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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-22

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

22 December 1999 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 22, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

GULAY ASLITURK ARRESTED IN LONDON
The Scotland Yard stated that Gulay Asliturk, former Mayor of Sisli, was arrested in London. The Bow Street Magistrate Court decided to release her on bail of 250 thousand British Pounds. Asliturk was arrested by officers from the Scotland Yard's metropolitan service extradition unit at lunch time at a business premises at Croydon district in Southern London. Turkey sent a file against Asliturk requesting her extradition on charges of ''giving harm to public property and misuse of authority.''

AFTERSHOCKS CONTINUE
As aftershocks continue to shake disaster area in the wake of the two massive earthquakes, mild earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 4.1 occured in Tekirdag, Erzurum, Kars and Izmir provinces.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

DISASTER DOES NOT END
The disasters did not end in the temporary encampments. Seven tents in Izmit completely burned in the fire. The fire broke out due to the LPG canister blast. Tents fell down due to the strong wind of 75 kph in Kocaeli, Yalova and Bolu. Seven quake survivors were injured due to the strong wind.

MILLENIUM BUG BAN IN STRAITS
The Undersecretariat of Maritime will take measures in Istanbul and Canakkale Straits to prevent the millenium gap known as Y2T problem. A statement of the Undersecretariat of Maritime said that it will take some measures in Istanbul and Canakkale Straits between 8.00 local time on December 31, 1999 and 12.00 local time on January 1, 2000 within the framework of the millenium gap. All the cargo ships which are heavier than 3000 GRT, will be prevented from entering into the Straits between 6.00 p.m. on December 31, 1999 and 6.00 a.m. on January 1, 2000; the statement noted. The statement stressed that the ships which are bigger than 200 meters long, will not be allowed to enter in the Straits between 4.00 p.m. on December 31, 1999 and 7.00 a.m. on January 1, 2000.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

SECURITY DEPARTMENT: ''WE DID NOT QUESTION CAKICI''
The Department of Security denied statements of Alaattin Cakici, the notorious mafia boss, who claimed that he was questioned in the security department. The written statement of the Department of Security said that Cakici was handed over to the prosecutor's office without any interrogation and without taking his testimony on the instruction of Bakirkoy Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office.

PREMIER ECEVIT'S EU GIANT LEAP FORWARD
Premier Bulent Ecevit took a giant leap forward regarding the European Union (EU). Ecevit gave an instruction to set up a Human Rights Directorate. This initiative is at the stage of Council of Ministers'. Three separate units will be set up regarding the human rights issue. These will be titled ''Human Rights Directorate'', ''Human Rights Supreme Board'' and ''Human Rights Consultation Council''. These units will be directly bound to the Prime Ministry.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''I DO NOT THINK THERE IS A
PROBLEM IN THE COALITION GOVERNMENT''
President Suleyman Demirel said that he does not think there is a problem in the coalition government. Responding to a question saying that the coalition partners have different points of view about the execution of the capital punishment upheld for Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, and about the European Union (EU) issue, Demirel said, ''I do not think there is a problem in the coalition government. These are all different things. The coalition partners are aware of their responsibilities. Turkey needs stability.''

ERDAL INONU: ''WE WILL WAIT FOR EU FOR 15 MORE YEARS''
Prof. Dr. Erdal Inonu said that it will take 15 years for Turkey to integrate with the European Union (EU). Inonu participated in the panel titled ''From Lausanne to the EU.'' Inonu said, ''we are the Southeastern Europeans. They put forward the Copenhagen criteria. We try to adapt these criteria. Turkey's southeast and west are different from each other.'' Inonu continued, ''it will take 15 years for us to integrate with the EU. It will take three or four years to start the negotiations. The negotiations will take ten years.''

RADIKAL (LEFT)

GREECE CONTINUE TO SENT HUMANITARIAN AID
Several municipalities in Greece continued to sent humanitarian aid to the people living in quake-stricken areas. A total of 25 containers laden with humanitarian aid including foodstuff, clothings, and toys, set our for quake zone.

CONTACTS OF SCHARPING, GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN TURKEY
Rudolf Scharping, German Defense Minister, said that he saw that Turkey has several concerns about newly developing European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), and expressed readiness to cooperate with Turkey on the issue. Scharping met with President Suleyman Demirel, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister. Pointing out they knew that terrorist organization was responsible for the killing of 30,000 people, and that they were aware of the effect of this on Turkish families, Scharping said PKK was banned in Germany in this respect. ''Yet, several aspects should be considered while struggling against terrorism. I think that Kurds should have the right of speaking their own language, receiving lessons in their own language and living their own culture.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

STAND-BY TO BE SIGNED
The stand-by negotiations between Turkey and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are expected to be finalized later today. The negotiations began two and a half years ago.

MAKOVSKI: ''TURKEY HAS CONCERNS''
Alan Makovski, one of the most important American experts on Turkey, claimed that Turkey had concers about the peace talks that were resumed between Israel and Syria, in respect to water issue, security, terrorism and the future of Turkish-Israeli relations. Makovski, the Director of Turkey Researches Department of the think-tank organization named ''The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Affairs'', said in a report that Turkey would insist on protecting her own interests during the advance of the Israil-Syria peace process.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

DETENTION PERIOD OF ERDAL EXTENDED BY ONE MONTH
The Bruges Court in Belgium decided to extend the detention period of Fehriye Erdal, a suspect of the assasination of Turkish businessman Ozdemir Sabanci, by one month. The Court ruled to extend the detention period of also Musa Asaoglu and Kaya Saz, the members of illegal Revolutionary People's Salvation Party-Front (DHKP-C) organization while it released Hasan Ekici, another member of the illegal DHKP-C.

Meanwhile, the Belgian gendarme took intense measures during today's hearing.

[03] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS' DECISION ABOUT FIVE BANKS

ANKARA - The Council of Ministers decided on Wednesday to transfer ownership of all the shares of the Yurtbank, the Egebank, the Sumerbank, the Esbank, and the Yasarbank to the Savings Account Insurance Fund of the Central Bank.

Releasing a statement, the Undersecretariat of Treasury said, ''in accordance with the Council of Ministers' decision, five banks in question will continue their normal activities under their new administrations and under the ownership of Savings Account Insurance Fund of the Central Bank. Overall deposits of our citizens in these banks are under guarantee of the State.''

The statement emphasized that success of the stability programme was dependent upon presence of a healthy and reliable financial sector, and added, ''amendments to all regulations in banking sector including the Banks Law aim at adapting the banking sector to the international standards and forming a more influencial supervision mechanism.''

[04] KERMAN, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF TREASURY: - ''DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE BOARDS OF FIVE BANKS ON QUESTION, WILL BE CHANGED TODAY''

ANKARA - Teoman Kerman, the Undersecretary of the

Treasury, said on Wednesday that directors and executive boards of the Yurtbank, the Egebank, the Sumerbank, the Esbank, and the Yasarbank would be changed later today.

Responding to questions of the A.A correspondent, Kerman noted that appointment of new administrations would be made by the State Minister responsible for Treasury upon proposal of the Central Bank.

Kerman stressed that overall deposits of our citizens in these banks are under guarantee of the State.

The Council of Ministers decided early on Wednesday to transfer ownership of all the shares of these banks to the Savings Account Insurance Fund of the Central Bank.

[05] STAND-BY EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED ON THURSDAY

ANKARA - The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to announce its approval of the stand-by agreement which it will conclude with Turkey on Thursday.

The meeting of the Board will be held late on Wednesday and the statement is expected to be announced on Thursday.

State Minister Recep Onal can hold a press briefing both about the IMF and banking issue on Thursday.

[06] FIRST HEARING OF ASLITURK TO TAKE PLACE ON JANUARY 7

LONDON - Gulay Asliturk, former Sisli Mayor, will be tried once again on January 7, 2000 in London. Asliturk was arrested by British officers from metropolitan service extradition unit at lunch time on Tuesday at a business premises at Croydon district in Southern London.

The Bow Street Magistrate Court tried Asliturk on Tuesday and determined 250,000 sterling to release Asliturk on bail.

The court officials said Asliturk was put into Halloway women prison as she was unable to fulfil the conditions of the bail. The court has given time to Asliturk till December 29 to pay the fee of the bail.

If Asliturk can not pay the required money, she will remain in prison till the hearing that will take place in Bow Street court on January 7, 2000.

[07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''PROCEEDINGS OF FIVE BANKS TO CONTINUE UNDER STATE GUARANTEE''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that proceedings of five banks will continue under state guarantee, adding that, ''any citizen who has account in these banks doesn't have to feel concern. All of the accounts are under state guarantee.''

The Council of Ministers decided early on Wednesday to transfer ownership of all the shares of these banks to the Savings Account Insurance Fund of the Central Bank.

Responding to questions of journalists, Ecevit recalled that with the decision of Council of Ministers, responsibilities and excutive board are transferred to the Savings Account Insurance Fund of Central Bank.

Ecevit listed the banks as Yurtbank, Egebank, Sumerbank, Esbank and Yasarbank, and noted that, ''this decision has been taken to rehabilite the five banks after transferring them to Savings Account Insurance Fund. As it was mentioned by Treasury Undersecretariat, proceedings of the five banks will continue under state guarantee without interruption.''

Ecevit said the banks will be inspected continuously and effectively from now on, and that the financial sector will reach a healthy structure.

[08] VERHEUGEN, THE EU COMMISSIONER RESPONSIBLE FOR ENLARGEMENT: ''NEGOTIATIONS WITH TURKEY MAY START IN A SHORT TIME''

BERLIN - Gunter Verheugen, the European Union (EU) Commissioner responsible for enlargement, said on Wednesday that membership negotiations with Turkey may start in a short time.

Speaking to ''Berliner Zeitung'' newspaper published in Germany, Verheugen said, ''the green light that has been given to Turkey at Helsinki Summit, will break the wall of a dam in Turkey, and will provide the flow of a great reform process that has been accumulated behind the wall.''

Pointing out that many circles ignored the ability of Turkey to make reforms, as it was mentioned by Turkey, Verheugen said the chance to start full membership talks with Turkey in a short time is strong.

Verheugen said the letter which Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit sent to Gerhard Schroder, German Chancellor, pointing out that Copenhagen criteria will be implemented, was a positive one.

[09] UNREST IN ANKARA MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON

ANKARA - Bulent Aramaz, the nephew of the leader of an organized crime group Ahmet Aramaz, known as ''Orphan Ahmet,'' and his friends caused unrest in Ankara Maximum Security Prison on Wednesday.

Tight security measures were taken in and out the prison.

Aramaz and his friends caused unrest as their visitors were not accepted to the prison to see them.

The prisoners are claimed to take hostage 4 prison guards.

Meanwhile the prisoners who couldn't go to their wards convened in the yard and they started fire by setting ablaze sheet and blankets in the prison. Fire brigades try to extinguish the fire.

[10] TURKEY-SUDAN-CHAD - DTM SAYS STATE MINISTER MIRZAOGLU'S CONTACTS IN THESE TWO COUNTRIES ARE BENEFICIAL

ANKARA - The Undersecretary of Foreign Trade (DTM) said on Wednesday that the contacts of the Turkish delegation headed by State Minister Ramazan Miroglu in Chad and Sudan were very beneficial.

DTM noted in a written statement that Turkey and Chad signed a Cooperation Agreement on Trade, Economy, Techniques and Science.

Chadian President Idriss Deby received Mirzaoglu who also held bilateral meetings with various Chadian ministers.

The Turkish delegation which proceeded to Sudan on December 15, participated in the Seventh term meetings of the Turkish-Sudanese Joint Economic Commission (JEC). Mirzaoglu was received by Sudanese Omer Hassan Ahmed El Basheer and also he met with various Sudaneese ministers.

A protocol was signed by the Central Bank officials of the two countries within the framework of the Seventh Term JEC meeting between Turkey and Sudan regarding the money the Central Bank will get from the Sudanese Central Bank.

The two countries also signed agreements on Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of the Investments, Cooperation in Agriculture, Tourism and Archives.

Turkish-Sudanese 7th Term JEC Protocol was signed on December 19. The protocol urges the two countries to sign the Agreement on Prevention of Double Taxation as soon as possible and encourage the formation of Turkish- Sudanese Business Council by the businessmen of the two countries.

[11] GOKALP, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS: ''ALL CREDIT INTERESTS INCLUDING THE ONES IN AGRICULTURAL CREDIT WILL REDUCE''

ANKARA - Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, the Minister of agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Wednesday that all the interest rates will reduce including the agricultural credit ones by the implementation of the economic decisions of the government.

Responding to a question, Gokalp said that while the interests reduce, Istanbul Stock Exchange market increases by the correct economic decisions taken by the government. Gokalp said the decrease in interests will have influence on interests of internal debt payments and also on interests of agricultural credit. He also stressed that Turkey should implement the subsidy systems implemented by the world by adapting them to her conditions.

Gokalp said the agriculture will continue to be supported, adding ''the investment made in agriculture is an investment undertaken for the future of the Turkish nation, but I consider it necessary to directly give the subsidies to producers. Villagers were not pleased by the subsidies given to them till today.''

[12] CROATIA SENDS THANK-YOU LETTER TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL

ANKARA - Vlatko Pavletic, the Acting Croatian President, and Parliament Speaker Wednesday sent a thank-you letter to President Suleyman Demirel who participated in the funeral of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, who passed away.

Presidential Press Centre said in a written statement Pavletic said in his letter to Demirel that ''I would like to thank you on behalf of Croatian people, Croatian Presidency and myself for your participation in the funeral of Tudjman.''

''Your friendly gesture will be remembered as a special sign of the intent of your country and yourself to improve cooperation between the two countries,'' Pavletic said.

[13] UNREST IN ANKARA MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON - SIX PERSONS HOSPITALIZED

ANKARA - Six persons were hospitalized in the wake of the unrest in Ankara Maximum Security Prison on Wednesday.

These persons were injured after Bulent Aramaz, the nephew of the leader of an organized crime group Ahmet Aramaz, known as ''Orphan Ahmet,'' and his friends caused unrest as their visitors were not accepted to the prison to see them.

[14] QUAKE LOAN FROM THE EU COMMISSION

BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) Commission said on Wednesday that it released 23 million Euro aid from ECHO, humanitarian aid fund, to be transferred to quake survivors in Turkey.

The EU aid will be used in construction of houses which the quake survivors need to pass winter.

Officials said the aid will be used in meeting health and education needs.

The total quake aid of the EU Commission reached 30 million Euro in 1999.

[15] UNREST IN ANKARA MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON ENDS

ANKARA - Unrest in Ankara Maximum Security Prison ended on Wednesday.

The unrest ended after meetings of Melih Tari, Ankara Republican Chief Prosecutor, Bekir Selcuk, Acting Chief Prosecutor, and Fikri Palaz, Prosecutor of the Prison.

The incidents erupted after Bulent Aramaz, the nephew of the leader of an organized crime group Ahmet Aramaz, known as ''Orphan Ahmet,'' and his friends caused unrest as their visitors were not accepted to the prison to see them.

Six people were hospitalized in the wake of the unrest in the Prison.

Tari said Justice Ministry will make a detailed explanation.

[16] UNREST IN ANKARA MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON - JUSTICE MINISTRY: ''REVOLT WAS QUELLED''

ANKARA - The Justice Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the ''unrest'' in the Ankara Maximum Security Prison was quelled.

It issued a written statement and said the 17 prisoners who incited the incident, were transferred to other prisons.

The statement said two women friends of Bulent Aramaz, who was imprisoned for violating the Law 6,136 and using explosive substance, applied for permission to speak with him two weeks ago but their demand was rejected.

The statement said those women came to the prison on Wednesday with the same request but they were once again not allowed to meet with Bulent Aramaz.

It said Bulent Aramaz later threatened the prison guards and returned to his ward, and incited his inmates to revolt.

''The wards 1, 2, and 3 in the first section joined the unrest. Bulent Aramaz used the uncertainty in amnesty law as a pretext to keep the main reason of the unrest secret,'' it said.

''During the incidents, 35 officials including one doctor, one dentist, three civil servants and 30 prison guards were taken hostage; the roof of the sick bay was set on fire, one prison guard was stabbed, and four other prison guards felt ill and these prison guards were hospitalized,'' it said.

The statement said the ''unrest'' was quelled as a result of the efforts of officials, and the investigation into the incident started.

It added that the 17 prisoners who incited the incident were transferred to other prisons, and officials started a general search in the prison.

[17] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER ANNOUNCES DEATH TOLL AS 832 AS OF WEDNESDAY

ANKARA - Following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Duzce on November 12, the Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center announced the death toll as 832 as of Wednesday.

A total of 4,948 people were injured in the quake. There are currently 3, 395 buildings which are waiting to be demolished immediately. There are 12, 939 damaged buildings and 2,450 damaged work places.

A total of 622 prefabricated huts and a prefabricated school including eight classrooms have been completed in Bolu. 352 huts have been already given to quake survivors. A total of 51,588 tents were sent to the region.

Red Crescent, Turkish Armed Forces and other associations sent 197 mobile kitchens, 173 mobile showers, 2 bakeries, many beds, sleeping bags, blankets, duvets and heaters. Quake survivors are given food three times a day.

Currently, there are 330 doctors, 280 nurses and 972 medical personnel working in the region. The Health Ministry is distributing free medical services at five different points to the patients. It was reported that there was no shortage of medical equipment.

There are 3,974 soldiers in charge in the quake hit region. The Land Forces Commandership set up a Humanitarian Aid Receiving Center at Cengiz Topel Airport and Logistic Support Coordination Centers in Bolu and Duzce.

Cash contributions and donations of various supplies continue from foreign countries.

[18] TURKEY-IMF

ANKARA - The ''primary dealer'', which is the new public borrowing instrument of the Treasury, was included in the letter of intent which was sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and expected to be approved on Wednesday.

Sources said this niw application, which would contribute to decrease in interest rates, would start in April 2000.

According to the primary dealer application, some banks which are chosen by the Treasury will work by announcing the new purchase prices and selling prices in accordance with the double-side quoting system in the second-hand bond and debenture bond market. This quoting limit does not exceed a specific margin. Within this framework, the Treasury offers some advantages to the banks that implement this instrument.

The system contributes to the increase in liquidity in the second-hand market.

[19] TURKEY LEADS IN WORLD IN RATE OF INCREASE IN EXPORTS

ANKARA - Turkey became the leading country which mostly increased its goods and services exports between 1980 and 1997 among 102 countries.

According to the World Bank's ''World Development Report 1999/2000'', Turkey increased the income, which is obtained from exports of goods and services including exports, shuttle trade, transit trade, tourism revenues, freightage and other services income, to 52 billion 4 million U.S. dollars in 1997 from the 3 billion 621 million U.S. dollars income in 1980.

According to the Central Bank's data, Turkey obtained 26 billion 245 million U.S. dollars income from exports; 5 billion 849 million U.S. dollars income from shuttle trade; 537 million U.S. dollars income from transit trade; 7 billion 2 million U.S. dollars income from tourism; and 12 billion 371 million U.S. dollars income from other services in 1997.

The goods and services exports figures of some countries between 1980 and 1997 are as follows:

. Exports of

. Goods and Services

. (Million U.S. Dollars) Difference

Country 1980 1997 (percent)

---------- -------- -------- --------
Turkey 3,621 52,004 1,336.2

Thailand 7,939 72,415 812.1

Hong Kong 25,585 228,877 794.6

China (xx) 23,637 207,251 776.8

South Korea 19,815 164,920 732.3

Malaysia 14,098 92,897 558.9

Taiwan 21,495 139,396 548.5

Singapore 24,285 156,252 543.4

Ireland 9,610 61,447 539.4

Mexico 22,622 121,831 438.6

Spain 32,140 148,357 361.6

India 11,265 44,102 291.5

U.S. 271,800 937,434 244.9
Austria 26,650 88,266 231.2

Canada 74,977 247,438 230.0

Japan 146,980 478,542 225.6

Australia 25,755 83,703 225.0

Italy 97,298 310,550 219.2

Denmark (xx) 21,989 63,680 189.6

Brazil 21,869 60,256 175.5

Indonesia(xx) 23,797 63,238 165.7

Sweden 38,151 100,989 164.7

Germany(x) 224,224 590,984 163.6

Belgium 70,498 185,415 163.0

Britain 146,072 375,033 156.7

Switzerland 48,595 120,696 148.4

Netherlands 90,380 216,530 139.6

France 153,197 365,342 138.5

Norway 27,264 63,213 131.9

Greece 8,122 14,863 83.0

Romania 12,087 9,853 -18.5

Kuwait 21,857 16,041 -26.6

Saudi Arabia 106,765 64,939 -39.2

Bulgaria 9,302 6,277 -32.5

Nigeria 27,071 15,994 -40.9

Russia ... 102,196 ...

(x) : Covers only Germany

(xx): The figure for 1980 is the old figure.

</PRE>

[20] TURKEY-ISRAEL - ANNUAL STRATEGICAL MEETINGS TO START ON DECEMBER 27

TEL AVIV - The annual strategical meetings between Turkey and Israel will start on December 27 in Tel Aviv.

Turkey will participate in the meetings with a 30-member delegation including officials from the General Staff, Defense and Foreign Ministries.

The Turkish delegation will be led by Deputy Chief of General Staff Edit while the Israeli delegation will be headed by Defense Ministry Director Amos Yoran.

The peace talks started between Israel and Syria will also be on the agenda of the meetings in addition to other issues.

Sources said the Israeli side would reiterate that any of the agreements between Israel and Syria would not harm Turkey's interests.

The military and political issues between Turkey and Israel, the redical movements in the Middle East, cooperation against terrorism and the results of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul will be discussed in the meetings.

The training of the search and rescue team that is being set up in Turkey will also be taken up.

The modernization of the Turkish Army's M-60 tanks by Israel and the sale of Israeli-Russian made attack helicopters to Turkey are expected to be discussed within the framework of the cooperation between Turkey and Israel in the field of defense industry.

[21] RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND RUSSIA

MOSCOW - The Russian Federal Assembly's upper chamber Federation Council approved on Wednesday the three agreements which were earlier signed between Turkey and Russia and approved by the lower chamber State Duma.

Thus the Supplementary Protocol which brings tax facilities for the construction of the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline, the Agreement for Prevention of Double Taxation, and the Agreement for Mutual Encouragement and Protection of Investments reached the stage of final approval.

These agreements were approved as a result of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Moscodw between November 4-6.

During his visit, Premier Ecevit conveyed Turkey's request for the approval of these agreements to the Russian side.

These three agreements will be submitted to Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Sources said the Russian President would definitely approve the project for which the government extended great efforts.

[22] A.A


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