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Turkish Press Review, 96-12-18
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning.
 TURKEY AIMS TO WARM UP RELATIONS WITH RUSSIAForeign Minister Tansu Ciller, in her visit to Moscow which began on Tuesday, aims to open up relations and improve economic ties between the two nations.
During her visit, Ciller will bring proposals of comprise on the issues of Russian support for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Turkish straits. An agreement will be signed the regarding fight against terrorism, together with an accord which will outline measures to be taken against drug smuggling as well. Meanwhile Turkey and Russia plan to sign a protocol for the construction of a Turkish Trade Center. The goal of the center is control of the suitcase trade, with a trade volume close to $6 billion.
Tansu Ciller will meet Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin and Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov./Cumhuriyet/
 US SUPPORTS FRANCE TO PULL TURKEY INTO EUThe U.S. State Department has repeated its support for Turkey's bid to become a full member of the European Union (EU). Among the EU members, France has recently taken the lead to lobby on behalf of Turkey while others, including Greece, have taken a somewhat dim view on the issue. The United States is evidently in the French corner on the issue. "We fully agree with the French position. We believe Turkey is a European country. We fully support Turkey's bid to become fully integrated in Europe," said Nicholas Burns, spokesman for the State Department. /All papers/
 TURKEY EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT ISRAEL'S POLICY ON SETTLEMENTSTurkey is concerned about the Israeli government plan to open new Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Foreign Ministry spokesman Omer Akbel indicated in a written statement on Tuesday. Akbel said that Turkey would like to see Israel review this policy which might disrupt the peace process. He added that Turkey condemned the terrorist attacks which recently resulted in the death of two Israelis on the West Bank./All papers/
 ANKARA: EU DECISION ON TURKISH PRESS IS BIASEDTurkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel, in a written statement on Tuesday, said that a December 12 European Parliament decision condemning Turkey with regard to freedom of the press and human rights was another example of prejudice on the part of the EU. The European Parliament had based its decision solely on unfounded allegations in taking the stance against Turkey, Akbel said, indicating that it was impossible to explain the decision in terms of conscience and good will. /All papers/
 EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIALS SLAM GREECE FOR BIASA European Council human rights official has criticized Greece for discriminating against the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, the Anatolia news agency reported. Lydie Err, chairman of the Parliamentarian Assembly's human rights subcommittee, told members of the Judicial Affairs Commission that it was unjust for Greece to revoke the citizenship of young ethnic Turks who go to Turkey for their schooling. Err has asked his subcommittee to investigate the problems of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace./All papers/
 CLINTON: TURKEY, GREECE CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMSPut on the spot at a press conference held following the US-EU summit, President Clinton repeated his call for Turkey and Greece to solve their differences among themselves. Clinton expressed the same belief concerning Cyprus. Stressing commonalities shared by the two NATO allies over the differences, Clinton said they should look to the future and forget the past./All papers/
 TURKEY, IRAN AIM TO BOOST TRADE VOLUME TO $2 BILLIONTurkey's state minister Teoman Riza Guneri has disclosed that Turkey and Iran aim to increase their bilateral annual trade volume to $2 billion in the next two years from the current $1 billion level. Speaking at the start of a Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, Guneri said the task of the commission was to prepare a two-year trade expansion program through which bilateral annual volume would be increased to $2 billion. Guneri said the construction of a gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey will also be discussed. He said cooperation in the energy field would also be on the agenda. Bilateral and international transport issues will be discussed at the meetings also.
Industrial and contracting cooperation, and prospects of undertaking joint ventures in other countries, as well as cooperation in agriculture and the agro-industries were among other items to be tabled during the Turkey-Iran JEC meeting. The Iranian delegation is chaired at the talks by Road and Transportation Minister Ali Riza Tokan. A JEC protocol will be signed next week during the state visit to Turkey of Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, officials said./All papers/
 CILLER SEES WATER AS FUTURE CAUSE FOR WARSDeputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller on Tuesday said that in the future, the Middle East would become a most important region, especially with respect to water, and added the region was rapidly moving towards a position where water, like oil, was an invaluable natural resources.
Ciller speaking as honorary chairman at the first meeting of the Foundation of Strategical Research of the Future World, noted that in the future, the water issue and the scarcity of resources would become important strategical problems which would pose a threat to world peace. Ciller also said that the Middle East would become a risky region, carrying global importance with respect to water./Cumhuriyet/
 RAFSANJANI COMING TO ANKARAIranian president, Ali Ekber Hashemi Rafsanjani will come to Ankara as the official guest of President Suleyman Demirel on December 19-22. He will come with a 200 person delegation that includes a number of top level ministers.
While in Ankara, Rafsanjani will hold talks with Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan who has already announced a defence sector cooperation programme with Iran. Erbakan, referring to increased trade with Iran has also noted that the common currency between Turkey and Iran will not be the dollar./Cumhuriyet/
 SECRET GREEK PKK OPERATIONUnder conditions of massive secrecy, the Greek government has transferred 220 PKK terrorists from the Lavrion camp near Athens to a new base in Crete.
The move is seen as an attempt by the Greek government to hide the fact that Greece supports the PKK. Disguised as a sort of Red Cross aid operation, the move has created much unease in Greek governmental circles. On the other hand, the Lavrion camp has long been a source of embarrassment to Athens, especially as Turkey has frequently exposed the Lavrion-PKK connection. /Cumhuriyet/
 ARMENIA RECOGNIZES NORTHERN CYPRUSAt the conclusion of a conference on the Central Asian, Balkan and Caucasian countries, Armenia signed a new declaration along with thirteen other countries including the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). /Sabah/
 TURKEY CALLS ON UN FOR CYPRUS SOLUTIONIn a statement to the UN Security Council, Turkey has called for new UN initiatives to resolve the situation in Cyprus.
Turkey has drawn attention to the explosive tensions on the island, and the huge build-up of weapons there. Turkey has also protested the Greek plan to set up newmilitary systems in the Greek community. /Sabah/
 TURCO-GREEK MUNICIPALITY MEETINGChairmen of Turkish and Greek coastal municipalities met in Bodrum to discuss common problems. This is the third meeting of the Union of Coastal Aegean Municipalities. During the meeting, municipality chairmen agreed that their problems related to the Aegean could be solved by cooperation. /Cumhuriyet/
 DEMIREL VISITS KAZAKHSTANPresident Demirel completed his visit to Kazakhstan and returned yesterday to Turkey. During the last day of the visit, Demirel participated in the celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence and in the opening ceremonies of various facilities. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH STUDENTS WIN ENVIRONMENTAL CONTESTTwo Turkish students won the first prize in the Seventh Young Europeans Environmental Projects Contest held in Bremen, Germany on November 21-25. The students, supported by their biology teacher prepared a research on new methods for fighting environmental pollution foreseeing the use of bacteria for cleaning waste materials. /Cumhuriyet/
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