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HDN | 5/26/2000 12:00:00 AM |

The change in the mood From a May 25 article by Hurriyet's Enis Berberoglu: The comments made by high-level Turkish officials about Iran after the capture of the Ugur Mumcu assassination suspects sounded like an "indictment." Later, a more cautious line was taken. Either the information leaked to the press had all been fabricated and the police investigation has now reached a dead end, or Turkey does not want to cause extra problems for President Mohammad Khatami's reformists who are already

The change in the mood

From a May 25 article

by Hurriyet's Enis Berberoglu:

The comments made by high-level Turkish officials about Iran after the capture of the Ugur Mumcu assassination suspects sounded like an "indictment." Later, a more cautious line was taken.

Either the information leaked to the press had all been fabricated and the police investigation has now reached a dead end, or Turkey does not want to cause extra problems for President Mohammad Khatami's reformists who are already being pushed into a tight spot by the conservatives. Let us hope that the second alternative reflects the truth.

Political will

From a May 25 article

by Milliyet's Hasan Cemal:

The European Union General Secretariat director, Ambassador Volkan Vural, says: "We are realistic and optimistic all at the same time. This is because we know what has to be done [to comply with EU criteria] and we have self-confidence." But that is not enough. Political will is needed to do the things that must be done.

US blank check for nuclear plant

From a May 25 article

by Milliyet's Fikret Bila:

Here is the latest development involving the long-stalled nuclear power plant project. The United States has made a new offer to the Turkish Energy Ministry. U.S. company Westinghouse, which is one of the bidders, has contacted Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer, saying that it is prepared to build the plant even in the absence of a Turkish Treasury guarantee.

The European army and Turkey

From a May 25 article

by Milliyet's Guneri Civaoglu:

The "top secret" NATO document MC-111 lists 16 risky areas where clashes may be imminent. Of these, 13 are situated around Turkey. The EU is creating a 60,000-strong army corps to intervene in those areas in case of emergencies.

What place will Turkey have in that formation? Milliyet has gained access to information indicating that the document prepared by Portugal, the EU term-president, contains certain factors which would upset Turkey.

The document indicates that countries such as Turkey -- if they take part in the operations with a sizable force -- will have a say only in carrying out day-to-day operations but not in the decision-making process.

Turkey is being left out. What should Turkey, a candidate for full EU membership, do in these circumstances? Should it continue to be an ardent, insistent "lover" seeking the "hand" of the EU?

Or should Turkey remember exactly how it obtained candidate status from the EU -- by giving the EU a "Since you are giving us the cold shoulder we are suspending our relations with you," shock prior to the Helsinki summit? Columnist Sukru Elekdag, a former Turkish ambassador to Washington, believes that there are times the EU understands that kind of language better.

Budget is the core of democracy

From a May 25 article

by Radikal's Ismet Berkan:

Giving Galatasaray Sports Club state funds will be an arbitrary action, no matter what kind of "guise" is used to channel funds from the national budget for this purpose. This is an issue which involves the Turkish people's level of "awareness" as taxpayers. They have the right to control the way their money is spent.

Casino king's dollars

MILLIYET said: "Finance Ministry experts have found out that casino king Sudi Ozkan has transferred a total $680 million from Turkey to Switzerland via his daughter's numbered bank account which was opened in 1995. The 2,000-page report, the result of a lengthy and meticulous probe, indicates that the unregistered proceeds from Ozkan's 18 casinos were transferred to Switzerland by Ozkan's daughter Venus and her Italian husband Palmerino Colamarino. A predetermined part of the casinos' daily proceeds used to be entered into accounting books while the rest -- approximately 95 percent of all proceeds -- would be deposited into the bank accounts of Ozkan's three 'most trusted men.' That sum was eventually deposited into Venus' bank account and transferred to Switzerland. It has been determined that between 1995 and 1998 Ozkan paid the state TL 250 trillion less in taxes. Some of Ozkan's assets have been seized by the Bailiff's Office. His 'free' assets include a total $1 billion in cash, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean named Saint Maarten Island, eight casinos in four countries, namely, Belize, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia, and seven companies in which he is a 'covert' partner. Ozkan is currently living on Saint Maarten."

Striking claims

SABAH said: "Order from Yesil, approval from prison warden -- Ahmet Yarguder, who killed a fellow inmate in Afyon prison, businessman Ozdemir Sabanci's murderer Mustafa Duyar, has made striking claims: 'Mahmut Yildirim [A key name implicated in the so called Susurluk state gang scandal], codenamed Yesil, called Sami Tokur -- who, just like me, is a member of the Karagumruk gang and a fellow inmate in Afyon prison -- on the cellular phone and told us he would pay us TL 1 trillion if we killed Duyar and Selcuk Parsadan [the conman who allegedly swindled money out of the Prime Ministry slush fund during Tansu Ciller's prime ministry.] Yesil told me, "If you doubt my identity have a talk with Prison Governor Osman Sert." Sami went to the director who vouched [for Yesil]. Sami then said the money should be deposited into the bank account of a family member in Sinop. In two days the money was deposited. Sami called his relative on the cellular phone and told him to convert TL 50 billion of it into foreign currency and to bring it to the prison. The relative brought the money two days later and delivered it to Sert. And the director brought it to Sami who gave me TL 10 billion of the money. I caught Duyar in the toilet and fired two bullets into his head. Then I gave the gun to Sami and he fired two more bullets. Then we headed for the adjacent dormitory where Parsadan was staying. We took shots and hit him but he survived'."

Yesil alive

SABAH said: "Selvi told the authorities: 'Yes, Yesil is alive. The last time I met with him face to face was two years ago and I talked with him on the phone two months ago.' Selvi, who claims to have worked for the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terrorism Unit (JITEM), said that Yesil's family was getting monthly payments and gave the name of the major who allegedly delivered the money personally to the family."

Operation continues

YENI SAFAK said: "In the course of the Anti-Terrorism Department of the Ankara Police Force's Operation Hope, a fresh raid was staged on a house in Ankara's Sincan district on Tuesday night. In the house police apprehended Adil Aydin, the person who had been guarding the murder weapons belonging to Ferhan Ozmen [the detainee who has reportedly confessed to having assassinated 17 Kemalist intellectuals over the past decade]. Aydin told the authorities: 'When I heard about the operation on TV, I called Ozmen. He put the guns and explosives in into a van, took them to [another suspect] Necdet Yuksel, and made him dump them in a field.'"

An eye for an eye

HURRIYET said: "It turns out that the recently apprehended Haci Inan, a key figure in the Hizbullah organization, had sent a message to organization members saying: 'The time for revenge has come. This is the time to get an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If you see policemen or soldiers following you, kill them. Do not avoid a clash.' The 10 people apprehended along with Inan include the Islamist terrorist organization's torturers. Abdullah Sadir, one of the torturers who had reportedly tortured a number of victims to death, talked to himself and did impressions of various animals during his interrogation."

Sezer continues on Demirel's path

MILLIYET said, "President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has sent letters to the leaders of the Turkic republics, expressing the hope that 'our relations will continue with the same warmth'."

Businessmen to visit Iran

MILLIYET said, "Despite the argument that Iranians have been involved in the string of political murders in Turkey, the Foreign Ministry has come out in favor of a plan for a group of some 100 Turkish businessmen to pay a visit to Iran as of next Saturday."

The state as cheerleader

RADIKAL said, "As controversy rages as to whether the state should subsidize the Galatasaray Sports Club, the winner of this year's UEFA Cup, Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan has already drafted a 'retroactive' amendment to the Law on the Organization of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to enable the club to receive TL 22 trillion assistance from the Turkey Promotion Fund."

Private clinic for the felon

ORTADOGU said: "A TL 4.5 billion dental clinic is being set up on Imrali prison island just to treat the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) chieftain Abdullah Ocalan, the killer of 30,000 people. Let us not be surprised if he wants a swimming pool as well."

Inmate fathers a child

HURRIYET said: "He has become a father thanks to Sevket Kazan, the justice minister of the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) -- Faruk Ceylan, one of the suspects in the Sivas Madimak Hotel arson case who faces the death penalty, was permitted to meet his wife Gulten Ceylan without a barrier between them at the Sivas maximum security prison in December 1998. Then Gulten Ceylan gave birth to a baby boy. The scandal erupted when Faruk Ceylan, who has been in jail for seven years, registered a baby named Mucahit in his name. An inquiry was conducted and Faruk Ceylan admitted that he and his wife had had intercourse during visiting hour. One prison warden has been arrested. [A total of 37 artists and intellectuals died in a hotel fire in Sivas at the end of day-long demonstrations by a fundamentalist mob protesting against the cultural festival being held in the city]. Kazan had enabled the Madimak case suspects to be transferred from Ankara to Sivas, their home town."

Onal backs down

ZAMAN said, "In the face of public reaction, the minister of state responsible for the economy, Recep Onal, has backed down from his earlier statement on May 24 that they would pay back wage-earners the money accumulated in the mandatory savings pool."

Jogger raped

HURRIYET devoted nearly half of its front page to the story of O.A., a 31-year-old airline stewardess "who was raped by a man named Fuat Balkan while jogging in a wooded area in Istanbul's Florya district." The newspaper said, "O.A. was saved from being strangled by him by a police superintendent named Sami Tanriverdi who heard her screams. She has been hospitalized with her face covered in blood from the beating she received from her attacker."

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