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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-10

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

10.12.99

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] ONE STEP LEFT
  • [03] HEAVY AGENDA FOR EU
  • [04] POSITIVE SIGNAL FROM SIMITIS ON PLANE
  • [05] CYPRUS QUESTION AT HELSINKI
  • [06] SUPPORT FROM KURDISH GROUPS
  • [07] HISTORIC MONETARY DECISION
  • [08] ECEVIT'S WORDS ON ARBITRATION HARMONIZATION LAWS
  • [09] CONDITIONAL PERMISSION FOR SOME BANKS
  • [10] 51ST ANNIVERSARY OF UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [11] COUNCIL OF STATE: HEADSCARF IS FORBIDDEN AT UNIVERSITIES
  • [12] MASSIVE COOPERATION IN DIGITAL BROADCASTING
  • [13] 200 MILLION DOLLARS IN BOND EXPORT BY TURKCELL
  • [14] AMERICAN INVESTORS HOLD TURKEY IN FAVOUR
  • [15] BANKS ARE READY FOR THE YEAR 2000
  • [16] FOREIGN INVESTORS ARE NOT PESSIMISTIC ANY MORE
  • [17] TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS AND BUSINESSMAN'S (TUSIAD) ANKARA TOUR
  • [18] SUPERONLINE: HUGE INVESTMENT
  • [19] STOCK EXCHANGE IS HOPEFUL
  • [20] BEDRI BAYKAM'S EXHIBITION
  • [21] GALATASARAY DEFEATS BOLOGNA
  • [22] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [23] EUROPE WILL EXTEND BORDERS BY TUFAN TURENC ( HURRIYET)
  • [24] WHEN THE GUNS ARE SILENT: HADEP BY YALCIN DOGAN (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] ONE STEP LEFT

    Turkey is taking one more step towards Europe after the Ankara Agreement 36 years ago and her application for full-membership 12 years ago. Today, 15 EU countries' leaders will announce their formal decision on the topic at the Helsinki Summit. Turkey's EU membership is fully expected to be ratified by EU leaders. The world press, especially that in Europe, express the view that in the case of a 'no`, a great misfortune would occur. World press opinions follow:

    Germany-the 'Suddeutche Zeitung`: An earthquake occurs which may have unexpected results.

    Britian-'The Times`: Turkey turns her back on Europe. It becomes a horrible situation.

    Greece-'To Vima`: Premier Simitis will make a hard bargain.

    Finland-the 'Metro`: Ankara may reject membership if she doesn't like the provisos attached. /Hurriyet/

    [03] HEAVY AGENDA FOR EU

    The EU Helsinki Summit, commencing today, has a heavy agenda of its own on which Turkey's candidacy will be one of the major topics for debate. The other major items expected to be up for discussion are the addition of a military dimension to the economic and political identity of the EU with the ratification of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI), the enlargement process, economic and employment policy coordination within the Union and the Russian offensive in Chechnya. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] POSITIVE SIGNAL FROM SIMITIS ON PLANE

    Intense pressure has been applied to Greek Premier Kostas Simitis who was invited to Helsinki only 24 hours before the Summit, in order to prevent any problems which may arise during the Summit. During his journey to Helsinki, he gave out positive signals to journalists for Turkey's membership. /Hurriyet/

    [05] CYPRUS QUESTION AT HELSINKI

    The intense on-going bargaining to grant Turkey 'candidacy status', which bears great significance for her integration with European institutions on the threshold of the 21st century, is expected to continue until noon today. All the members of the Union, except Greece, were in favour of granting candidacy with no pre-conditions attached; Athens, however, expects statements to be written into the text of the final communique of the Helsinki Summit to the effect that if a solution is not found to the Cyprus problem, this would not affect the Greek-Cypriot Administration's entrance to the EU. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] SUPPORT FROM KURDISH GROUPS

    Kurdish groups in Europe have organized a discussion panel in Helsinki, where the EU Summit is taking place, on "The Future of the Kurdish Population in view of Turkey's EU Membership." Kurdish groups stated that both the EU and Kurds would benefit from Turkey's membership and requested that the EU grant candidacy status to Turkey; it was noted by the panel that this would be greatly to the advantage of the Kurds . /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] HISTORIC MONETARY DECISION

    The Central Bank, taking an historic step before the stand-by agreement with IMF, has declared the value of Turkish Lira (TL) day by day up to the end of the year 2000; accordingly, the value of TL will decrease only 20% over the next year. On Jan. 1st, 2000, one dollar will be equal to 542,182 TL while on Dec. 31st, 2000 it will be 649,661 TL. At his press conference, Gazi Ercel, the Chairman of the Central Bank, said, "Everbody, leaving evaluations to the old, should do their calculations bearing the envisaged inflation rates in mind." Ercel emphasized that the programme to decrease the inflation rate, concerning money and exchange rate policies, was 'perhaps the last chance` to be able to counter inflation. /Hurriyet/

    [08] ECEVIT'S WORDS ON ARBITRATION HARMONIZATION LAWS

    The Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, in statements to journalists after meeting President Suleyman Demirel said, "A comprehensive Customs Law was implemented after the Social Security Reform and I believe that the arbitration harmonization laws will be enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) before the end of this year. An additional tax law was implemented, the Capital Market Law began to be discussed in the TGNA, and the Banking Law is at the commission stage. Meanwhile, there is some negativity being experienced in border trade. Our manufacturers have some problems within Turkey; we are determined to take the measures necessary to solve these problems. Another reform that should be implemented in Turkey concerns agricultural reform. The government is preparing seriously for this issue." /Turkiye/

    [09] CONDITIONAL PERMISSION FOR SOME BANKS

    The Bill on the Banking Law, which caused a crisis, is being rearranged by the subcommittee due to the objections of Mesut Yilmaz. The situation of the private finance establishments which were known as 'Islamic capital' will be rehandled and the establishments, if they want, may continue to operate under certain provisos. /Hurriyet/

    [10] 51ST ANNIVERSARY OF UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was issued on Dec. 10th, 1948 stating the individual's basic human rights from the right to live through to the right to education. Dec. 10th, therefore, is marked across the world as Human Rights Day. However, the world faces a black picture in the name of peace, freedom and equality; the new world system has brought together not only economic and social rights but also restrictions on individual and political rights. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] COUNCIL OF STATE: HEADSCARF IS FORBIDDEN AT UNIVERSITIES

    The Council of State, approving the decision of the 19 May University's administration which prevented student Esra Ege to enter the University wearing a headscarf, has overturned the local court's verdict. The ruling stated that one could not defend as a democratic right any activity which was contrary to the higher education system. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] MASSIVE COOPERATION IN DIGITAL BROADCASTING

    The first huge step has been taken concerning the 'Digital Platform' that will be implemented on March, 2000 by two of the biggest companies in Turkey, Cukurova and Dogan Broadcasting. The agreement concerning its establishment, the set-top decoder and encryption for digital brodcasting was signed between Royal Philips and DigiTurk in Istanbul. Chairman of the Executive Board of DigiTurk Mehmet Emin Karamehmet and Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, along with the World Chairman of Royal Philips, Cor Boonstra, attended the signing ceremony. /Aksam/

    [13] 200 MILLION DOLLARS IN BOND EXPORT BY TURKCELL

    An official from the American Investment Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), stated to Reuters that Turkcell is planning to export bonds amounting to 200 million dollars next week. The bonds will expire in five years' time. The official stated that CSFB and Deutsche Bank had been appointed equal guarantors of the loan. The fixed term of the Turkcell bonds will be 1st August, 2005, and the bonds will be priced during the Roadshow next Monday in London, on Tuesday in New York and on Thursday in Boston. The bonds will be exported through Cello Finance N.V. in Holland and will be guaranteed by the main company. /Aksam/

    [14] AMERICAN INVESTORS HOLD TURKEY IN FAVOUR

    It has been stated that Turkey has become the focus of American investors' interest, particularly following President Bill Clinton's visit to Turkey and the signing of documents concerning petroleum and gas pipelines, and hydro-electric power-station ventures. Not only that, but Turkey had also received a loan amounting to 1.4 billion dollars from the New York market during the previous months. Moreover, it was also stated that the total amount of loans received from other American institutions stood at 3.2 billion dollars. Furthermore, representatives of top names on Wall Street will convene in December as part of a meeting organized by Turkey's Ambassador to New York, Mehmet N. Ezen. /Aksam/

    [15] BANKS ARE READY FOR THE YEAR 2000

    Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Sureyya Serdengecti stated that the banks, which had earlier recognized the problem of year 2000 compliance (Y2K) had worked hard to ensure they were ready for the year 2000. At the discussion panel organized by the Central Bank in order to discuss the problem of Y2K compliance and the latest developments on the issue, Serdengecti delivered the opening speech during which he stated that the banks had completed updating for the year 2000. /Turkiye/

    [16] FOREIGN INVESTORS ARE NOT PESSIMISTIC ANY MORE

    Foreign investors' opinion of the Turkish economy is turning out to be positive, compared to last August. The Chairman of the Executive Board of the Association of Foreign Investment (YASED), Faruk Yoneyman, announced the results of the "YASED Barometer", stating that there had been a positive swing in foreign investors' opinion of the Turkish economy. Research undertaken by YASED revealed that foreign investors' predictions concerning the economic growth of Turkey were optimistic and the forecast of growth in the economy has climbed to 58%. Half of the investors envisaged that inflation will fall further and 69% of them predicted that interest rates will decrease. /Sabah/

    [17] TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS AND BUSINESSMAN'S (TUSIAD) ANKARA TOUR

    TUSIAD's Ankara tour is giving hope for the Millenium. Those bosses, who encountered President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli during the Supreme Consultation Board gathering, want the opportunities that will be presented by the new Millenium to be used profitably. After this visit, the Chairman of TUSIAD's Supreme Consultation Board, Bulent Eczacibasi, emphasized the potential difference due to the important role that Turkey can play and drew this scenario for the year 2000: "The role that is expected from Turkey includes setting an example and leading other countries in the region. The results of the international position that can be observed today are ensuring Turkey's place in the G-20, the signing of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline venture, the structural reform loans of the World Bank, and the stand-by agreement to be signed with the IMF. This picture will become more certain with the approval of Turkey's candidacy to the EU. Now it is our duty to put this positive atmosphere into good use as best we can. We have to implement a series of political and economic transformations in order to succeed in this." /Sabah/

    [18] SUPERONLINE: HUGE INVESTMENT

    Superonline has signed an agreement amounting to 20 million dollars in order to increase the speed and the quality of its service to its subscribers. General Director of Superonline Savas Unsal during a press conference at Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel stated that they had drawn up a satellite connection agreement with the world-famous communications company, AT and T. Unsal further added, "We will double our capacity by plugging directly into the Internet network in America thanks to this agreement. Satellite connections and work to set up communications masts in Turkey will be undertaken by Verinet. The agreement will be implemented at the end of January." /Milliyet/

    [19] STOCK EXCHANGE IS HOPEFUL

    The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) International 100 Index increased 487 points yesterday and completed the day on 10,336 points. The belief that Turkey will obtain a the positive result from the EU's Helsinki Summit increased yesterday. Yesterday, the Stock Exchange regained its previous losses due to the expectation that Greece will not veto Turkey's candidacy. The daily average profit on shares was 4.95. /Turkiye/

    [20] BEDRI BAYKAM'S EXHIBITION

    Berdri Baykam's painting exhibition, entitled 'My 20th Century` was opened yesterday at the Cultural Gallery in Istanbul's Ataturk Cultural Centre. The Former Chairman of the Constitutional Court and the Chairman of the Kemalist Idealism Association, Yekta Gungor Ozden, attended the opening ceremony. /Cumhuriyet/

    [21] GALATASARAY DEFEATS BOLOGNA

    Galatasaray, representing Turkey in the UEFA Cup, defeated the Italian Bologna team in a tough match played at the Ali Sami Yen stadium with a score of 2-1. The Turkish goals were scored by Hasan and Umit in the 4th and 29th minutes respectively. The only Italian goal was scored by Ventola in the 8th minute. This victory has carried the Turkish team forward to the Fourth Round. /All papers/

    [22] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [23] EUROPE WILL EXTEND BORDERS BY TUFAN TURENC ( HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc writes on the possible consequences of the Helsinki Summit. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The decision taken at the Helsinki Summit will determine the route Turkey will follow from now on. She will either increase speed, filling her sails with more wind to reach her goal, or steer towards other seas. No-one can guess the adventures Turkey will have to face on unknown seas if a decision opposed to Turkey's nomination is taken at the Helsinki Summit. A Europe without Turkey, whose borders will stop at Edirne, will be left without a bridge connecting it to the Middle East and Eurasia. In fact, we cannot think of any reason why European countries should dare to do this.

    Three possible decisions may be taken at the Helsinki Summit; the first one being, not to declare Turkey's candidacy. Secondly, pre-conditions may be attached to Turkey's nomination. That is to say, they may postpone her candidacy to a later date. Thirdly, there is the announcement of Turkey as a candidate country with equal rights to those of other countries without imposing any proviso on her. We are hopeful of this third possibility.

    Such a decision will prevent Turkey's distancing herself away from the West and provide an opportunity for her to work harder to integrate with Europe. During this process, Turkey will quickly Westernize herself as a moderate Islamic country. This would be both to the benefit of Europe and Turkey.

    It seems there is only one country which may prevent such a decision: Greece. Can Athens take such a risk, does she have the power to meet the drawbacks and the heavy toll which may be incurred? In fact, following such a policy would not be wise for Athens. Europe will expect Greece to account for every difficulty it encounters if it is without Turkey. In an atmosphere when the earthquake disaster has brought two peoples closer together, Greek politicians would not dare to make such an illogical decision.

    If Turkey is granted 'candidate status', she has the power and belief to evaluate the horizon of membership in no time. Turkey is able to solve the most complicated questions very quickly. She has a dynamic population and well-trained, creative manpower. That is why she has been able to continue to advance notwithstanding the negativity and obstacles thrown in her way and to climb the steps towards industrialization.

    Turkey's significance is being felt all over the Middle East, Eurasia and the Balkans. Everyone should know that, with the acceptance of Turkey into the EU, the borders of Europe will extend to the Chinese Wall. Turkey should be able to use this trump card she is holding, wisely."

    [24] WHEN THE GUNS ARE SILENT: HADEP BY YALCIN DOGAN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Yalcin Dogan comments on the courtesy visits paid by the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) to coalition party leaders. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The People's Democracy Party (HADEP) is visiting the coalition party leaders to erase former prejudices in the mind of politicians and the public alike. ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz answered the HADEP request for an appointment immediately, and they met at the beginning of the week. There is no word from Devlet Bahceli as yet, but there is reason why he should object to such a visit. HADEP is going to ask for an audience with the Prime Minister after meeting with Bahceli.

    The main question here is to protect the rights of one's own. HADEP is acting in line with protocol, showing its respect to the coalition partners starting from the smallest partner and working up to the Prime Minister.

    Even if there are court cases underway for the closure of HADEP, the party has Mayors in 38 provinces, towns and counties; among them we can cite Diyarbakir, Siirt, Bingol, Van, Hakkari, Batman and Agri. First of all, the practical problems have to be solved in these areas beginning with supplying funds to those municipalities governed by HADEP; the Government has to solve their financial problems.

    More important than that is the view of the people living there towards the latest developments. For example, the representatives of HADEP state to Mesut Yilmaz that they ardently desire Turkey's EU membership; they added that they were ready to fulfil their duty in carrying Turkey towards a future with the EU. The EU gives hope democratization and human rights issues; all our citizens are sharing this view.

    The most vital evaluation is that the guns have been silenced and new expectations are being experienced in an atmosphere of peace. Feridun Celik from HADEP stated that they had lived through difficult times, however, all that was now in the past. He added that they would like to see the process which began with the capture of Ocalan to continue, but HADEP also said that they were opposed to the death penalty.The representatives of HADEP expressed their view that every inch of land was sacred for them and Turkey was an undivided whole and, as there was no tension at the moment, they asked for the lifting of the State of Emergency in the region.

    ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz agreed with this and declared that they would give priority to the economic development of the area.

    It is the duty of the Turkish Goverment to share both the happiness and grief of her citizens. With this initiative, it defines itself anew. The Government will not ignore this effort; HADEP will receive the same interest from both Bahceli and Ecevit."


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