|Friday, 24 February 2017|
Turkish Press Review, 98-02-18
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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
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL CONFERS WITH ARAB LEADERSIn a series of telephone conversations, President Suleyman Demirel has been sharing Turkey's neighbourly concern over the Iraqi crisis with Arab leaders. He conferred with the leader of Oman, Qaboos Bin Said, and United Arab Emirates leader, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahayan, on Monday. All the Arab leaders share Turkey's concern about the serious consequences of a possible US military strike against Iraq and the need for stability in the region. /All papers/
 FRANCE: DEMIREL'S VISIT IS IMPORTANTTurkish President Suleyman Demirel's visit to France will begin tomorrow. French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gazeau Secret said that France attached great importance to the visit of President Demirel, and added that the visit would further strengthen the close relations between the two countries. It is reported that during the visit, an economic, political and cultural agreement called the "2000 Agreement" will be signed between Turkey and France. The spokesman noted that Demirel would meet with many leading French officials including French President Jacques Chirac. During the meetings, the Iraq problem and Turkey's regional role will be taken up, the spokesman concluded.
Meanwhile, the weekly Paris-Match magazine, in its latest issue, gives coverage to an interview with President Demirel. Regarding the Iraq crisis, Demirel is quoted as saying: "We always support diplomatic means". /Milliyet/
 CHINESE-TURKISH ECONOMIC TIESForeign Minister Ismail Cem has stressed the importance of improving Chinese-Turkish economic ties. Cem, who is on an official visit to China, met yesterday with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Cem invited Zemin to Turkey. Speaking after the meeting, he said that the economic ties between the two countries should boom in the next three years. Cem further declared that the political base for the fulfillment of this ambitious objective had already been set up. To further cultivate the current fertile ground, Isin Celebi, State Minister responsible for the economy, would visit China in April for a meeting of the Chinese-Turkish Joint Economic Council, he said.
Thw two leaders also discussed the current tense situation in the Middle East. They agreed that the continuing crisis between the US and Iraq should be resolved by peaceful means. Later in the day, the Foreign Minister and his delegation visited the Great Wall of China. Cem is scheduled to leave Beijing today for Shanghai, where he is expected to hold talks on plans to open a Turkish trade centre there. /Milliyet/
 MILITARY URGES ALL COUNTRIES TO BAN THE PKKTurkish military officials have repeated their calls to the international community to outlaw the PKK terrorist organization. "Germany and France have banned the PKK, and we expect the same gesture from other countries too", Col.Erkal Bektas told more than 20 journalists representing foreign media organizations in Ankara, before leaving with them for a three-day visit to the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Siirt and Sirnak yesterday.
The visit was organized by the General Staff especially for foreign correspondents in Turkey, in order to inform them about the military's struggle against PKK terrorist activities in the Southeast, to visit military facilities in the region, and have interviews with civilians there. Maj.Gen.Erol Ozkasnak of the General Staff, who briefed the correspondents in Ankara before departure, said the visit was aimed at clearing up "misunderstandings" about the Turkish military in the foreign press. He said that the PKK has been "marginalized", and that the numbers of PKK members as well as their logistical support were almost exhausted. Ozkasnak, secretary-general of the General Staff, also told reporters that operations in the Southeast were carried out with care to avoid violating human rights in the region. /Sabah-Milliyet/
 EREZ's VISIT TO US CANCELLEDA visit by Turkish Industry and Trade Minister Yalim Erez to the US on 26 February to attend a Turkish-American Business Council meeting has been cancelled following a death in his family. /Sabah/
 ELECTRICITY FROM RUSSIAWithin the framework of mutual economic cooperation agreements signed between Russia and Turkey after a visit by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to Turkey late in 1997, Turkish Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer arrived in Moscow yesterday to discuss new projects. Ersumer, who held talks with Russian natural gas producer Gazprom, will meet with Chernomyrdin and oil giant Lukoil's Chairman Vahit Alekperov tomorrow. One of the most important issues on Ersumer's agenda is the purchase of electricity from Russia. Ankara plans to purchase 1 billion kw_hrs of electricity from Moscow. Meanwhile, within the framework of a natural gas agreement signed between the two countries, a Turkish firm is expected to take on the construction of a pipeline running from Russia's Stavropol Region to the Black Sea. /Milliyet/
 BUSINESS TRIP TO MACEDONIA AND BULGARIAA Turkish delegation including representatives of 38 firms will visit Macedonia and Bulgaria between 16-21 February, the Anatolia news agency reported. Necati Utkan, Foreign Ministry Spokesman, said that Turkish delegations of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (KOBI) will visit several countries within the framework of measures taken by the Foreign Ministry to introduce KOBI products and methods to foreign companies and organizations and promote exports.
The Turkish KOBI delegation will meet with Boris Rikalovski, Macedonian Economy Minister and Dusan Petrovski, Chairman of the Economy Chambers and hold bilateral contacts with Macedonian businessmen in Skopje between February 16-18. The delegation will proceed to Bulgaria on February 19 and hold contacts there until February 21 with Bulgarian officials, institutions and businessmen.
 ANKARA MAKES CHANGES FOR TURKISH CITIZENS ABROADAnkara has made organizational changes for solutions to the problems of Turkish citizens living abroad. A high board chaired by the prime minister and a coordinating board chaired by a state minister has been established. The coordinating board will present suggestions to the high board.
In a circular released by the office of the Prime Ministry on this issue, studies are being made according to the 62nd article of the constitution. The circular also notes that the number of Turks living abroad has increased to 3.5 million. /Hurriyet/
 KARAMATA IN ANKARAPakistani Land Forces, Commander Gen.Jehangir Karamata, was awarded yesterday with a medal of merit by the Chief of General Staff, Gen.Ismail Hakki Karadayi. "We bestow the highest value, after our independence, to the friendship between our peoples and our armies and will always try to keep this friendship alive" the visiting general said. Karadayi in return told him that he would pray for the success of the armed forces of both countries. Top Turkish generals took part in the award ceremony. /Sabah/
 SHATTUCK VISITS TURKEYUpon his arrival in Ankara, John Shattuck, US assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labour, met with State Minister responsible for human rights, Hikmet Sami Turk. Shattuck said on Monday that he was impressed with Turkey's recent human rights reforms. Briefing reporters after his meeting with Hikmet Sami Turk, Shattuck noted that he had been invited by the Turkish prime minister to monitor human rights improvements. Shattuck, who will spend four days here, pointed out that the US welcomes the chance for better cooperation with Turkey on human rights issues.
In addition, State Minister Turk said that in response to Shattuck's visit, he is planning to visit the US. Turk and Shattuck will meet again after the US envoy's other meetings. Shattuck will go to Istanbul, Diyarbakir and Mardin for further consultations and research. /All papers/
 UN PREPARES TO RELAUNCH CYPRUS TALKSUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has signaled that he will launch a new initiative to resume the stalled talks between Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot Leader Glafkos Klerides. Annan sent a meesage to Klerides, in which he informed him that the UN special envoy to Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, will visit the island soon. After completing his talks on Cyprus, Cordovez is expected to prepare a report, evaluating the situation on the island. /Cumhuriyet/
 OIL PRICES TO INCREASE AUTOMATICALLYThe Cabinet agreed in principle on Monday to index oil prices automatically to world oil price. The finance and energy ministries have been made responsible for preparing the legal framework. State Minister Ahad Andican, speaking after the Cabinet meeting, said that the current situation in the world market means that oil prices have dropped to $15-16 per barrel. /All papers/
 MINISTRY'S NEW DRAFT AIMS TO ESTABLISH GENDER EQUALITYOn the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Civil Code, a revised draft prepared by a commission of lawyers, members of the Bar and academics working on behalf of the Justice Ministry, has been presented to Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu. According to the new system, the eligible age for marriage has been raised to 18 for both men and women. /All papers/
 ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIRIstanbul is readying to host a new book fair. The first Istanbul International Book Fair, organized with the cooperation of the Publishers Association, CNR and the Istanbul Fair Corporation, will be held on March 20-28.
During an introductory press meeting yesterday, the representatives of the organizers claimed that this book fair will be the most animated of all the book fairs held in Turkey. Susanna Tamaro, Erica Ficher, Paul Strathern and Nihat Behran are some of the authors who will visit the fair. /Hurriyet/
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