|Saturday, 5 December 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 99-07-13
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
 SPECIAL KOSOVO
 WORLD BANK TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL AID TO TURKEYThe World Bank is waiting for the conclusion of a standby agreement between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to provide financial aid to Turkey. Talks between the government and the World Bank that began during the visit of an IMF delegation to Turkey are continuing on a detailed basis. The World Bank is expected to offer a $ 6 billion structural adjustment loan if Turkey fulfills the structural reforms the IMF is asking for. The loan will be used to reform Turkey's economic and financial sectors. Economic reforms will include social security systems, agricultural and privatization policies and the financial sector, officials said. Turkish officials further said that if Turkey concludes the standby agreement with the IMF, World Bank aid might even reach $ 9 billion. They added that the IMF and World Bank support international arbitration, which is deemed necessary to speed up privatization.
In the meantime, Country Aid Strategy (CAS) talks opened in Ankara on Monday. CAS provides financial sponsorship over a three-year period. Talks are expected to last at least four or five months. /Sabah/
 EU SHOULD SEE TURKEY AS MEMBERSHIP CANDIDATEA German official said he wants Turkey to become a candidate for EU membership. German Deputy Foreign Minister Guenter Verheugen said in an interview in the daily "Die Welt": "Turkey should become a candidate like the East Europeans. A large majority of the EU countries is in favour of this." Declaring Turkey an EU candidate would promote political reforms in the country, although actual membership talks would still be very far off. /Hurriyet/
 BLOODSHED IN BAHGLADESHI MILITARY ATTACHE'S HOUSEThe wife and son of the Bangladeshi military attache in Ankara, General Sharif Ul Islam, were stabbed to death by the family's housekeeper at noon on Monday. The attache himself suffered multiple stab wounds and was in a critical condition in Hacettepe Hospital. The attacker, Hafiz Ul Rahman, is still wanted by the police. /Sabah/
 TOURISM SECTOR GETS RELIEFThe crisis in the tourism sector which first appeared in April this year is easing due to high numbers of tourists coming to the country. The end of the school year in Europe and Turkey is the reason behind this relief and holiday resorts are readjusting their prices to minimize their losses. There are no vacancies in the majority of the resorts but still they admit that they cannot recover all their losses even though they are already fully-booked for July, August and September. /Sabah/
 AKBULUT WELCOMES AUSTRALIAN SPEAKERThe Australian delegation led by House Speaker Neil Andrew visited Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut on the first stop of its tour of Turkey. Akbulut told his counterpart that he did not support the commemoration of April 24 in Australia's State of New South Wales as the day of the so-called Armenian genocide. Andrew replied that Australian States' governments are autonomous and that, despite the fact that the Federal Parliament has no say in the decisions made by the State governments, he would take Akbulut's views under consideration, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
 QUINN IN ANKARAThe English Deputy Foreign Minister, Joyce Quinn, who came to Turkey to hold talks concerning the full membership of Turkey in the European Union (EU), met State Ministers Sukru Sina Gurel and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik. After the meetings Quinn said that the effects of recent negative developments between Turkey and the EU should be decreased. She noted that Britain thought that Turkey was eligible for EU full membership. Regarding the Cyprus issue, she said Britain's attitude to the issue has been perfectly clear for years, adding that both sides should accept the UN decision inviting them to sit at the negotiation table.
Quinn will be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem before heading to Istanbul tommorrow. /Cumhuriyet/
 BELGIUM ELECTS FIRST TURK TO NATIONAL SENATEThe Flemish Green's candidate from the Aqalev Party, attorney Meryem Kacar, was elected to the Belgian Senate in the nationwide elections held on 13 June. Kacar gained the title of the first elected politician of Turkish origin in Belgium, in which 20 other Turks were also nominated in this year's elections but failed to win office. /All papers/
 ECEVIT: U.S. SHOULD NOT EXPECT CONCESSIONS FROM TURKEY ON CYPRUSPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the U.S. administration should not expect Turkey to make concessions on the Cyprus issue. Ecevit is scheduled to pay a visit to the U.S. in early September. His talks there are expected to be a determining factor in the ultimate position which Washington will adopt regarding Cyprus. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the reality in Cyprus. For the last 25 years there has been an independent Turkish State in the north of the Island," said Ecevit in an interview published on Monday in Britain's "Daily Telegraph". He added that London would help the rest of the world to understand that there are two States on Cyprus.
Upon being questioned, Ecevit said that there had been a serious terrorism problem in Turkey for the last 15 years. He added, "If some of the European countries had not encouraged the PKK, the democratization process would have been more powerful. They want Turkey to be under their control and thereforethey do not let Turkey become strategically and economically powerful." /Cumhuriyet/Sabah/
 1998 TOURISM REVENUES AT $ 11.2 BILLIONTurkey's 1998 tourism revenues were $ 11.2 billion, the State Statistics Institution (DIE) disclosed on Monday. The DIE released the results of the "Foreign Visitors Survey" that it conducted in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry. According to the survey, Turkey's direct tourism revenues last year were $ 7.8 billion. Coupled with the $ 3.4 billion worth of goods these foreign visitors bought in Turkey, the overall revenue from tourism reached $ 11.2billion. /All papers/
 ATHENS PLAYS DOUBLE GAMEWhile closeness between Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers has been increasing, the Greek, Iranian and Armenian Deputy Foreign Ministers met yesterday in Athens. After the meeting Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Kranidiotis said that cooperation between the three countries is of great political importance for regional peace and stability. He added that economic cooperation should also be strengthened, especially in the field of energy. /Cumhuriyet/
 'OCALAN IS A TERRORIST'At the end of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Security and Cooperation Organization in St. Petersburg, Russia last weekend, 54 member countries of the organization signed the final communique which includes an article stating that the chief of the terrorist PKK organization, Abdullah Ocalan, is a terrorist. However, it defended the opinion that Ocalan should not be executed. /Sabah/
 ECEVIT: REPENTANCE LAW AND LIMITED AMNESTY ON AGENDAPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit pledged on Monday to rapidly introduce legislation to encourage members of the terrorist PKK organization to come down from mountain hideouts and lay down their arms. Ecevit said his government was working on the draft and would soon send it to Parliament for legislation. He said it would be accompanied by a draft providing 'limited amnesty'. "This will be a limited amnesty draft. An amnesty that would upset the public is out of the question," the Prime Minister said. /Sabah/
 NEW PAGE IN PRIVATIZATIONThe State Minister responsible for privatization, Yuksel Yalova, called on representatives of the business world at a meeting on Monday in Istanbul to assist in legitimatizing the privatization measures up to the point that they become 'legal'. He suggested that they set up a 'Civil Advisory Council', which was also supported by the businessmen. He continued that privatization measures did not have only an economic aspect but also 'moral' side as well. He suggested that the civil advisory board could be characterized as 'honorary' or as 'real' but it would be influential in creating a methodology for privatization. He also proposed that people from foreign countries and expert representatives would join this board.
Chairman of the Privatization Board Ugur Bayar said for his part that up until now some 211 companies had been included in the privatization efforts and there were still 76 companies within this framework including Turkish Airlines, TUPRAS, Petrol Ofisi and Petkim. The total revenue gained from sales was $ 6 billion, he said. Istanbul Chamber of Industry's (ISO) Chairman Husamettin Kavi also said that the proposed civil board should be supported. /Sabah/
 IRAN SUPPORT FOR PKKA magazine, entitled "Iran Brief" and issued in America, claimed that there were a lot of PKK militants in Iran, more than Ankara assumes. It added that these militants engage in violance and attacks in the Southeastern Anatolian region, claiming that the Tehran intelligence service backs these terrorists. It said that Tehran uses the PKK to damage opposition groups in Iraq but at the same time hires Iranian Kurds to take part in PKK attacks. /Sabah/
 GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO ANKARAGerman Foreign Minister Joscka Fischer, who is still in Greece, said after his talks with his Greek counterpart that Germany and other European Union (EU) countries were all for stabilizing relations between Turkey and the EU and advised Greece to follow their example in implementing Turco-EU relations. Highlighting that at first Greece should lift its veto against Turkey's inclusion in the EU, Fischer that said otherwise Southern-Cyprus' wish to participate in one-sided EU membership negotiations by itself would be prevented. He stressed that a common future with Turkey would be to the benefit of the EU. /Sabah/
 TSK AWARD FOR ROMANIAN CHIEF OF STAFFThe Romanian Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Constantin Degeratu, has been awarded the 'Honorary Medal of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)'. During a ceremony held at Cankaya Palace yesterday, President Suleyman Demirel and the Turkish Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, were also present. Degeratu delivered a speech and said: "I regard this medal as the inauguration of our entry into NATO. We will exert every effort to increase our cooperation. The Romanian Armed Forces will never forget your support". /Aksam/
 GREECE IS LOOKING FOR A NEW GAMEGreece has said that if the EU accepts the membership of the Greek Cypriot Administration prior to a solution to the Cyprus problem, it will remove its objections to Turkey's full EU membership. The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis made a statement to the Reuters news agency and said that Greece was waiting for support from its EU partners concerning their intransigent position vis-a-vis Turkey in the Aegean Sea. Kranidiotis stated that Turkey should carry out its obligations towards full EU membership. /Aksam/
 ONLY SOLUTION IS CONFEDERATIONTurkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that Turkey sided with the principle of the establishment of a condeferation by the two states on Cyprus. Cem stated that Turkey's proposal would also be beneficial for Greek Cypriots and remarked that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) always supported peace. Meanwhile, TRNC President Rauf Denktas pointed out that the existence of a Turkish-Cypriot state on the Island should be accepted and added that without recognizing the TRNC, the Cyprus problem could not be solved. /Aksam/
 PAPANDREU: "IT IS BETTER TO MEET"The Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu said that there was no need to refrain from dialogue with Turkey and added that even though no reconciliation has been achieved, meeting is better than not meeting. In a statement to the 'Ethnos' newspaper published in Greece, Papandreu talked about the Turco-Greek meetings expected to be held between the committees consisting of Foreign Ministry officials from the two countries at the end of this month. Papandreu said: "We have different opinions on terrorism and political refugees to Turkey. We will discuss these issues. Maybe we can agree on some issues maybe we cannot. We have significant problems but we can sit and talk about these problems". Papandreu recalled that for the partial recovery of Turco-Greek relations to take place Turkey's stance concerning the Aegean should be changed or the issue should be carried to the Justice Court in The Hague as suggested by Athens. /Hurriyet/
 JOSCHKA FISCHER TO VISIT TURKEYGerman Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who is currently holding political meetings in Greece, will visit Turkey on July 21-22. German Foreign and Interior Ministries' officials contradicted the article in the 'Der Spiegel' magazine which claimed that Fischer had blocked a report comprising harsh criticism of Turkey. /Aksam/
 CHIRAC AND BUSH TO SPEND THEIR HOLIDAY IN TURKEYThose who have carried out the anti-Turkey tourism campaign in the fatremath of the capture of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, have not been able to succeed in attaining their goals. The yacht 'Leander 'G, in which former US President George Bush, French President Jacque Chirac and many noted politicians and businessmen will voyage, has anchored off Kusadasi. It is reported that these dignitaries will arrive in Kusadasi in the upcoming days and begin their voyage of the Aegean Sea. /Aksam/
 DEMIRBANK TO OPEN SIX MORE BRANCHES IN BULGARIADemirbank, which began to be active in Sofia, Bulgaria, on April 15, 1999, will open six more branches in the country, three of which will be opened by the end of this year. The General Director of Demirbank Bulgaria, Caner Celik, said that the arrival of the Turkish Banking sector in Bulgaria was an important incentive for Turkish investors. Celik added that their aim was to contribute to the increase in the trade volume between the two countries. /Aksam/
 TURKEY CLOSELY FOLLOWS IRANTurkey is closely following the recent demonstrations carried out by university students in Iran. An evaluation meeting was held yesterday at the Turkish Embassy in Tehran. The meeting was headed by the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Sencer Ozsoy. According to information received by Ankara from Tehran, liberalization, which emerged following the election of Hathemi as the Iranian President, has reached a high level with the demonstrations of the university students. Ankara considers that even though there is huge support for Hathemi among society, the Mulllahs hold sway over the soldiers and the police. Ankara currently remains silent on the issue which concerns the domestic affairs of Iran. /Hurriyet/
 NUCLEAR REFERENDUMIn a referendum held by Greenpeace in the Gulnar district of Icel where Turkey's first atomic power plant will be set up, 84 % of people are opposed to the construction of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. /Milliyet/
 FOREST FIRE IN ANTALYAAs a result of a forest fire in the Serik district of Antalya, four hectares of cornel pine and lemur forest have been destroyed. Efforts to extinguish the fire are on-going with the support of two helicopters. /Milliyet/
 ULUGBAY TO LEAVE HOSPITAL TODAYState Minister responsible for the economy, Hikmet Ulugbay, who attempted suicide last Tuesday night, is expected to leave Baskent University Hospital where he has been staying for the last six days. It is reported that Ulugbay will make a brief statement concerning his health situation before he leaves the hospital today. /Milliyet/
 ECEVIT PREPARES A COMPREHENSIVE PLANPrior to a visit to be paid by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel to Jordan, Israel and Palestine, Turkey has taken a new series of military and economic measures in order to develop its relations with Israel in case of an Israeli-Greek partnership. A document signed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and sent to all related institutions pointed out the recent Greek efforts to draw closer to Israel and declared that new measures for the development of Turco-Israeli relations should be carefully implemented. /Milliyet/
 MINORITIES PRAISE THE OTTOMAN EMPIREThe Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos stated yesterday that the Patriarchate had been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for six centuries and praised the tolerance experienced during the Ottoman period. Culture Minister Istemihan Talay said in his speech that the Ottoman Empire never applied a totalitarian regime or an assimilation policy against ethnic minoirities. A meeting on 'Tolerance in the Ottoman Period' was held yesterday in Istanbul. /Milliyet/
 CONCURRENT MEETING IN ANKARA AND ATHENSAnkara has proposed the last day of July for the date of the meetings to be held between the delegations of Turkey and Greece on six issues. According to a decision made during the meetings in New York on June 30 between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries, Turkey has conveyed its proposals concerning the meetings on tourism, the environment, culture, terrorism, trade and regional cooperation to Athens. The proposals conveyed by the Turkish Ambassador to Athens, Ali Tuygan, to the Greek Foreign Ministry envisage that the meetings on six issues should be held in Ankara and Athens at the same time. The Turkish side also proposed that the meetings should be held at the level of deputy undersecretaries. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said that no response has been received from Athens yet. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY RECEIVES FOUR MEDALSTurkey has received four medals in the 10th International Biology Olympics held in the Uppsala city of Sweden. According to a statement issued by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Institution (TUBITAK), Basar Cenik from Ankara's Ataturk Anatolian High School received a gold medal, while Ahmet Yunus Ozdemir and Fatih Ozsolak from the Istanbul private high school, the Fatih Science High School received silver medals and Cagri Sakalar from the Istanbul Science School took a bronze medal. During the olympics attended by 134 students from 26 countries and held on July 4-11, Basar Cenik came third in the world with the highest point he received in the theory part. The statement pointed out that the 11th International Biology Olympics would be held in Turkey in the year 2000. /Milliyet/
 TREASURY TO OFFER BONDS TO THE PUBLICBanks and intermediary institutions which will mediate in offering the one-year term state bonds in return for US dollars and TL on July 14-15 from the Treasury have been determined. Thirty banks and five intermediary institutions will mediate in the offering of the bonds to the public. /Hurriyet/
 FP REQUESTS AN ADDITIONAL PERIODThe Virtue Party (FP) against which a closure trial was opened by the Chief Republican Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, Vural Savas, has requested an additional period from the Constitutional Court to organize its preliminary defence. The demand signed by FP Chairman Recai Kutan arrived at the Constitutional Court yesterday. The Constitutional Court will make a decision concerning this issue today. The 30-day period for the preliminary defence of the FP ends on July 15. Savas previously launched the trial against the FP due to its anti-secular activities. /Hurriyet/
 PKK ATTACK KILLS TWO PEOPLEMembers of the PKK terrorist organization raided an office belonging to the 16th Highways Regional Directorate in the Dogansar District of Sivas yesterday and killed two people, Abdullah Aydin (46) and Hamza Ece (48). Sivas Governor Aydin Guclu and the Gendarmerie Regiment-Commander Colonel Muzaffer Akcan visited the place on a tour of observation. They said that rooting-out operations in search of the PKK terrorists were underway. /Hurriyet/
 BOMB EXPLODES ON MINIBUS: THREE PEOPLE WOUNDEDA bomb planted in a minibus in Istanbul yesterday night exploded. As a result of the explosion, passengers Funda Sonkur (28), Zehra Sekizkoy and a university student Cemal Ozdemir were wounded. Officials said that an investigation into the incident was in progress. /Hurriyet/
 13 PKK TERRORISTS KILLEDDuring the fighting with terrorists, 5 terrorists in Guclukonak, Sırnak and Bettussebap, 4 terrorists in Kulp, Diyarbakir, and, there being one each in Yuksekova, Hakkari, Nusaybin, Mardin, and Ozalp, Van, 13 terrorists in total were killed by the security forces. In Hozat, Tunceli, 2 terrorists were captured alive, while in Baskale, Van, and in Hozat, Tunceli, 4 terrorists surrendered. /Star/
 20 IN CUSTODY IN VANThe 11 citizens, wounded yesterday night due to the explosion of a bomb in a pastry shop in Van, were discharged from hospital yesterday. The chief of police, Zeki Catalkaya, said that connected with the explosion 20 persons had been taken into custody. /Star/
 ILLEGAL ORGANIZATION OPERATIONIn Istanbul, 12 members of the illegal organization TIKB, who have taken part in murdering, wounding, robbing and bombing were captured. On the defendants and in their revealed hide-away places 2 guns, 2 drums and 446 cartridges, materials used in bomb making, organizational documents and publications were seized. /Star/
 OUR NEW MISSILEThe acceleration of the tactical ballistic missile arms' race in the Middle East, has activated Turkey. Turkey now will sign a missile production agreement in partnership with England; this follows the agreement with Israel concerning the production of the Popeye land-to-air missile. At the end of interviews with British authorities, it was decided to produce Rapier II missiles jointly, which are used for defence. The project will cost about 40 million dollars. The National Defence Minister, Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, went to London yesterday for the final round of meetings. /Star/
 WORKERS PUSHING THE BUTTON ON 24TH JULYAt an extraordinary meeting yesterday, Turk-Is Chairmen's Committee decided to hold a meeting in opposition to the Social Security Law Bill, on Saturday 24th July in Ankara. Hak-Is, DISK, and KESK also supported the decision. On 15th July, Turk-Is's provincial and the regional representatives, together with workers, will lay black wreaths in all cities at the offices of those parties which established the government. Also on Monday 19th July, Turk-Is dependent unions' and all branch's authorities will convene in the Turk-Is General Centre and they will visit the three coalition parties' general headquarters. The Turk-Is' Chairman, Bayram Meral, said that they reject the Bill outright, which suppresses the workers' previously obtained rights. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
 HERE IS EUROPE! -BY EMIN COLASAN (HURRIYET)Columnist Emin Colasan comments on the policies pursued by Europe in favour of terrorism. A summary of his column is as follows:
"We all know that the PKK terrorist organization is supported by some European countries who are in fact our "allies". We have to review our relations with them and stand tall in front of them... The PKK newspaper is published in Germany; every day it insults and slanders the Turkish Republic and, what is more, applauds terrorism. Terrorist actions seen in Turkey are narrated by over-exaggerating them. Those German officials who are aware of this keep silent for fear that terror may spread to their countries. Italy is another matter. She is overtly supporting terrorism and has come close to announcing Ocalan as the hero of the country. Belgium and England are the countries organizing the broadcasts of PKK television. The studios of the channel used by the PKK organization are in Belgium; it broadcasts over England.
The PKK newspaper is making up stories about Turkey, slandering our country and applauding terrorism. It is a point to ponder that these slanders are going on in Germany.
None of the so-called Kurdish nationalists know Kurdish. Their newspaper is published in Turkish, they speak Turkish among themselves and broadcast mainly in Turkish. As they are living in European countries like Germany, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland they are making new bargains over the bodies of people they have sent to the mountains....
German Foreign Minister Fischer will come to Ankara on July 21. Will he be able to change the policy of his State? What else is there to discuss? It was reported in the newspapers that European Union Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Tom Spencer has said that they have not been honest with the Turks and delayed them for 30 years. The European Union had no intention of taking Turkey on as a full-member.
Finally we have to see the truth and act accordingly. "
 BOTTLENECK -BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the economic situation in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Turkey will overcome the impasse she is going through at the moment. She will experience the moderate atmosphere of the Autumn following a hot summer. In the Autumn, Turkey will be able to obtain low-interest, long-term loans worth billions of dollars. The economy will get through the economic bottleneck, businessmen will take a deep breath, interest rates will fall and investments will begin.
We know that we have this potential and Turkey will enter the Winter in high spirits. After electing the President, she will regain the rate of development and improvement she has lost. We are sure that the losses of the civil servants due to current circumstances, will be met with the increases in their salaries in January.
The strong foundation of the Government in the national will is a satisfactory guarantee for overcoming difficulties in the economy. The leaders of the main coalition parties, Ecevit and Bahceli, believe that politicians should not enter into any financial dealings and therefore, State affairs will progress without any setbacks. We have to mention that nothing has come out of the recent Black Friday speculations.
A crack in the Government is the least wanted situation while trying to emerge from an impasse. In fact, there is no sign of such a crack... At present we expect our opposition parties to act with commonsense. The time for promises is over. They will gain as much sympathy as their behaviour dictates, based on commonsense.
Overcoming the impasse and reaching a calm atmosphere will be facilitated by the rate at which the radical reforms are implemented one after another in a democratic environment."
 OSCE AND OCALAN -BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak comments on the recents developments concerning Ocalan in European countries. A summary of his column is as follows:
"At the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly meeting held in St. Petersburg, Russia, the suggestion first mentioned in the Italian Parliamentary decision on 7-8 July was repeated. What is more, Kurds are shown as a minority and a decision calling for Turkey's recognition of their political rights was added to the text.
The eight-member Turkish delegation was headed by Ahmet Tan, a Democratic Left Party deputy. Uluc Gurkan, who represented Turkey in the meetings concerning Kosovo, was also present.
Turkey is waging a dipomatic war in the international forum. Whatever the agenda may be, the Ocalan affair finds its way to the table and the Kurdish problem is inevitably discussed. They are also reflected as factors against Turkey in the final communiques of these meetings. What a pity to fall into the position of defending ourselves in a terrorism case where we should have been the party asking the questions! Without taking the process in the Court of Appeals and the protests to the European Court of Human Rights into consideration, Turkey has been thrown to lions in the international arena.
Even if we do not take into account the "general session" in the Italian Parliament we have to think of the reverberations it will create abroad as documents opposed to Turkey are being placed into files one after the other... Nine months ago no one in Italy knew the name of Ocalan but events have escalated in such a manner that he has turned into a legend. Ocalan does not have the capacity of a wise man to be the last 'icon' of the Western world. Only liberal winds such as human rights and cultural identity can turn the death sentence on Ocalan from an ordinary case against humanity to a political cause.
Soon after the decision accepted by the Italian Parliament, the "St. Petersburg declaration" sends a message for the stay of the death sentence passed on Ocalan. Naturally, this decision is not binding and Ahmet Tan and his friends added to the text that Ocalan was a terrorist. However, the result does not change, the views which accept Kurds as a minority and the prejudices which believe they do not enjoy equal rights are reflected in the communiques issued by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
In short, even though the agenda was Kosovo, the situation in Turkey was discussed and demonstrations in front of the St. Peterburg Parliament could only be averted by the diplomatic initiatives of our Ambassador to Russia, Nabi Sensoy.
The concern felt mainly in Italy and Germany where the PKK lobby is strong, that if Ocalan is executed all hell will be let loose, leads to the diplomatic encircling of Turkey.
 SPECIAL KOSOVO
 COBRAS RETURN HOMEThe 191st Fleet at Balikesir Ninth Main Jet Base Command which participated in the 'Allied Force Operation' organized by NATO to end the tragedy in Kosovo has completed its tour of duty and returned to Turkey. A ceremony attended by Air Forces' Commander Gen.Ilhan Kilic, Balikesir Governor Alaaddin Yuksel and many military officials was held yesterday in Balikesir. The Chief of General Staff, Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, sent a congratulatory message and said: "Your efforts in this operation have been honourable to the noble Turkish nation". /Hurriyet/
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