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Turkish Press Review, 96-07-25
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
THURSDAY JULY 25, 1996
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 BELARUSSIAN PRESIDENT IN ANKARABelarussian President Alexander Lukasenko arrived in Turkey yesterday as the official guest of President Suleyman Demirel. Demirel welcomed Lukasenko with an official ceremony held at Cankaya Palace. Demirel said that Turkey supported Belarussian reforms in the fields of economics and politics. "We believe that this transformation, in spite of the difficulties involved, will be beneficial for the Belarussian people, the whole region, Turkey and the international community" Demirel said. Demirel noted that the Turkish regional aim of improving relations with the newly-emerging states after the collapse of the Soviet Union would contribute to peace and stability in the region. He also said that bilateral economic relations between Turkey and Belarus were rapidly growing, a hopeful sign.
Lukasenko's visit is the first at the presidential level, marking what Demirel called the start of "a new era". Lukasenko called Turkey a partner with promise for the future with which Belarus was keen to cooperate. Last year trade volume between the two countries was $53 million, leaving room for improvement, Lukasenko said. He also spoke of the scope for technological help from Turkey, praising the good quality of Turkish exports. Belarus exports, he said, were limited to confectionary and raw fabric.
Following the meetings held between the delegations of the two countries, "Good friendship and neighbourliness", "Cooperation in tourism", "Prevention of double taxation", "$20 million in credit from Eximbank" and "Prevention of organized crimes and smuggling" agreements were signed. Following the meetings, Lukasenko received Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. Later, Lukasenko attended a banquet given in his honour by President Demirel. /Sabah-Cumhuriyet/
 17 PKK MILITANTS KILLEDTurkish security forces killed 17 militants of the PKK terrorist organization. Four members of the Turkish security forces died in separate clashes in the southeast of the country, the emergency rule governor's office said on Wednesday. The governor's office said in a statement that three security officials, including one village guard, were killed in clashes on Monday. Fifteeen PKK terrorists, among them four women, were killed during fighting in Hakkari province and another two died in clashes in Mus province, the statement said. Meanwhile, nearly 15 terrorists who raided the Adamli Village of Sivas the previous night killed two villagers. /Cumhuriyet-Sabah/
 DEMIREL'S LETTER TO CLINTONPresident Suleyman Demirel sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton on 16 July and noted that he supported Washington's efforts regarding the Cyprus issue. Demirel also said that Turkey would cooperate with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to resolve the Cyprus issue and expressed Ankara's concerns over European Union (EU) involvement. It is reported that the Cyprus issue was also on the agenda at a luncheon given in honour of undersecretaries of NATO-member countries by officials of the US Embassy in Ankara the previous day. US Embassy officials briefed the undersecretaries about the contacts of US Ambassador to the UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright who visited Ankara last week. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY TO TAX DECLARED INTEREST EARNINGSTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller said on Wednesday that the government would impose a tax on declared interest earnings. "declared interest earnings will be taxed" she said at a party meeting, without making any further clarification. "This should not be seen as an intervention in the market economy" she said. Under current tax law, a tax exemption on annual interest earnings in Turkey will expire at the end of 1996. After then, interest earnings above TL 10 billion will be taxed. /All papers/
 TURKISH SHIPPING INDUSTRY TO DOUBLE INCOME BY 2000The Turkish shipping industry may double its contribution to the economy to $10 billion a year from $5 billion in 1995 if Turkish-flagged ships can secure a bigger share in the country's foreign trade, a report said. The report, prepared by the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, said Turkish tankers should carry more of its oil imports and Turkey must have an international shipping registration to help the industry's development. The fleet capacity would also double to 20 million deadweight tons (dwt) by 2000 from the present 11 million if the fleet was modernized and more container-type ships were purchased, it said.
The deadweight tonnage of the Turkish fleet was up by 12 % in 1996 from a year ago. The Turkish fleet currently has 1,153 ships, which are on average 17 years old. /All papers/
 PKK ON THE AGENDASatellite photos taken by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad have proved that new PKK camps had been established in Greece and Southern Cyprus, and that Syrian and Iranian support for the separatists is increasing. The pictures do not verify the claims of Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Burucerdi that "there were no PKK camps in Iranian territory" and in contrast prove that preparations for the establishment of a new PKK camp in Umuriye near Hakkari were going on.
On the other hand, PKK representatives met early this week in Erevan, Armenia. The meeting was organized by the Kurdish Committee in Armenia, an extention of the PKK. In a speech at the meeting Mahir Velat, PKK representative in the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Eastern Europe, dwelt on the political support extended by Armenia to the organization.
During operations initiated near the Turkey-Iran-Iraq border, 57 PKK terrorists were killed. During clashes with the security forces in Cururca, Mus and Bitlis another 17 terrorists and three members of the Turkish security forces were killed. /Milliyet/
 DEMIREL COMMENTS ON SYRIAN SUPPORT FOR PKKIn a statement to the El Mussavar magazine, an official publication of the Egyptian government, President Suleyman Demirel pointed out that Syrian activities create the impression that Syria was trying to create instability in Turkey and in this way to force Turkey into giving concessions on the water problem. Demirel noted that to accomplish its goals "Syria was giving support to an organization trying to divide Turkey and seen by the Turkish people as a group of terrorists. /Milliyet/
 PROVIDE COMFORT NEGOTIATIONS GOING ONWhile negotiations between Turkey and the Provide Comfort partners on the future of the multinational force stationed in Turkey are going on, the US is trying to convince Turkish officials with promises for providing more information on PKK activities. The National Security Council convenes today in Istanbul to discuss the issue. The Turkish Grand National Assembly will decide whether or not to extend the period of stay of the multinational force after six days. /Cumhuriyet/
 "TIR" PROBLEM WITH RUSSIAThe Russian government has stopped the entry permission for TIR truks arriving from Turkey at the borders of the Russian Federation. This decision has been taken due to the fact that talks on railroad transportation between Russia and Turkey have not reached an agreement so far. The Turkish Embassy in Moscow has initiated steps to block this implementation by the Russian government. As a temporary solution, the Russian Ministry of Transportation has prepared two thousand additional passage certificates for the Turkish Embassy. /Cumhuriyet/
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