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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (February 16, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] YILMAZ AND ERBAKAN TO MEET AGAIN ON SATURDAY

  • [02] BAYKAL DEPARTS FROM LONDON FOR BRUSSELS

  • [03] EUROPEANS TAKING TOUGH LINE OVER KARDAK

  • [04] ANKARA CALLING FOR EXTRADITION OF OCALAN

  • [05] FM STRONGLY REJECTS CRITICISM OF TURKISH CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY

  • [06] SECURITY OPERATIONS CONTINUE IN SOUTHEAST

  • [07] ETHNIC TENSIONS ESCALATE IN BULGARIA

  • [08] GREEK MILITARY BUILD-UP ON MEIS ISLAND

  • [09] TURKEY AND IRAN COMPETING FOR TURKMEN NATURAL GAS DEAL

  • [10] RUSSIA-TURKEY-ISRAEL NATURAL GAS PIPELINE

  • [11] TURKEY: GUEST OF HONOUR AT `EXPOLANGUES 96' FAIR


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16, 1996

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

    [01] YILMAZ AND ERBAKAN TO MEET AGAIN ON SATURDAY

    "We made considerable progress towards an agreement. We have agreed to meet again on Saturday" Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz told reporters after meeting Welfare Party (RP) leader Necmettin Erbakan. Erbakan was confident of coming to power. "An agreement will be reached to form a coalition government (with ANAP)" he said at a joint news conference with Yilmaz. Erbakan said both parties had agreed on a news blackout until the coalition talks were finished. /All papers/

    [02] BAYKAL DEPARTS FROM LONDON FOR BRUSSELS

    Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal has been in London on the first leg of a tour of European capitals. He and his British counterpart Malcolm Rifkind met with journalists following a luncheon meeting. Rifkind said that the United Kingdom believed "very strongly that it was appropriate and desirable for Greece and Turkey to meet and discuss the issues that have been the cause of considerable tension in recent weeks and months". He said: "The climate of suspicion and distrust has not only been bad for Turkey and Greece but for Europe as whole. It has damaged NATO, it has been very difficult for the Mediterranean as well". Rifkind noted that he and Baykal also discussed Cyprus, Turkey's customs union with the EU, and a number of other bilateral and substantial issues. Rifkind said that he planned to visit Greece next week. Rifkind stressed that the EU was not taking sides in the Athens-Ankara dispute, as it does not take positions on territorial disputes between EU member countries (such as Greece) and nonmembers (Turkey, for example). On the contrary, "the EU must do everything within its power to encourage friendship and cooperation" between Greece and Turkey" he said.

    Baykal noted that he had thanked Rifkind for his efforts during the Kardak crisis. "Among the many reasons for the dispute with Greece", Baykal stated, "There is one important factor that adds to the weight of such problems: While Greece is a member state of the EU, Turkey is not. Had both countries been members, the situation would have been very different". In his special conference for Turkish journalists, Baykal said that the aim of his visit was to advance the argument that the Kardak crisis had shown that "there was an important problem in the Aegean which needs to be solved. There are rocks and islands which have no clear identification. There is no agreement that is signed by both sides that reflects the will of both sides in the Aegean". Baykal added that Turkey was trying "to create an environment in which we can form a dialogue with Greece".

    Meanwhile, US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns said: "If the Greek government prefers not to take this to the International Court of Justice, there are many other ways by which this problem could be resolved directly between Greece and Turkey peacefully and amicably". Asked about Cyprus, Baykal replied that he had told Rifkind that Turkey supports "solutions that are approved by Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, wherever they come from. "I also stated that arguments which advocate Cyprus' membership in the EU were not productive at all, but destructive in the absence of a solution to the Cyprus problem. Such advocacy gives confidence to southern (Greek) Cyprus that even if they stay away from the negotiating table, they will be accepted into the EU" Baykal added. Baykal and his accompanying delegation, who went to Brussels yesterday, will meet NATO Secretary-General Xavier Solana, EU Commissioner Hans van Den Broek and Belgian Foreign Minister Eric Derycke today. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet-Sabah/

    [03] EUROPEANS TAKING TOUGH LINE OVER KARDAK

    Although the European Parliament (EU) is tending to take a tough line over the Kardak rocks incident involving Turkey and Greece, reports from Brussels say that financial aid promised by the European Union to Turkey will not be compromised. In EP votes about the near confrontation between Turkey and Greece over who has sovereignty over the uninhabited Kardak rocks in the Aegean Sea, the EP appears split between the two sides. Either way, the incident has not gone down well among the member countries of the EU. Despite pressure from Greece, the EP yesterday voted in favour of Turkey however, and passed a bill ensuring that European aid would not be delayed. But with the EP taking a stand mainly in favour of Greece, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has been obliged to make a statement condemning the "one-sided European approach" to the matter. In response to the EP vote, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the EP vote on February 15 was "without any legal basis" and that the EP was "continuing its biased and far from constructive stance in its decisions about Turkey." /All papers/

    [04] ANKARA CALLING FOR EXTRADITION OF OCALAN

    Ankara is squeezing Damascus hard in efforts to pressure Syria into handing over PKK terrorist leader Abdullah "Apo" Ocalan to the Turkish authorities. Syria is known to support the PKK terrorist organization, and Ankara is applying diplomatic pressure to have Syria withdraw this support. With Middle East countries working to secure a Middle East peace, Syria stands apart with its support for terrorism, but Ankara wants to see an end to an organization that has brought nothing but tragedy to Turkey. Ankara government officials have asserted that no peace in the Middle East will last as long as terrorist leaders like Ocalan are allowed to go free, despite the progress of the peace talks. /Milliyet/

    [05] FM STRONGLY REJECTS CRITICISM OF TURKISH CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY

    Referring to recent crticism of Turkish civil aviation safety by German officials following the crash of a Turkish Boeing 757 off the Dominican coast, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan said yesterday that such criticism was turning into a smear campaign targeting Turkish airline companies. Nurkan noted that after the crash, Turkish airline companies had started to lose customers as a result of a smear campaign by German authorities. He added that the damaged companies had the right to file suits for compensation against critics who had caused the loss of money. Nurkan stated that the allegations were baseless. The Boeing 757 with the TC-GEN tail-code had flown in Germany 1,100 times under the Birgen Air insignia. Nurkan added that the pilots of the aircraft were well experienced, with thousands of flight hours behind them. Contrary to German officials claims, the aircraft's insurance would expire on January 18, 1997, Nurkan said, pointing out that the flight had followed standard procedures and that the substitution of the 757 for the scheduled aircraft had been cleared by the related officials before take-off. He also extended his ministry's condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in the crash. In the meantime, the Transport Ministry said in a written statement that civil aviation in Turkey conformed to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a branch of the UN. Turkey also obeys the Joint Aviation Rules (JAR), applied by the Joint Air Authority (JAA), an institute of the EU related to civil aviation. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] SECURITY OPERATIONS CONTINUE IN SOUTHEAST

    Security operations in the southeast continued yesterday. Four militants of the PKK terrorist organization -three of them male- were killed and 35 were arrested after their capture. Officials of the governor's office of the Diyarbakir-based emergency rule region said that three militants had been killed on Cudi mountain in the southeastern province of Sirnak and one militant in the rural area of the Cukurca district of Hakkari. Meanwhile, 35 PKK militants were arrested after their capture in the southeastern provinces of Batman, Bingol, Diyarbakir and Van.

    [07] ETHNIC TENSIONS ESCALATE IN BULGARIA

    Ethnic tensions have increased following the annulment of the results of local elections in Kircaali which were won by Rasim Musa, candidate of the Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF). Minco Mincev, chairman of the Motherland Labour Party (ACP), which supports the ruling ultra-natioalist Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), said that MRF was an ethnic party and they would therefore ask the constitutional court to shut it down. The BSP is attempting to collect the signatures of 48 deputies that are required in order to submit their appeal to the constitutional court. Mincev claimed that Ahmet Dogan, MRF leader, threatened the national unity of the country with his statements, and has demanded that Dogan's immunity be lifted opening the way to trial proceedings. /Milliyet/

    [08] GREEK MILITARY BUILD-UP ON MEIS ISLAND

    Following the recent build-up of tension between Turkey and Greece over the Kardak islands, Greece has initiated new moves that are seen as "provocative" by Turkey. For the last two days Greece has been building a strong military base on Meis island, 5 kms off Kas in the coastal province of Antalya. Reports say that Greece had already built a military airport on the island contrary to international agreements and during the last two days three military transport planes have landed there. Additionally, Greece has deployed soldiers on Fener and Karaada islands as well as Meis, and Greek soldiers have hoisted the Greek flag on the islands. Turkish officials admit that the islands belong to Greece but they draw attention to Turkish concern over the Greek build-up of military force on the islands. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TURKEY AND IRAN COMPETING FOR TURKMEN NATURAL GAS DEAL

    During the recent visit of Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Turkmenbasi to Ankara, Turkey and Turkmenistan signed a protocol for the establishment of bilateral working groups that will examine possible routes for the transportation of Turkmen natural gas and make a decision within 30 days from the signing of the protocol. This is the first concrete step towards an agreement for cooperation with respect to the transportation of Turkmen natural gas. Nevertheless, the protocol is only a display of goodwill and has no binding effect over the parties. Iran is also exerting efforts to make a similar deal. Turkmenistan is a country with some of the world's largest natural gas reserves. The country could export 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas yearly, specialists note. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] RUSSIA-TURKEY-ISRAEL NATURAL GAS PIPELINE

    The consortium that will realize the Lasserre project for the transportation of Russian natural gas to Turkey and Israel has presented a related proposal to Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Consortium members are planning to transport the natural gas over Russia, Turkey and Israel by a 1,600 km long pipeline that will supply natural gas to eastern Mediterranean countries. The pipeline will have the capacity to carry 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The project will cost $2.035 billion. Consortium members presented their proposal to Prime Minister Shimon Peres during visit to Israel on February 11-13. The Russian Gazprom, Canadian Transcanada, Israeli Del-Men and Turkish Botas companies are the members of a consortium planning projects for the transportation of natural gas from the East to Turkey and third countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] TURKEY: GUEST OF HONOUR AT `EXPOLANGUES 96' FAIR

    Turkey is participating as the guest of honour at the 14th Expolangues '96 Fair (International Language, Culture and Tourism Fair) in the Villetta Centre, Grande Halle, Paris between 15 and 19 February, 1996, where there are various activities to promote Turkish language and culture.

    Culture Minister Fikri Saglar, who went to Paris yesterday to attend the opening ceremony, said that `Expolangues 96' was the biggest international fair of languages, cultures and cultural travels and gave an opportunity to participant countries to exhibit and promote their cultures. Saglar recalled that Portugal was the guest of honour in 1994 and Germany in 1995. Saglar said that 150 countries, including Germany, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Britain, Sweden and the USA, attended the fair and 350 stands represented various sectors, from language schools to publishing houses and from cultural attaches to multimedia institutions.

    An exhibition of Cerkes Karadag's photographs was held and a Culture Ministry produced album "Tanidigim Yuzler" (Faces I know), was promoted in the fair. Under the umbrella of the Culture Ministry, TURKSOY, TOMER, Tourism Ministry, Turkish Publishers' Union, Language Association, Pen Authors' Club, Turkish Writers' Union, Novelists' Association, Sevda-Cenap And Music Foundation and multimedia institutions participated in the fair. /Sabah/

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