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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-07-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 133/98 -- 25-26-27/7/98
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 DEMIREL STRESSES SUPPORT FOR "TRNC" PRIOR TO VISITAccording to Anatolia Agency (5:25 hours, 25.7.98, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel made a statement at Esenboga Airport before his departure to the pseudostate. Demirel said that his visit ``will also be the first visit from Turkey to the TRNC at the presidential level''.
Demirel added: ``Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, State Minister Sukru Gurel, National Education Minister Hikmet Ulugbay, Cumhur Ersumer, minister of energy and natural resources minister, Tourism Minister Ibrahim Gurdal, Murat Karayalcin, chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) foreign relations committee, representativies from various professional organizations, and prominent businessmen and journalists are accompanying me on this visit''.
Stressing that his visit is taking place at a time when important developments can be observed in Cyprus, Demirel continued:
``I would like to state that Turkey is taking the necessary measures in the face of the recent developments aimed at directly threatening the security of the TRNC. The erroneous messages the EU has conveyed to the Greek Cypriot side has destroyed the solution framework and the parameters established during the UN negotiation process''.
Pointing out that Turkey attaches great importance to strengthening the ``TRNC'' economy, Demirel added: ``The legal activities aimed at establishing a joint economic field between our countries have been concluded. Our businessmen have increased their investments in Cyprus in recent years.'' He noted that he expects the businessmen accompanying him in this visit to make the most of the visit.
Demirel concluded: ``I am convinced that the two Turkish states in the Mediterranean will enter the 21st century having further consolidated their solidarity and cooperation.''
 DENKTASH, DEMIREL ADDRESS ARRIVAL CEREMONYAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (6:20 hours, 25.7.98) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash made speeches at occupied Tymbou airport after Demirel´s arrival.
Denktash said: ``Esteemed Suleyman Demirel, distinguished president of our motherland, to which we are strongly attached, welcome to the babyland. For years, we have been waiting for you just as thirsty people wait for water. At a time when we were left without any water, you arrived with water and good news. Your good news that all the bureaucratic obstacles between the two republics will be lifted and that the same conditions that are granted to farmers, artisans, shopkeepers, industrialists, and everyone else living in Turkey will also be granted to our people living in the TRNC has been received with pride and joy. I thank you. This is a great achievement. You have boosted our confidence. You have said that those who target the TRNC will be targeting Turkey. May God reward you.'' On his part, Demirel said: ``Esteemed Mr. President, press officials, and my beloved kinsmen, I am overjoyed over this official visit to the TRNC as the guest of my brother Mr. Denktash. The large delegation composed of representatives from the Turkish Grand National Assembly, our business world, and our press is an indication of the importance we attach to this visit. During my visit, we will assess the current stage of the Cyprus problem with Mr. Denktash and with TRNC state and government officials. We will exchange views with the aim of expanding and developing our economic relations. Our goal is to strengthen the TRNC and to ensure that our Turkish Cypriot kinsmen view the future in security. Our views on the Cyprus issue were actually expressed in the 23 April 1998 declaration. The path to a lasting solution in Cyprus goes through the island´s realities. It is impossible to achieve a solution by ignoring the existence of the TRNC. We appreciate the will and determination shown by the Turkish Cypriot people to safeguard its rights stipulated in international agreements. I have no doubt that the Turkish Cypriots will make the world accept their sovereignty rights. The Turkish Cypriots have always felt and will continue to feel the steadfast support of Turkey.
On this occasion I would like to state that as the guarantor country, Turkey will take every necessary measure against every threat directed against the security of the TRNC. On this occasion I will repeat what my dear friend Mr. Denktash said a while ago. Any act against Cyprus will be considered an act directed against Turkey. This is not all. There is more. They will also be taught a lesson. A bright and prosperous future is awaiting the Turkish Cypriot people. I came here to convey this message. We shall prepare this future together. During my visit we shall inaugurate together with Mr. Denktash the water link established between Turkey and the TRNC. Anatolia will flow into Cyprus instead of flowing into the sea. We are all proud and enthusiastic about this project. On our way here in the plane, I pointed out to my friends that Cyprus is very similar to the Harran Valley. Central Cyprus is so much like Harran. What is it waiting for? It is waiting for vegetation. It is waiting for abundance. It is waiting to better serve its people. I came here to give you this good news. Turkey is as concerned with the security of the Turkish Cypriots as it is with their prosperity and happiness. We shall be successful on the issue. I came here to convey this message to you. I salute you all with love and respect.''
 DENKTASH WATER INAUGURATION ADDRESSAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (8:15 hours, 25.7.98) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash at a ceremony in occupied Morphou to inaugurate the transportation of water by balloons from Turkey to the occupied area, said inter alia:
``My esteemed brother, honourable President Demirel: You did not bring only water to us today; you brought to the Turkish Cypriots, who have been yearning for Turkey for years, new life, new blood, new hope, and very beautiful feelings for the future. Like people stranded without water in the desert, for years we have been waiting for this day, for you. Finally, you arrived. You had said that you would come for a great event. There could not have been a more beautiful, more meaningful, and more peaceful event than this one. You chose this, and you came together with water. I will repeat the phrase: You are as precious as water.
A while ago, Mr. Sina Gurel, said: The water we drink will not be different anymore, meaning our ways will never part again. My dear brothers, think of what this means. Live with the pride and joy and with the security this phrase provides. This phrase has a deep meaning in Turkish. It means: We are one, we are together, we have nothing different, we are blood brothers, we are life brothers, all we have is shared together. Our honourable president uttered a different version of this, both yesterday and today. He said: The TRNC will continue to live. It is Turkey´s commitment and duty to perpetuate this. Anyone who targets the TRNC will have targeted Turkey. Everyone should be aware of this.'' Denktash further said: "We are lucky to have experienced the peace operation of 1974. We are lucky that at the end of the peace operation, we were able to uphold our flag, and we did not allow it to fall. We established the republic. We - those who are my age and who lived through those days - took pride in those events. Today, however, we are able to declare that we have brought the Turkish state to Cyprus. We have brought the Turkish state, with its glory and honour, and President Demirel, a great statesman who sincerely defends democracy, to the TRNC. Our hearts have joined together once again, and once again we have sent a message to the world. This is a message of peace.
I am now calling on the other side: Do not burn up because of a lack of water. Be a good neighbour, and let us share this beautiful and clean water from Anatolia. Let us genuinely call this the water of peace. Let us call it the President Suleyman Demirel water.''
 DEMIREL ADDRESSES WATER CEREMONY, CALLS FOR UNITYAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (8:25 hours, 25.7.98) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel in his speech at a ceremony in occupied Morphou to inaugurate the transportation on water from Turkey, inter alia, said: ``As the president of the Turkish Republic and as a person who has dedicated 50 years of his life to serve that republic and who has shouldered many political responsibilities during the very chaotic 35 years of those 50 years, I can say that the Cyprus problem has, from the very beginning, been the most important issue of the state, the governments, the parliament, and the people of the Turkish Republic. Many times, I was forced to note that Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot presence and republic in Cyprus are as precious for Turkey as the Provinces of Edirne, Kars, Mugla , and Hakkari. This is my first official visit as the president of the Turkish Republic to this brotherly country to visit my brothers here. Why am I coming now? Let me tell you the reason. World conditions necessitate the visit of the president of the Turkish Republic to the TRNC, which is recognized by Turkey alone. I came here to state that from now on, Turkey will act in unison with Cyprus in every struggle to be waged regarding the Cyprus cause, that they will be inseparable, that they are together in every sense of the word, and that a needle pricked into Cyprus will be felt tenfold in Turkey.'' Demirel added: ``Today we came here to tell you the following: Cyprus, the TRNC, and our kinsmen in Cyprus will live in security. This is the meaning of Freedom Day. The Turkish Cypriots will live not only in security but in prosperity, abundance, and happiness as well. This is the meaning of today´s visit.
The world should know very well that Turkey´s relations with the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriots living in north Cyprus are extremely meaningful, profound, and immune to all influence. Finally, I would like to state that we came here to bring prosperity and happiness and to reiterate that you should feel secure. We also brought an example. A delegation composed of the most powerful businessmen in Turkey accompanied me on this visit today. All the measures we have discussed with the government officials, the president, and the prime minister in order to create new employment opportunities in Cyprus and to put an end to unemployment and poverty will be implemented. This water ceremony has given us the opportunity to make these points. These water festivities are a part of all those measures. This water project, which aims to transport some 7 million cubic meters for the time being, involves only one of the streams of Anatolia flowing into the Mediterranean. The water to be transported here will be obtained from the Soguk Su stream. Some 20 billion cubic meters of water flow from Turkey into the Mediterranean annually. The waters of only one of the streams is sufficient to irrigate Cyprus - not only the north, but all of Cyprus - many times over.
We have come here to tell you that this is only the beginning. As our Energy Minister Ersumer pointed out, this project will be followed by the transport of water through a pipeline. The government has already adopted a decision on the issue. We will again meet one day and inaugurate and celebrate that project as well. As I have said, every project we planned will be implemented. What is our goal? As I said in my speech at the airport, when we look down from the plane we can observe that the valleys of Cyprus are very similar to those in Central Anatolia and the Harran region. The Green Island will in reality become a green island. It will be deep green. You will all live to see those days. We can see the results of irrigation here in Morphou. It is full of citrus groves, one more beautiful than the other. These groves end where the water ends. There is no more water, however. Irrigation water is being replaced by salt water. Soon, all these groves will dry up. Therefore, the rivers of Anatolia flowing into the Mediterranean have come to your rescue. Yes, they have come to your rescue. They have come to rescue this beautiful land. They have come to rescue this beautiful people. First water will be provided for the people, then water will be provided for the land. This is what we are working on''.
And he concluded: ``My dear kinsmen and brothers, you will exist on this land to eternity. You will live in complete harmony and unison with the Turkish Republic and your brothers in Anatolia. You will have everything. You will have everything the civilized world has. Have no concerns or fears. You can look into the future with confidence. All we want from you is unity and solidarity. You have written an epic with your own blood. As part of this great nation, you have shown your heroism. It was natural for your brothers in Anatolia and the Turkish Armed Forces to come to the rescue of the heroic Turkish Cypriot people, and they have come. This epic has been completed. Now, we would like you to rally around this epic. Unite around this epic which you have written. You have added a golden page to the history of our nation. We are proud of you.''
 GUREL ADDRESSES WATER CEREMONYAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 25.7.98), addressing the inauguration ceremony for the transportation of water by balloons from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel began his statement by saying: ``From now on, turkey and the TRNC will not have separate waters and their ways will never part. This will be followed by big steps, and the TRNC will receive more than the amount of water it needs.'' Gurel added: ``Today, we are showing the world that we view a subject that is being approached with tension by other in a peaceful manner and with an international approach.''
 DENKTASH WANTS TO ISSUE SEPARATE "MONEY"In an exclusive interview to KIBRIS (27.7.98) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has claimed that the Turkish side´s new policy on Cyprus has started to be accepted and declared that steps will be taken to strengthen the separate identity of the pseudostate. He said that on the one hand a policy of deepening of relations and removing obstacles should be persued with Turkey and on the other hand steps should be taken suitable to the separate ``state'' structure of the pseudostate. Within this framework, Denktash proposed the issuing of separate ``money'' for the pseudostate. As an example he gave Britain and Scotland. He said that Scotland has its own money and he proposed that on Turkish banknotes a stamp should be put saying that it is pseudostate ``money''.
Denktash further expressed satisfaction that on certain policy issues the opposition now draws nearer to his policies.
 DEMIREL: "FROM NOW ON, WE WILL COME AND GO AS WE PLEASE"According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 25/7/98), Turkish President Suleyman Demirel attended a luncheon hosted in his honor by Rauf Denktash. In his luncheon toast, Demirel reiterated that those who target the pseudostate are actually targeting Turkey. He said: "Everyone should take this seriously. Those who make the wrong calculations will regret it." Demirel declared: "Those who harm Cyprus are actually harming Turkey. Everyone should take this seriously. Turkey is a great country. It is a world country, and it is strong. Those who make the wrong calculations will regret it. Those who have made the wrong calculations have always regretted it. I am not threatening anyone. We are peaceful people. If there is peace now, it was not secured by the United Nations; it was secured by Turkey and by the Turkish Armed Forces."
Demirel remarked that this is very important and claimed that peace on both sides depends on Turkey's presence. Pointing out that the second step consists of encouraging the development of Cyprus together, Demirel asked Turkish Cypriot businessmen to exert efforts in this regard and added that Turkish entrepreneurs will also contribute. He said: "Because the world has isolated Cyprus, Turkey will open all its doors, all its windows, all its means to it. There is no other way. Cyprus' economic underdevelopment must definitely be stopped."
Suleyman Demirel stated: "I am not the person who came here. The Turkish state, the Turkish army, Turkish ministers, and Turkish prime ministers have come here. This business of coming has been settled. We have left behind the question of whether coming here would hurt a political solution of the problem. This means that from now on, we will come and go as we please." Recalling that powerful businessmen accompanied him to the pseudostate, Demirel said: "I will wait a while, and then I will tell them to do various things."
Denktash, also addressing the luncheon, expressed pleasure over Demirel's visit. Pointing out that "the victory" won in Cyprus must be completed with economic victory, Denktash said that the pseudostate's problem is new employment opportunities for the youth. Denktash said that investment must be undertaken adding that all efforts are being exerted to encourage investements.
Addressing Turkish businessmen, Denktash said: "Please display an interest in investments. Spend your vacations here. Give hope to empty hotels". Denktash said that the youth must be encouraged to stay in the island, adding that this is a demographic issue.
 DEMIREL ADDRESSES PSEUDO-ASSEMBLYIllegal Bayrak Radio (0935 hours, 25/7/98) broadcast live the speech by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel at the special session of the pseudo- assembly.
Inter alia, Demirel said: "The full membership negotiations launched with the Greek Cypriots do not create any commitment for the TRNC. Moreover, these negotiations will not be allowed to affect Turkey's rights and responsibilities deriving from the 1959 and 1960 agreements or the Turkish- Greek balance brought about by these agreements, because the negotiations launched by the EU, in which Greece is a full member and Turkey is not a member, with south Cyprus are a flagrant violation of these agreements."
Claiming that the time has come for the international community to make an accurate observation and for the Cyprus Government "to accept the existence of an administration and a state that is as sovereign as itself" and to get ready for cooperation and negotiations, Demirel said: "The Turkish Cypriots should rest assured that Cyprus will not become a second Crete." He then promised that the economic problems created by the embargo will be resolved in unison. "We will work in unity and solidarity for a more prosperous future. We will build the future on (word indistinct) and creative approaches. The private sector will play an effective role in this process. We are, therefore continuing to build the necessary infrastructure. We aim at bringing you not only security but prosperity as well.
As I said a while ago at the ceremony marking the inauguration of the water installations, the new link established between Anatolia and Cyprus is a concrete step in that direction. The project aimed at transporting water for irrigation through a pipeline will be implemented within a few years. The transportation of water will pave the way for a new era. It will provide a new vitality not only in production, agriculture, and livestock breeding but in tourism and the whole economy in general".
And Demirel continued: "Turkey continues to extend to Cyprus a loan of $250 million within the framework of the 3 January 1997 protocol. The loans provided by the Ziraat and Halk Banks under conditions equivalent to those in Turkey will be increased. The Exim Bank loans have already been increased. The Partnership Council meeting held in Nicosia a short while ago outlined the new perspective of our cooperation and made important decisions on developing and diversifying our bilateral economic relations. The most important among these decisions is the establishment of a special incentive system that will support investments in the TRNC. In this way, new horizons to enable Turkish entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of the TRNC will be opened and an investment system will be established. Infrastructure projects in fields such as ports, highways, transportation, tourism, industry, and higher education will be continued.
At this stage, increasing production and investments are equally important. State support, trade and economic cooperation agreements, and a joint economic field will be activated as soon as possible to encourage investments. We shall purchase every type of goods manufactured and every agricultural product produced in Cyprus. The problems encountered by Turkish Cypriot producers, farmers, exporters, and industrialists are at the same time our problems. The difficulties being experienced in trade will be surmounted with this understanding in mind."
And he concluded: "Addressing you here today, I, as the president and highest officer of the Turkish state, would like to convey the message that I approve of and endorse those pledges. I am here today as the messenger of all my people who hold Cyprus dear to their hearts.
Your Turkish brothers do not forget Cyprus. Our hearts will always be with you. Together we shall advance toward a bright and prosperous future with determined steps. The Turkish Cypriots have written the Cyprus epic in their own blood with pride and enthusiasm and with great sacrifices. This is not an epic we can afford to waste. It shall be protected. The unity and solidarity exhibited by all the Turkish Cypriots in writing this epic will be safeguarded to eternity. I greet you all with love and respect."
 DEMIREL: "THE TRNC IS NOT DIFFERENT FROM ADANA"According to Anatolia Agency (1623 hours, 25/7/98) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has said that the most important problem of the pseudostate is security, adding: "Turkey's security umbrella continues to be there very nicely."
He was speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him to Ankara after he completed his illegal visit to the "TRNC". When a reporter pointed out that his visit caused great excitement and emotion, Demirel said: "Ultimately, this is a great issue; the TRNC is not different from Adana, for example. It is not a foreign country."
To a remark that "the excitement the water issue caused could be seen in the people's eyes," Demirel replied: "Besides the water issue, the most important issue here is security. Turkey's security umbrella continues to be there very nicely. Now Turkey is coming to the TRNC to bring economic development. The conditions are there now for economic development." A reporter asked: "Very positive messages are given every time Turkish leaders go to Cyprus and they always leave in a very good atmosphere. Does the same atmosphere exist in Turkey?"
Demirel replied: "Of course, why not? Anyway, the source of those messages is Turkey."
Replying to a reporter who remarked that his speech at the pseudo-assembly was very carefully-worded and important, Demirel said: "A lot of thought went into every word in that speech. It was a speech meant for the world." Another reporter asked: "We see you are very excited. We are also very excited. Great things are being done, achieved. Where are we on the course toward the great Turkey?"
Demirel replied: "We are at a very good place. However, there is still a long way to go. We are on the right course, though, and moving toward the aim." Commenting on the observation that he seems to support Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash strongly, Demirel said: "He is the hero of the Turkish presence and struggle in Cyprus. He is the hero of this epic."
 DENKTASH ASSESSES DEMIREL VISIT; OFFERS WATER TO GREEKSAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (1030 hours, 26/7/98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that a new page was opened in history the other day. He alleged that an integration with the Greek Cypriot side is out of the question because the Turkish Cypriots do not trust the Greek Cypriots one iota.
Denktash assessed the visit paid by Turkish President Demirel to the island. Denktash pointed out that Turkey has always been on the side of the Turkish Cypriots, and that lately, it found a solution to the shortage of water on the island. He said: "When that water began to flow, I could not hold back my tears - they were tears of joy and of pride. It was a symbol of the Turkish State flowing toward Cyprus, of it delivering the water to us, and of its being with us. If we cannot realize the joy and pride of this event, that means we are not human beings. We all witnessed how the people shared that joy and pride at that moment. That is what the Turkish Cypriots are all about - united with the motherland from their hearts."
Calling on Cyprus President Clerides, Denktash claimed: "We can live side by side. Give up your enmity. We are not your enemies. Turkey is not your enemy. You have lost your struggle to destroy us. We see that you are getting ready for a new struggle by taking the EU behind you. That is crazy. The 65-million strong Turkey has rights over Cyprus which you cannot deny. It has geopolitical interests. No state can deny that."
He called on Greek Cypriots to start goodneighborly relations based on the principle of "two states" and to set up cooperation projects.
Denktash affirmed that integrating with the Greek Cypriot side in one way or another is out of the question because the Turkish Cypriots do not trust the Greek Cypriots at all.
Concluding his speech, Denktash called on President Clerides once again, saying: "Come, let us be good neighbours, let us share this blessed water, let us recommend friendship to our people. Give up the embargoes. Accept that you cannot push us into the sea, that we exist, and that we are your equals. Let us negotiate as two governments."
 DENKTASH: US TRIES TO PERSUADE TURKS TO CHANGE STANDAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 24/7/98), Rauf Denktash has said that the Turkish Cypriots are at the line of the 23 April Declaration and do not intend to go below that line. Denktash met Thomas Miller, the US State Department's special Cyprus coordinator, last Friday. The meeting lasted about two hours.
In a statement after the meeting, Denktash said that there was nothing new with his meeting with Miller, that they reviewed the latest situation, and that they repeated what they had said when Miller was last on the island. Asked if the Americans are discussing the essence of the Cyprus problem with him or if they are trying to persuade him to change his attitude, Denktash replied: Both.
Thomas Miller said that at this stage it is difficult to find new ideas, and that therefore they are trying to analyze the old ideas. He affirmed that it was a good meeting but that he cannot report any progress. He stated that the same process continues. He concluded by saying that he is trying to help under difficult conditions.
 CEM STATEMENT ON S-300'sAccording to TRT Television Network (1300 hours and 1700 hours, 26/7/98), in a written statement he issued, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the powerful radars of the command system of the S-300 missiles will control a broad area, including the Incirlik base. Cem claimed: "This radar system, which also incorporates the eastern Mediterranean, places information pertaining to the military activities of Turkey and NATO in the region at the direct disposal of the Russian Federation and the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus, which are not NATO members. In addition to the threat they pose to the region, as a result of this intelligence capability, the S-300's will also be able to significantly damage NATO's southeastern defense thanks to the contributions of Greece, another NATO member. Vital intelligence concerning NATO and Turkey will be used by the Russian Federation and the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus, and be made available to their other supporters in the Middile East." Cem also declared that Turkey's eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus policies are clear and added that all the balances will be destroyed if the S-300 missiles are brought to the island. Cem said: "No one should doubt that new balances will be brought about in line with the interests of the Turkish side in Cyprus."
 TURKEY TO INITIATE RAILROAD PROJECT IN THE OCCUPIED AREAAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 24/7/98) Turkey is undertaking another investment aimed at easing the economic situation in the occupied area. At the request of the pseudostate, Turkey is launching work on a railroad construction project. According to the decision, which is also included in the "protocol" signed by Turkey and the pseudostate pertaining to the fields of maritime, air, and railroad transportation, as well as telecommunications, radio, and television, and the development of their infrastructure, feasibility and infrastructure work will be conducted in the coming months for the construction of railroads to be used initially to transport cargo to ports.
 YILMAZ, ECEVIT AND CINDORUK DECIDE ON AMNESTY, ELECTIONS IN APRIL 1999According to NTV Television (1310 hours, 25/7/98) Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz at a joint new conference with DSP leader Bulent Ecevit and DTP leader Husamettin Cindoruk following a summit meeting among the three leaders, stated inter alia:
"The first issue we discussed was that of the amnesty originally introduced by the Democratic Left Party (DSP). As you know, the 75th anniversary of our republic will be celebrated this year. As was the came on the 50th anniversary of our republic, the government partners have agreed in principle on an amnesty that will manifest the mercy of the republic on this meaningful anniversary. Taking into considertion past examples as well, however, it is necessary to consider the negative results of such a move. The government has decided to immediately start technical work to determine the scope and principles of such an amnesty. The principles we have agreed on are the following: The first one is that this amnesty proposal which we intend to submit to the Assembly as a government proposal will remain fully loyal to the restrictions stipulated in the Constitution.
In other words, it is out of the question to include within the scope of the amnesty those accused of terrorist crimes, those sentenced in line with Article 14 of the Constitution. Moreover, we have agreed on the necessity of harmonizing the legal and humanitarian aspects of this amnesty proposal with the Constitution. We have also decided to begin work on improving prison conditions. To give an example, we have decided to improve the conditions of female prisoners with children. Our government will immediately begin work on this issue."
And he further said: "The thirt issue which we discussed was that of elections. The agreement we reached on the issue is to submit to the Assembly before the summer recess a proposal to hold general elections on 25 April 1999. The government partners will submit their motion to the TGNA this week. The motion will first be submitted to the Constitutional Committee and then to the plenary session. We believe that, in line with the previous announcements made on the issue, the Assembly will take the necessary decision on the issue before it goes into recess. In this way, Turkey's political agenda will be rescued from this atmosphere of uncertainty. As we had previously announced to the public, in the coming period the timetable for holding local and general elections in the spring of 1999 will be activated. We believe that, in this manner, all the speculation and criticism about the issue so far and all the complaints based on uncertainty will come to an end. We, as the government, will concentrate on government activities until the end of the year in order to better put to use the period ahead of us. We will try to complete the issues on the government agenda - both those pertaining to the Assembly activities and those within the jurisdiction of the government. We shall exert efforts toward leading Turkey to the forthcoming elections in peace."
 TURKISH ASSEMBLY AUTHORIZES GOVERNMENT TO SEND TROOPS TO ALBANIAAccording to Anatolia Agency (1607 hours, 23/7/98) the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) has authorized the government to send troops to Albania in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution. It is now up to the Council of Ministers to determine the issues os necessity, scope, venue, and timing with regard to the troops that will be sent there.
Addressing the TGNA session on behalf of the government Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu said that Turkey cannot remain a mere spectator to the developments in Europe, especially in the Balkans. Pointing out that the sending of troops to Albania is part of Turkey's active foreign policy, Sungurlu said: "Our soldiers will contribute to the establishment of peace in the region."
The motion to authorize the government to send troops to Albania was unanimously approved at the TGNA.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/