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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-26

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

26 December 1999 Sunday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 26, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

HANGING HIM WOULD BE WRONG
President Suleyman Demirel staged a news conference on Saturday, and evaluated the incidents in the year 1999. Demirel said hanging Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, would be wrong. He said, ''we should find a solution that public opinion will accept. Demirel said decision of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) should be waited.

SHE PUTS FORWARD CONDITIONS TO RETURN
Gulay Asliturk, former Sisli Mayor, who was arrested in London, staged a news conference. She denied the allegations against her saying they were plot. Asliturk said she was ''innocent', and noted that she will return to Turkey if they try her without detention. Asliturk said she will not seek for asylum in Britain. Meanwhile, Justice Ministry prepared a file calling for the extradition of Asliturk on three charges, and sent it to London.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

EUROPEAN FOLK SONG
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem persuaded his Swedish counterpart with the free music of ''banned groups''. Ismail Cem gave Kurdish and Armenian CD's as gift to Lindh, his Swedish counterpart. The albums, which are not banned in Turkey, revealed the tolerance shown to ethnic differences in Anatolia.

KURDISH CAN NOT BE THE LANGUAGE OF TV
President Suleyman Demirel said education and TV broadcasting in another language apart from Turkish, will not be appropriate. Demirel said he will not oppose to being elected to Presidency for another five years. Yet, additional three years will not make me strong, he said.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

NOEL IN MARDIN
Members of Syriac Community celebrated Christmas by singing hymns in Turkish, Arabic, and in the Hebrew Language. The members of Syriac community living in southeastern Mardin province, celebrated their Christmas in ceremonies that took place in Kirklar Church. Fikret Guven, Governor of Mardin, said the members of the community lived their beliefs in the direction of the rights which Turkish state granted to them.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

''FEBRUARY 28 HAS NOT ENDED''
President Suleyman Demirel staged a news conference, and evaluated the incidents in 1999. Demirel stressed that February 28 decisions, which brought the end of coalition government of former RP and DYP, are still valid. Demirel said it was extremely wrong to show the army as the enemy of religion, adding that, ''there are mosques in garrisons.''

ISMET INONU COMMEMORATED ON THE 26TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH
Ismet Inonu, Turkey's second President was commemorated on the 26th anniversary of his death with a state ceremony staged in Anitkabir. Commemoration activities have been staged in various provinces of Turkey. Mehmet Boluk, Republican People's Party (CHP) Provincial Chairman, said the first application to European Union (EU) was made by Ismet Inonu to become a full member.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

MINISTRY OF ENERGY FACES STRONG OPPOSITION
ON NUCLEAR ENERGY
While Turkey is entering the new millenium with a risk of energy shortage, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources which is in charge of overcoming this problem, is facing some major difficulties. The amount of natural gas purchased from Russia dropped by 7 million cubic meters. Another tough issue is the use of nuclear energy which is strongly opposed by non-governmental organizations and some other circles. The whole world including the U.S. and many European countries are abondoning the nuclear energy while Turkey makes plans to set up nuclear power plants, the non- governmental organizations stressed. The Ministry of Energy faced a strong opposition also within the Parliament on this issue.

TURKISH GOODS SELLING VERY WELL IN HABUR
Following the gulf crisis, the Kurdish groups are seeking ways for economic development in the ''safe haven'' set up by the U.S. on hte north of 36th parallel. Goods such as refrigerators and televisions brought from Turkey are selling at great amounts at the stores in Habur despite the lower income rate of people living in the area.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

RESTRICTING RENT INCREASES IS LEGAL
Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said the restriction put by the government on rent increases was necessary to combat inflation. He also noted that the Constitutional Court would say the final word about the legality of this application. The government recently limited the rent increases to 25 percent.

BANK OPERATION TO BRING STABILITY
It is claimed that 200 million U.S. dollars were transferred from the Savings Deposit Fund to the five banks. Customers who had savings in Esbank, Egebank, Yurtbank, Yasarbank and Sumerbank, despite all the relieving statements of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and other authorities, rushed to the banks to withdraw their money in the last three days. Resources said they expected the panic continue in the coming days, but noted that the amount in the Savings Deposit Fund was enough to pay the bank customers. The banking sector interpreted the incident as the first stage of measures that will bring stability to banking system.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

DEMIREL GIVES ACCOUNT FOR PAST 6,5 YEARS
President Demirel who touched almost every subject in his annual press meeting said the military coups delayed Turkey's entrance to the EU. He stressed that reforms were essential for Turkey to be an EU member. About the death sentence of the head of the terrorist organization, Abdullah Ocalan, Demirel said ''Turkey's interests must be considered and Turkey should act with public reason, not by public feelings.'' He also noted that it would be wrong to first execute Ocalan then abolish death sentence.

FORMER SISLI MAYOR GULAY ASLITURK WANTS TO BE TRIED
WITHOUT DETENTION
Gulay Asliturk, the former Sisli mayor staged a press briefing at her father's house in Southgate, London. Asliturk claimed that she was innocent and she wanted to be tried without detention. When asked if she would consider to seek political asylum from Britain if Britain decides to extradite her to Turkey, Asliturk said ''I have only one country and one passport. Seeking political asylum is out of question for me. I will remain as a Turkish citizen till the very end.''

[03] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER UPDATES DEATH TOLL AS 835 AFTER DUZCE EARTHQUAKE

ANKARA - Following the earthquake which hit Duzce on November 12, Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center announced the death toll as 835 on Saturday. 4,948 people were also injured in the quake.

There are 3,395 buildings which have to be demolished immediately in the area. About 13,000 apartment buildings and 2,500 work places also suffered considerable damage in the quake.

All settlements including villages were given electricity and no communication problems are experienced in the quake region.

In Bolu, the construction of 622 prefabricated huts finished and 352 of them have been given to quake survivors. More than 51,000 tents were also distributed to people.

Currently 8,330 personnel are working in the region. Red Crescent, Turkish Armed Forces and other institutions sent 197 mobile kitchens, 173 mobile showers, 2 bakeries and various amounts of beds, sleeping bags, blankets and heaters. Quake survivors are given warm food three times a day.

There are 330 doctors, 254 nurses and 969 assistant personnel working in the area. The Ministry of Health is distributing free medicine for the patients. There is no shortage of medicine or medical supplies.

About 4,000 military personnel are in charge in the disaster area. 1,022 personnel of the Rural Affairs General Directorate are working to haul away the rubble.

Foreign countries continue to send cash and supply donations for quake victims.

[04] 11 TERRORISTS KILLED IN OPERATION

DIYARBAKIR - Security forces killed 11 terrorists in operation launched in southeastern Sirnak province. Three people from security forces died during the operation.

Emergency Rule Governor's Office told a statement that the terrorists were killed when a clash erupted between a group of terrorists and security forces.

It said three people from security forces died in the operation.

[05] DEMIREL:''TURKEY CAUGHT A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY. THIS IS A GOOD EXCUSE TO IMPROVE OURSELVES''

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel said Turkey could have important contributions to the world peace and regional peace, when he received representatives of some non-governmental organizations at the Presidential Palace on Sunday.

Salim Uslu, the Chairman of the Labour Confederatřon (Hak-Is) told Demirel that their union members were cognizant of their tasks and responsibilities on the way that leads to Turkey's EU membership. Uslu noted that democratization of laws regarding labour unions, freedom to set up unions and collective bargaining agreements were essential steps that need to be taken to adjust to EU's social model.

Demirel noted that he was pleased about the issues that were discussed at Hak-Is General Council. ''Turkey caught a perfect opportunity. This opportunity is a good excuse to improve ourselves,'' he said.

''We must adopt everything that exists in Europe. Of course there could be exceptions that we can't adopt. We must explain this to them. Turkey and Europe have not trusted each other. We must think more positively and be more patient,'' Demirel went on to say.

''If Turkey can have a strong economy, democracy and defense, it could offer many services to regional peace. There are certain services which could only Turkey give. No other country can connect Europe and Asia other than Turkey. This was also expressed by U.S. President Clinton. And it is very pleasing that our labour unions are aware of this,'' he explained.

Demirel later received Ulya Ertem, the chairman of a welfare organization for children suffering from cancer. Ertem told Demirel that their organization was trying to become a foundation but experienced some financial troubles. Ertem also invited Demirel to a tea party which will be organized on Sunday for the benefit of children who are treated at Dr. Sami Ulus Children's Hospital's oncology service. Demirel will not be able to attend the tea party due to his busy schedule but said he would provide some financial aid to the organization.

Sinem Ozgun, the Chairwoman of Women's Social Life Study Association and those who accompany her also visited Demirel on saturday. The association carries out research about Turkish women's social and political mobilization.

[06] 2000 ANNOUNCEMENT OF TISK - ''TURKEY'S MAIN GOAL REGARDING THE YEAR 2010 SHOULD BE MEMBERSHIP TO EU''

ANKARA - The Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions (TISK), said on Sunday that Turkey's main target regarding the year 2010 was seen as membership to European Union (EU), and being above Spain, Portugual and Greece in development indicators.

TISK issued 2000 Annucement titled, ''In the 21st Century: First Turkey''. The statement pointed out that Turkey deserved to look at future with self confidence and optimism as entering to the 21st Century, adding that important steps have been taken in solution of problems like political stability, terrorism, reform in administration and inflation.

The statement pointed out the importance of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Helsinki Summits for Turkey, and noted that, ''our confederation sees main target of Turkey regarding the year 2010 as membership to EU.''

The statement said active participation of the citizens and institutions representing social sections to administration and controlling process will speed up economic and social development, adding that ''7-way Civilian Initiative'' was a development giving hope.

The statement said Turkey may reach its goals due to the cooperation and sacrifices of the community and the priority that will be given to national interests. The statement also pointed out the importance of entrepreneurship, and accumulation of information for the country.

Pointing out the measures towards increasing employment, the statement said tax arragements should be done according to this.

[07] DECEMBER 31 IS DEADLINE FOR AKKUYU NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

ANKARA - December 31 is the deadline for Akkuyu nuclear power plant tender put out by Turkish Electricity Production and Transmiting Co. (TEAS).

TEAS received bids from NPI, AECL and Westinghouse for Akkuyu nuclear power plant on October 15, 1997. In a letter dated October 15, 1998, TEAS had asked the three firms to prolong their bids for another year. Following this, German, Canadian and French consortiums had informed TEAS that they prolonged their credit options for one more year.

Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources announced on October 13, 1999 that the bidding deadline was extended till the end of 1999. At a leaders summmit attended by the leaders of the three coalition parties, the construction of Akkuyu nuclear power plant was approved.

Turkey's leading construction firms like Enka, MNG, Guris, Gama, Bayindir, Garanti and Tekfen are also competing with the world's famous reactor production firms for Akkuyu project

The nuclear power plant will produce more than 10 billion kilowatt/hour energy and expected to cost 4 or 5 billion U.S. dollars. The construction of the power plant is estimated to last about 7 years.

TEAS, so far, spent 100 million U.S. dollars for technical and infrastructure works.

[08] TURKISH-GREEK FRIENDSHIP IN TOURISM

ISTANBUL - Rapproachment between Turkey and Greece in political relations began to be effective in tourism also.

Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB), said approximately 170,000 tourists from Greece visit Turkey, and nearly 50,000 people from Turkey visit Greece.

Hulya Aslantas, TURSAB Deputy Chairwoman, said the positive atmosphere, which appeared after the quake, contributed to the efforts of tourist agencies.

Aslantas said they have prepared an atmosphere that will improve cooperaton with Greek Travel Agencies Union (HATTA), adding that they wanted to initiate a joint project aiming to introduce ''Aegean as the sea of tourism and peace'' to the world.

Aslantas also underlined that reciprocal tourism between Turkey and Greece should increase.

Meanwhile, Turkish-Greek Business Council, acting within the body of Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK), formed work groups in various fields having cooperation protocol between the two countries.

Turkish and Greek tourism work groups will stage a meeting on February 2000 to evaluate their preparations, and submit a joint text to Turkish-Greek Business Council.

Nedret Koruyan, Secretary General of Turkish Tourism Investors Association, said being the representative of tourism work group in Turkish-Greek business Council, they decided to stage Turkish-Greek tourism week, and to hold joint culture and art activities.

[09] GERMAN WOMAN TERRORIST IN SIVAS PRISON - JUHNKE ENDS HER HUNGER STRIKE

SIVAS - Eva Katriyana Unsa Juhnke, who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment terms of being the member of the terrorist organization, ended her hunger strike on Sunday. Juhnke is kept in Sivas Maximum Security Prison.

German woman terrorist started hunger strike almost two months ago as she wanted to be transferred to another prison. Juhnke ended her action after talking to Nadir Ozkardas, Republican Chief Prosecutor.

Ozkardas, who went to the prison this morning, talked to her nearly two hours.

Ozkardas told A.A correspondent after talking to the German woman terrorist that, ''Juhnke has been on hunger strike to be transferred to another prison. We have conveyed her request to Justice Ministry. I have informed her about this. Juhnke said she ended her hunger strike after our meeting.''

German citizen Juhnke, 33, was caught by peshmergas of Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in Zap region, during the operation of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in September 1997. Van State Security Court (DGM) sentenced Juhnke to 15 years of imprisonment terms on September 17, 1998.

Appeals court ratified her sentence in March.

[10] POLICE CATCH AN IBDA/C MEMBER AFTER BOMB ATTACK AGAINST PRIVATE CHANNEL-D TV

ISTANBUL - The person who was caught after the bomb attack launched at the private tv Channel-D's Mecidiyekoy building was reported to be a member of the illegal organization IBDA/C.

The police caught Ali Acar 20 minutes after the bomb exploded around 00.05. It was also claimed that Acar was involved in the bomb attacks at Istanbul's Carrefour shopping mall in Kadikoy district on December 19, 1999.

[11] DENKTAS, TRNC PRESIDENT, TO HOLD CONTACTS IN ANKARA

LEFKOSA - Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), will hold contacts in Ankara on Monday.

Denktas will attend various ceremonies during his stay.

Denktas is expected to return to TRNC on Tuesday morning.

A.A


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