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Turkish Press Review, 97-03-31
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
TURKISH PRESS REVIEW
MARCH 31, 1997
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning.
 UNIVERSITY RECTORS URGE EIGHT-YEAR COMPULSORY EDUCATIONPresident Demirel met with the heads of 61 universities in Turkey over the weekend in Ankara. Education Minister Mehmet Saglam and Hęgher Education Board Chairman Kemal Guruz were also present at the meeting. University rectors underlined the need to intensify moves for a transition to a continuous eight-year long system in the primary education institutions, the Anatolia news agency reported.
 GERMAN FM LEAVES EU QUESTION HANGINGGerman Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel ended his visit to Turkey by trying to assure Turks that their country's place was in Europe and that Ankara was on the "main track"in terms of its bid for EU membership. Nevertheless, Kinkel said at a press conference after talks with Foreign Minister Ciller that "Turkey will not be able to become a member of the EU in the short term because of human rights problems, the Kurdish question, relations with Greece and certain economic matters." /All papers/
 HIGH LEVEL SECURITY OFFICIAL CRITICIZES EUROPEIsmail Caliskan, Deputy Head of the Smuggling and Organized Crime Department at the Security Directorate, said that Turkey was being unfairly criticized by Europeans on the issue of drug trafficking, and added that Turkey was not a drug depot as claimed, but rather the protective shield of Europe against drug trafficking. Caliskan told the Anatolian news agency that Turkey gave great priority to fighting drug trafficking since it was one of the ways terrorist organizations financed their activities. He recalled that 65 percent of the total amount of drugs seized in Europe had been seized by the Turkish police and that $30 million annually was spent on fighting drug smuggling. Caliskan criticized a statement by the British Deputy Interior Minister that drugs in England were coming from Turkey and complained that Turkey received little recognition for its efforts in the struggle against drug smuggling. /All papers/
 LARGE-SCALE OPERATIONS AGAINST PKK IN TUNCELITurkish security forces backed by air power have launched a large-scale operation against outlawed PKK terrorist organization positions in the mountainous eastern province of Tunceli. Security officials say tens of thousands of troops have been gathered in Tunceli for a possible spring offensive against the PKK. Elsewhere, in operations in Diyarbakir, Mardin and Siirt 17 PKK terrorists were killed during weekend operations. /Hurriyet/
 INTENSIVE DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC IN APRILAnkara is gearing up for diplomatic visits from the Balkans, Europe and Israel in early April. Following last week's visit to Ankara by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, his French counterpart Herve de Charette will begin a two-day visit to Turkey on April 2.
Other upcoming diplomatic visits include Slovakian Prime Minsiter Vladimir Meciar's trip to Ankara scheduled for April 2-4. Both countries will seek ways to improve political, military and cultural ties and are expected to sign some agreements to that end.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Stoyan Stalev will come to Ankara on April 4 to discuss the turmoil in the Balkans as well as NATO enlargement and bilateral relations.
In early April as well, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy will travel to Turkey for talks on bilateral relations and the Middle East peace process.
Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev's three day visit to Ankara beginning on April 8 will focus on talks about Caspian Sea oil.
From the Turkish side, President Demirel will go to Slovenia on April 3-4, and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen will travel to Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia next week in an attempt to reinforce Turkish push for effective Balkan policy. /Sabah/
 NEW BORDER GATE PROJECT WITH IRAQCurrent talks between Turkey and Iraq, led by state minister Ahmet Tunc, will include among other topics, the need for another border crossing between Turkey Iraq. Turkey and Iraq and want to take advantage of UN agreements that allow Iraq to trade within a limited area, and the one crossing at Habur is not sufficient to handle all the border traffic.
State Minister Ahmet Cemil Tunc said Turkey's financial loss because of the UN embargo on Iraq exceeded the estimated figure of 35 billion and called for the immediate lifting of the sanctions, the Anatolian news agency reported on Sunday. Underlining that Turkey had always been careful not to violate the embargo, Tunc noted the compensation of Turkish loss was not possible by border trade alone. Tunc is scheduled to meet with President Saddam Hussein, Vice President Taha Yasin Ramazan and Deputy Prime Minister Tarik Aziz during his visit to Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/
 IMF DELEGATION ARRIVES IN ANKARAAn IMF delegation will begin contacts in Ankara tomorrow. The delegation will meet State Minister Ufuk Soylemez and representatives of the Turkish private sector. According to Sabah daily newspaper, following its contacts in Ankara the IMF delegation is expected to give a rating on the Turkish economy. Sabah further reports that the government has prepared a medium-range stabilization package to be submitted to the IMF representatives.
 DEFENCE COOPERATION WITH ISRAELA Turco-Israeli Defence Industry Cooperation meeting will begin tomorrow in Tel Aviv. Turkey will be represented by a ten-person delegation headed by National Defence Ministry Undersecretary General Armagan Kuloglu. Military specialists and representatives of the defence indistry are also included in the delegation. /Sabah/
 TURKISH TROOPS FOR ALBANIAIt is expected that this week parliament will vote on whether or not to send Turkish troops to share in peace keeping activities in Albania.
As the situation in Albania hovers on civil war, Turkey has let it be known that it is ready to help resolve the situation there. The government has already put a draft proposal before parliament to that effect. /Cumhuriyet/
 ECONOMIC MEETING WITH TURKMENISTANState minister Abdullah Gul will go to Turkmenistan today for a Mixed Economic Committee meeting in the Turkmen capital. There government officials and businessmen on both sides will discuss ways to develop bilateral trade. /Milliyet/
 MORE AID FROM GERMANYGermany has agreed to an aid package worth 52 million DM to be used mainly for environmental projects in Turkey. Large amounts of the German funding will go on water purification and similar projects in places like Diyarbakir, Kayseri, Isparta and Koycegiz. /Cumhuriyet/
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