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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-16

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA Daily

16 November 1999 Tuesday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 16, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


The U.S. President Bill Clinton said that he will support Turkey's European Union (EU) membership. Clinton noted that he will provide one billion U.S. dollar credit from the Eximbank to Turkey to overcome the damages of the quake. Clinton stated that Turkey is the key of the 20th century. Clinton added that the future of millions of people in this region and all through the world depends on the decisions which will be taken in that hall.

Boris Yeltsin, the Russian Presient, will arrive in Istanbul on Wednesday for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit which will be held in Istanbul between November 18 and 19, 1999. Yeltsin will meet with President Suleyman Demirel at the Ciragan Palace tomorrow.


The Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project which will transport Caspian oil to the western markets, will be signed at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19. President Haydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia, and President Suleyman Demirel are expected to sign the agreement.

NATO has taken action against a possible earthquake in Istanbul. The Disaster Affairs Commission of NATO will come to Turkey on November 19. Two research ships will also come to Turkey to study the fault line in Marmara Sea.


The surface of the Efteni Lake in Bolu province is in flames after the quake which hit this province on Friday. Due to the methane gas which burst out after the tremor, flames reached three meters above the surface of the lake.

U.S. President Bill Clinton was welcomed in the Presidential Residence in Cankaya district yesterday. President Suleyman Demirel and Clinton listened to the national anthems of Turkey and the U.S. first. Clinton greeted the military quatrain in Turkish: ''Merhaba Asker'' (Hello Soldier). Later, Clinton and Demirel released joint press conference.

Finance Minister Sumer Oral said that it is an unfortune for Turkey to experience the Duzce quake before she healed the wounds of the Marmara quake. Oral noted that since Turkey experienced a new quake, the earthquake tax is inevitable. Oral added that the tax will be passed until the end of this month.


Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will hold bilateral talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19. Dimitri Reppas, the Spokesman of the Greek government, said that Prime Minister Simitis accepted Ecevit's invitation for a bilateral meeting.


A total of 452 people were killed while 2,386 others were injured in 7.2- magnitude earthquake which devastated Bolu province and surroundings on November 12. Meanwhile, 722 dwellings and business places collapsed in the quake disaster.

A total of 20 members of illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA- C) were taken into custody in Istanbul in the wake of the assasination of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Taner Kislali, former Culture Minister and a leading journalist. Security forces also seized a great deal of weapons, explosives, and illegal documents. Captured members of the illegal extreme fundamentalist organization said that they were planning to stage several terrorist attacks.


U.S. President Bill Clinton will pay a visit to the disaster area as an expression of sympathy for the quake survivors. Clinton will convey the ''get well soon'' messages of his nation in the tent-site in Dogukisla. Clinton will tell how much more the U.S. will send aid to the quake zone.

Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General, said that his statement regarding the indirect talks between the concerned sides on Cyprus which will be held in New York, could be misunderstood. Annan, who visits China, made a statement after TRNC President Rauf Denktas turned back the invitation last evening. He said that there is a misunderstanding and added, ''it seems that my words caused some confusions. I should be clearer. The sides decided to start indirect meetings on December 3 to prepare a basis for meaningful negotiations.'' Annan pointed out that an agreement was reached on calling the concerned sides to a meeting by a short and simple invitation without including any name or titles. However, Annan didn't mention the description of Denktas as ''Mr.'' and Clerides as ''President'' in his first statement.


President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), participated in the ceremony held to mark the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the TRNC. Denktas said that he will participate in the indirect meetings which will start in New York under the auspices of the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Kofi Annan on December 3, 1999.

The death toll reached 452 in the fourth day after the quake. 722 buildings collapsed in Bolu, Duzce and Kaynasli. Many quake survivors are spending their days on the streets since the tents are not sufficient. The search and rescue operations are underway in the region following the quake in Duzce.


WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 16 (A.A) - The U.S. Association of Women's Improvement and Development (AWID) awarded the Women's Human Rights Project Association for its works to improve sexual equality, and social justice in Turkey.

Ipek Ilkkaracan, the Coordinator of the Women's Human Rights Project Association, was presented the ''Great Solutions Award'' by Aruna Rao, the Chairperson of Executive Board of the AWID. Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Ilkkaracan said that they had succeeded in providing Turkey to take her place in the international women's movement. Ilkkaracan noted that had organized regional training programs in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Children to make women conscious about their legal and economic rights, and about the sexuality.

She also added that they had played an active role in acceptance of the law regarding the protection of women who were subjected to violence.

The Women's Human Rights Project Association was founded in 1993 in Istanbul.


WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 16 (A.A) - The U.S. Eximbank ratified granting one million U.S. dollar credit to Turkish banking system on Tuesday.

A statement of the Eximbank said that it approved granting one million U.S. dollar credit to Turkey to be used in the finance of the imports of the U.S. goods.

The credit can be used via Is Bankasi, Yapi Kredi Bankasi, Garanti Bankasi, Osmanli Bankasi, Iktisat Bankasi, Finansbank, Demirbank, Kocbank, Disbank, Korfezbank, Oyakbank, and Kentbank, the statement noted.

The statement stressed that the Turkish enterprises which provide goods and services from the U.S. can benefit from the credit.

James Harmon, the Governor of the U.S. Eximbank, said that the credit is a significant step taken at the right time for the finance of the purchase of U.S. goods and services.

The credit will help the providing of the necessary capital goods for the infrastructural investments of Turkey and increase the trade between the Turkish and the U.S. companies, Harmon added.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit asked on Tuesday the quake experts to refrain from releasing statements which will demoralize the citizens and cause panic.

When leaving the Prime Ministry, Ecevit told reporters that the geology experts started to release statements regarding their predictions about the possible quakes as if they were important findings.

This causes panic among the people and led to some thoughts like a quake can occur the other day, Ecevit noted.

Ecevit continued, ''the experts releasing statements about the possibilities cause panic and uneasiness among our people. They should firstly inform us about their expectations, predictions, and proposals regarding the natural disasters and quake. We will then do our best to take the necessary measures by the contribution of the experts.''

The Prime Ministry will issue a circular regarding this issue in the following days, Ecevit stated.

Ecevit added, ''what I ask the experts is to refrain from the statements which will demoralize the citizens and cause panic. If they have something to advice or warn, we will evaluate them. We are taking all kinds of measures.''


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and the State Minister, said on Tuesday that U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Turkey carries historical importance.

Bahceli spoke in the group meeting of his Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Turkey is experiencing very important internatonal meetings and developments in recent days, Bahceli noted.

Bahceli continued, ''Bill Clinton's five-day visit to Turkey carries historical importance. It is possible to consider this visit as a turning point in the bilateral relations and the world politics.''

''Clinton's words regarding the future and his ideas about our country carries importance because they put forward the regional and global role of Turkey. Clinton's attitude against the quake disaster draws the attention as a very good example of international solidarity,'' Bahceli added.

Bahceli stated that hosting the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit is a pleasing and meaningful incident for Turkey.

Hosting this summit carries vital importance for Turkey's promotion and prestige, Bahceli stressed.

Bahceli emphasized that the OSCE is one of the organizations which have influence in the world and regional politics for the last decade.

Bahceli pointed out that when the balance sheet of the last decade is discussed in the summit, the framework of the regional and international cooperation and security systems of the new century will be put forward.

The world should reach a safer, more stable, and more equitable ground in the new century, Bahceli added.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation issued a report.

The report proposed that the Council of Ministers should transfer the authority of closing the banks to the Banking Arrangement and Audit Council.

An official told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that the IMF and World Bank delegation headed by Lalit Raina, an official from the World Bank finance sector, prepared a report.

The report adviced that the Council should become autonomous structure and start working as soon as possible, the official said.

The official noted that the report said that Banking Arrangement and Audit Council should have all the authorities regarding the banking sector.

The report noted that the Council should start carrying out initiatives after all the reforms are implemented, the official stated.

The members of the delegation said that the balance sheets of the banks should include inflation accounts to reflect the realities about the financial position of the banks and to estimate the quality of the assets.

The delegation noted that announcing the balance sheets of the bank not only to the official authorities but also to the public carries importance for transparency.

Meanwhile, the official said that the World Bank can increase the credit which is planned to be given to Turkey to 1.5 billion U.S. dollars after the Banking Arrangement and Audit Council starts working and after the reforms in banking system are implemented following a stand-by agreement with the IMF.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that his meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton was very positive for Turkey.

When leaving the Prime Ministry, Ecevit told reporters that they discussed economic issues during his meeting with Clinton.

He told him that some economic needs of Turkey have priority and asked for Clinton's support in this issue, Ecevit noted.

Ecevit stated that Clinton's remarks indicated that as a statesman how good he understands Turkey and how warm feelings he has for Turkey.

Ecevit added that Clinton knows the value of Turkey's friendship.

Ecevit continued, ''we welcome all these with gratitude. I referred to the economic issues during our meeting. I told him that some economic needs of Turkey have priority. I told him that we welcome the interest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.''

''I told him that but the stand-by contribution is far away from meeting our emergency needs. I asked for Mr.President's support about this issue. He told that we are right and said that he will do his best,'' Ecevit added.

When recalled that the remarks of Clinton who said that Turkey will be the inspiration of all the world and to make this come true, the Aegean and Cyprus question should be solved, Ecevit stated that some efforts regarding these issues are being exerted.

There are no serious problems regarding this issue, but there are some issues which Turkey can no way take a backward step on Cyprus question, Ecevit stressed.

Ecevit recalled that Kofi Annan, the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General, corrected his statement which cannot be accepted by Turkey when he faced the reactions of Turks.

Ecevit continued, ''there is no other problem left. Now, the meetings will start in New York. We will see further in accordance with the course of the meetings.''

Responding another question, Ecevit said that he did not send a letter to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

But, he hopes that he can meet with Simitis during Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul, Ecevit emphasized.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - The Istanbul Technical University (ITU) is expected to announce the results of the researches carried under the Marmara Sea.

The officials told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that ITU will announce the results of the report which was prepared in the end of the geologic and seismic researches carried out by Seismic-1 ship.

The ITU officials continue to hold meetings about this issue and they will announce the results soon, the officials said.

Cengiz Atak, the Director General of the Mineral Research and Administration Institute (MTA), said that they submitted all the data they received from the Seismic-1 to ITU one and a half months ago.

They expect the report to be announced in a short time, Atak noted.

The MTA-ITU reports carry importance following the devastating quakes which hit the Marmara Region in three months, Atak stated.

Atak stressed that the ITU will firstly compare the new reports with the reports prepared in 1997.

Atak added that the ITU will then release a statement regarding the reports.


WASHINGTON D.C./ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A)- Ajay Chhibber, the World Bank Turkey Director, said on Tuesday that Duzce quake confirmed the urgency of the measures which will be supported by the loan given by the bank.

Chibber noted that the devastating August quake led to the death of more than 17,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

The financial burden of the August quake will be between 3.8 billion U.S. dollars and 4.6 billion U.S. dollars, Chibber stated.

Chibber stressed that this accounts for 1.8 or 2.2 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP).

The World Bank ratified granting 757.5 billion U.S. dollar loan to Turkey on Tuesday.

A statement of the World Bank said that the loan will be given to Turkey in two stages.

The first part of the credit will be 252.5 million U.S. dollars and will be granted within the framework of Emergency Earthquake Rehabilitaiton Loan, the statement noted.

The statement added that the second part of the credit will be 505 million U.S. dollars and will be given as Marmara Quake Emergency Reconstruction Project Loan.

The Emergency Earthquake Rehabilitation Loan will be used in the purchase of construction equipment, oil, production equipment and capital equipment of the private sector. The loan will also contribute to the continuation of the economic reform programme.

The Marmara Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Project Loan will be used for a sustainable national emergency rule administration.

The Marmara Earthquake loan will be used to decrease the effects of possible quakes, to normalize the lives of those who were psychologically and physically affected by the quake and to construct new buildings.

These loans will not be paid back for three years and will have a maturity of 15 years.


BAKU/TASHKENT, Nov 16 (A.A)- President Haydar Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Islam Kerimov of Uzbekistan will leave for Turkey on Wednesday to attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19.

President Aliyev is expected to come together with his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharyan with the aim of taking steps towards solving the Upper Karabakh dispute.

In a previous statement, President Aliyev had noted that agreement regarding the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project would be signed at the OSCE Summit.

President Kerimov of Uzbekistan will partake of official dinner which will be hosted by President Suleyman Demirel in honor of guest leaders.

President Kerimov who will be the first speaker at the OSCE Summit, is expected to depart Turkey on November 18.


BERLIN, Nov 16 (A.A) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, and Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, will leave for Turkey on Wednesday to attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19.

Governmont sources told the A.A correspondent that Germany aimed at finding a solution to Chechnya dispute at the OSCE Summit.

Schroder will hold talks with Russian President Boris Yeltsin on the issue of Chechnya dispute.

Germany defends that Russia has violated disarmament agreements, and that Russia's attitude in Chechnya has posed a threat in the Caucasia.

German Chancellor Schroder is scheduled to come together with President Suleyman Demirel, and with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

His contacts are expected to focus on Turkey's membership to the European Union (EU).

The same sources noted that Germany would support Turkey's candidacy at the Helsinki Summit in December.

Schroder will address the Turkish-German Chamber of Trade. He is expected to underline the importance of Turkish economy in Europe.

He is also scheduled to come together with his Finnish and French counterparts in Istanbul.

At the meetings, the Helsinki Summit, and Turkey's candidacy to the EU will be discussed.


LEFKOSA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Turkish Origin Parliamentarians Congress started in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Tuesday.

Rauf Denktas, the President of the TRNC, spoke in the opening ceremony of the congress.

Denktas said that holding this congress in TRNC carries importance for them.

Not recognizing a state which exists is unfair in the name of humanity, Denktas noted.

Denktas stated that the Turkish Cypriots established the TRNC by their own will after a struggle which lasted for 11 years.

The Turkish parliamentarians are responsible for making the world realize these realities, Denktas drew the attention.

Denktas wished that more people will participate in this meeting in the following years.

Polat Bulbuloglu, Azerbaijani Culture Minister, said that they are pleased to participate in the Independence Day of the Turkish Cypriots.

Bulbuloglu drew the attention that the TRNC continues to develop despite all the political and economic problems.

He believes that the TRNC will be recognized by all the world, Bulbuloglu noted.

They aim at seeing the TRNC flag in the United Nations (U.N.), Bulbuloglu stated.

A total of 24 parliamentarians from Turkey, TRNC, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania, participate in the congress.

The congress will end on Wednesday.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Carlo Cotarelli, the Chief of IMF Turkey Desk, concluded the performance criteria talks regarding the Treasury.

The officials told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that the IMF delegation completed the part of its letter of intend which was related with the Treasury.

The IMF could not have a consensus over the estimation of the performance criteria regarding the Central Bank, the officials said.

The officials noted that as soon as the IMF reaches an agreement about this issue, the letter of intend will totally be ready.

Meanwhile, the General Public Sector Balance which is the main performance criteria of the IMF, is believed to give a surplus of more than six percnet of the Gross National Product (GNP) in 2000.

The municipalities were not included in the estimation of this balance due to some difficulties but some criteria like the giant State Economic Enterprises (SEEs), public banks, and social security were included in the general balance.


PARIS, Nov 16 (A.A) - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which was based in Paris, issued on Tuesday a report named as, ''OECD Economic Outlook''.

In the report, the OECD noted, ''within the space of a year, the Turkish economy has been affected by two major shocks: the Russian crisis of August 1998, and the Marmara earthquake of August 1999.''

''As a result, output is expected to fall by more than 2 percent in 1999. The government's primary surplus, which has already declined sharply in response to recession, and pre-election policy slippages, now face the added burden of earthquake costs. These costs including assistance, tax shortfalls and reconstruction of public infrastructure, are officially estimated at around 6.2 billion U.S. dollars. Foreign official financing is expected to cover only about half of this amount, the remainder to be met through additional resources, including new taxes.''


PARIS, Nov 16 (A.A) - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which was based in Paris, issued on Tuesday a report named as, ''OECD Economic Outlook''.

In the report, the OECD noted that the incipient recovery was halted by the severe earthquake of August 1999, and gave information in detail about the damage caused by the earthquake.

The report said, ''the Turkish government has introduced a tight 2000 bugdet, and has demonstrated a resolve to move forward on structural reforms, notably in the areas of bankings, privatization, and social security. This paves the way for an expected International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by program, which aims at achieving single-digit inflation.''

''The loss of important markets in Russia and neighbouring countries, together with the decline in competitiveness vis-a-vis emerging markets in general, resulted in a sharp drop in exports. The formation of a new coalition government in May and the stronger world economy helped to stabilize the situation, but real interest rates have stayed high,'' the OECD's report indicated.

The report note that the direct impact of the earthquake on industrial capacity appeared to have been relatively mild, however as most of the damage was concentrated on residential structures.

The report said, ''Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 1999 will be about 1 percent less than would have been expected without the earthquake. By 2000, reconstruction is expected to add around 1 percentage point to GDP growth. The government has drafted a tight budget for 2000 in anticipation of an IMF multi-year stand-by program due to start on January 1, 2000. This program aims to reduce consumer price inflation to around 25 percent by the end of 2000. The near-term outlook will be heavily influenced by the extent to which the planned fiscal discipline and structural reforms will result in improved market confidence, increasing capital inflows, and a declining risk premium in interest rates. The market rates have already started declining with the announcement of the 2000 budget.''

''Inflation should begin to fall once the Central Bank adopts a forward- looking exchange-rate peg at the start of next year. However, an unknown element is how fast private wage behaviour will adapt and hence how much the real exchange rate will appreciate,'' the report added.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, said on Tuesday that the recent developments in the Cyprus question were extraordinary achievements of President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Cem has submitted the Parliamentary Plan and Budget Commission the Foreign Ministry's budget for the year 2000.

Addressing the meeting, Cem recalled that United Nations Security Council had decided to call on leaders of two communities on the island for negotiations through Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations. He said that the decision was a mistake.

Reminding that such a call was refused by both Turkey and the TRNC, Cem said, ''we had previously stated that only an indirect talk could be held. We also told the United Nations officials that political equality between the partners should be recognized before direct relations. But in the last, it was decided to hold indirect negotiations. Words in the invitation text were chosen fastidiously. But Kofi Annan's staff issued another text, and we objected to the text immediately. As a result, words such as ''excellency'' were taken out of the text. No one has put pressure on us, but this time, we have put pressure on them. We will never abandon Cyprus for membership to the European Union (EU).''

Cem said, ''from time to time, the EU is being considered as a registration authority. It is a wrong policy. We are already European. Turkey is a European country having regard to her geographical position, and her cultural aspect. If being a European country consists of elements such as human rights, democracy, and equality, our culture is European. Our people are both European and Asian, and this is a great characteristic of Turkey. Membership to the EU is a target for Turkey in the year 2000, but it is not our obsession. Membership to the EU is not a pre-condition for well-being and hapiness of Turkey. We also aim at becoming a pioneer in Eurasia.''

Referring to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19, Cem said that the summit was a great opportunity to introduce Turkey in a better way.

Cem recalled that significant contacts would be held at the summit.

Cem also underlined the importance of President Clinton's visit to Turkey.

Cem said that the joint working groups set up between Turkey and Greece are exerting positive efforts.

Nowadays, Greece thinks that she can have benefits from having good relations with Turkey, Cem noted.

Cem stated that Turkey also aims the continuation of the friendly relations with Greece.

They want to be in cooperation with Greece after becoming a member of the European Union (EU), Cem stressed.

Cem recalled that the EU will take a resolution about shaping up its enlargement process on December 10, 1999.

This carries importance for Turkey, but this is not Turkey's fate, Cem emphasized.

Cem continued, ''Turkey will continue to grow. Turkey will overcome all her democratic deficiencies. The improvement of our relations with the EU will contribute to Turkey's reaching the high standards. This is our expectation.''

At what point the EU will draw its borders carries importance, Cem pointed out.

Cem said that if Turkey is not included in the EU borders, the EU will draw its borders from the Balkans and the Aegean.

On one side of the Aegean, there will be Turkey and on the other side there will be Greece, Cem noted.

Cem added that such a position will lay the ground for potential disputes.

An EU border which includes Turkey will not make the region a place of disputes, Cem stated.

Cem stressed that the relations in the Central Asia and Caucasus are improving.

Turkey's influence in the region will increase as the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline starts pumping oil, Cem emphasized.

Cem pointed out that the developments in Chechnya are very serious.

The developments in Chechnya can cause danger in the whole of Caucasus and can lead to instability in the region, Cem said.

Cem noted that Turkey respects to the territorial integrity of the other countries.

But, he believes that the human rights problem is an international problem not the internal problem of a country; Cem stated.

Cem stressed that if there are violations of human rights in a country, then this is the joint problem of whole humanity.

They express their reaction against the violence in Chechnya in every international platform, Cem emphasized.

Cem pointed out that Turkey did her best in the Kosovo dispute but the formation titled ''international community'' did not fulfil its commitments.

Cem said that the relations with the Arab countries are improving.

They invited the foreign ministers of the countries which are the members of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) to Turkey in April, Cem noted.

Cem added that they will discuss how this organization will welcome the 21st century in Istanbul.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Tuesday that even the countries which give lessons about human rights, have deficiencies in this issue.

The budget of the Foreign Ministry was accepted in the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission.

Cem responded to the questions concerning the budget of his ministry during the discussions.

Turkey's relations with the Central Asian Republics are very good in every field, Cem noted.

Cem stated that the Blue Stream Project is not an issue which concerns his ministry.

But, Turkey needs natural gas, and Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer yesterday said that Turkey does not have natural gas stock; Cem recalled.

Cem stressed that Turkey needs Blue Steam, Turkmen gas and Azerbaijani gas.

An agreement regarding gas has not been signed with the Turkmens yet because of a dispute between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Cem reminded.

Cem stressed that he hopes that they will sign the agreement regarding the Turkmen gas during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit.

Turkey signed agreement with Russia on struggle against terrorism, Cem emphasized.

Cem pointed out that Turkey wants and defends this agreement from the very beginning.

Terrorism is a trouble for Turkey and the agreement which was signed in Moscow did not include the word ''Chechen'' and can never include this word, Cem said.

Cem noted that they want the European Union (EU) to implement the things which it implements to the other candidate countries.

Turkey can face some criticisms saying that there are deficiencies in Turkey in human rights issue, Cem stated.

Cem evaluated the criticisms of Sweden as ''surpassing the limits.''

Turkey tries to overcome the deficiencies in human rights and democracy issues, Cem stressed.

Cem said, ''even the countries which give lessons about human rights, have deficiencies in this issue. They should not surpass the limits. We don't need taking lessons.''

Sweden has sensitivity over the human rights and democracy applications in Turkey, Cem pointed out.

Cem emphasized that a careful policy is being implemented in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) issue.

Cem drew the attention that Rauf Denktas, the President of TRNC, is a big opportunity for not only Turkey but also Cyprus.

It is impossible that Premier Bulent Ecevit takes wrong decisions about the TRNC, Cem said.

Cem added that nobody should feel uneasy about the decisions which will be taken in the TRNC issue.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Yuksel Yalova, the Minister of State for privatization, said on Tuesday that the block-sale of 51 percent of Petrol Ofisi Inc (POAS) shares will be officially announced as of November 17 with advertisements in newspapers published in Turkey and abroad.

The privatization in question is one of the most important projects of the Privatization Administration Board (OIB) for its privatization programme in 2000.

Yalova staged a press briefing and gave information about the privatization programme.

Yalova said the deadline for submitting bids for the POAS tender was January 20, 2000.

Yalova said the tender would be concluded technically with an auction in March 2000.

Yalova stated that the result of the adjudication would be submitted to the Competition Board and later the block-sale would be finalized after the approval of the Privatization Supreme Board.

Yalova added that the block-sale of the POAS was planned to be finalized and the contract was planned to be signed before June 2000.


LEFKOSA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Tuesday that western and other foreign agencies reported the news related with Turkish and Muslim world in the way others want to hear.

Addressing the opening of the Turkish Speaking Countries News Agencies General Assembly, Denktas said cooperation between the news agencies of the Turkish world was important to convey the issues which they are rightful to the world.

Denktas pointed out that especially the western agencies reported the news related with the Turkish and Islamic world in the way they wanted.

He said ''for example those agencies, while reporting a news report about the TRNC, say: (...after being occupied by Turkey in 1974...)''

Denktas said, ''the news does not have a meaning if they enter the paragraph by saying it. What about before 1974? They never say how we reached these days.''

Denktas said ''to this end, we attribute great importance to cooperation between news agencies of the Turkish Republics to convey our rightful case.''

Ismail Bezgin, the Deputy Director General of the Anadolu Agency, who attended the meeting, celebrated 16th anniversary of the foundation of the TRNC.

Bezgin said the Anadolu Agency always supported Turkish Cypriots, and noted that it supported and covered rightful case of the TRNC. Bezgin pointed out that this support will always continue.

Bezgin said the Anadolu Agency was in positive relations with the agencies of other Turkish Republics.

Representatives of the Azeri News Agency Azertac, the Kazakh news agency KazAAG, the Kyrgyz news agency Knatikabar, the Turkmen news agency Turkmenpress attended the meeting.

The Turkish Agency-Cyprus took over the Term Presidency of the Turkish Speaking Countries News Agencies Association.


ISTANBUL, Nov 16 (A.A) - Istanbul will be the intersection point of the world leaders as a result of the last biggest meeting of this century, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit.

Presidents of 25 countries, and Prime Ministers of 23 countries will attend OSCE summit. Glafcos Clerides, leader of Greek Cypriot side, will also participate in the meeting. Two countries will be represented at foreign ministerial level, and three other countries will be represented at various levels.

President Suleyman Demirel, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, French President Jacques Chirac, Andorra Head of State Marc Forne, Armenian Head of State Robert Kocharyan, Austrian President Thomas Klestil, Azeri President Haydar Aliyev, Belarus Head of State Aleksandr Lukashenko, Bulgarian President Marti Ahtisaari, Georgian Head of State Eduard Shevardnadze, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyzstan Head of State Askar Akayev, Lithuanian Head of State Valdas Adamkus, Moldovan Head of State Petru Lucinschi, Uzbekistan Head of State Islam Kerimov, Polish Head of State Emirl Constantinescu, Slovakian Head of State Rudolf Schuster, Swiss President Ruth Dreyfuss, Tajikistan Head of State Imamali Rahmanov, Czech President Vaclav Havel, Turkmenistan Head of State Sapharmurad Turkmenbasi, and Ukranian Head of State Leonid Kucma will participate in the summit.

Albanian Prime Minister Ilir Meta, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofsstadt, Croatian Prime Minister Zlatko Matesta, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Estonian Prime Minister Mari Laar, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Urban, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, Icelandic Premier David Oddsson, İtalian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, Latvian Prime Minister Andris Skele, Liechtenstein Prime Minister Mario Frick, Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker, Maltase Prime Minister Edward Fenech Adami, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek and Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson will attend the summit.

From the OSCE-Mediterranean Cooperation Partners: Ahmed Attaf, Foreign Minister of Algeria; Amr Mousa, Egyptian Foreign Minister; Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister; Abdulillah al-Hatip, Jordanian Foreign Minister; Mohammad bin Isa, Foreign Minister of Morocco; and Said bin Mousa, Foreign Minister of Tunusia will attend the summit.

Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, will represent Britain, and Angelo Sodano, Foreign Minister of Vatican will represent their countries during the summit.

The U.S. has the biggest representation with 800-people group. Andorra will visit Turkey with a 20-people group.

It has been estimated that the cost of the summit to Turkey will be approximately 6-7 million U.S. dollars. Officials pointed out that OSCE meeting was an important opportunity for promotion.


LEFKOSA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), opened on Tuesday the TRNC-Italy Trade Bureau which aimed at improving the economic and commercial relations between the TRNC and Italy.

Ertugrul Apakan, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosa; Prof. Dr. Augusto Sinagra, the Honorary Representative of the TRNC to Rome; some Italian parliamentarians, other high-level officials and businessmen attended the opening ceremony.

The TRNC-Italy Trade Bureau was opened in the TRNC Chamber of Commerce.

Addressing the ceremony, Denktas said, ''this is a great step and a great beginning. This will be improved rapidly with the contributions of dynamic businessmen.''

''The TRNC has been considered non-existent for years and she has been prevented from taking steps for her recognition. This is an important development for the people of the TRNC who are the lovers of rights and freedom,'' Denktas said.

Recalling the statement of Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini saying, ''there are two cultures, two governments and two states in Cyprus'', Denktas said, ''this Bureau is as important as Mr. Dini's statements.''

Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosa Ertugrul Apakan said the bureau was an important step, and he believed the Bureau would contribute to protection and development of peace and stability in the Mediterranean.

TRNC's Honorary Representative to Rome Augusto Sinagra said the Bureau will positively contribute to economic, cultural and political relations between the TRNC and Italy.

Italian parliamentarian Niccolo Cuscuna said the Bureau was a positive step for the relations between the TRNC and Italy, and for peace in the region.


ANKARA, Nov 16 (A.A) - Intense programme of President Suleyman Demirel, who is currently in Istanbul to attend summits of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), starts on Wednesday.

Demirel is scheduled to meet with Boris Yeltsin, Russian President.

A statement issued by Presidential Press Center recalled that Demirel left for Istanbul to attend BSEC summit, that will start on Wednesday, and OSCE summit between November 18 and 19.

The statement said Demirel will receive Schwimmer, Secretary General of Council of Europe at first, and later will meet with Georgian President Shervardnadze, Ukrainian President Kuchma, and Romanian President Constantinescu on Wednesday.

Demirel will attend BSEC Summit at 16:00 local time on Wednesday after his separate meetings with the Presidents.

Following this meeting, Demirel will meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Demirel, who hosts heads of states and governments, will continue his bilateral contacts following the morning session of OSCE summit that will start on Thursday.

The statement pointed out that Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Agreement and several other agreements are expected to be signed during OSCE summit.

The statement also briefed about BSEC and OSCE, which are the latest summits of this century.

BSEC was established on June 25, 1992 during Istanbul Summit with a declaration. Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and Greece are the members. BSEC is a multilateral economic cooperation model based on principles of market economy.

BSEC Charter, which was signed on June 5, 1998 by the heads of states and governments in Yalta, took effect as of May 1, 1999. Thus, BSEC became a regional economic organization.

Another basic aspect of BSEC is that it has a structure that is open to cooperation and foreign world. Israel, Egypt, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia, as well as European Union (EU) member countries Austria, Italy, France, and Germany attended in BSEC with observer status.

Meanwhile, Iran, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, and Macedonia applied for full membership, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Greek Cypriot administration, Belarus and Hungary applied for observer status.

OSCE is an 54-member organization which was institutionalized following cold war period. It has started as Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in 1975 in Helsinki with the participation of then-NATO members, Warsaw Pact members and non-aligned and impartial countries of Europe.

OSCE lost its function of being West-East forum in cold war period because of the changing conditions.

OSCE process started in 1975 with a summit and continued with the meetings of heads of states and governments as well as ministers meetings. The summits, which were staged within this framework were important turning points in evolution of OSCE.

OSCE Istanbul Summit has a particular importance as it is the last summit of the 20th century. All member countries will participate in OSCE Istanbul Summit in the level of heads of governments or states. Many high level activities and bilateral meetings will also take place during the summit.

President Suleyman Demirel is the only leader who had participated in the first summit that took place in Helsinki in 1975, and the Istanbul Summit which will take place between November 18-19.


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