HURRIYET (LIBERAL) HEAVY TRAFFIC AT NORTHERN IRAQI BORDER
The Turkish Armed Forces are taking action at the Northern Iraqi border to prevent the influx of the PKK into Turkey and a possible migration by setting up a buffer region. 50,000 soldiers have been deployed to set up this buffer region.
BOMBARDMENT TO CONTINUE FOR AT LEAST ONE WEEK
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz said that the US operation will last longer than the public expects. Yılmaz stated that ''if Saddam does not take a step backwards, then the operation will start in 10 days and last for at least a week.''
Addressing a press briefing for Turkish journalists in Baghdad, Karaosmanoglu stated, ''as you see we are working very hard in the Embassy.''
One of the newspapers claimed the same day that the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad will be evacuated due to the Iraq-United Nations (UN) crisis.
Emphasizing that Turkey is in favor of resolving diplomatically the crisis between the United Nations and Iraq, Basesgioglu said that Iraq should open its mass destruction weapons to monitoring.
Basesgioglu said that the immigrants would be welcomed in Iraq, 15-20 kilometres away from the border.
Murat Basesgioglu said that the terrorist activities declined by 40 percent in 1997 when compared with the previous year, adding that the number of people accused increased in connection with these activities.
Basesgioglu said that the separatist terrorist PKK organization was now in a ''marginal position'' in the Eastern and Southeastern parts of Turkey.
Addressing a press briefing about the recent works of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) which is responsible for abolishment of the mass destruction weapons in Baghdad, El Sa'di stated that ''I have heard that Turkey does not accept a US attack on Iraq launched from Turkey. This is a pleasing development.''
Al Sa'di pointed out that Iraq provided all the information and data about Iraq's capacity for chemical weapons to the UN experts during the ''Technical Evaluation Meeting'', adding that he hoped the experts will prepare their reports as soon as possible.
When asked ''what will happen if the final report concludes in a manner which is disadvantageous for Iraq,'' Al-Sa'di stressed that Iraq knows all the realities concerning this issue and the discussions between the sides are on scientific and technical basis and in this respect the results will not cause any ambiguity.
(Derived from Newsspot of the Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information.)
YILMAZ: ''IRAQ HAS 10 DAYS''
Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz has said: ''If Saddam Hussein doesn't take a step back, then the operation will begin in 10 days' time and will last for one or two weeks''. Furnishing information to the deputies of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and later to members of the Council of Ministers regarding the war strategy of the US, Yilmaz noted that if Iraq does not abide by the UN resolutions, then war will be unavoidable. Yilmaz stated that the US would carry out an "air operation" and if necessary also a "land operation".
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Turkish soldiers will enter northern Iraq today. According to information received from the Office of the General Staff, a buffer zone almost 200 kilometers in length will be enforced along the border against a likely Kurdish immigration and 50,000 soldiers from the Sirnak Division will enter northern Iraq. /Sabah/
ECEVIT HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE
At a press conference yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit directed sharp criticism against US policies towards Iraq and said that a hot confrontation in the Gulf could have fatal consequences. Ecevit said that the Washington administration should consult Turkey before starting moves which could affect the entire Middle East region. /Hurriyet/
YILMAZ: "GERMANY HAS LET US DOWN"
Mesut Yilmaz, the Turkish Prime Minister made a statement on Germany's Bavaria Television channel yesterday. In his statement Yilmaz said that Turkey was being excluded by Germany and that Helmut Kohl, the German Prime Minister had not kept his word on supporting European Union membership for Turkey. He added that Germany did not place importance on German-Turkish friendship. Yilmaz said, "the Luxembourg decisions forced Turkey to stand on her own feet and we do not need either the help of Germany or the European Union to do this." /Hurriyet/
BUSY WEEK FOR PARLIAMENT
There will be a busy schedule in Parliament this week. Both the General Assembly and parliamentary commissions will deal with various issues. A new bill which will allow police officials to complete their military service in police departments will be debated in Parliament on February 11. To enforce the new bill, an amendment in the law will be required concerning military service. A proposal to provide free health services to soldiers' families and a bill proposing an amendment in the Retirement Fund Law are among the other subjects on the Parliamentary agenda. The Planning and Budget Parliamentary Commission will debate the new tax bill on February 10. The bill aims at easing the heavy tax burdens on wage earners. /Sabah/
FOUNDATION LAID FOR THE PENDIK-KURTKOY AIRPORT
In a speech delivered during a foundation laying ceremony for the new Pendik-Kurtkoy Airport in Istanbul, President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey would continue to grow, develop and become strong no matter what the conditions were. "This project is the project of the 21st century" Demirel stated, pointing out that the airport, together with the Corlu, Ataturk and Cengiz Topel airports, would provide services for 15 million people. Congratulating the government for its contributions to the project, Demirel noted that besides the USD 32 billion Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), the Pendik-Kurtkoy Airport Project was one of the most massive construction projects in Turkey. The airport project, which will cost USD 760 million, will be completed within two years.
Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin also delivered speeches at the ceremony. Yilmaz noted that the project was one of the most important investments in Istanbul and Turkey in recent years, and Sezgin stated that another advanced technological industry park project was one of the mega-projects which would carry Turkey into the 21st century. /Sabah/
BLAIR DEFENDS 'STRONG TIES BETWEEN TURKEY AND EUROPE'
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has just visited Washington, said during a joint press conference with the US President Bill Clinton at the White House on Friday that Turkey was one of the topics the two leaders covered. Blair and Clinton discussed the issue of Turkey's application for full membership in the European Union (EU). "We discussed as well, and agreed, that it was important that Europe strengthen its relationship with Turkey and that we build a strong relationship with Turkey -between Turkey and the EU for the future" Blair said./ (Milliyet)
TURKEY SHOULD BE ACCEPTED BY THE EU
The Voice of America (VOA), official radio broadcast of the US government, aired an editorial on Friday supporting Turkey's application for full membership in the European Union (EU). The December EU summit in Luxembourg did not extend an invitation to Turkey for membership talks while inviting Greek Cyprus and ten Central European countries. "Turkey should be given the same opportunity" the VOA said.
(To be continued)
The Ministry of Finance Directorate General of Accounts announced the results for the 1997 fiscal year.
It was stated that the amount of expenditures was 8.03 quadrillion liras, adding that transfer expenditures reached 4.6 quadrillion liras with an increase of 90.6 percent and personnel expenditures decreased 112.8 percent to 2.07 quadrillion liras in 1997 compared with 1996.
The investment expenditures in 1997 rose by 150.1 percent and reached 638 trillion liras and other current expenditures decreased 128.2 percent to 712 trillion liras.
The average increase in total budget expenditures was 102.9 percent last year. The same average was 128.8 percent in 1996.
The date of the Directorate General of Accounts showed that the budget revenues were 5.8 quadrillion liras last year. Of the total amount 4.7 quadrillion liras was composed of tax income, 404 trillion liras of normal income, 608 trillion liras of special revenues and funds and 92 trillion liras of the suplementary budget.
The tax income increased by 111.7 percent last year. The same average was 107 percent in 1996.
The budget income met 72.9 percent of expenditures last year. The same ratio was 68.9 percent in 1996.
(Derived from Newsspot of Turkish Directorate of General Press and Information)
COMMISSION APPROVES UNIONS FOR CIVIL SERVANTS
The Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission approved on Friday a bill giving civil servants the right to establish unions. According to the bill, civil servants will be able to establish unions in previously determined service sectors without asking permission. In addition, more than one union may be established in each sector. The administration of the unions cannot be in conflict with the Constitution.
A high administration board will be established to supervise the collective bargaining process. The board will consist of the undersecretaries of the ministries and the undersecretaries of the other public institutions and chairpersons.
COMMON VOICE IN THE AEGEAN: WE DO NOT WANT WAR
Many Aegean Turkish and Greek journalists participated in a weekend seminar in Izmir. All participants at the seminar agreed that if a war should break out between Turkey and Greece, this would only further increase problems and would create a disaster for the two countries. They also pointed out that the Turkish and Greek media played an aggressive role instead of a calming role. The Greek European Parliamentarians Yannis Papayanakis, Anna Karamanu and Kostas Hacidakis also delivered speeches at the seminar. Touching upon the role of third countries in the Turkish-Greek relations, they said that there was no need for third parties in solving problems between the two countries. /Sabah/
FINAL CENSUS RESULTS
Mehmet Batalli, Minister of State has announced the final results of the national census that was held on November 30, 1997. The census figures record the population of Turkey at 62,610,252, an increase of over 6 million from the 1990 figure of 56,473,035. The population of Istanbul is now 9 million, Ankara 3.6 million and Izmir 3 million. /All papers/
MOVE FOR IMPROVING COOPERATION AMONG RELIGIONS
Fethullah Gulen, a leading man of religion in Turkey, went yesterday to the Vatican for an official meeting with the Pope. Gulen will meet with the Pope to discuss possibilities for improving cooperation and tolerance among people from different religions. /Hurriyet/
TURCO-FRENCH MILITARY COOPERATION
France has rolled up its sleeves for grabbing a share of the lucrative Turkish defence investment projects. Turkey and France have agreed in principle to cooperate in the production of ERYX anti-tank missiles. During a three-day visit to France last week by Ismet Sezgin, the Minister of Defense, a number of steps for improving bilateral military cooperation were taken. /Milliyet/
HARD BLOWS AGAINST THE PKK
The Turkish Armed Forces started a wide-ranged operation against the PKK terrorist organization four days ago in the Nusaybin, Mardin region. According to military sources, 40 PKK members and three soldiers had been killed by the end of clashes around Mt. Bagok./Hurriyet/
IRANIAN CRITICISM OF TURKEY
Ali Ekber Natik Nuri, the Chairman of the Iranian Parliament, arrived in Teheran yesterday after a five day visit to Syria and Lebanon. According to IRNA reports, Nuri told press members that "because Iran and Syria share borders with Turkey ", in his meetings with Syrian President Hafiz Esad, Turkish-Israeli military maneuvers were the first issue on the agenda. Nuri also said that military alliances formed by Israel are always intended to harm the Muslim countries. /Cumhuriyet/
ASIAN CRISIS CANNOT AFFECT TURKEY
Yavuz Ege, the Foreign Trade Secretary, said that Turkey's import regime had been stabilized after a period of excessive increase because of the Customs Union. Ege, responding to questions on Turkey's foreign trade developments from the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper, said "trade seems to be rather stagnant, not very satisfactory". He also commented on the Asian crisis saying that "although devaluation reduces the prices of their export goods, the prices of import inputs increase. These countries cannot survive with continuous devaluation" adding that the present crisis in Asia would not affect Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
TURKISH TOURISM IN JANUARY
A total of 57,462 tourists had visited Antalya by the end of January 1998. It was reported that 525 charter flights from different parts of the world came to Antalya and that German tourists were at the top of the list. /Cumhuriyet/
Denktas told the ''AKIS'' programme broadcasted by the BRT that the TRNC is in favor of implementing visas for Greek-Cypriots.
''We can make this decision because we are an independent state. We should take counter-measures immediately. To voice these is the duty of the President. Only the government makes a decision regarding the issue,'' Denktas said.
Denktas said that every Greek-Cypriot can visit the TRNC on a visa.
Denktas also emphasized that one million children died because of lack of medicine resulting from the embargo placed on Iraq, adding that the crisis between the UN and Iraq can be resolved diplomatically.
Responding to questions about the Iraq-United Nations crisis at the state- run television TRT-1, President Demirel stated that the problem today stems from the fact that Iraq does not want to abide by the UN Resolution No. 687 which makes weapons of mass destruction open to UN control.
Demirel stressed that the world public opinion thinks that if Iraq rejects abiding by these Resolutions, then an intervention in Iraq is inevitable.
Pointing out that Turkey will suffer from any development that may occur in the region, President Demirel stated that it is not possible to say that ''weapons of mass destruction will not make Turkey uneasy.''
''World's concern about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is correct'' said Demirel, reiterating that Turkey has suffered a lot from the incidents which took place in the region six years ago.
Noting that Britain, France and Germany extend support to the US, while Russia does not welcome the possibility of an intervention in Iraq, Demirel said that nobody knows the shape of the development that may occur in the region this time.
Mentioning his message to the Iraqi Head of State conveyed by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Demirel said that ''we clearly told Iraq that she should abide by the UN Resolutions, if she does this, then Turkey will extend support for the protection of Iraqi territorial integrity, lifting of the embargo on Iraq and integration of Iraq with the international society. Our message is a friendly one.''
Responding to questions at the state-run television channel TRT-1, President Demirel said that the territorial integrity of the Azeri Republic should be protected. ''Today Armenia seems to threaten Azerbaijan. I would like to draw the attention of the US, France and Russia to this issue,'' said Demirel.
Responding to another question about the Cyprus question, President Demirel stressed that the European Union (EU) regards Southern Cyprus as the whole of Cyprus and if it starts full membership negotiations with Southern Cyprus, then the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should be regarded as a state from now on. It means that whether or not the TRNC is recognized as a state, it is a state today. There are two states rather than two communities on the island which are sovereign and politically equal.''
President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey should be evaluated together with the 11 candidate countries which would join the EU, yet this has not materialized.
Addressing a television programme at the TRT-1, President Demirel recalled that approximately 20 political parties have been closed in Turkey recently, adding that Articles 67 and 68 constrain political parties and its members and prohibit them from violating the basic attributes of the Republic of Turkey, mainly democracy and secularism.
Responding to a question about the Susurluk report prepared by Kutlu Savas, the Chairman of the Prime Ministry Investigation Council, Demirel stressed that Turkey is a legal state and several points written in the report will be investigated and if a crime has been committed concerning these points, then they will be given for prosecution.''
Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Arslan stated that there is not any extraordinary situation at the border.
''Passage of soldiers to Northern Iraq or another country can only be realized upon the decision of the parliament, yet such a decision has not been made. We have taken the necessary measures at the borders and continue to do so. We monitor Iraq and our government plans to prevent a possible immigration within Iraq,'' said Arslan.
Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman stated that Turkey attributes great importance to developments in the Balkan region.
Noting that the Ambassadors will hold several contacts the same day and on Tuesday, Utkan added that President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz will also receive them.
The SEKA officials told the A.A correspondent that the export of craft paper bags increased five thousand tonnes in 1997. Officials said that they exported 60 thousand tonnes of craft paper bags for the amount of six trillion liras last year, adding that the same exports had been 55 thousand tonnes for a sum of five trillion liras in 1996.
''We have realized 4.9 thousand tonnes of exports in January 1998 for the amount of 490 billion liras. Our target for 1998 is to export 65 thousand tonnes of paper,'' officials said.
Officials said that they export paper to Iran, Algeria and Azerbaijan, stating that they have five thousand tonnes of stock in the factory.
Addressing a weekly press briefing to foreign journalists, Necati Utkan, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that ''there is neither an operation against Iraq nor has a security zone been set up.''
Utkan stressed that the aim of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem towards Baghdad was both to find a peaceful solution to the Iraqi crisis and to lay down the foundation for regional stability and cooperation for the future. Noting that the concern of Turkey has been conveyed to Iraq, Utkan reiterated that the visit to Baghdad was a ''neighbourly initiative.''
Noting that the UN Security Council reiterated its desire concerning the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in Baghdad, Utkan stated that ''we are not a member of the UN Security Council and we do not have a magic wand to produce a new formula.''
Utkan pointed out that the initiatives of the UN Security Council are closely monitored, adding that ''the success of the Council does not directly depend on our wishes or situation.''
''The importance of Turkey's role in the peace initiative should not be ignored when Turkey's good will, regarding her responsibility towards her own citizens and the citizens of countries in the region are taken into account,'' said Utkan.
Utkan stressed that the economic embargo on Iraq should be lifted if Iraq strives for regional cooperation and security.
Denying the news claiming that the US will send patriot missiles to Turkey, Utkan said, ''there is no such demand and sending missiles is out of question.''
Utkan added that a coordination committee headed by Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State are making preparations against a possible migration influx.
Addressing a short statement the same day, Al-Samarrai stated that the embargo imposed upon Iraq should be lifted.
Claiming that Iraq fully abides by the UN Resolutions, Al-Samarrai said that ''we have fulfilled our responsibilities, abided by all resolutions and now we wish for the implementation of Article 22 of the UN Resolution No. 687, which foresees abolishment of the embargo.''
''News coming from western countries regards Iraq as a threat against Turkey. We are always on the side of Turkey,'' said Al-Samarrai.
Responding to a question regarding the use of the Incirlik base in case of a possible US attack, Al-Sammarrai said ''we count on the Turkish government and Turkish people. We do not think that anything negative will come from Turkey.''
Addressing a weekly press briefing for foreign journalists, Necati Utkan stated that the return of embassy personnel in Baghdad is out of the question for the time being, adding that such a decision can only be made by the senior administrative person, who is the Ambassador.
Utkan recalled that he was the Ambassador to Baghdad during the Gulf Crisis in 1991, adding that if the ambassador decides to evacuate the embassy, this decision will first of all be carried out for spouses and children.
The newly appointed Turkish Ambassador to Baku Kadri Ecvet Tezcan met with Azeri President Haydar Aliyev. Tezcan presented his credentials to Aliyev at the meeting.
Reminding Aliyev of the official invitations from President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, Aliyev said in the meeting that he will leave for Turkey sometime in following months to receive the ''1997 Man of the Year'' award.
Haydar Aliyev emphasized that the respect of the Azeri people for Turkey is further strengthened.
Ambassador Tezcan said that the relations between the two countries will be further improved by taking into consideration the mutual interests.
Tezcan also said that the mutual support between Turkey and Azerbaijan will continue.
Oktay Ataman, the Turkish Tourism Counsellor to Tel Aviv told the A.A correspondent that the Turkish Airlines' (THY) Tel Aviv-Istanbul flights continue with high capacity rate close to 100 percent. Ataman said that the tour operators in Israel told him that there were not any cancellations of tickets.
Ataman stated that the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey rose by four percent last year and that he expects a five or six percent increase in 1998.
Meanwhile, the Turkish people living in Tel Aviv said that the life in Israel is continuing normally.
In his speech made at the meeting, Sezgin said that the two countries have launched efforts to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East, adding that ''while launching such efforts, Turkey and Jordan respect the territorial integrity of the countries in the region, do not intervene in their internal affairs and try to improve relations with these countries.''
The guest Commander Ababneh said that Turkey has a very important status regarding the stability of the region and her contributions for ensuring regional peace were important.
Ababneh stressed that the region needs peace, prosperity and stability. ''We have suffered a lot from war. It is time to ensure peace and we hope that peace and tranquility will govern the region,'' said Ababneh.
Ababneh also met with Ismail Hakkı Karadayı, the Chief of General Staff and Ilhan Kılıc, the Air Forces Commander General the same day.
Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM) said that the Turkish delegation will be led by State Minister Burhan Kara in the meetings. Turkey is expected to sign agreements both with Pakistan and Mongolia after the meetings.
During the meetings, the commercial relations will be reevaluated and the sides will cover the measures that can be taken to further improve bilateral commercial relations.
The trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan is nearly 200 million US dollars and it is 90 million US dollars between Turkey and Mongolia.
The Turkish delegation will leave for Pakistan on Monday and will return to Turkey on February 20.
The term of the tender started the same day. The ''asset sales'' of Sumer Holding's Wool Trade Institution in Afyon-Sincanli, Cotton Cloth Industry in Kayseri, Printed Cotton Cloth Industry in Nazilli, Cotton Cloth Industry in Kahramanmaras, Textile-Paints Industry in Tarsus, Palamut Company in Salihli and Valeks Company will be realized.
Also, 86.07 percent of Sumer Holding's Wool Trade Inc.; 83.07 percent of the Wool Trade and Fabrics Inc. in Bergama; 93.08 percent of the SIDAS Textile Industry and Trade Inc. in Sivas; 9.23 percent of the Soda Industry Inc. will be privatized by the ''block-sale'' method.
The due date for submitting tender is March 10, 1998.
The necessary documents and forms are available at the Directorate General of Sumer Holding at a price of ten million liras.