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Turkish Press Review, 00-01-24

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

24 January 2000

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] DEMIREL: "EARTHQUAKE'S EFFECTS WILL DISSAPEAR COMPLETELY"
  • [03] DEMIREL ATTENDED THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE CARREFOURSA
  • [04] ECEVIT TO VISIT DAVOS
  • [05] NEW SUGGESTION FROM THE U.S.A. ABOUT THE TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE
  • [06] FISHER INVITES DENKTAS
  • [07] A REPROACH TO THE MASSACRE
  • [08] HIZBULLAH MASSACRE TOLL REACHES 31
  • [09] STATE MINISTER IRTEMCELIK'S INTERVIEW FOR SABAH
  • [10] TURKEY'S CREDIT RATE INCREASES DAY BY DAY
  • [11] THE 24TH JANUARY DECISIONS ARE 20 YEARS OLD
  • [12] THE SIGNAL OF THE BOOM IN TOURISM
  • [13] KOC'S HOPEFUL STATEMENTS ABOUT THE TURKISH ECONOMY
  • [14] TURKISH EDUCATION FOUNDATION GIVES SHIELD TO THE VOLUNTEERS
  • [15] 'TURKEY IN THE 21ST CENTURY'
  • [16] TURKEY IS THE 4TH POSITION IN WEAPON SALES
  • [17] DECREASE IN THE RATE OF BANK INTERESTS
  • [18] THE FIRST TURKISH BANK IN ISRAEL
  • [19] 'OTTOMAN WORKS OF ART' AUCTION BROKE RECORD
  • [20] PROMOTION CAMPAIGN IN TOURISM ON THE INTERNET
  • [21] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [22] DIALOGUE PROCESS WITH GREECE BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)
  • [23] WHAT DID YOU SAY? BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

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

    [02] DEMIREL: "EARTHQUAKE'S EFFECTS WILL DISSAPEAR COMPLETELY"

    The Modern Life Centre, which was built by the Istanbul Aid Group (IYG) and the Association of Supporting Modern Life (CYDD) and consists of 192 prefabricated houses in Yalova, was opened with a ceremony attended by President Suleyman Demirel. During the opening ceremony, Demirel stated that in the year 2000 all the buildings that collapsed will be reconstructed and life would turn out to be normal again. Demirel said, "We will not forget the pains of those who have lost their loved ones. However, life still goes on. We are determined to remove all the effects of the earthquake. Turkey faced a huge disaster on 17th August and again on 12th November. Now, people are trying to bear the brunt of this disaster but the after shocks and fears are still going on. However, people around Turkey, totalling 87 countries came their aid which showed Turkey's unity, solidarity and prestige abroad." In addition, the Minister of Health, Osman Durmus, the Minister of Labour, Yasar Okuyan and the Minister of Finance Sumer Oral attended the ceremony. /Aksam/

    [03] DEMIREL ATTENDED THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE CARREFOURSA

    SakoSA Industrial Polyster Cord and the Cord Establishment, a 50% partnership between the Sabanci Holding Company in Izmit and Kosa_America, was opened in the Izmit CarefourSa Trade Centre with a ceremony attended by President Suleyman Demirel yesterday. Demirel made a speech at the ceremony during which he said, "We opened this establishment in order to point out that life goes on since the earthquake disasters. This establishment, which puts the Turkish consumers to the level of modern countries, has been completed in eight months, which is very pleasing. In addition, the Sabanci family's establishments are giving food and work to Turkish citizens." In addition, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Sabanci Holding Company, Sakip Sabanci, delivered a speech saying, "We are trying very hard and are going to build two more establishments and a factory in this region within a few months. We have always believed that this earthquake-hit region would develop." /Turkiye/

    [04] ECEVIT TO VISIT DAVOS

    Turkey will hold the first meeting after the Constitutional and legal changes, which made the international arbitration possible, on 27th January in Davos. 160 people will attend the dinner, which will be organized by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey at Seehof Hotel. The guest of honor attended mostly by foreign investors, will be Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit. In addition, many businessmen from Turkey will attend this dinner. It is expected that Ecevit will speak during which he is expected to say that all the necessary background was ensured so as to enable foreign investors to invest safely. /Sabah/

    [05] NEW SUGGESTION FROM THE U.S.A. ABOUT THE TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE

    The Deputy State Secretary of the U.S.A., Mark Grossman, stated that Turkey and Greece should solve the problems between themselves through a common dialogue mechanism by making use of the positive atmosphere between them. Grossman gave a statement to the 'Kathimerini' newspaper and said, "Washington supports the reactivization of the 'wise men' delegations of the two countries and the starting of a dialogue for the solution of the problems that will be determined. In addition, the possibilities of applying an international court for the issues in which disagreements to these solutions might be made will be reviewed. The U.S.A. is for the continuation of the positive developments that occurred after the agreements signed in Ankara by the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Greece." /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] FISHER INVITES DENKTAS

    The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, will visit Berlin as the guest of Germany's Minister of Foreing Affairs, Joschka Fischer, after indirect meetings in Genova. This visit is important in terms of Denktas' being invited by a foreign Minister after 15 years. Denktas was invited by the U.S.A.'s Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Baker in 1986 to Washington. The invitation concerning the visit in the first half of February, was delivered to Denktas by the Geman Ambassador to Nicosia. /Milliyet/

    [07] A REPROACH TO THE MASSACRE

    Azeri people living in Izmir reproached the Russians' massacre made 10 years ago. The members of the Azerbaijani Cultural Association stated that the Turkish people living in South Azerbaijan are being tortured by Iran. The Chairman of this Association, Namik Kemal Babaeker defended the incident in which 138,000,000 people were killed and many were injured by the Russians. Babaeker further said, "This country is now performing massacres against Chechnya. Today, the issue that makes us deeply sad is the problem of South Azerbaijan. In South Azerbaijan, the policies against the Azeri Turks, which come from the Persian reaction and aim at making everyone forget the Azerbaijani identity here." /Aksam/

    [08] HIZBULLAH MASSACRE TOLL REACHES 31

    Police discovered six more bodies in the southern township of Tarsus on Sunday as the death toll from the Hizbullah nationwide massacre campaign reached 31. Security officials had already discovered eight more bodies in the central Anatolian city of Konya in an overnight raid, pushing Saturday's death toll to 25. Meanwhile, police disclosed the number of suspected Hizbullah militants taken into custody in 18 provinces as 136. A total of 10 militants are being questioned in Ankara, the Security Department disclosed. /Turkish Daily News/

    [09] STATE MINISTER IRTEMCELIK'S INTERVIEW FOR SABAH

    The State Minister responsible for Human Rights, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, gave an interview to "Sabah" newspapper in which he issued some signals on the Ocalan case, capital punishment, human rights and democratization. Expressing his view that Turkey was a member of the European family, Irtemcelik stated that the country will purify its legal system of capital punishment. The Minister also stated that it was wrong to discuss the matter every day and criticized those who would tie the abolition of capital punishment to the Ocalan case. /Sabah/

    [10] TURKEY'S CREDIT RATE INCREASES DAY BY DAY

    The world-wide famous 'Economist' magazine predicted that the biggest improvement in economy will be by Turkey after Chile. The credit rating of the Turkish economy decreased last year but increases day by day due to the three year stability programme. 'The Economist' complimented the performance of the Turkish economy in its last issue. Predicted three months ago that the Turkish economy would grow by an average of 3.7% but now has predicted an increase of 4%. This 4% is the same increase average of Greece, an EU member country. /Star/

    [11] THE 24TH JANUARY DECISIONS ARE 20 YEARS OLD

    The 24th January decisions, which taken during harder times, are 20 years old today. The decisions of today and the decisions taken 20 year ago have many similaritites including the economy open to abroad. Today, just like 20 years ago, it was decided to add a supplement to government officials' wages. Discussions were being held for the stand-by agreement with the IMF at that time but today decisions are taken according to the results of the stand-by agreement. An 100% devaluation was made to the TL twenty years ago, whereas the increase of 20% in the foreign exchange is envisaged today. The burden of the interest was growing 20 years ago but today the interest is trying to be removed. In addition, supplements were imposed 20 years ago, whereas today the prices are hoped to be stable. /Star/

    [12] THE SIGNAL OF THE BOOM IN TOURISM

    The Chairman of the Oger-Turk Tour and the Oger Tours Group, Vural Oger, stated that after the negative effects of 1999, they are hopeful for the year 2000 on. Oger said, "Since the early days of the new year, reservations have reached 2,500-3,000 people daily, which comes from the political relaxation in Turkey. Also, ticket sales in Germany improved. In the year 2000, we are going to reach the numbers we had in 1998. We deal with nearly 50% of Turkish charter flights. Our summer programme is very rich. Turkish tourism is very dynamic and young and we are expecting a boom in tourism this year." /Turkiye/

    [13] KOC'S HOPEFUL STATEMENTS ABOUT THE TURKISH ECONOMY

    The Chairman of the Koc Holding Company, Rahmi Koc, is hopeful because of the developments in the economy over the last month. The 'Hurriyet' newspaper interviewed him and he said, "Turkey has caught a wave and we should act very carefully and make good use of the advantages at the peak of this wave, as the State and as the government. We should regain the time that we have lost. In order to succeed in this, we have to speed up privatization, the State should shrink and the politics should be reconstructed. The decisions that taken removed obstacles before us and we entered a very important turning point. In addition, the government should practice the decisions taken and we should make good use of our possibilities and opportunities." /Sabah/

    [14] TURKISH EDUCATION FOUNDATION GIVES SHIELD TO THE VOLUNTEERS

    Turkish Education Foundation (TEV), which made the biggest donation campaign for the earthquake victims, collected a donation of 3 trillion 1 billion TL. If the promise of aid of 1.1 trillion given to the Foundation is kept, the total amount of donations will reach 4 trillion TL. TEV, which is one of the biggest non-governmental organization in the field of education, rewarded those who have contributed to the aid campaign with a shield during the evening organized to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Foundation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] 'TURKEY IN THE 21ST CENTURY'

    The third 'Conference of the Solution to Turkey's Problems' will start tomorrow. During the conference, organized by 48 establishments of the European Community Research and Implementation Centre at Ankara University's campus in Cebeci, 'Turkey in the 21st century' will be discussed. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] TURKEY IS THE 4TH POSITION IN WEAPON SALES

    It was stated that Turkey is the 4th country to purchase the most weapons in the world. The 'Le Monde' newspaper, published in France stated that in the Stockholm Institute of International Peace Researches's numbers printed in 1998 stated that Taiwan was the first country in the weapon purchase sector and it was followed by Saudi Arabia, Greece and Turkey respectively. Countries coming after Turkey are as follows: Japan, United Arab Emiretes, Southern Corea, Pakistan, India and Egypt. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] DECREASE IN THE RATE OF BANK INTERESTS

    The increase in the individual credit interests is continuing. Banks are decreasing credit interests and beginning to extend credit periods. Those who wish to use consumer credit will be able to be liable to have credit for up to 36 months. The banking service has been indexed to the happiness of customers and customers are also turning towards the credit with lower interest and long-termed facilities. The banks profit margin are decreasing the rates of interests and extended terms. /Hurriyet/

    [18] THE FIRST TURKISH BANK IN ISRAEL

    The strategic cooperation and the big rapproachment in Turco-Israeli relations that has been going on for the last four years, has also reflected to the banking sector. After the Free Trade Agreement signed with Israel on foreign trade, the Turkish Vakiflar Bank will be the first Turkish bank to open a branch in Tel Aviv, in February. Vakifbank officials had also previously opened a branch in Austria named Vakifbank International AG, at the end of 1999. /Hurriyet/

    [19] 'OTTOMAN WORKS OF ART' AUCTION BROKE RECORD

    During the 'Ottoman Works of Art and Painting' Auction, 262 works of art were sold in four and a half hours, for 345 billion 755 million TL. During the auction, a record was broken with the sale of a 'Selim the 3rd' painting for 115 billion TL. In addition, during the auction, organized by the Portakal Art and Cultural House at the Conrad Hotel, yesterday, two pieces were sold for the benefit of earthquake victims. /Milliyet/

    [20] PROMOTION CAMPAIGN IN TOURISM ON THE INTERNET

    The Ministry of Tourism decided to issue a web page named 'Turkeycome' on the Internet as part of a promotional campaign to increase tourism in the year 2000. Information will be given on the richness of products and summaries on 'sea-sun, cultural values and mystisism'. The Minister of Tourism, Erkan Mumcu, stated that an intensive promotional campaign would start from 1st February. /Milliyet/

    [21] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [22] DIALOGUE PROCESS WITH GREECE BY SUKRU ELEKDAG (MILLIYET)

    Former Ambassador Sukru Elekdag writes on the dialogue process with Greece. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The visit paid by Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreu to Ankara not only displayed the positive atmosphere in Turco-Greek relations but also gave us hope in a solution of the problems between the two countries. There are many questions in the minds of the public some of which are listed below:

    For years Turkey has extended the hand of friendship to Greece and offered to solve problems through dialogue. Athens, has always rejected Ankara's offer until now, and seems to be ready for cooperation and friendship. What lies at the basis of Athens' change of policy?

    The dialogue with Greece has been going on for six months. However, none of the major issues which created the real problems have been dealt with. Is not it an exaggeration to praise the present situation? The Greek Foreign Minister Papandreu, evaded the question of the students at the Middle East Technical University on whether Greece would lift its veto on the financial aid to Turkey. What is more, Greek Minister Simitis did not respond clearly to Prime Minister Ecevit's invitation. Are these not indications that Greece is not sincere in its stand?

    The change in Greek policy towards Turkey stems from the simultaneous impact of many factors on Athens. The leading issue among them is the scandal concerning the Ocalan case. His capture in the Greek embassy in Kenya, showed Greece as a country that supports terrorism, committing a crime against humanity and one who lost all credibility. Athens believes that she can regain the credibility and respect only by improving her relations with Turkey, decided therefore to take steps in that direction.

    Another factor stems from Athens wanting the Greek-Cypriot Administration to become an EU member as soon as possible. Germany, France, Holland and Italy were opposing the start of full-membersihp negotiations between the Greek-Cypriot Adminstration and the EU before solving the problems with Turkey. Therefore, Athens did not veto the candidacy status of Turkey. In return, Ankara helped create the necessary conditions for the start of negotiations between the EU and the Greek-Cypriot Administration. Denktas accepted proximity talks with the suggestion of Turkey and negotiations between the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot sides began.

    Another reason for the change of policy in Greece is the strengthening of the support for Turkey, after the change of power in Germany and that she has understood she could not resist the wind of change. Under these conditions, it would be more proper to accept Turkey's candidacy status and solve the problems within the framework of the EU.

    However, this does not mean that Greece has changed her views concerning Cyprus or the Aegean and will not use the veto card in hand in Turkey's best interests.

    In answer to the second question we can say that the major issues have not been discussed yet but the atmosphere of the talks has changed. In fact, it is not possible to take up these issues without creating a positive atmosphere and therefore it would indeed be unfair not to give them their due importance.

    It is believed that only after the two elections in Greece, a negotiation mechanism will be established and the major issues will be taken up. In February there is the Presidential election and in October there is the general election. However, there is a possibility that Prime Minister Simitis will ask for an early election at the end of June. However, the concern for elections should not affect the establishment and working of a "Turco-Greek Security Committee."

    [23] WHAT DID YOU SAY? BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on the recent reactionary terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "It was said that there was no danger of reactionary terrorism in Turkey and that to talk of reactionary terrorism was to be paranoiac. We wonder what would be said today.

    We spoke with two officials in the middle of the Hizbullah investigation. They believed that Hizbullah was more dangerous than the PKK and they have been thought this all along and they intend to go as far as the investigation takes them.

    You will see that relations between the Hizbullah and politicians will be discovered and the general public will be made aware of who these politicians are. The recent incidents we have been following as a nation, in horror, is a slap to the face of those who looked at these terrorists through the spectacles of "tolerance".

    Another striking point is that, there has been no news in the Arab press about the Hizbullah operations in Turkey. No lines appeared in the Iranian newspapers. What is the reason, we wonder? The European press is almost trying to ignore the great success of the Turkish Security Directorate General and the National Intelligence Organization. Only a few newspapers commented.

    The Turkish nation will never forget those who tried to use religion for political purposes after it has seen the terror caused on TV screens."


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