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TRKNWS-L Turkish Press Review (April 3, 1996)

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

Turkish Press Review Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] ANKARA ANGRY OVER GREEK CALL FOR ANTI-TURKISH BLOC

  • [02] PKK THREATENS KOHL AND KINKEL WITH DEATH

  • [03] "NO MORE EXTENSION FOR MANDATE OF PROVIDE COMFORT"

  • [04] DEMIREL INVITES SADDAM TO TURKEY

  • [05] US CONCERNED ABOUT DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHERN IRAQ

  • [06] GREECE STAGES ANTI-PKK OPERATIONS

  • [07] TURKEY SEEKING NEW ARMS DEAL WITH RUSSIA

  • [08] US STATE DEPARTMENT DEFENDS TURKEY'S RIGHT TO FIGHT PKK

  • [09] 10 PKK MILITANTS KILLED

  • [10] RUSSIAN PASSION FOR TURKISH JEANS

  • [11] TURKISH HOUSE SET ON FIRE

  • [12] NATO COMMANDER IN TURKEY

  • [13] INTEREST IN TURKISH TOURISM IN MOSCOW

  • [14] TURCO-HUNGARY BUSINESS COUNCIL


  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    WEDNESDAY APRIL 3, 1996

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

    [01] ANKARA ANGRY OVER GREEK CALL FOR ANTI-TURKISH BLOC

    Highly controversial remarks by Greek Defence Minister Gerassimos Arsenis that Athens should cooperate with all of Turkey's neighbours for what in effect would amount to an anti-Turkish bloc have elicited angry reactions from Ankara. Despite these remarks, Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay told Parliament on Tuesday that Turkey was still expecting a positive response from Athens to its recently announced peace initiative aimed at Greece. "We retain our hope that a new era can be opened in our relations" Gonensay told deputies when presenting his ministry's budget proposal to the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission. Replying to a question regarding Syria, Gonensay said: "We hope Syria will show a political will that would lead to the ending of a confidence crisis caused by its own attitude", and accused Syria of ignoring its international obligations to counter terrorism. "The support given to the terrorism of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) by Syria prevents good neighbourly relations between Syria and Turkey" Gonensay said. "Neither do Syria's baseless claims that its water rights are usurped by Turkey and its efforts to bring this non-existent problem to the international platform help to resolve the problem". Gonensay accused Syria of using terrorism as a way to get its way on the Euphrates water question.

    Turkish Defence Minister Oltan Sungurlu, responding to a claim by Arsenis that landing rights had been secured from Syria for Greek fighter jets, characterized this claim on Tuesday as "very serious". Recalling that Greece was also a NATO member, Sungurlu suggested this prevented Athens from such military accords with non-NATO members. "I hope that this remains just a claim. Greece has nothing to gain by increasing the tension in the Aegean crisis" Sungurlu said. He was talking te reporters on his return from Tirana, Albania, where he attended a meeting of Balkan defence ministers- from which Athens stayed away.

    A written statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday referred to Arsenis' remarks, in which the Greek minister had also claimed that "Kemalism" was expansionist by nature, and call for efforts to ensure that it was defeated from "within". "(Arsenis) has rejected dialogue which is the initial means of trying to solve international disputes" the Foreign Ministry statement said. It added that the remarks by Arsenis and his assistant Nikkos Kouris would make the settlement of disputes between the two countries "more difficult". It also said that the remarks about Kardak, which were out of keeping with the US-mediated decision by the two sides to return to the "status quo ante" concerning the islet, represented "new examples of irresponsibility" on the part of Athens. "As it turned out a Greek citizen landed on the Kardak islet on March 31 immediately after these remarks (in the Greek parliament) and stayed there for a while, leading to a formal protest on our part" the statement said. "We invite Greece once again to refrain from such statements and to respond positively to the broad proposals for a settlement put forward by Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on 24 March" it added.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Athens Umit Pamir met with Greek Foreign Minister Teodoros Pangalos yesterday. During the 45-minute meeting held at the invitation of Pangalos, Ambassador Pamir furnished information to Pangalos on Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's view and approach regarding the solution of Turkish-Greek disputes and the future of relations between the two countries. Pamir also visited Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis last Tuesday for the same reason. /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet-Sabah/

    [02] PKK THREATENS KOHL AND KINKEL WITH DEATH

    The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) continues to threaten Germany. On Tuesday, The PKK threatened German Prime Minister Helmut Kohl and Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel with death. PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan attacked Kinkel and Interior Minister Manfred Kanther for "surpassing each other in being of service to Turkey and slandering the Kurds". Kinkel told Tuesday's edition of the Cologne Daily Express that he had received death threats from PKK supporters which "we took seriously", and said security precautions had been tightened. The Express said Chancellor Helmut Kohl had also received PKK death threats. Kinkel said that violence in Germany had increased because of the PKK, and that its activities denigrated over 2.5 million Turks in Germany, adding that hardening the foreigners law in Germany would not prevent PKK terrorism. Ocalan last week threatened Germany with a continuation of PKK attacks in a speech reported in the daily Suddeutche Zeitung.

    The German government has demanded that Britain stop its support for PKK activities and MED TV broadcasts. Gunther Beckstein, interior minister of Bavaria, said in a press conference on Monday that the demand of the German government had been sent to the British Home Office. Beckstein said logistical support for the PKK was decreased by the bans, adding that the government condemned PKK threats against German tourists who go to Turkey.

    Meanwhile, German Deputy Foreign Minister Werner Hoyer called upon EU countries for "a joint struggle against the PKK", recalling the PKK threats against Germany and its top level representatives. /Milliyet-Cumhuriyet-Sabah/

    [03] "NO MORE EXTENSION FOR MANDATE OF PROVIDE COMFORT"

    Defence Minister Oltan Sungurlu said on Monday that US Defence Secretary William Perry had invited him to the US to discuss the terms of Operation Provide Comfort. Speaking in Tirana, where a meeting of defence ministers from the southern Balkans was held, Sungurlu said that he and Perry, who also attended the meeting, had discussed Provide Comfort, Russia and bilateral relations. The Minister said that the Turkish government would not approve the Operation Provide Comfort in its cuurent shape. Sungurlu noted that Perry told him that the US would not persist on an issue which put Turkey in a difficult position, and that Operation Provide Comfort was only a component part of providing stability in northern Iraq, adding that Perry asked what Turkey wanted to change in the structure of Provide Comfort. Sungurlu is expected to go to the US for discussions with Perry soon. /Sabah/

    [04] DEMIREL INVITES SADDAM TO TURKEY

    President Suleyman Demirel has invited Iraqi leader Saddam Huseyin to Turkey to participate in the up-coming Istanbul Habitat II world conference.

    Although the US is not at all happy about the invitation, Demirel said yesterday that "we are not against Saddam. We can live together." Since the Gulf war about six years ago, Saddam has not stepped outside the borders of his own country. Saddam lives with a deep and abiding fear of sudden and violent death, and immediate reaction to Demirel's surprise invitation is that Saddam is most unlikely to accept it. Nevertheless, there is growing curiosity about how Saddam will deal with Demirel's invitation.

    During his recent four day working visit to the States, Demirel talked about protecting the national integrity of Iraq, and expressed his concern about possible abuses. Later, Demirel extended his invitation to Saddam to come to Turkey and attend the UN sponsored conference on world housing and related problems. /All papers/

    [05] US CONCERNED ABOUT DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHERN IRAQ

    Well aware that Kurdish leader Mesud Barzani has been taking the initiative in moves to cooperate more with the terrorist PKK organization in the regions of northern Iraq, the US government is taking a closer look at the situation there.

    The US State Department has sent a quite strongly worded report to Congress about the situation and increasingly provocative incidents taking place there. The report notes that the US is "watching closely" the deepening connection between the PKK and Barzani's faction. In view of the conflict between the Kurdish groups in the region, with the PKK stirring up the action, the US has changed its northern Iraq policy to meet the changing situation.

    Attaching more importance to the region, the US is sending yet another delegation to the region to examine first hand developments there. /Sabah/

    [06] GREECE STAGES ANTI-PKK OPERATIONS

    In what can only be described as a "formality" Greek security forces have been setting up operations against PKK cells in Athens. According to the Greek press, thirty top level PKK members were arrested during the anti-PKK raids but were later set free after a cursory examination of documents including passports and residence permits. /Milliyet/

    [07] TURKEY SEEKING NEW ARMS DEAL WITH RUSSIA

    In a new step to resolve the arms reduction agreement issue with Russia, Turkey has come out with a new proposal for a "middle of the road" compromise. After talks with the US administration, Turkey will now propose that the issue should be taken up during the April 19 Moscow summit between Russian Head of State Boris Yeltsin and President Clinton.

    The Turkish plan calls for a revision of Russia's internal conventional arms policy as it concerns Caucasia and the Belarus regions. The Turkish compromise suggests a realignment leading to a new conventional weapons balance leveling out weapons stockpiles and the destruction of tanks and armoured vehicles down to required levels even in the most sensitive regions. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] US STATE DEPARTMENT DEFENDS TURKEY'S RIGHT TO FIGHT PKK

    The US State Department defended Turkey's right to fight the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a letter sent to Rep.Lee Hamilton, an influential Indiana Democrat and an important member of the House International Relations Committee, in response to Hamilton's earlier letter to the State Department. Wendy R.Sherman, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, in her February 29 letter to Hamilton replied to his inquiries about "the possible misuse of US-origin military equipment by Turkey".

    "As we consider how best to pursue our objectives in Turkey, it is important to understand just what Turkey is up against" Sherman told Hamilton. "The PKK has stated that its primary goal is to create a separate Kurdish state in part of what is now Turkey. In the course of its operations, the PKK has frequently targeted Turkish civilians. It has not hesitated to attack Western -including American- interests. The Turkish government has the right to defend itself militarily from this terrorist threat".

    She also noted the constitutional amendments of last summer, and the amendment of Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on October 27, 1995, as a result of which 130 prisoners were released. In his letter, Hamilton asked if "the US supports negotiations between several exiled Turkish Kurdish parliamentarians and the Turkish government". Sherman's answer was unequivocal: "The 'Kurdistan parliament in-exile' is financed and controlled by the PKK" she said. "We cannot, therefore, advocate negotiations with the so-called parliament". /All papers/

    [09] 10 PKK MILITANTS KILLED

    Turkish security forces have killed 10 militants of the PKK terrorist organization in separate clashes in the southeast of the country, security officials said yesterday. The militants were killed in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Bingol, Mardin and Sirnak, the regional governor's office said in a statement. /Hurriyet/

    [10] RUSSIAN PASSION FOR TURKISH JEANS

    Fashion'96 Fair, organized in Moscow by the American Comtec fair organization company under the sponsorship of the European Commission was held on March 26-29. For the first time a Turkish company, Gencteks, was represented at the fair. More than 150 companies from 15 countries, including Italy, Britain, France, the US and Germany, were represented at the fair. Ready-wear, shoes, underwear and accessories were among the products presented at the fair. Fair visitors showed great interest in the Crom Jeans collection exhibited by the Gencteks company. Company officials noted that their aim was to win a permanent place in the Russian market. /Hurriyet/

    [11] TURKISH HOUSE SET ON FIRE

    Yesterday night unidentified persons tried to set fire to a house inhabited by three Turkish families. The fire, started in the empty first floor of the house was put out before anybody was injured. /Sabah/

    [12] NATO COMMANDER IN TURKEY

    Commander of the NATO Atlantic Allied Forces, John J. Sheehan, who is in Turkey as an offical guest of Chief of General Staff, General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, visited the South-East European Allied Forces Commander, Huseyin Kivrakoglu.

    Completing his contacts in Ankara, Sheehan went on to Izmir yesterday. Commander John J. Sheehan will leave Turkey today. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] INTEREST IN TURKISH TOURISM IN MOSCOW

    There was great interest in Turkish tourism during the 3rd Moscow International Tourism Fair (MITT), which was held between 27-31 March.

    Representatives from the Turkish tourism agencies said that there was a great tourism potential in Russia that would be very important for Turkey in the future.

    Tourism Minister Isilay Saygin and Minister Fermani Uygun also visited the fair. Isilay Saygin, who attended a coctail organised by the Kemer Region Promotion Foundation (KETAV), said that Turkey attached great importance to the tourism potential in Russia and said that the Turkish Tourism Ministry would increase support for the Russian tourism market.

    Yilmaz Dikbas, owner of the Kalinka Tourism Agency, the first Turkish tourism agency promoting tourisim activities between Russia and Turkey, said that as a result of successful promotion activities by the Tourism Ministry, today Russian tourists were showing great interest in Turkey.

    Together with Turkey Spain, Greece, Italy, Egypt and France participated in the fair held in the Moscow Expo Centre. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] TURCO-HUNGARY BUSINESS COUNCIL

    The 3rd Joint Meeting of the Turco-Hungary Business Council has started in Budapest, Hungary.

    Chairman of the Council, Tugrul Erkin said that present trade activities between the two countries were only one third of the trade potential. He added: "If contacts are increased, economic benefits will be increased. There will be cooperation between Turkey and Hungary in communications, construction materials, metal products, agriculture, chemicals, food, automotives, leather, glass and pottery.

    Chairman of the Hungary Chamber of Industry, Lajos Tolnay said that after adapting to a market economy in Hungary, Hungary would give priority to privatization and added that on the basis of current privatization successes, foreign investment in Hungary was increasing.

    Almost 50 representatives from 33 Turkish companies are attending the meeting. /Sabah/

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