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Turkish Press Review, 99-07-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

20.07.99

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] TURKEY AND TRNC STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES
  • [04] TOWARDS CONFEDERATION
  • [05] KLERIDES: "WE REGARD THE UN AS A BASE"
  • [06] MULLAHS ARE LOOKING FOR A CRISIS
  • [07] TURCO-GERMAN RELATIONS
  • [08] TRADE CENTRE IN GERMANY
  • [09] DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY CAUSES TENSION IN GREECE
  • [10] PEACE ENVOY FROM CRETE TO DIDIM
  • [11] OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL ORGANIZATION
  • [12] PKK'S NEW BRANCH: SOUTH
  • [13] PKK TERRORISTS ATTACK A VILLAGE
  • [14] "TERRORIST ACTIVITIES DECREASE BY 40 %"
  • [15] 'HIZBULLAH IS GREAT DANGER'
  • [16] CEYLAN CONSTRUCTS TEL AVIV AIRPORT
  • [17] IRAQI NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATED
  • [18] SALVADOR DALI IN TURKEY
  • [19] ERDOGAN TO BE RELEASED IN FIVE DAYS
  • [20] FLOOD IN KIRIKKALE
  • [21] PREPARATIONS KICK OFF FOR INTERNATIONAL ATATURK PEACE PRIZE
  • [22] TURKEY AMONG MOST SUCCESSFUL AT SALVAGE
  • [23] ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY PROJECT
  • [24] OSMANLI, THE BEST INTERNET BANK
  • [25] FINANSBANK IN BAHRAIN
  • [26] CURRENT ACCOUNTS BALANCE SHOWS SURPLUS
  • [27] INDIAN SUBCONTINENT REPLACES THE CIS IN TRADE WITH TURKEY
  • [28] TREASURY ISSUES BONDS
  • [29] DEMIRBANK IS 4TH IN THE WORLD
  • [30] IMKB IS UP
  • [31] WORLD HYPOCRICY
  • [32] GOKALP DUE TO KYRGYZSTAN
  • [33] FRENCH PRAISE TURKISH NAVY
  • [34] 24TH EUROPEAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP IN ISTANBUL
  • [35] AYKUT'S VICTORY
  • [36] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CELEBRATE CHRIST'S BIRTH
  • [37] AYASOZORIYAN CHURCH WILL BE RESTORATED
  • [38] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
  • [39] 25 YEARS AGO, 25 YEARS LATER -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [40] THE SECOND REFORM -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [41] 25 YEARS LATER -BY ESEN UNUR (STAR)
  • [42] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [43] TURKISH RED CRESCENT AID TO KOSOVO

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] TURKEY AND TRNC STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC TIES

    The Turkey-Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Association Council convened yesterday in Lefkose to discuss measures for further integrating the two countries' economies. Among the major topics on the agenda of the Council were energy and the water supply for the TRNC as well as the alleviation of the customs restrictions between the two countries. Turkey aims to lift customs barriers for Turkish-Cypriot exports but at the same time it has to comply with the provisions of the Turkey-EU Customs Union agreement, which envisages common customs policies. Monday's meeting was the third gathering for the Council, which started functioning in March last year. The Turkish delegation was headed by State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, who is responsible for Cyprus Affairs.

    Meanwhile, the 25th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation will be celebrated today. The Turkish Government and major political parties will be represented at the celebrations at the highest level. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the TRNC President Rauf Denktas are expected to issue a joint declaration after the ceremonies. Ecevit said the Turkish intervention brought peace not only to Turkish-Cypriots but to Greek-Cypriots as well and helped the restoration of democracy in Greece.

    Turkish President Suleyman Demirel noted that there was a de facto situation on the island in that there were two societies living separately from each other. He said, "To ignore this fact and try to bring Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots face-to-face will only serve to cause a fight. If the world forgets the reason for the Peace Operation, then it will be useless to find a solution to the issue. The world only recognizes Southern Cyprus so how could it be possible to find a political solution to the Cyprus issue? It will be difficult to recognize a state and a nation on the island. It has to be accepted that there are two societies and two states on Cyprus".

    TRNC President Rauf Denktas reiterated that there are two states on the island, one of which is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. And, he added, they are determined not to give any concessions concerning their State. He claimed that both Greece and Southern Cyprus are against a federation on the island. /Milliyet/

    [04] TOWARDS CONFEDERATION

    Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as an independent State. It has forged close relations with the TRNC in the military, political, diplomatic and economic spheres; the TRNC exports and imports via Turkey. Turkey and Cyprus decide their foreign policy on the Cyprus issue together and TRNC diplomats are still working at some of Turkey's representative offices abroad.

    At the moment, a confederation model comprising Turkish and Greek societies is being discussed on the Island. It proposes that the Island's sovereignty will be controlled by one centre and the presidency will be transformed.

    International public opinion wants a bi-zonal federation structure with two societies. Although international society accepts the one-sided application from the Greek-Cypriot side, it is believed that the Island will only be able to participate in the European Union (EU) as a whole. /Milliyet/

    [05] KLERIDES: "WE REGARD THE UN AS A BASE"

    The Greek-Cypriot Leader, Glafkos Klerides, said yesterday that only UN resolutions could be a base for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Klerides made a statement and claimed that Cyprus has been under occupation for 25 years and called for pressure to be placed on Turkey to end this occupation. /Turkiye/

    [06] MULLAHS ARE LOOKING FOR A CRISIS

    In Tehran, the Turkish Charge d'Affaires Aykut Sezgin was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and was handed a protest note claiming that Turkey had launched an attack against Iranian territory and had targeted Iranian border security forces. Iranian media claimed the attack took place in the Western Azerbaijan province, which borders southeastern Turkey, where PKK terrorists have been active. Turkish military and Foreign Ministry sources said they were studying the Iranian claims. /All papers/

    [07] TURCO-GERMAN RELATIONS

    German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer will arrive tomorrow in Turkey to pay an official visit. The visit is important from the point of reducing tension in Turco-German relations which have been distinctly chilly since the Luxembourg Summit. During the two-day long visit, the

    Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, and his German counterpart Fischer will seek ways to create a friendly atmosphere in Turco-German relations. After a tete-a-tete and a visit to some tourist sites in Istanbul tomorrow Cem and Fischer will arrive in Ankara on Thursday. It is expected that Fischer will be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Ankara. Later, he will meet the State Minister responsible for Human Rights, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik. /Milliyet/

    [08] TRADE CENTRE IN GERMANY

    Helmut Pambor, Chairman of Germany's Schleswig-Holstein Economic Development Chamber, said that Turkey is a good trading partner for Germany and encourages German businesses to invest in Turkey. The Schleswig-Holstein Economic Development Chamber is funding the International Trade Centre project of Turkish businessman Omer Uludag in Germany, Pambor stated, adding that this project will cost $27 million, an indication of the importance the German Government attributes to Turco-German trade links.

    Pambor remarked that although social and cultural ties between Germany and Turkey have a long tradition, economic relations between the two countries started developing only in recent years. He indicated that Turks are noted for their entrepreneurial spirit amongst the foreigners living in Germany and the number and size of Turkish firms doing business in Germany is increasing quickly. /All papers/

    [09] DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY CAUSES TENSION IN GREECE

    A new dialogue process which will begin between Turkey and Greece on July 26-27 in Ankara has caused tension in Greece. While the opposition parties and a group from the Greek Foreign Ministry are opposing the dialogue, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu defended the dialogue again yesterday. Papandreu said: "Why are we afraid of a dialogue with Turkey? I cannot understand". He added that dialogue with Turkey would be a positive development.

    Papandreu made a statement to the 'Eleftorotopia' newspaper yesterday and responded to criticism claiming that during the dialogue process between Turkey and Greece, Greece will be placed under pressure on issues such as terrorism and the Aegean islets. /Hurriyet/

    [10] PEACE ENVOY FROM CRETE TO DIDIM

    A group of people from Crete which is aiming to strengthen Turco-Greek friendship arrived in Didim. One of the representatives from the Didim Tourism Association, Yavuz Tuntas, who welcomed the guests, said that they were honoured to see the group from Crete in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [11] OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL ORGANIZATION

    Four members of the illegal Islamic Great East Raiders Front (IBDA-C) were apprehended and appeared before a State Security Court (DGM) on Sunday. The four are suspected of involvement in a series of nightclub bombings that killed six people, including one German national.

    [12] PKK'S NEW BRANCH: SOUTH

    The terrorist PKK organization's action areas have been very limited in Turkey. So much so that it has chosen Northern Iraq as its new "intense military and political activity zone". According to the "Al Hayat" newspaper issued in Arabic in London a new branch under the name "PKK-South" has been set up in order to intensify the struggle against Barzani forces. It said that the PKK would launch sabotage attacks on Erbil and Dahok, two towns in Iraq, and would attack Turkish border villages through the region. Quoting from regional sources, the newspaper claimed that the PKK terrorist organization will use Northern Iraq as a base against Turkey. It was noted that the PKK has organized a military and political campaign against the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Meanwhile, U.S. sources claimed that the PKK was being supported by the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. /Milliyet/

    [13] PKK TERRORISTS ATTACK A VILLAGE

    Members of the PKK terrorist organization attacked Narli village in the Catak District of Van two days ago and killed one woman. When security forces retaliated, one terrorist was killed. Meanwhile, members of the Istanbul Anti-Narcotics Department organized two separate raids in the Fatih and Bagcilar districts of Istanbul yesterday and seized 14.5 kilos of hashish worth 500 billion TL. Nine people including one PKK member were taken into custody. /Hurriyet/

    [14] "TERRORIST ACTIVITIES DECREASE BY 40 %"

    Emergency Rule Governor Aydin Arslan has announced that there has been a 40 % decrease in terrorist activities in the region as for last year. He noted that there is no problem via-a-vis terrorism but unemployment is now the biggest problem in the region. During his press conference evaluating the past 12 years, Arslan said that 22,494 terrorists, 4,947 soldiers and 4,372 civilians have been killed over the past 12 years. /Aksam/

    [15] 'HIZBULLAH IS GREAT DANGER'

    The Governor of Diyarbakır Nafiz Kayali, delivered a speech during a meeting which was organized by TUBITAK, at Dicle University in Diyarbakir. He said that the illegal Hizbullah Organization is the most important threat to the Republic of Turkey up to now. He affirmed that the root and the foreign supporter of the organization is Iran and he pointed out that the terrorism trend began to escalate as soon as investments started in the region. Kayali continued, "Turkey has spent 100 billion dollars fighting terrorism. By the time that the PKK is exhausted, the evil powers will set another organization on Turkey. Now Hizbullah has emerged. Hizbullah is such a dangerous organization because they use religious motifs." Dicle University's Rector, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ozaydin, also explained that underdevelopment can only be overcome by means of science; for this reason foreign powers which have roots abroad are attacking the science and education centres. As a result of PKK actions the GAP Project has been pushed backed by 20 years and has been delayed to the year 2015. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] CEYLAN CONSTRUCTS TEL AVIV AIRPORT

    The Ceylan Construction Company will carry out one more project, which will be among the biggest airports in the Middle East, in Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel. The construction of the terminal building for the Ben Gurion 2000 project, which will cost $100 million, is in progress. The construction of the airport, the foundation of which was laid in August 1998, will be completed in 1,270 working days. The Airport will hold an important place as far as transport is concerned in the region. To date, 15 % of the construction has been finalized. Officials from the Ceylan Company said that the materials used in the construction were of European standards. /Turkiye/

    [17] IRAQI NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATED

    Iraqi National Day, held on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the Iraqi Revolution, was celebrated at a reception at the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara. The reception was hosted by the Iraqi Ambassador to Ankara, Faruk Abdullah Yahya El Hicazi. Turkish Health Minister Osman Durmus, Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer, Motherland Party (ANAP) Deputy Bulent Akarcali, Virtue Party (FP) Deputies Eyup Sanay, Mehmet Elkatmis and the Acting Chairman of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) Ismet Sezgin were also present at the reception. /Turkiye/

    [18] SALVADOR DALI IN TURKEY

    Two hundred works of art by Salvador Dali will be exhibited at the State Painting and Sculpture Museum of Mimar Sinan University. The exhibition catalogue promoting the works of art will be in Spanish, French and Turkish. All expenditure for the exhibition and the catalogues will be met by the Turkish Culture Ministry. The exhibition will be opened on September 17, 1999. /Turkiye/

    [19] ERDOGAN TO BE RELEASED IN FIVE DAYS

    Former Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be released at the end of the week after spending 115 days in prison in Kirklareli after being convicted on charges of inciting people to hatred by emphasizing religious differences, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The charges stem from a speech Erdogan made at an outdoor rally in the southeastern city of Siirt in 1998.

    [20] FLOOD IN KIRIKKALE

    Three people died in a flood in the Central Anatolian city of Kirikkale late on Sunday, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The torrential rainfall started at 10:00 p.m. and continued for six hours.

    [21] PREPARATIONS KICK OFF FOR INTERNATIONAL ATATURK PEACE PRIZE

    The search for the next recipient of the International Ataturk Peace Prize has begun, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The award is given to people or institutions that contribute to world peace, international friendship and goodwill.

    [22] TURKEY AMONG MOST SUCCESSFUL AT SALVAGE

    Turkey is among the five most successful countries at salvaging ships, the Anatolia News Agency reports. According to the Coastal Security and Salvage Institution, the Crudegulf oil tanker stranded in the Bosphorus earlier this year was one of the 10 biggest accidents in the last 10 years and a successful salvage operation for the institution.

    [23] ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY PROJECT

    Environment Minister Fevzi Aytekin has said that the National Environment and Observatory Development Project is a serious step towards Turkey's obtaining accurate and reliable data on the environment to help plan for the future, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The Project was prepared by the Environment Ministry with the cooperation of the State Planning Organization (DPT) and State Institute of Statistics (DIE) and approved by the EU Life Programme.

    [24] OSMANLI, THE BEST INTERNET BANK

    Osmanli Bank has been the first Turkish bank to manage to be nominated for the category of 'Best Internet Bank in the World' in the Online Banking Report, an independent publication institution. The category consisted of 86 banks such as ABN Amro Bank, Credit Lyonnais, Credit Suisse, Deutsch Bank and Societe Generale. Osmanli Bank has been on the Internet for one year at the address: 'www.osmanlibankasi.com.tr'. /Hurriyet/

    [25] FINANSBANK IN BAHRAIN

    Finansbank opened a branch in Bahrain on July 14, 1999. Thus, Finansbank has a total of six branches abroad. Finansbank has also been active in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, France and Russia in the international banking arena. /Hurriyet/

    [26] CURRENT ACCOUNTS BALANCE SHOWS SURPLUS

    Turkey's current accounts yielded a surplus of $244 million in the January-April period, according to balance of payment figures announced by the Central Bank for the first four months of 1999. Compared to last year, Turkey's imports declined from $14.68 billion to $11.034 billion and the foreign trade deficit dropped $4.35 billion to $2.31 billion, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    In a positive development, foreign capital inflow increased by 87.5 % in the first four months of 1999, from $96 million to $180 million. Regarding portfolio investments, $1.17 billion came to Turkey in the first four months of 1999 through bond exporting to international capital markets.

    [27] INDIAN SUBCONTINENT REPLACES THE CIS IN TRADE WITH TURKEY

    Countries in the Indian subcontinent including Bangladesh, India and Pakistan top the list of countries to which Turkey's exports increased in the first six months of 1999, part of overall fluctuations in Turkish trade, the Anatolia News Agency reports. South Korea, Albania, Nigeria and Japan followed Bangladesh, India and Pakistan on the list.

    [28] TREASURY ISSUES BONDS

    The Treasury will issue two new bonds today. One of the bonds will be for a six-month term and the other will be for a 13 month-term. As for the programme of the Treasury, it foresees the figure of between 1.2 quadrillion TL and 1.4 quadrillion TL. The export date of the bonds will be 21 July and the re-payment date is determined as 19 January 2000 for the six-month term bonds and 23 August 2000 for the 13-month term ones. /Sabah/

    [29] DEMIRBANK IS 4TH IN THE WORLD

    According to "The Banker" magazine issued in July, Demirbank ranks fourth in profit earnings among world banks. A written statement from Demirbank said that the first target of the Bank is to take its place among the first 500 banks in the world and with this aim they are continuing to work. It noted that Demirbank has strengthened its place among international financial circles via Demirbank Romania SA, Demir Kyrgyz International Bank, Demir Kazakhstan Bank and Demirbank Bulgaria AD which were set up in partnership with international financial institutions. Furthermore, Demir Halk Bank is still active in Germany and the Netherlands in partnership of Halk Bank. /Sabah/

    [30] IMKB IS UP

    Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) started the week with an increase due to expectations of the approval of the new economic package in Parliament. At the end of the first transaction period it hit 5.9 points. In the afternoon, transactions were increased by 54 % and reached the total of 87 trillion TL upon the news from Ankara that the Social Security Reform had been discussed in Parliament and approved by the Health and Social Affairs Commission. Economic experts stressed that the 57th government's determined attitude towards reforms was very important from the point of view of foreign investors. They added it was expected that the positive atmosphere on the IMKB would continue during the week. /Star/

    [31] WORLD HYPOCRICY

    Although the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is not officially recognized, the world accepts its educational institutions. At the six universities in the TRNC 1500 students from 24 countries, including America and Germany, are educated. Countries which do not recognize the TRNC accept the diplomas of their students obtained from TRNC universities. The Eastern Mediterranean University has an educationl cooperation agreement with 49 foreign universities. World states, which with their political games do not recognize the TRNC, contradict themselves by recognizing the diplomas of TRNC universities. /Aksam/

    [32] GOKALP DUE TO KYRGYZSTAN

    Yusuf Gokalp, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, will go to Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday to hold some official contacts, reported the Anatolian News Agency on Monday. The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry statement said that Gokalp who will go to Kyrgzstan as the guest of Emil Uzakbaev, Kyrgyz Agriculture and Water Works Minister, is expected to be received by Askar Akayev, Kyrgyz President. Gokalp will hold contacts with Uzakbaev about how to improve the present agricultural relations with Kyrgyzstan and will carry out investigations where the animal products are processed. Gokalp and his accompanying delegation will stage a press conference after the memorandum of understanding will be signed. Gokalp will return to Turkey on July 24, 1999.

    [33] FRENCH PRAISE TURKISH NAVY

    Turkey's Yildirim Battleship which attended the 3rd Festival of the Battleship of the Century in Rouen, France attracted a great deal of attention from French media. It is reported that almost eight million people visited the battleships exhibited during the Festival between 9-18 July. Yildirim Battleship was chosen as the most disciplined one of the Festival. /Aksam/

    [34] 24TH EUROPEAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP IN ISTANBUL

    The 24th European Swimming Championship will start on 22 July in Atakoy, Istanbul with the participation of 995 sportsmen from 43 countries. Chairman of the Organization Committee Vedat Akgun said that 400 domestic and foreign member of the press will follow the championship and 1,500 personnel will be involved in its smooth running. /Aksam/

    [35] AYKUT'S VICTORY

    A mentally-handicapped Turkish athlete, Aykut Bora Gozukara, received two gold and one silver medal during the 10th Olympics for the Handicapped in North Carolina, the US, between June 26-July 4. Nearly 1,500 sportsmen attended the Olympics. /Hurriyet/

    [36] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CELEBRATE CHRIST'S BIRTH

    The Religious Affairs Directorate will contribute various activities to the celebrations of the 2000th Anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Directorate established 'The Faith Year 2000 Scientific Congress Organizing Commission' and 'The Commission for Millennium Publications'. A representative will be sent to the Santa Claus Festival which will be held in Demre, Antalya, on 6-7 December. Christian and Jewish representatives will be invited to the Conference, 'Religions in the year 2000; the Age of Faith and Tolerance' on 20th April in Tarsus. In addition, in September of the year 2000, in Izmir, 'The International Faith, Tolerance and Plurality Symposium' will be organized. /Cumhuriyet/

    [37] AYASOZORIYAN CHURCH WILL BE RESTORATED

    For the restoration of the Ayasozoriyan Church in Derinkuyu, Nevsehir, which was established by the Greeks in the region in 1777, the Prime Ministry Advertising Fund transferred 35 billion dollars. Derinkuyu Mayor Ibrahim Ertas said that the building is one of the rare original monuments in the Cappadocia Region. The restoration work will be started in shortly. /Cumhuriyet/

    [38] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..

    [39] 25 YEARS AGO, 25 YEARS LATER -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen analyzes the reasons and results of the Cyprus Peace Operation. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "On the 25th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation, the importance of this intervention can be best understood if we only ask the question, "What would have happened if the Turkish Armed Forces had not landed on the Island?"

    At the time, the supporters of "ENOSIS" (union with Greece) had grasped the opportunity they had been looking for, for many years and toppled the Makarios Government with the support of the junta in power in Greece. On the other hand, Turkish-Cypriots who had been forced to live in enclaves following attacks by the Greek-Cypriots in 1963 and 1967 were living in fear that ENOSIS would be accomplished and Turks would be reduced to a minority status.

    During the 25 years following the Cyprus Peace Operation many peace formulas have been suggested and, accordingly, meetings were held and negotiations processes started. As a journalist who has followed these closely, I can say objectively that the Greek-Cypriots were always left one step behind the Turkish-Cypriots in accepting them. Therefore, it has never been possible for the two sides to achieve a compromise. From the system of cantons, to bi-zonal federation, whatever peace solution was suggested or the Turkish- Cypriots brought to the table, from Makarios to Klerides all Greek-Cypriot leaders at first rejected it, then when the Turks went one step ahead changing the conditions accepted the last proposal. Then the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, said that their chance to accept it had been lost.

    The same situation prevails today. Turkish-Cypriots were ready to accept various conditions in 1974-75, and later during the negotiations in the 1980s. At the time, the Greek-Cypriots acted capriciously and rejected all of them. Just as in the last few years. If the Greek-Cypriot side had accepted a true "bi-zonal, bi-communal federation", a system based on this solution would have been established in Cyprus today.

    However, at present this solution too has been left far behind. It is of no use for the Klerides Administration to accept it now. 25 years after the Cyprus Peace Operation new circumstances are valid in the region and on the Island."

    [40] THE SECOND REFORM -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the Social Security Reform and the search for a compromise. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "In answer to our question inquiring whether or not a compromise has been reached on the new reform bill, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Yasar Okuyan stated that since there was no compromise between the employers and the workers as yet, it was wrong to give the impression that only the decision of the Government was being expected.

    On the question of the retirement age, he said that they would insist on the 58-60 age-bracket as the Government was having a problem balancing the accounts. He added that they would not accept populist approaches. As the reform bill is being discussed in the Parliament, the Government is working on a second social security reform package. With this package the three Social Security organizations will be gathered under one umbrella called "The Social Security Institute". Insurance and health services will be separated and thus the hospitals working for the Social Security Institute (SSK) will be taken out of the structure of the institute. Social service aids will be gathered in another institute where some services will be given free of charge. Finally, social security institutions will be restructured to be autonomous.

    The Minister believes that workers should support the first Social Security Bill, as it has the purpose of preventing unregistered employment. There are other arrangements in favour of the workers, but somehow the unions do not want to see these.

    The main function of social security is to erase concern for the future. It has to be a large umbrella covering all citizens. Therefore, there has to be a compromise reached by all sections of society. It is very hard for the Government to achieve a wide-ranging reform without a realistic compromise between the employers and the workers. That is why both sides have to act with awareness and create an atmosphere of compromise."

    [41] 25 YEARS LATER -BY ESEN UNUR (STAR)

    Columnist Esen Unur comments on the situation in Cyprus, 25 years after the Cyprus Peace Operation. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "At present the US Administration holds the view that the Cyprus problem must be solved once and for all now. It wants to solve this issue before the Presidential and Congressional Elections to be held in the year 2000. The US favours negotiations with no pre-conditions and the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is preparing to call on the Turkish and Greek-Cypriot leaders for a negotiation with no conditions attached.

    Greece and the Greek-Cypriot Administration are cleverly leaving the impression that they favour such negotiations as part of their plans. Turkey and the TRNC are putting forth the condition of the political recognition of the TRNC. The Turkish-Cypriots want to sit at the table under equal conditions.

    Greece and the Greek-Cypriots are waging a campaign to the effect that the TRNC is in the process of a union with Turkey and therefore the Island would be divided. The Turkish side on the other hand, is saying that if the Greek-Cypriot Administration is accepted into the EU as the sole representative of the Island, integration with Turkey may come up.

    On February 9, 1984 Ecevit said that if the Island would have been divided between Turkey and Greece, or any action leading to this had been taken we would have brought Greece, with whom we have many problems in the Aegean, to the Middle East. Thus, the problems between Greece and Turkey will increase and a new dimension will be added to international problems.

    Twenty-five years ago Eecevit was calling for a federation. Today the circumstances have changed and he is calling for a confederation. These circumstances are explained as the improvement of relations between the Greek-Cypriots and the EU."

    [42] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [43] TURKISH RED CRESCENT AID TO KOSOVO

    All of the refugees have returned to Kosovo and the Turkish Red Crescent has inaugurated its aid activities in the province. It was reported by the Anatolia News Agency that the Red Crescent made observations before they started to distribute the aid.

    The Director of the Turkish Red Crescent, Fatih Evren, stated that they initiated aid efforts when the need arose in Kosovo, adding that now that the refugee camps had been closed in Macedonia and Albania, aid is being directed to Kosovo. Evren stated that work will be carried out from offices in Pristina and Prizren that were opened by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem during his visit to the area last week.

    END


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