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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-13

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>


[01] AA News

13 December 1999 Monday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 13, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

MOST ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE
Time magazine stressed that Turkey is a more attractive candidate country for the European Union (EU) by its dynamic economy and strong civilian society when compared to Eastern European countries. The American magazine noted that the candidacy of Turkey pleased everybody from U.S. President Bill Clinton to Greece, adding ''bringing Turkey closer to the EU means making the security of Turkey and the West support each other. Yet the magazine continued that ''pressures of the EU such as solution of conflicts with Greece will impose pressure on Turkey.'' Meanwhile Paavo Lipponen, the Prime Minister of Finland, the EU Term President said that ''I suppose that Turkey's membership will be faster than expected.''

LAWS TO CHANGE
Turkey will change many of its laws for abiding by the EU laws. A national strategy will be prepared to this end and it will be submitted to the EU within 24 months. The legal changes expected from Turkey are as follows: ''abolishment of death penalty, improving freedom of expression, human rights, prevention of torture, minority issue, cultural rights, EU standarts, economic competition, decreasing inflation, the law on prisons, international arbitration and abiding by the technical laws.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

THE HAGUE TO OUR ADVANTAGE
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that ''it is clear that the article of the Helsinki resolution on Aegean is to our advantage as it is also obvious from the reaction shown in Athens. Greece says that there is only one problem in Aegean, which is continental shelf problem, but we defend the view that there are certain problems there. The Helsinki document mentioned about 'problems' in Aegean. It is also confirmed that the year 2004 is not the final date of applying to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.''

INFLATION TO DECREASE
Gazi Ercel, the Governor of Central Bank said that ''Turkey will see a decrease in the inflation in summer, which she hasn't seen for years. In summer, the inflation will be negative in percent, this means that the prices won't increase, but decrease. The interest rates, which are 40 percent nowadays will also decrease to 30 percent.''

SABAH (LIBERAL)

WE'LL JOIN EU IN 2004
America and the world media reached a consensus of opinion regarding the candidacy of Turkey to the EU. They think that Turkey will come the first in the competition to enter the EU among the other candidate countries. CNN noted that Turkey will join the EU in a few years. The expression of ''few years'' shows the year 2004, because this is the fixed term which the EU gave for the solution of Turkey-Greece problems. Besides Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will also start to function in 2004.

EUROPE ADMIRES ECEVIT
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit evoked admiration among the European leaders and foreign journalists in Helsinki. Ecevit perfectly answered questions from the human rights to the Kurdish issue, from the Cyprus issue to the Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist there. An Italian journalist described Ecevit as a perfect man.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

FINAL BORDER OF EU: TURKEY
Helsinki Summit ended by the recognition of Turkey's conditional candidacy to the EU. The EU showed the final borders of itself in the next century by its decision in Helsinki. The issue of border which was being debated by the European Commission for a certain period of time, will cover Turkey, which is a country whose 97 percent of its territory is in Asia, while it will isolate Russia and Ukraine in the coming century.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

CLINTON'S LETTER
U.S. President Bill Clinton closely monitored the bargaining process between Turkey and EU last Friday. Clinton ''persuaded'' Premier Bulent Ecevit to go to Helsinki. After Ecevit decided to go to the summit in Helsinki, Clinton sent Ecevit a letter and expressed pleasure over the decision of Turkey. Clinton noted in his letter to Ecevit that ''the pleasing developments took place under your leadership.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

ECEVIT:NO NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT CYPRUS ISSUE
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit assured the Turkish people that no one should have any worries about the Cyprus issue as Turkey's policy on Cyprus has not changed at all.

CAKICI TO BE BROUGHT TO TURKEY
Alaattin Cakıcı, a notorious mafia boss, who is imprisoned in France, will be extradited to Turkey today. A special team of four persons will take Cakıcı from French officials and bring him to Turkey.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

PRESSURE OF U.S.
A new question came to the mind due to the demands of the U.S. from Turkey and the conditions which the EU puts forward for Turkey. Who provided the recognition of Turkey's candidacy to the EU? The other factors that determined the decision of the EU are democracy, the risk of losing a market of 25 billion dollars and benefitting from the advantages of Turkey's becoming the energy corridor.

''HUMAN CHAIN'' DEMONSTRATION
Security forces detained on Sunday a number of people during the ''Human Chain'' demonstration which was organized by the Human Rights and Freedoms Platform. The demonstration was held in many provinces of Turkey under the title of ''Respect for Faith, Thought and Labour'' with the aim of forming a human chain. In central Konya province, almost 100 demonstrators were detained when they insisted on not obeying the warnings of police.

[03] PRESIDENT DEMIREL RECEIVES PREMIER ECEVIT

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel received Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Sunday evening.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with President Demirel, Premier Ecevit said that he informed Demirel about his contacts in Helsinki and the results of them.

Ecevit pointed out that the Turkish press succeeded an important mission and it informed the public opinion about the developments at Helsini summit quicly and correctly.

Responding to questions of journalists, Premier Ecevit said that he phoned Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
''As I also stated in Helsinki, there is nothing in the resolution to make TRNC worried and we will continue to be resolved about the Cyprus issue. Mr. Denktas was also in good mood on the phone,'' said Ecevit.

Ecevit stressed that the U.S. President Bill Clinton sent him a letter just after the recognition of Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

When asked about the opinion of President Demirel regarding the candidacy of Turkey, Ecevit said that ''he regards it very positively. He says that this will be a great advantage for Turkey.''

Ecevit stressed that the preparations Turkey must do regarding her membership to the EU, are her own duty.

''We are in consensus of opinion with President Demirel about this issue. In fact the resolution of Helsinki praises the steps taken by Turkey recently to abide by Copenhagen criteria and norms. In fact we have to take a few further steps. I believe that the parliament will complete these deficiencies not in a few years but in few months by its working tempo and within the atmosphere of reconciliation. On the other hand we act in a resolved manner to improve the economy. We took very definite decisions. Certainly improving economy may not yield results as quick as the results of the steps to be taken in human rights field, but it is us who will shorten the transition period to full membership. When we succeed in that our accession to full membership from candidacy will also easily take place, '' said Ecevit.

''TRNC President Denktas says that the EU will suffer the consequences of the membership of the Southern Cyprus to the EU. Did you discuss this issue with Denktas?'' asked a journalist to Ecevit. Ecevit said ''he is right. We didn't discuss the details in our phone talk. I assured him guarantees about the attitude the Turkish government pursues and will pursue.''

[04] SOCCER - TURKISH DIVISION ONE RESULTS AND STANDINGS

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Results of the Turkish division one soccer matches played at the weekend are as follows:

Bursaspor-Erzurumspor..................................( 4 - 2 )

Galatasaray-Besiktas...................................( 1 - 0 )

Trabzonspor-Kocaelispor................................( 1 - 0 )

MKE Ankaragucu-Vanspor.................................( 1 - 0 )

Gaziantepspor-Altay....................................( 1 - 0 )

Istanbulspor-Samsunspor................................( 0 - 1 )

Goztepe-Fenerbahce.....................................( 0 - 0 )

Antalyaspor-Genclerbirligi ............................( 2 - 1 )

Adanaspor-Denizlispor..................................( 3 - 2 )

Standings:

P W D L F A Pts

1 GALATASARAY 11 8 2 1 23 8 26
2 GAZIANTEPSPOR 12 7 2 3 16 8 23
3 DENIZLISPOR 12 6 4 2 19 13 22
4 FENERBAHCE 11 5 5 1 20 11 20
5 BESIKTAS 12 5 4 3 21 9 19
6 TRABZONSPOR 12 5 4 3 17 12 19
7 SAMSUNSPOR 12 6 1 5 17 14 19
8 ANTALYASPOR 12 5 2 5 15 21 17
9 ALTAY 12 4 4 4 15 11 16
10 ISTANBULSPOR 12 4 4 4 14 14 16
11 GENCLERBIRLIGI 12 4 3 5 13 17 15
12 ERZURUMSPOR 12 4 2 6 18 24 14
13 GOZTEPE 12 3 4 5 9 14 13
14 ADANASPOR 12 3 3 6 16 22 12
15 MKE ANKARAGUCU 12 3 3 6 11 21 12
16 BURSASPOR 12 2 4 6 13 18 10
17 VANSPOR 12 2 4 6 12 20 10
18 KOCAELISPOR 12 2 3 7 12 24 9

[05] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SPEAKS IN TV PROGRAMME: (1) - ''NO DANGER WILL BE IN QUESTION FOR TRNC AS LONG AS TURKEY EXISTS''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that as long as Turkey exists, no danger will be in question for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

''If a divergence of opinion occurs within the TRNC about the national matter, this is a danger,'' told Ecevit in a television programme broadcast in TRT-1 channel.

''Turkish Republic and TRNC will integrate with each other in the same degree as the integration of the Southeastern Cyprus administration with the European Union (EU),'' Ecevit said.

Ecevit noted that the realization of Turkey's candidacy to the EU has a very great importance, adding Turkey is in Europe for 600 years, but she was ''pushed to the corner in the east flank of Europe.''

Turkey started its journey in the integration of Europe as an equal country, said Ecevit, adding ''a great change took place in the atmosphere in the last 6-6,5 months. Before, nobody could have imagined Turkey's candidacy to the EU. Our government started to adopt many Constitutional and legal changes to overcome our deficiencies in human rights and democracy, and these were adopted by the parliament. Besides, we took very resolved steps to decrease the inflation rate.''

Both the employer and employee circles started a very productive campaign in Europe and EU countries regarding the membership of Turkey to the EU, said Ecevit.

''Our government and our Presidency worked in a great harmony about the issue,'' said Ecevit, stressing that Turkey gave a very successful exam by the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit held in Istanbul and this organization showed that Turkey is a modern and strong country.

''I had told the EU officials that I could go to the EU summit in Helsinki only after the definite decision of the EU was determined about Turkey's candidacy. They tried to convince me, but we didn't change our attitude. They changed their programme, and announced the definite decision on Friday evening. We examined the document, and it caused concern in some respects in the beginning,'' he said.

The high ranking officials of the EU came to Turkey to overcome the concerns of Turkey, recalled Ecevit, and said ''this showed how much importance they attributed to Turkey's candidacy. Our concerns were overcome eventually.''

Responding to a question, Ecevit said that ''an agreement on Cyprus can only be possible if the existing realities on the island are not ignored. We've been explaining this for a long time. We also told this in our contacts in Helsinki. No precondition has been put forward to us regarding the Cyprus question and the problems in the Aegean. There are only wishes.''

Ecevit stressed that they won't make the fate of Turkish Cypriots an issue of bargaining, adding Turkish Cypriots suffered a lot and faced the threat of being totally annihilated in the past. ''We can't risk the same dangers again. I guess that the EU won't do it also,'' Ecevit said.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the letter sent by U.S. President Bill Clinton assures Turkey great guarantee.

The U.S. understands better than Europe the realities of the region where Turkey is situated, said Ecevit and added that some European statesmen defended the view that the importance of Turkey diminished in the region after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but the U.S. understood that Turkey's importance has further increased on the contrary.

Ecevit stated that the relations of Turkey with Russia and Ukraine develop day by day and she also set up good relations with the Balkan countries. ''Turkey became a democracy guide and guide of adapting the market economy for these countries,'' Ecevit said.

Turkey became the energy terminal in the Mediterranean by Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Turkmen natural gas, Ecevit added.

[06] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SPEAKS IN TV PROGRAMME: (2) - ''ONE OF THE MAIN CONDITIONS OF EU'S ACCEPTING US IS ROOTED SECULARISM IN TURKEY''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Monday that one of the main conditions of EU's accepting Turkey is rooted secularism in Turkey.

''If there are people saying that 'if freedom is given to those who don't want secularism we can enter EU easily,' they deceive themselves,'' said Ecevit.

Responding to questions in a tv programme, Premier Ecevit stated that the membership to the EU has conditions in two fields. One of them is human rights and democracy and the other one is economy, said Ecevit, adding ''the inflation started to decrease slowly. The interest rates reduce in a great extent. But I believe that we will make the economy ready for full membership only in 2-3 years.''

''We have to make some changes regarding human rights and democracy. We have to take these steps to satisfy our respect in our world and in our society either the EU expects these reforms from us or not,'' said Ecevit.

''There are certain issues which should be solved before being a member of the EU,'' said Ecevit.

''EU accepts the candidacy of a country whose majority of its population is moslem. There are certain reactions to that within the EU,'' said Ecevit and noted that Turkey's becoming a candidate is very important in respect of overcoming the differences of religion in the world.

Turkey is a country which leads to other countries of moslem population in the fields of democracy, secularism, and modernity, he said.

''We shouldn't ignore the issue of clothing, Europeans should not regard us strange due to our appearance,'' said Ecevit.

Responding to a question about death penalty, Ecevit said that ''our party is against death penalty, in fact all the parties are against it. It is apparent that the public opinion does not approve death sentence anymore. A country having death penalty can't be a member of the EU. We shouldn't look at the issue as it is limited to the issue of Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist who was sentenced to death.''

Ecevit underlined the fact that there has never been racial discrimination in Turkey, adding ''there are religious minorities in Turkey under the Lausanne Treaty. There are Greeks, Armenians, and Jewish people. There are no minorities based on racial separation in Turkey.''

Ecevit said that sufficient information was given to EU member states about the issue of races and the issue was explained well, adding the EU countries don't bring this issue of race to the agenda anymore. No pressure on Turkey will be in question about this issue, said Ecevit reminding that France is also against minority based on race.

[07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SPEAKS IN TV PROGRAMME: (3) ''THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE ON AGENDA OF GOVERNMENT ABOUT NSC''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that there is no constitutional change on the agenda of the government about organizing the National Security Council (NSC).

''The main danger will come out by the removal of the NSC,'' told Ecevit in a television programme broadcast in TRT-1 channel.

Ecevit said that the Turkish Armed Forces also has the right to explain his views, opinions, and desires about the problems of the country.

The Turkish economy didn't collapse, rather continued to develop in spite of the high inflation rate which continues for nearly 20 years, said Ecevit adding that the Turkish economy has been affected by the economic crisis that took place in Southern Asia and Russia.

The financial cost of rapid increase in the price of oil and the earthquake disasters for Turkish economy has been huge, said Ecevit.

''We'll practice thrift for 1-2 years, we will have difficulties during that period. As a result of that Turkish economy will overcome all of her problems within 2-3 years. Turkey has that power, and now she is an industrial country,'' said Ecevit.

Responding to questions about the NSC, Premier Ecevit said that ''there are similar institutions in the U.S. and they believe in the use of them. Turkey is a key country in such a region having many dangers. Thus, she has to have that strong army, as Turkey is not only the target of the dangers coming from outside. It is not easy for a country to invade another country directly. There are indirect invasions and attempts of invasion. There are powers within Turkey which try to cause instability. Such things also happen in other countries. In this context, we have to remember the words of Ataturk who said 'peace in the world, peace abroad.' These two can't be separated from each other. What does it mean? It means that internal and external security can't be separated from each other. This is especially valid for Turkey. Thus, military has a special importance in Turkey. The state and the nation gave the mission of solving the security problem in Southeast Turkey to the army. So, we must know what the military thinks about certain issues that negatively or positively affect the security. This has vital importance for us. The thing that is important is NSC's non- interference with politics as if it is giving orders.'

Premier Ecevit stressed that the governments and the parliaments are not in an obligation to abide by the proposals of the armed forces, but should listen to it.

''I had no difficulty in examining the problems of Turkey in NSC meetings together with high ranking commanders. My loyalty to democracy is well- known,'' he said.

Ecevit pointed out that if the NSC does not exist, the armed forces can feel the need to search for ways to be effective in politics, adding ''this need shouldn't be given. I don't favour a constitutional change on NSC.''

Ecevit said that the continuation of the independence of TRNC has become one of the definite conditions of Turkey's security, particularly by the new status of Turkey as an energy terminal.

[08] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S PRESS CONFERENCE (1) - CEM: ''I DON'T BELIEVE WE WILL FACE DIFFICULTIES IN THE RECOVERIES IN DEMOCRATIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Monday that he didn't believe Turkey would suffer any difficulty in making recoveries in fields of democratization and human rights.

Foreign Minister Cem staged a press conference after formal announcement of Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy.

Addressing the press conference, Cem stated that a country, which wanted to be a EU member, should revise its regulations.

''The most serious problem in front of us will be about the regulations. If you want to be a EU member, you can't employ tens of thousands of people as servants in the public organizations, and you have to adapt the labour laws and situation of employees to the EU standards,'' he said.

Cem said the situation of the National Security Council (NSC) was exaggerated in Turkey and by the West.

''I have been a member of the NSC for almost three years. Soldiers put forward such a liberal approach toward some issues that I sometimes felt like I was a conservative person,'' he said.

[09] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S PRESS CONFERENCE (2) - CEM: ''VERY DANGEROUS DEVELOPMENTS THAT CAN BE CALLED INHUMANE ARE IN QUESTION IN CHECHNYA''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Monday that worrying developments had been occurring in Chechnya recently, adding, ''very dangerous developments that can be called inhumane are in question in Chechnya. We have concerns that these developments may worsen.''

Addressing a press conference, Cem stressed that Turkey was against every kind of terrorism, and no pretext could prove that terrorist activities were legitimate.

''However, considering the whole nation as terrorists and targeting them, can't have a meaning and legitimacy. We think that such a threat against the Chechens is a threat against all humanity while there is a decision of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and while one or two days left for the visit of the OSCE Term President Norway's Foreign Minister visit to Chechnya,'' he said.

''We are once again announcing Turkey's determined position toward the issue to the world,'' he added.

[10] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU DUE TO TURKEY IN JANUARY

ATHENS, Dec 13 (A.A) - Yorgo Papandreou, the Greek Foreign Minister, will pay an official visit to Turkey in January.

In his statement to the Ta Nea Daily, Papandreu said on Monday that his visit to Turkey would be the beginning of a new era in relations between Turkey and Greece.

Papandreou recalled that a series of reciprocal agremeents came to the signature stage as a result of the dialogue process which has been continuing between two countries since July.

He said that he had an opportunity to meet with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, during the European Union's (EU) summit in Helsinki, and added that they decided to sign these reciprocal agreements.

Half of eight or nine agreements will be signed in Athens, and the others will be signed in Ankara.

Papandreou noted that the next steps would be taken in framework of the new conditions.

Pointing out that the Cyprus question became a matter of Europe, Papandreou stressed that this development has a peculiar importance on its own.

Noting that Turkey became a part of the EU family in general as a candidate, Papandreou said that many cooperation opportunities would arise for Turkey within framework of the EU candidacy.

[11] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN CROATIA

ZAGREB, Dec 13 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel attended on Monday the official funeral which was held for Croatian President Franjo Tudjman who passed away early on Saturday at the age of 77.

Demirel signed the special notebook opened at the Presidential Palace, saying, ''we feel the grave pain of loosing President Tudjman, a great statesman. I offer our condolences on behalf of Turkish people. President Tudjman had made a considerable contribution to provision of peace and stability in the region. He had also expended great efforts to improve relations between Turkey and Croatia. Both the region and the whole world lost a great statesman. We will always remember him with respect.''

Later, President Demirel met with Zlatco Pavletich, the Speaker of Croatian Parliament who is acting as president, and expressed his condolences.

President Demirel implored God's strength upon all Croatian people who are grieving for their leader.

[12] FRENCH PRESIDENT CHIRAC SENDS A LETTER TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - French President Jacques Chirac sent a letter to President Suleyman Demirel on Monday regarding official announcement of Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy.

In his letter, President Chirac stressed that the EU decided to extend a friendship hand by granting Turkey EU candidacy.

President Chirac noted that France had not abstain from any kind of efforts to reach this target as a result of multilateral relations between Turkey and France since the period of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and Francois I.

Chirac expressed profound satisfaction over the EU's historical decision.

President Chirac also added that he would pay an official visit to Turkey in 2000 upon the invitation of President Demirel.

-<B>STANDARD AND POOR'S CHANGES OUTLOOK ON SEVERAL</B> TURKISH BANKS' B1/B2 BANK CEILINGS FROM ''STABLE'' TO ''POSITIVE''
NEW YORK/ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - The Standard and Poor's (S&amp;P), a leading U.S. rating organizations, announced on Monday that it has changed the outlook on several Turkish Banks' B1/B2 bank ceilings for foreign currency bonds and bank deposits from ''stable'' to ''positive''.

Relasing a statement, the S and P named these banks as the Turkish Eximbank, the Garanti Bank, the Osmanli Bank, the Korfezbank, and the Ziraat Bank.

The S and P had changed on Friday the outlook on Turkey's B1/B2 country ceilings for foreign currency and bank deposits from ''stable'' to ''positive''.

[14] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S PRESS CONFERENCE (3) - CEM: ''HELSINKI DECIDED AND ANNOUNCED THAT TURKEY IS A EU CANDIDATE WITHOUT ANY PRECONDITION LIKE THE OTHER CANDIDATES''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Monday that the Helsinki Summit decided and announced that Turkey was a European Union (EU) candidate without dependence on any precondition as the other candidates.

Staging a press conference, Cem said Turkey left behind another turning point in accordance with Ataturk's principle of ''sharing the epoch''.

''Turkey managed to put forward brand-new opportunities in the renewal process. All of us have to act carefully, skilfully and with responsibility in this new period. Every opportunity brings together responsibility. Every award brings together working hard,'' he said.

Cem said that three factors in Helsinki concerned Turkey, and of those factors was the paragparph which directly concerned Turkey.

''And this is the Turkey's candidacy determination which does not dependent on any special precondition. Helsinki announced and decided that Turkey is a EU candidate without dependence on any precondition as other candidates. We have said since the beginning that we will give up this if there is a special precondition for Turkey. Besides, we have never expected a special privilege and favour. Actually, we do not feel the need for these. We explained this very well,'' he said.

Noting that Article 4 of the Helsinki decision referred to border disputes, Cem said, ''an expression like the year 2004 is mentioned here. When you read this Article carefully, you can understand that this is not the date fixed for the candidates' bringing their border disputes to the International Court of Justice and that it does not have such a coercive factor. When you read it carefully, you see that the year 2004 is the year when such disputes will be evaluated by the Council of Europe.''

Cem said that also he objected to such issues although he was one of the people who want EU candidacy more, and the objections they reaised following this process brought together several changes.

''This element was a serious element of concern. Though what the document really meant to say could be understood. However, it might also be exploited. Thus, we deployed a serious position, and after this position, the Finland's Prime Minister sent an official letter to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit explaining the real meaning of this. The letters of the Term Presidents are the parts of the EU's acquisitions and equivalent to laws and rules. Thus, this confirmation pleased us,'' he said.

Ismail Cem stressed that Turkey did not refrain from applying to the International Court of Justice.

''First of all, as Turkey, we did not object to bringing the problems in the Aegean to the International Court of Justice. We have never displayed an approach that we were very anxious about this. Because, Greece's approach in the past was that 'we don't negotiate Aegean problems with Turkey. There is a single problem in Aegean and it is continental shelf. There is a single way of solution. And it is the International Court of Justice. If Turkey wants, we will immediately bring the continental shelf problem to the International Court of Justice. We don't discuss any other issue except this, and we don't bring any other issue onto the agenda except this.' I hope Turkey and Greece will leave behind such problems,'' he said.

''The thesis Turkey has defended since the beginning was that there are some problems between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean, and there are different methods for the solution of these problems. At first negotiations, arbitration, and international mediation, and then International Court of Justice. We think that all methods can be applied, but we do have the intention for negotiations. Such problems can't be solved in a short time. Solutions of such problems take long years. Turkey accepts the sovereignty of the International Court of Justice before the EU candidacy,'' he said.

Noting that Turkey and Greece were in the process of recovering their relations, Cem said, ''as the two neighboring countries, Turkey and Greece can solve their problems within reciprocal understanding. Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, with an optimistic approach, said that Greece's national interests were in question in the Aegean. With the same good will, we are saying that Turkey's national interests were in question in the Aegean. Now, I believe that we will together reach a common interest.''

Cem stressed that they were strongly opposed to the decision taken at the Helsinki about Cyprus.

''A change in this Article is actually not an element that will affect us. We always mentioned that we consider Cyprus issue and the EU issue as different issues. Turkey's policy toward the Cyprus issue will continue,'' he said.

Stating that Turkey's Cyprus policy was built on the existence and continuation of the Turkish Repablic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Cem said, ''we already, definitely, and clearly told them that our solidarity with the TRNC would not be affected by any factor and that our objection to legal and political dimensions of the Greek Cypriot side's application to the EU for membership was continuing and would continue.''

Cem emphasized that Turkey harshly and strongly reacted against the paragraph about Cyprus.

''Because, this paragraph included by the EU encouraged the Greek Cypriot side to leave the negotiation table and to be completely intransigent. While the proximity talks in New York continue, the sentences which mean to the Greek Cypriot side that 'okay, there is no problem that can affect you so you can leave the table' are used. The Greek Cypriot side, which actually went to New York unwillingly and seeks the ways to leave the table, was supported and encouraged by the EU with these sentences. I am afraid that an opportunity of solution on which the two sides can agree became more distant after the decision of the EU,'' he said.

Stating that the article about Cyprus was an article against Turkey, Cem said, ''we have always been the side which expresses its opinions about Cyprus and Aegean issues from outside. When Aegean and Cyprus are mentioned at the European platform, Greece was expressing its opinion freely while we, as Turkey, to some extent, was interfering with the issues concerning us from outside. This is changing now. We will from now on express our rightful theses in the EU.''

Ismail Cem also thanked his Greek counterpart Yorgo Papandreou for his efforts for the progress in peace and friendship between Turkey and Greece.

[15] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM'S PRESS CONFERENCE (4) - CEM: ''TURKEY MUST OFFER EVERY KIND OF PERSONAL FREEDOM TO ITS CITIZENS''

ANKARA, Dec 13 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that Turkey wanted to transfer the individual's personal freedom to the widest frame, adding, ''Turkey has to offer every kind of personal freedom to its citizens.''

Stating a press conference, Ismail Cem said that the European Union's (EU) insistence concerning the minorities was out of question.

''Such a thing can't happen in accordance with the EU's regulations and understanding, and in accordance with the Amsterdam and Copenhagen criteria. Nobody has such an intention and even power to do such a thing. We already started to overcome some of our deficiencies, and we rapidly continue to correct these. The EU can only be a positive factor for this. Turkey is obliged to offer every kind of personal freedom to its citizens. We actually will realize this whether or not our candidacy was accepted. We are struggling to give the majority right to our people not the minority right. We are seeking to extend our people's personal freedoms to the maximum level,'' he stressed.

Underlining that Turkey should work hard on the issue of the EU membership, Cem said, ''the EU regulations envisage certain rights for workers. It is not possible for Turkey to become a member of the EU and at the same time to preserve workers in current position. I think that the biggest obstacle would not be the human rights and democratization issues. We will overcome these problems more quickly than the estimaded period. I think that we would encounter difficulties on the issue of regulations. Namely, hundreds of thousands of tea-vendors, and janitos cannot be employed in public institutions.''

When asked, ''when will membership negotiations period start?'', Cem said that the process would begin in January.

Cem noted that establishment of a separate ministry for the EU would not be envisaged.

Cem added, ''eight of nine agreements within framework of the dialogue process between Turkey and Greece, are ready to be signed. These agreements will be signed when Papandreou's programme is proper. Works are underway on the agreement about economical issues.''

Responding to a question about the position of National Security Council (NSC) Cem said, ''these issues are exaggerated. So, its exaggeration in the West is inevitable. I am a member of NSC for three years. According to my impressions, there was nothing that will disturb our EU efforts to this end. There was terrorism incident in Turkey. She had border problems with its neighbours. Terrorism was supported from the West. It is normal that Turkey has such a Council because of the geography it is located in. We should clarify this well to the West. Actually, there is such a security committee in the U.S. Also, I would like to say that military members in the NSC think more liberal than me in several discussions that I sometimes feel myself more conservative.''

When asked about membership of Greek Cypriot side to EU, Cem said, ''Turkey regarded these two issues as separate. I had a written statement on November 30 to this end. Development of relations of Southern Cyprus with the EU will coerce improvement relations between Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). We oppose to this, yet we don't have a chance to prevent it. We should not be cruel while critizing.''

Responding to another question, Cem said Turkey did not execute capital punishments, and committed not to. He said an issue like ''Southeastern problem'' was not brought in front of Turkey. Cem said Turkey may have deficiencies to this end, yet that these will be removed in a very short time.

[16] ALAATIN CAKICI TO BE SENT TO TURKEY

ISTANBUL, Dec 13 (A.A) - Muhittin Yuzuak, lawyer of Alaatin Cakici, said on Monday that his client was in Charles De Gaulle Airport to be sent to Turkey. Cakici is the head of organized crime organization.

Yuzuak, who talked to A.A correspondent on the cellular phone, said Cakici will be sent to Turkey at 20:00 by plane.

Yuzuak said there were four interpol officials, who came from Turkey, with Cakici.

The plane is expected to be in Turkey at 23:20 local time.

[17] Anadolu Ajansı


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