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Turkish Press Review, 01-01-26

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

26.01.01

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] AMBASSADOR KOKSAL'S STATEMENT ON THE APPROVAL OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [03] TURKEY MOURNS FOR OKKAN AND HIS POLICE OFFICERS
  • [04] FOUR ASSASSINS IDENTIFIED
  • [05] AMBASSADOR KOKSAL'S STATEMENT ON THE APPROVAL OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL
  • [06] ALIYEV AND KOCHARIAN'S WORD DUEL ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE
  • [07] "GENOCIDE" CLAIMS IN EUROPEAN COUNCIL
  • [08] "GENOCIDE COMMEMORATIONS WILL IMPAIR RELATIONS"
  • [09] TUSIAD'S LETTER TO FRENCH INDUSTRIALISTS
  • [10] DENKTAS: "GREEKS WANT TO OWN CYPRUS"
  • [11] MUFTI CRISIS IN WESTERN THRACE
  • [12] VISA CRISIS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA
  • [13] EUROPEAN COUNCIL CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR
  • [14] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM COMMENCES
  • [15] JAPANESE STATE MINISTER VISITS ECEVIT
  • [16] COMMEMORATION OF THE KOREAN WAR
  • [17] CAKMAKOGLU: "ISRAEL WILL MODERNIZE M-60 TANKS"
  • [18] TAI PARTICIPATES IN JOINT ATTACK PLANES' PRODUCTION
  • [19] SECURITY SYSTEM TO BE ESTABLISHED IN BOSPHORUS AND DARDANELLES
  • [20] BANKS IN FUND TO BE UNITED UNDER ONE ROOF
  • [21] TREASURY TO SELL EURO BONDS
  • [22] IS-TIM'S INVESTMENT
  • [23] SABANCI BUYS A FACTORY IN AMERICA
  • [24] A TURKISH FUND MANAGER IN AMERICA
  • [25] PROF. ACAR REPRESENTS EUROPEAN WOMEN
  • [26] PROMINENT TOURISM COMPANIES TO INVEST IN TURKEY
  • [27] OTTOMAN COSTUMES EXHIBITED IN LONDON
  • [28] JAPAN GIVES AWARD TO CARTOONIST MALKOC
  • [29] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [30] TURKEY, LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES BY MERAL TAMER (MILLIYET)
  • [31] TERROR IS IN THE HEADLINES AGAIN BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] AMBASSADOR KOKSAL'S STATEMENT ON THE APPROVAL OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL

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

    [03] TURKEY MOURNS FOR OKKAN AND HIS POLICE OFFICERS

    Following the murder of the Diyarbakir Security Chief Gaffar Okkan and five police officers in Diyarbakir on Wednesday, people throughout Turkey are mourning for them. During the funeral, ten of thousands of citizens protested terrorism and called for capture of the killers. Cabinet and state members attending the funeral, as well as relatives of the police officers and civilians, were not able to hold back their tears. The coffins were sent to their home provinces for burial. In the meantime, political party representatives and non-governmental organizations condemned the murder in issued statements. /All Papers/

    [04] FOUR ASSASSINS IDENTIFIED

    The investigation into the assassination of the Diyarbakir Security Chief, Gaffar Okkan and five police officers is underway. The number of the assassins is estimated to be 12. Four were identified from their police sketches and weapons. According to police sources, the assassins, Mehmet Cicek, Haydar Solmaz, Hasim Alabalik and Nurullah Gulsever, are among the 26 most wanted Hizbullah members. 430 empty bullet shell were found in the murder scene. /All Papers/

    [05] AMBASSADOR KOKSAL'S STATEMENT ON THE APPROVAL OF THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL

    Turkey's Ambassador to Paris Sonmez Koksal said approval of the so-called Armenian genocide bill by the French National Assembly was solely based on the concern for the votes of Armenian lobbies in the upcoming elections. He emphasized French parliamentarians approved the bill to receive the votes of Armenians living in Marseilles, Paris and Lyon. Giving information on the latest developments to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Foreign Relations Commission, Koksal said, the fact Turkey had excluded France from a helicopter bid in 1998, again due to allegations of the so-called Armenian genocide brought to the agenda of French National Assembly, was an important reason for France's negative stance towards Turkey. Recalling that the Armenian Diaspora was transferring $ 1 billion annually to Armenia, Koksal argued, "It would be untrue to think that Armenia is not involved in these incidents." Emphasizing that 60 parliamentarians' signatures were needed to appeal to the Constitutional Court for the cancellation of the law, Koksal said, "We have begun to take signatures." Stating the French people also believe the allegations due to the anti-Turk atmosphere, Koksal said, "This issue has become the hump on Turkish foreign policy. Turkey should immediately open her archives to the world to get rid of this problem." /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] ALIYEV AND KOCHARIAN'S WORD DUEL ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE

    Haydar Aliyev and Robert Kocharian participated in the acceptance ceremony marking Azerbaijan and Armenia's membership in the European Council in Strasbourg. At the press conference, Kocharian declared the French parliament's decision as an honorable one to promote and defend human rights and democracy. Aliyev, on the other hand, said it was wrong to evaluate historical issues with parliamentary votes. He said even French President Jacques Chirac regarded this decision as a "political one". Responding to a question regarding the territorial and compensation demands of Armenia from Turkey, Kocharian said it is not right to confuse the conditions of the Sevres treaty and the events of 1915. He said, "Armenia cannot have such a demand. It does not have any legal grounds. But, Diaspora, the victim of the tragic events has." Aliyev also said Azerbaijan does not recognize the French parliament's decision regarding the so-called Armenian genocide. /Hurriyet/

    [07] "GENOCIDE" CLAIMS IN EUROPEAN COUNCIL

    A group under the leadership of a Dutch parliamentarian is trying to bring the so-called Armenian genocide claims into the the European Council agenda. But, it seems the parliamentarians do not want to deal directly with the issue. The Council's Culture and Education Commission will prepare a report on "Armenian Society and Culture" and present it in a plenary session. /Milliyet/

    [08] "GENOCIDE COMMEMORATIONS WILL IMPAIR RELATIONS"

    The British newspaper, The Times, said relations may be damaged with Turkey, as representatives of the Armenian society were included in the Jewish Holocaust Commemorations at the last minute. According to the newspaper, due to frictions aroused between the Ministry of Interior and Foreign Ministry, Armenian representatives will only be guests at the commemoration ceremony because of the intervention of the Foreign Ministry. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TUSIAD'S LETTER TO FRENCH INDUSTRIALISTS

    The Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) has launched initiatives aimed at canceling the so-called Armenian genocide law in France. Chairman of TUSIAD's Executive Council Tuncay Ozilhan sent a letter to a member of the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) and to a prominent figure from the French private sector, Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, expressing the Turkish nation's uneasiness over the law. He emphasized approval of the bill would seriously damage economic relations between the two countries, which had been going well before the approval. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] DENKTAS: "GREEKS WANT TO OWN CYPRUS"

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, held a press conference in Istanbul. During the conference, the President evaluated the Greek-Cypriot Administration's EU membership case. Stressing the Greek side's main reason for membership was not economic, but political, Mr. Denktas said, "The aim of the Greek-Cypriots is to own Cyprus via the EU and abolish Turkey's rights on the Island." Denktas pointed to the 1990 one-sided EU application by the Greek-Cypriots as the "Republic of Cyprus" is not correct. He added, "They had applied during ongoing negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus issue and had not consulted with Turkish-Cypriots". The TRNC President said the Turkish side has explained to the EU authorities on every platform that Greek-Cypriots were making a mistake, however, the EU has not attached any importance to these warnings. /Turkiye/

    [11] MUFTI CRISIS IN WESTERN THRACE

    The Chairman of Western Thrace Turkish Solidarity Association, Burhaneddin Hakguder, said Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's decision to extend Komotini Mufti's term until 2010 serves only to destroy bilateral relations. Hakguder said Greece violated Lausanne Treaty and bilateral agreements by enacting a law in 1990 depriving Western Turks of the right to elect their own mufti. He added, "After the law was enacted, Greece appointed the muftis instead of elected officials representing the Turkish community. Papandreou's decision, when placed in conjunction with the recent anti-Turkey atmosphere created by the attempts of Armenian lobbies, seems to be part of a bigger plot against Turkey in the international arena." /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] VISA CRISIS BETWEEN TURKEY AND BULGARIA

    The crisis between Bulgaria and Turkey emerging from the Bulgarian consulates' rejection of most visa applicants from Turkey, rendering it difficult for Turkish businessmen to receive multi-entry visas is growing. Speaker for the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, Radko Vlaykov accused Turkish diplomats of being inefficient and unprofessional, adding that Bulgaria never stopped giving multi-entry visas to Turkish businessmen. He said, "It is Turkey who violated the visa agreement between the two countries." Upon the insults by Bulgarian officials, the Turkish Embassy in Sofia will send a letter of reply to the Bulgaria Foreign Ministry. Meanwhile, Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Kisov said the incidents should not be exaggerated and the crisis would be overcome at the consular level without involving higher institutions. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] EUROPEAN COUNCIL CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR

    In a declaration, the European Council (EC) strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Diyarbakir. The Foreign Minister of Latvia, term president of European Council, Indilus Berzins and EC Parliamentarians Assembly Chairman Russel Johnson and EC Secretary General Walter Schwimmer, issued a common declaration condemning the attack and expressing their condolences. /Aksam/

    [14] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM COMMENCES

    Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz left for Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) meetings. During the meetings, plans to decrease the gap between underdeveloped and developed countries, and the future of the world will be discussed. 3200 representatives from many countries, including leaders, artists, writers and NGOs are attending the meetings. In the meantime, a report, "Turkey: Land of Opportunities", prepared by the WEF was issued saying, Turkey's economy will grow two fold compared to the EU in next ten years. It said, "Turkey, a powerful agricultural country, is developing its industrial base. It is eighth on the world's ready-to-wear list. Turkey is very successful in the tourism area and is the 12th most popular tourist country in the world. It is Europe's largest cement producer as well as world's 12th steel producer. The most striking point is Turkey's rapidly developing automotive industry. Automotive production has increased from 20,000 to 600,000 in the last 20 years". The report also emphasized Turkish companies' accomplishments in the international markets. /Turkiye/

    [15] JAPANESE STATE MINISTER VISITS ECEVIT

    Japanese State Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto paid an official visit to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Mr. Hashimoto said the Turkish economy will overcome all difficulties. Hashimoto said two things come his mind about Turkey; Ataturk and Turkish tobacco. "Ataturk is widely known in Japan among young people. And I smoked Turkish tobacco when I was young," said Hashimato. /Hurriyet/

    [16] COMMEMORATION OF THE KOREAN WAR

    A ceremony was held in Washington, US to mark the 50th anniversary of the Turkish brigade's bravery in the Kumyangjang-ni Battle during the Korean War. At the ceremony, Turkish Ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin, and US Ambassador to Ankara, Robert Pearson, laid a wreath at the Korean Monument and Turkish brigade's bravery as commemorated. /Turkiye/

    [17] CAKMAKOGLU: "ISRAEL WILL MODERNIZE M-60 TANKS"

    National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said, to the American journal "Defense Weekly", Israel will modernize their army's M-60 tanks. /Milliyet/

    [18] TAI PARTICIPATES IN JOINT ATTACK PLANES' PRODUCTION

    The Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) will participate in the Joint Attack Planes production project. TAI Director General, Kaya Ergenc, said TAI will contribute to the production of the world's most developed planes, from design to production. In addition to Turkey, the US, Britain, Canada, Italy, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Israel and Singapore will participate in the project. /Turkiye/

    [19] SECURITY SYSTEM TO BE ESTABLISHED IN BOSPHORUS AND DARDANELLES

    The foundation for the project called "Turkish Straits Traffic Supervision Information System" will be laid Jan.28. The construction will be finished by July this year. Towers will be built at various points of the straits to electronically observe the passage of ships. Radars, meteorological and hydrographical sensors will allow for 24 hours surveillance of the straits. Ships will be warned in case of a dangerous situation. Captains will be given detailed information regarding the meteorological changes. /Milliyet/

    [20] BANKS IN FUND TO BE UNITED UNDER ONE ROOF

    The first round of the tender process for eight banks currently under the control of the Deposit Account Insurance Fund (MSF) will be completed today. The Baking Supervision and Regulation Board will announce the applicants for the ownership of these banks. It was stated that four banks without any applicants and a bank with technical problems will be united under one name. This will establish the biggest bank of Turkey. Demirbank will be sold to the investor with the capabilities to bear the bank's current portfolio. /Milliyet/

    [21] TREASURY TO SELL EURO BONDS

    The Treasury entitled ABN Amro Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston Bank as partner banks to issue bonds as a part of the foreign debt program in 2001. This year the Treasury will borrow around $6.5 billion. The bonds have a three-year maturity date and will be paid in Euro. /Milliyet/

    [22] IS-TIM'S INVESTMENT

    Is-Tim Chairman Guiseppa Farina said they would invest about $ 3 billion in Turkey next period. Speaking at a meeting organized by the Italian Trade Chamber in Turkey, Farina said, "Main reasons for our decision to invest in Turkey are the country's positive macro-economic situations, the stability in the development of gross national product and the majority of young people in the population demographics." /Aksam/

    [23] SABANCI BUYS A FACTORY IN AMERICA

    Sabanci Holding and Dupont bought a factory to produce polyester and nylon with a 50.000 tons of capacity. Sabanci Holding established a joint company with Dupont two years ago. DupontSA will also invest in the Far East; China, Japan, Malaysia and Iran. /Milliyet/

    [24] A TURKISH FUND MANAGER IN AMERICA

    Ahmet Okumus, a Turkish Fund manager working in the United States was listed as one of the world-famous investment experts in a book called "Stock Market Wizards". /Hurriyet/

    [25] PROF. ACAR REPRESENTS EUROPEAN WOMEN

    Prof. Feride Acar, an academician at the Middle East Technical University, was elected to represent European Women at the Committee to Prevent Discrimination Against Women, organized by the UN. The committee defends women's rights and examines women's problems in all countries. /Turkiye/

    [26] PROMINENT TOURISM COMPANIES TO INVEST IN TURKEY

    The stable development of the Turkish tourism sector, which has a promising future, has drawn the attention of the world's prominent tourism companies. A US company, Mega Management, will establish a 5-star hotel in Trabzon. Additionally, many foreign tourism companies are planning to hire hotels, especially in Antalya.

    [27] OTTOMAN COSTUMES EXHIBITED IN LONDON

    Ottoman theatrical costumes were exhibited at the African and Middle East Research Institute in London. Additionally, miniatures, paintings and manuscripts were included in the exhibition. /Cumhuriyet/

    [28] JAPAN GIVES AWARD TO CARTOONIST MALKOC

    Cartoonist Enver Malkoc received the special jury award in the international cartoon contest organized by the Japanese daily, Yomuri Shimbun. /Cumhuriyet/

    [29] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [30] TURKEY, LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES BY MERAL TAMER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Meral Tamer writes on the Davos Economic Forum. A summary of her column is as follows:

    "Turkey is still the land of opportunities. As we were talking with the opposition to globalization in Davos, we saw a report called, 'Turkey, A Land of Opportunities'. Most interestingly, the report was a sort of invitation to foreign investors. The report stressed that Turkey leads the region in the production of automobiles and durable goods. The economic dynamism of the country receives praise and the report adds that Turkey's growth rate will be 5.5%, two times greater than that of the EU, over the next 10 years. The report also points out that water, transportation, telecommunication, electric and energy fields presented attractive opportunities for the private sector.

    The report also stressed the power of the Turkish economy. The fact that Turkey was eighth in world textiles, the 12th most popular country destination for world tourism, 12th largest steel producer and the largest cement producer in Europe, was underscored. Within the framework of the World Economic Forum, 23 different luncheon seminars will be held in various hotels in Davos. One of these is titled, 'The Next Step for Turkey'. The speaker is Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. During the luncheon, the question, 'What additional reforms are necessary to attract more foreign investment to Turkey and increase her competitive power in the world?' will be discussed. Also, the influence of political reforms, to be undertaken within the context of EU membership on economic growth, will be debated."

    [31] TERROR IS IN THE HEADLINES AGAIN BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay writes on the assassination of the Diyarbakir Police Chief Gaffar Okkan and terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The assassination of Diyarbakir Police Chief Gaffar Okkan, his bodyguards, and driver have placed terror in the headlines again. Terror has also upset the program of the Government. We saw that futile bickering was not enough to solve the country's problems. The first evaluations by the Interior Ministry say the assassination was the work of Hizbullah. The fanatic religious group leaves a Makarov gun after its assassinations. Such a gun was found at the murder scene. Secondly, 450 Kalashnikov bullet shells found in the area show that the number of assassins participating in the murders is higher than first estimated and may be close to 15. Furthermore, the assassination method reveals the culprits know the area very well.

    It has to be stressed that terrorism knows neither left nor right. One must denounce terrorism wherever it comes from. An approach such as 'our terrorists' or 'your terrorists' is as bad as terrorism itself. The anti-Hizbullah operation began last year on 17 January revealed the magnitude of the terrorist organization. Documents found in houses belonging to the organization, showed Hizbullah had close to 20 thousand armed militants and was preparing for a total uprising in near future. The exploitation of religion by the terrorist organization led some political parties to mute their criticism of Hizbullah. Whatever their roots, all forces believing in democracy should come out against terrorism. The number of Hizbullah militants seized during the last year is over 2000. As close to 500 were working in State institutions, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the weakness started from within. The structure of the Hizbullah organization, its local and foreign contacts, and the adaptability to the countries they are in have been discussed at length throughout the year. Apart from details, we have to be aware of the fact that we are faced with a different structure than other terrorist organizations. Until now terrorist organizations Turkey fought against were homegrown, developed outside, and had approval from abroad for any actions they committed. The greater part of Hizbullah is outside the country. Following the recent action, it is not difficult to guess what Hizbullah can do to make its voice heard in the near future. It may turn to actions which will have great effect and make everyone say that it has not been defeated yet. At this point, foreign contacts are of great importance. We hope that we do not run into a conflict with Iran and Syria because of Hizbullah terrorism.

    The assassination of Okkan has brought the Southeast issue into the headlines. For the last two years, terrorism news coming from the region had decreased to a minimum. In order to replace terror with civil peace, various organizations, led by the military were exerting efforts. Recent news coming from the region for example was, 'beauty contest in GAP', fashion models in Harran', and 'Internet cafe inflation in Diyarbakir'. During my occasional visits to the region, I noted that terrorism had ended but terrorists were still around. The wounds of terror were treated but not healed. The latest incident shows that my opinions were correct.

    When Southeast and terrorism are mentioned, the first thing comes to mind is the PKK. The PKK terrorist organization has 500 armed militants in the Southeast and 4,500 in Iraq. The PKK aims to seize the control of a part of Iraq. It has succeeded to a degree. Hizbullah which has been used against the PKK terrorists, seems now to hold the first place in terrorism.

    The people of Diyarbakir demonstrated their love for Okkan whom they believed to be one of them, and mourned for him. Great duties fall upon them to prevent terrorism from taking daily life hostage. If all of Turkey can stand by Diyarbakir against terrorism, particularly if the political parties do not make any concessions to terrorist organizations and their chains in foreign countries, it can be defeated."


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