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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-07

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

07 January 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 7, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

IMF TO OPEN OFFICE IN ANKARA
International Monetary Fund (IMF) will open a representation in Ankara to cover stand-by agreement which it signed with Turkey. Carlo Cottarelli IMF Turkey Desk Chief said this IMF office would work during the process of stand-by deal, and control whether or not the policies in the letter of intent were implemented, and follow the daily economic developments in Turkey. Speaking to reporters, Cottarelli recalled that Turkey's economic programme depended on credibility, and said that the interest rates would absolutely decrease if the programme was implemented firmly. The IMF's Turkey Desk Chief said that the decrease in interest rates despite strict economic policy would also revive the economy.

FIRST ETHICAL COURT IN TUSIAD
Kamuran Cortuk, a businessmen, will defend himself in Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) General Assembly against the accusations about himself as if he is in a court. TUSIAD General Assembly, that will take place on January 14, will have the atmosphere of an ethical court.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

DEMOCRACY NOTE
Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, Minister of State, said the European Human Rights Court (ECHR) is an organ which became an indispensable part of our internal legal system with our own will, and this leaves no place to a superiority complex ''who is this EHCR?''.

Stating that the second question is the level which Turkey will abide by the decision of the ECHR, Irtemcelik said the only answer to this question is ''the government'' because the interlocutor of the ECHR is the government, and this is valid for all EC member countries.

Irtemcelik recalled that the ECHR said, ''I request you to take all measures not to execute capital punishment till I examine and conclude the appeal made by the lawyers of Ocalan.'' Irtemcelik said in this context, if the government immediately transfers the file to the parliament, this can only be interpreted as if the government remains indifferent to the call of the ECHR, and it does not take a precaution which it could have taken.

WARNING FROM BAHCELI TO THE ORGANIZATION
Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister, and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), told his team to be careful in their statements regarding the capital punishment. He said statements like, ''I will put the greasy rope around his neck'' contradict with the seriousness of the state. He told them to express their views within the framework of laws, apart from emotional reactions.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

WAITING STOP IS PRIME MINISTRY
Hikmet Sami Turk, Minister of Justice, said a decision will be taken regarding the case of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, during leaders' summit that will take place on January 12. He said it was very difficult to keep the dossier of capital punishment in Parliament till the decision of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The file can only wait for 15 days if it is brought to the President. Keeping it in Prime Ministry is the most convinient way.

APO SUMMIT IN CANKAYA PALACE
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that necessary harmonization within the government for the procedure concerning the dossier of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, would be provided. ''We can't accept spoiling of the stability of the government because of Abdullah Ocalan,'' he said.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

MONEY CRISIS IN CYPRUS
Presidential elections are behind the banks crisis between Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Ankara wants Rauf Denktas to win the presidential elections that will take place in TRNC in April. Ankara is concerned that another result could be obtained. Ankara also felt concern over the attitude of Dervis Eroglu, TRNC Prime Minister, in using TRNC budget towards elections.

FIVE TERRORISTS CAPTURED
Five terrorists were captured in operations carried out in southeastern Diyarbakir and Mardin provinces. Three terrorists were captured in rural areas in Lice township in southeastern Diyarbakir province, and two others were captured in Dargecit township in southerastern Mardin province.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

ECEVIT: ''EXECUTION MEANS TERRORISM''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit pointed out that, ''we have to discuss this among ourselves by putting emotions to one side. I hope this problem will be overcome at the meeting of leaders on January 12, in fact, I think it must be overcome. Otherwise, the success we have achieved and the steps we have taken, will be damaged. Since Ocalan was arrested, without any need for an execution, separatist terrorism has greatly decreased, down to nearly zero. Turkey should not be expected to take a step that would return the atmosphere into confusion.''

FOREIGN INVESTORS TO COME
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said he hoped there would be considerable amount of foreign capital inflow to Turkey following the World Economic Forum's meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Prime Minister attended a programme broadcast of the private television channel NTV. Responding to a question, Ecevit said the Turkish economy would be one of the prior issues on the agenda of the Davos meeting.''This is very pleasing. A representative has been sent to Turkey during the preparation stage of the meeting. Turkey attracts great interest. The harmonization between the government and the Parliament provided political and economic confidence and prestige to Turkey,'' he said.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

ECEVIT: ''CONTINUE TOGETHER WITH DEMIREL''
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said he would launch initiatives for a constitutional change that will provide facilities to extend the term in office of President Suleyman Demirel for another period.

Speaking to journalists following his meeting with President Demirel, Ecevit said, ''I believe that stability will be further strengthened if term in office of Demirel can be extended for another period. A change should be made in the constitution to this end.''

THREE TURKS KILLED IN BRUSSELS
Bodies of three Turkish citizens were found in a garage in Schaerbeek district of Brussels on Thursday. The victims who were all male and between the ages of 19 and 21 also had Belgian passports. The bodies were found next to a car in a garage. Francois Durieux, the Schaerbeek Mayor, who came to the scene said they had no information about the cause of the murders.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

TRAGIC NEWS TO QUAKE SURVIVORS
Foodstuff aid that has been distributed in the quake region will be ended in tent sites in Kocaeli, Sakarya, Yalova and Golcuk. This decision caused uneasiness among quake survivors. Cumali Durmus, Deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said only 17,000 of the 63,000 people in the quake region were the real quake survivors. He said, ''the aid is exploited. The state can not support these people forever. This is a burden on the state.''

ECEVIT CALLS FOR EXTENSION
As Ankara was discussing the results of the case of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit created another discussion on the agenda. Ecevit proposed President Suleyman Demirel to extend his term in office. Ecevit said that he will look for ways for a constitutional amendment to renew President Suleyman Demirel's term.

[03] TENSION AT BANDIRMA PRISON

BANDIRMA - A group of members of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders- Front (IBDA/C), who were sent to the Bandirma Prison from Bayrampasa Prison in Istanbul, continue to resist against security forces.

In uprising at the Bandirma Prison which has begun two days ago, one prisoner died while at least three security officials were injured.

Tight security measures have been taken in and around the prison.

Reinforcement teams have been sent to Bandirma from neighbouring provinces.

Nearly 50 prisoners are on hunger strike at the prison.

Meanwhile, inmates burnt down beds and duvels, and smashed ward walls.

Officials told the A.A correspondent that Hasan Meric, a prisoner, died in the uprising while at least three soldiers were injured.

The soldiers were taken to Bandirma State Hospital for medical treatment.

Security officials have launched an operation in the prison.

[04] TOTAL DEPOSITS AT BANKS REACH 40.9 QUADRILLION TL

ANKARA - The total deposits at banks increased 225.3 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 40.9 quadrillion TL between December 17 and 24, 1999.

The Central Bank data shows that the total deposit which was 40 quadrillion 713.4 trillion TL on December 17, increased to 40 quadrillion 938.7 trillion TL on December 24.

When the inter-banks deposits are not considered, the total deposit, which was 38 quadrillion 132.6 trillion TL on December 17, increased 443.6 trillion TL to 38 quadrillion 576.2 trillion TL on December 24.

The total TL deposit increased 378.7 trillion TL to 20 quadrillion 111.5 trillion TL on December 24. The total TL deposit was 19 quadrillion 732.8 trillion on December 17.

As of December 24, the total TL deposit was composed of 13 quadrillion 631.7 trillion TL deposits at public banks, 6 quadrillion 278.1 trillion TL of deposits at private deposit banks and 53.5 trillion TL of deposits at foreign banks.

The foreign exchange accounts at banks increased 65 trillion TL to 18 quadrillion 464.7 trillion TL on December 24.

[05] SECURITIES ACCOUNT AT BANKS DECREASE BY 52.1 TRILLION TL

ANKARA - The securities account at banks decreased 52.1 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 11 quadrillion 380.8 trillion TL on December 24, 1999.

The total securities account at banks was 11 quadrillion 432.9 trillion TL on December 17.

The Central Bank data shows that there were a total of 11 quadrillion 73.5 trillion TL of securities including 7 quadrillion 8.9 trillion TL of securities, and 4 quadrillion 64.6 trillion TL of securities over foreign currency at the deposit banks portfolio.

The securities over TL at deposit banks are composed of 1 quadrillion 19.6 trillion TL in trasury bonds, 5 quadrillion 615.7 trillion TL in state debenture bonds and 295.7 trillion TL in stocks.

A total of 1 quadrillion 146.9 trillion TL of foreign currency securities at these banks are abroad while there is a total of 13.8 trillion TL of treasury bonds and 2 quadrillion 29.4 trillion TL of state debenture bonds among the domestic securities.

The total securities account at the development and investment banks was 307.4 trillion TL.

[06] BANK CREDITS VOLUME INCREASES BY 97.6 TRILLION TL

ANKARA - The banks credit volume increased 97.6 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) to 19 quadrillion 705.9 trillion TL between December 17 and 24, 1999.

The total credit volume at banks was 19 quadrillion 608.3 trillion TL on December 17.

The Central Bank data shows that the total credits in the system was composed of 1 quadrillion 98.5 trillion TL of loans given to financial sector and 18 quadrillion 607.4 trillion TL of loans given to non-financial sector as of December 24.

The credits given to financial sector were composed of 569.9 trillion TL of loans given by deposit banks, 521.1 trillion TL of loans given by development and investment banks and 7.4 trillion TL of loans given by the Central Bank.

[07] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS DECREASE BY 82.8 TRILLION TL

ANKARA - The repo transactions between banks and their customers decreased by 82.8 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) between December 17 and 24, 1999.

The Central Bank data shows that the repo transactions, which were 4 quadrillion 877.3 trillion TL on December 17, decreased to 4 quadrillion 794.5 trillion TL on December 24.

The reverse repo transactions, which were 192.5 trillion TL on December 17, dropped 41.9 trillion TL to 150.6 trillion TL on December 24.

The repo transactions among the financial organizations fell 116.2 trillion TL to 1 quadrillion 841.9 trillion TL on December 24. The total repo transactions amount was 1 quadrillion 725.7 trillion TL on December 17.

The reverse repo transactions among the financial organizations, which were 995.1 trillion TL on December 17, increased 59.8 trillion TL to 1 quadrillion 54.9 trillion TL on December 24.

[08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: - ''I THINK THAT OCALAN CANNOT DAMAGE TURKEY ANY MORE, BUT IF WE EXECUTE HIM, TURKEY CAN BE DAMAGED''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday, ''I think that Abdullah Ocalah, the head of terrorist organization PKK, cannot damage Turkey any more, but execution of his capital punishment can jeopardize Turkey's recent successes. Ocalan died in political manner. But execution can resurrect him.''

Addressing journalists at the Prime Ministry building, Ecevit said that the government would not let Turkey to experience an nurest once again.

When asked to evaluate statements of Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State, about execution of death sentence handed down on Ocalan, Ecevit noted, ''as you know, the leaders of the political parties that formed the coalition government, will convene on January 12. We will discuss the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) adjournment decision concerning Ocalan case. I hope no one will make binding speeches till January 12. This is not a matter of sovereignty. It is also not a problem related to the ECHR. We will scrutinize carefully all possibilities.''

Stressing that no one could criticize him with taking pity on Ocalan, Ecevit told reporters, ''I was a member of the government which forced Syria to expel Ocalan. I was then deputy prime minister. I gave the order to capture Ocalan in Kenya. It is out of question to approach Ocalan with a feeling of pity. Terrorists led by him, caused grave pains in Turkey. We share pains and grieves of those who lost their relatives in terrorist attacks. I think that Abdullah Ocalah, the head of terrorist organization PKK, cannot damage Turkey any more, but execution of his capital punishment can jeopardize Turkey's recent successes. Ocalan died in political manner. But execution can resurrect him once again.''

''Terrorist organization has begun to collapse after the capture of Ocalan. It is almost eradicated. We should prevent occurance of incidents that may give rise to an unrest in Turkey. As I said before, we will discuss the issue on January 12. I hope the meeting will be resulted in positive developments,'' Ecevit added.

[09] TENSION AT METRIS PRISON

ISTANBUL - Initiatives continue to quell uprising of prisoners who are members of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA/C), at Metris Prison on Friday.

A group of 64 prisoners took hostage a number of warders and Ender Meric, a lawyer.

Celil Demircioglu, the Bakirkoy Republican Chief Prosecutor, came to the Metris Prison.

Demircioglu held a meeting with the prison wardens.

Meanwhile, tight security measures have been taken in and around the prison.

A number of gendarme units, fire-fighting teams and health staff have been deployed at the prison.

Relatives of inmates who gathered outside the prison, chanted slogans to support them.

Later, they dispersed after security officials urged them to leave.

[10] NEW INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL OF ATATURK AIRPORT TO BE PUT INTO SERVICE ON JANUARY 10

ISTANBUL - New international terminal building of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul will be put into service on January 10.

The international terminal building was inaugurated on Monday by President Suleyman Demirel.

The 500,000 square-meter complex is expected to serve 14 million passengers every year.

The terminal building has the biggest multi-storey parking lot of Europe.

It also has a purification and waste disposal facilities.

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

TURKELI - Efforts continue in Kuscular village in Turkeli county of Sinop province in Black Sea region to find wreckage of the Equatorial Guinea cargo plane which was reported to crash near Goynuk Mountain on December 28.

Heavy snowfall is hampering the searches.

Volodymry Bandura, the Trade Attache of the Ukranian Embassy in Ankara, came to the region to participate in searches.

Bandura said that Ukrania would send a reconnaissance plane to join the search efforts.

[12] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: - ''I HOPE THE ATMOSPHERE OF COMPROMISE ON AMNESTY WILL START SHORTLY AFTER THE RAMADAN HOLIDAY''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday that he would sound the leaders of political parties out about the extension of term in office of President Suleyman Demirel after the Id al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit answered the questions of journalists at the Prime Ministry building.

When asked whether he received positive or negative reaction against his likely initiative for the extension of term in office of President Suleyman Demirel, Ecevit said he would first of all sound out all political parties' leaders' opinions on the issue.

''Of course, a decision that binds the political parties about election of the President actually cannot be taken. This is a secret voting. However, there must be an little amendment to the Constitution if we want to extend the term in office of Mr. Demirel. This is an issue of political decision. Thus there can be meetings with coalition partners and leaders of other political parties. Of course, I can't launch an initiative to sound them out before getting Mr. Demirel's approval. I have got his approcal. I will hold the necessary meetings with the leaders shortly after the Id al-Fitr holiday,'' he said.

When asked whether he was hopeful for an amendment to the Constitution, Ecevit said, ''at this moment, I can't say anything. However, my heartfelt wish is the extension of term in office of Mr. Demirel. Whether this term will be five years or seven years is a detail that will be discussed later.''

When asked when the issue of amnesty would brought onto the agenda, Ecevit said, ''I hope that the atmosphere of compromise on this issue will start shortly after the Ramadan holiday.''

[13] OCALAN, HEAD OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATION PKK: - ''IF THEY INSIST ON INSOLVABILITY, TRAGEDIES MAY OCCUR''

ANKARA - Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, said on Friday, ''I do not wish but if they insist on insolvability, some tragedies may occur'' regarding discussions on execution of the capital punishment handed down on him by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) no:2.

Ocalan issued a written statement through his lawyers, Mahmut Sakar, Aydin Oruc, Turkan Aslan and Ahmet Avsar.

In his statement, Ocalan claimed, ''a 200-year deadlock has come to a historical solution as a result of 11-month efforts in Turkey. It is interesting that several circles are still insisting on continuation of a skirmish atmosphere in spite of overall efforts for peaceful and democratic solution.''

''The world is heading towards peace but people are wasting their time in Turkey by discussing whether or not to execute the capital punishment. If politicians want unity, solidarity and stability, they should discuss the core of the issue at the parliament together with solution proposals. But it is understood that they are discussing whether or not to execute capital punishment instead of core of the issue. As I said before, if it contributes to solution of the problem, I am ready to die,'' Ocalan claimed.

He defended, ''I do not wish but if they insist on insolvability, some tragedies may occur. Some circles defending war put pressures. If they insist on insolvability, legal defense will develop. If peace does not come to a conclusion, it will be the greatest loss of century. I do not want to stop my execution by calls for peace. PKK can be eradicated but this will not contribute to solution of the Kurdish problem. On the other hand, PKK has not come to an end yet.''

Referring to the leaders' summit which will be held on January 12, Ocalan said, ''leaders of coalition partners will convene to discuss me. Some circles want to sabotage peace efforts and to deepen conflict.''

[14] TURKEY'S BOND ISSUE IN U.S.

ANKARA - Turkey's latest application to the U.S. Shares and Exchange Commission (SEC) for debenture bond issue was a ''routine and administrative procedure''.

Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Treasury Foreign Economic Affairs General Director Aydin Karaoz said, ''application is true but this is a routine and administrative procedure.''

Noting that the issue was actually a procedure of application and registration, Karaoz said that a similar application for two billion U.S. dollars debenture bond issue had been made in 1994, and a new application was made to the SEC as that limit was consumed.

Turkey's application does not mean that the sales will be made immediately even if the permission is obtained but the sales are expected to be realized gradually in coming period.

-<B>OLCER, LAWYER OF MEMBERS OF IBDA/C:</B> - ''UNREST IN METRIS PRISON ENDED''
ISTANBUL - Hasan Olcer, one of the lawyers of imprisoned members of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA/C), said on Friday that the unrest in the Metris Prison ended.

Addressing journalists in front of the Metris Prison, Olcer noted that prisoners released hostages after they had learned that the operation in the Bandirma Prison was over.

Meanwhile, Ender Meric, the lawyer who was taken hostage by prisoners, left the Metris Prison.

[16] ELEVEN-MONTH INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION DECREASES BY 6 PERCENT

ANKARA - The production in the industrial sector decreased by 6 percent in the first eleven months of 1999 compared to figures in the same period last year.

The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced that the production decrease in November 1999 was 3.1 percent.

The eleven-month figures for production in 1998 and 1999 are as follows:

. Difference

(percent)

-Food production -4.2

-Tobacco products 0.6

-Textiles -8.2

-Clothings -8.2

-Leather processing -10.3

-Paper products -0.2

-Publication -6.0

-Coal and oil products -3.3

-Chemicals production -3.6

-Plastic-rubber production -8.9

-Main metal industry -5.5

-Machinery &amp; equipment production -5.3

-Office machines production -60.1

-Radio, TV, communication equipment 16.4

-Motor vehicles production -26.0

-Other vehicles production -90.8

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[17] ASLITURK'S TRIAL ADJOURNED TO FEBRUARY 28

LONDON - Gulay Asliturk, the former Mayor of Sisli township of Istanbul, appeared at the court in Britian on Friday for the second time.

Nicholas Evan, the judge of the Bow Street Magistrate Court, decided to adjourn the hearing to February 28.

Asliturk was released from prison on bail after she was apprehended in London on December 21, 1999.

[18] CONTRIBUTIONS OF TSK TO PEACE

ANKARA - The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which participated in ''peace support operations'' of the United Nations (U.N.) all around the world, is advancing with sound steps in the way for being one of the top-notch powers of the world beyond being a regional force.

Turkey's contribution to the U.N.'s activities to secure peace in the world started with the Korea War in which it attended with a brigade.

The TSK which sent 15 thousand troops to Korea between 1950 and 1953 participated in six U.N. operations to secure peace in last 12 years.

In addition to the operations in Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and Northern Iraq following the Gulf War, the TSK was also assigned for four military observations one of which was regional.

The TSK's one mechanized brigade composed of 1.300 personnel is still carrying out its mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a mechanized infantry battalion mission force, three special operation teams and a psychological operation team of the TSK are still in Kosovo.

The TSK is now preparing itself to join the ''U.N. Peace Force'' with a battalion. The agreement concerning the issue will be signed in coming days.

[19] FIRST TURKISH EXPORT PRODUCTS FAIR IN ATHENS

ISTANBUL - The first Turkish export products fair will be organized in the Greek capital Athens between April 20-23.

The ''Turkish-Greek Friendship and Cooperation Fair'' will take place in the ''Peace and Friendship Stadium''.

The fair aims at further improving relations between Turkey and Greece which were accelerated by the dialogue process.

A fashion show where Cemil Ipekci's and Michael Aslanis' designs will be displayed, and several other performances will be held within framework of the fair.

The Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Culture ministries will make contributions to the fair.

Meanwhile, a press conference will be staged in Istanbul on January 13 to brief journalists on the fair.

Sarik Tara and Panayotis Koutsicos, the Co-Presidents of the Turkish-Greek Business Council, will attend the press conference.

[20] COASTAL SECURITY STARTS EMPTYING FUEL OIL FROM RUSSIAN TANKER

ISTANBUL - Coastal Security and Vessel Rescue Enterprises started to empty fuel oil from the wreckage of a Russian tanker ''Volganeft 248'' on Friday.

Volganeft 248 ran aground and split in two in heavy winds last week off- shore Florya coast in Istanbul, the bow section sank, but the stern remained afloat and was secured to the shore by cables.

Hucum Tulgar, a high-level official at the Coastal Security and Vessel Security Enterprises, told the A.A correspondent, ''we have been warming the fuel up for two days to liquify. The heat was increased to 35 celcius in the afternoon and the works to siphon off the fuel started at 12:15 local time. The fuel is pumped to other small tankers. At this moment, any leakage is out of question.''

[21] UNREST IN BANDIRMA PRISON ENDS

BANDIRMA - Prisoners who are members of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA/C) ended on Friday their two-day protest in the Bandirma Prison.

Suleyman Eren, the Balikesir Bar' Representative to Bandirma, told the A.A correspondent that the unrest in the prison ended.

Meanwhile, it was determined that prisoner who was shot dead during the unrest was Ayhan Sonmez who was sentenced to 18-year imprisonment.

The identity of the prisoner was announced earlier as Hasan Meric.

Body of Sonmez was sent to Bursa Forensic Medicine Institute for autopsy.

[22] ROBBERY IN TOPKAPI PALACE - FOUR PEOPLE DETAINED IN CONNECTION WITH ROBBERY

ISTANBUL - Police detained four people in operations launched in Istanbul, Ordu province in Black Sea region and Aydin province in Aegean region in connection with the investigation into the robbery of a holy Koran belonging to the 14th century from the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul in September 1999.

Officials will determine whether or not the Koran, which was found on the suspects, is the Koran that was stolen from the Topkapi Palace Museum.

[23] JUSTICE MINISTER TURK: ''UNREST IN METRIS PRISON WAS QUELLED''

ANKARA - Hikmet Sami Turk, the Justice Minister, said on Friday that unrest in Metris Prison in Istanbul was quelled while uprising in Bandirma Prison was about to end.

Addressing a press conference at the Justice Ministry, Turk briefed journalists on the developments in Metris and Bandirma prisons.

Turk said that the unrest in Metris Prison was quelled at about 16:00 local time, and all hostages were released by prisoners.

''Uprising in Bandirma Prison is about to end. Officials have begun to transfer 22 prisoners to prison in Eskisehir province. Several news reports claiming that prisoners were not allowed to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, were baseless and wrong. The order has been provided again in both prisons. Justice inspectors were charged to launch investigations into the incidents in Metris and Bandirma prisons,'' Turk added.

[24] PRISON UNRESTS - JUSTICE MINISTER TURK: ''DURING INTERVENTION IN THE INCIDENTS IN BANDIRMA PRISON, ONE PRISONER LOST HIS LIFE AND 10 OTHERS WERE INJURED''

ANKARA - Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said on Friday that security forces intervened in the uprising of the illegal Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA-C) member-prisoners in the Bandirma Prison, and one inmate lost his life and ten others were injured during the intervention.

Staging a press conference at the Justice Ministry building, Turk said the order was provided again in the Bandirma and Metris Prisons.

Turk said that the transfer of 22 prisoners excluding those who were injured, to the Eskisehir Maximum Security Prison started.

Turk stated that 33 prisoners who were staying in two different wards and were the members of the illegal IBDA-C organization put forward several unacceptable demands like keeping the doors of the wards open continuously.

The Justice Minister noted that those prisoners started to insist on not to be counted by prison guards on January 5; pierced the wall of the wards and passed to other wards, and took hostage 24 other inmates.

Turk said they provided the release of those 24 inmates as a result of their recommendations and inspirations but the actual resistance of those illegal IBDA-C organization member-prisoners continued.

''It was decided to transfer 35 prisoners to the Eskisehir Maximum Security Prison. On January 6, security forces threw teargas bombs to wards to warn these prisoners but the resistence continued. When all initiatives to stop the resistence failed, the security forces intervened in the uprising on January 7. During the intervention, one prisoner lost his life and ten others were injured. The prisoners who were injured were taken to hospitals. During the intervention, one officer and three privates were slightly injured,'' he said.

Noting that the incidents in Bandirma Prison spreaded to the Metris Prison in Istanbul, Turk said the illegal IBDA-C member-prisoners in Metris Prison took hostage early on Friday a lawyer and 17 prison guards to support the resistence in the Bandirma Prison.

Turk added that the revolt in Metris Prison was quelled at about 16:00 local time the same day, and the hostages were released.

''Justice inspectors were charged to launch investigations into the incidents in Metris and Bandirma prisons,'' he said.

A.A


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