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Turkish Press Review, 99-05-27

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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

27.05.99

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMIREL SENDS MESSAGES TO THE PRESIDENTS OF GUATEMALA, COSTA RICA AND EL SALVADOR
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [03] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [04] FINAL REVISION OF THE COALITION GOVERNMENT
  • [05] PM ECEVIT EVALUATES EFFORTS TO SET UP GOVERNMENT
  • [06] EUROPEAN COUNCIL WARNS TURKEY OVER DEATH PENALTY
  • [07] OCALAN REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN MPs
  • [08] THE US ADMONISHES ATHENS CONCERNING PKK
  • [09] PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE REJECTS ITALIAN APPLICATION
  • [10] WORLD ATTENTION FOCUSES ON OCALAN'S TRIAL
  • [11] STATE SECURITY COURTS UNDER INCREASED SCRUTINY
  • [12] ANKARA'S IRAQI REACTION
  • [13] EUROPEAN MEETING IN THE PRIME MINISTRY
  • [14] TURKISH MINORITY PROBLEM TO BE TAKEN TO THE EP
  • [15] COUNCIL OF STATE: "THE HEADSCRAF IS AN IDEOLOGIC ISSUE"
  • [16] TURCO-IRANIAN RELATIONS
  • [17] DEMIREL SENDS MESSAGES TO THE PRESIDENTS OF GUATEMALA, COSTA RICA AND EL SALVADOR
  • [18] DEMIREL VISITS ALIYEV
  • [19] EUROPEAN GENDARMERIE IN ANKARA
  • [20] BULGARIAN TURKS URGE GOVERNOR'S DISMISSAL
  • [21] GREEK ASSEMBLY ANNOUNCES PATRIARCH AS 'HONORARY CHAIRMAN'
  • [22] "GERMANY SHOULD BE HONEST TOWARDS TURKEY"
  • [23] GERMAN JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY
  • [24] TURKISH BUSINESSMAN PREPARES FUTURE FOR BOSNIAN CHILDREN
  • [25] FREE TRADE ZONE FOR TECHNOLOGY
  • [26] LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS CONFERENCE
  • [27] INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR IN ISTANBUL
  • [28] TRADERS' BANK TO BE ESTABLISHED
  • [29] CHEAP FERTILIZER FROM RUSSIA
  • [30] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [31] THE INSISTENCE OF YILMAZ - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [32] GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME - BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [33] SPECIAL KOSOVO
  • [34] NATO LAUNCHES ITS MOST EXTENSIVE AIR STRIKES
  • [35] MILITARY APPROVES NATO USE OF BANDIRMA AND BALIKESIR BASES
  • [36] KIVRIKOGLU: "TURKEY ALSO STRIKES SERBIAN TARGETS"
  • [37] US WANTS GREECE TO OPEN ITS AIRSPACE
  • [38] RED CRESCENT: EXEMPLARY CAMP
  • [39] WAR DUTY FOR TURKISH PLANES - BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

  • [01] DEMIREL SENDS MESSAGES TO THE PRESIDENTS OF GUATEMALA, COSTA RICA AND EL SALVADOR

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [03] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [04] FINAL REVISION OF THE COALITION GOVERNMENT

    The ongoing efforts to form a Democratic Left Party (DSP)-Nationalist Action Party (MHP)-Motherland Party (ANAP) coalition government have reached the final stage. The three parties have agreed on the major principles of the government while only a few issues are awaiting resolution. It is expected that the distribution of ministries and the formulation of the coalition protocol will be completed today. Following the inter-party commission meeting, Husamettin Ozkan. the Vice Chairman of the DSP, declared that they may well conclude their deliberations and reach a final consensus today. Meanwhile, it is reported that the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Finance, the State Ministry responsible for Rural Affairs, the Treasury Undersecretary and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) are still subject to bargaining among the DSP, MHP and ANAP. However, according to the agreement between the party leaders, it is expected that the DSP and MHP will hold 12 ministries each while ANAP will have 10. As regards the `headscarf' issue, on the other hand, while the DSP wants to solve this question with a binding decree, the MHP and ANAP want to discuss the question in Parliament. The MHP further demands that university students be free to wear a headscarf if they so wish. The three parties have also agreed on the enactment of the Penitence Law, which will apply to all PKK militants with the exception of the leader cadre of the terrorist organization. Last but not least, the parties have reached a consensus on the restriction of the MPs' political immunity, which will also be part of the coalition protocol. /Sabah/

    [05] PM ECEVIT EVALUATES EFFORTS TO SET UP GOVERNMENT

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that the problems in the Turkish economy are heavily dependent on developments abroad. In particular, the rapid increase in oil prices world-wide had had a negative effect on the economy. He added that they would draw up a new timetable for the amendment of the Constitution. He said they would give priority first to discussing the structure of the State Security Courts (DGM) and then banking, the Repentence Law and the Budget would be discussed.

    Evaluating their relations with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Ecevit said that they have not expereinced any problems up to now. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] EUROPEAN COUNCIL WARNS TURKEY OVER DEATH PENALTY

    While initiatives are underway in Turkey to amend the Constitution, essential to bring the State Security Courts (DGMs) upto European standards, a meeting was held yesterday at the European Council concerning the removal of the death penalty. During the meeting, the trial of the head of the PKK terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, was deliberated and it was remarked that if Turkey takes the decision to sentence Ocalan to death, then Turkey's EU membership will be jeopardised. The European Council's Parliamentary Assembly's Permanent Committee approved a report and a related recommendation prepared by the Legal Affairs Commission to remove the death penalty in member countries. /Aksam/

    [07] OCALAN REPORT FROM THE EUROPEAN MPs

    European Parliamentary Members who watched the initial trial of Abdullah Ocalan on 30 April have prepared a report. The report said that the European MPs did not meet with any obstacle while watching the trial. It said, "The Euro MPs were taken to the court room immediately after the lawyers and they were treated as V.I.P.s. Laywers from both the prosecution and the defence were given an equal amount of time and everybody who attended the trial was treated as equals." Hurriyet_

    [08] THE US ADMONISHES ATHENS CONCERNING PKK

    The US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, expressed American concern to the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yorgo Papandreu, as regards the support that Athens supplies to the PKK. It is reported that Albright met Papandreu yesterday in order to discuss the Kosovo issue. However, she also brought Greek support for the PKK terrorist organization to the agenda of the meeting and asked Greece 'to cut her links with terrorism'. After the meeting, Albright announced US determination to help Athens and Ankara re-establish regional peace. /Hurriyet/

    [09] PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE REJECTS ITALIAN APPLICATION

    Ankara's No.2 State Security Court (DGM) has rejected an application submitted by the semi-official Italian news agency, ANSA, to follow the trial of the PKK Chief Abdullah Ocalan. A written statement issued by the Turkish Press Council headed by Oktay Eksi said that the representative of the Anatolia News Agency in Italy, Senhan Bolelli, had been prevented by Italian officials from working in Rome and Bolelli's application for membership of the Foreign Press Association had been overlooked. The statement remarked that this caused the retaliation by Turkish officials and therefore the Prosecutor's Office of No.2 DGM had not accepted the ANSA application to follow Ocalan's trial. /Milliyet/

    [10] WORLD ATTENTION FOCUSES ON OCALAN'S TRIAL

    While many correspondents from foreign countries are coming to Turkey to follow the trial of the PKK Chief Abdullah Ocalan on Imrali Island, the CNN TV station has opened an Internet site on Ocalan. At the site, there are many articles concerning Ocalan's capture and his trial process.

    Meanwhile, a team from the BBC went to Erzurum as part of their visits to Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia and obtained the views of citizens on the Ocalan issue. BBC correspondent Chris Morris said: "When we asked whether or not Ocalan should be executed, everyone said that he should". Morris remarked that the number of those who oppose Ocalan's execution was decreasing day by day. /Aksam/

    [11] STATE SECURITY COURTS UNDER INCREASED SCRUTINY

    Turkey is increasingly debating the structure of the State Security Courts (DGM). Prime Minister-designate and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said that all political parties represented in Parliament share the same point of view about restructuring the DGMs. Ecevit told reporters at the Prime Ministry that there was no problem among the three likely coalition partners. The coalition government between the DSP, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) is expected to be finalized this week. /All papers/

    [12] ANKARA'S IRAQI REACTION

    Turkey has disturbed the process which began with the meeting between the US administration and Iraqi opposition groups in Washington in order to debate the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated concerning the meeting that Turkey was not involved in the issue. Sermet Atacanli, the Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday that the Washington meeting aimed to the newly-elected Iraqi National Congress acquainted (INC) with the US administration. He stressed that Turkey had had no contact with the INC ot the Washington meeting. Atacanli said, "American plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein never concern Turkey. Ankara is never included in the plans and is neither for Saddam nor against him." /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] EUROPEAN MEETING IN THE PRIME MINISTRY

    Under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, a meeting was held yesterday at the Prime Ministry building in order to determine Turkey's strategy prior to the EU's Cologne Summit. Ismail Cem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uluc Ozulker, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry responsible for relations with the EU, and relevant Turkish diplomats attended the meeting during which the messages conveyed by German State Secretary Ischinger were discussed. In turn, Turkey is expected to get the following messages across to Germany: Turkey has adopted full integration with Europe as a national policy, but certain discriminations in the past has impelled Turkey to take some decisions; Turkey will not remain unresponsive to steps that will eliminate the previous injustice committed against Turkey by the EU; Turkey will implement the legal regulations concerning democratization and human rights as soon as possible. The ultimate content of these messages will be determined during the National Security Council (MGK) meeting. /Sabah/

    [14] TURKISH MINORITY PROBLEM TO BE TAKEN TO THE EP

    Member of the European Parliament (EP), Ozan Ceyhun, has requested that more interest be taken in the problems of the Turkish minority living in Greece under difficult conditions; hadded that he would take the issue to the EP. "There are some 'special control' regions which, in reality, are "restricted". This mentality cannot be accepted. I am determined to discuss the situation of the Turkish minority in the EP next term. I will invite representatives of the Turkish minority to the EP to tell the European MPs their problems." /Cumhuriyet/

    [15] COUNCIL OF STATE: "THE HEADSCRAF IS AN IDEOLOGIC ISSUE"

    The Council of State approved the removal of female staff wearing a head-scarf from their position. The Court decided that a female member of staff working as a telephone operator at the Istanbul Cerrahpasa Medical University, who insisted on wearing her headscarf, aimed to damage the peace of the institution both ideologically and politically. The decision stressed that the defendant preferred not to take off her headscarf although she knews the dress code in public institutions. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] TURCO-IRANIAN RELATIONS

    Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Riza Asefi stated that both Turkey and Iran are capable of solving the problems between them, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Asefi confirmed that the Turco-Iranian Joint Economic Commission had been activated and that reciprocal visits were underway to discuss border and security issues.

    [17] DEMIREL SENDS MESSAGES TO THE PRESIDENTS OF GUATEMALA, COSTA RICA AND EL SALVADOR

    President Suleyman Demirel has sent messages to the Presidents of Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador via Ambassador Volkan Vural, Turkey's Permanent Representative to the UN, who went to these countries for this purpose. According to the statement issued by the Office of Turkey's Permanent Representative to the UN, in his messages to Guatemalan President Irigoyen, Costa Rican President Rodrigez and El Salvador's President Flores Demirel urged the improvement of mutual relations between Turkey and these countries. He also requested their support for Turkey's candidacy of the UN Security Council for the 2001-2002 term; the voting concerning this issue will take place in October 2000, reports the Anatolian News Agency.

    [18] DEMIREL VISITS ALIYEV

    President Suleyman Demirel visited Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev who is recuperating in the Kemer district of Antalya following a by-pass operation in the US. Demirel stated that Aliyev's health was good. Aliyev thanked Demirel for his contributions to many issues. /Turkiye/

    [19] EUROPEAN GENDARMERIE IN ANKARA

    The European Gendarmeries' Union meeting has begun in Ankara. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morrocco and the Netherlands are attending the meeting. General Nurettin Cakir, the Head of the Gendarmerie Personnel Department, said at the opening of the meeting that technological developments forced countries to cooperate, to act together. /Hurriyet/

    [20] BULGARIAN TURKS URGE GOVERNOR'S DISMISSAL

    Local administrators of Bulgaria's southern province of Kircaali have urged Prime Minister Ivan Kostov to oust the province's governor, accusing him of anti-Turkish conduct, the Anatolia News Agency reports. Regional representatives and mayors from the Movement for Rights and Freedom (HOH), the Turkish party in Bulgaria, met Kostov and accused Kircaali Governor Plamen Ivanov of 'deliberately of stirring up the ethnic peace' in the province.

    [21] GREEK ASSEMBLY ANNOUNCES PATRIARCH AS 'HONORARY CHAIRMAN'

    The Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomeous, who paid an official visit to Athens, was awarded with a golden shield by the Speaker of the Greek Assembly, Apostolos Kaklamanis. Bartholomeous has been declared 'Honorary Chairman' by the Greek Assembly. Bartholomeous delivered a speech at the Greek Assembly saying that there was freedom of religion in Turkey. Bartholomeous is also expected to visit Turks living in Western Thrace. /Turkiye/

    [22] "GERMANY SHOULD BE HONEST TOWARDS TURKEY"

    The Chairman of the German Industrialists' Confederation, Hans-Olaf Henkel, asked the German media to be honest in their reports concerning Turkey. Henkel said that there was no reason why more German tourists couldn't go to Turkey. Hans-Olef Henkel and the Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Erkut Yuceoglu, held a joint press conference yesterday in Bonn. At the conference Henkel said that the German media should be more honest towards Turkey concerning the incidents which happened in this country. He added such negative news harmed not only Turkey but also Germany because many German tourism agencies invested in planes, hotels and other facilities in Turkey. Yuceoglu said for his part that tourists in Turkey were as safe as the ones in London. /Hurriyet/

    [23] GERMAN JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY

    A group of German journalists who have been invited to Antalya to get better acquainted with Turkey said that the country is faced with an image problem in Europe. In order to remedy the problem, they advised stepping up efforts to keep Europeans accurately informed of developments in the country, the Anatolia News Agency reports.

    [24] TURKISH BUSINESSMAN PREPARES FUTURE FOR BOSNIAN CHILDREN

    Turkish businessman E. Ismet Tanyildiz, who is living in Germany, has invested 1.5 million DM in the education of Bosnian children. As the founder of the 'Tanyildiz Foundation', Tanyildiz has helped Bosnian children since 1997. Recently, he has rebuilt a 200-bed student hostel which was damaged in the war. Tanyildiz has implemented projects particularly concerning the award of scholarships in professional education branches. He stressed that he has new projects in the pipeline, one of which he will initiate at the Antalya University next month and another one concerning the education of orphans in Turkey. /HUrriyet/

    [25] FREE TRADE ZONE FOR TECHNOLOGY

    The first `techno-city' in Turkey, with research centres and housing for 6000 people, is being constructed in Gebze under the aegis of the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Institution (TUBITAK). The techno-city, to contain a `techno-park' as well, will be transformed into a `technology free trade zone' serving as a technology production and export free trade centre. In this respect, Omer Kaymakcalan, the Chairman of TUBITAK's Marmara Research Centre, said, "Knowledge- and information-intensive production is the precondition of playing in the Premier League of the world. The initial point for such production is to construct techno-parks. We are establishing the first techno-park in Turkey which will transform the innovative ideas of young researchers and entrepreneurs into marketable products." /Sabah/

    [26] LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS CONFERENCE

    An international conference to be jointly organized by the Turkish Social, Economic and Political Research Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation will be held in Istanbul on May 29. Prof.Taner Berksoy, Assc.Prof.Korel Goymen, Prof.Erik Albaek, Dr.Lawrence Pratchett and Aydin Koymen will be present at the conference entitled 'Local Administrations and Democracy'. /Milliyet/

    [27] INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR IN ISTANBUL

    A total of 500 firms applied to participate in the seventh International Food and Beverage Fair which will be held between September 30-October 1, 1999 at the World Trade Centre in Istanbul. During the Fair, Turkish cuisine will be promoted. Officials said that the Fair would greatly contribute to exports. /Turkiye/

    [28] TRADERS' BANK TO BE ESTABLISHED

    The Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Traders' and Small Businessmen's Confederation (TESK), Suat Yalkin, said that they were taking the initiative to establish a traders' bank. Yalkin remarked that Turkey was in need of a traders' bank and stressed that in order to set up the bank, 10 trillion TL in capital was required. /Aksam/

    [29] CHEAP FERTILIZER FROM RUSSIA

    Russian fertilizer producers will hold a seminar at the weekend in the Soci district along the Black Sea, attended by Turkish fertilizer importers. It is estimated that contracts for the import of nearly 200,000 tons of fertilizers will be drawn up during the meeting. Experts from the Russian Fertilizer Research Institute who organized the meeting together with the Apatite Fertilizer Company said that even though the price of fertilizer has increased in Russia, it is still cheaper than in the US or other countries. /Aksam/

    [30] FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS ... FROM THE COLUMNS

    [31] THE INSISTENCE OF YILMAZ - BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Fikret Bila, a columnist for `Milliyet', reflects on Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yżlmaz's conditions for the new coalition government. Bila writes:

    "Mesut Yilmaz insists on one issue during the coalition meetings: to be tried before the Supreme Court. He seems quite determined on this issue and says that he has received the support of his future partners as well. He will not even take part in the government for this reason. The underlying reason for his decision is that he does not want to take on political responsibility without being exonerated by the Supreme Court. This will be quite an interesting case for the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). They will have to vote for the trial of their own partner before the Supreme Court. However, due to Yilmaz's insistence on this issue, they will have to support him even though they do not think that this is necessary for him.

    This is the first issue on which Yilmaz has agreed with his future partners. Yet, he expresses the three most important issues in the coalition protocol as this: the civilianization of the State Security Courts (DGMs), social security reforms and local administration reforms. Yilmaz also emphasizes that the restriction of MPs' political immunity will be another important issue that will be included in the coalition protocol.

    The ANAP leader seems confident that a harmonious period of work will start both in the Government and Parliament."

    [32] GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME - BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna writes on the government programme. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is expected to submit the list of the Council of Ministers to President Suleyman Demirel tomorrow. The government programme will be waiting its turn for approval. The Government will present its programme to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and ask for a vote of confidence. Due to the number of seats occupied by the three parties, there is no doubt about the vote of confidence. The government programme will be accepted and receive a vote of confidence.

    Thus, the Election held in April will have produced an executive government. This mechanism which has resulted in losing time and allows for laziness has grown old. It cannot be valid in the 21st century and therefore has to be corrected.

    The programme has to be short, understandable and written in clear Turkish. Long; ambiguious sentences open to different interpretations should be avoided. Everyone should be able to understand it as this coalition is not seen as a vehicle with which to fill the vacuum of power. An executive government which will be able to deal with radical and capital reforms is widely expected. The citizens, the public, and the State are all looking forward to such a government. Even foreign countries are waiting for it.

    Governments are at the peak of their strength when they are first formed and during the short period following this.Therefore, amendments to the Constitution should be brought forward. Since the last Parliament whiled away time with matters of no importance, all the channels of communication in Turkey were closed. They should be re-opened immediately. To regain the credibility and respectibility of the TGNA is a national duty. Reducing the functions of the TGNA to nothing makes fun of the whole community.

    We hope that in assigning Ministers to the Cabinet, the leaders will not favour their friends. There is a consensus of opinion amongst the general public that this government must succeed. Nobody has the right to dash these hopes."

    [33] SPECIAL KOSOVO

    [34] NATO LAUNCHES ITS MOST EXTENSIVE AIR STRIKES

    NATO said yesterday it had unleashed its most extensive air strikes yet on Yugoslavia, and the Alliance pledged to move swiftly in beefing up a peacekeeping force for the embattled province of Kosovo. Reverberations were felt as Allied warplanes bombarded Kosovo's capital, Pristina, its surroundings and the northern city of Novi Sad, Serbian media reported. Sustained NATO strikes were also reported in central and southern regions of Yugoslavia.

    NATO reported early yesterday it had flown 650 sorties in the previous 24 hours, including 284 attack flights, hitting artillery, tanks and mortars in Kosovo; all aircraft had returned safely. Targets also included television and radio relay stations in Belgrade and several other cities. A wide range of army barracks, ammunition storage sites, command posts and petroleum storage sites were also hit. /All papers/

    [35] MILITARY APPROVES NATO USE OF BANDIRMA AND BALIKESIR BASES

    Military air bases in the western Anatolian cities of Balikesir and Bandirma will be opened up for use by NATO warplanes against Yugoslavia, Chief of General Staff Gen.Huseyin Kivrikoglu has said. Kivrikoglu made the announcement late on Tuesday after inspecting the Balikesir base. A third base is expected to be allocated for NATO operations as well. Kivrikoglu remarked that cargo and refuelling planes would be deployed either from the southern Incirlik Air Base, home to US and British jets enforcing a no-fly zone over Northern Iraq, or from a base near the northwestern town of Corlu.

    Kivrikoglu said a total of 54 warplanes will be deployed, 36 at Balikesir and 18 at a second base near Bandirma in June. The planes will use Bulgarian airspace to reach Yugoslavia instead of a short cut over Greece since Athens has not allowed them to fly over its territory. Speaking to reporters, Kivrikoglu said that Greece was acting out of sympathy for its 'Orthodox brothers', but this constituted a crack in NATO solidarity. He also voiced support for deploying a ground force in Kosovo. /All papers/

    [36] KIVRIKOGLU: "TURKEY ALSO STRIKES SERBIAN TARGETS"

    The Chief of the General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu said yesterday that the Turkish Air Force has been rapidly developing in recent years. He added that the Turkish Air Force has had made contributions to maintaining regional peace and stability. Reminding listeners that 10 Turkish aircraft are still based at Ghedi Airbase in Italy, Kivrikoglu noted that these aircraft have also been given 'strike' missions. He recalled that NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia are usually launched at night and Turkish F-16's are very successful in fully destroying their targets. /Hurriyet/

    [37] US WANTS GREECE TO OPEN ITS AIRSPACE

    It is reported that during a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Yorgo Papandreu in Washington, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright expressed concern that Greece had closed its airspace to NATO aircraft deployed in Turkey to carry out air strikes against Yugoslavia. However, there has been no change in the Greek stance. Meanwhile, Albright rejected a Greek proposal that NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia should be suspended for two days. During the meeting, in addition to the Kosovo issue, Turco-Greek problems and the Cyprus issue were also discussed. /Aksam/

    [38] RED CRESCENT: EXEMPLARY CAMP

    Leaders have praised the refugee camp set up by the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) in the Elbasan district of Albania. The Kizilay camp is the only one of the camps in Albania which has distributed hot meals to refugees. To date, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Albanian President Sali Berisha and a delegation from the US Congress have visited the Kizilay camp and praised its contributions to the aid effort.

    The 'Turkish Red Crescent Elbasan Kosovars' Camp' with the capacity to house 5,000 people was opened by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on April 11, 1999. The camp is being protected by a 160-man Turkish army unit. There is another Kizilay camp of the same capacity in Macedonia. /Aksam/

    [39] WAR DUTY FOR TURKISH PLANES - BY ILTER TURKMEN (HURRIYET)

    Former Ambassador Ilter Turkmen expounds on the situation in Kosovo. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "As NATO's strategic and diplomatic hesitancy continues in Kosovo, an important phase in Turkish policy has been initiated. In addition to accepting the bombing of targets by US planes flying from bases in Turkey, the support of Turkish F-16 C_D planes based in Italy was agreed on and their participation in air strikes was permitted.

    Certainly, to grant permission for the use of Turkish bases by NATO is in line with Alliance solidarity and perfectly correct. There can be no serious reservations in the geopolitical circumstances following the Cold War. However, from many aspects the participation of planes in the conflict is a cause of concern.

    The decision came as a surprise, because at present the government has not been formed and the present government should only deal with daily issues. However, on such an important matter no government announcement was made, the public was informed of this decision in an interview with the President. It cannot be ignored that the strikes on targets in Kosovo and Serbia by Turkish planes constitute an act of aggression. Today wars are not announced, but as prisoners are expected to be exchanged in accordance with the rules of war, a lack of formality does not change the fact.

    Turkish pilots will depend on the intellligence and targets chosen by the US officers in charge . There have been some dangeorus mistakes on these matters upto now. If a target is mistakenly hit by a Turkish plane and news about it leaks to the press, negative reactions may be seen in many Balkan countries due to sensitivities coming from the past. The NATO Council has accepted the increase in the number of forces deployed in the countries neighbouring Kosovo. The participation of Turkey in the Peace Force will increase its prestige and diplomatic weight, its participation in strikes within a warring force may backfire."


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