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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-12-16
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
16 DEC 1998
 SEZGIN, THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: ''ITALY IS VERY REGRETFUL AND CONFUSED''ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister said on Tuesday that Italy is ''very regretful and confused'' concerning Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK who was arrested in Rome, adding that ''she made a mistake and now she is seeking for means to correct that mistake.''
Responding to questions of journalists about the news saying that Ocalan can be sent to Albania from Italy, Sezgin stated that ''the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK is the murderer of 30,000 people. It is not possible for a murderer who committed a crime against humanity to take shelter in Italy anymore. They were trying to find a place for him, I don't know how the efforts will result and where they will send him. This will be determined in the coming days.''
''Turkish Armed Forces extend great support to Albania, will relations deteriorate if Ocalan is sent to this country? Will Albania accept such a person or does Turkey want him to stay in Albania,'' asked a journalist to Sezgin who said he did not want to reply such kind of questions.
Noting that he will leave for Brussels tomorrow for the NATO Defense Ministers meeting, Sezgin pointed out that he will discuss this issue again with his Italian counterpart in Brussels.
''I will request the members of the NATO to act more carefully and in line with their responsibilities in the struggle against terrorism which has been included to Article 5 of the NATO treaty which determines the main tasks and responsibilities of NATO,'' he added.
 STATE MINISTER ANDICAN RECEIVES REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EAST TURKISTAN'S NATIONAL CENTERANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Ahat Andican, the State Minister and Spokesman of the Government, received on Tuesday the representatives of the East Turkistan's National Center which is formed by about 40 Uygur associations and organizations in several countries.
Addressing the meeting, Andican stressed that Turkish Government attributes great importance to the East Turkistan, but at the same time it does not ignore the bilateral relations with China.
Mentioning the issue of the East Turkistan which became more significant following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Andican pointed out that positive developments occur concerning the problem of the ''captive nations'' in the whole world recently.
Andican noted that he hopes the ''National Center'' will fill the lack that has emerged after the death of Isa Yusuf Alptekin, the Leader of the East Turkistanians in exile, calling them to carry their situation to the international platforms.
Emphasizing that serious changes has happened in China in last decade, Andican noted that China which search for the liberalism in the economic field, is expected to become more free in future.
Addressing the meeting on behalf of the representatives of the East Turkistan's National Center, Ismail Cengiz, the Director General of the Eurasia-Turkish Associations Federation, stressed that Uygur associations and organizations in the Central Asian countries, the US and the European countries, have come together and established the National Center.
Noting that the new organization comprises more than 80 percent of the Uygur asoociations, Cengiz also added that they prepare to hold the World Uygur Youths General Assembly.
 ANNAN'S ''VERY OPTIMISTIC REPORT'' ON CYPRUS - UN SECURITY COUNCIL STARTS TO DISCUSS CYPRUS QUESTIONNEW YORK, Dec 16 (A.A) - Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General sent a letter on Tuesday to the UN Security Council concerning the good will mission he carries out on Cyprus.
Diplomatic circles described the letter as ''very optimistic.''
Annan had proposed the extension of the term office of the UN Peace Force for Cyprus (UNFICYP) till June 30, 1999 in his first report published last week.
The Secretary General said in his two-page letter that he was encouraged by the constructive manner in which both Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktas were engaging in these talks.
''I also consider it positive that both leaders have respected the confidentiality of the talks. I welcome the progress achieved so far, which I believe is a significant contribution to the maintenance of peace and security in the region. I commend the two leaders for the statesmanship and vision which they are showing,'' Annan added.
Kofi Annan said in his letter that he was urging both sides-but in fact he was calling on the Greek Cypriot side- to avoid any actions which might increase tension, including by further expansion of military forces and armaments.
Kofi Annan announced for the first time in his letter the issues that were discussed during the secret meetings between the two sides on Cyprus. The issues are:
1-guarantee for refraning from resorting to force or threat to use force.
2-guarantee for not increasing the number of weapons and soldiers reciprocally.
3-guarantee saying that the number of military forces and weapons will decrease.
4-guarantee for accepting the ''measures'' proposed by UNFICYP aiming to diffuse the tension at the ceasefire line.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources point out that the two leaders on Cyprus have not fully reached an agreement concerning these issues.
Kofi Annan also stressed in his letter that ''Denktas and Clerides wish the continuation of his initiatives.''
The UN Security Council also started to discuss the Cyprus question the same day and it also examines the letter and the earlier UNFICYP report of the UN Secretary General.
The UN Security Council is expected to adopt a draft resolution on Thursday which will extend the term office of UNFICYP and which will show the attitude of the Council about the Cyprus question.
 ''BOOK CASE'' POSTPONED IN WESTERN THRACE - THE CASE AGAINST TURKISH PARENTS AT GREEK COURT OF APPEAL IN COMOTINI POSTPONED TO SEPT 22, 1999COMOTINI, Dec 16 (A.A) - The case against the Turkish parents who are tried for their demonstrations to protest the course books in Western Thrace was postponed on Tuesday to September 22, 1999 due to the ''end of the working hours.''
Eleven Turkish parents from Mustavcova village of Xanthi were sentenced to a total imprisonment of 54 months by a lower court which had earlier tried them.
The incident which caused filing a suit against the Turkish parents took place in 1992 and the case is known in Western Thrace as ''book case.''
Totally 160 parents whose names were included in the case, opposed to the Turkish course books which were prepared by the Greek Education Ministry, collected these books, brought them to Athens and left them in front of the Greek Education Ministry.
A suit was filed against the Turkish parents due to this demonstration which took place under the leadership of the late-Dr. Sadık Ahmet, the leader of the Friendship and Peace Party. The Greek prosecutors accused the parents of ''upsetting order and theft.''
Meanwhile, Sema Piskinsut, the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission and commission members namely Suha Tanık from the Motherland Party (ANAP), Erdogan Yetenc from the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) and Zulfikar Gazi from the Virtue Party (FP) who came to watch the court session returned to Turkey.
 GROSSMAN, THE US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: - ''OCALAN SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE''WASHINGTON D.C., Dec 16 (A.A) - Marc Grossman, the US Assistant Secretary of State, said on Tuesday that Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of separatist terrorist organization PKK, should be brought to justice.
Addressing a press conference, Grossman who also served as the US Ambassador to Turkey, stressed that the US government wants Ocalan to be tried. He added that they are in close contact with Turkey, Italy and Germany to bring Ocalan to justice.
The US State Department had previously declared that Ocalan should be tried with the accusations of committing terrorist crimes.
Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State described PKK as a ''bloody- handed and brutal terrorist organization'' in 1996.
Responding to a question about the relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU), Grossman pointed out that they told the EU countries on every occasion that there should be the most qualified relations between Turkey and the EU.
Noting that the European countries are very well aware of the US' attitude over the issue, Grossman emphasized that they do not hesitate to convey their opinions concerning the latest developments in the relations between Turkey and the EU. The US supports Turkey's full membership to the EU.
Meanwhile a summit between the US and the EU will be held in Washington on Friday.
Mentioning the S-300 missiles which the Greek Cypriot side Administration plans to purchase from Russia, Grossman stressed that the US' opinion over the deployment of the missiles on the island, is very clear.
Noting that they do not object the self-defense right of the Greek Cypriot side, Grossman noted that the deployment of the S-300 missiles at the Southern Cyprus will create a difficult situation on the island.
Reminding that Richard Holbrooke, the US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative to Cyprus, and Thomas Miller, the Special Coordinator of the US State Department for Cyprus, held contacts in the region, Grossman stressed that they also support the initiatives of Ann Hercus, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary General to Cyprus, on the island.
Pointing out that they want the tension in the Aegean to be eased, Grossman noted that the Cyprus question is among their priority issues.
The US Government had called previously the Greek Cypriot side to cancel the agreement with Russia regarded with the S-300 missiles.
 ECEVIT, THE DSP LEADER: ''I WILL DO MY BEST TO FORM THIS GOVERNMENT, BUT WHEN I THINK I SHOULD GIVE UP, I WILL RETURN MY MISSION TO PRESIDENT DEMIREL''ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) said on Tuesday that ''I will do my best to form this government, but when I think I should give up, I will return my mission to President Suleyman Demirel.''
Responding to questions in a private television channel, Ecevit stated that Tansu Ciller, the leader of the True Path Party (DYP) did not fully reject his proposal of minority government formula at their first meeting.
Recalling that Ciller requested him to ''meet with other party leaders'' and told him that ''if they support him, then DYP will also extend morale support to DSP,'' Ecevit said that ''I don't know what she wants to mean by morale support. I could not ask her what that meant at the meeting, because I presented a new and unexpected proposal. We did not discuss the reinforced minority government at my meeting with Tansu Ciller. I think it will be beneficiary to learn what Ciller thinks about this issue.''
Ecevit described the reinforced minority government as ''a government without making a coalition protocol and to which ministers from other parties can be invited.
Noting that it will be useful to meet with Tansu Ciller, the leader of DYP, Ecevit said that ''I can't say whether or not the contacts I will make within the coming one or two days will bring new openings.''
 ILHAM ALIEV, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE SOCAR: - ''HOPEFUL DEVELOPMENTS OCCUR IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE TURKISH WORKING GROUP''BAKU, Dec 16 (A.A) - Ilham Aliev, the Deputy Chairman of the Azeri State Petroleum Company (SOCAR), said on Tuesday that hopeful developments occur in the negotiations between Azeri and Turkish working groups concerning the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline project. Addressing the journalists, Aliev stressed that the conclusion of the negotiations will contribute to determine the certain date for the decision regarded with the main oil pipeline.
Responding to a question, Aliev noted that difference of opinion over the cost of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline between Socar and the AIOC, the international consortium operation company, continues. He added that the conclusion of the negotiations between Turkey and Azerbaijan will help the AIOC and the SOCAR to reach an agreement.
Mentioning the Baku-Novorossisk route, Aliev noted that they do not admit the route as a serious alternative since great amount of oil cannot be transported through the Straits.
Meanwhile Valeh Aleskerov, the Chairman of the Foreign Investments Department of SOCAR who carries out the negotiations with the Turkish working group, said that the transit price list on the Baku-Ceyhan route will be under 3 US Dollars per barrel.
Aleskerov stressed that the problem causes from the forming the new system which is in contradiction with the current laws of the countries which the pipeline will be passed. He added that the mentioned laws should be adapted to the collective model or a new law should be adopted in form of an agreement between the governments.
Aleskerov also added that Baku-Ceyhan project will cost about 2.4 billion US Dollars.
 ITALIAN PRIME MINISTRY: ''THE ACCUSATION OF ITALIAN MINISTER OF JUSTICE IS BASELESS'' - TURKEY'S LAWYER:''ITALIAN PRIME MINISTRY IS NOT CHIEF PROSECUTION''ROME, Dec 16 (A.A) - The Italian Prime Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the claims that Oliviero Diliberto, the Italian Minister of Justice ''misused his authority'' are baseless.
The statament pointed out that ''it was a necessity to start an investigation about the Italian Minister of Justice after a suit was filed against him by the lawyer of the Turkish government. The officials of the Italian Prime Ministry say that accusing Diliberto of misusing his authority who acts within the scope of his authority and in line with the common views of the Italian Council of Ministers, is baseless.''
Meanwhile Augusto Sinagra, the lawyer of Turkey said that ''the Italian Prime Ministry is not a chief prosecution,'' adding that having a common view by the Council of Ministers does not remove the element of offense.
 TUZMEN, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN TRADE - ''TURKEY AND RUSSIA SHOULD AGREE TO USE RUBLE AS A TOOL OF PAYMENT IN TRADE''ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Kursad Tuzmen, the Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, said on Wednesday that Turkey and Russia should aggree to use Ruble, the Russian currency, as a tool of payment in the commercial relations between the two countries.
Evaluating the studies prepared to overcome the problems in the exportation to Russia which is one of the most significant trade partners of Turkey, Tuzmen added that otherwise it will not be proper to use Ruble which the whole world abstains from using it.
Stressing that Turkey can face with important difficulties in the trade with Ruble, Tuzmen stated, ''before the economic crisis that has hit Russia, there was a trade depending on Turkish Lira and Russian Ruble between the two countries, but Ruble is continously loosing in value. Therefore it will not be proper to use Ruble as a tool of payment in the trade. The Central Bank maintains works to overcome the problems.''
Meanwhile responding to the questions of the A.A correspondent, Turan Aydin, the Regional Coordinator of the Foreign Economic Affairs Committee (DEIK), stressed that especially coal, iron and several other metals which Russia is rich of, can be used as a tool of payment.
Reminding that Turkey imports coal from South Africa occasionaly Aydin noted that Russia's underground sources can be an opportunity for Turkey to meet her energy need.
 CELEBI, THE STATE MINISTER: ''40 PERCENT OF DECREASE IN INFLATION RATE MADE THOSE UNEASY WHO WERE PLEASED BY THE INFLATION''ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Isın Celebi, the State Minister said on Tuesday that the decrease of 40 percent in the inflation rate made those uneasy who were pleased by the inflation, adding that ''the speed of the increase in prices stopped.''
Responding to questions at a private television channel, Celebi pointed out that the problems stemming from wrong investments and structural problems that were undertaken after 1994 come out in a more obvious way due to the global crisis.
''We undertake our mission in the best way and we will solve this problem, '' said Celebi, adding that ''the decrease of inflation by 40 percent made those people who were pleased by the inflation rate uneasy. Because structural problems and irrational behaviours were hidden in a country where there is high inflation rate. The decrease in inflation revealed all the defects.''
Noting that the fall in inflation rate will continue, Celebi said ''we call on several sectors to decrease their profits, as this means the decrease of prices. People will see that the prices will increase less and they will buy goods.''
Responding to a question about the decrease in taxes in purchasing and selling automobiles, Celebi stated that there is a tax of approximately 46 percent in automobiles and if the factories make sacrifice from profits, the prices of the cars will be more balanced.
Responding to another question about making trade with Russia with rouble, Celebi said that this issue is not very clear and it depends on contacts with Russia. Celebi said that the efforts continue about this issue.
Underlining the fact that exports should be promoted, Celebi said that ''40 percent of the Eximbank credits will be used in small and big scale managements,'' adding those factories which fire illegal workers won't benefit from credits.
 SEZGIN, THE NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTER LEAVES FOR BELGIUMANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister and National Defense Minister left on Wednesday for Belgium to participate in the NATO Defense Ministers Fall-term meetings.
Addressing a statement at Esenboga Airport before his departure, Sezgin said that issues such as ''the situation in the Balkans and European defense'' will be taken up in Eurodinner which will be hosted by Turkey. Sezgin added that the meetings of Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), Defense Planning Committee (DPC) and North Atlantic Council (NAC) meetings will be held on Thursday.
Noting that reports on the status and protection of the nuclear forces of the Alliance will be evaluated in NPG meeting, Sezgin pointed out that ''we will revise the annual defense and ministers directive at DPC meeting and we will evaluate the situation in Kosovo and in the former Yugoslavia in the same meeting. On the other hand we will evaluate the situation in Former Yugoslavia within the scope of the North Atlantic Council meeting. We will also evaluate the relations with Russian Federation and adaptation of NATO at the same meeting. Permanent Partnership Council, NATO Ukrainian Meeting and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council meetings will take place on December 18. The situation in Bosnia and issues of improvement of defense cooperation between NATO-Russia will be taken up during the Permanent Partnership Council meeting.''
Sezgin pointed out that cooperation in defense, regional security and the role of multinational unions will be taken up during the NATO-Ukrainian meeting. At the last meeting, which is Euro-Atlantic Partnership meeting, issues such as Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Peace for Partnership will be taken up.
Sezgin added that he will meet with his Italian counterpart in Brussels.
 A TOTAL OF 910 FOREIGNERS CAPTURED IN 532 SEPATARE INCIDENTS WITHIN THREE YEARSISTANBUL/KADIKOY, Dec 16 (A.A) - Officials at the Directorate General of Security said on Wednesday that a total of 532 separate drug smuggling incident which the foreigners from 76 countries were involved in, occured in Turkey within the last three years.
Officials told the A.A correspondent that a total of 910 foreign drug smugglers were captured during the operations launched by the security officials in different parts of Turkey.
A total of 245 Iranians and 132 Nigerians were among the captured foreigners.
Security forces seized a total of 3 thousand 461 kg of drugs and 460 thousand drug pills in the operations.
 UN SECURITY COUNCIL WORKS ON TWO DRAFT RESOLUTIONS CONCERNING THE CYPRUS QUESTIONNEW YORK, Dec 16 (A.A) - The UN Security Council permanent members namely the US, Britain, Russia, France and China work on two draft resolutions concerning the Cyprus question, it is reported on Wednesday.
Diplomatic sources note that one of the draft resolutions will be about extension of the term office of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force on Cyprus (UNFICYP) till June 30, 1999, while the other one will be about the good will mission carried out by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General regarding the Cyprus question.
Officials say that the UN Security Council will add certain provisions to the draft resolutions about its views and attitude on the Cyprus question.
The delegates who spoke in the first consultation meeting held by the UN Security Council said that the reports sent by the UN Secretary General concerning the Cyprus question seemed hopeful.
Sources close the UN Security Council pointed out that the studies on the draft resolutions will also continue today and the resolutions which will have their final form can be presented on Friday.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF - 16 DECEMBER 1998ISTANBUL - Arif Ahmet Denizolgun, the Transportation Minister, left on Wednesday for Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia, where he will attend the Balkan Countries Telecommunication meetings.
Denizolgun and accompanying delegation are expected to return to Turkey in 19 December.
MUS - Three separatist terrorists were killed on Wednesday during the operations launched by the security forces in
Toprakkale Village in Kizilagac Region Of Mus Province.
Security forces also seized three rifles, four hand-grenades and a great deal of ammunitions belonging to the terrorists.
Operations are underway in the region.
ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel sent on Wednesday a message of congratulation to Emir Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa, for the National Day of Bahrain.
The Presidential Press Center quoted Demirel as saying that he believes that the relations between Turkey and Bahrain will be further improved in coming days.
ANKARA - General Mihail Popescu, the Commander of the Romanian Land Forces who pays an official visit to Turkey, visited on Wednesday his Turkish counterpart General Atilla Ates.
Addressing the meeting, General Ates pointed out that they will discuss the educational cooperation opportunities between the land forces of the two countries.
General Popesceu will also make observations in Istanbul and leave Turkey for Romania in 19 December.
 FOREIGN TRADE INDEXESANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - The export amount index in Turkey increased ten percent in the first nine months of 1998, whereas the import amount index decreased 0.1 percent in the same period, it is reported on Wednesday.
The statement of the State Statistics Institute indicates that the price indexes decrease 4.8 percent in exports and 3.5 percent in imports.
When the first nine months of this year is compared to the same period of the last year, a decrease of 2.4 percent in the export amount index and 17.9 percent in import amount index are observed. The price indexes in the mentioned period are realized as 0.3 percent increase in exports and 3.9 percent decrease in imports.
The export amount index in September decreased two percent when compared to August figures, while the import amount index increased 1.2 percent.
The export price index increased 0.8 percent in the mentioned month, whereas the import price index decreased 1.5 percent.
 FIRST ROUND CONTACTS FOR TURKISH-EGYPTIAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT TO START IN ANKARA ON THURSDAYANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - The first round contacts concerning Turkish-Egyptian Free Trade Agreement will start in Ankara on Thursday and they will last for two days, it is reported on Thursday.
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade said in a statement that the draft text of the Turkish-Egyptian Free Trade Agreement which was prepared within the framework of the European-Mediterranean Partnership Agreements, was submitted to Egypt in 1997, adding that a consensus of opinion was reached concerning holding of first round contacts in Ankara during the visit of the Turkish delegation headed by Yavuz Ege, the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade to Egypt between October 16-19 this year.
The statement pointed out that Reyhan Atmaca, the Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Trade will preside the Turkish delegation, while Afify Semil, the Director General of EU Department of Egyptian Trade Ministry will preside the Egyptian delegation.
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade stressed that President Suleyman Demirel and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak thought that Turkey and Egypt should sign a free trade agreement as soon as possible and this was announced during Mubarak's visit to Turkey between 5-6 December.
The statement added that the trade volume between the two countries between January-September 1998 reached 588 million dollars, adding that when the free trade agreement enters into enforcement, this number will reach one billion dollars in 2000 and two billion dollars in 2005.
 THE GREEK CYPRIOT SIDE DECIDES TO IMPORT FROM TURKEY - UTKAN, SPEAKER OF THE FOREIGN MINISTRY: ''THIS DECISION IS TAKEN UNDER THE PRESSURE OF THE EU COMMISSION''ANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - The Ministry of Foreign stated on Wednesday that the decision of the Greek Cypriot side concerning the import of the Turkish goods and the goods shipped through Turkey was taken under the ''pressure of the European Union (EU) Commission and that the adoptation of the decision was a matter of question.''
In a weekly press conference, Necati Utkan, the foreign ministry spokesman, said, ''it is reported that the Turkish goods and the goods which are shipped through Turkey can be imported to the Greek Cypriot side following the ensuring of the permissions. The Greek Cypriot government possibly decided this way under the pressure of the EU Commission.''
Utkan stressed that the Greek Cypriot side was under intensive pressure of the EU Commission since she was within the period of full membership of the EU and that the Commission requested that the Greek Cypriot administration should lift off such restrictive measures to Turkey.
Utkan said, ''some merchants imported Turkish goods via some third countries, but they were declared as traitors. The fact that the Greek Cypriot side would adopt this decision is a matter of question.''
Utkan pointed out that if the Greek Cypriot side would like to rehabilitate the situation on Cyprus, she would have to put an end to the unjust and inhuman ambargos she had imposed in every field to the Turkish Cypriots since 1963.
The Greek Cypriot side not only imposed embargos against Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) but also prohibited the import of Turkish goods and the goods which were shipped through Turkey.
 AUSTRIA, EU TERM PRESIDENT: ''EU IS DETERMINED TO IMPROVE ITS RELATIONS WITH TURKEY''STRASBOURG, Dec 16 (A.A) - Victor Klima, the Prime Minister of Austria, which took over the Term Presidency of the European Union (EU), said on Wednesday that the EU was determined to improve its relations with Turkey.
Making a statement concerning the facility report of the term presidency in the General Assembly hearing of the European Parliament, Klima stressed that the EU decided to improve its relations with Turkey.
Klima noted that they were working to activate the European strategy for Turkey under the decision of the Cardiff Summit.
Klima stated that Turkey was eligible for the EU membership but many steps have to be taken to evaluate Turkey as a full member.
 THE BLUE STREAM PROJECT TO BE ACTIVATED - THE MEETINGS ARE COMPLETEDANKARA, Dec 16 (A.A) - The meetings concerning the construction of natural gas pipelines in Turkey within the framework of Blue Stream Project between Botas, the Turkish company, and the contractor firm are completed, it is reported on Wednesday.
Sources told A.A correspondent that a significant step was realized in the Russia-Turkey Black Sea natural gas pipeline project titled ''Blue Stream'' within the framework of the ''natural gas purchasing and selling agreement'' signed between the Turkish and Russian governments to meet the increasing demand of natural gas in Turkey.
The negotiations on the prices between Botas and the company which would undertake the construction of the pipeline in Turkey are reported to be positive.
After the approval of the credits and offers by Botas company, the contract will be signed and the construction will start in the first months of 1999.
The Samsun-Ankara pipeline will be 444 kilometres long and it will be financed by 100 percent foreign credits.
The construction of the pipelines in Turkey will be realized by a finance of 500 million US dollars and will be completed until 2000.
The natural gas coming from Siberia region of Russia will reach northern Samsun province in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
A total of 500 million cubic metres of natural gas will be purchased from Russia in the first year and 4 billion cubic metres in 2001 and 8 billion cubic metres in 2002 under the provisions of the agreement between Russia and Turkey.
 TURKEY IN BRIEF - 16 NOVEMBER 1998ANKARA - Mesut Yilmaz, the Prime Minister, met with Mesrop Mutafian, the Armenian Patriarch in Ankara on Wednesday.
Mutafian said, ''I believe that the future of our nation will be perfect.''
BRUSSELS - Ismet Sezgin, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Natural Defence Minister, goes to Belgium on Wednesday to attend the Fall Meeting of te NATO Defence Ministers, which will start on Thursday.
The meeting to be held in the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and to last two days gather the defence ministers of the countries which are the members of NATO.
Sezgin will return Turkey on Saturday.
BEIJING - Daryal Batıbey, Turkey's new Ambassador to China, submitted on Wednesday his letter of credence to Jiang Zemin, the President of China.
The officials of the Turkish Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Foreign Ministry officials attended the ceremony held in the Public Meeting Hall.
After the ceremony, Batibay and Zemin had a meeting in which they expressed their wishes of improving the relations between Turkey and China.
 BULGARIAN CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE AWARDS TURKISH TRADE ATTACHESOFIA, Dec 16 (A.A) - Senol Turkyilmaz, the Trade Attache of Turkey to Bulgaria, is chosen as the most successful trade attache of 1998 by the Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, it is reported on Wednesday.
It is also reported that Turkyilmaz was given this award for his contributions to the economic and commercial relations between these counries and for his successful works.
Speaking to A.A correspondent, Turkyilmaz said that many advances in the commercial and economic relations between Turkey and Bulgaria were realized.
Stressing that he thought that the Turkish-Bulgarian economic and commercial relations would be better in the future, Turkyilmaz said, ''I think that the Turkish entrepreneurs should take into consideration the fact that Bulgaria was near Turkey and that the fact that raw materials and work force were cheap in Bulgaria. Thus, the Bulgarian market is adequate to adopt the high-quality Turkish goods. The Turkish entrepreneurs should keep in mind that any investment to Bulgaria means investments realized in Europe.''
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