|Thursday, 23 March 2017|
Turkish Press Review, 98-02-03
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 CEM TO VISIT IRAQBaghdad earlier on Monday approved Turkey's first step to send Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to the Iraqi capital. "We have received a positive answer from Baghdad about the visit of our foreign minister" Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan told a news briefing yesterday. He added that the exact time for the meeting had not yet been determined. Utkan said that Cem's initiative would be based on four essential points; the threat originating from Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction should be eliminated; any hot conflict in the region should be averted; the well-being of Iraqi and neighbouring countries' civilians' should be a major consideration; Iraq's territorial integrity should be observed. Utkan explained that Cem's initiative would not be a mediation between the US and Iraq, but a contribution to international efforts to end the crisis by diplomatic means.
Meanwhile, top US military and diplomatic officials expressed scepticism over efforts by Turkey and other countries to mediate in the latest weapons inspection crisis in Iraq. "The situation is grave" said Marc Grossman, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian affairs, addressing a press conference before leaving for Athens. "We are sceptical (about a diplomatic solution), given Saddam Hussein's history in all of this and his inability to keep his word" Grossman said. He added that the US has not, at the highest level, considered a military option, but would not hesitate to employ a military option if deemed necessary.
"We believe firmly that a diplomatic solution is best. However, we must plan for the eventuality that may not happen" Air Force Gen.Joseph Ralston, vice chairman of the US Joints of Staff, told reporters. /All papers/
 'PARTICIPATE IN CONFERENCE'German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine came together at a German-French seminar yesterday in Bonn. A joint statement made after the seminar noted that Ankara should re-evaluate its decision of non-participation in the European Conference on 12 March. The statement also called on Greece not to block the implementation of Luxembourg decisions especially those regarding financial aid to Turkey. The statement added that Turkish Cypriots should also attend the EU full membership negotiations together with a Greek Cypriot delegation. /Sabah/
 ISRAELI PARLIAMENT SPEAKER IN ANKARAIsraeli Parliament Speaker Dan Tichon said yesterday that relations between Israel and Turkey had rapidly improved in recent years and would improve even more rapidly from now on. Tichon and the delegation of Israeli deputies accompanying him arrived for an official visit to Turkey yesterday and met with Turkish Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin.
Speaking after the meeting, the two speakers expressed their satisfaction with the current course of relations between Turkey and Israel, who have signed a total of 18 agreements since 1990. Cetin and Tichon expressed their hope that the Middle East process would be resumed as soon as possible. The Israeli delegation is due to hold a number of talks with Turkish officials and leave on February 8. /Milliyet-Sabah/
 CB GOVERNOR IN DAVOSTurkish Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said yesterday that the bank has been following the developments of the south Asian crisis day-by-day. Ercel, who was in Davos attending a series of World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings, said that the Asian crisis could possibly affect the competition, wealth, growth and confidence of world economies.
He suggested that the first step to protect the Turkish economy was to implement a foreign exchange policy which would help improve Turkey's competitiveness. The second step would involve increasing exports, rather than focusing on domestic demand and GNP. Since no Turkish banks or investment institutions have put money into south Asian markets, there will be no decline in the wealth of Turkish investors, Ercel claimed. Evaluating the Central Bank's performance, Ercel said that figures for the first month of 1998 highlighted the fact that the bank has everything under control. /Milliyet-Sabah/
 FEERYBOAT RUNS AGROUND OFF SARIYERThe Bosphorus, an increasingly busy strait dividing Istanbul, witnessed another accident over the weekend. Russian passenger ferry boat "Kuban", which was travelling without a full crew or passangers from Varna in Bulgaria to Aliaga to be dismantled, ran aground off the shores of Sariyer around 04:00 after it was set free from its tugboat.
It was reported that the company which owns the ship did not ask for a pilot through the straits or for any other help, and that "Kuban" would try to refloat through its own means.
 US WITHDRAWS MILITARY CREDITSThe US Government has withdrawn its military credits for Greece and Turkey. President Clinton yesterday presented the 1998 Budget including international expenditures. A press conference was held in the State Department where it was announced that Turkey will not be extended military and economic support credits by the US government. The US Government thus ended the military credits to Turkey which have been given for 40 years. /Sabah/
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL VOICES SUPPORT FOR PROTECTION OF ENVIRONMENTPresident Suleyman Demirel attended yesterday a meeting jointly organized by the Ministry of the Environment and the Association for Protection of Wild Life. The meeting was held to mark World Marshlands Day. In a speech at the meeting, President Demirel vowed to exert every effort to protect the environment.
Within the framework of the activities held to mark World Marshlands Day, the Kizilirmak and Gediz deltas, the Akyatan Lagoon, and Uluabat Lake have been declared protected areas. /Hurriyet/
 $1.3 MILLION IN DEBT PAYMENTS IN JANUARYAccording to Central Bank statistics, in January, 1998, Turkey paid out $1.3 billion in foreign debts. Debt repayments for 1996 totalled $10.4 billion. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY SIGNS TWO ILO AGREEMENTSTurkey has made an important move aiming to improve its human rights record by signing two International Labour Organization (ILO) agreements. One of the agreements (number 29) regulates compulsory employment, and the other (number 138) bans the employment of children. The decrees regarding the ratification of the agreements have been published in the Official Gazette and have thus entered into effect. Labour Minister Nami Cagan said that 60 inspectors have been trained to monitor the implementation of the agreements, and especially to control the employment of children. /Hurriyet/
 MENZIR IN USMinister of Communications, Necdet Menzir, will pay a three-day visit to the US starting on February 8 upon the invitation of computer giant Bill Gates. During his visit, Menzir will try to secure modern technologies for Turkish Internet users. /Hurriyet/
 PROTOCOL FOR COOPERATION WITH TRNCTurkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have been exerting efforts to further improve bilateral cooperation. The latest move undertaken by the two countries aims to improve cooperation in land registry. State Minister Isilay Saygin and Turkish Cypriot Labour Minister Ali Ozkan Ozisik have signed a land registration cooperation protocol in Ankara. /Cumhuriyet/
 DEFENSE MINISTER SEZGIN IN PARISDeputy Prime Minister and National Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin is paying an official visit to Paris. Yesterday Sezgin had a meeting with French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. No statement regarding the meeting was made. /Cumhuriyet/
 ENERGY MINISTER ERSUMER VISITS BELGIUMEnergy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer is paying an official visit to Belgium to discuss Turco-Belgian energy investment projects. Minister Ersumer said that joint investments in third countries will also be discussed during his meetings with Belgian officials. According to Ersumer, energy shortages in Turkey stemmed from delayed investments in the sector. The minister noted that they were planning to overcome energy bottlenecks by constructing new nuclear power plants, and added that the company to undertake the project will be determined within two months. /Ebanewsletter, Cumhuriyet/
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES UPCentral Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $208 million between 16-23 January. According to Central Bank data, foreign exchange reserves, which totalled $19.339 billion on 16 January, rose to $19.547 billion on 23 January. Turkey's international reserves including foreign exchange and Central Bank gold reserves and those in commercial banks amounted to $29.356 billion on 9 January. /Milliyet/
 GREENPEACE CHAIRMAN TO VISIT TURKEYThe Chairman of Greenpeace International, an environmental organization, will visit Turkey within this month. Action Coordinator of the Greenpeace Mediterranean Office, Tolga Temuge, said yesterday that following an annual meeting of the organization in Malta, Chairman Bode will come to Turkey. /Sabah/
 TURKISH SHIP SINKS IN ITALIAN WATERSA Turkish ship has sunk off the Italian coast. 11 crewmen have so far been saved. It is reported that the ship was carrying 1,700 tons of mixed cargo. /Sabah/
 EU TRAINEE ADMINSTRATORS IN TURKEY65 people, who are under European Union Commission training, are in Turkey to make observations. These people, who are administrator candidates, first went to Istanbul where a briefing was held by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD). During the briefing, Turkey's geo-economic dynamism and its entrepreneural potential were discussed. The delegation, which visited the Istanbul Stock Exchange, will later proceed to Ankara. /Sabah/
 AZERI AND GEORGIAN ELECTRICITY FOR TURKEYMeetings on a natural gas power plant in Azerbaijan, the construction of which has been partially completed, and a hydraulic power plant in Georgia, the construction of which has been stopped, started yesterday in Baku. The production of these two plants is expected to be sold to Turkey after their construction is finalized by the two countries involved. /Sabah/
 ALI ULVI ERSOY LAID TO RESTFamous Ali Ulvi Ersoy, a giant from the Republican period, passed away at the age of 74 on Friday. He drew daily caricatures for the first page of Cumhuriyet newspaper since 1950. /All papers/
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