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Turkish Press Review, 96-10-02
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 DEMIREL GUARANTEES SECULARISMOpening the new legislative year on Tuesday, President Suleyman Demirel told the Parliament he would see to it that Turkey's secular system does not come to harm while deputies of the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) dominating the governing coalition listened in silence. Demirel said: "The characteristics of the Turkish Republic will not and cannot be altered. That is to say, the state of the republic of Turkey will remain a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law. Turkey's indivisible integrity with its country and nation will be protected".
Demirel also stressed that democratic institutions and principles were in effect in Turkey and on the threshold of the 21st century, Turkey could not give up democracy, secularism and modernism. /All papers/
 DEMIREL TO VISIT ITALYPresident Suleyman Demirel will visit Italy on 7-9 October. Demirel will be the first Turkish President to visit Italy for 37 years and will meet Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini and some administrators from the private sector. /Hurriyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTER CILLER RETURNS TO ANKARAForeign Minister Ciller returned home yesterday after a visit to the US where she made many contacts and opened the way for the resolution of a number of problems, including the opening of the petrol pipeline between Iraq and Turkey.
During a press meeting Ciller assessed her visit to New York as "most beneficial" and reviewed the things that she had accomplished in the States. /All papers/
 MINISTER FOR CULTURE GOES TO GERMANYMinister for Culture Ismail Kahraman has gone to Germany for a number of meetings with German officials and representatives of Turkish groups in Germany.
Today Kahraman will meet with German Labour Minister in the Hessen province, Barbara Stollterhof, and later with Turkish diplomatic officials. During the next few days Kahraman will attend a number of functions including Turkish book fairs and a visit to the Weimar Institute. /Hurriyet/
 PKK MILITANTS INCREASE ATTACKS IN SOUTHEASTThe PKK terrorist organization has increased its attacks in the southeastern region of Turkey, including the kidnapping of seven teachers late Monday in Diyarbakir's Hantepe village during which four of the captives were killed. The separatists took the seven primary school teachers from their houses and led them out of the village. The militants then killed four of the teachers, including a newly-married couple, and released the others after making pro-PKK statements. The human rights group Amnesty International said in its newly released report that the terrorists have killed 90 teachers since 1984 when the PKK started its armed attacks.
Referring to the massacre of the teachers, emergency rule region governor Necati Bilican, who visited the area where the murders were committed, said that the terrorists who killed the teachers were not human beings and that though such attacks, the PKK was attempting to prevent the state from serving and providing an education for the region's people. The three survivors of the incident said that the militants had threatened them and told them to leave the region or else they would be killed. The security forces have already arrested two people who allegedly helped the terrorists.
Meanwhile, in Maden, a town near Elazig, a group of separatists opened fire late Monday on a coffeehouse which is visited frequently by policemen and on a police patrol car, killing one person and injuring six policemen. The injured were rushed to a hospital. One of the seriously wounded died during treatment, bringing the number of victims to two. Also on Monday night, militants assaulted the Kralkizi Dam near the town of Dicle in the Diyarbakir region, killing three security guards and abducting two others. Separatists also attacked a private quarry near Diyarbakir's Lice district early Monday, abducting three workers and setting fire to two trucks. /Milliyet/
 BELGIUM UNCERTAIN ABOUT ANTI-PKK POLICYThe daily La Derniere Heure newspaper published in Belgium claimed that the Belgium intelligence agency had been excluded from Operation Sputnik which is fighting against the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The paper also claimed that the operation could spin out of control and possibly become a war among security agencies. "The Belgian intelligence agency has been warned not to interfere with Operation Sputnik" reported the newspaper.
The paper also mentioned that the exclusion of the intelligence agency was surprising, as it was providing information to gendarmerie anti-terror squads. The Belgian intelligence agency was collecting information about the PKK's illegal activities such as money laundering, drug trafficking and gun smuggling, and was also trying to find a connection between these illegal activities and terrorism; as well as briefing the gendarmerie's anti-terror units. /All papers/
 TURKEY'S NEW ENVOY TO THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL STARTS WORKTurkey's new permanent representative to the European Council, Riza Turmen, has presented his credentials to the secretary-general of the Council, Daniel Tarchy. Turmen was formerly the Turkish Ambassador in Bern. Turkey's previous representative to the Council, Ismet Birsel, has been appointed to Budapest. /All papers/
 SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN ISTANBUL CLOSESThe South African Embassy announced yesterday that it will close its Consulate General in Istanbul. This decision was taken reluctantly by the South African government and was due to budgetary and financial constraints. Similarly, other South African missions, including some embassies, will be closed for a short time. The closure of the Consulate General in Istanbul will not lead to any disruption in trade and tourism activities. These activities and consular enquiries will be carried out by the South African Embassy in Ankara. The Turkish government was officially informed of the South African government's decision yesterday. /All papers/
 FM UNDERSECRETARY OYMEN IN PARISForeign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen met with high-level French officials yesterday for political consultations which take place twice yearly. Oymen's agenda included bilateral issues between Turkey and France, as well as Turkey's relations with European institutions, including those with the European Parliament which blocked EU financial assistance to Turkey two weeks ago. The agenda also included talks on the ambiguous situation in northern Iraq and the recent desire expressed by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Mesut Barzani to normalize relations with Baghdad. The desire to increase economic relations between Turkey and France was also underlined during the visit as Oymen was accompanied by a group of businessmen. /All papers/
 NEW INITIATIVES FROM US ON CYPRUS AND AEGEANNicholas Burns, the US State Department spokesman, said new initiatives will be launched concerning Cyprus and the Aegean. Burns said that last week's negotiations between US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos went smoothly. "Prime Minister Simitis was victorious in the recent elections. Now we should concentrate on the Cyprus issue. This needs the participation of the Turkish and Greek governments and the parties in Cyprus. President Clinton spoke with special representative for Cyprus, Richard Beattie, about the efforts made by the US to play a positive role. When it comes to the Aegean issue, we are friends and allies of both countries. We will work to start positive negotiations between the two countries. Christopher and Pangalos agreed on this issue during their contacts" said Burns.
UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali said he had spoken with President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides and that he was hopeful on the issue of beginning indirect negotiations. The UN leader said this during his contacts with Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller in New York. /All papers/
 WARNING FROM DENKTASPresident of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Rauf Denktas has noted that the statutes of equality which Turkey obtained with the 1960 agreement regarding Cyprus could be spoilt and said that the Greek Cypriot side would integrate with Greece via the European Union (EU). Denktas met with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel at the Cankaya Palace yesterday. Attending an opening ceremony of the academic year of Ankara University, Denktas pointed out that Turkey was a great and powerful country. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAN: "PKK COORDINATES HAD BEEN BOMBED"The Iranian Embassy in Ankara dismissed allegations by the Turkish media of Iranian sponsorship for Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorism as "lies". A written statement said: "Those who provoke the Turkish media have more interest in disturbing Turkey's domestic policies than in Iran". The statement said that Erbakan had sent a delegation of experts to Iran to investigate the allegations, adding that the group had failed to find any sign of anti-Turkish elements. The statement also pointed at members of illegal organizations who are caught and sent to Turkey by Iran as being the sources of these false claims. "It is clear that the PKK in this way is trying to give false information to wreck Turkish-Iranian relations". The Iranian Embassy also noted that suspicious areas, the coordinates of which had been given to Iran by Turkey, had been bombed by Iran. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQ PETROL LIKELY TO FLOW SOONFollowing the talks in New York of Foreign Minister Ciller, it looks as though the UN will soon apply ruling number 986 allowing Iraq to sell a limited amount of petrol in order to buy urgent supplies of food and medicine.
This means that Turkey will benefit from the petrol pipeline operations that connect Iraqi reserves to port facilities in Turkey. UN officials have confirmed that UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali wants to see the ruling applied as soon as possible. /Milliyet/
 SECRET US-IRAN PETROL DEALNow that it is very apparent that the Turkish proposal of a Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to carry Azeri petrol to world markets is being pushed to one side, reports of a "secret" deal between the US and Iran are gaining weight.
Reports suggest that US companies involved in extracting and marketing Azeri petrol want to have the petrol carried out through Tebriz. They also want to have both Azeri and Iranian supplies shipped out through the Hurmuz Straits. US company representatives claim that the Tebriz-Hurmuz connection is "safer and cheaper." /Milliyet/
 AMNESTY CAMPAIGN AGAINST TURKEYIn response to a new Amnesty International human rights campaign against Turkey, the Foreign Ministry yesterday said that AI was biased and ignored the positive developments that had been made in Turkey.
The Foreign Ministry statement said that AI was continuing with a policy of actually promoting terrorism while complaining against Turkey's efforts to improve human rights and eradicate regional terrorism. /All papers/
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