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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-15

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

15 January 2000 Saturday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 15, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

OCALAN FILE UNDER SPECIAL PROTECTION
The 40-folder capital punishment file of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, is taken under special protection. The file will be kept in state archieves which even the atom bomb can not effect.

PEACE GOOD NEWS FOR THE CAUCASUS
President Suleyman Demirel for the first time gave good news in the Caucasus. Pointing out that the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia is about to be solved, Demirel said Turkey will open its borders in case the conflict is overcome.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY JUDGES
Members of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) held a General Assembly on Friday and put an end to the membership of Kamuran Cortuk, Executive Board Chairman of Bayindir Holding. Later, some of the members opposed to the dismissal of Cortuk and wanted his membership to be suspended.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

ECZACIBASI:''SUCCESS IN ECONOMY DEPENDS ON POLITICAL REFORM''
Bulent Eczacibasi, the Consultation Council Chairman of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) said if the political system is not reformed, it will risk economic success. The government might also make political reforms in this compromising atmosphere and this is a reason to be optimistic, he noted. Erkut Yucaoglu, the TUSIAD Chairman, on the other hand said the business world should continue supporting the stability programme.

TURKEY STILL NOT READY FOR EARTHQUAKES
Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center said Turkey did not take a lesson from Marmara earthquake and still lacked information about earthquakes. Ozgun Okmen, the deputy undersecretary of the Prime Ministry will represent Ecevit at the international symposium organized on the fifth anniversary of Kobe earthquake in January 1995. Okmen is going to the symposium with a file that lists Turkey's inadequacies in this field. He will brief the structural problems Turkey faced following the quake.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

FISHER:''ECONOMIC PROGRAMME WORKS FINE SO FAR''
IMF Deputy Chairman Stanley Fischer said that Turkey's economic programme worked well so far. Fischer briefed economical developments in Turkey in a meeting in Washington, D.C. He said the inflation rate for December 1999 could be a little over than the expected level due to the increase in energy and oil prices. He noted that it was too early to comment on the government's target to pull down the inflation to 25 percent by the end of 2000. He stressed that Turkey must fulfill its commitments in order to recover its financial situation.

BAHCELI:''BOTH MY COUNTRY AND PARTY WON''
Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in an attempt to calm down those who reacted the decision to postpone Ocalan's execution, said the decision was good both for Turkey and for his party. Bahceli said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Mesut Yilmaz, the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) had to accept capital punishment with certain conditions during the summit. ''MHP's policy on capital punishment has not changed,'' Bahceli stressed.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

INTERNAL CONFLICT IN HEZBOLLAH
Gaffar Okan, General Director of Security Department of southeastern Diyarbakir province said a total of 74 incidents were enlightened last year. He said 45 of these incidents were having links with Hezbollah. He said 14 of 34 murders, having terrorism links, were caused by the internal conflict in Hezbollah. The 17 person, whom the Hezbollah decided to kill, will be taken under state protection. A total of 1350 Hezbollah terrorists were captured in the region in the last two years.

PRESIDENT DEMIREL VISITS GEORGIA
President Suleyman Demirel paid a visit to Georgia with a big delegation. Georgia is situated in the Caucasus, where the tension escalated because of Russian military operation against Chechnya. Demirel gave the message that peace will be provided in the Caucasus. President Demirel submitted a comprehensive Baku-Ceyhan report to Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian President, who creates problem on pipeline issues. Demirel said a delay in the pipeline will create negativity in Georgia for foreign investors.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

DEMOCRACY MEMORANDUM
Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) developed its former report and submitted it. In the new report, TUSIAD stressed the requirement of connecting General Staff to the government, and withdrawal of military from political life. They wanted the right of ''education in every body's own language.'' The report wanted several articles which causes party closure to be lifted.

''KEY REPORT'' TO SHEVARDNADZE
President Suleyman Demirel, who wants to solve conflict between Azerbaijan and Georgia, on Friday submitted the solution proposal to Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian President.

APO: ''I AM NOT SEPARATIST ANYMORE''
Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, said he changed his ideas and quit ''historical separatism mistake''. He said, ''we will act according to peace.'' Ocalan also said terrorist organization PKK is under the service of Turkey.

TURKIYE (RIGHT) GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT EXPORT IN FIRST HALF OF 2000
Ministers Council which convened under the leadership of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit discussed export in 1999 and 2000 targets. Tunca Toskay, the State Minister who spoke after the meeting said they agreed in principle to mobilize all the resources of the government to support export especially in the first half of the year. An export commission was formed including Toskay, State Minister Recep Onal and Finance Minister Sumer Oral which will start working next week.

IRANIAN NATURAL GAS TO COME TO TURKEY IN 2001
Turkey will start purchasing Iranian natural gas on July 30, 2000. Gokhan Yardim, the General Director of State Run Pipeline Company (BOTAS) who was in Iran on January 11 and 12 explained to Iranian authorities why the Turkish side of the pipeline was still incomplete. According to the agreement Turkey will purchase natural gas from Iran for 22 years. First Turkey will get 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually which will increase to 10 billion cubic meters in the future.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

PEOPLE REACT TO CELLULAR PHONE COMPANIES
Reacting to additional taxes and poor service of cellular phone companies, started a campaign to shut down cellular phones for three days to protest these companies. Cellular phone rates are the highest in Turkey. Plus, cellular phone users say the cellular phones sometımes don't work ın emergency sıtuatıons. Since the government does not put out new tenders, people have to buy cellular phones from the existing companies.

[03] 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.

[04] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel, currently in Tbilisi as the official guest of Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian Head of State, continues his contacts in this country.

President Demirel met Vaja Lortkipanidze, Georgian State Minister, at breakfast.

Demirel is scheduled to participate in signing ceremony of agreements which will be signed between the two countries. Demirel and Shevardnaze will stage a joint new conference following the signature ceremony.

President Demirel will receive John Wolf, the U.S. President Bill Clinton's special consultant on energy sources of the Caspian Basin, and visit Zurab Zhavania, Georgian Parliament Speaker.

Demirel is expected to return to Turkey on Saturday evening after concluding his intense contacts in this country.

[05] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA - DEMIREL AND SHEVARDNADZE HEAD INTERDELEGATIONAL TALKS

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel and Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian President, on Saturday signed several agreements, and a joint statement following interdelegational talks.

Speaking before the interdelegational talks, Demirel said Turkey closely interested in development of Georgia, and extended support to this development. Demirel noted that Georgia was the key of peace in the Caucasus.

Pointing out the importance of peace and stability of the Caucasus for the region as well as the world, Demirel said preservation of territorial integrity and independence of Georgia nowadays when we enter to the 21st century is very important. Demirel noted that the world understood the importance of the Caucasus, adding that Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting showed this.

Stressing that bilateral relations between Turkey and Georgia were perfect, Demirel said, ''Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and natural gas pipeline project have international importance. These are the projects which attract the attention of the world to the region. This are economic projects and at the same time have importance which can strengthen peace in the region.''

Demirel said unimportant problems which appear to this end can be solved easily.

Pointing out that with the implementation of these projects opportunities will be created for big projects like Trans-Caucasian motorway and Kars- Tbilisi railway, Demirel stressed that these projects will bring prosperity to the people of the region.

Shevardnadze, Georgian Head of State, pointed out that there was not problem that can not be solved regarding energy corridor, adding that Georgia will do its best to this end. Shevardnadze said he and Demirel were in consensus of opinion on bilateral and regional issues as well as energy projects.

The two presidents signed the agreements following the interdelegational talks. They later signed a joint statement.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Irakli Menagarisvili, Georgian Foreign Minister, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Representatives of the Air Forces Commanders of Turkey and Georgia signed another Memorandum of Understanding regarding academic and flight trainings.

[06] TUSIAD RELEASES NEW REPORT ABOUT RAISING DEMOCRATIZATION STANDARDS IN TURKEY

ISTANBUL - Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) on Friday released its report titled ''Rising Democratic Standards in Turkey: Discussions and Latest Developments.''

The report which was distributed to General Council members during Friday's meeting included points about ''implementing capital punishment only during the war and similar situations, terminating obligatory religion classes at schools, removing of Article 8 of Anti-Terrorism Law about freedom of thought, rewriting Article 312 of Turkish Penal Code, removing Article 81 of Political Party Law which prevents formation of minorities.''

The first part of the report written by Prof. Bulent Tanor, promoted the works carried out in democratization in the last three years in Turkey. The second part included ten articles which are crucial for Turkey's democratization programme.

About the Article 81 of the Political Parties Law which is about ''prevention of minority formations'' was asked to be removed completely in the report.

''There are already statements in the Constitution and Political Parties Law which protects the unity of state. The article which we are asking to remove causes party closings which represent cultural concerns which are faitfull to the unitary state. Closing of the Democratic Mass Party is the latest example of this. Removing this article will contribute to the peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem following the termination of separatist terrorism,'' the report said.

About lifting political immunity of parliamentarians, it was said that ''political immunity of parliamentarians which almost enables them to commit a crime must be changed in a way that will make it possible to accuse and try them.''

Regarding abolition of death penalty, the report stated that capital punishment should be limited to war and similar situations and not be carried out at other tımes. It was reminded that Turkey did not carry out capital punishment since 1984.

''We must remember that life imprisonment is not a lighter punishment than capital punishment. But the implementation of punishment must not be prevented by populist behaviour and amnesty laws,'' it was noted.

The report also proposed radical changes in the education system. Obligatory religion classes should stop at schools and ''Imam-Hatip'' highschools which give religious education should not only target to train clergymen but must have a larger perspective, it was said.

Removing Article 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Law which is linked to Article 312 of Turkish Penal Code will not cause any problems. The first part of Article 312 should be completely removed and its second part must be adjusted. The law which defines organization of meetings and demonstrations must be changed and improved, the report said.

Erkut Yucaoglu, the Chairman of TUSIAD's Executive Board, said their political reform demands were in harmony with Copenhagen criteria.

[07] TUSIAD RELEASES ITS AGRICULTURE REPORT

ANKARA - Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen' Association (TUSIAD) said on Saturday that Turkey must shift from price supporting system to directly income supporting system in its agricultural policies.

TUSIAD's report titled ''New Searches for Balance in Agricultural Policies and Turkey'' prepared by Prof. Haluk Kasnakoglu, Prof. Halis Akder and Dr. Erol Cakmak from Middle East Technical University (METU) stressed the importance of the international dimension of new agricultural policies.

The report clearly states agriculture related problems and their results, situation of agricultural sector and policies, Turkey's agricultural policy from the viewpoints of World Trade Organization, European Union (EU) and Customs Union. The report which is consisted of nine parts also focuses on agriculture's effect on income distribution.

The report makes no comments for the proposals of International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank. It displays positive sides of past policies and suggests a balanced approach in Turkey's agricultural policies for the next 10 years.

[08] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT SPEAKS AT (1) A TV PROGRAM BROADCASED IN A PRIVATE CHANNEL

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Saturday warned People's Democracy Party (HADEP), and said, ''PKK and the circles representing it want to use HADEP as the extension of their illegal actions. I hope HADEP will not give an opportunity to them.''

Responding to the questions in a TV program broadcasted in a private channel, Ecevit said, the decision of the coalition partner parties to hold capital punishment file of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, in Prime Ministry according to the request of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will not effect decision of Turkish justice.

Pointing out that everybody was given the chance to think calmly with this method, Ecevit said people may later regret from a decision which is given in an emotional atmosphere. He said it was impossible for Turkey to reject the request of ECHR due to its international obligations.

Ecevit said leaders of parties which form the coalition decided that this decision should not be exploited, adding that, ''if terrorist actions continue, this will require us to review this process. Terrorist PKK, and its legal extensions may dare to insist several policies to Turkish Republic. Such tendencies can be felt. We can not accept these.''

Recalling that the terrorist organization, which Ocalan headed, claimed more than 30,000 lives, Ecevit said his forgiving him will be out of question.

Responding to a question Ecevit said, ''HADEP is a legal party at the moment. It won the elections in several municipalities. Yet, it is clear that PKK and several circles representing it want to use HADEP as an extension. I hope HADEP will not allow this.''

Ecevit stressed that the file against Ocalan will be sent to the Parliament sooner or later, adding that, ''we are obliged to do this. It is impossible for us to behave differently. The government is authorized to abide by or not the decision of the ECHR. The decision organ is the Parliament.''

Ecevit said, ''with this decision we fulfil our international obligations, and at the same time we don't take risk. I think this decision is the best. ''

[09] LITHUANIAN FLAGGED SHIP RESCUED

CANAKKALE - The Lithuanian flagged ship, Agitre which ran aground at Canakkale Strait last week was rescued on Saturday.

The ship which weighs 3,993 grosstons was carrying 5,000 tons of sugar from Denmark to Batum before it ran aground near Nara lighthouse in Canakkale Strait last week. The ship was reported to have suffered cracks on its front part due to the rocks in the area. One of its storage rooms were completely filled with sea water.

Agitre was repaired by divers of Ship Rescue General Directorate. Authorities said they would allow the ship to sail once they complete its survey controls.

[10] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA (1) ''LAST MEETING ON OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROJECTS TO BE HELD IN ANKARA''

TIBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel who is visiting Georgia proposed to form a stability pact in Caucasia.

Demirel and Georgian President Eudard Shevardnadze held a press briefing following meetings between delegations. Demirel told reporters that the bilateral meetings were very beneficial and reminded that Turkish-Georgian friendship reached a very good level.

Both sides expressed willingness to develop political, commercial and economic relations and also held very beneficial contacts on regional issues. Turkey defends Georgia's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity which is a crucial condition to maintain peace in the region, Demirel stated.

The four states in the region worked together for Baku-Tibilisi- Ceyhan pipeline and Trans-Caspian Turkmen Natural Gas projects, he said. ''We agreed to hold the last meeting about oil and natural gas in Ankara. There will be no other meetings afterwards. I see no difficulties that might hamper reaching an agreement. These projects will be followed by new ones. Caucasia will make Central Asia and Eurasia countries a part of Europe. Kars-Tibilisi railroad, Batum airport projects are a part of this,'' he said.

Demirel noted that most of the problems Georgia facing were not rooted from itself. ''We discussed widely the problems of peace and stability in the short and long term in Caucasia. This is very important for future efforts, '' he said.

Europe extended its borders from Canada to Altay Mountains by taking 54 countries to OSCE and the target is an unfragmented, democrat, prosperous Europe living in peace, Demirel went on to say.

''One of the problems in Europe is in the Balkans and the other is in Caucasia. We gained a very important experience in the Balkans. 30 states came together in Bosnia to sign a Stability Pact to protect peace. The Stability Pact is the second most important thing after the European Union. Caucasia is waiting for stability. It is important to solve conflicts in Caucasia one by one,'' he noted.

''If Caucasia is included in the OSCE borders, these states are members of this organization. We presented our proposal to the General Council on November 18 at the OSCE meeting about this matter. What we are looking for is peace and stability and we need solidarity and cooperation for that. This is the shortest way leading to development and prosperity. This is our proposal: There should be a Stability Pact for Caucasia like it was done for the Balkans. This pact should not carry the name of one country but must be the product of collective consciousness of peace. Like the Balkans Pact, it must be carried out through the participation of all states and nations. This way security, stability and prosperity of Caucasian people would be taken under guarantee. This is important for Georgia, for Turkey and Central Asian countries. We agreed to work together on this issue,'' Demirel said.

(to be continued)

[11] EARTHQUAKE AID FROM TURKS WHO LIVE IN THE NETHERLANDS

BOLU - Association to Protect Minorities and Foreigners in the Netherlands which was formed by Turks and other foreigners will finance the repair of 3 schools which suffered damage during November 12 earthquake in Bolu.

Fatih Ozyar from the Association to Protect Minorities and Foreigners in the Netherlands visited Bolu Governor Nusret Miroglu and told him that they collected 150,000 Guilders through various concerts and donations which will be used in the repair of three schools in Bolu.

[12] TURKS LIVING IN THE U.S. REACT AGAINST ARMENIAN CAMPAIGN

WASHINGTON - The campaign started by the U.S. based National Armenian Committee (ANCA) to make the so-called Armenian genocide known and recognized by president candidates in the U.S. caused the harsh reaction of Turks living in this country.

Because of ANCA's continious pressures, Bill Bradley from the Democrat Party had said a few times that he believed in the genocide claims.

Reacting to the campaign, American-Turkish Associations Assembly (ATAA) started collecting signatures for a letter that will be sent to candidates to explain that the allegations were not true. A total of 500 signatures have been collected so far which will be sent to president candidate Texas governor George Bush, Senator John McCain, publisher Steve Forbes, Vice President Al Gore and Bill Bradley.

In the letter that was written for Bradley, it was said that ''history should be left to historians, not to politicians.'' ATAA also expressed his disappointment by Bradley's recognition of the genocide.

It was reminded that the U.S. Congress, Britain, France and the U.N. rejected the genocide in the past. The recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide will justify terrorist attacks against Turkish authorities and representatives in the U.S. and other countries, it was said in the letter.

An Armenian terrorist named Murad Topalyan who was captured in Cleveland city is being tried in U.S. courts related to terrorist attacks, it was also noted.

[13] TWO TONS OF ACID ANHYDRITE SEIZED AT BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER

SOFIA -Two tons of acid anhydrite which is used in drug making was seized at Kaptan Andrevo customs gate at Bulgarian-Turkish border on Saturday.

Bulgarian Border Police spokesman Lora Lubenova told A.A that they found found the acid anhydrite hidden in a truck which was coming from Macedonia to Turkey.

The driver of the truck who was Macedonian was taken under custody and the investigation continues related to the incident.

The market value of the acid anhydrite was reported as 2 million German marks.

[14] PRESIDENT DEMIREL IN GEORGIA (2) ''GEOPOLITICAL LOCATION OF TURKEY AND GEORGIA OFFER BOTH COUNTRIES COMMERCIAL AND ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES''

TBILISI -President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that the geopolitical location of Turkey and Georgia in the center of Eurasia offered various commercial and economical advantages to both countries.

Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline are peace projects that will have important contributions to Georgia's prosperity and political interests. Both countries are determined to start these projects soon, Demirel said.

Demirel also attended the Turkey-Georgia Business Council's meeting on Saturday.

''We are following with appreciation the Georgia's progress in economic and social field under the rule of Mr. Shevardnadze. There is no doubt that these positive developments will bring a strong and stable structure to Georgian economy. Consequently, the negative reflections of the financial crisis in the Russian Federation were restrained in Georgia. We believe that Georgian economy will integrate with the world economy in the 21st century. I would like to stress one more time that Turkey will be the biggest supporter of Georgia in this process,'' Demirel said.

''It is apparent that our geopolitical location which form a natural bridge in the center of Eurasia offers Turkey and Georgia various advantages. The two countries are located on the crossroads of transportation, communication and trade in Eurasia,'' he went on to say.

Demirel stressed that democracy and economic freedom were the basis for sustainable development. ''In this regard, our businessmen, private sectors are the pulling force of our commercial and economic relations. At this point, I am pleased to note that Turkey is Georgia's biggest trade partner and has also many investments in Georgia. However, we still must seek for ways to develop to strengthen our economic relations and bring variety,'' Demirel said.

Demirel noted that the trade volume and mutual investment figures were much below the potential of the two countries. He said he believed an agreement to prevent double taxation would be signed between Turkey and Georgia.

''I know that you are all waiting for this agreement. As the statesmen, our task is to remove the obstacles in front of you. Turkey, as the biggest and most dynamic market of the region, will have a contribution to Georgia's prosperity. In this regards, our enterpreneurs will buy the facilities which do not operate in Georgia and sell Turkey goods that they produce in Georgia. This is a determining factor which encourages Turkish businessmen to invest in Georgia. I also believe that we will also help Georgia's unemployment problem and balance its foreign trade,'' he said.

Demirel said they should also create the favourable conditions which enable the Turkish companies to participate in privatization and investment projects in transportation, energy and communication.

The completion of sea, air and railroad routes between Turkey and Georgia will boost commercial and economic relations. ''It is crucial to build Kars- Tbilisi railroad which will have great contribution to transportation between Turkey and Georgia. We should not forget that this railroad will offer a new transportation alternative in Eurasia, not only to two countries. With the completion of these projects, Georgia will become the center of transportation and energy transmittence lines in Eurasia. Naturally, financing is the biggest obstacle we face in these projects. Through joint efforts, we must try to get the attention of international finance institutions to this matter. Therefore, it is very important that we should complete the legal proces regarding these projects as soon as possible,'' Demirel said.

''Today's difficulties should never intimidate anyone. Great steps were taken in eight years about democracy and free market economy in Georgia. I invite Turkish and Georgian public and private sector to work together to reach our targets,'' Demirel concluded.

[15] PRESIDENT DEMIREL VISITS ZHVANIA, GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

TBILISI - President Suleyman Demirel said on Saturday that Turkey was the best friend of Georgia.

Speaking during his meeting with Zurab Zhvania, Georgian Parliament Speaker, Demirel said Turkey was one of the first countries recognizing independence of Georgia.

Demirel said, ''we have always defended independence of Georgia after it has been founded. In my opinion, an elected parliament is the guarantee of integrity of a country. Everything will be discussed there, and everybody will tell about their views. Of course, everybody has to be faitful to this integrity.''

Demirel said Turkish-Georgian relations will be further fruitful in time.

Demirel later left Georgia. Demirel was accompanied by Cumhur Ersumer, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister and Koray Aydin, the Minister of Public Works and Housing.

Demirel's plane is expected to arrive in Ankara's Esenboga Airport at 5.45 p.m.

[16] PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT: ''TURKISH ARMED FORCES HAS A SPECIAL PLACE''

ANKARA - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Saturday that Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has a special place stemming from its geopolitical position. He said, ''European countries are not in a position that can be example to us to this end.''

Ecevit responded to the questions of journalists in Premiership Central Building. Ecevit pointed out that economic stability depended on political stability, and that this was clearly seen in leaders' summit which took place on January 12.

Noting that the most profitable investment in Turkey was the investment to the interest, Ecevit said, ''yet, now, the most profitable investment is to the investment. That means investment to productive fields.''

Ecevit said the government has to take new measures on economy, adding that reduction in foreign sales was not much despite negative conditions.

''We should increase foreign sales in the coming period. Shrinking in domestic markets may continue in the process while trying to reduce inflation. This will effect production and employment negatively. Foreign sale should be promoted to overcome its negative effects. We will disclose the measures that will be taken in this respect in the coming days'' he said.

Prime Minister Ecevit pointed out that positive developments in economy gained a new momentum following January 12 meeting, adding that they believed that entrance of foreign capital will increase in the coming days. He said arbitration law which will be issued from the Parliament quickly will speed up the developments.

When asked about the conditions of the sending of Ocalan's capital punishment file to the Parliament, Ecevit said required reaction will be given if serious steps are seen to incite terrorism. Ecevit said ''Our whole aim is to prevent developments which would lead to new martyrs.'' He said ''several PKK circles are trying to direct the regime in Turkey.''

''We can not accept their advice if there are requirements to make changes in the Constitution, regime, and democracy. It would be in their interest to keep quiet. Normal Constitution process determines the process.''

Ecevit said Peoples' Democracy Party (HADEP), and several organizations which are seen as the legal extension of terrorist PKK organization should be very careful. Ecevit pointed out that terrorist PKK organization and the circles supporting it had the tendency to see HADEP as the extension of their separatist targets. Ecevit also urged HADEP administrators not to let the party be used as ''the political extension of ... separatist aims.''

Ecevit said the whole nation shared the sorrow of the relatives of martyrs, adding that ''our whole aim is to prevent developments which would lead to new martyrs.''

When asked if the parties which form the coalition made concessions in the decision regarding holding the file of Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, in Prime Ministry, Ecevit said, they had adopted the most constructive approach.

Ecevit said they neither unconditionally bowed to the request to postpone the execution, nor said ''no, we don't postpone it.'' Ecevit said nobody has made concession.''

When recalled the newsreports regarding the proposal of Sami Selcuk, Chairman of Supreme Court for a Constitutional change, Ecevit said it was very beneficial that non-governmental organizations and high judicial organs disclose their views to this end. Ecevit noted that it was the Parliament's duty to materialize this change.

Ecevit also said, ''Turkish Armed Forces has a special place in Turkey. This is something stemming from the specialities of Turkey. Turkey is located in a criticial region due to security means when compared with European countries. In this respect, internal and external security are indispensable. European countries are not in a position to be an example to this end, because Turkey has a peculiar and sensitive geopolitical position. Also, National Security Council (NSC) is brought to the agenda from time to time.''

When asked what kind of proposals he will bring to the agenda in Davos to increase foreign aid, Ecevit said he may say that foreign capital may make use of the Promotion Law, which was issued in 1998 for the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia.

Pointing out that Turkey has several deficiencies in the fields of energy, transportation, and developed technology, Ecevit said, ''I will have the opportunity to disclose what kind of facilities we provide to the institutions which are willing to invest in Turkey. A file is under way to this end. We will prepare a brochure and distrubute them to the circles which are interested in economy during Davos meeting.''

Responding to another question Ecevit said security issue will be discussed mainly with Iranian Foreign Minister who is expected to visit Turkey next week.

Ecevit said, ''it is clear that many PKK terrorists found shelter in Iran. We will convey the uneasiness we felt to this end. We will call for more effective measures.''

When asked about his views regarding the ideas to form a bloc among Caucasian countries against Russia's policies, Ecevit said developments in Russia causes uneasiness and created uncertainity atmosphere in the Caucasus.

''We have intensified relations with the Caucasian countries. President Demirel's visit to Georgia is related with this process. Tranquility in the region is very important for Turkey's tranquility and security. Turkey is ready to contribute every kind of peaceful solutions to this end. Turkey has constructive proposals.''

Responding to another question Ecevit said he did not think that there can be a problem related with Baku-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline.

A.A


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