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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (March 27, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL PRAISES HILLARY CLINTON AS 'DEFENDER OF HUMAN RIGHTS'

  • [02] KARDAK ISLANDS CRISIS SIMMERING

  • [03] "NO CHANGE ON COASTAL LIMITS"

  • [04] US READY TO MEDIATE

  • [05] YILMAZ TRYING TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA

  • [06] OYMEN PREDICTS 'NEW ERA' IN TURCO-RUSSIAN TIES

  • [07] ARMENIAN BORDER GATE TO BE REOPENED

  • [08] US INITIATIVE FOR PEACE IN NORTHERN IRAQ

  • [09] ECEVIT VISITS ARAFAT IN GAZA

  • [10] DEMIREL IN THE US

  • [11] INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT JUMPS 12.2 % IN 1995

  • [12] ATTACKERS FIREBOMB TURKISH SHOP IN GERMANY


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    WEDNESDAY MARCH 27, 1996

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

    [01] DEMIREL PRAISES HILLARY CLINTON AS 'DEFENDER OF HUMAN RIGHTS'

    "The Turkish people recognize you, Mrs.Clinton, as a distinguished defender of human rights and a strong supporter of justice and welfare in your country" President Suleyman Demirel told Hillary Clinton during a luncheon he and his wife Nazmiye Demirel gave in her honour. "While in Turkey, you will have the opportunity to experience our rich culture, tradition and values" he said. Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile, said that she had already decided that her visit to Turkey would not be the last one. "I hope I will come with my husband" she said, adding that US President Bill Clinton was looking forward to meeting President Demirel who will travel to Washington on a working visit. Mrs.Clinton stated that the talks in Washington would help "build on our strong friendship". Mrs.Clinton laid a wreath at the Ataturk Mausoleum. After a round-table discussion with representatives of Turkish women, Mrs.Clinton attended a reception given for her by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Berna Yilmaz.

    In the round-table talks, Hillary Clinton listened to Turkish women on issues relating to women. The guests included State Minister Imren Aykut, ANAP Deputy Lale Aytaman, former minister Turkan Akyol. She is to meet Tansu Ciller, chairwoman of the True Path Party (DYP) in Istanbul. /Hurriyet/

    [02] KARDAK ISLANDS CRISIS SIMMERING

    Greece has added to the tensions in the Aegean by again sending naval vessels to the Kardak island region. This in the wake of Greek refusals to accept offers from Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who over the weekend sent out a call to the Greek government to share in talks to solve the Aegean problem.

    As a result of the Greek move, there are now about fifteen Turkish and Greek naval vessels "exercising" in the Kardak island area. According to the Turkish Chief of Staff, the situation as far as they are concerned is "normal" but they do admit that until the problem is resolved tension will hang heavy in the air. /Hurriyet/

    [03] "NO CHANGE ON COASTAL LIMITS"

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, commenting on the situation in the Aegean sea region said that despite the efforts of the Greek government to impose its will in the Aegean, Turkey will never change its stance on not allowing extended coastal limits.

    Thanks to the Greek veto in the European Parliament, European Union credits to Turkey accorded within the framework of the customs union agreement, are again being delayed and meetings to resolve the matter have been postponed. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Yilmaz stressed yesterday that Turkey would not be forced into accepting the Greek demand for twelve mile sea limits in the Aegean. "This is still a matter over which we would go to war" warned Yilmaz, who added that if the Greeks got their way over this issue, the Aegean Sea would be closed off to Turkey- "something we could never accept." /Sabah/

    [04] US READY TO MEDIATE

    US government officials said yesterday that Washington was ready to mediate between Turkey and Greece and resolve the Aegean Sea issue and other problems plaguing ties between the two neighbour NATO countries.

    Immediately prior to President Suleyman Demirel's visit to the US, government representatives there said that the US government was pleased with Turkish initiatives to start new dialogues with Greece. On the other hand, they were not convinced that Greece would respond positively before certain political changes took place. Noting that Turkey had made a "good start" with talk proposals, the officials then went on to say that the US would support the initiative by mediating an agreement. /Sabah/

    [05] YILMAZ TRYING TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA

    After ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz took over as prime minister, priorities in Turkish foreign policy have shifted. Yilmaz has declared that he will try to improve relations with Greece, Bulgaria and Russia. In response to the congratulatory message of Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin on the occasion of Yilmaz's assuming his new post, Yilmaz also sent a message, dwelling on the importance Turkey attacked to the improvement of Turco-Russian ties. /Milliyet/

    [06] OYMEN PREDICTS 'NEW ERA' IN TURCO-RUSSIAN TIES

    Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen, on completing official talks in Moscow with senior Russian officials, predicted yesterday the beginning of a new 'era in ties' between the two countries. "We were met with very close understanding. We also found the opportunity to clear up some speculation that had previously come out in the press. A new era in our ties is beginning" Oymen said. Oymen noted that there would be increased diplomatic traffic between Turkey and Russia in the coming period and indicated that the Russian side had accepted Turkish Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay's invitation to Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov to visit Turkey. He also announced that First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets would be visiting Turkey in the shortest possible time to attend the meetings of the Turkish-Russian mixed Economic Committee. According to information provided by Oymen, the Turkish and Russian sides also agreed that the undersecretaries of the two countries should meet twice a year to exchange ideas on bilateral and regional issues of concern to Ankara and Moscow. The sides also agreed to have meeting between technicians from the two countries on the Middle East peace process, and cooperation against organized crime, terrorism and drug smuggling.

    Oymen went on to say that they had received very positive signals from the Russian side on the question of preventing the activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Russia. He said he had received assurances from Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov that they were trying hard to prevent the activities of the PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey. Oymen also disclosed that the Russian side had blocked a radio station that the PKK was trying to set up on Russian soil. Touching on the subject of pipelines to carry Caspian oil to world markets, Oymen reported: "Russia in a very open manner told us this :'We do not desire to see one country hold the monopoly over the whole of the oil in Central Asia and the Caucasus or over the pipelines involved. Of course all of this will be done by means of multilateral pipeline projects. We do not object to one of these pipelines running from Baku to Ceyhan (on Turkey's Mediterranean coast). In fact we are even prepared to cooperate with Turkey in this respect". He added that the two sides had also arrived at an agreement in principle that Turkmenistan natural gas should be transported to Turkey over Russia and Georgia.

    Oymen said that Turkey would, over a 15-year period, buy hard coal from Russia valued at $500 million. The sides also agreed that there were possibilities for the two countries to cooperate in areas such as the reconstruction of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and joint projects in Central Asia, China and other far eastern countries. They agreed to encourage cooperation between private companies from the two countries in this context. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] ARMENIAN BORDER GATE TO BE REOPENED

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said yesterday that the Alican Border gate, between Turkey and Armenia, would soon be reopened in a move to contribute to the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "We are only waiting for these two countries to announce an agreement in principle at the peace negotiations which are currently taking place" Yilmaz said in a speech on foreign policy. Noting that he had also discussed this issue with Azeri President Haydar Aliyev, Yilmaz repeated that Turkey would never take any steps which went against Azerbaijan's interests.

    Speaking on relations with Syria, Yilmaz said that disputes on the issues of terrorism and water were still continuing. "Not only do they not fulfill their obligations on terrorism, on the international platform they act against Turkey with respect to the water issue as well" Yilmaz said. Noting that there also existing problems with Armenia and Iran, and that the authority vacuum in northern Iraq was still paving the way for terrorist attacks against Turkey, Yilmaz concluded that Turkey was surrounded by a ring of disputes. /All papers/

    [08] US INITIATIVE FOR PEACE IN NORTHERN IRAQ

    US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns noted that steps were planned to revive the Dublin process. Within this framework, CIA Director Robert Deutch will visit Northern Iraq in April and will meet Mesut Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Celal Talbani, leader of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union. Turkey, aiming at an agreement for cooperation against the PKK organization, looks warmly at the visit. /Milliyet/

    [09] ECEVIT VISITS ARAFAT IN GAZA

    Bulent Ecevit, chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), visited Palestinian Head of State Yasser Arafat in Gaza yesterday. Ecevit said that the building of a democratic and secular Palestine would save Turkey from standing alone in the Middle East - a place not noted for its secular, democratic states. He noted that Israel's current blockade of Palestine mostly affected the public, not terrorists. he said that normal life was paralyzed in Gaza, unemployment was sky-high and many could not even find food. "It is difficult for Arafat to fight radical organizations under these conditions" Ecevit said. Ecevit pointed out that the claims of Arafat regarding cooperation between Islamic and Jewish fundamentalist terrorist organizations were serious.

    Arafat said after the meeting that they expected more support from Turkey, and added that the Israeli embargo was creating a tragedy for the Palestinian people. "Israel not only closed the borders but also prevented our production, imports and exports. If the foreign policy of Israel continues like this, it will be to the benefit of the fundamentalists" said Arafat, adding that he had sent evidence of this to the Israeli administration. Aaraft said that his administration was making every effort to prevent terrorism, stressing the fact that many terrorists had been arrested and weapons seized. He further noted that the Hamas terrorist group was supported by Iran and some other Arabic countries.

    Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres asked Ecevit to convey a message to Arafat. In his message, Peres underlined that Israel "has not divorced the peace process" and asked the Palestinian leader to act more diligently against the fundamentalist Hamas terror organization. /Hurriyet/

    [10] DEMIREL IN THE US

    A small matter of protocol has already marred the visit of President Suleyman Demirel to the US. His visit, which begins today, got off to a shaky start even before he left Ankara when he was informed that a proposal from the Turkish side suggesting that morning talks between Demirel and Clinton arranged for March 29 should be followed by lunch, was turned down by White House officials because "the proposal went against White House protocol."

    Instead, the White House offered lunch at Blair House with other top US officials, in line with the status of Demirel's visit- which is a working visit, rather than an official one. Demirel was not impressed and turned the idea down. The confusion over protocol has left a gap in the program of the visit, which will apparently be filled by Demirel adjourning to his hotel. /Hurriyet/

    [11] INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT JUMPS 12.2 % IN 1995

    Turkey's industrial production jumped 12.2 % in 1995 after a 6.2 % decline in 1994, the State Institute of Statistics said yesterday. It said private industry grew by 20.9 % in 1995 after a 11.8 % decline in 1994. The manufacturing sector showed the biggest growth, increasing by 13 % in 1995. Energy sector growth was 9.9 % in 1995. Industrial production grew 11.7 % in the last three months of 1995. State industry grew 3.8 % while the growth rate for private industry was 21.5 % in the corresponding period. /Sabah/

    [12] ATTACKERS FIREBOMB TURKISH SHOP IN GERMANY

    Unidentified attackers firebombed a Turkish-owned grocery shop and a nearby Islamic cultural centre in the western German town of Bielefeld in the early hours of Tuesday morning, police said. irefighters extinguished the blazes and no one was injured. Police detained three people but later released them. /All papers/

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