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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-27

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

[01] AA News

27 December 1999 Monday


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Sunday that Turkey wants to integrate with the European Union (EU) but it should not damage Turkey's stability.

Demirel responded to the questions in the ''Pulse of the Politics'' which was broadcast in the state-run TRT channel.

The EU will damage Turkey if it deteriorates the stability of Turkey and if Turkey losses her title as 'a uniter state', Demirel noted.

Demirel said, ''Turkey should remain as a uniter state and at the same time she has to integrate with the EU. If you do not take into consideration the first condition, then you cannot fulfil the second condition.''

Europe started to restructure itself following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Demirel pointed out.

Demirel noted that the EU concept was born following two big world wars that Europe faced.

The target of this Europe is an undivided, democratic and wealthy Europe which lives in peace; Demirel stated.

Demirel drew the attention to the anarchy in 1970s and the terrorism in 1980s and 1990s.

Turkey could preserve her solidarity despite all the threats, Demirel stressed.

Demirel said, ''Turkey has directed herself to integrate with the EU. The Copenhagen criteria exist. The Copenhagen criteria include the expression 'minority.' Showing the citizens in Turkey who have some other origins as 'minority' and provoking these people will not only deteriorate the peace of Turkish nation but also will cause significant problems in ruling this country.''

''The step that Turkey took for integration with the EU and Turkey's being accepted as a candidate member should not destabilize Turkey. Because, I think we should preserve our internal peace,'' Demirel added.

Demirel continued, ''we try to materialize the human rights and democracy in Turkey. We should not deteriorate Turkey's unity, internal peace, solidarity and order when we try to materialize the human rights and democracy. Turkey should rearrange her laws. Turkey should revise her Constitution. Turkey should conform to the EU legislations. Turkey should conform to the universal law. But, she should take measures to preserve the democratic authority at the same time.''

''Turkey cannot be in favour of anything which targets her unity and which will destabilize her. Everbody should keep this in mind. I want to underline this,'' Demirel added.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel called on Sunday quake survivors to move from tents to prefabricated huts constructed by the State.

Addressing a television programme named ''Pulse of the Politicis'' on the state-run TRT-1 Channel, President Demirel recalled that more than 18 thousand people were killed while 55 thousand others were injured, and 300 buildings collapsed in two massive earthquates which devastated Marmara Region on August 17 and November 12.

He noted, ''every individual living in Turkey felt a grave pain after the quake disasters. I thank all of them. State's institutions together with the Turkish Armed Forces, rushed to the quake-stricken area to help quake survivors. The Red Crescent did its utmost. Almost everyone was criticized because the pain was extremely grave. But our State has done anything it could do. A total of 115 tents have been distributed while 30 thousand prefabricated huts have been costructed after the Marmara quake. Overall wounds of the quake disasters will have been healed till November 30, 2000.''
President Demirel called on quake survivors to move from tents to prefabricated huts.

Referring to Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU), President Demirel pointed out that a U.S. President paid a visit to Turkey for the first time in 10 years.

Recalling that U.S. President Bill Clinton gave important messages during his visit to Turkey, President Demirel underlined the significance of political geography where Turkey takes place.

Stressing that Turkey was very important for the regional peace,

Demirel said, ''Turkey has already serving peace in the Balkans, the Middle East and Caucasia. Recent political developments increased Turkey's importance. As a result of this importance, Turkey has taken several responsibilities and seized serious opportunities.''

Referring to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit which was held in Istanbul last month, Demirel said, ''Istanbul represented Turkey magnificently. Turkey is spiritual and cultural inheritor of the Ottoman Empire which had ruled the region for centuries. Representatives of many countries attended the OSCE summit in Istanbul. Bilateral contacts which were held within framework of the OSCE summit, were extremely important. The infrastructure of Helsinki summit was formed at the OSCE summit in Istanbul.''

Demirel added, ''it was important that Greece did not use her right to veto at Helsinki summit. Turkey's candidacy to the EU is also beneficial for Europe and Greece.''


These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 27, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.


December 31 is the deadline for Akkuyu nuclear power plant tender put out by the Turkish Electricity Production and Transmiting Incorp. (TEAS). Cumhur Ersumer, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources announced 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 to 5 billion U.S. dollars. The construction of the power plant is estimated to last about 7 years.

As aftershocks continue to shake disaster area after two massive earthquakes, two 3.8-magnitude earthquakes occured in Bulanik county of Mus province and in Marmaris county of Mugla province. Meanwhile, five aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 2.8 to 3.5, were recorded in Marmara Region.


A total of 2,400 people have applied to the European Court of Human Rights. Hasip Kaplan, a lawyer, said that the changes in regulations would accelerate with Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU).


President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey wanted to integrate with the European Union (EU) but membership should not damage Turkey's stability. Addressing a television programme named ''Pulse of the Politics'' on the TRT-1 channel, Demirel noted, ''the EU will damage Turkey if it deteriorates the stability of Turkey and if Turkey losses her title as 'a uniter state. Turkey should remain as a uniter state and at the same time she has to integrate with the EU. If you do not take into consideration the first condition, then you cannot fulfil the second condition.''

A total of 11 terrorists were killed in operations launched by the security forces in southeastern Sirnak province. Meanwhile, 3 security officials died in the operation.


Turkey had started to make arrangements which will totally change her economy to sign the Stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The letter of intent which was approved by the IMF covered many commitments, including the new tax burden named earthquake tax, 25 percent increase in the salaries of the civil servants in accordance with the inflation target by the end of 2000, the legal rearrangements which will enable the transfer of Telekom and energy to the foreigners, the change in the Banking Law, the annihilation of the public sector by privatization.

The U.S. oppresses Turkey to award the Westinghouse company with the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant tender. However, the Turkish Electricity Incorp. (TEAS) says that the nuclear power plant which will be constructed by Canadian AECL company by using natural uranium, is more appropriate for Turkey's national interests. The results of the tender should be announced until December 31, 1999.


General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, said, ''President and Prime Minister asked me about Ocalan's position. I told them that we are in favour of it because we suffered grave pain. I also told them that our answer is the execution of Ocalan's punishment. But, the politicians should give a decision in accordance with the interests of the country.''

The Stand-by agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the approval of Turkey's letter of intent led to the continuation of the increase in the markets. The index marked 9.7 percent increase last week and rose to 14.403 points. The U.S. Dollar gained 0.94 percent in value and the German Mark gained 1.05 percent in value.


The government will start to implement new reforms to reach the European Union (EU) standards as of the new year. The government will put on the agenda the draft laws on arbitration, capital punishment, Turkish Penal Code and the amnesty in the new year. The government will implement reforms regarding democratization, jurisdiction and economy. The government will also put an end to the terrorism in Southeastern and Eastern Anatolia Regions by fulfilling all the infrastructral works in these regions.

Eleven terrorists were killed in the clashes which occured between a group of terrorists and the security forces in Dereler hamlet of southeastern Sirnak province. Three soldiers died in the clashes.


In the end of the investigations carried out in the Title Deed and Cadastre Directorate, the general director and many other high-ranking officials were revealed to make corruption. General Director Talat Erdogan; Sinasi Bayraktar, Nihat Sahin, the general directors; and Fevzi Canta, the Director of Revolving Fund; made corruption for many years. The investigation put forward that the institution has not been inspected for 20 years.

The draft law on rents was submitted to the Office of Parliament Speaker. The draft law foresees only 25 percent increase in the rents in 2000 and 10 percent increase in 2001. The draft law envisages that the rents will not be increased for one year if the rents are indexed on the foreign currency or gold.


TOKYO/ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Masami Shigematsu, Turkey analyst of the Japanese rating organization JCR, said on Monday that Turkey's signing the Stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a significant developmet for the increase of the rating note of Turkey.

Shigematsu told A.A correspondent that Turkey made commitments about the economic policies she will implement by the Stand-by agreement.

They closely follow the developments in Turkish economy, Shigematsu noted.

Shigematsu emphasized that the stand-by agreement created a positive impression in the international markets.

Schiegematsu recalled that the government has taken significant economic decisions.

The following step is to implement the economic policies and they will visit Turkey in January or February; Shigematsu stated.

Shigematsu stressed that they will announce the rating note of Turkey following their contacts in Ankara and Istanbul.

The JCR had earlier announced Turkey's rating note as ''BB'' in its evaluation made in November 1997.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that Turkey has taken actions to send humanitarian aid to Algeria in the wake of the earthquake disaster on December 22.

Releasing a statement, the Foreign Ministry noted that 25 people were killed while 80 others were injured in 5.8-magnitude earthquake which occured near northwestern Oran city in Algeria.

The statement stressed that Turkey which experienced similar disasters, was ready to assist Algeria in healing the wounds of quake disaster.

The Red Crescent has begun to take necessary measures to dispatch humanitarian and financial aid to Algeria.

President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, and Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, sent messages to their Algerian counterparts, and expressed their condolences over loss of lives in quake disaster.


LEFKOSA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, the National Defense Minister said on Monday that Turkey's policy on Cyprus is not daily and it is a policy which is based on realities and which has been formed through years.

Speaking at Ercan Airport in his arrival in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Cakmakoglu said that Turkey's policy on Cyprus recognizes two states, two communities and the sovereignty of two peoples.

''This or that kind of scenarios don't effect our policy on Cyprus. Our President, Prime Minister, all of us reiterate our views in all kinds of political platforms,'' said Cakmakoglu.

Cakmakoglu stressed that the mistakes, which were committed to find a permanent solution between the two states on Cyprus, have to be corrected, adding the incorrect view saying that ''the Greek Cypriot side represents the whole Cyprus'' has to change.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - The ten-page verdict of the Supreme Court of Appeals Ninth Criminal Deparment's verdict, which upheld the death sentence of Semdin Sakık, a leading PKK terrorist and which dismissed the death penalty of his brother Arif Sakık due to ''imperfect investigation,'' was announced on Monday.

The verdict about Semdin Sakık firstly notes that he is one of the top- members of the armed terrorist organization PKK which was formed to set up a Kurdish state based on Marxist-Leninist ideology by separating one part of Turkish territories from state administration. The verdict pointed out that Sakık was the second man after Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist within the PKK, adding Sakık is responsible for many armed attacks of the PKK.

Sakık joined the PKK in 1980, the court statement noted, adding that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) described the PKK as ''a terrorist organization which uses violence to reach its goals'' in its Zana v. Turkey case. In the same decision, ECHR also noted that PKK carries out bloody attacks against civilians in Southeastern Turkey, noted the statement.

The statement stressed that it is appropriate to sentence Semdin Sakık to imprisonment under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code, adding Sakık can't benefit from the Repentance Law as the latter can not be applied for a top-terrorist who killed or injured members of security forces. The statement later stressed that it upheld the death sentence given to Semdin Sakık.

The part of the statement about Arif Sakık notes that it should be clearly determined whether he actively participated in killing of Mehmet Can Simin or not. Thus court dismissed the death sentence given to Arif Sakık due to imperfect investigation.

The Supreme Court of Appeals Ninth Criminal Department reached its verdict unanimously.

Semdin Sakık has the right to ask for ''correction of the verdict given about him,'' which is known as an extraordinary legal way. This request has to be firstly approved by Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals. If the Prosecution does not reject the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals Ninth criminal department about Arif Sakık, he will be re-tried at Diyarbakır State Security Court No. 1.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Turkey exported 21 billion 205.1 million U.S. dollars goods in the first ten months of 1999.

The manufacturing industry had the highest share in exports with 89.5 percent while it was followed by agriculture sector with 8.9 percent and by mining and quarry sector with 1.4 percent.

According to the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) data, the exports from the manufacturing sector in the first ten months of 1999 decreased 5 percent to 18 billion 979.8 million U.S. dollars. The total exports from the same sector had been 19 billion 973.1 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

As of the same periods in 1998 and 1999, the exports from the fishery sector climbed by 116 percent.

The exports from the fishery sector increased from 15 million 57 thousand U.S. dollars to 32 million 516 thousand U.S. dollras.

Between January and October 1999, the exports of agricultural products decreased by 12.8 percent and the exports of mining and quarry products dropped by 6.4 percent.

According to the DIE statistics, the imports of capital goods decreased 22.3 percent to 6 billion 773.4 million U.S. dollars in the first ten months of this year.

The imports of capital goods in the same period in 1998 had been 8 billion 722.7 million U.S. dollars.

The imports of consumer goods, which had been 4 billion 409.6 million U.S. dollars in the first ten months of 1998, reduced 11.1 percent to 3 billion 919.7 million U.S. dollars in the same period this year.

The imports of intermediary goods, which had been 25 billion 114.5 million U.S. dollars in the first ten months of 1998, decreased 15.4 percent to 21 billion 238.5 million U.S. dollars in the same period this year.

Turkey's total imports between January and October 1999 reached 32 billion 188.5 million U.S. dollars, and the capital goods had a 21 percent share, intermediary products had a 66 percent share and consumer goods had a 12.2 percent stake in imports.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Monday that the Republican train brought love and loyalty to the Turkish Republic from all parts of the country.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said in his part that ''the Republican Train shows conceretly how deep the Republic is rooted in minds and hearts of people. ''This journey does not end here, it will continue till eternity,'' added Ecevit.

The Republican Train which travelled all around Turkey reached Ankara at 12.00 local time. A ceremony was held in Ankara Train Station upon the arrival of the Republican Train in Ankara and the 80th anniversary of Ataturk's arrival in Ankara.

President Demirel said that ''today, which we celebrate, is the start of the success of our Independence Fight and our Republic. We commemorate our great leader Ataturk and his friends who started this independence fight.''

''Together with Turkish Republic, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will live together,'' Prime Minister Ecevit said.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said on Monday that the agricultural reform in Turkey should be implemented as soon as possible.

Staging a press conference, Gokalp gave information about the problems in agriculture within the framework of the European Union (EU) regulations and the things that should be done within the scope of the agricultural reform.

Gokalp stressed that Turkey should realize harmonization with the EU's common agricultural policy and reforms in the shortest time frame.

''With its current structure, it will be impossible for our agricultural sector to compete with the EU when Turkey becomes a full-member and when the free circulation of agricultural products starts if Turkey can't develop its agricultural sector with necessary reforms. And Turkey may become an open market for the EU concerning agricultural products,'' he said.

Gokalp said that the Council of Ministers should approve some draft laws within the scope of the agricultural reform and submit them to the Parliament as soon as possible.

''An Agricultural Support and Steering Committee should be established. This committee can take joint agricultural decisions and form long term agricultural policies. This committee will undertake the duties like increasing the production, organizing the institutional arrangements, realizing the agriculture-industry integration, increasing the agricultural exports, fulfilling the liabilities stemming from international agreements, forming agricultural products marketing order and implementing the agricultural policies more effectively within the framework of the principles of sustainability,'' he said.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said on Monday that they would take into consideration the realities in Turkey in addition to the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) while fixing the grain prices.

''We accept the recommendations of the IMF and other international organizations on the point of their accord and practicability with the realities in Turkey. However, if there are some advices that can't be implemented, we find common points for a compromise,'' he said.

Gokalp said the 2000 year grain purchase prices would be at the level of 1999 prices and denominated in U.S. dollar.

Staging a press conference, Gokalp said, ''we try to reach an accord by discussing the recommendations of the IMF and the World Bank, and our own advices. It is sure that the IMF and the World Bank can't know the realities in Turkey and the difficulties of the Turkish farmers as much as we can. We discuss the realities in Turkey. We accept the appropriate advices.''


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Husnu Yusuf Gokalp said on Monday that the support and subsidies in agriculture will not be abolished but they will change their shape when Turkey becomes a full-member of the European Union (EU).

Staging a press conference, Gokalp said the agreements and protocols signed with the EU foresee harmonization of the Turkish agriculture with the EU's common agricultural policy.

Recalling that the EU uses 45 billion U.S. dollars of its 85 billion ECU budget for agricultural support, Gokalp said, ''not only direct income support but also some supports like market support, purchase support, and subsidy to storing cost are given by the EU. The supports and subsidies will not be abolished but there will be change in the form when Turkey becomes a full-member.''

Gokalp stressed that there is a need for some structural changes to form a similar support system, and some draft laws to this end will be finalized in near future.


TEL AVIV, Dec 27 (A.A) - The annual strategical meetings between Turkey and Israel started on Monday in Tel Aviv.

Turkey is being represented by a 30-member delegation including officials from the General Staff, Defense and Foreign Ministries.

The Turkish delegation was led by Deputy Chief of General Staff Edip Baser, while the Israeli delegation was headed by Defense Ministry Director Amos Yoran.

The peace talks started between Israel and Syria is also on the agenda of the two-day 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.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent prior to the meetings, the Israeli officials said Turkey was very important for Israel, adding, ''an agreement with Syria will only increase the stability in the region and contribute to security of Turkey. We do not do anything that can endanger our relations with Turkey.''

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.


LEFKOSA, Dec 27 (A.A) - National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu opened on Monday a dormitory that was built in Gazimagusa city of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) by the Foundation for Assisting Turkish Armed Forces Personnel's Children.

Addressing the inauguration, Cakmakoglu said the TRNC attaches great importance to education, and as the adults, their duty is to create opportunities for the young population to enable them to prepare themselves for the future better.

Stressing that the students graduated from the universities in the TRNC will serve first of all the humanity, Cakmakoglu said those students will be the voluntary envoys of Turkey and the TRNC when they return to their motherlands.

The construction of the dormitory on a 3,800 square meter land started in 1996. The four-storey dormitory which was built on the coast will accomodate 252 students.


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Monday that the Greek Cypriot side in southern Cyprus does not have sovereignty in Northern Cyprus, adding ''if the reality of Northern Cyprus is accepted, there will be many openings in the way to the solution.''

Demirel received Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) the same day. Speaking in the reception, President Demirel said that everybody is in agreement in Turkey regarding the Cyprus problem.

''I am proud to say that Turkish nation, which is 65 million people, gets united concerning an issue, although this is not easy,'' said Demirel.

President Demirel pointed out that many governments changed and came to power in 40 years, but all of them thought in the same way about Cyprus problem.

TRNC President Denktas carried out this issue as an hero of a big epic even in bad conditions, Demirel said.

''Even in bad conditions, he wasn't discouraged and he has always been supported by the Turkish nation and Turkish state,'' he said.

President Demirel said that he hopes permanent and just solution on Cyprus is not far away, adding Turkey and TRNC have always acted with good will.

''Turkey has never made difficulties, but a just and permanent solution on the island is necessary. There are two separate states and two equal sovereignties on the island and it does not seem possible to find a solution without taking into consideration the ''de facto situation'' on the island. I suppose everybody will understand that in the coming period, '' Demirel said.

Turkey tries to explain this fact to the whole world together with Rauf Denktas, said Demirel and added that ''recently there are efforts to include Cyprus into the EU, but Cyprus is not composed of one state today.''


ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Monday that ''candidacy to the European Union (EU) gives opportunity to Turkey to explain the Cyprus problem to Turkey in a more effective way.''

Speaking after President Demirel, TRNC President Denktas pointed out that whenever he comes to Ankara he is encouraged by President Demirel.

Denktas pointed out that he is proud to be in Ankara in such a historical day, adding ''the future of Turkey is open as long as it goes in the direction of Ataturk.''

Denktas said that U.S. President Bill Clinton had stressed that ''there is no return back on Cyprus,'' adding ''we have to start from the point we stay as there is no return back.''

Noting that there are two national societies which govern themselves for 36 years on Cyprus, said Denktas, and added that there is a Turkish nation which broke off its ties from the other one in Southern Cyprus. Denktas stressed that this Turkish nation set up its state 16 years ago.

''The main thing is to determine the fields in which two peoples can make cooperation and live in good neighbourhood,'' said Denktas.

Recalling the view of confederation, TRNC said that he defended this view in New York, Denktas said that the second round of talks will start in Geneva where they will put the legal method of their proposals.

''Like everybody say, a give-take position can start in the third round in June,'' Denktas added.

Denktas pointed out that the opening of EU to Turkey is a new page, adding ''we hope this will be a pleasing formation. I suppose that this way can also be opened to us.''

''If there will be peace, the ambargo has to be lifted on TRNC. We wish an agreement which will be strong, based on sovereignty rights and which won't collapse,'' Denktas added.


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