|Friday, 16 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-11-05
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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
 "JOURNEY TO THE SUN" (GUNESE YOLCULUK) RECEIVES JURY'S SPECIAL AWARD
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ECEVIT IN MOSCOWPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit went to Moscow yesterday as the guest of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on a three-day official visit. The Russian Head of State, Boris Yeltsin, will receive Ecevit today. Ecevit met Turkish businessmen in Moscow yesterday. Ecevit said that Turkey's promotion was important not only from the economic standpoint but also from the political point of view. Ecevit will meet Russian Prime Minister Putin and the Speaker of Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, Gennady Selezniev. Meetings between Turkish and Russian delegations will also be held and agreements will be signed between the two countries. /Aksam/
 TURCO-RUSSIAN COOPERATION IN EURASIATurkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in a statement that he made to the `Izvestiya' newspaper before his visit to Russia, gave out signals that the two countries are likely to cooperate in Eurasia. Ecevit, in his statement published yesterday, said, "Relations between the two countries are improving in mutual trust and good neighbourliness. The most impressive aspect of our curret relations is the fact that commercial and economic links between the two countries are improving successfully despite the negative effects of the present economic difficulties that Russia is experiencing."
Ecevit also pointed out that the growth of economic cooperation between the two countries had reached 8 million dollars. He also emphasized the work of Turkish construction firms in Russia and added, "Thousands of Turkish engineers and workers are employed in Russia. More than one thousand Turkish students are being educated in Russia, and many Turkish schools have been opened." Ecevit, answering a question concerning the tie between Turkey and the countries that belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), said that he recognized all independent countries, which had emerged after the break-up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, without any distinction whatsoever. Ecevit further added, "Among these countries, are countries in which people of Turkish origin are living. However, in Eurosia, which has the promise of a great future, the friendship between ourselves and Russia is of the utmost importance." /Cumhuriyet/
 BLUE STREAM AFTER OSCE SUMMITPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Russia, which began yesterday, has provoked a 'Blue Stream' crisis. Thanks to the reluctance of the American government to approve the project which would enable the transfer of natural gas from Russia to Turkey by pipeline under the Black Sea, Premier Ecevit has postponed the signing of a supplementary protocol concerning the scheme to a date after the OSCE Summit. Turkey has been striving to implement the project for a long time. However, the U.S has cold-shouldered the 'Blue Stream' scheme, emphasizing that priority should be given to Turkmenistan gas. The U.S points out the difficulty of ensuring the financal requirements for both the Turkoman project and 'Blue Stream` simultaneously by international establishments. Not to jeopardize the Baku-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline's final agreement, which will be signed with the support of the U.S during the OSCE Summit, it was decided to put off the signing of Blue Stream's additional protocol to a later date. /Hurriyet/
 TRIO PRESSURE AGAINST RUSSIAN NATURAL GASThe Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, before his departure for Russia, made a statement at Esenboga Airport and said, "The `Blue Stream' venture is of the utmost importance as far as relations with Russia are concerned. This scheme will never be an obstacle to the transport of Turkmen and Azerbaijani natural gas from the Caspian river-basin to Turkey and then from Turkey to the Mediterranean." Furthermore, the U.S.A., Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, who are against the implementation of the `Blue Stream' venture, are continuing to restrain Ankara. The U.S.A., Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan do not want Turkey to sign the `Blue Stream' agreement as they think that this will stop the Trans-Caspian line bringing Turkmen natural gas to Turkey, and have intensified their pressure concerning the Trans-Caspian pipeline.
The U.S.A.'s Special Representative to Caspian Basin, John Wolf, and Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish officials met yesterday at the Ministry of Energy. During the meeting, the latest arrangements for the Transport Countries Agreement, which concerns the Turkmenistan-Turkey natural gas pipeline venture, were discussed. After the meeting, Wolf issued statements to journalists and said that they wanted to bring Turkmen gas to Turkey as soon as possible. "This meeting was the first meeting attended by the potential manufacturers and officials from the transit countries, which is a very important step", said Wolf. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERSUMER: "RUSSIAN NATURAL GAS IS THE CHEAPEST"Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said that the natural gas which would be provided by the 'Blue Stream Project' was the cheapest compared to gas Turkey receives from other countries. Ersumer stated that Turkmen natural gas would cost more because of its transportation costs, and added that natural gas provided by the 'Blue Stream Project' would be cheaper than natural gas from the West because it would involve no transit costs. /Aksam/
 FIFTH EU-MEDITERRANEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCILS SUMMITIn a statement he made at the fifth Euro-Mediterranean Economic and Social Councils Summit, State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik said that Turkey was aware of the conditions required for full membership of the EU. He added that realistic targets should be determined for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation to be successful. Irtemcelik also touched upon the role of women in society and said that one of Ataturk's many important feats ensured that women became involved at every level of society. The Minister also recalled that at that time Turkey had applied for membership of the European Economic Community as the EU was called then, way before many of its present members, and that her participation in the Customs Union was an important step towards full membership. He also reiterated that Turkey was conscious of the conditions required for full membership, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 A GESTURE TO ATHENSEvery year, military manoeuvres increase the tension between Turkey and Greece. Turkey, for her part, will not engage in one of her manoeuvres this year, conforming with the current friendly atmosphere. According to this decision, following the planned 'Toros` manoeuvers on Nov. 25th-26th, the 'Kararlilik` manoeuvres will be cancelled. The 'Toros` manoeuvres are conducted every year in the Eastern Mediterranean and on Cyprus, participated in by thousands of soldiers. Turkish war ships are also expected to visit the Cypriot harbours during the manoeuvres. /Hurriyet/
 CEM: "WE WANT EU TO REACH CONCLUSION"Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is currently in Strasbourg, spoke concerning Turkey's announcement as a 'candidate country' during the Helsinki Summit, saying that it was no longer time for talk but for a decision. Cem met Tarja Halonen, Foreign Minister of Finland, which country is the current EU President and stated that Greece had not suggested any precondition to be placed on Turkey's EU candidacy. However, he added that they should be cautious with reference to the conclusion of the Helsinki Summit. Cem pointed out that the Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU candidacy had no connection whatsoever, and added, "If a common solution is sought for Cyprus, President Rauf Denktas will be a part of this solution". /Aksam/
 CEM: WE BENEFIT FROM GREEK EXPERIENCEFollowing the Council of Europe meetings in Strasbourg, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was interviewed by a correspondant from 'Hurriyet` in which he evaluated Turco-Greek relations. Minister Cem said that the dialogue between the two countries which began the last June, has started to bear fruit. Stressing that the preliminary drafts of the six agreements were ready to be signed, Cem spread the good news that the expansion of these subjects was possible. The Minister also expressed their desire to benefit from Greece's EU experience, in the case of the proclamation of Turkey's EU candidacy. /Hurriyet/
 GEN.MUSERREF TO VISIT TURKEYThe Leader of the Military Administration in Pakistan, Pervez Muserref, will arrive in Turkey on November 8. A written statement issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Ankara said that Gen.Muserref would visit Ataturk's Mausoleum and then would be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Gen.Muserref will leave Turkey on November 9, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 DUTCH AID FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMSThe Gelderland Regional Administration in Holland will set up a village consisting of 350 houses in Golyaka, near the Duzce district of Bolu, which was affected by the earthquake disaster on August 17, 1999. According to a decision taken following inspection of the region by a five-member Dutch delegation, 5 million Florins (nearly 1.5 trillion TL) have been allocated for the re-construction of the disaster region, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 IRANIAN POLICY TO CHANGEThe Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, said that some PKK members were escaping to Iran. Moreover, security officials have stated that Iran is not keeping its word in the fight against terrorism. The General remarked that Turkey should review its policy on Iran. Gen.Kivrikoglu pointed out during his speech in Diyarbakir two days ago that the withdrawal of PKK terrorists was not only towards Northern Iraq. He added, "Some PKK terrorists are staying in Northern Iraq while some of them are going to the South. Others are withdrawing towards Iran. We are closely following all these developments". /Milliyet/
 JOINT STANCE AGAINST TERRORISMPreparations for the joint political declaration against terrorism to be issued by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are underway. According to Russian diplomatic sources, the declaration would include issues such as the prevention of the establishment of camps and of propaganda activities by terrorists anywhere in any country. /Turkiye/
 IBDA-C OPERATIONTwelve IBDA-C militants were captured in Konya and Adana yesterday. The IBDA-C militants, whose statements have been received by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, have been sent to prison and their detainment is continuing. Ahmet Yesilkaya, Huseyin Baykus and Lutfi Eker, who were recognized as members of the IBDA-C organization during the raid (in the PTT Street) in Adana, were seized. It was stated that the defendants will be tried in the Judicial Court. /Cumhuriyet/
 317 KILOGRAMS OF NARCOTICS CAPTURED IN IPSALAA bus being driven by Sabri Sengul, who intended to transport his passengers from Izmir to Europe via Pire Harbour in Greece, was searched at the Ipsala border gate. During the search, 317 kilograms of narcotics, worth 4 trillion TL, were captured. Driver Sabri Sengul, and his assistant, Seref Altuntas, were detained. /Cumhuriyet/
 TENDER FOR THREE NEW TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKSAfter a meeting headed by State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Husamettin Ozkan, the Telecommunications Supreme Council issued a statement saying that, in addition to Turkcell and Telsim, at the end of this month a tender will be launched for three new telecommunications networks. Of the new mobile phone networks, one will be operated by Turk Telecom while the others will be run by the private sector in order to increase competition and improve services. /Hurriyet/
 FINANCIAL SECTOR REFORMSDelegations from the World Bank and the IMF which came to Turkey to discuss financial sector reforms have departed after making certain suggestions following week-long talks. The delegation headed by Lalit Raina, the person responsible for the financial sector of the World Bank, left Turkey last week while two of the IMF specialists stayed in Turkey and joined in with the IMF delegation's observations, led by Carlo Cottarelli. Raina suggested that Emlak Bank should privatized immediately, followed by the Halk Bank. It also added that banks in financial difficulties should be merged, and the supervisory mechanisms of the banks should be enhanced, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 COTTARELLI: "MEETINGS ARE CARRYING ON PRODUCTIVELY"The Head of the IMF-Turkey Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, said that meetings with economic officials were carrying on productively. Cottarelli met the General Director of Energy Affairs, Mustafa Mendilcioglu, at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, yesterday. In a statement following the meeting, Cottarelli said that privatization in the energy sector was of great importance and that they had discussed such privatization schemes during the meeting. Experts from the World Bank's Office in Turkey also attended the meeting. Cottarelli also visited the Ziraat Bank yesterday and met General Director Osman Tunaboylu and other officials. Cottarelli remarked that they had deliberated issues relevant to the banking system and monetary markets during the meeting. He later met the Head of the Privatization Administration Board, Ugur Bayar, and pointed out that the privatization programme was very significant from the standpoint of financial discipline. Declaring that positive developments could be seen in the privatization of Turk Telecom, he added that privatization was the most important part of the structural reforms being implemented.
Meanwhile, Ugur Bayar stated that the privatization of POAS (Petroleum Partnership Joint Stock Company) would be put out to tender on November 17-18. Bayar stated that IMF officials believed that Turkey would abide by the privatization programme. /Aksam/
 FISCHER DESCRIBES REFORMS AS ENCOURAGINGThe IMF Deputy Chairman, Stanley Fischer, said that Turkey had achieved important developments through economic reforms, especially in the area of social security. Fischer delivered a speech at a seminar in London and stated that Turkey should continue with its reforms, describing them as encouraging. /Aksam/
 RISCHARD: "RULES OF THE GAME ARE CHANGING"The World Bank's Deputy Chairman in Europe, Jean Francois Rischard, said, "During the next twenty years, the two forces that will change the world will be the population boom and the economy of the new world. In the new world economy, the rich will be richer whereas poor people will become poorer." Rischard delivered a speech during a session that was held yesterday concerning the "Global Economy and Business World" as part of the 8th International Quality Congress, and said that great pressure would be placed on both governments and institutions and that globalization would cause not only opportunities, but also stress.
Rischard said, "The sovereignty of nation-states will decrease in the next twenty years. The rules of the game are changing in the economy of the new world order that will be formed by a technological and economic revolution. Turkey should adopt this new economic order. If Turkey signs the stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), then the World Bank will be ready to make a contribution." Rischard also recalled that the Chairman of the World Bank has promised to give 1 billion dollars to Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH COMMERCIALS RECEIVE AWARDS FROM EUROPETwo commercials prepared by the 'Medina_Turgul' Group were finalists in the 'Golden Award of Montreux'. A total of 2,230 commercials from 37 countries were nominated in this leading European commercials competition. /Aksam/
 THY JOINS TRAXONTurkish Airlines (THY) has become a member of TRAXON, an international information and communications system for the freight sector. A statement issued by THY said that 2,500 freight customers, 6,500 freight offices and 30 airlines in more than 110 countries would be able to receive rapid and accurate information with reference to freight services due to their TRAXON membership. /Aksam/
 TURKISH FLOUR MILLS IN ALGERIAThe Selko Degirmen (Mill) Machinery Joint Stock Company, part of the Endustri Holding Company, will set up four flour mills in Algeria using the turn-key model. An official from Selko who is responsible for Marketing and Exports, Rustu Kavuncu, delivered a speech at the signing ceremony attended by Algerian businessmen and said that there had been many flour factories set up by Turkish businessmen from Konya in many foreign countries. An agreement was signed with Algerian businessmen Said Kennobi and Salah Osmani concerning the establishment of two flour mills and two semolina factories with a 100 ton-capacity for each. /Aksam/
 EXPORT BOOM IN AUTOMOTIVE SECTORExports by the Turkish automotive sector during the first 10 months of this year have increased by 38 % when compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of $1.995 billion. According to information received from the General Secretariat of the Uludag Exporters' Unions Group, industrial by-products constituted $974 million of the total. /Turkiye/
 QUALITY AWARD FOR KOCTwo companies affiliated to the Koc Conglomerate, Beko Electronics and the Turkish Electricity Industry Group, have received the 'Success Award'. Also the Askaynak Company, affiliated to the Eczacibasi Group, has taken an award in the category of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (KOBI). /Sabah/
 TUPRAS TO INCREASE ITS PRODUCTIONThe TUPRAS Refinery in Izmit, which was seriously affected by the earthquake disaster in the Marmara Region on August 17, 1999, will increase its production. A total of 19.1 million tonnes of crude oil was processed at the refineries as of the end of October, and a total of 22.6 million tonnes of crude oil will have been processed by the end of 1999 at TUPRAS refineries. /Sabah/
 TURKISH FESTIVAL IN BOSTONThe fourth Boston Turkish Festival organized by the New England Turco-American Cultural Society is underway. The Festival, which started on October 29, will end on November 30. The proceeds raised will be donated to the earthquake victims in Turkey. /Aksam/
 "JOURNEY TO THE SUN" (GUNESE YOLCULUK) RECEIVES JURY'S SPECIAL AWARDThe Yesim Ustaoglu film entitled "Journey to the Sun" received the jury's special award at the Vallaloid Film Festival. The jury explained the reason for this award as "its depiction of the truth using powerful cinematic language". "Journey to the Sun", which will be projected in Belgium, Japan and Canada after London during January and February, has also been nominated for the European Film Academy awards. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TURCO-RUSSIAN RELATIONS - BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on Prime Minister Ecevit's visit to Russia and relations between the two countries. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Russia can be criticised due to its timing. First of all, the visit takes place at a time when Russia is trying to silence the secessionist movement in Chechnya by military methods while frequently targeting the civilian population. Secondly, the additional protocol concerning the "Blue Stream" venture will not be signed during this visit.
However, Turkey's deep interests in Russia and the necessity of a close political dialogue with this country places this visit above any such criticism. Relations between Turkey and Russia are complex. The common interests of the two countries lead them into close cooperation. Despite all the difficulties in her economy, Russia is a great market for Turkish products. Furthermore, the two countries have to face the situation imposed on them by their geopolitical location.
Turkey and Russia are two important centres of power in Eurasia. Sometimes they may be rivals in a dispute which has not been pronounced openly, as in the Caucasus where their interests or points of view oppose each other. This results in an atmosphere of mistrust which is sometimes seen in relations between the two. This lack of confidence has to be surmounted so as to improve our links, and our political relations have to fine-tuned. Therefore, Prime Minister Ecevit's visit to Moscow is an important step in improving trade relations and strengthening mutual political dialogue."
 "PROJECT CONCERNING RELIGION" - BY ILHAN SELCUK (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Ilhan Selcuk comments on President Suleyman Demirel's statement concerning the preparation of a project cconcerning religion. A summary of his column is as follows:
"President Suleyman Demirel has asked for a project concerning religion be prepared. In brief, the President said that Islam had brought order to relations on earth; some conditions of this order are foreseen to be carried out by the State and some by individuals themselves, and this religion envisages various punishments for various crimes. He added that following the proclamation of the Republic a new order was established but nothing forbidden by the Koran was permitted a place in it. Moreover, new limitations were imposed such as the institution of monogamy.
It should be noted that many of the Koran's verses were not implemented even during the Ottoman Empire. At present there is no State which rules by implementing all of the verses of the Koran. A reform in Islam has already been made, and Muslim societies have stopped implementing all the verses due to the conditions and necessities of life itself.
"Sheria" meant Islamic law based on the Koran. Nobody says anything about the verses concerning the practice of religion. But what about the verses concerning civil law, penal law and others?
We do not know much about the project the President is having prepared on religion. However, two months before the 21st century, the interest of the President in such a project shows that Turkey is faced with a reactionary threat."
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