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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-12

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA News

12 February 2000 Saturday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 12, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


The exports from the Turkish automotive sector in the first month of the year increased 212 percent to 93.6 million U.S. dollars compared with the same period last year. Turkey which exported

663 automobiles in January, 1999, exported 6,394 automobiles in the first month of 2000.

The Garanti Bank got a credit of 15 million Euros from German investment and development firm, Deutsche Investitions-Und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) to finance the firms damaged by the quake. Garanti Bank said that the two thirds of the credit is planned to be used by medium and small scale enterprises and the remaining part will be used by other firms which undertook strategical investments in the region.

President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is paying an official visit to Germany as the guest of Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister. Denktas explained his thesis to Fischer during the meeting. Fischer told Denktas that Germany would continue to expend efforts to find a peaceful solution on the island.


Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who is currently paying an official visit to Romanian capital of Bucharest to attend the Southeast European Countries Summit, is scheduled to meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis. The heads of state and government attending the summit are expected to sign the 'Good Neighbourhood Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation Charter in Southeast Europe'.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that investigation into illegal purchase of weapons by Batman Governorship in the past, was continuing. Responding to questions of journalists prior to his departure for Romania, Ecevit said, ''I hope that the investigation would clarify the truth. None of the governor's offices except for the Emergency Rule Region Governor's Office, has the authority to purchase weapons. The Interior Ministry's approval is necessary to do such a thing. Some of these weapons are claimed to be missing. I hope that the investigations would be finalized soon.''


The Associated Press (AP), one of the leading news agencies of the world, is interested in Nazim Hikmet, a prominent Turkish poet. the AP said, ''30 years later Turkey's best known poet, whose works have been translated into more than 50 languages, is now being hailed by the state as a key figure of Turkish culture. At an international summit in November, President Suleyman Demirel quoted Hikmet's poetry, and Culture Minister Istemihan Talay recently asked UNESCO to help organize celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Hikmet's birth in 2002.''

A group of German youths attacked a Turkish citizen who ran a coffee house in Sperenberg town in eastern Germany. Police said 4 of the 7 assailants were carrying Nazi symbols. The Turkish citizen survived the attack with no injuries. Another foreigner was slightly injured after he was attacked by 2 Germans in Brandenburg state.

State governor Manfred Stolpe asked German citizens to assume an attitute against such racist attacks.


President Suleyman Demirel sent a message of congratulation to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Khatami for the National Day of Iran.

Demirel said in his message that he hoped the good neighbourly relations and the cooperation between Turkey and Iran would continue to improve in the direction of the mutual interests. Demirel also wished happiness and welfare to the friendly Iranian nation.

Mild earthquakes shook Izmir and Manisa provinces. Officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute recorded five tremors with magnitudes ranging from 2.6 to 3.2 on the Richter scale in Gokkaya township of Bolu, Torbali and Menemen townships of Izmir, Hendek township of Adapazari, and Salihli township of Manisa.

The Trade and Investment Frameform Agreement (TIFA) which was signed between Turkey and the U.S. on September 29, 1999 in Washington, D.C., has come into force. Mark Parris, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, said that the agreement would help American investments increase in Turkey.


Members of the Greenpeace, a leading environmentalist organization, held a demonstration in front of the Environment Ministry to protest the Izmit Waste Burning and Recycle Incorp. (IZAYDAS) installation. Eleven members of the Greenpeace, wearing black clothes and carrying banners writing, ''don't play with fire. Burning waste products is a kind of death'', handcuffed themselves to the barrels writing, ''Italian Poisonous Wastes'', ''Hazardous Wastes'' and ''Clinical Wastes.''


General Atilla Ates, the Commander of Land Forces, said that, ''fundamentalist terrorist organizations, which have been revealed in the recent days, are in an effort to prevent strengtening and development of secular and democratic Turkish Republic which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. They are in an effort to split up Turkish Republic, and prevent its civilization. Turkish Armed Forces will not allow those who want to topple the State and to split up the Republic.''


Trial of Ayvaz Korkmaz, head of an organized crime organization, and his followers started in Istanbul Regarding various crimes in which five people were killed, and 10 others were wounded. Korkmaz had been arrested in Ukraine and extradited to Turkey on January 12. The indictment prepared by Istanbul State Security Court (DGM), calls for imprisonment terms against Korkmaz and his followers on grounds that, they ''formed an organization to commit crime, and were a member of this formation,'' and ''incited the organization to commit crime and got involved in these actions,'' and ''aided and abetted the members of the organization.''


ANKARA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, will leave for Germany on Sunday to attend the meeting of consuls.

Releasing a statement on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry noted that the meeting would be held between February 14-15.

Cem is expected to meet with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer and with Chairman of the German Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission during his visit to Germany.


BUCHAREST- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who is currently paying an official visit to Romanian capital of Bucharest to attend the Southeast European Countries Summit, met on Saturday with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis.

Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister, are also in attendance at the meeting.

No statement has been given yet about agenda of the meeting.


KAHRAMANMARAS- President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday, ''allegations claiming that the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization got the weapons exported by Batman Governor's Office, were not correct.''

Demirel responded to questions of journalists during his flight from Ankara to southern Kahramanmaras province.

President Demirel said, ''I was told that the gendarmerie units got most of the weapons. Gendarmerie officials gave some of these weapons to village guards. They could have given the weapons to someone else. But allegations claiming that the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization got the weapons exported by Batman Governor's Office, were not correct.''


HAMBURG - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) who is visiting Hamburg had a meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Friday.

During the meeting Denktas explained to Fischer that the Turkish Cypriots were worried about the future, and told him about the efforts to bring a resolution. He noted that the problems existed for 36 years and that all the efforts of the U.N. failed to bring a solution to these problems.

''Naturally, those who are satisfied with talking to only one side cannot understand this situation very well,'' Denktas said and added that a better assesment of the situation can be done by speaking to both sides.

Denktas thanked Fischer for his invitation and also noted that the Greek side tried to prevent his visit to Germany.

''Their aim is to continue presenting to the world their one-sided views and hold the Cyprus issue under their monopoly and not let Turkish Cypriots explain their situation,'' he went on to say. However, Denktas said, this policy will not work after the EU opened its doors to Turkey.

Denktas told reporters that his meeting with Fischer aimed not to bring a solution but to explain the Cyprus issue to him.

''The policy of the Greek Cypriots is to make Cyprus a EU member very quickly before our status and rights become clear and then make Turkey confront EU in Cyprus. This plot did not work. Because Turkey already took a step. We are determined to make use of opportunities to bring a resolution to the Cyprus problem and this resolution should not hurt our people and should not bring back the years between 1963 and 1974. Our suggestion is a confederate Cyprus. We already explained all this,'' Denktas said.

Fischer, after the meeting, did not speak to the press, however his ministry released a written statement. The statement said 'Fischer had a meeting with the ''elected representative of the Turkish Cypriot side'' and they exchanged opinions.

''The federal government aims to start a dialogue with the representatives of both sides. Fischer stressed that the German government supported initiatives of the U.N. Secretary General to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem,'' it was stated.

In the meantime, Fisher said that Germany's Special Representative to Cyprus Detlev Graf zu Rantzau retired because of age limit and was replaced by Peter Wittig.

Denktas will speak about the latest situation in Cyprus at a conference organized by Turkish-German Businessmen's Union Berlin-Branderburg Association on Saturday.


ANKARA - German President Johannes Rau will visit Turkey between April 5 and 8.

Rau who will also visit Greece, will discuss Turkish-German relations, regional and international issues during his contacts with Turkish authorities.


PARIS- Turkey warned France and asked her not to bring the draft law about the so-called genocide on Armenians to the Senate's agenda.

The draft law which was accepted in the Parliament and later sent to the Senate for approval suggests that France should officially recognize the genocide allegations.

Turkish Embassy in Paris contacted the French Foreign Ministry and stated that relations between Ankara and Paris would seriously suffer if the draft law is approved by the Senate.

In the meantime, the French Ambassador Jean-Claude Cousseran was told by the Turkish Foreign Ministry that Turkey felt uncomfortable about the situation.

During the meeting of the French Senate which will take place on February 22, they will discuss whether or not the draft law should be brought to the Senate's agenda.

Turkey had strongly reacted when the draft law was accepted at the Parliament in 1998 and the French government had decided to keep the draft law waiting in the Senate.

It was reported that the Armenian lobby in France played an important role to bring the draft law back to the agenda.


DIYARBAKIR - Emergency Rule Region Governor Gokhal Aydiner said the terrorist organization Hezbollah suffered a big defeat during the recent operations when he visited the A.A's Diyarbakir regional directorate on Friday.

Aydiner said that the A.A gave great service since its foundation and he examined the A.A's broadcast system via satellite.

He said the operations against Hezbollah was continuing in the areas he was responsible.

Besides security matters, Aydiner said he was working to bring a solution to economic problems and problems in health and education fields.

He earlier said he discussed these issues at a meeting participated by the governors of 11 provinces and National Security Council's delegation.

Aydiner also stressed that great investments were made in especially education field.


BERLIN - After wrapping up his contacts in the German city Hamburg, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Rauf Denktas proceeded to Berlin on Friday.

Denktas received Turkish Ambassador to Berlin, Tugay Ulucevik, undersecretaries and military attachées of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin's Tegel Airport.

Evaluating his contact with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in Hamburg, Denktas said he believed Fischer was a reliable statesman.

Turkish-Greek rapprochement is a good opportunity to reach a settlement over the Cyprus issue, Denktas said and added that the door that opened to Turkey at the Helsinki Summit was also a chance for the TRNC.

Responding to a question, Denktas said ''the administration model suggested in the 1960 Constitution which the Greek Cypriot side still persists on was buried by Makarios in 1963.''

''It is not rational to insist on it because the whole world started realizing the cruelty the Turkish Cypriots were exposed to,'' he added.


ANKARA - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Friday that Turkey's production climate and enthusiasm will change, and prosperity will increase at the end of this economic programme.

Oral attended the economic evaluation meeting organized by Ankara Trade Exchange (ATB) and Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO).

''Every year will be better than the past year. We will decrease our difference with developed countries,'' he said.

Turkey has important opportunities ahead of her likely full membership to the EU and participation in G20 platform so it should carry out the necessary structuralization to make use of these circumstances, Oral went on to say.

Oral also noted that Turkey entered the 21st century with political stability and stressed that the opposition and the government were displaying tolerance.

The economic problems are mainly rooted from the unhealthy financial structure of the public sector and a strong public finance should be created for a powerful economy, Oral said.

''You see the strong public finance in the EU countries. This cannot be ignored in Turkey. Today we are implementing a programme which targets to drop the inflation and reduce budget deficits. This program has three parts: tax incomes, privatization and budget deficits,'' he explained.

Speaking about the private sector, Oral said the private sector should be able to make medium and long term plans. Helping the private enterprise is the basic aim of this economic progamme, he added. ''Even in such a short period of time, Turkey opened to the foreign markets, there is a drop in real interest rates and Turkey's credibility increased,'' Oral said and added that financial circles of the world were also thinking positively about Turkey's economic programme.

''The first month of the 2000 was extremely positive. There is a harmonized government. We are trying to make 3 coalition partners work like a single party. Everything is taking place in a perfect harmony,'' he said.


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who is currently paying an official visit to Romanian capital of Bucharest to attend the Southeast European Countries Summit, said on Saturday that he had held a very useful meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister.

The meeting between Ecevit and his Greek counterpart Simitis lasted nearly 12 minutes. Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and Papandreou were also in attendance at the meeting.

Addressing journalists following the meeting, Ecevit said that the meeting focused on steps taken to improve close cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

Ecevit thanked Cem and Papandreou, the architects of Turkey-Greece dialogue process.

He noted that the general issues regarding the European Union (EU) were also discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Simitis said in his part that he was totaly agreed with Ecevit.

Simitis pointed out that they evaluated problems which were taken up during the meetings between Turkish and Greek foreign ministers.

Describing the latest developments as very positive, Simitis underlined necessity of continuation of dialogue process.

Recalling that Turkey's EU candidacy was announced during last year's Helsinki Summit, Simitis said that they wanted to assist Turkey during the EU candidacy process.

Simitis also added that all problems including Turkey's full membership to the EU, should be discussed.

Meanwhile, when asked when Simitis would pay an official visit to Turkey, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, said that the definite date has not been set yet, but the visit could take place after elections in Greece.


TOKAT, Feb- A hunter was killed by a group of terrorists in the Blacksea province of Tokat on Friday night.

11 huntsmen who were hunting in Cerdigin village were attacked by a group of terrorists and Ahmet Sesli, one of the hunters, lost his life in the attack.

Operations continue to capture terrorists.


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who went to the Romanian capital of Bucharest to attend the third Southeast European Countries Heads of State Summit, had a meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu on Friday night.

Following the 45-minute meeting, Isarescu told reporters that he had a very good meeting with Ecevit where they discussed bilatereal and multilateral relations.

''We saw that Turkey and Romania had very good relations in economy and finance fields. Mr. Ecevit said there were 6 Turkish banks giving services in Romania. Turkey and Romania also materialized very important cooperation in the military area. We both agreed that it is possible to further develop the current potential between the two countries,'' Isarescu told reporters.

''We also focused on multilateral subjects in the Balkans. Developing security in the Balkans depends on developing economy. Development of economy depends on creating stability in every country. Southeast European stability charter will help these countries to develop their economies more rapidly in this region of the world,'' Isarescu said.

The Romanian Prime Minister also noted that development of Romanian economy will also help the activities of Turkish investors and bankers.

Prime Minister Ecevit who also spoke to the press stressed that Turkey and Romania had very friendly relations in every field. Although investors from other countries leave Romania, Turkish investors keep going there because they have faith in the future of Romania, he said.

''There are 6 Turkish banks in Romania today. A reliable and dynamic banking system is a great factor in the development of all countries. As far as I know, there are 15,000 Turkish businessmen who are working in Romania. All of them know that Turkey will at the same time benefit from any investment they will make in Romania,'' Ecevit said.

''We have very good relations. I would like to stress that even when we had different regimes in the past, Romania and Turkey had a good cooperation. Now that we adopted the same democratic regime and the same market economy, our relations will further increase. I believe that Romanian economy will regain its old dynamism during the rule of Isarescu who is an invaluable economist,'' Ecevit said.

Ecevit stated that he was visiting Romania for a very important event and reminded that Southeast European Charter would be signed on Saturday. The charter will bring a new dimension to the cooperation among Southeast European countries, Ecevit noted. He also added that the region had very complicated problems which have always existed.

''The problems can be solved only if each country in the region claims possession of its own problem,'' Ecevit said.

Regional cooperation is as important as bilateral relations for Romania and Turkey, Ecevit said. ''If we create solidarity and cooperation among us, this will lead international capital inflow to our region. I wish success to Mr. President and to Romanian people,'' Ecevit concluded his words.

Responding to a question about the latest situation in Turkish-Greek relations, Ecevit said the Turkish and Grek foreign ministries started a dialogue. Not only Turkey and Greece, but the whole region wants the continuation of this dialogue, he also added.


BUCHAREST- The first session of Southeast European Countries Summit started in Romanian capital of Bucharest on Saturday.

Romanian President Emil Costantinescu, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, Romanian Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu, Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta and Macedonian Prime Minister Lubco Georgievski are attending the meeting.

Foreign ministers of Southeast European countries are also in attendance at the meeting.

Croatia and Bosnia-Hersegovina are attending the meeting as observers.

Heads of state and government are to sign a 'charter of good neighbourly relations, stability, security and cooperation in southeast Europe'.


ANKARA - Applications in foreign countries were discussed during the third session of the ''Political Structuralization in Turkey and Basic Political Problems'' symposium which was held on Friday.

Paul Rundquist, an expert from the U.S. Congress Research Unit who attended the sypmosium as a speaker spoke about the constitutional reforms in Turkey.

Rundquist said Turkey should first decide which problems should be solved. An extensive reform would take time, he noted and also noted that Turkey's target to become a full EU member was very important.

''If there will be a political reform in Turkey and if the Turkish institutions would be shaped according to EU norms, then Turkey should definitely not adopt presidential system nor the congress system, but instead do whatever Europe is doing,'' he suggested.

He stressed that reliability and transparency were essential in a general political reform. ''All the activities of the government should be understood by people, people should know what is going on,'' he noted.

Dr.Shlomo Avineri who is the Chairman of Hebrew University's European Research Center said Israel's political system was based on stability, sustainability and change. Avineri stressed that the military never became a power on politics and added that members of the military can switch to another profession after they retire in their late forties.

Arabic is the second official language in Israel, he went on to say. ''It has been like this since the foundation of the Israeli state. Besides broadcasts in Arabic language on television and radio, there is education in Arabic at schools. Parliamentarians of Arabic origin speak Arabic. We have religious and communist parties. We have a large variety and we are preserving this structure,'' Avineri explained the situation in his country.

Avineri stressed that problems between the religious fundamentalists and secularists or the Jewish and the Arabs cannot be resolved by changing the constitution only.


ISTANBUL - Twenty Georgians who were the members of a network which stole about 90 kilograms of gold from several jewellery shops in Istanbul were caught on Friday.

Acting on a tip-off, police raided a house in Eminonu district. They detained 8 people of Georgian origin and found 8 kilograms of stolen gold, 20 grams of heroin and a high amount of foreign money.

After expanding the investigation, security forces caught 12 more members of the same gang including 3 women.

It was reported that the robbers broke into 5 jewellery shops in Zeytinburnu, Fatih, Findikzade, Umraniye and Besiktas districts and stole about 90 kilograms of gold as well as the foreign money they found in the safes.

It was found out that before they rob the shops, the robbers, disguised as shoppers, inspect the alarm systems of the shops they were planning to rob and preferred shops which did not have an alarm system.


BERLIN - A group of German youths attacked a Turkish citizen who ran a coffee house in Sperenberg town in eastern Germany on Friday.

Police said 4 of the 7 attackers carried Nazi symbols. The Turkish citizen survived the attack with no injuries.

Another foreigner was slightly injured after he was attacked by 2 Germans in Brandenburg state on Thursday.

Police said the attacks aimed to intimidate foreigners in Germany.

State governor Manfred Stolpe asked German citizens to take an attitute against such racist attacks.


ANKARA - Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) which was signed between Turkey and the U.S. on September 29, 1999 took effect on Friday.

U.S. Ambassador to Ankara, Mark Parris said trade relations between the two countries were quite strong and they continued growing.

He noted that TIFA will further strengthen Turkey-U.S. trade relations and increase the U.S. investments in Turkey.


ISTANBUL - State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu went to Bahrain on Friday to attend the Turkey-Bahrain Third Term Joint Economic Council's meeting.

Mirzaoglu told reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that during his visit he would have contacts with Bahraini authorities for the development of political, cultural and trade relations between the two countries.

Mirzaoglu, during his visit, will also sign ''encouragement of investments'' and ''preventation of double taxation'' agreements.


GAZIANTEP - Security forces raided a house on Friday which was used as a cell house by the terrorist organization Hezbollah in southeastern Gaziantep province.

During the operation, police found 3 guns, 5 Russian made hand grenades, 2 cleavers and many organizational documents.

The house was rented by Abdullah Arashan who was captured last week. Arashan was living with his family who abondoned the house before the police raided it.


KAHRAMANMARAS- President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that the allegation saying that the terrorist Hezbollah organization took the possession of the weapons in Batman was baseless.

President Demirel responded the questions of journalists during his flight from Ankara to Kahramanmaras.

When asked whether establishment of a special unit was correct, Demirel said, ''it was searched and investigated. The concerned authorities and the government will make the necessary statement. The governments exist today and will continue to exist. However, they are composed of different people. This is a separate issue. I mean to say that there is continuity in the state. When the appropriate time comes, the government will of course announce the information it got in a way to relieve people.''

When asked whether a part of weapons were lost and whether those weapons were possessed by the terrorist Hezbollah organization, Demirel, ''according to the information submitted to me, this is an allegation. Almost all of the weapons are now at the Gendarmerie.''

When asked whether the import of weapons by governor's office was appropriate to the regulations, Demirel said, ''this can be discussed. If the state had done this in accordance with the procedure, there can't be any inconvenience. Actually, this is the thing under investigation now.''

When asked whether establishment of a special force by governor's office was appropriate, Demirel said, ''a special force can't be established with the initiative of governor's office. Governor's office sets up a force when it receives such an instruction.''

When asked whether he was informed at that time that governor's office would set up a special organization, Demirel said, ''there were some efforts in that time but it did not continue. I became aware of some efforts. There were some efforts to set up police, to arm police and to make some new arrangements against terrorism.''

When asked whether those efforts were launched by the Prime Minister of that period, Demirel said, ''no, the then government launched those initiatives.''

When asked whether the National Security Council (NSC) had ever discussed it, Demirel said, ''no, these issues were never discussed by the NSC. The NSC has never taken a decision on this issue.''

''I was told that almost all of the weapons were at the Gendarmerie. It is a separate issue if the Gendarmerie had given those weapons to village guards and later village guards gave those weapons to another people. Such things could happen but generally, it is not correct that the weapons went to the terrorist Hezbollah organization from this source,'' he said.

(To be continued)


KAHRAMANMARAS - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that he would be in office till the night of May 16, and he was trying to fulfil his mission.

Demirel responded the questions of reporters during his flight from Ankara to Kahramanmaras.

Responding to questions about the draft law he approved that was called ''nice retirement'', Demirel said, ''it was issued for nine times, it was transferred to the Constitutitonal Court for nine times and the Court reversed it for nine times. I mean to say that it is a continuous effort. Consequently, we have to examine its content. Does it take anything from the Treasury? No. Does it take anything from the retirement institutions? No. So how can I reject it? Besides, the Constitutional Court has still not issued a reasoned decision.''

When asked whether the parliament would provide the majority and approve the 5+5 formula for presidential election, Demirel said, ''all of these issues do not concern me. I don't know what the parliament will do. This is not my project. I only expressed my opinion. I expressed this opninion ten years ago and later I repeated it.''

Responding to a question about the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Demirel said, ''the price issue will be solved in near future. Now the technical delegation is discussing the price of a barrel and transition fee. Who will pay the insurance of the part of this pipeline in Azerbaijani and georgian territories? These issues are now being discussed.''

When asked why the decision for a nuclear power plant was postponed, Demirel said, ''it is a very complicated issue. It is a technological issue. Which technology will we prefer? Besides, the cost is very important. The state will take a decision. These are great auctions worth 2.5-3 million U.S. dollars.''


ISTANBUL - Illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization has been involved in 1, 027 crimes including 484 homicides, 386 batteries, 18 bomb attacks and 14 abductions since 1991 when it started its gory actions.

Officials at the Directorate General of Security told the A.A correspondent on Saturday that security forces captured 80 Hezbollah members in 1992; 156 in 1993; 475 in 1994; 483 in 1995; 356 in 1996; 524 in 1997; 900 in 1998 and 1,527 in 1999 during operations against the illegal terrorist organization.

Hezbollah members were involved in 5 incidents in 1991; 149 in 1992; 345 in 1993; 366 in 1994; 59 in 1995; 10 in 1996; 22 in 1997; 18 in 1998 and 28 in 1999.

Security officials launched 22 operations in 1992 against the organization; 39 in 1993; 52 in 1994; 70 in 1995; 86 in 1996; 155 in 1997; 203 in 1998 and 270 in 1999.


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit addressed the Southeast European Contries Summit which started on Saturday in Romanian capital of Bucharest.

In his speech on ''Prospects for Enhanced Stability, Security and Democracy in Southeastern Europe in the Year 2000'', Ecevit said, ''the twentieth century was associated with the two most destructive wars mankind has ever witnessed. The First World War began in the Balkans. Unfortunately, the last wars on the European continent took place again in this region.''

He noted, ''political and ethnic divisions, ideological confrontations and an almost permament state of tension caused the diversion of our scarce resources to areas other than economic and social development. Ethnic nationalism still threated security and stability.''

''As we step into the new millennium, the worst seems to be over. Yet, we cannot say that our region has gained an overall stability. Indeed, there are several unfinished tasks which necessitate continuous attention. In Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo international community still struggles to establish peace, stability and viable administrative structures necessary for the living together of various ethnic groups in peace and harmony. An appalling number of refugees and displaced persons are still unable to return to their homes,'' Ecevit stressed.

He noted, ''the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, an important regional country, is completely isolated and remains excluded from our community.''

Ecevit said, ''conflicts have ended, but unfortunately there are no immediate, clear prospects for democratic stability and development, despite generous external involvement and assitance. However, I believe that there are also reasons for optimism. Positive forces from within and outside have gained momentum. ''

''The Balkans had often been a playground for power politics, interference and rivalries. But this is now changing. National efforts and regional initiatives to this end are supported by multilateral and all European efforts. Even more important, all our peoples aspire to genuine democracy and display great resilience in the face of the hardships of transition. Almost all countries of the region have an invaluable asset: human resources of high quality. The security environment too has improved. International organizations are geared to make available their experience and resources. New cooperation schemes are being created. Among the several instruments I would like to cite in particular the formation of SECI (Southern Europe Cooperative Initiative), launching of the Royamount process and the Stability Pact as well as the establishment of the Southeasth Europe Multinational Peace-keeping Force, which was almost unimaginable a decade ago. The emergence of the Southeast European Cooperation Process deserves a special attention as a purely indigenous initiative. We are living in an increasingly interdependent world. The international community could not stay indifferent to what has been happening in our region. Conflicts and tensions in one part of the Europe inevitably affect the rest of the region and Europe alike,'' Ecevit emphasized.

He said, ''the national priorities of the regional countries, such as integration with Europe, membership in NATO are welcomed by the Wast. At the same time, the West wants to see a Southeastern Europe which is able to cooperate within itself and effectively conduct discussions and consultaions on her inner problems, as indicated in the charter. I firmly believe that the progress which we will achieve in this respect, will help accelerate our integration with the rest dof Europe.''

Ecevit noted, ''the international community had no ready-made recipe in dealing with such large scale developments as the disintegration of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia has engendered. Mistakes have been committed in confronting tensions and crises and the unfortunate events in Bosnia and now in Kosovo became challenges which tested the resolve of the West. What makes the difference at present is that Europe and the U.S. rise with increased determination against these challenges, offer their help and solidarity and initiate long-term projects such as the stability pact. In today's world ending conflicts and stopping the violence are not considered to be sufficient. Efforts for comprehensive, coordinated and strategic approaches have been embraced with a view to supplementing crisis management and preventive diplomacy with reconstruction and institution buildings. We should continue providing our support to these by all available means, including contribution to peacekeeping, to post-conflict stabilization and to reconstruction. The launching of the stability pact for southeastern Europe by the European Union (EU) is the latest constructive effort. The objectives of peace, democracy, stability and economic reconstruction can only be reached by a comprehensive, multi- dimensional approach which is at the basis of the stability pact.''


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit addressed the Southeast European Contries Summit which started on Saturday in Romanian capital of Bucharest.

In his speech titled ''Prospects for Enhanced Stability, Security and Democracy in Southeastern Europe in the Year 2000'', Ecevit said, ''We shold not forget however that even the greatest ideas and best intentions cannot produce the expected results if they are not backed by sufficient means. Financing and continuous follow on efforts. The Sarajevo summit meeting confirmed the solidarity and political will that we have put to work.''

Ecevit noted, ''progress achieved so far is encouraging. We hope that by the financing conference to be held at the end of next month, the pact may gain its real momentum for implementation. It is obvious that much depends on us. As the governments of the regional countries, we have to concentrate on wide-ranging reform in the areas of democratization, institution building, in establishing sound environment for market economies, fighting against corruption, organized crime and terrorism and for the protection and enhancement of civil liberties. We are encouraged by the positive developments which are taking place in our region in this regard.''

''Democracy is taking roots. Economies and administrations are reformed and a considerable progress is achieved in establishing vibrant market economies. Progress is also achieved in crises ridden areas. The creation of a joint administrative council is Kosovo, and the establishment of a multi ethnic Kosovo protection force are concrete steps in the creation of a democratic society we would like to see in Kosovo. We hope that the regrettable incidents of violence and discrimination against the members of other communities and attempts for domination will definitely cease,'' Ecevit stressed.

He said, ''the international community invested much effort for peace, stability and a viable multi ethnic state in Bosnia. We know that much remains to be done and that there are still serious difficulties in the full implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Much depends on the three constituent peoples. They should not miss this historic opportunity to establish a multi ethnic democratic society at the heart of Europe. It is our sincere hope that the policies of the new Croatian government will develop more cooperative attitudes concerning the return of the refugees and its neighbourhood, including Bosnia in particular.''

''Turkey was struck by two earthquakes last year which caused losses of life and extensive damage. From the rubbles of a natural disaster came the growth of solidarity. The hand of help extended to us by all the Balkan countries represented here today has strengthened our perseverance in our time of need. The Turkish people will always remember this with gratitude, '' Ecevit emphasized.

He said, ''the earthquakes of last year also united Turkish and Greek peoples in their grief. Today, we are witnessing the important process of improving bilateral relations and dialogue between Turkey and Greece. This augurs well for the future of the whole region.''

Ecevit added, ''I am sure we all agree that an important decision for this century is to evade the prospect of the sway of hard-line and ethnic nationalism. Unfortunately our part of Europe has not been very succesful in this respect, as we have witnessed during the Bosnian and Kosovo crises, and in the case of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We sincerely hope to see the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia an important regional country to become part of the European family, by meeting the expactations of the community of democratic nations.''

He noted, ''there appear two courses in front of the U.S. The first one is through globalization and integration. Although the nation states will continue as an effective organizing unit. Even tough there is going to be an increasing interdependence between the states, they will also enjoy vast freedoms. The ideal of ever closer and deeper union among the peoples will reach the salutary heights of tolerance, pluralism and cooperation. The other course, is through tribalisation that include ethnic hatred and violence, ethnic cleansing, expansionist nationalism. This route is destined to fail. Today, we gather here to sign the charter on good neighbourly relations, stability, security and cooperation in Southeastern Europe. This charter will set the parameters under which we shall continue to develop our relations and our cooperation. Our gathering in Bucharest today to sign this charter is the manifestation of our determination that we shall choose the first and noble course in the Balkans. Thank you.''


BUCHAREST - Balkan countries, for the first time in last 66 years, signed a joint political document in the Southeast European Coutries' Summit in Bucharest, Romania.

The Prime Ministers of Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and Greece, and the Romanian President signed the ''Charter on Good-Neighborhood Relations, Stability, Security and Cooperation in Southeastern Europe'' that was prepared upon Turkey's proposal.

The Charter, which was signed following today's first session of the Summit, was finalized in the Southeast European Countries' Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bucharest on December 2, 1999.

The family photograph of the participant heads of state and government was taken after the Charter was signed.

The Balkan countries signed the ''Balkan Pact'' on their previous convention in 1934.

The Charter foresees development of cooperation among Balkan countries in every field, and joint movement of Balkan countries for lasting stability and peace in the region.

The Charter also envisages cooperation among the Balkan countries for their integration with the European and Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Noting that the regional countries share the Euro-Atlantic values like democracy and human rights, the Charter stresses that ''a solution should be sought for the Kosovo issue in accordance with the U.N. Security Council's resolution no: 1244, and that the international force in Kosovo is supported.''

The Charter also calls for more personnel, moral and financial support to the international force in Kosovo.


BUCHAREST- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit addressed the afternoon's session of the Southeast European Contries Summit which started on Saturday in Romanian capital of Bucharest.

In his speech, Ecevit said, ''as we step into the new millennium, we still have to solve the paradox as to whether there are one or two Europes. There is one Europe in the sense that all the countries of this continent, may be the first time in history, have united around the common values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. One could claim also that there are two Europes when we think economic-wise. One Europe, with its accumulated experiences on the system of market economy, enjoys a high degree of wealth and prosperity. The other Europe is the one which struggles to narrow the gap with the first group. Most of the countries in our region and our neighbourhood, despite varying degrees of development among themselves, are still in the second group.''

''The long term stability in Southeastern Europe depends on several parameters, but it certainly cannot be possible without economic recovery. Previous experiences have shown that efforts at national level alone are not sufficient. In the age of interdependence and globalization, solidarity in this field should be revisited. In this context, let me underline the necessity of appropriate social measures which should be taken in order to balance the adverse effects of globalization and market economy in the Balkan region. All three elements, namely the economic and social development, democracy and security have to be taken up together, since the achievements or failures in one field will have a direct impact on the others. I think this is the reason behind the Stability Pact,'' Ecevit said.

He noted, ''the pact's success will depend on the compriehensive international support and resource allocation that it mobilizes. We are fully aware that after decades of semi-isolation under authoritarian regimes and centrally planned economic systems, the process of reform and reconstruction will be long and painful. Tensions and conflicts have affected us all, but in some parts of our region it caused great suffering, disorder and damage. A differentiation regarding the beneficiaries has therefore to be made. Europe passed through a similar experience after the Second World War, and she immensely benefited from the Marshall Plan. If our region is part of a wider Europe and that security and stability are indivisible, neither we nor our Western partners have the luxury of acting slowly or only with half measures. I understand and share the impatience of many, and in particular of the less favored sections of the populations, most affected by the abrupt change in social and economic order, or of those who have so much suffered by recent conflicts. No wonder that the stability pact raised high expectations for the peoples in the Southeast European countries. 29 participants, including members of the European Union (EU) as well as other major powers and we, as the regional countries, have shouldered important responsibilities.''

Ecevit added, ''President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland is said to have likened the Stability Pact to a marathon. I agree with him. The Pact is a medium to long term programme. We should not however forget that its not an endless event. The multi-dimensional objectives of the Stability Pact, namely democratization, social reforms, economic development and security, is a comprehensive and solid approach that also necessitates the tailoring of the projects and schemes to the specific needs of the individual participants. We do not consider ourselves as a net beneficiary, we have to make our own contributions. For peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans are primarily in our national interest. The momentum gained so far in developing coordinated efforts, in mobilizing the experience accumulated by international organizations and individual countries, is promising. On this very day, the meeting of the second working table is being held in the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. We hope that, prior to the financing conference which is planned to take place in Brussels on 29-39 March, 2000, this meeting of the second working table will give us a better idea of the general directions of implementations to follow.''


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit addressed the afternoon's session of the Southeast European Contries Summit which started on Saturday in Romanian capital of Bucharest.

In his speech, Ecevit said, ''I have been informed that at this meeting an investment charter is to be adopted. Countries themselves have to do a lot in order to encourage foreign and domestic invetments, as we know from our own experience. The vigorous implementation of a jointly prepared set of rules and principles will certainly be of great help in creating the positive climate.''

''Active involvement of the private sector in the reconstruction activities in the region is imperative. If a positive climate for investment is one precondition for the international business circles, the second one is no doubt fair shares in the projects. New avenues should also be opened for local entrepreneurs. Active involvement of the nascent domestic private sector in the reconstraction activities in this region and their sustenance by foreign capital will not only lead to their progression, but also produce an input in terms of employment,'' Ecevit said.

He noted, ''the folowing criteria should be observed, in the inseption of major infrastructure and similar projects:

- A maximum number of regional countries should be able to benefit.

- They should encourage and facilitate integration with Western Europe.

- They should also effectively encourage regional integration, trade and capital flow. I would like to emphasize particularly this aspect: We do not believe that integration with larger Europe can be possible without effective intraregional integration. Other steps in which our Western partners can be helpful are: Improved export credit and investment guarantee instruments by the contributing or the facilitating countries.''

He stressed, ''the business advisory council, established under the second working table can certainly be a useful framework in bringing together the representatives of the various sectors to elicit a better understanding of the needs, realities and opportunities. I hope that the activities of this council will embrace also the medium and small size enterprises which need special attention. In the meantime, we must keep in mind the importance of promoting economic cooperation and cultural relations with other parts of the world, thereby contributing to the merger of the East and the West. Of course all these activities are not going to start from scratch. There is a vast experience and even specific projects accumulated or developed by international organizations as well as already functioning institutions. We have to use them to the greatest extent possible and if need be reinforce them. Let me give you one example: one rule that we should carefully observe when we use these accumulated experiences is that we have to avoid duplications and waste of efforts. I understand that both the special coordinator and the chairpersons of the working tables have underlined this point.''

Ecevit added, ''the work will essentially be made by ourselves. This is true both at national and international levels. It should be noted however that several arrangements and agreements between us are still on a bilateral basis, as in the case of trade liberalization agreements. We are far as yet from putting into full use the institutional and other potentials. The Charter which we have signed at this summit contains provisions for developing intra-regional economic relations. We must effectively implement these provisions, and review the already registered projects, ideas and proposals. We should also consider joint financing when such projects offer genuine benefit and service to us all. During the Antalya Summit of the Southeast European Cooperation Process on October 13, 1998 the Balkan Regional Center for Trade Promotion was established.''

He noted, ''considering that this center can effectively contribute to the activities within the Stability Pact, we have handed over to Mr. Bodo Hombach and enlarged version of the project so as to make it more efficient in serving the Southeast European Cooperation Process countries.

Today our means and the volume of our exchanges may be considered as being of modest proportions. We are faced with various difficulties such as the disruption of traditional trade routes due to the situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. But we all have important potentials too and we are making steady progress in exploiting them. Our mutual investments and trade are on the increase. What makes me optimistic is that all Balkan countries are giving due attention to modernization, reforms and trade liberalization. They appreciate the need for cooperation and concerted efforts and even more important, they are able to come together and discuss their problems in a friendly atmosphere.''

He added, ''last but not least, I would like to stress the vital importance of effective cooperation for the protection and improvement of the environment. This we owe to the natural riches bestowed upon our region. We should institutionalize our recently proven solidarity in the face of natural disasters. I am sure, Mr. President, that during the chairmanship period of our Macedonian friends we will make further leaps forward. Thank you.''


BUCHAREST - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the Balkan Charter was the most important success of the Summit of Southeast European Countries Heads of State and Government.

Addressing a joint press conference he staged together with the leaders of the participant countries following the Summit, Prime Minister Ecevit said the Charter foresaw cooperation in Eastern Europe.

Stressing that the determination of the people living in Balkan countries and Eastern Europe in solving the problems was once again put forward in the Summit, Ecevit said there were still unsolved problems in the region, and that reconstruction and restructuring of Kosovo was an urgent problem that should be solved immediately.

Ecevit said he found the opportunity to meet with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis during the Summit, and he observed that all regional countries have the hope to restart and further develop the dialogue for cooperation. A.A

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