|Sunday, 31 May 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-04-26
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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...
 SEZER'S STATEMENTPresidential candidate and Head of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, criticized the President's constitutional authority. Sezer pointed out that the President's authority surpasses the limits of parliamentary democracy and he wanted the Constitution to be reviewed. Sezer also wanted that a Constitution that has a love of freedom and is pluralist, reliable and participative should be formed and that this Constitution should create a better balance of duty and authority among the State's organs and put the principle of rule of law into practice. Sezer pointed out the importance of the rule of law and the independence of judgement in the speech that he delivered in honour of the 38th anniversary of the establishment of the Supreme Court. /Cumhuriyet/
 LEADERS' COMPROMISEThe leaders of five parties in Parliament agreed on Ahmet Necdet Sezer's presidential candidacy. The leaders, Bulent Ecevit, Devlet Bahceli, Mesut Yilmaz, Recai Kutan and Tansu Ciller met yesterday at 04:00 p.m. and signed the declaration, preparing the way for Sezer's candidacy, before the press. The first ballot will be carried out tomorrow. If none of the candidates obtain 367 votes, on May 1, the second tour of voting will be held. At the third tour, the nominee who gets 276 votes will be president. There are 13 candidates for the presidential race: Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Yildirim Akbulut, A. Oktay Guner, Rasim Zaimoglu, Ahmet Iyimaya, Nevzat Yalcintas, Vecdi Gonul, Oguz Aygun, Gonul Saray Alphan, Mail Buyukerman, Turhan Imamoglu and Sadi Somuncuoglu. /Turkiye/
 RISE IN IMKB INDEXThe parliament leaders' compromise on the presidential candidate has motivated the markets in Turkey. Yesterday, Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB)'s National 100-Index increased by 953 points and shares gained value by 5.61 percent in average. /Turkiye/
 IMF'S MEETINGThe International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Executive Directors will convene on Friday, April 28, to discuss the developments in the Turkish economy after the signing of the stand-by agreement on December 22 1999 and Turkey's commitments listed in the additional Letter of Intent. IMF's Deputy Chief, Stanley Fischer, is expected to lead to the meeting. /Milliyet/
 ANZAC DAYSome 10,000 people gathered at dawn yesterday on a beach on the Gallipoli peninsula to commemorate a World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Honour guards and military bands marched and the crowd held a minute of silence for the dead at Anzac Cove, named after the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers came ashore on the northern coast of the Turkish peninsula on April 25, 1915. "We shared the calamity of war", New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark told the crowd. "Things that happened here tied us together forever. We share the grief of our losses".
Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Turkish Forestry Minister Nami Cagan represented their nations before the thousands of mainly young people who made the annual pilgrimage to Gallipoli and camped on the beach. /All papers/
 38TH ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURTThe Head of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Luzius Wildhaber, stated that the courts did not have the duty and authority to correct the international courts' legal mistakes or to put its own decisions and evidentiary processes into practice. Wildhaber added that the courts would not be able to act like the court of appeal. During the same ceremony in which Wildhaber made his statements, a ceremony organized to honour the 38th anniversary of the establishment of the Constitutional Court, artists from the State Opera and Ballet Organization gave a small concert. Wildhaber spoke during this ceremony, saying, "According to the European Human Rights Declaration, the basic authority to preserve rights and freedoms belongs to the international authorities, particularly to the courts. If international problems cannot be solved, then the ECHR takes its part." ECHR's member from Turkey, Riza Turmen, also attended this ceremony. In addition, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Yildirim Akbulut, issued a message and stated that the Supreme Court had a very important role in protecting the basic characteristics of the Republic. /Cumhuriyet/
 GLOBAL DISASTER DATA PROCESSING NETWORK CONFERENCE'Global Disaster Data Processing Network' Conference, which will be attended by representives from 41 countries and the disaster administratives from the United Nations, will be held today at 09:00 a.m. at the Middle East Technical University's (METU) Culture and Congress Centre. One of the aims of the conference is to ensure a fund for the network that is to be established and this conference will come to an end on 28 April. The Head of the METU's Center of Disaster Administration, Research and Implementation Department, Prof. Polat Gurkan, stated that the aim of the network to be established is to announce the first information concerning disasters and to decrease the humanitarian and material losses that result from the disaster. /Cumhuriyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY WARNS ISRAELThe change in the stance of Israel, which has been silent over the allegations of the so-called Armenian genocide caused reactions in Turkey. Following the participation of the Israeli Education Minister in the demonstrations for the anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide, Justice Minister Beilin stated that the incidents could only be described as genocide. He said, "More than 1.5 million were destroyed. This is not due to negligence, but was done deliberately". The Israeli Charge d'Affairs to Ankara Moshe Kamhi was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday and warned. Meanwhile, Greece condemned certain demonstrations in which Armenians burned the Turkish flag. /Star/
 DEMONSTRATIONS FOR SO-CALLED GENOCIDETurkey reacted against the fact that a group of Armenians burned a Turkish flag in front of the Turkish Embassy in Athens, citing the so-called Armenian genocide as a reason. According to information received by the diplomatic sources, the Charge d'Affairs of the Greek Embassy in Ankara, Danae Kumanaku, was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday morning. Kumanaku was informed about Ankara's sadness concerning the issue and the Greek government was requested to take the necessary precautions so that similar incidents will not occur again. /Cumhuriyet/
 CLINTON'S MESSAGEAmerican President Bill Clinton issued a message on April 24, to mark the anniversary of the so-called Armenian Genocide. Clinton didn't used the word genocide as he did in previous years, however, he did mention about the slaughter and forced immigration which Armenians encountered. In his message, President Clinton said, "I share the grief of Armenians". He also praised the Armenians' contributions in American society. /Milliyet/
 STANDARD AND POOR'S INCREASES TURKEY'S CREDIT RATEThe International credit rating institution, Standard and Poor's, raised Turkey's long-term credit rate in foreign exchange from 'B' to 'B+'. The institution has confirmed Turkey's short-term credit rate in foreign exchange as 'B'. Turkey's credit rate in TL was also raised from 'B' to 'B+'. The institution said that Turkey's credit rate would also be increased once again within one-two years' time. Another credit rating institution, Moody's will also increase Turkey's credit rate in the near future. /Star/
 TALKS OVER BAKU-CEYHAN AGREEMENT TEXT COMPLETEDDiscussions between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia over the text of the agreement concerning the implementation of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline that will carry Caspian oil to Western markets are over, said a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to the Anatolia News Agency. According to the same official, the parties have almost reached a consensus on the transit fee to be paid to Georgia as the country through which it will pass.
Noting that there is no problem from Turkey's point of view in the implementation phase of the Baku-Ceyhan project, the ministry official said that the ongoing talks were between Goergia and Azerbaijan and concerned Georgia's responsibilities, such as the establishment of an insurance mechanism. The talks between the two countries are due to end by mid-May at the latest ansd the agreements are expected to be brought to the Parliaments of the countries concerned for approval, stated Ministry official. Meanwhile, Turkey is waiting for a move from Turkmenistan to speed up the implementation of the trans-Caspian natural gas project, which envisages the establishment of an underwater pipeline to carry Turkmen natural gas to Turkey, through Georgia and Azerbaijan and from Turkey to European markets.
 BAKU-CEYHAN DELEGATION IN WASHINGTONWashington is to be the scene of discussions between the political and financial masters of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project over the next few days. The Turkish Foreign Ministry's Mithat Balkan, Deputy Undersecteray, and Naci Saribas, left for Washington on Tuesday to meet with John Wolf, Advisor to the President and Secretary of State for Caspian basin energy diplomacy and also Georgian and Azerbaijani officials. /Turkish Daily News/
 TURKEY TO RID SIX ZEROES FROM LIRA IN 2001Head of the Central Bank, Gazi Ercel, said that six zeroes will be knocked off the Turkish Lira at the beginning of 2001. Ercel made a speech in the Central Bank's 68th Shareholders' Regular Convention in Ankara yesterday. The bank also made public its annual report for 1999. "As the monetary authority in Turkey, the Central Bank is considering removing six zeroes from the national currency. We will eliminate one of the greatest traits of high inflation in our economy i.e., bank notes with many zeroes. Our technical preparations are almost completed".
Ercel declared this decision as 'going back to the Kurus era'. In response to journalists' questions, he said, "When we eliminate the six zeroes and reduce the inflation rate, TL 1 will be the equivalent to $2 or Euro 2, and if you consider inflation targets for the future, it will be equal to $1 and Euro 1 in five years and the Kurus age will open". /All papers/
 TURKISH CONGLOMERATES AMONG 800 LARGESTThree Turkish business groups were ranked in Forbes Magazine's list of the 800 largest firms in the world, excluding US firms, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Turkey's largest conglomerates Koc and Sabanci, groups were ranked 338th and 446th respectively, while state-run oil refinery Tupras was listed as 714th. /All papers/
 GOVERNMENT TO REVAMP FOREIGN CAPITAL LAWThe government is preparing a new foreign capital law to replace the existing one numbered 6224, State Minister responsible for the Treasury, Recep Onal, announced yesterday. The new law will grant foreign investors opportunities that match those allowed for domestic investment, thereby easing and encouraging foreign investment in the country, Onal announced in a press conference yesterday.
Onal further noted that a bill granting full autonomy to agricultural sales cooperatives, a structural benchmark for IMF review, would likely clear the parliamentary Industry Commission on Thursday. "That is enough for the IMF", he added. Onal also gave information on contacts he made in the US during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank and he stated that all the necessary arrangements, which were envisaged in the stand-by agreement, would be made. /All papers/
 TURKTAN: "WE WISH SUCCESS TO OUR RIVALS"The General Director of the Turkcell, Turkey's leading GSM operator, Cuneyt Turktan, said that new operators would positively affect the GSM market and added that in a more competitive atmosphere, more opportunities would be available for the customers. He stated that the aim of Turkcell was to enlarge its market and present better quality products in the best conditions. He pointed out that total investments made by Turkcell amounted to $1 billion last year. /Aksam/
 AYTEKIN VISITS USMinister of the Environment Fevzi Aytekin went to the US yesterday to take part in the 'UN Sustainable Development Commission 8th Term-Meeting' congress. Aytekin held a press conference at Ataturk Airport before leaving, and announced that sustainable agriculture, integrated planning and management for land resources, trade and the environment, financial resources, investment and economic development issues would be discussed at the congress. /Turkish Daily News/
 CHAD PRESIDENT COMES TO TURKEYChad's President Idris Deby is to come to Turkey as the guest of President Suleyman Demirel on April 27-20. The Foreign Ministry stated that Deby would have meetings to help develop Turkey's policy of opening up to Africa. Regional relations will also be discussed during the visit. Deby will go to Istanbul from Ankara, where he will visit historical and touristic sites. This visit will be the first from Chad at presidential level. /Turkish Daily News/
 BLACK SEA AND DANUBE COMMISSION CONVENESThe Black Sea and Danube Commission will convene a meeting over April 27-28 to discuss the polluting effects of the Danube on the Black Sea. The commission, which is the executive body for the Black Sea Anti-Pollution Agreement, signed by all six countries with Black Sea coastlines including Turkey, will reportedly discuss forming a permanent secretariat in Istanbul. /Turkish Daily News/
 SANKO TO GO PUBLICLeading textiles manufacturer Sanko Holding's marketing subsidiary Sanko Pazarlama plans to go public, Sanko Holding Chairman Abdulkadir Konukoglu said. Sanko Holding, based in Gaziantep, plans to invest $1 billion in its plants in the future. The plant has an annual production capacity of 225,000 tons. Konukoglu predicted that the outlook of the textile sector would improve in the second half of the year. /All papers/
 SOUTHERN, EASTERN NEIGHBOURS NEW FOCUS IN FOREIGN TRADEThe government's foreign trade policy is slowly shifting its short-term focus to Turkey's southern neighbours, with which trade volume has remained low due to a UN embargo on Iraq and strained relations with Iran and Syria. A trade delegation of 100 Turkish businessmen, headed by State Minister Recep Onal, will visit Damascus for the first official Syrian and Turkish business meeting between May 7 and 12. The contract with Syria will be followed by a similar move directed at Iran, which will play host to a Turkish business delegation between May 27 and June 1. The Anatolia News Agency spoke to the southeastern business community, who are desperately trying to increase trade volume with their southern neighbours Iraq, Iran and Syria.
 MANAVGAT PEACE WATER TO INCREASE WATER EXPORTSState Waterworks Authroity Chairman Dogan Altinbilek gave a briefing on the progress of the Manavgat Peace Water Project, foreseeing the export of water to the Middle East, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Altinbilek said that the Manavgat Peace Water Project was an important one, that exporting water to the Middle East region was possible and that by 2010 and 2020, most of the rivers flowing to the seas would be utilized. Recalling that the project system was ready, Altinbilek said that Jordan and Israel were interested in the project.
 HALIL MUTLU'S WORLD RECORDTurkish weight-lifter Halil Mutlu broke one more world record with his 166.5-kilo lift in clean and jerk at the 79th European Adults Championship in Bulgaria. Halil Mutlu, competing in the 56 kilo weight class, won three gold medals in snatch, clean and jerk and total categories with 135, 166.5, and 300 kilos respectively. In the meantime, Naim Suleymanoglu will compete today in the 63 kilo weight class in Sofia after four years. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WE DO NOT WANT NEW CRISES BY KENAN AKIN (TURKIYE)Kenan Akin is a columnist at the daily 'Turkiye' newspaper and in his article he comments on the latest developments in the Presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The fact that a consensus was reached on the presidential candidacy of the Head of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, during the leaders' summit, was welcomed by the public. An indecisiveness that was likely to cause a governmental crisis seems to have been be overcomed for the present. In addition, the fact that the 110 signatures necessary for Sezer's candidacy were collected in a short period of time and the fact of the opposition party's support show that the presidential election is being dealt with satisfactorily.
However, one cannot help suspecting that a last-minute change can occur because it is known that the same Turkish Grand National Assemly (TGNA) pretended not to see the signatures that were signed for Demirel's re-election as a President. However, we do not think that the Head of the Constitutional Court, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, will face a surprise in spite of the negative reactions and poor examples that occurred in the past.
It seems possible that Sezer will collect enough votes during the first round of votes that will be held tomorrow. Thus, Cankaya Presidential Palace will gain a jurist. I also wish to mention the bold and interesting speech that Sezer delivered yesterday. Above everything, there are some elements that will cause disputes concerning him because of the 'radical' speech that he issued in the morning of the day in which his presidential candidacy was announced. The speech spurred discussions regarding how Sezer, who put forward extraordinary opinions on the President's duty and authority, will act at the Cankaya Presidential Palace if he becomes the President.
Obviously Turkey needs an environment in which the law is dominant. However, we cannot help being wary of the formation of bureaucratic obstacles and legal interperations in the necessary process of change and arrangement. In spite of all suspicions, we hope that the steps that are taken will benefit democracy and we also want to remind everyone of the fact that Turkey cannot be tolerant of new instabilities and crises."
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