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Turkish Press Review, 99-07-15

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

15.07.99

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] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN ISRAEL
  • [04] YELTSIN TO COME TO ISTANBUL
  • [05] ECEVIT SPEAKS AT GROUP MEETING
  • [06] COHEN ARRIVES IN ANKARA
  • [07] BRITISH MINISTER VISITS TUSIAD
  • [08] INDONESIAN AMAN GROUP TO INVEST IN TURKISH TOURISM
  • [09] IMKB RISES BY 3.7 POINTS
  • [10] INCREASE IN AUTOMOBILE EXPORTS
  • [11] SABANCI-ARCADIA PARTNERSHIP
  • [12] TURKCELL'S 'SILK ROAD'
  • [13] CHHIBBER ATTENDS CONFERENCE ON TURKISH BANKING
  • [14] FOREIGN DEBTS DECREASE
  • [15] ALL EYES ON TAX ARRANGEMENTS
  • [16] 'CLEAN FUEL' CAMPAIGN BY BP
  • [17] BASKENT UNIVERSITY PROTESTS AGAINST ROME
  • [18] 'CYPRUS PLOT'
  • [19] 'BASTILLE DAY' RECEPTION
  • [20] 12-YEAR HISTORY OF 'OHAL'
  • [21] ACCUSED PKK MEMBERS ARRESTED
  • [22] FEIN: "TURKISH DEMOCRACY HAS TAKEN STEPS FORWARD"
  • [23] TURKISH FLAG TO BE PERMANENTLY HOISTED
  • [24] PKK ATTACK
  • [25] SUICIDE BOMBERS TRAIN IN IRAN AND GREECE
  • [26] HOLLAND PLEASED WITH TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE
  • [27] HASIPOGLU IN TURKEY
  • [28] TAM SAYS EU PREPARES REPORTS ON TURKEY
  • [29] TOURISM IN AUGUST INSPIRES HOPE
  • [30] EXCAVATIONS IN KULTEPE-KANIS TUMULUS
  • [31] HEROIN SEIZED IN ISTANBUL
  • [32] TURKISH ATHLETES WIN MEDALS
  • [33] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
  • [34] EXECUTION AND TWO STATEMENTS -BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [35] DEMIREL'S VISIT TO ISRAEL -BY SEBAHATTIN ONKIBAR (TURKIYE)
  • [36] FRANCE CAN, TURKEY NEVER -BY HASAN PULUR (MILLIYET)
  • [37] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [38] CEM TO HEAD TO KOSOVO
  • [39] SUPERVISION OF KOSOVO

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN ISRAEL

    President Suleyman Demirel said the establishment of peace in the Middle East requires the resolution of the Israel-Palestine problem. Demirel, who arrived in Israel on Wednesday, on the first leg of his three-day trip, said peace was in the interest of all countries in the region. After his arrival in Israel, Demirel was received by Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who delayed his departure to the U.S. for the meeting. Later Demirel plunged into talks with his Israeli counterpart, President Eizer Weizman.

    President Suleyman Demirel will continue his raound of talks in Israel today. On Friday, Demirel and the Turkish delegation accompanying him, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, State Minister Mustafa Yilmaz, top government officials, businessmen and members of the press, will move on to Palestinian territories for talks with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Also on Friday, the President will visit the town of Akabe in Jordan, where he will meet Jordan's King Abdullah. Demirel will return to Ankara on Friday night. /All papers/

    [04] YELTSIN TO COME TO ISTANBUL

    The Russian Head of State, Boris Yeltsin, will attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit to be held in November in Istanbul. The diplomatic advisor to Yeltsin, Sergey Prikhodko, stated that Yeltsin would take part in the Summit on November 18-19. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] ECEVIT SPEAKS AT GROUP MEETING

    The most challenging problem of the 57th government is the economy, said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, adding that measures to overcome economic problems are being implemented at an unprecendented pace. Speaking at the Democratic Left Party's (DSP) Parliamentary group meeting, Ecevit said Turkey is maintaining its rapid development and industrialization process despite high inflation. Concerning ecomomic measures he said, "Funds allocated to Eximbank have been increased. Public banks have agreed not to withdraw deposits from each other which would make interest rates rise." The Prime Minister stated regarding the tax reform that some regulations are being prepared in the tax law to aid the market but the essence of the tax reform will never be changed. He also mentioned tourism, privatization and international arbitration before concluding his speech by saying the consistent policies of the government would continue and that the economy would recover in a few months' time. /Milliyet/

    [06] COHEN ARRIVES IN ANKARA

    U.S. Secretary of Defence William Cohen arrived in Turkey yesterday afternoon for talks with high-level officials. Cohen is scheduled to have talks with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu. It is announced that Cohen and Turkish officials will discuss bilateral and international issues, Turco-Greek relations, the recent situation in the Balkans and N. Iraq, the Cyprus problem and the ongoing hostility of the U.S. Congress to the sale of weapons to Turkey.

    Before heading to Turkey, William Cohen met with high-level Greek officials in Athens to repair U.S.-Greek relations which have been bruised following a sharp disagreement over the Kosovo policy. Meanwhile, diplomatic sources announced that during the meeting with his Greek counterpart, Akis Cohacopulos, Cohen stressed that Greece should join in the fight terrorism and they discussed the Greek attitude towards the PKK and the 17 November terrorist organizations. /Milliyet/

    [07] BRITISH MINISTER VISITS TUSIAD

    The British Minister responsible for European Affairs, Joyce Quinn, paid a visit yesterday to the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) to inquire about the Turkish economy and the relations with E.U. Following the meeting, Quinn met Economic Development Foundation Board Chairwoman Meral Gezgin Eris to discuss relations between Turkey and the E.U. /All papers/

    [08] INDONESIAN AMAN GROUP TO INVEST IN TURKISH TOURISM

    The Indonesian Aman Resort chain, which ranks among the most expensive hotels in the world, has decided to invest in Turkey. Indonesian representatives announced that they planned to set up three hotels, one in Istanbul, one in Bodrum and one in Gocek. The investment will be made in 2000 after finding suitable land for the construction of the hotels. /Milliyet/

    [09] IMKB RISES BY 3.7 POINTS

    Immediately after Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced that they would declare a 'new measures' package in order to enliven the economy, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) increased by 3.7 points. The government's determination to pass the Social Security Reform and Arbitration Bills caused expectations and optimisim on the IMKB. /Milliyet/

    [10] INCREASE IN AUTOMOBILE EXPORTS

    It is reported that the Turkish automotive industry achieved exports of $ 1.2 miliion during the first half of 1999, a 42.3 % increase compared to the same period of last year. 79 % of the total export was by Oyak Renault, which exported the "Megan" produced in Turkey under the motto, "From Turkey to the World". At 20 % the second most exported vehicle from Turkish automobile factories was the Palio by TOFAS. /Milliyet/

    [11] SABANCI-ARCADIA PARTNERSHIP

    The Turkish Sabanci Group and the British company, Arcadia have decided to set up a partnership in the ready-to-wear retail sector. According to a written statement issued by Omer Sabanci to the IMKB, the joint-venture will be set up with $ 8 million capital and Omer Sabanci himself will own 75 % of the company. Arcadia is still the second biggest retailer in Britain. It has 1,500 shops under its control and it has partnerships in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Malta, Portugal and Spain. /Sabah/

    [12] TURKCELL'S 'SILK ROAD'

    A Turkish report was published in the June issue of the Institutional Investor, one of the leading magazines in the finance and investment world. In the report prepared under the sponsorship of Turkcell and Is Bank, it was pointed out that Turkey had made a new beginning with the coalition government. The report stated that Turkey's economic growth rate was 3.8 % in 1998 and said that there were important developments in fields such as those of energy and telecommunications. The report pointed out that there were 5.1 million GSM telephone users in Turkey and added that the Turkcell Communications Services Company was the GSM operator developing at the highest rate in Turkey. It was reported that Turkcell had signed an agreement worth $520 million with Ericsson in February. It was also stressed that Turkcell would construct the historic commercial route, the Silk Road. /Aksam/

    [13] CHHIBBER ATTENDS CONFERENCE ON TURKISH BANKING

    The World Bank Representative to Turkey, Ajay Chhibber, has proposed that in order to achieve fluidity in the banking sector, restrictions should be imposed on the security ensured by the State on deposits. Chhibber delivered a speech at a conference on 'Turkish Banking' organized by the EuroForum in which he recalled that Turkey implemented an anti-inflation programme and declared that he was optimistic and hopeful concerning the future. Chhibber remarked that a reduction in the inflation rate would create new opportunities in the banking sector and added that the State should abandon deposit insurance for the banks. /Aksam/

    [14] FOREIGN DEBTS DECREASE

    Turkey's foreign debts decreased to $100.999 billion at the end of March 1999. According to a statement issued by the Treasury, 72.70 % of foreign debt is medium to long-term while 27.30 % is short-term. There has been a 2.23 % decrease when compared to the end of 1998. /Aksam/

    [15] ALL EYES ON TAX ARRANGEMENTS

    The government's initial actions to revitalize the real economy, are affecting markets positively. Yesterday, Bulent Ecevit's explanation that there will not be tax competition among the State Banks and there will be an increase in investments by applying the Arbitrary Law, stimulated the markets. The experts say that the Stock Market will rise and interest rates will fall with the introduction of the Economic Package. The most important matter which is expected from the package by the capital and money markets, is the tax arrangements. The General Secratary of the Association of Intermediate Institutions' Directors, Ibrahim Haselcin, said that they require clarification of the tax issue in accordance with the Stock Market and yesterday, they again sent a letter to the Treasury Ministry concerning the postponement of interest payments on shares. The Garanti Portolio Management's General Director, Gur Cagdas, noted that the markets are waiting for the abolition of the declaration on interest payments and taxes on the Stock Market, and a return to the old system for investment funds. Declaring that the arrangements in the Arbitration Law will affect the markets indirectly, the Bank Express' Chief Economist Dr. Tevfik Aksoy, said, "The Arbitrary Law closely concerns foreign investors, meanwhile, with the expectations of privatization, interest in the Stock Market will escalate." /Star/

    [16] 'CLEAN FUEL' CAMPAIGN BY BP

    BP Amoco will start a project entitled 'Clean Fuels-Clean Cities' in 40 big cities in the world including Istanbul. The project, which will begin in the Marmara region of Turkey in August, aims to prevent air pollution by decreasing harmful fuel emissions from vehicles by 18 %. The Head of the BP Amoco Group, Sir John Browne, who attended the promotional meeting for the project, said that the Turkish market was of great significance for them and added: "I am very pleased to present clean fuels in Turkey following London, Paris and Warsaw". /Hurriyet/

    [17] BASKENT UNIVERSITY PROTESTS AGAINST ROME

    The Rector of Baskent University, Prof.Mehmet Haberal, issued a written statement yesterday saying that the Baskent University Senate protests against the Italian Government. The statement added: "We would like to express our sorrow that Rome, which has been the cradle of many civilizations over the centuries, is now supporting brutality and terrorism. How can the Italian Government have the courage to involve itself in the internal affairs of the Republic of Turkey?" The statement stressed that Turkey was an independent country and pointed out that Turkey pursued the principle of 'Peace at home, Peace in the world' and expected other countries to assume the same stance. The statement remarked that Baskent University would support all decisions to be taken against Italy and added: "If Italy does not need Turkey, then Turkey will never need Italy". /Aksam/

    [18] 'CYPRUS PLOT'

    A book written by two British journalists has put forth new claims on the Cyprus issue. The book dubbed 'The Cyprus Plot' written by the former training director of 'The Times', Brendan O'Malley, and the Policy Editor of the 'Manchester Evening News' newspaper, Ian Craig, states that the CIA had known in advance that Turkish soldiers would intervene on Cyprus and claims that it had not prevented this becuase it also wanted the Island to be divided. According to the book, in 1958 the US Administration, which could not have toppled Makarios at the end of an assault, expelled him from the political standpoint. /Aksam/

    [19] 'BASTILLE DAY' RECEPTION

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit attended a reception held on the occasion of 'Bastille Day' yesterday evening at the French Embassy in Ankara. The Chairman of the Virtue Party (FP), Recai Kutan, State Ministers Sukru Sina Gurel and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, and Air Forces' Commander Gen.Ilhan Kilic were also present at the reception. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] 12-YEAR HISTORY OF 'OHAL'

    The State of Emergency Rule (OHAL) which has been in existence in the Southeastern and Eastern Anatolia regions since July 19, 1987, has been extended 36 times in 12 years. The OHAL implementation has been gradually removed in seven cities. Meanwhile, during operations carried out by security forces over the past 12 years, a total of 27,901 members of the PKK terrorist organization were rendered ineffective including 22,319 dead and 3,324 wounded, while 2,258 PKK terrorists surrendered to security forces. During the conflicts, 4,849 security officials died, while nearly 4,660 people lost their lives during PKK attacks. In 1999, 537 PKK terrorists were rendered ineffective. /Cumhuriyet/

    [21] ACCUSED PKK MEMBERS ARRESTED

    Two people, Cemal and Mehmet Ozdemir, who exploded a bomb on a minibus in Istanbul on July 12 were arrested by the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) yesterday for being members of an illegal organization and taking part in a bombing on behalf of this organization. /Cumhuriyet/

    [22] FEIN: "TURKISH DEMOCRACY HAS TAKEN STEPS FORWARD"

    A member of the Turco-American Associations' Union and a leasing lawyer in the US, Bruce Fein, stated that as a result of the trial of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, terrorism in Turkey has taken one step back while democracy in Turkey has taken two steps forward. A member of the House of the Representatives from the Republican Party, Christopher Smith, who is known for his leadership and support of every draft against Turkey in the US Congress, made a statement saying: "The PKK is a terrorist organization and does not represent the Kurds". An article published in 'The Washington Times' said that Turkey had launched a struggle to achieve democratic reforms against terrorist and fundamentalist activities.

    Fein said that the Council of Europe regarded the trial process as fair and in line with Turkish law and added: "The trial was open to the media. Representatives from the Council of Europe, the US Embassy, the UN High Commission for Human Rights and other human rights institutions were there. During the trial, the Turkish Parliament made a constitutional amendment which envisaged the replacement of military judges with civilian judges in the State Security Courts. Furthermore, 25 % of the Turkish Parliament is of Kurdish origin. The death penalty passed on Ocalan will not be executed unless it is approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). Moreover, the death penalty has not been implemented in Turkey since 1984". Fein recalled that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was launching human rights reforms and said that there were private radio and TV channels in Kurdish, although the PKK terrorist organization preferred to broadcast in Turkish. Fein remarked that Kurds in Turkey were living in a democratic atmosphere and added that the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) only received 5 % of the Kurdish votes during the elections in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] TURKISH FLAG TO BE PERMANENTLY HOISTED

    A draft which envisages that the Turkish flag will be permanently hoisted on the flag-staff at public institutions was approved by the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday. The Amasya Deputy from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Gonul Saray Alphan, said that the only flag representing the Turkish nation and secular state is the red flag with the Crescent and Star". /Hurriyet/

    [24] PKK ATTACK

    Last night, a group of PKK terrorists in Refahiye, Erzincan, stopped a tractor full of villagers who were going to the mountain pastures. After forcing the villagers to get down from the vehicle, the terrorists fired with long-barrelled weapons; four unidentified citizens were killed, one was wounded. Security forces have started a crack-down in the region. /Star/

    [25] SUICIDE BOMBERS TRAIN IN IRAN AND GREECE

    The interrogation of four female members of the PKK terrorist organization who planted bombs in a cafe-bar in Beyoglu and in a park in the Avcilar district of Istanbul killing one person and wounding 35 others is underway. It is reported that these PKK terrorists have confessed that they received explosives training in camps in both Greece and Iran. These PKK terrorists were captured during operations jointly organized by the Istanbul Security Office, Artvin and Edirne police.

    Meanwhile, 10 members of the PKK terrorist organization who are in hiding on the Erek Mountain of Van and were to hold terrorist attacks have been determined. Security officials issued the posters of these terrorists who are from Syria, Northern Iraq, Van and Hakkari and want citizens to help them in finding these terrorists. On the posters, it was noted that those who turn over these terrorists to security forces wil be rewarded. The identities of these informants will be kept secret. /Hurriyet/

    [26] HOLLAND PLEASED WITH TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE

    Holland has expressed its pleasure over the Turco-Greek dialogue. The Dutch Deputy Foreign Minister, Dirk Benschop, who paid a one-day official visit to Greece, said that the dialogue initiated by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu was a very positive development. Benschop remarked that the Turco-Greek dialogue would also contribute to the development of relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU), the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [27] HASIPOGLU IN TURKEY

    The Speaker of the Republican Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ertugrul Hasipoglu, arrived in Istanbul as the guest of the Beyoglu Municipality. Hasipoglu was welcomed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport by Istanbul Deputy Governor Saim Eskioglu, Belediye Mayor Kadir Topbas, the TRNC Consul-General to Istanbul Hilmi Cavli and other officials. Hasipoglu, who will attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition 'Photographs of the Cyprus Peace Operation' organized by the Beyoglu Municipality, will later visit the Cyprus Peace Forest. Hasipoglu will return to the TRNC on July 18, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [28] TAM SAYS EU PREPARES REPORTS ON TURKEY

    The Turkish Research Centre (TAM) which is based in the Essen city of Germany said yesterday that the EU prepares reports on the immigration problem and the status of women in Turkey. A TAM statement remarked that the EU part of the EU-Turkey Joint Consultation Committee which was under the auspices of the EU's Economic and Social Commission, convened in Brussels on July 8, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [29] TOURISM IN AUGUST INSPIRES HOPE

    A travel agency representative, Gokhan Aksu, said that August was a significant month for the tourism sector and remarked that countries such as Spain and Italy have already been booked up, so many tourists will channel themselves towards Turkey. He added that they have already begun to take bookings for next month. /Cumhuriyet/

    [30] EXCAVATIONS IN KULTEPE-KANIS TUMULUS

    Excavations in Kultepe-Kanis Tumulus which is 34 kilometres away from Kayseri will start on July 18, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports. A total of seven archaeologists and 20 workers will participate in this year's excavations which have been on-going for 50 years.

    [31] HEROIN SEIZED IN ISTANBUL

    Five kilos of heroin, 55 thousand stimulating pills and 780 roots of Indian hemp were seized during three different operations in Istanbul's various districts, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Nine people were taken into custody regarding the incidents.

    [32] TURKISH ATHLETES WIN MEDALS

    Turkish athletes won one gold and one silver medals in the Fifth European Youth Olympic Days held in the Esbjerg city of Denmark yesterday, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [33] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..

    [34] EXECUTION AND TWO STATEMENTS -BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Hadi Uluengin comments on the statements by Gunther Verheugen concerning European policies on Ankara. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "The statements of the Minister Responsible for the Expansion of the EU in the European Council of Ministers, Gunther Verheugen, who can be described as the brains behind the foreign policy of the organization can be shortly summarized as, " the terrorist Ocalan should not be executed. Execution will close the doors of the EU to Ankara and a return from that decision will probably be impossible. On the contrary, during the Helsinki Summit in December Turkey may be accepted in the process of membership."

    In another development, it is reported by those close to the Kurdish groups in Europe that those aspiring to be the head of the PKK organization are saying that Ocalan has spoken while imprisoned by the Turkish Republic and therefore his historic mission is over. Whatever he has said will not oblige them. That is to say, the Kurdish organization which has worshipped Ocalan as an idol until recently has erased him from the leadership. To say it more clearly, even if the organization will never express it so bluntly, it wants its former leader to be executed.

    The reason why the PKK desires the execution of Ocalan is that as long as he lives he will display human weaknesses and the followers will begin to question his and even their own beliefs. However, at the moment the PKK needs an idol. Dead idols are always more useful than those living, and a dead Ocalan will meet the needs of the PKK organization at present."

    [35] DEMIREL'S VISIT TO ISRAEL -BY SEBAHATTIN ONKIBAR (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Sebahattin Onkibar comments on the recent visit President Demirel paid to Israel. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "President Demirel, who went on a Middle East tour covering Israel, Palestine and Jordan, stated in answer to a question that relations between Turkey and Israel would not change with the election of Ehud Barak as Prime Minister. He stressed that relations did not depend on persons and what was more Prime Minister Barak viewed relations with Turkey warmly.

    The first foreign statesman to visit Israel following the Election, Demirel wants Turkey to enter the process of a search for peace. Turkey has strategic and historic ties with the region and wants to have a place within the peace process in the region. His visits to Palestine and Jordan indicate this point.

    Turkey takes on the initiative as a regional power at a table where Syria, who can be regarded as a rival, will also be present. The hinterland of the Middle East is important for Turkey beyond the presence of Syria or its state as a door to the Arab world.

    The background of this region, such as the one in the Balkans and the Caucasus, is slippery. Therefore, Turkey has to be more careful in the face of these risks. The dictatorships in the region, the Turks in Musul and Kirkuk region and the Kurds in Northern Iraq force Turkey to act more cautiously.

    Prime Minister Barak has taken initiatives towards peace and began negotiations for this purpose. The Israeli Prime Minister will meet President Clinton following his meeting with President Demirel.

    Turkish Governments are not able to concentrate on Foreign Affairs due to the intensity of internal affairs. President Demirel is covering this shortcoming of the Government amply. As he is the President there is nothing in this situation to be surprised.

    [36] FRANCE CAN, TURKEY NEVER -BY HASAN PULUR (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Hasan Pulur comments on the use of Kurdish in Turkey and the rejection of the use of minority languages in France. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Last Monday a concert by Ibrahim Tatlises was televised. After praising concepts like friendship and brotherhood Tatlises sang a folk song in Kurdish. As we were listening to the song we remembered our European friends. If we had told them about this or even showed them the programme would they have believed us? They fervently believe that it is prohibited to speak Kurdish, let alone sing a Kurdish folk song on a network TV in Turkey.

    Somehow it is impossible to explain this to them. They would not believe us if we told them, "Kurdish songs are not only sung on TV but their cassettes can be sold in stores."

    For the sake of argument, let us assume that Turkey has signed the "European Local Tongues and Minority Languages Agreement" prepared by the Council of Europe. Then the Constitutional Court found it to be against the Constitution. What will happen then? Probably, the whole of Europe will reproach us finding a relation between it and the issues of human rights and freedom of expression.

    This is an imaginary scenario. But what about reality! France has signed this agreement, but the French Constitutional Council found it to be against the Constitution. The second Article of the French Constitution states that the language of the Republic is French. This Agreement is contrary to the principles of the integrity of the Republic, the equality of everyone in front of the Law, and the unitary characteristic of the French people and, so long as the Constitution is not amended, the implementation of this Agreement is impossible.

    The French Constitutional Council has made another decision which can be considered to be the first step towards this policy. When a new arrangement was recognized for the Corsicans in 1991, the Constitutional Council found the description "Corsican people" in the text to violate the Constitution.

    If Turkey had taken such a decision, and the Constitutional Court had expressed such a statement, the whole of Europe would have come down on it like a ton of bricks. Some may accuse us of trying to snatch Turkey away from Europe because we are writing these facts. As if Europe has accepted us into her bosom and we are spoiling this harmony...

    Even the European Union Foreign Relations' Committee Chairman Tom Spencer has said that he believed they did not act honestly towards the Turks by promising for 30 years to include them in the Union, whereas in reality the EU had no intention of accepting Turkey as a member."

    [37] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [38] CEM TO HEAD TO KOSOVO

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem is expected to head to Kosovo on Saturday for a brief visit, Anatolian News Agency reported. Cem is scheduled to visit the areas where Turkish peace forces are deployed. He is also expected to meet representatives of the 20,000 Kosovar Turkish community which is concentrated in the capital Pristina and the second biggest city, Prizren. The Minister's visit is a reflection of the active role that Turkey is seeking is post-war Kosovo. Turkey plans to open two offices in the region, one in Prisitina and one in Prizren in order to coordinate the distribution of humanitarian aid that Turkey will provide for the Kosovars under the auspices of the Turkish Red Crescent.

    Meanwhile, Edirne Deputy Governor Necati Ozturk announced that some 12,000 Kosovars out of the 18,000 refugees who had found shelter in Turkey during the war in Kosovo had left Turkey as of Wednesday morning. Also the Turkey branch of the United Nations' High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) started to work on Wednesday to assist the returning refugees. The Turkish Koc Holding Company is also providing financial assistance.

    [39] SUPERVISION OF KOSOVO

    The Commander of the NATO European Allied Forces (SACEUR), the U.S. General Wesley Clark visited the Turkish and Dutch units in the Opterus village of Kosovo. He also met Turkish Lieutunant Ziya Eser, the Commander of the Turkish Peace Force in Mamusa and praised the success of the Turkish soldiers. /Sabah/

    END


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