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Turkish Press Review, 99-08-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

20.08.99

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] DEMIREL VISITS THE DISASTER REGION
  • [03] ECEVIT: "TENT CITIES WILL BE SET UP"
  • [04] EUROPEAN ALARM SYSTEM
  • [05] EARTHQUAKE COVERED IN BELGIAN PRESS
  • [06] EARTHQUAKE COVERAGE IN SPANISH PRESS
  • [07] UKRAINE SENDS FIRE-EXTINGUISHING AIRCRAFT
  • [08] YILMAZ VISITS THE DISASTER REGION
  • [09] AID FROM JORDAN
  • [10] MEETING FOR THE COORDINATION OF FOREIGN AID
  • [11] INTERNATIONAL AID FOR TURKEY
  • [12] INDUSTRIALISTS TO HELP THE VICTIMS
  • [13] IT IS TIME FOR FRIENDSHIP
  • [14] DAMAGE ON ROADS TOTALS 50 TRILLION TL
  • [15] MESSAGES OF CONDOLENCE
  • [16] MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE FROM KOCARYAN
  • [17] 10 TRILLION TL TRANSFERRED TO DISASTER FUND
  • [18] AID MEETS RELIGION
  • [19] TURKEY'S CREDIT RATING REMAINS SAME
  • [20] JAPAN'S DONATION TO ERCIYES UNIVERSITY
  • [21] ARMAMENT ON SOUTHERN CYPRUS
  • [22] GERMANY LAUNCHES TRIAL AGAINST PKK MEMBER
  • [23] ROOTING-OUT OPERATION IN DIGOR
  • [24] US SAYS PKK SHOULD LAY DOWN ARMS
  • [25] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP
  • [26] FOREST FIRE IN BOLU
  • [27] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..
  • [28] MAIN AID -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [29] INVITATION TO EMPLOYERS -BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (HURRIYET)

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

    [02] DEMIREL VISITS THE DISASTER REGION

    President Suleyman Demirel went to Adapazari, Golcuk, Yalova and Kocaeli yesterday to inspect the disaster region. President Demirel was briefed by Sakarya Governor Yener Rakicioglu. Demirel pointed out that the situation faced by Turkey was terrible and added that the earthquake in the region was equivalent to 10 Erzincan or 10 Dinar earthquakes. Demirel stressed that nearly 20,000 people were injured while nearly 4,500 people had lost their lives to date during the earthquake in western Turkey. He remarked that all people should be in solidarity to help the victims. It is reported that the fire at the TUPRAS facilities in Izmit has finally been brought under control. /Sabah/

    [03] ECEVIT: "TENT CITIES WILL BE SET UP"

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that tent cities will be set up in the regions in which the earthquake occurred and that the refugee camp in Kirklareli will come into operation to aid the victims of disaster, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    Ecevit stated that the tents will be constructed in order to shelter the homeless compatriots in the earthquake region and that those who wished to do so would be able to stay there. "Almost 200 Kosovars are living in the refugee camp in Kirklareli. This camp will serve the victims of the disaster and those who wish to stay there can make use of this camp", said Ecevit.

    Ecevit added that the burial of those who died during the earthquake had begun. He pointed out the fact that the burial of the corpses could cause serious health problems and that photographs of those corpses which have not yet been identified would be taken and afterwards they would be buried.

    Ecevit also briefed listeners on the Tupras oil refinery fire and explained that there had been hopeful improvements in extinguishing the fire. "The fire has been brought mostly under control. It had spread to seven tanks but now only two of the tanks are burning. Cooling operations in order to prevent the fire from spreading to other tanks are underway. In addition, the mending of the water-main from Sapanca is about to come to an end. After the water is turned back on, the cooling operations will speed up more. Even if the fire is unable to be extinguished to some extent, the spread of the fire will be contained", said Ecevit.

    [04] EUROPEAN ALARM SYSTEM

    Officials in 23 European countries involved in helping with the earthquake disaster are being briefed concerning the System of Alarm in Europe (SAE) affiliated to the Council of Europe. An official from the SAE based in Strasbourg, Francoise Tondre, issued a statement and said: "We know that people under the rubble can be rescued during the first 72 hours. Therefore, it is very important to give countries the information they need to arrange international aid efforts as quickly as possible". The SAE was also active in the aftermath of earthquakes in Georgia in 1991, in Erzincan in 1992 and in Algeria in 1994, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [05] EARTHQUAKE COVERED IN BELGIAN PRESS

    The Belgian press is continuing to give extensive coverage to the earthquake disaster in Turkey. The 'La Libre Belgique' newspaper published in Belgium said under its headline that Turkey is living through a hell on the earth. The newspaper stated that even though Turkey lies on an earthquake fault zone, it was not prepared for such an earthquake. The newspaper claimed that the earthquake could even cause some quakes in the political arena. It added that the damage caused by the earthquake could create long-term problems in Turkey's development.

    The 'Le Soir' newspaper said that there were still thousands of people under the rubble. It also stated that the Turkish community living in Belgium was looking for ways to help the victims. The 'La Derniere Heure' newspaper remarked that the number of those who died or were injured during the earthquake is continuously increasing and added that the fire at the TUPRAS Refinery in Izmit constituted a real threat of danger, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [06] EARTHQUAKE COVERAGE IN SPANISH PRESS

    Spanish TV and radio stations have devoted wide coverage to the earthquake in western Turkey. The Spanish press announced the numbers of bank accounts for donations opened by non-governmental organizations, especially the Red Cross, and called upon people to help the victims. The Spanish press remarked that the earthquake disaster in Turkey was one of the biggest disasters which had happened in Europe and said that the number of those under the rubble has not been determined yet. It also stated that international sensitivity towards the earthquake disaster in Turkey was praise-worthy.

    The Spanish 'El Pais' newspaper pointed out that Europe should support Turkey, which is now in deep mourning. The 'La Vanguardia' covered the news concerning the earthquake under the headline 'Blow to Turkey'. Other leading Spanish newspapers including 'El Mundo', 'La Razon' and ABC also stated that Turkey had experienced a terrible tragedy, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [07] UKRAINE SENDS FIRE-EXTINGUISHING AIRCRAFT

    The Anatolia News Agency reported that the Ukraine will send fire-fighters and fire-extinguishing aircraft in order to put out the fire at the TUPRAS facilities in Izmit. The Ukrainian Minister of Emergencies, Vasyl Durdynets, said that half of the 100 fire-fighters to be sent to Turkey would participate in fire-extinguishing efforts and two fire-fighting aircraft would also be sent to Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    Meanwhile, France will send more search and rescue teams and doctors in order to help the victims in Turkey. A spokesman from the French Foreign Ministry said that in addition to 82 French officials in Yalova and 61 in Golcuk, an additional 11 rescue officials and 15 doctors would also be sent to Turkey. It is reported that bank accounts for donations have been opened in order to help the people affected by the earthquake in western Turkey.

    [08] YILMAZ VISITS THE DISASTER REGION

    The Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz went on a tour of inspection in Yalova, which has been heavily affected by the earthquake. Yilmaz first attended the funeral of the former Chairman of the Turkish Trade Unions' Confederation (Turk-Is), Sevket Yilmaz, in Bursa; later he proceeded to Yalova and visited the Crisis Centre set up at the Yalova Governor's Office. Yilmaz stated that Turkey was in need of assistance and added that all injury would be healed absolutely. State Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Yasar Okuyan, Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu and ANAP Deputy Chairman Mustafa Tasar accompanied Yilmaz during his visit, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [09] AID FROM JORDAN

    A Jordanian aircraft carrrying 18 tons of supplies will arrive in Turkey today. The aid package consists of foodstuff, sanitary equipment, blankets and tents. A Jordanian delegation will also come to Turkey to hand over this package. The Jordanian Prince and the Jordanian Minister of Religious Affairs, Abdulselam Abbadi, will also be members of the delegation, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [10] MEETING FOR THE COORDINATION OF FOREIGN AID

    A meeting headed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit for the coordination of international aid efforts was held yesterday. State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, State Ministers Recep Onal, Tunca Toskay and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, Finance Minister Sumer Oral and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem also participated in the meeting. A statement concerning the meeting will be issued by Ecevit, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [11] INTERNATIONAL AID FOR TURKEY

    The number of search and rescue teams and aid packages coming from foreign countries is further increasing. According to information received from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, foreign help in order to put out the fire at the TUPRAS facilities in Izmit was of great significance. As of this morning, a total of 1,500 people from 32 countries have arrived in Turkey to extend the rescue efforts, sanitary and technical support. It is expected that this number will rise to 1,700 by the end of the day. Among the countries which have lent their support to Turkey are the US, Germany, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Algeria, Morocco, France, Finland, Croatia, Holland, Japan, Britain, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Hungary, Egypt, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Jordan, the Czech Republic, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Tunisia, Armenia, China, Gulf countries, Australia and Southern Cyprus, the Anatolia News Agency reports. During rescue operations in the disaster region, 70 people were saved after 48 hours. It is reported that 6,866 people lost their lives during the earthquake. Kocaeli: 3,261, Yalova: 1,276, Sakarya: 1,284, Istanbul: 984, Bolu: 212, Bursa: 81, Eskisehir: 38 and Zonguldak: 3 dead. The number of people who have been injured is 33,398.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the IMF had decided to send $325 million in emergency aid to Turkey. The US will send three war ships belonging to the US Navy, carrying 3,100 soldiers to Istanbul. In these vessels, there are six operation rooms, 631 beds and eight military doctors. While the EU is sending 2 million Euros in aid to Turkey, Germany has increased its donation amount to 1.5 million Euros.

    [12] INDUSTRIALISTS TO HELP THE VICTIMS

    All leading institutions in the business world in Turkey are looking for ways of helping the victims of the earthquake. The Executive Board of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) called on its members to help the victims while the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), the Istanbul Chamber of Trade (ITO), the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) and the Istanbul Trade Exchange have decided that aid to be given to the disaster region should be organized under the coordination of the chambers in the region. Meanwhile, the Football Federation's Executive Council has decided to grant 575 billion TL to the victims. /Milliyet/

    [13] IT IS TIME FOR FRIENDSHIP

    It is remarkable that among the countries which offered their support to Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake are Greece, Southern Cyprus and Armenia. The Greek-Cypriot Administration's Leader, Glafkos Klerides, has sent a message of condolence to Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and said that they are ready to help. Armenia also stated that it was ready to send search and rescue teams to Turkey. A special committee has been established by the Greek Government for the coordination of emergency relief efforts. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu who was on vacation returned to Athens to assist the efforts while the Greek Health Minister called on people to give blood. The Greek press has also devoted extensive coverage to the earthquake in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [14] DAMAGE ON ROADS TOTALS 50 TRILLION TL

    The General Director of Highways, Dincer Yigit, said that the reconstruction of the highways which were damaged by the earthquake in western Turkey would cost nearly 50 trillion TL. Yigit added that it was more difficult to resconstruct roads rather than building from the scratch. /Hurriyet/

    [15] MESSAGES OF CONDOLENCE

    Messages of condolence from foreign countries are continuing to arrive in Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake, the economic losses from which will cost the country nearly $50 billion. The Russian Head of State, Boris Yeltsin, the Iranian First Deputy to the President, Hasan Habibi, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Turkmen Head of State Saparmurad Turkmenbasi sent messages of condolence to Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [16] MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE FROM KOCARYAN

    The Armenian President Kocaryan sent a message of condolence to the Turkish President, Suleyman Demirel, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    In a statement by the Armenian Secretary of State's Office, Kocaryan stated that should the Turkish government wish it, an aircraft carrying the rescue teams and the necessary equipment would be sent to Turkey in a few hours.

    [17] 10 TRILLION TL TRANSFERRED TO DISASTER FUND

    It was reported that 10 trillion Turkish lira has been transferred to the disaster fund by the Ministry of Finance to be used in the earthquake region. The Ministry of Finance added 10 trillion lira to the 3 trillion lira in the disaster fund and will first ensure that this money is spent on bulldozers' works. Then, the amount of financial aid will be increased according to the needs and the demands of the earthquake region. It was reported that the cost of the damage in the Tupras oil refinery exceeds 5 million dollars and the cost of the damage derived from the earthquake in the region is 5 billion dollars. The Ministry of Finance has enfranchised the appropriation of the institutions in the eartquake-hit region. The official institutions and foundations will pay the cost of what is needed in the region. /Turkiye/

    [18] AID MEETS RELIGION

    After the earthquake devastating the North-West of Turkey, in the US, a number of establishments have started emergency relief campaigns. Among those establishments, Christian, Moslem and Jewish representatives have come together. In a statement issued by the American Jewish Congress, it was said that American Jewish Community is deeply sorrowful for the earthquake which occured in Turkey and called on people to help. American Moslem establishments and a lot of Christian establishments have already started emergency relief fund-raising campaigns and it is assumed that ten millions of dollars have been collected up to now. /Aksam/

    [19] TURKEY'S CREDIT RATING REMAINS SAME

    One of the international credit rating institutions, Fitch-IBCA, while it hasn't changed Turkey's long-term credit rating which was B(+) has affirmed her short-term credit rating as a B. In a statement released by Fitch-IBCA it is stated, "Since the government has two thirds of the majority in Parliament, regarding the constructional reforms, more improvement has been obtained in three months than compared with previous administrations in the last four years. The statement pointed out that in spite of the high number of lives lost due to the earthquake, its economical effect was not being considered to create an important influence on the credit rating. It is also noted that Turkey can obtain a great amount of aid from the international community. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] JAPAN'S DONATION TO ERCIYES UNIVERSITY

    The diplomatic memo concerning Japan's "cultural donation" to Erciyes University was signed by Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem and Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Masahiko Komura, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    Cem stated that relations between Turkey and Japan are very good and that they hoped that these relations would get better. "Japan is an experienced country as far as earthquakes are concerned and thus, their aid is very important to the search and rescue operations in Turkey", said Cem.

    The guest Minister expressed his gladness at the improvement of relations between the two countries. Moreover, he said that the earthquake disaster also deeply saddened him and that they would continue to cooperate during the rescue operations. Komura revealed that a rescue team from Japan had arrived in Turkey this morning and that they would donate 1 million dollars to Turkey. In addition, the Japan Ambassador to Turkey, Atsuku Toyama, attended the meeting.

    Furthermore, in a statement from Toyama, it was reiterated that the cultural donation to Erciyes University would support cultural, educational and research activities in Turkey and aimed at improving cultural relations between these two countries. It was reported that this donation is expected to contribute to the development of Japanese education in Turkey and scientific research at Erciyes University. Japan has given Turkey a donation of 580 million Japan Yen (5.08 million dollars) for 13 cultural projects up to now.

    [21] ARMAMENT ON SOUTHERN CYPRUS

    Officials from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have pointed out the armament efforts by Southern Cyprus. The TRNC Representative to New York, Aytug Plumer, said that the Greek-Cypriot Administration has recently purchased six Russian-made TOR M-1 missiles from Greece. /Turkiye/

    [22] GERMANY LAUNCHES TRIAL AGAINST PKK MEMBER

    A trial has been launched by the Federal Chief Prosector's Office against Mehmet K., the so-called representative of the PKK in Giesen who issued an order to set Turkish institutions in Germany ablaze, at the Frankfurt Supreme Court. Mehmet K. will be tried, accused of being a member of a terrorist organization, being involved in arson and other crimes. Mehmet K. was captured in Flensburg on March 8, 1999, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    Meanwhile, Holland has deported a PKK-supporter who was tried, accused of taking the Greek Ambassador to The Hague, his wife and his child hostage, to Germany, the Spokesman of the Dutch Justice Ministry, Victor Holtus said.

    [23] ROOTING-OUT OPERATION IN DIGOR

    During a conflict between security forces and members of the PKK terrorist organization in rural areas of the Digor district of Kars, one PKK terrorist of Syrian origin, code-named 'Silvan', was killed. Officials said that a search to capture 10 more terrorists in the region was underway, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [24] US SAYS PKK SHOULD LAY DOWN ARMS

    The US, speaking about news reports that the PKK terrorist organization would withdraw from Turkey, has said the PKK should lay down its arms. A high-level official from the US State Department told the Anatolia News Agency correspondent that they would be pleased if the PKK puts an end to its terrorist acts, yet the organization has so far failed to keep its promises which were made earlier. The official added that previously, at the end of June, they had made promises on the issue, yet PKK members had continued their terrorist attacks since that time. He remarked that if the PKK is serious on the issue, it should show this by putting an end to every act of violence.

    [25] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UP

    Central Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $299 million during the second week of August. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves which were $23.766 billion on August 6 rose to $24.065 billion on August 13. AS of July 30, 1999, gold reserves were $1.012 billion, while foreign exchange reserves in commercial banks amounted to $10.590 billion, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    Meanwhile, Turkey paid off $200.8 million in foreign debts last week. According to Central Bank data, Turkey has paid a total of $6.4 billion of foreign debts since the beginning of this year.

    [26] FOREST FIRE IN BOLU

    As a result of a forest fire which broke out in the Goynuk district of Bolu, 40,000-50,000 square metres of forests were destroyed. Officials said that the fire has not yet been brought under control, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [27] FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..FROM THE COLUMNS..

    [28] MAIN AID -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Sami Kohen, a columnist in the daily 'Milliyet' newspaper, says the following in his article today:

    "Aid coming from foreign countries in the aftermath of the earthquake gives an idea of the basic interests in Turkey's foreign relations. The countries which initially lent a helping hand to Turkey in such difficult days were Western and developed countries such as Japan. The amount of financial aid is not the issue. At the very beginning of these terrible days, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit called on foreign countries to help the rescue efforts. Actually, Ecevit announced that some friendly countries had already offered their support.

    We wish that Turkey had been able to rescue the victims without needing the help of foreign countries. However, under these conditions, foreign aid was essential. Support immediately came from the West; it is understood that this support will continue. Various countries and institutions including the EU, the US and the World Bank are ready to help Turkey solve the problems in the aftermath of the earthquake. Following the earthquake disaster, countries which enjoy advanced technology and financial opportunities are preferred. Turkey's place is within these countries".

    [29] INVITATION TO EMPLOYERS -BY ENIS BERBEROGLU (HURRIYET)

    Enis Berberoglu is a columnist on the daily 'Hurriyet' newspaper. This is an article by him published in 'Hurriyet'.

    Dear Employers... I hope you are aware of the responsibility lying on your shoulders that derives from our country's biggest disaster since the occupation of the enemy. Turkey is in need of affection and is waiting for help from the powerful.

    In the first days we looked to the government to help but this was in vain because the government cannot even save itself. Those who do not believe, look at the Tupras fire! However, you are different; you are richer and more powerful than the government. As a matter of fact, that's why the government has been surviving, with the money it took from you over ten years. The government borrows money to such a great extent that the interest it pays exceeds manufacturing profit on the interest balance-sheet that it pays.

    In the industrial area that was damaged by the earthquake, the government is not the biggest employer any more. Koc's Otokar, Ford Otosan industries... Sabanci's Brisa, Kortsa, Toyatasa factories...The manufacturing bases of the business world's leading brands such as Eczacibasi, Dinckok, Toprak, Ulker, Pirelli, Hyndai, CBS... They are numerous... Obviously the private sector acts as an employer to many more people than the government does in the earthquake-affected region. This disaster did not pity the people of the government.

    The biggest lesson that we should take from this disaster concerns the power of the government. It is obvious that the government that we have been loving and respecting by calling it "Father" for many years is unfair in his manner towards his sons. As a matter of fact, it was certain that a government that turns a blind eye to land mafia and greets burglars and thieves as "dear contractors" would not be able to carry the burden of this disastser. In addition, I do not want you to be offended but it was the choice of you employers. We set out to privatize but the thing we were able to do was to make the government smaller. Isn't it true?

    That's why it is something which has to be done personally, dear employers. Besides, while doing this duty, you cannot trust in the incitements from the government that you are familiar with. However, you are not alone. The citizens of the Turkish Republic are co-operating in a way that is very rarely seen through the course of history. Do not forget that aid is just a matter of wallet and conscience. The ability to organize is as important as tents, medicine and hot meals. While putting one hand in your pocket, let us lay your other hand on us. Help us if you are our employers.

    END


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