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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (December 14, 1995)

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

Turkish News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY AND EU OPEN NEW ERA

  • [02] GOVERNMENT EXPRESSES JOY

  • [03] US CONGRATULATES TURKEY

  • [04] BENEFITS COMING FROM CUSTOMS UNION

  • [05] TURKEY AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

  • [06] ANKARA REPLIES TO PKK LEADER

  • [07] AZERBAIJAN EASES VISA CONDITIONS FOR TURKS

  • [08] TURKEY TO PARTICIPATE IN WEU'S FIRST MILITARY EXERCISE

  • [09] PERES: "RELATIONS WITH TURKEY ARE EXCELLENT"

  • [10] ANKARA REASSURED BY UN CHIEF'S CYPRUS REPORT

  • [11] JCR ASSIGNS BB+ RATING TO TURKEY'S 50 BILLION YEN BOND

  • [12] TURCO-USA JOINT DEFENCE GROUP


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW


    THURSDAY DECEMBER 14, 1995


    Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press

    this morning

    [01] TURKEY AND EU OPEN NEW ERA

    The European Parliament voted yesterday by a comfortable majority in favour of Turkey's Customs Union (CU). The vote of the general assembly, which voted for the CU agreement 343 to 149, with 36 abstentions, was followed by a much-debated resolution in which the Parliament called on the Commission to prepare a report to be submitted to them "at least once a month". The resolution called on Turkey to continue with democratic reforms. The European Parliament's vote also enables Turkey to obtain ECU 375 million ($470 million) from the EU for financial cooperation assistance during a five-year term. EU Commissioner responsible for Turkey Hans Van Den Broek also attended the General Assembly session. Broek said: "We can be effective as long as we connect Turkey with the CU and the EU. We should trust and support Turkey". /Milliyet/

    [02] GOVERNMENT EXPRESSES JOY

    The passing of the CU accord by the European Parliament yesterday was welcomed by government circles expressing deep satisfaction. The passing of the CU by an overwhelming majority of Euro MPS was marked by the flying of the Turkish flag in schools and official buildings around Turkey. Among the first to express his happiness and send messages of congratulations to Prime Minister Ciller and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal was President Suleyman Demirel. Issuing a statement on the passing of the CU, Demirel said this effectively represented the fulfilling in spirit and word of the commitments entered into by Turkey and Europe. He said that the CU meant that an era marked by difficulties, but also opportunities, lay ahead of Turkey. "I believe that as before we will meet these difficulties head on and use the opportunities provided in a rational way" Demirel said.

    Prime Minister Ciller for her part said in a written statement that she had learned with great happiness of the vote in support of Turkey's CU. She indicated that this represented a major step in the direction of Turkey's economic integration with Europe. She added, however, that this on its own could not take the place of Ankara's desire to one day become a full member of the EU. Expressing her 'sincere congratulations' to all who had worked over the past 30 years for the finalization of this accord, Ciller also underlined her gratitude to all EU governments, as well as the US, Israeli and other governments who supported Turkey in this respect. Pointing out that a 'new era' had now begun for Turkey, Ciller said the path ahead would raise Turkey economically, socially and in terms of every aspect that affected society to the high standards of Europe. "I believe that after the great success we as a nation have secured today, we will walk along the path shown by Ataturk and make our country one of the most distinguished and advanced countries of Europe" Ciller said. /Hurriyet/

    [03] US CONGRATULATES TURKEY

    Washington has sent messages of congratulation to Ankara now that Turkey has been accepted as a member of the EU customs union. Right from the start, the US has been a prime supporter of Turkey's customs union membership, and now that all the pre-vote excitement is over, the US has been among the first to congratulate Turkey on this important step forward.

    Conveying the message, US State Department deputy spokesman Gleen Davies said that the way had been opened for even more trade and investment developments.

    Supportive messages have in fact, come from every quarter: Representing the EU in Turkey, Michael Lake said yesterday that the favourable vote was a message to the whole region, including the Balkans, Caucasia and other areas. He noted that despite the complaints about Turkey's poor human rights record, the Europeans had gone ahead and voted Turkey into the customs union. Lake avoided giving however, a direct answer to questions about Turkey's future full membership in the EU.

    Chairman of the EU Foreign Relations Commission, Hans Van Den Broek described the final agreement as "historic" and said that he had heard of the success of the vote with pleasure. He too said that Turkey had been given an important message with the vote. Former US State Secretary Alexander Haig, in a comment in the Wall Street Journal agreed that the vote was a positive approval of Turkey, and was a message of friendship from the West to Turkey. Haig added that Turkey still needed to be given every support and help that could be provided.

    Government officials say that messages of congratulation are still pouring into Ankara from leading EU nations including Britain, Germany and France. Russian agencies have noted that twenty years of bargaining between Turkey and the Europeans have thus come to an end. /Sabah/

    [04] BENEFITS COMING FROM CUSTOMS UNION

    Now that the European Union (EU) member countries have voted in favour of Turkey's customs union with them, the customs union treaty will come into full effect on January 1, 1996.

    The customs union agreement is an economic agreement, one that will generate more economic interest in Turkey. Foreign trade and investment will increase and major sectors including automotives and petrol will expand. With a view to increasing competitive strengths, government incentives will be reduced, but the agricultural sector will be allowed more freedom from customs union regulations for many more years.

    Trade regulations, tariffs, taxes will all change. Turkey will be obliged to meet new standards. Turkey will benefit from new markets, but so will the Europeans expect to find new areas to conquer in Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [05] TURKEY AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

    In a statement from the Foreign Ministry it says that under present circumstances Turkey is under no obligation to apply decisions coming from the European Court of Justice.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel said yesterday that until Turkey becomes a full member of the European Union Turkey will not have to fully apply rulings coming from the European Court of Justice.

    Spokesman Akbel also noted that this would protect the interests of Cyprus especially in connection with future customs union and membership in the European Union. /Hurriyet/

    [06] ANKARA REPLIES TO PKK LEADER

    Ankara has responded sharply to the cease-fire proposal of PKK terrorist leader Abdullah "Apo" Ocalan. During yesterday's weekly Foreign Ministry press meeting, Spokesman Omer Akbel said that Ankara would not under any circumstances join in dialogue with a terrorist.

    Akbel also said that Ankara was fully aware of the sensitivity of the situation and was following developments closely. He further stressed that certain aspects of the issue were not open to debate and Ankara's terms had to be protected. /Hurriyet/

    [07] AZERBAIJAN EASES VISA CONDITIONS FOR TURKS

    Following last month's agreement between Turkey and Azerbaijan, conditions for the entrance of Turkish citizens to the latter country have been eased, officialy starting on Wednesday. Under the agreement, Turkish students or businessmen, legally proven to be settled in Azerbaijan, will obtain a free entrance visa valid for one year. Any other Turkish visitors holding a diplomatic or official passport will be able to stay in Azerbaijan without a visa for three months. Any Turkish representatives in the fields of sport, the arts, culture or media will be able to obtain a free visa, on the same day they make the application. /All papers/

    [08] TURKEY TO PARTICIPATE IN WEU'S FIRST MILITARY EXERCISE

    Turkey will be the sole associate member to participate in the Western European Union's (WEU) first military exercise, WEU Crisex 95-96, the first stage of which is scheduled for December 15-21. The participation of the Turkish Armed Forces in the exercise, along with the other 10 full member WEU countries, is viewed as a significant step toward Turkey's possible full acceptance in the union in the future. WEU Crisex 95-96 aims at testing its strategies and mechanisms in case of a crisis. The second and third stages of the exercise will take place next year. /Hurriyet/

    [09] PERES: "RELATIONS WITH TURKEY ARE EXCELLENT"

    Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres said yesterday that the relationship between Turkey and his country stood on an excellent basis, on the second day of his two-day visit to the US. In his speech at a joint session of the US Congress, Peres strongly criticized international terrorist activities which Syria is accused of supporting. He said: "Syria must not support any terrorist organization and shelter these organizations in their territory". He added that withdrawal from the Golan Heights could only take place after all the conditions for a real peace process had been laid". /Sabah/

    [10] ANKARA REASSURED BY UN CHIEF'S CYPRUS REPORT

    Turkey described UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali's report on Cyprus as "unbiased", and will reveal its official reponse in the near future. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel said that the report, which was published on Tuesday, was still being evaluated by the ministry. "The report is concerned with the 'excessive levels of military forces and armaments' in Cyprus, and Greece's contribution to this process. However, it does not cite some of the recent developments that could affect the situation on the island negatively, like the Greek Cypriot students' protest rallies at the border" he said.

    Meanwhile, the US had proposed that the right of guarantee on Cyprus, which Turkey and Greece also had over the whole island, be limited to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey has rejected the US proposal. In a weekly press conference yesterday, Akbel noted that the US proposal was unacceptable. He said: "Turkey's right of guarantee on Cyprus will continue. Those painful events experienced in the past are the reasons for the continuation of this guarantee". /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] JCR ASSIGNS BB+ RATING TO TURKEY'S 50 BILLION YEN BOND

    Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) said it had assigned its BB+ rating to Turkey's 50 billion yens worth of four percent bonds due on December 14, 1998. JCR said that the rating was the same as the last one it had assigned to Turkey on November 2, as it had not seen any substantial change in its rating environment. JCR said that Turkey's real Gross National Product (GNP) had grown by about five percent annually for the 10 years prior to 1992. The Turkish economy had also recorded a yearly growth rate of 6.2 % in the first half of 1995. A mission from the agency held talks with senior policy makers in Turkey in September. The JCR said the Turkish economy would grow faster than the revised target of 3.5 % in 1995. Turkish officials noted that JCR's rating was of great significance regarding the terms of finance Turkey may raise from the Japanese markets. /All papers/

    [12] TURCO-USA JOINT DEFENCE GROUP

    A high level Joint Defence Group (YDOSG) meeting organised once a year due to the Defence and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SEIA) between Turkey and the US on 29 March 1990 was begun yesterday in Ankara. At the three-day meeting the amount of 1996-American military aid to Turkey will be decided. Also, border security and the operation of "Provide Comfort will be discussed during the meeting. /Cumhuriyet/

    END

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