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Turkish Press Review, 99-11-15

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

15.11.99

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [02] BILL CLINTON IN TURKEY
  • [03] MRS. CLINTON VISITS MUSEUM OF ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS
  • [04] RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE
  • [05] SCHOOLS CLOSED IN SAKARYA AND BOLU
  • [06] ANKARA-ISTANBUL HIGHWAY RE-OPENED
  • [07] EARTHQUAKE DISCUSSIONS
  • [08] CYPRUS TALKS TO RESUME IN NEW YORK IN DECEMBER
  • [09] CELEBRATION FOR TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS
  • [10] NEW PLOT BY GREEK LOBBY
  • [11] TURKMEN GAS AGREEMENT GOES INTO EFFECT
  • [12] TURKISH DELEGATION'S ACHIEVEMENT
  • [13] EU MESSAGE FROM THE US TO TURKEY
  • [14] NEW PLAN TO SURMOUNT CRISIS OVER THE AMNESTY BILL
  • [15] RESTRUCTURING INITIATIVE FOR ENERGY
  • [16] ARI GROUP'S PEACE INITIATIVE TOWARDS ARMENIAN AND GREEK RELATIONS
  • [17] BLACK SEA PORTS MUST HAVE CONTACT WITH BATUM
  • [18] METU CELEBRATES 43RD ANNIVERSARY
  • [19] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [20] QUAKE RESEARCH COUNCIL SHOULD BE FORMED - BY TAYFUN DEVECIOGLU (SABAH)
  • [21] CLINTON IN TURKEY BY IPEK CEM (SABAH)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [02] BILL CLINTON IN TURKEY

    The U.S President, Bill Clinton, arrived in Ankara late on Sunday for a five-day visit. He was welcomed by President Suleyman Demirel at the airport. Clinton has a busy schedule today; he will meet Turkish leaders and address the Turkish Parliament. Bill Clinton will be the first American President to deliver a speech before the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). During his long trip to Turkey, the President will also attend the Summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Turkey is the first stop on President Clinton's 10-day Eastern Mediterranean trip. The President is also scheduled to visit Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Kosovo before heading back to Washington on Nov. 23rd.

    First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea arrived in Ankara late on Saturday after their visit to the Middle East, in order to accompany President Clinton during the trip to Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [03] MRS. CLINTON VISITS MUSEUM OF ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS

    Mrs. Clinton and her daughter Chelsea who came Turkey prior to the OSCE Istanbul Summit, visited the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Strict security measures were taken during her visit. /Turkiye/

    [04] RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE

    A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Northwestern Turkey just after nightfall on Friday. The epicentre was in Bolu-Duzce province, an area just 45 miles (72 kilometres) east of the region worst-hit by the August quake. The previous quake, which had a magnitude of 7.4, was centred on the more heavily-populated coastal areas of Western Turkey and not on mountainous areas like Bolu. With the chances of surviving under piles of rubble decreasing with every passing hour, the official death toll was expected to rise as more bodies are discovered. The death toll has been stated by officials as around 400 so far, with 3,000 injured. After the quake, search and rescue efforts are continuing. The world has mobilized to help Turkey once more. Many search and rescue teams arrived in the region just after the quake. /All papers/

    [05] SCHOOLS CLOSED IN SAKARYA AND BOLU

    National Education Ministry declared that schools in Sakarya and Bolu provinces have been closed, whereas others are open. It is reported that, in Kaynasli, the town worst-hit by the earthquake, one of the two schools collapsed and the other was heavily damaged. Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University has also taken a recess for ten days as the University's buildings were damaged both in Bolu and Duzce. /Hurriyet/

    [06] ANKARA-ISTANBUL HIGHWAY RE-OPENED

    The damage between Bolu-Duzce on the Ankara-Istanbul road have been repaired, and yesterday the road was completely re-opened to vehicles. The old Ankara-Istanbul road has also been made ready for emergencies. /Hurriyet/

    [07] EARTHQUAKE DISCUSSIONS

    Disputes over a possible Marmara earthquake are lasting. Scientists are proposing different views on the length of the fault line which was expected to be broken. During a press conference at Kandilli Observatory's Earthquake Research Institute, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali Pinar said the that 17 August quake has mobilized a large section of 200 km. Asserting that in case of a break in the fault line under the Marmara Sea in a single quake, the magnitude of such a quake would be more than 7, Pınar said that if the fault lines broke separately, the earthquake's magnitude would be between 6 and 6.5. The claim of Prof. Dr. Celal Sengor, one of the academics at Istanbul Technical University, that 'The Northern Anatolia Fault Line's Marmara Sea section will be broken completely, causing a devastating earthquake`, has provoked disputes among scientists. Some assert that not much about the underlying strata of the Marmara Sea is known and, with inadequate data, to claim such a definite thing would not be right. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] CYPRUS TALKS TO RESUME IN NEW YORK IN DECEMBER

    Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas accepted the invitation of the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to attend the proximity talks with Greek Cypriot Leader Glafcos Clerides in New York in December. /All Papers/

    [09] CELEBRATION FOR TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS

    The 16th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is being celebrated without elaborate ceremonies due to the latest earthquake disaster in Turkey. Wreaths will be laid at Ataturk's Mausoleum and Dr. Fazil Kucuk's tomb, and a minute of slience will be observed. Official parades will not be organized. Turkey will attend the ceremonies on Cyprus, represented by a number of commanders, politicians and officials. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] NEW PLOT BY GREEK LOBBY

    The Greek lobby in the US Senate is trying to pass a law claiming that the freedoms of the Greeks are restricted in the TRNC. TRNC Washington Representative Ahmet Erdengiz said that the enactment of the draft would add new dimensions to the Cyprus problem. In a letter he sent to Congress International Relations Committee Chairman Dan Burton, Erdengiz stated that the draft law submitted to the Senate, which called for the US to exert every effort to end the restrictions on the human rights and freedoms of the Greeks and Maronites in the TRNC, was incorrect and unfair. /Hurriyet/

    [11] TURKMEN GAS AGREEMENT GOES INTO EFFECT

    Tha agreement concerning the sale and purchase of energy over a 30-year period between the governments of Turkmenistan and Turkey was published in the Official Gazette and has been put into effect. Thus, a great obstacle has been overcome before the OSCE Istanbul Summit which will convene on 17-18 November. It was revealed that construction work on the Turkmenistan natural gas pipeline, which is planned to reach Turkey in 2003, is underway. /Turkiye/

    [12] TURKISH DELEGATION'S ACHIEVEMENT

    At the Annual General Meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a Turkish delegation manageed to ensure the acceptance of three motions which will enable the participation of those NATO allies who are not members of the EU in the new defence structure of Europe under the same full and equal conditions. With the decision's adoption a call is being made to member countries' Governments member countries to begin work to facilitate the participation of NATO Allies which are not as yet members of the ESDI. /Aksam/

    [13] EU MESSAGE FROM THE US TO TURKEY

    The US National Security Council's Director for European Affairs, Tony Blinken, stated that Turkey's admission into the EU would send an important signal to other Muslim countries. In an interview he gave to the "Kathimerini" newspaper published in Athens, Blinken said that Europe must support Turkey's efforts towards democratization. Due to Turkey's important strategic location in the region, he noted that if such an effort resulted in failure, Turkey would no longer be the focus of stability in the area and would indeed constitute the threat of instability. He expressed the wish that Greece would vote positively for Turkey's candidacy at the Helsinki Summit./Turkiye/

    [14] NEW PLAN TO SURMOUNT CRISIS OVER THE AMNESTY BILL

    The coalition parties, which suspended the Amnesty Bill for a month, are working on a new plan to overcome the crisis at the summit of leaders in December. It was revealed that the coalition parties had started work on an alternative, in addition to the existing Bill, due to the unofficial warnings emanating from the Constitutional Court. /Sabah/

    [15] RESTRUCTURING INITIATIVE FOR ENERGY

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer stated that Turkey, in the process of integration with the global economy, had started restructuring the energy sector. Ersumer added that the issue of arbitration, which concerned foreigners, had been solved to a great extent with an amendment to the Constitution, and they had prepared harmonization policies and presented them to the TGNA as the Government's. Ersumer said that the leaders were in agreement that these harmonization laws should be enacted as soon as possible. /Sabah/

    [16] ARI GROUP'S PEACE INITIATIVE TOWARDS ARMENIAN AND GREEK RELATIONS

    The think-tank group Ari Movement, which is in the process of finding new ideas for Turkish policy, has taken steps to provide sound developments in Turco-Armenian and Turco-Greek relations. Kemal Koprulu who arrived in the US in mid-October and has met Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, who is known for his affilation to the Greek lobby and vice-presidency candidate in the previous Election, Robert Dole, who is close to the Armenians. Koprulu stated that both men had said that they had not listened to Turkey's side and that they were not against Turkey. Koprulu has decided to organize a series of conferences together with the American "Western Policy Centre" and the "US- Armenian Union". /Hurriyet/

    [17] BLACK SEA PORTS MUST HAVE CONTACT WITH BATUM

    The Trabzon Exporters' Union, has stated that in order to revive exports which have almost come to a standstill in the Black Sea region, the port of Hopa should be connected to Batum by rail. The Chairman of the Union, Ahmet Hamdi Gundogan, in a report he sent both the political representatives of the region and the Ministers said that, with the opening of the Sarp border gate, Trabzon had become an important door onto markets in Eurasia and Asia. However, due to poor infrastructure and the high cost of communication, this had turned into a disadvantage. /Aksam/

    [18] METU CELEBRATES 43RD ANNIVERSARY

    One of the leading educational centers in our country, the Middle East Technical University (METU), is celebrating its 43rd anniversary. METU was established on Nov. 15, 1956 under the name 'Middle East High Technology Institute`. Today located on a site of 46 thousand acres, METU is continuing to expand educational horizons on the threshold of the 21st century. /Milliyet/

    [19] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [20] QUAKE RESEARCH COUNCIL SHOULD BE FORMED - BY TAYFUN DEVECIOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Tayfun Devecioglu writes on the earthquake of November 12 and calls on an 'earthquake council` to be formed. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The earthquake which shook the Marmara region on November 12 caused great destruction. The worst-hit town was Kaynasli, followed by Duzce. People whose houses were destroyed tried to find tents in which to take shelter. There are mini tent-cities in empty spaces. The disaster which hit Bolu, Duzce and Kaynasli is great. However, this time the State is experienced. It seems that bitter experience has taught us something. However, the State has one duty of consequence to perform following the two disasters, and that is to research into what lies underneath the Marmara Sea.

    Some professeors are indeed inspiring confidence in people. However there are others who seem like used car dealers. One of the professors said that the media should not hold up a microphone to just anyone who speaks on the subject, they should first look at what he has done or said before the earthquakes.

    At this point the State should form an Earthquake Research Council and look at what lies beneath the Marmara Sea. This Council should be composed of credible scientists, and if necessary foreign scientists should be invited to join it as well. The Marmara is the next most densely-populated quake region following Japan."

    [21] CLINTON IN TURKEY BY IPEK CEM (SABAH)

    Columnist Ipek Cem from "Sabah" comments on President Clinton's visit to Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows:

    The expected moment has arrived and President Clinton has begun his visit to Turkey. Following his round of talks in Ankara, Clinton will attend the OSCE Summit on 18-19 November. There is nothing extraordinary in the visit of the US President except that he postponed his journey to Greece which was to take place prior to his stay in Turkey.

    Clinton is coming to Turkey as part of a 10-day round of Eastern Mediterranean countries. He will go to Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Kosovo following bilateral talks with Turkey and the OSCE Summit. Clinton will attend the Thanksgiving dinner of the US troops serving in the Kosovo Peace Force and will return home after that.

    Some important issues will be expounded on during President Clinton's visit. They can be listed as Turkey's increasing strategic and regional importance, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline venture, and concerns over Chechnya during the meeting between Clinton and Yeltsin under the auspices of the OSCE. However, the Summit agenda and Clinton's visit are not restricted to these subjects. Certainly, problems over Greece and Cyprus could be covered during bilateral talks. The programme of the OSCE Summit has already been set out.

    On the subject of Turkey's increasing strategic and regional importance, the closeness between Turkey and the US during the past year is striking. This closeness is also seen in US support for Turkey's candidacy of the EU. Former Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir stated that the US is more courageous in bringing Turkey to the fore. Turkey's importance which was only mentioned behind close doors in the past are openly stated.

    Turkey with both a Western political identity and contact with the Islamic world is of great consequence to the US foreign policy. Turkey is coming to the fore as a role-model country which can establish the bridge between Europe and Asia. In fact, Turkey is one of the rare countries enjoying relations with both Arabic countries and Israel. The economic issue of the Clinton visit concerns the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The signing of the agreement will lead the super powers to the Caucasian region. The importance of the pipeline scheme which has been supported by the Clinton Administration for six years lies in the fact that it will lessen the dependence on Russia of the new Republics which seceded from the Soviet Union.

    Turkey intends to consolidate its regional power base in Caucasia and the Middle East. In the new balance of power which will come into being, in addition to historical ties and geostrategic import, economic power and proximity to energy resources will play an important role. If we can play our cards right in the region, policies in line with our needs can be implemented. Clinton's visit is of great significance in strengthening the steps taken towards this, in addition to enhancing the relations between the US and Turkey.


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