|Sunday, 14 February 2016|
Turkish Press Review, 98-02-13
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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
 PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ IN UKRAINEPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz started on Thursday a two-day official visit to Ukraine with the goal of boosting political and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Yilmaz was welcomed by his Ukrainian counterpart Valery Pustovoytenko and later had a working dinner with President Leonid Kuchma, the Anatolia News Agency reported.
 ANKARA IN NEW BID FOR BETTER TIES WITH GREECEIn a substantial display of goodwill towards Greece, Ankara called yesterday for the settlement of all Aegean disputes between the two countries by peaceful means, proposing a high-level meeting between the two foreign ministries before the end of March.
Turkey proposed a five-point set of suggestions to the Greek government to solve existing problems. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem presented the Turkish proposal to the Greek Ambassador to Ankara, Dimitris Nezeritis, with a verbal note. The UN secretary-general, the NATO secretary-general and NATO members have also been informed about the initiative. Speaking at his meeting with Ambassador Nezeritis, Cem expressed his hope that Greece "would also display that it is as peaceful and conciliatory as Turkey". But Greek government spokesman Dimitri Reppas, in commenting on the proposals, did not sound very encouraging. Some of the propoals "are already the subject of dialogue" he said giving as an example the dialogue on developing and implementing confidence-building measures in the Aegean within the framework of NATO. Reppas also said that the only problem between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean was that of the continental shelf. He did not comment on the proposal for a meeting before the end of March. /All papers/
 YILMAZ: "A KURDISH STATE IN N.IRAQ IS OUR MAIN WORRY"On his way to Ukraine, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz told reporters yesterday that the possibility of the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq is Turkey's main concern. "We should be prepared for such a development and must be alert" Yilmaz said. He also noted that the US is well aware of Turkey's concerns. The prime minister told reporters that Turkey's border with Iraq is completely under control. In a related development, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said he had been assured by the US that there is no plan to establish a Kurdish state. "I will take their word for it" Ecevit said.
Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Ankara David Logan made a written statement yesterday. The statement referred to the statement made by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook in the British Parliament on February 12. "We support the territorial integrity of Iraq and would like to see it rejoin the international community" Cook said. /Sabah/
 TURKEY AND ALBANIA BOOST BILATERAL TIESTurkey and Albania took a step towards accelerating bilateral ties yesterday by signing an agreement of cooperation and political solidarity. An agreement on mutual cooperation between the two countries' customs administrations was also signed. Speaking after the signing ceremony, President Suleyman Demirel and his Albanian counterpart, Rexhep Meidani, expressed pleasure over the current state of relations between the two countries and pledged to further improve them.
Earlier in the day, Meidani held talks with Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin and Chief of General Staff Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi. The Albanian president was accompanied by Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, Economy Minister Yili Bufi, Chief of General Staff Alex Andoni and other high-level officials and businessmen. /All papers/
 TRAIN CRASH AT PENDIK, 23 INJUREDTwenty-three people were reported injured when two commuter trains collided between Pendik and Kaynarca just west of Istanbul yesterday morning. Those wounded were taken to nearby government and private hospitals for treatment. /All papers/
 COURT CANCELS PRIVATIZATION OF 12 POWER PLANTSAdministrative court No.1 in Ankara annulled the privatization of 12 power plants yesterday. After the announcement of the court verdict, the Chamber of Electrical Engineers released a statement, pointing out that the court's decision would be the first step towards cancelling the privatization of the electrical power distribution network. The release also said that the Energy Ministry should stop the practice of illegal privatization initiatives. /All papers/
 EU SUPPORT FOR TURKISH PROJECTSThe European Union (EU) Commission has stated that it will extend financial support to 22 Non-Governmental Organizations in Turkey for human rights and democratization programmes. A statement made by the EU Commission Representation in Turkey said that the financial support would be extended within the framework of the MEDA project, which supports reforms to be realized in the economic and social structures of Mediterranean countries which are not EU members. The statement noted that the total cost of the projects amounted to $7-13 million and that the EU Commission would meet a $5 million part of it. /Hurriyet/
 YILMAZ: MEETINGS WITH IMF CAN START IN MARCHPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that meetings with IMF could start in March. In a statament while going to Ukraine by plane, Yilmaz noted that meetings with the IMF were not cancelled, only postponed. He said: "There are some steps that we should take. Now we are trying to achieve them. Meetings can re-start in the middle or at the end of March". /Hurriyet/
 SECURITY MEASURES EASED IN GERMANYIn Germany, where PKK terrorist Kani Yilmaz was recently released, a pro-PKK stance is becoming increasingly prevalent. Security measures at the Turkish Official Representation Bureau in North Rhine Westphalia, have been eased on condition that "The PKK is not a threat anymore". Guards stationed at the Turkish Consul-General have been withdrawn by German police authorities. /Hurriyet/
 THY STARTS FLIGHTS TO KAZANTurkish Airlines (THY) will start flights to Tataristan's capital of Kazan by February 16, the Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday. THY said in a written statement that flights to Kazan will be on Mondays and Thursdays.
 CHINESE AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATIONChinese Ambassador to Ankara Yao Kuangyi on Wednesday called on Turkey to revive economic relations with China, adding that trade volume between the two countries, now standing at $600 million is not enough in view of the two countries' potential. Speaking to an Anatolia news agency correspondent, Kuangyi said that the visit of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to China, which will start at the weekend, will be mainly concerned with economic issues.
Saying that "we wish to set up more strong and permanent relations with Turkey", the Chinese Ambassador pointed out that the two countries play an active role in the Middle East and added that their interests do not conflict in economic and other areas. Foreign Minister Cem is expected to hold contacts in Beijing for the first two days and meet Chinese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Qian Qishen on February 16. Cem will later proceed on to Shanghai, which is in the most important economic region of China, and seek ways to improve economic cooperation between the two countries.
 TURKISH TELECOM TO BE PROMOTED IN USDuring an "Annual Conference and Trade Fair" organized by the Turkish-American Business Council to be held on 25-28 February in Washington, Turkish-American relations will be taken up. During the meeting, the fields of telecommunications, tourism, energy, banking, finance, aviation, culture, food and agriculture will be discussed. This year Turkish Telecom, 34 % of shares of which are envisaged to be privatized, will be offered to leading US investors. Head of the Privatization Administration, Ugur Bayar, and Deputy General Director of Turkish Telecom, Mustafa Horata, will also attend the meeting. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY PAYS OUT $1.7 BILLION IN FOREIGN DEBTSTurkey paid out $393.7 million in foreign debts between 2-11 February. Thus, the total of foreign debts paid out by Turkey since the beginning of this year amounts to $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, Central Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $177 million and reached $20.037 billion on 6 February. /Milliyet/
 PARRIS: "WE DO NOT WANT A WAR"US Ambassador to Ankara, Marc Parris, who went to Sanliurfa to participate in a meeting also attended by officials from US municipalities, said that they also did not want a war in the Gulf. Noting that people living in Southeast Anatolia suffered a lot during the 1991 Gulf War, Parris said: "Diplomatic efforts are continuing. Many countries, including Turkey, do not want a war in the region. We want Iraq to comply with UN resolutions. If it does not, we will not hesitate to take action". /Milliyet/
 US SUPPORTS TURKEY'S RIGHT TO FIGHT THE PKKThe Clinton administration continued its traditional support for Turkey's right to enter northern Iraq in order to fight the PKK terrorist organization. The PKK has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 in an effort to establish an independent Kurdistan and is on the US State Department's "foreign terrorist organizations" list.
US State Department spokesman James Rubin in reply to a question said, "Turkish forces have entered northern Iraq for limited periods in the past to destroy bases and arms caches of the terrorist PKK organization. We have consistently supported the right of the Turkish government to defend itself against terrorism, as long as any incursions are limited in scope and duration, and fully respect the rights of the civilian inhabitants in the region."
He added, "The United States recognizes Turkey's very real security concerns and its desire to avoid a repeat of the massive influx of refugees seen in 1991. We want to work constructively with the government of Turkey on these issues. We have no information on such an operation or a refugee movement of that kind. Should the question arise, we will consult with the government of Turkey regarding a proper response." /All papers/
 MENZIR COMPLETES HIS "INTERNET TOUR"Minister of Communications, Necdet Menzir, said that the conventional concept of state will be replaced by a new concept of state in which electronic devices will have much more influence, adding that Turkey should take the necessary steps towards the information age. Menzir returned home yesterday after participating in a conference on "Information Technology in the State and Education in the 21st century" organized by the Microsoft software computer company in Seattle, north America, where he was invited by Bill Gates. Menzir said that he had met with Bill Gates and also visited the Boeing aircraft firm. /Hurriyet/
 LLOYD CORPORATION: "TURKEY NOT A RISK"The Lloyd Company, one of the leading British insurance companies yesyerday declared that there was no reason for considering investments in Turkey as "risky" because of a probable gulf war. A high ranking director of the company, Keith Harris, in a statement to Cumhuriyet daily newspaper noted that British companies with commercial connections with Turkey would not be damaged by the critical situation in the region, and stressed the impossibility of a risky situation developing that these companies should feel concern about.
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