HURRIYET (LIBERAL) WE STOP IT IN IRAQ
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz said that if a migration starts from Iraq, the Turkish army will stop such a migration by entering into Iraq. Yılmaz added that ''US aims to hit Iraq at eight points. There are also presidential sites among these targets. The US has deployed 370 aircrafts and 30,000 soldiers in the region. We have to take an attitude, because Iraq has 620 missiles which can reach Kayseri.
RAPID APPOINTMENT OF CEM
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will meet Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein. Cem will convey the message of President Demirel to Saddam.
Foreign Minister Cem met his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Al Sahaf the same day.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry First Undersecretary Saad Al Faissel also participated in the meeting.
Foreign Minster Cem is expected to meet Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein on Thursday.
Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that many Christian people are expected to visit Turkey in 2000 to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
The statement noted that Turkish Ambassador to Vatican submitted the invitation letter of President Demirel to Archbishop Jean-Lois Tauran, Vatican Secretary of International Relations to be submitted to Pope.
Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı told a press briefing that Ismail Cem will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in Pekin and then proceed to Vietnam to meet Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam on February 20.
Atacanlı stressed that Ismail Cem will be the first foreign minister who will visit Vietnam.
Noting that China and Vietnam have been working for economic development for long years and they attract foreign investors, Atacanlı pointed out that Turkish government attributes great importance to improvement of economic and commercial relations with these countries.
Atacanlı added that the government encourages Turkish businessmen to invest in these countries.
Addressing a statement, James Rubin said that US State Secretary Madeleine Albright made a phone call with Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz while returning to the US from the Middle East, adding that ''the phone call was productive.''
Spokesman James Rubin stated that Turkish government agrees that responsibility for the current crisis ''falls squarely on Iraq's shoulders.''
Responding to a question about the visit of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to Baghdad, Rubin said ''US State Secretary Albright is informed about the visit of Mr Cem. We think that Saddam should understand the seriousness of the situation and permit the UN to do its job.''
James Rubin added that he is not informed about the message of the US President Bill Clinton to President Suleyman Demirel.
Ersumer, who wrapped up his official contacts in Belgium, returned to Turkey the same day. Addressing a statement at Ataturk Airport, Ersumer stated that the existing energy investments and the planned ones between Turkey and Belgium were taken up with all aspects during his visit to Belgium.
Noting that the cooperation between the two countries improves,
Ersumer stressed that the two countries signed a joint decleration regarding cooperation in the energy field.
Responding to a question asked whether a tension in the Gulf will cause scarcity of energy in Turkey, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Ersumer said that ''there is no problem about the oil supplies of Turkey.''
(Derived from Newsspot of Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information)
CEM MAKES CONTACTS IN IRAQ
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Baghdad yesterday afternoon. Cem was welcomed at Al Resid Military Airport by Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammed Said Al Sahaf. Cem and Al Sahaf held a meeting yesterday evening. First Undersecretary of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry Saad Al Feysel also attended the meeting. Cem is expected to meet Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein today. Cem will deliver a message from Turkish President Suleyman Demirel to Saddam Hussein. Demirel warned in his letter that there might be a war. It is reported that Cem took "comprehensive solution proposals" to the Baghdad administration. Cem noted that members of the UN Security Council viewed Turkey's initiative as "positive".
Meanwhile, Governor of the State of Emergency Rule Region, Aydin Arslan, said that in order not to be confronted with a mass immigration crisis because of the threat of war between the UN and Iraq, necessary measures were being taken along the borders.
On the other hand, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen delivered a speech at the US Senate and said: "If US President Bill Clinton decides to make a military move against Iraq, we expect all the Gulf countries' support". He also added that he was sure that the US would also receive Turkey's support. /Cumhuriyet/
"TURKEY DOES NOT WANT WAR"
Although concerned about the stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli stressed yesterday that Turkey does not want a war against Iraq. Atacanli again emphasized that Turkey prefers using diplomatic channels to resolve the serious crisis involving Iraq and the US.
During the weekly Foreign Ministry press conference yesterday, Atacanli said that taking every possibility into consideration, Turkey was taking every preventive measure possible. Avoiding commenting on Turkey's newly hardening stance, Atacanli merely said that Ankara hoped that the crisis would not escalate further, and added "Nobody wants a war with Iraq, the US does not want a war. Everybody wants to resolve the situation diplomatically." /Sabah/
US COMMENTS ON INCIRLIK
US State Department Spokesman James Rubin issued a statement yesterday and said that they were sure that when they needed Incirlik base in Turkey, Turkey would meet their demands. Rubin noted that Turkey and the US were in consensus that Iraq should comply with UN resolutions. Rubin stated that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, upon her return from a Middle Eastern tour, had a phone conversation with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. He said that Albright had agreed that they believed it would be beneficial to make a diplomatic call to Baghdad as, in fact, Turkey had. /Sabah/
YILMAZ COMMENTS ON IRAQ SITUATION
Speaking to his party's parliamentary group behind closed doors, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that Iraq possesses missiles with enough range to hit Kayseri and Malatya. He also noted that possible wave of refugees would be stopped in Iraqi territory before it could reach the Turkish borders. Yilmaz said that if the US demanded the use of Incirlik base to launch a strike against Iraq, the issue would be brought before Parliament.
Yilmaz explained that the US will likely use a special substance that will prevent any harmful effects from gasses released if Iraq's chemical weapons were hit by the US. The gasses of the chemical weapons, he said, were capable of reaching Turkey. The US did not aim to topple Saddam Hussein, but to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the prime minister stressed, warning that in case Saddam is toppled, his son Uday, who is even more fanatical, might take his place -a development which could be more dangerous for the Middle East. /All papers/
VICE ADMIRAL ABBOTT IN ANKARA
While the crisis between the US and Iraq moves towards a climax, the commander of the US 6th Fleet, Vice Admiral Charles Abbott, came to Ankara yesterday. Abbott, today, will be meeting with high level commanders of the Turkish Army. He is likely to request military support and permission to use Incirlik base in case the US launches a military attack against Iraq. /Milliyet/
EU SUPPORTS SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA
The head of Diyarbakir Chamber of Commerce, Sirin Yigit said yesterday that the European Union will extend ECU 275 million to be used for meeting the humanitarian needs of the people living in the southeastern regions of Turkey. Yigit also said that the European Union Ambassador to Ankara had asked him to brief him about the region. /Milliyet/
37 IRAQIS DETAINED
In the Uzunkopru district of Edirne, 37 Iraqi people, including 13 children and 12 women, who were trying to cross the border illegally, have been detained. Two Turkish suspects, thought to have brought the Iraqis to Uzunkopru region, were taken into custody. /Cumhuriyet/
(Derived from Newsspot of Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information)
SHATTUCK ON HUMAN RIGHTS: HOPEFUL OF YILMAZ GOVERNMENT
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, John Shattuck, testified on Tuesday before a subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, during which he drew an unflattering picture of the human rights situation in Turkey, although he also mentioned that the Yilmaz government had made a commitment for human rights reforms. This month, Shattuck will be travelling to Turkey, Serbia and Croatia. /All papers/
SANBERK: TURKEY WANTS TO GIVE PEACE A LAST CHANCE
Turkey's Ambassador to London Ozden Sanberk told CNN's "This Morning" programme yesterday that Turkey was going to assume a position of responsibility in the Iraqi crisis as a regional country. "Turkey is a NATO member, but at the same time we are a regional country and we have affinities with the Iraqi people and we know that the Iraqi people have suffered" Sanberk said, responding to a question about what action Turkey was going to take.
Referring to Turco-Israeli cooperation, Sanberk said Turkey's relations with Israel could not be confined to defense matters only, but would include other areas, such as trade. "Turkey is not the only country having relations with Israel in the region and Turkey's cooperation with Israel on defense matters is on issues such as equipment and training, and is not aimed against any third country" Sanberk stated.
BLACK SEA BANK BOARD TO HOLD FIRST MEETING TODAY
The first meeting of the board of governors of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Bank will be held today in Thessaloniki, Greek National Economy Minister Yannos Papandoniou told reporters on Tuesday. The bank, based in Thessaloniki, was decided to be established during a 1992 summit of leaders of the 11-nation Black Sea Economic Cooperation group and aims to finance and promote infrastructural projects and develop commercial ties among member countries.
PKK PAYING A HEAVY PRICE
The PKK terrorist organization has paid a huge price in human lives in its warfare against the regime. According to figures issued by the Governor of the State of Emergency Rule Region in the southeast of the country, Aydin Arslan, over the past eleven years the PKK has lost over twenty thousand members, killed in conflict with Turkish security forces.
Figures also show that large numbers of civilians and almost five thousand members of the security forces and village guards have lost the lives in the fight against PKK terrorism. /Sabah/
US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE HOLDS CONTACTS IN ANKARA
US Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ambassador Rita Hayes, who paid an official visit to Ankara this week, has held meetings with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, State Minister Isın Celebi and other top level officials. In her contacts with Turkish representatives, Ambassador Hayes discussed Turkish textile exports to the US and Turco-American trade relations in general. In a press conference yesterday, Ambassador Hayes said that President Clinton attached great importance to Turkey, and added that "President Clinton wants expanded trade between our two countries to be a vital element of our relations in the years ahead." /Milliyet/
Ismail Cem, who arrived in Baghdad in order to contribute to the solution of the crisis between the United Nations (UN) and Iraq, said after the meeting that he will continue to hold contacts all day.
Ismail Cem pointed out that he will issue detailed statements about the views of Turkish government after wrapping up his meetings with Iraqi officials.
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is expected to meet Iraqi Head of State Saddam Hussein the same day.
The agreement document encourages the establishment of ''Economic Cooperation Council'' between two countries according to Council of Ministers' decision published in the Official Gazette the same day.
The agreement document also foresees cooperation in investments, energy, education, health, transportation and protection of environment.
ANKARA - State Minister and Government Spokesman Ahat Andican on Wednesday received Gagoguz Autonomous Region President Georgiy Tabunshgik and the accompanying delegation.
Andican said after the meeting that the economic and cultural relations between Turkey and both Moldova and Gagoguz Autonomous Region had been rapidly increasing.
Moldovian Ambassador Ion Botnari also participated in the meeting.
Gagoguz Autonomous Region President Tabunshgik is expected to meet President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Thursday.
BATUM - State Minister Rifat Serdaroglu said on Wednesday that the Sarp Border Gate would remain open for 16 hours and then for 24 hours.
State Ministers Rifat Serdaroglu and Refaiddin Sahin met Turkish Ambassador to Batum province of Georgia Kemal Gur after making observations in Hopa Harbour and Sarp Border Gate. Later Serdaroglu and Sahin met Aslan Abishidze, President of Autonomous Republic of Acaria.
State Ministers Serdaroglu and Sahin will return to Turkey on Thursday.
IZMIR - The ''First Cuban Festival'' will be held in Aegean Izmir province between February 6 and 13, it was reported on Thursday.
Izmir Municipalty Mayor Burhan Ozfatura said that the festival would be organized by Turkish IZFAS company and Hilton Hotel.
Cuban Ambassador to Ankara Jorge Castro said that Cuban government was willing to improve tourism relations with Turkey.
Totally 22 fighters, one Awacs type aircraft and one commander plane took off from the base while 12 fighters landed at the base between 06:35-10:00.
Meanwhile, many aircrafts seemed prepared to take off any time from the base.
Officials said that the number of illegal immigrants has increased recently and 231 Northern Iraqi people were captured in three days.
Gendarme captured 106 Northern Iraqis and three Algerian people im military zones of Subasi and Kadidondurma villages of Edirne province.
Admiral Dervisoglu said that Admiral Abbot and he would discuss the bilateral relations between two countries' Naval Forces.
Responding to a question, guest Admiral Abbot said his visit had no relation with the crisis between the UN and Iraq and that his mission was limited with the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Abbot said his visit's aim was to improve the existing good relations between Turkey and the US.
Narcotics officials said police, acting on a tip off, staged an operation in Bayrampasa and Zeytinburnu districts on Jan 30, 1998 and seized 30 kg heroin and also seized 13,000 German Marks and 2,000 US dollars.
Hamdi Balkan, Saffet Balkan, Metin Saluvan, Dervis Balkan, Abdullah Lohaj, Natalia Josan, Erdogan Yilmaz, Adem Mavisu and Besim Sefa, the members of the illegal network were taken under custody in connection with the haul.
Also three buses, which those people used to take the haul to foreign countries were also seized.
In another operation staged on Feb 3, 1998 in Aksaray, Hakan Sagir and Hikmet Bestas were captured together with 30 kg heroin. They brought the heroin from border countries in the Southeast and were about to take it to Britain.
Turkish TEKFEN company will import the spare parts required to repair the pipeline and will sell it to Iraq. TEKFEN company proposed to stock the spare parts in Iraq due to economic reasons yet the US oppossed to this claiming that Iraqis may use these pieces for some other aims.
The committee agreed last year to allow the Turkish company to bring parts into Iraq to repair the pipeline. But the United States wanted the parts stored in Turkey until they were ready for installation.
The spare parts that TEKFEN would sell have a vital importance for the repairment of the pipeline which will increase its capacity within the framework of the last report that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presented to Security Council.
Annan has proposed to increase the amount of oil Iraq may sell under the program every six months from 2 billion dollars to 5.2 billion dollars. If the Security Council adopts the proposal, nearly two million barrels of oil would be flowed from the oil pipeline. The repairment is a must for the pipeline to upgrade this capacity.
UN Sactions Committee took up the issue during a meeting on Wednesday and submitted a report of Chairman Antonio Monteiro to the secretariat. The Chairman proposed the spare parts to be preserved in depots in Iraq yet also proposed its control to be done by the UN observers. Storing spare parts in Iraq would reduce the cost of transporting them and ensuring they are used for the purposes of the oil-for-food program, Monteiro said. The committee expects to return to the question in its next meeting in two weeks.
The pipeline, which runs from Kirkuk in northern Iraq to
Yumurtalik in Turkey, carries about 60 percent of the oil transported under the special program. The rest goes to sea from
Iraq's southern Basra port.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan said the meeting which lasted nearly two hours took place in a positive atmosphere, adding that ''Turkey wants the problem to end.''
Briefing about FM Cem's contacts in Baghdad, Utkan said in order to solve the problem, first of all Iraq should abide by the UN resolutions.
Utkan said, ''Turkey extends efforts to prevent a war. Initiating studies to provide security and cooperation in the region are among Turkey's proposals.''
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Utkan said Turkey confirmed its faithfulness to Iraq's territorial integrity stressing that Iraq should abide by the UN Security Council resolutions and that the region should be purified from mass destruction weapons.
Foreign Minister Cem is expected to stage a news conference after wrapping up contacts in Baghdad.
Responding to questions of the CNN following his meeting with Iraqi Head of State, Cem said Saddam Hussein shared the same concerns with him and that he was open to Turkey's several proposals and that he did not want any military clash.
Cem said during the meeting he reiterated Turkey's wish for peace in the region.
When responding to a question of CNN correspondent that if a formula could be found to open Presidential palaces to control, Cem said he hoped it would be. He said they had brought a proposal to the UN Security Council at the moment and that he thought that Iraq seemed open to new proposals. Cem said being a neighboring country that was interested in the Middle East, Turkey was willing to contribute to this and hoped for a peaceful solution. He said Turkey also hoped to rapproach to a solution in the last days.