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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-15

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

15.12.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... NORTHERN CYPRUS WILL STAY WHERE IT IS BY TUFAN TURENC (
  • [02] HURRIYET)
  • [03] ECEVIT: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED
  • [04] TURKEY: EUROPE'S NEW BIG NAME
  • [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES TURKEY
  • [06] EU WINDS IN EDUCATION
  • [07] SECOND ROUND OF CYPRUS TALKS IN JANUARY
  • [08] SIMITIS BREAKS TABOOS
  • [09] SIMITIS' "OLIVE BRANCH" TO BE PLANTED TODAY
  • [10] TURKISH LANGUAGE SECTION IN ATHENS UNIVERSITY
  • [11] REFORM IN SECONDARY EDUCATION
  • [12] DISCUSSION ON KURDISH TV BROADCASTS
  • [13] 'HOPE 2000' LAUNCHED IN GOLCUK
  • [14] BIRDAL PROVEN "NOT-GUILTY"
  • [15] GENERAL ATES IN QUAKE REGION
  • [16] NATO MEETING
  • [17] MAFIA LEADER IN PRISON
  • [18] THIRD POSSIBILTY FOR ISTANBUL
  • [19] RESTRICTION ON RENTS
  • [20] EARTHQUAKE IN ISTANBUL NOT EXPECTED
  • [21] ORAL IS READY FOR G-20 MEETING
  • [22] CYBERSPACE UNIVERSITY READY
  • [23] NATIONAL INCOME
  • [24] SUPPORTER TERROR FOR FENERBAHCE
  • [25] THIRD WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [27] NORTHERN CYPRUS WILL STAY WHERE IT IS BY TUFAN TURENC ( HURRIYET)
  • [28] WE SHALL SUCCEED IN THE END BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... NORTHERN CYPRUS WILL STAY WHERE IT IS BY TUFAN TURENC (

    [02] HURRIYET)

    [03] ECEVIT: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has also taken part in disputes over the abolishment of capital punishment. Ecevit said that the conditional extradiction of Alaattin Cakici exhibited Turkey's loss due to the existence of capital punishment. Stressing that those criminals who have been detained abroad, have not been sent back to Turkey for this very reason, Ecevit said, "Due to this fact, many mysteries like that of Susurluk remain unsolved. I want to see the abolition of the death penalty as soon as possible." /Turkiye/

    [04] TURKEY: EUROPE'S NEW BIG NAME

    According to calculations of the made by the World Bank, Turkey is the biggest name amongst the other thirteen EU candidate countries, with a GNP of 200.5 billion dollars and parity of purchase power standing at 405 billion dollars, the greatest economy compared to other candidates. Turkey surpasses them also in terms of population and geographical area. Moreover, Turkey's new status has provided her with the opportunity to make use of the EU's Mediterranean Countries' Fund, which previously she was allowed to use up to a limit. EU loans up to now had always been hindered due to the Greek veto; as Turkey has now been granted candidacy status, this drawback has therefore been removed but, of course, Turkey still has some work to do. First of all, Turkey will draw up a 'harmonization programme' before the end of the year 2000 in order to make use of EU funds. Besides general harmonization with EU standards, institutions will also be able to receive aid from the EU and European Investment Bank funds will once again be up for discussion. /Aksam/

    [05] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES TURKEY

    While Turkey's candidacy status is still being discussed in Turkey, another discussion began in the European Parliament (EP). The Christian Democrats, the largest group in the EP, are against Turkey's EU candidacy and desire to start a discussion in public. However, the Greens reacted to this view saying, "Being opposed to Turkey's candidacy just because they are Muslim, is dangerous. The Islamic religion is a part of the European tradition." /Hurriyet/

    [06] EU WINDS IN EDUCATION

    Having been announced as an EU candidate for membership, Turkey is beginning to ensure her compliance with European educational standards in in the year 2000. The Ministry of National Education will set up the "Leonardo da Vinci and Socrates" educational schemes and will emphasize the importance of student exchange programmes, professional education and human rights and democracy courses. Any anti-Western statements in course books will be erased. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] SECOND ROUND OF CYPRUS TALKS IN JANUARY

    The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, accepted the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's suggestion to arrange the second round of the indirect Cyprus talks for the end of January. It was stated that the re-starting of the negotiations, which are planned to be held in Geneva, Vienna and New York at the end of January, is dependent upon the content of the draft law concerning Cyprus that will be discussed by the Security Council. The Greek-Cypriot Administration wants to add an article stating that "Cyprus has only one state, one sovereignity, one citizenship and one international character", to the draft law concerning an extension to the period of duty of the UN Peace Force. /Hurriyet/

    [08] SIMITIS BREAKS TABOOS

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in the light of the positive atmosphere following the Helsinki Summit, has called on the Greek community to "be at ease and feel safe". This brings a stop to the Greek "Turkey is a threat" policy that has been pervading the air for years. Speaking at a meeting with foreign press members in Athens, Simitis said, "The Greek people should feel a great sense of relief after Helsink; there is no need to be uneasy any more". /Milliyet/

    [09] SIMITIS' "OLIVE BRANCH" TO BE PLANTED TODAY

    The olive tree given by Costas Simitis as a symbol of peace to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit during the Helsinki Summit, will be planted in front of the Karagoz Monument in Bursa today if weather conditions are suitable. The olive tree standing 1.2 m. tall was brought from Ankara to Bursa by an agricultural engineer working for Bursa Metropolitan Municipality and was placed under protection. /Hurriyet/

    [10] TURKISH LANGUAGE SECTION IN ATHENS UNIVERSITY

    Athens University, for the first time in its history, has decided to establish a 'Turkish Language and Culture` section. A reflection of the rapprochement between the Greek and Turkish nations, this decision was taken during a meeting of the Istanbul and Athens Universities' Rectors in Athens. Prof. Dr. Kemal Alemdaroglu and his colleague Konstantin Dimopoulos agreed on cooperation between the two universities. /Milliyet/

    [11] REFORM IN SECONDARY EDUCATION

    Following the compulsory education period of eight years, it is now the turn of a reform in secondary education. According to the reform, 'Anatolian' and 'super' high schools and religious high schools will be closed. The reform envisages a reduction in the disparity between the various high schools. As a result of this, there will be three types of schools. General secondary education will be restructured into 'general high schools' and 'specialized high schools' and the professional secondary schools will be renamed 'professional high schools' and 'professional schools'. /Hurriyet/

    [12] DISCUSSION ON KURDISH TV BROADCASTS

    When the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem said that he gave permission for a Kurdish television channel to broadcast, a new discussion flared up. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that the government was not making any effort over Kurdish TV; "A formal meeting was not held by the government concerning this issue", said Ecevit. The leader of the Motherland Party, one of the coalition parties within the government, Mesut Yilmaz, while stating that since Turkey's EU candidate status had been granted, she should be ready for new openings, declared that he gave the green light to Kurdish television broadcasting. However, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which is in the government, reacted harshly to the Kurdish TV discussion. /Aksam/

    [13] 'HOPE 2000' LAUNCHED IN GOLCUK

    The 'Hope 2000' scheme, initiated by the Turkish Education Voluntary Workers' Foundation in order to introduce children in the earthquake-hit region to the means of modern education and to encourage them to strive for a good future, was launched in Golcuk by two educational touring buses. The Chairman of the Foundation, Ibrahim Betil, said that their aim was to increase the number of these vehicles, which are equipped with computers, and so ensure education in the latest technology for 25,000 children each year. /Hurriyet/

    [14] BIRDAL PROVEN "NOT-GUILTY"

    The Human Rights Association's (IHD) former Chairman, Akin Birdal, and several IHD officials were cleared of guilt over allegations they had published "separatist propaganda by way of association". Diyarbakir's No.2 State Security Court announced the verdict yesterday. /Milliyet/

    [15] GENERAL ATES IN QUAKE REGION

    Turkish Land Forces' Commander Gen. Atilla Ates yesterday visited the region hit by the earthquakes on Aug. 17 and Nov. 12. and went on a tour of observation in those tent-cities set up by soldiers. Gen Ates stated that the soldiers had showed once more that by working nonstop following the earthquakes, in good times or bad, they were always in solidarity with the people. /Turkiye/

    [16] NATO MEETING

    Today, the NATO Council is going to hold its final meeting of the year in Brussels. Member countries' Foreign Ministers will attend and the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) will be the major topic of discussion. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has also gone to Brussels and is expected to have a tete-a-tete with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson and some other Ministers. The NATO convention will end on Thursday night. /Turkiye/

    [17] MAFIA LEADER IN PRISON

    Gangster Alaattin Cakici, a nationalist, was taken to Turkey accompanied by four Interpol officials. France conditionally extradited Cakici; he will not be tried charged with crimes which he could face a possible death penalty. Cakici spent the night at Istanbul Police Headquarters and later was sent on to Kartal Prison. /Cumhuriyet/

    [18] THIRD POSSIBILTY FOR ISTANBUL

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's chief civil engineering consultant, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Vefik Alp, has declared that various projects are being worked on so as to discover the optimum solution to Istanbul's traffic crisis. Prof. Alp encountered scientists in France last week, together with the Construction and Housing Minister, Koray Aydin. He said that they envisaged several different ventures: the construction of a 33-kilometre-long viaduct 20 metres above the sea between Tuzla and Avcilar, a third bridge between Anadolukavagi and Rumelikavagi or a tube-crossing between Harem and Yenikapi. /Milliyet/

    [19] RESTRICTION ON RENTS

    Following Central Bank Chairman Gazi Ercel's declarations on a new monetary and exchange rate policy, a restriction on rents has begun to be discussed. Treasury and Central Bank experts have drawn up a Bill which foresees a maximum 25% increase in rents for the year 2000. With this arrangement, for the first time in Turkey, rents will go up in line with the expected inflation rate. /Milliyet/

    [20] EARTHQUAKE IN ISTANBUL NOT EXPECTED

    US Geological Survey (USGS) has stated that there are no signs of an earthquake occurring in Istanbul in the near future. The USGS has been continuously examining fault-line activity in the danger zone. USGS experts refuted Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's statement hinting that they hadreceived warnings of an impending earthquake. /Milliyet/

    [21] ORAL IS READY FOR G-20 MEETING

    Minister of Finance Sumer Oral has stated that Turkey has taken an important step by attaining candidate status and also by becoming a part of an important international forum, that is, the G-20. Oral said, "All these developments show that Turkey will become a powerful country in the modern world during the new century." Oral left to Germany to attend the meeting of the G-20 Ministers of Finance but spoke to the press before his departure: "The G-20 group is a forum that puts forward its opinions concerning financial crises and helps to prevent certain financial problems. Countries which are chosen to be a member of the G-20 group are those seen to have economic clout in their region and which have adopted the market economy." /Aksam/

    [22] CYBERSPACE UNIVERSITY READY

    Following the example of universities around the world, Turkish students will also be educated using the Internet. The High Education Board (YOK) is introducing the 'Cyberspace University`. Yesterday, the regulation went into effect after its publication in the Official Gazette. University education through the Internet will be avaible at beginning of the 2000-2001 semester. /Milliyet/

    [23] NATIONAL INCOME

    The State Statistics Institute (DIE) has disclosed Turkey's national income for the year 1998. According to a report issued by the DIE, Kocaeli was the city with the highest annual income per person at $ 7,500 and Agri came bottom with $827 per person. The Gross National Product stands at $3,176 per person. /Sabah/

    [24] SUPPORTER TERROR FOR FENERBAHCE

    Fenerbahce, one of the biggest football teams in Turkey, lost 2-1 to Pendikspor in the Turkish Cup. Angered by the defeat, supporters stormed Fenerbahce's Dereagzi offices and chanted slogans against the players. Following this, the hooligans attacked some of the players and club officials. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] THIRD WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL

    The theme of the Third Women's Film Festival on 4-11 May 2000 in Ankara has been declared to be "Peace and Women". A symposium under the same title will be organized during the Festival, which Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu's mother will attend. /Cumhuriyet/

    [26] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [27] NORTHERN CYPRUS WILL STAY WHERE IT IS BY TUFAN TURENC ( HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on the final communique issued after the Helsinki Summit. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "There is a belief in our society that we lose on the negotiation table whatever we gain on the battle-field. There have been some mistakes made in the past which justify this point of view. However, this is not the case this time.

    Turkey has been nominated to the greatest economic and political partnership in the world in Helsinki; the country will finally enter the European family. The idea cannot even be entertained that Europe would try to deceive a country it has decided to take into its family. Furthermore, Turkey does not have to give anything to anyone on the issues of Cyprus and the Aegean. All member countries, in addition to lifting their frontier restrictions, are opening up their material and spiritual assets for common use. They are even accepting a single Monetary Union. In such a situation, no-one will make unfair gains over any other, on Cyprus or in the Aegean. Sovereignty of the Island will have no meaning in the future. Is not the goal a single and greater European State?

    How would the situation have differed if Turkey had rejected candidacy because the EU had mentioned the acceptance of the Greek-Cypriot Administration in the final declaration? Would the EU change its mind about admitting the Greek-Cypriot Administration to the family? We would have to be extremely naive to believe this. Certainly, Turkey can protect the rights of the Turkish-Cypriots within the Union.

    Turkey has stated clearly that the problem of Cyprus could only be solved if the principle of two states is accepted. If the Greek-Cypriots are accepted into the Union without reaching a solution on the Island, Northern Cyprus will be integrated with Turkey at an equal rate.

    Certain people in Turkey are building scenarios based on not reaching a solution. This is not a healthy attitude. Would it not be better for Turkey and Greece to solve their problems today, which problems would in any case evaporate eventually?

    Seeing the benefits of sharing common values and interests will bring the two countries closer to each other with every passing day. No-one can believe that Turkey and Greece, who have come together in the same family, will remain foes from now on."

    [28] WE SHALL SUCCEED IN THE END BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Hasan Cemal is commenting on the self-confidence seen amongst the general public following the acceptance of Turkey's 'candidacy' by the EU and writes on the feats this will accomplish. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "We shall succeed in the end and the Aegean will be a sea of peace, Cyprus a peaceful island. Turks and Greeks will come together and accomplish the impossible. Just as the French and the Germans did after fighting against each other for centuries, after the bloodshed of the Second World War, and came together to establish the Common Market.

    We shall succeed in reducing the rate of inflation. The country will rid herself of this problem. Everyone will make a contribution to this goal and tighten their belts; incomes will rise, expenditure will decrease. The economy will rid itself of the burden of the State and Turkey will be free of the State Economic Enterprises through privatization. Public banking, which is one of the main reasons for corruption and moral deterioration in politics, will be overcome and we shall continue to modernize the banking system.

    In the end, we shall succeed in raising the standards of democracy and human rights within the country. As a State which has won the fight against violence and terrorism, we shall eliminate our shortcomings as far as the rule of law and the superiority of the law are concerned. Freedom of expression and of conscience will be seen in Turkey as in Europe; no-one will be imprisoned because of writing a book or reading a poem. Political bans which last a lifetime will be abolished and we shall take the steps required to ensure a change in mentality and and alterations to certain legal matters.

    The measures necessary will be taken in order to provide individuals with their democratic rights as equal citizens of a unitary State. For example, there will be no longer a problem concerning Kurdish radio, television or Kurdish education. While accomplishing all these, we will not give any concessions on the integrity of the country.

    The death penalty will be abolished and the road to democracy will be opened. As the Prime minister has said, democracy is not an imposition but a life-style chosen by our people. We shall accomplish wide- ranging reforms within the State from top to bottom. We shall be an EU member soon, in 2005 or 2008; the steps necessary for this will be taken rapidly and systematically after January.

    We shall be optimistic, not creating problems but showing the ways to solve them. We are confident that this will happen because we have seen what the three-party coalition formed by the Democratic Left Party, Nationalist Action Party and the Motherland Party has achieved in six and a half months. We shall watch them closely.

    A new wave of excitement is being seen. Turkey has begun to have confidence in herself. Her self-confidence is rising. We shall succeed!"


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