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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-06-20

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

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

Anadolu Agency

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

20 JUNE 2001 Wednesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN
  • [02] PARLIAMENT PASSES BANKS LAW
  • [03] FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN DUE TO BRITAIN
  • [04] FP ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO POSTPONE VERDICT
  • [05] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHAIRMAN SAYS CASES CANNOT BE ADJOURNED DUE TO AMENDMENTS OF CONSTITUTION AND LAWS
  • [06] CENTRAL BANK SELLS 212 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREX AUCTION
  • [07] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -GOKYIGIT, DEIK EXCUTIVE BOARD MEMBER: ''PASSAGE OF RUSSIAN OIL FROM ISTANBUL STRAIT IS DANGEROUS''
  • [08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''I THINK POSTPONEMENT OF THE CASE REGARDING CLOSURE OF FP WILL BE BENEFICIAL''
  • [09] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN DIRIOZ: -''THE NEWS STORIES IN THE PRESS DO NOT OVERLAP WITH THE INFORMATION WE HAVE ABOUT ESDI''
  • [10] ISREALI FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY GIL IN ANKARA: -''WE ARE PLEASED WITH ANKARA'S ROLE IN THE REGION''
  • [11] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHIEF JUDGE BUMIN CONSIDERS PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S STATEMENT A WISH
  • [12] STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION (1) -''WE NEVER MAKE CONCESSIONS ABOUT CYPRUS ISSUE''
  • [13] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL COMMITTEE MEETING STARTS
  • [14] CENTRAL BANK OPENS ANOTHER FOREX AUCTION
  • [15] STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION (2) -''RTUK LAW DOES NOT AIM AT RESTRICTING DEMOCRACY''
  • [16] CENTRAL BANK SELLS 62 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREX AUCTION
  • [17] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -BOTAS DIRECTOR GENERAL YARDIM: ''WE WILL OVERCOME MATTER OF GIVING NATURAL GAS TO INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES IN ONE YEAR''
  • [18] IS BANKASI RANKED 113TH AMONG TOP 250 BANKS IN WORLD
  • [19] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING -ARTICLE TO MAKE GREEK OFFICIAL BSECPA LANGUAGE EXCLUDED FROM THE AGENDA AFTER TURKISH DELEGATION'S OPPOSITION
  • [20] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS FP'S REQUEST FOR POSTPONEMENT OF CLOSURE CASE
  • [21] ZIRAAT BANKASI MAKES 64.6 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS NET PROFIT IN 2000
  • [22] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL COMMITEE MEETING -MESSAGE OF FM CEM: ''WE WOULD LIKE TO INTENSIFY OUR WORKS ON COOPERATION ISSUES DURING TURKEY'S TERM PRESIDENCY''
  • [23] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR SCHUESSEL DUE TO TURKEY
  • [24] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -CAKAN, MINISTER OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES: ''DECISION OF ENI TO PARTICIPATE IN DETAILED ENGINEERING WORKS OF BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE IS PLEASING''

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on June 20, 2001. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    GERMAN GREENS PARTY PROPOSES TO RECOGNIZE TRNC
    German Union 90/Greens Berlin organization proposed to officially recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). European Study Group of the party, who has Ozcan Mutlu who is of Turkish origin, thinks that recognition of the TRNC would help the peace process on the island.

    The members of the Study Group recently visited Turkish Ambassador in Berlin Osman Koruturk. Mutlu underlined that this was the decision of the Study Group and he didn't yet know how his party would react to this decision. Klaus Staehle from the Study Group also stated that they understood Cyprus' situation better than others since they experienced the division in Berlin.

    LATEST BY FRIDAY
    Constitutional Court Chairman Mustafa Bumin has said that the court might announce its final decision regarding the closure case of the Virtue Party (FP) Thursday or Friday. When asked how the constitutional amendment which makes party closures more difficult would affect the FP case, Bumin answered that the court would finalize the case according to the existing laws. He said that the amendments would affect the future cases.

    The Constitutional Court continued to hear the FP case on Tuesday afternoon.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    MORE DANGEROUS THAN A BOMB
    U.S. Chevron company is trying to convince Turkey to allow the transportation of Kazakh oil from the Turkish straits because this is the most economical route.

    All the eyes turned to Istanbul and Canakkale straits after the completion of the pipeline which will transport the Kazakh oil to the Russian port of Novorossisk on the Black Sea coast. Simon Nutting, a high level official from the Chevron company stated that the tankers will have a capacity between 70,000 and 155,000 tons and 100 to 160 tankers will pass from the straits every year. He stated that their contacts with Turkish officials were still continuing.

    These figures indicate that a giant tanker will pass from Istanbul every two days slowing down the traffic in the straits. The first tanker is expected to come in August.

    IMF HAS ITS EYE ON PARLIAMENT
    Two of the four condition necessary for the IMF to release 1.5 billion U.S. dollars of credit are ready. Now the IMF is waiting for Parliament to work on the other two conditions. Parliament approved the article regarding the liquidification of Emlak Bank and the supplementary budget. The IMF is now waiting for the tobacco bill and the appointments in Telekom's administration. The IMF is expected to release a tranche of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars next week.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    RESIGNATION THREAT
    The deputies of the Virtue Party (FP) who support Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of banned Welfare Party (RP), try to prevent the closure of FP by pressing on the Constitutional Court. Mehmet Bekaroglu, the deputy FP leader, launched the mass resignation initiative. Forty deputies including Avni Dogan, Vehbi Hatipoglu, Lutfu Esengun, Seref Malkoc who are known as the traditional wing of the party gave their resignation to FP leader Recai Kutan. Sources said that this number can rise to 60.

    KEMAL DERVIS: ''WE THOUGHT OF MORATORIUM''
    State Minister Kemal Dervis made important confessions at the luncheon held by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD). Dervis said that when he came to the office, there was a total chaos in Turkey. Dervis said, ''we thought of moratorium but then we changed our minds.''

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    DERVIS PRAISES DEBT SWAP
    State Minister in charge of Economy Kemal Dervis praised the debt swap and raised hopes for the next 6-9 months. Evaluating last Friday's debt swap, Dervis said ''It was a very good operation and everybody benefited from it.'' He said that through the debt swap, the maturity terms were extended significantly and the banks were comforted regarding the foreign currency. ''It couldn't have been better under the existing conditions,'' he said and added that the confidence of money markets would be regained in six to nine months.

    ANKARA CORRECTING ITS MISTAKE
    Turkey is correcting its ten-year long mistake and having contacts with Baghdad to open a second border gate on Iraqi-Turkish border. This way Turkey is giving a message to the Kurdish leaders Mesoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani saying that the Bagdad administration has control in northern Iraq. The border gate is expected to open within two years.

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    RAHSAN ECEVIT:''PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS''
    Democratic Left Party (DSP) Deputy Chairman Rahsan Ecevit asked DSP deputies to prepare for elections. The Ecevits received DSP deputies Mustafa Yilmaz, Tayfun Icli, Burhan Bicakcioglu, Orhan Ocak, Mustafa Tugmaner and their wives at their office in Oran. ''Right now, there is no alternative for the current government. But we should not leave election activities to the last moment. We should take precautions now even though the elections are not near yet,'' Rahsan Ecevit said.

    ANOTHER PICASSO PAINTING FOUND IN KURTKOY
    One man was caught while he was trying to sell a Picasso painting in Kurtkoy in Istanbul's Pendik district. This raised the number of Picasso paintings found in Turkey to ten. Civilian gendarmerie teams have been following the man named Ramazan Uildirim for four months. Recently they contacted him and met him disguised as a buyer. He was caught red handed while trying to sell the painting. Yildirim said during his interrogation that he brought the painting from Northern Iraq to Turkey.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN TOP GEAR
    Many efforts are exerted to debate the Article 37 of the Constitution before the parliament's recess. After reaching compromise on the first part of the constitutional amendment bill, the Parliamentary Interparties Compromise Commission has launched initiatives to amend articles of the Constitution which regulate the authorities of the President, the Higher Education Board (YOK) and the independence of jurisdiction.

    BAHCELI WANTS CHANGE
    Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli said that this is the first time that Turkey has come to the stage of a democratic Consitution and requested changes in the Political Parties Law and the election system. Bahceli said, ''we should debate the issues in our authorized commissions and make the amendments in the possible shortest time.''

    SEZER: ''WE WILL NOT PERMIT PASSAGE THROUGH STRAITS''
    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who sent a message to the energy conference named ''The Story of Three Seas'' held in Istanbul, said that it is not acceptable to consider and use Turkish straits as an oil pipeline route and that this will not be permitted.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    STATE ALSO USES OFF-SHORE METHOD
    The State Economic Enterprises (SEEs) are also using the off-shore method which helps tax evasion. In a sense, the state is evading tax. Turkey learned about the off-shore method when banks of those who wanted to earn tax free money bankrupted. Now, the nation is learning another thing: The state also has off-shore companies. The SEEs own more than hundred off- shore companies to evade tax and to save itself from inspection.

    ELECTION CONCERN IN DSP
    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had a meeting with the deputies of the Democratic Left Party (DSP). Ecevit, who had concerns about early elections in case of closure of the Virtue Party (FP), said during his meeting with DSP deputies that any institution or political party cannot push Turkey into an election adventure.

    FP: ''CASE SHOULD BE ADJOURNED''
    As the closure case of the Virtue Party (FP) is coming to an end, the party will request the adjournment of the case. The petition signed by FP leader Recai Kutan requests the adjournment of the case until the constitutional amendment bill is adopted by the parliament.

    [02] PARLIAMENT PASSES BANKS LAW

    ANKARA - The bill regarding the restructuring of state banks, their operation losses and the liquidation of certain funds was passed at Parliament General Council on early Wednesday morning.

    According to the law, Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank and Emlak Bank will have to get their annual balance sheets approved by an independent inspection institutions determined by Article 4389 of the Banks Law.

    -REDUNDANT PERSONNEL
    Redundant personnel which will occur as a result of the restructuring, will be transferred to other public institutions. The transfer will be done by the State Personnel Directorate.

    Any personnel who apply for retirement within two months after the law takes effect will be paid a 25 percent more retirement bonus. The personnel who retire under this article will not be employed in these banks within three years after their retirement.

    -LIQUIDATION OF EMLAKBANK
    Turkiye Emlak Bank will be liquidated as part of the restructuring. All their assets will be transferred to Ziraat Bank.

    After the transfer of assets, Emlak Bank will no longer have the authority to carry out banking transactions or accept savings accounts. The liquidation of the bank will be done according to the rules determined by the Liquidation Council of three people.

    -VAKIFBANK'S SHARES
    The law also proposes to privatize Turkiye Vakiflar Bank Inc. The Cabinet will determine the principles and methods of the sales of Vakifbank's shares.

    -RESPONSIBILITY OF MANAGEMENT
    Members of the executive and inspection boards who are charged to restructure the banks will not be responsible for practices which are made to ensure increase of activities of real sector, make bank assets fluid, and prepare banks for privatization by ensuring reorganization.

    The lawsuits which will be filed on charges of imperfection of practices of these people during the restructuring process by third persons will be filed against bank or banks that these people represent. The right of recourse will be reserved.

    -LIQUIDATION OF SOME FUNDS
    Under the law, the Civil Defense Fund, Disasters Fund, Mass Housing Fund, Electricity Fund, Fund for Foundation and Development of Free Zones, the Fund for Development and Spread of Apprenticeship and Technical Training, the Fund for Development and Encouragement of Small and Medium Scale Industry, Export Development Fund, Pasture Fund, Special Environment Protection Fund, Inspection Membership Fee Fund, Fuel Oil Price Stability Fund, Income Administration Development Fund, Fund for Organized Industry Zones and Traders' Construction and Management Expenditures, and Resource Usage Encouragement Fund will be liquidated.

    The incomes of these funds will be transferred to the budget. To prevent foundation of funds, the Council of Ministers will no longer be authorized to found a fund.

    Under the new law, the laws which have negative impacts on financial bodies of Ziraat Bankasi and Agricultural Credit Cooperatives and which cause duty losses will be annuled.

    -CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT OF EXPORTATION STUDIES
    The law foresees the foundation of the Center for Development of Exportation Studies. The aim of the foundation of this center is to introduce the agricultural and industrial products and natural products to world markets, to determine the conditions of new markets and introduce them in production regions, inform officials about movements in world markets on time, and to train people on foreign trade.

    The center will also search for the ways to increase the production of export goods, provide cooperation and coordination of domestic and foreign institutions to promote international commercial relations, ensure cooperation of ministries, chambers of commerce and industry, Union of Chambers and unions of exporters in exportation, foreign trade possibilities.

    The center which will be administratively and financially autonomous will be managed by an executive board and general secretariat.

    The new law foresees tax exclusion in union, transfer and division practices.

    [03] FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN DUE TO BRITAIN

    ANKARA - Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen will go to Britain on Wednesday.

    A statement of the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said that Tuzmen, accompanied by 40 businessmen, is going to Britain within the framework of a businessmen program which is prepared by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat and Trade Partners UK and which is supported by the Turkish-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    A seminar will be held in London on Thursday in which representatives of Turkish and British public and private sector will participate.

    The Turkish and British companies will hold bilateral business contacts on Thursday afternoon.

    The delegation will hold bilateral contacts with businessmen and officials from the West Midland region on June 22.

    The delegation is expected to wrap up their contacts in Britain on June 23.

    [04] FP ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO POSTPONE VERDICT

    ANKARA - The Virtue Party (FP) Wednesday asked the Constitutional Court to postpone finalizing the closure case against itself.

    The FP applied to the court after the Constitutional Amendment Reconciliation Commission reached an agreement regarding Article 69 of the Constitution which closely concerns the FP's case.

    FP Trabzon deputy Seref Malkoc, in his application to the Constitutional Court, said that the outlawed Welfare Party's (RP) case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was going to be finalized very soon and that this decision should also be added to the continuing case to shut down the FP.

    [05] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHAIRMAN SAYS CASES CANNOT BE ADJOURNED DUE TO AMENDMENTS OF CONSTITUTION AND LAWS

    ANKARA - Constitutional Court Chairman Mustafa Bumin said on Wednesday that cases cannot be adjourned due to amendments that will be made on Constitution and laws.

    The Constitutional Court started to debate the closure case of the Virtue Party (FP).

    When reporters reminded Bumin that the FP presented a petition requesting the adjournment of the case, Bumin said that he had earlier said that the cases could not be adjourned due to amendments that will be made on Constitution and laws.

    Bumin said, ''such a rule does not exist under laws and in practice. I only say my personal view. This is not an application which will adjourn the case.''

    Asked if the speculations regarding the court decision influence them, Bumin said, ''no. My friends are not influenced by these speculations. They will give their decision under the laws.''

    When a reporter reminded him about FP's petition and asked if they would give an interim decision, Deputy Constitutional Court Chairman said that they will firstly debate this issue if there is such a petition.

    [06] CENTRAL BANK SELLS 212 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREX AUCTION

    ANKARA - Central Bank sold 212 million U.S. dollars to banks in its foreign exchange auction on Wednesday.

    The maximum bid became 1,245.000 Turkish lira (TL) while the minimum bid became 1,234,000 TL.

    Meanwhile, the average 1 U.S. dollar bid price became 1,236,169 TL.

    [07] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -GOKYIGIT, DEIK EXCUTIVE BOARD MEMBER: ''PASSAGE OF RUSSIAN OIL FROM ISTANBUL STRAIT IS DANGEROUS''

    ISTANBUL - Nihat Gokyigit, the Executive Board member of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said on Wednesday that reaching of the Russian oil to the world passing through the straits, was dangerous for Istanbul.

    Gokyigit, who addressed the conference titled, ''Story of Three Sea: Integration with World Energy,'' stressed that Turkey arranged the safety of the Straits according to the international standarts, noting that, ''although we take security measures at the straits, there can still be danger of unsafe passage of vessels carrying hazardous substances.''

    Pointing out that the Istanbul Strait has an international traffic as well as a local traffic, Gokyigit said this traffic increased the danger in the straits.

    Gokyigit said the Black Sea was one of the mostly polluted seas and that Istanbul Strait passed from the middle of Istanbul which formed 40 percent of the Turkish economy.

    He said, ''I think the Black Sea littoral states and non-governmental organizations in Turkey will take action regarding the Straits and the Black Sea. Instead of transporting Baku-Ceyhan oil through sea, a more profitable and economic investment like Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan should be implemented.''

    [08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''I THINK POSTPONEMENT OF THE CASE REGARDING CLOSURE OF FP WILL BE BENEFICIAL''

    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that he thought postponement of the case, regarding closure of the Virtue Party (FP), will be beneficial till the Constitutional amendment which make closure of political parties difficult is made.

    Prime Minister Ecevit held a meeting with a group of parliamentarians from the Democratic Left Party (DSP).

    When recalled that an application was made to the Constitutional Court regarding postponement of the case pertaining to closure of FP, Ecevit said, ''I think, postponement of the case will be beneficial because there is a constitutional amendment package in front of the parliament. There are provisions in this package which make closure of political parties difficult. So, I think it will be benefical if a postponement can be in question. However, it is the Supreme Court to decide.''

    When asked if there is a possibility for an early election, Ecevit said, ''at the moment, Turkey is not in a position to endure an election. Because, we are carrying out a program which should be implemented with sensitivity to rescue economy. We take steps which are of reform quality. All these can be shattered if an election is in question at the time being.''

    Responding to a question when the leaders will convene to discuss Constitutional amendment package, Ecevit said, ''Mr. Mesut Yilmaz has not arrived in Ankara yet. We will convene at the moment he returns to Ankara.''

    When asked about his views regarding the statements of State Minister Kemal Dervis that statements of the politicians and the ministers negatively affected economy, Ecevit said he did not have such a concern.

    Ecevit said, ''the important thing is to obtain an outcome. We are discussing, and reaching consensus on some points. We continue to implement the decisions in determination.''

    [09] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN DIRIOZ: -''THE NEWS STORIES IN THE PRESS DO NOT OVERLAP WITH THE INFORMATION WE HAVE ABOUT ESDI''

    ANKARA - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said on Wednesday, ''news stories in the press claiming that a compromise had been reached between Turkey and the European Union (EU) on the issue of the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) do not overlap with the information we have.''

    Speaking at the weekly press conference at the Foreign Ministry, Dirioz said, ''works on the issue have been countinuing. We hope that a solution would be found in line with both decisions taken at Washington Summit Meeting and Turkey's benefits.''

    Responding to a question about news stories claiming that United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan had been expending efforts to bring the sides on Cyprus together in July, Dirioz told reporters, ''Annan's good-will mission has been continuing. Turkey thinks that a new ground should be found for negotiations between the two sides.''

    Responding to anothear question about opening of a second border gate between Turkey and Iraq, Dirioz said, ''as Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stated earlier, a decision was taken on the issue. There is an approximate period of two years. Works between Turkish and Iraqi authorities have been continuing.''

    Dirioz added, ''the meeting scheduled to be held in Ankara between Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) and Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Iraqi Kurdistan (PUK) was not cancelled. A date will be set for the meeting later.''

    [10] ISREALI FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY GIL IN ANKARA: -''WE ARE PLEASED WITH ANKARA'S ROLE IN THE REGION''

    ANKARA - Political consultations were held between Turkey and Israel in Ankara on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu and his Israeli counterpart Avi Gil.

    Responding to questions of journalists following the meeting, Gil said that they were pleased with Turkey's role between Israeli and Palestinian sides.

    Noting that Turkey had been following a satisfactory policy to improve the situation in the Middle East, Gil stressed that acts of violence should come to an end in order to maintain the cease-fire decleared a while ago.

    Gil responded to a question in the affirmative whether or not he gave a message to Turkish officials to be conveyed to Palestinian side.

    He refrained from responding to questions about content of the message.

    Gil said that the message aimed at settling a lasting cease-fire in the region.

    He told reporters that negotiations would continue at a luncheon which is expected to focus on the issue of Manavgat water project.

    Gil's visit to Turkey is a continuation of Logoglu's visit to the region two weeks ago.

    Meanwhile, Gil said that a certain date had not been set yet for the scheduled visit of Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer to Turkey in July.

    [11] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHIEF JUDGE BUMIN CONSIDERS PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S STATEMENT A WISH

    ANKARA - Constitutional Court Chief Judge Mustafa Bumin considered Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's statement a wish.

    Prime Minister Ecevit said earlier in the day, ''in my opinion, postponement of the closure case against the Virtue Party (FP) will be helpful. But it is the Constitutional Court to decide.''

    Responding to questions of journalists prior to afternoon session of the Constitutional Court's meeting about the closure case, Bumin said that they would take a decision about the FP's request for postponement of the case.

    Noting that examination of the evidences was finalized, Bumin said, ''now we started assessing it.''

    Responding to a question about Prime Minister Ecevit's statement saying, ''in my opinion, postponement of the closure case against the FP will be helful,'' Bumin told reporters, ''it is Prime Minister Ecevit's own wish and view. There are circles defending the opposite.''

    When asked whether or not the case would be finalized tomorrow, Bumin said that he could not give an exact date.

    [12] STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION (1) -''WE NEVER MAKE CONCESSIONS ABOUT CYPRUS ISSUE''

    BRUSSELS - State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said on Wednesday, ''we never make concessions about Cyprus issue.''

    Yilmaz delivered a speech at the European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission.

    When some parliamentarians defended, ''Turkey is blackmailing by using Cyprus, has taken Cyprus hostage, and occupied the island'', and claimed, ''there is only one Cypriot state,'' Yilmaz reacted, ''there is a state in Northern Cyprus whether it is recognized or not. When Galileo Galile said that the world was turning around the sun, nobody believed him.''

    ''We want a fair and lasting solution in Cyprus. However, I understand here that we do not agree with each other even on the origin of the problem,'' he said.

    Giving information about what Greek Cypriots had done in the past and their responsibility for the current situation on the island, Yilmaz said, ''our Greek friends should give up their desire to make Turkish Cypriot community a minority. We never accept it. We will never accept Cyprus' European Union (EU) full membership under these conditions.''

    ''Putting pressure on Turkey is not a good method. Such pressures will not be influencial. Turkey's attitude on the Cyprus issue is clear. Ankara wants a fair and lasting solution on the island. Greek Cypriot side's efforts to join the EU will not ease solution of the problem. On the contrary, Greek Cypriot side's membership will pave way to extremely negative developments. In accordance with the agreements, Cyprus cannot join an international institutions to which both Turkey and Greece, the guarantor countries, are members,'' he stressed.

    Yilmaz added that a solution could only be reached on the island by providing the equal rights to the two communities.

    (To be continued)

    [13] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL COMMITTEE MEETING STARTS

    BAKU - The Black Sea Economic cooperation Parliamentary Assembly (BSECPA) General Committee meeting started in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

    Message of Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev was read out at the opening of the meeting.

    In his message, Aliyev said it was pleasing that parliamentary representatives of 11 states convene within the body of the BSECPA and carry out joint works, noting that relations of the BSECPA member countries yielded in positive outcomes.

    Stressing that Azerbaijan set up its relations with neighbours basing on the principles of friendship, respect to territorial rights, and not interfering with their internal affairs, Aliyev said peace and stability in the region was very important. He said the problems should be solved in line with the principles of international laws.

    Murtuz Aleskerov, the Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker, the BSECPA Term President, who addressed the opening of the meeting, pointed out that his country fully supported the targets of the BSEC and BSECPA, noting that those institutions played an important role not only in economic field, but also for the social stability and peace in the region.

    Pointing out that there were various problems in the region, Aleskerov said the biggest one was the Upper Karabakh problem. He said more than one million Azerbaijani people were refugees because of the problem that continued for 13 years. He recalled that 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories were under occupation.

    Aleskerov said they hoped this problem be solved through peaceful ways and in line with the principles of international law.

    In today's section of the General Assembly meeting, the participants will discuss request of the German Parliament to attend BSECPA in observer status, evaluation of the written minutes of the 16th General Committee meeting which had taken place in Yerevan in November 28-30, 2000, strengthening of stability in the Black Sea region, evaluation of various activities within the body of BSEC, and protection of legal rights of refugee workers in regional countries.

    [14] CENTRAL BANK OPENS ANOTHER FOREX AUCTION

    ANKARA - Central Bank opened second foreign exchange auction on Wednesday to intervene in increase in U.S. dollar.

    Bids to the second foreign exchange auction were given to the Central Bank until 15:00 hours.

    Central Bank sold 212 million U.S. dollars to banks in today's first foreign exchange auction and the average U.S. dollar currency became 1 million 236 thousand 169 Turkish lira (TL).

    However, selling price of 1 U.S. dollar at the free market rose to 1 million 255 thousand TL following the first auction.

    [15] STATE MINISTER AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION (2) -''RTUK LAW DOES NOT AIM AT RESTRICTING DEMOCRACY''

    BRUSSELS - State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said on Wednesday, ''Turkey has been experiencing the most serious and complicated crisis of its history. During such a period, Turkey approved the National Program. Also, it has been making important reforms.''

    Yilmaz delivered a speech at the European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission.

    ''We have prioritized works to improve the economic situation in Turkey. We have started implementing a new economic program approved by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Important changes will occur by the end of the year,'' he said.

    Yilmaz noted, ''people in Turkey understood the fact that they could not reach their targets without judicial and political reforms. We need support of the opposition parties for constitutional amendments. Initiavities to provide compromise among the political parties are continuing.''

    When some members of the European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission criticized the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) Law, Yilmaz said, ''there are nearly 400 private broadcasting channels in Turkey. 80 percent of them are opponent to the government. Such a situation has not been seen in any country. The parliament approved the law, but President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed it. The law does not aim at restricting democracy. We aim at preparing a law which is appropriate to the rules in the EU.''

    Responding to criticisms about partly and conditionally lifting of capital punishment, Yilmaz said, ''I am personally opposed to death sentence. There are opinions in the coalition government which are in favor of keeping the capital punishment in the penal code in cases of warfare and terrorism.''

    Ozan Ceyhun, a German MP of Turkish origin who spoke at the meeting as a member of the European parliament Domestic Affairs Commission, asked Yilmaz why an interior minister struggling against corruptions was removed from his office.

    Responding to Ceyhun's question, Yilmaz said, ''an interior minister's duty is not limited with struggle against corruptions. Also he should be respectful to human rights. This the reason of his removal from office. I do not want to give any more detail.''

    European parliamentarians criticized the situation in prisons in Turkey. They wanted Turkish officials to set up dialogue with prisoners. European MPs also expressed their concerns about closure of the Virtue Party (FP).

    Enneko Landabrou speaking at the meeting on behalf of the EU Commission, said that Turkey's EU accession process were continuing under the same conditions with the other candidate states.

    Noting that they had been monitoring economic situation and developments in Turkey, Landabrou said that Turkish government was determined, and that measures taken by the Turkish government would be beneficial for relations between Turkey and the EU.

    Claiming that general situation in human rights was causing concerns, Landabrou said that Turkey should expend intense efforts to improve the situation.

    Noting that there were differences between the National Program submitted by Ankara and the Accession Partnership Accord prepared by the EU, Landabrou said that there were some deficiencies in Turkey's National Program, and added that the document was welcomed in general.

    Tights security measures have been taken in and around the European Parliament building. Supporters of the terrorist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) had earlier entered the hall and staged a protest during a meeting at the European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission in which Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was in attendance.

    Yilmaz is scheduled to meet with Guenter Verheugen, the member of the EU Commission for enlargement, later in the day.

    (End)

    [16] CENTRAL BANK SELLS 62 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREX AUCTION

    ANKARA - Central Bank sold 62 million U.S. dollars to banks in its second foreign exchange auction on Wednesday.

    The maximum bid became 1,262.100 Turkish lira (TL) while the minimum bid became 1,255,000 TL.

    Meanwhile, the average 1 U.S. dollar bid price became 1,258,098 TL.

    [17] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -BOTAS DIRECTOR GENERAL YARDIM: ''WE WILL OVERCOME MATTER OF GIVING NATURAL GAS TO INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES IN ONE YEAR''

    ISTANBUL - Pipeline Oil Transportation Inc (BOTAS) Director General Gokhan Yardim said on Wednesday that they would overcome the matter of giving natural gas to industrial facilities in one year.

    Speaking at the conference on ''Story of Three Seas: Integration With World Energy'', Yardim said that they had reached the final stage in evaluation works on six pipelines and those were the Malatya-Kahramanmaras pipeline, Kahramanmaras-Adana pipeline, Adana-Mersin pipeline, Konya-Isparta pipeline, Isparta-Nazilli pipeline and Nazilli-Nigde pipeline.

    Noting that they would announce this month the winning companies, Yardim said that the tender covered also the connection pipes in and around Elazig, Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Adana, Iskenderun, Isparta, Antalya, Mugla and Denizli.

    ''Meanwhile, natural gas is coming, of course. And we must bring the natural gas in front of the industry and sell it,'' he said.

    ''So we prepared a new tender which brings natural gas in front of the industry with A type stations and connection pipes in almost 17-18 regions. With this tender, we will bring natural gas into Rize, Giresun and Trabzon via Erzincan, Bayburt and Gumushane and later from Trabzon into Kelkit. Because, there is a ceramics factory there. Later, natural gas will be brought to Usak, Turgutlu, Manisa, Corum and Amasya industry zones via Tokat, Yozgat, Eregli, Karaman, and Kutahya. We will take natural gas from the main pipeline and we will give it to the industrial facilities after reducing the pressure. We will overcome this in one year,'' he said.

    Meanwhile, Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Business Council and Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK) member Nihat Gokyigit told reporters that this conference would be held every year in Istanbul.

    ''It is obvious that Turkey is a very big market for energy,'' he said.

    Recalling that projects had been taken up in detail and dangers and risks that the Straits and Black Sea might face had been put forward in the conference, Gokyigit said that it had been almost accepted that the Baku- Ceyhan pipeline was a more realistic project.

    Gokyigit said that any concrete decision would not be taken in the conference but the conference would affect the oil companies.

    ''Many people are attending this conference although Turkey is experiencing a crisis. Because, Turkey is near the Caspian Sea and on the route and giant market corridor of great Caspian basin energy resources. There are discussions on an agreement with Greece on transfer of these resources to world markets via the Turkey corridor. Connection of our gas line with Greece and later with Europe is in question,'' he said.

    Stressing that Egypt had showed great interest in connection with Turkey network, Gokyigit said that Egypt wanted to reach both Turkey market and Europe market via Turkey.

    Noting that specific amount of oil would be absolutely carried through the Straits, Gokyigit, ''however, several measures are being taken to prevent dangerous passage.''

    [18] IS BANKASI RANKED 113TH AMONG TOP 250 BANKS IN WORLD

    ISTANBUL - Is Bankasi ranked 113th among the ''Top 250 Banks in World''.

    Is Bankasi said on Wednesday that Euromoney placed the bank on the 113th ranking among the top 250 banks in the world according to their equity capital.

    Euromoney announced that Is Bankasi ranked first among the Turkish banks, it said.

    According to the Euromoney's list, Yapi Kredi Bankasi ranked 158th, Akbank ranked 222nd and Garanti Bankasi ranked 233rd.

    Euromoney said that Is Bankasi's equity capital was 3 billion 989 million U.S. dollars as of December 31, 2000.

    [19] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING -ARTICLE TO MAKE GREEK OFFICIAL BSECPA LANGUAGE EXCLUDED FROM THE AGENDA AFTER TURKISH DELEGATION'S OPPOSITION

    BAKU - The issue of making Greek as language of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Parliamentary Assembly (BSECPA), which was included in the agenda of the BSECPA meeting, was excluded from the agenda upon the opposition of the Turkish delegation.

    Mehmet Gul, the chairman of BSECPA Turkish delegation, spoke during the discussion of the agenda articles, and noted that the issue was taken onto the agenda contradicting with the principles of by-law.

    Pointing out that the agenda articles should be determined unanimously, Gul said, ''we should not violate the articles of the by-laws we have prepared.''

    Gul said BSECPA General Secretary failed to make necessary warnings in this respect and did not fulfil his duties. He said they wanted the articles in question to be excluded from the agenda by considering the reasons.

    Representatives of other countries who spoke later pointed out that they found Turkey's opposition rightful.

    The Chairmanship Council decided to exclude the article from the agenda and discuss it during the Legal Committee meeting that will take place in Georgia.

    Turkish, Russian, British and French are currently used within the body of the BSECPA.

    [20] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS FP'S REQUEST FOR POSTPONEMENT OF CLOSURE CASE

    ANKARA - The Constitutional Court rejected on Wednesday the Virtue Party's (FP) request of postponement of the closure case till finalization of the outlawed Welfare Party's (RP) case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and debates on the constitutional amendment package.

    Responding to questions of journalists, Constitutional Court Deputy Chief Judge Hasim Kilic announced the Court's interim verdict about FP leader Recai Kutan's application for postponement of the case.

    Kilic said, ''Kutan applied to the Constitutional Court earlier in the day, and requested postponement of the case till finalization of the outlawed RP's case at the ECHR and debates on the constitutional amendment package. The Constitutional Court delegation assessed the request, and unanimously decided that the petition submitted by Kutan does not constitute sufficient grounds to postpone the case. The hearing continues.''

    Sources said that the Constitutional Court delegation asked opinion of Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sabih Kanadoglu about the FP's request.

    After Kanadoglu explained its opinion, the Constitutional Court decided to reject the FP's request.

    [21] ZIRAAT BANKASI MAKES 64.6 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS NET PROFIT IN 2000

    ANKARA - Ziraat Bankasi's net profit rose 60.9 percent to 64.6 trillion Turkish liras (TL) in 2000.

    According to independent supervisory report of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu member DRT Supervision Revision Financial Counselling company, Ziraat Bankasi's net profit had been 40.2 trillion TL in the end of 1999.

    Ziraat Bankasi's total assets rose 36.2 percent from 12 quadrillion 35.3 trillion TL in the end of 1999 to 16 quadrillion 394.9 trillion TL in the end of 2000.

    The bank's total credits increased 48.2 percent from 2 quadrillion 918.8 trillion TL in the end of 1999 to 4 quadrillion 325 trillion TL in the end of 2000.

    Bank's securities portfolio rose 5.3 percent from 848.4 trillion TL to 893.5 trillion TL, deposits at the bank increased 32.4 percent from 9 quadrillion 586.2 trillion TL to 12 quadrillion 695.1 trillion TL, and equity capital climbed 51.7 percent from 290.7 trillion TL to 441.1 trillion TL.

    Bank's net interest incomes rose 55.1 percent from 504.3 trillion TL to 782.4 trillion TL and its net non-interest incomes increased 70.6 percent from 389.4 trillion TL to 664.3 trillion TL.

    [22] BSECPA 17TH GENERAL COMMITEE MEETING -MESSAGE OF FM CEM: ''WE WOULD LIKE TO INTENSIFY OUR WORKS ON COOPERATION ISSUES DURING TURKEY'S TERM PRESIDENCY''

    BAKU - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Wednesday sent a message to the Black Sea Economic cooperation Parliamentary Assembly (BSECPA) General Committee meeting and said, ''we would like to intensify our works on cooperation issues which have priority during Turkey's term presidency. The BSECPA meeting started in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

    In his message, Cem pointed out that BSEC took place in the heart of Eurasia, noting that economic development of the new millenium took place in this region.

    Cem said BSEC attracted a gradually increasing interest with the rich oil and gas resources as well as its geographical position between the East and the West, adding that cooperation of the societies in the BSEC region which have different beliefs and cultures, was a separate richness.

    Cem said the BSEC member states succeeded in assessing joint economic targets despite various difficulties, adding that a continuous dialogue was set up among the members.

    In his message, Cem said BSECPA played a very important role for the BSEC member countries to determine a joint strategy in economic area.

    Cem said during Turkey's term presidency, they wanted to mainly focus on cooperation issues like trade, energy, transportation and agriculture, which have priority.

    Cem said success of the term presidency of Turkey would depend on the active support of the member states.

    Pointing out that a regional economic cooperation like BSEC could be an effective way in overcoming difficulties in globalization process, Cem said more cooperation, solidarity and mutual understanding were necessary for the benefit of the Black Sea region.

    ''With the valuable support of the regional parliamentarians, we should strengthen our organization to serve to our peoples and to install peace and prosperity in our region to serve our peoples. I would like to point out once again that we commit to work with all the member countries to achieve this goal,'' he said.

    [23] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR SCHUESSEL DUE TO TURKEY

    VIENNA - Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel will go to Turkey on Thursday on an official visit.

    During Chancellor Schuessel's contacts in Ankara, political and economic relations between Turkey and Austria, relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU), and problems of nearly 180 thousand Turkish workers living in Austria will be taken up in detail.

    State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz had held talks with Chancellor Schuessel on June 18 during his contacts in Vienna, and discussed problems of Turkish workers within framework of bilateral relations.

    Yilmaz said that economic relations between the two countries increased sharply in recent years.

    Chancellor Schuessel will proceed to southeastern province of Sanliurfa on the second day of his visit to Turkey, and visit the Birecik Dam.

    Austria has a 30 percent share in dam constructions in Turkey.

    [24] STORY OF THREE SEAS CONFERENCE -CAKAN, MINISTER OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES: ''DECISION OF ENI TO PARTICIPATE IN DETAILED ENGINEERING WORKS OF BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE IS PLEASING''

    ISTANBUL - Zeki Cakan, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, said on Wednesday that decision of Italian Eni company to participate in detailed engineering works of Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline is pleasing. Italian Eni undertook the installation of the pipeline of the Blue Stream Project in the Black Sea.

    Cakan, who attended the lunch of the conference entitled, ''Story of Three Seas: Integration with World Energy,'' pointed out that Turkey, in parallel with being a rapidly developing country, targets meeting its growing energy needs from various sources and taking them under guarantee. He said Turkey also targets strengthening of independence of the regional countries, their economic development, and establishment of regional cooperation.

    Cakan said Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project was one of the important projects to the two important projects of the ''East-West Energy Corridor,'' which was planned to be installed with this joint target.

    Cakan said the determined attitudes of the regional countries and oil companies in ''Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project,'' which is one of the biggest oil pipeline transportation projects of the 21st century, was pleasing for Turkey and giving confidence.

    Cakan said they responded affirmatively to the demands of the oil companies acting in Kazakhstan to attend the ''Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project.''

    Cakan said oil companies acting in Kazakhstan believed that consultations carried out with Azerbaijan would be completed soon to attend ''Aktau-Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan Transportation Project.''

    Cakan said the issue which should be evaluated carefully for Turkey was passage from the straits during the installation of ''East-West Energy Corridor,'' noting that, ''how will millions of tonnes of oil will pass from the straits. While mentioning pollution of the Caspian, there is a need to mention the pollution of the straits, the Black Sea and the Marmara. But I believe that those are issues which can be solved by considering the interests of all regional countries, economic and environmental effects.''


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