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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-18

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

18 December 1999 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

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

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

''WE OPENED A NEW PAGE IN EUROPE''
Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister told Hurriyet that he believed the decision the European Union (EU) gave about Turkey would open a new page in European history. ''We were very pleased about the decision, the reform programme of the EU and the Turkish-Greek dialogue. The support given to the proximity talks on Cyprus also pleased us. These are brave steps. Helsinki summit confirmed that all the candidates are subject to the same membership criteria,'' he said.

PARIS-MATCH:''TURKEY WILL CATCH DEVELOPMENT''
The weekly French magazine Paris-Match published an appendix upon Turkey. It says that even the natural disaster didn't upset the trust of the foreign investors in this strong country. After the two quake disasters, Turkey was succesful in overcoming many of her problems, the magazine stressed.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TOURISM MINISTER MUMCU:''TOURISM MINISTRY IS OBSOLESCENT, I'LL
CLOSE IT''
Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu said Tourism Ministry was obsolescent and made an initiative to close his ministry. Mumcu said he expected support from the government and the Parliament to apply his decision which he defined as a ''reform''. According to Mumcu, now it is the age of civil initiative. He said civil initiative should be given more governing power and authority.

KIVRIKOGLU: ''EU IS FOR TURKEY'S BENEFIT''
Chief of General Staff Kivrikoglu said the Turkish Armed Forces was an institution which supported everything that is for the benefit of the Turkish people. ''We also fully support Turkey's membership to the EU,'' Kivrikoglu said. About the abolishment of death penalty, Kivrikoglu stated that first the judiciary, then the Parliament must decide on the issue. ''We would respect the Parliament's decision,'' he said.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

KIVRIKOGLU, A DEMOCRAT COMMANDER
General Huseyin Kıvrıkoglu, the Chief of General Staff said that ''we respect the decision of the parliament regarding the death penalty given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK. We are the fighting side and we are struggling with the terrorist PKK for 15 years. According to the Constitution, the final word will be said by the parliament.'' He added that the army also supports the membership of Turkey to the EU.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

ANITKABIR IN DANGER
Ataturk's mausoleum, Anitkabir whose maintenence and repair was not done for 20 years is facing the danger to collapse because its main pillars worn out due to humidity and lack of air circulation. Underneath the mausoleum, there are chambers 15 meter deep made of concrete. Anitbakir was designed like a ship floating on water. It also used to have an excellent vantillation system, however the holes through which the air goes were covered with asphalf and there is no air circulating in these chambers now, Ismail Coksayar from Izomas Engineering explained.

A SHAME OF LAW
All segments of the society reacted against the trial of children whose only crime was to march with banners and ask for a teacher. Students of Ataturk Chifligi Primary School, between ages of 6 and 12, were tried at Istanbul Children's Court. The court postponed the trial to February 16 but reactions continue. Rahsan Ecevit, Deputy leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) asked the court to ''give an advice'' to the children and release them.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

TAKE YOUR HAND OUT OF MY POCKET
None of the additional taxes the government adopted to create sources following the earthquake disasters can't lift the burden on the goverment to pay the retirement payments to deputies. It seems that the money collected will all be used to pay this huge amount of money to retired deputies.

BAYRAMPASA REVOLT PRISON
Another revolt took place in Bayrampasa prison again. It is stated that the event took place due to the conflict that erupted between the director of the prison and the prisoners about the amount of the bribery to stop transfers from the prison.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

DREAMS WILL COME TRUE
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said Turkey made a good start to the 21st century and added that Turkey's expectations will be met in the next decade. ''Turks always made progress when they managed to find a balance between the East and the West throughout the history. We are working to realize this through the EU. Once it enters the EU, Turkey will be representing a very wide range of societies from Central Asia to Middle East and will help to maintain a balance between the east and the west,'' Cem explained.

''2000'' SUGGESTIONS
While many banks are getting ready to deal with the Y2K problem, the Advisory Council decided to close all the banks in the afternoon of December 31. If necessary measures are not taken, the Y2K problem may affect all fields of life including the finance sector. Many foreign countries also close their banks on December 31 to avoid any possible problems that might arise from the computers.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

HOMEWORK STARTS
The Parliamentary Compromise Commission started to take step for the EU standarts. The commission will propose the party leaders for a summit. The commission which is composed of representatives of the five parties, held its first meeting to adapt the Constitution and the laws to the EU law. The commission will ask for support from the leaders of the five parties.

MHP REACTS TO YILMAZ
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) reacted to the words of Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) who said in Diyarbakır that ''Both Turks and Kurds deserve democracy.'' Sadi Somuncuoglu, the State Minister from MHP said that ''those who can't choose their words correctly to gain votes, give damage to Turkey''

[03] FULL SUPPORT EXPRESSED FOR UN'S EFFORTS TO BRING SOLUTION TO CYPRUS PROBLEM

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 18 (A.A) - The U.S. and the European Union (EU), during the summit in Washington, D.C on Friday, expressed full support for the efforts to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem within the decisions of the UN Security Council.

About the approval of Turkey's EU candidacy, the U.S representatives said they were very pleased about this development.

U.S. President Bill Clinton, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, European Commission Chairman Romano Prodi, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other high level representatives from the U.S. and EU attended the meeting.

The attenders of the meeting expressed their views on a wide range of subjects from Chechnya to World Trade Organization and Kosovo.

Peace in the Mediterranean and maintanence of stability and development is essential for a transatlantic dialogue. Within the framework of UN Security Council's decisions, the U.S. and the EU will continue to extend full support to efforts that would create favourable grounds for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The two sides will work together during the proximity talks run by the UN Secretary General. They will be in close cooperation regarding the key role Turkey could play in the whole region, it was stated in the final declaration.

Following the meeting, Alan Larson, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State in charge of economy told reporters that he was very happy that Turkey became an EU candidate.

When asked how long Turkey's candidacy would last before it becomes a full member, Larson said that this depended on the EU and Turkey and added that his country could not make a comment on this.

Larson also declined to comment when asked if the Greek side of Cyprus could become an EU member before the Cyprus issue reaches a solution.

In the statement read out after the U.S.-EU summit, Russia's military methods used in Chechnya were condemned. No sanctions were proposed against Russia and the sides only called on Russia to reach a solution through dialogue and stop to use military methods.

[04] COMMANDER OF U.N. PEACE KEEPING FORCE IN CYPRUS CHANGES

NEW YORK, Dec 18 (A.A) - The commander of the U.N. Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) changed on Friday.

General De Vergara transferred the mission to the new commander Victory Rana.

The two commanders came together with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan the same day.

The U.N. Security Council extended the term office of the UNFICYP on Wednesday till 15 July, 2000.

An agreement has to be signed between UNFICYP commandership and TRNC Foreign Ministry as TRNC didn't approve this extension of term office.

Diplomatic sources said that this situation will take place for the first time and it means ''the U.N. recognizes the sovereignty of TRNC.''

[05] TOURISM MINISTER MUMCU SAYS PRIVATE SECTOR CAN HANDLE TOURISM BETTER

ANTALYA, Dec 18 (A.A) - Tourism Minister, Erkan Mumcu said that tourism, because of its special structure, could be best handled by the private sector, when he visited Antalya Fair and Congress Center on Saturday.

When reminded of his comments about closing the Tourism Ministry, Mumcu said the problem was how to make the civilian initiative functional. ''Organized private sector can run this job much more successfully. I have some plans which doubtlessly need to be approved by the government and Parliament,'' Mumcu said. The Tourism Ministry could be annuled in 2001 if the Parliament approves it, he noted.

''My goal is to decrease the number of ministries. Too much bureucracy does not mean that service is very well. I can find myself another job,'' Mumcu told reporters.

Mumcu said promotion activities they planned for 2000 also included sportive, cultural and artistic activities in Turkey. Aspendos is one of the spots where we made preparations for. The other one is Antalya Fair Organization Co. (ANFAS),'' Mumcu noted.

Within the framework of international promotion activities, Mumcu said they are planning to invite world famous personalities or troops like Madonna and Bolshoi Ballet to Turkey.

[06] PARLIAMENT ADOPTS BILL THAT MAKES CHANGES IN BANK LAW

ANKARA, Dec 18 (A.A) - The bill that makes changes in the Banking Law was adopted by the Parliament on Friday.

According to the enacted bill, the Banking Regulation and Inspection Council will be composed of seven members including one chairman and one deputy chairman. The members of the Council will be appointed by the Council of Ministers upon the proposal of the concerned ministry. At least three members of the Council will have experience of 10 years in the banking field.

The members of the Council won't work in any institution that is within the scope of this law within two years following their termination of term in office.

The foundation of a bank or opening a branch of a foreign bank in Turkey will be permitted by the votes of at least five members of the Council.

The members of the Council will be appointed till March 31, 2000 and the Council will start working till August 31, 2000. The private financial institutions will be subject to the Banking law. Banks won't give credits more than 25 percent of their sources to a real or legal person under the new law. Finnally the banks whose financial structure are weak, can be transferred to the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund by at least votes of the five member of the Council.

[07] STATE MINISTER YALOVA SAYS BALKAN NEWS AGENCIES HAVE GREAT RESPONSIBILITY IN PROTECTING PEACE IN THEIR REGION

KUSADASI, Dec 18 (A.A) - State Minister Yuksel Yalova said news agencies in the Balkans had great responsibilities to protect peace in their areas, when he spoke at the Association of Balkan Countries News Agencies' (ABNA) 9th General Council meeting.

''While we're entering a new millenium, the media is determining the agenda of the countries and the world,'' Yalova noted. Reporters and especially new agency correspondents have great responsibility to transmit accurate news to people.

Yalova said the Balkans were the strategically most important region of the world since the peace and stability in this region directly affected Europe.

''Peace and stability in the Balkans does not only depend on the media, but on all institutions. But media has a more effective position,'' he went on to say.

Throughout the history, all Balkan countries were molded with the same culture, he said and added that cultural richness was the biggest asset of a country.

ABNA which was founded to form professional cooperation between the Balkan news agencies aims to make the news agencies share information and experience among each other.

''The close cooperation among the agencies will help you to write more objective news, pay attention not to hurt the moral values of countries and bring long lasting peace to our region. We should never forget that problems could be solved through dialogue, cooperation and understanding,'' Yalova concluded.

[08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT IN ZONGULDAK: ''WE'LL GET THE PLACE WE DESERVE IN EUROPE''

ANKARA, Dec 18 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that Turkey will improve her democratic standarts and economy in a short period of time, adding ''we'll fulfil the necessary conditions for full membership to EU and get the place we deserve in Europe.''

Addressing to people in front of the Worker Monument in Zonguldak province, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that coal miners contributed to rescue works during the quake disasters.

The number of the miners working in the structure of Turkish Coal Institution (TTK) decreased in a degree to upset the production, Ecevit said adding that the Prime Ministry gave the necessary permission to TTK Directorate to appoint 3700 workers.

Ecevit said that quotas will be given to families of the miners who died during the appointments which will be made in the coming days, adding ''the miners will be determined by lots by the presence of the notary public.''

''There is no early retirement in any part of the world, we have to adjust ourselves to the world,'' Ecevit stressed.

When the economic projects prepared by the government start to be implemented, the provinces of Zonguldak, Bartın and Karabuk will attract people, he said.

Ecevit stressed that Turkey will overcome the bottleneck soon by her economic potential, adding Turkey is accepted among the most powerful 20 economies of the world and her candidacy to the EU was accepted.

''Certain western circles launched great efforts to keep Turkey out of Europe in the near past. They were saying that Turkey could never be European. I was telling to my people not to worry. One day the EU would knock on our door and tell us to join them, I had said. This is what exactly happened in Helsinki. But this is not enough. We have to be a full member of the EU as soon as possible. We will improve our democracy and human rights in a short period of time. I hope we will recover our economy in three years,'' said Ecevit.

The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) breaks records, the inflation and interest rates started to decrease and citizens started to direct their savings to investment, said Ecevit and noted that Turkey's respect in the world increases rapidly.

Ecevit pointed out that Turkey is a key country regarding European and Asian integration, adding that he believes Turkey and Greece will solve their problems on the table and through dialogue earlier than four years.

The U.N. and the whole world started to accept that there are two states on Cyprus, ended Ecevit.

[09] PROF. ISIKARA SAYS GOLCUK WILL BE SAFEST SETTLEMENT AREA OF NEXT CENTURY

GOLCUK, Dec 18 (A.A) - Prof. Mete Isikara, the General Director of Kandilli Observatory said Golcuk would be one of the safest areas in the next century when he addressed to Golcuk people at a conference on Saturday.

The earthquake risk no longer exists for Kocaeli and Golcuk, Isikara said. There could be only aftershocks which will become less frequent in time, he added.

''The earthquake on August 17 was one of the biggest disasters of this century but we left the bad days behind us. Because the whole fault line between the gulf and Bolu broke. I can easily tell you that Golcuk will be a very safe settlement area in the next century. Nobody should have any doubts about this,'' he explained.

One of the students who was among the listeners asked Isikara why multi- storey buildings were allowed to be built on the fault line. ''The municipalities have the biggest responsibility. I'm asking them not to risk the future of people for the sake of getting votes. We are also guilty. We never examined the buildings we live in. The earthquake does not kill people, the collapsed buildings do. The irresponsible constructions are the single cause of this high death toll,'' Isikara answered.

[10] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SAYS GOVERNMENT WORKING ON MEASURES THAT WOULD REPLACE EMERGENCY RULE IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST TURKEY

ANKARA, Dec 18 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said the emergency rule in East and Southeast regions would soon be lifted completely and it should be replaced by new regulations, when he visited Zonguldak Governor Ismet Metin on Saturday.

''In the security field, Turkish Armed Forces created great relief in the area. Of course, we need new regulations that will replace the emergency rule and we are working on this. I hope the emergency rule will soon be completely lifted. However we need measures that will develop economy in the whole region as Mr. Yilmaz stated,'' he said.

About the trial of children who protested and asked for a teacher, Ecevit said the National Education Minister also said their trial was unnecessary. ''There are some deficiencies in our legal system. I don't have the right to criticize our justice system but the unbalanced points in our legal system should be corrected,'' Ecevit commented.

Ecevit later visited the example prefabricated huts and tents and thanked the coal miners for their participation in the rescue efforts after the earthquakes.

Prime Minister Ecevit later left Zonguldak to return to the capital.

-<B>PRESIDENT DEMIREL OPENS OZLUCE DAM:</B> ''WE ENTER 2000S WITH DEMOCRACY IN ONE HAND AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE OTHER''
ELAZIG, Dec 18 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that Turkey enters 2000s with democracy in one hand and development in the other hand, adding ''even if there are people who want to hinder inner peace, my citizens won't support them.''

Participating in the opening of the installations of Ozluce Dam and Hydroelectric power plant, President Demirel said that 273 trillion liras were spent for the dam and 85 citizens died either by terrorism or industrial accidents.

''Why do certain circles want to hinder the things we do? Why are the soldiers and security forces of this country killed? We will produce electricity from this Peri Stream. The Turkish Republic brought electricity and water to all villages of this country,'' he said.

Referring to international developments that took place recently, President Demirel said that 55 countries discussed world issues in Istanbul during the OSCE summit and European countries which convened in Helsinki decided to accept Turkey to the EU.

''A few days ago, 20 states convened in Berlin. Turkey is also among those countries called G-20. Turkey is a world country and a peaceful country,'' said Demirel.

Demirel stressed that Keban dam which functions for 25 years, brings an income of 7.5 billion dollars to Turkey and an income of 15 trillion liras will be gained by Ozluce dam.

Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Cumhur Ersumer said in his part that it is not possible to meet the whole energy need of Turkey from hydraulic sources. Ersumer pointed out that the energy sources in 1999 will increase by 11.5 percent, adding ''Turkey won't have an energy difficulty in the process extending to 2020.''

[12] 9TH GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING OF ABNA ENDS

KUSADASI, Dec 18 (A.A) -The Nineth General Council meeting of Association of Balkan News Agencies (ABNA) hosted by the Anadolu Ajansi (A.A) ended on Saturday.

At the end of the meeting, the A.A handed over the term presidency to Athens News Agency.

At the meeting, the attenders discussed various issues including development of relations among the news agencies, exchange of news and photography, technical cooperation and publication of news regarding personnel training and exchange on ABNA's webpage.

[13] Anadolu Ajansı


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