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Turkish Press Review, 99-12-21

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

21.12.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FOR THE SAKE OF HARMONY IN THE COALITION BY HASAN CEMAL
  • [02] (MILLIYET)
  • [03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL APPRECIATIVE OF EUPHRATES
  • [04] PAPANDREU: "THERE WILL BE NO EU WITHOUT SOLUTION TO CYPRUS"
  • [05] LEADERS' SUMMIT
  • [06] BAHCELI: ENERGY COMMEND ON SCIENCE
  • [07] SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND BRITAIN
  • [08] 'TURKEY SHOULD NOT BE EXCLUDED'
  • [09] CAKICI TRIAL
  • [10] HIZBULLAH SUMMIT IN EAST
  • [11] EU EXPECTS TURKEY'S GROWTH RATE TO BE 4%
  • [12] FIVE-MILLION-DOLLARS GESTURE
  • [13] TURCO-ISRAELI ECONOMIC RELATIONS
  • [14] ADDITIONAL TIME REQUESTED FROM THE WTO
  • [15] GERMANS RECKLESS OVER TANKS
  • [16] TRANSTURK-CINEPLEX AGREEMENT
  • [17] HOUSES EACH WORTH 9,000 DM
  • [18] LEHMAN BROTHERS TO BUY YAPI KREDI BANK SHARE
  • [19] 2000: GOLDEN YEAR FOR PRIVATIZATION
  • [20] YUCAOGLU "UNITE THE TURKISH COMPANIES"
  • [21] TURKISH WOMAN IN 'BUSINESSWEEK'
  • [22] STOCK EXCHANGE: FROM SUMMIT TO SUMMIT
  • [23] EURO LOAN FOR FINANCE LEASING
  • [24] PARTNERSHIP FOR FAIR ORGANIZERS
  • [25] FIRST AGREEMENT WITH GREECE
  • [26] GREEN LIGHT FROM NORWAY
  • [27] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [28] FOR THE SAKE OF HARMONY IN THE COALITION BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)
  • [29] COALITION AND THE GALLOWS BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FOR THE SAKE OF HARMONY IN THE COALITION BY HASAN CEMAL

    [02] (MILLIYET)

    [03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL APPRECIATIVE OF EUPHRATES

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel attended the opening ceremony of the Karkamis Dam and hydro-electric power station situated on the Euphrates River. Demirel delivered a speech during the ceremony in which he said that the path to development leads from investment. He added, "Turkey is improving. The highly commendable South East Anatolia Project (GAP) is continuing to develop and we promise to implement every stage of this venture. The River Euphrates is once more taking care of the nation." Following these words Demirel pressed a button and launched the operation of Karkamis hydro-electric power station. In addition, Minister of Energy and Natural Sources Cumhur Ersumer, also present at the inauguration, said that a total of 104 dams had been built in Turkey but that Karkamis is the first to be completed ahead of schedule. /Aksam/

    [04] PAPANDREU: "THERE WILL BE NO EU WITHOUT SOLUTION TO CYPRUS"

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu said that Turkey had been faced with a dilemma following the Helsinki Summit and remarked that Turkey would either be of help in a solution to the Cyprus problem or be left outside the EU. Papandreu made a statement to the 'Filelefteros' newspaper published in Southern Cyprus and said, "The Cyprus question will be brought up in meetings discussing the "map to membership" is currently being drawn up between Turkey and the EU. The EU has included the Cyprus issue in the context of a political dialogue with Ankara". Papandreu said that the results of the Helsinki Summit would not bring an immediate solution to the problem of Cyprus, however, they would create a new dynamism to facilitate the search for a solution. He also hinted that the Summit decisions were binding for Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [05] LEADERS' SUMMIT

    The leaders of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) met together yesterday. In addition to the coalition parties' leaders, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer, Finance Minister Sumer Oral and Trade and Industry Minister Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu were also present for the discussion of the recent developments in the domestic and foreign situation, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [06] BAHCELI: ENERGY COMMEND ON SCIENCE

    Turkey's Science and Technology High Board has gathered under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli. During his inauguration speech, pointing out the significance of science, Bahceli briefed those present about Turkey's science and technology policies. Minister Bahceli said that a board should be formed to establish a bridge between scientists and the people. Over the energy issue, he also emphasized the importance of establishing a scientific council to lead in applying the right policies. /Turkiye/

    [07] SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND BRITAIN

    The Social Security Agreement which was signed between Turkey and Britain in 1959, and went into effect in 1961, has been up-dated. The new agreement was signed by the Turkish Ambassador to London, Ozdem Sanberk, and the British Welfare Minister yesterday at the British Government's Department of Social Security (DSS). According to the new agreement, if Turkish tourists who visit Britain, and vice versa, are in need of emergency medical treatment they will have the opportunity to receive treatment free of charge. Some additional social security rights have been added to the revised agreement which will go into effect following its approval by the Parliaments of the two countries, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [08] 'TURKEY SHOULD NOT BE EXCLUDED'

    German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping met Chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Altan Oymen yesterday. Scharping said that Turkey should have a place within the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). Scharping also remarked that the CHP was active and constructive within the European Social Democrats. Oymen expressed his thanks for German support of Turkey's EU candidacy. /Milliyet/

    [09] CAKICI TRIAL

    The case against Alaattin Cakici, charged with 'inciting to injury`, has been dismissed due to the elapsing of the five-year limit for this charge. This is one of the two crimes for which he was extradited by France. Now Cakici will be tried at the State Security Court only on the charge of 'establishing a gang`; prosecution lawyers are demanding his imprisonment for up to three years. /Turkiye/

    [10] HIZBULLAH SUMMIT IN EAST

    Hizbullah terrorism, on the rise in recent years, is causing alarm bells to ring amongst security units. Police and military officials from twelve provinces attended a meeting in Diyarbakır during which essential precautions which need to be taken against the organization were discussed in the presence of the Governor of the State of Emergency Region, Gokhan Aydiner. Governor Aydiner explained that security officials in the Emergency Region and its neighbouring provinces had discussed documentation and evidence of the actions of the organization. Aydiner said, "All sorts of terrorism are dangerous, not only for the nation but also for the State. We are also evaluating the work to be undertaken from now on." /Aksam/

    [11] EU EXPECTS TURKEY'S GROWTH RATE TO BE 4%

    The EU Commission has stated in its predictions of the economic growth rate of the EU candidate countries that Turkey's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will probably fall by 1.4% due to the effect of the Russian crisis and the earthquakes in Turkey. In its report, the EU Commission said that the Turkish economy will record some improvements as of the beginning of next year and added that it will grow by between 4.5% and 4.6% in the years 2000 and 2001. /Milliyet/

    [12] FIVE-MILLION-DOLLARS GESTURE

    Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp stated that the IMF planned to increase its loan to Turkey by 500 million dollars, making a total of 4 billion dollars. It was stated that the World Bank aid package would amount to 750 million dollars. In a statement issued by Demiralp, the division of the IMF loan over the next few years is as follows: 1.5 billion dollars in the year 2000, 1.5 billion dollars in 2001 and 1 billion dollars in 2002. /Aksam/

    [13] TURCO-ISRAELI ECONOMIC RELATIONS

    A lecturer from Tel Aviv University, Prof.Paul Rivlin, has said that he hoped economic relations between Turkey and Israel would develop further. Prof.Rivlin spoke at a conference on 'Turco-Israeli Economic Relations' at the Turco-American Cultural Association in Ankara yesterday. Prof.Rivlin stated that the improvements in military relations had positive affected economic relations in a positive way. He added that the only country with which Israel had signed a free trade agreement, other than the US, was Turkey. Prof.Rivlin pointed out that peace in the Middle East would also be beneficial for both Israel and Turkey from the economic standpoint, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [14] ADDITIONAL TIME REQUESTED FROM THE WTO

    Turkey has stated that it will abide by the World Trade Organization (WTO) stipulations concerning textile quotas imposed on India. However, additional time has been requested for this purpose since it has been remarked that Turkey would not be able to immediately harmonize with these decisions. The regulations envisage the abolition of the quotas imposed on textiles and ready-to-wear garments as part of the correlation process within the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU. /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] GERMANS RECKLESS OVER TANKS

    Germany, which desires to win the bidding to provide Turkey with 7 billion dollars-worth of tanks, has signalled that it would remove all hindrances it had previously imposed on weapons' sales; the reason given had been that they were "being used against PKK members". Germany's Minister of Defence, Rudolf Scharping, arrived in Ankara yesterday with a large delegation. Scharping met Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Minister of Defence Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and the Chief of the General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu respectively. The German Minister told Ecevit that Germany wished to submit its Leopard tanks for consideration in the bidding. Ecevit responded by telling him that everyone who wants to submit their bid can. Moreover, he statad that the exchange of weapons between the two countries should not endure periodic cut-backs. In reply, the German Minister stated that military cooperation between the two countries should in no way be hindered. /Aksam/

    [16] TRANSTURK-CINEPLEX AGREEMENT

    The Culture and Show Centres Company affiliated to the Transturk Holding Company has signed a cooperation agreement with Cineplex Entertainment in the movie sector. The owner of Transturk, Faruk Suren, issued a statement saying that the documentation had been signed four days previously in New York. The accord will ensure Transturk a 50 % share of Cineplex and foresees the establishment of multi-screen cinemas in Turkey, Romania and the Turkish-Speaking Republics. /Milliyet/

    [17] HOUSES EACH WORTH 9,000 DM

    Members of the Turkish Assistance and Solidarity Association living in Krefeld, a city in Germany, plan to construct 32 houses in the Dongel area of Izmit for the survivors of the earthquake. The villas, each of which will cost 9,000 DM, will be handed-over to the recipients next week. The Head of the Association, Cihangir Demirci, said that the houses were being built to comply with global standards. /Hurriyet/

    [18] LEHMAN BROTHERS TO BUY YAPI KREDI BANK SHARE

    The Endustri Group, one of the partners in Yapi Kredi Bank, will sell its shares in the bank to Lehman Brothers. The denominational value of the shares amounts to 1 trillion 660 billion TL or 0.69% of the capital investment. According to the IMF Bulletin, the sale transaction of nearly 24 trillion TL will be made on the Wholesale Market. /Aksam/

    [19] 2000: GOLDEN YEAR FOR PRIVATIZATION

    A faster and more active privatization programme than that of 1999 is awaiting the Privatization Management Board (OIB). According to the OIB's estimated privatization schedule for the year 2000, the Management Board's aim is to privatize 24 establishments by block presentation of their assests to the public and the sale thereof. The OIB is expecting to make a profit from privatization during the year. Since 1985, when privatization started, more than 4.6 billion dollars has been collected. The OIB has determined the total profit from privatization in the year 2000 to be 5.2 billion dollars, and the money collected to amount to 3.1 billion dollars. /Aksam/

    [20] YUCAOGLU "UNITE THE TURKISH COMPANIES"

    The Chairman of the Executive Board of the Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association, Erkut Yucaoglu, pointed out that even the big Turkish companies are small as global players in the world's markets. Yucaoglu further added, "The private sector is ready for EU candidacy. However, it has some serious internal work to complete first. Particularly in this period in which we are experiencing globalization, we should unite our strengths; we should prepare ourselves not only by uniting our strengths, but also by reducing our overheads, updating our technology and re-organizing our structure. The private sector has the staffs to undertake these changes." /Aksam/

    [21] TURKISH WOMAN IN 'BUSINESSWEEK'

    The weekly magazine 'BusinessWeek' has devoted wide coverage to the views of the Turkish woman who has been the Head of the Citizens' Global Equity Fund in the US for four years, Sevgi Ipek. She is the administrator of funds worth $330 million. Ipek made some recommendations to US investors for the next year and said, "There will be many significant developments in the field of telecommunications and the Internet during the upcoming years". /Hurriyet/

    [22] STOCK EXCHANGE: FROM SUMMIT TO SUMMIT

    Yesterday, the increases seen on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) continued unabated. The IMKB National-100 Index increased 227 points to 13,433 and shares gained 1.73 percent in average in value. Now, investors are curiously awaiting the outcome of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Directors' Board meeting which will be held on Dec. 22nd because at this meeting Turkey's stand-by agreement will be approved. Experts also expect an increase for today, however, after the approval of the stand-by agreement, due to the New Year holiday and so-called 'Millennium Bug` scare, an amount of profit realization are being expected. /Turkiye/

    [23] EURO LOAN FOR FINANCE LEASING

    The Finance Leasing Company signed a loan agreement amounting to five million Euros with the German investment establishment, DEG. The loan is to be repaid within five years but repayments have been deferred for the first two years. The loan will be primarly used to finance small-and medium-sized firms' investments in leasing. /Turkiye/

    [24] PARTNERSHIP FOR FAIR ORGANIZERS

    The World Trade Centre (CNR) has entered into partnership with one of the most famous fair organizers in the world, the British ITE Group. ITE has trade connections with 12 countries and will contribute to the Turkish economy bringing foreign firms and visitors to fairs which organized in conjuction with the CNR. /Turkiye/

    [25] FIRST AGREEMENT WITH GREECE

    The political rapprochement which has been experienced lately between Turkey and Greece has, for the first time, resulted in economic cooperation. One of the largest Turkish construction firms, Yapi Merkezi, has signed a partnership investment agreement with the Greek Meton Etep company. Accordingly, as the first step, a pipe factory will be constructed in Greece with a 15-million-dollar budget. /Turkiye/

    [26] GREEN LIGHT FROM NORWAY

    Norway has decided to abolish its embargo on weapons sales which has been imposed on Turkey for the past 4 years. With this decision, the Kogsberg Penguin Firm will be permitted to sell 16 vessel defence missiles to Turkey, amounting to 37.49 million dollars. /Turkiye/

    [27] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [28] FOR THE SAKE OF HARMONY IN THE COALITION BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Hasan Cemal comments on the latest statements by the coalition leaders and the state of harmony within the coalition Government. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It is an established fact that the coalition government in power is working well. It is a Government which can make decisions and pass laws through the TGNA. Moreover, the Laws enacted by Parliament are being noted for their radical, reformist characteristics. This is political stability. This is what we have longed for for years. Thus, for the first time, a coalition culture is growing in Turkey. This is of benefit to Turkish political life.

    The fringes of politics in Turkey are beginning to be refined. The players are becoming more considerate and more careful. It is becoming evident that politics is the art of carrying out the possible; it is impossible to do everything simultaneously.

    In coalitions comprised of many partners discussing certain issues in the public eye may lead to adverse reactions. If the issue is sensitive, it should first be discussed among the partners and then the general public should be prepared for it. All parties have different grassroots support and embody differing public opinions. Therefore, some measures are comprehended not as steps required by compromise but as a unconditional acceptance.

    It is natural for all the parties to address their mgrassroots from time to time. The leader wants to reiterate, our views have not changed, but we are in a coalition, and therefore, cannot do everything we want to do'. The coalition leaders have carried on the game of politics following their own rules. However, recently the atmosphere has changed somewhat. It has been revealed that some disagreements have surfaced among the coalition partners following the acceptance of EU candidacy.

    This mainly centres around two issues: Ocalan and his death penalty and the use of Kurdish language. Both of them are amongst the most sensitive issues on Turkey's agenda. It is a well-known fact the Nationalist Action Party is especially sensitive on these issues.

    Personally, I am against the capital punishment. Furthermore, I do not believe it would be the right decision for Ocalan as far as the sense of calm and peace reigning in the country is concerned. However, death penalty should be left to time for the time being; it can be taken up again within one or two years and discussed with commonsense and cool-headedness. Just as the Ocalan case, "Kurdish" should also be discussed with a cool head. There is no alternative but to be convincing and impart our knowledge of the issue.

    Discussing sensitive issues coolly in time within the coalition seems to be the best way for the harmony and continuation of the Government in its work."

    [29] COALITION AND THE GALLOWS BY ORHAN BIRGIT (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Orhan Birgit writes on the discussions concerning the death penalty and harmony within the Coalition Government. A summary of his column is as follows:

    The talks between the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party on "whether or not to abolish the death penalty or commute it to a life sentence" have been unilaterally carried to the platform of the TGNA. The Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party delivered a speech on the issue during the budget deliberations. Certainly, MHP leader Bahceli has also signed the draft budget law as a member of the Government.

    I believe that Devlet Bahceli's speech was in fact made in order to appease the concern felt by the party's grassroots on the Ocalan case. In his statements MHP leader Bahceli used more definite expressions. It seems that he would not support those trying to save the life of the terrorist leader.

    It does not become a statesman to reduce the issue of the abolition of the death penalty, in a Parliament where many death sentences are waiting for approval and just after the acceptance of Turkey's EU candidacy, to saving the head of a terrorist leader.

    The only party leader who has expressed his opinion on the removal of the death sentence is the leader of the Democratic Left Party, Bulent Ecevit."


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