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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-18

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA Daily

18 November 1999 Thursday


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 18, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


The last leaders' summit of this century will convene in Istanbul today. President Suleyman Demirel will open the summit of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with a poem of a Turkish poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy. Akif said in his poem, ''they say history consists of reiteration. If people took lessons from history, would it reiterate?'' Demirel will end his words with a poem of another Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. Hikmet said in his poem, ''living like a tree, lonely and free, in brotherhood like a forest.''

Our national soccer team will play in the European 2000 finals. Our team led to a feast in Turkey yesterday following the quake disasters and hard days. Although the Turkish team did not score a goal during the 90 minutes, they could participate in the European finals because it drew with the Republic of Ireland by 1-1 in Dublin and because they also drew with this team by 0-0 in Bursa.


Istanbul hosts the last summit of the millennium. 25 presidents and 23 prime ministers will meet at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit. At the OSCE Summit, the European Security Charter, and updated Conventional Force in Europe Treaty (CFE) are expected to be signed. The agreement regarding the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project is also expected to be signed. President Suleyman Demirel, President Aliyev, and President Shevardnadze will sign the agreement.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of the Clintons, visited the House of Virgin Mary. The Clintons performed their religious duties in the House of Virgin Mary. Noel Mikalef, the Chairman of Virgin Mary Association, said that a small sanctification ceremony was held for the Clintons. The ceremony was managed by Archbishop Guiseppe Bernardino of Alsancak Domenican Catholic Church. The Clintons expressed pleasure over visiting the House of Virgin Mary which they always wanted to see. They lit candles in the House of Virgin Mary, and bought crystal crosses, statues of Jesus Christ, and figures of Virgin Mary. Tight security measures have been taken in and around the House of Virgin Mary during the Clintons' visit.


Prof. Dr. Ahmet Mete Isikara, the Director of Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Center and Seismology Institute, said that the fault map of the Marmara Sea has been drawn. Isikara and Osman Demirag, the Director General of the Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO), staged a joint press release in Kandilli Observatory Center. The map which was drawn in accordance with the data gained from the works of TPAO in the region, clearly puts forward the fault lines which passes under the Marmara Sea, Isikara noted. The fault line is not near the islands of Istanbul and it is 50 to 60 kilometres away from Istanbul, Isikara stated. Isikara stressed that to this end, if a quake occurs in this fault line, Istanbul will not be affected so much from this quake. People should continue their daily life by taking into consideration this reality, Isikara emphasized.

President Boris Yeltsin of the Russian Federation arrived in Turkey 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.''


The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project agreement which foresees the transport of Azerbaijani oil to the world markets, will be signed between Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The agreement will be signed under the auspices of U.S. President Bill Clinton. The framework agreements regarding the Turkmen natural gas will also be signed during the ceremony.

Istanbul Declaration was adopted in the end of Istanbul Summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting. The declaration once more pledged to comply with the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The declaration emphasized the BSEC-European Union (EU) dialogue and underlined the international cooperation.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea visited the Ephesus Ancient Site. Clinton said that the visit was ''incredible.'' The Clintons later visited the House of Virgin Mary and became a Christian pilgrim.

Sefa Cebeci was pulled alive from rubble of her collapsed house 105 hours after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Duzce county of Bolu province on November 12. Search and rescue teams have succeeded in extracting Cebeci alive from rubble of a seven-story apartment after three-and-a-half-hour efforts. Cebeci was taken to hospital for medical treatment.

A strong aftershock measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale, shook Duzce county of Bolu province at 10:15 on Wednesday. Residents in the county, evacuated buildings in panic. The aftershock was also felt in Ankara.


As the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Summit was overshadowed by Chechnya problem, Knut Vollebaek, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, and Term President of the OSCE, said that they respected Russia's territorial integrity, but a humanitarian calamity in the region could not be accepted.

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Summit was held on the eve of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit, with the participation of heads of states and governments of the member countries. ''Istanbul Declaration'' which was prepared by high ranking officials of the BSEC countries and which includes the coming perspective of the BSEC, was signed at the summit.


Prof. Dr. Ahmet Mete Isikara, the Director of the Kandilli Observatory Center, released a statement which will revive the residents of Istanbul. Isikara said that the fault line which will lead to an earthquake pases 50 to 60 kilometres away from Istanbul.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - The heads of states and governments of the member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continued to come to the conference hall on Thursday morning.

President Suleyman Demirel welcomed the guests.

The last leaders who entered into the conference hall are Turkmen President Saparmurat Turkmenbasi, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev, French President Jacques Chirac, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Later, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreu came the conference hall.

At last, Demirel welcomed U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Clinton and Demirel had a short conversation before they entered into the conference hall.

That Demirel and Clinton are in a positive atmosphere drew the attention.

Later, Demirel and Clinton entered into the conference hall.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Thursday that the Helsinki Final Act, Paris Charter and all the benefits of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) improved the life standards of the member countries.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Istanbul Summit started with the opening speech of Demirel.

''I sincerely hope that this summit with its resolutions will accelerate our initiatives to become more mingled and prosperous nations,'' Demirel noted.

Demirel stated that he is proud to open the OSCE Istanbul Summit and welcomed the guests on behalf of himself and Turkey.

The Helsinki Final Act was signed nearly 25 years ago and he was in attendance at that summit, Demirel recalled.

Demirel said, ''if I say that we could not even imagine that such significant historical changes could occur in a short time, I can express the ideas of many signatories of the Final Act. We, the signatories of the Final Act, were criticized for permitting the separation in Europe those days.''

Demirel continued, ''but, those who made these criticisms were all mistaken. The history has proved that those who said that the changes were inevitable, were right. We witnessed the transformation in OSCE Region and extraordinary changes.''

''Many politicians interrogate whether or not we are in a better position as a result of the mentioned developments. Despite the ongoing risks and threats we are coming across, I can say that we are in a better place,'' Demirel added.

Noting that it was easy to talk about the incidents, Demirel said, ''when we look back, we may believe that many things could be done in a different way, but if it is considered as a whole, what was done is the most accurate one. We had no confidence in each other in 1975. Today, we cooperate with each other as a community sharing common values, with the aim of increasing the prosperity of our nations. This is a qualified change leading a better future. The Helsinki Final Charter, the Paris Charter, and all other OSCE benefits have raised the life standarts in member countries.''

Referring the earthquake disasters in Turkey, President Demirel said, ''Turkey has encountered difficulties in the wake of the quake disasters, but these disasters have led an extraordinary solidarity among the nations. Our friends' efforts to heal the wounds of the quake disasters, were a source of hope for us. Natural disasters are inevitable episodes. We can only diminish pains of quake survivors. But we are able to protect ourselves from the disasters stemmed from humanitarian reasons. The OSCE can make a considerable contribution to this end. I hope that the Istanbul Summit will accelerate our efforts to become more cooperative, and more prosperous nations.''

Demirel noted, ''we will mark the 25th anniversary of the Final Charter in 2000. I hope that the year 2000 will mark the dawn of a new and better era. It is our right to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation of OSCE, and to be proud of our achievements.''

''Despite our ideological difference, we convened in Helsinki 25 years ago to prove that we can create a common future. Today, the ideological differences have been removed and the political vision we share unites us with more powerful ties. Let me reiterate what I stated in Lisbon: 'Peace and prosperity of each of us should be considered peace and prosperity of all of us. We have to focus on the points that unite us, and evaluate our differences as the wealth of our common heritage.' Only this way we can reach the target of creating more prosperous and peaceful world,'' he said.

President Suleyman Demirel thanked to all participants of the Summit and congratulated Knut Vollabaek, the Foreign Minister of Norway, the Term President of OSCE, for his success in administrating the OSCE in a tough period.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Demirel handed over the presidency of the summit to Knut Vollebaek, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, and Term President of the OSCE.

Opening session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit ended on Thursday. The opening session presided by President Suleyman Demirel, started at 09:20 local time, and lasted for half an hour.

The second session of the summit has started after press members were taken out of the hall.

President Islam Kerimov of Uzbekistan will be the first speaker at the second session of the summit.

Leaders are envisaged to make a 5-minute speeches at the summit.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Three giant companies set up partnership prior to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project agreement which is planned to be signed in Istanbul on Thursday.

A statement from Atilla Dogan company said that Atilla Dogan, Alaro and Yuksel companies set up a partnership for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project which will transfer the Azerbaijani oil to the western markets.

Atilla Dogan company will chair the partnership, the statement noted.

The statement stressed that the partnership aims at encouraging the initiatives of Turkey to put into practice the Baku-Ceyhan project.

The partnership also aims at having all kinds of cooperation, the statement added.


WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 18 (A.A) - The Center for Strategical and International Studies (CSIS), a U.S. think-tank organization, said on Thursday that the U.S. will have a clear role in Turkey's membership process to the European Union (EU).

The CSIS issued a report which evaluated the Turkish-American relations and the contacts of Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP), and the retired general Cevik Bir in the U.S.

The report said that Turkey vision of U.S. President Bill Clinton should be taken into consideration not only within the framework of bilateral Turkish- American relations, but also within the framework of global dimensions.

The U.S., which is the strategical partner of Turkey and the leader of western world, will have an obvious role in Turkey's EU membership within the framework of the policy regarding Turkey's being a bridge between the western and Islam world, the report noted.

The report stressed that Kutan and Bir put forward different ideas regarding Turkey's future during their visits to the U.S.

The FP which tried to get the U.S. guarantee against the possibility of being banned of politics, returned to Turkey without sequeezing any guarantees regarding Turkish democracy from the U.S., the report stated.

The report said that Kutan claimed that Turkish army and non-governmental organizations exaggerate the fundamentalist threat and that his party rejects that these these institutions will play a key role in the future of the politics.

Kutan noted that they do not want a fundamental state, the report emphasized.

The report pointed out that Bir said that the National Security Council (NSC) exists to protect Turkey against the internal and external threats.

Bir also said that the fundamentalism and terrorism are the prior issues against which Turkey struggles, the report added.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Turkey will treat 100 patients from Albania free of charge every year.

A statement of the Health Ministry said on Thursday that Health Minister Osman Durmus visited Albania between november 11 and 13, 1999.

Durmus signed ''An Agreement on Cooperation Between Turkey and Albania in Health and Medicine'' during his contacts in Albania, the statement noted.

The statement stressed that the two sides will exchange information and experts concerning medicine and public health under the agreement.

The trade of medicine and pharmacological products will be improved within the framework of the agreement, the statement emphasized.

The statement pointed out that under this agreement, Turkey will treat 100 patients from Albania free of charge every year.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, the term president of the European Union (EU), and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called on Russia to find a political solution in Chechnya, on Thursday.

Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul, President Ahtisaari said that an extremely successful summit was organized despite two earthquake disasters in Turkey in three months.

President Ahtisaari also thanked the Turkish government for warm welcome in Istanbul.

In his speech, Ahtisaari underlined the necessity of signing of the European Security Charter, and cooperation with the other international security organizations.

Referring the latest developments in Caucasia, Ahtisaari recalled that the EU had refused military solution in Chechnya instead of the political solution.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder started his speech by thanking Turkey for the successful organization.

Schroder said that one of the most significant achievements of the OSCE was provision of cooperation among overall member countries, on the issues of human rights, democracy, and security in the wake of the Cold War period.

Pointing out that required intervention could not be provided in Kosovo without the OSCE, Schroder emphasized that it was necessary to protect the structure of the OSCE including diverse ethnic structures.

Schroder noted that Germany had opposed to military solution in Chechnya instead of the political solution.

He reiterated that his country was in favour of protection of the territorial integrity of independent countries.

Schroder also underlined that Germany opposed to the terrorist activities.

German Chancellor called on Russian officials to find a political solution in Chechnya by regarding the human rights.

Schroder also underlined the importance of the European Security Charter.

Gerhard Schroder also indicated that the Istanbul Summit was a great chance in regard to provision of stability in security in whole Europe.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Thursday that Greece supported Turkey's European Union (EU) perspective.

Responding to questions of journalists after his meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Simitis noted that the Greek government wanted overall European governments to be included in the EU.

Simitis told reporters that the meeting had focused on the Cyprus question, the Aegean dispute, and regional problems within scope of the international law.

He added that the positive atmosphere in the wake of the quake disasters, was also evaluated at the meeting.

Simitis underlined the importance of cooperation between Turkey and Greece against natural disasters.

He described the latest developments in tourism, economy, and struggle against organized crimes as positive and pleasing.

Simitis expressed his wish over continuation of cooperation between Turkey and Greece in coming days.

He also added that he had observed Turkish people's willingness to further improvement of cooperation with Greece during his brief visit to Turkey.

Simitis emphasized that a lasting peace should be instituted between Turkey and Greece.


ISTANBUL, 18 Nov (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that he had held a positive and productive meeting with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis.

He recalled that he had an opportunity to thank Prime Minister Simitis at the meeting for Greece's contribution to heal the wounds of the quake disasters in Turkey.

Ecevit told reporters after his meeting with Simitis that quake disasters in Turkey and Greece had shown once again the necessity of cooperation between the two countries.

Recalling that Turkey and Greece had proposed the United Nations to maintain joint search and rescue operations, Ecevit stressed that it would be a new dimension in cooperation between two countries.

Describing the dialogue process between Turkish and Greek foreign ministers as very promising, Ecevit said that Turkish and Greek people's voluntary solidarity had accelerated the dialogue process.

Referring the Cyprus question, Prime Minister Ecevit emphasized that the Cyprus question concerned the United Nations and two communities on the island.

Ecevit said, ''we should give priority to the relations between Turkey and Greece.''

Ecevit said he believed that the works on the issues of economy, pollution, tourism, and history would result in positive developments.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - Jacques Chirac, the President of France, said on Thursday that a new Europe is born.

Chirac who spoke in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit, referred to the developments in the Balkans and the Caucasus and the issues of security and cooperation.

The Helsinki Final Act was adopted 25 years ago and ten years have elapsed since the Berlin Wall was demolished, Chirac recalled.

A new Europe is born and the cooperation is adopted rather than ''block concept'' today, Chirac noted.

Chirac stated that the democracy and human rights are the joint objectives in today's world.

Conveying a clear message to the nations of former Yugoslavia, Chirac stressed that these nation should return to the European family with their demands of freedom and respect to human rights.

Chirac emphasized that the crisis in the Balkans mobilized the OSCE.

The crisis in Northern Caucasus sets up the center of their uneasiness, Chirac pointed out.

Chirac drew attention to the dramatic results of Russia's bombardment in Chechnya.

Chirac called everybody to respect the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and to find a political solution to the problems regarding the agreement through dialogue.

To this end, an OSCE delegation should be sent to Moscow and Grozni, Chirac said.

Chirac noted that the European Security Charter and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe will pave the pave for the future.

He will decide whether or not to sign these agreements in accordance with the developments in the summit, Chirac added.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Recep Onal, the Minister of State for Treasury, said on Thursday that they targeted at increasing the financial assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) within the framework of Stand-By agreement.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Recep Onal said the Stand-By agreement was foreseen to be signed on December 20.

''I can say that everything concerning the relations with the IMF continue in harmony and go like clockwork. We will be successful in increasing the financial assistance,'' he said.

''We are telling the IMF that 'our economic programme is realistic. We are taking several structural reforms on our own. You observed the performance of the Parliament despite the earthquake disaster. You know the world's point of view against Turkey. We entered the Group-20. We are the guard of democracy here. These issues are not only financial, but also political. You have to provide special opportunities also to Turkey as the Far Eastern countries concerning financial aid,'' he said.

''The IMF status gives the opportunity to extend two-fold of the countries' Special Draw Right (SDR) a year. If you calculate this, a four billion U.S. dollars fund comes out for Turkey for a three-year programme. If we have to solve our problems rapidly and fulfil our duties, I have to double this. Now, we are discussing this issue with the IMF, and you'll see we will be successful,'' he said.

''We could agree on a two-year Stand-By agreement. However, we wanted a three-year agreement to have Turkey's means of borrowing from financial markets appropriate to maturities and interest rates,'' he said.

''The importance of the three-year stand-by is related with the green light shed by the IMF and the rating confirmed. The foreign sources do not want to face any problem in the return of the money while they are investing in the country after they lend it. Foreign investors can offer Turkey loans that have a longer term than the three-year agreement. I mean that the private and public organizations can have the opportunity to realize borrowing over five years,'' he said.

''The IMF delegation will leave Turkey on November 22. The delegation will brief the IMF Executive Board on the observations in Turkey. The stand-by is foreseen to be signed on December 20. It is difficult to sign before this date,'' he added.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev said on Thursday that they want peace in the region.

Aliyev referred to the Azerbaijan-Armenia relations in the speech he made during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

Some of Azerbaijani territory is still under the occupation of Armenia, Aliyev noted.

Aliyev recalled that there are still Armenian soldiers in these lands.

The presidents of the two countries meet each other and they want the end of the disputes within the framework of international norms, Aliyev stated.

Aliyev stressed that Azerbaijan wants to live together in peace and have good relations with Armenia.

They want to sign a security and cooperation pact regarding the region, Aliyev emphasized.

Aliyev pointed out that security should be ensured in Europe in the threshold of a new century.

Aliyev concluded his words by expressing condolence over those who died in the Duzce quake.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday that Russia has not only the right, but the obligation, to defend her territorial integrity.

Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul, Clinton said, ''the global integration of Russia has rightly sought to advance, with our strong support, will be hindered. Russia's friends are united, I believe, in what we think should happen: appropriate measures to end terrorism, protection of innocent civilians, a commitment to allow refugees to return in safety, access for relief groups, and a common effort to rebuild.''

Clinton noted, ''we want to see Russia a stable, prosperous, strong democracy with secure borders, strong defenses, and a leading voice in world affairs. I have often asked myself, and I hope all of you have, what I would do if I were in President Yeltsin's place. I think before any of us sit in judgement, we should be able to answer that question.''

''Russia has faced rebellion within, and related violence beyond, the borders of Chechnya. It has responded with a military strategy designed to break the resistance and end the terror. The strategy has led to substantial casualties and very large flows of refugees. Russia's friends are united, I believe, in what we think should happen: appropriate measures to end terrorism, protection of innocent civilians, a commitment to allow refugees to return in safety, access for relief groups, and a common effort to rebuild. In other words, in order to isolate and undermine the terrorists, there must be a political dialogue and a political settlement, not with terrorists, but with those who are willing to seek a peaceful resolution,'' U.S. President said.

Clinton indicated, ''the OSCE and others can play a role in faciliating that dialogue, as they did once before. And that is the role the OSCE was meant to play. Meanwhile, I think we should all make it clear that we are prepared to do more through the United Nations, through this organization, and through any other available forum to combat terror wherever it exists.''

Clinton added, ''Finally, let me say I have to respectfully disagree with my friend President Yeltsin in his characterization of U.S. led NATO aggression in Yugoslavia. Consider Bosnia, where the world community waited four years, and we saw 2.5 million refugees and 250 thousand deaths placed on the altar of ethnic cleansing. Consider Kosovo, where the world community did not wait, but there were still thousands of deaths and hudreds of thousands of refugees. But unlike Bosnia, because we acted more quickly, they are almost all home today, coming to grips with the challenge of the coming winter. So I believe we did the right thing.''

He said, ''we are here in Turkey and it is an appropriate place to say this, thinking of Chechnya, thinking of all these issues, thinking of the trouble in the Caucasus, and the trouble in the Balkans. So much of the future of the 21st century will turn on developments in the vast region that lies between traditional notions of Asia and Europe, between the Muslim world and the West, between the parts of our community that are stable and prosperous and democratic, and those still struggling to build basic human security and freedom.''


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Boris Yeltsin of the Russian Federation said on Thursday that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya.

Addressing the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, Yeltsin told heads of states and governments of 54 countries not to criticize his fight against ''bandits and murderers.''

Referring to the U.S.-led NATO bombing over Kosovo earlier this year as an example, Yeltsin noted, ''Appeals for humanitarian interference in the affairs of another state is merely a pretext for protecting human rights and freedoms. We all know already what disproportionate consequences such interference can cause.''

Yeltsin said, ''this tragedy has been felt thousands of families in every corner of Russia. We are obliged to put an end to the spread of the cancer of terrorism. You have no right to criticize Russia for Chechnya.''

Stressing that Russia was in favour of peace and political solution in Chechnya, Yeltsin said they rejected talks with the bandits and murderers.

Indication that they encountered new threats, Yeltsin enumaretad these threats as international crimes, increasing number of nucleer weapons, and international terrorism.

Stressing that these threats could only be overcome by cooperation, Yeltsin said that Russia was ready for the cooperation.

Referring to the countries supporting the rebellions in Chechnya without giving name, Yeltsin said, ''thousands of soldiers who were trained in Chechnya and other countries, are preparing to spread terror in the world. I am calling on leaders of these countries to end their supportive attitude towards terrorists.''

Yeltsin also added that his county would sign the European Security Charter.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Johanness Linn, the World Bank Vice President for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, will come to Turkey on November 21.

The Treasury Undersecretariat said on Thursday that Linn will attend a conference on ''Turkey in Next Century-Reconstruction and Foreign Investment in Turkey'' to take place on November 22.

Linn, who will visit Kocaeli the same day, will hold high-level official contacts in Ankara on November 23.

Linn and Treasury Undersecretariat Selcuk Demiralp will attend the signature ceremony of a 757.5 million U.S. dollars loan at the Ugur Ercan Conference Hall in Ankara on November 23.

The World Bank Executive Board approved to give Turkey the loan in question on November 16.

The loan in question will be divided into to loans as ''Quake Emergency Loan'' and ''Marmara Quake Urgent Reconstruction Loan''.

A total of 252.5 million U.S. dollars of the loan in question will be used to meet the losses on survivors in the earthquake on August 17 and 505 million U.S. dollars be used in reconstruction.

Demiralp and Linn are expected to stage a joint press briefing following the signature ceremony.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Thursday that violence which is fed by ethnic atrocity shakes the international security system which is being set up at the moment.

Demirel who spoke in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit, drew the attention that all the problems started to be solved as the Cold War ended.

''The violence which is fed by ethnic atrocity, not only led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people and made millions of people homeless in many parts of the OSCE region, but also shook the international security systems. The tensions escalating from ethnic nationalism spreads quickly. But, we could not take measures although we saw that these tensions were the first signs of the future disputes,'' Demirel stated.

Referring to the Kosovo dispute, Demirel drew the attention that they aim at creating a multi-ethnic and democratic society there.

They should not lay the cornerstone for future disputes when trying to overcome the past injustice, Demirel stressed.

Demirel called the OSCE to take all human rights under guarantee.

Demirel drew the attention to the necessity of an integral approach about this issue and the importance of the stability pact.

Referring to the developments in the Caucausus, Demirel emphasized that the international community should not turn a blind eye to the developments in the region.

''Mechanisms like the international community and Minsk should play a faciliating role in the solution of the problem. The mechanisms should discuss stability for the Caucasus,'' Demirel added.

Demirel said that the situation in Chechnya is a matter of uneasiness.

Russia also has some rightful uneasiness but the conflicts in Chechnya which are escalating day by day, have a risk to carry the whole region to instability, Demirel noted.

Demirel said, ''we call all the related parties to behave in responsibility and moderation and to work to end this humanity tragedy against the significance of this humanitarian crisis in Chechnya.''

The situation in Middle East is different from that in the Caucasus and the Balkans, Demirel stated.

Demirel stressed that the efforts and the path of OSCE against the problems in the region carry importance.

''An intensive dialogue within the framework of an action plan which is based on the consent of the Central Asian republics, will provide these countries becoming more integrated with the OSCE region,'' Demirel added.

Demirel emphasized that many problems started to have global effects as a result of globalization.

Demirel said that arms and drug trafficking and corruption have targets which aim at demolishing the democracy and administrations.

Demirel said that the respect to human rights and the supremacy of law are the concepts of a large-scale security which will also be emphasized in the Istanbul Charter that will be signed later.

They should continue their efforts to set up an OSCE summit in which the understanding, tolerance, and peace have priority; Demirel pointed out.

Istanbul Summit will be a new milestone for this, Demirel added.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, said on Thursday that Western nations must make good on their promises for funding to help reconstruction in the war-damaged countries of the Balkans.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting of foreign ministers within scope of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul, Albright urged the West to hold a conference early next year to discuss financial issues related to the Balkans.

Albright said, ''when the snow melts next spring, we must have projects ready to put the people of the region to work. We must commit the funds that will make this vision a reality. With that in mind, let us look ahead at the work to be done between now and early February, when we hope a financial resources conference for the region will take place.''

Bodo Hombach, Western Representative man on the Balkan Stability Pact, an international effort to develop the economies and democratic politics in the region, had previously stated that significant progress recorded in rebuilding the Balkans.

The pact, launched at a September summit in Sarajevo, Bosnia, was adopted at the two-day OSCE summit.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Recep Onal, the Minister of State for the Treasury, said on Thursday that he hoped they will submit the bill on banking regulations within the framework of financial sector reform to the Coaucil of Ministers next week.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Onal said, ''the World Bank will give Turkey a 1.5 billion U.S. dollars accord loan concerning the financial sector reform. We are trying to increase the amount,'' he said.

''If there had been not earthquake, we could finish the financial sector reform. IMF and World Bank experts came to Turkey and observed the preparations of the government for the reform,'' he said.

''The General Balance of Whole Public and the general budget are the two factors foreseen by the IMF for the non-budget surplus. A five percent non- budget surplus is foreseen for the budget and a 3.7 percent non-budget surplus is foreseen for the General Balance of Whole Public,'' he stated.

State Minister Onal said the 3.7 percent non-budget surplus was a not a difficult target.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - The foreign trade deficit decreased 33.9 percent to 6 billion 597 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of 1999.

The foreign trade deficit had been 9 billion 980 million U.S. dollars in the same period in 1998.

The Central Bank said on Thursday that the surplus in current balance was 321 million U.S. dollars in August 1999.

The net revenues obtained from other goods and services and unmet transfers decreased 26.2 percent to 6 billion 655 million U.S. dollars.

The export incomes including 1 billion 231 million U.S. dollars of shuttle trade decreased to 18 billion 71 million U.S. dollars.

The export incomes including 2 billion 864 million U.S. dollars shuttle trade had been 20 billion 982 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

The imports including the 1 billion 281 million U.S. dollars gold imports increased to 30 billion 962 million U.S. dollars.

The imports including the 873 million U.S. dollars gold imports had been 24 billion 668 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

The tourism revenues in the first eight months of 1999 decreased 30.7 percent to 3 billion 268 million U.S. dollars. The tourism revenues had been 4 billion 713 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

The interest incomes decreased 1.5 percent to 1 billion 521 million U.S. dollars while the interest spendings increased by 20.4 percent.

The worker incomes rose 3.4 percent to 3 billion 324 million U.S. dollars.

The net direct investments dropped 22.5 percent to 245 million U.S. dollars.

There was a 2 billion 516 million U.S. dollars inflow in portfolio investments while there had been a 2 billion 341 million U.S. dollars outflow in portfolio investments last year.

There was a 230 million U.S. dollars net outflow in long-term capital movements.

The long-term foreign currency loans decreased from 7 billion 946 million U.S. dollars to 6 billion 544 million U.S. dollars.

The principal repayments increased from 5 billion 440 million U.S. dollars to 6 billion 766 million U.S. dollars.

The official reserves increased by 4 billion 860 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of 1999.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank decreased to 23 billion 783 million U.S. dollars.

The Central Bank said on Thursday that the foreign exchange reserves, which reduced by 761 million U.S. dollars between November 5 and 12, dropped to 23 billion 783 million U.S. dollars as of November 12.

The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 24 billion 544 million U.S. dollars on November 5.

Meanwhile, according to the October 28-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves decreased 693 million U.S. dollars to 37 billion 163 million U.S. dollars between October 22 and 28.

The international gross reserves of Turkey were 37 billion 856 million U.S. dollars on October 22.

As of October 28, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 23 billion 965 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 12 billion 187 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 10 billion 881.46 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of this year.

The Central Bank said on Thursday that the Treasury paid 9 billion 441.23 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 354.67 million U.S. dollars; the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 694.47 million U.S. dollars; the Defense Fund paid 18.96 million U.S. dollars and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was repaid 372.13 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between January 1 and November 17, 1999.

Meanwhile, a total of 816.17 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt was repaid between November 1 and 17.


LEFKOSA, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that they would go to New York in December with good will.

Denktas told reporters that if progress is recorded in indirect talks in New York, negotiations can continue.

When reminded the news reports in the Greek Cypriot press claiming that indirect negotiations would continue till direct negotiations, Denktas said, ''these are nothing, but speculations. We were told that thre will be visits of courtesy with Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and Alfred Moses, the Special Representative of U.S. President Bill Clinton to Cyprus. The indirect negotiations will be held between December 6-9. If we record progress in indirect talks, we will continue negotiations. But if the Greek Cypriots start once again to claim that they are the government of whole island, we will not listen to them any more.''

President Denktas added that they would also look at the attitude of Glafcos Clerides, the leader of Greek Cypriot administration, at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - The Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) ''Main Combat Tank Project'' stemmed from the ''requirement to give the start for removing the tanks, which expired their economical, physical, and technological lives, and started to fail in responding the operation requirements, from the inventory.''

The information released by the General Staff said the upgraded tank project was one of Turkey's most important ''modernization projects aiming at providing security of Turkey.''

''Taking into consideration the direct threats against Turkey and the quality and quantity criteria of these threats is suitable while making a comparison between the number of tanks belonged to the TSK and those in other countries,'' it said.

It said the arms and equipment used by the TSK are being modernized or renewed ''under the light of developments that may occur in threats and technology, battlefield in future, concept of operation concerning this battlefield, and operation requirements related with that concept by taking into consideration the economical, physical, and technological lives of these arms and equipment.''

It said there were currently 3,445 combatant tanks and 523 old tanks in the inventory of the Land Forces, adding that the old tanks were changed into mine-sweepers, tow-trucks, and similar vehicles.

It said the armed forces of several countries, including the countries in the region changed the second generation combat tanks into third generation tanks and continued to make this change.

''The TSK Main Combat Tank and Tank Modernization Project started on October 7, 1996. The target of the project is to change the current tanks with the modernized main combat tanks that will be produced in Turkey. Thus, 1,000 tanks will not be added into the current inventory and the tanks that will be produced will be added into the inventoray after removing the old tanks,'' it said.

''The Project includes production of 1,000 between 2004 and 2013. At first stage, a total of 250 modernized main combat tanks were planned to be produced between 2004 and 2008,'' it said.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Jacques Chirac of France said on Thursday that they supported Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU).

President Chirac received Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit early on Thursday.

At the meeting, Chirac said that it was possible to reach a conclusion at the Helsinki Summit in December.

Chirac stressed that France was in favour of recognition of Turkey's candidacy at the Helsinki Summit under equal conditions with other candidate countries.

He underlined the importance of Turkey's settlement in Europe.

Chirac also experessed profound sorrow over loss of lives in the second quake disaster in Turkey in three months.

Bilateral relations between Turkey and France were also taken up at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that Turkey was fulfilling her commitments in the fields of human rights, democracy, and economy.

Ecevit briefed President Chirac about the constitutional amendments in these fields.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - European Union (EU) Commission Chairman Romano Prodi said on Thursday that the Commission was considering providing 5.5 billion Euros (5.74 billion U.S. dollars) in aid to countries in the western Balkans.

Speaking at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul, Prodi said the Commission wanted a comprehensive action plan for the region.

''To this end, the Commission is preparing a new regulation to cover all our assistance to the western Balkans in the period 2000-2006 and we are considering allocating a sum of around 5.5 billion euros to back it,'' he said.

''This would include provision for Yugoslavia. The people of Serbia can count on our full assistance as soon as the political conditions set by the international community are met,'' he said.

Prodi said the proposed aid for countries in the west of the Balkans was in addition to investment of six billion Euros planned for Bulgaria and Romania in the south-east.

''This means that we are proposing a programme of almost 12 billion Euros for southeastern Europe for 2000 to 2006, with substantial additional funds to come from member states,'' he added.

He did not specify which countries he meant but the western Balkans is generally understood to mean Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Serbia.


STRASBOURG, Nov 18 (A.A) - Turkey signed on Thursday the European Convention on Protection of Animals.

Ambassador Alev Kilic, Turkey's Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, signed the Convention on behalf of Turkey.

The Convention foresees that house pets should be respected and treated as living creatures, not as objects.

The Convention stresses that the people who own pets are responsible for their nourishment and health.

The Convention, which also put forwards several rules about breeding, nourishment and trade of house pets, bans medical operations that can change the natural appearance of pets.

The Convention requests the countries to control the people who sell and breed house pets.

The Convention aims at decreasing the number of untamed animals.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Thursday during the signing ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline and Natural Gas Pipelines via Caspian Sea agreements that ''we've convened here today to create a new history in Bosphorus, at the heart of Istanbul in which Asia and Europe embrace each other.''

President Demirel said that the countries put forward the will to transfer Caspian oil and natural gas to world markets in a safe way which is friendly to environment and they also responded to the call of the history.

As Bill Clinton, the U.S. President stated two days ago, the signature they initialed is for happiness and prosperity of the coming generations, President Demirel said.

''I thank to Azerbaijani, Georgian, Kazakh, and Turkmen Presidents for their determination in building our common future and for their vision. They are the pioneers of the process which transforms Eurasia into a concrete reality. I also thank to my friend President Clinton and his working friends. The U.S. administration under the leadership of Clinton has seen the importance of Eurasian prosperity and stability in time,'' he said.

''By the implementation of these projects, Istanbul will be rescued from a nightmare. Today, we take under protection Istanbul and Bosphorus. This world will be a global cooperation world. This world will lead to solidarity rather than hostility,'' he added.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - A new process has started regarding construction of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project which will transport Azeri oil to western markets via Turkey with the agreements signed today.

The agreements signed today during Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit will be brought in front of the Parliament for approval. According to the project, basic engineering services will start after confirmation of the agreements by the Parliament.

Meanwhile, state run pipeline company BOTAS will put out to tender to implement Baku-Ceyhan project. AIOC will undertake the operation of the pipeline.

Finance talks will start with the AOIC and international finance circles, who said they wanted to see written agreements about Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.

According to the feasibility studies made by German PLE company, Baku- Ceyhan crude oil pipeline project will cost for 2,4 billion U.S. dollars, except the finance costs and the crude oil which will fill in the pipeline.

Baku-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline will start from Sangachal terminal near Baku, and will end in Ceyhan by following Erzurum-Erzincan-Kayseri route via Georgia.

A total of 468 km of the pipeline, which was planned to be 1710 km, will be in Azeri territory, 225 km in Georgian territory and 1037 km will be in Turkish territory.

Capacity of the pipeline is planned to be 45 million tonnes annually, yet this capacity can be increased to 50 million tonnes. Also, project works continue for 60 million tonnes capacity per year.

Officials mentioned various pipeline diameters for the project and will optimize for 45-50 tonnes alternative annually. According to this 1613 km will was calculated as 42 inch, the first 114 km will be 34 inch, and 3 km will be 48 inches.

Two control centers are proposed, one in Baku, and one in Ceyhan. Also an observation center is proposed to be constructed in Tbilisi.

Three transfer stations were planned in the system. Construction of nine pump stations were foreseen. Two of them will be in Azerbaijan, three in Georgia and four in Turkey.

Main Export Pipeline Work Group Consortium was established on November 9, 1992 with the participation of Socar, Azeri State Oil Company, Botas, Amaco, Pennzoil, and BP.

An intergovernmental agreement was signed on March 9, 1993 between Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the construction of the pipeline.

Socar, Botas, Amoco, Pennzoil, Umocal and BP formed COC Caspian Consortium in Istanbul on May 26-27, 1993.

The main export pipeline consortium prepared a document between September 21 and October 2 having the title ''Technical Evaluation of the Export Pipeline Route Option for the Purpose of Final Route Selection'' and handed over to Socar.

''Production and sharing of Azeri oil'' agreement was signed between Socar and foreign oil companies consortium on September 20, 1994. The 8-billion U.S. dollars AIOC agreement, which is defined as the agreement of the century, targetted broadening Azeri, Cirak and Gunesli fields for 30 years and increasing production to 40 million tonnes in the next 10 years.

They decided that TPAO will get 1.75 percent share in this agreement.

A protocol was signed on January 1995 regarding the routes which were planned to be used transporting Kazakh crude oil to the Mediterranean after uniting with Azeri oil.

In February 7, 1995 participation of new companies to the consortium and giving 5 percent share from the share of Socar to TPAO, was accepted unanimously.

Decision of the consortium regarding transportation of early Azeri oil from Baku-Novorossisk and Baku-Supsa ports was accepted by Azerbaijan on October 9,1995.
German PLE Engineering GmbH company and Botas signed ''Baku-Ceyhan Crude Oil Pipeline Feasibility and Environmental Effect Evaluation Survey Agreement'' on February 28, 1997.

The final Draft Report was submitted to Botas in December 1997 after the studies held on the project with a credit extended by the World Bank.

The report prepared by PLE was promoted to Azerbaijan and Russian Federation on April 11 and 17, and to Amoco between April 23 and 24.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia on May 15, 1998 and they decided for the establishment of sub- working groups.

A sub-working group has been established under the chairmanship of Metin Eral, Deputy Undersecretary of Energy and Natural Resources Ministry on June 16, 1998.

PLE report was submitted to Kazakhstan between June 21 and 24.

The Feasibility report was confirmed by the World Bank on July 18, 1998. Turkish side submitted the intergovernmental agreement draft to Azeri side on August 25, 1998.

The U.S. TDA institution and Treasury Undersecretariat signed a donation agreement worth of 823,000 U.S. dollars on October 27, 1998.

Presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgzstan, and Uzbekistan issued a joint declaration on October 29, 1998 and disclosed that they extended political support to pipeline.

Turkish, U.S. Azeri, and Georgian working groups held joint meetings on the agreement drafts and continued meetings with Socar, AIOC and other oil companies.

Azeri working group submitted its proposal about government guarantee and key delivery agreements on March 18, 1999 to Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. On March 31, 1998, it has given a comprehensive proposal.

Istanbul protocol was signed on April 13, to conclude the works within three months.

BP-Amoco company, which is accepted as the biggest company of the Consortium, disclosed on October 19 that Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project can be realized commercially, and that the pipeline was strategical. This was accepted as the turning point in Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

Turkish, Azeri and Georgian working groups convened for the first time on November 1 and gave a final shape to the agreement till Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

Following the latest developments, here are the companies of the consortium and their shares:

BP-Amoco (British-U.S.) 34.14 percent, M.C.Dermot (U.S) 2.45 percent, Pennzoil (U.S) 9.82 percent, Unacol (U.S.) 9.52 percent, Exxon (U.S.) 5 percent, Ramco (Britain) 2.08 percent, Socar (Azerbiajan) 10 percent, Lukoil (Russia) 10 percent, Statoil (Norway) 8.56 percent, TPAO (Turkey) 6.75 percent, Delta (Saudi Arabia) 1.68 percent.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - A total of 1 billion 325 million tons of oil has been extracted since 1949 in Azerbaijan which will pump oil to Baku-Ceyhan pipeline from the world's oldest oil beds.

In the next 30 years, a total of 34 billion U.S. dollars is estimated to be gained from the purchase of oil, which will be extracted from the three beds in Caspian Sea in the framework of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.

The first oil production in Azerbaijan took place in Bibiheybet city in 1847 and Alfred Nobel and his brothers who were the founders of Nobel Prize set up the first oil company in Baku in 1872.

Towards the end of the 19th century, some leading foreign companies started oil production in Azerbaijan. About 10 million tons of oil was processed in Azerbaijan until 1900. This amount constitutes 95 percent of the oil extracted in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and 50 percent of the oil produced in the world.

This period in which Azerbaijani oil was used all around the world is regarded as the first stage of Azerbaijani oil industry. The oil industry developed in this period and Baku became a big industrial city.

Later in 1918, Azerbaijan declared its independence and a democratic state was founded. Azerbaijani people had the chance to to benefit from their own natural resources and important developments took place in the country. However, this did not last very long. Azerbaijan lost its independence two years later and started to be ruled by the USSR in 1920.

In the following 70 years, Azerbaijan lived under the rule of the USSR which is the second stage of Azerbaijani oil industry. In this period Azerbaijan's oil industry continued to grow, however the oil was used for the interest of the USSR. During the Second World War, in 1944-45, the oil processed in Azerbaijan was the 75 percent of the USSR's total production.

Efforts to extract oil from the Caspian Sea began in 1920's. However, serious works did not start until 1949. Since that date, a total of 1 billion 325 million tons of oil was extracted both from land and in sea. In 45 years, 400 million tons of oil was processed in the part of the Caspian Sea which belongs to Azerbaijan. 400 billion cubic meters of gas was also produced in this period.

In 1991, Azerbaijan gained its independence where a new era started in the country's history. After 1991, negotiations started between international oil consortium and Azerbaijani State Oil Company regarding oil production and management at Azeri, Cirak and Gunesli oil beds. Talks continued after Azerbaijani People's Front came to power in 1992 but were interrupted after the incidents on June 4, 1993. The agreement which was suspended by President Haydar Aliyev who wanted to review the agreement's conditions was finally signed on September 20, 1994 in Baku.

Azerbaijan, before signing the agreement with the international consortium on September 20, transferred one third of its share to Russia. Therefore, Azerbaijan's share dropped from 30 percent to 20 percent.

After the agreement was approved at the National Assembly, Azerbaijan which failed to fulfil its investment responsibility of its shares, asked for more time from the consortium.

In the meantime, talks were held to transfer a part of Azerbaijan's share to many western companies and a protocol was signed with Iran to transfer 5 percent of Azerbaijan's shares to Iran. However, this was cancelled when members of the consortium and especially the U.S. opposed.

Haydar Aliyev announced that they transferred 5 percent of their shares to the Turkey Petroleum Inc. and the U.S. Exxon firm which proposed the best offer on April 3, 1995.

Since 1847, Azerbaijan, for the first time has the chance to benefit from its natural resources. It will earn 43 billion U.S dollars in the next 30 years from the purchase of oil which will be extracted from the three beds in the Caspian Sea. A total of 511 million tons of oil will be produced and the 55 billion cubic meters of gas that will be obtained will be completely used by Azerbaijan.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - A seven years of dream came true on Thursday by the signing of the agreements on Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.

Turkish, Georgian and Azerbaijani Presidents signed Istanbul Declaration, which was also signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton as an observer.

Istanbul Declaration foresees transfer of Azerbaijani oil in Caspian sea to western markets through Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.

Azerbaijan has got the chance of benefitting from natural resources in the real meaning of the term for the first time in its history since 1847.

The consortium including also Turkish Petroleum Inc. (TPAO) will extract and market oil worth of 34 billion dollars from three beds within 30 years.

Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will be beneficial for Azerbaijan not only in respect of commercial and economic respect, but also from political respect as it will ease the integration of Azerbaijan with the west. Thus regional countries won't be dependent any longer on Russia in transportation of natural resources to western markets.

Turkey, which is in the region where Europe, Asia and the Middle East intersect, will have such a status in which the pipelines also intersect. Her strategical importance will further increase.

Istanbul Straits will also be saved from an environmental disaster by the help of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.

Sometimes difficulties were witnessed regarding Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project and these difficulties were overcome by decreasing the foreseen 3.5 billion dollars of cost to 2.4 billion dollars.

If Turkey exceeds 2.4 billion dollars foreseen for Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, she will meet the difference.

Turkey will also gain a transportation income of nearly 100 million dollars annually from the line.

Finally Turkey and other western countries will start to get more shares in the trade volume of the regional countries, whose main trade partner was Russia.


ANKARA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Turkmenistan natural gas, which is one of the two most important projects for Turkey, will reach Turkey in 2002 after passing from the sea ground of the Caspian, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

On Thursday, a declaration of Turkmenistan-Turkey-Europe natural gas pipeline was also signed besides the construction agreement of the Baku- Ceyhan pipeline. The pipeline's construction will start in 2000 and finish in 2002. Turkey will get 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually once the pipeline starts working in full capacity.

The pipeline which will carry Turkmenistan natural gas to Turkey is a product of a series of efforts. Shell company which is managing the natural gas beds in Turkmenistan also joined the PSG consortium formed by the US General Electric Capital and Bechtel companies.

The cost of the pipeline which will be built by the consortium is estimated to be around 2.3 billion US dollars. The total length of the pipeline will be 2,000 kilometers. The pipeline will start in Turkmenbasi city of Turkmenistan on the coast of the Caspian Sea and will cross the sea ground and reach the Azerbaijani capital, Baku. From Baku, the pipeline will strech to Tbilisi and then to Erzurum. The Turkmen natural gas will be transferred to various regions of Turkey through the existing pipelines.

If everything goes as planned, Turkey will transfer 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas when it first starts receiving the gas in early or mid-2002. This will reach up to 30 billion cubic meters when the pipeline starts working in its full capacity.

Turkey will consume 16 billion cubic meters of this amount and transfer the remaining 15 billion cubic meters to South Europe via Bulgaria and Greece.

Currently, Shell firm continues its researches on Turkmenisan natural gas fields while PSG consortium runs feasibility studies on the pipelines.

If there is no demand for the Turkmen natural gas in South Europe, the 14 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be used in Turkey to meet the increasing energy needs.

Turkey and Turkmenistan signed natural gas and financial agreements on October 29, 1998 and May 21, 1999.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - An agreement related with Aydin Salavatli Geothermal Field Project, which is the first industrial geothermal integrated project, was signed in Istanbul on Thursday.

GEOMAS Consortium, composed of Geo Energy Group (GEG), Gesellschaft Für Energie (Terrawat) and Automatisierung GmbH (CIMOTEC), and Aegean Energy Integrated Agriculture Products Production Food Industry and Trade Inc. signed the agreement.

The first stage investment of the integrated project will be financed with foreign capital.

The project targets producing 250 million kilowatt hour electricity per year.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Mehmet Tufekcioglu, Executive Board Chairman of the Aegean Energy, said 150,000 tonnes of petroleum production savings will be provided in the region due to the project, and added that 4, 000 people will be employed within the context of the project.

Tufekcioglu said 4-5 years were targetted for the planning and construction of the first stage investment, adding that 10 years period was foreseen for the conclusion of all the stages.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder said on Thursday that his country favours to give EU candidacy status to Turkey during the Helsinki summit that will be held in December.

Schroder said that Germany launches efforts to this end, adding that candidacy status by itself won't automatically realize Turkey's full membership.

Speaking in a meeting held by German-Turkish Trade and Industry Chamber, Schroder said that he met with Prime Minister Ecevit before attending the meeting.

Schroder pointed out that EU was a union of values, adding ''EU is not a religious community. Any country which fulfils the obligations stemming from criteria of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, which respects human rights and democracy, can join the EU in principle. A neighbouring country which has the right to get a perspective, can also join EU, and this is true for Turkey.''

German Chancellor said that ''no discrimination should be made against Turkey. We want to make this come true at Helsinki summit. We want to declare Turkey's candidacy status at that summit. Efforts are needed to persuade some others, but Turkey can trust Germany about this issue.''

Schroder stressed that the reforms undertaken and decided to be done in Turkey also make her be attractive in economic respect and added that if Turkey continues this policy of reform, this will ease Turkey's access to the EU.

Germany is closely interested in Turkey's status in the enlargement process of the EU, he said and added that the Turkish economy is ready to fulfil its mission and exerts efforts to this end.

Schroder added that EU is not only an economic union, but first of all it is a community of values.


ISTANBUL, Nov 18 (A.A) - Gerhard Schroder, German Chancellor, said on Thursday that wounds caused by the quake disaster in Turkey should be healed soon.

Addressing a meeting staged by Chamber of German-Turkish Trade and Industry, Schroder said they closely covered the works and efforts carried out in quake regions.

Pointing out that many Turkish and German people in his country did their best to heal the wounds of the disaster, Schroder said all European Union (EU) member countries, especially Greece, exhibited a solidarity with people in Turkey.

Schroder said Turkey needed their support for the development of these regions after their wounds are healed, adding that:

''International Monetary Fund (IMF) promised to extend 500 million U.S. dollars monetary aid. World bank runs to Turkey with approximately one billion U.S. dollar aid. EU comes for help with 150 million ECU. European Investment Bank is in an effort to heal the wounds of quake survivors with 600 million EURO aid package.''

Schoder said they will also be in an effort to release financial aid in EU's finance protocols.

German Chancellor briefed about the close relation between Turkey and Germany. Recalling that 2.5 Turkish citizens lived in Germany, Schroder said Turkish citizens contributed a lot to the power of German economy. He said nearly two million German tourists visit Turkey every year.

The guest minister pointed out that improved economic relations were for the benefit of Europe, and noted that 25 million German Mark trade volume as of last year proved that Germany was an important trade partner for Turkey.

Schroder said 151,000 Turkish companies invested in Germany and contributed to the economic growth of Germany.

German Chancellor said trade volume between Turkey and the EU increased between 1996-1998 following Customs Union, adding that ''foreign entrepreneurs appreciate this. They did not withdraw their investments because of the earthquakes. This is a sign of trust to Turkey. International companies believe in the future of Turkey.''

He said 21st century, which will start in a short time, will bring various difficulties, and expressed belief that Turkey will overcome the difficulties in the 21st century.

Horst Kaiser, Chariman of Chamber of German-Turkish Trade and Industry, addressing the opening of the meeting, said 900 German companies have direct or joint ventures in Turkey, adding that these companies knew the importance of Turkey as a market.

Pointing out that 50,000 of Turkish citizens in Germany acted as employers, Kaiser said they provided 300,000 employment.

Kaiser said they wanted Turkey to gain EU membership status.


LEFKOSA, Nov 18 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) decided on Thursday to meet with Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General in Istanbul on Friday.

Denktas told A.A that he will meet Annan at 6 p.m.

The methods that will be applied during the indirect meetings on December 3 in New York about the Cyprus question will be taken up in Denktas-Annan meeting.


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