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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 98-12-26

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

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <>

26 DEC 1998




    These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on Dec 26, 1998. The Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


    True Path Party (DYP), which is insistent on a broad-based government under the Premiership of a leader, changed tactic on Friday and accepted a third name except from Yalim Erez. DYP told Virtue Party (FP) and Republican Peoples' Party (CHP) not to support Erez government.

    Although most of the Italian press saw the real face of Abdullah Ocalan, chief of the separatist terrorist organization, state run RAI broadcasted the suicide attack of the separatist PKK in eastern Van province which happened on Thursday with an impudent interpretation and speaking about the suicide bomber said ''she ventured death for her country, culture and language.''


    Bulent Ecevit, leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) made a suprise statement about the studies of Yalim Erez, Minister of Trade and Industry, who was assigned to form the new government. Ecevit said ''limited number of deputies can be taken from the Virtue Party in case shadow is not casted over secular and democratic regime. The important thing is the formation of a government which could work in harmony.''

    Yalim Erez, Prime Minister-Designate, who got information from the ministers and bureaucrats related with economy, said if political stability could be provided, global crisis will be turned into advantage. Erez said the effects of the global crisis is clear, yet, Turkey is strong enough to overcome these effects. The problem is to provide stability in Turkey.


    The information given by Huseyin Uzun, the smuggler, revealed the links between drug gang and the police. Uzun was captured on grounds that he killed Saritas brothers and confessed the links of them about the drug gang and with police. Officials of Security Department send the investigation to State Security Court (DGM).

    Yalim Erez, Prime Minister-Designate said he will bring ''national compromise government'' model to the leaders and that he will not bargain. Erez, speaking to opposition who has concerns that the elections would be postpones, said ''I have made my accounts according to April 18.'' Erez said his aim was to provide the election to take place in a healthy atmosphere.


    Yalim Erez, within the process of searches to form a new government, assumed an approach that did not isolate Virtue Party (FP). This prevented FP and True Path Party (DYP) to act as a block.

    Turkey said on Friday that deployment or storing S-300 missiles, which Greek Cypriot side ordered from Russia, in Crete island of Greece may cause serious objections in Turkish-Greek relations which are already tense.

    A high ranking official from Foreign Ministry said ''We do not accept deployment or postponement of the delivery of these missiles. Crete is the territory of Greece and it may cause very serious outcomes.''


    The Greek Cypriot National Council discussed not to bring the S-300 missiles which the Greek Cypriot side purchased from Russia, to Cyprus, but to deploy on Crete at the emergency meeting. This decision will be declared officially following the meeting between Glafcos Clerides, Leader of the Greek Cypriot side Administration, and Prime Minister Costas Simitis of Greece on Tuesday.

    Tansu Ciller, the Leader of the True Path Party (DYP) started to act upon positive signals from the Virtue Party (FP) for Yalim Erez, Prime Minister- Designate. Ciller held a telephone conversation with Recai Kutan, the Leader of the FP, and told him not support Erez.


    The True Path Party (DYP) is determined on not to support Yalim Erez, Prime Minister-Designate. Hasan Ekinci, the Deputy Leader of the DYP, claimed that Erez was appointed to the mission of forming the new government contradicting to democracy.


    The Tele Moustique magazine, published in Belgium issued an article with the title ''Europe in Trap of PKK'', and told about activities of the separatist terrorist PKK organization and the concerns felt about them. Article said it was determined that the money separatist terrorist organization provided with black mail and drug trafficking was included in MED TV's chain of money. It pointed out children were imposed to brain-wash and that their brains were conditioned in several camps in Belgium, adding that in the last stage of the training, those children were sent to ''another country'' to be used in suicide attacks in Turkey.

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz attended thea opening ceremony of the third and fourth units of the Cayirhan Thermic Santral. Addressing the ceremony Yilmaz stressed that such energy projects should be maintained in Turkey for future.


    Yalim Erez, Prime Minister-Designate, sent positive messages to the Virtue Party (FP) and Republican People's Party (CHP), the key parties to form the new government, by saying that he does not form a coalition government, but seeks for a national reconciliation.

    Nearly one hundred students were injured within two months during the clashes between the opposite groups in the Istanbul University.

    Students are curious about how the coppers and knifes come into the university.


    ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel staged a press conference on Saturday to evaluate the developments in 1998, and to express the goals for 1999.

    Addressing the news conference, Demirel said, ''At the end of every year since I have become President, I made an assesment of 'the World and Turkey'. This speech should be evaluated together with the context of my opening speech at the Turkish Grand National Assambly (TGNA) on October 1, 1998.''
    ''1998 was full of many domestic and foreign developments. But I believe you will agree that it is possible to touch upon only a few of these events during the cource of a single press conference. My aim is to assess 1998 and convey my thoughts for 1999.''

    ''We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1998. Rebuplic Day, which was joyfully celebrated by our nation throughout the country, is a clear indication of our nation's loyalty to the Republic, which was the greatest achievement of the Great Leader Ataturk. I want to express my gratitude and pleasure for the solidarity demonstrated by our nation as the representative of the head the state and Turkish unity.''

    ''73 countries sent their representatives including 15 presidents to the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. I regard this as remarkable with regards to the importance atteched to our country and state, and I want to thank all our friends on behalf of my country and state. The Republic is an important stage in our history. The Republic brought our nation once again on the stage of history.''

    ''Democratic Republic is the common property of every Turkish citizen without any discrimination regardless of race, language, religion, belief and gender. Secularism which guarantees the freedom of religion and conscience; democracy which provides the freedom of expression for citizens and their participation in administration and the rule of law which safeguards justice are all indispensable elements of the social contract of the Republic. The Republic renders women and men equal, and enables women to take their deserved place in social and public life. The Democratic Republic has increased our national power two-fold due to the role it has attached to Turkish women in society. Thanks to a modern Republic, Turkey has achieved democracy and become an industrial society in only 75 years. Our next goal is to be a democratic information society.

    ''Turkey's population increased by five-fold and rose from 13 million to 65 million in 75 years. The Republic of Turkey has achieved great successes and has enabled the country to experience one of its most prosperous periods in history. The achievements of the Republic of Turkey are praiseworthy.''

    ''The Turkish Nation, great part of which has an agricultural society, became a very dynamic industrial and urban society in 75 years. Today, 70 percent of the population lives in cities, Turkey which had only one university in 1923, has 72 universities today which are located throughout the country. There are nearly 1,500,00 university students. 23 percent of the professors in our universities are women. It is the highest rate in Europe and is an honour for the Turkish women.''

    ''According to the World Bank data, the Turkish economy which ranks 16th in the world with its Gross National Product (GNP) totalling 400 billion US dollars based on purchasing power parity and nearly 6,5 thousand US dollars national income per capita, has had a growth rate between six and eight percent in recent years. The Turkish economy ranked 7th among emerging markets in 1997. The average growth rate during the last 30 years has been 5 percent. Turkey is still the largest economy in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Black Sea and the Caspian basins and in the Middle East. Turkey is the sixth biggest trade partner of the European Union (EU). The increase in the rate of trade with the EU is greater than inter-EU trade.''

    ''Turkey's total foreign trade volume reached 80 billion and Turkey's exports increased by 78 percent in the last six years. 90 percent of Turkey's export are industrial products. Today Turkey sells her own industrial products to 135 countries.''

    ''Last year, 8,5 billion US dollars worth of industrial investments were made. Half of this amount has been obtained from national sources. In spite of problems experienced in the world economy, Turkey continued to increase her production last year and expand her industrial infrastructure. The capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector is 78.3 percent while the growth rate in industry amounts to 10.1 percent.''

    ''Turkey which successfully continues its Customs Union (CU) with the EU without any financial asistance, realizes 70 percent of her foreign trade with the Union thereby displaying her economic competitive power to the whole world.''

    ''Even though Turkey is not a full EU member, it has actually been a 'de facto' member for a long period of time. Turkey is a 'de facto' EU member not only with the CU, but also with the income genarated amounting to 49.7 billion ECU in 1997 by nearly 3 million Turks living in EU countries. This figure is more than half of the EU budget. The investments made by Turks in Europe are 7 billion US dollars while the number of firms they have established has been recorded as 62,000.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A)- President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that ''The Middle East and the East Mediterranean are the regions which have priority in our foreign policy. Peace and stability of these geographies which are the cradles of civilization will gain more importance in the future, since in the coming century the ''Silk Road'' will be revived and East Mediterranean and Middle East will again be connected to Central Asia via Turkey. The region has been gaining strategic importance.

    ''For this reason, Turkey exerts intense efforts in trying to remove the obstacles in the Middle East Peace Process, which she views as a golden opportunity. We will continue our calls and initiatives that the recent agreement reached in Washington should be applied as soon as possible'' Demirel said.

    He said ''It is important that our relations with Iran should be developed within the framework of good neighborliness and based on the principle of non-interference in domestic issues and on mutual benefit. If president cooperation mechanisms operate well there will be opportunity to improve our relations with Iran.''

    Turkey attaches vital importance to the unity, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq. Turkey sincerely hopes that Iraq will solve its problems with the international community, and within this framework she has advised Iraq and world public opinion that the decisions of the UN Security Council should be fully complied with. However, our advise has not yet been heeded and that we are following the developments. As a result of this situation, the political vacuum in Northern Iraq causes serious security problems to Turkey. Turkey combats separatist terrorist PKK organization camped in Northen Iraq using the advantage of this political vacuum. This issue has a direct bearing on the security of Turkey and it is a top priority for us. Within the framework Turkey will continue to take necessary precautions.

    Demirel said ''both during my visit to Tunisia or the visits of Palestinian and Egyptian statesmen to our country this year, I had the chance to explain Turkey's views on the common future of our region. I made clear that we were ready to cooperate to turn the East Mediterranean and the Middle East into a region of peace and stability. I believe that these mutual high level contacts contribute to strengthening mutual understanding and to lead to cooperation in every field between our countries. We are extending efforts for strengthening brotherhood between the Turkish and Arab world. We see that misconceptions about Turkey's relations with Israel have disappeared.''

    President Demirel said ''Upon my warning against Syria about this country's blatant support of PKK terrorism in my opening speech of the Parliament, our public opinion registered its rightful reaction that had been building up for years. Within the framework of this tension, Egyptian President Mubarak visited Ankara on Oct 6, 1998. The Egyptian President was given a file containing our expectations from Syria and told that Turkey could come together with Syria only to discuss security issues on the basis of these concrete requests. As a result of Turkey's determination to put an end to Syria's policies to support the terrorist activities which have been continuing for the last 15 years, Turkish and Syrian officials met in Adana. They signed a document, the ''Adana Agreement'' on Oct 20, 1998. Meanwhile, the chief of the terrorist organization was expelled from syria. Turkey has been closely following whether Syria has been complying with the stipulations of the Adana agreement. The chief of the terrorist organization went to Moscow after he left Syria. Our initiatives with Italy, where he is at the moment are continuing.''

    ''I want to underline once again that according to the UN General Assembly resolutions, ''terrorism aims at the destruction of human rights, basic freedoms and democracy, to destabilize the democratic governments established by legal ways and destroy civil society.'' Terrorism aims against the basic human right which is the right to live. With this characteristic, terrorism is a crime against humanity cooperation against terrorism is an obligation under international law. Thus, justication of terrorism can not be accepted. Within this framework, if justification of violance and supporting terrorism is considered as a democratic rights, then this will cause great problems. With this understanding, I reiterate my call upon al the civilized countries to cooperate against terrorism and upon the internatonal community to meet their requirements'' Demirel said.

    President pointed out that ''we are living in a period during which we learn to live together and to share. During the next century this understanding will be further enhanced. In fact, the founder of our Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, put forth vision of peace in 1937 which will be a key to international relations in the next century: ''People should think of the peace and welfare of the countries in the world just like they think of the happiness of the countries in the world and give as much value as they give to the happiness of their own country. Because to work for the happiness of their country means, on the other hand, to work to ensure with own peace and happiness. If there is not peace, stability and atmosphere of tolerance a country will lace hapeiness whatever it does. We can not be sure that a problem seemingly far from us will, one day, not also affect us.''

    Demirel said ''with this understanding in mind we are preparing for the next century. Within this framework we sincerely believe that regional cooperation is a key to international peace, stability and welfare. The BSEC,ECE and D-8 organizations are the end-result of this vision. These cooperation schemes at the same time, strengthen the role of Turkey as a bridge between the emerging markets and developed economies.''

    ''The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), is an organization tht Turkey plays an active role in as farr as cooperation and solidarity with the Islamic world is concerned. By means of the Economic and Trade Cooperation Permanent Committee of OIC (COMCEC) of which I am the chairman, Turkey has a role in determining the common steps to be taken in the development of the Islamic countries. The 14th meeting of COMCEC was recently held in Istanbul under the chairmanship of Turkey.

    The Republic of Turkey has exerted every effort for peace furingits hisory of 75 years. Achievements of the Republic of Turkey have enabled her to become a regional power ensuring peace, stability and welfare. At this point, I should like to underline our accomplishments and the level that Turkey has reached during the 75 years of the history of the Republic.


    ANKARA, Dec 27 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday, ''with her geographical location, Turkey is in the centre of a world heading towards a single global market. Istanbul which is a world city, has become the financial and trade center of Eurasia. The distance between the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Istanbul Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange and the Istanbul Stock Exchange is only seven hours. Thus Istanbul is at the center of a global financial market which is active 24 hours a day.''

    ''Turkey has free trade agreements with many countries in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe, in the Black Sea basin and in the Middle East. These types of agreements are also being negotiated by some countries in our region. Members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSCE) which completed its institutionalization process this year, agreed during the Summit in Yalta that necessary steps will be taken for the liberalization of trade. Thus a wider free trade zone extending from the Baltics and the Black Sea to the Mediterranean will automatically emerge with Turkey's initiatives. Turkey is in the centre of this free trade zone.''

    ''A new energy geography consisting of resources worth of 8 trillion US dollars has been discovered in the Caspian basin. These resources will integrate with world markets through the energy pipelines to be constructed through Turkey. Turkey which possesses one of the most dynamic energy markets in the world, will play a key role in consumption of these resources and in their transportation to world markets. Therefore Turkey is a candidate to be the energy terminal of the next century. Within this context a new world natural gas and oil market will be established in Eastern Mediterranean.''

    ''The main transportation projects which constitute the infrastructure of the Silk Road that is re-emerging on the scene of history and once again connects Europe with Asia are being carried out in Turkey. Among these are the Kars-Tsilisi railway and the Black Sea highway projects. 4 percent of the 10 highway and railway corridors in the Trans-European transportation system passes through Turkey. Turkey is in the center of the transportation network which connects three continents.''

    Demirel pointed out, ''Since 1980, Turkish economy has gone through a rapid structural transformation. The Turkish financial service sector, the stock exchange and insurance institutions, have particularly integrated with the world economy. The Turkish contracting sector has been successful both at home and abroad. This sector ranks 10th with its domestic volume of transaction totalling 55 billion US dollars and its international volume of transaction totalling 40 billion US dollars in the world contracting market. The total volume of projects undertaken in Russia alone exceeds 10 billion US dollars. Turkish companies have undertaken nearly 9 billion US dollars worth of contracting services in Caucasia and Central Asia. 80 percent of the construction projects in these countries is being carried out by Turkish contractors. Turkish businessmen contribute to the development of enterpreneurship and economic rationale in these countries.''

    ''Turkish firms have begun to take their place among the biggest 500 firms in the world. By the end of 1997, Turkey made investments with a total of 51,405 companies in 53 countries totalling 26.5 million US dollars.''

    ''Turkey's electricity production is greater than the production of nine EU member countries. Turkey ranks first in the world in the production of flour products. Turkey is the 18th biggest glass producer. The Turkish glass industry places second in the production of smooth glasses in the world. Turkey ranks first in Europe in the production of the agricultural tractors and artificial fertilizer. Turkey ranks sixth in the world and third in Europe in the production of ceramics and also in cement production. The Turkish garment industry ranks sixth in the world with its export totalling 10.2 billion US dollars. Turkey is the 15th in the world with its export totalling 10.2 billion US dollars. Turkey is 15th in the world and 7th in Europe with her iron-steel production. These are all great achievements , which indicate the determination and capacity of Turkish enterpreneurs, workers and engineers. These figures constitute the signals of future production levels which Turkey will be able to achieve.''

    Demirel added, ''The Turkish Armed Forces is one of the most disciplined, best equipped and strongest armies in the world. Turkey will make invcestments totalling 150 billion US dollars in defence industry in the next 30 years.''

    ''In telecommunications, Turkey has one of the most contemporary digital and mobile telephone networks in Europe. There are currently two Turkish communication satellites in space. The third one will be launched newt year. Electronic production is rapidly developing. Nearly 15 percent of the demands for TV sets by EU countries is being met by Turkish firms. Turkey needs an additional investment worth of 8 billion US dollars in telecommunications.''

    ''Great initiatives in computer technology open new horizons for our people. I can say with greatest pleasure that Turkey achieved a turn-over worth 1.057 billion US dollars in this sector in 1997. This shows a 30 percent increase when compared to that in 1996. The 30 percent increase is three-times the average in the US and in EU countries and is one of the highest growth rates in the world in this sector. Turkey will definetely reach its goal of providing computers for every child, evedy school arno house.''

    ''According to an evaluation made by the World Tourism Organization, Turkey ranks third among countries which obtained the greatest tourism incomes in the world in 1996. Turkey hosted 10 million tourist 1997 and received 8.5 billion US dollars in revenues. Turkey will make investments totalling 10 billion in tourism within next decade.''

    ''With its 32 billion US dollars worth, the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) is the biggest integrated project in the history of the Republic of Turkey. When completed, Turkey's agricultural production will increase by 1/3. Turkey will play an active role in providing 'food security' espacially in her region and generally in the world. Investments totalling 10 billion US dollars will be made in the ongoing irrigation projects within thezframework of GAP.''

    ''Actually Turkey has the potential and dynamism wich enables her to reach these targets in a short period of time. According to an OECD data base and methodology survey Turkey's per capita national income will be 12,089 US dollars in 2010 based on purchasing power parity (pessimistic viewpoint) or 15 thousand US dollars (optimistic viewpoint). In 2020, this figure is expected to be 21,305 US dollars if we have a pessimistic viewpoint or will amount to 30 thousand US dollars if we have an optimistic viewpoint.''

    ''Taking all these into account, Turkey is preparing for the 21st century with great determination. The Republic of Turkey will continue to follow the path towards modern civilization level set down by the Great Leader Ataturk. Our basic aim in the next century will be to rank among the top 10 most developed countries in the world.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel staged a news conference on Saturday and said that ''threat of terrorism has been reduced to a level that it can be controlled within and outside the country.''

    Addressing the news conference Demirel said a total of 5.555 people from security forces died and 11.188 others were wounded in struggle against terrorism adding that a total of 5.302 civilians were killed and 5.877 others were wounded in attacks of the separatist terrorist organization.

    Demirel said a total of 35,384 terrorists were rendered ineffective in operations launched against separatist terrorist organization adding that the death toll of the terrorists is 23.638 and 749 of them were wounded. He said 8.693 others were captured and 2.304 others surrendered to security forces.

    President Suleyman Demirel said ''linking solution of southeast problem and trial of the chief of separatist terrorist organization, efforts to give an international profile to these problems and misconcepts like international court and international conference are direct intervention to Turkey's internal affairs.

    He said it is Turkey's legal right and duty to preserve its borders, territories and citizens against the threat of terrorism adding Turkey expresses concern over the attitude of its neighboring and ally countries who continue to expend aid and support to terrorism.

    Noting that Turkey opposed to such concepts, Demirel said Turkey can not accept any intervention to its sovereignity, inseparable integrity and domestic affairs.

    He said the idea of establishing an international court for the chief of the separatist terrorist organization contradicts with the universal law and impossible politically and pointed out that Turkey's legal and moral expectation is that this person should be extradited to Turkey within the framework of the application and to be brought to justice.

    Demirel said struggle against separatist terrorism will be continued with determination and without intervals till a final result is got and programs will be implemented to meet socio-cultural and economic needs of the regions which were affected by the terrorism.

    President Demirel said every kind of terrorism is seriously condemned whatever its aim and source is and pointed out the requirement of international cooperation in struggle against terrorism.

    President Suleyman Demirel also said fundamentalism is a threat towards the state and regime like every action aiming at changing characteristics of the Constitution of Turkish Republic.

    He said securlarism is at the same time an important condition of domestic peace in our country adding that efforts to show struggle against fundamentalism as opposing to the religious beliefs of the people is itself an exploitation of the religion.

    Demirel said Turkish Republic is strong enough to prevent the threat of fundamentalism adding that ''our community is sensitive in struggle against fundamentalism and determined to make the Republic stand still.''

    President Demirel pointed out that there were efforts to make Turkey a transit country in drug trafficking and added that ''I am warning my people and all related institutions of the state against the danger of drugs. Especially, young people at schools should be protected against this danger.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that natural gas adds a special importance to Turkey's strategical location.

    Addressing a news conference in which he evaluated the year 1998, Demirel mentioned about that natural gas needs of Turkey and the projects that will activate this energy.

    Demirel pointed out that ''natural gas adds a special importance to the geostrategic location of Turkey which is between Caspian region, having the richest reserves of the surroundings, the Middle East and Europe, which is the best market.

    Demirel said Turkey's natural gas demand is estimated as 20 billion cubic meters in the year 2000, 45 billion cubic meters in the year 2005 and 54 billion cubic meters in the year 2010. Demirel said Turkey imports eight billion cubic meters natural gas from Russia at the moment adding that four billion cubic meters LNG is purchased from Algeria. He said natural gas that will be imported from Russia will increase to 14 billion cubic meters as of 2000 and that 1.2 billion cubic meters LGN will be purchased from Nigeria as well as Algeria.

    President Demirel also said thermal power plants, having an established power of 3051.2 MG, which are in operation at the moment, are functioned with natural gas. ''Thus, it is very important that natural gas power plant projects should be carried out as planned. Natural gas power plants, which are still under construction, have an established power of 2.536 MW.''

    Mentioning about Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline, President Demirel said this project have many advantages. He said Turkmenistan-Turkey Natural Gas Pipeline projects, which are taken up together with this project, are very important also.

    In a separate part of the press conference titled ''Energy'', Demirel said projects, which are about to be concluded, should be speeded up to meet the electricity shortage in 1999. Demirel said ''also, with the rehabilitation studies, outputs of the existing power plants should be increased.''

    Demirel said demand for electricity, in parallel to the economic growth, will increase to 121.4 billion kilowatt/year in the year 1999 with an increase of 6.4 percent.

    Net importation has increased to 2.2 billion kwh in 1997 and 2.9 billion kwh in the year 1998.

    Demirel said build-operate-transfer model, which was developed in the year 1996 to facilitate the performance of private sector, was put into a legal base in the year 1997.


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday, ''I want to point out once again that we should initially achieve European Union (EU) standarts in every field if we want to accomplish our own targets in the 21st century. During two EU summits, one in Cardiff and the other in Vienna, important steps have been taken regarding Europe's future structure. Even though the historical mistake made with regard to Turkey during the Luxembourg summit has not been sufficiently remedied, we believe that the current crisis in Turkey-EU relations will end one day not so distant in the future. Meanwhile, Turkey should not only exert efforts regarding the enlargement process, but also for harmonization with the Maastricht Treaty and the European Monetary Union.''

    ''I wish to review in general the EU criteria. Following are mentioned in the paragraph concerning the enlargement process approved during the EU Summit in Copenhagen in 1993: ''Membership requires that candidate countries should have stable institutions which secure respect and protection for democracy, supremacy of law and human rights and minority rights, have a functioning market economy and can compete with market powers within the EU. Membership suggest that candidates can assume all obligations originating from membership including participation in political, economic and monetary union.'' These criteria became preconditions for full EU membership with the Amsterdam Agreement approved at the end of the Inter-Governmental Conference on June 17, 1992. The point that should be stressed here is that these criteria are the preconditions not for candidacy, but for full membership. However in assessments made regarding Turkey, they were presented as if they were preconditions for candidacy alone. Full EU membership criteria are as follows:

    1. Political Criterion: The presence of stable institutions which guarantee respect for democracy, supremacy of law, human rights and minority rights.

    2. Economic criteria:

    a. The presence of a stable market economy,

    b. The capacity to resist against world competition, especially in the EU.

    3. Harmonization Criterion: Harmonization capacity for the EU targets and acquis communautaire including political as well as economic and monetary union.''

    ''On the other hand, there are five conditions which should be followed including economic and monetary union known as the 'Maastricht Treaty'. According to this;

    1. The budget deficit should not exceed 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),

    2. Groos Public Borrowing should not exceed 60 percent of the GDP,

    3. The inflation rate should not exceed 1.5 percent of the average inflation rate in the EU countries, which have the lowest inflation levels,

    4. Currency should be in harmony with the fluctuation envisaged by the European monetary system at least for two years. There should not be significant changes in its rate. This is also called 'price stability criterion',

    5. Long-term interest rates should not exceed 2 percent of the average of three EU member countries which have the best record.''

    ''This is the blue print with which Turkey is preparing herself for the future. While evaluating Turkey's performance, the EU is especially assessing the criteria regarding expansion. Within this framework, a report dated November 4 and prepared by EU Commission noted that Turkey is following a very successful pattern as far as the economic and harmonization criteria are concerned. This report places Turkey among the 12 canditate countries, claims that Turkey has inadequacies, mainly in the political criteria. The authors of the report themselves note that the criticisms in the fields of human rights and democracy are the problems which originated from the fight against terrorism. However, the issue of the protection of minority rights has also been taken up. This is not an acceptable criticism, since it is based on a definition of an ethnic minority which does not occur in international law. In fact, there is no clear-cut definition of national or ethnic minority in international law. The constitutional practice in this regard is recognized in the international law. Moreover a concept has been adopted within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to the effect that ethnic and linguistic differences cannot be the criteria for an automatic definition of a minority.''

    ''Turkey, which was among the countries that participated in the preparation of the European Convention and has been a member of the Council of Europe since the very outset, is whole-heartedly loyal to the values and represented by the criteria in the fields of commonwealth of democraties and human rights. Turkey has always supported these values and ideals during the cold war years which resulted in the victory of democratic countries. Turkey has also recognized the right of individual application to the European Court of Human Rihgts and rendered herself available for its supervision.''

    ''New conditions in the European economic area including Turkey with the CU, will emerge with the single currency 'Euro' that will be in circulation as of January 1, 1999 in the countries participating in the European Monetary Union. We cannot just be spectators following this historical development which will officially start after a few weeks' time. We should get ready for these economic relations, which we will be a part of in te long run. Turkey will continue to defend her ideal for a democratic, prosperous and integrated Europe and carry out on its relations with the EU in line with the obligations outlined in the 1963 Ankara Agreement which foresees full EU membership and the 1996 CU accord.''

    ''The current bottleneck in Turkish-EU relations is undesirable. We will continue to warn our European friends about discirimination against Turkey. At this point, Turkey's candidacy should be confirmed by the EU in a legally binding manner and without any hesitation for the revival of Turkish-EU relations. Actually some steps have been taken recently to this end. The November 4 report of EU Commission is an important example within this framework. It has also been observed that the EU Term President, Austria, has made a proposal to this end during the Vienna Summit. It is also a positive development that Greece was completely left alone in Vienna concerning Turkey's memebership. However these developments are not sufficient. The expected final step has not yet to be taken. The membership issue was not clearly mentioned during the Vienna summit. European funds recommended for Turkey have not beern released. Turkey will continue to defend her vested rights created by its acquis with the EU. However while doing this, she will preserve her dignity which is expected from a great state. Turkey does not act emotionally but rather prudently and responsibly. In recent history, Turkey has been a bulwark in defending the common values she shares with Europe. Today, she serves as a bridge in carrying these values from Europe all the way to the Altay Mountains in the Central Asia. As an effective element of stability in her region, Turkey has friends in Europe with which she has relations in politics, economy, culture and military. However there are also some hostile circles who aim to exclude Turkey from Europe. Turkey has the opportunity to defend herself against these circles. Thus there is certainly no need to worry.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday, ''the 50th anniversary of NATO will be celebrated next year. To this end, I will attend the NATO Summit meeting to be held on 23-25 April 1999 in Washington. NATO has played an historical role during the Cold War period, which ended with the victory of community of democratic countries. NATO has started to contributed integration of Europe with its expansion strategy which is being to be implemented this year. We see this expansion as a process. We want the 'open door policy' to become more concrete at the Washignton Summit and Bulgaria and Romania to be given the perspective of NATO membershnip. We believe that NATO, which is an organization that institutionalizes the Trans-Atlantic bounds, should be prepared for the 21st century with a broad vision.''

    ''Like in other European organizations, Turkey is also an effective member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Although we are experiencing a critical period both at home and abroad and even we are facing a government crisis, 54 OSCE member countries have decided that the 1999 OSCE Summit meeting to be organized in Istanbul in November. Thus the last biggest summit of the century will be held in Istanbul where continents, cultures and peoples meet.''

    ''Our bilateral relations with European countries are being carried out on partnership basis. My visits to France, Spain and during its EU term presidency to Austria this year provided new imputus to our bilateral relations with these countries. These visits also enabled us to explain to our European friends the parameters based on which the future of Europe should be constructed. On these occasions, I was happy to see that we shared the same views with our friends, that an Europe without Turkey and a Turkey without Europe could not be even conceived.''

    ''Our strategical partnership with our ally and friend, the US, have been improving based on mutual benefits. On many issues regarding our region, and those with priority on the world agenda, we are working closely with the US. I had the chance to express to the US Secretaries of Energy and Defense who visited Turkey within this year, the importance Turkey atributes to friendship and cooperation with the US.''

    ''We underlined several times that good relations between the two neighbouring and ally countries, Turkey and Greece, would result in mutual benefit. However Greece always demonstrates an unfriendly attitude towards Turkey at every opportunity and at every forum. I belive that one day Greece will realize that her insistence on her present attitude towards Turkey will not be in her best interests.''

    ''We are in an important phase in the Cyprus issue. The Cyprus Confederation, suggested by President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), is a realistic and sound formula aimed at establishing a new partnership on the island. This proposal should be carefully evaluated and supported by everyone who sincerely wishes for a lasting peace and stability on Cyprus and in the whole region.''

    ''My visit to the TRNC this year also constituted an important turning- point. During my visit, the transport of water to the island was launched which solved a vital problem of Turkish Cypriots. Within the next period, new programs aimed at strengthening our cooperation and solidarity in every field TRNC continue. Concrete projects which are implemented within the framework of strengthening cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC and the wide ranging activities aimed at economic development of the TRNC will continue. On 6 December, parliamentary elections was held in the TRNC. The TRNC people once more showed their high level of understanding of democracy and culture to the world. The Turkish Cypriot people prepare themselves for the future in close cooperation with Turkey.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that he will not decide for the renewal of the elections if a government could not be formed till Jan 10 and the government that will be formed could not get a vote of confidence. Pointing out the decision of the Parliament to hold elections on April 18, Demirel said he will not let a transistory Council of Ministers to be formed that does not base on the vote of confidence of the Parliament.

    Addresing an annual press conference staged in Cankaya Palace, Demirel responded to questions and recalled that Article 116 of the Constitution authorized the President to renew the elections.

    Demirel said ''what will happen if a government could not be formed till Jan 10, there is decision of the Parliament to renew the election.''

    Stressing that he did not find appropriate to form a transistory Council of Ministers, Demirel said he regarded the Parliament as the most important element of the system and that he used his rights not to hurt this.

    Demirel said ''I will not decide for the renewal of the elections if a government can not be formed till Jan 10 because there is already a decision to renew the elections. Also, I will not let a government to be formed that fails to get the confidence vote of the Parliament.'' He also said that studies to form a new government will continue after Jan 10.

    Demirel also pointed out that there will not be a government vacuum in Turkey.

    When asked if studies to form a government will give harm to the politics, Demirel said ''rules are implemented. If legal rules and legal bases are used than why will it be hurt.''

    President Demirel said he wants a government to be formed which could get a vote of confidence adding that he was listening to the ideas of everybody to faciliate this ''I am appointing a person to facilitate this'' he added.

    Demirel said Turkey was a state of institutions and that all institutions were performing their duties adding that vote of confidence given to the 55th government gives this government to the authority and right to continue till a new one is formed.

    Demirel later on called on the citizens not to feel uneasy as this situation stems from the problems in the system not because of the persons adding that these difficulties are inevitable till Turkish peopel integrates the politics.

    Responding to another question Demirel said Turkey was not ready to annul capital punishment. He said ''other alternatives are sought for, yet could not be found. The state is not ready to respond to your question at the moment.''

    Recalling that Turkey passed over a crisis in the year 1997, and that several reactions appeared against secularism, and that a political party had been closed following these developments, Demirel said ''if you act supposing that this did not happen, you will make difficult the functioning of policy. Nobody should interpret this as a threat.'' Demirel also called on for peace and compromise.

    When asked about his views about the two tour election system, Demirel said he opposed to hold local and general elections at the same time.

    Demirel noted that he favored double tour voting in local elections adding that this included the election of the candidate who can get the most votes and thus this will provide participation of people to the administration.

    Noting that the government has National Security Council (NSC) in which ministers of the government participate in, Demirel pointed out that this was a Constitutional institution.

    Demirel said the year 1997 was very important for Turkey and that a crisis was experienced adding that ''basic characteristics of the Republic was harmed. There were several visions against secularism. As an outcome of these, a party was sent to the Court by a chief prosector.'' He said leader of this party and some of its members were banned from politics, others were not accepted as guilty.

    President Suleyman Demirel also called on young people who got involved in terrorism to ''surrender'' adding that ''I am calling the young people who became a tool of terrorism: You are the children of this country. Don't waste yourself and surrender to Turkish Republic.''

    Demirel said the most important thing was the domestic peace of Turkey adding that ''we will not anything to happened forwarded to the distortion of domestic peace.''

    Noting that Turkey recorded a significant development on the issue of inflation, Demirel said privatization was the most important issue staying in front of Turkey.''


    ANKARA, Dec 26 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel staged a news conference on Saturday and evaluated the developments in 1998.

    Addressing the news conference Demirel said ''the Presidency is an honorable office which our nation always trusts. I have endeavoured to fulfil this glorious duty conferred upon me by the Turkish nation in conformity with the framework outlined in the Constitution and to the oath I have taken.''

    Demirel said ''as the President of the Republic, representing the unity of the Turkish Republic and the Turkish nation, I have been in equal distance to all our citizens, to all political parties whether they are represented in the Parliament or not, and to all civil society organization and I held meetings with them without any distiction. Due to this oath, the President is impartial. Yet, in line with my oath and the framework outlined by the Constitution, I expressed on every occasion that I would take part in issues concerning the inseparable unity of the country and in the lofty matters of the Turkish Republic and that I would listen to the public's voice.''

    Demirel said Article No: 104 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey reads: ''The President of the Republic is the Head of the State. In this capacity, he or she shall represent the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish nationi he or she shall ensure the implementation of the Constitution, and the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of the State.''

    He said ''as the President of the Turkish Republic, I continued my efforts in 1998 as well, to ensure the harmonious functioning of the legistative, executive and judiciary branches in accordance with the principle of the separation of powers, and therby to assure the operation of our state in the way to please our people of which it is already in service.

    All sorts of statues, statutory decress, Council of Ministers decisions, appointments and other procedures submitted for my approaval have been examined in the shortes possible time and necessary actions have been taken whereas it has been provided that state affaris performed in proper orderliness without being impeded by some formal obstacles.''

    The legal reservations concerning the decision by the Council of Ministers have been overcome through negotiations by sending office and hence there has been provided in harmony which would facilitate the execution of the state affairs.

    Demirel said political parties constitute the most significant bridge between the state and the nation. In 1998, I held 35 meetings with the leaders of all political parties whether they are represented in the Parliament or not.

    President Suleyman Demirel said this year some organizations made applications to request support in order to carry out their projects prepared according to the framework of the activities for celebrating 75th anniversary of our Republic.

    Disclosing the activities materialized in 1998 Demirel said he held domestic and foreign visits in order to ensure the interest of the state and the nation during 1998. Demirel said he attended may activities in every part of the country adding that he participated in opening and foundation laying ceremonies, opening of 174 education facilities, laid foundations for 40 educational facilities, opened 34 health facilities, laid foundations for three health facilities, opened 42 industrial centers, laid foundations for 20 industrial centers and opened 85 other facilities.

    President Demirel pointed out that ''the most significant indicator of the fact that Turkey has continued its development exerting great efforts during 1998 as well. Despite all the problems and difficulties, the Turkish people did not fail to forge ahead in development. This is the Turkey what we have envisioned.''

    Demirel said ''Just as the facilities mentioned above reflect the power of Turkey, the struggle against erosion will empower Turkey and ensure that we can leave a greener and more developed country to posterity. Henceforth, the issue of struggling against erosion must be considered in view of its manifold dimenstions and must be treated as such.''

    Demirel also said during the period between January 1-Dec 26 1998, he met 588 foreign statesman and received the ambassadors of 67 countries.

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