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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 8, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT DEMIREL TO VISIT ISRAEL

  • [02] YILMAZ PRESENTS REFORM PROGRAM

  • [03] PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • [04] TURKEY SAYS US REPORT MORE BALANCED BUT LACKING

  • [05] AUTOMOTIVE OUTPUT SOARS EIGHT PERCENT

  • [06] UK MISSION TO VISIT TURKEY

  • [07] TRADE MEETING PREMIER EVENT FOR US, TURKEY

  • [08] TURKEY PRESSING FOR CHANGES IN PROVIDE COMFORT STRUCTURE

  • [09] GEN.BIR WARNS WASHINGTON AGAINST RUSSIAN THREAT

  • [10] TURKEY TO BE REPRESENTED AT THE OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN BOSNIA

  • [11] TURKISH PROPOSAL IS POSITIVE FOR BAKU-SUPSA

  • [12] RESERVES TOTAL $14.4 BILLION

  • [13] US REPORT CRITICIZES GREECE OVER WESTERN THRACE

  • [14] ALBANIA AS MEDIATOR BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY

  • [15] GREEK PROVOCATION CONTINUING

  • [16] KIRKUK PIPELINE TALKS OVER


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    FRIDAY MARCH 8, 1996

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

    [01] PRESIDENT DEMIREL TO VISIT ISRAEL

    On March 11-14, President Suleyman Demirel will visit Israel. In a statement Israeli President Ezer Weizman noted that this visit would be beneficial for improving bilateral friendly relations, and added that both countries were exerting efforts to develop economic and commercial relations as well. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] YILMAZ PRESENTS REFORM PROGRAM

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday indicated a crash program of rapid privatization and structural reforms for the just-set-up coalition government between his Motherland Party (ANAP) and True Path Party (DYP) of Tansu Ciller. Presenting the program of the coalition, Yilmaz revealed plans to privatize state banks and state economic enterprises (SEEs).

    After the overnight approval of his 33-person Cabinet by President Suleyman Demirel, Yilmaz took over the premiership from DYP leader Tansu Ciller in a brief ceremony at the prime ministry. "May the new government being formed be auspicious. The Welfare Party has been blocked" Ciller said. "I believe this is important". She then congratulated Yilmaz on his new post.

    Yilmaz said the preservation of domestic peace and keeping the democracy functioning would be the government's main priorities. He noted that the government had to succeed for the sake of the country, and for that, he said harmonious cooperation between the two parties was essential. Pledging full support, Ciller said: This coalition will function like a single-party government". /All papers/

    [03] PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

    Security: Externally-based separatist terrorism in the southeastern Anatolia region is the most important barrier to democracy and development. The government is determined to continue its fight against violence and terrorist action no matter which part of the country they take place in. Economy: The purpose of the economic program is to fight against inflation. The share of the state in the economy will be reduced. Privatization: The enterprises or services run by the public sector, including public banks, will be rapidly privatized. Administrative structuring: The basic rule is the withdrawal of the state from economic activities to return to its principal tasks, and the lifting of all bureaucratic impediments. Customs Union: Steps will be taken for economic integration with the CU. Thus formation of monopolies in Turkey's economy will be prevented, and protection of competition will be ensured. Foreign policy: Turkey will continue to follow a constructive policy for the resolution of problems in the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East. /Hurriyet/

    [04] TURKEY SAYS US REPORT MORE BALANCED BUT LACKING

    Ankara yesterday said a US State Department report criticising Turkey's human rights record was more balanced than the year before but contained misleading information. "The report has been written in a more balanced manner than the one in 1994" the foreign ministry said in a statement. But most information for the report was gathered from unreliable non-governmental organizations in Turkey, it said. "It is known that these organizations get financial aid from abroad and are publishing misleading information in line with their own aims" the statement said. The Foreign Ministry statement said the report also contained some criticisms based on insufficient information. "Turkey, while on the one hand fighting terrorism, is acting responsibly as a state of law" it said. The report, which assesses the performance of 194 countries and often triggers strong emotions, raises particular issues for Turkey, a NATO ally that has a democratic system and is a major recipient of US aid. The report also faulted PKK terrorists for murdering civilians, targeting village officials and committing random murders in their effort to intimidate the population.

    Ankara welcomed the report's declaration that there was religious freedom and freedom of travel in Turkey. The Foreign Ministry statement also stressed that Turkey did not discriminate against any group. "Neither do we have racism as is the case in many European countries" the statement said. "Turkey acts with the full responsibility of a lawful state while battling terrorism" it said. /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [05] AUTOMOTIVE OUTPUT SOARS EIGHT PERCENT

    Turkey's automotive output rose eight percent to 45,032 in January-February from 41,811 in the first two months of 1995, the Association of Turkish Automotive Industry (OSD) said. Car production fell three percent to 31,433, followed by 6,526 tractors, up 48 percent, and 2,899 trucks, up 54 percent from the January-February 1995 levels. Bus and pick-up production also increased, the OSD said.

    Turkey's automotive output rose by 20 percent in 1995 to 319,502, including 233,414 passenger cars, up 10 percent from 1994. Last year's imports were 34,930 motor vehicles, including 21,652 cars. /All papers/

    [06] UK MISSION TO VISIT TURKEY

    Representatives of 19 British companies will participate in a trade mission to Turkey organized by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry from March 11 through 15. The mission is sponsored by Overseas Trade Services of the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Paul Griffiths, from the DTI's Turkey desk will also participate in the mission. Mission representatives, pleased by the enthusiastic response accorded the last two trade missions, will be looking for local representatives to market their products in Turkey. The companies represented offer a wide spectrum of products, from frozen foods to industrial knitting machinery and information/advisory brokerage and internet service providers. /All papers/

    [07] TRADE MEETING PREMIER EVENT FOR US, TURKEY

    The 1996 Annual Conference and Trade Exposition, "Turkey: The Big Emerging Market -Anchor for East and West", is considered the premier scheduled event in US-Turkish relations, according to the American-Turkish Council (ATC). The Council and the American Friends of Turkey (AFOT), in association with the Turkish-US Business Council of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), are hosting the March 6-10 event in Washington, the US Information Agency (USIA) reported from Washington.

    The USIA said key speakers include Republican leader Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Commerce Secretary Ronald H.Brown. Defence Secretary William J.Perry has also been invited. US Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman and Turkish Ambassador to the US Nuzhet Kandemir are scheduled to discuss "Future Issues from a Turkish and American Perspective". The ATC and the DEIK have also scheduled a wide variety of workshops covering topics ranging from tourism to financing options for the US and Turkey. Conference planners are expecting a large number of participants including leaders in international business and the professions, as well as senior government officials from Turkey and the US, according to the USIA report. /All papers/

    [08] TURKEY PRESSING FOR CHANGES IN PROVIDE COMFORT STRUCTURE

    Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General Cevik Bir, and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Onur Oymen went to the US to discuss some issues related to the multinational Provide Comfort force in Turkey. Aiming to bring Provide Comfort Force operations into harmony with the Turkish struggle against the PKK terror organization and border control programme, both officials are pressing for changes in the "commitment rules" of the military force. Ambassador Oymen, who met US State Department Undersecretary Peter Tarnoff and Defence Department Deputy Undersecretary Jan Lodal, said that such reconstruction prior to voting in the Turkish Parliament would be beneficial with respect to preserving the status of the multinational force in Turkey. /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [09] GEN.BIR WARNS WASHINGTON AGAINST RUSSIAN THREAT

    Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen.Cevik Bir, who also served as commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Somalia, briefed a select group of Washington scholars, experts and administration officials on the threat that Russian militarization poses in the Caucasus. The special briefing, closed to the press, was hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a well-known Washington think-tank. Gen.Bir is in Washington for a series of meetings with US Department of defence officials and to attend the annual conference of the American-Turkish Council. /All papers/

    [10] TURKEY TO BE REPRESENTED AT THE OFFICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN BOSNIA

    Professor Rona Aybay has been selected to represent Turkey at the Office of Human Rights which will be established in Bosnia-Herzegovina under the terms of the Dayton agreement. After close vote in the European Council, Professor Aybay was chosen one of the fourteen judges in the organization. The Office of Human Rights will help to support peace in the region. Under the terms of the Dayton agreement, the Bosnian Serbs will appoint two judges to the group and the Bosnian-Croat Federation will appoint four. The other eight judges, chosen by the European Council from countries outside the war-torn region, have reportedly been approved by both sides. /All papers/

    [11] TURKISH PROPOSAL IS POSITIVE FOR BAKU-SUPSA

    Georgian Foreign Minister Irakliy Menagarishvili said that they found Turkey's proposals acceptable from many points regarding the Baku-Supsa pipeline to transfer early Caspian oils. Menagarishvili said in a statement that all countries wanted to grab a share for themselves in these great projects, however, Turkey's approach was very positive. /Sabah/

    [12] RESERVES TOTAL $14.4 BILLION

    The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves rose to $14 billion 412 million as of March 1, 1996. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves which totalled $14 billion 407 million on 23 February increased by $5 million in one week. On the other hand, commercial banks foreign exchange amounted to $9 billion 262 million on 9 February. While gold reserves were $1 billion 383 million, foreign exchange in the Central Bank were $13 billion 548 million on 9 February. Turkey's total gross reserves averaged at $24 billion 193 million on the same date. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] US REPORT CRITICIZES GREECE OVER WESTERN THRACE

    In a new US State Department annual report on human rights, Greece is criticized over its discriminatory policies toward the Turkish minority in Western Thrace. The report complains about double standards of the Greek government regarding the free movement of the Turkish minority, laws facilitating deprivation of citizenship for those of Turkish origin and bans on using Turkish surnames.

    The report notes that article 19 of the Greek citizenship law has resulted in discriminations between Greeks and those who have different origins and stresses that the law can be used to deprive individuals of their rights to citizenship. /Milliyet/

    [14] ALBANIA AS MEDIATOR BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY

    There are new hopes that Albania could help to mediate new talks between Turkey and Greece during upcoming talks between the Southern Balkan States. At the end of the month, defence ministers from the Balkan countries will meet in the Albanian capital and this could be a first real opportunity for representatives from Greece and Turkey to meet in a neutral environment.

    Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads especially since the recent clash of wills over who owns the Kardak rocks-two tiny rocky outcrops in the Aegean Sea inhabited only by birds and seals. Quite how things will be arranged for top level meetings in Albania between Turkish and Greek officials is not yet clear. Nevertheless, European Union member countries have made it clear that they would like to see an end to the problems in the Aegean, as would the US. Although Greece must carry the brunt of the responsibility for the on-going crisis, and has been informed of that, both sides have been told that they must come together and resolve their problems amicably through dialogue. /Milliyet/

    [15] GREEK PROVOCATION CONTINUING

    Greek leaders continue to make provocative statements about the situation in the Aegean Sea. Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that "we will defend our military interests in the Aegean with determination."

    Greek leaders defend their position by saying that issues in the Aegean are matters of state law regardless of what Turkey may say. They also imply that the cost of future negotiation could be high. Speaking at a ceremony held on one of the Aegean Greek islands, Prime Minister Simitis also stressed that it was vital that Greece maintained a powerful military force to protect Greek national possessions in the Aegean. /All papers/

    [16] KIRKUK PIPELINE TALKS OVER

    Talks between Turkey and Iraq in Ankara about the opening of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik overland petrol pipeline ended yesterday. Both sides said that pipeline sections in their own countries were ready for operation, and that oil could be pumped through within 2-3 days.

    Now however, the ball is in the court of the UN, which must finally decide on just what is going to happen. More solid agreements are expected in the near future, not only between Turkey and Iraq, but also with the UN. /Hurriyet/

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