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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-04-30

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

30 April 2000 sunday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on April 30, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

IMF: ''WE CONGRATULATE TURKEY''
International Monetary Fund (IMF) 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.

ONAL:''ZEROS FROM TL BANKNOTES CANNOT BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY''
State Minister Recep Onal said that removal of zeros from the Turkish Lira (TL) banknotes was not on the agenda of the government. 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.''

YILMAZ:''WITHDRAWAL OF ALL CANDIDATES WOULD BE SMART''
Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of Motherland Party (ANAP) said, ''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.'' 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 serious 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.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

MILD EARTHQUAKE JOLTS VAN PROVINCE
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 said 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.

ZAIMOGLU: ''NEW PRESIDENT SHOULD BE ELECTED FROM THE PARLIAMENT''
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. 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. 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.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

A LORRY COLLIDES WITH A MINIBUS, KILLING SEVEN PEOPLE
A lorry collided with a minibus on Samsun-Corum Highway, killing 7 people and injuring one person. The injured person who is in critical condition, was rushed to the Corum State Hospital for medical treatment.

PROMINENT BUSINESSMAN ATTEMPTS SUICIDE
Sabri Dogan, a prominent businessmen, attempted suicide by jumping out of a hotel room at 11th floor after he failed to repay his debts. He was rushed to hospital for medical treatment. Doctors said that he was still in critical condition.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

FULL SUPPORT FROM U.S. TO BAKU CEYHAN
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.

PEACE IN AEGEAN BRINGS FORTH STATESMAN OF YEAR AWARD
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''. Cem will 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. Foreign Minister George Papandreou of Greece will be decorated with the same award. Cem is expected to come together with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

IMF GIVES A+ TO TURKEY'S REPORT CARD
The IMF Board released 293 million U.S. dollars second part of the by-pass loan. Acting Managing Director and Acting Chairman of IMF Board Stanley Fischer congratulated the government, adding that loan support was obligatory for structural development. Noting that borrowing problem decreased and hopes for budgetary targets increased, Fischer said that the inflation was decreasing but determination had to continue to achieve targets for 2000, adding that supplementary measures might become necessary. Stating that success in monetary and foreign exchange currency would contribute to decrease in inflation, Fischer said the structuray dimension of the program should be supported by new loans. The government is currently holding talks with the World Bonk on a new loan.

CEM AND HIS FRIEND TO LEAVE FOR U.S. TO RECEIVE THEIR AWARDS
The Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers will leave for the U.S. to receive the ''Statesman of the Year'' award. Olympia Dukakis, an Oscar-winner actress whose father was born in Turkey and mother was born in Greece, will presenet the award ceremony.

YENİ BİNYIL (LIBERAL)

IKV DELEGATION'S CONTACTS IN BRUSSELS
Economic Development Foundation (IKV) Chairman Meral Gezgin Eris said 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.

PRESIDENT MEJDANI DUE IN TURKEY
President Rexhep Mejdani of Albania will come to Ankara later today as the official guest of President Suleyman Demirel. President Mejdani's contacts in Ankara are expected to focus on the latest developments in Kosovo.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

METICULOUS WARNING FROM U.S.
The United States is determined in realization of the giant Baku-Ceyhan main oil pipeline project. U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright said that the level reached with the initialing of the ''Host-Government Agreement for Georgia''. Following the ratification of the package agreements by the Parliaments of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, financing and construction of the project will accelerate. Meanwhile, U.S. President Bill Clinton said they extended full-support to Baku-Ceyhan and all other Caspian basin energy projects.

IMF APPROVAL TO ECONOMY
The IMF Board found the three-month performance of the government's economic program successful. The Board approved extension of the stand-by deal's second part worth 293 million U.S. dollars to Ankara.

THEY AGAIN GET OUT OF CONTROL
The German Police did not intervene in the Armenian militants who staged a demonstration after marching to the Turkish Consulate General. The journalists of the Milliyet and Turkiye newspapers were harassed during the demonstration. The German Police insisted on not intervening in almost 200 Armenians who tried to take the cameras of journalists.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

PINK ATMOSPHERE IN ECONOMY
Optimistic winds are blowing over the economy as a result of decrease in inflation, success in privatization and positive ratings confirmed to Turkey by rating organizations. The continuation of political stability inspires hope for the markets. This optimistic atmosphere sets exports and imports into action. There were considerable amounts of decrease in interest rates. The optimistic atmosphere in the economy has been consolidated by the realization of the greatests privatizations. The Petrol Ofisi, Tupras and GSM tenders doped the economy. The government increased its privatization target from 7.5 to 10 billion U.S. dollars.

WE WON'T WITHDRAW
Nevzat Yalcintas, a deputy from the Virtue Party (FP) and a presidential candidate, said, ''I know that 281 votes for Ahmet Necdet Sezer were hormonic. Bulent Ecevit has found a seedling, some other leaders are fertilizing while some other leaders are watering the seedling. They are expecting the seedling to bear fruit after they expose it to solarium.'' Sadi Somuncuoglu, a deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and a presidential candidate who won 58 votes in the first round, said, ''I won't give up struggling under any kind of situation and condition.'' Resim Zaimoglu, a deputy from the True Path Party (DYP) and a presidential candidate, said, ''I won't withdraw.'' Meanwhile, the deputies are planning to bring a powerful candidate against Sezer in the fourth round as a reaction to the leaders of MHP, Motherland Party (ANAP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP).

[03] MILD EARTHQUAKES OCCUR IN MARMARA SEA, BURSA AND BLACK SEA

ISTANBUL - Mild earthquakes occurred in the Marmara Sea, Bursa province and the Black Sea on Sunday.

Officials at Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that an earthquake measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Marmara Sea at 03:51 a.m.

A 2.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Bursa province in Marmara Region at 06:42 a.m. while a mild earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred in the Black Sea at 06:44 a.m.

Meanwhile, three aftershocks ranging between 2.6 and 3.2 on the Richter scale were recorded in Gumusova township of Duzce province, Hendek township of Adapazari province and in Yalova province between 08:14 p.m. on Saturday and 00:00 a.m. on Sunday.

[04] GEORGIAN COASTGUARD OFFICIALS SEIZE TWO TURKISH FISHING BOATS

TBILISI - Georgian costguard officials seized on Saturday two Turkish fishing boats offshore Poti Port with the pretext of violating territorial waters.

Releasing a statement, Georgian Border Forces Commendership stated that Georgian coastguard officials had seized two Turkish fishing boats with the pretext of violating territorial waters.

The statement noted that Turkish officials were informed on the issue.

[05] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - SECOND ROUND OF ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON MAY 1

ANKARA - The second round of presidential elections will be held on Monday.

According to the schedule for vote determined by the Parliamentary

Advisory Committee, the General Assembly will convene at 03:00 p.m. on Monday for the second round of vote.

The Constitution foresees that two-thirds (367 votes) of majority in 550- seat Parliament is required in the initial two rounds of vote.

If one of ten presidential candidates cannot reach 367 votes in the second round of elections, the third round of vote will be held on May 5.

The absolute majority (276) of the total number of deputies is required in the third round.

The distribution of votes among candidates in the first round of elections is as follows:

Ahmet Necdet Sezer: 281

Nevzat Yalcintas : 61

Sadi Somuncuoglu : 58

Yildirim Akbulut : 56

Dogan Gures : 35

Ahmet Iyimaya : 10

Rasim Zaimoglu : 7

Agah Oktay Guner : 5

Oguz Aygun : 4

Mail Buyukerman : 3

[06] PRESIDENT DEBY OF CHAD DEPARTS FROM TURKEY

ISTANBUL - President Idris Deby of Chad departed from Turkey on Sunday morning after wrapping up his official contacts.

President Deby had come to Turkey on Thursday.

His contacts in Turkey had focused on political, economic, commercial and cultural relations between Turkey and Chad.

[07] BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT - ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES MINISTRY: ''INITIALING OF HOST- GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN GEORGIAN AND AZERBAIJANI WORKING GROUPS IS PLEASING''

ANKARA - The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said on Saturday that the inter-governmental agreement for the Baku-Ceyhan main oil pipeline project would be submitted to the Parliaments of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia in coming days.

Issuing a statement, the Ministry evaluated initialing of the host- government agreement for Georgia.

The statement stressed that the level reached in the project was pleasing concerning the acceleration of implementation of the project.

Recalling that the Azerbaijani and Georgian working groups held talks on Host-Government Agreement for Georgia in Ankara, Baku, Istanbul, Tbilisi and Washington D.C. since the beginning of 2000, the statement said the problems about transit-fee, security and liabilities were solved.

Sources said also the Turkish and U.S. officials attended the ceremony held on the occasion of initialing of the agreement.

The statement recalled that every phase of the talks between the Azerbaijani and Georgian working groups had been followed by a delegation composed of Energy and Natural Resources and Foreign Ministries officials.

[08] JUSTICE MINISTER TURK LEAVES FOR MONGOLIA

ISTANBUL - Hikmet Sami Turk, the Justice Minister, left on Saturday for Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul prior to his departure, Turk said, ''historical and friendly relations between Turkey and Mongolia shorten the geographical distance between the two countries.''

Recalling that Mongolia had begun to implement free market economy, Turk told reporters, ''mutual visits between Turkey and Mongolia will increase in coming months within framework of improvement of economic and cultural relations. We have already felt the absence of a bilateral agreement which will enable the judicial authorities of the two countries to cooperate to solve legal, commercial and penal disputes that could stem from intensified relations. During my visit to Mongolia, we will sign updated version of Judicial Cooperation Agreement between Turkey and Mongolia on Legal, Commercial and Penal Issues.''

Turk noted that they also plan to sign a cooperation protocol between the Turkish and Mongolian Justice Ministries.

He added, ''I hope my visit to Mongolia will revive friendly relations between the two countries.''

[09] SPORTS - WEIGHT-LIFTING - EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS - TURKEY TAKES ONE MORE SILVER AND TWO MORE BRONZE MEDALS

SOFIA - Bunyamin Sudas of Turkey took silver medal in men's 94-kg for snatch on Saturday at the 79th European Weight-Lifting Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In this category's snatch event, Szyman Kolecki of Poland won the gold medal and Alan Tsagaev of Bulgaria took the bronze medal.

In the same category, Bunyamin Sudas later took two bronze medals for the clean and jerk and total.

Poland's Kolecki took two gold medals for clean and jerk and total while the silver medals for clean and jerk and total went to Vadim Vagarciuc of Moldova.

Turkey has won three gold, two silver and six bronze medals in the first five days of the championships.

[10] 19TH INTERNATIONAL ISTANBUL FILM FESTIVAL ENDS

ISTANBUL - The 19th International Istanbul Film Festival organized by the Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation, ended on Saturday with the award ceremony.

''May Boredom'' of Nuri Bilge Ceylan was awarded with the International Golden Tulip Award.

The other award winners are as follows:

Best Turkish Film : ''May Boredom'' of Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Director : Zeki Demirkubuz with ''Third Page''

Best Actor : Guven Kirac with ''Lady Salkim's Grains''

Best Actress : Basak Koklukaya with ''Third Page''

Jury Special Award: ''Last Dance'' of Shaji Karun of India

Life-Long Success Award: Theo Angelopoulos of Greece

Huseyin Akbulut, the Deputy Undersecretary of Culture Ministry, and a number of guests were in attendance at the award ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony, ''Mozart in Turkey'' of Mick Csaky and Elijah Moshinsky was shown.

[11] WORLD TOURISM AND TRAVEL COUNCIL: - ''TOURISM AND TRAVEL VOLUME IN TURKEY WILL INCREASE UP TO 73.4 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN 2010''

ISTANBUL - Tourism will continue to be one of the indispensable sectors of economy in Turkey in 2000s.

According to a survey carried out by the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), tourism's contribution to Turkish economy would increase annually by 5.8 percent.

Tourism and travel volume in Turkey will increase up to 73.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Meanwhile, tourism is expected to meet 13.2 percent of GNP with 61.6 billion U.S. dollars, and meet 17.8 percent of exports with 26.6 billion U.S. dollars, and 11.9 percent of total tax revenues with 12.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

Tourism is expected to create job opportunities to 1.5 million people in this process.

The survey stressed that tourism's share in personal expenses would increase to 10.1 percent, and the private sector's investments in tourism would increase to 13.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

[12] A 100-MEMBER BUSINESSMEN DELEGATION DUE TO SYRIA

ANKARA - A 100-member businessmen delegation will pay a visit to Syria between May 7-11 to hold talks with their Syrian colleagues with the aim of increasing trade volume between Turkey and Syria.

Issuing a written statement, the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said on Sunday that the businessmen delegation headed by State Minister Recep Onal, would attend the Turkey-Syria Joint Economic Commission meeting in Syrian capital of Damascus.

Kursad Tuzmen, the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, stressed that they attributed great importance to increase trade with neighbouring countries.

Tuzmen said, ''our neighbours had an important share in Turkey's export in 1980s, but their share has decreased gradually. We, as the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, have decided to prioritize export to neighbouring countries in coming months. To this end we paid visits to Iraq and Greece together with businessmen. Our visits achieved serious success. Now we are going to Syria. We believe that we would get positive results in our contacts with Syrian businessmen. We aim at increasing trade with neighbouring countries.''

Meanwhile, ''Turkish Export Products Fair'' will be organized by TUYAP during the delegation's visit to Syria.

[13] PANEL DISCUSSION ON ''TURKEY IN EU PROCESS''

ANKARA - The relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) after Turkey's candidacy, was discussed in a panel discussion on ''Turkey in EU Process''.

Ozan Ceyhun, a deputy from the Greens Party of Germany and a member of the European Parliament, Cem Ozdemir, a deputy from the Greens Party, and Cem Duna, a retired Ambassador, participated in the panel discussion as speakers.

Retired Ambassador Duna said that the economic formation in the world was composed of three blocks like the EU, North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) and Asia-Pacific regions.

Noting that majority of trade was made among the blocks, Duna said that the trade in the EU constituted 70 percent of the whole trade among the blocks.

Stating that Turkey had followed a development policy towards the domestic market till 1980, Duna said Turkey had started to seek external source due to insufficient domestic source.

Stressing that the EU was the most beneficial economic block for Turkey, Duna said that there had been a considerable increase in exports and imports after the Customs deal with the EU.

Noting that application to the EU had two concrete reasons, Duna said one of these reasons were the existence of the legal basis that was settled with the Ankara Agreement, and the other one was that almost three million Turkish people were living in Europe.

Stating that a clear response had been given to Turkey's application in 1987 till the Helsinki Summit, and the process started with a criteria as the other candidates after the summit, Duna said the difference in the policy for Turkey-EU relations was removed with acceptance of Turkey's candidacy.

Duna emphasized that all policies of Turkey should be in consonant with the EU policies during this process.

Cem Duna added that Turkey could be a full-member in next eight-ten years if everything was fulfilled completely.

Cem Ozdemir, a deputy from the Greens Party, said in his part that there were mistakes and opportunities in relations between Turkey and the EU, adding that there were ''discussions on norms'' in Turkey.

Ozdemir said discussion on norms would bring nothing so those norms had to be accepted and Turkey should abide by those norms.

Noting that the European people were behaving coldly towards EU enlargement, Ozdemir said they took into consideration the criteria like ''Turkey's neighborhood wiht Syria and Iraq, low-priced workforce, religion factor and population explosion''.

Ozan Ceyhun said in his part that Turkey's adaptation started to be discussed in the EU although the powers were still alone in their Turkey policies.

Noting that the developments in Turkey were closely followed by the EU, Ceyhun defended that Greece was the only EU member country that was fully supporting Turkey.

[14] STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''OUR MAIN GOAL IS TO GET RID OF CHRONIC HIGH INFLATION''

ESKISEHIR - Recep Onal, the Minister of State for Economic Affairs, said on Saturday that their main goal was to get rid of the chronic high inflation and reach again the economic growth by decreasing the real interest rates.

Addressing a conference on ''Turkish Economy in EU Process'' organized by the Association of Industrialists and Businessmen of Eskisehir, Onal said, ''our main goal is to get rid of chronic high inflation and reach again the economic growth by decreasing the real interest rates. To this end, we prepared Disinflation and Restructuring program.''

''We have given the start for a restructuring and reform program which prioritizes producers and supports industrialists. We have received positive outcomes of this program since the beginning of the year,'' he said.

''The main goal of the program is to create an important non-interest budget surplus in public sector, decrease real interest rates, stabilize and later decrease domestic borrowing and GNP averages, and decrease the inflation,'' he added.

[15] EMERGING MARKETS AND IMKB - IMKB COMES ON THE FOURTH PLACE IN EMERGING MARKETS

ANKARA - The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) came on the fourth place in emerging markets with regard to trade volume in the first two months of the year.

According to data collected by the Federation of International Stock Exchanges (FIBV), the Taiwanese Stock Exchange came on the first place with a trade volume of 250.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Meanwhile, the IMKB came on the first place among emerging European stock exchanges in the January-February period with its cumulative transaction volume of 43 billion U.S. dollars.

While Greek Stock Exchange's two-month transaction volume was 28.7 billion U.S. dollars in the January-February period, Portuguese Stock Exchange came on the third place with its transaction volume of 13.5 billion U.S. dollars.

The first ten countries and their trade volumes in the first two months of the year are as follows:

. TRADE VOLUME
COUNTRY (Million U.S. Dollars)

---------------- ----------------------
1- Taiwan 250.652

2- South Korea 127.020

3- Hong Kong 99.015

4- Turkey (IMKB) 43.057

5- Greece (Athens) 28.724

6- Brazil (Sao Paulo) 23.371

7- Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) 20.967

8- Singapore 20.073

9- South Africa 15.520

10- Portugal 13.598

[16] PRESIDENT MEJDANI OF ALBANIA ARRIVES IN TURKEY

ISTANBUL - President Rexhep Mejdani of Albania arrived in Turkey on Sunday as the official guest of President Suleyman Demirel.

Plane carrying President Mejdani and his entourage, landed at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul at about 00:55 p.m.

Ata Aksoy, the Deputy Governor of Istanbul, Acer German, the Representative of Foreign Ministry in Istanbul, and Albanian Consulate General staff welcomed President Mejdani at the airport.

Iskender Gjinushi, the Speaker of Albanian Parliament, is accompanying President Mejdani.

[17] CULTURE MINISTRY TO RESTORE HOUSE IN WHICH ATATURK WAS BORN

SALONICA - The Culture Ministry will restore house in Salonica, Greece, in which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Founder of modern Republic of Turkey, was born in 1881.

The historical house which was turned into a Ataturk Museum on November 10, 1953, had been restored in 1981.

The three-storey house takes place in the same garden with the Turkish Consulate General in Salonica.

The Consulate General staff has undertaken maintenance and protection of the house which is registered in the Culture Ministry's inventory.

Seckin Cetinelli, the Turkish Consul General in Salonica, told the A.A correspondent on Sunday said that the house's roof needed repair, and the Culture Ministry officials had decided to restore the house in coming months.

Cetinelli said that wooden parts of the house would be renewed within scope of the restoration works.

He said that approximately 6 thousand people visited the house every year.

''As a result of recent rapproachement between Turkey and Greece in the wake of the quake disasters, number of Turkish people coming to Greece has increased. A number of Turkish people spent their holiday in Greece during the Eid Al-Adha. The Turkish tourists visit the house. Nearly 5 thousand tourists visited the house during the ten-day religious holiday. Foreign tourists also show great interests in the house. About 7 thousand people visited the house in the first four months of the year,'' Cetinelli said.

[18] DEFENSE INDUSTRY TO RECEIVE FINAL BIDS OF THREE CONSORTIA ON MAY 10 FOR ATTACK HELICOPTER TENDER

ANKARA - The countdown for the Turkish Armed Forces' tender for 145 pieces of attack helicopters started.

The final bids of the three consortia whose bids were found satisfactory will be received on May 10.

The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) undertook the production as being the main responsible side of the giant tender worth almost four billion U.S. dollars.

According to the schedule set by the Defense Industry Undersecretariat (SSM), the evaluations of the bids will be finalized in June and later the decision will be conveyed to the Defense Industry Board.

The final evaluation will be made in July and the production process will start the same month.

The joint production of first 50 attack helicopters will be carried out in the first phase and this production will be financed by the SSM funds.

After the SSM's evaluation on March 6, 2000, the American Boeing company and French-German jonit venture Eurocopter were excluded from the tender.

The Russian-Israeli Kamiov-IAI group, American Bell Textron and Italian Agusta are bidding for the tender.

[19] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM LEAVES FOR U.S.

ISTANBUL - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, left on Sunday for New York, the U.S., to receive ''Statesman of the Year'' Award of East-West Institution.

Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul prior to his departure, Cem said that George Papandreou, the Foreign Minister of Greece, would also be presented with the same award.

''U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and we will sign the Open Skies Agreement between Turkey and the U.S. This agreement will provide many facilities to the Turkish transportation in civil aviation in the U.S. Turkish planes could fly to three points in the U.S. so far. But we will offer flight opportunities to ten more big cities of the U.S. by signing the agreement,''Cem told reporters.

He noted that issues such as political infrastructure of Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project and the latest developments in Caucasus and the Middle East would be high on the agenda of his meeting with Albright.

Cem said that he would also hold bilateral talks with his Greek counterpart Papandreou, adding, ''our talks will focus on the recent atmosphere between Turkey an Greece after a series of agreements, and the issue of Aegean. Then I will hold a tripartite meeting with Mrs. Albright and Mr. Papandreou to evaluate the latest developments.''

Recalling that he was scheduled to come together with the United Nations officials to discuss the issue of Cyprus, Cem said that he would make a speech on ''New Geopolitics of Southeastern Europe'' during the seminar which will be presided by Marrti Ahtisaari, the former President of Finland.

Cem also added that he would attend a television program on the CNN-TV together with his Greek counterpart Papandreou.

Cem is expected to return to Turkey on May 6.

[20] NUMBER OF TURKISH PEOPLE WORKING ABROAD DECREASES

ANKARA - The number of Turkish people who go abroad to work has decreased gradually.

According to the Annual Report of the Central Bank, the number of Turkish people who went abroad to work decreased to 16,516 as of end-November 1999.

The number of Turkish people went abroad to work had been 59,483 in 1995.

The number of Turkish people who went abroad to work between 1995 and 1998 and in the first eleven months of 1999, and the name of countries they went are as follows:

. Jan-Nov

Country 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

------------- -------- ------ ------ ------ -----
U.S. 294 278 302 124 117
Australia 248 97 21 4 11

Austria 16 5 1 1 1

Belgium 1 2 2 0 1

Denmark 50 39 12 17 14

Germany 2246 2443 1800 1734 2189

France 13 16 9 33 20

Netherlands 13 5 2 1 2

Britain 43 36 29 38 22

Switzerland 18 31 13 10 5

Libya 1753 2063 1833 1032 626

Saudi Arabia 14529 5635 7657 6821 4938

Other 40259 30047 21640 16092 8570

Total 59483 40697 33321 25907 16516

[21] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - AYGUN, DEPUTY FROM DSP: - ''I WILL WITHDRAW FROM PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS''

ANKARA - Oguz Aygun, a deputy from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), stated on Sunday that he would withdraw from the presidential elections.

Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Aygun said that he would submit his petition to the parliament on Monday morning.

''I have achieved my goal. My presidential candidacy has proved that my message to the Turkish public opinion was understood. I received many letters expressing satisfaction with my initiative to make a democratic attitude dominant,'' Aygun stressed.

He noted, ''249 parliamentarians reacted against the consensus presidential candidate of the leaders of the five political parties represented in the 550-seat parliament. Let's wait and see what will happen in the second round of presidential elections.''

Aygun added that he would cast vote in favor of a presidential candidate from the parliament during tomorrow's second round of vote.

Aygun received 4 votes in the first round of the presidential elections in which 530 deputies casted their votes.

[22] EASTER FESTIVAL CELEBRATED IN MARDIN

MARDIN - A religious ceremony was held in southeastern Mardin province on Sunday to mark the Easter Festival, one of the most important religious holidays of the Christian world.

The religious ceremony in the Kirklar Church was performed by Gabriel Akyuz, the Priest of Dayrulzafaran Monastery.

Addressing the ceremony, Akyuz said that they had been living in hormony with their Moslem neihbours for years.

Akyuz noted that they were proud of being Turkish citizens, and thanked the Turkish State for its tolerance.

Following the relegious ceremony, the painted eggs were distributed.

Nearly 200 members of the Christian society attended the ceremony.

The participants were sanctified by Akyuz.

The Easter Festival symbolizes transition into light from darkness, into freedom from captivity, into peace from war, and into resurrection from death.

[23] AS 532 COUGAR AL TYPE COMBAT SEARCH AND RESCUE HELICOPTER TO BE HANDED OVER TO TURKEY

ANKARA - AS 532 Cougar Al type combat search and rescue helicopter produced by Eurocopter Firm of France, will be handed over to Turkey on Monday.

General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, will attend the ceremony which will be held in 11th Air Transportation Base Commandership.

After the Defense Industry Undersecretariat and the Eurocopter Firm had signed an agreement in February 1997, the Eurocopter Firm and the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) formed the EUROTAI consortium to produce 20 search and rescue helicopters for the Air Forces Commandership, and 10 helicopters for the Land Forces Commandership.

[24] A RELIGIOUS CEREMONY HELD IN FENER GREEK-ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE TO MARK EASTER FESTIVAL

ISTANBUL - A religious ceremony was held in the Fener Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul on Sunday to mark the Easter Festival, one of the most important religious holidays of the Christian world.

The religious ceremony was performed by Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Following the relegious ceremony, the painted eggs were distributed.

Luigi Conti, the Vatican Ambassador to Turkey, Ioannis Corantis, the Greek Ambassador to Turkey, a number of foreign tourists, and Greek people living in Turkey attended the ceremony.

[25] INVESTMENT INCENTIVE CERTIFICATES IN MARCH

ANKARA - The Treasury Undersecretariat gave a 816 trillion 62 billion 138 million Turkish Liras (TL) investment incentive certificates in March 2000.

The opportunity to employ 13,168 people will be created with those 266 certificates for which expenditure of 460 million 923 thousand U.S. dollars is foreseen.

According to the Treasury Undersecretariat's announcement published in the Official Gazette, the sectoral breakdown of investment incentive certificates as of March is as follows:

Number of Fixed Investment Employment

Sector Certificates (Billion TL) (Person)

------------- ----------- -------------- ----------
Manufacturing 160 276.695 7.712

Services 84 460.263 4.532

Agriculture 1 1.190

Mining 4 4.035

Energy 10 60.950

Meanwhile, the amount of foreign-capital investment incentive certificates in March reached 866 million 600.9 thousand U.S. dollars.

The number of people to be employed with the investments will be 1,879.

[26] GENERAL ATES, COMMANDER OF LAND FORCES, LEAVES FOR SOUTH KOREA

ANKARA - General Atilla Ates, the Commander of Land Forces, left on Sunday for South Korea as the official guest of his South Korean counterpart General Kil Hyoung Bo.

Plane carrying General Ates and a four-member military delegation, took off from the Esenboga Airport in Ankara at 02:40 p.m.

General Ates will hold bilateral talks with the South Korean Chief of General Staff and South Korean Defense Minister.

Meanwhile, General Ates will be decorated with the Tong-Il State Medal of Honor by the South Korean Defense Minister.

General Ates is expected to return to Turkey on May 5.

[27] NUMBER OF MOTOR VEHICLES REACH 6.7 MILLION

ANKARA - The number of motor vehicles in Turkey reached 6.678.297 as of end- February 2000.

According to the data of the State Institute of Statistics (DIE), there were 1.246.006 motor vehicles in Istanbul, 737.469 motor vehicles in Ankara and 478.815 motor vehicles in Izmir.

The three provinces with the lowest number of motor vehicles are Tunceli, Hakkari and Ardahan.

There were 2.221 motor vehicles in eastern Tunceli province, 2.329 motor vehicles in Ardahan province in Black Sea region, and 2.444 motor vehicles in southeastern Hakkari province.

The number of motor vehicles in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir as of February 2000 was as follows:

Province Automobile Minibus Bus Van Lorry

-------- ---------- ------- ------ ------- ------
Istanbul 975.231 19.392 20.310 137.182 30.910

Ankara 585.418 12.799 12.189 65.990 28.149

Izmir 307.569 9.243 8.749 60.480 17.034

[28] GALATASARAY REQUESTS BODYGUARDS FOR UEFA CUP FINAL

ISTANBUL - Galatasaray Football Club requested protection of their players and technical staff before and after the UEFA Cup final with Arsenal on May 17 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Galatasaray's Secretary General Celal Gurcan said on Sunday that they applied to the Foreign Ministry and requested the Ministry to assign bodyguards to protect players and technical staff.

''I think the Ministry will assign a ten-member special team again as in the semi-final rematch in Leeds,'' he said.

Gurcan added that the Ministry had not given response to their request yet.

[29] LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST GULMEZ, SO-CALLED SECRETARY OF TIKKO FOR BLACK SEA REGION

ANKARA - Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office filed a suit on Sunday against Ali Gulmez, the so-called secretary of the terrorist Turkish Workers and Peasant Liberation Army (TIKKO) for Black Sea Region.

The indictment prepared by Hamza Keles, the DGM Republican Prosecutor, sought capital punishment to accused Gulmez with charges of ''being a member of a terrorist organization, and staging terrorist actions on behalf of the organization.''

The indictment said, ''accused Gulmez was released from prison in 1991. He was captured and sent to prison again after involving in killing of employees in the Yapi Kredi Bank in Sisli district of Istanbul. He ran away from the Bayrampasa Prison on February 26, 1993. He staged a number of bomb attacks. He was also involved in the bomb attack on a prison vehicle carrying suspects of Sivas Inscidents Case on August 1, 1997. He ordered the bomb attack targeting Ayhan Cevik, the Governor of Cankiri, on March 5, 1999. He made the bomb used in the attack.''

The indictment sought capital punishment to Gulmez in accordance with the Article 146/1 of the Turkish Penal Code about ''crimes against state's forces.''

[30] A.A


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