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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-25

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

25 February 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 25, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S REPROACH
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit reacted against the European Union (EU) which wanted release of three mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), and European ministers who visited the HADEP headquarters and the Human Rights Association as soon as they arrived in Turkey. Receiving Lydie Polfer, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Foreign Trade Minister of Luxembourg who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, Ecevit said, ''you had better visit relatives of martyrs and those who were injured in clashes with the terrorist organization PKK. Aren't they human beings?''

FRENCH PEUGEOT: ''TURKEY IS AUTOMOTIVE MARKET OF FUTURE''
Frederic Saint-Geours, the Director General of Peugeot, the French giant of automotive industry, said that Turkey was a strategical country for automotive sector. Geours stressed that Turkey was the automotive market of the future.

POLFER VISITS TUSIAD
Lydie Polfer, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Foreign Trade Minister of Luxembourg who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, met with Erkut Yucaoglu, the Chairman of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD). She also partook in luncheon hosted by the Foreign Economic Relations Council (DEIK) and Financial Development Foundation (IKV):

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

SECOND SHOCK FOR HADEP
The Ankara State Security Court No: 2 sentenced 18 defendants, including Ahmet Turan Demir, the leader of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), and Murat Bozlak, the former leader of the HADEP, to three years and nine months in prison on charges of aiding and abetting to the terrorist organization PKK. The defendants aided and abetted the PKK by issuing press releases and starting hunger strikes to protest extradition of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, to Turkey. The defendants have also been banned from the public services for three years. The court acquitted 29 defendants due to lack of evidence.

LEADERS OF COALITION PARTNERS AGREE ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that there was not any problem among coalition partner parties about constitutional amendment regarding presidential elections. Ecevit expressed hope that constitutional change, which was opened to the signature of parliamentarians today, will be legalized without a need for referendum. Speaking about the leaders' summit which took place in Premiership Building and lasted for two hours, Ecevit said they held a very productive and beneficial study with the participation of the leaders of parties which are coalition partners, and some ministers.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

COTTARELLI VISITS TOSKAY
Tunca Toskay, the State Minister, received Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk. Noting that Turkey had recorded significant developments in her economic program, Cottarelli expressed satisfaction over results of the first month of 2000.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

NSC TO CONVENE TODAY
The National Security Council (NSC) will convene today under the chairmanship of President Suleyman Demirel. The monthly meeting of the NSC will start at 15:00 local time. The meeting is expected to focus on struggles against fundamentalist organizations including the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization.

PRESIDENT DENKTAS OF TRNC UNDER PRESSURE
The West which became hopeful following the proximity talks in New York and Geneva, will put pressure on the sides to reach an agreement. Special representatives of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (U.N.), the U.S. and Britain to Cyprus will visit the island in March. Meanwhile, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, will leave for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Saturday. Cem will be received by President Rauf Denktas of the TRNC.

EIGHT KG OF HEROIN CONFISCATED AT ATATURK AIRPORT
Narcotic teams confiscated eight kg of heroin and captured three Lebanese persons in an operation launched at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. Acting on a tip-off, narcotic teams stopped three Lebanese at the Ataturk Airport who would go to Malta. They found 8 kg of heroin hidden in their luggage. A full investigation is underway.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

DRAFT RESOLUTION EXTENDING PERIOD OF REPENTANCE
LAW FOR ANOTHER SIX MONTHS, ADOPTED
Parliamentary General Assembly adopted a draft resolution extending the period of the law, known as ''Repentance Law'' in public, for another six months starting as of February 29, 2000. Nazli Ilicak, Virtue Party (FP) Istanbul Deputy, said six Repentance Laws have been issued in 15 years, adding that 3497 people applied till June 24, 1999 to benefit from Repentance Law, but only 768 of the applications were accepted. Ilicak claimed that several ''confessions'' turned into ''slanders'' although there was a provision in the law to prevent this. The provision foresees up to five years imprisonment terms for the people who abuse the law.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''TURKEY IS A STATE OF LAW''
President Suleyman Demirel, speaking about the detention of mayors from People's Democracy Party (HADEP), said, ''this is a state of law. It will not be right for anybody to make a statement about an issue which has been sent to justice.'' When asked about his views regarding the detention of mayors from HADEP, Demirel said, ''laws of Turkish Republic is implemented equally to everybody and everywhere.'' ''The court decides for it, not the administrative authorities. The court is an independent force and organ in Turkey which is administered with separation of powers principle. If other organs take the decision which the courts should take, then we will not be a legal state. As the President, I don't have the right to make a statement on an issue which is currently in the hands of justice.''

BAHCELI: ''THERE IS A CONSENSUS OF OPINION ON 5 PLUS 5 FORMULA''
Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said that there was a consensus of opinion on '5 plus 5' formula. Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP) visited Bahceli. Addressing journalists following the 50-minute meeting, Bahceli noted that the meeting focused on the presidential elections. He said, ''there is a consensus of opinion on '5 plus 5' formula. hope that the constitutional amendment will be made in coming days within this framework.''

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

ECEVIT: ''THE ISSUE OF CHECHEN REFUGEES
WAS DISCUSSED AT THE SUMMIT''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the issue of Chechen refugees was discussed at the leaders summit. Addressing journalists following the two- hour meeting, Prime Minister Ecevit noted, ''I think that Chechen refugees should be settled in Georgian territories. We are ready to assist Georgia to this end. Turkey was the first country sending humanitarian aid to Chechnya following the outbreak of distressing incidents.'' ''There is a consensus of opinion among coalition partners to do our utmost for the Chechen people. I think that Chechen refugees should be settled in Georgian territories. We are ready to assist Georgia to this end. We will hold a series of contacts both with the Georgian officials and the United Nations authorities to send humanitarian aid to Chechen refugees in Georgia. Meanwhile, ill Chechen children will be treated in hospitals in Turkey,'' Ecevit said.

[03] THE U.S. TO RETURN GOLDEN MANUSCRIPT KORAN TO TURKEY

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 25 (A.A) - The U.S. University of Johns Hopkins will return the golden manuscript Koran belonged to the 11th century, to Turkey as a result of initiatives of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Officials at the Turkish Embassy told the A.A correspondent on Friday that the Koran would be handed over to Istemihan Talay, the Culture Minister, in a ceremony on February 28.

Talay is expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. to attend opening ceremony of ''Exhibition of Topkapi Treasuries'' next week.

William Brody, the Rector of University of Johns Hopkins, will hand over the priceless Koran to Talay.

The second volume of the Koran is being preserved in Nuriosmaniye Library in Istanbul.

John Work Garrett, a collector of manuscript books, donated the first volume of the Koran to the University of Johns Hopkins in 1942.

[04] TURKISH-VIETNAMESE JEC TO CONVENE IN HANOI

ANKARA, Feb 25 (A.A) - The Turkish-Vietnamese Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JEC) First Term Meeting will be held in Vietnameese capital of Hanoi.

The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said on Friday that the Turkish delegation would be headed by State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik and the Vietnamese delegation would be led by Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen.

The bilateral commercial and economic relations would be reviewed, and the measures that can be taken to improve bilateral trade will be dicussed in the meeting.

The Turkish side will present a list of Turkish export products to the Vietnamese side in the meeting.

The sides will also negotiate the agreements on ''Cooperation in Fields of Science, Technology and Environment'', ''Cooperation in Agriculture'' and ''Mutual Encouragement and Protection of Investments''.

The First Term meetings will continue until March 4, and a protocol is expected to be signed at the end of the meetings.

The protocol will include the issues that the two sides will reach an agreement.

[05] TURKMENBASI, PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN, RECEIVES AMBASSADOR BALKAN, AND WOLF, CLINTON'S ENERGY COUNSELOR

ASKHABAD, Feb 25 (A.A) - Sapharmurad Turkmenbasi, President of Turkmenistan, on Friday received Mithat Balkan, President Suleyman Demirel's Special Envoy and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary, and John Wolf, the U.S. President Bill Clinton's Energy Counselor to the Caspian Basin.

Balkan said he paid the visit upon the directives of President Suleyman Demirel, and conveyed the message of Demirel to Turkmenbasi.

Balkan said Turkey favored implementation of trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline project soon, adding that energy line between the two countries will be opened after the project takes effect, and noted that Turkey will have the facilities to take Turkmen natural gas.

Oktay Ozuye, Turkey's Ambassador in Askhabad, Turkmen Deputy Minister of Textile, Ahmet Calik, Turkish businessmen, officials of Turkish state-run pipeline BOTAS company, John Wolf, the U.S President Clinton's Energy Counselor, and Smith, the U.S. Ambassador were also present at the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting Turkmenbasi said trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline could not be activated, adding that the sides only contended with the agreements which remained on papers. Pointing out the implementation of project soon, Turkmenbasi said, ''we need definite results, not the contacts and talks.''

Turkmenbasi said they considered importing Turkmen natural gas from various fields, adding that, ''our point of view towards trans-Caspian natural gas project has never changed. Recently, the project in question was politicized. We are considering the project only in economic means. Financial facilities are needed to improve people.''

Addressing to Wolf, Turkmenbasi said, ''firstly, you have said only private companies will participate in the project, later you said government also participated. I can't decide which one I will believe in. You should make it definite.''

Turkmenbasi said, ''you are holding negotiations with the heads of host countries, and statements are made to this end. There is no need for your contacts on the issue, only we can hold required talks with the host countries.''

Pointing out that he has been selling Turkmen natural gas for 15 years, Turkmenbasi said he knew this very well.

Turkmenbasi said the project was suspended unnecessarily, adding that President Suleyman Demirel will visit Turkmenistan on March 27-28, and noted that various agreements on natural gas will be signed.

[06] TURKEY AND BULGARIA SIGN ''2000 YEAR EXCHANGE PROTOCOL''

ANKARA, Feb 25 (A.A) - The ''cooperation'' between Turkey and Bulgaria which has been continuing in accordance with the protocol signed in 1994, was settled on more concrete basis with the ''2000 Year Sports Exchange Protocol'' which was signed on Friday in Ankara.

Addressing the ceremony at the Youth ahd Sports Directorate General Conference Hall, Kemal Mutlu, the General Director of Youth and Sports, said, ''this step which has been taken before the Olympic Games will bring success.''

Expressing his pleasure over the improving bilateral relations, Kemal Mutlu said, ''I hope the sportsmen and sportswomen of Turkey and Bulgaria will be more successful in Olympic Games as they will exchange their experiences more. The protocol includes an obstructing thing, and this is the visa issue. The sportsmen and sportswomen of both countries have to get visa during the activities. If we solve this problem, the protocol will reach its target.''

Tsviatko Barchouski, the Chairman of the Bulgarian Youth, Gymnasium and Sports Committee, said in his part that the step which was taken prior to the Olympic Games, would set up a rich sports activity bridge between the two countries.

''It is certain that friendship and brotherhood will further improve with sports. This agreement will increase the number of olympic medals of our two countries which are successful especially in weight-lifting and wrestling branches. All of our relations will develop within the system that will lead to success,'' he said.

In accordance weth the protocol which includes 21 branches, Turkey and Bulgaria will organize joint training camps and bilateral tournaments during the periods of preparation for international tournaments, championships and Olympic Games.

[07] TRNC BUSINESSMEN'S ASSOCIATION WANTS DIRECT CONTACTS WITH THE EU

LEFKOSA, Feb 25 (A.A) - The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Businessmen's Association (ISAD) wants the European Union (EU) to set up direct contacts with the Turkish Cypriots.

Salih Celiker, the Chairman of ISAD, invited Donato Chiarini, the Chairman of the EU Greek Cypriot side delegation, and gave him a written statement.

In the statement, it was stressed that relations between the EU and the TRNC should be improved with a direct contact line.

Celiker criticized the EU which ignored the facts on Cyprus for being in contact only with the Greek Cypriots.

He emphasized that there was not a single authority on the island, but there were two separate administrations.

''The EU should set up direct contact with the Turkish Cypriots. The EU should not await solution of the Cyprus question to set up contact with the TRNC. The solution will be reached between the two states on the island. The Turkish Cypriots are living under an inhumane embargo. The embargo imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, should be lifted as soon as possible. Economic opportunities provided for the Greek Cypriots, should also be given to the Turkish Cypriots,'' Celiker added.

[08] ''ENERGY PROFILE IN 21ST CENTURY'' MEETING - PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''TURKEY INCREASED ITS ELECTRICITY ENERGY NEARLY 150 TIMES IN 50 YEARS''

ANKARA, Feb 25 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that Turkey increased its electricity energy nearly 150 times in 50 years, adding, ''this explains something.''

Demirel addressed a meeting titled ''Energy Profile in 21st Century'', which was staged within the scope of 50th anniversary of World Energy Council Turkish National Committee.

Demirel said ongoing talks in every basis was to tell about the importance of energy in Turkey. He said Turkey had to establish very big power plants in 50 years.

Pointing out that Turkey is in a period for a greater Turkey, Demirel said efforts should be launched quickly in such a period for electricity production.

Demirel warned that, ''there will be difficulty in energy if we fail to act rapidly. We can be in darkness if we lose time with discussion.''

Pointing out that the first ten years of the year 2000 is vitally important, Demirel said, ''it will be unfortunate if Turkey loses time. Then, Turkey will have difficulty in keeping up the era.''

He said, ''because there will be unexpected developments within these 10 years. Technological revolution comes as a storm. We have taken a step towards the European Union (EU). If we can adjust to the situtation it requires, then this storm will not be able to sweep us. We will go together with the storm.''

Demirel stressed that the state should withdraw from the industry, energy, and other activities, and should only play ''arranging role''. He said the state should leave those places to the power of enterprises.

President Demirel said Turkey should get more share from the capital circling around the world, and noted that, ''there is 400 billion U.S. dollars capital in the world, it circles. Turkey got 500 million U.S. dollars from this capital last year. Poland got 10 billion U.S. dollars, and Portugal got 5 billion U.S. dollars. Turkey has an enterprise power today which it did not have before. Turkey should make use of the enterprise power in the world, the capital, and make use of the markets in the world.''

[09] EXTERNAL LOAN DOPING TO HOUSING ESTATE

ANKARA, Feb 25 (A.A) - The Housing Estate Management (TOKI) which failed to provide sufficient source from the budget to assist the cooperatives, got positive results from its searches for external loan to fulfil its duties in housing estate sector.

The 135 million low-interest loan that the TOKI obtained from Japan can be used immediately in case of a Treasury guarantee while the TOKI and four American companies reached an agreement on the project for construction and sale of social dwellings that will be built on Treasury fields.

The social dwellings project is foreseen to be put into practice in Ankara in the shortest time frame.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Kamil Ugurlu, the Chairman of TOKI, said that TOKI received very serious and high loan offers, and he got information from those companies when he paid a visit to the U.S. between February 2 and 11.

Ugurlu said those companies firstly offered to sell technology but they found those ofers inappropriate as the Turkish construction sector did not encounter many problems in purchase and use of technology.

Ugurlu said one of the American global banks confirmed to finance the project, and he met with the officials of the four American tecnopark groups, and also the American Eximbank representatives attended the meeting.

''With these four giant groups, we reached an agreement to implement this project which will be financed by the giant bank in question. We are planning to prepare the infrastructure and construct social houses with garden on the Treasury fields. First of all, we will put into practice a 500-house project in Ankara to determine the possible problems during the construction process. These companies will sell the houses to public. We will arrange the sale. According to the result of the implementation, we will spread the project. Our aim is to have four million people buy houses in the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey,'' he said.

[10] A.A


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