|Thursday, 12 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 98-10-02
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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
 DEMIREL INAUGURATES NEW LEGISLATIVE YEARInaugurating the new legislative term of the Turkish Parliament, President Suleyman Demirel touched upon various points ranging from the importance of democracy and secularism to other foreign policy issues. He said that Islamic fundamentalism which exploits people's religious beliefs was a serious threat against the state, adding that secularism was an indispensable principle in the state ideology.
Despite current conjectural problem, relations with the European Union (EU) were still a priority for Turkey, Demirel told deputies. Turkey's aspirations to become a full EU member is Turkey's free choice, he added. "It is an inseparable part of Turkey's strategic vision" he went on to say. He also pointed out that having good relations with Germany, Turkey's largest trading partner, is vital for Ankara. He congratulated the German Social Democrats on their victory and expressed a wish to start a new, constructive dialogue with Bonn.
Demirel stated that good relations between Turkey and Greece would serve the interests of both neighbour countries, who are also NATO allies. He called on both sides to avoid unilateral actions that could provoke disputes and to respect each other's rights in the Aegean Sea. Demirel said that the deadlock in the Middle East peace process brings the danger of eliminating hopes of peace in the Mideast. A peace in the Middle East has a vital importance for the stability of the eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish president said that Turkey is ready to cooperate with all relevant countries to achieve peace in the region. /All papers/
 DEMIREL OFF TO MACEDONIAPresident Suleyman Demirel will go to Macedonia today as the official guest of Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov. According to the presidential press office, State Minister Isin Celebi, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mustafa Tasar and Head of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Murat Karayalcin and a group of high level officials will accompany Demirel during his two-day visit to Macedonia. /Cumhuriyet/
 OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL ORGANIZATIONTeams from the Istanbul Security Administration's Struggle against Terrorism and Intelligence departments have jointly carried out operations against the illegal Turkey Communist Labour Party_Leninist (TKEP-L) organization in Istanbul. Seven members of the organization have been apprehended and await trial. /Hurriyet/
 TEN THOUSAND TROOPS DEPLOYED IN TUNCELIA large scale operation against the PKK terrorist organization was launched by the Turkish Armed Forces two days ago in rural areas around the southeastern city of Tunceli, where a 100_strong terrorist group is hiding. In the first day of the operation, three terrorists were killed. Backed by military aircraft and helicopters, nearly ten thousand troops are engaged in the operation.
Meanwhile, five terrorists were apprehended in rural areas near the eastern district of Catak near Van.
ARGK, the armed wing of the PKK terrorist organization, has declared that the PKK lost 72 members in 63 operations carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces over the past month. ARGK also noted that Turkish forces had continued their anti-PKK operations despite a ceasefire declared by Abdullah Ocalan, head of the PKK, beginning from September 1. /Hurriyet/
 NATO EXERCISES IN ISKENDERUNThe Turkey part of the "DYNAMIC MIX '98" NATO exercises started yesterday in Iskenderun. Military sources noted that the exercises were being carried out in a very disciplined manner and that the organization was ready to deal with every unpredicted situation. /Milliyet/
 TURKEY WARNS SYRIA OF 'RIGHT TO RETALIATE'Ankara warned Syria on Wednesday to stop provoking the Arab world, end its support for the PKK terrorist organization and reminded Damascus of Turkey's 'right to retaliate'. The strongest warning to Syria came from President Suleyman Demirel. Inaugurating the new legislative term of the Turkish Parliament, Demirel warned Syria that it should end its hostile attitude towards Turkey.
He complained that despite Turkey's repeated warnings and peaceful initiatives, Damascus was trying to provoke the Arab world against Ankara using Turkey's relations with Israel as a pretext. Meanwhile, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu, who attended a reception given yesterday by Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin, on the occasion of the opening new legislative term, also warned Syria and said: "There is a situation of undeclared war between Turkey and Syria".
Demirel also stressed that although the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)'s recent pledge in Washington that the PKK would not be allowed to settle in northern Iraq or stage cross-border operations into Turkey was a welcome development, Demirel said that he would like to underline that the accord between the two Kurdish groups had not been achieved with any contribution from Turkey. /All papers/
 SEZGIN: "THERE IS A LIMIT TO TURKEY'S PATIENCE"Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin said yesterday that Turkey was not massing its troops at the Syrian border. He added that Turkey had 'tried hard' through diplomatic means to get Syria to give up supporting terrorist activities. Continuing, Sezgin said: "Turkey has patience. We believe that the problem can be solved through diplomatic ways but when these diplomatic ways are blocked we will take the necessary steps." /Milliyet/
 MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTNine terrorists have been seized with their arms in Diyarbakir and Van. According to military sources a terrorist yielded to Turkish security forces in Sirnak. They added that operations would continue in the region. /Cumhuriyet/
 BARZANI ASKS PKK TO LEAVE NORTHERN IRAQNecirvan Barzani, a representative of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP), said yesterday during an interview on the the Voice of KDP that a ceasefire in the region meant nothing to the KDP. He called on the PKK to leave northern Iraq completely otherwise the KDP would continue to fight against PKK terrorists. /Cumhuriyet/
 SOUTHERN CYPRUS VIOLATES ARMS EMBARGOIt is understood that southern Cyprus has violated the arms embargo by purchasing weapons from Greece. At the end of a meeting between Greek Defense Minister A. Chacopulos and Greek Cypriot Defense Minister Y. Omiru in Athens it was decided that southern Cyprus can buy weapons whenever she needs from Greece. According to a report in the Greek daily Eksusia, Greece has already sent high-tech radar systems to the island, although the US and most of the arms-producing countries in the world do not sell arms to the island. It is also reported that Greek arms sales will increase tension on the island, and that diplomatic circles are anxious about Ankara's reaction to the new Greek armament programme. /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS SEEKS SUPPORTRauf Denktas, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), is in New York to have talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to meet the president of the Security Council. He said his confederation plan for the island is a 'historic opportunity', a plan he discussed with Annan on Wednesday. Denktas described support from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries as a way of fostering discussion about the realities on the island, such as those acknowledged by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini and US Cyprus Envoy Richard Holbrooke, who both admitted that there are two separate communities on the island, and that the Greek Cypriots did not represent the Turkish Cypriot community there. /All papers/
 FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTSTurkey paid out $897.6 million in foreign debts in September. According to Central Bank data, the Treasury paid $799.7 million, the Central Bank $23.1 million and the Defense Industry paid $40 million in foreign debts. Since the beginning of this year, $8.603 billion has been paid out in foreign debts.
Meanwhile, Central Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $51 million on September 18-25 and rose to $21.478 billion. /Sabah/
 DRUG OPERATION IN BOLUDuring operations carried out by members of the Narcotics Department of the Security Office in Bolu, 22.9 kg. of hashish was seized yesterday. Two people were taken into custody following the incident. Security officials in Bolu noted that during their operations a total of 246 kg. of drugs has been confiscated in one year, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.
 TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO ROME WILL COME TO ANKARATension in Turkish-Italian relations is increasing following a meeting of the so-called Kurdish Parliament-in-exile in Rome. Turkey, which has not yet received a satisfactory reply from Italy, is calling Turkish Ambassador to Rome Inal Batu to Ankara. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said: "We are not recalling our ambassador, we are merely calling him back for negotiations". Ankara, which is waiting for a guarantee from Italy that there will be no repetition of the incident, is not satisfied with the letter sent by Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini to Cem. Dini in his letter said that the meeting of the so-called Kurdish Parliament had no connection with the Italian government.
Ambassador Batu made a statement yesterday evening and said that he would be in Ankara on Monday. Turkey expects Italy to openly declare that the PKK is a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu said: "Turkey and Italy have taken joint decisions to struggle against terrorism within the NATO. However a small group in Italy supports these kinds of terrorist activities". /Sabah/
 RAHMI KOC REACTS AGAINST ITALYChairman of KOC Holding Executive Board, Rahmi Koc, stated yesterday that they were highly disturbed by the meeting of the Kurdish parliament-in-exile in the Italian Parliament. Koc sent a diplomatic letter to the representatives of their Italian partner Fiat saying that the 'event' was unacceptable. Koc added that a delegation of KOC-Fiat joint venture representatives would go to Italy to hold contacts about the issue. /Milliyet/
 ATTACK ON TURKISH EMBASSY IN TEHRANAn unidentified person attacked the Turkish Embassy in Tehran two days ago. The attacker first broke the glass of a bulletin board on the wall near the entrance door of the embassy and tore into pieces a poster of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, hung on the board. Officials from the embassy captured the attacker and handed him over to the police. The Turkish Embassy wants the attacker to be tried and punished. /Sabah/
 TURKISH-BELGIAN JOINT COMMISSION MEETSAn inter-governmental Belgian-Turkish Joint Commission for Economic, Industrial and Technological Cooperation held a meeting in Ankara yesterday. The main purpose of the meeting was to overview present bilateral economic relations between Turkey and Belgium, and to explore opportunities for future cooperation. /All papers/
 YILMAZ APPROVES ASIK'S RESIGNATIONPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday said he had accepted State Minister Eyup Asik's resignation, which the deputy submitted last week, and added that he will not appoint someone new yet. "Another minister will fill-in for the time being" the prime minister said, without giving any names, during a parliamentary group meeting of the Motherland Party (ANAP) in Ankara. /All papers/
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