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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

20.12.99

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] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN MARDIN
  • [03] TURKEY TO GROW MORE RAPIDLY THAN THE EU
  • [04] COOPERATION AGAINST TERRORISM BETWEEN ATHENS AND GREECE
  • [05] FIRST RIOT
  • [06] CAKICI COURT TODAY
  • [07] AYVAZ KORKMAZ TO BE BROUGHT TO TURKEY
  • [08] SOUTHEASTERN ATTACK
  • [09] BOMBERS CAPTURED
  • [10] OPEN DAYS AT THE PRISONS
  • [11] BUDGET DEBATES
  • [12] LEADERS' WORDS DURING BUDGETARY DISCUSSIONS
  • [13] PREFABRICATED HOUSES FROM THE GERMAN GREENS
  • [14] AIRPORT TO BE BUILT IN YUKSEKOVA
  • [15] 51 SHIPS WRECKED
  • [16] BUSINESS WORLD TO ESTABLISH THE EU ROOF
  • [17] LETTER OF INTENTION TO THE IMF
  • [18] "2000: YEAR OF TURKISH AIR LINES (THY)"
  • [19] VISA URGENCY
  • [20] BANKING LAW
  • [21] LEATHER BUSINESSMEN IN DIRE STRAITS
  • [22] INTERNET TO SPEED UP
  • [23] NIGHT AND DAY TARIFFS FOR ELECTRICITY
  • [24] DATA PROCESSING'99 FAIR
  • [25] WARMEST WINTER
  • [26] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [27] RAUF DENKTAS BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)
  • [28] EU RELATIONS BY AYHAN KAMEL (CUMHURIYET)

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

    [02] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN MARDIN

    President Suleyman Demirel, accompanied by Transport Minister Enis Oksoz and Local Affairs Minister Saadettin Tantan, yesterday inaugurated the Mardin Airport. At the ceremony Demirel said, "This country is ours. We will continue to develop it so long we keep our unity." Meaanwhile, President Demirel is going to Gaziantep today to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Karkamis Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant, whose foundation he laid on May 25th 1996. The facility has cost 176 million dollars, and it is to produce 652.5 million kilowatts per hour of electricity. /Turkiye/

    [03] TURKEY TO GROW MORE RAPIDLY THAN THE EU

    It was reported that although the Turkish economy is currently dampened, next year its growth rate would be twice as much as that of the EU, which Turkey is trying to become a member of. According to a Foreign Trade Undersecretariat research study, entitled "The EU and Turkey", the EU's economy will grow by 2.1% this year and 2.7% during the year 2000. The number of employees in the EU totalled 1.7 million in 1998; this number has increased to 2.5 million in 1999 and will remain the same for the year 2000. Inflation decreased to 1.7% in 1998, dropped further to 1.3% in 1999 but is predicted to rise to 1.6% in the year 2000. Acccording to data within the investment programme for the year 2000, the economy of Turkey, which grew at 3.8% in 1998, is expected to slow down to an average of 2%. The rise in the Gross Domestic Product is expected to continue, increasing 5.5% in the year 2000. Furthermore, the growth rate for the agricultural sector is predicted to be 3.7%, 6% for that of the industrial sector and 6.6% in the services sector. /Aksam/

    [04] COOPERATION AGAINST TERRORISM BETWEEN ATHENS AND GREECE

    The "anti-terrorism" agreement, which is ready to be signed between Ankara and Athens, envisages massive cooperation against terrorism. According to the agreement, which is expected to be signed during the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs' visit to Ankara, the two countries will take precautions against terrorism, exchange technical information concerning the groups and persons who are involved in terrorist actions and activities, evaluate probable terrorist actions together, engage in cooperation to increase security controls in airports, harbours and train stations and exchange lists of suspects and secret intelligence organizations. /Milliyet/

    [05] FIRST RIOT

    Breaking his silence, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, reacted to his partners' views of the EU. In reference to the Ocalan case, Bahceli said, " We cannot accept any excuses which will save the murderer or alter his sentence, and this case cannot be the basic provison for EU membership." Bahceli also criticized Mesut Yilmaz and stressed, "Turkey's path for all international unions passes only through the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara." /Hurriyet/

    [06] CAKICI COURT TODAY

    Alaattin Cakici, who was recently extradited by France, will be tried today for the first time in 12 years on charges of "inciting to injury". Cakici is accused of inciting the assailant of 'Sabah' newspaper journalist Hincal Uluc and will give his testimony in the 6th Initial Justice Court in Istanbul. /Aksam/

    [07] AYVAZ KORKMAZ TO BE BROUGHT TO TURKEY

    Ayvaz Korkmaz, one of the famous names of the "land mafia", who was captured in the Ukraine recently and whose extradition has been requested in three files, is expected to be brought to Turkey on 25th December after the necessary procedures have been completed. /Milliyet/

    [08] SOUTHEASTERN ATTACK

    The government has launched a comprehensive package to ensure the development of the Southeastern region. Following the blow dealt to terrorism, priority will be given to economic and social reforms in the region. Investments which have already begun will be completed, the State of Emergency (OHAL) will be abolished, whatever is still lacking in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) will be provided and the region will become more attractive with new incentives and a credit system for the private sector. /Turkiye/

    [09] BOMBERS CAPTURED

    Three women and a man who claimed to be involved in five armed actions including the hanging of banners, as well as 35 bomb attacks in the name of the illegal Turkish Communist Labour Party/Leninist Group (TKEP/L) have been captured. It was stated that the militants who were seized had received explosives training in prison. During the search of the militants' houses, mechanical and electronic equipment, a gun, two cellular phones, two electric type-writers, one police handcuff, one stamp, one FM transmitter, four cans of spray paint and documents relating to the organisation were seized. /Aksam/

    [10] OPEN DAYS AT THE PRISONS

    The Minister of Justice, Hikmet Sami Turk, stated that in a circular that were sent to the attorney-generals open days will be permitted in both prisons and official establishments. This is due to the Ramadan Festival and New Year's Day and will be conducted under certain principles and on certain days. /Milliyet/

    [11] BUDGET DEBATES

    Debates over the Budget for the year 2000 have begun in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). During his presentation, Finance Minister Sumer Oral said that the economic programme for the year 2000 has three branches: tax, privatization and expenditure in the right places. The Minister also emphasized that any increse in workers' salaries would not be below the rate of inflation. /Hurriyet/

    [12] LEADERS' WORDS DURING BUDGETARY DISCUSSIONS

    The leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz delivered a speech representing ANAP during the budgetary discussions and this time expressed his opinion concerning the reorganization within the State to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). Yilmaz said, "The policy of state control should change in order to improve democracy. There is the danger that the air that we breathe might be in thrall to the State. My criticism is not towards a certain party. The reforms that began with the Republic could not be carried to the point that was wished due to the fact that "assets were dependent upon the State-axial basis. While the State is being blessed, the nation is neglected. The leader of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, said, "After Turkey becomes a EU member, there will be changes in human rights and freedoms. However, I have some worries concerning the Aegean and Cyprus issues. The leader of the True Path Party (DYP), Tansu Ciller said that the Nationalist Action Party was ignoring the incidents in Chechnya. /Milliyet/

    [13] PREFABRICATED HOUSES FROM THE GERMAN GREENS

    A representative of the German Greens Party, Siggi Martsch, has worked in cooperation with the Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV) and ensured the construction in Duzce of ten prafabricated houses, which he accompanied from Germany. Siggi Martsch, who has been in Duzce overseeing two days for the construction of the houses, returned to Germany yesterday. At a press conference with the Deputy Chairman of SODEV, Aydin Cingi, before his departure to Germany at Ataturk Airport, Martsch said that they had also established a charity called "A roof over my head". He further added that they were continuing their work to ensure donations for new prefabricated houses and that they would continue to build new homes in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] AIRPORT TO BE BUILT IN YUKSEKOVA

    The construction of eight airports in Turkey, which already has 37 airports in use, is still underway and many airports are at the planning stage. The Minister of Communications, Enis Oksuz, stated that Hakkari Airport will be also put out to tender as soon as possible. /Milliyet/

    [15] 51 SHIPS WRECKED

    It has been revealed that some ship owners have had some of their older ships sunk on purpose to dotain compensation from their insurance companies. According to data statistics drawn up by the Navy Undersecretariat, fifty ships are expected to be retrieved from the Marmara, Aegean and Black Seas and from the Mediterranean. The cause of their sinking was stated to be "bad weather conditions, taking water on board, leaks, defective machinery". The cost of salvaging the sunken ships depends upon where the ship sank, how long it has been there, its physical condition, and its weight. In addition, the Navy Undersecretariat's Navy "Maritime Traffic Administration and Information System Project" will be implemented in the year 2001. The American Lockheed Martin Company won the bid to provide its technical equipment amounting to 20.4 million dollars. /Milliyet/

    [16] BUSINESS WORLD TO ESTABLISH THE EU ROOF

    The Turkish business world is on the way to establishing powerful cooperation during the process of becoming an EU member. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges (TOBB), the Foundation for Economic Development (IKV) and the Council of Foreign Economic Relations (DEIK) are establishing a "coordination centre" to unite private sector activity under the same roof. It was envisaged that the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) will also be based in this centre. These establishments, which will be united under the same umbrella for the first time, will cooperate in the areas of business rivalry, promoting Turkey abroad, lobbying activities, harmonization laws and consumer rights. /Millliyet/

    [17] LETTER OF INTENTION TO THE IMF

    Discussions which have been in progress since 1997 with the IMF are at last yielding results with the stand-by agreement. The letter of intention, which was signed by State Minister Recep Onal and the Chairman of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, will be discussed and accepted by the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week. A three-year long period of cooperation will be set up between Turkey and the IMF thanks to this seventeen-page historic document. The IMF will provide Turkey with funds totalling 4 billion dollars by the year 2002 with some being being sent every three months. The wholesale price index (TEFE) is expected to be reduced to 20% in the year 2000 and then to 5% in the year 2002. Turkey will initiate privatization amounting to an income of 19.6 billion dollars in three years. The financial sector will implement both agricultural reforms and staff re-organization. /Sabah/

    [18] "2000: YEAR OF TURKISH AIR LINES (THY)"

    It was stated that THY will be privatized during the year 2000. According to the Chairman of the Executive Board of THY, Cem Kozlu, this time the step that had previously been planned will be taken and THY will 'blow' during the year 2000. Kozlu said, "At the beginning of the season, the threat of terrorism and the tourist embargo by Europe badly affected THY. Then, the earthquake occurred and not only tourists' flights, but also businessmen's journeys were postponed. 1999 was an extraordinary year. Under normal circumstances, THY sees a profit. Therefore, it will continue to make a profit in the future. In addition, the EU has an approach that unites all airlines in Europe, removes various obstacles and decreases extreme contol, which will affect THY positively. A bright future is awaiting THY unless something abnormal happens." /Sabah/

    [19] VISA URGENCY

    The Turkish Travel Agencies' Union (TURSAD) has requested that citizens who desire to spend their New Year and Religious Festival holiday (Bayram) abroad, apply for their visas, if they are required, as soon as possible. TURSAD emphasized the fact that all Embassies and Consulates will begin their Christmas and New Year holiday from Dec. 23rd 1999. /Hurriyet/

    [20] BANKING LAW

    Yesterday, the Banking Law officially went into effect with its publication in the Official Gazette. Under this Law, the Banking Regulation and Supervisory Board's Chairman and members are planned to be nominated before March 31st and the Board will be in operation by the end of August. Up to that date, the Ministry Board will handle applications related to those banks which are experiencing difficulties. /Hurriyet/

    [21] LEATHER BUSINESSMEN IN DIRE STRAITS

    The leather industry, the tenth biggest industrial sector in the Turkish economy, is continuing to lose its life-blood following the global crisis and the earthquake disasters. Although it was experiencing a crisis period in the year 1998, the sector has been unable even to match its that performance in that year. An eruption of bankruptcies in the sector is feared unless vital measures are taken. /Hurriyet/

    [22] INTERNET TO SPEED UP

    The Internet will become faster during the first days of the New Year. After that, connection to the Internet will be directed through seven regions including 80 cities. According to Turk Telecom, Internet service providers will establish servers in all cities. /Hurriyet/

    [23] NIGHT AND DAY TARIFFS FOR ELECTRICITY

    Multi-tariff electricty consumption, which was hitherto applied only to work places will also be used for domestic consumption, so that consumers will be able to designate the price for their electricity. Different prices will be applied to electricity which is used at different hours of the day and this will slide the balance of electricity consumption towards reduced-price hours. /Hurriyet/

    [24] DATA PROCESSING'99 FAIR

    There was a big crowd on the final day of the Data Processing'99 Fair, which had been in progress for four days at the TUYAP Fair and Congress Centre in Beylikduzu. Thousands of people living in Istanbul who wanted to reach the Fair caused traffic jams on all the roads leading to Beylikduzu. The Data Processing'99 Fair, which is among the ten best communication technology fairs in Europe and the biggest one in Turkey, came to an end yesterday. More than 700 Turkish and foreign firms took part in the Fair, which was organized in six categories: information, communication, office technologies, security, the Internet and data processing. Data processing firms from Italy, Austria, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which were attending this Fair for the first time, met some Turkish firms to discuss investing in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [25] WARMEST WINTER

    The world is experiencing the warmest winter of the Milliennium. The temperature has reached 27 degrees centigrade in Bodrum while rising above 20 degrees in Antalya and Adana. Along our southern coasts, tourists are swimming. Even in Erzurum, one of the coldest cities in Turkey, air temperatures remain above zero during the day. /Hurriyet/

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

    [27] RAUF DENKTAS BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu wrote on the Cyprus question and the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "We hold different views on a solution to the question of Cyprus to those of the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas. However, I have always believed that Cyprus question could not be solved without Denktas. He is the only person who might bring a solution to the problem; this belief has never changed.

    The rumour that plans were being made to bring someone to bear against a solution and against the presidency of the TRNC has deepened our resolve to defend Denktas to the end and oppose these plans to do him an injustice.

    Whatever opposing views we may have on the solutions for Cyprus, we will not accept any decision that may leave him out. Denktas is not too happy with Ankara because of its acceptance of the latest decision concerning the EU. He is right in many respects as Ankara, which has followed a strict diplomacy for years, has begun to be flexible on the issue.

    It may very well be that the new facts of life have brought both Ankara and Denktas to a point where they are following a new policy. In the coming weeks we may obtain some clues to these policies. Therefore, the talks Denktas will hold in January in New York reveal a more important turning point to all of us."

    [28] EU RELATIONS BY AYHAN KAMEL (CUMHURIYET)

    Retired Ambassador Ayhan Kamel comments on the recent decision of the Government in accepting Turkey's EU candidate status. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It is most certainly pleasing to see that Turkey has earned the status of a candidate country to the EU. However, as soon as the candidate status was announced, a large proportion of the general public began talking of a "great achieveement". The share of the praises bestowed on Turkey by foreign Heads of State and Governments in addition to that of the press cannot be denied as they were pleased to see that a crisis, which could have erupted if candidacy had been rejected, had been averted.

    Differing from that of other countries, in the status granted to Turkey there are two further pre-conditions apart from compliance with the Copenhagen criteria which is required for all candidates. In the Helsinki Declaration it was clearly stated that if a solution could not be found to the problem of Cyprus, this would not hamper the Greek-Cypriot Administration's admittance into the Union. This situation would lead the Greek-Cypriots to take an uncomprising stand during the talks.

    I believe that the reference to the year 2004 when the Union will re-evaluate the situation in going to the Court of Justice at The Hague is not clear. The statement by our Government expressing its reservations will not change any of these points. The guarantees given by the Finnish President also are not of great importance as the European Union countries put the 'free circulation' right, which Turkey had, on the shelf which was to begin in 1980.

    We shall show our resolve and determination in reaching our goal, dependant on no-one but ourselves and free from all complexes, in conjuction with all the institutions in our society. We have to work hard to reach these goals."


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