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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-07-06

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

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

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

06 JULY 2000 Thursday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] CENTRAL BANK DEPUTY GOVERNOR EKZEN IN NETHERLANDS: ''IF STABILITY PROGRAMME IS SUCCESSFUL, ZEROS CAN BE ELIMINATED FROM TURKISH LIRA IN ONE OR TWO YEARS''
  • [03] RESCUE EAGLE-2000 EXERCISE TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN JULY 7 AND 21 IN ROMANIA
  • [04] TURKISH-GERMAN JOINT ENVIRONMENT PROJECTS
  • [05] OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH CONTINUE -DGM ARRESTS 5 OF THE 6 DETAINEES
  • [06] ''RETURN TO ADIYAMAN'' PROJECT -ATSO CHAIRMAN ERSOY: ''WE EXPECT THOSE WHO LEFT ADIYAMAN AND INDUSTRIALISTS TO INVEST HERE''
  • [07] TURCOMEN IN U.S. AND TURKISH FORUM PROTEST AL GORE
  • [08] CULTURAL HERITAGE OF GAP -ERASLAN, DIRECTOR OF ADIYAMAN MUSEUM: ''GAP REGION HAS A VERY RICH CULTURAL POTENTIAL''
  • [09] HEZBOLLAH ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR -ONE PERSON DIES, TWO POLICEMEN INJURED
  • [10] GAP PRODUCES 94 PERCENT OF TURKEY'S PISTACHIO NUTS
  • [11] PERLE, BUSH'S FOREIGN POLICY CONSULTANT SAYS U.S. SHOULDN'T IMPOSE PRESSURE FOR A SOLUTION IN CYPRUS
  • [12] TOURISTS INTERESTED GREATLY IN SAKLIKENT CANYON
  • [13] TREASURY'S EXTERNAL DEBT STOCK INCREASES TO 103.5 BILLION DOLLARS
  • [14] FOREST MINISTRY WARNS PEOPLE AGAINST FOREST FIRES
  • [15] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER LEAVES FOR BULGARIA
  • [16] FP LEADER KUTAN: ''EVERYBODY, EXCEPT PEOPLE WE CAN CALL FANATICS, THINKS ARTICLE 312 SHOULD BE CHANGED''


  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on July 6, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    WOLFENSOHN: I WILL BE THE ONE TO PROMOTE TURKEY
    World Bank President James Wolfensohn who had visited Turkey at the end of May, sent a letter of gratitude to State Minister Recep Onal, expressing his astonishment with the successful implementation of the economic program and pledging further support to the Turkish government so long as it continued with the program with the same determination. Wolfensohn expressed hope that the economic reform program would disprove all speculations by various circles that it will end up in a failure, and added, ''I am hoping that the Financial Sector Adjustment Loan would soon be completed''. Wolfensohn assured the Turkish government that he will do his best to promote the government's economic programme which he found very impressive and emphasized his support for the programme's continuation.

    DROUGHT HITS DAMS
    The hot weather wave sweeping across the country, pulled down the water level of South East Anatolian Dams in particular. Energy producion came to a halt at Diyarbakir's Kralkizi Dam, and production in other regional dams decreased by over 50 percent. The decrease in water level forced dam operators to stop providing water to irrigation plants. Officials say that the suspension of irrigation could cause a loss of over trillions of Turkish Liras, if it were to continue.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    SHORTCOMINGS IN 'HUMAN RIGHTS' TO BE ELIMINATED
    State minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen said that Turkey has to conduct a number of studies in order to catch up with the modern standards of human rights and eliminate her shortcomings in this field. He also assured that the disagreement between the coalition partners over one or two points associataed with human rights, would not turn into a government crisis. State Minister in Charge of Human Rights, Rustu Kazim Yucelen, who presided over the Human Rights Coordinating Supreme Council meeting, said at the end of the meeting that the participants had agreed to follow step-by-step, the Supreme Council Report entitled as ''The Measures Turkey Has to Take in the Light of the Copenhagen Criteria''.

    ABOLISHMENT OF DEATH PENALTY IS A MUST FOR EU MEMBERSHIP
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that all parties represented at the Parliament, except for the Nationalist Movement party (MHP), were in favor of the abolishment of the capital punishment, adding, ''It is a must for Turkey's admission into the European Union as a full member.'' Noting that there was no need for a government decree or an amendment to the Constitution to abolish capital punishment, Ecevit said that this ideal could be realised with a few changes in the Penal Code.

    MERCEDES SUMMIT IN THE BOSPHORUS
    DaimlerChrysler is holding its traditional summit this year in Istanbul. Executive Board Director Juergen E. Schrempp and former U.S President George Bush will be among the participants of the summit, which will take place on Sunday at Ciragan Hotel. The company holds annual summits, every year in a different country, behind closed doors to determine new policies and startegies.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    'JAWS' IN SAROS BAY
    A giant shark, about 4,5 meters in length and 420 kilograms in weight was caught the other night by fisherman in Saros Bay. The giant beast, which tore down the fishermen's nets, gave them a hard time for about 1,5 hours, until it finally died. The giant shark was brought over to Istanbul and put on exhibit at the fish market. The local fisherman had long been complaining about damages in their nets, wrought by this animal.

    UNREST IN BAYRAMPASA
    A group of about 500 inmates at Bayrampasa Prison took eleven guards hostage in a protest against the transfer of Tahsin Esme, alleged to be one of Alaattin Cakici, to another jail in Alasehir; and held them hostage for about 9 hours. The prison riot, which started on Wednesday morning at the D- Ward, and it turned into an amnesty riot with the involvement of the other wards. The inmates started a fire by setting on fire, beds and duvets, which they pulled up to the air conditioning tunnel. The fire was extinguished shortly, and the unrest, which had started at around 09.00 hours, ended at 17.45. Strict security measures was taken in and around the prison.

    AKBANK OFFERS 20-YEAR TERM HOUSING CREDITS
    Akbank started offering housing credits with terms up to 20 years its customers, at a fixed interest rate for the first two years, and at varying rates every three months. The minimum amount of credit that the bank is to provide will be 8 billion Turkish Liras, and the maximum will be 100 billion. Ozen Goksel, Director General of Akbank said that low interest and limited currency increase, foreseen by the economic reform program had created a secure atmosphere, and that Akbank was in an effort to offer products harmonious with this convenient atmosphere to its customers.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    ECEVIT:DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE ABOLISHED
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the abolishment of death penalty is a condition of Turkey's acceptance into the European Union (EU). ''There is no need for any government initiative or decision to abolish the death penalty. There is also no need for constitutional change, death penalty can be abolished by making some amendments in laws. It seems that all parties except the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) can reach a compromise about this issue. But I also have got the view that MHP won't turn this into a coalition problem,'' said Ecevit.

    ERBAKAN TO BE JAILED
    The Supreme Court of Appeals approved the sentence given to Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP). Erbakan will be in prison for 4 months and 26 days and he will be life long banned from politics.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    'HODJA'S SENTENCE APPROVED
    Supreme Court Criminal Department No.8 approved one-year prison sentence given to Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the outlawed Welfare Party (RP) by Diyarbakir State Security Court (DGM) No.1 for ''inciting hatred and animosity among people on the basis of racial, religious and social discrimination'' through the speech he had delivered in Bingol on February 25, 1994. Erbakan's sentence, four months and 26 days in prison, was approved unanimously. However, Erbakan has the right to apply for a ''correction of verdict'', but his application needs to be approved by the Court of Appeals Prosecutor's Office which approved his sentence. If approved, Erbakan's application for a ''correction of verdict'', will be discussed at Court of Appeals Criminal Department No.8 and will be finalized.

    HOTTER DAYS ON THE WAY
    Meteorology experts warned that temperatures could go as high as 40 degrees Centigrade in Istanbul as of July 10. The present humidity rate in the metropolitan is already above normal levels with 48 percent. Officials said although temperatures could drop slightly towards the weekend, there was no anticipation of precipitation, and that an even hotter weather wave was expected to proceed into the country as of July 10.

    YENİ BİNYIL (LIBERAL)

    STOP THIS SHAME
    Turkey which wants to join the European Union (EU) sends one of its former prime ministers to jail due to a speech he issued six years ago. The Supreme Court of Appeals approved the one-year imprisonment given to Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP).

    ECEVIT'S EMBARGO TO CHP FOR HADEP
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the cooperation between the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) is unpleasant and inconvenient. Ecevit said that he warned Altan Oymen, the leader of CHP, on TV, adding in the past Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) had carried People's Labour Party (HEP) to the parliament and very serious problems had taken place.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    ECEVIT NOT PLEASED WITH ERBAKAN DECISION
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said after the approval of the sentence given to Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP) by the Supreme Court of Appeals that they respected the decision of the court, adding ''I would like to stress that I am not happy about the decision taken about Erbakan which will jail him due to a speech he issued six years ago.''

    WE HAVE DEFICIENCIES IN HUMAN RIGHTS
    Rustu Kazım Yucelen, the State Minister said that Turkey has to make improvements in human rights field in order to improve its deficiences in this field. Yucelen stressed that the initiatives of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to abolish the death penalty won't turn into a government problem.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    WE SAY FAREWELL TO KEMAL SUNAL
    All Turkey said fairwell to Kemal Sunal, the great actor who died due to a heart attack in a plane on Monday. Sunal was laid to rest yesterday. The first ceremony for Sunal took place in Ataturk Culture Centre, Istanbul. Friends and fans of Sunal paid respect to him in front of his coffin.

    KUTAN:WE DON'T BELIEVE
    Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) said that they don't want to believe in the approval of the sentence given to Necmettin Erbakan, the former leader of the Welfare Party (RP) by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Kutan noted that Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code is worse than Article 163 of the same code.

    [02] CENTRAL BANK DEPUTY GOVERNOR EKZEN IN NETHERLANDS: ''IF STABILITY PROGRAMME IS SUCCESSFUL, ZEROS CAN BE ELIMINATED FROM TURKISH LIRA IN ONE OR TWO YEARS''

    AMSTERDAM - Aykut Ekzen, the Deputy Governor of Central Bank said on Wednesday night that if the economic programme becomes successful, zeros can be eliminated from Turkish Lira in one or two years. Ekzen, who is currently in the Netherlands to inform Turkish citizens about the foreign exchange accounts, explained the economic programme implemented by the government.

    Speaking in the meeting held in Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Zaandam city, Ekzen said that eliminating zeros from lira depends directly on the success of the stability programme, adding the Central Bank completed all of its preparations about the issue.

    ''All the preparations were completed and the necessary decisions were taken by us,'' said Ekzen and noted that if the inflation falls below 20 percent and if the necessary laws are adopted, six zeros can be eliminated.

    Central Bank serves Turkish citizens living abroad and turns their savings into account for 26 years although this is not its mission, said Ekzen and pointed out that Central Bank shouldn't be compared with commercial banks.

    Ekzen noted that if Turkey further develops and stabilizes its economic and financial system, they want to leave this mission to other banks.

    Yuksel Eginli, the Central Bank Workers Foreign Exchanges Director General said in his part that the difficulties of Turkish citizens during their transactions in the bank will be overcome by the new computer system.

    [03] RESCUE EAGLE-2000 EXERCISE TO TAKE PLACE BETWEEN JULY 7 AND 21 IN ROMANIA

    ANKARA - The Rescue Eagle-2000 Manoeuvres will be performed between July 7 and 21 Romania in coordination with the Medceur-2000 Manoeuvres, as a humanitarian aid and natural disaster exercise in harmony with the spirit of the Partnership for Peace program, officials said on Thursday.

    According to the written statement issued by the Naval Forces Command General Secretariat, said that the scenario of the manoeuvres would be based on a disastrous quake and the humanitarian aid, rescue, and evacuation activities in its immediate aftermath.

    In adddition to Romanian ground, naval, and air force elements, the TCG Salihreis Frigate, the TCG Ertugrul tank transporter vessel, 2 search and rescue teams attached to the General Staff Chief's office, and personnel to function at multinational headquarters will be participating in the exercises on behalf of Turkey. Greece will also participate in the manoeuvres with one frigate, France with one Corvet, Germany with one warplane, and the United States, Italy, Moldova, and Georgia with ground and naval force units.

    [04] TURKISH-GERMAN JOINT ENVIRONMENT PROJECTS

    BURSA - Orhaneli Thermoelectric Power Plant comes among the cleanest operating power plants of the world with its chimney purification installations.

    German Embassy in Ankara held a tour for press members to promote the environment projects carried out within the framework of Turkish-German Economic Cooperation on Thursday.

    Journalists firstly visited Bursa Orhaneli Theormoelectric Power Plant and got information from officials.

    Lignite coke, which is not used in other fields, is burnt and turned into electric energy in the Orhaneli Power plant, which started to operate in May 1992.

    Officials said that 355 people work in the power plant and 200 tons of lignite coke is burnt and 200 megawatts of electric energy is obtained.

    The chimney purification system which was built by the Turkish-German Joint Consortium, started to function in April 1999. Officials said that the chimney gas is purified and the ash is prevented from going in the air.

    Meanwhile, a waste stock-exchange will be founded by the Turkish-German joint activities.

    [05] OPERATIONS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH CONTINUE -DGM ARRESTS 5 OF THE 6 DETAINEES

    DIYARBAKIR - The Diyarbakir State Security Court Prosecutorship arrested and put in jail, 5 of the total 6 members of the outlawed Hezbollah organisation, captured within the framework of operations carried out in the region, officials said on Thursday.

    The Diyarbakir Anti-terrorism Department officials had transferred the 6 persons to the State Security Court after completing their interrogations.

    One of the said six persons was released to be tried without detention.

    [06] ''RETURN TO ADIYAMAN'' PROJECT -ATSO CHAIRMAN ERSOY: ''WE EXPECT THOSE WHO LEFT ADIYAMAN AND INDUSTRIALISTS TO INVEST HERE''

    GAZIANTEP - Zafer Ersoy, the Chairman of Adıyaman Trade and Industry Chamber (ATSO) who was inspired by the ''Return to Village'' project of the government, started a ''Return to Your City-Adıyaman'' project for industrialists to invest in Adıyaman.

    Speaking to A.A correspondent, Ersoy said that they expect Adıyaman citizens who left Adıyaman for big cities and Adıyaman industrialists to invest in Adıyaman.

    ''There is no terrorism in Adıyaman. Cost of production is cheap here,'' said Ersoy and noted that businessmen who settled in big cities should make investments in the places where they were born.

    [07] TURCOMEN IN U.S. AND TURKISH FORUM PROTEST AL GORE

    WASHINGTON D.C.- North American Turcomen Organization wrote a letter to Albert Gore, the U.S. Vice President and the candidate of the Democrat Party for presidency and condemned the American administration for excluding Turcomen representatives from the meeting that was held between Al Gore and opponents of the Iraqi government.

    North American Turcomen organization which represents Turkcomen in the U.S. and Canada said in the letter they sent to Gore that ''we appreciate the efforts of the U.S. government to unite the Iraqi opposition groups and turn them into a democratic power.''

    The letter noted that Turcomen are the greatest ethnic group in Iraq following Kurds and Arabs.

    ''Turcomen also suffered from the oppressive Saddam Hussein regime, they were subject to ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. The role the Turcomen will play in the solution of the Iraqi problem is vital,'' it was stressed.

    ''We want also to remind the Iraqi opposition groups that a solution can't be found for the Iraqi problem without the participation of Turkcomen,'' it was added.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Forum, the independent internet network founded by Turks living in the U.S. started on Wednesday a protest campaign against Albert Gore, the U.S. Vice President and the candidate of the Democrat Party for presidency.

    Sibel Ertunc who spoke on behalf of the media council of Turkish Forum said that they started a protest campaign as Turcomen were excluded from the meeting between Al Gore and opponents of the Iraqi government and Deniz Arslan, the A.A representative to Washington D.C. was not permitted to take photos of the meeting last week.

    Turkish Forum noted that Gore should be protested.

    Matt Gobush, the Adviser of Al Gore, had apologized from Deniz Arslan following the reaction coming from Turkey after the meeting which Arslan was not allowed to take pictures.

    [08] CULTURAL HERITAGE OF GAP -ERASLAN, DIRECTOR OF ADIYAMAN MUSEUM: ''GAP REGION HAS A VERY RICH CULTURAL POTENTIAL''

    GAZIANTEP - Fehmi Eraslan, Director of Adiyaman Museum said on Thursday, that the South East Anatolia Project (GAP) region has a very rich cultural potential. Eraslan told the A.A correspondent that the museum directorates needed a greater support, both financial and physical, in order to better protect the cultural values they took care of.

    Noting that the Minsitry of Culture, to which all museum directorates were attached, was not at a very high position in the protocol hierarchy of the state, Eraslan said that it was thus not easy to finance efforts to protect the cultural values.

    ''The South East Anatolia region has cradled countless civilisations. The initial target of the GAP was to provide irrigation and energy services to the region. Later on, the human element was placed on the focus point of the project, so it gained a highly humanitarian character. But in the mean time, little attention was paid on the historic and cultural riches of the region. Now, we have to work to gain these historic and cultural values a kind of functionality, in order to help them survive throughout the years, even centuries more to come.

    The state attaches great importance to the GAP. But I believe that it is the best to demonstrate this same sensitivity when it comes to taking care of the cultural heritage. Cultural investments are as imp

    [09] HEZBOLLAH ATTACK IN DIYARBAKIR -ONE PERSON DIES, TWO POLICEMEN INJURED

    DIYARBAKIR - One person died in the armed attack staged by the Hezbollah terrorist organization on Thursday. The assailants injured two policemen who attempted to intervene. Officials said that Seyhmus Aziz was shot by two Hezbollah members in a car while he was walking on Lise Street around 08.30 local time. Aziz was seriously injured in the attack and died in hospital.

    Meanwhile, two policemen who were passing by, tried to intervene but they were injured in the running fire.

    The assailants ran away from the scene.

    Gaffar Okkan, director general of Diyarbakır security told A.A correspondent that the person died in the attack was a financier.

    Okkan noted that the incident occured due to an internal conflict within the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

    ''The gun used in the incident is Makarof type gun, which we label it as 'dirty gun.' Operations are underway to capture the terrorists,'' said Okkan.

    [10] GAP PRODUCES 94 PERCENT OF TURKEY'S PISTACHIO NUTS

    GAZIANTEP - The South East Anatolia Project (GAP) region produces 94 percent of Turkey's pistachio nuts, officials said on Thursday.

    According to the information given by the Pistachio Nuts Research Institute, the pistachio nut is also known as the 'fruit of kings' and 'king of fruits', since it was first consumed by ancient Hittite kings ruling over the region.

    The pistachio tree is also called 'Gold Tree' on 'Green Gold' in Turkey and some Mddle Eastern countries. With the full translation into life of the GAP, pistachios will be produced in irrigated lands.

    The earliest example of the pistachio nut dates back to seven thousand years ago, which had been found in excavations carried out in the Oylum Tumulus of Kilis.

    The pistachio nut is qualified as 'concentrated energy pill' due to its high nutrition values. It is far richer in protein, than hazelnuts, walnuts and beef.

    Every 100 grams of pistachio nuts consists of 19.3 percent protein, 53.7 percent fat, 19 percent carbohydrates, 7.3 percent iron, 131 milligrams of caylcium, 500 milligrams of phosphorous, 972 milligrams of potassium, 230 iu vitamin A, 0.67 milligrams of vitamin B1, 1.40 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 594 cal.

    [11] PERLE, BUSH'S FOREIGN POLICY CONSULTANT SAYS U.S. SHOULDN'T IMPOSE PRESSURE FOR A SOLUTION IN CYPRUS

    WASHINGTON D.C. - Richard Perle, the foreign policy consultant of George W. Bush, the presidential candidate of the Republican Party and former deputy defense secretary said on Thursday that the U.S. shouldn't impose pressure upon the concerned sides for a solution on Cyprus. Explaining his views about various international issues to A.A correspondent, Perle said that he didn't believe that the U.S. should put pressure on the concerned sides for a solution on the Cyprus island.

    The solutions found by pressure won't be lasting, effective, and just and if Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots don't want a solution, and the U.S. does not have the responsibility to impose a solution from outside, he said.

    Accusing the administration of Bill Clinton of not having a policy on Iraq issue, Perle noted that if Bush is elected as the president, more aid will be given to Iraqi oppositions.

    Richard Perle noted that if Saddam stays in power, he will also constitute a threat for Turkey, adding the decisions about Saddam will be given by taking into consideration the concerns of Turkey in a possible Bush administration.

    Perle also gave the message that if the republican administration comes to power, the attitude towards Russia will get tougher. They are against the attempts of Russia to re-spread its sovereignty to former Soviet Republicans particularly the Caucasusian Republicans, he said and he accused the existing U.S. administration of remaining silence in relation to this development.

    Perle also criticized Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State for apologizing from Iran due to the coup staged in Iran in 1950s. The future of U.S.-Iran relations depend on the attitude of Iranians, he noted.

    Richard Perle said that if Iran continues to support terrorism and describe the U.S. as the ''big devil,'' a republican government won't show any effort to improve relations with this country.

    [12] TOURISTS INTERESTED GREATLY IN SAKLIKENT CANYON

    FETHIYE - The Saklikent Canyon, located between Fethiye and Antalya on the Taurus Mountain Range, continues to attract tourists both foreign and domestic with its natural beauties and mud baths, officials said on Thursday.

    The number of tourists visiting the canyon is gradually increasing, with the increasing temperatures and the proceeding summer season.

    The Saklikent Canyon, operated by the Headman's Office of the Kayadibi Village, also provides potable water for the inhabitants of the vicinity with its natural sources and streams.

    Zeki Kilinc, Headman of Kayadibi village, told the A.A correspondent that foreign tourists were better acquainted with the Saklikent Canyon than domestic tourists, and called on Turkish people to come over and discover the beauty of the spot.

    [13] TREASURY'S EXTERNAL DEBT STOCK INCREASES TO 103.5 BILLION DOLLARS

    ANKARA - Treasury said on Thursday that its external debt stock had increased to 103 billion 474 million U.S. dollars as of March 31, 2000.

    It said that the revised total temporary foreign debt stock had increased 1.7 billion U.S. dollars to 103.5 billion U.S. dollars as of March 31, 2000 compared to end-1999.

    Treasury said the 1.7 billion U.S. dollars increase was composed of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars short-term debts and 541 million U.S. dollars long term debts.

    It added that as of the first quarter of 2000, the share of short-term debts in the stock was 23.80 percent and the share of medium and long-term debts in the stock was 76.20 percent.

    [14] FOREST MINISTRY WARNS PEOPLE AGAINST FOREST FIRES

    ANKARA - Forest Ministry issued a written statement and warned people against forest fires in summer days when the relative humidity is low.

    People were asked not to lit fire in areas which are close to forests, not to throw cigarette buds on the ground and to call 177 to report when they see fire or smoke coming out in forests. Governor's offices were asked to continue bans to enter forests.

    Forest Ministry instructed all its units to be well prepared against any fire possibility.

    The Ministry said 24 forest fires occured in various places of Turkey on Wednesday. Around 78 hectares of forest was destroyed in the fires.

    [15] NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER LEAVES FOR BULGARIA

    ANKARA - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said on Thursday that as Turkey, they attributed great importance to neighborly and friendly relations and cooperation with Bulgaria.

    Prior to his departure to Bulgaria as the guest of Bulgarian Defense Minister Boyko Noev, Cakmakoglu staged a press conference.

    Noting that Turkey and Bulgaria were two countries which had lived together in the Ottoman era, Cakmakoglu said the friendly relations which had started especially through the end of the Cold War period increased and improved rapidly.

    Cakmakoglu stated that the kinsmen living in Bulgaria and the kinsmen who had emigrated to Turkey during the Republic period played an important role in development of those relations between Turkey and Bulgaria.

    Stating that he would meet with the Bulgarian President and Defense minister within scope of his visit, Cakmakoglu said they would also review the Military Training Cooperation and Defense Industry Cooperation agreements signed between Turkey and Bulgaria.

    Noting that Turkey appreciated NATO candidate Bulgaria's progress in defense industry and efforts for democratization, Cakmakoglu said his visit would be a kind of evaluation meeting in which Bulgaria's desire to benefit from Turkey's NATO experiences would also be taken into consideration.

    ''As Turkey, we attach great importance to friendly and neighborly relations and cooperation with Bulgaria. Also Bulgaria has been as sensitive as we are for more than a decade. There is a progress that can be an example to other neighboring countries,'' he stated.

    Responding to a question about the news article published in the Russian and Israeli press claiming that ''Turkey will launch a spy satellite'', Cakmakoglu said, ''such a story is speculative. The tender process for a satellite is continuing. It has not been finalized yet.''

    Responding to another question, Cakmakoglu said the satellite would not only serve intelligence but also have civilian purposes.

    Later, Cakmakoglu and the accompanying delegation left for Sofia.

    [16] FP LEADER KUTAN: ''EVERYBODY, EXCEPT PEOPLE WE CAN CALL FANATICS, THINKS ARTICLE 312 SHOULD BE CHANGED''

    ANKARA - Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), said on Thursday that everybody, except people they can call ''fanatics'', thinks Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) should be changed. Kutan added that they do not consider this issue as only the case of Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the banned Welfare Party (RP) whose one-year imprisonment term was approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

    When asked whether they will continue their initiatives to change the Article 312 of the TCK, Kutan said that Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), was in the U.S. and Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), was in Istanbul.

    Kutan stated that besides Yilmaz and Ciller, he will meet with the leaders of the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Great Union Party (BBP).

    He will visit President Ahmet Necdet Sezer following his contacts with the leaders of the political parties, Kutan said.

    Kutan continued, ''we need to take a concrete step. When people are exerting efforts to abolish the capital punishment, you are sending a former prime minister to prison due to a speech he made six years ago. Turkey should be saved from such a democracy shame.''

    ''We do not consider this as only the Erbakan case. This is the case of Turkey. I hope such an unjust treatment will be an opportunity to pave the way for the country to ensure the improvement in respect of democracy,'' Kutan added.

    When asked whether or not their initiatives to change the Article 312 will be postponed until October, Kutan said, ''it is seen that there is a tendency that this issue can be discussed in the first days of the new parliamentary term. Prime Ministry had said that the deputies were very exhausted and that to this end, the possibility to hold an extraordinary meeting was very weak.''

    Responding to a question on whether or not they will request the President to use his authority of amnesty, Kutan said, ''no. This is not on the agenda at the moment.''


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