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Turkish Press Review, 97-08-12
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
AUGUST 12, 1997
Summary of the economic and political news in the Turkish press this morning
 BILL ON EDUCATIONAL REFORM PASSED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONDebates over the bill on educational reform prepared by the minority Motherland coalition have been finally completed in eight day by the parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission. The bill which consists of 13 articles, two of which refer to its effectiveness, and a temporary article concerning its funding, have yet to be debated and approved by the Parliament. /All papers/
 CYPRUS TALKS START IN GLIONLeaders of the two main communities involved in the 34-year-old Cyprus problem began a week of talks on Monday. The discussions are being held under United Nations mediation and follow a first round last month at Troutbeck, near New York.
President of the Turkish Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas said in a statement on Sunday that the talks could proceed only on the basis of political equality. Denktas accused the EU of getting in the way of a deal and threatened to pull out of negotiations: "If the EU talks start, the intercommunal talks will stop and that will be the end of the matter," he said.
Ankara released a written announcement on Monday in an attempt to defend and explain Turkey's much-debated Association Council accord with the TRNC, a step towards political integration with the island, at the start of the second round of talks. /Cumhuriyet/
 SECURITY FORCES KILL 60 SEPARATISTS IN SOUTHEASTSecurity forces killed 60 terrorists from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Monday during several operations in Turkey's southeast. According to the Office of the Emergency Rule Region, in the operations to sweep PKK terrorists from the region, 50 separatists were killed on Mount Ikiyaka near Hakkari while another two were killed in the village of Oyuklu in Diyarbakir. Eight others were killed in Pervari in Siirt. During the operations, two members of the security forces were killed in the line of duty while another 11 were injured. Five separatists surrendered to security forces in several provinces of the southeast. Operations are continuing in the region. /Milliyet/
 TORRENTIAL RAINS FLOOD ISTANBUL HOMES, DISRUPT TRAFFICTorrential rains flooded at least 80 homes and offices in low-lying areas of Istanbul on Monday and disrupted morning rush-hour traffic, officials said. One person was reportedly killed.
Traffic was jammed on the Trans-European Motorway (TEM) as well as on many avenues and side streets in the city because of floods which were caused by more than 18 hours of downpour. Several minor road accidents were reported. Fire department workers were called into many disaster areas to pump out water from flooded homes and apartment buildings.
At Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, an Egyptian Airlines Boeing 767-300 jetliner on a flight from Cairo to Istanbul skidded off the runway as it was landing and got stuck in mud. Airport officials said that the jetliners' breaks failed to hold in the slippery conditions following the heavy rain. No one was hurt in the jetliner. /Milliyet/Sabah_
 TURKEY BEST PLACE TO SEE LAST SOLAR ECLIPSE OF CENTURYThe last solar eclipse of this century will occur on August 11, 1999, and the best places to observe the eclipse are in the areas around Kastamonu and Sivas provinces. Scientists and those interested in astronomy from Turkey and many other countries started their preparations, making reservations through travel agents. The eclpse will begin at 12:00 and will last for two minutes and seven seconds.
Sivas Province Tourism Director Vahap Sumbuloglu said that 200 Japanese scientists and astronomy enthusiasts have begun checking out possible reservations in the city. Atilla Ozguc, from Kandilli Observatory, said that scientists from NASA will also come for the event. /Milliyet/
 TPAO ACCELERATES EFFORTS FOR SHARE IN $ 10 BILLION AZERI-US OIL DEALThe Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO) is lobbying for a share in the new $ 10 billion oil deal signed between Azerbaijan and U.S. oil companies, the energy ministry declared in a written statement on Monday. The statement, which was issued to clarify Turkey's official position regarding Azeri oil, also noted that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, the Turkish proposal for the transportation of Caspian oil to Western world markets, is still one of the strongest options. The statement based this on recent remarks by Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev. /All papers/
 ITO COMES UP WITH ANOTHER PROJECT TO SUPPORT EDUCATION REFORMThe Chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), Mehmet Yildirim, said that Chamber was thinking of another project to help raise TL 1 quadrillion. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz is expected to attend ITO's assembly meeting on Thursday to hear about the plan. Yildirim said that ITO has prepared a contribution plan, but did not give any details about it, saying he would only reveal the plan to Prime Minister Yilmaz. /Cumhuriyet/
 STALLED TURKISH COTTON FUTURES MAY BEGIN THIS YEARTurkey's first commodities futures market, initially due to trade in cotton contracts, is being readied for opening by the end of 1997. Burak Ar, coordinator of the Izmir Futures Mercantile Exchange (IZVIP), said a major legal hurdle was overcome last weeek when the industry ministry published an act on the establishment of a futures commodities exchange. "We are now trying to open the market by the end of this year. We will soon install the software, which is being prepared by a local company, and later exchange membership will start," Ar said. /All papers/
 ALLIANZ INSURANCE CO. ACQUIRES TURKEY'S MAGDEBURGER SIGORTAGermany's Allianz, one of the world's leading insurance company's has acquired Magdeburger Sigorta in Turkey for an undisclosed figure, Allianz executives said on Monday. They said the sale had taken place on August 1. Magdeburger Sigorta, an Istanbul based, German-owned insurance company, had premiums worth TL 1.8 trillion ($ 11 million) in 1996. The acquisition will allow Allianz to grow in the Turkish market, Thomas Baron, Allianz's representative in Turkey declared. /All papers/
 ISRAELI TOURISTS PREFER TURKEYOver 150,000 Israeli traveled to Turkey in the first half of 1997, an increase of 15 perecnt over the same period in 1996, Israeli officials said on Monday. The jump was even greater than the overall increase for all destinations traveled to by Israelis, which rose an average 8 percent in the first half of this year, the officials said. Quoting a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz newspaper, they said Turkey now trails only the United States as the leading tourism destination of Israeli travelers. /All papers/
 DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR SOUTHEASTThe coalition government has put forward new proposals for the development of the depressed southeastern regions of the country. Main points of the development include: The Treasury will release more land for housing and agriculture, provision will be made for those who wish to resettle in the major cities, more cooperation between local village communities will be developed, more schools will be built, milk production cooperatives will be set up and there will be more investment incentives. /Cumhuriyet/
 SAILING IN THE BLACK SEAFor those sailing the Black Sea in 38 yachts life could not be more enjoyable. A yacht rally set up to help develop Black Sea tourism and promote the natural attractions of the region has turned into a most agreeable tour of the Black Sea coast with the yachts calling into places like Cide, Sinop, Samsun and other small Black Sea ports. The six day rally will end at the Istanbul Atakoy marina on August 27. /Sabah/
 INCREASE IN FOREIGN CREDITAccording to state minister Isin Celebi, there has been an increase in the foreign credit ceiling for Turkey. Speaking at the Izmir Trade Exchange yesterday, Celebi said that the World Bank had announced that Turkey could now expect new credit facilities up to five billion dollars. He noted that this was a further indication that foreign trade circles were again getting more interested in Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 INTEREST IN TURKEY INCREASESSalomon Brothers, a private sector research institute based in Britain, has stated that the change in Turkish government has increased the desire of domestic and foreign markets to make investments in Turkey. In its August report, Salomon Brothers said that the political atmosphere in Turkey has begun to inspire more trust with the establishment of a new government, thereby increasing the interest of western companies in Turkey. It noted that the new coalition would continue with privatization, adding that general elections would be held in the spring of 1998 at the latest. /Milliyet/
 'WE HID OURSELVES IN A CHURCH'Seven suspects including two women, arrested in connection with an attack carried out against the Istanbul Security Directorate and the Harbiye Officer's Club, were shown to the press during a meeting held by Security Director Hasan Ozdemir at the Office of the Struggle against Terrorism yesterday. The militants, who admitted to carrying out the attack, said that they had hidden themselves in an Armenian church in Ortakoy, Istanbul. /Sabah/
 BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE DECISION TO BE TAKEN IN 1998The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has stated that there were three options regarding the Azerbaijan Oil Pipeline Project: Baku-Supsa, Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Novorossiysk, and noted that a decision regarding the final route selection would be taken by the end of 1998. A statement made by the Ministry pointed out that developments regarding the project were being conducted in coordination with related ministries and institutions and great efforts were being exerted for the realization of the project on time. /Hurriyet/
 US DELEGATIONS IN TURKEYTwo delegations, one from the US Senate and the other from the US Congress, made contacts in Ankara and Istanbul yesterday. The senate delegation headed by Senate Armed Services Committee member John McCain met with Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chairman of the Democrat Turkey Party (DTP) Husamettin Cindoruk and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir.
The Congress delegation headed by Chairman of the Allocations Sub-Committee, Sonny Callahan, met with Deputy Chief of the General Staff Gen.Cevik Bir. Following the meeting, a briefing was held during which information was furnished regarding the Caucasus, Central Asia, Turkey's role in the region and operations in northern Iraq. Congress members also met with State Minister responsible for the economy, Gunes Taner, and then went on to Istanbul and visited President Suleyman Demirel. /Sabah/
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