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Turkish Press Review, 99-07-01

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

01.07.99

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] AKAYEV IN TURKEY
  • [04] STOCK EXCHANGE INDEX RISES
  • [05] IRTEMCELIK: "TURKEY'S TIES WITH EUROPE ARE LOOSENING"
  • [06] TUSIAD: "TURKEY'S LOSSES AMOUNT TO $5 BILLION"
  • [07] 'YOUR GOVERNMENT IS HOPE-INSPIRING'
  • [08] COOPERATION WITH GREECE
  • [09] 'LOOK AT ITALY'
  • [10] ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH OFFICES ABROAD
  • [11] TWO-FACED EUROPE
  • [12] AUSTRIAN OPPOSITION WANTS PKK TO BE BANNED
  • [13] 12 TERRORISTS WERE KILLED
  • [14] PKK ATTACK IN IDIL
  • [15] TURK GIVES IMPORTANT MESSAGES
  • [16] TRT-INT BROADCASTS STOPPED IN BELGIUM
  • [17] SCHWIMMER: "OCALAN'S TRIAL WAS FAIR'
  • [18] FOREIGN PRESS ON OCALAN'S CASE
  • [19] OCALAN'S LAWYERS TURN TO EUROPE
  • [20] ALL EYES ON THE STRASBOURG PROCESS
  • [21] TURKEY STRUGGLES AGAINST FOREST FIRES
  • [22] INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTS' UNION SUPPORTS TURKEY
  • [23] PATRIACRH KAREKIN DIES
  • [24] COLLAPSE IN MINE
  • [25] ECEVIT: "NO CONSOLIDATION OR DEVALUATION"
  • [26] 'GAP IS THE LIGHT OF TURKEY'
  • [27] NEW AGREEMENT WITH IMF
  • [28] UN PLAYS WITH FIRE OVER CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [29] A CALL FROM BAGHDAD TO ANKARA
  • [30] LIVELINESS IN REAL ECONOMY
  • [31] TURCO-HUNGARIAN COOPERATION
  • [32] CHINESE TIANJIN IN TURKEY
  • [33] 42ND ANNIVERSARY OF TURCO-SOUTH KOREAN RELATIONS
  • [34] ECEVIT: WE ARE STRUGGLING AGAINST ANTI-SECULARISM
  • [35] TOURISM WORKGROUP MEETING HELD BY BSEC
  • [36] OTTOMAN GOLD COINS TO BE ISSUED
  • [37] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [38] THE DEATH SENTENCE AND ITS AFTERMATH -BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)
  • [39] DEATH PENALTY FOR OCALAN -BY COSKUN KIRCA (SABAH)
  • [40] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [41] CEM: KOSOVARS ARE IN DELICATE SITUATION
  • [42] DEMIREL HOLDS A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH GLIGOROV
  • [43] KOSOVAR REFUGEES RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] AKAYEV IN TURKEY

    Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev has arrived in Turkey upon the official invitation of his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Demirel. Akayev was welcomed by Demirel at Esenboga Airport. It is announced that Turkish and Kyrgyz delegations will meet today. The guest President will receive Speaker of the Parliament, Yildirim Akbulut, and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. It is expected that Akayev will give a speech at the Turkish Middle Eastern Public Administration Institution (TODAIE). After completing his round of talks contacts in Ankara, Akayev will leave Turkey tomorrow. /Aksam/

    [04] STOCK EXCHANGE INDEX RISES

    Following the statements made by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who said yesterday that they could make a deal with the IMF, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) National Index increased by 273 points and rose to 4,950. Thus, the daily average profit of share holders was 5.86 %. /Hurriyet/

    [05] IRTEMCELIK: "TURKEY'S TIES WITH EUROPE ARE LOOSENING"

    State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik said yesterday that Turkey's ties with Europe were loosening and stated that if no concrete steps were taken concerning Turco-EU relations at the Helsinki Summit, during which the expansion of the EU would be discussed, there would be a downward trend in Turco-EU relations. Irtemcelik delivered a speech at the General Council of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV) in Istanbul and stressed that the Helsinki Summit was an opportunity which should not be missed for the recovery of Turco-EU relations. He said: "Turkey is looking for her rights and does not want any privilege and remarks that she will not approve the discriminative attitude assumed following the Luxembourg Summit". /Hurriyet/

    [06] TUSIAD: "TURKEY'S LOSSES AMOUNT TO $5 BILLION"

    The Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) wishes Turco-Russian relations to be developed. A report "Structural Problems and Solution Proposals in Turco-Russian Relations" which was prepared by the Eurasian Regional Coordinator of the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK), Turan Aydin, and a Lecturer at Marmara University, Assc.Prof.Mensur Akgun, was announced during a press conference held at the TUSIAD general centre yesterday in Istanbul. The Head of the TUSIAD Foreign Relations Commission, Aldo Kaslowski, and Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission Pekin Baran also took part in the conference.

    Baran said that the Customs Union process which began in 1996 was entering an uncertain period with the decisions taken in Luxembourg in 1997 and added: "There should be a new approach in foreign policy. The main country in this context should be Russia". Baran remarked that while the difference in trade volume between Turkey and Europe was $12 billion in favour of Europe, Turkey received a net $10 billion from her commercial relations with Russia. Baran stated that Russia was a very important economic partner for Turkey. During the conference it was also stressed that the Russian crisis had negatively affected the Turkish economy and added that Turkey's losses because of this crisis totalled $5 billion. /Hurriyet/

    [07] 'YOUR GOVERNMENT IS HOPE-INSPIRING'

    High-level representatives from the American-Turkish Council which constitutes an important bridge in the development of Turco-US relations paid a significant visit to Ankara. Nancy Kassebaum, the Head of the Council, was received by President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Turkish Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut. Kassebaum remarked that the new government in Turkey was hope-inspiring. She said that there was a strong government in Turkey and added that Turkey was exerting every effort to continue with a stable economy. Kassebaum stressed that Ecevit's visit to the US would be very beneficial and pointed out that Turkey has shown during the Kosovo crisis how a real ally should act. /Hurriyet/

    [08] COOPERATION WITH GREECE

    The Foreign Affairs Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart Yorgo Papandreu signed a suprising agreement in New York, U.S. while they were attending the Kosovo Allies Meeting. The Ministers agreed to commence discussions on five subjects: the fight against terrorism; organized crime and drug smuggling; tourism; cultural subjects; environmental problems and illegal immigrants. The negotiations will begin this month. Meanwhile, it has been disclosed that Greece has not withdrawn the weapons from Cyprus contrary to their commitments to do so which was requested by the U.S., whereas Turkey implemented the weapons' withdrawal procees on 15th June. The U.S. Administration has given Turkey an absolute guarantee to ensure the withdrawal of these weapons from the Island. /Star/

    [09] 'LOOK AT ITALY'

    The Italian President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, said that during his visit to Kurdish refugee camps in Lecce, southern Italy, he would do his utmost to prevent the execution of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan. The Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini stated that Turkey should be stopped and Ocalan should not be executed. /Milliyet/

    [10] ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH OFFICES ABROAD

    Separatists have started violent attacks against Turkish people throughout Europe. Last night a group of PKK terrorists attacked cafes, restaurants and travel agencies in various districts of Germany. Meanwhile, Greek police announced that there have been attacks against offices belonging to Americans and Turks in Athens.

    In a further development, the U.S. has decided to close down its Consulates in Istanbul and Adana temporarily.

    The Belgian "La Libre Belgique" newspaper reported that Ocalan was on death row adding that Parliament will have the last word on the matter. It claimed that as Ocalan had accepted all accusations during the trial, the death penalty was not suprising. "Le Soir" stressed that Europe was trying to save Ocalan's head.

    The Bulgarian "Demokrasiya" newspaper reported the death penalty verdict for Ocalan. It added that Turkey was not in need of advice concerning the death sentence.

    Meanwhile, the Spanish Parliament approved a motion stating that they were against the implementation of the death penalty. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abel Matutes, sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, saying that Spain always criticised terrorism and violence. Matutes in his letter asked Cem for reassurance that the death sentence passed on Ocalan would not be carried out.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced that the U.N. Special Inspector on capital punishment sent a letter to Ismail Cem concerning the Ocalan trial verdict saying that the death penalty should not be implemented. /Aksam/

    [11] TWO-FACED EUROPE

    The European media, which has not written even a sentence during the 15 years of PKK massacres in Turkey, is now the willing lawyer of Ocalan after the death sentence was announced. All European newspapers have watched the killing of babies and innocent people by Ocalan and his supporters without any reaction; however, now they request Ocalan's pardon. Yesterday's issues claimed that if Ocalan's death sentence was implemented, Turkey and Europe would be against each other. They reported that the verdict of the court had put Turkey in a difficult situation in Europe. /Sabah/

    [12] AUSTRIAN OPPOSITION WANTS PKK TO BE BANNED

    The Austrian main opposition party, "Freedom Lovers Party", wishes the PKK to be banned in Austria. In order to prevent violent attacks in their country, the representatives of the party said, a terrorist organization like the PKK should be banned immediately. /Turkiye/

    [13] 12 TERRORISTS WERE KILLED

    During a crack-down on Mount Havillati near Hakkari, 12 terrorists were killed by the security forces. In Omerli, Mardin, one terrorist was seized and in Baskale, Van, one terrorist surrendered who had escaped from the terrorist organization. /Star/

    [14] PKK ATTACK IN IDIL

    Following the verdict on the case of the head of the PKK terrorist terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, on Tuesday, the PKK organized an attack in the Idil district of Sirnak two days ago. A group of PKK members fired rockets at security forces. It is reported that there were no casualties during the attack. /Hurriyet/

    [15] TURK GIVES IMPORTANT MESSAGES

    Even though the Turkish government, which has been under strong diplomatic pressure because of the death penalty decision in the Ocalan case, is not considering an arrangement to commute the death penalty to life imprisonment due to the sensitivity of public opinion, Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said that the final decision concerning the draft would be given by the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). Turk remarked that no preparations were currently underway concerning the removal of the death penalty. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] TRT-INT BROADCASTS STOPPED IN BELGIUM

    The company 'IVEKA' which was broadcasting Turkish TRT-INT programmes on cable TV in the Anvers district of Belgium has decided to halt the broadcasts as of September 30, 1999. The Head of the Administration and Information Committee of the Company and Socialist Deputy Hugo van Rompaey announced the decision to the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on the same day as the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, was sentenced to death. Rompaey also called on other companies to assume the same stance. /Hurriyet/

    [17] SCHWIMMER: "OCALAN'S TRIAL WAS FAIR'

    The General Secretary of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, said that the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, was fairly tried. In a statement to Deutschland Radio Berlin, Schwimmer remarked that the implementation of the death penalty depended on a political decision as yet to be taken and said: "Turkey has not carried out the death penalty for the last 15 years. Ocalan's trial was in line with European standards". He recalled that European observers were also allowed to follow the trial. Schwimmer stressed that the Chief Judge of the State Security Court (DGM) had made great strides to be fair towards the defendants and plaintiffs. /Hurriyet/

    [18] FOREIGN PRESS ON OCALAN'S CASE

    US: Washington Post- There are different opinions concerning the execution of the terrorist in Turkey. The Wall Street Journal- Whatever decision Turkey gives, Europeans have no right to complain because of the death penalty passed on Ocalan, a terrorist who caused the deaths of 30,000 people. There is no prohibition concerning the Kurdish language and there is no legal pressure on Kurds in Turkey. Greece: Eleftorotopia- Human rights are being violated in Turkey. To Nea- Ocalan's trial was not fair. Elefteros Tipos- Turkey will use Ocalan as a trump card for its EU membership. To Vima- Greece has made various mistakes on the Ocalan issue. It was not right for Greece to support the separatists. France: Liberation- Turkey is also sentenced like Ocalan. Le Figaro- It will be beneficial for Turkey to commute the death penalty to life imprisonment. Le Monde- It is not right to compare Turkey with Kosovo. There are many Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin in Parliament and in many other fields. Iran: Tehran Times- It is time for Ankara to prefer peace and not to shed blood. Intihab- Turkey has said 'goodbye' to the EU.

    Britain: The Guardian- The decision brought Europe, which was softening towards Turkey, face to face with Ankara. The Daily Telegraph- Western observers are in consensus that the trial was fair. The Independent- Even though Ocalan is not a holy man, he should not be executed. Financial Times- Turkey cannot overcome the problems which will occur following the execution of Ocalan. Russia: Izvestia- The PKK is collapsing. However, this is a negative development for Turkey, because there will be more militants in the PKK. Nezavisimaya- The bargaining chip for EU membership is the execution. Komersant- Kurds could declare a terrible war in Turkey. Germany: The Voice of Germany- Ocalan has the chance of life imprisonment. Italy: La Repubblica- Turkey has violated all international rules. La Stampa- Italy sounds a higher voice against execution. Il Messagero- Not Ocalan, but a society of 12 million has been sentenced. Italy also takes the blame. Pakistan: The Nation- The Kurdish leader has been sentenced to death due to treason. India: The Times of India- Turkey punished Ocalan with death. Israel: Yedihot Ahronot- Ocalan's execution will take a long time due to a long-drawn-out legal process. /Hurriyet-Milliyet/

    [19] OCALAN'S LAWYERS TURN TO EUROPE

    Ocalan's attorneys, Niyazi Bulgan, Kemal Bilgic, Dogan Erbas and Kenan Sidar have evaluated the process of the trial. They claimed that the seizing, the process of custody and the trial were unfair. Bulgan said that they would ask the European Court of Human Rights to step in to prevent the execution. /Star/

    [20] ALL EYES ON THE STRASBOURG PROCESS

    The lawyers for the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, said that they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to take precautionary measures against the death penalty. Ocalan's case in the ECHR will be taken up by a 'Great Department' consisting of 20 judges, including 17 regular and three subtitute judges. Among these judges, a Turkish judge and former Ambassador Riza Turmen, will also have a place. /Cumhuriyet/

    [21] TURKEY STRUGGLES AGAINST FOREST FIRES

    Prof.Uckun Geray from the Forestry Faculty of Istanbul University said that during the 10 years between 1987 and 1996, Turkey ranked first in the Mediterranean in the fight against forest fires. Geray remarked that renting helicopters to fight forest fires would be more beneficial. /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTS' UNION SUPPORTS TURKEY

    The International Architects' Union will support Turkish architects and the Turkish nation in their determination not to turn the Bosphorus Straits into an oil route. Meanwhile, the General Council of the International Architects' Union will be held in 2005 in Istanbul. The recent World Congress and the General Council of the International Architects' Union was held in Beijing, China, on June 20-29, 1999. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] PATRIACRH KAREKIN DIES

    The Armenian Patriarch Karekin I has died of lymphatic cancer. On the occasion, a period of mourning was announced in all Armenian societies throughout the world until August 7, 1999. The Spokesman of the Patriarchate Press Office, Luiz Bakar, issued a written statement and said that the election of the new Patriarch would be held before the year 2000. /Cumhuriyet/

    [24] COLLAPSE IN MINE

    As a result of a collapse in a mine in the Akdagmadeni district of Yozgat, one worker, Ali Karahan (45), died. Other workers managed to escape from the mine following the collapse. /Cumhuriyet/

    [25] ECEVIT: "NO CONSOLIDATION OR DEVALUATION"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said yesterday that there would be no consolidation or devaluation in Turkey. He added: "Turkey's foreign exchange reserves are currently more than $22 billion. There is a surplus in the current accounts of the balance of payments". Ecevit remarked that conditions put forth by the IMF in order to support the Turkish economy were actually the ones which Turkey regards as essential and stressed that Turkey has already begun to take these measures. /Cumhuriyet/

    [26] 'GAP IS THE LIGHT OF TURKEY'

    It is reported that the electricity produced by the dams in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region is nearly half of the electricity produced in Turkey. The 145.6 billion kwh of electricity produced by the Ataturk and Karakaya Dams since the beginning of this year amounted to almost $8.7 billion. A report on 'The situation in the GAP region as of 1998' prepared by the GAP Regional Development Administration said that the electricity produced by the Ataturk and Karakaya Dams was at the level which could match 36.4 million tons of fuel-oil imports. The report added that the GAP region would be the light of Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [27] NEW AGREEMENT WITH IMF

    As a result of the meetings with the IMF which continued until June 15, an atmosphere conducive to an agreement between Turkey and the IMF which envisages 'monetary support' has been attained. During a joint press conference to be held today, the IMF trust in Turkish economic policy will be confirmed. A stand-by agreement will be made with the IMF in the Autumn. The IMF will extend the Staff Monitoring Agreement with Turkey for another six months. /Milliyet/

    [28] UN PLAYS WITH FIRE OVER CYPRUS ISSUE

    The United Nations (UN) has approved the decisions concerning Cyprus taken at the end of the G-8 summit last week. The UN Security Council wants one right of sovereignty, one international body, single citizenship status and two equal societies on the Island. The Council rejected the idea of the Island's total or partial unity with another country. The only positive aspect of the decision is the approval of two federations, two societies plan on the island. It also urged the Greek-Cyprus to accept the confidence building measures.

    Meanwhile, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, said that the UN decisions were unacceptable. If he was invited, he would meet the UN Secretary-General to inform him about their ideas, said Denktas, adding that they were determined to protect their rights to the end.

    On the other hand, Greek-Cypriot leader Glafkos Klerides evaluated the process on Cyprus started by the G-8 countries and the UN as the most serious one on the issue. Claiming that there would be a solution on the Island within 6-7 months, Klerides noted that TRNC President Denktas would attend the negotiations. /Aksam/

    [29] A CALL FROM BAGHDAD TO ANKARA

    According to the official Iranian News Agency, the Iraqi Administration has asked Turkey to prevent the American airstrikes against Northern Iraq. The same sources reported that the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammed Said El Sahaf, had met Turkish State Minister Mehmet Kececiler, who is still in Burkina Faso to attend the Conference of the Organization for an Islamic Conference. During the meeting, Sahaf wanted Turkey to re-evaluate her Northern Iraq policies and prevent British and American airstrikes against the region. /Turkiye/

    [30] LIVELINESS IN REAL ECONOMY

    After the first three months of 1999, activity has started within the companies. The General Director of Kartonsan, Ismail Altilar, said that as their activities had begun before their expectations they had already increased their targets in the year 1999. He noted that there had been a rapid increase in orders since February and that, he added, they increased production from 139,000 to 143,500 tons. He pointed out that companies were now working at full capacity. /Asksam/

    [31] TURCO-HUNGARIAN COOPERATION

    The 6th Meeting of the Turco-Hungarian Joint Energy Group is still going on in Budapest. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Dr.Yurdakul Yigitguden said joint meetings with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Honig, were very fruitful. He added that they had been organizing meetings with their Hungarian counterparts for the past three years to discuss joint projects, especially concerning cooperation in technology. /Aksam/

    [32] CHINESE TIANJIN IN TURKEY

    World-famous Chinese Tianjin cars which are produced using the latest technology entered the Turkish market. The promotion of the cars will begin on 5 July. It is announced that the distributor of Tianjin cars in Turkey is Nurtek Motors. /Turkiye/

    [33] 42ND ANNIVERSARY OF TURCO-SOUTH KOREAN RELATIONS

    The 42nd anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Turkey and Southern Korea was celebrated last night at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul. Turkish and Southern Korean senior officials and businessmen attended the celebrations. The Korean National Folk Dances Group staged a performance during the night. /Turkiye/

    [34] ECEVIT: WE ARE STRUGGLING AGAINST ANTI-SECULARISM

    The Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, said the government has succeeded in the measures it took as a part of its efforts to fight anti-secular movements. Speaking at his party's group meeting, Ecevit said that the secular and democratic Republic of Turkey would continue to follow the principles of modern Turkey's founde, Ataturk. /All papers/

    [35] TOURISM WORKGROUP MEETING HELD BY BSEC

    The 4th tourism workgroup meeting of the member countries of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization (BSEC) began in Istanbul yesterday. Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu suggested that all of the member countries share a rich cultural heritage, stating, "I believe the share of BSEC member states in the tourism market will increase through a rational evaluation of their tourism potential and a common marketing strategy for the region." Mumcu added that, in addition to keeping up good relations with other BSEC countries, Turkey sought to undertake mutually beneficial projects such as the futrher development of tourism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [36] OTTOMAN GOLD COINS TO BE ISSUED

    To commemorate of the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire, Vakifbank has decided to issue 2,500 "Ottoman Gold Coins". The gold coins will be put on sale at a price of 150 million TL in July throughout Vakifbank offices in Turkey. /Sabah/

    [37] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [38] THE DEATH SENTENCE AND ITS AFTERMATH -BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Retired Ambassador Ilter Turkmen comments on the death sentence and its aftermath. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Attention has been drawn to the legal finalizing of this decision, to various aspects of the execution procedure and the reactions it has created both within the country and abroad.

    It can be said that the trial has been a success for Turkey. The trial procedure has been conducted in line with legal rules, the State Security Courts have been civilianized, and the judges have gained the approval of everyone. Furthermore, Ocalan has made statements which disappointed circles ready to exploit the Kurdish issue against Turkey , admitted his mistakes, and has said that a solution should be looked for in the democratization process within the unitary State structure and the territorial integrity of Turkey by recognizing differing cultural identities. If the Bill former Justice Minister Hasan Denizkurdu had prepared concerning the abolishment of capital punishment had been approved before head of the PKK terrorist organization was captured, Ocalan's sentence would have been commuted to life and a positive atmosphere which would have facilitated the solution would have been created both within the country and abroad. As we have lost this opportunity, domestic policies will be tied to arguments on the death sentence, the call and pressure which has started to come from European countries will increase with every passing day and even the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could be affected.

    The main institution concerned with the State Security Court decision is the Council of Europe. As Turkey has not signed the sixth protocol banning capital punishment, she is bound by provisions in the "Agreement on Protecting European Human Rights and Basic Freedoms", dated 1950. At that time, as capital punishment was in effect in many European countries, the death sentence was not banned. However, it is seen that European Court of Human Rights is inclined to use its authority so as not to seem silent against a death sentence.

    The other two organizations which would follow the issue are the European Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Ministers. The Assembly can only take decisions as recommendations. On the other hand, the Council of Ministers theoretically may expel Turkey from the Council of Europe on the demand of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe itself. However, even if the death sentence is executed this is a very weak probability. In the Ukraine, who has signed the sixth protocol, death sentences have been passed and carried out and the subject of expelling the Ukraine from the Council of Europe has not ever come onto the agenda.

    When the legal procedures are over a serious test awaits the Turkish Grand National Assembly(TGNA). The TGNA cannot be expected to stay indifferent to the indignation felt over the head of a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of thousands and the cries of grief-stricken families. However, it has the responsibility to protect peace, security and the democratization process in the country and the long-term interests of Turkey in the international arena. The best remedy for emotional reactions and the best friend for commonsense is time and we have time. At this stage, the important thing is to prevent giving the impression that the TGNA is inclined to approve the death penalty for Ocalan. We hope that party leaders will snatch themselves away from the attraction of populism and comprehend their historic responsibilities."

    [39] DEATH PENALTY FOR OCALAN -BY COSKUN KIRCA (SABAH)

    Columnist Coskun Kirca comments on the death penalty. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The anticipated result came out and the State Security Court sentenced Abdullah Ocalan to death without finding any mitigating circumstances. Now, the case is in the hands of the Supreme Court of Appeals. It may approve the decision, or due to reasons which cannot be estimated today, may be sent back for a different sentence. Both the decisions of the State Security Court and the Supreme Court of Appeals should be viewed calmly and with respect.

    If the Supreme Court of Appeals approves the decision, the case will come to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for a vote on his execution. The authority to approve executions is vested in the Parliament in Turkey. Elsewhere this right is used by Heads of State. The Parliament can be swayed under the influence of political currents and various emotions. Therefore, this may be considered a drawback in our Constitution. However, the President has the right ask for the vote on execution to be renewed.

    Another point is that Turkey has not signed the European Protocol concerning the abolishment of capital punishment. For 16 years an execution has not taken place and many similar cases are waiting in the related parliamentary commission. However, Turkish diplomacy has presented this fact as if capital punishment may be considered abolished in Turkey. If this implementation is changed after all diplomatic statements against Ocalan, it would be a cause for criticism. The responsibility of leaving Turkey in such a difficult position lies with the politicians who have not found a solution to problem.

    Those who are against the execution of Ocalan can defend their views on two different platforms. The first is to repeat the general criticisms against capital punishment, the second is to claim that it would not serve the public interest....

    The claim that capital punishment does not agree with democracies based on human rights is not consistent. Is not the US a democracy or were not the European countries democratic until 50 years ago at the most?

    If Ocalan is not executed, it is certain that the grief-stricken families and a majority of citizens sharing their grief will be extremely disappointed. On the other hand, there may be those who think that Ocalan is not worth the criticisms we have to face from abroad. On this point both contrasting views should be respected.

    [40] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [41] CEM: KOSOVARS ARE IN DELICATE SITUATION

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, in New York for a U.N. meeting on Kosovo, said that the Kosovar Turkish community was facing more difficulties than other ethnic groups in the province. Cem sounded cautious on the postwar developments in the province. "The war has been won, but now we must win the peace as well," the Minister said. He added that Turkey should take on an active role in the outline of the interim government institutions, as well as in Kosovo's economic reconstruction and the provision of security. /Cumhuriyet/

    [42] DEMIREL HOLDS A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH GLIGOROV

    President Suleyman Dmirel held yesterday a telephone conversation with his Macedonian counterpart Kiro Gligorov. The talks between the two Presidents focused on the latest developments in the region, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [43] KOSOVAR REFUGEES RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY

    Kosovar refugees who have taken shelter in Turkey as a result of ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo continued to return to Kosovo yesterday. A total of 5,535 out of 17,734 Kosovar refugees have left Turkey from the Edirne-Kapikule border gate for Kosovo since the peace agreement, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    END


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