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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-27

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

27 November 1999 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 27, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

ERBAKAN CAUGHT RED HANDED
Fundamentalist Tahir Yoldas who is wanted by Interpol for attempting to assasinate Uzbek President Kerimov has a photo taken with Necmettin Erbakan who earlier denied having any contacts with Yoldas. Erbakan and Yoldas secretly met in July 1997 at the Welfare Party (RP) Headquarters. After Kerimov escaped death on February 16, 1999 in Tashkent, Yoldas escaped from Uzbekistan. In the meantime, the Uzbek television claimed that Erbakan gave Yoldas 100 thousand US dollars.

TAX EARTHQUAKE
The law which brings additional taxes on people to make up for the extensive damage suffered in the earthquakes took effect after it appeared on the Official Gazette. The last minute changes brought 4 to 19 percent tax on treasury bonds which were bought before december 1, 1999. The interests climbed by 16 points. The stockmarket dropped by 530 points.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

THEY ARE FREEZING
Quake survivors in Duzce where the snow thickness reached 10 centimeters are waiting in cold weather for hours to get a blanket. Red Crescent sent 205 heaters and 1,800 beds. The survivors who were asked to be placed at Koru, Abant Turban and Abant Palas hotels by the Presidency, preferred to stay at tentcities. Some of the quake survivors in Duzce were sent to Mersin temporarily. No precipitation is expected in the quake area on the weekend. The minimum and maximum temperatures in Duzce this weekend will be -2 and 5 Celcius, respectively.

EUROPEAN JUDGES OF OCALAN
After the Criminal Court approved Ocalan's death penalty, his lawyers applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Ambassador Riza Turmen is representing Turkey in ECHR. The Court will convene on Tuesday and discuss the ''cautionary judgement'' request of Ocalan to stop the execution his death penalty. Turmen told Milliyet that he could not comment on Ocalan case as a judge.''

SABAH (LIBERAL)

HERE IS THE SECRET REPORT
The report which was hidden by Istanbul Technical University (ITU), has been seized. According to the report, a quake will occur in southern parts of the Islands within 30 years and its preliminary magnitude will be 7.6. The report will be disclosed to the public in December.

MIDNIGHT OPERATION
The law related with the quake taxes, was approved by President Suleyman Demirel within three hours and published in the official gazette. The law passed from the Parliament at 04:20 local time and President Demirel signed the law at 6.30 in the morning.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

TAX LIKE QUAKE
The government broadened the scope of quake taxes in an emergency meeting it held in the Parliament at midnight. President Suleyman Demirel ratified the law immediately after it passed from the parliament. The law was published in the official gazette in the afternoon.

OCALAN BARGAINING WITH THE EU
Turkey, which is under intense pressure of Europe about the capital punishment sentence given to Ocalan, decided to wait for the decision of European Court of Human Rights not to make the things more difficult before Helsinki summit of European Union (EU). Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which makes very harsh statements on the issue, said ''we will provide Ocalan not to be hung if EU gives guarantee about full membership.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

FIGURES CONTRADICT
Koray Aydin, Minister of Housing and Public Works, contradicted with the governors when he said ''concluded'' for the dwellings which don't have infrastructure. The governors disclosed the number of houses that were concluded as 6, 840 as of November 25. Meanwhile, Aydin disclosed them as 21,500 as of November 26. Yet, both of them are of the same opinion that the dwellings will be handed over on November 30.

SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL CONVENED
Supreme Military Council convened under the chairmanship of Premier Bulent Ecevit on Friday. At the meeting, foreign and domestic threats against Turkey, the training, discipline and logistic requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces were evaluated. Also a total of 23 people, including two officers and 21 non-commissioned officers, dismissed from Turkish Armed Forces.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

PRESSURES FROM EUROPE RISES AFTER OCALAN'S DEATH PENALTY
BECOMES CERTAIN
Some politicians argued that Turkey must wait for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) while some parties, especially the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) wanted to execute the court decision about Ocalan as soon as possible. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit reacted against the pressures that come from Europe and said ''noboby can make Turkey accept something by force''.

CUSTOMS TO BE MODERNIZED
A total of 120 customs administrations will be closed in the framework of Modernization of Customs Management Project. The Ministers Council agreed to drop the number of customs administrations from 414 to 294. State Minister Mehmet Kececiler said Turkey will save 70 million US dollars with the new customs system. The customs, after 2000, will be automized and will work much faster than before. After the closing of 120 customs administrations, 180 personnel will be shifted to busier departments which are in need of personnel.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) BAN ON AID SHOULD BE LIFTED
The state which prevented many non-governmental organizations who rushed to the help of the quake survivors following August 17 quake and which wanted to heal the wounds of the quake byitself, failed to meet the needs of people. Thousands of quake survivors had to meet the winter in summer tents. Non-governmental organizations and various companies said they were ready to send aid to Izmit, Adapazari, Bolu, Duzce.

APO WIDENS THE FRONTS
Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, who made a statement on Friday through his lawyers, claimed that he was captured with a special operation of NATO. Ocalan, who tried not to mention the U.S. and Israel, said Israel was included in this plot to get the support of Syria.

-<B>TERRORIST ORGANIZATION CONTINUES BUYING ARMS AND INTENSIFIES</B> TRAINING IN CAMPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ AND IRAN
ANKARA - Contrary to the claims that the terrorist organization was laying down arms and withdrawing, it was found out that they continued to get armed and intensified their training in their camps in Northern Iraq and Iran.

The intelligence units learnt that Cemil Bayik who is a supporter of armed struggle had contacts in Russia to buy arms and ammunition. In the meantime, the arms and other supplies which were bought from Armenia were transported to the camps in Northern Iraq.

The terrorist organization intensified training activities in the camps and the so-called leaders said they would start their actions next spring. It was also said that very strict measures were taken within the organization to prevent the members from escaping or surrendering to security forces.

When Cemil Bayik last week ordered the terrorists to withdraw, he asked them to leave 20 people who have good figthing skills and store their arms and ammunition in appropriate places.

It was also reported that the terrorist organization continued its activities without any interruptions or changes.

[04] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER ANNOUNCES DEATH TOLL AS 760

ANKARA - The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center stated that 760 people were killed while 4,948 others were injured as of 08:00 local time on Saturday 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. Meanwhile, 38,211 tents have been sent to the disaster-stricken area.

The Red Crescent and the Turkish Armed Forces have dispatched 79 mobile kitchens, one laundry, 19 mobile baths, 3 mobile bakeries, 31,868 beds, 15, 420 sleeping bags, 278,148 blankets, 3,617 duvets,

11,330 stoves, and 1,950 tonnes of foodstuff.

In the disaster area, 510 doctors, 350 nurses, and 1,187 health staff are working.

The death toll, and number of injured people are as follows:

Place Dead Injured

============= ====== =======
Bolu (Merkez) 45 354

Akcakoca 2 96

Beykoy 9 120

Cumayeri - 39

Duzce 352 2800

Golyaka 1 68

Gumusova - 34

Kaynasli 307 544

Konuralp 35 408

Yigilca - 42

Zonguldak 3 189

Eskisehir 1 -

Adapazari 4 168

Yalova 1 25

Kocaeli - 27

Golcuk - 34

TOTAL 760 4948
</PRE>

[05] PRESIDENT DEMIREL DUE IN UKRAINE

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel will visit Kiev on November 30, 1999 to participate in a ceremony which Leonid Kucma will take an oath as he was re- elected as President of Ukraine.

Foreign Ministry statement said Sukru Sina Gurel, Minister of State, and Suat Caglayan, Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Deputy Chairman, will accompany Demirel during the visit.

The Heads of State of neighboring countries, which have friendly relations with Ukraine, will also attend the ceremony.

Kucma was re-elected as President during elections which took place on November 14.

[06] TURKEY-KAZAKHSTAN JEC PROTOCOL PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL GAZETTE

ANKARA - The protocol of the Joint Economic Cooperation (JEC) Commission which was signed in Ankara on September 10, 1999 between Turkey and Kazakhstan was approved by the Ministers Council and appeared in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

The protocol suggests a series of measures to develop trade between Turkey and Kazakhstan. The industry and trade chambers of two countries will exchange information and Kazakhstan will benefit from Turkey's experience in forming free trade regions and their management. Turkey will also provide technical support to Kazakhstan in this field.

It was also agreed that the two countries will support joint investments of Turkish and Kazakh firms and open factories in all industrial fields including food, leather, paper, fertilizer and glassware.

The two sides also agreed to hold a joint study to speed up the Trans-Asia Railroad Project which will provide direct transportation between Turkey and Kazakhstan.

[07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''THERE IS NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHICH WILL NOT REACT COMPREHENSIVE TAX REFORM''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that there was no country in the world that will not react a comprehensive tax reform, adding that ''for the first time, tax has been brought to earning power within fair criteria.''

Ecevit responded to the questions of journalists while leaving Prime Ministry. When asked about the Special Transaction Tax, which is also named as ''Quake Tax'', Ecevit said every country in the world will react to a comprehensive tax reform.

Ecevit said they tried to be fair while issuing this law. Ecevit earlier said the ones who earn a great amount of money from state bonds, will be obliged to pay a tax ratio between 4-19 percent.

This was expected by our public opinion. Thus, an important step has been taken both for social justice and also for decreasing the inflation and interest rates,'' Ecevit said.

''Everybody was saying that the state was collecting taxes from industrialists, employees, and civil servants, but not from fund holders. This was a criticism not to our government but to those who didn't change the situation for years. We took a very important step about this issue,'' he added.

When asked about ''quake insurance'' implementation, Ecevit said they earlier discussed the need for an insurance system for constructions while taking up the measures that should be taken against the quakes.

Ecevit said insurance companies will have important contributions to prevent the faulty constructions, yet did not give further details saying that he could not say more before examining the text prepared by Housing and Public Works Ministry.

[08] AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST MOSQUE OPENS SUNDAY

SYDNEY - Australia's biggest mosque, Gelibolu, built by the contributions of the Turkish community in 13 years, will officially open to worship on Sunday in Auborn in Sydney.

Ibrahim Gine, the Chairman of Auborn Turkish Islamic Center, said the mosque cost 5,5 million US dollars and several pieces including chandeliers and rugs. Ottoman architecture was employed in the mosque which has a capacity of 5,000 people.

[09] WTO MINISTERS CONFERENCE

ANKARA - World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministers will convene in Seattle city of the U.S. between November 20 and December 3.

A delegation, headed by Tunca Toskay, Minister of State, will represent Turkey during the third WTO Ministers Conference, which is the highest decision taking organ of WTO.

A total of 135 countries, representatives of more than 30 countries who are in participation process, more than 750 non-governmental organization representatives, and more than 2,500 press officials from 80 countries will participate in the conference.

Review of implementation of Uruguay Round agreement, facilitating trade, electronic trade, trade and environment, competition and investment and issues to increase world trade are expected to be discussed during the conference.

Tunca Toskay, State Minister, is expected to hold bilateral talks with the ministers of various countries on trade and economic relations.

-<B>CAP ANAMUR TO PRESENT QUAKE SURVIVORS</B> A VILLAGE OF 350 CONTAINERS

SAKARYA - CAP Anamur, a German welfare institution, will present a village set up in Adapazari formed by 350 containers to Sakarya Governorship on Sunday.

Eight people can stay in one container which have a toilet and a shower. The village also has a health clinic, school, kindergarden and a lunch room.

The village was set up in six weeks and its sewege and electricity system were installed by CAP Anamur.

A total of 4.9 million German Marks were spent for the aid supplies that will be distributed to quake survivors on Sunday. CAP Anamur said they would continue their support till April next year.

CAP Anamur was founded in 1979 and they run their welfare activities only through donations.

[11] FINNISH PRIME MINISTER LIPPONEN:''I AM HOPING THAT TURKEY WILL BECOME A EU CANDIDATE AT HELSINKI SUMMIT''

MADRID - Paavo Lipponen, the Finnish Prime Minister, said on Friday that he hoped Turkey would become a candidate to the EU at the Helsinki Summit.

At a press meeting in Madrid, Lipponen said he and the Spanish Minister Jose Maria Aznar both believed that it was time for Turkey to be given candidacy status.

Lipponen also asked Ankara to lift the death penalty given to the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan.

''We agree that Turkey must become a candidate and we need to see some positive signs from Ankara,'' Lipponen noted. He stressed that they were not only concerned obout the Ocalan case but wanted Turkey to lift death penalty in general.

[12] CEM:''WE CAN'T CHANGE OUR CYPRUS POLICY FOR THE SAKE OF IMPROVING RELATIONS WITH THE EU''

COPENHAGEN - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Friday that the warming relations between Turkey and Greece would further improve if Turkey is granted candidacy status at the Helsinki Summit.

Cem gave some messages regarding Helsinki Summit and the Cyprus question at a press meeting he held in Copenhagen which is the last leg of his three day tour which covered Luxembourg, Sweden, Belgium and Denmark.

''Granting candidacy status to Turkey at Helsinki Summit would have great contributions to developing Turkish-Greek relations,'' Cem said and reminded that there is a growing confidence between the two countries.

Responding to a question, Cem said Turkey had a very clear approach on the Cyprus issue. Turkey definitely opposes to form a link between the Cyprus question and Turkey-EU relations, he stressed.

''We know that the Turkish Cypriots are going to New York with good will and we expect the same attitude from the Greek Cyriots,'' he noted.

Foreign Minister Cem said Turkey's attitude towards Cyrus would not change regardless of the decision that might come out of Helsinki Summit regarding Turkey's EU candidacy. ''We can't change our Cyprus policy for the sake of improving relations with the EU,'' he said.

Cem, after rounding up his contacts in Copenhagen, left for Turkey on Friday.

-<B>ECEVIT:''WE ARE OFFERING TEN THOUSANDS OF EMPTY DWELLINGS</B> IN VARIOUS PLACES IN TURKEY TO QUAKE SURVIVORS''
ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday that ten thousands of empty dwellings were offered to quake survivors and the state would meet their moving and accomodation costs.

Ecevit said they had plenty of tents designed for winter conditions, however there is a growing demand for tents because people who are scared of another quake prefer to stay at tents.

The government offered the quake survivors ten thousands of empty dwellings at the social facilities at Turkey's various places and the survivors could benefit from these facilities by applying to the governorship of their province.

''These people even have the right to buy these dwellings that are offered to them if they wish. The state wants to help survivors to buy dwellings. We had announced this weeks ago but there wasn't much interest. Maybe it is because we couldn't promote it well. Starting from today, the quake survivors will be continiously informed about such opportunities,'' he went on to say.

''No other country offered such opportunities to its quake survivors. However the quake was devastating, the damage is enormous. Right now our biggest concern is to provide our quake survivors with healthy accomodation as soon as possible. I call on the survivors to benefit from this,'' Ecevit said.

In no place on earth, earthquakes can be predicted, Ecevit noted and contradicting assumptions of scientists might cause panic in the public.

A total of 30,000 prefabricated dwellings will be offered to quake survivors before the end of the month, Ecevit also reminded.

[14] DELEGATION HEADED BY AMBASSADOR HAKTANIR TO GO TO NEW YORK TO ATTEND INDIRECT TALKS ON CYRUS ISSUE

ANKARA - A delegation headed by Korkmaz Haktanir, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry will go to New York to attend the indirect talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, will have two separate ''pre- meetings'' with Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Glafkos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration on December 3. After these pre-meetings, the regular meetings will start on December 6. The meetings are expected to last between 10 to 15 days.

Issues, which have left unresolved between the two sides on the Island, will be discussed during the meetings between Annan and the two leaders.

In the meantime, any decision that might emerge from these talks need to be ''balanced'' due to the Helsinki Summit which will be held immediately after the meetings in New York.

Ankara does not want to form a link between the Cyprus question and Turkey's EU candidacy which will be discussed in Helsinki. However both the Greek Cypriots and Greece are drawing attention to this link in the statements they make.

Greek Foreign Minister Yorgo Papandreou said on Friday that ''bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece might be developing,'' however he added '' Turkey must understand that the Cyprus question is closely related to Turkey-EU and Turkey-Greece relations.'' Papandreou also added that Turkey might prove its good will by allowing the closed region in Maras to be given to Greek Cypriots.

Ankara also thinks a positive decision that would come out of Helsinki would not affect or change Turkey's views regarding the Cyprus problem.

In the meantime, the Turkish-Greek dialogue started giving its first fruits. Drafts of agreeements that are planned to be signed between Turkey and Greece have been completed and a Turkish delegation will go to Athens in the beginning of December to work more on and clarify the texts.

Turkish and Greek delegations had earlier come together in Ankara between November 15 and 18. They continued their meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in Athens where they focused on cooperation in tourism, culture, economy, trade and fight against terrorism.

[15] A.A


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