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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 00-01-18

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

18 January 2000 Tuesday

[02] TUGIAD MEETING - STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''TURKISH ECONOMY WILL BE GOVERNED BY RULES WHICH ARE VALID IN MODERN MARKET ECONOMIES''

ISTANBUL, Jan 18 (A.A) - Recep Onal, the State Minister who is responsible from economy said on Monday night that the Turkish economy will be governed by rules which are valid in modern market economies from now on so that its capacity will come out.

Addressing the meeting on ''Recent Economic Decisions, Applications and Possible Consequences'' held by the Association of Turkish Young Businessmen (TUGIAD), Onal introduced the ''restructuring and reform programme'' put forward by the government.

Onal stressed that the basic target of the programme is to show a resolved attitude within the principles of the economy, to be transparent in all practices and to determine and overcome the problems.

''Our government started its reform programme by taking measures to overcome the basic imbalances in public sector which cause high inflation. One of the important characters of the programme is also to attain a healthy and sustainable growth rate within the process of deflation,'' said Onal.

Onal pointed out that they carry out work aiming at restructuring the insurance sector and other financial institutions and added that they will solve the problems of eight banks which are within the scope of the fund.

''Our target is to remove the factors step by step which cause public deficit and to decrease the need of internal borrowings in public sector. Thus it is foreseen to fix the rate of Internal Debt/Gross National Product (GSM) first and then to take it to the sustainable level,'' he said.

Onal noted that 2000s will be a turning point of a new start in Turkish economy, adding that ''we are launching efforts to bring permanent solutions within the framework of firnancial discipline to the problem of public banks which were founded as if they were Central Banks. Our final target about public banks is to make them autonomous first and then privatize them. The private sector should also acknowledge that the rules of the game have changed.''

Responding to questions of TUGIAD members, State Minister Recep Onal said that the Turkish banking system which broke into pieces can't compete with the west, thus they must unite.

''It will be appropriate for them to prefer foreign partners to attain competion power,'' he said.

''There are rumours saying that period was given till September to increase the capital of eight banks which were transferred to Deposit Insurance Fund. Is it true?'' was a question asked to Onal who said that ''if the Fund helps a bank, it will do it in one condition: by purchasing the share certificates.'' Onal said that a certain amount of fund will be given to privatize these banks.

Onal stressed that they think of changing the form of public banks from ''Public Economic Enterprises (KIT)'' into ''company.''

Responding to a question, Onal said that they won't intervene with the prices of Turkey, the automatic prices in oil will continue as this is the case in the European Union (EU) countries.

Onal added that they will continue to sell the electric energy in the prices of the world.

[03] TUGIAD MEETING - YUCAOGLU, PRESIDENT OF TUSIAD: ''THE COALITION HAS ESTABLISHED A POLITICAL STABILITY THAT WE COULD NOT ESTABLISH FOR A DECADE''

ISTANBUL, Jan 18 (A.A) - Erkut Yucaoglu, the President of the Executive Board of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), said late on Monday that the coalition has established a political stability that they could not establish for a decade.

Yucaoglu spoke in the meeting titled, ''The Last Economic Decisions, Applications and Possible Consequences'' which was held by the Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD).

The government has put forward a program and it works seriously to succeed in this program, Yucaoglu noted.

Yucaoglu said, ''the announcement of Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU), the signing of a Stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the money-currency policy are all preparing us to a vision that we have missed for years.''

Turkey is among few countries which welcomes 2000 and the following years with hope, Yucaoglu stated.

Yucaoglu stressed that at this point, they have to undertake two responsibilities.

''First one is to check whether or not the short-term necessary laps are materialized. The second and the hardest is to launch the initiatives and the discussions which are necessary to put forth Turkey's new vision,'' Yucaoglu said.

Yucaoglu recalled President Suleyman Demirel's statements who said that Turkey would become among the ten biggest economies of the world in a decade.

Yucaoglu said, ''we should increase the electricity production by three times to make these targets come true. We think that the foreign trade should be increased to 210 billion U.S. dollars, the foreign capital inflow should climb to 10-15 billion U.S. dollars a year, and the investments in industry and services should rise to 120 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.''

''It will be an obligation to employ approximately 850,000 persons in a year. We are mentioning a ten percent annual increase in Turkey's production capacity, and a single-unit inflation rate,'' Yucaoglu added.

Yucaoglu continued, ''all these may seem targets which are very difficult to implement. However, Turkey should determine difficult targets. It is our task to put forth all our power together with the public and private sector and to work hard to implement these targets for our society, children and the following generations. If we assume our vision correctly, then we can materialize all these in a decade.''

Turkey's only opportunity is to benefit from the information technology to catch up the development dynamics of the world, Yucaoglu emphasized.

Yucaoglu pointed out that at the international level, countries are carrying out efforts to reach a global competition power.

Nowadays, companies have a tendency to become a joint venture to increase the competition power; Yucaoglu said.

Yucaoglu noted that the Turkish companies which want to be inclued in this regional or global competition, should follow these developments.

There is a stability program and a reform program in front of Turkey which should be implemented with determination, Yucaoglu stated.

Yucaoglu stressed that the privatization which is one of the most important elements of the stability program, should have a strong administrative and legal infrastructure, a perfect implementation and approximately one billion U.S. dollar practice every month.

The tax base should be enlarged, the public expenditures should be limited and the agricultural subsidies should be put into the agenda of the government as soon as possible, Yucaoglu emphasized.

Yucaoglu said, ''implementation of all these reforms with determination will facilitate Turkey's adaptation to the Copenhagen criteria. These criteria are the preconditions for Turkey's EU membership. They cannot be made a matter of bargain.''

The business world should continue to support the stability program, Yucaoglu pointed out.

The Turkish business world should target at increasing the productivity, Yucaoglu said.

Yucaoglu added that to this end, Turkish business world should put into their agenda the ''joint venture'' possibilities and follow the stock market to provide the necessary sources.

[04] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on January 18, 2000. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

CLUE IN SACK
The information about seven businessmen who were kidnapped was found in a sack in a cell house of illegal organization Hezboullah. Police fatally shot the leader of the terrorist group, namely Huseyin Velioglu and detained two others in a shootout yesterday. Istanbul Police Chief Hasan Ozdemir said the three men, armed with automatic weapons, had opened fire on police. One policeman was slightly injured in the hand. Police raided the home as part of an investigation into the kidnappings of seven businessmen attributed to the illegal Hezbollah organization, Ozdemir said. The militants were barricaded in the apartment for close to five hours, exchanging fire with scores of policemen in flak jackets, before police stormed the hide-out. The operation lasted till the morning.

ONAL:THEIR UNIFICATION IS INEVITABLE
Responding to questions of TUGIAD members, State Minister Recep Onal said that the Turkish banking system which broke into pieces can't compete with the west, thus they must unite. ''It will be appropriate for them to prefer foreign partners to attain competion power,'' he said. Onal stressed that they think of changing the form of public banks from ''Public Economic Enterprises (KIT)'' into ''company.''

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

TURKEY TO TAKE GIANT LEAP FORWARD IN POPPY
Turkey will take a giant leap forward in poppy issue which led to a conflict between herself and the U.S. Husnu Yusuf Gokalp, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, said that the factories which will process the poppy are on the agenda of his ministry. There is not any problem in Turkey's poppy production, Gokalp noted. Gokalp stated that they can open a few more alkaloid factories if they have the opportunity. Turkey can produce the products which can be used in drug industry, Gokalp stressed. Gokalp said that today, Turkey is producing poppy under control. Turkey produces 31,000 tons of poppy a year, Gokalp added.

'OFF THE ROAD' DISTRICTS OF CAPITAL FREEZE
The decrease in the pressure of the natural gas given to Ankara made the citizens very angry. The Pipeline Transportation Incorp. (BOTAS) claimed that the decrease in the pressure resulted from the increasing rate of consumption. The BOTAS said that the citizens used more natural gas because of the cold weather. The Electricity, Gas and Bus (EGO) alleged that BOTAS, itself, decreased the pressure of the natural gas. Since the pressure decreased, the residents of Ankara who are living in 'off the road' districts, could not use the natural gas.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

SAVAS: FP CHALLENGES
Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Vural Savas will explain the actions of the Virtue Party (FP) against the Constitutional Court's decisions. Savas will submit his verbal explainations to the court regarding the closure case against FP today. Savas will accuse FP of being against the Constitutional Court's decisions and challenging the Constitution.

TRT LIFTS SECRET EMBARGO
Recai Kutan, the leader of the Virtue Party (FP) who couldn't appear at the state run television channel TRT-1 since February 28 process, appeared at TRT-1 channel for the first time yesterday. This development caused everybody to think whether the process is softening.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

'ARBITRATION' PRESSURE FROM GOVERNMENT
The draft which will make a concession about arbitration, will be discussed at the Justice Commission today. The group acting leaders of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) told the DSP commission members that Premier Bulent Ecevit wants this draft to be adopted. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) wing wants the implementation of a backward arbitration by taking into consideration the risk possibility in the former contracts.

NUCLEAR POWER PLANT TENDER
The consortiums which participated in the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant tender, exceeded the validity of their proposals for the fourth time. The consortiums exceeded the validity until February 1, 2000. Some deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) still have uneasiness about the power plant while the consortiums continue their lobby for the tender.

WATER BARGAIN IN ANKARA
The Israeli and Jordanian delegations held contacts in Ankara for the marketing of the Manavgat water to the Middle East. Oyda Allah Mahaddin, the Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister, and Uzi Dayan, the Israeli Deputy Chief of General Staff, arrived in Ankara yesterday to discuss this issue. Since the potable water which can be produced from sea water costs so much, Israel and Jordan prefer Turkish water which is more qualified and cheaper.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

DIPLOMATIC CAPITAL ANKARA
Yesterday Ankara had a busy diplomatic schedule. Turkey turned itself to economic relations with regional countries after recognition of its candidacy to the European Union (EU). Yesterday envoys from the U.S, Iran, Russia and Jordan came to the Foreign Ministry.

PKK WARNING TO IRAN
Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Kharrazi started his three day official visit to Turkey yesterday. Turkey voiced its concern to Iran about claims that Iranians are sheltering PKK terrorists. The issue of improving economic relations with Iran was also discussed during Kharrazi's first day in Ankara.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

OCALAN CAN BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER PRISON
The relatives of martyrs who took action after the government decision to delay the execution of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, met with Premier Bulent Ecevit, the Deputy Premier Devlet Bahceli and the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Mesut Yżlmaz yesterday. Ecevit explained the reasons of postponement to them. Meanwhile Yżlmaz said that Ocalan, the head terrorist should be transferred to another prison and added that he will submit a proposal to the government about this issue.

FIRST AMNESTY LATER DEATH PENALTY
The Commission of the Turkish Penal Code started its activities. The government thinks of adopting the amnesty law first and then take up the issue of Ocalan, the head terrorist.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

RAID AGAINST HEZBOLLAH
The security forces bound to Istanbul Police Organization who intensified on the abduction of some businessmen, had clashes with the Hezbollah militants. The police started to follow the Hezbollah terrorist organization after some businessmen and the administrators of Zehra Foundation got lost one after the other. The police which enlarged its operations, took into custody eight persons. The police which staged an operation against a luxurious villa in Beykoz Kavacik district, faced the armed struggle of two persons at home. The operation lasted at 6.58 p.m. Three Hezbollah militants clashed with the police for four hours. A militant died while two others were captured in the end of the operation. However, the police could not find anything about the lost businessmen.

1.2 QUADRILLION TL FOR ENERGY
Turkey will spend 1 quadrillion 201 trillion 625 billion Turkish Liras (TL) in energy investments. In accordance with the Investment Programme of the Year 2000, 1 quadrillion 175 trillion 625 billion TL will be spent in the continuing projects and 18 trillion 402 billion TL will be spent in the new projects. The state will allocate 8 trillion 105 billion TL for the etude- project this year. The state will use 320 trillion 408 billion TL foreign loan and 78 trillion 73 billion 300 million TL foreign equities for the energy investments of 2000.

[05] SECOND TOUR OF INTERDELEGATIONARY MEETINGS BETWEEN TURKEY AND IRAN STARTS

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - While the contacts of Iranian Foreign Minister Kemal Kharrazi continues in Ankara, the second tour of interdelegationary meetings between Turkey and Iran started on Tuesday in the Foreign Ministry.

In the meetings, which are presided by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Kharrazi, regional and international issues that concern the two countries are taken up.

The delegations came together for the first time on Monday and they took up bilateral relations particularly cooperation in the field of security.

After the interdelegationary meetings, the two foreign ministers are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and hold a joint press briefing.

[06] TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS CONTINUE TO KILL PEOPLE

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - Traffic accidents continue to kill people in Turkey.

Nihat Kurtic, the Deputy Director of Security responsible for traffic, told A.A correspondent on Tuesday that a total of 441,693 traffic accidents happened in Turkey in 1999.

A total of 4,606 people died and 113,656 people were injured in these accidents, Kurtic said.

Kurtic noted that the traffic accidents increased by 0.35 percent in 1999 while the death toll decreased by 6.67 percent and number of injured fell 0.78 percent when compared with the figures of 1998.

The drivers stand at the first place in the list of the elements that led to traffic accidents, Kurtic stated.

Kurtic stressed that the pedestrians, vehicles, road and the passenger faults followed the drivers in this list.

The faults of the drivers can be listed as hitting a vehicle from its behind, driving the car sleepily, tired and ill; and not obeying the transition priority in the crossroads, Kurtic emphasized.

A total of 141 trillion Turkish liras of financial damage occured in the traffic accidents which happened in 1999; Kurtic pointed out.

Kurtic said that they should rearrange the transportation plans and the infrastructure to decrease the death toll in traffic accidents.

The increase in the traffic controls, the cooperation with non-governmental organizations, the organization of the education of the passenger bus drivers, the rewarding of the good and careful drivers will decrease the death toll and the number of injured in traffic accidents, Kurtic noted.

[07] EREN, CHAIRMAN OF TTSO: ''GEORGIA SHOULD DECREASE CUSTOMS DUTY SHE IMPOSES ON TURKISH EXPORT PRODUCTS''

TRABZON, Jan 18 (A.A) - Sadan Eren, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Trabzon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TTSO), called Georgia on Tuesday to decrease the customs duty she imposes on Turkish exports. products. to each other through the Sarp Border Gate, should have cooperation in trade.

They accompanied President Suleyman Demirel during his visit to Georgia last week, Eren noted.

Eren said, ''we and Georgian businessmen discussed the problems during the visit. We requested that the Turkish export products should not be subject to pre-control in the entrance to Georgia and that the customs tax should be decreased.''

''We also asked for the solution of the problems faced in Georgia in highway transportation, the city toll taken from the transit vehicles and we think the transition fees should be decreased,'' Eren added.

Eren stated that the Turkish exporters could not get some of their money from these purchasers in Georgia.

They expect the Georgian government to find an emergency solution to this problem within the framework of laws and to be a guarantor for the following sellings, Eren added.

[08] BELGIAN COMPANY DECEUNINCK TO PURCHASE 50.1 PERCENT OF TURKISH EGE PROFIL

BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (A.A) - The Belgian company Deceuninck will purchase 50.1 percent of the Turkish Ege Profil company.

Officials of the Deceuninck said on Tuesday that the Deceuninck which produces PVC for the doors and windows, reached an agreement with the Turkish Ege Profil company to become 50.1 percent partner of the company.

The joint venture will become clear after the legal procedure is completed, the officials noted.

The Ege Profil is a company which was set up in 1981 by the Zorlu family in Izmir. It produces PVC doors and windows and has a significant market share with ''Ege Pen'' trademark.

The Ege Profil which employs 200 workers, had 20 million Euro turnover in 1999.

[09] BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - The current balance deficit was 615 million U.S. dollars in the first ten months of 1999.

The current balance deficit in the same period in 1998 had been 1 billion 220 million U.S. dollars.

Central Bank announced on Tuesday the developments in balance of payments between January and October 1999.

Issuing a statement, Central Bank said that the foreign trade deficit shrank by 27.1 percent in the first ten months of 1999 when it was compared with the same period in 1998.

The export income decreased by 5.7 percent, shuttle trade reduced by 46.7 percent and import spendings (CIF) dropped by 16.5 percent in the January- October 1999 period.

In the same period, the net income from other goods and services, and uncovered transfers decreased 38.4 percent to 8 billion 144 million U.S. dollars.

The export revenues reached 23 billion 345 million U.S. dollars including 1 billion 752 million U.S. dollars of shuttle trade in the first ten months of l999.

The import spendings became 32 billion 104 million U.S. dollars including 1 billion 494 million U.S. dollars of gold import.

Consequently, foreign trade deficit decreased 27.1 percent to 8 billion 759 million U.S. dollars between January and October 1999.

Tourism revenues reduced 29.2 percent to 4 billion 659 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

The interest revenues became 1 billion 930 million U.S. dollars while other goods and services income decreased 27.6 percent to 9 billion 296 million U.S. dollars.

[10] JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE OF CEM AND KHARRAZI

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - As Kamal Kharrazi, Iranian Foreign Minister, said on Tuesday that they had deep concerns over the existence of Israel in the region, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem pointed out that, ''it is out of question for a foreign power to launch a hostile initiative from the territories of Turkey against one of our neighbours.''

Cem and Kharrazi staged a joint news conference following the interdelegationary talks. Kharrazi mentioned the concern they felt over the position of Israel in the region.

''During our contacts, we said we have deep concerns that existence of Isreal in the region has negative effects. We hope to solve these problems through dialogue with Turkey,'' Kharrazi said.

Meanwhile, responding to a question, Cem urged all countries, including the neighboring countries, to share Turkey's approach to the issue. Cem noted, ''it is out of question for a foreign power, Israel is in question here, to launch a hostile initiative from the territories of Turkey, against our neighbours.''

Cem pointed out that it was normal that neighboring countries may have several concerns in this respect, adding that the issue will be examined if these countries bring their concerns to the agenda with concrete documents.

Meanwhile, when reminded the existence of terrorist PKK organization in Iran, Kharrazi said, ''I categorically deny the existence of PKK in our territories.''

[11] TURKISH EXPORTERS TO ORIENTATE THEMSELVES TOWARD CHINA

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursad Tuzmen said on Tuesday China had to reduce the tariff and non-tariff obstacles in its imports to remove the imbalance in trade between Turkey and China.

Addressing a press conference held for the introduction of the First Turkish Export Products Fair which will take place in Shanghai, China between October 26-29, Tuzmen said the distance between Turkey and China did not constitute a serious problem, and Turkey could take an important part in Chinese market if the tariff and non-tariff obstacles were reduced.

Tuzmen said China which was expected to be a member of the World Trade Organization in June 2000 still imposed tax rates of three percent up to 80 percent on imports, and it was impossible to export with such high tax rates.

Tuzmen stated that 200 of the 500 giant companies in the world made investments in China, and Turkey should set up lasting relations to take its share in this developing market.

''However, the markets in our to countries are rivals. The Turkish and Chinese markets export almost the same products. However, there are also complementary products. We can cooperate in the third countries concerning these fields where there is not a competition,'' he said.

Tuzmen said that Turkey's total exports to China, which was 513 million U.S. dollars in 1993, started to decrease gradually as China started to produce steel-iron and dropped to 30 million U.S. dollars in the first ten months of 1999.

Tuzmen said the imports from China increased rapidly as of the same period and rose from 255 million U.S. dollars to 747 million U.S. dollars.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Ankara Yao Kuangyui said that the Turkish businessmen failed to chose the ''correct address'' for cooperation with China although there was a great potential between the two countries.

Yao stressed, ''we attach great importance to commercial relations between our two countries. Because, good commercial relations assure good political relations.''

''Turkish businessmen know the Chinese market very well but go to wrong address. There is a need to find a powerful partner and find the correct address. We wish the imbalance in trade will be removed and the bilateral trade volume is increased two or three fold,'' he said.

[12] PAPANDREOU TO HOLD CONTACTS IN TURKEY

ATHENS, Jan 18 (A.A) - George Papandreou, Greek Foreign Minister, will arrive in Ankara on Wednesday on a two-day official visit.

Papandreou will be the first Greek Foreign Minister, who pays an official visit to Turkey, after Evangelos Averof, who had officially visited Turkey in 1962. Papandreou will start his official contacts on Thursday.

Papandreou will visit Ankara with a delegation composed of businessmen, parliamentarians, and journalists. Greek Foreign Ministry sources disclosed the agenda where the bilateral relations are on the top.

Sources said Papandreou is expected to be received by President Suleyman Demirel, Parliament Speaker Yildirim Aktuna, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, and noted that he will sign four bilateral agreements with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

Greek Foreign Ministry sources stressed that agreements related with environment, tourism, terrorism, and protection of investments were ready for signing, adding that they work on ''Prevention of Double Taxation Agreement'', and that it can be ready for signature.

The sources said Papandreou will proceed to Istanbul with FM Cem following the contacts in Ankara, and meet with Turkish and Greek businessmen.

Papandreou and Cem are expected to discuss the results of dialogue which started between the two countries last July. Bilateral relations will also be discussed.

The Greek sources said Cyprus question, which Athens did not consider within the scope of bilateral relations, is not on the agenda of the talks.

Papandreou is expected to return to Athens on Saturday.

[13] JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE OF CEM AND KHARRAZI - CEM: ''EVERY CONCERN HAS BEEN DISCUSSED IN DETAIL''

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Tuesday that every concern has been discussed in detail during the contacts held within the framework of the visit of Kamal Kharrazi, Iranian Foreign Minister.

Cem said these two countries shared the view that separatist terrorism constituted a danger not only for Turkey, but also for other countries in the region.

Cem and Kharrazi staged a joint news conference after signing a memorandum of understanding envisaging arrangement of regular consultations between foreign ministries of the two countries.

Cem said they held productive talks with the Iranian side, and noted that the two friendly countries discussed bilateral and regional issues and called for improvement of relations.

Cem pointed out that political consultation mechanisms, wihch were established between the two countries earlier, were also discussed, and noted that the problems could be solved more easily through these mechanisms.

Mentioning the issue of security cooperation between the two countries, Cem said they foresaw further improvement of security mechanisms.

''We shared the view that separatist terrorism is against the interest of the two countries, and shared the view that such kind of separatism is dangerous for Turkey as well as other countries'' Cem said.

Pointing out that they also foresaw improvement of cooperation in economic field, Cem said they decided to establish a consultation mechanism between the concerned units of foreign ministries.

Cem said they were searching for ways to launch joint initiatives in third countries, adding that Kharrazi attributed importance to his talks with Turkish businessmen in Istanbul.

Cem also said several initiatives were on the agenda to improve relations in the field of culture.

Cem stressed that regional and international issues were discussed in addition to bilateral relations, adding that they mentioned developments in the Caucasus, Middle Eastern Peace Process and other regions within this framework.

Cem pointed out that President Suleyman Demirel was planning to visit Iran in spring, and Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan was planning to visit this country in March within the framework of reciprocal visits.

Kharrazi in his part said Turkey and Iran were the two countries in the region which have the necessary will to improve bilateral relations.

Pointing out that bilateral relations improved a lot in last two years, Kharrazi said this was insufficient, and added that they wanted an improvement in the field of economy.

The guest minister mentioned the railway issue connecting Turkey and Iran to each other, and noted that during the talks he pointed out that Turkish side has to construct the section in Tatvan. Kharrazi said he got the political support of Cem to this end.

[14] TURKEY AND NETHERLANDS SIGN BILATERAL EMPLOYMENT REGULATION AGREEMENT

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - Turkey and the Netherlands signed on Tuesday a ''Bilateral Employment Regulation'' agreement.

The agreement was signed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Aydan Karahan and Dutch Ambassador to Turkey Sjoerd Isaac Hendric Gosses.

The agreement allowing the employment of Turkish and Dutch Embassy and Consulate General personnel and their families in the country they are staying was signed through exchange of diplomatic notes.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Karahan said the agreement had an historical importance, creating an important opportunity for the spouses of diplomats who were obliged to sacrifice professional career.

Dutch Ambassador Gosses said the agreement brought important opportunity for the diplomats and their relatives in both countries.

Turkey signed a similar agreement with the U.S. on December 23, 1999 and with Britain on January 12, 2000.

The Foreign Ministry, which is preparing itself to sign a similar agreement with the Netherlands on January 18, 2000, is planning to sign similar agreements with NATO and 22 EU-member countries.

[15] BELGIAN DECEUNINCK TO PURCHASE 50.1 PERCENT SHARE OF EGE PROFIL

BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (A.A) - Deceuninck, a giant polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer in Belgium, announced on Tuesday that a principle agreement was reached on its purchase of 50.1 percent stake in the Turkish Ege Profil company's capital.

The officials at the Belgian company said they took the decision in question in accordance with the strategy of enlargement of their group.

Ege Profil, which has 200 workers, realized 20 million Euro in sales in 1999.

[16] WORLD BANK DIRECTOR FOR TURKEY CHHIBBER: - ''ECONOMIC PROGRAMME STARTED WELL''

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - World Bank Director for Turkey Ajay Chhibber said on Tuesday that the economic programme in Turkey started well, adding, ''the first goal was scored. The enterprising football should continue, the defensive football should be given up.''

Addressing a meeting at the Ankara Chamber of Industry, Chhibber said the powerful and large-scale economic reform in Turkey started to give its first results, and those results were positive.

Noting that the success of the programme stemmed from the stable and sustainable growth, Chhibber said 1999 was a tough year for Turkey but it also brought the expectations for better economic conditions.

Chhibber stated that the turkish government put into practice a sound economic programme which was prepared by taking the necessary lessons from the previous programmes.

Chhibber stressed that the programme foresaw a 7.6 billion U.S. dollars privatization in 2000, and a 18 billion U.S. dollar privatization in next three years.

Chibber state that the programme was more convincing than the previous programmes.

''The coalition partners completely agreed on the economic programme. The government took more measures in last nine months when compared to previous ones. Besides, Turkey's European Union (EU) candidacy may enable Turkey to set up economic, social, and even political reforms in the future. These three factors give this programme a different structure than the other programmes,'' he said.

Stressing that there was a sharp decrease in interest rates in Turkey, and Turkey got into 30-year maturity borrowing in international markets, Chhibber said the savings should be increased and salaries should be controlled to reach the 200 year budget target.

Stating that Turkey and the World Bank closely cooperated in formation of the programme, Chhibber emphasized that Turkey had dynamic small and medium scale enterprises and a powerful private sector.

[17] GREEK TOURISM SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES TO VISIT TURKEY

ANKARA, Jan 18 (A.A) - Greece will attend the International East Mediterranean Tourism Fair (EMITT) that will take place in Istanbul between February 17-20.

Greece will introduce especially ''Serez'' city that is situated in the skirts of the Rodop Mountains.

Halim Bulutoglu, the General Director of Ekin Orthography Center which will organize the fair, said the EMITT Fair and tourism played a uniting role between the countries.

Bulutoglu said there were common cultural values between Turkey and Greece, two Mediterranean countries, adding, ''also Shiekh Bedrettin, who is known by his struggle for freedom, lived in Serez city in the 14th century. The Serez Municipality will introduce Serez city in the EMITT Fair.''

Halim Bulutoglu stressed that participation of Greece in the fair was important for the development of relations between the two countries in the field of tourism.

[18] COE TO DISCUSS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL EFFECTS OF QUAKE IN TURKEY

STRASBOURG, Jan 18 (A.A) - The economic and social effects of the earthquake in Turkey will be discussed during the general assembly meetings of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (COEPA) that will start in the beginning of next week.

The Turkish parliamentarians will attend the general assembly meetings that will take place in Strasbourg between January 24-28.

Fusun Koroglu, Prime Ministry Deputy Undersecretary responsible for crisis desk, will brief the European parliamentarians on the works carried out in Turkey following the quake.

The COEPA will also discuss the economic and social effects of the quake in Greece.

The European Social Development Fund which carries out activities within the structure of COE earlier decided to extend a 300 million Euro low- interest project loan to Turkey.

Officials say the amount in question might increase to 500 million Euro after the second strong quake in Duzce.

[19] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN TRNC - NUMBER OF CANDIDATES INCREASES TO SIX

LEFKOSA, Jan 18 (A.A) - The number of candidates who will run for the Presidential elections in April 2000 in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) increased to six.

Following TRNC President Rauf Denktas; National Unity Party (UBP) leader and TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu; Socialist Salvation Party (TKP) leader, TRNC State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Akinci; Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and Ramadan Guney, a businessman living in London; the Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) announced its candidate for presidential elections.

YBH Secretary General Izzet Izcan said the YBH would nominate Arif Hasan Tahsin Desem for the elections.

[20] TREASURY ARRANGES TWO BOND TENDERS

ANKARA, J an 18 (A.A) - The interest reduction continued in Treasury's two bond tenders on Tuesday.

The interest rate decreased by 54.6 points in three-month bond tender compared to previous three-month bond tender on November 16, 1999, and the interest rate dropped by 1.7 points in the 16-month debenture bond tender on January 4, 2000.

The bid was 1 quadrillion 333.t trillion Turkish Liras (TL) in the three- month bond tender but 620 trillion 714 billion TL nominal-valued papers were sold, and the net sale became 572 trillion TL.

The composite interest rate became 38.67 percent and the simple interest rate became 34.07 percent.

The issue date of bonds is January 19, 2000, and the maturity is April 19, 2000.

Meanwhile, the bid for the 16-morth maturity debenture bonds was 3 quadrillion 65.7 trillion TL but 2 quadrillion 88.7 trillion nominal-valued debenture bonds were sold and the net sale became 1 quadrillion 390 trillion 344 billion TL.

The composite interest rate became 35.30 percent and the simple interest rate became 37.31 percent.

The issue date of these papers is January 19, 2000, and the maturity is May 23, 2001.
Meanwhile, the Treasury will repay 2 quadrillion 109 trillion 112 billion TL in domestic borrowing on Wednesday.

[21] SEFARAD SYNAGOGUE SENDS FINANCIAL AID TO QUAKE SURVIVORS

BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (A.A) - Sefarad Synagogue in Brussels sent financial aid worth of 160 thousand Belgian Francs, for quake survivors.

Maurice Renous, the Chairman of Sefarad Synagogue, visited on Tuesday the Turkish Embassy in Brussels, and handed over the financial aid.

Temel Iskit, the Turkish Ambassador to Belgium, thanked Renous for their contribution to quake survivors who were left homeless when two massive earthquake devastated Marmara Region on August 17 and November 12.

Iskit noted that the Turkish people had good relations with Jewish people since the Ottoman Empire period.

Meanwhile, Renous said that they considered Turkish people as their siblings, and expressed profound sorrow over loss of lives in quake disasters.

A.A


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