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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-30

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

30 December 1999 Thursday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 30, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

AT ANY RATE, IT WILL FINISH
Two days later, the world and Turkey will get rid of 1999, the year full of natural disasters. The last disaster of 1999 is whirlwind. Russian- registered tanker carrying 4 thousand tons fuel oil from Bulgaria to Ambarli ran aground and split into two off-shore Menekse due to strong southwest winds at 03:30 local time on Wednesday. The crew of the shipwreck were rescued. Almost 500 tons of fuel oil spilled from the tanker over into the coasts of Kucukcekmece, Menkese and Florya. Officials are worrying about the leakage of all fuel oil in the tanker. The tanker was fined 19 billion 650 million Turkish Liras for polluting the Marmara Sea .

SOUTHWEST WIND CLAIMS TWO LIVES
Heavy storm claimed two lives in Bursa and Kandira township of Kocaeli. Power and telephone lines and roofs of buildings were knocked down in Thracian region and in Bursa. Almost ten tents in Altinova, Yalova were also knocked down.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

VISA TO NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
The National Security Council (NSC) shed a green light to the construction of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. Following the NSC meeting which lasted six hours, the officials said that the results of the tender could be notified to the representatives of the three consortiums which had submitted bids for the tender.

WIND LEAVES TURKEY WHILE SNOW COMES
The Meteorology General Directorate said that the strong southwest wind started to leave Turkey while the snow is expected by the new year. The southwest wind will be replaced by the northeast wind, the Directorate noted. The Directorate added that the temperature will increase above the seasonal normals.

MISTERY PLANE CRASHES INTO GROUND
The Antonov 28 type plane belonging to Ecuador Guana Airlines which was going from Ukraine to Iran, was lost near Black Sea. The officials said that the plane which had five crew members aboard, would most probably crashed into ground offshore Inebolu. The military ships and helicopters launched initiatives to find the missing plane and the crew.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

LAUNCH INITIATIVES TO END SHAME OF MIDDLE AGES
As we are welcoming the year 2000, there is the outbreak of rabies. The laws said that the stray dogs would be killed. However, the municipalities cannot do anything to eradicate the rabies because of the money shortage and the protests of the animal-lovers. Dr. Mecit Caliskan, the Health Director, asked for the killing of the stray dogs.

TWO BILLION U.S. DOLLAR REVENUE FROM BELIEF TOURISM
Turkey plans marking a giant leap forward in the belief tourism in 2000. Turkey's target is to provide an income of two billion U.S. dollars from the belief tourism by hosting two million tourists. The year 2000 carries importance for the Christian world since this ear is the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Christian world will visit the countries which shelter the holy places for Christianity in 2000. Turkey is among these countries. The officials of the Tourism Ministry said that they only feel uneasy about the insufficiency of bed capacity near the holy places which will be visited by the Christians. The officials are trying to find solutions to this problem.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

FOUR PROBLEMS OF GOVERNMENT
The government tries to pass the draft law which foresees backward arbitration following the parliamentary recess. However, the deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) express their uneasiness about the backward arbitration. Premier Bulent Ecevit; Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli; and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP); reached a compromise to clarify the ''law on headscarf'' in the parliamentary by-laws. However, the MHP and ANAP continue to reach a compromise because they have hesitations about the reaction of the base. The third problem of the government is the minimum wage. The Minimum Wage Determination Commission will announce the minimum wage which will be valid as of January 1, 2000. The government also gives priority to the nuclear technology and the construction of the quake- resistent nuclear power plants. All these issues constitute problems for the government.

ACAR, WHO STAGED BOMB ATTACKS, ON
CARREFOUR AND KANAL D, CAPTURED
Ali Acar, a member of the illegal fundamentalist organization IBDA-C who was claimed to stage bomb attacks on Carrefour shopping mall and private television channel Kanal D, was captured. Acar had earlier served as an editor-in-chief in the illegal Akinci Yolu magazine and had been trained for bomb training when he was in prison together with Salih Mirzabeyoglu, the head of the IBDA-C.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

SATISFACTION OF NSC WITH EU
The National Security Council (NSC) issued a communique after its meeting yesterday expressing its pleasure over acceptance of Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy. The NSC discussed the Emergency Rule, process of harmonization with EU regulations, fundamentalism, gangs and Turkish Aviation League (THK). The NSC called on the Council of Ministers to take steps to abolish the Emergency Rule and accelerate economic development in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.

THREE DECISIONS OF PARTNERS
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Mesut Yilmaz of the Motherland Party (MHP) held a meeting two days ago to discuss the problematic issues in 1999. In their last summit in 1999, the leaders of the coalition partners reached agreement on prohibition of Islamic-style headscarf in the Parliament, construction of a nuclear power plant and backward implementation of arbitration.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

SUPPORT FROM DYP TO DEMIREL
True Path Party (DYP) opened the proposal of constitutional change regarding election of the President by people to signature.

The proposal foresees the lection of the President by people allows the election of a person as the President for two times in rapid succession.

If the proposal is not signed by the sufficient number of deputies, DYP will submit their second proposal to the parliament about the same issue.

FAST ENTRANCE TO 2000
The Turkish foreign diplomacy will regain momentum as of mid-January 2000. Ankara is expected to host Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and European Union (EU) Term President Portugal's Foreign Minister Jaime Gama after mid-January. Another important guest will be King Abdullah who became the King of Jordan when his father Hussein Bin Tallal died on February 7, 1999.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

A MILLENIUM WITHOUT 'HUMAN RIGHTS'
As we try to welcome the new millenium with a human rights-centered understanding, the human rights associations which evaluate Turkey, think that Turkey has outdated rights and freedoms. Husnu Ondul, the Chairman of Human Rights Association, said that Turkey's problem was democracy. Rights and freedoms could exist if democracy existed.

SOCIAL SECURITY LAW TO BE RE-DISCUSSED IN 2000
The Constitutional Court would evaluate the request for abolishment of some articles of the Social Security Law and the request for the annulment of the law in 2000. Hasim Kilic, the Constitutional Court Acting Chief Judge, said that they decided to discuss two requests together in the new year.

[03] NEW INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TERMINAL OF ATATURK AIRPORT TO BE OPENED ON JANUARY 3

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - The new International Flights Terminal of the Ataturk Airport will be opened on January 3, 2000.

The State Airports General Directorate (DHMI) said on Thursday that President Suleyman Demirel and Premier Bulent Ecevit will participate in the inauguration.

The terminal and the new parking lot cost nearly 306 million U.S. dollars, the DHMI noted.

The DHMI stated that the area of new terminal is 170,000 square metres and has a 14 million passenger capacity a year.

The new terminal also includes 18 passenger buses, 160 check-in desks, a new techonology heating center, a generator, a recycling unit and a water tank; the DHMI stressed.

The DHMI emphasized that there are 12 boarding gates, 45 lifts, 23 escalators, 32 X-ray devices, and a luggage system which has a 10,000 suitcase capacity an hour in the new terminal.

A new parking lot for 7,000 vehicles was also constructed in the airport, the DHMI added.

[04] HEAVY SOUTHWEST WIND LOSES ITS EFFECT

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - The heavy southwest wind lost its effect on Thursday.

Seyfullah Celik, an official at the State Meteorology General Directorate, told A.A correspondent the heavy southwest wind which paralyzed the daily life in Marmara Region for three days, lost its effect.

Turkey will be under the influence of rainy weather on December 31, 1999; Celik said.

Celik noted that rain is expected in the western parts of Turkey on January 1, 1999 while the rain will fall throughout Turkey on January 2, 1999.

The temperature will start decreasing as of the new year, Celik stated.

Celik added that the temperature will decrease to the seasonal normals by a 10 to 15 degrees in the new year.

[05] IMF TO GIVE 1.5 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS LOAN TO TURKEY IN 2000

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - The Stand-By agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will enter into effect as of January 1, 2000.

This latest Stand-By agreement is the 18th similar deal with the IMF since 1947.

Turkey earlier signed 15 Stand-By agreements, one Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) with the IMF.

Turkey, which became a member of the IMF in 1947 within the international system of Bretton Woods, signed the first agreement with the IMF as a Stand- By on January 1, 1961.

Turkey signed the EFF in 1980 and obtained an important source of a 1.25 billion SDR.

The latest 64-article Stand-By which will enter into effect as of January 1, 2000, is one of the most detailed and comprehensive agreements with the IMF.

Within the framework of the agreements signed with the IMF, Turkey has sued a total of 3 billion 186 billion SDR financial use up until now.

IMF will give 1.5 billion U.S. dollars loan to Turkey in 2000 within the framework of the stand-by programme.

High-level economy officials told the A.A correspondent that the remaining 2.5 billion U.S. dollars part of the loan would be extended in 2001 and 2002.

Officials said the four billion U.S. dollars loan would be given to Turkey in pats in every quarter after the appoval of the IMF officials who would pay visit to Turkey once in every three months for control.

Officials said the IMF loan would have no repayment for three years and have a nearly seven percent interest rate.

Officials stressed that the IMF loan would increase Turkey's foreign exchange reserves but it would not be used in direct financing of domestic borrowing.

Economy officials said Turkey had to consider the IMF loan as a package not as an aid, adding that the amount of source obtained from abroad would reach 10 billion U.S. dollars together with three billion U.S. dollars loan of the World Bank and loans of Japan with proper conditions.

Turkey's quota in the IMF is 964 million SDR (nearly 1.3 billion U.S. dollars).

[06] TURKISH-ISRAELI MILITARY DIALOGUE MEETING

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - Defense industry projects and military cooperation issues were discussed during Turkish-Israeli Military Dialogue meeting which was held in Telaviv, Israel.

A statement of General Staff General Secretariat recalled that a delegation headed by Gen. Edip Baser, Deputy Chief of General Staff, attended the meetings which took place between December 26 and 29, 1999.

The statement said officials from Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry also attended the meetings.

It said, ''defense industry projects, carried out between the two countries, and military cooperation issues have been discussed'', adding that cooperation facilities within the scope of NATO's Mediterranean dialogue were searched for to spread regional peace and stability.

The statement said Gen. Baser met with high level military officials, and exchanged views on issues concerning the two countries.

[07] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''I WILL HOLD A MEETING WITH THE LEADERS OF COALITION PARTNER PARTIES SOON''

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that he will hold a meeting with the leaders of the coalition partner parties immediately after the New Year, and noted that they will exchange views regarding the position which the government will adopt under the light of the decision of Vural Savas, Chief Prosecutor of Appeals Court. Savas rejected the appeal of lawyers of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, for a correction to the death sentence.

Speaking to reporters Ecevit said, ''as you know, Savas, Chief Prosecutor of Appeals Court, rejected the appeal of the lawyers of Abdullah Ocalan for a correction to death sentence. This is under the authorization of the Chief Prosecutor. Disclosing his decision on the issue, Savas stressed the fact it is up to the Turkish governments to implement cautionary judgements of European Human Rights Court (ECHR).''

Ecevit said he will hold a meeting with the leaders of the coalition partner parties immediately after the New Year, and submit the result to Council of Ministers.''

When asked about his personal view, Ecevit said, ''I have no right to announce my personal point of views. We are working as the coalition government, and we work in harmony. I don't think there will be a problem to this end.''

[08] NEW YEAR MESSAGE OF DENKTAS, TRNC PRESIDENT: - ''WE EXPECT COMPROMISE IN THE YEAR 2000''

LEFKOSA, Dec 30 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Thursday that the world began to listen and understand the voice of Turkish Cypriots, adding that, ''the future is ours, we expect compromise in the year 2000.''

In his New Year message, Denktas said a better and brilliant future was waiting for Turkish Cypriots.

Pointing out that Turkish Cypriots suffered a lot since 1955, yet stood still without bowing despite all these sufferings, Denktas said the value of freedom should be appreciated.

Denktas called on Glafcos Clerides, Greek Cypriot leader, to tell his people the truths, and wanted him to say that Turkish Cypriots were not their enemies.''

[09] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE: ''WE ENTER 2000S WITH GREAT HOPES''

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that Turkey enters 2000 with great hopes, adding ''Great leader Ataturk has shown the modern civilization as the target of the Turkish nation. I believe we can reach this target in 2000s.''

Issuing a new years message, Ecevit said that 1999 had both pleasing and sad events for the Turkish nation.

Thousands of people died, thousands of others were injured and more than 100,000 people were homeless and unemployed due to the quake disasters, said Ecevit and added that ''the temporary shelter of the people were solved in a short period of time by the cooperation of the state with people.''

Ecevit stressed that the coalition government composed of three parties worked actively and adopted many laws successfully.

''Steps have started to be taken to solve the problem of high inflation and activate the dynamism of Turkish society. The positive results of that will be seen in few years. Again this year the head of the terrorist organization PKK was captured and the support to terrorism from internal and external powers were reduced in a considerable extent. The indeficiencies of our democracy started to be overcome. Besides an important stage has been taken in the way of Turkey to the EU. The respect of our nation and state has increased in the world,'' he added.

[10] FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS SHIP ACCIDENT PROVES THAT STRAITS SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR OIL TRANSPORT

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday the Russian flagged Volganeft 248 which ran aground and split into two due to stormy weather at Istanbul's Menekse Coast confirmed one more time Turkey was right to defend that the straits should not be used for oil transport.

''The accident shows that the strict inspections over the ships which use Turkish straits are extremely important to protect people's lives and environment,'' said the Foreign Ministry in a statement. ''No ship has the right to threaten Istanbul's environment and people's health,'' it was also added.

A total of 900 tons of fuel oil leaked from the damaged ship creating a high pollution risk for Marmara Sea. Despite the negative weather conditions, efforts are continuing to prevent the spread of the fuel oil.

The 126 meter long ship weighing 4,400 tons ran aground in early Thursday morning because of stormy weather. Later, it split into two and the front part of the ship sank while 15 of its personnel were rescued.

[11] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - 12.3 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS OF FOREIGN DEBT PAID SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999

ANKARA, Dec 30 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 12 billion 302.3 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of this year.

The amount was 12 billion 494.21 million dollars last year. A decrease of 1.5 percent was seen in the foreign debt payments this year compared to last year.

The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid 10 billion 528.65 million U.S. dollars, the Central Bank repaid 441.65 million U.S. dollars, the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 856.98 million dollars.

A total of 414.8 million U.S. dollars of this year's foreign payments was paid back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and 60.22 million dollars was paid to Turkish Defense Fund.

Meanwhile, a total of 724.01 million dollars was repaid as foreign debt in December.

A.A


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