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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-24

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

24 December 1999 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 24, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

TRIO WHICH AMAZES IMF
Premier Bulent Ecevit; Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP); and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP); amazed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by taking the giant leap forwards which are necessary for the stand-by beforehand. When the letter of intent which was submitted to the IMF was put on the table by the IMF Executive Directors' Council, Turkey had already made the legal arrangements in many fields including the tax, monetary and capital markets, banking system and the social security.

YACHTES TO FREELY MOVE IN AEGEAN
The improving relations between Turkey and Greece following the quake disasters which hit both countries, opened a new phase in tourism cooperation between two countries. The Aegean Sea will be opened to the free movement of the yachtes by the initiatives and the cooperation of the tourism sector officials of both countries. The public officials from Turkey and Greece and the representatives of the tourism sectors in both countries, reached an agreement for the free movement of the yachtes in the Greek islands and Turkish waters in the end of the Greek and Turkish Tourism Joint Commission Meeting held in Bodrum county of Aegean Mugla province.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL) CHRISTMAS SURPRISE
President Suleyman Demirel issued a Christmas message for the first time. Demirel said in his message, ''I wish that the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ will bring peace and well-being and I congratulate the Christmas of all the Christian world and our citizens who believe in Christianity.''

SEVEN BILLION U.S. DOLLARS DUE TO TURKEY
As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the stand-by agreement which foresaw four billion U.S. dollar credit, the World Bank said that it will provide three billion U.S. dollar credit to Turkey. Ajay Chhibber, the Representative of the World Bank to Turkey, said that Turkey's programme which is implemented to decrease the inflation is a strong programme. They will provide three billion U.S. dollar credit to Turkey in three years to support the programme; Chhibber noted. Chhibber added that the talks regarding the credit can be concluded in January.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

AGRICULTURAL REFORM ON THE WAY
A Draft Law on Agricultural Reform was prepared to conform to the European Union (EU) in agriculture. The package will be submitted to the parliament after it is discussed by the Council of Ministers. The package foresees ten new legislations. An Agricultural Restructuring and Encouragement Council was set up by the decision of the Council of Ministers to carry out new agricultural initiatives.

STAND-BY SIGNED BUT STOCK EXCHANGE DECREASES
The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) which was marking increase in recent days, decreased after the Stand-by Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was signed. The IMKB-100 index reduced to 13.428 with a decrease of 1.1 percent. The stock exchange in which the shares of the Garanti Bank, the Is Bank, the Yapi Kredi Bank, the Akbank and the Demirbank were in the top ten share list on Wednesday, decreased as the shares were sold yesterday.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

'MISERY INCREASE' PROTEST FROM KESK
The Confederation of Public Workers' Trade Unions (KESK) staged a demonstration throughout Turkey to protest the 15 percent increase in the salaries of the civil servants. The members of KESK staged meetings titled, 'we will not surrender to misery.' Some policemen supported the demonstration of the members of the KESK in Yalova while the police did not permit some KESK members who wanted to stage a protest walk in southern Mersin province. A total of 100 persons were taken into custody while six persons who got injured in the protests, were hospitalized.

HEYBETLI ALSO IN ISTANBUL
Following the extradition of Alaattin Cakici, the notorious mafia boss; Hasan Heybetli, one of the notorious mafia bosses, was brought to Turkey yesterday. Greece extradited Heybetli, who fled to Kos Island after he shot and injured two persons in Bodrum on July 27, to Turkey. Muhittin Yuzuak, Heybetli's lawyer, said that the persons who are captured abroad, want to return to Turkey because they cannot be as comfortable in the foreign prisons as they are in Turkey.

OCALAN'S REQUEST OF CORRECTION OF VERDICT
Ercan Kanar; the lawyer of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization; said that they will apply to the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM) Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office for the correction of verdict on Friday. The application of Ocalan's lawyers will be submitted to the Supreme Court of Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office by the Istanbul DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office. If Vural Savas, the Supreme Court Republican Chief Prosecutor, rejects the proposal of correction of verdict, the domestic law methods in this case will be over. If he approves the proposal, the Supreme Court Criminal Department which upheld the capital punishment, will discuss the correction of the verdict.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

INTEREST RATES TO FALL 30 PERCENT
Gazi Ercel, the Governor of the Central Bank, said that the defective parts of the banks were repaired as the banks were transfered to the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund. He believes that the interest rates will fall 30 percent in the near future, Ercel noted.

PREMIER ECEVIT DUE TO DAVOS
Premier Bulent Ecevit was invited to the meeting of the World Economic Forum which will be held on January 27, 2000 in Davos. Ecevit said that to this end, it carries importance to pass the draft law on arbitration before this meeting. They will include the second draft law on arbitration in the agenda of the parliament after the new year holiday.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

FISCHER: ''TURKISH OFFICIALS DECIDE TO IMPLEMENT A
STRONG PROGRAMME TO OVERCOME HIGH INFLATION PROBLEM''
Stanley Fischer, the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that Turkish officials decided to implement a strong programme to overcome the high inflation which continues for 20 years, to ensure macro-economic stability and to overcome the structural problems in economy. The IMF will provide 1.5 billion U.S. dollar financial support to Turkey in the first and second year and 1 billion U.S. dollar financial support in the third year within the framework of the Stand-by Agreement. The first instalment of 300 million U.S. dollars would be available immediately.

SNOW PARALYZES DAILY LIFE IN THRACE
The snow paralyzed the daily life in Thrace. A total of 189 village roads were closed to traffic due to the heavy snowfall. The schools were recessed in Enez, Kesan, Ipsala, Uzunkopru and Sarkoy.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

OPERATION CONTINUES
The operation which was launched by the government continued. The managers of four banks which were transfered to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, were banned from going abroad. The officials said that this ban was a precautionary measure which covers the managers of the Esbank, the Egebank, the Sumerbank and the Yurtbank.

ASLITURK, FORMER SISLI MAYOR, RELEASED
Gulay Asliturk, the former Sisli Mayor who was taken into custody in London on Tuesday, was released on bail. Orhan Asliturk, husband of Gulay Asliturk, and father Ilyas Cokay showed their assets in Britain as a guarantee for the bail which was 250,000 British Pounds.

[03] LOAN AGREEMENT FOR LAST PART OF IRAN-TURKEY NATURAL GAS PROJECT SIGNED

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - The loan agreement regarding the last part of the Iran-Turkey Natural Gas Pipeline Project was signed on Friday.

The Pipeline Transportation Incorp. (BOTAS) and Banco Santaner Hispano, the bank which will provide the credit, signed the loan agreement.

The amount of the loan which Spain will give for the construction of 260 kilometre long pipeline from Sivas to Kayseri, is 102 million U.S. dollars.

Gokhan Yardim, the Director General of BOTAS, told A.A correspondent on Friday that the loan for the construction of whole of the pipeline was provided as this final agreement was signed.

They aim at fulfilling the project until the end of next year, Yardim said.

Yardim noted that he will visit Iran in the first week of January. He and the accompanying delegation will review the latest situation of the project and will evaluate the latest developments regarding the project; Yardim added.

Turkey has to construct 1,286 kilometre long pipeline which will pass from Dogu Beyazit, Erzurum, Sivas, Kayseri, Ankara, Konya and Seydisehir within the framework of the project.

BOTAS met the costs of the construction of Dogubeyazit-Erzurum route of the pipeline with its own resources. This route will be completed in the following days.

The construction of Erzurum-Sivas, Kayseri-Ankara, Kayseri-Konya-Seydisehir routes continue.

Later, these routes will be connected to Malatya-Kahramanmaras-Gaziantep- Adana.

The pipeline will also be constructed to Isparta-Denizli route and will reach Izmir via Nazilli.

Thus, Turkey will be laid with main pipelines.

[04] FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN ELECTED AS CHAIRMAN TO WEPZA

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Kursad Tuzmen, the Foreign Trade Undersecretary, was elected as the Chairman to the World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA) on Thursday.

This year's general council meeting could not be held in Chili as it was earlier scheduled. Therefore, the elections were carried out through a survey.

In the elections, Kursad Tuzmen was elected as the WEPZA Chairman while the Kenyan representative became the Deputy Chairman of WEPZA.

Tuzmen will run WEPZA's chairmanship between 2000 and 2003.

[05] TURKEY TO PURCHASE MORE NATURAL GAS FROM RUSSIA

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - By the beginning of 2001, Turkey will receive 3.9 billion cubic meters of extra natural gas annually from Russia which will increase the total amount to 14 billion cubic meters.

The natural gas pipeline starts in Russia and passes from Ukraine and Bulgaria before it reaches Turkey.

Botas General Director Gokhan Yardim said on Friday that they found 78 million U.S. dollar credit from the European Investment Bank and Black Sea Bank for the purchase of extra natural gas from Russia and they already signed an agreement.

The total capacity of the pipeline will reach 14 billion cubic meters once the project is completed within one year. Currently, Turkey purchases 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia.

In the meantime, due to the increase in the consumption of natural gas, BOTAS is facing some difficulties. BOTAS which earlier signed an agreement with Turkish Petrolium Corporation (TPAO) to use the natural gas sources in Marmara Region to store natural gas, has recently put out to tender to carry out another storage project under Salt Lake.

BOTAS is also examining natural gas storage facilities in Bulgaria, Romania and Russia by sending experts to these countries.

[06] ECEVIT RECEIVES GENERAL KIVRIKOGLU, CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Friday General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff who asked for Ecevit's support on some issues linked with the Turkish Armed Forces.

General Kivrikoglu also had a separate meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan.

Upon leaving the Prime Ministry building, General Kivrikoglu told reporters that his meeting with Ecevit was to ask for his support on some issues related to the Turkish Armed Forces.

When a reporter asked General Kivrikoglu if he received the support he expected from the Prime Minister, General Kivrikoglu said ''Ecevit always extended his support to the Turkish Armed Forces.''

[07] SURVEY SHOWS 82 PERCENT OF QUAKE SURVIVORS IN DUZCE SATISFIED BY FOOD SERVICE

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - A survey carried out in Duzce by the Crisis Center, showed that 82.5 percent of the quake survivors were satisfied by Red Crescent's food service.

The survey also revealed that the state solved the sheltering problem of 72 percent of survivors after August 17 quake, and 81 percent of the victims after November 12 quake.

About Red Crescent's food service in the tent cities, 82.5 percent of the quake victims said the food service was good, 11 percent of them said the food service was partly good and 6.5 percent said it was not satisfactory.

In the meantime, Duzce Logistic Support Commandership which is in charge of the coordination and distribution of all the aid supplies, has sufficient amount of tents, blankets and heaters to meet all the needs of quake survivors in Duzce.

Red Crescent's health services also continues in the region. Recently, 1, 340 hygenic kits which also included soap, tooth paste and detergent were distributed to people in five tent cities.

[08] NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS PROTEST NUCLEAR ENERGY

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Yavuz Onen, the Chairman of Turkish Architectures and Engineers Chambers Union (TMMOB), said on Friday that they would not let the nuclear gangs to have a nuclear adventure in Turkey and turn the country into a nuclear garbage.

Representatives of various non-governmental organizations gathered in Guvenpark in Ankara's Kizilay district and protested the use of nuclear energy and nuclear power plants.

The protestors chanted slogans such as ''We will not become a nuclear garbage'', ''No to nuclear power plants'', ''Chose to live, stop nuclear power plants''.

TMMOB Chairperson Onen, in the speech he delivered at Guvenpark said, ''those who govern Turkey are trying to turn Turkey into a nuclear garbage and they are turning a blind eye to the destruction of environment and the forests.''

''They are trying to sell Turkey technologies which are no longer used in the world. They are trying to set up nuclear power plants which are abandoned by the whole world. This is an effort to make Turkey dependent on foreign countries in every field. They disregard the demands of Turkish society, the engineers, architects, workers, and civil servants. We will not let the nuclear gangs to have a nuclear adventure,'' Onen said.

Fusun Sayek, the Chairperson of Turkish Doctors Union (TTB), also stressed that the nuclear power plants would have very serious consequences on people's health. ''We don't want our people to be cancer and give birth to babies with birth defects,'' Sayek said.

Tayfun Gorgun, Ankara representative of Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DISK) noted that Turkey has sufficient natural resources to produce the necessary electrical energy.

After reading out their statements, the protestors dispersed.

[09] PRESIDENT DENKTAS OF THE TRNC: - ''WE ARE OPPOSED NOT TO THE EU, BUT TO THE EU WITHOUT TURKEY''

LEFKOSA, Dec 24 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Friday that they were opposed not to the European Union (EU), but to the EU without Turkey.

President Denktas received the Bayrak Radio and Television, and the TAK Agency delegations.

Addressing the meeting, Denktas called on the Greek Cypriots to re-evaluate the past, and to understand that their attidute to consider the Turkish Cypriots as ''minority'', was wrong.

President Denktas noted that the Greek Cypriots had tried to eliminate the Turkish Cypriots, to exclude them by reducing them to the level of minority, and to destroy Turkey's guarantorship.

''We expect the EU to confirm Turkey's guarantorship rights on Cyprus. Turkey had stated previously that she would not make any concession. If they accept us as a sovereign side, solution of the Cyprus question will be easier,'' President Denktas emphasized.

Noting that they were opposed not to the EU, but the EU without Turkey, Denktas added, ''the Turkish Cypriots opposed to become a member of the EU which rejects our sovereignty. We are opposed to enter the EU as a minority on the island.''

Denktas reacted to statement of Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, who claimed that the Cyprus question was caused by the 1960 Constitution.

Denktas said, ''the Cyprus question is not a constitutional matter. It never arose from the 1960 Constitution. Policies of Macarios, Clerides and their followers gave rise to the Cyprus question. Clerides' statement is nothing but a lie.''

[10] PRESIDENT DEMIREL RECEIVES GULER, PRESIDENT GENERAL DIRECTOR OF A.A

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel received on Friday Mehmet Guler, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Anadolu Agency (A.A) and the President General Director of the A.A, and the executive board members at the Presidential Palace.

During his visit, Guler told Demirel that the A.A informed Turkey and the world on April 18 about the election results. The results which were announced by the A.A at 11:00 local time on the election day had an error margin of only 0.005 percent, Guler noted.

In 1999, the A.A informed Turkey and the world about the trial of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, through news stories and photographs. Through a special line set up on Imrali Island, the A.A successfully transmitted all the news to both Turkish and foreign media, Guler explained.

Following the disastrous earthquake, the A.A transmitted the first news of the quake. The photographs taken by A.A photographers were displayed in exhibitions at home and abroad, and helped to show the world the sufferings in the quake-stricken area, Guler told Demirel.

He also reminded that 25 personnel of the A.A successfully covered the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul last month.

''Your support encouraged us to work hard. We are hoping that your support to the A.A would continue in the future,'' Guler told Demirel.

Demirel noted that modernity was essential in journalism, and also assured Guler that he would help to meet the needs of the A.A if there are any.

[11] FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY TUZMEN: - ''FREE REGIONS IN TURKEY QUITE SUCCESSFUL''

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Kursad Tuzmen, the Foreign Trade Undersecretary, who was elected as the Chairman of World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA), will fill the post until the end of 2003.

The Kenyan representative was elected as deputy chairman while representatives from United Arab Emirated, Russia, Hungary, the U.S., Brazil, Croatia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Curacao were elected as WEPZA Council members. Tuzmen has been a council member since 1995.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) became a WEPZA member in 1995 through Turkey's efforts. Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are not WEPZA members.

WEPZA was founded in the Manila city of the Philippines by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in 1978, and later it moved the Flagstaff in the U.S.

WEPZA is the only organization which operates to develop cooperation among free regions and to encourage information exchange, management administration training and carry out research for the common good of WEPZA member countries.

WEPZA also attended the World Trade Organization's (WTO) confenrence in Seattle as an observer last month.

Tuzmen said the free regions in Turkey were quite successful.

''In Jebel Ali free region of the United Arab Emirates, 6 billion U.S. dollar investment was made. In Turkey, the state gave 15 million U.S. dollars of infrastructure investment support to only Antalya and Mersin free regions. In Turkey's free regions, a trade volume of 8 billion U.S. dollars was created. Considering the investment made, Turkey's free regions are very successful. 4 billion U.S. dollars amount of the 8 billion U.S. dollars trade would not have been realized without the free regions. Turkey, with the help of its free regions, was able to obtain a net amount of 4 billion U.S. dollars from the world trade,'' Tuzmen explained.

The preparations continue for the free production region which is planned to be set up in Southeast Turkey with the U.S. cooperation, Tuzmen said and added that they would have a meeting with the U.S. side in a month to discuss the issue.

Tuzmen pointed out that the U.S. had great influence in the world's trade and political life. ''The U.S. is the Ottoman Empire of the 21st century,'' he said.

Israel could also be a partner in the free production center planned to be founded in Turkey and they are evaluating different alternatives among various places in the Southeast to set up the production region, Tuzmen explained.

[12] TURKEY SENDS THREE TRUCKS FULL OF AID STUFF TO GEORGIA FOR CHECHEN REFUGEES

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Turkey will send 3 trucks bearing a T.I.R. (International Road Transport) plate, full of aid stuff to Georgia for Chechen people who left Chechnya and took shelter in Georgia.

Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the innocent civilian people in Chechnya were seriously effected by the continuing clashes and they had to take shelter in regional countries.

The statement pointed out that the aid continues to ease the difficult living conditions of Chechen people in winter, adding the second consignment of aid stuff will be transferred to Georgia by Red Crescent on Saturday. The aid stuff will be distributed in coordination with Georgian officials.

The statement stressed that Turkey does not want to see the deeping of the wounds caused by the clashes in humanitarian respect. Foreign Ministry noted that Turkey wishes ceasefire immediately and search for a dialogue for a political solution.

Foreign Ministry pointed out that the continuing of clashes will have negative repercussions on peace, stability and security of the region and respect has to be shown for the stability, security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the regional countries in such a sensitive atmosphere.

Turkey sent an aid stuff by a Turkish Armed Forces' cargo plane to Vladikavkaz to help in meeting the urgent needs of Chechen people on November 25.

[13] TRANSPORTATION MINISTER OKSUZ: ''GSM TENDER ISSUE TO BE CONCLUDED AFTER RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY AT THE LATEST''

ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Enis Oksuz, the Minister of Transportation said on Friday that the issue of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) tender will be concluded after the religious holiday at the latest.

Ilyas Gulay, the director general of Railways, Ports and Airports Construction briefed Oksuz about their projects and activites the same day.

Responding to questions of journalists after the briefing, Oksuz said that they determined the price of GSM tender and it was approved by the Council of Ministers, adding the price will be announced in newspapers.

Preparations are underway regarding the specification of the tender, which will later be transferred to Competition Board after its approval by the cabinet, he said.

Oksuz said they want to transform Turkish Telecom into an incorporation which will be subject to the Law of Turkish Trade.

''Thus Telecom will be freed from the state cumbersome. The prices of telephone and similar services will be totally determined by the market conditions. We aim at making Telecom Incorporation a world company,'' Oksuz said.

Enis Oksuz stressed that the third satellite will also start to function in May and it will provide both television and radio broadcasting and communication.

A.A


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