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Turkish Press Review, 99-08-23

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

23.08.99

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] GUREL SAYS EARTHQUAKE COST UNPRECEDENTED
  • [03] LEADERS' SUMMIT
  • [04] 100 TONS OF SANITARY EQUIPMENT FROM SYRIA
  • [05] TWO TEAMS OF JAPANESE EXPERTS IN TURKEY
  • [06] NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN TURKEY
  • [07] AN ITALIAN FLOATING HOSPITAL IN TURKEY
  • [08] RED CROSS REPRESENTATIVE CALLS ON AMERICANS
  • [09] NSC MEETING
  • [10] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
  • [11] HOPES FOR $3 BILLION FROM WORLD BANK
  • [12] GESTURES FOR TURKEY
  • [13] TURKEY WELL-ORGANIZED
  • [14] FOREIGN ASSISTANCE
  • [15] BELGIAN MINISTERS IN GOLCUK
  • [16] FOREIGN PRESS
  • [17] AMBULANCE AID FROM THE ITALIAN FIAT FIRM
  • [18] ORGANIZED AID FROM GERMANY
  • [19] NEW REPRESENTATIVE FOR CYPRUS FROM USA
  • [20] BAKU-CEYHAN TO BE DISCUSSED
  • [21] TURKSAT 24 SATELLITE
  • [22] BANK LOANS
  • [23] 13 TERRORISTS KILLED
  • [24] 65 IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED
  • [25] TURKEY EXPORTS SUGAR
  • [26] TURKISH ARTS CONGRESS IN HOLLAND
  • [27] WORLD YOUTH FREE-STYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP
  • [28] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [29] THREE-STAGED PLAN -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] GUREL SAYS EARTHQUAKE COST UNPRECEDENTED

    State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said that the cost of the earthquake that shook northwestern Turkey, destroyed thousands of houses and killed at least 12,000 people could be unprecedented in the country's history. Gurel added that Turkey would not fail to meet its financial obligations. "We have always been able to pay our foreign or internal debt, even in hard times". Officials say that it is too early to put any figure on the cost of the earthquake, the worst in 60 years and centred in a densely-populated industrial area. But some have already spoken of billions of dollars.

    According to a statement issued by the Prime Ministry's Crisis Desk, the number of people who died during the earthquake stands at 12,148 while the number of people who were injured is now 34,448. The breakdown of the figures -Kocaeli: 5,179 dead, 14,718 injured; Sakarya: 3,046 dead, 5,084 injured; Yalova: 2,400 dead, 4,470 injyred; Istanbul: 984 dead, 6,292 injured; Bolu: 263 dead, 1,143 injured; Bursa: 214 dead, 2,336 injured; Eskisehir: 59 dead, 344 injured; Zonguldak: 3 dead, 26 injured and Tekirdag: 35 injured. /All papers/

    [03] LEADERS' SUMMIT

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli and Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yilmaz held a meeting at the Prime Ministry building yesterday. During the meeting, also attended by State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, the recent developments concerning the earthquake disaster and the measures to be taken were discussed, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [04] 100 TONS OF SANITARY EQUIPMENT FROM SYRIA

    Three aircraft carrying 100 tons of sanitary equipment departed from Syria for Turkey. The Anatolia News Agency reported that the decision to send the sanitary equipment was made by the Syrian Head of State, Hafiz Esad, in order to help Turkey which has recently experienced a terrible earthquake. A health team was also sent to Turkey together with the sanitary equipment.

    [05] TWO TEAMS OF JAPANESE EXPERTS IN TURKEY

    The Japanese Government has decided to send two teams of earthquake and infrastructure experts to Turkey as part of the emergency relief aid efforts. A statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Ankara said that the groups, including eight experts, will inspect buildings and infrastructure in the earthquake disaster area and will make recommendations to the Crisis Desk. Another group comprising experts on the reconstruction of basic infrastructure such as water, electricity and gas will also arrive in Turkey on August 25-26. A 37-person search and rescue team and 16-person medical team is currently in Turkey in order to help the victims of the earthquake, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [06] NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN TURKEY

    Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek arrived in Turkey yesterday as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem; Vollebaek had a working lunch with Cem at Ciragan Palace. Vollebaek will go to the earthquake disaster area today and visit the open hospital set up by Norway in Derince. He will be received by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit the same day in Ankara and then leave Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    Meanwhile, Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopulos will arrive in Istanbul to offer both financial and spiritual support to Turkey on Wednesday. The amount of money collected to aid the victims in Turkey by Greek citizens totals nearly 66 billion TL. /Sabah/

    [07] AN ITALIAN FLOATING HOSPITAL IN TURKEY

    Aid coming from foreign countries in order to help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey is continuing. A floating hospital, the 'Georgio', belonging to the Italian Fleet arrived in Turkey yesterday. The Anatolia News Agency reported that there was a lot of foodstuff on the vessel in addition to sanitary equipment.

    A 12-person team together with eight specially-trained sniffer dogs departed from the Westerstede district of Germany yesterday. Ninety Turkish citizens who live in Germany, were in Turkey on vacation and were injured during the earthquake were brought to Nurnberg yesterday on a Boeing 737-type airplane by the German Automobile Institution, ADAC. Meanwhile, the amount of donations on the second day of the emergency relief aid campaign launched by the Australian official state radio SBS in Turkish has reached $600,000. American experts will arrive in Turkey in order to inspect the aftermath of the earthquake. It is reported that the team consiting of 20 experts will implement the information they receive in Turkey on the San Andreas fault-line. On the other hand, a 160-person medical team from Canada arrived in Turkey to set up mobile hospitals in Adapazari. Iran also sent an aid package to Turkey; according to the IRNA News Agency, the Iranian aid package included 5,000 blankets and 500 tents. /Hurriyet/

    [08] RED CROSS REPRESENTATIVE CALLS ON AMERICANS

    A Red Cross Representative in Golcuk has called on Americans to offer their financial support to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey on the CNN TV station. During the programme 'Late Edition', broadcast on CNN, the Red Cross Representative, Chris Palladino, said that the earthquake disaster affected a very large area and added that the victims also needed shelters and sanitary equipment.

    Meanwhile, the UN's Children Fund (UNICEF) sent a five-psychologist team to Turkey in order to treat children affected by the earthquake. UNDAC officials said that they had determined that nearly 200,000 people had become homeless and they would set up tent cities in the disaster region. The 'Observer' newspaper published in Britain said that new hope could be constructed from the rubble in Turkey and added that the earthquake could be a fresh start. /Sabah/

    [09] NSC MEETING

    The National Security Council (NSC) will hold its regular monthly meeting today. During the meeting headed by President Suleyman Demirel, the spiritual and financial aspects of the earthquake will be deliberated. Developments in domestic and foreign policy will also be reviewed. /Hurriyet/

    [10] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

    The Council of Ministers held a meeting yesterday and decided to pass an 'Authority Law' through the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) in order to rapidly take measures concerning the earthquake. The Government will also up-date other laws on disasters. State Minister and Government Spokesman Tunca Toskay stated that damage assessment work was underway in the disaster region and added that it would be completed in 15 days' time. Toskay pointed out that they had received aid proposals from 61 countries and six international institutions. Toskay remarked that the damage at the TUPRAS refinery in Izmit amounted to $200 million. Toskay stressed that there were no contagious diseases in the disaster region and no quarantine was being enforced. Meanwhile, all authority for reconstruction belonging to the municipalities in the seven cities damaged by the earthquake have been removed. The Minister of Public Works and Housing, Koray Aydin, stated that reconstruction permits would be issued by the Ministry for the next five months. Aydin added that the duration of this decree could be extended. /Hurriyet/

    [11] HOPES FOR $3 BILLION FROM WORLD BANK

    The State Minister responsible for the economy, Recep Onal, said that there were hopes that the World Bank could lend $3 billion in financial support to Turkey. Onal remarked that the IMF had also made positive statements concerning the Turkish economy; he stated that meetings with the IMF would resume next month and there was the possibility that a stand-by agreement could be signed. Onal added that an IMF delegation would come to Turkey on a tour of inspection probably at the beginning of next month. /Hurriyet/

    [12] GESTURES FOR TURKEY

    Germany has stated that it will not request a visa from victims of the earthquake entering the country. The German Interior Ministry Undersecretary Claus Hans Henning said yesterday that they would simplify this entry formality for the victims and added that, in particular, children would not need a visa to enter Germany.

    Meanwhile, US President Bill Clinton has made a second call to his nation stressing that one million people have been affected by the damage on the streets. Clinton pointed out that a huge aid campaign has been launched to help the victims in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [13] TURKEY WELL-ORGANIZED

    The Pan-European Centre for Emergency Medical Management Systems (PECEMMS) stated that communications between Turkish officials and international rescue teams and foreign press members should be well-organized and has begun to hold regular press conferences in Istanbul only for foreign press members. The Head of the UN Disaster Coordination Team, Jesper Jorgensen, said that Turkey has performed an extraordinary achievement in the transport of foreign search and rescue teams and equipment to the disaster region. /Hurriyet/

    [14] FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

    After sending relief teams, a fire-fighting plane and tons of humanitarian aid, Greece offered yesterday to dispatch the special search and rescue units of its military. The offer was made during an uncommon telephone conversation between the two countries defence ministers, Sebahattin Cakmakoglu and Akis Tzohatzopulos on Saturday.

    Pope John Paul II, for his part, offered prayers yesterday for the dead, missing and homeless in the catastrophe and for all those trying to help them. /All papers/

    [15] BELGIAN MINISTERS IN GOLCUK

    Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Louis Michel and Defence Minister Andre Flahaut have visited the disaster region in Turkey. They met the Belgian search and rescue teams and said that the tragedy experienced by Turkey was extremely severe. /Milliyet/

    [16] FOREIGN PRESS

    The British media, has reported that the rescue efforts are being directed towards burying already-decaying corpses and ensuring shelters for the survivors. 'The Guardian' newspaper stating that the British rescue team, led by Edward Pearn, had made the decision to return, stressed the fear of an increase in the death toll to 45 thousand and the fact that more than 115 thousand houses were damaged during the earthquake. The Israeli media, firstly handled the news of the rescue of a 9-year-old Israeli girl, after 100 hours beneath the debris in Cinarcik, by the Israeli rescue team. The 'Jerusalem Post' newspaper, issued the salvation story of Sirin Franko on the front page. The 'Haaretz' newspaper also issued the story of Sirin Franko on the front page and wrote that an increase in the death toll was expected. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] AMBULANCE AID FROM THE ITALIAN FIAT FIRM

    The Italian Fiat firm has donated ten ambulances to Turkey. The Director General of TOFAS, (Italian) Antonia Bene said that they were doing their best in order to decrease the pain of what had been experienced during and after the earthquake. Bene added that medicine to heal those who are wounded would also arrive in Turkey. Furthermore, it was reported that TOFAS, who interrupted its production as a result of the earthquake, would begin manufacturing again today./Star/

    [18] ORGANIZED AID FROM GERMANY

    The German-Turkish Society (GTS) and the Turco-German Businessmen's Association (TGBA) decided that they will cooperate in order to help the people in the earthquake-hit region. The chairman of GTS, Hakki Keskin, has requested that German employers give permission to their Turkish workers to visit their relations and friends in Turkey. In addition, the TGBA has set up the "Hannover Earthquake Aid Committee"./Star/

    [19] NEW REPRESENTATIVE FOR CYPRUS FROM USA

    It is declared that the President of the USA, Bill Clinton, will appoint someone new as Cyprus Special Representative in a short time, instead of Richard Holbrooke who has started his new post as the USA's Permanent Representative to the UN. Sources close to the US Administration expressed that the most powerful nominee for the post of the President's Cyprus Special Representative is America's ex-Ambassador to Bucharest, Alfred Moses. /Cumhuriyet/

    [20] BAKU-CEYHAN TO BE DISCUSSED

    Officials from the AIOC, the Turkish, Azerbaijani and US international oil consortium, will convene in Washington next week in order to discuss the financial aspects of the Baku-Ceyhan project. The Turkish delegation will be headed by the Deputy Undersecretary of the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, Metin Eral. Meetings will last nearly a week. /Sabah/

    [21] TURKSAT 24 SATELLITE

    Turkish Telecom will be able to loan a maximum of 65 million dollars to Eurosiasat S.A.M, the firm that will manufacture the Turksat 24 satellite, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    The Council of Ministers' decision was published in the Official Gazette today as follows:

    "As part of the decree dated November 27, 1995 between Turkish Telecommunications Limited and the French company, Aerospatiale (Alcatel Space), Turkish Telecommunications Ltd. will loan Eurasiasat S.A.M. a maximum of 65 million American dollars without demanding any deposit or guarantee in order to provide urgent financing for the uninterrupted manufacture of the Turksat 24 satellite by Eurasiasat S.A.M, a firm that was established abroad with a capital investment of 20 million American dollars. It was also decided by the Council of Ministers that the terms of the loan agreement will be mutually determined by Turkish Telecom and Eurasiasat S.A.M. and that the afore-mentioned firm will be responsible for the whole of this venture."

    [22] BANK LOANS

    The volume of bank loans has increased by 84 billion Turkish lira in the first week of August. Assets to be clearedincreased by 33.9 trillion Turkish lira in the same period of time, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    The volume of bank loans, 16 quadrillion TL at the end of June 1999, had increased to 16 quadrillion 52.1 billion Turkish lira by 6th August. According to a report by the Central Bank, as from 6th August, 769.5 trillion Turkish lira of these loans in the system comprise loans (that were) given to the financial sector and 15 quadrillion 282.6 billion Turkish lira of the loans in the system include loans (that were) given to the non-financial sector. 426.4 trillion Turkish lira of the loans (that were) given to the financial sector comprise deposit banks' loans, 335.5 trillion Turkish lira in loans went to development and investment banks and 7.7 trillion Turkish lira of them comprise the Central Banks' loans.

    Looking at the distribution of loans other than the financial services sector, it can be seen that 556.1 trillion Turkish lira went on the Central Banks' loans, 13 quadrillion 460.4 Turkish lira went to the deposit banks and 1 quadrillion 266.1 trillion Turkish lira went on development and investment banks' loans.

    In the previously-mentioned single week the increase in assets to be cleared was 33.9 trillion Turkish lira. Assets to be cleared stood at 1 quadrillion 683.9 trillion Turkish lira on 30th July and had increased to 1 quadrillion 717.8 trillion by 6th August. 1 quadrillion 638.1 trillion of the assets to be cleared as from 6th August comprises Turkish lira loans and 79.7 of the assets to be cleared as from 6th August comprises foreign exchange loans.

    [23] 13 TERRORISTS KILLED

    During operations carried out by security forces, 11 members of the PKK terrorist organization have been killed. According to a statement issued by the Emergency Rule Region, seven PKK terrorists were killed in Batman, one in the Lice district of Diyarbakir and one in the Silopi district of Sirnak and two were killed in the Mazgirt district of Tunceli. Four terrorists were captured in the Kulp and Lice districts of Diyarbakir and in the Silopi district of Sirnak. Two PKK terrorists surrendered to security forces in the Adakli district of Bingol. Two terrorists were killed in the village of Esence in the Niksar district of Tokat. Officials said that rooting-out operations in the region were in progress, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [24] 65 IMMIGRANTS CAPTURED

    Sixty-five immigrants who attempted to illegally cross from Turkey to Greece were captured in the Kesan district of Edirne yesterday. Officials from the Kesan Security Office said that the immigrants were from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Anatolia News Agency reported that an investigation into the issue was underway.

    [25] TURKEY EXPORTS SUGAR

    The General Director of the Turkish Sugar Factories Joint Stock Company (TURKSEKER), Selahattin Hun, said that sugar exports contributed to the Turkish economy. Hun stated that sugar exports would be 500,000 tons in 1999 and added that sugar exports would further continue. /Aksam/

    [26] TURKISH ARTS CONGRESS IN HOLLAND

    The 11th 'International Turkish Arts Congress' will be held between 23th and 28th August in Holland. The Congress will be organized by the Culture Ministry, with contributions from Utrecht University in Utrecht, Holland. 80 Turkish and 120 foreign scientists will participate in the Congress. /Cumhuriyet/

    [27] WORLD YOUTH FREE-STYLE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP

    Turkey has won one silver and one bronze medal during the World Youth Free-style Wrestling Championship which has ended in Sydney, Australia. Fahrettin Arslan ranked second in the 76 kg. category and Selahattin Sahin came third in the 69 kg. category. The Turkish team attended the Championship with nine wrestlers, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [28] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    Izzet Sedes, a columnist for the daily 'Aksam' newspaper, says the following in his article today:

    "People are not affected by events and incidents when they are not directly faced with them. For instance, when we see the poor people in Africa we become very sad, but that is the only thing we do. It has been known for many years that Turkey lies on fault-line. Last weekend, I read many books and articles in encyclopaedias on earthquakes. It is written that Turkey is in an active earthquake region; therefore, it can be understood that Turkey will experience more earthquakes.

    Now is the time to heal the wounds. We will experience the economic effects of the earthquake. The whole world is looking for ways to help Turkey. For example, even Greece is considering to lift its financial veto on Turkey within the EU. Let's see what other developments will occur. However, there is a certain issue to bear in mind. This is that the only solution is to supervise and control building works; Americans, Europeans, the Chinese and Japanese all say this. We should prepare measures to strictly control the construction of any buildings".

    [29] THREE-STAGED PLAN -BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Fikret Bila is a columnist on the daily (Milliyet) newspaper. This is an article written by him, published in (Milliyet).

    How will the wounds of the earthquake disaster be healed? What are the government's plans? We asked these questions to Prime Minister Ecevit during the meeting we held in his office yesterday. Ecevit said that they envisaged a three-stage plan and explained them as follows:

    1. Firstly, tent cities will be constructed in order to provide the victims of the disaster with sanitation services and a healthy environment. Four ferries rented by the Union of Chambers (TOBB) will be brought to shore and used as shelter.

    2. Secondly, as soon as the search and rescue work has been completed, the rubble will be removed, places to dump the rubble will be assessed and then the ruins will be cleaned. Meanwhile, pre-fabricated houses will be constructed in places with the least threat of earthquake. The construction of the pre-fabricated houses will be completed in at least three months before the winter comes.

    3. Thirdly, permanent residential buildings will be constructed within one year. The new homes will be constructed in the places least at risk from earthquakes according to the results of the experts' inspections.

    In addition, Prime Minister Ecevit stated that investments would be examined and present and new investments in the earthquake-hit regions would be scrutinized in terms of being earthquake-resistant. "Tupras oil-refinery establishments will also be scrutinized and the decision will be taken whether or not to move the facilities to another place or strengthened in its usual place according to the results of expert examination, taking the technical commission's proposals into consideration", said Ecevit.

    Prime Minister Ecevit also emphasized that the examination of financial resources had been started as part of the planned works. He points out that the cost of these works is high. However, he also believes that both the government and the dynamism of the Turkish economy can carry the burden of this cost. We also asked Ecevit about the loss incurred by the Naval Forces and he said, "They also suffered great loss and the naval arsenal was completely destroyed." In addition, Ecevit denies rumours that two frigates were lost during the earthquake and said that some vessels had worked loose from their moorings but there had been no vessel lost.

    The Prime Ministry is very active; in every room,there is a meeting. Ecevit's private department has been linked directly by phone to the earthquake-hit regions. Every minute they receive information and give orders. Professors from Istanbul Technical University and Bogazici University give technical briefings to the Prime Minister and other Ministers and present them with scientific studies concerning the things to be done in the aftermath of this tragedy.

    The Prime Minister is content with internal and external cooperation. While leaving the Office of the Prime Minister, a summarized interpretation from Italy arrived: "Although they were unprepared, Turkey and the Turkish people did not surrender."


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