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Turkish Press Review, 99-07-30

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

30.07.99

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] BALKAN LEADERS IN SARAJEVO
  • [04] TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE
  • [05] ECEVIT: "EUROPE WILL UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH SOONER OR LATER"
  • [06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREU'S STATEMENT
  • [07] OZKOK AND ESKI: COMMENTS IN GREEK PRESS
  • [08] ANKARA DENIES 'COMPENSATION OFFER' TO TEHRAN
  • [09] TWO TURKISH SOLDIERS TO BE TRIED
  • [10] MINISTER OF TRANSPORT IN FRANCE
  • [11] TOURISM FACILITIES TO BE GIVEN MONEY
  • [12] LETTER TO FISCHER FROM SOYSAL
  • [13] ARMENIAN OBSTACLE TO BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE
  • [14] THIRD GLOBAL MARKETS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN ISTANBUL
  • [15] SUPPORT FOR EXPORTS
  • [16] GARANTI BANK EXPORTS BONDS WORTH $200 MILLION
  • [17] RECONCILIATION FOR RETIREMENT AGE
  • [18] COMMERCIAL UNION FULLY SUPPORTS SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM
  • [19] TURKISH BANKING SUCCESS
  • [20] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP
  • [21] JOINT ECONOMIC COMMISSION MEETING BETWEEN TURKEY AND ARGENTINA
  • [22] TBWA IS IN TURKEY
  • [23] ADMIRAL ABBOT IN TURKEY
  • [24] CAY IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [25] HEROIN SEIZED
  • [26] COULCIL OF EUROPE CALLS ON TURKEY
  • [27] FOUR SOLDIERS DIE
  • [28] GERMAN POLICE RESCUE TURKISH GIRL
  • [29] PROF.DOUMENGE IN TURKEY
  • [30] GEN.RALSTON TO REPLACE GEN.CLARK
  • [31] MIT TO CARRY OUT NEW SECURITY OPERATIONS
  • [32] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENT
  • [33] AMNESTY LAW IN PLACE BEFORE 29TH OCTOBER
  • [34] AMERICAN MISSIONARIES EXTRADITED
  • [35] DEAD TERRORIST WAS SYRIAN
  • [36] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES TOURISM AGREEMENT
  • [37] NEW TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL OFFICIALLY STARTS HIS WORK
  • [38] UZUNGOL IS ANNOUNCED AS PRESERVATION SITE
  • [39] EXHIBITION BY TATAR PAINTERS
  • [40] BRITISH AWARD FOR TURKISH CHORAL GROUP
  • [41] PATTY METHENY IS ON THE OPEN STAGE
  • [42] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [43] A NEW BALKAN TREATY -BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [44] IS THERE A CHANGE? -BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)
  • [45] * * *
  • [46] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [47] KOSOVARS RETURNING HOME

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

    [02] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [03] BALKAN LEADERS IN SARAJEVO

    The Southeastern Europe Stability Pact Summit started yesterday in Sarajevo. Top-ranking representatives of the 39 countries and 17 international institutions met to offer their own vision for stability in the region. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem flew to Sarajevo yesterday afternoon. Before his departure from Ankara, Cem said that the meeting was particularly important because for the first time Europe was approaching the region with an understanding that it is part of Europe and vital for the overall peace, security and stability of the continent.

    President Suleyman Demirel, who also attended the suumit, arrived in Sarajevo yesterday afternoon. During the meeting the Turkish delegation wanted a Turkish representative to have a place on the committee to be established to oversee the reconstruction of Kosovo.

    Demirel also met the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alia Izzetbegovic, after the Summit. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will meet his Italian counterpart Lamberto Dini, German counterpart Joscka Fischer and Greek counterpart George Papandreu. /Cumhuriyet/Sabah/

    [04] TURCO-GREEK DIALOGUE

    Turkish and Greek delegations met yesterday in Athens for the second round of talks. It is announced that today the delegations will discuss the terrorism issue. During yesterday, they discussed cultural and regional cooperation between the two countries. The Turkish delegation was headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary responsible for the economy, Mithat Balkan, and the Turkish Ambassador to Athens, Ali Tuygan, also attended the talks.

    According to the Greek media, the Turkish and Greek delegations will sign agreements on some issues, excepting terrorism. It was claimed that even though positive results come from the talks, this will not be enough to make radical changes in Turco-Greek relations.

    It is expected that today the Turkish delegation will ask Greece to take a clear anti-PKK attitude and, therefore, cut her support to terrorist activities in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] ECEVIT: "EUROPE WILL UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH SOONER OR LATER"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said in a programme on TRT-1 yesterday that Europe, which is currently using EU membership as a means of applying pressure, will try to make Turkey an EU member sooner or later. Ecevit responded to questions concerning developments inside and outside Turkey. Regarding the letter sent to him by Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, Ecevit stated that the content of the letter revealed that Italy had understood Turkey's determination in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization.

    Ecevit remarked that Turkey was a leading country in its region and enjoyed a dynamic economy despite its problems. Ecevit pointed out that Italy had realized this fact and had decided to establish good relations with Turkey. Ecevit stressed that even though Turkey was not an EU member, it continued with its relations with EU countries. He added: "Recent developments show that the EU will knock on Turkey's door sooner or later". Ecevit will pay an official visit to the US between September 28-October 1. /Aksam/

    [06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREU'S STATEMENT

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu pointed out the importance of the talks between Turkey beginning with the free will of the two States and not due to pressure from others. Papandreu, who attended a seminar on the Island of Corfu organized by the Andreas Papandreu Foundation, said that a positive and constructive atmosphere has prevailed during the talks held between Turkey and Greece so far.

    He added that during the talks not only the possibilities for inter-governmental cooperation but also opportunities for the cooperation of non-governmental organizations were discussed. On the question of minorities, Papandreu stated that there was only one constructive solution to the issue, and added, "The minorities should feel as if they are members of the society they live in and participate in developments in that society in a democratic manner. He also expressed his belief that to prevent the rise of nationalism, minorities should be supported and their situation improved financially. Papandreu added that to protect peace in the Balkans, respect for the existing borders was a basic condition.

    In another development, Papandreu, in an interview he had given to "Klik" magazine, said that no one denied that there were many Muslims of Turkish descent in Greece. The Chairman of the Western Thracian Turks' Solidarity Association, Taner Mustafaoglu, stated that these words inspired hope in them. He added that Papandreu and those who expressed the same belief should be encouraged. /All papers/

    [07] OZKOK AND ESKI: COMMENTS IN GREEK PRESS

    The heading of the daily 'Hurriyet' newspaper "Bravo George" gave rise to positive reveberations in the Greek press. The 'Etnos' newspaper stated that Papandreu was on Turkey's agenda and pointed out the comments made by the Hurriyet's Editor-in-Chief, Ertugrul Ozkok, and editor Oktay Eksi. Ozkok had said that Greek paranoia would not allow Papandreu to carry out his duty for a long time. He added: "We have all witnessed the negative spirit of the Greek press and the Greek State. This feeling is a national policy of the Greek State". /Hurriyet/

    [08] ANKARA DENIES 'COMPENSATION OFFER' TO TEHRAN

    Ankara rejected yesterday's reports from Tehran that a Turkish official, visiting the site of an alleged air strike by Turkish aircraft on Iranian soil, had promised compensation. "That must have been a misunderstanding," said a top Turkish Foreign Ministry official.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated yesterday that Turkish aircraft had bombed Iraqi territories adding that it was not Turkey's business if Iran accepted the region as its own territory or not. Turkish Foreign Ministry also annouced yesterday that, thanks to the Turkish delegation's technical and cartographical research on the Iran-Iraq border, it had been ascertained that the Turkish aircraft had bombed Northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] TWO TURKISH SOLDIERS TO BE TRIED

    The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gulamhuseyin Bolendiyan, said in his statement to the IRNA News Agency that the two Turkish soldiers who had crossed the border into Iranian territory would be taken to court. Bolendiyan: "Turkish political authorities asked Iran to handover their soldiers. We, naturally, will negotiate this request and probably these two soldiers will face a legal process in line with their crimes. Immediately after the legal process and negotiations with Turkish authorities have ended, we will make every effort to repatriate." /Sabah/

    [10] MINISTER OF TRANSPORT IN FRANCE

    Transport Minister Enis Oksuz went to France yesterday. Oksuz will observe the construction of Turkey's third satellite. Before his departure from Ankara, Oksuz said that the satellite, which is still being constructed, will be equipped with the latest technology. The satellite will have the power to observe events from China to Eastern Europe. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] TOURISM FACILITIES TO BE GIVEN MONEY

    Minister of Tourism Erkan Mumcu said that 14 trillion TL financial resources are foreseen to be allocated into tourism in line with the economic package announced last week by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. He added that from next week on, funding will begin to be available to tourism companies. He added, "Tourism companies which earn almost $10 million will benefit equal to the rate of their income. Firms which earn more than $10 million will benefit from one-year Eximbank credits to 7 % of their revenue."

    He noted that the Ministry will launch a promotional campaign in Russia, Germany and Britain. /Milliyet/

    [12] LETTER TO FISCHER FROM SOYSAL

    Cevat Soysal, the second-in-command of the terrorist PKK organization, lawyer, Kenan Sidar, sent a letter to German Foreign Minister Joscka Fischer to ask for his support. Sidar said in his letter that Soysal was had been brought to Turkey on violating international legal regulations and he wanted to bring the issue to international attention. He also recalled that Sosyal had been a political refugee in Germany. /Milliyet/

    [13] ARMENIAN OBSTACLE TO BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE

    U.S. Democratic Party MP and member of the Armenian Lobby of the U.S. House of Representatives, Joseph Andrew, requested that the U.S. stop the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline construction until the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is solved. The request will have to be approved first by the General Council of the House of Representatives, then by the Senate, and finally it will have to be signed by President Bill Clinton. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] THIRD GLOBAL MARKETS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN ISTANBUL

    The "Third FIBV Global Emerging Markets Conference and Exhibition", jointly organized by the International Federation of Stock Exchanges (FIBV) and the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB), will be held at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Markets Centre on 15-17 September, reported the Anatolian News Agency. The Conference, on the theme of emerging markets, is put on every two years in order to bring together executives of Stock Exchanges, issuers, financial analysts, investors and acedemics as well as data vendors and hardware and software providers.

    [15] SUPPORT FOR EXPORTS

    An agreement for a loan worth $250 million to be supplied by the World Bank to Eximbank in order to finance exports will be signed on Monday. Five banks to be chosen later will enable exporters to use this loan over a five-year term. According to the package of economic measures announced by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, financial sources of $1.3 billion will be supplied to Eximbank. The package includes: "$500 million from Central Bank, $250 million from the World Bank, $200 million from the Japanese Eximbank, $50 million from EDC (Canada)". Eximbank will also ensure financing worth $300 million through exports, syndicates and bonds. /Hurriyet/

    [16] GARANTI BANK EXPORTS BONDS WORTH $200 MILLION

    Garanti Bank has exported financial bonds worth $20 million to the American capital markets. Twenty-four banks from 13 countries participated in the financing organized by the Bank of America. /Hurriyet/

    [17] RECONCILIATION FOR RETIREMENT AGE

    During a summit held at the Prime Ministry Building, representatives of workers and the government reached a compromise on the retirement age. Labour Minister Yasar Okuyan who briefed journalists following the summit said that a statement would be issued today. According to the reconciliation text, those who have two or less than two years to go before retiring will not be affected by the new draft. The retirement age will be raised to 58-60 for those who have begun working for the first time, while the premium will have to be paid for 7,300 days. /Hurriyet/

    [18] COMMERCIAL UNION FULLY SUPPORTS SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM

    The Commercial Union, the biggest life insurance company in Britain, has a stake in Turkey. The General Director of the Commercial Union in Turkey, William Lamb, stated that if the draft law aimed at implementing the Social Security Reform is approved by the General Council of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Commercial Union investments in Turkey will increase. /Hurriyet/

    [19] TURKISH BANKING SUCCESS

    Visa International, one of the international credit card institutions, organized a competition to find the 'ideal ATM card'. The Director of the Alternatif Individual Banking, Abdurrahman Ozciger, received first prize. More than 400 high-level representatives of the banks took part in the competition. /Aksam/

    [20] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP

    Central Bank foreign exchange reserves have increased by $739 million in one week. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves which amounted to $22.609 billion on July 16 rose to $23.348 billion on July 23. According to data dated July 9, Turkey's international reserves totalled $33.328 billion. /Aksam/

    [21] JOINT ECONOMIC COMMISSION MEETING BETWEEN TURKEY AND ARGENTINA

    The 1st part of the Joint Economic Commission meeting between Turkey and Argentina was held in Buenos Aires between 27-28 July, reported by the Anatolian News Agency.

    In a statement from the Foreign Trade Advisor, during the meetings the Turkish board was chaired by the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade, whereas the Argentinian board was chaired by Undersecretary Ambassador Eduardo Alberto Sadous, responsible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Partnership.

    During his visit, Yavuz Ege was welcomed by Argentina's Minister of Industry and Commerce, Alieto Guadagni, and during the meeting they discussed regional issues and the development of mutual commercial and economic relations. In addition,the initiation of new areas of cooperation was evaluated.

    According to the statement, under the guidelines of this meeting, in order to improve, establish and stabilize commercial relations between the two countries, the measures which could be taken to achive this aim were determined.

    It was decided that ties in the banking, privatisation, free zone, agriculture and forestry, energy, health, science and technology and tourism areas would be made more cocrete. Additionally, the two countries' construction contractors would undertake projects concerning Argentina, Turkey and other countries.

    [22] TBWA IS IN TURKEY

    The world's 11st biggest agency TBWA Worldwide has begun to offer its advertising services in Turkey. Two high-ranking officials from TBWA, a company famous for the profits it has made, organized a conference both for those wishing to advertise and for marketing companies. TBWA's Executive Board Chairman Cem Topcuoglu stated that these conferences, in which a variety of experiences were related, were very useful. TBWA has offices in 65 countries and 106 cities. /Turkiye/

    [23] ADMIRAL ABBOT IN TURKEY

    Admiral Charles Steve Abbot, the Deputy Commander of the US European Forces, visited Admiral Salim Dervisoglu, Naval Forces' Commander, on Wednesday, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Dervisoglu said that he was very pleased to host an Admiral of the US, which is a friendly allied country.

    [24] CAY IN KAZAKHSTAN

    State Minister Mehmet Cay said that Turkey would take the measures needed to restore the Tomb of Hodja Ahmed Yesevi, adding that the restoration of this tomb is an honourable task for Turkey. Cay went to Turkistan to research into restoration work on the Tomb of Hodja Ahmed Yesevi and also on the hand-made carpet project, and has started his contacts. Cay will travel to Tashkent on July 30, 1999, and will return to Turkey on July 31, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [25] HEROIN SEIZED

    Istanbul police engaged in two separate raids and seized five kilos of heroin worth 500 billion TL and 184,000 'Captagon'. Seven people were taken into custody regarding the incident. /Hurriyet/

    [26] COULCIL OF EUROPE CALLS ON TURKEY

    The Ministers' Committee of the Council of Europe called on Turkey to release the former Chairman of the defunct Socialist Party, Dogu Perincek. The Ministers' Committee claimed that the closure of the Party was a violation of human rights. /Hurriyet/

    [27] FOUR SOLDIERS DIE

    A military vehicle going from the Gelisen Village of the Semdinli District in Hakkari to the Tekeli field hit a mine laid by members of the PKK terrorist organization. Two soldiers died while one was wounded. Officials remarked that following the incident, a wide-ranging search was underway.

    Meanwhile, PKK terrorists opened fire on security forces who were on duty at the Alparslan-1 Dam, the construction of which is on-going near the Village of Topluk in the Bulanik District of Mus and killed one member of the gendarmerie. During the attack, seven soldiers were wounded. Elsewhere, a member of the gendarmerie was also killed by PKK terrorists in the Savur District of Mardin. /Hurriyet/

    [28] GERMAN POLICE RESCUE TURKISH GIRL

    German police rescued a Turkish girl of Kurdish origin, who was abducted by PKK terrorists. During an operation carried out by the German police, the Turkish girl (19), whom the PKK wanted to make into a terrorist, was rescued. German police took two PKK terrorists into custody. It is reported that 14 other Turkish girls kidnapped by the PKK terrorist organization are still missing. /Hurriyet/

    [29] PROF.DOUMENGE IN TURKEY

    Prof.Francoise Doumenge, who became the Head of the Monaco Maritime Institute folowing the death of the renowned French oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, will arrive in Turkey to attend various events organized by Istanbul University. Doumenge will be in Istanbul between October 1-5 with the support of the Turkish Maritime Research Foundation, and will explain recent research concerning the 'Protection and Problems of the Mediterranean'. /Hurriyet/

    [30] GEN.RALSTON TO REPLACE GEN.CLARK

    Gen.Joseph Ralston will replace Gen.Wesley Clark, the NATO European Allied Forces' Chief Commander. US Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen.Ralston, who will assume his post next April, is known as a friend of Turks in diplomatic circles in Washington. /Aksam/

    [31] MIT TO CARRY OUT NEW SECURITY OPERATIONS

    The Turkish National Intelligence Service (MIT) which has already captured the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, and PKK members Semdin Sakik and Cevat Soysal, has finalized its preparations to crush PKK action in Europe. MIT will carry out new security operations to capture Yasar Kaya and his 28 friends, members of the so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile. /Aksam/

    [32] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENT

    Turkey paid out 685.8 million dollars in foreign debt in July. According to data from the Central Bank, Treasury paid 575.6 million dollars, Central Bank paid 31.1 million dollars, IMF paid 39.1 million dollars and Administrations with General and Added Budgets paid 40.1 million dollars. /Star/

    [33] AMNESTY LAW IN PLACE BEFORE 29TH OCTOBER

    The Amnesty Law which was brought to light during the 75th year of the Turkish Republich during which time it was unable to be implemented, is going to be enacted before 29th October of this year. The Bill covers crimes committed before 18th April 1999. According to the Bill, the sentences of up to 12 years will be completely pardoned and those more than 12 years will be reduced by one-third. Life sentences will be reduced to 25 years and criminals sentenced to capital punishments will be allowed to be released after 36 years. Punishments for children younger than 15 years old will be revoked. The leaders of the terrorist organization and terrorists who have been captured are not included in the Bill. /Star/

    [34] AMERICAN MISSIONARIES EXTRADITED

    Sixteen Americans who tried to convert Kurdish people to Christianity and also offered bribes of an hundred dollars, were seized in Izmir. The missionaries were sent to court. A fine was imposed on them and they will be extradited. Research carried out by intelligent services shows some very impressive results. According to the documents captured, the new target of the missionaries is the Kurdish people who live in Turkey and in Northern Iraq. In the documents it was asserted that the Kurds are restricted and cannot use their native language in Turkey and also that it is a good base for the spread of Christianity. /Star/

    [35] DEAD TERRORIST WAS SYRIAN

    The identity of the terrorist who had attemped to stage a bomb attack on a police station is Southeastern Batman province and who died, was determined, it is reported by the Anatolian News Agency. Security officials said that the terrorist who tries to stage the bomb attack on July 6 and who was stopped by police, was Zekeriya Muhammed, and he was Syrian.

    [36] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES TOURISM AGREEMENT

    The Bulgarian government approved the cooperation agreement in tourism signed in Romania in March among Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, reported the Anatolian News Agency. The agreement signed on 11 March 1999 in Romania's Sinaya city, suggests that the three countries will work in coordination in the field of tourism. Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania will present their tourism services together in international markets. Turkey, who has the greatest experience in tourism, will offer technical aid in the privatization of tourism facilities in Bulgaria and Romania, according to another article of the agreement.

    [37] NEW TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL OFFICIALLY STARTS HIS WORK

    Ahmet Uzumcu, the new Turkish Ambassador to Israel presented his letter of credentials to Ezer Weizman, the Israeli President on Wednesday and officially started his work, reported the Anatolian News Agency. "We wish the improvement of relations between the two countries. I am ready to extend all kind of support to you during your term in office," told Weizman to the Ambassador. Uzumcu said for his part that he will do his best for improvement of Turco-Isreali relations.

    [38] UZUNGOL IS ANNOUNCED AS PRESERVATION SITE

    The Uzungol township of the Black Sea, which is world-famous for its lake and high-plateau, has been announced as a site under preservation orders. The township has historic ruins dating from the Greek Pontus State and is surrounded by the Pontik Alps. Regional people are still living in historical untouched one or two-storey wooden houses. Uzungol township also has an 800-bed capacity catering for tourists. /Sabah/

    [39] EXHIBITION BY TATAR PAINTERS

    An exhibition opened by two painters from Tatarstan in Eskisehir, Turkey, has received great interest from art-lovers. The exhibition of Bulat Gilvann and Nail Galim's work was opened by Eskisehir Mayor Prof.Yilmaz Buyukersen and the Deputy Governor of Kazan, a city in Tatarstan, Reis Sahipoglu Mubarekcanov. The exhibition will be open for five days. /Hurriyet/

    [40] BRITISH AWARD FOR TURKISH CHORAL GROUP

    The Orfeon Chamber Chorus ranked first in the Folk Music Chorus section during a competition held as part of the 'Seventh Teesside International Festival'. The Orfeon Chamber Chorus was the only Turkish choral group in the competition attended by 23 groups from 11 countries. The choral group conducted by Elnara Kerimova staged four separate concerts in Middlesbrough and Saltburn. The Chorus also participated in a live programme broadcast on the radio station BBC Cleveland. /Hurriyet/

    [41] PATTY METHENY IS ON THE OPEN STAGE

    Virtuoso guitarist Patty Metheny, who became a legend with her extremely unconventional and marginal sense of music at a very young age, will be on stage at the Yapi Kredi Arts Festival'99. Being a master guitarist, a versatile composer, and an unconventional creator, Mentheny is a living legend with her musical intelligence and never-ending energy. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1954, the master guitarist is one of those peculiar musicians who began her profession at the age of 19, with the Gary Burton Band and then reached the top. The concert will be held at Cemil Topuzcu Open-Air Theatre at 21:15 and the tickets will be sold at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall and at Vakkoramas. /Turkiye/

    [42] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [43] A NEW BALKAN TREATY -BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Sedat Ergin writes on the new developments in the Balkans. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "War has been left behind, however its shadow is still on Sarajevo. The most important change in the city is the newly-built or restored buildings around the airport and a modern mosque at the entrance to the city. Today, Sarajevo will host the establishment of the"Stability for Southeastern Europe Pact". US President Bill Clinton and EU Heads of State will all gather here to sign a historic declaration which aims to bring lasting peace and stability to the Balkans following the Kosovo crisis.

    The Stability Pact aims to establish a lasting order in this region of Europe where nothing was settled following the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire. The EU countries, the US, all the Balkan countries excluding Serbia, Turkey and three international organizations, the Council of Europe, the EU Commission and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) will attend the Conference.

    The Conference foresees the establishment of a regional desk with the participation of all these countries and organizations, and the foundation of three working desks to work on the problems of Democratization and Human Rights, Rebuilding, Development, Cooperation and Security. It is not known whether the pact will obtain the results desired given the resistance of the region to peace. However, even the name of the Treaty shows a significant evolution in the viewpoints of the US and Europe. Preferring to use the word "Southeastern Europe" and not the "Balkans", this shows that this region is going to be considered as being within Europe."

    [44] IS THERE A CHANGE? -BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Ali Sirmen comments on Italian Prime Minister D'Alema's letter to Prime Minister Ecevit. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema's letter to Prime Minister Ecevit recalling that the two countries were friends, proposing talks at the highest level as soon as possible, and promising to support Turkey's candidacy for the membership of the EU is not surprising as the winds of change have been blowing between Turkey and Europe recently.

    The first signal came from Germany. Chancellor Schroeder sent some warm messages during his talks with Turkish businessmen. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer displayed a different style and stance in the course of his visit to Turkey. The dialogue between Turkey and Greece and the statements by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu could also be added to these.

    However, then a question comes to mind, is there change? Will Turkey's candidacy to membership be approved during the Conference in Helsinki in five months' time? All the signs are pointing that way, but this does not mean that the EU will accept Turkey as a full member. There is a return to the conditions before the Luxembourg Summit. Only Turkey's candidacy status is going to be registered. Between the acceptance of her candidacy and becoming a full-member there is a long and hard road awaiting Turkey. Europe will expect many steps to be taken on democracy, human rights, the economy and social life.

    Europe has realized its mistake: excluding Turkey does not lead to constructive results for either party. Furthermore, Ankara has begun to declare that as she did not want anything from Europe, so Europe would not be able to ask for anything in Turkey. However, with the acceptance of Turkey's candidacy status an opportunity will arise for the implementation of the "carrot and stick" policy.

    The door to Europe should not be closed."

    [45] * * *

    [46] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [47] KOSOVARS RETURNING HOME

    Kosovars, who were forced to migrate because of the cruelty and massacre in Kosovo, are now returning to their native country, reported by the Anatolian News Agency.

    In a statement from the Ministry of Interior's Press Advisor, 17,746 Kosovars had been staying in Turkey but yesterday before 24:00, 16,599 of them had returned to their native country thanks to the atmosphere of peace in the area. According to this report, now there are 1,147 Kosovar refugees in Turkey. The Kosovars who left Turkey consist of 5,984 women, 4,956 men and 5,749 children.


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