|Wednesday, 14 April 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 99-12-22
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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
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 DEMIREL WARNS INDUSTRIALISTSPresident Suleyman Demirel delivered a speech to Ankara's Chamber of Industry 1998 tax record-breakers' award ceremony during which he said, "When we became an EU candidate, the easy part was over. They will not make us rich due to the fact that we have entered this Union; we will act according to their criteria. Competition is the essence of economic activity. In other words, the powerful can survive, and it is this which has caused the phenomena of globalization. The goods that you produce should be quality good. The message of this meeting is that Turkey will continue to become industrialized and the State's duty is to adjust economic conditions in the best way possible." In addition, the Minister of Finance, Sumer Oral, delivered a speech during which he said, "Turkey's public deficits should be decreased from 12% to 3% which is the same as the EU's average. Moreover, this is the target of the Budget. Turkey should improve its public economy and, indeed, it is getting near to the target slowly." /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT GATHERED MINISTERS TANTAN AND TURK TOGETHERThe Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, received Minister of Justice Hikmet Sami Turk and Minister of the Interior Saadettin Tantan, due to their disagreement concerning Alaaddin Cakici's extradition to Turkey and who holds jurisdiction over him. Ecevit met Turk and Tantan at the Prime Minister's Central Office and, on leaving the building, he said that there was now no crisis between these two Ministers. Ecevit has not made any further comment on the issue apart from this. /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT PRESENTS PLATE TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (IKV)Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit presented a commemorative plate to the Chairman of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), Meral Gezgin Eris, to thank the IKV for their contribution to Turkey's EU candidacy. Speaking to Eris and the delegation with him, Ecevit said, "The IKV has contributed greatly to Turkey's relations with the EU and this work will continue. From now on, we will need experts' opinions more than ever before. We might need to ask you for your advice often." Overcome with emotion, thanked him for the gift. /Sabah/
 FEHRIYE ERDAL REQUESTS ASYLUMOne of the assassins implicated in the Ozdemir Sabanci assasination case, Fehriye Erdal, has requested political asylum in Belgium where she is already being detained. In the meantime, Erdal appeared in court in Bruges, Belgium once more and the judge, rejecting her request to be released, decided to extent her detention for one more month. /Milliyet/
 INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION FOR TURKISH COMPANIESThe disparity between Turkish and foreign companies has been completely abolished by the Internatonal Arbitration Law, part of the harmonization laws enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). As part of two laws passed by the TGNA, almost all 'public services' directly related with the nations' benefits advantages, have been removed from the jurisdiction of the Council of State and have become a 'special law' area. Thanks to these latest arrangements, 'international jurisdiction and supervision' will not be practised on Turkish companies. /Cumhuriyet/
 30 BILLION DOLLARS BLOCKED BY ARBITRATIONMore than 200 power-stations planned by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, agreements for which were signed prior to the Constitutional change over arbitration, have been hindered due to the Arbitration Law. The investment cost of these power-stations is nearly 30 billion dollars today. Among these ventures, planned to produce more than 20 billion kwh_year of electricity and which are now unable to go ahead, are some natural gas and 'combined transformation' gas power-stations, the production capacity of which is high. /Turkiye/
 GREEK PRESS: HELSINKI'S FRUITThe Greek press permitted wide coverage of the news that the first Turco-Greek joint industrial investment venture had begun the process of implementation with the signing of a pact between the Yapi Merkezi and Meton Etep companies in Istanbul. In the papers, it was printed that high-technology plastic water conduits supported by glass would be manufactured in an industrial plant in Greece, an investment of 15 million dollars; production will begin in 2001. The agreement made front-page news in the Greek 'Eksusia' newspaper under the headline: "The second biggest agreement after Helsinki". The reporter stated that economic cooperation between Turkey and Greece had come true at last. /Sabah/
 KOC AND KOKKALIS HAND TO HANDFollowing the Turkish Yapi Merkezi and Greek Meton-Etep commercial partnership, new steps are being taken for Turco-Greek cooperation in business. The Chairman of Greek telecommunications giant 'Intracom`, Socrates Kokkalis, and Rahmi Koc, Chairman of the Koc Holding Company's Executive Board, are getting ready to cooperate in helping for Turkish and Greek students. Koc will give a scholarship to Greek students and Intracom will do the same for Turkish students who are being educated at Harvard University. /Hurriyet/
 MAKOVSKY: "TURKEY HAS SOME WORRIES"One of the most highly-regarded experts on Turkey in the U.S.A., Alan Makovsky, maintains that in terms of the issues of water, security and terrorism, Ankara is worried by the peace discussions which have restarted between Israel and Syria. Makovsky, who is the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Affairs' Director of Turkish Studies, issued a report in which he expressed the opinion that Turkey will insist on securing its own benefits concerned during the development of the peace process. Makovsky further added that if peace between Israel and Syria is established, then Turkey will no intention of signing a water contract with Syria without demanding any profit. Makovsky also said, "In fact, Turkey also should have a place at the negotiating table during the peace talks between Israel, Syria and officials from the U.S.A." /Turkiye/
 PUNISHMENT FOR 'PERPA RAID`Five policemen were sentenced to capital punishment due to their participation in the 'Perpa Raid` which resulted in the murder of five people six years ago. However, this verdict commuted to three years, ten months and twenty days imprisonment, under the commutative articles of the Law. According to the Execution Law, the criminals will be in jail for a maximum of 16 months. /Milliyet/
 ASLITURK SEIZEDGulay Asliturk, former Mayor of the Sisli district of Istanbul, was taken into custody in London. She has been wanted by Interpol for two years charged with obtaining five trillion TL from corruption during her time as Mayor. It is stated that Asliturk hasn't paid bail, amounting to 250,000 pounds sterling (215 billion TL) and will appear in court today. Meanwhile, the Turkish Ministry of Justice has requested information on the case from British officials. /Cumhuriyet/
 LETTER OF INTENT TO BE ANNOUNCEDThe Letter of Intent which was sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is going to be announced in public today following its ratification by the IMF's Executive Directors' Board. In his speech during the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA)'s budgetary debates, State Minister Recep Onal said, "We expect the IMF's support for our proposals which were drawn up by us, not by the IMF." While replying to questions about rumours concerning some banks, Minister Onal emphasized that there was no need to worry citizens and the State's 100% guarantee on accounts would continue. /Milliyet/
 SABAROTS: "ONLY THE MONEYLENDERS WILL LOSE"The Director-General of Citibank, Dardo Sabarots, stated that only those who earn real interest will lose out to the new financial plan that will be enforced in Turkey. Sabarots evaluated the financial proposals and their results during a seminar entitled "The Stand-by Agreement and Turkey". At the seminar, he declared, "In the beginning, Turkish money will increase in value. There will be a restriction on exports whereas imports will become more active. However, Turkey has the upper-hand over its competition as far as certain goods such as tobacco and electronic items are concerned. Therefore, halting exports will not affect Turkey as much as it might be thought. I am very optimistic even if inflation does not show any reduction at the end of the year as was intended. I believe inflation will certainly fall in the next few years." /Sabah/
 ONAL'S THREE FAVORITE SECTORSState Minister responsible for the Economy, Recep Onal, stated that as the government, they would support tourism, exports and foreign capital investment in particular in the year 2000. Oner delivered a speech during a meeting on "Financial Decisions and Expectations" that was organized by the Financial Club. He maintained, "We are very sensitive about the issues of tourism, exports and foreign capital investment and we are determined to remove the obstacles facing these sectors. If we can remove these hindrances, then there will be a massive boom in the tourism sector in the year 2000. In addition, we will increase exports by reserving more funds from Eximbank for textiles and other sectors. We will also try to make further amendments to the changes in the Arbitration Law." /Aksam/
 NEW ARRANGEMENTS IN TURKISH INTERNATIONAL MARITIME LAWA law long-expected by sailors envisaging an amendment to the Decree of Law Judgement came into force at last yesterday. Acccording to the law, all revenue from the operation and transfer of ships registered in Turkey has been excluded from corporation and income taxes and funds. As part of this law, all ships and yatchs which were prerviously recorded in the National Ship Register, ships and yatchs built in Turkey, and ships weighing over 12,000 tons will be imported from abroad, will be recorded in the Turkish International Ship Register without requiring details of their age. /Aksam/
 OKSUZ'S OPINION OF TELEPHONE TAXMinister of Communications, Enis Oksuz stated that he is considering adding a 5% on telephone calls to provide funds for the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Institution. Oksuz answered criticism during the Planning and Budgetary Commission meeting at which the Telecommunications Law was discussed. He maintained that the above-mentioned tax would increase the revenue expected from the privatization of Turk Telecom. /Aksam/
 'MILLENNIUM BUG`: BAN ON STRAITSThe Maritime Undersecretary has taken some measures covering the period from 8 a.m. on Dec. 31st 1999 to Jan. 1st 2000 at 12:00, the period of risk with regard to the 'Millennium Bug`, on the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. All vessels grossing over 3,000 GRT, and carrying dangerous cargoes and whose lenght is of 200 metres or more will be prohibited from entering the Straits during the specified time interval. /Milliyet/
 FISCHER'S SUPPORT FOR TURKISH SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM (AKUT)Fischer, the distribution of whose products in Turkey is managed by the Bosch Industrial and Commercial Corporation, has donated 20,000 Deutsche Marks to the Turkish search and rescue team, AKUT. The Fischer company was established by Arthur Fischer in 1948 holds the patents for more than 6,000 companies. General Director Klaus Fischer presented the cheque for the donation to AKUT leader Nasuh Mahruki. /Aksam/
 STORM IN EARTHQUAKE ZONEThe storm which affected the Marmara region, has caused the collapse of tents in Kocaeli, Bolu, and Yalova. The citizens temporarily sheltered in various buildings in the region. A power cut was also experienced in city centres and the surrounding area due to broken electric cables. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ISRAEL - SYRIA BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on the relations between Israel and Syria and their reflection on Turkey. A summmary of his column is as follows:
"The peace process expected to begin between the two countries of Israel and Syria and their repercussions on Turkey will be analyzed in this column today. We have significant military, political and economic agreements with Israel. Therefore, Turkey has every right to ask Israel what she comprehends by peace with Syria, just as Israel should inform Turkey at every stage of the process and request her opinion. This is an issue which directly concerns Turkey's security.
Israel also has to explain what the Esad Administration in Syria expects of Turkey as Syria still sees Hatay as being within her own territory. Therefore, the status of the Golan Heights could be confused,and Ankara might be asked for Hatay and, if Syria is unable to obtain it the issue may be taken to the international courts. This is a very strong possibility which may emerge following a Syrian peace agreement with Israel.
Another factor in the Syrian-Israeli talks would be the "use of waters". The Syrian policy concerning Turkey's "cross-border waters" of Turkey is well-known. If Israel agrees with Syria on the issue, will she apply pressure on Turkey over it as Syria will expect for this from Israel?
Peace always has its price but it should not be paid behindTurkey's back. Syria is viewing this process thus: "if a peace agreement is reached, an enemy would become a neighbour" but not as "an enemy will turn into a friend". Therefore, we believe that the Israeli Administration has to reflect before reaching any peace agreement with Syria for the sake of friendship between our two countries and also for themselves.
Esad is known for breaking his promises. We have first-hand experience of this over the issues of Ocalan and the PKK terrorist organization. Moreover, there is no guarantee that Syria will abandon the weapon of terrorism. On the other hand, Turkey does not renege any agreement to which she has put her signature. Our Israeli friends know this very well. We believe that Israeli officials will understand Turkish concerns and will not damage the excellent relations have been reached today between our two countries after 20 long years."
 WINDS OF CHANGE BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the winds of change seen shortly after the Helsinki Declaration.
"The decision taken at the Helsinki Summit has quickly led to the blowing of the winds of change. Political issues which have not been discussed before are placed on the agenda by Cabinet members, and party leaders. Many leaders, among whom can be cited Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chief of Staff General Kivrikoglu, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Motherland Party Chairman Mesut Yilmaz, are revealing new stances and the ideas and proposals put forth are being discussed.
Certainly, it is no coincidence that these follow the Helsinki Summit; Turks desire to change mentalities, to enjoy a higher standard of living. This shows that Turkey will enter the new Millennium with a a spirit of change. The candidate status for Turkey and the perspective of integration with Europe are becoming a driving force for the winds of change.
Turkey may speed up the courageous steps she has to take thanks to this wind. This can be achieved through the wielding of political will and the participation of the public. Some say that Turkey lacks the political cadre which will keep up the momentum thus far gained. If this had existed, this metamorphosis would have been implemented long before. If the excitement and desire for renewal meets with a conservative mentality, nothing will change in Turkey.
On the other hand, some believe that it is impossible to alter the political cadres and establishment in one day. However, an influential proportion of the politicians could change their minds. A reformist approach undertaken by them may lead to the accomplislment of the desired modifications.
At the moment Turkey is at a crossroads and it will be seen in time which views will be the most influential. However, the winds of change felt today are promising for the future. As Mesut Yżlmaz has stated, it is time to turn over a new leaf instead of losing time in the examination of the past."
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