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Turkish Press Review, 99-06-24

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

24.06.99

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] SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [03] TRIPARTITE CONTROL OVER THE BANKS
  • [04] TURKISH PARK IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
  • [05] A CALL TO DENKTAS AND CLERIDES
  • [06] IMF INTERESTED IN TURK TELECOM
  • [07] TURKEY CONTRIBUTES A LOT TO BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
  • [08] ATHENS REJECTS DOWN COOPERATION
  • [09] TURKEY TURNS DOWN EU INVITATION
  • [10] MGK MEETING HELD IN ANKARA
  • [11] OCALAN TRIAL CONTINUES
  • [12] TOURISM MINISTER MUMCU ANNOUNCES 'CRISIS MEASURES'
  • [13] MEETING OF SUPREME COORDINATION BOARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [14] ATACANLI: "TURKEY ATTRIBUTES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO UZBEKISTAN"
  • [15] ULKER INVESTS IN RUSSIA
  • [16] ALCATEL TELETAS'S INVESTMENT IN AZERBAIJAN
  • [17] PKK'S ATTACK ON REFINERY
  • [18] EXPLORATION FORCE EXTENDED FOR SIX MORE MONTHS
  • [19] OPERATIONS AGAINST DRUG SMUGGLING
  • [20] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [21] MAPS CHANGE AS TURKEY LOOKS ON BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)
  • [22] OCALAN SEARCHING FOR A WAY OUT BY ARSLAN TEKIN (TURKIYE)
  • [23] SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [24] FARMERS' DONATION FOR KOSOVO
  • [25] TURKISH DELEGATION HEADS FOR KOSOVO
  • [26] REFUGEES LEAVE TURKEY

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] TRIPARTITE CONTROL OVER THE BANKS

    After the Banking Law was approved by Parliament, it was issued in the Official Gazette yesterday. One of the most important features of the Law is the establishment of the Banking Arrangement and Control Institution and the Council which will be the decision-making mechanism of the Institution. This Institution, which will ensure that banks work in line with the law, make new arrangements within the scope of its powers and to have supervisory control over the banks, will cooperate with the Central Bank and the Treasury. The Chairman of the Central Ban,k Gazi Ercel, said that they would sign an agreement with the Banking Arrangement and Control Institution which would be in parallel with global implementations. Developments in the banking sector will be systematically followed by the three institutions. /Sabah/

    [04] TURKISH PARK IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

    The construction of the Turkish Park in Zenica has been completed by the Turkish squadron there. There is also a Fountain set up thanks to the contribution of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. At the end of an opening ceremony to be held on 28 June, the Park and Fountain will be handed over to the Munacipality of Zenica. It is expected that Turkish officials will attend the ceremony. /Sabah/

    [05] A CALL TO DENKTAS AND CLERIDES

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, has announced that he will invite the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, and the leader of the Greek-Cypriot Administration Glafkos Klerides to meet round the negotiation table without any preconditions in the Autumn. He added that the certain date and place of the meeting would be determined later. Annan said that the final solution could only be reached through direct dialogues between both parties and that he was ready to invite the two leaders to hold wide-ranging discussions without any preconditions being laid down in advance. /Hurriyet/

    [06] IMF INTERESTED IN TURK TELECOM

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is continuing its consultations in Turkey. Yesterday the delegation met representatives of the Turkish Privatization Board. At the meeting the IMF showed a great deal of interest in the privatization process of Turk Telecom. Chairman of the Privatization Board Ugur Bayar informed Chairman of the IMF Carlo Cottarelli about the privatization process in 1999. /Hurriyet/Milliyet/

    [07] TURKEY CONTRIBUTES A LOT TO BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

    Minister of State Sadi Somuncuoglu met the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alia Izzetbegovic, Representative of the Council of Ministers Arif Silajdzic and Croation and Serbian officials to develop economic relations. Somuncuoglu said that the cancellation of Croatia's customs privileges and the 27 million DM privatization between Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina would have positive effects on economic relations. During the second day of his visit Somuncuoglu visited the Turkish Forces' Commend Headquarters stationed in Venica. At the end of the visit the Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Mirsad Kurtovic, said concerning Turkey's aid and donation campaigns in their region that Turkey had contributed a lot to Bosnia-Herzegovina. /Milliyet/

    [08] ATHENS REJECTS DOWN COOPERATION

    Greece has turned down Turkey's suggestion "to sign an agreement to cooperate against terrorism". Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem sent a letter to his Greek counterpart Yorgo Papandreu last week requesting the mutual anti-terrorism agreement and stressing that such an agreement would be essential in order to normalize Turco-Greek relations. However, the Spokesman for the Greek government Dimitris Reppas said that in order for such an agreement to be signed first relations between the two countries should be normalized.

    Meanwhile, it is expected that Papandreu will reply Cem's official letter within the next few days requesting an "anti-terrorism cooperation agreement among the Balkan countries" instead of a mutual agreement. According to the "Etnos" newspaper it is claimed that such a bilateral agreement between Turkey and Greece would place PKK terrorists living in Greece in a difficult situation.

    On the other hand, Greek Prime Minister Konstantine Micotakis adviced Papandreu to accept Cem's request noting that turning down such a cooperation would raise unnecessary suspicions over Greece's conduct. /Milliyet/

    [09] TURKEY TURNS DOWN EU INVITATION

    Turkey announced that it has refused the European Union's (EU) invitation to attend the European Conference concerning Kosovo. Turkey expressed her views on the Conference, to be held on 19 July in Brussels, to the current EU Chairman, Finland. Finland will officially hand over the Chairmanship of the EU on 1 July and has already invited Turkey to attend the European Conference to discuss the coordination of aid in the Western Balkans. However, Turkey turned down the invitation on principle having declared "to suspend her political relations with the Union" in protest at the decision taken at the end of the 1997 Luxembourg Summit to exclude Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] MGK MEETING HELD IN ANKARA

    At the end of the National Security Council's (MGK) meeting it was declared that the fight against terrorism and organized crime would continue. The Cyprus problem and the Kosovo issue were the major foreign policy items discussed at the meeting. /All papers/

    [11] OCALAN TRIAL CONTINUES

    Presenting his final statements before the reformed State Security Court (DGM), Abdullah Ocalan asked for his acquittal and called for leniency to help end PKK terrorism. Yesterday's hearing opened on Imrali Island with Presiding Judge Turgut Okyay asking Abdullah Ocalan to read out his final statements. Ocalan offered to help bring about an end to separatist terrorism if his life were spared.

    After Ocalan's statements, his lawyers are expected to argue for his acquittal. The judges will then ask Ocalan for his closing words before announcing the verdict, which could come as soon as Thursday, although there is speculation that the judges will order a recess before the verdict is declared. /All papers/

    [12] TOURISM MINISTER MUMCU ANNOUNCES 'CRISIS MEASURES'

    Minister of Tourism Erkan Mumcu has announced the measures to be taken to counteract the crisis that has been plaguing Turkey's tourism sector. He said that, starting in the second week of July, promotional advertising campaigns will be launched in those countries whose residents travel to Turkey as tourists and that a National Promotion Council will be established, to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mumcu listed the causes of the crisis and new measures to be taken. He added that they would provide loan opportunities to the sector and that, to this end, 14 trillion TL would be allocated to Eximbank by the Treasury. He also said that the 50 % discount on fuel that has been implemented in order to benefit charter flight companies would continue until the end of this year. In order to strengthen the promotional advertising campaigns, Mumcu said that city committees would play an important role and that be encouraged to organize media campaigns to promote their own local regions and thereby draw more tourists to Turkey. /All papers/

    [13] MEETING OF SUPREME COORDINATION BOARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    The Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, said that it was among the priorities of the government to raise standards in Turkey in the field of human rights and democracy, reported the Anatolian News Agency. The Supreme Coordination Board of Human Rights headed by Irtemcelik met yesterday. Speaking at the meeting, Irtemcelik said that five bills had been sent to the Prime Ministry adding, "One of them is an amendment to our penal code, another concerns an amendment in Criminal Procedural Law, two new draft laws concern the modernization of the current law regulating the legal trials of civil servents and another one is concerned with helping those harmed by terrorism or in the fight against terrorism."

    [14] ATACANLI: "TURKEY ATTRIBUTES GREAT IMPORTANCE TO UZBEKISTAN"

    Sermet Atacanli, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman said on Wednesday that Uzbekistan and Turkey have close and good relations and Turkey attributes great importance to further improvement of relations with Uzbekistan, reported the Anatolian News Agency. Addressing to journalists in a weekly press conference, Atacanli said that Turkey and Uzbekistan had had deep rooted and comprehensive relations. He added that they were pleased with the statements of Uzbek officials who said that "there is no problem in the bilateral relations", in spite of that the relations have been 'overshadowed' recently.

    [15] ULKER INVESTS IN RUSSIA

    The Turkish Ulker Company will invest $ 10 million in Russia. Orhan Ozkorur, the Chairman of the Ulker Executive Board, said that they would set up a factory in Russia in which they would produce biscuits and chocolate. He added they aimed to invest $ 40 million within the next five years in the Turkish-Speaking Republics. Ozkorur claimed that Ulker was the most popular foreign trademark in the region and they held 25 % of the biscuit and chocolate market. /Sabah/

    [16] ALCATEL TELETAS'S INVESTMENT IN AZERBAIJAN

    The Alcatel Teletas Company issued a declaration stating that the tender to renovate and enlarge the telecommunications systems in seven different cities in the Republic of Azerbaijan, has been formally given to the company. Meetings to prepare the contract concerning the finance and the implementation of the project will be held immediately between the Company and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communication. /Star/

    [17] PKK'S ATTACK ON REFINERY

    A group of separatist terrorists attacked the petrol refineries in Batman last night with automatic weapons and rocket launchers. Fire broke out at the two tanker depots. To sieze the escaped terrorists a wide-spread crack-down has been begun in the region by security forces. /Star/

    [18] EXPLORATION FORCE EXTENDED FOR SIX MORE MONTHS

    The Presidential Note which authorized the Council of Ministers to extend the military operations being carried out in Northern Iraq has been accepted after a vote in the

    Turkish Grand National Assembly. So, in loyalty to the unity of Iraq, the exploratory operations in Northern Iraq, with the authority to prevent any flights from north to south have been extended for six months beginning from 30 June 1999. At the ballot Virtue Party Parliament Members rejected the proposal. /Turkiye/

    [19] OPERATIONS AGAINST DRUG SMUGGLING

    Security officials seized on Wednesday a total of 70 kg heroin having a market price of nearly one trillion TL in the operations they launched in Gurpinar district of Eastern Van province, reported the Anatolian news Agency.

    Meanwhile, security officials seized yesterday a total of 3,536,656 roots of Indian hemp that is being used in hashish production, in operation they launched in Siverek township of Sanliurfa.

    Full investigations regarded the two incidents are underway.

    [20] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [21] MAPS CHANGE AS TURKEY LOOKS ON BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Dogan Heper writes on the swift changes in the world and Turkey's passivestances. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Due to the emergence one after the other of sensational issues, vital problems are being neglected. One of these important issues was Turkey's waving her flag in the Balkans but this has not happened yet.

    A Turkish unit will leave for Kosovo at the end of the month and after eight days will arrive there, will most probably to be deployed in Prizren. Thus, a month later than the other forces, the Turkish unit will have arrived in Kosovo.

    There are other problems which are shadowed by the developments within the country. Maps of our region are being redrawn and we stand by as onlookers; we do not have the strength to oppose it.

    Yugoslavia has been divided and, therefore, an alteration in the regional geography reached a new point with the Kosovo process. The map of the Balkans is no longer the same as that of five years ago. US President Bill Clinton was in Macedonia as if he was signing for these changes. Four of the five Foreign Ministers from Western countries yesterday went to Kosovo. The map is changing, but Turkey is excluded from the decision-making mechanism. Ankara is not aware of the implementations; no one remembers Turkey during the decision-making or implementation process.

    In the Middle East, maps are also changing and again this is in the absence of Turkey. Northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders met for the second time in the US. The meetings have been underway for a week. It is reported that an agreement is close between the representatives of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Patriotic Union (KPU). However, Turkey is not present at these meetings nor does she sit at the bargaining table. The developments in Northern Iraq, not to mention the geographicah changes concern Turkey more than anyone else.

    As the changes on maps were going on in the Balkans and the Middle East, the West suddenly brought Cyprus issue onto the agenda. After the G-8 Summit issued their final communique, the five members of the UN Security Council began to prepare a draft resolution on Cyprus. The call for a meeting with no pre-conditions attached is expected to be repeated in this draft resolution.

    Ankara believes that, instead of attending meetings which lead nowhere, the present status quo should be maintained. Ankara also replies to those who want changes on Cyprus that Turkey succeeded in bringing peace to the island 25 years ago without resorting to the use of bloodshed, death,and weaponry which the UN and NATO have brought to the Balkans.

    As these were being discussed, yesterday President Clinton's new plan for Cyprus came out.

    The regional geographic alterations do not only concern the boundaries of countries but also economic boundaries. For example, the idea of a 'Balkan Pipeline' is being put forward as an alternative to 'Baku-Ceyhan'. Even though the Special Advisor to President Clinton, Richard Morningstar, yesterday said that they were still in favour of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline but a 'Balkan pipeline' could also be considered as a second line in the future.

    The picture does not permit us to be optimistic. Turkey is not as influential as she should be. She cannot play a role in regional politics. International investor George Soros who recently came to Turkey said that "Turkey's performance is not equal to her potential". He is correct."

    [22] OCALAN SEARCHING FOR A WAY OUT BY ARSLAN TEKIN (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Arslan Tekin writes on the Ocalan trial. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Ocalan's actions have been clearly revealed and therefore he cannot deny them but instead draws attention to issues not related to them. He was more confident in his first defence. He seemed to say, "I am sorry, have mercy"... However, during the last sessions in his defence, he blamed his militants, and found fault with democracy.

    Mudanya is active again with the members of the press and the media following the trial, not forgetting the presence of the relatives of those killed by Ocalan's militants.

    As Ocalan had to answer questions on the spot, following the second day of the trial, he became more controversial. He begged for forgiveness from the relatives of those who were killed, asked for an opportunity to call on the militants in the mountains to abandon their weapons and even added that he agreed with Ziya Gokalp's statements on Turks and Kurds. While he was saying all this, he could turn around and point the finger of blame at the State for killing 25,000.

    In his first defence statement, he said that his defence was not an answer to the indictment of the prosecutors but rather a statement on how to move on to an historic compromise and solution from the insurgency led by the PKK. In his second defence statement he avoids filling in the details, and places the blames on lack of democracy and personal attitudes within the PKK. Even though he says that the final responsibility is his, he blames his militants for this historical phenomenon.

    He says, " Although the PKK may be held responsible by law for its ideas and actions, its social background, the characteristics of the people within the organization and the pressure applied toit also play an important role." He adds that, in democratic societies and States, individuals or people inclined to rebel are not seen that often. In short, he is trying to shake off his responsibility and is searching for a way out."

    * * *

    [23] SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO...SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [24] FARMERS' DONATION FOR KOSOVO

    The Directors of the Union of Turkish Agricultural Credit Associations' (TACA) Centre , presented the cheque about 20 billion TL, donated by farmers to the Kosovo people, to the State Minister, Abdulhaluk Cay. In his declaration, Cay said that that kind of behaviour should be an example to the world and added, " I will send 15 billion TL of the donation to the governor of Kirikkale on behalf of the refugees coming from Kosovo and the remaining 5 billion TL will be spent on the education of Kosovar children who are in Turkey now." Also the Director of the TACA Union , Rasit Dogan Enhos, wished the cruelty in Kosovo would end soon in his statement. /Turkiye/

    [25] TURKISH DELEGATION HEADS FOR KOSOVO

    A Turkish delegation departs for Kosovo today to conduct preliminary evaluations of the post-war situation in the region, after which an action plan for Kosovo will be boutlined. The delegation, led by Ambassador Tufan, includes officials from the Red Crescent, the General Directorate for Disasters, the Constructors' Union and the Ministry of Health, as well as academics. They will first travel to Macedonia and then to kosovo. The primary aim of the delegation will be to determine the needs of the Kosovar community, which is concentrated in and around Pristina and Prizren. Turkey's action plan for Kosovo will include immediate reconstruction and humanitarian objectives, as well as medium-and long-term items.

    [26] REFUGEES LEAVE TURKEY

    Some 40 Kosovar refugees who had found shelter in Turkey, have left the refugee compounds in Kirklareli in order to return home to kosovo. Some 18,000 Kosovars fled to Turkey before and during the NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia. The Turkish Representative of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Metin Corabatir, warned yesterday that conditions were not yet ripe for massive numbers of refugees to return home. He said that safety was not completely guaranteed and that housing and infrastructural problems were still unresolved. /All papers/
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