From the papers

HDN | 10/11/1999 12:00:00 AM |

Ecevit cold towards the possibility of a reckoning with Sept. 12 From an Oct. 10 article by Hurriyet's Sedat Ergin: Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit does not want the agreement he has reached with his coalition partners -- on the steps to be taken regarding Provisional Article 15 of the Constitution -- from being seen as a way of "reckoning with the military officials of the Sept. 12 [1980 military coup] era. He told us yesterday that Article 15 consists of two paragraphs. The first paragraph says

Ecevit cold towards the possibility of a reckoning with Sept. 12

From an Oct. 10 article

by Hurriyet's Sedat Ergin:

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit does not want the agreement he has reached with his coalition partners -- on the steps to be taken regarding Provisional Article 15 of the Constitution -- from being seen as a way of "reckoning with the military officials of the Sept. 12 [1980 military coup] era.

He told us yesterday that Article 15 consists of two paragraphs. The first paragraph says that no complaints can be made to the courts against the deeds of persons who served during the Sept. 12 era. The second paragraph says that the Constitutional Court cannot be asked to invalidate the laws -- including Law No. 2324 on the Constitutional Order -- or the decrees with the power of law passed during the Sept. 12 era.

Ecevit stressed that the agreement he has reached with his coalition partners is limited to the scrapping of paragraph two of the article in question.

Crisis-causing center

From an Oct. 10 article

by Hurriyet's Oktay Eksi:

Izmit Mayor Sefa Sirmen says that although two months have passed since the quake, construction of prefabricated houses is yet to begin in Izmit. Bids have been received for construction of 15,000 houses, but it turned out that there is a state hospital situated on the land assigned for the project. And the project came to a standstill as soon as it was launched.

The mysterious body called the Prime Ministry Crisis Center decided to pool the donations for quake victims into a single fund and, eight days after the quake, informed all the institutions concerned of the number of the bank account into which money must be transferred. Yet, only TL 67 trillion has been deposited in the account, even though the overall amount of quake aid is estimated to be TL 250 trillion. In other words, the Prime Ministry Crisis Center cannot even pool the donations into a single account.

Of the 184 prefabricated houses the state has built for quake victims in Duzce's Kiremitocagi district, 51 have been flooded by rain. In Adapazari the sewerage system, which was damaged by the quake, is yet to be repaired.

Sirmen's words describe the situation very well: "Ankara cannot get organized. There are uncertainties as to who is authorized to do what." Has no one been checking on what the Prime Ministry Crisis Center is doing? Is that a crisis management center or a crisis production center?

Democracy and human rights

From an Oct. 10 article

by Milliyet's Hasan Cemal:

This article deals with two conflicting views, one expressed by the Commander of the War Academies, Gen. Nahit Senogul, and the other by former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen.

Hurriyet reported in its Oct. 5 issue that Gen. Senogul, speaking at the inauguration of the National Security Academy, said: "Here, you will learn about the enemies of our country, whose hostility stems from history. Here, you will see the feelings of enmity and hate the Arab world harbors towards the Turkish nation. Here, you will see that Turkey is a country that has very many internal and external enemies. Here, you will see the dirty aims of those who try to avenge themselves on Ataturk's Republic by hiding themselves behind lofty concepts such as democracy, human rights and the supremacy of the law and by exploiting these concepts. And, as you leave here, you will wonder, with amazement, how Turkey has managed to preserve its indivisible integrity with its country and its nation."

One of my colleagues, Nese Duzel of Radikal, recently asked former Foreign Minister Turkmen the following question: "Some say that the world wants [more] human rights in Turkey in order to split Turkey up. Does the world want to split up Turkey?" Turkmen responded: "That is out of the question. First, let me say this. Human rights have never posed a threat for any country. Look at the countries where human rights have been at an advanced level. They have achieved greater political and social stability than ever. And why should the world want to split up Turkey?

"Besides, they would not be able to do it. Some said that there are those who wanted to set up a Kurdish state. We have seen that there is no such thing. Not only no one wants it, but the entire West knows that a Kurdish state cannot be set up, neither in Iran nor in Iraq nor in Turkey.

"Splitting up our country would not suit their interests anyway. If Turkey was split up, that would cause instability in the region. And no one would want that. And Turkey cannot be split up."

Duzel asked Turkmen, "One of the ruling parties, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), believes that the only friend of a Turk is a Turk; do you think that Turkey has no friend in the world?" Turkmen's reply was as follows:

"I tend to differ. Naturally, there are certain prejudices dating from the past. Once, Christianity and Islam had a clash. This left certain traces. Also, many parts of Europe have been under Ottoman sovereignty. That left bittersweet memories. This is normal. But it would not be right to deduce from all that that everybody is hostile towards Turkey or that no one loves the Turks. In fact, the recent quake showed that the sense of solidarity among human beings is becoming stronger. In fact, this is the phenomenon we call globalization."

I tend to agree with Turkmen's views rather than those of Gen. Senogul. It is true that being a Turk is not easy. It is true that Turkey is situated in a troublesome region. It is true that Turkey is not cruising on a sea of friendship. But it is wrong to develop, because of these facts, a phobia of democracy and human rights.

Casino king flees to the Caribbean

HURRIYET said: "Sudi Ozkan, who has been operating two giant casinos in Bulgaria, and who has not been able to come to Turkey for months because of his tax debt, fears for his life. The owner of the five-star Princess hotels in Bulgaria, Ozkan has reportedly fled to the Caribbean in the belief that an attempt was going to be made to assassinate him. His daughter, who is married to an Italian, is tending to his affairs in Turkey. Ozkan reportedly has his private doctor as well as an army of some 20 bodyguards constantly accompanying him -- even his own private lifts at his hotels in Bulgaria have been made bulletproof. Ozkan, who suffers from a disease of the lungs, sold TL 1.3 trillion worth of shares and took the money abroad before opening his first casino in Bulgaria."

There is another chance

HURRIYET said: "Turkey was a single heart, a single clenched fist yesterday. With this support, our national team played against Germany. In Munich we gave them a lesson on how soccer is meant to be played. We failed to achieve a victory and the Germans were happy with a scoreless draw. We did not get our ticket to the championships at yesterday's game but our players played well and we still have a chance for Euro-2000 through the play-offs." SABAH said, "Turkey 45,000, Germany 20,000 -- We crushed the Germans not only on the field but even more so in the stands. We set the Munich Stadium ablaze with our Turkish flags. With our glorious soccer we deserved to proceed to the finals but luck simply was not with us."

BBD statement on STAR

HURRIYET said: "Birlesik Basin Dagitim Sirketi (BBD), a newspaper distribution company, has accused STAR of engaging in piracy in 'carving out of the company overnight nearly 200 employees, including the director general and his deputy, who took with them software programs and company files.' The BBD announced that it would take this issue to court."

STAR accused of theft

RADIKAL said: "Fourteen BBD executives have been accused of stealing BBD software for the STAR newspaper, having taken it with them when they suddenly abandoned the BBD and joined STAR. The BBD has asked the prosecutor's office to have these executives arrested."

The media fight

ZAMAN said: "BBD, the joint distribution company of leading dailies in which the SABAH group owns a controlling share, has refused to distribute the Oct. 10 issue of daily STAR, accusing STAR of 'poaching' its employees along with its special computer program. It is no secret that STAR has been, for some time, planning to set up its own distribution company. By sending letters to licensed BBD distributors and offering them a commission, STAR had tried to bypass the BBD by having the newspaper distributed 'for free,' making payments only to the distributors themselves -- in violation of the BBD charter."

The vulture throws in the towel

SABAH said: "Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, said, 'It is either the MHP or the contract,' and MHP's Bedri Yasar withdrew from the bidding process through which he had won a contract to build prefabricated houses for quake victims. Gumushane Deputy Yasar had resisted for some time, but on the night of Oct. 8 he was summoned to Bahceli's office and given an ultimatum. Bahceli told Yasar clearly that his stance was not ethical. Realizing that he would be expelled from the MHP, Yasar backed down. Public Works Minister Koray Aydin of the MHP told reporters, 'Yasar's taking part in the bidding process was unethical. So he has withdrawn his bid.'"

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