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Turkish Press Review, 96-12-13
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning.
 CONSTRUCTION OF IRANIAN NATURAL GAS PIPELINE UNDERWAYThe construction of the first 300 kms of the pipeline which will carry Iranian natural gas to Turkey has begun. Turkey's state-run pipeline company Botas General Directorate, has opened bidding for the 300-km long Dogubeyazit-Erzurum section of the pipeline.
The Botas announcement published in the Official Gazette on Thursday, said firms entering bids should have constructed a total of 50 kms of pipeline and finished a total of $ 20 millions worth of industrial facilities or steel pipeline construction as well as having sufficient workers, equipment and work machines.
The pipeline construction will cost about $ 200 million, according to estimates. The Turkey and Iran will be responsible for the construction of the sections in their own territory. The closing date for bids is February 28, 1997./Cumhuriyet/
 ERBAKAN SENDS LETTER TO IRISH PRIME MINISTERPrime Minister Necmettin Erbakan has sent letter of apology to Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, the term chairman of the European Union (EU), expressing his regret at not being able to attend the dinner to be given after the Dublin Summit.
In his letter Erbakan thanked Bruton for the invitation to the dinner. He added that he believed that Turco-EU meetings would have positive results for both sides. Erbakan noted that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller would attend the meetings as Turkey's representatives./Milliyet/
 DEMIREL: TURKEY IN THE 21ST CENTURYSpeaking at Istanbul University Economy Faculty's 60th foundation anniversary on Thursday, President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey had been influenced by the world's concepts of democracy, human rights and market economy over the last 10 years. Noting that Turkey had reached an important point in democratic development, Demirel said human rights, democracy and market economy policy would further develop in Turkey by the 21st century./Hurriyet/
 BSEC MEMBERS NIX BOSPHORUS RULE CHANGEThe first day of the Eight General Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Parliamentarians Assembly (BSEC) meetings ended with the refusal of a proposal brought by Russia against Turkey's 1994 regulations concerning the Bosphorus, the Anatolia news agency reported. Speaking at the meeting, Istanbul Deputy Hayri Kozakcioglu drew attention to the decrease in accidents and the 92 percent reduction in air pollution which had occured over the past two years. Pointing out that the regulations conformed with the Montreaux Agreement signed on July 20, 1936 Kozakcioglu said that if there were any technical problems, those could be discussed.
The issue was voted upon but was refused due to votes by Turkey, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
 UN CYPRUS OFFICIAL VISITS ANKARADuring his visit to Ankara today, Turkey is expected to ask the United Nations (UN) Secretary General's special representative to Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, his opinion on Greek Cyprus military capability and recent purchase of missiles. Diplomatic sources said that Ankara will tell Joo that bilateral talks between the two leaders were important, but that improving the nature of the dialogue was even more important./Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY EYES FRENCH-US NATO COMMAND DEBATE WITH CONCERNTurkey does not want the Transatlantic link to be weakened as a result of the current American-French standoff over how to revamp NATO's command structure. Turkish officials say they have deep reservations about the French bid to transfer NATO's southern command from an American to a European officer which they say would have serious negative political implications for Turkish security interests.
Turkish government officials say that in recent years the European Union (EU) countries led by France and Germany have been emphasizing a new European defense concept where the Western European Union (WEU) becomes the major defense organization for the region. The fact that Turkey is not a full member in the WEU puts the country in a secondary role and thus Ankara is not enthusiastic about allowing NATO facilities to be used by the WEU. Turkish officials say Ankara wants the U.S. to keep a strong posture in Europe and in NATO. They say they are deeply concerned with the moves to push Turkey into a secondary role in the new European defense structure while Germany and France try to use the expansion of NATO to create a defense buffer zone between Western Europe and Russia./All papers/
 INDIA, TURKEY TO COOPERATE IN CONTRACTING, INDUSTRYIndian and Turkish businessmen, meeting in Istanbul on Thursday, called for increased cooperation in the construction of major projects in India and third countries and for joint investments in industry. The proposals were made at the first meeting of the Turkish-India Business Council, in which businessmen from 56 companies from the two nations participated.
C.H. Mirani, head of the Indian delegation, said that Turkey and India had plenty of opportunities to do business in contracting and industrial development. The president of the Turkish-India Business Council, Turgut Koyuncuoglu said trade between the two nations could increase fourfold to over $ 1 billion if the two nations agreed to stop double taxation on businessmen. /Sabah/
 UZBEKISTAN TO PAY OFF TRADE DEBTSAccording to top officials in the Foreign Trade Department, a new deal has been worked out with Uzbekistan for payment of outstanding debts to Turkey.
The Uzbekistan government has issued a new ruling that means that a transfer of payments will be made through Turkish banks by the end of the month. Officials stress that trade relations with Uzbekistan will continue to expand despite current delays in payments to businessmen in Turkey dealing with Uzbekistan. /Sabah/
 TURKEY OPENS TRADE OFFICES IN BRUSSELSForeign Minister Ciller opened new representative trade offices in Brussels yesterday. The offices, belonging to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Exchanges (TOBB), will promote contacts with the European Union (EU) trade and business world.
Talking with journalists and members of the 200 person delegation that accompanied her, Ciller said that getting into the EU market was vital to Turkey's interests. She noted that 45% of world trade centred around the EU. For that reason, Europe was more important to Turkey than Asia, declared Ciller./Hurriyet/
 ISTANBUL EXCHANGE READYING FOR NEW MARKETSThe Istanbul Exchange is preparing for increased activity in international markets by increasing the number of dealers authorized to deal in foreign money markets.
The stock exchange is readying the framework for a new international stock and bond market exchange, that should be in operation by this coming January. /Cumhuriyet/
 32 PKK MILITANTS KILLEDDuring operations carried out by Turkish security forces in the southeastern region of Turkey, 32 militants of the PKK terrorist organization have been killed in Sirnak, along the Silopi-Northern Iraq border line, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bingol, Mardin and Siirt. Seven separatists surrendered to security forces in Diyarbakir, Tunceli, Siirt, Sirnak and Van. During operations carried out in Batman, Diyarbakir, the Mazgirt district of Tunceli and the Omerli district of Mardin, nine PKK members were captured. Because of their cooperation with the PKK, 40 people have been arrested in Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Mus, Sirnak and Tunceli. /Sabah/
 NORTHERN IRAQ MEETINGSA Peace Observation and Control Committee, set up to supervise the cease-fire reached between the rival Kurdish groups in Northern Iraq, completed its second round of technical meetings yesterday. It is foreseen that the commmittee, established within the framework of the Ankara process for Northern Iraq, will convene every week and review developments in the region. Turkey, the US, Britain, the Turkmen Front, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) attended the meeting and took up the issue of the cease-fire line set up between the KDP and the PUK./Cumhuriyet/
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES INCREASEForeign exchange reserves of the Central Bank increased by $392 million between 29 November-6 December 1996 and reached $17.9 billion. /Cumhuriyet/
 COOPERATION WITH TURKISH-SPEAKING REPUBLICS IN GOLDThe Istanbul Gold Exchange (IAB) wants to play a more important role in opening up the huge gold potential of the Turkish-speaking republics to world markets. IAB Secretary-General Kaan Rasim Aytoglu said that they were in a close cooperation with Turkish-speaking republics and they expected that the Middle East gold market would channel through Istanbul. /Cumhuriyet/
 HONORARY DOCTORATE TO BERKADAThe Paris Rene Descartes University has presented an "honorary doctorate" to Istanbul University President Prof.Bulent Berkada because of his contributions to science. Berkada was awarded with the title in a ceremony held yesterday evening at the Sorbonne. Rene Descartes University President Pierre Villard said in a letter to Berkada that the ceremony coincided with the 25th annniversary of the establishment of their university and the 400th anniversary of the death of Descartes. /Cumhuriyet/
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