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Turkish Press Review, 99-06-30

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

30.06.99

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] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [03] OCALAN TRIAL ENDS WITH DEATH SENTENCE
  • [04] DEMIREL: "THE COURT HAS FULFILLED ITS MISSION"
  • [05] PARLIAMENT APPLAUDS THE VERDICT
  • [06] EUROPE: 'DON'T TO EXECUTE OCALAN'
  • [07] RAPID REPLY TO EUROPE
  • [08] ISMAIL CEM'S CAUTIOUS ATTITUDE
  • [09] PKK DEMONSTRATIONS IN EUROPE
  • [10] 'TRIAL SHOULD BE ACTIONED AGAIN'
  • [11] 'TURKEY CANNOT BE LOST'
  • [12] EUROPE APPEALS TO TURKEY NOT TO EXECUTE OCALAN
  • [13] REPENTANCE LAW ON THE AGENDA
  • [14] OCALAN CASE TELEVISED
  • [15] DEMIREL IS STATESMAN OF THE YEAR
  • [16] IHLAS INVESTMENTS IN HUNGARY
  • [17] MINISTER OF TRANSPORT VISITS GEORGIA
  • [18] BIOEM CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY
  • [19] TURKMENBASI RECEIVES GARIH
  • [20] CYPRUS PRESSURE ON ANNAN
  • [21] AYDIN DOGAN INTERNATIONAL CARTOON FESTIVAL
  • [22] IMF BRIEFING FOR LEADERS
  • [23] LOANS FOR FINANSBANK
  • [24] EUREKA: "EUROPE SHOULD MAKE A BREAKTHROUGH"
  • [25] OSCE SUMMIT COSTING $7 MILLION
  • [26] OTHON CONTINUES CONTACTS IN ANKARA
  • [27] CHAIRMEN TO MEET TODAY
  • [28] THY INTRODUCES SERVICE TO ALGERIA
  • [29] TURKEY AND GREECE WITHDRAW US-MADE WEAPONS FROM CYPRUS
  • [30] 1999 BUDGET APPROVED
  • [31] REPORT ON RUSSIA
  • [32] TYD ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN
  • [33] HEALTH MINISTER LEAVES FOR US
  • [34] ERSUMER APPOINTED AS DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
  • [35] GEORGIAN DOMESTIC FORCES COMMANDER IN TURKEY
  • [36] NATO FRIGATES AND DESTROYERS TO COME TO ANTALYA
  • [37] PARLIAMENT NOT TO RECESS
  • [38] WORLD THEATRE GROUPS IN ALACATI
  • [39] BALEM-TOWER 2000 IN BURSA
  • [40] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [41] ANTICIPATED VERDICT -BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
  • [42] THE FIRST STEP IN A LONG PROCESS -BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)
  • [43] ON THE DEATH PENALTY -BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)
  • [44] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [45] RUSSIAN SOLDIERS TO PASS THROUGH THE STRAITS
  • [46] TURKISH TROOPS TO EMBARK FOR KOSOVO ON THURSDAY

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] OCALAN TRIAL ENDS WITH DEATH SENTENCE

    The State Security Court (DGM) that has been in the process of trying the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, convicted him of treason and sentenced him to death yesterday on Imrali Island. Judge Turgut Okyay read out the sentence sometime around 10:30 a.m. The judges decided unanimously that Ocalan had violated Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which carries a mandatory death sentence for those convicted of treason.

    Every death sentence is automatically appealed in Turkey. If the High Court of Appeals upholds the verdict, it will go to Parliament for approval and then to President Suleyman Demirel. Joy was also clearly evident among the crowd of people waiting in Mudanya for the announcement of the court's decision. Families of soldiers who had been killed in clashes with the PKK gathered at Mudanya, the mainland port closest to Imrali, to celebrate the verdict. /All papers/

    [04] DEMIREL: "THE COURT HAS FULFILLED ITS MISSION"

    Concerning the State Security Court (DGM) decision to sentence Abdullah Ocalan to death, Turkey's top officials expressed their faith in the country's independent judiciary. President Suleyman Demirel told reporters in Istanbul yesterday that the Court had fulfilled its mission. Answering questions as to what comes next, Demirel said: "The answer is in the legal system". Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was careful in commenting on the Court decision. Answering questions from reporters at Parliament, Ecevit said: "I cannot make any comments. The legal system in Turkey is independent. The legal process may continue because it is subject to appeal. For this reason, it is not possible for me to know what kind of developments will occur".

    Meanwhile, National Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu reiterated that the Turkish judiciary was fully independent. The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Yasar Okuyan, stated that they welcomed the verdict of the Court on Ocalan with respect. /Turkiye/

    [05] PARLIAMENT APPLAUDS THE VERDICT

    The death sentence passed on Abdullah Ocalan was evaluated as the anticipated result by political circles. Political party representatives hinted that the Turkish Grand National Assembly would approve the verdict concerning Ocalan. Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut said that such a verdict was a must. He added that there was a legal neccessity to impose the death sentence and it was the natural result of legal procedure. He stressed that Turkey had never allowed and would never allow terrorist activities.

    Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Devlet Bahceli stressed for his part the independence of the Turkish legal system, adding they welcomed the final verdict of the court.

    The Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, noted that the Ocalan case was just and legal and at the end the accused had received the natural result of his crimes. He said that the decision of Parliament concerning Ocalan case would be in line with public conscious.

    The Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, said that the legal procedure was still in progress and that he did not want to make any comment on the case. However, he added, the Turkish legal system had once more proved its independence.

    Tansu Ciller, leader of the True Path Party (DYP), said that they respected the verdict of the court. She noted that the Turkish nation was very sensitive about the issue and that they would ask for the approval of the verdict by Parliament.

    Finally, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Altan Oymen, stressed that the case had revealed the Turkish nation's pain experienced for years. He added that they now waited for the confirmation procedure to be finalized. /Milliyet/

    [06] EUROPE: 'DON'T TO EXECUTE OCALAN'

    European countries did not welcome the verdict concerning Abdullah Ocalan and asked Turkey not to execute him. They wanted to re-discuss the death sentence passed on Ocalan.

    Switzerland asked Turkey not to execute Ocalan. According to the Bern administration, the application of the death penalty was against European Commission standards.

    Britain criticised Ocalan's being sentenced to death and asked for the verdict to be commuted to a life sentence. Minister of Foreign Affairs Robin Cook said that their opinion about the death sentence was very clear and they would ensure that Turkey understood their ideas.

    The South African Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that they did not believe that the death sentence was not a just verdict.

    The Spanish Government Spokesman Josep Pique wanted the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to prevent the death sentence.

    Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik remarked that the death sentence should not be carried out.

    Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema evaluated the court verdict saying that it was a very serious decision. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lamberto Dini, said for his part that they sided with the European Union (EU) countries concerning the Ocalan verdict.

    The Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Rahmanin, wanted Turkey who is a member of the European Commission not to execute the death sentence on Ocalan.

    Finland claimed that all European Union (EU) countries would be against the execution of Ocalan's death sentence.

    The Portuguese Prime Minister, Antoniao Guterres, said they believed that the execution of Ocalan would have serious repercussions on Turco-EU relations.

    The Spokesman of the Greek Government, Yannis Nikolau, said that Athens was against the death penalty. He added that Turkey should prove that she was acting in line with European principles in the legal area.

    Azerbaijan political parties announced that they supported the verdict.

    Austrian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wolfgang Schussel said that they were against the death sentence and wanted Turkey not to implement the verdict.

    The German Minister of the Interior, Otto Schilly, said they hoped that after the verdict is examined by the Court of Appeals it would be taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

    The Spokesman for the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anne G. Secret, said that if Turkey applied the verdict, there would be problems in her relations with the EU. French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac noted that it was a fact that activities which Ocalan had conducted for years were "terrorist" activities but they hoped that the verdict would be changed.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. Administration, contrary to European countries, said that the death sentence passed on Ocalan was, from now on, the concern of the Turkish legal system, Parliament and President. White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart said that they had believed that Ocalan was an international criminal and therefore should be taken to court. The U.S. Department of State's Spokesman, James Rubin, drew attention to the fcat that the legal procedure was still going on in Turkey and added that the verdict would be taken to the European Court of Human Rights. He added, "Turkey has international responsibilities; however, it is very clear that the trial was finalized in line with legal principles." /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [07] RAPID REPLY TO EUROPE

    The Council of Ministers, General Secretary and the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council issued a joint declaration regarding the Ocalan verdict saying that they were concerned about the death sentence.

    Immediately after the declaration from Europe, Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sermet Atacanli made a statement stressing that the legal system in Turkey was independent. He noted, "We have neither the authority to interfere in the verdict of the judges nor to accept advice or interference from other countries. Justice is the domestic issue of every country." /Star/

    [08] ISMAIL CEM'S CAUTIOUS ATTITUDE

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem said that he was very cautious about the meeting with his Greek counterpart George Papandreu. He noted that if a positive step had been taken at the end of the meeting this would not mean that everything would be solved. Cem stressed that Turkey would like to see Athens' unambiguous attitude towards the PKK. He added that the Balkans, tourism, the environment and economic issues should be discussed in parallet with the "terrorism issue". /Milliyet/

    [09] PKK DEMONSTRATIONS IN EUROPE

    After the death sentence was pronounced during the Ocalan trial, demonstrations started throughout Europe. Almost 100 PKK supporters demonstrated in front of the Turkish Embassy in Athens against Turkey. At the end of the demonstrations there were clashes between the police and PKK supporters. Meanwhile, it was reported that there were Kurdish demonstrations in front of the Turkish Embassies in Moscow, Rome, the Hague and London. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] 'TRIAL SHOULD BE ACTIONED AGAIN'

    The Organization of Amnesty International wanted the Ocalan trial to be actioned again. The organization urged Turkey not to execute the death sentence against Ocalan. It was announced that they were against the death sentence under every condition and added that Ocalan should be tried again by a court which was in line with national and international legal principles. Meanwhile, an expert on Turkish Affairs from the Human Rights Watch, Jonathan Sugden, evaluated the trial as political theatre. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] 'TURKEY CANNOT BE LOST'

    An expert on Turkey from the St.Anthony's College, Oxford, Philip Robbins, claimed that Turkey was an important alliance to be lost. He added, "European governments will not ruin their relations with Turkey as they could not handle losing Turkey. The basic problem will be aroused between Turkey and the European public."

    Meanwhile, an expert on Turkey from Georgetown University, Shireen Hunter, stressed Turkey was an important country and Europe could not give up Turkey. However, she added, the Ocalan issue would create difficulties. /Sabah/

    [12] EUROPE APPEALS TO TURKEY NOT TO EXECUTE OCALAN

    In the wake of the State Security Court's (DGM) capital punishment decision for Abdullah Ocalan, various European countries and politicians appealed to Turkey not to execute the sentence, while Ankara replied that any intervention made to the ongoing judicial process by 'third parties' was 'unacceptable'.

    One of the first reactions came from Hans van den Broek, the EU Commissioner for External Affairs. In a written statement which made a general reference to the EU's position, Broek said that he had 'taken note' of the decision of the Turkish court regarding Ocalan. "Mr.Van den Broek reiterates the EU's opposition to the death penalty and reckons that the relevant authorities in Turkey should take the EU position into account with regard to the follow-up of the Court's decision today", the declaration said.

    The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, for its part, signalled its 'concern' with the decision, and expressed its desire that Turkey not execute the sentence, given that Ankara has not carried out a single execution since 1984. While the European Parliament made no collective declaration, the Socialist Group readily responded to the judgement. European Parliament's outgoing Socialist Leader Pauline Green appealed to parliamentary members all over Europe to exert pressure on their Turkish counterparts to ensure that their approval of the sentence was withheld. /All papers/

    [13] REPENTANCE LAW ON THE AGENDA

    Following the verdict on the Abdullah Ocalan case, the Government is preparing to bring the Repentance Law onto the agenda for the PKK terrorists in the mountains. It is reported that the Government will exclude Ocalan, Semdin Sakik and some other PKK members from the context of this Law. In order to take advantage of the Repentance Law, terrorists should surrender to security forces of their own free will. /Aksam/

    [14] OCALAN CASE TELEVISED

    The verdict of the Abdullah Ocalan case was announced by many TV stations throughout the world. The death sentence given for Ocalan was declared by CNN, BBC World and many international news agencies in a newsflash. French TV stations remarked that the decision was not surprising. The British SKY TV pointed out the strict measures taken against likely terrorist activities in Turkey. Channel 5, BBC1 and Channel 4 stressed that the Court ended within a very short period of time and underlined the negative results which would occur following Ocalan's execution. /Aksam/

    [15] DEMIREL IS STATESMAN OF THE YEAR

    Traditional 'High Performance and Achivement Awards' were presented by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Foundation (TUSIAV) yesterday. President Suleyman Demirel was elected 'statesman of the year'. According to a written statement issued by TUSIAV, a ceremony will be held at the Presidential Palace today. /Turkiye/

    [16] IHLAS INVESTMENTS IN HUNGARY

    The foundation of the International Ihlas Trade Centre will be laid tomorrow in Budapest, Hungary. The Centre will be an important opportunity for Turkish industrialists, investors and exporters to enter Hungary during the next century. Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky, the Turkish Ambassador to Hungary, Ender Arat, and the Head of the Executive Board of the Ihlas Holding Company, Dr.Enver Oren, will take part in the foundation laying ceremony. /Turkiye/

    [17] MINISTER OF TRANSPORT VISITS GEORGIA

    The Minister of Transport, Enis Oksuz, will go to Georgia today as the official guest of his Georgian counterpart, Merab Adeishvili. Oksuz and an accompanying delegation will attend the first meeting of the Orientation Committee for the Black Sea Pan-European Transport Region to be organized in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on July 1-2, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [18] BIOEM CELEBRATES ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY

    The first anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Armed Forces' Peace For Partnership Training Centre (BIOEM) was celebrated in Ankara yesterday. During the ceremony attended by military attaches of BIOEM member countries, the Head of the General Staff's Operational Department, Lieutenant General Yasar Buyukanit, delivered a speech and said that since the Cold War had ended, former enemies have established friendly relations with each other and an historic opportunity had occurred for the development of regional and world peace, adding: "It will be beneficial for everyone". /Turkiye/

    [19] TURKMENBASI RECEIVES GARIH

    The President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Turkmenbasi, received the Head of the Executive Board of the Alarko Company, Uzeyir Garih, yesterday. During the meeting, Uzeyir Garih said that the Alarko Company could make huge investments in Turkmenistan and added that they could offer financial opportunities to Turkmenistan together with the firms they cooperate with in Japan. Garih stated following the meeting that Turkmenbasi had been very pleased about the proposal. /Aksam/

    [20] CYPRUS PRESSURE ON ANNAN

    The UN Security Council has given the task of 'calling the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, and Greek-Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides to the negotiation table for comprehensive meetings' in the Autumn 1999 to the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. A draft decision prepared on this issue was unanimously approved by Council members yesterday. /Aksam/

    [21] AYDIN DOGAN INTERNATIONAL CARTOON FESTIVAL

    The 16th Aydin Dogan International Cartoon Festival organized by the Aydin Dogan Foundation has been completed. A jury gathered in Antalya has evaluated 361 cartoons by 301 cartoonists. As a result, the Romanian cartoonist Mihai Ignat ranked first while the Italian Franco Origone came second and the Belgian cartoonist O.Sekoer came third. A ceremony will be held in Ankara on November 8, 1999. /Hurriyet/

    [22] IMF BRIEFING FOR LEADERS

    A briefing concerning the IMF meetings in Turkey was held for the the leaders of the coalition government. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and the Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz, gathered in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday. Finance Minister Sumer Oral, State Ministers Hikmet Ulugbay, Husamettin Ozkan and Tunca Toskay were also present at the briefing. The Ministers and bureaucrats informed the leaders about the IMF delegation's meetings in Turkey, its expectations from Turkey and economic and social reforms that should be undertaken.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit criticized the IMF and said that even though the IMF had shown great interest in countries such as Russia, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico, it did not have any intention of aiding Turkey. Ecevit responded to Hurriyet's questions yesterday and remarked that they were not expecting a great deal of finance from the IMF. He recalled that the IMF could finish its meetings today. /Hurriyet/

    [23] LOANS FOR FINANSBANK

    Finansbank has obtained $65 million in loans from the US market with its commercial paper exports. The Head of the Executive Board of Finansbank, Husnu Ozyegin, said that this shows the power of the Bank abroad. /Hurriyet/

    [24] EUREKA: "EUROPE SHOULD MAKE A BREAKTHROUGH"

    The Ministers' Conference of the European Research Coordination Agency (EUREKA) headed by Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli was held yesterday. During the Conference, Lithuania was accepted as the 27th member. It was also decided that EUREKA initiatives, which aims to increase the competitive power of Europe throughout the world, should be accelerated and Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (KOBIs) should be supported. Devlet Bahceli handed over the Chairmanship of EUREKA to the German Ministry Undersecretary, Dr.Uwe Thomas, on behalf of the German State Minister Dr.Edelgard Bulmahn. /Hurriyet/

    [25] OSCE SUMMIT COSTING $7 MILLION

    The November summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will cost Turkey more than $7 million, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Aydan Karahan told a press conference yesterday. The money has been released from the State Promotion Fund, and several sponsors are yet to be determined. The summit will be held on November 18-19 in Istanbul with the participation of high-level officials, including presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from the 54 member countries.

    Several significant documents are expected to be signed at the end of the summit. The primary one, to be named the Istanbul Charter, will be a basic document on European security in the wake of the end of the Cold War. The charter will constitute a milestone in the history of the OSCE. Another document on the agenda will be revised version of the European Convention on Conventional Weapons. /All papers/

    [26] OTHON CONTINUES CONTACTS IN ANKARA

    President Suleyman Demirel attributes great importance to the further development of relations between Turkey and Cuba. Demirel received Cuban Light Industry Minister Jesus Perez Othon at the Presidential Palace yesterday. While discussing cooperation between the two countries, Demirel said that a provision for the prevention of double taxation should be added to the agreement between the two countries that is intended to encourage and protect investments.

    Othon went on to note that signing an agreement to work together on a cigar production project in Turkey will serve as a concrete basis for other projects in the future. Othon indicated that Turkey is the only country in which Cuba has agreed to engage in a cooperative cigar-production enterprise, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [27] CHAIRMEN TO MEET TODAY

    The chairmen of the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is), Hak-Is Labour Union and the Confederation of Progressive Labour Unions (DISK) are scheduled to meet today to discuss what they view as the failings of the draft of the Social Security Reform Law, prepared by the Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, the Anatolia News Agency reports. A joint report is expected to be prepared by the Turk-Is, Hak-Is and DISK chairmen at the conclusion of the meeting.

    [28] THY INTRODUCES SERVICE TO ALGERIA

    Turkish Airlines (THY) is once again offering flights to Algeria after an eight-year interruption that was caused by high tax rates. In a speech he delivered during a ceremony that took place at Ataturk Airport's foreign airlines terminal, THY General Director Yusuf Bolayirli reminded his listeners that THY had stopped its flights to Algeria in 1991 because of steep taxes. THY will fly to Algeria two weeks a week, Monday and Thursday, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [29] TURKEY AND GREECE WITHDRAW US-MADE WEAPONS FROM CYPRUS

    Coming under pressure from Washington, Turkey and Greece have completed the withdrawal of American-made weapons from Cyprus which had been deployed on the island in violation of US law. "As a result of talks and cooperation with American officials and with the knowledge of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) authorities, the weapons in Northern Cyprus have been harmonized with US law" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sermet Atacanli told reporters yesterday.

    Atacanli said that Greece had to withdraw a broader scope of weapons but declined to give details on numbers and types. He stated that the American administration 'had claimed' that Greece had also completed the withdrawal. The Spokesman said that there was no change in the number of Turkish troops in the TRNC.

    [30] 1999 BUDGET APPROVED

    The 1999 Fiscal Year Budget was approved by Parliament yesterday. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that it was a fact that Turkey has been passing through a bottleneck; however, he added, no one had the right to be depressed. Ecevit noted that the 57th Coalition Government had tried and would try hard to stabilize the economic conditions in Turkey as soon as possible. /Star/

    [31] REPORT ON RUSSIA

    The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) issued a report, entitled "Structural Problems in Turco-Russian Relations and Their Solutions". The report will be announced to the public today. It is announced that the report was prepared by Dr. Mensur Akgun and the Coordinator of the Eurasian Region of the State Economic Affairs' Commission (DEIK). /Star/

    [32] TYD ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN

    The Turkish Tourism Investors' Association (TYD) elected Tavit Koletavitoglu as its new chairman yesterday in Istanbul. At the end of the TDY's General Assembly, Koletavitoglu said that Turkish tourism would overcome its problems very quickly with the cooperation of the public and private sectors. /Star/

    [33] HEALTH MINISTER LEAVES FOR US

    Osman Durmus, the Health Minister, left for the US yesterday. Durmus will participate in the UN Population and Development Commission meeting which will be held in New York and will return to Turkey on July 5, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [34] ERSUMER APPOINTED AS DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

    Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has been appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, the Anatolia News Agency reports. According to the statement by Presidential Press Centre, President Suleyman Demirel approved Ersumer's appointment.

    [35] GEORGIAN DOMESTIC FORCES COMMANDER IN TURKEY

    General George Shervasnidze, Georgian Domestic Forces Commander, who is paying an official visit to Turkey, visited General Rasim Betir, the Gendarmerie Commander, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Emphasizing that a total of 54 Georgian soldiers are trained by the Turkish Armed Forces, Betir remarked that these soldiers will be sent back to Georgia after their training ends.

    [36] NATO FRIGATES AND DESTROYERS TO COME TO ANTALYA

    NATO's frigates and destroyers will visit Antalya between July 1 and 5 for cultural and social purposes. The ships' crew will have the chance to see Antalya and its surrounding during the visit, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [37] PARLIAMENT NOT TO RECESS

    The Parliament's working period which was supposed to last until July 1, 1999, has been prolonged until a second decision announcement, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [38] WORLD THEATRE GROUPS IN ALACATI

    The 10th International Alacati Children's and Youth Theatre Festival will start today. Theatre groups from Azerbaijan, Macedonia and Moldovo will attend the Festival. Also, "Music Bubbles" established by theatre actors from 12 different countries will take to the stage during the Festival. The Festival will end on 4 July. /Cumhuriyet/

    [39] BALEM-TOWER 2000 IN BURSA

    A shopping centre will be constructed in Bursa by Goktug Group, a $40 million investment. The BALEM-Tower 2000 (Bursa Shopping and Entertainment Centre) will comprise entertainment, shopping, sports, restaurants and recreation sites. The Tower will be set up in line with the principles of the World Shopping Centres' Union and will serve 10,000 people every day. It is also announced that world-famous foreign brand-names will open shops in the centre. /Sabah/

    [40] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [41] ANTICIPATED VERDICT -BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi writes on the verdict of the Ocalan trial. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Justice has had the last word and sentenced Abdullah Ocalan, who was responsible for the deaths of thousands as a result of the 19,000 thousand armed conflicts which have taken place from 1984 onwards, to death.

    This was not surprising and even Ocalan, as understood from his statements during the trial knew that he should be sentenced to death. The verdict not only complies with the law but also in accordance with the public conscience. Therefore, the sentencing of the man who brought the PKK trouble, which has lasted for ever so long, to Turkey has created great satisfaction throughout the country.

    The only decision which could have lessened the grief of the relatives of thousands of innocent martyrs and civilians in accordance with the Turkish Penal Code was "capital punishment".

    This is the first part of the issue which concerns law and justice. However, the issue is not only restricted to "law" and "justice". For some, reactions from abroad are important. In fact, for days it was being written that the EU and the Council of Europe were against the death penalty. They claimed that it was wrong for our courts to pass on a sentence of death for this reason. Some even said that to sentence Ocalan to death would make Turkey's entrance into the EU more difficult. This, they claimed would snatch Turkey away from Europe. As if the EU was expecting Turkey with enthusiasm and this would set a barrier in front of Turkey's entrance to the EU!

    In fact, the EU is trying to find problems to put in front of Turkey's entrance. Therefore, those who look at the problem through the arguement concerning what Europe would say should not waste their time and effort.

    Some fear that the PKK terror may spead to the cities. As if PKK has followed a policy of allowing us to live in peace, even though it has the power to take action in the cities! What the PKK can do, as a result of the death sentence, would be more or less the same as what it has done in the past. If it engages in such activities, it will get the punishment it deserves.

    Therefore, we should try to look and see if what we are doing, or what we will do, is in the best interests of Turkey. The question is: is the execution of Ocalan necessary and beneficial to Turkey? We all have to search for an answer to this question and will do so in the coming days."

    [42] THE FIRST STEP IN A LONG PROCESS -BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Dogan Heper writes on the sentence passed on Ocalan. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The verdict on Ocalan has been announced; he has been sentenced to death. In fact, no other verdict was anticipated. It was in accordance with Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, that is 'treason'. The death penalty could be commuted to a life sentence in accordance with Article 59 of the Turkish Penal Code, but as the Court could not find any mitigating circumstances this Article was not applied.

    However, the Ocalan affair is not over yet. The judicial process is still going on. There are other steps to be taken before the final result. First of all, there is the automatic appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals. There are decisions which could be taken by the European Court of Human Rights during that time. Then there is the voting in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and, finally, the case goes to the President.

    Can he be executed following all these procedures? Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe. In 41 member countries of the Council capital punishment has been abolished. In every similar case we are saying to the European Court of Human Rights that Turkey has not applied the death penalty for years.

    However, Ocalan is a special case; he is responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people. It is not easy for everyone to share the grief of the families of those who have been killed. Therefore, the wishes of the relatives should be respected.

    However, we should consider the future of our society rather than the present and discuss what is beneficial or not. If it is in the best interests of the Turkish people, then the families may be asked to give up their demands.

    The execution of the death penalty should be viewed through the window of ensuring Turkish territorial integrity, union and order and securing social compromise and peace and the future of Turkey. Condemnation by Europe on the issue only helps to harden Turkey's stance and to narrow its area of action. Pressure does not lead to a change in the result, in fact, it only helps not to change it. Therefore, the West should act with this consideration in mind.

    There were three goals in Southeastern Anatolia. They were the defeat of terrorism, the capture of Ocalan and the improvement of the Southeast. Two of them have been accomplished but the development of the Southeast has not begun yet. The most stubborn follower of these goals has been Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. The success of the Armed Formes in the Southeast reached its peak with the capture of Ocalan. However, the development of the Southeast has been unable to be implemented with the same fervour.

    We have to try to make the goals we have achieved last, and to reach other goals we have not yet been able to reach. One of them is the Penitence Law. The other is to start implementing the Southeastern Anatolia development programme and continue it without a hitch.

    It has been understood that the young people in the mountains cannot be persuaded to return to normal life only by hearing Ocalan's statements in Court. We need a Penitence Law. Prime Minister Ecevit is insistent on this point. If this will stop new bloodshed, if no new innocent people are to be killed, this Law should be discussed. As the Armed Forces and the Justice Department carry out their duties responsibly, the development plans should also be taken up in a serious manner."

    [43] ON THE DEATH PENALTY -BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)

    Columnist Semih Idiz writes on the death penalty. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The death sentence passed on Ocalan is not surprising. If the verdict had been any different then it would have been surprising. No one expected the death penalty passed on Ocalan to be commuted to a life sentence as the evidence was too obvious. The natural process of our judicial system, a correct process, led to this decision. Even if we are against capital punishment as a country, we have to accept this legal verdict.

    In the same vein, reactions from Germany, the UK and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should not be considered surprising. It has been known for weeks that a campaign would be started in Europe to stop the execution of Ocalan. The campaign which is not only supported by private institutions but also governments and should be anticipated to increase in the coming days.

    The statements of officials in Germany saying that Turkey's dream of entering the EU would be smashed if the verdict were capital punishment were the first signs that we would encounter some problems from Europe on the issue.

    In short, Turkey has come under pressure from the West with the announcement of the verdict. It is expected that there will be an increase in research on "Who are the Kurds? What are their purposes?" in the Western media. While saying all this, we are not passing any judgement but trying to take a picture of the situation and make some logical guesses in view of the statements heard during recent weeks.

    We have to add other factors to these statements. First of all, the pressure of the West did not suffice to change the sentence passed on Ocalan. This shows that if we believe the subject is really important, we do not bow to the will of Europe. If the pressure within is stronger than that abroad we do not take the latter into consideration... Even though political pressure has not changed the verdict we have seen that legal pressure has been taken seriously by Turkey. The amendment in the State Security Courts' Law is evidence of this....

    Some well-known writers have begun to write on the benefits and harm arising from the execution of Ocalan. The "Capital punishment" issue will be one of the hottest topics to be discussed in the coming days. Following the sentence on Ocalan, we are entering a period where everything can calm down. It is known that the procedures of the Supreme Court Of Appeals, the voting in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and European Court of Human Rights will take some time. We shall find the time to see things in a wider perspective.

    [44] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [45] RUSSIAN SOLDIERS TO PASS THROUGH THE STRAITS

    Russia is planning to send its peacekeeping force soldiers and weapons to Kosovo through the Turkish Straits. A statement issued by the Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergeyev, yesterday said that naval transport was the cheapest and the easiest way. A statement issued by the Russian Fleet yesterday said that four military vessels belonging to the Russian Black Sea Fleet would depart from Sivastopol on July 10. /Aksam/

    [46] TURKISH TROOPS TO EMBARK FOR KOSOVO ON THURSDAY

    The departure of the first group of the 987-strong Turkish unit that will serve in the multi-national peacekeeping force in Kosovo (K-FOR) has been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday. The first group will leave Ankara tomorrow and will travel by road along the Ankara-Edirne-Prizren route. The second group will embark on Friday by train,while the third and final group will fly to the Macedonian capital of Skopje next Wednesday and then travel on to Prizren. Yesterday, a farewell ceremony was held for the troops at military facilities in Ankara.

    In a separate development, the number of Kosovar refugees leaving their camps in Turkey exceeded 5,000 as of Tuesday morning, Edirne Deputy Governor Necati Senturk said. Some 18,000 Kosovars had been sheltered in Turkey during the Kosovo crisis. /All papers/


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