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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-06-25
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>Anadolu Agency
25 JUNE 2001 Monday
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on June 25, 2001. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL)THE NIGHT THAT RUINED FP
The decision of candidacy of Merve Kavakci, who was stripped of her Turkish nationality, was taken at the meeting of the Virtue Party (FP) Chairmanship Council on February 24, 1999 by the pressure of Necmettin Erbakan, the banned Welfare Party (RP) leader. Recai Kutan, the leader of the banned FP, had said that they will not nominate a deputy wearing a headscarf but Erbakan pressed on this issue and Kavakci, who wore a headscarf, was nominated as a deputy from the FP. This incident led to a row in the party and Aydin Menderes resigned from the FP.
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)ERBAKAN ANGRY WITH ECHR
Politically banned Necmettin Erbakan who is planning to return to politics criticized the prosecutors of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for being slow. ''The Welfare Party (FP) case should have been finalized by now. They are working very slowly. We have a lot to do according to the result,'' he told reporters. Erbakan is planning to reopen the RP depending on the ECHR's decision. ''This court is operating too slowly. Maybe if the court had worked a little faster, we wouldn't have been faced with such unfair decisions. A positive decision of the ECHR could be a new beginning for Turkey. We would reopen the FP and continue from where we stopped,'' he said.
ONE MILLION 700,000 TURKS APPLY FOR GREEN CARD TO WORK IN U.S.
SABAH (LIBERAL)RED LINE IN AEGEAN
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou decided to set up a direct telephone line for emergency cases. Cem and Papandreou came from Samos Island to western Kusadasi township on Sunday and announced the decision they took: Close cooperation will be made in many fields from tourism to combat against Mediterranean anemia.
''I DO NOT KNOW HOW WE CAN ACHIEVE IT WITH MHP''
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)TIME FOR COOPERATION IN THE AEGEAN
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou took solid steps to advance the rapprochement process between Turkey and Greece when they met in Samos and Kusadasi. The two foreign ministers also decided to have a red line to have direct telephone link to use in urgent situations. Cem also indicated that there was no reason why a similar line should not be set up between the Turkish and Greek prime ministers.
Cem and Papandreou decided to form a consultation mechanism between the officials of the two countries in order to bring a solution to the increasing air and sea traffic between Turkey and Greece. The two ministers also decided to start joint activities in seismic researches.
HOPES POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER
RADIKAL (LEFT)TAYYIP: ''NO RETURN''
When searches are under way to prevent separation of reformists from the banned Virtue Party (FP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that they will not walk in the same path with the traditionalists. Erdogan, who met with reformists, said that there is no return from their path.
MONEY IS LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT
THERE IS NO PASSAGE FROM STRAITS
TURKIYE (RIGHT)FP CANNOT BE SHARED
As lobbies increased after the closure of the Virtue Party (FP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the reformists, started his tour. On the other hand, the traditionalists tried to determine their strategy in Ankara. Muhsin Yazicioglu, the leader of the Great Unity Party (BBP), commented on Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli's call for FP members as both invitation and cooperation while Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP), will meet with Recai Kutan today and propose joint action.
INTENSIVE WEEK WITHOUT VIRTUE
PEACE WINDS IN AEGEAN
SUPPLEMENTARY LETTER OF INTENT READY
FOREIGN INVESTMENTS TO FLOW IN TURKEY
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)TURKEY'S SUPPLEMENTARY LETTER OF INTENT READY
Turkey completed its supplementary Letter of Intent which is necessary for the IMF to release its second tranche of credit. The letter is explaining the economic developments that took place since May and underlining that the Turkish economy is going through a strong recovery. If the IMF Executive Council approves Turkey's letter, it will release a credit of 3 billion U.S. dollars for Turkey in 15 days.
 HEALTH MINISTER DURMUS TO ATTEND U.N. SPECIAL SESSION ON AIDSNEW YORK - Health Minister Osman Durmus will attend the special session of the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) between June 25 and 27.
Durmus will address the General Assembly on June 27.
Almost 3,000 diplomants, delegates and doctors will attend the meeting. 13 presidents, 6 vice-presidents, 11 prime ministers, and 117 ministers will join the special session.
State Secretary Colin Powell will represent the U.S. at the special session.
The first AIDS case was observed almost 20 years ago. More than 22 million people have died of this disease since that day. There are 36 million people in the world who are infected with AIDS.
The number of people infected with AIDS is increasing rapidly despite all efforts and 5 million people are infected with this virus every year.
U.N. officials said that the conference aims to determine the strategy to combat against AIDS in the following five years.
The ground for ''global fund'' that is planned to be formed to combat against the epidemic will be laid at this conference.
The fund will be administered by organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Almost 7-10 billion U.S. dollars will be spent annually to combat against the epidemic. An important part of the money is said to be sent to poor countries.
 GENERAL STAFF:''TURKISH ARMED FORCES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CAREFUL TO STAY OUTSIDE OF POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS AND STAYED AT EQUAL DISTANCE FROM ALL INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUIONS WHO ACT LEGALLY''ANKARA- General Staff made an announcement on Monday stressing that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had always been careful to stay outside of political discussions. It also indicated that the TSK stayed at equal distance from all individuals and institutions who act legally.
''Linking the closure of a political party which was shut down because of becoming a center for anti-secularist activities to the TSK is disrespectful and unfair to both the Constitutional Court and to the TSK,'' he said.
The statement denied the news that appeared in the newspapers recently which claimed that leaders of a new formation in the outlawed Virtue Party (FP) contacted the TSK and assured them that their party would not constitute a threat to secularism.
''Only the Chief of General Staff or the officials authorized by him could announce the TSK's official views to the public. It should be understood that the personal views of some individuals, regardless of the conditions and their status, are not binding for the TSK. Comments that are based on these views do not reflect the realities.''
 TREASURY TO REPAY 187.4 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS IN FOREIGN DEBT THIS WEEKANKARA- Treasury will repay 187.4 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt this week.
The total foreign debt repayments since the beginning of the year reached 5 billion 317.8 million U.S. dollars.
According to Treasury's statistics, Treasury will repay 90 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt today.
Treasury will repay 28.2 thousand U.S. dollars on Tuesday, 36.4 million U.S. dollars on Wednesday, 23.2 million U.S. dollars on Thursday and 9.5 million U.S. dollars on Friday in foreign debt.
Together with the repayments this week, Treasury's foreign debt repayments since the beginning of the year will exceed 5.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Total foreign debt repayment was 503.9 mission U.S. dollars in January, 804.9 million U.S. dollars in February and 631.2 million U.S. dollars in March, 1 billion 168.6 million U.S. dollars in April, 634.8 million U.S. dollars in May and 1 billion 574.4 million U.S. dollars in first three weeks of June.
 TREASURY TO SELL 4-MONTH BONDS ON TUESDAYANKARA- Treasury Undersecretariat will hold June's last bond auction on Tuesday.
Treasury foresees to raise minimum 2 quadrillion 500 trillion Turkish liras (TL) in this 4-month (133-day) bond auction.
It said that the value date of these bonds is June 27 and maturity is November 7.
Treasury will repay 4 quadrillion 650.9 trillon TL in domestic borrowing on June 27.
The total amount of domestic borrowing that the Treasury will repay in June is 9 quadrillion 316 trillion 527.9 billion TL.
The Treasury held a 3-month (98-day) bond auction on June 19. It sold 992.3 trillion Turkish liras (TL) nominal-valued bonds. The annual simple interest was 63.34 percent and the annual composite interest became 79.47 percent.
 TAM'S REPORT ON EU'S IMMIGRATION POLICY SAYS EU COUNTRIES TEND TO PREFER MEETING THEIR WORKER NEED BY EMPLOYING PEOPLE FROM CANDIDATESIZMIR- Faruk Sen, the chairman of the Turkish Studies Center (TAM), said on Monday that the European Union (EU) countries tend to prefer meeting their worker need by employing people from EU candidate countries.
Sen, who informed A.A correspondent about TAM's report on EU's Immigration Policy, said that the qualified and young personnel need of the EU countries which occured due to rapid increase in population of the elderly urged the EU countries to accept immigrants.
Turkey should launch initiatives to benefit from this opportunity, Sen said.
Sen noted that their report indicated that the EU countries have started to accept new immigrants and that the immigrant need of only Spain has reached 1.2 million.
''EU officials, particularly the German politicans, welcome granting right to free movement to the countries which will become EU members as of 2004. Turkey, which is ranked the 13th among candidate states, should brought the free movement issue which were emphasized in Ankara Agreement and Association Council resolutions to the agenda of the EU,'' Sen added.
The report said that 17 million immigrants are living in the EU Countries and that 3.4 million of this number is comprised of Turkish people.
The report indicated that 2.4 million Turkish people living in the EU countries are settled in Germany but that Germany still needs 500 thousand immigrants a year.
But, Germany puts high education and experience as a precondition for new immigrants, the report added.
 ''MINI TURKEY'' PARK TO OPEN IN ISTANBULISTANBUL- Miniaturk-Mini Turkey Park which will be formed by Turkey's historical and cultural sites will open in Istanbul, it was reported on Monday.
The park which is the project of Istanbul Culture and Artistic Products Trade Corp. will have a miniatures of landmarks such as palaces, mosques, and churces from all over the country. Istanbul Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna will open the park on June 30.
Gurtuna told the A.A that the park will be a major attraction spot for tourists coming all over the world who are interested in Turkey's ancient cities, natural sights and historical buildings.
There are similar parks in Madurodam in the Netherlands, Minimundus in Austria and Mini Italia and Italy. Gurtuna said Miniaturk will have a significant contribution to Turkey's promotion.
The park will be set up on a 11 acres of land in Halic next to Sutluce Culture Center. It will have 120 miniature buildings and other sights in the park. The park is expected to be completed in 2003.
 IS BANK TO OPEN BANK IN THE NETHERLANDSISTANBUL - Is Bank is getting ready to set up a bank in the Netherlands, the bank reported on Monday.
The bank will have a capital of 25 million Euros.
Meanwhile, Is Bank has the permission of the Capital Market Board for the sales of shares which has a 9.9 trillion nominal value of Anadolu Cam, Anadolu Hayat Insurance, Anadolu Anonim Turk Insurance, Izmir Demir Celik, Sinai Yatirim Bank, Soda Industry and Trakya Glass Industry.
 EU SUPPORTS TURKEY'S EXPORTS AND QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTANKARA- The European Union (EU) extended support to the project on ''Support to the Quality Infrastructure in Turkey.''
Sources said on Monday that the project mainly aims at supporting Turkey's efforts for the adoption and harmonization of EU standards, testing and certification of products according to EU norms and establishment of necessary mechanisms for market surveillance and thus for the elimination of technical barriers to trade.
The project will help Turkey to complete the alignment of European standards, certification and conformity assessment, mentioned as one of the short term priorities in the National Programme of Adoption of the Acquis. To support Turkey's efforts in this area, the European Commission will provide 13.6 million Euro as grant aid over a 5-year period.
In the first phase of the project, a country report to present a clear picture of the current state of the quality infrastructure in Turkey will be prepared. According to the results of the country report, technical assistance to the Turkish administration and the private sector will be provided through training, advice, translation, assessments, provision of documents, co-operation with European and international organisations responsible for standardisation, testing and certification, and public information campaigns.
The new EU project will contribute to the removal of technical barriers to trade and facilitate the process of harmonisation of technical legislation in Turkey, therefore, help the alignment of Turkey's quality infrastructure. Differing standards can constitute barriers to the free movement of goods within the customs union. By the elimination of such technical barriers and sustaining harmonisation with EU norms and standards, Turkey will be able to achieve a better export performance as the quality of products within its domestic market will also be improved.
Similarly, once technical harmonisation is achieved, a product tested and certified in Turkey and also subject to a market surveillance system within the country according to EU rules, can freely circulate in the EU internal market. In addition, the project will ensure dissemination of information on conformity assessment and the implications of the adoption of EC legislation for Turkey's private sector, public sector and consumers.
The project is financed from the MEDA II budget line. Following the Helsinki Summit in December 1999, the EU re-evaluated the foreseen financial assistance for Turkey and Turkey's allocation from MEDA II (2000- 2006) has been increased compared with MEDA I.
 ADANA PROVINCE EXPORTS 194 MILLION 295 THOUSAND U.S. DOLLAR PRODUCTSADANA- Southern Adana province exported 194 million 295 thousand U.S. dollar products in the first five months of this year.
Officials at the Adana Chamber of Commerce told A.A correspondent on Monday that Adana's exports decreased 18 percent when compared with the same period last year.
The officials said that Adana's exportation was worth of 238 million 434 thousand U.S. dollars.
Italy was ranked the first among countries where Adana exported its products between January and May 2001 with 34 million 148 thousand U.S. dollars, the officials noted.
The officials stated that Britain with 28 million 48 thousand U.S. dollars and Spain with 21 million 245 thousand U.S. dollars followed Italy.
Adana exported 91 million U.S. dollar textile products, 37 million U.S. dollar construction materials and 31 million U.S. dollar foodstuff during the mentioned period, the officials added.
 40TH SESSION OF TURKEY-EU ACCESSION COUNCIL TO TAKE PLACE IN LUXEMBOURG ON TUESDAYANKARA - The 40th session of the Turkey-European Union (EU) Accession Council will take place in Luxembourg on Tuesday.
Foreign Ministry issued a statement and said Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will head the Turkish delegation, and pointed out that developments of the recent one year will be discussed within the strategy pertaining to Turkey's accession to EU in interdelegational talks.
Turkey's participation to EU programs, accession partnership, National Program, and issues regarded with financial cooperation and customs union will be discussed during the meeting. Also the sides will exchange views regarded with political dialogue.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Cem, who met Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou at the weekend in Kusadasi and Samos, will go to Brussels.
Cem will also proceed from Brussels to Luxembourg aftewards to attend Accession Council meeting.
 A TOTAL OF 37 HOUSES DAMAGED IN LAST WEEK'S QUAKEKIRKAGAC- A total of 37 houses were damaged in Kirkagac township of western province of Manisa in the 5.0-magnitude earthquake which jolted Savastepe township of northwestern province of Balikesir on June 22.
Officials in Kirkagac told the A.A correspondent on Monday that 25 houses in Halkahavlu village, 5 in Kuyucak village, one in Kinik village and 6 in Hamidiye village in the township suffered heavy damage in the quake.
Manisa Governor Muzaffed Ecemis said that 15 tents were sent to Halkahavlu village for accommadation of residents whose houses became uninhabitable.
Damage assessment works are under way in the township.
 SPORTS - WRESTLING -TURKEY WINS TWO GOLD AND FOUR BRONZE MEDALS IN INTERNATIONAL FREE-STYLE TOURNAMENT IN GERMANYLEIPZIG- Turkey won two gold and four bronze medals in the International Free-Style Wrestling Tournament in Leipzig, Germany.
Tevfik Odabasi of Turkey competing in the 58 kg category, and Yuksel Sanli of Turkey competing in the 76 kg category won gold medals and became champion in their categories.
Meanwhile, Arif Kama of Turkey competing in the 58 kg category, Serhat Balci of Turkey competing in the 85 kg category, Fatih Cakiroglu of Turkey competing in the 97 kg category, and Kemal Tolga Topcu of Turkey competing in the 130 kg category won bronze medals.
 CULTURE MINISTER TALAY RECEIVES DISABLED FEMALE PAINTER QIN BAI LAN OF PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINAANKARA- Culture Minister Istemihan Talay received on Monday disabled female painter Qin Bai Lan of the People's Republic of China.
Speaking at the meeting, Talay described Qin Bai Lan as representative of a great and rich culture, and said that her visit to Turkey would make a valuable contribution to existing relations between Turkey and the People's Republic of China.
Meanwhile, Qin Bai Lan thanked Culture Minister Talay for his support to open her exhibition in Turkey.
''I can further improve friendly relations between Turkish and Chinese peoples with this exhibition,'' he said.
Qin Bai Lan's exhibition will be inaugurated tomorrow at the State Fine Art Gallery in cooperation between the Culture Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Ankara.
The exhibition composed of paintings of Chinese legends and stories, will remain open till June 30.
 INTERNATIONAL ASPENDOS OPERA AND BALLET FESTOVAL CONTINUESANTALYA - The Eighth Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival which started on June 9, is continuing.
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will perform Giuseppe Verdi's famous opera ''Rigoletto'' on Tuesday evening in the ancient theatre of Aspendos.
Worldwide prominent Moshe Atzmon will conduct Istanbul State Opera and Ballet.
The program of the Eighth International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival is as follows:
June 26: Istanbul State Opera and Ballet - Rigoletto of G. Verdi
June 29: Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet Company - Carmen of George Bizet
July 3: Antalya State Opera and Ballet - La Traviata of G. Verdi
July 7: Belorussian National Academic Ballet Company - Spartacus of Aram Ilich Khachiaturian
 IMF BOARD TO TAKE UP EIGHTH REVIEW OF STAND-BY AGREEMENT ON JULY 3ANKARA- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board will take up the eighth review of the Stand-by Agreement at its meeting on July 3.
Releasing a written statement, the Treasury Undersecretariat said on Monday that the IMF Board was expected to decide that the eighth review was completed, and to release a supplementary source of 1 billion 201.5 million Special Draw Right (nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars).
Within framework of finalization of the eighth review, the IMF is expected to provide 221.7 million SDR of the supplementary source of 1 billion 201.5 million SDR from ''original Stand-by arrangement'', 578.4 million SDR from ''supplementary reserve facility'', and 401.3 million SDR from ''strengthened Stand-by arrangements''.
 GERMAN JUSTICE MINISTER GMELIN MEETS WITH JUSTICE MINISTER TURKANKARA- German Justice Minister Hertha Daeubler-Gmelin said on Monday about closure of the Virtue Party (FP) that both Europe and Germany had monitored the developments with concern, and added that they were hopeful about the constitutitonal amendments.
Daeubler-Gmelin who came to Turkey as the official guest of Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk, paid a visit to Turkey.
Daeubler-Gmelin and Turk held a joint press conference following the meeting.
Speaking at the press conference, Turk told reporters, ''at the meeting, we discussed solutions to some problems which have emerged within framework of international judicial cooperation agreements. We have reached a full concensus of opinion on setting up a joint working group to solve problems in private law and criminal law.''
''According to the official records, nearly 3 million Turkish citizens have been living in Germany. Therefore, relations between Turkey and Germany are of great importance. At the same time, we attribute great importance to judicial cooperation with Germany, an influencial country in the European Union both economically and politically, during our candidicay process,'' he said.
Turk underlined importance of mutual visits between Turkey and Germany in regard to further improvement of bilateral relations and Turkey-the EU relations.
Meanwhile, German Justice Minister Daeubler-Gmelin expressed Germany's pleasure with Turkey's expending efforts as a candidate state to the EU.
Noting that she would get detailed information about Turkey after her contacts with representatives of non-governmental organizations in Istanbul and in northern province of Trabzon, Daeubler-Gmelin said that se would visit the F-type prison in Sincan district of Ankara later in the day.
When asked if FP's closure was discussed or not, Daeubler-Gmelin said they discussed FP's closure, noting that they also talked about many issues which are of their joint field of interest. She said banning of parties in Germany and in many countries depended on very different conditions and very difficult.
Daeubler-Gmelin said although they respected the decision, it was covered with concern in German and European public. She said they were hopeful, noting that they thought positive developments would be experienced on this issue within EU membership.
Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk, when asked questions about beating of a convict in Sincan F type prison, and that a case was opened against the security officials, said that had occurred last March, noting that there was nothing new.
Pointing out that two separate files were opened against the security forces, Turk said the security forces also had reports taken from the forensic medicine.
Responding to a question when legal entity of the banned Virtue Party (FP), Turk said, ''in the decision of the Constitutional Court, it was pointed out that its legal entity would end at the date when the party is closed down. Thus, it should be accepted that FP's legal entity ended as a requirement of this decision.''
Turk recalled that there were some striking points in the decision of the Constitutional Court, recalling that demand to close the FP on grounds that it is the continuation of a banned party, was rejected.
Turk said political ban given to the deputies which caused the closure of the party was limited.
 VEGH, HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR IN ANKARA, THANKS TURKS FOR THEIR INTERESTBUDAPEST- Ferenc Vegh, the Hungarian Ambassador in Ankara, said on Monday that he was grateful to Turkey and the Turks due to the interest that was shown to him following the accident he had in Turkey two months ago.
Speaking to A.A correspondent who visited him in hospital, Vegh said he was grateful to National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, and Turkey's Ambassador to Budapest Ender Arat.
The Ambassador said he thanked to the doctors that made the first medical treatment, all his Turkish friends, and the Turkish state, noting that he would not forget their help.
Ferenc said there was still a problem in his spinal cord, noting that he would go to Austria in the coming weeks to get physi-theraphy.
Ferenc had an accident two months ago together with his wife near Kizilcahamam township of Ankara and later taken to medical treatment in Budapest.
 MARKETS TO RELIEVE AS OF JULY ACCORDING TO STATE MINISTER DERVISANKARA- State Minister Kemal Dervis said on Monday that the markets would relieve as of July.
Dervis, who met the administrators of Turkey Tradesmen and Artisans Credit Co-Operatives Union Central Association (TESKOMB), said the banks would relieve in July, noting that their resource costs would reduce.
Dervis said the banks would not have debts following the overcoming of servicing loses, and stressed that they would be able to act more comfortably.
Dervis said the foreign exchange reserves were very much, noting that exchange rate was very high as tourism incomes were very high. He said this stemmed from unconfidence.
State Minister Dervis pointed out that the value of one U.S. dollar should be around 1.150 million Turkish lira, noting that the markets will be stabilized following the relief of the banks.
 FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY LOGOGLU IN IRANTEHRAN - Faruk Logoglu, the Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, on Monday congratulated the maturity and the success recorded by the Iranian people during recent presidential elections.
Logoglu, currently on a two-day official visit to Tehran, held a joint news conference with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh, and said the Turkish state, government and people favoured improving relations with Iran.
Logoglu said, ''we congratulate Mohammad Khatami, who was re-elected as the President, and we wish success to him.'' He said, in ''positive, comprehensive and beneficial talks,'' that continued for two days, all dimensions of bilateral relations were discussed, noting that the sides exchanged views regarding regional and international issues.
''Turkey attributes great importance to Iran. There may be problems in bilateral relations from time to time. The two sides managed to overcome the difficulties through talks and dialogue. Our relations have a healthy, constructive and positive line in the recent years. We are very pleased about it. We continue to discuss the problems basing on existing mechanisms, '' Logoglu stressed.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Aminzadeh said foreign policy of the Iranian state and the Khatami government was to reduce tension with the regional countries and a detente atmosphere. He said Turkey had an important place among the neighbours.
Aminzadeh said the sides have taken many steps to further improve the relations, adding that it could be said that the sides left all the problems behind and prepared an appropriate basis for a positive future.
Responding a question, Logoglu said there was no deficiency regarding the construction and preparations of the Iran-Turkey natural gas pipeline.
Logoglu said Iran also reiterated that it was ready to open the pipeline by the end of July, adding that Turkey attributed great importance to the project.
Aminzadeh in his part said Iran was thinking of making its importation from Turkey as far as possible to overcome the deficit that will grow against Turkey in trade volume till the project is implemented. Aminzadeh said he promoted the Iranian tradesmen to this end, and called on the Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in Iranian market.
When asked if Turkey's relations with Israel and the U.S. was a threat toward the regional countries and Iran, Logoglu said Turkey's relations with any third country would not form a threat toward Iran.
Logoglu said, ''our relations with Israel and the U.S. on the one side serve to our national interests, and on the other side give shape to provide peace and stability in our region.
Responding to a question about closure of the Virtue Party (FP), Faruk Logoglu said, ''the Constitutional Court has implemented the rules. Current laws and the Constitution determined conditions for closure of political parties. We are respectful to the decisions taken by the Constitutional Court.''
Describing secularism as a basic characteristics of Republic of Turkey and of Turkish society, Logoglu said, ''Republic of Turkey is proud of its title of secular state. We are determined to maintain secularism as a main factor of our democracy and society. At the same time, secularism has neven been against the religion throughout the history of Republic of Turkey. The state has never intervened in implementation of Islam.''
Expressing Turkey's profound concerns about the recent developments in Macedonia, Logoglu said, ''the situation in Macedonia may turn into a civil war. If such a development occur, this will affect the Balkans negatively. Turkey has been monitoring the developments in regard to both Macedonia's future, and their impacts on the Balkans. We are in favor of that problems in the Balkans should be resolved through dialogue among ethnic groups and democratic arrangements.''
Noting that there had been close relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan Logoglu said, ''the issue of Caspian Sea should be solved among littoral countries through negotiations. We do not intent to become a side of this problem.''
Referring to news stories claiming that Turkey had given military boats to Azerbaijan, Logoglu said, ''these news stories are totaly baseless. Some countries want to purchase patrol boats which do not have any military characteristics, for their security.''
Recalling that Turkey was a member of the Minsk Group, Logoglu said, ''Turkey has been supporting efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Upper Karabakh dispute from the very beginning. We expect Armenia to assume a more productive attitude. On numerous occasions, we stressed that Turkey would support a solution that would be aaccepted by Azerbaijani people.''
Logoglu will submit President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's written message to President Muhammad Khatami of Iran later in the day.
 KUTAN, LEADER OF THE BANNED FP DEMANDS CLOSURE DECISION TO BE PUT INTO IMPLEMENTATION AFTER BEING ISSUED IN OFFICIAL GAZETTEANKARA- Recai Kutan, the leader of the banned Virtue Party (FP), on Monday applied to Parliamentary Chairmanship and Supreme Court Chairmanship and wanted the closure decision to be put into implementation after being issued in the official gazette.
The application, made by Kutan, recalled that the Constitutional Court decided for the closure of FP. Claiming that the part of the decision of the Constitutional Court, regarded with ''ending of legal entity of the party at the date when the closure decision is given,'' contradicted with articles 2, 6, 11, 153 and 141 of the Constitution, the application said, ''this decision openly and definitely contradicts with the decisions which the Constitutional Court gives for 40 years.''
The application said the decision in question should be published in the official gazette in order to implement the closure decision against FP, noting that, ''this implementation has always been like this since the foundation of the Constitutional Court.''
It said the closure decision against the Welfare Party (RP) had been given on January 16, 1998, but the legal entity of the RP ended on February 22, 1998 when the decision was published in the official gazette.
 MODERATE EARTHQUAKE JOLTS OSMANIYEISTANBUL - A moderate earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale jolted southern province of Osmaniye at 04:28 p.m. on Monday.
Officials at Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute said that the the quake was centered on Osmaniye.
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