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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-29

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

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


[01] AA News

29 April 2000 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

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

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

52 TENTS BURNT DOWN TO ASHES
Fire broke out in a tent-city where quake survivors have taken shelter after the massive earthquake which devastated Marmara Region last year, in Degirmendere township of Kocaeli province. The fire which broke out due to a short circuit malfunction, incinerated 52 tents. No casualties were reported in the fire.

SAKIK: ''I FEEL ASHAMED AS I WORKED UNDER ORDER OF OCALAN''
Semdin Sakik, the second leading name of the terrorist organization PKK who was sentenced to capital punishment by Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM), gave a deposition to make use of Repentance Law. Sakik read out his testimony composed of eight pages during the hearing which took place in Diyarbakir DGM No:1, and gave it to court delegation. Sakik, indicating Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, said he adopted a mentally sick person as the leader, and noted that, ''under any condition, I feel ashamed to work under order of Abdullah Ocalan. I also evaluate trying to solve individual or social problems with weapon as failure. I apologize from everybody who received damage from the conflict from which I was responsible for.''

AKBULUT NOT TO WITHDRAW FROM PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY
Yildirim Akbulut, the Speaker of Parliament who has applied for the presidential candidacy, said, ''procedure will continue''. Akbulut who failed to gain votes he expected in the first round of presidential elections, gave the message that he would not witdraw from the presidential candidacy. Meanwhile, Oguz Aygun, a deputy from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) who gained only 4 votes in the first round of the presidential elections, stated that he would not withdraw from the presidential candidacy.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

RESONANT BOMB EXPLODES IN AVCILAR
A resonant bomb went off at about 00:00 p.m. in the third floor of the local administration building in Avcilar district of Istanbul. The resonant bomb which was planted in the toilets of the third floor, caused minor financial damage to the building. No casualties were reported in the blast. Eye-witnesses informed the police on description of the person who was running away following the blast. Meanwhile, two more bombs exploded in Istanbul late on Friday. A bomb which was planted in front of the Journalists' and Writers' Foundation, caused financial damage to building. Another bomb went off in an automobile, causing financial damage.

REASONED VERDICT OF MISSING WEAPONS CASE
Ankara 6th Criminal Court on Friday disclosed the reasoned verdict of the case in which Ibrahim Sahin, former Acting Chairman of Security General Directorate's Operation Department, was sentenced to one year in prison. Sahin had been sentenced for involvement in the case of missing Baretta and Uzi weapons and their silencers which were donated to the Security General Directorate by Hospro Company. The reasoned verdict said an article from the General Directorate of Security said a weapon, having A-92571 register no, one of the 10 Beratta weapons, had been confiscated in Mercedes type car in a traffic accident which occurred in Susurluk township on November 3, 1996. It also said no information can be obtained from other nine weapons.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

MEASURES TAKEN FOR UEFA CUP FINAL IN DENMARK
Security measures have been taken in Dannish capital of Copenhagen prior to the UEFA Cup final which will be played between Galatasaray and Arsenal of Britain. The Turkish supporters will be accommodated in the western side of the city while the British soccer fans will be hosted in the hotels in eastern side.

ONE MORE STEP TAKEN FOR BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT
The last of the framework agreements for the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, was initialed in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. Turkey and Azerbaijan had initialed the ''host-country agreements'' on November 18, 1999. Georgia's host-country agreement was initialed on Friday.

BIGGEST TURKISH SUPERMARKET OF NETHERLANDS
The biggest Turkish supermarket of the Netherlands will be opened in Rotterdam in fall. Fourty Turkish enterpreneurs will open the supermarket titled ''ELELE'' (Hand in Hand). The supermarket will be constructed in an area of 1,600 square metres. The Turkish enterpreneurs became the partners of the supermarket by depositing amounts ranging between 5,000 and 25,000 Dutch Florins. The supermarket which will be opened on G.J. Mulderstraat street of the city, will employ 25 people at the first stage. At least 30 percent of the products which will be sold at the supermarket, will be imported from Turkey. The Turkish people are in the first place in the list of foreign enterpreneurs working in the Netherlands. Ten thousand Turkish people are making investments in the Netherlands. The total number of the foreign enterpreneurs in the Netherlands is around 40,000.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

BUDAK: ''MAY 1 SHOULD BE LEGALIZED''
Chairmen of 15 non-governmental organizations forming the Labour Platform, submitted signatures which were collected to celebrate the May 1 as an official holiday, to Yildirim Akbulut, the Speaker of Parliament. Ridvan Budak, a deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), staged a press conference together with 30 DSP deputies. He said, ''May 1 should be legalized.''

26 HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
Operations against the illegal terrorist Hezbollah organization were re- started yesterday. A total of 26 Hezbollah members were taken into custody in Gaziantep, Elazig, Bitlis and Erzurum provinces.

ASSEN MUNICIPALITY SUSPENDS ARMENIAN MONUMENT
Assen Municipality in the Netherlands suspended the permission for construction of a monument which will symbolize so-called genocide on Armenian people. The Municipality will ask for opinion of the residents for four weeks. Meanwhile, Turkish community living in Assen, suspended its protest demonstration which was scheduled on May 13. Nikolay Romashuk, an Armenian person living in Assen, applied to the Assen Municipality to build a monument which is seven meters in height and four meters in width in the entrance of the city. The municipality first accepted the application, but rejected it later. Romashuk's second application was accepted by the municipality officials. The Assen Municipality allowed Romashuk to build a monument in city graveyard.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

TENSION HITS CABINET
The tension which was formed during the discussions on a candidate for president increased the expectation for a change in the government. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is working on the possibilities of a resignation and confidence vote. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) are in favor of requesting confidence vote. Meanwhile the Parliament Speaker's Office is seeking measures against ''trickery'' in the second round.

SURPRISING DEVELOPMENT
The nine presidential candidates against Sezer will discuss withdrawal from elections in favor of a candidate they will choose among them. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''the candidates of parties have to withdraw, '' while Husamettin Ozkan, the Deputy Prime Minister, continues his visits to opposition leaders to persuade them. The MHP deputies said, ''as the MHP deputies, we stand behind our signatures in the second round.'' Mesut Yilmaz of ANAP said that Sezer would win the elections in the second round but he postponed his contacts till the end of the third round. The FP and DYP announced that they would vote for their candidates in the second round.

YENİ BİNYIL (LIBERAL)

AT FIRST INFLATION AND LATER ZEROS
The Centray Bank's decision to wipe six zeros from the Turkish Lira (TL) banknotes in January 2001 caused discussions among experts. Economists say the operation to chop zeros from the TL banknotes before the irnflation decreased under 10 percent might have objectionable features. Experts say, ''with the most pessimistic estimation, the zeros can be removed at the end of 2001.''

SAKIK CONFESSES HIS SINS
Semdin Sakik, the ''second head'' of the terrorist PKK, appeared at the court yesterday to explain his repentance. Following are some of the confessions of Sakik: ''I want to go through the floor as I had considered a worthless peasant whom I supposed to be a leader and I feel mortified as I worked for a mentally deranged person under every condition. I consider the attempt to solve the problems with weapons as unwariness. I apologize to everybody who were harmed by this struggle. I am both the injured and guilty party of this struggle. The PKK is the most conservative, fanatical, bigoted, reactionary and radical resultant of communism and nationalism. The PKK is more dangerous that all ideologies and beliefs. Abdullah Ocalan ho had told his militants to eat leaves and roots is now complaining about the food served to him in Imrali.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

SECURITY FORCES CONFISCATE 110 KG OF HEROIN
Security forces confiscated 110 kg of heroin having a market value of nearly 5 trillion Turkish Liras, in Caldiran township of eastern Van province. One person was taken into custody in the operation.

PRESIDENT DEMIREL BIDS FAREWELL TO NSC MEMBERS
President Suleyman Demirel who has been acting as the chairman of the National Security Council (NSC) for the last seven years, bade farewell to the NSC members. The NSC members thanked President Demirel. Meanwhile, the NSC monthly meeting focused on the latest developments both in Turkey and abroad.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

DEMIREL'S PLAN
The Democratic Progress Group which began to act upon President Suleyman Demirel's instructions will conclude its works on foundation of a new party by the end of May. The newspaper said that the President who had said, ''I am not up to keep chicken'' during the constitutitonal amendment to allow him to serve a second term gave the start for the foundation of a new party. According to the political plan of the Democratic Progress Group, Demirel will be at first the ''Spiritual Leader'' of the party. The party which will work on unity in central right will become official at the end of May.

VOTES FOR SEZER TO INCREASE
Evaluating the first round of presidential elections, Recai Kutan of the Virtue Party (FP) defended that the votes for Ahmet Necdet Sezer who had won 281 votes in the first round would increase in the second round. ''I think Sezer will win the elections,'' Kutan said. Hasan Akinci, a senior aide of Tansu Ciller of the True Path Party (DYP), claimed that the government had faced nonconfidence for the second time with the presidential elections. Criticizing the accusations on the opposition for the decrease in number of votes for Sezer, Ekinci said, ''you can cause trouble concerning the election results.'' The Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputies who want the elections finalized in the second round in accordance with the agreement said, ''keep your words.''

[03] MORE THAN SIX KILOS OF HASHIS AND 307 ROOTS OF INDIAN HEMP SEIZED IN TARSUS

TARSUS - Gendarme teams seized more than six kilos of hashish and 307 roots of Indian hemp in southern Icel's Tarsus township on Friday.

Acting on a tip off, the gendarme teams raided a farm house in Ozluce village where they detained two men. The suspects confessed that they used drugs and planted Indian hemp.

The hashish and Indian hemp were destroyed by the security forces.

[04] TURKEY-CHAD ECONOMIC RELATIONS

ANKARA - Turkey had a trade deficit of 377 thousand U.S. dollars last year with Chad which is one of the poorest countries of the world and Africa.

According to the information obtained from the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, Turkey imported cotton worth of 383 thousand U.S. dollars from Chad in 1999. Its export to Chad was only 6 thousand U.S. dollars. Turkey sold steel home equipment and glass kitchen utensils to Chad last year. The annual trade volume of Chad is less than 500 million U.S. dollars.

As of 1998, 7,360,000 people lived in Chad which is 1,284,000 square kilometers. Chad's capital is N'Djamena, and French and Arabic is spoken in the country. The gross national product per capital is 225 U.S. dollars which is less than the poverty line. Its total gross national product is 1.3 billion U.S. dollars. Chadians are earning less than a one U.S. dollar a day.

Its annual inflation rate is 6.5 percent and has a foreign borrowing of 900 million U.S. dollars.

Chad mainly imports cotton and livestock and imports machinary, transportation vehicles, petroleum and food products.

Turkey and Chad signed the Technical Cooperation Agreement, and the Trade, Economy and Trade Agreement which was signed last year.

[05] TOBB CHAIRMAN MIRAS SAYS PRIVATE SECTOR IS WHAT KEEPS TURKEY ON ITS FEET

DENIZLI - State Minister Edip Safter Gaydali said on Friday that the 57th government's privatization activities were equal to those that were done in the last 15 years.

''Turkey cannot become a country of industry before completing its privatization. Therefore it cannot compete in the world and Turkey is aware of this,'' Gaydali said when he spoke at the inauguration of Denizli Trade Chamber's service building.

Denizli had great developments in its economy and industry in the recent years, he said and noted that its economy will further develop after the opening of Denizli Cardak Airport.

Noting that there was an earthquake measuring 5.2 on Richter scale last week in Denizli, Gaydali said human error is what causes deaths in earthquakes. ''Mineral Research and Administration Institute (MTA) prepared a report in 1967 stressing that Adapazari cannot become a rural area due to its earthquake risk. Despite that, multi-storey buildings were built there. The same report was prepared after last year's disaster,'' he said.

The Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Fuat Miras who also spoke at the opening said Turkish private sector is what keeps Turkey on its feet. Miras stressed that private sector has considerable contributions to investments, production, employment and export.

Miral also noted that the government's privatization efforts were successful. ''Privatization is very important in the government's stability programme. We started joint activities with non-governmental organizations to pull down the inflation. We will get rid off the inflation which has been a big burden for Turkey for 30 years,'' he said.

[06] LAND FORCES COMMANDER ATES TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA

ANKARA - Land Forces Commander General Atilla Ates will go to South Korea with a military delegation on April 30 as the guest of his South Korean counterpart General Kil Hyoung Bo.

During his visit, Ates will lay a wreath to the South Korean National Cemetery, and the Turkish Armed Forces Memorial for the memory of the Turkish soldiers who landed in Pusan on October 18, 1950.

Ates will have contacts at Korean Special Forces Commandership, Land and Aviation Units, Logistic Commandership, and Land Forces Commandership. He will also visit some production facilities of the defense industry.

Ates will have a meeting with South Korean Chief of General Staff and Defense Minister.

South Korean Defense Minister will decorate Ates with the Korean Armed Forces' Tong-Il Medal of Honour before he returns home on May 5.

[07] THREE IRANIANS CAUGHT WITH MORE THAN ONE KILO OF HASHISH IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - Three Iranian men were caught with more than one kilogram of hashish in Istanbul's Fatih district on Friday.

In a separate operation, police detained four people who were using drugs in the same district.

Investigation continues into both incidents.

[08] FIRE BOMB THROWN AT ATM IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - A fire bomb was hurled at Pamukbank's automated teller machine by unidentified people in Istanbul's Kartal district on Friday night.

Minor material damage occurred in the bomb attack.

[09] DYP LEADER CILLER :''I AM OPTIMISTIC. WE WILL REACH A BETTER POINT IN THE COMING DAYS''

ISTANBUL - Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP) said on Friday that the government partners did not protect their own candidates during the vote.

Noting that the presidential elections was a democratic process, Ciller said the ''whole world saw that they all agreed on someone like Sezer who is a very honest person.''

After Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's proposal was approved by the government, her party wanted to carry the situation to a good point through a compromising attitude, Ciller said.

Although the government had a total number of 351 votes, 70 deputies of the government did not vote for Sezer. ''Sezer is a good candidate. Without his honest character, we would not have been able to get even this result,'' she added.

''But I am optimistic. We will reach a better point in the coming days. If the government protects its candidate, they will overcome the opposition and get the necessary 16 votes. Therefore they won't be a problem. But the government must first stand behind its own candidate,'' Ciller told reporters.

[10] SOFTWARE AG TARGETS TO EXPAND ITS MARKET IN TURKEY

ISTANBUL - Software AG, one of the world's leader software technologies companies, started a new sales campaign in Turkey to expand its share in the Turkish market.

Software AG Turkey Director Ahmet Betil spoke at the panel meeting titled ''Internet Technology Created its Own Economy: E-Conomy'' on Friday. Betil said they are going to offer a new software technology which will constitute the base needed for the new economy concept that is being formed both in the world and in Turkey.

Software AG European Marketing Director Winfried Michael Blasius said the key for success of institutions is to integrate their systems with new technologies. He added that Software AG was one of the companies which can offer these technologies.

[11] BOMB ATTACKS IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - Two bomb attacks took place at Istanbul's Turkish Orthodox Church in Karakoy, and Journalists' and Writers' Foundation in Sisli on Friday night.

Unidentified assailants threw two bombs around 10:45 p.m. at the back door of the Turkish Orthodox Church which is also known as Galata Haghia Church.

One of the bombs exploded causing minor damage to the church's back door as well as a car which was parked closeby. The second bomb was disactivated by bomb experts.

Another blast occurred at the Journalists' and Writers' Foundation which is on the fourth floor of a building on Sisli's Cumhuriyet Avenue. The explosion caused panic among the neigbourhood's residents.

Another bomb which was left at the gate of Kirmizi Church in Balat was also disactivated by bomb experts.

Noone was injured in the incidents. Security teams were mobilized following the incidents and measures were intensified around churches and other places of worship in Istanbul.

[12] MILD EARTHQUAKES JOLT KUTAHYA AND BALIKESIR PROVINCES

ISTANBUL - Mild earthquakes jolted Kutahya and Balikesir provinces on Friday.

Officials at the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that an earthquake measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale, was recorded in Emet township of Kutahya province in Aegean Region at 06:09 p.m. on Friday.

Two mild earthquakes measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale jolted Dursurbey township of Balikesir province in Marmara Region at 10:26 p.m. and 10:38 p.m.

Meanwhile,two aftershocks measuring 2.9 and 3.2 on the Richter scale occurred in Akyazi township of Adapazari province and in Gumusova township of Duzce province at 08:08 p.m on Friday and at 00:00 a.m. on Saturday.

[13] BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT - HOST GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT FOR GEORGIA INITIALED

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan initialed in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. on Friday the host government agreements which set the framework for the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project.

Irakli Menagerisvili, Georgian Foreign Minister; Vilayet Guliyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister; and Mithat Balkan, the Deputy Undersecretary of Economic Affairs Department of Foreign Ministry, initialed the agreement.

Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, and John Wolf, the Special Representative of U.S. President Bill Clinton to Caspian Basin, were in attendance at the signing ceremony held at the U.S. State Department.

Diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent that an important step was taken in putting the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project into practice after host government agreement for Georgia was initialed at the end of negotiations in Washington, D.C.

The same sources added that the host government agreements were expected to be approved by Turkish, Georgian and Azerbaijani parliaments as soon as possible.

After approval of the host government agreements, additional works to finance to the project, are expected to speed up in accordance with the Istanbul Declaration signed at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul on November 18, 1999.

[14] BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT (2) - ALBRIGHT, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: - ''AGREEMENT ON GEORGIAN PART OF PACKAGE IS A MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN EVOLUTION OF EAST-WEST ENERGY CORRIDOR''

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, said on Friday, ''agreement on the Georgian part of the package is a major step forward in evolution of this east-west energy corridor.''

Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan initialed in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. the host government agreements which set the framework for the Baku- Ceyhan oil pipeline project.

Addressing journalists following the signing ceremony held at the U.S. State Department, Albright noted, ''agreement on the Georgian part of the package is a major step forward in evolution of this east-west energy corridor. Our support is designed to encourage regional cooperation, not only among Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, but Kazakhstan and Russia as well. Sustaining this spirit of cooperation will be crucial as we all carry this project to its next critical phase. We will finalize it by working together.''

Albright congratulated delegations and heads of state of relevant countries for the cooperation based on security and ecomonic interests.

Irakli Menagerishvili, Georgian Foreign Minister, thanked those who expended efforts to put the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project into practice, on behalf of President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia.

Menagerishvili stressed that the project became a reality as a result of the U.S. contribution, and added that relevant countries participated in the project for sake of regional development, democracy and cooperation.

He emphasized that Georgia was ready to expend efforts to put the project into practice.

Vilayet Guliyev, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, thanked U.S. President Bill Clinton, President Haydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Suleyman Demirel of Turkey and President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia.

Guliyev said that the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project would make a valuable contribution to peace and stability in the region.

Mithat Balkan, the Deputy Undersecretary of Economic Affairs Department of Foreign Ministry, said, ''heads of state of relevant countries signed the necessary documents at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul on November 18, 1999. There was one link missing and today we have been able to conclude that link. Now we have a package which we believe is commercially viable and very attractive.''

Leon Fuerth, National Security Adviser of U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said that he had held a telephone conversation with Gore, and Gore told him that the project was a milestone.

Fuerth reiterated that the U.S. and European countries attributed great importance to the project.

Fuerth quoted Gore as saying that regional countries had taken stability, development and future of their people under guarantee by taking such a significant step.

The host government agreements are expected to be approved by Turkish, Georgian and Azerbaijani parliaments as soon as possible.

After approval of the host government agreements, additional works to finance to the project, are expected to speed up in accordance.

[15] U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON: - ''WE FULLY SUPPORT CASPIAN ENERGY PROJECTS''

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. President Bill Clinton reiterated on Friday that they fully supported Caspian energy projects after Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan initialed the host government agreements which set the framework for the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C.

Issuing a written statement, President Clinton said, ''the initialing brought the project a critical step closer to fruition.''

President Clinton noted, ''I look forward to the next phase of this effort, when companies from the United States, Western Europe and Russia will work with those of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey to transform legal frameworks into commercial reality.''

In his statement, President Clinton congratulated President Suleyman Demirel, President Haydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia.

[16] MEETING OF IMF EXECUTIVE BOARD - IMF FINDS TURKEY'S THREE-MONTH PROGRAM SUCCESSFUL

WASHINGTON D.C. - International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board found the three-month performance of Turkey's economic program successful.

The Board released the 293 million U.S. dollars second part of the stand-by loan to Ankara.

After evaluating the economic program that Turkey had put into practice at the end of 1999, the IMF Executive Board made a statement praising the successes of the Turkish government.

The statement said, ''the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund today completed the first review under the stand-by credit for Turkey. As a result, Turkey will be able to draw up to the equivalent of SDR 221.7 million (about 293 million U.S. dollars) from the IMF.''

The three-year Stand-By Arrangement was approved on December 22, 1999 in a total amount equivalent to SDR 2,892 million (about 3.8 billion U.S. dollars).

In commenting on the IMF Executive Board discussion, Stanley Fischer, Acting Managing Director and acting Chairman of the Board, said, ''the Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund congratulated the Turkish authorities on the results achieved so far under the disinflation and fiscal adjustment program launched at end-1999. They noted that the program’s policies have quickly gained credibility, as evidenced by the faster-than-anticipated fall in interest rates, the improved access to international capital markets, and the positive response of domestic and foreign investors to the privatization program.''

Fischer said, ''progress in strengthening public finances has been impressive. The 1999 fiscal target was met by a wide margin, and developments in early 2000 are fully in line with the strong improvement in the fiscal primary surplus envisaged for 2000. Moreover, the sharp decline in interest rates has lessened the burden of public debt service and improved budgetary prospects further. However, while this decline provides a useful cushion to meet eventualities, economic policies must remain firmly on track.''

''Inflation, while still high relative to the annual inflation target-- owing partly to one-off factors--has declined steadily since December. Thus, the 2000 inflation target remains feasible as long as steadfast implementation of the program continues. In this respect, the authorities’ commitment to take additional measures, if needed, is welcome. A key contribution to the further fall in inflation will continue to come from the monetary and exchange rate framework introduced in early 2000. The preannounced exchange rate path, coupled with the currency board-style rules on domestic base money creation, has so far been skillfully managed, '' Fischer said.

''Further progress has been made in the structural reform area since the approval of the stand-by arrangement. The rapid progress in implementing the privatization program bodes well for the attainment of the 2000 privatization target. The appointment of the Board of the Bank Supervision and Regulation Agency is an important initial step in strengthening further the bank supervision system. Looking ahead, the structural component of the program should be further strengthened by the authorities’ commitments under the loans that are being discussed with the World Bank,'' Fischer stated.

[17] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM TO BE PRESENTED WITH ''STATESMAN OF YEAR'' AWARD

ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will leave for New York, the U.S., on April 30 to receive the ''Statesman of the Year'' award of the ''East-West Institute''.

The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Cem would be presented with the award on May 2 during a seminar on ''Through a United Europe'' in which statesmen of several countries, intellectuals and business circles would participate.

Olympia Dukakis, an Oscar-winner American actress whose father was born in Turkey and mother was born in Greece, is expected to present the ceremony in which also Foreign Minister George Papandreou of Greece will be decorated with the same award.

Foreign Minister Cem will make a speech on ''New Geopolitics of Southeastern Europe'' during the seminar which will be presided by Marrti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland.

Also U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, EU Joint Foreign Policy and Security Chief Javier Solana and Ukranian Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk will address the seminar.

Cem is expected to also meet with Albright in New York.

The ''Statesman of the Year'' award was earlier given to Eduard Shevardnadze, former Foreign Minister of Soviet Union and President of Georgia; Javier Perez de Cuellar, the former Secretary General of the U.N.; George Bush, the former U.S. President, and Haclav Havel, the President of Czech Republic.

[18] JEWISH PEOPLE LIVING IN THE U.S.: - ''ISRAELI EDUCATION MINISTER SARID WHO WANTS SO-CALLED GENOCIDE ON ARMENIANS STUDIED IN SCHOOLS, SHOULD BE DISMISSED''

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Jewish people living in the U.S. condemned on Friday Yossi Sarid, Israeli Education Minister, who wanted so-called genocide on Armenians studied in schools in spite of close relations between Turkey and Israel.

Releasing a statement, the Association of American Jewish Friends of Turkey (AAJFT) said that Sarid who was defined as an irresponsible person, should be dismissed.

The statement stressed that all of Moslem, Christian and Jewish people suffered grave pains in an atmosphere of war in the Eastern Anatolia Region in the last period of Ottoman Empire.

It said, ''we all know that Armenian community living in the region, revolted to extend support to the Russian army which was occupying the Ottoman territories in the Caucasus Front. And they suffered grave pains together with the Moslem and Jewish people in the region as a result of their betrayal.''

Stressing that the concept of genocide was being used to describe massacre of six million Jews under an influenced bureaucratic system and a planned mechanism during the Nazi Germany, the statement noted that the situation in Eastern Anatolia Region had no connection with the genocide.

The statement added, ''a person who is appointed as Israeli Education Minister, should be well-educated to be aware of the facts before describing a civil war as a genocide. We call on all of our friends to send letters and messages to David Ivry, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and express their concerns over presence of an irresponsible person such as Sarid in Israel government headed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak.''

Sarid in a meeting held in Jerusalem to mark so-called genocide on Armenians, said, ''genocide on Armenians should be given place in history books at schools. Genocide on Armenians should take place in genocide on Jews part of the history books. Such a tragic period of the history should be given place in history books. We owe it. On this day, we, the Jews, the victims of the Holocaust, test our attitude to the pains of others.''

[19] PROFILE OF EXPORTS FROM GAP REGION - IN FIRST THREE MONTHS, 36.8 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF TEXTILES EXPORTED

GAZIANTEP - The exports of textiles from the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first three months of 2000 increased 22.8 percent to 36 million 823 thousand U.S. dollars.

In the same period last year, the region exported 29 million 984 thousand U.S. dollars of textiles.

Officials at the Southeastern Anatolia Exporters' Union, told the A.A correspondent on Saturday that in the first three months of the year, they exported 16 million 538 thousand U.S. dollars in carpets, 3 million 824 thousand U.S. dollars in cotton products, 2 million 386 thousand U.S. dollars in synthetic products, 11 million 284 thousand U.S. dollars in knitting products, 251 thousand U.S. dollars in towels and 2 million 540 thousand U.S. dollars in plastic sacks.

The majority of the goods were exported to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Uzbekistan, Italy, Belgium, Greece, France, Algeria, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, the U.S., Germany, Portugal, Iraq, Lebanon, Austria, Jordan and Sweden.

[20] PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE YALCINTAS: ''AGREEMENT OF THE FIVE LEADERS IS AN INJUSTICE AGAINST OTHER CANDIDATES''

ANKARA - Nevzat Yalcintas, a presidential candidate who won 61 votes in first round, said on Saturday that the agreement of the government and opposition leaders on nomination of Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Necdet Sezer was an injustice against the other candidates.

Staging a press conference at the Virtue Party (FP) Headquarters in Ankara, Yalcintas said that the way followed in election of the new president had no connection with democracy and equality.

''This initiative of the government and opposition leaders is an unfairness which also brings inequality. Each of the candidate has faced a candidate who is backed by all leaders. This nomination by the leaders by ignoring other candidates is another disrespectfulness to the Parliament,'' he stated.

''However, giving priority to the presidential candidates who are members of parliament is more suitable to the principles of the Constitution,'' he said.

Responding to a question, Yalcintas said that consensus of the five leaders had provided a psychological directing which also influenced the media.

Yalcintas added that he was neither FP's nor another political party's nominee.

[21] VESSEL TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT TENDER FINALIZED - AMERICAN LOCKHEED MARTIN OVERSEAS WINS TENDER

ANKARA - American Lockheed Martin Overseas Co. won the tender for ''Turkish Straits Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS)'' with a 20.4 million U.S. dollars bid price.

According to the Maritime Undersecretariat's announcement published in the Official Gazette on Saturday, Lockheed Martin Overseas Co won the tender in return for 20 million 407 thousand U.S. dollars.

The bids for the international tender were submitted on April 12, 1999. Five companies presented theid bids but four of them were considered satisfactory.

Within the scope VTMIS project, a total of eight towers will be built in Istanbul Strait, Yomburnu, Garipce, Rumeli Kavagi, Beykoz Umuryeri, Kanlica, Kandilli, Uskudar and Ahirkapi.

The control center of these towers will be in Istinye.

Within the scope of the project, five other towers will be constructed in Canakkale Straits.

[22] YAO, CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY, VISITS A.A

ANKARA - Yao Kuangyi, the Chinese Ambassador to Ankara, said on Friday that Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to Turkey was the first step of a comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Yao visited the A.A and met with Mehmet Guler, the President General Director and Chairman of Executive Board of A.A; Ismail Bezgin, the Deputy Director General; and Ceyhun Erguven, the Responsible Editor in Chief of Foreign News Desk of A.A.

Recalling that the then Chinese President had paid an official visit to Turkey in 1984, Yao stressed, ''but President Jiang's visit to Turkey was much more important. Because Jiang paid an official visit to Turkey as the President of People's Republic of China, the Secretary General of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and as the Chairman of Chinese Central Military Committee.''

''The most important consequence of President Jiang's visit to Turkey was that two heads of state had put forward their political determination to further improve friendly relations between the two countries. Turkey and the People's Republic of China will set up closer relations within framework of principles of mutual respect, security, equality and joint development,'' Yao emphasized.

Describing Turkey and the People's Republic of China as two biggest states in the eastern and western ends of Asia, Yao noted that consequences of President Jiang's visit to Turkey were collected under three main titles.

Recalling that President Jiang had signed two important documents in the field of economy including the energy cooperation and Joint Economic Commission meeting's protocol, Yao noted that they aimed at increasing the trade volume between the two countries which is currently about 800 million U.S. dollars.

Yao said, ''there is a serious imbalance against Turkey in the trade volume with China. China is ready to take all necessary measures to decrease it.''

Pointing out that a Chinese businessmen delegation had come to Turkey together with President Jiang, Yao noted that the Chinese businessmen had purchased goods from Turkey worth of 15 million U.S. dollars at the first stage.

Recalling that Turkey and the People's Republic of China had agreed to improve cooperation in the fields of railways and energy, Yao stressed that they were ready to assist Turkey in construction of hydroelectric power plants.

He said that a Chinese technical delegation would come to Turkey in May to this end.

Yao said that the improvement of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of culture and sports was another consequence of President Jiang's visit to Turkey.

Referring the geographical distance between Turkey and the People's Republic of China, Yao underlined importance of press' role in improvement of relations. He stressed that cooperation between Turkish and Chinese press should be further developed.

[23] EXPORTS OF VESSELS FROM EREGLI

EREGLI - State Minister Hasan Gemici said on Saturday that the vessel industry was the locomotive of many sectors.

Addressing a ceremony held in Eregli township of Zonguldak province in Black Sea region on the occasion of launching a freighter ''M/V Jumbo Vision'', Gemici said he was proud of the Turkish engineers and workers who constructed the ship that would be exported to the Netherlands.

''The vessel industry is the locomotive of many other sectors especially the steel-iron sector. We have always supported the vessel industry and we will continue to do so,'' the Minister of State said.

Madenci Vessel Industry Limited Company's Shipyard Director Yusuf Ozdemir said they had exported 14 vessels since 1980.

''The M/V Jumbo Vision is a 7,800 dwt freighter which is 110 meters in length, 20.50 meters in width and 13.50 meters in depth. She has a 16 knots cruising speed. The construction of the vessel started almost one year ago. Two 400-ton cranes will be mounted on the vessel in the Netherlands,'' the Director said.

[24] CATARACT SURGERIES BROADCAST LIVE VIA SATELLITE

ISTANBUL - The first live broadcast of a surgery in Turkey was made on Saturday.

The ''Phaco-Satellite 2000'' organization which was headed by Prof. Dr. Omer Faruk Yilmaz, the Head Doctor of the Beyoglu Hospital in Istanbul, started at 08:30 a.m. in the operationg room of the hospital.

In this live broadcast via satellite, a total of 12 patients underwent cataract surgery, and almost two thousand doctors in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, and in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Baku, Almaty and Tbilisi followed the surgeries.

[25] MURDER OF BRITISH SOCCER FANS - BEYOGLU REPUBLICAN CHIEF PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE FILES A SUIT AGAINST TWO SUSPECTS

ISTANBUL - The Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office in Beyoglu district of Istanbul filed a suit on Friday against two suspects, Yilmaz Tutas and Zafer Yildirim, who have surrendered to security forces regarding killings of two British hooligans in Taksim Square prior to the UEFA Cup semi-final match between Galatasaray and Leeds United AFC.

The supplementary indictment prepared by the Beyoglu Chief Prosecutor's Office, sought 30 years imprisonment to accused Yilmaz Tutas with charges of ''committing murder intentionally'' and imprisonment terms from one-and- a-half-year up to three-year-and-nine-month to accused Zafer Yildirim with charges of ''attacking the deads or injured in a fight''.

Street clashes erupted between supporters of Galatasaray and British hooligans in Taksim Square in Istanbul on April 5 prior to the UEFA Cup semi-final match between Galatasaray and Leeds United AFC. Christopher John Loftus and Kevin Speight were stabbed to death in the clashes.

A total of five detainees out of 18 including Ozkan Balci, Suleyman Aydin, Kazim Dalga, Suleyman Gokhan Guven and Ali Umit Demir, were arrested and sent to prison while 13 others were released for trial without arrest.

[26] OPERATIONS AGAINST HISTORICAL WORK SMUGGLING - SECURITY FORCES CONFISCATE 29 WORKS

ISTANBUL - Security forces confiscated on Saturday 29 pieces of historical works belonged to the 17th and 18th centuries, in an operation launched in Kucukcekmece district of Istanbul.

Acting on a tip-off, security forces raided a house belonged to Ali Denizkusu.

They confiscated 29 pieces of historical works in the operation.

Officials told the A.A correspondent that the market value of the works was nearly one trillion Turkish Liras.

[27] TRAFFIC ACCIDENT IN CENTRAL CORUM PROVINCE - SEVEN PEOPLE KILLED

CORUM - A lorry collided with a minibus on Saturday in central Corum province, killing 7 people and injuring one person.

Officials told the A.A correspondent that the accident occurred at about 03:00 p.m.

The injured person who is in critical condition, was rushed to the Corum State Hospital for medical treatment.

[28] MILD EARTHQUAKE JOLTS VAN PROVINCE

VAN - A mild earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Van province at 00:26 p.m. on Saturday.

Officials at Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that the earthquake was centered on Van.

The earthquake was sent residents out to the streets in panic.

No casualties or financial damages were reported in the earthquake.

[29] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - CANDIDATE ZAIMOGLU: ''THE NEW PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ELECTED FROM THE PARLIAMENT'' - CANDIDATE YALCINTAS: ''I WISH THE PRESIDENT HAD BEEN ELECTED BY PEOPLE''

ANKARA - Rasim Zaimoglu, a deputy from the True Path Party (DYP) and a presidential candidate, and Nevzat Yalcintas, a deputy from the Virtue Party (FP) and a presidential candidate, staged a joint press conference on Saturday.

Zaimoglu said that a Turkish citizen would be elected as the new president but this person should be a member of parliament and elected democratically.

Zaimoglu recalled that nine deputies and Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Necdet Sezer had applied for presidential candidate, adding that he did not know Sezer who was currently serving as the Chairman of an exalted authority.

Rasim Zaimoglu said the person who would be the president of Turkey which would be one of the most advanced and developed countries in the 21st century had to fulfil the duties of presidency successfully.

Nevzat Yalcintas, in his part, said, ''since the President had to be a person outside the Parliament, than why didn't we leave this issue to the people? It would have been better if the president was elected by the people.''

Yalcintas said psychological directing would harm the spirit of democracy.

Yalcintas added that the presidential elections did not start on equal platform as the government and opposition leaders had agreed on a consensus candidate.

[30] EASTER FESTIVAL TO BE CELEBRATED IN MARDIN

MARDIN - Celebrations will take place in southeastern Mardin province on Sunday to mark the Easter Festival, one of the most important religious holidays of the Christian world.

A religious ceremony will be performed by Gabriel Akyuz, the Priest of Kirklar Church.

Nearly 200 members of the Christian society are expected to attend the ceremony.

[31] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - YILMAZ, LEADER OF ANAP: - ''I THINK THAT WITHDRAWAL OF ALL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES WOULD BE SMART. THEY HAVE NO CHANCE TO WIN AGAINST SEZER''

ANKARA - Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of Motherland Party (ANAP) said on Saturday, ''the next president of Turkey will be elected in the second round or in the third round at the latest. If we succeed in electing president in the second round, the parliament's prestige will increase.'' When asked, ''Will you ask Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut and ANAP Deputy Agah Oktay Guner to withdraw from the presidential candidacy?'' Yilmaz said, ''I think that withdrawal of all candidates would be smart. Because they have no chance to win against Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Necdet Sezer. If we succeed in electing the next president in the second round, the parliament's prestige will increase. Candidates are responsible of the most series duty to this end. I hope that the next president of Turkey would be elected in the second round or in the third round at the latest.''

When asked whether or not the government would resign, Yilmaz told reporters, ''we have not discussed the issue yet. We are planning to take it up after the presidential elections.''

[32] IKV DELEGATION'S CONTACTS IN BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS - Economic Development Foundation (IKV) Chairman Gezgin Eris said on Saturday that the European Union (EU) displayed a serious approach toward the process of Turkey's candidacy.

Speaking to reporters after wrapping up his contacts in Brussels, Eris said, ''the EU units are working on Turkey's membership more seriously than we expected.''

Noting that Turkey was exposed to equal approach as the other candidates and progress was recorded in ways to solve problems about financial cooperation, Eris stressed that the EU faced serious problems in enlargement.

''They are encountering difficulties in enlargement due to some factors stemming from themselves and candidates. They have difficulties in financial issues. Some EU members are concerned about unemployment. They think unemployment would increase. The real problems come on the scene as the negotiations advance. There are candidates who demand unrealistic concessions. The Inter-Governmental Conference is not continuing without difficulty. And this may lead to suspense of necessary reforms and disruption of the process,'' he said.

Stating that the importance of relations between Turkey and Greece was stressed during their contacts, Eris said, ''in the contacts, it was stated that Cyprus issue was not a vital issue as long as there won't be any deviation in the current process. They have very positive opinions about the Turkish economy. They expressed their belief in the success of the economic stability program of the Turkish government.''

Noting that the document for Turkey's association partnership was confirmed to be issued in October 2000, Eris said, ''there is a need for understanding of undertaking and all-out seriousness.''

The IKV delegation will leave Belgium later in the day.

[33] STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''REMOVAL OF ZEROS FROM TL BANKNOTES IS NOT ON THE AGENDA OF THE GOVERNMENT''

ESKISEHIR - State Minister Recep Onal said on Saturday that removal of zeros from the Turkish Lira (TL) banknotes was not on the agenda of the government.

State Minister Onal who arrived in central Eskisehir province to attend a conference, visited Eskisehir Governor Sami Sonmez.

Speaking to reporters during the meeting, Onal said, ''we don't have an issue to wipe zeros from the TL banknotes on our agenda. This is the opinion of the Central Bank. We don't think to chop zeros till the inflation rate decreases under ten percent. Preparations can be made, of course.''

Responding to a question about the IMF Board meeting, Onal said, ''there were 24 members in attendance at the meeting. Seventeen of them talked about our program. Everybody shows great interest in our program. They talked about the achievements of this program. A source of 305 million U.S. dollars will come to Turkey and it will be added into the Central Bank's stock. Because, the money given by the IMF can be used in balance of payments, but our credibility increases when it is added into foreign exchange reserves.''

Noting that four billion U.S. dollars would be extended to Turkey by the IMF till the end of the program, Onal said, ''since our borrowing repayment capacity is increased, we can obtain loans from foreign financial markets with suitable conditions. The statements of the IMF will contribute to Turkey's rating. We are determined to achieve our targets in the program.''

[34] KUTAN, LEADER OF FP: - ''NEW PRESIDENT WILL BE ELECTED IN THE SECOND ROUND OR IN THE THIRD ROUND THE LATEST''

KONYA - Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), said on Saturday, ''Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Necdet Sezer who won 281 votes in the first round of presidential elections, will be elected as the next president of Turkey in the second round or in the third round at the latest.''

Kutan came together with local chairmen of his party in central Konya province prior to FP's Congress on May 14.

Addressing the meeting, ''the presidential elections issue has been high on the agenda of Turkey for months. Constitutional Court Chairman Ahmet Necdet Sezer who won 281 votes in the first round of presidential elections, will be elected as the next president of Turkey in the second round or in the third round at the latest.''

Recalling that Sezer had gained sympathy of the Turkish people during his speech at the anniversary of the Constitutional Court, Kutan said, ''on our view, Turkey's main issue is democratization, introduction of a democratic constitution, and institutionalization of human rights and basic freedoms. Sezer has won general approval with his speeches on state of law and democratization. We did not want the presidential elections turn into a crisis. Actually, we, as the FP, have nothing to do. Because the ruling political parties have 350 seats in the parliament. Therefore, it would be not useful to put forward different alternatives. We have decided to support nomination of Sezer who won our approval.''

Referring to presidential candidacy of Sadi Somuncuoglu, the State Minister, Kutan noted, ''Somuncuoglu is my friend. I never told him that we would support his candidacy. There is no dialogue between the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the FP. Therefore, FP's support to Somuncuoglu's candidacy is out of question. Several news reports claimed that FP members voted for Somuncuoglu. But we think that most of Somuncuoglu's 58 votes were casted by MHP deputies as a reaction to recent incidents.''

[35] A.A


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