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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-01

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

01 January 2000 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 1, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

DOOMSDAY NIGHT
Turkey, like rest of the world, entered the new millenium with Y2K fear. Thousands of people entered the new year in front of their computers at their work places. Prime Ministry Crisis Center followed the developments at some high risk sectors minute by minute. The Center will continue to work till noon on Saturday. All banks watched their computer systems with teams of 15 to 20 people. Many people, fearing of a problem at ATM machines, withdrew all their money from the ATM machines before the new year. Long lines were formed in front of the ATM machines in early morning hours on Saturday. The personnel of some banks worked overtime to keep the ATM machines full.

A CIVILIZED CIVIL CODE
Turkey is saying hello to 2000's with a new Civil Code. The Civil Code which included important changes that guarantees equality between the genders has been presented to the Parliament. Turkish Civil Code is formed by 1,030 articles. Law of individuals, families, heritage and properties are the main titles. One important change from the previous one is that women now don't have to use their husbands' last name and they can keep their own. The husband can use his wife's lastname if he wishes to do so. After the divorce, the woman can continue to use her husband's name. Another adjustment is that men legally will no longer be the only authority of the family. The law gives men and women equal right to take decisions that concern the household. The new law also suggests that men and women should together decide where to live. The current one enforces the women to live in the place of her husband's choice.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TREASURY KEEPS AN EYE ON BANKS
Selcuk Demiralp, the Treasury Undersecretary, said that they will be very strict and determined about banks to achieve a successful economic programme. Demiralp said the five banks were transferred to the Saving Deposits Insurance Fund without any delays. ''We cleared the road off all the stones before we enter 2000 because we didn't want to stumble,'' he added. The new Banks Law will bring very serious obligations for banks. ''We will keep an eye on the banks. We will take any necessary decision without hesitation. We are very sensitive about disciplining the financial sector,'' Demiralp explained.

DEMIREL:''WE WILL BE AMONG THE FIRST TEN NATIONS''
''Turkey must realize a very wide range of reforms. Through these reforms, we aim to be one of the first ten most developed nations in the next century,'' Demirel told Milliyet. About Turkey's integration with the European Union (EU), Demirel said, ''the unfairness Turkey was exposed two years ago, was removed and Turkey was granted EU candidacy.'' ''Turkey has important problems that she has to solve. Inflation, inbalanced income distribution and unemployment affect masses of people. Pulling down the inflation will remove many of these problems and important steps were taken in 1999 in this field,'' Demirel said.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

CHANGING FACE OF SOUTHEAST
Social life in southeast Turkey is witnessing a very rapid change after the terrorism was curbed. People of southeast are very quickly adjusting to these changes. Many young people flocked to a chess tournament in a internet cafe in Sanliurfa's Siverek county last week. Another internet cafe recently opened in Elazig's Keban county is offering numerous benefits of the internet to young people. In the meantime, women are trying to keep fit in the fitness center of Diyarbakir's Dedeman Hotel. ''We never lived before'', one of regulars of the center said.

TREASURY'S EXPECTATIONS FROM 2000
-Investments are expected to increase by 13.5 percent due to the earthquake.

-A real increase of 4.5 percent is expected in consumption expenses.

-The import rate will increase 12.6 percent and reach 46 billion U.S. dollars.

-Inflation will be pulled down to 25 percent.

-The drop in the interest rates will continue parallel to the drop in the inflation rate.

-Tourism incomes will increase through promotional activities as well as political and economic stability.

-Privatization will take place in energy and telecommunication sectors.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

TOMBS OF HITTITE PERIOD FOUND IN ESKISEHIR
Many tombs belonged to Hittite period were unearthed during the excavations carried out by Anadolu University's Archeology Department in Eskisehir's Cavlum village. In the tombs were found skeletons of 23 people including 4 children as well as necklesses made of shells and bronze pins. The skeletons were reported to be 4 thousand years old. Dr. Nejat Bilgen has been supervising the excavations since July. The excavations began after a villager found a vase while ploughing his field.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

FIRE IN TENT CITIES
Fires broke out in tent-cities occupied by the quake survivors, in Duzce and Adapazari provinces. In Duzce, two tents were destroyed while four tents were burnt down to ashes in Adapazari. No casualties were reported in fires.

GENERAL KIVRIKOGLU'S NEW YEAR MESSAGE
General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, said that the goal of the Turkish Armed Forces in the next century was ''to reach a level where it can compete with modern countries''. Releasing a new year message, General Kivrikoglu said that the Turkish Armed Forces was happy to leave behind a century during which it successfully fulfilled its task by combating terrorism and fundamentalism. ''Our target is to keep the discipline and morale at the highest level. While doing this, our biggest power will be our personnel's pride and loyalty for our homeland. On the brink of the 21st century, I have full faith in the Turkish Armed Forces that they will serve our nation and state on the path of Ataturk's principles and reforms,'' General Kivrikoglu said in his message.

12.3 BILLION US DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT
Turkey has repaid a total of 12 billion 302.3 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of 1999. In 1998, Turkey had repaid 12 billion 494.21 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

PROXIMITIY TALKS TO BE RESUMED IN GENEVA
The proximity talks are envisaged to be resumed in Geneva, Switzerland, on Januray 31, 2000. President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Glafcos Clerides, the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, have been invited to Geneva for the second round of proximity talks.

FOUR MORE AFTERSHOCKS
As aftershocks continue to shake the disaster area in the wake of two massive earthquakes on August 17 and November 12, an earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, occured in the Aegean Sea at 06:50 local time on Friday. Meanwhile, officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute recorded four more aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 2.4 to 3.4, in the quake-stricken area.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT GIVEN TO OCALAN
After request of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK who was sentenced to capital punishment, for correction of the verdict was rejected, the death sentence crisis was brought high on agenda of Turkey once again. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) wants the decision to be brought to the parliament while two other coalition partners, the Democratic Left party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), are not in favour of it.

[03] EFFORTS CONTINUE TO FIND WRECKAGE OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA CARGO PLANE WHICH CRASHED NEAR GOYNUK MOUNTAIN

INEBOLU, Jan 1 (A.A) - Identities of six crew members aboard the Equatorial Guinea cargo plane which crashed near Goynuk Mountain were determined on Friday.

Sergiy Stelyuk, the Press Attache of the Ukranian Embassy in Ankara, told the A.A correspondent that V.P. Savchenko, the pilot, O.O. Shevcheko, M.I. Bogdavouych, O.M. Kryvoruchok, I.V. Movchunenko and I.I. İvanyuk were on board of the Antonov-28 cargo plane.

He added that the plane had taken off from Mykolativ, Ukraine, bound for Guinea.

Stelyuk thanked Turkish officials who were striving to find the wreckage of the plane.

Meanwhile, rescue teams are still searching for remains of the cargo plane.

[04] OIL PRODUCTION IN ADIYAMAN - TPAO PRODUCES A TOTAL OF 8.9 MILLION BARRELS OF OIL IN 1999

GAZIANTEP, Jan 1 (A.A) - The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) produced a total of 8 million 892 thousand barrels of oil in Adiyaman Province, the biggest oil reserve of Turkey, in 1999.

Officials at the Regional Diretorate of the TPAO told the A.A correspondent on Saturday that 47.5 percent of the oil production in Turkey was being provided from 160 oil wells in Adiyaman.

The TPAO produces 19 thousand 500 barrels of oil per day.

The TPAO also maintains oil-prospecting activities in Gaziantep and Hatay Provinces and test-production activities in Kilis and Sanliurfa Provinces.

[05] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: - ''WE HAVE NOT SEEN ANY SERIOUS PROBLEMS''

ANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced early on

Saturday, ''we have not seen any serious problems.''

Prime Minister Ecevit visited the national Y2K crisis center which was set up within structure of Office of National Security Council (NSC).

Ecevit said there were no disruptions in the transportation, energy, financial or communications sectors.

He added, ''there is nothing to worry about. I congratulate all relevant institutions and organizations which had strived to avoid Y2K-related accidents. Turkey has entered 2000 without any apparent computer-related troubles.''

The Istanbul and Canakkale Straits were closed to large vessels on Friday against any breakdowns in computers that control the ships' navigation systems.

All vessels longer than 200 meters and tankers carrying more than 3,000 tons and carrying crude oil, liquefied natural gas or other hazardous materials were barred from the Istanbul and Canakkale Straits which link the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Earlier Friday, Ecevit had said Turkey was prepared for the millennium bug, but urged people to be cautious and not to use computer-operated machinery, such as elevators, around midnight.

Trains and subways stopped running before midnight as a precaution.

[06] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: - ''TURKEY SUCCESSFULLY OVERCAME Y2K PROBLEM''

ANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that Turkey successfully overcame the possible Y2K problem that was feared to affect computer operated systems.

Ecevit, while leaving the Prime Ministry building, told reporters that Turkey was not affected by the Y2K problem and reminded that the Prime Ministry Crisis Center has been working on the problem with the representatives of public and private institutions since May 1999.

Responding to a question about the leaders summit which will take place next week, Ecevit said the purpose of the meeting will be to determine the government's attitude about the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about the head of the terrorist organization Abdullah Ocalan.

When asked to comment on the Russian President Boris Yeltsin's resignation, Ecevit said Yeltsin was a great statesman who had important contributions in Russia's market economy and democracy. Some of Yeltsin's decisions not only concerned Russians but the whole humanity and will hold an important place in the world history, Ecevit added.

''We are not comfortable with Mr. Putin's attitude regarding Chechnya. It is very natural for a country to try to protect its territorial integrity. However, we cannot tolerate the killing of innocent people who were never involved in an armed activity. My personal impression is that Mr. Putin, despite his young age, is an experienced and talented politician. Now, he took over Yeltsin's post temporarily. There will be an election in the coming months. I cannot make an estimation about its results,'' Ecevit said.

[07] FIRST RELIGIOUS CEREMONY OF 2000 HELD IN HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY IN SELCUK

SELCUK, Jan 1 (A.A) - The first religious ceremony of 2000 was held on Saturday at the House of Virgin Mary in Selcuk.

Priests Paul Baron and Tarcy Matthew and the head of the Izmir Catholic Church Archbishop Guiseppe Bernardini supervised the ceremony. The ceremony was attended by 100 people.

People prayed God to help those who work to create a world full of peace and put an end to poverty, diseases and sufferings of people. They also prayed for better health, success and joy in the new year. Those who attended the ceremony were blessed by bread and wine.

A group of American tourists who came on a hip to Kusadasi visited the House of Virgin Mary but preferred only to watch the ceremony. The tourists also toured Ephesus ancient city, Ephesus Museum, St. Jan Church and expressed their admiration for these sites.

[08] PRESIDENT DEMIREL: - ''WE HAD BETTER AWAIT THE ECHR'S DECISION''

ANKARA, Jan 1 (A.A) - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday, ''we had better await the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) decision for execution of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK.''

Addressing a television programme on the NTV Channel, Demirel stressed,

''independent juristiction declared its verdict about Ocalan. Execution of the capital punishment is dependent on the parliament's approval. The parliament has not been approving any execution of capital punishment for 15 years. But there is a different dimension of Ocalan affair. We have been accepted as a candidate to the European Union (EU). We should integrate with Europe to this end. Although Turkey did not sign the Article to lift the death sentence, she has accepted to agree with the ECHR's decisions. State services require calmness. Hostility and hatred have no place in State's services.''

Demirel noted, ''more than 5 thousand security officials lost their lives in terrorist attacks while 11 thousand people were injured. Nearly 5 thousand Turkish citizens with Kurdish origin including a number of women and children, were also killed in terrorist attacks. About 25 thousand people were misled. No one can defend terrorism. Turkey cannot be divided.

No one living in Turkey, approve such a bloody matter. We should take a decision very carefully to protect Turkey's interests.''

He added, ''we had better await the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) decision for execution of capital punishment given to Ocalan.

We should not made anything that can damage Turkey on the threshold of the 21st century.''

When asked about Turkey's candidacy to the EU, Demirel said, ''we will integrate with Europe reasonably. I believe that Turkey would become a full member of the EU within 4 or 5 years. Turkey should continue to make reforms.''

He emphasized, ''I hope that the new year and the new millennium will bring forth prosperity to Turkey. The Turkish youth will carry Ataturk's torch of democratic and secular Republic, and transfer it to the next generations. Turkey will continue to further improve. This year will be better than the past year. Our target is to become one of the first ten developed countries of the world. God will help us to reach our target.''

[09] A.A


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