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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-01-29

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>

AA Daily

29 January 1999 Friday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL STAFF DENIES ALLEGATIONS THAT PLANES WHICH TAKE OFF FROM INCIRLIK BOMB IRAQ
  • [03] MUBARAK, EGPYTIAN PRESIDENT DEPARTS TURKEY - DEMIREL: ''WE HAVE EXCHANGED VIEWS ON REGIONAL PROBLEMS, IRAQ AND KOSOVO''
  • [04] NEW YEAR RECEPTION OF PRESIDENT DEMIREL
  • [05] A TOTAL OF 28 TURKISH COMPANIES TO INVEST 43.7 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN UZBEKISTAN IN 1999
  • [06] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''IT HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD THAT ALERT (IN INCIRLIK) WAS GIVEN DUE TO MISPERCEPTIONS, MISCOMMUNICATION AND WRONG IMPRESSIONS''
  • [07] COOPERATION FACILITIES WITH ETHIOPIA
  • [08] RECONCILIATION IN THE DRAFT LAW ON THE BANKING SYSTEM - THE AUDITING AND ADJUSTMENT COUNCIL TO BE FORMED AFTER THE ELECTIONS - THE BUDGET DRAFT LAW OF 1999 FISCAL YEAR TO BE DISCUSSED BETWEEN 14 AND 24 FEBRUARY
  • [09] DUTCH FLAGGED CARGO SHIP RUNS AGROUND
  • [10] ''HOPE MERCHANTS'' CAPTURED ON THE ACT
  • [11] GREAT INTEREST ON TOUR TO EASTERN EUROPE
  • [12] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''IRAQ ISSUE IS AN EXTREMELY COMPLICATED ONE''
  • [13] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''DEMOCRACY IS THE ISSUE OF PUBLIC WILL. PEOPLE ITSELF WILL PROVIDE STABILITY IN THE COUNTRY''
  • [14] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''WE HAD THE FACILITY TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS CONCERNING OUR REGION AND SECURITY, TOGETHER WITH THE COMMANDERS''
  • [15] VIEWS OF NATO'S MILITARY FLANK EXPERTS: ''TURKEY AN INDISPENSABLE ALLY''
  • [16] INFLUX OF GERMAN TOURİSTS TO ANTALYA EXPECTED
  • [17] TURKEY CONDEMNS GREECE OVER 17-MONTHS IMPRISONMENT SENTENCE GIVEN TO AGA, ELECTED MUFTI OF XHANTI

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Jan 29, 1999. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    SCUD ALARM
    Incirlik Base in the Southern Adana Province was put on alert at 13:15 p.m. when there was an explosion near Mosul thinking that Saddam Hussein, Iraqi leader, attacked Turkey. Turkey, earlier requested Patriot missiles from the Iraq estimating that Saddam may stage such an attack. Patriot missiles are deployed around Incirlik airbase and ready for attack at every time.

    BOMB OF SAVAS IS HADEP
    The bomb of Vural Savas, Chief Prosecutor of High Court of Appeals, which he will disclose to the public was revealed to be HADEP. Chief Prosecutor will file a suit for the closure of HADEP which will enter elections on April 18. Four separate denouncements will be included in the file for HADEP which Savas keeps as a secret.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    THE US GOES BEYOND THE LIMITS
    Ankara feels concern that the U.S. planes are authorized to bomb Iraq even if there is not a threat and inclusion of Incirlik in this authority. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, expressing this concern said ''they seem to go beyond the limits. I can not know to what extend the pilots' pretext that 'they were locked on me' can be determined. I find the issue very concerning.''

    ITALIAN PASSPORT TO APO
    New clues are collected about Abdullah Ocalan, chief of separatist terrorist organization, who stayed in Italy for more than two months and later left for an unknown place. The information given by intelligence units to the high levels of the state said Ocalan left Rome together with 150 people and with Italian passport, adding that information flow among Rome-Russia-Caucasus-Middleast foreign line was provided after his escape.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR: ''CIA CAN KNOW WHERE OCALAN IS''
    Premier Bulent Ecevit received Alexander Lebedev, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, on Thursday. Responding a question of Ecevit, Lebedev said, ''Ocalan is not in Russia any more. We are not interested in him from now on. CIA, (the Central Intelligence Agency), can know where Ocalan is.''

    MUBARAK, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT, IN ANKARA
    It was reported that Housni Mubarak, the Egyptian President, would come to Ankara on Friday and meet President Suleyman Demirel on the latests developments in Iraq crisis. Mubarak would arrive in Ankara at 9.00 a.m. on Friday.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    TURKEY'S 12 REQUESTS
    The Foreign Ministry upgrades the plan about Iraq which was prepared by Premier Bulent Ecevit in 1996. Turkey's requests about Iraq are listed in 12 articles, such as lifting the economic ambargo in Iraq, a security coridor in Northern Iraq, elections in Northern Iraq, Provide Comfort campaign.

    DETERMINATION IS EMPHASIZED IN MGK MEETING
    The Natural Security Council (MGK) meeting to which also the minority government of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) attended, emphasized unanimously once more to continue the struggle against fundemantalism, terrorism and the gangs. MGK also discussed the latest developments after Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization, left Italy and the latest events on Cyprus following the elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    THE TARGET OF SAVAS IS HADEP
    Vural Savas, Supreme Court Republican Chief Prosecutor, will file a law suit demanding the closure of HADEP. Savas said in his indictment for closure of HADEP that the party initiated efforts against the ban for the activities which are against the solidarity of the Turkish Republic.

    THE POLICE ORGANIZATION TO BE AN 'UNDERSECRETARIAT'
    The Interior Ministry prepared a draft law concerning the convertion of the Police Organization into an undersecretariat. In case the project is realized, the police organization will be directly responsible to the prime minister.

    YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL) SCUD ALARM IN INCIRLIK
    Incırlik Base in southern Adana province had an active day. It was claimed that Iraq sent scud missiles to Incırlik base and Turkey destroyed these missiles by the Patriots in the air. However, the officials rejected this event and said that the event was just a maneouvre.

    THE HIDDEN HUNCHBACK OF TWO BANKS
    The amount of money which Ziraat Bank and Halkbank, the state banks, have to get from the Treasury reached to 15 million U.S dollars. The state uses these two banks as its money box.

    TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)

    WHAT HAPPENS AT INCIRLIK?
    An alarm was given in Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Adana province at about 13:15. Gas masks were distributed during the alarm. Overall entrances and exists were ceased while the offices were locked and all American and Turkish staff were banned to leave the base without permission. General staff statement said there was an explosion 25 miles northeast to Mosul and that there was no threat towards Turkey.

    NSC: NO CONCESSION TO ANY DESTRUCTIVE ACTIVITY
    National Security Council (NSC) convened under the Chairmanship of President Suleyman Demirel on Thursday. Internal and external developments were evaluated during the meeting which Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit participated in for the first time. NSC reviewed the measures that will be taken in struggle against fundamentalist, and destructive activities and organized crime.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    MISSILE PANIC IN THE STOCK EXCHANGE MARKET
    The shares lost 3.8 percent in value. The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) had an active day after Turkey heard that Incirlik Base was alarmed. The index, thus dropped to 2,463 points in the second session on Thursday.

    [02] THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL STAFF DENIES ALLEGATIONS THAT PLANES WHICH TAKE OFF FROM INCIRLIK BOMB IRAQ

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - The Office of the General Staff said on Thursday that bombing activity of the U.S. planes taking off from Incirlik Base was not in question, adding that such an implementation was not possible within the framework of the existing resolutions of the Parliament and Council of Ministers.

    The Office of General Staff issued a written statement saying that ''Operation Northern Watch'' was a reconnaissance and prevention activity aiming to prevent Iraqi planes to violate no-fly zone in the 36th parallel in Northern Iraq and to halt hostile activities of Iraq against the people living in the region.

    The statement said, ''this operation is performed appropriate to the resolution of Parliament dated Dec 25, 1996. The aircrafts which take off from Incirlik perform their duties by staying in northern part of 36th parallel. The planes do not open fire and only perform reconnaissance activity unless there is an attack towards them. Yet, coalition aircrafts, within the framework of self-defense, counter if Iraq opens fire with anti- aircraft planes and missiles.''

    ''Any activity apart from the mentioned above, can only be possible with a new resolution of the Parliament,'' the statement said, stressing that bombardment by the U.S. planes which took off from Incirlik, towards Iraq was out of question, as it was mentioned in the press.

    [03] MUBARAK, EGPYTIAN PRESIDENT DEPARTS TURKEY - DEMIREL: ''WE HAVE EXCHANGED VIEWS ON REGIONAL PROBLEMS, IRAQ AND KOSOVO''

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President, departed Turkey on Friday after meeting with President Suleyman Demirel. Mubarak stopped by Turkey before going to Davos city of Switzerland, where World Economic Forum will take place.

    Mubarak and Demirel staged a joint news conference following their 45- minute tete-a-tete meeting in Ankara's Esenboga Airport.

    Addressing the news conference, Demirel said, ''Turkey and Egypt, as two big states, have been supporters of peace and stability, and acted together in affairs which will contribute to peace and stability.''

    Noting that they have exchanged views with Mubarak on issues concerning regional problems, Iraq and Kosovo, Demirel said, ''we have similar opinions almost on every issue. I should say I am satisfied over the views which Mubarak conveyed regarding the regional issues.''

    Demirel said he called Mubarak on the phone and conveyed him his wish to hold a consultation in Ankara before leaving for Davos and thanked to Mubarak for his visit and added that consultations will continue in the coming days.

    Mubarak in his part said, ''there is a periodical consultation between my brother and me. We exchange views on issues concerning the regional countries.''

    Mubarak said they have discussed Kosovo and regional problems,pointing out that ''we agree on all issues that were taken up, there is a consensus of opinion between us.''

    [04] NEW YEAR RECEPTION OF PRESIDENT DEMIREL

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel held the second of his new year receptions in the Presidential Residence at Cankaya on Thursday evening.

    Businessmen; generals; many high-ranking officials including Senkal Atasagun, the Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT); artists including Sener Sen, famous actor, and Ajda Pekkan, famous singer; the heads of some institutions including Dervis Gunday, the Director General of Turkish Traders and Small Businessmen's Confederation (TESK), and Ziya Sonay, the Director General of Turkish Journalists' Trade Union (TGS); and many journalists attended the reception.

    [05] A TOTAL OF 28 TURKISH COMPANIES TO INVEST 43.7 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN UZBEKISTAN IN 1999

    TASHKENT, Jan 29 (A.A) - A total of 28 Turkish companies will invest 43.7 million U.S. dollars in Uzbekistan in 1999, it is reported on Thursday.

    The Investment Programme of 1999 in Uzbekistan was ratified by the Council of Ministers. The programme foresees the realization of a total of 2.1 billion U.S. dollar investment in 1999, including 1.7 million U.S. dollar public investment and 413 million U.S. dollar private sector investment.

    The names of the 28 Turkish companies which are included in the 1999 investment program in Uzbekistan are Dem-Et, Bereket-Alfa, Itako-Altin Deri, Ram Dis Ticaret, Asya-Turk, Silm Incorp., Ufuk, Helsi, Efendi, Klear Co Corp. Tur-bek, Ayna Plast, Bulat, Dadas, Polat Incorp., Medeniyet, Oguz Tekstil, Nur Art, Anka, Aknur, Herkul, Yasar, Yildiz, Akan, SlverGlobe, Uzer Tic., Martur, and Nizam.

    [06] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''IT HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD THAT ALERT (IN INCIRLIK) WAS GIVEN DUE TO MISPERCEPTIONS, MISCOMMUNICATION AND WRONG IMPRESSIONS''

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that it was understood that the alert given in Incirlik stemmed from misperceptions, miscommunication and wrong impressions, adding that there was not any attack on Turkish territory.

    Responding to the questions of reporters, Ecevit said ''any danger on Turkish territories is regardless of question, this has been disclosed both by the U.S. officials and General Staff.''

    When recalled his meeting with Senkal Atasagun, Undersecretary of National Intelligence Organization (MIT), and when asked if there was any development regarding whereabouts of terrorist chief, Ecevit said, ''no, various rumours continue. We are evaluating them, yet, there is not something absolute. He will not be able to find a place to shelter.''

    Responding to a question, Ecevit said economic relations between the two countries were taken up during his meeting with Aleksander Lebedev, Russia's Ambassador to Ankara.

    When asked about his views regarding protest activity of the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) in the Parliament, Ecevit said ''this is an act which is late. They know that it is very hard to convene the Parliament even for budget. If they were sincere to this end, they would have helped us when we brought this issue to the agenda a few months ago.''

    [07] COOPERATION FACILITIES WITH ETHIOPIA

    ISTANBUL, Jan 29 (A.A) - Bekele Bengesse, Ethiopia's Trade attaché on Thursday called on Turkish businessmen to invest in his country.

    The meeting which was staged with the cooperation of Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK) and Ethiopia's Honorary Consulate, in which business facilities in construction, textile, ready-made clothes and food sector in Ethiopia, took place in Istanbul.

    Bengesse, Ethiopia's Trade Attaché, addressing the meeting said they have passed to free market economy in the year 1992 and that foreign capital investments increased in his country.

    Noting that government of Ethiopia supported trade and provided assurances to foreign entrepreneurs, Bengesse said ''great investments are required in the fields of tourism, transportation, communication infrastructure, construction and textile.''

    Bengesse pointed out that there was a great potential in his country, adding that they invited Turkish businessmen to invest in their country.

    Yasemin Oncel, DEIK Regional Coordinator, said Turkey was also affected by the global crisis, adding that new markets were required to get rid of this crisis.

    She said, ''there is a great potential in Ethiopia in every field, Turkish companies should evaluate this.''

    Stressing that Turkish business world was interested in Africa in the recent years, Oncel said Turkish products should be promoted in these markets better.

    [08] RECONCILIATION IN THE DRAFT LAW ON THE BANKING SYSTEM - THE AUDITING AND ADJUSTMENT COUNCIL TO BE FORMED AFTER THE ELECTIONS - THE BUDGET DRAFT LAW OF 1999 FISCAL YEAR TO BE DISCUSSED BETWEEN 14 AND 24 FEBRUARY

    ANKARA, Jan 28 (A.A) - The meeting which was held to have a compromise between the political parties to discuss the draft law on the banking system had a tendency to form the Banking Auditing and Adjustment Council after the elections and to ease the punishments.

    Zekeriya Temizel, the Minister of Finance, said after the meeting that there were just slight differences in the points of the views of the parties which attended the meeting.

    Stating that the representatives of the parties which attended the meeting had different ideas about the formation of the Banking Auditing and Adjustment Council, Temizel said that the parties had a tendency to form this council after the elections and that the dependence of this council to the Minister of Finance is out of question.

    Stressing that the draft law have to be on the agenda of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Temizel noted that it is not necessary to meet again to discuss the same issues before Wednesday but that they can discuss some items on phone until that day.

    Responding a question whether or not an article will be added to the draft concerning the prevention of the liquidation of the banks, Temizel said, ''the law is prepared by taking into consideration all the possibilities. It is a consistent law. It is not necessary to add an article for special cases.''

    The last meeting of the Budget Draft Law of 1999 Fiscal Year which was expected to be discussed in the Planning and Budgetary Comission on Friday, is postponed to Tuesday because of the schedule of Zekeriya Temizel.

    The draft will be discussed between February 14 and 24 in the Parliament.

    [09] DUTCH FLAGGED CARGO SHIP RUNS AGROUND

    ISTANBUL, Jan 29 (A.A) - A Dutch flagged cargo ship was grounded in Yenikoy coasts, it was reported on Thursday.

    The 2.900 gross tons cargo ship named ''Dutch Trader'', passing from Istanbul Strait with the cargo taken from Varna Harbour of Bulgaria, ran aground in Yenikoy coasts at around 20:30.

    Officials of Harbour Chairmanship, said efforts were underway to rescue the ship which did not take guide.

    Meanwhile, members of an environmentalist organization, named ''Nature Warriors'' held a demonstration near the ship calling for required measures to be taken for safe passages from the Straits.

    Members of the environmentalist organization wrote ''We don't want you here'' and ''Not let the Straits be horror tunnels'' with sprays on the ship.

    Zafer Murat Cetintas, the spokesman of the organization, said ship passages from the Straits threatened whole of Istanbul and give damages to the city.

    [10] ''HOPE MERCHANTS'' CAPTURED ON THE ACT

    ISTANBUL, Jan 29 (A.A) - Seven members of a gang, planning to take 81 Asian and African illegal immigrants and 20 Turks, to Italy by ships in return for 2,000 U.S. dollars per person, were captured red handed. The Asian and African people entered Turkey illegally.

    Teams of Financial Department Directorate, stopped a truck in which there were citizens of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sudan, which the gang wanted to take first to southern Antalya province and than to Italy.

    Interrogation of the members of the gang is underway.

    [11] GREAT INTEREST ON TOUR TO EASTERN EUROPE

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - All seats were reserved for the ''Europe Tour'' of Turkish Railroad Company, covering five countries.

    Raytur officials said people who love to have long train voyages showed great interest for the tour that will start from Istanbul on April 30. Interest of those people, most of whom were elderly, caused the reservations to be filled although there are still three months.

    Sale of the tickets for the tour to Europe will start by mid-February. This is the first tour of Turkish Raidroad Company to abroad. The one who attends the tour will have the facilities to see historical and touristic beauties of Bucharest, Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Sofia.

    Raytur will make life insurance to the ones who will attend the tour.

    [12] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''IRAQ ISSUE IS AN EXTREMELY COMPLICATED ONE''

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that problem between the U.S. and Iraq was the problem of Iraq with the international community which started with Kuwait.

    Responding to a question about the problem between the U.S. and Iraq, Demirel said it was not the problem of Turkey but as Turkey is included in the international community and as it is Iraq's neighbour, the issue concerns Turkey.

    Demirel said Turkey had assumed an attitude against the oppression of Baghdad administration on Northern Iraqi people in the year 1987 and 1988. Demirel said first of all more than 50,000 peshmergas entered from Turkish borders and that Turkey hosted them for two years. ''There is also a massacre put on people in Halepce by using chemical weapons, more than half million people entered to Turkey following this incident in April 1991. Also, inhumane acts that may be imposed on people in Northern Iraq, will interest Turkey not only because we are a neighbouring country but also because people living in two sides of the borders are the same people.''

    Demirel said, ''apart from the humanist feelings we have towards those people, Turkish State also has interests to those people. Turkey will do whatever she promised, this is a requirement of her national interests.''

    When asked if there was a possibility of Turkey's inclusion to a hot clash, Demirel said, ''who will clash with who? Iraq, following Kuwaiti issue on April 3, 1991 had accepted to surrender without condition. There are no: 687-688 resolutions of the United Nations. Turkey will do what it promised with the agreements as a requirement of its national interests. Turkey wants everything to be overcomed in peace. Iraqi issue is a complicated and conflicted one and it is not clear at the moment how to overcome this.''

    [13] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''DEMOCRACY IS THE ISSUE OF PUBLIC WILL. PEOPLE ITSELF WILL PROVIDE STABILITY IN THE COUNTRY''

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that democracy was the issue of public will, adding that people itself will provide stability in the country.

    Responding to the questions of reporters, Demirel said Supreme Election Board (YSK) earlier disclosed that two tour local elections may take effect during general elections on April 18 if the Parliament can issue a law adopting two tour local elections.

    Demirel pointed out that postponement of elections was not supported by the parties in the Parliament.

    Responding to a question about the call for closure of Peoples' Democracy Party (HADEP), Demirel said such issues concern justice, not him.

    [14] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''WE HAD THE FACILITY TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS CONCERNING OUR REGION AND SECURITY, TOGETHER WITH THE COMMANDERS''

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, evaluating his meetings with Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Chief of General Staff, Force Commanders and General Commander of Gendarme, said ''we had the facility to discuss problems concerning our region and security. It was very fruitful.''

    Responding to the questions of reporters, Ecevit said a consensus of opinion was reached in National Security Council (NSC) meeting on the issue of holding local elections in two tours. When asked why this was not included in the statement, Ecevit said ''this is not mentioned at a decision. We are at the stage of investigation.''

    When asked ''news reports came that a missile was hurled from Iraq and this was unofficially confirmed by the military flanks'', Ecevit said ''it was disclosed that news reports to this end were baseless.''

    When asked if two tour elections can be held in April 18 elections, Ecevit said ''no outcome could be reached to this end so far.''

    Responding to a question about the closure of Peoples' Democracy Party (HADEP), Ecevit said this issue concerned justice and that he will not be able to make a statement.

    [15] VIEWS OF NATO'S MILITARY FLANK EXPERTS: ''TURKEY AN INDISPENSABLE ALLY''

    BRUSSELS, Jan 29 (A.A) - Military officials of NATO said on Friday that Turkey played a very important role within the body of the Alliance and pointed out that Turkey is an indispensable ally.

    Officers of the Alliance, who staged information briefings to Turkish press in NATO European Forces Commandership (SHAPE), said responded to questions about ''European Defense and Security Identity'' tried to be formed in European Union (EU) flank. They gave the message that security of Europe can not be thought without NATO, the U.S. and Turkey.

    Noting that Europe's security can not be provided with parallel formations to NATO, the officers said future roles of the U.S. and Turkey will not change, adding that ''European allies are expected to spent more money to their defense and take over responsibilities.''

    Pointing out that Turkey has the biggest army of Europe and stressing the importance of this for NATO, the military experts said this country can not be isolated from European defense umbrella.

    Officers said cost of the first enlargement of NATO was 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

    [16] INFLUX OF GERMAN TOURİSTS TO ANTALYA EXPECTED

    ANTALYA (A.A) - 20 percent increase in number of German tourists to Antalya is expected in 1999 compared with the previous year, said Mr. Şevki Türgen Bulut, the President of Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) on Friday.

    He told A.A correspondent that 50 percent of the tourists visiting Antalya is from Germany. adding that 1.377 thousand German tourists came in 1998, and the number is expected to increase to more than 1.500 thousand in 1999.

    ''Because, all according to the initial data, there are some good signals coming from Germany. We estimate that there will be 20 percent increase in number of the tourists coming from Germany,'' he said.

    ''The total number of the the tourists visiting Antalya realized around 2, 700 thousand in 1998; and in 1999, we expect that the number will increase to three million,'' he pointed out.

    He said that there's also a big demand to Antalya from East European countries as much as from German market.

    ''To be precise, the people from countries like Poland, Hungary, Bulgary, Romania are now more interested in Turkey and particularly in Antalya. The agencies started holding quota agreements with hotels. At the moment, Russian market is uncertain. It's difficult to say whether it will increase or decrease for the moment. But there's an increase in number of Russian tourists coming for luggage trade. Israeli tourists came during all winter season. Israeli tourists do shopping, despite the casinos are closed. We expect that the year of 1999 will be more efficient than the year of 1998, as far as tourism is concerned,'' he said.

    [17] TURKEY CONDEMNS GREECE OVER 17-MONTHS IMPRISONMENT SENTENCE GIVEN TO AGA, ELECTED MUFTI OF XHANTI

    ANKARA, Jan 29 (A.A) - Turkey on Friday condemned 17-months imprisonment terms given to Mehmet Emin Aga, elected Mufti of Xhanti, by Greece, with an illegal implementation forming human rights violation.

    A Foreign Ministry statement said Mehmet Emin Aga, elected Mufti of Western Thrace Turkish Minority in the city of Xhanti of Greece, was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment terms from three separate cases in hearings held on Wednesday in Court of Appeals in Lamia city in northern part of Athens, adding that ''we condemn this illegal implementation of Greece forming human rights violation.''

    The statement said elected Mufti of Xhanti and leading names of Western Thrace minority were imposed to judicial prosecution which is contrary to international agreements and they were tried to be oppressed, adding that everybody supporting law and human rights should oppose to this. The statement also called on Greece to respect rights of Western Thrace Turkish minority.

    The Foreign Ministry statement said Greece, which sentenced Mufti to imprisonment terms also violated the Athens Agreement dated 1913, and the Article 40 of Laussane Agreement by preventing Turkish minority to choose its Mufti although it gives the Greek church the right to choose its metropolitan, and the Jewish Community to choose its Rabbi.

    A.A


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