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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-10

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA News

10 April 2000 Monday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on April 10, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


Turkish Theatre Rendezvous In Amsterdam, organised for the third time this year by the Turkish Theatre Foundation, will take place between April 18th and 24th. The event, aimed at setting up a cultural bridge between Turkey and Holland, is observed not only by Turkish citizens living and working in the Netherlands, but also by Dutch people. Such prominent names of Turkish Theatre as Zeliha Berksoy, Genco Erkal, Altan Erkekli, and Semih Sergen are also participating in the event.

A minor-scale earthquake, measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale rocked the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Sunday. The epicenter of the tremor was the southeastern corner of the island. There were no reports of casualties or material damage.

The words to be uttered by Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli tomorrow at the leaders' summit, are to play an important role on the deadlock reached at the issue of presidential elections. The summit is expected to stage the definition of a number of conditions for candidacy. The summit, to be held between the coalition partners, namely Bulent Ecevit, Devlet Bahceli, and Mesut Yilmaz, is a turning point in the presidential election process.


An Antigua flagged vessel, ''Jessilena'' was stranded off the shores of Bebek, Istanbul at around 21 hours local time. The 9,068 gross-ton vessel was en route from Haydarpasa, Istanbul to Constanta, Romania was swept to the shore, and could stop at only 10 meters away after colliding with a fisherman's boat. Officials said the vessel was stranded when its rudder clamped.

The number of Turkish people living within European Union borders reached 3.4 million. Over 70 percent of this population is working and residing in Germany, and France and the Netherlands are among the countries, where there is a considerable Turkish population. The number of Turkish people living within the borders of the 15 EU countries is almost equal to the population of Ireland, and 8 times the population of Luxembourg.

President Suleyman Demirel was granted an honorary Azerbaijani citizenship by his Azerbaijani counterpart Haydar Aliyev on the final day of his official visit to this country. President Demirel addressed his Azerbaijani counterpart as ''My President'' instead of his traditional way of saying ''My Brother'', thus ''performing the first condition of being an Azerbaijani citizen.''


The body of Miroslav Palasz, demised polish Ambassador to Turkey, was sent to his homeland on board a military plane. A funeral ceremony was held at Ankara's Esenboga Airport for the late ambassador, who had committed suicide by jumping off the 9th-floor window of his room at Bayindir Medical center. President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem sent wreaths each to the funeral, which was attended by Turkish Foreign Ministry officials and representatives from the diplomatic missions of various countries.

Zarife Yildirim won a bronze medal at the European Free Style Wrestling Championship, thus becoming the first Turkish female to win a medal at an international wrestling championship. Zarife Yildirim, who beat her Hungarian rival in the 75 kilogram category, had started her sports career with Karate.


President Suleyman Demirel is expected to evaluate the developments, which he met in voting for constitutional amendment, in his ''farewell message.'' Sources close to Demirel said he will not return to politics actively in near the future, yet noted that he might give directives as an ''experienced person''.

Demirel denied the news report, which appeared in a newspaper, saying that Demirel had said ''they have deceived me,'' regarding the rejection of the constitutional amendment in the Parliament.

A total of 523.7 trillion lira has been spent for construction of motorways. A total of 129 km motorways will be opened to service. Nearly 69 km of this will be motorways and 60 km will be connection roads. Turkey continues to invest in highways although it is known that it was the most expensive transportation way.

The 2 billion 250 million U.S. dollars (nearly 1.3 quadrillion Turkish Liras) loan that Turkey would obtain from the World Bank within the framework of Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) will be used in financing of structural reforms like agricultural and social reforms.

Sources said the loan would be used to finance the projects for restructuring of agriculture, and in the training of work force reform and similar secondary reforms regarding the social security reform.


Parties, who are members of the coalition, will convene their parties today and adopt a definite attitude before the summit that will take place in Cankaya to determine a name for presidency. Democratic Left Party (DSP) Parliamentary Assembly will authorize Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), who the parliamentarians insisted him to be a nominee, will also convene his party. Ecevit and Bahceli, in Tuesday's summit, will call for Yilmaz not to be a nominee for Cankaya. If leader of ANAP does not agree on another name despite this, DSP and MHP will announce their own candidates.

Funeral of Miroslaw Palasz, Ambassador of Poland to Ankara, who committed suicide on Saturday, was sent to his country with a military ceremony staged in Ankara's Esenboga Airport. Grezegor Michaski, Polish Embassy Charge de Affaires, who spoke at the ceremony, said it was very sorrowful to send Palasz from his second country, he loved Turkey very much.


The Ala-Sawa system which Alacali construction company imported from Japan is decreasing the earthquake risk to zero in multi-storey buildings. The buildings which are built using this system last for 300 years. Pirelli company will be the first to use the Ala-Sawa system in its technical services building which collapsed in August 17 earthquake.

Chairwoman of Price Waterhouse Coopers's Turkey branch, Cansen Basaran is getting ready to host the leaders of the 21st century in Istanbul on April 28. In January, she was among the 100 leaders who will shape the 21st century at the World Economic Forum which was held in Davos. Basaran is working in a team which runs the ''Wake Up Europe'' project. Basaran said the meeting on April 28 will try to find an answer to ''What kind of Europe are you dreaming of in 2025?'' question.


President Suleyman Demirel whose presidency will be over on May 16 gave his first message that he will remain in politics from Azerbaijan. Demirel said ''he had a share in everything that was done in Turkey.'' Demirel noted he was proud to have been raised in a village. ''I always received support and praise from people,'' he added. In the meantime, Azerbaijani President Aliyev granted Azerbaijani citizenship to Demirel and said Azerbaijani people liked him very much.

There are currently 3.4 million Turkish citizens living in EU countries. This figure is more than eight times of Luxembourg's population which is only 400,000. According to the study carried out by Turkey Research Center, 70 percent of these Turkish citizens live in Germany. Nine percent of them live in the Neitherlands, 8.7 percent live in France and 4.4 percent live in Austria.


The joint eight committees which will monitor Turkey's adjustment activities to the EU will be formed in Brussels at a meeting which will also be attended by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Tuesday. These committees are important for Turkey to make the necessary changes for EU membership. Fifteen EU member countries will attend Tuesday's meeting which will be headed by Portugese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama. Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement will also join the meeting in Brussels.

The Minorities Conference will take place in Antalya on April 12 and 13. The Conference, organized by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentarians Assembly will focus on risks that are faced by the minorities in the 21st century and their demands.


LEFKOSA - President candidates in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) speeded up propaganda activities as the presidential elections approach.

The candidates are touring the villages, listening to people's problems and explaining their programmes before the elections which will be held on April 15.

Independent candidate Rauf Denktas, in an open air meeting in Akdogan, reacted to the statements of some candidates regarding Turkey. Denktas said people of TRNC would not accept anyone ''who talk against Turkey and criticize the military.'' Denktas also stressed that the Turkish Cypriots were faithfull followers of Ataturk and his principles.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, Denktas said they were ready to compromise and added that TRNC is in a strong position due to the agreements made with Turkey. The world has started understanding them, Denktas said and noted that the report issued in Brussels said the confederation suggestion was logical, so that it caused the Greek Cypriots to panic.

The real intention of the Greek Cypriots is to remove Turkey's guarantee over the TRNC and make all the immigrants to return to their homes. The Greek Cypriots who do not admit their real intentions accuse him for being intransigent, he said.


ISTANBUL - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Sunday that Japan was an important aspect of Turkey's opening project in its foreign policy, adding that, ''Japan has an important place for Turkey in reaching its targets in this century.''

Cem concluded his official visit to Japan and returned to Turkey. Speaking at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Cem said he had beneficial contacts in this countrry.

Pointing out that Turkey was in an effort to further improve its positive relations with Japan, Cem said, ''we have decided for a joint action plan together with my Japanese colleque.'' Cem said Turkey wanted Japan to increase its investments, to purchase more goods, and also wanted number of Japanese tourists visiting Turkey to increase.

Cem said, ''we have a loan agreement with Japan, We get loan from there. Those loans increased to the highest level in the recent year. We want these to increase. Japan is an important aspect of Turkey's opening project in its foreign policy. To this end, Japan has an important place in reaching Turkey's targets. We are pleased to take step in this respect.''

Noting that Kobe experienced a massive earthquake in the year 1995, and that he had the facility to visit those places, Cem said, ''Japan extended moral support and humanitarian aid to us after Marmara quake. We wanted this support to continue for re-structuring.''


ISTANBUL - An Antigua flagged ship, Jessilena, ran aground at Bebek coast of Istanbul Strait around 9 p.m. on Sunday after it was loaded at Haydarpasa Port and left for Romania's Constanta Port.

The ship weighing 9,068 gross tons also hit and damaged a boat owned by Ismail Efe who jumped out off the boat and saved his life.

The ship did not suffer any serious damage and its crew are working to save the ship.

Coast Guard and Ship Rescue authorities said on Monday morning that they could not start rescue works because the ship's crew did not ask for help. They noted that the ship is currently not causing any danger.


ISTANBUL - A number of minor scale tremors were recorded since Sunday morning.

According to the statement issued by Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute, the magnitude and epicenters of the earthquakes are as follows:

April 09 11.29 2,6 Hendek, Sakarya

April 09 16.11 2,7 Kucukcekmece, Istanbul

April 09 17.00 2,5 Tavsanli, Kutahya

April 09 17.28 2,9 Dikili, Izmir

April 10 01.39 2,6 Golyaka, Duzce

April 10 04.39 3,3 Dicle, Diyarbakir


LUXEMBOURG - The highest decision mechanism of Turkey-EU relations, the Partnership Council, will convene in Luxembourg on Tuesday after 3 years.

In the framework of the Ankara Agreeement which was signed between Turkey and the EU, the Partnership Council was formed to implement and develop the partnership between Turkey and the EU.

The Council has the authority to take decisions and the sides are responsible to take the necessary measures to implement these decisions.

The Partnership Council regularly studies the current situation of partnership regime and its results and through this it targets to reach the goals of the Ankara Agreement.

According to Article 25 of the Ankara Agreement, the two sides can open to discussion any disagreement that is rooted from the agreement's implementation or interpretation which concerns Turkey, the EU or any EU member country. The Council can resolve the disagreement through its own decision or transfer it to the EU Court of Justice or another justice organ. Both sides are responsible for taking the measures specified by the decision.

The Partnership Council is formed by representatives of the Turkish government, EU Commission and EU member countries. Turkey and EU representatives run the Council in alternating terms of six months.

Under normal conditions, the Council is expected to convene every 6 months. However, the Council which is defined as ''the most effective institution to shape and lead Turkey-EU relations'', will convene on Tuesday for the first time since April 29, 1997.

Certain problems emerged in the Council in recent years because of Greece's approach. The Council failed to form a common attitude over important issues such as financial cooperation. Upon this, Ankara stated that it will not join ''the symbolic meetings of the Partnership Council which will yield no results.''

Tuesday's meeting will be the first meeting of a new era which began after Turkey's EU candidacy was officially recognized at the Helsinki Summit.


ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that secularism, which is a requirement of a contemporary and democratic state understanding, was the most important guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience, and social peace.

Ecevit issued a message on the 72nd anniversary of the acceptance of secularism.

In his message Ecevit said, ''I congratulate 72nd anniversary of the anniversary of secularism, which is the indispensable characteristic of Turkish Republic.''

Ecevit said secularism was an important turning point of improvement of Turkish Republic on new basis.

Secularism, as a requirement of contemporary and democratic state understanding, is the most important guarantee of freedom of religion and conscience and social peace.


LEFKOSA - Candidates are continuing their campaigns with only a week before presidential elections take place in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Campaigns will have to be ended on the evening of April 14, and the balloting will start the following day.

A total of 8 candidates, four being independents, are running for President. Dr. Fazil Kucuk, Osman Orek, and ruling President Rauf Denktas are the independent candidates.

Some of the other candidates are the leaders of the coalition parties: National Unity Party (UBP) leader and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, Populist Liberation Party (TKP) leader, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Akinci. Akinci and Eroglu say, in unison that the results of he elections will not effect the government.

Republican Turk Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat is running for president for the first time in his political life. Three of the four parties represented in the assembly have their candidates, while the main opposition Democrat Party, which gives full support to Denktas has no candidates.

The only extra-assembly party to have a candidate is the Patriotic Union Movement (YBH) with Arif Hasan Tahsin. The other independent candidates are Ayhan Faiz Kaymak, journalist Sener Levent, and Turgut Afsaroglu.

All eight candidates are concentrating on domestic issues, economic problems, the Cyprus question and relations with the EU in particular, in their campaigns.

In his campaign tours, ruling president Denktas says his duty of carrying on with the proximity talks is not yet over, and that he is the one to attend the forthcoming round of talks with the Greek Cypriot side, which is to start on May 23rd in New York.

Prime Minister Eroglu, in his campaign tours, promises ''a change and a festival in April 15'', and says that the president's term of office has to be limited to two terms.

Junior partner of the coalition Akinci concentrates on the Cyprus issue and relations with the EU.

CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat also concentrates on EU in his campaign. He says, addressing Denktas, that he will take office as President but will take Denktas with him to the proximity talks in New York.

YBH candidate Arif Hasan Tahsin and the other independent candidates criticise Denktas and the government, and promise ''unconditional'' admission into the EU.

The results of polls have not been made public this year.


LUXEMBOURG - The Partnership Council which is the highest decision mechanism between Turkey and the EU will convene on Tuesday in Luxembourg under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem after 3 years.

Turkey will attend for the first time as an official candidate to the meeting. The participants are expected to take political and technical decisions in the framework of the new period which started after Turkey's EU candidacy was accepted at the Helsinki Summit.

During the morning session of political negotiations, foreign policy matters which concern Turkey and the EU as well as issues over Cyprus, the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasia will be discussed.

Later, the participants will focus on the point reached in Turkey-EU relations and decide what needs to be done in the future.

It was stated that the EU wing will discuss the continuation of the reform period and abolishment of death penalty in Turkey, Cyprus, and illegal immigration from Iraq to the EU.

Foreign Minister Cem will deliver a speech explaining Turkey's achievements in the human rights and democratization fields. He will also stress that the EU has to fulfill its financial responsibilities.

Diplomatic sources said the attitude of Athens had an extremely negative effect on the Partnership Council in recent years. The same sources noted that the election results in Greece and the possible positive changes in the Greek attitude might increase the efficiency of the Council.

Technical decision will also be made at the Luxembourg meeting. Eight sub- committees will be formed and they will operate in the scanning period of the EU candidates.

The EU runs its negotiations with all EU candidate countries under 30 different titles. Among these, there are free circulation of products, people, services and capital, social rights, adjustment to competition policy, fisheries, transportation, economic and monatery unity, science and research, education, regional policies, justice and domestic affairs, Customs Union, common defense and foreign policy.

The Council is also expected to take a decision to start negotiations over ''services sector'' which has been delayed by the EU although the Customs Union started operating.

These negotiations will affect the free travel of Turkish citizens in Europe and free travel of services in sectors like tourism.

In the meantime, Turkey is waiting to see if the EU will propose any solid financial contributions to help Turkey's adjustment efforts.

The EU is also suggesting changes in its own bureaucratic structure. It is planning to expand the Turkey desk and employ more enthusiastic officials. Turkey Desk Chairman Eric Van Der Linden will quit his post this month and a new team will be formed.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will come to Luxembourg through Frankfurt on Monday night.


ANKARA - The national wrestling team will leave for Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday to participate in the 47th European Graeco-Roman Wrestling Championships between April 13-17.

The team will leave for Moscow on April 11.

The names and categories of the Turkish wrestlers are as follows:

54 kg: Bayram Ozdemir

58 kg: Erkan Dundar

63 kg: Bunyamin Emik

69 kg: Mahmut Altay

76 kg: Yusuf Duzer

85 kg: Serkan Ozden

97 kg: Mehmet Ozal

130 kg: Fatih Bakir

The national wrestling team is expected to return to Turkey on April 17.


ANKARA - The amount of permitted foreign capital inflow increased 24 percent to 521 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2000 when compared with the same period in 1999.

The total amount of licenced foreign capital inflow was 420 million U.S. dollars in the first three months of 1999, and had been 437 million U.S. dollars in the same period in 1998.

According to the statement issued on Monday by the Treasury Undersecretariat, the amount of permitted foreign capital in first three months of 1998, 1999 and 2000 is as follows:

(million U.S. dollars)

Month 1998 1999 2000

---------- -------- ------- --------
January 84 37 20

February 216 99 39

March 137 284 462

Total 437 420 521


ANKARA - The national women's boxing team came on the second place in the Second European Boxing Cup in Dijon, France, between April 5-9.

Hulya Sahin of Turkey competing in the women's 48 category, beat all of her opponents, and became the European Champ in her category.

Meanwhile, Ozlem Mercan of Turkey competing in the 45 kg category, Ummuhan Sarikaya of Turkey competing in the 57 kg category, and Kiymet Karpuzoglu of Turkey competing in the 67 kg category took silver medals in their categories.


ANKARA - Treasury Undersecretariat said Monday that 81.1 percent of the total authorized foreign investment licences was given to services sector in first three months of 2000.

It said services sector was followed by manufacturing industry with 18.2 percent.

It said that about 90 percent of those authorized foreign capital was OECD- origin and majority of them was EU-origin.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,024 foreign capital companies were operating in Turkey as of March 2000.

These companies' grand total capital is 1 quadrillion 753 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) and the total foreign capital in this grand total is 986 trillion TL.

It said Turkey permitted foundation of 67 foreign capital companies in first quarter of 1998, 105 others in same period in 1999 and 74 foreign capital companies in first three months of 2000.

The authorized FDI in first quarter of 1999 and 2000 is as follows:

(million U.S. dollars)

1999 2000
----------- -----------

Investment Q1 Q1

New 214,6 339,5

Certified 28,6 30,5

Increase of Capital 56,1 10,2

Participation 120,7 81,0

Total 420,0 521,2


ANKARA - The official process for the election of the tenth President of the Republic of Turkey will start on Tuesday.

The Office of Parliament Speaker will make an announcement on Tuesday regarding the application of the candidates.

The candidates should apply to the Parliament Speaker's Office between April 16 and April 25.

In accordance with the Constitution, the presidential elections should be completed until May 15, 2000.

The Parliamentary Consultation Board will convene this week to set the schedule for the vote.

The round of vote for the presidential elections will be held at least in every three days.

The votes in favour of two-thirds majority of the deputies (367 votes) are necessary to elect a president in the first-round vote.

Again, 367 votes in favour are necessary to elect a president in the second- round.

However, only the votes in favour of absolute majority (276 votes) are necessary to elect a candidate as president in the third-round vote.

If a president cannot be elected in the third round vote, a fourth and final round vote will be held. This last round vote will be held for the two candidates who receive the highest votes in the third round vote.

The candidate who receive 270 votes in favour in the final round, will be elected as the new President of Turkey.

If a president cannot be elected in the fourth round, then the parliament will renew the elections.

In accordance with Article 101 of the Constitution, the President should be 40 years old, have a higher education and comply with the qualities that are required for being elected as a deputy.

The president will be in office for seven years.

A candidate out of the parliament, can only be nominated by the motion given by one-fifth of the majority of the deputies which is equivalent to 110 deputies.


ANKARA - Fikret Unlu, the Minister of State for youth and sports, said on Monday that a country did not need to launch initiative to secure lives of people as it was the essential duty of the host country concerning the UEFA Cup semi-final second leg in Britain.

State Minister Unlu answered the questions of journalists after his meeting with Croatian Economy Minister Goranko Fizulic.

When asked whether an initiative was launched to secure the lives of Turkish soccer fans for the second leg in Britain, Unlu said, ''there is no need to launch an initiative. This is the host country's essential duty.''

Responding to a question about a neutral venue, Unlu said he thought Galatasaray club and Turkish Football Federation had launched initiatives for the rematch in a neutral venue on April 20.

Galatasaray won the first leg 2-0 on April 6 but on the eve of the game, two Leeds fans were stabbed to death in street clashes in Istanbul.


ANKARA - A Belgian parliamentary delegation headed by Herman De Croo, the Speaker of Belgian House of Representatives, will arrive in Turkey on Tuesday.

Officials of Parliamentary Press and Public Relations Directorate said on Monday that the Belgian delegation will firstly meet with Erkut Yucaoglu, the Chairman of the Turkish Industrialist's and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), on Tuesday afternoon.

The Belgian delegation will meet with Ali Zihni Feyzioglu, the Chairman of Turkish-Belgian Business Council, and the members of this council on Tuesday evening, the officials noted.

The officials stated that the Belgian delegation will meet with the reporters on Wednesday and visit quake-hit Sakarya and Duzce provinces.

After De Croo opens a prefabricated hut village constructed by some associations in Belgium, the delegation will proceed to Ankara, the officials stressed.

The officials emphasized that De Croo will visit Anitkabir, the Mouseleum of Ataturk, the Founder of Modern Turkish Republic, on Thursday and that he will meet with Kamran Inan, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission, and Sema Piskinsut, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Supervision Commission.

The interdelegationary meetings between Turkey and Belgium will be held the same day, the officials said.

The officials noted that Yildirim Akbulut, the Parliament Speaker, will head the Turkish delegation during these meetings.

De Croo will visit Premier Bulent Ecevit and Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister, the officials stated.

The officials stressed that President Suleyman Demirel will receive the Belgian delegation headed by De Croo.

The Belgian parliamentary delegation will depart from Turkey on Friday.


ISTANBUL - Eighteen youths who were detained with charges of having involved in stabbing death of two Leeds fans, were sent on Monday to Beyoglu Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office.

These 18 youths whose interrogation were concluded at the Public Order Directorate were sent to the Prosecutor's Office at 10:30 a.m.

Speaking to reporters, the suspects said, ''we are not murderers. We are not fanatic soccer fans. They provoked us by burning a Turkish flag. They were also carrying knives.''

Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight died in street clashes in Istanbul last Wednesday night before the UEFA Cup semi-final first leg match between Galatasaray and Leeds United.

Leeds wants European soccer officials to ban Galatasaray supporters from the rematch in Leeds on April 20.

Galatasaray won the first leg 2-0.


ANKARA - Ioannis Roubatis, the former Spokesman of Greek government, said on Monday that the issues of unemployment, education and health were brought onto agenda during the elections, but none of the political parties referred to foreign policy.

Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Roubatis pointed out that the results of elections was a confirmation of continuation of policy which was started by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

''The main issue was not the foreign policy in the elections. Daily problems were brought onto agenda. The results of the general elections revealed the fact that most of the Greek people supported Simitis's policy, and gave him the opportunity to maintain his policy,'' Roubatis said.

(To be continued)


ANKARA - Hasan Koni from the University of Ankara Faculty of Politics, said, ''election victory of PASOK will not affect relations between Turkey and Greece. The relations will continue in a friendly atmosphere. But the main issues will be conveyed to Europe with the Helsinki Convention. If we cannot come to an agreement with Greece, Greece will say, 'we could not agree with Turkey' in 2004. It will say, 'you should scrutinize the situation and do whatever necessary'. Now, Greece's main target is to enter the single European currency and to reduce its loneliness in Europe.''

Defending that Turkey had better relations with the opposition New Democracy Party, Koni noted, ''it was the PASOK which created incidents against us. We were solving the problems in a better way with Mitsotakis' party. The PASOK had to set up such relations. Mitsotakis tried to improve relations while PASOK resisted. In fact, the PASOK is a national socialist, Pan-Hellenistic party.''

Ioannis Corantis, the Greek Ambassador to Turkey, told the A.A correspondent that it was too early to make a comment in detail, and added that he had better wait for formation of new government to make a comment.

Murat Karayalcin, former leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) said, ''Simitis has opened a new door to change quality of the relations between Turkey and Greece. Therefore, I am pleased with Simitis's victory in the general elections. However, the relations between Turkey and Greece will not change in case of his defeat. When we compare this elections with the former ones, enmity against Turkey was not used in campaigns for the first time.''

Noting that both the parties did not base their campaigns on enmity against Turkey, Karayalcin said, ''even if the New Democracy Party had won the elections, there would not have been a change in relations between Turkey and Greece.''

Stating that Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou made an interesting evaluation on relations between the two countries, ''Papandreou is saying that the Aegean and Cyprus issues are now not the problems between Turkey and Greece but they became problems between Turkey and the European Union. I want to say that I strongly support what Papandreou meant to say. The complaints which are expressed currently are not the complaints that should be taken into consideration seriously.''

Hasan Unal, a professor at the Bilkent University in Ankara, said that he believed PASOK's winning the elections again would not affect the relations more.

''As a result of its evaluations after bombardment of Kosovo and capture of Abdullah Ocalan last year, the Greek government realized that its policy of enmity against Turkey harmed itself. It started to take backward steps and while taking these steps, it tried to save Greece from the dead-lock with the help of the EU. And it managed to do this,'' he said.

Unal said Greece changed its tactics and style after June 1999 and in return for this, it transferred the concessions which it demanded from Turkey to the EU.

''Greece said, 'Will you accept Turkey's EU membership? What will you do? As a part of these, I don't want to be a country which is following the policy of enmity against Turkey. In return for this, you will provide me with all of my expectations from Turkey by 2004.' They have expectations concerning Cyprus and Aegean issues. They included these two issues in the Helsinki document. Turkey announced that it felt uneasy about these two paragraphs, and said it won't accept these. If Helsinki was a success of Turkey, it is also a diplomatic victory of Greece,'' he added.

Unal said, ''this policy was accepted by the Greek people and turned into a state policy. The new government which will be formed by the PASOK again, cannot change this policy because this policy protects the interests of Greek people. This policy does not cause a problem in the short term. But, problems can occur between two countries in the following years because Turkey will not meet the expectations of Greece regarding Cyprus and the Aegean.''

This was the first time that the opposition in Greece is so strong, Unal noted.

Unal stated that some Greek analysts predicted that this government cannot rule Greece for four years and early elections can be held two years later.

The existence of the government depends on its initiatives in economy, Unal stressed.

Unal continued, ''PASOK's economic stability program seems to disturb most of the Greek people since it depends on a tight monetary policy. However, the Greek people who feel uneasy about this program, are also uneasy about whether or not the New Democracy Party which has not been a ruling party for 19 years, can meet their needs.''

Dr. Dogan Tilic, the author of ''I Fell Ashamed But I am a Journalist'' who has dealt with Turkish and Greek media, said, ''everybody in Turkey is pleased about these results. Because, the PASOK, which solves the problems between Turkey and Greece in respect of friendship rather than tension, won the elections.''

Tilic noted that it can be clearly seen from the results of the elections in Western Thrace that PASOK is more positive about the Turkish-Greek relations.

''PASOK won more than 50 percent of the votes in Western Thrace. The support of Turks living in Western Thrace, played an important role in PASOK's success. This indicates that the Turks living in Western Thrace, support the positive and moderate Turkey policy of PASOK,'' Tilic said.

Tilic stated that the Greek people will expect concrete developments in the relations between Turkey and Greece from now on.

''We should see that the agreements that were signed, are being implemented. We should also see that the problems which were considered as difficult and pushed aside, are being discussed. PASOK can no longer continue the relations with Turkey only by words. There is a strong opposition, but the PASOK became the only ruling party. It does not need to form a coalition,'' Tilic said.

Tilic added, ''besides the New Democracy Party, the Greek Communist Party which received 5.51 percent of votes, and the Left Coalition Party which received 3.19 percent of votes, are the opposition parties. These two parties are left-wing parties and they will not have an alliance with the New Democracy Party.''


ISTANBUL - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, said on Monday that everybody in Turkey has a common mission and that this common mission is to renew Turkey and bring Turkey to the top.

Speaking in the Third Convention of World Turkish Businessmen, Cem noted that Turkey faces some obstacles like deficiencies in production, unemployment, inequality, unfamiliarity to pains of homeless people, and alienation to humanitarian values.

Turkey has recorded developments in foreign policy, democracy and economy since the last convention which was staged two years ago, Cem stressed.

Cem emphasized that Turkey started to improve its economic and political relations with the European Union (EU) and Western Europe.

Turkey can reach its targets as the society renews itself in the direction of the historical and cultural experiences and the principles of the Republic and as Turkey is promoted in the light of modern values, Cem pointed out.

Cem added that Turkey should target at economic development and that an economic structure which produces and grows more, creates business opportunities, and shares the products and values of global competition, should be provided.


ANKARA - Husamettin Ozkan, the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said on Monday that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was suffering from influenza and dehydration.

''Except these, his health is very good,'' he said.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Ozkan said, ''Mr. Prime Minister went to the Cankaya Hospital in the morning for a check-up. He is suffering from influenza and dehydration. Except these, his health is very good. Doctors advised him to rest in his residence.''

Ozkan added that the cancellation of the meeting among the leaders of coalition partners on Tuesday was out of question.


KONYA - Karen Fogg, the Eupean Union (EU) Commission's Representative to Turkey, said on Monday that the EU is in the threshold of new dynamics.

Fogg spoke in the symposium titled, ''Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow of Turkey-EU Relations'' held by Selcuk University and Turkish Jurisprudence Institute.

The Association Agreement which was signed in 1963, opened the EU path to Turkey, Fogg noted.

Fogg stated that the EU, which is recording serious developments in every field, is in the direction of becoming a political federation today.

The Customs Union agreement which was signed between Turkey and the EU, is very important because this economic integration is the groundwork for the political union, Fogg stressed.

Fogg emphasized that the EU has left behind the fifth stage of the enlargement process and that Turkey has to be in consonant with the EU criteria in this process.

The EU principle of economic and democratic stability carries importance, and the principle of economic stability in Turkey is given priority, Fogg pointed out.

Fogg said that they expect the candidate countries to give commitments for the rehabilitation of democracy and that within this framework, the human rights, the rule of law and the minorities' rights carry importance.

The minorities' rights should not be confused with the provisions in the Lausanne Treaty because they mention the groups which have economic, social and cultural differences, Fogg noted.

Fogg added that also, they express themselves as minority in the EU.


ANKARA - President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland will pay an official visit to Turkey between April 14-16 as guest of President Suleyman Demirel.

Releasing a statement, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Bronislaw Geremek, the Polish Foreign Minister, high-level officials and businessmen would accompany President Kwasniewski.

Inter-delegationary meetings which will be presided by President Demirel and President Kwasniewski, are expected to focus on bilateral relations between the two countries.

President Kwasniewski will visit Yildirim Akbulut, the Speaker of Parliament, and address the parliament.

He is also expected to receive Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

Kwasniewski and his entourage will visit Goreme, Izmir and Istanbul.

President Kwasniewski's visit to Turkey which was scheduled to be paid between September 13-15, 1999, was postponed due to quake disasters in Turkey.


ANKARA - Yuksel Yalova, the Minister of State for privatization, said on Monday that the firm selling price of a Tupras share in public offering was 31 thousand Turkish Liras (TL).

Yalova said the amount of public offering was increased from 15 to 27.4 percent, and that the total amount of public offering including the excess sale right option was 31.5 percent.

Staging a press breifing, Yalova said the total domestic and foreign demand for Tupras shares after the final application between April 5-7 became 1.7 billion U.S. dollars or three-fold of shares planned to be offered to public.

Yalova said a total of 98 foreign funds in many countries like Greece, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Austria, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Switzerland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the U.S. applied to buy Tupras shares.

Yalova said the final application period to buy Group A Tupras shares ended on April 7.

He said this 74 trillion 852 billion TL nominal-valued Tupras shares was equal to 15 percent of Tupras's issued capital, and these shares belonged to the Privatization Administration Board (OIB).

Yalova said a total of 369,556 domestic investors applied to buy 24,887,631 lots of Tupras shares.

''If this is multiplied by 31 thousand liras, the domestic demand reaches nearly 1.3 billion U.S. dollars. The total domestic and foreign demand was about 1.7 billion U.S. dollars.'' he said.


ISTANBUL - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, left on Monday for Luxembourg to participate in the ''Partnership Council'' meeting which will be held between Turkey and the European Union (EU).

Prior to his departure, Cem told reporters that the Partnership Council meetings have not been held for three years.

Cem noted that the foreign ministers of EU countries will participate in the meeting and that the relations between Turkey and the EU will be discussed in the meeting.

Some technical developments will also be taken up in the meeting and eight committees will be formed, Cem stated.

Cem added, ''these committees will contribute to Turkey's adjustment to the EU. Turkey continues to record progress in the direction of the decisions taken last December. We are advancing to a new stage in our relations with the EU. To this end, the EU Partnership Council meeting is important.''


LONDON/ANKARA - Fitch IBCA, an international rating agency, on Monday placed Turkey's Long-term foreign currency rating of 'B+' on RatingAlert positive.

Fitch IBCA issued a statement saying that this action followed a Fitch IBCA visit to Turkey in April and expected completion of the agency's review of Turkey's rating by early May.

It said the agency's positive rating action reflected the Turkish government's progress towards structural reform and macroeconomic stabilization, and the resilience Turkey displayed in the face of the stress tests of recent years, notably the Russian crisis and the August 1999 earthquake.

Fitch IBCA emphasized that the stabilization programme still faces formidable risks, notably political instability and pressure on the exchange rate.

''Nonetheless, prospects for effective reform are greater than at any time in the history of Turkey's sovereign rating and Turkey has a demonstrated the capacity to survive short-term turbulence,'' it said.

The statement said Turkey's inflation, driven by unsustainably high fiscal deficits, looks increasingly out of place in a low inflation world.

''To curb inflation, the authorities must both restore public finances and break inflationary expectations. The first should be achieved by tax reform, increased transparency and reform of the extra-budgetary institutions which have been primarily responsible for fiscal incontinence in recent years, particularly the state-owned banks, agricultural support regime and the social security system. Measures in place under the IMF programme (which began in 2000) should allow a swing in the primary budget from a 2.8 percent of GNP deficit in 1999 to a 3.7 percent of GNP surplus in 2000 (excluding earthquake expenses). Long-term improvement should be sustained by the use of privatisation receipts (expected to be 18 billion U.S. dollars over three years) for debt reduction and by sharp falls in nominal and real interest rates as inflation falls and the programme gains credibility. Key elements in reducing inflation are the introduction of a crawling exchange rate targeting expected inflation (20 percent in 2000) and restraining public sector and administered price increases to this level. Measures under the programme designed to improve the economic environment include reforms to the banking sector and to attract foreign direct investment, particularly in the energy sector,'' it said.

''Significant risks to the programme exist. Prime Minister Ecevit's failure to ensure the re-election of President Demirel has emphasized the continued potential for political shocks and pressures on the coalition. However, early indications, supported by the muted reaction of financial markets, which have in the past been highly sensitive to political instability, are that the coalition will survive this crisis. For the first time in Turkey, the political advantages from achieving stabilisation are seen to outweigh the short-term political costs from the methods needed to pursue it. Additional risks arise from the threat to the exchange rate regime of real exchange rate appreciation and current account deterioration and the exposure of both the banking sector and public finances to foreign exchange rate risk. Both political and external risks are manageable provided the authorities remain disciplined. However, should discipline relax the economic costs could be very substantial.


ISTANBUL - The Antiguan ship named ''Jessilena'' which ran aground at Bebek coast of Istanbul Strait on Sunday, was rescued by its own crew on Monday.

Hucum Tulgar, the Chairman of Coast Guard and Ship Rescue Enterprises, told A.A correspondent that the crew of Antiguan rescued the ship with their own efforts.

Tulgar said that the ship is kept waiting offshore Bebek.

The ship will anchor offshore Kumkapi to complete the legal procedures, Tulgar noted.

Tulgar added that there are not any damages in the ship.

The Antigua flagged ship, Jessilena, ran aground at Bebek coast of Istanbul Strait around 9 p.m. on Sunday after it was loaded at Haydarpasa Port and left for Romania's Constanta Port.


ANKARA- Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that agreement of coalition partners on a joint presidential candidate by providing support of the opposition, was the ideal solution.

Issuing a written statement, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''Turkey's long- standing struggle against the separatist terrorist organization, is about to come to an end. However, separatist organization's activities in foreign political platforms have begun to increase evidently. New measures should be taken to prevent it. Turkey should also continue its struggle against fundamentalist movements with determination.''

''Reformist initiatives in economic and social fields are still high on Turkey's agenda. Continuation of Turkey's determination on the reforms, is extremely important with regard to our relations with the European Union (EU). Our foreign relations have accelerated. We should maintain this opening without any interruption. Reconciliation atmosphere provided by the 57th government should be maintained to overcome these problems. President Suleyman Demirel has made a valuable contribution to the reconciliation atmosphere and all developments in Turkey. Therefore, we thought that it would be useful to elect him for a second term in office, but we failed,'' Ecevit noted.

Underlining the continuation of harmony and reconciliation among the coalition partners during the presidential election process, Ecevit stressed, ''an agreement of coalition partners on a joint presidential candidate by providing support of the opposition, is the ideal solution. Ideal solutions cannot be provided easily every time. Despite this fact, we should try. I we fail in our attempt, the coalition partners should try to unite on a single candidate. In case of a failure, the parliament can try to reach consensus of opinion on a candidate who is out of parliament but experienced in politics and foreign relations. If we fail in all these alternations, the presidential elections will cause series problems among the political parties. In that case, Turkey can be dragged into an atmosphere of uncertainty. I was trying to express my concerns on the issue for months. I hope that I was wrong in my concerns.''

[30] A.A

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