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Turkish Press Review, 02-02-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

<LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> <_map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Turkish Press Review &gt;&gt; Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

20.02.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] YILMAZ: “ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY SHOULD TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER OTHER ISSUES”
  • [02] FIRST TOUR OF THE CYPRUS MEETINGS COMPLETED
  • [03] TURK: “THERE IS NO NEED TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”
  • [04] ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ANKARA
  • [05] DERVIS TO MEET FINANCE, REAL SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES
  • [06] IRAN AND TURKEY NEGOTIATE ON PRECAUTIONS AGAINST PKK
  • [07] US DELEGATION MEETS WITH HIGH-LEVEL TURKISH OFFICIALS
  • [08] BAHCELI: “NO PROBLEM IN THE COALITION”
  • [09] IMF: “TURKEY IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK”
  • [10] NEW BILL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PREPARED
  • [11] AE2 SUBMARINE TO BE EXHIBITED
  • [12] TOYOTA BEGINS EXPORTS
  • [13] U.S. STUDENTS LOOK FOR CIVILIZATION ROOTS
  • [14] HUNGARIAN SACRED BOOK RESTORED
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [16] DEATH PENALTY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [17] UNASKED QUESTIONS BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] YILMAZ: “ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY SHOULD TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER OTHER ISSUES”

    Appearing on Turkish TV channel CNN Turk, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday offered his evaluations on the issue of the abolition of the death penalty. Yilmaz stated that the government would give precedence over the issue since Turkey desired to start its EU accession negotiation process as soon as possible. Recalling that the EU considered the abolition of the death penalty a must, Yilmaz said that the government recently discussed the issue and agreed to achieve progress on it before starting the negotiation process. Arguing that the EU did not request Turkey to accept education in mother tongue, Yilmaz said, “The EU only wants us to eliminate all obstacles before the people wanting to learn any language as an individual right.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] FIRST TOUR OF THE CYPRUS MEETINGS COMPLETED

    The first tour of the Denktas-Clerides meetings was completed yesterday. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday met with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides in the buffer zone on Cyprus. Speaking to press after the meeting, Denktas remarked that it would not be easy to solve the problems on Cyprus, which dated 38 years back. Denktas stated that both sides would evaluate the meetings during the interval which would end March 1. “Both sides still have certain difficulties on reaching an agreement,” said Denktas. “Sincerity and honesty should dominate the atmosphere of the meetings in order to achieve progress and both nations should be clearly informed on the developments. I believe we can achieve significant progress however our nations should also be aware of the discussions so that they can make sound decisions if a referendum is needed in the future.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TURK: “THERE IS NO NEED TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”

    Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said yesterday that there is no need to amend the constitution for the abolition of death penalty. Turk supported the views of Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz on not amending the constitution for the abolition of death penalty. /Hürriyet/

    [04] ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ANKARA

    Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase visited Ankara yesterday and signed five protocols with Turkey on foreseeing the inspection of banks and free trade. Nastase also met with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to discuss cooperation in the field of energy and security. After the meeting Nastase told reporters that there would be very important improvements in our region in the field of energy. Nastase thanked the Turkish government for the support they gave to Romania’s membership to NATO. Nastase also said that Prince Stephan Celmari’s sword in Topkapi Palace was very important for his country as one of its cultural values and that he would like to see the sword in Bucharest. For his part Ecevit said that the relationship between Turkey and Romania constituted a base for the stability and security in the Balkans. /Hürriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [05] DERVIS TO MEET FINANCE, REAL SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis will meet with representatives of financial circlus and real sector in the Treasury Undersecretariat today. Treasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak, Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti, Banking Regulation and Supervision Board (BDDK) Chairman Engin Akcakoca and other representatives are expected attend the meeting. During the meeting, problems and views regarding economic growth will be taken up. /Turkiye/

    [06] IRAN AND TURKEY NEGOTIATE ON PRECAUTIONS AGAINST PKK

    Turkey did not find the precautions taken by Iran against the PKK terrorist organization satisfactory. Although Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Muhsin Eminzade said, “PKK does not exist in the relations between the two countries any more,” Ankara requested that a sudden inspection be made. During the meetings held with Eminzade, who came to Turkey as the guest of Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, it was accepted that the cooperation of security between the two countries would be increased. Ankara, which had previously suggested that simultaneous operations be made, this time brought “sudden inspection” issue on the agenda. The sudden inspection envisages that the soldiers from two countries to inspect a region, which had been determined before, unexpectedly. The Iranian delegation requested that works be conducted on this proposal. /Aksam/

    [07] US DELEGATION MEETS WITH HIGH-LEVEL TURKISH OFFICIALS

    A US House of Representatives delegation consisting of five members of the US-Turkish Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group maintained important contacts in Ankara yesterday. The delegation was received by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Ecevit offered his views on a possible US intervention in Iraq that it would be detrimental rather than beneficial. “I believe the problem of Iraq can be solved without any military intervention,” said Ecevit. Meanwhile, the members of the US delegation conveyed the their appreciation considering the support Turkey lent to the US in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. They also stated that the US would always take Turkey’s views into consideration on the issue of Iraq. The delegation also met with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. The chairman of the delegation US Congressman Robert Wexler stated that the US placed a high premium on its relations with Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] BAHCELI: “NO PROBLEM IN THE COALITION”

    Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday reiterated that the death penalty dispute would not cause any problems in the coalition government. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Chairmanship Council chaired by Bahceli convened last night to discuss the abolition of the death penalty. Addressing the meeting, Bahceli said that the MHP was against the lifting of the capital punishment completely. He stated that abolition of death penalty should not cover the crimes of terrorism and crimes against the state. He said, “When a debate regarding the amendment is taken up in the Parliament, we’ll say ‘no’. However, this will not cause any problem in the coalition.” Recalling that the Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz’s statement that constitutional amendment was not required to lift the capital punishment, Bahceli said, “It is only possible with an amendment to the Constitution.” /Turkiye/

    [09] IMF: “TURKEY IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK”

    According to a report prepared following the 10th review by the International Monetary Fund Turkey desk chiefs, it is said that Turkey was on the right track. /Aksam/

    [10] NEW BILL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PREPARED

    The government took an action in order to end the claims of torture that had been a cause for concern for Turkey for many years. EU Secretary General, Interior Ministry and State Ministry responsible for the Human Rights have been working on a bill, which envisages severe measures concerning the crime of torture. As part of it, civil servants who carry out torture and treat detainees badly will be excluded from state protection. Thus, torturers will be sent to court. In addition, if this bill is enacted, the fine will be paid not by the state, but by the police carrying out torture. /Aksam/

    [11] AE2 SUBMARINE TO BE EXHIBITED

    The Australian submarine that sunk during the World War I will be taken out by a team consisting of Australians and Turks and will be exhibited at National Park in Gelibolu. The AE2 submarine, which was the first enemy submarine that entered Marmara Sea and which was submerged by a torpedo boat “Sultanhisar” on April 30 1915, was found in 1998. Culture Minister Istemihan Talay held a meeting with officials from Australian Embassy on January 29 and said that it was decided that the submarine would be dislodged, restored and exhibited. _Milliyet

    [12] TOYOTA BEGINS EXPORTS

    Following Britain and France, Turkey became the third base of Toyota in Europe. Toyota Automotive Industry-Turkey will export 40,000 Corollas to Europe this year and 120,000 in 2005. At a ceremony held at the facilities in Adapazari yesterday, Yoshio Ishizaka, Toyota Motor Corporation deputy chairman, said that Toyota had chosen Turkey as one of its the production centers. Stressing that the production would also contribute to Turkish economy, Ishizaka said, “We target to have a share of 10% in Turkish market in the future.” Meanwhile, speaking at the meeting State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis expressed his satisfaction regarding Japanesse investment in Adapazari and said that Turkey might grow 6-7% in the middle term. /Turkiye/

    [13] U.S. STUDENTS LOOK FOR CIVILIZATION ROOTS

    U.S. students will bicycle through the ancient lands of Greece and Turkey on 25th of February to explore the roots of Western Civilization and find the answer to the question, “Are the true origins of Western Civilization to be found in the East?” American students will also analyze the influence of the Near-East on Western Civilization. U.S. students will convey their own opinions online. /Sabah/

    [14] HUNGARIAN SACRED BOOK RESTORED

    The hand-written Antifonale Hungarian sacred book, which is in the library of Topkapi Palace Museum and which is supposed to be written in 1360s, was restored after a work of two years. A ceremony was held yesterday at the Directorate of Topkapi Palace due to the restoration of the book brought by Suleyman the Magnificent from his expedition to Hungary. Speaking at the ceremony, Topkapi Museum Director Dr. Filiz Cagman said that this work took place among the non-Islamic hand written books in the library and included gilded miniatures and illustrated some issues such as Jesus Christ’s birth, his baptism, the saints, the last supper, Virgin Mary’s birth and death. Hungarian Chargé d’affaires in Ankara Istvan Szabo said the work also included a composition entitled Estergon that was formed in Hungary in the twelfth century. /Hurriyet/

    [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [16] DEATH PENALTY BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the discussions over the death penalty and the reasons put forth by the sides. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey is discussing the abolition of death penalty in line with the program presented to the European Union. In fact, the discussions are not over death penalty itself, but the sentence passed on terrorist chieftain Ocalan. If Ocalan had not received capital punishment, discussions would not have been as heated as it is today. Turkey did not execute death penalty since 1984. There seems to be a tendency in society towards the abolition of the capital punishment. However, Ocalan and his terrorist attacks hinder Turkey to take it completely out of the legal system. We can also say that the determining factors in the policies of the political parties are Ocalan and the PKK terrorist organization’s activities. There is no party defending the death penalty in the process of becoming a member to the EU. The parties opposing the abolition of the penalty are not against the canceling of the sentence but rather the sentence passed on Ocalan. They are afraid of being a party annulling the punishment of Ocalan. It goes without mention that the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) has a special place in these discussions due to its ideology and grassroots. It is not realistic to expect the MHP, which owes its success in 1999 to its opposition to the PKK, to support the canceling of the death penalty which will benefit Ocalan. True Path Party (DYP) follows a similar line as the main opposition party. It is difficult for parties of the left and the right to approve an arrangement which would lead to the lifting of Ocalan’s sentence. That is why a search for a middle path should be received with understanding. It is not realistic to expect a decision for the abolition of the sentence passed on Ocalan in a country which has suffered the loss of 30,000 lives in 20 years due to his actions. While waiting for Turkey to complete her homework, Europe should take these facts into consideration. However, it would not be correct to expect such an understanding.”

    [17] UNASKED QUESTIONS BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek writes on EU Commission for Enlargement, Gunther Verheugen’s statements regarding Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “During his visit to Ankara, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen has delved in another matter of crucial importance to Turkey, Cyprus, in addition to the abolition of death penalty, education mother tongue. He stated that the EU would admit Greek Cypriot Administration into the Union if there is a solution or not. The Eu Commissioner believes that the Greek Cypriot administration represents the entire island. Whatever we say or believe have no importance regarding the issue. Both the UN and the EU believe that the Greek Cypriot administration means Cyprus Republic. The Commissioner came, sowed the seeds of dispute and left. TRNC President Rauf Denktas who is continuing a dialogue with the Greek Cypriot administration leader is fuming. Just as a compromise was being reached on every issue, the words of Verheugen is creating dispute. Why should the Greek Cypriots which have the EU membership in their pocket agree to a compromise or a partnership? According to an argument, Greek Cypriots are continuing the dialogue just to show that they are not the intransigent party. The EU also began to ask for the abolition of death penalty. As it kept silent when the amendment to the constitution abolishing capital punishment excluding crimes of terror and crimes against the stated was passed, why did the EU began to impose the abolition of the death penalty unconditionally? Were the reasons for such a change was asked of the EU? Is this change closely concerned with the politicization efforts of the PKK or their aim to support its politicization?

    Due to Sacrifice Feast next issue of the Turkish Press Review will appear on February 26, 2002.

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