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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-04

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

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


[01] AA News

04 February 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 4, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

CEM IN ATHENS
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, arrived in Greek capital Athens for a two day official visit. Addressing journalists at the Athens Airport, Cem said that more progress was recorded in Turkish-Greek relations in last six months compared to the last 40 years. Cem expressed his pleasure over visiting Greece, and said that he brought the best wishes of Turkish people to Greek people. Cem stressed that one of the major purposes of his visit to Greece was to create the proper atmosphere so that in the future, ministers of two countries may visit each other as any two neighboring ministers should.

SIMITIS TO RECEIVE TURKISH JOURNALISTS
Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis will receive Turkish journalists who will attend the Turkish-Greek Journalists Conference in Athens. Over 50 Turkish journalists will be received by Simitis at the Greek Prime Ministry prior to the conference which will start on Saturday and last for 2 days. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou will both speak at the opening of the conference.

EARTHQUAKES SHAKE AYDIN AND ANTALYA
The Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute recorded two earthquakes measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale in Kusadasi township of Aydin province and Manavgat township of Antalya province.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

BLUE STREAM'S CONSTRUCTION STARTS
The construction of the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline's 373-kilometre part in Russian territories started officially. The Russian part of the pipeline starts from Izobilny, in Stravropol region and it reaches to Jubga in the Black sea. A Turkish delegation including Fuat Celepci, the Deputy Director General of Pipeline Oil Transportation Corp (BOTAS) and Gazprom officials, attended the ceremony that was held in Krasnodar region for the start of the construction.

THREE CHILDREN BURNT TO DEATH IN FIRE IN A QUAKE-HUT
Three children died after suffering severe burns in a fire broke out in a quake-hut in Izmit. The fire started in the hut in Yuvacik region in Izmit, killing Abdulkerim Topcu, 2, Abdulkadir Topcu, 3, and Sevda Topcu, 5.

HEZBOLLAH BRIEFING AT INTERIOR MINISTRY
Sadettin Tantan, the Interior Minister, briefed journalists on gory actions of illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization. Journalists watched the video tapes where members of Hezbollah filmed their victims as they interrogated and tortured them to death. Tantan stressed that problems stemmed from ignorance. He added that educated people could not commit such gruesome homicides.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

PARRIS: ''2000 WILL BE THE YEAR OF POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS''
Mark Parris, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, stressed that 2000 would be the year of positive developments for Turkish economy. Parris and accompanying delegation held contacts in Mugla. Members of the delegation were briefed on the investment facilities of the province. Parris said they visited the region to determine the fields of investment facilities, adding that, ''we envisage cooperation in trade, agriculture, culture, and academic field that will be for the benefit of the two countries.''

ECEVIT DENIES NEWS REPORTS SAYING HE GOT DONATION FROM GERMANY
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit denied the new reports claiming that he got donation from a German party. Ecevit said such news reports are ''entirely fictitious and ugly slanders.'' Ecevit said a news report, which appeared today referring to the Austrian and German broadcasting organs, claimed that some part of the illegal donations made to German Christian Democrat Party was transferred to himself or his party.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

PRESSURES INCREASE IN ENERGY MARKET
The World Bank wanted the tenders to be annuled, and all the installations to be sold. The wishes of the World Bank put forward as a condition for the structural harmonization credits reveal the pressures of foreigners to possess the energy market. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said annulment or postponement of the tenders in energy sector was out of question, and noted that such news reports may cause speculations in stock exchange.

''STATE WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH TERRORISM''
Sadettin Tantan, Minister of Interior, said the state will not be in an organization that will kill its citizens. Pointing out that terrorist Hezbollah organization was supported by several neighboring countries, mainly Iran, Tantan said they have a 100-page document, and noted that they were at the beginning of struggle against terrorist Hezbollah organization.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

IMF GIVES TEN POINTS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TURKEY'S ECONOMY
International Monetary Fund (IMF) which made its first evaluation following the stand-by agreement, pointed out that foreign investors believed in stability program and added that ''there will not be foreign finance problem.''

THREE QUAKE VICTIM CHILDREN DIE
Three quake victim children were burnt to death in a fire broke out in a hut in Izmit on Thursday. The fire started in a hut in Yuvacik region in Izmit, killing Abdulkerim Topcu, 2, Abdulkadir Topcu, 3, and Sevda Topcu, 5. Officials are investigating the reason for the fire which was extinguished by fire brigades and people.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

WE ARE IN ATHENS AFTER 40 YEARS
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit to Athens will be a starting point of a new period in Turkish-Greek relations. Ismail Cem visited Athens after the visit of George Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister, to Ankara. Stephanopoulous, Greek President, will receive Cem in this three day visit to Athens.

REFRIGERATOR WAS USED AS COFFIN
Terrorists of Hezbollah organization were carrying the people whom they abducted in refrigerator. A shallow graveyard found in southeastern Diyarbakir province revealed another mess of terrorist Hezbollah organization. It was understood that the terrorists emptied the refrigerator and used it in carrying the people whom they abducted, or killed. Meanwhile, number of dead bodies found in the shallow graveyards in Mardinkapi district in Diyarbakir province increased to 13. Prosecutor of State Security Court (DGM) said they expected this number to increase.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

INFLATION TARGET COULD NOT BE REACHED IN JANUARY
Inflation was high in the first month of the year 2000 despite the measures that were taken. Inflation figures, which were expected to be low in January, were high on the contrary. There was 5.8 percent increase in wholesale prices and 4.9 percent increase in consumer prices.

DGM SEES THE NAME BEHIND THE ASSASINATION ATTEMPT ON BIRDAL
The reasoned verdict of the case regarding the armed attack on Akin Birdal, former Chairman of Human Rights Association (IHD), said Mahmut Yildirim, having the code name ''Green'' gave the order to Cengiz Ersever for the murder.

Ankara State Security Court (DGM) no:1 concluded the reasoned verdict of the case in which it sentenced 11 defendants to heavy imprisonment terms up to 19 years and two months related with the armed attack on Birdal on May 12, 1998. The defendants were given the imprisonment terms on charges of ''forming armed gang to commit crime, and attempted for murder for political aims.''

[03] EARTHQUAKE RECORDED IN MARMARA SEA

ISTANBUL, Feb 4 (A.A) - An earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Marmara Sea at 03:11 local time on Friday.

Officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that the earthquake was centered on the Marmara Sea.

Meanwhile, an earthquake measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale occured in Golcuk township of Kocaeli province at 22:29 local time on Thursday.

[04] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN ATHENS - CEM LAYS A WREATH AT UNKNOWN SOLDIER MONUMENT

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister who is currently paying a two-day official visit to Greek capital Athens, laid a wreath at the Unknown Soldier Monument on Friday morning.

Tight security measures were taken around the monument during the ceremony.

[05] NUMBER OF AMERICAN TOURISTS EXPECTED TO RISE

NEW YORK, Feb 4 (A.A) - Number of American tourists who will come to Turkey for holiday, is expected to rise this year.

Officials told the A.A correspondent on Friday that they expected 440 thousand American tourists to come to Turkey in 2000.

The American people show great interest in business and culture tours to Turkey.

Meanwhile, 360 public buses carrying advertisements of Turkey, have started their journeys in New York.

[06] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU LEAVES FOR GERMANY

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister, left for Germany on Friday to attend the '36th Munih Security Policies Conference'.

Issues such as ''Lessons Learnt from Kosovo'', ''European Security and Defense Identity and Transatlantic Relations'' and ''Rising World Powers in Asia and Their Influence on Religion and Global Security'', will be discussed at the conference organized by the Herbert Quandt Foundation.

George Robertson, the Secretary General of the NATO; Javier Solana, the Chief of the European Union (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policies; William Cohen, the U.S. Secretary of Defense; Defense Ministers of Britain, Germany, Ukraine, and Bulgaria; German Foreign Minister, and Deputy Foreign Ministers of China and Japan, will attend the conference.

Cakmakoglu is expected to return to Turkey on February 6.

[07] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN ATHENS - GREEK PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS RECEIVES CEM

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - President Costis Stephanopoulos of Greece received on Friday Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, who is currently paying an official visit to Greek capital Athens.

Addressing the meeting, Cem expressed his pleasure over visiting Greece.

Cem conveyed President Suleyman Demirel's best wishes to President Stephanopoulos.

He also quoted President Demirel as expressing his satisfaction over signing of a series agreements between Turkey and Greece.

Cem said, ''I hope my visit to Greece will accelerate improving relations between the two countries.''

Meanwhile, President Stephanopoulos said in his part that he was pleased to host Cem in Athens.

Later, inter-delegationary meetings started.

[08] THE U.S. TO APPOINT A NEW AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 4 (A.A) - The U.S. will appoint Robert W. Pearson as the new Ambassador to Turkey.

Pearson, the Undersecretary of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, will succeed Mark Parris, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey whose term in office in Turkey will end in coming months.

Pearson is expected to start his mission in Turkey after his appointment is approved by the U.S. Congress.

Diplomatic sources said that Mark Parris who has been serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey since 1997, made considerable contributions to improvement of relations between Turkey and the U.S.

[09] A 90-YEAR OLD MAN BURNT TO DEATH IN FIRE IN A HUT IN ADAPAZARI

ADAPAZARI, Feb 4 (A.A) - A 90-year old man was burnt to death in fire which broke out in a hut in Adapazari early on Friday.

The incident happened when the fire started in the hut due to a spark which spread from a stove. Omer Keskin, the old man, could not escape from the hut and burnt to death.

Meanwhile, another fire broke out in a hut in Tepekum district early in the morning and spread to another hut. There are no reported casualties but the two huts were completely burnt.

[10] A TOTAL OF 82 BOSNIAN REFUGEES RETUN TO THEIR COUNTRIES FROM KIRKLARELI GUESTHOUSE

KIRKLARELI, Feb 4 (A.A) - A total of 82 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, who had escaped from Serbian aggression and arrived in Turkey eight years ago, returned to their countries. The Bosnian refugees were staying in Kirklareli Gaziosmanpasa Guesthouse.

Officials of the guesthouse said two groups, composed of 70 and 20 people, returned to Bosnia on Friday.

Pointing out that Bosnians were staying in the guesthouse since 1992, the officials said, ''although the war ended in Bosnia, some of the refugees did not return to their country. 87 Bosnians are waiting in the guesthouse to go to a third country.''

A total of 87 Bosnians, 64 Kosovars, and 177 quake survivors live in the guesthouse.

[11] A TOTAL OF 50 HEZBOLLAH TERRORISTS DETAINED IN SIRNAK

SIRNAK, Feb 4 (A.A) - A total of 50 Hezbollah terrorists, who were captured in southeastern Sirnak province during operations carried out against the terrorist organization, were detained. A total of 68 people had been taken into custody earlier.

The 68 people, who were interrogated by Sirnak Republican Chief Prosecutorship, sent to Court to be detained.

The Court decided to detain 50 of the 68 people, and to release 18 others to be tried without detention.

[12] TOTAL DEPOSITS AT BANKS REACH 44.1 QUADRILLION TL

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The total deposits at banks increased 780.3 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 44.1 quadrillion TL between January 14 and 21.

The Central Bank data shows that the total deposit which was 43 quadrillion 329.042 trillion TL on January 14 increased to 44 quadrillion 109.4 trillion TL on January 21.

When the inter-banks deposits are not considered, the total deposit, which was 40 quadrillion 294.6 trillion TL on January 14, increased 946.5 trillion TL to 41 quadrillion 241.1 trillion TL on January 21.

The total TL deposit increased 723.1 trillion TL to 22 quadrillion 147.5 trillion TL on January 21. The total TL deposit was 21 quadrillion 424.4 trillion on January 14.

As of January 21, the total TL deposit was composed of 14 quadrillion 342.1 trillion TL deposits at public banks, 7 quadrillion 525.1 trillion TL of deposits at private deposit banks and 122.8 trillion TL of deposits at foreign banks.

The foreign exchange accounts at banks increased 223.5 trillion TL to 19 quadrillion 93.6 trillion TL on January 21.

[13] OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION - 33 PEOPLE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY IN DIYARBAKIR

DIYARBAKIR, Feb 4 (A.A) - Security forces finalized on Friday works in two house belonged to the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization in southeastern Diyarbakir province.

Huseyin Aktas, the Prosecutor of the Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM), said that members of the Hezbollah organization were using refrigerators, plastic water barrels, and sofas when they were kidnapping people.

Security forces exhumed a total of 12 bodies in Diyarbakir.

Meanwhile, 33 people were taken into custody in operations launched in Diyarbakir against the Hezbollah organization.

[14] BANK CREDITS VOLUME INCREASES 372.1 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The banks credit volume increased 372.1 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 20 quadrillion 601.4 trillion TL between January 14 and 21.

The total credit volume at banks was 20 quadrillion 229.3 trillion TL on January 14.

The Central Bank data shows that the total credits in the system was composed of 1 quadrillion 111.5 trillion TL of loans given to financial sector and 19 quadrillion 489.977 trillion TL of loans given to non- financial sector as of January 21.

The credits given to financial sector were composed of 576.7 trillion TL of loans given by deposit banks, 527.1 trillion TL of loans given by development and investment banks and 7.7 trillion TL of loans given by the Central Bank.

[15] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS DECREASE 142.8 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The repo transactions between banks and their customers decreased by 142.8 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) between January 14 and 21.

The Central Bank data shows that the repo transactions, which were 4 quadrillion 179.5 trillion TL on January 14, decreased to 4 quadrillion 36.7 trillion TL on January 21.

The reverse repo transactions, which were 137 trillion 5 billion TL on January 14, rose 7.9 trillion TL to 145.4 trillion TL on January 21.

The repo transactions among the financial organizations rose 309.6 trillion TL to 2 quadrillion 369.3 trillion TL on January 21. The total repo transactions amount was 2 quadrillion 59.7 trillion TL on January 14.

The reverse repo transactions among the financial organizations, which were 812.7 trillion TL on January 14, increased 131.4 trillion TL to 944.1 trillion TL on January 21.

[16] SECURITIES ACCOUNT AT BANKS INCREASE 223.3 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The securities account at banks increased 223.3 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 12 quadrillion 383.2 trillion TL on January 21.

The total securities account at banks was 12 quadrillion 159.9 trillion TL on January 14.

The Central Bank data shows that there were a total of 12 quadrillion 57.8 trillion TL of securities including 8 quadrillion 186.1 trillion TL of securities, and 3 quadrillion 871.7 trillion TL of securities over foreign currency at the deposit banks portfolio.

The securities over TL at deposit banks are composed of 1 quadrillion 120.8 trillion TL in trasury bonds, 6 quadrillion 428.6 trillion TL in state debenture bonds and 484.36 trillion TL in stocks.

A total of 807.8 trillion TL of foreign currency securities at these banks are abroad while there is a total of 2 quadrillion 12.9 trillion TL of state debenture bonds among the domestic securities.

The total securities account at the development and investment banks was 325.4 trillion TL.

[17] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM AND PAPANDREOU SIGN FIVE COOPERATION AGREEMENTS

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou signed five agreements that foresee cooperation between the two countries in various fields on Friday.

Cem and Papandreou signed agreements on ''cultural cooperation,'' economic and technical cooperation,'' ''scientific and technological cooperation,'' ''naval trade'' and ''cooperation between customs administrations.''

A total of nine agreements were signed till today in the dialogue process that started between the two countries together with the five agreements signed today.

During Papandreou's visit to Ankara, agreements on ''tourism,'' ''environment,'' ''reciprocal encoragement and protection of investments,'' and ''struggle with terrorism, organized crime, illegal immggration and drug trafficking'' were signed.

Cem and Papandreou hold a joint press briefing.

Ismail Cem is the first foreign minister who visit Greece after the visit of Mesut Yılmaz in 1998.

[18] 45 TURKISH COMPANIES TO PARTICIPATE IN TWO FAIRS IN GERMANY

ISTANBUL, Feb 4 (A.A) - A total of 45 Turkish companies will participate in two textiles and ready-to-wear fairs in Germany.

A&amp;A Promotion Services said on Friday that 13 Turkish women and men clothings exporter companies were displaying their products at the ''Inter Jeans-Cologne Fair'' which was opened the same day and would continue till February 6.

It said 32 Turkish women clothings producers would have stands at the ''CPD Dusseldorf Fair'' that would be opened on Saturday and remain open till February 8.

[19] IMKB FIRST SESSION - NATIONAL-100 INDEX RISES TO 16,277.83 WITH AN INCREASE OF 180.97 POINTS

ISTANBUL, Feb 4 (A.A) - The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) National-100 Index in Friday's first session increased 180.97 points to 16,277.83, and shares gained 1.12 in value compared with prices at the close of Thursday's second session.

At the close of the first session, the financial index increased 250.75 points to 21,914.43, the industrial index rose 156.13 points to 11,408.25, and the services index climbed 103.26 points to 16,525.62.

The financial shares gained 1.16 percent in value, the industrial shares gained 1.39 percent in value, and the services shares gained 0.63 percent in value while compared with previous second session close.

A total of 174 of the 271 shares gained in value, 41 shares lost in value while the prices of 56 shares didn't change.

The trading volume in the morning session was 365 trillion Turkish Liras.

[20] PREMIER ECEVIT TO VISIT ROMANIA ON FEB 11 TO PARTICIPATE IN SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES COOPERATION SUMMIT

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will leave for Romania on February 11 to participate in the Southeast European Countries summit meeting.

Prime Ministry Press Centre said that the heads of states and governments will participate in the third summit of Southeast European Countries.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and a delegation composed of high officials will accompany Premier Ecevit in his visit.

The heads of states and governments are expected to sign the ''Good Neighbourhood Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation Charter in Southeast Europe'' which was initialed during the foreign ministers meeting on February 2.

This charter does not only constitute the legal basis of the mentioned process, but it is also important as it is the first and only document that will be signed in the Balkans region after the Balkan Pact of 1934.

Besides the heads of states and governments will exchange views about regional issues in Bucharest summit and take up the role of Southeast European Stability Pact and the regional cooperation directed at stability, democracy, economical and social development.

[21] PARLIAMENTARY PLANNING AND BUDGET COMMISSION MEMBERS IN TRNC

LEFKOSA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission members, who came to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Thursday upon the invitation of TRNC Parliament, continued their contacts on Friday.

The delegation headed by Metin Sahin paid a courtesy visit to General Sukru Sarısık, the Commander of TRNC Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces and General Ali Nihat Ozeyranlı, the Commander of TRNC Security Forces.

Sahin said that they visited TRNC due to the cooperation between the commissions of the two countries, adding Peace Forces and Security Forces are a guarantee for Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

General Sarıısık said that they carry out the legal mission given to them by the power they have taken from the Turkish people.

The delegation later attended the lunch hosted by Ertugrul Apakan, the Turkish Ambassador to TRNC.

-<B>TEAS-TEDAS STAGE JOINT PRESS BRIEFING</B> - TEAS DIRECTOR GENERAL SELVI: ''WE TRY TO INCREASE IMPORT TO MEET THE ENERGY DEFICIT''
ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Muzaffer Selvi, the Director General of Turkish Electricity Production and Distribution Inc. (TEAS) said on Friday that they try to increase the imports to meet the energy deficit of Turkey.

Selvi pointed out that they think of increasing the electricity purchased from Bulgaria and Iran and also buying electricity from Syria.

Responding to questions of journalists in a press briefing held together with Osman Nuri Dogan, the Acting Director General of Turkish Electricity Distribution Inc (TEDAS), Selvi reminded that TEAS has an agreement with Georgia, Iran and Bulgaria to buy electricity from them. Selvi noted that no electricity could be bought from Georgia so far.

Selvi pointed out that they hold contacts with Bulgarian officials to increase the amount of electricity from Bulgaria and they wait for their response. Selvi stressed that they think of increasing the electricity amount bought from Bulgaria to 20 million kwh. They also wish to double the amount of electricity purchased from Iran, he said and added that they also think of buying electricity from Syria.

[23] DOMESTIC BORROWING STOCK INCREASES OVER 23 QUADRILLION TL

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Domestic borrowing stock increased over 23 quadrillion Turkish Liras (TL) as of the end of 1999.

Treasury Undersecretariat said on Friday that the domestic borrowing stock, which had been 11 quadrillion 692 trillion 709 billion TL including the guaranteed domestic borrowings at the end of 1998, reached 23 quadrillion 5 trillion 48.9 billiob TL at the end of 1999.

There was a 96.75 percent increase in domestic borrowing stock including guaranteed domestic borrowings last year due to high borrowing interest rates.

According to temporary statistics, 84 trillion TL of the 23 quadrillion TL domestic borrowing stock was composed of guaranteed domestic borrowings.

The Treasury-guaranteed borrowing stock, which was extended to the securities issued by public organizations like Privatization Administration Board in accordance with the budget laws and other laws, was 79 trillion 824 billion TL at the end of 1998.

The structure and development of the domestic borrowing stock at the end of 1998 and 1999 according to temporary statistics are as follows:

. 1998 1999 Difference

. (BILLION TURKISH LIRAS) (percent)

-------------- -------------- ----------- --------
DEBENTURE BOND 5.771.980 19.683.391 241.01
-Cash 3.815.843 16.960.757 344.48

-Non-Cash 1.956.137 2.722.634 39.18

BOND 5.840.906 3.236.754 -44.58
-Cash 5.695.942 3.236.754 -43.17

-Non-Cash 144.964 0 -100.00

ADVANCE 0 0 0
DIFFERENCE OF EXCHANGE 0 0 0
GUARANTEED BORROWING 79.824 84.903 -6.36
TOTAL 11.692.709 23.005.048 96.74

[24] CEM AND PAPANDREOU'S JOINT PRESS BRIEFING (1) - CEM:''WE SEE THAT BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THE RECENT PROCESS''

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Friday that the progress recorded in the Turkish-Greek relations recently are also a guarantee of the contribution they will make to the security of the their region.

Staging a joint press briefing with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou after the bilateral and interdelegationary meetings which lasted nearly 1,5 hours, Cem said that they recorded important progress in respect of developing the bilateral relations in the last six months.

''When we look at this process, we see that both countries have benefitted from that,'' said Cem.

Papandreou said that strong foundations are being laid down to further improve the bilateral relations, adding the important thing that matters is the fact that the both sides have good will.

Meanwhile Papandreou said that the EU Working Group in which Greek diplomats will convey their experiences to Turkish counterparts about the EU, will convene in Ankara between 28-29 February.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

[25] PROXIMITY TALKS ON CYPRUS - TRNC PRESIDENT'S RESPONSE TO CLERIDES: ''CLERIDES DISTORTS THE REALITIES''

GENEVA, Feb 4 (A.A) - While the second-tour of proximity talks on Cyprus continue in Geneva under the auspices of the U.N.; Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), distributed written statement to respond to the attitude of Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides.

Clerides had violated the principle of secrecy while the talks continued.

Denktas said that the Turkish side abided by the request of Alvaro de Soto, the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative to Cyprus not to speak to the press.

After the explanation of the Greek Cypriot views to U.N. delegations in New York, TRNC had to explain the press about its response to these views, said Denktas.

Denktas pointed out that the statements of Clerides aimed at distorting the Cyprus question and historical realities, adding this was also against the target of the continuing proximity talks.

Clerides harmed the respect of the negotiations, said Denktas and added that the Cyprus question is not a problem of a constitutional change. He also reminded that it was the Greek Cypriots who violated the Constitution for the first time in 1963.

''The principle of equality'' is a basis for a comprehensive solution said Denktas and added that the two sides have to agree upon all important issues for a solution.

''A comprehensive solution can't be found with a change that couldn't be implemented for 37 years, but with a new partnership between the two sides. This goal can be achieved by a Cyprus Confederation between two states,'' Denktas said.

Mentioning the statement of Clerides, Denktas said that ''the Greek Cypriot leader claims that the U.N. Security Council does not accept the principle of exchange of properties. I would like to remind that the paragraph in the Set of Ideas of 1992 was adopted by the U.N. Security Council.''

Denktas said that Clerides also distorts the sovereignty issue, adding Britain left the sovereignty to the two sides on the island with equal rights so that they can determine their own fate.

Clerides distorts the realities about the island and the history, Denktas said and added that Turkey entered in the island in 1974 to protect the Turkish Cypriots from the massacre of Greek Cypriots and to prevent the annexation of the island to Greece.

[26] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING - STATE MINISTER GUREL: ''WE DECIDED TO INCREASE VAKIFBANK'S CAPITAL TO 220 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS''

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State and Government Spokesman, said on Friday that the Council of Ministers decided to increase Vakifbank's capital from 140 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 220 trillion TL.

Speaking to reporters following the Council of Ministers meeting, Gurel said State Minister Yuksel Yalova submitted a proposal for an increase in Vakifbank's capital, and the Council of Ministers accepted his proposal.

Gurel said State Minister Yalova also proposed the cabinet to make a change in Vakifbank's organization law, and the Council of Ministers decided to submit a proposal to the Parliament to this end.

-<B>ASLITURK'S TRIAL IN BRITAIN CONTINUES</B>

LONDON, Feb 4 (A.A) - While the trial without arrest of Gulay Asliturk, the former Mayor of Sisli township of Istanbul, continues in Britain, Turkey sent a warning document to the Court, bringing the possibility of arrest of Asliturk onto the agenda.

Asliturk's lawyer, in the hearing that started at 11:30 GMT, requested Judge Nicolas Evan to extend time for the preparation of their defense.

The lawyer said they requested extension to observe the content of the dossiers and court files of the continuing case in Turkey, and to make a change under the conditions of the bail paid by Gulay Asliturk.

After listening to Asliturk's lawyer and the prosecutor, Judge Evan decided to recess today's hearing till 14:00 GMT.

Meanwhile, the Judge said Asliturk can't leave the courthouse ''alone'' and she must be accompanied by her lawyer, and this decision was considered as a signal that the Court could give a decision of arrest against Asliturk once again.

[28] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING (2) - REPENTANCE LAW EXTENDED BY SIX MONTH

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The Council of Ministers approved on Friday to extend the Repentance Law by six months.

Spesking to reporters following the Council of Ministers meeting which lasted nearly four hours, Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State and Government Spokesman, said that Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan briefed the cabinet on the four different draft laws of his Ministry.

Gurel said a commission composed of concerned ministers was established to finalize draft laws foreseeing foundation of a Social Security Department and restructuring of the Social Security Authority (SSK), Social Security Agency for Artisans and Self-Employed (Bag-Kur), and Employment Agency.

Gurel said also State Minister Fikret Unlu gave information about the draft law concerning the establishment of Turkish Football Federation.

(To be continued)

[29] GREEK PREMIER SIMITIS RECEIVES TURKISH JOURNALISTS: ''PRESS HAS AN VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN OUR RELATIONS''

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Costas Simitis, the Greek Prime Minister said on Friday that the press has a great importance in the development process of the relations between Turkey and Greece.

Simitis received Turkish journalists, who participate in the Turkish-Greek journalists conference that will start on Saturday and last two days.

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, and A.A. Director General Mehmet Guler also attended the meeting.

Simitis stressed that there are many things that can be done by Turkey and Greece in the Balkans.

''We live in a region which is not peaceful. The armed clash in Yugoslavia which continued for seven years ended few months ago, but we are not sure whether or not the tension could escalate in the region. Our region needs stability. There were many problems between Turkey and us, but now we can together expend efforts for stability in the region. We have to make use of the opportunities which were created especially after the Helsinki Summit's results,'' he said.

Simitis emphasized that Athen's prior expectation from Turkey was democratic institutionalization.

Stressing that the press has a great power to create a public opinion, Simitis said this power could be used in favor of friendship or to create hatred.

''I hope this power won't be used to create hatred but to create confidence, '' he said.

[30] CEM AND PAPANDREOU'S JOINT PRESS BRIEFING (2) - CEM:''WE WANT TO IMPROVE OUR RELATIONS IN A NOISELESS WAY WHICH WON'T CREATE BIG EXPECTATIONS''

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Friday that a new and hopeful period started in Turkish-Greek relations, adding he aimed at forming strong basis to further improve the relations.

Staging a joint press briefing together with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Cem said that the progress recorded in Turkish-Greek relations will enlighten the future, and the mechanisms formed till today will continue.

''The most important thing these six months showed us is the fact that a progress can be recorded if there is good will,'' said Cem and added that it is natural for both countries to have different approaches about various issues.

If they pursued a policy which was based on differences, such a progress in bilateral relations couldn't be achieved, said Cem and added that conservative policies shouldn't be pursued on the issues that are between the two countries.

When a journalist asked him ''what kind of concrete results have been taken from the contacts,'' Cem said both countries got what they wanted within the framework of this new process. One has to approach the solution of the problems between the two countries from a more dialectic aspect, Cem said.

''Naturally, we have certain sensitivities. We are aware of these sensitive issues. But we don't have the aim of forming newspaper headlines by issuing dramatic statements about the future. I am optimistic and we want to improve relations in a noiseless way which won't create big expectations,'' Cem noted.

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said in his part that the agreements signed so far between the two countries are the sign of a new dimension in Turkish-Greek relations. He added that the developments recorded in the last six months are very important.

''We must be succesful for the interest of our countries,'' said Papandreou and added that they aim at normalizing the Turkish-Greek relations by the nine agreements signed so far.

Papandreou said that these agreements show that there are also common interests between the two countries, adding the candidacy of Turkey to the EU will be effective in further improvement of these common interests.

The reciprocal visits between concerned institutions and officials of the two countries is foreseen by the agreements, said Papandreou and noted that they decided to set up a joint committee which will convene once a year to further improve the cooperation in the scientific field.

Turkey and Greece can also make cooperation in the energy field, said Papandreou and added that efforts are still continuing to prepare an agreement to prevent double taxation.

Their requests of constructing an Embassy residence in Greek land in Ankara and opening Greek Consulate in northern Trabzon province also came to the agenda, said Papandreou and added that there are certain legal and procedural problems about such issues, yet the efforts continue. Papandreou said that he hopes this issue will also be solved in a positive way.

Papandreou noted that they also took up the issue of ''Confidence Building Measures'' during the meetings and the proposals of the Turkish side are being evaluated. He underlined that the agreement between former Foreign Ministers Mesut Yılmaz and Karolos Papulias can be a basis for providing security in the Aegean.

Former Foreign Minister Mesut Yılmaz went to Athens in May 1998 to participate in the studies of the Turkish-Greek political committee. During this visit the two foreign ministers issued a statement stressing the need to continue efforts aiming at developing confidence building measures.

Papandreou noted that the developments in the Middle East, Caucasus, the Black Sea regions were also evaluated.

When asked about their expectation from Turkey regarding the Cyprus question, Papandreou said that the proximity talks continue in Geneva and he wishes the continuation of the concerned sides' support to these talks. Papandreou added that the progress recorded in the last six months in Turkish-Greek relations can constitute a model for the sides on Cyprus.

Responding to a question about the establishment of a Joint Military Committee, proposed by Turkey in Ankara, Papandreou said that efforts about this issue are also underway.

(END)

[31] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING (3) - GUREL: ''INFLATION RATE DID NOT DISAPPOINT US''

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State and Government Spokesman, said on Friday that the inflation rate in January 2000 did not disappoint them as they thought that the inflation did not decrease rapidly.

Speaking to reporters following the Council of Ministers meeting, Gurel said the new Customs Law, which will enter into effect on Saturday, was an important law which includes transparency and facilities and pays regard to public interests.

''We hope that the implementations of this new law will bring considerable benefits,'' he said.

Sukru Sina Gurel said that Finance Minister Sumer Oral, at today's meeting, gave information about some revisions that will have influence on public spendings.

Gurel said the revision which aims at making reasonable and effective public spendings appropriate to savings, includes issues like new personnel employment, purchase of services, usage, and purchase of motor vehicles, and purchase of buildings.

Gurel said a commission composed of State Minister Recep Onal, National Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu, Health Minister Osman Durmus and him was established to this end.

Gurel added that the committee would carry out works to finalize those issues in the shortest time frame.

Responding to a question about the savings foreseen in public spendings, Gurel said they targeted a structure which takes into consideration not only savings but also productivity and effectiveness.

Responding to a question about the inflation rate, Sukru Sina Gurel said, ''of course, there was a wrong expectation in the public opinion as if the inflation would enter a sharp decrease starting from January. The inflation rate seemed to create a disappointment but actually, we were not disappointed with this. Because we estimated that the inflation won't decrease rapidly. We are sure that we will achieve our targets.''

(To be continued)

[32] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN ATHENS - CEM RECEIVES MUFTIS OF KOMOTINI AND XANTHI

ATHENS, Feb 4 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, received on Friday Komotini Mufti Ibrahim Serif, and Xanthi Mufti Mehmet Emin Aga within the framework of his contacts in Athens.

Addressing the meeting, Cem expressed his pleasure over meeting with the Muftis.

Cem said he earlier met with Serif and Aga in different places but this meeting has a different importance.

Stressing that Serif and Aga keep faith and national identity of the Turks alive, Cem said the Muftis are the people who are fulfiling their missions here ''on behalf of everyone''.

''May God be pleased with you. I wish your success to continue,'' he said.

Mehmet Emin Aga, in his part, said they want to see the Foreign Minister also in Western Thrace.

Stressing that the recent relations between Turkey and Greece were very positive, Aga said the peoples of the two neighboring countries were obliged to live together.

[33] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING (4) - STATE MINISTER GUREL:''THE SCOPE OF REPENTANCE LAW IS NOT BROADENED, ONLY ITS TERM IS EXTENDED''

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said on Friday that the cabinet approved the extension of the repentance law for six months, adding ''there is no broadening in its scope.''

Gurel noted that Yasar Okuyan, the Minister of Labour and Social Security informed the cabinet about the draft laws prepared by his ministry.

''A commission headed by Okuyan including Health Minister Osman Durmus, State Minister Recep Onal, Finance Minister Sumer Oral, Forestry Minister Nami Cagan, and I will work to write these drafts in a more appropriate way and to regulate certain details,'' Gurel said.

State Minister Fikret Unlu brought the draft law which foresees change in the Law on Turkish Soccer League's Establishment and Tasks, Gurel said. This draft was again adopted in principle by the cabinet.

When asked whether or not the members of the terrorist organization Hezbollah will benefit from the repentance law, Gurel said that the aim in extending the term of the law is to struggle with all terrorist organizations and terrorist actions in an effective way. Gurel said that the law can be implemented for those who are involved in all kinds of terrorist activities.

Responding to another question, Gurel said that Saadettin Tantan, the Minister of Interior didn't issue any statement about Hezbollah operation in the cabinet meeting.

(END)

[34] IMKB SECOND SESSION - NATIONAL-100 INDEX RISES TO 16,870.62 WITH AN INCREASE OF 592.79 POINTS

ISTANBUL, Feb 4 (A.A) - The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) National-100 Index in Friday's second session increased 592.79 points to 16,870.62, and shares gained 3.64 in value compared with prices at the close of today's first session.

At the close of the second session, the financial index increased 764.26 points to 22,678.68, the industrial index rose 469.79 points to 11,878.04 and the service index climbed 382.50 points to 16,908.12.

The financial shares gained 3.49 percent in value, the industrial shares gained 4.12 percent in value, and the services shares gained 2.31 percent in value while compared with previous session close.

A total of 230 of the 286 shares gained in value, 22 shares lost in value while the prices of 34 shares didn't change.

The trading volume in the second session was 389.8 trillion Turkish Liras.

[35] CLAIMS OF DONATION TO DSP - PREMIER ECEVIT: ''THIS CLAIM IS AN UGLY SLANDER''

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Bulent Ecevit, Prime Minister and the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) denied once again the claims saying that German Christian Democrat Party (CDU) gave donation to DSP.

''This claim is an ugly slander and it is fictitious,'' said Ecevit.

Ecevit responded to a question motion submitted by the Virtue Party (FP) deputy Eyup Fatsa about the claim of donation.

DSP does not have any personal relations with a political party in any country, said Ecevit and added that there is also no similarity in their political line with the German Christian Democrat Party.

''According to Article 69 of the Constitution, no party can get donations from foreign states, international organizations, and foreign real and legal persons as this is a crime which can lead to banning a political party. DSP has always been opposed to that. We requested foreign broadcasting organs through diplomatic channels to make the necessary correction,'' Ecevit said.

''Are you thinking of resigning like Helmut Kohl if the claims are true?'' asked journalists to Ecevit who said that ''this is not possible because the claims are all fictitious. I also find it appropriate to give an example of my sensitivity in such kind of issues. A German foundation which was social democrat proposed to give money to the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) at the end of 1970s when I was the leader of that party. We rejected that in spite of all the insistence. We had also no connection with any foundation in those years and today DSP also does not have such kind of relations. DSP is very sensitive in such issues. If this slander is not corrected, we will apply to legal ways,'' Ecevit said.

[36] UKRANIAN T-84 TANK BROUGHT TO TURKEY FOR TEST

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - The TEPE Defense and Security Systems Corp which undertook Turkey Representation of the Ukranian Progres company, brought the Ukranian T-28 tank to Turkey to join the trials within the framework of the National Defense Ministry's tank purchase tender.

The TEPE Defense and Security Systems Corp said on Friday that it would bid for the tender together with the Is Bank's Heavy Industry Machines Corp (ASMAS).
It said the prototype of the T-84 tank was brought the same day to Turkey for winter tests.

Four consortiums are bidding for the tender, and they submitted their bids to the National Defense Ministry's Defense Industry Undersecretariat on January 31.

[37] VELIOGLU, CHIEF OF HEZBOLLAH HAD RELATION WITH ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC ACTION

DIYARBAKIR, Feb 4 (A.A) - Huseyin Velioglu, the chief of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, who was killed in Istanbul, had connection with Sheikh Osman, the chief of the organization of Islamic Action in Northern Iraq.

Edip Gumus and Cemal Tutar, the top-members of the Hezbollah organization, who were captured in the operations staged in Beykoz district of Istanbul told the police that Huseyin Velioglu had connection with Sheikh Osman.

Gumus and Tutar who submitted petition to the Diyarbakır State Court to benefit from the ''Repentance Law'' said that the organization came to the brink of declaring ''Jihad'' (Holy War) and if the police didn't stage operations, the Hezbollah would increase their armed actions in summer.

[38] DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ERSUMER: ''WE WILL ASSESS WORLD BANK'S PROPOSALS AFTER INTER-MINISTRIES MEETINGS''

ANKARA, Feb 4 (A.A) - Energy and Natural Resources Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cumhur Ersumer said on Friday that they would assess World Bank's proposals regarding energy sector after the inter-ministries meetings.

Ersumer, responding to a question, said World Bank's proposals were not discussed during today's Ministers Council meeting but they would be discussed later among the related ministries and Treasury Undersecretariat.

They prepared a decree about the splitting of BOTAS and TEAS which was among the recommendations of the World Bank, Ersumer said. Other recommendations of the World Bank will be evaluated during the inter- ministries meetings, he noted.

A.A


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