|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-01-20
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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...
 HIZBULLAH HORROR IN ISTANBULA massive Turkish police dragnet against the Hizbullah terrorist organization unearthed a house of horror in Istanbul, where the bodies of at least 10 missing businessmen were discovered. Meanwhile, police raided several Hizbullah "safe houses" and arrested dozens of suspects throughout Turkey. /Turkish Daily News/
 ECEVIT: 'HIZBULLAH TO COME TO AN END'Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit evaluated the Hizbullah operation as a 'great success'. Ecevit delivered a speech during the group meeting of his party, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and said, "The PKK is over and the Hizbullah will also come to an end. The Hizbullah exploits religion and discriminate. The Turkish police organized the operation. Istanbul Security passed this test successfully. I also want to appreciate and celebrate the success of the Southeastern security units". /Star/
 A NEW PERIOD WITH ATHENSGreek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreu, stated that during his visit to Turkey, he would request that the process of "Reasonable Men" should start again in order to discuss the problem of Aegean. As part of his official visit, Papandreu arrived in Ankara yesterday and called for friendship, peace and cooperation. Papandreu said, "There are some issues that can be considered hard to solve between Turkey and Greece. The 'Reasonable Men' process, which is an initiative within the framework of the European Union (EU), frozen after the Luxembourg Summit. However, the conditions are different today. During the latest expansion of the EU, Greece was the term president. We are ready to present this advantage in the service of Turkey and are the biggest supporter on its path to the EU." Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, welcomed Papandreu at the airport. Cem stated that it was the first official visit of a Greek Foreign Minister since 1962 and thanked Papandreu for his visit. Papandreu stated that during the first official visit between these two countries after so many years not only the relations of the two countries will be discussed, but also some agreements will be signed. /Turkiye/
 EUROPEAN UNION TO INCREASE ITS SUPPORT FOR TURKEYThe European Union, which gave its support to Turkey after the earthquake disaster, is now contributing to the reconstruction work. Within this framework, a conference was organized in Washington during which the reconstruction work in Turkey was discussed with high-ranking officials from finance establishments which depend on international institutions and the American Administration in Washington. The American Overseas Particular Investment Company's (OPIC), which supports investments in developing countries, Deputy Chairman responsible for the issues of performance, stated that the OPIC provided the two Turkish firms with the loan, amounting to a total of 235 million dollars, and that they obtained a risk guarantee of 200 million dollars from the Turco-American cooperation Ford-Otosan to improve their activities in the earthquake-hit region. Robertson further added, "39 investment projects, supported by the OPIC in Turkey, amount to 1.3 billion dollars. This number is expected to increase to a greater extent this year." /Aksam/
 JAIME GAMA: 'TURKEY HAS A BIG IMPORTANCE'European Union's (EU) term president, Portugese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Gama, stated that Turkey was one of the most important actors of the world stage. Gama delivered a speech at the European Parliament (EP) and gave information on his country's term presidency activity report. Gama also pointed out the issue of expansion in his speech, during which he said, "Our relations with Turkey, which I believe has a special importance, involves a particular interest. A more harmonious perspective between Turkey and the EU should be ensured. The expansion is one of the most important targets of the EU and Portugal will give big importance to this issue during its term presidency that will last for six months." /Turkiye/
 HARRAZI: "WE DO NOT APPROVE OF PKK ACTIVITIES"Iranian Foreign Minister, Kemal Harrazi, said that his country's foreign policy is known by Turkey and added, "We reject the PKK terrorist organization and do not approve of its activities". Harrazi held a meeting with members of the press in Istanbul and relations between Turkey and Iran will develop further. Harrazi pointed out that there was a cooperation in security between Turkey and Iran and remarked that joint security commissions and committees were holding meetings every year. He added, "Both countries want their territories swept of the activities of the PKK terrorist organization". Harrazi also said that there was no problem between Turkey and Iran concerning the natural gas agreement and the venture was underway. He stated that natural gas would become the symbol of the Turco-Iranian relations. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW MEMBERS OF CONSTITUTONAL COURT SWORN INThe Constitutional Court swore in two new members, Tulay Tugcu and Ertugrul Ersoy, yesterday, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Chairman of the Constitutional Court Ahmet Necdet Sezer delivered a speech at the ceremony informing those present that the two new members were taking over the positions in accordance with Article 146 of the Constitution and Articles 4 and 10 of Law 2949, in compliance with the quota of eligibility reserved for high level bureaucrats. Tugcu, on the other hand, was selected out of three candidates nominated for the position by the Council of State.
 PKK 'PRESIDENCY COUNCIL' MEMBER ATTACKED IN IRAQRiza Altun, a member of the PKK terrorist organization so-called presidency council, was wounded and his two escorts killed in an attack in Iraq, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Since Abdullah Ocalan's arrest, the PKK has been experiencing serious instability within its organization.
 FEHRIYE'S LAWYER DEFENDED ETAPaul Bekaert, the new lawyer of Fehriye Erdal, who is currently imprisoned in Belgium and is accused of killing the noted Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, is known as a defender of terrorists. It is reported that Bekaert also defended Luis Moreno and Raquel Garcia who are members of the Spanish terrorist organization, ETA, in 1996. /Sabah/
 NATO COMMANDER IN TURKEYNATO Military Committee Chairman, General Guido Venturoni, will arrive in Turkey as the official guest of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu. In a statement made by the General Secretary of the General Staff, Venturoni who will stay in Turkey between 20th and 21st January. He will also be received by the Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit. /Turkiye/
 ARBITRATION BILL PASSES COMMISSIONJust one day after having forwarded its proposal to the sub-commission, the Parliamentary Justice Commission today held an extraordinary meeting and subsequently approved the Arbitration Bill. The leaders of the coalition parties realized that debating the Arbitration Bill at the sub-commission was a time-consuming procedure that would take approximately two weeks. Upon the leaders' request, the sub-commission assembled in an after-hours meeting and prepared a brief report. This report was debated at the Parliamentary Justice Commission and the bill was fully approved, with the exception of the article pertaining to 'foreign elements', which stipulated the requirement of a foreign partner in joint ventures. /Turkish Daily News/
 MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT PUNISHES THOSE WHO CAUSE POLLUTIONThe Ministry of Environment determined the fine to be applied this year, for people polluting the environment. A fine of between 149 million TL and 149 billion TL will be imposed. The Minister of Environment, Fevzi Aytekin, published a circular on the Principles of Applying the fine regarding the Environment Law and sent it to the Coastal Security Command, the governorships of 81 provinces, the mayors of the metropolitan municipalities and to the central organization. Part of this circular stated that for those who do not obey the rules and repeat their mistake, the fine will be doubled. /Aksam/
 SUPPORT TO TRAFFIC FROM THE RECTORSA Traffic Behaviour Agreement was the first of ten agreements opened for signing during the Dialog Conference made at the weekend by the Common Mind Platform in Traffic. The first ones to sign the agreement to decrease the risk of traffic accident were the rectors of Turkish universities. The rector of Sabanci University, Prof. Tosun Terzioglu, rectors from Bogazici University, Koc University, Middle East Technical University, Yildiz Technical University and the Chairman of the Marmara Reserch Centre dependent of Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, Omer Kaymakcalan signed the 'Traffic Behaviour Agreement'. /Milliyet/
 AMERICAN WATER BOSS THE GUEST OF DEMIRELAmerica's biggest drinking water production and deliverence company, American Water Works Company's owner and the Chairman of the Executive Board, Marilyn Ware, arrived in Istanbul as the special guest of President Suleyman Demirel. Ware, who is also the Administrating Board Execution Committee Chairman of Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, made a statement to press members before she left Ataturk Airport for Ankara during which she said, "Besides meeting President Demirel, I want to visit and tour Turkey and know it more closely. In addition, we migh invest in Turkey." /Milliyet/
 TOURISM TARGET IN 2000: $8 BILLIONA press conference for the promotion of the EMIIT 2000 Eastern Mediterranean Tourism Fair, organized in order to increase the tourism potential in Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern European and North African countries, was held two days ago. The Fair will be held on February 17-20, 2000, in Istanbul. Officials said that they aimed to bring 9.7 million tourists to Turkey and obtain $8 billion in tourism revenues this year. /Sabah/
 CHHIBBER HAILS TURKISH STABILIZATION PROGRAMMETurkey has had a good start in implementing its economic programme, World Bank Director for Turkey, Ajay Chhibber said, expressing that "Turkey has scored its first goal but it should continue attacking". Chhibber made a speech at the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) on Tuesday in which he assessed the economic reform programme in Turkey. /Turkish Daily News/
 TURKISH TEXTILE'S GREAT SUCCESSKaplantex, which attended the Lycra Rendes Vous Fair organized by Dupont between 12 and 14 January in Monte Carlo, surprised the world's huge thread producers. Kaplantex, which produces and exports weavings and colour-printings, for the first time produced a knitted tissue by using 100% lycra in its Alibeyjoy factory. A fabric of only one square metres can be stretched up to 25 square metres thanks to this technology. One of the founding members and the Deputy Chairman of the Executibe Board of Kaplantex, Mehmet Kaplancali, took six months to produce it 100% lycra. The Kaplantex Company, was the only company from Turkey invited to Dupont's Fair and their product was well received. /Hurriyet/
 KENTBANK PURCHASES BANK IN ALBANIAKentbank purchased a share of 60% of the Albanian National Commerce Bank (NCB) by paying 27 thousand dollars. The Director of the NCB, Spiro Brumbelli, stated that Kentbank had bought the majority of shares of the NCB and that it will hold the management at the end of March. Brumbelli added, "International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is the commercial credit branch of the World Bank, and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reached an agreement considering the minority share distribution of the Kentbank and the NCB. /Hurriyet/
 INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT FUNDS PROSPER IN TURKISH MARKETThe first 11 months of 1999 saw international investment funds prosper in the Turkish market, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The only foreign investment funds that incurred losses for its investors were Alliance Health Care International's Fund A and B, with 4.7 and 5.7 % in losses, respectively.
 HAZELNUT EXPORTS REACH $447.1 MILLIONTurkey exported $447.1 million out of 129,181 metric tons of hazelnuts during the first four-and-a-half months of the export season which began on September 1, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Turkey controls a significant volume of the world's hazelnut production and trade.
 TODAY IS THE DEADLINE FOR BIDDING DOCUMENTSToday is the deadline for obtaining the $10,000 worth of bidding documents needed to purchase a 51 % stake in the state oil retailer Petrol Ofisi (POAS). Turkish conglomerates were seen zealously teaming up for what would provide them with the largest oil distribution network and a 40 % market share in Turkey. POAS has a paid-in capital of 7 trillion TL and 5,769 fuel stations around the country. /Turkish Daily News/
 COMPLIMENTS TO THE IZNIK TILEUNESCO's new General Director, Koichiro Matsuura, and the Turkish Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay opened UNESCO's first Iznik tile exhibition at the General Centre in Paris. The exhibition, which has been admired by hundreds of people since day one, shows tiles produced by the Iznik Education Foundation and wants to bring the unique Iznik tile art to the new century. The exhibition is sponsored by Turkish Airlines and Istanbul Stock Exchange. /Milliyet/
 FOOTBALL HUGES TO SUPPORT THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMSGerman and Dutch football stars will play a match in Antalya in aid of the eartqhuake victims. Borussia Dortmund, FC Shalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen, Feyenord Rotterdam, Sieger Gr and Zweiter Gr will challenge each other in the Gazi Cup. The finalist of the tournament will play a match with Galatasaray on 26th January. /Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE COLLAPSE OF THE GANGS BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes on the collapse of the gangs. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Operation Hizbullah" has been a major police victory for the Turkish State. Hizbullah was the most serious terror organization, second only to PKK, dependent on foreign forces and creating disorder in the country. It is one of the gangs that foreign powers have worried Turkey with, to delay its development, wear out militarily and economically, create strife among the people, and to tear Turkey from Europe. It was based in Diyarbakir, in Southeastern Turkey. Its activities in Istanbul is fairly new.
It is understood that the militants of the organization are being trained in Iran. There is no reason for our eastern neighbour to resort to such affairs. However, it is a fact that extremist ideologies have always sown seeds of evil. Iran is an Islamic republic. Terrorism has stained the image of Islam throughout the world. A situation in conflict with Tehran's aims has come to pass and how Iran has benefited from this remains a question mark.
Nevertheless, the relations of the Hizbullah in Turkey, with those in other countries and to what degree they are all directed from Iran, is also not known. It may be an organization working for other countries. National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and Directorate of Security have worked in coordination and in a planned way and have solved many murders. What more can be found we do not know. This is one of the most successful operations in the country.
However, what is more important is that the end of the gangs seem near in Turkey. The gangs will be dissolved and Turkey will live in peace. All corruption related to gangs will be reduced and in time will not be seen any more. In this respect, Turkey will be in harmony with European standards.
No relation could be found between the PKK, Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations and the Turkish people. Their followers which they acquired by intimidation or providing material benefits do not show that they are supported by the people. In spite of all their claims they do not have a political or ideological structure. They only exploited some slogans.
The most important chief of the terrorist is in prison. The other chief was removed the previous day. We congratulate the State, the Government and the security forces."
 WELCOME PAPANDREU BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)Columnist Hadi Uluengin writes on the visit of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu. A summary of his column is as follows:
"First of all, I would like to welcome George Papandreu, the Foreign Minister of Greece, Turkey's western neighbour, NATO ally, a friend in deed on his visit to Ankara in his own language, "Kalos irthate Papandreu". As this is the first official visit after 38 years, it adds special symbolism to his presence in Turkey. This is the political expression of a rapprochement between the two countries following the earthquake of 17th August. This warming up of the relations will continue with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Cem's, visit to Athens and a dialogue process will take place between Turkey and Greece.
Both Greeks and Turks who went beyond "cautious optimism" are in favour of warming relations. The will of the people is capable of influencing the "decision making centres".
Greece is modernizing economically and is at the stage of achieving a great leap. At this juncture, the old policies of enmity do not find many supporters. The humanistic solidarity which surfaced in the wake of the earthquake of 17th August has brought the Greek people closer to Turks. Following the Helsinki Summit, the road for the policy of Papandreu was opened up. Therefore, at the moment, the atmosphere is most suited in solving the problems between the two countries.
In Turkey the "Sevres complex" of the Turks was broken up with the breaking of the 17th August earthquake faultlines. We have entered a process of making peace with our western neighbour and the whole world, and the commonsense of our leaders is responsible. "Compromise" has become an important method. We believe that this air of compromise will also be seen in Cyprus. We not only hope that Ankara and Athens overcome the problems between them but also believe that they will achieve this."
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