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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-01-05
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
05 JAN 1998
 TURKEY-INTERNAL - PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES TO TRT-1 TV CHANNEL - YILMAZ: ''REPORT ON SUSURLUK SCANDAL TO BE COMPLETED THIS WEEK'' - ''I AM RESOLVED TO MAKE TURKISH STATE A STATE OF LAW BY EXERTING ALL MY EFFORTS''ANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz said on Sunday that the report which was being prepared by Prime Ministry Investigation Council regarding Susurluk case will be completed this week. Yılmaz stated that he gave an order to capture those people whose names were mentioned in Susurluk scandal, but who were at large.
Responding to questions of journalists and political scientists in a program on state run TRT-1 tv channel, Prime Minister Yılmaz recalled that he ordered to start an investigation to enlighten the developments that took place regarding the Susurluk scandal when he became the Prime Minister.
''I will firstly meet the coalition partner when the report is submitted to me and I am resolved to make Turkish state a state of law by exerting all of my efforts. I wish everybody to be sure of that, yet I expect the support of public and media. The parliament and justice should also fulfil their responsibilities concerning this issue,'' said Yılmaz.
Recalling that the coalition government was in power for six months, Yılmaz stressed that the government was able to implement the eight years compulsory education, which was an important reform, adding that ''yet, we have to increase this period to 11 years.''
Pointing out the implementation of the regulations is the most important target of the government in 1998, Yılmaz added that the tax reform, which aims to stop unregistered economy and taxation injustice, is one of the important reforms of all regulations. Yılmaz said that social security reform, administrative reform and the right of public servants to set up trade unions are the other reforms.
Yılmaz stressed that Turkey needs 6 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) of energy this year and mobilization of investment should start and the energy distribution system should be privatized to solve this problem of Turkey.
''We give priority to energy issue and we will start a series of energy investments. The energy field will attract foreign capital in the coming years,'' said Yılmaz.
Noting that the budget defecit of Turkey reaches four quadrillions, Yılmaz stressed that their minimum target for privatization is 10 billion dollars this year.
Responding to questions concerning full membership of Cyprus to European Union (EU), Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz stressed that the main thing is the establishment of a federal state between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot side upon the basis of equality.
''At the moment, the Southern Cyprus is claimed to represent the whole Cyprus, while TRNC cannot set up direct diplomatic relations with other countries and European Union (EU) puts embargo on TRNC.
If EU starts full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side and accepts its application, the existing inequality will further grow. In this case, Turkish Republic will not leave TRNC alone,'' said Yılmaz.
 TURKEY-PRESS REVIEW (1)These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on January 5, 1997. Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
(Derived from Newsspot of Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information)
JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF COALITION PARTNERS
Yilmaz said the three leaders had agreed that 1998 should be a year of law. He noted that they mean 1998 will be a year when human rights are promoted, reforms undertaken in the judiciary, trial periods shortened and restrictions on freedom of expression initiated. He added that including controversial article 8 of the law against terrorism, several articles of the penal code will be amended and restrictions against freedom of speech and thought will all be lifted. The prime minister said there was consensus among coalition partners to lift the death penalty ''except in times of war''. He also disclosed that the three leaders, the justice and interior ministers and the state minister in charge of human rights would meet every month and review developments in human rights.
Stressing that the government was determined to pull down the inflation rate, Yilmaz said foreign representation allocations would be slashed and representations considered unnecessary would be closed. The prime minister said the Treasury will declare its domestic borrowing plans once every three months, while the Central Bank will declare quarterly monetary policy applications and the Finance Ministry will issue quarterly inflation reports. /All papers/
ANKARA TO ROME: COOPERATE ON IMMIGRATION FLOOD
Cem said: ''The current problem is a blatant case of illegal trafficking of human beings, an extremely serious form of organized crime. Illegal immigration has always been a source of concern for Turkey. We have consistently sought multilateral cooperation against all forms of organized crime and international terrorism. We have drawn our attention to their interrelation, to the funding of terrorism by organized crime, like the organization of illegal migrations and to crime networks established in Western Europe under various guises. This is largely due to false analysis or to miscalculation prevailing in some Western European countries. Their policies meant in practice a tolerance for terror-related activities. These acts were, in principle, aimed at Turkey and were not considered as a danger to the host country''. /All papers/
TURCO-ITALIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CRISIS
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit blamed Italy for acting irresponsibly in the crisis. Italian officials announced that they may grant asylum to 20 thousand illegal immigrants. Turkey in turn warned Italy that this move will accelerate the flow of immigrants to Italy. Indeed, two more vessels carrying 800 immigrants are expected to arrive in Italy. The Rome administration has asked the EU for support.
According to US specialists, the PKK terrorist organization that suffered a heavy blow during Turkish Armed Forces sweeping-up operations in Northern Iraq, is now transferring its militants to Italy taking advantage of the flow of illegal immigrants to that country. There are speculations that the terrorist organization is planning to raise public support for its activities by staging mass demonstrations and other large-scale activities in Italy. Some observers even claim that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan may ask the Italian government for political asylum.
Turkey has initiated through investigations to unveil mafia and PKK connections with illegal transfers of refugees. The managers of three tourism agencies playing key roles in renting vessels and assisting illegal border passages are wanted by the police. Border and coastal security controls have been enhanced to cope with the growing illegal immigrant problem. /All papers/
 TURKEY-PRESS REVIEW (2)These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on January 5, 1997. Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
(Derived from Newsspot of Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information)
TURKEY-ISREAL-US MANEUVRES START TODAY
US REPORT ON TURKEY
The report, prepared by the U.S. administration and distributed to European Union (EU) leaders, evaluates reaction to the Clinton-Yilmaz meeting. It says ''Turkey has been the most stable friend of America for the last 50 years. Turkey's strategic position in Europe, Asia and the Middle East makes this friendship more valuable.'' The report, which was published in the Greek daily newspaper ''Katimerini'' added, ''From the Soviet expansion to Saddam's attacks, Turkey has played an important role in protecting Western world interests in the most unstable region of the world.''
In the report sent to the EU leaders it was stressed that Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was dissatisfied with the recent EU decision taken in Luxembourg. It added that Clinton said that America would support Turkey's efforts towards full membership in the EU. /Milliyet/
TURKEY'S 1998 TOURISM TARGET: 15 BILLION DOLLARS
Tourism Ministry officials reported that they were trying ways to attract tourists who spend more money in their holiday travel and that they had been promoting different tourism opportunities in Turkey. Following the ''Miami model'', ''holiday cities'' will be built. As a first stage, a holiday city will be established in a location which has 50 thousand bed capacity and a full infrastructural potential. /Sabah/
 TURKEY-ISRAEL-US - 'RELIANT MERMAID'' OPERATION STARTS - YAVUZ AND ZAFER FRIGATES REACH HAIFA PORTHAIFA, Jan 5 (A.A) - The preparation and transition part of Turkish-Israeli- US joint military operation ''Reliant Mermaid'' started in international waters and airspace of Eastern Mediterranean on Monday.
Yavuz and Zafer frigates carrying 600 Turkish sailors, who will participate in the joint operation, arrived in Haifa port of Israel on Monday morning.
The American destroyer called ''John Rodgers'' also reached Haifa port.
The Israeli-Turkish-American ships will exercise a rescue operation on January 7 and this part of the joint operation, which will be exercised 60 kilometers away from Haifa Airport, will be open to press.
Jordan participates in ''Reliant Mermaid'' as an observor state. Jordanian Commander of Naval Forces Real Admiral Hussein Ali Mahmoud Al-Khasawneh will watch the operation in Yavuz Frigate.
Yavuz and Zafer frigates and one helicopter from Turkey, John Rodgers destroyer and one helicopter from the US and two boats and one helicopter from Israel participate in the military operation which aims ''peaceful and humanitarian research-rescue activities.''
The military cooperation between Turkey and Israel will gain a new dimension by this operation.
 TURKEY-FRANCE - FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VEDRINE TO VISIT TURKEYANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı said on Monday that French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine will pay a two- day official visit to Turkey.
Responding to questions of journalists during a weekly press briefing, Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı stated that French Foreign Minister Vedrine will start his contacts in Turkey on Thursday.
Noting that bilateral relations will be taken up during this visit, Atacanlı pointed out that ''if French Minister has something to say about European Union (EU), we will listen to him and explain our views. However our statements will be in line with the statement issued by the government on November 14 after Luxembourg Summit.''
Stressing that the approach of Turkey did not change, Atacanlı added that the first step should be taken by EU, reiterating that Luxembourg Summit did not meet the expectations of Turkey.
 TURQUIE-ISRAEL-USA: - DEBUT DES MANOEUVRESHAIFA (ISRAEL), LE 5 JANVIER 1998 (A.A) - Les navires de guerre turcs, americains et israeliens ont entame lundi les exercices baptises ''Reliant Mermaid'', (''sirene confiante''), a-t-on rapporte de source officielle.
Les trois marines vont notamment s'entrainer ensemble a sauver des bateaux de peche en detresse, selon des responsables militaires des 3 pays.
La Jordanie a depeche un observateur sur les lieux de l'exercice.
Reliant Mermaid, qui doit se derouler au moins en partie dans les eaux territoriales israeliennes, fait suite a l'accord de cooperation militaire signe en fevrier 1996 par la Turquie et l'Etat Hebreu.
Face aux protestations du monde arabe et de l'Iran, la Turquie et Israel, renforces par la presence americaine, precisent que leurs manoeuvres ne menacent personne et qu'elles ont pour seul objectif de s'entrainer au sauvetage en mer.
Les manoeuvres comprennent une phase de preparation, lundi, (qui vient donc de commencer) et mardi, les exercices eux-memes, mercredi, et une phase d'evaluation, jeudi et vendredi.
''En se familiarisant avec leurs capacites respectives et en travaillant ensemble, les elements des trois forces navales qui operent regulierement en Mediterranee seront a meme de repondre plus efficacement aux urgences humanitaires'', selon les sources militaires israeliennes.
 TURKEY-OPERATION - ROUTINE MILITARY OPERATION STARTS IN AEGEANANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı said on Monday that a routine military operation started on January 2 in the Aegean.
Noting that the operation will last for a few weeks throughout January, Atacanlı did not give further details regarding the operation.
Sermet Atacanlı pointed out that Turkey and Greece have the right to stage manoeuvres in the international airspace of the Aegean by taking necassary measures, adding that ''we hope that a dangerous development does not occur.''
Responding to a question concerning the joint operation between US-Turkey- Israel, Atacanlı stressed that the aim of Turkey is to improve its cooperation with the regional countries.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı added that the operation does not have any militarily strategical dimension and the manoeuvre aims search and rescue operations.
Atacanlı said that the participation of other regional countries in the manoeuvre will strenghten this cooperation.
 TURKEY-EU - EU'S REPRESENTATIVE TO TURKEY LAKE TO LEAVE TURKEYANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - European Union's (EU) Representative to Turkey Michael Lake will leave Turkey, it is reported on Monday.
Michael Lake's term in office as the representative of EU in Ankara, will expire in February.
Michael Lake, who has been EU's representative to Ankara for seven years, will probably be appointed as EU's Representative to Hungary. It has not been determined yet who will be appointed as the new EU Representative to Turkey.
The period of Michael Lake's post in Turkey has been extended for three more years due to ''his knowledge about Turkey and Turkish-EU relations especially after the signature of customs union deal with EU, which was regarded as critical.''
EU sources point out that leaving of Lake from Ankara is not related with the decision of Turkey to freeze its political relations with the EU.
 TURKEY-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - FM: ''THE PROBLEM CAN NOT BE SOLVED BY THE MEASURES TAKEN ONLY BY TURKEY'' - ''PKK HAS A ROLE IN ORGANIZING ILLEGAL MIGRATION''ANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı said on Monday that measures will be taken to solve the problem which was caused by the migration of illegal immigrants including many Northern Iraqi Kurdish people to Italy. ''It is not realistic to expect that the problem can be solved by the measures that will be taken only by Turkey,'' Atacanlı said.
Addressing a weekly press briefing to foreign journalists, Atacanlı stated that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem explained the views of Turkey regarding human smuggling in his letter to Italian Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.
Atacanlı stressed that this issue is one of illegal human smuggling, adding that ''in parts of Europe there is a tendency to see it from a different angle. It has got nothing to do with human rights and other issues.''
''These people are leaving Turkey in search of a better life for themselves and their families and they are decevied by illegal organizations. They are not fleeing persecution and many of these people are not coming from Turkey. There are also immigrants from Northern Iraq, Pakistan and Bangladesh,'' said Atacanlı.
Noting that the solution of the problem depends on close cooperation between the concerned countries, Deputy Spokesman Atacanlı pointed out that there is a close cooperation between Turkey and Italy regarding this issue and these people should not be encouraged to apply to illegal means.
Stressing that Turkey is ready to accept Turkish citizens among the illegal immigrants, Sermet Atacanlı added that ''Turkey is their own state, they can return any time and this has to be done as soon as possible.''
Atacanlı stressed that several news claims that the Italian officials will give the status of ''political refugee'' to these illegal immigrants, Atacanlı added that such kind of expressions change the dimension of the issue and means encouraging those people to migrate from Turkey and other regions to European countries through illegal ways.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı added that the separatist terrorist organization PKK has a role in organizing the illegal immigration.
 TURKEY-MILITARY-US - DEFENSE INDUSTRY UNDERSECRETARY BURCAK: ''AMERICAN FIRMS ENTERED IN HELICOPTER BID''ANKARA, Jan 5 (A.A) - Defense Industry Undersecretary Yalcın Burcak said on Monday that U.S. firms have entered bids to produce up to 145 combat helicopters in Turkey.
Burcak stated that evaluation will start regarding the offers proposed to Turkey's helicopter tender.
Addressing a speech in a meeting, Burcak pointed out Turkey exported 133 armoured military vehicles to United Arab Emirates this year and gained 75 million dollars of income.
Mentioning the helicopter tender, Burcak stated that
''Turkey decided to produce 145 helicopters in Turkish Aviation Installations (TAI) by its own possibilities and put out a tender to this end. Firms from six or seven countries have joined the bidding.''
Turkey is expected to make an initial purchase of 45 heavily armed strike helicopters and could ultimately buy 145 of the aircraft. The contract is potentially worth 3 billion dollars.
The two leading U.S. manufacturers of the helicopters are Bell Helicopter Textron, which makes the AH-1 Cobra, and Boeing-McDonnell Douglas, which makes the AH-64 Apache.
 TURKEY-ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION - POLICE DETAINS 310 NORTHERN IRAQIS ON THEIR WAY TO ITALYISTANBUL, Jan 5 (A.A) - Police detained 310 Northern Iraqi people and the owner of a tourism firm which tried to transport these people to Italy by sea-way, it is reported on Monday.
Police arrested 280 Northern Iraqis during the operations staged in Kucukpazar and Vefa districts of Istanbul on Sunday night and captured 30 others in an hotel in Caglayan district on Monday.
The owner of ''Tui Tourism'' Nurettin Cevik and several of his employees are taken under custody, who organized the illegal human smuggling to Italy by the ships named ''Seren'' and ''196'' and took 3000 US dollars per person to this end.
Meanwhile the interrogation of Ali Korkmaz, Volkan Tekin and Recep Kubak, who is the owner of ''Ararat'' ship which was used to carry Northern Iraqi people to Italy illegally, continues.
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