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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (August 17, 1995)

From: hristu@arcadia.harvard.edu (Dimitrios Hristu)


CONTENTS

  • [01] CILLER SHINING LIKE A STAR

  • [02] TURKEY PROTESTS BEHEADINGS IN SAUDI ARABIA

  • [03] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL APPEALING AGAINST EXECUTIONS

  • [04] "EXECUTIONS OUTRAGE FOR TURKEY AND ISLAM"

  • [05] GERMANY: "CAPTAGON IS A LEGAL MEDICINE"

  • [06] HACI BEKTAS-I VELI FESTIVAL STARTS

  • [07] PKK DRUG TRAFFICKING BLOCKED

  • [08] DEMIREL WARNS EUROPEAN UNION

  • [09] US MAKES BOSNIA GESTURE

  • [10] TURKEY SILENT ON IRAQ 'SON-IN-LAW CRISIS'

  • [11] TURKEY SAYS KURD ACCORD MEETS ITS REQUIREMENTS

  • [12] HUMANITARIAN AID TO BOSNIA

  • [13] THIRTEEN PKK MILITANTS AND TWO SOLDIERS KILLED

  • [14] EVIDENCE OF MIDDLE EAST SUPPORT FOR PKK NOT A SURPRISE

  • [15] 203 TEACHERS APPOINTED TO CENTRAL ASIA

  • [16] EP REPRESENTATIVES VISIT TURKEY

  • [17] ANKARA TO HOST WORLD LIBRARIANS


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    THURSDAY AUGUST 17, 1995

    Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

    [01] CILLER SHINING LIKE A STAR

    Coming to the end of her tour of three of the Central Asian Turkish-speaking republics, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller has been told that "she shines like a star" in the regional firmament.

    During her action-packed tour, Ciller has signed a number of agreements and protocols including a vital "good intent" protocol with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev for the construction of petrol pipelines.

    Now in Kyrgyzstan, Ciller has been warmly welcomed at every stage of her tour and acclaimed as a leading figure in initiatives to unite the Turkish-speaking republics. Ciller has been given awards in recognition of her services in this direction. Ciller will go to Turkmenistan and return to Turkey on Friday. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [02] TURKEY PROTESTS BEHEADINGS IN SAUDI ARABIA

    Nearly 40 Turkish nationals, convicted on or charged with drug offenses, are facing possible execution in Saudi prisons. Saudi Ambassador in Ankara, Naci al-Mufti said his country would continue to carry out executions in accordance with Islamic law despite protests from Turkey about the beheading of four Turks. He told the official Saudi Press Agency late on Tuesday that "Saudi Arabia will not submit to any pressures aimed at changing a religious sentence because of the wishes of some parties". "The protests of some parties against the execution by Saudi authorities of some of these countries' nationals because of drug trafficking will not affect the continued implementation of the religious sentence applied in Saudi Arabi" he added. Replying to a question regarding the executions, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said: "These will harm the friendly relations between the two countries. Our president is concerned about this issue. I will phone King Fahd and try to prevent these executions. I call upon Saudi officials to intercede".

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan, when asked at his weekly press briefing if Turkey would react to the Saudi Ambassador's remarks, said Ankara was basically waiting for King Fahd's reply to a note from President Demirel before expressing further reaction. "But in the meantime" Nurkan said: "We hope the ambassador will behave in a way that doesn't obstruct improvement of relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia". Nurkan said at this time Turkey was not considering calling back its ambassador in Riyadh in protest over the executions. He said Foreign Minister Erdal Inonu, currently attending a tour of three Central Asian countries with Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, had a telephone conversation with his Saudi counterpart late on Tuesday. Meanwhile, public reaction over the beheadings continued to intensify on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Hikmet Cetin, State Minister responsible for Human Rights Algan Hacaloglu, and representatives from several political parties and social organizations denounced the beheadings in Saudi Arabia. The Ankara branch of the Republican People's Party (CHP) yesterday laid a "black wreath" in front of the Saudi Embassy in Ankara. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet-Hurriyet/

    [03] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL APPEALING AGAINST EXECUTIONS

    Amnesty International, criticized by the Turkish press for its non-interference in the capital punishment issue in Saudi Arabia, has released a statement noting that the organization has been appealing for banning capital punishment since April, 1995, and noted that the text of the judgement against the Turks now executed was also added to the appeal. According to Amnesty International, in this year alone there have been 145 executions in Saudi Arabia and that 70 percent of those charged were foreigners. /Hurriyet/

    [04] "EXECUTIONS OUTRAGE FOR TURKEY AND ISLAM"

    Dr.Huseyin Bagci from the METU Department for International Relations, said that the beheadings in Saudi Arabia were an outrage for Turkey and for the Islam. He added that such executions could not be explained by any religious or moral arguments. All Turkish citizens, including the president, and all civil organizations should voice their reactions against this barbarity, and diplomatic steps should be undertaken for stopping the unbelievable cruelty, Bagci said. He noted that in the 1980s, Germany has succeeded in stopping the execution of a German citizen charged with drug smuggling in Malaysia and stressed that Turkey also could bring an end to further cruelty in Saudi Arabia. "Is the life of a Mehmet any the less valuable than the life of a Hans?" Bagci asked. On the other hand, Prof.Sulhi Donmezler said that every country had the sovereign right to determine its laws and punishments and noted that the beheading, even though described as a "barbarity" abroad, was a legal punishment in Saudi Arabia. He added that people visiting a foreign country were assumed to know its laws, and were subject to the legal regulations there even if they were not aware of the laws. "Whatever our attitude toward capital punishments is, the laws in Saudi Arabia allow for it" Donmezler said. /Sabah/

    [05] GERMANY: "CAPTAGON IS A LEGAL MEDICINE"

    Representatives of the Asta medical company, producer of the Captagon hallucinogen have expressed their astonishment over the recent executions in Saudi Arabia. Captagon is produced in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Venezuela and it is sold in 15 EU member countries, company officials said. Since counterfeit Captagon contains some dangerous components, the company has had to fight medicine counterfeiters and has succeeded in some measure to block the illegal production of the hallucinogenic medicine. Asta representatives have evaluated the attitude of the Saudi Arabian officials as "barbaric". /Sabah/

    [06] HACI BEKTAS-I VELI FESTIVAL STARTS

    The 32nd traditional "Haci Bektas-i Veli" festival, an annual gathering of Alevis in Nevsehir's Haci Bektas township, has started with ethusiasm and joy. More than 300,000 people gathered in the centre of the town, which normally has a population of 8,000, for the festival which includes dancing, singing and poetry. Many prominent figures attended this year's festival, including President Suleyman Demirel, acting Prime Minister Hikmet Cetin, Culture Minister Ismail Cem and State Minister Algan Hacaloglu. Demirel, who spoke as if he were an Alevi leader, brought a new dimension to this year's celebration, trying to repair the damaged relations between the Alevi community and the state. "Clear your hearts of emotions like hostility and hate and replace them with tolerance and love instead. Turkey belongs to everyone living in this land" Demirel said. /Sabah/

    [07] PKK DRUG TRAFFICKING BLOCKED

    A top-level official of the Hungarian Customs, Gen.Mihaly Arnold said that Turkey's struggle against the PKK separatist organization had decreased the amount of heroin sent from the Middle East to Europe. Arnold noted that as a result of the successful operations carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces, many laboratories in northern Iraq where the PKK manufactured drugs had been destroyed. He pointed out that there was an important decline in the amount of heroin seized in Hungary, which is one of the leading Central European transit countries. /Sabah/

    [08] DEMIREL WARNS EUROPEAN UNION

    Speaking to a visiting group of European Union (EU) parliamentarians, President Demirel warned that Turkey had to be included in the customs union as a prelude to full membership in the EU.

    Threatening that refusing Turkey "could lead to serious consequences", Demirel told Austrian Liberal Party member Dr. Hans-Gert Pottering that it was vital that Turkey was included in customs union agreements with the EU. Demirel stressed that not only would Turkey-Germany ties be damaged, but so would ties with the EU as a whole.

    Noting that "Turkey was not a third class country, but a bridge to Central Asia and the Middle East", Pottering added that nevertheless there were areas that Turkey still had to work on. /Hurriyet/

    [09] US MAKES BOSNIA GESTURE

    Following initiatives from Turkey, the US has changed certain aspects of its "Bosnia Plan" in favour of the moslems. Washington and Turkey see eye-to-eye on a number of important issues in connection with Bosnia, and the US has now made a gesture in this regard by saying that certain areas now in the hands of the Bosnians will not now have to be returned to the Serbs. /Milliyet/

    [10] TURKEY SILENT ON IRAQ 'SON-IN-LAW CRISIS'

    Turkey said yesterday that it would not comment on the crisis which erupted in Iraq last week as one of President Saddam Huseyin's closest aides defected to Jordan. Lt.Gen.Huseyin Kamel Hassan and his brother Saddam Kamel Hassan, both married to the Iraqi president's daughters, fled Iraq earlier this month, seeking political asylum in Jordan. "This is an internal affair of Iraq" Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan told journalists in a weekly press briefing. "The Iraqi people will decide on the future of the current regime and at this point Turkey can't comment on an internal affair of Iraq" he said.

    [11] TURKEY SAYS KURD ACCORD MEETS ITS REQUIREMENTS

    Turkey said yesterday that it was satisfied with an accord reached by two rival Iraqi Kurdish groups at a meeting in Ireland last week, held in an effort to put an end to fighting in northern Iraq. "The accord meets two Turkish requirements, that Iraq's territorial integrity be respected and that Turkey's security concerns be taken into account" Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan told a weekly press briefing. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) reached a preliminary reconciliation accord at the meeting, also attended by a Turkish official. "The point is that we want to prevent a void that the PKK could exploit" Nurkan said. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] HUMANITARIAN AID TO BOSNIA

    A delegation of 69 scientists, writers, artists and representatives from various foundations will go to Bosnia to provide humanitarian aid on Friday. The delegation, acting as a "Committee for Humanity for Bosnia", will depart from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

    [13] THIRTEEN PKK MILITANTS AND TWO SOLDIERS KILLED

    Thirteen militants of the PKK terrorist organization were killed during military operations in the Southeast, and two soldiers were killed in action. Officials from the emergency rule region said that the 13 militants were killed in Hakkari's Yuksekova district. Eight PKK militants were arrested after their capture in Diyarbakir. Twenty pistols and three automatic guns were confiscated during military operations in Sirnak and Van.

    [14] EVIDENCE OF MIDDLE EAST SUPPORT FOR PKK NOT A SURPRISE

    Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan said yesterday that remarks in a recently released German intelligence report suggesting that Syria, Iran and Iraq provide the PKK terrorist organization with financial support was "no surprise for Turkey". /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] 203 TEACHERS APPOINTED TO CENTRAL ASIA

    The Ministry for National Education will send 203 teachers to the Turkish-speaking republics. The teachers will provide education in "Turkish" Turkish in various schools and educational centers in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] EP REPRESENTATIVES VISIT TURKEY

    Wilfred Martens, Chairman of the European People's Party group at the European Parliament (EP) and Belgian ex-Prime Minister, will visit Turkey on September 1-5. Martens will meet governmental officials and party representatives to discuss matters concerning the customs union. In the light of the fact that the Christian Democrats, the second largest group in the European Parliament, meet under the umbrella of the European People's Party, the visit of Wilfred Martens is seen as a step towards improving relations between Turkey and the EP. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] ANKARA TO HOST WORLD LIBRARIANS

    Seventy representatives from 41 countries of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), the world's principal library organization with 284 member associations in 135 countries, will visit the library of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara on August 17 and 18. The opening speech of the 11th conference of International Parliamentary Libraries will be made by Deputy Parliament Speaker Mustafa Kalemli. The IFLA will hold a convention in Istanbul between August 21 and 26 following the visit to Ankara.

    END

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