|Tuesday, 13 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-11-25
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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
 BOYNER HOLDING COMPANY TO IMPLEMENT PERSONAL SECURITY INSURANCE AGAINST EARTHQIAKES
 CLOSE FOLLOW-UP FROM THE WORLD BANK
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 NSC MEETINGMeeting under the chairmanship of President Suleyman Demirel, the National Security Council (NSC) was in session for five hours yesterday to discuss the pressing need to provide immediate housing for the thousands of people left homeless in the regions hit by the August 17 and November 12 earthquakes. A statement issued after the meeting said the country's civilian and military leaders had decided to advise the government directly to exert all-out efforts to supply the quake victims with temporary shelter. The statement added that the NSC had also reviewed external and domestic developments and had noted Turkey's success in hosting the OSCE Summit in Istanbul last week. /All papers/
 LEADERS' SUMMITPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz held a summit yesterday during which the decision-making procedure on the execution of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, the results of the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, and the Helsinki Summit - during which Turkey's EU candidacy is expected - were discussed. During the meeting, Ecevit supplied his colleagues with information referring to his bilateral talks during the OSCE Summit. Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer declared that a backward step for Turkey concerning the 'Blue Stream' project was out of the question. During the meeting, the Cyprus issue was also deliberated. /Milliyet/
 HIGH COURT OF APPEAL'S DECISION CONCERNING OCALANThe chief of the terrorist PKK organization, Abdullah Ocalan, has seen the legal process which began after he was captured in Kenya come to an end. Ocalan's attorney and the prosecution, members of international organizations and close relations of those killed by the PKK attended the verdict session at the High Court of Appeals. The High Court of Appeal's 9th Criminal Department has approved the decision to execute Abdullah Ocalan. The presiding judge, Demirel Tavil and his fellow-judges expounded on this legal decision. The High Court of Appeal's 9th Criminal Department examined the sentence handed down by Ankara's 2nd State Security Court to the chief of the terrorist organization and found it to be "appropriate to both the procedure and the Law". The verdict approving the execution was unanimous, reported the Anatolia News Agency.
 TRNC PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN TURKEYA group of parliamentary members, including the Acting Speaker of the Republican Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Salih Cosar, will arrive in Turkey today on an official visit. The TRNC delegation will initially observe the meeting of the Planning and Budgetary Commission in the Turkish Parliament. The delegation will later be received by President Suleyman Demirel, Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel. After visiting Istanbul and Kocaeli at the weekend, the delegation will leave Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 TURKISH AND EU FIRMS MEETAs part of the 'Turco-EU Business Partnerships' programme, 92 Turkish and 90 EU firms will convene in Istanbul today. The programme aims to facilitate cooperation between the firms in the furniture, paper, wooden items and related machinery sectors and will be brought to fruition by the Economic Development Foundation (IKV) and the Italian Mondimpresa Institution with financial support from the EU Commission. According to a statement issued by the IKV, within the guidelines of the programme lasting for two days, a seminar on the Turkish economy, Turco-EU relations and investment opportunities in Turkey will be organized. Later, meetings concerning cooperation among the Avarious firms will be held, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FINLAND IS OPTIMISTIC ON TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACYThe Foreign Minister of Finland, the current EU Term-President, Tarja Halonen, said that he was optimistic that Turkey would be accepted as a candidate country during the EU Summit to be held in Helsinki on December 10-11. Halonen stated that during Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's meetings in the capitals of various EU countries prior to the Summit, important issues between Turkey and the EU would be discussed. Halonen said, "Our position towards Turkey would be the same as that towards other candidate countries. However, I should also mention that there is a long and hard path in front of Turkey". Meanwhile, Ismal Cem, having arrived in Sweden, is expected to meet Swedish Foreign Minister Annan Lindh today, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 TURKEY ELECTED ONTO IMO COUNCILThe Foreign Ministry stated that Turkey, now the country has been elected onto the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for the first time, Turkey would be able to make greater contributions to the IMO. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli held his weekly press conference yesterday and said that the IMO's 21st General Council had begun on November 15 in London and elections for IMO Council membership had been held on November 19, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOYEDTurkish Foreign Ministry officials were annoyed by the declarations of the German Ambassador to Turkey, Hans-Joachim Vergau, concerning the case of Abdullah Ocalan. During his press conference, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli declared that a procedure was in place concerning EU membership, including that of Turkey, and it would not be fair to allow specific topics to interfere with this process. Atacanli also said that that Ambassador's declarations were his own only and, since the trial was still underway, to comment on it would not be right. In Izmir yesterday, the German Ambassador declared that Turkey chould forget about EU membership in the case of the execution of Abdullah Ocalan. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURCO-GREEK MEETINGSThe second session in the fourth round of Turco-Greek meetings began in Selanik yesterday. At the gathering, where environmental and regional cooperation subjects are being discussed, the Turkish delegation has been headed by Ambassador Figen Ok, and the Greek delegation by Ambassador Konstantin Fotillas and Ambassador Stavros Likidis. Today, the last day of the talks, terrorism and related topics are going to be taken up. /Cumhuriyet/
 WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION MEETINGFollowing the meetings of the WEU's Ministers' Council in Luxembourg, National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu declared that Turkey was important for the Europe's defence. Replying to a question related to the European Security and Defence Identity, Minister Cakmakoglu said, "The EU will use the capabilities of NATO. It is not possible for Turkey, who is a NATO member, not to have a right to contribute to the decisions being made." He also added that the EU has already vindicated Turkey and is striving to find a fair solution. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURCO-GREEK PARTNERSHIPThe proposal jointly presented by Turkey and Greece at UN forums for the establishment of a natural disasters and emergency unit was yesterday approved by the General Council even without taking a vote. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli recalled that Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu had met on September 20, 1999, in New York due to the 54th UN General Council meeting and said, "During the meeting, the two Ministers decided to establish a joint unit for search and rescue operations in natural disasters, especially earthquakes, with contributions from public and private institutions in both countries". /Milliyet/
 VERHEUGEN: "I AM HOPEFUL FOR HELSINKI"The EU's Commissioner for enlargement said yesterday that he expected Greece and Sweden to agree to Turkey becoming a formal candidate to join the EU. "The two countries have not finally made up their minds, but it looks like they will agrre to it in the end", Commissioner Guenter Verheugen told the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. The EU's Executive Commission has recommended that Turkey be granted a formal membership candidate status at the Summit in Helsinki next month. Verheugen said Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem would arrive in to Brussels for talks after meeting Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in Sweden on Thursday. /All papers/
 'SUPER TURKEY'An article in 'The Washington Times', a leading US newspaper, written by Andrew Borowiec quoted the words of a Greek diplomat who claimed that the US wanted to alter national borders in the Balkans and destroy Serbia by providing greater land for Albania, thereby making Turkey a 'super power' in the region. The article stated that Washington-Athens relations had been damaged due to anti-American demonstrations during US President Bill Clinton's visit to Greece, and this situation had been of benefit to Turkey. /Aksam/
 VAROSHA IN RETURN FOR EU CANDIDACYIt is reported that during the Helsinki Summit, Greece will demand from Turkey that 'Varosha' on Cyprus be made accessible. The Greek-Cypriot 'Fileleftheros' newspaper stated that Greece will also demand that the international airport in Lefkosa, which is currently under UN control, be put into operation and the number of soldiers be reduced. Meanwhile, Greek-Cypriot Administration Spokesman Mihalis Papatetru, said that bargaining would continue until Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis puts forth his view of Turkey's candidacy status during the EU Summit in Helsinki. /Aksam/
 KARAYILAN APPLIES FOR ASYLUMMurat Karayilan, a member of the PKK terrorist organization, has applied for political asylum in Holland. The Dutch Justice Ministry Spokesman confirmed that Karayilan is currently in Holland and said that he had submitted an application for political asylum to The Hague on November 20. Dutch officials stated that the ordinary political asylum procedure would be implemented and added that they would investigate whether Karayilan had engaged in any acts of violence. /Aksam/
 RAID ON PKK IN GERMANYDuring a raid on terrorist PKK in Germany, three people were detained. A German special police team, who searched 90 houses throughout the country, held three people in detention and seized a great deal of documents. However, the three PKK supporters, who had engaged in terrorist action and had attacked many embassies, were released by Berlin State Court due to a lack of evidence. /Turkiye/
 STAND-BY AGREEMENTIt is stated that Turkey needs 11 billion dollars in foreign founding in the year 2000, in order to achieve the action plan set out in the letter of intent prior to the stand-by agreemeent, which will grant Turkey 4 billion dollars in loans over three years. /Hurriyet/
 EARTHQUAKE TAXDiscussions of the Additional Tax Bill, known by the public the 'Earthquake Tax`, began in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday. The Bill which aims to obtain financial support in order to overcome the damage inflicted by the quake on Aug. 17th, had been presented to the Office of the Speaker of the TGNA on 24 August 1999; however, it had been suspended due to public reaction. The government declared that an additional tax income of 726 trillion TL has been targeted. /Hurriyet/
 ONAL GIVES OUT POSITIVE SIGNALSState Minister Responsible for the Economy, Recep Onal, has given out positive signals concerning Turkish economic performance in the year 2000. Onal said, "The important element of the stand-by agreement to be made between Turkey and the IMF was not the loans but the borrowing opportunities on foreign markets. Now, we are concentrating on the amendment to the Banks Law, consisting of 12-13 articles, which will be carried out in the upcoming days". Onal added, "Foreign loan commitments following the earthquake disaster have reached $3.7 billion. Donations have amounted to 80.7 trillion TL. Out of these donations, 67 trillion TL has been spent". /Aksam/
 BOYNER HOLDING COMPANY TO IMPLEMENT PERSONAL SECURITY INSURANCE AGAINST EARTHQIAKESPeople who live in the Marmara region will feel a certain relief thanks to the Boyner Holding Company's entrance into the insurance sector. The 'insurance' company, which will be established by Cem Boyner in cooperation with the American International Group (AIG), will bring a different atmosphere to the sector; for the first time in the world, "Life Insurance including cover against earthquakes" will be introduced. Furthermore, Cem Boyner guarantees that after an earthquake, insurance payouts will be made within the first ten days. /Sabah/
 INCREASE IN DAMSDuring Bill Clinton's visit to Turkey, very important energy agreements were signed, beginning last Tuesday, witnessed by the American State Secretary, Madeleine Albright, and the Turkish Minister of Energy, Cumhur Ersumer. These arrangements concern Hakkari, Alpasland 2 and Konaktepe hydroelectric power-stations, whose constuction was ratified. The companies which signed the contract with the State Water Works (DSI) are: ICS Kaiser, Harza, Ruke, Raytheon, Stone and Webster and the Gradall Company. Then on Friday, again witnessed by Ersumer with the American Energy Secretary, Bill Richardson, a Turkish and American consortium, together with officials from the Turkish Electricity Company, Pipeline Transportation Company and the State Water Works signed energy deals worth 850 million dollars. These accords consist of the construction and gas and energy purchase of four power-stations; the plants subject to the agreement are: Eskisehir, Alapli, Kargi and Gursogut. In Turkey, 40 American companies are still actively dealing with 37 projects; these companies are trying to ensure an output of 13,000 megawatts/hr. /Sabah_
 DUTCH TRADE DELEGATION IN IZMIRA Dutch trade delegation began its meetings in Izmir by visiting the Izmir Chamber of Trade (IZTO). The First Secretary of the Dutch Embassy in Ankara, Riny Bus, pointed out during his visit that Holland had been the biggest investor in Turkey before 1998. Bus said, "Turkey's economic condition generally could be better, but this situation is improving partly due to her relations with the IMF and partly because of her potential membership of the EU." A member of the IZTO's Executive Board, Fahri Gokyayla, declared, "According to data for the first eight months of the year, Turkey's export flow to Holland increased by 4.1% compared to the same time last year, attaining a total of 587.7 million dollars. However, the amount we imported from Holland was worth 815.8 million dollars. /Sabah/
 GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR TURKEYThe Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessman's Association, Erkut Yucaoglu, stated that new opportunities were before Turkey, whose agreement with the IMF and membership of the EU had come onto the agenda. Yucaoglu said, "We should go on implementing reforms. We are hopeful for the year 2000 because we also expect to bring about these two important developments as we pass into the new Millennium. One of these is the stand-by agreement with the IMF and the other is the final realization of Turkey's EU candidacy." /Sabah/
 CLOSE FOLLOW-UP FROM THE WORLD BANKThe Deputy Chairman of the World Bank, Johannes Linn, stated that they were closely watching the agreement signed by Turkey with the IMF. Linn said, "If the programmes that were promised in the stand-by agreement are kept to, we will loan Turkey 3 billion dollars. If the serious promises such as that concerning agricultural subsidies and social security reforms are adhered to, then we will increase the amount of the loan." /Turkiye/
 IMF LOANS AT CENTRAL BANK'S DISPOSALThe letter of intent in the stand-by agreement between Turkey and the IMF will be approved by the IMF's Executive Council on December 22 and then will go into effect on January 1, 2000. The IMF loan worth $3.5 billion will be transferred to Central Bank reserves. A loan of $500 million sent to help the victims of the earthquake has been transferred to the Treasury. /Aksam/
 TWO MORE SUPERMARKETS IN RUSSIATwo more Ramstore supermarkets, a partnership between Migros and Enka, were opened in Moscow yesterday. A press bulletin issued by Ramstore said that even though Russia is still experiencing an economic crisis, these shopping centres will continue to be opened in various regions of Moscow. These two supermarkets provide business opportunities for 150 people and will contain 5,000 different lines. /Aksam/
 TURKCELL RECEIVES $550 MILLION IN LOANSThe Turkcell Communications Services Joint Stock Company has received syndication loans worth $550 million from international markets, which will be used for infrastructural investments. The repayment of the five-year loans will be deferred for the first year. The total amount of investments by Turkcell, which has 5.2 million subscribers, exceeds $2.5 billion; Turkcell General Director Cuneyt Turktan said yesterday that the amount of investments would reach $4 billion in the year 2000. /Milliyet/
 NETAS HAS FOOTHOLD IN RUSSIAN MARKETNetas has received an order worth $2 million for DMS and DRX-4 digital power station circuits from Russia. A statement issued by Netas said that the order, received from the Vneshprominvest company affiliated to the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, would be delivered by the end of this year. /Turkiye/
 TEN BILLION FOR AKUTFinancial support for the Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) is on-going. The association was one of the non-governmental organizations which strived hard during the earthquake disasters. The BP Petroleum Company is also included on the list of establishments which have given financial support to AKUT. The General Director of the Company, Ertugrul Tuncer, signed a cheque for 10,099 billion TL which was handed to the Chairman of AKUT, Nasuh Mahruki. The members of the Association have decided to establish a communications system using that money. /Hurriyet/
 OTTOMANS ON INTERNETThe Ottoman Website, prepared by the Kaldera Holding Company as a result of 12 months of intense work to mark the 700th anniversary of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, has been put into service. The Ottoman Website address is: 'www.osmanli700.gen.tr It is in both Turkish and English. /Turkiye/
 AWARD FOR SEZEN AKSUThe film 'Propaganda`, has been awarded the 'Best Soundtrack` at the 15th International Mediterranaen Bastia Film Festival. The soundtrack composed by Sezen Aksu. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
 OCALAN: IMPASSE IN PARLIAMENT BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (HURRIYET)Columnist Muharrem Sarikaya analyzes the pros and cons concerning the possible verdict on Ocalan and the coalition parties' views. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The verdict of the High Court of Appeals on the Ocalan case will lead to another crisis in the coalition. One of the coalition parties, ANAP, is not decided on what route to follow. The reason behind this indecisiveness is due to the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) wing of the coalition. ANAP supports Prime Minister Ecevit's opinion that on the one hand, the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights should be awaited, but on the other is afraid of the MHP using this as an opportunity to exploit.
The stand of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) is clearer. The Deputy Chairman of the DSP Parliamentary group, Emrehan Halici, stated that they were opposed to the execution of Ocalan. He said that there was no reason to make a hero out of Ocalan by executing him. It would be better if Ocalan continued issuing statements calling for an end to terrorism. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Justice Commission, Emin Karaa from the DSP, said that 53 death sentences were awaiting ratification by the TGNA; however, the death penalty had not been carried out in Turkey since 1984. In fact, he stated, Turkey had promised not to carry it out. He then asked whether it would be correct from a legal point of view to examine the Ocalan case before all the others.
The approach of the Nationalist Action Party is as clear as that of the DSP. The Deputy Chairman of the MHP Parliamentary group, Ismail Kose, wanted to discuss the death penalty for Ocalan before everything else and to have it carried out.
Prime Minister Ecevit does not believe that Turkey is not obliged to wait for a verdict from the European Court of Human Rights. MHP Deputy Chairman Sevket Bulent Yahnici is of the same opinion.
As for the opposition parties, they are divided among themselves. The True Path Party (DYP) supports the MHP's views, whereas the Virtue Party is inclined to agree with the DSP. True Path Party Chairman Tansu Ciller stated that the European Court of Human Rights did not have the power of sanction over Turkish justice and therefore it would not be wise to await for its decision; the DYP would vote in favour of Ocalan's execution. On the other hand, Deputy Chairman of the Virtue Party's Parliamentary Group, Bulent Arinc, reacted to the MHP and stated that they were trying to use this case as populist material. He added that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights should be waited upon, and if Turkey stated that she accepted international legal norms she would have to conform to it in the case of Ocalan and the closing-down of political parties.
Another question in the minds of parties other than DYP and MHP is: what if Turkey does not conform with the European Court of Human Rights suspending the execution and carries it out without waiting for the decision on the trial process.
In the past, Turkey has implemented her court decisions without waiting for the European Court of Human Rights. However, later she was sentenced to pay compensation. However, this issue is different in one aspect and that is that the process began by taking the issue to the European Council of Ministers, from there, may continue on to the Council of Europe. That may result in a request for Turkey's exclusion from the Council of Europe.
There are two roads which Turkey may follow in the future; one is to wait for the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights, and the other is to get into trouble while trying to follow a populist approach."
 TIME TO SEE THE TRUTH BY ILTER TURKMEN ( HURRIYET)Retired Ambassador Ilter Turkmen comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"In order to be able to assess the situation on Cyprus correctly, answers should be found to the three questions below:
1- Why does the international community insist on uniting the two nations which are actually separated on Cyprus, as the general tendency following the Cold War is towards division? There are various reasons for this insistence. In the past the UN Security Council had adopted resolutions stressing the principle of the sovereignty of one state and a single citizenship on Cyprus. When Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus brought forth the confederation principle, based on dual sovereignty, the Council repeated those resolutions. Both Turkey and the TRNC supported the federation principle up until 1997, and therefore this alteration in her point of view at first did not seem convincing.
It is true that in the Balkans, Bosnia has actually been divided and Kosovo has seceeded from Yugoslavia. However, the Stability Pact Europe has launched in the Balkans, has adopted the decision to solve the problem of ethnic controversy in the long run within a European integration process. We should not forget the impact of Greek policy on this approach. In short, the acceptance of confederation plan should not be anticipated from the international community. A serious negotiation should take place concerning the federation principle.
2- What are the minimum conditions acceptable for Turkey and the TRNC in a solution? The security of the Turkish-Cypriots and Greece's not turning the island into a strategic trump card should be among the foremost conditions. The Gaurantee Agreement should be continued. The package of proposals approved by the UN Security Council in 1992 requested this. The presence of a small Turkish military unit would not cause a problem. In 1974 we did not have a bridgehead on the island. However, the whole of Northern Cyprus is a bridgehead today and the fast intervention capability of the Turkish Armed Forces will be the guarantee of safety for the Turkish-Cypriots. The question of security is not the only issue to be discussed. In general, it can be said that the aim should be to give the widest authorities to federal units and to ensure a balance in the division of federal authorities.
3- What can be achieved by a solution and what would be the effects of intransigence? A solution would provide a better future for both Turkey and the TRNC and strengthen their position within the EU and the Euro-Atlantic community. An intransigent stand, for which Turkey and the TRNC would be held responsible, would result in a series of negative repercussions. The EU may close its doors to Turkey while accepting the Greek-Cypriot Administration. The status of Northern Cyprus may begin to be debated. Due to the cases opened by the Greek-Cypriots in international courts Turkey's relations with Europe are being endangered. The Turkish-Cypriots who are left in an uncertain situation would either emigrate to Turkey or to Southern Cyprus.
It is time to take the issue of a solution in both hands, with courage and far-sightedness. Missing out on historic opportunities burdens one with great responsibilities."
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