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Voice of America, 97-04-27

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] G-7 O'NITER (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] RUSSIA/EASTER (L ONLY) BY JENNIFER GRIFFIN (MOSCOW)
  • [03] TURKEY/POLITICS (L-O) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] G-7 O'NITER (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213465
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FINANCE MINISTERS OF THE GROUP-OF-SEVEN LEADING INDUSTRIAL NATIONS (G-7) MEET IN WASHINGTON LATER TODAY (SUNDAY), AMID CONCERNS ABOUT THE STRENGTHENING DOLLAR. V-O-A'S VICTOR BEATTIE REPORTS THE MEETING COMES ONE DAY BEFORE THE ANNUAL SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND WORLD BANK, ALSO IN WASHINGTON:

    TEXT: FINANCE MINISTERS FROM BRITAIN, CANADA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY AND JAPAN MEET WITH U-S OFFICIALS, AS THE DOLLAR CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN AGAINST OTHER MAJOR CURRENCIES. THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR VERSUS THE YEN HAS GAINED 50 PERCENT OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS HE WILL NOT TRY TO WEAKEN THE DOLLAR, BUT IS MINDFUL A STRONG DOLLAR CAN RESULT IN GREATER COMPETITIVENESS OF JAPAN'S EXPORTS ON WORLD MARKETS. MEANWHILE, WORLD BANK / I-M-F OFFICIALS MEET MONDAY AND TUESDAY. LATER TODAY (SUNDAY), 24 ASIAN, AFRICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN MEMBERS OF THE WORLD BANK -- IN A DRAFT COMMUNIQUE -- URGE AN ACCELERATION OF DEBT RELIEF TO THE WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS. WORLD BANK PRESIDENT JAMES WOLFENSOHN REJECTS CHARGES THE LENDING INSTITUTION IS SLOW IN ITS DEBT-RELIEF PLAN.

    MR. WOLFENSOHN SAYS, AT LAST YEAR'S MEETING, THE TIME FRAME FOR DEBT-FORGIVENESS WAS SIX YEARS. NOW, FOUR COUNTRIES ARE BEING CARED FOR THIS YEAR ALONE:

    ///WOLFENSOHN ACTUALITY///

    IN 12 MONTHS, WE NOW HAVE UGANDA DONE, COTE D'IVOIRE, BOLIVIA AND BURKINA FASO LIKELY TO BE COMPLETED DURING THIS SUMMER.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    MR. WOLFENSOHN DECRIES THE FACT THAT HE IS BEING VILIFIED BY WHAT HE SAYS ARE IDIOTIC ORGANIZATIONS MAKING FALSE CHARGES. (SIGNED).
    NEB / WD
    27-Apr-97 4:22 AM EDT (0822 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] RUSSIA/EASTER (L ONLY) BY JENNIFER GRIFFIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=4/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213477
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN RUSSIA DEVOUT ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS FLOCKED TO CHURCHES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO CELEBRATE EASTER AS RUSSIAN LEADERS PROMISED TO DO MORE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION IN A COUNTRY STILL TRYING TO ESCAPE ITS COMMUNIST PAST. JENNIFER GRIFFIN REPORTS FROM MOSCOW.

    TEXT: /// CHURCH SINGING, FADES UNDER ///

    THIS YEAR ORTHODOX EASTER IS BEING OPENLY CELEBRATED THROUGHOUT RUSSIA.

    IT WAS NOT LONG AGO THE COMMUNISTS WHO RAN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION WERE PRONOUNCING -- GOD WAS DEAD. BUT NOW, JUST FIVE-AND-ONE-HALF YEARS AFTER THE SOVIET UNION WAS FOUND DEAD, RUSSIAN LEADERS APPEAR TO HAVE FOUND RELIGION.

    RUSSIA'S PRIME MINISTER AND MOSCOW'S MAYOR ATTENDED A TRADITIONAL MIDNIGHT SERVICE, AND PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN SENT TWO MESSAGES TO THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE TO MARK THE BEGINNING OF ORTHODOX EASTER.

    THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE WAS ADDRESSED TO THE HEAD OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, PATRIARCH ALEXIY II, TO COINCIDE WITH THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, WHICH NON-ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS CELEBRATED LAST MONTH.

    SINCE THE END OF THE SOVIET UNION -- AND THE OFFICIAL END OF STATE-SPONSORED ATHEISM -- RUSSIANS HAVE INCREASINGLY BEEN TURNING TO THE CHURCH FOR STRENGTH AND COMFORT. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IS UP AND PROMINENT LEADERS LIKE MR. YELTSIN AND MOSCOW MAYOR YURI LUCHKOV HAVE SUPPORTED THE RESURRECTION OF ORTHODOX CHURCHES WHICH WERE RAZED DURING THE COMMUNIST ERA.

    IN PARTICULAR, MAYOR LUCHKOV HAS BACKED THE ELABORATE RE-CONSTRUCTION OF CHRIST THE SAVIOR CATHEDRAL, WHICH WAS DYNAMITED UNDER ORDERS FROM JOSEPH STALIN. NOW ITS GOLDEN ONION-SHAPED DOMES SPARKLE FROM ITS PERCH ALONG THE MOSCOW RIVER JUST METERS AWAY FROM THE KREMLIN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JG/DW/RAE
    27-Apr-97 11:55 AM EDT (1555 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY/POLITICS (L-O) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213476
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S ISLAMIST PRIME MINISTER NECMETTIN ERBAKAN HAS PLEDGED TO CRACK DOWN ON ISLAMIC RADICALISM IN A BID TO RESCUE HIS SHAKY COALITION GOVERNMENT. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA MR ERBAKAN'S ANNOUNCEMENT FOLLOWS SATURDAY'S MEETING OF THE MILITARY-DOMINATED NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, DURING WHICH THE COUNTRY'S TOP GENERALS OUTLINED THE THREAT POSED BY POLITICAL ISLAM TO TURKEY'S SECULAR DEMOCRACY.

    TEXT: ANALYSTS SAY MR ERBAKAN'S DECISION TO COMPLY WITH RECOMMENDATIONS DRAWN UP BY THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO CURB THE SPREAD OF RADICAL ISLAM WAS AIMED AT PRESERVING HIS 10-MONTH-OLD COALITION WITH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TANSU CILLER, THE LEADER OF THE CONSERVATIVE "TRUE PATH PARTY".

    AMONG THE MEASURES MR. ERBAKAN AGREED TO IMPLEMENT WERE CLOSING HUNDREDS OF ISLAMIC-ORIENTED SCHOOLS, RESTRICTING RADICAL ISLAMIC MEDIA, AND CURBING THE USE OF ISLAMIC-STYLE CLOTHING BY MEN AND WOMEN IN STATE INSTITUTIONS.

    THE COUNCIL IS WIDELY REPORTED TO HAVE GIVEN THE GOVERNMENT SIX-MONTHS TO ENFORCE THE DIRECTIVES, WHICH SOME POLITICAL COMMENTATORS SAY WILL ANGER MR. ERBAKAN'S MILITANT SUPPORTERS. THERE ARE ALREADY ACCUSATIONS LEVELED AGAINST THE COUNTRY'S FIRST ISLAMIC PRIME MINISTER IN THE PRO-ISLAMIC MEDIA, SAYING MR. ERBAKAN HAD YIELDED TO PRESSURE FROM THE PRO-SECULAR ESTABLISHMENT TO -- IN THEIR WORDS -- REMAIN IN POWER.

    OTHER ANALYSTS SAY MR. ERBAKAN AGREED TO THE MEASURES IN A BID TO BUY TIME BEFORE EARLY GENERAL ELECTIONS, WHICH THEY SAY ARE INCREASINGLY LIKELY TO BE HELD.

    ACCORDING TO THE ANALYSTS, MR. ERBAKAN WILL USE THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD ALLOWED BY THE COUNCIL TO INCREASE SUPPORT FOR HIS "ISLAMIC WELFARE PARTY" BY INCREASING WORKERS WAGES AND SUBSIDIES FOR TURKEY'S HUGE FARMING INDUSTRY.

    FEW OBSERVERS SAY THEY BELIEVE MR. ERBAKAN WILL IMPLEMENT THE COUNCIL'S DECISIONS, WHICH WERE DRAWN UP LAST FEBRUARY IN THE FACE OF WIDESPREAD PUBLIC PRESSURE FOR THE MILITARY TO CURB THE COUNTRY'S DRIFT TOWARDS POLITICAL ISLAM.

    SINCE COMING TO POWER LAST YEAR, MR ERBAKAN HAS ANGERED TURKEY'S PRO-SECULAR MAJORITY AND ITS NATO ALLIES BY ENCOURAGING CLOSER TIES WITH COUNTRIES SUCH AS LIBYA, IRAN AND NIGERIA, AND BY LOBBYING FOR LEGALIZING ISLAMIC-STYLE HEADSCARVES IN GOVERNMENT OFFICES AND SCHOOLS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE DILEMMA FACING TURKEY'S PRO-SECULAR ESTABLISHMENT AND THE MILITARY IS HOW TO HOLD THE ISLAMISTS AT BAY WITHOUT COMPROMISING WHAT THEY DESCRIBE AS TURKEY'S FRAGILE DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM, THE SAME SYSTEM THAT ENABLED THE ISLAMISTS TO COME TO POWER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE
    27-Apr-97 10:37 AM EDT (1437 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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