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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-19

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

19 December 1999 Sunday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 19, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

MINISTERS DISCUSS CAKICI ISSUE
The arrest of Alaattin Cakıcı, the notorious mafia boss who was extradited by France to Turkey, without any interrogation caused a conflict between two ministers. Tantan, the minister of interior says that ''we made an offical application for the interrogation'' and showed the document. Hikmet Sami Turk, the minister of justice denied the statement of Tantan saying that there is no official application. Turk said that he ordered the prosecutors to arrest Cakıcı without any interrogation. An official from the internal ministry claimed that the justice minister impeded the interrogation by this order.

WE WERE EUROPEAN 143 YEARS AGO
We forgot our adventure of being European which we experienced 143 years ago. The Ottoman Empire became a European state on March 30, 1856 after the Crimean War and entered the Council of European States which can be compared to the European Union (EU) today.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

Huseyin Poyrazoglu, the Prosecutor of Kartal Prison where notorious mafia bosses are imprisoned said that ''these people are not that strong, in fact they are weak. The corridors of Kartal prison are monitored by cameras. We won't bring these people together. They are also not permitted to have their mobile phones.''

ECEVIT PRAISES STUDENTS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said about the trial of children who protested with banners and asked for a teacher, Ecevit said ''we must thank to these good intentioned students who drew attention to the need for teachers.'' Commenting on the retirement pensions of the parliamentarians, known as the ''smart retirement'' among the public, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said he found it strange that the retirement regulations were discussed in the Parliament in the very early morning like it is hidden from the public opinion.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

DEMIREL:''WE SHOULD WAIT FOR DECISION OF ECHR BEFORE EXECUTING OCALAN''
Presiden Suleyman Demirel said the government was inclined to wait for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) before executing the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan and added that he agreed with the government on this issue. Demirel said doing the opposite of this would be contrary to Turkey's interests while Turkey took an important step to enter the EU.

ECEVIT:''DEATH PENALTY LIMITS US''
''We are doing nothing but limiting ourself by not abolishing the death penalty. That is why we fail to clarify incidents like Susurluk,'' Ecevit told reporters on the bus while he was going to Zonguldak on Saturday. Responding to another question about discrimination against people of Kurdish origin, Ecevit said all citizens of Turkey benefit from the same democracy. ''As we remove the deficiencies in our democracy, all citizens regardless of their origin will naturally start benefiting from democracy, '' he said.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

DIGITAL DOOMSDAY CIRCULAR
The Prime Ministry announced that public institutions whose automation systems are not compatible with Y2K problem could ask for help from the Prime Ministry Crisis Center if they encounter any problems that might arise from the computers on January 1.

TEMA FOUNDATION TARGETS TO PREVENT EROSION THROUGH
ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT
Authorities from TEMA (Turkish Foundation to Combat Erosion for the Reforestration and for the Protection of Natural Habitats) said erosion and desertification could be prevented by offering optional jobs to people who live in rural areas. TEMA is seeking for sponsors who will prepare the projects that will prove the feasibility of this plan. People who live in rural areas get between 260 and 350 U.S. dollars from the national income and the project could pull this up to 1,730 U.S. dollars. People immigrate from rural areas as the land becomes poorer due to erosion, Metin Senol from TEMA said.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

The ''smart retirement'' proposal which the parliamentarians tried to pass in early morning hours on Saturday was frozen due to reactions coming from people and crisis among the coalition partners. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that ''he found it strange that the proposal was discussed so early in the morning as if trying to hide it from the public.'' Leaders of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), True Path Party (DYP) and the Virtue Party (FP) also spoke negatively of the proposal and said ''smart retirement'' would make people lose their trust in the Parliament.

ECEVIT:''THANK YOU CHILDREN''
Speaking about the children who were tried at the court for protesting and asking for a teacher, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said ''we should say thank you to those children rather than judging them.'' Ecevit noted that the children tried to draw attention to the insufficient number of teachers and they carried good intentions while doing that. ''There are inbalances in our justice system and it should be revised. This is what Democratic Left Party's (DSP) amnesty draft law was based on,'' he said.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

''SMART RETIREMENT LAW'' SHELVED
The draft law known as ''smart law on retirement pension of deputies'' which caused reaction in the public opinion, was shelved for the moment. The draft is expected to be taken up later. Bulent Ecevit, the Prime Minister and the leader of the Democratic Left Party

(DSP) and Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) met the other night and discussed the draft. They reached a consensus noting that the draft was brought to the parliament not in a good time.

U.N. TAKES A STEP BACK AGAIN
The U.N. which used the name of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the document which extends the term in office of the U.N. Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus, took a step back again due to the reaction of the Greek Cypriot side. The U.N. officials pointed out that there is no change in the policy of the U.N. regarding the Cyprus question.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

THEY WANT US TO DIE
While people were expecting the Value Added Tax on medicine and hospitals to be lifted, the percentage of the tax has been increased to 17 percent.

[03] PARLIAMENT STARTS TO DISCUSS DRAFT LAW ON 2000 FINANCIAL YEAR BUDGET

ANKARA, Dec 19 (A.A) - Parliament started to discuss the draft law on 2000 financial year budget on Sunday.

The parliament's general council convened the same day at 11.00 a.m. The budget of the Foreign Ministry will be discussed on Wednesday and that of the Justice Ministry will be discussed on Friday.

Sumer Oral, the Minister of Finance started his speech to introduce the draft law on 2000 Financial Year budget. The group spokesmen of the Virtue Party (FP), the Motherland Party (ANAP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the True Path Party (DYP) will speak about the draft law respectively after Oral. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is also expected to respond to criticisms about the bill.

The discussion of the budget will be completed on December 28.

[04] KARKAMIS DAM AND HYDROELECTRIC CENTRAL TO BE OPENED ON MONDAY

ANKARA, Dec 19 (A.A) - Karkamis Dam and hydroelectric central will open on Monday with a ceremony which will be attended by President Suleyman Demirel.

Karkamis Dam, which is a part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), is located 4.5 kilometers north of Turkey-Syria border. The central will produce 652.5 million kilowatt/hour electrical energy.

Karkamis Dam's construction started on May 25, 1996 and it was run by a Turkish-Austrian consortium. The project was completely financed by foreign credit.

Karkamis dam and hydroelectric central cost a total of 176,4 million U.S. dollars.

The completion of this facility marks another important step of GAP.

[05] TURKISH ECONOMY EXPECTED TO SHRINK 2 PERCENT THIS YEAR AND GROW 5.5 PERCENT IN 2000

ANKARA, Dec 19 (A.A) - Turkish economy is expected to shrink 2 percent by the end of 1999 and grow 5 percent in 2000.

The EU economy, on the other hand, will grow 2.1 in 1999 and 2.7 in 2000 with an inflation rate of 1.6 percent.

The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat said the drop in the economic growth which was due to the global crisis was a short term decline and the economy revived in the second half of 1999.

In the EU, in 1998, 1.7 million people were employed and this figure is expected to rise to 2.5 in 1999 and 2000. The unemployment rate in 1999 and 2000 is expected to drop down to 9.2 percent in the EU.

According to the data included in 2000 year's investment programme, Turkish economy grew by 3.8 percent in 1998. However in 1999, it shrunk by 2 percent.

The increase in the Gross National Product (GNP) for the year 2000 is estimated as 5.5 percent.

In 1999, in Turkey, employment increased by 2.2 percent and reached 21.5 million. The unemployment rate rose from 6.3 to 7.3 percent.

The inflation rate for 1998 was 69.7 percent. The inflation rate for 1999 is expected to be 64 percent and it is targeted to pull it down to 25 percent next year.

The export rate which increased by 2.7 percent in 1998 is expected to drop 3.6 percent at the end of 1999. It is targeted to increase Turkey's export rate by 8.7 percent and make it 28.3 billion U.S. dollars next year.

The import rate dropped by 5.4 percent in 1998 and 12.5 percent in 1999. It is expected to increase by 14.4 percent in 2000 due to the rise in domestic demand and growth in production.

Below are EU's and Turkey's macroeconomic indications:

EU TURKEY
------------------- ----------------
1998 1999* 2000** 1998 1999* 2000**

---- ---- ----- ----- ---- -------
Growth rate (%) 2.9 2.1 2.7 3.8 -2.0 5.5

Unemployment rate(%) 10.0 9.6 9.2 12.2 14.2 14.2

Inflation (Cons.prices)(%) 1.7 1.3 1.6 69.7 64.0 25.0

Import growth rate(%) 7.1 5.9 6.7 -5.4 -12.5 14.4

Export growth rate(%) 7.0 4.7 6.2 2.7 -3.6 8.7

*1999 estimations

Estimated values

</pre>

[06] PRESIDENT DEMIREL:''EUROPE WITHOUT TURKEY, TURKEY WITHOUT EUROPE IS UNTHINKABLE''

ANKARA, Dec 19 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday night that Europe without Turkey and Turkey without Europe is unthinkable.

''We don't want to be a burden on others. We want to be partners. We will be partners in the development of civilization,'' told Demirel in a television programme broadcast in a private channel.

The decision of Turkey's candidacy to the EU was expected, said Demirel adding that this had positive impact not only in Turkey, but also in Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans.

Demirel pointed out that ''the most important value of the EU decision about Turkey is political. It means the recognition of Turkey's value and role for the region.''

Stressing that Turkey became the 16th biggest economy of the world, Demirel stated that Turkey is the closest country to Europe when compared to other candidate countries in respect of democracy and legal state.

''70 percent of Turkey's trade is with European countries,'' said Demirel adding Turkey has to abide by the standarts in Europe.

[07] MARDIN AIRPORT OPENS

MARDIN, Dec 19 (A.A) - Minister of Transportation Enis Oksuz who attended the opening of Mardin Airport said the new airport would greatly contribute to the economic and social development of Mardin.

Oksuz reminded that railroad project works of Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) continued and Yuksekova Airport will be put out to tender in the coming days.

Topa Bilgetin Toker, the Acting Director of State Airports Management who also spoke at the opening noted that the flight security systems in Turkish airports are continiously modernized.

Mardin Airport is 2,500 meters long and 30 meters wide. It has a terminal building of 2,000 squaremeters and it is equipped with all kinds of systems for arrivals and departures which take place at night.

-<B>SANBERK, TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO BRITAIN</B> ASSURES GUARANTEE TO TURKISH CYPRIOTS
LONDON, Dec 19 (A.A) - Ozdem Sanberk, the Turkish Ambassador to Britain explained what Turkey's EU candidacy meant for Cyprus issue to the representatives of the Association of Turkish Cypriots in Britain on Sunday.

Sanberk stressed that Turkey can't give up its right cause of Cyprus, adding ''this is not only due to the sensitivity we have to protect the rights of our kinsmen living in Cyprus, but also due to fulfilling the necessities of the security balances in East Mediterranean. Turkey will never give up its determination about Cyprus issue.''

Turkey's EU candidacy can cause positive developments in respect of the solution of Cyprus and Aegean problems, said Sanberk and added that another determination is to prevent the membership of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU by using the legal veto right given to Turkey by London and Zurich Agreements.

The claim of the Greek Cypriot side saying that it is the representative of the whole Cyprus began to be refuted and the world started the accepted that the government founded there is an imaginary one.

Sanberk added that the world public opinion started to discuss the confederation proposal of Turkey, noting the first stage is to make the world accept that there are two sovereign states on the island.

[09] EXPLOSION IN SHOPPING MALL CARREFOUR IN ISTANBUL - ANOTHER EXPLOSION TAKES PLACE - ONE WOMAN SLIGHTLY INJURED

ISTANBUL, Dec 19 (A.A) - Another explosion took place in the Shopping Mall Carrefour in Kozyatagı, Kadıkoy district of Istanbul after the first explosion on Sunday. One woman was slightly injured during the explosions.

The first explosion took place in the spirits part of the mall arond 3.15 p.m. Very few customers were in that part of the mall and one customer was slightly injured. She was taken to the infirmary of the shopping mall.

The explosion caused panic in other parts of the mall which took place due to a pipe bomb planted among bottles.

After 10 minutes another explosion took place in the car park of the mall. The explosion of a a time bomb caused material damage.

The security guards couldn't check the packages and bags of the all customers while entering the mall as there were many customers.

Meanwhile all the security measures were tightened in big shopping malls in Istanbul.

[10] DEMIREL SAYS TERRORISM PROBLEM MOSTLY OVERCOME, NOW IT'S TIME TO RECONSTRUCT TERRORISM STRUCK SOUTHEAST

MARDIN, Dec 19 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Sunday that the terrorism problem was mostly overcome and the government would soon start reconstructing the southeast Turkey which suffered most from terrorism.

Demirel was given a briefing from Mardin Governor Fikret Guven following the opening of Mardin Governor's Residence.

''Bandaging the wounds of terrorism and giving people their normal life back is the priority,'' Demirel said.

Demirel also pointed out to the growing city and asked the authorities to preserve the old settlement area.

In Mardin, President Demirel attended the opening of Hikmet Ulugbay Elementary School, Yesilli Boarding School and a Guest House for Police Officers.

[11] EXPLOSION IN SHOPPING MALL IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL, Dec 19 (A.A) - Following the two blasts at Carrefour Shopping Mall in Istanbul's Kadikoy Kozyatagi district, shoppers are not allowed to enter the parts of the mall which suffered damage, but other parts have been reopened to the customers.

Two blasts occured at the busy mall at 15.15 and 15.25 at Carrefour Hypermarket and the parking lot. The situation is back to normal and the bomb experts finished their examinations on the scene.

The cameramen and reporters who gathered around the area where the blasts took place were not allowed to get close to the area and were told that the damage was minor.

In the meantime, it was reported that the police received a tip-off call one hour before the explosions and they were investigating the area when the bombs went off.

[12] Anadolu Ajansı


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