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Turkish Press Review, 99-08-25

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

25.08.99

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] ECEVIT ON CNN
  • [03] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS DESK STATEMENT
  • [04] PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [05] SILVER PLATE FOR FOREIGN RESCUE TEAMS
  • [06] WHO: "NO EPIDEMIC IN THE DISASTER REGION"
  • [07] AID FROM HUNGARIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY
  • [08] TWO AIRCRAFT SENT FROM BELGIUM
  • [09] SOUTH KOREA SENDING MEDICAL TEAM
  • [10] UZBEKISTAN'S AID WAS MET BY OZBEKPETROLGAZ AND UZAVTOSANAYI
  • [11] PRODI SAYS THE EU IS READY TO HELP
  • [12] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN KUWAIT
  • [13] GREEK COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN ANKARA
  • [14] ISRAEL TO RECONSTRUCT GOLCUK
  • [15] KOSOVO FUNDING MODEL FOR TURKEY
  • [16] GERMANY WILL NOT REMOVE VISA
  • [17] 30 AUGUST VICTORY DAY CELEBRATIONS CANCELLED
  • [18] ADDITIONAL TAXES ON THE AGENDA
  • [19] 'TO NEA': "WE ARE ALL TURKS"
  • [20] 'THE TIMES': ANKARA AND ATHENS CAN DRAW CLOSER
  • [21] FOREIGN PRESS POINTS OUT SOLIDARITY AMONG TURKS
  • [22] FOREIGN AID FOR TURKEY
  • [23] TUPRAS REFINERY CLOSED FOR FOUR MONTHS
  • [24] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY IN SEPTEMBER
  • [25] EARTHQUAKE DOES NOT AFFECT TOURISM
  • [26] TRNC MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMY IN IZMIR
  • [27] DEMIREL CANCELS PROGRAMMES
  • [28] 68TH INTERNATIONAL IZMIR FAIR
  • [29] S-300 MISSILES GOING TO SALONICA IN OCTOBER
  • [30] TURKEY TRIFLES WITH HELSINKI
  • [31] FLEET HEADQUARTERS MOVES FROM GOLCUK
  • [32] BRAVO EBRU
  • [33] WAITING FOR ONE MORE VICTORY FROM GALATASARAY
  • [34] FENERBAHCE WOMEN'S TEAM TO ATTEND EUROSTARS TOURNAMENT
  • [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [36] 40,000 DEAD, $20 BILLION...-BY IZZET SEDES (AKSAM)
  • [37] THE PUBLIC'S WISH -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

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

    [02] ECEVIT ON CNN

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the Turkish nation would overcome these hard times. Ecevit made a statement to the CNN TV station yesterday and said that they were appreciative of all foreign countries and institutions which have participated in the emergency relief efforts. Ecevit pointed out that they were expecting bungalows for those people who had become homeless in the aftermath of the earthquake. Ecevit stressed that lessons would be learnt from the disaster and effective control of building construction would be enforced. Ecevit also asked for US technical and financial assistance for the reconstruction of the disaster region. /Hurriyet/

    [03] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS DESK STATEMENT

    A statement issued by the Prime Ministry Crisis Desk said that the number of people who died in the earthquake in the Marmara Region has reached 17,997 while the number of injured amounted to 42,442. The breakdown of figures is as follows -Kocaeli: 10,868 dead, 18,447 injured; Sakarya: 3,046 dead, 6,884 injured; Yalova: 2,539 dead, 5,937 injured; Istanbul: 984 dead, 7,204 injured; Bolu: 263 dead, 1,159 injured; Bursa: 219 dead, 2,375 injured; Eskisehir: 75 dead, 375 injured; Zonguldak: 3 dead, 26 injured and Tekirdag: 35 injured. /Hurriyet/

    [04] PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEY

    Mohammad Nawaz Shariff, the Pakistani Prime Minister, plans to visit Turkey on August 26, the Anatolia News Agency reports. A statement issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Ankara said that Shariff will visit the cities affected by the earthquake and will convey the deep sorrow of the Pakistani people to their Turkish brothers who were affected by the earthquake disaster. The statement pointed out that the Pakistani people would always act together with their Turkish brothers whenever necessary, adding that Pakistan so far has sent 200 tons of aid equipment including tents, blankets, medicine, sleeping bags and bedding.

    [05] SILVER PLATE FOR FOREIGN RESCUE TEAMS

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that silver plates would be given to all foreign search and rescue teams which participated in the emergency relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster in Turkey. A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry stressed that these silver plates would be sent to them via their Embassies in Ankara, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    The statement also remarked that no customs taxes were being imposed on aid equipment brought by the foreign search and rescue teams to Turkey. It added that this matter had been confirmed by State Minister Mehmet Kececiler.

    [06] WHO: "NO EPIDEMIC IN THE DISASTER REGION"

    Dr.Micleh Thieren from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there was no epidemic in the disaster region in Turkey and none was expected. Thieren held a press conference yesterday and stated that unfounded rumours could cause serious harm among people who really need help. Thieren remarked that the disaster region needs sanitation and drinking water, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [07] AID FROM HUNGARIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY

    The Hungarian Defence Ministry has launched initiatives in order to help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey. Hungarian Defence Minister Janos Szabo who sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart, Sebahattin Cakmakoglu, and said that the Hungarian Ministry would send tents, blankets and sheets to the victims. An amount of $70,000 in aid is expected to arrive in Turkey today. Szabo also proposed that nearly 150 children affected by the earthquake disaster could be settled in the summer residences of the Ministry in Hungary. Meanwhile, two people together with two specially-trained sniffer dogs will again come to the disaster region in Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [08] TWO AIRCRAFT SENT FROM BELGIUM

    Two Belgian Armed Forces' C-130 carrier aircraft have been sent to Turkey in order to send help to the earthquake-hit regions here, reported the Anatolian News Agency. Officials reported that there were fully-equipped mobile operating theatres on the aircraft.

    [09] SOUTH KOREA SENDING MEDICAL TEAM

    The government of South Korea has decided to send Turkey an emergency medical team due to the earthquake disaster, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    In a statement by the South Korean Embassy to Turkey, the medical team comprising of seven doctors, ten nurses, one pharmacist and four technical personnel will arrive in Istanbul this evening. The government of South Korea also pointed out that a rescue team of 17 had previously arrived in Turkey and had been involved in the rescue efforts in Golcuk and Degirmendere prior to 21st August. It was also reported that the South Korean Red Crescent had donated 50 thousand Swiss francs to Turkey and that they would continue to help Turkey using non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civilian institutions.

    [10] UZBEKISTAN'S AID WAS MET BY OZBEKPETROLGAZ AND UZAVTOSANAYI

    The donation of 200 thousand dollars that was sent by Uzbekistan was met by the Ozbekpetrolgaz firm and the Uzavtosanayi Union on a fifty-fifty basis, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    All the expenses of the search and rescue team comprising 25 people were met by the Uzbekistan External Economic Activities National Bank according to information provided by the Presidential Office. Furthermore, in the reports of the earthquake in Turkey in the Uzbekistani press, it was reported that they were afraid the death toll would climb to 40 thousand. It was also reported that the earthquake in Turkey had affected the Crimea Peninsula and that some of the statements by the Turkish Minister of Health, Osman Durmus, were being criticized in the Turkish press.

    [11] PRODI SAYS THE EU IS READY TO HELP

    Romano Prodi, who has been appointed as the Head of the EU Commission, phoned Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and said that they were ready to offer every support to Turkey due to the effects of the earthquake. According to information received from the Presidential Press Centre, Prodi also expressed his sorrow over the terrible disaster, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [12] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN KUWAIT

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem went to Kuwait yesterday evening to pay an official visit. Cem will hold a series of talks with Kuwaiti officials concerning the reconstruction of the earthquake disaster region. Foreign Minister Cem will return to Turkey tomorrow, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [13] GREEK COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN ANKARA

    The Greek Commander-in-Chief, Admiral George Ioannidis, will arrive in Ankara tomorrow to attend an inauguration ceremony. Admiral Salim Dervisoglu will hand over the Naval Forces Commander's post to Admiral Ilhami Erdil. A statement issued by the Greek Fleet Command said that the visit would be paid as part of the cooperation between the two NATO-member countries.

    Meanwhile, a five-person Greek parliamentary delegation, together with humanitarian aid, arrived in Turkey yesterday. The delegation, which expressed its sorrow over the incident, will visit the earthquake disaster region. /Hurriyet/

    [14] ISRAEL TO RECONSTRUCT GOLCUK

    Israel will reconstruct Golcuk which has been seriously affected by the earthquake disaster. Israeli firms will reconstruct all infrastructure in Golcuk from electricity to water and telephone lines. Basic buildings including schools and hospitals will be built in the district where 1,000 prefabricated residences will be built; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has sent a delegation to Turkey for this purpose. An Israeli aircraft carrying 30 tons of medicine and sanitary equipment will also arrive in Turkey today. Another aircraft carrying medicine will also come to Turkey in the upcoming days. /Hurriyet/

    [15] KOSOVO FUNDING MODEL FOR TURKEY

    It is reported that the US and EU countries have initiated new plans in order to prepare a fund similar to that in Kosovo for Turkey. The Deputy Director of the Emergency Civil Planning Department of NATO, Stephan Oros, said that Allied countries were continuing to send aid to the disaster region in Turkey. A fund is expected to be established with the participation of the EU, the World Bank, the IMF and countries such as Japan and the US, as previously seen in Kosovo and Bosnia. /Hurriyet/

    [16] GERMANY WILL NOT REMOVE VISA

    German Interior Minister Otto Schily said that there would be no red-tape for disaster victims to come from Turkey to Germany at the border gates. Schily stated that the visa requirement would not be lifted but added that some visa applications would be simplified. /Hurriyet/

    [17] 30 AUGUST VICTORY DAY CELEBRATIONS CANCELLED

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit declared that 30 August Victory Day and Malazgirt Field Battle celebrations have been cancelled due to the earthquake disaster. A circular was issued for this purpose yesterday. /Hurriyet/

    [18] ADDITIONAL TAXES ON THE AGENDA

    A draft law which envisages additional taxes from taxpayers of Corporation Income, Estate, Vehicle and Income taxes was presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday. The additional taxes will be implemented as a one-off. Finance Minister Sumer Oral said that the draft law will go into effect next week. The draft law also foresees an additional 50 million TL tax from mobile telephone owners. /Hurriyet/

    [19] 'TO NEA': "WE ARE ALL TURKS"

    A note sent by the daily 'Hurriyet' newspaper to Greece saying 'Efharisto Poli File' (Thank you my friend) has created a friendly atmosphere in Greek public opinion. The 'To Nea' newspaper published the headline 'We are all Turks'. The Athens Mayor Avramopoulos held a press conference concerning the aid campaign and said that there were no borders in such times. Meanwhile, the former Mayor of Kavala in Greece, Lefteris Atanasyadis, said that they would do their best in order to help the victims in Izmit which was announced as the twin city of Kavala three years ago. /Hurriyet/

    [20] 'THE TIMES': ANKARA AND ATHENS CAN DRAW CLOSER

    The British 'The Times' newspaper which has given extensive coverage to the earthquake disaster in Turkey pointed out Greek efforts and friendship towards Turkey. The newspaper said that this could erase old enmities. The newspaper added that this development could alleviate the elements which have been blocking Turkey's EU membership and concluded: "Other European countries should review Turkey's EU membership application". /Hurriyet/

    [21] FOREIGN PRESS POINTS OUT SOLIDARITY AMONG TURKS

    The foreign press has pointed out the solidarity among the Turkish nation following the terrible earthquake in the Marmara Region registering 7.4 on the Richter scale. Solidarity has increased and accelerated the relief efforts to Turkey, the newspapers said. Particularly, the British media, French, Belgian, American and Austrian media see unity in Turkey as of great significance. Ray Gray, a member of the British team who visited Turkey, said on a BBC World News broadcast that this scale of earthquake would have affected any country in the world in the same way. /Turkiye/

    [22] FOREIGN AID FOR TURKEY

    In the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey, aid from foreign countries is continuing unabated. An Armenian association based in Poitiers, France, called upon people to aid the victims in Turkey. A mobile hospital belonging to the French Army has begun to offer its services in the Akyazi district of Izmit. The Greek Parliament said that an aircraft full of medicine and sanitary equipment would arrive in Turkey today. A medical team from Bulgaria came to Turkey yesterday. An official from the American-Turkish Council, Jennifer Snyder, said that the Mobil company had donated $100,000 and General Dynamics had given $50,000 in aid to Turkey; moreover, some Boeing aircraft would be allocated to carry aid to Turkey. Many institutions in the US are also helping the victims in Turkey. Many search and rescue teams from foreign countries such as Mexico, Belgium, Russia and Egypt said that they had not witnessed such a disaster before. /Turkiye/

    [23] TUPRAS REFINERY CLOSED FOR FOUR MONTHS

    It is reported that the TUPRAS oil refinery in Izmit will be closed for the next four months. The Izmit refinery is responsible for 35 % of the total TUPRAS production. The total loss in profits during this period will amount to nearly 10 trillion TL.

    Meanwhile, it is said that the largest amount of aid was received from Greece while the quickest to be delivered was from Russia. Among the other countries which initially lent a helping hand to Turkey were Israel, the US, Romania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia. Moreover, even though the Ukraine is experiencing some economic troubles, it has offered extensive support to Turkey and sent JCBs and a field hospital to Turkey. A UNICEF delegation consisting of seven people inspected the Golkaya district of Bolu and prepared a report concerning the requirements and the current situation in the district. /Sabah-Milliyet/

    [24] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY IN SEPTEMBER

    A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in Turkey in September to discuss an emergency loan of $330 million. Meanwhile, an international rating institution, Fitch IBCA, said that, although Turkey had experienced an earthquake, she would recover in the very near future. According to Fitch IBCA, earthquake damage will not negatively affect the Turkish economy and credibility in the future. Fitch IBCA pointed out that Turkey keeps its B (+) credit rating in the long term. Credit Suisse First Boston, a leading financial institution, transferred $50,000 to an account opened for Turkey by the US Red Cross. Officials from the institution said that the amount would further increase. /Aksam/

    [25] EARTHQUAKE DOES NOT AFFECT TOURISM

    It is reported that the earthquake has not affected the tourism sector in the Antalya region. There has been no decrease in the number of foreign tourists visiting this region and 80 % of the hotels were full. /Cumhuriyet/

    [26] TRNC MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMY IN IZMIR

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Minister of Finance, Mehmet Bayram, came to Izmir to attend the 68th Izmir International Fair (IIF), reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    Bayram visited the Governor of Izmir, Kemal Nehrozoglu and stated that the IIF was of the utmost importance for the TRNC and that the Turkish people from the TRNC had been attending this Fair since the 1970s. "The heart of the Mediterranean beats at the IIF. Since before the foundation of the TRNC in the 1970s, we have been attending the IIF. We are trying to hold our position with various products at this Fair, which is very important for the TRNC's economy. We are also trying to improve our relations thanks to this fair", said Bayram.

    Bayram, stating that the earthquake in the Marmara Region deeply saddened the Turkish people in the TRNC, said that it was a sad day but economic life was carrying on. The Governor of Izmir, Kemal Nehrozoglu, said that they were very pleased with the Minister's visit and added, "The TRNC, the Aegean and Izmir have had close relations and common ventures in the course of history. As a result, a bridge in our mutual journey was constructed. We are very pleased to see that the TRNC is also participating in the IIF. We see the presence of the TRNC in Izmir during the Fair as important because the IIF is one of the most important fairs in the Mediterranean." Later the TRNC's Minister of Finance and Economy signed the special visitor's book in the Governor's Office.

    [27] DEMIREL CANCELS PROGRAMMES

    President Demirel, the President of Turkey, was due to meet various high-ranking international contacts in September but these meetings have been postponed due to the earthquake disaster that has caused many losses, reported the Anatolian News Agency.

    In a statement by the Presidential Press Centre, the planned visits of the Presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic to Turkey and President Suleyman Demirel's visit to Kazakhstan have been postponed indefinitely. In the statement, it was also reported that Suleyman Demirel found it appropriate for Turkey to be represented by another official instead of him at "The Baltics-Black Sea Economic Cooperation Summit" in Yalta.

    [28] 68TH INTERNATIONAL IZMIR FAIR

    The 68th International Izmir Fair will be opened on August 26, the Anatolia News Agency reports. The international stands will remain open till September 3 while the national part of the Fair will end on September 10. Companies from 42 countries are attending this year's Fair which is known as the only general trade fair in Turkey. A total of 1,080 firms, including 498 foreign firms, will display their products at the Fair. As part of the international Fair, 'Businessmen Days' will be organized between August 27-29. The honorary guest at this year's Fair will be Bulgaria. As a result of last week's devastating earthquake which hit the Marmara region, all entertainment was cancelled.

    [29] S-300 MISSILES GOING TO SALONICA IN OCTOBER

    Some of the Russian S-300 missiles that were located on Crete will be sent to Salonica to be exhibited at an military official parade. In an article by the daily `Fileleftheros' newspaper published in Southern Cyprus, the Greek President, Kostis Stefanopulos, will also attend the official parade in Salonica. /Cumhuriyet/

    [30] TURKEY TRIFLES WITH HELSINKI

    While trying to heal the wounds of the earthquake that occurred in the Marmara Region, Turkey is also preparing for the European Union's (EU) Helsinki Summit, which will be a turning point in Turkey's international relations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, will explain Turkey's concerns about the Summit in France and England on 28th and 29th August. Diplomatic sources report that the positive atmosphere between Athens and Ankara that has derived from the earthquake may also be felt in Helsinki.

    Cem will thank England and France for sending search and rescue teams and humanitarian aid after the earthquake. Cem is also expected to explain the decisions made to make the relations between these two countries better. Cem will meet the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, Robin Cook, and tell him his views related to the EU's Helsinki Summit. During the visit last month of Germany's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joschka Fischer, President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, "Helsinki is our last chance. The Turkish people's interest in the EU is decreasing day by day." These views will again be expressed both in Paris and London by Cem. Cem is also expected to demand the support of the French and British governments in Helsinki, pointing out that Turkey is continuing to take concrete steps in human rights and democratization and that the government is determined about this issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [31] FLEET HEADQUARTERS MOVES FROM GOLCUK

    The Turkish Naval Forces' Commander, Admiral Salim Dervisoglu, has declared, "The Fleet Headquarters will move from Golcuk". Dervisoglu stressed that half of the Commanders' Main Base Headquarters building in Golcuk had collapsed and there was a huge damage to the arsenal. Noting that the infrastructure should be repaired, Admiral Dervisoglu said that the settlement of the Naval Forces in Golcuk had caused disputes. Stressing that the earthquake has not damaged our War Fleet, Dervisoglu answered to the criticisms concerning the late involvement of the Armed Forces following the earthquake, "Delayed involvement is out of the question; the Armed Forces reacts quickly during war and times of stress. Even an atomic bomb doesn't cause that much damage. It is worse than war. We have 292 dead and 237 wounded people. Also 35 people are still beneath the debris and 2,769 personnel are missing." He added that although there were the persons from whom they had been unable to receive any news, doesn't mean that they were dead or wounded. /Star/

    [32] BRAVO EBRU

    Ebru Kavaklioglu, who came first in the 5,000 m. qualifying round with a time of 15:17:89 during the World Athletics Championship in Seville, has become the first Turkish athlete in our history to compete in finals of the World Championships. Our succesful athlete is going to run in the final tomorrow. /Star/

    [33] WAITING FOR ONE MORE VICTORY FROM GALATASARAY

    Galatasaray will play tonight to cheer up the Turkish people after the earthquake disaster. Our team will confront Rapid Wien in the Championship League's first round. The kick-off will be at 21:30 in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium and will be refereed by the famous Italian referee, Pierluigi Collina. Cine5 will broadcast the fight. Galatasaray has not been defeated in the first round of the UEFA Cup since the 1993-94 season. The team won the first match thanks to goals by Hakan and Hagi with a score of 3-0 in Vienna and very close to the next round tonight. /Star/

    [34] FENERBAHCE WOMEN'S TEAM TO ATTEND EUROSTARS TOURNAMENT

    The Fenerbahce women's basketball team will leave for France on August 28 to prepare itself for the new Women's First Division season, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Fenerbahce will attend the Eurostars Tournament in Toulouse, France, and will play group matches against Como (Italy), Kiev (the Ukraine) and Riga (Latvia). The finals will be played on September 4 after which Fenerbahce will return to Turkey on September 5.

    [35] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [36] 40,000 DEAD, $20 BILLION...-BY IZZET SEDES (AKSAM)

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

    "According to the UN, the cost of the earthquake is nearly that. The Prime Minister said that it was one of the biggest disasters the world has ever experienced; the whole world believes that he is right. However, it is not easy to say that the State is successful against such a disaster. The international community also has an important role to play in overcoming this ordeal. They know that our damage is severe; the total cost is expected to amount to $20 billion. The death toll is set to rise to 40,000.

    Unfortunately, it can be seen that the earthquake will negatively affect the reforms launched by the Ecevit Government. The earthquake hit Turkey in an industrial region; the Marmara is a region which meets 34.5 % of our national income and is home to 45 % of our total population. The Izmit refinery used to meet 86 % of the requirement for oil used in our country. The fire has been put out. However, the damage and its effects will be better understood in the future. All countries throughout the world are on the alert because of the earthquake in Turkey. The biggest problem is the shelter of people and the rebuilding of infrastructure which should be solved before the winter".

    [37] THE PUBLIC'S WISH -BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Sami Kohen is a columnist on the daily Milliyet newspaper. This is an article written by him, published in Milliyet.

    We have been listening to words from a "man on the street" in Greece, "Turkish people and Greek people are not enemies of each other. The politicians are the ones who create the crises." After the earthquake, the affection and the affinity of the Greek people proves this. The attitude of various levels of society from the ordinary man to the businessman, from intellectuals to civilian organizations surprised not only us, but also government officials in Athens.

    Greece was one of the countries that came to the help of Turkey and the victims of disaster just after the earthquake and this has another meaning, which is very important; in spite of the tension and incitement that has occurred in the course of history, Greek people are not malevolent towards Turkish people and they are also always ready to help us and build friendly relations with us.

    A few hours after the earthquake, the Greek goverment prepared send search and rescue teams and fire-extinguishing aircraft as quickly as possible. Since Greeks are living the same seismic region, they are more prepared for such disasters than us. But the interesting thing is that while Simitis government was carrying out the decision to provide aid, it also displayed an example of help and cooperation which has not been seen before. Since that day this campaign has been continuing; furthermore, interest in this is increasing.

    Even some of the members of the public and the media in Greece who are not sympathetic towards Turkey generally are also in the same league. For example, Sky-TV that was previously broadcasting against Turkey, is more or less leading the calls for aid. Some members of the Greek church not only donate financial aid, but also suggest that Turkish student victims of the disaster continue their education in schools in Greece. Greek businessmen open their institutions' doors so that Turkish factories that were damaged by the disaster are not inconvenienced and can continue to work.

    The Greek people happened to be "a friend in need" in this disaster. Now the image of the Greeks is different just as the image of Turks in Greece is not the same any more. This earthquake is likely to change so many things both in Turkey and abroad; some of the changes might occur in relations between Turkey and Greece.

    Will the earthquake really solve the problem of misdistrust and the disputes between Turkey and Greece? If this teaches a moral lesson to the politicians, administrators and the members of society, then it would be possible. Obviously there will be those who will think negatively and who will be doubtful on both sides but now this incident is a great opportunity for "by-passing" these and shaping relation encouraged by the goodwill and affectionate feeling of the public.

    From now on, nobody will be able follow the "politics of tension" just because the "public wants it this way". Nobody will be able to write provocative words by taking refuge in the same superficial argument. The public's wish was determined by this disaster. I hope the administrators will take it seriously.


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