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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-06-30

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

30 JUNE 2001 Saturday

-TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on June 30, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

STRANGE SENTENCE IN REPORT

The National Security Council (NSC) released a statement after its monthly meeting under the chairmanship of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The report said, ''an important progress has been recorded in absorption of religious orders and sects into the state and law system as a result of dialogue set up with these groups.'' Giving information about balance sheet of February 28 Action, the NSC's statement also said, ''number of students in religious schools decreased 120 thousand from 476 thousand to 356 thousand. Transfer of 1069 mosques out of 1,171 to the Directore of Religious Affairs was finalized. There were 150 radios and 51 TV channels making fundamentalist broadcast. 14 radio and 19 TV channels were closed down.''

THREE MILITARY LAWS ADOPTED

The parliament adopted three military draft laws. According to the law, the Turkish Armed Forces will be able to benefit from opportunities of some private institutitions not only in mobilization but also in periods of tension and crisis.

DERVIS TO START HIS TOUR OF 3.2 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy will hold contacts in Switzerland, the U.S. and Britain. He will attend the World Economic Forum in Crans- Montana, Switzerland, between June 30 and July 2, 2001. Dervis is scheduled to hold contacts with Swiss Economy Minister, Tunisian Prime Minister, Moroccan Economy Minister, Romanian President and representatives of private sector during the forum which was expected to focus on new economic developments and approaches in the world. After wrapping up his contacts in Switzerland, Dervis will proceed to the U.S. on July 3. Dervis will sign Financial and Public Sector Adjustment Loan of 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, and Agriculture Sector Adjustment Loan of 600 million U.S. dollars with the World Bank. After wrapping up his contacts in the U.S. on July 7, State Minister Dervis will pay a visit to British capital London between July 8 and 9. He will hold contacts with international finance institutions and investment banks, and inform them on Turkey's new economic program.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

NSC WARNS

At yesterday's monthly meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), constitutional amendment package prepared by the Parliamentary Inter- Parties Compromise Commission, was taken up. General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, objected to the amendment to Article 69 of the Constitution saying, ''if this amendment is adopted, it will be impossible to ban political parties. Such a development will incite foundation of anti- secular political parties.''

GOOD NEWS ABOUT GOLD

According to the satellite data, Turkey has the second biggest gold reserve of the world. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has been seeking ways to benefit from this reserve of 15 billion U.S. dollars to improve economy. There is a gold reserve of 43 thousand tonnes in the world. South Africa has 20 thousand tonnes of this reserve while Turkey has 6.5 thousand tonnes. On the contrary of other countries having rich gold reserves, Turkey does not make any production from this reserve of 400 billion U.S. dollars.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

20 VICTIMS IN A DAY

Istanbul Police Department gave information about the mugging cases taking place in Istanbul over the past five months. According to the statement, 3, 125 mugging cases were reported to the police over the past five months, 360 of which had been solved. If thougher measures are not taken as soon as possible, number of mugging cases is expected to increase by 200 percent.

BANK EKPRES TRANSFERRED TO TEKFEN HOLDING

The Banking Regulatory and Supervisory Board (BRSB) decided to transfer the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund's (SDIF) 99.46 percent of shares in Bank Ekspres to Tekfen Holding, a construction group with an investment bank, as of June 30, 2001. ''The buyer will merge the balance sheets of Ekspres and Tekfen banks in the short possible period after the transfer. No extra capital is expected to be transferred to the bank by the buyer. Etibank would take over the remaining Bank Ekspres shares. The buyer may not close branches or reduce staff numbers,'' it said. Tekfen will have to pay 141 trillion lira (nearly 112,8 million U.S. dollars) in three installments until July 1, 2004 in payment against Bank Ekspres accounts with the fund.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

SOCIAL ERUPTION WARNING

National Intelligence Organization (MIT), police units and military flank which separately presented reports at yesterday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting stressed that poverty and unemployment had increased due to the ongoing economic program and that the low-income people became hard up for money after the price increases that came after the devaluation decision. Military flank stressed that the government should take measures to recover the situation of the low-income. They emphasized that all of those developments had brought the country to the eve of social eruption.

F-TYPE PROTESTER KULAKSIZ DIES

On the 253rd day of inmates' death-fast to protest F-type prisons and isolation, 23-year-old Zehra Kulaksiz who has been supporting this action lost her life yesterday night. Meanwhile, Justice Ministry Prisons Director General Ali Suat Ertosun said that 46 inmates were released from prisons due to their health problems.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

ROBBERY IN MUSEUM

Two unidentified people stole some historical works from the Ethnography Museum in northwestern province of Izmit. They rendered ineffective security official in the museum with their guns. They stole some historical works, and fled from the museum. A full investigation into the robbery is under way.

CEM: ''COEPA IS TALKING NONSENSE''

Foreign Minister Ismail Cem described the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's (COEPA) ciriticisms about human rights record of Turkey as exaggerated. Speaking at a program at the private CNN Turk TV Channel, Cem called on the COEPA to put an end to its monitoring which turned into a nonsense.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

PRICE INCREASE PROMISE TO IMF

In the 17-article supplementary letter of intent which was sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was said that the financing deficit which stemmed from the collective agreement and wheat prices deal would be met from the price increases in public goods and services. After this decision, citizens will again practice thrift.

''MINIMUM'' COMEDY

The net minimum wage which is still 102 million 369.6 thousand Turkish liras (TL) will rise 4 million 954 thousand 230 TL to 107 million 323 thousand 830 TL as of July 1. Only 8 litres of milk can be purchased with this increase which concern many people.

PARLIAMENT RECESSES UNTIL OCTOBER 1

The 21st legislative term of the Parliament ended as of yesterday and Parliament closed down for a vacation until October 1. In the 21st term, 321 bills and proposals were legalized. Leaders of political parties which form the coalition government will hold a joint press conference today.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

KORAN TO KOSOVO

Foreign Ministry took action to enable Kosovo which is suffering tough days after the war to meet its religious needs and requested help from the Prime Ministry to send holy Koran and religious books to the region. It said that it would be appropriate to send 5,000 holy Korans and 900 religious books to the Coordination Center in Prizren by planes of the Turkish Armed Forces.

WAVE OF PRICE INCREASES TO COME

The government sent supplementary letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and undertook that it would make price increases to close the budget deficit which stemmed from collective labor agreement and wheat prices deal.

MOBILIZATION FOR EXTENDING SOURCE TO EXPORTS

State Minister Kemal Dervis who overcame Telekom crisis with great difficulty visited Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). After the meeting, Dervis announced that 200 million U.S. dollars from the Eximbank sources and 100 million U.S. dollars from TOBB sources would be extended to exports.


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALMOST 4.3 MILLION BARRELS OF CRUDE OIL PRODUCED IN SOUTHEAST
  • [02] BASKENT UNIVERSITY WINS FOUR AWARDS IN HEALTH CONGRESS IN VIENNA
  • [03] STATE MINISTER DERVIS STARTS HIS TOUR TO EUROPE AND U.S.
  • [04] CHAIRMEN OF TURK-IS, HAK-IS, DISK AND TISK TO VISIT PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ON MONDAY
  • [05] INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST EARTHQUAKE
  • [06] 22.6 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF CANDIES EXPORTED FROM GAP REGION IN FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF YEAR
  • [07] GNP DECREASES 4.2 PERCENT IN Q1
  • [08] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (1)
  • [09] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (2)
  • [10] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (3)
  • [11] GNP DECREASES 4.2 PERCENT IN Q1 (2)

  • [01] ALMOST 4.3 MILLION BARRELS OF CRUDE OIL PRODUCED IN SOUTHEAST

    GAZIANTEP - A total of 4,287,374 barrels of crude oil was produced in southeastern province of Adiyaman and surrounding provinces in the last six months.

    According to the Adiyaman Governor's Office's statistics, 90.1 percent of this oil was extracted by Turkish Petroleum Corp (TPAO) while the remaining oil was extacted by private companies.

    This data shows that this crude oil was obtained by daily extraction of almost 23,557 barrels of high-gravity oil from 163 wells in 16 beds in Adiyaman, Sanliurfa and Kilis.

    [02] BASKENT UNIVERSITY WINS FOUR AWARDS IN HEALTH CONGRESS IN VIENNA

    ANKARA - Doctors from the Baskent University Faculty of Medicine won four awards in the 38th Congress of the European Association of Kidney and the European Association of Dialysis and Transplantation in Austrian capital Vienna.

    Releasing a statement, the Baskent University said on Saturday that a total of 1,440 researches from different countries were submitted at the congress.

    The statement noted that Turkey was represented at the congress with 35 researches including 25 from the Baskent University.

    A total of 49 young researches were presented with the ''Best Young Researcher Award'' in four separate branches.

    The Hacettepe University, the Istanbul University and the Edirne University also won awards at the congress.

    [03] STATE MINISTER DERVIS STARTS HIS TOUR TO EUROPE AND U.S.

    ISTANBUL - State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy left on Saturday for Switzerland, the first leg of his 11-day tour to Europe and the U.S.

    State Minister Dervis refrained from responding to questions of journalists at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

    State Minister Dervis will attend the World Economic Forum in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, between June 30 and July 2, 2001.

    Dervis will hold contacts with Swiss Economy Minister, Tunisian Prime Minister, Moroccan Economy Minister, Romanian President and representatives of private sector during the forum which was expected to focus on new economic developments and approaches in the world.

    Dervis' contacts will focus on Turkey's new economic reform program and regional cooperation in Mediterranean.

    After wrapping up his contacts in Switzerland, Dervis will proceed to the U.S. on July 3.

    Dervis will sign Financial and Public Sector Adjustment Loan of 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, and Agriculture Sector Adjustment Loan of 600 million U.S. dollars with the World Bank.

    During his visit to the U.S., State Minister Dervis will hold meetings with International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and U.S. Treasury Department officials on the issue of foreign trade.

    After wrapping up his contacts in the U.S. on July 7, State Minister Dervis will pay a visit to British capital London between July 8 and 9.

    He will hold contacts with international finance institutions and investment banks, and inform them on Turkey's new economic program.

    [04] CHAIRMEN OF TURK-IS, HAK-IS, DISK AND TISK TO VISIT PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT ON MONDAY

    ANKARA - Chairmen of labor unions will pay a visit to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Monday.

    Labour and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan will also be in attendance at the meeting between Ecevit and Bayram Meral, the Chairman of Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is); Salim Uslu, the Chairman of Moral Rights Workers Union (Hak-Is); Suleyman Celebi, the Chairman of Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DISK); and Refik Baydur, the Chairman of Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions (TISK).

    The delegation will also hold talks with State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan.

    The delegation will bring problems of working life onto agenda, and to request the government to find solutions to these problems.

    Hak-Is Chairman Salum Uslu told the A.A correspondent that they would bring the issues of labour security and unemployment onto agenda of the meetings.

    Claiming that problems of working life had been ignored so far, Uslu said, ''there are complaints about Social Security Authority (SSK) premium fee which was increased as of April 1, 2001. The increase in the fee has been inciting people to employ unrecorded workers. We will request the government to decrease the fees.''

    [05] INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST EARTHQUAKE

    NEW YORK - Turkish, U.S., Greek and Italian research institutions decided to cooperate in determining the risk of earthquake on the North Anatolian Fault Line between Turkey and Greece.

    Sources said on Saturday that a working meeting would be held in Salonica, Greece, between July 30 and August 1 to determine the strategy about the ''Aegean Earthquake Project'' which would be implemented under the leadership of the New York's Columbia University and a cooperation protocol would be signed by the relevant sides in Pireus on August 2.

    The project aims to reveal the dimensions of the risk of a possible earthquake on the North Anatolian Fault Line after the joint works of geologists, engineers and public policy experts from four countries.

    Experts will estimate the potential damage of possible earthquakes and try to economic and social impacts.

    Experts think that massive earthquakes in Turkey in 1999 directed the stress points on the North Anatolian Fault Line towards other regions, and consequently, they estimate that Istanbul and some other points in the region were under risk of massive earthquakes in next few decades.

    The team which will be formed by these four countries will observe the fault line and determine the breaking points.

    Meanwhile, economists and sociologists will join the team to reveal the humanitarian dimension of the damage by quakes.

    Experts from Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Institute, Italian Bologna University marine geology, Salonica University and Gebze-based Marmara Reserach Center will carry out those works.

    [06] 22.6 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF CANDIES EXPORTED FROM GAP REGION IN FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF YEAR

    GAZIANTEP - Exports of candies from Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) region in the first five months of 2001 increased to 22 million 645 thousand U.S. dollars.

    In the same period last year, the region exported 19 million 21 thousand U.S. dollars of candies.

    Officials at the Southeast Anatolian Exporters' Unions told the A.A correspondent on Saturday that they exported 10 million 364 thousand U.S. dollars in sugar; and 12 million 281 thousand U.S. dollars in biscuits, cakes, candies and chocolates.

    Most of the goods were exported to Iraq, Germany, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Jordan.

    [07] GNP DECREASES 4.2 PERCENT IN Q1

    ANKARA - The first quarter growth rate of Gross National Product (GNP) in 2001 compared to the same period of previous year decreased 4.2 percent.

    The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced on Saturday the GNP estimates for the first quarter of 2001 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates by expenditure approach for the first quarter of 2001 and the GDP estimates by cost components approach for the year of 2000.

    According to official statement made by DIE, GNP figure in the first quarter of 2001 was 24 quadrillion 900 trillion 583 billion Turkish liras (TL) in current prices and it was 22 trillion 258 billion TL in fixed prices in 1987. The real growth rate was -4.2 percent and the current growth rate was 16.9 percent.

    Meanwhile, according to the GDP estimates by expenditure the first quarter of 2001 in real term, private final consumption expenditure decreased 3.4 percent and gross fixed capital formation decreased 11.6 percent.

    According to the GDP estimates by cost components in 2000, the factor share of compensation of employees paid by resident producers in GDP was 28.7 percent.

    (To be continued)

    [08] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (1)

    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that the government had done its best to relieve and recover the economy in the shortest time frame and would continue to do so.

    Noting that most of the bills passed by the parliament in a very short period were actually structural reforms and Turkey had been totally restructured, Ecevit said, ''I believe that also organizations and states which extended their helping hands to Turkey or are planning to help Turkey will take these realities into consideration.''

    Ecevit held a press conference at the Prime Ministry building together with state ministers and deputy prime ministers Devlet Bahceli and Mesut Yilmaz.

    Recalling that another legislative year had ended, Ecevit said as the leaders of political parties which formed the coalition government, they considered it appropriate to make an assessment.

    Stressing that both their government and the parliament had carried out very productive and rapid works since formation of the coalition government and that parliament had usually worked night and day, Ecevit said that majority of parliament had extended support to the economic program.

    Noting that all of the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Group-7 from the government and Turkey had been fulfilled in time, Ecevit said that arguments had occurred both in the government and at parliament during the process of those works.

    ''This should be considered a natural and sound process. Discussion is a requirement of democracy. However, some foreign circles get agitated and have worries about whether the support to the program would be withdrawn as our press and media exaggerate even the unimportant and minor discussions, '' he said.

    ''However, they must become familiar with our harmony and attitude. As I said that we are the democratic government of a democratic country. We discuss everything among us. And we sometimes discuss before the public opinion,'' he said.

    ''However, one should never consider that negative consequences would occur due to this. In every opportunity, we show the ability to reach a compromise on every issue within process of discussion,'' Ecevit stated.

    Stressing that IMF and World Bank had extended almost 18 billion U.S. dollars of important foreign source to Turkey as a result of this positive attitude of the government, Ecevit said, ''we always mention this with gratitude, of course. And we believe that we greatly deserved this aid.''

    Emphasizing that Turkey couldn't be content with only foreign source and that also domestic sources should be utilized, Ecevit said that works with this objective had started.

    Ecevit said, ''we are determined to make use of these domestic and external sources by giving priority to demands of the circles which offer opportunities of umployment to our workers and farmers.''

    ''Besides the economic program, we have been expending efforts to put into practice the National Program as soon as possible. I mean to say that on one hand we have been working hard to strengthen our economy and on the other we have been expending efforts to improve our democracy. One of the recent signals of this is that representatives of all political parties having seats at the parliament prepared a comprehensive package of constitutional amendments. As you know, we call on parliament to reconvene on September 17. I hope that the 37-article constitutional amendment package would be adopted by the parliament,'' he said.

    Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''briefly, both our government and parliament has displayed a rapid and productive work in the last two years. Meanwhile, our parliament has carried out an intense work recently. So, our parliament showed how it took economic program seriously, and how it paid careful attention to expectations of those who want to assist our state. During this government's term in office in the last two years, nearly 300 laws were adopted. Most of these laws are about structural reforms. Turkey is going through a total restructuring. Most of these laws have the characteristics of a revolution. A significant part of our public opinion is aware of them. At the same time, I believe that states and institutions providing assistance to Turkey would take into consideration these facts.''

    Recalling that important laws regarded with finance sector were adopted, Prime Minister Ecevit, ''we have done our utmost to improve our economy, and we will continue to do so. Our people have been displaying a great self- sacrifice. For instance, the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk- Is) accepted to receive in 2002 the increases in salaries for the year 2001. This shows how our people rely on the government. We will continue to do our utmost to deserve this confidence.''

    He added, ''as the coalition government of three political parties, we will maintain our works in the summer. We will do whatever necessary to improve our economy.''

    (To be continued)

    [09] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (2)

    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), said on Saturday, ''Turkey has achieved great success in its struggle against fundamentalism and anti-secular groups in recent years. All these successes were achieved without making any concession from democracy.''

    Prime Minister Ecevit held a joint press conference together with State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) about the 57th government's works and the parliament's activities in the legislative year.

    He responded to questions of journalists.

    Question: There are some news stories in today's newspapers. These news stories are about amendment to Article 69 of the Constitution making closure of political parties more difficult. The news stories says that soldiers were sensitive that the amendment might encourage foundation of anti-secular political parties. Were you informed on such a sensitivity?''

    Ecevit: There were some demands to take up the constitutional amendment package right after parliamentary works. Later, an opinion became widespread: constitutional amendments are the changes of vital importance. Sometimes, even a change in a word in the Constitution can create significant problems in the future. Therefore, we thought that haste would not be correct. We wanted parliament to debate the constitutional amendment package on September 17. In this way, all relevant sections of the society will have the opportunity to examine and assess the constitutional amendments. Within this framework, the National Security Council's (NSC) taking up the issue at its meeting is quite normal. Discussions in every platforms and in all sections of the society will be beneficial. As I said before, we will provide this opportunity by postponing the debate on the constitutional amendment package till September 17.

    Question: The report which was submitted during yesterday's meeting of the NSC says that some religious orders and sects were absorbed in the state and law system. Do these religious orders and sects still continue to pose threat?

    Ecevit: In fact, no information should not be given about the NSC meetings. All I can say about yesterday's meeting of the NSC is that the issue of fundamentalism was not even brought onto agenda. An assessment can be made only at the end of the meeting. According to the assessment about the yesterday's meeting, Turkey has achieved great success in its struggle against fundamentalism and anti-secular groups in the recent years. All these successes were achieved without making any concession from democracy. Any criticism except of this was not put forward at yesterday's meeting. Different issues about internal and external security were discussed.

    Question: It was told that a report was submitted to the NSC during yesterday's meeting. The report says that economic crisis can cause a social eruption. Do you have any concerns?

    Ecevit: No, I do not have such a concern. Even if such a report exists, I cannot make any statement about it. All I can say at this point is that any report causing such concerns was out of question.

    Question: The parliament has worked so hard recently, but the opposition did not attend these works. Is a parliament without opposition in line with democracy?

    Ecevit: A parliament without opposition is out of question. There are opposition parties at the parliament. The government does not prevent their rights. Meanwhile, it is obvious that the outlawed Virtue Party (FP) has its own domestic problems. Maybe, members of the outlawed FP decided not to attend parliamentary sessions in order to solve their internal problems. And, members of the True Path Party (DYP) might not attend the works because they ran out of patience. We did not suggest them not to attend the parliamentary works. On the contrary, the DYP had attended the works, we would have taken its opinions into consideration.''

    Question: You said that you overcame problems by discussing them. However, it was claimed that State Minister Kemal Dervis was left alone especially about the Telekom crisis. It is said that Dervis was acting as the fourth partner of the coalition. Do you have the same worries?

    Ecevit: No, I don't have such worries. Telekom was an important issue. It was discussed in detail and a friendly compromise was reached in the end. However, as I said that we do have problems with media. Very simple discussions are exaggerated and reflected in headlines and columns. However, distinguished members of press should have gotten used to such a process of discussion. This proves that democracy works productively in Turkey. As I said that a compromise was reached also on the Telekom issue.

    Question: What does Turkey think about developments in Macedonia? Will Turkey send troops to Macedonia within framework of the NATO? And if this is in question, how and when Turkey will send troops?

    Ecevit: We do have worries about Macedonia issue, of course. There are very serious domestic problems in Macedonia. There are serious problems most of which stem from external sources and partially from its domestic characteristics. Armed clashes are occurring. NATO is determined to take necessary measures against this but first of all, Macedonia must reach a compromise with its domestic groups. As far as we know that the Macedonian administration is expending efforts to this end. However, the situation is serious. Consequently, the Macedonian President became obliged to once again postpone his visit to Turkey. NATO has not taken a definite decision and carried out a work yet on number of NATO allies and their support. However, if such a point is reached, as I said that we will immediately assess it if domestic problems in Macedonia are solved, an atmosphere of compromise is settled and contribution of NATO and Turkey is required.

    Question: Especially the low-income people are suffering a serious problem while supplementary taxes are imposed. What do you think about this?

    Ecevit: Activation of domestic sources necessitates some time. Meanwhile, some small scale taxes are foreseen to meet urgent requirements. However, these do not have the characteristic which can give serious damages to most of the society. If we can sufficiently activate these domestic sources in summer, we will take especially public officials', workers' and entrepreneurs' requirements into consideration. We are doing our best to fulfil this.

    Question: There was a work on removal of injustices in civil servants' salaries in question within framework of the authority law. What is the current stage in this work?

    Ecevit: This is a problem about source. As I said that we are carrying out a detailed work on domestic source. This problem can be taken up in a concrete way when this work in completed.

    Question: Parliament recessed but Turkey is entering a warm period in politics. There are new formations in question. Deputies are expected to change their parties. How can all these warm developments affect the future of the coalition?

    Ecevit: These developments can't damage our democracy. On the contrary, they bring liveliness. So I don't have worries. Since the formation of the coalition government, as the partners of the government, we have been always in favor of an intention to make closure of political parties more difficult. A satisfactory solution to these problems will be brought during the coming constitutional amendments process.

    Question: In your recent statements, you said that there are people who want to destroy the harmony of the coalition. Who are these people?

    Ecevit: As the very careful members of the press, you know them better than I do.

    Question: Is there a problem in the government due to Kemal Dervis?

    Ecevit: Everything is on the right track. Parliament completed a very productive legislative year. And we are carrying out an intense work. We don't have time to waste due to such scenarios and rumors.

    Question: There will be a five million Turkish liras of increase in minimum wage tomorrow. Workers' confedarations request a revision in this decision. What do you think about this?

    Ecevit: Labor and Social Security Minister Yasar Okuyan had three workers' confederations and employers' confederations convene. Also I will hold a meeting with them and we will have the opportunity to discuss such issues.

    (To be continued)

    [10] COALITION PARTNERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE (3)

    ANKARA - State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said on Saturday, ''the most significant characteristic of our government is to reach compromise even on the most complicated issues. However, I see that this characteristic of the government is being tried to be overshadowed after Kemal Dervis' appointment as the state minister for economy.''

    Yilmaz held a joint press conference together with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), and State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), about the 57th government's works and the parliament's activities in the legislative year.

    Speaking at the press conference, Yilmaz said that the 57th government was the longest lasting coalition government of the history of Republic of Turkey.

    Describing the 57th government as a government of compromise, Yilmaz said, ''the most significant characteristic of our government is to reach compromise even on the most complicated issues. However, I see that this characteristic of the government is being tried to be overshadowed after Kemal Dervis' appointment as the state minister for economy. The compromise should not be considered a compromise among three political parties forming the coalition government. Also a compromise should be provided between means of the economy and means of the politics. Dervis is an independent minister and a technocrat minister. One cannot expect him to display the necessary sensitivity about means of the politics. Our government faces serious requests of various sections. Any of political parties taking part in the government cannot be uncorcerned about these requests. I mean to say that any of these political parties cannot remain insensitive about these requests such as solution of problems of real economy, encouragement of exports, and removal of unfair distribution of income in the public. Therefore, differences of opinion may emerge from time to time between three political parties forming the coalition government and Dervis. Because Dervis assesses the matter only economically. As political parties, we have to protect this compromise between economy and politics.''

    ''Laws forming the supplementary source package which was adopted by the parliament yesterday, envisage to meet these requests without damaging balances of economic program. Collecting 50 U.S. dollars levy from each Turkish citizen leaving Turkey, and new taxes on several luxury expenses aim at strengthening real economy and removing unfair distribution of income,'' he said.

    Yilmaz said, ''if we had attempted to do this with our current opportunities, we would have not maintained balance of the economic program. Our target to meet these requests without damaging balances in the economic program, entailed a supplementary source. When the laws adopted by the parliament yesterday, come into force, we will have the opportunity to recover salaries of public workers, to allocate more source to real economy, and to encourage exports. One should take into consideration all these factors while assessing problem of compromise in the government, and new income measures of our government.''

    [11] GNP DECREASES 4.2 PERCENT IN Q1 (2)

    ANKARA - The first quarter growth rate of Gross National Product (GNP) in 2001 compared to the same period of previous year decreased 4.2 percent.

    The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced on Saturday the GNP estimates for the first quarter of 2001 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates by expenditure approach for the first quarter of 2001 and the GDP estimates by cost components approach for the year of 2000.

    According to the DIE statement, growth rate of sectors in the first quarter of 2001, compared to the same quarter of previous year:

    . Current Prices Fixed Prices

    . (percent) (percent)

    Sectors Q1 Q1

    --------- -------- --------
    Agriculture 41.1 8.9

    Industry 33.6 -1.3

    Construction 32.1 -7.4

    Trade 32.1 -3.8

    Transportation and

    Communication 31.4 -2.7

    Financial Institutions - -5.3

    Ownership of Dwelling 50.0 2.1

    Business and Personal

    Services 34.4 -1.6

    State Services 31.4 3.8

    Private Non-Profit

    Institutions 110.4 1.7

    Import Duties 24.6 -10.6

    GDP 19.0 -1.9
    GNP 16.9 -4.2
    Growth rate of expenditure groups, compared to the same quarter of previous year, in the first quarter of 2001:

    . Current Prices Fixed Prices

    . (percent) (percent)

    Expenditure Groups Q1 Q1

    -------------------------------------- -------- --------
    Private Final Consumption Expenditure 33.5 -3.4

    Government Final Consumption Expenditure 29.5 -0.2

    Gross Fixed Capital Formation 19.7 -11.6

    Exports of Goods and Services 47.7 7.5

    Imports of Goods and Services 16.1 -16.3

    According to the results of GDP estimates by cost components for 2000, the share of compensation of employees to GDP is 28,7 percent, the share of operating surplus is 51,3 percent and the annual growth rate of compensation of employees in current prices is 51,3 percent.

    (End)

    -ECONOMIC AFFAIRS MINISTER SEBASTIANI OF VATICAN
    VISITS RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS HEAD YILMAZ
    ANKARA - Economic Affairs Minister Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani of Vatican visited on Saturday Religious Affairs Head Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz.

    Speaking at the meeting, Cardinal Sebastiani said that Pope John Paul II attributed great importance to inter-religious dialogue.

    Noting that Pope John Paul II wanted to come to Turkey, Sebastiani noted that he could not visit Turkey due to his health problems.

    ''The God is the only source of three monotheistic faiths. We should love each other like siblings. We should forget the past. In order to become a model, the Pope apologized from the Islam world because of sins committed in the past. Sins belonged to the past, therefore we should forget them,'' he said.

    Noting that there were circles trying to use religious belief for their own political purposes, Cardinal Sebastiani said that everyone should be respectful to each other.

    Meanwhile, Religious Affairs Head Yilmaz said, ''inter-religious wars came to an end long before. Blood has still been shed in some places. Religious places have been damaged. All these attacks target freedom of religious belief and conscience.''

    Yilmaz invited Pope John Paul II to Turkey.


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