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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-12-31

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

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


[01] AA News

31 December 1999 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on December 31, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

PATRIARCH: ''I FASTED FOR ONE WEEK DURING RAMADAN OF 1974''
It was revealed that Mesrob II, the Patriarch of the Turkish Armenians, fasted for one week during the Ramadan of 1974. Speaking in the evening meal of the Ramadan, Mesrob said that he fasted for one week during the Ramadan of 1974. Mesrob noted that it was very natural to fast because everybody fasted those days. He still remembers those days when everybody fasted and everybody ate meal before dawn during Ramadan, Mesrob added.

PRESIDENT OF SUPREME COURT REJECTS OCALAN'S
REQUEST FOR CORRECTION OF VERDICT
Vural Savas, the President of the Supreme Court, rejected the request of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, who asked for the correction of the verdict. The implementation of the precautionary measure taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) depends on the government, Savas noted. Savas recalled that the government did not abide by the cautionary judgement of ECHR which wanted some Uzbek opponents not to be extradited to Uzbekistan. Thus, he gave the message to the government saying, ''don't abide by the decision.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN CHARGE WITH DIGITAL
AFFAIRS RATHER THAN NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS
A total of 40,000 workers of the Ziraat Bankasi will work until 24.00. The ''Y2K Problem Desk'' is in charge within the framework of the Prime Ministry. The officials adviced people have sufficient amount of money with themselves. The officials also warn people not to get on the lift at 24.00.

DECISION REGARDING AKKUYU NUCLEAR
POWER PLANT TO BE GIVEN NEXT YEAR
Although all the officials said that the decision regarding the Akkuyu nuclear power plant would be announced until December 31, 1999; the results of the tender was not declared. Premier Bulent Ecevit said that the decision was postponed for one month.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

SUMMIT FOR CAKICI
The working group which was set up to interrogate Alaattin Cakici, the notorious mafia boss, held its first meeting yesterday. The statement which was issued following the meeting said that the concept of interrogation and its procedures were discussed in the meeting. The initiatives to collect evidence, documents and information from the concerned institutions will continue, the statement added.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

MARMARA IS DYING
Biologic life in the Marmara Sea, which is famous for its sandy beaches and summer resorts, came to an end. The environmental pollution reached the dimensions that can't be prevented after the tanker accident. The 800 tons of fuel oil leaked to the Marmara Sea from the tanker which became the command for death. Officials say the clearance of this pollution would take at least 20-30 years.

IMF IS THE ACTUAL ADMINISTRATOR OF TURKEY
With the letter on intent submitted to the IMF, the authorization of the Parliament was usurped by making commitments for several laws. The government ignored the principles of social rights, poverty, struggle against unemployment, priority of national interests in arbitration, just distribution of income and tax in the programme with the IMF.

RADIKAL (LEFT) 1999 WAS FULL OF INCIDENTS
We could achieve to turn our problems to hope. The political crisis was solved by the strongest government while the economic crisis was solved by reforms. The earthquake was overcome by solidarity and friendship. The doors of the European Union (EU) was opened. Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, was captured in Kenya and brought to Turkey on February 16, 1999. Ocalan's capital punishment became definite yesterday. The Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) became the first two political parties in the end of the April elections. Turkey experienced the disaster of this century on August 17, 1999 in which more than 30,000 people died. The disaster also hit Duzce on November 12, 1999. U.S. President Bill Clinton said that Turkey will determine the following century. The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project was signed. Turkey was declared as a candidate to the EU.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

WE ARE HOPEFUL FOR 2000
Turkey, which has been struggling against high inflation for years, for the first time carried out a determined economic programme. The agreement signed with the IMF increased our prestige in the world and brought confidence to domestic markets. The economic decisions of the Central Bank and low-interest real estate loan attracted great attention. The positive development in the economy is considered as the outcome of the political stability. There is a productive period in the Parliament as the coalition government gives priority to the interests of the country in every issue.

MINIMUM WAGE BECOMES 190 MILLION LIRAS
The Commission announced that the minimum wage would be gross 109.8 million Turkish Liras (TL) for those who are more than 18 years old. In the second half of 2000, the minimum wage would be gross 118.8 million TL.

GOLD DISCOVERED IN GUMUSHANE
Mineral Research and Exploration Institute (MTA) discovered a 2.5 tons of gold potential in Kirkpavli region, which is seven kilometers from the city center of Gumushane province in eastern Black Sea region.

BREAK TO TRAFFIC TERROR WITH FINES
The fines for violating traffic rules will be increased by 52 percent as of January 1, 2000. The minimum fine will be 8 million TL and the maximum fine will be 526 million TL.

INTERROGATION TO START
Notorious mafia bass Alaattin Cakici will be interrogated at the State Security Court by two prosecutors befor Eid Al-Fitr.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

WE DON'T FORGET YOU
All of us were shaken on August 17 and November 12. Whole Turkey became Golcuk, Izmit, was all ears to the matter of life and death in Adapazari; cried for Yalova, and once again suffered with Duzce. The ones who were saved were our lovely ones, and the people who lost their lives were our bodies. Today, we are on the eve of a new millenium. Let's visit them, help them re-erect their tents which were knocked down by strong southweast winds and try to heat up their tents.

PRICE INCREASES BEAT DOWN LABOURERS
Turkey reached the inflation target for 1999 only in wage increases. The wages were increased by 25-40 percent while the prices of many basic needs from bread to gasoline were increased by more than 100 percent in 1999.

[03] TURKEY TO WELCOME MILLENIUM WITH A POPULATION OF 64,851,000

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - Turkey will welcome millenium with a population of 64,851,000.
The figures of the State Statistical Institute indicated that Turkey's population increased 930,000 in 1999 and reached to 64,851,000.

Turkey's population will reach 65,773,000 by an increase of 922,000, the figures also indicated.

The DIE predicted that 1,337,000 babies will be born next year while 415, 000 people will die.

The figures showed that the rate of increase in annual population decreased 0.14 percent in 1999. The figures also showed that the rate of increase in annual population will decrease 0.14 percent in 2000.

The birth rate will decrease 0.20 percent in 2000 while the mortality rate will increase 0.6 percent in the new year.

There will be a decrease in the share of the 0-14 age group in Turkey's population while the share of the 15-64 and 65 and above age group in population will increase in 2000.

[04] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS DECREASE by 93.8 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - The repo transactions between banks and their customers decreased by 93.8 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) between December 10 and 17.

The Central Bank data shows that the repo transactions, which were 4 quadrillion 971.1 trillion TL on December 10, decreased to 4 quadrillion 877.3 trillion TL on December 17.

The reverse repo transactions, which were 242.7 trillion TL on December 10, dropped 50.2 trillion TL to 192.5 trillion TL on December 17.

The repo transactions among the financial organizations increased 141.6 trillion TL to 1 quadrillion 725.7 trillion TL on December 17. The total repo transactions amount was 1 quadrillion 584.1 trillion TL on December 10.

The reverse repo transactions among the financial organizations, which were 936.5 trillion TL on December 10, rose 58.6 trillion TL to 995.1 trillion TL on December 17.

[05] TOTAL DEPOSITS AT BANKS REACH 40.7 QUADRILLION TL

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - The total deposits at banks increased 524.1 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 40.7 quadrillion TL between December 10 and 17.

The Central Bank data shows that the total deposit which was 40 quadrillion 189.3 trillion TL on December 10 increased to 40 quadrillion 713.4 trillion TL on December 17.

When the inter-banks deposits are not considered, the total deposit, which was 37 quadrillion 555.4 trillion TL on December 10, increased 577.2 trillion TL to 38 quadrillion 132.6 trillion TL on December 17.

The total TL deposit increased 313.15 trillion TL to 19 quadrillion 732.8 trillion TL on December 17. The total TL deposit was 19 quadrillion 419.3 trillion on December 10.

As of December 17, the total TL deposit was composed of 13 quadrillion 373.2 trillion TL deposits at public banks, 6 quadrillion 136.9 trillion TL of deposits at private deposit banks and 59.1 trillion TL of deposits at foreign banks.

The foreign exchange accounts at banks increased 263.7 trillion TL to 18 quadrillion 399.7 trillion TL on December 17.

[06] BANK CREDITS VOLUME INCREASES BY 217.1 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - The banks credit volume increased 217.1 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 19 quadrillion 332.5 trillion TL between December 10 and 17.

The total credit volume at banks was 19 quadrillion 115.4 trillion TL on December 10.

The Central Bank data shows that the total credits in the system was composed of 1 quadrillion 68.4 trillion TL of loans given to financial sector and 18 quadrillion 264.2 trillion TL of loans given to non-financial sector as of December 10.

The credits given to financial sector were composed of 551.1 trillion TL of loans given by deposit banks, 509.6 trillion TL of loans given by development and investment banks and 7.6 trillion TL of loans given by the Central Bank.

[07] SECURITIES ACCOUNT AT BANKS DECREASE 50.7 TRILLION TL

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - The securities account at banks decreased 50.7 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 11 quadrillion 432.9 trillion TL on December 17.

The total securities account at banks was 11 quadrillion 483.6 trillion TL on December 10.

The Central Bank data shows that there were a total of 11 quadrillion 124.9 trillion TL of securities including 7 quadrillion 225.9 trillion TL of securities, and 3 quadrillion 899 trillion TL of securities over foreign currency at the deposit banks portfolio.

The securities over TL at deposit banks are composed of 903.6 trillion TL in treasury bonds, 5 quadrillion 954.8 trillion TL in state debenture bonds and 268.8 trillion TL in stocks.

A total of 1 quadrillion 115.9 trillion TL of foreign currency securities at these banks are abroad while there is a total of 13.6 trillion TL of treasury bonds and 1 quadrillion 914.6 trillion TL of state debenture bonds among the domestic securities.

The total securities account at the development and investment banks was 307.9 trillion TL.

[08] TURKISH DIPLOMACY IN 1999 - MAIN TOPICS OF TURKISH-RUSSIAN RELATIONS

MOSCOW, Dec 31 (A.A) - The most important incident in Turkish-Russian relations in 1999 was Premier Bulent Ecevit's visit to Russia between November 3 and 6.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, told Ecevit during their meeting that the relations with Turkey carried utmost importance for Russia.

The prior issue for Turkey during this visit was to increase and revive the exports to Russia because the trading volume between two countries decreased to 70 percent in the first five months of 1999 when compared with the same period in 1998.

The prior issue for Russia was the Blue Stream Project. Russia which had an economic crisis, attributed importance to the signature of Additional Protocol which foresaw tax arrangements that would facilitate the implementation of the project.

Although both sides agreed upon the content of the Additional Protocol, Turkey did not sign the protocol by saying that this protocol should be discussed by the government firstly.

Prior to his departure from Moscow, Premier Ecevit said that Russia's ratification of the Agreement on Prevention of Double Taxation which had earlier been rejected by the Russian parliament although it was ratified by Turkish parliament, and the ratification of the Agreement on Reciprocal Protection and Encouragement of the Investments would help the solution of the problems regarding the Blue Stream Project.

Turkey and Russia signed the Additional Protocol on November 27, 1999.

Duma, the lower chamber of Russian parliament, passed this protocol and the two agreements on double taxation and the investments which were kept waiting at the parliament for years.

Russia showed the status of the Caspian Sea as an excuse to prevent the transfer of the Turkmen gas to Turkey.

Russia gave a note to Turkmenistan which said that the Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline that would transfer gas to Turkey, could not be constructed.

Moscow which had the similar ideas with Iran regarding this issue, said in its note, ''Caspian is a quake zone. Moreover, we have not decided how the status of the sea will be shared among the coastal states. To this end, the project cannot be fulfilled.''

Russia also put forward the same thesis when opposing to the extension of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian basin to Kazakhstan.

Moscow continued to oppose to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project by saying that the project was the result of the U.S. political pressures and Washington's hegemonistic desires in the region. It also continued to say that the oil pipeline routes which it proposed, were more economical than the others.

-TERRORISM-
Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, came to Russia for one more time in January.

Despite some political circles wanted Ocalan to stay in Russia, Ocalan could not shelter in Russia due to the commitments that Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov made to Turkey.

Russia which declared a new war in Dagestan in August and later in Chechnya, launched initiatives to have joint cooperation to struggle against terrorism with the other countries.

Russia which was not willing to function the present documents and mechanisms with Turkey regarding the struggle against terrorism, became more willing to have cooperation with Ankara when she faced some problems in her territory.

As a result of the initiatives of Moscow, Ecevit and Russian prime minister initialed the ''Joint Declaration on Having Cooperation in the Struggle Against Terrorism'' during Ecevit's visit to this country.

This declaration included an article which said that both countries would not permit the usage of their territories for terrorist purposes including the shelter of terrorists, the establishment of training camps, the medical treatment, organization, and propaganda.

However, Russia permitted the terrorist organization PKK to celebrate the anniversary of its so-called establishment in Moscow nearly one month after the signature of the joint declaration.

Nevertheless, the initiatives to overcome the problems between two countries continued.

The presidents of both countries discussed having cooperation in struggle against terrorism in Istanbul during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

Following this, the head of Russian Foreign Intelligence Unit visited Turkey.

[09] MINISTER OF ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ERSUMER: ''ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY Y2K PROBLEM''

ANKARA, Dec 31 (A.A) - Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources said on Friday that the electricity power plants and transmitting lines will not be affected by Y2K problems because electricity distribution systems were mechanical.

''If there is no interruption in the electricity production of Turkey Electricity Production and Transmitting Co. (TEAS), there will be no interruption in its distribution,'' he said. He also noted that they have 15 different contingency plans against any possible Y2K related problems. They have been running studies about Y2K problem since July, 1998, he reminded.

About natural gas and crude oil systems in Turkey, Ersumer said, they completely replaced the Marmara's Eregli LNG terminal control system in September 1999 and eliminated problems.

The SCADA system which carries crude oil on Kerkuk-Ceyhan pipeline was not adjusted to 2000 but the flow of oil will continue without interruptions by taking back the date in computer systems, he explained.

State Run Oil Pipeline Company (BOTAS) also took the necessary measures to prevent any computer problems and prepared contingency plans, he said and also added that Turkey had fuel oil stock enough to last for 28 days.

[10] A.A


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