|Monday, 19 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-11-12
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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
 DEATH PENALTY IS A PRIMITIVE PUNISHMENT - BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
 ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE HUMAN RIGHTSThe coalition partners have initiated some attempts to improve human rights before the Helsinki Summit. The leaders agreed to abolish capital punishment, although it has not been applied for 14 years. Following the 'amnesty` and 'invitation` crises, the leaders negotiated on the question of capital punishment during a summit. The State Minister responsible for Human Rights, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, and Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk briefed the leaders of the coalition partners. Minister Irtemcelik recalled Turkey's commitment to Europe in the past for abolishing capital punishment and said, "If we abolish the death sentence before the Helsinki Summit we can turn our situation around to a more advantageous position." The leaders are anxious that the timing of the terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan's punishment will cause them great difficulties. /Aksam/
 US SUPPORT FOR TURKEYThe American Senate has accepted a Bill concerning the continuation of NATO's primary role for the defence of Europe and Turkey's full participation in the European Security and Defence Identity. In the decision, it is strongly emphasized that the countries, including Turkey, which were NATO members although they are not full members of the EU, should in no way be excluded from this initiative. /Aksam/
 FIVE TOPICS FOR OSCE SUMMITDuring the OSCE Summit, to be held in Istanbul on November 18-19, issues such as the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, the tragedy in Chechnya, the signing of the accord for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline venture, violations of children's rights world-wide and the prevention of torture will be discussed, and great steps are expected to be taken concerning these five important topics.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry has claimed that a portion of the armed groups in Chechnya will settle in Turkey. An article in 'Krasnaya Zvezda', a newspaper published by the Russian Defence Ministry, said that part of the Chechen forces are continuing their resistance to the Russian Army while other Chechen 'rebels' are considered to settle in Turkey. Meanwhile, the Russian Inter-Fax Agency has stated that Russia will face no small difficulty during the OSCE Summit in Istanbul because of the Chechen problem. /Turkiye/
 MARMARA AFTERSHOCK KILLS ONE, INJURES 156One person died and 156 people were injured in an aftershock in the Marmara area which caused panic in the earthquake region. Sapanca was the epicentre of the aftershock that registered 5.7 on the Richter scale, the second largest since the August 17 quake. /Aksam/
 QATARI FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY DUE IN TURKEYAbdurrahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah, the Qatari Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, will pay an official visit to Turkey on November 12 to engage in political consultations. Sermet Atacanli, the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Spokesman, said that al-Attiyah will visit Turkey under the auspices of a protocol signed during President Suleyman Demirel's visit to Qatar last April. The protocol envisaged regular political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 NATO PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY'S GENERAL COUNCILA 10-person delegation who will represent the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) during the 45th Annual General Meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, to be held on November 12-15 in Amsterdam, went to Holland yesterday. The Turkish delegation is headed by the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Deputy from Istanbul who is also Deputy Chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Tahir Kose. Kose made a statement at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport yesterday and said that during the General Council meetings, the Assembly's civil affairs, defence and security, economic, political, science and technology committees would convene. Kose added that during the meetings, draft decisions concerning respect for international humanitarian law, the European Security and Defence Identity, Kosovo and the re-construction of Eastern Europe, biological weapons and relations with the Russian Federation will be discussed. The Turkish delegation will return to Turkey on November 15, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 GEN.KIVRIKOGLU RETURNS TO TURKEYThe Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, who attended the 136th NATO Military Committee's General Staff Meetings and the NATO-Ukraine and Europe-Atlantic Council Military Committee Meetings, returned to Ankara from Brussels yesterday. A statement issued by the General Secretariat of the General Staff said that during the meetings on November 7-11 views were exchanged concerning NATO operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, and initiatives to implement the military decisions taken during the NATO Summit in Washington on April 23-25 were launched. Gen.Kivrikoglu also held bilateral meetings with high-level NATO officials and the Chiefs of General Staff of various countries. /Turkiye/
 TELEPHONE DIPLOMACY ENDS BAKU-CEYHAN DEADLOCKIn a last-minute move, telephone contact between the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey has removed the barriers blocking the Baku-Ceyhan negotiations from taking place in Ankara. President Suleyman Demirel informed Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that these problems had been solved by contacting Presidents Haydar Aliyev and Eduard Shevardnadze by telephone. Ecevit was later received by President Demirel, and the information given to Ecevit by Demirel has satisfied the Government. In a press conference yesterday held by Georgian Ambassador Tariel Lebanidze, Georgia expressed full support for the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Trans-Caspian natural gas projects. /All papers/
 DENKTAS ISSUES ANOTHER WARNING ON OSCE SUMMITJust one week before the OSCE Summit in Istanbul gets underway, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, has issued another warning regarding the Cyprus question. Drawing attention to the indirect talks currently taking place in search of a solution for Cyprus, Denktas urged authorities not to allow the use of terminology that would offend Turkish-Cypriots, and asked them to be vigilant in not allowing initiatives that may lead to a deadlock in these talks. /All papers/
 MODERNIZATION OF C-130 PLANES TO BE PUT OUT TO TENDERThe modernization of C-130 military cargo planes will be put out to tender in December. The firm which wins the tender will be requested to equip the C-130s with the latest systems, so the C-130s will be enabled to fly from continent to continent. A sum of 20-25 million dollars has been allocated to this scheme, officials said, and added that the value of the tender will be determined later, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 275 TENTS FROM ECZACIBASI BAXTERThe American partner of the Eczacibasi Baxter, Baxter Health Care Corporation's Allegiance's Foundation sent 275 winter tents for the earthquake survivors. The tents enable the accomodation of 2,200 people and they were handed over to the Yalova Governer in a ceremony held at the Turkish Aviation Industry's (TAI) Murted Facilities. The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation transported the tents for free to Turkey. /Aksam/
 KOCAELI MAYOR THANKS BELGIUMThe Mayor of the Gulf of Kocaeli, Erhan Yenilmez, thanked the Governor of Eastern Flanders in Belgium, Hermann Baltazar, for his support extended to those affected by the earthquake disaster. Yenilmez and Baltazar held a meeting yesterday. Baltazar stated that they had donated 3 million Francs (nearly 35 billion TL) on the day they heard about the earthquake, and, additionally, a team consisting of emergency aid experts had been sent to Turkey. Yenilmez expressed his gratitude for their support and said that he desired that cultural relations between the municipalities would further develop. A Belgian Senator of Turkish origin, Meryem Kacar, also attended the meeting, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 AID FROM ITALY TO EARTHQUAKE VICTIMSThe Italian Government has decided to donate 5 mobile kitchens and a field hospital after the initiatives and efforts of non-governmental organizations for the earthquake victims. Mitsubishi has also started an aid campaign for those affected by the earthquake who work for its authorized sellers and servicing outlets. The Chairman of the Association to Spread Turkish and Italian Culture, Dr. Kenan Aydinoglu, stated that a delegation of 5 people, among which a medical professor from Milan Polyclinic and representatives of the Voluntary Service Foundation were present, had come to Turkey and inspected the earthquake-hit regions on 5th and 7th November in order to determine where best to donate the kitchens. Aydinoglu added that 4 kitchens would be donated to Adapazari and the other to the Tommy Atkins Tent City. Sixty-three thousand dollars, collected as part of the campaign that was started by the Mitsubishi Company, was received by the Company's distributor in Turkey who is also the General Director of Temsa Thermomechanics Limited, Ergun Korkut, to be given to the earthquke victims. /Cumhuriyet/
 WORLD MARITIME UNIVERSITIES UNION IS BEING ESTABLISHEDThe Rectors and Deans of the five best universities on the five continents met in Istanbul in order to establish the "World's Maritime Universities Union" under the leadership of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and the Japanese Kobe University. The Union's first Congress will be held during the Cabotage Festival in the year 2000 in Istanbul. For the first time, a Turkish university has taken the lead in establishing standards for world maritime education under the initiative that is being supported financially by the Japanese Nippon Foundation. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW MASTER PLAN FOR GAPThe GAP Regional Development Administration is continuing its consultations with three firms as part of the revision and up-dating project of the GAP Master Plan. According to information received from the GAP Administration, initiatives to revise the GAP Master Plan have been launched. According to this, the GAP Master Plan prepared in 1989 will be reviewed, altered in line with the new conditions in the GAP Region, and reworked to cover the period up to the year 2010, when all investments within the guidelines of the scheme are expected to be completed. /Turkiye/
 COTTARELLI IS HOPEFULHead of the International Monetary Fund's Turkey Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, who is in Turkey for the negotiations on the stand-by agreement, said, "I am still hopeful that we could leave Turkey with a 'letter of good intent'. It may take more than a week but certainly less than two." Following his meetings with directors of some banks and with members of TUSIAD's Executive Board, Cottarelli responded to questions posed to him by journalists. Explaining that negotiations were still underway on some subjects, he said, "This programme will be very comprehensive." Answering a question about the inflation target for the year 2000, he emphasized that economic growth was also possible with a low rate of inflation. /Aksam/
 FINANCE FAIRThe International Finance, Banking and Finance Technology Fair'99 was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu. The Minister said that Turkey would be the 'centre of attraction and profit` especialy in financial sector during the next century. Within the scope of the Fair which will end on Nov. 14, various meetings and discussion panels will be organized. /Aksam/
 LOAN FOR RANT LEASINGThe Rant Leasing Company has organized a loan of 3 million dollars through the American Eximbank. The General Director of the Rant Leasing Company, Sen Akduman, said that the loan would be used to finance of investment in American goods. /Aksam/
 AUTHORITY FOR EURO BONDSTurkey has delegated Chase Securities International and Salomon Smith Barney to export Euro bonds. The Treasury's Foreign Economic Affairs' General Director, Aydin Karaoz, said that the bonds would expire in two years' time. The Treasury, last exported Euro bonds in August, had achieved an income of 400 million dollars from this tender. /Aksam/
 $100 MILLION INVESTMENT IN SAKOSAThe Sakosa factory, set up in Izmit under the partnership of the Sabanci Conglomerate and the Kosa Company based in the US, will double its capcity with an additional investment of $100 million. The Head of the Executive Board of the Sabanci Conglomerate, Sakip Sabanci, said, "During these hard days, we are very happy that such a great investment using state-of-the-art technology has been made in Izmit, a city seriously affected by the earthquake disaster on August 17." /Turkiye/
 RETAILERS IN ISTANBULThe fifth regional conference on '21st Century Retail Tendencies' organized by the Shopping Centres and the Retailers' Association started yesterday in Istanbul. During the Conference attended by European, US and Turkish retailers, awards for 'Shopping Centre of the Year' and 'Retailer of the Year' were presented. Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu, who delivered an opening speech at the Conference, said that new marketing styles should be established in Turkey. The Conference will end today. /Turkiye/
 CENTRAL BANK'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UPThe Turkish Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves rose by $579 million for the week ending November 5 to $24.544 billion, the Bank announced yesterday. National foreign exchange reserves, including the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves, commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves and the Central Bank's gold reserves, rose by a mere $891 million to $37.856 billion on October 22. Meanwhile, the Central Bank said a total of $10.447 billion has been spent in debt repayments since January 1. /All papers/
 TOSKAY PLEDGES ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN 1-1.5 YEARSThe State Minister responsible for foreign trade, Tunca Toskay, pledged that the Government would save the Turkish economy from its current deadlock in one to one-and-a-half years. Toskay presided over the opening of the Manavgat Bridge that spans the Manavgat River, a popular tourist attraction, and delivered a speech during the ceremony held to mark the occasion. /All papers/
 INSURER MAKES $20 MLN ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR TUPRAS FIRE DAMAGETurkish insurer Gunes Sigorta announced yesterday that it made an advance payment of $20 million to cover the fire damage at the state-run TUPRAS oil refinery in Izmit. In a statement sent to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), Gunes Sigorta said that it demanded an immediate payment of $26 million from foreign underwriters to cover the primary fire damage at TUPRAS, the country's largest refinery. /All papers/
 NETAS WINS 100 TRILLION TL TELEKOM ORDERTurkish telecommunications firm Netas has won a 100 trillion TL contract from state monopoly Turk Telekom, the company announced. In a statement sent to the IMKB the Istanbul-based Netas Northern Electric Telekomunikasyon A.S. said that the deal was a framework for the enlargement of the national communications network. Under the deal deliveries will be completed within two years. /All papers/
 QUOTA PROBLEMThe textile and ready-made cloth quotas, which have been implemented by Turkey so as to harmonize with the Customs Union agreement that she signed with the EU, have been found to be "against liberal trade" by the World Trade Organization. In addition, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has not altered its decision after Turkey's appeal concerning this issue. Turkey, who tried to appeal against the decision of the WTO panel organized after a complaint received from India, was found to be in the wrong during the appeal process. The decision concerning the appeal was stated to Turkey on 21st October. It is expected that the appeal decision will be made certain during a meeting that will be held in Geneva on 19th November. /Cumhuriyet/
 TUSIAD IS HOPEFUL ABOUT IMFThe Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yucaoglu, stated that the agreement with the IMF would be made before the end of the year. Yucaoglu, stating that the IMF is hopeful and that, moreover there is a consensus in place between government officials, said, "In December the IMF wants to make the stand-by agreement last for three years." Yucalan, pointing out the importance of the year 2000 Budget, further added, "The results of the meeting are certain principles. Using these principles, the practices that will be implemented by both the public and private sectors after reaching an agreement, will decrease inflation." /Hurriyet/
 FRIENDLY AWARDS IN ATHENSThe 9th "Abdi Ipekci Friendship and Peace Award" ceremony, which is jointly organized by the Turkish 'Milliyet' newspaper and Greece, will be held at 11:00 in Melas Cultural Palace in Athens. In the competition, Necati Sonmez came first and Necdet Canaran came second in the "columnist" category. Additionally, Asena Kaya came first and Gunseli Kocaman was runner-up in the "primary school article competition". Kemal Yalcin and the search and rescue teams AKUT and EMAK received "special awards". /Milliyet/
 'FRIENDSHIP TRAIN'The 'Friendship train', which was organized by the Turkish Radio and Television Organization, the Youth Foundation and the Directorate General of State Railways, arrived in Athens from Selanik yesterday. Turkish State Minister Fikret Unlu, the Greek Chairman of the Executive Board of State Railways, Yorgos Murmuris, and Turkey's Ambassador to Athens, Ali Tuygan, welcomed the train. During the reception, which attracted great attention, the Ataturk Museum was visited by those involved with the Friendship Train. While answering the questions of Greek journalists, Unlu said that an excellent friendship scheme had begun between Turkey and Greece. Unlu added, "The friendship that began between Ataturk and Venizelos is being strengthened day by day. We are proud of it and desire to strengthen it more in every sector." /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 OSCE AND THE NGOS - BY AHMET TAN (SABAH)Columnist Ahmet Tan writes on the OSCE and non-governmental organizations (NGO's). A summary of his column is as follows:
"The OSCE, unlike the UN or NATO does not have a status "above-State". This organization does not depend on an agreement or convention which is legally binding. OSCE decisions cover commitments on political grounds. It was formed as a Forum for dialogue between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries in the second half of the 1970s, and became a strong organization acting in line with developments observed throughout the world. Its decisions are politically binding. In some cases, even the principle of 'consensus' is not implemented. Countries violating these principles can be punished, as in the case of Yugoslavia.
That may be why it is the youngest organization of the current century and the most promising one of the next. The reason for this lies in the fact that no other organization is in close cooperation with non-governmental organizations, and the OSCE may be the only organization in which NGO's participate in the negotiation and decision-making process and are able to influence them.
In Western countries, these organizations can influence domestic politics and international relations. In the coming century, politics will not only be governed by political parties, parliaments or governments, but NGO's will also have a say in the policy of the country. People are trying to influence politicians and even diplomats through these organizations. Since the beginning of the week at the "Review Conference" these organizations met and questioned Turkish officials and diplomats.
It can be seen that there is no need to fear criticism. In fact, benefits can arise from it. It is possible to erase lies or prejudices and have the issues where you are in the right accepted during such meetings. It is also a means whereby you can learn about the procedures in other States. This has been a sort of "in-service training" for our NGO's.
The holding of the OSCE Summit has provided serious opportunities for Turkey. The US President will not only come to the Summit but also deliver a speech at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and may repeat his words that if there is a real vision on the part of the European countries they must be willing to reach out to Turkey to expand their borders beyond Asia through Turkey. Certainly, Turkey has to define her own future and function and carry it out."
 DEATH PENALTY IS A PRIMITIVE PUNISHMENT - BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the discussion concerning the lifting of the death penalty at the summit of the three coalition party leaders. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The issue of the removal of the death penalty was deliberated by the leaders of the three coalition parties during their meeting. However, no concrete decision has been reached as yet. It is reported that they all agreed to lift the death penalty, as they viewed it as a primitive punishment but, just prior to the annoucement of the High Court of Appeals' decision on Ocalan's sentence, they believed it would have various repercussions and people would believe that they had accepted this decision so as to give Ocalan a last minute-reprieve.
There is another side to the coin. In Helsinki, in December the leaders of the EU countries will meet and try to answer the question of the acceptance of Turkey as the 12th candidate for full-membership. Everyone knows that, in order to obtain a positive answer, Turkey has to take steps towards democratization and becoming a state of law respecting human rights. The easiest step of them all is to lift the death penalty.
There have been numerous moves made towards commuting the death penalty to a life sentence since 1998. In a public opinion poll carried out by KAMAR in 1989 it was seen that only 28% of the population was against the removal of the death penalty while 60.2% was in favour of its abolition. Therefore, there is no need to hesitate in lifting capital punishment with regards to public opinion. We have to do the right thing. We have to cleanse our lawbooks of this primitive punishment.
Turkey's candidacy to the European Union is another question. But if we want to be a member of the ciBvilized world, we have to pay our debt to it."
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