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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-01

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

01.12.99

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] FRIENDLY VISIT TO UKRAINE
  • [03] DISCUSSION CONCERNING PRESIDENCY
  • [04] "YES TO TURKEY"
  • [05] DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ANKARA
  • [06] THREE CONDITIONS FROM ATHENS FOR TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY
  • [07] STATEMENT BY ISMAIL CEM
  • [08] VERDICT OF EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [09] BAHCELI: "NO BARGAINING"
  • [10] REPORT ON THE FUTURE OF TURKEY
  • [11] POSITIVE APPROACH FROM MOODY'S
  • [12] ANNAN'S MEETINGS
  • [13] "CALL TO INTELLECTUALISM": ASSOCIATION OF KEMALIST IDEOLOGY
  • [14] DISPUTES ON POWER CUTS
  • [15] FEHRIYE ERDAL'S LEGAL FILE
  • [16] SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ORGANIZATIONS (KOBI) SUMMIT IN ANKARA
  • [17] IMPORTED FRUIT BANNED
  • [18] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [19] HELSINKI AND GREECE - BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [20] INFLATION - BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] FRIENDLY VISIT TO UKRAINE

    President Suleyman Demirel attended the Ukranian-presidential swearing-in ceremony that was organized due to Ukranian President Leonid Kuchma's being elected President once again. Demirel, made a statement before going to the Ukraine, in which he said, "With its great economic, military and technological potential, its manpower and geopolitical position, the Ukraine is of the utmost importance in terms of Europe's peace, stability and welfare. The Ukraine has experienced radical changes and transformations since it has gained independence. President Demirel was received by the Ukranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tarasyuk, at the capital Kiev at a military welcoming ceremony. After the President's swearing-in, during which Kuchma put his hand on the Constitution and swore an oath saying that he would always obey the country's laws, he hosted a dinner. In the course of the dinner, Demirel said, "Since the Ukraine gained its independence, it has taken many steps in order to strengthen its independence and the unity of its territory and to introduce democracy, the supremacy of law and the free market economy, which moves have been appreciated by the whole world." /Turkiye/

    [03] DISCUSSION CONCERNING PRESIDENCY

    Retired General Cevik Bir, who has given the green light to his political career, stated that he might stand as candidate for the presidency if the required arrangements are made and if the President is elected by the public, which remarks have started a new discussion. President Suleyman Demirel declared that everyone can be a presidential candidate and the path to election is open. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit clarified this by stating that anyone who is a university graduate and who is entitled to use their political rights can stand for the presidency. With reference to Cevik Bir's candidacy, State Minister Sadi Somuncuošlu said, "He might be elected President if he receives the necessary support." The Motherland Party Administration stated that, on the brink of the 21st century, the selection of the President should be made carefully. The Virtue Party and the True Path Party are against the retired General's candidacy. /Turkiye/

    [04] "YES TO TURKEY"

    The 74th Franco-German Summit was held in Paris yesterday. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defence from both countries also attended the Summit, which was chaired by French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The main theme of the Summit was the preparations for European defence (ESDI) and the Helsinki Summit. The leaders of France and Germany, who exchanged their opinions on the possible concluding statement of the Helsinki Summit, accepted the EU Commission's opinion on the granting of "candidacy" to Turkey at the Helsinki Summit. French and German officials stated that the human rights dimension of relations between Turkey and the EU was very important and they agreed that, therefore, Ankara should take concrete steps such as the abolition of the death penalty. /Turkiye/

    [05] DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ANKARA

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met Dutch Foreign Minister Jozias Van Aartsen in Ankara. Shortly after the meeting between the two Ministers, a discussion between the delegations took place. In a brief statement guest Minister Aartsen made at the beginning of the talks between the groups, he remarked on this pleasure at being in Turkey. Cem replied that they were pleased to welcome Aartsen and his officials to Turkey. High-ranking diplomats attended the talks between the delegations, after which Cem hosted a working dinner in honour of the Dutch Minister. During the talks, prior to the Helsinki Summit, Turkey's candidacy to the EU was discussed in addition to bilateral relations, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [06] THREE CONDITIONS FROM ATHENS FOR TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY

    After stating that she did not have any pre-conditions for Turkey's membership, Athens has presented a memorandum which covers her demands for guarantees to the current EU President. The guarantees Athens wants to be included in the Helsinki final communique are as follows: 1) The EU has to ensure that the negotiations began concerning the EU membership of the Greek-Cypriot Administration should be carried out independently of the political problems on the Island. 2)All member countries, including Turkey, should accept the judicial authority of the Court of Justice at the Hague up until the year 2002. 3) Turkey has to accept a 'route map' outlining her economic and political responsibilities as soon as she is accepted as a candidate. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu in answer to questions posed said, "If a decision to unite the Island in forming a federation is taken at the negotiations on December 3, this would not only help Cyprus but Turkey as well in her membership of the EU." /Hurriyet/

    [07] STATEMENT BY ISMAIL CEM

    Ten days before the Helsinki Summit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has issued a statement on Turkey's candidacy to the EU. In the statement covering a total of ten points Ismail Cem dwelt mainly on Turco-Greek relations. The statement he issued briefly declared:

    1) Turkey's membership to the EU is her right stemming from the Ankara agreement signed on 1963.2) Membership of the EU is an aim not an obsession for Turkey. 3) Turkey expects that no discrimination will be shown in 1999, as had been the case at Luxembourg. 4) Candidacy will bring trust to the Aegean. The extending of the EU borders through the Balkans and the Aegean has placed Turkey and Greece facing each other across the border. Even though it may not be desired, this creates potential controversy. Turkey's candidacy and membership will lift the tension and ensure stability and cooperation in the Balkans and the Aegean. 5) If no obstacles are met in the current positive improvement in relations between Turkey and Greece, agreements concerning organized crime, narcotics trafficking , illegal immigration and the fight against terrorism will be signed in mid-December. In that case the Greek Foreign Minister will be invited to Turkey for the signing ceremony. 6) The Aegean must be a sea of friendship instead of tension. Accelerating the process would be to the advantage of both countries. 7) Turkey does not covet an inch of land from Greece. 8) We believe that work on the "Wise Men", which Turkey and Greece agreed on 1997, could be restarted. The Wise Man initiative can contribute to the search for a solution through peaceful methods. 9) Turkey has excluded the Cyprus question from her relations with the EU. Turkey is against the evaluation of her candidacy in relation to Cyprus. 10) The Helsinki Summit is an important opportunity for the continuation of a positive process between Turkey and Greece and in Turco-EU relations. All EU countries should evaluate this opportunity in the best manner. /Hurriyet/

    [08] VERDICT OF EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) yesterday formally asked Turkey to suspend Abdullah Ocalan's execution until it has ruled on his plea. During the trial at the 1st Department of the ECHR, ten judges decided on an 'interim injuction` in order to postpone Ocalan's death sentence. In normal applications, the court will rule in 1.5-2 years. Meanwhile, the leaders of the coalition parties convened last night in order to evaluate the verdict. During the mini-summit, the leaders decided to wait until the domestic law procedure has been completed before taking final decision on the execution of Ocalan. On that verdict, the decision of the EU's Helsinki Summit on Turkey's candidacy will be influential. In addition to the leaders-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, National Movement Party's leader Devlet Bahceli and Motherland Party's leader Mesut Yilmaz- the Ministers Husamettin Ozkan, Cumhur Ersumer, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, Abdulhaluk Cay and Hikmet Sami Turk were also present at the deliberations. /Sabah/

    [09] BAHCELI: "NO BARGAINING"

    The leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, stating that Turkey wants to unite with Europe in an honourable and fair full membership, said, "No bargaining concerning Ocalan. Connecting our membership of the EU with the chief of the PKK terrorist organization is very saddening and it also gives rise to thoughts in terms of European values and international relations." Bahceli, during the speech he delivered at the MHP Congress, further added, "The legal process concerning Ocalan is being carried out so carefully that even those countries which try to give Turkey lessons in human rights cannot deny it. Turkey's struggle against terrorism, that has lasted for the past fifteen years, and the threat of terrorism towards our country should not be taken lightly." /Turkiye/

    [10] REPORT ON THE FUTURE OF TURKEY

    The final report on the 'Master Plan for Turkey's National Information Infrastructure`, on which many bureaucrats and scientists have worked, has been announced. According to the report, the future of the Turkish economy should boost morale. In the year 2010, Turkey will have increased its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) five-fold, that to say, we will reach a GDP of 621 billion dollars in ten years. Our population will be about 75 million and GDP per capita will have risen to $8,290. /Sabah/

    [11] POSITIVE APPROACH FROM MOODY'S

    One of America's leading credit evaluation establishments, Moody's, in expressing that the Turkish government is working well, has allowed their general view of the Turkish economy to turn to 'positive` from 'steady`. However, the establishment has not changed Turkey's credit rating which was 'B1`. Moody's also declared that they had changed the credit rating of Turkey's share in foreign currency and bank accounts to 'positive` from 'steady`. Meanwhile, the positive improvement was reflected on the markets: interest rates dropped to 76% from 82% and the Stock Market gained in value by 4.38%. /Sabah/

    [12] ANNAN'S MEETINGS

    It was stated that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had cancelled some of his appointments in order to reserve more time for the indirect talks on Cyprus that will begin on 3rd December in New York. UN spokesman, Fred Eckhard also added that a time limit had not been placed on the discussions. Eckhard stated that Annan would attend meetings with the Special Representative on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, "full-time". Furthermore, diplomatic sources stated that the Deputy Special Representative on Cyprus, James Holger, would also fly to New York for the meetings and as Soto's assistant. Seperate indirect negotiations will be held between UN representatives and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) Rauf Denktas, and Greek-Cypriot leader Glafkos Klerides. The leaders will not be told about the things that are said in the other meeting; it is envisaged that the meetings will be held in complete confidentality. /Turkiye/

    [13] "CALL TO INTELLECTUALISM": ASSOCIATION OF KEMALIST IDEOLOGY

    The Association of Kemalist Ideology organized an evening entitled "Call to Intellectualism" in order to keep alive the memory of all those intellectuals who were murdered by unidentified assailants, including the Deputy General Director of the Association, who was killed in a bomb blast 21st October, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taner Kislali, a writer for the 'Cumhuriyet' newspaper. During the evening, in which the collective sorrow was reflected in words and folk songs, it was promised that all those intellectuals who had been murdered would not be forgotten and no-one would be permitted to forget them. It was also emphasized that the darkness would be lit up through science. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] DISPUTES ON POWER CUTS

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer and some bureaucrats have claimed that the reason for the power cuts due to a slump in the volume of natural gas received from abroad. Whereas the claims of the government have been denied by the experts, "a curtailment in the natural gas supply doesn't cause such a massive power cut", the decrease in the amount of natural gas arriving from Russia has been assessed as Russia's revenge on the 'Blue Stream` scheme. It is rumoured that the 'Blue Stream` lobby in the Ministry organized the cuts and some others blame the power station lobbyists. Meanwhile, replying to criticism that Turkey would be depended on Russia, Motherland Party leader Mesut Yilmaz said, "Russia will invest three billion dollars in this venture; if she kills the supply, her investment remains idle. Indeed, Russia will be dependent on us." /Radikal/

    [15] FEHRIYE ERDAL'S LEGAL FILE

    The legal file of Fehriye Erdal, a member of the IBDA-C who is one of the people suspected of murdering Ozdemir Sabanci and who was captured and arrested in Belgium, will be on the agenda of the Bruges Emergency Verdict Court today. Erdal's period of detention was extended for a further month on 24th November and Erdal's lawyers applied to the Emergency Verdict Court for Erdal's conditions in prison to be improved. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ORGANIZATIONS (KOBI) SUMMIT IN ANKARA

    The KOBI Summit, which was organized by the Turkish independent business members and administrators of both KOBI (TOSYOV) and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges (TOBB), will be held at the Ankara World Trade Centre between 6th and 8th December. The Deputy Chairman of TOSYOV, Ekrem Aksoy, stated that this Summit was a conference designed to reach into the establishment of the "KOBE Council" in Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [17] IMPORTED FRUIT BANNED

    The acceptance into the country of imported fruit has been halted on the orders of the Minister of Agriculture, Husnu Yusuf Gokalp. Gokalp desires to hinder the import of foreign bananas, kiwis, avocados, melons, grapes, apples, plums, and citrus fruits in order to protect Turkish producers. Thus, provincial agriculture directorates have stopped giving agricultural quarantine inspection certificates, which document is necessary for fruit imports. /Milliyet/

    [18] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [19] HELSINKI AND GREECE - BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes on the position vis-a-vis Turkey on all platforms. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Greece has opposed Turkey on all the platforms within the EU. She used her right of veto and was supported by states such as Germany and Denmark. They were encouraging Greece and trying to seem not to stand against Turkey. All those states which wanted to place obstacles in Turkey's path were presenting their case to Greece.

    The earthquake has blown pro-Turkey winds throughout the whole of Europe. The humane face of Europe, and this is what makes Europe what it is today, came to the fore. Moreover, Washington began to increase her recommendations in favour of Turkey to all European countries. Washington has explained to Greece what she would be able to achieve once she was on good terms with Turkey.

    With the approval of Prime Minister Simitis, Greek Foreign Minister Papandreu began to move closer to Turkey. He visited the earthquake region and established good relations with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    However, the powerful Opposition in the Greek Parliament, did not desist from its traditional Turkish animosity. It accused the ruling party of making concessions to Turkey and even being a friend of Turkey. To pacify the Opposition and to explain the virtues of good relations with Turkey, the Greek Prime Minister requested a gesture from the Ankara Government. The US President politely warned Turkey to make such gestures.

    However, both Prime Minister Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli reacted cautiously to this advice as they still had some doubts concerning the Greek position. It seems they reacted too-hesitantly. Over-cautiousness leaves diplomacy idle, as in military situations.

    At present, Greece is not decided on what she will do at the Helsinki Summit when Turkey's candidacy will be voted on. Even though it is a slim possibility, if Greece vetoed Turkish candidacy again, relations between both countries would be damaged. Greece would have to accept heavy expenditure on weapons and everyone would become bored with her for insisting on this matter. Turkey would move further away from Europe but Washington might stand behind Turkey due to her Eurasian policy.

    The possibility of a veto is small but new conditions which may not have been imposed on other countries may be placed on Turkey. The editing of the text in Helsinki has started, Ankara's responsibility will be accounted for within the country."

    [20] INFLATION - BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Hasan Cemal writes that inflation will not fall without causing any pain. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Do we want to get rid of inflation, which is the cause of instability, injustice, immorality and deterioration? Do we want the economy to grow, and our unemployment difficulties to be solved? There can be no peace and calm in a society where the employment problem remains untackled. Do we want foreign capital resources to enter the country and the foreign credit flow to be accelerated? The much-needed resources for the development of the country can be achieved through this. Therefore, we have to do what has not been done for years, and try to rid ourselves of inflation. As inflation decreases, the influx of foreign funding will be expedited and Turkey will begin to grow in a stable manner. That is to say, our first priority should be to defeat inflation.

    The government says that inflation will be cut to 25%. However, income should be increased and expenses should be cut. This leaves us, inevitably at the threshold of increasing the taxes. The Government has decided to increase taxes, in compliance with the wishes of the IMF.

    Both those who have to pay taxes and the Goverment, who is asking for taxes, are right on some points. There are questions which have to be answered by both parties. However, no-one should ignore one important fact: "inflation cannot be defeated painlessly". We have to accept this fact as true.

    Today, the people with incomes above average Turkish standards have started to cry. The financial sector and the banks are all loudly criticising the taxes. If the Government continues its resolve, the civil servants will begin to shout as well in the new year. If the Government can carry out the agricultural reform it envisaged, then the turn to protest be that of the farmers.

    The fight against inflation should be carried on seriously. The rate of inflation will not fall without it hurting. There is a proverb which says that only God can take without giving and it is true. While the Government has taken the route of increasing taxes, it should eliminate all injustice, should not let the additional tax income go to waste, and explain the situation to the general public better."


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