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Turkish Press Review, 97-12-16

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY AND RUSSIA SIGN DEAL OF THE CENTURY
  • [02] EU WORRIED BY TURKEY'S HARSH REACTION
  • [03] CEM AT NATO MEETING
  • [04] GEN.KARADAYI VISITS CAIRO
  • [05] 12 DEAD IN SOUTHEAST LAND MINE EXPLOSION
  • [06] TRNC: FEDERATION, INTERCOMMUNAL TALKS NO LONGER ON AGENDA
  • [07] SCHARPING TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [08] US CRITICIZES EU
  • [09] 'BALKAN FORCE' PROPOSAL FROM TURKEY
  • [10] THIRD PETROLEUM COUNCIL STARTS

  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF PRESS AND INFORMATION,OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER

    16.12.97

    Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

    [01] TURKEY AND RUSSIA SIGN DEAL OF THE CENTURY

    Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin arrived yesterday in Ankara for a two-day official visit. Observers note that the visit plays a special importance in the aftermath of the EU Luxembourg Summit when EU leaders decided to postpone for an undefinite period Turkey's integration with Europe. This is the first visit of a Russian Prime Minister to Turkey after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the establishment of the Russian Federation.

    In a meeting yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and his Russian counterpart Victor Chernomyrdin took in hand issues of major importance for both countries, such as the unrest in Chechnia, PKK terrorism, busy marine traffic in the Bosphorus, and the deployment of Russian-made S-300 missiles in Southern Cyprus and Turkey's neighbour countries. In a statement after the meeting, both prime ministers voiced optimism for the improvement of bilateral relations. Yilmaz noted that both sides had reached "agreement for a breakthrough in political relations", and Chernomyrdin pointed out that Turkey and Russia shared "similar views regarding their continent and Europe". Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz will pay an official visit to Moscow in the beginning of 1998.

    The two prime ministers discussed opportunities for improving bilateral economic cooperation and signed an agreement for the construction of a natural gas pipeline under the Black Sea to carry Russian natural gas to Turkey. The pipeline will be 1213-km long and will be laid at a depth of 2100 meters. It will have the capacity to carry 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas yearly. Further agreements signed envisage measures for increasing the volume of bilateral trade to $10 billion, for preventing double taxation and encouraging mutual investments. Turkey and Russia also signed accords for judicial cooperation and cooperation in science and technology, and agreed to implement a long term cooperation programme. Officials from the two countries will initiate moves for abolishing the viza requirement for travel between the two countries, and the setting up of a joint free trade zone. /All papers/

    [02] EU WORRIED BY TURKEY'S HARSH REACTION

    EU countries have met with anxiety Turkey's harsh reactions to the decisions that emerged from the EU Luxembourg Summit and invited Turkey to reconsider its stand. Commenting on Ankara's decision not to attend the European Conference in March, EU Commission Spokesman said that the absence of Turkey will diminish the importance of the conference. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel stressed that Turkey was a part of the European family and criticized the Turkish government for its harsh reactions to the decisions that emerged at the EU Luxemburg Summit. On the other hand, representatives of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a partner of the coalition government on power in Germany, voiced their satisfaction over the Luxembourg decisions. European papers gave extensive coverage to Turkey's decision to withdraw its application for EU membership and described this move as "shocking".

    In a statement to the noted "New York Times" newspaper, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that the EU was trying to set up a new "Berlin Wall" in Europe. According to Yilmaz, the real factor that influenced the EU decision to exclude Turkey from the EU enlargement process for the time being was religious discrimination. The Turkish Prime Minister pointed out that the EU will bear the main responsibility for the deterioration in the process for resolving the Cyprus issue. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the Turkish decision to limit political dialogue with Europe has worried EU leaders.

    Today's papers cry out against EU prejudice towards Turkey referring to a recent EU report comparing the economies of the countries in line to join the Union. The report revealed that market economy rules were much better established in Turkey than in the other applicant countries and that Turkey was much superior to these countries in terms of competitive power. /All papers/

    [03] CEM AT NATO MEETING

    A two-day autumn NATO meeting at the foreign ministerial level started yesterday in Brussels. Turkey is represented by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. The meetings, regarding the expansion of NATO and a new command structure, have vital importance. /Hurriyet/

    [04] GEN.KARADAYI VISITS CAIRO

    Chief of General Staff Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi started his visit to Cairo yesterday to discuss the military's policy of balance between two leading players in the Middle East- Israel and Egypt. His four-day visit also includes meetings with President Husnu Mubarak and Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri. Karadayi was welcomed with a military ceremony and a banquet was given in his honour yesterday night. /Milliyet-Hurriyet/

    [05] 12 DEAD IN SOUTHEAST LAND MINE EXPLOSION

    Twelve people died and twelve were injured when a minibus hit a land mine near the southeastern town of Mardin early on Monday. The minibus was shuttling between two villages in Mardin when it hit a mine which reports say was planted by militants of the PKK terrorist organization. Among the people who died were women and children.

    Meanwhile, Turkish security forces launched a large-scale operation against the PKK late on Sunday in and around Mt.Cudi, close to Sirnak. The report said the operation began after a tip-off that a group of separatist terrorists had infiltrated Mt.Cudi from northern Iraq. The Turkish army has been carrying out a cross-border operation in the area for nearly a week. Turkish fighter planes heavily bombed Mt.Cudi and nearby areas late Sunday while Turkish troops began a ground operation early Monday with the aim of blocking all escape routes from Turkey into northern Iraq. /Milliyet/

    [06] TRNC: FEDERATION, INTERCOMMUNAL TALKS NO LONGER ON AGENDA

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that federation of the divided island was no longer on the agenda and that inter-communal talks had come to an end as a result of the European Union's (EU) invitation to Greek Cyprus for accession talks next year. Denktas said yesterday that the TRNC had decided not to participate in United Nations (UN)-sponsored inter-communal talks from now on. /Milliyet/

    [07] SCHARPING TO VISIT TURKEY

    Assembly Group Chairman of the German Socialist Democrat Party (SPD) Rudolf Scharping will come to Turkey for a three-day visit. Scharping, will first deliver a speech at a Group meeting of the Republican People's Party (CHP). The visit was planned in May during CHP Chairman Deniz Baykal's visit to Bonn. /Milliyet/

    [08] US CRITICIZES EU

    The Clinton administration criticized the European Union (EU), which asummed a discriminative stance against Turkey during the Luxembourg summit and wants Turkey not to take hasty decisions regarding the future of the country and the region. The main point of the US message is: "Do not respond hastily to momentory results from the decisions taken last week". Spokesman of the US State Department, James Foley, said: "We believe that Turkey's place is in Europe".

    Meanwhile, an article in the Washington Post yesterday noted that the closure of the path to full EU membership of Turkey was a blow against the Washington's efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. /Milliyet/

    [09] 'BALKAN FORCE' PROPOSAL FROM TURKEY

    Turkey has launched initiatives for the establishment of a "Joint Balkan Force" within the framework of NATO. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will bring Turkey's proposal into discussion during a current NATO meeting in Brussels. Cem will call for participation in the Balkan force during the Europe-Atlantic Association Council to be held tomorrow. The joint peace force will be set up under the umbrella of the Partnership for Peace (PFP) established to make ready the former Eastern Bloc countries within the framework of NATO. Turkey's proposal will be open to all NATO members and Balkan countries and members of the PFP. Turkey will also make a proposal for the establishment of a "PFP Training Centre" in Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [10] THIRD PETROLEUM COUNCIL STARTS

    In the Council it was stressed that the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossik petroleum pipelines might create danger and trouble for the Bosphorus marine traffic. State Minister Gurdere said that Istanbul could be threatened by the huge amount of petroleum which will be transported through Bosphorus. He also emphasized that the most appropriate pipeline was Baku-Ceyhan route.

    In the opening ceremony President Demirel delivered a speech in which he stressed the need for nuclear energy in modern times, not only as a source of energy but also for the technological improvements Turkey needs urgently. /Cumhuriyet/

    END


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