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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-17

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

17 February 2000 Thursday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 17, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

CAKICI DID NOT SPEAK
Alaattin Cakici, a notorious mafia boss, appeared at the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) for the first time. Cakici used his right to remain silent and did not respond to the questions. Cakici said that he did not take the diplomatic passport from the state but took it from a forger living in Gaziantep.

''OCALAN COSTED SO MUCH FOR US''
Piero Fassino, the Italian Foreign Minister, said that Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, and the terrorist organization PKK costed so much for them. Fassino noted that Turkey boycotted the Italian products. Fassino added that they should forget the past and welcome the future.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

ONLY %25 INCREASE IN RENTS
The parliament adopted the law which curbs the increase in the rents in accordance with the inflation targets of the government. As the law takes effect, the rents can only be increased by 25 percent this year and 10 percent in 2001. No new contract will be signed to increase the rents.

AKBANK WANTS TO PURCHASE TWO BANKS TRANSFERRED TO STATE
Ozen Goksel, the Governor of Akbank, said that the Akbank wants to purchase two banks that were earlier transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund. Goksel noted that they can also respond in affirmative to the joint venture proposal of the foreign banks.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

DEMIREL PROPOSAL OBSTRUCTED
Premier Bulent Ecevit; Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Devlet Bahceli; and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP); signed the proposal for a constitutional change which will enable the election of President Suleyman Demirel for an additional five years. The proposal was also sent to the opposition parties for approval. Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), said that they are insistent on their own proposal which foresees the election of the president by the people, and did not sign the proposal. Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), firstly signed the proposal, but later drew her signature back.

''WE CANNOT EXTRADICT FEHRIYE BECAUSE YOU WILL HANG HER''
Alexis Brouhns, the Belgian Ambassador to Turkey, said that they cannot extradict Fehriye Erdal, a member of the illegal extreme leftist DHKP-C organization who was involved in the Ozdemir Sabanci assassination, to Turkey. Brouhns noted that they cannot extradite Erdal to Turkey because a person who is considered as a political criminal in Turkey is not considered as a criminal in Belgium. Brouhns stated that attempting to change the constitutional order by force is an invalid concept in Belgium. Brouhns added this fact causes a problem for Erdal's extradition.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

THEY ATTACKED ALSO ON MOSQUE
The police said that the Hezbollah terrorists raked with gunfire the Hafiziye Mosque of eastern Van province in 1998. The terrorist Hezbollah organization also killed Kiziltas, the deputy chairman of the Natonalist Movement Party (MH) Provincial Branch, and two imams, in Van. The dead body of a student who was also killed by the terrorist Hezbollah organization, was also unearthed in Van. Six members of the terrorist Hezbollah organization were captured in southern Mersin province.

VILLAGERS OF BERGAMA PROTESTED AGAIN
The cyanide disaster in Romania led to the protest of the villagers of Bergama township of western Izmir province. The villagers walked to Bergama and asked the Eurogold company to leave Turkey within a month. A total of 22 lawsuits were filed against the villagers while the Eurogold has not been imposed a sanction yet.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

HEART OF TOURISM TO BEAT IN EMITT FAIR
The Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travelling Fair (EMITT 2000) will be opened in Tuyap International Fair and Congress Center of Ankara today. The fair will be open until February 20, 2000. 50,000 people are expected to visit the fair which is being staged by the Turkish Travelling Agencies' Union (TURSAB), Turkish Hotel Staff Union (TUROB), Turkish Tourism Investors' Association (TYD) and the Turkish Airlines (THY).

METRO SUPPORT TO GROCERS
Hakan Ergin, the Director of the Metro Grossmarket which has stores in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa and Adana, said that they are working on six stores these days and that three of these new stores will start functioning this year. The grocers have a 44-percent share in the total turnover of the Metro Grossmarket, Ergin noted. Ergin stated that 20 grocers are closed in Turkey every day. Ergin added that the grocers will remain open if they take into consideration the proposals of the Metro Grossmarket.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

PREMIER ECEVIT: ''WE ARE DETERMINED TO SAVE
TURKEY AND OUR RELIGION FROM THE HEZBOLLAH EVIL''
Premier Bulent Ecevit said that they are determined to save Turkey and the Islam from the Hezbollah evil. Ecevit said, ''the worst betrayal to the Islam comes from the terrorist Hezbollah organization. Everybody understands that the secularism which respects the beliefs, serves the Islam more than anything. So, we are determined to save Turkey and our religion from the Hezbollah evil.''

STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''WE ARE READY FOR IMF EXAMINATION''
Recep Onal, the State Minister, said that the talks which are held with the Central Bank within the framework of the structural adaptation credits, continue in a positive atmosphere. Onal noted that they are ready for the examination of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Onal added that the performance criteria were totally implemented in 1999 despite some deviations caused by the massive earthquakes.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

FUNNY ESCAPE
Ahmet Yarguder, the inmate who killed Mustafa Duyar, the assasinator of businessmen Ozdemir Sabanci, escaped although there were gendarme forces beside himself. Yalcin Onal, the non-commissioned officer who brought Yarguder from Trabzon to Istanbul to appear in a court, wanted to entertain himself in a bar and with a lover following the court session. Yarguder also joined this entertainment. Yarguder, who was not handcuffed during this entertainment, ran away.

'TURKISH MARKETPLACE' IN KUWAIT
The Turkish private enterprises will implement a significant project in Kuwait, the trading center of the Middle East. The enterprises accelerated the initiatives for the 'Turkish market' project which will display and sell many Turkish products of construction, furniture, textile, and ready- made cloth sectors. The businessmen of Ankara pioneer the project. The Turkish market which will be situated in the Kuwait Free Zone Shuwaikh Harbour, carries great importance for the Turkish businessmen because it will enable the businessmen to be included in the markets of the Gulf and Middle East.

[03] U.S OFFICIAL SAYS THEY ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE A NEW DATE FOR PRESIDENT DEMIREL'S VISIT TO THE U.S.

WASHINGTON D.C., Feb 17 (A.A) - A U.S. official said on Thursday that they are trying to determine a new date for President Suleyman Demirel's visit to the U.S.

An official of the U.S. State Department told A.A correspondent that the Turkish government informed the U.S. that Demirel could not pay a visit to the U.S. on the earlier determined date.

They have not yet determined a new date, the official said.

The official added that they are holding contacts with the Turkish officials to determine a new date for Demirel's visit which will not contradict with the program of two sides.

Demirel was scheduled to participate in the opening ceremony of the Topkapi Treasury Exhibition and to meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton within the framework of his postponed visit to the U.S.

[04] REVUE DE LA PRESSE POUR LA JOURNEE DU 17 FEVRIER 2000

ANKARA, LE 17 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - L'Agence Anadolu vous presente les titres des principaux quotidiens pour la journee du 17 fevrier 2000.

Elle ne peut pas etre tenue pour responsable du contenu de ces nouvelles.

HÜRRIYET (Liberal) "ÖCALAN NOUS A COUTE CHER", DECLARE PIERO FASSINO:

"Öcalan et le Pkk ont coute her a l'Italie, nos produits ont ete boycottes, oublions le passe et retournons aux bons vieux jours dans nos relations", a declare le ministre italien au commerce exterieur, Piero Fassino, en visite officielle en Turquie.

MILLIYET (Liberal)

"LE MONDE JUDICIAIRE A LA DERIVE ET LE MINISTRE DE LA

JUSTICE REGARDE":

Les detenus agissent a leur aise dans les prisons, des armes sont stockees dans les cellules et les audiences des tribunaux se deroulent dans le laxisme; M. Hikmet Sami Türk regarde".

SABAH (Liberal)

LA "POLEMIQUE KEMALISTE" EN IRAN:

Rafsandjani traite de "kemaliste" les candidats moderes aux elections iranennes.

CUMHURIYET (Centre-gauche)

LE HIZBULLAH A ATTAQUE UNE MOSQUEE EN 1998 A VAN:
Deux personnes ont ete blessees lors de cette attaque perpetree durant la priere.

Les terroristes avaient mitraille la mosquee a l'arme automatique.

L'epouse d'une des militants avoue: "mon mari a ete forme en Iran".

LA POLEMIQUE GRANDISSANTE SUR LES CHARS LEOPARD II:
Les declarations du ministre des Affaires etrangeres, Ismail Cem concernant les chars allemands Leopard II, provoquent des reactions dans la presse allemande.

RADIKAL (CENTRE-GAUCHE)

LA VOIE DU "PERE" EST OUVERTE:

MM. Ecevit, Bahçeli et Yılmaz apposent les premieres signatures pour la reelection de Süleyman Demirel a la presidence de la republique.

TÜRKIYE (CONSERVATEUR)

"NOUS ALLONS DEBARRASSER LE PAYS DU HIZBULLAH", DECLARE

BÜLENT ECEVIT:
"Aucune occasion ne sera fournie au terrorisme", precise le Premier ministre, M. Bülent Ecevit

SOUTIEN DU PRESIDENT DENKTAŞ A SON HOMOLOGUE TURC:
"La Turquie a besoin de Süleyman Demirel", precise le president de la RTCN, Rauf Denktaş.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATEUR)

"LE HIZBULLAH A DETERIORE L'IMAGE DE L'ISLAM", DECLARE LE PREMIER

MINISTRE ECEVIT:
"Nous allons sauver le pays de la malediction de l'Hizbullah", a declare le Premier ministre, Bülent Ecevit.

[05] THE BELGIAN PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE DECIDES TO HOLD COURT SESSION OF ERDAL IN PRISON

BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (A.A) - The Belgian Prosecutor's Office decided on Thursday to hold the court session regarding Fehriye Erdal, a member of the illegal extreme leftist DHKP-C organization who was involved in the assassination of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, at the prison.

The Gent Prosecutor's Office gave this decision, fearing possible protests of the supporters of the illegal DHKP-C organization and possible security problems.

The court delegation will go to the prison this afternoon and will conclude the appeal trial.

Erdal was transferred from the Bruges prison to a prison in Gent city yesterday evening under tight security measures.

Erdal, one of the suspects of the assassination of Ozdemir Sabanci, Chairman of Sabanci Holding Automotive Group, was arrested in Belgium on September 26. Haluk Gorgun, Director General of Toyota-Sa and his secretary Nilgun Hasefe were also killed in the assassination on January 9, 1996.

Turkey had conveyed its request for the extradition of Erdal to Belgian Foreign Ministry on November 3, 1999. Bruges Court found the request as rightful and valid.

Fehriye Erdal had earlier appealed the Bruges Court's decision which evaluated Turkey's extradition request as rightful and valid.

[06] WORLD BANK ENERGY SECTOR CHIEF ECONOMIST MOOSE: - ''AS TURKISH ENERGY SECTOR STARTS WORKING UNDER THE FREE MARKET CONDITIONS, THE ENERGY COSTS WILL REDUCE''

ANKARA/WASHINGTON D.C, Feb 17(A.A) - James H. Moose, the World Bank Energy Sector Chief Economist, said on Thursday that as the Turkish energy sector starts working under the free market conditions, the energy costs will reduce.

Moose, who is participating in the economic rehabilitation loan meetings between the World Bank and Turkey, told A.A correspondent that they are ready to extend the necessary financial and technical aid to ensure the energy sector to work under free market conditions.

They had earlier submitted proposals to Turkey for the restructuring of the energy sector, Moose recalled.

Moose noted that the meetings within these proposals, will continue and that he hopes that the meetings will be concluded soon.

The World Bank energy experts said that Turkey's implementing the privatization initiatives in an earlier determined schedule carries importance for the restructuring of the energy sector.

The Turkish Electricity Incorp. (TEAS) and the Turkish Electricity Distribution Incorp. (TEDAS) should be restructured and a regulative supreme board should be formed, the energy experts added.

The World Bank will also release a loan for the restructuring of the energy sector within the framework of the 750 million U.S. dollar Economic Rehabilitation Loan.

[07] ''DOGFISH 2000'' MANEOUVRES STARTED

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - The Dogfish-2000 maneouvres, one of the concerted exercises of NATO, was started in the Central Meditterranean on Thursday.

The Office of the Chief of General Staff said that NATO South Europe Underwater Forces Commander will command the maneouvres on behalf of NATO South Europe Ally Sea Forces Commander.

During the maneouvre, a training on advanced underwater defense war will be given and NATO's methods will be tested in this field, the Office noted.

The Office stated that Turkey, the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Greece, and Mediterranean Permenant Sea Force (Stanavformed) will participate in Dogfish-2000 by 9 submarines, 11 ships, and one airplane.

TCG Doganay (S-359) will represent Turkey at Dogfish-2000, the officials stressed.

The officials added that the maneouvres will be concluded on March 1, 2000.

[08] TURQUIE-EXTERIEURE: - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 17 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - Le ministre de l'Interieur Saadettin Tantan a acheve ses contacts a Shanghai et il quittera ce soir la Republique Populaire de Chine, precise-t-on de source basee a Pekin.

- Le maire d'Athenes, Dimitris L. Avramapoulos est arrive jeudi a Istanbul en tant qu'invite officielle du maire d'Istanbul, Ali Müfit Gürtuna.

- Le ministre suedois des Affaires etrangeres, Anna Lindh est arrivee a Ankara dans la nuit de mercredi a jeudi pour divers entretiens officiels.

[09] FOREIGN MINISTERS SUMMIT AMONG TURKEY, GREECE AND BULGARIA POSTPONED

SOFIA, Feb 17 (A.A) - The Turkish, Bulgarian, and Greek Foreign Ministers summit that was planned to be staged in Plovdiv city of Bulgaria on February 19 upon the initiation of Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadejda Mihailova, was postponed on Thursday.

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry stated that Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou would have an election tour in Greece together with Greek Premier Costas Simitis on February 19 and he said he couldn't participate in the summit.

Turkish and Greek diplomats proposed the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry to have the summit on March 4 or 5, 2000.

If the proposal is accepted, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mihailova will come together in Plovdiv city before the date that will be determined and take up the relations among the three countries. After signing a joint declaration, the foreign ministers will visit Kumciflik town of Greece and later Edirne province of Turkey by helicopters.

[10] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH IN ANKARA: ''WE WELCOME TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister started her contacts in Ankara by visiting the Foundation of Human Rights (IHV) on Thursday.

Lindh, who came to Turkey as the guest of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, made a statement after meeting with IHV Chairman Yavuz Onen and other officials of the foundation.

Expressing her pleasure over being in Turkey and visiting IHV, Lindh said that she was impressed by the activities of the foundation. The initiatives of the foundation aimed at improving human rights is very important for the Turkish society and the candidacy of Turkey to the European Union (EU), said Lindh and added that she will continue to have close cooperation with IHV.

''We welcome Turkey's candidacy to the EU,'' said Lindh and added that they are pleased by the law proposal on prevention of torture, but they want to see the implementation of such initiatives in Turkey.

Responding to a question, Lindh said that they have a pleasing political dialogue with the Turkish government and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Lindh said that the issues that were earlier taken by the two countries will come to the agenda of her meeting with Foreign Minister Cem again on Friday. She listed these issues as ''studies about improving human rights, getting organized, and freedom of expression, prevention of torture, education, and broadcast in Kurdish language.''

IHV Chairman Onen said in his part that they are pleased to see Lindh, who is the first foreign minister who visited IHV and they attribute special importance to this visit.

[11] ITALIAN MINISTER FASSINO VISITS ENERGY MINISTER ERSUMER

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Turkey and Italy will consolidate their cooperation in energy field with a protocol in the meeting of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) which will convene in March.

Italian Foreign Trade Minister Piero Fassino visited Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ersumer said they discussed general relations between Turkey and Italy, and the ways to further develop the cooperation in the field of energy.

Recalling that the cooperation between Turkey and Italy in energy field was actually continuing in the Turkish Republics, and especially in Azerbaijan, Ersumer said they also reviewed the projects that the Turkish and Italian companies were trying to implement in Turkey.

''Mr. Fassino told me that they wanted to participate in both build-operate- transfer and transfer of operation right projects. Besides, as you all know, Italy is cooperating with the Russian Gazprom in the Blue Stream project. They are financing the construction of pipes in the Black Sea bed. We found the opportunity to review the works about this project. We reached an agreement to change our cooperation in energy field into protocol during the JEC meeting,'' he said.

Guest Minister Fassino said in his part that their aim was to increase the economic relations between Turkey and Italy to the highest level.

''I was in Istanbul yesterday and I was accompanied by a delegation including more than 100 people. This is an indicator of our determiniation in giving a new concrete direction to the relations. This cooperation gains more importance during Turkey's candidacy to the European Union,'' he said.

Fassino said they discussed modernization of electric energy distribution, and the Italian companies wanted to participate in the projects for natural gas distribution networks in Turkey.

Fassino added that they would give the start for the works on a bilateral protocol that would make such negotiations concrete.

[12] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH: ''WE'LL EVALUATE HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE IN TURKEY''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister said on Thursday the legal and practical things that must be done in Turkey in the field of human rights carries importance.

Visiting the Human Rights Association (IHD), Lindh issued a statement before meeting IHD Chairman Husnu Odul and Akın Birdal, the Chairman of International Human Rights Foundation and former Chairman of IHD. Lindh said that Sweden is pleased by the recognition of European Union (EU) candidacy to Turkey. ''IHD is a very important association for us. Here we'll evaluate the activities of the association, the plans of the association for future and the existing situation in Turkey.''

Lindh added that there are representatives of the Swedish parliament and the labour unions in the Swedish delegation.

Ondul said that they met with Lindh during Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul and today they will exchange views about human rights standarts in EU process.

[13] FM:''THERE IS NO COMMON GROUND FOR STARTING NEGOTIATIONS DIRECTED AT SOLUTION OF CYPRUS QUESTION''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that there is no common ground for starting negotiations directed at solution of the Cyprus question.

Responding to a question, Sermet Atacanlı, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman reminded that the U.N. Secretary General's Special Representative to Cyprus Alvaro De Soto informed the U.N. Security Council members about second round of the proximity talks held in Geneva on February 15.

Recalling that the Security Council President and Argentina's Permanent Representative to the U.N. issued a statement to the press on behalf of the Security Council upon the information given by De Soto, Atacanlı said that certain points have to be cleared within this framework.

Atacanlı said that the proximity talks are mediated talks, not negotiations, adding the aim of the proximity talks is to ''prepare a basis for meaningful negotiations directed at a comprehensive solution.''

Atacanlı pointed out that the concerned sides in Cyprus put forward their views about various dimensions of the problems and their solution models freely and without any precondition during proximity talks, thus they can give an evaluation opportunity to the U.N. Secretary General.

Atacanlı underlined the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side agreeded to participate in the third round of the proximity talks in New York upon the confirmation of the rules implemented so far by the U.N. Secretary General. ''Perception of the mentioned rules in the same way by the concerned circles carries importance in respect of U.N. process. In this framework, a permanent solution on Cyprus can come out as a result of negotiations and only if the concerned sides accept that,'' said Atacanlı.

Alvaro de Soto, the Special Representative of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for Cyprus told the U.N. Security Council members that ''the second round of proximity talks was concluded by success and he hoped the process would continue by gaining speed in the third round.''

[14] TURKEY-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION TO CONVENE IN MAY OR JUNE

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Kursat Eser, the Co-Chairman of the Turkey-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Commission, said on Thursday that the Commission meeting, which was scheduled to take place on February 22 and 23, was not cancelled, but postponed to May or June.

Eser staged a press conference after the European Parliament delegation gave up coming to Turkey as meeting with Leyla Zana, who was imprisoned, was not allowed.

Kursat Esen said John Bendit, the Co-Chairman of the Commission, informed them that he wouldn't come to Ankara as he was not allowed to visit Leyla Zana in prison, and asked them to postpone the meeting which was scheduled to take place on February 22-23.

Eser said the duty of the Commission was to provide democratic supervision of partnership built in 1963 between Turkey and the EU, and improve the relations between the sides.

Stressing that connecting the issue to individuals was very wrong, Eser expressed his sorrow over Bendit's attitude.

Noting that there was not any rigid expression in the letter sent to the Turkish side by the EU side of the Commission, Eser said there was not a cancellation of the meeting, but a delay was in question.

Eser said as the Co-Chairmen, they would have a meeting in the coming days, but the official meeting would take place in May or June.

Eser said Turkey is a sovereign country, and it would fulfil the necessary democratic openings for its citizens in accordance with its character.

[15] ITALIAN FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER FASSINO VISITS STATE MINISTER TOSKAY

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Piero Fassino, the Italian Foreign Trade Minister said on Thursday that they will develop the relations between Turkey and Italy in the field of naval and land transportation.

Fassino visited State Minister Tunca Toskay the same day. Speaking to reporters after meeting with Toskay, Fassino said that they reached an agreement on several common projects in the meeting with Toskay.

They will set up a ''Turkish Platform'' in one of Italian ports and they think of entrance of Turkish goods to Italy and EU countries from there.

They also agreed about further investment of both the big firms in Italy and the Italian small and medium scale enterprises, in Turkey, said Fassino and noted that ''I came to Turkey with a crowded delegation of enterpreneurs to this end. As you know, Turkish and Italian trade chambers had a joint activity yesterday in Istanbul. Concrete projects were proposed in that meeting and in many bilateral meetings. The next meeting will be held in Rome in fall.''

Fassino pointed out that they also took up the issue of how the commercial relations between the two countries can be developed in his meeting with Toskay, reminding that Italy is Turkey's second commercial partner in Europe and Italy comes in the forth place in Turkey's exports.

''We think and wish to further improve our close relations,'' Fassino said. They also exchanged opinions about customs and betterment of transportation and communication with Toskay, Fassino noted and added that

''we reached an agreement on urging investors of both countries to act together both in Eurasia and also in the other countries of the Mediterranean.''

[16] STATE MINISTER ONAL MEETS WITH ITALIAN MINISTER FASSINO

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - State Minister Recep Onal said on Thursday that Italian companies fulfilled important projects in energy, transportation and defense sectors in Turkey.

Italian Foreign Trade Minister Pierro Fassino visited State Minister Recep Onal.

Addressing the meeting, Onal said he believed the relations between Turkey and Italy would develop in fields of politics and economy with contributions of such visits.

Recalling that Turkey and Italy signed important agreements, Onal said trade volume between the two countries reached six billion U.S. dollars, total exports to Italy is about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars and total imports from Italy is nearly 4.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Noting that the amount of allowed foreign capital investments was 25.5 billion U.S. dollars as of December 1999, Onal said Italian companies had a 6.2 percent share in foreign capital investments, ranking seventh in the foreign capital in Turkey.

Onal said that a total of 169 Italian companies were making business in Turkey as of December 1999, and that Italian companies undertook construction of several giant projects in addition to foreign capital investments.

Onal recalled that the Italian government proposed to give Turkey a 38 billion Italian Liras loan to finance requirements in the quake disaster zone, and that the contacts were underway to this end.

Italian Minister Pierro Fassino said in his part that his aim in his contacts was to intensify the relations between Turkey and Italy, adding the two countries were cooperating in several fields and that they targeted to increase the cooperation.

Noting that they wanted to contribute to development of modernization in many sectors in Turkey, Fassino said they were interested in projects in energy field, and recalled that an Italian company undertook the construction of Blue Stream project.

Stressing that they were interested also in defense industry and arms production system, Fassino recalled that Italian Augusto company was bidding for Turkey's attack helicopter tender.

Faasion stated that there were Italian companies which wanted to participate in telecommunications and transportation projects in Turkey.

Emphasizing that relations between Turkey and Italy were important for Turkey's relations with Europe, Fassino said they had always supported EU's opening its doors to Turkey, and that they wanted to be with Turkey in the process of its integration with EU.

Recalling that Turkey and Italy are Mediterranean countries, Fassino said, ''we have common attitudes towards problems in the Balkans. We have interests in Caucasia and Central Asia. I recall that there is a common point of action for all these issues.''

Stressing that they were trying to give friendship message, Fassino said, ''Italy is a friend of Turkey. Turkey has to trust Italy.''

[17] ERCEL: ''SURPLUS IN RE-VALUATION ACCOUNT WAS 1.5 QUADRILLION LIRAS IN 1999''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said on Thursday that the surplus in the bank's Re-Valuation Account was 1 quadrillion 510 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) in 1999.

Staging a press conference together with Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp, Ercel said they decided to re-transfer 1 quadrillion 337 trillion TL of this amount to the Treasury.

Stressing that it would mean a 1 quadrillion 337 trillion TL decrease in public borrowing amount, Ercel said this amount was equal to 5.8 percent of domestic borrowing stock in 1999, and 1.6 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP).

Ercel said a protocol for the transfer of the money in question would be signed the same day.

''Some movements occur throughout the year. There is a valuation difference when assets become more or less than the liabilities as these are evaluated with foreign exchange. When the valuation difference becomes negative, the Treasury gives the Central Bank state domestic borrowing notes,'' he said.

Recalling that the account had always been positive in last four years, Ercel said, ''thus we gave Treasury papers from our portfolio. The valuation account surplus became 1.5 quadrillion TL in 1999. Central Bank seemed to obtain a 1.5 quadrillion TL income from the re-valuation account. We decided to give 1 quadrillion 337 trillion TL of this money back to Treasury.''

[18] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH: ''WE SUPPORT TURKEY'S CANDIDACY PROCESS TO EU''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, who is currently in Turkey for an official visit, said on Thursday that they support Turkey's candidacy process to the European Union (EU).

Staging a press briefing after visiting the Human Rigths Association (IHD), Lindh said that they attribute great importance to human rights and democratization, adding they had important meetings with administrators of IHD and Human Rihgts Foundation (IHV).

The guest minister said that they focused on the changes that must be done in the Constitution in these meetings, adding ''IHD is an institution which works hard on the freedom of expression and of getting organized. These freedoms are the cornerstones of democratization and human rights.''

The implementation of changes of law are also important, Lind said and noted that ''although there is prohibition of torture in laws, it continues in practice. We'll continue to monitor the developments regarding human right practices together with the Turkish government and the non- governmental organizations in Turkey. This is not only valid for Sweden, but also for the EU. Turkey must abide by the modern rules of the Council of Europe (COE) and put them into enforcement.''

''Are you optimistic about implementation of legal changes?'' asked a journalist to Lindh who said that ''I guess and hope they will be done, because all these implementations carry vital importance for EU.''

Responding to a question about one's right to get education in one's own language, Lindh said that ''everybody has the right to be educated and communicate in his/her own language. Permission should be granted for broadcasting in Kurdish.''

''Do you think that recognition of these rights is an obligation for a country to enter the EU?'' was another question asked to Lindh. She said that ''human rights practices are very important for us and the EU and in this framework education in various languages and communication is a very important right.''

Upon another question about Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's statement about the debate on Kurdish television, Lindh said that she was pleased by the proposal of Cem.

Husnu Ondul, the IHD Chairman said in his part that they expressed their ''cautious optimism about improving human rights standarts'' in Turkey at their meeting with Lindh. ''An understanding which does not launch efforts to protect and improve human rights, will be prevented by non-governmental organizations and world public opinion,'' said Ondul.

Akın Birdal, the former Chairman of IHD and Deputy Chairman of the International Human Rights Federation said that Turkey entered into a path which does not have a return. ''This path is one of human rights, democratization, supremacy of law and minority rights. Our role is to shorten this path,'' Birdal added.

[19] TURQUIE-ECONOMIE: - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 17 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - Le president de la Banuqe centrale, Gazi Erçel a declare jeudi que le compte de reevaluation de la banque avait montre en 1999 un surplus de 1 Katrillion 510 trillion de lt.

"Nous avons decide de transferer 1 Katrillion 337 trillion au Tresor", a-t- il indique.

- La plus grande foire internationale du tourisme et du voyage du bassin mediterraneen, "Emitt" a ete inauguree jeudi a Istanbul par le ministre du Tourisme, Erkan Mumcu et elle restera ouverte jusqu'au 20 fevrier 2000.

La foire regroupe les representants en tourisme de 40 pays.

"Le tourisme n'est pas seulement un echange economique mais egalement un moyen de communicaiton entre les societes et les peuples", a declare M. Mumcu.

- L'usage de la capacite dans la production industrielle est montee de 71.55% en janvier 1999 a 72.1% en janvier 2000.

- "L'agriculture n'est pas encore une partie de l'economie, elle un phenomene social", a declare le president de la republique, Süleyman Demirel lors d'une visite a Balıkesir, (Egee).

"Nous sommes face a une tempete technologique et celui qui parvient pas affronter cette tempete se retrouvera en difficulte", a-t-il indique.

"Nous essayons de rehausser l'agriculture turque au niveau de ceux des pays developpes", a declare le ministre de l'Agriculture et des Affaires rurales, Hüsnü Yusuf Gökalp.

- Le conseil d'Affaire turco-italien s'est reuni mercredi a Ankara pour debattre des relations bilaterales.

Les italiens realisent en Turquie d'importants projets dans les domaines de l'energie, des transports et de la defense et s'interessent au systeme de production d'armes, aux banques et au systeme du telephone mobile qui seront privatisees, indique-t-on de source officielle en ajoutant que la cooperation turco-italienne en matiere d'energie sera transformee en protocole lors de la reunion de la commission economique mixte turco- italienne au mois de mars.

"Nous avons effectue en Turquie durant ces 5 dernieres annees des investissements pour un montant de 500 a 600 millions de dollars", a declare le second president de Fiat International, Mauro Pasquero.

"Nous voulons poursuivre ces investissements", a-t-il ajoute.

"Laissons le passe derrier nous et orientons vers l'avenir d'une façon sure, car je garanti que l'Italşie est l'uns des pys amis de lşa Turquie", a declare a declare le ministre italien au commerce exterieur, Pierro Fassino, qui preside la delegatiopn italienne.

[20] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK INCREASE TO 23.7 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Turkey's total international gross reserves increased 162 million U.S. dollars to 23 billion 699 million U.S. dollars on February 11.

The Central Bank data shows that the international gross reserves of Turkey were 23 billion 537 million U.S. dollars on February 4.

Meanwhile, according to January 28-based statistics, the foreign exchange reserves at the Central Bank was 23 billion 180 million U.S. dollars while the commercial banks had a 13 billion 833 million U.S. dollars foreign exchange reserve.

The gold reserve was 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars.

Meanwhile, according to the latest figures, the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves, which dropped by 1 billion 24 million U.S. dollars, decreased to 38 billion 24 million U.S. dollars as of January 28.

The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 39 billion 48 million U.S. dollars on January 21.

[21] TURQUIE-ECONOMIE : - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 17 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - "En 3-4 ans de 30 a 40 milliards de dollars de capitaux etrangers afflueront en Turquie", a declare le president de la republique, M. Süleyman Demirel dans une interview accordee au Wall Street Journal.

- L'economiste en chef du secteur de l'energie de la Banque Mondiale, James H. Moose a declare qu'a partir "du moment ou le secteur energetique turc commencerait a travailler dans les conditions du marche libre les couts dans ce secteur baisseraient".

- La fameuse chaine des hotels americaine Marriott-Ritz Carlton ouvrira son premier hotel 5 etoiles de luxe a Istanbul au mois de septembre.

- Le Conseil d'affaire turco-grec s'est reuni jeudi a Istanbul.

"Le volume du commerce entre la Turquie et la Grece, qui est aujourd'hui de 1 milliard de dollars, atteindra 5 milliards dans 5 ans", a declare le president du Conseil Şarık Tara.

"Durant la nouvelle periode qui s'ouvre devant les relations turco-grecques, un role important revient aux hommes d'Affaires", a precise le maire d'Athenes, Dimitris L. Avramapoulos.

[22] TURKMEN PRESIDENT TURKMENBASI: ''A NATURAL GAS AGREEMENT WILL BE SIGNED DURING PRESIDENT DEMIREL'S VISIT BETWEEN 27-28 MARCH''

ASHKABAT, Feb 17 (A.A) - Saparmurad Turkmenbasi, the Turkmen President said on Thursday that President Suleyman Demirel will visit Turkmenistan between 27-28 March, the issue of natural gas will be taken up and an agreement will be signed.

Receiving ambassadors in Ashkabat and representatives of international institutions, Turkmenbasi said that Turkmen natural gas will be cheap.

Oktay Ozuye, the Turkish Ambassador to Turkmenistan said that Turkmenistan recorded important progress under the leadership of President Turkmenbasi and the cooperation between Turkey and Turkmenistan has further developed during the same period.

Ozuye later gave the gift of President Suleyman Demirel to Turkmen President Turkmenbasi who celebrated his birthday.

Meanwhile, the biggest textile shopping complex of Central Asia, the first hypermarket of Turkmenistan, a printing centre and the independence monument, all constructed by Turkish enterpreneurs, will be opened in two days.

[23] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF ERCEL AND DEMIRALP - DEMIRALP: ''THERE MAY BE A FEW-WEEKS OR ONE-MONTH DELAY IN GSM TENDER''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury, said on Thursday that there could be a few-weeks postponement in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) tender as the technical works were still continuing.

Demiralp said they were carrying out a work on a revision for the entrance of the money which would be gained from the tender into the Treasury in the second quarter of 2000.

Staging a joint press conference with Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel, Demiralp said privatization constituted an important part of the economic programme.

Demiralp said they were aware that a possible negative development would badly affect the economic stability and anti-inflationist programme.

''We programmed that there would be developments about the GSM in the first quarter. However, it can't be finalized at the end of March as the technical works are continuing now. We have not clearly discussed the issue with the Transportation and Communications Ministry. However, we are ready for it in accordance with the programme. We are ready for the negative things that may stem from this. We are carrying out a revision to obtain the income in the second quarter so it won't affect us negatively,'' he said.

When reminded of the opinion that workers won't accept the ''25 percent wage increase'', Demiralp said all calculations were made in accordance with the inflation target.

Demiralp reiterated that their target was to decrease the inflation rate to 25 percent in 2000.

[24] TURQUIE-EXTERIEURE: - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 17 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - La ministre suedoise des Affaires etrangeres Anna Lindh s'est entretenue jeudi a Ankara avec les dirigeants politiques et des principaux mouvements de defense des droits de l'Homme.

"Nous soutenons le processus d'adhesion de la Turquie a l'Ue, (Union europeenne)", a-t-elle indique.

"Mais la Turquie doit se conformer aux legislations du Conseil de l'Europe", a-t-elle ajoute en se felicitant que la Turquie eut ete officiellement designee candidate a l'UE au sommet d'Helsinki en decembre.

- "Une base commune n'existe pas pour le debut de pourparlers destines a mener vers une solution au probleme chypriote", a-t-on rapporte jeudi de source diplomatique turque.

A Geneve, M. Denktaş avait participe a deux tours d'entretiens indirectes avec M. Clerides concernant le probleme chypriote, sous l'observation d'Alvaro de Soto, representant special pour Chypre du secretaire general de l'ONU Kofi Annan.

La RTCN et la Turquie posent comme condition prealable a une solution sur l'ile la reconnaissance de la RTCN et proposent la creation d'une confederation.

Chypre est divisee en deux secteurs, turc au nord et grec au sud, depuis l'operation de paix de la Turquie en 1974 en riposte a un coup d'Etat des nationalistes grecs qui voulaient rattacher l'ile a la Grece.

[25] TURKISH MINORITY REACTS TO RECOGNITION OF APPOINTED MUFTIS BY GREEK HIGH LEVEL OFFICIALS

KOMOTINI, Feb 17 (A.A) - Turkish minority living in Greece reacted on Thursday to the recognition of the appointed muftis in Western Thrace by Greek high level officials.

These appointed muftis are not recognized by the Turkish minority in Western Thrace.

Birol Akifoglu, Mustafa Mustafa, and Galip Galip, the Turkish minority deputies said that these persons who were appointed as muftis by the high ranking government officials in Athens, don't represent the Turkish minority. They stressed that the problem of muftis, which is an open wound of the Turkish minority for long years, has to be solved within the framework of the concerned agreements and democracy as soon as possible.

Birol Akifoglu, a deputy of Xanthi from New Democracy Party said in a written statement that the recognition of these persons who are not approved by the Turkish minority, by Greek high ranking officials including the Greek President, means the Greek officials make fun of the Turkish minority. These appointed muftis can only represent themselves, Akifoglu added.

Galip Galip, a deputy of PASOK from Komotini, said that he can never accept the way these persons were appointed as muftis to Western Thrace. ''The esteemed muftis can be those who will be elected by the Turkish minority. I believe we will get a positive result in our struggle sooner or later,'' Galip said.

Mustafa Mustafa, a deputy from the Leftist Alliance said in his part that the mufti problem is always on the agenda of the Turkish minority, adding ''the election problem of muftis in Western Thrace is one of the open wounds of the Turkish minority.''

[26] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF ERCEL AND DEMIRALP - DEMIRALP: ''TREASURY'S RECEIVING 1.3 QUADRILLION LIRAS OF NOTES MEANS A CONSIDERABLE DECREASE IN BORROWING STOCK''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury, said on Thursday that Treasury would receive its notes in the Central Bank by disclaiming its profit credits, and a mutual setoff would be made in accordance with the protocol signed with the Central Bank.

''Treasury's taking back 1.3 quadrillion Turkish Liras (TL) notes means a considerable decrease in borrowing stock. And this is very important for implementation of our programme,'' he said.

Staging a press conference together with Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel, Demiralp said the foreign exchange and gold accounts in the Central Bank excluding the annual profit and loss accounts were evaluated in a separate calculation with the protocols signed every year between Treasury and the Centyral Bank.

''Within this framework, the amount resulted from these evaluations as of February 15, 2000 reached 1.3 quadrillion TL. This is an amount which is in favour of the Treasury Undersecretariat and it means that Treasury will receive 1.3 quadrillion TL of notes form the Central Bank,'' he said.

''Now we expect the Central Bank to apply the secondary market for the papers it requires concerning Free Market transactions,'' he said.

Demiralp said this would add a momentum in the secondary market and play an important role in development of Financial Markets.

[27] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF ERCEL AND DEMIRALP - ERCEL: ''WE OBTAINED 506 LIRAS PROFIT IN 1999''

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Gazi Ercel, the Governor of Central Bank, said on Thursday that the Central Bank obtained 506 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) profit in 1999.

Staging a press conference together with Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp, Ercel recalled that the Treasury was the most important financier of the Central Bank, adding that they decided to give Treasury 242 trillion TL of the profit excluding the taxes and reserves.

''First of all, we, currently, do not have public papers in our assets. This means that the relations between Treasury and Central Bank are carried out on cash basis,'' he said.

''Secondly, we have the chance to tap into the markets for state domestic borrowing notes by ourselves. We couldn't do this up until now, considering that it may lead to misunderstandings and wrong signals. A wrong signal can be understood in a way that we are financing the Treasury and public sector. Some modern independent central banks enter the markets and trade state notes due to some reasons. Now, we have the chance to do this, but we don't feel the need for this today. Because we have a programme, there is a currency target in the programme, there is a limit for net assets. Besides we are funding the banking system. You can see us in the markets from time to time in order to form a portfolio. This is an important factor for the Central Bank's independency and power of monetary policy,'' he said.

''The Central Bank will renounce the currency targeting policy gradually by July 1, 1000. In return for this, it will implement interest rate controlling system. While controlling the interest rates, the Central Bank's purchasing and selling state domestic borrowing notes in the secondary market will be a very important signal for the markets. We consider this as an important factor in monetary policy,'' he stated.

Stressing that transparency was one of the most important factors of the programme, Ercel said that they would publicly announce the results of the programme.

[28] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF ERCEL AND DEMIRALP

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiralp said on Thursday that ''15 percent of the duty loss of the Central Bank and Halk Bank as of 1999 has been met by the Treasury.''

Speaking in the joint press briefing with Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel, Demiralp said that 918 trillion liras of special state note was given for Ziraat Bank and 624 trillion liras of state note for Halk Bank.

Within the framework of the Treasury-Central Bank relations, the ''the profit realization'' of the Central Bank came out as of 1999, said Demiralp and noted that the transfer of this profit to Treasury accounts was in question.

''A considerable flow of money will be transferred to the Treasury accounts within the framework of today's protocol,'' said Demiralp and noted that ''this protocol is important in respect of the Treasury. Our internal debt stock will show a decrease equal to 1 percent of Gross National Product (GNP),'' Demiralp said.

Giving information about the implemented economic programme, Demiralp said that the state notes given to Ziraat Bank and Halkbank has a maturity of five years.

''Therefore, the Treasury liquidated the debt stocks of the losses of public banks,'' said Demiralp and noted that this will ease the public banks in financial respect.

''The liqudiation of the funds connected to 20 budgets was in question and we made 15 of them ready for liqudiation now. We also plan to liqudiate the existing seven funds by preparing a draft law. We believe that we will realize that as soon as possible,'' Demiralp said.

Demiralp stressed that the information about foreign debt will be announced by internet from now on and added that ''discipling the public expenditures means the program's reaching its goal and restructuring of the public sector in a productive way.'' Demiralp stressed that they aim at taking under discipline the budget expenditures.

Recalling that two delegations of the World Bank are in Turkey for three weeks, Demiralp added that these delgations met with the Treasury and other institutions. He noted that they are in a preparation two credits. One of them is the reform credit of 750 million dollars as a continuation of the reform laws in economic and other issues, he said and added that the negotiations for this credit came to its last stage.

Demiralp said that the World Bank group left Ankara to discuss the issue with their own authorized institutions.

Reminding that IMF delegation also came to Ankara, Demiralp stated that high ranking negotiations of IMF will start as of next Monday.

[29] JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE OF ERCEL AND DEMIRALP - ERCEL AND DEMIRALP ANSWERS QUESTIONS OF JOURNALISTS

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury, said on Thursday that the World Bank did not express an opinion about privatization of energy projects or stopping the implementation of those projects.

Demiralp and Gazi Ercel, the Governor of the Central Bank, answered the questions of journalists in their joint press conference.

Responding to a question, Selcuk Demiralp said the World Bank carried out researches on sectoral-basis under the name of economic reform loan.

He said that the World Bank carried out researches also in energy sector acting in accordance with the principle of making the energy institutions and organizations more productive.

''With this objective, they observed the Turkish Electricity Production and Distribution Corp (TEAS) and Turkish Electricty Distribution Corp (TEDAS). They put forward some recommendations about TEAS and TEDAS. However, those recommendations were never about the privatization of energy projects or about stopping the implementation of those projects,'' he said.

''As the Treasury, we have never put forward an opinion about the developments in energy sector,'' he added.

Stressing that energy sector was a factor of the programme they were implementing, Demiralp said, ''productivity and developments in the energy sector are important for both the energy sector and development of the economy. Thus I want to state that those opinions of the Wrold Bank were not correct.''

Responding to a question about the Valuation Account, Central Bank Governor Gazi Ercel said, ''as it is mentioned in the programme, our foreign exchange reserves will increase gradually. When it is considered that our liabilities will remain in the same level while the foreign exchanges were growing, the valuation account will also increase. However, the amount will be less as the devaluation rate will remain at more lesser levels. Article 61 of the Central Bank law mentions that the differences in the valuation account are calculated in a separate account. Undoubtedly, Treasury and Central Bank will discuss the necessary things.''

Ercel said the relations between Central Bank and Treasury were actually based on the functioning of a specific band process of net assets within the framework of the agreement signed with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

''Our programme is not based on liquidation but it is based on creation by purchasing foreign exchange. Principles about net assets depend on a rule. It will continue in the same way. Any change in this is out of question,'' he added.

[30] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH MEETS WITH INAN, CHAIRMAN OF PARLIAMENTARY FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION

ANKARA, Feb 17 (A.A) - Kamran Inan, the Chairman of Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission, welcomed Sweden's decision to change her attitude towards Turkey.

Inan met on Thursday with Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey.

Addressing journalists following the 50-minute meeting, Inan said, ''Turkey has a great and indispensable potential of economy. Sweden's interest in Turkey stemmed from Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU).''

Inan thanked Sweden for her friendly assistance in the wake of the devastating earthquake disaster.

He told reporters, ''Lindh brought issues of Turkey's candidacy, the Copenhagen criteria and human rights onto agenda of the meeting. I told her that our government's works on these issues were continuing. I also recalled that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit aimed at starting the EU full membership negotiations in 2004.''

When asked whether or not Lindh brought the issues of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, and Cyprus question onto agenda of the meeting, Inan said ''I brought the Cyprus question onto agenda, and told Lindh that Turkey's EU candidacy and the Cyprus question were separate issues. Solution of the Cyprus question becomes more difficult as a result of efforts to connect these two issues.''

Inan added that Lindh expressed satisfaction over recent developments in human rights in Turkey.

[31] TRNC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS CONVENES

LEFKOSA, Feb 17 (A.A) - The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Council of Ministers convened on Thursday under chairmanship of President

Rauf Denktas.

Addressing journalists before the meeting, President Denktas said that he would brief members of the Council of Ministers on his visit to Germany.

Referring to the banks problem in the TRNC, President Denktas stressed that Turkey's guarantee and statement of Sukru Sina Gurel, State Minister, reliefed them.

Denktas recalled that the TRNC government had taken positive measures regarding the banks issue.

He added that Mehmet Bayram, the TRNC Economy and Finance Minister, would give information him about the latest developments during the Council of Ministers meeting.

[32] DETENTION PERIOD OF ERDAL TO CONTINUE

BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (A.A) - Extension of detention period of Fehriye Erdal, a member of the illegal Revolutionary People's Salvation Party-Front (DHKP-C) who was involved in the assassination of businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, became definite after Belgium's Gent Court approved on Thursday the Brugge Court's decision to extradite her to Turkey.

Brugge Court ruled to extradite Erdal to Turkey last month.

Paul Bekaert and Raf Jespers, the lawyers of Erdal, noted that the case was political, and that they would appeal to Supreme Court in Brussels with the pretext of capital punishment in Turkey, and use their right for raising the last objection.

They said they had time to appeal till tonight.

Noting that the courts made judicial ''opinion'', jurists say Marc Verwilghen, the Belgian Justice Minister, who would also make the political evaluation, would give the final decision about extradition of Erdal to Turkey.

Detention period of Erdal will continue in accordance with the Gent Court's decision taken in the hearing which was held in prison upon the request of Prosecutor's Office.

Erdal is expected to object to the Belgium's Brugge Court's decision about extension of her detention period.

Meanwhile, Johan Delmulle, the Belgian Royal Prosecutor who attended today's hearing, told the A.A correspondent that the Justice Minister would say the last word about Erdal's extradition to Turkey.

Delmulle said that Erdal was arrested in Konokke on September 26, 1999 together w


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