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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-17

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA Daily

17 November 1999 Wednesday


[03] These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 17, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

[04] HURRIYET (LIBERAL) - ---------------- CLINTON REASSURES QUAKE SURVIVORS U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the Clintons visited Dogukisla tent- city in Kocaeli province. He promised for the continued U.S. money and supplies for rebuilding of the disaster-stricken area. Clinton also thanked children who presented them with their paintings, and sang songs to them. After visiting several families inside their tents and touring a makeshift school, the President stood on a wooden platform to address site residents, who applauded when he noted that most of their tents were provided by the American military. In his speech, President Clinton eulogized those who strived to rescue people who were trapped under toppled buildings. Clinton said, ''We in the U.S. will do everything we can until your lives have returned to normal.''

[05] OECD'S TURKEY REPORT The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which was based in Paris, issued 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. 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.''

[06] MILLIYET (LIBERAL) - ----------------- PRIVATIZATION OF PETROL OFISI INC Yuksel Yalova, the Minister of State for privatization, said 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 said the deadline for submitting bids for the POAS tender was January 20, 2000.

[07] DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 550 The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center stated that 550 people were killed while 3,299 others were injured when a massive earthquake hit Duzce county of Bolu province on November 12.

[08] SABAH (LIBERAL) - --------------- ISTANBUL: WORLD CAPITAL Heads of states and governments of 54 countries are expected to arrive in Turkey today to attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19. Istanbul will host 6 thousand people at the summit. The OSCE Summit is considered as an great opportunity to Turkey. During the OSCE Summit, an agreement regarding the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline projects will also be signed.

[09] CUMHURIYET (LEFT) - ---------------- U.S. PLAN FOR 2025 President Suleyman Demirel and U.S. President Bill Clinton discussed the deepening of strategical partnership. The U.S. stresses that the economic, political and security level that Turkey will reach in the year 2025 is very important concerning the use of regional interests. The U.S. defends that Turkey, who harmonize secularism and Islamic tolerance, will be a model for both Middle East and Central Asia. The U.S. thinks that the continuous tension between two NATO allies Turkey and Greece due to Cyprus creates negativity for the stability in the region. The U.S. mentions her desire to see concrete results of the initiative for Cyprus while she foresees that the cooperation between Ankara and Athens will be beneficial for the NATO's interests. The U.S. says that Russia's influence on the former Soviet Union republics will be decreased if Turkey becomes the country via which the energy lines pass.

[10] ECEVIT: ''CLINTON'S VISIT IS VERY POSITIVE'' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Clinton welcomed the support that Turkey wants for important economic issues. Noting that there was not a serious obstacle in front of the Cyprus question, Ecevit said, ''however, there are points that Turkey can't take a backward step.''

[11] RADIKAL (LEFT) - ------------- WE LOVE BILL VERY MUCH During his visit to Kocaeli, it was as if U.S.President Bill Clinton was in his election district. Bill Clinton, his wife and daughter, who visited the tent-city erected by the U.S., were welcomed with flood of love by quake survivors. The Clintons boosted morale in the 400-tent city in Dogukisla in Kocaeli. The Clintons talked with quake survivors and showed great interest in children. Children shouted, ''we love you.''

[12] TWO IMPORTANT LOANS READY The American Eximbank approved one billion U.S. dollars loan which was announced by the U.S.President Bill Clinton two days ago. The World Bank finalized the procedures for the 757.5 million U.S. dollars loan.

[13] TURKIYE (RIGHT) - --------------- WARMNESS OF THE PRESIDENT Bill Clinton, the U.S. President, his wife, and daughther visited quake survivors in Izmit. Clinton said ''we will do everything for you to return to life. We always support you to reach good days.'' Clinton visited the tent site set up by the U.S. in Izmit. Clinton, who embraced Erkan, a seven- month old baby, kissed him and wispered something to his ear. Erkan returned to this love. He squeezed nose of the President.

[14] SUPPORT PROMISE TO ECEVIT The U.S. President Clinton said he will do his best to recover the economy. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit pointed out that during his meeting with the U.S. President, he said ''Stand-By was not adequate to meet primary needs, and I requested more support. He said he found us rightful.''

[15] ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE) - ------------------ TURKISH STYLE SCIENTIFIC DISCUSSION Quake polemics demoralize people and give damage to trust on science. Discussions of Istanbul quake which make people panic, shakes the trust on science institution. The experts should continue discussion on platforms that is appropriate to science morals and logic instead of televisions.

[16] EUROPE DETERMINES ITS HORIZONS Istanbul to host a very big organization today. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit, which is defined as the last world summit, and which will give a shape to Europe's security model in the next century, will start today. ''Istanbul Charter, which will determine the horizons of Europe in the 21st century is expected to be signed during the summit in which many leaders will attend.


[18] WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 17 (A.A) - Leaders of the Turkish-American and the Greek-American associtaions in the U.S. issued on Wednesday a joint statement regarding U.S. President Bill Clinton's official visit to Turkey. In the statement issued by Andrew A. Athens, the Chairman of World Council of Hellens Living Abroad, E. Manatos, the Chairman of the Hellens' Coordinated Works Association, and Tolga Cubukcu, the Chairman of Turkish- American Associations, it was stressed that they supported further improvement of relations between Turkey and Greece. The associations underlined that they approved severely the resolution which was adopted on October 7 by the U.S. Senate to support improving bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece in the wake of the earthquake disasters. The mentioned resolution was submitted to the U.S. Senate by Olympia Snowe, and supported by Jesse Helms, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate, Paul Sarbanes, and Joseph Biden. Meanwhile, the Turkish and Greek association have also approved the resolution of the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage renewal of cooperation between Turkey and Greece, and solution of problem between two countries. The resolution was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives by Mike Bilirakis, and supported by Carolyn Maloney, Janice Schakowsky and Dan Burton. The statement also added, ''we believe that cooperation between Turkey and Greece will further increase prosperity and security in both countries.''


[20] ANKARA, Nov 17 (A.A) - The Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that no epidemics were detected in the earthquake region after Duzce was hit by a quake last week. Two health teams of 16 people were sent to the region to scan the area for a possibility of epidemics and traced to diseases. The teams continue to vaccinate people also this week. ''We have made contacts with related institutions to provide the quake survivors with clean potable water and tap water that is needed for various uses. The Health Ministry sent three water tanks, each with a capacity of 57 tons, along with sufficient disinfectants. The Ministry also informed the Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center about the mobile toilet and shower needs in the area to be used in health services and personal hygene. All necessary measures have been taken against a possibility of a epidemics outbreak. Although the health personnel detected some cases of cold among quake survivors, this is a normal increase in change of seasons and does not constitute a epidemics threat,'' the Ministry of Health stated.


[22] MOSCOW, Nov 17 (A.A) - President Boris Yeltsin of the Russian Federation left for Turkey at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday to attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul between November 18-19. Addressing to journalists prior to his departure, Yeltsin said, ''my mission in Istanbul will not be easy, but I hope common sense will prevail.'' Yeltsin told reporters that he was in a ''good, businesslike mood.'' Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Sergeyev, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shogu, the Russian Emergency Minister, and Aleksandr Voloshin, the Secretary General of the Kremlin Palace, are accompanying President Yeltsin during his visit to Turkey.


[24] STRASBOURG, Nov 17 (A.A) - Javier Solana, the Foreign Policy Representative of the European Union (EU), said on Wednesday that the Istanbul Summit was a significant opportunity to further strengthen the Organization for Security and Coopretion in Europe (OSCE). Addressing the General Assembly of the European Parliament, Solana said that the European Security Charter which will be adopted at the end of the summit, would increase the OSCE's authority, and contribute to improvement of EU's security policy. Solana said that Chechnya problem was one of the most important issues to be discussed at the summit.


[26] ANKARA (A.A) - State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said on Wednesday that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will gain the esteemed place she deserves in the international platform in near future. Gurel, who attended the ceremonies in Lefkosa to mark the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the TRNC, returned to Turkey after wrapping up his contacts. Speaking to reporters in the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Gurel said any festival was not held due to quake disaster in Turkey but he attended the celebrations including several international activities. ''The most important aspect of those activities was the arrival of more than 40 international delegations in the TRNC to attend scientific ahd cultural activities. This proves that the TRNC will gain the esteemed place that she deserves in the international platform in near future,'' he said.


[28] LEFKOSA, Nov 17 (A.A) - Sukru Sina Gurel, Minister of State, said on Wednesday that he supported resolved attitude of Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Gurel, who attended celebrations to mark the 16th anniversary of the foundation of TRNC, left for Turkey. Speaking before his departure, Gurel pointed out that Turkish Cypriot people were an inseparable part of Turkish nation. Gurel said he attended the ceremonies on behalf of Turkey to make the TRNC fact to be known. Gurel said Turkish Cypriot people will take the place it deserved in international platform very soon, adding that Cyprus question was a case of Turkish nation. Gurel said protocols have been made to use economic contributions that have been sent to TRNC for adjustments in infrastructure and investment projects.


[30] LEFKOSA, Nov 17 (A.A) - The Parliamentarians of Turkish origin, in their meeting held in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), decided to improve every kind of relations with the TRNC. The second and last session of the Meeting of Parliamentarians of Turkish Origin was held on Wednesday at the Ataturk Culture Center in Lefkosa. The joint communique was approved unanimously at the end of the two-day meeting chaired by TRNC Parliament Speaker Ertugrul Hasipoglu. In accordance with the joint communique, the Parliamentarians of Turkish origin will convene again in Lefkosa between July 15 and 23, 2000. The joint communique said the participants, who are parliamentarians in several countries, think it is beneficial to organize such meetings frequently with a comprehensive content. The joint communique said the participants expressed their pleasure over having the opportunity to see the realities about the Cyprus question. It said the parliamentarians will return to their countries with information based on realities about the Cyprus question and they will have the opportunity to lead the development of a realistic position toward the Cyprus question, and increase their initiatives to this end. It said the parliamentarians decided to lead the establishment of interparliamentary friendship groups between the TRNC Parliament and their parliaments. The joint communique stressed that the brotherhood and solidarity spirit, which was observed during the meeting, intensified the belief that ''the 2000s will be the years of Turks.''


[32] ANKARA, Nov 17 (A.A) - Yasar Okuyan, the Minister of Labour and Social Security said on Wednesday that 26,200 dwellings will be given to their owners by November 30. ''The 26,200 dwelllings which were put out to tender by the Housing Ministry will be completed by November 30. There are another 6,000 prefabricated huts which are set up by foreign organizations. Last week, I visited the quake area and it seemed like there were no problems,'' Okuyan told reporters. Okuyan also noted that the quake which hit Duzce on November 12 brought additional burden by seriously damaging many buildings. Minister Okuyan said instructions were given to build dwellings for those who were left homeless after the second quake but added that this might take a while. People who fear another quake still prefer to live in tents and this means the tents will remain in the quake hit regions, Okuyan went on to say. Half of the 134,000 families whose houses collapsed during the first quake were given 100 million Turkish Liras monthy as a contribution to their rent and others already moved to prefabricated huts, he explained however said serious troubles existed in Duzce and Kaynasli. There is a high demand for tents in Duzce and Kaynasli and Turkey already contacted with some U.S. tent producers to send the survivors 10,000 tents specially made for winter conditions. However, these tents would not suffice to solve the housing problem in these areas, he said. Responding to a question, Okuyan said the earthquake tax was necessary and everybody should cooperate to help the quake survivors.


[34] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Summit started on Wednesday by the participation of heads of states and governments of the member countries in Musir Fuat Pasa palace (Foreign Ministry's Representation in Istanbul). ''Istanbul Declaration'' which was prepared by high ranking officials of the BSEC countries and which includes the coming perspective of the BSEC, is expected to be adopted today. The summit started by the opening remarks of President Suleyman Demirel and statesmen of other member countries are also expected to address the summit briefly. Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Armenian, Georgian, Moldovian, Romanian, Ukrainian Presidents and Albanian and Greek Prime ministers and Russian foreign minister participate in the summit together with Turkey. BSEC was founded on June 25, 1992 by the declaration published during Istanbul summit. BSEC offers a model based on multilateral economic cooperation. The organization became a regional economic organization after the BSEC Charter, signed by member states on June 5, 1998, entered into enforcement. Thus BSEC started to be effectively implemented. Israel, Egypt, Polonia, Slovakia, Tunisia, and EU countries namely Austria, Italy, France and Germany will participate in othner meetings of BSEC. While Iran, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia applied for full membership, Bosnia, Slovenia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Greek Cypriot administration, Belarussia and Hungary applied to be observers.


[36] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) started its summit meeting on Wednesday. In his opening remark, President Demirel said that: ''It is a great pleasure to open the meeting of the fellow heads of state or government of the organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). This meeting is taking place at the very heart of our organization. This is the building which hosts the BSEC International Permanent Secretariat with a beautiful view of the Bosphorus that connects the Black Sea with the rest of the world. I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of the Turkish people, our heartfelt thanks to the BSEC member states for the solidarity and support shown by them in the relief efforts following the recent earthquakes that devastated an important region of western Turkey. Our organization has a vital mission. This mission is to act as a vital and vibrant link between Europe and Asia; between the Caspian, Black Sea and Mediterranean basins. At the dawn of a new century, these seas that once divided our peoples apart are embracing one another again through new cooperation mechanisms such as the BSEC. Two momentous developments in this respect clearly stood out recently. The first was the signing of the Black Sea Cooperation Charter in Yalta, Ukraine, on 5 June 1998. With this step the BSEC will now better deal with the task of creating a free trade area in the Black Sea basin. This will also contribute to the future European common economic zone. It was not any easy journey that brought us all the way from Yalta of 1945 to Yalta of 1998. Since the world of Yalta 1945 that divided us is not history, we have a chance to build a Black Sea region undivided, democratic, prosperous, and at peace. The second major event for the future of Eurasia and the Black Sea region, was the Silk Road Summit which was convened in Baku on 7 September 1998 with the participation of 34 countries. It was a golden occasion displaying the international recognition of the new opportunities that exist in Eurasia and the BSEC region for peace, cooperation and prosperity. Crucial joint projects that constitute the infrastructure of the re-emerging Silk Road are already being built within the BSEC area as integral parts of the Black Sea rign corridor. Today, ancient Silk Road is not only reappearing, but is also bringing new opportunities, commercial, economic, cultural and political, to the nations of the countries involved. As the BSEC we should seize this historic opportunity. In our wider region, ethnic cleansing, first in Bosnia-Herzegovina then in Kosovo, has been stopped thanks to the resolute stand and effective intervention of the international community. Furthermore, the international community has been quick to establish such formations as the stability pact and the South East European cooperative initiative. These formations aim to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans by achieving the much needed reconstruction and rehabilitation. The BSEC is looking forward to working in close collaboration with these new initiatives. On the other hand, building lasting peace in the Caucasus on the basis of international legitimacy remains crucial for reaching the goals of the BSEC. Undoubtedly, the strengthening of the BSEC will generate stability and promote democracy in our wider region.

[37] The promotion of intra-regional trade and investment in economic and social infrastructures are vital for fostering the overall economic development of the whole BSEC region. In this respect, we welcome the launching of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank since last June. Now it falls to all member countries to give their financial support to the bank to be able to realize our common objectives. Regarding our regional economic cooperation, I would like to underline the leading role that our private sectors can be expected to play in expanding and diversifying this cooperation. Therefore, the creation in our member countries of a favourable economic, commercial, industrial, fiscal and legal environment to facilitate the activities of our private sectors remains crucial. As the host country of the BSEC business council, we will continue to lend our strong support for more private sector involvement in all of our economic cooperation activities. With its charter and other related documents, its Parliamentary Assembly, the Business Council, the Bank and the International Center for Black Sea studies as well as the other related organs, the BSEC has completed its formative stages and has become a full- fledged regional organization. It is the responsibility of each and every BSEC member state not to take up the challenge and work together in this well-designed and well-developed cooprative scheme. At this juncture, I would like to stress the positive effect of regional economic cooperation on the OSCE process as a whole and its security element in particular. It is acknowledged by the OSCE that sub-regional cooperation has become an important factor to enhance security across the OSCE area. In this respect, the contribution of the BSEC should be a source of pride for all of us.

[38] Terrorism is one area where we should strengthen our cooperation. Terrorism is a threat to the well-being and stability fo the civilized world. According to the international law, it cannot and should not be justified under any circumstances. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on 18 October 1999, which establishes the guidelines for the fight of the international community against terrorism. The BSEC countries should draw on this resolution and develop bilateral or multilateral cooperation schemes based on their specific needs and conditions. The member states of the organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation has successfully concluded an agreement on ''Cooperation In Combatting Crime, In Particular In Its Organized Forms.'' I welcome the efforts of BSEC to create a mechanism for the implementation of this agreement. Before concluding my remarks, I extend my congratulations to the Greek authorities for having conducted in the best possible manner the chairmanship of the BSEC during the past six month which brought about fruitful results. I am convinced that the cooperation within the BSEC will be strengthened during the current chairmanship of Moldova which took over from Greece recently. Finally, I wish to thank the Secretary General of the BSEC, Mr. Vassil Bytchev, for his efforts to ensure the success of the BSEC and congratulate our upcoming Secretary General, Mr. Valery Chechelashvili on his appointment. I would also like to thank the outgoing Deputy Secretaires General Ambassador Nurver Nures, Mr. Alexei Nistrean and Mr. Shamil Aleskerov for their most effective services to the organization.''


[40] ANKARA, Nov 17 (A.A) - Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations (U.N.), will arrive in Turkey on Wednesday evening. A statement from the Foreign Ministry said that Annan and the accompanying delegation will arrive in Turkey to participate in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit and to hold some official contacts. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will meet with Annan during the OSCE summit, the statement noted. The statement stressed that Annan is expected to visit the quake-hit areas in the Marmara Region following the OSCE summit. Annan will proceed to Ankara on November 22, 1999, the statement emphasized. The statement pointed out that Annan will be received by President Suleyman Demirel and Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut in Ankara. Annan is also expected to meet with Premier Bulent Ecevit, the statement said. The statement noted that Annan is expected to exchange views about the significant political and economic issues, some regional issues, and the Turkey-U.N. relations during his contacts. The statement added that Annan and the accompanying delegation will depart Turkey on November 23, 1999.


[42] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - The Black Sea Economic Cooperation summit ended on Wednesday by the publication of ''Istanbul Summit Declaration'' prepared by the high ranking officials of the member countries. The declaration is as follows: ''1-We, the Heads of State or Government of the Member states of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) gathered in Istanbul on November 17 1999 to appraise, in the light of the latest political, economic and security developments in Europe, the new opportunities created by the transformation of the BSEC into a regional economic cooperation. Following the achievements since the adoption of the Istanbul and Moscow Summit Declarations, we confirm our adherence to the provisions of the Yalta Summit Declaration and solemnly reaffirm our political will to contribute to peace and security in the BSEC area by means of multilateral economic cooperation.

[43] 2-Having held our gathering on the eve of the OSCE Istanbul Summit of 1999, we reaffirm our adherence to the principles of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the OSCE principles, norms and decisions. We believe that the new Charter for European Security, to be adopted within the framework of the OSCE will strengthen the non-hierarchical and mutually benefical cooperation among the OSCE and other organizations and institutions. In that context enhanced cooperation between the BSEC and the OSCE in their respective fields of competence will serve the goals of a stable peace and prosperity in the whole of the OSCE area.

[44] 3-We share a common view that during its seven years of existence, the BSEC has contributed substantially to the process of enhancement of peace and security in the BSEC area by applying the pragmatic concept that economic cooperation is an effective confidence-building measure and serves as a pillar in the new European architecture.

[45] 4-We confirm our commitment to promote effective economic, social and democratic reforms in the BSEC area, the establishments of vigorous market economies and the development of civil socities, which are of importance for the BSEC area cooperation. This commitment will also be instrumental to meeting the aspirations of the member states wishing to fully integrate into Europe.

[46] 5-We appreciate the role attached to the BSEC by the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe in promoting mutual understanding, improving the overall political climate and fostering economic development in the BSEC area. We welcome the fact that the Stability Pact emphasizes the BSEC engagement to peace, security and stability through economic cooperation and invites our Organization to participate in its implementation. We are committed to the implementation of the Stability Pact objectives in full conformity with the BSEC objectives and goals, in close cooperation with the other international organizations and in accordance with the ''Contribution of the BSEC to the Stability Pact'', adopted by the Thessaloniki Council of Ministers on 27 October 1999.

[47] 6. We welcome the continuation of the BSEC-EU dialogue at the BSEC Thessaloniki Ministerial Council and we regard the BSEC Platform for Cooperation with the EU as an appropriate basis for interaction in fields of common interest. Therefore, we appeal to the EU to develop a comprehensive strategy towards the BSEC area and to assist the BSEC in the elaboration and implementation of concrete regional projects.

[48] 7. We are convinced that the new identity, acquired by the BSEC as a regional economic organization requires, whenever possible, resolutions and decisions with a mechanism for their implementation, as well as a rapid evolution from the stage of project developmet into the one of project implementation. We consider as a high priority the establishment of an implementation mechanism of the BSEC Agreement on Emergency Assistance and Emergency Response, in view of the recent tragic disasters in the region.

[49] 8. We share the conviction that at the new stage of consolidation of the BSEC, the implementation of concrete joint projects for cooperation shoud be the core of its activites. The most rewarding perspective before the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank is the realization of viable and bankable projects of interest to the Member States with as large as possible co-financing by other interested banking and financial institutions. We reiterate our commitment to support and promote BSTDB as the financial pillar of the BSEC for enhancing the economic development of the region.

[50] 9. We applaud the U.N. General Assembly for granting Observer Status to the BSEC. This act enabled the BSEC to join the family of international organizations as an equal partner, assisting the region to engage in a more competitive manner in the globalization process.

[51] 10. We emphasize the role of the Parliamentary Assembly as the parliamentary dimension of the BSEC, providing effective and close interaction among national parliaments and cosistent support to the BSEC cooperation process.

[52] 11. We highly appreciate the contribution of the Republic of Turkey for the establishment of further development of the BSEC and express our gratitude to the Government and people of Turkey for the opportunity to meet in Istanbul, the birth place of the BSEC.''


[54] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - Sermet Atacanlı, the Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman said on Wednesday that the Cyprus question is not a problem of Turkey and Greece and added that it should be solved between the two sides on the island. Responding to a question in an information meeting he held within the framework of the OSCE summit, Atacanlı stated that the decision of the concerned sides to hold indirect talks in New York is a positive step. He added that if a positive development is recorded regarding this problem, it will naturally influence Turkish-Greek relations in a positive way. Upon questions about the news published in press claiming that Turkey will accept bringing bilateral problems to the International Court of Justice in the Hague by making a gesture, Atacanlı said that the Court in the Hague is one of the existing methods of solving bilateral problems, but the most important of them is solving the problems between the two sides. Responding to another question, Atacanlı stated that the direction in Turkish-Greek relations is promising and there is a positive ongoing in the studies of the committees formed. Atacanlı noted that precaution has to be reserved about Turkish-Greek relations and time will show for how long this goings-on will continue.


[56] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - The only cultural activity at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit started in Istanbul on Wednesday evening. The ''Lyrical History Performance'' of the Istanbul State Opera and Balet, started at Lutfi Kirdar Congress and Exhibition Hall at 7.45 p.m. The performance was organized by the Foreign Ministry under the auspices of President Suleyman Demirel, and his wife Ms. Nazmiye Demirel. President Demirel and his wife Nazmiye Demirel; U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea; Georgian President Eduard Sevardnadze; Parliament Speaker Yildirim Akbulut and his wife; many other officials from Turkey and the delegation which will join the OSCE summit are watching the performance. The performance aims at describing Turkey's multi-cultural mosaic by music. A total of 450 persons created the performance. Serdar Yalcin is the conductor of the orchestra. Many members of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Janissary band, many Turkish singers, Seferad Synagogue Hymn Chorus, Istanbul Orthodox Church Chorus and State Folk Dancing Team take stage.


[58] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel met on Wednesday with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, who is in Istanbul for the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit. The meeting took place in Cıragan Palace. When Kocharyan saw the crowded press members waiting to follow the meeting, he smiled and said ''there are so many journalists.''


[60] ISTANBUL, Nov 17 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Wednesday that starting diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia depends on the result of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Responding to questions of journalists after meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, Demirel stated that ''the start of diplomatic relations between the two countries depends on the peaceful and fair solution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.'' ''Did you suggest Kocharyan to continue the Armenian- Azerbaijani dialogue?'' asked journalists to Demirel, who said ''yes.'' ''Armenia is our neighbour and it is a new country, which gained independence eight years ago. We want peace in the Caucasus. If there is peace there, this is to the interest of Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and also Azerbaijan. We are very sincere about this issue,'' said President Demirel. ''Are you seeking alternatives to Baku-Ceyhan route?'' was another question to Demirel. He stated that ''not now, maybe in the future. This dependes on Armenia and Azerbaijan. They must work together and we will do our best.'' ''Have you seen a positive on-going about Caucasus issue in your contacts?'' asked journalists to Demirel who said that ''Yes, I see.'' Journalists asked ''What was your message to Russian President Boris Yeltsin about Chechnya?'' Demirel responded to that saying ''there are certainly other elements. Our views are known about the issue. We wish solution of problems in this country by peaceful means. We are against terrorism, but it is wrong of a state to attack its own people while saying it wants to eliminate terrorism.'' When asked whether or not the Blue Stream project came to the agenda of his meeting with Yeltsin, Demirel said ''there is an agreement between us and it is being implemented. We need gas, we can buy natural gas both from Russia and Turkmenistan.'' ''Did you give this message to Yeltsin?'' asked journalists and Demirel said ''Mr. Ecevit had already conveyed this message to Russian officials. They know that and I reiterated the same message.''

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