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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 01-05-08

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.com.tr/>

Anadolu Agency

ANADOLU AGENCY

NEWS

08 MAY 2001 Tuesday


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

  • [01] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on May 8, 2000. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

    HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

    THERE CAN BE NO FREEDOM TO DEFEND FUNDAMENTALISM
    The judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) who will hear the case on the closure of the Welfare Party (RP) think that defending fundamentalism can't be considered within the scope of the right to freedom of thought and expression. A ECHR delegation headed by President Luzius Wildhaber holds contacts in Ankara.

    DEBATED PHOTOGRAPH INCLUDED TO BLUE STREAM FILE
    Cevdet Volkan, the Chief Prosecutor of Ankara State Security Court (DGM) charged a young prosecutor Cengiz Koksal yesterday to carry out the investigation about ''Blue Stream'' by taking it from Nuh Mete Yuksel, another prosecutor. The photograph of Turgut Yılmaz, the brother of Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) taken with Moscow mayor Lujkov in a meeting was also included into the case file.

    MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

    OKSUZ'S PROBLEM IS ''AUTHORITY''
    Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz does not want to give up the authority to give licence regarding Turkish Telecom. This time, this is the problem in the bill on Turkish Telecom, which was thought to be sorted out. Oksuz wants this authority to be left to the Transportation Ministry, saying that this is the case in European countries. The Treasury and the Privatization Administration are against that.

    VAT TO INCREASE
    The Value Added Tax (VAT) ratio of all products except basic food stuff will be increased by one point and reach 18 percent. The VAT will increase to 26 percent in luxurious goods.

    SABAH (LIBERAL)

    DERVIS AND OKSUZ TO MEET TODAY
    State Minister Kemal Dervis for economy and Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz will meet today at 08.00 local time under the leadership of State Minister Husamettin Ozkan to solve the problem of authority in giving licence regarding Turkish Telecom bill.

    52,000 TOURISTS COME TO ANTALYA IN LAST THREE DAYS
    The flow of foreigners to southern Antalya province continues. In the last three days, 52,000 tourists and in the first five months of this year 780, 000 tourists came to Antalya.

    CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

    MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT PUTS OFF HIS VISIT TO TURKEY
    Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski put off his visit to Turkey due to the incidents in his country. Calling President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on the phone, Trajkovski said that the situation in Macedonia is critical, adding he can't leave his country at the moment. Sezer said in his part that Turkey is concerned about the attacks staged on business places and religious and cultural places of muslim Macedonian citizens of Turkish and Albanian origin. He added that he believes the Macedonian government will take the necessary measures to prevent such kind of attacks and bring assailants to justice.

    TURK-IS SEEMS RESOLVED
    Turk-Is, the Confederation of the Turkish Labour Unions proposed to give up the 5 percent increase (prosperity increase) in wages of public workers in the meeting held between Turk-Is and government officials yesterday in Ankara. However, the government which does not take a step back, didn't bring a new proposal. Bayram Meral, the Chairman of Turk-Is said that if ''we can't solve the issue of collective bargaining at table, we will solve by holding demonstrations.''

    RADIKAL (LEFT)

    STUBBORNNES CONTINUES IN F TYPE PRISONS
    The amendment in Article 16 of Anti-Terrorism Act went into force, yet the death fasts in prisons continue. Huseyin Kayacı, an inmate who was transferred to hospital in western Izmir province died and another inmate Cafer Tayyar Bektas died in Ankara. The number of inmates who died because of death fast reached 22. The condition of many other death fasters is critical.

    FLOOD KILLS THREE PERSONS IN KONYA
    Three people were killed when their vehicle was swept away by floodwaters in the central province of Konya yesterday. The three men were crossing a riverbed in a truck late Sunday in Cihanbeyli town when a flash flood caused by heavy rainfall overturned and swept away their vehicle. The floods had damaged several thousand acres of crops in Konya.

    TURKIYE (RIGHT)

    DIFFICULTIES ARISE IN TELECOM BILL AGAIN
    The bill on privatization of Turkish Telecom couldn't be solved yet due to certain difficulties. State Minister Kemal Dervis said that ''the issue has been solved in legal aspect, yet there are certain difficulties.'' He didn't state what these difficulties are. In fact, Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz does not want to transfer the right to give licence to Telecommunication Institution, and Dervis insists on this authority to be given to the Treasury.

    BANKING BILL SUBMITTED TO PARLIAMENT
    The bill that foresees amendment in the Banking Law, which is one of the priorities of the government, was submitted to the parliament on Monday evening after three ministers charged to give the last form to the bill did that. State Minister Tunca Toskay said that the period of money syphoning has ended.

    ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

    ECHR PRESIDENT HOLDS CONTACTS IN ANKARA
    Luzius Wildhaber, the President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and ECHR delegation visited yesterday the Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk and Sami Selcuk, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Appeals. Wildhaber said that a dialogue has to be set up between the government and inmates who are on death fast in prisons.

    TWO TEDAS OFFICIALS ARRESTED
    Osman Nuri Dogan, the Deputy Director General of Turkish Electricity Distribution Corp (TEDAS), and Hasan Tiftik, the Head of Distribution and Networks Department of TEDAS, who were transferred to the DGM Alternate Judge's Office by Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Prosecutor Talat Salk, were arrested.

    -IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR KOHLER SAYS TURKEY WAS RIGHT IN
    ADOPTING FLOATING EXCHANGE RATE SYSTEM
    WASHINGTON D.C. - IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler said on Monday that Turkey was right in adopting the floating exchange rate system.

    Responding to questions of journalists after a meeting held at the U.S. Department of State, Kohler said that as the decision to adopt the floating exchange rate was right, Turkey is regarded now as a very suitable country which is open to investors. This policy will work and yield results, he said.

    Reiterating his support to the new economic programme of Turkey in the same meeting, Kohler had earlier said that Turkey would overcome the recent crisis.

    IMF Executive Directors Board is expected to discuss the economic programme and finance package of Turkey on May 15, Tuesday.

    IMF, which received Turkey's letter of intent, distributed it to the Board which is composed of 24 persons, to be examined before May 15.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN SAYS PRACTICAL SOLUTION METHODS
    AND COMMON COOPERATION METHODS HAVE TO BE FOUND TO FIGHT WITH
    CROSS-BORDER CRIMES
    TEHRAN - Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan, who arrived in Iran early on Tuesday for an official visit, said that practical solution methods and common cooperation methods have to be found to fight with cross-border crimes.

    Tantan who was welcomed by Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Gulamhusein Bolandiyan, told reporters that Iran and Turkey are the two important countries of the region. Tantan said that they want to find solutions about the problems related to the activities of the organized crime and opposition groups.

    Tantan said that he is the first Turkish Interior Minister who wanted to meet with Iranian high ranking officials to develop the security relations between the two countries, hoping the meetings to help in development of the relations between the two countries.

    Noting that the security that will be installed in Iran and Turkey will contribute to the development of the regional security and be an example for other countries in the region, Tantan said that ''practical solution methods and common cooperation methods have to be found to fight with cross- border crimes, the aim of my visit is to reach this goal.''

    Bolandiyan said in his part that the foreign policy of Iran which is a victim of terrorism is non-intervention with internal affairs of other countries, stressing that Iran and Turkey have common interests and borders.

    There is a free atmosphere in Iran, but there is no basis in Iran for the opponents of other countries to benefit from, Bolandiyan said.

    ''We want to keep the relations of the two countries at the highest level by holding bilateral meetings. Unfortunately, the enemies of the two countries try to cause a problem between Turkey and Iran,'' he said.

    Bolandiyan added that the two countries formed joint commissions to take up various security issues and these commissions will try to find solutions to the possible difficulties.

    -FM UNDERSECRETARY LOGOGLU RECEIVES IKDP LEADER BARZANI
    ANKARA - Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) leader Massaud Barzani, who came to Turkey to exchange views about the recent situation in the region, came to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

    Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Faruk Logoglu received Barzani.

    Deputy Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, military officials, KDP Spokesman Sami Abdurrahman and KDP's representative in Ankara Safeen Dizayee also attended the meeting.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN MEETS WITH IRANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER LARI
    TEHRAN - Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan who is currently in Iran for an official visit, met on Tuesday with Iranian Interior Minister Abdol Vahed Musavi-Lari.

    Border security and common security issues were taken up in the meeting, which lasted for nearly one hour and which was closed to the press.

    Tantan will also meet with Iranian Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Mehdi Mahdavi-Karubi and Iranian Assembly National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Chairman Muhsin Mirdamadi the same day.

    -FM CEM EXPLAINS TURKEY'S VIEWS ABOUT EU'S FUTURE
    IN UNOFFICIAL MEETING OF EU FOREIGN MINISTERS
    ANKARA - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem explained Turkey's views about the future of the European Union (EU) in the unofficial meeting of the EU countries' foreign ministers held in Sweden between 5-6 May.

    Speaking in the working dinner hosted for foreign ministers of EU countries and candidate countries, Cem said that the EU has developed a lot when compared to the 50 years ago, when it was founded. ''It has yielded a positive result, thus this dynamic process has to continue. The share of authority between the states and EU institutions have been formed in a way, '' Cem had said.

    The EU has to focus now on to make itself more effective, he said adding that ''there are 15 member countries of the EU for the moment and this will reach 30 in the future. When this comes true, there will be certain economic and interregional inbalances within the union. Various problems will come to agenda.''

    Referring to the Charter of Fundemantal Rights, Cem said that there is already the European Convention on Human Rights, adding that ''the Charter of Fundamental Rights is just like a political declaration. It is not the legal part of the agreements.'' If the latter comes true, it will form a new legal area in parellel with the one in Strasbourg, said Cem, noting that two different mechanisms can be harmful and the one in Strasbourg can suffer from that.

    Creating a second legal area in the EU can also cause a double standart between the citizens of the EU countries and non-EU countries.

    Cem said regarding the simplification of laws that the laws of the EU represent a compromise, adding that ''EU should not spoil the laws in order to simplify them. The laws have been prepared in a very careful way, but the problem here stems from the fact that EU citizens can't understand the laws as they are too complicated.''

    Cem said about national parliaments that parliaments can play an important role in overcoming the democratic deficiences that came out between the socities and state institutions.

    Recounting that a web site ''http://europa.eu.int/futurum'' has been formed by the EU to overcome this broken-off relations between these institutions and the people, Cem said that the Foreign Ministry works on such a service in Turkish for citizens who don't know English. The site is planned to be opened by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and think tanks.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN MEETS WITH IRANIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER
    MEHDI MAHDAVI-KARUBI
    TEHRAN - Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan, who is currently in Iran met on Tuesday with Iranian Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Mehdi Mahdavi-Karubi.

    Speaking to A.A correspondent after the meeting, Karubi said that ''we are ready to develop relations in all fields, namely politics, security and economy.''

    Noting that the meeting of Tantan with himself and concerned Iranian officials has been very good and useful, Karubi said that he regards the visit of Tantan to Iran as very positive.

    Karubi said that ''we must focus on all issues that cause tension, and we are resolved to prevent others from causing tension.''

    Tantan said in his part that his meeting with Karubi was fine.

    Tantan and the accompanying delegation later met with the Iranian Assembly Foreign Policy and National Security Commission chairman Muhsin Mirdamadi and commission members.

    -SYRIAN TRANSPORTATION MINISTER UBAYD ARRIVES IN TURKEY
    ISTANBUL - Syrian Transportation Minister Makram Ubayd arrived in Turkey for an official visit as the guest of Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz.

    Speaking at Ataturk Airport of Istanbul, Ubayd said that the main target of his visit is to strengthen the relations between the two countries.

    Ubeyd stressed that Syria also wants to further improve the land, air and railway transportation and cooperation between Turkey and Syria.

    The guest minister later visited the international terminal of Ataturk airport.

    Ubayd and the accompanying delegation will proceed to Ankara in the afternoon.

    -IMF EXECUTIVE BOARD TO CONVENE ON MAY 15
    ANKARA - Turkey should submit the draft law regarded with privatization of Turkish Telekom to parliament following submission of the draft envisaging amendment to the Banks Law, before International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board convenes on May 15.

    Sources told the A.A correspondent on Tuesday that according to IMF's basic principle Turkey should adopt or at least submit banking and Telekom laws to the parliament for approval of its new economic program and finance package by the IMF Executive Board.

    IMF pays careful attention to issues such as the planned sale time frame of Turkish Telekom and the planned percent of shares to be sold.

    Sources noted that Turkey should send its commitments within framework of its letter of intent to the IMF one week before the Executive Board meeting the latest.

    Recalling that Turkey submitted its letter of intent to IMF last week, the sources noted that members of the IMF Executive Board had started to examine the document.

    Sources noted that documents regarded with new arrangements in banking and Telekom laws should be sent to the IMF as soon as possible.

    -SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS CHIEF PROSECUTOR KANADOGLU MAKES
    VERBAL STATEMENTS TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DELEGATION
    ANKARA - Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu made verbal statement to the Constitutional Court delegation on Tuesday related to the additional indictment in closure case against the Virtue Party (FP).

    Following his verbal statement, Kanadoglu held a 30-minute meeting with Mustafa Bumin, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court.

    Responding to questions of journalists as he was departing from the Constitutional Court building, Kanadoglu said, ''the Constitution is the guarantee of principles and reforms of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern and secular Republic of Turkey, and of our secular and democratic Republic based on supremacy of law.''

    Kanadoglu told reporters, ''this guarantee depends of implementation of articles of the Constitution fully and without any interruption. The Constitutional Court's main duty is to provide this implementation. As a chief prosecutor, I made verbay statements to the Constitutional Court delegation. I defended that 7th paragraph of Article 69 of the Constitution should be implemented in the closure case against the FP. According to the 7th paragraph of Article 69 of the Constitution, the founding members and administrators at every level of a political party which has been permanently dissolved, shall not become founding members, administrators or comptrolles of a new political party; nor shall any new political party be founded, the majority of whose members are former members of a political party previously dissolved. I said that I believed that the Constitutional Court would implement the relevant article of the Constitution with a great loyalty.''

    Responding to a question, Kanadoglu said that he reiterated his views about the additional indictment and the merits of the case.

    Kanadoglu said, ''I have requested the Constitutional Court delegation to ban founding members of the FP from politics for five years, and to put an end to deputyship of Mehmet Ozyol and Ismail Alptekin, the deputies of the FP.''

    Kanadoglu will notify his verbal statements to the FP in coming days.

    The Constitutional Court would listen to the FP's verbal defense at 02:00 p.m. on May 15.

    Later, Mehmet Turan, the rapporteur of the case, will prepare an additional report by taking into consideration the additional indictment, the defense of FP, the views of the chief prosecutor about the merits of the case.

    Bumin will submit the report to court members, and set a date to debate the case.

    -TRABZON TO HOST SECOND INTERNATIONAL BLACK SEA LITTORAL
    STATES THEATRE FESTIVAL BETWEEN MAY 16 AND 25
    TRABZON - Northern province of Trabzon will host the Second International Black Sea Littoral States Theatre Festival between May 16 and 25.

    Releasing a statement, the Provincial Directorate of State Theatres said on Tuesday that seven countries would participate in the festival that would be organized in cooperation among Culture Ministry, Directorate General of State Theatres and Trabzon Governor's Office.

    Theatre societies from Turkey, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus will participate in the festival.

    -KDP LEADER BARZANI:
    -''WE WILL CONTINUE OUR STRUGGLE TO SEND AWAY MEMBERS OF PKK AS
    LONG AS THEY INSIST ON MAINTAINING THEIR PRESENCE IN THE REGION''
    ANKARA - Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) leader Massaud Barzani who came to Ankara yesterday to hold a series of contacts, said on Tuesday that they would continue to struggle to send away members of the terrorist organization PKK as long as they insisted on maintaining their presence in Northern Iraq.

    Barzani responded to questions of journalists following his meeting with Faruk Logoglu, the Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry.

    Noting that he had held a very productive meeting with Logoglu, Barzani said that the meeting had focused on political, economic and security issues.

    Describing Turkey as a country playing an important role in its region, Barzani told reporters that they had exchanged views to reach a common understanding.

    Responding to a question about border trade, Barzani said that increase in border trade would be beneficial for both sides.

    When asked of PKK's presence in the region, Barzani said, ''our attitude has not changed. PKK's presence in our region is unacceptable. If members of the PKK insist on maintaining their presence in northern Iraq, we will continue to struggle to send them away.''

    Responding to another question, Barzani said that relations between KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had been improving positively.

    He said that such an improvement in relations would be helpful in reconstruction of the region and holding elections.

    -TREASURY SELLS 697.7 TRILLION TURKISH LIRAS
    NOMINAL-VALUED TEN-MONTH BONDS
    ANKARA - The Treasury Undersecratariat held an auction on Tuesday to sell ten-month bonds.

    In this auction, Treasury sold 697.8 trillion Turkish liras (TL) nominal- valued bond, while the total bid had become 975.4 trillion TL and the net sale became 410.5 trillion TL.

    The annual simple interest rate became 84.60 percent, and the composite interest rate became 89.91 percent.

    The maturity date of these ten-month bonds is March 6, 2002.

    -SPORTS - WRESTLING
    -ISTANBUL TO HOST 48TH EUROPEAN GRAECO-ROMAN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
    ISTANBUL - The 48th European Graeco-Roman Wrestling Championships will start in Istanbul on Thursday.

    A total of 319 wrestlers from 33 countries will participate in the four-day championships.

    Meanwhile, International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Executive Board's meeting will also be held in Istanbul.

    -ANKARA CHIEF PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE SUSPENDS PUNISHMENT
    OF A PRISONER WHO ENDED HER DEATH FAST
    ANKARA - The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office suspended on Tuesday punishment of a prisoner who put an end to his death fast for six months and allowed her to spend this period with her relatives.

    Hatice Yazgan who was sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison by Kayseri State Security Court (DGM) on charges of ''being a member of the illegal Revolutioonary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)'', had been fasting to death to protest the F-type prisons.

    The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office suspended Yazgan's ilprisonment term, and allowed her to spend this period with her relatives.

    -PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT RECEIVES KDP LEADER BARZANI
    ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit received on Tuesday Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party (KDP) leader Massaud Barzani and accompanying delegation. The meeting lasted for about 40 minutes. No statement was made about agenda of the meeting. Sources told the A.A correspondent that KDP's struggle against terrorist organization PKK in Northern Iraq, and the U.S. new administration's ''smart sanctions'' system were taken up at the meeting.

    -STATE MINISTER DERVIS:
    -''IN FACT, TURKEY HAS A POWER AND A DYNAMISM TO REALIZE
    AN ANNUAL SEVEN PERCENT GROWTH IN ITS ECONOMY''
    ISTANBUL - State Minister Kemal Dervis for Economy said on Tuesday, ''in fact, Turkey has a power and a dynamism to realize an annual seven percent growth in its economy.''

    Speaking at the consultation meeting of the Confederation of Turkish Employers' Unions (TISK), Dervis said, ''I hope that works on the draft law regarded with privatization of Turkish Telekom would be finalized tonight.''

    ''The state will mobilize all of its opportunities for those representing real sector. The process to overcome the current crisis is in fact a process which will lead Turkey to increase its growth rate. Our real target is to provide rapid and stable growth without experiencing such a crisis again. We cannot provide this growth without stability. As I said before, our main goals are growth, investment and export,'' he said.

    Dervis stressed, ''in fact, Turkey has a power and a dynamism to realize an annual seven percent growth in its economy. The dynamism in Turkey, our geographical position, our resources and our labour force enable us to realize such a growth. The current crisis caused not due to lack of resources, but due to negative impacts of annual macroeconomic crises in our economy.''

    -PRIVATIZATION OF TURKISH TELEKOM
    -TRANSPORTATION MINISTER OKSUZ: ''OUR WORKS HAVE BEEN CONTINUING''
    ANKARA - Transportation Minister Enis Oksuz said on Tuesday that works on the draft law regarded with privatization of Turkish Telekom was under way, adding, ''there is not any problem regarded with privatization of Turkish Telekom.''

    Responding to questions of journalists following the meeting at the Prime Ministry Office, Oksuz said, ''I hope that the draft would be submitted to the parliament later in the day.''

    When asked of turnover of licence, Oksuz said, ''I do not have any authority. The Transportation Ministry has been authorized by the Constitution and the laws. We have been working to prevent any legal mistake as are trying to share these authorities. Otherwise, it is not my business. We want to make something useful on behalf of the state. Our draft was accepted.''

    Meanwhile, bureaucrats came together at the Prime Ministry Office to work on some technical issues regarded with the draft law.

    -FOREIGN MINISTRY:
    -''INCIDENTS IN BANJA LUKA REVEALED ONCE AGAIN
    HOW FRAGILE THE PEACE IS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA''
    ANKARA - The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, ''incidents which had occurred during ceremonies marking the start of re-building of a mosque destroyed in the 1992-1995 war in Banja Luka, the capital of Bosnian Serb Republic, revealed once again how fragile the peace is in Bosnia- Herzegovina.''

    Releasing a statement, the Foreign Ministry said, ''nearly 4 thousand Serbs prevented the ceremony which was scheduled to be held on May 7 on the occasion of reconstruction of 16th century Ferhadiye Mosque which was destroyed by Serbs during the 1992-1995 war. A number of people were injured during the incidents. Meanwhile, representatives of international community including Ahmet Ergin, the temporary Charge d'Affaires of Turkish Embassy in Sarajevo, and Bosnian officials were trapped for hours in the Islamic Center in Banja Luka. These incidents revealed once again how fragile the peace is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.''

    The statement noted, ''although more than five years have passed since signing of Dayton peace treaty, peace and tolerance could not be fully settled in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and extreme nationalism and aggressiveness could not be eradicated yet. Turkey harshly condemns these incidents. It calls on Republika Srpska administration to take action as soon as possible to identify and punish responsibles of these incidents.''

    ''In Trebinje, groundbreaking ceremony of Osman Pasha Mosque which was destroyed during the war, could not be held on May 5 as a result of similar incidents,'' it said.

    Underlining importance of presence and activity of NATO's Stability Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR), the statement added, ''we conveyed our concerns about the incidents in Trebinje and Banja Luka to NATO and authorities of the relevant countries. We also requested all necessary measures to be taken as soon as possible to provide security of Bosnian civilians, and representatives of international community in the region.''

    -PARLIAMENT'S LOBBY BAN ON MEDIA LIFTED
    ANKARA - The decision to ban reporters from lobby area of the parliament was lifted on Tuesday.

    Staging a press conference together with Kemal Saydemer, the Chairman of Association of Parliamentary Correspondents, Ahmet Cakar, the Administrative Chief of Parliament, said that the ban on reporters was lifted.

    -STATE MINISTER DERVIS: ''THE ECONOMY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BE PRIVATIZED''
    ISTANBUL - State Minister Kemal Dervis said on Tuesday that the economy should absolutely be privatized, adding, ''the more the economy is privatized, the more we end the rentier distribution process and the more we reach the target of separating the politics from the economy.''

    Speaking at the consultation meeting of the Confederation of Turkish Employers' Unions (TISK), Dervis said that productivity in the real sector should be increased, stressing that the more the productivity in the real sector was increased, the more the Turkish lira gained in value.

    Noting that none of them had been completely achieved in 2000 and the currency became unrealistic, Dervis said, ''it was the same also in November. This currency continued and at last, a crisis erupted in February. Some people are now considering whether or not this could have been prevented and the Central Bank made a mistake. As you know that economics is not mathematics. My personal view is that if such a crisis had not occurred in February, it would have erupted in March or April at the latest. Actually, we could not continue with that currency. Structural reforms could not be implemented fast and sufficiently and the inflation could not be prevented sufficiently. The Central Bank could have prevented it for a few weeks even if it had injected liquidity. However, there was deficit in payments.''

    Dervis stressed that money, currency and finance policies were not sufficient to beat the crisis and also structural reforms should absolutely be implemented rapidly.

    ''The economy should absolutely be privatized. We definitely believe this, and the private sector will absolutely be the engine of growth. However, privatization should be made within a structure which really enables competition,'' he said.

    Recalling that Telekom matter was high on the agenda recently, Dervis said, ''the problem is not a specific amount of investment. The real problem is to grant this telecommunication sector a specific order which is based on competition like the energy and agriculture sectors and to manage this sector perfectly. The amount of privatization is not so important. It can be either 35 or 45 percent. However, its management should be comtemporary and professional, it should not be included in political rentier process.''

    Noting that those reforms necessitated some social costs and there was a need for productive agriculture sector which could create high rate of added value, Dervis said, ''however, we should absolutety take the poor and farmers into consideration while doing these. This reform policy should be supported by several social policies.''

    ''As you know that direct support funds for agriculture were formed with assistance of the World Bank. The Agriculture Ministry and other relevant ministries should rapidly carry out technical works with this objective,'' he said.

    ''Extravagance should be prevented. With this year's finance policy, we target to make a serious savings. We foresee a 90 percent decrease in real expenditures. It is impossible to live with 400-500 U.S. dollars in a contemporary Turkey which has a 65 million population,'' he said.

    Recalling that the letter of intent had been sent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last Friday and that the IMF Board would convene next Tuesday to discuss the program, Dervis said, ''it is going to be discussed nowadays and later, the final decision will be taken on Tuesday.''

    Noting that the cost and maturity of the external source were reasonable, Dervis said, ''we had expected 10-12 billion U.S. dollars but they offered 10 billion U.S. dollars. 10 billion U.S. dollars of supplementary loan will come but there is almost 5 billion U.S. dollars of another source remaining from the previous programs. Turkey will get 3.8 billion U.S. dollars cash shortly after the IMF Board convenes.''

    Stressing that the inflation should fall fast in coming months, Dervis said, ''otherwise, inflationist expectations occur again and we altogether face an atmosphere of inflation rate between 60 and 100 percent.''

    ''I sincerely want the Turkish lira to gradually join the Eurozone as a long-term target. The share of Euro in current transactions is high. If we add tourism, workers' foreign exchange and trade volume in Euro's share, it becomes easy for Turkey to join the Eurozone 4-5 years later. However, we can't think about this at this point,'' he said.

    Stressing that the banking system had suffered a heavy blow, Dervis said that the banking law foresaw to punish those who misused the authority and to revive the banking sector. ''It is very difficult to recover the real sector without the banking sector.''

    Dervis added, ''even today, we are experiencing a tough day. Today is not an easy day and I hope that we will transfer also the Telekom draft law to the Parliament maybe at midnight or later.''

    ''However, the government has supported these works so far with great determination. I hope that this will continue like this. The support of the public is important, too,'' he said.

    -STATE MINISTER DERVIS: ''THE TELEKOM DRAFT LAW
    SHOULD BE SENT TO PARLIAMENT TODAY''
    ANKARA - State Minister Kemal Dervis said on Tuesday that the Telekom draft law should be sent to the parliament the same day.

    Dervis answered questions of journalists before he entered the Prime Ministry building.

    When asked when the meeting would end, Dervis said, ''I am very tired. I don't want to be so late but we will do what is necessary.''

    State Minister Dervis, Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan and Transportation and Communications Minister Enis Oksuz are holding a meeting on the Telekom draft law.

    -INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN IN IRAN:
    -''BOTH SIDES HAVE THE WILL TO FURTHER IMPROVE RELATIONS''
    TEHRAN - Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan who is currently in Iran on a three-day official visit as the guest of his Iranian counterpart Abdol Vahed Musavi-Lari, said on Tuesday, ''both sides have the will to further improve bilateral relations.''

    Addressing Turkish journalists, Tantan said, ''I came to Iran to discuss security issues. We want to cooperate with neighboring countries to provide security of our country. We want to further improve our relations with Iran, and put into practice struggle against cross-border crimes jeopardizing our countries. If we fail to set up good relations with neighboring countries on the issue of security, we cannot develop our economy. Cooperation among the regional countries will eradicate criminal movements.''

    Recalling that he had held talks with his Iranian counterpart Lari, Iranian Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Mehdi Mahdavi-Karubi, and members of Iranian Parliamentary Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, Tantan said, ''they told me that they wanted to further improve relations with Turkey.''

    ''Security crises which emerge between tho two countries from time to time, can be overcome as a result of existing good will. Both sides have the will to further improve relations. We aim at creating an atmosphere in which Turkish and Iranian nations will rely on each other and produce joint projects,'' he stressed.

    Responding to a question about allegations saying that some people who were captured in operations in Turkey had received training in Iran, Tantan said, ''such issues have been taken up by Turkish and Iranian security commissions. Of course we will exchange views. We aim at taking up security with its all dimensions, and providing exchange of information among neighboring countries.''

    Noting that interdelegationary meetings had not started yet, Tantan said, ''all issues will be taken up at these meetings.''

    ''An important step has been taken to further improve bilateral relations during Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit to Tehran. President Mohammed Khatami of Iran has been fully supporting improvement of relations between the two countries. An important progress has been recorded in bilateral relations since Khatami sworn in as the president of Iran. Turkey supports development of reformist movement in Iran,'' he said.

    Tantan added, ''Turkey and Iran positioned in one of the most important regions of the world, have to be powerful in this geography by taking into consideration their own national benefits. Illegal migration, illicit drug trafficking, weapon smuggling, organized crimes and terrorism have been jeopardizing both countries. It is not impossible for a country to deal with these crimes on its own.''


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