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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (February 7, 1996)

From: TRKNWS-L <trh@aimnet.com>

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] COUNTDOWN FOR NEW GOVERNMENT

  • [02] YILMAZ AND CILLER PRESSURED TO JOIN UP

  • [03] TURKMEN PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS GAS DEAL IN TURKEY

  • [04] DEMIREL, A MEDIATOR IN CAUCASIA

  • [05] BAYKAL SPEAKS AT HIS PARTY GROUP MEETING

  • [06] TURKEY REGRETS HOLBROOKE VISIT CANCELLATION

  • [07] HOLBROOKE NOT HAPPY WITH ATHENS

  • [08] US WORRIED OVER NEGATIVE GREEK ATTITUDES

  • [09] ANKARA URGES EU TO CARRY OUT ITS OBLIGATIONS

  • [10] CLINTON PRAISES CILLER OVER AEGEAN CRISIS

  • [11] PRESS COUNCIL TO COMPLAIN ABOUT GREEK ACTIONS

  • [12] OLD ENEMIES NOW FRIENDS

  • [13] PKK SUPPORT FOR GREEK AGGRESSION

  • [14] PKK TAKES A BLOW IN AUSTRIA

  • [15] MILITARY TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT FOR BOSNIA

  • [16] TENSION OVER PROVIDE COMFORT


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7, 1996

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

    [01] COUNTDOWN FOR NEW GOVERNMENT

    After formation of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Bureau Assembly, the legal period of 45 days has started for setting up a new government. If the political parties fail to form a new government in that period, then new general elections could be held. /Hurriyet/

    [02] YILMAZ AND CILLER PRESSURED TO JOIN UP

    Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday started his search for partners in the government he hopes to set up, but drew advice from the two-left wing parties that he should return to his own side of the spectrum and revive failed efforts for a partnership with caretaker Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's True Path Party (DYP). The leaders of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Democratic left Party (DSP) also distanced themselves from a deal ANAP is contemplating with the Welfare Party (RP) as a last resort.

    CHP leader Deniz Baykal told reporters after meeting with Yilmaz that the ANAP leader had sought his party's support for an ANAP-RP coalition, which, he said, he had categorically rejected. "We are not for any model that inludes the RP and it is out of the question for us to lend direct or indirect support to such a coalition. I have said this openly to Yilmaz" Baykal said.

    DSP leader Bulent Ecevit, whom Yilmaz met after Baykal, also called on the two center-right parties to overcome their differences and set up a partnership "for the good of the country". He also ruled out his party's support for an ANAP-RP partnership, but said he had not found Yilmaz particularly eager for it either, although the ANAP leader seemed to want to preserve it as an option. Asked if he would agree to leading a DYP-ANAP coalition to solve the dispute, Ecevit said he would take the matter to his party's competent bodies if both sides explicitly requested it. Yilmaz is scheduled to meet with Ciller today. Yilmaz has said that he and his party cannot tolerate a coalition in which Ciller would serve as the first prime minister, as she has suggested. After Ciller, Yilmaz will complete his round of talks with Islamist leader Necmettin Erbakan. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] TURKMEN PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS GAS DEAL IN TURKEY

    Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov will come to Turkey today as the guest of his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Demirel to discuss ways to revive a delayed deal to supply gas to Turkey through a pipeline, Turkish officials said yesterday. Niyazov, who will stop over in Istanbul for a medical check-up, will arrive in Ankara on 12 February to meet Demirel and Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, they said.

    Niyazov is expected to have talks on the proposed project to export natural gas from Turkmenistan, which has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia, via a pipeline through Iran and possibly to be extended to reach Europe later. Niyazov's talks are expected to detail the financial size of the gas deal and the amount Turkey will purchase. Turkey also signed an agreement with Iran to initially buy two billion cubic metres of gas from Iran from 1998 on. Its purchases will be raised gradually to 10 billion cubic metres by 2002. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [04] DEMIREL, A MEDIATOR IN CAUCASIA

    President Suleyman Demirel entered the picture again for the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ambassador Ayhan Kamel, as the special representative of Demirel, went to the region for the second time yesterday to extend letters to presidents of the two countries. It is reported that Demirel also sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton to persuade him to deal with the Caucasian issue. According to a written statement by the Presidential Office yesterday, Demirel also held a telephone conversation with Azeri President Haydar Aliyev and Armenian President Levon Ter Petrosyan. Another statement by the Presidential Office said yesterday that Demirel called on the phone Tajikistan President Imamoli Rahmanov and expressed his sorrow for the latest developments in Tajikistan and the murder of the mufti. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] BAYKAL SPEAKS AT HIS PARTY GROUP MEETING

    Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal, speaking to his Republican People's Party Parliamentary Group, said that the "artificial tension" continued around the rocks, which had brought Turkey and Greece close to armed conflict last week. There have been reports that Greece has stepped up its naval presence around the 12 islands to search for a missing Greek pilot. "But I hope this (mobilization) will not go beyond emotional reaction to the crisis ending this way" Baykal said.

    Baykal also maintained that the issue should be "concluded" in all its dimensions. "Turkey will do all it can for a constructive and just solution" he said, adding however, that Turkey would not accept any fait accompli in the Aegean or anywhere its interests were concerned. "I hope the way Turkey behaved during the crisis has given the whole region a message regarding the Turkish attitude" Baykal said.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Onur Oymen met with US Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman yesterday. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [06] TURKEY REGRETS HOLBROOKE VISIT CANCELLATION

    Turkey said yesterday it regretted the cancellation of a visit by US special envoy Richard Holbrooke, who scrapped plans to mediate Turkish-Greek disputes after Athens snubbed him. "We were ready to receive him and we regret that he will not come. We are sorry that Greece has rejected him" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel said. "Turkey believes the best way to solve the problems is through talks. We are always open to talks" Akbel added. /All papers/

    [07] HOLBROOKE NOT HAPPY WITH ATHENS

    Leading US negotiator Richard Holbrooke is more than put out by the attitude of Athens in connection with the visit that was planned by Holbrooke and his team to the region.

    Primarily in connection with Cyprus and its decades-old problems, Holbrook wanted to visit Cyprus, Athens and Ankara in a big push to finally end the disputes. Following the Aegean Sea flare-up between Turkey and Greece over the miniscule Kardak rocks, Athens has taken a tough line and rebuffed Holbrooke. In response, Holbrooke said at the beginning of the week that he was not now going to visit the region as planned. Turkey however, has shown that its doors are open to Holbrooke whenever he should want to visit. /Sabah/

    [08] US WORRIED OVER NEGATIVE GREEK ATTITUDES

    US political circles are disturbed by the negative attitude of Greece towards American attempts to mediate for a lasting solution to Turco-Greek disputes. US officials evaluating the cancellation of US Deputy State Secretary Richard Holbrooke's visit to Athens and Ankara, dwelt on some of its major implications. First of all, Washington is worried about the fact that US mediation, in the case of a possible new crisis, has become almost impossible after the negative reaction of Greece. The US fears uncontrolled escalations of the increasing tension in the region. Furthermore, US officials tend to interpret Greek attempts to bring in EU mediation as a move against Ankara, and Washington is suspicious about the effectiveness of a mediator not trusted by both sides in the dispute. Washington attitudes imply that NATO will not remain passive in the event of a new crisis. US officials also stress that with the last developments, a vital chance for finding a solution to the Cyprus question was lost. /Milliyet/

    [09] ANKARA URGES EU TO CARRY OUT ITS OBLIGATIONS

    Faced with Greek threats to block EU aid to Turkey, Ankara has urged the EU to ignore any possible Greek objection and carry out its obligations. "The EU is committted to providing financial assistance to Turkey. This is essential for the customs union" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel said. "We expect the EU to act according to its contractual obligations" Akbel added. /All papers/

    [10] CLINTON PRAISES CILLER OVER AEGEAN CRISIS

    US President Bill Clinton congratulated caretaker Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller for her efforts during last week's Greek-Turkish crisis over the Kardak islets in the Aegean Sea, Ciiler's office said yesterday. "I congratulate you for your efforts towards a peaceful end to the crisis over the Kardak islets" Clinton said in his letter, quoted in the prime ministry statement. "You and your government have showed a moderation and statemanship in eliminating a conflict that could harm the security of the whole region" the message read. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [11] PRESS COUNCIL TO COMPLAIN ABOUT GREEK ACTIONS

    Nilufer Yalcin, general secretary of the Press Council, issued a statement yesterday decrying the behaviour of Greek administrative officials towards the two Turkish journalists who attempted to report from Kalimnos Island. The Council intends to complain about the matter to international press organizations. Hurriyet newspaper reporters Muammer Elveren and Maria Sotropa from the paper's Athens bureau went to the island this past Sunday and were taken into custody by government officials and held for 15 hours. They were prevented from speaking with any of the island's inhabitants and were then expelled from Greece. /Hurriyet/

    [12] OLD ENEMIES NOW FRIENDS

    United in a common front against Turkey, old rivals are coming together: Syria and Iraq in a united move against Turkey have forgotten old wounds and now seek to pull Turkey down by using the regional water issue to undermine Turkish authority.

    The two former enemies have also enlisted the support of Arab League in their attempts to force concessions out of Turkey. It is known that for some time there have been secret meetings in Baghdad between Iraqi and Syrian leaders. The two have joined political forces to try and get Turkey to supply more water to their respective countries, and by so doing gain more control over vital regional resources. Reports suggest that this time around the two sides will meet in Syria on Saturday, February 10.

    Syria and Iraq want to take advantage of the government vacuum in Turkey which looks set to continue for some time yet, and consolidate their position while domestic problems occupy Turkey. Diplomatic circles are watching developments closely. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] PKK SUPPORT FOR GREEK AGGRESSION

    According to a spokesman attached to the Athens office of ERNK- the political wing of the terrorist PKK organization- the PKK stands ready to support Greece should a confrontation break-out between Turkey and Greece.

    The ERNK spokesman said that Iraq, Iran and Syria would join forces to create problems along Turkey's border regions while Turkish forces were occupied on the front with Greece. Greek officials are convinced that any confrontation with Turkey could only end in victory for Greece. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, said yesterday that Greece did not want to create a confrontation situation, "but then, nor are we prepared to make any concessions."

    Adding to the sabre rattling, the PKK suggested yesterday that "Turkey was only bluffing" and that by fomenting panic was "trying to benefit from the situation." The ERNK-PKK spokesman claimed that Turkey was not in possession of sufficient military power to take on Greece. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] PKK TAKES A BLOW IN AUSTRIA

    Full of words in Athens, the PKK in Austria however, has taken a bashing with the arrest of a number of its drug smuggling supporters.

    Austrian police arrested nine drug smugglers in league with the PKK terrorist organization which finances its terror operations with drug money. The drugs confiscated in the police operation were on their way to the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland, said one of the smugglers. A police spokesman said that the operation had been tied in with police forces in other countries and that seven drug smugglers had been arrested-a severe blow to the PKK. /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] MILITARY TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT FOR BOSNIA

    Having agreed on the need to train military forces and provide military equipment to the Bosnians, Turkish and US representatives today will come together to discuss the logistic dimension of the issue. The aim is to balance the powers of the Serbian and Bosnian armies. The financing of arms for Bosnia will be undertaken mainly by the Gulf countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] TENSION OVER PROVIDE COMFORT

    Reports say that Turkey expressed its uneasiness about the future of the Provide Comfort mandate during a meeting held in Ankara yesterday. Generals from Turkey, the US, France and England attended the Ankara meeting. In the meeting, Turkey brought up four main propositions, but the other sides refrained from making any comment and were inclined to postpone the issue.

    Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Onur Oymen, saying that a comprehensive approach should be made to the rovide Comfort issue, added that Provide Comfort had succeeded in some areas, despite its defects. Undersecretary Oymen stated that the Provide Comfort mandate should be discussed again in the wake of changing conditions. /Cumhuriyet/

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