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Turkish Press Review, 96-07-05
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
FRIDAY JULY 5, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 TURKEY WELCOMES BORIS YELTSIN WINAnkara has welcomed Boris Yeltsin's victory in the Russian presidential electlon, and hopes ties between the two countries will strengthen after the elections.
"The election results show the belief of the Russian people in democracy, and in such an atmosphere Turkey hopes for the strengthening of ties", a senior diplomat from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
It is reported that President Suleyman Demirel sent a congratulatory message to Yeltsin. Demirel said in his message that elections in Russia should be viewed as "a victory for democracy and reforms" and pointed out that relations between Turkey and Russia should further advance. /Cumhuriyet/
 YELTSIN WINS IN ANKARANinety percent of the Russian electorate living in Turkey supported Yeltsin in the second round of the Russian presidential elections. 3,800 of the total electorate amounting to 4,310 persons voted for Yeltsin, while the remaining 510 voters were either for Zyuganov, or against both candidates. /Sabah/
 DEMIREL CONGRATULATES CLINTONPresident Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey shared global responsibilities with the US. Demirel sent a congratulatory message to US President Bill Clinton on the 220th anniversary of US Independence Day. Noting that both Turkey and the US have been faced with threats against peace and stability, Demirel pointed out that Turco-US cooperation was of great importance. Demirel expressed his belief that a partnership relation cultivated on a basis of common interests and democratic values between the two countries would further develop. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRNC GOVERNMENT RESIGNSThe right-left coalition government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus resigned yesterday.
Prime Minister Hakki Atun handed in his resignation to President Rauf Denktas in a meeting attended by journalists. Denktas asked him to stay on in a caretaker capacity.
Atun's administration has been hit by disagreement between his rightist Democrat Party and its socialist Republican Turks' Party ally. /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEYForeign Minister Tansu Ciller said that at the initiative of the NATO secretary-general, new Confidence-Building Measures (CBM) had been initiated between Greece and Turkey. Ciller on Wednesday said that the two countries would not hold military exercises from July to September in the Aegean Sea. She said they were waiting for further clarification from Javier Solana, secretary-general of NATO about the CBMs, which she said had created an atmosphere suitable for solving problems between the two countries. "Turkey welcomes the initiatives of the secretary-general. We want to solve the problems between the two countries and respect each other's interests. Turkey does not want to escalate the situation" Ciller said. /Cumhuriyet/
 US PLEASED WITH TARNOFF'S VISIT TO TURKEYDuring the first official contact the Clinton administration has had with the new Turkish coalition government headed by Necmettin Erbakan, chairman of the Welfare Party (RP), the ties of friendship and alliance between Turkey and the US were confirmed, according to a State Department senior official. US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns characterized the contacts Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff had with President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller, and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen as "a very good set of meetings, very full set of meetings". "Undersecretary Tarnoff is pleased with the meeting he had with the new prime minister" Burns said.
Burns said on Wednesday that Tarnoff and Deputy Undersecretary for Defence Jan Lodal, during their meetings with Turkish senior officials in Ankara, "underscored Turkey's very important place in the West connected to the US, to Europe, through the customs agreement that we all worked so hard on". Burns went on to describe the two countries' relationship as NATO allies as the "bedrock of Turkish American security". Burns said that Turkey was "the only democratic and secular Muslim state in the region".
Tranoff is said to have "emphasized our continued willingness... to act as a facilitator to resolve problems between Greece and Turkey" Burns said. US envoy to the UN Ambassador Madeline Albright and Richard Beattie, President linton's personal Cyprus envoy, will visit the island in late July for the "big push" promised by former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.
In respect to the extension of Operation Provide Comfort, an international force deployed in Turkey, Burns quoted Tarnoff as saying "We expect Operation Provide Comfort to be extended".
Burns added: "I think Prime Minister Erbakan is well aware, through his long experince in the Turkish political system, of the important relationship that the US has with Turkey, and the fact that we have been a defender of Turkish sovereignty when times were tough during the Cold War, and that continues, and that we have a mutually supportive relationship that benefits the Turkish people as well as the American people". /Cumhuriyet-Milliyet/
 TURKEY IS WORLD'S SIXTH LARGEST ARMS IMPORTERTurkey was the sixth-largest arms importer in the world in 1994, according to official US data realised by the U.S. Army Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). But in terms of GNP per capita, Turkey ranks 78th in the world, with $2,075 per capita, according to ACDA. In terms of military expenditure as a percentage of total GNP, Turkey ranked 36th with 4.1 percent. Turkey imported $950 million-worth of arms in 1994, mainly from the United States. Turkey amassed "slightly over $3 billion in purchases in 1992-1994, accounting for 23 % of the European total" the ACDA report said. Of those arms, $2.5 billion-worth were imported from the US; $220 million from France; $120 million from Russia; $90 million from Germany; and $70 million from the United Kingdom.
The top five arms importers in 1994 were :Saudi Arabi (5.2 bn); Egypt ($1.5 bn); US ($1.1 bn); Israel ($1 bn); and South Korea ($1 bn). Turkey has the seventh-largest armed forces in the world, with a total of 811,000 troops. The ACDA report says that total arms exports have declined by 73 % since the beginning of the decade. /Sabah-Hurriyet/
 IRANIAN DAILY EXPECTS BETTER TIES WITH TURKEYAn editorial that appeared yesterday in Iran's daily "Iran News" said that Iran "has begun to hear encouraging words" from Ankara since Necmettin Erbakan became prime minister. However, it also said that "the people of the Middle East expect more exact action on some specific subjects". The newspaper called Erbakan's statement demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied lands "refreshing".
The editorial said that the only way to protest against repression by the industrialized countries was for the Third World to form a unified front. Consequently, the editorial said: "Erbakan should carry out his historic responsibilities. The Middle Eastern people expect Turkey to concentrate on regional and Third World interests rather than concentrating on the welfare of the Zionists and of the West". /Sabah/
 SHARA SAYS SYRIA WANTS BETTER TIES WITH IRAN, TURKEYSyria said yesterday it was working to improve relations between its non-Arab ally Iran and the rest of the Arab world, particularly between Egypt and Iran, which have been on bad terms for almost two decades. Syrian Foreign Minister Farooq al-Shara, who has paid two visits to Tehran in the past week, said a thaw in relations was in the interests of both sides. Shara also told reporters that he thought the new Islamist-led government in Turkey -another non-Arab neighbour- would make a more conciliatory approach to relations with the Arab world, strained after Turkey signed a military cooperation pact with Israel earlier this year. /All papers/
 "PKK IS A DICTATORSHIP"According to one of the PKK terrorist organization's leaders, the PKK is a dictatorship held in the iron grip of Abdullah "Apo" Ocalan. In an interview with the German press, Selim Curukkaya, a close friend of Ocalan has disclosed the inner workings of the PKK and claimed that Ocalan is not a fighter for freedom - but rather nothing more than a despot, prepared to kill at the slightest excuse.
Declaring that he himself is now a target of Ocalan's vengeance, Curukkaya said in his interview with the German press that he knew of dozens of people in the PKK executed because of Ocalan's despotic rule.
Curukkaya also explained that the PKK is administered from Syria, with Ocalan entertaining ideas that his orders are in fact the commands of God. /Sabah/
 NO PERMISSION FOR MED-TVFrance has again confirmed that it will not issue a permit for the pro-PKK MED-TV channel to broadcast from France. The French Telecom administration has confirmed that it sees the PKK as a separatist terror organization, and that it will not allow MED-TV to broadcast using French Telecom equipment. /Sabah/
 PKK REPRESENTATIVE GOING FOR TRIAL IN GERMANYArrested in London, PKK European representative Kani Yilmaz, will go to Germany for trial following a decision by a British court permitting his extradition to Germany.
Charged with being a member of a known terrorist organization, Yilmaz-real name Faysal Dinleyici- will be tried in Germany for the acts of terrorism he has committed there. /Sabah/
 MEETING ON TURKISH DEMOCRACYThe Konrad Adenauer Foundation has arranged a panel meeting on democracy in Turkey at the Merit Altinel hotel in Ankara. On July 11, Turkish and foreign experts will meet at the hotel to discuss the founding of political parties, their administration and responsibilities. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQ CALLING ON ERBAKAN TO KEEP HIS WORDTaha Yasin Ramazan, Iraqi leader Saddam's right -hand man, has called upon Pr me Minister Necmettin Erbakan to keep his promises in connection with issues involving the Provide Comfort strike force mandate and the UN imposed embargo against Iraq.
During the course of recent political events in Turkey, Erbakan has declared that should he come to power he would bring the Provide Comfort mandate to an end and also do something about breaking the embargo.
Ramazan made his call to Prime Minister Erbakan during an evaluation of political events in Turkey. He noted that stable government in Turkey was of vital importance to Iraq, and stressed that Turkey too was suffering from the embargo against Iraq. /Milliyet/
 A TIME OF BETTER RELATIONS WITH GREECEAll the indications are that things are getting better between Greece and Turkey. Following the death of Andreas Papandreu, and the voting in of his successor Kostas Simitis to the leadership of the PASOK party, there has been a notable "softening" in Greek attitudes towards Turkey. One of the most noteworthy signs is that naval and military exercises will not be carried out by either side in the sensitive Aegean Sea region between July and September. /Hurriyet/
 TAX DEAL BETWEEN TURKEY AND THE EUA new free trade agreement between Turkey and the European Union (EU) European Coal and Steel Community will be signed in Brussels on July 8. The agreement means that Turkey will benefit from a tax deal that will wipe out outstanding tax debts on steel trades. /Cumhuriyet/
 PKK ATTACKS THE PRESSPress representatives were attacked yesterday on the Dinar bridge near Tunceli by PKK terrorists. While nobody was killed or wounded during the attack, in a response operation organized by security forces, two terrorists were killed.
On the other hand, 15 terrorists attacked yesterday a military patrol vehicle in the environments of Olukbasi, Adana, killing one and wounding another soldier. /Hurriyet/
 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION BOOMAccording to a statement by the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) industrial production in May increased by 15 percent in comparison to the same month last year. Even though a decrease in industrial production was marked in April, during the first five months of 1996 total production has shown a growth rate of 7.9 percent. /Milliyet/
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES INCREASECentral Bank foreign exchange reserves increased by $3.4 billion during the first half of the year. Foreign exchange reserves amounting to $12.4.5 billion at the end of 1995, reached $15.9 billion on June 28. According to June 14 data, foreign exchange reserves in commercial banks were $9.3 billion, and gold reserves preserved their previous level of $1.4 billion. As a result, total Turkish foreign exchange and gold reserves amounted to $26.6 billion on June 14, for the first time exceeding $26 billion. /Sabah/
 WATER ISSUE ON THE AGENDASyria and Iraq have started discussions regarding the distribution of the Euphrates River waters. In a statement prior to a meeting of the Syrian and Iraqi delegations, Iraqi Irrigation Minister Muhammet Ziyab El-Ahmet said that the Iraqi government was determined to solve the water question with Turkey. He pointed out that the GAP project initiated in southern Anatolia by Turkey has significantly lowered water levels in the Iraqi part of the Euphrates river, and called on the new Turkish government headed by Necmettin Erbakan to start discussions to find a solution to the water problem.
On the other hand, Arab Union Secretary General Dr.Ismet Abdulmecit also issued a call to Turkey to hold talks with Iraq and Syria for reaching an accord on a "just distribution of the Tigris and Euphrates River waters". The suggestion of Egypt to undertake the role of mediator between the parties has been so far given a cool reception by the Turkish government. Observers are eager to see wheather or not the new Refahyol coalition government will show a different attitude towards the issue. /Milliyet-Hurriyet/
 TURKEY ATTENDS CSCE MEETINGThe 5th session of the Council of Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) conference concerning members of parliament starts today. 600 members of parliament from 55 countries including Turkey with nine representatives, will attend the session. /Cumhuriyet/
 TOURISTS FLOOD TO TURKEYThe State Planning Organisation (SPO) reports that 878 thousand 156 tourists visited Turkey in May. This figure indicates a 19.6 percent increase in the number of visitors to Turkey as compared with the same period last year. According to the SPO, 71.9 percent of tourists arrived by plane, 15.8 percent by road, and 11.4 by sea. /Cumhuriyet/
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