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Turkish Press Review, 97-03-17
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
MONDAY, MARCH 17, 1997
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning.
 EU MINISTERS UNDERLINE TURKEY'S EU CREDENTIALSEU foreign ministers said on Sunday that nothing had changed in EU relations with Turkey, adding that Ankara would be treated in the same way as others seeking bloc membership. "Turkey is recognized as having a European future and will be judged on the same basis as other countries," Dutch Foreign Mİnister Hans van Mierlo told journalists.
The EU statement was warmly welcomed in Ankara where officials said a move against Turkey by Europe's Christian Democrats had been corrected in this way.
 TURKISH CITIZENS EVACUATED FROM ALBANIAThe evacuation of Turkish citizens from Albania began on Sunday with the help of the Turkish Armed Forces. Many Turkish citizens, including embassy staff, caught in the midst of the anarchy sweeping Albania fled via the Adriatic port of Dirac in boats after leaving the capital Tirana and Elbasan in buses accompanied by Turkish commandos, the Anatolia agency reported. About 300 Turks were taken on board a Turkish frigate waiting at the coast to take the evacuees to the Italian port of Bari 120 km away before being transported back to Turkey. The rescue operation was delayed until Sunday because of restrictions on movement due to a curfew.
 23 TERRORISTS KILLED IN MILITARY OPERATIONSIn operations carried out in the Bingöl and Tunceli provinces by the Turkish security forces, 23 terrorists were killed and one was arrested. Seven other PKK members gave themselves up to the security forces, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday. Five members of the extremist outlawed Hizbullah organization were detained in Diyarbakir.
 TURKEY AND GREECE IN FRESH AEGEAN STANDOFFTurkey protested to Greece on Friday over two separate incidents in the Aegean, one in which a Greek coastguard ship allegedly fired on a Turkish ferry, and the other in which a Greek air force jet buzzed a US plane taking part in wargames with Turkey. Greek Ambassador Dimitrios Neziretis was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry to receive the formal protest.
 CILLER'S FINLAND VISIT PART OF EU DIPLOMACY DRIVEAs part of an intensified diplomacy drive promoting Turkey's bid for EU membership, Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller paid a visit to Finland on Friday. Speaking at Ankara's Esenboğa Aiprort before her departure, Ciller said a Europe without Turkey would be a danger in the coming years and pointed out that in 1997 a new European map would be drawn up.
Ciller had a meeting with her Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen and asked for Finnish support in Turkey's EU membership drive. The two ministers also discussed the customs union and NATO enlargement. Cıller was also received by Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari during her visit.
 SUPREME BOARD OF HUMAN RIGHTS HOLDS PRELIMINARY MEETINGIn a written statement released on Friday the Foreign Ministry said that the government was determined to improve human rights in Turkey to the level of democratic countries. Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller announced that a programme aiming to eliminate human rights violations would be implemented, and that the Supreme Board had been established to monitor the implementation of the programme.
 TURKEY BUYS IHAWK MISSILES FROM FRANCETurkey will buy middle-range Ihawk missiles from the French Land Forces in a direct procurement through the French firm Thomson -CSF. Under the deal, 8 Ihawk batteries will be delivered to Turkey from French surplus supplies. Turkish and French military officials agreed on the deal during a cooperation meeting last month in Paris. The decision came just after an announcement from the Belgian Defence Ministry to freeze the sale of Hawk missiles to Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 INTENSIVE MILITARY TRAFFICFollowing a visit to Turkey on Friday by French Chief of the General Staff General Jean-Philippe Douin, today, top level military officials from Egypt and Jordan will also have official contacts in Ankara. French Chief of the General Staff met with his Turkish counterpart to discuss bilateral cooperation in military issues. On the other hand, the visits by Jordanian Chief of the Air Forces General Muhammed Kair Ababneh and Egyptian Chief of the General Staff Magdi Hatata come after a visit by General Karadayi last month to Israel. Observers note that during the talks possibilities for including Egypt in military initiatives jointly undertaken by Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, three countries actively cooperating in military issues, will be taken in hand. /Cumhuriyet/
 PANGALOS SPEAKS IN FAVOUR OF TURKEYGreek Foreign Minister Teodoros Pangalos said over the weekend that Turkey was a country that would greatly benefit the European Union (EU) when accepted as a full member in the European community of nations.
Pangalos, speaking to journalists after a meeting of the EU Council of Ministers, noted the long-standing ties between Greece and Turkey and stressed that Turkey was developing both democratically and economically. He said that Turkey's candidacy for full membership in the EU should be viewed in a different light when compared to other applicant countries.
The Greek Foreign Minister also said that if certain initiatives being taken by Holland to balance relations between Turkey and the EU resulted positively, then it was likely that Greece would lift its veto against Turkey. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY LIKENED TO A BULLDOZERChairman of the International Federation of Foreign Trade Associations, Albert Frei, said that Turkey was something like a bulldozer- able to surmount most of its problems. He added that Turkey was getting stronger economically and that it would reach its target of full membership in the EU.
Frei called on Turkey to be patient because full membership was sure to follow. Now however, was not the time to be hasty. He suggested that Turkey should swim with the current, not against it. /Hurriyet/
 PKK DEMO IN SOUTHERN CYPRUSMembers and supporters of the terrorist PKK organization held a rally in southern Cyprus over the weekend. In a protest directed against Turkey, crowds walked to the border with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), where they shouted slogans and beat on drums.
PASOK party parliamentarian from Greece, Panayotis Sguridis, said that Russian-made S-300 missiles bought by the Greek community in Cyprus would certainly be deployed. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH BUSINESSMEN IN ROMANIATurkish businessmen visited Romania which is one of the most attractive markets in Europe. Turkish businessmen who attended the meeting of the Turkish-Romanian Business Council,acting within the structure of the Foreign Economic Relations Council, in Bucharest and Mangalia returned home with new projects.
Kamuran Cortuk,the President of the Turkish-Romanian Business Council and Bayındır Holding Administrative Board recalled that as a holding their investment in Romania was around $ 27 million. Noting that they would start a new housing project in April Cortuk added that they would also continue their banking activities. Other Turkish firms also plan on investing in Romania in different fields./Hürriyet/
 TURKEY TAKES FIRST PLACE IN THE INCREASE OF TOURISM REVENUESOne of the most influential economic magazines of the world 'The Economist' weekly, has placed Turkey in first place among the developing countries regarding the increase of tourism revenues. According to research published in the latest issue of the weekly, Turkey increased tourism revenues per capita by 31.9% in 1996 and took the first place./Hurriyet/
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