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Turkish Press Review, 97-05-15
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
THURSDAY MAY 15, 1997
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 TURKISH TROOPS ENTER N.IRAQ IN MASSIVE DRIVEThousands of Turkish troops backed by air and artillery support entered northern Iraq early Wednesday morning in pursuit of the PKK terrorist organization in the region. Addressing a weekly press briefing, Sermet Atacanli, deputy spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, confirmed the cross border operation which is said to involve 50,000 troops. Indicating that the operation was "limited" in scope, Atacanli said it had been started to support the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Mesud Barzani.
Atacanli said that the PKK was oppressing the people of northern Iraq with the aim of installing itself as the main power in the region. He said this was the reason why KDP forces attached to Barzani had moved against the PKK. The US has reportedly expressed its support for the operation, according to US acting Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who said: "We take into consideration the legitimate security interests of Turkey".
Meanwhile, operations against the PKK are also continuing in Southeastern Anatolia. During conflicts between the Turkish security forces and the PKK, 30 terrorists have been killed and two captured. /Sabah/
 IRAQI KURDS TALK PEACENorthern Iraq has once again topped the agenda of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, as representatives of the rival northern Iraqi Kurdish groups and officials from Turkey, the US and Britain came together yesterday for a fourth round of peace talks aimed at reconciling the feuding parties in the region. The talks resumed in Ankara under Washington's auspices to achieve a settled peace between the northern Iraqi factions, Mesud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Celal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The meeting was also attended by Turkmen representatives. Britain's participation in the talks was the largest among all other delegations. It was headed by Britain's ambassador to Ankara, David Logan. The head of the Middle East Department of the British Foreign office, Edward Chaplin, was also part of the delegation.
The main agenda of the fourth round of the talks was the implementation of confidence building measures between the fighting factions, the ending of verbal attacks by the media organs of the rival groups against each other, the exchanging of prisoners, the expansion of the peace monitoring force, and the fair distribution of revenues collected from trucks crossing from Turkey in the growing regional border trade sectors.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen furnished information to representatives regarding the operation being carried out by the Turkish security forces in northern Iraq against the PKK terrorist organization. /Sabah/
 COOK: CULTURE, RELIGION NOT CRITERIA FOR EUForeign Minister Robin Cook from Britain's newly elected Labour Party said yesterday that cultural and religious differences don't stand in the way of Turkey's full membership in the European Union. Cook made his comments in Paris to the Anatolia news agency.
Cook said that Turkey would be subjected to the same criteria as the other prospective EU member countries and that economic and democratic issues were the ones playing an important role in membership bids. /Cumhuriyet/
 QUEEN MENTIONS CYPRUS AT PARLIAMENT OPENINGThe British government mentioned the Cyprus problem in the Queen's speech at the traditional opening of Parliament yesterday in London, expressing the sentiment that it was committed to ensuring a settlement on the island in the near future. The talk officially opened Parliament under the new Labour government. The names of only two countries were brought up: Cyprus and Bosnia-Herzegovina. /All papers/
 INTERNATIONAL ANTI-DRUG CONFERENCE STARTS IN NORWAYThe European Council's Combat with Drugs and International Drug Smuggling conference is scheduled to begin in the Norwegian city of Tromso today. Turkey will be represented by a technical delegation from the Interior Ministry at the two-day conference that is organized under the auspices of the "Pompidou Group" which was formed to work specially in that field. In a report sent to the European Council meeting, Turkey emphasized that the PKK terrorist organization engaged in major drug trafficking and asked the European countries to actively collaborate with Turkey in taking the necessary measures to counter this. The report also included mention of the intensive work Turkey has undertaken to fight drug smuggling, including research that has revealed an escalation of drug traffic between the Eastern European countries and Asia in recent years. It was also noted that Turkey is geographically situated between the drug producing and consuming countries. /All papers/
 TURK TELEKOM TO LAUNCH THIRD SATELLITE LATE 1998Turkey's telecommunications company, Turk Telekom, will launch its third satellite towards the end of next year, deputy general manager Cengiz Anik said yesterday. "This is a $20 million investment. Turksat-2A will have 32 transponders" he said. Turk Telekom has launched two satellites, Turksat-1 and Turksat-1C, in partnership with France. Anik noted that the satellite would pave the way for visual telephones and the viewing of 50 TV channels through a single antenna. /All papers/
 BOND ISSUE A SUCCESSTurkey's $300 million bond issue earlier this week was well received on the Eurobond market, Standard and Poor's director Stuart Shipperlee told a conference of Hungarian businessmen yesterday. "This was perhaps the most successful bond issue in the last four weeks" he said. The five-year bonds were priced to yield 350 b.p. over the 6.625 percent April 2002 US Treasury issue. /All papers/
 TURKISH AMBASSADOR DESCRIBES RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL AS PRAGMATICTurkey's Ambassador to London Ozdem Sanberk, in a live interview broadcast by CNN yesterday, discussed flourishing Israeli-Turkish relations and said: "It is understandable for all countries to enter into pragmatic relations for their national interests and security". Sanberk also responded to questions from viwers, mostly from neighbouring Arab states and Israel, about the recently announced joint maneuvers scheduled to be held by Israel, Turkey and the US. Sanberk assured the audience that this cooperation was not aimed at any third country and that there was no need for any country in the region to be frightened of this relationship. /All papers/
 ECO EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT ENDS WITH JOINT DECLARATIONThe Economic Cooperation Organization's (ECO) extraordinary summit meeting in Turkmenistan's capital ended yesterday with a joint declaration that noted leaders' approval of a 10-year regional transportation and communications scheme and set the stage for construction of pipelines to pump natural gas and crude oil out of the landlocked Caucasian and Central Asian republics to international markets. Immediately after the declaration was issued, the leaders of Turkey, Iran and Turkmenistan signed a landmark accord for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Iran. The Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey pipeline will have the capacity to pump 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas annually to international markets. The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to the construction of a Turkey-Iran-Turkmenistan railroad. /All papers/
 PSI CONDEMNS RACIST ATTACKSThe International Public Services Federation (PSI) has condemned racist attacks against Turks living abroad and especially in Western European countries and taken a decision to that end. 540 labour institutions from 154 countries are affiliated to the federation in which nearly 25 million workers are represented. It is reported that the decision was taken during a meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 22-23 April. /Cumhuriyet/
 NAVAL FORCES COMMANDER ERKAYA DUE TO DENMARKNaval Forces Commander Admiral Guven Erkaya will go to Denmark between May 15 and 16. Naval Forces Commandership General Secretariat said in a statement that Admiral Erkaya is scheduled to participate in European Naval Forces Commanders Meeting which will take place between May 15 and 16 in Copenhagen. /All papers/
 TURKISH FLEET VISITS ISRAELI PORTTurkish naval vessels will visit for the first time an Israeli port. The visit will be realized during the "Sea Wolf-97" maneuvers scheduled for June 3-27. /Hurriyet/
 EUROMONEY CONFERENCE BEGINS IN ISTANBULA conference on "Business, Finance and Investment in Turkey" organized by Euromoney magazine started yesterday in Istanbul. In a speech at the conference State Minister Ayfer Yilmaz said the government was working hard to promote stability and transparency in the Turkish capital market. She said that the government was planning to concentrate its efforts on measures for improving health, education, justice, social security and defence. She pledged that Istanbul would be transformed into an international finnacial center. /Cumhuriyet/
 COUNCIL OF STATE RULES IN FAVOR OF BERGAMA CITIZENSThe Council of State has decided that Bergama citizens were right in their complaints against the Eurogold company currently extracting gold from reserves in the Bergama region by the use of cyanide. The court has annulled the permission issued by the Ministry of Environment allowing the company to operate in the region. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY RATIFIES BAN ON CHEMICAL WEAPONSTurkey has officially notified the UN of its decision to become a party to a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons. Turkey is the 89th country to ratify the treaty. According to treaty provisions, chemical weapons will be annihilated over a ten year period under international supervision. /Cumhuriyet/
 LOBBYING FOR FULL-MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUPrior to meetings in Amsterdam and Copenhagen where fundamental policies for EU expansion will be determined, Turkish politicians, acdemicians, and the representatives of the business world will come together in Munich and start lobbying for Turkey's full-membership in the EU. In a press release to be issued before the Europe Association of Turkish Academicians, Turkey's stand on full-membership will be made public on May 22-23.
At the Munich conference all EU countries will be asked to clearly state their criteria for membership as required from candidate countries. The EU should then officially state the criteria Turkey has to comply with along with other EU candidate countries. The EU declaration on membership criteria will act as a catalist in carrying out some reforms in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 ARMENIAN MISSILES CAN HIT TURKEYIt was stated that between 1994-1996 Russia sent 32 SCUD-B missiles and eight launchers to Armenia. With the acquisition of these missiles, which have a range of over 300 kms, Armenia can hit not only Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan but also some Turkish border cities.
The Wall Street Journal, which reported this news, added that presently most of the missiles were locked on to Baku. It was also noted that the new Foreign Minister of Armenia, Robert Kosharian, has been quoted as saying that Armenia would do everything in its power to stop the flow of Azerbaijani oil to international markets. /Cumhuriyet/
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