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Turkish Press Review, 97-03-10
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 1997
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning.
 DEMIREL CONCERNED ABOUT ALBANIA TURMOILPresident Demirel said on Sunday he was deeply concerned about developments in Albania and hoped the situation would not slide into civil war. The president discussed the latest developments in the Balkan country with his counterpart Sali Berisha. Demirel has assured Berisha of Turkey's support. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials also said they are prepared to help end the crisis in Albania. /All papers/
 EU TERM PRESIDENT SUPPORTS TURKEY'S BIDDutch Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo gave support to Turkey's full membership in the EU and said he disagreed with the EU Christian Democrats who recently claimed Turkey's religious and cultural differences were 'barriers' to integration with Europe. Hans van Mierlo met with Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller in Istanbul over the weekend. In a joint press conference after the meeting Ciller thanked her Dutch counterpart for his support for the Turkish bid for full EU membership and scorned the Christian Democrats for "erecting new Berlin Walls in Europe". Van Mierlo announced he would bring the entire question of Turkey's relations with Europe, Greece and Cyprus to an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers to be held this week.
In this context, the London Financial Times daily quoted on Thursday UK Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind as saying that he was not in agreement with EU's Christian Democrats who suggested that Turkey was not European because it did not share "Christian values". Italian Foreign Minister Romano Prodi also called Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller on Friday to tell her he was not in agreement with all the views of other European Christian Democratic leaders as expressed during a meeting on Tuesday. /All papers/
 FRENCH SUPPORT FOR TURKEYIn the wake of last week's statement from members of the Christian Democrat Party in European Union (EU) member countries, which said that Turkey was not a suitable candidate for full membership in the Union, France has come out on Turkey's side.
Top French officials have since declared that France will continue with its policy of extending full support to Turkey, which France sees as being a country deserving full membership in the Union. /Hurriyet/
 US CALLS FOR MORE EU SUPPORT FOR TURKEYIn response to the negative currents moving around in the EU, Washington has called upon EU leaders to show more support for Turkey. US administration officials would like to see more real support for Turkey and less about the cultural and religious differences supposedly blocking further progress in relations. /Hurriyet/
 MORE STRIKES AGAINST THE PKKTurkish security forces have been on the attack against PKK hold-outs in the southeastern regions of the country despite harsh winter conditions. Reports from the region say that 42 PKK terrorists have so far been killed in operations deploying helicopters and large numbers of soldiers. /Sabah/
 VELAYETI ARRIVES TODAYIranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayeti will arrive today in Turkey for a two-day visit. Velayeti will present to President Demirel an invitation from Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani to attend a summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference scheduled for December in Tehran. Velayeti will also be recived by Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. /Milliyet/
 BELGIAN CROWN PRINCE IN ANKARAA top-level delegation from Belgium headed by Crown Prince Philippe and including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Trade and Finance Philippe Maystand is paying a visit to Turkey. The delegation also includes senior members of the Belgian public sector and nearly 100 businessmen representing a wide range of economic and financial interests. The programme of the delegation includes meetings with President Demirel, Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller. /Cumhuriyet/
 "TRADE WITH EAST COMPLEMENTS TIES WITH WEST"At a two-day Euro-Mediterranean conference in London last week, Turkey's Ambassador to the UK Ozdem Sanberk criticized the EU for singling out Turkey as the only country denied funds under the Euro-Med programme and said it was an injustice. Referring to Turkey's future direction, Sanberk said that Turkey's economic relations with the Middle East and Central Asia were not in conflict with its ties with the OECD and EU. He pointed out that Turkey had many positive aspects in terms of its economic position noting that Turkey had a long-term record of high economic growth and was a country with a modern financial sector.
Turkey was one of the major focuses of the conference held on March 6-7. Speakers noted that the country had a developing capacity for foreign investment. /All papers/
 ISTANBUL LOSES OUT IN BID FOR 2004 OLYMPICSFollowing a meeting on Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its shortlist of cities whose bids will be considered when the final decision is made on Septemder 5. These were Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Stockholm. Istanbul was eliminated along with Lille, Rio de Janeiro, San Juan, Seville and St. Petersburg. The decision was made by the IOC selection college on the basis of technical reports on all the 11 bidding cities by a delegation led by former German fencing champion Thomas Bach. /All papers/
 FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO CUBAHealth Minister Yildirim Aktuna is visiting Cuba upon the official invitation of his Cuban counterpart. Aktuna will present to President Fidel Castro a message from President Demirel. This is the first official visit to Cuba by Turkish representatives. /All papers/
 TURKEY REQUESTS MORE ACCESS TO IRAQI OILAmbassador Huseyin Celem, Turkey's permanent UN representative, met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday, reminding him that the three-month term of Resolution 986 had ended and that the results showed that the law was far removed from providing full compensation for Turkey's $5 billion yearly losses. Annan will present a report on the oil-for-food deal to the Security Council today. /All papers/
 MOUNT NEMRUD INCLUDED IN TOURISM PROJECTSMinister of Tourism Bahattin Yücel said that they had started an intense campaign to reopen eastern and southeasten Anatolia to tourism in parallel with the decrease in terrorism. Mount Nemrud and Ani near Kars have been selected as pilot regions.
Noting that bed capacity in the region will be increased by 11,200, Yücel said that as of this year the focus in tourism would be eastern and southeastern Anatolia. /Sabah/
 THE ECONOMIST: EUROPE NEEDS TURKEYThe weekly Economist magazine in an article on the latest situation in the EU said that the worst possible scenario would be Turkey's veto of expansion of NATO in retaliation for not being admitted to the EU because of Greek vetos, the exclusion of the Greek Cypriot Administration from the EU because the Cyprus problem, and the Greek veto against inclusion of Eastern European countries in the EU.
The article concludes by saying that the EU should confirm its promise to take Turkey in as a full-member in the EU and in the process state clearly what Turkey should do if it wants to be a member in the near future. /Hurriyet/ END
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