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Turkish Press Review, 98-10-06

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

06.10.98

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY: "PEACE NOT WAR"
  • [02] PKK TRAINED IN DAMASCUS
  • [03] US WARNS SYRIA
  • [04] TURKEY'S DIPLOMATIC ATTACK
  • [05] STATE MINISTER ATTENDS ECONOMIC MEETING
  • [06] DEMIREL,"DO NOT LEAVE RUSSIA"
  • [07] YILMAZ OPENS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION MEETING
  • [08] EU DISCUSSES CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [09] "DEFENCE" ADVANCES ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF TURKEY
  • [10] AKTUNA APPOINTED AS STATE MINISTER
  • [11] GERMAN COMMANDER IN ANKARA
  • [12] TURKEY JOINS FIGHT AGAINST LAND MINES

  • [01] TURKEY: "PEACE NOT WAR"

    Despite the continuing tension between Turkey and Syria that is verging on the edge of confrontation, General Ilhan Kilic said yesterday that although a diplomatic solution to the deepening crisis had not been found, war was not an alternative. He stressed that the situation should not be exaggerated and that the best strategies for dealing with the situation were already in place.

    Nevertheless the whole region is seething with reaction to the heated threats being exchanged between Turkey and Syria over the way Syria has supported and sheltered PKK terrorists who for decades have worked against the regime in Turkey. Although most of the gulf Arab states are showing more support for Damascus, and Iraq has called on Turkey to withdraw military units from northern Iraq, Ankara is standing firm and demanding that Syria agree to proposals to destroy the PKK terror organization for good.

    Today Egyptian Head of State Husnu Mubarek will have talks with President Suleyman Demirel, and the Syrian situation will most certainly head the list of topics under discussion, despite the fact that the Turkish Foreign Ministry denies that Mubarek is in Turkey as some kind of mediator. President Demirel is expected to convey to the Syrians via Mubarek that Syria must solve the PKK problem because the terrorist organization is the cause of increasing enmity between the two countries. Demirel will again stress that if Syrian Head of State Hafiz Esad continues to give support to the PKK, then the consequences will be severe.

    With foreign journals like the "US News and World Report" also reporting that Syria has been training PKK units to strike targets in Turkey, the issue has become even more crucial to Turkey's interests and must be solved. Ankara's calls to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to surrender have long gone unheeded, but with pressures building up on every side, the next few days might see a solution. /All papers/

    [02] PKK TRAINED IN DAMASCUS

    According to the "U.S. News and World Report" magazine issued on 20 April, 1998, Syrian leader Hafiz Esad had decided to blow up Birecik Dam, one of the most important dams included in Turkey's giant GAP project, and that Syrian soldiers trained PKK militants to carry out the plan. According to the report, Hafiz Esad, who thinks Turkey will dry up the water resource of the River Euphrates because of the dams and electric power plants being constructed in the southeast Anatolia region of Turkey, wanted to take revenge against Turkey by blowing up the dam. /Sabah/

    [03] US WARNS SYRIA

    U.S. Secretary of State Spokesman James Foley said that the US wants a diplomatic solution in the Turkey-Syria crisis. Foley said, "The PKK is a terrorist organization. It is known that Syria has been supporting this terrorist organization. We call on Syria to cut this support. It is also known that PKK leaders are sheltered in Syria. Turkey has the right to carry out operations in northern Iraq." /Sabah/

    [04] TURKEY'S DIPLOMATIC ATTACK

    Turkey is starting a diplomatic attack to deal with the Syrian crisis through the offices of the UN Security Council, the European Union, the European Council, NATO and the Islamic Conference Organization. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will send messages to the member countries of the organizations mentioned above explaining the strong position of Turkey in relation to the increasing tension between Turkey and Syria.

    Representatives of the Turkish Foreign Ministry abroad will hold contacts with officials of the countries where they are assigned to explian Turkey's attitude and very justifiable reasons regarding the Syrian crisis. /Sabah/

    [05] STATE MINISTER ATTENDS ECONOMIC MEETING

    State Minister Responsible for Economic Affairs Gunes Taner has gone to Washington to attend the annual joint meeting of the IMF and the World Bank. In a meeting with the Turkish press Taner stated that the target for 1998 inflation was still reachable, but there could be a slight deviation from the 1999 inflation target. Taner said that despite all the problems, the ministry had not prepared an additional budget. Nevertheless, the government was insistent on the target set for holding down inflation. He added, "Due to the global economic crisis we may have to reset the target for 1999 at slightly over 20%." In answer to a question on the global crisis and Turkey, Taner replied, "At the moment nothing is clear. At first the bleeding has to be stopped with aid during and after the elections in Brazil. Secondly, the Asian countries have to be supported. The third step to be taken on the matter will be to strengthen the markets affected by the crisis with the support of the IMF and the World Bank."

    On President Clinton's proposal to aid countries not only directly affected by the crisis, but also those likely to be affected later by the crisis, Taner said, "Turkey is not in a crisis, nor is it a candidate for a crisis. However we have some worries due to uneasiness in the markets." /Hurriyet/

    [06] DEMIREL,"DO NOT LEAVE RUSSIA"

    President Suleyman Demirel yesterday stated that the US and Europe would certainly find a way out of the economic crisis rocking the whole world, and added that Turkish exporters should not lose the markets they have gained. Demirel, speaking at the opening of the First Foreign Trade Week said, 'Globalization is an ocean where big fish eat little fish. Don't be little fish." /Hurriyet/

    [07] YILMAZ OPENS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION MEETING

    A free market economy cannot exist in a country where competition is banned or limited, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz declared yesterday in Istanbul. Yilmaz, speaking at the opening of an international symposium on competition, said that Turkey supported free market economic policies since 1983, leading to growth in the nation's trade with 135 countries. Yilmaz noted that research and development was vital for the future growth of Turkey. Representatives from 16 European and Asian countries and several international organizations, are participating in the two-day conference in Istanbul organized by the Turkish Competition Board. /Hurriyet/

    [08] EU DISCUSSES CYPRUS ISSUE

    In a European Union (EU) foreign ministers summit meeting held in Luxembourg, Greek and French foreign ministers clashed over the decades-old Cyprus issue. During the meeting, in which the EU "expansion process" was high on the agenda, French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine opposed the unilateral inclusion of the Southern Cypriot Administration in the "negotiation process" talks to be held on November 10, suggesting that political problems and geographic separation on the island would cause serious problems. Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos , for his part, said that discussion of the candidacy of a country which is recognized by every country except Turkey, was futile. The reactions of Germany and the Netherlands over the issue were similar to that of France, though theirs were more moderate. /Milliyet/

    [09] "DEFENCE" ADVANCES ARGUMENT IN FAVOUR OF TURKEY

    In its October issue, "Defence" magazine proposes that nearly 150 islands in the Aegean Sea belong to Turkey. An article entitled "Turkish Islands Hidden in Aegean", argues that those islands are an inheritance from the Ottoman Empire and that Greece lays claim to islands to which it has no right under any agreement. /Milliyet/

    [10] AKTUNA APPOINTED AS STATE MINISTER

    Yildirim Aktuna, Istanbul deputy from the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP), has been appointed to the state ministry post which was vacated with the resignation of Refaiddin Sahin. The appointment was confirmed in the Official gazette yesterday. /All papers/

    [11] GERMAN COMMANDER IN ANKARA

    Land Forces Commander Atilla Ates on Monday received his German counterpart, Lt. General Helmut Willmann reports the Anatolia news agency. The visiting commander was greeted by Ates at the Land Forces headquarters in Ankara. A meeting between the commanders was closed to the press. General Willmann will leave Turkey on October 8.

    [12] TURKEY JOINS FIGHT AGAINST LAND MINES

    Turkey has committed its support to a project signed by nine European countries that forseeses the eradication of land mines buried in the ground by utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned land vehicles. In accordance with the project, Turkey will, with other countries, produce the technology that will be used in detecting land mines from the air with infrared cameras and destroying them with unmanned vehicles, reported the Anatolia news agency yesterday. The project, in which Turkey has an 8 percent participation share, will cost an estimated 34 million ECU.
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