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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-24

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

24 February 2000 Thursday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 24, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

SIRNAK SHERIFF
An inspector's report indicated that Vehbi Yalcin Gokalp, who as the Chief of Sirnak Police Organization for three years, caused many scandals during his term in office. A hand grenade exploded in the wedding ceremony of a village guard in Cizre in 1997. Gokalp hushed up this incident. Two informers exploded a bomb in Sirnak in 1997. Gokalp concealed this incident as a terrorist action of the terrorist organization PKK. The same year, a bomb was hurled on the center. Gokalp said the terrorist organization PKK staged a mortar attack.

MAYORS IN DGM
The mayors of Diyarbakir, Bingol, and Siirt were transferred to the State Security Court (DGM) yesterday. Two out of 99 persons who had earlier wanted to protest the detention of the mayors in Siirt and had been detained, were imprisoned yesterday. Ahmet Turan Demir, the leader of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), the deputy leaders of HADEP, and 33 mayors followed the developments. Meanwhile, 17 persons who wanted to protest the detention, were taken into custody yesterday.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

THIEVES CAPTURED
Three persons, including two Georgians, who robbed the quake survivors in Duzce, were captured. Police confiscated many stolen goods, 5 kilograms of hashish, 212 packages of cigarette, 50 bottles of whisky in the house in Akcaoca township which was used as a warehouse.

PRESIDENT DEMIREL ANGRY ABOUT EU
President Suleyman Demirel got angry about the European Union (EU) which condemned the detention of three mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP). Demirel said, ''there is not any concessions given to those who commit crime in Turkey. Turkey will implement her laws in every region without discriminating among people.''

SABAH (LIBERAL)

FIRST QUARREL
The Cankaya crisis led a dispute between Premier Bulent Ecevit and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP). Ecevit said, ''if a leader cannot provide reconciliation among his deputies, this will mean that he or she cannot fulfil the requirements of the leadership. Yilmaz responded this statement as saying, ''imposing embargo on the thoughts of the people and changing their ideas by pressure is not leadership.''

IMF PUTS PRESSURE, GSM AND TELEKOM PRIVATIZATION GAINS MOMENTUM
As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) put pressure, and the program regarding the privatization of 20 percent of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and the Turk Telecom Incorp, gained momentum. The Transportation Ministry said that the GSM licence tender will be staged in March. The minimum price of the tender will be 650 million U.S. dollars.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION WAS TO MOVE TO BIG CITIES
Hasan Ozdemir, the Chief of the Istanbul Police Organization, said that 36 unsolved murders and abductions in various parts of Turkey, have been solved by the operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization. Ozdemir noted that 17 unsolved murders and abductions in Istanbul, 19 murders and abductions in Gaziantep, Adana, Icel, and Antalya were enlightened by the operations. Ozdemir stated that in accordance with the information they received, the terrorist organization was to leave the Southeastern Anatolia Region and move in the big cities.

16 TEACHERS IMPRISONED WITHIN FRAMEWORK OF
OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH OPERATION
A total of 44 teachers were determined to have connections with the terrorist Hezbollah organization. The terrorist organization Hezbollah which preferred the teachers to get organized in education, targeted at the religion teachers. 16 out of 44 detainees were imprisoned within the framework of the investigation into the terrorist Hezbollah organization. This indicated how much power the terrorist organization had in education.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

POLFER, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURG, IN ANKARA
Lydie Polfer, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Foreign Trade Minister of Luxembourg who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, criticized detention of three mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP). Polfer met with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister. She was received by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

LEADERS OF COALITION PARTNERS TO CONVENE
Leaders of three political parties forming the coalition government, will convene later today. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP); Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), will attend the meeting which will begin at 14:00 local time. The meeting is expected to focus on constitutional amendment regarding presidential elections.

BILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SYRIA STARTS
Inter-delegationary negotiations between Turkey and Syria will start in Damascus next month. The negotiations are expected to focus on issues such as terrorism and water. A Turkish delegation which will be headed by Ugur Ziyal, the Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry, will leave for Damascus in March.

550 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS OCCUR IN ANKARA
A total of 550 traffic accidents occured in Ankara due to heavy snowfall which affected the capital on Tuesday. 15 people were injured in the accidents. Financial damage worth of 300 billion Turkish Liras occured in the accidents.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

EUROPE REACTS DETENTION OF MAYORS FROM HADEP
A new era started in relations between Turkey and Europe after detention of three mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP). Nicole Fontaine the Speaker of European Parliament, condemned detention of Feridun Celik, the Mayor of Diyarbakir; Selim Ozalp, the Mayor of Siirt; and Feyzullah Karaarslan, the Mayor of Bingol. She wanted the mayors to be released immediately. The Council of Europe also reacted detention of the mayors. The European Parliament said that detention of elected people was amazing.

[03] DRAFT LAW REGARDING TRANSIT OIL PIPELINES SUBMITTED TO OFFICE OF PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - The draft law regarding the transit transition of the oil pipelines, was submitted to the Office of Parliament Speaker on Thursday.

The draft law said the aim of the new arrangement is to determine the procedures regarding the transit transition of the oil pipelines, and to implement the provisions of the international agreements regarding the transit oil pipeline projects.

The draft law which is an internal jurisdiction arrangement concerning the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project, foresees that the Council of Ministers should charge an institution to implement all the procedures, including the etude, permit, and institutionalization.

The institution in charge will fulfil this responsibility in the shortest time. This institution will be responsible for all the procedures and the legal disputes.

The disputes faced in the transit oil pipeline projects will be solved in accordance with the international arbitration procedures or the solutions which are envisaged by the agreements that were signed by Turkey.

The Energy and Natural Resources Ministry will be responsible for the procedures, including giving documents and the transfer of the oil.

The Environment Ministry will be responsible for the environmental issues of the oil pipeline projects.

[04] A TURKISH ENTERPRENEUR TO OPEN HIS FIFTH HOTEL IN NETHERLANDS

AMSTERDAM, Feb 24 (A.A) - Kazim Sahin, a Turkish enterpreneur, will open his fifth hotel in the Netherlands.

Sahin, who settled in the Netherlands in 1960s and set up ''Atlas Hotels'' chain, will increase the number of his hotels from three to five this year.

Sahin bought his fourth hotel in Valkenburg village which is situated in an area near the Belgian and German border.

The hotel having 50 beds, will start giving service under the name ''Atlas Hotels'' as of April.

The foundation of Sahin's fifth hotel will be laid also in April. The hotel will be constructed in Brielle village near Rotterdam.

The hotel having 200 beds, will be constructed as a castle and will be completed in December.

This hotel will cost 20 million Dutch florins which is equivalent to 5.1 trillion Turkish liras (TL).

Sahin said that he plans increasing the number of his hotels to ten next year.

The bed capacity of his hotels will reach 600 as the fifth hotel is constructed, Sahin noted.

Sahin stated that as his fourth hotel starts giving service, the number of his employees will reach 200.

Sahin started hotel management in 1979. He was chosen the most successful enterpreneur of the Netherlands in 1995.

Sahin is exerting efforts to open a hotel in the Aegean Region and to conduct a yacht harbour project.

[05] LOAN DISCUSSIONS TO BE COMPLETED UNTIL END OF THIS MONTH

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - The discussions between the Treasury Undersecretariat and the World Bank on the loan will be completed until the end of February.

Officials said on Thursday that the discussions on the 750 million portion of the Economic Reform Loan will be completed until the end of this month.

The agriculture, energy, privatization and social security are the main issues that are being discussed, the officials noted.

The officials stated that however, the reconstruction of the energy sector is the most controversial issue of the discussions.

The World Bank does not make concession about the reconstruction of the energy sector, the officials stressed.

The officials emphasized that a new agreement will be shaped up within the framework of the views of the World Bank.

The World Bank had earlier said that it will grant two billion U.S. dollar portion of the three-billion U.S. dollar Structural Accord Loan this year while grant the rest one billion U.S. dollar portion in 2001.

The Economic Reform Loan is expected to be discussed and ratified by the World Bank Executive Board until the end of March.

[06] IMF DELEGATION SHARES SIMILAR IDEAS WITH WORLD BANK ABOUT BANKS

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF Turkey Desk Chief, shares similar ideas with the World Bank about the banking sector.

Officials told A.A correspondent on Thursday that the IMF delegation visited the Ziraat Bankasi and Halk Bankasi and that it exchanged views about the reconstruction of the public banks.

The IMF delegation asked the officials of the Treasury and the Central Bank about the efforts regarding the privatization of the public banks, the officials said.

The officials noted that the IMF delegation also read the report of the World Bank about the reconstruction of the public banks and the sale of the banks which were transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TSMF).

The delegation requested that the provisions of this report should be fulfilled, the officials stated.

The officials stressed that the IMF delegation recommended that Turkey should privatize the public banks in the shortest time.

The IMF delegation also recommended that the Banking Arrangement and Audit Council should start working in August 2000 and that the program should be completely fulfilled, the officials emphasized.

The officials stressed that the IMF delegation requested that the banks should make and implement a program and that the Treasury should prepare a three-month report about the implementation of the program.

The World Bank delegation had suspended the loan meetings and returned to Washington D.C.

The World Bank delegation had conditioned the loan on the privatization of the public banks.

Emphasizing that the Vakifbank, Emlakbank, Halkbank, and Ziraat Bank should priorly be taken to the privatization program, the World Bank delegation requested that the government should determine an action plan in the shortest time for the sale of the banks which were transferred to the TSMF.

[07] A BULGARIAN STUDENT COMES IN THE FIRST PLACE WITH HIS STORY ABOUT QUAKE DISASTER IN TURKEY

SOFIA, Feb 24 (A.A) - A Bulgarian student came on the first place in a story competition organized by the Bulgarski Mesecnik magazine, with his story about the quake disaster in Turkey.

The jury headed by Yordan Radickov, a prominent Bulgarian writer, choose Boral Sen, 16, who was born of Turkish and Bulgarian parentage, as the winner of the competition titled ''Last Day of the 20th Century''.

Sen's story tells tragedy of a mother and her two daughters who lost their lives in the quake disaster which devastated Marmara Region on August 17 and left thousands of people dead.

The story which was described as ''very successful'' ends saying, ''sister, when will our mother wake up? Please, do not sleep, sister! Do not leave me alone... At this very moment, city was hit once again. A large piece of concrete fell on the child. Everything has stopped suddenly together with tiny heart of the child, and plunged into silence. It was the last night of the 20th century for these three hearts.''

[08] CHIBBER, WORLD BANK'S TURKEY DIRECTOR, SAYS THEY WILL REACH AGREEMENT ON ECONOMIC REFORM LOAN IN A FEW DAYS''

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - Ajay Chhibber, the Turkey Director of the World Bank, said on Thursday that they will reach an agreement on the 750-million U.S. dollar economic reform loan in a few days.

Chhibber met with Selcuk Demiralp, the Treasury Undersecretary, and the other officials of the Treasury.

Following the meeting, Chhibber told A.A correspondent that the discussions are held in a positive atmosphere.

Chhibber noted that the most important issue within the framework of the economic reform loan is the reconstruction of the energy sector.

He hopes that they will reach an agreement on the discussions regarding the energy sector soon, Chhibber stated.

Chhibber stressed that the discussions are about to be completed.

The financial sector loan will be discussed by the World Bank Executive Board in May, Chhibber emphasized.

Chhibber added that the discussions on this issue will continue until May.

[09] STATE MINISTER GEMICI: ''ILO CONVENTION WHICH BANS CHILD LABOUR IN DANGEROUS WORKS, WILL BE RATIFIED SOON''

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - Hasan Gemici, the State Minister, said on Thursday that the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention which bans the child labour in dangerous works, will be ratified by the government and the parliament soon.

Gemici spoke in the ''Meeting on Children Working and Living under Severe Conditions, and From-Child-to-Child Education Program'' which was held with the cooperation of the Confederation of the Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is) and ILO.

A total of 250 million children in the world are working, Gemici noted.

Gemici stated that every child who is away from the education, is a loss for the future of the society.

The child labour problem is caused by the increasing population, immigration to greater cities and economic problems, Gemici stressed.

Gemici emphasized that Turkey gave a helping hand to more than 3,400 children in the child and young people centers.

''To end this problem, we should overcome the injustice in the distribution of income and stop the immigration from rural to urban area. We should also teach the families that they should give birth to as much as children that they can foster,'' Gemici said.

As the basic education is increased to eight years, they started to get good results in struggling against the child labour, Gemici noted.

Gemici added that a national action plan should be prepared and implemented for struggling against the child labour.

[10] POLFER, FM AND FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURG: - ''WE WANT TO RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT TURKEY'S EXPECTATIONS AND UNEASINESS IN EU PROCESS''

ISTANBUL, Feb 24 (A.A) - Lydie Polfer, the Foreign Minister and the Foreign Trade Minister of Luxembourg, said on Thursday that they want to receive information about Turkey's expectations and uneasiness in the European Union (EU) process.

Polfer participated in the meeting held with the cooperation of Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK) and the Economic Development Fund (IKV).

They target at holding contacts with the economy bureaucrats of the candidate countries within the framework of the EU membership process, Polfer noted.

Polfer stated that these contacts are necessary for political and economic confidence.

Turkish citizens, the Luxembourg citizens, and the EU citizens should work together for their common interests, Polfer stressed.

Polfer emphasized that Turkish economy had crisis in 1999 due to the Russian crisis, decrease in her tourism revenues, and the quake disasters.

Despite these difficulties, the government took economic stability resolutions and that this economic stability program started to give results; Polfer pointed out.

Polfer said that the international organizations foresee 5 percent growth in Turkey in 2000.

The Customs Union agreement and the announcement of Turkey's EU candidacy will contribute to the rehabilitation of the economy in the future, Polfer noted.

Polfer stated that Turkey's EU candidacy will also contribute to the bilateral relations and that she observed that political will exists for the improvement of the bilateral relations.

They are determined to sign the agreement which prevents the double taxation and the culture agreement, Polfer stressed.

Polfer emphasized that the unemployment in her country is below three percent and that only one percent inflation is expected this year.

There is not any concept called 'public deficit' in her country, Polfer pointed out.

Polfer said that the economy of Luxembourg is one of the most dynamic economies of Europe and that the financial sector is the strongest sector.

This sector forms 20 percent of the overall added value, 200 banks are working in Luxembourg, and 20,000 people are employed in this sector; Polfer added.

[11] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK INCREASE TO 23.9 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank increased to 23 billion 914 million U.S. dollars.

The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which climbed by 215 million U.S. dollars between February 11-18, increased to 23 billion 914 million U.S. dollars as of February 18.

The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 23 billion 699 million U.S. dollars on February 11.

Meanwhile, according to the 4 February-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves increased 296 million U.S. dollars to 38 billion 320 million U.S. dollars between January 28 and February 4.

The international gross reserves of Turkey were 38 billion 24 million U.S. dollars on January 28.

As of 4 February, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 23 billion 537 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 13 billion 772 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.

[12] STATE MINISTER TOSKAY RECEIVES IMF DELEGATION

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - Tunca Toskay, the State Minister, received on Thursday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF Turkey Desk Chief.

Following the meeting, Toskay said that they analyzed the reasons of the high inflation rate in January.

Toskay noted that Cottarelli told him that the economic program is being implemented in a good way and that he is satisfied with the results of January.

The IMF is sure that Turkey can be successful if she fully implements the program, Toskay stated.

Toskay said, ''we will fulfil our responsibilities in the implementation of the program.''

They discussed the price indices, export, agriculture, privatization, and the situation of the Eximbank during the meeting; Toskay stressed.

Toskay emphasized that they will start working on publishing a consumers' price index (CPI) which is purified from the rent prices.

Responding a question, Toskay pointed out that the inflation will gradually decrease as of May.

Responding another question, Toskay said that the interest rates did not increase and that the Treasury borrowing interests decreased to 40 percent.

The decrease in the interests will mainly be observed in the following year, Toskay noted.

Toskay stated that the IMF delegation does not feel uneasy about the continuation of the implementations.

They will continue to implement the program without facing any problems, Toskay added.

[13] CHIBBER, WORLD BANK TURKEY DIRECTOR: - ''WE ARE TO REACH A COMPROMISE ON 750 MILLION U.S. DOLLAR ECONOMIC REFORM LOAN''

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A ) - Ajay Chhibber, the World Bank Turkey Director, said on Thursday that they are to reach a compromise with the government on 750 million U.S. dollar economic reform loan.

Speaking in the assembly meeting of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO), Chhibber noted that they expect that the 750 million U.S. dollar loan will be brought into the agenda of the Central Bank Executive Board for approval.

Chhibber stated that they think of submitting the agreement on the other 750 million U.S. dollar loan which will be used in financial reforms, to the approval of the World Bank Execution Board in May as the parliament implements the necessary legal arrangements in financial sector.

The 750 million U.S. dollar loan will be used in the agriculture and industry, Chhibber stressed.

Chhibber emphasized that one of the most critical elements of the anti- inflation program is the reduction in the interest rates.

The measures that are taken until today, are very successful; Chhibber pointed out.

Chhibber said that the decrease in the interest rates is important because this decrease will have a role in representing the public figures in the future.

Significant developments are expected in the banking sector, Chhibber noted.

Chhibber stated that the public banks are insufficient and that the new arrangement initiatives in the banking sector are positive.

The energy sector is also important, and Turkey's passing new laws regarding this sector is a rightful step; Chhibber stressed.

Chhibber emphasized that Turkey should take more steps in energy sector.

The implementation of the energy projects on time carries importance, and the World Bank shares the similar ideas with the Turkih government about this issue; Chhibber pointed out.

Chhibber added that Turkey should implement the energy projects as soon as possible.

[14] TREASURY SHEDS LIGHT ON EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK LOAN

ANKARA, Feb 24 (A.A) - Treasury Undersecretariat said on Thursday 600 million Euro loan from the European Investment Bank, promised following the massive quake, did not replace the 750 million Euro loan promised within the scope of customs union.

Treasury Undersecretariat recalled that Financial Cooperation Declaration was signed together with the European Union (EU) within the scope of Customs Union together with Partnership Council decision dated March 6, 1995, adding that European Investment Bank promised 750 million Euro loan within the framework of the declaration.

It said European Investment Bank promised to give 600 million Euro loan, by basing on the EU decision, to overcome the quake damages, and to meet some parts of financing needs of Marmara Quake Urgent Aid and Restructuring Project. It said the agreement related with the 150 million Euro part of the loan in question, was signed on February 9, 2000.

The statement said, ''some news reports which appeared in press in the recent days say 600 million Euro aid, which was promised following the quake, will replace the 750 million Euro loan.''

''However, the 750 million Euro in question was a loan promised to be given to Turkey apart from the quake aid, and will be used additionally in the coming period,'' it noted.

[15] EU COMMISSION: ''DIALOGUE WILL CONTINUE WITH TURKEY''

BRUSSELS, Feb 24 (A.A) - Jean-Christophe Flori, one of the European Union (EU) Spokesmen, said on Thursday that the EU Commission will continue its dialogue with Turkey. Flori was evaluating the detention of mayors from People's Democracy Party (HADEP).

Flori expressed sorrow over the detention of the mayors, adding that dialogue was the method to record improvement on democracy and human rights issue. He said the strategy they decided on during Helsinki Summit required this.

Meanwhile, Portugal, the EU Term President, got information from Foreign Ministry about the mayors who were arrested. It was reported that required consensus could not be provided within the body of the EU to adopt an attitute to this end.

Massimo d'Alema, Italian Prime Minister, who visited Brussels today, said it was early to change attitude and strategy against Turkey.

D'Alema said starting of Turkey's full membership negotiations with the EU depended on the democratization and human rights process in the country, and focused on the requirement of respect to Copenhagen criteria. He said the EU covered the developments in Turkey, as in every candidate country, in this respect.

[16] A.A


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