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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-08

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

08 January 2000 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 8, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

DEATH PENALTY TO BE ABOLISHED
Following the Civil Code, Turkey which is entering the 2000's as a EU candidate is also changing its Penal Code. A commission of 21 people supervised by Prof. Sulhi Donmezer from the Justice Ministry will make a ''EU retouch'' on Turkish Penal Code. The commission will start working on January 17 to make adjustments in the law according to EU criteria. Later, the draft law will be sent to the Parliament. The draft law suggests replacing death penalty with ''heavy life time imprisonment''. If the draft law passes from the Parliament, Ocalan will not be executed.

PKK TO CHANGE ITS NAME
The terrorist organization PKK which suffered a heavy blow after the capture of their chief, Abdullah Ocalan is planning to change its name in order to be accepted as a legal party. Intelligence units said that the so called seventh congress of PKK is continuing in Iranian side at Kandil Mountain between Iran and Iraq. During the congress, there was a big competition between Osman Ocalan who defended politicization of PKK and Cemil Biyik who insisted on armed struggle. There is a general tendency to support Osman Ocalan in the organization. Below are the main points of the socalled congress decisions:

-Turkey will not be considered as an enemy.

-The present military strategy will be abondoned and a democratic republic will be formed through peace and democratic methods.

-PKK's name should be changed so that PKK can be accepted by Turkey as a legal party. Cultural institutions supporting the party should be formed.

-Education in Kurdish language at schools should start.

-Abdullah Ocalan should not be executed.

-A general amnesty should be issued for all PKK members.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TURKISH INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION (MIT):''BE CAREFUL WITH
DEATH PENALTY''
Turkish Intelligence Organization (MIT) presented a report to Presidency, National Security Council and Prime Ministry. ''Holding Ocalan under control like this keeps PKK passive and such organizations split up and end because of staying passive. Ocalan's execution might revive the organization,'' the report said.

MHP LEADER BAHCELI:''JUSTICE CANNOT BE ADJUSTED FOR OCALAN''
Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) reacted harshly to efforts trying to abolish death penalty. ''A crime cannot remain unpunished. Those who put Ocalan's execution and Turkey's EU membership in one cup are wrong. We must not forget that human rights are for humans not for murderers who turned Turkey into a sea of blood,'' Bahceli said.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

MONEY FOR QUAKE SPENT ON JACUZZI
Yalova Governor spent 75 billion liras he took to repair his governor office on jacuzzi and furniture. In fact the governor's office in Yalova was not damaged by the quake that devastated Marmara region on August 17.

ASLITURK AT COURT
Gulay Asliturk, the former Mayor of Sisli township of Istanbul, appeared at the court in Britain on Friday for the second time. Nicholas Evan, the judge of the Bow Street Magistrate Court, decided to adjourn the hearing to February 28. Aslıturk's father and husband promised the court to pay the bail.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

ECEVIT'S CONFESSION
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that one prisoner died in Bandırma prison, adding ''unfortunately there is no sufficient inspection in prisons.'' Ecevit added that they took important decisions and signed a protocol to provide security in prisons.

ECEVIT'S BARGAINING ON DEMIREL
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has to persuade his own group and partners about the extension of the term in office of President Suleyman Demirel. Ecevit said that ''I hope his term in office can be extended for another term. This term will be discussed, it can either be five or seven years.'' However one of the partners of the coalition namely MHP is opposed to Demirel's election of a president for another term.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

BAHCELI ESCALATES CRISIS
The debate on Ocalan's death penalty started to harden. Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Deputy Prime Minister criticized those who want the postponement of the death sentence given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK. Bahceli claimed thet the delay will make ineffective the verdict of the court. Meanwhile Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit wanted the party leaders not to make speeches that bind them before the leaders summit that will take place on January 12.

IBDA-C IN ACTION
A prisoner died in the operation of the security forces to stop the uprise that started in Bandırma Prison by the members of the illegal fundamentalist organization IBDA-C on Wednesday. 17 prison guards and one lawyer were taken as hostages in Metris prison of Istanbul by IBDA-C members to extend support to the revolt in Bandırma prison. Their uprise ended without ''any incident.''

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

INTEREST RATES TO DROP EVEN FURTHER
Carlo Cottarelli, the head of Turkey Desk of IMF who is visiting Turkey as the guest of the Banks Union said he was pleased about the dropping interest rates in Turkey. After meeting with Cottarelli, State Minister Tunca Toskay told reporters that he exchanged opinions with Cottarelli about public financing balance and balancing of export and taking some measures about developing Turkey's export. Toskay noted that they expected a further drop in the interest rates. Eximbank, parallel to this development pulled down its interest rates.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

PRESIDENT DEMIREL:WE WANT PEACE, FRATERNITY AND UNITY
Issuing a message upon the religious Ramadan holiday (Eid El-Fitr), President Suleyman Demirel said that ''there is such a Turkey of which everybody is proud in the beginning of the 21st century.'' Demirel called the citizens to protect the tranquillity and peace more meticulously.

MINIMUM LIVING STANDART:441 MILLION
According to the research carried out by the Public Employees' Labour Union (Kamu-Sen) the minimum living standart for a four-member family in Turkey has reached 441 million Turkish liras in December.

[03] AFTERSHOCKS CONTINUE

ISTANBUL - Aftershocks continue following the major earthquakes that shook Marmara region on August 17 and Duzce township of Bolu on November 12.

Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Seismology Centre recorded four aftershocks measuring between 2.8 and 3.2 on the Richter scale in Marmara region and in Bolu province starting from Friday morning.

Meanwhile a slight tremor shook Northern Aegean at 11.36 local time on Friday measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale.

[04] IBDA-C PRISONERS TRANSFERRED FROM BANDIRMA TO ESKISEHIR PRISON

ESKISEHIR - A total of 26 prisoners who are members of the illegal fundamentalist organization Islamic Great Eastern Raiders-Front (IBDA/C) and who revolted on Friday, were put in Eskisehir prison on Saturday.

The prisoners were brought to central Eskisehir province early on Saturday under tight security measures.

[05] BANKING IN TRNC

LEFKOSA - Mehmet Bayram, the Economy and Finance Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Saturday that the recent developments in banking sector were a good experience and added that they would soon pass a banking law compatible with EU norms.

Bayram told A.A that they prepared the banking law a long time ago which will bring an advanced banking system to TRNC. He also said that they would work to update the Central Bank law and would greatly benefit from Turkey's experiences during the process.

The government seized control of the banks which had weak financial structure and they gave extra time to Cyprus Yurtbank and Everestbank to recover their financial situation, Bayram explained.

Studies continue on the banks whose activitites were stopped and these into depth inspections will have important results, he noted.

The crises experienced in the banking system was a result of the bank operation in Turkey during which five banks were transferred to the Savings Deposit Fund. One of these five banks shared the same name with a bank in TRNC which caused worries among people. People who were concerned about their savings rushed to this bank to withdraw their money which weakened the bank's financial situation, he explained.

He said that TRNC was a small place and other banks were also affected by the situation. They gave time to Yurtbank to recover its financial situation until January 12 and to Everestbank until January 19, he said.

Speaking about the money transfer from Turkey to TRNC, Bayram stressed that the money transfer was legal. The 200 million U.S. dollars demanded from Turkey caused wrong comments, he noted and said this was done to increase the intervention power of the TRNC Central Bank.

[06] TOTAL OF 320 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAUGHT IN EDIRNE LAST WEEK

EDIRNE - A total of 320 illegal immigrants including one Turk were caught while trying to enter Greece from Edirne last week.

The immigrants who were Iranian, South African, Bangladeshi, Afghan, Indian, Tunisian, Palestinian and Pakistani were caught in Edirne's Ipsala, Meric and Uzunkopru townships.

Hasan Akbas, the Turkish citizen who was also caught by security forces at Pazarkule border gate said he was from Duzce. Akbas said his financial situation worsened after his house collapsed during the quake and he decided to go to Europe through Greece to earn money. Akbas was sent to Republic Prosecutors Office while other immigrants were sent to Edirne Security Directorate's Foreigners Department to be extradited.

[07] LITHUANIAN FLAGGED CARGO SHIP RUNS AGROUND AT CANAKKALE STRAIT

CANAKKALE - A Lithuanian flagged cargo ship, Agitre ran aground at Canakkale Strait on Friday.

The ship which was going from Denmark to Batumi in Georgia is loaded with 5, 000 tons of sugar. The ship's crew are trying to rescue the ship by their own efforts and did not ask for assistance from Turkish authorities.

[08] 15 PEOPLE INJURED WHEN TWO PASSENGER BUSES COLLIDE

KARACABEY - Fifteen people were slightly injured when two passenger buses collided at Bursa-Izmir highway on Friday.

The passengers were treated at Karacabey State Hospital and later were sent to their destination by other buses.

[09] PRESIDENT DEMIREL SENDS LETTERS TO YELTSIN AND PUTIN SEPARATELY

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel sent letters to Boris Yeltsin, the former Russian President and Vladimir Putin, Acting Russian President separately on Saturday.

Demirel said in his letter to Putin that ''the installation of peace and tranquility for which peoples living in Northern Caucasus long, as soon as possible by peaceful and political methods, will be beneficial for Russia and create basis for the birth of new cooperation possibilities.''

In his letter to Yeltsin, Demirel said that the democratic geography reached its largest borders by the vision and determination of Yeltsin, adding the number of people living under democracies surpassed the number of those living under tyrannies for the first time in the world.

Demirel said that Yelstin came to power by being elected, he undertook an historical mission to install pluralist democracy based on human rights, free market economy and supremacy of law in Russia and recorded many successes to these ends.

''I believe that the valuable contributions you made to our cooperation and improvement of our relations have played an important role in the existing bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia. The Agreement on the Basis of Relations signed by two of us on May 25, 1992 in Moscow between Turkey and Russia constituted a new and meaningful turning point in the history of our countries. Turkey attributes great importance to further improvement of its relations and cooperation with the Russian Federation and work together for the prosperity and stability of Eurasia,'' Demirel said in his letter to Yeltsin.

President Demirel also congratulated Vladimir Putin, the Acting Russian President in his letter to Putin and said ''I believe that the historical Turkish-Russian relations will further improve in the new period based on reciprocal interests and respect.''

[10] PRIME MINISTRY SENDS NOTICES TO PARLIAMENT TO LIFT IMMUNITY OF SIX DEPUTIES

ANKARA - Prime Ministry sent notices to Parliament Speaker's Office to lift the immunity of six deputies on Saturday which increased the number of immunity files waiting at the Parliament to 105.

38 out of these 105 files are at Constitution and Justice Joint Commission. The Commission's reports prepared about 68 files are waiting to be printed.

The Joint Commission, during a meeting held last year, decided to lift the immunities of Mustafa Bayram, an independent deputy from Van; Sedat Edip Bucak from the True Path Party (DYP) and Aydin Ayaydin from the Motherland Party (ANAP). The Commission had postponed discussing other deputies' files to a later date.

[11] CHAIRMAN OF SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS SELCUK GOES TO TRNC

LEFKOSA - Sami Selcuk, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Appeals went to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Friday as the guest of TRNC President Rauf Denktas.

Selcuk and his delegation were received by Denktas, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Parliament Speaker Ertugrul Hasipoglu.

Denktas said during the meeting that Turkish Cypriots fought for democracy and supremecy of law. Hasipoglu noted that despite all democratic and legal rules, the TRNC is not recognized by the international community. ''This is the shame of the world, not ours,'' he said.

Selcuk said TRNC was a small country but an example to the world. He stressed that legislation, execution and justice were all equal in TRNC which is an indication of law's supremecy.

[12] INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN ENERGY

GAZIANTEP - Muzaffer Selvi, the General Director of Turkey Electricity Production-Transfer Co. (TEAS) said on Saturday that works continued regarding the interconnection of 400 kilowatt of electric system and energy exchange among Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

The results of feasibility works carried out in the framework of the agreement signed on January 17, 1989, showed that the energy reinforcements increased the energy transfer capacity of countries and caused a drop in the investments to build power plants, Selvi said in a written statement.

The total cost of investments of the interconnections will be 590 million U.S. dollars. Annually, 50 million U.S. dollars will be saved from the management expenses, he explained.

The interconnection line between Egypt and Jordan was built by the Turkish firm STFA and it opened in 1998.

Ilisu-Cizre electricity transfer lines which will be built by Turkey as a part of Cizre-Kesek 400 kilowatt electricity connection between Turkey and Iraq will cost 10.97 million U.S. dollars.

[13] EARTHQUAKE IN CYPRUS

LEFKOSA - An earthquake shook Cyprus on Friday night measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale.

Halil Goymen, the director of Metereology Department of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Saturday that the epicenter of the quake, which took place at 23.11 local time last night, was southwest Cyprus.

[14] STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''OUR GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CONSIDER APPROPRIATE AN IMF OFFICE IN TURKEY FOR THE MOMENT''

BURSA - State Minister Recep Onal said on Saturday that the governent does not consider appropriate the opening of an office of IMF in Turkey for the moment.

Responding to questions of journalists, Onal said that he does not believe such an IMF office in Turkey will have concrete results.

Onal said that the repercussions of the increase in the prices of goods made in the last 10 days can be seen in January and February, adding they don't aim at decreasing the inflation to a specific level immediately.

This is a flexible programme and the prices can increase and decrease, said Onal and added that ''our target of inflation for the end of the year is 25 percent, for the end of 2001 is 10 percent and for the end of 2002 is 5-6 percent. We will abide by this programme.''

This programme is supported by the private sector and citizens, he added.

[15] DEMIREL: ''TOMORROW WILL BE BRIGHTER THAN TODAY''

IZMIR - On the occasion of Ramadan holiday, President Suleyman Demirel, told an Izmir newspaper, that Turkey, despite the difficulties it went through since its foundation, is living its most powerful period and noted that the world's conditions were also in favour of Turkey.

''Tomorrow will be brighter and better than today,'' Demirel said.

''We left behind 1999 with both its sorrows and joys and entered the new millenium. The pain of the earthquake is still in our hearts. Despite all these conditions, the life continues and our people did not lose faith in the future,'' Demirel went on to say. He also stressed that termination of separatist terrorism which Turkey was exposed in the last 15 years was a great step for Turkey.

Ecevit also celebrated the Ramadan holiday of all Muslims in the world and said the Ramadan holiday was a symbol of love, social solidarity and peace.

Turkey's determined steps towards economic and social development is making Turkey a more powerful and prosperous country, Ecevit said.

[16] TURKISH CYPRIOTS TO VISIT HALA SULTAN TOMB ON SUNDAY

LEFKOSA - Turkish Cypriots will visit Hala Sultan tomb in Larnaka city of the Greek Cypriot side on Sunday due to Ramadan holiday.

A total of 1631 persons who applied to visit the tomb, will enter the Greek Cypriot side from Ledra Palace border gate and leave for Larnaka city by buses.

After praying in the tomb, they will return to TRNC in the evening.

[17] ARRIVAL OF UKRANIAN PATROLLING PLANE POSTPONED TO TUESDAY

SAMSUN - The efforts to find the wreckage of

Antonov 28 which fell down around Goynuk Mountain yielded no results and the arrival of the Ukranian patrolling plane which was scheduled to come to Turkey on Saturday to join the efforts was postponed to January 11, Tuesday.

The area between the Black Sea city Sinop's Turkeli township and Kastamonu's Catalzeytin township was scanned but no traces of the plane was found so far.

Authorities from the Ukranian Embassy said the arrival of the Ukranian patrolling plane which was scheduled to join the rescue efforts on Saturday was postponed to January 11. Volodymyr Bandura from the Ukranian Embassy said the plane will start scanning the area on Tuesday.

Sergiu Stelyuk, the Press Attachee of the Ukranian Embassy told A.A that the plane will continue scanning the area until it comes across the wreckage. Stelyuk also said the plane did not have any cargo and was used for sportive purposes during the crash.

''The pilot of the plane flew for 18 years in northern regions under very tough conditions. He has enough experience to make a landing on the sea or land. We want to continue our efforts until we find any information about the crash,'' he said.

Antonov 28 plane of the Equatorial Guinea Airports which fell around Inebolu on December 29 was on its way to Tehran and had 6 personnel on board.

[18] AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT ALIYEV TO ARRIVE IN ANKARA ON SUNDAY

BAKU - Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev will come to Ankara on Sunday as President Suleyman Demirel's guest.

Azerbaijani Presidency Press Center said Aliyev will stay for two days in Ankara. The purpose of Aliyev's visit was not explained.

A newspaper published in Azerbaijan wrote that Aliyev, during his visit, will discuss Baku-Ceyhan Pipe Line Project as well as bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

[19] EXPORTS IN AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR INCREASE BY 40 PERCENT

BURSA - The exports in Turkish automotive industry boomed in 1999 and increased by 40 percent compared to 1998.

The export of automobiles increased by four folds in 1999 and the favourite car has been Renault's ''Megane Wagon.''

The exports of automotive and by-industry increased by 40.2 percent in 1999 when compared to the one in 1998 and reached 2,48 billion dollars from 1,77 billion dollars.

Nearly half of the exports has been the by-industry goods composed of various spares. The exports of automobiles boomed in 1999. It was 137.3 million dollars in 1998, it rose dramatically by 418.6 percent in 1999 and increased to 712 million dollars.

[20] ITALIAN FM DINI:''WE WISH TURKEY TO JOIN EU''

ISTANBUL, Jan 8 (A.A) - Lamberto Dini, the Italian Foreign Minister said on Saturday that they wish Turkey to join the European Union (EU).

Coming to Istanbul secretly with his wife to spend two days, Dini returned to Italy the same day.

Responding to questions of journalists at the Ataturk Airport, Dini said that they decided to spend their two-day holiday in Istanbul.

Noting that their visit to Istanbul is totally private, Dini said that Turkey is a closed book for Italy.

''When Turkey joins the EU, she will explain herself better there,'' Dini pointed out and added that the media should cover news that will develop Turkish-Italian relations.

[21] ENERGY MINISTER ERSUMER SAYS TURKEY GREATLY NEEDS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

CANAKKALE - Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Cumhur Ersumer said ''Turkey greatly needed nuclear energy power plants and people who talk for or against it did not have adequate information.''

''Turkey is taking very important decisions concerning its future. Economic measures are targeting to bring a relief to our people. We are making plans to avoid troubles in economy and energy in Turkey. Today, most of the world is obtaining its energy from nuclear power plants. I believe that everybody should be informed about nuclear plants to reach a consensus,'' he stated.

Ersumer also noted that the price increases in electricity and fuel oil will be kept at minimum in order not to negatively affect the targeted inflation rate. ''The government, ministries, producers and people must fulfill their taks in order to reach the economical targets,'' Ersumer stressed.

[22] JOURNALIST GOKTEPE COMMEMORATED

ISTANBUL - Metin Goktepe, a journalist of the Evrensel newspaper was commemorated in the 4th aniversarry of his death on Saturday.

A group of 200 persons who visited the grave of Goktepe opened banners and shouted slogans.

The police didn't intervene with the group which later dispersed.

Goktepe is believed to die under police custody.

[23] EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO CLEAN OIL SPILLING FROM RUSSIAN TANKER

ISTANBUL - Efforts are underway both in the sea and land to clean the fuel oil that spill from the Russian flagged tanker ''Volganeft 248'' which ran aground in Menekse coast of Florya, Istanbul on December 29 due to strong wind and which was later split into two.

Erkan Arıkan, the Deputy Director General of Coast Guard and Salvage Enterprises told A.A on Saturday that efforts of extracting oil from the tanker continue and the fuel oil has been transferred to Ambarlı by small ships.

''Omur Marin Firm has transferred 215 tons of oil from the tanker to another ship so far,'' said Arıkan and stressed that no oil spill to the sea at the moment.

Dozens of environmental workers clean the sticky, black oil from kilometers of beaches on the southern European shore of Istanbul. Veterinarians visited the site to try to save sea birds whose feathers had been coated with the oil.

A.A


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