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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-18

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

18 February 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 18, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

DIPLOMATIC BOMB
The historical event started by President Demirel's sending a letter to presidents of 12 countries to set up a stability pact in the Caucasus. The European Union (EU) founded a committee to make the proposal of Demirel come true. The first response came from France last week. French President Jacques Chirac said in his letter to President Demirel that ''the Cacasus Stability Pact you've foreseen is a promising proposal. I will be pleased to have a dialogue with you about this issue which carries great importance for Europe.'' President Demirel said that ''the Balkans seem allright now. But, we have to focus on the Caucasus. The problems in the Caucasus can negatively affect the security and stability of the whole Europe-Atlantic region.''

13 TENTS BURNT IN GOLCUK AND BOLU
Fire broke out in two tents yesterday in Degirmendere region of Golcuk and Bolu province which were devastated by major earthquakes. Thirteen tents burnt in two separate fires that broke out. Four persons were injured due to the fire in Bolu province.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

CAKICI'S MOBILE PHONE SURPRISES TURK
Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk was surprised at the mobile phone found in the ward of Alaattin Cakıcı, the notorious mafia boss who was extradited to Turkey from France to stand trial for certain crimes. ''Very tight security measures have been taken in his ward. We have to prevent this. From now on, even the highest officials will be searched before entering the prisons,'' Turk said.

SWEDISH FM IN THE ROOM WHERE AKIN BIRDAL SHOT AND INJURED
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh visited the Human Rights Association (IHD) yesterday. Akın Birdal, the former Chairman of IHD welcomed her. The guest foreign minister particularly asked questions to IHD officials about the death penalty in Turkey. IHD administrators said that State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik's being isolated from the European Union (EU) process is an unlucky development. Lindh also visited the room where Birdal was shot and injured.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

FEHRIYE CAN BE EXTRADITED
Belgian higher court approved the detention of Fehriye Erdal, one of the suspects of Ozdemir Sabancı's assassination till a final decision about her extradition to Turkey is given. If the Belgian Supreme Court of Appeals also approves the decision, the Belgian government will say the last word. The extradition of Fehriye to Turkey will probably come true.

DENKTAS'S REVENGE
Serdar Denktas, the son of Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Keti Cleridou, the daughter of Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides had a dinner together on February 14, Valentines Day in Ledra Palace in Green Line.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

SWEDISH FM ASKS FOR CULTURAL RIGHTS FOR KURDS
Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister, who came to Turkey as the official guest of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, said that constitutional regulations must be done about minority and cultural rights in Turkey's candidacy process to the EU. Lindh visited the Human Rights Foundation (IHV); Human Rights Association (IHD); representatives of various Kurdish organizations; Kamran Inan, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission and Sema Piskinsut, the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission on the first day of her contacts in Ankara. Lindh said that they want to see Turkey as a member of the EU, adding ''everybody has the right to be educated and communicate in his/her own language. Permission should be granted for broadcasting in Kurdish.''

RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT WARNS
PEOPLE ABOUT FUNDAMENTALISM
Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz, the Director of Religious Affairs department said that ''struggle with fundamentalism should continue,'' adding certain sects try to overthrow the state order secretly. Yılmaz pointed out that efforts should be launched to make the public opinion see the fact that the Turkish military respects religious beliefs.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

100 KILOS OF HEROIN CONFISCATED
Gendarmerie teams confiscated more than 100 kg of heroin in Silivri township of Istanbul province. Acting on a tip-off, gendarmerie teams launched an operation and raided a workshop in Silivri. They confiscated more than 100 kg of heroin in the workshop. A total of seven people were taken into custody in the operation.

WOMEN WANT NEW CIVIL LAW
Women who think that the Turkish Civil Code of 1926 is not modern enough in today's conditions, want the adoption of the new civil code draft submitted to the parliament. The draft law defends the principle of ''equal rights between husband and wife.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

INSTITUTIONS LIKE IHLAS ARE NECESSARY FOR EU
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem visited Dr. Enver Oren, the President of Ihlas Holding's Executive Board and told Oren that all sectors of the society have a role to play in reaching the goal of Turkey's membership to the European Union (EU). Cem stated that ''Ihlas, which opened to the world and which recorded progress in foreign relations, will also have a contribution to that.'' Dr. Oren said in his part that ''we've earlier started EU membership process. The activities our holding in Davos are a part of that.''

HEZBOLLAH SET UP SCHOOLS
It was determined that the members of the terrorist organization Hezbollah gave courses to their children in cell houses. Police also confiscated the reports given by Hezbollah about the children.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

THAT WAS A PROCESS WHICH ENDED
Fuat Miras, the Chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges (TOBB), which is the architect of the civilian initiative which started February 28 process said that ''Turkey is a candidate of the European Union (EU) now and that period ended.'' He also claimed that they prevented a military coup at that time.

[03] BRIEFING ON ILISU DAM AND GAP STAGED FOR BRITISH FIRM IN LONDON

LONDON, Feb 18 (A.A) - Before the approval of the ''export credit guarantee'' that will give an opportunity to the British firm ''Balfaour Beatty'' to invest in Ilusu dam, the officials of the concerned Turkish institutions explained Ilusu dam and Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP) to British persons on Thursday.

The seminar was held at Turkish Embassy in London. Olcay Gunver, the Chairman of the GAP Administration talked about the contributions of GAP to the region and the development of Turkey, adding the project aims at both economic and social progress.

A total of 32 billion dollars of investment were made for the project so far, said Unver and noted that 13.9 billion dollars of that were met by internal sources. When the important parts of the project are completed, the appearance of the region will totally change, he said.

The production in the region increased with GAP and the national income per capital increased from 1044 dollars to 2388 dollars in the region, he added.

Kaya Yasınok, the Deputy Chairman of GAP Administration said that the re- settlement areas in the region are arranged by taking into consideration the demands of the people living in the region.

Dogan Altınbilek, the General Director of State Water Works (DSI) said in his part that DSI constructed 524 dams in 45 years, irrigated lands more than 2,25 million hectares and it works on the projects of 277 new dams.

Giving information about Karkamıs and Ilısu dams that will be constructed on Tigris (Dicle) River, Altınbilek said that the most debated issues was the re-settlement of the persons living in the regions where the dams would be constructed. Altınbilek pointed out that there is a provision in the Constitution which protects these persons by giving them the right to recompense.

Altınbilek said that these territories are nationalized after taking the consent of persons and paying them recompense. Altınbilek stressed that there is no compulsion in that and one can apply to the court if he wishes.

Referring to the claims stated in the press saying that ''water can be a reason of war,'' Altınbilek said that Tigris and Euprates (Firat) rivers carry water of 84.2 billion cubic meters annually, adding ''there is sufficient water for everybody.''

Turkey is the country which uses the minumum amount of these two rivers' water, said Altınbilek and underlined the fact that Turkey never uses water as a weapon against her neighbours.

[04] REVUE DE LA PRESSE POUR LA JOURNEE DU 18 FEVRIER 2000

ANKARA, LE 18 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - L'Agence Anadolu vous presente les titres des principaux quotidiens pour la journee du 18 fevrier 2000.

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

HÜRRIYET (Liberal) "UNE BOMBE DIPLOMATIQUE":

Soutien de Jacques Chirac a la proposition d'un pacte caucasien du president Demirel.

MILLIYET (Liberal)

"CLINTON SERA PROTEGE PAR KEMAL":

Un jeune turc, vivant en Allemagne, Kemal Akman, propose au president americain Bill Clinton de le proteger contre les pirates de l'informatique.

SABAH (Liberal)

"MEME SADDAM N'A PAS FAIT CELA":

Le Haut conseil des radios-televisions, (RTÜK), a ordonne la fermeture pour une journee de Cnn-Türk, en guise de sanction a un programme concernant le terroriste Abdullah Öcalan.

"Cnn a pu transmettre malgre Saddam, lors de la guerre du Golfe or RTÜK fait fermer Cnn-Türk pour une journee".

CUMHURIYET (Centre-gauche)

FONDAMENTALISME: MISE EN GARDE DE LA DIYANET:
"Certaines sectes travaillent pour destabiliser le regime laic de la Turquie", a-t-on declare du ministere d'Etat charge des affaires religieuses.

RADIKAL (CENTRE-GAUCHE)

INTRIGUES A ANKARA:
Reelection du president Demirel: Ankara est actuellement le theatre d'intrigues politiques.

TÜRKIYE (CONSERVATEUR)

LA RECHERCHE ED'UNE ALLIANCE POUR LA "FORMULE 5+5":

Quatre partis representes a l'Assemblee nationale sont d'accord pour la reelection du president Demirel, le FP n'a pas encore decide.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATEUR)

LA FROMULE 5+5 DEVIENT UN PROBLEME POUR L'ANAP:
L'ANAP n'est pas desireuse de la reelection du president Demirel a son poste.

[05] INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MEETING STARTS

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent meeting started in Ankara on Friday.

Addressing opening of the meeting where representatives of nearly 30 national societies came together, Ertan Gonen, the Director General of the Red Crescent, recalled that two massive earthquakes which hit Marmara Region on August 17 and November 12, left more than 17 thousand people, and affected a huge area.

Noting that the Red Crescent asked for urgent international relief in the wake of the quake disasters, Gonen said that 37 countries dispatched humanitarian and financial aid to Turkey.

Noting that the quake disasters also showed Turkey's deficiencies, Gonen underlined importance of preparation of a disaster program. He added that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent decided to hold the meeting to this end.

Gonen pointed aut that relief operations in the quake disaster would be evaluated at the meeting.

He noted that reconstruction strategy of the Red Crescent, framework of cooperation opportunities in future, preparations for future disasters and health projects would also be discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Bjorn Eder, the Director of European Affairs Department of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, noted that the 7.4- magnitude earthquake which devastated nortwestern Turkey on August 17, was one of the strongest earthquakes in history.

Eder stressed that none of national societies could overcome such a disaster on its own, adding that the Turkish Red Crescent carried out very successful works following the disaster.

Noting that the Red Crescent had some deficiencies in preparation for disasters, Eder said that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent decided to set up a permanent office in Turkey.

Eder added that they should continue to work together by making use of Turkey's experiences.

The meeting is expected to end later today.

[06] STATE MINISTER YUCELEN: ''TURKEY HAS TO FULFIL HER RESPONSIBILITIES IN EU FULL MEMBERSHIP PROCESS''

DENIZLI, Feb 18 (A.A) - Rustu Kazim Yucelen, the State Minister, said on Friday that Turkey has to fulfil her responsibilities in the European Union (EU) full membership process.

Yucelen spoke in the seminar titled ''Turkey and the World in the New Millenium'' held in Aegean Denizli province.

Turkey targets at becoming the full member of the EU in 2004 and to this end, she has to fulfil her responsibities in this process, Yucelen noted.

Yucelen stated that significant and rapid changes in social, political and economic life were experiences in the last 15 years.

This change mostly occured in the democracy, and the new democracy understanding foresees the state protection and guarantee over the minority, Yucelen stressed.

Yucelen continued, ''the new democracy understanding envisages compromise, social dialogue, the common interests of the society, the participation of the non-governmental organizations in the administration. We have to adopt and maintain this understanding.''

Turkey should also overcome the social, economic and political infrastructure problems as soon as possible, Yucelen emphasized.

Yucelen pointed out that firstly, Turkey should take under guarantee the protection of the rights and liberties of the individuals.

The political compromise and social dialogue process which was provided by the 55th and 57th governments, should be maintained, Yucelen added.

[07] FM DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY BALKAN: - ''THE TRANSIT TARIFF PRICES HAVE NOT BEEN DISCUSSED YET''

BAKU, Feb 18 (A.A) - Mithat Balkan, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary, said on Friday that the transit tariff prices for Baku- Ceyhan oil pipeline have not yet been discussed.

The discussions about the implementation of the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project which started on Monday, continued today.

Balkan gave information about the meetings to which the Turkish delegation, U.S. President Bill Clinton's Special Consultant to the Caspian Basin, the Azerbaijani and Georgian working groups attended.

They exchange views about the technical issues and try to reach a compromise on these issues, Balkan noted.

Balkan stated that following this compromise, Georgia's responsibility and the compensation will be discussed.

The transit tariff prices will be the last issue that they will discuss in these meetings, Balkan stressed.

When asked whether or not the increase of the responsibility of Georgia will affect the transit tariff prices, Balkan said, ''Georgia will have the right to request transit tariff price in proportion to the responsibilities she undertakes.''

Balkan emphasized that Georgia and Azerbaijan try to overcome their problems by themselves.

They try to help these two countries when these two countries cannot settle down the problems by themselves, Balkan pointed out.

Balkan said that they cannot know how long the meetings will last and that they target at solving the problems in these meetings.

The agreements which will be signed following the meetings, will be ratified by the parliaments of the concerned countries, Balkan noted.

Balkan added that after the ratification, they will start searching finance for the project.

[08] "PAPANDREOU NOUS CONSIDERE COMME UNE MINORITE", DECLARE LE PRESIDENT DENKTAŞ

LEFKOŞA, LE 18 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - Le president de la Republique Turque de Chypre du Nord (RTCN), Rauf Denktaş a reagit vendredi a la comparaison faite par le ministre grec des Affaires etrangeres, M. Georges Papandreou qui a compare les chypriotes turcs a la minorite turque et musulmane de Thrace occidentale.

"La declaration faite hier par M. Papandreou montre une fois de plus que les grecs considerent les chypriotes turcs comme une minorite"", a-t-il rapporte.

"J'appele M. Papandreou a etre plus constructif et a rappele aux chypriotes grecs qu'ils ne peuvent pas etre les seuls gouvernants de l'ile", a-t-il precise.

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.

[09] STATE MINISTER CAY: - ''OVERALL NATIONS AND UNITED NATIONS SHOULD CONDEMN CRUELTY IN CHECHNYA''

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Abdulhaluk Cay, the State Minister, said on Friday that war in Chechnya turned into a genocide, and called on overall countries and the United Nations (U.N.) to condemn cruelty in the region.

Cay attended inauguration of the Caucasian-Chechen Solidarity Committee's new building in Ankara.

Addressing the ceremony, Cay stressed that Turkey should bring the issue of Russian offensive against Chechnya onto agenda of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit.

Emphasizing that the war in Chechnya turned into a genocide, Cay said, ''it is very pleasing for Turkey that the Turkish people gave a helping hand to the Chechens. Grozny's fall did not put an end to the war in Chechnya. I think that the war just started now. Depriving a nation which devoted itself to freedom, of independence cannot be possible. Vladimir Putin, the Acting Russian President, Russia, and the whole world should realize this fact. There is no terrorism in Chechnya, but there is a nation struggling for its rights. Struggle between Russia and Chechnya turned into genocide from struggle against terrorism. Overall countries and the U.N. should condemn cruelty in Chechnya. All necessary measures should be taken to prevent Russia from resorting to violence.''

Cal noted that Turkey would continue to send aid to Chechnya through the Red Crescent.

Meanwhile, Isa Abzatof, the Chechen Representative in the Middle East, said that the Chechens were rightful in their case historically and legally.

Abzatof noted that the Russian soldiers were committing crimes against humanity in Chechnya.

[10] TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS HARSHLY REACTS TO GREEK PM'S ASSUMING TURKISH CYPRIOTS AS MINORITY

LEFKOSA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), harshly reacted on Friday to Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's assuming the Turkish Cypriots as minority.

Denktas told reporters that they were disappointed by Papandreou's attitude which foresees regional rights to the Turkish Cypriots in a so-called Greek Cypriot republic.

Papandreou compared the Turkish Cypriots to the Turkish minority in the Western Thrace, and confirmed that he assumes Turkish Cypriots as minority in the statement he made yesterday, Denktas noted.

Denktas recalled that Greece signed the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

There were two separate governments on Cyprus in 1960, including a Turkish and a Greek Cypriot; Denktas stated.

Denktas stressed that these administrations which were called 'community assembly' converted the partnership republic into a functional federal republic.

Cyprus is not a unitary state, and can never be a unitary Greek Cypriot state, Denktas emphasized.

Denktas pointed out that the Cyprus question emerged as the Greek Cypriots wanted to own whole Cyprus under a fake title for 37 years and as the Turkish Cypriots did not yield this.

They are trying to solve the Cyprus question, Denktas said.

Denktas noted that there are two nations, two democracies, two administrations, and two governments on Cyprus for 36 years.

These two nations and governments can be united only if the existence of these two nations are accepted, Denktas stated.

Denktas stressed that they expect Papandreou to help Cyprus.

''We also expect Papandreou to tell the Greek Cypriots that they cannot be the government of whole Cyprus by their own. We expect him to tell the Greek Cypriots that they do not have the right to rule whole Cyprus and that they should accept their former Turkish partner as a friend and neighbour. We also expect him to tell the Greek Cypriots to try to set up cooperation bridges with the TRNC,'' Denktas added.

[11] ERTUGRULOGLU, TRNC FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENSE MINISTER: - ''WE CANNOT ACCEPT APPROACHES DISREGARDING TRNC'S EXISTENCE''

LEFKOSA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Friday that their policy regarding Cyprus question, was based on state-to- state ground.

Addressing the TRNC Republican Parliament, Ertugruloglu said, ''it is not possible for us to have a view of Cypriotism or Cyprus society instead of the view of state-to-state. We are sensitive about recognition of TRNC reality. No one oppose to hold contacts with the Greek Cypriots, but they do not approach to recognize the TRNC.''

Ertugruloglu stressed that they could not accept approaches disregarding TRNC's existence on the island.

Noting that they were monitoring rapproachement between Turkey and Greece, Ertugruoglu said that George Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister who signed nine agreements with Turkey, did not change his attitude towards the Cyprus question.

[12] TURQUIE-EXTERIEURE: - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 18 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - Le president de la republique, M. Süleyman Demirel est arrive vendredi a Zagreb pour assister a l'investiture du president croate Stipe Mesic.

- Le ministre de l'Agriculture et des Affaires rurales, Hüsnü Yusuf Gökalp, se rendra le 28 fevrier en Inde pour une visite officielle.

- Le vice-Premier ministre luxembourgeois, Mme Lydie Polfer, effectuera du 22 au 24 fevrier une visite officielle en Turquie pour evoquer la candidature d'adhesion d'Ankara a l'Union europeenne (Ue), a-t-on indique vendredi de source officielle.

- La directrice-generale du lycee prive turc de langue française a Ankara Tevfik Fikret, Mme Ayşe Başçavuşoğlu se verra decerner la medaille du merite national de la republique française.

L'ambassadeur de France, Jean Claude Cousseran decernera la medaille le 22 fevrier a Mme Başçavuşoğlu.

- La convention europeenne pour la protection de l'heritage archeologique, que la Turquie a signe en octobre 99, entrera en vigueur au mois de mai.

Serlon les clauses de cette convention, le Conseil de l'Europe peut intervenir au cas ou des oeuvres historiques sont endommages.

Le ministere turc de la culture travaille maintenant pour harmoniser les legislations et reglements avec les clauses de cette convention.

[13] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH STAGES A PRESS CONFERENCE

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, said on Friday that they wanted to see Turkey among full members of the European Union (EU) as soon as possible.

Staging a press conference, Lindh evaluated her contacts in Turkey.

Lindh stressed that Turkey had recorded significant progress regarding the EU full membership, but there were lots of things to do, especially in the field of human rights.

Describing ''Kurdish people's condition'' as one of Turkey's most important problems, Lindh said that they did not consider the terrorist organization PKK as representative of whole Kurds.

Lindh added that they always condemned terrorism.

[14] TURQUIE-EXTERIEURE : - DIVERS

ANKARA, LE 18 FEVRIER 2000 (A.A) - Le president de la republique, M. Süleyman Demirel a assiste vendredi a Zagreb a l'investiture du president croate Stipe Mesic.

M. Demirel est accompagne du ministre d'Etat Fikret Ünlü.

- "Nous voulons voir la Turquie adherer le plus tot possible a l'Ue, (Union europeenne)", a declare vendredi la ministre suedoise des Affaires etrangeres Anna Lindh a l'issue de ses contacts avec les dirigeants politiques et des principaux mouvements de defense des droits de l'Homme.

"Il y a encore beaucoups a apprendre pour une adhesion a part entiere a l'Ue", a declare la representante de l'Ue a Ankara, Karen Fogg lors d'une visite vendredi a la Chambre de commerce d'Ankara, (ATO).

- Le president de l'Assemblee nationale, Yıldırım Akbulut se rendra demain en visite officielle en republique Populaire de Chine, en tant qu'invite du president du comite permanent du Congres populaire national de la Republique Populaire de Chine, Li Peng.

M. Akbulut sera accompgne d'une delegation parlementaire.

[15] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER LINDH STAGES A PRESS CONFERENCE

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, said on Friday that one of the most important problems in Europe was racism.

Staging a press conference, Lindh evaluated her contacts in Turkey.

Lindh stressed that her contacts with Turkish officials focused on bilateral relations between Sweden and Turkey, Turkey's human rights records, racism in Europe, and the latest developments in the Balkans and Caucasus.

When asked whether or not she demanded to visit Southeastern Anatolia Region before her visit to Turkey, Lindh said that she did not plan to visit the region. She added that she would be pleased to visit all regions in Turkey including the Southeast.

Recalling that the issue of ''Kurdish TV'' was brought onto agenda of her meeting with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, Lindh said that she appreciated Cem's previous statements on the issue.

Lindh defended that progress should be recorded in the field of ''education in Kurdish language''.

Referring to the issue of the terrorist organization PKK, Lindh pointed out that Sweden had been condemning terrorism from the very beginning. She said that they did not consider the terrorist organization PKK as representative of whole Kurds, and added that they had held contacts with many democratic Kurdish organizations in Sweden, but not with the PKK.

Recalling that she had an opportunity to come together with Feridun Celik, the Mayor of Diyarbakir, Lindh said that the meeting focused on issues such as Kurdish people's political rights, their political demands and the economic conditions in the region.

Responding to a question about Turkey's full membership to the European Union (EU), Lindh stressed that Sweden would continue to support Turkey.

Lindh noted that Turkey had recorded significant progress regarding the EU full membership, but there were lots of things to do, especially in the field of human rights.

She pointed out that they would improve political dialogue with the Turkish government.

When recalled that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit planned to start full membership negotiations with the EU, Lindh stressed that they appreciated Turkey's efforts.

Noting that Turkey should record more progress on the issue of human rights, Lindh said that development could be possible with a three-phase process consisting of political will, legislation, and implementation. She noted that Turkey had completed the first two phases.

When asked whether or not they discussed Neo-Nazi trends in Europe, Lindh noted that Cem brought the issue onto agenda of their meeting.

Describing the racism as one of the most important problems in Europe, she expressed Sweden's concerns over racism trends in Sweden.

[16] GREEK AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA CORANTIS: ''CYPRUS HAS TO BE UNITED''

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Ioannis Corantis, the Greek Ambassador to Ankara, said on Friday that Turkey and Greece should look to the future in spite of seeking the persons responsible for the mistakes in the past or putting forward mutual accusations.

Addressing a panel discussion on ''Yesterday, Today and Future of Turkey- Greece Relations'' in the Bilkent University in Ankara, Corantis said Turkey and Greece had very serious problems in the past, and the tension increased very much from time to time.

''Although the tension increased very much, we did not fight against each other like Germany and France or Argentina and Britain. These countries fought each other but they failed to find solution to the problems. The relations between Ataturk and Venizelos can be the best example for us,'' he said.

Concerning the Peace Operation of Turkey in 1974, Corantis said, ''you call it military operation but we name it as invasion. If we can understand our positions towards this issue, than we can reach the solution easily. I don't believe that entering into discussion to find 'who is responsible and who is wrong' will be beneficial.''

Defending that the confederation thesis proposed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) won't help solution of the problem, Corantis said, ''Cyprus must be united. Cyprus is the only divided country at least in Europe. If we accept confederation, it means a double-sided unity, and the Turkish side sees Greek soldiers behind the Greek side, and the Greek side sees Turkish soldiers behind the Turkish side. According to us, the solution must be bi-zonal bi-communal as it is mentioned by the United Nations. Cyprus including the Turkish side should enter the EU. As a result of this, also Turkish will be an offical language in the EU. Every day lost due to this is spoiled.''

When asked whether Greece considered Ocalan as a terrorist, Corantis said, ''you can approach this issue individually. The EU and we approach this definition according to the actions and activities. If we had wanted to join a dangerous play, we would have kept Ocalan in Athens, gave him money and extended him support. However, if there is a single issue we are very clear about it is that he left Greece. Consequently, he left Greece for Kenya, and you know the process after this. Our attitude towards terrorism is very clear. And within this framework, the Turkish and Greek foreign ministers signed agreements for cooperation in combatting illegal migration, organized crimes and terrorism.''

Responding to another question, Corantis said the problems between the two countries should not be used for political purposes.

''One side is not a devil and other side is not an angel. Of course, there are people trying to sabotage the development of relations. This was expressed also by Mr. Cem and Mr. Papandreou. Normal Turkish and Greek citizens feel uneasy about the dispute between the two countries, and they want to live in peace,'' he added.

[17] CLIONTON'S RESPONSE TO PRO-PKK AMERICAN MPS : - ''ECEVIT'S GOVERNMENT RECORDED GREAT PROGRESS IN HUMAN RIGHTS FIELD''

WASHINGTON D.C., Feb 18 (A.A) - U.S. President Bill Clinton, in his response to the letter of 24 pro-PKK American deputies in the U.S. House of Representatives, stressed that the Turkish government led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit recorded great progress in human rights field and took important steps in democratization.

Those deputies who are the supporters of the terrorist PKK organization submitted a letter to Clinton, requesting the U.S. to put pressure on Turkey concerning Southeastern Anatolia and Ocalan issues.

Clinton gave his response at the end of January to the letter which was submitted to him in November, before his visit to Turkey.

Clinton, in his response, said that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had expended important efforts for the improvement of democracy and indivudual rights since he became the power in last spring.

Giving the amendments to the political parties law as an example to those steps, the U.S. President also called attention to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's statements saying that publication and broadcast in Kurdish language were not prohibited.

Defending that Turkey needed much more democracy, Clinton said there was currently a discussion in Turkey on Southeastern Anatolia and Ocalan issues, and that the U.S. supported this.

Noting that the European Court of Human Rights was still working on the death penalty handed down on Ocalan, Clinton said the Turkish government would wait for the decision of this Court.

''This decision is an evidence of Prime Minister Ecevit's leadership and democratization process in Turkey,'' he said.

[18] TREASURY RAISES 35 BILLION JAPANESE YENS THROUGH BOND ISSUE IN SAMUARI MARKET

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Turkey raised 35 billion Japanese yens (nearly 317 million U.S. dollars) through a debenture bond issue in the Japan Samurai market on Friday.

The issue was led by The Nomura Securities Co. Ltd.

The papers have three year maturity and the annual coupon rate will be 3.5 percent.

Treasury Undersecretariat issued a statement and said that they received high amount of bid but they limited the issue amount with 35 billion yens within the framework of the evaluation that was made by taking into consideration borrowing requirements and other capital markets.

''The issue in question, which was carried out after Japanese rating oragnization JCR increased Turkey's ratinmg from BB to BB+, was the first issue in the Samurai market since 1996. The amount will be deposited into our accounts on March 15, 2000,'' it said.

[19] PRESIDENT DEMIREL RETORNS TO TURKEY - DEMIREL : ''I BELIEVE THAT PROCESS OF CROATIA'S INTEGRATION WITH EUROPE WILL BE ACCELERATED UNDER LEADERSHIP OF MESIC''

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel returned to Turkey late on Friday after attending the inauguration of Stipe Mesic as Croatia's second president in Zagreb.

Speaking to reporters at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Demirel said he believed process of Croatia's integration with Europe will be accelerated under leadership of Mesic.

Demirel said Mesic is known for his reformer personality, and he is a statesman who made great contributions to process of Croatia's radical change.

Demirel said determination of Mesic in improvement of Croatia's relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina within framework of Dayton Peace Agreement will contribute to reinforcement of peace and stability in the region.

Demirel said Mesic and he made a very beneficial exchange of opinion on bilateral relations and developments in the region, and they reached a consensus on improvement of relations in every field.

Noting that he also met with the Presidents of Austria, Macedonia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Demirel said, ''I believe that our relations and cooperation with Croatia will further improve in coming period.''

[20] BALANCE OF PAYMENTS - CURRENT BALANCE DEFICIT BECOMES 507 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS FIRST ELEVEN MONTHS OF 1999

ANKARA, Feb 18 (A.A) - Central Bank announced on Friday that the current balance deficit in January-November 1999 period became 507 million U.S. dollars.

There was a 1 billion 777 U.S. dollars surplus in the current balance in the same period in 1998.

According to the statement issued by the Central Bank, foreign trade deficit reduced 30.2 percent to 9 billion 7 million U.S. dollars in the first eleven months of 1999 compared to same period in 1998.

The statement said the shrinkage in foreign trade deficit resulted from a 4.2 percent decrease in export revenues, a 42.5 percent reduce in shuttle trade, and a 14.7 percent drop in import spendings (CIF).

It said net incomes obtained from other services and unmet transfers decreased 42.1 percent to 8.5 billion U.S. dollars.

The statement said the exports (FOB) incomes, which had been 28 billion 748 million U.S. dollars in first eleven months of 1998, became 26 billion 154 million U.S. dollars with a 2 billion 23 million U.S. dollars contribution of shuttle trade in the same period last year.

It said a 2 billion 108 milliın U.S. dollars borrowing was made through debenture bond issue while the long-term foreign exchange loans decreased by 9 billion 326 million U.S. dollars.

The statement added that the increase in reserves in the first eleven months of 1999 was 4 billion 858 million U.S. dollars.

[21] A.A


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