Read the chronology of Turkish actions & claims against Greece, 1955-1996 A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 11 April 2021
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-14

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

14 December 1999 Tuesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 14, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

KURDISH LANGUAGE SURPRISE
Making a surprising statement to the Turkish-CNN late on yesterday, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the broadcast in Kurdish language should be allowed. ''Now, I am speaking to a television channel in mw own language. Every individual can speak to television channels in his/her own language. We consider the issue as regards to personal rights. We will not prevent if there is a television channel which wants to make broadcast in its own language,'' he said.

CAKICI MENACES
France extradited yesterday Alaattin Cakici who stayed in prison in Nice for 16 months. Alaattin Cakici, whose nephew was shot dead in prison few months ago and his brother was wounded in an armed attack, sent a letter full of threats before he was brought to Turkey.

''Those who have problems with me should know that a person can lose his brother and even his son. I am not a skater. All of these are the outcomes of the life I preferred. They are trying to show murdered Nihat Akgun as if he was one of my close friends. I have not met him for eight years. When my nephew Ali Gursel was killed with a dirty trick, four people were also killed from the other side. But they tried to show that those were from our side. I am addressing those who misled the public opinion. Those who have problems with me can settle old scores in prison corridors or court corridors. I am ready to this,'' he said.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

GOOD NEWS FROM STANDARD AND POOR'S
The Standard and Poor's (S&amp;P), leading U.S. rating organizations, 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&amp;P named these banks as the Turkish Eximbank, the Garanti Bank, the Osmanli Bank, the Korfezbank, and the Ziraat Bank. The S&amp;P had changed on Friday the outlook on Turkey's B1/B2 country ceilings for foreign currency and bank deposits from ''stable'' to ''positive''.

SIX VILLAGE GUARDS ABDUCTED BY TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, RELEASED
A total of six village guards who were abducted by the terrorist organization PKK, were released on Sunday. Omer Korkmaz, Sehvan Korkmaz, Mustafa Demir, Musa Dalga, Musa Gultekin, and Bedel Korkmaz were abducted by terrorists in Uzundere hamlet in Cukurca county of southeastern Hakkari province nearly two months ago. Bedel Korkmaz was found frozen to death while other village guards rescued by security forces.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

CAKICI EXTRADITED
Alaatti Cakici, notorious mafia boss, was extradited to Turkey early on Tuesday morning by France. Airplane carrying Cakici, landed at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul at 00:38 local time. Tight security measures were taken in and around the airport. Later, Cakici was brought to the Istanbul Security Directorate by an armoured vehicle.

CEM: ''IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE EU,
YOU CANNOT EMPLOY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TEA-VENDORS''
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, 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. Namely, hundreds of thousands of tea-vendors, and janitors cannot be employed in public institutions.''

4.7 MAGNITUDE AFTERSHOCK CREATE S PANIC AMONG PEOPLE
An aftershock measuring 4.7 on the Richter Scale, shook Hendek county of Sakarya province at 21:19 local time on Monday. It was also felt in whole Marmara Region. People took into the streets in panic. Eight people were taken into hospitals for medical treatment.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

TURAN LAID TO REST
An official funeral was held in Canakkale province for Sitki Turan, the Canakkale Deputy of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who was killed in a traffic accident near Balikesir province on Sunday. Addressing the funeral, Ismail Kose, the Acting Chairman of MHP Parliamentary Group, expressed profound sorrow over demise of Turan who devoted his life to his country and people. Later, the dead body of Turan was sent to Bahadirli village in Can county of Canakkale, his birth place, to be laid to rest.

TURKEY WARNS RUSSIA
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, described Russian military operation against Chechnya as ''inhuman and extremely dangerous''. Cem stressed that announcement of civilians living in Chechnya as terrorists was a threat against whole humanity.

THIRD WOMAN FILMS FESTIVAL
The Third Woman Films Festival which will be organized between May 4-11, 2000 with the theme of ''Peace and Woman'', will host Margaritta Papandreou, the mother of Greek Foreign Minister Yorgo Papandreou. She is expected to attend an symposium on 'Peace and Woman' which will be held within scope of the Woman Films Festival.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

FRENCH PRESIDENT CHIRAC SENDS A LETTER TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL
French President Jacques Chirac sent a letter to President Suleyman Demirel 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. President Chirac also added that he would pay an official visit to Turkey in 2000 upon the invitation of President Demirel.

DENKTAS TO MEET WITH ECEVIT
President Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) who is not satisfied with the European Union's (EU) decision taken at Helsinki summit, will come to Turkey to meet with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Meanwhile, first round of proximity talks in New York.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

FRESH BLOOD TO EU
The EU which has a high average of age will gain a momentum with Turkey which has a young population. While the ''profit-loss'' accounts concerning our EU candidacy continue, it was mentioned that both Turkey and the EU will be get benefits from the new formation. Europe will overcome the population increase rate and older population disadvantage with Turkey. Turkey which is capable of removing Europe's deficiencies with its educated people power, strategicel position, and cultural values will be the guarantee fund of Europe's future. To this end, the necessary reforms should be realized as soon as possible.

OUR LIVES WILL CHANGE
Full-membership to the EU will increase the life standars in Turkey. Here are some of them: the public workers will be union members; foodstuffs will be under strict control; new employment opportunities will be created; prosperity level of people will increase; three billion U.S. dollar loan will come.

ASSURANCE TO CYPRUS
It was stressed that no concession will be made concerning the policy followed for the Cyprus issue which was brought onto the agenda together with our EU candidacy. Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is determined in the last tour of the proximity talks. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said, ''continuation of the TRNC's independence is the condition of our security.'' Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said, ''there won't be a change in Turkey's Cyprus policy.''

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

FLIMSY HOSPITALS
A total of 60 public hospitals in Istanbul and Izmir were tested. The result is: ''hospitals are jerry-built.'' Experts determined that 56 of those 60 hospitals would collapse in the a quake.

WHAT A PITY!
In these days when our EU candidacy has been officially announced, the results of a research report revealed the tragic reality: Unfortunately, Turkey is ranked 136th in the world league of freedoms and came 24th in the worst countries concerning human rights abuses.

[03] FINANCE MINISTER ORAL LEAVES FOR GERMANY

ISTANBUL, Dec 13 (A.A) - Sumer Oral, the Finance Minister, left on Tuesday for Germany to attend Group-20 (G-20) Finance Ministers' meeting.

Addressing a press conference at the Ataturk Airport prior to his departure, Oral said, ''Turkey has taken a significant step towards the European Union (EU) full membership, at the same time she has participated in an important platform such as the G-20. All these developments show that Turkey would become a powerful country of the world in the new millennium.''

Oral noted, ''the group known as G-7, was changed into the G-20. The G-20 was formed by the countries having economical power in their regions and adopted market economy.''

He expressed satisfaction over election of Turkey as a member of the G-20.

Gazi Ercel, the Chairman of the Central Bank, and Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of the Treasury, will accompany Oral during his visit to Germany.

Oral and accompanying delegation are expected to return to Turkey on December 17.

[04] SEVERAL TAXES TO INCREASE IN 2000

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - The Finance Ministry will increase several taxes, charges and minimum investment allowance by 52.1 percent in the year 2000.

The announcements, which were prepared by the Revenues Directorate General, took the legal 52.1 percent revaluation rate as a basis for tax revisions in the year 2000.

The values dependent on real property tax will be increased by 26.5 percent as the authorization of the Council of Minister was not used.

Within this framework, the rate of motor vehicles and motor vehicles purchase tax will be increased by 52.1 percent as of January 1, 2000.

The exception amount of 9 billion 169 million Turkish Liras (TL) which is valid for children and the spouse, and the exception amount of 18 billion 348 million TL which valid for only the spouse, in the succession duties will be increased by 52.1 percent.

The increases in question will be valid by January 1, 2000.

[05] HEALTH MINISTRY TO PURCHASE 175 AMBULANCES

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - The Health Ministry invited tenders for its purchase of 175 ambulances to carry out health services rapidly and more effectively.

According to the Ministry's announcement published in the Official Gazette on December 5, a total of 100 of those ambulances would be 4x2 diesel panel truck ambulances equipped with medical devices.

Those ambulances will be given to hospitals and village clinics.

The Health Ministry, which foresaw a 1 trillion 105 billion Turkish Liras (TL) estimated coast for those 100 ambulances, will receive bids over 1 trillion 125 billion TL tender for 75 pieces of 4x2 turbo diesel panel truck ambulances which will be given to te Emergency.

The bids for the tender will be submitted this week.

[06] EU CANDIDACY TO POSITIVELY AFFECT INVESTMENT PLANS OF GERMANS

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy will positively affect the German entrepreneurs' investment plans according to a survey of the German-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

The Confederation of Turkish Employers' Unions (TISK) issued a written statement and said the German-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce took a poll to know the tendencies, and expectations of German entrepreneurs.

According to the poll on 88 German companies, the development of sales markets, supply goods to Turkish market, and greatness of export opportunities, played effective role in investments in Turkey.

Turkey's EU full-membership would also positively affect investment plans according to 83 percent of the participants of the survey.

The statement said the German investors in general had optimistic opinions about Turkey's future, and 86.8 of the companies said ''yes'' to the question ''do you think of investing again in Turkey?''

[07] TURKISH-RUSSIAN INTERPARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP MEETS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR LEBEDEV

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - The Turkish-Russian Interparliamentary Friendship Group visited Alexander Lebedev, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey on Tuesday, and urged the end of the incidents taking place in Chechnya.

Akarcalı, the Chairman of the Friendship Group staged a press briefing together with the members of the Friendship Group and said that Lebedev is also uneasy about the events and wants the clashes to end as soon as possible.

Lebedev told him that the Russians didn't cause any trouble about the landing of the Turkish planes carrying aid equipment, said Akarcalı, and added that Turkey can also coordinate the aid coming from the world.

Akarcalı stressed that Turkey can undertake an active role for the solution of this problem without upsetting its relations with the Russian Federation. Russia also pursues an attitude which separates civilian people from terrorists, he said.

Akarcalı added that the Russian Ambassador will help in realizing the wish of the Group's visit to Chechnya.

[08] FM CEM IN BRUSSELS

BRUSSELS, Dec 14 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem arrived in Brussels on Tuesday to participate in NATO North Atlantic Council meetings which will last for two days.

Foreign Ministers of 19 NATO member countries will focus on European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), and Chechnya, and later will meet with the ministers of 25 countries which are in cooperation with the alliance.

Foreign Minister Cem is foreseen to hold bilateral meetings with George Robertson, NATO Secretary General, and ministers of several countries.

NATO meetings will end on Thursday evening.

[09] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''EVENT OF CAKICI SHOWS THE LOSES WE HAVE DUE TO DEATH PENALTY IN TURKEY''

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that ''the extradition of Alaattin Cakıcı, the notorious mafia boss, to Turkey shows the loses we have due to the death penalty in Turkey.''

''Many events similar to Susurluk scandal are in total darkness. Thus I wish the death penalty to be lifted as soon as possible,'' said Ecevit.

Responding to questions of journalists, Ecevit said that ''Cakıcı was extradited to Turkey for the insignificant crimes he committed. French officials didn't accept Cakıcı to be tried in Turkey for his serious crimes, as they say there is still death penalty in Turkey. Other criminals are not extradited to Turkey when they are captured abroad as there is death penalty in Turkey.''

[10] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''CONCERNED INSTITUTIONS WERE WARNED ABOUT POSSIBILITY OF QUAKE''

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that the concerned institutions were warned by taking into consideration the views saying that ''an earthquake may occur between 14-17 December.''

When a journalists said ''Upon the information conveyed from Lithuania to Foreign Ministry saying that a quake can occur in Istanbul between 14-17 December, the Prime Ministry warned the concerned the institutions,'' Ecevit said that ''we take serious all the news which may come true.''

Ecevit stressed that it is not possible to prevent the quakes, but certain measures can be taken to decrease the damages.

''Besides, citizens should be ready for all possibilities. We received such information from a scientific institution and we warned all the concerned scientific institutions in Turkey. We hope Istanbul and Turkey won't face such a disaster,'' he added.

[11] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''DENKTAS IS RIGHT IN SOME OF HIS REACTIONS''

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that the European Union's (EU) discussion of the Cyprus issue at Helsinki summit was unlucky while the proximity talks on Cyprus were continuing in New York.

Responding to questions of journalists, Ecevit said that TRNC President Rauf Denktas was right in some of his reactions.

Ecevit said that Denktas had certain ''reactions, not worries,'' adding ''Denktas has always been conscious of the importance Turkey attributes to Cyprus issue, so he can't have any worries about this issue. Mr. Denktas is right in showing reaction to discussion of the Cyprus issue at Helsinki summit.''

Ecevit pointed out that he met with Rauf Denktas almost everyday and formed views together during the time he spent in New York, adding they will have the opportunity to have a detailed meeting with Denktas by the participation of Sukru Sina Gurel, the State Minister in Istanbul tomorrow.

Upon the words of Ismail Cem about ''television broadcasting in Kurdish,'' Ecevit said that no official meeting took place within the government about that issue.

Responding to a question about the financial aid the EU has not given to Turkey due to the veto of Greece till today, Ecevit said that ''this amount, which was unjustly vetoed, reached 3 billion dollars. However, I guess and hope that such kind of impediments won't take place after the recognition of Turkey's EU candidacy and the level reached in relations of Turkey with Greece today.''

When asked whether or not a leaders summit would take place to determine the priorities that should be undertaken after the recognition of Turkey's candidacy to the EU, Prime Minister Ecevit said that ''all the leaders and parties are in consensus of opinion about the importance of this issue, yet a meeting for a comprehensive Constitutional change didn't take place.''

[12] NEWS CONFERENCE OF TRNC PREMIER EROGLU: ''CERTAIN EXPRESSIONS USED IN HELSINKI FINAL DECLARATION ABOUT CYPRUS, CAN'T MAKE SOLUTION OF CYPRUS ISSUE EASY''

LEFKOSA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Dervis Eroglu, the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Tuesday that certain expressions used in the Helsinki Final Declaration about the Cyprus issue don't have the character of easing the solution of the problem.

Holding a press briefing, Eroglu said that the Greek Cypriot side is encouraged by such decisions, and it ignores efforts of peace and the rights of Turkish Cypriot rights.

Eroglu said that he believes giving candidacy status to Turkey is the start of a new period for Turkish nation and Europe.

''We believe that Turkey will take the place it deserves in Europe with her strong structure and geopolitical importance as soon as possible,'' Eroglu said.

EU continues to make the mistake of ignoring the TRNC and accepting the unjust application of the Greek Cypriot side on behalf of the whole Cyprus.

''Although we favour a living agreement for the island, if the EU does not give up its mistaken attitude, it will be more difficult to have an acceptable and living agreement on the Cyprus issue. We are not worried about the developments after Turkish official stressed that the attitude pursued about the Cyprus issue hasn't changed. Our national cause will reach its result in the end,'' he said.

[13] NEWS CONFERENCE OF TRNC PREMIER:

LEFKOSA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Dervis Eroglu, Prime Minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Tuesday that Turkish Cypriot people should not feel uneasy over the decisions taken in EU's Helsinki Summit regarding Cyprus.

Addressing a news conference, Eroglu said he held telephone conversations with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, and Mesut Yilmaz, leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP).
Eroglu said from the statements of Turkish government officials, he understood that there was no reason for Turkish Cyprus to feel uneasy.

''We will carry out our national case together with Turkey. A peace agreement that will be signed will certainly satify TRNC people. Our government favours peace, agreement, and compromise. If Greek Cypriot side exhibits a similar attitude, there can be a peace agreement in Cyprus. We expect EU to be more sensitive.''

Eroglu said it will be impossible for them to sign an agreement if Greek Cypriot side behaves uncompromisingly, and called on EU to cover the attitudes of Greek Cypriot sides more closely.

Eroglu said they will make a more detailed evaluation when TRNC delegation, currently in New York for proximity talks, return to the country.

Eroglu said formal candidacy of Turkey to EU was a perfect development which Turkey deserved, and expressed belief that Turkey's membership will take place soon.

[14] TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT - PREMIER ECEVIT:''WE HAVE TO OVERCOME CERTAIN ISSUES WHICH CONTRADICT WITH EU MEMBERSHIP, ONE OF THEM IS DEATH PENALTY''

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that ''we have to overcome certain issues which contradict with the membership to the European Union (EU). One of them is death penalty.''

Speaking in the parliament, Premier Ecevit said that it was the common success of all the nation including the government, opposition, parliament, state, and non-governmental organizations, and the former governments to be a candidate of EU.

The meeting of OSCE had a great symbolic and psychological effect, said Ecevit, stressing that Turks are European for 600 years although some conservatist and racist circles in Europe couldn't still digest it.

''Turkey is not only European, she is also Asian, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern. She is also a very powerful country of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. Now, Turkey is on the way to be an energy terminal in which Caspian and Caucasian oil and natural gas will be transported to world markets,'' Ecevit said.

He said that Turkey is not only a link between Europe and Asia, but also a link among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, adding Turkey is also the vanguard of democracy, modernism, and secularism among moslem countries.

''Turkey's activity in the EU will increase as much as Turkey realizes the reforms of Ataturk,'' said Ecevit.

''Main condition of accession to EU membership is full implementation of Copenhagen criteria in the fields of democracy, human rights, legal state, and economy. We can overcome our deficiences in these fields in a few months by our harmonious parliament which works rapidly. In fact, Copenhagen criteria are the assurances of the life style we deserve, not the issues the foreigners insist us to do,'' Ecevit said.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the inclusion of minority rights in Copanhagen criteria is not a problem in respect of Turkey, recalling that the minorities and their rights were determined by Lausanne Treaty.

''There is no place for a minority concept based on race as there is no racial discrimination in Turkey, said Premier Ecevit and added that France totally rejects the concept of minority and the concept changes from one EU state to others,'' he said.

Ecevit said, ''there won't be any insistence on minority issue which will upset the national unity in Turkey, said Ecevit, and pointed out that ''we are in a position to determine the pace of the transition process to full membership. We can overcome our economic problems within 2-3 years and fulfil all the conditions regarding human rights and democracy easily.''

''It is a contradiction to be against the abolishment of death penalty on the one hand and to support EU membership on the other hand. We have to end such kind of contradictions. We can't be contented with being European in our clothes, we must also reach Europe in essence. However, we can't ignore the importance of being European in respect of clothing,'' said Ecevit.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated that if secular and democratic Turkey integrates with the EU, this will contribute to overcoming the religious discrimination in Europe and in the world, and Islam's reaching the modern world.

''I believe that we can also solve our problems with Greece in the Aegean without applying to court by the powerful place Turkey has in the EU. We are both a world country and a European country from now on,'' said Ecevit, thanking to U.S. President Bill Clinton, and other statesmen who contributed to recognition of Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

[15] TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT - PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''FORMAL CANDIDACY TO EU HAS BEEN GRANTED TO TURKEY BY KNOWING OUR DETERMINATION ON TRNC. THERE IS NO NEED FOR TURKISH CYPRIOTS TO FEEL CONCERN''

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Tuesday that formal candidacy to European Union (EU) has been granted to Turkey by knowing Turkey's determination on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). ''So, there is no need for our Turkish Cypriot brothers to feel the smallest concern. Existence of TRNC is inevitable not only for Turkish Cypriots, but also for Turkey's security,'' he noted.

Prime Minister Ecevit briefed Parliamentary General Assembly about Turkey's formal candidacy process to EU. Recalling that EU roughly closed its doors to Turkey in its meetings two years ago, offended Turkey's honor, and that the hopes began to fade, Ecevit said, ''yet, I was not pessimistic. I told my citizens not to feel concern. I said EU members would knock our doors and call us. They would call us to the union insistently. Only if we should undertake our responsibilities.''

Pointing out that they knocked Turkey's doors in the end and formal candidacy has been granted to Turkey without preconditions on December 10 during Helsinki Summit, Ecevit said, ''this is an important development in our history. I wish it to be beneficial to our nation.''

Briefing about Helsinki process, Ecevit recalled that he received an invitation for a luncheon weeks before December 10. Ecevit said he told them that they will not be able to give a response before the meeting ends, and before detail of the resolution regarding Turkey is disclosed. Ecevit said he told them that Turkey will announce its decision after it receives the statement and after evaluating it in Council of Ministers.

Ecevit pointed our that Turkey's formal candidacy was accepted without a precondition in the statement, adding that the statement stressed that it will be in equal status with the other candidate countries. ''Thus, doors of full membership has been opened to Turkey. This was a positive development.''

Ecevit said final statement appreciated the steps taken by Turkey to harmonize with Copenhagen Criteria, and noted that, ''yet, there was an expression in the final statement which could be interpreted as bringing our conflicts with Greece to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2004 the latest. We have conveyed them that we could not accept this. Again in the final statement, an impression has been given that EU full membership right could be recognized to Cyprus if a result could not be obtained from the talks on Cyprus. We said we could not accept this either. An intense diplomacy traffic has been recorded between Turkey and Helsinki on December 10 night. Heads of State and Governments, Foreign Ministers, Union Administrators in Helsinki had insistent requests and calls on us not to reject the formal candidacy that has been granted to us.''

Ecevit said, ''Bill Clinton, the U.S. President, called me on the phone late at night and claimed that the decision taken in Helsinki was a victory, and advised me to evaluate this opportunity. It was clear that Clinton suggested the member countries to be more understanding to Turkey.''

Ecevit said in the meantime a delegation composed of the EU high level officials visited Ankara. He said Paova Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland, the EU Term President, sent a letter and clarified the decision.

Ecevit said in the letter the year 2004 was not mentioned as a deadline for the solution of conflicts regarding Aegean problems and for bringing the issues to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, adding that 2004 was mentioned as the date when Council of Europe will review the situation. Ecevit said the letter also pointed out that all factors will be taken into consideration while taking decisons related with Cyprus.

Ecevit said this letter which stressed that final statement should be evaluated under the light of this explanation, was included in the EU law as an additional text to Helsinki resolutions.

''So, we accepted the invitation and the formal candidacy as the Council of Ministers and by taking the positive views of our President. Also, in our statements we have stressed that the fact that there are two separate states in Cyprus could not be ignored, and the more Greek Cypriot side administration and EU integrate, the more we are resolved to integrate with the TRNC.''

Ecevit said all representatives expressed pleasure over the formal candidacy granted to Turkey.

''How and why did the attitude of EU towards Turkey changed so much in two years?'' asked Ecevit, and went on as saying:

''We had adopted a definite attitude following Luxembourg Summit. We had said we could not give up full membership right, but we could not turn it into an obsession at the same time. We will carry out our relations with the member countries, but we would not discuss political issues with them. We kept our promise. We had proved that we could open to the world without being a member of the EU and that we could be strengthened despite the hard problems.''

''It was obvious that we had benefits in EU membership, but Europe had benefits in Turkey too. Yet, perception of these facts were not adequate for EU to open its doors to Turkey,'' Ecevit said, adding that, ''at the same time, we had to prove that there could be harmonization between Turkey and the EU in the fields of human rights, democracy, and social life. We had to overcome structural problems of the economy in the near future.''

Ecevit said Turkey realized nearly 100 Constitutional and legal changes in six months, and removed deficiences in the fields of human rights and democracy. He said bold decisions have been taken in economic and social fields.

''As huge steps followed each other, Turkey's respectability and credibility increased in the world. Harmonization in coalition government was also effective. Promotion of non-governmental organizations and voluntary organizations were also effective. Social solidarity exhibited in quake disaster increased Turkey's respectability. Turkey hosted Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) extremely successful and in a modern way. All these were effective in gaining the formal candidacy,'' Ecevit stressed.

[16] HISTORIC DECISION FROM ECHR FOR WESTERN THRACE - ECHR SENTENCES GREECE TO PAY COMPENSATION IN A CASE OPENED BY XHANTI MUFTI

STRASBOURG, Dec 14 (A.A) - European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday found Greece guilty and sentenced this country to pay compensation after a complaint made by Ibrahim Serif, Mufti of Xhanti.

ECHR decided that Greece violated Article 9 of European Convention on Human Rights related with freedom of thought and conscience by preventing Serif to act as Mufti and trying him in the court with the pretext that he provoked people. EHRC then sentenced Greece to pay Ibrahim Serif a compensation of 2.7 million drachmas.

The reasoned verdict of ECHR said they regarded the issue from the point of democratic pluralism, noting that the intervention of Greece contradicted with the principle of democratic community, and that it could not be shown as justified in respect to public order.

Ibrahim Serif, in his deposition to ECHR, said Greece, who prevented him from being the Mufti, violated human rights by judging and sentencing him with the pretext that he provoked people.

Serif was elected as the Mufti in elections that was held among Turkish minority, yet Greece said it did not accept this election and appointed its candidate as the Mufti. Greece later sentenced Serif on grounds that he provoked people.

Serif, in his deposition to ECHR, pointed out that Greece violated Article 6,9, and 10 of European Convention on Human Rights which is related with the right of defense and religious freedoms.

[17] HOMBACH, SPECIAL COORDINATOR OF STABILITY PACT, DUE TO TURKEY

ANKARA, Dec 14 (A.A) - Bodo Hombach, the Special Coordinator of the Southeastern Europe Stability Pact, will come to Turkey on Wednesday.

A statement of the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the Stability Pact which was adopted in the Foreign Ministers' meeting in Cologne on June 10, 1999 will be revised during the official visit of Hombach.

The officials will draw the attention of Hombach to Turkey's ideas and expectations from the implementation of the Stability Pact during the visit, the statement noted.

The statement stressed that Turkey believes that the Stability Pact is a significant and comprehensive step taken to democratize and restructure the region and overcome the security problems in the Balkans.

Hombach is expected to be received by President Suleyman Demirel and meet the government officials and the representatives of the private sector.

The Stability Pact consists of 15 European Union countries; nine regional countries including Turkey and Greece; the U.S.; Russia; Japan; Canada; and 20 international organizations.

[18] Anadolu Ajansı


Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
Back to Top
Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
All Rights Reserved.

HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
anadolu2html v1.01 run on Thursday, 16 December 1999 - 10:59:26 UTC