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Turkish Press Review, 99-11-24

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

24.11.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CEM: "OUR CONTRIBUTION TO ESDI WILL BE IN LINE WITH OUR PARTICIPATION"
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [03] SENSITIVE MESSAGE FROM DEMIREL
  • [04] DEMIREL SENDS LETTER OF THANKS TO ECEVIT
  • [05] OFFICIAL INVITATION TO ECEVIT
  • [06] TWO NEW DAMS ON THE RIVER CORUH
  • [07] LEADERS TO MEET AFTER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
  • [08] CEM: "OUR CONTRIBUTION TO ESDI WILL BE IN LINE WITH OUR PARTICIPATION"
  • [09] OZAN CEYHUN: I AM HOPEFUL ABOUT HELSINKI
  • [10] ROMANO PRODI: "SOCIAL MOBILIZATION NEEDED FOR TURKEY"
  • [11] "STABILITY IS NECESSARY"
  • [12] LAST TRUMP CARDS FOR NEW YORK
  • [13] HIGH MILITARY COUNCIL CONVENES
  • [14] TOROS MANOEUVRES BEGINNING
  • [15] GREEK POSITION ON TURKISH EU BID 'NOT A GIVEN'
  • [16] GREEK AND TURKISH BUSINESS GROUPS SEEK CLOSER TIES
  • [17] COOPERATION AGAINST NUCLEAR THREAT
  • [18] TURKEY-US-ISRAEL FREE-TRADE ZONE
  • [19] 'BLUE STREAM` SIGNED
  • [20] VERGAU: "IF OCALAN IS EXECUTED, YOU CAN FORGET HELSINKI"
  • [21] FEHRIYE ERDAL STAYS INSIDE FOR ONE MORE MONTH
  • [22] PUNISHMENT FOR DHKP-C MILITANT
  • [23] KARAYILAN IN HOLLAND
  • [24] EMERGENCY RULE EXTENDED FOR FOUR MONTHS
  • [25] DRUGS RAID
  • [26] PKK FILE AGAINST THE CHECHENS
  • [27] AGREEMENT WITH IMF
  • [28] 'RESTRUCTURING OF TURKEY AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT`
  • [29] TURKEY PLANS POPULATION AND FARM CENSUS 2000_01
  • [30] MESUT YILMAZ IN GERMANY
  • [31] ISTANBUL MAYOR IN GERMANY
  • [32] FULL SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME
  • [33] IRAQ CUTS KIRKUK-YUMURTALIK OIL PIPELINE
  • [34] SALOMON SMITH BARNEY PRAISES IS BANK
  • [35] LOAN WORTH $757.5 MILLION
  • [36] NORWAY WANTS TO INVEST IN TURKEY
  • [37] TURKEY TO PURCHASE PATRIOT MISSILES
  • [38] SYNDICATION LOAN OF 550 MILLION DOLLARS FOR TURKCELL
  • [39] FINANSBANK
  • [40] UNICEF'S SUPPORT PROJECT
  • [41] GALATASARAY CLOSER TO FOURTH ROUND OF UEFA CUP
  • [42] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [43] THREE LEADERS' HISTORIC DECISION BY ERTUGRUL OZKOK (HURRIYET)
  • [44] THE WEST, CONTROVERSIES AND TURKEY BY IZZET SEDES (AKSAM)

  • [01] CEM: "OUR CONTRIBUTION TO ESDI WILL BE IN LINE WITH OUR PARTICIPATION"

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [03] SENSITIVE MESSAGE FROM DEMIREL

    President Suleyman Demirel believes that the developments which began with the visit of US President Bill Clinton to Turkey, continued with the OSCE Summit attended by 54 Heads of State and concluded with the visit of the Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, to Ankara constitute an important process for Turkey. Demirel had given a message to Clinton and EU leaders saying, "There is discrimination in Luxembourg. There cannot be a Europe without Turkey. It would be very mistaken to exclude Turkey from Europe. If Turkey is left out at the EU Summit in Helsinki, the number of those who support unity with Europe will decrease. If we experience another disappointment, then our relations will be frozen". Demirel said that these words were not threatening but anticipatory. /Hurriyet/

    [04] DEMIREL SENDS LETTER OF THANKS TO ECEVIT

    President Suleyman Demirel sent a letter of thanks and congratulations to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on the OSCE Summit in Istanbul. Demirel said in his letter that the OSCE Summit in Istanbul had ended in success due to effective initiatives by the Turkish government, and had been very influential in the political advancement of Turkey. Demirel also congratulated all the Ministries and institutions involved, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior, for their great contributions. Demirel also sent letters of thanks to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Turkish Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Ambassador Yalim Eralp, and Istanbul Governor Erol Cakir. /Hurriyet/

    [05] OFFICIAL INVITATION TO ECEVIT

    The EU's Current President, Finland, has officially invited Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the lunch that will be held after the Helsinki Summit next month. It was revealed that Ecevit had not given a definite answer to the invitation as yet. It was stated that if Turkey's candidacy to the EU is certain to be announced, Ecevit is likely to go to Helsinki; if it is otherwise, he might reject the invitation. /Sabah/

    [06] TWO NEW DAMS ON THE RIVER CORUH

    President Suleyman Demirel laid the foundation of the Borkca and Muratli dams that will begin to be constructed on the River Coruh. Demirel, stating that the dams would be constructed within five or six years, said that only on the River Coruh had an investment of 3 billion dollars been made. Demirel, attending the dams' foundation-laying ceremony, delivered a speech there in which said, "In 1950, there were three dams. Now seven dams are being constructed simultaneously, but only on the River Coruh." During the event, the Minister of Energy and Natural Sources, Cumhur Ersumer, said, "Turkey needs to increase her energy investment five-fols before the year 2025 and invest at least five or six billion dollars. In order to achieve this goal, and due to the lack of her own resources, Turkey should make use of the other sources of funding available world-wide." /Aksam/

    [07] LEADERS TO MEET AFTER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

    The coalition leaders will meet today after the National Security Council has convened. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that there is no definite agenda at the Summit and added, "As three general leaders, we meet often and place every issue of importance on the table." In addition, it was stated that the Council of Ministers meeting, that was supposed to be in session on Friday, will be held tomorrow at 15:00. The coalition leaders, under the alliance protocol, have decided to hold their leaders' consultations more often than once a month. Due to this, following the National Security Council meeting, these leaders will gather together at 18:00 today. It was stated that during their talks, draft laws would be discussed by the Heads of government and every issue on the agenda would be brought up in turn for consideration. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] CEM: "OUR CONTRIBUTION TO ESDI WILL BE IN LINE WITH OUR PARTICIPATION"

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is in Luxembourg attending WEU Council meetings, said, "The participation of Turkey in the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) will be in line with the authority granted to us within the decision-making mechanism". Cem added, "Our contribution to the ESDI is desired. We have good intentions. However, the extent of the Turkish contribution is to be parallel to its authority and position in the decision-making mechanism". Cem stated that the EU wanted to take steps towards building up a military organization, and remarked that Turkey, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Norway and Iceland are NATO members but are not EU members. Cem pointed out that the situation of these countries had not been determined yet. He said that their exclusion was out of the question, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [09] OZAN CEYHUN: I AM HOPEFUL ABOUT HELSINKI

    Ozan Ceyhun, the only member of the European Parliament who is of Turkish origin, said that he was very hopeful about the Helsinki Summit. A representative of the German Green Party in the European Parliament, Ozan Ceyhun declared that he had enjoyed no such expectation one month ago, however, the situation had now changed and if nothing bad happens before beginning of December, we might celebrate the approval of the Turkey's EU membership. He also emphasized, "Turkey has changed a lot and it should take its place in Europe." /Turkiye/

    [10] ROMANO PRODI: "SOCIAL MOBILIZATION NEEDED FOR TURKEY"

    The EU Commission Chairman, Romano Prodi, said that he was hopeful as far as the Helsinki Summit is concerned. Prodi added, "However, the decision concerning membership should be taken carefully. Turkey will turn out to be a an area of job opportunities and social mobilization will be necessary." Prodi, who attended the concert of pianist Idil Biret as the guest of honour, said, "Turkey is considered to be European. The earthquake disaster was a calamity for Europe. Problems should be solved by European solidarity. Of course the doors are open between Turkey and the EU and I hope the Helsinki Summit will strengthen this relationship. In the EU, everything is built slowly and Turkey should work patiently." /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] "STABILITY IS NECESSARY"

    The Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (GYODER) has brought the sector's world leaders to Turkey. The Chairman of the American National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), Steven A. Wechsler, Deputy Chairman Tony Edwards and the Group's European Financial Products Chairman, Glenn Aaronson, stated that Real Estate Association found developments in Turkey extremely exciting and said, "However, you cannot finance your market merely by decreasing interest rates. Those who guide the economy should take all precautions necessary, keep inflation low and ensure stability." Wechsler said, "Some of the Turkish Real Estate Associations have applied to us to become members of our Association. These memberships are steps on the path to increasing communication among various companies. From now on, our 2,600 members will be more aware of creating job opportunities in Turkey and it is only the beginning." /Sabah/

    [12] LAST TRUMP CARDS FOR NEW YORK

    Prior to the Rauf Denktas-Glafkos Klerides indirect negotiations to begin under the supervision of the UN in New York on December 3, both sides are playing their last trump cards. According to US sources, 'basic issues' will also be deliberated in New York. Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), who initially was opposed to this idea, later decided to sit at the table and not to present any pre-conditions due to Turkish and American persuasion. The same sources noted that Washington had also assured Athens that the meetings in New York would be open to every topic. /Hurriyet/

    [13] HIGH MILITARY COUNCIL CONVENES

    The second ordinary meeting of the High Military Council (YAS) will be held on 26th November at General Staff Headquarters. During the consultations, the situation of more than 50 people, who have been judged to be indisciplined and involved in reactionary activities, will be discussed and, if necessary, their connection with the Turkish Armed Forces will be severed. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] TOROS MANOEUVRES BEGINNING

    The Toros'99 Manoeuvres, one of the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) planned exercises, are underway. The vessels have reached Girne Harbour where the ships' commanders will pay their respects to President Rauf Denktas, the Turco-Cypriot Peace Force Command Headquarters and the TRNC's Defence Forces' Command Headquarters. The commanders will also visit Karaoglanoglu and Bogaz military cemeteries. The ships will be open to visitors between 13:30 and 16:00 today and tomorrow and will leave the TRNC on 27th November. /Aksam/

    [15] GREEK POSITION ON TURKISH EU BID 'NOT A GIVEN'

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu said yesterday that Greece's support for the Turkish bid to join the EU was 'not a given' and could depend on the EU's stance and a goodwill gesture from Turkey. "It will be determined by the final text, the final positions and commitments of EU on a series of issues which concern both the nature of the Turkish candidacy and the consolidation of significant Greek interests", he added. /All papers/

    [16] GREEK AND TURKISH BUSINESS GROUPS SEEK CLOSER TIES

    Greek and Turkish industrialists said that stronger business ties between the two countries, and the prospect of Turkey becoming a candidate for EU membership, could improve Athens-Ankara political relations. In a joint statement, the Greek Federation of Industrialists and the Union of Turkish Industrialists and Entrepreneurs said, "The acceptance of Turkey as a candidate country in the EU's expansion process will facilitate effective solutions to the political problems existing between Greece and Turkey". /All papers/

    [17] COOPERATION AGAINST NUCLEAR THREAT

    The US has transferred ownership of the Balbasi Seismic Observation Centre to Turkey with a protocol signed during US President Bill Clinton's visit to Turkey. The US Defence Department has invited three officials from the Turkish Office of General Staff to attend a planning meeting to evaluate nuclear defence issues. A US official said that their aim was to assess the nuclear threat faced by Turkey and take any precautionary measures needed. /Milliyet/

    [18] TURKEY-US-ISRAEL FREE-TRADE ZONE

    Research into the establishment of a free-trade zone between Turkey, the US and Israel is underway. According to information received by the Anatolia News Agency, a delegation from the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat has left for Jordan to inspect the free-trade zone in that country. The delegation is expected to conclude its talks and return home on Friday. Officials doing research for the trade zone agreement and evaluating various sites, note that one of the existing zones would be preferred with that purpose in mind. Either Adana, Yumurtalik or the Gaziantep region will be chosen, and as Yumurtalik is convenient for maritime freight transport the probability of its being chosen is greater. Officials further note that Jordan could also be included in the free-trade zone as she is a stable and influential country in the region.

    [19] 'BLUE STREAM` SIGNED

    The Italian Eni Company and the Russian natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, have signed contracts for the 'Blue Stream` natural gas pipeline venture worth 1.7 billion dollars. The 'Blue Stream` pipeline will be 1,200 km in length and will reach Turkey from Russia via the Black Sea seabed. The pipeline will transport 16 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. /Turkiye/

    [20] VERGAU: "IF OCALAN IS EXECUTED, YOU CAN FORGET HELSINKI"

    The German Ambassador to Ankara, Dr.Hans-Joachim Vergau, declared, "If Ocalan is executed, you can forget Helsinki". Vergau attended a conference in Izmir yesterday. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that their position on the execution of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the PKK terrorist organization, would be determined according to the demand for its postponement received from the European Court of Human Rights. /Milliyet/

    [21] FEHRIYE ERDAL STAYS INSIDE FOR ONE MORE MONTH

    A member of the illegal DHKP-C organization, accused of killing Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci and who was captured in Belgium on September 26, Fehriye Erdal, will be in prison for one more month, as will her friends. These people were tried in court in Brugge, Belgium, yesterday. According to the Belgian judicial system, Erdal and her friends will come up before judges every month and in this way preparations for the main court will be completed. /Hurriyet/

    [22] PUNISHMENT FOR DHKP-C MILITANT

    Dusseldorf State Supreme Court has sentenced a DHKP-C militant to 6 years prison due to 'being a member of a terrorist organization and attempting to murder`. The 27-year-old terrorist admitted his crime. /Turkiye/

    [23] KARAYILAN IN HOLLAND

    It is reported that Murat Karayilan, a member of the PKK terrorist organization, fled to Holland 10 days ago in order to escape from the operations being carried out by Turkish security forces. It is also reported that Karayilan will apply for asylum in Holland. /Hurriyet/

    [24] EMERGENCY RULE EXTENDED FOR FOUR MONTHS

    The General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) has taken the decision to remove the Emergency Rule from Siirt on 30th November 1999 and to extend it for another four months more in Diyarbakir, Tunceli, Van, Sirnak and Hakkari. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] DRUGS RAID

    During a raid, members of the GaziantepPolice Anti- Narcotics Department seized 100 kilos of heroin, worth one trillion TL. The heroin was going to be marketed to European countries. Five people have been detained while three others are wanted in connection with the incident. /Turkiye/

    [26] PKK FILE AGAINST THE CHECHENS

    Turkish and Russian intelligence services met yesterday in Ankara and discussed the topics of Chechnya and the PKK. During the talks, which have started due to the initiative of the two countries' Presidents during the OSCE Summit, Chechen separatists' activities in Turkey and their active supporters came onto the agenda. The Russian intelligence service was briefed by Turkey about the PKK's bases and actions in Russia. /Cumhuriyet/

    [27] AGREEMENT WITH IMF

    The stand-by agreement has been completed. The IMF delegation has departed from Turkey without waiting for the signing of the letter of intent on which a consensus had been reached. The letter of intent will be ratified after being approved at the meeting of coalition partners today and will be sent to the US next week. The consensus reached on the stand-by agreement was announced during a press conference yesterday. Turkey will implement a three-year programme to reduce the rate of inflation for which the IMF will loan $3.4 billion. /Milliyet/

    [28] 'RESTRUCTURING OF TURKEY AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT`

    The 'Restructuring of Turkey and Foreign Investment` conference is on-going in Istanbul. To mark the occasion, President Suleyman Demirel sent a message to Faruk Yoneyman, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Foreign Capital Association, organizer of the Conference. Stating that a bright future awaits Turkey on the threshold of the 21st century, the President said, "Turkey will merge her experience of the past 76 years with future opportunities and be able to reach her desired targets". State Minister Yuksel Yalova delivered a speech at the Conference in which he said that Turkey would arrive at the position she deserves after restructuring the economy. During his speech, Chairman of the Privatization Administration Board Ugur Bayar said that the privatization agenda for the year 1999 was on target. Fatih Yurdal, the General Director of Turk Telekom, addressing the meeting, declared that the bid to restructure the firm, had almost been finalized. Also, Transport Minister Enis Oksuz delivered a speech at the Conference and said that Turkey could not benefit enough from privatization and foreign investment flow. Pointing out that increasing research was being undertaken into foreign investment and economic reforms, Oksuz said, "Enacting laws is not enough to solve the problems; it is more important to be able to apply them." /Turkiye/

    [29] TURKEY PLANS POPULATION AND FARM CENSUS 2000_01

    Turkey will carry out a national census of its growing and migrating population in the year 2000 and a detailed survey of land use and farm animals in 2001, State Minister Tunca Toskay said yesterday. He told a parliamentary commission that the census aimed to 'gather information on the social, demographic and economic aspect of the population'. He gave no date for the census. /All papers/

    [30] MESUT YILMAZ IN GERMANY

    The Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, met the Foreign Policy Spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU), Karl Lamers, and Deputy Chairman of the Christian Social Union Party (CSU), Michael Gloss, yesterday in Berlin. Yilmaz stated that the opposition in Germany should review its stance concerning Turkey's membership to the EU. /Milliyet/

    [31] ISTANBUL MAYOR IN GERMANY

    Istanbul Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna went to Germany to hold a round of talks with German officials. Gurtuna made a statement at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport prior to his departure and said that he would visit Germany in return for the visit paid by Cologne Mayor Norbert Burger to Istanbul following the August 17 earthquake disaster. Gurtuna stated that a preliminary protocol would be signed between Cologne Municipality and Istanbul Municipality for a 'children's shelter' to be constructed in Istanbul for the children badly-affected by the earthquake disaster. Gurtuna remarked that he would then proceed to Britain and participate in the Foreign Economic Relations Council meeting in London. He added that he would also meet British representatives of local administrations, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [32] FULL SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME

    State Minister Tunca Toskay said that the World Bank had extended its full support for the year 2000 economic programme set out by the Turkish Government. Tunca Toskay received a World Bank delegation headed by Johannes Linn at the Turkish Parliament yesterday. World Bank Representative in Turkey Ajay Chibber also attended the meeting. /Hurriyet/

    [33] IRAQ CUTS KIRKUK-YUMURTALIK OIL PIPELINE

    The Baghdad Administration which desires the international embargo on Iraq to be removed has cut the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline. Iraq, having reviewed the agreement on 'food in return for oil' also ended the transport of oil from the Persian Gulf yesterday. In a letter, Iraq stated to UN officials in New York that it had stopped pumping oil along the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline. /Hurriyet/

    [34] SALOMON SMITH BARNEY PRAISES IS BANK

    Salomon Smith Barney, a world-leading investment bank, has published a report in which it was declared that Is Bank shares had become essential on the Stock Exchanges in Turkey. A statement issued by the Is Bank said that the report also mentioned that the Is Bank had shown great performance in its loan-deposit balance, the increase of its equity capital and its wide-ranging services during the last one-and-a-half years, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [35] LOAN WORTH $757.5 MILLION

    An agreement for a loan to Turkey of $757.5 million from the World Bank to help the victims of the earthquake disaster in the Marmara Region was signed by Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp and Deputy Chairman of the World Bank Johannes Linn yesterday. Loan repayments will be deferred for three years and will be repaid over a 15-year term. Demiralp said at the signing ceremony that together with the loan worth $297 million previously extended by the World Bank, the total amount exceeded $1 billion.

    Linn remarked that schemes to build permanent housing in the disaster region should be accelerated. The World Bank delegation visited Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. Linn pointed out later that they had discussed World Bank and other international support in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster and declared, "Turkey has achieved great progress under the leadership of the Prime Minister over the last one to two years". /Hurriyet/

    [36] NORWAY WANTS TO INVEST IN TURKEY

    The majority of Norwegian Parliamentary members want to invest in Turkey. According to an article in the 'Dagens Naeringsliv' newspaper, the common point of view among the parties in the Norwegian Parliament is directed towards making investments in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [37] TURKEY TO PURCHASE PATRIOT MISSILES

    A new process of cooperation in missile technology between Turkey and the US is beginning. During the visit of US President Bill Clinton to Turkey, a consensus was reached on the sale of two Patriot batteries from the US to Turkey. At the end of this month, three high-level military officers will go to Washington to take part in a joint project against the threat of missile attacks. /Hurriyet/

    [38] SYNDICATION LOAN OF 550 MILLION DOLLARS FOR TURKCELL

    Turkey's leading GSM operator, Turkcell, has received a syndication loan of 550 million dollars. The syndication loan documentation, which was organized under the leadership of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston and includes more than 50 banks, was signed in Istanbul yesterday. The Director-General of Turkcell, Cuneyt Turktan, stated that the loan repayments had been deferred for one year and would be repaid over five years. Turktan further added that this loan would be devoted to investment. /Aksam/

    [39] FINANSBANK

    In a report, prepared by ABN AMRO, the fourth biggest bank in Europe based in Amsterdam, Finansbank was discussed. Emphasizing its forward-looking banking procedures and solutions, its powerful financial foundations and high ratings, ABN AMRO declared Finansbank to be a candidate for the fifth biggest bank in Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [40] UNICEF'S SUPPORT PROJECT

    The results of a UNICEF venture aiming to support the elimination of differences between urban and rural areas were taken up during a meeting in Van. Deputy of Governor Mahmut Demirtas said that UNICEF's Development Plan has been conducted successfully in seven villages in the Van region since 1997. The villagers have been educated in various subjects and the villages' infrastructural problems, covered by the scheme, have been solved. /Cumhuriyet/

    [41] GALATASARAY CLOSER TO FOURTH ROUND OF UEFA CUP

    Galatasaray, which has obtained successful results against Italian teams this year, drew 1-1 with the Italian team Bologna, in the first match of the UEFA Cup's Third Round. Galatasaray replied to Bologna's goal in the 67th minute with Hakan Sukur's goal in the 82nd minute of the match. The possibility of Galatasaray getting to the Fourth Round depends on the second-leg match on Dec. 4th. /Cumhuriyet/

    [42] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [43] THREE LEADERS' HISTORIC DECISION BY ERTUGRUL OZKOK (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ertugrul Ozkok comMents on the Summit meeting the three coalition party leaders will hold today. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The coalition party leaders will engage in one of their most critical discussions since the day they undertook the responsibility of government. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli will attend the National Security Council delliberations today, and in the afternoon, in conjunction with ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz, they will gather together for the Summit. Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk and the State Minister responsible for Human Rights Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, will also attend the meeting. The Summit has two more important issues on the agenda.

    The first one concerns the oil pipelines. But the most important issue concerns Ocalan. The Summit is being held just 24 hours before the decision of the High Court of Appeals is announced.

    Ocalan's lawyers have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. The question facing the leaders is whether Turkey should await the decision of the European Court of Human Rights or not. The position of both Prime Minister Ecevit and ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz is more or less clear - they are in favour of waiting for the decision of the European Court of Justice. What is more, Prime Minister Ecevit is against capital punishment. Therefore, it is known that he is opposed to the carrying out of the death sentence. ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz is inclined to accept this view. However, the views of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli are unknown.

    Prime Minister Ecevit had expressed his views on the issue, saying that the avenues for justice were not all used up and they would take a decision when all the roads have been taken. He also added that the Council of Europe had rules which left us under an obligation, but he would expound on them when all the roads to justice were exhausted. He further stated that the legal process in Turkey was still on-going.

    Although the issue may seem to be a legal one, it is political in nature. Three leaders feel the need to meet to discuss the question just 24 hours before the decision of the High Court of Appeals is announced, because once the High Court of Appeals has declared its verdict, the issue comes under the responsibility of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. From the time it falls under the responsibility of the TGNA the issue becomes harder to resolve. If the decision is presented to the TGNA plenary session, it is known that a great majority of the deputies will vote in favour of it. Public pressure on the subject is unequivocal. Therefore, it is of utmost the importance for the three leaders to take a strategic decision on the topic.

    Next month, Turkey's candidacy to the EU will be voted on in Helsinki. However, there is another issue of greater importance: how can Turkey solve the Southeastern problem and maintain a lasting peace? Will the execution of Ocalan facilitate this process or make it harder? As members of this society, we should be able to answer these questions leaving all our emotions aside.

    We can derive this statement from all that has been said: It would be better for Turkey to await the decision of theEuropean Court of Human Rights. If such a conclusion is accepted at the leaders' Summit today, there will be valuable time avilable for Turkey to think clearly on the subject."

    [44] THE WEST, CONTROVERSIES AND TURKEY BY IZZET SEDES (AKSAM)

    Columnist Izzet Sedes writes on the necessity of the establishment of a new Western defence identity. A summary of his column is as follows:

    The Foreign and Defence Ministers of Western European Union(WEU) countries are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss how to take an independent decision on the defence of Europe, without the US or Turkey, but with their participation if the need arises. They are searching for a way to act alone, without the involvement of the US or Turkey, in the face of a military operation.

    Both the Bosnian and Kosovo crises have shown that the military might of the EU countries is insufficient to conduct a military intervention. They cannot go into action without the US. However, they want to be able to take a decision independent of the US and without Turkey, who is an associate member of WEU. In the "military power balance-sheet" report by WEU specialists, the shortcomings of Europe in weapons and intelligence are stated in detail. In a possible peace operation by Europe, intervention without the US is considered to be rather difficult. However, if the US takes part in the new structure, there is no reason why Turkey should not and this makes them hesitate.

    In spite of all these scenarios the left-wing Prime Ministers of the most influential States in Europe met with President Clinton in France last Saturday and worked to take a progressive stand, establishing social justice in the face of globalization. The Europeans call this the "third road". All the leaders attending the meeting spoke on different issues. However, while this conference was underway, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel stated that the EU should be freed from the influence of powerful States. He added that such States should not make any decisions without consulting smaller ones. According to Michel, if Europe cannot be strengthened, it cannot make its weight felt against the only Superpower, the US. He also said that, within Europe, not only one country, but more than one should be strong and thus the balance of power should not be lost. Expansion would serve German purposes.

    In an interview with the EU Commission Chairman Romano Prodi, Mehmet Ali Birand asked if the size and population of Europe was causing hesitation in Europe, as there would be a great number of representatives in the European Parliament and take an important place in the EU. Prodi answered Birand's question in the affirmative.

    These all show that Europe has many reservations and is dealing with controversial situations. They do not want to be rid of the US, but desire to be able to act independently without remaining under her influence. When Turkey, closely supported by the US, is also added to this problem, the imbalance in the EU and the WEU could increase."


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