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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (December 28, 1995)

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

Turkish News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] SECULAR ALLIANCE TALKS ENTER SECOND ROUND

  • [02] SUPREME ELECTORAL BOARD RELEASES RESULTS

  • [03] 76TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATATURK'S ANKARA VICTORY

  • [04] ANKARA RAPS EURO-PARLIAMENT'S 'DOUBLE STANDARD'

  • [05] IRAN, SYRIA AND TURKEY COME TOGETHER IN TEHRAN

  • [06] AKBEL: "TURCO-CYPRUS TIES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY CU"

  • [07] PKK CLAIMS DENIED

  • [08] NO COMMENT FROM WASHINGTON

  • [09] FOREIGN PRESS REACTION

  • [10] DENKTAS IN ANKARA

  • [11] TURKEY SIGNS $730 MILLION FINANCING FOR WATER PROJECT


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    THURSDAY DECEMBER 28, 1995

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

    [01] SECULAR ALLIANCE TALKS ENTER SECOND ROUND

    Noting that Turkey was experiencing a hard time, True Path Party (DYP) Chairwoman and Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said: "Initiatives to set up the government will be launched in the forthcoming days within democratic rules". It is reported that the ANAP-DYP-DSP coalition will be reasonable and that ANAP will not reject the person whom the three parties accept as prime minister. Ciller held an introductory meeting with the new DYP deputies at the Prime Ministerial Residence yesterday evening and said: "The DYP respects the secular Turkish Republic, Ataturk's principles and moral values. It is out of the question for us to make a coalition with the Welfare Party.

    Today, leaders begin a second round of talks on forming a secular alliance to prevent the Islamists from coming to power. Party officials said ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz will receive DSP leader Ecevit for the second time since Sunday's polls, which put the RP on top. Yilmaz is pushing Ecevit as a possible partner in an anti-Islamist coalition. DYP officials have said Ciller favours her former social democrat coalition partners over Ecevit, who opposes Ciller's projects of privatization and a customs union with Europe. They say Ciller, whose party won more seats despite being fractions of a point behind ANAP in the popular vote, should be appointed if the Islamists fail to build an alliance. /Hurriyet-Milliyet/

    [02] SUPREME ELECTORAL BOARD RELEASES RESULTS

    The Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) has released the temporary results of the December 24 early general elections, taking into account also votes cast at the border gates: the Welfare Party (RP) has obtained 158 seats in Parliament, the True Path Party (DYP) -- 135, the Motherland Party (ANAP) -- 131, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) -- 76, and the Republican People's Party (CHP) -- 50. The number of ANAP deputies, previously calculated to be 132, dropped to 131 as DSP candidate Kubilay Uygun turned out to be the deputy elected from Afyon, instead of ANAP candidate Gaffar Yakin. Accordingly, the number of DSP deputies increased by one to 76.

    Out of 34,149,964 registered voters, 29,096,408 cast their votes, with a rate of participation at the elections amounting to 85.2 percent. RP came out first in the elections, winning 6,011,565 votes, or 21.38 percent of the total vote. The RP is followed by ANAP with 5,525,419 votes (19.65 percent) and DYP with 5,395,162 votes (19.19 percent). DSP lined up forth with 14.64 percent of the vote, or 4,117,619 votes. The last party just able to clear the 10-percent national threshold to obtain seats in the Parliament was CHP receiving 3,010,770 votes (10.71 percent). 2,300,778 electors, or 8.18 percent of the electorate, voted for the National Movement Party (MHP), and another 1,171,451 (4.17 percent) for the People's Democracy Party (HADEP). /Milliyet/

    [03] 76TH ANNIVERSARY OF ATATURK'S ANKARA VICTORY

    The 76th anniversary of Ataturk's victorious arrival in Ankara was celebrated yesterday with ceremonies. In a message released on the occasion of the anniversary, President Demirel noted that Ataturk's victory in the War of Independence was due to Ankara's "strong spiritual atmosphere" and added that Ankara will continue to carry out its great mission destined by history. The programme of the celebrations, included many events, and a visit by Ankara officials to the Ataturk Mausoleum, two traditional races organized by the General Staff, a ceremony held in Keklikpinar from where Ataturk rode into Ankara, conferences and meetings. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] ANKARA RAPS EURO-PARLIAMENT'S 'DOUBLE STANDARD'

    Ankara accused the European Parliament (EP) yesterday of adopting double standards on the question of terrorism, treating Spain's ETA and Turkey's PKK differently. "The EP has adopted a resolution in the course of its December 1995 sessions which stresses that the Parliament reiterates its refusal to engage in any dialogue with those who corroborate with, assist, sponsor or carry out terrorist acts of any kind" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel said.

    Akbel maintained that this was a striking contradiction to the EP's resolution on human rights in Turkey which was adopted right after the vote on customs union. The resolution, after much fine-tuning in the final wording, called on Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other Kurdish organizations to find a nonviolent political solution to the Kurdish problem.

    "Set the two texts behind each other and the contradiction is plain to see" Akbel said, adding when ETA staged terrorist attacks in Madrid in December 11, the EP did not hesitate to condemn the organization. "Turkey calls on the EP to adopt a more realistic attitude in future resolutions" he said.

    On the other hand, Akbel also praised a December 12 declaration on countering terrorism made by the Group of Seven and the Russian Federation. "We were pleased to note that they emphasized the fact that violence can never be a legitimate means for achieving an objective. This declaration of political will represents a significant conceptual advance in the struggle against terrorism" Akbel added. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] IRAN, SYRIA AND TURKEY COME TOGETHER IN TEHRAN

    Senior officials from Turkey, Syria and Iran came together in Iran's capital yesterday for a two-day meeting that aims to prepare the agenda for an upcoming ministerial summit, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced. The foreign ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Ankara in March.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel said in a press conference yesterday that latest developments in northern Iraq were evaluated at the Tehran meeting and it was decided that bilateral meetings would be held between Turkey and Iran especially regarding security issues. Recalling that a cooperation agreement with Iran for a united struggle against terrorism was signed six months ago, Akbel said: "Although there is a functioning mechanism, it is too early to achieve results from this mechanism". Upon a question, Akbel noted that a bilateral meeting with the Syrian delegation was not expected, however, developments regarding the 'water' problem between the two countries would be evaluated in Damascus. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] AKBEL: "TURCO-CYPRUS TIES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY CU"

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel confirmed yesterday that the political and economic relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) would not be harmed by the achievement of customs union between Turkey and the EU. Akbel said that Turkey, not yet a full member of the EU, would not be bound by the decisions of the European Court of Justice, which has banned exports from the TRNC. Asked about the possibility of admission of a 'united' Cyprus to the EU ahead of Turkey, Akbel said that Turkey would expect conformity to international agreements, thus referring to an accord that says Cyprus cannot be a member of an organization which all three of its guarantors -Turkey, Greece and Britain- are not members. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] PKK CLAIMS DENIED

    The leaders of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) and the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party (IPUK) have denied claims by the PKK terrorist organization that they have all joined in a "National Kurdish Committee."

    Both Mesud Barzani and Celal Talabani have denied any such union with the PKK, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry has noted that both leaders are fully aware of Turkey's views on the matter. The Ankara representative of the IPUK, Sazad Saib said yesterday that any reports of IPUK or IKDP involvement "were lies."

    During his weekly press meeting yesterday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel touched on the matter in answer to a question and confirmed that the Kurdish leaders knew how Ankara felt about the issue. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] NO COMMENT FROM WASHINGTON

    The Clinton administration is avoiding comment about the results of the December 24 general election. Government officials merely say that the "Turkish people must choose their government for themselves."

    US government representatives have so far made no comment on moves by Turkey's main stream parties to exclude the pro-Islamic Refah Party from efforts to form a new coalition government. The US government has however, congratulated Turkey on having an incident-free, democratic election. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] FOREIGN PRESS REACTION

    Comment in the foreign press continues to revolve around the Refah Party win in the general election. German newspapers commented yesterday that even if the Refah Party- with a religion-based platform- comes to power, Turkey will not be separated from Europe.

    Earlier this week, the French Liberation newspaper reported on how the centre right and left parties were working hard to set up a coalition that excluded the Refah Party. Liberation also noted however, that Islamic fundamentalists had found a way forward in secular Turkey. Britain's Times newspaper also noted that the success of the Refah Party had thrown a shadow over the future of secularism in Turkey. On the other hand, the Times commented more on the efforts at unification among the main parties that the Refah win has led to.

    According to the Italian Il Messaggero, the Refah Party is actually controlled from Iran, and that Iran would like to see the Refah party lead Turkey into an Algeria- type situation. Corriera Della Sera warns that Refah Party supporters could take to the streets if the other parties go beyond the limits in trying to keep Refah out. La Stampa even says that the military are "alert" to the situation even though the centrist parties are proposing new alternatives. /Hurriyet/

    [10] DENKTAS IN ANKARA

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, will in Ankara today to carry on with talks about the situation on the island. New initiatives to resolve the problems between the two communities on the island have moved faster following US success in bringing peace to Bosnia.

    The US administration has already commented that "after Bosnia, we will deal with Cyprus" but the TRNC has certain stipulations that it will not compromise on. Top US State Department negotiator Richard Holbrooke has said that he will plunge into an intensified round of "shuttle diplomacy" to resolve the island's difficulties.

    Yesterday, there was a "comprehensive" meeting on Cyprus in the Turkish Foreign Ministry. US and European Union (EU) pressures to arrive at a quick solution were discussed and policy was reviewed. Results of the meeting will be discussed with Rauf Denktas today. /Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet/

    [11] TURKEY SIGNS $730 MILLION FINANCING FOR WATER PROJECT

    The Turkish government has signed a major financing agreement, worth approximately $730 million, for an urban and industrial water supply project in the Marmara town of Izmit, where there is intensive industrial activity, a statement from the NPR public relations company said yesterday. Some 85 % of the total project cost of $860 million will be covered by loans. The remaining $130 million will be subscribed by project sponsors. The statement said the signing ceremony was held in London on 19 December. Those who were present at the siging ceremony included Acting Treasury Undersecretary Bulent Ozgun, Izmit Mayor Sefa Sirmen, British Trade Secretary Anthony Nelson and Chase Investment Bank representative Homi Mullan as well as the administrators from the contractor group. /All papers/

    END

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