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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-01-08

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>

08 JAN 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] TURKEY-FRANCE - FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VEDRINE ARRIVES IN ANKARA
  • [03] ROME MEETING - SEVERE REACTION FROM TURKEY TO EU - IN CASE COOPERATION IS OFFERED TO TURKEY WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF SCHENGEN, ANKARA TO REMIND RESULTS OF LUXEMBOURG SUMMIT
  • [04] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (1)
  • [05] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (2)
  • [06] TURKEY-TRNC - TURKEY AND TRNC SIGN SOCIAL SECURITY ADDITIONAL AGREEMENT AND COOPERATION PROTOCOL
  • [07] TURKEY-GREECE - REACTIONS TO THE ATTACK IN KOMOTINI - FOREIGN MINISTRY CALLS ON GREECE TO PREVENT ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH MINORTY IN WESTERN THRACE
  • [08] TURKEY-GREECE - TURKEY CONDEMNS GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER THEODOROS PANGALOS
  • [09] TURKEY-US-TERRORISM - US ADMINISTRATION: ''WE BELIEVE THAT BOTH TURKISH GOVERNMENT AND THOSE WHO CRITICIZE IT SHOULD SEE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN TERRORIST PKK AND KURDS IN TURKEY'' - ''US SUPPORTS TURKEY'S RIGHT TO PROTECT ITS TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AGAINST ANY KIND OF TERRORISM INCLUDING PKK''
  • [10] TURKEY-EU - EP PARLIAMENTARIAN HABSBURG WARNS EUROPE: - ''EUROPE CAN NOT PURSUE A POLICY WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE TURKEY IN IT''
  • [11] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RECONVENES TO DISCUSSS CLOSURE CASE OF WELFARE PARTY
  • [12] TURKEY-EU - STATE MINISTER GUREL: ''EU SHOULD CORRECT THE SUMMIT DECISION TAKEN IN LUXEMBOURG'' - ''EU SHOULD FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS IF IT WISHES TO IMPROVE ITS RELATIONS WITH TURKEY''
  • [13] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CONSTITUTION-JUSTICE JOINT COMMISSION DECIDES TO LIFT PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITIES OF FOUR PARLIAMENTARIANS
  • [14] TURKEY-ILLEGAL MIGRATION - ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO BE EXPELLED
  • [15] TURKEY-GREECE - TURKEY DENIES GREEK CLAIMS CONCERNING AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS
  • [16] TURKEY-FRANCE - FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VEDRINE: ''ALL COMMON ISSUES WERE DISCUSSED'' - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: ''COMMON OPINION GROUP WILL BE SET UP TO IMPROVE BILATERAL RELATIONS'' - VEDRINE LEAVES TURKEY

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on Jan 8, 1997. Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. You will find better detailed summaries of major news reports in a few hours.

    HÜRRİYET (LIBERAL)

    20 BILLION TO CLEANING OF CHANDELIER
    Another scandal in Parliament General Assembly Hall construction. 16 chandeliers, symbolizing 16 Turkish republics were cleaned for 96,000 dollars (20 billion Turkish Lira.)

    MİLLİYET (LIBERAL)

    US: REFORM IS A CONDITION
    US Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman voiced US view to political and economic developments in Turkey. He said ''we have discussed human rights and democracy issues with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. We have been affected from what he has told us. We have promoted him to implement this. There is necessity in Turkey for economic reforms. Turkish people know very well what they have to do.

    SABAH (LIBERAL) WOULD IT WORTH FOR THIS MR. KALEMLI?
    You were the number two man of Turkey. You have destroyed the prestige of the Parliament and yourself. Would it worth for a house?

    CUMHURİYET (LEFT) JOURNALIST IS A TERRORIST ACCORDING TO POLICE
    An inquiry made to the Police Academy students revealed that police regarded journalist as a terrorist and that they felt happy over the beatening of press officials in incidents.

    TÜRKİYE (RIGHT) NEW PERIOD IN ENERGY
    Functioning right of seven regions out of 25 were handled over to private sector for 30 years. Functioning of Bursa and Yalova has been given to Ihlas Holding.

    RADİKAL (LEFT) ANKARA CHIEF PROSECUTOR OBSERVES CORRUPTION IN PARLIAMENT
    Chief Prosecutor Ilhan Mesutoglu began to investigate the corruption allegation related with former Parliament Speaker Mustafa Kalemli, taking into consideration news reports and tip off.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    ''RELIANT MERMAID'' MANEUVER ENDS
    Turkish-US-Israeli Joint Maneuver called ''Reliant Mermaid'' which took place in Eastern Mediterranean ended with the arrival of the frigates to the region and with the operation to rescue a fishing boat which is sinking according to the scenerio.

    YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) YOUTH OF WELFARE WANTS ERDOGAN
    They have accepted closure. They do not have intention to argue Necmettin Erbakan. Their target is to take the initiative with a formula that Erbakan can not reject.

    FİNANSAL FORUM (ECONOMY)

    TEDAS BID CONCLUDES
    Energy ministry disclosed the results of the bid regarding the functioning right of A Group electricity distribution region. A total of 1.6 billion dollar will be taken for functiong right transfer.

    [02] TURKEY-FRANCE - FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VEDRINE ARRIVES IN ANKARA

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine arrived in Ankara on Wednesday night on a work visit.

    French Foreign Minister Vedrine's official contacts will start on Thursday morning.

    Vedrine's visit is an attempt to form an infrastructure for Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's scheduled visit to France which will take place between Feb 19 and 20.

    French Minister is expected to proceed to Athens after concluding contacts in Ankara.

    [03] ROME MEETING - SEVERE REACTION FROM TURKEY TO EU - IN CASE COOPERATION IS OFFERED TO TURKEY WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF SCHENGEN, ANKARA TO REMIND RESULTS OF LUXEMBOURG SUMMIT

    ROME, Jan 8 (A.A) - Police Chiefs of six countries will convene in Rome on Thursday to discuss the issue of illegal immigrants coming to Rome from Northern Iraq and Turkey and the measures that can be taken regarding this issue.

    A five-people delegation headed by Turkish Police Chief Necati Bilican represent Turkey in the meetings. Police Chiefs of Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Netherlands participate in the meeting. Turkish will stress that people who come through illegal ways should not be regarded as political refugees but illegal immigrants and will mention the role of separatist terrorist organization and organized crime groups who are after these groups.

    Turkey, attributing to an agreement which it signed in 1986 regarding the prevention of organized crime and smuggling, will call for reviving of the agreement. Turkish delegation in the meeting will say that Turkey accept illegal immigrants if they are returned. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stressed this earlier.

    Turkish officials, during the meeting in Rome, will express readiness to discuss organized crime, terrorism and drug trafficking issues with European Union (EU) countries one by one but will also stress that they would not welcome mass cooperation with the EU.

    In case EU countries propose Turkey cooperation within the framework of Schengen Agreement to form an early warning system network or information network to prevent illegal immigration, Turkey will recall results of Luxembourg summit and will stress the ''decision'' which said there will not be cooperation and dialogue with the EU before the mistake which was made to Turkey is corrected.

    Diplomatic sources recalled that EU favoured cooperation with Turkey on issues which is of their own interests but isolate Turkey when they wanted. They said decisions taken to improve relations in bilateral base is expected to be recalled in Rome.

    [04] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (1)

    These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on January 8, 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)

    TOP SECURITY OFFICIALS' MEETING
    Western European countries are due to hold an emergency meeting in Rome today to discuss fears that a stream of Kurdish immigrants into Italy will derail their open-borders policy. Head of the Security Department, Necati Bilican as well as Turkey's Interpol chief are attending the meetings, to clarify Turkey's position and its security measures. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, speaking to the Italian daily, La Stampa, said thay are willing to negotiate with the Schengen countries concerning the refugee issue. "We will try and do all we can to agree on things" Yilmaz stated, noting that most of the immigrants are people fleeing from northern Iraq due to the ongoing clashes. /Hurriyet-Sabah/

    TURKEY-BRITAIN CRISIS ESCALATES
    British Ambassador to Ankara David Logan yesterday dismissed claims that the Foreign Ministry had sent to him a note as "groundless", and said that he himself had paid a visit to the Foreign Ministry to discuss various issues.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan, however, confirmed reports that Ambassador Logan had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry and given a warning with respect to British Foreign Minister Robin Cook's "unappropriate" comments about Turkey. According to Utkan, Turkish Ambassador to London Ozden Sanberk went yesterday to the British Foreign Ministry to convey Turkish disappointment over Cook's statement. In contrast with Ambassador Logan's claims that the problem stemmed from a mere misunderstanding, Utkan said that the Foreign Ministry had the tape of Cook's controversial statement made on January 4 on a BBC TV channel. /Hurriyet/

    TURKISH POLICE APPREHEND 294 MORE REFUGEES
    In operations carried out all over Turkey, the police have apprehended 294 foreign illegal entrants making preparations to seek asylum in Europe. 235 asylum-seekers were caught in Ipsala, 41 in Istanbul, 14 in Van and four in Mugla. Four Turks suspected of smuggling the Asian and Far East refugees through the borders were also arrested. /Sabah/

    IRAQI PETROL IN YUMURTALIK
    Following U.N. agreements allowing Iraq to sell a limited quantity of oil for food, oil is again pumping through from the Kirkuk region to the Botas Yumurtalik port facilities. Kerim Unal, a Botas official, said that starting from yesterday, 70 million barrels of Iraqi oil would be pumped through and that Turkey would earn 100 million dollars. /Hurriyet/

    TURKISH CONSULATE IN NAPOLI TO BE CLOSED
    The Foreign Ministry has decided to close some diplomatic missions, abroad aiming to save on expenditures. Within this framework Turkey's consulate in Napoli, Italy, will be closed in 1998. /Hurriyet/

    FM: FOREIGNERS NOT TO BE ACCEPTED IN TURKEY
    In his weekly press conference yesterday Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan said that illegal immigrants who went to Italy through Turkey would not henceforth be allowed into Turkey. Adding that Turkish citizens could return whenever they wanted, Utkan said that Italy had not sent a list to Turkey which defined the identities of the immigrants.

    Utkan noted that these people were being encouraged by the statements of some European countries on political asylum. He noted that Turkey had offered more cooperation against illegal immigration to Italy in November, but had received no answer from the Italian administration. Utkan pointed out that not only was the PKK involved in the movement of immigrants, but there was also another similar organization in Italy. He stressed that international cooperation was essential to success in the struggle against such activities. /Cumhuriyet/

    (CONTINUES)

    [05] TURKISH PRESS REVIEW (2)

    These are brief summaries of some of the leading stories in Turkey's press on January 8, 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)

    TURCO-ISRAELI-US EXERCISES CONTINUE
    The most essential phase of the joint Turco-Israeli-US naval exercise in the Mediterranean -a search and rescue drill- was successfully completed yesterday, amid continuing criticism from Arab states, Iran and Russia blasting the cooperation between the three nations. The 12-hour maneuvers, in international waters off Israel's port of Hafia, involved five vessels- the Turkish frigates Yavuz and Zafer, the US Sixth Fleet destroyer John Rodgers, the Israeli missile boats Lahav and Nitzahon, as well as helicopters and an Israeli maritime patrol aircraft. A Jordanian senior military officer participated as an observer.

    Each country conducted its own version of an identical search-and-rescue operation for the survivors of a mock sinking of a fishing vessel, supposed to have been en route from Cyprus to Israel. Israeli yachts stood in for the fighting boats, and dummies were thrown overboad as "survivors". All the three nations taking part in the exercise, named "Reliant Mermaid", have repeatedly rejected allegations that the maneuvers threatened to undermine stability in the region, emphasizing that they had purely humanitarian aims and did not target any country. No shots were fired during the maneuvers. /All papers/

    INTENSIVE DIPLOMATIC CONTACTS IN JANUARY
    Ankara will host a number of diplomatic guests in January. Following the visit of French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine to Ankara, there will also be talks held with Spanish, Japanese, American, German, Ukrainian and Bosnian high-level officials, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan said yesterday. In addition, a meeting of Turkish consulates with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will be held in Bonn on January 26. /All papers/

    EXPLOSION IN COAL MINE NEAR KUTAHYA
    An explosion in a labourers' hut in the Altintas coal mine area of Kutahya killed five people. The reason for the explosion has not yet been determined. Nuri Ozder, from the local authority in Altintas, stated that the explosion occurred around 11.00 p.m. on Tuesday night and they started to carry out an investigation on Wednesday morning. /Sabah/

    ANKARA REACTS TO GREEK EFFORTS TO EXPAND ITS AIRSPACE
    Greek efforts to increase its airspace to 10 miles over the Aegean Sea cannot be accepted, Necati Utkan, Foreign Ministry Spokesman said yesterday. "By the October 8, 1937 agreement, the Greek territorial waters were declared to be six sea miles. Athens, however, is continuing to implement an airspace of 10 miles, which is a violation of the international legislation. As is known, international law limits the national airspace to the extent of the territorial waters. Neither Turkey nor any other country recognizes that implementation of this Greek act" Utkan said.

    Meanwhile, in answer to a question, Utkan said that Greece is violating international law with its plans related to the uninhabited rocks and islets in the Aegean Sea, which are not part of Greece by international acts. "Greece cannot claim rights to these rocks and islets" Utkan said, adding that the actual steps proposed by Athens are unacceptable according to the geographic positions of the islets in the Aegean Sea which are not part of Greece. /Cumhuriyet/

    TURKEY 97 EXPORTS USD 27.1 BLN, UP 14 PCT
    Turkey's exports rose 14 percent in 1997 to USD 27.15 billion from USD 23.73 billion a year earlier, the Turkish Exporters' Association (TIM) said. TIM targets exports of USD 32 billion in 1998, the group's chairman Okan Oguz was quoted as saying in a statement.

    Turkey's leading export sector, readywear clothing, grew 14 percent in 1997 to USD 7.229 billion and represented 26.6 percent of total exports. Metal exports rose 17 percent to USD 3.385 billion, textile exports were up 10.5 percent to USD 2.851 billion and electric and electronic exports went up 16 percent to USD 2.232 billion. Hazelnut exports showed the strongest growth in 1997, jumping 51 percent to USD 928.4 million, followed by fresh fruit and vegetables, which leapt 46 percent to SUD 608.1 million. /Sabah/

    [06] TURKEY-TRNC - TURKEY AND TRNC SIGN SOCIAL SECURITY ADDITIONAL AGREEMENT AND COOPERATION PROTOCOL

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Thursday signed Social Security Additional Agreement and Cooperation Protocol between Labour Ministries.

    Labour and Social Security Minister Nami Cagan addressing the signature ceremony recalled that social security agreement between the two countries took effect in 1988.

    Cagan said Social Security Additional Agreement which was signed on Thursday brought the facility to unite the services of people who serve to public in these two countries. He also said people who worked for public in Turkey and continued this work in TRNC may unite work hours.

    Cagan said cooperation protocol which will be implemented in ministries aimed at increasing cooperation between social security organizations of the two countries to the highest level.

    [07] TURKEY-GREECE - REACTIONS TO THE ATTACK IN KOMOTINI - FOREIGN MINISTRY CALLS ON GREECE TO PREVENT ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH MINORTY IN WESTERN THRACE

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry on Thursday called on Greece to prevent attacks against Turkish minority in Western Thrace.

    Foreign Ministry statement said concerns and sensitivity of Turkey on the issue was conveyed to Greek Embassy in Ankara.

    The statement said ''we have learned with regret that several Greek youth, carrying sticks and chains attacks to Turkish minority recently on Jan 4 and 5.''

    The statement recalled that before this incident, young Greek people on motorcycles attacked six Turkish people in December in Komotini, adding that ''although such incidents take place very frequently, the responsible ones could not be caught yet. These incidents cause anger and concern in Turkish public.''

    The statement called on Greece to take necessary measures seriously to prevent the repetition of such incidents and stressed that the attackers should be caught soon.

    [08] TURKEY-GREECE - TURKEY CONDEMNS GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER THEODOROS PANGALOS

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the speech of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos broadcasted in ET-1 tv.

    Foreign Ministry statement said ''In his statement to state channel ET-1 tv, Pangalos accused Turkey in a manner which reflected his known personality. We condemn the attitude of person in question.''

    The statement said Turkey, in every period of the history, became a shelter for communities which do not have way out, adding that ''the ones who will dare to claim the contrary of this should explain how they eradicated ethnical identitities of communities living in their countries and why they feel the need to discriminate their citizens as citizens with Greek origin or not.''

    The statement went on as saying: ''Oppression policy which Greece imposed on Western Thrace Turkish community for years can be a source of shame for a country which considered itself as a civilized one. Yet, we know that Greek Foreign Minister lacked such a feeling.''

    ''We also advise Pangalos, who attributed to Hitler, to re-think how the Greek government handed over tens of thousands of Jews to Hitler's soldiers with pleasure and sent them to death camps.''

    [09] TURKEY-US-TERRORISM - US ADMINISTRATION: ''WE BELIEVE THAT BOTH TURKISH GOVERNMENT AND THOSE WHO CRITICIZE IT SHOULD SEE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN TERRORIST PKK AND KURDS IN TURKEY'' - ''US SUPPORTS TURKEY'S RIGHT TO PROTECT ITS TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AGAINST ANY KIND OF TERRORISM INCLUDING PKK''

    WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (A.A) - US administration said on Thursday that the distinction between terrorist PKK and Kurds living in Turkey should be seen.

    Speaking with three Turkish journalists regarding the illegal migration by ships to Europe via Turkey, US State Department Deputy Spokesman James Foley said that Kurdish people constitute an important part of the population in Turkey, particularly in Southeastern Anatolia.

    Mentioning the human rights report published by US State Department last year, Foley stated that for a long time, they have had concerns over the ethnic, cultural and linguistic rights of Kurdish people living in Turkey and they encouraged Turkish officials to improve human rights.

    Noting that Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz stressed during his visit to Washington a while ago that the issue of human rights is the first issue which stands at the agenda of Turkish government, Foley added that Mr. Yılmaz noted that he was resolved to improve human rights in Turkey.

    Stating that the terrorist PKK organization which has many Kurdish members, acts in Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Former Soviet Republics, Foley said that PKK claims that it represents all the Kurdish people in Turkey, which is artificial.

    US supports the right of Turkey to protect itself against any kind of terrorism, including PKK, he said, adding that they also believe that all sides, meaning Turkish government and those who criticize it, should see the distinction between terrorist PKK and Kurdish people living in Turkey.

    US describes PKK as ''a bloody and violent terrorist organization.'' US State Department noted in its 1997's report that Iran, Syria and Iraq were supporters of PKK and Greece was tolerant towards the separatist terrorist organization.

    Meanwhile, a Helsinki Commission delegation incorporating US Congress members, will pay a visit to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus and hold contacts in the field of human rights.

    [10] TURKEY-EU - EP PARLIAMENTARIAN HABSBURG WARNS EUROPE: - ''EUROPE CAN NOT PURSUE A POLICY WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE TURKEY IN IT''

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - European Parliament (EP) Parliamentarian Otto Von Habsburg said that Europe can not pursue a policy which does not include Turkey in it, adding that it is very important for Europe to please Turkey which has an important place in the region, it is reported on Thursday.

    Habsburg praised for Turkey in his article named ''Ottoman Heritage'' which was published on December 31, 1997 in ABC newspaper and warned Europe regarding the European Union (EU) membership of Turkey.

    Stressing that EU should have a clear attitute concerning this issue, Habsburg pointed out that Turkey has prestige over both Arab countries and Turkish people of Central Asia.

    Noting that there is an increasing competition between Turkey and Iran recently, Habsburg said ''Turkey has been the advantageous country regarding this competition, as Turkish governments pursued rational policies. If one visits Turkey one day, he/she will see that this country is in front of former moslem Soviet Republics.''

    Otto Von Habsburg stated that the state structure of Turkey constitutes an example for many regional countries, the human resource of Turkey continuously develops and it is to the benefit of Europe to support these efforts of Turkey.

    Pointing out that Turkey plays an important role in the region,

    Otto Von Habsburg stressed that one should not forget that Turkey which is a moslem country has always had good relations with Israel. Habsburg said that Turkey should play a central role in the region, adding that ''This role is present in the history of Turkey. If such a role is given to Turkey, it will be successful and this is also to the interests of Europe and the Middle East.''

    Habsburg noted in the end of his article that problems between Turkey and Europe should be solved and this will be very beneficial for the world peace.

    [11] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RECONVENES TO DISCUSSS CLOSURE CASE OF WELFARE PARTY

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - Constitutional Court delegation reconvened under the leadership of newly elected President Ahmet Necdet Sezgin on Thursday to discuss the closure case of the Welfare Party (RP) after an eight-day interval.

    In the morning session, the Court examined the applications regarding the annulment of several codes and then continued to discuss procedure concerning the closure case of RP.

    [12] TURKEY-EU - STATE MINISTER GUREL: ''EU SHOULD CORRECT THE SUMMIT DECISION TAKEN IN LUXEMBOURG'' - ''EU SHOULD FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS IF IT WISHES TO IMPROVE ITS RELATIONS WITH TURKEY''

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said on Thursday that European Union (EU) should correct the decision it took during Luxembourg Summit by another summit decision, adding that ''if EU wishes to improve its relations with Turkey, it should fulfil its obligation.''

    Addressing a briefing to the members of Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission regarding the relations of Turkey with EU and the Cyprus issue, Gurel stated that the obligations of 1963 Ankara Agreement are the basis of the statement issued by the government after the decision taken in Luxembourg Summit, adding that ''EU did not fulfil the obligations concerning three important issues regulated by 1963 Ankara Agreement.''

    ''We had earlier asked EU to hold contacts in order to correct the points which do not work in customs union deal. We also told EU that its decision regarding Cyprus issue is not acceptable, because Cyprus and other candidate countries can not have same status. Turkey was not evaluated according to the same criteria which were foreseen for the other candidate states during the Luxembourg Summit. Besides Turkey never demanded EU to hold European Conference meeting and Turkish government will never participate in such a conference,'' said Gurel.

    Stressing that Turkish-EU relations are not at the point of freezing despite these developments, Gurel pointed out that ''as long as EU's point of view about Turkey continues like that, a comprehensive dialogue is not possible.''

    Noting that Turkey clearly stated that it will not hold contacts with EU regarding the issues which do not concern the two sides directly, Gurel said ''EU is not the only choice of Turkey. Turkey should improve its relations with all regions of the world.''

    [13] TURKEY-INTERNAL - CONSTITUTION-JUSTICE JOINT COMMISSION DECIDES TO LIFT PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITIES OF FOUR PARLIAMENTARIANS

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - The Constitution-Justice Commission decided to lift on Thursday the parliamentary immunities of independent parliamentarian Sevki Yılmaz, True Path Party (DYP) parliamentarians Kemal Aykurt, Omer Bilgin and the Welfare Party (RP) parliamentarian Mustafa Bayram.

    Meanwhile RP parliamentarians left the Constitution-Justice Joint Commission meeting, claiming that the commission administrators, who started to discuss 55 files regarding annulment of parliamentary immunities, were biased.

    [14] TURKEY-ILLEGAL MIGRATION - ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO BE EXPELLED

    ISTANBUL, Jan 8 (A.A) - Turkish officials sent on Thursday 310 foreigners to border gates to expel them who were arrested during various operations in Istanbul.

    The illegal immigrants, who were caught en masse as they were on their way to Italy, include many Bangladeshis and Northern Iraqis.

    [15] TURKEY-GREECE - TURKEY DENIES GREEK CLAIMS CONCERNING AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - Turkey denied on Thursday the Greek claims that 30 Turkish aircrafts violated Greek Flight Information Region (FIR) and airspace.

    Foreign Ministry officials said that Turkish aircrafts fly only over international airspace of Aegean, adding that ''baseless'' Greek claims stem from its another illegal claim of 10 miles airspace.

    Foreign Ministry had earlier noted that no country including Turkey would recognize the application of 10 miles airspace by Greece, because this is contrary to international law.

    Noting that Greece declared its territorial waters as 6 miles on October 8, 1936, the statement went on saying that Greece clearly violates international law by claiming 10 miles airspace.

    [16] TURKEY-FRANCE - FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER VEDRINE: ''ALL COMMON ISSUES WERE DISCUSSED'' - FOREIGN MINISTER CEM: ''COMMON OPINION GROUP WILL BE SET UP TO IMPROVE BILATERAL RELATIONS'' - VEDRINE LEAVES TURKEY

    ANKARA, Jan 8 (A.A) - French Foreign Mniister Hubert Vedrine said on Thursday that France understands the disappointment of Turkey, adding that France wishes to see Turkey in European Conference.

    French Foreign Minister Vedrine met Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Addressing a joint statement to the press following the meeting, Foreign Minister Cem stated that a common opinion group will be set up to improve bilateral relations between the two countries.

    Cem stated that they exchanged views regarding general and regional problems.

    ''We discussed the issues which concern the two countries. These are illegal refugee problem, which concern the Western Europe, the problem in the Middle East and we explained our experience reciprocally in Caucasus and Central Asia,'' said Cem.

    French Foreign Minister Vedrine stressed that all common issues that concern the two countries were taken up during the meeting and they exchanged views concerning the issues of European Union (EU), Kurdish problem, human rights, illegal immigrant movement, improvement of bilateral relations and other regional issues.

    Responding to a question, the guest minister said the Kurdish issue was taken up within the framework of territorial sovereignty of Turkey.

    ''I conveyed the concern and opinion of French political parties over the issue and I learnt the approach of the Turkish government towards the issue of economic and cultural rights,'' said Vedrine.

    While Vedrine stressed that France is aware of the difficulty of the illegal immigration movement, Cem pointed out that he told Vedrine that several concerned countries encourage such an illegal movement. Reiterating that Turkey is open for cooperation, Cem stressed that one should not ignore the organized crime dimension of the problem.

    Responding to a question, Vedrine said his Athens trip was purely a ''geographic consideration'' since the two countries are neighbours and was not planned for a special Greek-Turkish mediating mission.

    ''We are well aware of the geographic-cultural and strategic importance of Turkey. France understands the disappointment of Turkey as a result of the Luxembourg summit, but Turkey should also see the positive aspects of the meeting, because it has not been excluded from the expansion process,'' said Vedrine.

    French Foreign Minister Vedrine left Turkey after meeting President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz.


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