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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-02-29

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

29 February 2000 Tuesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Feb 29, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

HEZBOLLAH PUTS EVCIL INTO TROUBLE
The tape in which the terrorist organization Hezbollah questioned the killer Mehmet Sunbul, revealed the fact that Erol Evcil, a notorious businessman killed Nesim Malki, a usurer. Sunbul said in the tape that Evcil ordered persons to kill Malki as he had a huge amount of debt to Malki. Erol Evcil had firstly confessed to the police that he ordered others to kill Malki, but he had later changed his testimony.

THREE MAYORS RETURN BACK TO THEIR POSTS
Three mayors of Diyarbakır, Bingol, and Siirt provinces who were all from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and who were arrested for having links to the terrorist organization PKK, were released yesterday. The Ministry of Interior returned back the three mayors to their posts.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL) TANTAN: THE PROSECUTORS SHOULD USE INTERNET LIKE
HEZBOLLAH
Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan said prosecutors and judges as well as security forces need training, adding that the prosecutors should not sit on their chairs, but should be in front of police in application. Addressing the opening of the panel titled ''Financial Resources of Organized Crime'' held in Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, Tantan said although Hezbollah administrators use the techology skilfully, prosecutors and judges could not.

INITIATIVE FOR KOSOVO TURKS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit wanted Albanian President and Prime Minister to take action on the leaders in Kosovo by using their influence to reduce the pressure imposed on Turkish minority. Albanian leaders promised to launch required initiatives.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

DIPLOMATIC GUEST TO NUH METE YUKSEL
Mohammad Fathi Al Shazly, Egypt's Ambassador to Ankara, paid a suprise visit to Nuh Mete Yuksel, Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Prosecutor. Shazly got information about the terrorism actions and struggle against terrorism in Turkey. Shazly was also informed about the actions of terrorist Hezbollah and terrorist PKK organization and about the operations carried out against them.

It was reported that Shazly's interest in the terrorism incidents was upon the directives of Egyptian government. Shazly will submit a report to his government about terrorism issue.

BAHCELI: MHP WILL NOT CREATE A PROBLEM
Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister, and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said the constitutional amendment changing president's term in office as 5+5, will be taken up in Constitutional Commission on Thursday. Bahceli said he briefed his party during the Chairmanship Council meeting about leaders' summit of the last week, and noted that the three parties reached an agreement on 5+5 again.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

MAYORS RELEASED
Three former mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), who were earlier arrested by Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM), were released pending trial after DGM no:2 accepted the deposition regarding the objection to the arrest of the mayors. The mayors will be tried without detention.

Diyarbakir DGM had arrested the mayors on February 24 with the allegations that they have links with terrorist PKK organization. The mayors returned to their posts with the approval of Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan.

BAKU-CEYHAN CONFESSION FROM THE U.S.
John Wolf, the U.S. President Bill Clinton's counselor, who arrived in Istanbul to hold contacts, said they were late on Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. Pointing out that the sides were determined for the construction of the line, Wolf said he was hopeful.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

GOOD DECISION
The three mayors from the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) were released and returned back to their posts. The detention of the three mayors caused problems both in the relations of Turkey with the European Union (EU) and also in eastern and southeastern Turkey. The recent court verdict which released the three mayors decreased the tension in eastern and southeastern regions before the Newroz celebrations.

FP'S BIG DEAL
In return of supporting the formula of 5+5 regarding the election of the president, the Virtue Party (FP) wants a constitutional amendment particularly about Article 69. Article 69 says that a political party can't be the focus of fundamentalist activities and a subsequent of a banned party.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

FEBRUARY 28 CONTINUES
President Suleyman Demirel said that February 28 is a continuous process which started by the foundation of the Republic, adding ''it will continue.''

Demirel said that ''first article of the decisions called 28 February decisions, is the protection of democracy and secularism. And its last article is reacting to those who talk against Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. This is a process. No body can manipulate the religious feelings of citizens. The state is separated from religion. This is what the Republic is. Nobody has the right to use politics in religious affairs and use religion as a tool in politics. In countries which are governed by democracy, the latter can't be used to destroy itself. Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights notes that none of the rights mentioned in that declaration can be used to damage these rights. Article 17 of the European Convention on Human Rights also tells the same thing.''

''YES'' FROM YILMAZ FOR STABILITY
The Motherland Party (ANAP), will act in favor of the constitutional amendment. Mesut Yilmaz, leader of ANAP, sid they were not against the constitutional amendments proposed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, adding that, ''although we extend support to three amendments, we have concerns that they are taken up all together.''

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

PRESIDENT DEMIREL:28 FEBRUARY WILL CONTINUE
President Suleyman Demirel said that February 28 is a continuous process which started by the foundation of the Republic, adding ''it will continue.'' ''It is not that easy to implement a part of February 28 decisions, which were taken during a National Security Council (MGK) meeting three years ago. It will take time. The implementation of the decisions is regularly and meticulously monitored by National Security Council (MGK) every month,'' he added.

LAST DAYS IN GIANT TENDER
The final decision regarding the 4,5 billion dollars of giant helicopter tender will be given on March 6. The results will be declared the same day. Five big companies compete in the tender. Experts say that the American Boeing and French-German Eurocopter firms have more chance in the tender.

[03] PM ECEVIT: ''THE RIGHTS OF ALL ETHNICAL SOCIETIES IN KOSOVO, INCLUDING THE RIGHTS OF TURKISH MINORITY, SHOULD BE EQUALLY TAKEN UNDER GUARANTEE TO ENSURE PEACE AND STABILITY IN KOSOVO''

TIRANA - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that the rights of all ethnical societies in Kosovo, including the rights of the Turkish minority, should be equally taken under guarantee to ensure peace and stability in Kosovo.

Ilir Meta, the Albanian Prime Minister, hosted a dinner in honour of Ecevit.

Speaking in the dinner, Ecevit noted that Turkey did not leave alone the Albanian nation in its hard days and that she closely pursues the developments in Albania.

Ecevit continued, ''we wish Albania will implement the political and economic reforms and intergrate with the European-Atlantic organizations. We are ready to extend all the support and have cooperation with Albania about this issue.''

Two sides put forward that they are determined to improve the relations in today's contacts, Ecevit stated.

Ecevit stressed that the economy is the prior cooperation field.

The Kosovo issue was also discussed during the meetings, Ecevit emphasized.

Ecevit said, ''the developments in Kosovo carries importance for Tureky. Turkey efficiently takes parts and contributes to the efforts that are exerted by the international community to establish stability and democratic institutions in Kosovo. Our soldiers, security forces, and the representatives of the non-governmental organizations in Kosovo and the coordination offices in Pristina and Prizren all serve to this aim.''

''We believe that the rights of all the ethnical societies in Kosovo, including the Turkish minority, should equally be taken under guarantee to establish a lasting peace and stability, and a pluralist democratic order in Kosovo. To this end, we wish that the tolerance, cooperation, unity, and solidarity will be ensured in Kosovo as soon as possible. I know that the Albanian authorities share the similar ideas with us and I believe that they share these ideas with the Kosovar Albanian leaders,'' Ecevit added.

[04] IMKB TO RECESS FOR NINE DAYS

ISTANBUL - The Istanbul Stock Exchange will recess for nine days during the Id Al-Adha holiday.

The IMKB recalled that The Council of Ministers had earlier announced that the public workers would be on administrative leave on these days.

To this end, the IMKB Shares Market will not hold transactions on March 13, 14 and 15, 2000, the IMKB said.

The IMKB noted that the exchange of the transactions which will be held on March 9 will be staged on March 20.

The exchange of the transactions which will be held on March 10 will be staged on March 21, the IMKB noted.

The Debenture Bond and Bond Market will hold transactions on March 13 and 14.

The registration transactions of the Debenture Bond and Bond Market will be held on March 24 since March 17 is the Id Al-Adha.

The IMKB International Market Warehouse Certificates Market and the International Debenture Bond and Bond Market will not hold transactions on March 13, 14 and 15, 2000.

[05] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''PEACE IN THE CAUCASUS DEPENDS ON THE SOLUTION OF THE KARABAKH DISPUTE''

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel said on Monday that peace in the Caucasus depends on the solution of the Karabakh dispute.

Demirel received the delegation from eastern Igdir province, including Abbas Bozyel and Ali Guney, the Igdir deputies.

Bozyel requested that the airport which is being constructed in Igdir should be completed on 24 October, the independence day of the city. He also asked the establishment of a free zone and an organized industry zone.

Bozyel also requested that the door of Armenia should be opened if the relations with Armenia improve.

Demirel said that these requests will gradually be fulfilled.

''If there is peace in the Caucasus, Igdir can improve more easily. Peace in the Caucasus depends on the solution of the Karabakh dispute. One million people from Karabakh and many other cities of Azerbaijan are displaced. Azerbaijan undertakes a heavy burden. We want these people to return to their countries, and then the peace talks can start,'' Demirel said.

Demirel continued, ''the peace talks is in an impasse due to the parliament attack in Armenia. Azerbaijani nation does not have any other friends than us. That is, we will not do anything that will make the Azerbaijanis uneasy. We told the Armenians that they should reach an agreement with Azerbaijan in principle, and then we will open our doors.''

If the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia is concluded, it will be easier to reach the Central Asia; Demirel noted.

Demirel stated that the Central Asia is totally close to the sea at the moment.

If they can open that route, this route will be the Silk Road, and this road will be open to the sea; Demirel stressed.

Thus, the deficiencies of Igdir will be overcome; Demirel added.

[06] WOLF, U.S. PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CASPIAN OIL: ''WE ARE LATE IN BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE WHICH WILL BE VERY INFLUENTIAL ON FUTURE OF OTHER ENERGY PROJECTS''

ISTANBUL - John S. Wolf, the U.S. President's Special Representative for Caspian Oil said on Monday that ''we are very late in Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.''

''Baku-Ceyhan oil agreement will be very influential on the future of other energy projects like Trans-Caspian Natural Gas Pipeline,'' told Wolf in a press briefing in Istanbul.

Wolf said that he came to Istanbul to participate in the Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline meetings, adding certain problems were not overcome, but the concerned sides are determined about the construction of the pipeline. Wolf said that he is nevertheless hopeful about the construction of the pipeline and pointed out that the planning stage is expected to end in the first months of 2001.

''Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will have important effects on Georgia in the coming 40 years. We recorded considerable progress during our meetings in Istanbul. I hope a transit agreement will be signed with Georgia soon,'' he said.

''We launch great efforts to bring Turkmen natural gas to Turkish markets till the end of 2002,'' said Wolf. Responding to a question about the regions from where the oil pipelines will pass, Wolf said that the U.S. does not intend to impose its ideas on regional countries about such issues.

[07] INCLUSION OF DRAFT ON SO-CALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS IN VIRGINIA SENATE'S AGENDA, PREVENTED BY EFFORTS OF TURKISH SOCIETY

WASHINGTON D.C. - The inclusion of the draft law on the so-called genocide on Armenians on the agenda of the Senate of Virginia State in the U.S. was prevented for the moment by the efforts of the Turkish society and associations on Tuesday.

Representatives of the Turkish society and Armenian lobby participated in the meeting which discussed the inclusion of the draft law on the agenda of Virginia Senate's Committee of Rules and Administration.

Edward Tascı, an official of the Federation of Turkish-American Associations, who attended the meeting as intervenor, told the senators that he is of Armenian origin and ''no genocide on Armenians was committed.'' The members of the Armenian lobby verbally protested Tascı.

Bruce Fein, a lawyer and a member of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, said in his part that even the historians couldn't prove the claims of genocide on Armenians, adding the local senate of Virginia state does not have the right to give a decision about this issue.

After Armenians voiced their views, the Committee of Rules and Administration couldn't decide whether to take the draft in its agenda or not and it postponed the voting to next week.

Meanwhile, Eric Cantor, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who prepared the draft text, said that they changed the text by softening some of the expressions against Turkey. The First draft law accused the Ottoman Empire of killing 1,5 million Armenians, while the new text noted that ''the event had taken place in territories of the Ottoman Empire.'' Besides the expressions saying that recompense should be paid to Armenians was taken out from the text.

The Armenian lobby aims at urging the Virginia Senate to adopt the draft before April 24.

The Washington Times, one of the distinguished newspapers of the U.S., covered the Turkish-Armenian struggle on its first page and noted that the claims of the so-called genocide on Armenians were not accepted by many historians.

The Armenian lobby also started a campaign in Rhode Island state of the U.S. at the local congress for inclusion of the so-called genocide on Armenians in the course books.

[08] TURKEY FORESEES TO FINE OR IMPRISON HACKERS

ANKARA - The Culture Ministry will make a new legal arrangement to fine or imprison the ''hackers'' who are known to attack on the internet companies and the internet web-sites.

Turkey is making this arrangement even before the U.S.

With an article which is added to the draft law on the amendment of some articles of the Thought and Intellectual Works Law, Turkey foresees fining the hackers from 20 billion Turkish liras (TL) to 100 billion TL or sentencing them to imprisonment terms from three to six years.

An official from the Culture Ministry told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that they want to take measures before they face such a problem.

To this end, they added an article to the above mentioned law which foresees fine or imprisonment terms to the hackers, the official added.

[09] SURALSU INCORP. STARTS EXPORTING WATER TO ISRAEL

ANTALYA - The Suralsu Incorp. started exporting water to Israel.

Suleyman Sural, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Suralsu Incorp., told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that they reached an agreement with an Israeli company about water export.

A total of 200 tons of water has been sent from Antalya Harbour to Tel Aviv until today, Sural said.

Sural noted that they will export 3,000 tons of water to Israel until the end of 2000 and that they will provide 450,000 U.S. dollar foreign currency inflow with this export.

''We have started to send the water to Israel. We firstly took permission from the Israeli government. We sent them water samples. Later, we applied to the chief rabbi for approval. After the chief rabbi approved the export, we sent the first consignment to Israel in the recent weeks,'' Sural said.

Sural added that the water will be transferred from Antalya Harbour to Israel by vessels.

[10] TURKISH, GREEK, AND BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS TO COME TOGETHER ON MARCH 5 IN PLOVDIV, BULGARIA

SOFIA - The foreign ministers of Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria will come together in Plovdiv city of Bulgaria on March 5.

The relations between the three countries and recent regional developments particularly Kosovo problem, will be evaluated at the meeting which will be held upon the initiative of Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadejda Mihailova.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Greek and Bulgarian Foreign Ministers George Papandreou and Nadejda Mihailova will sign a joint declaration at the end of the summit.

The three foreign ministers will visit Edirne province of Turkey and then Kumciftlik town of Greece by helicopters after the meeting.

The meeting which was earlier planned to be held on February 19, was later postponed upon the excuse of George Papandreou.

[11] FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE DISCUSSED IN TURKISH-GREEK ''EU WORKING GROUP'' MEETING

ANKARA - Turkey brought to the agenda the financial assistance which was promised to be granted to her by the EU, in the first meeting of the ''European Union (EU) Working Group'' which was formed by the Turkish and Greek diplomants.

The Greek side said that they can extend support in harmonizing Turkish regulations with the Community Acquirements.

Diplomatic sources told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that the Turkish side welcomed the assistance proposals of the Greek diplomats.

The Turkish side said that all the initiatives which should be launched within the framework of the EU harmonization process, can be carried out only if the necessary financial assistance is provided, the diplomatic sources said.

The diplomatic sources noted that the Greek diplomats said that the necessary finance can be provided from the MEDA programs.

The Turkish side recalled the financial assistance which was planned to be granted to Turkey under the Customs Union and Fourth Financial Protocol, but which was not released due to the Greek veto, the diplomatic sources stated.

The diplomatic sources stressed that the Greek diplomats said that they can assist Turkey in harmonizing the Turkish legislation with the Community Acquirments and that they can inform Turkey about their experiences.

The Greek side also proposed that Turkey can benefit from the educational centers which are established in Athens within the framework of the EU harmonization process, and which are based on European law, the diplomatic sources emphasized.

The diplomatic sources pointed out that Turkish side welcomed the proposal which envisaged to arrange seminars, including the Turkish journalists and academicians.

The two sides exchanged ideas about the EU enlargement, inter-governmental conferences, and the EU programs, the diplomatic sources added.

The Working Group decided to hold its second meeting in Athens in April.

The diplomatic sources said that more concrete results will be gained from the meeting that will be staged in Athens.

Meanwhile, Ankara will request Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement who will visit Turkey next week, to exert efforts to start releasing the financial assistance.

Ankara will request that the 150 million U.S. dollar which was planned to be given within the framework of the European Strategy, and 750 million U.S. dollar which was planned to be granted by the European Investmen Bank, should be released as soon as possible.

Ankara is also expected to bring into the agenda the determination of the amount of the assistance which will be given within the scope of MEDA-2 program.

[12] CELIK, DIYARBAKIR MAYOR, RETURNS TO HIS POST

DIYARBKIR - Feridun Celik, Diyarbakir Mayor, started working in his office on Tuesday.

Celik, who had been arrested on charges of having links with the terrorist PKK organization, and later released, returned to his post again after the decision of Interior Ministry to return his office.

Addressing the citizens who gathered to welcome him, Celik said they faced an attitude which nobody wanted, adding ''democracy won with this incident.''

Meanwhile, other mayors whom the Interior Ministry returned back their offices, are expected to start working in the afternoon.

[13] MHP LEADER BAHCELI: ''IT'S SEEN THAT THERE IS A BROAD CONSENSUS ON 5+5 FORMULA''

ANKARA - Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said on Tuesday that there is a consensus upon 5+5 formula which foresees the election of the president twice for a term of five years.

''It is wrong to evaluate the recent developments as a product of a bargaining between the political parties or a bribe given to deputies,'' told Bahceli in the MHP Group meeting.

''There is a great parallelism between the crises that erupt in our political life and our tradition of constitution,'' said Bahceli and added that the amendments made in the constitution have not been satisfying so far, as there isn't a powerful agreement between the political institutions and political rules.

Reminding that a new debate on constitution started after the election of the president came to the agenda, Bahceli pointed out that ''changes are foreseen in Articles 69 and 86 of the Constitution.''

Devlet Bahceli pointed out that the regulations concerning the closure of political parties are discussed for a long time in academic and political platforms. ''Our party defends the view that the closure of political parties should be an exception rather than the rule,'' Bahceli said.

''The continuity of political parties is very important regarding institutionalization of democracy and development of political traditions, '' said Bahceli.

''Certainly, no person, institution, or political party have the privilege of committing a crime in a democratic state of law. They all must exist and act within constitutional and legal frammework. If a party official or administrator commits a crime, not the party, but the one who committed that crime should be punished. But if the party permits one of its members to commit crime or that crime is committed continuously, that party can be closed,'' he said.

MHP leader Bahceli said that constitutional amendments point out a difficult process, adding these amendments can be made within the framework of Parliamentary Interparliamentary Compromise Commission's activities.

[14] TRANSPORTATION MINISTRY DECIDES TO PERMIT LANDING OF ITALIAN ALITALIA PLANES TO FIRST-CLASS TERMINAL

ANKARA - After the Italian authorities said that the planes of the Turkish Airlines (THY) can land at the first-class terminal of the Milano Airport, the Transportation Ministry decided to permit landing of the planes of Italian Alitalia company to the first-class terminal of the Ataturk Airport.

Hasan Isguzar, the Transportation Ministry Deputy Undersecretary, told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that Italy had earlier decided that the THY planes would land at the T2 terminal of the Milano Malpenzo Airport.

This terminal was a second-class terminal where the planes of non-European Union (EU) countries land; Isguzar said.

Isguzar noted that the Italian authorities said that the THY planes will be permitted to land at the T1 Terminal of Milano Malpenzo Airport as of March 1, 2000.
Thus, they decided to permit the planes of Alitalia company which were earlier forced to land at the C Terminal of the Ataturk Airport, to land at the new international flights terminal as of Wednesday; Isguzar stated.

Isguzar added that if Italy attempts to implement the earlier application again, they would launch the necessary initiatives.

Italian State Airport Administration (SEA) had earlier decided that the airline companies of 11 non-European Union (EU) countries, including Turkey, should land and take off from the T2 terminal on December 15, 1999.

Then, the THY decided that the Alitalia would land at the C Terminal of the Ataturk Airport.

Thus, a crisis occurred between two airline companies and two countries.

But, the crisis was overcome as the SEA decided on Monday to permit the taking off and landing of the THY planes from the T1 terminal of the Milano Malpenzo Airport.

[15] PRESIDENT DEMIREL RECEIVES RUSSIAN DEPUTY PM

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel received on Tuesday Ilya Klebanov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

Prior to his departure from Moscow, Klebanov had said that the target of his visit is submitting President Demirel the response letter of Vladimir Putin, the Acting Russian President, for Demirel's Caucasus Stability Package proposal.

Klebanov visited Anitkabir, Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of Modern Turkish Republic, this morning.

He is also expected to meet with Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister.

[16] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES TURKISH CITIZENS AND SOLDIERS LIVING AND WORKING IN ALBANIA: - ''THERE CAN BE NO RETURN BACK TO FORMER SITUATION IN KOSOVO''

TIRANA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received Turkish citizens and Turkish Armed Forces personnel living and working in Albania on Tuesday.

Giving information about his two-day contacts in Albania, Ecevit said ''there is great progress in our relations with Albania. I am deeply affected by the interest and love of Albanians in Turkey.''

Noting that the economic relations between the two countries are not at the desired level, Ecevit said that the military relations between Turkey and Albania have further improved. The projects which the Turkish Armed Forces undertook in Albania will contribute to the economy, said Ecevit.

The problem of the equality of diplomas between the two countries will be solved during the negotiations that will be held between the Education Ministries of the two countries, Ecevit noted.

Ecevit said that the Kosovo issue was also taken up during his contacts, adding ''there can be no return back to the former situation in Kosovo. The administration is not in harmony. There is gap of administration which is tried to be filled by other states and international institutions. This is not a normal process. Albania and Turkey will do their best to overcome this deficiency.''

Ecevit later listened to the problems of sector representatives and businessmen and their proposals about developing the relations.

Ibrahim Aydogan, the representative of ''Gulistan Inc.'' which is known as a close name to Fethullah Gulen, explained the educational activities in this country. Ecevit said in his part that ''I thank you although I know that certain circles will criticize me.''

Premier Ecevit requested Turkish Ambassador to Albania Ahmet Rıfat Okcun to prepare a report about the problems of the Turkish businessmen working in Albania and submit it to himself.

When a journalist asked Ecevit how the problems of the Turkish minority living in Kosovo came to the agenda during his contacts in Albania, Ecevit said ''Albanians know our complaints and problems about this issue. Albanian President, Parliament Speaker and Prime Minister told me that they took necessary steps and initiatives about the issue. We welcome that. We'll monitor the results.''

Journalists also asked him whether Albanian administrators assured guarantees about participation of the Turkish minority in the administration of Kosovo or not. Ecevit said ''certainly they support this view.''

Albania seeks for stability and peace in the whole region like Turkey, said Ecevit and added that Albanian officials told him about their pleasure over the growing dialogue atmosphere between Turkey and Greece.

Prime Minister Ecevit later received the representatives of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) unit working in Albania.

Ecevit said that TSK undertakes great projects which contribute to security and development of Albania. One commander told Ecevit that the construction of Pasalimani (Pashaport) Shipyard, which was carried out by the Naval Forces Commandership will be completed on March 31.

Meanwhile, Albanian opposition party leaders told Ecevit that they are pleased about the interest of Turkey in Albania.

When Sali Berisha, the leader of the Albanian Democrat Party told Ecevit that they had some problems with Greece, Ecevit said that ''we started a dialogue with Greece. But there are elections in Greece soon. We are determined to solve the Aegean problem through dialogue after the elections.''

Berisha also noted that some of his supporters were killed and no investigation was launched into them.

[17] SEFERIS, A POET FROM URLA, COMMEMORATED

URLA - George Seferis, a poet from Urla who was a Nobel Literature Price winner, was commemorated in the 100th anniversary of his birth on Tuesday.

Kemal Nehrozoglu, the Izmir Governor, said that the year 2000 was declared as ''the Year of Seferis'' in Greece.

Christodoulos Lazaris, the Consultant in Greek Embassy in Ankara, said that Greece plans celebrating ''the Year of Seferis'' and that the program will be submitted to Turkey in fall.

Greece will request assistance and support of Turkey during these celebrations, Lazaris added.

George Seferis was born in western Izmir province on February 29, 1900. He is known as being one of the masters of the modern Greek poetry.

Seferis lived in Urla until he was 14 years old and then immigrated to Greece.

He continued his education in France and wrote his first poems in Paris between 1918 and 1924.

Seferis' personal and artistic life was influenced by the burning of Izmir and the defeat of the Greeks in 1922.

Besides being a poet and an author, Seferis was appointed to diplomatic missions in various countries, including Turkey.

Seferis won the Nobel Literature Award in 1963.

He also wrote criticisms and essays.

Seferis died in Greece in 1971.

[18] TRIAL OF FEHRIYE ERDAL - THE COURT REJECTS REQUEST OF THREE SUSPECTS TO BE TRIED WITHOUT DETENTION

BRUSSELS - Belgian Gent Appeals Court on Tuesday rejected the verdict of Bruges Court regarding release of Fehriye Erdal, Musa Asaoglu and Hasan Saz, members of illegal DHKP-C, on bail and their trial without detention.

The suspects were tried in Gent Appeals Court on Tuesday again as the Prosecutorship opposed to the decision of Bruges Court, taken on February 15, for the release of three suspects on bail and their trial without detention.

Johan Delmulle, Gent Royalty Prosecutor, who spoke to A.A correspondent following the trial, said today's session lasted for two hours.

The Prosecutor said lawyers of the suspects critized Belgian justice and security units, and claimed that it was Belgian gendarmerie who applied terrorist methods, not their clients. He said the court delegation rejected and annuled the decision of Bruges Court.

Delmulle said crimes of the three suspects were proved in the trial, and noted that dangerous terrorists were in question. He also said there was a legal request made by Turkey calling for the extradition of Erdal.

In his indictment, the prosecutor stressed that the three suspects were captured red-handed with weapons and false documents in Belgium, and that they were getting ready for action, and pointed out that their release will be an element of threat for the security of Belgium.

Erdal and the others were transferred to Bruges Prison after the disclosure of the decision.

Lawyers of the suspects said Bruges Court will take up the file on March 14 to extend arrest status of the suspects for another month, adding that they will demand request of their clients again on bail.

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

Musa Asaoglu, and Hasan Saz, members of the illegal DHKP-C organization, who were arrested in a luxurious apartment in Knokke coat city together with Erdal, will be tried on charges of carrying weapons, terrorism, and using false passport.

Turkey had conveyed its request for the extradition of Erdal to Belgian Foreign Ministry on November 3, 1999. Bruges Court found the request as rightful and valid. Upon this decision, lawyers of Erdal had applied to Gent Appeals Court.

The file, related with the objection of the lawyers opposing to the decision which found Turkey's extradition request as rightful and valid, will be taken up in Appeals Court on April 4.

Brussels government will give the final decision regarding the extradition of Erdal, who is not obliged to consider the views of judicial authorities.

[19] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER CAKMAKOGLU MEETS RUSSIAN DEPUTY PM

ANKARA - Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister, met with Ilya Klebanov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, on Tuesday.

Responding to the questions of the journalists prior to the meeting, Klebanov said that he submitted President Suleyman Demirel the response letter of Vladimir Putin, the Acting Russian President, for Demirel's Caucasus Stability Package proposal.

Klebanov stated that Putin said in his letter that he supported Turkey's proposal.

He explained Demirel about the initiatives which Russia launched in the recent days to ensure peace in the Caucasus, Klebanov stressed.

Klebanov emphasized that a meeting was held among the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia in January.

They share similar ideas with the Turkish side about the establishment of peace in the Caucasus, Klebanov noted.

Klebanov pointed out that they decided to hold technical meetings to discuss the issue in details.

Demirel told him about his ideas regarding the stability in the Caucasus, and he will inform Putin about Demirel's ideas when he returns to Russia; Klebanov said.

Klebanov noted that the Caucasus is a very important region for Turkey and Russia and that the stability of the region influences the other parts of the world.

When asked a question saying, ''you are telling that you are in favour of peace in the Caucasus but on the other hand you continue the operations against Chechnya. Isn't this a contradiction?'', Klebanov said that Chechnya is an inseparable part of the Russian territory.

Klebanov said, ''there is international terrorism in Chechnya in recent days as in many other countries. These terrorists try to hush up their acts of violence with holy and religious slogans.''

Klebanov claimed that schools are opened in the regions where Russia re- established her domination and the nation gained back civilization.

Klebanov alleged that the Chechen nation has the same status with the other nations living in Russian territory.

The people of different religions, live together in peace in Russia, Klebanov said.

Klebanov added, ''our duty is to ensure good life standards to the Chechen nation. Within this framework, the reconstruction of Chechnya will be put into the agenda after the operations are concluded.''

[20] TURKISH COMPANY KOCTAS SIGNS PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH BRITISH B&amp;Q COMPANY

ISTANBUL - Koctas, the first company of Koc Holding, signed a partnership agreement with British company B&amp;Q, a famous construction chain store on Tuesday.

The British company B&amp;Q is the biggest construction chain store in Europe and the third one in the world.

The new partnership between Koctas and B&amp;Q, which will share their shares fifty-fifty, will open a store in Istanbul or Ankara this year in an area of 10,000 square meters.

Mustafa Koc, the Chairman of Koc Holding Construction and Mining Group said in the signing ceremony that Koc Holding which acts in 20 countries from Britain to Uzbekistan, aims at opening to world markets in 2000s and increase its market share. He stressed that they undertake an investment of 600 million dollars every year.

Ian Cheshire from B&amp;Q said in his part that Turkey will be one of the most important construction markets in the new millenium.

The new company which will act under the name of Koctas-B&amp;Q, aims at opening 30 markets in Turkey within five years.

[21] BILGOL MAYOR RETURNS TO HIS POST - KARAASLAN, BINGOL MAYOR: ''WE ARE RESPECTING TO THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY''

BINGOL - Feyzullah Karaaslan, Bingol Mayor, started working in his office on Tuesday.

Karaaslan, who had been arrested on charges of having links with the terrorist PKK organization, and later released, returned to his post again after the decision of Interior Ministry.

Karaaslan staged a news conference, and pointed out that they never lost confidence in the supremacy of law. He said, ''we respect to the laws of the country. We will continue to work toward democracy, peace, and social tranquility in our country. We have never lost our belief in the supremacy of law. The common sense prevailed.''

[22] 17TH INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S SKIING CUP TO START IN ULUDAG

ISTANBUL - The 17th International Children's Cup Skiing Tournament will start in Uludag, a famous skiing resort of Turkey, on Wednesday.

The Skiing Federation said on Tuesday that 130 skiers from ten countries, including Turkey, Britain, Ukrain, Letonia, Yugoslavia, Iran, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Romania, will join the tournament.

The tournament will be staged in slalom and giant slalom categories, the Federation noted.

The Federation stated that two groups, including 10-12 age group and 12-14 age group, will compete in the tournament.

A total of 21 Turkish sporters will compete in the tournament.

The tournament will end on March 2, 2000.

[23] SIIRT MAYOR OZALP RETURNS TO HIS POST

SIIRT - M. Selim Ozalp, the mayor of Siirt province returned to his post on Tuesday.

Ozalp from People's Democracy Party (HADEP), who was arrested together with Bingol and Diyarbakır mayors, as they were accused of having links with the terrorist PKK organization, were released on Monday. The Ministry of Interior decided to return the mayors to their posts.

Ozalp claimed in the HADEP Provincial headquarters that his detention was a plot against him.

A crowded group welcomed Siirt Mayor Ozalp when he entered the city.

[24] A.A


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