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Turkish Press Review, 00-01-21
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>21 January 2000
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 KOFI ANNAN IS HAPPY WITH THE COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE
 PROBLEMS FOR PARLIAMENTARY ADVISORY COUNCIL OVER PRIORITIZING ARBITRATION BILL
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... POSITIVE START IN TURCO-GREEK RELATIONS BY HASAN CEMAL
 (MILLIYET) AN EXAMPLE OF COMMONSENSE AND COMPROMISE BY ISMET GIRITLI
 DEMIREL'S MESSAGE TO IRANPresident Suleyman Demirel evaluated operations performed against the terrorist organization Hizbullah during which he said, "Those who attempt these kinds of activities against the State have always been dissapointed." On hearing that it was stated that there was a relationship between Iran and Hizbullah, Demirel said, "One should be very careful while making these kinds of statements. If there is no definite information concerning these issues, the things should not be directed to make a disturbance in the relations between the two countries." /Cumhuriyet/
 DEMIREL RECEIVES PAPANDREUDemirel received the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreu and the accompanying delegation, who are in Ankara for an official visit, at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Demirel stated that he was happy to see the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreu whom he described as 'our neighbour, our friend and our ally". Demirel further added, "Our people do not want enmity, thus, we should make good use of this warm atmosphere between us. The approval of Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU) also created a new atmosphere. I think the new agreements that we have signed started a new period." /Turkiye/
 PAPANDREU IN ANKARAForeign Minister, Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu signed four agreements within the framework of Turco-Greek dialogue process. Following the negotiations between Turkish and Greek delegations the two ministers signed agreements on tourism, the environment, mutual encouragement of investments, combatting terrorism, organized crime, illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking. The Ministers held a press conference following the meeting. Greek Foreign Minister, Papandreu stated that the agreements signed between Turkey and Greece were of great significance and great strides had been taken in the relations between the two countries. Agreements on other issues discussed as part of the Turkish-Greek dialogue process will be signed during Foreign Minister Cem's visit to Athens./All papers/
 ECEVIT RECEIVED PAPANDREUPrime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, received Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreu. Prime Minister Ecevit stated that the Cyprus problem could be solved through dialogue. He added that the two countries could get closer through economic, cultural relations and the media. At the end of the meeting, Ecevit invited Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis to Turkey. The date for the visit will be set later, Anatolia Agency reports.
 KOFI ANNAN IS HAPPY WITH THE COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECEUnited Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, stated that he was pleased with the cooperation agreements signed between Greece and Turkey. Annan's spokesman, Fred Eckhard made a statement during which he said, "The Secretary-General is sure that the improvement of the atmosphere between the two countries will lead to a bright future for the people living in this region." Eckhard added that Annan was pleased about the constructive steps that the two governments had taken in order to form a new cooperation basis and sign agreements. /Milliyet/
 TOURING THE LEADERS FOR DEMIRELPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit met the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz and the Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan to discuss the extension of President Suleyman Demirel's duty period. After the meeting held with the leaders, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit held a press conference and stated, "All the party leaders are of the opinion that a President can perform his duty for two terms. They also accept that Demirel should also make use of this opportunity. Demirel passed all the tests successfully during the period of duty as President and it is thought that it will be beneficial for Turkey if he continues his duty for a one more period. However, a constitutional change is necessary for this to happen." /Turkiye/
 DEPUTIES TO BE BANNED FROM WEARING HEADSCARFSAfter the crisis caused by the Virtue Party (FP) Istanbul Deputy Merve Kavakci's attempt to take the oath at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) while wearing a headscarf, the Parliamentary Constitutioal Affairs Committee adopted a motion according to which a paragraph will be inserted into the parliamentary by-laws, stating that 'Deputies shall not take part in Parliament with their heads covered.' This was accepted by 11 votes against 10 votes of rejection. /Cumhuriyet/
 US AMBASSADOR RECEIVED BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTERState Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan received US Ambassador to Ankara Mark Parris. The meeting at the Prime Ministry lasted for 20 minutes. Ertugrul Ciragan, Foreign Affairs Advisor at the Prime Ministry also attended the meeting, Anatolia Agency reports.
 MORE BODIES ARE DISCOVERED IN HIZBULLAH HIDEOUTSThe toll in Hizbullah's nationwide atrocities increased to 13 on Thursday as police discovered three more bodies in suburban Ankara after they had dug out 10 bodies in Istanbul on Wednesday. Police said they would use special techniques to identify the victims and the bodies found in Ankara were also bound and buried in sacks under the cellar. /Turkish Daily News/
 HARRAZI RETURNED TO IRANIran's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kemal Harrazi, returned to his country yesterday morning after a three-day visit in Turkey. Harrazi made statements to journalists on arrival in Tehran and said that the meetings held in Turkey had started a new period in bilateral relations. /Star/
 FINAL SIGNATURE TO BE PUT TO BAKU-CEYHAN IN ANKARA TODAYGeorgian and Azerbaijani energy officials will meet in Ankara to discuss disagreements over the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project to transport Azerbaijan oil to the West, the Anatolia News Agency reported. Turkish, Georgian and Azerbaijani energy officials, President Clinton's advisor in Caspian basin energy politics, Ambassador, John Wolf and officials of the Azerbaijan International Oil Company (AIOC) will take part in the two-day meeting. Georgian Foreign Minister, Irakli Menagarasvili and the Georgian State Petroleum Company president arrived in Ankara yesterday morning. Ambassador Wolf is expected to arrive in Ankara from Ashkabat. President Suleyman Demirel announced that the parties involed would have a meeting in Ankara to solve all of these problems, after his recent visit to Tbilisi. He also added that Georgia had to ensure the security of the project and do the expropriation as the sovereign state concerned. Demirel said that the environment problem had to be resolved according to European standards.
 PROBLEMS FOR PARLIAMENTARY ADVISORY COUNCIL OVER PRIORITIZING ARBITRATION BILLDuring the first meeting of the Parliamentary Advisory Council this year, a consensus could not be reached on the issue of placing the Arbitration Bill as the top priority on the Parliament's agenda, the Anatolia news agency reports. The joint proposal of the coalition partners, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), requested that the Arbitration Bill have the second priority, after a bill proposing that the Gallipoli peninsula be converted into a national park, was rejected yesterday morning by the advisory council.
 KUTAN COMPLIMENTS THE GOVERNMENTThe Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan commented positively on struggle against inflation programme being implemented by the Turkish government. Kutan accepted that the programme had begun to give successful results and said, "The rate of inflation and interests has began to decrease thanks to the precautions that were taken." The Minister of Finance telephoned Kutan and thanked him for his statements supporting this programme. /Hurriyet/
 GOVERNMENT TO STOP BIG SUPPLEMENTThe government wants to control the increase in the price of liquid fuel to ensure that the inflation target is kept at 25% and took an important step by changing from proportional tax to a fixed tax within the framework of pricing structure. In the past when liquid fuel was supplemented 10% on average, taxes were also supplemented with the same average. However, as part of the new arrangement, the Liquid Fuel Consumer Tax will remain stable. The Prime Minister made a statement concerning this issue and said, "While performing a determined struggle against inflation, the public sectors should make well-balanced supplements. If the State is not careful on this issue, then the private sector cannot make the necessary contributions as promised. The average supplements on benzine decreased from 10% to 3% and on gas-oil 5.1% to 2.5%." /Star/
 COOPERATION IN THE BANKING SECTORInternational advising establishment, Solomon Smith Barney, stated that if the structural reforms are implemented and the stability programme supported by the IMF is applied, then the Turkish banking sector will enter a new world of opportunities. In the research in which the Turkish banking sector was evaluated by Salomon Smith Barney within the framework of the latest developments, it was reported, "The decrease in the interest rates and the arrangements concerning the banking sector force the banking sector into reconstruction. This year there will be cooperation between the banks and the number of the banks that are active now will decrease." /Aksam/
 THE TREASURY WORKING ON EXPORT OF DEBENTURES IN EUROSTreasury Undersecretariat has accelerated the on-going work concerning the export of debentures in Euros. Director General of Foreign Economic Relations, Aydin Karaoz, recently went to Paris to talk with the banks which will act as mediators in the sale of debentures and authorize them and the export of debentures is expected to start soon. The amount of debentures to be exported is estimated to be $ 500 million and with a term of ten years, Anatolia Agency reports.
 WORLD BANK: "SPEED UP THE REFORMS"The delegation under the auspices of the World Bank's Agriculture and Social Security Department Chiefs, who are in Turkey now, want the reconstruction works in energy to speed up the implementation of the second-stage reforms in the social security sector as soon as possible and the agricultural reform work to continue as programmed. The delegation also demands the energy sector to be divided into parts within the framework of the special sector conditions, the harmonization laws concerning the arbitration law to come into force as soon as possible and to speed up the priorization of the energy sector. Furthermore, officials stated that the meetings concerning the loan, amounting to 3 billion dollars, that was promised by the World Bank within the framework of the structural harmonization programme, will be held at the beginning of February. After the meetings, the World Bank will lend Turkey a loan of 750 million dollars as the first stage of the loan. /Aksam/
 SANKO HOLDING COMPANY TO BE IN THE TOP TEN WITH DAEWOOThe owner of the Sanko Holding Company in Gaziantep, Abdulkadir Konukoglu, ended the six months bargainings with Daewoo automobiles' representative in Turkey and established a new company called the Sanko Automative Company. Konukoglu joined partners with Boronkay, the distributor of the Daewoo autos and is targetting at placing Daewoo autos in the top ten companies in the market. /Sabah/
 KOZLU TO REACH THE TOP OF COCA COLA COMPANYThe world's biggest alcohol-free drink producer in the world, Coca Cola, appointed Cem Kozlu to the Chairmanship of the Middle Europe and Eurasia Group comprising 35 countries. Kozlu will be nominated the Deputy Chairmanship of the Coca Cola Company in the next month. Kozlu had previously been the Chairman of the Eurasia Department of Coca Cola for two years. Kozlu is responsible for 35 countries including Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Russia. In a dual statement issued by the Coca Cola Company's Central Branch in the U.S.A and by the company's European Group Chairmanship. It stated that the company had implemented new structural changes in the performance activities in Europe and two units had been established. Also that Spanish Jose Nunez Cervera had been appointed to the West Europe Chairmanship and Cem Kozlu to the Chairmanship of Middle Europe and Eurasia Group. /Hurriyet/
 BAD WEATHER CONDITIONS IN TURKEYAll Turkey, except for the Mediterranean Region, surrendered to winter. The roads of more than 10,000 villages closed and electricity is not available either. The severe winter is continuing to cause death. 4 people were frozen and two died under and avalanche. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 POSITIVE START IN TURCO-GREEK RELATIONS BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)Columnist Hasan Cemal writes on Turco-Greek relations on the visit of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu to Ankara. A summary of his column is as follows:
"After a 38 year interval a Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreu, has paid an official visit to Ankara. This visit has paved the way for cooperation and friendship between the two countries and is a positive start in their relations. The architects of a new constructive dialogue between Greece and Turkey, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu signed four agreements in Ankara yesterday. When Cem visits Athens at the beginning of February, four more agreements will be signed. Turco-Greek relations will be based on a concrete background. However, there is a long and winding road in front of them and both countries are aware of this fact.
The Foreign Ministers while taking the delicate balance of the new process into consideration, are trying to achieve their aims instead of playing to the crowds. With this purpose in mind they are in favour of moving cautiously. Both Foreign Ministers are talking about the seriousness, and the delicate nature of the relations and the need to be cautious. The reasons for this are the complex issues, mutual psychological inconfidence coming from the past and the existence of certain circles in both capitals which cannot comprehend the new era and are not at ease with it.
Cem and Papandreu are talking cautiously. Both of them are aware that they need time. They answered the provocative questions posed by journalists without falling into any traps. They repeated that there were differences of opinion on issues, especially on the Cyprus problem, but were bent on finding ways in achieving progress. They added that this issue should not be discussed before the public and that they had to move along carefully.
In short, we can say that an atmosphere of constructive dialogue has been established between Ankara and Athens. The newspapers of both countries are viewing this positively. Partnership becomes Turkey and Greece not conflict. It is believed that peace in the Aegean is not far away."
 AN EXAMPLE OF COMMONSENSE AND COMPROMISE BY ISMET GIRITLI (TURKIYE)Columnist Ismet Giritli comments on the decision of the Government to postpone carrying out of the death sentence on Ocalan. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The decision reached by the leaders of the Coalition parties on 12th January 2000, following a 7 hour meeting, to postpone the carrying out of the death sentence on Ocalan, brought the words of American writer Ernest Hemingway, in his "Farewell to Arms" to mind. There Hemingway said that "Courage is graciousness in the face of hardship".
In fact, not only Turkey but the whole world was waiting anxiously for the decision of the Government and wondering whether Turkey would wait for the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights. It was evident that the death sentence passed on Ocalan, who was responsible for the deaths of many security force members and innocent people, was undebatable from a legal point of view. Even though not one death sentence was carried out since 1984 and a sort of "Constitutional Enforcement" has come into being, the rage of the people who lost their loved ones because of terrorism, is another important factor concerning the Ocalan case.
Therefore, the decision of the three leaders had to find a delicate balance between the best interests of Turkey, the requirements of international law and the national conscience. We believe that the leaders of the three parties have established this sensitive balance. All three of them have acted with an understanding becoming to responsible statesman thinking of the country's future rather than their short term political interests and earned the approval and respect of both Turkey and the whoe world.
When the text read by Prime Minister Ecevit is read carefully, it can be seen that this decision stresses the fact that the verdict of the ECHR cannot change the sentence passed by the Turkish justice system and at the same time states that if it senses this decision is being used against Turkey by the terrorist organization or its followers the sentence will be carried out immediately. That is to say the leaders have not put themselves in the place of the TGNA but postponed carrying out of the sentence on condition."
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