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Turkish Press Review, 98-01-05

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF COALITION PARTNERS
  • [02] ANKARA TO ROME: COOPERATE ON IMMIGRATION FLOOD
  • [03] TURCO-ITALIAN REFUGEE CRISIS
  • [04] TURKEY-ISREAL-US MANEUVRES START TODAY
  • [05] US REPORT ON TURKEY
  • [06] TURKEY'S 1998 TOURISM TARGET: 15 BILLION DOLLARS

  • TURKISH PRESS REVIEW

    DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF PRESS AND INFORMATION,OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER

    05.01.98

    Newspot, Directorate General of Press and Information

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

    [01] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF COALITION PARTNERS

    After meeting for 6.5 hours, partners of the coalition government announced consensus on a series of radical reforms. Addressing a joint press conference with coalition partners Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Husamettin Cindoruk, Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz declared that there was full consensus between the partners to achieve within the next few months a comprehensive tax reform, social security reform, restructuring of state organization, adjustment in the powers of the central government and municipalities, and allowing syndicate rights to public workers. Yilmaz indicated that they had agreed to have 11-year basic education rather than the current eight-year programme working within two years, and to achieve $10 billions worth of privatization in 1998.

    Yilmaz said the three leaders had agreed that 1998 should be a year of law. He noted that they mean 1998 will be a year when human rights are promoted, reforms undertaken in the judiciary, trial periods shortened and restrictions on freedom of expression initiated. He added that including controversial article 8 of the law against terrorism, several articles of the penal code will be amended and restrictions against freedom of speech and thought will all be lifted. The prime minister said there was consensus among coalition partners to lift the death penalty "except in times of war". He also disclosed that the three leaders, the justice and interior ministers and the state minister in charge of human rights would meet every month and review developments in human rights.

    Stressing that the government was determined to pull down the inflation rate, Yilmaz said foreign representation allocations would be slashed and representations considered unnecessary would be closed. The prime minister said the Treasury will declare its domestic borrowing plans once every three months, while the Central Bank will declare quarterly monetary policy applications and the Finance Ministry will issue quarterly inflation reports. /All papers/

    [02] ANKARA TO ROME: COOPERATE ON IMMIGRATION FLOOD

    As the Turkish and Iraqi Kurds' so-called "flight of hope" to Europe continues to stir international reaction, Ankara is criticizing some Western European countries for sympathizing with terrorist activities while showing sensitivity towards the immigration problem. The illegal immigration problem was referred to in a letter addressed to Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini by his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, responding to Dini's message on the issue sent on December 30, 1997. Explaining that Turkey is handling the emergency problem with sensitivity, Cem proposed to Dini a joint and active approach towards the problem of illegal immigration in his letter.

    Cem said: "The current problem is a blatant case of illegal trafficking in human beings, an extremely serious form of organized crime. Illegal immigration has always been a source of concern for Turkey. We have consistently sought multilateral cooperation against all forms of organized crime and international terrorism. We have drawn our attention to their interrelation, to the funding of terrorism by organized crime, like the organization of illegal migrations and to crime networks established in Western Europe under various guises. This is largely due to false analysis or to miscalculation prevailing in some Western European countries. Their policies meant in practice a tolerance for terror-related activities. These acts were, in principle, aimed at Turkey and were not considered as a danger to the host country". /All papers/

    [03] TURCO-ITALIAN REFUGEE CRISIS

    A fresh refugee crisis flared up between Turkey and Italy when Italy decided to accept thousands of Middle East and Asian refugees who tried to enter the country illegally. Ankara is especially disturbed by the decision because on their way to Europe, the refugees gather in Turkey and use the country as a base to launch illegal passages to European countries.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit blamed Italy for acting irresponsibly in the crisis. Italian officials announced that they may grant asylum to 20 thousand refugees. Turkey in turn warned Italy that this move will accelerate the flow of refugees to Italy. Indeed, two more vessels carrying 800 refugees are expected to arrive in Italy. The Rome administration has asked the EU for support.

    According to US specialists, the PKK terrorist organization that suffered a heavy blow during Turkish Armed Forces sweeping-up operations in Northern Iraq, is now transferring its militants to Italy taking advantage of the flow of refugees to that country. There are speculations that the terrorist organization is planning to raise public support for its activities by staging mass demonstrations and other large-scale activities in Italy. Some observers even claim that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan may ask the Italian government for political asylum.

    Turkey has initiated thorough investigations to unveil mafia and PKK connections with illegal transfers of refugees. The managers of three tourism agencies playing key roles in renting vessels and assisting illegal border passages are wanted by the police. Border and coastal security controls have been enhanced to cope with the growing refugee problem. /All papers/

    [04] TURKEY-ISREAL-US MANEUVRES START TODAY

    The "Reliant Mermaid" joint military maneuvres of Turkey, Israel and the US start today in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey participates with two frigates and a helicopter, the US with a destroyer and a helicopter and Israel with two ships and two aircraft. The exercises will be coordinated by the Israel Naval Forces Command and will end on January 9. Jordan has announced that it will attend the maneuvres as an observer despite all foreign and domestic reactions. /All papers/

    [05] US REPORT ON TURKEY

    Regarding the recent Clinton-Yilmaz meeting, a US report notes: "The Turkish Prime Minister's visit to Washington in December strengthened friendship between the two countries."

    The report, prepared by the U.S. administration and distributed to European Union (EU) leaders, evaluates reaction to the Clinton-Yilmaz meeting. It says "Turkey has been the most stable friend of America for the last 50 years. Turkey's strategic position in Europe, Asia and the Middle East makes this friendship more valuable." The report, which was published in the Greek daily newspaper "Katimerini" added, "From the Soviet expansion to Saddam's attacks, Turkey has played an important role in protecting Western world interests in the most unstable region of the world."

    In the report sent to the EU leaders it was stressed that Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz was dissatisfied with the recent EU decision taken in Luxembourg. It added that Clinton said that America would support Turkey's efforts towards full membership in the EU. /Milliyet/

    [06] TURKEY'S 1998 TOURISM TARGET: 15 BILLION DOLLARS

    The Ministry of Tourism is aiming to achieve a 15 billion dollars income in 1998. Minister of Tourism, Ibrahim Gurdal, said that Turkey's 1997 tourism target, "of 10 million tourists and 7.5 billion dollars income", had been achieved and he guessed that targets for 1998 would also be achieved.

    Tourism Ministry officials reported that they were trying ways to attract tourists who spend more money in their holiday travel and that they had been promoting different tourism opportunities in Turkey. Folowing the "Miami model", "holiday cities" will be built. As a first stage, a holiday city will be established in a location which has 50 thousand bed capacity and a full infrastructural potential. /Sabah/

    END


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