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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-14

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

14 January 2000 Friday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 14, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

18 MINUTES WHICH SOLVED CRISIS
Nearly the crisis reached the weak spot. The crisis was solved by 18-minute tete-a-tete meeting held between Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister. At the most critical moment of the leaders' summit, Bahceli proceeded to his own room. A short time later, one of his aides came to his room and said that Yilmaz wanted to meet with him. Bahceli told Yilmaz that it was impossible for them to accept the postponement of the execution of the death penalty given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, under those conditions. Bahceli said, ''if you wish, we can resign from the government and extend you external support.'' Yilmaz was shocked by these words because the government was nearly to end. Yilmaz said, ''it will be a historical mistake if we hang him. We have a very good opportunity in front of us. This opportunity can come only in every 400 years. So, let's not miss this opportunity.'' Later, Bahceli made a surprise and said that they could abolish capital punishment except the death penalty foreseen by the Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. But, this was the article which brings Ocalan to the gallows. Later, the leaders started to discuss ''last paragraph formula'' which would satisfy Bahceli.

LAST STROKE
Another stroke hit Jet-Pa. This stroke came from Germany. Frankfurt Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into the Jet-Pa Holding on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. The Frankfurt Chief Prosecutor's Office requested support from Turkey for the Jet-Pa case. The Interpol submitted the files related with the Jet-Pa to the Frankfurt Chief Prosecutor's Office.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

COTTARELLI TO VISIT TURKEY FOR SUPERVISION
Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of Turkey Desk of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will visit Turkey in the second week of February 2000. Officialssaid that the IMF delegation headed by Cottarelli will observe the prior implementations which should be fulfilled within the framework of the Stand-By Agreement. The IMF delegation will inform the IMF Executive Board about its impressions in Turkey when it returns to Washington D.C.; the officials noted. The IMF officials added that in case the Board approves the developments marked in Turkey, the IMF will release the other part of the loan which is worth of 305 million U.S. dollars.

JCR BE TO INCREASE TURKEY'S RATING
Japanese rating organization JCR will visit Turkey the following week. Turkey's rating is expected to change following this visit. The JCR officials which closely follow the economic developments in Turkey, will receive information about Turkey's program which has started to be implemented.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

HE WAS A PRISONER BUT NOW HE IS A HOSTAGE
Now, Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, is afraid of PKK. If the rebellious terrorists continue to stage terrorist actions, then the path to capital punishment will be become short. Since his apprehension, Ocalan has been telling PKK to lay down arms. However, still some rebellious terrorists do not obey this call. These rebellious terrorists still continue to lay ambush and kill our soldiers. Now, Ocalan is afraid of these rebellious terrorists. The leadership struggle in the terrorist organization is also the other thing which makes Ocalan even more scared.

STOCK EXCHANGE REACHES QUADRILLION
The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) reached its peak in four hours due to the positive atmosphere which occured following the leaders' summit. The message saying, ''the compromise among the parties continues'' increased the IMKB seven percent. A total of one quadrillion Turkish lira transactions were held at the IMKB in just four hours. The transaction volume climbed to two billion U.S. dollars.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

REALISTIC DECISION
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the decision to put Ocalan file on hold in Prime Ministry was realistic and reasonable. ''The understanding of compromise is getting settled. With this decision, we fulfilled our international commitments but we did not give in,'' he said. Noting that also the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was not in favor of collapse of the coalition government, Ecevit said a working group would be established in coming days to eradicate terrorism.

OCALAN STIRS UP TROUBLE IN MHP
The decision to put Ocalan's execution file on hold in Prime Ministry stirred up trouble in the MHP. MHP organizations and members sent protest letters to the MHP Headquarters, and MHP deputies were very angry with the decision. State Minister Abdulhaluk Cay said the decision meant a concession from the state's sovereignty rights, stressing, ''it is impossible for the MHP to digest this decision.''

HEZBOLLAH HAS FOUR THOUSAND ARMED TERRORISTS
The final statement of last year's summit meeting of security officials of 12 provinces said Iranian's support to fundamentalist terrorist Hezbollah organization still continued. The report said almost 20 thousand Hezbollah terrorists spreaded throughout Turkey, stressing that 4 thousand of those terrorists and triggers were armed.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

PRESIDENT DEMIREL: ''RIGHT DECISION''
President Suleyman Demirel said that the decision of the government regarding the case of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, relieved the country. Demirel called everyone to contribute to peace. Demirel said, ''we should think of unity rather than separation.'' Demirel added that however, the parliament will say the last word for Ocalan case.

FIRST TURKISH FAIR IN GREECE
Turkish goods will be exhibited in the first Turkish fair which will be opened in Athens. The fair targets at the improvement of the Turkish-Greek relations. The Turkish Export Products Fair which will be held in Athens between April 20 and 23, 2000, also aims at contributing to the economic relations between two countries.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

GRUDGE DOES NOT SUIT STATE
Noting that the government relieved the country, President Suleyman Demirel said, ''after you've blown your stack and gotten rid of your anger, you feel quite good. However, grudge does not suit the state. I recommend people not to be incited by provocations. There was nothing lost.''

POWER IS CALM, OPPOSITION REACTS
The opposition parties True Path Party (DYP) and Virtue Party (FP) reacted to the government's decision about Ocalan's execution file. Both parties say, ''the legal process should continue and the file should be sent to the Parliament'' while the power stresses the importance of stability.

EU: ''DECISION IS TRUE''
Concerning the government's decision about Ocalan file, the EU Commission Spokesman said, ''it was a true decision. This was a good news for us.''

PRESIDENT DUE TO GEORGIA
President Suleyman Demirel will leave for Georgia today to pay a two-day official visit as the guest of his Georgian counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze.

THEY TRY TO SET THEMSELVES ABLAZE
The relatives of martyrs, who gathered in the Edirnekapi Martyrdom yesterday, cried their anger while three of them tried to set themselves ablaze to protest the government's decision about Ocalan's file.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

NEW TACTIC OF GREEK CYPRIOTS
During Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's latest visit to the Greek Cypriot side, it was decided to submit a proposal to the European Union (EU) for the transfer of Maras, which is territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), to the EU administration with the aim of providing EU's more active intervention in the Cyprus issue. The proposal will be submitted to the EU by Papandreou. Papandreou will bring the new strategy of Greece and Greek Cypriot side to EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana at the end of this month. In accordance with this strategy, the EU will be asked to participate in the multi-national force to be deployed on Cyprus. The EU will be asked to take Cyprus under close monitoring and to participate in bi-communal talks in accordance with its criteria.

BE CAREFUL AGAINST PROVOCATIONS
Relatives of martyrs reacted to the decision to put Ocalan file on hold in Prime Ministry till the final decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Ankara is now preparing itself to boldly oppose the protests of relatives of martyrs and activities of small terrorist groups. President Suleyman Demirel, who supported the government's decision by saying, ''the country has been relieved'', called people to stay away from feelings of anger and grudge. Warning people against provocations, Demirel said, ''we don't have to think about separation but we have to think about unity. We have to carry out activities that will serve for the unity.''

[03] BANKS CONTINUE TO DECREASE INTEREST RATES

ANKARA - Ziraat Bank and Halkbank reduced their interest rates on Turkish Lira (TL) deposits by 5-7 points.

Ziraat Bank and Halkbank said the one-month maturity TL deposit interest rate would be 37 percent; three-month maturity TL deposit interest rate would be 36 percent; six-month and one-year maturity TL deposit interest rate would be 35 percent.

They said those interest rates would be valid as of January 14.

The interest rate of both banks for one-month TL deposit was earlier 42 percent; 41 percent for three-month TL deposit; 40 percent for six-month TL deposit; and 42 perent for one-year TL deposit.

[04] GAMA TO CONSTRUCT POWER PLANT IN GREECE

ANKARA - A consortium including Gama, a leading Turkish company, will construct a natural gas energy power plant in Greece.

Officials at Gama told the A.A correspondent that the 400-600 megawatt natural gas power plant would be built by the consortium formed by Gama (Turkey), Enelco-Enel (Italy), Copelouzos (Greece), and Exxwon Power (U.S.)

Prometheus Gas (A Greek-Greek Cypriot joint venture) will supply the fuel to the power plant which will use the extra of natural gas that Greece purchases from Russia.

Gama and Enelco undertook the construction of the power plant which aimed at giving energy to Greek network, connecting Turkey to European network via Greece and Italy, supplying additional energy that may be required by Turkey and selling electricity to European and Balkan countries.

[05] TOTAL DEPOSITS AT BANKS INCREASE BY 107.6 PERCENT IN 1999

ANKARA - The total deposits at banks increased by 107.6 percent in 1999.

The Central Bank data shows that the total deposit which was 20 quadrillion 773.4 trillion TL on December 25, 1998, increased 22 quadrillion 342.5 trillion TL to 43 quadrillion 115.9 trillion TL on December 30, 1999.

When the inter-banks deposits are not considered, the total deposit, which was 19 quadrillion 448.8 trillion TL at the end of 1998, increased 20 quadrillion 445 trillion TL to 39 quadrillion 893.8 trillion TL at the end of 1999.

The total TL deposit increased 11 quadrillion 106.4 trillion TL to 21 quadrillion 499.7 trillion TL on December 30, 1999. The total TL deposit was 10 quadrillion 393.3 trillion at the end of 1998.

As of December 30, 1999, the total TL deposit was composed of 14 quadrillion 229.2 trillion TL deposits at public banks, 7 quadrillion 20.1 trillion TL of deposits at private deposit banks and 107.2 trillion TL of deposits at foreign banks.

The foreign exchange accounts at banks increased 9 quadrillion 338.5 trillion TL to 18 quadrillion 394.1 trillion TL on December 30, 1999.

[06] BANK CREDITS VOLUME INCREASES BY 55.9 PERCENT IN 1999

ANKARA - The banks credits volume increased by 55.9 percent in 1999.

The total credit volume at banks which was 12 quadrillion 399.2 trillion TL at the end of 1998, increased 6 quadrillion 936.7 trillion TL to 19 quadrillion 335.9 trillion TL at the end of 1999.

The Central Bank data shows that the total credits in the system was composed of 1 quadrillion 115.2 trillion TL of loans given to financial sector and 18 quadrillion 220.8 trillion TL of loans given to non-financial sector as of December 30, 1999.

The credits given to financial sector were composed of 576.3 trillion TL of loans given by deposit banks, 531.1 trillion TL of loans given by development and investment banks and 7.7 trillion TL of loans given by the Central Bank.

[07] NUMBER OF PRIVATE HOSPITALS INCREASES

ISTANBUL - The number of private hospitals in Turkey increased due to the insufficient public health services and the high amount of expenditures.

The number of private hospitals in Turkey has increased from 83 to 260 since 1981.

The Health Ministry indicated that Istanbul is in the first place with its 132 private hospitals.

Ankara follows Istanbul with 15 private hospitals while Izmir is ranked third with 14 private hospitals.

There are private hospitals in 41 of the 81 cities in Turkey.

The private hospitals have nearly 14,000 beds, equivalent to 8.6 percent of total beds in all hospitays in Turkey.

[08] FM:''THE CYPRUS QUESTION HAS BEEN TURNED INTO A PROBLEM FOR THE EU DESPITE ALL OUR WARNINGS''

ANKARA - The Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the Cyprus question has been turned into a problem for the European Union (EU) despite all Turkey's warnings.

Following the statements that George Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister made in the Greek Cypriot side; the Foreign Ministry noted that Cyprus is not a problem which concerns the EU but the EU converts this issue into a problem despite all warnings.

The Foreign Ministry said, ''Cyprus question will not be a problem for the EU when the two sides on the island reach a compromise and the EU membership is taken into consideration in the light of this reality.'

The statement noted that a compromise based on negotiations, agreements is needed and it has to be accepted by the two sides on Cyprus. ''The two equal peoples on the island and two equal sovereign states which represent them can only do that,'' the statement noted.

The U.N. Secretary General, not the EU has the mission to search for a solution to the Cyprus question, noted the statement and added that the ''mechanisms of solution efforts are negotiations in which the two sides participate on the basis of equality and within the framework of the good will of the U.N. Secretary General.''

The approach saying that ''the EU will participate in the search for a solution to the Cyprus question,'' or the ''problem will be solved within the framework of the relations of the EU with Turkey'' are baseless and incorrect.

''Everybody knows the Helsinki decisions and the views of Turkey about the part of Helsinki decisions about the Cyprus problem. Claims such as 'occupation' or 'fake state' are approaches which contradict with both historical, legal and current realities. Opening the way to solution in Cyprus are directly related with giving up these claims.''

Papandreou had claimed that the ''Cyprus question was at the agenda of the negotiations between Turkey and the European Union (EU).''

Papandreou also had alleged that the Cyprus question was at the agenda of the EU countries as an issue that must be solved after the recognition of Turkey's candidacy to the EU.

[09] REPO TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS INCREASE BY 1.8 QUADRILLION TL IN 1999

ANKARA - The repo transactions between banks and their customers increased by 1 quadrillion 825.1 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) in 1999.

The Central Bank data show that the repo transactions, which were 2 quadrillion 254.7 trillion TL at the end of 1998, increased to 4 quadrillion 79.8 trillion TL on December 30, 1999.

The reverse repo transactions, which were 37 trillion TL at the end of 1998, climbed 136.6 trillion TL to 173.6 trillion TL on December 30, 1999.

The repo transactions among the financial organizations rose 1 quadrillion 523.9 trillion TL to 2 quadrillion 329.9 trillion TL on December 30, 1999. The total repo transactions amount was 806 trillion TL on December 31, 1998.

The reverse repo transactions among the financial organizations, which were 535.7 trillion TL at the end of 1998, increased 1 quadrillion 14.7 trillion TL to 1 quadrillion 550.4 trillion TL at the end of 1999.

[10] PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS TO BE EXHIBITED IN ADANA

ADANA - The photographs taken by Rauf Denktas, the President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), will be exhibited in southern Adana province.

The photo show titled ''The Light Coming Out of the TRNC'' will start to be displayed in Adana on Saturday within the framework of the Gold Cocoon Culture and Arts Festival.

The show will reflect the historical and natural beauties of the TRNC by the photographs taken by Denktas.

The photographs of Gazi Yuksel, a photographer from TRNC, will also be included in the transparent show.

The show which will be held with the contributions of Adana Amateur Photographers Association (AFAD), will be open until February 5, 2000.

[11] GERMAN RED CROSS TO CONSTRUCT A HOSPITAL IN BOLU

BOLU - German Red Cross Organization will erect a prefabricated hospital on car park area near Izzet Baysal State Hospital in Bolu which suffered serious damage in the strong quake on November 12, 1999.

Izzet Baysal State Hospital is now giving service only in policlinic and emergency rooms.

German Red Cross Organization President Seamus Dunne said the prefabricated hospital would cost 4 million German marks and it has 100 beds.

Dunne said the infrastructural works would start on January 18, and the construction of the hospital on a 2,200 square meter area would be concluded within 8-10 weeks.

[12] OCALAN, THE HEAD OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATION: ''I AM NOT SEPARATIST, I BACKED AWAY FROM THE HISTORICAL MISTAKE THAT WAS DONE IN THE PAST''

ANKARA - Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, issued a written statement on Friday carried to public opinion by his lawyers and said that he was not a separatist and he backed away from the historical mistake that was done in the past.

Evaluating the decision of the government to delay his execution, Ocalan said that ''I was afraid because the future of the country could be lost by taking a wrong decision. The sides should not take this as a defeat or victory.'' Instead, he said, everbody should work seriously toward peace and democracy. ''The point that has been reached is a new start,'' he said.

''This process should not be manipulated. It is important to understand well the period after the leaders summit. Turkey needs reforms within the framework of this summit decision and to abide by the European Union (EU), '' claimed Ocalan.

Ocalan added that legal regulations are needed for an entire peace, claiming ''we need an amnesty for internal peace.''

[13] PRESIDENT DEMIREL LEAVES FOR GEORGIA

ANKARA - President Suleyman Demirel left for Georgia on Friday as an official guest of Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze.

Issuing a statement at Esenboga airport before leaving for Georgia for a two-day official visit, President Demirel said that he will be accompanied by Cumhur Ersumer, Deputy Prime Minster and Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydın, deputies, high ranking officials and businessmen.

''We will exchange views with Schevardnadze particularly about the developments in Northern and Southern Caucasus, regional and international issues and we will also search for solutions for peace in the region and for further improvement of our bilateral relations. In this framework my visit to Georgia will stress the special importance Turkey attributes to Georgian territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity. We will also have the opporutnity to evaluate Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Natural Gas Pipe Line via Caspian Sea and Kars-Tbilisi railway,'' Demirel said.

''I will also meet with Georgian Premier Muadili, State Minister Lortkipanidze and Georgian Parliament Speaker Zhvania. I will address the Turkish-Georgian business meeting together with Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze. I believe that my visit to Georgia will further improve bilateral relations and contriubte to peace and prosperity of Caucasus,'' he said.

[14] IMKB FIRST SESSION - NATIONAL-100 INDEX RISES TO 18,990.27 WITH AN INCREASE OF 852.07 POINTS

ISTANBUL - The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) National-100 Index in Friday's first session increased 852.07 points to 18,990.27 and shares gained 4.70 in value compared with prices at the close of Thursday's second session.

At the close of the first session, the financial index increased 1,117.90 points to 24,939.94, the industrial index rose 700.19 points to 13,818.79, and the services index climbed 604.57 points to 19,639.31.

The financial shares gained 4.69 percent in value, the industrial shares gained 5.34 percent in value, the services shares gained 3.18 percent in value while compared with previous second session close.

A total of 254 of the 272 shares gained in value, 8 shares lost in value while the prices of 10 shares didn't change.

The trading volume in the morning session was 510.1 trillion Turkish Liras.

[15] UKRAINE TO SEND A PATROLLING PLANE TO TURKEY TO SEARCH FOR WRECKAGE OF ANTONOV 28 CARGO PLANE

ANKARA - Ukraine will send a patrolling plane to join the activities carried out to find the wreckage of Antonov 28 cargo plane, which was believed to have fallen in the sea off shores of Inebolu on December 28.

Responding to a question, Sermet Atacanlı said on Friday that the activities started on December 28, 1999 by a coast guard boat and later a frigate and a CASA type plane joined the efforts.

Atacanlı said that the Ukranian Embassy noted that the six members of the Antonov 28 plane were its citizens and wanted to help in the search activities.

''The scope of the activities was broadened on December 31 as the wreckage of the plane could have been dragged due to strong wind,'' Atacanlı said.

Atacanlı said that the activities started around Goynuk mountain, still continue.

Antonov 28 cargo plane of Equatorial Guinea Airlines fell down on around Inebolu. The plane which had 6 crew members on board was going from Ukrania to Tehran, Iran.

[16] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING ENDS

ANKARA - The cabinet which convened on Friday under the leadership of Premier Bulent Ecevit ended.

The meeting lasted nearly 3,5 hours.

[17] EXPENDITURES OF HEAD TERRORIST OCALAN

ANKARA - Musa Uzunkaya, a deputy of the Virtue Party (FP) submitted a question on Friday to the parliament speaker's office to be answered by Premier Bulent Ecevit about the money spent for Abdullah Ocalan, the head terrorist such as health, food and shelter.

Uzunkaya asked whether the claims saying that a health centre would be established on Imralı island for examining the teeth of Ocalan was true.

He also asked whether a discrimination was recognized to Ocalan or not regarding his communication with the outside world and press.

[18] PRESIDENT DEMIREL ARRIVES IN GEORGIA

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia as the official guest of Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze on Friday.

Georgian President Schevardnadze welcomed Demirel at the airport.

President Demirel will be accompanied by Cumhur Ersumer, Deputy Prime Minster and Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydın, deputies, high ranking officials and businessmen during his two-day official visit.

[19] SEZEN AKSU GIVES CONCERT IN ISRAEL

TEL AVIV - Famous pop singer and compositor Sezen Aksu gave a concert in Israel which was organized by the Turkish-Israeli Friendship Association on Thursday night.

The income that is gained from the concert will be spent in constructing schools in the quake struck region. Aksu thanked to Israeli people for the support they extended to Turkey during the two major quake disasters in Turkey.

Tel Aviv Culture Centre was completely full in last night's concert and for a moment people shouted slogans saying ''Turkey'' and ''Israel.''

[20] TURKISH ARMED FORCES TO PARTICIPATE IN RED FLAG 2000 MANEOUVRE IN U.S.

ANKARA - Ten planes, 39 officers and 53 junior officers will participate in the Red Flag 2000 maneouvre of the Turkish Air Forces which will take place in the U.S. between January 22 and February 5.

Turkish Air Forces Commandership said on Friday in a written statement that 6 F-16 C/D's, 3 KC-135 R tankers and 1 C-130 E plane will join the maneouvre.

The planes and the crew, will take off from Akinci and Incirlik airports on January 18, Tuesday. After a flight which is estimated to last for 20 hours and 40 minutes, the planes will land at Nellis Base of the U.S.

After the maneouvre, the Turkish planes will follow the same route back to Turkey on February 9.

The Red Flag maneouvres planned by the U.S. are carried out every year. The maneouvres are a realistic rehearsal of war in peace conditions and has no pre-planned scenerio or hints.

Turkish military units will carry out 94 sorties both during the day and night.

Turkey participates in the Red Flag maneouvres for the second time.

[21] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA: ''WE KNOW IMPORTANCE OF PEACE AND STABILITY IN CAUCASUS''

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that ''we all know the importance of the peace and stability in Caucasus and carry its responsibility all together.''

President Demirel was welcomed by Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze at Tbilisi Airport by a military ceremony.

Making a speech at the airport, Schevardnadze said that he is pleased to see Demirel in Georgia.

President Demirel said that he pays his first visit abroad to Georgia this year.

''Turkish Republic is one of the first countries which recognized the independence of Georgia,'' said President Demirel, adding that ''Georgia will continue to develop in the coming years. Turkey attributes great importance to independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty and peace of Georgia and also to this visit. Thus we came to Georgia with a crowded delegation.''

[22] PRESIDENT DEMIREL RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ABOARD: ''IF AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA MAKE AN AGREEMENT, TURKEY WILL OPEN ITS BORDER GATES TO ARMENIA''

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that when Azerbaijan and Armenia make an agreement and end the conflict between them, Turkey will open its border gates to Armenia.

Responding to questions of journalists on the way to Georgia, President Demirel said that Turkey is in the triangle among the Caucasus, the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey has very important relations in the Caucasus, he said.

When asked whether there is problem that can affect Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, President Demirel said ''no, there is not. We've been working on it for 5-6 years. We will overcome the small problems and we want to bring these agreements to the parliaments in February. When they are ratified by the parliaments, we will start searching for financing it.''

Responding to a question about his views regarding the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) meeting that will be held in Moscow at the end of this month, President Demirel said that ''Azerbaijan and Georgia are independent countries. There is no connection between our visit to Georgia or Mr. Aliyev's visit to Turkey and the CIS meeting. But we hold reciprocal consultations.''

''The most important problem in the Caucasus is Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict. This has a burden on Azerbaijan. 20 percent of her territories are under occupation. 1.5 million Azeris are fugitives. This issue has to be solved,'' said Demirel.

When asked whether Kocaryan and Aliyev can come together in Moscow, Demirel said ''they can come. Later there is Davos meeting. They can also come together there. This is an important process and it has vital importance for Turkey. If this process is completed and if peace is installed in Caucasus, then Turkey will have the opportunity to reach Central Asia. Azerbaijan is uneasy about the decision of the U.S. Congress. There is embargo on this country. This is not an equal situation. We held many contacts with the U.S. Congress to make them annul this decision. I also spoke with Clinton a few times about this issue.''

The U.S. administration supports lifting the ambargo, yet the Congress does not want it, said Demirel.

When asked whether an agreement is possible between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Demirel said that ''we are very close to it.''

[23] TRNC PREMIER EROGLU: ''OUR RIGHT CAUSE HAS STARTED TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY OTHERS DUE TO OUR RESOLUTION''

TRABZON - Dervis Eroglu, the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Friday that ''our right cause has started to be understood by others due to our resolution.''

Speaking in a conference on ''Cyprus Before and after Helsinki,'' at Black Sea Technical University, Eroglu said that ''his country launches great efforts to strengthen its economy and democracy and for recognition of TRNC by the world.''

''TRNC is resolved to carry out these policies together with Turkey. Stability in Cyprus carries the same importance for countries which are interested in the security of the East Mediterranean. As a matter of fact many world leaders clearly state that the stability in Cyprus concerns the stability of the whole region and the world,'' Eroglu said.

Eroglu stated that the proximity talks in New York and the developments concerning Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU) are not in contradiction with TRNC's national policy on Cyprus.

''The candidacy of Turkey to the EU will give the opportunity to Turkey to explain officially the Cyprus question within the EU structure. The EU won't stay indifferent to the Turkish views from now on. Turkish Cypriot nation also wants to join the EU, but after an agreement and confirmation of the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriot nation. Our real aim is to join the EU at the same time with Turkey,'' Eroglu said.

Eroglu stressed that the Greek Cypriots don't only want to take Maras, but also Guzelyurt.

''If you give Maras to them, they can take the whole Cyprus. We can't give Maras to please Papandreou. The thing that is important here is recognition of the fact of TRNC and acting in accordance with this reality. In today's circumstances, it is clear that the two sides can't live in peace together. It is also another reality that forming a federation is not possible on the island,'' he said.

Eroglu later addressed the Trabzon Trade and Industry Chamber businessmen and said that ''the world which talks about human rights, imposes embargo on us.''

Noting that TRNC can't give up light industry and agriculture although it wishes to further improve service sectors, Eroglu said that ''various countries even the moslem countries invest in the Greek Cypriot side.''

[24] FORMER DEPUTY KESKIN KILLED

VAN - Lawyer Cumhur Keskin, a former deputy of the dissolved Social People's Party (SHP) was killed in an armed attack on Friday.

Keskin was killed in his office in eastern province of Van around 17.00 local time.

[25] LAWYERS OF RELATIVES OF MARTYRS: - ''TERRORIST ORGANIZATION PKK HAS BEEN MADE DE FACTO INTERLOCUTOR OF TURKISH STATE AFTER LONG YEARS''

ANKARA - Lawyers of relatives of martyrs claimed on Friday, ''the terrorist organization PKK has been made de facto interlocutor of the Turkish State after long years. We should hang Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, as an independent and sovereign state without submitting to Europe's intervention and pressure.''

A group of ten intervenor lawyers together with several relatives of martyrs staged a press conference.

Addressing the press conference, Kursat Karacabey, one of the intervenor lawyers, claimed, ''the coalition partners' decision to postpone execution of capital punishment given to Ocalan until the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) takes a decision, has mortgaged the will of the Turkish nation and the parliament.''

Defending that the decision was an intervention of executive power in the juristiction, Karacabey claimed that the decision was also contrary to the ''principle of separation of powers''.

He claimed, ''the government also decided that if the terrorist organization and its supporters attempt to use this process against the high interests of the state, then the process of postponement will be halted and the process of execution will be started immediately. This decision has made the terrorist organization PKK de facto interlocutor of the Turkish State. The government has made a big concession by taking such a wrong decision.''

Karacabey claimed, ''we should not forget the fact that neither the Turkish nation nor the terrorist organization is indispensable for the West. The only indispensable thing for the West is its interests. The Turkish nation needs to regain its self-confidence. As the first step of regaining our self-confidence, we should hang Ocalan as an independent and sovereign state without submitting to Europe's intenvention and pressure.''

Karacabey added that they would evaluate the coalition partners' decision calmy, and then launch the necessary legal initiatives.

[26] PRIME MINISTRY CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER ANNOUNCES DEATH TOLL AS 845

ANKARA - The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center stated that 845 people were killed while 4,948 others were injured as of 18:00 local time on Friday in the wake of the 7.2-magnitude quake which devastated Bolu province on November 12.

A total of 12,939 dwellings and 2,450 business places collapsed or suffered heavy damages in the quake.

A total of 51,694 tents have been distributed to quake survivors while assembly of 622 prefabricated huts have been finalized.

The Red Crescent and the Turkish Armed Forces have dispatched 198 mobile kitchens, 173 mobile baths, 2 mobile bakeries, a number of beds, sleeping bags, blankets, duvets, stoves, and foodstuff to the quake-stricken area.

In the disaster area, 273 doctors, 194 nurses, and 918 health staff are working.

[27] MILD EARTHQUAKES SHAKE ERZINCAN AND IZMIR PROVINCES

ISTANBUL - Mild earthquakes shook eastern Elazig province and western Izmir province on Friday.

Officials at the Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory Seismology Institute told the A.A correspondent that 3.1-magnitude earthquake was recorded in Elazig at 11:21 local time.

Meanwhile, two earthquakes measuring 3.0 and 3.2 on the Richter scale shook Tire county of Izmir province at 13:41 local time and 13:51 local time.

[28] INTERROGATION OF KORKMAZ, CHIEF OF AN ORGANIZED CRIME GANG, CONTINUES

ISTANBUL - Interrogation of Ayvaz Korkmaz, the chief of an organized crime gang who was extradited to Turkey on Wednesday from Ukraine, is continuing on Friday.

The police was given four-day detention period to interrogate Korkmaz by the Istanbul State Security Court (DGM).

The Organized Crimes and Weapon Smuggling Department of the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Security is interrogating Korkmaz about 18 separate incidents resulted in woundings or killings between 1994 and 1998.

Officials of the Narcotics Department is also interrogating Korkmaz about his involvement in drug smuggling.

[29] PRODI, PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COMISSION: - ''WE ARE SATISFIED WITH TURKEY'S DECISION''

SOFIA - Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission, said on Friday that they were satisfied with Turkey's decision to postpone execution of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK.

Prodi who is currenty paying an official visit to Bulgaria, staged a press conference together with Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov.

Addressing the press conference, Prodi said, ''I approve, because my country and Europe, we are against death penalty, that is part of our spirit and civilization.''

[30] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that Turkey wanted peace, solidarity and cooperation in Caucasus.

President Demirel who is currently paying a two-day official visit to Georgia, was decorated with the Golden Fleece Medal by his Georgian counterpart Eduard Schevardnadze.

Addressing the ceremony, Demirel said, ''I have been given numerous awards both in Turkey and abroad during my longstanding political life which is devoted to serve democracy, freedom and peace. But this precious medal of Georgia has a particular importance and meaning for me. I am accepting this medal with great honor as a sing of friendship between Turkey and Georgia. I have always expended efforts to further improve our relations with Georgia, and will continue to do so in future.''

Demirel emphasized, ''today, our relations reached a perfect level, but we do not consider these relations as adequate. We aim at further improving our cooperation with Georgia. I want to thank President Schevardnadze for his contributions to improve relations between two countries, on behalf of the Turkish people.''

Recalling that he was visiting Georgia for the fourth time, Demirel noted, ''I paid my first visit to Georgia in 1992 as prime minister. Georgia has been recording great progress in democracy and free market economy since that time. Georgia has become a distinguished member of the international community under leadership of President Schevardnadze. We appreciate his contributions to democracy, stability, prosperity and peace both in his own country and in Caucasus.''

President Demirel added, ''Turkey wants peace, solidarity and cooperation in Caucasus. She will continue to expend all kinds of efforts to integrate Caucasus with the world. We are determined to continue our efforts to further improve our relations with Georgia. Lasting peace and stability will be instituted in the region, and our nations will reach happiness and prosperity.''

Meanwhile, President Schevardnadze stressed that Turkey had a very significant place in the modern world, and added that the role of great statesmen in Turkey's success was undeniable.

Stressing that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Republic of Turkey, added democracy to the Turkish nation's experiences, President Schevardnadze noted that President Demirel would carry Turkey to a splendid future in the new millennium.

He pointed out, ''I am quite sure that Turkey would become a full member of the European Union (EU) as a result of President Demirel's successful initiatives.''

President Schevardnadze said that they discussed several projects such as the Silk Road, oil pipeline and usage of Caspian energy resources, during their tete-a-tete meeting.

President Schevardnadze added that the Golden Fleece Medal was given to President Demirel for his contributions to peace in the world.

[31] FINANCIAL AID FROM SOUTH KOREA TO QUAKE SURVIVORS

ANKARA - Tho Sang-Hoon, the South Korean Ambassador to

Turkey, and seven-member accompanying delegation headed by Dr. Sig Hyung Lee, visited on Friday Fuat Avci, the Acting Chairman of the Red Crescent.

Addressing the meeting, Dr. Sig Hyung Lee said that they attributed great importance to Turkey.

He expressed profound sorrow over loss of lives in quake disasters which devastated Marmara Region on August 17 and November 12.

Recalling that they had launched an aid campaign for those who were left homeless in quake disasters, Dr. Sig Hyung Lee noted that a total of 1.5 million U.S. dollars were collected in the campaign.

Lee stressed that the financial aid would be sent to quake-stricken area through the Foreign Ministry.

He added that they would pay a visit to disaster area tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Avci thanked the South Korean people for their contributions to quake survivors.

[32] NATURAL GAS PURCHASE FROM IRAN

ANKARA - Turkey and Iran came to an agreement on Friday to start natural gas transportation on July 30, 2001.

A delegation headed by Gokhan Yardim, the General Director of Pipeline Oil Transportation Inc (BOTAS), held a series of contacts in Iran between January 11-12.

During the delegation's contacts with Iranian officials, the latest developments were scrutinized within scope of the Natural Gas Trade Agreement which was signed between two countries on August 8, 1996.

Iran and Turkey have also decided to set up joint working groups as soon as possible to finalize technical and administrative works within two months.

The agreement regarding natural gas purchase from Iran was signed in 1996. According to the agreement Turkey will purchase natural gas from Iran for 22 years. Thus purchase will start with 3 billion cubic meters year, and will be increased to 10 cubic meters year.

[33] GENERAL KIVRIKOGLU'S CONTACTS IN FRANCE

ANKARA - General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, the Chief of General Staff, continued on Friday to hold contacts in France.

General Kivrikoglu is paying an official visit to France as the guest of his French counterpart.

General Kivrikoglu met with Alain Richard, the French Defense Minister, and his French counterpart General Jean Pierre Kelche.

His meetings in France focused on the issue of ''Europe and regional security''.

A military framework agreement was signed between Turkey and France to further improve military and industrial cooperation between Turkish and French armed forces in accordance with the ''Turkey-France Action Plan for year 2000'' during General Kivrikoglu's visit to France.

Describing NATO as the basic organization for the security in Europe, General Kivrikoglu stressed that Turkey's expectations regarding the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) should be met.

[34] TRNC PRIME MINISTER EROGLU: - ''THERE WILL BE NO WAR ON CYPRUS''

TRABZON - Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Friday, ''we were suffering from privation in the past, but we have founded a prosperous state.''

Eroglu visited the Journalists Society in Trabzon province.

Responding to questions, Eroglu stressed, ''we have drawn our borders with blood. Now, there are forces who want to take our lands. We will struggle against them to protect our country. We were suffering from privation in the past, but we have founded a prosperous state.''

''The Greek Cypriots have been purchasing arms. But we are not afraid of them. Because we have Turkey's support. I think that there would be no war Cyprus in future. The Greek Cypriots also do not want a war. They aim at deceiving the world by claiming that Turkish soldiers occupied their country. They are receiving financial aid from several countries by introducing themselves as an occupied state,'' Eroglu said.

He also added that the Turkish press had always supported the Turkish Cypriots, and noted that this support was very important to express their rightful case.

[35] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT SCHEVARDNADZE HOSTS A DINNER IN HONOR OF PRESIDENT DEMIREL

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel said on Friday that the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline was one of the most important developments of the 20th century.

Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze hosted a dinner in honor of President Demirel who is currently paying a two-day visit to Georgia.

Addressing the dinner, President Demirel expressed pleasure over visiting Georgia once again.

''We have been cooperating with Georgia since she gained her independence. One of the main priorities of our foreign policy is to further improve relations with Georgia in every field within framework of our joint strategical interests in Caucasus. We attribute great importance to protection of Georgia's territorial integrity and political unity,'' Demirel said.

Pointing out that peace, prosperity, stability and security in Caucasus were vital for Turkey, Demirel emphasized, ''good relations between Turkey and Georgia which are two significant states in European geography, will contribute peace, stability and prosperity in the region.''

Demirel expressed Turkey's concerns over continuing clashes that are jeopardizing stability in the region, saying, ''we want Russia to find a peaceful solution in Northern Caucasus crisis including Chechnya. Development of open regime depending on superiority of law, and free market economy in Russia have vital importance for peace, prosperity and stability in the region. I want to underline that the cooperation, stability and peace atmophere which Turkey and Georgia try to create in Caucasus, should be understood correctly. Turkish and Georgian people embraced after the end of the Cold War period to call on overall regional countries to cooperate for the joint prosperity of the region. We hope that lasting peace would be provided in the region in near future. We consider the solidarity between Turkey and Georgia as a milestone of the new architect of the region. We want to recall all regional countries that improvement could only be possible through cooperation.''

Underlining the importance of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and trans- Caspian natural gas pipeline, Demirel said, ''these projects are among the most important developments of the 20th century. Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan did not only start a pipeline project, but they united their fates by signing the agreement. Now, our most important responsibility is to start constructions of these projects. Meanwhile, Kars-Tbilisi Railway project, opening of Cildir-Aktas third border gate, and modernization of Batumi Airport will also contribute to increase prosperity of the region.''

[36] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: - ''THE DECISION WHICH WE TOOK TWO DAYS AGO WAS THE BEST DECISION TO BE TAKEN''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday,

''the decision which we took two days ago to postpone execution of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, was the best decision to be taken.''

Addressing a television programme on the private A-TV Channel, Ecevit said, ''the 57th government has taken a number of significant steps. These steps have increased people's confidence in the state, and Turkey's prestige in the world. Democracy can only be improved with a comprimising culture. We attribute great importance to harmony among coalition partners and dialogue with opposition parties.''

''We discussed the issue in detail during the leaders summit. The decision which we took two days ago, was the best decision to be taken. Turkey has accepted the European Court of Human Rights' (ECHR) judicial authority years ago. We should accept the ECHR's request to adjourn the execution of Ocalan. Otherwise, we will encourage serious domestic and foreign problems. We are respectful to the ECHR's decision. But Turkey's prosperity, security and unity are more important for us. If these factors are overshadowed, then we will scrutinize our decision. If the terrorist organization and its supporters attempt to use this process against the high interests of the state, then the process of delaying will be halted and the process of execution will be started immediately,'' Ecevit stressed.

When asked about abolishing the death penalty, Prime Minister Ecevit said, ''the Turkish community has begun to discuss the issue, but all problems cannot be solved at the same time.''

When asked whether or not the government will take measures to prevent Ocalan from issuing statements through his lawyers, Ecevit said, ''we cannot accept Ocalan's attempts to orientate Turkey from Imrali Island.

I told on numerous occasions that we would never bargain with a separatist terrorist organization and its supporters. Relatives of martyrs do not need to worry.''

[37] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT SHEVARDNADZE: - ''TURKEY HAS UNDERTAKEN LEADERSHIP OF REGION''

TBILISI - Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said on Friday that Turkey had undertaken leadership of the region.

President Shevardnadze expressed satisfaction over hosting President Suleyman Demirel who is currently paying an offical visit to Turkey.

Noting that the documents which were signed during the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul, strengthened Georgia's independence, President Shevardnadze stressed that Turkey had made a considerable contribution to Georgia's improvement.

President Shevardnadze emphasized that countries in Caspian and the Black Sea Basin had gained their places among the world states thanks to Turkey which undertook leadership of the region.

He noted that undreamed-of projects could be materialized as a result of President Demirel's farsightedness, patience and genius, adding that no one could obstruct Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline.

Shevardnadze said, ''the most serious danger in the region is the continuing clashes in Northern Caucasus. We support Russia's territorial integrity, but at the same time we share the opinions which were expressed during the OSCE summit in Istanbul. Georgia cannot be insensitive to innocent and mistreated people's wish to take shelter in Georgian territories. We also experienced the pain of women and children who flee from bombardments in the past. We will do our utmost to help civilians fleing from Chechnya. I hope that international organizations would support us. We cannot allow military operations to spread into our territories. We will expend efforts to prevent it. Russia wants Chechnya crisis to be resolved fairly. I do not think that Russia aimed at this dispute to spread into other countries. We plan to hold talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian Acting President, to discuss regional problems in coming days.''

[38] ARMED ATTACK ON A POLICEMAN IN ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL - Unidentified assailants opened fire on a policeman in Avcilar district of Istanbul on Friday.

Ahmet Kahraman, the policeman, was injured in his arm and leg.

He was taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Security forces have launched a full investigation into the incident.

[39] DE COSTA, PORTUGUESE SECRETARY OF STATE, IN ANKARA

ANKARA - Francisco Seixas de Costa, the Secretary of State of Portugal, the Term President of the European Union (EU), said on Friday that they welcomed Turkey's decision to postpone execution of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK.

De Costa who came to Turkey for an official visit, told the A.A correspondent that he would hold talks with Turkish officials about relations between Turkey and the EU.

De Costa said that he would meet with the representatives of the non- governmental organizations and human rights accosiations.

Francisco Seixas de Costa will meet with Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, and Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister responsible for the EU affairs, on Monday.

He is expected to stage a press conference together with Irtemcelik.

A.A


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