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Parliament commission clears Ciller of corruption
|Parliament commission clears Ciller of corruption » Yilmaz vows to fight on » PM Erbakan unveils third economic package » Attack on Yilmaz fuels allegations of corrupt police-mafia ties » Nation loves traffic signs » Perincek: "I am the architect of the struggle against the Mafia-Gladio dictatorship" » Bloody balance of traffic accidents » Labor Party becomes » Unemployed crowds run for proficiency exams » Demirel approves smoking restrictions » Angry civil servants to march in Ankara|
|Turkish Daily News Electronic Edition, Domestic News Section, Nov 26 1996
Domestic News Page Contents
Parliament commission clears Ciller of corruption
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- A parliamentary inquiry commission dominated by representatives of ruling coalition on Monday cleared Foreign Minister and True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller of charges of mismanagement and corruption in the first of the controversial probes underway against her.
Commission members from the DYP and the senior coalition partner, the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) outvoted the opposition representatives eight to seven to block the way for Ciller's trial by the Supreme Court.
The inquiry had been tabled by the RP earlier in the year in connection with alleged irregularities in the issue of contracts by the state-run electricity supply concern TEDAS.
Ciller pulled out from an earlier government partnership with the main opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) after its leader, Mesut Yilmaz, seconded the motion.
Ciller then reversed her hostility toward the Islamists and set up a coalition with them, disregarding accusations that she made the surprise U-turn so as to avoid a possible trial.
Two other commissions are investigating charges against her, one about alleged corruption in the sale of state shares in the TOFAS automotive concern, and the other concerning her equally controversial private wealth.
Yilmaz vows to fight on
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- With his nose bandaged after suffering a series of punches by an unidentified attacker in the Hungarian capital, main opposition Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz vowed to continue his struggle for Turkey as "a state based on law."
Yilmaz spoke on Monday at ANAP's headquarters in Ankara, one day after the attack. He was met by hundreds of enthusiastic provincial delegates who came to attend a conference on regional administrations.
"For a clean society, for clean politics, we'll carry out our fight against deception, the mafia and its extensions within the state," Yilmaz told the joyous crowd.
Spending the half of the day resting as directed by his doctors, the ANAP leader seemed enraged by the attack. "No one has the right to obtain political power through cooperating with bandits," he said, in reference to recent allegations of state-mafia links.
"It is the last opportunity for our struggle. If we do not fight today, we won't have anything to fight for tomorrow. If illegal money, coercion and political power come together and seize the state, it will be impossible to continue our struggle through democratic means" Yilmaz said.
The attack was regarded as the latest in a string of alleged conspiracies against the main opposition leader, who has been using the controversial Nov. 3 Susurluk accident as an opportunity to lash out at the government.
Yilmaz said last week that he was being threatened by "dark forces" without disclosing the exact origin of the threat. The second bomb went off as Yilmaz announced that his Ankara home was being bugged. The claim would have caused a great political scandal if it had turned out true. The search for the listening devices was delayed until Yilmaz' return from his Germany visit on Nov. 24.
The latest attack against Yilmaz came unexpectedly as his plane landed in Budapest on the way to Turkey on Sunday. He had decided to spend the night there. Early reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the assailant told Yilmaz that he had betrayed Abdullah Catli, the suspected mafia boss killed in the Susurluk accident. Yilmaz' wife, who was present when the attacker struck, denies these claims.
The early reports were also denied by Cavit Kavak, an ANAP deputy who was accompanying Yilmaz, who said he was not sure whether the perpetrator was a Turkish national, since he had not heard Turkish spoken by him. The attacker managed to escape after a short scuffle with Yilmaz's bodyguards.
Kavak also denied claims that Osman Basak saw the incident, saying he was not at the scene.
PM Erbakan unveils third economic package
Turkish daily News
ANKARA- Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan on Monday unveiled the government's third economic package which targets another $10 billion worth of revenues, mainly through leasing the state-operated power plants and energy transmission lines.
The Islamist leader said the package also covers facilitated procedures for workers abroad to retire at home, and measures designed to tap the (unregistered) "suitcase trade."
Addressing a joint press conference with Tansu Ciller, the foreign minister and leader of the government-partner True Path Party (DYP), Erbakan indicated that the new revenue-raising package was pivoted on the leasing of a total of 35 hydroelectric and thermal power plants as well as 25 distribution networks.
He said the government expects $6.9 billion from the leasing of the power infrastructure. The state will reap an additional $3 billion indirectly through the investments the leasers would have to make for required improvements, the Welfare Party (RP) leader said.
In another innovative approach to a so-far untapped resource, Erbakan listed measures designed to ensure tax revenues for the state from the "suitcase trade," or the unregistered -- hence untaxed -- commerce on cheap consumer goods conducted in Turkey by hundreds of thousands of visitors from the former Soviet-bloc countries. Experts estimate the unregistered trade to add up to billions of dollars.
Under the system Erbakan proposed, those who sell goods to the "suitcase traders" will be considered bona fide "exporters" with attendant benefits. If they change the hard currency proceeds at the commercial banks, the "exporters" will be given certificates which will exempt them from value-added tax on their "exports." The state will recoup the lost VAT revenues with higher gains from the income tax, Erbakan explained.
The prime minister anticipated revenue totalling $1 billion from this facility.
Erbakan foresaw further revenues to the tune of another $1 billion plus state utilization of $5 billion through the opportunity to be granted to Turks working abroad to be pensioned at home -- regardless of how many years they have worked -- if they deposit $12,500 in a Turkish bank. Expecting 400,000 workers to opt for the facility, the Islamist leader said the total would add up to $5 billion. The treasury will take for itself $1 billion from the sum in return for the provided facility. Another indirect benefit would be the ability to utilize the $5 billion deposited in the banks.
Another item in the package, Erbakan said, was eased procedures for the payment of debts by individuals or corporations for the public services. The facility included halving of the interest and fines if the debtors paid up the principal. The expected revenue was $2 billion, Erbakan noted.
He listed the taxation of securities bought abroad as another potential source of revenue, expected to bring in $200 million.
Finally, $50 million more was expected through the bulk sale of toll tickets and cards for the use of expressways and bridges.
The Islamist leader said the new measures would supplement the two similar packages unveiled earlier. He said the first package for the collection of $10 billion basically through the sale of state-owned real estate had been successful with 95 percent of the target already realized. He said the results of a second package of identical size were not available since it required some legal amendments which were yet to be carried out.
Erbakan avoided questions concerning the attack against opposition leader Mesut Yilmaz in Budapest on Sunday, but said he condemned the incident.
Attack on Yilmaz fuels allegations of corrupt police-mafia ties
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The attack on main opposition leader Mesut Yilmaz in Budapest has added to the ongoing controversy over alleged ties between organized crime and state officials.
The Motherland Party (ANAP) chairman was attacked by an unidentified man in the lobby of a Budapest hotel on Sunday afternoon. The assailant, described as a heavily-built man with closely cropped hair, delivered several blows to Yilmaz's face before he was stopped by Yilmaz's bodyguards. However, the man was able to break away and speed off in an automobile.
ANAP spokesmen say the attack is linked to the sinister mafia-state-politician gangs Yilmaz has been trying to expose. Yilmaz claims he has information about shady dealings by the security forces and says a widespread investigation must be initiated.
Yilmaz has also said he is suspicious that there might be listening devices in his residence. His house is to be searched for "bugs" this week.
President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan both condemned the "abhorred" attack and wished Yilmaz speedy recovery for the injuries sustained to his nose.
ANAP Deputy Chairman Yasar Okuyan said on Monday the attack was designed to scare Yilmaz and prevent him from probing further into the alleged gangs of corrupt police, deputies and radical nationalist mafia.
The Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP), the two center-left parties in Parliament, also say the attack may be linked to the gang Yilmaz has been trying to uncover.
DSP Deputy Chairman Cevdet Selvi said on Monday his party was concerned over the recent developments concerning Yilmaz. He urged for an immediate investigation into the affair by the government.
CHP General Secretary Adnan Keskin said organized crime was especially strong in Hungary and this fact reinforced their view that the attack on Yilmaz might be mafia-related.Undersecretary Oymen denies foreknowledge of Yilmaz's attack
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen on Monday denied press reports claiming he had prior knowledge that Yilmaz would be attacked.
The press had reported that Undersecretary Oymen was in Germany on Sunday and had called the Turkish Embassy in Budapest to inquire whether there had been an attack on Yilmaz. Reports said that call came before the incident had occurred.
Oymen said he had learned of the incident a couple of hours after it had taken place from journalists in Ankara and he had immediately contacted the embassy in Budapest.
Oymen pointed out that the Foreign Ministry had not been informed of Yilmaz's visit to Budapest and therefore the Turkish embassy had not arranged for the security of Yilmaz and his entourage.
He added that the Turkish Foreign Ministry had requested an immediate investigation of the event by Hungarian officials.
Yilmaz's political advisor Erhan Goksel had circulated the allegations that Oymen was pre-informed of the attack and had demanded immediate investigation of the affair.
Nation loves traffic signs
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Traffic signs, the essential guides of drivers, are mysteriously 'disappearing' in Turkey, where traffic accidents every year leave many dead or injured and cause trillions of damage. The Highway Authority announced that traffic signs were damaged extensively in the eastern and southeastern Anatolia, leading to over TL 20 billion annually, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Cevdet Daglar, director of the 11th region of Highways, said that they provided service along a total of 2,691 km long-highway in Van, Hakkari, Mus, Bitlis, Agri and Sirnak, and discovered that 2,633 traffic signs in the region mysteriously disappeared and 4,633 were damaged last year.
"We have discovered that the stolen traffic signs are used for decoration on tractors and trucks as well as construction material in some villages and hamlets. Some of them are also used as trays in village coffeehouses or as a pan for cooking bread," noted Daglar.
Daglar added that people damaged traffic signs for the four bolts each has, or used them as shooting targets.
Unal Topcu, director of the 12th region of highways, said that last year they renewed a total of 8,100 traffic signs in Erzurum, Agri, Kars, Ardahan, Igdir and Erzincan. Noting that the planting of a traffic sign cost TL 2.5 - 10 million, Topcu said: "We all suffer from irresponsible behaviour. As soon as we know that a traffic sign has been stolen or damaged, we have to renew it at once. However, an important role also belongs to the drivers and the public in the monitoring of the problem."
Highway authorities also said that they will organize training courses in order to prevent people from damaging or stealing traffic signs.
Perincek: "I am the architect of the struggle against the Mafia-Gladio dictatorship"
By Zeki Ayik / Turkish Daily News
ISTANBUL- Dogu Perincek, better known to the public as the man who first raised the alarm about the state-mafia links by publicizing a secret service report before a road accident dramatically exposed them than as a left-wing politician, boasts that his minuscule Workers' Party (IP) has come to assume the role of the main opposition party.
Addressing the delegates at a Eurasian Option conference which brought together socialist and communist leaders in the region, Perincek accused "foreign forces" of preventing the Turkish left from being united.Two strategies
The TDN interviewed Perincek during the lunch break of the Eurasian Conference organized by the IP.
Perincek said that the real opposition in Turkey was being carried out by the IP through its revelations of National Intelligence Service (MIT) reports and continued: "It was our struggle that toppled the former Minister of the Interior, Mehmet Agar; similarly, our struggle will topple Tansu Ciller."
Claiming that the source of all the news on Turkey by the Turkish and foreign press was himself and his party, Perincek said: "I am the architect of the struggle against the Mafia and Gladio dictatorship."
Perincek said that he and his party had established the "main contradiction" in Turkey correctly: "Two strategies emerged against the present state power; the first one of these is that which the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) are pursuing. This strategy is summed up in offering their hands to Ciller and saying `come on dear Ciller, let's form a coalition together.' They tried to destroy the Refahyol (Welfare Party-True Path Party) coalition by allying themselves with Ciller.
"However, this government can only be toppled by hitting Ciller, and this is what we are doing. This is the second strategy. This government can be toppled by hitting the Ciller-Agar couple and their gangs. Ciller and Agar are the station chiefs of America. Even ANAP realized this fact recently and began attacking Ciller. Therefore, the policies of the main opposition are determined by our party. Opposition parties began to follow the path that the Workers Party had proposed for taking Ciller to the Supreme Council," he said."Kocadag is the `French connection' of drug trafficking"
Perincek made an interesting new claim during the interview and said that the police chief Huseyin Kocadag, one of the victims of the Susurluk road accident, was the "French connection" of the drug trafficking into Turkey from Syria. According to Perincek, the distribution of drugs which enter Turkey from Syria is organized by the MIT and CIA through "undertaking companies.""IP paralyzed the MIT"
Perincek was one of the only person who talked about secret organizations within the state before the road accident at Susurluk. While the road accident vindicated Perincek's claims, it has become a subject of interest as to where from and how such information had reached to him.
When we asked this, Perincek replied that he had begun his struggle 25 years ago.
"We discovered the Gladio and the Counter-guerilla operations in the 1970s," he said. "There are hundreds of files of information in our hands. No other party can tackle these problems. The flow of information is from the underworld to the daylight. We are the light. This is why this information finds us. Other left wing parties have relations with the mafia or they have been in coalition with Ciller. Would the information about Ciller go to the ANAP or CHP? This is why the information eventually finds us. None of the other parties is courageous enough to pursue this struggle. The IP has never been involved in any dirt; we are the castle of morals. The famous MOSSAD, CIA and MIT agent, Hirram Abbas, said before his death that the IP had paralyzed the MIT."
In a country where many investigative journalists are killed following their revelations, how could Perincek reveal these claims in a report to the press and yet survive without any threats to his life? This is another dimension of the question marks emerging around the IP leader.
Perincek replied with his usual scepticism claiming that the MIT made us ask this question, and said: "Leaders of revolution never die. I am neither Ugur Mumcu nor Abdi Ipekci. They were valuable journalists without protection, and they became targets because of revelations they made on Turkey. It is easy to murder a writer in his car. But I am a party leader. It is not easy to kill me. But there have been attempts on my life too."
Perincek said that he does not find it right that the MIT leaks information to the press from time to time because of its inner conflicts and that the MIT should deliver information to the President, Grand National Assembly and the Supreme Court Prosecution Office. He said that there were new files in MIT's hands on Tansu Ciller and Mehmet Agar, and called on the intelligence service to hand over these reports immediately to the relevant offices."Foreign forces are playing games"
Perincek claimed that two main currents are causing the fragmentation of the left in Turkey, one of which is the IP and the other is the rest of the left who are organized around the axis of the Kurdish question. Other left parties, according to Perincek, are neo-liberal parties with a weak character.
"These parties defend the world order at the economic, cultural and political levels. The largest representative of this current are the Freedom and Democracy Party (ODP) and the second the republicans. They say that foreigners should intervene in Turkey'sto solve the Kurdish problem. If you notice, they hold joint conferences with the advocates of Sharia in Diyarbakir and Istanbul in order to solve the Kurdish problem. It is impossible for this sector of the left to unite with workers."
Perincek called on left wing parties to unite and said that the left was being divided. He then said that foreigners were playing games with Turkey and continued: "The key question here is to ensure that Turkey performs as America's intervention force in the territories of crises. This is the mission that is trying to be loaded on Turkey."
Who is Perincek?
Dogu Perincek was born on January 17, 1942 in Gaziantep. His father, Sadik Perincek, was a prosecutor who worked as the deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court and was a parliamentary deputy of the Justice Party (AP), the predecessor of the True Path Party (DYP). Perincek studied at Ankara Ataturk Lycee and Bahcelievler Deneme Lycee and went to the Faculty of Law in Ankara. In his university years, Perincek was sent to Germany and studied German language at the Goethe Institute. Perincek graduated in 1964, and became an assistant lecturer in the Public Law department.
Perincek then prepared his doctoral dissertation for the Otto Surh Institute, Germany, and became a doctor of law.
Perincek developed an interest in socialism in the 1960s and worked on the magazine Donusum, published by the Turkish Workers Party (TIP). Perincek says he made his studies of socialism "through the synthesis of my studies of history and politics and dialectic materialism, I found the best version of scientific socialism."
In 1968, Perincek entered the Federation of Thought Clubs set up by left wing students and since then has remained in active politics.
However, with the 1980 military coup, Perincek was distanced from politics. In 1990, with the issue of the Law of Censorship and Exile, Perincek was arrested and put in Diyarbakir Prison.
In 1991, Perincek became the leader of the Socialist Party which he founded. Upon the closure of the Socialist Party in 1992, Perincek founded the Workers' Party (IP).
Perincek has married twice and has four children. There are many books in print both written or translated by him. Some of these are: "The Regime of Inner Order and Restriction of Political Parties in Turkey," "The Cyprus Question," "Grey Wolf Legends and Reality," "Kemalist Revolution," "The Sources of Anarchy and Revolutionary Politics," and "The Turkish Question, Religion and God."
In addition, Perincek has translated a number of works, including Antonio Carlo's "Socioeconomic Structure of the Soviet Union," and Jack Kuron's "Monopolistic Bureaucratic Socialism."
Bloody balance of traffic accidents
By Hakan Aslaneli / Turkish Daily News
ISTANBUL- The "Traffic Monster" does not stop. The statistics, put forward by the Traffic Department of the Security General Management organization, show the reality of traffic in Turkey at a time when the new traffic law has just been confirmed by parliament and there are only 36 days more until the law comes into force.
Traffic accidents have increased 25 percent in comparison with last year, and a total of 246 accidents have happened. The number of those killed is as much as the population of a small town -- 3,957. The number of injuries in these accidents is as much as the population of a small city -- 83,000.
Most of the injured have become handicapped and will never recover for the rest of their lives.
The new figures also say that 203,000 accidents out of 246,000 in the last nine months have happened in towns, while 43,000 accidents have happened out of town. 1,547 people in town accidents and 2,410 people in out of town accidents lost their lives. The month that the accidents happen most was August. A total of 30,103 accidents happened during that month August. The month in which most were killed in accidents was July. A total of 630 people were killed in accidents in that month alone.The reasons behind the carnage
Officials think the reason for this rise is the inadequacy of the traffic law, which is set to be replaced in the new year. They also point out the rise in the number of cars. This total was 6,503,000 in September 1995, which had increased to 6,949,850 by September 1996.
The main other reasons for the accidents are the insufficient number of signs for motorways out of town, and drunk driving in town.
On the positive side, according to the same statistics, the number of dead and injured has decreased despite the rise in the number of accidents in comparison to last year, due to the obligation on drivers to wear seat belts. This regulation has been saving lives for two years in Turkey, where the number of traffic victims has been as many as the number of terrorist victims. It is hoped that the new traffic law, which will come into force by the new year, will cause a fall in the number of traffic accidents and their victims in following years.
Labor Party becomes
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- All members and officials of the Labor Party (EP) have resigned to form Labor's Party (EMEP). The move is to circumvent the Law on Political Parties which stipulates that officials of a party which is closed down cannot form other parties for a certain period.
Chairman Levent Tuzel said EMEP had roots going as far back as the trade unions movement in the 1940s. He said they were not simply "for labor" but were "labor itself" and invited all workers to join the new party.
Among the founders of EMEP are celebrated writers and poets Can Yucel, Gulsum Akyuz, Sukru Sunay Akin, Sennur Sezer and Gungor Gencay, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Unemployed crowds run for proficiency exams
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- Labor and Social Security Minister Necati Celik held a press conference concerning the exam to be given by the Social Security Authority (SSK) for the employment of 3500 new personnel, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Since Nov. 20, tens of thousands of job applicants thronged to the SSK in the hope of getting filling an application to be allowed to sit a proficiency exam for a mere 3500 vacant positions. Crowds had been gathering since early last week and waiting in queues day and night for the jobs in what is seen as a graphic demonstration of Turkey's immense unemployment problem.
Minister Celik said there have been approximately 90,000 applications for the vacant positions and that the exam would be a fair and "transparent" one. Stressing the importance of the SSK as an institution serving 45 percent of the population, Celik said it has been isolated for the past five years. Celik pointed out that lack of personnel and medical equipment was one of the main reasons for the downfall of the SSK. "The institution actually needs 10,000 new personnel. When this demand is met and the needed medical equipment is purchased, the SSK will start saving, because what is burdening the institution are the transfers to private hospitals due to lack of services in SSK hospitals," said Celik.
He also said he was not responsible for so many people crowding the SSK for job applications, but he accused the former officials for being irresponsible.
Celik said the proficiency exam would be given on Nov. 28, at the 19 Mayis Stadium, weather conditions permitting.More people lay hopes on proficiency exams
Turkey's chronic unemployment problem once again took center stage when 7,000 people applied for 86 vacant posts in the Tekel (the state-owned liquor and tobacco monopoly) Tobacco Factory in the southeastern town of Diyarbakir.
Anatolia reported that the 7,000 hopeful applicants were given a proficiency exam in the city stadium. Those who succeed in the test will be invited to a follow-up interview.
Demirel approves smoking restrictions
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- President Suleyman Demirel approved the law for the prevention of tobacco hazards, which was accepted by Parliament on Nov. 17, the Anatolia news agency reported.
A release from the president's press office recalled that the law, which was previously accepted by Parliament on Jan 9, 1991, had been returned to Parliament on Jan. 24, 1991 due to several flaws.
The statement said that when Demirel, then prime minister, was asked to comment on the law and various bill proposals from deputies, he proposed a limitation on smoking areas and a ban on tobacco advertisements.
Noting that since the law was resubmitted to the president they had received many letters, all of which were carefully taken into consideration, the release said that President Demirel hoped his approval of the law would be a benefit to the public.
Angry civil servants to march in Ankara
Turkish Daily News
ANKARA- The Union of Turkish Civil Servants (Kamu-Sen) is holding a protest meeting in Ankara on Tuesday against low pay raises and the government's unwillingness to grant them trade union status.
Kamu-Sen Chairman Resul Akay said the coalition government had not lived up to a single promise it had given to civil servants. Akay said the government preferred to fight rather than pursue dialogue and agreement.
"We will use our rights, to the limit, in order to resist this hostile government," said Akay. According to a recent Constitutional amendment, civil servant trade unions are permitted but the government is dragging its feet to pass further required legislation.
"We will show the government a yellow card on Tuesday," warned Akay and said they will later hand the Prime Minister a petition signed by more than 395,000 civil servants.
Kamu-sen threatens to march on the coalition partners' headquarters if their demands for trade union status and higher pay raises are not met by Dec. 21.
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