|Saturday, 10 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-11-04
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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...
 ATATURK TO BE COMMEMORATED BY UNThe founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, will be commemorated during a ceremony to be held at the UN on the 61st anniversary of his death. The Head of the American-Turkish Associations' Federation (ATAF), Egemen Bagis, said that representatives from many countries were expected to attended the ceremony. ATAF has also organized a poetry and essay competition on the theme of Ataturk among primary school students in the US to mark the 61st anniversary of Ataturk's death. /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT DUE IN RUSSIAPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit is beginning his Russian visit today. Ecevit is the first Western Prime Minister who has visited the Russian's capital lately, especially before the election. The Turkish Prime Minister will be received by President Yeltsin, besides his meeting with his counterpart. The following six major points are expected to be discussed during the meeting between Bulent Ecevit and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin: 1) The political situation in Caucasus, the Balkans, the Black Sea and Central Asia. 2) Anti-terrorism cooperation. 3) Efforts to revive trade between the two countries which has declined due to the recession in Russia's economy. 4) The implementation of long-term joint ventures both in Turkey and Russia. 5) The implementation of the 'Blue Stream` natural gas pipeline as part of the cooperation strategy for energy. 6) The OSCE Summit and global issues. The Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Aleksander Lebedev, said, "Russia accepts Turkey as a great power in the region and respects her. We have no doubt that the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of Turkey will further increase during the next century." During an interview, Lebedev called on the Turkish 'suitcase traders` and said, "Instead of the 'suitcase` trade targetting only Moscow and Petersburg from Laleli and Trabzon, let's have trade covering all of Russia's cities with a well-organized marketing system." /Cumhuriyet/
 ECEVIT: "THE WORLD SHOULD PREPARE TO HELP REFUGEES"Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who delivered a speech before the group meeting of his party in the TGNA prior to his visit to Russia, touched on the Chechnya issue often. Ecevit said that the number of refugees in Chechnya had reached dramatic proportions, which led to international concern. Ecevit further added, "This is Russia's internal affair. However, during their military operations, civilians are being harmed, which deeply worries me. The flood of migrants from Chechnya to Turkey has begun to be talked about. Following the earthquake, Turkey has had problems but will be able to handle this additional burden. We decided to warn other states and the international institutions involved to be prepared for a possible immigration wave. Our application to Russia to send humanitarian aid to Chechnya was received positively, which is a hopeful development." /Aksam/
 ECEVIT RECEIVES JOHN WOLFPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit received the US President's Special Envoy to the Caspian Basin, John Wolf, and US Ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris yesterday. Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer was also present at the meeting during which certain energy projects were discussed prior to Ecevit's visit to Moscow which will begin on November 4, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FEHRIYE ERDAL'S FILE IN BRUSSELSThe dossier of one of the defendants implicated in the Sabanci assassination, Fehriye Erdal, has arrived in Brussels. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli declared in his weekly press conference that Fehriye Erdal's file which had been prepared by the Justice Ministry, has reached the Turkish Embassy in Brussels. He said that the documentation would be handed over to Belgian officials in one or two days. /Cumhuriyet/
 PARLIAMENT LAUNCHES BUDGET DEBATEIn the first round of parliamentary debates on the year 2000 draft Budget, Turkey's three-party coalition government pledged fiscal austerity. The debate in the Budget and Planning Committee was launched on Wednesday and is scheduled to end on November 25 when the draft will be sent to the General Assembly for a final debate and vote. /All papers/
 CEM TO ATTEND COUNCIL OF EUROPE CABINET MEETINGThe meeting between Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Tarja Halonen, Foreign Minister of Finland, which is also the current EU President, will be held today. During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers are expected to discuss the recent developments concerning the announcement of Turkey's candidacy at the Helsinki Summit. The meeting of the Council of Europe's Ministers, which Ismail Cem is expected to attend, started yesterday. During the working dinner given by the Council of Europe's Secretary General, Walter Schwimmer, the Ministers listened to the views of UN Kosovo Representative Bernard Kouchner. Ismail Cem is proceeding on to Moscow to join Prime Minister Ecevit's delegation who are paying an official visit to Moscow, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 MURATOV IN TURKEYThe Turkmen Vice President, who is also responsible for energy issues, Kurban Muratov, arrived in Ankara to hold a series of talks with Turkish officials. Muratov and his accompanying delegation were welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer at Ankara's Esenboga Airport. Muratov and Ersumer issued a joint statement and said that they would discuss the Trans-Caspian pipeline project which envisages the transport of Turkmen natural gas via the pipeline beneath the Caspian Sea, through Azerbaijan and Georgia, and on to Turkey and Europe, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 GREEK AMBASSADOR IN ESKISEHIRThe Greek Ambassador to Turkey, Joannis Corantis, Eskisehir Governor Sami Sonmez, Mayor Prof.Yilmaz Buyukersen, Republican Chief Prosecutor Ali Turna and many other guests attended a friendly dinner in Eskisehir organized by the Eskisehir Rotary Club. Corantis said, "Relations between Turkey and Greece are further developing. Some draft agreements have been prepared concerning tourism links, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, and maritime relations between the two countries". Corantis also stated that the support of the Turkish Search and Rescue Society (AKUT) in helping the earthquake victims in Greece would never be forgotten. /Turkiye/
 CHP TO LOBBY FOR TURKEY AT INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST CONGRESSAt the International Socialist Congress, to be held in Paris on November 7-10, the Republican People's Party (CHP) will lobby for the announcement of Turkey as an EU candidate during the EU Summit in Helsinki. CHP Chairman Altan Oymen, CHP Deputy Chairman Inal Batu, Deputy General Secretary Sule Bucak and Deputy Chairman of the International Socialist Organization, Erdal Inonu will attend the Congress. Oymen will also deliver a speech during the Congress, hold bilateral meetings with socialist leaders and request support for Turkey's candidacy, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 KUTAN-GROSSMAN MEETINGThe Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, who is currently visiting the US, met US Deputy Secretary of State Marc Grossman yesterday. Following the meeting, Kutan said that pluralism and tolerance had been stressed and added that both sides shared the same views concerning these issues. He stated that they had also discussed developments in and around Turkey. Kutan also met the US State Secretary's Special Representative for Religious Affairs, Ambassador Robert Seiple. Kutan said that they had deliberated the 'international religious freedom' law enacted by the US in October 1998. /Turkiye/
 MARAS IN CONSIDERATION OF THE EU VISAThe positive developments in relations with the EU have moved the Greek-Cypriot propoganda wheels. Now the possibility of Turkey's becoming a member of the EU has become serious, the Greek-Cypriot press has brought up the subject of the Maras, which is located in Gaziosmanpasha, within the borders of the TRNC, again. Greek-Cypriot newspapers claimed that the return of the Maras to the Greek-Cypriot side will be requested as a provision for the disposal of the Greek veto allowing free passage for Turkey to become a candidate to the EU. `Filetejhteros', one of the Greek-Cypriot newspapers, announced the issue with the headline: "Green light for Turkey if Maras is returned". `Maki' declared in its headline: "Papandreu will suggest Maras's return for disposal of Greek veto". And `Simerini' used the headline: "Nicosia waits for Athens move on Maras". /Aksam/
 PRIVATIZATION FOLLOWS SCHEDULEThe Privatization Administration (OIB) is exerting every effort to implement the third and fourth quarterly targets of 1999. The OIB has started to launch tenders for those institutions scheduled to be privatized in the third quarter of 1999, in addition to those outlined for the fourth quarter of the year. The Privatization Administration plans to put 13 institutions out to tender in the fourth quarter. The OIB will also continue the work to privatize TUPRAS in the first quarter of the year 2000, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 $700 MILLION FROM GULF COUNTRIES TO TURKEYState Minister Mehmet Kececiler is visiting the Gulf countries, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, to thank them for their support for the earthquake victims in Turkey, as the special envoy of the Turkish President. Kececiler issued a statement in Qatar yesterday and said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had allocated $400 million in loans to Turkey, and also that a delegation from the GCC would visit Turkey in November. Kececiler added that the Islamic Development Bank had also given $300 million in loans to Turkey to help the victims. /Sabah/
 'BLUE STREAM' PROJECT ON THE WAYA protocol for an additional tax to provide facilities for the 'Blue Stream' natural gas project is in its final stages. Russia has approved the proposal that the Agreement for the Prevention of Double Taxation signed between the two countries in 1997 be passed by the Duma. /Hurriyet/
 IMF VIEWS ADDITIONAL TAX WARMLYThe IMF delegation, chaired by Turkish desk Chief, Carlo Cottarelli, and which is continuing its talks in Turkey, does not desire a compromise in the tax arrangements in order for Turkey to remain on target for the macro economic goals outlined in the Year 2000 Budget. Experts from the IMF state that if necessary, additional tax arrangements should be made in order to attain the total budget revenue of 32 quadrillion 585 trillion Turkish lira and the tax revenue of 24 quadrillion Turkish lira in the year 2000. Furthermore, experts from the IMF stated that Turkey had implemented the social security reform in terms of creating a public financial balance, and that budget control had been achieved for the State Economic Enterprises (KIT). Experts added that Turkey's prioritized economic policy in the year 2000 should be privatization.
IMF delegation said, "The arrangement concerning international arbitration will particularly speed up privatization moves in the energy field. In the year 2000, a privatization revenue of 6 billion dollars should be achieved." /Aksam/
 TURCO-RUSSIAN JEC MEETING IN MOSCOWThe Turco-Russian Joint Economic Committee meeting started in Moscow yesterday. While State Minister and JEC Co-Chairman Rustu Kazim Yucelen is heading the Turkish delegation, State Minister and JEC Co-Chairman Farit Gazizullin is heading the Russian delegation. During the meetings, economic and commercial relations between the two countries and issues such as the purchase of natural gas and construction services are being deliberated, and ways to further improve bilateral relations are being discussed. The meetings will end today, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 OECD: "TURKISH PRIVATE SECTOR CAPABLE OF COMPETING WITH EUROPE"The Head of the OECD's Private Sector Development Board, Abdul Bayhan, said that the Turkish private sector was able to compete with the European private sector, and added that this competitive edge had been achieved following the introduction of the Customs Union (CU) agreement signed between Turkey and the EU. Bayhan pointed out that foreign investors desire first and foremost to be able to trust in the political system in those countries in which they will invest. /Sabah/
 CONFERENCE ON TURKEY'S FUTUREA Conference on 'Turkey on the threshold of the New Millenium-The Re-Construction of Turkey and Foreign Investments' will be held in Istanbul on November 21-24, just after the OSCE Summit. During the Conference, issues such as the Turkish economy, opportunities and possibilities, direct foreign investments, private sector energy investments, infrastructural investments and privatization will be discussed. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Head of the World Bank Johannes Linn, European Commission member Gunther Verheugen, Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders and State Minister Tunca Toskay will attend the opening session of the Conference, while President Suleyman Demirel will participate in the closing session, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 GEMSTONE STOCK EXCHANGE IS BEING ESTABLISHEDThe Aegean Jewellery Union and the Chairman of the Izmir Jewellery Chamber, Mevlut Ozer, stating that work to found stock exchange for gemstones is underway, have said, "Turkey will soon have the gemstone stock exchange, the establishment of which was suggested in the 1950s. This stock exchange will be set up with the support of Belgium, France, the De Beers firm and the International Gemmological Institute, which offers training in the jewellery sphere." /Aksam/
 STOCK EXCHANGE KEEPS ON BREAKING RECORDSThe Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) Index reached a historic peak yesterday when the Index increased by 4.61%, climbing to 6,843 points. The Index has gained 18% in 13 days, increasing by a total of 185% since 25th January, at which time the 1999 race began. The transaction volume in terms of TL peaked at 231 trillion TL, second only to the transaction volume of 245 trillion TL reached on 28th April. /Sabah/
 'BEST IN CLASS' FOR IKTISAT BANKIktisat Bank has completed its 'Year 2000 Compliance Project' which it started in the second half of 1997. The Bank has received the 'Best in Class' mark as a result of an assessment made by the Gartner Group, an independent advisory firm. Thus, the Iktisat Bank has managed to defeat the 'Millenium Bug'. /Turkiye/
 SIKORSKY WINS HELICOPTER BIDThe US Sikorsky firm has won the bid to supply Turkey with eight cargo-carrying helicopters. Sikorsky's 'Super Stallion', worth $345 million won against the Russian firm which had proposed a sum of $120 million for the eight helicopters. /Milliyet/
 EIGHT HECTARES OF FOREST BURNAs a result of a forest fire in the Historic National Park in the Gelibolu district of Canakkale, eight hectares of forest have been burnt. One person was taken into custody in connection with the incident. /Hurriyet/
 AWARD FOR TURKEY AT AGROFILM FESTIVALAt the 16th International Agrofilm Festival which was held in the town of Nitra in Slovakia between Oct. 4th and 8th, a Turkish documentary film won the top prize. Director M. Sadik Aslankara was awarded for his documentary with the 'Prize of UN-FAO`. /Cumhuriyet/
 SAFEST CITY: ISTANBULAccording to Interpol statistics, Istanbul is the safest city with the lowest crime rate compared to other European cities such as Berlin, Rome, Athens, Budapest and Madrid. While there are more than 100,000 robberies every year in Madrid, this figure barely reaches 64,000 in Istanbul. /Milliyet/
 GALATASARAY DEFEATS MILAN: 3-2Galatasaray defeated Milan, considered one of the best football teams in the world, at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium. Thus, Galatasaray has come third in its group and has the chance to go on to win the UEFA Cup, whereas Milan, which was the favorite to win the Cup, has to say goodbye t its chances of winning. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FINE-TUNING OF INTERESTS WITH RUSSIA - BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Prime Minister Ecevit's visit to Russia and its effects on relations between the two countries. A summary of his column is as follows:
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Moscow will provide opportunities for both countries to determine what kind of a fine-tuning they will have to make in their basic interests, despite their differences of opinion on various issues. Such a dialogue between the two countries is necessary and indeed belated in view of the recent developments throughout the world.
Both countries are of great importance, one to the other. The economic potential of both promises great opportunities for cooperation. Even though they may not have a common border any more, the two have similar concerns and interests. It is natural for them to have different opinions towards the problems in their regions due to their national policies. There are many common factors which will bring the two countries together arising from the new order which has come about since the end of the Cold War. The main problem is how to undertake the delicate balance between coinciding and contrasting interests, and how to ensure that the opposing views are brought closer to the same line as far as possible.
Expectations of Ecevit's visit should not be too high even though frequent mention of terrorism and the "Blue Stream" scheme have created some. It is certain that a joint declaration will be issued on "terrorism". As far as the "Blue Stream" venture is concerned an agreement is expected; the gas imported from Russia will meet some of Turkey's needs. That is to say, when the Caspian Pipeline is established, Turkey will import gas from there also. One is not an alternative for the other, but "additional" sources are in question.
There are many contrasting views on the issues between Turkey and Russia, from Chechnya to Cyprus, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to the status of the Straits. However, there are also many issues on which there are common interests, from trade to investments and defence projects.
The two countries should balance these interests and views in a sensitive manner and work together instead of being opposed to each other."
 PKK AND CHECHNYA - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the issues expected to be deliberated during Prime Minister Ecevit's visit to Moscow. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit starts his visit to Moscow today. Four important issues will discussed during this visit: the PKK, Chechnya,"Blue Stream" and trade. Ecevit believes it to be of great importance to inform Moscow of the PKK's activities in Russia. The Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) will also accompany the Prime Minister on his visit with this aim in mind. The PKK dossier, MIT Undersecretary Senkal Atasagun will give to Moscow covers detailed information and documents. Some of them are the photographs of PKK's settlements in Russia, the names, addresses, and pictures of PKK members active in Russia, the places where Ocalan stayed while in Russia, and his contacts. Ecevit expects that Moscow will sign a cooperation protocol against terrorism with Turkey.
Ankara is inclined to view Chechnya as Russia's domestic affair, however, Prime Minister Ecevit has stated that Turkey is interested in the humane aspect of the question and would like to send humanitarian aid there. He added that Russian officials had granted permission for such an undertaking. This is an important development. Ankara has also called on international organizations to provide for humanitarian aid.
The snags hitherto concerning the "Blue Stream" venture have been eliminated. Ankara believes that the plan should be carried out. However, it is important what kind of message Ecevit will give to Moscow as it is known that US does not look warmly on the scheme. In Ankara, it is believed that "Blue Stream" is not an alternative to Baku-Ceyhan as Turkey needs both Russian and Turkmen gas.
In the area of trade, there was a decline in Turkey's exports to Russia of 35% in 1998 compared to 1997. The slump in the first five months of this year nears 70%. Ecevit will bring the increasing of the trade volume between the two countries to the table. Ecevit said that in order to develop our trade Turkey has to help the Russian economy to overcome its problems."
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