|Friday, 15 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 99-08-26
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
 FOREIGN MINISTER'S STATEMENT TO `EL KABAS'Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, said that the rapprochement between Syria and Turkey has increased the prestige of this country internationally. Cem also stated that the dialogue between Greece and Turkey was going well, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
In his statement, made to the daily `El Kabas' newspaper published in Kuwait and distributed to all Arabian countries, Cem pointed out that there were still some problems concerning Syria and a variety of ways and solutions to solve these problems had been determined. Cem, stated that the attempt to fight terrorism, adopted by Turkey and Iran (by Syria as well), should lead to concrete results, otherwise the situation would be worse.
Cem also evaluated the latest situation in relations between Greece and Turkey and said, "Dialogue between us has always been good up to this time; I cannot see any reason for it to get worse. I hope this process will carry on in the same way and all the problems between Turkey and Greece will be solved."
Cem added, "Any solution except for a confederation would not be realistic. Twelve members of the EU support Turkey's membership application I hope the other three countries will also change their minds. Cem's statement concerning the situation in Northern Iraq was published in `El Kabas' on the front page, as the top story today. Cem reported that Iraq's political and territorial integrity were of the utmost importance and that should this balance be lost, then great difficulties would occur.
"We could explain to the Arabian countries the relationships between Turkey and Israel. Now we can see more realistic approaches from these countries. Turkey's reputation in the Middle East and the Arabian countries is increasing day by day. This positive development is strengthening relations between Turkey and the EU", said Cem. Cem's biography was also published on the first page of `El Kabas'. The title of the biography was "Turkish diplomacy with a smiling cheerful face". In his biography, it was written that Cem's character and mild manner reflected Turkey's international relations and that Cem had made a great contribution to the improvement of relations between Turkey and the Arabian countries. In the newspaper it was also reported that the same situation had also been valid for Turkey's 8th President, Turgut Ozal, and one of the old Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Hikmet Cetin.
 U.S. SENDING 3 MORE BATTLESHIPSU.S. Naval Forces will send three more battleships to Turkey in order to meet the needs for clean water in the earthquake-hit regions, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
The State Department's spokesman, James Foley, pointed out that three ships from the 6th fleet had arrived in Turkey to be involved in the rescue efforts and that the following three ships would also come to Turkey. The battleships `Bobo', `Obergon' and `Kocak', which can produce 350 litres of clean water from sea water each day, would arrive in the Marmara Sea in two days' time and become involved in the rescue efforts.
The International Development Institution that coordinates donations that come from the U.S. reported that emergency aid equipment sent by Washington cost more than 8.5 million dollars and that it also covered the expenses of the search and rescue teams, battleships and aircraft. Furthermore, the Fairfax team, who were able to pull out four people, including a child, from the rubble and save them a few days after the earthquake in Izmit, had been met with applause on their return to Washington and treated like heroes. Officials welcomed the team of 70 staff, five sniffer dogs and special search equipment at the Andreis Air Base.
Turkish Ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin, was also a member of the team; he stated that Turkish people were grateful to the U.S. for their support after the earthquake. "We wish to thank Bill Clinton, who made statements all the time, to the U.S. administration, the American people and this team for coming to Turkey's side in such a terrible disaster", said Ilkin. It was also reported that the Miami team that was sent by the U.S. had saved a person five days after the earthquake.
 PAPANDREU: "I DO WHATEVER I CAN"A friendship is emerging between Turkey and Greece after the disaster; Foreign Minister George Papandreu is leading this attempt. Stating his views during interviews for various radio and television channels, Papandreu stressed that a new period has begun between the two countries. During an interview for BBC Television, he said, "The Greeks displayed an unbelievable reaction to the earthquake. They donated their blood and clothing. Regional administrations have started emergency relief aid campaigns. The Turkish media and Turkish people also have behaved very positively. This shows us that a new bridge of friendship has been established. With this tragedy, it is as if old hostilities have been forgotten. I hope that these painful experiences cause an improvement in Turco-Greek relations. We will do our best in this case." Papandreu also addressed Greek Flash Radio, and said that they will propose to allocate a special budget for Turkey at the EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting, which will be held in Helsinki on 4-5th September. He also mentioned that politicians should benefit from this positive atmosphere to develop relations between the two countries and he would meet the opposition parties' leaders concerning this matter. Papandreu has also initiated attempts to abolish the vetos in the EU against Turkey. Greece has been continuously vetoing financial aid from the EU which should be given to Turkey according to the Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the EU. /Sabah/
 DONATION OF 30 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM SINGAPOREThe Singapore government stated that they would send Turkey a humanitarian aid to the tune of 30 thousand dollars for the victims of the earthquake disaster in Turkey, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
Singapore's Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, sent Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit a message of condolence. In his message, Tong stated that he was deeply saddened by the high death toll and the great destruction due to the earthquake disaster. "It is an unexpected and unlucky tragedy", said Tong.
 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT DONATES 50,000 DM IN AIDThe German Eintracht Frankfurt football club has sent 50,000 DM via Fenerbahce football club for the victims of the earthquake which hit northwestern Turkey last week. A written statement issued by the Fenerbahce Club thanked the German Club for its exemplary behaviour, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 TEZCAN: "AZERBAIJANI RESCUE TEAM SAVED MORE THAN 40 PEOPLE"The Turkish Ambassador to Baku, Kadri Ecvet Tezcan, said, "The Azerbaijani search and rescue team has saved more than 40 people who were trapped under the rubble". Tezcan held a press conference yesterday and briefed listeners concerning the earthquake. He stated that the Azerbaijani search and rescue team was one of the first teams to reach the disaster region and pointed out that the team had carried out very successful work in Sakarya and Izmit. Tezcan stressed that a fire-extinguishing team from the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry had also played an important role in putting out the fire at the TUPRAS oil refinery in Izmit and remarked that a cargo aircraft carrying tents and a great deal of relief equipment would arrive in Turkey today. Tezcan thanked the Azerbaijani people for their support and added that following the earthquake disaster, a lot of messages of condolence had been sent to the Turkish Embassy in Baku, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 BULGARIAN TRADE AND TOURISM MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEYBulgarian Trade and Tourism Minister Valentin Vasilev will come to Turkey tomorrow on a two-day official visit. Minister Vasilev will attend the opening of the Izmir Fair and will also promote the Bulgarian construction companies which are to participate in the reconstruction of the earthquake disaster region. A statement issued by the Bulgarian Trade and Tourism Ministry's Exports Incentive Centre said that Vasilev's visit was a 'concrete indication' of the support which Bulgaria is ready to offer Turkey, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 HARRAZI: "IRAN IS READY FOR HUMANITARIAN AID TO TURKEY"Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Harrazi said that Iran was ready to help Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster. Harrazi received the new Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Turan Morali, yesterday and expressed his and his nation's condolence on the disaster. Harrazi stated that Iran and Turkey had joint interests, however, he said that there were still some problems concerning bilateral relations. He added, "In order to solve these problems through mutual understanding, the two countries should be determined and the common border should be a border of peace and friendship". Ambassador Morali thanked Iran for its support for the victims of the earthquake and remarked that this aid would make an important contribution to the solution of the victims' problems. Morali pointed out that Turkey was determined to preserve and further its friendly relations with Iran and stressed that Turkey was ready to solve its short-term problems with Iran, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE LAUNCHES A CAMPAIGNThe 'International Herald Tribune' has launched a campaign in conjunction with the British Red Cross and the Turkish Red Crescent in order to help the victims. The Representative of the newspaper in Turkey, Demir Baran Sarol, issued a written statement yesterday and said that a great deal of aid is expected to be collected during the campaign. The statement added that the daily newspaper was published in 18 countries, distributed to 184 countries and read by many people including Heads of State, Prime Ministers, Ministers, businessmen and industrialists, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 VISIT BY CZECH REPUBLIC'S HEAD OF STATE POSTPONEDA visit to be paid by the Czech Republic's Head of State, Vaclav Havel, in late September has been postponed due to the earthquake disaster in Turkey. A statement issued by Havel's Spokesman said that a new date has not been determined yet. Havel conveyed his request to meet Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and some high-level Turkish officials in June, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 PHILIPPINES DONATES $50,000 TO TURKEYThe Head of State of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada, stated that his country would donate $50,000 to Turkey due to the earthquake which killed thousands of people. Estrada said that he wished this aid would be beneficial for the Turkish nation after experiencing such a terrible tragedy, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FULL AUTHORITY FOR THE GOVERNMENTA draft law which authorizes the Government to issue decrees in the power of law on many issues in order to mend the damage caused by the earthquake was approved by the Planning and Budgetary Commssion yesterday. Housing Minister Koray Aydin said yesterday that new arrangements would be made in the disaster region with this new draft. /Hurriyet/
 DUTCH TO RECONSTRUCT ADAPAZARIHolland will reconstruct Adapazari which was seriously affected by the earthquake. The Head of the European Emergency Medical Administration System, Dr.Eelco H.Dykstra, said that all TV stations were broadcasting nation-wide campaigns in order to help the victims in Turkey. Dr.Dykstra stated that Holland would reconstruct the infrastructure of the city of Adapazari. /Hurriyet/
 US: "TURKEY'S EARTHQUAKE LOSSES AMOUNT TO $4-7 BILLION"The US has prepared its first report in the aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey. The report prepared by US experts and approved by the US Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris, was later conveyed to the US Administration. The report says that Turkey's losses stemming from the earthquake disaster amount to between $4-7 billion. The reports states that Turkey will overcome this damage with American help. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will visit the US between September 26 and October 1. Prior to his visit to the US, Ecevit will meet Mark Parris. /Hurriyet/
 TUSIAD SENDS A LETTER TO THE US AND EUROPEThe Turkish Businessmen's and Industrialists' Association (TUSIAD) has sent a letter to various financial institutions in Europe and the US and called on the financial and business world to help Turkey. The letter said that the daily economic loss because of the interruption in the disaster region was $320 million. The letter added that Turkey needed $20-25 billion worth in financial resources in order to re-establish the macro-economic balance. Meanwhile, it is reported that civilian defence units have rescued 244 people trapped under the rubble since the first day following the earthquake disaster. /Hurriyet/
 CHIRAC'S EARTHQUAKE LETTERThe French President, Jacques Chirac, who has always supported the view that Turkey is within the European Family, has again shown that he is a real friend of Turkey. Chirac sent a letter to Finland's President Maartti Ahtisaari -Finland is currently the EU President- called upon EU financial assistance envisaged for Turkey to be activated as soon as possible. Furthermore, President Chirac requested President Ahtisaari to initiate plans under the auspices of the World Bank and the IMF to offer emergency relief to Turkey. /Hurriyet/
 UN CALLS ON ALL COUNTRIESThe Head of the UN General Council, Didier Opertti, called upon all countries and international institutions to aid Turkey. Opertti stated that the earthquake disaster was one of the worst this century and added that the spiritual and financial damage was severe. Opertti also sent a message to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and expressed his sorrow over the tragic event. Meanwhile, an advertising campaign is being enforced in Germany in order to make people spend their holidays in Turkey. /Turkiye/
 FINNISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN TURKEYFinland's Foreign Minister, Tarja Halonen, and the Foreign Relations Commissioner of the EU Commission, Hans Van Den Broek, arrived in Turkey yesterday to go on a tour of inspection in the earthquake disaster area. They expressed their sorrow over the tragedy and said that they were ready to do their best in order to help the victims. /Hurriyet/
 JAPANESE TO OPEN LOANSJapan will convey aid in three phases to the disaster region in the Marmara. Japanese politician Yuriko Koike visited Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek yesterday and said that in the first phase of the plan, $1 million in financial assistance would be given while later prefabricated houses and more loans will be offered to Turkey. /Aksam/
 EARTHQUAKE DISASTER IN FOREIGN PRESSForeign media has been devoting extensive coverage to the earthquake disaster in northwestern Turkey. The 'Chicago Sun Times' newspaper, 'Public Radio' in the US, 'Le Soir' and 'La Libre Belgique' newspapers published in Belgium and the Austrian Channel 9 TV station all pointed out the terrible disaster experienced by Turkey. 'La Repubblica' published in Italy, 'El Pais' published in Spain and 'The Times' are also continuing to cover the earthquake. /Aksam/
 THE U.S. THINKS ABOUT ECONOMIC AIDThe Spokesman of the U.S. State Department, James Foley, said that his country was planning to take the measures necessary to support Turkey economically following the recent devastating earthquake, but there had been no specific decision made on the matter yet. During his declaration to journalists, Foley pointed out that the U.S. has concentrated up to now mostly on humanitarian rescue efforts. The Spokesman stated, "As a government, we are in contact with Congress, with our allies in Europe and other parts of the world discussing how to ease the impact of this disaster together, in the medium- and long-term. We are still at the thinking and planning stage; we have no decision to declare yet." Sources in Washington expressed the view that the U.S. had played an important role in the IMF and World Bank's decision to give a loan of 445 million dollars to Turkey. It is also noted that the U.S. economic aid to Turkey will take shape after meetings with the Turkish Government during the next few weeks. /ANA/
 BRITISH DELEGATION VISITS MINISTER GEMICIStating that great solidarity has been experienced among the world states due to the massive earthquake that hit the Marmara region, State Minister Hasan Gemici thanked all foreign support for Turkey. A British delegation, including British Ambassador David Logan, and Bill Alexander, the Chairman of the Thames Water company which constructed and has been operating the Yuvacik Dam, paid a visit to Minister Gemici and met for a while at Kocaeli Governor's Office. During the meeting, Minister Gemici thanked everbody who hadn't abandoned Turkey in the aftermath of the disaster and said that the whole world had offered Turkey great support and they very much appreciated this sensitivity. Stressing that the fire at the TUPRAS facilities has been put out, Gemici said that they were experiencing a water shortage only in the Golcuk and Degirmendere regions. He added, "If we were not able to solve the water problem in a short time, we would experience a worse disaster than the quake." Pointing out the problem of housing, Gemici declared shelters should be ensured for the homeless victims as a priority due to worsening weather conditions. Meanwhile, Bill Alexander said that their efforts were underway to ensure a water supply to the region as quickly as possible. The General Director of Thames Water Company, Dr. Jim Bentley, declared that they were testing water samples regularly and they have improved the chlorinating system in the region, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FISCHER: "LET'S BE MORE GENEROUS"The pressure on European countries concerning aid to Turkey is increasing. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer asked the EU countries to be more generous in their aid to Turkey. Fischer wanted a loan of the 375 million Euros to be released from the budget of the EU, and 750 million Euros from the European Development Bank. In a letter to the Chairman of the EU, the Minister also noted that these loans are deserved by Turkey in accordance with her Customs Union Agreement.
 A BRIDGE OF FRIENDSHIPThe aid campaigns which were started by the Greeks for the Turkish earthquake victims, are snowballing. In addition to those of the municipalities, there are a number of Greeks and firms calling the Turkish Embassy about sending aid. Meanwhile, Atina's Mayor, Dimitris Avramopoulos, came to Istanbul yesterday in order to inspect the area. He met Istanbul Mayor, Ali Mufit Gurtuna. Also some gestures have been observed, the Greek Fleet Commander will attend to the handing-over ceremony of the Turkish Navy Forces' Commander, Salim Dervisoglu and will be the first Greek Fleet Commander to visit Turkey. /Sabah/
 AFFINITY IN THE AEGEANThe American Deputy Secretary of State, Marc Grossmann, while answering a reporter's question, said that they would keep on helping Turkey because of the earthquake. Grossman answered a question concerning American efforts to establish peace between Turkey and Greece and said, "It is not the U.S.A's business to make peace between Turkey and Greece; these two countries are allied. However, I can see Greece's sensitivity towards the tragedy in Turkey. The generous aid from Greece was appreciated by Turkish people. I hope this tragedy can contribute to these two countries' relations". /Milliyet/
 PKK TO LEAVE TURKEY BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1The PKK terrorist organization has announced that it will leave Turkey without waiting for the date which has been declared by Abdullah Ocalan, September 1. The PKK has sent a statement to the offices of foreign agencies in Ankara and said that the PKK began to withdraw from Turkey following the call made by Ocalan on August 2. The head of the PKK, Ocalan, is currently imprisoned on Imrali Island. /Hurriyet/
 NEW PERIOD IN SOCIAL SECURITYThe Social Security Draft Law was enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) yesterday. The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Yasar Okuyan, thanked the MPs for the enactment of the draft law. Okuyan said, "The end of unregistered employment and unemployment insurance; we have achieved our desire". /Hurriyet/
 GALATASARAY DEFEATS RAPID WIENGalatasaray defeated the Austrian football team, Rapid Wien, with a score of 1-0 yesterday. Thus, Galatasaray gains the opportunity of taking part in the Champions' League. /All papers/
 MUSTAFA KORCAK: MARITIME UNDERSECRETARYDr.Mustafa Korcak has been assigned to the Maritime Undersecretary's post. The decision concerning his appointment was published in the Official Gazette yesterday. /Aksam/
 DENKTAS MEETS U.S. CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERSThe President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, met U.S. congressional staffers yesterday and reiterated that the sovereignty of the TRNC could no longer be questioned. "The sovereignty of the TRNC is no longer a parametre to be discussed at the table" Denktas told Jhon Weaver, Andrea Andrews and Paul Doerer. Denktas reaaserted that any talks with Southern Cyprus aimed at a final solution in Cyprus could be held on a state-to-state basis. Later in the day the three staffers were received by Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu as well. /All papers/
 BAKU-CEYHAN TALKS STARTTurkish, Azerbaijan and American officials met the representatives of financing organizations in Washington to have talks on the financing of the Baku-Ceyhan project. The talks will continue for two days, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 10 PKK TERRORISTS KILLEDDuring operations carried out by security forces in Southeastern Anataolia, 10 members of the PKK terrorist organization were killed. Nine terrorists were killed in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari while one was killed in the Catak district of Van. Three terrorists were captured in the Silopi district of Sirnak and one was in the Dogubeyazit district of Agri. /Star/
 GALATA-TOPHANE REGION TO BE EXAMINED IN WORKSHOPA workshop will be organized in Istanbul with the participation of the Vienna Technical University and the Yildiz Technical University. Prof.Helmut Richter will conduct the workshop to be held at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul on September 13-22. During the workshop, the Galata-Tophane region will be examined from the environmental and architectural standpoints. /Cumhuriyet/
 DRUGS RAIDIn a raid in the Bahcesaray District of Van, 4.9 kg of narcotics was seized and 20,635 roots of Indian hemp were destroyed, reported the Anatolian News Agency.
It was reported that Gendarmerie Headquarters' Anti-Smuggling Branch officials, after receiving a tip-off, raided Veysel B.'s house in the village of Guneyyamac. During the search, 4.9 kg of narcotics were found. In Veysel B.'s field 20,625 roots of Indian hemp were seized; 2,875 roots of these roots were dug up and left to dry. It was reported that Veysel B. was detained and that an investigation was now underway.
 60 IMMIGRANTS CAPTUREDSixty people who attempted illegally to cross from Turkey to Greece were captured by members of the Edirne Security Office. Officials said that most of them were Iraqis, in addition to Algerians. The illegal immigrants were later sent to the Edirne Security Office in order to be deported, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 AKIN KULOGLU RANKS THIRDDuring the semi-final of the 10th World Boxing Championship being held in America Houston, in Texas, Turkish boxer Akin Kuloglu has ranked third in the 75 kg. category after defeating his Romanian rival, Adrian Diaconv. Akin Kuloglu received a bronze medal, the Anatolia News Agency reports.
 FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....FROM THE COLUMNS....
 INVESTIGATION SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED-BY DOGAN HEPER (MILLIYET)Dogan Heper, a columnist for the daily 'Milliyet' newspaper, says the following in his article today:
"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on CNN that 'We can overcome the negative effects of the earthquake within one year'. We know that $30 billion is needed in order to meet the economic losses sustained. This means that foreign and domestic resources to be created should aim to obtain this amount. In other words, taxes are coming. The damage affects all of us so we should all together contribute equally to heal the wounds caused by the quake and do so without damaging the economy. While doing this, we should also consider that an investigation should be announced into those who are responsible for the rubble, a list of those buildings which collapsed; the names of the constructors; those who have approved the plans and projects. All these are significant as well as new taxes.
True, Turkey does not deserve this situation. The enormity of the disaster is not in line with the Turkish nation's contemporary standards. Unfortunately, many Turkish administrators have also not reached the same standard as our nation. This is why this disaster is so colossal".
 EUROPEAN UNION COMMISSION SHAPING "ACTION PLAN" FOR AIDThe European Union Commission reported that they would be continuing the financial aid of 2 million Euros that they sent last week and that they would send additional aid, reported the Anatolian News Agency. The commission reported that they had prepared an "action plan" for Turkey.
The spokesperson of the European Union Comission, answering a reporter's question concerning the subject, said reluctantly, "The commission is on holiday. Hans Van Den Broek, who is responsible for the international relations will come back tomorrow". The spokesperson added, "First we were able to send 2 million Euros. The second slice will go out of the budget this week, probably tomorrow. Meanwhile, meetings concerning the politics and coordination efforts are underway between the EU Commission's commissioners and the Ministries involved of the member countries. Apart from emergency aid, suggestions and decisions concerning what is to be done to reconstruct these areas in Turkey are on the agenda. In addition, preparations are continuing. EU will be able to determine its approach to this issue at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' informal meeting in Finland on the 4th and 5th September.
The spokesperson, who talked about an "action plan" answered the question of a reporter who had asked, "Can the action plan envisaged for help for Turkey be hindered by a single member of the EU?". The spokesperson answered this question as follows: "Today we cannot give more detailed information about the EU's possible approach to the earthquake in Turkey. Coordination efforts are underway within the EU. The aim of this coordination by the Decision Branch Council is to obtain the most effective and quickest intervention. We will be able to give more detailed information about the meetings between the current EU President, the EU Commission and Turkey's Prime Minister and and Minister of Foreign Affairs after tomorrow."
 THE BIGGEST DISASTER OF THE CENTURY -BY NECATI OZFATURA (TURKIYE)Necati Ozfatura is a columnist on the daily `Turkiye' newspaper. This is an article written by him, published in `Turkiye'.
The strongest earthquake of the 20th century was the earthquake that occurred on 17th August at 03:02-03:03, registering 7.8 on the Richter scale with its epicentre on Golcuk. This region in which the earhtquake occurred has seeen so many wars, natural disasters (flood, earthquake) and contagious diseases in the course of its history over the past 5,000 years. However, the destruction that was caused by the earthquake which lasted 45 minutes was the most terrible disaster of the century. Even if we were to go to war, the destruction would not be that much. In this incident not only the earth was shaken, but also balls of flame ran over the earth and shot up to the sky from the sea and thunder and terrible noises were heard.
May this ordeal soon pass for the earthquake victims and the Turkish people. I offer my condolences to those who lost their loved ones. We believe that the destruction that caused by the earthquake will be overcome swiftly by the great Turkish people. After this disaster Turks helped each other and each shared the sorrow of the other. Not only Turkish people came to each other's aid, but also the foreign search and rescue teams worked so hard. In a report by the British Geology Investigation Institution (BGII), the 17th August earthquake, the most horrifying natural disaster of the century, registered 6.8 underground and 7.5 on the surface. According to the U.S.A. Geology Foundation, the strength of the earthquake was 7.8. According to Kandilli Observatory's latest evaluation, the strength of the earthquake was 7.4.
According to the scientists, it has taken 540 million years for the earth's continental geography to be shaped in today's form. It has changed at least nine times in this period of time. The African continent is moving nearer to the Arabian Peninsula. Also the Arabian Peninsula is pushing the Anatolian Peninsula which is moving nearer to the Europen continent, squeezing the Aegean Sea, and thus cracks and faults occur in the earth's crust. It was possible to predict this earthquake that caused so many losses 4or 5 hours earlier by the stations located near the Mudurnu Stream. Turkish and foreign scientists consider this great negligence. Probably 250 thousand families have become homeless: almost 1 million people. Strict Turkish bureaucracy has the manifesto to issue construction licenses and to take them from 7 provinces. If possible, Ankara would not give any authority to local government; in fact, the local government's authority is very weak. Centralization is the biggest reason for the disasters. Turkish search and rescue teams are not as effective as the foreign search and rescue teams so the public had to help themselves. The world press wrote: "The whole country has helped to clear up the damage and aid the victims together" and foreigners appreciate this. Those who wanted to spoil our people's integrity since the organization of relief efforts were terribly disappointed. We can say that the earthquake-hit region is the flesh and blood of Turkish industry because 1_3 of our industry is located here. Industry has also collapsed but I believe the Turkish people will be able to handle it. The money in the earthquake fund was given to certain places; the money in this fund is symbolically only 1 million TL. The angry reaction of the people is not towards the government, but towards some bureaucrats. The people are attached to their government. Our people have sent so much food to help the victims whereas the bureaucracy has done nothing but send bread which happened to be a rubbish.
Almost 2,000 search and rescue teams from 40 countries were extremely useful with their efforts. According to some statements, Turkish and American scientists were able to predict that there would be an earthquake (particularly around Izmit) 2 years ago and issued a report about it but this report found its way in a dusty corner. Prof. Dr. Ihsan Kestin's report was ignored in which he wrote: "it is dangerous for the TUPRAS oil refinery to be established in this area". I hope the Turkish people feel better as soon as possible after this disaster.
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