View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Istanbul, Turkey)
For Immediate Release                                  November 18, 1999


President Clinton, accompanied by Secretary of State Albright, today hosted a small, informal gathering of representatives from Turkey's many non-governmental organizations to underscore the importance of voluntary organizations in building civil society. The participants from Turkey were Mr. Yilmaz Ensaroglu of the human rights group Mazlum-Der; Mr. Hayrettin Karaca of Turkey's Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA), a leading environmental organization; Ms. Zulal Kilic of Women Candidates Supporting Foundation (KADER), an organization which promotes women's participation in politics; Mr. Kemal Koprulu of the ARI movement, a leadership training and political reform organization; and Mr. Sezgin Tanrikulu, a prominent human rights lawyer from Diyarbakir.

The President, Secretary of State, and participants discussed developments in Turkey since the earthquake in August, the status of human rights, and the role of NGOs in Turkey. President Clinton expressed his pleasure at meeting with the leaders and wished them success in their important work helping to build the Turkey of the 21st century.