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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-11

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

11 April 2000 Tuesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on April 11, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

SURPRISING PROPOSAL
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''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. If 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 alternatives, the presidential elections will cause series problems among the political parties. In that case, Turkey can be dragged into an atmosphere of uncertainty.''

TERIM'S MEANINGFUL MESSAGE: ''LET ME ATTEND FUNERAL''
Fatih Terim, the Galatasaray Coach, said, ''no victory or championship can be more valuable than lives of two people. I still feel grief for those two people. Their demise caused profound sorrow in Turkey. If they let me, I want to attend their funeral.''

SAHIN, HEAD OF ORGANIZED CRIME GANG, EXTRADITED TO TURKEY
Sedat Sahin, the head of an organized crime gang who was captured in Germany two years ago, was extradited to Turkey. Sahin was brought from Berlin to Istanbul under the surveillance of the Turkish Interpol officials at 03:15 p.m. Later, Sahin was taken to Istanbul Police Organization. The Bursa Criminal Court had earlier sentenced Sahin to six year and 11 months in prison on charges of killing people, theft and collecting unjust money.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

ENERGY COOPERATION WITH CHINA
Cumhur Ersumer, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, returned to Turkey from the People's Republic of China where he had paid a four-day official visit. A protocol on cooperation in the field of energy, was initialled during Ersumer's visit.

PUBLIC OFFERING OF TUPRAS
Yuksel Yalova, the Minister of State for privatization, said 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.

FITCH-IBCA PlACES TURKEY ON RATINGALERT POSITIVE

Fitch IBCA, an international rating agency, 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.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

ANTIGUAN SHIP RESCUED
The Antiguan ship named ''Jessilena'' which ran aground at Bebek coast of Istanbul Strait on Sunday, was rescued by its own crew. Hucum Tulgar, the Chairman of Coast Guard and Ship Rescue Enterprises, said that the crew of Antiguan had rescued the ship with their own efforts. Tulgar said that the ship was kept waiting offshore Bebek. The ship will anchor offshore Kumkapi to complete the legal procedures.

FOREIGN CAPITAL INFLOW INCREASES
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.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

THREE CHOICES FROM ECEVIT
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who got sick after visiting India, issued a written statement from his home and put forward three proposals for presidency. Ecevit wanted parties in the parliament to agree on a parliamentarian. In the second choice, Ecevit proposed the government to show a candidate from the parliament if they could not agree on a name. In the third choice, Ecevit wanted the parliamentarians to agree on a name from outside the parliament.

SOLIDARITY BRIDGE
President Suleyman Demirel, addressing ''World Turkish Businessmen Convention,'' wanted Turkey to be carried among the first 10 economies of the world. Thousands of entrepreneurs from 51 countries attended the meeting. Demirel said Turkish businessmen, who opened to the world and proved their ability to do business in the world, were source of pride to Turkey.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

FRIGTENING RUMOR
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit got flu, Ankara got panic. The speculations which started when Ecevit began to stay at home often, turned into panic when Husamettin Ozkan, Deputy Prime Minister, and Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Chief of General Staff, held a meeting. In fact, Ecevit got flu like most of the people in the delegation who visited India. He could not recover when he returned home due to his intense program. Leaders' summit of Tuesday depends of the health condition of Prime Minister Ecevit.

WAYS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT TO FANS
Five of 18 people, who were arrested after getting involved in the street clash where two supporters of Leeds team in Taksim Square were killed, were sent to prison. The prosecutor may demand capital punishment for the defendants.

Meanwhile, non-governmental organizations laid a wreath to the Taksim Square and protested the attack. UEFA discusses the request of Galatasaray to hold the match in a neutral venue. UEFA waits for a response from Leeds.

PROTEST WITH BALLOON AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Greenpeace environment protestors floated a hot-air balloon over Istanbul to protest Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. Members of Greenpeace, who defended that Akkuyu was on active fault line, wore white clothes which symbolize deathh. A total of 11 protestors laid down as the The balloon, which bore a sign saying ''Stop Akkuyu,'' sailed over the historic Sultanahment district.

YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

LEADER OF ANAP: THIS IS NOT SMART
Statement of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit fell like a bomb on the Central Committee Meeting of the Motherland Party (ANAP). Mesut Yilmaz, leader of ANAP, who made the statement to be read out two times, said, ''he could have stated these views in the summit. Announcement of this statement to public before the summit is not smart.'' Parliamentarians of ANAP defined this as ''insistency and efforts to prevent candidacy of Yilmaz.''

IMF EXAM TO BE THIS WEEK
Officials of the economy are getting prepared for the exam of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after Letter of Intent. A delegation, led by Recep Onal, Minister of State, will go to the U.S. for the meetings. Gazi Ercel, Central Bank President, and Selcuk Demiralp, Treasury Undersecretary, will be in the U.S. today to attend promotion meetings of Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) in New York and in Boston. Talks in Washington D.C. will start on April 15, and the delegation will return to Turkey on April 19.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

SUMMIT OF HONOR
Almost two thousand Turkish businessmen from 51 countries came together at the convention in Istanbul. The Third Convention of World Turkish Businessmen which is organized under the auspices of President Buleyman Demirel and chaired by businessman Sakip Sabanci started with a splendid session. Addressing the convention, Demirel said they were proud of Turkish businessmen spreaded througout the world. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Devlet Bahceli said the Turkish nation's wish was to be the leading country in the 21st century.

IDEAL SOLUTION FROM ECEVIT
The Prime Minister issued a written statement saying that the ideal solution was the coalition partners' consensus on a member of Parliament for the presidential elections by gaining the support of the opposition.

OFFICIAL PROCESS TO START TODAY
The Parliament Speaker's Office will issue today a statement on the candidacy for presidential elections. The applications for nomination should be made between April 16 and 25.

FIRST STEP TO PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
While it is mentioned that expectation for compromise is lying under Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's decision to continue the coalition, today's leaders' summit is important for the agreement on a name for the presidential elections and for the settlement of confidence among coalition partners again.

FIVE YOUTHS ARRESTED FOR STABBING DEATH OF TWO BRITISH FANS
Five of the 18 youths who were detained with charges of ''having involved in the street clashes that claimed the lives of two British fans'' were arrested. The other 13 youths were released. Police revealed that those five people purchased knives from a street hawker. Before their interrogation, the suspects said, ''we are not murderers. The press has to write the truth. They provoked us by burning a Turkish flag. Besides, they were also carrying knives.'' The investigation still continues and three other people are wanted by the police.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

BUT WHAT DO NGOS WANT?
The coalition partners will determine the profile of the president in their summit today but Bayram Meral, the Chairman of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), said, ''the president should be a person who did not face political pollution and did not donate country's interest for political purposes. We want a candidate who mentions the injustices.'' Salim Uslu, the Chairman of the Labor Confederation (Hak-Is), said, ''we want a civilian, democratic and faithful president who doesn't hope for help by having the symbols fight each other.'' Nail Gurel, the Chairman of the Association of Turkish Journalists (TGC), said, ''the president should be a person who is respectful to democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and supremacy of law. The president should be aware of the limits of his authority.''

VICTORY BY A NECK MAKES SIMITIS STRONG
Costas Simitis' PASOK won the general elections in Greece one-point ahead of New Democracy Party. The Greek press said that George Papandreou was expected to continue his mission, and that Papandreou's Turkey policy and Helsinki Summit brought political outcomes but in return for this, they received positive reactions from the regions densely populated by Moslem minority. With this result, PASOK came to the power alone, and this means that the friendly relations with Turkey will continue.

[03] PROFILE OF EXPORTS FROM GAP REGION - IN FIRST THREE MONTHS, 23.3 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF GRAIN-CEREALS EXPORTED

GAZIANTEP - The exports of grain-cereals from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first three months of 2000 increased 4.2 percent to 23 million 383 thousand U.S. dollars.

In the same period last year, the region exported 22 million 439 thousand U.S. dollars of grain-cereals.

Officials at the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, told the A.A correspondent on Tuesday that in the first three months of the year, they exported 2 million 303 thousand U.S. dollars in lentil, chickpea and bean; 3 million 980 thousand U.S. dollars in flour; 326 thousand U.S. dollars in macaroni; 1 million 808 thousand U.S. dollars in vegetable oil; 10 million 483 thousand U.S. dollars in sugar and candy; and 4 million 483 thousand U.S. dollars in various products.

The majority of the goods were exported to Iraq, Germany, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Romania.

[04] MILD QUAKE IN IZMIR

ISTANBUL - A mild earthquake shook western Izmir province early on Tuesday.

Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Seismology Institute said the earthquake measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale occurred in Dikili township of Izmir at 04:49 a.m.

Meanwhile, Golyaka township of Duzce was rocked by an aftershock measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale at 04:57 a.m.

[05] TURKISH-AMERICAN COMPANY FNSS TO BID FOR U.S.'S GIANT DEFENSE TENDER

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Ankara-based Turkey-U.S. joint venture FNSS company will bid for the 1.7 billion U.S. dollars armored vehicle purchase tender opened by the U.S. Land Forces.

The Defense News said that a Turkish company for the first time was trying to get a share in a giant American defense project when the FNSS decided to joint the tender.

The FNSS sold 1698 armored vehicles to the Turkish army.

Making a statement to the Defense News, FNSS Deputy General Director Andy Hoard said that it would be a tough tender but they believed in the quality of their vehicles.

Defense News quoted General Staff Plans and Principles Department Director General Batmaz Dandin of Turkey as saying that the United States had to make defense purchase from Turkey to remove the imbalance in the Turkey- U.S. defense industry relations which was against the U.S., and that a purchase from the FNSS was an opportunity to this end.

The U.S. planned to purchase 1,700 vehicles but has still not taken its final decision for the kind of vehicles. The Defense News stressed that the FNSS would have a chance if the U.S. wanted vehicles with caterpillar tread.

In accordance with the contract it signed with Turkey, the FNSS has produced almost 1,700 vehicles for the Turkish army. The FNSS signed a contract also with the United Arab Emirates for the production of 133 armored vehicles.

Sources said the talks between the FNSS and Malaysia for production of armored vehicles were about to conclude.

The FNSS which is the joint venture of Turkish Nurol Holding and the American United Defense LP will produce the armored vehicles for the U.S.Land Forces in its facilities near Ankara if it wins the tender.

[06] THE U.S. SAYS TURKEY'S DETERMINATION IN ECONOMY IS ENCOURAGING

WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. said on Tuesday that Turkish government's determination to decrease inflation and to carry out reforms was encouraging, and noted that it will be a mistake to focus on developments which occurred in the short term to strengthen Turkish economy and Turkish- U.S. economic relations.

Alan Larson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Economy, responded to the questions in a news conference.

When asked how fall of Turkey's growth rate, presidential elections, and stability issues would be reflected on Turkish-U.S. relations, Larson said it would be a mistake to focus Turkish economy and strengthening Turkish- U.S. economic relations on developments which occur in short term.

Larson said he was impressed by Turkey's determination to decrease high inflation, which has been a problem for years, and to maintain reforms. Larson said they were pleased over the signing of ''open skies'' aviation agreement envisaging cooperation between Turkish Airlines (THY) and American Airlines.

[07] TURKEY-EU ASSOCIATION COUNCIL CONVENES

LUXEMBOURG - The Association Council which is the highest decision-taking organ in relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU), convened on Tuesday in Luxembourg.

Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, met with representatives of the EU Commission and Council, and of the member countries.

The Turkey-EU Association Council meeting started with political consultations.

Turkey is attending the Partnership Council meeting for the first time under the title of the EU candidate following the EU's Helsinki Summit in December, 1999.

The Association Council meeting will end later in the day.

A press conference will be staged at the end of the meeting.

[08] CROATIAN ECONOMY MINISTER VISITS TOBB

ANKARA - Croatian Economy Minister Goranko Fizulic visited Turkey Chambers and Commodity Exchanges Union (TOBB) on Tuesday.

Fizulic said the two countries had a commercial potential and noted that his visit aims to develop commercial relations with Turkey.

The annual inflation rate last year in Croatia was 4.2 percent, he noted and said Croatian currency was following a very stable path. However, he said, their most important problem was unemployment which is about 20 percent.

Fizulic also noted that laws will be passed in the coming months which will make it easier to make investments in Croatia. As of July, the customs tax will decrease by 28 percent and the tax applied to the profit will be pulled to 20 percent from 35 percent.

Fizulic also said they wanted to cooperate with Turkey in the field of tourism. In 1998, more than 4 million tourists visited their vountry, he added.

He also suggested that Turkish goods would be transported to Europe through Croatia.

Fizulic said they wanted to participate in the South East Anatolia Project (GAP) as well as in the project to transport Manavgat's waters to Israel.

TOBB Acting Chairman Hasan Ozmen said Fizulic's visit was a good opportunity to develop commercial and economic relations between Croatia and Turkey.

Ozmen said Turkey became successful in the implementation of the Customs Union and proved its production quality and competitive power in the global scale. He added that Turkey wanted to be Croatia's commercial and economic partner.

Turkey and Croatia can cooperate in contracting services to reconstruct Kosovo and other countries in the region, Ozmen stated. He also noted that Turkish-Croatian Business Council was an important cooperation platform from this point of view.

The two countries should strengthen cooperation in transportation, ship construction, tourism, contracting and banking sectors, Ozmen said.

[09] TURKEY-EU ASSOCIATION COUNCIL MEETING - EU EXPLAINS ITS VIEWS

LUXEMBOURG - Jaime Gama, the Foreign Minister of Portugal, the European Union (EU) Term President, explained the ''evaluation of the EU'' in the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting.

The EU said that Turkey, whose candidacy was officially recognized at Helsinki summit, faces the same conditions as other candidate countries. The EU also noted that it welcomes the reforms undertaken by Turkey to abide by Copenhagen criteria and wishes the continuation of these reforms.

The EU, which referred to issues such as the importance of Copenhagen criteria and expectation of peaceful solution in Cyprus, focused on the economic and commercial status of Turkey and said that the customs union between Turkey and the EU works in a satisfying way.

The EU also pointed out to the necessity of providing financial aid and support to Turkey during the full membership process, adding the initiatives of the Commission about this issue have not resulted yet, but positive developments have been recorded.

The EU said that it favours strengthening political dialogue with Turkey, proposing Turkey to take part in statements and documents which reflect the ''voice of Europe,'' and ''common attitude.''

The EU said it is against death penalty and it requests Turkey to abolish death penalty. Welcoming the developments recorded in Turkey in the field of human rights, the EU said that it supports the efforts launched to develop the human rights of all Turkish citizens including those of Kurdish origin.

The EU reiterated its attitude regarding the Cyprus problem and said that if a solution is not found to Cyprus problem till 2004, the concerned sides should apply to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

[10] SEDAT SAHIN ARRESTED

ISTANBUL - Head of an organized crime organization Sedat Sahin who was returned to Turkey by Germany was arrested for ''forming an organized crime organization to commit crimes'' and sent to Nigde Prison on Tuesday.

Sahin spent the night at Istanbul Organized Crime and Arms Smuggling Directorate and brought to Bakirkoy Court around 10.10 a.m. under tight security.

After a health check-up, Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) sentenced him to 3 years in prison for fraud in Bafra and 6 years and 12 months for encouraging another person to injure someone.

After the completion of his legal procedures, Sahin was taken out of the court building with his hands in handcuffs on his back. Sahin was seen smiling to people around him before he got on a car. Later, he was sent to Nigde.

[11] TURKEY-EU ASSOCIATION COUNCIL MEETING - CEM, GAMA AND VERHEUGEN STAGE JOINT PRESS BRIEFING

LUXEMBOURG - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, EU Term President Portugal's Foreign Minister Jaime Gama and EU Commissioner for enlargement Gunter Verheugen staged a joint press briefing at the end of Turkey-EU Association Council meeting on Monday.

The three focused on the normalization of the relations between Turkey and EU at the briefing.

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem focused on the importance of the decisions to establish eight sub-committees and to start negotiations regarding the free movement of services, adding Turkey favours to have more contacts with EU in all fields.

Cem criticized EU wing's reference to ''human rights of all Turkish citizens including those of Kurdish origin,'' and said he considers this approach as wrong. Cem noted that citizens are discriminated due to racism in certain countries of Europe, adding ''this discrimination is not seen in Turkey.''

Responding to a question, Cem said that Turkey fulfilled its obligations stemming from international agreements by the Peace Operation of the Turkish Armed Forces on Cyprus in 1974.

Cem said that the sensitivity of EU about death penalty is known, adding there is a draft law to abolish the death penalty which is not executed in Turkey for 16 years and the majority of the coalition parties also favour to abolish the death penalty, but a special situation emerged after the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK. Cem said that he can't give a specific date, but he hopes the death penalty will be abolished in Turkey.

Jaime Gama described the holding of Association Council meeting after an interval of three years as a resolved step taken forward and said it was an important day in respect of Turkey-EU relations.

Verheugen said in his part that the decisions taken in a productive and constructive atmosphere will speed up the full membership process of Turkey.

Focusing on the importance of improvement of the Turkish-Greek relations, Verheugen said that this issue is an important element in the full membership process.

Verheugen said that Turkey is at the first stage in full membership process, adding the starting of negotiations will constitute the second stage.

Meanwhile, when a journalist asked them why the EU; which claims that it attributes importance to relations with Turkey and the Association Council; participated in the meeting with only three ministers (Portugese, Greek and Luxembourgian) Gama said ''the participation of George Papandreou was worth of 14 EU ministers.''

[12] TURKEY-EU ASSOCIATION COUNCIL MEETING - FM CEM:''THE TARGET IS TO SPEED UP TURKEY-EU RELATIONS''

LUXEMBOURG - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister who spoke to the press after the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting on Monday, said that the target is to speed up the Turkey-EU relations and to further improve them.

Cem said that progress was recorded in political, technical and economic issues in Luxembourg, adding the establishment of eight sub-committees is very important for Turkey-EU relations. The Association Council will convene regularly from now on, Cem noted.

Cem said that Turkey wishes to have intensive dialogue with EU in all fields following the Helsinki summit, which constituted a turning point in the relations. Cem stressed that there is no racial discrimination in Turkey, adding ''we also recommend European people not to make racial discrimination,'' adding this approach is appropriate to Amsterdam Treaty.

Meanwhile, the press realized the warm relations between Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Ismail Cem. Cem congratulated Papandreou for the election results in Greece. Papandreou told Cem to meet with him soon.

Cem will return to Ankara this evening.

[13] LEADERS SUMMIT POSTPONED

ANKARA - The leaders summit among the political party leaders which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday has been postponed since Prime Minister Ecevit is recovering from a cold.

''The leaders summit which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday has been postponed as Prime Minister Ecevit's doctor recommended him to rest. The date of the leaders summit will be announced later,'' it was said in a statement released from the Prime Ministry.

[14] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM SAYS ANKARA IS OPEN TO DIALOGUE IN ALL FIELDS

LUXEMBOURG - During a speech he made at the Turkey-EU Partnership Council's meeting, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem gave clear messages to the EU on Tuesday.

A new era started after the Helsinki Summit, Cem said and noted that Ankara was open to dialogue in every field.

Turkey made important progress in adjusting to the EU regulations as well as to the Copenhagen criteria, Cem said and drew attention to the developments in economy, social, and political fields.

Foreign Minister Cem briefed about the Turkish government's stability programme and reform activities and stressed that financial cooperation with the EU was very important for Turkey to fulfill its commitments before it joins the Union.

Cem emphasized Ankara's stance over the Cyprus issue and said it would be wrong if the EU gives priority to one of the sides on the island.

Cem noted that the dialogue between Athens and Ankara was growing and said more positive developments can be expected in the future.

Cem also said Turkey was very sensitive about the the European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI).

[15] A.A


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