|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 98-01-09
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF PRESS AND INFORMATION,OFFICE OF PRIME MINISTER
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 EUROPEAN POLICE CHIEFS TACKLE REFUGEE CRISISPolice chiefs and security officials from Turkey and six European Union (EU) states gathered in Rome on Thursday to outline a policy to deal with the wave of Kurdish immigration to Italy which has sparked panic throughout the EU block. Officials form Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Turkey were welcomed by Italian Interior Minister Giorgio Napolitano as they arrived for the talks.
Security Department Chief Necati Bilican and four other high-level officials participated on behalf of Turkey. Bilican was expected to maintain Turkey's previously announced position that the immigrants should be regarded as illegal immigrants and not political refugees. He was also expected to underline the roles of organized crime groups and the outlawed PKK terrorist organization in smuggling and to urge the revival of the implementation of the 1986 Convention on the Prevention of Organized Crime and Smuggling. The Turkish delegation was to assert Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's statement that Turkey would accept the immigrants if they are turned back. /All papers/
 INTERIOR MINISTER LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION ON REFUGEE SMUGGLINGInterior Minister Murat Basesgioglu said on Thursday that he had ordered an extensive investigation into the recent wave of illegal smuggling of immigrants to Italy. He said that a number of people accused of organizing the voyages, together with ship owners, had been detained. Some of them were handed over the justice, others were still undergoing interrogation. /All papers/
 BLAIR, "TURKEY IS A NATURAL PART OF EUROPE"British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in london on Thursday that the Britain presidency would apply every diplomatic means to improve relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) in the coming six months. Speaking together with Jacques Sanders, president of the European Commission, at a press conference organized after the first EU Commission meeting in London. Blair said it was vital both for Turkey and the EU to maintain the good relations.
Meanwhile, Santer also said the text agreed to in Luxembourg regarding Turkey had a great significance since it was the first time 15 member-states had agreed on conditions for Turkey to join the EU.
Regarding the issue of Kurdish immigrtaion Europe, both Blair and Santer said cooperation was vital for all illegal immigration to be prevented. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY-FRANCE RAPPROCHEMENTDuring his one-day visit to Ankara, French Foreign Minister Hubert Verdine dwelt on Turkey-EU relations. Commenting on Verdine's contacts in Ankara, Hurriyet daily newspaper notes that the French officials
urged Turkey to keep cool and attend the European Conference of EU member and candidate countries scheduled for March. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, however, responded harshly to Verdine's suggestion and said that Turkey's participation in the European Conference was "out of question". In response to verdine's statement that the declaration that emerged from the EU Luxembourg Summit included a number of positive for Turkey details, Yilmaz stressed that this declaration has been rejected by Turkey.
During a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, Verdine said that Kurdish problem could not be resolved by employing merely military measures, and that cultural initiatives also needed to be undertaken. Cem said that Turkey was as sensitive as France to with respect to preserving its national values. During his meetings with Turkish officials, Verdine also discussed moves for improving bilateral relations. Within this framework, the establishment of a joint group to spot and tackle bilateral disagreements and improve Turco-French cooperation in all fields has been agreed upon. /Hurriyet and all papers/
 IMF TALKS POSTPONEDThe Internetional monetary Fund visit to Turkey was postponed to January 19. A technical delegation of 6 by Turkey bureau chief Martin Hardy was to arrive in Turkey on January 12 to continue the talks commenced last December. /All papers/
 SIX PRISONER ON THE BRICK OF DEATHA hunger strike by 170 convicts and prisoners in Erzurum special type and E type prisons has passed its 50th day. It was announced yesterday that six prisoners were on the brink of death and the the situation of another seven was getting severe. Security measures in prisons around Erzurum have been beefed-up, and ambulances have been parked close to the prisons. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY PROTESTS TO SCHENGEN COUNTRIESIn a meeting on January 8 in Rome of directors of police force from seven Schengen countries and Turkey about stopping the refugee flow to Europe, Turkey protested that the PKK terrorist organization's role in illegal refugee flow to Italy was not recognized openly. General Director of Turkish Police Necati Bilican refused to be a party to the declaration of intent prepared at the end of the meeting. /Cumhuriyet/
 DECISION IN RP CASE POSTPONED TO NEXT WEEKThe Constitutional Court continues to discuss the case of the Welfare Party's closure. Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court Guven Dincer said it was impossible to conclude the case this week. /All papers/
 POLITICAL IMMUNITY OF FIVE POLITICIANS LIFTEDThe Constitutional-Justice Joint Commission has decided to lift the political immunity of former Welfare (RP) Party deputy Sevki Yilmaz, RP deputies Mustafa Bayram and Kahraman Emmioglu, and True Path (DYP) Party deputies Omer Bilgin and Kemal Aykurt.
The decision of the Joint Commission is not final. It has to be approved by the General Assembly to become binding. Only then can procedures for a trial be started. /All papers/
 BASIC PROBLEM IS NORTHERN IRAQGerman Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said yesterday that most of the Turkish refugees trying to reach European countries were coming from undeveloped districts, and that they were actually economic refugees. Kinkel noted that the basic problem was not Turkey but northern Iraq. Kinkel stated that the number of refugees coming from Turkey was decreasing, recalling that in 1997 16,840 refugees came from Turkey, however the applications of only 11.1 % of them had been accepted. On the other hand, the number of refugees coming from Iraq was increasing, he added. /Milliyet/
 JETS IN AEGEANWhile Athens claims that 32 Turkish war planes have violated Greek airspace and the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR), the Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied these claims. Foreign Ministry officials have noted that Turkish airplanes are flying only in the international airspace of the Aegean, and have stated that the Greek claims are "groundless". They note that the Greek claims stem from Greek declarations that Greek airspace is 10 miles, which is not accepted by any other country in the world. /Milliyet/
 "TOURISM SHOULD BE A NATIONAL TARGET"Tourism Investors' Association Chairman, Barlas Kuntay, noted yesterday that Turkish tourism had achieved international successes and that it ranked 19th in the world list. Kuntay said that a 10-year private development plan should be prepared to make sure that Turkey is not left behind in tourism competition, and added that tourism should be a national target. /Sabah/
 SHOCKING REPORT FROM CIAThe US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said in a report that Syrian leader Hafiz Esad sent a letter to Saddam Hussein in which he offered to jointly support the leader of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan. According to the report, on November 7, 1997, a high-level Syrian delegation including military and intelligence officials visited Saddam Hussein and conveyed to him Esad's letter. Esad in his letter said that Syria and Iraq should establish an alliance against US efforts in the region. /Sabah/
 SUCCESSFUL ANTI-DRUG OPERATIONTurkish security forces yesterday seized 480 kg of pure heroin about to be smuggled into Turkey by the driver of a bus travelling to Turkey from Azerbaijan. Specialists say that the haul was worth TL 15 trillion. /Cumhuriyet/
 DELIVERY OF NEW US FRIGATES TO TURKEYFormalities related to the transfer of three US-made frigates to Turkey have been completed. The General Staff announced in a statement that next Monday, the Turkish flag will be ceremoniously hoisted on the frigates, presently in the Detynes shipyard in South Carolina, US. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY IMPROVES HUMAN RIGHTS RECORDThe European Human Rights Court has announced that there has been a decrease in the number of cases filed against Turkey at the court. The number of the cases dropped from 562 in 1996 to 365 in 1997. Cases filed in 1997 against Germany for violations of human rights and freedoms, in turn, numbered 383. /Hurriyet/
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