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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-06-21
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>Anadolu Agency
21 JUNE 2001 Thursday
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on June 21, 2001. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)END TO QUOTA SUPPORT TO TOBACCO
Parliament on Wednesday passed Tobacco Bill which caused arguments extending from resignation of State Minister Yuksel Yalova to the appointment of Yilmaz Karakoyunlu. Under the law, tobacco areas will be determined with quotas.
According to the bill the tobacco prices will be determined between the producers and the merchants. The tobacco prices will be formed according to free market conditions.
Those who run a factory of tobacco products or alcoholic beverages without official permission will be sentenced to one to three years of jail term or a minimum of 250 million TL fine.
In accordance with the bill, TEKEL's State Economic Enterprise status will be changed into Economic State Organization status, paving the way for its privatization.
Under the bill, the Turkish Trade Law rules won't be implemented in TEKEL's privatization in order to accelerate the privatization process.
The state won't purchase tobacco from producers to support them in 2002 and in the following years according to the bill.
TURKISH SEAL TO ROMANIA
Trade relations between the two countries had already improved in the recent 10 years after the Turkish entrepreneurs made much investments in this country following the coup.
According to the official records in Turkish Embassy in Bucharest, a total of 6,300 Turkish companies are acting in this country. The total investment amount is ''registered 500 million U.S. dollars.''
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)CLOSURE CASE ABOUT FP
Turkey began to look for a response to the question, ''can a party be closed in contemporary democracies'' after a closure case was filed against the Virtue Party (FP) on May 7, 1999.
However, the Constitutional amendment, which the parliament can materialize in two sessions, can not be brought onto the agenda despite the 25 months which passed.
A case had been opened against the FP on May 7, 1999 on grounds that the FP was continuation of the banned Welfare Party (RP) and a center for anti- secular activities. Immediately after the case, all the sides, mainly the leaders, began to defend the view that ''decisions to close parties formed an obstacle on the way to become an EU member.''
Nowadays, when the decision sessions started in closure case, the leaders disclosed their views against party closures. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said postponement of the court decision would be beneficial. Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Mesut Yilmaz said party closures can not be explained to Europe, whereas Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Devlet Bahceli said the changes would be historical steps. Meanwhile, the FP officially applied to the Constitutional Court and demanded the constitutional changes to be waited for the decision.
MIGROS GOES TO TEHRAN
Migros, which intensified on those markets, plans to open shopping centers in Tehran and Damascus in the first half of 2002.
Cengiz Solakoglu, the Koc Holding Consumption Group Chairman, pointed out that there has been an important change in Iran and Syria, noting that, ''a cooperation protocol has been signed between Turkey and Syria. Relations develop.''
SABAH (LIBERAL)PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT GETS ANGRY WITH DERVIS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit called State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy, and urged him not to inform external circles on arguments among members of the Council of Ministers. Speaking at a meeting organized by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), State Minister Dervis referred to some ministers from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and said, ''Treasury went into debt with 5 to 8 percent higher interest because their statements.'' Members of the MHP complaint about Dervis to Prime Minister Ecevit. Prime Minister Ecevit got angry with Dervis. He held a meeting with him, and expressed his uneasiness about his statement.
HARSH CRITICISM FROM YILMAZ TO TANTAN
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)BAD NEWS TO FP
The Constitutional Court unanimously rejected the Virtue Party's (FP) request for 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.
Mustafa Bumin, the Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court pointed out that the examination of the evidences was completed, noting that, ''we have started evaluation.'' It was reported that the voting process can be completed today or tomorrow.
SCHUESSEL DUE IN TURKEY
RADIKAL (LEFT)BAKU-CEYHAN IS OKEY
John Browne, the chairman of BP, the most important power behind the project: there is no obstacle in front of the pipeline.
BP, the biggest partner behind the Baku-Ceyhan project, which will transport Azeri oil to the West via Turkey gave hope. He said from now on they knew the quantity of the oil, and noted that the consortium, which will contruct the pipeline was very strong.
Browne said the construction of the pipeline would start after nine months, noting that the oil will flow in 2005 the latest. He said Turkey caught an opportunity to be a center of gas and oil which will reach from the Caspian region to the West.
EYES OF EU ON FP
The EU officials, which Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met in Guthenburg and Brussels, while he was accompanying Prime Minister Ecevit in the EU summit, listed their expectations from Ankara.
''Take immediate concrete steps in democratization. Closure of FP will create difficulty for Turkey in Accession Council that will take place on June 26,'' they said.
Cem conveyed Ecevit the seriousness of those warnings when they were returning to Turkey.
TURKIYE (RIGHT)PARLIAMENT ADOPTS TOBACCO BILL
The parliament adopted the tobacco bill which reconstructs the State Owned Tobacco and Alcoholic Beverages Authority (TEKEL) and which brings new regulations to tobacco, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
ECHR TO TAKE A FINAL DECISION ABOUT RP IN JULY
EMLAKBANK TO BE LIQUIDATED
OSMANLI BANK AND KORFEZBANK TO MERGE
ZIRAAT BANKASI MAKES 64.6 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS NET PROFIT IN 2000
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)YENER YILDIRIM TO JOIN IN MHP
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) exploded its first transfer bomb. Yener Yildirim, who became an independent deputy after resigning from the True Path Party (DYP) as he critized Tansu Ciller, the leader of the DYP, will join in the MHP in the coming days.
Koray Aydin, the Public Works and Settlement Minister, said Yener Yildirim will join in MHP.
Aydin said three other parliamentarians could join in MHP in a short time, noting that, ''we don't have a tendency to get more than 40 parliamentarians who want to join in the MHP. We will accept three parliamentarians in specific times, and later five others will also join in MHP.''
THE BIGGEST PROTEST IN THE STRAITS
Environmentalist organizations from Moldovo and Azerbaijan and five Black Sea littoral countries will expend support to the protest. Increase of national and international support to the protests, which have been reiterated since 1998, show that a public, gradually becoming sensitive on the Straits, is formed.
Maritime Undersecretariat said a total of 5,504 vessels, carrying nearly 82 million tonnes of hazardous substances, passed from the Istanbul Strait.
 AKYUZ, REPRESENTATIVE OF TUSIAD IN WASHINGTON D.C.: -''WE ALL SEE NEGATIVITIES, BUT IMPORTANT REFORMS MADE BY THE GOVERNMENT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS SHOULD NOT BE DISREGARDED''WASHINGTON D.C. - Abdullah Akyuz, the Representative of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) in Washington D.C., the U.S., said on Thursday, ''Turkish government has made important reforms in the last two years. These reforms should not be disregarded.''
Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Akyuz said, ''we all see negativities, but the government has made very important reforms in the last two years. These reforms should not be disregarded. The government cannot resolve long-standing problems all at once.''
Noting that the reform process had been continuing and that all steps should be taken to complete this process, Akyuz said, ''the government should not stop. Circles in the U.S. expect Turkish government to maintain this process. We should not be overcome by languor. We are hopeful.''
Akyuz told the A.A correspondent that Turkey's problems were being discussed together with problems of other countries within framework of the support of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 PRESIDENT SEZER LEAVES FOR ROMANIA (2): -''IN MY OPINION, NOBODY SHOULD MAKE ANY STATEMENT THAT CAN AFFECT JUDICIARY DURING THE TRIAL PROCESS''ANKARA - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Thursday, ''in my opinion, nobody should make any statement that can affect judiciary during the trial process. Judicial decisions are binding decisions for everyone.''
Addressing journalists at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Romania as the official guest of his Romanian counterpart Ion Iliescu, President Sezer said that his visit to Romania would be the first visit on the presidential level between the two countries after two years.
Describing Romania as a friendly regional country having very good relations with Turkey, President Sezer told reporters, ''a great progress has been recorded in bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries in the last decade. There is not any political problem between Turkey and Romania. Economic and commercial relations have accelerated recently. Turkey became Romania's number one commercial partner in the Balkans and the Middle East.''
Sezer said, ''during my visit, I will meet Romanian President Iliescu and Romanian statesmen. We foresee to discuss bilateral and multilateral cooperation issues between our countries. Our talks will focus on opportunities to further improve cooperation particularly in economy and trade. We also want to see the situation of Turkish investments in Romania on the spot.''
Sezer said, ''I believe that we will have beneficial exchange of opinion on regional and international issues concerning our countries as well as the recent developments in the Balkans.''
Sezer said he will participate in Turkish-Romanian Business council meeting together with Iliescu, noting that he would have the opportunity to meet Turkish and Romanian businessmen.
Sezer said he will proceed to Kostanza to meet with Turkish kinsmen following his contacts in Bucharest.
''Turkey attributes great importance to its relations with Romania, to this end, it believes that Romania should integrate with the Europe-Atlantic institutions soon to strengthen stability and confidence atmosphere in the region, and it supports efforts of Romania in this respect,'' Sezer said.
Sezer said he wished the visit would contribute to further improvement of relations between the two countries.
When asked if he has any concerns in having a visit abroad at an atmosphere when closure case of the Virtue Party (FP) is experienced, Sezer said, ''no, I am not concerned. In my opinion, nobody should make any statement that can influence judiciary during the trial process. Judicial decisions are binding decisions for everyone.''
 INTERIOR MINISTER YUCELEN: -''NUMBER OF TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS DECREASED BY 8 PERCENT IN FIRST FOUR MONTHS OF 2001 COMPARED TO SAME PERIOD OF LAST YEAR''ANKARA - Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen said on Thursday that number of traffic accidents decreased by 8 percent in the first four months of 2001 compared to the same period of last year.
Responding to a question of Hakan Tartan, a deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) from Izmir province, Yucelen said, ''a total of 132,398 traffic accidents occurred in the January-April period of 2001. 859 people lost their lives in the accidents while 27,087 others were injured.''
''Number of traffic accidents decreased by 8 percent, death toll fell by 14.87 percent and number of injured people dropped by 10.90 percent compared to figures in the same period of last year,'' he added.
 SECURITY FORCES DETAIN 14 MEMBERS OF GREENPEACE PROTESTING OIL COMPANIESISTANBUL - Security forces detained on Thursday 14 members of the Greenpeace who attempted to hold a demonstration to protest the oil companies attending the conference in Istanbul on ''Story of Three Sea: Integration with the World Energy''.
A group of members of Greenpeace Mediterranean Office gathered in front of the Conrad Hotel.
They wanted to make a press release to protest Shell, BP and Chevron oil companies attending the international conference.
They claimed that these companies' oil and natural gas investments would cause pollution.
Meanwhile, three members of the Greenpeace entered the hotel and opened a banner saying, ''oil companies are planning a disaster here''.
Security forces have taken tight measures in and around the hotel, and did not allow Greenpeace members to make a press release.
They detained 14 members of the Greenpeace.
 AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR SCHUESSEL ARRIVES IN ANKARAANKARA - Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel arrived in Ankara on Thursday on a two-day official visit.
State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and Ankara Governor Yahya Gur welcomed Chancellor Schuessel and accompanying delegation at Ankara's Esenboga Airport.
Schuessel will first visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Republic of Turkey.
Later, he will come together with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
Schuessel will be received by Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi.
He is scheduled to meet with Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan; State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP); and State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy.
Schuessel will partake in a dinner to be hosted in his honor by Prime Minister Ecevit.
He will proceed to southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Friday, and visit the Birecik Dam.
 PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ADDRESSES DSP GROUP -ECEVIT: ''I HOPE A CERTAIN SOLUTION WILL BE OBTAINED SOON IN CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS''ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who also acts as the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Thursday that constitutional changes were very important, noting that, ''I hope a certain result will be obtained from the constitutional amendments soon.'' Ecevit said the time of the talks will be clarified in the coming days.
Addressing the group meeting of his party, Ecevit said the parliament came to the end of legislation works, regarded with economic program, following an intense working period. Ecevit congratulated the parliamentarians due to their ''rapid and benefical works.''
Ecevit said all the parties would evaluate the constitutional changes among them, noting that there may be proposals for changes. He said, ''I hope a concrete result would be reached in constitutional changes.''
Noting that the amendments were very important as they were in the direction of the National Program, Ecevit said, ''we should from now on determine a time to discuss the constitutional changes. There are parliamentarians who think of amending articles of the Constitution by working for a few more days from June to July. Also, some think of holding a meeting at the beginning of September for constitutional amendments. This issue will be clarified in the coming days after talks among the parliamentarians.''
Ecevit said, 'implementation of the constitutional changes in a way that includes the views of the parliament will realize a more esteemable Turkey which is more democratic, and contemporary due to human rights. Compromise of all the parties and the parliamentarians in this respect is very important.''
Pointing out that all the parties contributed to the more productive and rapid working of the Parliament, Ecevit said, ''however, if there was not the disciplined works of the DSP, those laws could not be issued, and a compromise could not be provided.''
 PARLIAMENTARY FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION ADOPTS BILLS APPROVING ONE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND TWO AGREEMENTSANKARA - Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission adopted drafts approving one international convention and two agreements on Thursday.
The Chairman of the Commission Kamran Inan informed the members abut certain developments in EU and NATO at the meeting, noting that a consensus of opinion has been reached at EU Council Summit in Goteborg for accepting certain candidate countries to the EU between the years 2002-2004. Turkey is not in this group, said Inan and stated that the developments regarding the foundation of Shangai Cooperation Organization is very impontant and it means a new alliance. Inan noted that the Turkish press does not attribute sufficient importance to this formation.
The commission adopted bill that approves the international convention on fight with oil pollution, and later the agrements signed with Slovakia and Portugal about encouragement and protection of reciprocal investments.
 TURKEY AND SYRIA SIGN PROTOCOL TO INCREASE RELATIONS IN A NUMBER OF FIELDSANKARA - State Minister Recep Onal has said that implementing the points included in the protocol which has been signed between Turkey and Syria after the Joint Economic Commission meeting on Thursday was going to be their first responsibility.
Onal and Syrian Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Mohammed Imady signed the protocol on behalf of their countries.
Onal said that the protocol would be an important point in the economic and commercial relations between the two countries. ''Our relations are not only commercial and economic. The protocol also proposes to incrase scientific, technical, educational and cultural relations,'' Onal continued. ''Now, our first task is to turn these things on the protocol into action.''
Syrian Minister Imady also said he was very satisfied by the point reached by the protocol. ''Developing relations with the Turkish nation is making us extremely happy,'' he said and assured that he would work to implement all the points on the protocol.
Imady also had meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan and State Minister Kemal Dervis.
 AYTEKIN STARTS INVESTIGATION ABOUT THE DEATH OF CARETTA CARETTASANKARA - Environment Minister Fevzi Aytekin Thursday started an investigation about the dead sea turtles, caretta carettas found on Mersin's Kazanli coast.
Aytekin stated that he appointed a group of five people headed by Deputy Undersecretary Dr. Osman Niyazi Cakmak to investigate the reason for the death of caretta carettas. The group will work together with the universities in the region and Icel Governor's Office. Aytekin said the group might even use the criminal laboratories of the police to find the reason which caused the death of the turtles.
The results of the investigation will be announced to public.
 COUNCIL OF EUROPE ASKS TURKEY AND RUSSIA TO ABOLISH DEATH SENTENCESTRASBOURG - Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Scwimmer asked Turkey and Russia to sign European Convention of Human Rights protocol no.6 which abolishes death penalty.
Scwimmer spoke at a congress in Strasbourg on Thursday with the purpose of lifting death penalty in all countries. ''I'm expecting and asking Council of Europe members Turkey and Russia to abolish death penalty and sign protocol no.6,'' he said.
Drawing attention to campaings to raise awareness about the death sentence, Scwimmer said they were also investigating the conditions of starting a similar campaign in Turkey.
Protocol no.6 which was formed by the Council of Europe in 1982 is the only international document that has a binding quality regarding capital punishment.
The Council of Europe is also trying to lift death sentence in war situations, and made the abolishment of death sentence a condition to join the Council.
Scwimmer said death sentence cannot be a punishment used by democratic societies.
 IZMIR TRADE CHAMBER DELEGATION COMES TO SAMOS ISLAND OF GREECE FOR THIRD TURKEY'S AEGEAN COASTS AND GREECE'S AEGEAN ISLANDS ECONOMIC SUMMITSAMOS - Izmir Trade Chamber (IZTO) delegation came to Samos island of Greece on Thursday to participate in the Third Turkey's Aegean Coasts and Greece's Aegean Islands Economic Summit.
The delegation headed by IZTO Chairman Ekrem Demirtas was welcomed by Samos Trade Chamber Chairman Ppandreou Kfanuf. Izmir deputies Isın Celebi, Isılay Saygın, Hakan Tantan and Yusuf Kırkpınar are also in the delegation.
The summit in which issues of trade, tourism, archeoology, media and communication and relations with EU will be taken up, will start on Saturday. Foreign ministers of the two countries will address the closing session of the summit.
The first economic summit took place in Lesbos island of Greece between 21- 22 November 1998 and the second summit was held in Izmir between 2-4 June, 2000.
Nearly 150 businessmen participated in the previous summit and a decision was taken there to hold economic summits every year among the islands of Greece and Turkey every year.
 GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY SCHMIDTH SAYS NOBODY HAS THE INTENTION OF PREVENTING TURKS' FROM SPEAKING TURKISH IN GERMANYESKISEHIR - German Ambassador to Turkey Rudolf Schmidt said on Thursday that nobody has the intention to prevent Turks living in Germany from speaking Turkish.
Speaking in the conference on EU and Turkish-German relations held by Anadolu University in central Eskisehir province, Schmidt said that Germans and Turks are also citizens of the EU.
Schmidt said that just like a German citizen can be muslim, a muslim can be a German citizen, adding that many Turkish citizens are registered into the population in Germany. ''Many radio channels broadcast in Turkish language in Germany,'' he stressed.
Noting that the German President also expects Turkish people to learn German, Schmidt said that those who live in Germany and who don't know German language constitutes a problem.
Schmidt said that Germans want Turks living in Germany to be educated well, adding that the co-existance of different cultures in one country in peace carries out importance, adding that this is also the basic philosophy of the EU.
''All peoples benefit from basic rights and freedoms irrespective of their different languages, religion, race, colour, gender and political views,'' he said, adding that this is a basic principle not only for Turkey, but also for all EU countries.
 PRESIDENT SEZER AND ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ILIESCU CHAIR INTERDELEGATIONARY MEETINGS AND HOLD NEWS CONFERENCEBUCHAREST - President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said in his meeting with Romanian President Ion Iliescu on Thursday that they reached a consensus of opinion to further improve the existing cooperation between Turkey and Romania in the bilateral, regional and international fields. Noting that they focused on the situation in the Balkans, and the worrying situation in the Macedonia with Romanian President, Sezer said that ''we were pleased to see that our views about the region are very similar to each other.''
After meeting tete-a-tete, President Sezer and Romanian President Iliescu also chaired the interdelgationary meetings. Later, they held a joint news conference.
Sezer noted that his meetings with Iliescu have been very productive, adding that ''we saw that the relations between the two countries in our region constituted an example for others.''
''We have discussed the positive developments between our countries in the commercial and economic fields. We focused on the need to further improve our multidimensional economic cooperation and to further increase the bilateral trade volume which reached one billion dollars. We also took up problems related to the individual rights of citizens. We stressed with Mr. Iliescu that the protection of and respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and international borders of Macedonia carries out importance for the peace and stability in the region. We also stated that the problems in this country can be solved through political dialogue process.''
Sezer said that they also focused on the importance of regional and international cooperation, and assessed that the regional cooperation is an important step for integration through European institutions, adding that they also focused on the need of the two countries to share their experiences in the full membership process and to make cooperation.
''We also stressed that Turkey and Romania have to focus on concrete projects within the scope of regional institutions particularly the Black Sea Economic Cooperation,'' Sezer said and noted that he had also the opportunity to reiterate Turkey's support to Romania's membership to NATO.
Sezer said that he invited Iliescu to an official visit to Turkey, adding that he will be honoured to have him in Turkey.
Romanian President Ion Iliescu said he was very pleased about Sezer's visit to his country. Drawing attention to the traditional relations between Turkey and Romania, Iliescu said these relations have been very stable. The Romanian president said the present and future of the bilateral relations were discussed during the meetings.
The recent developments in Macedonia and Kosovo, regional cooperation, cooperation between Turkey and Romania in the international field, and integration with European and European Atlantic organizations were other topics that were debated. ''There is no competition between Turkey and Romania regarding their EU membership. We talked about cooperating in this field,'' he stated.
The Romanian president also thanked Turkey for it support for Romania's NATO membership.
Speaking about economic cooperation between the two countries, Iliescu said the trade volume between Turkey and Romania has been increasing in the recent years and nearing the one billion U.S. dollar target which was set up eight years ago. He indicated that the businessmen of the two countries could also make investments in the third countries.
Illegal immigration, drug smuggling, terrorism, organized crime, fight against corruption and money laundering were other topics that were raised between Sezer and Iliescu. The Romanian president said the two countries had same or similar approaches in all the fields that were covered.
Answering the questions of reporters, Sezer said ''We support Macedonia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We want a solution to be brought to Macedonian problem through peaceful ways. Therefore, all groups which don't use violence should be in a dialogue with the state. Mr. Iliescu also agreed with these thoughts.''
Commenting on the same question, Iliescu said there was a need for the international community's support to continue the political dialogue in Macedonia. ''Representatives of all sides should get together to continue the dialogue. All sides should respect Macedonia's territorial integrity and sovereignty,'' he said.
When asked if the Romanian government was planning to offer any kind of help to the Turkish businessmen who were going to participate in the privatization efforts in Romania, Iliescu said a bill was presented to the Romanian parliament which was proposing to offer help to investments over one million U.S. dollars. He said the government was also planning to cut down the red tape to help the investors.
Answering another question, Sezer said Turkey didn't discriminate between Romania and Bulgaria and wanted both countries to join the NATO at the same time.
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer later attended the lunch hosted by Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase. The technical dimensions of the issues taken up by Sezer and Romanian President Iliescu were discussed in the lunch in which State Minister Tunca Toskay, Foreign Ministry Undersecertary Faruk Logoglu, Turkish Ambassador to Romanian Omer Zeytinoglu and other officials also participated.
 PREMIER ECEVIT HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE WITH AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR SCHUSSEL -ECEVIT SAYS THEY DISCUSSED ALL IMPORTANT WORLD PROBLEMS WITH SCHUSSELANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that he took up all important world problems in his meeting with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel.
Holding a joint news conference with Schussel, who came to Turkey the same day for an official visit, Ecevit said that they had a very beneficial meeting with Schussel, the Chancellor of Austria, the close friend of Turkey and his friends the same day.
Ecevit stated that there are multidimensional relations between Turkey and Austria, adding that Austrians are interested in certain important projects in Turkey.
''Meanwhile, Austrians are closely interested in energy power station tenders in Turkey, adding that we are very pleased with it. The installation in Birecik has almost finished, I suppose Mr. Chancellor will visit Birecik on Friday,'' Ecevit said.
Upon questions of journalists asking if Schussel has given a message to him about the closure case of the Virtue Party (FP), Ecevit said that ''we didn't discuss the issue in our meeting with Austrian Chancellor, yet the issue of constitutional amendment has come to the agenda. One of the constitutional amendment proposals is the provision that will make difficult the party closures... I expressed my wish that the case process about FP to be delayed, certainly we don't have any authority on the issue. This was not accepted by the Court. We respect this decision.''
When an Austrian journalist asked Turkey's expectation from Austria regarding EU membership, Ecevit said that Austria welcomed the membership application of Turkey to the EU, and added that he is grateful to Austria.
''We trust that when Turkey fulfils the necessary criteria, Austria would support us regarding full membership,'' Ecevit said.
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