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Turkish Press Review, 96-12-10
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
TUESDAY DECEMBER 10, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 PARLIAMENT LAUNCHES BUDGET DEBATEFinance Minister Abdullatif Sener on Monday indicated that the government would not introduce an austerity package. Sener said the government has prepared a balanced budget for 1997, promising that the new budget would reduce the need for public debts and ease the interest burden. The finance minister said the government had targeted revenues and expenditures totaling TL 6.255 quadrillion for fiscal 1997. The GNP growth target for 1997 was set at 4 percent Sener said, while the gross national income would be around TL 25.360 trillion. Sener added that Turkey's foreign currency reserves in international banks rose to $27.7 billion while the reserves in the Central Bank increased to $17.2 billion.
Sener praised the economic resource packages unveiled by Prime Minister Erbakan, saying the additional resources created by these packages would provide more opportunities for the productive working classes. /All papers/
 SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL MEETSThe Supreme Military Council met yesterday under the chairmanship of Chief of General Staff Ismail Hakki Karadayi. Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan did not attend the meeting, saying he was too busy with the budget debate. Erbakan is expected to join the meeting today. On the first day of the two-day meeting, participants discussed recent military developments in the region, internal and external threats, and the military and political situation. The Supreme Military Council meets twice a year, in August and December.
At a ceremony attended by many important military figures, including General Karadayi, as well as political figures, President Suleyman Demirel laid the foundation of the Turkish Armed Forces Rehabilitation and Care Centre in Ankara. The project comprises a 200-bed rehabilitation centre where members of the Turkish Armed Forces who are handicapped or injured in the line of duty will be treated. The project is especially aimed at helping veterans of the fighting in the Southeast. /All papers/
 GREEK CYPRIOT ARMAMENT A THREAT, SAYS ANKARAThe efforts of Greece and Greek Cypriots to arm the island of Cyprus constitute a threat to Turkey, according to the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel, speaking at his weekly press conference yesterday, said that Turkey would not tolerate such efforts. "To arm the island does not contribute to efforts to find a peaceful solution to the (Cyprus) question. There is no doubt that Turkey cannot tolerate these kinds of offensive missiles in Cyprus. This is also a threat to security of Turkey" Akbel said.
Akbel also said the Greek declaration to use its veto to block any expansion of the EU if Cyprus is not admitted, was tantamount to black mail. "In our considered view, the construction of European integration cannot be based on blackmail and such negative attitudes" Akbel said. /All papers/
 UN APPROVES START OF OIL-FOR-FOOD DEALUN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali approved on Monday the start of an oil-for-food deal with Iraq, enabling Baghdad to return to the world oil market for the first time since 1990, a UN spokesman said. Boutros-Ghali sent notification to the Security Council, enabling the deal to enter into force at 00:01 A.M. EST (0501 GMT) on Tuesday.
This will enable Iraq to sell $2 billion worth of oil over six months, on a renewable basis, to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods to alleviate the effects of sanctions imposed since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. /All papers/
 COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER OF BANGLADESH VISITS TURKEYBangladeshi Postal and Communications Minister Muhammed Nasim, in Turkey for an official visit, met with Transportation Minister Omer Barutcu, the Anatolia news agency reported. During his meeting with Nasim, Barutcu said that Turkey had taken important steps in the field of communications recently. Barutcu mentioned the good service provided by Turkish Telecom and added that 49 % of the company would be privatized next year. The Turkish minister emphasized that Turkey is one of the few countries having their own satellite.
Nasim said that his country would be glad to enter into projects with Turkey in the telecommunications field. Nasim and his accompanying delegation will visit the satellite centre at Golbasi, Ankara and then go to Kayseri to visit historical and tourist sites. Minister Nasim will leave Turkey on December 13.
 TURKEY IS A NATURAL PARTNER, SAYS FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTERFrench Foreign Minister Herve de Charette stressed that Turkey is a very important natural partner for the EU, the Anatolia news agency reported. De Charette, interviewed by the To Vima weekly newspaper -published in Greece- pointed out that the EU's doors were opened to Turkey with the establishment of the Turkey-EU customs union accord.
"Turkey which is located in the centre of a region where stability is essential, is by nature an important partner with the EU" de Charette told the Greek newspaper. "We should share the values of democracy and freedom that we are loyal to, with Turkey, with the help of dialogue and cooperation. Greece especially and the rest of Europe could only benefit from establishing regular dialogue and tight cooperation with a stable and prosperous Turkey".
 ECO SECRETARY-GENERAL MEETS WITH HABIBIDr.Hasan Habibi, senior assistant to the Iranian president, said that he wanted to increase relations between Iran and Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported. In the meeting between Habibi and the Economic Cooperation organization (ECO) Secretary-General Onder Ozar on Sunday, the Iranian official asked that cooperative investment projects be launched among the members of the organization. Ozar said that an increase in collaboration and solidarity between Iran and Turkey would also strengthen the ECO.
 SIX SOLDIERS FREEDSix soldiers, kept prisoner by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for more than two years, were released on Sunday and have now returned to Turkey, the Anatolia news agency reported. The soldiers arrived at the Habur border gate at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning together with Welfare Party Van Deputy Fethullah Erbas. The soldiers were taken to the Governor's Office and are expected to be sent to their hometowns after debriefings.
 TURKISH EXPORTS UP 4.4 % IN FIRST 11 MONTHSTurkish exports increased by 4.4 % to $21.333 billion in the first 11 months of the year from $20.434 billion in the corresponding period in 1995, the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) said in a statement. The statement said Turkey's November exports were up 4.8 % to $2.261 billion from $2.158 billion recorded last year for the same month.
Iron and steel and metal industry exports firmed up by 3.8 % to $2.57 billion, textile and related raw material exports rose 8.3 % to $2.30 billion, electric-electronic exports jumped 33 % to $1.71 billion in January-November when compared to the same 1995 period, TIM said. /All papers/
 OCTOBER INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 15.5 %Turkish industrial production in October grew 15.5 % from a year earlier, compared with a 1.9 % rise in September, the State Institute of Statistics (SIS) said in a statement. In October 1995, industrial production was up 2.2 %. The SIS said the manufacturing sector had grown 15.5 % in October, compared with September's growth of 0.1 %. /All papers/
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