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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-05

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

05 January 2000 Wednesday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 5, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

SUPER START
The new eceonomic programme of the government made a good start yesterday. The IMKB index went beyond 17,500 points and the shares gained 15 percent in one day. The U.S. dollars decreased 5,000 TL. The resolved attitude of the government also reduces the interest rates the banks apply to deposit accounts. All the interest rates decreased, the daily interest rate reduced to 20 percent and the monthly deposit interest rate decreased up to 42 percent. Besides the increase foreseen in the price of electricity for January as 5 percent was reduced to 2.1 percent.

LET'S TRY NOT TO EXECUTE PEOPLE
Turkey didn't execute any people for 40 years except the extraordinary periods. However death penalties were given to people politically since 27 May 1960. What did we gain from that? We couldn't achieve anything by death penalty. Why don't we try this time without executing people?

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

INTEREST RATES REDUCE
The bond interest of the Treasury in the first internal debt tender reduced by 72 points and decreased to 37 percent. This is the lowest amount since 1985. Meanwhile banks continue to reduce the interest rates which are valid for deposit accounts. Ziraat Bank reduced its interest rates by 7-10 points. The new interest rates in Ziraat Bank will be valid as of Wednesday. Meanwhile Etibank, Toprakbank, Yapı Kredi, Dısbank and Kentbank also reduced their interests rates that are valid for deposit accounts in Turkish liras.

COMMON SENSE SUMMIT
The fate of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK will be determined during the meeting of the coalition party leaders on January 12. Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) invited the party to be moderate. Besides Ecevit, Bahceli and Mesut Yılmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP); Deputy Prime Ministers Cumhur Ersumer and Husamettin Ozkan and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will also participate in the summit.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

ANKARA DGM GIVES A DECISION NOT TO PROSECUTE CEM
Chief Prosecution of Ankara State Security Court (DGM) decided not a prosecute Foreign Minister Ismail Cem after he was denounced by a citizen.

Ankara DGM Chief Prosecutor Talat Salk gave the decision not to prosecute Cem and noted that there was no need to start an investigation about him.

Cem had said that ''everybody can broadcast on TV in one's own mother tongue.'' The prosecutor noted that this is in line with one's right to freedom of expression in Turkey.

CAKICI APPLIES TO FRANCE
Alaattin Cakıcı, the notorious mafia boss, who was extradited from France to Turkey on condition, officially applied to France saying:''don't give Turkey the permission to try me.'' Cakıcı will be interrogated by State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecution today.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

OCALAN TENSION
The government can't reach an agreement on Ocalan issue. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) group discussed the situation of Ocalan. The MHP, which reacted to President Suleyman Demirel's warning saying, ''the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) must be waited'', feels uneasiness about the fact that the General Staff remains silent. There are different opinions in the Motherland Party (ANAP) which did not raise an objection to keep the Ocalan's dossier at the Prime Ministry. There is still not any change in the Democratic Left Party's (DSP) aproach to wait for the decision of the ECHR.

CONSTITUTION TO BE CHANGED ALL OVER
The Interparty Compromise Commission, which carried out works in previous term for constitutional accord laws, began to act to prepare a package of proposals for a comprehensive constitutional change.

HOPEFUL EXPECTATION FOR TOURISM
The Turkish Researches Center stressed that the continually blows on the tourism sector in Turkey, which is suffering from a serious crisis, stemmed from ''direct non-economic'' factors like politics and natural disaster. It said new programmes targeting to increase the number of especially German tourists must be developed.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

TURKISH MIRACLE
On the first transaction day when the government put into practice its stability programme, the markets broke records. The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) increased by 2,303 points, the bond interest rate became 37 percent which is the lowest rate in last 20 years. When the Central Bank gave money to banks with 38 percent interest, the overnight repo interest rate decreased to 26 percent.

BAHCELI GETS ANGRY WITH ECEVIT
Reacting to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's statement saying, ''the decision of the ECHR must be waited concerning execution of Ocalan'', Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli said, ''the dossier must be transferred to the Parliament as soon as possible. If it has to be kept, the place must the Parliament.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

POSITIVE SIGNALS
Economy entered the millenium with a successful start. Radical measures are taken to reach the target of 20 percent of inflation rate. The inflation will start to decrease starting from this month. The first part of the IMF credit which was 350 million dollars, has also been released and our respect increases abroad.

MHP RESOLVED
The second partner of the coalition, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which wants the death penalty process to operate, also prepares its own candidate for the Presidency.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

TEDAS DECREASES AUTOMATIC PRICE INCREASE
Making a joint statement yesterday, the Turkish Electricity Distribution Corp (TEDAS) and Turkish Electricity Production Corp (TEAS) said the 5 percent price increase as of January 1, 2000 was decreased to 2.1 percent. This decision pleased every people including workers, civil servants and businessmen.

DISCUSSION DOES NOT DIVIDE COUNTRY
The State Security Court Republican Chief Prosecutor's Office, which examined the denouncement against Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's statement about a Kurdish television channel, decided to quash the denouncement. The judicial decision said, ''the issue of establishment of a television channel broadcasting programmes in mother language can be discussed in democratic platform. This does not constitute the offense of propagandizing any separatist view.''

[03] FINANCE MINISTER: ''2000 WILL BE THE YEAR DURING WHICH THE INFLATION WILL BE RUINED''

IZMIR - Finance Minister Sumer Oral said on Tuesday that the government put into practice the economic programme four days ago.

''This programme entered into effect on January 1, 2000. 2000 will be the year in which the inflation will be ruined,'' he said.

Speaking to reporters, Oral said the determined programme put forward by the government was a programme to decrease the budget deficit and inflation.

Oral said this programme would be implemented without any concession, and the programme was backed by a serious political support and determination.

Sumer Oral said the programme was very comprehensive, and such a programme had never been implemented in Turkey.

''Structural reforms were made in banking sector, financial system, social security field and in many other fields. Following these, the 2000 year budget was prepared. The infrastructure of the programme was formed with the support given to the government. We are implementing the budget. The targets of the programme will be achieved by following the developments in Turkey day by day,'' he said.

''Our expectation for the inflation rate will be 25 percent at the end of the year. The international rating organizations also support our programme. The highest rank of the IMF extended support to our programme,'' he said.

[04] TERRORIST WHO JOINED OCCUPATION OF GREEK CONSULATE IN GERMANY SENTENCED TO ONE-YEAR SUSPENDED IMPRISONMENT

BERLIN - A 25-year-old terrorist, who joined the occupation of the Greek Consulate building in Dusseldorf, Germany last year, was sentenced to one- year suspended imprisonment sentence by the State Court.

During the hearing, the terrorist claimed that he did not join the occupation and did not destroy the building but he entered the building as he felt cold outside.

State Court's Chief Judge Rudolf Wolff said the terrorist joined the occupation but any evidence regarding destruction of the building by him was not found.

The supporters of the terrorist PKK organization occupied the Greek Embassy in Bonn, and Greek Consulates in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg, took hostage the personnel and damaged the buildings after the head terrorist was brought from Kenya to Turkey in February 1999.

[05] FIRST INTERNATIONAL PRIZE OF 2000 GIVEN TO FAMOUS PIANIST FAZIL SAY

ANKARA - The first international prize of 2000 year was given to famous Turkish pianist Fazıl Say on Wednesday.

''Le Monde De La Musique'' one of the main magazines of classical music in France, gave the award of ''Cd of the Month'' to Fazıl Say's CD namely ''Gershwin'' while RTL Television and radio channel chose it the record of the month.

Say is accompanied by New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the CD, which will be sold in markets as of March in the U.S. and the whole world.

[06] CAKICI, NOTORIOUS MAFIA BOSS, SENT BACK TO PRISON

ISTANBUL - Alaattin Cakıcı, the notorious mafia boss, was interrogated on Wednesday by Aykut Cengiz Engin and Ahmet Gurses, the Republican Prosecutors of the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM).

Cakici was brought from the Kartal maximum security prison to Istanbul DGM at 09:10 local time.

Engin and Gurses, the Prosecutors of Istanbul DGM which carries out the investigations about Turkbank tender and Nesim Malki murder, have interrogated Cakici as a ''witness'' for three hours.

Later, Cakici was sent back to the Kartal Prison at 12:30 local time.

[07] FOREIGN MINISTRY: - ''TURKEY SHOULD FULFIL NECESSARY ADJUSTMENT WORKS''

ANKARA - Sermet Atacanli, the Deputy Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, said on Wednesday that Turkey should fulfil adjustment works which are necessary for the full membership to the European Union (EU).

Addressing the weekly press conference, Atacanli noted, ''Turkey that has been accepted as a candidate country, should fulfil adjustment works including the Copenhagen criteria, which are necessary for the full membership to the EU.''

Stressing that there were steps to be taken regarding the full membership, Atacanli told reporters, ''some of these steps such as the Customs Union, have already been taken. The Foreign Ministry, and all other relevant institutions continue their works.''

Atacanli pointed out that the revelant unit within structure of the Foreign Ministry was reinforced for necessary works.

[08] STATE MINISTER YALOVA: - ''TUPRAS'S REFINERY IN IZMIT WILL START WORKING FULL CAPACITY ON SEPTEMBER 30 THIS YEAR''

KIRIKKALE - Yuksel Yalova, the State Minister, said on Wednesday that the Tupras's refinery in Izmit which suffered serious damage during August 17 earthquake, will start working full capacity on September 30, 2000.

The profitibility of Tupras which is being privatized increased by 326 percent in the first 9 months of 1999 compared to the same period of 1998, Yalova reminded. Tupras will be a world company which is open to competition, dynamic and continually growing in the 2000's, he added.

Yalova said the energy and oil consumption per person in Turkey is still much below the figures in European countries and they were targeting to increase energy and oil consumption in the country.

With 30 million tonnes of oil consumption, Turkey is the seventh on the list of European countries. Oil's share in Turkey's energy consumption is 47 percent. ''It is obvious that oil is important for our country,'' Yalova said.

Tupras meets 86 percent of Turkey's demand of oil products and it suffered considerable damage on August 17.

A fire broke out at Tupras's refinery in Izmit when a 115 meter wide chimney collapsed during the earthquake. All repair costs were met by the insurance company and Tupras paid for the modernization works from its own budget. The total damage was assessed as 115 million U.S. dollars and this will not increase, Yalova said.

The capacities of Kirikkale and Izmir refineries have been increased and the units of Izmit refinery which stopped working due to the quake resumed production in 2,5 months. Yalova noted that no Y2K problems were experienced at Tupras.

The 1.8 billion U.S. dollar investment of Tupras which started 11 years ago is still continuing with 100 million U.S. dollars and Tupras is targeting to process 23 million tons of crude oil in 2000.

Tupras, after solving its own problems, donated 21,000 tons of asphalt to be used in the reconstruction of the quake hit area and it will pay 1.5 trillion Turkish Liras to the Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center to help to meet the needs of the quake survivors.

[09] COTTARELLI, CHIEF OF IMF TURKEY DESK, ARRIVES IN TURKEY

ISTANBUL - Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk, arrived in Turkey on Wednesday.

Addressing journalists at the Ataturk Airport, Cottarelli said that he came to Turkey to attend a meeting which will be organized tomorrow by the Banks Union of Turkey.

When asked to evaluate latest economic developments in Turkey, Carlo Cottarelli noted that everything was on the right track.

Cottarelli also added that he planned to visit historical places in Turkey.

[10] WORLD BANK WORKS WITH EU AND JAPAN TO FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCE OF 3 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS FOR TURKEY

ANKARA - James D. Wolfensohn, the Chairman of the World Bank, said that they were working with the European Union (EU) and Japan to find an additional resource of 3 billion U.S. dollars for Turkey to guarantee 10 billion U.S. dollars of total financing.

Wolfensohn sent a letter to State Minister Recep Onal on December 27, 1999. Wolfensohn, in his letter, congratulated Onal, and his team for the reform package and said these bold reforms would modernize Turkey's key institutions and release the country's great economic potential.

Wolfensohn reminded that he discussed the reforms with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at Blair House in Washington D.C. last year. He also noted that the World Bank experts were helpful in providing technical support and said he hoped to work in close cooperation with Turkey.

Wolfensohn said they were aiming to provide a 3 billion U.S. dollars budget support for Turkey in the next 3 years. The half of this amount will be Economic Reform aid and the other half will be Financial Sector Implementation aid, he explained.

When progress is made in these loans, they will continue their support and it will be an important financial package for Turkey together with the 4 billion U.S. dollars financial aid that IMF is planning to give Turkey, he explained.

Wolfensohn also assured that the World Bank will try to find the necessary resources if a need arises for additional financing for reasons outside Turkey's control.

He noted that his colleagues were working to find additional financing in order to guarantee the total amount of 10 billion U.S. dollars which Turkey demanded by contacting their counterparts in the EU and Japan.

Wolfensohn congratulated Onal about Turkey's EU candidacy and said that the World Bank and the EU were working to speed up the entrance process of new countries to the union. They would be happy to give this support to Turkey as well, he noted.

Besides the World Bank's 3 billion U.S. dollars structural reform support to Turkey, it is also looking for additional resource of 3 billion U.S. from EU and Japan. IMF also planned to give Turkey 4 billion U.S. dollars in the framework of the Stand-by agreement which totals up to an aid package of 10 billion U.S. dollars for Turkey.

[11] PROBLEMS OF THE PRISIONS DISCUSSED(1)

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that a protocol will be signed between Ministry of Justice, Interior, and Health, and Gendarme General Commandership to improve living conditions in prisons. He said problems will be solved to a great extend with the implementation of this protocol.

Problems of prisons have been discussed in a meeting which took place in Premiership Central Building. Husamettin Ozkan, Deputy Prime Minister, Sadettin Tantan, Minister of Interior, Hikmet Sami Turk, Minister of Jutice, Osman Durmus, Minister of Health, Gen. Rasim Betir, Commander of Genderma General Commandership, and several other senior officials attended the meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Ecevit said problems in prisons are a bleeding wound, and which caused sorrow of people. Ecevit said this meeting was held to take required measures to provide a more effective security in prisons, to improve health conditions, and for the training of all kinds of personnel related with security.

Ecevit pointed out that consultations with the concerned institutions were under way since 1992 to solve the problems of prisons.

Noting that the works were concluded with today's meeting, Ecevit said a protocol would be signed between Interior, Justice, Health Ministries, and Gendarme General Commandership.

''With the implementation of this protocol, problems related with the prisions will be solved to a great extend. Of course, this also has an structural dimension. Required structuring is very important to improve security and health conditions in the prisons. A total of six prisons have been tendered to this end. We hope that these will be concluded within this year. Apart from this, required structural arrangements will be made in several prisons.''

Ecevit also said with the signature of the protocol, problems stemming from the administration of the prisons will also be solved. Personnel of prisons will be trained. Physical security system of the prisons will be equipped with electronic systems. The disorganizations in implementation will be overcome.

Ecevit said the protocol in question will take effect after being signed by Ministry of Justice, Interior, and Health.

[12] PROBLEMS OF THE PRISIONS DISCUSSED (2) - PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''THIS PROBLEM WILL BE SOLVED BY THE END OF THIS YEAR''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday that six new prisons will be built as part of the government's target to better prison conditions, adding that five new prisons were about to be tendered. He said, ''this problem will totally be solved next year.''

Responding to the questions of reporters following the meeting, Ecevit said the cooperation and coordination between Justice Ministry and Gendarme General Commandership will be more effective.

Ecevit said the problems will totally be solved by the end of this year, and noted, ''yet, finding an appropriate place for the prisons will take time. I believe that this problem will also be solved. Life and security conditions of the prisons will be improved.''

[13] COTTARELLI, CHIEF OF IMF TURKEY DESK: ''ACCORDING TO OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS, ECONOMY GOES ON THE RIGHT DIRECTION''

ISTANBUL - Carlo Cottarelli, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk, said on Wednesday that positive consequences of the important decisions that have been taken in Turkish economy are began to be seen, and noted that according to their first impressions, economy was going on the right directoin.

Cottarelli arrived in Turkey to attend a meeting that will be organized on Thursday by the Banks Union of Turkey. Speaking to A.A correspondent, Cottarelli said very determined measures, including banking sector, have been taken in the past few weeks.

Cottarelli said as the first outcome of these measures, interest rates began to decrease, and noted that inflation will began to fall in stages if these policies continue.

Pointing out that the government showed its determination for the realization of structural reforms, Cottarelli stressed that IMF will extend required support if Turkey continues to take right economic measures.

Cottarelli said they will probably visit Turkey in the second week of February, and evaluate the outcomes of the first developments in economy. He said they will advice IMF Executive Directors Board to release second slice of stand-by credit according to the results that will be obtained in March.

[14] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER UPDATES DEATH TOLL AS 845 AFTER DUZCE EARTHQUAKE

ANKARA - Following the earthquake which hit Duzce on November 12 with a magnitude of 7.2, Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center announced the death toll as 845 on Wednesday. A total of 4,948 people were also injured in the quake.

A written statement issued by Prime Ministry Crisis Administration Center said there are 3,395 buildings which have to be demolished immediately in the area. About 13,000 apartment buildings and 2,450 work places also suffered considerable damage in the quake.

All settlement areas including villages were given electricity and no communication problems are experienced in the quake region.

In Bolu, the construction of 622 prefabricated huts finished and 352 of them have been given to quake survivors. More than 51,000 tents were also distributed to people.

Currently 6,201 personnel are working in the region. Red Crescent, Turkish Armed Forces and other institutions sent 198 mobile kitchens, 173 mobile showers, 2 bakeries and various amounts of beds, sleeping bags, blankets and heaters. Quake survivors are given warm food three times a day.

There are 273 doctors, 194 nurses and 918 assistant personnel working in the area. The Ministry of Health is distributing free medicine for the patients. There is no shortage of medicine or medical supplies.

About 2,010 military personnel are in charge in the disaster area. 956 personnel of the Rural Affairs General Directorate are working to haul away the rubble.

Foreign countries continue to send cash and supply donations for quake victims.

A.A


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