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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-07-13
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>ANADOLU AGENCY
13 JULY 2000 Thursday
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on July 13, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)CONDITIONAL 'YES' FROM YILMAZ
Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz is entering the cabinet as the Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of the European Union General Secretariat. Before accepting to take over the post, though, Yilmaz brought forth a condition to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, that he expects the government to back him up in his efforts to catch Turkey up with the Copenhagen Criteria. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had called Mesut Yilmaz on the phone the other day, and had made his proposal to Yilmaz then.
BELGIAN COURT EXTENDS FEHRIYE ERDAL'S DETENTION TERM
DENKTAS: UN'S PROPOSALS ARE CONVENIENT FOR US
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)CRISIS ADMINISTRATION
The Ministry of Energy declared a state of emergency in the wake of the regression of the water level in electricity producing dams down to critical levels. A crisis committee was formed within the ministry to monitor the conditions of dams one by one at a daily basis. The committee will inform Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer every day with comprehensive reports on daily production, and measures against any distortion from production schedule. The Ministry has taken additional measures against any possible energy bottleneck, which include more extensive usage of natural gas, increasing the number of floating power stations, and importing greater amounts of energy.
CLINTON'S LETTER ABOUT SEZER
ORAL: WE HAVE TO STICK WITH THE PROGRAM
SABAH (LIBERAL)EVERYBODY RUSH TO SEA
People living in Istanbul and Izmir decided to go to the sea due to the ''four-day'' holiday. The government decided on Tuesday to shot down the offices on Thursday and Friday due to scorching heat. All the coaches to places like Ayvalık and Burhaniye are full.
YILMAZ IN GOVERNMENT
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)GOVERNMENT DECIDES ON 10 PERCENT WAGE INCREASE
FOR CIVIL SERVANTS
The Ministers Council agreed on a 10 percent wage increase for civil servants and retirees. Finance Minister Sumer Oral said the government cannot deviate from its programme. Civil servants unions reacted over the rate of wage increase. Resul Akay, a representative from a civil servants union said the government condemns civil servants to live under poverty level with the ten percent wage increase.
CEM AND PAPANDREOU IN MACEDONIA
RADIKAL (LEFT)MHP DEPUTIES INSIST ON 312
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies believe that it is against the constituiton and the law to amend Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code to save former Welfare Party (RP) leader Necmettin Erbakan, and that those, who violate the law, who commit crimes, should be punished no matter what. The MHP insists that the Articles no. 125 and 312 are essential to the protection of the country's national unity, and that their amendment could lead to disastrous results in the country, as the legitimation of groups and views that threaten the country.
CABINET MEMBERS DISCUSS EARTHQUAKE
HOT WEATHER CLAIMS SIX MORE LIVES
YENİ BİNYIL (LIBERAL)ONLY 10 PERCENT RAISE IN WAGES OF CIVIL SERVANTS
The government increased the wages of civil servants only by 10 percent. Thus the lowest wage of civil servants has become 141,080,000 liras and the wages of general directors have become 862,490,000 million liras. Finance Minister Sumer Oral said that the raise in wages of civil servants has been 31.2 percent for 2000. Oral stressed that if the inflation rate by the end of the year exceeds 31.2 percent, an additional raise in wages is foreseen.
FIVE PORTS PRIVATIZED
TURKIYE (RIGHT)YILMAZ IN CABINET
Leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz has been appointed by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as the Deputy Prime Minister who is in charge of relations with the European Union (EU).
Ecevit said a general secretariat is being formed to maintain coordination between the EU and the institutions in Turkey. ''Mr. Yilmaz's experience as a statesman and also as a prime minister will be valuable,'' Ecevit said.
Ecevit will present the decree over Yilmaz's appointment to the President on Thursday.
DAMS ARE DRYING UP
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)TURKEY WINS FOUR ''CHEMISTRY'' MEDALS
The four Turkish students, who took part in the International Chemistry Olympics in Denmark returned home late Tuesday night with one gold, 2 silver and one bronze medals. Yunus Emre Turkmen from Izmir won a gold medal, Hakki Bagci and Hakan Usta from Ankara won silver medals each, and Murat Sunbul from Ankara won a bronze medal in the olympics, held with the participation of high school students from 52 countries.
COOLER UNDER GROUND
 MESUT YILMAZ APPOINTED AS STATE MINISTERANKARA - Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) was appointed on Thursday as the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to the 57th government. Cumhur Ersumer has been dismissed from his post as the Deputy Prime Minister.
The procedures regarding the appointment of the State Minister was issued in the Official Gazette the same day.
Premier Bulent Ecevit wrote in the official certificate on the appointment of Yılmaz that was submitted to the President that ''I request appointment of Yımaz as the State Minister and Deputy Premier under Articles 109 and 113 of the Constitution and Article 4 of the Law No. 4391.''
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer accepted the request of Premier Bulent Ecevit.
 EU COMMISSIONER VERHEUGEN IN ANKARAANKARA - European Union Commissioner in Charge of Enlargement, Gunther Verheugen got together on Thursday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.
No statements were made prior to the meeting, which started at the Foreign Ministry Residence at 09.00 hours.
Cem and Verheugen are due to Kayseri in the afternoon hours, after completing their meeting.
 BACKGROUND OF ANAP LEADER MESUT YILMAZANKARA - Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz has become the state minister to the 57th government.
Below is Yilmaz's background:
Mesut Yilmaz was born in Istanbul in 1947. He finished Istanbul High School and later graduated from Ankara University's Political Science, Finance and Economy deparment. He did his post graduate study at Germany's Koln University, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences between 1972 and 1974. He held administrational posts at several private companies active in textile and transportation fields from 1975 to 1983.
Yilmaz is a founding member of the Motherland Party (ANAP). He later became a Deputy Chairman and in 1983, he was elected as a deputy from Rize.
Yilmaz was the State Minister in Charge of Information in the first Ozal government. He became the Culture and Tourism Minister in 1986. During this time, he was also the Chairman of Turkey-Germany and Turkey-Yugoslavia economic joint commissions.
After being re-elected as Rize deputy on November 29, 1987 elections, Yilmaz became the Foreign Minister in the second Ozal government. He continued this post also in Akbulut administration but later resigned on February 20, 1990.
He was elected as the Leader of ANAP on June 15, 1991 at ANAP Great Congress. The government he founded received a vote of confidence from Parliament General Council and he became the Prime Minister.
Following October 20, 1991 elections, Yilmaz became the leader of the main opposition party and he was re-elected as Rize deputy for the third time on December 24, 1995.
On February 3, 1996, he was appointed by Suleyman Demirel, Turkey's ninth president, to set up a government. Yilmaz made a coalition with the True Path Party (DYP) and he founded the 53th government and became the president for the second time. His prime ministry lasted until June 28, 1996.
On June 29, 1997, Demirel appointed him to found the government and he became the Prime Minister for the third time in the 55th government.
During the general elections on April 18, 1999, Yilmaz became a deputy from Rize. He had said he cannot enter the 57th government because the investigation files opened against him were not finalized.
Yilmaz who speaks German and English is married and has two children.
 FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''NEWS REPORT SAYING THAT THE GOVERNMENT HALTED GIVING VISA TO TURKISH KINSMEN LIVING IN BULGARIA ARE BASELESS''ANKARA - Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the news report saying that the government halted giving visa to Turkish origin people living in Bulgaria, were not right.
Foreign Ministry issued a statement and said news report of Novigar Newspaper dated July 11, published in Bulgaria, saying, ''Ankara stopped giving visa to ethnic Turks,'' was not true. The statement said, ''we continue regular visa regime, that is implemented so far, to Bulgarian citizens, whether they are our kinsmen or not.''
The news report in question claimed Ankara took this decision upon the recommendation of European Parliament to exclude Bulgaria from the European Union (EU) visa black list, and that this recommendation meant Bulgarian- Turkish border to be Schengen border.
The news report said Ankara felt concern that thousands of Bulgarian- Turkish people, having double citizenship, who live in Turkey would immigrate to the West by making use of European Parliament, and that this would deprive Turkey from a valuable work power.
The news report claimed that the issue was discussed during a seminar of ruling Democratic Powers Union last week, and noted that thousands of Bulgarian citizens living in Turkey would come to Bulgaria to get their new Bulgarian passports.
 FUEL LEAK INTO SEA IN TRNC CAUSES SIGNIFICANT POLLUTIONLEFKOSA - During fuel transfer at Teknecik Power Plant of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), about one ton of fuel leaked into the sea due to a glitched which occured in the pipes on Thursday.
Cyprus Turk Electricity Institution said the accident took place while transferring fuel from a ship which was carrying 25,000 tons of fuel to the fuel tanks.
After noticing the leak, the transfer was stopped. Teknecik personnel and people living in the area started working to clean the leak.
It was stated that the problem in the pipes would not cause electric shortages at the power plant which has fuel enough to last for four days. The pipe will be repaired by Saturday.
Teknecik Electric Power Plant is close to Alagadi coast which hosts caretta caretta sea turtles. Caretta carettas which are facing extinction have been taken under protection all over the world.
The fuel link has created significant amount of pollution in the sea.
 U.S PRESIDENT CLINTON APPROVES TURKEY-U.S COOPERATION AGREEMENT ON NUCLEAR ENERGYWASHINGTON - U.S President Bill Clinton approved a cooperation agreement initialled between Turkey and the United States in the field of nuclear energy, officials said on Thursday. The agreement, after being signed between the two countries in November 1999, had been submitted to Clinton for approval.
Bill Clinton said that he had approved the said agreement, foreseeing the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes in line with the recommendations of the U.S companies, that the implementation of the agreement would not put the joint defense and security policies between Turkey and the U.S at risk, and that he had commissioned the State Department with the task of signing the agreement.
The agreement enables U.S and Turkish nuclear energy establishments to cooperate, and it will constitute the legal framework for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Station project if a U.S company happens to win the bid.
The agreement will be signed at a technical level in the forthcoming days, and after receiving the approval of the U.S Senate, it will be put in force, most likely sometime next year.
Diplomatic sources say that Clinton's preference of Turkey, as one of the few countries to build cooperation in the field of energy, is significant.
 U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON'S SPECIAL CONSULTANT FOR CASPIAN BASIN WOLF: ''I BELIEVE THAT THE MAIN EXPORT OIL PIPELINE WILL BE BUILT IN THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE''TBILISI - John Wolg, the U.S. President Bill Clinton's Special Consultant for Caspian Basin said on Thursday that he believed the main export oil pipeline will be built in the shortest time possible. Wolf, who holds contacts in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia told the press after meeting with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze that there is no alternative to Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.
The U.S. wants the project to be put into practice as soon as possible, said Wolf, adding there is enough oil in the Caspian basin.
Referring to the export of natural gas reserves of Shah Sea bed which came to agenda during President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's visit to Azerbaijan, Wolf said that they regard positive the negotiations between Turkey and Azerbaijan about the issue.
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said in his meeting with Wolf that nobody can prevent the construction of the main production oil pipeline and they will do everything for the safety of the pipeline.
 INDUSTRIALISTS IN KAYSERI INCREASE TRADE LINKS WITH CHINA AT INTERNET CAFEKAYSERI - Internet cafe which was set up by KOSGEB for industrialists in Kayseri, helped to develop trade with many countries especially with China. KOSBEG Kayseri director Erdal Cinar told A.A correspondent that industrialists in Kayseri became used to e-trade at the internet cafe which was opened at the Organized Industry Region seven months ago.
The industrialists, Cinar said, are forming business links with representatives of moulding, rug and thread sectors. They have also started trade with European countries and trading mini refrigerators, acrylic, and fiber with Israel, he said.
 TOTAL OF 31.3 TRILLION TL DONATED TO QUAKE SURVIVORS IN KOCAELIIZMIT - The Social Solidarity Foundation has donated a total of 31.3 trillion TL to 97,402 quake survivors in Kocaeli. Kocaeli Governor's Office said more than 61,000 people applied for assistance and about 55,000 of them received aid.
In the meantime, the tent cities which were 42 following the earthquke has dropped to 11. There are currently 11,817 quake survivors staying in the tent cities out of the 62,000 people who were hosted here following the earthquake.
 OLDEST SHIPWRECK OF THE WORLD READY FOR EXHIBITION -3,400-YEAR-OLD ULUBURUN WRECK TO BE PUT ON DISPLAY AT BODRUM UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM ON JULY 23IZMIR - The oldest shipwreck of the world, the 3,400 year old Uluburun Wreck will be put on display at Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum on July 23,officials said on Thursday.
The Syrian vessel, which had sunk into the waters of the Mediterranean in 1306 B.C while transporting the goods it had loaded from Egypt to Rhodes, will be presented to underwater enthusiasts and the public as of July 23, after 18 years following its discovery off the shores of Kas, Uluburun.
The Uluburun Wreck is a matchless, living Late Bronze Age example that has survived all the way through the ages, with its rich load and other important equipment.
The Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum, one of the ''most important 9 museums of Europe'' visited every day by 1,000-1,200 people, and considered as the ''pillar of underwater archaeology'' will gain a new exhibition hall to be able to host the Uluburun Wreck. The golden seal used by Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, and many other important items found in the wreck will be displayed at a seperate hall, newly built on this special occasion.
Oguz Alpozen, Director of Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum, who was one of the first divers to reach the wreck, said that the wreck was going to be displayed in the same way they had discovered it under the water, and that the visitors would be able to see how it looked under the water with its load and everything.
Alpozen said that the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum would become the most important underwater archaeology museum of the world with the exhibition of this very special item.
''Enthusiasts and museum officials from the United States, Britain, France, and Greece will be coming over to attend the inauguration to be made by Culture Minister Istemihan Talay. We will hold a special evening event for our guests,'' said Alpozen.
The Uluburun Wreck was discovered by coincidence, by a sponge diver named Mehmet Cakir in 1982. Excavations to recover the wreck from the seafloor lasted for 11 years.
The 20-meter long vessel, found some 60 meters below the surface, was recovered in 25 thousand dives carried out between 1984 and 1994.
The vessel is not only a fine example of the Late Bronze Age maritime creation, but also a significant finding, lighting up archaeologists about that age with the items it had been carrying.
Of the items among the load of the vessel, a golden seal of Queen Nefertiti is considered as the most important one. Moving on from that item, archaeologists date the ship back to the 14th century B.C, and estimate that it could have sunk sometime between 1376 and 1327 B.C. But another seal, carrying the name of Thutmosis I, support estimations that the ship might have had sunk in 1306 B.C.
The Uluburun Wreck introduced to modern man, also the oldest book of the world, a small note pad with two boxwood leaves attached to one another with an ivory hinge.
The load is as astonishing: 10 tonnes of Cyprus Copper, 1 tonnes of pure tin, over 150 round and flat bullions in different sizes, shapes, and colors, one ebony tree, one cedar tree, over 100 amphoras, 1 tonnes of resin collected from different types of Middle Eastern and Aegean trees, processed ivory pieces, sea shells, turtle shells used to make musical instruments, ceramic and metal mouthpieces, ostrich shells used to make vases and cups, ceramics, wine cups, gold and silver bracelets and necklaces, a relief depicting a goddess holding a deer in his hands, beads of various sizes, material, and color, a copper cauldron and cups, bronze weapons, bows, arrows, drill nibs, swords, knives, axes, sacks, and foodstuffs, either taken as load or to be consumed during the journey, including almonds, figs, olives, grapes, sumac, pomegranates, various cereals and grains, shuttles used for making nets, hooks, and harpoons.
 ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS CONTINUE IN CANAKKALECANAKKALE - While the archaelogical excavations continue in Trojan and Assos in western Canakkale province, the excavations in Gulpınar and Gokceada will start next week.
Mustafa Sevim, the Cultural Director of Canakkale told A.A correspondent on Thursday that the works of art that had earlier been excavated from Troja and Assos will be restored.
The excavations continue in Trojan with a team of 80 persons under the leadership of German Archaeologist Manfred Korfmann. The cleaning of the graves which were excavated earlier continues.
Sevim said that the restoration of the ancient theatre unearthed in Assos during the last years continues and the excavations in Trojan and Assos will end in September.
 SECURITY FORCES INTERCEPT 43 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSIZMIR - Security forces intercepted on Thursday 43 Pakistani people in Seferihisar township of Aegean Izmir province as they were trying to proceed to Greece illegally.
The immigrants were taken into custody for violating the Turkish borders and the passport law.
Officials told the A.A correspondent that the immigrants would be deported once the legal proceedings were completed.
 PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: (1) ''FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH THE EU WILL BE CARRIED OUT AGAIN BY FOREIGN MINISTRY AS IT WAS SO FAR''ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that Mesut Yilmaz, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, would be responsible for the works of public institutions and organizations within the framework of preparation process to the European Union (EU) membership. Ecevit said foreign relations related with the EU would again be carried out by Foreign Ministry. Ecevit spoke about joining of Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), in the government, and recalled that joining of Yilmaz in Council of Ministers was confirmed by the President.
''Yilmaz will be responsible for European Union General Secretariat in Council of Ministers,'' Ecevit pointed out.
Ecevit said the aim of the General Secretariat, which was set up on July 4, 2000, is to provide internal coordination and harmonization in preparations and works of public institutions and organizations within the scope of the works to prepare Turkey to the EU membership. ''Under the law, foreign relations related with the EU will again be carried out by Foreign Ministry. General Secretariat will carry out internal harmonization works in the membership process.''
Ecevit said Volkan Vural, who was assigned in the U.N., was appointed to the EU General Secretariat, adding that the decree on the issue would be submitted to the confirmation of the President.
 NOTORIOUS MAFIA BOSS CAKICI SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISONISTANBUL - Alaattin Cakici, the notorious mafia boss, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison on Thursday on charges of inciting his gunmen to stage an attack on journalist-writer Hincal Uluc.
France had extradited him to Turkey to stand trıal on two cases. The file formed one of them.
The Istanbul Basic Criminal Court No: 6 took a decision of abatement of the case due to statue of limitations on December 20, 1999. But Appeals Court's General Criminal Council annulled the decision.
Cakici had been sentenced to five years in prison on June 19 by the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) No: 6 on charges of ''forming and leading an organization to commit crimes'', the second case for which he was being tried in Turkey.
 DENKTAS, PRESIDENT OF THE TRNC, DEPARTS FROM GENEVAGENEVA - Rauf Denktas, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), departed from Geneva on Thursday after the suspension of third round of Cyprus proximity talks.
Denktas will go to TRNC via Turkey.
Denktas and an accompanying delegation will return to Geneva on July 23 to attend the part of the third round of talks that will be resumed on July 24. The talks are expected to continue till August 4. The talks which will be resumed again on September 12 in New York will continue till October.
TRNC President Rauf Denktas and Glafcos Clerides, leader of Greek Cypriot administration, will examine the views of the U.N. which were conveyed to them verbally, and will inform about their reactions on July 24 to Alvaro de Soto, the U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy to Cyprus.
The views which the U.N. conveyed to the sides are kept secret, and the participants were foreseen not to make statements and refrain from every kind of approaches that will escalate tension in the suspension period.
 PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: (2) -''WE HAVE VERY POSITIVE RELATIONS WITH YILMAZ''ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), did not want assurances from him for taking part in the government. ''We have very positive relations with Yilmaz that such conditions could not be put forward,'' he noted.
Recalling that Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State, wanted Yilmaz to join in the cabinet so far, Ecevit said they kept their promise to protect civil servants to be smashed under inflation.
Responding to the questions of journalists, Ecevit said they did not need to make a distribution of posts among the institutions linked with the state ministries, adding, ''the assignment which Yilmaz took is related with all the public institutions. There was no need to link it with other institutions.''
When recalled a news report appeared in some newspapers quoting Yilmaz as saying, ''I will accept to be the minister responsible for the EU General Secretariat, yet you should support me in fulfillment of Copenhagen criteria,'' and when asked if ANAP leader asked for an assurance, Ecevit said, ''this is absolutely out of question. We have very positive relations with Yilmaz that such conditions can not be put forward. This was not even implied.''
When asked if the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has abstentions as Yilmaz entered to the cabinet before leaders' summit convened, Ecevit said, ''no, as you know from his previous statements, Bahceli expected Yilmaz to be assigned as Deputy Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers. I also talked to Bahceli this morning.''
Responding to another question, Ecevit said efforts were underway to re- arrange public personnel regime as a part of the authority law. Speaking about the reactions shown to the 10 percent increase given to the salaries of the civil servants, Ecevit said, ''total price increase in salaries this year is 31 percent. We kept our promise to prevent the civil servants from smashing under the inflation.''
When recalled that Guenter Verhaugen, Commissioner responsible for the expansion of the EU visited Turkey, and when asked if Turkey exerted sufficient efforts regarding Turkey's membership to the EU, Ecevit said, ''we know that Copenhagen Criteria are the absolute conditions for all the candidate countries for full membership. I have earlier disclosed that we have adopted those critera. Of couse, we should take steps in this respect, Turkey already carries out a very rapid work on that issue.''
Ecevit said discussions between the two conservative parties to unite did not interest them, adding that government partners will discuss amendment to Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), and abolishment of capital punishment.
When recalled the discussion regarding ''espionage scandal,'' in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ecevit said, ''TRNC is an independent state. Jurisdiction procedures regarding the espionage claims are the domestic affairs of the TRNC.''
 FM CEM AND VERHEUGEN STAGE JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE (1)KAYSERI - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Thursday that he and Guenter Verheugen, member of the European Union (EU) Commission responsible for enlargement, were of the same opinion that Turkey-EU relations were developing rapidly.
Cem and Verheugen staged a joint news conference within the framework of their contacts in Kayseri province.
Cem said during the talks, they discussed the preparation works of the Accession Partnership Document that is expected to be disclosed in autumn. Cem said Verheugen wanted to visit Kayseri to get to know Anatolia and Anatolian people better.
Cem also said Verheugen came to Kayseri to visit the EU Communication Center in this city, adding that they will get information about the activities of the center.
 TURKEY REPAYS 144.98 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREIGN DEBT BETWEEN JULY 3- 12ANKARA - Turkey repaid a total of 144.98 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between July 3-12, 2000. The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury repaid 83.60 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 11.62 million U.S. dollars; the administrations with general and added budgets repaid 49.76 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between July 3-12.
Meanwhile, a total of 5 billion 369.68 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt has been repaid since the beginning of the year.
 FIRE BREAKS OUT IN TENTS IN ADAPAZARIADAPAZARI - Fire broke out in an area where nearly 20 tents take place, in Tekeler district of Adapazari province on Thursday. The fire started in the tents which were erected by quake survivors who feared to enter into their houses, in a child park. There were no immediate reports of casulties in the fire. Neighboring houses were evacuated after the fire spread due to LPG explosions.
Fire-fighting teams succeeded in extinguishing the fire before it spread to neighboring houses. All belongings of the quake survivors in the tents were burnt down to ashes in the fire.
A full investigation into the fire is underway.
 FM CEM AND VERHEUGEN STAGE JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE (2)KAYSERI - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Thursday that they have assessed that Turkish-EU relations have accelerated since December, adding that, ''we have seen that we are on the right path and that there was no problem.''
Addressing a joint news conference with Guenter Verheugen, the European Union (EU) commissioner responsible for enlargement, Cem said the talks held so far were intensified on three areas, mainly politics, economy, and adjustment of regulations.
Pointing out that there were many things that could be done regarding harmonization of Turkish economy to the economies of the EU countries, Cem said Turkish economy was in a positive development despite this. Cem said they have made assessments regarding adjustment of regulations and cooperation between the institutions.
Cem said Turkey has several delays stemming from ''absolute and understandable reasons'' concerning human rights and similar issues, adding that those reasons were gradually eliminated.
Pointing out that there were developments in this field, Cem said two important documents in Turkish-EU relations, namely Accession Partnership Document, which will be prepared by the EU, and National Program, which will be prepared by Turkey, were in preparation process.
Cem said Verheugen, who has close relations with Turkey, visited Turkey to get the views of the Turkish side in preparation stage of the Accession Partnership Document.
Cem said he talked with Verheugen regarding the document in general, and noted that this document included EU's expectations from Turkey and the draft opinions.
FM Cem said he conveyed Verhaugen the ministry's pre-comments regarding the document, and noted that he would also convey it to the government.
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK DECREASE TO 24.3 BILLION U.S. DOLLARSANKARA - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank decreased to 24 billion 336 million U.S. dollars. The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which reduced by 211 million U.S. dollars between June 30 and July 7, decreased to 24 billion 336 million U.S. dollars on July 7.
The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 24 billion 547 million U.S. dollars on June 30.
Meanwhile, according to the 23 June-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves decreased 1 billion 40 million U.S. dollars to 38 billion 35 million U.S. dollars between June 16-23.
The international gross reserves of Turkey were 39 billion 75 million U.S. dollars on June 16.
As of 11 September, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 23 billion 584 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 13 billion 440 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.
 FM CEM AND VERHEUGEN STAGE JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE (3)KAYSERI - Guenter Verheugen, the European Union (EU) commissioner responsible for enlargement, said on Thursday that he visited Kayseri to know Turkish people better, and noted that Turkish people could not be known only by visiting Ankara and Istanbul. Addressing a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Verheugen said he wanted to learn about the expectations and views of Turkish people regarding the EU membership.
Recalling that this was his third visit to Turkey, Verheugen said they always continued positive relations with Turkey.
Verheugen said period of important political statements was over now, and that they came to the core of the issue, adding that it is now time for work.
Verheugen said during today's talks they assessed that relations improved gradually. He said Accession Partnership Document covered issues of short and medium term, and noted that the document would include several conditions and criteria.
Pointing out that the document would be composed of three parts including politics, economy, and the EU acquisitions, Verheugen said basic procedures in this respect were based on Copenhagen criteria.
Verheugen said the document included an operating market economy and the points required by a competitive structure in European market in the field of economy, and defined today's talks as ''open and constructive.''
Verheugen said during the talks, Cem conveyed him the changes and arrangements made by Turkish government regarding relations with the EU, and noted that this procedure was similar to other candidates.
Responding to a question if appointment of Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), as the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the EU would create authority confusion in the government, Cem said State Ministry was responsible for the harmonization and technical arrangements and noted that it was their idea to turn it into a general secretariat.
Cem said it was pleasing that Yilmaz took part in the government, adding that there would not be confusion in the field of authority.
When asked how EU's view that ''there are minorities in Turkey'' would be discussed in the National Program that will be prepared by Turkey, Cem said there were two aspects. Pointing out that Turkey's historical development was different from the West Europe, Cem said there was a difference in the basis of racein Western Europe, but in Turkey, the muslim Ottoman citizens had equal rights and responsibilities everywhere in the country since the period of Ottoman Empire.
Pointing out that there was not only one definition within the EU in this respect, Cem said Amsterdam agreement did not include the expression ''minority.''
Responding to a question if a compromise could be reached in conflicted issues between Turkey and the EU in documents that will be prepared by the two sides, Cem said they did not define anything like ''conflicted issue,'' and noted that ''the commission is in an approach taking into consideration Turkey's sensitivity.''
Meanwhile, Verheugen, responding to a question about the meeting of Karen Fogg, the EU's Turkey Representative with the representatives of Alawite associations, said that was a standart project and the meetings were held with religious groups and non-governmental organizations within this framework.
Verheugen said he was not informed about the meeting, added that this was a normal implementation.
When asked about their expectations from Turkey regarding EU's Accession Partnership Document, Verheugen said Copenhagen criteria and the points that would be included in the document would form the expectations. He said they expected Turkish government to discuss the issue comprehensively.
 FIRE BREAKS OUT IN TENTS IN ADAPAZARI (2) -32 TENTS AND MAKESHIFT SHELTERS BURNT DOWN TO ASHESADAPAZARI - A total of 32 tents and makeshift shelters were burnt down to ashes in a fire which broke out in Tekeler district of Adapazari province on Thursday. Officials told the A.A correspondent that the fire had started due to a LPG explosion in tents and makeshift shelters erected in a child park.
Rasiye Atar who is suffering from a nervous breakdown, was taken to hospital for medical treatment.
Idris Kurtkaya, the Acting Governor of Sakarya, visited the scene of incident.
Kurtkaya stressed that all quake-survivors sheltering in the tents would be sheltered in prefabricated huts.
 TURK, JUSTICE MINISTER: ''WE WANT TO CONVERT ALL OUR PRISONS FROM WARD SYSTEM TO CELL SYSTEM''ISTANBUL - Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said on Thursday that they wanted to convert all the prisons from the ward system to cell system. Responding to the questions of journalists, Turk said several circles wanted to blacken the prisons with baseless and rumours.
Pointing out that the prisons were places which were set up under the law, Turk said, ''F type prisons were constructed taking into consideration the U.N. minimum requirements for prisons. Isolation of convicts is out of question.''
Turk said follow-up or inspection committees will be established to cover the developments in prisons and to listen to the complaints of convicts.
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