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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 12, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL IN ISRAEL

  • [02] CLINTON INVITES DEMIREL TO US

  • [03] YILMAZ FLIES TO PARIS

  • [04] CLINTON'S CYPRUS REPORT STILL COUNTS ON EU

  • [05] ANKARA URGES ARAB LEAGUE TO NOTE ITS CONCERNS ON WATER ISSUE

  • [06] NEWT GINGRICH PRAISES ATATURK AND TURKISH-US FRIENDSHIP

  • [07] US AGAIN INVOLVED IN CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENT

  • [08] US COMMITTEE TO NORTHERN IRAQ


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    TUESDAY MARCH 12, 1996

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

    [01] DEMIREL IN ISRAEL

    President Suleyman Demirel yesterday strongly condemned recent terrorist bomb attacks by Islamic militants that killed dozens of people in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv but called on the Israelis to carry on with the peace process, saying: "Terrorist attempts to derail it should not discourage us from moving forward. We know very well that terrorism, by its very nature, is self-defeating".

    Turkey wanted the six articles which also comprise the establishment of an "Information bank against terrorism" to be included in the final declaration of the Cairo terror summit. Israel stated that it would support Turkey's demands.

    Earlier in the day, Demirel became the first Turkish president to pay an official visit to the state of Israel when he arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv heading a delegation of 180 people including top diplomats, academicians, businessmen and journalists. Newly-appointed Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay accompanied the president on his own first foreign trip in his new post. Demirel, speaking at a dinner hosted by his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weizman, said Turks were outraged by the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish right-wing extremist and said: "He was a victim of blind bigotry". Demirel called the Hamas bomb attacks against Israelis "savage and cowardly bomb attacks" and said: "We condemn, in the strongest terms, any form of terrorism and share the grief of the Israeli people".

    Earlier in the day, while visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Demirel said: "The crimes committed against the Jewish people should never be forgotten", but added: "Unfortunately humanity has not learnt a lesson from the past as xenophobia, fanaticism and terrorism have not been successfully eradicated". Later the president mentioned the Jews in Turkey at his dinner speech saying: "Throughout history, the Turkish people have always embraced Jewish people fleeing persecution. These descendants of former refugees, are today a colorful part of the strongly-cemented mosaic of Turkish society. Their accomplishments in Turkey are well recognized". Demirel also said Turkey's citizens of Jewish origin and those who emigrated to Israel had established a strong bridge and a moral link between Turkey and Israel and declared: "We are proud of them". /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/

    [02] CLINTON INVITES DEMIREL TO US

    It is reported that US President Bill Clinton has invited President Suleyman Demirel to the US and that Demirel has accepted his invitation. Demirel's visit will be held between 27-30 March. A statement by the White House regarding this invitation said that the visit would be a good opportunity to further develop the constructive relations between the two countries. /Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [03] YILMAZ FLIES TO PARIS

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will fly to Paris today where he will attend the conference of the European Democrats' Union (EDU) held at the level of chairmen. Yilmaz, who is also the current deputy chairman of the EDU, reportedly will start his journey after his newly-founded coalition government receives a vote of confidence from Parliament. The number of "Yes" votes should be one more than the number of "No" votes. The 17th EDU conference will tackle issues such as Europe's future, security and stability. Yilmaz is also expected to have bilateral talks. He will return to Turkey on 14 March. /Cumhuriyet-Sabah/

    [04] CLINTON'S CYPRUS REPORT STILL COUNTS ON EU

    The latest bi-monthly Cyprus report of President Bill Clinton to the US Congress shows that the American administration is still counting on the European Union (EU) to solve the problem. "The European Parliament voted to accept Turkey's customs union agreement on December 13" Clinton recalled in his report, dated March 7, and stressed that "progress on the Cyprus problem can be aided by stronger relations between Turkey and the EU".

    Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have been stressing that any solution to the 32-year-old Cyprus problem could only be solved through direct talks, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. TRNC President Rauf Denktas, who is currently hospitalized in Ankara after a heart attack he suffered on March 1, has been stating that consideration of the Greek Cypriot bid to join the EU amounts to termination of the intercommunal talks process.

    Commenting on the January 31 meeting which Ambassador John Kornblum, new chief of the State Department's European Affairs Department; Special Cyprus Coordinator Ambassador Jim Williams; and Southern Europe Office Director Carey Cavanaugh held with the EU Troika (the immediate past, present and next term presidents) in Washington, Clinton said Kornblum "expressed his confidence that the US and the EU would continue to coordinate closely on Cyprus".

    Clinton wrote in his report that there were positive signs as well that the two sides on the island might be ready to resume the intercommunal talks process, deadlocked since 1994. /All papers/

    [05] ANKARA URGES ARAB LEAGUE TO NOTE ITS CONCERNS ON WATER ISSUE

    Annoyed by the news that the Arab League had decided to meet to discuss the question of Euphrates waters on Wednesday, Ankara urged the body to take Turkish concerns into account. "Syria is trying to internationalize the problem, in an effort to overshadow its support of terrorism" Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Nurettin Nurkan said in his weekly press conference. He said that Turkey had conveyed its own views on the water issue to the Arab League Secretariat in Cairo through Yasar Yakis, Turkish Ambassador to Egypt. "We hope that the concerns of Turkey will be taken into consideration during the meeting" Nurkan said. Turkey has urged the key Arab states not to be taken in by the lobbying of Syria on the water question. President Suleyman Demirel wrote letters to key Arab leaders on the same issue last month. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] NEWT GINGRICH PRAISES ATATURK AND TURKISH-US FRIENDSHIP

    Newt Gingrich, influential speaker of the US House of Representatives, praised Ataturk's role in history and the value of the Turkish-US relationship during a keynote speech he delivered at the banquet of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) 1996 Annual Conference. The dinner was attended by approximately 800 Turks, Turkish-Americans and American friends of Turkey. ATC President Fred Haynes and Master of Ceremonies Rep.Ed Whitfield of Kentucky presented Gingrich with the ATC's Distinguished Leadership Award.

    During his speech, which was frequently interrupted by heartfelt applause, Gingrich said he was happy at every opportunity "to express my personal admiration for the people of Turkey and the accomplishments of Turkey, and the degree to which it is a country committed to modernizing, committed to developing for all of its citizens a better future. I think that all around the world people can learn by studying 20th century Turkish history". /All papers/

    [07] US AGAIN INVOLVED IN CUSTOMS UNION AGREEMENT

    The US is again involved in issues affecting the European Union (EU), Greece and Turkey. The US administration is concerned about the Greek veto on EU financial aid to Turkey according to the terms of the customs union agreement. Greece wants to block the aid to get its own back for what it sees as Turkish expansion in the Aegean Sea.

    The US administration said that it will work to secure the aid as promised within the framework of the customs union agreement with the EU member countries. Although Greece has tried to delay an upcoming meeting of the EU Association Council, when the matter will be taken up, officials say that whatever happens, what has to be done will be done. /All papers/

    [08] US COMMITTEE TO NORTHERN IRAQ

    The US will send a committee of experts to northern Iraq in the near future as part of the revision of the "Provide Comfort" mandate that is very much on the Turkish domestic affairs agenda. The Provide Comfort multinational force stationed in Turkey is there to secure the safety of Kurds in the sensitive northern Iraq region, but Turkish officials have long suggested that there needs to be a revision of Provide Comfort administration and duties.

    Talks in that direction between Turkey and the US will continue officials confirm, but the visit of the US committee will help to clarify the situation and what needs to be done to revise the Provide Comfort mandate in line with regional requirements.

    General Cevik Bir and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen during their current talks in the US have been following the matter of the Provide Comfort mandate closely, stressing that Turkey attaches a lot of importance to stability and peace in the region. Nevertheless, Turkey insists that technical differences must be sorted out through talks between the four main partners in the Provide Comfort programme.

    In the meantime, Turkey continues to take its own precautions to prevent an increase in PKK terrorist activity in the region and to prevent PKK infiltrators from crossing the border into Turkey. "These are normal precautions to take, and should be seen as such" noted Foreign Ministry officials yesterday. /Cumhuriyet/

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