|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-13
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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
 US REPRESENTATIVES RECEIVE CAMPAIGN MONEY FOR SUPPORTING GENOCIDE BILL
 TGNA VOTES TO ELECT A SPEAKER BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)
 ECEVIT ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON CNNPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit attended CNN "Questions and Answers" anchored by Riz Khan on CNN yesterday. Mr. Ecevit said Turkey has been a European country for hundreds of years and has proved that Islam, modernity and secularism could coexist harmoniously in Turkey. Responding to a question about what steps would be taken regarding the issue of minorities and religious freedoms necessary for the full EU membership, Mr. Ecevit said, "Minorities enjoy the same rights as the other people. Kurds have intermingled with Turks. Some Kurds have been government ministers." Asked for Turkey's reaction to US House of Representatives approval of the Armenian genocide bill, Mr. Ecevit said, "Turkish people strongly reject this bill. Turks have not had any problems with the Armenians until now. Russia and some other states in particular incited the Armenians to rebel against the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, some measures had to be taken. This cannot be considered a genocide. Ottoman archives are open to general use and Armenian historians are free to study them. Hence, it will be revealed that there has not been a genocide as such." /Milliyet/
 ECEVIT'S STATEMENT ON THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit said he was concerned that bilateral relations between Turkey and the US would be damaged if the Armenian bill was passed in the House of Representatives. "We will continue protecting our nation's dignity," said Mr. Ecevit. Stating that the efforts of the US Administration to avoid such attempts against Turkey was appreciated by the nation, Mr. Ecevit evaluated the European Parliament's decision on excluding the allegations of the Armenian genocide from French Parliamentarian Phillippe Morillion's Turkey report as as positive development. /Cumhuriyet/
 REACTIONS TO THE ARMENIAN BILL CONTINUEDeputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz suggested that the allegations of the Armenian genocide be discussed in an independent council consisting of Turkish, Armenian and non-interested group of historians. "If they had scientific evidence, Armenians would apply to International Court of Justice. Their aim is to have their allegations, which distort the historical facts, approved by using the House elections," said Mr. Yilmaz. Warning the Armenian lobbies, he stated that Armenia would suffer the most if the bill was approved. Meanwhile, speaking at the "Universities in the New Millenium Conference" held in the Bogazici University, American Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs William B. Bader said, "As far as our historical relations with Turkey are concerned, I do not think that these latest developments over the Armenian bill are strong enough to damage our bilateral relations." The US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson said Turkey was one of the closest US allies added that the responsibilty of the Turkish and American politicians was to protect the close relationship between the two countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 US REPRESENTATIVES RECEIVE CAMPAIGN MONEY FOR SUPPORTING GENOCIDE BILLRepublican Representative of California James Rogan and his rival Democrat Adam Schiff received campaign money totaling $9.3 million, mostly from the Armenian lobby for the upcoming Nov.7 elections. A newspaper "Congress Daily" reported that two politicians have broken the "donation record" with Mr. Rogan collecting $5.7 million and Mr. Schiff $3.6 million. According to sources in the Congress, the paper reported, Mr. Rogan may lose his seat to Mr. Schiff in the elections and, therefore, is using approval of this bill to guarantee success in the elections. In Southern California, there are 30.000 Armenian voters within Mr. Rogan's constituency. Mr. Schiff and Mr. Rogan both promised to gain approval for the genocide bill. /Milliyet/
 AMBASSADOR ILKIN: "IT IS HARD TO BE OPTIMISTIC"During a press conference, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Baki Ilkin said that the so-called Armenian genocide bill might be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives next Tuesday. He added, "It is hard to be optimistic." The Ambassador said, "The members of the House of Representatives face two options: They can further their personal and party interests or Turco-American relations, i.e. the security interests of the US." Mr. Ilkin pointed out that in addition to President Clinton, Secretary of State Albright also met with the Speaker of the House and urged that the bill not be passed. /Turkiye/
 ELECTION FOR THE NEW PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKERDuring the two rounds of voting held yesterday at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), none of the eight candidates were able to obtain the 367 votes needed to be elected. The third round of the balloting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17, in which the candidate who obtains 276 votes will become the new Speaker of the Parliament. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY'S REACTION TO THE WINDS OF WAR IN THE MIDDLE EASTAn urgent meeting, chaired by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, was held in Ankara as Israeli combat helicopters fired rockets at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's residential compound in the Gaza Strip and a West Bank town yesterday. During the meeting in which Undersecretary Ambassador Faruk Logoglu, Deputy Undersecretary Ambassador Ugur Ziyal and other officials participated, the latest developments in the Middle East were discussed. The officials stated that Israel was to blame for the latest incidents which are causing serious damage to the peace process in the Middle East. It was also stated that the Tel Aviv Administration must stop the military operations. After the meeting, Israeli Ambassador Uri Bar-Ner, Palestinian Ambassador Fuad Yasin and the DCM of the American Embassy, James Jeffrey, were summoned to the Ministry. Meeting with Mr. Barner, Ambassador Ziyal repeated Turkey's concern over the developments and asked the Israeli Administration to stop its operations. Meanwhile, Turkey's Israeli Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu met with Israeli Foreign Minister Sholomo Ben Ami. After the meetings the Foreign Ministry issued a written statement: "We call on both parties to contemplate reasons and possible consequences of the violence. In order to alleviate the tension, we call on Israel to stop the operations. Our views on the developments were conveyed to the officials from the embassies of Israel, Palestine and the US. We give full support to all the efforts aimed at ending the incidents and maintaining peace in the region," said the statement. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer phoned the President of Egypt, Husnu Mubarek, the day before yesterday. Saying that they are following the developments with great concern, the two Presidents emphasized the need to restore calm in the region so that the latest developments would not damage the future of the peace process. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY WORRIES ABOUT THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDEASTRegarding the Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the Mideast, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "We were so hopeful about the peace process in the Mideast, however, instead of peace, war has begun. This is quite meaningless, as Israelis and Palestinians have to live side by side, within their separate states. For this reason, they have to understand each other and live in peace. Turkey is trying to contribute to a peaceful solution as much as it can." /Turkiye/
 TURKISH CONSUL GENERAL TO JERUSALEM CONFINED IN GAZATurkey's Consul General to Jerusalem, Huseyin Avni Bicakli, was confined in Gaza during his visit to the area to give Turkey's aid checque totalling a half million US dollars. His confinement coincided with the Israeli bombardement of Gaza. Shortly after Mr. Bicakli arrived in Gaza from Jerusalem, Israeli helicopters and tanks began raining down rockets on Palestine. Mr. Bicakli was to meet the Palestinian Minister of International Cooperation and Planning before delivering the aid checque. /Aksam/
 ERIS MEETS VERHEUGENEconomic Development Foundation (IKV) Chairman Meral Gezgin Eris met the European Union (EU) Commission's Responsible Member for Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, and exchanged information about the latest developments in the relations between Turkey and the EU. Mr. Eris said, "Mr. Verheugen is working carefully on the Partnership Cooperation Document, which is expected to be announced on 8 November by the EU Commission. Verheugen said that this document had to be successful and that any documents not adopted by Turkey would be meaningless." Mr. Verheugen mentioned that they were working hard to ensure that the Participation Cooperation Document would satisfy Ankara and the capitals of the EU member countries. Mr. Verheugen added, "If Turkey implements its political reforms more rapidly, it will speed up the process of Turkey's acceptance into the EU. We appreciate Turkey's economic performance and this will be noted in the Evaluation Report of the Participation Partnership Document." /Aksam/
 7 TURKISH COMPANIES RECEIVE AWARD7 Turkish companies were deemed worthy of 'New Millenium' awards during the 28th International Quality Competition in Spain. The competition, organized by the Trade Leaders' Club, selected 79 companies for the award from 14,000 participants in 120 countries. /Aksam/
 $63 MILLION TO BE RECEIVED BY EUROPEAN COUNCIL'S DEVELOPMENT BANKEuropean Council's Development Bank have approved $63 million for use in constructing houses in Kocaeli, Sakarya, Duzce, Bolu, Istanbul, Bursa and Eskisehir. These areas sustained damage in last year's earthquake. /Turkiye/
 TEXTILE AND CLOTHING EXPORTS INCREASETurkey's textile and ready-wear exports increased by 2.7 percent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 1999 and reached $7.6 billion. According to a report released by the Turkish Clothing Industrialists Association (TGSD), the ready-wear sector accounted for 28.5 percent of Turkey's total exports for the said period amounting to $5.7 billion. Textile exports accounted for 9.6 percent equalling $1.9 billion. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TGNA VOTES TO ELECT A SPEAKER BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek comments on the balloting in the TGNA to elect the new Speaker. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Votes will be cast on two important issues for Turkey: First is the election of a new Speaker to the TGNA (Turkish Grand National Assembly), second is the voting on the pro-Armenian resolution abroad. The election in Turkey reveals the contradictions among us.
The election of a new Speaker for the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) was viewed within the narrow limits of party relations. However, it is becoming apparent that the talks focused not on the character of the new Speaker, but from which party he should be elected. None of the five parties in the TGNA have the necessary majority to elect a Speaker. Even though the two largest parties in the Parliament, DSP (Democratic Left Party) and MHP (Nationalist Action Party) act together, they still need votes from other parties. The True Path Party(DYP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) both need full support of a large party. The possibility of electing a Speaker from the Virtue Party is almost none. Today everyone is trying to elect a Speaker out of this strange political structure.
Remembering the old days or taking lessons from the past seems to be forgotten today. Why don't our leaders, who do not like their past to be scrutinized, follow the examples of a 'gentlemen's agreement' for the election of the TGNA Speaker?
In 1962, none of the parties could form a Government by itself. However, two parties which were bitter rivals, the Republican Peoples Party(CHP) and the Justice Party (AP) as well as a third party, the New Turkey Party(YTP), agreed on a long-term solution for the election of the TGNA Speaker. It was decided to let the largest party have the right to announce a candidate for the office. At this time a real statesman, Ismet Inonu and the leaders of AP (who believed CHP to be instrumental in the execution of its former leaders following the 27 May Revolution) came to an understanding.
Today, however there is no general rule which could be applied to every election with regards to a gentleman's agreement coming to anyone's mind. Every party, except the Democratic Left Party (DSP) has a candidate for the office. All parties act on the hope that somehow the votes will be cast in their favour. Only now, there are rumours that MHP, which is an important partner in the Coalition, has asked that its candidate be supported. As there were no candidates from the DSP, this rumour is believed to be true. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in suggesting the Speaker be elected from MHP, affirmed his dedication to Coalition ethics as well as proving that there had been an agreement between the two parties."
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