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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-24

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

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


[01] AA Daily

24 November 1999 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 24, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

TERM OF ARREST FOR ERDAL EXTENDED
The term of arrest for Fehriye Erdal, the suspect of Ozdemir Sabanci assasination, was extended in the court session held in Belgium. The lawyers of Erdal asked for the release of their client by claiming that there was no reason to keep her under arrest. The lawyer said that they applied to another court for the release of their client, adding that their request will start to be discussed in this court on Wednesday. Fehriye Erdal had been captured with a false identity card arranged in the name of Nese Yildirim in Knokke city of Belgium on November 26, 1999.

DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 719
The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center stated that 719 people were killed while 5,169 others were injured in the wake of the 7.2-magnitude quake which devastated Bolu province on November 12. A total of 4,858 dwellings and 1,025 business places collapsed or suffered heavy damages in the quake.

EU SEEKS MILITARY IDENTITY
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister who is in Luxembourg to attend the Western European Union (WEU) Council meetings, said, ''Turkey's participation to the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) will be proportional to authority which will be given to Turkey in the decision taking mechanism. The European Union (EU) is working on a new arrangement. They want Turkey to participate in the EDSI. But our contribution to the EDSI will be proportional to our authority and position in the decision taking mechanism. Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Norway, and Iceland are members of the NATO, but they are not members of the EU. The EU wants to form a military organization. Turkey's exclusion is not in question.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

VERGAU:''IF OCALAN IS EXECUTED TURKEY CAN FORGET HELSINKI SUMMIT''
Hans-Joachim Vergau, the German Ambassador to Turkey, said that if Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, is executed, Turkey can forget the Helsinki Summit. Vergau noted that Turkey would be granted candidacy status at the European Union's (EU) Helsinki Summit in December. Vergau said that a perfect impression had emerged about Turkey following last week's Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in Istanbul where significant progress was recorded as a result of Turkey's relations with Russian and eastern neighbours.

CELEBRATIONS IN VIENNA
Celebrations are taking place in Vienna to mark the 700th anniversary of foundation of the Ottoman Empire. The celebrations were sponsored by the University of Vienna, the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the Austrian Diplomacy Academy, the Bank Austria, the Vienna Municipality, the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and the Esbank.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

ECEVIT INVITED TO HELSINKI
Finland, the Term President of the European Union (EU), invited Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the luncheon which will be organized after the EU Leaders Summit in Helsinki on December 11. Ecevit has not responded to the invitation yet. Ecevit is expected to pay a visit to Helsinki in case of announcement of Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

SEZEN AKSU AND HARIS ALEKSIU CHARM ATHENIANS
Sezen Aksu and Haris Aleksiu, two prominent singers, charmed Athenians. The singers sang their most beloved tunes both in Turkish and Greek languages during the concert in the Palas Theatre. Nearly 3 thousand people watched the concert. Aksu and Aleksiu had previously given a concert in Istanbul on November 3.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

VERDICT ABOUT OCALAN TO BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW
The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 will announce its verdict about the appeal of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, tomorrow. Diplomats and politicians have begun to discuss possible impacts of the verdict if the capital punishment given to Ocalan is approved.

JOINT DEFENSE WITH THE U.S
During U.S. President Bill Clinton's official visit to Turkey last week, important progress have been recorded in the fields of energy, military, and bilateral economic relations. The U.S invited three high-level military officials to the U.S. within scope of the joint works againts a possible missile threat from the Middle East.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

IMF ACTS STINGY
Turkey and the IMF agreed on a three year stand-by agreement after the discussions which continued for three weeks. The concerned sides agreed upon the content of the letter of intention, but Turkey couldn't get what she expected. IMF will give Turkey 4 billion dollars including the quake aid rather than 10 billion dollars. Carlo Cottarelli, the chief of IMF's Turkey desk said that ''the highest amount of credit which is given to countries which are not in crisis, will be given to Turkey.''

HE BECOMES GOVERNOR, BUT NOT A MAN!
Nusret Miroglu, the governor of Bolu province hit Gulsen Ozer, a quake survivor in her face to stop her talking. Gulsen Ozer was later taken into custody and questioned by anti-terrorism police teams as if she was a terrorist. Calling Ozer an anarchist and provocator, Miroglu said that ''the people revolts due to liars like you.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

DEMIREL: ''TURKEY WILL NOT ACCEPT AN
INVOLUNTARY SOLUTION ON CYPRUS''
President Suleyman Demirel told Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, that Turkey would not accept an involuntary solution on Cyprus. Demirel said, ''the solution should be fair. An involuntary solution can lead a war between Turkey and Greece.''

BAHCELI:''OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROJECTS ARE ALSO BENEFICIAL
FOR EURASIA AND TURKISH REPUBLICS IN CENTRAL ASIA''
Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister, said, ''the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project and the trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline project are also beneficial for Eurasia and for Turkish Republics in Central Asia.'' Addressing the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) group meeting, Bahceli described signing of the agreements during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul last week, as an historical event.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
If the prefabricated huts are not ready on November 30, the quake survivors will be exposed to winter disaster this time. The problems of the survivors about tents, shelter, and food have not been solved yet, although 3,5 months passed since the massive earthquake which shook Marmara region on August 17. Survivors try to spend the winter in summer-tents .

STAND-BY ALMOST READY
An agreement was reached with the IMF delegation which is in Turkey for three weeks. The agreement was announced by a press briefing held last night. IMF will give 3,5 billion dollars to Turkey for a term of three years. Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of the Treasury said that the IMF considered the programme of the government as stable, adding the inflation rate will be decreased to 25 percent in 2000, to 10 percent in 2001 and to one digit number in 2002.

[03] IMF DELEGATION CONCLUDES ITS CONTACTS - TREASURY UNDERSECRETARY DEMIRALP: ''WE'VE REACHED A GENERAL AGREEMENT AFTER DISCUSSING DRAFT LETTER OF INTENTION''

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of the Treasury said that they have reached a general agreement after discussing the draft letter of intention with the IMF delegation on Tuesday night.

Speaking in a press briefing together with Carlo Cottarelli, the leader of the IMF delegation and Gazi Ercel, the Director of Central Bank, Demiralp stated that the IMF delegation wrapped up its contacts and it would leave Turkey on Wednesday morning.

Demiralp pointed out that they decided to conclude a stand-by agreement for a term of three years which will start in 2000. ''The draft letter of intention will be presented to our authorities and after getting their approval, it will be signed next week and sent to IMF,'' he said.

All balances of the public sector, particularly general budget expenditures, income performances, and the general balance of the non-budget public sector were reviewed during the negotiations which continued for three weeks, said Demiralp. ''The reconstruction of the banking sector has also come to the agenda. We worked on a draft to change the existing law and our government's approval of that is necessary,'' he added.

Pointing out to the negative effect of the increase in real interests in economy, due to the increase in internal debt stock, Demiralp said ''we have to decrease the internal debt stock to decrease the real interests. All the measures taken aim at decreasing both this stock and real interests. We target to decrease the inflation rate to 25 percent in 2000, to 10 percent in 2001 and 5-7 percent in 2002. The IMF support comes true by releasing the quotas. And this is used in supporting the balance of payments. Nearly 4 billion dollars will be created as a source due to releasing 1,35 billion dollars of quotas for three years. The source of 500 million dollars which was sent as an emergency aid credit, is included in that. I suppose that this programme will be perceived well by internal and external markets. I wish the programme will be advantageous for our country.''

Cottarelli said in his part that the Turkish government's programme is very ambitious.

[04] IMF DELEGATION CONCLUDES ITS CONTACTS

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of the Treasury, said late on Tuesday that sources which will be provided from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be evaluated together with the World Bank's loans.

Demiralp staged a joint press conference with Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of IMF Turkey Desk, and Gazi Ercel, the Director General of the Central Bank.

Demiralp told reporters that Turkey was provided with an opportunity of 4 billion U.S. dollars for a term of three years.

Noting that the IMF and the World Bank loans should be evaluated together, Demiralp stressed that the World Bank could provide Turkey a loan worth of 3 billion U.S. dollars.

Recalling that Turkey and the World Bank had signed an agreement regarding one-billion U.S. dollars loan due to earthquake disaster which devastated Turkey's industrial heartland on August 17, Demiralp said that large amounts of finance would come to Turkey with these loans.

Carlo Cottarelli, the head of the IMF delegation said that the loan worth of 3.5 billion U.S. dollars was the highest amount given to countries having no crisis in their current balances.

Cottarelli noted that further talks would be held in Washington D.C. to set the date when the loan will be sent to Turkey.

Meanwhile, Gazi Ercel told reporters that program was prepared for international and domestic finance markets.

Ercel said that funds of the markets would increase as long as Turkey decrease inflation and implement the program.

Noting that the world finance system has not been formed on the IMF and the World Bank funds any more, Ercel stressed that the main funds would come form the markets.

[05] IMF DELEGATION CONCLUDES ITS CONTACTS - CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR ERCEL: ''SIGNING STAND-BY IS AN IMPORTANT EVENT''

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - Gazi Ercel, the Governor of the Central Bank said early on Wednesday that signing the Stand-by agreement is an important event.

Speaking in the press briefing, Ercel stated that they aim at both including structural policies to a very strong powerful finance and at the same time implementing this programme by very strong monetary and foreign exchange policies.

Ercel pointed out that Turkey's solving its inflation problem which continues for 30 years is important, adding the resolution of the government and decreasing the inflation rate to one-digit number are also very important.

After the approval of the Stand-By by the IMF Executive Board, the letter of intent will be announced to public opinion.

Ercel said that when they announce the letter of intent, everybody will see how they work in detail on the programme and how strong is the programme.

''I believe that Turkey will solve its problem of inflation in one-three years,'' he added.

Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of the Treasury said in his part that a country which is in a balance of payment crisis can get sources more than Turkey, but the latter is not in such a crisis and Turkey has got the highest amount of source from IMF.

Turkey does not have a problem of balance of payments and she has enough reserves, said Demiralp and added that the amount of the balance of payments will increase as the source extended by IMF is high.

Responding to a question about implementation calendar of the Stand-By, Demiralp said that it will last for three years, but they will focus mainly on the first year, meaning on 2000. The balance of incomes and expenditures should be kept on a monthly basis for a succesful Stand-By, he said.

The items of the Stand-By and the letter of intent should not be considered as commitments, Demiralp said and added that these are targets and the most important of them is decreasing the inflation.

Demiralp stressed that spendings must be limited to control the internal debt stock and underlined the fact that Stand-By agreement is a financial discipline agreement in its structure.

Demiralp said, before sending the Letter of Intent to Washington D.C., it must be signed in Turkey. After its approval by the government next week, it will be sent to the IMF.

''But we agreed in principle on the Stand-By. We tried to reach the agreement within the framework of the agreement concluded with IMF on July 2,'' he said.

Responding to a question about the foundation and operation of the Supreme Board of Banking, Demiralp said that the Board should be founded with all of its functions and this issue is also foreseen by the government. They still work to prepare the infrastructure of the Board, he said.

Carlo Cottarelli said in his part that ''As I said many times the aim of decreasing the inflation is the most important issue in Turkey. There is both a high inflation rate and very high real interest problem and these two are connected to each other. By decreasing the inflation, you can also decrease the real interests and this brings economic revival.''

[06] TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY ULUCEVIK: ''WE CONDEMN RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA TOGETHER WITH GERMANS''

MOLLN, Nov 24 (A.A) - Three Turkish citizens Bahide Arslan, Ayse Yılmaz, and Yeliz Arslan, who died in an arson attack staged by two neo-nazi Germans seven years ago in Molln city of Germany, were commemorated on Tuesday evening.

Tugay Ulucevik, the Turkish Ambassador to Germany, Consul General Kasif Eryalcın in Hamburg, Wolfgang Engelmann, the Molln mayor and many Turks and Germans participated in the activities held to commemorate the three Turks.

After the religious prayer in the mosque, another one was also held in Nikolai Church.

Speaking in the opening ceremony of the memorial built for the three Turks, Ulucevik said that they gathered together to resist ideas of racism and xenophobia and to prevent crimes which are products of such ideas.

Necessary lessons should be drawn from these painful events which also happened in Schwandorf, Solingen, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe, said Ulucevik and pointed out that ''Germans and Turks give hand in hand and condemn racism and xenophobia together.''

Congratulating Ulrich Wehls for including ''Molln violence'' in his last book, Ulucevik said ''this book will take its place in the history as a symbol of Molln violence.''

Angelika Birk, the minister of Schleswig-Holstein state responsible from youth and family, said in her part that ''we will never forget that event.''

Two racists namely Michael Peters and Lars Christiansen staged an arson attack on a building in a street where many Turks were living on November 22, 1992 and later called the fire brigade saying ''we burned foreigners.'' They caused killing of three Turks and injuring another one by their arson attack.

Lars Christiansen was sentenced to ten years of heavy imprisonment and Michael Peters was sentenced to life imprisonment after being captured.

[07] ATO CONDEMNS POLICE ATTACK ON TURKISH BUSINESSMEN IN GERMANY

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - Sinan Aygun, the Chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Trade (ATO) condemned on Wednesday beating and detention of Turkish businessmen in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Issuing a written statement, Aygun described the incident in a country which claims to be extremely sensitive on the issue of human rights, as a misfortune.

Aygun sent letters to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Hans-Joachim Vergau, the German Ambassador to Turkey, and to the Dusseldorf Chamber of Trade, and condemned the police attack on Turkish businessmen.

In his letter to German Chancellor Schroeder, Aygun stressed that such an ill-treatment towards Turkish businessmen could not be accepted.

Aygun also expressed concern over that such incidents can damage commercial relations between Turkey and Germany.

Aygun called on German officials to launch a full investigation into the incident with the aim of punishing those who were responsible.

Aygun also added that he wanted to visit Vergau together with the Turkish businessmen.

He requested Vergau to launch an initiative on behalf of Germany, and apologize from Turkish businessmen who were injured in the incident.

[08] STEPS TAKEN FOR BLUE STREAM'S PART IN SEA

MOSCOW, Nov 24 (A.A) - Russian Gazprom company signed on Tuesday night the necessary agreements concerning the construction of Blue Stream natural gas pipeline's 380 kilometers part that will pass over Black Sea bed.

The construction of the Blue Stream's sea part will be composed of building the Beragovaya compressor station and of the pipeline which will reach 2150 meters in depth.

The agreement will enter into force after implementation of certain conditions. One of these conditions is signing a protocol by Turkey and Russia about the issue of tax exemption and the protocol's approval by their internal laws.

Fuat Celepci, the Deputy Director General of BOTAS told A.A that BOTAS was invited to the signing ceremony as a witness.

This signature carries great importance for Turkey, said Celepci and added that this showed that the pipelines' part in the Black Sea can be realized.

Rem Vyahiriyev, the President of Gazprom said that a ''special protocol'' will be signed with Turkey next month.

The agreements were signed by Blue Stream Pipeline Company BV (under the partnership of Italian ENI and Gazprom) on the one side and ENI's firm SAIPEM, French Bouygues firm and Japanese consortium composed of Mitsui, Simitomo, and Itochu, on the other side.

[09] TURKISH ARTISTS LIVING IN THE U.S., MEET IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK, Nov 24 (A.A) - Nearly 60 Turkish artists living in the U.S., met on Wednesday in New York.

Artists including Sule Ulgen, a model-maker, Burhan Dogancay, a photographer and painter, Gulsun Erbil, a painter, and Sirin Devrim, a writer, came together at the meeting which was organized by Mehmet N. Ezen, the Turkish Consul General in New York.

Addressing the meeting, Ezen called on artists to contribute to improvement of Turkish society.

Ezen also pledged to support Turkish artists living in the U.S.

[10] TURKEY ELECTED AS IMO COUNCIL MEMBER FOR THE FIRST TIME

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that position of Turkey, which was elected to the Council Membership of International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the first time, will be further strengthened, and that its contributions will increase.

Addressing a weekly news conference, Atacanli recalled that 21st General Assembly of IMO started in London, adding that IMO Council membership were held in November 19.

Atacanli said Turkey got 76 of 124 valid votes and was elected as a Council member for the first time.

''Turkey is one of the founder members of IMF and actively participates in the activities of the organization since 1958. Our Council membership will further strengthen our position in IMO and our contributions.''

[11] LAWYERS OF FEHRIYE ERDAL APPLY TO IMPROVE THE CONDITIONS OF PRISON - TRIAL TO TAKE PLACE ON DECEMBER 1

BRUGES, Nov 24 (A.A) -Lawyers of Fehriye Erdal, and Musa Asaoglu and Kaya Saz, members of the illegal DHKP-C organization, applied to Bruges Urgent Decisions Court to improve the conditions in prisons where their clients are kept. Fehriye Erdal was wanted with charges of involvement in the assasination of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci.

Jan Fermon, the lawyer, firstly sent the file to the court with a messenger. Later, upon the decision to hold the trial on December 8, he came to the court and opposed. Fermon requested the trial to take place again as he could not arrive in time due to intense traffic.

The lawyer, in one minute break, briefed the supporters of DHKP-C and terrorist PKK organization who were waiting outside the court room.

The Judge decided to hold the trial on December 1, 1999.

Meanwhile, a quarrel broke out between the lawyer and the security forces when they wanted to check the identities of the terrorist groups.

Supporters of the illegal organizations manhandled A.A. correspondent who tried to shoot the quarrel.

Security forces protected A.A correspondent till the attackers leave the spot.

It was reported that Jan Fermon, the lawyer, called the terrorists to the court.

[12] NSC MEETING - NSC DISCUSSES OSCE SUMIT, OIL PIPELINES, QUAKE AND EVERY KIND OF THREAT AGAINST THE STATE

ANKARA, Nov 24 (A.A) - National Security Council (NSC) Wednesday discussed Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), oil pipelines, quake, and every kind of threat directed to the state in its November regular meeting.

NSC General Secretariat issued a statement following the meeting which took place under the leadership of President Suleyman Demirel, and lasted for 5 hours and 10 minutes.

The statement said that the OSCE summit which took place in Istanbul and various high level bilateral and multilateral contacts held within the framework of the summit, contributed to the promotion of our country and our foreign policy targets.

The statement said it has been once again stressed that Turkey's foreign policy played a key role for peace, stability, and improvement in the world.

The statement expressed pleasure over the signing of intergovernmental agreement regarding Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines.

Measures taken after quake disaster in Bolu and surroundings on November 12, and the works that have been carried out were evaluated. It has been noted that every kind of efforts should be exerted to provide healthier shelterings to quake survivors who still live in tents.

Also, security throughout the country and every kind of threat towards the state have been discussed.

[13] IKV DELEGATION'S CONTACTS IN BRUSSELS IKV CHAIRMPERSON ERIS:''WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS NOT TO WASTE TIME AFTER HELSINKI''

BRUSSELS, Nov 24 (A.A) - Meral Gezgin Eris, the Chairperson of Economic Development Foundation (IKV) said she believed Turkey's EU candidacy would be approved at the Helsinki Summit and Turkey's main focus, after the summit, will be not to lose time during the period that will lead to its full membership.

Eris, following their three day contacts in Brussels, told reporters that Romano Prodi, the Chairman of EU Commission, said Turkey's candidacy would be officially approved at the Summit.

Prodi told Eris that the period that will start after the Helsinki Summit was important in which Turkey and the EU will work to erase their prejudices and rapidly move towards Turkey's full membership.

During IKV's contacts, Prodi stressed that Turkey was a part of Europe. However, said Prodi, there were some political realities which cannot be ignored so both Turkey and the EU should not waste time and work for the solution of certain problems after the Helsinki Summit.

Eris noted that she saw ''no hesitation'' in the EU Commission's approach towards Turkey.

Gunther Verheugen, member of the EU Commission, said they were doing this for their our own interest and not as a gesture for Turkey. Verheugen said the EU's integration with Turkey would be for the EU's benefit.

Ana Diamantopulos, the EU's Commissioner in charge of employment and social affairs drew attention to the role of social dialogue and said social dimension of Turkey-EU relations will be developed in near future.

[14] IKV DELEGATION'S CONSTACTS IN BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS, Nov 24 (A.A) - Meral Gezgin Eris, the Chairperson of Economic Development Foundation (IKV), following a three day visit in Brussels, said the EU flank displayed an extremely constructive approach during their meetings.

Eris told reporters that the productivity and stability of the government and warming relations between Turkey and Greece were frequently praised during the meetings.

The EU representatives did not mention the Kurdish issue but expressed their wishes regarding lifting of the death penalty and stressed that they had confidence in Turkish economy, Eris said.

Eris noted that her impression was that Turkey will certainly be granted candidate status in Helsinki, and said Turkey should very effectively use the period following Helsinki. She said ''for the first time in Brussels they didn't have to defend Turkey.

The IKV delegation told the EU representatives that Turkey's success in reaching full membership also depended on the support that the EU will give Turkey. Eris also said they were conscious of the fact that Turkey had to fulfil its responsibilities in the period following the Helsinki Summit.

[15] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN SWEDEN

STOCKHOLM, Nov 24 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Stockholm on Wednesday evening.

Cem is visiting Sweden as the official guest of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh.

After meeting with the members of the Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission on Wednesday, Cem will meet Lindh.

The two ministers will discuss the relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) and the bilateral and regional issues prior to the Helsinki Summit.

Following his meeting with Lindh, Cem will meet with the members of the Swedish Parliament EU Consultation Commission.

Sweden is among the countries which causes problems about Turkey's being declared as a candidate country to the EU at the Helsinki Summit.

Lindh had earlier said that Turkey should mark improvement in the democracy and human rights to be declared as a candidate country at the Helsinki Summit.

[16] VERHEUGEN, MEMBER OF EU COMMISSION, SAYS HE IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TURKEY'S OFFICIALLY BEING DECLARED AS CANDIDATE COUNTRY

BRUSSELS, Nov 24 (A.A) - Gunter Verheugen, a member of the European Union (EU) Commission responsible for enlargement, said on Wednesday that he is optimistic and hopeful about Turkey's being officially declared as a candidate country to the EU at the Helsinki summit.

Speaking at the European Parliament (EP) Foreign Commission, Verheugen noted that the EU and the Turkish ministers met each other during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul.

There will be radical changes and reforms which will have positive effects on Turkey and Turkish nation after the Helsinki Summit, Verheugen stated.

Verheugen stressed that all the EU members except Greece and Sweden are in favour of Turkey's being declared as the candidate country at the Helsinki Summit.

The hesitation of these countries are technical, Verheugen emphasized.

Verheugen pointed out that not recognizing Turkey's candidacy is not related with the Cyprus question.

That Rauf Denktas, the President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), had accepted to participate in the meetings which would be held in New York is considered as a positive gesture and development; Verheugen said.

They expect that Denktas will have a constructive attitude in these meetings, Verheugen noted.

Verheugen stated that it carries importance if Denktas continues to participate in the talks following the Helsinki Summit. He added that Greece asks for a guarantee of the participation of Denktas in the talks.

If Turkey's candidacy is approved at the Helsinki Summit, the members will determine a strategy for the full membership process; Verheugen stressed.

Verheugen emphasized that a flexible action plan in the short and medium term will occur rather than a firm schedule.

He will meet with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who will proceed from Sweden to Brussels on Thursday evening, Verheugen added.

[17] TRNC PARLIAMENT CONVENES TO DISCUSS CYPRUS QUESTION

LEFKOSA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The parliament of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) convened on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments concerning Cyprus question.

Following the meeting, TRNC President Rauf Denktas said that he gave information to the deputies prior to his visit to New York.

The deputies support the indirect talks and they will go to New York with good will, Denktas noted.

TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said that they will participate in the indirect talks to lay the cornerstone and going to New York is an important and meaningful step.

When laying the cornerstone, the realities in Cyprus should be taken into consideration, Eroglu pointed out.

Eroglu noted that they are in favour of talks which do not turn a blind eye to the realities in Cyprus.

Eroglu said, ''we will be the side which have good will and which do not cause difficulties and problems during the talks. But of course, Greek Cypriot side's intention also carries importance.''

Mustafa Akinci, TRNC State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said that TRNC will start the talks with good will and assume a constructive attitude.

They hope the Greek Cypriot side will also assume a constructive attitude, Akinci noted.

Akinci stated that the basic issue regarding Cyprus is the equal status of the two sides.

A new beginning will be made on December 3, 1999 and every beginning is a new hope, Akinci added.

[18] A.A


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