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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-12-15
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
15 DEC 1998
 THE US ADMINISTRATION: ''TURKEY DID NOT DECIDE TO PURCHASE NATURAL GAS FROM IRAN''WASHINGTON D.C., Dec 15 (A.A) - The US administration said on Monday that ''if Turkey can meet her needs from other sources, she won't bring natural gas from Iran or purchase it from this country.''
James Foley, the Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department said that ''the United States and Turkey are committed to creating an east-west transportation corridor, including a trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan and a main export oil pipeline from Azerbaijan. Neither of these pipelines would carry Iranian resources nor transit Iranian territory, '' Foley said, adding that Turkey and Turkmenistan signed a framework agreement concerning the natural gas pipeline.
James Foley pointed out that the feasibility report concerning the Turkmen natural gas was submitted on November 17.
''It is our understanding that Turkey has made no decision to bring gas from or through Iran so long as Turkey's requirements can be met from other sources,'' Foley added.
 THE US ADMINISTRATION: ''WE ARE AGAINST AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON KURDISH ISSUE'' - ''OCALAN SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE, SO THAT ATTENTION IS NOT DEFLECTED''WASHINGTON D.C., Dec 15 (A.A) - The US administration officialy announced on Monday that it is against holding of an international conference on the ''Kurdish issue.''
James Foley, the Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department denied the news saying that the American Ambassador to Italy plans to hold an international conference, noting that ''the US ambassador did not issue such a statement.''
James Foley stressed that Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK ''has to be brought to justice for the terrorist crimes of which he is accused, in a manner consistent with international standards,'' adding the US reiterated this view many times.
''The idea of an international conference is not an American idea. It's not something that we have endorsed. We, the United States, would not like to see anything, including the idea of an international conference, deflect attention from the need to bring Ocalan to justice. That's our yardstick,'' Foley said.
Foley said the US administration was deeply sceptical of what looked like a convenient renunciation of violence by Abdullah Ocalan, the terrorist chief who was arrested in Italy a month ago.
''We're very sceptical, deeply sceptical, of Ocalan's statement, now that he is in custody and discussions are underway about bringing him to justice. It seems to us this is a very convenient conversion,'' James Foley said.
''He has repudiated terrorism in the past, and each time the PKK has continued to engage in ruthless acts of terrorism,'' said Foley, adding that Lamberto Dini, the Italian Foreign Minister does not find the statements of Ocalan convincing. ''Whether or not his statement is sincere, it should not deflect attention from the need to bring him to justice. We're going to continue to work with Italy, Turkey and Germany to achieve that goal,'' he added.
 ERSUMER, ENERGY AND NATURAL SOURCES MINISTER, MEETS WITH MORNINGSTAR - ERSUMER: - ''WE BELIEVE IN TALKS CONCERNING BAKU-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE PROJECT WILL COME TO A CONCLUSION IN COMING DAYS''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - The Turkish energy delegation led by Cumhur Ersumer, the Energy and Natural Sources Minister, met on Monday with Richard Morningstar, the US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative to the Caspian Region.
Addressing the journalists after the meeting, Ersumer said that they discussed the projects which will transport Caspian oil into the Western markets, at the meeting.
Stressing that the sides have agreed on what will be done next,
Ersumer pointed out, ''the ministry's working group is in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, to maintain talks over the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project.''
Noting that they believe in the talks concerning the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline projects will come to a conclusion in coming days, Ersumer stressed that they will work together with Morningstar to perform a series of studies which he recommended to contribute to the conclusions of the talks.
Richard Morningstar, in his part, described his meeting with Ersumer as very positive and productive.
Noting that sides shold work together for the commercial negotiations regarded with the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline between Turkey and Azerbaijan, Morningstar emphasized that the US will do her utmost for the project to be realized.
Underlining that the US hopes Turkey and Turkmenistan will also agree on the consortium which will construct the pipeline, Morningstar added that they will work together for the transportation of the Caspian oil and natural gas into the Western markets.
 VERGAU, GERMAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: - ''THERE IS A GOOD COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND GERMANY''IZMIR, Dec 15 (A.A) - Hans Joachim Vergau, the German Ambassador to Turkey, visit on Monday Burhan Ozfatura, the Mayor of Izmir, and said that there is a good cooperation between Turkey and Germany.
Mentioning the news claiming that he used offending words about the Southeastern Anatolia region and the separatist terrorist organization, Vergau claimed that the press did not reflect the facts. He added, ''one cannot destroy my optimism easily.''
Burhan Ozfatura stressed that Manfred Unger, the German Consul General in Izmir, faces with several difficulties such as the long queues of people waiting for visa proceedings in front of the consulate building.
Noting that German Consulate General has provided the required money, but could not begin the construction of the additional waiting launch, Ozfatura expressed wish over the problem to be solved as soon as possible.
Ozfatura also conveyed several projects regarded with Izmir Province to Vergau at the meeting.
 FM CEM MEETS WITH MORNINGSTAR, THE US PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CASPIAN ENERGY SOURCES - CEM: ''THE US AND TURKEY WHICH COOPERATED IN DEFENSE FIELD IN THE PAST COOPERATE TODAY IN THE FIELD OF ECONOMY''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister said on Monday that the cooperation concerning the energy corridors in the Central Asia and Caucasus has been added to the cooperation agenda between the US and Turkey.
Addressing a press briefing before receiving Richard Morningstar, the US President's Special Representative for Caspian Energy sources, Cem said that ''the US and Turkey made cooperation in the field of defense in the past, now the countries cooperate in the economic field, particularly on energy corridors in Central Asia and Caucasus. This is to the benefit of the two countries, but it is more important for Turkey.''
Recalling that the US Ambassador to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Morningstar are in Turkey for an unofficial meeting concerning Central Asian oil, Cem stated that the support extended by the US to Baku- Ceyhan oil pipeline is also useful for the US, adding that Turkey is pleased about the friendship of the US.
Morningstar said in his part after the meeting that he will hold contacts concerning Central Asian oil and Baku-Ceyhan pipeline in the coming days in Ankara.
Noting that Turkey, which is in a critical region, is a good partner, friend and ally of the US, Morningstar stated that the steps that will be taken to realize Baku-Ceyhan pipeline will be taken up during his contacts in Ankara.
Responding to questions of journalists, Morningstar pointed out that there is not a specific deadline for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, adding that it is time to discuss commercial issues within the line of the wishes of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The US Special Representative pointed out that the coming few weeks and months are very important for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, noting that Turkey negotiaties with good will by meeting her expectations.
 PRESIDENT DENKTAS OF THE TRNC: - ''I HAVE NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE SECURITY PACKAGE PREPARED BY HERCUS''LEFKOSA, Dec 15 (A.A) - President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Monday that he received no information about that Ann Hercus, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General to Cyprus, prepares a package including confidence- building measures.
Responding to the questions of the A.A correspondent, Denktas noted that Hercus has been holding confidence-building contacts with the two sides on the island, but he knows nothing about the mentioned package.
Denktas also added that Hercus' contacts have not come to a conclusion yet.
The Greek Cypriot side had claimed previously that Hercus would offer a broadened deconfrontation, but the Greek Cypriot national guards staff reacted the proposal.
According to the news, the package of Hercus envisages reducing the number of troops and of the US made weapons, easing the tension on the island and cancelling the deployment of the Russian made S-300 missiles at the Southern Cyprus.
The Greek Cypriot press had also claimed that Hercus prepares the mentioned package with the contribution of the US experts and the US Military Attache to Cyprus.
 FISCHER, THE GERMAN FM: ''TURKEY IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE EU''BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (A.A) - Joshka Fischer, the Foreign Minister of Germany which will take over the Term Presidency of the European Union (EU) on January 1, 1999, said on Monday that ''Turkey is a candidate for the EU.''
Addressing a press briefing the same day, Fischer stated that ''Turkey has special problems, particularly she has problems with an EU country (implying Greece). The criteria of Copenhagen are very clear: democracy, human rights and economic elements. We are aware of the importance of opening a concrete perspective to Turkey, which is a close neighbour of us. Her geopolitical significance is great and there is a Turkish minority in many EU countries which has a strong status. We have to set up relations with Turkey which are based on confidence, yet Turkey also has to contribute to the target of full membership by abiding with the criteria.''
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL RECEIVES MORNINGSTAR, THE US PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO CASPIAN REGIONANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel received on Monday Richard Morningstar, the US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative to the Caspian Region.
The Presidential Press Center stated that the meeting had focused on the regional issues such as the energy corridor between East and West, and the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project which will transport the Caspian oil into the Western markets.
Demirel and Morningstar has confirmed once again the joint determination of the two countries on the energy transportation lines projects to be realized quickly.
Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, Mark Parris, the US Ambassador to Turkey, and several high-level US officials were also in attendance at the meeting.
 GUREL, THE STATE MINISTER: ''THE INTENT OF THE EU IS TO START POLITICAL DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Sukru Sina Gurrel, the State Minister said on Monday that the European Union (EU) tries to start political dialogue with Turkey again, adding he is not hopeful about the EU term presidency of Germany.
Evaluating the Vienna Summit to A.A, Gurel pointed out that it was obvious from the beginning that a new evaluation could not be made concerning Turkey at the summit.
Listing the expectations of Turkey from the EU at two main points, Gurel said these are official confirmation of Turkey's candidacy during a summit and foreseeing the financial cooperation strategy for Turkey which is valid for other candidate states.
Recalling that these two expectations of Turkey were not met during the Vienna Summit, Gurel said that ''the EU tried to create such an image during the summit as if it gave something to Turkey, but this is not the case in reality.''
Evaluating his visit to Germany last week, Gurel said that he did not have a good impression during his contacts in Germany about the full membership of Turkey to the EU.
Stressing that he does not think a radical change will take place in the policy of the EU about the issue of Turkey's full membership when Germany becomes the EU Term President, Gurel said that ''if the countries which guide the EU really wished, they could implement a new strategy for Turkey. It is not correct to consider this issue within the framework of the obstruction of Greece.''
Gurel added that Germany has not changed her attitude towards Turkey in a clear way up until now.
 SEPARATIST TERRORIST ORGANIZATION CONTINUES ITS ACTIVITIES THROUGH INTERNET - TERRORISTS MAKE PROPAGANDA WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF BABIES WHICH THEY MASSACREDCHICAGO, Dec 15 (A.A) - Supporters of the separatist terrorist organization PKK make propaganda by using the photographs of babies which they massacred in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions, through internet, it was reported on Tuesday.
The web-sites prepared by the supporters of the separatist terrorist organization in Texas, the US, try to create a so-called international public opinion.
Terrorists claim that babies were not killed by the PKK, but by the Turkish soldiers.
Meanwhile several letters requesting the Italian Prime Minister to set free Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization, also take place in the web-sites.
Turkish people living in the US have reacted harshly to the mentioned web- sites and called Turkish officials to prepare a web-site to show the bloody assaults of the PKK to the whole world.
 TURKEY OPPOSES TO THE DISCUSSION OF THE CYPRUS QUESTION BY THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLYNEW YORK, Dec 15 (A.A) - Turkey opposes to the discussion of the Cyprus question at the UN General Assembly and she conveyed her views to the Chairman of the UN General Assembly saying that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is not represented at the Assembly, it is reported on Monday.
Volkan Vural, the Turkish Permanent Representative to the UN, met with Didier Opertti, the Chairman of the UN General Assembly the same day and told Opertti the views of Turkey concerning this issue.
Sotirios Zakheos, the Greek Cypriot Permanent Representative to the UN met with Opertti a short time ago and told him that the Greek Cypriot administration wishes to take up the Cyprus question at the General Assembly. However the Greek Cypriot side has not taken an official initiative or request till today.
The Cyprus question is among the topics of the UN General Assembly, but one of the member states has to officialy apply so that the issue can be discussed. After such an application is made, the Chairman of the UN General Assembly holds contacts with chairmen of the geographical groups which are represented in the Assembly and later a date is determined.
Vural told Opertti at the meeting that ''while the good will mission of the UN Secretary General continues, discussing the Cyprus question in a platform where the TRNC is not represented won't serve the solution of the problem and this will serve propagandist goals.''
Noting that such an initiative will deepen the lack of confidence between the socities living on the island, Vural pointed out that this will cause problems.
 ERSUMER, THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES: ''MORNINGSTAR, THE US MINISTER OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUGGESTED US TO HOLD CONTACTS WITH FIRMS CONCERNING BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said on Monday that Richard Morningstar, the US President's Special Representative for Caspian energy sources, told him that it would be beneficial to hold contacts with firms concerning Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.
Responding to questions of journalists after meeting with Richard Morningstar, Ersumer said that ''we are in consensus of opinion and think that it will be appropriate to make an evaluation by bringing firms together.''
When asked whether the US proposed anything regarding the finance of Baku- Ceyhan pipeline, Ersumer said that ''financing Baku-Ceyhan is being discussed, however before that, its cost has to be accounted and an agreement has to be reached. We discuss the cost now. The firms put forward a cost and there is another cost which we have determined and presented it to the firms.''
''Morningstar told me that the firms think of a cost of production worth of 3,7 billion dollars, but we think the project can be completed by 2,3 billion dollars,'' Ersumer said.
 TUZMEN, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN TRADE: - ''WE ARE DEVELOPING NEW STRATEGIES TOWARDS NEW MARKETS'' - ''HIGH-LEVEL CONTACTS ARE REQUIRED TO OVERCOME COMMERCIAL CRISIS BETWEEN TURKEY AND RUSSIA''TRABZON, Dec 15 (A.A) - Kursat Tuzmen, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Trade, said on Tuesday that Russia is very significant in Turkey's foreign trade, stressing, ''but we should not target only Russian market. We should head towards new markets. We, therefore, will develop new strategies towards new markets.''
Addresing the meeting with exporters in Trabzon, Tuzmen reminded the crisis in the commercial relations between Turkey and Russia, and emphasized that high-level contacts is required to overcome the crisis.
Stressing that the government and businessmen should work together to improve Turkey's foreign trade, Tuzmen pointed out that they will support businessmen to find new markets.
Tuzmen also emphasized that an organized search for new markets and organized promotions will be effective in the foreign trade.
Ahmet Hamdi Gundogan, the Chairman of Executive Board of the Trabzon Exporters Union, stressed that they endeavour to increase foreign trade, calling the government to encourage businessmen in the Black Sea region.
 TWO VILLAGE GUARDS DIE WHEN THEY STEP ON A MINEMIDYAT, Dec 15 (A.A) - Two village guards died when they stepped on a mine which was planted by the separatist terrorists in Midyat county of southern province of Mardin, it is reported on Tuesday.
Veysi Baykal and Abdulkadir Acar, the two village guards, stepped on the mine near Sogutlu village while they were on their way to the sentry box near BOTAS Oil pipeline region.
Baykal and Acar died in the mine explosion.
 725TH ANNIVERSARY OF MEVLANA'S DEATH - MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND PEOPLE WATCH COMMEMORATION CEREMONIESKONYA, Dec 15 (A.A) - More than 18 thousand foreign and domestic tourists watched commemoration activities for the 725th anniversary of the death of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi who calls the humanity to peace and friendship, it was reported on Tuesday.
Whirling dervishes presented 10 performances within the framework of the commemoration activities organized by the Konya Governorship, Municipality and the Selcuk University.
The activities which began in 10 December, will end with the Communion Night ceremony (Sheb-i Aruz) in 17 December.
President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz are expected to attend the Communion Night ceremony.
 AN AMERICAN OFFICIAL: ''THE CONFLICT BETWEEN TURKEY AND ITALY NEGATIVELY EFFECTS THE NATO''WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (A.A) - An American official claimed that the conflict between Turkey and Italy which does not extradite the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK to Turkey negatively effects NATO, it is reported on Tuesday.
An American official told Defense News, an American magazine that the tension between Turkey and Italy negatively effects NATO. The news published in the magazine noted that Turkish officials also think that this situation effects the solidarity within NATO.
The magazine quoted an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry who said that ''the developments have not reached such a level which can affect NATO exercises. NATO was established for defending the security of the member states. However what happens today is a NATO country which permits a terrorist chief to take shelter in her territories, thus this country threatens the territorial integrity of another NATO country in an indirect way.''
The magazine added that the US official said that ''Abdullah Ocalan is a terrorist and Turkey and Italy have to solve the problem of bringing Ocalan to justice.''
The US administration, which says that the terrorist chief Ocalan has to be put on trial, describes the PKK as a bloody and cruel terrorist organization.
 NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING - SEZGIN TO REPRESENT TURKEY AT MEETINGANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, will represent Turkey at the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels in 17 December, it was reported on Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry issued a written statement saying that the NATO Defense Ministers will come together at the Nuclear Planning Group, the Defense Planning Committee and the Northern Atlantic Council levels to discuss several issues.
Following the NATO Defense Ministers meeting, NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and Europe-Atlantic Partnership Council meetings will also be held at the defense ministers level.
 KARAYALCIN, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PARLIAMENTARY FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION: ''THERE IS AN UNJUST AND HEAVY ATTACK AGAINST TURKEY IN EUROPE''SOFIA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Murat Karayalcın, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission said on Tuesday that there exists an unjust and heavy attack against Turkey in Europe due to wrong information about Turkey, adding that ''we have to develop new projects in order to explain ourselves better in foreign policy.''
Karayalcın told A.A correspondent that the most important problem of Turkey in foreign politics is the fact that she can't defend herself concerning issues although she is right in many of them. Giving the issue of the separatist terrorist organization as an example, Karayalcın stated that European people perceive this problem in very different dimensions.
''Europeans don't understand the fact that the separatist terrorist organization wishes to break off a part of Turkey and kills people to this end. They even think that the Turkish security officals commit murders, they are far away from realities and we can't explain these realities to them and we can't defend ourselves,'' said Karayalcın.
Stressing that the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should take action to explain Turkey abroad, Karayalcın pointed out that the Turkish NGOs in Europe don't succeed in this mission, they even criticize Turkey.
 PRESS BRIEFING OF MORNINGSTAR, THE US PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE : ''AIOC CONSORTIUM AND FIRMS HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POLITICAL ROLE THAT WILL BE PLAYED BY BAKU-CEYHAN PROJECT''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Richard Morningstar, the US President's Special Consultant for Energy Politics in the Caspian basin, said on Tuesday that AIOC and firms, which compose the international consortium set up to exract Azeri oil and transport it to western markets, have understood the importance of the political role that will be played by Baku-Ceyhan pipeline in the region.
Morningstar reiterated his belief for the realization of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.
Addressing a press briefing after his contacts in Ankara, Morningstar said that many important developments took place concerning the implementation of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project since he visited Ankara on October 28.
Morningstar said that ''I believe that the contacts among Turkey, Azerbaijan and AIOC will also continue in the field of trade.''
 HOLBROOKE'S SEVEN ARTICLE PROPOSAL PACKAGE - FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL: ''NEITHER TURKEY NOR TRNC HAVE BEEN GIVEN SUCH A PROPOSAL PACKAGE'' - ''I DO NOT THINK THAT THE US WILL SUBMIT A PROPOSAL PACKAGE AT THIS STAGE''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - An official at the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that there hadn't been a proposal package submitted to either Turkey or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), responding to the claim that Richard Holbrooke, the US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative to Cyprus, presented a seven-article proposal package to both Turkish side and the Greek-Cypriot side.
Speaking to the A.A correspondent, the official said, ''I don't believe the US will present a proposal package at this stage. If they have a proposal, they will try to convey it through the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Representative.''
The press claimed that Holbrooke had presented to the Turkish and Greek- Cypriot sides a proposal package which foreseses ''enlargement of the Green Line by one kilometer, reduce in the number of existing Turkish and Greek troops, annulment of arms order, postponement of military exercises, decrease in the number of tanks on the island, facilitate the entrances to both sides and restart intercommunal talks''.
 TREASURY SELLS 244.6 TRILLION LIRAS 420-DAY BONDSANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - The Treasury sold on Tuesday 244 trillion 608 billion Turkish Liras (TL) nominal-valued 420-day (14-month) term bonds while the offer had been 530 trillion 61 billion TL.
The net sale in the tender was 94 trillion 405.6 billion TL.
The annual simple interest became 137.89 percent and the annual composite interest became 128.22 percent.
The minimum annual simple interest was 112.41 percent and the maximum annual simple interest was 139.92 percent while the minimum annual composite interest became 105.59 percent and the maximum annual composite interest became 130 percent.
The bonds will be issued Wednesday and the maturity date is 9 February 2000.
 MORNINGSTAR: ''AIOC DO NOT OPPOSE TO THE BAKU-CEYHAN PROJECT ANYMORE''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Richard Morningstar, the Special Advisor of Bill Clinton, the US President, to the Energy Policies in the Caspian Basin, said on Tuesday that the AIOC, the consortium operation company, changed its view on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.
Morningstar said, ''AIOC do not oppose to the Baku-Ceyhan project anymore. The AIOC company made a statement noting that it was positive in the pipeline project. AIOC wants to have a meeting to have a solution on the project. I think that this is a constructive advance. ''
Morningstar stated that AIOC changed its ideas on the project due to the fact that the Straits were not suitable for a possible main pipeline and that the US, Turkey and Azerbaijan supported this project.
Speaking in the press conference he held after his contacts in Ankara, Morningstar stressed that the transportation of the natural resources of the region to the western markets by the Caspian basin pipeline project constituted the most important part of the US strategy.
Morningstar added that he believed that Turkey would do her best to put this pipeline into effect and noted that the fact that the parties came together and discussed the cost of the project would be a positive step in the project.
Noting that the contacts he held in Ankara were really positive, Morningstar emphasized that the meetings between Turkey, Azerbaijan and AIOC in which the trade issues such as the price, the amount of oil to be shipped were taken on the agenda would aim to have advances in the activation of the project.
Morningstar did not give an exact date for the end of the meetings.
On the other hand, the fact that the US ambassadors to the Central Asia and the Caucasus attended the contacts of Morningstar and Turkish authorities indicates the US support given to Turkey in this issue and that its contribution to the coordination in the activation of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.
 NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTRY OPENS SHIPPING TENDER WORTH TRILLION TURKISH LIRASANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - The External Preparation Department of the Ministry of National Defense opened on Tuesday a tender for the transport of the Turkish Armed Forces' equipment.
In accordance with the announcement published in the Official Gazette the same day, the service regarding the shipping of the Turkish Armed Forces' equipment between the Turkish seaports and the seaports abroad was put out to tender for which only the Turkish maritime companies will bid.
The equipment is composed of every king of device, immunitions, explosives, spare parts, medical apparatus and other implements.
The estimated cost is one trillion Turkish Liras (TL) and the bid bond is 30 billion TL.
The tender will take place at the Ministry's External Preparation Department on 30 December and the bids should be submitted to the Department until 10:00 local time the same day.
 EUROPAY TURKEY BECOMES THE CENTER OF EURASIAN REGIONISTANBUL, Dec 15 (A.A) - The Europay Turkey became the center of the ''Europay International Eurasian Region'' as a result of the successes it achieved in the pay systems and individual banking sector, it was reported on Tuesday.
Europay Turkey will be the center where all of the pay system operations will be carried out and it will receive information much more than Brussels which is the center of technology and business development.
Addressing a press conference, Mehmet Sezgin, the General Director of the Europay Turkey and Eurasian Region, said that the intense economic and cultural relations with Central Asian republics and the successes of Turkish banks played a key role in the selection of Turkey as the center of the region, adding, ''Europay Turkey will be the engine of the Eurasian Region in the field of pay systems.''
 TURKEY IN BRIEF- 15 DECEMBER 1998ISTANBUL - The CARNET (Central Asia Republics' Health Reform Network) Health Services Meeting held by the contributions of the World Health Organization (WHO) starts on Tuesday in Istanbul.
The experts from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attend the meeting which will end on Wednesday.
ISTANBUL - The award ceremony of the ''Gold Trends' 99 Gold Jewellery and Design Contest'', which is held by the World Gold Council (WGC) to improve the design of Turkish jewellery was held on Tuesday.
The awards of the winners among the 350 works are given by Murat Akman, the Director General of the Turkish Branch of the WGC in the Swiss Hotel in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL - A banking seminar will start on Wednesday by the contributions Turkish Natural Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce.
The seminar namely ''The Problems Concerning the Effects of Euro on the Monetary Obligations in the Transactions and on the Letter of Credit'' will be held in Sabancı Center in Istanbul.
 COE TO CONVENE ON WEDNESDAY TO DISCUSS ITALY'S PROPOSALSTRASBOURG, Dec 15 (A.A) - The Council of Europe (COE) Committee of Delegates will once again convene on Wednesday to discuss ''the cooperation concerning the issue of punishment in the struggle against terrorism'' upon the proposal brought by Italy, it was reported on Tuesday.
The Delegates Committee had also convened last week again upon Italy's proposal and discussed the first draft decision presented by Rome concerning the issue.
Diplomatic sources said Italy, which insists on not putting chief terrorist Abdullah Ocalan on trial in her territories and not extraditing him to Turkey, was trying to gain legal support of the COE by launching such an effort, stressing that Italy had found the sufficient support from neither the European Union (EU) nor the COE.
Italy, at first, had requested the COE to establish a court within its structure to try chief terrorist, but then withdrew this proposal when she understood that it would be infeasible.
 SAMSUN-CARSAMBA AIRPORT IS OPENED - DEMIREL, THE PRESIDENT: ''THIS AIRPORT HAS MADE THE BLACK SEA AND SAMSUN REACHABLE'' - YILMAZ, THE PRIME MINISTER ALSO ATTENDS THE OPENING CEREMONYSAMSUN-CARSAMBA, Dec 15 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel attended on Tuesday the opening ceremony of Samsun-Carsamba Airport and said that the Black Sea and Samsun became reachable by the construction of this airport.
Stating that the world was changing and that new conditions occured after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Demirel said, ''we could not benefit from these conditions as much as possible, but we will as soon as possible. A peaceful environment is tried to be established around the Black Sea.''
Pointing out that there were not any other airports in the Black Sea coastal strip between Ataturk Airport of Istanbul and the Trabzon Airport, Demirel said, ''this airport has made Black Sea and Samsun reachable. People can now come to Samsun directly from any part of the world and the visa-versa. Our agricultural and industrial products can be transported from this airport.''
Mesut Yilmaz, the Prime Minister said in his speech in the opening ceremony that the infrastructural services and the projects were realized in the period of 55th. government.
Yilmaz said, ''we have realized the construction of Isparta, Usak, Adiyaman, Nevsehir and Samsun Airports in 17 months. We have constructed 12 new terminal buildings.''
Noting that Samsun had the position of being the centre of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Yilmaz stressed that the cargo buildings to be constructed in this airport would facilitate the marketing of the regional products.
Stressing that the construction of the Black Sea Coast Highway continued, Yilmaz said, ''the biggest problem that the Black Sea was facing was the transportation. The domestic and foreign tourists could not go to this region due to this problem. The transportation problem of this region will soon be over.''
 BAYKAL, LEADER OF CHP: ''CHP CAN MAKE CONTRIBUTION IF THE MINORITY GOVERNMENT CHANGES INTO A CHP-DSP GOVERNMENT''ANKARA, Dec 15 (A.A) - Deniz Baykal, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said on Tuesday that they can make contribution if the minority government changes into ''CHP-Democratic Left Party (DSP) government''.
Addressing a press conference he held after meeting with Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the DSP, who was assigned to form the new government, Deniz Baykal said, ''I told Mr. Ecevit that we can make every contribution if he includes the CHP in the minority government he is thinking of.''
''CHP can make contribution if the minority government changes into CHP-DSP government. If we manage to change the minority government into CHP-DSP minority government, then we are ready to contribute to such a government and we are ready to bear the troubles that such a government may face. I conveyed this to Mr. Ecevit very openly and clearly,'' Baykal added.
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