|Sunday, 11 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-12-02
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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
 ATACANLI: "TURKEY'S CANDIDACY SHOULD BE EVALUATED ON ITS OWN MERITS"
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 DEMIREL IN UKRAINEThe Ukraine desires the help of Turkish President Suleyman Demirel in overcoming the natural gas crisis in Turkey. Demirel left for Kiev to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. Ukrainian officials stated that they had had to use more natural gas than usual because of the current weather conditions, and added that there was a problem between the Ukraine and Russia due to the $1.5 billion, the Ukraine owes her neighbour. Demirel said that the problem would be solved within a few days. The Ukraine purchases her natural gas from Russia. /Milliyet/
 MERIT MEDAL FOR TURKOMAN AUTHORThe Turkoman author, Oraz Yagmur, has been awarded the merit medal. President Demirel stated that Yagmur was presented with it because he has introduced the works of Mevlana and Karacaoglan to the Turkish-speaking Republics and because of his work concerning Ataturk. Minister of Culture Istemihan Talay and twelve Ministers of Culture from the Turkish-speaking Republics Ministers attended the ceremony held in Cankaya Presidential Palace, during which a Turkish music group played. /Aksam/
 BRITAIN SUPPORTS TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACYPrior to the EU Summit in Helsinki next week, Britain has declared that Turkey's EU candidacy would probably be granted. An official from the British Foreign Ministry stated that they wanted Turkey's EU candidacy to be accepted under conditions equal to those of other candidate countries. British Foreign Minister Robin Cook also said that he would exert every effort to ensure the approval of Turkey's EU candidacy in Helsinki.
Meanwhile, the Head of the EU Commission, Romano Prodi, delivered a speech at the General Council meeting of the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, declaring that Turkey's EU candidacy should be granted. He added that full membership negotiations for all other candidate countries except Turkey were envisaged to begin in the year 2000. Prodi stated that they expected Turkey to meet the Copenhagen criteria. /Turkiye/
 ATACANLI: "TURKEY'S CANDIDACY SHOULD BE EVALUATED ON ITS OWN MERITS"The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that Turkey's EU candidacy should be evaluated on its own merits and should not be muddled with other issues. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli said at his weekly press conference yesterday that the efforts of Finland, a country which positively views Turkey, were greatly appreciated, and added that many countries were in support of Turkey on this issue. Atacanli remarked that they were waiting for the results of the EU Summit in Helsinki, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 KEMALIST IDEALISMStressing that Ataturk was ever in favour of free thought, British writer Andrew Mango said, "Kemalist Idealism means to be open to knowledge, not to escape from the world." Mango recalled Ataturk's words: "You cannot live by isolating the country within a circle without any connection to the outside world." The British writer spoke at a conference entitled 'Kemalist Vision in the next century', which was held at Marmara University. He also emphasized that in Turkey, despite the richest sources, no decent biography of Ataturk had yet been written. Mentioning his 'Ataturk Biography`, he said, "It would have been better if a Turkish writer had done this. I hope one will write a better version than mine." /Cumhuriyet/
 CEM VISITS MACEDONIAForeign Minister Ismail Cem paid a one-day visit to Macedonia yesterday at the invitation of Macedonian Foreign Minister Alexander Dimitrov. During the visit, Cem presided over a ceremony to inaugurate the fountain of Harabati Baba Tekke (a Dervish lodge), the restoration of which began last April. After the ceremony, the two Ministers met to discuss bilateral and regional issues. Later, the two travelled to Romania to participate in the 'Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe' meeting. During the Conference the 'Draft Charter for Good Neighbourliness, Stability, Security and Cooperation in Southeastern Europe' is expected to be finalized. /All papers/
 DENKTAS LEAVES FOR NEW YORK PROXIMITY TALKSThe President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, left Istanbul yesterday for New York, where he will be attending UN-sponsored proximity talks. Speaking at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before his departure, Denktas said he was travelling to New York in good faith. However, Denktas added that as long as the Greek-Cypriot Administration did not change its position and concede the fact that it could not represent the Turkish-Cypriot people, a settlement of the Cyprus problem would be impossible. Denktas remarked that since Greek-Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides does not appear ready to take such a step, it will be extremely difficult to achieve any tangible result in New York. Denktas stated that Turkish-Cypriots could only agree to EU membership talks if the TRNC were to be given equal rights with the Greek-Cypriots. /All papers/
 TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUEThe Anatolia News Agency reported that, following the completion of tasks being carried out by Turkish and Greek working groups, it was expected that documents concerning various issues would be signed in December. Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli supplied information on the working systems of the working groups from both countries during his weekly press conference yesterday, saying that their conclusions would be submitted to the Ministers of both countries in a report. Replying to a question on whether or not Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu would visit Ankara and an agreement would be signed, Atacanli pointed out that Papandreu might come to Turkey in December. He added, however, that there was no certain date or decision in place with reference to this issue.
 U.S.A.: "EUROPEAN ARMY CANNOT BE WITHOUT TURKEY"The U.S.A., which often declares that it supports Turkey's membership to the EU, wants to make Turkey qualified to speak up over European defence. The U.S.A. has given its support to European military power, on condition that Turkey is included, by saying "It cannot be without Turkey." The ESDI is being established in reaction to conditions that have been developed by the EU and which cannot be intervened in by NATO. It is envisaged that Europe's emergency reaction power, and the participation in the ESDI of those NATO countries which are not members of the EU, will be discussed during the EU Summit in Helsinki. /Aksam/
 CLINTON ADVERTISES TURKEYPhotographs of American President Bill Clinton, who was in Turkey last month due to the OSCE Summit, his wife Hillary Clinton and his daughter Chelsea, were printed in 'Hello' magazine, one of the best-selling magazines in the world. The photos picturing the Clinton family before the OSCE Summit while touring the ancient city of Ephesus , published in 'Hello' magazine, have contributed greatly to tourism, which is extremely important to Turkey. President Clinton's photos taken while touring the tent city in Izmit and that picturing him with a seven-month-old baby were published on a full-spread in the magazine. /Aksam/
 'BLUE STREAM`The Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Aleksandre Lebedev, said that in the case of the implementation of the 'Blue Stream` venture, contrary to present belief in Turkey, Russia will be dependent on Turkey. During his speech at a panel discussion on 'Blue Stream economy and policy` which was organized by the Turkish-American Association, Ambassador Lebedev expressed Russia's annoyance at being disregarded during the planning of the Caucasian petroleum and natural gas evaluation undertaken between the U.S, Turkey and Caucasian countries. Meanwhile, Necdet Pamir, a member of the Eurasian Strategic Research Institute said, "Turkey already obtains its natural gas from Russia. Under the new project, giving the priority to the 'Blue Stream` venture will increase Turkey's dependence on Russia." /Cumhuriyet/
 REACTION TO DUTCH MINISTERThe Turkish Foreign Ministry has reacted to the expressions of the Dutch Foreign Minister Jozias Van Aartsen and his claims that there was a minority problem in Turkey, qualifying Kurds as a minority. The Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Sermet Atacanli, during his weekly press conference, said in regard to the declarations of the Dutch Minister, "The Minister's expressions are his own. Our view is clear on the subject, which he prefered to define as the 'Kurdish issue`. It is also not possible for us to agree on the definition of a 'Kurdish minority`." Meanwhile, Atacanli stated the annoyance being experienced due to PKK activities in the Russian Federation and stressed that Turkey was asking the Russian Federation to busy itself with the subject and take the precautionary measures needed. /Cumhuriyet/
 YEAR'S EVENTSOne of the leading international news agencies, American Associated Press (AP), has launched the selection of the 'top ten events` of the year 1999. The capture of Abdullah Ocalan and the Marmara Earthquake are among the AP Agency's list of 24 candidate events. Subscribers may select the top 10 events from the list or they may choose others not on the list. Some of the candidate events are: the impeachment of American President Bill Clinton; the slaughter in Kosovo and NATO intervention; the Middle East peace agreement; the year 2000 syndrome. /Hurriyet/
 OCALAN CASEThe coalition parties had an emergency meeting late Monday evening to discuss the stay of execution requested by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which had been announced only hours earlier. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said after the meeting that they would wait until the process underway in the Court of Appeals had been completed before making any further evaluations. The ECHR asked Turkey on Monday to 'take all necessary steps to ensure that the death penalty is not carried out, so as to enable the Court to proceed effectively with the examination of the admissibility and merits of the applicant's complaints'. /All papers/
 GOKALP: "TURKEY WILL UNDERGO AGRICULTURAL REFORM"Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said that agricultural reform would take place in Turkey and that producers would be encouraged by the Government. Explaining the aim of the reform, Gokalp said that it would support producers and ensure that consumers buy and consume products that are in good condition. All the details of the agricultural reform bill have been approved by the Cabinet, and it is now waiting for Parliament's approval. /All papers/
 YALOVA IN VIENNAState Minister Yuksel Yalova, who has arrived in Vienna to be present at the opening of Vakifbank International, attended the reception given in his honour by the Turkish Ambassador to Austria, Omer Akbel, yesterday. Yalova will start talks in Vienna today and will also take part in a signing ceremony for the Education Foundation set up by Austrian businessmen for those affected by the earthquake. Yalova will meet the administrators of the Turco-Austrian Associations' Union and Austrian bank officials and will receive some international investors. State Minister Yalova will return to Turkey on Saturday, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 MILLIYET-ITU COOPERATIONThe earthquakes which have recently hit Turkey will be discussed during a meeting attended by 61 scientists from 16 countries around the world. The 'International Earthquake Conference' which will begin in Istanbul today has been jointly organized by the 'Milliyet' daily newspaper, Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and the International Housing Sciences' Union. /Milliyet/
 BETTER CONDITIONS FOR FEHRIYE ERDALThe prison conditions of Fehriye Erdal, one of those suspected of killing Ozdemir Sabanci, who is currently being detained in a special cell after being seized in Belgium, have been improved, along with those of other suspects. During the trial, when the accused's lawyers presented a fax proving that the conditions in the prison had been attended to, the Court was very surprised. The Court declared that their decision would be announced later. The lawyers for Erdal and other members of the illegal DHKP-C organization (Musa Asaoglu and Kaya Saz) brought an action concerning the poor conditions of the prison and yesterday this was deliberated but Fehriye Erdal was not present. /Aksam/
 6 MONTHS IMPRISONMENT FOR ISKECE'S MUFTI AGAThe Mufti of the district of Iskece in Greece, Mehmet Emin Aga, who was elected by the Western Thracian Turkish minority, was awarded a prison sentence of six months. During the trial that was held in court in Lamia, located in the north of Athens, Aga was punished for "using an illegal official title". He then applied to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Human Rights Commission, Sema Piskinsut, with a delegation, observed the trial. /Aksam/
 SIX DHKP-C MEMBERS CAPTUREDDuring a raid in Gaziosmanpasha, six people, including a woman, were captured. They were declared to be preparing for massive terrorist action. It was stated that during the search by experts of the terrorist cell, three rifles, other guns, a great deal of equipment used in preparing explosives and a list of people to be targetted by the DHKP-C were seized. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH SOLDIERS IN NORTHERN IRAQThe Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is continuing its mopping-up operations in order to remove the last PKK camps in Northern Iraq and to prevent terrorists from settling in this region again. It was revealed that 20,000 Turkish soldiers, who went to Northern Iraq, have begun a new wave of operations together with Barzanis soldiers. Air Force Command war planes are lending their support to our ground units. /Turkiye/
 EUROPEAN PRIVATE SECTOR SUMMIT BEGINSThe European Private Sector Summit will be held on December 2-3 in Helsinki, one week before the EU Summit. As part of the European Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, representatives from the private sectors of 20 countries which are full members of the Association - Turkey, Norway, the Greek-Cypriot Administration, Iceland and Switzerland, in addition to 15 EU member-countries - will convene today. During the Summit, a declaration will be approved concerning the EU Enlargement Process and it will be announced to Prime Ministers within the EU, EU institutions and the press by the Head of the Association, Georges Jacobs. Members of the Association will hold a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Pavo Lipponen on December 3 and there will be an exchange of views prior to the EU Summit in Helsinki, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 37 MILLION DOLLARS FROM WORLD BANKThe Minister of Health, Osman Durmus, discussed the issue of an 'earthquake loan' amounting to 37 million dollars with officials from the World Bank yesterday. Durmus stated that the financial bureaucrats had said that this loan could be set up immediately. Durmus further added, "In addition, two sites have been determined on for the construction of a hospital in both Adapazari and Kocaeli. All the health centres will be computerised thanks to the Data Processing Centre that will be built using loans from the World Bank. Furthermore, an additional scheme amounting to 90 million dollars will be implemented in another two years. This issue was discussed with the Ministry of Finance; after meeting those in charge of this scheme, the issue of how much of this money will be used will be decided." /Aksam/
 WTO PAPERThe delegations of Turkey, the EU, Japan, South Korea and Hungary have together prepared a document concerning new wide-ranging global commercial meetings in order to overcome the impasse being experienced at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle, the US. The countries which have signed the paper on global commercial meetings have a 30 % share of the world export market. /Milliyet/
 NEW EURO BOND SALEIt is reported that Turkey has authorized Deutsche Bank to sell bonds. An official from Deutsche Bank said that the bonds would be for three years but added that, the price has not been determined yet. The Turkish Treasury recently sold bonds worth 500 million Euros. /Sabah/
 ISTANBUL STOCK EXCHANGE (IMKB): STAR OF THE YEAR 2000Merrill Lynch, an investment counselling firm of international fame issued a report yesterday in which it was written: "If the Turkish Government implements the reforms that are envisaged in the IMF agreement, then in the following year IMKB might be among the five top-performing Stock Exchanges world-wide. We believe that the government's determination to discipline the Budget will cause the Turkish Stock Exchange to keep on being in demand during the year 2000." /Aksam/
 STATE LENDERS TOP LIST OF LARGEST BANKSA list of Turkey's 10 largest banks is dominated by two state-run banks, according to a study released by the Turkish Banks' Association. The study says farm loans specialist Ziraat Bank was the country's largest bank in asset size as of the end of September. Halkbank ranked second after Ziraat. /All papers/
 PIRELLI IN TELECOMMUNICATIONSPirelli, known for years as a brand of tyre in Turkey, in addition to the rubber sector, intends to expand with new investments in energy transfer and telecommunications by the Turk Pirelli Cable establishment. The Chairman of Turk Pirelli Cable's Executive Board, Bulent Eczacibasi, said that a thrust into energy was compulsory in Turkey. Turk Pirelli Cable is planning to invest, in total, 20 million dollars in 1999 and 2000. /Hurriyet/
 GREEK DIPLOMAT'S EXHIBITIONThe Greek Embassy's Charge D'Affairs, Michael Hristides, has launched his photography exhibition entitled 'Views from my Turkey`. The exhibition comprises his photographs of Turkey taken between the years 1996 and 1999. Proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to the earthquake survivors. /Cumhuriyet/
 PORTRAIT OF MEHMET IIThe portrait of Mehmet II, painted by famous Venetian painter Gentile Bellini, has been brought to Turkey in order to be exhibited at the Yapi Kredi Cultural Centre. The portrait, the most well-known and priceless one among Mehmet II's known portraits, will be seen by visitors between Dec. 7th and Jan. 7th. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EU'S PROBLEM BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkish candidacy and the Greek Cypriot Administration membership of the EU. A summary of his column is as follwos:
"An issue which is discussed recently, as much as Turkey's EU candidacy is the future of the Greek-Cypriot membership to the same organization. The EU, as well as to some the Central and East European countries, had granted candidacy status to the divided "Republic of Cyprus" which it considered as a whole. Currently, membership negotiations for those countries who have complied with EU standards will begin as part of the EU's new expansion policy. The Klerides Administration wants the Greek-Cypriot side to enter the EU with or without a solution to the Cyprus problem. However, the Turkish side-the TRNC and Turkey claim that starting the membership process for the Greek-Cypriot Administration would constitute an injustice and would eliminate any chances of a solution on the Island.
The EU hoped to facilitate the unity of the Island once it had accepted the Greek-Cypriot side as a candidate country. THe EU believed that the Turkish-Cypriots would see the advantages provided by membership of the EU, reach the same high living standards as in the South, and would therefore want to enter the EU as soon as possible. At the time, both Denktas and Ankara had warned that the decision made at Luxembourg would not work and even might deepen the rift between the two sides.
Just before the Helsinki Summit, the EU finds itself at an impasse. There are two or three different opinions within the organization. Some members are insisting on the transition of the Greek-Cypriot Administration from candidacy to membership, with or without a solution to the problem. A second opinion is that the inclusion of Cyprus in the EU would, at the moment, result in political complications and no action should therefore be taken until a solution can be found to the problem.
Recently, through the efforts of Greece, a third opinion has also been discovered. According to this, the process needed for membership should be started and negotiations could last for a few years. When the EU reaches a point where it is able to make a decision, then the issue could be concluded. Those who defend this view probably believe that the problem would be solved long before then.
It has been very difficult to guess how Cyprus'membership of the EU would affect Turkey's candidacy from what the Greek Ministers are saying. If membership of the Greek-Cypriot side is suspended by the EU, will Greece veto Turkey's candidacy?
TRNC President Rauf Denktas who left for New York yesterday stated that if the Greek-Cypriot side is accepted into the EU, he will leave the talks and return home. This means that there will be no more negotiations for a solution; the 'solution' is the "de facto" situation on the Island.
Would the Greek-Cypriot side say that this decision has no significance, the important thing is their being a member of the EU and insist on its current policy?
What is more, would the Greek-Cypriot Administration be satisfied with accepting the continued division of the Island and governing only half of it? It is doubtful but no-one knows...."
 NATIONALIST ACTION PARTY AND COMMONSENSE BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)Columnist Gungor Mengi comments on the decision of the Euoropean Court of Human Rights concerning the death sentence passed on Ocalan and the Nationalist Action Party's (MHP) reaction to it. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued their decision as predicted and said "Stop the execution of Ocalan" until the ECHR has given its final verdict on Ocalan's request. With this, the ECHR is calling on Turkey to freeze the Ocalan case, at least for 18 months. The ECHR is a Court formed by the European Declaration of Human Rights to wihich Turkey is a party. As one of the former judges of the Court, Prof. Feyyaz Golcuklu, said, the declaration is similar to a national law and Turkey has to comply with its decisions just like any other State. The Chairman of the High Court of Appeals, Sami Selcuk, also said that the European Declaration of Human Rights is part of the Turkish legal system.
That is to say, the relation between Turkey's candidacy to the EU and the execution of Ocalan is in fact not blackmail but a punishment covered by our common laws.
Just as individuals, States also violate the Law through their Governments. Punishment does not stop them. What will Turkey do? This question mainly stems from the position of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). However, yesterday, the Deputy Chairman of the MHP Parliamentary Group, Ismail Kose, made a statement which revealed that the MHP section of the Government would not allow itself to be coerced into making the mistake of cutting off its nose to spite its face. He said, "There is no need to fall prey to an inferiority complex. We have to evaluate Turkey's interests. This issue should be removed from Turkey's agenda."
This statement reveals that the MHP is rapidly moving away from nationalist obsessions. Turkey did not fight against terrorism for fifteen years so as to see an unworthy person being executed. This battle was waged to reestablish the conditions under which citizens could prosper in peace and stability, and has been won.
Turkey's interest lies not in hanging Ocalan who has confessed his treason, and so make a hero out of him, but to keep him in prison for the rest of his life as an example to all. When Turkey reinstates peace and becomes integrated with Europe, this separatist movement is bound to die. Those who have fallen for this country will rest in peace when no-one else has to die to uphold peace.
True, this issue has to be wiped off Turkey's agenda; we have to direct all our energy to drying up the swamps where the PKK is finding itself suitable ground in which to grow. There may be political parties and leaders who will want to provoke the MHP, but the people have more commonsense than the politicans."
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