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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-07

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

07 February 2000 Monday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 7, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

TURKEY'S DIFFICULTY
Turkey will give its decision about the tender of 145 new attack helicopters worth of 4 billion dollars within ten days. However, Turkey can't decide between the American and European firms. The U.S. helped Turkey for the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK and the agreement of Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Turkey thinks that if the U.S. wins the tender, this will further improve the bilateral relations. But on the other hand, Germany, France, and Italy tell Turkey that ''you are a candidate of the European Union (EU), so our cooperation should also be reflected in defense tenders in this new period.''

TWO IMAMS HAVING LINKS TO HEZBOLLAH UNDER CUSTODY
Two imams who are working as the clergies of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, were taken into custody for links to Hezbullah terrorists who are believed to be behind dozens of gruesome murders. Imams who were working in Etimesgut and Sincan districts of Ankara, praised Hezbollah and its dreadful murders.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

YSK COULDN'T ELECT TWO PERSONS IN 140 DAYS
The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), which regulates the elections in Turkey, couldn't elect two persons for its vacant seats. Totally 55 tours were staged in the Supreme Court of Appeals which try to elect the two members of YSK.

TURKISH-GREEK POLICE HAND IN HAND
The friendship in Aegean also affected the security organs of Turkey and Greece. The Turkish and Greek police staged a joint operation against drug smugglers for the first time and 4.25 kilos of heroin was seized in Istanbul. The heroin has a market value of 40 billion liras in Istanbul, Turkey and 120 billion liras in Athens, Greece. One Austrian drug courier and six Nigerians were captured at the end of the operation.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

ERBAKAN CAN BE IMPRISONED
The State Security Court (DGM) of Diyarbakır is expected to announce its verdict on the case against Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP) today. If Erbakan is sentenced to imprisonment, he will be barred from politics from now on. The prosecutor requested 4,5 years of imprisonment for Erbakan for provoking people to hatred and animosity.

WARNING TO KUTAN
The ''reformist wing'' within the Virtue Party (FP) will warn Recai Kutan, the leader of FP in a tough way. A group of 30 FP deputies signed a memorandum and they will give it to Kutan requesting ''the withdrawal of FP administration and end of the influence of Oguzhan Asilturk in the party.'' The 30 deputies also want the FP Congress to convene as soon as possible.

VIOLENCE TAPES MUST BE BROADCAST
The paper announced the result of a poll it carried out and said that 56 percent of those who participated in the poll wish the state to give permission to broadcasting the video tapes which recorded the torture and murders of Hezbollah. The paper says that the public opinion must be informed and be conscious about the activities of Hezbollah.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

SOYSAL:''TRNC'S SOVEREIGNTY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE''
As the second round of proximity talks are continuing in Geneva, Switzerland, with the aim of resolving the Cyprus question, Mumtaz Soysal, the Adviser of President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), stressed that the TRNC's sovereignty was more important than anything else. He added that President Denktas' confederation proposal was the only possible solution for the island.

COMMEMORATION CONCERT FOR KISLALI
The State Opera and Ballet gave a concert to commemorate Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taner Kislali, the former Culture Minister and a prominent journalist who was killed in a bomb attack last year. His wife Nilufer Kislali, his brother Mehmet Ali Kislali; Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister; Vural Savas, the Chief Prosecutor of Supreme Court; and Nuh Mete Yuksel, the Prosecutor of the State Security Court (DGM), were in attandance at the concert.

ISMAIL CEM DUE TO MOROCCO
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, will pay an official visit to Morocco between February 7-9 as the guest of his Moroccan counterpart Mohammad Benaissa.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

TURKISH-GREEK JOINT OPERATION AGAINTS DRUG TRAFFICKERS
Narcotics officials confiscated 4 kg 250 gr of heroin having a market value of 40 billion Turkish Liras in the first joint operation launched by Turkey and Greece against the drug traffickers. Austrian courier and 6 Nigerian drug traffickers were taken into custody during the operation.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

CRITICAL DAYS FOR BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROJECT
Georgian, Azeri and Turkish officials will convene in Ankara this week to discuss the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project. After the fee problem erupted between Azerbaijan and Georgia is resolved, the final agreement will be sent to parliaments of three countries for their approval.

GENERAL BASER ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON D.C.
General Edip Baser, the Deputy Chief of General Staff, arrives in Washington. D.C. as the guest of his American counterpart General Joseph Ralston. General Baser is scheduled to meet with General Henry Shelton, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Ralston on Monday. He will visit the Unknown Soldier Monument in Arlington State Cemetery after the meetings. General Ralston will host a dinner in honor of General Baser later in the the day. General Baser will proceed to New York on February 10. He is expected to return to Turkey on February 11.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

ATTACK ON A LOCAL TV CHANNEL IN TOKAT
A group staged an attack on a local TV channel in central Tokat province. They manhandled Arzu Dizman, the announcer of the Channel T. Metin Gurdere, the former State Minister and the owner of the Channel T, claimed that the attack was staged by the supporters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Security forces who launched operations to capture the assailants, took nearly 30 people into custody.

A TOTAL OF 7.4 MILLION TOURISTS VISIT TURKEY LAST YEAR
A total of 7,485,308 people visited Turkey in 1999 during which Turkish tourism went through a crisis and majority of tourists came from Germany, Britain, and Romania. According to the figures of State Statistics Institute (DIE), 1,388,766 German tourists, 814,989 British tourists and 483,164 Romanian tourists visited Turkey last year. The Russian Federation, the U.S., Iran, France, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Israel followed Germany, Britain, and Romania.

[03] GENERAL BASER, DEPUTY CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF, ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 7 (A.A) - General Edip Baser, the Deputy Chief of General Staff, arrives in Washington. D.C. on Sunday as the guest of his American counterpart General Joseph Ralston.

General Baser is scheduled to meet with General Henry Shelton, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Ralston on Monday.

He will visit the Unknown Soldier Monument in Arlington State Cemetery after the meetings.

General Ralston will host a dinner in honor of General Baser later in the the day.

General Baser will proceed to New York on February 10.

He is expected to return to Turkey on February 11.

[04] TURKEY-TRNC EDUCATION AND CULTURE COMMISSION CONVENES IN GIRNE

LEFKOSA, Feb 7 (A.A) - Turkey-Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Education and Culture Commission convened in Girne city of TRNC on Sunday.

Salih Zeki Karaca, the Prime Ministry Consultant for Cyprus Affairs from Turkey and Isılay Yılmaz, the Undersecretary of National Education and Culture Ministry from TRNC, presided the delegations.

Karaca said that the committee meeting was held before Monday's Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting, adding issues of education and works of cultural heritage were on their agenda.

Karaca said they aimed at further improvement of the close cooperation between TRNC and Turkey in the field of education.

The final report of the joint committee meeting held in Ankara on July 16, 1999 was evaluated at the meeting.

The decisions taken at the end of the Education and Culture Joint Committee meeting will be conveyed to the Turkey-TRNC Joint Economic Commission meeting.

[05] TOWARDS ELECTIONS IN IRAN - IRANIAN DEPUTY KERRUBI SPEAKS TO A.A: ''HARMONY BETWEEN PARLIAMENT AND GOVERNMENT WILL BE PROVIDED BY GENERAL ELECTIONS OF FEB 18''

TEHRAN, Feb 7 (A.A) - Fatima Kerrubi, an Iranian deputy said on Monday that the harmony between the parliament and the government will be provided by the general elections of February 18.

Responding to questions of A.A. in written, Mrs. Kerrubi said that the sixth parliament which will be formed after the elections ''will be composed of several minorities, and none of the wings will be in majority.'' Nevertheless, Kerrubi added that she guesses the supporters of Mohammad Khatami will be able to get a majority in the parliament; thus, a harmony between the parliament and the government can come out.

Kerrubi pointed out that ''whatever the aim of Ali Ekber Hasimi, one of the former Presidents of Iran, by participating in elections, he won't be able to disturb the equations. He can neither help the conservatives, nor speed up the ongoing reforms.''

The number of woman deputies in the Iranian parliament is few when the half of the Iranian population which is woman, is taken into account, said Kerrubi. Kerrubi also voiced her wish for the new parliament to lift the impediments that stand in front of women's entering into politics.

Mrs. Kerrubi was elected to the parliament two years ago from Tehran as being the candidate of the reformist wing.

[06] LEADING RATING INSTITION MOODY'S: ''TURKEY WHICH AIMS AT REDUCING INTEREST RATES AND INFLATION, MADE A HOPEFUL START''

ANKARA/WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (A.A) - Moody's, one of the leading rating institutions, which is based in the U.S., said on Monday that Turkey which aims at recuding the inflation and the interest rates, made a hopeful start.

Moody's also stressed that the credit mark of Turkey will be increased this year if the reforms and the economic policy pursued by Turkey continue as it is promised.

Moody's pointed out that the political appearance of Turkey has started to improve due to the correct decisions taken by the government and this development overcome the previous economic difficulties.

There is a constructive attitude among the three coalition parties regarding the decisions that must be taken in the economic sphere, noted Moody's and added that the wish of Turkey to join the EU is the element which speeds up the reforms rather than the Stand-By signed with IMF.

The declaration of Turkey as a candidate country to the EU and the adoption of the Law on International Arbitration will attract the flow of more foreign capital into Turkey particularly in the fields of telecom and energy.

There is consensus of opinion within the government to decrease the high inflation this time, said Moody's and noted that this can be a good opportunity for Turkey.

The financial balance has to be provided and an ambitious privatization policy has to be pursued, Moody's noted.

Reminding that the financial balance depends on acquiring non-interest surplus and this surplus rate can come true by economizing in public expenditures and by abiding with the measures aiming at increasing the incomes.

Turkey recorded an important progress in ending the expectation of inflation, said Moody's and added that private sector is also in cooperation with the government regarding the increase of prices in salaries and commodity prices.

Moody's noted that the banks in Turkey should be in an effort to earn money by giving credits to private sector and give up their policies of keeping public bonds.

An independent supreme board must be formed to stregnthen the system within the framework of the banking reform, it was also noted.

Moody's also stressed that the issue of death sentence upheld for Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist of PKK and the election of the president which will test the political stability, will probably be overcome in a calm manner and no concession will be given from the economic priorities.

Moody's didn't change Turkey's credit mark which was ''B1'' last year in November, but it changed Turkey's economic position to ''positive.''

[07] MORALI, TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO IRAN, MEETS WITH EBTEKAR, IRANIAN VICE PRESIDENT

TEHRAN, Feb 7 (A.A) - Turan Morali, the Turkish Ambassador to Iran, met on Monday with Mamuse Ebtekar, the Iranian Vice President and Chairwoman of Protection of Environment Organization.

Addressing the meeting, Morali said, ''Turkey appreciates and supports Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.''

Morali noted, ''Turkey and Iran can cooperate in the field of environment within framework of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). They can also cooperate on basis of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and the 'Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Exchange Program' between the two neighbouring countries.''

Meanwhile, Ebtekar underlined the improtance of environmental cooperation between Turkey and Iran.

She noted that Iran wanted to make use of Turkey's experiences on thermal and natural tourism.

[08] ENERGY MINISTER TO HOLD CONTACTS IN TRNC

LEFKOSA, Feb 7 (A.A) - Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Deputy Prime Minister, will visit Lefkosa on February 9 and hold contacts as the official guest of Irsen Kucuk, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Irsen Kucuk said Ersumer would attend on February 10 the inauguration of transformer center which would be the first of the investments to supply the TRNC's electricity demand till 2020.

Ersumer will leave the TRNC the same day.

Meanwhile, a six-person delegation arrived in the TRNC to observe the projects.

The modernization of the transformer centers in Lefkosa, Gazimagusa and Girne and installation of a new line between Lefkosa and Teknecik will cost four million U.S. dollars and constitute the first stage of the investments in electricity.

The tenders for these two projects were finalized in Ankara.

[09] TURKISH-TRNC ECONOMIC COMMITTEE MEETING

LEFKOSA, Feb 7 (A.A) - Joint Economic Committee 5th meeting, where economic relations between Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are discussed, takes place in Girne.

Selcuk Polat, Premiership Deputy Undersecretary, who heads Turkish delegation, recalled that Turkey increased its financial support to TRNC and signed cooperation protocols at times when pressures on TRNC increased.

Polat said TRNC economy was under the guarantee of Turkey.

Referring to the statements of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, which said, ''there is not a problem for Turkish Cypriots on Cyprus, but solution,'' Polat said the decisions they will take at the end of Joint Economic Commission Meeting, will contribute to the plans of the year 2000.

Polat, who briefed about the 2000 year program of Joint Economic Council, said Trade and Economic Cooperation agreement will be implemented soon.

Polat said they will support efforts to privatize Public Economic Enterprises to overcome public finance deficit of TRNC, to increase their income, and decrease their expenses.

Polat said an organic tie will be formed between Istanbul Stock Exchange and Northern Cyprus Stock Exchange, and noted that agriculture and animal breeding in TRNC will be supported.

Polat pointed out that they will work on alternative potable water projects in addition to transportation of water with baloons.

Ahmet Zeki Bulunc, TRNC's Ambassador to Ankara and Co-Chairman of Joint Economic Council, said the committee worked systematically and in technical level so far, adding that the resolutions of the Commitee contributed to the development of economy and trade of TRNC.

Pointing out that a new process has been started with Turkey's formal candidacy to the EU, Bulunc said new evaluations should take place.

[10] TURKISH-ISRAELI JEC MEETING STARTS - TURKISH FASHION FAIR OPENED

TEL AVIV, Feb 7 (A.A) - The Turkish-Israeli Joint Economic (JEC) meeting started on Monday in Jerusalem.

The Turkish side is headed by State Minster Hasan Gemici, and the Israeli delegation is led by Industry and Trade Minister Ron Kohen.

The sale of Manavgat water, Israel's participation in Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), and establishment of free areas will be the top issues of the meeting's agenda while new cooperation opportunities will be sought for fields like education, health, transportation, tourism, and energy.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed at the end of the three-day meetings.

Meanwhile, the ''Turkish Fashion 2000'' fair was opened in the ''Tel Aviv Fair and Exhibition Center''.

The Turkish textiles and leather products are being exhibited in the fair.

Addressing the inauguration, Transportation and Communications Minister Enis Oksuz stressed the importance of improving relations between Turkey and Israel.

''Peace can't be settled in the region without the strategical cooperation between Turkey and Israel,'' he said.

[11] DENKTAS, TRNC PRESIDENT: ''I AM PLEASED OVER THE GOINGS-ON''

GENEVA, Feb 7 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Monday that he was pleased over the goings- on of the Cyprus proximity talks.

Denktas staged a news conference for Turkish journalists following his meeting with Alvaro de Soto, Cyprus Special Representative, and noted that they have clarified the case of Turkish Cypriots during proximity talks.

Pointing out that the meetings were positive to clarify the ambitions of Greek Cypriot side, Denktas said, ''I am pleased over the goings-on.''

He said Greek Cypriot side made use of isolated status of TRNC, adding that, ''as the facts are revealed, Greek Cypriots see that a more balanced situation appears. This makes them uneasy.''

Noting that it was very hard to give a specific period of time for the solution of Cyprus question, Denktas said the third round of talks, planned to take place in New York, will be proximity talks.

Denktas stressed that sovereignty and equality of Turkish Cypriot side, and guarantorship of Turkey was a condition for the solution in Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot sources said Clerides gave priority to confidence building measures in today's meeting.

Second round of Cyprus proximity talks will end on Tuesday.

De Soto, Cyprus Special Envoy of the U.N. Secretary General, will stage a news conference at the end of the talks.

Third round of proximity talks are expected to take place in New York in May.

A.A


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