist Le Pen. However, when Turkey experienced a similar electoral shock in 1995, they chided us and said, 'You have not been able to adopt democracy. You have to accept the legality of whichever party gets the votes of the people. This is the rule of democracy. If you act contrary to this principle, you will violate democracy and Europe cannot accept this.' Then they added that they would be watching us. We went through the nightmare of the Refahyol government. We tolerated a prime minister such as Erbakan, who is at heart opposed to our regime and espouses outmoded ideas. This went on until everything spun out of control. Then came February 28. Erbakan had to resign under the social pressure of democratic powers. Among those who didn't accept this democratic resistance, calling it 'contrary to democracy' was France. Now they are experiencing the same nightmare and their very own February 28. Just like us, they are demonstrating in the streets to force the resignation of the man who has been trying to eradicate democracy. One of the reasons for this trauma France is going through is the division on their left. We, too have made the same mistake. If the left had not been divided in Turkey, Erbakan could never have dreamed of becoming a prime minister. If there had been unity on the left, neither Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor Melih Gokcek or others from the Virtue Party could have been elected as mayors. We still have not learned any lessons from our experiences, and Erdogan still continues to be the hope of some. I hope we draw some lessons from the elections in France. At least they will eliminate Le Pen in the second round. And we, what shall we do?"
 THE SO-CALLED GENOCIDE BY EMIN COLASAN (HURRIYET)Columnist Emin Colasan writes on the so-called genocide allegedlyperpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Every year on 24 April, and before and after this date, Armenian outcries are heard throughout the world and the 'Armenian genocide' is denounced. They claim that Turks tried to massacre them and wanted to eradicate their race! Armenians are depicted as a poor, victimized nation, Turks as cruel and ruthless! Let's remember: It is the year 1915. We are fighting on many fronts during World War I. Citizens of Armenian descent have once again rebelled against the state again. This is the umpteenth rebellion since 1800. This time they collude with the enemy Russian Army. Armenian gangs capture Van, and then many provinces such as Mus, Bitlis and Nakhcivan are occupied by them. The Armenian gangs are stabbing the Turkish army in the back. With the support of the Russian Army, they are horribly oppressing the Muslim people. In view of this deplorable situation, the Istanbul government calls the Armenian leaders to a meeting and urges them to halt these incidents. No results. On 24 April 1915 the Armenian organization and the gangsters in Istanbul are detained. This is the date the Armenians commemorate as the 'date of the so-called genocide.' Soon after, the government sends the Armenians who stabbed the army in the back, in the war zone, and those living in the eastern and southeastern provinces to Syria and Lebanon in large groups. Unfortunate incidents happen during their trek. Long roads are covered on foot in the prevailing conditions of the day. There are many who die of hunger or sickness on the road, and robberies are not uncommon. Now if the Ottomans had intended to commit genocide, they would have killed the Armenians on the spot. The government sent those betraying the country as a whole to other places in order to relieve the army at the front. The only intentions were to prevent betrayal and to protect the army. However, not one Armenian was killed or relocated apart from those living in the war zones. The Ottoman archives are open to all. There are no instructions regarding a 'genocide,' nor any other document on the issue. World War I ended in 1918, but the Armenian animosity didn't let up. For years, they murdered many leading statesmen in various cities of the world. Somehow we seem to have been put on the defensive against the outcries of the Armenians and their collaborators. We have to explain these incidents to the world."
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