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Turkish Press Review, 00-04-20

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>

20.04.00

Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning


CONTENTS

  • [01] ONAL: "INTERNATIONAL RATING AGENCIES WILL UPGRADE TURKEY'S RATING"
  • [02] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [03] DEMIREL CHAIRS NSC MEETING FOR THE LAST TIME
  • [04] JIANG ZEMIN'S VISIT TO TURKEY
  • [05] CILLER MEETS ECEVIT
  • [06] "TURKEY BEATS INFLATION"
  • [07] CEM MEETS ASGRIMSSON
  • [08] ATACANLI: "RESULT IS PROMISING"
  • [09] DENKTAS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT
  • [10] HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN FROM 41 COUNTRIES ARRIVE IN TURKEY
  • [11] DENMARK'S CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF IN CAPPADOCIA
  • [12] TANTAN'S SUPPORT FOR BELGIUM AND HOLLAND
  • [13] ALBRIGHT VISITS TURKISH-SPEAKING REPUBLICS
  • [14] GERMANY: "PKK IS STILL DANGEROUS"
  • [15] OPERATION AGAINST PKK
  • [16] HEROIN SEIZED IN ISTANBUL
  • [17] AWARDS FOR TURKISH AND GREEK FOREIGN MINISTERS
  • [18] NAVAL COMMANDERS IN ISTANBUL
  • [19] NOAH'S ARK TO BE SEARCHED FOR IN THE BLACK SEA
  • [20] TURKISH POLICE GO TO EAST TIMOR
  • [21] 'ARTIFICIAL LIVER' PROJECT BY TURKISH SCIENTISTS
  • [22] SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA PROJECT
  • [23] ONAL: "INTERNATIONAL RATING AGENCIES WILL UPGRADE TURKEY'S RATING"
  • [24] $3 BILLION FROM TELECOM TO TREASURY
  • [25] EU PRAISES TURKEY
  • [26] ERSUMER: "BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROCEEDING AS PLANNED"
  • [27] EURO BONDS IN IMKB
  • [28] GREEK PARTNER OF ISIKLAR
  • [29] COTTARELLI IS HOPEFUL
  • [30] ARCELIK TO PRODUCE IN CHINA
  • [31] EXTENSION IN NUCLEAR POWER STATION BIDDING
  • [32] TURKEY'S HAZELNUT EXPORTS REACH $558 MILLION
  • [33] IS BANK SELLS PARTICIPATION STAKE
  • [34] ALCATEL BEST BIDDER FOR TELECOM CONTRACT
  • [35] 100 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE TRNC
  • [36] VIKING PAPER'S FOREIGN PARTNER
  • [37] GALATASARAY-LEEDS UNITED MATCH TODAY
  • [38] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [39] ZEMIN IN ANKARA BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [40] AN OPEN EXPRESSION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] ONAL: "INTERNATIONAL RATING AGENCIES WILL UPGRADE TURKEY'S RATING"

    [02] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [03] DEMIREL CHAIRS NSC MEETING FOR THE LAST TIME

    The National Security Council (NSC) will hold its monthly meeting chaired by President Suleyman Demirel on April 28 at the Preidential Palace. It will be Demirel's 83rd and the last NSC meeting chaired by him before his term expires as President on May 16. NSC meetings are held in the last week of every month. /All papers/

    [04] JIANG ZEMIN'S VISIT TO TURKEY

    Turkey and People's Republic of China (PRC) have started a new economic period with the visit of the Chinese Head of State, Jiang Zemin. The two countries will cooperate in various areas; from tourism to defense industry, from energy to transportation and from the joint investments to security. Seeing that every year 120 million Chinese travel abroad, Turkish authorities expect to benefit from the Chinese tourist potential. During the meetings, Turkey agreed to buy 100 locomotives from the PRC. The delegations decided to cooperate in many areas such as, power stations, Kars-Tbilisi Railway Venture and irrigation. While Turkey asking Chinese businessmen to invest in GAP, Zemin invited Turkish investors to participate in the comprehensive ventures in East Turkistan. Meanwhile, Turkey's 47-million dollar export to the PRC, was envisaged as rising to 300 million dollars in the first stage. /Hurriyet/

    [05] CILLER MEETS ECEVIT

    Following Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's statement that he has two names in his mind concerning the Presidential candidacy, True Path Pary (DYP) Leader Tansu Ciller visited Ecevit at his office in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) with her staff but did not receive any information regarding these names. After the meeting, Ciller said that a point could not be reached concerning the Presidential election. While answering the question of a journalist, Ciller stated that she would not be a candidate for the Presidency. /Turkiye/

    [06] "TURKEY BEATS INFLATION"

    Premier Bulent Ecevit said that Turkey would be succesful in fighting inflation as it was during the War of Independence, since there was whole nation's support behind this effort. Yesterday, during the Democratic Left Party (DSP)'s group meeting, a campaign named "Turkey Beats Inflation", which was organized by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange and Turkish Exporters' Assembly, was presented. Expressing his gratitude, Ecevit emphasized that in economics it was not realistic to expect everything from the government. He also stated that the inflation rate could be decreased only if cooperation between employees and employers was ensured. /Hurriyet/

    [07] CEM MEETS ASGRIMSSON

    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Cem, met Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Halldor Asgrimsson. After this meeting, which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Palace between the delegations of the two countries, the 'Agreement of the Establishment of Political Consultation Mechanism' was signed between the two countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] ATACANLI: "RESULT IS PROMISING"

    While answering the question of a journalist during a press conference, The Deputy Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sermet Atacanli, mentioned that the new process between Turkey and Greece had started during the PASOK government amd that the fact that PASOK Party won the elections in Greece was a very promising development in terms of developing this process of dialogue between Turkey and Greece. Atacanli added, "I hope our sensitivity will be reciprocated by Greece during the term of the new government." /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] DENKTAS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT

    The Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Dervis Eroglu, stated that he would not participate in the presidential elections in the TRNC on 22 April. Thus, the competition between Rauf Denktas and Dervis Eroglu is over. Election Law's 63rd Article in the TRNC states that if one of the presidential canditates, who rises to the second round abandons, then other candidate who received the highest number of votes in the first round is declared President automatically. Denktas stated that he respected Eroglu's decision. /Turkiye/

    [10] HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN FROM 41 COUNTRIES ARRIVE IN TURKEY

    National Sovereignity and Children's Festival, which was presented to the children by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, the great Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, began to be celebrated today. Hundreds of children, who arrived in Turkey from different corners of the world, met in Ankara and visited Ataturk's Mausoleum. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit also received the children from 41 countries, at the new building of the Prime Ministry and stated that Turkey was the only country which adopted the Children's Festival. Ecevit added, "Ataturk showed his love for children by giving the opening day of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to the children as a present. Ecevit further stated he was glad to welcome the world's children to Turkey. In addition, Ankara Municipality organized a huge activity in honor of the National Sovereignity and Children's Day. Ankara Metropolitan Municipality's Mayor, Melih Gokcek, organized a press conference and explained these activities. /Star/

    [11] DENMARK'S CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF IN CAPPADOCIA

    Denmark's Chief of the General Staff, General Christian Hvidt, who is in Turkey as the official guest of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff, General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, visited the historical and touristic sites of Cappadocia with his wife. General Christian Hvidt arrived in Nevsehir-Cappadocia with a plane belonging to the Turkish Air Forces and he and the accompanying military delegation were welcomed by Nevsehir's Governor, Mehmet Yilmaz, Province's Gendarmerie Commander, Gendarmerie Senior Colonel Ekrem Karaaslan, Sub-Governor of Gulsehir, Alper Orkun and Nevsehir's Director of Security, Kemal Bayrak. /Turkiye/

    [12] TANTAN'S SUPPORT FOR BELGIUM AND HOLLAND

    Minister of the Interior, Saadettin Tantan, received his Belgian counterpart, Antonie Duquesne, and his Dutch counterpart, Klaas G. De Vries, in order to work together to ensure security for the European Football that will be organized in Belgium and Holland in June. Tantan stated that they had already started low-level work to ensure a secure environment in Holland and Belgium as part of EURO 2000. Tantan added that Turkey would support both of these countries in their security efforts. /Turkiye/

    [13] ALBRIGHT VISITS TURKISH-SPEAKING REPUBLICS

    In Uzbekistan, the last stop of her visit to the Middle East, the American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, stated that the former Soviet republics' unity of land and independence should certainly be protected. Albright added that the security of the region would be of immense benefit both to the US and Russia. Albright, who previously visited Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, gave very important messages, on subjects ranging from nuclear material smuggling to economic reforms. Albright also visited Vladimir Putin just after he came into power, which revealed how important region is for the US. Albright also stated that the US and Kazakhstan shared very important benefits with regards to the energy sector and the fact that Kazakhstan's Administration was giving priority to the transportation of petroleum through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan was very pleasing. /Milliyet/

    [14] GERMANY: "PKK IS STILL DANGEROUS"

    Interior Minister of the Northern Rhine-Westphalia State, Fritz Behrens, stated that although there were some indications that the PKK terrorist organization would give up the armed struggle, PKK was still dangerous. Behrens repeated a quote from the report of the Organization for Protecting the Constitution: "It is difficult to guess how nearly 2,000 followers of the PKK in the Northern Rhine-Westphalia State will react if Abdullah Ocalan is executed." Meanwhile, Behrens stated that the crimes due to enmity for foreigners had decreased by 16% in the last year. However, violent actions against foreigners had increased by 1/3 and reached 68%. /Milliyet_

    [15] OPERATION AGAINST PKK

    An operation was organized against the house in Batman in which members of the PKK were staying. A terrorist was killed and four terrorists, two of whom are women, were taken into custody. The interrogation concerning the incident is continuing. /Star/

    [16] HEROIN SEIZED IN ISTANBUL

    In a statement issued by Istanbul's Directorate of Narcotics Branch, 21 kg 500 gr heroin and 300,000 drug pills were seized in two different drug operations in Istanbul. It was revealed that these pills belonged to Ali Yaprak, who is the brother of Mehmet Ali Yaprak, the ex-owner of the Yaprak TV channel that was closed. Four people, one of whom is foreign, were taken into custody concerning the incident. /Milliyet/

    [17] AWARDS FOR TURKISH AND GREEK FOREIGN MINISTERS

    Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers, Ismail Cem and George Papandreu will be awarded the "Statesman Award 2000" by their American counterpart Madeleine Albright. Albright will present the awards to the two Ministers for their contributions to the development of the Turco-Greek relations. In the meantime, Turkish Search and Rescue Team AKUT and Greek EMAK will take the "Humanity Award", and Turkish Enka and American Bechtel Companies will be presented the "Leadership Award" during an evening ball. /Sabah/

    [18] NAVAL COMMANDERS IN ISTANBUL

    The commanders of the countries along the coasts of the Black Sea convened in Istanbul yesterday. The meeting was organized by the Turkish Naval Forces' Command. The Turkish Naval Forces Commander Vice-Admiral Ilhami Erdil said, "Turkey attaches great importance to the development of cooperation among the countries with coasts along the Black Sea". The first meeting was held in Romania while the second one was held in Bulgaria. /Aksam/

    [19] NOAH'S ARK TO BE SEARCHED FOR IN THE BLACK SEA

    Dr.Robert T.Ballard from the US who has previously found the ruins of the Titanic is now trying to find Noah's Ark in the Black Sea. He will survey the Black Sea this summer using a sub-marine equipped with a remote-control. /Aksam/

    [20] TURKISH POLICE GO TO EAST TIMOR

    Nineteen Turkish policemen will join an international police force in East Timor established by the UN. A ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Security General Directorate building for the policemen before they departed for East Timor. /Turkish Daily News/

    [21] 'ARTIFICIAL LIVER' PROJECT BY TURKISH SCIENTISTS

    A project to develop an artificial organ which will function as a liver will be financed by the Eureka Fund of the EU. This project has been jointly organized by the Eczacibasi Medicine and the Marmara Research Centre of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK). Italian scientists will also take part in one area of the project which will cost nearly $1 million. The project results are expected within three years. /Aksam/

    [22] SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA PROJECT

    Chairman of Alarko Group of Companies, Uzeyir Garih, stated that they were planning to establish an agricultural techno-park between Urfa and Diyarbakir on an area of 20 million square meters, which will be an agricultural information development centre. Garih added, "This project amounts to 4 billion dollars and will be completed in 10 or 12 years. We are working in cooperation with the Americans. This project, which aims at developing technology and education, will be in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region. Alarko has undertaken very important projects in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. We are preparing for new projects and have presented our proposals and now we are waiting for their results." /Cumhuriyet/

    [23] ONAL: "INTERNATIONAL RATING AGENCIES WILL UPGRADE TURKEY'S RATING"

    Recep Onal, State Minister responsible for the economy, indicated that an IMF tendency to stop funding countries with a per capita income above $4,000 has become all the more apparent during IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington. "Such trends might produce undesired consequences for Turkey," Onal told reporters in New York, where he attended the UN Economic and Social Council following the Washington meetings.

    Onal added that the IMF and the World Bank have pledged to Turkey a total of $9.25 biilion in loans, which will be provided at the London Interbank Operating rate (LIBOR) level. Meanwhile, as part of a private sector anti-inflation campaign, President Suleyman Demirel will seal a memorandum of understanding on Friday entitled "Turkey Beats Inflation." Onal noted that international rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard and Poor's would m[Aost likely upgrade Turkey's rating this summer. "In fact, Turkey's rating has already gone up" Onal added, pointing to the country's improved borrowing capability and falling lending rates. /All papers/

    [24] $3 BILLION FROM TELECOM TO TREASURY

    It is reported that Turk Telecom will pay $3 billion to the Treasury for the GSM 1800 license following the consortium of Is Bank-Telecom Italia which will also pay $3 billion for the GSM 1800 lincense bidding. The General Director of the Turk Telecom, Ibrahim Hakki Alpturk, stated that Turk Telecom has been transferring a certain amount of its turn-over to the Treasury since 1996 and this rate increased from 10 % to 15 % last year. The fourth GSM 1800 network will be extended to Turk Telecom without a bidding. /Aksam/

    [25] EU PRAISES TURKEY

    Pedro Solbes Mira, the Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner of the EU, said that Turkey was from an economic standpoint one of the strongest countries among the EU candidate countries. Mira, who arrived in Washington to attend the spring-term meetings of the IMF-World Bank, stated that if Turkey implements the macro-economic measures in a determined way, it will receive the financial assistance offered by the IMF. /Aksam/

    [26] ERSUMER: "BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROCEEDING AS PLANNED"

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer spoke to journalists after talks with Georgian Energy and Fuel Minister David Mrtskhulava yesterday and announced that the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline was proceeding as planned, the Anatolia News Agency Areports. Ersumer said, "The inter-governmental agreement has to be ratified in Parliament. Our legal proposals for the pipeline are being evaluated by the Environment Commission and will subsequently be passed on to the Energy Commission. The signed agreement is currently being translated at the Foreign Ministry and will soon be presented to Parliament."

    Ersumer stated that Georgia wanted to build a gas-fired power station in Batum and sell the energy it generates to Turkey. He also said that Georgia had advanced proposals to add more electricity from another line and make sales agreements valid for a longer time period. He said he would take the proposals under consideration. Furthermore, an agreement signed yesterday clears the way for a $4 million grant from Turkey to modernize a Georgian combat unit and fund other military operations. The agreement was signed by Georgian Deputy Defence Minister Grigol Katamadze and Turkish Lt.Gen.Serafettin Telyazan during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defence, officials said.

    [27] EURO BONDS IN IMKB

    Bonds issued with a nominal value of 600 million Euros by the Treasury Undersecretariat began to be traded in the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) yesterday. These bonds have a term of five years with an annual 7.75 % interest. /Aksam/

    [28] GREEK PARTNER OF ISIKLAR

    The Commercial Bank of Greece, the second biggest bank in Greece, has been a partner with the Isiklar Packaging Industry Joint Stock Company, one of the institutions of the Isiklar Holding. The Commercial Bank of Greece has purchased 12.5 % of the shares of the Isiklar Packaging while the Gryphon Emerging Markets, a British Financial Institution, purchased 0.6 % in return for a total of $10.5 million. The Head of the Executive Board of the Isiklar Holding, Riza Kutluisik, delivered a speech held on the occasion and said that they were happy since they had made an important contribution to the economic cooperation between Turkey and Greece. Kutluisik remarked that the money received from the partnership would be used at the Paper Bag Factory of the Isiklar Packaging in Bulgaria which will begin to operate in May. /Aksam/

    [29] COTTARELLI IS HOPEFUL

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Chief of Turkey's Desk, Carlo Cottarelli, stated that Turkey had made a good start with its economic programme toward stabilizing its economics and decreasing its inflation rate. Cottarelli evaluated Turkish economics in a response to a correspondant from "Sabah" newspaper. Stressing that a significant decrease in inflation rate was expected in the second half of the year, Cottarelli also emphasized that the performance in the privatization programme was quite successful. /Sabah/

    [30] ARCELIK TO PRODUCE IN CHINA

    The Head of State of People's Republic of China, Jiang Zemin, will visit Beko Electronics' Plant in Istanbul today. The General Director of the Beko Electronics, Aydin Cubukcu, will give a brief to Zemin and President Suleyman Demirel about the companies of Koc Group and Beko Electronics and their trade relations with China. Before the visit, Cubukcu stated, "Arcelik, one of the largest producers of durable goods in Europe, is continuing negotiations to produce refrigerators in China and then market them in Turkey and Europe". He also said that they laid the foundation of trade relations with China in 1995 with the establishment of the Ram Pacific Company in Hong Kong. /Sabah/

    [31] EXTENSION IN NUCLEAR POWER STATION BIDDING

    Authorities stated that the bidding for establishing a Nuclear Power Station in Akkuyu might be further extended beyond the date originally envisaged, April 21st. /Sabah/

    [32] TURKEY'S HAZELNUT EXPORTS REACH $558 MILLION

    Turkey exported $558 million worth of hazelnuts -161,200 tons- in the 1999-2000 export season that opened on September 1, according to the Black Sea Hazelnut Exporters' Union. EU countries bought 145,500 tons of Turkey's hazelnut exports. Over the same period last year Turkey raised $592.8 million from 144,500 tons of hazelnut exports. /Turkish Daily News/

    [33] IS BANK SELLS PARTICIPATION STAKE

    Largest Turkish lender Is Bank has sold a 25 % stake in General Elektrik T.A.S. to parent company General Electronic Co. for $2.5 million in cash, the bank announced yesterday. The bank said it has collected the amount, recording a profit of 1.4 trillion TL from the sale. /All papers/

    [34] ALCATEL BEST BIDDER FOR TELECOM CONTRACT

    Telecommunications equipment producer Alcatel Teletas has given the best bid, $9.8 million, for Turk Telecom contract, Alcatel said. The company has been invited to negotiate the contract which entails the provision of 20,000 public phones with smart cards, booths and related software and hardware. Alcatel Teletas exports card phones to various countries including China, Palestine and Columbia, the company added. /Turkish Daily News/

    [35] 100 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE TRNC

    President Suleyman Demirel approved the decision of the Council of Ministers concerning the implementation of a loan agreement and the additional letter, which amount to 100 million US dollars and which was signed in Ankara within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Protocol between the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). /Cumhuriyet/

    [36] VIKING PAPER'S FOREIGN PARTNER

    Viking Paper Company, one of the companies of Yasar Group of Companies, is continuing discussions to develop cooperation with the SCA Group. These discussions were started so that the SCA Group, which has many foreign groups of companies abroad, will make new investments in Viking Paper Company, develop its technology and undertake activities together. The companies belonging to the Yasar Group has a share of 66.89% in the capital of Viking Paper Company. /Milliyet/

    [37] GALATASARAY-LEEDS UNITED MATCH TODAY

    Galatasaray left for Britain yesterday from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, where they were met with applause and affection. Galatasaray Coach Fatih Terim said, "We are going to play football. It is just a match." He added that he wanted the players to keep their mind on the game. Meanwhile, the man chosen to referee the second-leg Leeds United-Galatasaray match to be played today, is Slovakian Lubos Michel.

    At the same time, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that it is in constant contact with Leeds United Football Club and is keeping a close eye on developments. The Ministry added that one of the primary duties of the Foreign Ministry was to ensure the safety of Turks living abroad and their property, and that extended to Turkish football teams playing abroad as well. It has been noted that up to 70 deputies from the Turkish Parliament are looking for tickets for the match as they do not want Galatasaray to play unsupported. True Path Party (DYP) Giresun Deputy Rasim Zaimoglu has stated that he has been in contact with Leeds United authorities for extra tickets but is still waiting for a reply. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts have been continuing unabated to get Leeds United Football Club to reverse their decision not to allow Galatasaray fans into the Elland Road Stadium for the second-leg match today. /All papers/

    [38] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [39] ZEMIN IN ANKARA BY HADI ULUENGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Hadi Uluengin writes on the Chinese-Turkish relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "China is following a pragmatic policy. Chinese Head of State Jiang Zemin, who came to Ankara yesterday, is considered a centrist, despite his reformist policies. Before coming to Turkey Zemin visited Israel, which the Republic of China had considered a great enemy once. The US even had to warn Tel Aviv that it was going too far. The change of policy in China may lead to an improvement of relations between Turkey and itself. The improvement of relations is in the interests of both states. Even if we view arguments that the 21st century will be the "Chinese Age" cautiously, we have to admit that the country is a potential power.

    It has a great economic importance for Turkey both with regards to its giant import market, as well as being a source of cheap labour. We hope and expect the improvement of relations to gain momentum with Zemin's visit.

    However, the fact that our kinsmen in East Turkistan are living under the threat of racism creates a sour situation. Ankara has to follow a 'fine tuned' policy, one which is neither provocative nor in neglect of the situation our kinsmen are coping with.

    Turkey has to act as pragmatically as modern China, which remains loyal to the principles of Confucius such as obedience, industriousness and flexibility, while at the same time motivating its people with a "get rich" slogan.

    We must remember our kinsmen in Eastern Turkistan, while with friendly sentiments, we host the Head of State of the People's Republic of China".

    [40] AN OPEN EXPRESSION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on a situation which has created concern in foreign policy. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "A cause for concern has risen in Turkish foreign policy recently. Ankara is having difficulty expressing her interest in societies mainly of Turkish and Moslem origin living in countries with whom it wants to improve its relations. An example of this may be seen with the Chechnya problem in Russia and Eastern Turkistan with China.

    Certainly, establishing close ties with these states in various fields is in Turkey's own interests and a requirement of the role it wants to play in the region. Turkish diplomacy is expending great efforts to add momentum to relations with Russia and China.

    However, there is one difficulty facing this process: the Turkish community is sensitive toincidents taking place both in Chechnya and Eastern Turkistan. Certainly Turks cannot remain indifferent to the ethnic cleansing Russia engaged in against the Chechen people. The official policy of Ankara cannot disguise the sympathy and closeness Turkish people feel for the Chechens. A similar situation has been seen during Chinese Head of State Jiang Zemin's visit to Turkey. The assimilation policy and pressure used by the Chinese administration against Uigurs is been watched with concern in Turkey.

    The main difficulty for Ankara is to reach a compromise between the tendencies and feelings of the people and the official policies followed towards these states. Another difficulty stems from Turkish political and social structure. No one wants Turkey to be accused by these states or the international community of being in a similar situation. Therefore, Turkish diplomats find it necessary to base the "official policy" on some principles and standards. Turkey defends the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and takes a stand against ethnic terrorism. The Turkish State also stresses that ethnic and regional problems should be solved without resorting to violence, but rather through negotiations.

    During the process of forming close ties with countries like Russia and China , Turkey should express its opinions and expectations more clearly. The visit of the Chinese leader to Ankara provides an opportunity to do so."


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