|Tuesday, 25 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 98-02-11
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 IRAN AND RUSSIA ASK TURKEY TO WITHDRAW FROM N.IRAQAccording to IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Mahmud Muhammedi has asked Ankara to draw back Turkish military forces, currently deployed in Northern Iraq to prevent a probable immigration wave to Turkey. Muhammedi claimed that the presence of Turkish soldiers could worsen the present critical situation in the region.
A high-ranking Russian Foreign Ministry official has in fact said that Turkey has increased tensions in northern Iraq by deploying units in the region.
Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has stressed however that at the moment it is out of the question that Turkish Armed Forces are involved in a military incursion into Northern Iraq. Answering questions from the Turkish press at the Prime Ministry, Yilmaz said that if the Turkish Armed Forces had started an operation in the region to prevent migration from the region into Turkey, then the government would have announced this to the press. /Milliyet/
 COOPERATION CALL TO GREECEPrime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said yesterday that Turkey attached great importance to its relations with its neighbours in the Balkans. He added that he hoped that the positive atmosphere of these close relations, and that cooperation between Turkey and the Balkans states would be reflected in relations with Greece.
Yilmaz and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit then received ambassadors from the Balkan states in Ankara. At the reception Yilmaz noted that the Balkans were a window for Turkey to open up to Europe. He said: "We hope that our good relations with the Balkan states will be reflected in our relations with Greece." /Milliyet/
 KILIC MEETS WITH HIS PAKISTANI COUNTERPARTAir Forces Commander General Ilhan Kilic denied recent news about a migration wave towards Turkey. After talking to his Pakistani counterpart General Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi now visiting Ankara, Kilic answered questions about the crisis in the Gulf region. Kilic said that the Turkish Armed Forces had taken the necessary measures to block a mass migration. /Milliyet/
 "IRAQ NOT A THREAT TO TURKEY"A high-ranking official of the Iraqi administration says in a statement to Milliyet daily newspaper that Iraq has never intended to threaten Turkey with chemical weapons. He added that they gave a guarantee to the Turkish people that "such a threat was out of the question". The official noted: "We do not have any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. And even if we have, we will never use such weapons against our neighbour Turkey." He added that such rumours were invented by America in order to secure Turkey's support in a probable military operation in the region. The official said that Iraq would never be involved in a confrontation against Turkey. /Milliyet/
 CEM, EU PROCESS CONTINUESForeign Minister Ismail Cem attended the opening ceremony of conference on "Turkey-EU Relations after the Luxembourg Summit and Turkey's Attitude", organized by the Turkish Research Center. In his speech Cem said that the European Union (EU) process continues and that Turkey should be included in the EU participation process if relations were to be improved. Cem noted: "Turkey knows its defects. We see the EU as a way to improve our economy, to strengthen our institutions and to reach our foreign policy targets more quickly. Nevertheless, Turkey is a powerful country and does not accept everything that offered to her. We have to protect our advantages."
Cem stressed that with the Luxembourg summit results an unfair discrimination had been made against Turkey. Referring to the next EU summit to be held on 12 March, Cem said that Turkey would not attend the summit because the last article of the paragraph describing the EU process said, "With this article, the legal candidacy of all the countries attending the conference is accepted," which means that Turkey would have to accept the candidacy of the Greek Cypriot side in the name of the whole island. Cem added that Turkey would never accept this. /Cumhuriyet/
 PKK PROPAGANDA AT RUSSIAN DUMAThe Geopolitical Issues Committee, directed by ultra-nationalist Vladimir Jirinovski from the lower house of the Russian Parliament or Duma, has been promoting the PKK terrorist organization in Parliament. The committee, which sent invitations to the embassies of various countries in Moscow and to the press announcing a discussion of Russian policies regarding the Near and Middle East, generated a great interest in a special meeting. However, those who participated in the meeting listened only to PKK propaganda. Rustem Broy, a member of the so-called Kurdish Parliament in-exile, also attended the meeting. A delegation from the Greek Embassy also demonstrated great interest in the issue. /Sabah/
 PKK MILITANTS KILLEDIt is reported that military units, which have taken strict measures along the border to prevent a possible immigration flow from northern Iraq into Turkey, launched an operation in the Metina region two nights ago and yesterday morning. During the operation, at least 20 PKK militants were killed. Officials noted that operations would continue. /Sabah/
 LETTER FOR A JOINT INITIATIVE FROM FRANCEFrench Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine sent a letter to Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem two days ago and said that France supported Turkey's efforts to solve the Iraqi crisis through diplomatic means. Vedrine stated that they wanted to launch a joint initiative together with Turkey. He also said that although UN control in Iraq should continue, the UN embargo imposed on Iraq should be eased. Cem sent a letter to Vedrine in which he pointed out that they were ready to act jointly with France and support the plan prepared by France to find a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis. /Sabah/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMEN'S SUMMITThe First Council, in which Turkish businessmen from the world over convened, was held in 1996. The Second Council meeting will be held between 30 April and 1 May, 1998, in Izmir. The slogan of the second World Turkish Businessmen's Council, jointly organized by the Turkish Foreign Trade Foundation (TDV), and the Development Foundation for the development of the Aegean economy (EGEV) is "Hand-in-Hand Towards the 2000s". Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will attend the Council meeting. /Hurriyet/
 PARRIS MEETS WITH CINDORUKUS Ambassador to Ankara, Marc Parris, met with Chairman of the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP), Husamettin Cindoruk, yesterday. Replying to reporters' questions following the meeting, Parris declared that the meeting had been beneficial. Parris said: "The territorial integrity of Iraq has always been a matter of US policy and it will also be in the future". /Hurriyet/
 CRISIS COMMITTEE FOR FAR EAST CRISISThe Exports General Directorate of Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM) has prepared an action plan against possible negative effects of the Far East crisis. The plan is called "Long-Term Exports Strategy and the year 1998". A "crisis committee" to provide coordination has also been established within the Undersecretariat. The committee will follow those sectors which could be affected by the crisis. /Hurriyet/
 SPECIAL STRAITS SECURITY TEAMA special 47 person team responsible to the Prime Ministry is being set up to guarantee security in the straits and administer maritime traffic. Former naval forces commander Guven Erkaya will be in charge of the new project that is a product of the Yilmaz coalition government.
The team will become more effective after meetings planned for this coming May, and security systems under the oversight of the team will be fully operative by October, 2000. /Hurriyet/
 PRIVATIZATION PROGRESSDuring the seven months that the coalition government has been in power, 26 privatization projects in all sectors except for the energy sector have been completed. Privatization projects worth 306 million dollars have been rubber stamped, and these plus projects planned for 1997 come to a grand total of 660 million dollars. /All papers/
 TURKEY STANDS FIRMAs time runs out until the opening of the European Conference on March 12, Ankara is determined not to move an inch on its decision not to participate in the conference and is reiterating calls to the European Union to revise its stance rejecting Turkey's candidacy.
Speaking at a panel in Ankara on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem asserted that if the EU did not revise its decision not to include Turkey on the list of full membership candidates by the time of its June summit in Cardiff, relations with the EU would no longer be a priority on Turkey's foreign agenda and the bloc would no longer find "an enthusiastic Turkey, always ready for any kind of cooperation." /All papers/
 COOK'S EU ARMS SALE POLICYBritish Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's effort to promote a European "code of conduct" on arms sale were attacked once again when it became clear that France and Germany were moving ahead in their attempt to supply 145 combat helicopters, worth 2 billion pounds, to Turkey.
Cook launched the European version of "ethical foreign policy" when his country became the European Union term president in January. Negotiations regarding the "European arms sale code of conduct" are expected to take place next week in Brussels, with Britain hoping to gain the approval of the member states before the EU summit in June. /All papers/
 EURODOLLAR EXPORTS BEGIN THIS WEEKIt is expected that Turkey will begin to export Eurodollar bonds within this week. Bankers note that exports are estimated to total $500 million, maturing after seven years. Turkey began with promotions held last Friday in London. The promotion of exports in Eurodollars, which will continue in three US cities, is being directed by J.P.Morgan and Salomon Smith Barney. /Sabah/
 CASINO LIGHTS SWITCHED OFF TODAYFollowing the Constitutional Court's refusal to repeal the law requiring the closure of casinos, all casinos will have to stop their activities today.
A number of the 79 casinos in hotels and holiday villages will be closed at midnight on Wednesday. The closures will be supervised by the officials of the Governor's Office. It is estimated that 20,000 people will lose their jobs. /All papers/
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