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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-26

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

26 February 2000 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on February 26, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

BOSNIA DISAPPOINTMENT
Ankara was disappointed when Bosnia-Herzegovina launched initiatives to have diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot side. Bosnia easily forgot about the support Turkey extended against the Serbian violence. Turkey expressed her ideas to Bosnia but this did not help. Now, Bosnia can open a representation in the Greek Cypriot side.

IMF: ''YOUR ARE DOING WELL''
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk said that the results of the stand-by arrangements were positive. The IMF decided to release the loan. Thus, Turkey submitted a letter of intend to the IMF which evaluated the present situation. Carlo Cottarelli, the IMF Turkey Desk Chief, said that the performance criteria of 1999 were all implemented.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

FP TO BE FREE
Taking Article 69 of the Constitution into the scope of the constitutional amendment, changed the destiny of the Virtue Party (FP). Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit evaluated the inclusion of Article 69 as making an adjustment with the Code of Political Parties. ''Closing a political party is an element of instability,'' said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

SIX MAYORS DISMISSED
Mayors of Diyarbakır, Siirt, Agrı and Bingol who are all from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the mayors of Eruh and Aydınlar from the Virtue Party (FP) were all dismissed.

SURPRISING DECISION FROM BOSNIA
The decision of the Bosnian government which didn't recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) upset Turkey. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told his Bosnian counterpart that ''we have difficulty in understanding the decision.''

SABAH (LIBERAL)

PM ECEVIT: ''GULEN'S SCHOOLS ARE NOT A HOME OF FUNDAMENTALISM''
Premier Bulent Ecevit said that he receives positive impressions about Fethullah Gulen's schools in foreign countries. Ecevit said that these schools teach Turkish language and culture. Ecevit noted that Gulen's schools cannot be a home of fundamentalism. Ecevit added that he visited Gulen's schools in Bucharest and that he believed that these schools are very useful rather than being dangerous.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

OHAL EXTENDED
The National Security Council (MGK) which convened under the leadership of President Suleyman Demirel decided to extend the term of emergency rule (OHAL) which ended on March 30, for four months. The measures that should be taken after the decision of the terrorist PKK to politicize, were also discussed in the meeting. National Security Council (MGK) Undersecretary Senkal Atasagun informed MGK members about the activities of MIT. The operation staged against terrorist Hezbollah organization was also taken up at the meeting which lasted for five hours. Saadettin Tantan, the Minister of Interior pointed out that they received important decision about the foreign links of the terrorist organization.

WE DON'T REGARD KURDS AS MINORITY
Husnu Ondul, the Chairman of the Association of Human Rights (IHD) said that they regard Kurdish problem as a problem of human rights and democracy. ''Kurds in Turkey don't regard themselves as minority. IHD also does not consider them as a minority,'' he said.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

FP GETS WHAT IT WANTS TO GET
The Virtue Party (FP) will support the constitutional change which will ensure the election of President Suleyman Demirel for an additional five years in return of the arrangement which will make difficult the closure of the FP. The arrangement which will annul the political bans on Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP), and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former Istanbul Mayor, will also be discussed. The FP will request that the five-year political ban should be reduced to four years.

GREEK PEOPLE COME TO TURKEY FOR BUSINESS
A total of 130 Greek businessmen arrived in Istanbul to discuss the cooperation opportunities with their Turkish colleagues. The Turkish and Greek businessmen held a meeting to have cooperation in banking, textile, sea transportation and tourism.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

WARNING OF DARKNESS
President Suleyman Demirel said that ''if we are late in making investments in the energy sector, this will be a problem and we will stay in darkness.'' Participating in the meeting namely ''Energy Profile in 21st Centry,'' President Suleyman Demirel said that the coming 10 years carries vital importance for Turkey. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said in his part that Turkey will realize the projects it targets very fastly, adding ''we will take a significiant step in respect of energy sources in the 21st century.''

DANGEROUS WORDS FROM HADEP LEADER
Ahmet Turan Demir, the leader of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) said that ''if the PKK wants to get into politics by respecting the laws and rules of Turkey, one has to be pleased by that.'' Demir said that the detention of three HADEP mayors is the ''wish of those circles who don't want peace and who want to benefit from tension.''

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT'S REPORT INCLUDES ALSO TURKEY
The U.S. State Department issued a report on human rights. The U.S. report praised Ecevit's government which is trying to implement reforms but criticized the bureaucracy which cannot adopt itself to the changes. The report said that despite the steps taken, there are still many deficiencies in Turkey. The report noted that the prisons are not in good condition, the closure cases of the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Virtue Party (FP) still continue. The report said that the exclusion of the military judges from the State Security Court (DGM), the release of the inmates who were imprisoned on charges of intellectual crimes, the decrease in the torture and the unsolved murders were positive developments in Turkey.

EMERGENCY RULE EXTENDED FOR FOUR MORE MONTHS
The National Security Council (NSC) decided to extend the emergency rule application in Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Sirnak, Tunceli and Van for four more months. The NSC reviewed the problems of the Southeastern Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia regions during their meeting. The NSC discussed fundamentalism, separatism, organized crimes, and the struggle against these dangers.

[03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''RELATIONS WITH GREECE ARE SOFTENING''

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that the relations with Greece are softening.

There is economic stagnation in Turkey since the middle of 1998, adding ''this year it will be good. People are eager in industry.''

President Demirel received the same day the delegation headed by Bulent Alamut, the Chairman of the Edirne Trade and Industry Chamber.

President Demirel said that the organized industry region is the most important problem of Edirne, adding this problem will soon be solved.

Pointing out to the warmer relations between Turkey and Greece, Demirel said that the visit of Greeks to Edirne and their shopping is vital for tradesmen.

Edirne Airport will be constructed, said Demirel and this will vitalize the business life in Edirne.

[04] U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ABOUT TURKEY: ''ECEVIT GOVERNMENT TOOK INITIATIVES WHICH IMPROVED HUMAN RIGHTS''

WASHINGTON D.C.- The report of the U.S. State Department namely ''Human Rights in the World'' in 1999 which was published on Friday, noted in its Turkey part that the government headed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit took very important steps in the human rights field.

The terrorist organization PKK which weakens still continues to violate human rights, the report stressed.

''In spite of the positive steps taken in human rights, there are many deficiencies in this field,'' noted the report. The conditions of prisons are bad, the closure cases against People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Virtue Party (FP) continues and the pressure on Kurdish language continues, the report claimed.

Among the positive steps taken by Ecevit government, the report included ''taking out the military judges from State Security Courts (DGM), increasing the punishments for those who torture people, giving the right to inspect detention centres by prosecutors, making difficult the closure of political parties, suspension of the imprisonments given to many journalists for three years and giving authority to prosecutors to investigate those security members who violate human rights.''

The report noted that the training programs given by the Turkish Armed Forces to its officers focus on human rights.

The report showed the active participation of President Suleyman Demirel and many journalists in the debate started in public opinion about improving individual freedoms and changing 1982 Constitution as an evidence of the improving democratic atmosphere in Turkey.

The report also showed the meetings of President Demirel and State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik with representatives of non-governmental organizations as examples for the tolerance shown against journalists and lawyers. The report also reminded that the human rights institution which was closed in Van for five years, was re-opened in October.

The report pointed out that State Minister Irtemcelik and Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk leaded the reform activities of the government related to legislation and administration.

Positive steps were also taken in releasing the advocates of human rights, stressed the report and noted that former Chairman of the Hunman Rights Association Akın Birdal's punishment was postponed for six months due to medical reasons.

The power of the terrorist PKK organization weakened due to the military operations of the Turkish Armed Forces and many members of the terrorist organization abided by the call of Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist to give up weapons, the report said.

The report stressed that ''PKK is a terrorist organization,'' and noted that terrorist PKK organization continues to violate human rights of state and security officials and also civilians of Kurdish origin.

The report listed the terrorist attacks of PKK as the bombed attack staged in Adana in July injuring 17 persons and the other one staged in Istanbul in March claiming the lives of 13 persons.

The report claimed that certain human rights observers including the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed their views saying that ''no permission was granted to Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist to communicate with outside world, he saw his lawyers for limited periods and his lawyers were threatened during the first 10 days following his capture.''

The report alleged that security forces were involved in cases in which human rights were violated, torture continued in spite of the measures taken and the prison conditions were bad.

The report claimed that the right to freedom of expression was restricted by security forces and courts due to existing laws, adding ''while there were 25 journalists in prisons in 1998, this number decreased to 18 in 1999.'' The report noted that no permission is granted in Turkey for education and broadcasting in Kurdish language, although this language is used in daily life and music tapes.

The report ended by saying that although PKK terrorism decreased in a considerable extent, the situation in Southesatern Turkey is still worrying.

[05] 10 PERSONS IMPRISONED IN KAHRAMANMARAS DURING VASAT OPERATION

KAHRAMANMARAS - Ten persons were imprisoned in southeastern Kahramanmaras province on Friday during the operations against terrorist Vasat organization.

Ten persons, including six imams who were taken into custody during operations, were transferred to the Republican Prosecutor's Office.

The Criminal Court in Duty decided to send ten persons to prison.

The interrogation of the other detainees continues.

[06] QUAKES SHAKE TURKEY

ISTANBUL - Earthquakes shook various parts of Turkey on Friday and Saturday.

Officials of the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Center and Seismology Institute listed the time, epicenter and magnitude of the quakes as follows:

Time Epicenter Magnitude

---- --------- ---------
18.08 (Friday) Bingol 3.1

20.35 (Friday) Cankiri-Cerkes 4.0

21.53 (Friday) Afyon-Dinar 3.2

21.56 (Friday) Afyon-Dinar 3.1

01.54 (Saturday) Aegean Sea 3.2

02.43 (Saturday) Northern Iraq 4.4

Meanwhile, aftershocks continue to shake disaster zone following the August 17 and November 12 quakes.

Below listed the time, epicenter and magnitude of the aftershocks:

Time Epicenter Magnitude

---- --------- ---------
21.42 (Friday) Adapazari-Akyazi 3.1

23.09 (Friday) Duzce 2.7

07.01 (Saturday) Yalova-Cinarcik 3.1

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[07] TEN PERSONS CAPTURED IN ANTALYA IN OPERATIONS AGAINST HISTORICAL WORKS OF ART SMUGGLING

ANTALYA - Ten persons were captured in southeastern Antalya province on Saturday during operations carried out against smuggling of historical works of art.

The officials of Financial Branch Directorate said that the security forces, acting as buyers, captured ten persons red-handed as they wanted to sell many silver coins, necklace belonging to the Ottoman Period, and many ancient works of arts belonging to the Hellenistic Era.

A total of 2,803 silver coins belonging to Ottoman Period; 4 bronze coins belonging to Byzantine Era; a necklace having 22 silver coins, one bronze ring, Roman terra cotta belonging to the Hellenistic Era, and many other works of arts were confiscated during operations, the officials noted.

The officials added that the suspects will be transferred to the judicial organs following their interrogation.

[08] KOUTSIKOS, TURKISH-GREEK BUSINESS COUNCIL CO-PRESIDENT: - ''TURKEY WILL MOVE AHEAD IN THE PATH TO EUROPE''

ISTANBUL - Panayotis Koutsikos, the Co-President of the Turkish-Greek Business Council, said on Saturday that he is sure that Turkey will move ahead in the path to Europe.

Speaking in the Turkish-Greek Business Council Joint Meeting, Koutsikos noted that as Turkey progresses in this path, it will also be beneficial for Greece.

The cooperation between Turkish and Greek businessmen should be maintained, Koutsikos stated.

Koutsikos stressed that the business world should behave independent from the political world.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou had contributions to the warmer relations between the businessmen of two countries; Koutsikos underlined.

Koutsikos emphasized that Turkey was not an attractive country for foreign capital before she was announced as a candidate country to the European Union (EU).

He believes that following the Helsinki Summit, Turkey will be a focal point for the foreign capital; Koutsikos pointed out.

Koutsikos said that Turkey's EU candidacy requires Turkey to change some of her legal regulations.

The trading volume between Turkey and Greece is insufficient, Koutsikos noted.

Koutsikos stated that he believes that the trading volume will reach three billion U.S. dollars in a few years by the agreements on trade, tourism, sea transportation, cooperation at customs gates, and environment.

Koutsikos called the businessmen to exert efforts and to undertake new initiatives in both countries.

Turkey and Greece, two Balkan countries which ensured stability in their territory, can realize joint investment in many fields; Koutsikos added.

[09] TARA, HEAD OF TURKISH SIDE IN TURKISH-GREEK BUSINESS COUNCIL: - ''AS A RESULT OF THIS MEETING, ECONOMIC, CULTURAL, SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND SPORTIVE INITIATIVES WILL INCREASE''

ISTANBUL - Sarik Tara, the Head of the Turkish side in the Turkish-Greek Business Council, said on Saturday that as a result of this meeting, not only the economic initiatives but also the cultural, social, sportive and political initiatives will increase.

Speaking in the Turkish-Greek Business Council Joint Meeting, Tara noted that the trading volume between the two countries is around one billion U.S. dollars.

Tara stated that as a result of joint efforts, this figure can rise to 20 billion U.S. dollars in five years.

The cooperation in tourism should also be improved, Tara stressed.

Tara emphasized that as a result of joint initiatives, the tourism revenues and the number of tourists visiting both countries, can be doubled in five years.

The businessmen of both countries can have cooperation in transportation, insurance and banking, Tara pointed out.

Tara added that Turkish and Greek businessmen can carry out joint initiatives in the Balkans, Europe, former Eastern Block countries and the Middle East.

[10] INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER TANRIKULU: - ''WE POSTPONED REPAYMENT OF DEBTS OF THE MEMBERS OF CHAMBERS AND COMMODITY EXCHANGES IN DISASTER AREA UNTIL AUGUST 31, 2000''

ANKARA - Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, the Industry and Trade Minister, said on Saturday that they postponed the repayment of the debts of the members of the chambers and commodity exchanges in the disaster area until August 31, 2000.

Tanrikulu added that the repayment of the annual membership fee of the members of the chambers and commodity exchanges to the Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges Union (TOBB) was postponed until August 31, 2000.

[11] STATE MINISTER GUREL MEETS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF TURKISH SOCIETY IN RUSSIA

MOSCOW - State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel came together with the representatives of the Turkish society living in Russia on Saturday.

Speaking in the meeting organized by the Union of Turkish Businessmen in Russia (RTIB), RTIB Chairman Ali Ihsan Akiskalıoglu said that Turkish businessmen act in many sectors in Russia.

Representatives of Turkish students said that although Russian universities have an important accumulation of information, Turkey can't develop an institutionalized cooperation with these universities.

''I will examine this issue when I return back to Turkey. In addition to the economic and political cooperation with Russia, institutionalized cooperation in the cultural field is also very important,'' said Gurel.

Nurperi Ozcelik, the representative of Turkish Women Organization in Moscow explained the activities of the organization.

Nabi Sensoy, Turkish Ambassador to Russia said in his part that stability in Russia will consolidate in the coming 10 years. He stressed that the Russian Embassy in Ankara continues to take money for the visas, although Turkish Embassy in Moscow does not do that due to the agreement signed between Turkey and Russia.

State Minister Gurel said in his part after listening to various views that Turkey has to develop a new strategy towards Russia which will be based on the principle of ''cooperation rather than competition.''

[12] 16 PERSONS DETAINED IN MALATYA IN OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION

MALATYA - A total of 16 persons were detained in eastern Malatya province on Saturday during the operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

Kemal Bayrak, the Chief of Malatya Police Organization, said that the security forces captured 16 persons, including one lawyer, four teachers, two university students, two carpenters, one technician, one civil servant, three workers and two self-employed persons.

Ali Bakan, the Virtue Party (FP) Central Provincial Head and the FP Provincial General Assembly Acting Chairman, was among the captured persons; Bayrak added.

[13] FP LEADER KUTAN CLAIMS: ''THERE IS HEZBOLLAH, PKK TERRORISM AND TERROR OF GOVERNMENT IN THIS COUNTRY''

ANKARA - Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) claimed on Saturday that ''there is Hezbollah, PKK terrorism and terrorism of the government in Turkey.'' ''There is no difference for us among these terrors, '' he added.

Speaking in the opening meeting of the FP Chairmen of Provinces, Kutan said that the human rights, secularism and legal state practices in Turkey are not acceptable.

''If we are sincere in joining the EU, we must abide by the Copenhagen criteria,'' said Kutan. Criticizing the method of taking into custody the Diyarbakır mayor, Kutan said that ''there is no need for gendarmerie when there is police.''

Kutan said he can't understand why the schools of Fethullah Gulen are considered as a threat for Turkey.

Regarding the proposal of the government to change Article 69 of the Constitution, Kutan said ''we thank them as Turkey will be saved from such a shame on democracy.''

Kutan also criticized the government as 104 Chechens were not accepted to enter Turkey.

[14] TURKISH-GREEK BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING - TUSIAD DEPUTY CHAIRMAN:''IMPROVEMENT OF TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONS WILL CREATE NEW OPORTUNITIES''

ISTANBUL - Tuncay Ozilhan, the Deputy Chairman of the Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD), said on Saturday that the improvement of Turkish-Greek relations will create new opportunities for common economic projects in Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Balkans.

Speaking in a panel held within the framework of the Turkish-Greek Business Council meeting, Ozilhan stated that economic cooperation will also bring stability to political relations between Turkey and Greece, adding representatives of private sector in these countries should attribute importance to cooperation.

''Turkey's EU candidacy will support improvement of Turkish-Greek relations, '' he said and noted that the relations of Turkey with the EU directly affects all the policies of Turkey in the region.

''EU funds can be distributed to support Turkish-Greek common investments. There are important opportunities for making cooperation in the construction sector in the Balkans, Euasia, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, he said.

Ozilhan stressed that the non-existance of Turkish and Greek banks in Greece and Turkey respectively, negatively affects the business relations.

Antony Foskolos, the Director of Greek Banks Union said in his part that Turkish and Greek banking sectors are very developed, adding the banks of the two countries can make cooperation both in internal market and regional markets.

Foskolos noted that the banks of Turkey and Greece can also cooperation in the fields of tourism, telecommunication and transportation.

[15] FM CEM: ''IT IS OBVIOUS THAT BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA'S INITIATIVES TO OPEN AN EMBASSY IN GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE WILL NOT HAVE POSITIVE EFFECTS ON OUR RELATIONS''

LEFKOSA - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, said on Saturday that it is obvious that Bosnia-Herzegovina's initiatives to open an embassy in the Greek Cypriot side will not have positive effects on the relations between Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Cem told a joint press conference with Rauf Denktas, the President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Responding to a question on how he evaluates Bosnia-Herzegovina's initiatives, Cem noted that it will negatively effect the relations.

Responding to another question on the positive developments recorded on Cyprus, Cem said, ''opportunity for TRNC to explain its matter directly, has developed. Now, TRNC can reach those whom it could not reach before. Under the last Resolution of the United Nations (U.N.) regarding Cyprus, the existence of the TRNC is recognized de facto by many circles but it is not officially recognized. This is an important development.''

Cem stated that they had very useful meetings with Denktas and the TRNC administrators and that they discussed the Cyprus proximity talks in these meetings.

They discussed the approaches targeting at a solution with Denktas, Cem stressed.

Cem emphasized that positive developments are recorded for explaining the rightfulness of the Turkish Cypriots.

The world started to pay attention to the voice of the Turkish Cypriots, Cem pointed out.

Cem said that it is important that the world knows about the injustice faced by the Turkish Cypriots.

He had two impressions by the latest developments, Cem noted.

Cem continued, ''the first one is about the countries which want to help Cyprus and which are interested in Cyprus and their public. If you want to help Cyprus, you should behave equally and be fair to both sides. Equal and fair approach to the two sides is an indispensible precondition. The second is a personal thought. I had the impression that the Greek Cypriots tried to leave the table in the proximity talks. I hope this is a wrong impression.''

Turkey fully supports Denktas and the TRNC administrators, and TRNC administration is the real owner of the Cyprus matter; Cem stated.

Cem stressed that Turkey will continue to support TRNC in every filed.

Referring to the embargo imposed on TRNC, Cem emphasized that this embargo is unjust and that they are explaining this issue to the countries which are interested in the Cyprus matter.

Cem pointed out that they are the followers of a rightful matter.

''This matter is a rightful matter for justice and humanity and it will be won one day,'' Cem added.

[16] A.A


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