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Turkish Press Review, 01-01-04

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

04.01.01

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] COALITION PARTY LEADERS' SUMMIT
  • [03] MINISTERS' SUMMIT
  • [04] ECEVIT: "THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR OF TURKEY"
  • [05] SUICIDE ATTACK IN ISTANBUL
  • [06] LOWEST INFLATION RATE IN LAST 14 YEARS
  • [07] SEZER BRIEFED ON "DEATH FASTS"
  • [08] DRAFT NATIONAL PROGRAM IS READY
  • [09] ANKARA'S FOREIGN RELATIONS CONCERN
  • [10] GREEK-CYPRIOTS' PLOY
  • [11] FOREIGN MINISTRY DRAWS ATTENTION TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
  • [12] REPORT: "TURKEY CONDUCTS HEALTH CHECKS ON KOSOVO TROOPS"
  • [13] ALBRIGHT PHONES CEM
  • [14] SEARCH CONTINUES FOR SHIPWRECK SURVIVORS
  • [15] TREASURY RELUCTANT IN HIGHER INTEREST RATES FOR BOND BIDDINGS
  • [16] ONLY DPT APPROVES PROJECTS TO RECEIVE FOREIGN CREDIT
  • [17] RUSSIA WINS TENDER FOR HELICOPTER AMBULANCE
  • [18] AUTOMOTIVE EXPORTS INCREASE
  • [19] EXHIBITION OF EXLIBRIS IN ISTANBUL
  • [20] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [21] EUROPEAN LAW BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] COALITION PARTY LEADERS' SUMMIT

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahceli, Mesut Yilmaz, Husamettin Ozkan, State Ministers Tunca Toskay, Recep Onal, Minister of Finance Sumer Oral and the economy bureaucrats held an economy summit yesterday. The arrangements that should be made following the fluctuation in the financial markets within the framework of the program implemented with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the policy of borrowing were discussed. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced the decisions to make the financial works more intensive. After the summit, it was stated that it was decided to "continue to take measures to strengthen the financial structure of the banks, accelerate the improvement of the public banks, implement the solutions concerning the banks within the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund'. In the statement, it was added, "There should be no doubt that during the second year of the program, our government will do its best to implement it without any concession." /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] MINISTERS' SUMMIT

    Following the transfer of inmates to F-type prisons, the State Minister Faruk Bal, the Minister of Justice Hikmet Sami Turk and the Minister of Interior Affairs Sadettin Tantan met yesterday aiming at finding solutions to the problems in prisons and making some legal revisions. After a 3.5-hour meeting, Minister Turk said they discussed five bills prepared by the Ministry of Justice. He also called on inmates who are on death fasts to desist from their activities and emphasized that health teams are ready to help when needed. /Turkiye/

    [04] ECEVIT: "THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR OF TURKEY"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit evaluated the economic and political developments in the year 2000. Addressing parliamentarians at the Democratic Left Party (DSP)'s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Ecevit said in 2000, the 57th government solved certain problems with determination and they will also continue to work in harmony with their coalition partners in 2001. Regarding Turkey-EU relations, Ecevit said that the issues would be solved without any concessions and emphasized that Turkey would continue its determination on the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI). The Premier added, "We are strong enough to overcome all problems. That's why there are some who fear or are afraid of us. However, there is no need to it. As we have never harmed humanity." /Turkiye/

    [05] SUICIDE ATTACK IN ISTANBUL

    A suicide attack was organized against the Sisli Directorate of Security by Gultekin Koc, who was believed to be a member of illegal organization DHKP-C. A police officer at Sisli Sub-Governmental Directorate of Security, Naci Canan Tuncer and Gultekin Koc died during the explosion that occurred on the fourth flour of the building. In addition, seven people including four police officers were injured during the incident. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] LOWEST INFLATION RATE IN LAST 14 YEARS

    Inflation rate in 2000 declined to 32.7 % in wholesale price index (WPI) and to 39 % in consumer price index (CPI). The prices in December increased by 1.9 % in WPI and 2.5 % in CPI compared to November. /Milliyet/

    [07] SEZER BRIEFED ON "DEATH FASTS"

    A member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Human Rights Investigation Commission, Mehmet Bekaroglu, Chairman of the Istanbul Bar, Yucel Sayman and Union of the Turkish Physicians' Deputy Chairman Metin Bakkalci visited President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday. During the meeting, the President was briefed on the current situation of more than 300 prisoners on dead fasts in various prisons. /Turkiye/

    [08] DRAFT NATIONAL PROGRAM IS READY

    Turkish authorities prepared the draft National Program following the EU's declaration of the Accession Partnership Document regarding Turkey. Reportedly, the draft program consists of 29 sections and 800 pages. The program prepared by the Turkish Secretariat General for the European Union, is expected to be presented to the leaders of the coalition government next week. After its ratification, the program will be presented to the European Commission at the end of January. /Turkiye/

    [09] ANKARA'S FOREIGN RELATIONS CONCERN

    Turkey expects to have active days in the foreign policy this year as well. It was stated that Ankara was continuing its initiatives so that the claims concerning the so-called Armenian genocide will not be brought on the agenda in the new administration of the US. During the weekly press conference, Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Huseyin Dirioz evaluated the news that the Armenian lobby in the US will resume its initiatives to bring the so-called Armenian genocide on the agenda again. Dirioz said, "We are continuing our initiatives concerning the issue. Relations between Turkey and the US are improving day by day and we expect this positive development to continue." Ankara will have an intensive traffic in terms of foreign policy in January. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Jiaxuan Tang will arrive in Turkey this weekend and then the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Hungary will visit Ankara. Meanwhile, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem will visit the Islamic countries in January. Cem will visit Sudan on 9 January. He is also expected to visit Libya and Pakistan. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] GREEK-CYPRIOTS' PLOY

    The Greek-Cypriot 'Politis' daily stated that the Greek-Cypriot Administration was preparing to separate the island into three regions in order to increase the European Union (EU) allocations. 'Politis' daily said, "Cyprus is divided into six regions as Nicosia, Famagusta, Girne (Kyrenia), Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos and when they are decreased to three regions, then they will receive more aid from the EU. According to the scenario of the Greek-Cypriot Administration's Department of Planning, with the help of the Greek Institute of Regional Development, Cyprus is divided into three regions. /Aksam/

    [11] FOREIGN MINISTRY DRAWS ATTENTION TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT

    Foreign Ministry has sent a nine-page document to seven institutions, including the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor, Justice Ministry, Interior Ministry, Office of General Staff and General Secretariat of National Security Council. The document said according to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), to which Turkey is a party, people should freely express their ideas. ECHR decisions state even terrorist organizations should be able to convey their opinions to the public. The letter signed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu drew attention to the issue in order to prevent decisions be taken against Turkey at the ECHR. The letter clarifies the ECHR criteria regarding the freedom of thought: "The public has the right to obtain information on various issues and opinions and the press has the right to convey these opinions to the public. Even statements of separatist organizations should not be banned." /Milliyet/

    [12] REPORT: "TURKEY CONDUCTS HEALTH CHECKS ON KOSOVO TROOPS"

    Turkey has begun screening soldiers who have served in Kosovo following reports of possible links between NATO's use of bullets and bombs with depleted uranium in the Balkans and cancer among allied troops, a newspaper said Wednesday. Some 1,000 Turkish peacekeepers are stationed in Kosovo. Milliyet newspaper said the military was conducting checks on all soldiers and would release findings after completing the examinations. The military would not comment on the report. NATO acknowledged early this year that US warplanes fired armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium during the alliance's 78-day bombing campaign in 1999. Turkey's NATO allies, including Italy and Spain, have been screening troops who served in the Balkans and have developed cancer, and three peacekeepers who served in Bosnia died of leukemia last year. A UN team is investigating if there is a link between cancer cases and the ammunition. It is expected to report its findings early this year. /Turkish Daily News/

    [13] ALBRIGHT PHONES CEM

    US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, talked with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem as well as some other leaders in scope of the initiatives to stop the violence in the Mideast. State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said in addition to Ismail Cem, Albright made phone calls to Egyptian, Canadian, German, Russian, French, Tunisian Foreign Ministers and Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Washington to exchange views on the clashes in the Mideast. /Turkiye/

    [14] SEARCH CONTINUES FOR SHIPWRECK SURVIVORS

    Divers pulled the body of a refugee from the sunken shipwreck of the Georgian boat registered Pati yesterday but found no signs of the 41 other illegal immigrants believed to have been on board when it hit rocks and sunk, reported the Associated Press. Navy rescuers called off their search on Wednesday afternoon, but the coast guard was still scouring the Mediterranean coast for survivors or bodies. Police inland were looking for fugitives. The recovered body brought the number of dead in the accident to nine. The Georgian-flagged Pati was carrying illegal immigrants to Greece when it slammed into rocks during a storm Monday and split in half. /Turkish Daily News/

    [15] TREASURY RELUCTANT IN HIGHER INTEREST RATES FOR BOND BIDDINGS

    The officials from Treasury Undersecretariat and Central Bank said at the "Market Structuring Advisory Board" meeting held with the representatives of a group of banks that if banks offer higher interest rates for bond bidding, the Treasury may cancel selling the bonds. In that case, TL 2.5 quadrillion Treasury repayment of due bonds will remain in cash at hand of banks and interest rates will further decline. At the meeting, Treasury officials gave information regarding the foreign capital inflow. $1.5 billion foreign exchange entered the Central Bank reserves. Officials said they expect a 60-65 % interest rate for the bidding to be held tomorrow. /Milliyet/

    [16] ONLY DPT APPROVES PROJECTS TO RECEIVE FOREIGN CREDIT

    According to a regulation published in the Official Gazette, the procedures regarding the application, permission and approval for foreign credits to finance the projects were redefined. Firms will apply to the Treasury Undersecretary for the projects carried out via foreign credit. The State Planning Institution (DPT) will also give its approval for these projects. /Hurriyet/

    [17] RUSSIA WINS TENDER FOR HELICOPTER AMBULANCE

    Russian Kamov firm won the tender for five helicopters ambulances put out by the Health Ministry. Russian firm has given the most favorable offer worth $31.5 million. The helicopters have the capacity to stay longer in the air, to fly the farthest destination and to carry the maximum number of passengers. /Hurriyet/

    [18] AUTOMOTIVE EXPORTS INCREASE

    Automotive and by-industry exports were realized as $2.636 billion in 2000. According to the Uludag Union of Exporters, the automotive exports which were $2.481 billion in 1999, increased by 6.27% in 2000. /Turkiye/

    [19] EXHIBITION OF EXLIBRIS IN ISTANBUL

    The works of art that participated in the international competition, 'Istanbul 2000', which was organized in order to spread the art of exlibris, began to be exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. The exhibition will be open until 10 January. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [21] EUROPEAN LAW BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on the statement sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to concerned judicial bodies. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a statement of utmost significance to high level judicial organs, General Staff Judiciary Council, National Security Council, Interior and Justice Ministries regarding freedom of thought.

    In the statement, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu explains how the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) interprets the Article 10 of the European Human Rights Declaration on freedom of thought and calls on the concerned organizations to carefully evaluate the issues which would lead to the acceptance of violation decisions as a result of this article.

    Seven page-long summaries of decisions is also attached to the statement. In brief, it shows that the ECHR interprets the freedom of thought in a wide spectrum, whereas considering the national security, territorial integrity, general health issues narrowly.

    According to the ECHR decisions, 'the society has the right to learn different and even dissident points of view and the press has the right to convey them. These also include separatist points of view as freedom of thought is indispensable for the improvement and satisfaction of the individual.'

    In fact, the feeling of oppression leads to fury. Explaining one's views creates a feeling of relaxation. This is one of the reasons why radicals are reduced to marginal groups in democratic societies. However, the ECHR has some wrong decisions and in fact it contradicts itself in some of its decisions.

    The ECHR which accepts the universal rule of law that thoughts can be banned if they cover and foster hate and violence, was able to view the praising of PKK terror acitivities as a national independence war as in the case of Muzaffer Erdogdu!

    The ECHR is a new court and its decisions are being newly formed. Lawyers from a respectable country, experienced on foreign relations can impress the ECHR. At this point Turkey's image is of great importance. I recall the words of Prof. Aslan Gunduz who has served as Turkey's attorney for years,'When a similar case comes from a European country, the justices at the ECHR are meticulously examining it. However, when the case concerned comes from Turkey, the prejudiced view that in Turkey such thing may happen prevails.

    In fact, Turkey's image was far from praiseworthy and the 28 February process and its implementations concerning the judiciary have impaired Turkey's image greatly. In fact, it is of utmost significance for Turkey to become a democratic state governed by the rule of law and to implement principles such as the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. This will serve not only for peace in the country but also improve Turkey's credibility.

    The ECHR is not a higher judicial organ, however we cannot ignore it altogether. Moving away from the European Union would rock the socio-economic and political base of our national integrity. Turkey should not deviate from the aim of becoming a full EU member. When the country is a democratic state governed by the rule of law and we adopt the legal mentality of the universal law, we shall stand much stronger against the incorrect decisions of the ECHR."


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