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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (December 19, 1995)

From: "Demetrios E. Paneras" <dep@bu.edu>

Turkish News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] CILLER CONVENES EU COORDINATION BOARD

  • [02] TANIR RECEIVES TUNISIAN AIR FORCE COMMANDER

  • [03] BOSNIA-TURKEY DEFENCE COOPERATION

  • [04] NO CERTAIN DECISION FOR PROVIDE COMFORT

  • [05] TURKEY STUDIES CENTRE CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY

  • [06] TURKISH PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN TURKMENISTAN REACH $1.6 BN

  • [07] DEVELOPING BUSINESS TIES WITH EUROPE

  • [08] IBCA SAYS EU CUSTOMS DEAL UNDERPINS TURKEY

  • [09] ANKARA SAYS INCENTIVES COMPATIBLE WITH EU NORMS

  • [10] ONE-FOURTH OF TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS ARE IN TEXTILE BUSINESS, SAYS REPORT

  • [11] $150 MILLION CREDIT

  • [12] FOREIGN DELEGATIONS IN ISTANBUL

  • [13] US BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST IN TURKEY

  • [14] COLD WINDS FROM GREECE

  • [15] TURKEY WARY ABOUT PKK-KDP CEASEFIRE

  • [16] ECONOMIC AID FOR KURDISH LEADER

  • [17] TOURISM SECTOR IS ONE OF THE BEST

  • [18] "TURKISH CULTURE VILLAGE" IN JAPAN


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    TUESDAY DECEMBER 19, 1995

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

    [01] CILLER CONVENES EU COORDINATION BOARD

    The EU Coordination Board, a newly-established body to prepare and coordinate the Turkish approach to relations with the EU, convened yesterday for the first time since last week's ratification of Turkey's Customs Union (CU) accord with the EU by the European Parliament. Chairing yesterday's "expanded meeting" which included officials from 45 public sector organizations, Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said in her opening remarks that the CU accord due to come into force on January 1, 1996, would bring about very important changes for Turkey and provide an opportunity for restructuring the country's economy. Indicating that the government had worked out a working programme aimed at smoothing Turkey's transition into the CU, Ciller said that such restructuring was essential if this accord with the EU was to operate successfully.

    Ciller said that they would come up with proposals to present to the EU side under the Italian term presidency which follows Spain's current period. She said that they would try to formalize certain plans and projects which would then be presented to the EU for consideration within the context of financial aid to be allocated to Turkey. Ciller said that these matters would be taken up during a visit she will pay to Italy in January. /All papers/

    [02] TANIR RECEIVES TUNISIAN AIR FORCE COMMANDER

    Defence Minister Vefa Tanir received Gen.Ridha Attar, Commander of the Tunisian Air Force, in his Ankara office yesterday to discuss military training and the possibility of Turkish arms sales to Tunisia. Gen.Attar is the head of a Tunisian delegation which is looking at Turkish military technology and training During the visit, Gen.Attar was shown the F-16 air base near Ankara and various military training facilities. The delegation is also here to look at the possibility of buying military hardware from Turkey. Tanir said that the two countries enjoyed friendly relations and had done so for a number of years. Tanir praised the achievements Turkey has made in military development and the defence industry in general. The delegation will be meeting Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi, Turkish Chief of General Staff, on Wednesday to sign three military protocols. Gen.Attar will leave Turkey on Friday. /All papers/

    [03] BOSNIA-TURKEY DEFENCE COOPERATION

    Ankara stated that contacts for military cooperation within the framework of the "Defence Cooperation Accord" signed between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey were underway and would further increase. In a press conference yesterday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel pointed out that military cooperation contacts between the two countries would enhance with the lifting of the UN-imposed military sanctions on Bosnia- Herzegovina. Replying to a question regarding the issue of Bosnian soldiers to be trained in Turkey, agreed upon during a visit of Prime Minister Tansu Ciller to Sarajevo last month, Akbel said: "There is a defence cooperation accord between the two countries. There may be these kinds of implementations within the scope of the agreement". /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] NO CERTAIN DECISION FOR PROVIDE COMFORT

    Ankara stated that no certain decision had been made regarding the future of the "Provide Comfort" rapid strike force deployed at the Incirlik Base near Adana. In a press conference yesterday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel noted that the Provide Comfort mandate had succeeded in extending humanitarian aid to the region, assuring security and preventing mass migrations from the region. Pointing out that terrorist attacks from the region to Turkey continuing, Akbel said: "We continue to develop different ideas. Our talks with the other countries participating in the force are continuing. However, no certain decision has yet been taken". /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TURKEY STUDIES CENTRE CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY

    The Centre for Turkish Studies (Zentrum fur Turkeistudien), founded in 1985 in Bonn by three academics, held a special meeting in Essen yesterday to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Speakers at the meeting included Turkish Ambassador to Germany Volkan Vural, Prime Minister of the Northern Rhein Westphalia Province Dr.Johannes Rau and the centre's director, Dr.Faruk Sen. Members of the Turkish government, Turkish businessmen, Turkish and German press members and members of the Westphalian government and Parliament participated in the meeting. The Centre for Turkish Studies, which employs 27 researchers at present, has conducted research during its first decade on subjects varying from EU-Turkey relations, Central Asian Turkish-Speaking Republics and fundamentalism and women's rights in Turkey to the problems of the Turkish minorities in Europe. /All papers/

    [06] TURKISH PRIVATE INVESTMENTS IN TURKMENISTAN REACH $1.6 BN

    Turkish investment in Turkmenistan has so far totalled $1.6 billion, a Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. Attending a conference on "Strategic Cooperation between Turkey and Turkmenistan", Foreign Ministry official Serpil Alpman said trade between the two countries was the on the rise. She said that every month 1,000 trucks depart from Turkey to Turkmenistan and the trade volume between the two countries had increased 50 % in 1994 and the first five months of 1995. Despite such high levels of investment, Alpman said, Turkey faced various problems with customs and was trying to help Turkmenistan to train its customs officers. A strategic conference was organized jointly by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency and the Turkmenistan Academy of Sciences.

    Meanwhile, the value of contracts Turkish contractors have so far won in the Russian Federation has reached $7.4 billion, and the work completed so far in these countries has reached approximately $2.4 billion while projects worth $5 billion are still underway. /All papers/

    [07] DEVELOPING BUSINESS TIES WITH EUROPE

    Top Foreign Ministry official Onur Oymen said yesterday that Turkish businessmen were a powerful force in Europe. He added that by welding Turkish companies already operating in Europe to small and medium size domestic companies, an even stronger trade and business force would be created.

    Speaking to journalists about Prime Minister Ciller's Saturday visit to Madrid, Oymen went on to speak about ties in general with the European Union (EU), now that the customs treaty was sealed. He warned that mistakes could be made however, and said that "we don't want to kick the ball into our own goal." Noting that world trade was enmeshed in a commercial battle, Oymen said that Turkey must use the situation to establish itself in the European market. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] IBCA SAYS EU CUSTOMS DEAL UNDERPINS TURKEY

    IBCA, the European ratings agency, said the European Parliament's vote to create a customs union between the EU and the Republic of Turkey was an important underpinning for Turkey's future credit worthiness. "The integration of the Turkish economy into the European area should prove to be even more significant than the integration of Mexico and the US in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), since NAFTA creates a free trade area while the Turkey-EU area will have a common external tariff" IBCA said in a statement. It said Turkey's private sector was strong, competitive and able to handle temporary strains in the labour market. /All papers/

    [09] ANKARA SAYS INCENTIVES COMPATIBLE WITH EU NORMS

    Turkey's official trade department has said that the government incentive system currently in operation was compatible with the incentive norms accepted by EU member countries. The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said in a written statement that the customs union agreement between Ankara and Brussels required harmonization of Turkish incentives with EU standards in return for removal of the EU's commercial protection instruments against Turkey, such as anti-dumping investigations and quotas. The undersecretariat also said that Turkey would continue granting some regional incentives in line with EU norms. It argued that despite controversy there had not been a noticeable decline in incentives in the EU. According to the agreement, Turkey should immediately adopt the EU incentives in the textile and ready-wear industries, and should do so within a transition period of two years in the automotive, shipbuilding and coal industries. /Sabah/

    [10] ONE-FOURTH OF TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS ARE IN TEXTILE BUSINESS, SAYS REPORT

    One-fourth of all Turkish industrialists are in the textile business, disclosed a study released by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), which has over 600,000 members nationwide. The report showed that the Turkish textile industry accounted for 40 % of the industrial population. "Forty out of every 100 employees in Turkish industry work in the textile sector" the report said. It also said that 190 out of Turkey's top 750 industrial conglomerates were textile companies. Textile sales in the top 750 group were TL 195.1 trillion. Overall sales in the same group were around TL 1.5 quadrillion, according to the same study. /All papers/

    [11] $150 MILLION CREDIT

    Today, the Turkish Eximbank will sign an agreement in London regarding a $150 million credit from different international banks. Deputy Undersecretary of the Treasury, Bulent Ozgun, and Vice-President of Eximbank, Can Yesilada, will attend the signing ceremony. /Milliyet/

    [12] FOREIGN DELEGATIONS IN ISTANBUL

    Istanbul again attracted the attention of foreign delegations this year during which there has been intense customs union preparations. Foreign businessmen from 29 countries visited the Istanbul Chambers of Trade (ITO), to look for new trade opportunities with their Turkish counterparts. Foreign businessmen are mostly interested in leather goods, spare parts, textiles, agricultural products and petrochemicals. /Milliyet/

    [13] US BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST IN TURKEY

    US businessmen will invest in Turkey, which is a rapidly developing market in line with the increase in domestic population. The US Commerce Department has produced a "Market Survey in Turkey" to guide American investors. According to a decision of the Turco-American Joint Economic Commission, the survey was financed by the USA Commerce and Development Agency. Results of the survey will be given to US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, and an American delegation which will visit Turkey between 17-20 January.

    It is stressed in the survey that Turkey is a market wide open to new investment, and it is Germany which has made the most investment in Turkey. The survey gives information about various ways of investing in Turkey, which has just become a member of the European customs union. /Sabah/

    [14] COLD WINDS FROM GREECE

    Athens has not responded warmly to messages from Prime Minister Ciller to the effect that following customs union with the Europeans, relations between Turkey and Greece would improve.

    Ciller sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou in which she expressed the hope that now ties between the two countries could be put on a proper footing. Somewhere along the way, good intentions have gone amiss with the Greek side responding coldly, and the Greek opposition leader Miltiyadis Evert even suggesting that Ciller's note was provocative. Even the Greek President, Kostis Stafanopoulos seems unresponsive and is reported to have negatively responded to this latest Turkish initiative. /Milliyet/

    [15] TURKEY WARY ABOUT PKK-KDP CEASEFIRE

    Turkey is not at all convinced that the PKK-KDP engineered ceasefire in the sensitive northern Iraq region will work, and has warned all the sides concerned that peace is not guaranteed.

    Kurdish leaders of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP), have been cautioned about the deal made with the separatist PKK organization which is known for its terrorist activities. Leader of the PKK, Abdullah "Apo" Ocalan announced some weeks back that he was prepared to enforce a unilateral ceasefire in the region of northern Iraq. The KDP made an official statement on December 11 that the ceasefire had started. Foreign diplomatic sources suggest that something good could come out of the situation, especially as KDP leader Mesut Barzani is expecting a positive response from Turkey in connection with economic support. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] ECONOMIC AID FOR KURDISH LEADER

    With a view towards getting a stronger grip in the disputed regions of northern Iraq, Ankara has decided that long-term economic aid should be extended towards leader of the PUK party, Celal Talabani, in a move designed to balance the opposing factions in the region.

    Among first developments in this area will be the setting up of ten textile, cement and similar plants to stimulate the regional economy and provide employment. KDP party leader Barzani noting this development has already declared that his party was obliged to strike a deal with the PKK because "aid from Turkey was not sufficient."

    Operation of the plants however, will largely depend on Turkey, to prevent accusations that the UN embargo against Iraq is being broken. In the meantime, talks with Kurdish leaders continue as efforts to find a solution to fighting in the region intensify. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] TOURISM SECTOR IS ONE OF THE BEST

    The Turkish tourism sector became one of the best sectors in 1995, as the number of tourists grew and foreign exchange income increased. It is expected that ten milllion tourists will visit Turkey in 1996 during which year the Habitat II Conference and World Parliamentarians Union Congress will also be held. TURSAB Chairman, Talha Camas, noted that the number of tourists coming to Turkey would reach eight million by the end of this year, and a $5 billion income would be earned. Pointing out that the Customs Union would boost the tourism sector, Camas said: "We expect at least $6.5 billion in income from tourism in 1996". Trade areas which are expected to improve in 1996 are as follows: Germany, Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Holland, France, Austria, America, the Far East and the Gulf countries. /Sabah/

    [18] "TURKISH CULTURE VILLAGE" IN JAPAN

    A miniature Turkey will soon be established in Japan. In order to make Turkey known to Japanese people, a "Turkish Culture Village", which will cost about TL 2.2 trillion, will be constructed in Kashiwazaki, four hours away from Tokyo.

    A representative of the construction firm, that will build the village, Toshiyuki Koiwa said that they intended to introduce Eurasian countries to the Japanese as a contribution to international culture.

    Construction of the village will be finished next year in July. The village, which will cover 50,000 square metres, will have the capacity to contain 500,000 people, and there will be everything about Turkey on display; that is to say special emblems from Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque, Pamukkale, the Trojan Horse and the Ataturk monument. A Military Band, oriental dancing, Turkish cuisine and traditional Turkish handicrafts will be introduced to visitors.

    The Vice-President of the Nigata Chuo Bank, which is sponsoring the project, said that they had chosen an area to construct the village which had seven hills like Istanbul. /Milliyet/

    [END]

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