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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-26

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>


[01] AA News

26 April 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

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

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

SIX ZEROS TO BE OMITTED
Gazi Ercel, Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey announced that six zeros could be removed from the Turkish Lira in early 2001. He pointed out that technical studies to this end were underway, and that one Turkish Lira would be eqal to two U.S dollars with the implementation of this project. He said that they will thus have removed one of the serious burdens of the high chronic inflation on Turkey's economy.

SURPRISE RATING FROM S&amp;P

Standard and Poor's (S&amp;P), a rating organization, raised its rating on Turkey's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit and senior unsecured debt to single ''B+'' from ''B''. It made no changes in its short-term foreign exchange rating, which stands at ''B''. S&amp;P said it affirmed Turkey's single ''B'' short-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating and assigned ''single B+/single B'' sovereign credit ratings to Turkey's Turkish Lira-denominated debt.

10 OUT OF 10
The leaders of the five parties represented at the parliament displayed a good example of rapprochement in yesterday's convention. The five leaders put the approving signatures on the proposal pertaining to the candidacy of for presidency of Constitutional Court President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, as television cameras broadcast the whole process live from the parliament. The five parties, which aim at completing the presidential election process in a single round of voting, affirmed Sezer as the likeliest candidate for the post.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

IMF'S LOAN VISA DEPENDS ON FOUR LAWS
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will discuss whether or not Turkey has fulfilled its commitments in its Executive Directors' Board meeting which will be held on April 28, 2000. The meeting is important for Turkey since it has not taken four measures it committed to take in the Additional Letter of Intend and the Stand-By agreement.

THREE TURKISH COMPANIES LISTED AMONG 800 GIANT COMPANIES OF WORLD
The U.S. FORBES magazine listed three Turkish companies among the 800 giant companies of the world, excluding the U.S. companies. The Koc Group, Sabanci Group and Turkish Oil Refineries Inc. (TUPRAS) were listed among 800 giant companies of the world. The Koc Group was in the 338th place with 7 billion U.S. dollar revenue, Sabanci Group was in the 446th place with 5.2 billion U.S. dollar revenue, and TUPRAS was in the 714th place with 3.2 billion U.S. dollar revenue.

TENDER FOR BLOCK-SALE OF 20 PERCENT TELEKOM'S SHARES
The Competition Board will announce its opinion on block-sale of Turkish Telekom's 20 percent shares on April 27. The announcement for block-sale of Turkish Telekom's 20 percent shares would be made on April 28.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

HISTORICAL COMPROMISE
All the leaders united for the first time in our democratic history and signed the motion which nominates Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, as the presidential candidate. Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), and Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), promised to support Sezer in the end of Ecevit's shuttle diplomacy. Five leaders altogether signed the motion at 4.00 p.m. yesterday.

CANDIDACY FIGHT
As the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies tried to prevent Sadi Somuncuoglu, a deputy of MHP and the State Minister, from filing applications for the presidency, fighting occured among the MHP deputies. Somuncuoglu was not permitted to enter into the parliament and his bodyguards were manhandled. Some people tried to abduct Somuncuoglu since he was not persuaded to refrain from applying for the presidential candidacy.

OUR RATING RAISED
Standard and Poor's (S&amp;P), a rating organization, raised its rating on Turkey's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit and senior unsecured debt to single ''B+'' from ''B''. The S&amp;P said it affirmed Turkey's single ''B'' short-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating and assigned ''single B+/single B'' sovereign credit ratings to Turkey's Turkish Lira-denominated debt. The S&amp;P added that the government took steps to remove structural problems and exerted efforts to end the chronic inflation.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

ILO'S VICE DIRECTOR GENERAL:
''SOCIAL STATE IS A NECESSITY FOR CANDIDACY''
Heribert Scharrenbroich, Vice Director General of International Labor Organisation (ILO), who paid a visit on Tuesday to the Turk-Is Labor Union's headquarters, said that Turkey had to prove herself to be a ''Social State'' in order to be admitted into the European Union as a full member. Scharrenbroich said he was touring around the candidate member countries on behalf of the Union, and pointed out that one of the major concerns of the union was labor security, adding that candidate members had to continue social dialogue with the EU in order to overcome the problems they faced in this field, and eventually gain access into the union as full members. Chairman of Turk-Is, Bayram Meral said Turkey's main problem was insufficient social dialogue - between the employees and employers -, and expressed belief that a great majority of labor problems would have been resolved once this target was reached.

FIRST ROUND OF VOTING TO TAKE PLACE ON APRIL 27
The first round of voting in presidential elections are going to be held tomorrow. If a majority of 367 votes is not obtained in the first round, a second round will be held on May 1st, which will again seek a majority of 367. A third round will be held on May 5th if the results necessitate, and it will require a majority of 276 votes. Should no results be obtained in the third round, a fourth round of voting will be held on May 9th between the two most vote-getters of the previous round, and a majority of of 276 votes will determine the president.

QUAKE SURVIVORS HOSPITALISED FOR FOOD POISONING
A total of 35 quake survivors, living in the prefabricated houses in Yalova were poisoned by the canned food distrisbuted to them by the Yalova Disaster Management. These 35 persons applied to the nearby hospitals with complaints of nausea and dizziness, and were understood to have been poisoned by the canned food they had consumed the other day. Officials made public announcements, warning them against consuming the recently distributed canned products, and collected the items back.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

'ANZAC DAY' IN GALLIPOLI
Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders attended the commemoration ceremonies marking the 85th anniversary of the Anzac Landing in Canakkale. Australia's Prime Minister John Howard and New Zealand's Premier Helen Clark were among the guests, who paid homage to the memories of thousands of unknown heroes.

THY ABOLISHES AGREEMENT
The ''blocked space'' agreement between Turkish Airlines (THY) and Austria Airlines, based on exchange of seats in mutual flights, was annulled. According to the statement issued by the THY, the joint Istanbul-Vienna- Istanbul and Ankara-Vienna-Ankara flights with THY and Austria Airlines flight codes and numbers will also be lifted as of the beginning of the summer season, with the abolishment of the said agreement. THY will use its own flight codes and numbers in a total of 12 flights per week in the Istanbul-Vienna-Istanbul line, and 3 flights in the Ankara-Vienna-Ankara line.

TWO PERSONS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATCH MURDER
Yilmaz Tutus and Zafer Yildirim, the two defendants of the murder case filed in the wake of the killings of two Leeds United fans in Istanbul, were interrogated yesterday at an Istanbul court. The said persons were arrested on murder charges and were taken to the Bayrampasa Prison.

YENI BINYIL (LIBERAL)

BUSINESS WORLD PLEASED OVER SEZER'S CANDIDACY
Agreement of five leaders on a joint candidate relieved monetary markets. Istanbul Stock Exchange responded positively to the candidacy of Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Chairman of Constitutional Court, for presidency and closed the day with a five percent increase.

Businessmen were also pleased over Sezer's candidacy. Business world evaluated the candidacy as ''an important benefit for Turkey on the way to European Union (EU).

BUYUKERMAN SAYS HE WOULD RESIGN FROM DSP
Mail Buyukerman, a deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and a candidate for president, said early on Wednesday that he would resign from DSP. Buyukerman who became the first candidate for president attended a program broadcast by the private television channel Kanal D. Buyukerman said all government and opposition leaders' agreement to back the same candidate for president meant a mortgage put on the will of members of parliament so he decided to resign from the DSP.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

WORLD RECORD FROM MUTLU
Halil Mutlu of Turkey on Tuesday won three gold medals in 56 category at the 79th European Men's Weight-Lifting Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Mutlu improved his own world record for the clean and jerk to 166.5 kg from 166.0 kg in the men's 56 kg category.

In snatch, Mutlu lifted 135 kg and won the gold medal, totalling up to 300 kg and took the fold medal in overall.

SIX ZEROS TO BE REMOVED FROM LIRA
Gazi Ercel, Central Bank Governor, said as the monetary authority they targetted removing six zeros from Turkish Lira.

Addressing the Central Bank's annual shareholders' meeting at the bank's building, Ercel said the Central Bank would continue to completely fulfil its duties in the new period.

''One of the issues in our agenda for the new period is to remove six zeros from our TL banknotes. As a result of this, we will remove one of the serious burdens of the high chronic inflation on our economy. Our technical preparations are about to be finalized,'' he stated.

VIOLENCE OF VILLAGE GUARD: ONE DIES
Abdurrahman Basak, a former village guard, opened random fire in Sason township of southeastern Batman province on Tuesday, killing one person and injuring ten others. Basak, 45, took his colleague Medeni Ucar's kalashnikow rifle by force, and opened fire on passers-by.

Ferzande Barlak, 62, was killed in the scene of the incident while ten people including one policeman were injured.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

GREAT COMPROMISE
Opposition parties responded positively to the request of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit for Ahmet Necdet Sezer's presidency. Opposition parties wanted assurances in order not to meet with a sitution similar to 5+5 formula. Upon this, Prime Minister Ecevit decided to sign Sezer's candidacy with the other leaders in front of media. And the leaders signed the proposal wishing it would be beneficial to the Turkish policy.

LAST MINUTE ARGUMENT
A group of MHP parliamentarians, led by Cemal Enginyurt, tried to prevent Sadi Somuncuoglu from applying for candidacy. Enginyurt said, ''resign, and later announce your candidacy.'' Meanwhile, Somuncuoglu shouted, ''didn't you tell me to be a candidate!''

Bodyguards of Somuncuoglu were beaten, and his car was damaged. Somuncuoglu met with Devlet Bahceli, leader of MHP, before his application, but he was not able to get consent. However, despite all efforts to prevent him, Somuncuoglu entered to the Parliament from another door and applied for presidency. Yildirim Akbulut, Parliament Speaker, said Somuncuoglu's candidacy was valid.

[03] SOMUNCUOGLU'S CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENCY - MHP LEADER BAHCELI MEETS WITH HIS STAFF

ANKARA - Devlet Bahceli, leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) met with his staff following the incidents which occurred after Sadi Somuncuoglu, Minister of State, applied for presidency.

Bahceli met with Osman Durmus, Minister of Health, Enis Oksuz, Minister of Transportation, members of Chairmanship Council and several parliamentarians.

Bahceli, MHP leader, did not make a statement after the meeting.

Ahmet Cakar, Parliamentary Administration Chief, responded to the questions of reporters after the meeting. When asked if Somuncuoglu would be dismissed from the party, Cakar said there was not such a decision. He said agreement signed by five leaders will be preserved.

Cemal Enginyurt, MHP Ordu Deputy, who argued with the body guards of Somuncuoglu, said they supported the agreement of five leaders, and noted that they wanted compromise in Turkey.

Enginyurt said nobody has the right to humiliate MHP, and noted that the best thing Somuncuoglu would do is to resign.

[04] SUGAR AND SWEETS EXPORTS FROM GAP REGION

GAZIANTEP - A total of 26 thousand 117 tonnes of sugar and sweets worth 10 million 485 thousand U.S dollars have been exported from the South East Anatolia Project (GAP) Region in the first three months of the year 2000.

South East Anatolian Exporters' Union said on Wednesday that this figure constitutes an increase by 12,7 percent as compared to the same period of the previous year.

Last year, a total of 17 thousand 46 tonnes of sugar and sweets worth 9 million 299 thousand dollars had been exported.

Among the major importers were Iraq, Germany, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Jordan.

[05] AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER HOWARD DEPARTS FROM TURKEY

ISTANBUL - John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister, departed from Turkey on Wednesday.

Saim Eskioglu, the Deputy Istanbul Governor, and the officials of the Australian Chief Consulate in Istanbul, saw off Howard from the Ataturk Airport.

Howard had held contacts in Istanbul and Ankara and participated in the ceremonies staged in Canakkale province of the Marmara Region for 85th anniversary of the Anzac landing.

[06] MINOR TREMORS JOLT MARMARA AND IZMIR

ISTANBUL - Minor tremors jolted Balikesir, Canakkale, Bursa, the Marmara Sea, and Izmir, officials said on Wednesday.

According to the information given by the Kandilli Observatory and Seismology Research Center of Istanbul's Bogazici University, the dates, times, epicenters and magnitudes of the tremors are as follows:

DATE TIME MAGNITUDE EPICENTER
---------+------------+------------+-----------------------
April 25 22.06 2,9 Balikesir-Savastepe

April 25 22.07 3,0 Canakkale-Bayramic

April 25 23.36 2,9 Bursa-Yenisehir

April 26 00.14 2,8 Marmara Sea

April 26 04.51 2,9 İzmir-Dikili

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Meanwhile, an aftershock measuring 2,6 jolted Gebze, Kocaeli on Tuesday evening at 19.05 hours local time.

[07] ADMINISTRATORS OF TRADE UNIONS IN NINE PROVINCES ARRIVE IN ANKARA

ANKARA - Administrators of the trade unions in nine provinces which are the members of the Confederation of the Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is), arrived in Ankara on Wednesday.

The administrators of the trade unions in nine provinces came to Ankara to protest the high costs of living and the privatization initiatives, and to ensure labour security.

The administrators who arrived in Ankara since early in the morning, started to convene in the old hippodrome and shouted slogans.

After Bayram Meral, the Chairman of Turk-Is, and Siyami Erdem, the Chairman of the Confederation of Public Workers' Trade Unions (KESK), arrived in the hippodrome, the members of the trade unions started to walk to Selim Sirri Tarcan Sports Hall where they will hold a meeting.

[08] PANEL DISCUSSION ON SECURITY OF STRAITS AND MARITIME LAW

ISTANBUL - Mustafa Korcak, Maritime Undersecretary, said on Tuesday that the agreement for the VTS (Vessel Traffic System) project had been signed, and ''the Supreme Council of Public Accounts had approved it and gave the required visa.'' Through VTS, the maritime traffic in the Straits will be monitored and guided through electronic devices.

Addressing a panel discussion titled ''Safety of the Straits and Maritime Law,'' which was jointly staged by Maritime Law Association and Coastal Security and Ship Rescue Enterprises General Directorate, Korcak said there were 852 ships, over 300 gross tonnes, in Turkish naval fleet, and noted that these ships have 10.4 dwt transportation capacity.

Korcak said Turkey gained four billion U.S. dollars annually from the sectors related with maritime, adding that it obtained two billion U.S. dollars from transportation.

Korcak said Ship Registration Law was issued in December 1999, and noted that they aimed to strengthen Turkish naval fleet with this law.

He said members of Culture and Natural Riches Protection Committee opposed to this project, and that they filed a suit to Istanbul Regional Administration Court for the cancellation of the project, and noted that this case was reversed under International Arbitration Law issued in 1936.

Pointing out that towers which will be built in the Strait would not damage historical tissue, Korcak said the aim of the project was to protect cultural and natural riches in the Straits.

[09] AGIRNAS VILLAGE OF KAYSERI TO HOST RESIDENTS OF AGIRNAS VILLAGE OF GREECE

KAYSERI - Agirnas village of central Kayseri province will host the residents of Agirnas village of Greece.

The residents of Agirnas village of Greece who left Kayseri's Agirnas village 76 years ago, settled down near Komotini and established Agirnas village there, will visit the lands where their ancestors had lived.

Agirnas village of Greece had hosted the residents of Agirnas village of Kayseri who visited their village in January.

This time, the residents of Kayseri's Agirnas village will host the Greek guests on May 5, 2000.

Mehmet Osmanbasoglu, the Agirnas Mayor, said on Wednesday that 300 Greek people emigrated from Agirnas village 76 years ago.

The residents of Kayseri's Agirnas village are exerting efforts to make the Greek people feel themselves home, Osmanbasoglu noted.

Osmanbasoglu stated that the Greek people who will visit their village can have the opportunity to perform religious ceremonies in the 150-year Agios Prokopios Church in their village.

''When we visited Greece, we could freely perform our religious ceremonies. To this end, we should provide the same opportunity to the Greek people. We are waiting for the decision of the Finance Ministry. Thus, the church will be completely transferred to our municipality in a week,'' Osmanbasoglu said.

Osmanbasoglu added, ''Iosifidis Kaplanis, our friend in Greece who is the Director of the Cappadocia Center, said that he can provide support for the restoration of the church. Kaplanis, who has been working for the Turkish- Greek friendship, said that he can provide source from the European Union for the restoration of the church. During the visit of Greek people, we will work together for the restoration of the church.''

[10] HEZBOLLAH CASE - STATE CLEARS FROM MURDER ACCUSATION

DIYARBAKIR - Terror organisation Hezbollah was understood to have orchestrated the 1993 killing of Dr. Zeki Tanrikulu, a murder of which the state had been accused of perpetrating by the outlawed organisation, officials said on Wednesday.

The indictments of Cemil Meygil, Yilmaz Bilgic, Sadi Bilgic, Mehmet Hadi Bilgic, Ihsan Kirik, and Mehmet Altay, accused of murder on behalf of the Hezbollah, have been completed by the Diyarbakir State Security Court.

In the indictment, it was said that the said persons had involved in 21 armed attacks against individuals. Among their victims, the indictment said, was also Dr. Zeki Tanrikulu.

A case had been filed against Turkey at the European Court of Human rights by the late doctor's spouse Semra Tanrikulu, in connection with the killing of Dr. Tanrikulu on the grounds that the State itself, had involved in the crime.

[11] SIX PERSONS CAPTURED IN ADANA IN OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORIST HEZBOLLAH ORGANIZATION

ADANA - Six persons were captured on Wednesday in southern Adana province in the operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

The Adana Governorship said that the security forces captured six persons, including intern lawyers, religious persons, and officials of the mosques, during their operations against the terrorist Hezbollah organization.

The suspects said in their interrogation that they collected money in the name of the terrorist organization nad that they exerted efforts to gain more supporters to the organization, the Adana Governorship noted.

The Adana Governorship added that the suspects were transferred to the State Security Court (DGM).

[12] SAKIK, SO-CALLED LEADING MEMBER OF PKK, TO APPEAR IN COURT

DIYARBAKIR - Semdin Sakik, the so-called leading member of the terrorist organization PKK, will appear in the Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM) on April 28, 2000.

The dossier regarding Sakik, who was earlier sentenced to capital punishment by the Diyarbakir DGM, will appear in the DGM once more since he submitted a petition saying that he wants to benefit from the Repentance Law.

Since Sakik submitted a petition to the DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office, the dossier regarding his capital punishment which was upheld by the Supreme Court, was not sent to the Justice Ministry to be submitted to the parliament.

The Diyarbakir DGM will decide whether or not to send Sakik's dossier to the Justice Ministry in the end of the court session held on April 28, 2000.

Meanwhile, the Diyarbakir DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office also requested the parliament to give back the dossiers of Mehmet Fidanci and Mehmet Siddik Bicer, two members of the terrorist organization. The Supreme Court had also upheld the capital punishmens of these two terrorists.

Officials of the Diyarbakir DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office said that Fidanci and Bicer had also applied to benefit from the Repentance Law.

The officials added that a court session will be held in the following days to evaluate the applications of the two terrorists.

The special team of the General Staff captured Sakik, having a code name of ''Parmaksiz Zeki'' (Fingerless Zeki), in an operation in Duhok city in Northern Iraq and brought him back to Turkey.

Diyarbakir DGM had sentenced Sakik to capital punishment and the Supreme Court had upheld this punishment.

[13] BSEC INTERIOR MINISTERS MEETING TO START IN ROMANIA ON THURSDAY

ANKARA - Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Experts and Interior Ministers 4th Meeting will start in the Romanian city of Brasov on Thursday. Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan will represent Turkey at the meeting with his delegation.

The statement made by the Interior Ministry's Press Department noted that the attendees of the 2nd meeting which was held in Bucharest on June 30, 1995 agreed to take effective measures against drugs, arms and radioactive material smuggling and terrorism. It was also agreed to develop cooperation among the member countries in the security field.

At the 6th Foreign Ministers Meeting, this decision was turned into an action plan and it was agreed to form a mechanism within BSEC to fight against drugs smuggling and terrorism. This gave BSEC a ''security dimension'' which was earlier formed only for economic purposes.

The 4th Experts and Interior Ministers Meeting will start on April 27 and last for two days. The attendees will discuss forming cooperation mechanisms for the implementation of ''Agreement to Cooperate Against Organized Crime Among BSEC Participant States'' signed in 1998.

[14] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER'S OFFICE CONVENES TO EVALUATE METHOD OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

ANKARA - Parliament Speaker's Office convened on Wednesday to evaluate the method of presidential election.

The Office will evaluate whether or not the 13 presidential candidates have the necessary qualities requested by the Constitution and discuss the method of ballot in the election.

When journalists asked Parliament Speaker Yıldırım Akbulut's views about the events that took place during application of State Minister Sadi Somuncuoglu for presidency, Akbulut said ''these are not pleasing events.''

Other members of the Parliament Speaker's Office alos said that it was a sad event which shouldn't have taken place.

[15] FOREIGN TRADE INDICES

ANKARA - The imports amount index increased 14.5 percent while exports amount index decreased 7.2 percent in December 1999 when compared with the indices in November 1999.

According to the data of the State Institute of Statistics (DIE), the exports amount index rose 12.9 percent and the imports amount index climbed 19.5 percent in December 1999 when compared with indices in December 1998.

According to the 12-month averages, the exports amount index decreased 3.1 percent and the imports amount index fell 1.2 percent.

The exports prices index decreased 0.8 percent while the imports prices index rose 0.1 percent in December 1999 when compared with indices in November 1999.

The exports prices index dropped 9 percent while imports prices index increased 3.1 percent in December 1999 when compared to indices in December 1998.

According to 12-month averages, the exports prices index reduced 6.8 percent and the imports prices index decreased 5.5 percent.

[16] TURK-IS HOLDS MEETING TO PROTEST HIGH PRICES AND PRIVATIZATION

ANKARA - Members of the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is) who have come to Ankara from nine cities to protest government's privatization implementations and high prices had a meeting at Selim Sirri Tarcan Sports Hall on Wednesday.

Turk-Is Chairman Bayram Meral who spoke at the opening said they were the protectors of the state's unitary structure, Ataturk's principles and the secular and democratic state of law. He said they keep pröoblems of civil servants, retirees, unemployed people and villagers on the agenda.

''Without our democratic and legal fight, the problems of our workers would have grown further,'' Meral said. ''We had a successful struggle. We had flaws and they will be corrected. We have warned the government through democratic ways. We had contributions in forming of this government. We helped to remove the bans. However, we did not get back what we deserved in return of our contributions. Our only target is the continuation of the parliamentary system. The parliamentary system can only be maintained by protecting the unity and independence of the Turkish Republic. However, the majority of our delegates and the government are trying their best to remove the labour unions.''

Meral noted that they will continue to defend the social and the democratic state against privatization. He stressed that the government cannot bring solutions to the country's problems by applying the policies of the IMF and the World Bank.

''The inflation cannot be pulled down despite all efforts and it is turning the life to hell for people who have limited incomes,'' Meral asserted.

''The injustice in income distribution and poverty is spreading everyday. People keep being fired and they have no job security. Our money in the Compulsory Economy Fund is being used illegally. Workers and civil servants are abused. Due to the government's wrong attitude, Turkey is constantly being criticized in the International Labour Organization (ILO). Retirees and civil servants receive a very low income. Our compensations are under threat. We have many problems and they are becoming more. The government should know this very well. In the past, there had been governments which challanged Turk-Is. We are warning the government one more time. Listen to us, not to the IMF. Stop finding solutions to the problems of a handfull of minority and find solutions for our problems,'' Meral said.

Following Meral's speech, other chairmen of various labour unions also spoke at the meeting and demanded the government to find solution to their problems.

[17] STATE MINISTER YALOVA:''WE ARE PLANNING TO USE PUBLIC OFFER METHOD WE USED IN TUPRAS IN THE PRIVATIZATION OF PETKIM AND ERDEMIR''

ANKARA - State Minister Yuksel Yalova who is in charge of privatization said on Wednesday that they were planning to use the same method in Tupras's public offer in the privatizations of Petkim and Erdemir.

During a speech he made at Ankara Industry Chamber's monthly meeting, Yalova said they have a very ambitious privatization programme for 2000 and were expecting to make an income of 7.6 billion U.S. dollars from privatization within this year.

A total of 5,5 billion U.S. dollars will be obtained from telecommunication and energy sectors and another 3,1 billion U.S. dollars will be obtained by Privatization Administration Directorate (OIB), Yalova explained and noted that this cash will be transferred to the Treasury to decrease debts.

Yalova said that they were aiming to privatize forest products, iron and stell, textile, tourism, ship construction and sea transportation sectors before the end of 2000.

In 2001 and 2002, electricity and gas sectors will be privatized and the related law will pass from the Parliament in 2000, Yalova said.

[18] WORLD BANK TO GIVE 400.4 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS LOAN FOR RECONSTRUCTION IN BOLU

BOLU - The World Bank will give a 400 million 461 thousand U.S. dollars loan to Turkey within scope of the Flood Disaster Project (TEFER).

The loan will be used to finance reconstruction of roads and bridges that were damaged by floods.

Sources said that a total of 335 kilometers of road would be surfaced with asphalt and nine bridges would be reconstructed with the loan.

[19] THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS START RETURNING TO THEIR COUNTRIES AFTER ANZAC CEREMONIES

CANAKKALE - Around 10,000 Australian and New Zealander tourists who came to Canakkale to attend the ceremonies held on the 85th anniversary of Anzac Landing started leaving Canakkale to return to their countries on Wednesday.

Grandchildren of Anzacs who spent Tuesday night in entertainment places said they liked Turkey and Turks very much and added that they will come back next year.

The young tourists noted that they found Turkish people very hospitable and they danced with slogans of ''a world without war.'' Turkish people also joined their wish.

[20] FM CEM'S VISIT TO U.S.

ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is expected to meet with the U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou during his planned visit to the U.S.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanlı told a weekly press briefing that Cem is foreseen to leave for the U.S. towards the end of this week to participate in the ceremony that is organized by an institution namely ''East-West Institute'' for Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou and himself.

Atacanlı said that the schedule of Cem is not definite yet, adding Cem can proceed to Washington D.C. after the ceremony in New York and can meet with Albright there.

[21] PRESIDENT DEMIREL OPENS BOSCH FACTORY'S SUPPLEMETARY FACILITIES

BURSA - President Suleyman Demirel inaugurated the supplementary facilities of Bosch Factory in Bursa Industrial Area on Wednesday.

Addressing the ceremony, the President said, ''Turkey will never mislead the people who rely on it,'' inviting the foreign entrepreneurs to invest in democratic and secular Turkey.

President Demirel said the Republic of Turkey has been continuing its determination in growth and development since it was founded, adding that Turkey had entered the 2000s with a great leap forward in industrialization.

Noting that Turkey was now exporting goods to 134 countries, the President said that industrial products constituted 90 percent of Turkey's 30 billion U.S. dollars of exports.

''It is impossible to separate industry from transportation and energy. Besides, international cooperation has caused emergence of new concepts. One of these concepts is globalization. Here, there is a good example of globalization. The Bosch company decided to construct a new facility in January 1999, and it built it with a 330 million U.S. dollars investment,'' the President stated.

Noting that the products of this factory would be sent to the U.S. and Europe, Demirel said, ''this is globalization. A German company constructed a factory in Turkey. Turkish workers are working in this factory and the goods produced in this factory will be used in the U.S.''

''As the President of the Republic of Turkey, I want to thank the managers of the Bosch Factory,'' he added

''Turkey is a country of stability in its region. The investments in Turkey can be considered as the investments made in the other countries in the region. There are business opportunities in this beautiful country. Actually, Turkey will be a full-member of the EU in a short period of time. I am calling everybody to invest in the democratic and secular Turkey. Turkey has never misled the people who relied on it. I am calling everybody to trust the political and economic future. Turkey is a state of law and peace. Turkey repaid even the debts of the Ottoman State on time. Here, the global law is valid, and rights of all people are protected,'' President Demirel stated.

[22] MHP REQUESTS SOMUNCUOGLU TO RESIGN

ANKARA - Sefkat Cetin, the Deputy leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said on Wednesday that they requested State Minister Sadi Somuncuoglu, who applied for presidency, to resign.

Sevket Bulent Yahnici and Sefkat Cetin, the deputy MHP leaders staged a press briefing at MHP headquarters the same day.

Cetin said that Somuncuoglu acted in contrary to the party's rules, adding the MHP authorities requested Somuncuoglu to resign.

[23] NEW ZEALANDER PRIME MINISTER HELEN CLARK SAYS THEY WANT TO SET UP BUSINESS COUNCIL WITH TURKEY

ISTANBUL - New Zealander Prime Minister Helen Clark who is on an official visit to Turkey said on Wednesday that they wanted to set up a business council between New Zealand and Turkey.

Clark attended the meeting at Ciragan Palace organized by the New Zealander Ambassador to Ankara Allen Cook and the Turkish Ambassador to New Zealand Ahmet Ermisoglu.

Following a two-hours meeting, Clark told reporters that they exchanged opinions in order to develop friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries.

New Zealand has the world's most advanced postal management and Turkey is planning to make reforms in its postal services, Clark said. She noted that the two countries were ready to cooperate in this field.

Thousands of students fail the university tests in Turkey which make them to look for education opportunities abroad, Clark said and added that New Zeland can provide them inexpensive and good quality education.

She also told reporters that New Zealand, like Turkey, is also on an earthquake fault line, therefore they have trained experts who can work together with Turkish experts.

She stressed that they were very enthusiastic to set up a business council with Turkey.

Aykut Yucaoglu, Chairman of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), several businessmen and university lecturers were also present at the meeting.

[24] POSTPONEMENT OF MAY 1 ACTIVITIES - SAMSUN GOVERNOR AKSOY: ''MAY 1 ISN'T AN OFFICIAL HOLLIDAY''

SAMSUN - Metin Ilyas Aksoy, the Governor of Samsun said on Wednesday that the demonstration wanted to be held on May 1 was postponed to June 1 due to security reasons.

Governor Aksoy said in a written statement that ''certain labour union representatives reacted to the postponement. Some labour union members who think that May 1 is an official holiday, ask why we didn't postpone April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day. May 1 is not like April 23, because the latter is a national holiday under the laws.''

[25] PARLIAMENT SPEAKER'S OFFICE APPROVES CANDIDACY OF 13 CANDIDATES

ANKARA - Parliament Speaker's Office approved the candidacy of 13 president candidates.

According to the information given by Parliament Secretary General Vahit Erdem, following Tuesday's incidents, the application of State Minister Sadi Somuncuoglu is still valid.

Another candidate, Turhan Imamoglu from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) will be 40 years old on May 1 which is the minimum age defined by the Constitution for president candidates. His candidacy has also been approved since he will be 40 years old on May 16 which is the beginning of the next president's term.

Following are the names of 13 president candidates:

-Mehmet Mail Buyukerman (Democratic Left Party-Eskişehir)

-Agah Oktay Guner (Motherland Party-Balikesir)

-Oguz Aygun (Democratic Left Party-Ankara)

-Nevzat Yalcintas (Virtue Party-İstanbul)

-Dogan Güres (True Path Party-Kilis)

-Yildirim Akbulut (Motherland Party-Ankara)

-Ahmet Necdet Sezer (Chairman of Constitutional Court)

-Rasim Zaimoglu (True Path Party-Giresun)

-Turhan Imamoglu (Democratic Left Party-Kocaeli)

-Ahmet Iyimaya (True Path Party-Amasya)

-Vecdi Gönul (Virtue Party-Kocaeli)

-Sadi Somuncuoglu (Nationalist Movement Party-Aksaray)

-Gonul Saray Alphan (Democratic Left Party-Amasya)

[26] TOURISM MINISTRY STARTS NEW PROMOTION CAMPAING IN FRANCE

PARIS - The Ministry of Tourism started a new campaign to promote Turkey in France.

During the campaign, 2,948 municipality buses in Paris and 1,916 buses in other cities and towns will carry advertisements to promote Turkish tourism. There will be advertisements about Turkey in 583 billboards in Paris and 671 billboards in other cities. A total of 19 magazines and 4 television channels will also advertise Turkey.

The campaign which cost two million U.S. dollars will continue intensively until June.

In 1998, 436,000 French tourists had visited Turkey and this number fell to 270,000 last year.

[27] MHP DEPUTIES' SCUFFLE WITH SOMUNCUOGLU TO STOP HIM HANDING IN HIS NOMINATION - FP DEPUTY GROUP LEADER ARINC: ''THIS IS A TERRORIST ACT''

ANKARA - Bulent Arınc, the Deputy Group Leader of the Virtue Party (FP) said on Wednesday regarding the scuffle between State Minister Somuncuoglu and some MHP deputies who tried to stop Somuncuoglu handing in his nomination on Tuesday night that ''this is not only a simple event which is due to lack of discipline, but rather it is an act of terror.''

Bulent Arınc said that the constitutional right of a deputy wanted to be prevented.

''Those who were involved in the incident should be dismissed from the party,'' he added.

[28] STATE MINISTER YOLOVA: ''THE GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO ACHIEVE TARGETS OF STABILITY PROGRAM AND PRIVATIZATION''

ANKARA - Yuksel Yalova, the Minister of State for Privatization, said on Wednesday that the circles which criticized rationality of 7.6 billion U.S. dollars privatization target for 2000 were now congratulating the results of the recent Petrol Ofisi A.S. (POAS) and Turkish Petroleums A.S. (TUPRAS) privatizations and the sale of GSM phone network licence.

Addressing a meeting at the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO), Yalova said that the government was determined to achieve the targets of the sability program and privatization.

''Since the second half of 1999, the Privatization Administration Board (OIB) has opened tenders for sale of 48 enterprises, assets and facilities. The privatization revenue has reached 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. With the TUPRAS's public offering, this amount has increased to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars. The privatizations of Petkim, Turkish Airlines (THY), Erdemir and Isdemir will be next implementations,'' he said.

Yalova said they were planning to privatize Petkim and Eregli Iron-Steel Factories (Erdemir) through public offering.

[29] TURKEY APPROVES INTERNATIONAL CAR INSURANCE EUROPEAN AGREEMENT

STRASBOURG - Turkey approved the European agreement related with international mandatory car insurance.

Turkey's representative in the Council of Europe, Ambassador Alev Kilic presented the agreement which Turkey approved to Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of Council of Europe.

The countries which approve the agreement require mandatory car insurance in international travels. They are also held liable for the accidents that occur within their borders and they will have to guarantee the rights of the victims.

[30] DSP DEPUTY BUYUKERMAN RESIGNS FROM PARTY

ANKARA - Eskisehir deputy from Democratic Left Party (DSP) presented his application to resign from the party to Parliament Chairman's Office on Wednesday.

Buyukerman who is a president candidate said his resignation from DSP group was a reaction to the decision of five parties to agree on a president candidate who is outside the Parliament.

Following Buyukerman's resignation, the distribution of deputies in the Parliament is as follows:

Democratic Left Party (DSP): 136

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 127

Virtue Party (FP): 104 (including Merve Kavakci whose legal status is not clear)

Motherland Party (ANAP): 87

True Path Party (DYP): 85

Independent: 6

Empty: 5

[31] A.A


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