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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 25, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] YILMAZ PROPOSES DIALOGUE WITH GREECE

  • [02] FOURTH TURKISH ASSEMBLY HELD IN ANKARA

  • [03] GERMANY PUTTING HEAT ON SYRIA

  • [04] TURKEY SENDS PKK FILE TO GERMANY

  • [05] UN SUPPORT FOR GAP PROJECT

  • [06] MEETING OF THRACIAN TURKS

  • [07] TURKEY SAYS RUSSIAN DUMA IS TRYING TO 'REVERSE HISTORY'

  • [08] TURKISH PREMISES FIREBOMBED IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

  • [09] MINISTER AKSU SAYS SYRIA IS GETTING MORE WATER THAN IT ACTUALLY NEEDS

  • [10] NSC BACKS NEW OPC MANDATE

  • [11] TURKISH TRADE MISSION TO ROMANIA

  • [12] BUSINESSMEN SEEK TO BOLSTER TURKEY'S TRADE WITH HUNGARY

  • [13] TURKISH TOURISM SECTOR READY TO SET NEW RECORDS IN 1996

  • [14] SUCCESS OF TURKISH TEXTILES IN US

  • [15] LE MONDE: "TRABZON IS JUST LIKE SWITZERLAND"


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    MONDAY MARCH 25, 1996

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

    [01] YILMAZ PROPOSES DIALOGUE WITH GREECE

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, in a key policy statement yesterday, called on Greece to enter into "unconditional talks" with Turkey on all problems relating to the Aegean, and said Ankara was open to the settlement of these disputes even if this involved seeeking the help of "third parties". This reference appeared to open the path to taking Aegean disputes to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Yilmaz's remarks appeared to mark a radical change in Turkish policy towards the issue of settling disputes with Greece pertaining to the Aegean.

    Addressing a crowded press conference in Ankara, Yilmaz indicated that Turkey was going through a tense period in relations with Greece. "The latest crisis has demonstrated once again that the present state of Turkish-Greek relations is fraught with dangers" he said. "The fundamental interests of both countries lie in peace and cooperation, not in confrontation. We both stand to benefit from developing friendly and neighbourly relations" Yilmaz said. Yilmaz added that Turkey and Greece had to break what he called the "cycle of conflict" they were locked into. He indicated that the current problems between the two countries had to be taken up with a new and realistic approach, by "isolating them from the emotions stemming from history and the chains imposed by short-term temporary considerations". "An eventual settlement on the Aegean issue will only be viable and lasting if it is built on the fundamental rights and legitimate interests of both countries. For that reason we should discuss our differences on the basis of mutual respect and with a willingness to reach a compromise" Yilmaz said.

    Yilmaz went on to underline the need for the two sides to "rise to the occasion" and to "take utmost care to avoid being tempted by petty political gains and a dangerous opportunism, if the peace process is to succeed". He said that concurrent with the initiation of a process of peaceful settlement, Turkey was also ready to negotiate and conclude an "Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation" with Greece which would contain the basic principles governing relations between the two countries. "Likewise, simultaneously with this process, I also propose to start talks in this transitional period with a view to bringing about a swift agreement between the two countries on a comprehensive set of confidence-building measures related to military activities" Yilmaz said. "As our Greek friends frequently say, 'actions speak louder than words'. I, therefore, propose action, not words" he added, expressing his sincere hope that Athens would "not let this historic opportunity slip away". Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Athens, Umit Pamir requested an appointment from Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis to explain Yilmaz's approach regarding the problems between the two countries. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel later stated that Yilmaz's peace call to Athens was "most pleasing". /Sabah-Cumhuriyet-Hurriyet-Milliyet/

    [02] FOURTH TURKISH ASSEMBLY HELD IN ANKARA

    President Suleyman Demirel said yesterday that after the collapse of the walls between the former Soviet bloc and the West, the Turkish world had emerged as a "plane-tree" which could not be put back in the bag or neglected. Making the opening speech at the Turkish-Speaking States and Communities Assembly, organized by the Turkish-Speaking States and Communities Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation Foundation (TUDEV) with the aim of evaluating and further strengthening ties between those countries, President Demirel said that from the Adriatic to the South China Sea, across 11 million square kilometres, there were 200 million Turks who said that they came from the same origin, race, religion and had the same traditions and stories.

    He praised the developments of the last four years, saying that those communities which had lived without contact for more than a century had embraced each other, especially their intellectuals, scientists and experts in the fields of art and culture. True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said during the conference that the reorganization of the Turkish world was a second Renaissance, and a repeat of the Ergenekon legend, a very famous story in Turkish history that tells about the reunion of Turks. Ciller hoped that this second Renaissance would bring peace to the world.

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said in his message to TUDEV that he confirmed his support once again to everybody who wanted to further develop the ties between Turks. Scores of high-ranking bureaucrats, ambassadors, delegates and Turkish representatives from many countries attended the meeting. /Sabah-Hurriyet/

    [03] GERMANY PUTTING HEAT ON SYRIA

    Following German reaction to PKK terrorist violence in Germany, the government there has been exerting strong pressure against Syria to hand over PKK leader Abdullah "Apo" Ocalan. Syria has long sheltered both Ocallan and PKK terrorist gangs.

    There appears to be no way that Syria would hand over Ocalan to Turkey, so Germany is trying to get Syria to agree to sending Ocalan to either Britain or France. In return for Syria agreeing to comply with German suggestions on the arrest of Ocalan, the German government has promised to increase economic aid to Syria. Germany has sent high level diplomats to Syria to makesure that Syrian Head of State Hafiz Esad gets the message that Germany is very serious about the situation regarding the PKK and its activities in Germany. Syria however, has so far offered no comment on the German proposals, just as Damascus never replied to Turkish demands at the beginning of the year that Ocalan should be handed over.

    Germany is determined nevertheless, that Ocalan should be apprehended and tried. According to the Bild Amsonntag newspaper, Federal Germany spokesman for the Chief Prosecutor, Rolf Hanih, declared over the weekend that months ago a German court had called for the arrest of Ocalan. There is no change in the German attitude today.

    Commenting on the situation, German Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation, Carl Dieter Spranger said that if Syria really wanted to develop ties with Germany and benefit from economic aid packages, then it would have to end its support for terrorism. /All papers/

    [04] TURKEY SENDS PKK FILE TO GERMANY

    In support of German moves to squash the PKK terrorist organization in Germany, Ankara has sent a comprehensive file to the German authorities which contains the names and addresses of 116 PKK connected associations. The file also lists the names of those who administer the associations.

    German government clamp downs against the PKK has stirred up a hornet's nest which weekly Der Spiegel magazine suggests will not easily be dealt with. The magazine said in its news section that more PKK violence can be expected. Turkey agrees and has called upon the German government to take steps to close the associations listed in the file. The associations are active in towns and cities throughout Germany and form bases of operation and support for the PKK. /Sabah/

    [05] UN SUPPORT FOR GAP PROJECT

    According to a statement from the GAP (Southeast Anatolia Project) Administration, a new agreement at technical level has been set up between the UN Development Programme and the Turkish government. The agreement will open the way for needed social and economic integration in the GAP region, and includes 28 projects involving 4.2 million dollars.

    The agreement will include the years 1996 to 2000, and many of the projects will include contributions from third countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] MEETING OF THRACIAN TURKS

    The third meeting of the World Federation of Western Thrace Turks has been held in Bursa, when matters involving the Turkish speaking minority there were taken up along with human rights issues. The matter of the case of Sadik Ahmet was discussed with speakers noting that it was a matter of international concern. /Hurriyet/

    [07] TURKEY SAYS RUSSIAN DUMA IS TRYING TO 'REVERSE HISTORY'

    Turkey has characterized recent decisions by the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to declare as void the agreement in 1991 dissolving the Soviet Union, as "an effort to deny a natural event and reverse the flow of history". Such a decision has no hope of being implemented, either from the viewpoint of international law or from the viewpoint of practicality" a written statement from the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said yesterday. "The ambassador of the Russian Federation has also informed us that the Russian position is that this decision (by the Duma) will not lead to any results from a legal point of view" the statement added. Indicating that the first reactions to the Duma's decision had come from within Russia itself, the statement said that it was President Boris Yeltsin who declared the decision to be out of keeping with the country's constitution and to have no validity. "We see this statement (by Yeltsin) as representing a responsible position" the statement said.

    "Turkey will continue to support efforts by the newly independent states to retain and enhance their independence. This is in fact necessitated by international peace and stability. We hope that the Duma will show the necessary sensitivity to issues that have international implications" the Foreign Ministry statement concluded. /All papers/

    [08] TURKISH PREMISES FIREBOMBED IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

    Unidentified attackers firebombed a Turkish shop in the western German city of Gelsenkirchen overnight, police said yesterday. Two petrol bombs were thrown through the window of the import-export trader and set fire to the display before being extinguished by a passer-by. Two men were seen walking away from the scene. Elsewhere two Turkish cultural centres in a Vienna suburb suffered fire damage yesterday when unknown attackers ignited petrol in front of the buildings. Vienna police said they had no idea who was behind the attacks, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning. No one was hurt, but police reported fire and smoke damage to the two buildings. /Hurriyet-Milliyet/

    [09] MINISTER AKSU SAYS SYRIA IS GETTING MORE WATER THAN IT ACTUALLY NEEDS

    State Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said yesterday that Turkey was giving Syria more water than it needed from the Euphrates river and indicated that complaints from Damascus in this regard were partly gratutious and partly politically motivated. Aksu, who is the government official in charge of coordinating matters relating to southeast Anatolia, insisted that Turkey was remaining true to the commitment it entered into with Syria to provide that country with 500 cubic metres per second of water. Aksu also said that Turkey gave water above this agreed limit on the understanding that its neighbours should also be able avail themselves of natural resources. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] NSC BACKS NEW OPC MANDATE

    The National Security Council gave its backing to an extension to Operation Provide Comfort (OPC). "It was agreed that it would be appropriate to extend once more the period of the force's mission from March 31" the Council said in a statement after a five-hour meeting. The length of the extension will be decided later by the Turkish cabinet, the statement said. The security council made its decision at a meeting chaired by President Suleyman Demirel. /All papers/

    [11] TURKISH TRADE MISSION TO ROMANIA

    A 100-member Turkish delegation is scheduled to fly to Romania today for trade talks in the Romanian capital. Turkey's Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said the delegation contained several trade officials and private sector representatives, mostly from export companies. Trade officials said the visit was of great significance in making progress for a proposed free trade agreement between Ankara and Bucharest. The agreement will provide for the protection and development of the Turkish products market. Foreign trade volume was $404 million in 1994 and reached $483 million in the January-October period of 1995. /All papers/

    [12] BUSINESSMEN SEEK TO BOLSTER TURKEY'S TRADE WITH HUNGARY

    A Turkish businessmen's delegation will seek to expand economic ties between Turkey and Hungary when it visits the Hungarian cities of Budapest and Pecs early next month, an official of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) has said. The 55 member group will attend the joint Turkish-Hungarian Business Council meeting in the Hungarian capital on 2 April and hold talks with potential business partners in Pecs, the fourth largest city in the eastern European nation, on the following day. /All papers/

    [13] TURKISH TOURISM SECTOR READY TO SET NEW RECORDS IN 1996

    After a brilliant success in 1995, touristic hotels, motels, holiday villages, camps and pensions have completed their preparations for the new tourism season. Turkey offers visitors a wide range of activities, including trekking, rafting, sightseeing, gambling and golf. In addition, the weather, natural beauty, historic sites, hospitality and location of Turkey contribute to its popularity as a tourist spot. /All papers/

    [14] SUCCESS OF TURKISH TEXTILES IN US

    Despite being few in number, Turkish textile firms attracted great attention during the international garment fair held in "Javits Convention Center", the most modern exposition complex in New York. The firms "Guney Sanayi", "Koton Kolor", "Polon Dugme", "Cukurova Sanaii", "Ihlas Textile" and "Lilliput" have taken many orders from famous chain-stores and boutiques in the US. "Guney Sanayi", which ranks second in stretch fabric sales in Europe, signed new sales contracts with J.C.Penny, J.Crew, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. American clothing industry representatives said that because of the quality, design and price of their products, Turkish firms would soon expand their markets in the US. /Hurriyet/

    [15] LE MONDE: "TRABZON IS JUST LIKE SWITZERLAND"

    The French newspaper Le Monde compared the natural beauty of Black Sea Trabzon with that of Switzerland in its tourism supplement. In an article which draws attention to the green pastures and extensive rich forests in the Trabzon region, it says: "One comes across a Turkey that is quite unexpected". The article stresses the historical heritage of Trabzon which has been an important city since the Byzantine era. Trout farms and folklore festivals are also mentioned in the article. It is also says: "This region is both religious and Kemalist. The Laz people living here are known for their industriousness and cunning." /Hurriyet/
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