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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 22, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] NEVRUZ CELEBRATED NATIONWIDE IN PEACE

  • [02] CRITICAL MEETING WITH US

  • [03] NEVRUZ OPERATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ

  • [04] PKK UNDER PRESSURE IN EUROPE

  • [05] TURKEY SCRAPS $100 LEVY ON FOREIGN TRAVEL

  • [06] NEW CUSTOMS LAW DRAFT COMPLETED

  • [07] ALBANIA TO HOST NEW CONFERENCE FOR BALKAN PEACE

  • [08] TRNC PM LAMBASTS RUSSIA OVER GREEK CYPRUS ARMS PLAN

  • [09] US STATE DEPARTMENT: 'FOREIGN AID FOR TURKEY IS SATISFACTORY'

  • [10] TURKEY: ATTRACTIVE TOURISM SPOT FOR DANISH TOURISTS


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    FRIDAY MARCH 22, 1996

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

    [01] NEVRUZ CELEBRATED NATIONWIDE IN PEACE

    Nevruz, the beginning of spring, has been celebrated by Turkish-Speaking peoples for centuries as a time of rebirth, peace and fertility. This year's celebrations encompassed all of Turkey and were joined by representatives of the Turkish-Speaking Republics of Central Asia. Nahit Mentese, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, issued a message on the occasion. Mentese said that it was meaningless to talk about ethnic and cultural differences at Nevruz, and added that it would be inhuman to try to subvert the festival for different purposes. Mentese noted with pleasure that Nevruz, a day of peace and love, had become an international celebration with the participation of guests from the Turkish-Speaking Republics. Chief of General Staff, Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi also issued a message. He said: "I wish that Nevruz will bring health and happiness to our nation and the Turkish Armed Forces".

    Meanwhile, the First International Nevruz Running Race was held in Ankara yesterday in front of the Presidential Palace. A total of 715 sportsmen, including athletes from Turkish-Speaking Republics, participated in the race. A Nevruz fire was lit in Ankara's Kizilay district with the participation of ministers of culture and folk dance teams from Central Asia. The celebration was organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). /Hurriyet/

    [02] CRITICAL MEETING WITH US

    Attending a meeting at the Foreign Press Centre in Washington, Deputy Spokesman of the White House and National Security Council Adviser, David Johnson pointed out that the agenda of the meeting to be held between Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and US President Bill Clinton on 29 March would be very heavy. Johnson said: "During meetings, operations to protect the Kurds in northern Iraq, issues regarding NATO and a series of matters on relations between the two countries will be taken up. Moreover, the terrorism issue which influences the Middle East peace process will be taken in hand". Noting that US views regarding Iran were not a secret, Johnson added: "We comprehend Iran's role behind the terrorist acts especially in the Middle East and other countries. We will take strict measures against Iran to prevent it financing terrorism. We believe that this will be the most suitable way and we expect our friends to tread the same path". Recalling that the US imposed a total embargo against Iran, Johnson said: "Israeli Prime Minister Peres said during the Sharm el-Sheikh summit that the name and address of terrorism was Iran. We totally share the same view". /Sabah/

    [03] NEVRUZ OPERATION IN NORTHERN IRAQ

    Just at the time when many Turkish-Speaking Central Asian Republics were celebrating the Nevruz Spring festival, the Turkish Armed Forces launched a military operation against PKK terrorist bases in northern Iraq yesterday.

    Turkish Air Force planes flew out in seek and destroy missions aimed mainly at PKK bases near the border and at logistic support depots belonging to the PKK. Military spokesmen said yesterday that other targets were also involved in the sudden wave of strike missions planned for some time before. Although few details about the operations were given yesterday, it is understood that they were an initial move to block PKK assaults planned for the Spring as the weather improved. Turkish Armed Forces locked onto PKK targets benefiting from previous information gathered during the winter months. /All papers/

    [04] PKK UNDER PRESSURE IN EUROPE

    PKK terrorist groups in Germany are feeling the heat as German and other authorities follow through on promises to oust the PKK. PKK violence has aroused the anger of the Germans and this time there will be no relaxation of the law. Already, German authorities have started to act by beginning procedures to send PKK members and supporters out of the country.

    More and more European countries are agreeing to act in concert to rid themselves of the PKK. Most refused to allow Nevruz celebrations yesterday knowing that to do so would open the way to the PKK to stage violent protest demonstrations. Nevertheless, the PKK and its supporters managed to organize a number of protest marches and demonstrations in cities throughout Germany. In some of the incidents, police and civilians along with many protestors were injured, some badly, and many arrests were made. Despite the clamp down by the German government, the PKK seems determined to continue to wage its war against Turkey even at the expense of losing what meagre foreign support it has. /Sabah-Hurriyet-Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TURKEY SCRAPS $100 LEVY ON FOREIGN TRAVEL

    The coalition Cabinet yesterday abolished a highly controversial tax Turkish citizens had to pay on each journey abroad. Government Spokesman Agah Oktay Guner announced after a Cabinet meeting that ministers had signed a draft removing the $100 "mass housing fund" levies imposed on foreign travellers. The decision will take effect after publication in the Official Gazette. The levy, launched in 1984, aimed to raise funds to support mass housing construction. /Hurriyet/

    [06] NEW CUSTOMS LAW DRAFT COMPLETED

    The draft of the new Customs Law, prepared in harmony with Customs Union requirements has been completed. The new law, consisting of 36 articles, will be in full unison with the European Union Customs Code. The draft makes a new definition of the Turkish Customs Zone, attaches increased importance to the protection of intellectual and industrial rights, brings liberalization to warehouse regulations, and updates fine amounts. Officials from the Customs Undersecretariat noted that the success of the Customs Union was bound to the efficient operation of customs procedure and noted: "The practical solutions brought by the new Customs Law will succeed in customs equipped with modern computer systems and laboratories. World trade demands practical and fast customs operations." /Sabah/

    [07] ALBANIA TO HOST NEW CONFERENCE FOR BALKAN PEACE

    A defence ministers' meeting will be held in Tirana next week as a new addition to the numerous conferences on the Balkans. The guest list of the meeting includes Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Italy and the US. However, Greek government spokesman Dimitrios Reppas said that Greece will not attend the South Balkans Security Conference because the decisions made there will not be binding. Ankara, meanwhile, announced that Turkey was in favour of the meetings in principle as long as they were "done in a constructive manner". According to diplomatic sources, Turkey is expected to attend the meeting in Tirana. So far, however, only the US has announced that it will come, said Albanian Defence Minister Saffet Zhuali. US Secretary of Defence William Perry will attend the meeting and stay on in Tirana for an official visit. /All papers/

    [08] TRNC PM LAMBASTS RUSSIA OVER GREEK CYPRUS ARMS PLAN

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Hakki Atun harshly criticized Russia yesterday over its recent plan to supply arms to Greek Cyprus. Atun said in a written statement that Russia, which had already damaged its neutrality with regard to the Cyprus problem by supplying arms to the Greek Cypriot side, would lose any claim to neutrality if it went ahead and signed the proposed treaty with the Greek Cypriot administration. Referring to the reports of plans for military cooperation between Russia and the Greek Cypriot administration, Prime Minister Atun said that such developments were more likely to bring harm than benefit to the region.

    Atun called on the UN Secretary General and all interested parties to take the Cyprus dispute into account. He repeated the Turkish Cypriot view that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved by an arms race and war but only by dialogue. /All papers/

    [09] US STATE DEPARTMENT: 'FOREIGN AID FOR TURKEY IS SATISFACTORY'

    The US State Department said that the $235 million US foreign aid to Turkey for 1997 proposed by the White House to Congress was sufficient to meet Turkey's prerequisites. State Department official Craig Johnson said that the military financial credit for Turkey was enough for the country to purchase its military equipment. He pointed out that the needs of countries receiving aid were all evaluated, and expressed his pleasure that there was sufficient money available to provide the aid to Turkey. Johnson underlined the geo-strategical importance of Turkey, emphasizing that Turkey was a member of NATO and that this should be taken into account in budget expenses.

    A few days ago, under the 1997 financial aid and credits program, the Washington administration proposed to the US Congress for debate a package totalling $235 million in aid to Turkey, including $175 million Foreign Ministry Sales and $60 million from the Economic Support Fund. /All papers/

    [10] TURKEY: ATTRACTIVE TOURISM SPOT FOR DANISH TOURISTS

    News in the Danish press reports that the number of Danish tourists who prefer Turkey for their holiday has reached a record level, proving again that Turkey continues to be one of the most attractive tourism venues in Europe.

    Accordingly, Turkey has been praised as an attractive tourism center in Danish papers, and people who want to spend their holiday in Turkey have rushed to travel agencies for reservation.

    The Daily Berlinske Tidende, published in Denmark, under the headline "Turkey will be a Great Hit" reported that bookings for holidays in Turkey have been increasing and pointed out that the number of Danish tourists setting off for Turkey would reach 170,000 in 1996, compared to 100,000 in 1995. The report said that travel agencies have rented additional planes to meet the increased demand.

    In a news item published in the Daily Skive Folkeblad, it was said that those who won the national lottery would be awarded with a holiday in Turkey. /Sabah/

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