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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 15, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL URGES ARAFAT TO 'GO ON WITH PEACE PROCESS'

  • [02] EMERGENCY RULE TO BE EASED

  • [03] YILMAZ: "DIALOGUE WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS NEEDED TO SOLVE KARDAK

  • [04] TOUGH RESPONSE TO DANISH TOLERANCE TOWARD TERRORISM

  • [05] US SEES 'MOMENT OF OPPORTUNITY' FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH PROGRESS

  • [06] BOSNIAN AMBASSADOR CRITICIZES EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

  • [07] NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL JOINS FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ABUSE


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    FRIDAY MARCH 15, 1996

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

    [01] DEMIREL URGES ARAFAT TO 'GO ON WITH PEACE PROCESS'

    President Suleyman Demirel, marking the end of his Mideast tour in Gazza, urged Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to go on with the peace process. "The recent developments have marked a golden opportunity for peace in the region. Everyone should support the peace process in the region" he said, as he arrived in the newly autonomous lands as the first Turkish president to visit. Demirel, addressing Arafat as "brother", said that Turkey was keen to help Palestinians in the reconstruction of their territory. "The peace process does not only benefit the Arabs and the Jews, it is in the interests of all peoples of the region" he said. "Neither of the sides should lose their faith in peace now" he said, in reference to the recent suicide bombings which have jeopardized the peace talks.

    Arafat, for his part, said that the summit a day ago had been an important platform. "I see you as my best friend. I thank you for coming" he said. Earlier in the day, Demirel marked the end of his visit by concluding several agreements between Turkey and Israel. The most important one is the Free Trade Zone accord. The agreements envisage a total lifting of customs regulations between Turkey and Israel by January 1, 2000. The first priority will be lifting customs on industrial goods, and the lifting of customs will extend to agricultural goods and, at the latest stage, to textile products. Other agreements are on the protection of mutual investments, on prevention of double taxation and on economic, industrial and technical cooperation. The accords were signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak.

    "This was a very productive visit" President Demirel said at the end of the visit. "President Weizman's visit has opened the first chapter in bilateral ties. Ours is the second page. We will continue to cooperate and support each other". Weizman, meanwhile, praised the role played by Turkey in the anti-terrorism summit in the Egyptian city of Sharm el Sheikh. Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay said that he hoped the summit would be followed up, rather than be "one isolated meeting" on the issue. Gonensay said that the Turkish team had had the opportunity to exchange views with US President Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, French President Jacques Chirac and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The conference decided to establish a working group, which will, in 30 days, come up with a report on what can be done to counter terrorism" the foreign minister said. /Hurriyet-Milliyet-Sabah/

    [02] EMERGENCY RULE TO BE EASED

    The Turkish Parliament yesterday extended the state of emergency in 10 southeastern provinces granting emergency powers to local authorities. The bill extending the emergency rule for a final four months starting March 19 cleared the floor by 227 votes to 179 with 51 abstentions in the first legislative act of the Parliament elected on December 24, 1995.

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said yesterday that his government would end or scale down the state of emergency. Yilmaz, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, said the Turkish parliament was expected to vote this week to prolong the state of emergency for another four months. But Yilmaz added: "However, apart from these four months and through changes to current administrative regulations, we will either end the state of emergency or reduce its importance". Yilmaz concluded: "The problem is not only a democratic issue, but an economic one. The southeast Anatolia problem is a big obstacle to Turkey's development". /Milliyet/

    [03] YILMAZ: "DIALOGUE WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS NEEDED TO SOLVE KARDAK PROBLEM"

    Commenting on the EDU 17th Term Meeting of party chairmen, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz noted that during the meeting issues related to European security and the extension of the European Union were discussed. Yilmaz said that during his contacts, he had been asked questions related to the recent Kardak crisis between Turkey and Greece. The Turkish attitude on the issue was clear, Yilmaz stressed and added that both countries needed to initiate a dialogue without putting forward any preconditions. Following a question regarding the withdrawal of Turkish troops in the Aegean, Yilmaz stressed again that a dialogue without preconditions would help locate problem issues and facilitate the search for solutions to those problems.

    On the other hand, the leader of the Greek New Democracy Party, Miltiades Evert, who also participated in the EDU meeting, at a press conference open to only Greek journalists, claimed that during the meeting Turkey had signed a document accepting Greek views on the crisis. After the statement of Miltiades, copies of a page from the false document were distributed to the journalists. /Milliyet/

    [04] TOUGH RESPONSE TO DANISH TOLERANCE TOWARD TERRORISM

    Ankara has declared that Denmark took no steps to block a meeting of the so-called "Kurdish Parliament-in-exile" held in Copenhagen on 12-13 March despite Turkish warnings on that sensitive issue.

    Stating that permitting the meeting in Copenhagen could only spoil relations between the two countries, Ankara said that this attitude which overlooked even the broadcasts of neo-Nazi radio, was a stain on freedom of speech and meeting by allowing representatives of a bloody terrorist organization to meet on its soil.

    Ankara will take strict measures against Denmark and will make an official protest. Denmark is still on the Turkish black list which describes Denmark as an "unreliable country for defence cooperation" /Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet/

    [05] US SEES 'MOMENT OF OPPORTUNITY' FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH PROGRESS

    Direct contacts between Azerbaijan and Armenia, at loggerheads for several years over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, have created a "moment of opportunity" to solve the problem, and the US plans to try to exploit that chance. This was disclosed in Moscow following talks between senior Russian officials and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. US officials later briefed the media on Wednesday. After visiting Baku and Yerevan, Talbott arrived late Thursday in Ankara. On Friday, together with Turkish Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Onur Oymen, Talbott will co-chair an international conference to pledge assistance for a "deterrent and defensive" military force for Bosnia. Talbott, who will be received by President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay, will leave Turkey the same day. /Sabah/

    [06] BOSNIAN AMBASSADOR CRITICIZES EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

    Hayruddin Somun, Bosnia-Herzegovina Ambassador to Ankara, has criticized the European attitude regarding an international meeting on Bosnia to be held in Ankara today.

    Somun talked to reporters yesterday and said that some European countries did not want to see a 'well-equipped and trained' Bosnian Federation army. Pointing out that the military balance in Bosnia was in favour of the Serbs, Ambassador Somun noted that the Federation could no longer stand alone and that the future of Bosnia was uncertain unless a military balance was established. /Hurriyet/

    [07] NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL JOINS FIGHT AGAINST DRUG ABUSE

    The National Security Council (MGK) discussed the increase in the use of drugs in Turkey at a recent meeting and outlined a policy to combat drug addiction, the Anatolia news agency reported. Within the framework of the MGK decision, a supreme board, which will be headed by the state ministry responsible for women and family affairs, has been established to monitor the struggle against the use of drugs.

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