|Tuesday, 20 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 98-07-29
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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
 PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES DRAFT ON NATO EXPANSION
 YILMAZ TO STEP DOWN IN DECEMBERPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has assured the Republican People's Party (CHP) that he will resign at the end of the year following a decision by Parliament on the election date. Yilmaz said yesterday that Parliament will decide on the election date by the end of this week. Speaking at a Motherland Party (ANAP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Yilmaz said that his coalition had been working harmoniously over the last twelve months and that no one had the right to complain about its performance.
Yilmaz stated that his government was still in conformity with agreements reached with Deniz Baykal, Chairman of the CHP, which supports the government from outside the coalition. According to these agreements, early elections will be held on April 25, 1999. All developments that follow his resignation will be dealt with by the president, Yilmaz said. He indicated that the formation of the new government, which was agreed on in the Yilmaz-Baykal deal, will be up to the head of state's decision. /All papers/
 THREE TURKS SHOT IN SWITZERLANDIn a restaurant in Bern, Switzerland, four people including three Turks and one Swiss were killed yesterday. Four assailants shot at the people at the restaurant owned by a Turk, Garip Kirmizikaya. It is reported that investigations into the incident are continuing. /Milliyet/
 YILMAZ RECEIVES IKV DELEGATIONPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz stated yesterday that following recent developments, relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) would require a longer and tougher transition period. Yilmaz, who yesterday received a delegation from the Economic Development Foundation (IKV) headed by Meral Gezgin Eris, pointed out that there were many further steps which should be taken by Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who also received Meral Gezgin Eris and the members of the IKV executive board, noted that he had received a letter from EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek yesterday. Cem said that Broek stated in his letter that a report would be prepared for all candidate members by the end of this year and that Turkey's report would be prepared within the framework of the Copenhagen criteria like all the other candidates. Cem added that the lettter included a message, which says: "Please, give us information and convey your thoughts to us". The IKV delegation headed by Eris was also received by President Suleyman Demirel yesterday. /Milliyet/
 1999 TARGETS FROM CELEBIState Minister Isin Celebi delivered a speech on "Economic Developments within the downward trend in inflation" and furnished information about developments in the Turkish economy during the first six months of this year, and the targets for the year 1999. During a meeting organized by the Chamber of Industry for the Aegean Region (EBSO) yesterday, Celebi recalled that the inflation rate would be reduced to 20 % in 1999. He said that structural reforms including privatization would be speeded up and added that it was expected that exports would total $52 billion in 2002 and $87.4 billion in 2005. /Milliyet/
 GREEKS FIRE ON TURKISH BOATSGreek coastal security boats fired on Turkish fishing boats near Sakiz island in the Aegean Sea yesterday. A Greek government official noted that Greek coastal security boats first warned the Turkish fishing boats verbally, however the Turkish boats did not go back, therefore they fired warning shots at them. /Milliyet/
 DEMIREL'S LETTER RECEIVES GREAT ATTENTIONA letter sent by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel to Head of the Yugoslav Federation Slobodan Milosevic and heads of state and governments of the member countries of the "Yugoslavia Contact group" regarding the current crisis in Kosovo, has received great attention in the Balkan press. The Albanian and Serbian press especially devoted wide coverage to the letter. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES DRAFT ON NATO EXPANSIONTurkey's parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission yesterday unanimously approved a draft resolution on the accession of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic into the North Atlantic Alliance, but with conditions attached. Republican People's Party Deputy Murat Karayalcin, who chaired Tuesday's commission meeting, said in a written statement that the commission had added an appendix to the draft resolution "which is to be taken into consideration" by the governments of NATO countries during the enlargement process.
The appendix added to an article concerning the resolution's implementation by the Cabinet, calls for the fulfillment of a number of other Turkish expectations. Among these expectations are the speeding up of efforts to admit Turkey into the Western European Union (WEU) and the inclusion of the Balkan countries, particularly Bulgaria and Romania, in NATO. /All papers/
 ANKARA CONDEMNS GREEK REMARKSTurkey harshly condemned yesterday remarks by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos that the Turkish Consulate in Gumulcine (Komotini), Western Thrace, was acting against Greek national interests, and hinted at retaliation if the mission of the consulate were obstructed. "We are concerned by Mr.Pangalos' remarks and we strongly condemn them. Undoutedly, if the Greek government tries to obstruct the mission of the Turkish Consulate in Gumulcine on such subjective grounds, it will be given an immediate and reciprocal response" a Foreign Ministry statement said. The statement underlined that foreign missions carry out their duties under the protection of international agreements and that there was no place in international relations for threats and arbitrary position taking. /All papers/
 TURKEY AND ROMANIA REITERATE SUPPORT FOR BALKAN PEACE FORCETurkey and Romania again asserted yesterday their support for the formation of a Balkan multinational peace force, which will take immediate action in case of crisis situations in the volatile region. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel received yesterday his Romanian counterpart Emil Constantinescu as a part of a bilateral consultation mechanism, which envisages meetings between Turkish and Romanian presidents at least twice a year. Speaking after the talks, the two leaders expressed their determination for the establishment of the Balkan force, about which preliminary meetings have been going on for several months.
At the end of the talks between the two delegations, foreign ministers Ismail Cem and Andrei Plesu of Romania signed a protocol outlining a cooperation strategy between the two foreign ministers between 1998 and 2000. Commenting on the countries' joint efforts to combat terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime, Constantinescu stated that the related authorities of the two countries were involved in a very intensive and efficient cooperation. /All papers/
 SWITZERLAND PLAYS DOWN TURKISH CRITICISMSwitzerland has played down Ankara's criticism of a pro-PKK terrorist organization conference held on July 24 in the Swiss city of Lausanne. A spokesman for the Federal Foreign Ministry said that the conference has been completely private and so it had not been necessary for the organizers to request permission. /All papers/
 HOSPITAL EXPLOSIONAn explosion which happened yesterday midnight in the Sea and Underwater Medical Sciences Department of Istanbul Medical University resulted in the deaths of a doctor and two patients. Department officials announced later that the cause of the explosion was not understood still unknown. /Cumhuriyet/
 PKK KILLS CHILDRENA group of PKK terrorists launched a raid yesterday in the Mazidagi region, Mardin, killing two children. Security forces have begun an operation to find the terrorists.
Meanwhile, it is reported that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan has congratulated PKK terrorists for activities during which they massacred over 3,000 animals in Van two days ago. /Cumhuriyet/
 KURDISH FORUM IN USThe Washington Kurdish Institution has held a "Forum to Solve the Kurdish Issue". During the two-day forum held in at the Carnegie International Peace Foundation Centre, the status of the Kurdish populations living in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria was discussed. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH ENERGY DELEGATION IN USTurkish-US Energy Working Group meetings started yesterday in Washington. The groups discussed the most advantageous route to transfer Caspian Sea oil and natural gas to the West. Yigitguden Yurdakul, Undersecretary of the Energy Ministry chaired the Turkish delegation at the meetings. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY TO SELL EURO-DOLLARSA Salomon Smith Barney financing group representative said that Turkey was in a position to sell mid-term Euro-dollar security bonds on the American market. The representative also initiated that Turkey was now better placed to seek long-term loans. /Cumhuriyet/
 LE MONDE COMMENTS ON EU-TURKEY RELATIONSAn article in Le Monde newspaper comments that problems in relations between the European Union and Turkey seem to be easing. Mentioning a report by Turkish officials, recently presented to Austria which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, Le Monde notes Turkish reaction to the EU exclusion of Turkey from its list of candidates for full-membership. Turkey's own reports could be a base for normalizing and enhancing relations, says the article. The article also states that the EU's tactlessness and unrealistic statements by Turkish politicians led to the current bottleneck in relations. /Hurriyet/
 SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTREPRENEURS MEET IN SPAINWithin the framework of the Europartenariat programme, representatives of 3,000 small and medium-scale enterprises from 83 different countries will come together in the Spanish city of Valencia on November 12-13. A statement by the Economic Development Foundation, which is organizing the programme in Turkey, says that the meeting will open-up world-wide cooperation opportunities for Turkish firms. /Hurriyet/
 PRIVATIZATION ACCELERATES IN FIRST HALF OF 1998Reports show that the privatization programme which began in 1993, reached its highest point in the first six months of 1998. A total of three billion 184 million dollars worth of income from privatization has so far been realized this year. This amount is approximately equal to the whole result of privatization efforts over the last 12 years. Another important privatization project, is that the transfer of energy distribution networks to the private sector, will now be possible. The Constitutional Court has sent a brief summary of its decision to the Council of State permitting the transfer of energy distribution networks to the private sector. The Council of State is expected to reply soon./Sabah/
 REACTION TO NATOTurkey's Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Onur Oymen, yesterday said that the Cyprus problem was not on the NATO agenda, and that sending a NATO force to the island was not under discussion. Oymen said yesterday, "NATO is not the organization to find a solution to the problem, and it never has been considered as such. Turkey is closely following the matter. Cyprus is not the problem of NATO" /Sabah/
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