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Turkish Press Review, 98-10-08

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

08.10.98

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] LAST CHANCE FOR SYRIA
  • [02] HISTORIC DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT
  • [03] SYRIAN PEOPLE AFRAID OF PKK
  • [04] TURKISH PUBLISHERS IN FRANKFURT
  • [05] TANER BRIEFS JOURNALISTS
  • [06] TURKEY-IRAN TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT
  • [07] TEMIZEL: NATIONS COOPERATE TO FIGHT GRAFT
  • [08] DENKTAS TO ADDRESS TADA GATHERING IN WASHINGTON
  • [09] TURKEY WILL BE THE VICTOR
  • [10] THE US: TRY PINPOINT OPERATIONS
  • [11] NATO: WE ARE CLOSELY MONITORING THE TENSION
  • [12] 500 SYRIAN TERRORISTS CAUGHT
  • [13] ITALY CONDEMNED IN PARLIAMENT

  • [01] LAST CHANCE FOR SYRIA

    Although Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said yesterday that Turkey does not want to start a war with Syria, Parliament nevertheless gave the finishing touches to plans designed to deal with Syria should Damascus continue to ignore warnings coming from Turkey.

    Ankara has again confirmed that it will not tolerate Syrian support for PKK terrorism. The government will take measures to eradicate support for the PKK terrorist organization, but on the other hand the door leading to a possible diplomatic solution is being left wide open.

    Updating the situation yesterday, Yilmaz said that Syria, by supporting terrorism directed against Turkey, was in fact waging a surreptious war against Turkey - and that this was going to be stopped. Turkey has however, embarked on a huge diplomatic drive to inform world public opinion about Syrian involvement with terrorism. Turkey will detail how Syria supports terrorism both logistically and by providing training facilities. Egyptian Head of State Husnu Mubarek, acting as a kind of mediator between Turkey and Syria has also been provided with the same details in a move to show the Syrians that they cannot hide behind a front of lies and denials.

    Turkish political parties are united in agreement over the kind of measures that must be taken against Syria. Armed Forces commanders confirm that they will not hesitate to use the powers conferred upon them by the government following parliamentary decisions. Syria has a short period of grace during which Damascus must show that serious warnings of enforcement have been heeded. /All papers/

    [02] HISTORIC DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT

    Tensions between Turkey and Syria have been the focus of attention in Parliament for the past week. Debate over this issue reached a climax yesterday when Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz made what the papers describe as a "historic" speech calling for greater powers to deal with the situation. Stressing that Turkey was not pushing for military action against Syria, Yilmaz said that workable diplomatic solutions would not be ruled out. In a declaration of firm commitment to ending Syrian support for PKK terrorism, Yilmaz went on to say that for years Turkey has exerted every effort to resolve differences with Syria. "In this area we have been positive and well-intentioned in our approach to this issue" declared Yilmaz.

    Noting that Turkey has scrupulously avoided doing anything that could possibly be misconstrued as being disrespectful of Syrian national integrity, Syria nevertheless set up alliances and initiated new armament programmes, declared Yilmaz. He added that support of terrorism directed against Turkey featured prominently in Syria's own acts against Turkey's interests, and Syria's further designs to disrupt the domestic regime in Turkey.

    Denying Syrian claims that Turkey had abused water resources that Syria also had rights to, Yilmaz stressed that Turkey had been generous in the supplies of water flowing into Syria from Turkey. He noted that Syria too had lost many of its people-women and children- because of terrorist conflict.

    In his noteworthy speech yesterday, Yilmaz stressed again the patience that Turkey has shown in the face of blatant acts of terrorist aggression supported by Syria, and again declared that this cannot continue. He then expressed hope that Syria would come to understand the seriousness of the situation and bring an end to sheltering terrorists in Syrian territory. /All papers/

    [03] SYRIAN PEOPLE AFRAID OF PKK

    Syrian Consulate to Istanbul, Dr. Ghyas Anis said in a report to daily Milliyet newspaper that Syria does not want war with friendly countries. Anis claimed that tension between Syria and Turkey started with the recent developments in Turco-Israeli relations. "Historical relations between Turkey and Syria cannot be damaged because these relations between the sides are very strong", said Anis adding that the PKK was known as an illegal organization in Syria and that even theSyrian people were afraid of the PKK. Anis, futher, claimed that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was not in Syria but somewhere in northern Iraq.

    Anis concluded he hoped that the Turkey-Syria crisis could be solved through diplomatic means. /Milliyet/

    [04] TURKISH PUBLISHERS IN FRANKFURT

    75 Turkish publishers will participate in the "50th International Frankfurt Book Fair" in Germany with 3,200 publications. After the fair the books will be given as a gift to the Berlin Turkish Culture Centre. According to the Culture Ministry catalogues in Turkish and German have been prepared to give detailed information about the publications. During the fair the Turkish Borusan orchestra will give classical music concerts, the GAP project will be presented through cinevision shows and there will be a ball to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] TANER BRIEFS JOURNALISTS

    State Minister responsible for the economy, Gunes Taner, who is attending autumn meetings of the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the World Bank in Washington, briefed journalist yesterday on the current situation of the Turkish economy. Taner said that they wanted support from the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main opposition party, for passing legislation on new arrangements in the social security system, which he said were necessary for minimizing negative impacts of the global financial crisis on the Turkish economy. Taner also said that the "Close Observation Agreement" signed with the IMF should be abided by even after a new government came to power prior to early elections planned for April, 1999. Answering a question, Taner said that there were no problems in commercial relations with Russia. "On the contrary, we have the opportunity to help them by increasing our natural gas imports," Taner said. /Hurriyet/

    [06] TURKEY-IRAN TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT

    Turkish State Minister responsible for customs, Rifat Serdaroglu and Iranian Transportation Minister Hojjati signed yesterday an agreement on "highway transportation between Iran and Turkey". According to the agreement Turkish trucks will no longer pay 800 dollars when entering Iran. The agreement has especially relieved firms transporting goods to Turkmenistan via Iran. /Hurriyet/

    [07] TEMIZEL: NATIONS COOPERATE TO FIGHT GRAFT

    Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel Wednesday urged closer international cooperation in fighting corruption and money laundering. 82 delegates from 15 countries and a dozen international organizations are participating in a three-day seminar, which began Wednesday in Istanbul. The seminar is organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Istanbul Center for the Development of the Private Sector, and USAID, a US government aid agency.

    Temizel warned that corruption had undermined ethics and standards in Turkey and other countries. /Hurriyet/

    [08] DENKTAS TO ADDRESS TADA GATHERING IN WASHINGTON

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas, will deliver a speech on Thursday, the first day of the annual meeting of the Turkish-American Associations' Assembly (TADA) in Washington. Denktas, who already met US special envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrook last Saturday in New York, is expected to have talks with US special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Miller, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.

    Baki Ilkin, Turkish Ambassador to Washington, Mark Parris, American Ambassador to Ankara, former ambassador Sukru Elekdag of Turkey and Morton Abromovitz of the United States, as well as a number of experts on the Middle East will speak on a Turco-American relations, regional security, Turkey's relations with Europe and the Balkan countries.

    [09] TURKEY WILL BE THE VICTOR

    Editor of the leading British military strategy magazine "Jane's Defence Weekly", Clifford Beal, has evaluated a possible war between Turkey and Syria. Beal said that it was hard to guess the duration of a clash between Turkey and Syria and added, "If a war breaks out, Turkey will be the one to strike first and a cease-fire will be declared through international efforts. Or Turkey will bomb specific targets in Syria. In any case, the victor will be Turkey." Beal then analyzed the armies of both countries. He said, "Turkey has a modern and well-trained army that is the best in the region. The Turkish army is in very good condition from the standpoints of personnel, equipment and maintenance. The Syrian army is not that well trained and its equipment is old. The most frightening weapon Syria has is biological and chemical. However it would be madness to try using them." /Sabah/

    [10] THE US: TRY PINPOINT OPERATIONS

    A high level US official said Washington was closely following the latest developments between Turkey and Syria and said, "The main US concern in case of a military operation against Syria, is that civilians may be harmed. We have communicated these concerns to Turkish officials." He added that Turkey could engage in pinpoint bombing operations against terrorist targets in Syria.

    The official also noted that Turkey had great political, strategic, and economic importance for the US. Stating that the US understood Turkish concerns over terrorism, the official said, "Even the Europeans have policies that support the terrorists. We are against terrorism and have voiced this opinion frequently./Sabah/

    [11] NATO: WE ARE CLOSELY MONITORING THE TENSION

    Nato sources said yesterday that the Syrian problem was not on the official agenda of the Alliance. However it was noted that all delegations and the Secretariat were well informed on the situation and closely folowing it. In answer to a question by an Arab reporter on how he evaluated the tension between Turkey and Syria Nato Secretary General Javier Solana said that he was closely monitoring the developments./Sabah/

    [12] 500 SYRIAN TERRORISTS CAUGHT

    A top Foreign Ministry official yesterday stated that Syria gave all kinds of logistic support to the PKK, allocated camps and exempted Kurds in Syria from military duty if they participated in acts of PKK terror. The same official added that Syria turned a blind eye to drug trafficking and had a share in drug related profits. In another development, Turkish security officials have arrested 500 Syrian citizens working for the PKK. Their trial in the military courts has already begun. /Sabah/

    [13] ITALY CONDEMNED IN PARLIAMENT

    The Turkish-Italian Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group held a meeting yesterday and condemned the recent meeting of the so-called Kurdish parliament-in-exile in Italy. The Chairman of the Friendship Group Ali Rahmi Beyreli said, "The attitude of our Italian colleagues has disappointed us. They could have barred this meeting had they wanted." Turkish Ambassador in Rome Inal Batu also attended the meeting and briefed the parliamentarians./Sabah/
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