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Turkish Press Review, 00-01-28

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] 28.JANUARY.2000
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [03] DEMIREL RECEIVED HONORARY DOCTORATE
  • [04] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT IN DAVOS
  • [05] 'TURKEY IS THE STAR OF DAVOS`
  • [06] AMERICA'S LATEST INTERPRETATIONS OF TURKEY
  • [07] HIZBULLAH OPERATIONS CONTINUE
  • [08] ATHENS SENTENCED AT EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [09] INVITATION TO KUTAN TO RESIGN
  • [10] RETIREMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
  • [11] SYRIA-TURKEY RAPPROCHEMENT
  • [12] TURKEY TO PURCHASE IRANIAN GAS
  • [13] GAGAUZ'S PRIME MINISTER IN TURKEY
  • [14] PARLIAMENT ADOPTS TELECOM BILL
  • [15] TURKISH AIR FORCE MODERNIZED
  • [16] KARAYALCIN: 'ANKARA IS NOT BEING MANAGED PROPERLY`
  • [17] BAYAR: "GREAT INTEREST FROM FOREIGN INVESTORS"
  • [18] SECOND TURKISH CHAIRMAN FOR COCA COLA
  • [19] CARRIER TO CONTUNIE IN TURKEY
  • [20] COMPENSATION FOR TURKISH AIRLINES
  • [21] FULL MARKS FOR ECONOMIC PROGRAMME
  • [22] 482 MILLION DOLLARS OF FOREIGN DEBTS PAID OFF
  • [23] KARDEMIR COMPANY SIGNED AGREEMENTS WITH FIVE COMPANIES
  • [24] SCHOOLS' WINTER HOLIDAY BEGINS
  • [25] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [26] ECEVIT IN DAVOS BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)
  • [27] THROUGH THE EYE OF A FOREIGNER BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] 28.JANUARY.2000

    Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [03] DEMIREL RECEIVED HONORARY DOCTORATE

    President Suleyman Demirel visited Manisa yesterday to attend three foundation-laying ceremonies and two opening ceremonies. Demirel laid the foundation-stone of Celal Bayar University's Medical Faculty and received an honorary doctorate from the University. He then attended the opening ceremony of one primary school, followed by laying the foundation-stone of another primary school that will be constructed by a businessman from Manisa. Demirel also visited the Mayor of Manisa, Adil Aygul, and was briefed by him about the situation and the problems of the city. After this, he attended a second opening ceremony for a primary school and delivered a speech there during which he said, "The State and the public will share this burden by working together. Thus, Turkey will attain a better position. Those who contribute to this aim are doing a good deed. I congratulate all these charitable people." Then President Suleyman Demirel attended the opening ceremony of the Organized Industrial Region's Second Water Purification Facility which will be constructed by Manisa Chamber of Trade and Industry, and pointed out that becoming industrialized in harmony with the environment should and would continue. After this, he left Manisa for Ankara. /Turkiye/

    [04] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT IN DAVOS

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit went to Zurich to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos and hold some bilateral talks. Ecevit will seek loans from foreign investors for 53 ventures which include plans for defence, energy and infra-structural investments and he will have the chance to promote Turkish projects and investment areas to them. Ecevit is accompanied on th etrip by his wife Rahsan Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, high-ranking economic bureaucrats and diplomats. During his speech at a dinner hosted by the Chairman of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, Ecevit called on foreign investors to invest in Turkey, especially in the GAP region. The Premier also pointed out that Turkey is a European, Asian, Middle-Eastern and, at the same time, a Mediterranean country and in the future she will be the leader of the region. /Hurriyet/

    [05] 'TURKEY IS THE STAR OF DAVOS`

    Pointing out that Turkey has been shining again in recent years, the World Economic Forum's Chairman, Klaus Schwabs, declared, "There is no doubt that Turkey is a rising star." In the promotional booklet of the Forum, a statement related to Turkey said, "Turkey, a new beginning" and it was stated that the country is a key between Europe, the Middle-East and Central Asia. /Hurriyet/

    [06] AMERICA'S LATEST INTERPRETATIONS OF TURKEY

    Officials from the American State Department stated that they had been closely following the changes that have occurred during the past few months in Turkey and that they appreciated Turkey's struggle against terrorism. The developments which began with Ocalan's being brought to Turkey and which have continued with the bringing of the Susurluk incident slowly to light and, most recently, with the collapse of the fanatical Hizbullah faction, were received with satisfaction by American officials, who said, "Turkey is on the right path". An official from the State Department, who did not want to reveal his name, declared, "Turkey has not only cleansed herself of criminals, but also has begun to prepare the country and the state mechanism for the 21st century. The American State Department's Terrorism Report mentioned Hizbullah but during that period of time we did not have much information concerning this issue from our representatives in Turkey. The Washington Administration is closely following these developments." /Sabah/

    [07] HIZBULLAH OPERATIONS CONTINUE

    The crackdown against the reactionary Hizbullah organization is continuing throughout Turkey. Questioning of more than 600 pro-Hizbullah people, who were taken into custody in almost 20 cities, are underway. Yesterday, in Mardin, 14, in Adiyaman, 10 and in Mersin, 9 people were taken into custody. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] ATHENS SENTENCED AT EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) sentenced Greece to pay compensation after Iskece's mufti, Mehmet Emin Aga, submitted a complaint to them. The ECHR decided that Greece should pay compensation of 2 million drachmas (nearly 3 billion 400 million TL) to Aga as it had violated the Declaration of Human Rights' 6th Article concerning the normal judgement process. In his complaint to the ECHR against Greece, Mehmet Emin Aga had previously stated that his rights had been violated because the judgement, which occurred after he was slandered in the 1989 elections for which he had declared his candidacy, had lasted for 6.5 years. /Milliyet/

    [09] INVITATION TO KUTAN TO RESIGN

    The tension that was created by the General Staff's harsh rebuke of the Virtue Party (FP) has led to a shocking development within the party. During the Chairman's Council meeting that was held yesterday, FP Group Deputy Chairman Bulent Arinc and Ankara deputy Cemil Cicek invited their leader, Recai Kutan to resign. These two deputies declared, "You do not know the facts of the situation in Turkey. You should resign because of the policies that you have been following up to now." However, Recai Kutan rejected this invitation. Because of this, the FP's General Administrative Council which was planned for Sunday, will convene today. /Sabah/

    [10] RETIREMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

    Cancelled eight times by the Constitutional Court, a new arrangement to the Retirement Bill for Members of Parliament was enacted last night at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) by 174 votes to 20. Accordingly, undersecretaries, deputy undersecretaries, general directors, generals, top judjes, prosecutors, members of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman and members of the High Education Board and rectors will also benefit from the 'top level compensation'. /Star/

    [11] SYRIA-TURKEY RAPPROCHEMENT

    Attemps are continuing to ease the strained relations between Turkey and Syria due to the PKK organization. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is expected to meet with his Syrian counterpart, Faruk El Sara, in Davos. Meanwhile, a high-level committee of the Foreign Ministry will pay a visit to Damascus in February to discuss security, politics, water and trade issues. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] TURKEY TO PURCHASE IRANIAN GAS

    The minutes of an accord concerning the 'Joint Economy Commission' meetings between Turkish and Iranian delegations were signed. Turkish State Minister Recep Onal signed it on behalf of Turkey and the Iranian Minister of Communications, Mahmud Hucceti, signed on behalf of Iran. In answer to a question, Onal said, "We will purchase natural gas from Iran and, in return, we will sell some goods to them." /Aksam/

    [13] GAGAUZ'S PRIME MINISTER IN TURKEY

    The Gagauz Autonomous Republic's Prime Minister, Mihail Kendigelen, said that they wanted to improve their economic, commercial and cultural relations with Turkey. Kendigelen, who arrived in Istanbul to meet business for a discussion on economic issues, held a press conference at the And Hotel in the Sultanahmet district of the city. During the press conference, which was also attended by his Deputy Prime Minister Peter Zlatov, Kendigelen spoke in Turkish stating that it was his second time in Turkey. Kendigelen further added, "We consider you to be our sincere friend." Then he admonished Turkish businessmen and invited them to invest in his Republic, which consists of Orthodox Christian Turks with a population of 200,000. Kendigelen stressed that they would ensure all sorts of incentives for investment in the Republic. /Turkiye/

    [14] PARLIAMENT ADOPTS TELECOM BILL

    The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) passed the Bill providing for the privatization of the Turkish Telecommunications Corporation early on Thursday. According to the new Law, the Turkish Telecommunications Corporation will retain monopoly rights on voice transmission and infrastructure until 31st December, 2003. In addition, as part of the new Law, the regulatory and supervisory Telecommunications Agency, comprising five experts, was allowed to be established. Accordingly, a Supreme Board of Communications will be established. The Law stipulates that entities other than Turkish Telecommunications will be able to deliver telecommunications services provided that they sign a concessions agreement with the Ministry of Communications. /Milliyet/

    [15] TURKISH AIR FORCE MODERNIZED

    Israel delievered the first two F-4E 2020s to Turkish Air Force Command at a ceremony held at Eskisehir First Main Jet Base on Thursday. Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, all Turkish Force Commanders and Israeli Ambassador Uri Barner attended the ceremony. The first defense industry venture launched between Turkey and Israel was for the modernization of 26 of Turkey's 54 F-4Es, to bring them up to Phantom 2000 standards, and is being carried out by Israeli Aircraft Industries. The up-grade began in January 1997 and is scheduled for completion in February 2003. /Hurriyet/

    [16] KARAYALCIN: 'ANKARA IS NOT BEING MANAGED PROPERLY`

    The former Ankara Metropolitan Mayor and a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Murat Karayalcin criticised the present Ankara and Istanbul Municipalities run by the Virtue Party. He stated that the disputes between the Metropolitan Municipality and BOTAS harm the people of Ankara. Karayalcin said, "As has been clearly seen during the recent snow, Ankara is not being well-managed." He also pointed out that the construction of the 'Akay Crossroad` has not been completed yet and the 'metro project` has not been handled. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] BAYAR: "GREAT INTEREST FROM FOREIGN INVESTORS"

    The Chairman of the Privatization Administration, Ugur Bayar, disclosed that foreign investors' interest in Turkey's privatization plan had increased four-fold. Bayar issued a statement to 'The Wall Street Journal' prior to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's departure for Davos and said, "The telephone calls which I receive from foreign investors have increased 400%. We prepared the groundwork very well and now we are starting to reap its fruits. Turkey will present its privatization agenda to foreign investors during the meetings in Davos. In addition, the shares of 28 companies will be presented for sale in the year 2000. We are expecting an income of a total of 5.2 billion dollars from these sales. It is envisaged that 3.1 billion dollars of this revenue will enter the State's coffers." Furthermore, in 'The Wall Street Journal', it was written: "The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) has broken its own record with 350% growth. The IMKB was the number one in 1999." In addition, the World Bank's representative in Turkey, Ajay Chibber made a statement to the same newspaper and said, "It is a great achievement. I have never seen an economic programme making such a good start." /Turkiye/

    [18] SECOND TURKISH CHAIRMAN FOR COCA COLA

    Turks' achievements within the Coca Cola Company are continuing. In a previous appointment, Cem Kozlu was made Chairman of Coca Cola's Central European and Eurasian operations; this time it was the turn of Ahmet Bozer who was appointed to his old position, that is, Chairman of Eurasian operations. Bozer, who had been the General Director of Coca Cola's Bottling plant in Turkey before, will be responsible for Coca Cola systems in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Tajikistan as part of his new duty. /Aksam/

    [19] CARRIER TO CONTUNIE IN TURKEY

    Carrier's Chairman for Europe, Ted Amyuni, stated that following the implementation of Alarko-Carrier cooperation, they had closed their two factories in Europe and had decided to continue production in Turkey. Amyuni made a statement at the first anniversary celebrations of Alarko-Carrier cooperation in which he said, "Turkey is a great country to invest in and Alarko is a serious company that makes world-class products. We will move production operations of the two companies, which we have shut down in Europe, to Turkey and, thus, Carrier's second production facility will be born. We want to serve other countries through Turkey. In addition, the Alarko Holding Company's Executive Board Chairman, Ishak Alaton, said, "We have experienced our first cooperative links with a foreign company, that is, with Carrier, the world's number one heating and cooling corporation." /Aksam/

    [20] COMPENSATION FOR TURKISH AIRLINES

    Turkish Airlines (THY) will receive compensation to the tune of $23,398,071 from the United Nations' Compensation Commission due to its economic losses during the Gulf Crisis. In a statement issued by Turkish Airlines to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, it was disclosed that exactly how to award the above-mentioned amount had not yet been determined. /Aksam/

    [21] FULL MARKS FOR ECONOMIC PROGRAMME

    Top-ranking bureaucrats within the Turkish economy have decided to organize promotional presentations in the important economic centres of the world in order to explain the current economic programme. The first meetings were held yesterday in Paris and London, and foreign investors were pleased with the programme presented. The Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp and the Chairman of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, informed foreign investors, who attended the meeting arranged by the International Finance Institute in London, about the Turkish economic programme. /Hurriyet/

    [22] 482 MILLION DOLLARS OF FOREIGN DEBTS PAID OFF

    Turkey repaid a total of $482.17 million of its foreign debts between 3rd and 26th January. According to Central Bank data, the Treasury gave 407.21 million dollars and the Central Bank supplied 43.45 million dollars for the repayments during the afore-mentioned period. The remaining 18.76 million dollars was paid off from sources such as shares and membership revenue and payments from the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Industry. /Sabah/

    [23] KARDEMIR COMPANY SIGNED AGREEMENTS WITH FIVE COMPANIES

    The Kardemir Company stated that it had signed an agreement document with five companies as part of the common cooperation accord concerning the Filyos Harbour Project, which will be implemented under the build-operate-transfer system as part of the concession pact. In the statement, the companies that signed the agreement were categorized as follows: Portaks Limited, Rolls-Royce Power Ventures Limited, Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, Skanska Bot Ab and Costain International. /Star/

    [24] SCHOOLS' WINTER HOLIDAY BEGINS

    About 12 million primary and middle schools students from 57,658 schools throughout Turkey are going to receive their report cards and begin a 16-day winter holiday. The second semester of the 1999-2000 education year will begin on Feb. 14th and end on June 16th. In the earthquake-hit region, education will continue only in Sakarya in order to compensate for the days lost. /Hurriyet/

    [25] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [26] ECEVIT IN DAVOS BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Hasan Cemal writes on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's attendance of the World Economic Forum in Davos. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The Prime Minister is in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum where he will explain the changes taking place in Turkey. This not only shows a change in Turkish policies but also in Ecevit's views as well. As for the alterations in Turkish policies, we can say that until 1980 Turkey was closed to the world and its economy was a 'statist' one. With the measures of '24 January' accepted in 1980, the Turkish economy started to open up to the world. This is the period when exports, foreign borrowing and foreign capital investment came to the fore.

    Davos is a platform which Ozal discovered in order to increase exports and provide foreign capital funding for Turkey. He attended the World Economic Forum as Prime Minister in 1984 and was the star of Davos for a few years, as he was talking about the market economy and privatization. At a time when the Berlin Wall was still standing, to talk about these issues at the temple of international capitalism brought Turkey into the limelight. However, this did not last long because Ozal then began to follow populist policies. Towards the end of the 1980s Turkey began to be viewed as an unstable state again. During this time many former Eastern Bloc countries surpassed Turkey and attracted extraordinary amounts of foreign funding and loans.

    After ten years, Turkey is being rediscovered at Davos as there is a change in the country. That which constricted the competitive structure of the economy from opening up to the world has been removed and the channels for the economy are being re-opened. Not only that. Structural reforms are being implemented. The agreement with the IMF and the EU candidacy are being debated. The PKK and terrorism are being eradicated. Turkey is being rediscovered and that is why Ecevit is in Davos.

    Ecevit is not the old Ecevit we know. He is leading a Government which meets the requirements of the market economy, open to the world. He knows the importance of foreign capital investment in the development of a country and, although he has some reservations on the issue, sees that globalization is inevitable. That is why he is in Davos today. He does not want to miss the train once more. He has concrete projects with him so as to attract foreign funds to Turkey.

    Davos is an ideal platform for this purpose...In fact Prime Minister Ecevit underlined that it was an important opportunity for Turkey on the train from Zurich to Davos. Over 2,000 statesman and businessmen and the representatives of the intelligentsia throughout the world are meeting in Davos today. Ecevit's presence at such a meeting and his explanation of the situation in Turkey is a milestone, the importance of which will be understood later. This gives the signal that Turkey is opening up to the world."

    [27] THROUGH THE EYE OF A FOREIGNER BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen views the recent incidents through the eyes of a foreigner. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "At a time when Turkey's relationship with the world has gained momentum, it is natural that all important events occurring within the country should be viewed carefully abroad. As an example we can say that the developments concerning the murders by the 'Hizbullah' are followed attentively in the West. The world is expressing various fluctuations in political trends while describing these incidents. Foreign diplomats are outlining a variety of arguments on how these could influence Ankara's relations with the West and the EU, if the political aspects of these events are widened.

    How will this dramatic incident really affect Turkey's foreign policy? Will it cast a shadow on Turkey's image? Will it delay the process of membership to the EU?

    Western diplomats view the Hizbullah as an example of "savage terrorism" and believe that the events uncovered in the last few days should not affect Turkey's foreign relations. An American diplomat has stated that this event had shown what great difficulties and issues Turkey was faced with, in addition to the importance of its strategic location... He went on to say that Turkey's friends should bear these in mind and show their understanding.

    Even though the brutality of Hizbullah has created a positive attitude towards Turkey in official circles in the West, it has also tarnished Turkey's image. We have to admit that the pictures reflected both in the newspapers and on TV screens are at odds with the image of Turkey as a stable and modern country. However, if it stays within these limits it will not lead to any difficulty or tremors in Turkey's foreign relations.

    The question is what, will happen if the incident gets bigger? There are concerns on two points, and they can be summed up thus: recently the Hizbullah affair seems to have slid onto a a political platform. The unfortunate speech delivered by the Chairman of the Virtue Party, Recai Kutan, and the harsh rebuke it received from the Turkish Armed Forces have opened a gap between the groups with different opinions. European diplomats remind us that the EU attaches great importance to the military staying out of the political scene and it expects Ankara to comply with this condition. Secondly, European diplomats are of the view that Turkey's foreign relations would suffer if the Virtue Party is closed. A Western analyst states, "The reason for closing the party may be valid legally for Turkey. However, such a decision from a political standpoint is not considered wise by the international community, especially when Turkey is passing important reforms within the country and taking dynamic steps abroad."


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