|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-05-24
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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
 PRIVATIZATION ADMINISTRATION BOARD TO GIVE 3 BILLION DOLLARS TO THE IMF
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 AKBULUT REACTS TO GREEK CLAIMSParliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut went to Egypt yesterday to attend the second European and Mediterranean Parliament Speakers' Conference, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Representatives from 23 countries, including 14 parliament speakers, are attending the conference. Seminars entitled "Peace and Security in the Region" and "Combatting Terrorism and Organized Crime" will be held.
Akbulut met Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ahmed Fati Sorour and discussed Turkey's and Egypt's bilateral relations and regional concerns. Akbulut reacted strongly to Greek Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis and southern Cyprus representative Nikos Anastasiades' claims that Cyprus had been invaded by Turkey and human rights were violated in that region. Following these claims, Akbulut changed his speech text, and pointing to the claims that said in order to reach a solution to the problems betwen Turkey and Greece, indirect talks were being held. Akbulut stated that Cyprus was not under military occupation, but that Turkey brought peace to the Island and everybody was living in peace. /All papers/
 TURKISH JETS BEGIN AEGEAN FLIGHTS IN NATO WAR GAMESTurkish jet fighters began flying over the Aegean Sea yesterday as part of a NATO exercise which also puts Turkish troops on Greek soil for the first time. Hailed as a great step in mending ties between Turkey and Greece, the Dynamic Mix exercise could backfire if Turkish planes refuse to submit to flight plans when flying over the Aegean, Greek Foreign Ministry officials said. "We are watching with great interest" one official said.
Seen as a test case for efforts to make the two NATO allies cooperate in military manoeuvres, the exercise also foresees for the first time the landing of about 150 Turkish commandos on a beach in the Greek town of Kyparissia on June 1. A dozen Turkish jets will land on a military base in Anhialos in central Greece a day later. /All papers/
 NATO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING STARTSAs the NATO Council of Ministers meeting starts in the Italian city of Florence today, Turkey's concerns over European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) continue. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem flew to Italy yesterday to participate in the meeting. Cem is also expected to bring up Turkey's concerns over ESDI. Turkey has voiced its desire to take part in the full process of ESDI, including the preparation and decision-making process. Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said at Western European Union meetings in Portugal that ESDI could not be considered without Turkey. /All papers/
 SEZER, ECEVIT INVITE RUSSIAN COUNTERPARTS TO VISIT TURKEYForeign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu conveyed President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's messages to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mihail Kasyanov respectively, inviting them to visit Turkey. Within the framework of bilateral political consultation meetings, Logoglu met Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Foreign Minister First Assistant Alexander Aydeyev on Monday. The meetings were evaluated as "constructive" by the Russian side. The Turkish delegation attending the talks said that Sezer's invitation to Putin was made as a courtesy gesture in return for Putin's message sent to Sezer following the latter's election as President. /All papers/
 BAHCELI WARNS PUTINDeputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli voiced his concerns about recent developments in Russia without mentioning the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin at his party's group meeting in Parliament yesterday. "It is not possible to maintain peace and cooperation with the expansionist policies and intentions which can be viewed as an effort to revive the spirit of the Soviet Union" Bahceli said. He stated that it was not possible for Turkey to accept efforts aiming to destabilize the Caucasus and Central Asia. /All papers/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY STILL HOPEFUL ON TURKMEN GAS DEALDespite Russian President Vladimir Putin's deal with the Turkmen President Saparmurad Turkmenbasi over the sale of Turkmen natural gas to Russia, Foreign Ministry officials say that they have no worries that the Trans-Caspian Pipeline Project (TCPP) will not be realized. Stressing that Putin and Turkmenbasi have not signed any document that would bind the Turkmen side, Turkish diplomats say that there has been no agreement, no discussion of fees and nothing concrete on how the project would be achieved. /All papers/
 IRAN TAKES A BACKWARD STEPWhen its role in the murder of Ugur Mumcu was uncovered, Iran limited the activities against Turkey a great deal. When Iran's role in the murder of Ugur Mumcu and Ahmet Taner Kislali was investigated and, thus, when it became evident that Iran supported the fundementalist organizations, Iran took a series of temporary precautions as it became wary of the reaction of Turkey and international public opinion. Iran decreased its support to the terrorist organization PKK to a minimum level and forbid the exit of the Hizbullah members abroad. /Aksam/
 TGNA IS PREPARING FOR A RECESSThe Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), which has been working very hard since October, is preparing for going a 1 July recess. However, a disagreement occurred when the parties in power came out against the opposition parties' suggestion of work at the Advisory Council. The opposition parties suggested, "Put forward the laws that you want to be discussed by July and prepare a timetable. Then we will support it if we consider them to be convenient and then we can go on a holiday." Thus, the government will prepare a timetable today and bring that to the Advisory Council that will meet today. If the agreement will be reached, then the TGNA will have a break on 1 July. /Aksam/
 AEGEAN ARMY TO NOT BE ABOLISHEDThe General Staff stated that it was out of the question that the Aegean Army will be abolished. The former Commander of the Naval Forces, retired Admiral Guven Erkaya prepared a report, which included the suggestion that the Aegean Army be abolished and in which it was also suggested that General Huseyin Kivrikoglu welcomed this idea, was denied by the General Staff. In a written statement issued by the General Staff, it is stated that General Kivrikoglu has never exchanged any opinion concerning the abolishment of the Aegean Army and that he had neither hinted at nor made comments that will support this interpretation. In the report, it was stated, "The news and interpretations that take place in the mass-media concerning the Aegean Army reflect the authors' own thoughts and evaluations." /Aksam/
 MINISTER BAL TAKES HIS OFFICEFaruk Bal, who was appointed to the duty of State Ministry that was vacated by Sadi Somuncuoglu, took his office. State Minister Faruk Bal issued a statement at his office and said that he began to work in a compromising and forward-looking manner after the 57th government was established. Bal added that he would be briefed by the establishments that are attached to him and that he would contribute to the activities of the Ministry with his compromising and forward-looking manner. /Cumhuriyet/
 OPERATION AGAINST THE PKKA comprehensive operation against the PKK terrorist organization in Hakkari early yesterday morning, was set in place. It was stated that 10 terrorists were killed during these operations. The units including nearly 1,000 soldiers, under the control and dispatch of the Brigade Commander of Hakkari's Mountain and Commando Soldiers, Brigadier General Alaettin Parmaksiz, was moved to the Cukurca border. In addition, 2,000 soldiers, under the direction of Yuksekova's 21st Gendermarine Division Commander, Major General Bekir Sitki Ozdegirmenci, occupied the Semdinli region of the border. Thus, six separate shelters were captured, which were then removed. In these shelters, 8,200 kg of narcotics, eight weapons, nine rifles, many bullets and many fake Iraqi dinars were seized. /Cumhuriyet/
 CLASH BETWEEN KDP AND PKKIt was revealed that the target of the PKK, whose presence in Northern Iraq has decreased, was now the settlement established by the Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) under the leadership of Mesut Barzani. The sources of the KDP stated that the PKK groups, comprising 10 or 15 people, did not keep their promises and had attacked the settlements that were established by the KDP on the border. The same sources further stated that the PKK militants also had attacked the technical personnel, who work on the construction of roads that lead to the new settlements, and the road construction machines. /Milliyet/
 AGCA AWAITING JULY 9 PARDONWhile the Christian world is preparing for year 2000 Jubilee celebrations, Italian media claimed that on July 9, Pope John Paul II could call for a pardon for terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca. Agca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1981. The church traditionally considers possible pardons for prisoners on this day, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 AGREEMENT IN ENERGYThe World Bank's Director in Turkey, Ajay Chhibber, said that meetings which have been taking place concerning the energy sector between Turkey and the World Bank have been finalized. Chhibber stated that they had reached an agreement by considering Turkey's needs in the energy sector and added, "We have declared that we reached an agreement on energy by approving the economic reform loan (ERL). The most important thing is the implementation of the agreement. With the agreement, the Treasury will extend guarantees to all energy projects". /Turkiye/
 COTTARELLI'S VISITSThe Head of the IMF-Turkey Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, visited the Banking Supervisory Council yesterday. Cottarelli pointed out that they wanted to receive information by visiting the Council, which is such an important institution with regards to banking. /Cumhuriyet/
 EXIMBANK BREAKS RECORDEximbank received the highest syndication loan that it has received from the financial markets abroad up to now. The loan amounting to 160 million dollars with a one-year term will be used for the financing of the export. The consortium, which arranged this loan, consisted of 41 banks from 17 countries, led by ABN Amro Bank N.V., The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale, Commerzbank, Natexis Banque and WestLB. In addition, the interest rate of this syndication loan is 1.10%. /Aksam/
 PRIVATIZATION ADMINISTRATION BOARD TO GIVE 3 BILLION DOLLARS TO THE IMFChairman of the Privatization Administration Board, Ugur Bayar, stated that they had told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials, who visited them, that they would give them 3.1 billion dollars for privatization. Ugur Bayar said that the regulations concerning the block sale of Turk Telecom's share of 20% had come to an end. Bayar added that Turk Telecom's Independent Bidding Commission was continuing its work on the bidding of Turk Telecom. /Aksam/
 SOURCE OF 150 MILLION DOLLARS FROM IKTISAT BANKIktisat Bank performed securitization to the international markets amounting to 150 million Euros with a five-year term depending on the export assets. This long-term source, which was obtained from exports led by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and the Italian Banca IMI, will be used in Iktisat Bank's loans with the aim of export financing. Upon the strong request of the investors, the amount of the export, which started with 100 million Euros, was increased to 150 million Euros. /Aksam/
 CISCO SYSTEM COMPANY PRAISES TURKEYCisco System, which is one of the biggest internet and computer companies in the world, described the speed of internet availability in Turkey as 'incredible.' Cisco System's Director to the Near and Middle East Region, Reza Mahdavi, stated that the background of the internet was growing by 35-45% annually in the world but that this rate in the Near and Middle East was 75% and nearly 60% in Europe. The General Director of Cisco Systems, Suat Baysan, stated that the serious work has been performing in Turkey with regards to the internet and that the WAP system began to be practised in Turkey simultaneously with the world. Baysan added that the number of the internet users would increase in Turkey thanks to the WAP system. /Aksam/
 MORTGAGE COMPANY IS READYThe company that will practice the mortgage system in Turkey, which is a finance system that will ensure having a house by paying in the long-term just like paying rent, was determined. The Real Estate Finance Service (GSF) Company, which was established by the initiative of two companies, that is, an American investor and enterprising company, Victor Politics and Turel and Turel Real Estate Advisory Company, will be in strategic cooperation with Turkport, which is one of the initiatives of Medya Holding Company. The information on the real estate sector and its practice will be issued on the first web site opened on Turkport. /Sabah/
 WORLD TRADE CENTRE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA PROJECTThe World Trade Centre will be established in Sanliurfa with the cooperation of Istanbul's Chamber of Commerce, Dogu Holding Company, the Office of Sanliurfa Governor and Sanliurfa's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Governor of Sanliurfa, Sahabettin Harput, made an explanation concerning this trade centre, which will be built near the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Region's international airport, and said that the administers of Dogu Holding Company had brought the suggestion to them concerning the issue. Harput added that they had accepted this suggestion with pleasure and that they had started to hold meetings with them immediately. /Sabah/
 TURKEY TO BUILD SHIP FOR CUBAThe Minister of State responsible for maritime affairs, Ramazan Mirzaoglu and Cuba's fishing and maritime trade minister, Orlando Rodriquez, signed a goodwill protocol yesterday in the Ciragan Palace, Istanbul for the 13 ships planned to be built in Turkey for Cuba, the Anatolia News Agency reports. After the signing ceremony, Mirzaoglu held a press conference and said that in order to trade and achieve maritime cooperation with Cuba, a committee of Turkish shipping industrialists and state officials would visit Cuba in the near future. /All papers/
 TETRA PAK TO ENTER TURKISH PLASTIC PACKAGING SECTORLeading Swedish food packager Tetra Pak plans to expand its operations in Turkey by entering the plastic packaging sector, Tetra Pak Turkey General Manager Jan Hildingstam told a news conference in Istanbul yesterday. Tetra Pak has been producing cardboard packaging for pasteurized milk and other food products in Tuyrkey for 14 years. The Company is now planning to supply PET manufacturing equipment, Hildingstam said. Tetra Pak increased its business volume in Turkey by 15 % in 1999 as compared to the previous year, and sales to $90 million. /All papers/
 BAYINDIR OPENS A BANK IN MOLDOVAThe Bayindir Holding will open a branch in Moldova. A statement made on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the establishment of the Bank Turco Romana (BTR) based in Bucharest said that the new bank called BTR Moldova would be opened today. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH SOFTWARE MAKER RECEIVES MICROSOFT LOGOTurkish software company Logo Business Solutions (LBS) earned a Microsoft Backoffice logo for Gold Open 5, its software solution for enterprise resource planning (ERP), the company said yesterday. Gold Open 5 has been tested and its capabilities confirmed at US Microsoft test centre Veritest. /All papers/
 TURKEY'S HAZELNUT EXPORTS REACH $607. 5 MILLIONTurkey exported $607.5 million worth of hazelnuts -174,000 tons- in the 1999-2000 export season that opened on September 1, according to the Black Sea Hazelnut Exporters' Union. Over the same period last year Turkey raised $633.3 million from 154,200 tons of hazelnut exports. /Turkish Daily News/
 FOUR AWARDS FROM IPRA TO TURKEYThe winners of the 'Golden World Awards', traditionally organized by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) every year since 1990 have been decided. Four projects from Turkey have received Golden World Award and mansions. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH DOCTOR'S SUCCESSThe 'Aptosyn' medicine developed by Turkish scientist Dr.Rifat Pamukcu to treat the intestine and prostate cancer at the Cell Pathway firm laboratory in Cleveland, the US, has been viewed as an achievement by the American Gastrointerological Union's General Council. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 CLOUDS OVER THE TRANS-CASPIAN BY SABAHATTIN ONKIBAR (TURKIYE)Columnist Sabahattin Onkibar comments on the recent developments concerning the Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline project. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Russian Head of State Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkmenistan and the agreement reached between the two states is of great significance. According to the agreement signed by Putin and Turkmenbasi Niyazov, Turkmenistan will increase the amount of gas it will sell to Russia by 10 billion cubic metres every year and by the year 2002 this amount will reach 40 billion cubic metres. This has been interpreted as the cancellation of the Trans-Caspian Pipeline project. The only consolation may be that the Putin-Niyazov accord is not final. Russian and Turkmen Heads of State who could not agree on the price, announced the agreement without determining a price.
The stance taken by Turkmenistan Head of State is not surprising and the reasons he may wish to establish closer to Putin are more multiple. Niyazov is disturbed by the 'Blue Stream' project and he wanted guarantees from the US. However, the US did not give such guarantee. Another reason is that Turkmenistan has to sell this gas. As the country is in need of quick cash, Niyazov, taking into consideration the already existing pipeline, chose to make an agreement with Russia instead of Trans-Caspian pipeline which only exists on paper, to get money quickly.
It is also known that Russia regards Turmenistan as its own backyard. Turkmenistan Head of State did not want to defy a regional power with which they had shared relations for 75 years. Such a defiance may have resulted in civil unrest.
Certainly, the agreement signed with Putin is not final. The disagreement over prices is important. With this stance, Turkmenistan Head of State not only did whad he had to do but also seriously warned Turkey and the US and invited both countries to transform abstract notions into concrete actions.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer, on the other hand states that there is an intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Turkmenistan.The problem in the construction of the pipelines erupted from the disagreement between a consortium Turkmenistan agreed with. However, it is certain that there is an important problem at hand. The Government has to take up this matter in no time. In fact another development which will influence the future of Trans-Caspian is the the policy US will follow.
The summit between US President Clinton and the Russian Head of State Putin will shed light on the future of this project. If the US does not take any responsibility the energy strategies and policies concerning Eurasia and Caucasia will be seriously wounded. In other words, the US will leave to Russia the region it has shown an interest in for 10 years ago.
 DISCUSSION OVER THE WEU BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on Turkey's membership to the ESDI and gives voice to arguments for and against it. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Chief of General Staff General Huseyin Kivrikoglu stated his views opposing Turkey's exclusion from the European Security and Defence Identity. He added that such an implementation could not be accepted as it would have adverse affects on the EU's relations with Central Asia and the Middle East.
At the same time we viewed General Kivrioglu's statement, a speech delivered by the UK Ambassador to Ankara, Sir David Logan, was sent to the newspaper. On the subject of defence he briefly stated that the expansion of the EU, in which Turkey will participate when it fulfills the criteria required will affect the character of the Union significantly. Howver, the EU has certain influence over Turkey even now. One area of influence is through the European Defence. The European defence concept is not exclusive but inclusive. Most of the EU members are NATO members. Therefore, during the planning stage of European defence operations it is reasonable to utilize NATO's capabilities. For such an action the consent of the member countries of NATO is necessary. If the EU decides to take action, the participation of countries which are not members of the EU such as Turkey will be welcome. European allies which are not members of NATO can participate in the shaping of decisions and operations. In fact Turkey has expressed its willingness to contribute to this goal.
However, a contradiction is sensed in these statements. General Kivrikoglu stated that Turkey's exclusion from the decision-making mechanisms is not acceptable , Ambassador Logan said that Turkey was eager to send troops to the union to be formed even now. It is also clear between the lines of Ambassador Logan's speech that Turkey cannot be included in decision-making mechanisms.
The view seen from Turkey is that the burden will be ours but the benefits and credit will be received by the EU. However, if Ankara accepts this situation as it is today, and if the EU decides to intervene in a region against Turkish interests, what will Turkey do? It is not possible to say that the country will not participate in such an action at that time. It should be underlined that Turkey is the only EU candidate country which is already a member of NATO. Therefore, it has a great significance and privilege. These issues should be brought to the table."
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