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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-12-24
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From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>
24 DEC 1998
 TURKEY-PRESS SCANThese are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Dec 24, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
HURRIYET (LIBERAL) IT'S EREZ'S TURN
MILLIYET (LIBERAL)PUSS-IN-THE-CORNER WITH OCALAN
D'Alema, the Italian Premier guided Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK in the press briefing he held yesterday by saying that ''the Italian judiciary organs released Ocalan after Germany withdrew its arrest warrant concerning him. According to our laws, Ocalan can go to anywhere, this is not a problem of our government, but of law.'' Meanwhile, the Russian ORT television channel announced at 20.00 local time that ''Abdullah Ocalan returned back to Russia, as his political asylum application is still valid in this country.'' Other television channels did not announce such claims.
CHP:''CONDITIONAL YES'' TO GOVERNMENT
SABAH (LIBERAL)D'ALEMA BEGS
Italy tries to send Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK. Massimo D'Alema, the Italian Premier said that Ocalan is a free man, adding ''we tried to solve the problem concerning Ocalan, but we could not succeed in that. Italy wishes Ocalan to leave this country, I hope he has also understood that.''
DEATH SENTENCE IS REQUESTED FOR PINAR
CUMHURIYET (LEFT)DIFFICULT COMMISSION FROM CANKAYA
The mission to form the 56th government was given to Yalim Erez, an independent deputy and the Minister of Industry and Trade.
Erez, who got the support of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Motherland Party (ANAP) and Democratic Turkey Party (DTP), said that he would began first-round talks firstly with Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) on 28 December.
Italian Premier Massimo D'Alema said the Ocalan issue would be solved for Rome when the chief of the terrorist PKK leaves Italy, claiming that they did not made a bargain with a third country concerning the issue of sending him away from Italy.
Russian TV channel ORT claimed that Ocalan had been brought to Russia while the Turkish and Italian officials did not confirm this.
RADIKAL (LEFT)ROME ADVENTURE TO FINISH SOON
Foreign Ministry was informed that Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK will be sent from Italy today or tomorrow and warned Estonia and Lithuania, the countries where Ocalan, the chief terrorist could go.
TANKER COLLIDES WITH A COACH
YENİ YÜZYIL (LIBERAL)FASTING FIGHT AT UNIVERSITY
Following the unpleasant incidents occured two days ago at the Inonu University in central Malatya province, a quarrel took place yesterday at the cafeteria of the Gazi University in Ankara due to fasting.
A group of university students, who said that they were fasting, intervened the people who were smoking at the cafeteria. The argument between the groups turned into a fight. In the fight, the groups threw the chairs and tables at each other, two students were injured.
INTERIM BUDGET REINFORCEMENT TO ECONOMY
The tax arrangements, which were promised for the financial sector, were reflected in the interim budget.
Opportunity of supplementary sources was created for the public banks and the small and medium scale enterprises.
TÜRKİYE (RIGHT)EREZ IS HOPEFUL
President Suleyman Demirel assigned Yalim Erez, the Minister of Industry and Trade, and an independent deputy from Mugla province, to form the new government.
''The government I will form will be a broad-based compromise government it won't be a coalition. I believe I will get the vote of confidence,'' Erez said.
17 PASSENGERS BURNT TO DEATH
The reason for the crash was the bus's faulty passing and slippery road.
DID CHIEF TERRORIST ESCAPE FROM ITALY TO RUSSIA?
ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)PRESIDENT PREFERS EREZ
Yalım Erez, the Minister of Industry and Trade was assigned by President Suleyman Demirel to form the new government. Yalım Erez, had earlier said that he wanted to be the prime minister of the new government. Noting that he is not biased towards any political parties, Erez said that ''I will set up a broad-based government.''
 COACH CRASHES INTO FUEL TRUCK, - 13 PEOPLE BURNED TO DEATH, 15 OTHERS INJUREDSAMSUN, Dec 24 (A.A) - A coach collided late on Wednesday with a fuel truck on a highway near Havza county of Samsun province in the Black Sea Region, burning to death 13 people and injuring 15 others.
The bus driven by Muzaffer Kontek was on its way to Samsun from Ankara. The crash was caused by the coach's faulty passing and due to the slippery road.
The fire was extinguished by the fire brigades.
The injured people including the drivers of the bus and fuel truck were taken to hospitals in Samsun.
Adem Gunday, the driver of the fuel truck, said at the hospital that the truck had been half-loaded with gasoline and half-loaded with diesel oil.
''The weather was rainy so the road was slippery. I was driving slowly. The bus entered into my lane by faulty passing. When I saw the bus, the distance was 25-30 meters. I put on the brakes and this is the last thing I remember. I don't know how I could rescue from the flames,'' the driver of the truck said.
Omer Sagirkaya, the Director of Security in Samsun, said, ''in that dreadful accident, 13 people were killed, 15 others were injured and eight of them are still missing.''
Sagirkaya told the A.A correspondent that the bus was carrying 30 passengers and there were two drivers and one assistant.
Meanwhile, witnesses said six of the eight missing people were rescued.
 ITALIAN SECURITY OFFICIALS: ''OCALAN, THE CHIEF TERRORIST IS IN ROME''ROME, Dec 24 (A.A) - Italian security forces told on Wednesday night the Turkish officials in Rome that Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of the separatist terrorist organization PKK is still in Rome.
However the Russian ORT television channel claimed at 20.00 local time that Ocalan, the chief terrorist left Italy for Russia by the cooperation of the Russian and Italian national intelligence services.
ORT pointed out that the Russian national intelligence service refrained from making an evaluation about the news.
Turkish foreign ministry officials started to make inquiries and hold contacts with Russian Foreign ministry officials and Italian interior ministry officials to find out whether or not the claims were true.
Russian foreign ministry officials said that Ocalan, the chief terrorist is definitely not in Moscow, while Italian officials confirmed that Ocalan was still in the villa in Rome.
The Turkish diplomats in Rome said that Ocalan, the chief terrorist can't go to the Baltic countries, as this seemed clearly from their contacts with the officials of these countries.
 TURKEY TARGETS ONE BILLION DOLLARS OF EXPORT TO SPAINANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Turkey determined Spain as a target country in order to abolish the negative effects of the stagnation in economy and to increase her exports, it is reported on Thursday.
Turkish industrialists and businessmen have started to focus on the issue of improvement of relations with Spain in order to overcome the economic difficulties, while public institutions also speeded up their activities to improve relations with Spain.
''Turkish Export Products Fair'' will be held in Barcelona in Spain between March 15-18 1999. Spanish firms will also hold a fair in Istanbul.
The Foreign Economic Affairs Council (DEIK) also started to launch efforts for the realization of the fair to be held in Barselona.
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade, Ministries of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Culture also extend support to the activities regarding the fair.
The fair to be held in Barcelona is very important for the presentation of Turkish export products. Barcelona Fair is accepted as a ''springboard'' in respect of opening to the European Union (EU) market in an atmosphere where the relations with Italy are tense.
Turkey aims at improving her trade relations not only with Spain and the EU market, but also with North Africa and particularly with South and Central asian regions.
Turkey wishes to increase her exports to Spain to one billion dollars. Barcelona is the place which realizes 80 percent of Spani's imports, so Turkey decided to hold this fair in this region.
Turkey will present various textile, leather, automotive by-industry goods, durable and indurable goods, construction machinery equipments, machine industry goods, food and packages in the fair.
 SUPREME COURT ANNULS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT VERDICT FOR 33 PEOPLE TRIED WITH SIVAS MASSACRE SUITANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - The Supreme Court Criminal Department No:9 annuled on Thursday the capital punishment verdict for the 33 people, who were being tried with the Sivas Massacre Lawsuit, due to ''procedural deficiencies''.
The intervenors and their lawyers attended today's hearing at the Supreme Court Criminal Department No:9 concerning the appeal requests.
Demirel Tavil, the Chairman of the Criminal Department No:9, said that the capital punishment verdict for those 33 people was annuled due to procedural deficiencies.
In the same suit, the Supreme Court also annuled the verdicts for four persons, who were sentenced to 20-year imprisonment, and for one person, who was imprisoned to 15-year imprisonment, as those decisions were taken in connection with the capital punishment verdict, and ratified the verdict for the acquittal of 42 people who were sentenced to imprisonment terms between five years up to seven years and six months.
 WHO IS YALIM EREZ, ASSIGNED TO FORM THE NEW GOVERNMENT?ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Yalım Erez, the Minister of Trade and Industry and an independent deputy from the western province of Mugla, who was assigned on Wednesday by President Suleyman Demirel to form the new government, was born in 1944 in eastern province of Van.
Erez, who had a family dealing with trade and industry, became a tradesman after finishing high school.
Erez became the partner and the president of the executive board of Haznedar Ates Brick Industry Inc. and Saner Industrial Installations Inc.
In 1978, Erez was a member of Istanbul Trade Chamber (ITO), a member of ITO and later became the Deputy Chairman of ITO, he became the Chairman of ITO in 1998. Erez was also a member of the Executive Board of the Turkish Confederation of Turkish Employers' Union (TISK) and the President of the Executive Board of the Turkish Land Emloyers' Union.
In 1988, Erez became the deputy president of the executive board of the Union of the Turkish Chambers and Stock Exchange (TOBB). In 1990, he was elected as the Chairman of the Union of Turkish Chambers. Erez was elected as a deputy at the end of the elections held in Turkey on December 24, 1995.
Erez became the minister of the trade and industry during the coalition government formed between the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP). He had the same post during the coalition government formed between the Welfare Party and True Path Party (DYP). Erez requested DYP to withdraw from the government due to increasing criticisms of the government structure and the executions of the government. On April 26, 1997 Erez resigned from his post and from his party.
Yalım Erez became the Minister of Trade and Industry again but this time as an independent deputy during the coalition government formed between the Motherland Party (ANAP), Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Democratic Turkey Party (DTP).
Yalım Erez is married with three children.
 THE NUMBER OF DEATH TOLL REACHES 18 IN THE ACCIDENT WHICH TOOK PLACE IN SAMSUN PROVINCESAMSUN, Dec 24 (A.A) - The number of death toll reached 18 in the accident that took place when a coach collided late on Wednesday with a fuel truck on a highway near Havza county of Samsun province in the Black Sea Region, it is reported on Thursday.
Five other corpses were found after the terrible accident, thus the number of death toll reached 18. The identities of nine persons who were burnt to death in the accident were determined.
Haluk Beser, the Chief Prosecutor said that rescue teams found eight corpses in the first investigation carried out in the coach on Wednesday night and five other corpses were found in the second investigation carried out at around 06.00 on Thursday morning. Baser stated that the number of people who died in the accident reached by 18 by the five corpses which were in Havza State Hospital.
Officials said that there were 33 passengers in the coach at the first place, but other passengers were taken to the coach while on the way.
Meanwhile, the conditions of the wounded people who are at Samsun State and Social Insurance Institutions (SSK) hospitals are getting better.
 11-MO DOMESTIC OIL PRODUCTION: 2.9 MILLION TONSANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - The oil researches in Turkey intensified while the number of licences for carrying out those explorations has reached 299 in 1998, it was reported on Thursday.
The number of the exploration licences given last year was 214 while the Turkish Petroleums Corp (TPAO), which got 109 licences last year, took 27 more licences this year.
Gustavson Associates Inc., which started to make petrol research this year in Turkey, received 18 licences for several regions.
Arco Turkey Inc. which had only one licence last year, increased the number of licences to 28.
Those companies, which drilled wells for finding oil-beds on a 11.7 million hectars of land last year, carried out explorations on 22 million hectars of land this year.
Meanwhile, the domestic crude oil production in the first eleven months of 1998 was 2 million 958 thousand tons.
Last year, the total domestic crude oil production had been 3 million 457 thousand tons.
 VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATION - KARAKAS, FROM CHP PROPOSES TO INIATIATE A PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION REGARDING VIOLATION OF THE FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATIONANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Ercan Karakas, a Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy submitted on Thursday a parliamentary investigation motion in order to determine persons who violate the freedom of communication and to determine the measures that will be taken against possible violations as this issue was being discussed by the newspapers and the Turkish public opinion during the recent days.
Karakas quoted in the motion Article 22 of the Constitution which says that ''everyone has the right to freedom of communication, the secrecy of communication is fundamental. Communication shall not be impeded nor its secrecy be violated, unless there exists a decision duly passed by a judge in cases explicity defined by the law and unless there exists an order of an agency authorised by law in cases where delay is deemed detrimental.''
Underlining the fact that the right to freedom of comminucation is also protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Karakas stated that ''The European Court of Human Rights found France guilty in two separate cases due to telephone tapping for political purposes. France had to adopt a law to prevent telephone-tapping. Telephone tapping, recording telephone speeches, and announcing them to public mean violation of secrecy of private life and violation of freedom of communication and these constitute crime.''
 15 THOUSAND TEXTILE WORKERS TO GO ON STRIKE ON 12 JANUARYKAYSERI, Dec 24 (A.A) - As a result of the disagreement between the Textile Workers' Labor Union (TEKSIF) and the Textile Employers' Confederation about the collective bargaining, a total of 15 thousand of 53 thousand textiles workers will go an a strike on 12 January 1999, it was reported on Thursday.
Tahir Horoz, a high-level official from the TEKSIF, told the A.A correspondent, ''at first, 15 thousand textile employees will go on strike. Later, all of the workers will join the strike. However, we still don't specify the work-places.''
Defining the attitude of the textiles employers as ''the desire for annihilating the Turkish trade unionism'', Horoz said, ''we will invite the labor unions excluding the Turkish Trade Unions Federation (Turk-Is) to pursue a common attitude. We will announce a general strike, if the employers continue their attitude of refusing our demands.''
 EREZ MEETS WITH CETIN - EREZ: ''I AM SEEKING A GREAT COMPROMISE''ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Yalim Erez, the Minister of Industry and Trade, and an independent deputy from Mugla province, who was assigned by President Suleyman Demirel to form the 56th government, said on Thursday that he was seeking for a great compromise, explaining his attitude he will pursue during his talks with the proverb ''soft words allure a serpent out of its burrow''.
Erez visited Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament. Prior to the meeting, Erez said, ''Turkey is facing very important problems. Some laws should be brought into force by the Parliament for the solution of those problems. I came here to have the opinions of the Parliament Speaker to this end.''
''I am seeking a great compromise. I have been saying this since I was assigned. We can overcome every problem by reaching an agreement. Because we have very meaningful proverbs and one of these is 'soft words allure a serpent out of its burrow'. The Turkish people don't want disputes or unproductive arguments any more. They want a great compromise. Thus, I will seek a great compromise at the Parliament. I will gather the opinions of political parties, non-governmental organizations during the preparation of laws,'' he said.
Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin said he believed the problems in Turkey would be solved with dialogue and compromise.
''I hope that Mr. Erez will form a government which can get confidence vote from the Parliament. I, as the Parliament Speaker, believe that the Parliament is obliged to legalize some important draft laws before the general elections,'' Cetin stated.
 TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS: ''THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION WHICH EXTENDS THE TERM OFFICE OF UNIFCYP IS REPETITION OF A MISTAKE WHICH CONSIDERS ONLY THE GREEK CYPRIOTS AS THE LEGITIMATE CYPRUS GOVERNMENT''LEFKOSA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that the UN Security Council's Resolution about the extension of the term office of the United Peace- Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNIFCYP) is based on ''the mistake which considers only the Greek Cypriot side as the legitimate Cyprus government.''
TRNC President Denktas said in a written statament that if this mistake continues, it won't give a result other than making the Cyprus question continue.
''TRNC has informed the UN Security Council that it won't accept the recent UN Resolution. We will continue to carry out our cooperation with UN Peace- Keeping Force within the framework determined by the independent and sovereign will of the TRNC,'' added Denktas.
Noting that the good will mission carried out by Ann Hercus, the UN Secretary General's Deputy Special Representative to Cyprus is based on the agreement between the two sides, Denktas added ''first of all, we asked for the confirmation of the existence of the two separate sovereign and equal states on the island. We proposed the solution of the lifting of the embargoes and the problem of exchange of properties between the two sides by mediation of a commission. A big part of the contacts were held upon these issues. In the letter submitted to the UN Securtiy Council on December 14, 1998 concerning good will mission, the views of the Turkish side were not asked. We have always positively approached to the measures aiming at decreasing the tension. As a matter of fact, we have been saying that TRNC has accepted the measures foreseeing 'deconfrontation' proposed by the UN. However we don't still know why the Greek Cypriot side did not accept the measures that are foreseen.''
TRNC President Denktas pointed out the Turkish side has not been informed about the resolutions taken by UN Security Council about the shuttle process till the last minute.
Denktas stated that he conveyed his views to the UN Secretary General on December 17, 1998 in a letter about these issues, adding ''we will continue to be faithful to our proposal which aims reconciliation.''
 YILMAZ, PRIME MINISTER: ''WE ARE READY TO NEGOTIATE ALL PROPOSALS WITHOUT PUTTING FORWARD PRE-CONDITIONS WHICH EREZ WILL BRING TO US''ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz who also acts as the Minister of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said on Thursday that they will negotiate all the proposals which Yalim Erez, Minister of Trade and Industry, who President Suleyman Demirel assigned as the Prime Minister- Designate to form the new government will bring to them, without any pre- condition.
Addressing his party group meeting Yilmaz accused Tansu Ciller, leader of True Path Party (DYP) of having political ambitions and said, ''the ones who do not think any other Prime Minister candidate except from themselves and who do not think of any other ruling party except from theirs drag the country into a dangerous adventure.''
Yilmaz stressed that they will expend support to Yalim Erez pointing out that his party supported all the efforts that will help the country to get rid of the government crisis from the very beginning.
Noting that their aim was to save Turkey from being a country whose parliament is unable to form a government, Yilmaz said, ''yet, we see that there are people who reject this opportunity of forming a new government immediately after the task is given to Erez. Those people do their best to prevent the formation of a government based on compromise.''
Yilmaz said he had difficulty to understand the mentality which puts forward conditions for a government that will perform less than four months, adding that ''this is what political ambition is.''
 FETHULLAH, EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY: - ''COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WITH TURKEY WILL FURTHER INCREASE''TRABZON, Dec 24 (A.A) - Mehdi Fethullah, the Egyptian Ambassador to Turkey, said on Thursday that the commercial relations between Turkey and Egypt will further increase in coming days.
Addressing the journalists during his visit to Trabzon Province in the Black Sea Region, Fethullah noted that they aim at improving commercial relations between the two countries.
Fethullah stressed, ''President Suleyman Demirel and President Hosni Mubarak, have decided to improve commercial relations between Turkey and Egypt during the meeting two weeks ago. We target a trade volume of 700 million US dollars for the beginning. This figure will increase up to 7 billion 250 million US dollars within next seven years.''
Pointing out that the geographical positions of both countries are very important, Fethullah told the reporters, ''Turkey has good relations with Russian Federation and the Turkish Republics in Central Asia, and we have relations with the African countries. The two countries can take advantage of each others' commercial relations.''
Meanwhile Ismet Gurbuz Civelek, the Governor of Trabzon, expressed gratification over Egypt's commercial interest in Trabzon, and described Fethullah's visit to the province as the beginning of the commercial relations between the two countries,
Mehdi Fethullah is expected to return to Ankara on Friday.
 EREZ MEETS WITH CETIN - YALIM EREZ: ''I DIDN'T UNDERTAKE THE TASK WITH THE PURPOSE OF MAKING POLITICS. I AM SEEKING STABILITY AND COMPROMISE IN TURKEY''ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Yalim Erez, the Minister of Industry and Trade and an independent deputy from Mugla province, who was given the task of forming the new government, said on Thursday that he didn't undertake the mandate with the aim of making politics and that he was seeking stability and compromise in Turkey.
Speaking to reporters during his meeting with Hikmet Cetin, the Speaker of the Parliament, Erez said, ''I am ready to start this important task.''
Responding to the statements of a reporter saying, ''you want the compromise in formation of the government to be reflected in the Parliament but there is not such a compromise,'' Erez said, ''some people are not able to see the future, but I am able to foresee what will happen.''
Responding to a question, Yalim Erez stated that the government programme would be discussed after ratification of President Suleyman Demirel.
''One of the duties of this government is to bring to Turkey to the general elections on 18 April in a healthy atmosphere in accordance with the decision of the parliament. But this won't be a single duty. Turkey is facing internal and external problems. Some laws should be brought into force to overcome those problems. I believe the parliament will legalize all of those draft laws after providing a great compromise. The important thing is to be able to provide this compromise. I am not in favor of disputes. I am seeking the dialogue and compromise. This is not only my wish but also the Turkish people's wish. Nobody can stand against this desire,'' Erez said.
''I will hold first-round talks with all of the political party leaders. My opinion about the structure of the 56th government will become clear at the end of the first-round talks. The formation of the new government will be finalized following the second-round talks,'' Erez added.
 PRESIDENT DEMIREL TO STAGE AN ANNUAL PRESS CONFERENCE TO EVALUATE DEVELOPMENTS IN 1998 AND TO EXPRESS TARGETS FOR 1999ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel will stage an annual press conference in 26 December, it was reported on Thursday.
Demirel will evaluate the developments in 1998 and express the targets for 1999 at the conference which will be held in Presitential Palace at 10:00 a.m.
Many journalists from the Turkish and foreign press, will be invited to the press conference.
Meanwhile the book named as ''Cankaya 98'' which comprises the activities of President Demirel in 1998, will also be given to the journalists at the same day.
 YILMAZ, PRIME MINISTER, ADDRESSES HIS PARTY GROUP MEETINGANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said on Thursday that ''it is not our precedence model that a deputy, who is not a leader, will form the new government, yet, we should step back from our basic proposal.'' Yilmaz said it would not be a democratic attitude if they insist on the formation of the government under the chairmanship of a leader.
Addressing his party group meeting, Yilmaz said ''if other parties assume an attitude like them for the chairmanship of a third person apart from the leaders, the government problem will be solved.''
Nothing that the parliament is examined in front of the nation and the history, Yilmaz said ''the condition to become successful in the examination is to provide compromise between the parties.''
Yilmaz said the nation expects the parliament to form a new government, adding that ''no political party has the right to block the efforts targetting the solution of the country.''
Prime Minister Yilmaz pointed out that the reasons put forward during efforts of Bulent Ecevit, leader of Democratic Left Party, (DSP) to form a new government were not logical, all of them were based on individual ambitions and political interests.
Yilmaz said as no party in the parliament has the majority to form a government, compromise is needed.
Stating that the ones who ousted the government did not have any idea how a new government would be established, Yilmaz said ''ousting is the policy for them. They did not even think what they will put instead after they collapse the government. What we should oust is this political understanding.''
 RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT REITERATES: - ''WE WILL NOT SHELTER OCALAN IN RUSSIA'' - MELNIK, RUSSIAN PRESS ATTACHE TO TURKEY: - ''THERE IS NO PLACE IN RUSSIA FOR OCALAN''ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Aleksander Lebedev, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey met with the high-level officials at the Foreign Ministry on Monday and conveyed the Russian government's message saying that they will not shelter Abdullah Ocalan, chief of separatist terrorist organization PKK, in Russia, it was reported on Thursday.
Responding to questions of A.A correspondent, Viktor Melnik, the Russian Press Attache to Turkey, stressed that there is no place in Russia for Ocalan.
Rejecting the news claiming that Lebedev was summoned to Foreign Ministry, Melnik said that Lebedev came together with Korkmaz Haktanir, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, upon his own wish. He added that the issue of Ocalan was also discussed at the meeting.
Concerning the news of the Russian ORT Television Channel which claimed that Ocalan was brought back to Russia, Melnik told the A.A correspondent, ''it was also a surprise for us, we have received no detailed information from Moscow yet.''
Melnik noted that Lebedev conveyed Russian President Boris Yeltsin's opinion over the air strike launched by the US and Britain against Iraq.
Meanwhile an official from the Foreign Ministry stressed that the news which claimed that Ocalan is in Moscow and broadcasted by the Russian ORT Television was put forward by the separatist terrorist organization PKK.
The official also stressed that Italy is determined to send Ocalan.
 DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 20 IN THE ACCIDENT WHICH TOOK PLACE IN SAMSUN PROVINCESAMSUN, Dec 24 (A.A) - The death toll increased to 20 after a passenger bus collided with a truck carrying fuel-oil on a highway near Havza county of Samsun province in the Black Sea Region, it was reported on Thursday.
Selim Cebiroglu, the Head Official of Havza, told the A.A correspondent that the death toll after the accident increased to 20 and they identified 19 of the victims.
The relatives of Fatma Civak, a woman killed in the accident, said her three-month old baby was also in the bus, but they couldn't find the body of her baby.
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK REDUCE TO 19.6 BILLION US DOLLARSANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank reduced to 19 billion 656 million US dollars, it was reported on Thursday.
The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which decreased by 506 million US dollars between 11-18 December, reduced to 19 billion 656 million US dollars as of 11 December.
The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 20 billion 162 million US dollars on 11 December.
Meanwhile, according to the 4 December-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves decreased 721 million US dollars to 31 billion 910 million US dollars between 27 November and 4 December.
The international gross reserves of Turkey were 31 billion 189 million US dollars in 27 November.
As of 4 December, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 125 million US dollars in gold reserves; 20 billion 417 million US dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 10 billion 363 million US dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.
 FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - 12.2 BILLION US DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1998ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 12 billion 227.2 million US dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of this year, it was reported on Thursday.
The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid 10 billion 130.4 million US dollars; the Central Bank repaid 364.6 million US dollars; the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 1 billion 291.7 million US dollars and the Defense Fund paid 183 million US dollars in foreign debt between January 1 and December 23, 1998.
Meanwhile, a total of 1 billion 215 million US dollars of foreign debt was repaid between December 1 and 23.
The foreign debt payment was 1 billion 346.7 million US dollars in January; 916 million US dollars in February; 785.8 million US dollars in March; 765.8 million US dollars in April; 621.1 million US dollars in May; 1 billion 165.9 million US dollars in June; 1 billion 242.8 million US dollars in July; 860.9 million US dollars in August; 897.6 million US dollars in September; 1 billion 396.3 million US dollars in October and 1 billion 13.2 million US dollars in November 1998.
 PRIME MINISTER YILMAZ ADDRESSES ANAP PARTY GROUP MEETINGANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who also acts as the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP), said on Thursday that giving the task of forming the new government to Yalim Erez, Minister of Trade and Industry, is the last chance before President Suleyman Demirel uses his authority under the Constitution and that it should be evaluated well to this end.
Addressing his party group meeting, Yilmaz said political parties should use this opportunity to facilitate the studies to form a government, adding that his party will give every necessary contribution and concessions for the establishement of the government. ''With this, we believe that we fulfil our responsibilities against democracy and country.''
Yilmaz noted that what was important for his party was to rescue from this period without getting wounds, adding that ''we should not give chance to the ones who think that there is government problem in Turkey and try to benefit from this.''
Yilmaz said, ''we began to see the losses as the government could not be formed,'' adding that ''look at the decision of the European Union (EU) taken on Dec 12 in Vienna Summit, they say we cannot invite Turkey as we do not know which government we will invite.''
Yilmaz said political instability in Turkey is one of the incidents which gave courage to Turkey's enemies in the problem of the separatist terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Yilmaz said the ones who look at Turkey's economy from the outside accept that Turkish economy was the best one which resists despite the global crisis.
Noting that IMF and the World Bank expressed readiness to give economic aid in case the government is established, Yilmaz said ''the ones who pushed the country into this instability, gave this heavy burden on the country.''
Yilmaz said they expect political parties to contribute to this formation.
 BAD WEATHER PARALYZES DAILY LIFE IN THRACE REGIONANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Bad weather paralyzed daily life and traffic in Thrace Region, it was reported on Thursday.
Several highways and a total of 180 village road were closed to the traffic following the heavy snowfall which has started yesterday morning.
Primary and secondary schools were temporarily closed in the region.
Meanwhile, three passenger busses were stranded in snow between Isakli and Ballikoy Villages in Sarkoy County of Tekirday Province.
The passengers were rescued by the highway teams.
 ITALIAN JUSTICE MINISTER REJECTS MALERBA'S REQUEST OF TAKING SURVEILLANCE MEASURES AGAINST OCALAN, TERRORIST CHIEFROME, Dec 24 (A.A) - Oliviero Diliberto, the Italian Justice Minister, rejected on Thursday the request of Giovanni Malerba, the Italian Chief Prosecutor, to take new surveillance measures for Abdullah Ocalan, the chief of separatist terrorist organization PKK.
Diliberto also pointed out that the Rome Court of Appeal will begin to discuss the extradition request of Turkey in 28 December.
Giovanni Malerba had previously said that Ocalan could escape from Italy, and he applied to the Rome Court of Appeal requesting the court to take surveillance measures against such a danger. Malerba had also stressed that there are six arrest warrants taken by Turkish judiciary organs about Ocalan and many suits filed against him, adding that the conditions for accepting the extradition request of Turkey exist in connection with three investigations carried out against the terrorist chief which do not foresee death penalty.
 GREEK CYPRIOTS OPEN FIRE ON THE TRNC BORDERLEFKOSA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Unidentified assailants from the Greek Cypriot side opened fire overnight on Guvercinlik Village near Gazimagosa in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), it was reported on Thursday.
No casualties were reported at the incident.
The TRNC authorities complained to the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces on Cyprus, and protested the incident.
The Peace Keeping Force officials stressed that they also heard two gunfires.
A full investigation regarded with the incident is underway.
 DENIZKURDU, MINISTER OF JUSTICE: ''WHEREVER CHIEF TERRORIST GOES, TURKISH REPUBLIC WILL NOT LEAVE HIM COMFORTABLE THERE''ANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Hasan Denizkurdu, Minister of Justice, said on Thursday that he was covering with regret and like a funny theatre the efforts to make the chief terrorist escape from Italy by creating a de facto situation although there is extradition demand of Turkey and arrest warrant of the Italian Prosecutor.
Denizkurdu responded to the questions of reporters before participating in a panel discussion titled ''Law and Judgement Reform'' and also answered questions regarding the problems between Turkey and Italy because of the existence of chief terrorist there.
Denizkurdu noted that the law was violated on this issue and that this country ignored the law to make the chief terrorist escape before responding to Turkey's demand.
When asked what would Turkey's attitude be if the chief terrorist is released, Denizkurdu recalled that their interlocutor related with the issue was Italy. Denizkurdu said they did not have the facilities to go to Italy the and capture him there. He said the responses Turkey received to her legal demands were illegal.
When recalled the news reports saying that chief terrorist escaped from Italy, Denizkurdu said ''It may be. Everything what you say about Italy is possible.''
Denizkurdu said extradition file reached to Italy under the international principles, adding that Italian Justice Ministry kept the file for 11-12 days and conveyed it to the related Court upon Turkey's pressures.
''There is an atmosphere that Turkey's demand for the extradition will be implemented after chief terrorist escapes from Italy'' Denizkurdu said, adding that ''Law is not implemented in Italy and all principles of law were violated by Italy and Germany after chief terrorist arrived in Italy.''
Denizkurdu, mentioning about Italy, said ''do not ask me legal questions for a country where judgement does not work.''
Responding to a question what will be done if he escaped, Denizkurdu said ''we will chase him wherever he goes. Turkey's demand for extradition will continue if he goes to another country.''
 EREZ, PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE MEETS WITH JUSTICE MINISTER DENIZKURDUANKARA, Dec 24 (A.A) - Yalim Erez, Minister of Trade and Industry, who was assigned as Prime Minister-Designate by President Suleyman Demirel to form the new government, met Hasan Denizkurdu, Minister of Justice on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists before the meeting Erez mentioned about the importance of independence of judgement and rapid working of the judgement. Noting that Turkey integrated with the world in the field of free market economy after 1980, Erez said in European Union (EU) negotiations, several problems in the field of human rights and law were mentioned unjustly instead of Turkey's economy.
Erez pointed out that Turkey integrated with the world in economic field, adding that it should also integrate in the field of law.
Erez said while negotiating with the political party leaders, he would not only go them calling for support for the government but also brief them abut the laws which should be issued very urgently. Erez said Turkey should be a country where honest people should not feel ashamed from their honesty.
Denizkurdu, Minister of Justice, said in his part that solution of the problems depends on the working of the Parliament, adding that a package is being prepared for regarding the problems of the judgement. Denizkurdu said he will give information to Erez about it.
Erez-Denizkurdu meeting lasted for nearly 25 minutes.
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