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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-09

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

09 February 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 9, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

ANTI-ERBAKAN SUPPORTERS: 59 ERBAKAN SUPPORTERS: 45
The conflicts in the Virtue Party (FP) escalated these days. The supporters of Necmettin Erbakan, the banned leader of the former Welfare Party (RP), became the minority in the parliamentary group of the FP. The number of the anti-Erbakan supporters in the FP parliamentary group is in fact 24. Abdullah Gul and Bulent Arinc are the pioneers of the anti-Erbakan supporters. However, 35 deputies who are indecisive about which group to support, in fact support the anti-Erbakan supporters. So, only 45 people are left in the Erbakan supporters' group, including Recai Kutan, the FP leader. Sources said that if Erbakan gets involved in this conflict, the indecisive group can turn back to the Erbakan supporters' group.

MERVE IS NOT A TURKISH CITIZEN
The Council of State rejected unanimously the request of Merve Safa Kavakci, the Istanbul Deputy of Virtue Party (FP), for cancellation of the Council of Ministers' decision to denaturalize her. Thus, Kavakci's Turkish deputyship was annuled. Now, Kavakci can be tried on charges of inciting people to hatred and enmity under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Kavakci has the right to appeal the verdict after the notification of the verdict.

WOLFENSOHN, WORLD BANK GOVERNOR, DUE TO TURKEY
James Wolfensohn, the Governor of the World Bank, will come to Turkey in May to hold various contacts, especially to meet with Premier Bulent Ecevit. This will be the first official visit of Wolfensohn, who earlier paid unofficial visits to Turkey. Sources said that Recep Onal, the State Minister, and Wolfensohn have reached a verbal agreement for the visit but that the programme of the visit has not been determined yet.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

JIHAD MISSILES IN URFA
A total of 141 bazookas were seized in the ammunition store of the terrorist Hezbollah organization. The gendarme teams found the ammunition store when they were patrolling around the Cehennem Deresi hamlet of southeastern Sanliurfa province. Hundreds of bombs and thousands of bullets were confiscated in this store. Officials said that the terrorist Hezbollah organization was getting prepared to stage a wide-scale attack against the security forces.

REVIVAL IN ECONOMY
The stagnation in economy which started in the fall of 1998, is ending. The industrial production increased by 2.9 percent in December 1999. The State Statistics Institute said that the production in mine sector decreased 4.5 percent while the production in manifacture sector increased 3.3 percent, and the production in electricity, gas, and water sector rose 3.5 percent in December 1999 when compared with the figures of 1998.

TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS PLEASED THIS TIME
Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said that he is pleased about the second round of Cyprus proximity talks which ended yesterday. Denktas noted that the TRNC explained its confederation thesis to Alvaro de Soto, the Special Envoy of United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Kofi Annan to Cyprus. The third round of Cyprus proximity talks will start in New York on May 2, 2000.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

''TURKEY IS DOING HER HOMEWORK WELL''
The European Union (EU) said that Turkey met some of the expectations of the EU. Guenter Verheugen, EU Commissioner for enlargement, said that the Aegean Sea is turning into a sea of peace. Verheugen noted that a window is opened in the Cyprus problem, adding that all these developments are sufficient.

AUTOMOTIVE SALE BOOMS IN JANUARY
The automotive sector welcomed 2000 by breaking a record in production and sales. The Automotive Industry Association said that the automobile production increased 121 percent in January 2000 when compared with the figures of January 1999. The number of automobiles produced in the January increased from 6,294 to 13,934 in one year. The import automotive sales increased 233 percent while the sale of the domestic automotives rose 40 percent this year.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

MONEY DOES NOT GO TO PRODUCTION
Statistics do not confirm the pink economic view that is tried to be shown. Despite the risk warnings, small savers headed towards the stock exchange. Turkey is directed towards imports and consumption instead of exports and production. There is a concern that there would be a boom in imports when the exports has difficulties in a period in which the currency is fixed. Also the banks are trying to obtain profit in short-term by orientating the deposit that it collected after the decrease in interest rates towards the consumer loans instead of commercial loans. The money, which can't get the earning it expected from the interest, is not expected to go to production in an atmosphere where even 500 giant Turkish industrial companies obtain 87.7 percent of their incomes from interest.

SERVICE FOR COMPANIES, NOT FOR PEOPLE
It is ignored that the municipalities, which led to discussions due to their debts, opened doors of great amount of earnings to their political supporters and relatives with their services and investment tenders. The local administrations draft law opens ways to enterprising municipal affairs while it brings arrangements which target the fulfilment of urban srvices like transportation, water, sewer, and garbage within the scope of market criteria. Municipalities, which ''bribe'' their supporter companies with the tenders, make a commitment to ''privatize services'' in agreements wit hthe World Bank to obtain foreign loan.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

STATE MOBILIZED
Hikmet Sami Turk, the Justice Minister, met with the prosecutors of the State Security Court (DGM) who are carrying out the investigation into the terrorist Hezbollah organization. Also, a delegation of the National Security Council (NSC) which was headed by General Ilker Basbug, the NSC Secretary General, convened with 11 governors of the Emergency Rule Regional Governorship (OHAL). The NSC and the governors will evaluate the operations carried out against the terrorist Hezbollah organization in the meeting which will last for two days.

'REFORM' IN ZIRAAT BANK
The Ziraat Bank will operate as a 'private bank' from now on. The bank will not be under political influence from now on. 49 percent of the bank will be sold through public offer and the Treasury will transfer its shares in the bank.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

5,000 PEOPLE DETAINED
National Security Council (NSC) discussed Hezbollah terrorism in southeast Anatolia. General Ilker Basbug, the Vice Secretary of the NSC, said a total of 1,326 operations have been launched against the terrorist Hezbollah organization since 1992, and 1,530 of the 5,015 people, who were detained in those operations, were arrested. Basbug said they stroke heavy blows on the terrorist organization, and there are determined to continue to struggle against terrorism.

RECORD BROKEN IN BORROWING
Treasury sold 2 quadrillion 389.7 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) 12-month debenture bonds yesterday. The annual composite interest rate of papers became 39.84 percent. Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said the highest amount of bond auction in Turkey's history was arranged yesterday, and that Treasury will realize 1.6 quadrillion TL in domestic borrowing repayment today.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

NEW PERIOD IN EAST
Advance in restructuring of eastern Anatolia after PKK and Hezbollah started. National Security Council delegation left for Diyarbakir to discuss problems like order, health, education, culture, and economy with the local administrators in the Emergency Rule Region (OHAL). Prior to their meeting, OHAL Governor Gokhan Aydiner said the terrorist Hezbollah organization received heavy blows with the latest operations, and that they did not expect to reveal many cell houses in the region.

HEZBOLLAH TO BE COLLAPSED BY ARCHIEVES
Police established a special unit to classify information and documents confiscated in operations against terrorist Hezbollah organization. Classification and evaluation of documents including ten-year past of Hezbollah and its 6,900-person biography will take one year.

TROUBLED TRIAL IN GERMANY
Dozens of supporters of Metin Kaplan (the son of Celalettin Kaplan who was known by Turkish public as ''Karases'' (Black Voice), facing charges of leading a criminal organization and incitement to murder) delayed the opening of his trial Tuesday by protesting inside the courtroom.

About 75 followers of Kaplan, mostly bearded and dressed in cloaks, and women dressed in black, refused to stand up when the five judges entered the courtroom.

Security guards moved in and the protesters left the courtroom some punching their fists into the air and shouting as police moved in to record names and addresses. Other groups then entered and started chanting, disrupting proceedings and preventing the charges from being read.

The proceedings were recessed to restore order in the court.

[03] CONTRACT FOR MINI SATELLITE SIGNED

ANKARA, Feb 9 (A.A) - The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) signed a contract with the British company which won the tender opened for the formation of the frame of Turkey's first mini satellite and development of visual display unit systems.

In accordance with the contract, the receiver area of the mini satellite which will be constructed by the British Surrey University's trading corporation Surrey Satellite Technology, will be Turkey and the Turkish Republics in Asia.

The satellite will be equipped with the devices necessary for distance transmission and short period communication.

Also the Turkish scientists will participate in the construction.

The company will transfer the control to a center, which will be built in the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, after settling the satellite in its orbit within 18 months at the latest.

The information sent to the center will be distributed to the concerned institutions.

Prof Dr. Murat Askar of TUBITAK said they were planning to launch the satellite from Kazakhstan.

[04] STATE MINISTER GEMICI PREPARES PROPOSAL FOR BY-LAW CHANGE FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF PARLIAMENTARY WOMEN-MEN EQUALITY COMMISSION

ANKARA, Feb 9 (A.A) - Hasan Gemici, the State Minister, prepared a proposal for a change in the parliamentary by-laws which will ensure the establishment of ''Parliamentary Women-Men Equality Commission.''

Gemici told A.A correspondent that the Republic of Turkey is one of the countries which had an experience in the ensurement of the equality between women and men.

Despite all these benefits, Turkey could not catch up with the changes in the western world that targeted the equality of men and women in the years 1960, Gemici noted.

Gemici stated that the education level of the women is not the same in the urban and rural areas of Turkey.

The health of the women is still a problem in Turkey and the women are not included in some of the decision-making organs, Gemici stressed.

To this end, the commission should be established, Gemici emphasized.

Gemici pointed out that in case this commission is established, whether or not the laws abide by the women-men equality, will be examined before they are put into force.

If the draft laws contradict with the women-men equality, the commission will correct these contradictions, Gemici said.

Gemici continued, ''when we take into consideration the international commitments we made for the ensurement of the women-men equality, the establishment of this commission will bring a pre-control and will reduce the problems.''

The draft will be submitted to the parliament in the following days, Gemici added.

[05] EU COMMISSION TO GIVE 177 MILLION EUROS TO TURKEY

ANKARA, Feb 9 (A.A) - The European Union (EU) Commission will give 177 million Euros to Turkey as a candidate country in the period between 2000- 2002.

Following the agreement which foresees giving 600 million Euros to Turkey by European Investment Bank (EIB), the financial support of the Council of Europe (COE) to Turkey will also increase in a considerable extent starting from 2000.

The contributions of the European Union (EU) to Turkey will be in the form of donations and it will be given within the framework of MEDA, EU's Mediterranean Countries' Development Assistance.

EU officials said that EU will give 6.4 billion Euros of financial aid for financing the projects of 12 Mediterranean countries between 2000-2006 and Turkey can also benefit from that.

[06] EARTHQUAKE LOAN FROM EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK

ANKARA, Feb 8 (A.A) - Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said on Wednesday that the financial assistance that would be obtained from international institutions and foreign countries for the repair of damage caused by the earthquake reached 3.7 billion U.S. dollars.

An agreement was signed on Thursday between Turkey and European Investment Bank (EIB) regarding the 150 million Euro portion of the total 600 million Euro earthquake aid. Demiralp, who spoke at the signature ceremony said 450 million Euro would be spent to repair the damage occured in the infrastructure of the quake hit region. The remaining 150 million Euros will be used to rehabilitate the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (KOBI) that suffered loss in the quake.

The agreement is one of the biggest that has been signed between Turkey and the EU.

EIB Deputy Chairman Panagiotas Loukas Gennimatas said the 600 million Euro loan has a maturity of 30 years and will have a low interest rate.

Gennimatas noted that it was important for small enterprises to start operating again. Small enterprises in the quake region will benefit 150 million Euro portion of the loan either as loans or donations.

[07] FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''WE HOPE JOINT MILITARY COMMITTEE PROPOSAL WILL BE ACCEPTED BY GREECE''

ANKARA, Feb 9 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that they expected Turkey's proposal, regarding a ''joint military committee between the two countries'', will be accepted by Greece.

Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman, responded to the questions of reporters at a weekly news conference.

When asked how he evaluated the harassment of Greek war planes to Turkish war planes in the Aegean nowadays, Atacanli said, ''we had a proposal regarding establishment of a joint military committee between the two countries. Greece still examines this proposal. We expect Greek side to accept this proposal. This proposal shows the good will of Turkey to find a solution and Turkey's political will. Naturally, Turkey is resolved to protect its rights and interests in the Aegan in any way.''

Responding to a question about the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to Bucharest, Atacanli said, ''Prime Minister Ecevit and Foreign Minister Cem will go to Bucharest within the framework of Southeastern Europe Cooperation Process.''

Pointing out that Turkey adopted a very positive role since the beginning of the process, and undertook various initiatives, Atacanli said, ''an agreement has been reached for the announcement of a declaration during a meeting of the leaders of Southeastern Europe countries in Antalya province.''

He said, ''this declaration can be signed during the visit.''

[08] TURKISH AMBASSADOR IN HAGUE KARAHAN STARTS HIS POST

AMSTERDAM, Feb 8 (A.A) - Aydan Karahan who was appointed as Turkish Ambassador to Hague started his assignment on Wednesday.

Karahan staged a press conference to Turkish members of press who work in Hague. Ambassador Karahan briefed the reporters about Turkish-Netherlands relations and activites he will carry out during his post.

Karahan worked 3 years in the Netherlands after 1970; therefore, he is familiar with this country, he noted, and said that relations between the two countries progressed greatly since 1970 and also gained a complicated structure.

Except for fight against terrorism, the Netherlands supports Turkey's almost all international relations including its efforts to become a full EU member, Karahan stressed and added that he would work to further develop these relations during his post.

The Netherlands has a 3 percent share in the foreign capital in Turkey, he reminded and said Turkey can benefit from this country mainly in the energy investments and in agriculture sector.

Karahan also noted that he would closely follow the problems of the Turkish society living in the Netherlands.

[09] TURKOGUZ PLATFORM TO APPLY TO ECHR FOR ONE MILLION CASPIAN TURKS WHO WERE MURDERED BY NAZIS DURING SECOND WORLD WAR

ANTALYA, Feb 9 (A.A) - ''Turkoguz Platform'' formed by a group of historians, archaeologists, and scientists in Antalya said they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about the Caspian Turks who were killed in Nazi camps in Poland during the second World War.

Researcher-author Serhat Kunar speaking on behalf of the Platform, told A.A that people were right to voice protests against Jorg Haider after the Nazi supporter FPO came to power in Austria. ''During the Second World War, 6 million people were murdered because of reasons rooted only from racism. Most of these were Jews. But Nazi armies who entered Poland also killed Caspian Turks of Jewish origin who lived here,'' Kunar explained. ''Out of the 6 million Jews who were murdered, 1 million of them were Caspian Turks and nobody questioned this so far,'' he noted.

Kunar also quoted from Arthur Kostler's book ''The 13th Tribe'' which offers evidence that there were Caspian Turks among those who were murdered.

They will apply to the ECHR about the matter and ask for compensation for damages for Caspian Turks who were murdered during the second World War, he said. With the compensation that would be obtained, the Platform is planning to set up a Cultural Center for the memory of the Caspian Turks and other Turkish tribes who were exterminated throughout the history.

[10] MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED AFTER TURKISH-ISRAELI JEC MEETING

TEL AVIV, Feb 9 (A.A) - The meeting of Turkish-Israeli Joint Economic Commission (JEC) ended on Wednesday and a memorandum of understanding was signed at the end of the meeting.

State Minister Hasan Gemici and Israeli Minister of Trade and Industry Ron Cohen signed the memorandum of understanding in a reception held by Ahmet Uzumcu, Turkish Ambassador to Israel. The memorandum aims at increasing the existing trade volume between the two countries which is 900 million dollars to 2 billion dollars.

The two ministers said that they will reach this goal soon and the document signed opens a new stage in the relations of the two countries.

The main results of the JEC meeting which also was reflected in the memorandum of understanding are as follows:

-Manavgat water: Turkey once again reiterated that it is ready to sell water from Manavgat brook to meet the water shortage in Israel. Israel said that it will give a response to Turkey as soon as possible.

-Free trade zones: The two countries declared the establishment of free trade zones which will enable Turkey and Israel to export goods to the U.S. without custom duties and quotas. Israeli officials promised that they will launch efforts to get the support of the U.S. for the zones planned to be set up in Turkey.

-GAP projects: It was decided to examine the participation of Israeli firms in the irrigation project in Southeastern Project (GAP). However, Turkey didn't commit anything about giving these projects to Israeli firms.

Turkey wants to win certain tenders of Israel in return to GAP projects. No result was taken about giving the construction project of Ashdod part to Turkish firms.

The two countries also reached a consensus about undertaking investments together in third countries.

[11] TRIAL OF SO-CALLED KHALIF KAPLAN CONTINUES IN GERMANY

DUSSELDORF, Feb 9 (A.A) - Trial of the so-called khalif Metin Kaplan and his supporters Hasan Basri Gokbulut and Harun Aygun continued at Dusselforf State Higher court on Wednesday.

Chief Judge Ottmar Beidling warned Kaplan's supporters who were watching the trial by saying ''this is not a mosque.''. Beidling stressed that everybody watching the trial including the accused had to stand up when the court delegation enters the courtroom. ''This is not a mosque, it is a German court. If standing up does not reconcile with your believes, then you can enter the courtroom later. Don't make us tighten our measures. There is enough room at the police station. Don't make us do it,'' Beidling said.

Hasan Basri Gokbulut who defended himself, claimed that National Intelligence Organization (MIT) committed the murders and put the blame on the Muslims and accused them for setting up a terrorist organization.

In his defense, Gokbulut claimed, ''Istanbul will be conquered with calls for Islam. Kemalists who occupy Anatolia are trying to survive by arm force and oppression regime. They cannot survive with another regime. We want our rights back.''

He also denied the accusations related to the killing of Halil Ibrahim Sofu. ''I pronounced nothing about Sofu's killing when I spoke in Berlin. We are sorry that he was killed that way. Because, you can't execute a punishment like that in Islam. A fatwa is considered invalid when there is no caliphate state,'' he alleged.

Hasan Aygun who earlier said he was not going to defend himself at the court, changed his mind after the break. ''My state is sharia and my constitution is Koran,'' he said, adding that he felt grief about Sofu's murder.

Later, the court wanted to hear Metin Kaplan's wife Belkis Kaplan, his son Fatih, his daughters Halime and Halise as witnesses. Belkis Kaplan declined the request of the court by saying she did not want to speak because the accused were her husband and brother. The head of the court delegation accepted her excuse.

Harun Aygun's wife Emine Aygun also refused to speak.

[12] LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY MINISTER OKUYAN IN LONDON

LONDON, Feb 9 (A.A) - Reminding that Turkey has a young population, Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan said the period between school and employment should be made shorter in order to make the young population actively participate in the economic and social development process.

Okuyan is currently attending the OECD Ministers Council's meeting in London about employment of young people. Okuyan, during the morning session of the meeting, explained the problems Turkey faces in the employment of its young people and suggested solutions.

''Turkey has been carrying out fundemantal reforms since 1980 and in parallel to this, it is turning into an information society as a result of the basic changes that take place in its production system and technology. Therefore, the demand for unqualified work force dropped,'' he explained.

''In the meantime, new employment opportunities are being created for more qualified work force. The increase in automation, economic growth, and life standards which take place in parallel to globalization are producing new opportunities,'' Okuyan went on to say.

Okuyan stressed that Turkey, unlike many countries, have a very young population and added that a well-trained young work force is the guarantee of a rapid and stable economic growth and social development.

''This young population must receive a good education and the period between school and employment should be made shorter in order to make the young population the driving force of economic and social development,'' he noted.

The first step in this field was taken in 1986 when duel vocational training system started in Turkey which is successfully implemented in various countries, Okuyan said. Increasing the compulsory education from 5 to 8 years was also an important reform, he noted.

Turkey's next target will be to prevent the accumulation of students who wait to start a university after graduating from high school as well as increasing vocational and technical training to help them find employment after graduating from university.

At the end of his speech, Okuyan said policies that will be followed for the training and employment of young people are important in the new millennium and stressed that Turkey was ready for every kind of cooperation with OECD countries in this field.

[13] SO-CALLED KHALIF KAPLAN'S TRIAL

DUSSELDORF, Feb 9 (A.A) - Trial of the so-called khalif Metin Kaplan and two of his supporters, Hasan Basri Gokbulut and Harun Aygun, continued in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Wednesday.

Henz Jurgen, the Criminal Department official, appeared in the court during afternoon's session as witness.

Noting that telephones of some associations chaired by Kaplan, were tapped, Jurgen said that telephone conversations could enlight some questions.

When asked whether or not there were links between Kaplan's supporters and illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization, Jurgen said that there was an evidence.

Jurgen added that Kaplan formed representations in Sudan, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, supporters of Kaplan who gathered in front of the court building, chanted slogans, saying, ''Damned Kemalists'', ''We are not Terrorists, We are Muslims''

The trial will continue on February 15.

Metin Kaplan, the son of Cemalettin Kaplan, known as the ''Black Voice'', ordered a suicide attack to the Mausoleum of Ataturk on October 29, the national day, which was prevented at the last minute.

Turkey applied to Germany for the extradition of Kaplan.

[14] CLASH ERUPTS BETWEEN SENTRIES AND GREEK CYPRIOTS WHO VIOLATED TRNC BORDER IN DERINYA REGION

LEFKOSA, Feb 9 (A.A) - Clash erupted between sentries and a group of armed Greek Cypriots who violated the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

(TRNC) border in Derinya region near Gazimagosa on Tuesday night.

Releasing a statement on Wednesday, the TRNC Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry said that three or four Greek Cypriots violated the TRNC border at about 21:30 local time.

The TRNC Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry described the incident as an action aimed at escalating tension on the island.

The statement noted, ''sentires warned gunmen, but they responded to the warning by opening fire on sentries who returned fire. The clash lasted for three minutes. Gunmen managed to flee from the buffer zone towards the Greek Cypriot side. There is no indication that anyone was hit in the exchange of fire.''

The TRNC Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry have filed a protest to the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force (UNFICYP) about the shooting.

The statement stressed, ''we think that the Greek Cypriot side which tried to hamper the proximity talks in Geneva, Switzerland, encouraged such attackers. In spite of these incitements, the TRNC will continue its efforts to reach a reconciliation between the two states on the island.

We call on the Greek Cypriot administration to expend the same efforts.''

A.A


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